Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So Little Time, So Little Knitting

I'm sorry to report that there's been no knitting at all so far this week; instead, making and taking pictures of things like these crazy moss balls has kept me occupied.

When I'm not hot-gluing moss I'm busily trying to get things in order so I can go out of town for a few days, which means I've been chained to my computer getting a graphics job mostly done and trying to keep up with things like, you know, laundry, so we'll have clean clothes on our trip.

Fiona and I will be driving north to Ellay and however much further we can go in 9 days to look at colleges. Yes, it's hard to believe that youthful moi could possibly have a child that old, but what can I say? I'll just tell people I had her at 10.

So far, Fiona has been so excited to go look at schools that she has barely managed to sleep until noon, and I think she's only playing WoW 6 hours a day! To be fair, she works pretty hard during at school, so I suppose I can be grateful she isn't spending spring break starring in a Girls Gone Wild video.

When will the knitting content return, you ask? Dear reader, soon, one can only hope.

PS Your weekly gratuitous photo of Snoop, in his cave (aka the cpu cubby in my desk!).

Monday, March 26, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Don't you hate it when your tasks interfere with your knitting? Among other things, I've been working on a lot of invitations/newsletters/what have you. And I'm plugging away on my Tuscany shawl, although I haven't been able to touch it in days!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ready to Block

Sometimes the days just get away from me - it's been an entire week since I've posted, but to tell the truth I haven't gotten a lot of knitting in. The world intrudes.

My shawl, despite a few setbacks, is finally done. There it sits in all its unblocked glory. As you know, I ran out of yarn about five rows from the end. When the new shipment of Kersti came I decided there was enough to add those five rows plus an entire pattern repeat. I know, I know... despite dedicating an entire post to never learning, ever the optimist am I. There was enough for the extra pattern repeat, but not for the five rows of garter + bind-off. Tink. Tink. tinktinktinktinktink.

I finally ended up with two rows of garter and bound off using the Russian bind-off you see above. It's accomplished like this: *p2tog, slip the st back onto the left needle, repeat from * to end.

In other knitterly happenings, I was over at Knitting in La Jolla picking up some Cascade superwash for a little somethin-somethin for Snoop, and got distracted by a couple of books - Lace Style, which I promptly added to my "Style" library, and No Sheep for You Actually, Suzanne showed me No Sheep because it has a sweater pattern that is basically the World's Biggest Shedir -

yes, even bigger than my own gigantic one - that has three pages of charts and looks like it might take my natural lifetime to knit!.

Anyway, I've been paging through them all week for inspiration, and yesterday I cast on six stitches: the start of the Tuscany shawl (scroll down for a photo) from No Sheep.

Mary's playhouse continues to progress, but the weird fog we've had (See? La Jolla has weather problems too. And I was going to link to a picture of the fog, but the first hit on google images that really showed it also linked to a naked guy holding some kind of crustacean at Black's Beach, which frankly sounds like a bad idea and wasn't very attractive to view, either. So no photo for you.) has not been conducive to painting. And - horrors - rain is predicted on Wednesday. Maybe later in the week I'll get a shot of the playhouse if the sun cooperates.

And - looky here! Snoop's ears have stood up, making him look like a cross between a fruit bat and a holstein.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Guilt is a Powerful Motivator

Some time ago, a friend gave us her children's old playhouse because her house was about to be remodeled and it was in the way. John went down and disassembled it, hauled it up here, planted the pieces in our side yard and we all went about our business, ignoring Mary's little comments: "I wonder when my playhouse will be finished....I wonder if I'll be able to play in it someday....I wonder if I'll be grown up, out of college, and working on an MBA when it's done...."

Okay, maybe it didn't go that far, but at this point my friend's remodel is done and the playhouse is still in pieces.

Since Snoop's arrival the playhouse has started to bug me.

Snoop goes potty on a little plot of grass that, if you stand there with him, makes it darn near impossible not to notice something like a disassembled playhouse.

So here we are this weekend, the weather's nice, there are myriad heinous tasks pressing in (laundry, taxes, work) but we've gotta get that playhouse built while Mary can still fit through the door. We're hoping to put the roof on tonight and maybe I'll be able to start painting next week.

Which leads me to other guilt sources: the taxes!! are probably the hugest thing hanging over my head and making me crazy, but there's also some KAG (knitting-associated guilt):

This is the cabled shawl with pockets from Knitpicks, more than half done and going nowhere.

This is half a shedir, strewn amidst the left over balls from other projects.

This is the shawl I needed the extra ball of Kersti for, which I thought would be done by now.

And then there are those as-yet-unstarted mittens to go with the little cabled hats.

To top it all off, we, and by this I mean probably most of you reading this, too - all woke up minus an hour this morning. Stupid spring forward.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Little Cabled Hats

Alright, things are settling down around here with the new puppy and everything. I'm ashamed to say that I bought him a sweater yesterday. Yes, I bought a knitted item. But - it was half off, and I haven't had time to knit him anything quite yet! I have to be able to put him down in order to knit, and he's imprinted on me like a baby duck...I'm sure he'll be more independent soon.

I did finish the two little hats based on the Green Cables pattern. They're the same pattern and stitch count and everything, but I made them on smaller needles with worsted weight yarn. The gauge is 4sts/inch on the pink and 3.5sts/inch in the blue over stockinette, and I think they're about toddler/small child size (they're stretchy). Now I'm thinking about what to pair with them. Seems like booties would be for a younger baby, so maybe some little cabled mittens would be good.

The pink yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that also saw this use as well as being the flower on this scarf, and the blue is Knitpicks Andean Silk in bluebell left over from this capelet. Isn't stash wonderful?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Impulse, Shmimpulse

Warning: there is so little knitting content in this post it barely qualifies for a knitting blog. But if you like puppies and kitties (and who doesn't?), read on.

Another crazy weekend at chez Windansea. Fencing tournament, fundraiser for a school none of my children attend, two (two!!) projects involving a posterboard and/or construction of a miniature stage and puppets, a sleepover, and I'm not sure what else because I think I've only been home for 10 minutes in the last three days.

Here's what's really crazy: in the midst of all this, I had a major impulse-control problem leading to the acquisition of a puppy.

Yes indeedy, internet friends - meet Snoop. Snoop's a rat terrier; we knew absolutely nothing about the breed before we met him, but once we found out that blue eyes are an undesirable genetic trait in the breed we knew he was for us. (Mutant dog? Absolutely, where do we sign? I blame John.)

And guess what? Despite the fact that I swore I'd never put clothes on a dog, something about his size made me have to go into gay dog overdrive. I bought a rainbow collar, a pink Kate Spade-looking doggy purse (me!), a leash with a daisy on it and a t-shirt that says "Security" so he can be just a little thuggish sometimes. John made me put back the tanktop with rhinestones that spelled out "Rock Star" but the Petco is an easy 10 minutes by freeway.

Today is day two and Patty is adjusting pretty well; she still says "All your dog toys are belong to us!" but the feisty fight-picker does have a tender place for her new buddy.

Spot's still not so sure...he's trying to decide whether it's something to eat or just another ill-mannered dog to put up with.

PS Gratuitous Knitting Content: Now I can knit those doggy sweaters I keep seeing patterns for. Although maybe not this one - don't want people thinking my dog's been in the big house!

Friday, March 02, 2007

All Quiet on the Knitting Front

Usually you know when I start posting pictures of scenery there isn't a whole lot of finishing going on.

But this time you'd be wrong: I've finished the Green Cables hat in red worsted (to fit a toddler) and pink (for a school auction) and am working on a blue (also for an auction).

I wound the Kersti that will finish my shawl, hopefully tomorrow. (I'll be suffering the affliction, familiar to all parents of children participating in a sport, known as bleacher butt; I'm resigned to developing a corner in my ass but luckily will get lots of knitting time in to make up for it.)

So maybe Sunday you will see the pink hat, the blue hat, the shawl on blocking wires, and more, but for today, the pink and the blue of a La Jolla sky at sunset.