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Friday, March 30, 2012

Surliness, Plain Ol' Surliness

That's me this morning I've decided. After a once again unsatisfactory nights sleep, I'm up. And it's not a good thing. As the cop that pulled me over yesterday, I'm not feeling like a very nice person in the least. This happens when I get tired. It's like all filters go down and I only have mean nasty thoughts and therefore, mean nasty things to say. My temper gets shor... oh hell, it doesn't even exist.

After the monster pooch being here, and then Bob out of town during my work week (I work 12hr night shifts) and dealing with my own dogs needs, I just haven't managed to sleep more than a couple hours at a time (read 2-3 hrs/day here). Thank god my kids are just four legged ones. I don't know how parents do it. But this morning, Bob is home, and has walked the critters who so desperately missed the nice parent who lets them run amok. I, being up at three thirty this morning, spun just enough to frustrate myself. Well, the plying process was frustrating me. Then, as they exited the house for their morning stretching of the legs, jumped in the shower and then went on a mad cleaning spree.

So here I sit, at ten in the morning wishing it were ten in the evening with freshly scrubbed floors and toilets, grilled chicken for the Sullivan dog and dishes washed. We won't mention me chasing Bob and the muttley crew out of the house while brandishing a mop when they came back to early for me to finish floors without their "assistance". I really am no fun today and am dreading going out in public later because I know I'm not in the mood for general public exposure. Officer Crossen, let's not revisit yesterday please.

Despite it being a sleepless couple of weeks, I have been productive.

Sally got her hat, the shawlette was finished, I got the cable hat done and just need to finish the pattern, and I got past the heels on the socks despite myself.
Sorry, it's a crappy IPod pic.

These were originally going to be for me, but have since decided I'm done looking at the things and have decided to give them to my sister-in-law for Christmas, which means I have officially started Christmas knitting. Scary.

Let's hope that I can keep up the momentum to attack organizing the stash and cleaning downstairs in a manner to get rid of some more unneeded items this spring.

I hope you all slept better than I, and you have a wonderful weekend. When I get the hat pattern done I'll share it on here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One More Off the List

And blocking on the wires. Whoopee!
I had to play with the color in this picture to get the dark blue to show as dark blue and not just black.
Now, to the socks!

I'm no yarn harlot, but I'm working on getting some projects done and off the needles.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

He's Still Alive

Neville that is.

In other words, he hasn't been tied in the gunny sack and thrown off the bridge, though he is tempting me again today. Yesterday he was actually a wonderful little dog. Two days and nights of 4 walks including two big off leash(well, as close as he gets to off leash) romps and crate training at night he was quick and responsive to his name, and come, Stay's were getting better and he was in general pretty darn good. He looked at me like I was nuts a couple times when praising him I called him "Good Boy" or "Good Dog". I don't think he's heard such phrases before. But he must have gotten good sleep last night, although I will admit freely that he isn't up to his old self, just a little resistant to commands and seems to have a bit more pep today, but I'll wear him out again. I'm starting to see the attraction to tying his leash to the car mirror and running him down the street while I drive. I wouldn't do it because god know the walking and running isn't hurting me, but I do see the attraction.

Poor Sullivan is just wore out by him, and all the getting after of him that occurs. When he's not hiding behind the couch (It's the only item in the house that's big enough to actually hide him from view), he's laying on it sleeping hard.

And poor him and Smudge can't get hardly any best buddy time in.

Meanwhile I've gotten precious little spinning or knitting time in. I hope to get some in this week and narrow down that dam "To Get Done" list. Thank God he goes home tomorrow! Hope you all get to attack your own lists as desired.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Busy Busy Busy, I Know, Excuses Excuses Excuses

I have absolutely sucked in getting some posts up this week while I've been off work. And it's due to that busy busy busy thing. And I don't know if I'm just tired and not time managing well, or truly getting/letting myself get pulled into things. Which is fine, I just need to plan my time out better.

And on the note of what the heck I've been doing with my time? This weekend I made dinner for some friends for St. Paddy's day. My friend who has a little boy is using his 2 1/2 year birthday as "right-of-passage" to usher in some more big boy type behaviors. "Big Boy Rights-of Passage?" I hear you ask. Yes, such as no more taking off ones diaper to eliminate in random places. Yes, you read that right. In other words, he doesn't want to mess himself, but needs to understand that the proper place is the toilet. In all honesty from my own experience, she's closer than she thinks there. Making the leap of not wanting to mess himself, is the bog one. And then there's sippy cups. I am glad that I haven't been around when a sippy cup has re-emerged from some nook or cranny with days old milk still in it. Big boy cups it is. I'm sure other things will change, as other parents out there probably have other stories of transitions.

So, on this night of Irish Merriment (I did drink the remainder of the Guinness I didn't cook with to honor my Irish/German roots) this,

and this,

became this.
Yes, yes, that is a bacon wrapped Irish Meatloaf. Mmmmmmhmm. Pigs are magic. I will provide the recipe at a later time if it is requested, but I have too much to ramble on about today.

Also, I got this little doozy done.

Now, for those who know my knitting, you know that I like cable work, but don't really dig the color work so much. Why not color work you ask? Because I can't seem to come by it naturally so I have to work really hard to make it look good. REALLY hard. And there is probably a lot of cussing involved and perhaps some throwing of yarn and needles across the room. But, it's done. And now Sally will have the requested black and white hat. If it doesn't fit she'll give me more guidance next time instead of just saying, "Oh, just a black and white hat". Of course, if it doesn't fit, I am not reworking a cabled color work hat for her. She may get the original Claudia hat in a single color, but not double color.

Oh, do you remember this stuff?

Well, I made it into more of this stuff.

To compliment this other stuff that I had already spun, dyed and knit up.

Then perhaps I can take another item off the "To Get Done" list. I hate having a long "To Get Done" list. I prefer really short ones and long "Another One Down" lists.  Because I still have a pair of socks that need heels, feet and toes. Okay, so I really have ankle warmers that are dreaming to be socks. And now, I decided that if I'm going to in fact teach a cable class, I might as well design the piece for class, right? Right...
There are the tools of my trade. Needles, yarn, notions, a laptop that I'm currently delaying the ripping out of what little I have done, notes, and caffeine. Good ol'iced tea. I'll take some downers soon.

The real problem here is that my trade is not that of being a designer. Yeah I have good ideas occasionally and tend to knit from a picture in my head, but I often have to tear out, play with the thoughts some more in a more tangible fashion and then re-attack it so that by the time I'm ready to put it down on paper, I just don't care and am finished with the piece. Designers are able to draw out the picture in their head, and calculate the entire project and work out the bugs as they knit or map it out on paper. I hate them. Well, maybe it's closer to jealousy than hate, but there are some hard feelings.

Oh, and too boot, do you remember this holy terror?
Yeah, Neville...

He's staying the week with us. His owner had a death in the family and she needed the little monster to stay somewhere other than in a gunny sack filled with rocks on the bottom of the North Platte, but I'm starting to see the error of my ways. He can't be that bad you say, and maybe it's my lack of sleep talking but he's a truly bad little monster. He howled much of the night after being placed in a crate because after my friend lost a set of $4800.00 hearing aids and several hundred dollars worth of eye glasses I wasn't risking what he'd find to destroy. Also, he's like an annoying little brother that no one likes. He goes around from each of my four dogs and lone cat to harasses them to play, when that doesn't work, he tries humping each on in turn. Then he jumps on us. So the possibility of leaving him in the room with us with the door closed means no one will sleep either. So, it was a crate for the sleeping hours and since Bob worked, I felt like it was my responsibility to deal with the little bastard at potty times.

He's one of those dogs that is so thick headed, and now going through two homees where his exercise needs weren't and can't be met and also commands not enforced he has become one of those dogs that your voice and commands are just background noise. I might resort to the gunny sack if I have to tell him not to jump on me again.

To the cretin's credit he has figured out that I'm going to enforce heel and halt every time so he might as well do it. And since this mornings last straw jumping on me, he hasn't done it again. Plus, he seems to be recognizing his name and the come command is about 75% effective now. Stay is iffy, but I'm betting on me in this little war of the wills. He's got the doggy door thing figured out though they are still a little scary and we've had no accidents despite that being problematic at home. There have been a couple of episodes of digging in the yard with the freedom of the doggy door but that's not the first time that has been an issue with either our mutts or foster mutts. Right now, he's sleeping after his second walk of the day as I try to design a hat and get a blog post. So, I'm going to tie this all up and get them out for another romp across the river to get even more energy off of him. I may take a gunny sack just in case. I have to walk across that bridge anyway, might as well have a back up plan, no?  Bottom line, he acts more like an 8 week old puppy than an 8 month old young dog. My own 8 week old puppy's have been more responsive and better behaved than he is currently. I figure it's easier to teach a 14 pound Great Dane pup heel rather than trying to teach a 120 pound pulling Great Dane heel. Logical, no? However like any dog; with the right work and human partner, he's fixable. Much fixable than most people I know.

So, I'll blog at you later and hope you have a good day. We're outta here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It All Makes Sense Now

Luckily for Bob, I would have never expected it so it meant nothing at the time. What am I talking about you ask? When I and two friends were in Boulder last weekend I walked up on one of them in deep discussion with a yarn shop employee regarding a Schacht Sidekick spinning wheel. I got a kind of strange look and there was a delay in the conversation before a comment was made that "My sister" has been looking into these. I don't recall what I said but I continued on into the loom area and forgot all about it. Until Thursday night that is when I opened an early birthday gift that I assumed was a big box of fiber from Bountiful.

Now let me just say, I would have been so happy with a big ol'box stuffed full of fiber. So I was ecstatic to find this instead.

That's right, I am the proud new owner (and as you can see I've already made excuses to use it even before making time to share the news) of a Schacht Sidekick. A completely unsuspecting and surprised owner mind you.

And on that note, once again thank you Bob. I appreciate it more than you know, and more to the point, appreciate that you can see I enjoy spinning/knitting/playing with wool in general to spend the money on such a gift for me. And also a thank you to the two friends who were assigned to find out what exactly it was that I was coveting. I'll even let you play with my toys.
I know, you're thinking, he has two spinning wheels now? What the hell do you do with two wheels? Well, only the non-spinners think such thoughts as that last one. But my plan is now to convert one over to making bulkier yarns. Which I'll look into doing with the Kiwi since it's less portable a the Sidekick and I think if I'm going to play with bulkier yarn construction I will probably be doing that at home, but we shall see.

"Portable?" I hear you scoff. Well, let me show you one of the wonders of the Sidekick.
Image from
That's right. Those Schacht designers are ingenious, and since I've met several people from there, I can tell you they are very nice to boot. I suggest to anyone in Boulder to give them a ring and see if they can come in and see their operation. But back on track, the sidekick folds up for easy transport.

I know, you doubt these words. I can attest to yesterdays virgin spin in our new local yarn shop Blooming Needle with an experienced tutor, that she does indeed travel easily. I just folded her up, buckled her into the front seat and went on my way. The included shoulder strap allowed for easy transport in and out of the shop and house.
Image from

I plan on purchasing a case for the Sidekick to keep her a little more protected in transit. Hopefully it fits a bit better than the pictured suitcase, but hey, I may have the need to check my Sidekick for flight someday.

Once again, thank you guys. I appreciate it.  So far she's been wonderful to spin on. Very quite and a smooth treadle, and the new stool I bought while in Denver works great since I need to be a bit higher treading the sidekick than I did the Kiwi. The footstool just wouldn't have cut it.

Also, a thanks to yesterdays spinning tutor. I appreciate your help immensely. This morning as I finished up that batch of roving I was working on yesterday I was amazed by how much smoother than one little tip of making my left hand sit still made my yarn. That probably would have taken me six more months to discover on my own. And it was just darn enjoyable to sit with another spinner for a couple three hours and chat and spin.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and an enjoyable St Patty's. Drink a beer for me and For Patty's sake don't ruin it with green dye. Of course, a good dark beer is darn hard to make appear green. I better get to making the nights feast and clean some house. Most importantly, that aquarium is looking awful sad. Poor abused and neglected fish.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lack of Patience and Apologies

It's one of those days. I wouldn't have even walked the dogs when I got home from work due to feeling my patience fraying at the edges. And not at just one thing, but everything. And everything includes me. Mainly, for being out of patience... It's a vicious and absolutely ridiculous cycle but yet, no less real. And secondly, I've misplaced my little PHD (push here dummy) digital camera and damn if I know where to find it. Irritated at other people just for breathing in general and being in my way. Irritated with google docs for not playing nice to share my patterns (that's where the apologies come from too). Basically, it's just a day where I recognize that perhaps I should close all the curtains, turn on the sound of a thunderstorm, thank my lucky stars that last night was my last night at work for the week, and get some sleep. Do I do this? No... I walk the dogs, search for missing camera, use other camera to get last needed pictures for the next pattern and here I am fighting with google docs. I didn't say I was logical, I said I was out of patience, irritable, and generally ill humored today. Logic doesn't play a part in this at all. Come on, you know these kinds of days. None of us are Vulcan, and we all fall prey to it. Well, today is my day to do just that.

I promise, I won't whine. I am simply here to post pictures of the Kelp Grove scarf and get the pattern up. I pray, that it works and people can use it appropriately. And if they can't view it or utilize it, then I apologize and if you REALLY want it and can't see it, shoot me an email and I will email you the original PDF. So so so sorry. Try refreshing your page first! I've had some success there.

If this keeps up, I may even look at talking to a computer person and seeing what there is out there to host my own web page/blog with document sharing capabilities. Perhaps... I may have to be really at my wits end for such an endeavor and perhaps a little more prolific in writing down the craziness I create with the fiber. Dreams are good to have, right? Did I mention the lack of logic? Perhaps it may even cross over into purely delusional..

So... Are you ready for this?
If so, here is the pattern.

Please let me know if you see any huge glaring mistakes. Or even little ones. I am dyslexic and I try, I truly do. I swear it all makes sense in my head.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Catching Up

The trip to Colorado was wonderful. I got what I needed, plus things I didn't need but just coveted, which in my world makes any trip a success. We had a great time and my friends parents were wonderful hosts. Not only did they let us crash there for the weekend, they watched my other friends kiddo while we shopped, fed us amazing breakfasts and a fantastic roast beef dinner. God Bless Mom's.

So, on that note, I'm making my newest kind of adopted mom a thank you gift.
So soft, so wispy... It's based on a pattern I wrote a couple years ago that was based on a lace pattern that came out of a 1920's knitting publication that a friend had found at an antique shop. Here's the one I made for my birth mother when I wrote the original pattern.

I think it's such an organic looking lace pattern. I never really named the creation I had made before but this new yarn has inspired the name "Kelp Garden" and I plan to purdy this one all up and publish this pattern too. Since I finally got the Braided Kappe done.... 'bout time. Some people, just can't trust them.

As for Wyoming, it snowed and is already warming up and melting it away. But I got myself and the kids out this morning for a good romp in what may be our last snow of the year. Can't waste any of the good white stuff you know. Luckily I have dogs that agree.

The Braided Kappe

The thing is finally done. Sorry about the pics. They were a rushed thing and hopefully in the future will be nicer. Trying to meet up with the recipient proved harder than one would think so these were the bet I could get at the time

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Quick One

It's been a week. I'm finally done with work for a few days and am done pretending to care. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it's done. In this week, I have been busy knitting. Today a couple of friends and I are preparing to make a run to IKEA in Denver Colorado and of course, hit some yarn shops. Poor Bob and the kids have to stay home, although I have a sneaking suspicion that Bob is actually relieved by this. Oh well, more fun for me. Hopefully Sunday night I'll be back home with a new stool to do some more spinning. Why spinning you may ask? Because I ran out of the lovely blue stuff just as I was getting to the border on this.
So I'm going to spin some more of this fiber up and dye it. I think since it's the border, I'm going to add some black to the dye bath and make it a couple shades darker... Or maybe just go with a dark purple? Don't know.

After the disaster of running out of yarn, I made some hats.
And started some socks.

They will be going with me to Colorado. Every serious knitter needs road knitting.

As for the hats, the top one is from ravelry and the pattern name is Claudia. I really like it and may have to make another one since both of the green hats are chemo hats for a friend of a friend. The bottom green one can also be found on ravelry and is call a Hurricane Hat. The subtle spiral that this particular yarn kind of hides looks like a low pressure storm system which is where I gather the name comes from. The gray and black on is something I made up. It's actually for me but seems to be causing some skin issues. It's a llama/silk blend and my mom is horribly allergic to alpaca and I'm starting to wonder if I have a llama allergy. I've been getting very red and itchy from wearing it. Damn... Maybe I can pawn it off as a gift to someone. After a good washing of course.

Well, Hope you all have a great weekend.