Saturday, July 28, 2007

Harry Potter - Nice to have known ya!

I finished the book last Wednesday. Now back to REAL life!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Wild Snape - er Snipe- Chase

I was so psyched to spend Saturday reading Harry Potter. My sister had come down to pick up my nephew and they left our place. My nephew had spent the last week at our house trying to see if he could eat all of the food in our fridge. He darn near succeeded.

That's my Sister in the front and my Nephew and My Son in the back, riding up from the Barn with some more boards. About 45 minutes after she left we get a call; her truck blew a rod. My husband took the call and got directions to where she was. We took off without a thought to bringing a cell phone, or anything like that. This is probably where we should've started using brain cells.

My Sister, love her to pieces but her directions weren't even close! She said she was outside of Oregon, but she was actually in Verona. It took us 3 hours to find her, plus three phone calls. On a side note: if you need to use a stranger's cell phone....ask a guy. The ladies we asked got this vague, flaky look on their face and said, "Well, cell phone's kind of expensive." Yeah,whatever. They were sitting on the side of the road sweltering in the heat and cussing us out for being late. We got everyone loaded into our van. My brother-in-law towed the truck back to our house where they spent the night. Now they are also raising their 2 year old granddaughter and she was not happy with being stuck in the car for over three hours. She found everything we had in this house that could kill, maim or poison her within that first night. It took all of us to keep up with her. Harry Potter didn't even have a chance to get the cover opened.

Sunday was spent doing all those things we meant to do on Saturday: Pick and can beans, Clean up the spare bedroom, and do laundry. Between all that I did start the book and knit a bit. I got more done on the Mystery Stole and got to page oh...200 or so in Harry Potter.

Yesterday I got down to it. I finished up this week's bags and then started reading and knitting. I've never been a person to do one thing at once. So I knitted and read. I got a lot done in the old stole.

Now I am in the page 550's with Harry Potter, and onto clue 4 of the Mystery Stole. My husband has been very patiently waiting for me to finish that book. See, the reason I get to read it first, is that I read the fastest. The last book took 3 days. I'm not allowed to give much of the book away while I read it. I have to keep the gasps and such to myself.

The stole is coming along nicely. I've learned over the last weekend how to knit from a pattern while being constantly interrupted. It's a handy skill to have.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

You know, that Thing you put clean clothes in.

A few years ago, I was at my Sister's house and suffered what my husband and I thought was a very mild stroke. Sitting on her couch, my face felt odd-hot, tingly, flushed. My vision became tunneled, and everything looked as though I was looking through the wrong end of binoculars. Then I got up and went to my Sister's computer to fix some program that had a CD for it. I kept dropping the CD. My hubby got concerned. I said screw it, took an Imitrex and then headed for a bedroom to take a nap. Now mind you, I was probably about 34 or 35 at the time. When I woke up a few hours later, I felt drained, but that was about it.

Since that time I have had issues with what they call Nominal Aphasia. I can be talking about some object and cannot bring the name of it up. It's easy stuff: like refridgerator, door, radio...and today Clothes Basket. I needed my son to fill the basket up with clothes from the dryer but I couldn't remember the word "clothes basket." Out of frustration, I just pointed and said, "THAT thing, fill it up."

Why do I put this on a blog? There's got to be another young person out there who has had the same thing happen to them. The good thing about this is that it does become less and less frequent over the subsequent years. BUT, if you start feeling all out of sorts like I did, for crying out loud...Go To The Emergency Room. Man, I could've had a massive stroke and kicked it right there and then...........In my Sister's house on one of her kids' bed. She'd never forgive me for that!

Too Much Fabric, not enough Time

I received a message asking if I can make bigger bags. My brain starts bubbling like champagne just poured into a flute. Oh I like challenges! The criteria was that the bag needs to be large enough to hold 12" size 15 knitting needles. My brain added a few more criteria: More Pockets and More Sturdier Drawstring. So this is what I came up with:

The bag is made out of a jungle print cotton and a dark green satin interior. I noggled my brain for a bit on the pocket closure. It obviously needed one, but I didn't want to use velcro. I have a bag I carry projects in from time to time that once was a diaper bag. It has a velcro closure and it keeps catching all my yarn on it. So I settled for a button. Harder to open/close, but it won't snag your stuff.

I was ticked off when I put a pair of needles in the slots. I thought the needles I was using were 12". They were sticking out of the top of the bag and I didn't like it. BUT, I measured my needles, and they were over 13" long. WHEW. But I'm not in love with the design. I can't put my finger on it, but I'm not in love with it. I like MY big project bag. I fiddled around with a different design about two weeks ago with some leftover fabric in my chest. This is what that looks like:

The funny thing about this one is that I actually wanted the pocket on the inside of the bag. But the bag looked better with it on the outside. This holds my mystery stole project and everything needed to keep knitting it.

The bag holds a lot, actually: That's my knitting, the lifeline material, gum (which keeps you from snarling at everyone when you screw up) the pattern, a knife to cut stuff with and pins to block it. What does that stole look like so far ?

You will notice that the top is much lighter than the bottom. That is because I did not match my yarns. I had a beautiful cream cashmere selected for this stole. Yeah, well the cashmere didn't want to be a stole. I frogged that sucker 3 times. The gray handspun didn't want to be a stole either, that was frogged twice. The pink was frogged to lifelines about 3 times. Lifelines are saviours, but can be tricky if you frog down to them and then try to pick up the stitches while being tired. If you miss a stitch, it can cause headaches.

I'm being pickier about the smaller project bags. I wanted to put two pockets into them from before, but I thought it would make my cost/investment in them too much for customers. They're not going to buy them if they are too much $$. But my stubborness is winning. I want them like I want them. So I'm fiddling with two pockets.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Bags, An update on Mystery Stole

I'm done with Chart A and B. I've been working on Chart C but it's been uncooperative. That's the stole in pink. I've been selling my bags on ebay again, so I thought it would look nice next to them.

Pink is not my color either so why am I knitting in it? Not a clue. I picked up a ball of yarn out of the stash and started with it out of simple frustration. The other tries at the mystery stole

weren't good.

Monday, July 9, 2007

What do I do when I'm not being productive

Last weekend we took a mini-vacation and headed up to Perrot State Park in Wisconsin. Nice views of the convergence of the Trempeleau and Mississippi Rivers.

It was blasted hot, I mean like Africa Hot, but not Saudi Arabia Hot. We did some canoeing, some fishing, some swimming and some sight-seeing. Up the way a bit is Merrick State park, which is also along the Mississippi, but would be better for fishermen. Ah well.

I spun and knitted up a coffee cozy along the way. It's in the van right now, wrapped around my cuppacino glass. There's also another bag or so that was knitted. This morning I was spinning and thinking of what needs to be done today and this week when my mother called about her computer again.

So I went down and looked at it. It refuses to talk to the modem, and I hate fussing with it. This time, I just took the CPU with me back home. Back at home, and just in time to dodge the rainshower, I wanted something done to prove I could be productive. So I grabbed some red cotton and made the prototype for the mummy sleeping bag liner. This was a project that Cliffy and I discussed about a month ago. It got put on hold while I sorted out the issues with the redneck school system and got ruddpupp situated at home.

The next thing to do is to put a tie around the channel by the head and send it off for Cliffy to try. If it passes muster, it will be made up repeatedly, but in silk.

Monday, July 2, 2007

What's on my needles and off my sewing machine!

It's the lineup of bags:There's about 8 bags done total, but one of them is holding my Mystery Stole in progress. The ones above are about 8 1/2" tall and 6" in diameter. Each have an inner pocket divided into 5 slots for dpns. Ok, well here let me show you:

The cord that is the handle also lets you loop the bag through a belt or a beltloop. Slip the cord through and then put the end of it on the button and you can knit without holding onto the bag!

That Mystery Stole is giving me fits. It's my first time reading and knitting from a chart, so it's going slow. The original idea was to knit it out of cream -colored cashmere. Um yeah, that didn't work out so well. I goofed it up and had to frog it 3 times. So I went with some of my handspun instead:

It's a nice pattern so far. The main concern with knitting from a chart is to use the lifeline. See the white yarns going through it? When you get done knitting a row, the yarn is slipped through the stitches with a yarn needle. The idea is if you screw up, you only have to frog down to that line. After doing this with a new yarn, I've only had to frog once. That makes it much less frustrating!

Ok, one more and I'm done:

Had I the confidence to knit the Mystery Stole out of something like this, it would probably look real nice. BUT.......I don't. I like the diamond lace pattern, and I've gotten it memorized. That makes it easier to knit when you're in the car. This is knitted with Skacel Laceweight Merino on size 3 needles. It stretches forever! What you see here is about 1/2 of it's actual width. Estimated time of completion? Oh probably in about 20 years!