Friday, August 26, 2005

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Remember these? They're back. I've spent all morning redesigning them to be mittens, and possibly have a different fair isle design using the same colors. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'm feeling that this year they might actually work.

Yesterday I worked on the Friday Harbor sock:

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This is actually my first pair of socks for myself. I'm using Tiur, and it is really nice. And even though it isn't a designated "sock yarn" I won't need to reinforce since Jessica pointed out to me that "mohair is nature's nylon."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today I joined things. First I joined the Knitting on the Road Sock Knit-along. I've really been needing a new purse project, and this will be a good continuing supply of them. I knew it was meant to be when I saw that they have chosen my favorite pattern from the book (Friday Harbor) to begin. I'm making myself use stash yarn (Fortissima Socka) for this one, and hope to continue that on the future socks too. Then I added the Frost Flowers and Leaves Knit-along. This was the first pattern I loved from Gathering of Lace. I'm planning on using Zephyr, I just need to buy some. I don't feel that the shawl should be more than a foot taller than I am, however, so I am planning on making it a bit smaller. Finally I joined a running group for knitters. I thought about it yesterday and realized that I haven't run in maybe a month. Unacceptable. Hopefully this will motivate me a bit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

On my new scientific schedule for crafting, Tuesdays are for spinning. So without further ado I would like to present to you 11 yards of the finest... blue stuff... hot off the wheel here at Chez Swan:

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Most of this I spun with Jessica the day I got the wheel (and some she had done, and a little her six year old made); today was mainly about plying. Since I had been experimenting with differing guages while spinning, I thought I may as well make it a complete sampler and work on varying plying methods. I tried a standard two-ply and navajo plying. I actually think that by the end I had gotten pretty smooth with both.

Now, I'm new to this, but I think I may have added a tad too much twist overall:

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I set the twist to hopefully get this to calm down (it's drying now). I wanted to go back and spin some more, but try as I might could no longer get the yarn to wind on the bobbin anymore. I'm hoping the gnomes will fix it while I'm asleep.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Okay, so I thought there's an MC at Karaoke nights to ensure that I don't have to hear Sweet Caroline three times in one night...

Today was a bad technology day.

My blog doesn't seem to be fixed if looked at with other computers

I stepped on the headphones of my iPod.

I ran all around doing my errands of great distance (they need to be saved for one big day of suckage since I don't have a car), only to find out about five minutes in that I only had the first four chapters of the book I was listening to on my iPod (Dark Tower III by Stephen King. Great series.)

I got home, was very ready to relax, put on my lounging clothes and went to plug in my computer. No power cord. At that moment I ran out of batteries. You know, I dropped my bag at work and everything scattered (hence the headphone issue)... It was about at this point that I realized how dependent I am on my computer. I couldn't work on my blog or my research. I couldn't veg and watch Six Feet Under while knitting, as was my plan since I don't own a TV. I couldn't plan my day tomorrow since bus schedules, store hours, etc are all online. Again, I would like to point out that I have no car. I have to take the bus all the way back to the Fiber Gallery. Of course the bus was 20 minutes late and the one back home was leaving as I stepped off the bus there. On a normal day this would mean an irritating 15 minutes wait but since it's Sunday it means I walk the 40+ blocks home.

This all meant that I didn't get any time at home tonight before Karaoke started. And what song was the latest drunk belting out in all his atonal glory when I got home? That's right. Sweet Caroline.

Oh, and my Six Feet Under disk is scratched.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Success! (Mostly.) Now the first post is at the top, there's just a huge gap before the comments and later posts. Good enough for tonight. I also restarted the Cherry Blossom Shawl:

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Nothing went severely wrong, but I have a tendency to start every project several times since it seems easier just to restart if anything seems off. I had begun a few times before, and then hadn't so much marked where I was when I set it down a few weeks ago. Out it comes. I've completed chart A and am completely enchanted. I'm using Lorna's Helen's Lace, which could be why.

I've been working on my code for the past few days, though as you can see I've had no luck. On the other hand, I'm lucky enough to know Jessica who was recently lucky enough to get another wheel which she is lending me! Yipee! First she showed me what to do:

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I've been playing with a drop spindle, but this is my first wheel attempt:

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I made yarn!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I finally got the free patterns up and running (I think). Click on the links at the top of the right sidebar (I'll get the sidebars to line up with the body next, I swear) to download pdf versions of a 3x1 ribbed hat, a pair of fingerless gloves, socks that have a specific right and left, and the instructions for my variation of the double start cast on that I posted in December. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2005

I had a very full day today, which fortunately involved a lovely evening with friends, so I am too tired to take and post pictures. Instead I will leave you with advice that may save your life one day since Mark has been telling me all about his survival training. You may be aware that there are several snakes that look very similar to the most venomous North American snake, the coral snake. Mark's instructor taught them a little poem to help clarify the situation. You may have heard (something like) it: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow. Red on black... you're still too fucking close to the snake!"

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I'm back in Seattle and my photos are no longer being held hostage in my camera. I had an adventurous two weeks. Well, maybe not as adventurous as, say, Mark:

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But I did head over to the land of the Four Chickens for a little hen-sitting:

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And I finished the leafy tank (as I believe I mentioned earlier, but now I have photos)

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Someone bought the pattern today. I'm terrified. It's going to be all wrong and worded in the worst possible way and they are going to hunt me down and gouge me to death with their dullest Addis while screaming "there is no way this shaping is right!!!" It's especially nerve-wracking because the tank doesn't really fit the mannequin. It fits me, I swear. The mannequin is just smaller-chested and doesn't have a back.... really...

Upon returning to MS I found that this had happened to my garden:

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Look closely and you'll see the black edging marking the border of the garden. If it's not a tree, light green bush, or dark purple stuff, it's not supposed to be there. Apparently when before getting on the plane in June I said "You need to either lay down mulch tomorrow or weed regularly while I'm gone" and Mark said "I'll mulch," no formal or binding agreement had been made and it is ridiculous to think so. I forgot to take an after picture, but all is well and mulch has been laid. In fact, I think we have one of the coolest backyards on base.

The neighbor had a baby while I was gone, so I whipped up a pair of these:

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Using the scraps of Shepherd's Sock from Conway I made a pair of the baby socks from the summer IK. I hated the toe that was written, so after a few attempts settled on decreasing one stitch in from each edge of the top and bottom every other row. They are bigger than I expected, so I also made a pair of the Hugs and Kisses socks with only 29 sts cast on and other measurements adjusted accordingly. Perhaps I'll have a photo of those tomorrow.

I gave the dress I designed from Cascade Sassy Stripes to our friends before I thought to take a photo, and it has yet to be worn so you'll have to settle for a picture of the recipient instead:

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"He's wearing the same outfit, but I really don't think this is Daddy."

I started a few other projects as well, but more on those another day.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It often feels that I kick into domesticity hyper-drive when I come down here. For example, in the last 24 hours I have trimmed the hedges, made a small garden around the mailbox, swept the driveway (long and covered in the remains of the three inches Mark just cut off the grass), pulled up all the grass around the bushes along the front of our house, weeded the garden (anything I say about the state of my garden you will think I am exaggerating, wait until I can post a picture; think meadow), done three loads of laundry, spent three hours cleaning the kitchen (some people were not meant to live alone), went grocery shopping, prepared and froze eight meals (for Mark when I leave again), made two meals to eat at present, and knit one of the little cabeled socks from the last Interweave Knits. For contrast, in my month in Seattle I prepared and ate one dinner at home, tidied up in the 15 minutes before I had to leave to catch my plane out here, and can't readily think of the nearest patch of grass, much less garden.

Although I have been taking lots of pictures, I don't seem to have a USB cable here to get them to my computer. I'll post some as soon as I can rustle one up. The sock is extremely cute, as is the dress out of the Cascade striping sock yarn I finally finished and gave to the adorable baby down the road (it had been wanting ends woven in for about a month).

Monday, August 01, 2005

I just got back from an orientation for the spouses of student pilots. It was not reassuring. I'm pretty sure Mark's going to fail pilot training and it's going to be all my fault because I'm not going to be here to make him breakfast.

The leafy tank for the shop is done! I realize that I haven't posted much about it, but believe me it has been a monkey on my back. In interest of blog-accuracy and in response to an argument with Jessica if I started this in May as I claim, I searched through my archives this morning. I started it in a month that begins with an M...

I had to rush out of town right after blocking it, so I was unable to get photos. I'll take some (and provide more project details) as soon as I get back to Seattle late next week. If you can't wait, you can see it on display at The Fiber Gallery.

Last night I spent a nice evening in my southern home with Mark and I both working on computer projects. I was typing up the pattern for the aforementioned tank, while Mark was working on changing this

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to this

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for his flight school class patch. CAFB stands for Columbus Air Force Base, and 06-13 is his class (they will be the thirteenth class to graduate in 06. I think.) The plane is called a Tweet (if you want to know why find a training base near you and listen to the planes), and is what they do a substantial part of their training in. Don't you love that this super-intense, hardcore training program starts with arts and crafts?