Wednesday, September 14, 2005

At 6am this morning I was wandering blearily around the kitchen attempting to pull together breakfast. I glanced over near the door to the living room and saw the biggest spider in the world staring at me with a plotting look in its eye. "It's just a spider, it's just a spider..." I chanted to myself as I tiptoed around the kitchen trying to ignore it while keeping a sharp eye on its wherabouts (fortunately it was stationary) at the same time and hoping Mark would get out of the shower soon.* A thought struck; what if he has a ton of gigantic friends?! "Spiders are solitary, spiders are solitary..." Suddenly it was gone. Stifling the urge to run screaming from the house while tearing my clothes off and shaking my hair violently I went out the other door of the kitchen and around to find it in the living room. Okay, so far, so good. I went back into the kitchen where I found his nearest and dearest friend. Apparently, spiders are only territorial against those of their own kind. This was a completely different species of humungous spider. I edged around it to the stove, started the water boiling, realized that Mark had been in the shower for half an hour, and went sprinting to the bathroom to tell him he had to get out of there NOW and take care of the situation (and make sure he was not drowning in the bathtub covered in spider bites). He laughed and came out, gasping when he actually saw the gigantic beast realizing that I had not been panicing over nothing. The kitchen spider was gone. He went after the living room spider while I hunted for the other. Suddenly I heard "Oh good God!" and then "Roomba! Attack!" Apparently gigantic spider #1 had been carrying an egg sack which it dropped as soon as Mark touched it, sending hundreds of tiny spiders scampering in all directions. As the Roomba collected them, he found spider #2 which had gone out to help its friend, and then re-found and killed #1. All before the sun was up. *Sigh* I'm back.

*I am perfectly capable of taking care of spiders on my own. If I were home alone or in Seattle, the spider would be outside in a few shaky minutes. However, if Mark (or anyone else of either sex) is around and willing, I am more than happy to let him take care of it. He doesn't mind and I do. Plus, he kills them which is probably better (the thought of squashed spider is much worse to me than the thought of live spider).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I had such a nice weekend, it almost makes up for waking up with a bout of food poisoning in the wee hours of the morning today. On Friday Jessica and I went to the Weaving Works Spin-In, which was great fun. I didn't remember to bring my camera, but you can see a photo of me spinning away on Jessica's blog. I finished up my experimentation bobbin, and have decided on a comfortable technique. I almost filled another bobbin before we left and got quite a bit better just during the three hour session. In a delightful twist, a woman who no longer spins came and gave away quite a bit of roving. I now have a big bag of

On Saturday I frantically finished Lara from the Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca book. I really like it, and can tell that I will be wearing it often. It's very comfortable, and so easy to just pull on and go. I'll have a photo soon. The reason I was rushing was to have it complete to wear to Churchmouse's anniversary sale. Jessica and I took the ferry (on which I wove in the last few ends) over in the evening and enjoyed their cake and champagne celebration. We had quite a bit of luck (as usual) in their clearance bins. I am now the proud owner of enough Kid Classic to make a sweater in a deep blue, and some 4-Ply soft in burgundy for socks. It seemed fitting to get a clearance sweater from them on the day I finished my last clearance sweater from their shop.

Since the weather has cooled, Sundays in the shop are not nearly as lonely. This week I was also working with someone else as we have a new employee. The day went by much more quickly for it.

Well, I have an early plane to catch to MS so I should really get to bed.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It seems that intimidation by Excel's many functions and capabilities is keeping many knitters from using software they aleady own for an excellent and time-saving method of charting. I have therefore posted detailed instructions to my techniques in the right side bar. I am very dependent on Excel when I am working a Fair Isle design in different colors than the pattern. It is so much easier just to make my own chart than try to remember that the dark green is really light blue. I also chart my cables and lace in Excel when I am writing up patterns. I just posted the basics here (which could be all you ever use and not feel deprived), but as you get more comfortable with Excel and poke around its menus you can find all sorts of neat new tricks like merging cells for even fancier charts.

The Comcast guy is coming today, so hopefully I will be able to post consistantly again soon. In the meantime, in addition to todays post, some impressions from my spinning Tuesday.

I'm finding spinning on the wheel trickier than my drop spindle. My main problem is that you don't get any feedback. If your yarn doesn't have enough twist on a drop spindle, it breaks. If you have too much it will twist up despite the weight pulling it down. On the wheel you have to stop and tug on the yarn to tell if it has enough twist, and as near as I can tell it will twist up on itself if allowed no matter how much twist is in it. As a result of the uncertainty, I am overspinning everything "to be safe". I also wish I were using locks instead of this stuff that comes in thick snakes (I can't remember the word right now, and my books are way out in the other room). It would be a lot easier to connect what I need to do to the pictures and instructions in the books I got out of the library.

This morning I finally woke up at a decent hour, got up and started getting ready... then grabbed my backpack and crawled back in bed to knit and read blogs (and now blog myself). This seemed much more wonderful before I realized that I'm going to need to rip out everything I did last night and this morning. I'm working on Mark's Christmas sweater (the colors I am using are a testament to just how much I love my husband)

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This was really difficult to get a good photo of. It's a top down V-neck sweater with a simultaneous set-in sleeve that I am designing. I wussed out a bit. The pattern is supposed to be a slip stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns, but I'm doing it as intarsia at least on the sleeves. I couldn't figure out how to do it since I needed the blue to continue around the sweater not in pattern. The problem requiring ripping back is this:

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This is very tricky to see, but do you see how the shoulder jogs down from front to back? I did notice it when I picked up the stitches but thought "a little more space in the back is probably good" and didn't consider that you would be able to see the jog. Also, the stitches next to the pattern are a little loose, and I want to tighten those up. I'll probably give ripping out only the sleeves a shot, but I'm not tremendously hopeful.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I've been having a heck of a time logging on lately, but hopefully my connection will last long enough to post this. I haven't accomplished a ton of my own work, but I did finish this for the shop:

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It's the spiderweb capelet from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I made it out of Merino Frape as called for, though it took me two and a half skeins. I think mine was a bit larger around than it was supposed to be as it would barely stay around my shoulders. No worries; it's not really my style.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Seattle: Kitchen staff at a local bar were disturbed at 4:32am on September 1st when a woman clad only in a T-shirt and panties burst in screaming and grabbing several bottles of liquor before dashing once again into the night. "It was all such a blur. This crazy lady with really long, wild hair and insanity in her eyes ran right through the kitchen and into the bar. She was yelling something, but over our radio all I could make out was 'two extra stitches,' 'yarn... too... short...' and something that sounded like 'no sleep'. Joe here thought she looked sort of like that gal who lives upstairs," reported dishwasher Sam. It is still unclear as to why the employees were still around listening to the radio at top volume over two hours after closing. Inspection of the woman's apartment revealed a scene that filled this reporter with shock, revulsion, and pity. A recently sent email explained that the resident had been suffering from severe insomnia and had been working on formerly put-off tedious bits of knitting. The charred remains of a sweater on the desk displayed 64 out of 67 stitches painstakingly grafted before the victim's yarn came up short. And the coup de grace, though wear patterns suggest repeated recounting, the top piece appeared to have two more stitches than the bottom. "From what the neighbors heard, it seems she reached the end of this piece after hours of late night work, realized the two gigantic problems, and just lost it. We believe this is the point she set fire to all of her yarn and flushed all her darning needles down the toilet," related Office Johnson of SPD. When asked about the woman he added, "We've sent patrol cars to all the yarn shops in town, but we just got a call about someone huddled with a huge bottle of gin against the Fremont Troll trying to convince it to lend her the VW bug so she could get to Mississippi where no one knits or needs sweaters."