Archive for August, 2008

Steady as she goes…

August 31st, 2008 No comments

Can you say “plateau?” I knew you could. Weight loss has slowed to the barest crawl. I thought I’d have more time to exercise when Em was back in school. Instead, I’m running around more than ever, and am more tired. I lack the energy and motivation to exercise as vigorously as I did before, when it was a special treat that I stole time for wherever I could. Hopefully now that the first week is behind us, I’ll be able to slack off on the errands and calm down into a routine.

Also motivating: posting your weight loss or gain for the entire internet to see. Yikes.

Next up on the “just for me” front, which doubles as a stashbusting exercise, are these socks. These probably won’t go too fast, as I have an awful lot of “just for everyone else” knitting to take care of.

This yarn is Knitpicks Memories in the S’Mores colorway. It was a gift at least a year ago from Turtlegirl76’s voluminous stash. Reminder: she’s selling off a buncha stuff. If you’re on Ravelry, check it out. She adds new stuff periodically. I see she’s got some Blue Sky Alpaca Silk up that would make a fantastic scarf. Branching Out, anyone?

Okay, back to the salt mines. The hubby’s off for the night, gone to visit his folks and ride in a bike thingie with his dad. Lest anyone think I’m working too hard, childcare tonight consists of watching Road Runner cartoons and eating pizza with my daughter. Beep beep!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Yarn #6 – Cherrah!

August 30th, 2008 2 comments

One skein Paton’s Classic Wool merino, which was a gift from Illiane. This has a tiny bit of variegation, but it was supposed to have more. Lesson learned on the proper order to add colors to the crockpot. Still, it’s pretty!

Today my husband is brewing beer. His setup incudes a propane tank and burner with a gigantic pot. I’m eyeing it for dye days. Mwahahahaaaa…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

FO: Bluey blue socks

August 29th, 2008 6 comments

Pattern: Zhenya’s MUMTU sock recipe
Yarn: 225 yds Louet Gems, handdyed by me with acid dyes
Needles: size 1 US
Comments: These had a 60 stitch foot to fit my 9 inch circumference, dropping to 56 for a standard 2×2 rib on the leg. I’m a loose knitter, so I never get a really tight gauge even on smaller needles than would normally be used.

The toe-up gusset method is my new favorite foot construction. These fit me SO much better than a standard short row heel. I’d recommend this pattern. Its ability to plug in whatever numbers you like would be especially helpful for those who don’t care to do sock math.

I dyed this yarn going for a random speckle effect. It was straight blue acid dye, blue mixed with black, and blue mixed with a little red, keeping the same base and varying the shade. I’m pleased with how this turned out.

It’s nice to have a new pair of socks, since Em’s really taken to walking to school. We went up again today, and saw two gray and white housecats, a flock of geese, and a dead Junebug. Also, from Em: “I stepped on an ant. The other ants are going to come and take it back and bury it.” Aw.

Em wants to walk home, too, so I’ll be hoofing it back up to the school this afternoon. It’s about 7/8 of a mile from the house to the school, so it looks like I’ve got a new form of daily exercise.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Yarn #5 – Greenie

August 28th, 2008 6 comments


greenieskeinopenSomething other than fingering weight! This is Knitpicks Bare DK weight 100% superwash merino. It was crockpot dyed, then I decided I wanted to add something to the chartreuse, so I overdyed it with black and a bit of midnight blue. I was concerned about how the blue would play off of the yellow tones, but it works. It’s actually more striking in person. I’m pleased with this.

This morning, it had finally stopped raining, so Em and I walked to school. It turned out to be a good thing, since she had had a bit of a fragile morning. Walking up seemed to give her an opportunity to regroup. She told me a story about her dolls coming to life, and about a guinea pig magically turning into a white duck. She’s big on magic wands and transformation right now.

Em felt she was running a little late, so she said, “We’ll walk quickly.” She did. I had to stretch my legs a bit to keep her pace, and she was shorter than me by a foot and was wearing a pack. That’s my girl. She comes by her speed and walking determination honestly. It’s a trait from my mother’s side of the family. Soon she, too, will be alarming tour guides by rushing to the front of the group, rest of the tourists be damned.

It was also good to walk her to school, since I’m not running this morning. Instead, I have an optometrist’s appointment. For quite a while now, I’ve been having difficulty focusing on things. If I look at something close up for more than a minute, then look up at something far away, it will sometimes take a good 20 seconds for my eyes to refocus on it. And I’m squinting a lot, even this morning when I should still be fresh. I’ve increased the size of the type on my computer, and that’s helped, but clearly I need to get this looked at.

I have a feeling my optometrist is probably going to tell me I need bifocals. At right: artist’s rendition of me in new eyewear.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Sims 2. Rated W for WHOA!!

August 27th, 2008 12 comments

Emily likes playing The Sims 2, enjoying the virtual dollhouse aspect of it. We don’t forbid it entirely, but we do encourage her in other directions, since it’s rated T for Teen. She hasn’t played it in a while, which is probably for the best. She likes to make up imaginary expansion packs for the games that she plays (most of which actually are age-appropriate) and imagine upcoming DVD movies, like Enchanted 2 where everybody goes back to the animated world to visit.

We’ve had vague discussions about pregnancy and babies before. Last month, Emily finally asked about how a baby actually gets OUT of a woman’s body when it’s born. We had that discussion in the parking lot of a Target – you take your opportunities where you get them. Upon learning where the baby comes out, the smart and surprising question from her was, “What if a woman has to pee while she’s pregnant?” Believe me, honey, the baby won’t fall out. A woman has to pee a LOT while she’s pregnant.

These two things led to this little tidbit from my daughter in Starbucks today:

Her: “There’s a new thing in Sims coming. It’s an animation where when a woman has a baby, the movie shows the baby coming out of the woman’s genitals.”

Yet in her imaginary expansion pack “Sims Doctors”, also upcoming in Emilyland, there is pixelation over any bits of blood so you don’t have to see them. Shows where her priorities are. Blood? Horrifying and gross. Nudity? A-OK! Such is the world of a 9-year-old.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Yarn #4 – Butterfly Weed

August 27th, 2008 4 comments

butterflyweed 1butterflyweed 2

Now we’re cookin’ with gas. This yarn is – you guessed it – Knitpicks Bare, but the fiber content is different. This is 70% wool, 30% silk fingering weight yarn, handdyed with acid dyes using cold pour method. This marks the first steps in exploring creating a Jayne hat colorway.

butterflyweed spread
The shot to the left is the yarn, loose, spread so you can see the long color repeats. I pulled out a bit to show that the dye doesn’t completely saturate. I’ll want to mix a stronger orange if I want it to really pop, but I’m not sure I do want it to really pop.

The colors remind me of butterfly weed flowers. I’m thinking of putting one of these at the corner of the house, assuming it ever stops raining and/or our yard guy ever shows back up.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Yarn #3 – Berry Cobbler

August 26th, 2008 2 comments

cobbler skein 1cobbler skein 2
Another Knitpicks 75% wool 25% nylon fingering weight yarn, acid dyed using cold pour method. This reminds me of berry cobbler. I believe the dye uptake would have been more thorough had it pre-soaked overnight, but then, I wasn’t going for a total saturation.

cobbler skein openmmmm... cobbler.
Same skein, spread out to show color changes. Note white areas around ties. It’s not a real issue here, since there’s white interspersed throughout, but it could have been a big problem. Lesson learned – don’t trust commercially tied yarn, retie it nice and loose yourself, and double-check any potential problem areas.

Tomorrow we move away from the blues, I promise.

At right: Mmmm… cobbler.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Yarn #2 – Westley by night

August 26th, 2008 2 comments

NightWestley 1NightWestley 2
Second skein of the day. Similar color palette to the first one. Tangles and Mud commented that if the first skein was Westley, then this one must be Westley by night. I can see that!

Mmmm… Westley by night.

Wait, what was I saying? Right, yarn! The methods were similar to the other, but the colors were mixed stronger but were laid down in larger swaths. There were also sky blue and richer black tones. I’m partial to this yarn, but then, blues and grays are the colors I’m naturally drawn to.

NightWestley 3
One more, spread out so you can see the lengths of the color sections, which are variable throughout the skein. The yarn is Knitpicks Bare 75% wool 25% nylon fingering weight sock yarn, dyed with acid dyes then steamed to set. After this batch, I’m really thinking that next time, I need to buy my yarn in bulk.

Rain today, and probably all week, so no walking to school this morning. Em had a good first day yesterday. I was very excited when she told me she wanted something different in her lunchbox and she selected an apple. I thought it meant she might actually eat what I sent with her. No dice. The apple came home uneaten (“Oh, I forgot about that.”) and she told me she had a berry-flavored Capri-Sun for lunch. I can’t decide if that’s better or worse than the ice cream sandwich she chose to have every day yesterday. On the up side, at least she wants something different in her lunch now. For a long time, she wanted the exact same thing every day, even though she knew she wasn’t going to eat it. She actually asked to change – that’s progress!

I can’t go running this morning, so we’ll devote that extra time to boxing up more hats and knitting like the wind! Today, hats are ready to go out to Canada and Louisiana. Next up: ID, ID, and MA.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Yarn #1 – Westley

August 25th, 2008 12 comments

Okay, we saw the final yarn from dye day, let’s look at the first one of the morning. I was going to dole these out one day at a time, but hey, what the heck.

This was handpainted with acid dyes. Base yarn is Knitpicks’ superwash “Bare” 75% wool 25% nylon sock yarn. This didn’t come out exactly “perfect” in terms of the patterning I was trying to achieve, but I’m pleased with the color combo. I don’t feel bad about it – I was rushing a bit, showing the technique to someone else, and frankly, my bottles released a bit more dye than I expected. I need to invest in some beauty supply squirt bottles for greater control.
The shades are three colors mixed from one base. A silver-gray, then the silver-gray mixed with a primary blue, and the silver-gray mixed with black. Thankfully, none of the red crud in the bottom of my black made its way into the mix. The color on the picture isn’t quite true. It’s not as high contrast as it appears here. The blue has more gray tones, and there’s more shading between light and dark.

I think it’ll be fun to knit with. Or gift or sell, as dye day has put me a little over the top on sock yarn.

At left is the same yarn spread out a bit to show the color length.

For some reason, my first yarn of the day is always more pastel and muted, and then things heat up a little bit as I get more into it. Maybe it’s the equivalent of stretching before exercise.

This yarn is called “Westley” because turtlegirl made an offhand comment about the Princess Bride. She said this yarn reminded her of a line from the movie.

Man in black: Who was this love of yours? Another prince like this one…ugly, rich, and scabby?
Buttercup: No, a farmboy…poor! Poor and perfect, with eyes like the sea after a storm.

And there you have it. Westley.

More to come.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Aaaaaand… action!

August 25th, 2008 4 comments

Your result for The Director Who Films Your Life Test…

Sofia Coppola

Your film will be 63% romantic, 24% comedy, 26% complex plot, and a $ 29 million budget.

With few films under her belt (The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation, Marie Antoinette) as a writer/director, she’s already highly respected and connected — her dad, Francis, directed all The Godfather movies and Apocolypse Now. Sofia’s good at making the romantic drama that is your life with poignant sullen moments of introspection. You saw how she stylishly handled Marie Antoinette’s life, no? And who didn’t have at least a lump in the throat at the end of Lost In Translation? She’s already won one Academy Award for her writing, now she’ll be the first woman to receive one for directing — YOUR FILM!

Take The Director Who Films Your Life Test at HelloQuizzy

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: