Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I love Michigan!

Ok, so that had to be the shortest spring/summer possible. We're back down to the 20's and 30's and frost advisories so the open-toed shoes have been set aside (again) for the warmer closed- toe varieties. I refuse to bust out the long johns again, so needless to say I've been kinda cold recently. I did yardwork on Sunday, just in time for the freezing cold temps. Oh well, go with the flow, that's all you can do in the mitten state.

I've been pretty stressed these last few days since I'm traveling to New York this weekend with my daughter's drama club. I'm so excited but nervous at the same time. The trip promises to be very exciting with 2 Broadway shows and great opportunities for the kids to get some up close and personal contact with a real Broadway cast for an improv workshop. But I'm nervous because I don't travel a lot, other than up north all the time, so I always get nervous in unfamiliar territory. What do I pack for clothes? The weather has been so goofy lately that's a tough call. How much is too much? I'm a chronic overpacker so I have to be careful not to bring everything I own. What to wear for the all day walking and schlepping that will still look presentable at the theater each of the first 2 nights? Sheesh. So what have I done? Not much. Suitcases are still in the basement and the only packing I've done is in my head. Oh well, I work better under pressure, so Thursday will be the night to get it all together.

I whipped out a beaded mohair wrap on the knitting machine for my daughter to wear while in New York. I have the Diamond Fantasy Shawl and I borrowed one from my good friend Lynne, so I'm prepared for the theater and it's unpredictable temps. But my daughter needed something too. So the trusty knitting machine was put into action. It took about 5 hours total for 200 rows with 15 beads every 5th row and 2 skeins of Kid Seta. Not too bad if I say so myself. I'm just finishing the last edge with garter stitch and will block it tomorrow night so it will be packable by Thursday night.

Check it:

Me likey. It has nice drape and the beads give it some stability. I got really good at threading beads on with a copper wire hook I made, since my smallest crochet hook was still too big to use.

I'm off to sleep, cuz tomorrow is another busy day.

Take care and I'll post when I get back from the Big Apple!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Fever!

It's that time of year. It's getting warmer so the urge to roll down the car window or leave the back door open is here. The dogs can stay out for longer than 2.4 minutes without freezing their paws off.

I have this huge need to clean, everything. I've been cleaning stuff at work. I think about cleaning stuff at home, but unfortunately by the time I get there at night I can only concentrate on the firmness of my couch cushions. They need to be cleaned by the way. I got a postcard for a charity looking to pick up clothes. I got it 2 weeks ago. The pick up was today. Oops. I meant to gather stuff and leave it by the curb. Maybe this weekend, and I can call to find out their next pickup.

I have this huge need to clean myself too, and while checking other blogs today I see I'm not alone on this. I've recently purchased what I consider to be better quality makeup (not the $2 cheap drugstore stuff), I'm looking into a line of skin care that will hopefully do for my skin what the celebrity claims it has done for hers (she's older than me, swears she's had no surgical enhancements AND looks awesome, so I'm kinda buying into the whole thing). I've been trying to exercise more seriously, because as I said to a trainer recently, I feel like I've just been dabbling in this whole exercise thing for the last 4 or 5 years.

My 40th birthday came and went, without any fanfare or any real feeling about it on my part. But this next one is coming up, pretty fast and I'm not sure that I'm ready to be ok with that one. This one seems like it may hurt a little more.

I know this is supposed to be about knitting, but all of these things affect my leisurely knitting/spinning/crafting as well. When I'm so exhausted just from a day of work and come home and become comatose in front of the tube, to avoid phones and people and demanding bosses, it's somehow too much to pick up a project and work thru a tricky chart or major stitch counting. I'm bummed when I get up for work the next day, knowing that nothing, creatively, was accomplished the night before. I'm hoping by getting my exercise routine established it will help with my stamina, creativity, and overall productivity.

Let me know what works for you. Walking the dog? Riding bikes? Rollerblading (kinda out of the question for me since I live on a dirt road)? What gets your motor running and gives you the adrenaline to alphabetize your spice cupboard or finally admit that "those" clothes will never fit again and box them up for charity? Let me hear what works, for you.

I'm hoping that one or all of these types of cleaning will help cure my case of Spring Fever. That seemingly endless frustration that changes are needed, drawers should be cleaned, clutter should be lessened. Wish me luck!

Oh, and just a side note, I got a call from my friend that received the Felted Clogs. They fit, perfectly. She said it was like I had her foot with me the whole time I was making them. Phew!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away!

It stays light longer these days but it still feels like there isn't enough time to accomplish anything. I spend more time during the day wishing I was knitting, crafting and spinning and then by the time I get home to do it, I'm tired, have to do laundry or just plain wanna veg on the couch. It is very frustrating!

I have managed to finish a few things lately though. I finished the felted clogs I was making for a friend and popped them in the mail today. Hopefully they fit! Also I made another hat for the SO, the fair isle one that he loved so much. I made some mods to the pattern including making it smaller and making the hem longer inside to cover the stranding. Of course it's probably too warm for him to fully test it but if we get the weather they're calling for this weekend he may get a few wears out of it yet. Also the toddler sundress I was test knitting has been done, I just need to get it ON my niece to take some pics.

I played around with making a mohair wrap on my knitting machine, but frogged it (gotta love frogging mohair) to make it longer and somewhat narrower. I think I have it mapped out in my head how I want/need to do it this time, including incorporating a type of ribbing along the longer edges to prevent rolling and I will throw in some beads for added interest. I just need to sit down in front of the dang thing and crank it out again.

I'm also working on a wrap from my Autumn Colors handspun. It's the Frida poncho pattern and like others have done on Ravelry I am bypassing the poncho portion of the pattern and knitting the main panel longer in order to have a wrap. I'm going to New York in a few weeks and I want to have a couple of different wraps to tuck in my bag as we will be attending the theater twice while we're there. This should be a very exciting trip and can't wait to share pics of all the great sights we saw!

My lovely daughter recently proclaimed "I have nothing to knit" so I promptly fished in my stash, found her some sock yarn and a pattern and she is merrily knitting along on a pair of socks, for me, that I have not taken the time to make myself. How lucky am I?

On the work front, lately it has seemed that my company is caught up in some kind of Bermuda Triangle of the utility companies. Between having water issues, and being grossly overcharged for gas AND water, and having intermittent phone and internet services, it's amazing that anything can be accomplished with my regular duties. In the last several months, for our phone and internet service we have lost service TWICE because idiots have dug up the buried cables and cut them to sell for the copper. I did learn recently that they caught ONE idiot, because he had a fire pit in his back yard and was melting the plastic off the wires and a neighbor called in to report a fire/smoke. TWO times our phones got knocked out because delivery trucks ripped our wires off the pole when they were making deliveries to our neighboring party store. And now another problem is some sign was partly demolished by another truck making a delivery and pieces of the broken sign were rubbing against the wires causing sporadic service. Will this ever end? At what point does this become ridiculous and we say enough is enough. In light of all the wonderful things going on in THE CITY as it is, it's no wonder that all public services are in the shitter! Had less time been spent on say, text messages and more on actually improving the city, we wouldn't be where we are today.

I don't mean to complain, this is not what I like to use this blog for, but sometimes I just have to vent.

Also, in the name of venting, isn't it a shame that MagKnits just shut down? I am really sad to see this free publication just GONE. The pattern archives simply vanished and there is nothing left of that site. Was this because of uncontrolled slamming of the magazine on Ravelry? Who knows. It's just a shame that someone can't post about a legitimate problem without countless people jumping on the bitchin bandwagon and tearing someone to shreds. The original complaint seemed valid, Kerrie even attempted to resolve the problem by addressing the writer's complaint, but it was too late. She, personally, got attacked and accused of stealing people's designs and there was no coming back from it. A small can of worms got opened and turned into a giant frenzy of bashing by people that were looking for someone to bash. Are we that frustrated in our own lives that it's pure entertainment to look for an opportunity that may not even apply to us and use it to gain some form of relief or reprieve from our own real problems? While it seems Kerrie and others involved with MK will carry on with new ventures and get thru this relatively unscathed, is it fair to the rest of us, who enjoyed this magazine, submitted designs AND properly got paid for them, to completely lose this as a resource for current, stylish and more importantly FREE patterns? It just so happens the Frida wrap I'm working on is a MagKnits pattern, and fortunately for me, I have several printed copies of this, so I'll be able to finish this project without any trouble. I don't have any hard feelings for the people of MK for pulling the plug on the archives, it seems that couldn't be helped. But do the bitchers realize how much they may have inconvenienced those knitters that were counting on those archives for future projects? Was it worth it to them? Do they even care, or have they moved on in search of their next bitchin bandwagon to hop a ride on? This got longer than I intended, but it really saddens me when people can't find the good in something and have to amplify the negative, even if it doesn't directly impact their lives. To bitch just for the sake of bitching. Very sad.

Well, I need to find something positive to think about now, so I'm going to fondle my stash and dream of future projects and hope I already have the patterns printed for the stuff in my queue.

Take care, enjoy the weekend!

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