Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Post Pi Day!

Pi Day? What's that? Why it's 3-14!! I didn't make pies, though; I made cakes. Yarn cakes. I hauled out my umbrella swift and waded through the boxes in the garage and excavated my ball winder. Call it a keeping-up-with-the-joneses move. Now that I am going to a weekly knitting group at the rather posh LYS, I don't want to be showing up with ghetto hand wound balls of yarn. Also, it's a HECK of a lot faster to wind a skein of yarn that way and you have access to both ends of the skein.

Knitter's tools: an umbrella swift on the left and a ball winder on the right

A skein before winding and a center pull yarn cake after the swift and wider have been put to use.

I have been doing a fair bit of panic knitting, to try and keep stress at bay. My mom is in implode mode, and I need an emotional go-to to keep from spinning out. Obvious--KNITTING! (An aside--MAJOR kudos to my brother, husband and two dear friends down in the Southlands who have run interference with Mom. I am beyond deeply grateful. K, the scotch is on me!! Single malt, of course.)

So yesterday was a Flop Day--no obligations. I puttered with yarn. I prepped five projects-- the Five Alarm Bag, , most of the remaining of the skeins for Jiada, the skeins for the Peony Sweater, the Triad scarf, and The Be Sweet Slubby Shawl. It took maybe 45 minutes to make cakes where it would have taken ours to hand wind. They are so tidy looking!

A nice Saturday bounty.

Another great stash action--this time with beads--was made, too. I recently unearthed my random stash of seed beads, much of which I have had since I was a kid. (always the pack rat, me) I am using a pre-beaded yarn for the Be Sweet shawl and I decided to bead up one of the other yarns, so I randomly seeded all my turquoise colored beads on it--some matte, some clear, but I think it will look quite fun, and it gets a lot of beads out of tubes and tupperwares and into actual USE. (a novel concept!)

I also got my marmalade kidsilk haze in the mail and pick up the stitches for Belinda, which is now in go-mode. Last week, I finished the front of Jiada and started the back--BORING stockinette, but I can pick it up when I am at loose ends and need some yarn freecell to keep be occupied.

So, I have been busy. I have also knitted a lot. Clapotis is done and now needs blocking and tassels made. I am going to block and sew Zarah before I decided how to do the collar. The smoke ring is about 1/3 done, and has been going with me to work and knitting group. Belinda is also ready to go. So is Jiada. This may sound mundane, but productivity helps in the face of situational difficulty--meaning my mother. I have always said that a hobby is a comfort and I stand by that statement. Mine sure has comforted me!

So have another piece of pi(e) and a yarn cake on the side!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Year's Resolution Update

Well. It's March--two months since the New Year. Tomorrow is my birthday, which serves as a convenient reminder that we are two months into the New Year. This day seems as good as any, therefore to briefly revisit my New Year's resolutions.

On a personal front, I have lost the nasty five pounds that had crept up, which is good, but I still need to throw down with more exercise. I have gone running and walking recently, which is a good start. I won't dwell any more on it here.

As to my fiber habits, I need to re-resolve here and now to go back on the wagon, vis a vis: not buying any more yarn. I have been a bad bad girl. On the plus side, my needles have been busily a-clickin'.

My original resolutions, knitting-wise were:
1) Zarah
2) Jiada
3) Small first quarter projects (3--maybe 4)
4) Grant Avenue
5) Hisdal Peony
6) Da Vinci
7)New Shell? or some other project?

Here is where I currently am:
1) Zarah is reknit and ready to block and sew except for the collar. I really needed a break, but I will pick it up to work on soon.
2) Jiada is still fallow.
3) I have started a small first quarter project and it is proceeding apace as my lunchtime/weekly knitting circle project.
4) Grant Avenue is still in a box--can't deal with it right now.
5) Hisdal Peony is untouched.
6) Da Vinci is untouched as well
7) New Shell was shunted aside in favor of other lace weight mohair silk projects:
8) the Belinda wrap which is at the halfway point
9) Clapotis, which is 60-70% done and a STASH yarn project to boot. Yay me!
So, I have managed to work on two of my resolutions. I think of the above list the Peony sweater will be next. Once it is started it will be more autopilot. Now that I am in a weekly knitting group at North Coast Knittery (a lovely store when you are in the Humboldt Bay Area--check it out!!), I have motivation to have something ready to go at all times. I also have a project picked out for another bag of stash yarn--some Noro Cotton Kureyon, so I should be plenty busy for now.

On a sad note--R.I.P. to my IBM Thinkpad. The hard drive had sudden, complete cardiac arrest early last week. This post is being composed on my husband's ancient desktop (Windows '98, no less!). The Thinkpad was refurbished, and did me well for four years. It had been hiccuping, so out of a sense of impending doom, I actually backed up my 'My Documents' folder, so the loss was not total. I lost some game programs, and a few other pieces of software that will be irritating to replace, but nothing that CAN'T be replaced like pictures, notes, patterns and recipes. Let this be a lesson to all of you out there. Get yourself a big flash drive and back your systems up!! My husband warned me and fortunately, for once, I listened to him. I have a new refurbished Dell coming (yay, EBay.), which should do me for at least another four years, I hope.

It's a cold-ish day out (in the '40's) with the threat of showers--not bad, but not unreasonable to dig in with a fiber project. Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Make it STOP!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion

Just in case anyone was wondering...

...this just passed overhead. Thank goodness it came today and not yesterday when we were driving.

I feel as unsettled as the weather and can't seem to focus on anything--no knitting not movies, not chores. Oh, for a clear head!!