Monday, July 16, 2012

technical difficulties

I'm sorry about the sudden lack in posts. My laptop suddenly started having severe issues. Like, motherboard type issues. I'm hoping it will let me retrieve a bit more info, but it seems like I will either be buying a new motherboard or a new laptop.

And I have so much to tell you about. I'll see what I can do.

Computers: they are wonderful when they work, and completely suck when they don't.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

OMG! Progress!!!!

Sadly not with my knitting. Well...that's not totally true. I'm making some progress on my Elementary Socks. Just not as much as I would like. I've started the gusset on the first sock.


That light colored line you see on the bottom of the foot is the lifeline I put in before I started the gusset section. Gaia is slowly plodding along. She's my take everywhere, multi-task knitting, therefore she's going very slowly. I'll be taking her to tomorrow's infusion. Until I'm off the Benadryl, it's vanilla knitting while in the chair.

What has really been hindering my knitting is the upstairs. And that is where the progress is really starting to happen.
Remember this:


It now looks like this:



If you are looking at those pictures and saying, "But..but...those are only half done walls!?!" you would be correct. There is a reason for that. To be able to read the upper levels there was a piece of plywood that spanned the opening of the stairwell. It rested on blocking that was attached to the unfinished areas of wall. It allowed for us to walk around and work instead of dangling from scaffolding and ladders. The plywood door/floor was not of our creation. It was how we found the upstairs when we bought it. There were no stairs there when we acquired the house. Now I've got to tie in the lower part of the walls and finish painting. I need to stain the wood around the skylight because the trim molding that will go in there won't cover all of what is there. I know I should have done that before painting but these things happen.
As for the color of the walls....I LOVE it! We were stuck between two colors that were very close. One was a little more brown and the other a little more grey. We tapped up color chips of the two and I kept moving them from wall to wall and changing our minds every time we walked by them. My love and the Little Dude picked the greyer of the two. Little Miss, after going back and forth went with the browner one. I'm the artist and the one who paints it, so final color decision is made by me. I picked the greyer of the two: Sherwin Williams Mega Greige SW7031 painted in their new no-VOC line Emerald. I'll be reviewing the paint once I've used it a little more. My color choice was inspired by the many old black and white photos we have of our families. This color will be used in the first floor hallway that this stairway merges into. And I plan on displaying many of these photos on the long wall in that hall.
We did hit a small snag in that the ceiling fan we had bought years ago (it says 2003 on the box, though I think it was more like 2005 when we bought it) is too wide for the space. It will, however, fit in the studio and coordinate with the fixtures for up there. So now we are hunting for a small ceiling fan with light that fits our aesthetic. As you can guess that last part is the hardest. The one I really like is no longer available. And now the hunt is on.

So that's what I've been up to. There has been more progress on the studio side of the upstairs but that only looks like this at the moment.
A lot done, but not visibly so. I hope to be able to prime that side within the next day or two.

Well, I'm off to sand and mud and listens to podcasts.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Finished, Frogged and Started

I've a few finished objects for you.

First is the Tardis shawl for my SIL.

Pattern: Bigger on the Inside by Kate Atherley
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Soulmate  2 skeins
         55% Superwash Merino, 15% Nylon, 30% Outlast
Colorway: Bigger on the Inside
Needle size: US 2 circular
Thoughts: While I love the outcome, I would make a few changes when I knit one for myself. First and foremost I think I will knit the two sections separately and graft them together. Picking up 311 stitches is daunting enough without it being done over a piece that is 400 rows. It is a pet peeve of mine when you are picking up dissimilar numbers of stitches over a piece. I might toy with the lace section as well. It's a nice lace but it didn't knock my socks off.
DSC_0406The yarn knitted up very nicely. It's my first foray into Lorna's Laces since I've been warned by others of their tendency to pool. I wasn't too impressed with the colorway. I'll probably dye my own. I guess I was hoping for a little more variation in the blue. It did take several rinses before it stopped bleeding color when preparing to block it. I'm not surprised with such a dark tends to be the nature of such a color. I through a little white vinegar into the final rinse.
I'm also not sure I really needed two skeins. I knit the lace out of one skein and then the Tardis section out of the other to avoid the need to splice. I've not measured what is left to see if I could have done it with one. I do believe I have enough for a small pair of socks. 

Verdict: I'd knit it again with a few modifications and in different colorway.


Next was my Little Red Hooded Cape

Pattern: Fair Isle Hooded Capelet by Teva Durham
Yarn: Rowan Big Wool  3 skeins
Colorway- Bohemian
Needle: US 35 Circular
Thoughts: I loved knitting this. It was a fast project and an interesting knit. I did make a change...I came nearly to the end before I realized I didn't like the hood seam. Here it is unseamed...I just knew it would look ugly and who wants a big seam at the top of their head?

Hood seam

I restarted it, this time using Judy's Magic Cast On and knit it back and forth instead of in the round. It came out beautiful. Much better, isn't it?
I made the body a little bit longer, but not long enough that it impeded the use of my arms. I didn't quite use all of the last ball. I really enjoyed the Rowan Big Wool as well. I could see myself buying more in the future.

DSC_0449 (2)

Verdict: Love it. I'd knit another one in a heartbeat. It's a fun, fast knit and the end product is lovely.

I also frogged a few projects in the last week. The Double Heelix socks went to the pond. Unlike my friend Kris, who will never touch this pattern again, I have plans to knit these in the future. I just have different yarn plans. I had started striping the whole thing and liked how it was coming out, but then I had a bit of inspiration and I need to go buy some yarn before I divulge.
The other victim was my long languishing Kyoto. I like the pattern, though I was having some difficulty with the neckline. I just wasn't in love with the colors anymore. I hope to make this in the future but not from this yarn.

I'm really taking a hard look at my stash of late. I've got a huge queue of things I'd like to knit. I'm on a severe budget restriction that means I'll be working out out stash almost exclusively. It's about time I start pairing up projects with stash yarn. I've also started organizing things on Ravelry. My friend Amy has a clever system. She favorites patterns she likes but only queues project she plans on knitting in the next two years. I had been queuing everything I wanted to knit indiscriminately.  I'm slowly shifting to a system more like hers. I've moved many things out of my queue and into favorites, many being shawls I queued when searching for a pattern to make out of my Ball & Skein stash. I've left the shawls that I have definite plans for in the queue. From here on out patterns that strike my fancy get put into favorites. Ones that are paired with something in the stash or I know I'll be getting the yarn for go in the queue. I'm also working out a system of tagging items to make it easier to pair them with stash.

In my quest to work through some stash and start prepping for the Ravellenic Games, I cast on a pair of socks for my husband. This is my first pair of socks in a sock weight yarn. The pattern is Elementary Waston Socks inspired by Watson's sweater in the BBC's Sherlock series. If you haven't seen it yet, you are truly missing out.  I'm knitting two at at time on DPN's and though it's going well, I'm thinking it's time I learned to Magic Loop.