One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Entries from April 2008

Whirling Wednesday

April 30th, 2008 · 5 Comments

seagull.jpg

I figured I’d spare you all another picture of just one more repeat of the lace. Other than the bore factor of seeing minor progress, there’s the little fact that I’m off my one repeat a day pace. First on Monday morning, I did the same pattern row twice. Too busy jabbering with my fellow commuters. Naturally I didn’t find this until my commute home when I spent most of the trip TINKing the last two rows. Then this morning I found I’d dropped a stitch and it had gone back 4 rows or so. I had some repair work to do. Finally, as of the ride home tonight I’d finished the third repeat of both motifs. So instead of a lace picture you get a shot I took this morning after getting off the ferry.

I guess everyone has seen the secret coding work I’ve been up to recently by now 🙂 I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. I like learning new languages, as long as they aren’t spoken languages! Depending on how brain drained I get this summer, I might wind up cranking out socks 🙂

vest_yarn.jpg

Even though I plied this yarn up probably a month ago, I finally got it off the bobbin this evening. Need to get the wheel ready for traveling this weekend and all that! As a reminder, this is from fiber that I bought at NYSW this past fall to knit an argyle vest (Eunny’s Deep V – too lazy to get the link now – sorry). The pumpkin color is pure merino and the multicolor is a merino/tencel blend. I love the colors and how they look together. I spun all the fiber first and have been plying since: the first to the fourth, second to third, etc to even out any inconsistencies over the many months of short spinning sessions. I haven’t done the maths on the blend, but the pumpkin is 240yds.¬† I think I’ll spend the rest of the night plying the remainder of the blend.¬† That stuff is taking up my remaining Woolee Winder bobbins for the Schacht 🙂

Craft on!

Tags: Spinning · Uncategorized

Another day…

April 29th, 2008 · 6 Comments

unst center 2

…another repeat!¬† Make that two, two glorious diamonds tall already.¬† Two down, 17 more to go and I’m halfway through one now.¬† I’d be further, maybe, but I had to stand on the crowded ferry this morning!¬† (We had the little dinghy boat and while I could have waited for the next one, I opted to cram on.)¬† I have most of the pattern memorized so it isn’t difficult commuting knitting.¬† Add in that I have the pattern all neatly organized in the plastic sleeve to which a post-it sticks beautifully and we are all in business.¬†

It is an interesting pattern so far.¬† The diamonds are an every other row motif while the trees between are every row.¬† The really interesting bits should come when the center is done and the borders have been picked up.¬† Since it is garter stitch, you have two choices, do each quadrant of the border (square shawl and all that) separately and then sew them together.¬† Not exactly my first choice as I try to do as little sewing, especially on lacework, as possible!¬† The other is to purl every other round.¬† Seeing as I knit Eastern Uncrossed (or combined knitting as others are wont to call it), purling isn’t such a big deal to me.¬† I’m just not used to much stitch manipulation on the purl.¬† I guess I’ll get comfy with it pretty soon.

odd radio

In other news, I discovered my car doesn’t like the rain.¬† Or the sprinkler.¬† I noticed this last summer/fall.¬† On rainy days or days when I parked too close to the front lawn and the car got wet, the radio display was flaky.¬† It either was blank, flickered or showed gibberish.¬†¬† And then it stopped.¬† Probably because fall came, the rains stopped and the sprinklers were winterized.¬† Then I forgot all about it.¬† Until yesterday.¬† The rains returned.¬† It has now been raining forever, well okay, more like three days.¬† Here is how it displayed this morning.¬† I called Toyota to ask about it.¬† After a few¬†questions as to model (Sienna), year (2006) and mileage (@9000) I was told they’d order me a new radio.¬† Since I wasn’t near the car I have to call back with the exact mileage on my car and the model number of the radio.¬† It still plays music, thank goodness, but it is always amusing to see what it has to say for itself.¬†¬† I hope it wasn’t cursing at me this morning!

Craft on!

Tags: Lace

The Calendar May Say Spring

April 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments

..but I’ve already declared it Summer:¬† my summer of madness lace (and sanity socks).

I thank everyone for their feedback on my quandry.¬† After work on Friday, I did some swatching with the Habu Silk.¬† I can’t say as I really enjoyed it.¬† It was slippery (go figure) and because of the dark color, I couldn’t use my US0 Harmony Needles.¬† I couldn’t see the stitches!¬† I had to use something different, not even sure at the moment what they were but they weren’t as pointy as the Harmony.¬† So I had slick yarn and not so pointy needles.¬† A deadly combination in lace knitting.¬† Anyway, halfway through the swatch, I lost a stitch and boy did it run!¬† That was the third strike.¬† I didn’t even finish the swatch.¬† I pulled it¬†out and rewound the yarn onto the cone.¬† I hope MY will take it back.

Unst Wedding Shawl

At the same time I posted my quandry here, I also posed a similar question on the Yahoo Group for Sharon Miller lace knitters.  I listed the three patterns in contention, Unst, Princess and WRS, and asked for their sage advice.  The darkhorse winner of the lace contest is:  Unst!

Unst Wedding Shawl

I got busy swatching quickly.¬† I kind of cheated and did two sized needles all on one swatch.¬† Didn’t want to cast on and bind off twice. Lazy am I.¬† Size US0 on top, US1 on the bottom.¬† Mom and I both liked the 1’s better and I’ve gone with em.¬†

The yarn, if you can call this threadlike stuff that, is the J&S 1-Ply Cobweb.  It is sturdier than it appears and also a tad crunchy.  Gotta love shetland.  It does soften a bit with soaking and blocking.

Unst Wedding Shawl

While the kids played, I cast on for the center of the shawl.¬† Before dinner, I’d made it through the first repeat.¬† The center square had 10 diamonds across and 19 high.¬† I’m done with one 😉

The purple at the bottom is some laceweight silk that I used for waste yarn.¬† Yeah, I know.¬† It is leftover from Icarus.¬† I couldn’t think what else to use it for.¬† Makes excellent waste as it doesn’t have fuzz to catch the wool.¬† Expensive waste though 😉

I kind of freaked out a muggle on the train this morning while I was working on it.  I saw her out of the corner of my eye staring at me, eyes open wide.  So much for my train project monogamy, though I did work on Clapotis on the ferry.  I think both projects will be heading south this weekend!

Thanks to the encouragement of a few fiber friends, I signed up Friday for WOOL.¬† Can I hear a WOOT!¬† The ‘rents agreed to watch the monkeys and let me go for the weekend.¬† I can’t wait (well I can as it will mean the end of my favorite season) for a weekend of fiber and friends.¬† Should be a blast!

Craft on!

Tags: Lace

Quandry

April 25th, 2008 · 7 Comments

I feel an inexorable pull towards lace projects now, especially with the warmer weather upon us.¬† I have zero desire to sit with a big pile o’wool in my lap, even with the A/C on as it has been the last few nights at home.¬† I think the remaining sweaters in my WIP pile (Ballerina, Kauni and Autumn Rose) will go into hibernation until the end of the summer OR I burn out on making lace and socks (which will be mental vacation from lace).

Now I do realize I have a couple of lace items already in the works namely the Orkney Pi, Leaf Lace and oh yeah Tina, but I’m really itching to do a cobweb shawl.¬†¬† You might remember that this past summer I developed an attachment to¬†a particular pattern and have been swatching on and off (not to mention amassing a variety of cobweb weight yarns) since.¬† I’m “this close” to finalizing that decision.¬† It is down to two with one still needing a swatch.¬† I balled that sucker up, now I just need to sit down with the needles.¬† Maybe this weekend.

new_shawl_pattern.jpg

Anyway, I have a bit of a quandry.¬† In the interim, I picked up another Sharon Miller pattern or two.¬† Then last night as Jessica and I were leaving MY, I spotted new Habu cones.¬† Sitting right out front was this gorgeous brown that reads plum in some lights of 60/2 Kenbo Silk.¬† I fell in love with it on the spot.¬† When a yarn yells that loudly, you must have it.¬†¬† So I bought two cones, which is about 3600yds.¬† Enough for WRS, but not Princess.¬† I thought about readjusting what I had earmarked for WRS, but nothing was enough to do Princess and the 60/2 was the PERFECT weight for it too.¬† I called MY this morning, they have 2 more cones in the brown that are now put on the side for me :)¬† I’ll have to swatch to find the right size needle though the ones Sharon suggests for this weight is either¬†a US00 or US0.¬† {hee hee}¬† Let my summer of madness lace begin!

Oh wait, where’s the quandry you ask.¬† Um, here it is.¬† Which of these insane shawls do I start with?¬† Or do I bypass jumping into the deep end of the cobweb pool and perhaps start with something smaller like the Unst stole that I have had the yarn for a while?¬† Or as was suggested to me last night that if I start smaller, won’t I burn out on lace before I even get to the good stuff? Good point.¬† Sigh.¬†

Craft on!

Tags: Lace · Stash Enhancement

Win Some

April 24th, 2008 · 9 Comments

Sorry no post yesterday.¬† I was really busy at work and well, so deeply involved in what I was doing that I completely lost track of time.¬† Before I knew it, I’d missed my ferry and subsequently, my regular train.¬† Oh well.¬† I made progress on the project, but other than a break for lunch with Kim, I kept my head down.

Shaped V-Neck

I started off yesterday being this close to finishing Shaped V-Neck.¬† That was roughly 18 rounds of stockinette and another 8 of seed stitch.¬† I’d have to studiously ignore the thing (like by reading a book to not finish it).¬†

By the end of my ferry ride to the office, I was into the seed stitch.  I bound off halfway through my trip home last night.

KP&S Shaped V-Neck

After getting the monkeys into bed, I wove in all the ends.  Using the spit join, which totally freaks out the muggles on the train mind you, I minimize the number of ends.  Yeah on that.  Still, there was about 10 minutes worth of end weaving. 

Then the moment of truth:¬† I tried it on.¬† LOVE IT.¬† Sorry for the truly dorky picture.¬† Honestly, this was the best of them though.¬† I did a quick steam block to keep the seed stitch bands from rolling.¬† But it needs a better blocking.¬† Didn’t keep me from wearing it today!

clapotis

Amazing how fast a project can be completed when you actually focus on it!¬† What am I focusing on now?¬† Clap-Two!¬† I found the yarn a few weeks ago so I could go back to it.¬† By my reckoning, I’m a third of the way through it.¬†¬†This sucker is going down soon too.¬† As a refresher, I’m using Lorna’s Lion & Lamb in the Black Pearl that I picked up on the old Destash list for an excellent price.¬† Love this stuff.

Now for the bad news.  I found out that I was misinformed regarding the whole school board elections and the full day KG question in particular.  Thanks to a new state law, 60 percent voter approval was required. 

“Voters rejected a proposal to spend an additional $735,500 for a new full-day kindergarten program. That money would have paid for nine new classroom teachers in each elementary school, one physical education teacher, six lunch aides and one art/music teacher. To succeed, the ballot question needed 60 percent of the vote, but barely eclipsed 50 percent in a 2,191 to 2,190 result.”

Doh.¬†¬† Not sure where the monkeys will be going to KG though the half day public and that aftercare program is looking attractive.¬† Probably depends how it compares costwise to the center they are at now, where there is a full day accredited KG.¬† Always something isn’t it?

Craft on!

Tags: Adult

Zippy

April 22nd, 2008 · 5 Comments

IMG_3744

I’m just zipping right along on Shaped V-Neck.¬† I took this picture this morning along side the East River after getting off the ferry.¬† For a change, you can get a decent idea of the actual color.¬† I’m using one of the Cascade 220 Quatro in #9436 .¬† This has a blend of Oranges and Pinks that I just adore.

(As always click to embiggen.)

I managed to “out” another knitter on the ferry yesterday morning when she said to me:¬† “Your clapotis is beautiful.”¬† Yeah, no one but a knitter knows what that scarf like thing I had wrapped around my neck was!¬†¬†¬† Hopefully I’ll run into her again.¬† This time of year is just perfect for clapotis.¬† Paired with a light wool jacket and I’m comfy for the cool mornings and evenings.¬† Leave off the jacket and I’m ready to go at lunch time.

I discovered a problem that cropped up when I upgraded to WordPress 2.5 last week.¬† I wasn’t getting email notification when people left comments on a post.¬† I didn’t even notice until I checked the comment section in the WordPress dashboard.¬† After a day or so (and a post where people actually commented, thank you!), I noticed a pattern and made an adjustment so hopefully now I’ll get all notices and will be able to reply to you.¬† My apologies if I haven’t yet.

What else is there?¬† Oh yeah, diet is going well.¬† I have to admit to a big faux pas yesterday.¬† In my previous low carbing, default breakfast was always eggs and bacon.¬†¬† Add in that recently (since changing jobs at least), breakfast has been from the deli across the street, bacon/egg/cheese on a roll.¬† Gotta love NYC :)¬† Soooo, to stop the bread in both low-carb/passover mode, I ordered it without the roll.¬† I completely forgot the whole bacon isn’t kosher thing.¬† Sigh.¬† This morning I had turkey bacon.¬† Not too bad.¬†

mogul

I’ve also been checking out applications for my PDA to keep track of my daily carb intake.¬† My current PDA is also my new cell phone.¬† I have an HTC Mogul that I got from Sprint.¬† It has a slide out QWERTY keyboard that is just great to type on.¬† Battery life isn’t too bad and if I can remember to shut off a few things, I can go more than one night without charging it.¬† Fortunately it does charge with one of those small USB plugs that my camera also uses (and 9000 other devices) so I have a cable just about everywhere.¬† Anyway, it runs Win Mobile 6.0 and I have it mated with both the Mac’s at home and my Vista machine at the office.¬† Neat.¬† As an added bonus, I can tether it to my Macbook via bluetooth and use it to surf the net where there is no wifi hotspot.¬† Extra slick.

But I digress again….I’ve been auditioning software to keep track of carb intake.¬† The one from Atkins wasn’t so good.¬† In trial mode it only allows for 4 start ups before you have to lay out $39.99 for it.¬† It doesn’t run all that well at all and I had display issues when sliding out the keyboard on my phone.¬† Normally the display redraws in the horizontal orientation and resizes.¬† This one didn’t do it properly and the scroll was missing so I couldn’t get to the bottom of the page to click the OK buttons.¬† Also the keyboard icon on the screen didn’t actually activate the icon.¬† Most notably, I couldn’t sync the phone with my Vista desktop when the app was running.¬† Blech.

I’m trying something new today that looks worlds better and at least performs better.¬† Weight-By-Date has both the Win/Palm based tracker.¬† It is cheaper at $27 for a download only version.¬† Gives you 15 days to play with it before having to buy or delete.¬† It isn’t locked into a particular diet system so there is much greater flexibility with it.¬† The app responds as expected with the keyboard icon actually activating the onscreen keyboard.¬† I can also sync with it running as well.¬† That’s two in its favor.¬† There’s also sections for recording exercise and the calories that various activities burn.¬† It is running fine installed to my SD card (2 GB ) so it doesn’t eat up the small amount of built in space.¬†Only been a couple of hours (and only one meal) but it is looking like a winner.¬†

Craft on!

Tags: Adult

Flatbread

April 21st, 2008 · 5 Comments

Monday mornings are just tough!¬† It was such a great weekend.¬† Saturday was downright fabulous.¬† The weather was gorgeous.¬† Unfortunately I was only able to spend about two hours at Jessica’s house for her gathering.¬†¬† I finished off the first sleeve for the Shaped V-Neck (sorry no pictures of it today)¬† and that was the last of the knitting until the train this morning when I started the second sleeve.

matzo

Saturday even was the first seder and beginning of the Passover holiday.¬† While my sisters and their families did not make it, my uncle (mother’s brother) and aunt, and my aunt’s friend did.¬† We had a lovely, if irreverent and short seder.¬† The twins were getting hungry and were entering the danger zone.¬† So we hit on the highlights (plagues, four questions, etc.) and when questions arose, like the yearly “What is murrain?”, I pulled out my trusty Macbook and googled it.¬† (Murrain is a¬†disease of cattle and sheep.)

Sunday I lazed about, as did the kids mostly.¬† The folks took them shopping for a bit in the afternoon as they had earned enough good behavoir stars on their chart to get a present.¬† I sat first with my friend the xBox working on Jewel Quest and then my Macbook on a super secret geek project.¬† I must say, I love my Macbook.¬† It is one of the few toys that gets regular usage (xbox too as when I’m not playing it, mom is) and I’ve never had even a moment of buyer’s remorse with it.

I’ve decided that it is time to finally do something about my diet.¬† Back a few years ago when I quit smoking, I gained a few pounds as people normally do.¬† Once the cigs were kicked, it was time to tackle the weight.¬† I tried lo-carbing and it worked beautifully for me.¬† I lost the weight and felt better than I had ever felt.¬† My energy level was at an all time high.¬† This period was then followed by several years of fertility drugs and finally a twin pregnancy, during which I tried to right-carb, but still I’ve several pounds over where I’d like to be and at my heaviest even including the post-smoking high.¬† Yeah, well below the 36wk mark with twins, but high enough.¬† To that end, I’ve decided to go back to lo-carbing and what better time than Passover when most of the bad things are verbotten anyway!¬† I want to loose about 15 lbs.¬† Thanks to everyone who will now mention that I don’t need to loose weight, but really, I do.¬† So far so good.

Craft on!

 

Tags: Adult · Family

Just Keep Knitting

April 18th, 2008 · 12 Comments

Is it true?¬† Could it be possible?¬† Am I really post five (5) days in a row?!¬† I think the last time that happened was 2 or 3 years ago ;)¬† Don’t worry, I doubt I can keep it up very long.

It is soooo gorgeous outside that I just can’t stand being inside.¬† I might have brought lunch but I’m definitely going to go out for¬† a leeetle walk this afternoon.¬† Too nice not to.¬† And I, again, wore a skirt today!¬† I dress so much better during warmer weather 🙂

Anyway, lunch with Nancy yesterday was fun as always.¬† We dined at the Heartland Brewery at South Street.¬† Sadly, they had no free tables outside in the sunny area and it was just a tad chilly in the shade so we ate inside.¬† Food was good.¬† Can’t beat good food and great friends!¬†

Shaped V-Neck

Work on the Shaped V-Neck is progressing.¬† At the SnB last night I started/completed the ties.¬† Yes, there are some ends that need to be worked in, but not as much as could be there.¬† I love the spit-join method.¬† I’ve started the first sleeve and am progressing through the decreases in it.¬† (And yes, that is the front seat of my car – I got to the station early this morning 🙂

I have to admit, the pattern, while beautiful and which will result in a much beloved sweater, has some annoyances.¬† Like in the sleeve for instance.¬† It is inconsistently written.¬† With regards to decreases/increases especially, some places there is an actual number of times to do that combination (repeat 6 times) which are then followed by a remainder stitch count variety (repeat until 46 remain).¬† It is an insurmountable problem?¬† No.¬† I can count pretty well.¬† I’m better a calculus than simple math, but I can still count.¬†¬† I’m going to count the repeats that are necessary and make note of it so the next go’round on this pattern is a little less annoying.

This weekend proves to be a busy one.¬† Tomorrow is a gathering at Jessica’s of a bunch of fiber folk which shall be fun, followed by the first Seder.¬† It is MATZAH time!¬† weeeee.¬† Happy Passover to the observers.¬† Have a great weekend to everyone.

Craft on!

Tags: Adult

Spring Days

April 17th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I hope everyone ignored my whining in yesterday’s post.¬† I was just tired.¬† I’d had about 5 hours sleep each nice since Sunday and it added up.¬† I got to bed early(er) last night and feel worlds better today.¬†

Shaped V-Neck

Last night I got the twins to bed and I sat down with Shaped V-Neck and that slug-a-thon in the Bronx.¬† I’ve discovered that baseball is probably the perfect knitting sport.¬† Plenty of slow times to look at the needles if necessary and you can look up to see the good stuff.¬† Interesting game last night for sure.¬† Mom, the Yankee fan, joined me.¬† I’ll miss tonight’s rematch as it is the beloved SnB night.¬† Though, knowing how long these two teams slug it out, the game will probably be in the 6th Inning when I get home at 10:30 ;)¬† Needless to say by my cheery demeanor today, that I didn’t make it through the end of the game.¬† I turned out the lights when it was 9-9.

I did finish knitting the body of Shaped V-Neck.¬† I continue to be pleased as punch that I chose to make this sweater with the dead Orangebell.¬† I’ll do the ties this evening and start the sleeves ASAP.¬† I’m finding that with a touch of project monogamy, I can actually finish things.¬† I think the next project to get the full attention when this is done, is the Clapotis in the Lion and Lamb.¬† I recently found the other two skeins of yarn so I can resurrect it.¬†¬† With monogamy, I should be able to finish it quickly, considering I whiped out the first one (being worn daily now mind you) in about a week.

I’m having lunch today with my favorite Bronx resident.¬† The weather is gorgeous and currently 68F.¬† Ahhh spring.¬† I even put on a skirt today.¬† Oo la la.

Craft on!

 

Tags: Adult

Moving Nowhere

April 16th, 2008 · 8 Comments

While on the train this morning, I kept building a post in my head while I knitted away on Shaped V-Neck.¬† I’m feeling like I’m pulled in a hundred different directions, trying to do so many things at the same time and doing none of them well.

180px-Hammy_Excersising

My day is a long one.¬† The alarm clock starts at 6AM.¬† I get up and dressed early so I can then get the kids up/dressed/fed and out the door by 7:45.¬†¬† Race across town to drop them at the daycare center.¬† Race across another town to the commuter lot all in time to catch the 8:24 train to Hoboken.¬† I get to the office (after a ferry ride from Hoboken and a 4 minute walk) where I worked until 5:25.¬† Reverse the commute, minus the trip to the school and I walk in the door just shy of 7pm.¬†¬† Dinner.¬†¬† Change monkeys for bed starting at 7:30, get them into bed at 8.¬† Yell at them to get back into bed and go to sleep already at 8:15, against at 8:30.¬† Relax {ha!}.¬† Into bed ideally by 10:30, though recently that’s been more like midnight.¬† Rinse.¬† Repeat.¬† I feel like the little guy in that picture.

I don’t know.¬† There’s got to be more than this.¬† Maybe I’m just tired and need a vacation.¬†¬†

Last night I had a¬†Parent-Teacher conference with the kids’ preschool teachers.¬† The monkeys were again deemed very sweet kids, very caring, and all around normal.¬† Whew.¬† They seem pretty odd to me ;)¬† Since they miss the kindergarden cutoff by 9 days, they won’t be going into KG in the fall, but will be staying in preschool for another year.¬† Discussing whether to keep them in the same preschool class, or move them to the other 4/5 year old group, we decided (teachers, director and me) to keep them in the same class.¬†

Yesterday was also the town’s school board elections.¬† Tacked on as a question as a budget referendum to move to full day kindergarden starting this fall.¬† Currently, the town only has half day with an after/before school program at one of the town elementary schools that they bus the little ones to/fro.¬† Most of the area towns have been moving to full day KG and my town has seen a huge jump in head count in first grade rather than KG as most parents need the full day coverage.¬† The measure passed by ONE vote.¬† Glad I raced across town after the P-T conference and before having to relieve the folks so they could get out in time to teach the boating safety course.¬†

I think I’m just rambling now and need some sun and yarn time!¬† Pst, there’s a nifty new counter I scripted up yesterday that is counting down the days to MDSW (and when its done with that will switch to NYSW).¬† I can’t wait.

I leave you with this interesting link that was forwarded through one of my mailing lists.  For each word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.  For my part, I managed to donate 1020 grains this morning :)  Those two years of latin in high school continue to pay off! 

Craft on!

Tags: Family