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 June 2008

Random Wednesday

June 18th, 2008 · 13 Comments

Borrowing a much used theme for a Wednesday, I have a bunch of random unrelated stuff to relate, though I’m not entirely sure how that differs from any of my other posts 🙂

1.  Knittin stuff:

wrs_0618.jpg

How I’ve been spending my commute. ¬†I’ve completed the first 62 row repeat for the center square, only 300 more rows to go before the insane border stitch pickup 😉

My new glasses arrived and I can now actually see my knitting without blinding myself either from no glasses or overpowered glasses.  Life is good.

For a change, I think the color representation of WRS is actually pretty close to real life.  Last week when I had lunch with  Nancy and she commented upon seeing it in person that it was much pinker.  

wrs_0618b.jpg

Hand blocking, one handed at that, is awfully difficult.  Add in that I was on the ferry and trying to snap this shot really made it fun.  But you can get a sense of where I am in the thing and how big (or small) it is after 62 or so rows.

Work on the Nutkins socks is also progressing, pretty slowly too as WRS is the primary commuting knitting. ¬†I get to put a few rounds on the sock each day while I stand and wait for either the train or the ferry. ¬†I’m tempted to start another sock, a very plain on for the totally mindless, no eyes on the fingers necessary, knit. ¬†I have plenty of opportunity for that over the course of the day, and neither Nutkin nor especially WRS is particularly suited to that. ¬†Nutkin is a great pattern and easy to remember, but each there’s a bit to pay attention to especially using handspun. ¬†I think I’ll take some measurements and start knitting socks for the monkeys.

2.  Spinnin stuff: 

Yummy fiber

Two bits here. ¬†First, I blame this on JessaLu. ¬†After seeing her goodies from Cummington, I spotted my favorite colorway and just had to have some myself. ¬†I know. ¬†I’m pretty darn week. ¬†But there it is. ¬†At least I only bought 8 oz…

…and thanks to Carole’s 10 Minutes a Day, I’m actually spinning a bit every day. ¬†I started doing this late last week and really, it is amazing how much you can accomplish when you actually spin somewhat frequently. ¬†I’ve taken to spinning during that half hour that the kids and I watch Spongebob prior to bedtime. Some nights I do a bit more time, so less. ¬†Its all good.¬†

bluengreen1.jpg¬†With all the time at the wheel, I finished the 8oz of the blue/green merino. ¬†I’ve started on the blue merino that will be plied with it. ¬†While you can’t see it quite so well in the bobbin as it worked out, but the solid blue matches a shade in the blue/green mix. ¬†I’m looking forward to plying it all up and seeing the resulting yarn. ¬†Should be gorgeous on the little boy.

3.  Toy Stuff:

xm_radio.jpg

I mentioned this last week in passing, but I picked up a new toy after reading about one on Woot. ¬†It has come in amazingly handy for this Red Sox fan who lives out of local range. ¬†In years past the only games I get are the playoffs and when they play the Yankees. ¬†I really wanted more than that and found that XM carries ALL games. ¬†While I still can’t watch, I can definitely listen. ¬†Have I mentioned how much I love this thing? Last night I sat and listened to the game while spinning. ¬†It was awesome. ¬†Baseball is a great knitting sport as you can look away and not miss much. ¬†Its even better on the radio 😉 ¬†The display is cool as it gives you the score and the inning. ¬†This is a portable and I’ve discovered that there are terrestrial repeaters near my office as I was able to listen to today’s day game from the comfort of my desk while I coded. ¬†Oh yeah, the music choices are pretty darn good too 😉 ¬†I’d highly recommend it! ¬†

4.  Family stuff:

grad_prek.jpg

I also mentioned this in passing last week, but last weekend was the kids’ graduation ceremony. ¬†The school had a ceremony for the two preschool classes, about 50 kids in total. ¬†Some, ¬†like mine, will be in the same class (or the other preschool class) next year so it was more of a dress rehearsal. ¬†It was very well done. ¬†The kids were all up on a stage, sang a bunch of songs and there was a slideshow of pictures of the kids to the tear inducing tunes. ¬†As homework each kid put together a poster with their favorite thing. ¬†Not surprisingly, there were a great number of posters containing Power Rangers, Super Heroes and Disney Princesses. ¬†One by one, at the teacher held up the poster, the kid came to the microphone and announce “my favorite thing is:…” and generally announce what the poster indicated. Kat stuck to the script and declared her love of Disney Princesses. ¬†Alex was the row behind her and I saw his poster come up when he totally surprised me by saying: ¬†”My favorite thing is my mom”. ¬†Whoa. ¬†That’s my boy 🙂 ¬†Don’t they look cute in the caps & gowns! ¬†I had to wait for High School graduation before I marched to Pomp & Circumstance and got a tassel.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting in the days to come. ¬†I was handed a pretty big project today at work that is high on the Pres’ radar list. ¬†It should be nice and challenging as it will involve front end web page work and not the usual plumbing/behind the scenes kind of coding that I’m used to. ¬†I also have to do my self-eval for review season. ¬†Seriously, I hate those things. ¬†I rank em with root canal and earaches… oh and tired/hungry toddlers 😉 ¬†Anyway…

Craft on!

Tags: Family · Lace · Spinning · Wedding Ring Shawl

mememememe

June 17th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I don’t have much today and rather than bore you with another shot a few rows beyond where I was on WRS, I’ve got a meme for you.¬† I’ve had this sitting in draft status for ages now.¬† Seems like a good time to dig it out 😉

This ones easy bold the books you’ve read, italic the ones you want to read, leave the ones blank that you have no interest in. Consider all of you tagged.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye(J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner(Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay
)77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91.The Skin of the Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Tags: Uncategorized

Smiles

June 16th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Some might have noticed that I haven’t had any socks on the needles for a while now.¬†¬† The last pair had been finished on 5/23.¬† I went for THREE weeks without knitting any socks.¬† That’s not a big deal for some knitters.¬† But I’m a sock and lace knitter.¬† Sure, I’ve got a bit of lace going on, but still, socks are my easy knitting!¬† I’ve finally rectified that problem. At the risk of being labeled a copycat, I saw Jessica’s latest sock and found what I wanted to knit.

Behold:

Nutkin

The yarn is giving the camera some issues.¬† It isn’t anywhere that pink, actually it reads purple to my eyes.¬† I’d say the whole shot was off, but the cables on my knitpicks needles looks right… as do my jeans and the grey bands on the sock.¬† Whatever.¬† I spun the yarn on the Suzie Pro sometime last year.¬† Yeah, I know, a bit imprecise, but honestly, I can’t remember anything further than that.¬† I know I bought the fiber before moving ;)¬† It was Spunky Eclectic in Rocky Mountain High colorway.¬† I think it is merino, but could be BFL as I bought both.¬† I LOVE the pattern.¬† Super easy to memorize and I think it looks great with the handpaint.¬† Enjoying this no end.

I did do a little work on WRS over the weekend, but an ever present headache has me putting it aside for something that requires a little less concentration.¬† I had no less than two mothers suggesting it go in timeout yesterday.¬† Good advice, even with the new lower wattage reading glasses that I bought with the help of Google.¬† I’ll be happy when allergy season is over and I can get a better idea of why things are hurting!

I’ve been meaning to show this picture for a while.¬† Gave up getting a scanner moved to an in use computer and decided to use the cheat method of taking a picture.¬† Kat has always been very creative.¬† She’ll sit for hours coloring.¬† Her artwork has evolved, as little kid artwork is wont to do.¬† She’s coloring a great deal of what we’ve dubbed little people.¬† Pages and pages of these things are coming home from school and they never fail to make me smile!

Little Person

I have this one hanging on my cubicle wall right above my phone.¬† I smile every time I see it.¬† That is a full sheet of 8×11 paper too.¬† I love the little people.

Craft on!

Tags: Family · Socks

Teeny

June 11th, 2008 · 5 Comments

The stitches in Wedding Ring Shawl are downright teeny tiny.¬† The stretchy merino yarn makes them easier to do, but I’m finding a new to wear the relatively recently acquired reading glasses to knit.¬† Okay so I need them for threading the quilting needle and doing the beading as well.¬† The eyes really do go first don’t they? Or was that the legs? 🙂

Anyway, here is what WRS looked like last night shortly before bed.¬† I spent my evening listening to the Red Sox lose using my new portable XM radio.¬† Sadly, reception dropped off during the top of the 9th thanks to the awesome thunder storm that came tearing through.¬† I’m not complaining as it also brought the end to the nasty heat wave.¬† It is way more comfortable today.

WRS 6/10/08

That was approximately 26 rows into the 62 row repeat.  Can you say long term project? :)  For a better sense of scale, I took this picture with the fingers shown and the Chibi:

WRS 6/10/08

Still.  In. Love.

Craft on!

Tags: Adult · Lace · Wedding Ring Shawl

Little Stitches

June 10th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Judging from all the comments I got, my boy is a perfectly normal energetic boy who will keep me on my toes for years to come. I try to let him be, and think of ways to expend the energy. The backyard with the swingset and various other bits and bobs is pretty good for that, as well as the park around the corner. Now that the pool is open, the liner fixed, and the water filling, we should have another avenue for tiring him out, at least for the summer.

Orkney Pi

Sorry to have disappeared. It was a combination of a new video game and getting sick that has kept me away for so long. Fortunately, I had a pretty productive two days in bed though. Thursday I made some serious progress on my Orkney Pi. I’m actually a bit further along than this picture shows. I took this shot on Wednesday while on the ferry to the office. I have probably another 12 or so rounds completed beyond this point. I’m seriously considering cutting this off at the end of this section. I’m pretty sure I killed the other pi shawls at this state too, but I’ll have to check. As it is, each round has 640 stitches. Right now, this is the easy knitting project as there are no socks on the needles at the present. Amazing I know.

yarnplace_angel

In Thursday’s mail was the yarn I ordered as another candidate for Wedding Ring Shawl. I found it on fleegle‘s blog as she was vetting possibilities for Princess. This is Yarn Place’s Angel in color 217 – Dusty Rose. MMMMMMMMM. I swatched it on Friday and fell in love. What a joy it is to work with. It is STRETCHY! Gotta love that about merino. It makes those little tiny stitches actually workable. No problems doing a k2tog where one of them is a yarn over! I have a new favorite laceweight yarn. Even before blocking my swatch (which I seem to have lost yesterday during my commute), I knew it was the right yarn. I cast on as soon as the swatch was dry and I got tired of fondling it.

WRS

Using some perle 8 cotton that I now have on hand thanks to the bobbin lace hobby addition, I cast on the multitude of stitches that make up the center square. Sorry for the lousy color in the next three pictures. I took them in the car this morning while I was waiting for the train.

Here you can see the progress I’ve made so far.
WRS

I’m absolutely loving it. Yes, Unst is on hold for the foreseeable future as THIS is the project that I really wanted to work on. So after nearly a year of swatching yarns, I finally am working on it and enjoying every minute.

Jewel Box Quilt

I’ve also resurrected another long dead to me hobby: quilting. I ordered this kit a while ago from a seller on eBay. It has been sitting and quietly calling to me from my bookshelf, hoping to insinuate itself in the hobby queue. Wednesday evening, my monthly Craft Book of the Month Club arrived and it was a quilting handbook with serious amount of text devoted to hand piecing/quilting. I seriously considered hand piecing even though my two previous forays into quilting had me using the machine to piece and then hand quilt. But, I wasn’t ready to commit to that quite yet. So Thursday while knitting and watching the tube, I loaded up a Simply Quilts episode from the DVR at random. What was it about? Hand piecing. I’d call that a sign and broke out my supplies and started hand piecing. Amazingly enough, I can sew straighter by hand than by machine. Sick. With no socks on the needles, the piecing has become my pocket book project. Those pink triangles get sewn to white triangles along the hypotenuse to form a square. If i counted right, there are 40 of these squares to put together. Before I knew it, I had 10 of em done. I managed to do three while waiting for the kids’ graduation on Saturday (that will be another post as I don’t have pictures quite yet). Good purse project.

hot hot hot

Finally, I took this picture on the way home from the train last night. It was about 6:40 pm. While summer is my favorite season by far, I could pass on thermometer readings like this one, especially in JUNE and when accompanied by 64% humidity. UGH. The heat wave is supposed to end today. My fingers are crossed.

Craft on (and stay cool!)

Tags: Lace · Quilting · Wedding Ring Shawl

A Good Life

June 3rd, 2008 · 19 Comments

I’d like to re-introduce the monster who lives in my house:

Alex_holidaySee that innocent face, those big smiling eyes?¬† Don’t be fooled by him, he’s a monster all right.¬† Oh sure, others tell me he’s just a normal 4.5 year old boy.¬† I don’t believe them.¬† But then again¬†I don’t have much in the way of experience with monkeys of the male variety.¬† You see, I’m the oldest of three girls.¬† No brothers.¬†


I haven’t a clue as to what makes him tick. He reminds me alot of this nice little boy.¬† I have told him to wish something into the cornfield too.

He’s part comedian, doing goofy things to cheer people, especially his sister up.¬† She’s his best audience too.¬† He’s part artist, recall the mural on his bedroom wall and the not illustrated destruction in my bathroom on two separate occasions involving makeup and nail polish.¬† There’s also a nail polish stain on his bedroom carpet from when he polished his finger and toenails with a lovely shade of mauve.¬† He also uses himself as a canvas and regularly markers¬†up his arms and legs.¬†¬† I make sure to hide the sharpies, but that hasn’t quite stopped him.¬† He’s curious and independent and seriously bright, dad now questions what Alex is up to if he isn’t in sight for more than a minute.¬† Oh and he’s pretty dense at times too.¬†

Me: “Alex, please pick up that shirt from the floor.”

Alex: (looking up at ceiling) “What shirt mom?”, “We have shirts?”

Makes me insanely nuts.¬† Add in that he’s a proto-typical indecisive Libra paired with my decisive Leo and I get really nuts. UGH!!¬†**

The next couple of months should be interesting as boating season has started, giving me additional time alone with my offspring.¬† :)¬† Shall we say I’m out of practice in this single parenthood business?¬†

Thank goodness for knitting and spinning!¬† To that end, I’ve odered both fiber to ply Alex’s blue-green merino with.¬† I opted for what I hope is a compatible blue from Coppermoose.¬† It’s hard to tell colors on monitors, but sticking a picture of the bobbin of singles next to pictures of the merino there, I picked on that is close.¬† Fingers crossed.¬† I also ordered “just one more yarn” to try out for WRS.¬† I know I decided to do Unst, but WRS is still whispering to me and I’m losing my ability to ignore her.¬†

**Please don’t get me wrong, I really do love my little boy, I just don’t know what to do with him.

Craft on!

Tags: Family

No Idle Hands

June 2nd, 2008 · 6 Comments

As many have probably figured out already, I’m never really idle… never have been except that first year of being a new mother. ¬†Having twins single handed made me so very tired that for the first time in my life, I could actually sit still and do absolutely nothing for more than a minute without wanting to chew my foot off. ¬†But since the twins started sleeping through the night, and I got to as well, I’m no longer so tired that I can’t move and have been back to the continual busy-ness. ¬†You’ll notice that most of my hobbies are designed so that I can sit and still be relatively active.¬†Other than trying to keep the twins from killing themselves, burning down the house and tending small animals, I keep myself busy this weekend with the usual collection of crafts. ¬†

Kat's Amore

First, the hand knitting. ¬†I finished Kat’s Amore¬†(ravelry link) yesterday while supervising patio play in the sunshine. ¬†Monsters. ¬†Kat happily wore the new sweater to school this morning over her sundress. ¬†I never touched the second and much larger skein of yarn. ¬†She expressly forbid me from knitting Alex a sweater from it an actually swiped it from my room, looping it over her shoulder. ¬†It is now hanging from the Lendrum in her bedroom. ¬†Kiss that skein goodbye. ¬†Maybe it will become her sweater next year. ¬†Now I need to finish spinning for A’s sweater, which reminds me, I need to find something to ply that blue/green merino with. ¬†

NZAK Socks

I broke out the much underutilized NZAK on Saturday while the kids tortured each other while they were supposed to be cleaning their rooms. ¬†I spent some time last week reading a fabulous blog for CSM’s over here. ¬†I borrowed his recipe for a small ladies sock and got busy with some Trekking XXL that i picked up at MDSW this year. ¬†These socks have his standard 2×1 mock rib hem (40 rounds of mock, insert missing needles, knit 2 rounds, hang hem), 45 rounds for the leg, short row heel, 45 rounds for the foot, short row toe. ¬†Done. ¬†Whipped these suckers out and even grafted the toe the same day! ¬†Fit perfectly. ¬†I’ll definitely be knitting more. ¬†I made them on the 54st cylinder. ¬†I’ll probably be swapping Jessica back her 60 for my 72. ¬†Now that I can get a good fitting pair off the 54 for me, I’ll use the 72 to knit socks for dad or others with bigger feet. ¬†Definitely, head over to Soxophone Player’s blog for all you wanted to know about cranking socks.

Beaded necklace

Finally, Saturday night, while the folks had the kids at a local fair parked in the mall parking lot, I did a bit of beading. ¬†I actually started this necklace on Friday night, but didn’t get very far before Battlestar Galactica started and I had to stop to give the show my full attention. ¬†(Oh yeah, I can sit still and do nothing for a very select group of tv programs.) ¬†Ignore those little circles of light both at the side and bottom of the picture. ¬†It appears that the sweet Macbook is reflecting light from the high-hats in my bedroom. ¬†Doesn’t look that way to the naked eye, as I didn’t notice until I saw the picture downloaded from the camera. ¬†This necklace is a right angle weave of 3.8mm peach colored freshwater pearls, gold 15/0 beads and tear drop crystals. ¬†I love it. ¬†I have a few pearls and crystals left so I think I’m going to fashion a set of coordinating earrings. ¬†Not sure what the hell I’m going to wear this for, but still, nice to have. ¬†

Having trouble typing today as the ring finger on my right hand is stiff and sore to bend. ¬†Not sure what is up with it but it has been cranky for a couple of weeks now. ¬†I don’t remember hurting it. ¬†Fingers crossed it isn’t the dreaded A word. ¬†I can still knit, thank g-d. ¬†This getting older business sucks. ¬†Oh well, time to go write some code.¬†

Craft on!

 

 

 

 

Tags: Beading · Socks