February 2007

Nothing says “dork” like trying to take a self-portrait

La’s having a contest – post pictures of the cute little feet in your life (furbaby or otherwise) over the next week and you could win some La-made stitchmarkers. (Here’s my entry, La!)

Reading Update
Delete All Suspects by Donna Andrews. This mystery series feature artificial intelligence Turing Hopper, who helps a human private investigator solve crimes. I guess this would be classified as a “techno-cozy” mystery – really, mystery niches are amazing, aren’t they?!
Murder with Puffins and Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews. These were the first Meg Langslow mysteries I’d read and I enjoyed them much more than I expected – they’re very silly and feel a bit like reading a comedic melodrama. Definitely a nice break from 24! Anyway, Meg works as a blacksmith, making ornamental items – what was I just saying about mystery niches?!? And yes, the titles are all bird-themed, although none of the characters is an ornithologist.

Refined Raglan Photos
Ok, bowing to peer pressure, here you go – me modeling the refined raglan. Don’t I look thrilled? If you’ve been reading for ages and ages, you might notice that this sweater looks awfully similar to something… (You will need to click on the picture to see the cable detail.)

In an attempt to make pictures of a black sweater more interesting, here’s Mayhem! (My baby is all grown up! *sniff*)

“Did you see it?! I was just sitting there in the previous photo, minding my own business when I was rudely snatched up!” -M

And Chaos!

“Why is that thing clicking and beeping and flashing at us?! Obviously we’re running out of time and we’re all going to die!!” -C

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Refinanced raglan

At last! The refined raglan is finished. I really like how this turned out – I’m wearing it right now!

I did make a few modifications to the pattern:

  • I knit the body and sleeves longer.
  • I changed the sleeves to be standard tapered sleeves, not bell sleeves. Bell sleeves drive me nuts. 🙂
  • I shortened the funnel neck. I look like a dork in a funnel neck – it only took me three tries to realize that and change the neck.
  • I added a few short rows to the upper back so that the front of the sweater wouldn’t give me that slightly strangled feeling. I should’ve added a few more short rows.
  • I used a three-needle bind-off to fasten down the neck instead of sewing it down later.

I can see myself adding some cables to the raglan shaping in future projects. Here’s a little cabley detail:

Chaos and May eagerly awaited blocking. (Please excuse the blurry shot.)

“I can just tell something’s going to happen!” -M
“Hopefully something good involving tuna.” -C

“Big kitty, I don’t know why you ran away when the iron came out! It isn’t very scary to me.” -M

“And see? With me here, Mom doesn’t even need the iron.” -M

Knitting

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Let it FO! Let it FO! Let it FO!

Limedragon is having a contest – give Trekking XXL color #76 a better name and you could win a skein of sock yarn! Submit your suggestions by midnight CST on February 28.

Guess how many books Chappysmom has read since January 1, 1996, and you could win some Koigu. Leave a comment with your guess by February 28.

We had a little snow over the weekend… This picture doesn’t show the final accumulation. See the Beetle? By the time the snow stopped falling, that Beetle had snow nearly to the top of its tires!

I did finish two projects over the weekend, although I didn’t finish my refined raglan (after I redid the neckline for the third time, we needed some time apart…). I finished the stripey gift socks, made from Cascade’s new Sassy Stripes yarn, using the stitch pattern from Kristi’s Gentleman’s Socks. I’ll definitely use that stitch pattern again.

“Hello! I’m lying here, May. Quit walking across me!!” -C

“Mmmm…. socks….” -M

(Although it may occasionally look like May is nearly Chaos’ size, that’s all illusion. She’s about 8 lbs; he’s about 15 lbs and looking trim! Yesterday, I noticed that one of his paws can entirely cover her eyes, nose, and mouth. Alas, I did not get a picture.)

I also finished my Project Spectrum socks. The stripes matched up pretty well between socks, until I bound off the second sock… See the little white blop? Grrr…

I decided I had to fix that, so I gathered my tools.

Voila!

Much better. (My toe-up bind off always looks wonky until the socks are washed.)

“This cat bed certainly lacks in cushiness, Mom. Why did you put those boards in it? Do you think I need more back support when I sleep?” -M

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*yawn*

The online knitting magazine For the Love of Yarn is having a contest – leave a short comment about who taught you to knit and you could win a Yarn Safaris sock knitting kit.

Have you checked out Good Yarn Karma yet? It’s an intriguing idea to move along some yarn or fiber that just isn’t working for you and perhaps find new inspiration in someone else’s unloved yarn or fiber.

Vicki Knitorious is going to be in the Twin Cities this weekend! If you’re in the area and you’re interested in getting together with Vicki, Deb, Jeanne, and I to knit and chat Sunday afternoon, please let me know.
Update: We’ll be meeting at D’Amico & Sons at 2210 Hennepin Avenue South at about 4 pm on Sunday, February 25. We should be easy to spot – I look exactly like my little icon in my sidebar (although the cats won’t be with me!).
Update the Second 2/24/07: CANCELED! Vicki had car trouble, plus the weather is crappy. She will reschedule. We will not be meeting at D’Amico on Sunday.

Thank you all so much for your supportive comments yesterday! I don’t have much to say today other than TGIF – it’s one of those sleepy mornings and I’m already thinking I need a second soy mocha. 🙂 Hopefully by Monday I’ll have an FO or two to show you – I have less than an inch left on the second Project Spectrum sock and maybe 20 rounds left until I finish the neck of the refined raglan.

Here’s a picture of Chaos and May checking out the snow a few weeks ago. Suddenly it’s much warmer here (+50°F on Wednesday) and most of the snow in this picture is gone – although it sounds like we could get more snow later today and over the weekend.

“I know you think that white stuff looks like birds falling out of the sky, May, but trust me, it isn’t.” -C

“You’ve got to come down sometime, May – and then look out! Bwah-ha-ha!” -C

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The muffin incident

Shall we start with some foreshadowing? Last week, Leah was nearly run down by an impatient driver in a Whole Foods parking lot; the driver then proceeded to scream at her. In her post, she commented “it amazes me how horrible we can treat each other just because we are strangers.”

*insert ominous music*

A few days ago, I stopped in my neigborhood co-op on my way home from work and was delighted to discover that it was gluten-free cherry almond muffin day and there were muffins remaining. (The muffin schedule varies monthly and seasonally. There’s a gluten-free muffin every day, but usually they are long gone by the time I get to the co-op. It’s been at least six months since gluten-free cherry almond muffins were on the schedule.) I carefully placed the last five muffins in a bakery bag (the muffins freeze really well).

This guy walked up to me and asked if I planned on taking all of the gluten-free muffins. Um, yes, since I just put them into the bag… He freaked out and called me a jerk, then a bitch, then an asshole, then started saying things like “You look like a nice person, but you’re obviously a nasty bitch!” WTF?! He continued stomping around and shooting me nasty glances and saying crap like that as I took my cart and walked down the next aisle. A few minutes later, I happened to look up as I was getting something out of the freezer and he was standing at the end of the aisle, flipping me off and yelling, “Bitch!!!!” I flipped him off in return, grabbed the last few things I needed, and got in a checkout line.

I was really quite freaked out by then and kept darting nervous glances around as I paid for my groceries and headed out of the store. I would not have been at all surprised if the guy had darted out, pushed me down, and taken my bag of muffins! Fortunately, that did not happen – I got in my car, drove home, froze the muffins, and sat down to write Tuesday’s list of things that make me happy. Like Leah, I had a strong urge to “accentuate the positive” and not dwell on the incident.

I’m writing about it now because I can see the utter surreality of the situation. Since the muffin incident, I have been observing people more closely, seeing how easily we lash out when angry or impatient instead of dealing with it, or excusing ourselves, or apologizing, or just being kind to the people around us. I can see where I do the same thing sometimes (although certainly not to the degree of the muffin man), and I’m resolving to be more patient and more aware of others.

Related to being aware of others and accentuating the positive, I knitted a few pieces for the Blanket of Hope that Rebekah’s putting together from some yarn I dyed last summer. Hopefully Rebekah will be able to use these for fill-in bits throughout the blanket.

Besides knitting, some other positives…

*purrrrrrrrr* -C & M

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