Wednesday, May 24, 2006

G is for green and great spaces

There's been doin's aspyerin' (Simpsons quote, if you didn't already know) here, and I'm going to tell you all about it.

The first thing today is new dyeing! I love it, and I think it's going to go to my dye o rama partner, sadly. However, it also meets the Project Spectrum requirements this month, so it's a double dip!

Isn't it just wonderful! Such a bright green. It's wilton's icing and lime jello. Who knew?

Scout has kindly tagged everyone with her Knitting Spaces meme. And, being the sheep that I am, I'll happily oblige.

This is the prime knitting position. See how the couch cushions point inward? It's because I sit in the dead center of the couch; I don't know why. It's not that comfortable. But it's where I sit. On the couch is the fake down blanket Casey and I argue over constantly, a sweater and the corner of my clapotis shawl, that I wear constantly at night. What do I see?

This is my coffee table. At no time is it not covered in or littered with yarn, patterns, magazines, books, stitch markers, video games and my needle case. It keeps things at the ready for me. It's my que. I've got a pretty strong case of ADD (no hyperactivity), so I am always jumping from thing to thing, as it strikes my fancy or I become bored. I don't work in a linear fashion, I never have. My life is in piles scattered around the house. The piles directly correspond to where I was last using _____ . Therefore, when I lose something, I picture the last time I was using it (and for what reason), and it usually is found thereabouts. You can imagine how tough moving is on me- I lose ALL my piles AND I have to establish new places for them! It's enough to make me lose my mind. However, my beloved starbucks waterbottle ensures that I won't be thirsty when I do.

This is what I see when I knit. A large tv with DVD player and video game consoles next to a big ass chest packed FULL of yarn. That is yarn que #1, it holds sock yarn, worsted weight yarns, basic knitting types of yarns and the yarn I don't like. On top of it currently are two skeins I dyed a while ago. I don't like the pink that much, but the blue inside is just fantastic. Oh, the DVD case? That's season 2 of CSI. Must obtain more CSI!!

Here's the other large thing I see when I knit. The bookcase is currently overstocked with numerous items. The magazines on the bottom are knitting and wedding issues. The crates hold DVDs, games and more knitting things. When I rummage through the chest, it's usually followed by rummaging the bookshelf for patterns and old IK issues. The books are mostly knitting now; I purged the stack when we moved in. The picture on the top is my diploma from the UO. Go fighting ducks!

This is the overall picture of the living room corner. I had to take it in the kitchen to get everything in, which is why it's so dark. As you can see, it's a good little corner, and I like it a lot.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Amazing Lace! Part 1

And they're off!

This blog's team has started their persuit of glory, but not without some rough patches! The team is a triad, comprising of key knitter Kelly and her butter-yellow, hand-dyed Knitpicks Laceweight doubled up with some luxurious "straw into gold" colorway of Crystal Palace Kid Merino mohair.

Lovingly dyed to become a perfect pair

The knitter was anxious to begin, having painstakingly dyed one to enhance the other. She was full of good suggestions on where to the yarn should begin: Ene's scarf from Scarf Style; the Daisy Shawl, an internet pattern picked up; various shawl patterns from Interweave Knits, Simply Knitting!, Folk Shawls, Vogue shawl series and others. Still, the yarn resisted. Twisted and tangled, not the right gauge or not long enough to finish, even plain refusing to stay on the needles! Again and again, the knitter cast on, hoping for the "right one" and that this time, the pattern would stick. She even sought out solace from her LYS, searching in the elusive "Scarves and Shawls" pattern book for the "right one". Yet the yarn resisted. Dark times lay ahead. What did the yarn want to be?

Past indisgretions

The yarn is soft, but sturdy. The Knitpicks yarn is a thicker laceweight blend from merino wool. The mohair is lighter than air, and handily competes for overall warmth with the wool. Neither label offered help in the gauge department. It was absent on the Knitpicks and the mohair simply stated, "different needles will get different gauges". Panicked, the knitter's growing needle supply was exhausted, looking for the right fit. Not unlike Cinderella's glass slipper, this was a hard one to find. The needle needed to be pointy for lace, but sturdy to handle the thicker yarn. It must be comfortable, or the knitter will not reach for it unless provoked. The knitter has a fondness for bamboo needles- but would such lace support a larger needle? Surely the delicate detailing the yarn cried out for would not be achieved with a bulky, blunted bamboo stick.

What was a knitter to do? Dark times, indeed.

The answer came in an online pattern abandoned many moons ago. Cozy, on Knitty's website. Many yarns and attempts were made in the past with this pattern. Each time, the pattern was violently thrown across the room, after much pleading and rapid changes in needles and yarns, in an attempt to please the lace knitting goddess. The pattern was even secretly referred to as "cursed" and "poorly written". No more!

Lace detail

The yarn took to the pattern as a bird to flight. A few stumbles along the way, and then, in a shining moment of victory- away it went. The YOs are fluid, the stitches clear. The pattern even looks...dare we say it...better than what's pictured online! The knitting is soft, and warm to the touch. The needles (clover bamboo, sz 5) are easily gripping the yarn, without tangles. Even the dreaded K2tog tbl stitch is going fluidly. The yardage looks good and the gauge will look even better when she's blocked out.

Progress in two days- and a pretty accurate color

At long last, Team Cozy is born.

Lace, Lies and KALs

Well, its been an interesting few days. I was all excited to wake up and start photographing my new Amazing Lace partner today. And this is the first thing I saw out my window:

Rain, Rain go away

Well, shoot. My pretty lace-in-progress photoshoot plans have gone awry. Luckily, the Trekking XXL is happy to be in what it determines as "nature's shower" and is just too excited to play:

One can almost call this progress

Since the first challenge is up for the Amazing Lace, I'll put pictures in a separate post. I'll leave you with some pictures I took last week before work. I was trying to capture this little ladybug on my lavender. She had NO spots! At all. Like a dalmatian puppy when it's first born- just one color! However, she turned out to be The Hardest Ladybug To Capture On Film. Observe:

I don't know what it was about that special lady, but she was admant that no clear picture would be taken of her. She must be some sort of celebrity in her little bug world. There was even a big honeybee bodyguard that kept flying into the pictures, keeping me from really getting close in. Casey thought the whole thing was odd and gave up asking why I kept running in and out of the house with the camera. Better not to ask at that point.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Oh, Lordy

So, there's a few rules of speech that a dispatcher must follow, always:

1. Speak slowly
2. Speak clearly
3. Speak articulated

Clearly, two of them were followed and one was not. Guess which one? Example:

"Patient has schlurrred schpeech"
"Medic sex for chest pain...."

Luckily, these were not on the same call.

I was sure could hear the laughing of the medic unit all the way across town. Even over the sirens. I just pray it was so late they were tired and never noticed. Yeah, right.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

F is for FO

Okay, a day late and a dollar short, but here she is!

Blowing in the wind

Birkenstock for scale

Look at those colors!

Pattern: Clapotis from Knitty
Yarn: Louisa Harding Impression, 3 balls

I love this FO! It's certainly had it's ups and downs making it. The yarn is ribbon, with a nylon thread and a mohair all plied together. Frustrating, as it catches on everything you can imagine. But the colors! Purples, blues, pinks, yellows...and it shitnes in the light. When you hold the ball of it, you can't give it up. It's that soft. However, it does give up a bit of that softness when knitted up; more sensitive people may have a hard time wearing this next to their skin. It's warm! I wore it last night while watching tv and I was quite snuggled up.

I've had this yarn sitting in my stash since January. It was purchased with the help of a gift certificate from a good friend for Christmas. I still have four balls of it left; I don't know what I'll do with it. There's a pattern in the Louisa Harding book for gloves; a hat might be interesting, too. Since it's a ribbon yarn, I don't think it would hurt making something like a small purse or bag- it's not going to stretch much.

Progress is going well on the yellow laceweight. I've decided on the Box Lace Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls. It's going to be a might smaller than the one in the book (I only have about 880 yards, unless I find more stash), but that's okay. The pattern is really cute so far:

Little needles and little YO's

And look how well the dyed laceweight turned out! The color is uneven, so it's variegated and oh-so-pretty. It's my favorite dyed yarn so far:

A little late for PS yellow

The shawl is kind of a handful on its own, it won't make for good breaktime knitting at work. So I'm going to get started on some more socks. Socks are excellent breaktime knitting. And then I found a KAL that sealed it:

And I just so have some Trekking XXL to use. Colorway...I'll get back to you when I find the label. I did take a picture of it though:

Finally, wish Casey a speedy recovery from what has been a nasty case of the stomach flu or food poisoning. Four pounds lost in 24 hours- whew! You know he's sick when he doesn't feel like playing his favorite video game!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

E is for excitement

It's the weekend! Hooray!

This weekend holds a lot of potential in it. Why? Well, let me tell you. First, it means next week I'm back to regular hours! Hooray! No going into work until 5 pm means regular sleep (for me!) and I can get dinner anywhere I want before work. It's suprising, but a lot of restaurants aren't open before 11 am. That means I either have to finnagle dinner in 40 minutes or less (at 5 pm rush hour on weekdays), or just deal with whatever I managed to bring in that day. Worst case scenario dig up change for the vending machine or hit the Jack In The Box. Yeah, not so good. Also on the work front, I get to aactually start to dispatch next week! My fellow coworker and I will take turns on the radio, and be pretty much told what to do and say each time by our academy teacher. We will also probably be a pain to deal with for our "real" dispatch partner :) At our center, fire dispatch is a two-person deal (since we have so many agencies we dispatch for- nearly the entire county's rural fire departments! That's a HUGE number to work with). Each partner takes a turn as calls come in. When big calls like house fires hit, then one person mans the fire (lots and lots of firefighters talking) and the other takes the other traffic (and also makes calls to places like the red cross, district chiefs, utilites, etc for the person working radio on the fire). So, I'm looking forward to getting out of the classroom and into the fire, as it were. Hopefully it won't be all non-emergent transports and patient evaluations. Something besides barkdust fires- at least take a patient in code-3!

Good thing number two: home-made dinner! I'm getting free dinner out of my grandma tomorrow. My aunt and my 'rents are popping in too. I can't wait to see everyone and have a good time. Yay dinner! Mmmm! I don't know what's for dinner, but I really don't care- anything is good coming from grandma's house! I'm guessing since there will be a few of us, fried chicken, or maybe shrimp. (ohh, I hope it's shrimp again! With onion rings!) My grandma always makes something special that she knows I like aside every time we have a big family dinner (I was a very picky eater as a chid, but now I just graze on what I like and ignore the rest). Thus, refrigerated, peeled, (real, not baby) carrot sticks will most likely be placed in a special little bowl by my plate when we sit down. The same for her dinner rolls. I always get the plate twice, no matter what. However, my grandma's dinner rolls are legendary, so asking for the plate twice isn't exactly an out-of-the-blue thing. Mmmm. Now, I never ask for any of this treatment, my grandma just is the type that goes that extra mile no matter what. So, I expect it now, out of habit. Grandma's are the best. My grandma is the best of the best.

What else is good this weekend? I got a new knitting book, one of the mini Vogue series. It's on shawls. Some of the patterns are hideous (as are the yarns!), but the patterns are kind of cool. There's a great shawl that's essentially a cabled clapotis- a cable, surrounded by drop stitches. I think it's even knit on a diagonal. What is it with that pattern? It's mesmerizing. I think it's the dropped stitches. There's a kind of zen in intentional dropped stitches. Another pattern is a leafy kind of lace design, and another simple stockinette triangle. I think one of these will work out well for my lemon yellow laceweight. I need to get the pattern picked soon; The Amazing Lace is gearing up for the first challenge next week. *so excited*

Oh, speaking of clapoti, I finished mine! Pictures tomorrow, maybe. I want to get it in the sunlight, to show how sparkly the yarn is. And on my porch railings, so it can spread out fully. It turned out a lot narrower than I expected it to, but I think it still works well. It's more scarfy than wrappy and that's ok! My other clapotis can be enough wrap for us all.

I think that's all for now. Time to swatch for the laceweight!

PS: And of course, the final clapotis knitting is dedicated to the "Knit Some Bone!" cause on the sidebar, to the left. Jump on the bandwagon!

Friday, May 05, 2006

D is for distraction

It's my weekend! Hooray! However, with it being a weekend, that means that everyone but me should be enjoying their time off. Isn't it funny how work creeps into your life at every waking moment. Maybe it's just me.

I had not one, but TWO days with hiring committee things to do! Day 1 was a meeting which led to the picture taking for Day 2. D'oh! And it can't be simple take pics, upload and print out. That would require 1) the camera cord to be with the camera 2) a computer to run the program 3) a printer to recognize the computer program after I give up and use the SD card in the printer port and 4) for the computer and printer that don't work to be in the comm center and not in someone's office (who needs to use their office today). I am just using my camera from now on. It doesn't require any CD set-up (I can't remember if it came with one!), it always works and I actually understand the bajillion modes (okay, so I just discovered there are different flash least the F-Stop/light-type type menu makes sense). Stupid Windows XP not working when I know it should work! It's probably the fact that the computers are city ones and therefore have everything stripped down. But my janky-ass home XP edition with my non-working laptop shouldn't have an edge over an actual PC tower (that works).

As promised, here are some greeny pictures of the landscape outside. It's so pretty right now! Clear blue sky, warm but not hot temperatures, a light breeze that doesn't chill you to the bone. I think all of Oregon should be nominated for PS May, as it's green all over!

Perhaps I will dye some tonight. I've got one more day by myself before scary dispatch academy, and I could use the extra head start. I wish my dye o rama pal would contact me! I don't want my first secret pal deal to turn out to be a bust :( My personal dyeing secret pal hasn't contacted me either, so I'm 2 for 2. Well, if no one's gonna answer, then I guess all that yarn's for me then!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

C is for cattle

Cattle referring to how I'm being herded into KAL after KAL after KAL here. Somebody stop the madness!

Hey! Wait a minute. I enjoy knitting, so what's the problem? So, I scrounged up another blog with another button and another theme. Don't believe me? Want to join? Think I'm crazy?

My new laceweight even matches the little button! How fun is that?

Also found last night web-blog-hopping (and sadly, I've forgotten which one already) was the perfect candidate for the next election cycle:

Those Bears better watch out! I wonder if it's a bi-partisan effort? I think it would be the funniest thing ever if the president still put out the Daily Show, making fun of his own government. A girl can dream.

Finally, it's a fund-a-long! Claudia is doing a MS bike ride and taking names for it. She's got an Alice Starmore book as funding fodder. Support a cure for a disease robbing knitters of their passion! Donate today!

There's so much green outside this month, it's going to be a great PS picture time, I can tell. However, I've got to shower for work, so I can't take pictures of any of it! But, it's my Friday, so, pictures this weekend. Yay for May!

Solid like a bone?

Hello world!

It's 0351 hrs and I'm not at work for the first time this week! YAY! Fourteen hours a day is just too much for anyone, much less multiple times each week! Next week I have new dispatch training AND then there are 16 hour holdovers EVERY DAY. Multiple people will be held over. There will be cussing, growling and a general displeasure of everything related to the public. Arr.

After perusing January One, I found a fun new KAL that anyone can do:

What is it you ask? Well, it seems there is a fellow associated knitblogger down! A Mr. Knitblogger, to be exact. He is especially slow going at trying to re-grow some bone structure. As you may already know, bone structure is important to pretty much everything. So, not one to not join a crowd (ooh, double negative!), I'm joining this one too. What do you do? Simply knit away, thinking good, calcium-driven, hard-structred bone thoughts so Mr. Etherknitter can get back to whatever it is he does. Knit on, my friends! Knit on!

And hey, I got my secret dye-o-rama pal yesterday! She's pretty cool. And waaaay across the country! I feel so secretive, I can't say whom it is. *sad* There's been a lot of issues with the tech support for the dye-o-rama team, but I can safely say I have escaped pretty much all of it. Hooray! And major props to a team that's gone above and beyond what is considered the "call of duty" for this KAL.

And for my dye-o-rama pal- my favorite color is blue, but I also love red, purple, green and white. I'm a Libra, so I love pretty much anything classifed as "pretty". Self-striping or not, it doesn't matter to me. I'm also a Project Spectrum gal (the page for it seems to be broken now, sorry!). My favorite college team is the Fighting Ducks, but not necessarily the "neon" yellow color Nike invented for us. And I pretty much detest orange in its purest halloween colored form. I love dogs, but that's probably not yarn related. No allergies, but I really detest cigarette smoke. And, I'm a total dyeing n00b, so don't feel like you have to produce the Taj Mahal of yarns; I just like a good, soft, pretty colorway to knit with. And, most of all, THANK YOU! I can't wait to find out who you are!

Hmm. Anything else? I'm almost finished with the straight repeats for the clapotis in Louisa Harding. It's in my mailbox at work, so no pictures. Use your imagination, I guess :) I like it, it's what I wanted, but I'm ready to be done with it. Bring on the decreases! I still have like four balls of the stuff, who knows what that is going to be. I have this idea that I could use it for the fiery bolero from IK, but I don't know if I want to wear the stuff right next to my skin. And gauge, etc. Oh, and I felt up the dried and dyed yellow laceweight. Some spots are very bright next to others. But the colors are splotchy over all the strings in the area, so it will work out well, I think, overall. And the mohair will cover it as well. However the yarn has this definite feeling to it, like it's a bulky laceweight? Somehow thicker than what it should feel like. It feels....sturdy. You can almost feel the twist to it. I guess you get what you paid for. We'll see how it knits up.