Friday, June 29, 2007

Destruction and progress

Dear friends,

Here is our bathroom as of Monday morning.

This was 24 hours later.

Rose's bedroom is right next to this destruction. She has been taking her naps in our basement in a playpen, sorry, "playard," this whole week.

The first day was a little rough. It took us two hours to get her to sleep. It got better as the week went on, though, and today she dropped right off. Men are tromping all over the house above her head, dropping humongous pipes, sawing walls open, and she's curled up like this.

Bless her little heart.

Green Gables is almost done. I'm over on the other side of the basement in our little computer area, knitting away while she sleeps, and it looks like this:

I'll do three rows of ribbing after Rose is in bed tonight (her real bed, since the men and the saws will all have gone home), wash it, and put it on the blocking board. I can't wait to wear it. I tried it on one last time just before I took this picture, and it feels so good! This yarn is so soft and cool against the skin. I love it!I was bored of all the stockinette on the body, so a couple of nights ago, I skipped ahead to the sleeve ribbing and got both sleeves done in an hour or so. It doesn't pull in as much as I thought it would. I really like how this sweater is turning out. I just hope the rolling neck blocks out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A new friend

On our last visit to Greenfield Village, we took my grandmother, and she felt Rose needed a little something from the gift shop. This is what Rose picked out (with no input from me!):

Her tag reads, "Wrinklee -- the merino sheep." See the zipper?

Here she is, all freshly shorn, with her fleece lying beside her. Rose decided it is a girl, and her name is not Wrinklee, but Lambie. Isn't that sweet?

So I'm raising my daughter to be a fiber-loving girl. Tee-hee. Yesterday she felt she needed to put on a pair of my (hand-knit) socks and my Cozy.

Hey, Rachel, see what she's playing with? That set was Andy's when he was little.

Lastly, this is the best photo I could find of the "mall hair" I mentioned a few posts ago. It is not me, so the face has been marked out to protect the innocent. ;)

Those bangs were an art!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A new gadget

Something came in the mail last week.

It's not a strange new hair elastic for Rose. It's a nifty little dpn holder.I really, really like it. It was mentioned in the current issue of Knitty, in the Cool Stuff column (scroll way down), and I ordered one as soon as I saw it. I've been looking and looking for something to keep my needles under control, and this is it. Now I won't poke any more holes in my tote bag.

I've also begun Kiri.

This is the first chart completed. The yarn, Kid Seta, is not the easiest I've ever worked with, but the resulting fabric is just heavenly: light and fluffy, like knitting up a cloud.You can really see the leaf shapes coming out. I'm afraid that after blocking, the leaves end up losing their teardrop shape and start looking more like diamonds. At least, the photos of finished Kiris I've seen make it seem that way. Perhaps if I don't stretch it too much during blocking, I can keep the leaves looking like leaves. We'll see. I've got a lot more knitting to go before I start thinking about blocking.

My DH Andrew is home for summer vacation, so I'm looking forward to lots of knitting time as he and Rose spend the days playing together. I love being married to a teacher!

When I'm done with the toe-up socks (soon, please, soon!), I think I may start a pair of Monkeys. Cara at January One has been crazy about them lately, and I dreamed one night that I was knitting a pair. They're very cute.

I've finished the waist shaping on Green Gable and am just going around and around and around to finish it. That's my mindless, too tired to think, don't have to look at it knitting.

As regards the "mall hair," I'm going to scan a couple of the best pictures to share as soon as I get over to my mom's house to do it. I need to buy a scanner.

Friday, June 8, 2007

This 'n' that, Part II

I'm at the bind-off of the first toe-up sock, and instead I'm sitting at the computer posting a blog entry. Why? Because I really want to use a tubular bind-off to make it nice and stretchy, and because I've never done tubular bind-off before, and it seemed like a great idea and check my on-line resources for guidelines (never mind that I've already got step-by-step instructions in a book on my bookshelf), and because I'm very easily distracted once I get on the web, here I am writing about why I should be knitting right now.


I got a call from MiniDisco while I was browsing. I had placed an order yesterday for a replacement remote for my MiniDisc player, and they were actually phoning to tell me they were out of stock for that remote and wouldn't get more in until Monday, so they wouldn't be able to ship my order until Monday. Now, I ask you, how great is that? I mean, today is Friday, and it wouldn't have been a big deal to me if they shipped it today or Monday, but they were thoughtful enough to let me know that.

I love my MiniDisc player. They're not very popular in the U.S., so anything I need to buy for it I need to order from MiniDisco. I was torn between buying it and buying an iPod for a long time. The iPod is sleek and cool and has a sweet interface, but the MD records digitally, and that was going to make it much more useful to me. That's how I was able to make the CD for the school choir. Record on the little unit, upload the sound into the computer via USB, edit, and burn a nice little keepsake. I also make rehearsal CDs for my adult choir with it. And a single 1 GB MiniDisc will hold up to 45 hours of music, either downloaded or ripped from my CD collection. The only thing I don't like about it is the software I have to use on my computer to transfer music to the unit.

On a completely different note, I was reading Real Simple magazine yesterday, and there was a question, "What was your most embarrasing fashion moment?" It got me to thinking. When I was a kid, and that includes my teenage years, I didn't know enough about fashion to realize if I was in fashion or out of it. Therefore, little embarrasment occured, since you have to know about your "error" in order to be embarrassed by it. But, my first year of college, "mall hair" was really big. In both senses of the word. (I've searched for images of this style, and I'm having a hard time finding one. This is why I need a scanner.) My roommate was much more knowledgeable than I in these matters, and she had humongous bangs (fringe) that, in that time, were just wonderful. She taught me how to achieve these bangs: first, comb hair spray through your bangs. Then, curl them up with a hot curling iron so that you have what looks like a sausage lying across your forehead, and spray them again. Let that sausage sit there for a few moments to set, then take a comb and, coming down from the top of the sausage, insert the teeth of the comb into the hair and twist your wrist back towards the top of the head. This usually resulted in a great globe of hair, which you then teased into more globularity (is that a word?), then sprayed it once again. Well, we did this every morning. One morning, I was sidetracked somehow between step 2 and step 3, and ended up heading to class with that sausage lying firmly along my forehead. I didn't realize I hadn't combed it into a globe until I had nearly left the dormitory, when, thankfully, I caught a glimpse of myself in the glass of the door. I ran back up three flights of stairs, shouted at Connee, "WHEN were you going to tell me my hair looked like this!?", and frantically started in with the comb. She hadn't noticed, of course, she'd never have let me go if she had, and we both had a huge laugh over it. In fact, she probably still remembers that. I should call her up to see if she does.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Socks, Sweaters, and CDs

Well, I'm up to the ribbing on this toe-up sock. I still like the pattern, and the heel went a lot more smoothly than the toe. Jo, I did use the double wraps. They were much easier after I realized I could scoop up the wraps and put them on the needle, then knit them together with the stitch. Sometimes it takes me a while to catch on...
Here's Nuala again. I think any cat owners out there know exactly what she's after.

And here's a better look at the actual colors of the sock. This pair will be for my sister, who has adored the color green her entire life.

Green Gable progresses. It's a nice, easy knit.

I've tried it on twice -- once when the lace section was completed (I couldn't tell much from that experiment except that it wasn't too small), and again when I was past the arms. It definitely is not going to have negative ease, like the pattern calls for, but I don't think it will be too droopy. It's such a pretty, simple little pattern. And I love the yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It's the first time I've used it, but it certainly won't be the last.

I do feel I need to start something a little more complicated now, you know? Peg, like you said, it's good to have a bit of a challenge going as well as something mindless and easy to pick up (and put down) at any time. I've got two easy ones and no tough ones. It might be time to get the Kid Seta out of my stash and try Kiri! *tremble* I don't know if I dare! ;)

Another fun project I'm working on this week is related to my other life -- what I actually do for a living, LOL! As part of my job as music director at my church, I work with the choir at our parochial school. We rehearse once a week and then sing at the school Mass each week. They've really blossomed musically this year, so I recorded them singing ten of their favorite songs and put them on CD. I'm going to give each of them a copy inside a custom made CD case. Now that the music is recorded and the CD cover designed, the hard part is over, but it's still very time consuming to print out each cover and copy each CD. I'm really proud of them and their hard work this year, and I'm trying to make this little treat very special. So I'm making five a day; then I'll have enough by Friday morning, when I see them for the last time this school year, to give them out. That's been a lot of fun.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Going for a new look

I'm going to be trying out a few new things here at the Fiber Cafe. Last night I experimented with a new header (that's my Mason-Dixon neverending log cabin baby blanket up there) and soon I'm going to adjust other pieces of the blog. So if the place seems a little different soon, don't worry, it's still me; I'm just playing around with the look.Here's a photo of Nuala to make up for no knitting content. :)