Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Book extravaganza

...or something like it. From time to time, my DH sends me a list of books that he wants but, for whatever reason, he is unable to order for himself. I'm not sure why this is, but perhaps he feels that since I do acqusitions at my library I can't wait to do them at home as well. Who knows? Anyway, This latest round of book orders pushed me over the edge a bit. I've been trying to avoid buying new yarn (yes, don't remind me about the Mountain Colors over the weekend), so I seem to need to buy books to compensate. I don't think I'm alone in this. Right? Three Elizabeth Zimmerman books later... when will I find time to read these?! Ack! I am comforted by the fact that these books are all staples for any knitting library (and they were used). They will be waiting when I am ready, I guess. That'll teach the man to leave me in charge of home book acquisitions. LOL

I found out yesterday that Jim Butcher will be coming to Seattle for a book signing on April 3. I am SO EXCITED! I met Jim and his lovely wife Shannon (a new author - romance) once before. They are very nice people. Jim writes fantasy/urban fantasy (depending upon the series) and is an awesome writer and a very nice guy. He also has had the good fortune to have his Dresden Files book series made into a TV series on the Sci-Fi channel. The TV series is based on the books, so it isn't a re-tread of every plot (not that I think that would be bad), and the episodes are well written and very, very good. I've been a happy camper the past few weeks watching my favorite characters come to life & having my uber-geeky fan moments. In fact, I've probably written about Jim before, but since I'm a fan, well, just give it up and read the books!

You can take the librarian out of the library... LOL Thus endeth the book pimping for today.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

You scored as Albus Dumbledore. You are very wise, observant,
and analyctical. You have a very "well-organized" mind, which makes
you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get angered
easily, its rare of you to ever act our of temper. You are constantly
seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving because of it.
You're easy to please and a great person to learn from.

Luna Lovegood


Sirius Black


Albus Dumbledore


Ron Weasley


Hermione Granger


Harry Potter


Oliver Wood


Severus Snape


Bellatrix Lestrange


Neville Longbottom


Remus Lupin


Percy Weasley


Lord Voldemort


Draco Malfoy


Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with

Monday, February 26, 2007

Perfection & Stepford-ville

Yes. I had a whole 20 minutes with the house to myself yesterday. Wow! That was sweet! Everyone left the house to go get pizza and I was working away at some mindless task in the kitchen. I wandered off to pre-heat the oven and sat down to knit instead. There was a fire in the fireplace, it was raining outside, the cats were sleeping in their baskets and there was not a sound to be heard inside the house except for the clicking of my needles. I'm sure all of you have had those moments of pure bliss. You know, when you think "it doesn't get much more perfect than this, I'd better enjoy it while it lasts." Maybe that is what makes it perfect, the fact that it is rare and the knowledge that it won't last long. I'm good with that. I could have used more than 20 minutes of it, but more than an hour would have been too much for me with all the mom-guilt or stuff-needing-to-be-done guilt. Still, it was perfect.

I got the camera issue sorted. Or, I have a work-around sorted. Since my camera is older, they may never update the driver to make it compatable with the newest software, but at least I can still get to it. So now you can see the progress on the Knucks 2. DH has decided the fingers are a bit too long for his liking. I have to admit, they are too long. I don't want to rip the whole darned thing out though, I want them finished! So I'm thinking maybe I can just hem them? I just don't know what to do here. It was, perhaps in payment for the perfect knitting moment, a frustrating weekend in many fiber respects.

My balls o' yarn were falling apart, so I decided to wind them. My 4 y.o. decided to help me. We've done it before, it isn't that hard, right? Uh-huh. In her rush to help, she bent the metal yarn guide thingy on the winder. In my rush to fix it, I broke it off. Team effort, gotta love it! I tried winding a ball using my hand as a guide. Um, no. That didn't work so well, so I had to go get a new one. I called around and the only shop close to me that had one was a new LYS I hadn't been to yet. That should be cool, right? I haven't gone because I've been trying not to buy yarn and I don't like to go to new places and not buy stuff (especially if they are a small shop). Well, here was a legitimate need and I told myself I could have new yarn IF something really hit me over the head. (Like that would be hard).

Okay, so not only was this shop incredibly hard to find, it was in Stepford-ville. I rarely ever get lost, but I spent 25 minutes looking for this place. No joke. Okay, maybe I should have printed the directions before leaving the house, but I don't usually need to do that once I've looked at them. Okay, maybe I should have looked at them before I left the house instead of relying on a two week old memory of the directions, but still, I've done it before with no problems. At least I had my DH near the computer to look things up for me once I was well and truly flummoxed. Even so, I still missed the turn and had a slight anxiety attack looking for the shop.

Stepford-ville. Maybe you've been there, or maybe you even live there right now, I don't know, but it freaked me out on some level. Have you seen the new (at least it is new here, maybe it is old school where you are) building trend that incorporates shops into an apartment community? We sometimes shop for groceries in a place sort of like this, except the shops are all seperate and a littler center with the apartments all together and a bit further from the shops (adjacent & easy to walk, right?). I'm good with this setup, it works for me.

This place I went to had the shops built into the bottom level of the apartment buildings and there was like a park area with the aparment club house, oops! I mean Community Center in the Village Square. There was a big clock tower in the park as well. And no people. Seriously. There were cars and restaurants and delis and shops and no people. I felt like I was entering a Really Bad Movie, the kind where only bits and pieces of them are ever found. The shop was nice and very, very small (they are moving to a larger space soon - across the square), cozy even, but I could not get over the creeped out feeling. They had a nice, but small, selection of yarn. The ladies were very nice (and not creepy) and invited me to their open knit night in the Community Center, but I really don't know if I could go back there again. At least not sober, which means someone else would have to drive, which means I'd be putting someone else in danger in Stepford-ville and I'm not sure I should shop for yarn while tanked. Probably not. It was just weird. I'm sure it is incredibly convenient for the folks who live in these communities, to have shops so close and all, and perhaps a good use of the ground floor space, but, it really creeped me out.

I bought my wool winder and some Mountain Colors Barefoot yarn in Obsidian. Jinkies! That stuff is SO SOFT! Yes, I did not need any more sock yarn. Yes, I bought it anyway. Very pretty & you know, support the LYS. Also, I was trying to make myself feel better after having so much trouble finding the place and being all creeped out. That's my story & I'm sticking to it!

Lastly, I have a photo of a bobbin of my first attempt at merino top that I've been spinning. It is still a single, and there's a nice blob of pre-drafted fiber next to it. This colorway is Northern Lights. It is pretty, if not quite what I was expecting. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with it when I ply it. I still have not decided if I will have a 2-ply or a 3-ply.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My list

Okay, here's my list of projects for my de-stashing. I'll jump in on these just as soon as I finish my current project (Knucks). I'm feeling pretty anxious to get started on the list, so I'm really ready to be done with these gloves, like, yesterday.

1. Alien scarf in Stitch ‘n Bitch (shadow knitting), done in purple & black rather than green &
black like the book. – gift
2. Cardigan for DH in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (025 flax), pattern from Rowan Vintage Knits
3. Matching scarves in a fingering weight blue alpaca – gift, no pattern yet
4. Another pair of Knucks – Rowan Wool Cotton - gift
5. Summer sweater (for me) in Berroco Softwist (9436 American Blue) – still looking for the
“perfect” pattern
6. Socks – about 7 or 8 pairs (based on how much yarn is in my stash, I could use it for
something else, but I do want most of the yarn to get knit up this year)
7. Sweater for youngest DD, Katia Jamaica yarn (colorway 4005, selected by DD)
8. Shawls from various ladder yarns – at least two, gifts
9. Fingering weight alpaca from Bolivia – need two projects for about 1500 yds each (I have 17.1
oz of each color & NO, the colors will not go together)
10. Washrags (or something) with piles & piles of Peaches & Cr̬me yarn Рgifts, me, the cats,
strangers on the street...
11. 11 balls of Moda Dea Aerie yarn in black, need a project for this leftover yarn - gift
12. Jayne Hat (Firefly) – me!
13. Scarves and maybe hats for the girls in various novelty yarns. This includes: purple & silver
(1), blue & silver (1), varigated purple eyelash (2), blue & silver eyelash (1) (a different yarn
than the first), grey/green & silver eyelash (1)
14. Not quite de-stashing on the yarn side, but on the fiber side. Ruby Red Merino top spun to
make a French Market Bag - gift.

I confess I added the last one in to avoid having 13, how silly is that. Still it is a project on my list for the year if only because I'm having a hard time getting spinning time in and this will motivate me to make time. Also, I'm looking forward to making something with the yarn I've spun and this will be a great project to start with (I think).

The order above is not necessarily the order I'll work in, I'll probably just go with what feels right at the time (what I need to work on, need a break from, etc.). I hope to work on one project at a time and finish each before moving on. I think I am much more likely to finish everything (whenever that happens) if I limit myself to the number of items going at a time. HOWEVER, I will do whatever it takes to make progress, so if a project starts bogging me down, I'll try something else to keep me going. Also, socks and washrags are pretty darned portable, so they can travel much more easily than, say, a cardigan. They can also provide a small break in a larger project, so I might just keep one small project going with these items and work on a bigger item at the same time. (Well, heck, that makes two projects at a time.) If necessary, I will leave the bigger projects at home and work on smaller ones while out and about. I hope that for the most part, I'll be able to work on the big projects at work since that is the most consistent knitting time I get in during the week.

Well, hmmm. What I'm getting out of this is that I have a lot of HOPE and maybe that will get me through my stash. :) We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Borg ate my photos

Well, not really, but they are preventing them from getting posted. Sorry about that. See, my DH works for the borg, or perhaps I should just say he has been assimilated into the collective. So when the borg released their new OS (Vista) he rushed right out and got a copy along with the new Office update. I asked him nicely to wait 6 months or so before updating our system, you know, let others boldly go (since I'm abusing the whole Star Trek thing anyway). Nope. Nothing doing. He had previously backed everything up "just in case" and so the new stuff was installed.

Let me state clearly and for the record that I actually like Vista so far, and the updates to Office that I have had occasion to use are pretty rockin. Really. I DO like them (and no one is holding a gun or other apparati to my head, notice I'm still using the pronoun "I", so I have not been assimilated). However, and you know this was coming, there have been some "issues" to work out. Please, let me share.

1. You remember my new Zune (which also totally rocks!)? Yep. Those suckers were released how long ago? Uh-huh. Yeah. Not particularly compatible with Vista. Impossible you say? Right. I had to reinstall my Zune software and when I plugged it in to synch it, it wiped everything on my Zune. Since everything was backed up in my files I could reinstall it, but it did wipe out all of the pre-programmed videos & stuff that came on the Zune. Lame. Also, my podcatcher was not compatible with Vista so I had to go find another one that would work. That took some time, and until I got one that worked properly I had to individually download every file I wanted to listen to. No prob, 'cause I have copious amounts of spare time. Right?

My question to my in-home borg representative: How is it possible to release two big items in such a short period of time and have them FAIL TO BE FULLY COMPATIBLE? Seriously. No wonder people go running into the arms of The Other Collective. Jinkies. I would feel much better if I knew Someone (whomever that might be) was in big trouble for dropping the ball on that one.

2. The driver for my digital camera does not recognize Vista (or vice versa) and so I can't remove the pictures I've been taking. Neat, huh? I can probably download them onto a different computer (DH only updated the one I use) and them copy them to the computer I use. This will have to wait until I have some more time. Until it gets worked out though, no pictures.

Sorry. I've been putting off posting until I could update some photos, but I think I won't keep waiting, I'll just promise to take pictures and get them up asap.

My knitting has been almost as good as the updates. I joined the thumbs on the Knucks and proceeded to knit several rows without reading the instructions. You know, because I made these once before and even though I've never knit any other gloves I MUST know what I'm doing. Right? Yeah.

I forgot to do the decreases that follow the joining. I am not ripping, however, it was two or three rows. I'm taking the chance that 2-3 rows will not make a significant difference in the glove and I'm just moving forward. I know this might be a mistake, but (1) I really want to get them finished, (2) I've already woven in the thread for the thumb join, and (3)I can always make him another pair if it really does look weird. DH is getting a bit snarky about how long it is taking. He does not seem to remember the thing about the gift horse and the mouth. Oh wait, does that make me the horse? He probably shouldn't look at the other end either. LOL Anyway, I'm also really anxious to work on something else. I still like the pattern, but I'm hankering to work with different yarn or something. Soon my precious... (insert image of me petting my stash with glazed look on my face)

I'm still trying to put together my List of Stash Projects and put them in some sort of order so I can get to work when I finally finish the Knucks. Wish me luck... Once I get my list together I'll post it to help keep me honest.

Lastly, thanks to the folks who have taken the time to leave comments and offer helpful suggestions on how to add the ring button. As soon as I get the chance I'll give your instructions a try. I was attempting something slightly different and it didn't work, so hopefully your instructions will do the trick. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Is it really only Tuesday?

I don't know what is up, maybe I'm just fighting off a virus or something, but I am SO tired today. My husband is sort of sick (not bad enough to stay home, just obviously not well) and my co-librarian is sick (he is bad enough to stay home) , so it seems inevitable that I've encountered their germs. I had a lot of headaches last week and was a little stuffy, but that is all. I find it hard to believe that I've dodged this one. But if I have, I AM GRATEFUL! We'll see how the week works out.

On a related note, since I work in a college I am surrounded by students who, well, live like students. You know the diet: Red Bull, ramen and beer, oh and don't forget - no sleep. We've had a virus rolling through the school very slowly (that I've also managed to avoid), but I am constantly noticing a disturbingly large number of students who don't wash their hand in the bathroom. I cannot say "ICK" loudly enough. One of our local high schools actually shut down for a few days last week due to the fact that 1/3 of the student body was out with a virus. They shut the school down and disinfected the whole building. And people don't take the simple precaution to wash their hands. I think I need to say "ICK" again.

On a somewhat happier note (or at least mostly germ-free note), I'm almost ready to join the thumb on the Knucks. I'm a little disappointed in this pair as I'm getting a bit of a ladder where I jump from one circ to the other. It isn't bad, yet, and I'm working on ending it now, but I don't want to rippit. It is on the bit where the index finger goes down to join the thumb, so at least it isn't on a broad place in the knitting, but it stinks that it is there. The first pair of Knucks didn't do this, so I "know" what I did, but I don't know how I did it (if that makes sense). I thought I was being really careful. The finger join looks really good, but I also made the pinkie a bit too long for my taste. sigh. I don't think my husband will notice, which is good, but it bugs me that I fixed the things I did wrong the first time only to do things wrong now that I got right last time. Aaargh! That could be an argument for only doing things once, or else making a dozen of everything. LOL

On a seriously happier, happier note, I'm going to order some more KnitPicks Options needles. I don't want a whole set (not yet, anyway) since I typically prefer knitting with wooden needles, but I do want sizes 0-5 because I love these needles for socks (and gloves)! And maybe, just maybe, some patterns or, dare I say it, yarn? No. I must be strong. I'm knitting from stash this year.
Wish me luck!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Application in process

Well, I'm finally in sync with the Knitting Blog Ring and I've got my application in process. I should meet the requirements, unless there is one for being clever enough to add a button to my template. sigh LOL

Last night was Insect Night at my daughter's school. They have cut so many educational corners to spend more time preparing students to pass the stupid WASL that they seem to need special nights to spend time on content that ought to be part of the regular curriculum. (I may be a bit biased, I HATE the Washington State school system. Not the teachers, the system.) Sorry. Anyway, we all had a great time looking at lots and lots of dead things pinned in boxes, watching a film and then playing with real insects. The girls got to hold a variety of stick bugs, a 10-inch millipede and a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and a Brazilian Roach. Isn't that neat? I was good with everything but the roaches. We don't really have them here, so they are a novelty and rather exotic. I come from Texas. We have very healthy roaches there and I have a very different view of them in general. Still, I try to let the girls form their own opinions about those kinds of things. The photo up top is DD holding the Brazilian roach with the hissing roach on the table. The one below is the Madagascar Hissing Roach and then the other photo is the millepede (with both of my girls next to their friend A.).

The gloves are moving right along, but I've had absolutely no time for spinning this week. I'm pretty bummed about that, but we've been cleaning the house to prepare for house blessings and I've started taking Taekwondo classes with the girls and then there's homework for the oldest and just general other "life" stuff, so knitting only happens at lunch and spinning can't go there. Unless I learn to use a spindle and I'm not quite ready to tackle that.

I've been pretty good about adding any new yarn, which means I haven't been yarn shopping in a month! I've done really well with it, but now I'm starting to get all itchy again. I had decided to unofficially do a Stash-busting thing this year and only work on projects for which I already have the yarn. I was browsing the other day, putting a knitting notebook in order (all the Internet patterns I've printed, other patterns I've purchased but not knit yet, etc.), and I'm starting to create lists of new things I want to knit up, most of which would require new purchases. In an effort to reward myself for good behaviour, and yet not let go of the real goal of reducing stash, I think I've found a compromise that seems reasonable. If I can work on stash projects until the end of Lent (4/8) without buying new yarn for new projects (additional yarn to finish a stash project is okay), then and only then may I make one new project purchase. Sound fair? I know some stashalongs allow sock yarn a free pass, but sock yarn is one of the things I need to knit out of my stash. We'll see how it goes. Part of me is just hoping that if I can hold out on new purchases until April I'll lose the urge and be content with the stuff overflowing my yarn basket. This will include roving, which is surprisingly more difficult right now. Odd, since I'm having even more trouble finding time to spin. Even so, I am determined! Step up the knitting pace and reduce the buying sprees. That sounds so responsible. I wonder if I can handle it? LOL

Monday, February 05, 2007

Caelie knitting

I'm back! I've been really busy at work, info literacy tours in the library and hiring new folk, then training new folk, then hiring another one (I hired two, one never showed up, so I had to hire another one), getting caught up on stuff for the end of last quarter, trying to stay on track with stuff for this quarter. Jeesh! Then there's all the stuff at home that's keeping me busy. I simply haven't had much time for blogging stuff. Sorry.

School was crazy busy the past two weeks, the library was packed and really full of people. Which is a good thing, it just kept us all hopping since we're short staffed. I'm glad to be past the rush though, I've got to get new people trained & it is hard to do with the library packed full of people. Bad librarian! Wishing for fewer patrons. Well, just for a week or so, then it can fill up again.

We went to a caelie this weekend. Friends of ours had a caelie for their daughter's 3rd birthday. It was pretty awesome. There were about 15 or so musicians around the room, most of them trading instuments as they went. We even had a piper (fireside pipes, the "quiet" ones)which was so cool. I LOVE PIPES! The music ran non-stop from about 7:00 until midnight. It was actually an early night, but that was fine with me! We had two people who did some Scottish dancing as well, and a couple of singers jumped in. It was quite an event, all in all, and everyone had a great time.

I didn't jump in with the musicians/singers, but I pulled out my knitting and sat near the piper. I was joined by another knitter, and two other ladies who also knit came by to chat and see what I was up to. That was an unexpected bonus for me. I've joined the fingers on the gloves - yes, following the instructions does make for a better join than the last ones! - and they are going quite well. I'd like to finish them in the next two weeks, which seems like a long time, but I know I'm going to be so busy I'll be lucky to get 3 hours/week knitting time right now. I'd keep my fingers crossed, but then I couldn't knit. I've been thinking about knitting only from my stash this year, or at least for the next 6 months, but more on that next time. The result of my thinking, however, is that I'm really anxious to move on to some other projects. Really, if the yarn has been waiting for the past year, I think it can wait another few weeks. Right?

The kids ran around and had fun making Sleepytime Pals. The Sleepytime Pals are stuffed animals that the kids filled with flaxseed and essential oils, the animals were sewed shut and they can be zapped in the microwave to warm them up. So, a nice warm snuggly animal to sleep with at night. My oldest made a big cat that has yet to be named. My youngest made a big floppy-eared bunny that she has named Evil. Here's the conversation on this one.

4-yo: You wanna know what I named my bunny?
Me: Yes, sweetie, what'd you name your bunny?
4-yo: Evil
Me: Evil?
4-yo: Evil
Me: Um. Okay. Why did you name your bunny Evil?
4-yo: I like it.
Me: Okay.
4-yo: Nobody told me to. I just like it.
Me: Okaaaaaay.

Now. The part that bugs me most is the immediate jump to "nobody told me to". That was a spontaneous addition that was not prompted, nor is it common to her pattern of speech. She is, however, a bit quirky like her mom. So, I'll keep a watch out for pea soup and head spinning and wait and see if the bunny has a different name later this week. That's usually what happens with all the others, a name change every day. With my luck, this will be the one that sticks.