Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chinese Lanterns, Irish Hikers and One Terrible Towel

Here is a shot of the little paper lanterns I made for Chinese New Year at work-20 of 'em. As per usual with my projects, they were a lot more futzy and time consuming than I thought they'd be, but they were fun. Something different, but I wouldn't do it every year.

I went to Charity Knitting at The Ear on Monday night and started this scarf. It's the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern that's all over the web. I think I'm the last one to jump on the train to make it. It's a great pattern though. Once it's established, you don't need the pattern any more. It's easy to just look at the fabric and see what to do. It's made out of Caron soft acrylic. I had originally bought the yarn because I thought it would make a good tan scarf for a guy I know, but when I got it home, I realized it had a little too much pink in it to be masculine. It's fun to knit something on size 8 needles so that you can see it grow quickly.
My boss is a die hard Steelers fan. He went to see family in Pitts last weekend and came back with a Terrible Towel which he hung from his desk. Someone has been desecrating it for the last two days under the guise of being an Arizona fan...There's been scuttlebutt about a kidnapping and a ransom note. It's been amusing to say the least, and I don't even DO football. For his sake I hope those Steelers take to the ice and get a lot of baskets in the 6 quarters they have to play. 'Cause if they get more bases than the other team, they'll get jewelry! I don't like football much but anything that earns you bling can't be all bad! Go Steelers!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dyed and Gone To Heaven

I finally bit the bullet and dyed! Mad City Mike inspired me to try Kool Aid dying a while back so today I tried it out and LOVED it! It was so easy!

Wash the yarn (My angora goat hair hand spun. Consensus says it's called MOHAIR.)

Mix up the Kool Aid
Put the yarn in

Micro 2 minutes, let cool. Micro two minutes, let cool. Do this a third time if you see any color left in the water.

Wash, rinse hang to dry!

I spent most of the day with Friend-Anne on Sat. We met at the Sow's Ear in the morning. We knit, sipped hot chocolate, and had a lovely visit. Then we went to Culver's where more visiting commenced. Then we each ran errands separately and met up again at Star Cinema for the last matinee of the day of 'Ink Heart'. Friend-Anne's son had just gotten his brown belt in Karate so Anne's family asked me to go to the movie with them to celebrate . (It was WONDERFUL! Don't listen to the reviews and GO!) Then we went to dinner afterward and I didn't get home until almost bed time. It was a lovely full day.
Today was more errands like putting air in the tires (COLD!) and washing the car up (COLD!). It was getting so you couldn't tell what color it was there was so much road salt on it. Then it was groceries, spinning, dying and making wee Chinese lanterns for the kids. We'll celebrate Chinese New Year tomorrow. I'm not making Chinese dishes, but my friends from China say that it is like our Thanksgiving. It's a feast day so I'm making some Cherry Squares (recipe on Molly Bee's Kitchen) tonight to take in as well. And doing laundry. And vacuuming the stuffed animal guts off the living room floor. (Ben enjoyed his new stuffed dog for about 5 minutes. It was horrifying to watch.) That said, I should stop talking about it and get going on doing it!
Happy Year of The Ox!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Tale of The Boy And The Dog

The match was doomed from the start. The boy was 4 years old and weighed 40 pounds. The dog was nearly three and weighed 80. The rope was a foot and a half long and was very sturdy. The boy, undaunted, offered the dog the rope. The dog considered the boy, then the rope, then the boy. Then he gently took the rope and tugged tentatively. The boy, though small, was tenacious; pulled back...refused to let go, so the dog proceeded to drag the boy's giggling body all around the house until those present were certain that his tiny shirt would burst into flames from static electricity and rug burn. The dog and the boy finally wore each other out (more so the dog than the boy) so they curled up on the sofa (with the dog graciously sharing his woobie with the boy) and watched a movie together. The End.

Too Cute For Words...
For those of you keeping score at home. This is the third completed pair of socks! In the process of finishing them, I found yet one more unfinished pair so will work on them before starting my sweater. It may take a little longer because the socks are....drum roll please....wait for own design! That's right! I'm taking a stab at it. Will let you all know how it goes soon!

Socketta Yarn/Fraternal Twins

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh What A Wonderful World!

Every once in a while, Mother Earth gets a bug up her butt and decides to give us a taste of what will happen if we don’t cease and desist our evil ways and stop abusing her. She takes a deep breath, exhales mightily, and creates weather conditions that are downright inhospitable to human life…

Often, my body gets a bug up its butt (literally) and also created conditions not conducive to a worthwhile existence for a few days…

And sometimes…when the stars align just so…these events happen simultaneously, creating a couple of days that are so far off the Suck Scale that they blow the Suckometer to smithereens; needles and gauges, glass shards and molten metal, small particulates and great gelatinous globules of flaming Suck everywhere!!!!

I had two fun-filled days when all I could do was curl up in the fetal position and whimper. Now I’m on the mend, and in that state where you’re so deliriously thankful to NOT be so miserable that you enter the realm of ‘Opposite Land’. This, for me, is a place where I’m giddily happy and obnoxious to those around me who are making a concerted effort to be grumpy at all costs, thank you very much. Usually ends up being some poor unsuspecting stranger in line at the grocery or post office with whom I insist on talking to and befriending against his or her will. The grumpier they are the harder I try to make them see that things could be oh so much worse. Doncha see, Mister ?!?!? It could be -48° outside and 48 hours of the potty dance inside! I KNOW! I’ve been there. RECENTLY! For the love of God, Man. I’ve just returned from the depths of heck! We’re going to LIVE!! At least SMILE! Usually they eventually do in hopes that I’ll just go away.

Today I’ve been so twittery that I was concerned that I might be bipolar but the voices in my head assured me that I wasn’t so I’m just gonna go with that!

But Molly Bee, you say. Where is the knitterly-like content? I’ve got me some! Don’t you worry your pretty little head! First I wound up the three bobbins of angora goat [which a lady at Knit Night informed me was ‘Cashmere’ if it’s from a goat and ‘Angora’ if it’s from a bunny, but the coworker that gave it to me said Angora Goat so that’s what it shall be!] that I spun last week. The friend that got the other half of the pencil roving read my blog and interpreted it as a shameless plea for HER allotment of the same pencil roving and FELL FOR IT! That’s right! Lynn gave me two more luscious spools of the stuff to spin up! All I can say is Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 6 skeins to dye up! YAY!!!
Here is the penguin dishcloth that we made at the last Dishcloth Night at The Sow’s Ear..
And here is my Jared Flood/Erica Noro Scarf. Erica at The Ear redesigned it to take only two skeins. One side came out pretty good, but I must have picked the wrong colors because the other side came out muddy. I still like it though.
Last night I finished three mitten ornaments at Knit Night too but no photos. They all look the same, just different colors.
Have guest coming in a few minutes so gotta go, but for the love of God people, SMILE!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pencil Roving and Potato Soup

Oh. My. God. I've been threatening to spin up some angora goat pencil roving that a coworker sent me from her hobby farm in California. I finally did yesterday. I didn't prep it at all. I didn't pull it. I just fed it into Mabel as it came and Oh. My. God. I never want to spin anything but pencil roving every again! Where it takes me a couple of weeks of pretty concentrated effort to prep, spin and ply sock weight yarn, I was able to spin all of the pencil roving I had in about 90 minutes. It was so soothing, and rhythmic, just feeding it in and feeding it in and feeding it in. Bliss. Zen. Sigh.
I planned to KoolAid dye it today. I've never dyed before. I have three bobbins full of singles. I'm not going to ply it; just dye it and knit it into mittens. I think they'll be really soft and warm. But instead of staying home to do it, I had a case of the blues. so I went to The Ear for the afternoon to visit and knit mini mittens. I got this week's pair done early! And the crew down there always chases the blues away. I'll have time to dye the angora some night this week.

Or maybe I'll work on my new Noro scarf. Yes, 'Miss Must-Finish-All-UFOs-And-Use-Up-Stash-Yarn' bought two skeins of Noro Silk Garden today to make a smaller version Brooklyn Tweed's scarf. Heavy sigh. I have no self control.

When I came home, Ben and I went outside and played Frisbee for a while. He needs more exercise. Didn't take too long to wear him out and we both came in almost frozen so I made a potato soup. It was extra yummy. I'll post the recipe over on Molly Bee's Kitchen. It hit the spot on such a cold night and I will have leftovers for later this week when the temperature is supposed to go down to eh -15° to -25° range. Brrrr! I'd better get going and get my new scarf and mittens done before the mercury bottoms out! Have a good week!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Lunch Break Update

I'm working from home today. I have a ton of computer projects to do and the roads are slippery so I decided to just hunker down and push through here. I can really cruise on the projects when I'm not running around like a head-challenged barnyard fowl like I usually am at work.
Ben, however is no help at all. He misses Grammie and is perturbed that I am disrupting his normal morning nap schedule. He finally couldn't take it anymore and curled up on the couch with his buddy, Mini Me.

Speaking of Grammie. She called last night to inform me that she fell down the cellar stairs and messed up her ankle yesterday. See, this apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Thank goodness she had her puffy winter coat on and was a little insulated other wise the damage could have been much worse. She thinks it's sprained or maybe broken and I spent a good deal of time this morning trying to get her to see the doctor today but I'm not sure I succeeded. She's one tough cookie. Will have to call tonight and see if I won or if she did! I hate being so far away when she could use my help!

I finished pair two of my UFO socks last night while Friend Anne was here visiting. She has repetitive motion problems and so brought over a beautiful pillowcase that she's been working on in lieu of knitting. I hope she gets better soon because she has half of the front of a cabled sweater going that is just gorgeous! At any rate, the socks are plain vanilla pattern because I just loved all of the colors in the yarn and wanted to show them off to their best advantage. Don't know why one sock striped and one pooled, but I still like them. And the leftover yarn will make cute mini mittens.

Here are my mini mittens for this week. Can't remember if I posted my intent to knit a pair a week to put in my Christmas cards next year.

Off to eat my PBJ and then get back at it. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Empty Nest Syndrome

(*Crickets chirping* *Tumbleweeds rolling by*.)

Is there anyone here? Or is it just me? Oh. It's just me. Boy! Sure is quiet and lonely around these parts! I took The Queen Bee to the airport this morning so she could make her sojourn Back East. She called me and said that despite the fact that they sat on the ground for an hour in Detroit to be de-iced, she still made it back to Bangor right on time. Said they had a heckuva tail wind. Musta had in order to shave an hour off their time!

We had THE BEST visit, my Mum and I. It was very low key and we just did what we wanted when we wanted. I worked some but had a lot of days off too so we slept in late, watched movies, put puzzles together, shopped, cooked and played games. And Talked. And Talked. And Talked. Well I talked. As most of you know... generally speaking, I'm... generally speaking. My Mum is one of the wisest women I know. She has empathy and smarts and knows how to listen and when to dispense wisdom. I don't know how I would have gotten through the holidays without her. She's a keeper! Isn't it cool when your Mum turns out to be your best friend?

And she KNIT, People! She made a sock while she was here! I'm kinda hopeful that this new hobby will stick, but she made most of a sock the last time she was here and I think most of that sock is still what she has on that count. But if she could just finish THAT one she'd have a complete pair! Sure one is cream color and the other one is stripy color but heh! Two different socks are the trend now anyway. A pair of longish pants and she's golden! You Go Mum!

Speaking of socks. After I finished up another pair of little mittens [It's my goal to do one pair a week until next Christmas.] and I was going to start my Snowball Aran sweater when I looked in my long forgotten knitting basket and lo and behold...three finished socks and three socks in various stages of completion. Decided I'd tackle those before the sweater.

I finished this pair last night. The leg and heel were already done, I just had to put the foot in. Now I'm working on pair # 2. The unfinished sock was done to the middle of the leg. Last night I finished the leg and put the heel in. The third pair is less finished than the others. I think only the ribbing cuff and a little leg is done. But I predict that if I plug away at it, I can finish them by the weekend. I have a friend coming over tomorrow night to knit and have been invited to craft night at another friends house on Thursday. That ought to take a sizeable chunk out of them if not complete them. Yet! Three new pairs of socks for Molly Bee. So even though I'm lonely and Ben and I are starting to talk to the dust bunnies, my feet are warm!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Beep Beep Zip Bang

Just a quicky today...just wanted to get these pics out here before I forgot them.
Mum and I rung in the New Year (and her birthday on 1/30) with three Maine lobsters. We ate them up before I remembered to take a picture so here is the box that they came in complete with kelp that managed to squirt all over my kitchen!

There has been spinning. I finally got the orange and yellow singles that have been sitting on Mabel for ten months of Sundays plied. It came out pretty good. I was afraid it was just going to be a murky orange (and it kinda looks like it in this picture) but up close it is pretty defined reds, yellows and oranges. I wish I would have spun it thicker (It's sock weight) the colors would have made a great Knitty Fish hat!
There has also been knitting. I whipped these up for the tenants next door. I ran into the man for the first time the other day and he asked me if the baby was bothering me. I didn't even know what he meant. Apparently there is a brand new four week old baby human in their apartment and I hadn't heard her once. They said that if that was the case then they would be staying at my apartment for a few days! Baby Ella's toes will be toasty in these.And the ever present gratuitous Bentley shot. Here is the new woobie that Grammie got him. Apparently he DID need it because he's never far from it. He lays on it or if we put it over him, he naps for hours under it. Poor puppy! So abused! He's got a rude awakening coming when Grammie leaves and he goes back to his no-food-no-water-thrice-daily beatings!

DaVinci DaVotion and Lunchtime Luck

Although a lot of other groovy stuff happened, the main reason for going to the Mississippi River Museum was to see the traveling DaVinci e...