Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Knitting in the Fall

I've been particularly chatty this week. Mostly because Monday started well. My car was in the shop, but a most excellent friend, Jen, gave me a ride to work. I had both good conversation and my knitting with me. Chatty isn't something that happens often for me, so it's a bit odd. *looks nervously around at dusty blog*

I love Fall. The colors, the smell, the cooler weather. I got to see a bit of snow this October, although it was mixed in with rain. It reminded me of my first year at Virginia Tech. There was a freak snow storm that dumped several inches of snow. They cancelled classes for a day, I think. That is pretty astounding at that school. Even if it isn't entirely accurate, I have this wonderfully vivid memory of bright, snow-covered ground and autumn-decked trees. Even without difficulty with allergies, I don't have the same feelings about Spring. I'm not sure what it is about Fall. Ultimately, it is prime knitting weather. You see the geese in the sky on the move, the deer in the fields bulking up, and the knitter in her natural habitat.

I finished a couple of projects recently. First up is a wash of garter stitch and ribbed edging.
Mara in madelinetosh tosh dk, colorway burnished


This turned into a bit of a slog, especially the edging, but it used every last bit of yarn. I love projects like that.

I also finished up a hat, Windschief, in madelinetosh 80/10/10 MCN, colorway steam age. (Sorry about my hair. It's always like that.)


I enjoy the detail on this one. Complex enough to be interesting, but simplistic enough for everyday wear.


Back to work now on my current favorite projects.

A sock for the most excellent friend Jen:


And a lap blanket, for me:


Monday, October 10, 2011

One Year Ago

I've been having a difficult time the past couple of weeks. Pretty lethargic, despite an ever-growing to do list. Mostly because my mind has been on other things. I would really rather not go to work tomorrow, but there are meetings on the schedule, and I can't really justify it.

October 11th, last year, my grandma passed away. And I am discovering, the sadness from that loss doesn't really go away. It moves around the brain, like swirling water. And as the waves from that turbulence break, I sit in the quiet, and think of how dear she was.

She was good at so many things.



Gardening. Crossword puzzles. Killing palmetto bugs that were the size of Volkswagens to 12-year-old eyes.

Being a Grandma.


Card from Grandma

I'm thinking about you too, Grandmama. Thank you for all the love.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Bit of Orange

(I'm trying something new with the blog...bear with me for the next few posts)

I can finally see the sun, after several inches (and several days) of rain. As you can tell from my previous post, there was a lot of damage all around. In my apartment, my own damage seems relatively meager in comparison.


Don't get me wrong though. It really annoys the crap out of me that this wall is pretty much a complete loss.

And the ceiling was the next casualty.
I noticed a bit of damage at the corner of the window sill 6-8 weeks ago. I notified the residential managers immediately, and one of them came in to look at it. During Hurricane Irene, it suddenly intensified. I put towels down to protect the baseboard and carpet, but that couldn't save the wall.

Leaks popped up around all four corners of the window. The two lower corners were the worst. I called the residential managers again. The lead came out with the building architect to look at it and figure out how the water was coming in. 

And then Tropical Storm Lee came in. I put towels down, and felt pretty prepared. When I got back from work one evening however, there was even more water streaming down the walls. Two large bath towels and several dish towels were heavy with water by the end of it. But it started coming in from the ceiling while I was at work, so there is significant damage now.

Moving on, I finished a couple of projects which are both, rather surprisingly, orange. Since my favorite color is grey, I was surprised how much I liked both the yarn and finished projects.

First, a wurm hat in madelinetosh pashmina, colorway amber trinket (Ravelry Link)


I wasn't sure how a slouchy hat would look on me. I'm still not sure actually. But I liked the pattern. It was relatively straightforward, and I didn't make any modifications.


Next, a plain woven scarf in The Sanguine Gryphon Traveller, colorway Gallifrey (Ravelry Link). Although I had some trouble with warp tension on this project, my selvages and weft are both fairly even. And man is this bad boy bright. My love for this scarf is due in no small part to the Doctor Who reference.





One of the nicest things about this yarn is that despite how much red there obviously is, when the scarf hit the water, there was little to no bleeding at all.

IMG_3600My last woven scarf in two shades of String Theory Hand-Dyed Yarn Caper Sock (Ravelry Link), turned my plastic reed purple. For the next weaving project, I think I will try something other than plain weave. Not sure what yet though.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee

This rain has been astounding. I have lived in this area for over twenty years, and can't remember it ever being anywhere near this bad.

I just had to deal with leaky window. My parents, however, are having a harder time of things. Here is a picture of their driveway from today (all of these pictures are from my sister-in-law):


On the right you can see the cable from the telephone line, which was exposed by the rain and cut by debris. For reference, the culvert in the background used to be UNDER the road.

Little bit of scale:




Currently, there are only two means of travel. Even tractors can stuck in this mud, so my brother is carting people around as best he can:


Sunday, August 21, 2011

I like Ramen

I’m such a bad blogger. I do THINK about blogging a fair bit, but it never seems to work out. But I was sick this week, and nothing seems to inspire me to write more than illness. And the best cure-all I know for being sick is Ramen noodles. My mom used to shovel it into us when we were young. I can’t say it really helped an upset stomach this week, but I survived, with only one day of work missed. Although I’m sure my coworkers think two days might have been better though. I had the vitality of a dish rag for two days. It would have been worse, if one of my super friends had not swooped in with anti-nausea meds on Monday (coincidentally, she also swooped in and gave me a ride to pick up my car at the shop). With all the swooping in my good friends do, they should really get frequent flyer miles.

Now, instead of overloading my readers with photos from the past two months, here are two collages covering the lot.

First, my super awesome cousin came to visit, and one of our many adventures was to Luray Caverns! So many pretty formations, so hard on my asthma. But it was a good way to spend a day averaging 110 degrees F.

Luray Caverns July 2011

Next up, some completed projects from August (and some yarn, for kicks).

Stranded mitts in progress, a cowl, a woven scarf, a hat, and some hexagons for a knitted quilt.


And here is a woven scarf, completed in July. Now, I am not typically one for pooling. I am usually a semi-solid girl, all the way, but my love of variegated yarn has left me with a pile of future projects begging to pool. And until now, I wasn’t sure what those yarns could be besides socks. I give you the Cringer scarf. The yarn was dyed for me as part of a trade. It is one of a kind, and I love how it pooled.


Cringer is my handle, and with good reason. I have a lot in common with that cat (except the whiskers). Timid nature, orange stripes, a hard plastic seam.


My carpal tunnel has been much better recently, although I am wary of overdoing it. I have been knitting a lot this weekend, so I think I will be good and vacuum now. And then maybe warp my next project...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Now with slightly less whining

I’m still having a difficult time with the carpal tunnel. I certainly think my arm has improved, but it hasn’t changed much recently, and I can’t go without the brace. The only knitting I have been doing is on my Mara. Rows of garter stitch might usually be considered tedious, but every stitch is a small achievement. I’d like to think about the next project I want to attempt, but it will take a while to complete this one. So in the interim, I caught up on the backlog of photographing and cataloging my stash, and grabbed a picture of my work in progress.


I have also been weaving on my Rigid Heddle loom (slowly, of course). My selvages are looking pretty even, and I am getting the hang of beating the weft evenly. Most of my problems are with the warp. I thought I followed the directions correctly, but I must have missed a step somewhere because my shed is pretty small. I will go through some more directions before I warp for the next project (you know, after I finish this one). I will also put an empty paper towel roll around my ties to even things out a bit more.


I worked on some more pictures of my grandma. The resolutions of both the original and the digital versions are low in some instances and I could only do so much, but I’m pleased with the results.

This is a great one. She makes a slouch look proper and right.




I wish I had inherited legs like these.


I can't even describe how much I love this last picture. I have a similar modern version with my cousin and some smaller tropical birds.


And now, since I have knit about as much as my arm can take this weekend, I am off to read another book!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm really no good at titles...

I’m not sure how often I will be posting now (not that I’m a great blogger in the first place). Knitting has been pretty much impossible the past several days. Weaving isn't so bad, but I can only do it for a limited time. Mostly, I have been reading. I’m not really the type for book reviews either, unless it is to complain about overused plot devices.

(A picture-free post is weird to me. This is a picture I took of my niece. I like it.)

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I appreciate the comment from the previous post. I shouldn't be as doom and gloom. I will be able to go back to my hobbies for the most part eventually. Nothing much has changed yet though. I have been in a brace (day and night) for a couple of weeks now, without any noticeable change. Icing helped this weekend, but ibuprofen doesn't do a whole lot. The loss of feeling in my hand is weird. I can run my finger down the center of my palm, and feel the movement on my finger, but not on my palm. More annoying than anything else, my left arm is starting to ache since it is compensating. If I should need to go in for a nerve test, I will decide on a new approach to this once I have those results.

I have been cleaning up some photos in Photoshop Elements a bit, but I hope to work on them more when I get a chance (and my hand has more clicking power).

I find myself thinking of my grandma more and more recently. I think because I try to be a bit more like her nowadays.

She was beautiful.

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And fun.


And a little goofy.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Carpal Tunn-hell

Like what I did with that blog post title? Full of punny goodness, with a dash of surety that nobody has ever been so clever as to use that pun before (or ever again).

I have carpal tunnel. The doctor did remark it was weird to see it in someone my age, but alas. He also said that I am slightly double jointed at the elbows. How can someone be slightly double jointed? Well, I have no idea. But I am.

My thoughts on the carpal tunnel? I’m sad. Really and very deeply sad. I have many hobbies, and they all require my right arm. Knitting is difficult. I haven’t tried sewing yet, but gripping scissors is painful enough that I can imagine. I have been reading a lot to fill the sudden void (Terry Pratchett is wonderful), but it doesn’t quite fill me up. And the very worst part? Barring surgery (which is not even on the plate right now), I will always have this. I will never be able to knit the way I did, and with the frequency I did before. I can’t blame anyone or any intangible entity. My overuse and lifestyle caused this. That, of course, makes it even worse. So. Sadness.

The brace I got today from the doctor is quite impressive. Think Wonder Woman’s cuffs but in black and with more velcro.

In happier news, I attended my very first fiber festival (and was in good company). Maryland Sheep and Wool was quite full of...well...sheep and wool.

Photographic evidence:



Additional sheepiness can be found in my Flickr set.

(Note: the following is a sampling of yarn purchased)




And not to forget, some projects I finished pre-carpal tunnel syndromes. I would describe them and hyperlink like a good little blogger, but my arm hurts, so find your way to my Ravelry page for details.



And now there is a rather large storm passing through. The wind is blowing so hard, my apartment building is shaking. Might be best to step away from the electronics for now.

Gimp out.

PS Since there really weren't any suggestions for a new blog title, I thought a universal truth would serve well.