Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Vacation Can't Start Soon Enough

My vacation starts Friday. I have two days of 100+ degree (F) heat to get through first. Bleh.
We are going to Texas, a teensy bit of New Mexico, and mostly Colorado. There is no real plan other than to be in Dallas around 11AM on Saturday to drop Ian off for a visit with his Dad, then head towards Amarillo, and hopefully get there before dinnertime. Sunday we leave for New Mexico and probably on into Colorado, but I don't know where exactly or when we'll be anywhere. The rest of the week we're just driving around all over the place. I'm bringing the camera and Steve is bringing his laptop so there will be blogging from the road when we stay in hotels or can get decent wi-fi reception somewhere. Part of the time we'll be camping and stuff.
I'm trying to decide on travel knitting. I guess I'll probably just bring some socks. They're small and I don't need a pattern so they'll fit in a ziplock baggie no problem. I kind of want to bring the Summer In Kansas shawl too, but now that I've started the new lace pattern area I have to have the instructions with me at all times, and I have to not have people talking to me or I'll screw something up. Maybe I will just leave that at home. Yeah, expect some sock pictures.
Oh, my Knitpicks interchangable needle set came in the mail on Monday. Hell YES. They are as awesome as everyone says they are. FINALLY, an interchangable set that doesn't make me all paranoid it'll come apart! Now if only they'd come out with a 16in cable. I ordered an extra pack of the three section pockets for the binder, then labeled them with the needle tip sizes and stored those all in there. I also labeled the two-pocket area for the cords and put those in that area. I feel so organized. How long will that last? haha

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Totally Caved To Peer Pressure

I ordered the Knitpicks Interchangable Needle set. Yeah, I'm a follower.
I've never used interchangable needles before - mostly because of all
the horror stories I've heard about them coming apart at the worst
possible time. Everyone in blogland seems to think these are the bee's
knees though, so I figured what the heck? I like how sharp they look,
and I like that the cables can be used as stitch holders so I wouldn't
have all these needles tied up in the "on hold" projects all the time.
Extra cables are a lot cheaper than extra needles.

One more repeat of leaves and I'm into the thistles on Summer In
Kansas. Whoo! I got two repeats done last night while watching an
awesome documentary about girl wrestlers from the 1930's to the
1960's. It was on Showtime. It's called "Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss &
Vinegar", and let me tell ya those were some sassy old broads!
As I watched, I did say a little prayer to please let me have the
presence of mind to realize I need to adjust my hairstyle and makeup
as I get older. Some of the gals were still trying to hang on to the
same style from their heyday and it looked sad, but ya know who's
gonna say something to them? haha They'd kick your ass.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Same Old Same Old

I'm still working on the Summer In Kansas Shawl. I have three more repeats of the little leaves to go before I hit the thistle pattern now. Any day I'll be there.
Meanwhile, I'm also working on boring socks once in a while and still formulating a plan on where to put all the non-yarn and craft related things that have accumulated in the yarn room. It's scary how fast junk gets piled up in there!

The poor garden has almost died. A Raccoon or something tore up the tomatoes. The peppers look pathetic, and the squash has stopped squishing. The cucumbers and okra struggle valiantly on, but only the watermelon looks happy. Everything else looks sunburnt, sad, and thirsty. I won't humiliate the plants by posting pictures of them in this state. Next year I'm setting up a better irrigation system, and I'm building a wire cage over each square to keep the pesky bunnies and Raccoons out. Enough with this stupid plastic fence that didn't stop anything. This is war.
The Tomatoes and Peppers in happier times

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Pictures

Here it is! The yarn I was whining about before:

Here is a close-up showing the true color a little better. There are sparkles in the purple/blue, but they don't show up in the pictures for some reason.

It's All Fixed Up

Yesterday I got over myself enough to sit down and fix the unbalanced
yarn. It turned out only about a little less than half was underplied.
The rest was OK. So first I put the OK portion back on the niddy
noddy, cut it free from the nasty portion, then ran the nasty part
back through to wheel adding just a teensy bit more Z-twist. That did
the trick. I now have two decent size and one teensy little skien.
It's pretty. Tweedy black/purple/dark blue and gray with blue and
purple sparkles in it. I have a picture in the camera of it and of the
white bulky yarn I made on Thursday, but of course the camera is at
home and I'm at work so the pictures will have to wait till later.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Spinning Disaster

I'm kind of grumpy right now. I just had to weight down my first skien. This has never happened before! I've always ended up with decently balanced yarn. Even my very first skien was totally fine. ugh.
What happened was that I plied some singles I had spun back in April that had been sitting on the bobbin for almost three months with some singles I had spun within the last month, mostly the second batch was done Thursday and today. I thought if i made it just the tiniest bit overspun, when it hit the water and the energy came back to the singles that had been sitting around since April, all would even out and I'd get a balanced yarn.
I was afraid I'd put TOO MUCH plying twist so I just barely made it so it had a full Z-turn when the skein came off the niddy noddy. Into the bath it went, and when it came out HOLY CRAP! It was totally curly and messed up. I snapped it a few times, and most of the curls fell out, but it was still pretty UNDER-PLIED. It curls up and has almost 2 full S-turns going on. DAMN! I weighted it with a coathanger full of wet beach towel and left it in the bathroom.
I guess maybe after it dries I could wind it into a center-pull ball and then run it through the wheel again adding more z-twist, wet it again and see what happens? I don't know if I have the energy for that. I'm so disappointed. Maybe I'll just use it for something like a hat that will be all stretched out anyway and that it won't matter if it biases like crazy. feh.
I know, I'll distract you.

Hey! Look at this baby watermelon! It'll be big and get eaten in a few weeks if all goes well. YUM. Watermelon!