Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yarnshine and cold cuts

Another gray day... cold and raw outside. This is not a bad thing, though, since the fridge has died. Luckily, I think we salvaged most everything except the milk and a few frozen items, and got them onto the screen porch in time. The repair will be covered under warranty (just barely), but it will be another two weeks before they can get here to replace the compressor... so it can stay cold until then, but not too cold!
This, however, put a significant ray of sunshine into my day: Sock yarn, from The Loopy Ewe! Left to right: Yarn Pirate merino/tencel in the Malamute colorway; Claudia's Handpaints merino in the Ingrid's Blues colorway; Sweet Georgia Speed Demon in Black Orchid colorway; and Zen String BFL in Living Lights colorway. I'm usually a blues/greens/purples person, and am a sucker for bright, intense colors, and anything in rainbow colors, but the grays and browns interspersed in these particular skeins are just breathtaking, especially grouped together like this. They've been sitting on my desk, and every now and then I have to stop and just look at them. I particularly like the Sweet Georgia yarn, as it's a heavier weight than regular sock yarn; when you have large feet (women's 12+), socks made with regular sock-weight yarn on size 0 needles become something akin to the Bataan death march after a while. Alas, both boys are well on their way to a good understanding as well; Boy 1 is only 11 but wears a men's 10 already. I'm about 8 rows from finishing the first of a pair of socks for him from Opal 6-ply that he picked out, using the International Sock of Doom pattern.
Speaking of sock yarn and the wanton purchasing thereof, I seriously considered joining the Knit from your Stash effort for this year, but decided not to -- instead, I decided to join in with the spirit of the UFO Resurrection folks and get rid of some of the projects that are lurking in the dark recesses of the guest/stash room. This is the second sleeve of a Lopi sweater I started last year, out of Lopi vol. 18, sweater #18. I got the yarn when we lived in MA at the Reynolds/JCA warehouse sale for about a buck a ball. A couple of nights' worth of effort should get this baby done. I'm not too fond of the bright red color, but I'm thinking it might have a meetup with the dye pot. I've never tried dyeing an entire garment, so this should be interesting, if not potentially a disaster.
What else... the next Eagle hat is well under way, thanks to the cold weather and a couple of good long treadmill sessions (I am a native Floridian, and though I love cold weather and have lived above the Mason-Dixon line for 23 years, I am a wuss when it comes to going out to exercise in it -- I have visions of freezing to death in a ditch somewhere!) and a book on tape. So many other projects vying for attention, but by remembering to focus on just a few keeps me from getting so distracted that nothing gets done.
Mmmm... baked pasta is done, and so am I.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pawprints in the snow

Well. I suppose that's it, then... I've thought about doing this for so long, and finally decided to jump in and join the fray. Hopefully, I can add something to the mix, or at least stir things up a little now and then.

It's finally looking like winter here. Last week's warm weather was nice, but just... weird. Not right for it to be in the 70s in mid-January. Luckily, it was a snowy Sunday and all we had to do was hang around the house -- evening plans got canceled. The dogs were not pleased to go out into the wet cold, and were more than happy to stay on the couch or near a human all day, as were the cats, which made for much warmth, cuteness and several random bouts of cat-chasing.

I wove in the ends of my second FO of the year, which was a hat identical to my first FO. The first was a gift for our neighbor, Boy 2's best bud, and the second was for Farm Witch's Knit for the Kidlets project. Quick and dirty, made out of Encore Chunky on size 10.5 needles with a turn-up brim. B-man the neighbor boy loves his, and I hope the recipient of the second hat is pleased too. Next up are a passel of caps for Boy 1's (the lovely model shown at right) scout troop. The guys that make Eagle get a funky multicolored ribbed... (minds out of the gutter, y'all!) stocking cap. Somehow, in the Byzantine social network that is a small town, I got tapped to take over the position as Cap Mistress, which means that I inherited the stash of R*d H*art in vile colors with which the caps are made, along with a list of recipients-to-be. It is fun trying to see just how disgusting the color combinations can be, but oy, the acrylic. My fingers are crying out for something natural. I'm told, though, that the guys love the hats, and the more garish, the better. We aim to please!

Due up next is a second skein of what I spun up for a friend as a Christmas gift for her aunt. I forget what kind of wool -- I think it's Shetland and something else, gotten from the local fiber pusher at the farmer's market. Spun it fairly thick and plied it, then dyed it with three colors of Jacquard acid dyes. You know when you envision a project in your mind, and it turns out exactly the way you saw it? Me neither... until now. I couldn't have been more pleased with the result. Squishy, soft, sproingy, and luscious. Now I just have to do it again -- ha.

I love the way the colors blended in this skein. Hopefully I can get close enough to the first one so that the recipient can just alternate skeins as she knits and use the two in the same project. This was nearly 400 yards; the bobbins on the Lendrum were full.

I watched the premiere of "The Dresden Files" on SciFi last night... I think it is going to be my one weekly show this winter. Schedules are so convoluted around here that I don't plan to watch TV, only listen when I'm spinning or if we have a movie, so it's nice to have a show to look forward to. I've read part of one of the later books in the series, but then went back and ordered the first few from Amazon so I could get the story from the beginning. My only gripe is that on SciFi, you get as much commercial time as show time. I love Showtime for the fact that you get 50 uninterrupted minutes of whatever series you're watching.

Yo ho -- Onward and upward!