Look what I finished last night:
I know they're not that colorful, unless, like me, you dig shades of grey, but they are knit from my very first homespun (thank you Scullery Maid!) Remember the roving she gave me, and Claudia's CD spindle? They created the light grey yarn. Yay!
Pattern note: The pattern calls for two 124-yard hanks of a heavy worsted yarn (rec. gauge 4 st/in), although it states that you won't need the entire second hank. The author also notes that she went down a needle size to knit tightly at the pattern's gauge (5 st/inch), which I did not, having a lighter yarn. I had initially thought I wouldn't have enough homespun (150 yards) to complete two gauntlets, so I used dark grey stash yarn for the first inch and a half of each. It turned out I had plenty. However, I will probably knit future gauntlets tighter, either by altering the pattern or using a heavier yarn.
I wore the gauntlets today at work, and I love them so much I am going to make 2 more pairs, one for home and one for a co-worker. Both from stash yarn, natch. I almost lost my willpower and went to my LYS to buy some cinnamon-y red wool boucle on sale, but regained sight of my goal, stiffened my spine and resisted. And reminded myself that I have some Lotus Pink Brown Sheep that will make very pretty gauntlets.
Also last night, I went to the local "paint-your-own-pottery" shop and painted four mugs for holiday gifts. An acquaintance invited me and I thought it would be rude not to go, so I went, one of those things. But it was a lot more fun than I had expected--I really enjoyed it, actually--although the jury is still out on the mugs. They'll be out of the kiln next Wednesday and we'll know then whether or not they are giftable. It's not cheap; I paid $44 for four mugs, two of which are very sketchy. But you're paying for the experience, too, which was excellent.
In other Martita Rampage news, after a substantial investment, our dog Cammy was deemed tumor-free, so her seizures are officially epilepsy-related. So now we know and can stop worrying. She's doing well on her meds and life is pretty much back to normal. Whew.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Look what I finished last night:
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I've decided to entertain you with 39 Things About Me. There has been knitting, the gauntlets are almost finished and I love them already. Me, the one who once asked just what was the point of gauntlets? Now I get it. Gauntlet pics soon, but 'til then...
39 Things About Me
1. I grew up in Pennsylvania, too long ago to mention.
2. An active toddler, I climbed the refrigerator, swung from the drapes. My parents had to put bars on my windows.
3. I locked myself in the bathroom and the fire department had to come bust the door down.
4. My mom taught me to knit when I was 6, on pencils, to help me sit still.
5. We lived in the city but we had a dog pen in the back yard, in which my mom kept a full-grown ram and a flock of ducks.
6. The ram’s name was Hymie. We used to ride him like a pony.
7. Until he died. My mom told me that Hymie wasn’t happy living with us, so she gave him to a farm. 20 years later, my sister told me that Hymie died overnight and my mom had to get a crane there to remove his corpse before I woke up.
8. The ducks were later killed by our neighbor’s hunting dogs.
9. We did not live in a great neighborhood—I was mugged for my Halloween candy as a child. More than once.
10. And one of our neighbors was murdered but my mom was pretty sure the husband did it, because he hit on her shortly afterward.
11. I think that’s about when we moved out of the city.
12. We got our first horse when I was 5, a gift from a cousin who couldn’t keep her horse anymore. Over the years we had five horses (at separate times).
13. From when I was 6 ‘til I was about 22, we showed the horses on summer weekends.
14. My honeymoon was the first time I've ridden since then.
15. I’ve mucked my share of stalls.
16. One summer I paid my way through summer camp by mucking stalls. I smelled bad that summer.
17. I have very strong opinions.
18. I tend to hold them in for a while and then go on a tear, which my friend Mike used to call a Rampage.
19. He would sing, “Martita Rampage, Martita Rampage, la la la la la la la” (to “La Cucaracha”) when I had one.
20. I think the world needs more eccentrics. It’s just another form of creativity.
21. I’m a music snob.
22. I’m not naming names here because I really don’t need angry emails from random pissed-off band fans with Google, but I loathe the major Irish band with the tiny, elvish singer with delusions of political grandeur. Their music bores me.
23. I’m a book snob, too, although less so, ‘cause I think the occasional trashy novel should be mandatory.
24. But there’s well-written trash and poorly-written trash. I meant well-written.
25. But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with a well-written fluffy pop song, either.
26. In fact, I’d prefer a well-written pop song to another one of those earnest “change the world by changing yourself” songs. At least it wouldn’t preach to me, you know?
27. So maybe I’m not as big a snob as I thought.
28. I sing to my pets. They love it. Really. They leave the room when my husband sings. He is wicked tone-deaf.
29. I have a lousy vocabulary for an English major.
30. I went to grad school for historic preservation and architectural history, but I didn’t finish the degree. Turns out there’s no money in it.
31. I worked for a major local university and then for a large corporation. I loved the university but hated the corporation.
32. Now I work as the office manager for a landscape company.
33. I have a 10-minute commute.
34. If it’s really slow at work, I can knit and read. And write.
35. I am seriously underemployed, but I like it. Because it’s just me, I have to learn lots of stuff—-stuff I wouldn’t have to learn if I worked for a big corporation, because they have people to do all those things.
36. My yard is full of shrubs our clients have thrown out.
37. They come to me half-dead (that’s why our clients had them yanked in the first place). It takes years to bring them back, if they come back at all.
38. I’m patient.
39. And cheap.
Hope you have enjoyed this informational interlude! I'll go knit on my gauntlets now.
Monday, October 24, 2005
We had the Summer of Lace; we now enter the Winter of Stash Reduction.
That's right, you heard me: no new yarn. I'll pause for a minute to allow some of you to take a few deep, calming breaths. And there are two loopholes; let that knowledge wash over you like soothing clear water from a mountain stream.
For I know the fear those words can cause. It seems a number of my knitting brethren have, how to put this kindly? stashing issues, a tendency I neither share nor completely understand.
Oh, sure, I understand the impulse purchase, or the deep-sale-that-cannot-be-denied. But at some point don't you say, enough?
I should point out that I have a very, very low tolerance for clutter. So low that it frightens my cluttery friends. "Stop! Don't throw that out!" they say. "You might need it someday!"
Well, I'm a gambling girl, and I'm willing to bet I won't. But there are two things even I can't throw out: perfectly good yarn and salvagable plants (that's another story for another day. Let's just say my yard is a shrub orphanage).
Over the years I have accumulated, as do we all, leftover skeins from finished objects, yarn from frogged sweaters, the odd balls of gift yarn. And I say, enough. If I'm saving yarn to use someday, it's time that day came already.
Oh, I almost forgot the two loopholes. The only new yarn allowed in my house before spring (or the stash is depleted) is:
1) yarn required to finish a stash-reduction project;
2) yarn I spin myself. Because this is also the winter of spinning.
So Rogue has a new friend: these gauntlets (pdf), last seen here. I'm knitting them entirely from stash yarn (mostly from my first handspun, with some other stash yarn to bolster the yardage).
The rest of my winter plans involve hats, socks, bags, pillows, etc. Any patterns or suggestions you all can make are very appreciated! And Rogue of course is in the pipeline, and the purple yarn I bought last month is scheduled for the lace sweater I mentioned. Although there is another sweater I have my eye on... but I think the purple yarn is too bulky for it. And that sweater would make a superb spring, new yarn purchase anyway.
The Winter of Stash Reduction should accomplish two, two, two goals in one: umm, obviously, stash reduction, but also it should save money, as the dog is running up some hefty vet bills and may require $$$$$ surgery (we'll know more after her CT scan on Wednesday. Did I mention the vet bills?). And we all know about this winter's projected heating costs... I've already encased my house in window plastic, since the dog is getting the dream new storm window budget.
I sure could use those gauntlets right now, as it is 3:30 am (mild insomnia) and really, really cold in here... time to get back into a nice, warm bed.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I've been a bad blogger. I've been back for one and a half weeks. Work's just been busy, you know? No time to blog. But I seem to be getting caught up now.
The shawls got done in time, if you define "in time" as 11:30 p.m. the night before the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures yet, but my bridesmaids were very happy to have them, because it was about 40 degrees F the night I got married. By 10:00 pm it was so cold at the reception you could see your breath. By 1:00 am, those of us still awake were huddled around a campfire (I was wearing a blanket over my shoulders for additional warmth). Even the bridesmaid who had previously been ambivalent about receiving a hand-knit shawl thanked me profusely and said it really helped keep her warm...or at least warm-ish.
Friday night's rehearsal dinner bordered on being a debacle. The rehearsal was supposed to start at 6:30, but at 6:15 the groom went on a beer run and the minister was nowhere in sight. So we started eating as guests and participants straggled in. The groom returned with the beer around 7:45 and the minister arrived around 8:00 (oops, I forgot to email her directions), so we had the rehearsal around 9:30 that evening. That's about when I calmed down.
Saturday started out a beautiful fall day. We held the rehearsal, wedding and reception at a camp with wooden, screened-in cabins (where my family slept), a pond, playing fields and a climbing wall. Saturday morning, we kayaked under the fall leaves and some of us climbed the rock wall.
The wedding went without a hitch (except I flubbed a few words), and the reception was beautiful and delicious (largely thanks to the caterers).
Here's your chilly bride (groom in the background):
Oh, and the name? The only way I can remember how to spell it is to sing it to the Mickey Mouse theme song. You know, "MIC...KEY...MOUSE!" The husband LOVES it when I do that.
We left for our honeymoon the following Tuesday, off to the mountains of British Columbia--do you notice a theme here? Cold? The first winter snows had fallen on the mountaintops and there was frost on the grass at the lodge. We went on horseback rides,
hiked local trails, saw the Fraser Canyon, had massages, and ate way, way too much gourmet food. So much food that my new husband stopped attending meals--figuring if he sat down at the table, he'd eat too much. So much food that I joked about letting myself go, only to repent a few days later. So much food that we both gained about 7 pounds in as many days.
We had our own cabin, overlooking the mountains, cow pasture and creek. Here's a view of the cabin from the creek:
After we left the lodge, we went to Seattle to spend a few days with friends. We saw the Space Needle, shopped at Pike Place Market, went on the Underground Tour, and visited the zoo. All in all, an awesome honeymoon.
I know I said there would be no knitting on the honeymoon but I lied. I finished the sleeves to Rogue and then jammed the entire body (cardiganized) onto 12" straight needles.
Here's where Rogue stands now:
The two front halves are on the circular needle and the back is on the straights.
And I missed Vermont Sheep and Wool, Rhinebeck, and Yarn Harlot. Sigh.