Friday, February 23, 2007

Ack, sorry for being away so long! :) Unfortunately not a lot of progress has been made on my knitting projects, either. I finished the body of the fair-isle cardigan and a preliminary try-on seemed to indicate that it just may work. I've been ready to start a sleeve for awhile but I never did the gauge calcs like I did for the body. I'll have to sit down this weekend to figure it out...shouldn't be too hard but I need to do it while I am well-rested, non-distracted, and alert, ha ha.

I also started another Project Spectrum item. In extreme closeup, these are going to be the "Double-Rolled Mittens" from the book Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen.They are made in purplish-blue Bartlett Yarn 2-ply and the "rolling" (fleece lining) is done with Bartlett Yarn pencil roving in a gray color, which you can see peeking through the stitches.

This is what the inside of the mitten looks like:Mmm, fleecy warm goodness!

You may recall that I've already made the Maplewood Mittens and the Labrador Diamonds Mittens from this book, and while they're not the simplest patterns around, the history nerd in me just can't resist them.

This is old news, but the storm we got last week gave us a good 20 inches of snow. Here is a photo of it, in the blue-gray-white color scheme no less!And, there won't be any photos of the lake for awhile...the view has been blocked, by this nice 8 foot snow bank!Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hooray for snow! We are supposed to get up to 20 inches, so they let us out of work early and now I have to whole afternoon to goof around! We already got about 8 or 10 inches and the heavy stuff isn't supposed to start until around 4 PM. I must say, even though we haven't had a ton of snow up 'til now, we have been really blessed with beautiful, fluffy, powdery snow when we do get it (including now). Definitely unusual for the northeast (more commonly it seems to be wet, back-breaking stuff).

I put together a mosaic of photos featuring this month's Project Spectrum colors of blue, gray, and white:(Original photos can be viewed on Flickr)

And as for my Project Spectrum cardigan...
It's looking quite nice, but underneath that pretty exterior there is a dark side! The cardigan's been in "time out" for the last couple days due to some concerns about whether this thing is going to properly fit! I'm not sure if I calculated wrong, or if my gauge has changed while knitting, or if I just didn't swatch properly...but the proportions just seem wonky. The body is knit in one piece (back and forth), and then you divide and work the raglan decreases separately for the back and fronts. The bottom part that wraps around the whole body seems a bit big. Then, the fair-isle part seems to have a much smaller gauge than I measured, so that part is a bit tight. Hrmph!

I ended up doing a "pre-block" (as shown above), pinning and spraying it with water to see if the fair-isle would stretch to an acceptable size. It definitely did stretch, but I still think this thing may look pretty funny in the end. Oh well, I've decided to at least finish the front panels and maybe that will give me a better idea of whether it's going to work. This is a pretty fast knit so I don't have much to lose.

Now, I'm off to enjoy the rest of this snowy afternoon :)

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

You all made me feel much better with your commiseration on the car thing! It's always nice to know you're not alone in dealing with crappiness...and hey, on the scale of life crappiness this one rates pretty low, right?

The story actually got even funnier this week. I decided to drop my car off at the local garage to at least get a diagnosis, hoping that would help me decide whether I should waste more time and money on the problem. Well, despite it being below zero the night I left it, they claimed that they didn't hear the noise the next morning! Arrggh! I went back that afternoon after the car had sat all day and started it for them to listen to. As my luck would have it, it just barely made the noise. I'm not sure they even heard what I was trying to point out (picture me going, "Didja hear it? Didja? It went like this...*me making silly noise*"). They were like, "Sounds like a normal engine starting up. I wouldn't worry about if there's no other problem."

So with dejected heart I brought the car home, feeling like the crazy lady who hears things no one else can hear. But, in a fit of silliness, I took a video of the car starting up with noise, and posted it on YouTube! See, I'm NOT crazy (er, I swear)! Let me know if you have an inkling of what it could be. My (sainted) co-worker who has been listening to me whine about this all week even asked his mechanic what it might be, and was told that it could be pressure building in the steering pump or something? I dunno.

Anywho, I've been plugging along on what I've dubbed the "Maine Fair-Isle Cardi" (due to the local Maine yarn, yah?) and I'm about to start the big fair-isle part. Otherwise it just looks like a big gray blob, so no photo yet. I'm also going to have a brief interruption to make a blanket square for Rebekah's awesome "Blanket of Hope" project. She is looking for squares of any size or design, the only requirement is that they be of wool or wool blend yarn. So if you have time to whip up a square or two, be sure to check her site.

In other exciting news, the new Rowan showed up today! I don't know about everyone else, but I am very, very pleased with this issue. I see so much that I really like, especially in the "Promenade" story. I'm particularly enamored of these:From left to right, Caister, Nerissa, and Maritime. I even ordered the yarn for Caister today, he he he. Actually, I'm starting to wish I got the yarn for Maritime too, as I am a total sucker for the Navy/Lavender color combo. But I guess I'll have to hold off on that one. And there's a lot of other nice patterns too...if only I had more time to knit, wah!

And, two good things to end the post with...1) Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!...and...2) Our landlord called tonight and claims that he will be bringing our new fridge over tomorrow! Is it lights out for the 1960's fridge? Let's hope so!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I have been meaning to post for about five days now, but I have been stuck in a vortex of hellish problems in real life.

Well, nothing so serious...just annoyances. The biggest problem has to do with our car. It is only a year and half old and thus it's still under warranty. From day one when the temp drops to around 20 degrees or colder at night, it makes a strange grinding sound upon start-up the next morning, just as the engine turns over. I asked my local mechanic about it and although he didn't hear the noise first-hand, he guessed that the starter might not be disengaging quickly enough. Sounds like something that would probably be covered under warranty, right?

Well, have you ever tried to get work done under warranty when you live an hour and a half from the nearest dealership? And when the problem is one that has to be checked first thing in the morning, meaning that the car needs to stay there overnight? Let me tell you, not fun.

A couple weeks ago I finally finagled the dealership into reserving a rental car so that I could drop off the vehicle one night and return the next day and pick up my (presumably) fixed car. This was all with the understanding that if the problem was not one that would be covered under warranty, I would have to pay for the rental vehicle (which would only be $30, so no biggie). I made the appointment to drop off the car this past Friday night.

Well, Friday night was the first night in about three weeks that the temp did not drop below 30 degrees! Hence they did not hear the noise on Saturday morning. So I spent 6 hours driving back and forth, and I may be on the hook for the cost of the rental car, and my car still isn't fixed. They said I should bring the car back Monday night
since it will be much colder(no word on whether I could get another rental that night or whether they would pay for both rental days). But that means another 6 hours of driving. And G has to report for jury duty on Monday, to make things extra-convenient.

Yup, I'm loving life right now. I think no matter how this gets resolved, I need to send a nasty-gram to corporate headquarters. Am I the only one that finds stress relief in writing complaint letters to companies (only when warranted, of course)?

Plus, I'm dealing with trying to set up a public hearing on a project for my work. It is a huge, stressful pain in the butt!

Oh well, enough griping. I did manage to finish Sheldon the turtle, and he's so cute that he might actually cheer me up!And, it's a great kickoff for Project Spectrum, what with his happy blue shell!
Project Notes: Sheldon from Knitty. Knit in Plymouth Dreambaby DK, colors 117 and 122.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I love this yarn. It's so soft and cuddly! It did have a tendency to split during the fiddly DPN parts of the pattern, but on normal needles it was awesome. And speaking of which, if you don't like fiddly patterns, this is one to avoid! Not to say it wasn't fun, just not for everyone. I imagine most stuffed animal patterns are like that though, given all the shaping and little details and such. The pattern was well written, although I did make some minor alterations due to the yarn I chose not being a perfect gauge match. All in all, no complaints from me!

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