Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yet more icy crap weather this morning. I was supposed to be down to our purchasing department (2 hours away, ha ha) by 9:30 AM (to pick out my new desk chair, whee!) and didn't quite make it until a bit after 10 due to needing to scrape the ice off my car, get to the office, scrape the ice off the work vehicle, and then get stuck behind plows, etc. All was forgotten as my coworker and I had a great time trying out all the different models and getting into deep comparative discussions about the pros and cons of each. OK not really, we were just spinning around in them and figuring out which had the best "lean-back" factor...all in all a good time.

On the way down, we were treated to the amazing specter of a group of five or six deer, walking on two feet of snow and not falling through due to the extremely thick ice crust (enlarge for a better view):Yesterday I finished up a quick knit, a pair of slippers for G after his store-bought ones completely fell apart. These are from the 2007 "Knitting Pattern-a-Day" Calendar, the March 7th pattern entitled "Aunt Dana's Russian Boots".I made them using some of the gigantic Bartlett yarn stash I have lying around. I've really been intending to make some of the very popular felted clogs, but despite washing these swatches I made over and over at the laundromat, I still can't get them to felt satisfactorily. They're close but not quite completely there. Note: I did finally get hot water at the laundromat but I don't think it's quite as hot as you can get in your home machine (cheap laundromat owner!), maybe that's the problem.

Anyway, these will do in the interim. I think it took me three nights total, so they were super fast. The pattern was totally vague, no gauge or sizing information. As a result I think they might be a skooch large. And no, I am not going to try felting them down! ;)

Love this shot of Quincy sneaking up on our photo shoot:


Sunday, March 18, 2007

The weather yesterday was totally snowed 8 or 10 inches overnight on Friday but on Saturday it changed to ice and sleet all day. The cars were encased in ice and the snow on top of the windshield and hood was all crusty.Our driveway gets too full of snow by the end of winter to fully plow it (nowhere to push the snow!). Our plow guy loves to push at as far as he can, which usually leads to a giant bank of snow right at our front door. Poor G had to shovel through and ended up with a snow bank almost as tall as me!It was a good day to stay in, knit, watch movies, and also make a super St. Patricks day meal. Here's my vegetarian version of it:This is a veggie reuben, with boiled potatoes, carrots, and cabbage on the side. What is a veggie reuben, you ask? It's homemade bean burger with sauerkraut and "special sauce" (mayo, russian dressing, and relish), all on rye bread and grilled in a pan with butter. It's really yummy! And of course I had to make some Irish Soda Bread:The only thing we forgot to get was some Guinness :( Oh well!
Earlier this week I finished the first arm of the Maine Fair-Isle Cardigan, so I pinned the pieces together to do a preliminary try-on:I think it is going to fit OK. The fronts are all curling up which is why it looks like the fronts don't meet. The only really messed-up part is that the neck opening is larger than it should be. Hopefully I can get the collar on without it looking too strange! I finished the second sleeve yesterday so now I need to block the pieces. Anyone want to help weave in ends?? ;)


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Finally Finished: Double-Rolled Mittens

Double-rolled mittens in Project Spectrum colors, possibly should be renamed "Goofy Mittens":(Didja notice that I wore another one of my knits today?)

These mittens just look really silly to me and they make me laugh! Especially the "shag on the cuff" (as Ms. Hansen calls it):I made eight million mistakes on these but I was too lazy to fix them. On the first mitten, I used needles that were too big and then switched halfway through so the thumb has a funny crook to it. The second mitten came out a smidge too short so I just tried to stretch it out during the wet block. They'll do!Pattern Notes: "Double-Rolled Mittens" from the book Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen. Knit with Bartlett Yarns 2-ply Fisherman (also used for the shaggy cuffs) and lined with Bartlett pencil roving.

If you're not comfortable with a bit of self-interpretation, you're probably not gonna like any of the patterns in this book. They are written in a pretty loose style and there seem to be errors or vague parts in some of them. Just do a little trial-and-error if you're confused and you should be able to figure it out!

Also, a note on the "shag"--I made the ribbed cuffs to the length specified in the pattern and they seemed way too short at first. However, adding the shag to the cuffs really lengthened them! Also, if you are going to use worsted weight wool I would recommend using something slightly larger than the pencil that's recommended for wrapping it. The pieces are just a tad shorter than I would have liked.

So...spring training is under way and opening day is less than a month off. My first little flower seedlings are happily growing:And we're still stuck with Siberia-like temps. And can you believe this pile of snow:It reaches the second story! So much for the view huh? I think I will need to start a regular feature of photos documenting its melting, because I'm pretty sure there's going to be remnants of it well into May! Oh well, at least starting Saturday we are looking at temps in the mid to upper 30's. Break out the shorts!

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