Sunday, September 30, 2007

Whew--I am totally tired today after an epic hike yesterday. It was embarrassingly short in terms of distance (only a bit over 3 miles, round trip), but it went straight up a mountain on a rarely-used trail that took a lot of effort to follow, for a total hike time of almost 4 hours (!). We even lost the trail a few times and ended up having some fun bushwhacking. Let's just say that I do NOT seem to have buns (or calves) of steel. I did get some good scenic photos but I think I better wait to post them, since it has been awhile since I've done a knitting update.

Last Sunday, I spent a couple hours starting, ripping, and re-starting the edging on the Victoria Shawl. It took me awhile to figure out how it all worked and how to attach it neatly to the edges. Now that I've got it straightened out, I am loving the way it looks:I'm totally fascinated by the tidy look of the knitted-on edging, plus it is addictive to do section after section (although it still seems like it's going to take forever). Don't you just love that totally satisfied feeling that certain projects give you? This is definitely one of them.

Also on the needles is the new project I mentioned last time:You may recall the Trellis cardigan I made last year for the child of some friends. He's pretty much grown out of Trellis, so I decided to make him another sweater--this time an Aran-style pullover called "Aaron's Aran" from (scroll down to the second row of patterns), knit in Cascade 220. Besides being super-cute it is also super-easy, perfect for TV knitting. I probably would be almost done by now were it not for that captivating lacy edging!

Finally, believe it or not tomorrow is October 1st which means today is the last day of Project Spectrum! Here are my final photos, this time of orange, brown, and purple stuff:See Flickr for all of my Project Spectrum photos.

Unfortunately I don't feel like I really got to do any experimentation with colors as far as knitting goes, although I did make a number of things using the "assigned" colors. If nothing else it was a fun way to organize the order in which I was going to knit a bunch of already-planned projects. I also had a great time keeping my eyes peeled for certain colors so that I could take photos. It really made me pay more attention to my surroundings and look at things more closely.

That's about it for now...hope your Monday is good (and flies by, if your wish is anything like mine!).

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Thanks everyone for the great comments on my last post! I was cracking up at the universal "ergonomic" keyboard experience--It sounds like they hurt more than they help! And of course, thanks for the compliments on Nerissa. Although it is really not looking like I'm going to get to wear it this year. Unless we get an October heat wave.

Yes, it is definitely that time of year already:Just like the Red Sox, the leaves slowly wither and fall.

On a happier note, G and I had an fun time last Sunday. For his work, G inventories trees and other vegetation as part of a state-wide scientific survey. Back in June, he was heading to one of the survey plots through the woods when he passed what looked like a monster-sized American Mountainash. So we decided to go back out and try to find it. This involved much bush-whacking (that orange is the back of G's field vest):
But was not without some pretty sights:
The hobblebush leaves change color in a fascinating mosaic pattern:
Finally, we struck gold! This wasn't the original tree that G saw back in June, but it seemed to be pretty darn close in size to that one:
Now that may not look like that impressive of a tree to you, but keep in mind that this species usually maxes out at a 6 or 8 inch diameter, and this tree had a whopping 18.6 inch diameter! We've already nominated it for the Maine Big Tree Register. The existing record is 47 inch circumference, 49 foot height, and 28 foot crown spread. Our has a 60 inch circumference, 50 foot height, and 35 foot crown spread, so I am pretty sure we smoked that record! But even more exciting is that there's a possibility it might beat the national record as well. How cool would that be? We have to have it verified by a forester first so hopefully our measurements were accurate. I really hope so because we spent about 4 hours tromping through the woods looking for this sucker, dontcha think we deserve some sort of prize? ;)

There hasn't been much time for knitting this week, so no new pictures, although I did start a small project that I'll show you next time. I only have a few repeats left for the center of the Victoria Shawl before I can start the edging, which I am intrigued by. I've never done this type of edging (knitted on after the main portion is done), so should be interesting.

I'll leave with a shot of a cabin I had to visit for work yesterday. I really could have sat there all day admiring that view in the nice warm sun. Not a bad property, eh?


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

After a two-day frenzy of seed stitch and seaming (hee hee, just the two side seams, that is), Nerissa is done and looks OK both coming:
And going:
I love the interplay of the three different textures: stockinette, seed stitch, and a simple lacy pattern:
And finally, I seem to have captured the true color of the yarn!

All in all, no major complaints, although I wish I had made it the teeniest bit longer (seems to be a frequent problem for me). Definitely not a huge deal. We shall see if I get to wear it before next's been quite cool so it's not looking likely for the immediate future.

Pattern Notes:
"Nerissa" from Rowan 41
Knit in Rowan Handknit DK Cotton in color #334 "Delphinium", on US size 6 needles

Pattern was very easy, although the lace pattern kept things somewhat interesting. A couple of things I would've done differently in retrospect: 1) On armhole shaping, I always make decreases one stitch in from the selvedge. I think in this case I might of tried doing decreases right at the selvedge, because you later have to pick up stitches for the seed st edging without having the decrease stitches visible. Because my decreases were 1 st in, it was a bit of a pain to pick up neatly and it left a kinda thick "seam" behind the picked up stitches. Or maybe there's another clever solution for this that I don't know of? 2) The pattern has you pick up 103 sts around the armhole, I probably would've reduced this a little bit because the edging doesn't have much snugness to kind of flares out a little bit (but not too dramatically). I also thought it was interesting that my lace section looked way more texture-y than the pattern photo. Maybe I didn't block it as agressively as they did.

Yarn was basic...not particularly exciting but good quality and no complaints.

Now, full speed ahead on the Victoria Shawl, and I'm already halfway through the center section:Tons and tons of diamonds!

And here is something funny too--our computer keyboard died last week (hmm, may have had something to do with that glass of water I spilled into it, but let's not jump to any conclusions, K?). I ordered a new, fancy wireless one that came today, and it rules. Especially compared to what we had been using in the interim. That is a true classic, found in the depths of a closet at work. It makes the most extremely loud "clickety clickety" sound as you type. I also particularly love the purple function keys, what a great '90s look, huh? And the ergonomic setup, holy crap what a pain in the bum. I just could not get used to typing on it. Does anyone actually use those anymore?

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's sure hard to believe that it's September already, but I'm happy to be heading into my favorite time of year. And, I took Friday off (I had to work until 11 PM on Thursday due to a public hearing--another thing that I'm glad is o-vah), so I'm enjoying an extremely delightful and much-needed four day weekend.

I'm speedily moving forward on Nerissa and have the back completed, and a good start on the front. Since there are no sleeves (yee haw!), this is one knit that should be done soon, although I don't think I'll get to wear it until next summer.Yet again, I'm appalled at how poorly this purple color photographs--this makes it look really blue! The true color is shown fairly well at this website--the color is #334 Delphinium.

I also couldn't resist starting a lace project from "Victorian Lace Today", which I purchased a month or two ago (along with "Fitted Knits" which I am also swooning over). Me, actually working on two projects at once, shocking eh? The book is full of lace patterns that are for the most part simple, yet beautiful. The pattern I ended up choosing, the Victoria Shawl, is particularly plain, but I love the crazy edging:I am making it in Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in "Mist", a pale bluish-white color, slightly variegated, that Jeanne so generously gifted to me (thanks again!). Looking good so far, although I think I may be using a slightly smaller needle that I should.The yarn is wonderful to knit with, so soft. Believe it or not this is the first thing I've ever made with Knit Picks yarn!

So, back to my long weekend, the original plan was to perhaps do a short backpacking trip. Unfortunately, I had slightly injured my ankle back during our Cape Cod trip (I will say nothing more than it happened after a long night of partying and involved some deck stairs), and while it is not painful to walk on during my normal daily routine, it is a bit sore when it is bent a certain way. Since hiking is an activity rife with the potential for ankles to be bent in strange ways, it seemed safer to not go, particularly since the section we were planning to hike is quite rugged and remote. Apparently ankles take forever to heal too, so I'm not sure if the planned hike will happen this year or not.

Even more unfortunately, I had to face up to what I really need to do this weekend: a long list of chores that have been put off all summer. The weather is projected to be gorgeous all weekend, perfect for washing and waxing the vehicles (groan).

So today I washed a car, and even better, I was able to make a needed repair to it. Behold:
Back on some horrid day in late March, I went out to open the passenger door one morning and the plastic door handle completely broke off without any serious effort. A strange bout of weather had led condensation to build up around the door gaskets, then froze the doors shut in a way that was not visible. So for the last five months, whenever G and I wanted to drive this truck anywhere, we had to open the door from the inside to let the other person in (it did make a handy redneck security system though, LOL!). Finally we bought a replacement handle and this morning I worked up the gumption to try to install it. And, it actually worked! Well, it works for now, anyway. I think I broke a bunch of stuff inside the door while installing it so we'll see for how long things hold together, ha ha.

And for another ha ha, last night was the final evening of our summer couples bowling league (candlepin, bien sur!), and I had to show off our fabulous his-and-hers trophies:Don't you just love that gleam, like it's the Heisman trophy or something? And the fact that the figure on my trophy is wearing a skirt? Hilarious! We actually didn't really win these for anything, since our team (go Wild Cards!) came in dead last. But since it was such a small league of only four teams, they decided everyone needed a prize. So much cooler than just a "Participant" ribbon, huh? Actually the teams that won the first and second place trophies were kind of jealous of our groovy retro statuettes. They will surely have a place of honor in our abode ;)

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