Monday, May 19, 2008

Painting, playing, and pain

This past week, we’ve finally managed to put my family room walls back together. After the mishap with the paneling, it took multiple skim coats of mud, a couple coats of primer, and spraying texture to get the walls looking normal again. I expect to pain the ceiling and 2 walls next weekend and then we can get back to fixing the floors!

This weekend was the 2008 LYS tour. I didn’t have a lot of time, but managed to visit 3 stores, Wildfibers, Knot Just Yarn, and of course my own LYS Ana-Cross Stitch. Each store offered a free one-skein pattern and lots of fabulous yarn. I did buy something at each store, but I was good and spent less than $100. I bought mostly sock yarn, specifically non-wool sock yarns so I might have some summer-weight socks to wear.

This weekend was the Anacortes Waterfront Festival. After texturing the walls Saturday Morning, Cliff, Emma, and I went to the marina for the festival. We had ice cream, looked at boats on the dock, and Emma got to “build” a model boat. There was live music and typical fair-type food. We only lasted a couple hours before being completely exhausted and walking home.

Sunday, my mom & I hosted our knitting group for our monthly meet. It was a beautiful weekend and we decided to knit outside on the deck. Well, I sat in the sun and forgot to put on sunscreen. Yes, I do it just once every summer, but I fried my poor fair skin. My arms are burned pretty badly and they hurt. The burn has a funny shape at the elbow because my arms were bent while I was knitting. My face is burned, but not so bad. Even my scalp is burned!

While at our knitting group, I cast on the Drops Cabled Bag (98-54) that has been in my queue for quite a while. I remember when I first saw it I loved it, but didn’t think I’d ever have the skills to do it. So far, I’m finding it pretty easy (other than the math for the increases) and moving along pretty quickly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Ahhh, Mother’s Day. My son made a card for Grandma, at my suggestion, and Grandma enjoyed it very much. I was finally able to put a photo of my Needle Cozy up on Ravelry. Since it was a Mother’s Day gift for my mom and she is on Ravelry, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. I put 2 sets of needles in it for her, and now that she is getting more into knitting I’m sure she will use them.

My sister and her SO and my brother and his wife and kids drove up and we spent a beautiful sunny (though somewhat windy) day on the deck enjoying each other’s company and lots of good food. Brilliant photographer that I am, I FORGOT my cameras… both of them! So, there is no photographic evidence of the day, but we had fun. I made rhubarb crisp! The rhubarb came out of my mom’s garden. To me, rhubarb crisp is a signature of spring/summer. I’d share the recipe, but it’s a family secret.

I received my deposit from the IRS on Friday… $600 for economic stimulation. Too bad I have to send it right back to them for self-employment taxes.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Favorite Things

This morning I was able to do one of my favorite things; sit outside in the early morning sunshine and drink my coffee. It is the first time it has been both sunny and warm enough early in the morning that I wouldn’t freeze to death. The marine layer was thick over the Guemes channel so I couldn’t see the water, but I could feel its presence and smell it in the air. To me, getting out on a morning like today is worth 6 months of rain, clouds, and dreary weather. There is nothing like an early sunny morning.

I was itching to cast on something last night but most of the projects in my queue require needles that are due to arrive in my eagerly anticipated KnitPicks order. I have leftover worsted weight sock yarn from my first socks, and there is a baby expected in our family, so I cast on baby socks. They aren’t particularly good baby colors, but they’re neutral since we don’t know if said baby is a boy or a girl. I have already finished the first one; it took only about two hours. Plus it gives me good practice turning a heel, working a gusset, and toe decreases. The pattern I used is Jimmy's Baby Bootie Set by Jimmy Beans Wool and the yarn is Järbo Garn Raggi Multi. They are so small! Sometimes I forget how small babies really are. Was my baby ever that small?

Monday, May 5, 2008

My first socks!

They’re done! I finally finished my first pair of socks! I photographed them, but now I’m putting 3D paint on the soles so I don’t slip and kill myself on my hardwood floors. The yarn is Järbo Garn Raggi Multi in a green/blue/brown and the pattern is Cable Twist Socks by Adrian Bizilia. It took a little over a month to complete them (with many other projects going on in between). It appears that I knit socks *really* tight… Just socks, not all DPN projects or all round projects, just socks. Since this was my very first pair, that could change…

I placed a big ol’ Knitpicks order today. My mom decided we should go in on a set of Harmony Needles. So, since I already had free shipping with that, I decided to order some yarn, Harmony DPNs, and a book, and… and… and… so $200 later, I have all kinds of goodies that’ll arrive in a week or so.

My mom & I (I’m blaming mom for ALL the money I spent today) decided to go to our LYS today where I bought the Spring 2008 IK, some Happy Feet sock yarn, and finally picked up my pattern for the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. I think the clogs are likely to be a big Christmas gift this year.

Ethan & I baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday so I’m off to give some to my neighbors to thank them for mowing my lawn after I hurt my ankle.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Handmade Swift

Thanks to some help from Cliff, based on these instructions, I made my own yarn swift. Swifts have gotten very expensive and when I saw the instructions I knew it was something I could do myself and for little money. For the base, I used some scrap oak wood flooring my mom had in her garage. The remainder of the supplies cost less than $10. I already had all of the necessary tools in my garage, with the exception of a wood chisel. The only thing I wish I had in my garage that would've made this project much easier is a bench vice. I managed without it, but if I ever do a project like this again, I will be buying one.

The only problem I had was that the directions state to cut a 1" notch in the center of each piece for the arms. What I forgot at the time is that dimensional lumber is not a true 1" and therefore, my notches were too big and my arms did not fit together snugly. Cliff came up with this modification, using a scrap of paneling I had removed from my family room.

In all, I found this to be an easy project for someone who is comfortable with basic power tools (i.e. a drill) The chop saw made cutting the legs much easier, but could've been done just as easily with a hand saw.

A day of days

Yesterday was quite a day… I think I managed to re-injure my ankle slightly. While stretching I felt a pop and then could barely walk until I loaded up on ibuprofen.

I had to call a plumber for the second time in a month, at $400 a visit, because my shower and toilets backed up. Apparently, there was a blockage in the main line… again. I do not understand where this is coming from because Ethan is not flushing things down the toilet. The first time it was apparently caused by a 20-year accumulation of lint. This time, we never found out what it was.

Ethan had his first day of Peewee Baseball. Basically, they spend an hour corralling 30 four to six year olds while attempting to teach them baseball skills. He had fun and was very excited, but I think he needs to work on his listening skills.

After all that, I came home and found a surprise waiting in my mailbox. On Ravelry I am a member of a group called Random Acts of Kindness. Each month, members post their “wish list” and one of the items I wished for was knit and crochet magazines. Katalina sent me a surprise package with 5 knitting magazines and some tea. Thanks Katalina!