Tuesday

[misc] In which we end with the topic: Spanking your cat- Punishment or Pleasing?

[reading]

I finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy (author of No Country for Old Men). It was good. Not really an "uplifting" novel... well, sort of uplifting. A man and and his son are traveling south in a post-apocalyptic world. The story is told from the Man's point of view and the terrible, dangerous world is slowly revealed throughout the course of the book. The uplifting part is the Man's love for the Boy even though the world is shit and it would be easier just to lay down and die. This a highly readable book- I completed it in four sittings.

Soon to be released as a major motion picture starring Viggo Mortensen.

[listening]

Buckethead. Dollar and I are heading up to Higher Ground this Friday to see Buckethead. I'm not super familiar with his music but Dollar's a fan. And come on, a guitar phenom (arguably one of the best guitarists in the world) who wears a mask and bucket on his head. The show is going to rawk!

Buckethead music. I think the show is going to be incredible.

[spinning]

I tried alpaca for the first time this weekend and it didn't go well. I tried drafting like a normally do- straight from the top with all the fibers parallel. Yeah, that ended with the alpaca flying out of my hands. I need to try spinning from the fold.

[knitting]

Oh yeah. I got my mojo back.

[cooking]

I've decided to cook whatever I feel like- I shouldn't pander to Dollar's narrow taste palette. Sure he doesn't like the soba noodles (even though he claims Yaki Soba was one of his favorite foods while he was in Japan) but I've got 5 packages (like, 50 servings) of soba noodles in the cupboard. He better start liking them or starve!

[watching]

Inside the Actor's Stideo: Dave Chappelle. This was great. I personally like James Lipton and this program. This was a great interview.

Inside the Actor's Studio: Johnny Depp. Surprisingly, not that interesting. I didn't finish it. The gist of it seemed to be that Johnny Depp is good looking and likes to play characters that are outsiders. I didn't feel like he gave much or revealed much in the interview.

Dexter: Season 2. We just started it last night. Don't tell me what happens! I love Doakes. And every time I see James Remar, I have to shout "Re-mar!" because he's the man, yo.

Hulu is my new favorite thing on the internet. Who needs TV? Sure, I have to wait to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report until the next day but I would even if I TiVo'd it- I don't stay up that late in the first place. I've been watching 30 Rock, Heroes, Fringe is on there, movies, SNL, the presidential debates. I watch it all on my iMac in my craft room.

[murderface]

Have you see the cat spanking videos over at Cute Overload? Here's another one. I tried this rapid side-spanking on Murderface yesterday and you know what? ... He liked it! But before we all run out and slap our cats around, I just want to say: be kind. I didn't do much because I'm worried about internal bleeding and bruising. Not that I'm hitting him hard enough to cause internal bleeding, I just worry. ... Please don't call the humane society on me.

[knitting] Chevalier Mittens

I am knitting cabled mittens for a warm-hands knitalong at White River Yarns:

Chevalier mittens


The pattern is working up fairly quickly. I do like how far the cuff goes up my wrist and it's snug without being too tight. I am using Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted, a 100% wool that isn't very soft. I wish I had knit these with some merino but I think when I wash the mittens, I'll let them soak in a little conditioner before blocking.

Monday

[knitting] Ardelle

I knit a hat with my bulky 3-ply handspun:

Ardelle


Pattern: Ardelle

Needle: US 9

I have never knit a hat like this before. The construction starts with knitting a long cabled band (like you're knitting a very large bookmark). You then sew the end to the beginning to make a loop. Along one edge, you pick up stitches to knit up the crown. Other hats with similar construction: Coronet, Tweedy Cabled Cap.

I love the way these hats look but when it comes to grafting cables together, there seems to be no easy way to do it. A straight kitchener works for knit stitches, but what happens when your motif has knits and purls?

Help around Ravlery directed me to Lucy Neatby's Sock Toe Chimney. Following this idea for the band of the hat, I knit several rows of stockinette with waste yarn, began the hat pattern with my handspun yarn, and ended with several rows of stockinette with waste yarn. I then pinched the waste yarn together and sewed the ends of the band together, following where the waste yarn went in and out of the knits and purls.

The join looks 90% okay. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it. I think with more practice, this might be a great way to join cable motifs.

Sunday

[spinning] Desert Brush

I haven't spun in a while and decided to get back into it by spinning an 8 oz bag of Louet Northern Lights in the Desert Brush colorway.

The pencil roving (no drafting, so easy):

Louet Northern Lights


The singles:

Louet Northern Lights


The 2-ply:

Desert Brush


I like it okay. I could do without the orange but I guess it's nice fall colors. I want to spin something really bright now.

Thursday

[misc] Non-knitting things

I haven't posted since last Saturday and I have nothing to show for it. Where's my knitting mojo?

Well in my defense, I've been busy with other things. Like, going to a matinee last Sunday. I went to see the new Coen brothers' movie Burn After Reading. It was interesting and funny- at parts. But on the whole, I'd say that the movie dragged.

I hosted a dinner party Tuesday night. It was planned for Wednesday but schedules got changed and- surprise! I found out Tuesday that they all wanted to do it Tuesday night. So I took a half-day off work to grocery shop and clean the house. I ended up serving an Asian-themed meal: appetizers of pa jun (Korean-style scallion pancakes), scallops, pork dumplings. For the main course, I served steamed rice with ginger sesame chicken, sauteed asparagus and snow peas. And there was wine and fine Belgian beers flowing. It was nice but I completely passed out Tuesday night from exhaustion and spent a good portion of Wednesday night doing dishes.

Other than that, I got a new video game: Viva Pinata - Trouble in Paradise. So yeah, more hours of my life funneled in this completely awesome and addicting game.

I've got some spun yarn to show off and I'm gearing up to knit a pair of mittens for me, a lace tam for my mom, finish another pair of birthday socks for Dollar and start thinking about handles and a lining for my cabled bag.

Saturday

[knitting] Cabled Bag... Nearly

Ta-da:

Cabled Bag: Blocking


This cabled rectangle is going to be a bag. Eventually. Right now, while it's drying, I can figure out how to sew in a fabric lining. And what kind of handles to attach. And other scary finishing techniques that I know nothing about.

But for now now, I'm admiring the cabley goodness:

Cable Terrain


There were a couple road bumps along the way. A good example is this incorrectly twisted cable. Notice that the right side of the left-most cable braid is twisted twice:

Mistake: Pre-Op


I didn't notice until a couple rows later, when I went to cable one way but the knits and purls weren't where they were supposed to be. Rather than tink back, I dropped the stitches down to where the mistake was, corrected things, then picked the stitches back up. Ta-da:

Mistake: Post-Op


It wasn't very difficult. Good thing, too. I had to fix an incorrectly twisted stitch again shortly after.

But for now now, I'm admiring the cabley goodness:

Cables flowing


Cables might be my new favorite knitting thing to do. It helped that this bag was knit on size US 10.5 needles with two strands of Plymouth Galway held at once.

Friday

[misc] Murderface Chillaxing

I was working in my craft room last night and Murderface came in, jumped up onto the bed and started kneading my handknit sweater. Rather than spanking him, I whipped out my camera and tried videotaping a bit. I missed the kneading but here's a few seconds of him chilling:



It has gotten really chilly all of a sudden. I told Dollar I wanted to turn the heat on in the house. He said, "Maybe you should put on a sweatshirt and socks. Look at you, you're barefoot. No wonder you're cold." So I made a nice hot soup for supper and retired to my craft room in a wool sweater and wool socks, to spin and watch tv shows on my computer. I told him I'll wait until October to turn on the heat. He wants to wait until November. We'll see...

Thursday

[knitting] Quiet Fidget

The first Fidget I made was a fun, quick, stash-busting project. But it's a little loud- bright blue with orange buttons. I eyed a stray ball of dark gray bulky alpaca in my stash and decided to make a quiet Fidget.

Fidget 2


The yarn is Reynolds Andean Alpaca Regal. I still used US 9 needles for this.

I went to the craft store for my favorite part: picking out buttons. ANY buttons could have worked but I didn't want to get crazy bright or weird buttons. I even tossed around the idea of getting the same buttons that I used for the first Fidget but in the black color. In the end, I got square buttons:

Buttons for Fidget 2


I love these buttons so much! When the light hits them right, it's like looking down into shallow water running over a rocky bed. Right? Or is it just me? But... Doesn't it look like looking into water?

Anyway, here's the finished Fidget in natural light:

Fidget 2


The buttons blend pretty well.

Here it is with a camera flash:

Fidget 2


Zing! The buttons do their crazy iridescent thing.

All in all, I do like this Fidget. I feel like this yarn is poorer quality than the Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky used in the first one. This yarn is getting a little pulled and frayed around the buttons and that's just from repeatedly trying out different buttons. Also, this yarn gave a lot more during blocking, so it's a wee bit too long for my liking.

...

Okay, one more gratuitous button picture:

Fidget 2

Wednesday

[spinning] Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival

This past Sunday I went to the VT Sheep & Wool Festival up in Essex Jct. with a couple knitting companions. Here's my haul:

VT Sheep & Wool


I got fiber I have never spun before: alpaca and blue faced leicester. I got THE deal of the festival: 15 oz of natural black alpaca for $15. Oooo wheee. And that BIG bag in the back is over 3 pounds of soft gray wool- more then enough to spin for an entire sweater! As I spin each of these, I'll post what farm it was from and what it was like to spin it. I think this should keep me busily spinning all winter long...

I shall direct to you Shelby's photostream if you wish to see all the critters from the Festival.

Tuesday

[misc] Kitty Can't Cope

I bought Murderface a new Kitty Can't Cope Sack.

Kitty Can't Cope


I think this is his 3rd sack; he loooooooves them.

Kitty Can't Cope


He licked it for a while, then was all, "Where are my new treats? You got me treats, right?"

Kitty Can't Cope

Friday

[knitting] Earflap Hat #2

Earflap Hat


Pattern: Earflap Hat from Knitting Daily (originally from Knit Scene)

Needles: US 8

Yarn: Zitron Nimbus (2 balls)

Love, love, love this hat. The yarn is a single-ply organic Merino and it has a slight halo. It is rub-against-your-face soft. Double-plus bonus: Lots of colors, no pooling!

I gifted this hat to a co-worker. He lives down the street from me and I see him walking his dogs all the time. So, I should be able to still see the hat all winter long as he walks by.

Wednesday

[misc] Busy, Busy, Busy

[reading]

I finished Watchmen and it was fan-freaking-tastic. Stories within stories containing other stories and history.

"Watchmen's deconstruction of the conventional superhero archetype, combined with its innovative adaptation of cinematic techniques and heavy use of symbolism, multi-layered dialogue, and metafiction, has influenced both comics and film." -Wikipedia

I'm looking forward to the movie in March, I just hope it is still released; Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox are currently having a legal battle over rights.

[watching]

Heros: Season 2- Dollar and I really liked it (almost as much as LOST, but not quite) even though it felt rushed. 24 episodes were planned but the WGA writer's strike forced the season to be cut down to 11 episodes. So yeah, there there was a lot of, "What virus? What does the virus do? I don't get the virus thing..." Season 2 reaffirms that Noah's THE MAN and Peter's a douche.

The Henry Rollins Show- I'm not sure when this aired on IFC (2006?) but it's awesome. It's Henry, plus insightful and interesting guests, plus Henry, plus musical performances from various artists, plus Henry. (love,love,love)

SNL: The Best of Christopher Walkin- Hilarious. OMG, I couldn't stop laughing at The Census Taker sketch.

SNL: The Best of Alec Baldwin- A little less hilarious. I like the Zinger vs. Burns sketch the best. And I should say that these "Best of" SNL DVDs are great because you get to see all the cast members from over the years.

[cooking]

I've been cooking the same three things over and over:

1) Chicken or beef, stir-fried with broccoli. Served with rice.
2) Pizza. Mostly just cheese, but sometimes topped with onions and peppers. Or, if I'm feeling wacky, I'll use bbq sauce instead of tomato sauce and top with cheese and cooked chicken.
3) Fish, pan fried. Served with buttered corn and some form of potatoes.

I'm in a rut.

[knitting]

I'm ripping the Rogue hooded pullover. There were issues with the hem that I don't want to get into because I might throw my chair across the room. Instead, I'll try the Judith hooded pullover and use the same yarn. I'm putting the (NINETEEN PAGE- WTF?) pattern for Rogue in timeout indefinitely.

[spinning]

Not so much. I've got an 8oz bag of Louet Northern Nights. That might be good, mindless spinning.

[gaming]

Events have been posted to the Carnage Con Website and Dollar and I are picking out what games we want to play this year. Is it just me or are the boardgame selections less than previous years? I might leave my comfort zone and try a Fantasy Miniature this year. Dollar has highlighted 8am games for Saturday and Sunday. There's no way, no way he's going to be awake and mentally functioning that early in the morning. And I don't want him to be "that guy" that signs up for a game and doesn't show.

[listening]

Various: Solesides Greatest Bumps
Mark Ronson: Version
Classified: Boy-Cott-In The Industry

[traveling]

Going up to Vermont Sheep & Wool this Sunday with knitting peeps. I am so excited. I am going to stock up on fiber to spin all winter long. I know, I know, I said no more yarn but this is fiber. To spin. Into yar- Nevermind.

Monday

[games] Memoir '44

Dollar and I dusted off Memoir '44 and played a few games over the holiday weekend.

Memoir '44


In this scenario, I'm Russia (orange) and Dollar's Finland (grey). I didn't know that Finland was at war with Russia during this time period but if you'd like to know more history, read this.

Here is the board from my perspective:

Memoir '44


After some intense fighting, things weren't looking too good for the Finns...

Memoir '44


My favorite card is "Behind Enemy Lines". Basically, you can take a unit of infantry, move them further than normal, battle with more strength then normal, then move them again. I played this card and ran my infantry into some forest, tried to blow up two artillery weapons (I got one) and then tried running them off the board. They were out in unprotected terrain for ONE TURN and Dollar blew them all up. I had to rethink my leadership and command skillz after that.