Thursday

[knitting] Wham Bam Thank You Lamb

Cowl


Pattern: Wham Bam Thank You Lamb from Instaknitty (rav link)

Needles: US 10.5

Yarn: Crystal Palace Kaya, 2 balls

Notes: I cast on 32 and knit a rectangle in garter stitch until I used up all 2 balls. Blocked measurement = 10 inches x 20 inches.

I like the cowl, I just need to figure out how to wear/fold/slouch the thing around my neck to make it look casual-cool and not weirdly-lopsided.

I don't recommend this yarn. Color rubbed off onto my fingers as I was knitting (I had blue fingertips for a couple days) and it slightly colored my bamboo knitting needles. I had to wash and rinse the cowl three times and color still bled onto towels when I rolled the water out. Thankfully, my blocking board didn't get stained.

Wednesday

[knitting] Summer Socks

For the summer, I wanted to knit Dollar some ankle socks. I finished the first pair:

Cotton Summer Socks


Pattern: Basic Sock Pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns

Needles: US 7

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease, 1 ball, color hazelnut.

I like that I was able to make the pair from one ball. I've used this yarn in the past and know that it machines washes/dries fine. So that's one pair for me, one pair for him, next pair will be for me...

Tuesday

[knitting] Fug the Rainbow

Noro Socks


Pattern: No pattern per se. These were toe-up (following these instructions) and rather than a short-row heel, I went for a heel flap (following these instructions) this time.

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock

Needles: US 2

Notes: Hate the yarn. Hate the socks. Hate the way they feel on. Hate the fact that there was a knot that broke the color progression. You can see they matched until I got to the heel flap, then I had to start over at pink.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface modeling my shawl-in-progress...

Shawl


He usually spends the weekends napping on the spare bed in the craft room while I sit next to him and knit. If the weather's really nice, I make him go outside, where he spends the day napping under the trees. I told Dollar I want to change his name to Lazyface.

Tuesday

[cooking] Chocolate Chip Cookie Face

I made chocolate chip cookies this weekend. I went to eat one and saw this face half-smiling at me:

Cookie face


I can't eat you when you're giving me that wry expression! I had to put the cookie away and choose one that had no physiognomy.

I have my chocolate-chip cookie making down to a precise science. I follow this recipe (omitting the grated chocolate and nuts). For hardware, I use 2 half sheet pans from King Arthur Flour, 2 Silpat mats and 1 Oxo Good Grips medium cookie scoop. I love the scoop because all the cookies are uniformly shaped and the recipe makes enough for 24 scoops. Exactly. Each baking sheet gets 12 scoops. Exactly. There is never a wimpy half scoop at the end or extra left over. The ingredients and scoop come together like magic.

Sunday

[travel] Jamaica, VT (and ensuing insanity)

I went to the Jamaica Fiber Festival this past Saturday. I met some alpacas, bought some yarn, knit on a cafe porch, weaved on a large loom and saw the best sheep shearing demonstration I've ever seen. The shearer was a great public speaker. See the set I made here:

Sheep Shearing Demonstration


I returned home and took a nap with Murderface. Later that evening, Dollar and I headed up to Higher Ground in Burlington to see a Henry Rollins spoken word show. It was very good. There was a crack or two about Ben & Jerry's (is this seriously all people know about or associate with Vermont?) but it was a very funny show. He has got to be one of the most well-traveled people in the world.

The weather was pretty rainy during the drive up and back. It was still daylight when we went up but the drive back was quite intense. It was dark (I honestly don't see too well at night), it was raining, it was the interstate, it was midnight and my gas light came on when we were still 40 minutes away from home. All of these things helped fuel my insane fear of a lone tailgater behind me. I was driving about 55 miles an hour and the car was right behind me. I hit the brakes in an attempt to get the car to go around but they slowed down as well. I sped back up and they did too.

Fearfully, randomly, I took an exit... And they did too! I start hyperventilating and Dollar kind of tenses up. At the end of the ramp, I turned on my blinker to go right... And they did too! Dollar's all, "Go left! Just go left!" Heart thumping, I cranked the wheel to the left and took off... And the other car still went right. We laugh nervous, relieved laughter. "Paranoid much? Hahahah." Then Dollar and I realize that were on some random route, futilely looking for open gas stations. There were none.

I have no idea how we made it home and didn't run out of gas. I've never driven my car on empty for so long before. I am just grateful.

Wednesday

[knitting] Amanda Hat

I finished my May Hat Club hat:

Amanda Hat


Pattern: The Amanda Hat (pdf) (rav)

Needles: US 10 circular, US 9 dpns

Yarn: Patons SWS (one entire ball)

Mods: I accidentally used a US 10 for the body of the hat (the pattern calls for a US 9). Which might explain why the hat was coming out so large. I ended up having to cut the pattern short so that I didn't make a ridiculously long hat.

Patons SWS was a good yarn for this project- the stripes are just the right length.

Tuesday

[misc] How to attract unwanted attention at the dump.

This past weekend my sister offered to bring some of my black bags of garbage to the dump for me. We were all together for our weekly LOST episode...

AMY: You don't have to. The bags are big.

SIS: How big are they?

AMY: Like, as big as a person.

DOLLAR: [chokes on whatever he's drinking]

SIS: Oh, you have the big bags.

AMY: Yeah.

DOLLAR: [covers his face, shoulders start to shake]

AMY: What is the matter with you?

DOLLAR: [openly laughing] Do me a favor and don't ever describe a black garbage bag as 'big enough to fit a person' again.

AMY: Hm, I see what you mean.

DOLLAR: When you go to the dump and the guy asks you how many bags you have, don't say "Three bags- each one the size of a person!"

AMY: I get it. I didn't-

DOLAR: HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR.


Maybe I'll come up with stickers that say "Does not contain people" to stick to the outside of the bag. So as to avert any suspicion.

[spinning] Ishkur

Here's the other 8oz bundle of Corriedale pencil roving I had from Crown Mountain Farms:

Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale Pencil Roving


I thought about doing a 3-ply, but after Black Sun took so. fricking. long. I just went for a 2-ply:

Ishkur


I'm having "morning after" regret. I like this 2-ply, but I don't love it. I think I might have loved a 3-ply. I'm kicking myself in the butt for being too lazy to do a 3-ply. Ugh. I can't help thinking that I ruined perfectly good fiber, you know? Like, you buy all these nice foods and groceries, then dump them all in a pot together and quickly boil it. It's done but... You could have done better.

Ishkur


I like pencil roving but I'm not sure I'll order more dyed fiber from Crown Mountain Farms. The color application is not even and as I'm spinning, I've noticed that some colors present earlier will be missing for a good long while (this happened with both Ishkur and Black Sun). So far, I think the best pencil roving is Louet Northern Lights- consistent color and it drafts like butter.

Wednesday

[weaving] First strip

I finally took my first weaving project off the loom and tied fringe.

Here's how my weaving looked at first:

First weave


Messy edges, uneven beating, skipped warps.

And at the end of many hours of practice:

Improvement


Side by side:

Start and end


The whole thing. While my warp wasn't many strands (not very wide), it was very long. So I just kept going. I used odds and ends from my stash, trying different fibers, colors and thicknesses.

First weaving sample


I need to working on my finishing technique. I didn't hemstitch the ends, which prepares the ends of the project for fringe. My fringe here is messy and uneven because I just wanted to get it off the loom.

Tonight I'll warp for my next project: a scarf.

Tuesday

[spinning] Black Sun

I finally finished the 3 ply I've been working on for months.

8 oz of Corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms, in the Black Sun colorway:

Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale Pancil Roving


The singles:

Black Sun - 3 singles for a 3 ply


And the finished yarn:

Black Sun


Black Sun - 3 ply


I haven't measured WPI or yardage yet, but it came out as a heavy fingering weight. Might have to knit a pair of socks with the left two skeins. The lighter, smaller skein might be knit into a small pouch or dice bag.

Monday

[movies] Let the summer movies begin...

In my mind, summer movie season began this past weekend with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was a good origin story and Liev Schreiber played Sabretooth really well. The writers took some liberties with Sabretooth and Wolverine's relationship (they are brothers in the movie, rather than father and son like in the comics). There are lots of other characters that appear in the movie (Agent Zero, Bolt, Gambit, The Blob, Kestrel, Deadpool, Silverfox, Cyclops, Emma Frost) but only in a few scenes, lasting only a few minutes. I hope to see more of them in future movies.

Next up in the coming weeks: Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation.

Yay!