Cadbury’s marketing once again wrecks it’s vengence on me

Well, my father has returned from his adventure up north, and guess what he brought back with him

Cadbury Toffee Cruchies

I don’t know how I’ve lived this long without them. One bite and I believed in heaven. All my spiritual juggling was solved and I suddenly felt like life itself had been given its meaning. Oh, and that was just with the first bite. The second was even better.

And now, a few days later, I’ve worked my way through the bag of 18 and have only one left. I don’t want to eat this one because I’m afraid what will happen to me if I run out. I’m naturally a very high strung person, and not having that will likely make it worse. Maybe I’ll end up taking herion or something. I hear that’s nice and mellowing. Or maybe I’ll do some digging to see if I can order them.

I’m tempted to truck back up there to find some, but I’ve halted this plan for several reasons. One, I don’t have a driver’s license. Two, I don’t have a place to stay, and I don’t think that I’d want to hitchhike at night on the way back. Three, I don’t have a passport, and while I really do like these things, I don’t think that it really is worth illegally sneaking over the border. However, I could always send dad back up there. But, he just got back, and I know he does love me and think highly of me, I think I might be crossing that line.

Well, more household news, not of the knitting variety. I am getting closer to having a dishwasher. Yes, a dishwasher. I am finally going to be one of those people that I have no sympathy for. A dishwasher! I can’t stop thinking about it. (It burns me a little that I am moving away in less than two months.) But I still will have tons of quality time with the new dishwasher, and considering that I’m the only one likely to unload the thing, I think we’ll get to know each other really well. I already love him.

And he is also brining his new friend with him, Mr. Garbage Disposal. Yep, I’m going to have a garbage disposal too. (I hear the theme from The Jefferson’s in my head right now, do you?) When it rains it pours, only I could use this kind of rain. The really odd part is now, I’ve got a sink drain that I actually can find a stopper to fit in, but I’m not going to need it. Isn’t that odd, but in a good way.

I’ve tons of work to do out in the garden today. Staking and caging the tomatoes, weeding, picking berries, the works. I’m not thrilled about this, but at least it’s not terribly hot out. I keep hearing thunder, and a minute ago it sprinkled, so I’m not really sure if this will happen today, but it stopped there for a while. That’s fine, I’ve got tons of indoor work to keep myself busy.

 

Icelandic and Reflections from behind the Mower

It occurred to me, while I sat here and looked at a blank screen, thinking about what I should write, that I have yet to tell you about my Icelandic/ Raglan sweater. I don’t know how that happened, but this is me, and my mind really is like the Bermuda Triangle of thoughts. So there you have it.

As opposed to the typical bathroom mirror shot, which let’s be honest, is hardly an art form. I decided to try the camera function on this fancy pants computer. (But not with a self repairing keyboard. Why? I’d rather have that than this thing called “a charms menu.” What the hell does that mean?) Anyway, It worked pretty well, you’ll see in a minute, aside from that point where I got up, got into the pose and then thought “How am I going to take the picture?” I pushed the button with a  yardstick. High tech around these here parts.

picture001

Of course, it’s a mirror image because I can’t figure out how to flip it for the life of me. Anyway, please ignore the messy bedroom behind me, and the head of a garden statue of Siddhartha Gautama behind me. (I call him Sid.)

The pattern, a bastardizion of the Raglan yoke shaping (Which is in KW, but you really could figure it out by yourself if you really wanted to) clapped together with the Icelandic yoke pattern. I came up with this idea when I saw a picture of Adam Levine wearing one in some Men’s magazine. (That is sort of embarrassing to admit, when it comes to Adam Levine I am about eight kinds of fan girl, not fan boy, I don’t even have the dignity of that.) I originally meant to do it all in the olive green, but that stuff was a Goodwill find that I, um, you know, “miscalculated.” (We are going to leave it at that.) So, with the off-white yoke, and the primary color patters, it looks a lot like the sweater that I got the idea from.

I sewed and cut the front of it for a steek, and I also did a Kangaroo pouch, but I didn’t do that quite right, because there is one point in the button band where I kind of had to “take a short cut across the body of it, to avoid having a “stair step neck” (It really would have looked like stairs.) So now, there is a flap of pointless knitting in the collar area. I’ll live.

I snipped half a stitch for a pocket and then did a “close enough” mirror image of it on the other side. (I’m sure I’m a few stitches off.) I was so confident that I didn’t even put them on needles as I went, I just let them flap in the breeze till I was ready for them. Contrary to popular belief, a free stitch doesn’t just shoot down to the bottom of your work. I only lost one of them, but he was soon picked pack up. I made big, deep pockets, and bordered them with applied I-cord, so they wouldn’t curl (much, it curls a little, but not to the point where it is annoying.)

There is a difference in gauge between the white and the olive green, the difference between a light worsted and heavy worsted, so not that much, but it is a little bigger in the chest area. When I was knitting the sleeves, I felt like that would bother me much more than it did in the body, so I knit about six inches of 2×2 ribbing, and that seems to hold it in nicely. I hate sleeves that aren’t snug enough.

The neck seemed a bit big, so I put in a little more decreasing to hold it in, and it seems to have worked. However, I don’t quite remember what that ratio was.

It didn’t seem like I had that much going on while knitting it, but it kind of looks like it in retrospect. Anyway, now that this thing is done, I’ve got only 14 projects left to do in Knitting Workshop. Well over halfway done, considering that two of those remaining fourteen are well underway. Boo YA!

 . . . . . . .

I mowed for the first time yesterday. I was putting off, namely because I wanted my father to check the mower and make sure that it wouldn’t blow up and kill me. I know that the chances of if killing me because it had old gas in it are about a million to one, but I really don’t want to take that risk. And changing the oil just always seemed to manly an activity for me. You know, this sort of thing starts with mowers, and the next thing you know, I’m replacing a faulty transmission at two o’clock in the morning in my front yard, and that would really cut into the knitting time.

Once you start mowing, you’re doing it till it’s time to rake leaves, so it’s only natural that this sort of thing would be put off, mowing not being as fun as, say a color work sweater. I consider it exercise too, which I need considering that a 32 is starting to get a little tight on me. (I don’t want to gain that infamous freshman fifteen before I’m a freshman, and that looks like the way I’m heading. I WILL NOT BE FAT AGAIN!!!) But mowing is like, coincidental exercise, I’d still be mowing even if I didn’t burn a calorie at all.

I’m pretty afraid of large machinery, so you can understand what mowing means to me — confronting a fear of something that has the potential to kill me. And that feeling of dread when you run over a rock, or the flower bed edging. And the worst part is, I’m getting so close to the edge of the flower bed because of another fear of large machinery. The closer I get, the less weed-eating needs to be done. I will not weed eat. I will not. The mower is one thing, the weed eating is another thing entirely. That thing really can be dangerous. I will sooner take to the trimming with my good scissors before running that thing.  Period.

Cutting and Blocking

Just a few minutes ago I laid open a finger picking out in the garden. Let me tell you a little something before I tell you how this happened, you must know a little bit about my, and specifically about how I pick vegetables. I have in my possession, a very large pocket knife. You couldn’t carry this in Michigan, it’s over three inches. I carry this thing with me everywhere. It comes in handy for having to break down boxes, and carving initials in trees (because I do that all the time). It also makes me feel fearsome and generally bad ass, though if I were ever in that situation, where I would use a knife to cut something besides cardboard and vegetables, I would run like Forrest Gump.

Anyway, today I was out picking vegetables in the garden. (Saying that makes me feel like I should be wearing an apron and a bonnet while I do so.) And after doing my bi-weekly battle with the beans, and picking about a peck of peppers (How much is a peck? Like you pick till you have them?) I dropped my knife and went to pick it up as it was falling. You can see where this is going. That wasn’t even really a cussing moment, it went beyond that. I now have two fingers with band-aids on them, and it’s making typing very hard. It wasn’t quite bad enough to need stitches, but it was still enough to just make everything for the next three days pretty hard. (And I have an eight hour practice test tomorrow. I am taking this test mostly because I am FREAKING out about the eight hour test that I have to take in about ten days. This test entails writing a decent essay in 45 minutes. This is all on my right hand., which is of course, the one I right with. I am petrified with this.)

In other news, I have finished all but the blocking on the Baby Shawl from KW. It looks great, and that’s saying something pre-blocking. The border is finally done, which I think is just great, I have no other words for it. I’ll show you a picture of the shawl once it’s been blocked. Don’t expect that to be for a while. Let me explain my blocking philosophy to you.

For a sweater, I hand wash and lay flat to dry, no pins, no fuss. It just sort of neatens it up, cleans out any of the dirt it would have picked up while knitting, and gives it a final ending. (There’s so many, “I’ve finished this, but I still have to do X,Y,Z before I’m really done” moments with a sweater, you know, that’s why I like seemless.) When it’s for something that will be machine washed (yuk) I just run it through the washer/dryer and call it a day. For shawls, I need to wet it, stretch it, and pin it ruthlessly in order to be satisfied. This is no exception.

The only problem, I don’t have the room to block it.  I used to have a room that had a more or less open floor. It was great for dancing, made even better by the beautiful radio, but it was also good for wet blocking shawls. I would spread out a sleeping bag, borrow my mother’s pins and have a whole lot of fun.

Now things are different. I lost said blocking and dancing room (as well as my bookshelves, and desk space, but I digress). Some people moved, and things got changed, and I, as per usual, got the short end of the stick. (It keeps getting smaller too.) So there’s no floor space with blocking, short of the living room, because someone, not naming any names, has this weird and deep fear of pins being on or anywhere near the floor.

I can’t do it on the bed, it just makes me to nervous. (Not pins, but a wet bed.) I think I could pin it too a sheet and let it dry outside though. There’s plenty of room out there. I only need to buy pins, which will take a while, because I need to have both the money, and the place to buy them. I will keep you updated though, show you pictures, and bitch about the border more, when the time has come. I will also let you know about this slightly unorthodox method of blocking, and how it turns out.

Hope the rest of your weekend is good.

Thursday, what a day, the choices are endless

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Oddly enough, this picture sort of lit a fire under me. I look at it and thing. “Oh my, how pretty, all my lovely lacy stitches, sitting there, looking all polite and delicate.” It makes me want to go knit it and get a move on. It just looks, like what I though it would be.

(Ignore the lumpy stitches, it’s unblocked. It’s also unfinished.)

On the other end of this cotton lace with seven stitch rows, is the Gansey, with 225 stitches to the round, many, many rounds of plain stockingette till I get to the armholes. It’s in a lovely wool that’s all nice and starchy. (I like my wool the way I like my food.)

So tell me, show me, what are all of you knitting this summer? I’m dying to know. (I’m also dying to hear what project you want to knit with me Cheryl? Hmmm Ms. Pearls-Toronto? I know you’re busy with gainful employment and everything, but please, please tell me so I don’t accidentally knit it without you. We don’t even have to start it for a while (fall would be great).  If you don’t let me know soon, I’ll pop over to your blog and start leaving annoying comments like this ALL THE TIME. )

(Note, I had a post all written up, and then had some huge blog problems. I solved it, more or less. All the stuff at the sidebar was moved to the bottom and we can’t have that. So I fixed it, but somewhere along the lines I lost the first half of the post and about a half hour. I now know that I had too man HTML tags, whatever that is, and that it was being all wired. I think it was the picture’s caption. It had one, it said. “Yes, the backround for this picture is my bed, and no, I don’t care.”)

(What I lost was mostly me dithering and complaining about the seven stitch rows that comprise the border on this shawl, and how much I hate them and how much they are so not worth it. You didn’t miss much. Just be lucky there was anything up at all today.

Mistress Garret How Doth the Garden Grow?

It’s beautiful weather today. Eighty degrees, sunny, but with a cool breeze. I can’t wait to go back outside, and I’m actually looking forward to working out in the garden tonight. (And here lately I weep at the thought of setting foot outside of the house, what with the 90+ temps.)

We’ve been having bumper crops this year, of just about everything. (Except lettuce, but what can one expect with three year old seeds.) To those of you who know me personally, if you want any green beans, come over and pick them. Please.

We’ve been having a great year for peppers, as opposed to last year’s dismal time of things. It seems they grow like mushrooms, over night and suddenly. Only, these things prefer dry weather. I have more cucumbers than I can eat, which is a lot because I can go through at least one a day. Tomatoes we haven’t seen a lot yet, but judging by all the green ones, I should be having a lot soon. The Eggplant has a lot of green buds on it. The squash has once again taken over a lot of the garden. (Which makes me very happy I accidentally killed that tomato plant because I wouldn’t be able to get to it anyway. )

The only thing that we haven’t had lot of yet is Zucchini. I killed a plant, and the other died. (Not because of me.) So we’ve got one whole plant left. Thankfully those things are as common as dirt around here, so getting ahold of any is not a great trouble.

In other news I am still knitting the blanket, but I’m so close to the end that I can taste its sweet taste. It’s the taste of being able to knit on something else. Let me tell you it’ll be at least a little while before I take another project out of Great Garter Stitch. This blanket has nearly taken all the fight out of me. I am looking forward to the grafting at the end of it, if only for something else.

Looking forward to grafting. Who am I?