Monday, July 18, 2016

Shiny Gets Me Again

Do y'all remember these yarns?

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The yarns were a wee bit spendy, but worth saving up for due to their colors. Well, their colors online. I thought they'd be more jewel tones, but they're more muted in person. Still, blue!

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A friend of mine (you know who you are) is a knitter with a gift for it. She can do cables, lace knitting, she made a fucking gorgeous knitted dress out of silver sequins. If she weren't so talented, she should be ashamed of herself for posing as a human being when in fact she's a damn knitting demigoddess. So this friend also regularly knits with beads. Tiny beads. Tiny bloody beads in lace knitting. And as usual, it's beyond beautiful what she creates.

I wanted a little of that shiny action. I tried last fall and promptly questioned my sanity, put away the beads and beading equipment and knitted some boring, safe, cotton dishcloths.

Then in searching for another project's bits and pieces (googly eyes and fabric glue for a shark hat), I stumbled on the box that had the beads and equipment in it. Hello! And immediately lost my mind and focus, and began beading a knitted side-to-side scarf. I should have my head examined because I like it. The yarn is soft and the beads are, well, shiny.

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I'm waiting on my beading needles to arrive tomorrow to go back to this project. The beading wire I had is much too soft and incredibly fiddley to work with in the yarn.

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In the meantime, it's working on Bitey the Shark Hat and in between, the cashmere and silk scarf that I'll be knitting on until my death bed, I'm sure.

I'm still missing my girl, Tank. Even if she did hog the comfy leather couch and then ignore me when I tried to take knitting photos with her in the pics. It's going to be a long time before my heart heals from the longing for her.

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Friday, July 08, 2016

Crochet

And life continues...

I finished up the crocheted baby blanket. It's one of only two patterns I know how to crochet, Shell and Post Alternating, which my Gran taught me. She used it for virtually all baby blankets that she crocheted. As I've mentioned before here, Gran was a bit disappointed that I didn't come to the dark side and prefered to knit.


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* * *

Hook
5.5 mm (I)

Yarn
Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash®

How much?
4 skeins = 880.0 yards (804.7 meters), 400 grams

Colorway
Lemon

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Best. Dog. Ever.

Emma, aka "Tank," has died.

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She had bad diarrhea starting Friday three weeks ago. Vet on the following Monday; spleen felt a bit enlarged, so she was treated for bacteria infection and inflammation of large intestinal wall. She wasn't responding to the meds by day three, then began vomiting. The same day in that afternoon she was panting, shivering off & on. So it was back to the vet, and with her significant weight loss, the vet could confirm a mass in Emma's abdomen without any ultrasounds. Tank had lost five pounds in four days.

The only humane choice was the most heartbreaking one.

Do not mistake me. I felt extremely selfish, I wanted to medicate her out of her mind for pain and keep Emma with me as long as possible. I also knew I could not live with myself if I allowed my selfishness to make her suffer.

After thanking her for finding me, and for being the best dog I have ever had the privilege to be a companion to, she was put to sleep. Emma was so sick, she was gone in moments.

I was the third person to come into the humane society to register to adopt her in August 2009. Unlike the others, I came back for Emma. And I told her when I picked her up that I wouldn't abandon her. I was fortunate to be with her until the very end as I had promised.

Emma was a sweet girl. Maybe a sandwich shy of a full picnic basket, but she was friendly to everyone. Probably because she felt every human was a potential treat dispenser. People who weren't even dog persons fell for Emma. I was always concerned her trusting, sweet nature would end up getting her hurt; I made sure to surround her with people who loved and protected her when I wasn't around. Emma was safe from the demons of the world.

And when we were together, she never let me out of her sight.

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The hardest part of missing her is when I'm curled up on the couch, her favorite spot was behind my knees.

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Now it's so empty there.

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Very few things are able to crack my cold, black, cynical heart. Emma was one.

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Best. Dog. Ever.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oh, Shiny!

Once upon a few years ago, quite a few years ago, I bought some lovely iridescent blue beads from a shop in Coralville during a knitting group outing.

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And promptly stored them away. And forgot about them.

Then I came across a pattern for beaded knit bracelets. And it captivated me, so I got the pattern, stored it away for later. And forgot about it.

Somewhere in all this lag time between purchasing, storing, and forgetting my items, I finished my master's degree and switched careers. Then night shift work began, so knitting has been sporadic (as you may have noticed) and usually deadline heavy to get it done.

The few scarves I was knitting are gorgeous and luscious to feel while knitting them, but I wanted a quick knit to get me through the next few weeks. I was going through my Ravelry page and the knitted bracelet pattern was in my library, then I got to thinking about beads I had already.

Ta-dah!

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And it's a good weekend to be bead knitting.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Project Critical Mass

I was visiting one of my favorite people this weekend, and we were chatting about projects for ourselves. I remarked to her, "I think I've reached critical mass for scarves, mittens, wraps, and hats for myself."

She looked at me over her salad and I looked at her over my chicken and waffles (she's always a more nutritious eater than I am), and we laughed. It's true, she knits these beautiful sweaters and gorgeous lace shawls for herself (the shawl pictured is one she knit for me):

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I'm always working on smaller projects because I get bored easily:

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We talked about the projects we make for other people, and that's not a problem. We know we're making it for a specific person, choose the appropriate project and most suitable yarn for it, then it's out the door when completed.

I said something to the effect that I should probably concentrate on all those socks I've been meaning to knit for myself. Before old age robs me of my sight and all those things I need to knit. So I've cleaned up my projects list, I've saved one final scarf because I can't resist trying to knit a plaid scarf for myself.

We'll see what happens by the end of the year.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Bits And Bobs

After talking with friends who knit, they say they go through phases where their knitting projects languish in protective boxes or bags. And sometimes for months. So I don't feel so bad I only pick up this lovely scarf I'm working on every few days.

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However, I'm starting to develop Startitus, and I haven't touched this cashmere scarf in ages.

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The Shark Hat has been taunting me from my knitting basket, daring me to try it a third time now that the pattern corrections have been sent to me. Then there's the crochet wrap that I can't remember where I stored it. (So no photo.)


I blame the Ombra della Sera (worsted, 110 yards, 90% cashmere/10% nylon) I had purchased for that cowl I made, but my head and neck are too large and I frogged it last year fall. The yarn is a bit spendy at $43 a skein, so if I want to knit this hat I need another skein. Then again, I do have some gorgeous leftover skeins I could pair it with...I think we all know where this will end up.

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And I'm slowly making my way through the repairs on a friend's beloved, much worn alpaca sweater.

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Meanwhile my decision to get back to spinning has been left in the dust. I do get the fibers out and pet them every few months, but too much to do right now to add spinning to the list of after work activities.

So, executive decision time. Once I finish the sweater repair, I'll knit the hat as a reward. I've already bought the pattern, and I'll save up my pennies for the second skein of yarn.

Then I'll hit that damned shark pattern a final time and IT WILL SUBMIT TO MY WILL.

I'll wing the rest of the WIPs after those projects are done.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kicking Off 2016

Nothing astonishing, nothing technically difficult, nothing beyond just daily use.

Dishclothes and a new kitchen towel.

The ones I knit eons ago (really, it's been at least ten years) have finally worn down to a point that I can't repair them without losing material. They're good for scrubbing the bathroom after cobbling a couple together, and even then they're not long for this world. Eventually, cotton does wear out.

So, here are the new ones. I cannot say how much I love the Lily Sugar'n Cream Solids & Denim cotton yarns. I bought them a few years ago during my dishcloth mania/potholder knitting for the girl's and her beau's kitchen. And since the skeins I bought were the larger ones, I had plenty of leftovers for me.

The cloths become softer with use, they don't get nasty smelly yuck like the nylon/polyester blends and they last, as per my comment above, for eons.

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