Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GRRRRRRR

They say that things come in threes....

Last week you heard of my lawn mower woes.  That would be one.

This week the hard drive on my computer has failed, and silly me, I backed up the kids computers just a little while ago, mine...well let's just say the patterns lost are replacable, the pictures not so much!

That would be two.

I am hoping that number three was the broken sofa in the basement..."mom the sofa doesn't feel right."  I suspected that bouncing was the culprit and that the leg had broken off (again) but no, this time the entire frame work is so much wood kindling.

I will return when I have a computer that works, right now I have a child telling me that this one is theirs!

My one consolation in 2011......in what will seem like a blink of an eye it will be over with.

~M

Sunday, August 28, 2011

If you are looking for knitting pictures you might as well move along...

I had one of those very rare things called a weekend off the past two days.  I had all these plans of how to fill the two days, including dragging the kids off to a festival and getting a ton of knitting done.

Well we all know what happens when you have "the best laid plans..."  The weekend turned into a whirlwind of searching out missing school supplies, we finally found the "right" calculator, and clothing that fits two boys that seem to have decided to do all of their growing right now! The First Twin somehow woke up on Friday morning taller than I am! Not to mention finally giving up on fixing my lawn mower and hunting out a new one of those.

If only the greeter at Home Depot had not been so helpful, I might have scored some plants and building materials while I was there, but before I knew it not only was the lawn mower paid for, but he had loaded it into the back of my mini-van for me.  Which is probably a good thing, because......

Sunday, once that cordless mower was charged up and ready to go, I had to tackle the jungle that was my lawn!  Cordless, electric mowers have lots of advantages over both gas and corded mowers.  No fumes, no messing with a gas can, no struggling to start the thing, no cord dance, no tangled cords or cord wrapped trees, and the one I got has an easy to remove battery....at the price of being about 100 lbs of weight to push up and over the hills that are my back yard.

You would think that hard work would leave me sitting and knitting the rest of the day, wouldn't you?

Well, a funny thing happened on the way home from school supply and mower shopping....I might have accidentally picked up enough fruits to make..


Pear and Currant Chutney.  I improvised this recipe, maybe a bit heavier on the cayenne pepper than the kids will like, but I had to start somewhere, right?

And...

Kiwi and Pear Jam.

I have plums too for Plum Jam, but ran out of time before I needed the stove to make dinner.

And now that the dishes are done and the house is tidied up, I am going to sit down and knit!

~M






Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I did before Summer Vacation








  Ah hah!  I finally got some pictures to upload.




Unfortunately that meant completely updating how I post, so who knows that kinds of fonts we will see appearing at Chez YarnDiet!

First up we have the pictures I was trying so desperately to upload over the weekend.  Chart 7 of Back to the Garden, including "man this looks like a market bag" shot.

It is covering quite a large section of my dining table and is not at all stretched out in this pictures!




But there is something even more exciting that I need to show you.  Something that actually I completed quite a long time ago, before my hands were rebelling quite so much!

 Presenting Back to the Garden, aka Primrose Garden.

Stats :  Back to the Garden Shawl by BadCat Designs
Yarn:  2/28 Colourmart Merino in (you guessed it!) Primrose
Needles : 1.5 (US) or 2.5 mm
Mods:  None, nope, zippo, and zilch..this was the test knit version and involved lots of discussion about stitches not looking like they were lining up and unless you count mistakes (on my part not the designers) as mods there are none here.

Want a closer look?



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another week

Yet another week has run away with me, and I have next to nothing to show for it. Not that it was an entirely uneventful week, just not one filled with accomplishments.

Really the only accomplishment was putting a ton of miles on my car running around. Go north for a meeting, south for another one, stop at the school to get TDQ's schedule and ID card, back north for another meeting and so on and so forth. One of those many meetings was my quarterly review at work. No surprises there, I still do well the things I do well and need to work on the things I need to work on. Maybe now that I have a team in place, not completely trained but picking things up just as quickly as they can, I will actually be able to work on those things I need to work on!

Over the past few weeks we have had some fairly impressive storms, some right over the house. Power out, power on, power out, took its toll on some things. My poor dishwasher, that is way more complicated than I would ever need a dishwasher to be, had a nervous breakdown in one of those power on, power off, power on situations and thought that it was washing, drying and sanitizing our dishes all at the same time! An online search found several tips, none of which worked, so I went to the old standby that we use so often when computers are misbehaving, switch the thing off (in this case at the circuit breaker) let it sit a minute and "reboot". Luckily that worked and we can still have clean dishes at Chez Yarn Diet!

The lawnmower did not fair as well.

I am a bit of a wimp in certain situations, and starting a gas powered mower has been beyond me for years and years and years, well forever really, so along with the enviromental considerations of what type of motor to use, I have an electric mower. That was plugged in and charging when those lovely power off, power on, power off's were happening. The charger unit says the battery is charged, the mower will not start up, the owner's manual offers exactly one solution to "mower won't start"...bad battery.

More online searching....battery is only sold online and costs half what the mower did in the first place!! Thinking that maybe I could at least try disconnecting the battery and reconnecting to see if that would solve the problem I got out the trusty screwdriver and proceeded to nearly break my arm trying to undo the first screw. Many curse words and much time later one screw was out and the second..well maybe if I get the rest out I can pry up the cover and remove the screw I just stripped the head on...no such luck the others will not budge! I am really glad I didn't order the battery now, looks like it will be easier to just buy another lawn mower and leave this one as an opportunity for the monster man to show his prowess with a screwdriver on his next visit. (I don't recall if I explained that name, monster big feet! The biggest I will ever knit for, sorry guys if your feet are bigger than his you are not getting hand knit socks from me!) If he can fix the mower I will have two and can have a child mow one area while I do another. Doesn't that sound like a nice plan?

So between work, household issues and (I know I have hinted at it before) just generally not being quite up to my usual self, not a lot of knitting got done this week, but with about ten minutes to spare I finished Chart 7 of Back to the Garden on my circular shawl. In debating if to stop at the end of Chart 6 or push forward and pray the yarn holds out (I estimate I have 70 grams of yarn left, Chart 7 took about 40..it is going to be really tight!) I was asked "How big is big?" in relation to this giant I am knitting.

Let's see, big enough that I am starting to get worried about where I have a large enough space to block it. I would show you how she looks at the end of Chart 7 but blogger and I are fighting about pictures today. Maybe tomorrow!

Have a great week.

~M

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Was anything accomplished this week?

Not much to talk about in the way of accomplishments this week at Chez YarnDiet. No finished objects to brag about, everything I am working on is in the "long haul" of the middles or edging. No canning or putting up to talk about. In short it looks like nothing much got done around here.

Well unless you count the long haul of the middles and edging that is!

I started the second cone of my yarn on my Back to the Garden circular shawl in this chart.
Looks like a giant market bag in this shot, how's about a close up?
I am still not 100% convinced I have enough yarn to get through all 8 charts, but by gum I am going to give it a shot! I weighed the second cone before I started on row 151 of Chart 6 and I had (including the cone) 186 grams to play with, at the end of the chart I had 157 grams left. Call it 30 grams for chart 6, I wonder how many for Chart 7??? I think I will try racing the yarn to the end of Chart 8. It is really hard knitting with your fingers crossed but that is what I am trying to do with this one, cross my fingers that there will be enough yarn to finish it up and then that I can find a space large enough to block her in!

My baby blanket through time project is slowly creeping along too. This is my lunch time knitting and the rows are getting longer so it is harder to even get through one on my abbreviated lunches.
I am on my third repeat of the pattern stitch with nupps, I only wanted three so it is time to think about edging. As luck would have it someone else has a shawl pattern that uses nupps in fan shapes so I might just steal hers. There are only so many ways you can combine knits, purls, decreases, yarn overs and nupps so her pattern actually looks (on first glance) almost exactly like mine, change the triangle to a square and substitute her beginning motiffs with some from Metamorphosis and you have a ready made pattern of what I did!

You wanted to see that one closer too?


TDQ's blanket is no further than it was and I am still debating stitch patterns for The First Brother's blanket. Jeri, I agree with you, that pattern in my new "stitchionary" is fabulous! I am just not sure it is the right one to adapt for this blanket, but maybe a sweater, or a pair of socks....hmm maybe I need to go swatch.

~M

Monday, August 8, 2011

Look what elves sent me!

Two packages were awaiting me when I got home tonight, one rather large and one significantly smaller.

Here is the smaller one after the outer shipping box was removed...
The one ziploc bag on the top there has stitch markers in it, lots of stitch markers.
Under that brown paper wrapping :
To go with the fancy bookplates.
TDQ is enamored of all things Japanese right now, especially anime, her biggest gripe at the moment being that school requires a foreign language and she can't take Japanese as it is not offered, but even she can't read what is written in these books. Luckily for me, once the covers are opened the insides look more like this...
I can't do much, but I can read a chart!

Why, you may ask was I hunting for these books? There seems to be a rash of Japanese stitch patterns in my life. Umaro is a variation of one of them, and I had been really taking a close look at another one that a designer I know had played around with, thinking I would "embiggin" it and make The First Brother his blanket from it. Anne Hansen and I must have been thinking along the same lines as she wrote it all out as a pattern that is available through Brooklyn Tweed as part of Wool People. What was a knitter, who wanted something a little more original than what looked like the wholesale theft of another designers pattern, to do? Get some more inspiration!

The Other Brother's favorite color is green, and his blanket is certainly green! TFB needed some red, well what do you know....
How useful that some arrived in the bigger box.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to run through my stash has noticed that I have plenty of laceweight and quite a lot of sock yarn, but not enough of anything to make blankets, so a little stash enhancement was needed and while I was buying blanket yarn, just in case I end up with time I thought that maybe some sweater yarn would be a good idea.
Just enough for one, but it is a start.

I know, you thought if you scrolled down far enough you would see a new chart completion shot of my BTTG, sorry to disappoint, the knitting on that is going very slowly, especially as I am afraid to say that No, Amanda, I cannot knit while I am at my Jazz Concerts.

Maybe later this week that picture will appear. :)

Til then, to quote one of my favorite designers....Knit on!

~M

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I thought I was caught up and then

I thought I was caught up on Back to the Garden and then the next chart got released so I have a whole 'nother one to do before I can say I am with the curve. Notice, not ahead of it, just barely keeping up with it.

Work has hit new heights of "oh my gosh I am just a little overwhelmed with all I have to get done" including spending one evening a week sitting in a park listening to local (and some not so local) musicians play jazz while "living the brand", which is a fancy way of saying selling without actually selling, of all the nights I have gone only once did I remember a camera and then I only used it to snap one picture! My partner in crime that goes with me has more, he just has to get them to me. Some of the crowd really dresses for the event, I hope he shares some of those pictures so I can show you how people hang out in a park in style in Central Ohio.

This is how close to the stage I get to sit. When the mayor doesn't show up and steal my time slot I get to be up there welcoming people to the event and pitching the brand some more. The mayor does a pretty good job of letting everyone know how much money the bank gives to the arts, so it doesn't bother me at all when he takes my time slot.

Back to knitting stuff, which is really what you care about, right?

Baby Blanket Through Time is going really slowly, I still have about 40 rounds to do before I can call it a done deal, yarn for The First Brother's Blanket is picked but we haven't decided on a pattern. After slogging through The Other Brother's on size 15 needles I am aiming for something on a needle no larger than a 10 (US) and preferable smaller than that. The Drama Queen wants me to go back to working on hers, it still has thousands of stitches to go.

One way or another all three are getting blankets and baby blankets put up and sooner rather than later. I might have to win the lottery and stay home to knit all day to get it done though.

~M