31 August 2007

3... 2... 1.... LIFTOFF!!

We're outta here. We'll leave in about 45 minutes to pick up Wendy and Pete, then it's on to Colorado for 7 days. Woohoo! Shane needs a vacation so badly, he's absolutely giddy about not having to go to work.

I hope to be able to blog while I'm gone. So see you soon!

30 August 2007

Another FO - Ribbed Lace Socks

As you may have noticed on the sidebar, I finished the Ribbed Lace socks a couple of days ago.

Ribbed lace1

I would have posted about them sooner but I didn't get a chance to take pictures until this evening. The days are getting shorter, which means that there is less natural light in my living room after work than there was just a few weeks ago.

Ribbed lace4

Love that Eye of Partridge heel. Problem with it is that I had a horrible time remembering which knit row I was on: starting either K1, Sl 1 or Sl 1, K1. I'm horrible at counting rows as I go, which probably would have helped in keeping track, so I ended up having to tink back a couple of stitches at the end of each purl row in order to figure out what I had done on the last knit row. I really should use a row counter (I have probably 5 different ones that never see the light of day).

Just the facts, ma'am...
Ribbed Lace from Sensational Knitted Socks;
worked toe-up;
Deb Barnhill's Diamante sock heel flap construction with an Eye of Partridge stitch on the flap;
2x2 ribbed cuff;
sewn bing-off
Yarn: Koigu of a color number that I don't remember
Needles: size US 1, 32" Addi circular
Started: 6/29/07
Finished: 8/28/07
Notes: The ribbed lace pattern stitch is an 8 stitch pattern. With a gauge of 8.5-9 stitches per inch, I needed a final stitch count of 72, so I added 2 extra knit stitches at the beginning and end of the stitches on each needle, for a total of 8 extra stitches. This ensured that the pattern stayed centered the way I wanted it. In the end, I liked the way it looked...

Ribbed lace3

The narrow band of stockinette lines up perfectly with the point at the top of the gusset.

Ribbed lace2

I liked this pattern. It was a few too many rows for my scattered brain to memorize, but not so long that I lost my place easily. It's lacy without being too holey, and the stitches flow nicely through the pattern.

Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but I love the yarn. Super yummy! And the color reminds me of a Monet painting.

29 August 2007

My laptop is quite cozy

No usual WiP report today. Instead, I bring you…

The laptop cover! It is finally finished, and I’m actually quite pleased with the way it turned out. I’m a bit of a felting newbie, as I’ve only ever felted a couple of other projects before, and those were a few years ago. I’m not a big fan of felting in general, but I know that it produces a thick, sturdy fabric, and that is exactly what I wanted for this project.

Here we are, pre-felting.

laptop cover prefelting

There are two large striped pieces, for the top and the bottom, whip-stitched together with the side strips, each of which is a single color. The lower green patch is the front pocket, and the other green patch is the flap closure.

About the pocket. I wanted it to be large enough to hold the bulky power cord and mouse. I didn’t want to attach a flat square of knitted fabric that would then have to stretch over its contents. So I had the idea to add short rows to the bottom portion of the fabric so that it would be sort of three-dimensional. I’m not explaining that very well, but you’ll see what I mean further down. Anyway, short rows were added, and I was quite proud of myself, as I have very little experience with them apart from sock heels.

pocket short rows

These are the ones on the left side of the pocket. The ones on the right side are not very pretty. I realized after the fact that I should have purled the wraps together with the stitches through the back loop, and was too lazy to go back and fix. I figured that since the whole lot would be felted, that little mistake would disappear, and I was right.

laptop cover blurry

This one is a bit blurry, but it shows the construction well. See how the pocket sits away from the surface of the cover without stretching over the power cord and mouse?

laptop cover felted

This one’s not so blurry and shows the curved bottom of the pocket.

Now, about the flap. It turned out completely different than I expected, but I really like it. To make the flap, I picked up 40 stitches in the center of the back panel, at the open end. I worked in stockinette for about 45 rows, then decreased both ends every row for 3 rows, then bound off. My intention was for the flap to have slightly rounded corners. What I didn’t expect was that the fabric would shrink in such a way that the end that is attached to the bag (where the stitches were picked up) is narrower than the other end.

pocket & flap

This one shows it a little better. I’m not sure why the fabric shrank the way it did, but I’m guessing that the bound-off edge was a little firmer than the edge with the picked up stitches, and therefore remained more stable in size when felted. No matter, though, because I like the way it looks. The only thing I have left to do, which won’t be done anytime soon since we’re leaving for vacation in 2 days, is to attach some Velcro to the flap to hold it down during use.

Here’s the details, as I remember them (I’m writing this at work [shhhhhh—don’t tell on me!] and don’t have my notebook with me]):
Felted Laptop Cover (pattern design my own)
Yarn: Lion Wool, 1 skein each of Lemongrass, Cocoa, Pumpkin, Rose (I think); Patons Classic Merino Wool, 1 skein of Royal Purple
Needles: US 10.5, 29” Addi circulars, US 11, 29” bamboo circulars (for cast-on and bind-off edges)
Start date: First week of August 2007
End date: 28 August 2007

27 August 2007

On the Dark Side

Just sittin' here, cruising some boards, flipping channels, and what do I discover on VH1 Classic? "Eddie and the Cruisers"!!! Major flashback moment. I watched this so many times as a kid, and had practically the entire soundtrack memorized. It'll be interesting to see it as an adult.


I felted the laptop cover last night. It's still drying so no pictures yet. I'm pretty pleased with the results. It came out differently than I expected, but still good.

25 August 2007

Brought to you by the letter "B"

I snatched this one from Calling on Kahlo. It stretched my Saturday morning brain a bit too much.

SCATTERGORIES ... and it's harder than it looks! Here are the rules:

* Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.

* They MUST be real places, names, things ... NOTHING made up!

* If you can't think of anything, skip it.

* You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can't use my answers!

My name: Beverly

1. Famous Singer/Band: Beatles

2. Four letter word: boob

3. Street: Bob Billings Pkwy (in Lawrence)

4. Color: black

5. Gifts/Presents: bags

6. Vehicle: bus

7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: buttons

8. Boy Name: Brian

9. Girl Name: Betty

10. Movie Title: Bad News Bears

11. Drink: BEER!

12. Occupation: barkeeper

13. Celebrity: Bobby Brown

14. Magazine: ?

15. U.S. City: Boise

16. Pro Sports Teams: Bears

17. Fruit: banana

18. Reason for Being Late for Work: bad traffic

19. Something You Throw Away: boogers

20. Things You Shout: Bastard!

21. Cartoon Character: Bugs Bunny

22 August 2007

My messy basket

I’ve made progress on the Ribbed Lace socks, as noted on the Monday post. I finished the first one and have just started the gusset on the second one. If I don’t get it finished this weekend, it will definitely be done by the time we leave for Colorado next week.

The laptop cover is almost ready for felting. I am working on the pocket for the front. I have probably 20 more rows of that before I can attach it and throw the whole mess in the washer. That’s another project that I really want to finish before vacation, as I’d like to be able to use it on the trip.

Lady Eleanor has stalled. I worked a few squares on it late last week, but nothing more. I’ll pick it back up in earnest when I finish the socks and laptop cover.

The Celtic Knot afghan has also stalled. I just haven’t been in the mood to work on it lately.

I didn’t have a chance to photograph anything last night, so here’s the picture you get, taken in a rush this morning.

knitting basket

This is my knitting basket. I bought it at Hobby Lobby years ago. It used to hold magazines, but now holds my WIPs. From left to right: the dark teal thing is the Celtic Knot afghan, with the ball of yarn on the floor; the finished Ribbed Lace sock is sitting on top of the laptop cover—the green thing on the very top is the pocket, with the ball of yarn next to it; underneath everything on the right is the Lady E.; and on the floor in front of the basket is the second Ribbed Lace sock and the ball of yarn (in a zipper bag so that it doesn’t unwind itself). Deep inside the basket is the sweater vest that I started for my dad that I now need to frog (changed my mind). I think there are some odds and ends of other yarn in there too, but I’m not unearthing the mess to find out.

20 August 2007

Is it October yet?

There's an odd time warp enclosing our little piece of hell...er...paradise. See?

backyard 082007

Looking out into the back yard, I think crisp air, apples, shorter days, pumpkins, cider. Then I open the back door and a blast of hot air slaps me in the face. Oh yeah, it's not fall yet. Tell that to the gigantor tree growing in my neighbor's yard. The poor thing is so large, and the heat has been so extreme lately, that it can't sustain leaves on some of the longer branches. So it dumped them. All over our back yard. And front yard. And gutters. Poor Shane will probably have to rake before mowing the next time because the leaf cover is too thick to just mow over. Good thing it's been so hot that our grass is near dead, otherwise he would have had to mow much more often than he has; a chore made all the worse in the heat when he has to rake leaves first (soooooo glad the yard is not my responsibility).


Look what L gave me today!


Some of you may know that I work for the publishing division of a printing company. Seems L and S were looking through some boxes in an old part of the building and ran across some letter blocks from the company's linotype days. L snagged me a couple of blocks in my initials. So cool!


I finished the first Ribbed Lace sock. I'll post pictures on Wednesday. I finished it last Thursday night and cast-on for the second one on Friday. I'm nearly to the heel and it's only Monday. I don't know why I was worried I wouldn't finish the pair before we leave on the 31st. I'm thinking it should be no problem to have the second sock bound-off by Sunday, at the latest. Then it's on to the next pair! My first pair of Jaywalkers!

14 August 2007

Ugh (WIPs)

It was a slow week, knitting-wise. I was a little obsessive with the laptop cover. I'm almost finished with the knitting, and I'm completely sick of it. Now I know why I have to have several projects going at one time. Working on just one project is like sensory-overload for my knitting mojo.

laptop cover 081407

Initially, I wanted to crochet the seams on the outside. After finishing one seam, I realized that it was too stiff. I worried that when I felted it, the seams wouldn't felt at the same rate as the sides/top/bottom. So, I switched to a whip stitch that worked pretty well. I'm a little stuck on what to do with the flap closure. I originally wanted a flap as wide as the opening, but that didn't work out. I started over again with the flap and made it just a few inches wide. My intention is to iron on some velcro as a closure. The flap is meant to hold the opening closed, not to hold the weight of the laptop.

I have this fear that after doing all this work, the felting won't happen the way I want it to and the project will be ruined. Felting is such an imprecise art, which is a lot of why I'm not partial to it. I tried to calculate with the swatch the percentage that the fabric would shrink in width and length. It remains to be seen if my calculations were correct.

As a result of focusing so much on the laptop cover, I didn't work on much else. Lady E. has only a few more squares. I haven't picked up the Celtic Knot afghan in over a week.

I did, however, pick up the Ribbed Lace socks last night, after a month-long hiatus. It's amazing how happy it made me to be knitting on some socks again. I've been feeling a bit burdened by the gift knitting I've been doing, and picking up the socks was just what I needed. I'm beginning to understand that sock knitting is what I like doing most. Something about the small needles and thin yarn just appeals to me. I can be the uber-tight knitter that I am, and it's a good thing. I love that they don't take forever to finish. I love the colors of hand-painted yarn. And I am seriously in love with magic loop.

I was admiring Cristi's Eye of Partridge heel flap yesterday. Mine is not as textured as hers is. I'm hoping that the texture will show a bit better after the socks are blocked. The interesting thing about the stitch when used with the Koigu yarn is the play of colors.

EOP heel3

The stitch creates a checkerboard-type effect with the short color repeats.

Well, that's all she wrote on the knitting this past week. Maybe I'll have the laptop cover felted by next week. Wish me luck.


Abbey stayed asleep with her head twisted upside-down long enough for me to get a picture. She usually hears me focusing the camera and wakes up. She's cute, but she's pure evil.

sleeping kitty

13 August 2007

My new toy

We bought a new toy--a Dell Inspiron 1521 Notebook. I've been wanting a laptop for months, and after my business trip to Atlanta (where I had to lug around an old and barely functioning community work laptop), I decided it was time. We're going to be giving up the storage unit this month, or next, so we'll be able to afford a monthly payment on a laptop. It's red, and I love it. I love being able to sit in the living room to surf, blog, and email (which just furthers my sedentary adventures).

My plan is to eventually have my work desktop mirrored on the laptop so that I can work remotely. Can you say tax deduction? Aww yeah! Also, we're taking it to Colorado. The condo has free wireless. I don't think I could be disconnected from the internet for a whole week, so I'm glad we'll have the option.

09 August 2007

Giving you the finger

You Are the Middle Finger

A bit fragile and dependent on your friends, you're not nearly as hostile as you seem.
You are balanced, easy to get along with, and quite serious.
However, you can get angry and fed up with those around you. And you aren't afraid to show it!

You get along well with: The Index Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky

There are so many people in my life that would wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. I think it's pretty funny. Thanks glittyknittykitty for this one.

I took the same quiz for Shane, guessing what he would have answered, and it came out that he's a pinky. I'm supposed to stay away from the pinky. Not good.

08 August 2007

What's on your needles, gal?

Time for another weekly update on my current projects. I'm really liking this weekly progress report. I like being able to quantify my progress--makes me feel like I'm getting something done (and now I have even more motivation to post, thanks to Miss Lime and Miss Violet).

First up, the Lady E. I have 24 of the 35 tiers of rectangles finished. It's coming along, and I'm hoping that I'll have it finished before we go to Colorado on the 31st.

Lady E 080707

The more I work on it, the more I want one for myself. I already have 3 skeins of Patons SWS in Natural Earth that until now I didn't know to do with. Definitely going to use it for a Lady E. for me.

Next, I have started a new project.

Laptop cover

I have ordered a new laptop (more on that another day) and I want a sleeve for it. I already have a bag to carry it in when I have to take it with me outside the home, but I want something to put it in that will protect it from scratches and keep it neat when not in use. I did a bit of searching on the web for an already written pattern, but nothing was really striking me. I've come up with a pattern that I'm hoping will come out the way it looks in my [often cluttered] mind. It's striped, and will have a flap closure and a pocket on the front to hold the power cord. The design is pretty simple--I'm just a little worried that when I felt it, it will shrink too much. I swatched and felted the swatch, so I think I can predict how much it will shrink. Felting is one of those things that sometimes has unpredictable results, so I'm just going to have to be patient and cross my fingers.

The Ribbed Lace socks are still in my knitting bag, untouched for 3 weeks. There's no deadline on them, so I'm not too worried about working on them. I'll get around to picking them up again in a while.

I finally took a picture of the mystery wash cloth (dish cloth, whatever).

Wash cloth

Can you tell what the design is? It's a buffalo with the name "Kansas" underneath it. A bit cheesy, I know, but I'm hoping the recipient likes it. I'll blog about it after I give it to him/her.

ETA: Forgot to mention the Celtic Knot Afghan. I've worked another 1/2 repeat since last week. It's slow-going. Not sure if I'll have it done by the beginning of October, but I'm not sweating it.


Shane, Brady, and I stopped at Wells Overlook last Saturday after dinner and I took a few pictures of Lawrence with my cell phone.

Wells Overlook5 082007

Not too bad for a camera phone.

07 August 2007

A wee story

Calling on Kahlo is going on vacation and is running a vacation blog contest. Thought I would contribute the first story that popped into my head when thinking about odd vacation happenings.

In June of 2002 I traveled to Greece with the X for two weeks. He is from Greece, and goes back every summer to visit his mother and spend time at the house he owns there. The first week was spent in Athens, Ioannina, and Santorini. For the last few days we went to his house in Karystos, a small town on the island of Evia. Our first night there, we went into town to meet friends of his, a really nice (and English-speaking) couple, for dinner. It was already getting dark when we left the house and headed to a bar on the main street. It was a fairly nice establishment. Large, open floor plan, with tall tables and colorful lighting, and good dance music playing. There was also an outdoor seating area that faced the shore, which is where we chose to sit in order to take advantage of the nice breeze coming off the water.

After a couple of drinks, nature called, so I went off to find the restroom. I walked through the main part of the bar and out the other side, near where we came in. The door to the restroom was outside and around the corner from the main entrance, I guess to be more accessible to the people who might be walking about the main street. The door to the restroom was propped open, and it didn’t look like there was a way to close the door without moving a heavy object holding it open. The stalls had walls that reached to the floor and doors that locked, so no biggie that the main door didn’t close. As I walked in, I immediately realized it was a unisex bathroom; the first stall door had a drawing of a man on it, the one next to it had a drawing of a woman. I walked past the men’s stall, and the toilet within, and stopped in front of the women’s stall. Looking in, I had a moment of, “Wha--?” Staring back at me was a porcelain and tile aberration—a Turkish toilet. For those not familiar with this loveliness, this is what it looks like:


The one that I was faced with had a much wider expanse of porcelain in front of the hole and between the ridges on each side. Now, the idea is that your feet are positioned on the ridges and you squat to do your business. Having heard of these toilets before, I wasn’t completely horrified at the sight of one, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled either. We won’t go into why I didn’t just use the men’s toilet. Let’s just say that hovering over a hole in the ground was much less likely to give me an infection than if I had tried to use the disgustingly filthy men’s toilet.

Okay, I thought, I can do this. I entered the stall and closed the door. There was a roll of toilet paper, but it was perched atop a giant trash can near the stall door, and in no way accessible to anyone squatting on the floor. Glad I noticed that before disrobing—I grabbed a few sheets from the roll and commenced attempting to hover. Now, most women of a certain age have perfected the art of the hover. I myself have a technique which employs more balance than thigh strength. Peeing in a hole in the ground requires way more skill than the average public toilet hover. One must squat lower and aim away from the clothing around the ankles. I was wearing WHITE capri pants. So, not only am I trying like hell to keep my white pants from touching the ground as I’m performing the hover-to-end-all-hovers, but I am also trying to avoid, ahem, “soiling” said white pants at the same time. Let me ask you, have you ever poured water onto a smooth surface, say, the floor of the bathtub, before? Splatters doesn’t it? Well, I quickly realized that I had to protect the white pants from above AND below. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to do my business without messing up the white pants, getting a muscle cramp, or losing my balance and falling over. I’m home free, right? No such luck.

Then came the flushing. Thankfully, there was a way to flush this toilet (doing a bit of research, I realized that this is not always the case—some just have a spigot and a bucket with which to rinse the surface). A push on the foot pedal next to the toilet activated the flushing mechanism just above the hole in the floor. Again, water + smooth surface = splatters. I managed to keep my white pants clean—my feet did not fair so well. I was so glad that I didn’t have to walk around all night with wee on my pants that I didn’t bother to do much to wash my feet off besides wiping them down with a paper towel. A few more drinks and I didn't care anyway.

06 August 2007

Creative pursuits

Thanks to Grumperina for this meme.

With regards to all things creative, here is a list of things that I love, like, and hate:

Love it! This is my thing.

Knitting (short list, I know, but it’s the creative thing I’ve focused on for the last few years)

I do or have dabbled in it.

Knitwear design

I’ll give it a try.

Chain mail jewelry
Jewelry making in general

I’ve got absolutely no interest.

Soap making
Candle making
Print making (paper arts)
Stamps (as in rubber)
Book making

I want to add a category: I wish I did this better.
Writing. I consider myself a pretty good story-teller, but I cannot write my thoughts in a way that is at all interesting. Much more practice is needed.

03 August 2007

Listen to this podcast

Y'all have to listen to the most recent episode of this podcast: We're Almost There Podcast. I haven't listened to it before, but checked it out after reading a request from Dame Wendy on the Knittyboard. It left me absolutely speechless, and in desperate need of a hug from my husband. Thank you, Wendy, for sharing Annie's story.

Now everyone go tell your family/friends that you love them.

02 August 2007

New widget

I was bored at work today so I added the widget in the bar on the right. We're in countdown mode for our trip to Colorado at the end of the month, so I told Shane I'd look for a graphic that would show the countdown. It's kinda depressing to see the time spelled out like that. I wish we could go tomorrow. It's hot and humid here and I'm craving the cool mountain air.

01 August 2007

This week's progress

Here’s the progress report for this week: The Lady Eleanor stole is coming along quite nicely. I have finished 8 more tiers, for a total of 19. That puts me a little over halfway finished. Entrelac is addictive. I have worked on this project more than anything else since I started it a few weeks ago, and I don’t even have to have it finished until Christmas. I feel a bit guilty every time I pick it up because I have other gifts that I need to be working on that are due in October. I just can’t keep my hands off this project.

Not much has happened with the Celtic Knot Afghan. I think I’ve probably finished another inch or so from last week. I finished a ball of yarn over the weekend and I was too lazy to wind another one, so I haven’t picked it up in days.

I finished the mystery dish cloth, but forgot to take a picture last night (bad blogger!). I’ll try to remember to do that in the next couple of days. It’s nothing that special, being a dish cloth and all, but the design is my own, and very kitsch-y.

The poor ribbed lace socks have not been picked up in 2 weeks, so no progress there.

I started another gift project last night that I’m just not feelin’ the love for. It’s a sleeveless cardigan. I cast-on 225 stitches and worked 2 rows before putting it down, and I think I’m going to rip it and try something else.

Sorry for the lack of WIP pictures. I got lazy yesterday. Instead, I leave you with Her Majesty The Napping Abbey. Notice how her head has sort of fallen in the crack between the couch cushions? Who sleeps like that? Weirdo.

Abbey sleeping 072807