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Welcome to my world...

Occasional musings on "life, the universe, and everything" from a fiber junkie.
 

January 24, 2008

The Machine is Dead, Long Live the Machine!
 
No, not The Infernal DigiCam this time... instead, it was the cable box that gave up the ghost.  Worse yet, it decided to go belly-up on a day when I didn't have to go to w*rk, with Australian Open Tennis showing all day long.  Grummble.
 
After two calls to The Cable People, and extensive discussions with their techs (No, it's not a dead battery in the remote.  How do I know?  Because the little lights on the remote flash properly, and the silly thing controls everything else it's linked to except the cable box.  Yes, everything's plugged in.  Yes, I've unplugged it and replugged it; yes, the outlet is working fine - anything else I've plugged into it works fine.) they agreed that it's probably a dead box.  So yesterday, I stayed home, blasted a path to the television stand, and waited for the tech to arrive.
 
Now, I'll give you this - our local cable techs are very good about arriving during the time period assigned.  Most of them are also quite pleasant and helpful.  However, when I went to the door to let this one in, I got a bit of a shock.  He looked just like a friend's husband (love the friend, the husband ... um ... not so much), and even had the same first name!  Since said friend and hubs don't live around here, it was disconcerting, to say the least. 
 
After pushing a few buttons and rechecking that everything was plugged in, he agreed with me that the box had bitten the big one, and replaced it with one he'd brought with him.  Then he fought with the voice-activated phone system at the cable company to record the serial number change, and after some forth-and-backing, it worked!   I can watch my tennis now.   Happiness is.
 
What's that?  You didn't know that I'm nuts about watching tennis?  Oh, my, yes.  The Mom indoctrinated me years and years ago, as she was a lifelong fan of the game, not just as a spectator, but as a player when she was younger.  I find it very relaxing, and a nearly perfect background for knitting.  
 
Speaking of knitting, it has become clear to me that if The Albatross is ever to be completed, the Two Row Rule must be invoked.  Therefore, from now until it's done, the first knitting of each day will be a minimum of two rows on The Albatross.  Given that there's only five inches of mindless stockinette (in the round, so it's all knit, knit, knit) to go, plus bottom rib and neckband, it just might be done in time to take to SeaSocks.  Maybe. 
 
Other projects get their attention regularly as well, but everything's in that partially-done limbo zone where no matter how long you knit on it, you can't see any difference.  I may have to break down and knit a washcloth, just to take the edge off the impending attack of Startitis. Fortunately, there's quite a bit of cotton in the back room, so this year's  "Knit from Stash" plan won't be jeopardized to do one or six.
 
SeaSocks '08 is getting closer, only about three and a half months to wait.  It should be a great trip, with lots of fun people and gorgeous scenery.  There will also be some yarn shops to invade, and I've decided that my moratorium on buying new yarns will be lifted for the duration of that trip.  Between the "yarn crawl" in Seattle and the shops in Ketchikan and Juneau, there will be purchases.  No way am I going to pass up getting my hands on some qiviut.  One ounce of it should be enough to make a lacy cowl for next winter.  Mmmm....
 
Gotta keep that vacation in mind, as w*rk promises to be extremely hectic over the next few months, with a migration to a new network environment and software upgrades coming thick and fast.   Still, turning up in the office regularly does finance the stash enhancement, not to mention keeping a roof over my head in the winter.
 
Back to the daily grind for me.  How's your winter going?
 
 
11:15 am est

January 16, 2008

Not dead, just hibernating
 
This is the time of year for hibernating, or at least settling into the Knitting Throne with some luscious yarn and a huge mug of hot chocolate.   W*rk tends to interfere with this plan, but in spite of that, the past week has seen two FOs come off needles, one that has been languishing for several months, the other entirely unexpected.
 
Regular readers may recall a little event called SeaSocks '07, during which I recieved some lovely C*EYE*BER Fibers sock yarn, in the colorway called "SeaSick."  After several false starts, it became a pair of socks using the "Waterfall Rib" pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.  The final toe was grafted last week.  Now I only have one pair of socks on needles - a thoroughly unacceptable situation.  Tme to scrounge through the sock yarn stash and start another pair.
 
Thanks to Webs' recent sale, some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere found its way onto needles and emerged as a pair of wrist warmers.  Yes, I know this wasn't in my list of projects, but cashmere is its own reason, okay?  My version was inspired (more or less) by one of Knitty's patterns, but I wasn't sure I had enough yarn.  Therefore,  I started at the knuckles, inserted the "buttonhole" for the thumb an inch down, and continued until they were "long enough."  Instead of the simple k2p2 rib of the Knitty pattern, I did a mock cable rib found in Sensational Knitted Socks.  They've already made their debut, keeping the winter wind from whistling up my sleeves as I wait for the bus. 
 
After much plotting and scheming, not to mention eighty-'leven different ideas for it, I've got the Granny Weatherwax shawl mostly charted.  It's looking like it'll be done in the Faroese style, with zigzags representing the mountains of Lancre on the side panels and Esme's broomstick spitting sparks up the center panel.  That's the plan as of today, anyway - but I'm making no bets on how many more times I'll change my mind about it before it's actually done.
 
The Celtic Icon cardi is also making progress; I'm about 4 inches up the left front.  Wonder of wonders, I actually managed to think while casting it on, and didn't make a second right front.  Don't ask me how that happened.  Once that's done, all that's left is to join fronts to sleeves, knit the sides of the hood, assemble and insert zipper.  Oh.  Zipper.  Um.  First I have to find a zipper the right color and length.   That means a trip out to the one lonely JoAnn's left in the area, which involves setting aside an entire Saturday (it's a 1.5 hour bus ride each way!)  That, or whimper at one of my crafty friends to cadge a ride.  Hmmm...
 
Too many projects, too many plans, too little time.   Six years, eight months and fourteen days to retirement... not that anybody's counting.  (heh!)
 
 
 
10:36 am est

January 2, 2008

Back to "normality"
 
. . . whatever that is.
 
After two consecutive 4-day weekends, it was excruciatingly difficult to pry myself out of the bed before sunrise to return to w*rk today.  Reminding myself that staying home doesn't get the bills paid, I resolutely ignored the WIPs arrayed around the Knitting Throne, staggered onto the bus and thence into the office.  
 
The final Finished Object of 2007 was Kinzel's "Rose of England" in the tea-cloth size, cast off midafternoon on New Year's Eve.  Once again, I was reminded of how tedious I find the crocheted castoff method, even when it is exactly right for the project.  It took freakin' forever to do all those little loops.  Pinning them out for blocking is going to hurt my fingers.  A lot.
 
Other projects made some progress as well.  The second sleeve of Celtic Icon is done, and the second underarm panel more than half finished, leaving just the left front and the sides of the hood to knit.  The second SeaSick Sock gained more than an inch of gusset, and will soon be cruising down the foot.
 
Alas, The Infernal DigiCam continues its recalcitrant ways, refusing to cooperate with any attempts at photographing knitting.  Sigh. 
 
So, what kind of plans have I made for 2008?  Here are a few things I'd like to get accomplished this year:
  1. Finish "The Albatross" - the top-down v-neck t-shirt that's been on needles two whole years as of Monday. 
  2. Finish other projects that are currently on needles.
  3. Knit mostly from stash (operative word there: mostly)
  4. In spite of being weak when subjected to yarn fumes, try to limit impulse purchases.
  5. Finalize the design of, then knit, the Granny Weatherwax shawl.
  6. Lots and lots of socks.
  7. Weed the stash, and maybe even (gasp!) organize it!  (Nobody's taking bets on this, are they?)
  8. Persuade The Infernal DigiCam to behave, or replace it.
There are some enjoyable plans afoot for this year, such as spending more time with the rest of the Splinter Clan, and sailing to Alaska with SeaSocks 2008 in May.  Other possible road trips are in that very nebulous "well, we can think about this" stage, but may yet prove feasible. 
 
Here's hoping that the few people who actually read my ramblings have a wonderful year. 
 
2:43 pm est

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"Everything happens for a reason, except possibly football." -- Terry Pratchett