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Welcome to my world...

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

April 22, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like springtime
Suddenly, everything's gone green!  Leaves have erupted from trees practically overnight, flowering shrubs are blossoming, and (for a wonder) the sun is shining.   The forsythia bushes almost glow in the dark with the exuberance of their vividly yellow blossoms; daffodils, jonquils and hyacinths adorn many front yards along my daily commute.   Puts a smile on my face, this does.
Another sign of progress is that the new camera has given me some decent shots of The Albatross.
The colors are actually a bit brighter than this, but it's done, off my needles, and being worn even as I type. 
The Celtic Icon hoodie is also approaching the finish line, with only about six more rows of hood shaping, plus the edging for the front of the hood to go.  I'm finding it hard to decide what to cast on next, with so many gorgeous yarns waiting their turn.  One or another of them will find its way to the Knitting Throne soon, and with luck the decison as to which project(s) to take along to SeaSocks will be made.  
Ah, the aroma of Elixir of Life is wafting from our conference room, so it's time for me to fill my mug and get on with what they pay me to do around here.  Mostly.
9:22 am edt

April 14, 2008

The Albatross is done!  Not just finished knitting, but all ends woven in and ready to wear, as soon as the weather becomes more cooperative.   The odd thing is, according to the pattern, I should have used 19 balls of the Tahki Tweedy Cotton Classic, but since there are 7 left over, it took only 12.  Weird. 
Now that The Albatross is done, I doubt that I'll ever knit another top-down sweater for an adult.   Maybe for a child, but an adult-sized piece just gets way too heavy and cumbersome for my liking - especially in cotton.
The "Kiri" shawl that was finished last fall has finally made its way onto the blocking board (yes, I'm slow to block things) and looks great.  It'll be going with me for SeaSocks, to be worn for one of the "formal night" dinners.
There's also progress on the Celtic Icon hoodie - half of the hood is done, and, despite my worries, there will be more than enough yarn left to knit the second half of the hood.   Once that's done, all that remains is to find the right zipper and sew everything together.  Unless something catastrophic happens, it should be finished well before I leave for vacation. 
This leaves me with (gasp!) only three measly projects on needles - a highly unusual situation at AuntyNin's Place.  Since one of those three is very near to completion, it's definitely time to start thinking about what will be cast on next.  Spoilt for choice, I am...  there's the beige cotton / linen blend that's destined to be a gift for ... well ... best not say that, as the intended recipient sometimes reads my babblings here, and it's meant to be a surprise.  Or, I could swatch the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed for another sweater for myself.   Then again, Mmario's "Artemis" pattern and the BMFA "Blue Moonstone" laceweight might take precedence over the "Wings o' the Moth" in a gorgeous chocolatey brown.   Perhaps one or another of the sock yarns in the stash will demand its turn on the needles, or some of the KidSilk Night might emerge as the next project.  It's also possible that the Granny Weatherwax shawl could be begun soon - since it's black, I'd rather knit on it during the summer, when there's more natural light available in the evenings. 
All of this can be done without purchasing aditional yarn, a distinct advantage of having a substantial stash tucked away in the back bedroom.  After destashing a bunch of stuff via the swap lounge at last fall's KR Retreat, most of what's left in there is reasonably good quality stuff, which will be enjoyable to knit.   
Life is good.
10:46 am edt

April 11, 2008

Twenty-one days and counting . . .
to vacation!  Not that I'm eager to get away from the office or anything (and if you believe that one...).  It promises to be a very restful trip, combining train travel all the way across the US to Seattle, an Alaska cruise, and then train back home again.  Ahh, heaven!
SeaSocks '08 is shaping up nicely, and promises to be a fabulous experience.  The agenda and class schedule was published earlier this week, and I see lots of interesting topics, especially a session on lace design with Amy Singer.  Besides that, I'm particularly looking forward to having lots of "Sea Knitting" time with the other participants.  Last year, I was so inspired by the wonderful things on needles around me that I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done on my own projects.  On the other hand, my "I wanna knit that!" list grew by leaps and bounds, as did my list of yarns to try out.  There's every indication that this will happen again in May, plus the possibility of getting my hands on some qiviut for a winter cowl (Ice Queen from Knitty, most likely).
On the knitting front, The Albatross is nearly complete - only a couple of rows of neckline ribbing to finish and a few billion ends to fasten off and then it'll be wearable.  This has in fact been verified - after casting off the bottom rib, I tried it on and it fits!  For once, the gauge swatch didn't lie to me. 
After finishing The Albatross, it'll be back to the Celtic Icon hoodie, picking up the stitches for the sides of the hood.  Will it be finished in time to take to SeaSocks?  Not taking bets on that one... but it wouldn't surprise me at all if I were sewing in the zipper during the train trip westward. 
What other knitting projects will go with me?  The answer to that question changes several times a day, and will likely continue to fluctuate right up to the minute I leave home for the train.  As of now, it's looking like the Faroese shawl and the current sock, with some butterscotchy fingering weight tagging along for the lace design class.  Decisions, decisions . . .
Meanwhile, back in the Systems Cave, we're racing the clock to get all of our staff workstations migrated to a new network environment before the next software upgrade has to be done, and trying to keep our heads straight about who's at what point in the migration.  With nearly 200 users to get migrated and keep track of, it can get a bit confusing at times.  Thank heaven for my fabulous team, usually referred to here as "da boyz."  It's good to know that they'll take care of things while I'm away, so I won't find an unholy mess on my desk after three weeks of vacation time.
10:06 am edt

April 3, 2008

Bits and Pieces
It's April.  Finally.  Trees are beginning to bud, in spite of the crazy weather.  At least a few of the flocks of geese have actually been seen flying northward, but several others are still wandering all over the sky trying to figure it out.
There has been a bit of knitting progress, as well.  The Albatross has, at long last, reached the bottom ribbing, largely due to the invocation of the Two Row Rule.  With any luck, it'll be done in the next week or so.  The first of the alpaca / wool blend socks is done, and the second has been cast on, already into the mock cable pattern on the leg.  Ideas are fermenting happily in the back of my brain for the beige cotton / linen blend that came home with me from last year's SeaSocks cruise, and it's time to decide which of the sock yarns will be next on the needles.  Of course, they all want to be next, but only one can be chosen. 
Since The Infernal DigiCam has been so uncooperative lately, I've acquired a replacement for it, one that has better resolution and more zoom capability.  With any luck, there will be photos returning to the blog shortly.  Not that there's a lot of knitting to show, with me being such a slowpoke.  Of course, now that the replacement has arrived, it's a virtual certainty that the original beastly box will begin to play nice.  Too little, too late, sorry.
Much fun looms on the horizon, between SeaSocks '08 next month and visits to the year 1585 in the summer.   Puts a smile on my face just thinking about all the good times to come.
8:51 am est

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