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Welcome to my world...

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

October 29, 2008

That miserable white stuff is all over the ground today - much too early in the season for my liking.  It's not even November yet!  Still, the cold blustery weather is a perfect excuse for excavating all the lovely woolen wonders from the back of the closet.   The Celtic Icon completed last spring has emerged from the closet, keeping me nicely toasty in spite of the 70F temperature in my office.
Startitis update
The mohair that demanded to become "Ice Queen" is actually cooperating, more or less, kinda, sorta, mostly.  It's almost half done, sharing time with the proof-knitting for Mmario and little bits of Talia here and there.  Projects that have been neglected as a result of this latest bout of obsession and startits are beginning to make their presence known, leaping out at me whenever I get close to the Knitting Throne.  It may be time to take a few days' vacation to just knit my fingers off.  Then again, there are some long holiday weekends approaching when knitting can happen unrestrainedly.
Then there's the infamous "I wanna knit that!" list, which keeps getting longer and longer and longer... and most of the items on the list are large projects - lace shawls or complex sweaters.  It doesn't help that the yarn for many of these projects is already stowed away in the stash closet (Just who do I think I'm kidding - it's a stash room!).  Add to that the new line of "Spirits" colorways from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which has given me about eighty-seven gazillion new ideas, and it's obvious that I'm doomed. 
Enough of this babble - it's time to make some tea, so the cup can serve as a hand warmer. 
11:29 am est

October 23, 2008

Startitis rears its ugly head . . . again.
It was inevitable, of course.  Much as one might fight it, the siren song of Startitis will eventually conquer even the best of intentions.  No matter that there are already four shawls, a sock and a sweater on the needles, the urge to cast on still more will not be denied.
First, it was a cone of fuzzy mohair that refused to go quietly into the stash closet, but loudly insisted that its "destiny" was to become Knitty's "Ice Queen" pattern.  It would not be patient, but demanded to be worn this winter.   Seeing the evil S-word in this week's weather forecast lent credence to the yarn's assertions that I needed something fuzzy to keep the back of my neck warm. 
Next, The Demon Enabler (a.k.a. Mmario, for those who are not yet familiar with this blog) sent me not one but two of his newest charts.  Since one of them is a "stealth" project that I had volunteered to proofknit for him, it must be cast on right away.  Yes, really.  There's a deadline on this one.  Fortunately, there's a freakin' enormous cone of a lovely blue lovat in the stash that will complement the pattern nicely. 
And finally, after freezing my fingers on the way to w*rk every day this week, it occurs to me that I really need new gloves for this winter.  So, sometime this weekend, some sock yarn and needles and Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns will meet at the Knitting Throne, just to see what kind of havoc we can create.  Buy gloves?  Well, I suppose I could... but what would be the fun of that?  Okay, maybe a cheap pair, just to keep me unfrozen until the real ones are done.
So many projects, so little time to knit . . .  and my employers still refuse to pay me to stay at home with my needles and yarns. 
2:03 pm edt

October 16, 2008

Chugging along
Talia continues to grow ... slowly ... but when progress is at the rate of only about two rows a day, that progress doesn't show up well in photos.  It's a fairly easy knit, but it's gulping down alpaca at an amazing rate. 
The shawl had already assimilated half a cone (or about 880 yards) of WEBS' 2/14 Alpaca/Silk, and I began to wonder if the remaining half cone would be enough.  So I started counting, adding and multiplying.   When will I learn that arithmetic is not my friend?  I had already knit about 26,000 stitches, which at first sounded like a lot.  Then I did the math on what remained to be knit:  roughly 57,000 more stitches just in the body of the shawl, plus about 40,000 more for the knit-on border.  This is where the room started to spin around me...  no way was that remaining half a cone going to suffice to finish the whole shawl.  Fortunately, WEBS still had more of the same dye lot, and two more cones have arrived and sit ready to be called into service. 
More projects are clamoring for attention, especially as The Demon Enabler (a.k.a. Mmario) keeps coming up with new designs and daring me to knit them.  One of these days, Granny Weatherwax's shawl will get more attention, as will the wrap cardigan from Big Girl Knits, which I really want to be able to wear this winter.  Since it's at the intensely boring stage (endless k1p1 ribbing for neckline & ties), it may take a few weeks for me to get it finished.
In other areas, plans are afoot for me to attend SeaSocks '09 East next June; after having such a fabulous time at the '07 and '08 editions, I'm really looking forward to this.    Now, if only the budget would allow me to attend '09 West as well ... sigh ... time to start buying lottery tickets again, methinks.
As the weather has gotten colder, I've been more and more inclined to hunker down and cover myself in wool, alpaca and cashmere, in preparation for yet another Central New York winter.  Some of my neighbors (recently arrived from India) were commenting on how "bitterly cold" it was this morning, and didn't much appreciate my giggling at them, telling them that today's 55F is warm compared to what happens in January, February and March.   
Onward ...
12:45 pm edt

October 2, 2008

Progress, or something like it . . .
Obsession continues, with "Talia" growing nicely, to the point where trying to spread it out to photograph risks pulling it right off the needle.  See?
Once it's blocked, the arrow shafts will run straight outward from the points; the wiggle in them now is just from being glumped together around a rather too small circular needle.  For the "inquiring minds" out there, this is WEBS' 2/14 alpaca/silk in colorway "Dahlia" being knit on a US8 needle.  Yes, Mmario's corrupting me, luring me into the wilderness of moose lace...
While I had the camera out, it seemed like a good idea to shoot another of Mmario's designs, "Faux Spanish" in the stole configuration. 
The yarn on this is Schaefer Andrea, colorway "Kermie" - with the coloration on this yarn, a more intricate design would get lost, but I'm really liking the way it's working up.  It's already about 48 inches long, and I've used only a little over half of the skein.
Other projects are mostly stalled, except for the Cashlana socks, which get a few stitches whenever there's  a long bus ride on the agenda.  Little bit by little bit, they're getting bigger.
Fall is finally making its presence felt, with cool crisp nights, perfect for sleeping.  With the drop in temperatures, the sweaters are coming out of their summer storage, and scarves have pricked up their ears, saying "Me?  Sooooon?"  Finally, on emerging from my building today, I found that the landlords had responded to the change of season by removing the geraniums in the planters and replacing them with this:
9:26 am edt

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