Friday, April 30, 2010

Little Scraps of Paper

It's the end of April, which means it's time to check in and see what I've been up to this month as evidenced by ball bands.
I cheated a little bit. I'm including some ball bands which were laying on the floor in the craft room (hmm, when did THIS get used?) and also some partial balls that still need their bands. But I'm excluding quite a few bands that are perched on partial skeins of KP MerinoStyle, so it all works out.
Discovery of the month: Louet Gems Merino bands are HUGE!

It's lovely to knit with, too. No split stitches, except for when I goof and need to tink down 10 rows or so to rearrange a zig zag. And that only happens when I go to knit night. I've thought about avoiding knit night until the gansey is done, but since I found my first error - 10 rows back - only 5 minutes after sitting down to knit, I don't know if that would help.
I'm practically finished with the front, and am well into the back. Well, sort of. It's knit in the round up to the armholes, and then the parts split. Since I've just 4" or so to go on the back, let's just say I'm almost done with the body and leave it at that.

And here are the contents of my yarn stand. Needles, quilt (in the process of having the binding blind-stitched on), handspun scarf (waiting for the gansey to be done), and extra gansey yarn.

In other news, spring continues to be beautiful, and all sorts of things are growing in the yard. The car isn't fixed yet, but after waiting two weeks for the parts to arrive, we called and found that they'd been in for a while but someone forgot to call us. Hmmm. And there are just three weeks left in our school year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Of Tea and Jenga

When children are small, often they find the packaging of a toy more appealing than the toy itself.
I thought those days were far behind me. (No, not ME finding the packaging more fun. My children.) Today's tea order's arrival shows that I have been operating under a severe delusion.

Consider: The Box
Consider: The Contents
Consider: The Result
Jenga, anyone?
Gratuitous Yarn Photo

And an update on my oven. Not only is 500 degrees on the dial equal to 420 degrees after 40 minutes, 350 is equal to 350 after one hour. And 450 is sometimes equal to 450, and other times it's equal to 375. Rather than get another stove for a wee bit more than it would take to make Lady Eleanor in the yarn used by the designer, I have reset my cooking mentality back to the days of the Wood Stove, and check the temperature every 5-10 minutes and adjust accordingly.
Happy Spring, everyone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big joys and small annoyances

The annoyances are easier to catalog.
  1. One of the major reasons why it takes forever for roast vegetables to roast is that my oven temperature, according to at least one oven thermometer, is often 80 degrees lower than the temperature setting. Can I blame all the cooking failures of the past 15 years on this? Maybe my no-burn granola will burn now.
  2. The oven isn't ALWAYS 80 degrees off. Sometimes it's pretty close. So I have to check every 5 minutes or so to be safe. There's no rhyme or reason. 425 = 500, 350 = 450, and yesterday for a while, 450 = 450.
  3. Updating our brand new GPS (aka speedometer) to the latest map has caused the GPS to become non-functional. Did I really want to spend 12 hours watching the computer download and install updates in order to find out that the installation would crash after 2+ hours, twice? No.
  4. My shawl isn't as long as I want it to be. And I have a finite amount of yarn. But, if there are 150 grams of yarn in a 71 st wide shawl, 78 grams of yarn should be enough to do a narrow VanDyke edging, no? Better be.
And now, for the Big Joys
  1. (Insert Happy Dance) I get to knit a gansey!
  2. (Insert Smile of Delight) It's by one of my favoritest designers! You know, the kind of designer whose patterns you'd knit up without even checking to see if you liked them because that would be redundant? Yes, that one.
  3. (Gleeful Grin) The yarn is en route. Louet Gems Merino Sport, which I've seen in Level II argyle socks, but have never worked with myself.
  4. (Sticking nose comically in air) No one else can knit it. The pattern is not publically available. That must mean I'm special. (cough, choke, return nose to normal position)
  5. I've spun up all the yarn from Shepherd's Harvest 2009 and am 37 repeats into 48+ repeats of the shawl I'm making with it.
  6. I had fresh asparagus from my garden yesterday.
  7. My swiss chard and parsely didn't get hit by the same hail that stopped us in our tracks while driving just 5 miles north of here. Nassssty hail. But the car is okay, and we were inside the car.
  8. My husband is so good at helping car dealerships realize they shouldn't charge us for fixing something that broke on the car while they were fixing something else.
  9. There are daffodils outside my window.
  10. There's fresh granola in the oven. Better go eat it!