Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What was I thinking

I don't drive in snow. Ever. If I can help it.

Fortunately my job has snow days so I can live by this and still function in society.

This morning there was (is) an icy mix on my slip slidy curvy hilly road. Mr. Sophanne needed apple pie and milk for his bedtime snack and it sucks that he had to work today. I also finished Marie's traveling scarf and wanted to end that project. Apple pie, milk, and Marie all live at the bottom of the slip slidy curvy hilly road.

I didn't think it would be too bad. It's hard to tell how the roads are when they don't call a snow day because we're on vacation.

Getting down was not much of a problem- even though the roads had not been treated. Liza was whimpering in the car and that should have been a sign. Could be that she thought she was going to go for a romp around the fairgrounds. Coming home I floored my 6 cylinder mitsubishi diamante with the relatively new tires and was able to slither up the hill at about 7 miles an hour. If I had hit a not slipslidy spot I would have easily been going 75 mph within seconds. Does everyone driving in slippyslidysnowyroads spend most of their time looking to see where the car can be safely ditched or is it just me?

I'm home safe and sound. So is Liza. I didn't get up our 45 degree angle driveway. Instead Liza and I went outside and cleared the snow. There's more there now. Liza ran like a crazy happy snow dog.

She's asleep, Mr. Sophanne has his apple pie and milk, Marie has her scarf and as soon as my heart stops beating like crazy I'm going to watch Twilight Zone reruns on the SciFi channel and knit. Mr. Sophanne can get the second round of snow. I bet we end up with 2 apple pies because he's not going to think I went out in it. HA! It could be worse.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Follow a Pattern? Do Not Comprehend.

I know that it's stating the obvious when I say that there are many many many beautifully designed patterns out there. When I try to follow them it's like opening Pandora's box and the only contents are opportunities for me to screw up.

My friend Edith knit sweaters as a teenager and sold them in the black market in Belgium to survive WWII. She didn't follow a pattern. She just knit them. Many times she had to remember the size of the person she was knitting for and couldn't take measurements. The first blog I ever read was Wendy Bernard's Knit and Tonic so I've come to believe "it's not really knitting unless you do a little designing on the side."

When I was at Bloomin' Yarns I bought 2400 yards of Noro thinking- I'll just follow EPS or Barbara Walker. I hate following patterns.

Thus red-wine Malabrigo Salt Peanuts was frogged and I cast on for a top down pullover SWEARING to myself that I really need to do a few more of these so that I get the basics down before I start messing around with it.

Then the 365 stitches a year calendar started eep eeping from under the desk. Pesky stitch calendar.

It's hard to see, but what's going on here is your basic stockinette top down yoke with what the calendar calls "woven stitch 2" from September 11.

Did I swatch with this? Absolutely not. (I did swatch the stockinette) Do I have any idea how this stitch will behave in this garment in the end? Only instinct and well... let's not go there. Do I know how the sleeves will work? What about the collar? How about the bottom? No,no and again, no. At least, however, I know that these are things that I SHOULD know which shows progress.

At one point the thought crossed my mind to steek a V neck into the yoke and do the woven stitch up and around. The jury is still out on that.

They say that those who have lived with chaos in the past are destined to seek it out again and again, proving that they can control the situation. I've managed to get a handle on some of life's chaos. Knitting chaos? Not so much.

Seems like no matter the light, malabrigo doesn't photograph well in garments. All those pesky shadings making it look like bad variegated yarn. I do however, like what the stitch pattern does to the pooling, so that's a bonus.

Experimentation also allowed me to play with the light settings on the camera (along with the stage of what I thought was going to be the Best Shadow Puppet Theater Ever) and I was able to get close on the colors that I hope will be the Adult Surprise Jacket. Did I note every setting so that I would know which one will work next time? Please refer to the above thoughts on chaos.

I thought I was going to wait until good lighting and finished fabulousness to post- given that we may not have that until April, I jumped in.

Friday, December 26, 2008

baa baa blacksheep

Such a popular post title but I really did pick up 3 bags. I managed to avoid the crazed, materialistic holiday mess only to fall flat at the yarn store today. Used to be I could buy slowly with knit night happening once a week. Little yarn here- little yarn there. Now? Not so much. I did have a list and I stuck to it mostly.

Two books of note-- after I realized I had 2 favorites from the Fitted Knits book, I took the opportunity to get it. I got some yarn for the Back to School U-neck vest (better late than never) I also got some yarn for the Cozy v-necked pullover. (rav links) The book Ocean Breezes-Knitted Scarves inspired by the Sea jumped into the pile. There's also enough brown, wine, umberish Cascade to my an Adult Surprise Jacket. The way I figure it, I picked up about 6,000 yards of Cascade marinating in bags upstairs. (eep!) I also have about 2,500 yards of noro sock yarn which I want to make a smaller gauged sweaterish thing either using Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top or EPS. There is also about 1400 yards of Debbie Bliss blue tweed to play with EZ's aran sweater.

I've a new yarn buying theory based on wisdom and experience. Everything I've ever knit from Cascade has turned out as close to what I expected as I could hope. It's not pill-y and it doesn't hurt my hands. New Rule until I break it- worsted or lighter.

I'll have some color photos when it's daytime and not raining. I'm also not absolutely married to the above projects so don't be surprised when I change my mind.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

eggs and yarn

This is Annabelle the Cat. She doesn't pose often. She thought she'd grace you with her presence.

This is the baby fern scarf (rav link) It's my new favorite pattern. This is light lavender Rowan Cashsoft baby DK. It's going to a friend that made my life better.

This is one I'm starting in Baby alpaca (don't have the label). I'm going to double it and widen the pattern. If I finish it, it's going to a former long lost student.

I got fresh eggs from a seller of fresh eggs and made deviled eggs. This is the first time I've done this. I think I learned why they sprinkle paprika on deviled eggs. eww.

Monday, December 22, 2008

holiday masks

Continuing with the theme and as a part of the holiday season- here's a little gasmask santa from I don't know the context, but what an image.

Unless I write about inept bosses, testy husbands or cute dogs, I've got nothing.

I was a part of serving three hundred and thirty lunches in under 30 minutes this morning. (if you're looking for a clue to the inept boss, consider me in the cafeteria serving lunch at 10:30 am)

Furthermore I'd like to suggest that the phrase "Actions speak louder than words" does not apply when the generous actions are couched in a nest of less than kind words.

I'm making another baby fern scarf for a long lost former student out of some lavender rowan baby cashsoft.

All the kids are on a field trip today- one more half-day with just the teacher types and I'm home free. Or more accurately- free at home.

ETA If you're looking to see some kids sing, as the webmaster of my school's site, I don't waste any time getting those voices out there. I present The Show. Don't go if you are offended by traditional spirituals or a Christmas Carol in the public schools. This Buddhist Jew can get away with it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

crack a me up

I don't care how many episodes I've seen. Or how hokey it is. Barney Fife cracks me up E.V.E.R.Y. time. Today he's playing cymbals and has just said "Gas it up chickie." (though this photo is "stock" and not from the episode.) Apparently I've got a sort of "goggle-gas theme" going on this week.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Turn The Heel

I turned a heel for an audience today. Sort of... They weren't really watching me. They were waiting for their kids to sing. But it was an audience. And I successfully turned the heel while we all were waiting. Funny, I missed the roar of applause when I was done.

They did clap for their kids and that's always a good thing. The yearly most stressful event in my job is over for another 364 days and that is good.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

holy stink-a-toly

This is an awesome site swiped from flutter via Ethan Only go to the site if you've got some serious time to kill. It does express our needs as of last night- though thanks to mbcreates who recommended baking soda things are a little better.
Dear Friends,

The next time I think it would be a good idea to felt 100% alpaca in our virtually ventilationless basement living area can I please count on all of you to slap me in the head and call me Stoopid? Wait, nevermind. This isn't going to be a smell that we here at House of Sophanne will soon forget. Instead, will someone reassure me that the smell will go away once the sweater dries. Details to follow when I'm able to post without a gas mask. Please don't forget the reassuring and in the meantime, imagine last winter's Grinch sweater much more streamlined


Eta Cindy and MK. They're on the way!

O.k.- so the mama ordered Lil' Liza a doggy backpack. Faithful readers know this. Now the backstory. They told her that it shipped before the giant blanket bathrobes did and I let her know that it had not arrived. She talked to operators who said they would get right on it. They did. It arrived the next day. Then another one arrived. And now a third one has arrived. Over the weekend (last weekend-before the third one arrived) she tried to explain that all was well and we could send the second one back and blah blah blah. The weekend help did not understand which explains why we have a third one. I believe the company might implode if we tried to return them. When they say "overstock" they're not kidding.

I was just going to send one to Pepper- KnitnNat's great dog- but I'm not sure he'd make use of it. Jenn has indicated that Rufus would likely lie down in peaceful protest at the thought of it- No word from Stella and Kim.

Email me the address of a needy dog (blts at alltel (dot) net) and the first two I get will get a doggie backpack for Christmas. It does not need to be a blogger- it does not need to be yourself. If you have a friend who you think would gain great pleasure from this, I'm all for spreading the cheer. Send the dog's name and the owners address and call me Santa.

Please hurry. Apparently they're multiplying.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Checking in

The stry-ped Whick-ed sweater is finished. Pictures if the sun ever comes out.

Mr. Sophanne thinks this technology age needs knew superheros- wi-fi man, cell tower guy.
WiFi man, Wifi man, gets the internet like no one can. Google this, Yahoo that, Wifi man knows where it's at. Look out, here comes the wifi man

The advertising company who did the Wii commercials this year can feel as though they've accomplished something. Mr. Sophanne loves his playstation2 but he is ready to move forward so there should be interesting stories to follow in the coming weeks. Any game recommendations are welcome.

Last night at knit night I was reminded of those ornaments kids make using balloons, string, glue and glitter. I'm going to get that stuff and save it for the next snow day.

At the first of the year Mr. Sophanne would like to put in a high speed train between Pittsburgh and Columbus unless he's bought out by the Saudis. Can anyone say "Infrastructure Man?" (trust me when I say that these details are FAR from finalized.

And finally, what's a blog without a picture? My mum bought Liza a backpack for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lest you be uninformed

I learned last night at knit night that...

There are apparently square dancing llamas north of Warsaw Indiana. If you can add anything to this newly acquired knowledge, bring it on!

Distressed alpacas make the same sound as an aggravated Marge Simpson. Something like ~eh~mm~h~mm.

One knitter, whose name I will not reveal, stores her yarn in an unused clear shower stall. If she runs into any unexpected plumbing problems she may have the world's largest felted cube.