Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Knitting: Flower Petals

Well I am THIS close to finishing the Sylvi coat.  Everything has been knitted and pieced together, I just have to pick up the stitches for the bazillion flower petals on the back and hood, knit those on, and it's done.  So far I've done four petals.  They don't take long, they're just going to be a pain to sew down.  And I have already knit one completely backwards... ie. the wrong side is facing up.

I am very tempted to call the bobble clusters holly berries and forgo the petals altogether.  But I won't.

I have not touched the Catkin since before I left for vacation, but as soon as I'm done with the flower petals on the Sylvi, I will dive in.  The chart is not complicated, per se, it's just convoluted.  The pattern isn't common-sense enough that I can just ditch the chart.  I guess that's the kind of thing that bothers me.

After THAT is done, I'm diving into my daughter's annual school sweater.  Yes, I'm late.  She hasn't outgrown the last two years' worth by very much, but it's getting to the point where she's going to have 3/4 sleeves soon if I don't do something.

When THAT's done, I'm either FINALLY knitting the Dogwood Blossom Cardigan kit I've had from Knitpicks for over a year, or I'm going to try and do some serious destashing projects.... like grabbing a handful of yarn and crocheting a row of an afghan and repeating ad nauseum.

THEN... socks. Lots and lots of socks to destash my sock yarn.  I shall be sick of socks.  But I hear Chris Bauer's character Andy Bellefleur is complaining no one ever knit him socks.  Perhaps I shall donate some.  :D

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Knitting: Winter is Coming

Not just a line from the explosively popular show "Game of Thrones", winter truly is coming.  And I'm behind on my knitting... again.

I'm currently involved in a knit-along (or KAL for the uninitiated) with a group of gals from the Ravelry website who are "Game of Thrones" fans.  We choose three thematically appropriate items to knit and try to get them done by September 19th.  I forget why that date is important.  Hmm.

My three projects are the Clapo-ktus shawl, the Sylvi coat, and a Catkin shawl.  I had intended to finish the Clapo-ktus for my class reunion dinner almost two weeks ago, but it took me about a week longer than anticipated.  Mostly this was because I did not knit as much in the car on the way up there as I thought I would, nor did I knit as much sitting around visiting with my grandmother as I thought I would.  That woman is close to 90 years old, and she never sits still.

However, I did finish it.  I started in on the Sylvi coat before I'd even left for my trip, and gotten one sleeve finished.  I cast the second sleeve on in the car on the way home (181 miles into Iowa, if memory serves, because that's where I finished the Clapo-ktus), finished that sleeve in about four hours, and cast on for the back.  That lasted me the rest of the way home.

I have about twice as much of the back done now as when this picture was taken.  Bulky yarn is wonderful if you want something done fast!  I love that leaf detailing.  I have gotten past the first flower on the back, and I hope I am interpreting the directions properly about the flower petals.  In the pictures they look much larger than the area that is marked for the picked up stitches.

I hauled the Catkin all the way to Minnesota and back, and I never once unzipped the bag.  :/  The chart for that is just too intricate, and since I was using magnets to mark my place, I could just see jumping out of the car in Kansas for a rest stop and dropping something vital or losing my place by knocking the magnet askew.  No thank you.  I knit to DE-stress.

Monday, August 15, 2011

AoA: Plonk Plonk, Thump Thump

Another anecdote of my life with Asperger's syndrome when I didn't know I had it.

After I'd joined the Army, but before I shipped out, I had more than a month before I had to be anywhere.  So I rented a small efficiency apartment which was half the converted upper story of an older woman's house.  The parking was terrible, which ended up being a good thing because I hated backing my car in and out so much that I walked wherever I wanted to go a lot.  I ended up being in a much better condition for basic training.

Anyway, apparently my landlady liked to play piano.  A lot.  Normally I don't mind piano music, but this woman's piano was out of tune.  Not just "normal" out of tune, but that warbly, wavery kind of out of tune you hear on pianos in Wild West movies.  Like there's also a cat stuck in the string bed and it's sitting on a vibratory sander.  Now, I didn't know it was my landlady at the time, I just thought it was another tenant.

So it'd turn 10pm, and I'd start tapping on the floor for her to knock it the hell off.  Only I can't quite tell what direction it's actually coming from so I can really make my point, so I just start rapping on the floor in random spots that I think the direction might be.  She keeps playing, and I keep tapping, because the off-key plonking is getting on my last nerve.  (Aspies are very sensitive to pitch, and quite frequently have perfect pitch)  An hour (!) later, she finally stops.

She served me an eviction notice two days before the month was up.  I was leaving anyways, and I know she knew I was leaving anyways because my shipping out date was coming up, but she obviously felt the need to make *her* point.  It was probably against state renter's protection laws too, but whatever.

The funny part is, I don't remember her name, and probably couldn't find the house again if I wanted to, but I remember that the house was blue.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family: We're Back!

Since I have a general squeamishness about announcing when we're going on vacation on the internet, it may surprise some of you that we were on vacation.  Well, we were, and now we're back!  It was, frankly, an exhausting trip.  I need a vacation from my vacation!

Between the three of us, we took 193 photos and two short video clips.  Three if you count the accidental one.  :D  I am currently uploading and tagging on Facebook as I type.

The exterminator visited the day after we left, so I came home to a lovely kitchen with a crunchy, dead bug over linoleum layer.  Just the thing to walk on when you're exhausted from two fourteen-hour days in the car.  Also, I think our air conditioning is broken for the fourth time this summer.  Lovely.

We SO need to move.

Surprisingly, some of my plants survived my absence.  One Italian sweet pepper fell off the plant and got munched by bugs, but the other one is still hanging in there and beautifully red and luscious looking.  My sage plant died, but the basil and thyme are still doing good.

I did put some of those water globe things in there, but the big stand where the herbs are sucks up about one of those bulbs a day, and I just didn't have enough of them, so I decided to try to save the smaller plants instead, and let nature handle watering the big guy.  It's a drought though, so whadaya going to do?

The trip didn't cost us as much in gas as I feared it would, thanks mostly to a sparing use of the AC in the car and the fact that we do get pretty good milage.  The trip over land was well worth the aches and pains of car travel, because you see some really wacky crap on the road.  Amazing bridges, cool graffiti art, and... get this... I saw a flatbed trailer hauling what looked like a giant head from Tutankamen's sarcophogus.  You can't make that crap up.  Oh, and another huge trailer hauling what looked like a blade from a giant wind turbine.  You know how a flatbed trailer is a certain length?  It took TWO of them for this single blade.  I never realized they were that huge.

It was exhausting, but worth every penny and minute of time spent.