Monday, July 31, 2006

Last minute plans

Guess what I did this weekend...


Yep, I went to a surprise Phillies game!

Philly from the ballpark

The original plan for this weekend had my parents coming down here (I haven't seen them since Mothers Day, and they haven't seen my apartment since the day I moved in two years ago). However, they had one ball game to go to on Friday night, another game on Sunday night, and were apparently feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of coming down here for 24 hours in between. So, they suggested that I go up there instead, and they'd take me to Sunday night's game. Definitely doable!

It was a whole lot of fun. I'm not really into sports, but I've always had a soft spot for baseball, specifically the Phillies. Chase Utley has a hitting streak going... last night's game was the 31st game in a row where he's gotten a hit (he's up to 32 games now), and to make it even better, the Phils won -- they made up for it by losing impressively this afternoon. :) Anyway, we had a great time!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Project list overhaul

So, anyone who follows my current projects list has noticed a change to it. First, I frogged the IK Chevron Rib Tank. I love the pattern, I like the yarn, but I didn't like the two together. The Rowan Summer Tweed is very colorful and fairly textured (almost a boucle), and the stitch pattern was getting completely lost. Unfortunately, with that project, the stitch pattern is really important... thus, it's been frogged.

Taking its place in the project list is the Bias Corset from the Summer 2006 IK, using my attempt at handpainted yarn:

My handpainting attempt

The funny thing is, I fully intended to use this yarn for socks... but the yarn did not want to be socks. Emphatically didn't want to be socks. So I poked through IK (since I want to make at least half of the patterns in that issue), and found that this stuff would work for the Bias Corset. It was meant to be, really. Who knew that fate took an interest in knitting?

Have you seen the new knitting bags at Knitpicks? Even the large is only $20... In my opinion, most organizer/knitting bags are ridiculously overpriced for what they are, so I may be ordering one of these things.

Finally, if you are a Star Trek fan, or a Monty Python fan, or better yet a Star Trek AND Monty Python fan, you must watch this: Star Trek/Knights of the Round Table mashup.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Overheard at the library

At the main area branch where I spend most of my working hours, they recently put together a Spanish language collection. There are a lot of bilingual kids books, language tapes and CDs for ESL... it's a great idea, and the items are getting circulated pretty frequently, so it's a service that the community is definitely using.

I have yet to have somebody checking out Spanish materials who didn't also know English. So it made me mad as heck to hear this snotty woman today making her views about the Spanish area known:

"Why do you have a Spanish collection when those people should be learning English?"

Charming. So glad I wasn't the one helping her.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tempting II, day 11

Tempting II? Almost to 8"!

This thing is a fast knit. Other than knitting group meetings, I'm only working on it for a half hour here and there. Not only is it fast, but it FITS me (negative ease, woohoo!).

Tempting II came with me to Knit Night last night, where I met a couple more people who weren't there last week. Seeing what other people are working on is neat; there were lots of socks making appearances. And I had one of Panera's I.C. Cappuccino Chip frozen beverage things (Good for me? No. But it was SO tasty). As for my knitting progress there... I felt like I got a good amount done on it, and was thinking I had finished another inch or so. I got home and measured it: TWO inches. I love this project, even though right now it's just a tube of k1p1 rib. Sometimes simple is good. :)

I tried handpainting some yarn this morning... I don't know that I'll be doing it again. It took a long time, and the end result is splotchy. It's not terrible, but I've been much happier with the stuff I've dyed on the stovetop. However, here it is in the steamer:

And I finally joined Project Spectrum, after 5 months of thinking, "I should do Project Spectrum." July is the purple month, and Lolly pointed out that the hemp bag I'm working on is a perfect PS project... Anyway, here are some purple yarny things:

In other news, I want to know what construction they're doing at the local Target. There are dumpsters and cranes and backhoes taking up lots of room in the parking lot, and they've even gone so far as to build a new temporary entrance to the store because the regular one is closed off. Looks like they might be renovating the entrance/photo processing/customer service area, but whatever they're doing looks like it's pretty major. If I get a cashier in a good mood at some point, I'll ask... if not, I'll find out when the construction barriers come down.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Post-storm sunset

This is what this afternoon's storm did to the sunset: it turned the entire sky bright pink. Too cool!

The picture would be clearer if I had had more time to set up a fake tripod... as it was, about 2 minutes after I took this, the pink was almost entirely gone.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Spinning breakthrough

Sorry, no pictures this time. No new dye projects, and the only thing I've been working on is something for my secret pal (4 of 6 mystery objects are done, and I should get the other 2 done tonight. Yay, instant gratification!).

I've also been doing some spinning... I had a breakthrough there, and suddenly it's moving much much faster. Turns out that I had been pre-drafting WAY too much, and I was working with strips of roving so thin that the fiber wouldn't draft during spinning. I was feeling lazy a few days ago and pulled out a wider strip to work with, and *boom* it started drafting! I can't wait to finish spinning my current stash of merino roving so I can knit something out of it. There's 4.5 ounces, and it's coming out more-or-less worsted weight; might be enough for a shrug. And of course, then I'll have to get more fiber once I'm through with this batch. More merino? Something else, like silk? We'll have to see. :)

I think I'm going to a knitting group tomorrow in Baltimore, and I'm taking Tempting II with me. It's been a bit neglected since Monday night's group. I find that I tend to get more knitting done when I'm around other people, so I'm hoping this will push Tempting along a bit.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More yarn pr0n...

Well, Flickr has been having issues today, but they're back up now... and that's good, because I have more yarn to document! The hand-dyeing thing is still fairly new to me, so I get excited when I reskein the stuff and it looks "official".

I love the way this batch came out. It's superwash sock yarn, and for some reason, it doesn't like taking dye. I don't know if the process to make it washable also makes it resistant to dyes, but it takes forever to get it to take up dye. So, I decided to work with that on this batch, and I ended up with a really nice bright pastel blend. (There are more pictures up on my Flickr page, including a couple from before I reskeined).

I had a flash of inspiration at work today about something I could make for my secret pal. I can't blog about it in detail in case she reads this, but it's going to be a set of 4 or 6 "somethings", and I got one "something" started and finished tonight while watching Nightmares & Dreamscapes. I was especially watching for tonight's second episode, "The End of the Whole Mess", which is my favorite Stephen King story ever. TV Squad has a review up that sums up my thoughts almost perfectly. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Knitting mojo!

I went to a Knit Night in Columbia last night, and had a great time (once I found where it was... that's got to be the most well-hidden Panera anywhere). I was one of six new people there, which thankfully meant that I wasn't the only one trying to learn a whole bunch of names. I've gotten a lot better with names since I started working at the library, but I'm still far from having a photographic memory for names and faces. :)

I had my recently-started Tempting II with me. Right now, it's a lot of k1p1 rib, which is something I don't have to pay tons of attention to... good social knitting. When I got there, I had about 2.5" of it complete... when I left, I had 4". How the heck did that happen? Aren't my projects supposed to take forever? Apparently, I had good knitting mojo last night. And a couple of people there had spindles with them. When I went up to grab some food, a couple of people behind the counter were commenting on what was going on at our table. "Oh my gosh, did you see this? That lady's SPINNING!" I may have to bring along the cotton candy roving next time...

Anyway, lots of fun people, AND I got a decent amount of knitting done. Woohoo! I'd love to get Tempting II done before summer's over. The way I look at it, I got my altered Ribbon X-back done during the Knitting Olympics, and that was WAY more stitches than this is.

Right now, I'm just enjoying doing nothing... today I worked 4 hours at one branch, grabbed a sandwich from Panera (yes, that's two Panera meals in two days), drove to the other side of the county, scarfed down my sandwich in 10 minutes, and then worked another 3 hours at a different branch. I'm just vegging out with a glass of wine at the moment (Boordy Blush, which is the bottle I picked up there on Saturday). It wasn't a difficult day, just a long and tiring day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Some handdyed yarn porn

There haven't been many pictures here lately, so here's some sock yarn that I dyed for a trade with someone on the Knittyboard:

Handdyed sock yarn

I'm really happy with how it came out. The colors remind me a lot of the southwest, and if I wanted to give this colorway a name, it would be "Painted Desert". I hope the recipient likes it!

This makes me think of the trips I've taken out west, which then makes me think of the structural problems out at Dinosaur National Monument that have caused them to close the main visitor center. If you've never been there, it is an incredibly cool place. The visitor center is attached to a wall of fossils that they've excavated. You walk in and there's this HUGE wall full of something like 1500 fossil bones, exactly the way they were found. Yeah, there's other stuff to do there, like hiking and rafting... but really, people go to see the fossils. What a great place to take a kid during the dinosaur obsession phase. I hope they can get the structural problems fixed.

I recently joined a wine group, and last night, some of us went to Boordy Vineyards. There's a Saturday night outdoor concert series there, and last night's entertainment was the Junkyard Saints, a local Zydeco band. As I was driving out there, the sky was getting more and more stormy-looking, and then it started POURING. They have a barn at the winery, and they move the concerts in there if it rains, but I was still glad that the rain had stopped by the time I got there. It ended up being a gorgeous night. I was the first one there from our group, and while I was waiting, the two guys who had been behind me in line invited me to sit with their ski club if my group ended up bailing, which was really nice of them.

My group did show up a few minutes later, and we had a great time! There was wine and food and music and dancing... my kind of night. I didn't even touch the knitting I had with me. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what Zydeco music actually is, which was difficult because the Zydeco band kept playing very non-Zydeco things like "Low Rider". A couple of the people are also in a hiking/outdoors club, and invited me to go tubing next Saturday. I'm not sure that tubing is the best activity for me (I can't swim), but hiking is something that I've wanted to do for a while. And regardless, I'll definitely be doing more things with this wine group.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?

I don't normally post twice in one day, and I don't normally post quizzes. For this one I'll make an exception. :)

You scored as Deep Space Nine (Star Trek). You have entered the dark side of the Star Trek universe. The paradise of Earth is far from you and you must survive despite having enemies on all fronts. But you wouldn't have it any other way because you thrive in conflict and will know what needs to be done to take care of those around you. Now if only the Founders would quit trying to take over the galaxy.

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Serenity (Firefly)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Moya (Farscape)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
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Tales of the power outage

We had a very quick, yet very ugly storm blow through yesterday afternoon. It was one of the ones where you just stare at it wondering how the heck that much rain is even possible. Anyway, I got home after work to discover: power outage! My apartment doesn't get a lot of light inside even on bright days, so I took some knitting and some lemonade and sat outside on my balcony until it was dark. It was nice; I always think about knitting on my balcony, and I never actually do it. I briefly considered grabbing some candles and staying outside once it got dark, but... there are bats around here. 'Nuff said.

Just so you know how much of a genius I am: Since my phone doesn't work during a power outage, I had my cell phone on so I could get work calls. The charge was low, so I plugged it in to recharge. While my power was out.

I eventually realized that this wasn't going to work, so I went to Target to get a car charger and some other stuff (like a flashlight... how do I not own a flashlight?). I then drove around for a while to charge the phone up, which was entirely worth it since I heard "Baba O'Riley" on the radio. Awesome song, no matter how many TV shows use it. Anyway, once I got home, I did some knitting by candlelight... not something I necessarily want to do every night, but it was kind of fun. All in all, it was a strangely enjoyable evening. And since I got a few hours of uninterrupted knitting in, I now have 3.5" of my Chevron Rib tank done. Amazing the way things progress when I actually work on them.

I've reached my 6-month hire date at work, which means that I can put myself into consideration for a full-time position when one opens up. And it turns out that I'm eligible for the information desk, not just the circ desk. I thought the info desk positions required a Library Science degree, but they just require a bachelors... so there's this whole other category of positions that I hadn't even thought about. Anyway, fingers are crossed. Even with the weird old guys that I encounter, I really enjoy working there, and something full-time would be fantastic. (Think I'm kidding about the weird old guys? One told me on Tuesday that he goes to this country-western bar on Fridays, and he'll buy me a drink if I show up there some time. Old enough to be my grandfather. If it had gone on much longer, the gals at info were coming to rescue me.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I think I just regressed about 20 years

I'm watching Pee-wee's Playhouse -- yay, Adult Swim! Unfortunately, I have a bone to pick with Cartoon Network: DON'T CUT THE OPENING THEME SHORT!!!

I do have to say, as I sat there last night watching it, I suddenly understood very clearly why my mother didn't like this show. It's a bit like having one's attention span forceably shortened. Plus, the subtle dirty jokes that went right over my head back in the day... mom wasn't a big fan.

I wonder if the guy who played Jambi ever felt just a little bit silly.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Started another project

Wait... I'm actually using stash yarn for something. I've had my eye on IK's Chevron Rib Tank for a long long time. I may have actually found this pattern before I found Knitty, so... it's been a while. And the Rowan Summer Tweed I had in the stash got me close enough to gauge that I'm just going for it. I am sizing it down a wee bit (their smallest size is a 34.5" chest circumference, and I'm trying to size it to 32").

The yarn looks neat knit up, but it's a pain to work with. It feels almost like there's a residue on it, and it squeaks on the needles. There's also no elasticity to it at all (cotton and silk, so no surprise there)... this may be a very off-and-on project, but it'll look good when it's finished.

One thing I like is that it's not standard ribbing, it's garter ribbing. You can kind of see it in the picture here, but since I'm only a bit over 1" in, the stitch pattern isn't incredibly obvious yet.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Petticoat Sock #2 cast-on

Ok, this looks a lot more scary and impressive than it actually is, but I had to grab a picture of the cast-on for the second Petticoat Sock. There's a picot edge, and if you work these on 2 circulars, you end up with 4 circulars in the cast-on at one time (2 in the live stitches, and 2 in the cast-on row).

I'm through 4 repeats of the lace pattern for the leg... that's something I remembered from sock #1. FAST lace pattern.