Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The living room is sort of put back together. Here, from one direction, featuring one of my housemates:

And the other direction and other housemate:

The doors still need to be done, but that will have to wait until later.

The scarves had to come out of the closet in order for T to paint the door frame, though. I didn't realize I had this many. And I wear almost all of them.

Here's a question for you plant people. We've had this plant three or four years. It used to grow straight, but now it leans. What kind of plant is it, and what can be done about it?

Monday, July 30, 2007

That's not helping

As T was painting trim last night, he said, "You know what it looks like? Mustard."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

There's light at the end of the tunnel

...and it is Yellow.

We painted half of the living room Saturday, and finished it today. It had been pale peach. Now it is gold, which I love all to pieces. Here it is at the midway point.

The trim was supposed to be a medium gold, but it turned out to be a fairly bright sunflower gold. I compared it to the paint chip. It is definitely not the same color

Katie hid out for awhile, but eventually her desire for attention won out over the funny smells and the way we had rearranged her space.

Next up: Paint the rest of the trim. Start putting furniture back in place. Clear off the bed. Sleep.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Home repair: Phase 2

(No, you didn't miss Phase 1. We had the front steps rebuilt. We forgot to take "before" pictures, so "after" pictures would not be especially impressive.)

Last week, we had our shower replaced. Before, note the wavy walls, the icky grout, and an actual hole where the tile has fallen out.

And after - the tile, and the issues pertaining to it, all gone. This week, Terry painted. I wanted it to be a little more sagey green, but it ended up minty fresh. That's okay, too.

There's not a picture, but we also got new flooring. (No pictures. It's vinyl. It looks like fake tiles. It was the cheapest thing they had at the carpet and flooring store. It's fine.)

Here, Katie studies the obstacle in the hallway while the flooring was being installed.

Our next project, starting tomorrow: Decide on a paint color to go with the blue carpet, barely seen above, and paint the living room. We're thinking maybe gold, but we haven't actually spread the paint chips out on the carpet yet.

Somewhere along the line, I ordered a few things from KnitPicks.

From front: The sock needle set, some sock yarn that was on clearance, lace weight yarn in case I hated the charcoal yarn, and the Koigu pattern book. I wasn't going to buy the Koigu book since I wasn't really interested in most of the patterns. But Miss Violet reported on a recent podcast that the Keepsake Shawl pattern in the book is markedly different from the standalone pattern (as in, correct), so I figured it was a worthwhile investment, especially at 40% off.

Oh, yeah - the charcoal yarn. Frogged it. I'm perhaps the only person who can lose stitches by dropping one end of a circular needle. After spending about 45 minutes painstakingly unknitting and still finding dropped stitches, I decided I could start over and be ahead in time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Why did I do it? It's a Mystery.

Last week, at almost the very last possible moment, I signed up for the Mystery Stole 3 Knitalong. How it works: You sign up for a Yahoo group. Every week (for six weeks, I think) the designer posts a portion of a pattern for a lace stole. Just knit along with the pattern, and at the end you will have a completed lace stole.

The first obstacle was that the designer specified that the stole would look best in black or white. I don't have any black or white lace weight yarn on hand. I ordered some charcoal Lane Borgosesia Baruffa from the Loopy Ewe, and natural Bare from KnitPicks. Sheri got the charcoal yarn here in record time, so it won the right to move on to the swatching step.

Here's a tip. Don't swatch lace at Stitch 'n' Bitch, especially if the gang is chatty. This is perhaps the most error-ridden swatch in history, but man, did I have a good time knitting it.

Go ahead. Laugh. God knows I did. There should be six neat little arrows like the one at the upper right. No matter. The point was to see if there was enough variation between the yarn-over holes and the plain knitting - and there is.

Step 2, and my second moment of folly, was beads. Beads are optional, but I thought, "What the heck? As long as I am trying new things, I may as well go for broke." So I headed out to a bead store. I know nothing about beads, but I found the 8/0s, and picked one that looked nice with the swatch.

The pattern recommends adding the beads as you go, rather than threading the yarn ahead of time. That requires a teeny crochet hook that will go through the bead. A size 11 slips through the bead, and just barely holds onto the lace yarn.

Finally, today, I started the actual knitting. This is the first 20 rows.

There's still quite a ways to go. The test knit blocked out to 80 inches long. This is about 2 inches.

T and I went through some of the antiques in the hutch today. Katie helped.

For her efforts, she is getting to spend the night with her cat sitter, or as she thinks of it, Kitty's Worst Nightmare. It's not really because of this. Our bathroom remodeling starts tomorrow, and we thought she would be too stressed out by having strangers in the house making noise all day. Going to Mia's house stresses her out, too, but she's been there often enough to know where the good hiding places are.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mo' FOs

T worked on the Fourth, so I knit. I finished the Opal 6 socks. Amazingly enough, this is the first pair of blue socks I have every finished.

Then, because the neighbor kids were shooting off firecrackers, I kept knitting late into the night and finished the Blue Jeans bag.

It still needs a handle (the pattern calls for a three-stitch I-cord) and a lining, but those should both be easy to accomplish.

At last week's yarn crawl, I limited myself to sock yarn.

From left: Opal Flamingo, Smooshy, Panda Cotton, and the current installment from the Rockin' Sock Club.

The Panda Cotton hit the needles tonight

The pattern is Broadripple from Knitty. The Panda Cotton (actually bamboo and cotton) has some elastic in it, so I'm hoping it works up similarly to the Cascade Fixation of the original. At the moment, it is looking like it might be a bit large, but it is really too soon to tell.

Tonight, Amy returned from her visit to Patternworks bearing gifts. It's a bamboo and wool blend, in very pretty shades of blue. Thanks, Amy!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Even more visitors

This weekend, knitters Alcariel and Mamateja came to town for a party. They joined the KnitWits Friday night for knitting at Borders. Alcariel brought her wheel and started spinning some new roving, which caught the interest of several people. Mamateja worked on her socks for the Rockin' Sock Club.

Saturday, I joined them for a yarn crawl. We covered three stores in 2.5 hours, and *ahem* yarn diets were abandoned. Not by me, mind you. I only bought sock yarn, and (say it with me, knitters) "Sock Yarn Doesn't Count." One is a sport weight, which will be hitting the size 3 "insti-socks" needles as soon as the current sock is done - and it is close.

It turns out Alcariel and I have similar color preferences and are drawn like moths to the bright, rich blues. There was a bit of tug-of-war when we saw this Jordana Paige knitting bag at Purls. After ogling its features and trying it on for size, I backed off and let her buy it. I figured I can go back any time to get one for myself - or put it on my Christmas list.

Saturday night, Terry sweet-talked me into going the observatory with him. Although it was full moon, it was clearer than it had been for several days, and there were a lot of visitors there. The night's big attraction was Saturn and Venus, which were less than a degree apart.