Saturday, November 11, 2017

Distracted by Distractions

  Not sure why that picture looks like it is in black and white, I swear it isn't.  This is the re-do from the Wish pattern I did before.  I definitely like it a lot better and I like the decreases I did on this one better as well.

  I kept meaning to finish these earrings and listing them online.  I have a bunch of charms that I have been making into super easy to make earrings to list for the Holidays.  I took some pictures and listed a few online.  I don't want to list too many at once because Etsy has a section on the front page for recent listings and you have a better chance to get noticed if you only do a few at a time.  I'm also pretty sure I had made more than I found, so I will have to see where those went to.

  I've noticed an interesting habit of mine.  If I teach a pattern class I tend to want to finish the project.  This is the last class I taught.  I tried to find the pattern and couldn't find this one either.  I'm wondering if the people within JoAnn's corporate office have found someone to make patterns for them.
  I am in the middle of writing patterns for a small and a large of my Heart and Waves hat pattern.  That is now put on hold because of this crochet thing.  The pattern tells you to make it into a cowl but I want to use as much yarn as I can, so it might be a scarf.  Just remember, the more yarn I use the less I have to organize.

  This has been done and sitting in a bag since February.  My problem was that it is so big and was so hard to find a place to take a good picture of it.  I'm also standing on a chair to get this picture, so you are welcome that I put myself in danger for you.
  Okay, not real danger.  I will also post a better picture if Andrea manages to get one.  This thing is oddly shaped and huge.  Some free floor space probably would have been a better choice than some tables pushed together.

  I'm also getting distracted from organizing my house.  It doesn't help that I'm really bad at it.  I know a lot of people claim this, but I know I am.  Most people can work in a room for a few hours and make a big difference.  It takes me at least 6 hours before any real difference can be seen.  It also doesn't help that I didn't take as much time as I meant to during my down-time at work and now we are getting busy.  I also have more things that I need to list more things on LetGo or just donate them.  I'll get the hang of it someday.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I'm a Critter Now!

  Starting on the Thursday before last I had found myself with a scratchy throat.  It then progressed to a full sore throat that lasted through Friday and Saturday.  I felt pretty good on Tuesday but then I got a bit worse on Wednesday.  Bill had sent me a link to an episode of Critical Roll on Geek and Sundry.  It wasn't the first episode, but it was a more light hearted one that didn't give away too much of the story-line.  It was hilarious and about flying cows and I was hooked.
  I had already been a fan of Geek and Sundry and have watched a bunch of Felicia Day's Flogs and Table Top with Wil Wheaton, but hadn't watching much beyond those two.  I'm not sure how they got invited on, but Critical Roll is a show where a bunch of voice actors play D&D.  They had been playing about a year or so together before they came to Geek and Sundry.
  When they are streaming on Twitch they donate any money that is sent in to 826 LA and they encourage people to check out if there is an 826 chapter near them.  In only a few episodes they have gotten to the point where they only have time to read the names of people who have donated over $20 because they were getting so many.  They have even had some other people representing other charities stop by everyon once in a while and have given the donations from that night to the other charity.  Most of cast has also has a list of charities they personally support.  They are such nice people, I want to be friends with all of them.
  They are all also very good at what they do.  Matt Mercer is an amazing story teller; you give him a crumb and he will not only tell you about the cake but the kitchen it was baked in and maybe a bit about what kind of day it was.  Everyone one else is so funny and good at improve.  They also get very into it and love their characters so much.  Back before they started playing on the stream they had a death of one of their party members.  Everyone was crying about it and did everything they could to bring her back.  Some people might think that is silly since they are just numbers on a piece of paper and images in their minds.  I think it is awesome because it helps everyone involved get more into it and makes it so much better now that they are sharing it with the world.  Their playlist can be found here, and their Geek and Sundry page can be found here.

  Now that I've gotten that wall of text of me fan-girling (and not so secretly wishing I could be friends with all of them) on to what I got done while watching them run around while causing trouble and fixing problems.

  I finished that hat you saw pictured in the post from a few weeks ago.  There was another thing I changed before that I hadn't noted.  On the second one I made I had decided that I liked the heart lace better without the very top row of lace.  Of course I realised this when starting my last heart of the hat.

  While I had achieved the effect that I had been hoping for with the first try, but you know I like trying new things.  I wanted to see if I could still get the flowing and branching off effect if I didn't use the ribbing and used stockinette instead.

  While it is a cool texture it doesn't look as much like flowing water as when I first did it.  Both are good looking, but I think I like my first attempt better.

  I really like this Aura yarn by Austermann.  I was worried that it was going to be a bit hard to work with because of how smooth and slippery it seemed to be in the ball.  Bits of it was also slipping off before I even started working with it.
  I wasn't very bad at all.  I used metal needles and didn't have any more worries about stitches jumping off the needle than I have had with most other yarns.
  This is a Scallop Lace Hat.  I wasn't sure what all I could make with what I had left and I remembered making this once before and that I liked it.  I didn't know how it was going to turn out because the yarn was a different thickness, but I think it turned out pretty well.

  Since it went so well before, I decided to give it another try.  I know I said that I was going to give the rest of this yarn back to the donation pile, but I was still feeling yucky and didn't want to move around too much to rummage through yarn to find something.  This was sitting near me on the couch.
  I didn't run into any more problems with it, so it seems that the yarn itself might be fine and all the problems I had run into before might have just been the fault of how the yarn had been stored before I got it.  It must have had a hard life.

  I finally remembered to soak and block this.  This was the crochet version of the Neck Warmers I had been knitting like crazy.

  I think it looks pretty cool.  The main body of the neck warmer is done in extended single crochets and the leaves are in single crochets.  I had planned on having the whole thing in singles, but it was taking a long time to get anything done and it was becoming a bit stiff.

  I was feeling better, which was good because I had run out of yarn within easy arm's reach and had to venture forth to find more.  While I had that green and leafy project swatched out I didn't think I was ready for it yet.  Since I was on a hat roll I found something that I thought would make a cute hat.
  I cast on and started knitting.  I figured I would try the second version of my Wish Braid hat I had in mind.  I got a few cables up and saw that I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish.  I then took it out and re-cast on with one less repeat.  There should be pictures before too long at the rate I'm going.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

We Have a Pretty Impressive Group of People Over Here.

  Our little Wednesday group is filled with some awesome people.  I know every group has some awesome people, but I'm going to brag about a few we have at Santini's on Wednesday nights. 

  She is a dive coach and makes one for each of her divers and the swim team got so jealous that the coach now buys them from her for the swim team.

  She plans each one out on graph paper before making them out of yarn.  It also isn't like each one is the same with a different name, each one has a different image on it as well.  She had some pictures of previous ones she had made and they are all super impressive.

  Not to brag too much, but The Fiberists have joined our ranks.  They are fun to be around and make yarn into some really pretty colorways.  You can also buy roving they have dyed if you like to spin your own yarn.  They sometimes have a booth at some yarn events, but they do not have a permanent store currently.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

One Hat Down Some Unknown Number To Go.

  I couldn't put it down and finished the hat soon after I finished the last post.  The decreases didn't turn out how I pictured in my head.  The decrease rows where there were also cables on the same side were a lot trickier than I had thought they were going to be.  I think I am going to try again, this time I will use the single purl on each side to do the decreasing so that the cables will still pop out.  I also want to make the breaks between the cables one row taller.  Something more in the middle of the two cables I tried on this.

  This is all that is left of the skein.  I usually make it a challenge to myself to find a use for the whole thing, but I think this one is going to go back to the K&CC pile.  It still has a few parts that are spun a bit thinner, but it had been a while since I had run into my last break.

  This is neither a good nor complete picture of all the things I dropped off on Monday.  Some of you may remember the make-up bags I was putting together around the end of last year.  Since I hadn't heard from my contact as to where to bring everything, it had been put on hold.  I was recently able to get ahold of her and got an address and hours I could drop stuff off during.
  I put it into my GPS and found out that it was only about seven miles from my house.  Super easy!  Before heading over I stopped at Dollar Tree to get the last few things.  I wanted to wait to get the face wipes until the last minute because I didn't want to risk them drying out.  I was going to pick up hand cream while I was there but couldn't find it.  Instead I picked up some lip gloss and deodorant.
  I drove to where my GPS said I could find my destination.  There was a sign when turning in at the end of a dead-end street that said there were buildings with numbers 20-50.  Well, I was looking for a 10.  The building that the GPS took me to, and that the map said was where I could find it, was a 50.  I drove around some more and didn't see anything more useful, so I decided to see what they said.
  I was told that they were not the right location and had no idea where to find them.  One suggestion they had was to check out the 20 building because there were some small businesses in there.  Most of the office areas in there looked empty, but I kept walking to see the rest of the building.
  As I rounded a second corner I saw another building and it was the 10 I was looking for!  I hurried back to my car and drove it to the correct building.  I was also told that they were in suite 305, but turns out they were in 304.  That one was a lot easier to figure out.
  The location is now in my phone so I can easily find it again.  The lady seemed shocked at all the items I was brining in.  What can I say, I like shopping for make-up and don't need any more of it.

  Since I am on a hat kick I decided to see if my Heart and Waves pattern was written correctly.  When I made it the first time I was kind of winging it and not totally paying attention to what I was doing.  The second was also a success and I tried to write it down as I made it.  Now it has been long enough that I won't remember what I did before and will have to rely on the pattern.  I already found one mistake and one thing to modify, but it is easy enough to fix and change as I go.  I'm also pretty sure that the cable portion is divisible by 8 + 6.  This will be helpful if I use yarn in a different weight and won't be able to use the same number of stitches as I'm using now.
  I will also need to figure out how to do decreases if I end on a second cable instead of the first.  So far I've made the few hats work with doing three cables, but I know my luck will run out at some point where it comes to that.
  The picture also doesn't capture how bright and bubblegum pink the yarn is.  It also doesn't show how shiny and slippery the yarn is.  It is Aura by Austermann and is 78% rayon and 22% nylon.  It is so pretty and soft, but I know the stitches would go running off the needle if I don't pay attention, especially once I get to the cables.

  I also sort of saved a puppy the other day at work.  I was driving to buy some ice for the Membership Meeting and saw a puppy on the sidewalk with no leash or person nearby.  I did a u-turn to see if maybe the puppy had run ahead and its person was coming along.  I still didn't see anyone.  I pulled my car over and slowly approached the puppy.  I saw it had tags with an address on it.  I tried to pick up the puppy because I didn't have a leash and he jumped free.  I then followed him as he kept itself about five feet in front of me.  He went into the yard of the one house without a fence and then went up the stairs to the porch.  Hopefully that was his house and he won't get close to the road alone again.

Monday, October 16, 2017

It is All About the Details.

  Sometimes I have the most fun trying to figure out how to do the top part of a hat.  Most of the time I end up just following the pattern with a k2tog slowly eating the stitches.  Sometimes I get struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration and go with something more interesting.

  At one point I saw a picture of a purse that looked like a section of orange.  I then used that and did a few orange themed baby hats.  I wanted the sections of the orange to become smaller but wanted the sections to not curve.  Anyone who has been here a while or went back and read the older posts should remember it.
  I will be using the same idea for the top of my current hat.  I will be decreasing on either side of the cables until they have taken up all the center stitches.  At that point I'm thinking of decreasing on both sides of the odd numbered cables so I will still decrease at the same rate.  Once those have also been taken up I was thinking of doing a double decrease centered around the last stitch left from the cables that had been decreased.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th!

  This is a picture of our poor and ancient heat pump.  We have no idea how long it has been working outside and fulfilling the house's heating and cooling needs.  For all we know it might be original to the house and that was built back in 1978.

  Most of the info on the side plate that has model number and other information has been worn off with time.  We still do have the brand name on it.

  You can see she has been through a lot.  Not sure if  any of the blue is the original coloring, or if it was a base under the green finish.

  When we last got it fixed we noticed that this had happened to the diagram at the top.  While I have never seen the inside of a new heat-pump system, I'm fairly sure they don't come with one of these any more.

  Here is most of what makes it tick.  There are also the other parts that make the air cold and what-have-you, but this is the brain of her.  Very simple and straight forward.  I like her because she feels like she would be easy to fix.

  I went to go look and see if I could find anything more about the color and found this awesome 1977 ad.  The circuit board looks different from mine, but the shape of the model looks the same.
  We are going to be looking to quotes for a new one, but right now she isn't going anywhere.

  Back on the knitting front, there is more hat.  The one problem I have with hats is that I'm never sure how long to make the body of the hat and when to start the decreasing.  I have a chart that tells me about how tall it should be be once done, but unless I've worked a pattern before then I don't know how tall the crown will be once done.
  I've usually gone with something that feels longer because you can always roll the brim up as many times as they need to.  A hat isn't as useful when it is too short and doesn't keep your ears warm.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sometimes I Wish I Knew What Yarn It Is.

  Usually I want to know what yarn I'm using because I have gotten to use some really nice ones and would love to work with them again.  The varigated yarn I'm using in the Stephen West short row scarf is one of those.  The colors are just so pretty.  The yarn in the Swiss Cheese Cowl I made was also amazing.  I would buy so much more of it because the colors are great and it is so soft.
  This time I want to know so I can warn everyone about this yarn.  I have made at least 3 more knots since I last took a picure and even had a section that wasn't connected when I got to it.  I don't think I've gotten to a section beyond what was on the outside in my purse, but I've had lots of other yarn bounce around in there for longer without anything happening to it.
  Now, I wouldn't tell anyone not to buy or use said yarn.  I have no idea what this little skein went through before I got it.  For all I know it might have already delveloped those spots before I saw it from across the table.

  I had typed that all up before I left for knit-night.  While there for the night I was knitting along and having no problems.  I was even starting to really enjoy knitting with the yarn.  As I picturing myself deleting most of those paragraphs above and thinking of what to write about how this poor skein must have lead such a hard life before I got it, I ran into another very thin spot.  So much for that.  I'm still hoping that I haven't totally used all of the outer yarn and someday I will only have to weave in the tail at the end.  Taking this one stitch at a time at this point.
  I also ran into another problem.  I am basing this hat off of a pair of fingerless mitts that I saw for sale online.  I'm not sure if it is the yarn, the gauge, or some other thing different, but my braid is not looking like their braid.  Since there are so many spots with woven in ends and I don't know how the yarn will take to tinking, I think I will leave what I have and try switching to a tighter braid cable for the rest.  Who knows, I might even switch between the two.

  I actually have another hat planned after this one.  I really do like making hats.  The YarnHarlot made a post about herself and how she doesn't really consider socks a project because she always has a pair on the needles and so many result from it.  I am starting to feel like hats are the same way for me.  I will also admit it might change.  I know I was on a fingerless mitt kick there for a while.  The thing about hats is that I love how there is no second sock/mitt syndrome to worry about.  I have not suffered from it yet, but someday I might.