Sunday, May 21, 2017

Days 1 and something of Scotland!

  So I got up a little early for me, some time after 8am. I finished packing and even had time to go and check out one of the houses for sale in my neighborhood. I was really hoping to be able to bring something I ordered online, but that didn't happen.
  We got to the airport and got through very easily. We then got some lunch before we waited for our plane to board.  The nice thing about international trips is that they feed you.   These seats were interesting though, there were 4 seats across, you only got 3 offset under the seat storage spaces, but there were 5 cup holders.

  That was my nifty little set up. I really liked the tiny wines.
  I wanted to work on Better Together on the plane because I could concentrate on it. Well, it took me until my third movie to cast everything on and to count to nine 40 times. My problem was that I was counting the one purl stitch and then going on to two when I made my first knit stitch. Silly me!
   When I learned that we were going to have to go through security again and the rest of my bottle of water would go to waste I became annoyed.  We weren't leaving the airport, so where would we have gotten ahold of something we weren't allowed to have?  So I drank the whole thing before we got off the plane.  I felt better about not wasting the water, but I also gave myself a stomach ache.

  While on the flight from London to Edinburgh I knew it was at a breakfast time and I got breakfast food, but my body was just confused as to what time it was.  I got a mini English Breakfast.  I also managed to get one more row knitted.  The middle seats were interesting.  They were more narrow and armrests had been put over them.  It didn't look like they were ever used as seats, even though it has its own tray table.

  It seemed like I was the only one to get food on that flight because soon after getting to the hotel everyone else wanted to get food.  I had read a post about some of the foods you had to try while in Scotland.  One of them was the scotch egg.  Since I was only a little bit hungry, I ordered one.
  It is a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage for anyone who doesn't know.  The one I got had a slightly runny yolk and was wrapped in spicy sausage, almost a chorizo.

  Then came the hike to the top of Arthur's Seat.  We were told that even though it would look like we wouldn't want to, we should take the path with the stairs.  Once close we saw a map with some of the paths labeled on it.  None of the actual paths were labeled, so it was kind of hard to tell which ones were official and which had just been made over time.  We saw some steep stair-like things that looked like I wouldn't want to go up, so they fit the criteria and up we went.

   Some of the steps we went up were almost to my knee and at one point there stopped being stairs and were just rocks in an angle.  I did a bad impression of a mountain goat and climbed up.  I'm not in shape at all, so I had to take a few breaks.  It might not look like much from the picture, but the tiny road at the bottom of the picture is a two lane road.
 It didn't bother me that everyone else in the group was faster than I was, but it did bother me when the path got close to a steep hill.

  I also didn't go all the way to the top because it was windy when we were most of the way up and I was cold enough as it was.  I did have fun taking pictures of wild birds and people's dogs.

  We headed back down a different way than we came up.  Along the way I saw a wild rabbit tumble down onto the path, I thought he had just slipped and was going to get up and scamper off, but when he started thrashing around I knew he wasn't doing very well.  I told him that he had been a very good bunny, and while I know he didn't understand me I hope my tone got through.

   There weren’t any people down at St. Anthony's Chapel when we first got there.  However, whenever you are trying to get pictures without people, they all sense your intentions and swarm to where you are pointing the camera.
  The rest of the walk down was really easy.  We stopped in at BRGR and I got the Kinder Egg shake.  It was really good and I highly recommend it to anyone who has one near them.

   It is now after 10pm local time and I have been up since about 2pm yesterday so I think it is time for bed for me.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Two Weekends, One Review

  I had planned on talking about each weekend in their own posts, but time slipped away from me when I was done with the first and then getting ready for the second.  You might need a snack for this one.

Saturday 4/29

  It was a nice day and we got done with the New Member Orientation in a good amount of time.  Time for the beer festival!!

  I really like how they gave you this little jar to take with you to get samples.  No worries about small cups tipping over and not very much waste.  I kept mine and plan to use it again, so mine was zero waste.  This was a VA apple cider.

  I was very bad at keeping track of what I had from where...this was a yummy, but I don't remember which one it was.

  This one is also a mystery to me.  I remember they were right next to the cider people and the lady who poured it was very nice.  There were also a few that didn't get a picture taken of them.  Only one of the ones I actually tried wasn't something I liked.  There was a bunch I did like.

   Some of the places had really cool covers for their coolers.

  I really liked their pear lager.  I would definitely have that again.

  A lot of them had really cool handles.  It makes sense for them to do this, that way when you walk into some place you can see if they have your favorite quite easily.

Sunday 4/30

  My mom had debated a while on if she wanted to go see Geraldine or not.  I knew I wanted to go and we decided to meet there.

  There she is in all her yarny glory!  It was so interesting to see once you got inside.

  They had many things to distract you before you even got it.  Do you see those lovely baskets growing from that tree over on the left?  The yarns hung there are also dyed especially for them.  If you see one you like, you better get it, or learn how to dye yarn yourself.

  This is what the inside looked like.  Every where you turned there was something new to see and squish.

  I was thinking that I wasn't going to buy anything, but then I went in and took a closer look at the basket of stitch markers.  Even their logo is too cute to not take a closer look at.

  I wanted to get all the cat themed ones, but I thought that was a bit much since they were more than I would usually pay for stitch markers.  I managed to narrow it down to two cards.  I couldn't decide, so I just went with both of them.

Saturday 5/6

  We tried to go to the Virginia Gold Cup last year, but it didn't work out.  I forget why at this point, but I was determined to go this year.  The weather forecast said there was a chance of rain in the morning, but it should clear before too long.
  I woke up to cloudy skies, but it didn't look like much was happening.  When our friends got here it was drizzling a little.  We took that as a good sign since the storm was supposed to be moving from where the cup was towards where my house was.  It was raining on the way there, but lightened when we were almost there.
  When we got there it was drizzling, so we set up the table and brought the coolers down.  We did some browsing while we were waiting for the races to start.  They also had some terrier races, but they were on the other side of the field and they didn't cast it on the giant screens they had.  The one in green won.
  As we waited, the rain would start to lighten, then get heavy again.  The wind was also making it really cold feeling.  I got some fun pictures and we got to stay for one race.  I was hoping to see a second since I knew the path they took, but there is a really long lull between the races.  It makes sense because the race itself was only a little over four minutes, and the lines for betting were insanely long.  They want to let as many people as possible hand over their money.

  Here is the video I put together of what I got to see.  Feel free to go view it on YouTube.

Sunday 5/7

  The plan had been to go to Holi DC with a friend, but because of all the rain, we were worried about mud, and there were reports that it might rain again.  So we decided to stay home.

  When Bill first found this and showed me, my first thought was wondering if that stuff was peanut butter.  Nope, those would be eggs.  This would make sense why the ants wouldn't leave us alone, even when the desk was clean for weeks.
  We got those magazines and stuff outside with as many as we could.  Of course, when Bill started to move them, they panicked and tried to run off with eggs.  This makes sense, but isn't too convent for us.  He says that as long as none of the eggs they managed to make off with were a queen, we should be okay.

  Not a lot of knitting got done since what I'm working on is very cable heavy and I spend a lot of time looking at the chart.  I also still have no idea what to take on our trip later this month!
  Much to do, but for now, bed!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Beer weekend and The Yarn Truck Commith!!

This was my plan for last weekend:

Beer Festival in Alexandria
Attendees can try beers from 18 breweries while listening to live music from noon to 6 p.m. The event is held in John Carlyle Square Park (300 John Carlyle Street), a short distance south of the King Street Metro station.
The event is free to attend, but tickets are needed to sample beers. The $25 ticket includes a custom beer glass, and two samples from each brewery.
The beer festival has been moved from April 22 and 23 due to expected inclement weather. Tickets already purchased will be honored on the new date, or refunds will be available.

Participating breweries and their offerings for the festival include:
  • Spaten, M√ľnchen, Germany: Spaten Optimat
  • Artisanal Family: Tripel Karmeli
  • Franziskaner: Franz Dunkel
  • Global Belgian: Monk’s Cafe
  • Blue Mountain Brewery: BM Evil 8 & BM Hopwork
  • South Street Brewery: SS BBL Pony & SS Hop
  • Chaos Mountain Brew: Chaos Derring & Chaos Cocoborl
  • Devil's Backbone: DB Pear Lager & DB TRL Catty
  • Dominion Family: DOM Millenium & DOM Double D
  • Forge Works: Forge Farmhouse & Forge Ryes Up
  • Golden Road: GR Wolf Weeds & GR Wolf Pup
  • Goose Island: GI Matilda & GI Halia
  • Mad Fox Brewing Company: Fox Orange Whip & Fox State Vipa
  • O'Connor Brewing: OC TS Zephyr & OC ED Shipwreck
  • Pale Fire: Pale Molly & Pale Salad Day
  • Smartmouth: Smart Notch 9 & Smart Alter EG
  • Starr Hill: SH SS Reviver & SH AA Double Bass
  • Bold Rock: BR Citrus DFT & BBL Bold Citrus
The event also features food selections from:
  • Zabb Thai Restaurant (Manassas)
  • Dolci Gelati Gelato Shop (Alexandria)
  • Passanante’s Home Food Services
  • The Hideout

  However, it was supposed to rain all weekend and as you can see in the description.  It got moved to this coming weekend.  This makes this weekend really busy.  Also very tiring since I have to be at work early for a New Member Orientation.
  The thing I had planned for this weekend was to go and visit with Geraldine, The Yarn Truck.  I know, I know.  The last thing I need is more yarn.  I do want to go and experience it though.  I'm not totally ruling out the option for buying a skein or two of yarn, but it is not why I'm going.  I want to be able to experience it.  I've never seen anything like it in person before, so I'm excited!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Everything is coming up 'me' today!

  Yesterday was kind of lame for a few reasons.  We were working on taxes and didn't have all the info we needed, so we needed to file for an extension.  Well, the program kept trying to get us not to, but Bill finally got it to work.  We also tacked the drip that was happening from the master bedroom shower.

  Bill cut down the ceiling and then had me take video as he ran the water.  Though I don't think he necessarily had fun cutting it down, I don't think he hated it.

  We had Tank take a look at it.  He wasn't sure how to fix it, so we will have to check more sources.

  However, today was different for me.  I had a whole list of things that I wanted to try and get done and I was hoping I could before I was supposed to meet up with someone.  The first thing on my list was to get some certified mail that Bill missed signing for.  It was really funny because when I handed the lady the slip she said "Who's handwriting is this?" and then tsked at it.  I heard some yelling from the back and then she brought it out.  Turns out our carrier didn't put it with the other envelopes.

  I then headed to the auto-supply shop to get new wipers.  Mine were worn out last year when I got my car checked and I promised the guy I would get new blades.  I kept forgetting and since it has been a year, I needed to get my car looked at again.  The guy at the store looked them up for me and we got me some new blades.  I had to get two brands because they didn't have two of the same kind.  I was worried it was going to be hard to fix, but they were super easy to change.  You push on a little button and the old blade slides off.  The first blade just had an adapter that I had to pop off before it fit.  The second one had an adapter on it that I had to take off and then put the one that worked for me on.  Also pretty easy.  I felt super accomplished.

  I had downloaded some Netflix movies onto my phone so I would have something to do while I waited my turn to get my car inspected.  I drove up and I was first in line!!  So I only had time to take that picture and then the guy was walking over to take my car to the bay.
  I had finished everything I was hoping to get done before 2pm before 11:30am!!  This meant that I had time to get some other stuff done.

  We have been without a working air filter for a while now.  The one that was in there had fallen over.  Today I decided to try and slide it out of the way and put a new one in.  That didn't work because there wasn't enough room.  I then got a flashlight and some tongs and dragged it out.  It took a lot of pulling, but I win the battle.  You can see it is properly gross.  New one is in (hopefully in the correct direction) and hopefully we will have nicer air in the house.

  Look who is done and dry and getting some screen time!  My shrug is finally done!  It is in the bag to take to knitting on Sat to get donated.

  Here is my my first hat done!  I can't believe how fun it looks.  Everyone who saw me knitting it was super impressed.  I even had to give some demos how I was doing it, especially since I wasn't going to the very end of each color, but I stopped two stitches before so I could keep the tension on each color and not worry about putting it too tightly at any point.

  Since I was doing the tension trick I was worried that the top was going to get messed up.  I was worried that there was going to be mostly one color and only one stitch of the other colors.  Seems I was being silly because it turned out perfectly.

  I thought that this was going to happen on the first hat, but you can see where I ran out of the blue yarn.  That one kept getting over spun as I worked with it, so I wasn't too bummed.  I was also planning for it, so I liked that it did happen.  You can also see that is is possible to pull the new color a bit too tightly as you go if you don't pay enough attention.

  I was thinking that I was going to have enough yarn to make one hat.  Well, I made two hats and even had some left over.  I made these from a crochet bow pattern I found on Pinterest.  I think I will give these to Carola to add to monsters.

  On Sat we had someone new join us.  She usually works at Nature's Yarn on Saturdays, but they didn't need her that day so she decided to come to Wegmans and have lunch and knit.  She didn't even know we were going to be there!  She was making those crochet octopus critters for Cancer Kickin' Critters.  She knows the people who run it and everything.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I got it!

  I was really nervous about when I got to the part where I knew I was going to start decreasing.  I had never done it before and I was treating each row differently than I was in the beginning.  I was stopping each color two stitches before it reached the new one.  I found it was easier to keep the tension more even.  I knew I would have to do it while alone so I could concentrate.

  Here is what it looked like right before I started decreasing.  I mostly took this picture so I could put it off for another minute or two.  I hadn't needed to be worried, because it all turned out great in the end.  I did a 8 stitch decrease, so the top might be a bit more pulled in than I had originally planned, but that is okay.  I think I even have enough yarn to do another one.  So I will be casting that on later.

  This is fun to see.  I know they just put random things on these and you just randomly get them, but I feel this one really does apply to me.  Like how I like knitting and it isn't a big deal to me to make something, but when someone who needs it gets it, they get a lot of joy out of it.  At least, I hope they do.

  Hopefully I will be able to show pictures soon of the finished shrug and hat.  The hat is soaking now, but I know it won't take long to dry.  The shrug is dry, but it has been raining like crazy in my area, so that isn't the best for pictures.  It says rain tomorrow too, but I'm hoping to get some moments of sun and no more tornado warnings.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This didn't work as I thought.

  So I thought I was being all smart the way I was figuring my rows.  I at least knew that since I cast on with each color that each one has its own row beginning.  I didn't, however, pay attention to the row stacking and how the stripes were laying down.  I had wanted to do four rows of each color and then move to the body of the hat.
  I was super confident that I knew what I was doing and that I didn't need to really pay attention to the rows and how they looked.  This has resulted in me knitting about two thirds of each bonus row in ribbing and the last third in stockinette.  So this means that each rib section doesn't have a last full set of stripes and that my band is a bit larger than I wanted.

  My choices are to live with it, or tink back and fix it.  I'm close enough to the problem that tinking wouldn't take me too long, but I'm also pretty sure that I am the only person who would notice.  I mean, hey, I didn't even notice at first.  I'm thinking it is something that I can live with and will just have to remember for another time.  The general knitting is fun enough that I think I will do this again.
  Ribbed color work is tricky.  You have to consider the future in the present.  If I knew that the next section of red needs to become stockinette, I can't just knit with the red.  Even though I am using the red yarn, I am really manipulating the white row under it.  The next row is where I have to knit with the blue because it would make the red stitches all appear as stockinette.  Next time I will have to just take each section as I come to it.

  Even though it requires more thought, I really like this style of one row stripes because it just flows so nicely.  If I had just cast on with one color and knit a row, then moved to the next there would be jogs, or little steps.  People have come up with ways to minimize it, but it is still there.  Knitting in the round is a spiral.  This version if it uses the spiral to my advantage.  This doesn't work if you want bigger stripes unless you use more than one ball of any color.  It is also a bit slower since you only work in partial rows with each color every time you go around.
  I've also been thinking about how I was going to be doing the decreases.  While it would make sense to do a row of blue with all decreases, a row with the white straight, a white decrease row, then the colors would do the opposite. This would make sense if all the colors had the same starting point for their rows.  Since they do not, I have been thinking that each color will get a third of a row decreasing, and then a plain third.

  In less confusing news, the grey shrug is off the needles, and getting a soak before I semi-block it.  Acrylic doesn't take a blocking as well as animal fibers, but I does listen some.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fools!!

  I spent most of yesterday trying to think of something funny to post for April Fool's Day.  The only thing I could think of was to try and tell people I had given up knitting.  The only problem with that is that anyone who really knows me would have seen through that before they finished reading and would have started laughing.  Some may have laughed so hard that they would have hurt themselves.  Since I didn't want that, I didn't post anything.

  I did, however, go to knitting.  See?  No one would have believed that I would have given up on knitting.  Because of when Easter is and when we meet, we didn't go to the Church on the second Sat, but the first.  These are some of the items dropped off for donation.  So many lovely things!!

  I've also not be sticking to my own plan.  Instead of bringing the grey shrug to work on, I started this hat.  Andrea and I agree that it looks like a Rocket Pop and then we both wanted one.
  Since getting home I have switched back to the grey shrug.  The cat is helping me.

  Are you wondering if that FAQ page is new? Nah, it's been there for months...just kidding, April Fools!  Did I get you?  No?  Well, I was amused.  I had asked friends to send me questions since I don't want people to get confused, but feel free to ask if I have made anything more confusing or didn't answer your question.