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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

If I Use It Right Away, Does It Still Count As New?

  I went to Saturday knitting and told myself that I don't need more yarn.  As I was minding my own business the yarn fumes wafted my way.

  This yarn told me that it would be perfect for the hat I have planned.  The color is a bit warmer in person.  I also believe that there might be some wool in it because it likes to stick to itself a little.

  Monday night we had a Poppy Product Line going on.  One of the other ladies has been a machine when it came to the red section of them.  She is knitting them flat, so they go quickly.  As you can see from the picture, we don't mind a bit of child labor as long as you feed them and take them home with you at the end of the night.

  This yarn is causing problems.  I had planned on casting on 96 stitches for it.  What you see here is 160.  You can also see all those ends sticking out.  Those are sections where the yarn had a few strands break and was very thin and weak.  I was worried that those spots were too thin so I just gently pulled on them to break the yarn.  I'm really hoping that this only happened because it has bounced around in my purse and had to deal with keys.  As long as it was something I caused then I won't have to worry about it later, so that's what I'm rooting for.
  I will admit that there are a few thin spots I used.  I didn't worry too much if only one strand broke because there is 2 ply yarn out there that people use all the time.  The picture also shows the color a bit better.  Now to go find a bag to put it in so it won't have to deal with anything else in my purse and we can give it the best shot we can.

Friday, October 6, 2017

I Only Take Notes on the Best Items.

  Yes, that is a napkin that has my decrease notes on it.  The crochet version of the neck warmer is a lot longer since the single crochet doesn't fold in on itself like garter stitch does.  If I do another crochet one I might just increase every row.

  We also had another successful round of yarn chicken on Wednesday.  It probably confuses everyone when all the Knitters cheer at once and nothing worth noting has happened in any of the sports games on the TVs.  I think it is more fun that way, keep them on their toes.

  I feel like I am so obsessed with these things.  I'm also the worst knitter.  I like to claim that I hadn't started this in Ocean City because I would have had to pay a little attention to it while working on the increase rows.  While I had time to get that done at night, that's the story I'm sticking to.
  I then had another awesome knitting opportunity that I didn't take advantage of.  It had been Krissy's birthday and we had made weekend plans to celebrate.  One of our activities was to go to the mall and shop.  She wanted some more hang-out style clothes and I wanted more holographic nail polish.  She took about a million things into the dressing room.  I had all those pauses between reveals to knit.  Instead I just stood around and waited for the next one.  Perfectly wonderful knit opportunity missed!  At least she found a few super cute outfits.

  I'm hoping that if I match my nails to the knitting that it will make it up to everyone.  I actually really like the effect that I made.  I had a dark purple that I used as a base.  Then I tried a silver glitter polish over top of that.  The glitter was fairly dense with one thick coat, but you could still see some of the base.  Over that I put on a sparkly purple crackle polish.  I have had this polish around for so long and never used it.  When you first put it on it becomes matte and doesn't look very nice.  A glossy top coat really brings it to life.

  I got to play my own round of yarn chicken today.  I wanted to use all the yarn and had less than I had used for the last one of these.  I was super nervous so I knit it from the solid end to the split end.  I also worked the first half of the split and left the yarn attached while using the far end to start the second split.
  I'm glad I did that because I had a ton left over the first time I tried it.  I then took it back to the plain neck area and marked how much I needed for each section.  I put a safety pin in where I had stopped the triangle part and a paper clip what I needed for the second half of the split.  I also somehow messed up marking them because I didn't come to the second marker when I was finished with the ribbing.  It made me worried that I would have a bunch left over again.  Since I had already taken it all out once, I was just going to go with it and figure out what to do with the extra later.

  Turns out that wasn't the direction I should have been worried with.  The picture is all I was left with once I got to the end.  I couldn't have planned it any better.
  I think I have a hat planned next in case you are already tired of the neck warmers.  I also don't make any promises that I will actually work on the hat next and not get distracted and make another one of these.  They are just so easy and fun.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tank Update

  I kept meaning to post more updates on Tank's week, but then I kept getting distracted by other things, so here is how the week went.

Monday
  We went to the vet to get Tank his yearly check up and to let them know he had been a naughty kitty and sprayed.  They did some checks and didn't see any stones in him, but his bladder was too empty to get a sample of anything for further testing.  I was then sent home with a pee-collection kit.
  I left it out until I headed to my mom's house to go to knitting.  No pee then, so I decided to take it off and try again later.  I didn't want it to sit for hours while I was gone.
  When I got home from knitting Tank seemed interested in using his kitty-box.  I told him to wait a moment and put the liner and plastic pellets back.  He then started to walk away like he didn't want to use it any more.  I then picked him up and placed him in the box.  Right after I set him down he started peeing.
  I was told I only needed a few pipets worth of sample, but then I decided to just keep adding because I could.  Since it was 10:40pm, I couldn't take the sample right to them.  The internet told me that I should put the sample in the refrigerator if that is the case.

Tuesday
  I got up and took the sample to the vet's office.  Funny thing was that when I walked in Julie said she had just texted me asking how Tank was doing.  They are so nice there and check on your animal after they visit, even if it is a simple visit.
  They seemed impressed that I knew to chill the sample since I couldn't bring it in right after collecting.  I was then told that the results should be in by the next day.

Wednesday
  It wasn't until the evening that I heard back from them.  The lab had found crystals in the sample and the pH was elevated past where it should be.  She asked when the sample was taken and I explained what had happened.  She wanted to try and take another sample because she wanted to rule out any outside factors.

Thursday
  I dropped Tank off to go hang out in the morning.  I got a call a little after 3pm that he had gone in the box for them and they hadn't needed to extract a new sample.  There were still crystals and an elevated pH in this sample too.  So they decided to switch him over to the Hills c/d food line.  It should help with all the problems.
  It should be interesting to see how he takes to the canned food.  So far he seems to like the dry pellets I have sprinkled on his normal/old food.  Every other time I have tried to give him wet food he has thrown it back up.  Hopefully this will be different.

Saturday
  Krissy came over on Friday evening so we could have some awesome weekend birthday celebrations for her.  For some reason I thought Geraldine was coming back on September 30th.  Turns out I was about a month early, so we made that part of the trip for nothing.  Good thing we wanted to go to Teas'n You to get some fun tea because it was really close and the whole trip wasn't wasted.  We both fell in love and want to go back.  It was super popular and the line was to the door when we got there and for about 10 mins after we got our stuff.  They have the whole system down and it only takes a minute or two to get a single drink ready.  I'm glad they are so popular because it means they will be around for a while, but there is limited parking so timing is also something to consider.
  Tank has also taken to picking off the handful of Hills Diet I have been putting on his old food.  That is a good sign.


  Andrea read the last post and saved the day!  The cute sweater pattern is Front Range, and for anyone who cares, Elaine was the genius person who decided it should be two colored.
  I also got a new copy of that crochet shawl pattern.  I still can't find any record of it, so I typed it up and posted it below.  If anyone can find the official pattern I can go back and update this post to include a link.  I want to be able to give credit out where it is due.



Crochet Spring Shawl - JoAnn Handout

SUPPLIES:
  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease (pretty sure they mean the chunky)
  • 10 mm crochet hook

GAUGE: 3 rows = about 4 in (10 cm) in shell pattern of Rows 5 and 6.

STITCH EXPLANATION:
Shell: Work 5 dc in indicated st or sp.

NOTES:
  1. Shawl is worked back and forth in rows in a shell pattern, beginning in the middle of the top edge.
  2. An additional shell is worked on each side of the center ch-sp on every other row to shape the Shawl.
  3. An edging is worked all the way around outside edge of the Shawl.

SHAWL
Ch 8; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.
Row 1: Ch 3 (count as dc), 5 dc in ring (shell made), ch 2, 6 dc in ring (counts as 1 shell and 1 dc) - you will have 1 shell on each side of center ch-2 sp and 1 dc at beg and end of this row.
Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn, sk first dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 3, sk center ch-2 sp, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, ch 1, dc in top of beg ch-3 - 7 dc on each side of center ch-3 sp.
Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, shell in first ch-1 sp, ch 2, sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, (shell, ch 2, shell) in center ch-3 sp, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 2 dc, shell in beg ch-sp, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-4 - 2 shells on each side of center ch-2 sp.
Row 4: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn, sk first dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2, sk next sc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 3, sk center ch-2 sp, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2, sk next sc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, ch 1, dc in top of beg ch-3 - 14 dc on each side of center ch-3 sp.
Row 5: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, shell in first ch-1 sp, ch 2, sk in next 2 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, *shell in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc; rep from * to center ch-3 sp, (shell ch 2, shell) in center ch-3 sp, **ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, shell in next ch-2 sp; rep from ** to last shell, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 2 dc; shell in beg ch-sp, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-4 - 3 shells on each side of center ch-2 sp.
Row 6: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn, sk first dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, *ch 2, sk next sc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from * to center ch-2 sp, ch 3, sk center ch-2 sp, **2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2, sk next sc; rep from ** to last shell, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, ch 1, dc in top of beg ch-3 - 21 dc on each side of center ch-3 sp.
Row 7-26: Rep Rows 5 and 6 - you will have 13 shells on each side of center ch-2 sp on Row 25 and 91 dc on each side of your center ch-3 sp on Row 26.
Do not fasten off.

Edging
Ch 1, do not turn, work sc evenly spaced around outside edge of Shawl, working 3 sc in each corner; join with sl st in first sc.

Fasten off.

FINISHING
Weave in ends.

ABBREVIATIONS
beg = begin(ning)
ch = chain
ch-sp(s) = chain space(s) previously made
dc = double crochet
rep = repeat
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sl st = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Leaves Are Being Very Distracting

  I know I've probably mentioned this before, but here is a picture of this cool branch.  It reacts to season changes before the rest of the tree.  The first time I saw it I thought the branch was having problems, since it was turning before the rest.  Then come next spring it was the first to grow buds and get leaves.  I just love how excited it is about season changes.  I feel the same way.

  Isn't this just the cutest sweater?  There was another one made using the same color for the whole thing, but I didn't like that one as much as this one.  I don't currently know the pattern, but I think I did hear her say it was on Ravelry.  If I find out any more details I will pass them on.

  I forgot to post this before.  These are some of the things that were made by the people at the Church and brought along.  Before we all left for the day they blessed the items.  I still think that is really cool, it never hurts to try and give these items some more positive vibes before sending them out into the world.

  I finished this on the Wednesday before I left to go to Ocean City.  Don't mind the little orange stitch marker, I didn't want to lose it between knit-night and home so I left it in for the picture.  It was half based on a pattern and half based on something I saw in town when we went to that cabin back in February.  Since I didn't buy one there, I have found a few patterns and am working from there.
  I'm even thinking about possibly trying to crochet one.  It would involve more increasing and decreasing since I don't know how to make crochet act as ribbing without having to change the direction I'm working.  It will be fun.

  This is sort of a swatch of my next project.  I thought I bought the book that had the shawl pattern in it that I made for my wedding.  I can't find it anywhere.  So now I'm trying to figure out how to do this leaf lace with some increases in it.
  The original had you increase the size of each leaf every time.  I think I want to have two or three leaves be the same size before I increase.  This is because I am going to combine this stitch pattern with the cute dress pattern my mom found in a book.  Everyone knows I'm not good at fully following directions.

  I am taking Tank to the vet on Monday morning.  It is time for his yearly checkup and he has been acting weird lately.  I caught him trying to spray the area under the small table he uses to look out the window.  He then tried to attack me as I was walking up the stairs and bit my leg hard enough to hurt.  It could be nothing, it could be something.  We will hopefully find out on Monday.