Allergies, Cats, and Hats

A hard week (and weekend) left me sitting on the kitchen counter at midnight while consuming between myself and my roommate two bottles of wine as our aggravated minds took us all over the realms of reality and fantasy before bringing us back into our house.  Slightly inebriated from alcohol and rather drunk from hopes and frustrations, we two hatched a plan before heading off to bed.  I was a little too restless to sleep, so I paced the house a bit before sitting on the couch, pulling the blanket over me, and falling asleep.

This morning I woke up and remembered that, while I do love our fiendish feline, I tend to be rather allergic to cats.  I am mostly ok so long as I do not lay with my face in their fur.  Unfortunately, there was a cat’s worth of fur covering the couch, which I had been inhaling all through the night.  I woke up with a very sore throat and incredible congestion.  I have taken to drinking hot water with lemon and cloves to sooth the discomfort.

This all results in me being a little too weak, distracted, and unable to work on things that need to be worked on.

This weekend, however, I did manage to knock out all of the top hats that needed doing.

Done and Done.

This afternoon, all that I have accomplished thus far is to finish up the tiny witch’s caps I had going.

My fingertips are sore from the putting of pins through fabric all weekend.  It hurts even to knit, but I persist.  Although, there is an increasing chance that I will not be able to attend the festival this coming weekend as my contact are being very un-contactly and not providing me with information that is vital to  my being there.

Stress levels rising.  Duck and Cover.

Everyone Needs an Engineer

Last weekend I was complaining that it is so hard to find a good sized piece of knitting graph paper.  Odin didn’t understand.  Why couldn’t I just use plain ol’ graph paper?

Well, some of you probably know this, but knitting stitches are wider than they are tall.  This means that, if I use normal, square shaped graph paper for a color chart, the actual knitting will appear much squatter than what is on the paper.  Observe:

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This is plain old stockinette stitch, which really shows the difference I’m talking about.

Now, I have a small (3×5) notebook of graph paper, blank pages, and lined pages, for jotting down thoughts throughout the day.  When it comes to the graph, however, it just doesn’t hold up.  Who wants to knit a tiny little swatch of color?  It didn’t suit my design needs at all, but it so difficult to find large sheets of the appropriately sized graph paper.

So, Odin set to work.  Two days ago, he came home with a roll of paper for me.  When I opened it, I discovered perfectly sized rectangles on sheets of 11×17.  They were charted in 3 different ways. One had 10×15 sections outlined, one had 10×10, and the other did not have outlines. I was very excited.

He made the paper himself at this free website.   I spent some time today playing around on it.  You can make any kind of graph paper you want for a variety of projects.  I had a hard time figuring out what Odin did for the graph, so I googled “knitting stitch ratio” and found this site: the knitting site, which is freaking fantastic and you need to check out.  I linked you to the graph paper page.

During lunch today, I printed off 50 copies of the portrait and the landscape options and used my office’s bind-o-matic to make a notebook:

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And to think, none of this would have happened if I didn’t have my personal engineer.

Pieces

Last week at knit night I finished the very last square of the Tech Square Afghan that I began two January’s ago.  The very last square was the fair-isle square, with steeking.  It was my first steek.  I tried to get pictures of the process, but alas, my camera battery died at the very beginning.  For a brief second, I contemplating postponing the cut until the battery was charged, but I was already in the proper frame of mind for taking a pair of scissors to my knitting, and I didn’t want to chicken out.

This morning, remembering it was Thursday and I have been trying to have non-essential knitting at Knit Night, so that I can remember the joys of knitting instead of the tedium of churning out tiny top hats for a living, I quickly washed and blocked the last two squares.

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They were dry when I got home from work, so I started laying them out to decide how I am going to put them together into the afghan.

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It was remarkably difficult trying to find the right balance of color and stitch pattern.  I didn’t want it to seem color heavy on one side and texture heavy on the other.  I didn’t want too much action on half the blanket and not enough elsewhere.  If you look in the second row up from the bottom, you can see in the picture the salmon pink I started out with (the cables and lace square) all the way on the right, and the darker mauve (Intarsia square all the way on the left) I ended up with on my next LYS trip to restock on yarns.  This isn’t too much of a problem since the colors didn’t ever come together in a square.  Would you believe it is the same color, too?  Dye lots are essential!

I just hope the two different dye lots of brown I picked up for the edging aren’t too obvious.

Universal Realignment

It was as though the universe new that there was something not quite right this morning.  Yesterday was not a happy day in the house, and I think that seeped into my bones because when I woke up this morning, I just felt drawn and sad.  I couldn’t exactly pin-point why – it was simply that things did not feel right in my world.

When I arrived at work, there were daffodils on my desk.  Apparently, it is Administrative Professionals Day, and the company I work for is pretty good at making the employees feel good.  I’m the one that goes out before work to pick up the treats on employee’s company anniversary, so I know how seriously they take it.

Then, I checked my email, and discovered that The Thing About Joan nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

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I was very curious about this award – wanted to the know the who, what, and why of it.  As far as I can tell, there was no organization that started it.  It sort of originated out of nowhere and has been getting passed around like a chain letter.  I did find this blog, which has some good info and thoughts on this particular “award.”

I’m not a fan of chains, or memes.  But I do like that part of what this has been doing is getting people to share blogs that they enjoy reading.  It opens up the blogosphere 7 fold, and that’s pretty exciting, if you ask me.

Who do I follow that I would nominate?

1: Domestic Diva, M.D.

2: A Detailed House

3: The Wooly Ewe

4: Knitting in Flashes

5: Zombie Stitch

6: The Re-Creations Project

7: Punkin Patterns

Of course, I am always finding really cool blogs to follow, so narrowing it down to the ones I look forward to most was kind of difficult.

Anyway, I’m not going to force this to keep going since I can’t find the source of it, or the meaning behind it.  Either way, those blogs I listed are pretty awesome, enjoy.

Things I Will Not Do

I will not open a bottle of wine.

I will not vacuum the carpet.

I will not watch a movie with my daughter.

I will not rearrange furniture.

I will not use cleaning as an excuse.

I will not convince the 7 year old to do it for me.

I will not make dinner.

I will not have the 7 year old make dinner for me.

I will not text a dozen people.

Even if it is to tell them that I love them and I am thinking of them.

I will not search for quarters in the couch.

I will not do laundry. (I have no quarters).

I will not read a novel.

I will not help with homework.

I will not cuddle the cat.

I will not check facebook.

I will not peruse Ravelry.

I will not knit things I do not need.

I will not dust the shelves.

I will not make the bed.

I will not blog.

I will not procrastinate.

Pink and Purple

I have been trying to tell myself to work on the big things.  The little things are not difficult and do not require much time (although, granted, I do need more little things than big things).  The big things are not things to procrastinate.  Especially the big things that require a lot of waiting, like paint drying.

One corner of my studio has become the “painting”  corner.  The tarp is semi-permanent, and there has been a steady rotation of wings needing to be painted.  Unfortunately, the wings I need are all of the pink and purple variety, and I am really starting to resent little girls’ obsession with those two colors.  You could say my biggest loss from sales comes from the lack of remaining pink and purple wings.  It’s kind of a bummer to realize that this is truth.  So, I am trying to preempt that by having on hand dozens and dozens of pink and purple wings.

While batches were trying, I was steadily making roses and pompoms, and at least that is something I can do while talking/playing games/watching movies with the family, so we all are satisfied with “quality time”.

On the subject of drying, I have also been felting and blocking top hats and other felted goodies:

It has been getting increasingly difficult to find appropriate articles of clothing to throw into the washer with finished knitted items.  I had to take a shower just to have a “dirty” towel to toss in with them.  Not that I wouldn’t have taken a shower otherwise.  Maybe.

Moving on.

Tomorrow, a friend is coming over to help in any area she can.  I am handing her the bolts of sparkly fabric for the “Celeste” wings and the template and having her cut for the rest of the day while I sew.  Either that or putting her to work making wands and hair clips while I work on top hats and wings.  In any case, tomorrow will be a big crafting day and I look forward to showing you what I have finished.

I feel like I’m a little ahead.  Enough so that I am making dinner for the family before the bolt of lightening strikes me down again.

A Dance Called Progress

Step to the left:

Step to the Right:

Forward Step:

Back Step:

Again!

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