Friday, February 29, 2008

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Okay - that is very unoriginal, but I couldn't resist. The absolutely most fabulous woman in the world (except for me and Gigi of course) has gone away for the weekend and has agreed to let me baby sit this lovely little thing:

A Louet S10 is always welcome in my house.

I have been mentally jumping up and down with joy since I brought it home last night. I haven't spun anything on it yet, but I will! Last night I practiced running the treadle smoothly and parking and restarting the wheel. Tonight I will spin! Soon you will see pictures of my lovely fiber barf... and maybe some yarn.

As much as I wanted to throw myself into spinning, I knew I had a sweet newlywed waiting for my attention.

Shiny boob!

I sewed in the sleeves and seamed up one side on the Darcy cardi! I'll finish seaming tonight and then she's all done but the buttons. I ordered some fabulous purple glass shank buttons that should pick up the lavender and turquoise quite nicely. As soon as she's seamed, I will post all the details, including mods and yarn.

Hooray for the weekend! Margarita's all around.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Not Whooping Cough, It's a Blackout!

Once again I do not have a traditional WIP Wednesday post for you. The Darci cardi is zooming right along; I hope to be seaming by this weekend. However, I have no new pictures, and really, reading the details of my efforts to make even decreases would be like watching paint dry. So instead, a quick peek into life at A Casa em Duas Palmas.

The week has been very strange. If you've been here before, you'll remember that Bubba got the creeping crud and was very sick last week. Well, the Bug got it this week and was miserable. He spent Monday with me, terrible echoing coughs wracking his little body. If we hadn't been through this before, I would have taken him to the doctor for whooping cough. For some reason, whenever the Bug gets a cough, it echoes and hoots, exactly how I imagine whooping cough sounds. Poor guy! Hugs, cuddles, and enforced rest fixed the cough, and it was back to school and work for us.

Yesterday, the southern half of Florida suffered from a cascading power loss. As the office has a backup generator, this normally would be no big deal. However, this blackout caused a catastrophic failure to our e-mail server so I was effectively shutdown. I've joked before that I can't imagine being a secretary without computers, but it's no longer a joke! Take away my computer and I am a sad and useless secretary. On a positive note, I spent the afternoon knitting at my desk!

Black Tom thought that was a very good use of my time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spoiled Sick, Now With Sleeves!

The monsters were hit hard with the creeping crud this week. Poor Bubba missed three days of school, meaning I missed three days of work. Playing catch up while comforting sick kids is no fun.

Two things stopped the week from being a complete downer: First, I finished sleeves! And they even match! The Darcy cardi is fast approaching completion. I'm on the right front and making many modifications so it's going a little slow. When I'm done I will list all the changes to make this a big bust friendly cardi.

The other thing that brightened my week? A secret Valentine's package! Batty sent me a frabjulous box of VD goodness.

It's almost too much to list! A cute card to make me giggle, chocolate to make me drool, a sweet smelling candle, pink sticky notes, Burt's Bees (!), and Merlin the Cat sock yarn. Not pictured are the crazy Valentine's bunny ears with light up hearts; the Bug confiscated those immediately and has worn them everywhere ever since. Thank you, Batty, for this package designed to make me happy!

This package reinforced some of my ideas about karma and the psychic abilities of knitters. I got to spoil Batty during the winter swap on the Knittyboard; how crazy is it that she got my name for this swap? Even the Merlin yarn has a bit of karma attached. I bought some of Merlin's stitch markers for my secret pal zenbaby and I was drooling over her yarn. I resisted, but I favorited her shop, planning to go back later for myself. Batty beat me to it! Of course Merlin's yarn is so yummy, that I will soon be buying more. The last bit of proof that knitters are psychic is the Burt's Bees head to toe package. Burt's Bees was my original inspiration for making my own soap, and even though I am a soapmaker, I am like the cobbler's daughter - I never have fancy soaps and creams just for me.

So, Batty, is it true? Are you psychic? Is there something in the yarn that rubs off on knitters, giving them paranormal powers?

I think so.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Manly Man Knitting

It's sad but true: I am not terribly romantic. I don't watch "date movies" or "chick flicks," I don't read bodice rippers, and I don't get wrapped up in Valentine's Day. This year, however, I came to my senses early enough to whip out a few things for The Hairy One.

No Pom Pom for Him

First on the needles was a quick hat, based on Elena. It's knit with Manos del Uruguay 100% wool (#104) on size 11 dpns. I skipped the full three inch fold back, replacing it with one inch of seed stitch. I also skipped the pom pom (duh) and added one more row of decreases. I really liked making this hat - bulky wools mean quick knits.

The hat is warm and stretchy, the colors are fabulous, and The Hairy One is ecstatic.

Real Men Wear Fingerless Gloves Too

Still on the needles is the second fingerless glove. I had about half a ball of the variegated Manos left, so I combined it with this lovely creamy tan and made up the pattern. I have to hurry up and finish the second one - he wants to take them to the Daytona 500 on Sunday, just in case it gets cold.

Did you notice the giant eyeball above my couch? Bubba painted that for us when he was four. It's party streamers pasted and painted on the canvas board. He told us he had an elephant eye inside and it had to get out. That is teh awesome.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adventures in Felting

I've been playing with felting with both good and bad results. First the success:

As a Valentine's Day surprise, I knitted a pair of Fuzzy Feet for a friend. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read the blog, but I still won't name any names. These were so fun! They were knit with a little bit more than one skein of Dark Horse Yarns Rhapsody on size 11 dpns.

I felted them to about a size 10/12 foot; my friend will finish the felting until they fit her perfectly.

Next in the washer was a why not purse. I had some leftovers and thought I'd play around. I ended up with this:

Now bear with me. Have you ever had an argument and realized half way through that the argument was really about something else? That happened when The Hairy One saw the bag.

"That would make a great diaper bag for your sister," says he.

"No honey, it's going to be felted. It'll be a little purse."

"It would make a great diaper bag."

I folded the bag in quarters to show him the finished size. "Honey, I'm going to felt it; it'll end up this big."

"You should turn it into a diaper bag."

"If I felt it, it will be too small. If I don't felt it, it won't be strong enough."

"It would make a great diaper bag." My husband was adamant.

"You just want another baby, don't you" I said.

"Maybe," he said in a small voice.

This conversation stuck to the little purse that never was a diaper bag like a karmic cloud. When I tossed it in the wash, I thought - it's big enough, I can skip the lingerie bag.

Bad idea. The bag got caught on the agitator and only shrunk one way. Even after multiple runs through the machine, I have the world's longest and shallowest purse. I'm going to have to give it to a random ten year old girl.

And in case you're getting your hopes up, there will be no babies at The House at Two Palms in the near future. Maybe after The Hairy One finishes school, but I doubt it. I love my boys, but two are enough. If we could guarantee a girl... honestly, we'd end up with the most spoiled little princess (brat) on God's green earth.

Adoption is an option though :P

Friday, February 8, 2008

Secret Spoilage

On Wednesday, after another long day at the office, I came home to the most delightful thing: a package just for me! Wishful Thinking on the Knittyboard sent me a big box of goodies. I really should have taken a picture before tearing into the packages because everything was wrapped so beautifully, but I couldn't wait! Just look at the goodies inside:

11 hours a day at work means bad flash photography

Chocolate - including Trader Joe's chocolate covered pretzels and The Chocolate Traveler wedges, yum - hilarious snarky postcards, a cell phone cozy knit just for me, a sweet card, and three skeins of yarn!


Mmmm malabrigo (my first!), Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and a yarn oddity by the fabulous Ms. Pixie Riot! I will have to update you later on the colorways since I'm away from my yarn right now.

Last but not least, a little pot of daffodils, their green shots just peeking out of the dirt. I love daffodils, and they are one of the few things I miss from our days in Tennessee. Wishful Thinking - you must be psychic!

Thank you for brightening up my day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stoopid Cat!

First - thank you everyone for your kind comments on Cherie Amour. It was my first full-sized sweater, plus it was a gift for my favorite pregnant sister, so it had to be just right. I'm pretty gosh darn proud.

Earlier today, I was wasting time, scrolling through Lolcats when I saw this:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

and I was reminded of something that happened a few weeks ago at work.

I was running out to grab a sandwich for lunch. As I drove my car through the parking lot, I saw a terrible, terrible thing. It was a cat, flat on its back, with its head twisted at an unnatural angle. Now remember, I keep house for cats and am well aware of their boneless poses; even Contortionist Kitty would have been uncomfortable sprawled like that.

My first thought was, "Oh shit, someone ran over a cat in my parking lot and just left it there." My heart started pounding and my breath grew ragged as my mind started playing a macabre slide show: me picking up the stiff body; me trying to save the severely injured cat and hurting it even more; me being savaged by the pain-maddened, rabid cat; me being chased by zombie cat (Pet Sematary scared the crap out of me).

At the same time, I was trying to remember how to get to the nearest animal hospital. I debated the pros and cons of running back in the office for directions versus saving time by grabbing the cat and driving hell bent for leather. I had just decided I would risk a police escort and go sans directions when I pulled even with the poor kitty's body.

I had my hands on the door, ready to jump out of the car and whisk the cat to medical care and safety. My brakes squeaked the tiniest bit as I stopped. That stupid cat jumped up, shot me a look of utter disdain, and wandered off in disgust that I had ruined a perfectly good nap.

Stupid cat.