Saturday, January 24, 2009

Waitin' and hopin'

It's funny how sometimes when I sit and think about what I'm going to write in my blog I hear Garrison Keillor's "It was a quiet week in Lake Wobegon" going through my head. For the most part it was one of those weeks. What's that? An inauguration? Oh yes, there was that. I watched the inauguration on CSPAN, avoiding the talking heads commentary (I heard plenty of that on NPR on the way to work Tuesday). And in many ways I'm pleased so far with what has been done since then. I hope it's the beginning of good things. We certainly can use some encouragement.

For the most part this week I worked on the commissions. Part of the commission involved swatching for a Christmas stocking. The yarn I picked out was excellect yarn but it was too thin for a single knitting and too thick for double strand knitting, so I had to go hunting for something else. Today I participated in the PDX Knitbloggers Seattle to Portland Yarn Crawl where a group of knitters from Seattle took the train down and hit yarn stores in downtown Portland. I was able to find the yarn I needed for the stocking and spent time working on the dickey in black, which fortune provided me in my stash a second ball of the same yarn in the exact same dyelot. I had to redo the collar due to the bind off on the front and back were too inelastic, but I should have it done by the end of the evening.

Your Comments

Thank you all who have written in comments. I know I get a lot of readers but not many commenters, so it's a treat to have your feedback. Thank you too for the comments on the Miami Stripes yarn. I haven't worked on more of it but I will soon enough. On the Faireycized pictures, I've forwarded the original photos they're based on for work on them to make images that won't violate the agreement. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. Thanks too for noticing the new blog banner. I redid the template so that I can take advantage of Blogger's new layout system and popped a favorite pic in there. It's a photo I took of some swatching I did on the way to Vermont last year. Putty colored airline tray tables are such nice backdrops for still life photos of knitting.

And for those who enjoyed Buster's playing in the snow, one last pic until the next flurry.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More web fun

The popularity of Shepard Fairey's poster of Obama has spawned a website that you can use to take a picture and give it that look. Dr Mel did one of his beloved Tuck, so I went to it to see what mischief I could do.

I'm sure Buster would like this to be the mantra of Chez Runamuck.

My spindle photo came out nicely.

I took it to create one for the PDX Spinnerati. Unfortunately per the terms of agreement it can't be used as a logo. But it at least gives some ideas for the group.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ob la di, ob la da

Greetings, gentle reader. Hope you're enjoying your beverage of choice, staying warm and fed, and whatever chaos you have in your life is being kept down to a dull roar. It's settling down here at Chez Runamuck. Now that the holidays are done and the year end processing at work has been finished, the normal routines are returning. Even the weather has returned to what we usually expect to get at this time of year -- rain -- though it's coming on what is dubbed the Pineapple Express. It's the Jet Stream taking up moisture from the tropics, usually going over Hawaii, and dumping it over Oregon and Washington. Washington's been really socked with it so far but the winter isn't over and we may see it here in Oregon. It doesn't affect me fortunately but it does affect folks I know, so it's something I watch.

The commissions are coming along well. The white dickey is nearly done. Unfortunately I miscalculated the amount of yarn I needed and ran out, so it's waiting for the next shipment coming to Abundant Yarn. The black dickey is coming along fine and I cast on the Christmas stocking last night. While working on these projects I had left the white dickey at home and the black dickey at the office (better light for working on black yarn). I then got the idea of having a knitter's tool kit at the office, so I scrounged up a few extra tools (scissors, markers, yarn needles, tape measure -- the usual) and put them in a pencil bag that I found at the store. I can then leave one tool kit at home and have the other at the office. Less hauling around of stuff, which means less pressure on my knees.

On the spinning side, I changed my icon for my spinning tracking since Dave Daniels icon is now obsolete. It was fun grabbing my spindles and taking all sorts of artsy fartsy poses with them. The spindles seen are my Golding swans, my two Sister Spinsters, my Jenkins Turkish, and Cascade (it has a little cotton I spun for fun from a vitamin bottle). You can click on it on the sidebar to see what fibers I've spun up.

I can sympathize with Prez-2-B Obama with being reluctant to give up his Blackberry. I can see the reasoning behind wanting to confiscate it, but I also see how it can be such an addictive gadget. I hope they can figure out a way to satisfy his needs while maintaining security. It's like taking the knitting away from a hardcore knitter, and I can attest to how nervewracking that can be.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Finished yarn

Miami Stripes

Dicentra Designs BFL "Gulf" and combed Romney top

2 ply, 10 wpi, 4 oz

Spun on Ashford Joy, plied on Louet S10

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Is it over yet?

Years ago when the holidays came around, I would thrill to all the celebration and gaiety it would bring. School would be out followed with two lovely weeks of sleeping in, reading to my hearts delight, and putting together jigsaw puzzles in the sanctuary of my room. Christmas eve and day were spent doing those things, so a bit of that holiday magic was relived for a while.

Unfortunately with adulthood came responsibility so the routines related to taking care of the everyday things have become the comfort. Things that break those routines feel like interruptions that trigger stress. The holidays have gradually become more of a stress than a joy. So when New Year's Day passed, I breathed a sigh of relief. The days will be ordinary again and I can get back to my routines. But I can assure you that within that structure will be adventures.

I got a pleasant surprise last week when my boss came to me with a proposal for a few commissions. I was considering taking on a part time job to help pay off my indulgences from the previous year. Instead I'm knitting up a couple of dickeys and recreating a Christmas stocking. The money will be very welcome to help clear up the furnace repair bill. So yesterday I went shopping for yarn for the commissions and wrote up the pattern (the recipient is fortunately a very tiny woman) and the needles are now flying.

The spinning wheel hasn't been idle. Friday I decided to start up on some stash spinning and did up some singles out of Dicentra BFL top in the colorway Gulf. I'm planning on plying it with some white Romney to create a barberpoled bright yarn. It'll make for a good hat or scarf.

Happy New Year everyone!