Random Tuesday

Well, Monday didn’t happen, hunh..

1. I am seriously doubting my wine skills. I opened a bottle of wine today and was shocked that it was white. Nothing about the dark bottle or name lead me to believe it was white. Also, it was a $17 bottle I bought for $8 (thank you bin ends section) and it was good, but I’m not sure $17 good. I must be missing something.

b. Tonight is spinning night, trying to do more of that. Working on some green while watching Curb your Enthusiasm. Which is hysterical.

iii. We had purple potatoes for dinner. They were yummy.

purple potatoes

We also had apricot chicken which was delicious but not what I was expecting. But perfectly fine.

P.S. I love pandora. Especially my french cafe station. Makes me feel very classy. Also like I should have lived at least 50 years ago.

A surprise FO

I knit this scarf right after the flurry about it after it was in Spin Off magazine. At first I wasn’t so keen on it but, just like that dumb Gnarls Barkley song that I hated when it first came out then once everyone was tired of it, I thought it was great, so I pulled out some of my early handspun and knit it up. And it was totally uninspiring. The yarn was uneven, it was all bunchy, I wasn’t into it. So much that I didn’t even weave in the ends, I just shoved it in a drawer. In the mad cleaning out, I thought what the hey, I’ll block it and see if it gets any better.

morning surf 1

And it does. Much better. I might even make another one someday.

morning surf 2

Happy Friday.

Busy Times

In the mass redecorating, there is also… FALL!! I love fall. Fall is my most favorite season ever. The weather is perfect for running, and wearing wool. The leaves turn my favorite colors. And there is harvest everything. Cinnamon and cloves are my favorite scents. So last night was an extravaganza of domestic harvest-time fun.

We roasted pumpkins, and their seeds, to make soup.

pumpkins

roasted pumpkin seeds

pumpkin soup

I peeled 10 pounds of apples, put two pies worth in the freezer and made an apple crisp.

apples for pie

We put up the pictures back on the walls (sorry, no photos here). And I made curtains.

curtains

For some reason, I think that Etta James and Peggy Lee is the best – ever – sewing music. Somehow whenever I sew, that’s what I want to listen to. I highly recommend them for sewing. Very comfy.

A Sweater and some thoughts

So “salina” has morphed into something different but equally as pleasing. You’ll remember that I started thinking I was terribly clever, I was going to knit a quarter zip sweater (with buttons) with set in sleeves in the round. This yarn is handspun and I didn’t quite get gauge so I guestimated… math was invented for a reason. To do it. Attempt one was too wide in the shoulders. So I ripped it out and tried again. This time the collar didn’t sit right, I forget exactly what happened, but it somehow was a sweater fail. So I ripped it out again, tried again, and finally cried uncle. The quarter zip idea just wasn’t working for whatever reason the way I wanted it to go.

handspun sweater

So I ripped back to where the sleeves join the body, and did a simple EZ yoked top. A few short rows in the back so it didn’t sit funny at the top, and a seed stitch border and I called it a day. Overall I love the fit, and the sweater, although different from what I’d imagined, will be a staple in my wardrobe. To jazz it up I’m considering keeping my eye out a brooch or something so there’s something interesting going on.

handspun sweater

The back isn’t really bunchy. Only other thing of note is the sleeve are a bit short. This was done partially on purpose (as in they’re short enough to be short on purpose, not JUST too short) in response to there being slightly less yarn than expected. But after all of the iterations of the top, I’ve got a bit more yarn. I’m considering ripping back and making full length sleeves, I think there’s enough to make that happen.

Thoughts?

Anyways, I’m pleased to have it done and done so well. And I’ve learned a lot about knitting and designing, but also about me. My two most enduring hobbies have taught me more than all the schooling and job experience and everything else put together. I have a whole post in my head about all the things that running has taught me. More on topic here is what knitting has taught me.
1. A stitch in time saves nine. For real. This one is true, trying the shortcut way typically leads to going back to the beginning and doing it again, sadder and wiser this time.
2. Patience. This comes from #1. I’ve learned so much about patience from both knitting and running.
3. No matter how much you think you know, there’s SO much more out there.
4. There’s a place for everything. Several times I’ve found myself thinking “Shetland! This is the greatest yarn ever! I never want to knit with anything else, ever!!” and then a few months later, “Bulky! Why would anyone ever knit with anything but bulky!!” I’ve done this enough to know there’s a place for every yarn. This goes for most things. Food, people, book genres, cultures… etc.
5. Mistakes happen. Get used to it. (I’ve learned this one, I’m still lousy at applying it)
6. Tradition is beautiful.
7. New ideas are beautiful.
8. Things don’t always turn out the way you expected. It’s either
a. totally different and good, and in that case, hurrah!
b. It could be totally different and terrible, in which case see 5, if possible go back and fix it.
c. It could be very close but there’s this little stitch, see it, over there? Yeah, I screwed up there. Well, no one else will see it, so there’s no need to point out this (or that dinner is a tad too salty, or you really wanted your hair a little more like that instead) to anyone, they won’t notice and will think it is just fine the way it is.
9. It is totally worth fixing things that you don’t like that it’s possible for you to fix.
10. Working on things you enjoy is way more satisfying than working on things that don’t. (duh). And consequently you get better at things you like than things that are boring. And life is way too short to do something you don’t like and aren’t good at, right? (This is the part where someone offers to pay me to do what I want)…

Some Days You Just Try to Do Too Much

Once upon a time, while living in Connecticut growing up, I went for a run, which I routinely did, traveling miles and miles at a time. This particular day, I left ignoring some rumblies in my tumblie (all runners will know this is not the right thing to do). I got about 3/4 of a mile before my teenage self got the message. At which point it was an emergency that I be home, right then. Also about this time, a rather portly old man in an old car was coming out of his driveway and turning down the hill, towards my house. The sort of guy who doesn’t look like he runs up hills for fun very often, but very nice man none the less. I know you don’t get into cars with strangers, but this was an emergency. I asked for a ride to the library, which was right down the street from my house, and was granted it. Upon asking how I got to where I was, I responded “I ran up the hill” to which he responded, quite seriously, “Some days, you just try to do too much.”

If I hadn’t had an emergency of rumblie tumblie, I would have died laughing. I think this every time things that I don’t think should be a big deal totally destroy me. I’m not quite there yet, but have spent the week checking off the rather tedious things on my list so it now looks more like this:

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With pretty much the remainder of things left on the schedule for this weekend, I think tonight, I’ve got a date with a good beer and my spinning wheel.

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Happy Friday.

Flurry of Activity

Monday slipped by! Last weekend some knitting friends and I went to New Hampshire on a self-organized knitting retreat. And it was fantastic.

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We stayed at a little camp, where we built fires in the fireplace to knit in front of, knit on the dock, wandered in the woods and took naps between knitting, and ate a lot of good food.

rosamund sweater in progress

I managed to make headway on my new project, and I must say I’m really liking it. I tend to think I want to knit stockinette because it’s mindless, but then I get bored with it and it lingers. This project is a perfect combination, started with some reversable cables, which are really neat, and then the body has those cables edging it, but the rest is stockinette. And the color is making me very happy.

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Aside from my knitting bag, not much else has been decluttered. I’ve made a list of things that need cleaning out, doing, or organizing. I’m a freakishly goal oriented person, which means that making lists is insanely fun for me, since I get to check things off of it. Sometimes I put things on the list that I’ve done just to check it off! Anyways, I have grand plans of checking off my list by the end of the month and having the fall to enjoy a cleaned out, simplified apartment with a few new decorating ideas. I also have grand plans of filling the freezer with frozen food to pull out to eat during the week, and actually making a dinner plan so that I have food to cook instead of arriving at 6:30 with nothing to eat and no plan of what to make. But let’s be realistic here… Tonight is for Goodwill, but a bottle of wine has been opened, so we’ll see how far we get here.

Some Movies

Ah. I’m supposed to be packing my stuff to go away for the weekend on a knitting retreat… So I’m not packing. HA! I think I’ve settled on Rosamund’s Cardigan (rav link), we’ll just have to see how that goes. I think it’s interesting, something I normally wouldn’t knit, except that I just realized my wardrobe is seriously boring and it might just snazz it up, and it’s the right gauge for the yarn I bought without a plan. Note to self, do not buy yarn without a plan.

So, since it’s the weekend, and it’s getting cooler and darker (a change I am, bizzarely looking forward to) here are some movie recommendations. Neither Greg nor I typically like the blockbuster type movies, and I don’t like anything too depressing, so it’s very lucky that Greg is FANTASTIC at finding really good off the beaten track movies to watch. Here are a few… (They’re all amazon links, all also available on netflix.)

1. Neil Young, Silver and Gold. If you like Neil Young, this is a fantastic one. If you don’t, just move on. Songs are really great, we’ve been putting it on just to listen to it. Gotta send it back to Netflix eventually, sadly.

2. Away We Go. Really cute movie. I loved the actors, and the story was good.

3. It Might Get Loud. This one was awesome. Jack White from the White Stripes, the Edge from U2, and Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin get together to play guitar, with really interesting stories. It was really interesting to see how they all view the guitar differently, what their musical philosophies were. Really good music too.

4. The Human Face. This one is SUPER interesting, it’s a BBC documentary featuring John Cleese (need I say more) about how we perceive and view the human face. Sounds boring, promise it’s really really interesting.

5. Elling. Possibly saved my favorite for last. This one is really really good. It’s a touching story, humorous with lots to think about, a good feel good movie. You’ll need to read subtitles, but the knitters among us will love Kjell’s traditional Norwegian sweaters and socks. Really well worth it.

So that’s all I got, enjoy the weekend!