Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lists, lists, lists

Still working on that Rick Rack scarf, still too scared of DPNs to start the mitts I have queued. I did try casting on, but I was worried I was going to snap the needles with my extraordinarily tight stitching. Then I had a knitting crisis (filling my weekly quota) and decided I needed to go back several levels and deal with my tension. This article on Knitty was pretty helpful. I don't know whether I was actually pulling the yarn tight after every stitch or not, but I definitely tend to wrap the working yarn pretty tightly around several fingers. So I loosened up, and suddenly the scarf I'm working on felt a lot less tortured, and I worked on it through a whole two-hour movie without feeling like I was developing arthritis. Loosening up: it's good for you.

Also started this little cute dragon. I haven't gotten far yet, but it's turning out much smaller than I imagined - which is good. I like small things.

My main project, though, has been crafting epic to-do lists for our upcoming move. I have so many things to do and so many lists to consult that I think I need a list of lists, to make sure I don't forget anything. I am looking forward to a quiet summer and hoping my sanity rejoins me at that point.

Leave me alone, my garden needs tending.

In the meantime, I've gotten back into playing Glitch. It's a browser-based MMO, although that's just a very basic definition. I started playing in the fall and went away after a month or so. Now I'm back, because the best remedy for having way to many lists and to-dos is to play a game that consists mostly of giving me quests and tasks to do. Seriously, it's a nice to ignore all the stuff I have to think about and feel like I'm actually getting stuff done, even if that stuff is just petting trees and nibbling pigs and donating things to giants (it's an odd game).

And when that doesn't do it for me, I hop into Skyrim and bash heads with my warhammer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


After knitting and crocheting like mad for the first few months of the year, I seem to have hit a slump. The only project I've got going is the Rick Rack scarf I mentioned a couple weeks ago. Next on my queue are the Easy Handspun Mitts and I've got everything I need to get started, except the knowledge of how to knit on DPNs. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, but I haven't had a moment lately where I felt like I had the time and mental energy to cast on something I wasn't sure how to do. Planning for a move is not the right time for learning new knitting techniques. My crochet queue is less intimidating, but mostly features amigurumi with tons of little pieces to sew together. Wahh.

I've been keeping busy, though, investigating yarn stores and knitting/crochet groups in my future home, as well as bookmarking a few places I might check out when I spend some time in the San Francisco area next month. Plus, I have a gift certificate at my LYS to spend before I move away, so there are fun possibilities there too. Lots and lots of planning these days, and very little doing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


We spent the weekend in Warrenton, Virginia for a wedding. During the day, we did some sightseeing in the area, including Old Town Warrenton (where I discovered The Red Thread and poked around squeezing yarn) and an alpaca farm a few miles outside town:

The place is called Alpaca Full Moon Farm, and is run by a husband and wife who were both very friendly and welcoming. We got a tour of the farm and learned lots of alpaca facts, and got to hang out in their pen and feed them some treats:

I'm kicking myself for not buying any of the yarn they sell in their shop. It was beautiful, and it was labeled with the names of the alpacas who had contributed to it. But, of course, alpaca yarn is a little pricey and without a specific project I could use it in, I felt like I should hold off. Oh well.

This part of Virginia is best known for wineries and horses, but I highly recommend the alpacas, especially for a yarn enthusiast!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Odds and ends

A few things I've finished up recently:

My Diamond Ridges hat, using some Miss Babs Northumbria DK that I bought at fibre space using some of the gift card I got as a Christmas present. I love the color of this yarn, which I wasn't able to perfectly capture in any of my pictures. This is a pattern I've had in my queue for years, and I've always been daunted by the comments about how difficult it is, but I had no problems with it at all. I think the Phannie hat was good practice for front-post-only crochet, and the pictures included with the Diamond Ridges pattern cleared up any doubts I might have had that I was interpreting the instructions correctly. Definitely would recommend this pattern for any intermediate crocheter.


My crocheted grocery tote, from a Purl Soho pattern. The pattern calls for linen, which mine most certainly is not - I was trying to use up some of a skein of cheap craft store-brand baby sport yarn. As I said before, making something almost entirely out of chains is not really the most thrilling project ever, but I actually really like how it turned out. Making these out of linen yarn like the pattern suggests might be a nice gift alternative for people I've already dumped scarves and amigurumi on.

I also started something new:

Another pattern from Purl, this time the Rick Rack scarf. I haven't worked on a knitting project since I finished my Eternity scarf last month, and after a few itchy days of no project at all once the grocery tote was done, I tried casting on for a new scarf, but... I don't know, it wasn't my day. I spent most of an evening trying to get the Frostlight scarf to behave for me, then I tried the Rick Rack scarf and that didn't go any better, so then I started questioning whether I had ever actually learned how to knit and even if I had, why anyone would ever want to do something so annoying. Then I wisely went to bed, and a few days later, with the aid of this video, the rick rack rib made a lot more sense to me. It feels good to have a simple, relatively long-term project to work on while watching tv again.

Oh, and happy Easter!:

Sunday, April 1, 2012


We're away this weekend, looking for a new place to live in a new city! It's exciting, but I feel like we're also flying very much by the seat of our pants. We don't have much time to find a place, and this weekend comes on the end of one of the busiest weeks I've ever witnessed at work, of course. All this is an excuse not only for our rushed apartment search, but also for me not having any exciting projects to work on. Traveling without an interesting crochet or knitting project is unsettling to me. I am working on the crocheted grocery tote pattern by Purl Soho, but I'm nearly done and, while I like it a lot, making chains over and over is admittedly not the most exciting thing to do. I'm looking forward to things settling down a little bit so I can start some new, more challenging projects.