Sunday, February 28, 2010

Knitting Olympics Wrap-up

I didn't set out what I accomplished to do, but I also didn't anticipate deaths in the family, being too sore to knit, filling in the shop (not that I didn't enjoy it very much) or being thrown for a loop by some serious asshattery. But you know what? It's knitting and not brain surgery, so I'm okay with not making my Olympics goals. I got the mitten pattern sent off to test knitters, have a new retailer (more details in the Dyeabolical blog soon), dyed up 4 new base yarns, tested 20 new dyes, dyed up 5 pounds of BFL (listings before Wednesday, I promise),  and developed 5 new colors so it isn't like I didn't get anything accomplished. I did my work, I just didn't fill my off hours with extra work or catching up on blog reading like I planned. I'm okay with that.

Catch up with you soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Knitted Footstool. No joke!

A year ago my friend Natalie was making knitted blocks for a mutual friends baby. They were dense little suckers. I should know because she beaned one at my head. I said then that they would make great footstools if knit larger and snarkily suggested that she make one for me knowing she never would. I should be more careful what I say to Natalie because sometimes she likes to prove me wrong for my birthday.

Isn't it amazing?

Every side is different.

It is soft and sturdy...

..comfortable to prop your feet on....

Cat and awesome knitted footstool
..and in case of Cat-astrophe, the panels can easily be replaced.

I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. Thank you Natalie!

Knitting Olympics, Projects 1 and 2

I wasn't going to do the Ravelympics. It seemed like a lot of time spent on the forums and I just wasn't in to it. Then Yarn Harlot announced she was doing Knitting Olympics again and I signed up. That's all there is to hers. Sign up if you want. Knit what you want. Take a medal if you choose. No teams, events, sign ups or forums. I have nothing against Ravelympics. If I weren't already doing a swap on another active board than I might have done Ravelympics.

It seems like I just picked up the knitting needles again after learning how to knit in grade school, but I guess it has been more than a few years. I remember the last Knitting Olympics clearly, so it must be at least 4 years since I started up again. I guess that makes sense. Knitorious opened in 2004. I started working there in 2005. The shop moved in 2006. My first day in business as Dyeabolical was in 2007. It seems like I have been dyeing yarn for a long time while simultaneously seeming like I have only been a Knitter with a capital K for only a short time. Odd.

Anyway, I have decided to do the Knitting Olympics this year. My goal is to work on sample knitting. I am pretty far behind in my work knitting and crocheting. I like to knit up at least one sample from each of the yarns I carry. I also have 3 potential yarns that need dyeing and testing and 2 new rovings that need to be spun up. Let's not even talk about the 3 or 4 patterns I have half written up. My goal for the next 2-3 weeks is to do as much work knitting as possible in my down time. I feel like I should put "down" in quotes since, if my body cooperates, there won't be much down time in the next 2-3 weeks. I took it easy in January and now it is time to ramp back up.

Wow. I'm feeling pretty rambly today. Check the time stamp on this post. I'm having snot-filled insomnia right now. It isn't in my lungs and it doesn't feel like a cold. It feels like bad hayfever and it isn't responding to Zyrtec or Sudafed. I found one lone Singulair leftover from when I could afford Singulair. Hopefully it will kick in soon and fix the problem. On to the knitting and crocheting...

Knitting Olympics Project #1--Bibb O'Fire(fly). Started before KO from my Cotton Warp.

Knitting Olympics Project #2--Double thick potholder. Started before KO. Also from my Cotton Warp.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Garden Time!

Scott and I sat down with seed catalogs this past weekend and planned out our garden this year. This is our 3rd year gardening with any kind of seriousness and our first year starting from seeds. My goal for this year is to make our garden save money. Last year we sunk a lot of money in to it for a lot of joy but very little produce. Have you read The $64 Tomato? It was like that.

If we don't save money this year then it will be because it is an investment year. The seed cost is negligible. It is the other stuff that we need to get. This year we need to buy new and lighter dirt than we had last year. We want to buy a few railing boxes if we can find a kind that won't fall and kill the neighbors if there is a stiff wind. We are experimenting with self watering boxes for some of our vegetables. If I know us well enough, and I do, I can easily imagine that we may sacrifice a corner of our living room this fall for a table and grow lights so we can grow our own baby spinach all year 'round in the fall. I also bought a small sprouter from Park Seed to grow our own microgreens.

And, just as in grade school, I made a scissor-and-paste collage of what our garden will look like. Click to embiggen.

Pictured above, going clockwise:

  • Tumbling Tom Patio tomatoes to be potted in a 12x12 container and set on a table, should we be able to settle and agree on a table this year. It is entirely possible that the 12x12 container will actually be a growmato and that it will set on the floor because we won't be able to find a table we both like.
  • Pansies in the spring and fall; gazinias in the summer. We will also try some lantanas and lilies that we have seeds for.
  • Pablano, False Alarm Jalepenos and multi-color bell peppers in Earthbox #1
  • 1 Green Stripe tomato and 1 Sweet Tangerine tomato in Earthbox #2
  • Heirloom marigolds among the tomatoes and peppers
  • A looseleaf lettuce mix on the potting bench
  • Spicy, Lemon, Lime and maybe Sweet basils, plus an Italian herb collection, also on the potting bench
  • Spearmint and Bee Balm in the same large container near the back door.
  • Fairy Tale eggplants.
  • Fire & Ice radishes planted with a rainbow mix of carots
  • Red scallions, with more marigolds planted nearby
  • We have a jade, avocado, kalancho, hens and chicks and aloe that spent the winter on holiday in my in-laws basement. They all need repotting in to a lighter-weight soil and will probably go on the landing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Self Made Man Exhibit

I know this is short notice for tonight's event, but Mark Newport's Self Made Man Exhibit opens this evening with a special reception from 6-8pm at Laumiere Sculpture Park and runs through May 9. My plan is to go tonight and then go again on April 3rd for a Knit-In with the artist. He's the guy that did the knitted superhero costumes. I hope to see you there!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Manic Monday

Questions from the Manic Monday Blog

What was your best day of the week last week and why?

Thursday. Usually I don't get to talk to Scott much when he is away but I got to talk to him several times on Thursday. I had 2 packages in the mail, one which was my Mardi Gras swap and the other were headphones I had ordered. The company sent me 2 sets of headphones on accident and I get to keep the extra pair no charge. I met a friend for coffee at Starbucks and we ended up hanging out all evening together. Starbucks was out of fresh brewed coffee so treated me to a cup of fresh coffee on the house if I was willing to wait for it. SCORE! I found a pretty good Chinese Buffet in Lemay and followed up the evening with ginger ice cream. When I got home I found I had made several sales while I was away. It was the best day in a long time.

What's the longest you've ever gone without sleep?
I went for 48 hours once with only an hour nap. I went from school out with friends, went to work at 4 in the morning, worked a double, had a performance that night, went out, worked a double at 4 the next morning before coming home to collapse. I don't recommend it unless you are still 18 years old and wired on coffee.

Is how old you look and/or how old you feel right now different from your actual age?
For once, no. I always felt older when I was younger. I used to look younger than I actually was. Now I think my age and face have caught up with each other. I am almost 35 and I look 35.

In other news, I am debating signing up to do a show in Mansfield, Mo in May. The only catch is that I would have to wear period-clothing. Um....maybe.