Friday, July 27, 2007

Where have I been?

Well, good question. I'm here. It has been a busy two weeks. First, my iBook was out of commission for about 10 days. It needed a new logic board, than another new logic board, then a new battery to boot. Finally, finally I have my laptop back. And, ta daaaaa, it actually will run on the battery now, as in portable, as in the way laptops are intended.

What else has held me up? Well, Life. We've had some challenging times and a very hard loss in our family. Secondly, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! H, Auntie Ehm and I braved Vroman's at midnight to pick up our books. It has turned into a tradition for H and I to go at midnight and get each new book. We were very happy to be joined by the intrepid Ms. Ehm. H finished reading early Sunday, I finished Sunday night, I think. This is a spoiler free zone, but I will say that I loved the book. It is action packed and drags you into its spell, making you stay up into the wee hours, reading. Hurry up and finish so that we can talk about it!

On the knitting front, I made good progress on MS3, but have not started on clue 4 due to HP and knitting for hire. I can't show you or say who it is for (those of you out there who know, please don't leave it on my comments), but I do test knitting for a knit designer. It's a lot of fun, but the down side for me are the deadlines. They make me crazy, what can I say. This piece involves 14 colors and intarsia. I've been working on this 4-5 hours a day, trying to get it done w/o wrecking my wrists. so far, so good.

H only has 4 days of summer school left. Woo hoo! I can sleep late for the entire month of August!! Kudos to H for doing such a good job with her classes this summer.

TGIF! We're going to the Tonight Show tonight!

Friday, July 13, 2007

IBook, I wish...

Dropped off my laptop at DiNo computers Monday, picked up on Wednesday, took laptop back on Thursday = no laptop tonight. Apparently my new logic board was corrupted. Who knew? I'm not sure if it was a case of kickbacks or being named as a client of a certain escort service, but it was no good. alas and alack, it might take until Monday to get my iBook back. I guess I have no life because I can't stand not having it. Not being able to read my Bloglines or email makes me crazy. Itunes, pattern downloads, online threads--I miss them all! Isn't it amazing how ingrained the wired life has become?

Mystery Stole 3 update. I haven't had a lot of free time, but it seems like I"ve been working on this night and day. It is going better, but I find I still have to be very careful to not miss something on the chart or drop a stitch. That's what you get when you knit with THREAD!!! I'm currently on row 127 of clue #2. not too bad. A special thanks to Mary for being so encouraging. I appreciate it.

BTW, I got my hands on a copy of the new Norah Gaughan Collection, vol. 1 from Berroco today. I am really impressed with the book. Stylish, interesting designs. I'm going to end up with an extra copy of any of my local buddies out there would like to buy it from me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fuzzy Logic

Posting here will be a little slow for the next few days. I found out today that the logic board on my iBook has croaked. It is being repaired and I'll have it back in a few days.

In other news, it has finally cooled off a little after a real scorcher of a week. We may even have a thunderstorm! I know it seems pathetic to get excited over this, but we are hurting here.

I've made it to row 85 on the Mystery Stole. Things are lovelier the second time around, but I'm still not crazy about it. I refuse to quit, though. At least not now. ahem...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lace Shmace

In other words, things are not going well in the Mystery Stole lace department in mi casa. After finally finishing the first clue Thursday, in plenty of time for the next clue, I realized that there was a very big mistake. I couldn't overlook it, I tried. Others tried to convince me...but I knew it was there. I could hear it lurking in my knitting bag, taunting me. That mistake alone would have required tinking back about 20+ rows. Then I decided that the whole thing looked a little sloppy and that I really needed to go down to a size 3 needle. Size 3!!! This is a cruel blow for a gal who spends most of her time felting things that were knit on size 11 or 13 needles. Anyway, I digress from my intended rant--the Mystery Stole. So, Friday, I buy a pair of size 3 Addi Lace circulars and restart. That evening, I am surfing through blogland and I see people who are done with clue #2. What gives?? That's 100 rows of lace in less than 12-14 hours! Come on, people, you're killing me! Take time out for a beverage or two... I know this isn't a race, but still, I know it will bother me if I am way behind the group. Tonight, I'm up to row 55, chart B. Only 145 rows until I'm "caught up." woo hoo, piece of cake. That which doesn't kill (or blind) you does make you stronger.

Stay cool.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Synchronized Knitting

Knitdad and I attempted synchronized knitting yesterday, both of us working on the Mystery Stole 3. It was fun, albeit accident-prone. For my part, it was 3 rows forward, 2 rows back. I suggested that we get to the same row, then read the stitches out loud. Understandably, Knitdad was reluctant to wait out the 4 hours necessary for me to catch up. Then, I said we should speak every other row (on the purl rows), since invariably one person would speak up in the middle of a crucial row count. That didn't really work either. It didn't help that the Starbucks we were in had the loudest, strangest music playing. At one point, I actually questioned my sanity when I thought I heard the strains of Stairway to Heaven coming through a flamenco guitar piece. Turns out, it really was Stairway to Heaven! This version would pretty much kill Robert Plant & company. Anyway, after being stuck in a time warp bouncing back & forth through rows 75-79, I have actually progressed to row 87, making it seem likely that I will finish this section before the next "clue" comes out on Friday.

It's only 16 days until the new Harry Potter book is released! What do you think will happen? Is Dumbledore really dead? Will Harry survive? Is Snape truly a traitor? I can't wait to find out. I am so sorry to see this series end, I hope that J.K. Rowling does a good job in wrapping up the story.

Long May She Wave...

Happy 4th, everyone! Independence Day finds me feeling nostalgic. When I was a kid, most summers found us in a small town in North Dakota visiting our grandparents. We had all the trappings of a small town celebration. There would be a parade featuring all the local veterans, civic and fraternal organizations and the high school band (the one and only high school!). Our family would have a great meal, then settle down to set off the box of fireworks that my grandfather would always buy at a fireworks stand out on the highway. The problem was, my little sister was very timid and you could hardly convince her to hold a sparkler. Remember sparklers? I used to love those twinkly molten hot pieces of wire. Then my sister would go inside and sit on the couch while my grandfather and I would work our way through roman candles, whistlers, etc. I always enjoyed myself immensely. Later, we would all drive over to the fairgrounds to watch the "professional" fireworks set off by the city.

Fast forward to today, a slightly different celebration. My grandfather has been gone for 20+ years, my grandmother for about 8. We don't make it back to that small town, which is now even smaller, very often. My sister and I are grown-ups and she has made it off the couch. Due to the fact that we live in Los Angeles where fireworks are mostly off-limits, we are relegated to the big public displays. My daughter, Hm has only had the personal fireworks experience once, about 6 years ago when we traveled back to that little town to help close up the big house after my grandmother died. H and I went to that same fireworks stand and got a box of fireworks. This time I was the one in charge. H and I set off snakes, fountains, candles and firecrackers, and yes, sparklers. It was fun to watch how much H enjoyed herself. I'm glad we had that chance to share one of my favorite childhood memories. I hope you all get to wave your sparklers today, if only in your heart.

Be safe, my friends!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Burning Up Lace

You've heard of Arctic Lace? Well, here is my Burning Up Lace, aka Mystery Stole 3. The title of this post refers to the fact that summer has arrived here with a vengeance. It is predicted to be over 100 degrees through Saturday! aughgh!

If you are interested in the Mystery Stole 3 and MS3 knitalong, here is a link to the designer's site Pink Lemon Twist. You are knitting a lace stole sight unseen, with instructions parceled out in weekly installments, except for July 20th, due to the release of the new (and last) Harry Potter book. Sort of a progressive dinner, but with lace. I believe there are something like 3,500 members of the knitalong. The sheer load of emails from the group was stunning. I went from individual message (will I ever learn?) to daily digest (of which there were MANY) to "no mail."

This is the yarn I'm using, Habu 2/17 Tsumugi Silk, color 19. I really like this yarn, although it is very very thin. It has the rustic silk look that I find very attractive.

I'm halfway done with the first 100 rows.

Arty close-up courtesy of the kid.