Monthly Archives: June 2007

Alpine Lace Update

I’m almost at my “deadline” for the alpine lace, and here’s what I have left:

7 8-row pattern repeats

+ 8 rows of garter stitch

+ 3 16-row pattern repeats

+ 8 rows of garter stitch

= 120 more rows

I have three days (including today) before the mystery stole pattern comes out…which puts me at 40 rows per day. That’s… 5 8-row repeats. I don’t know if I’ll be done by Friday, but I’m really impressed at how much I’ve done in the last week or so. It’s also gotten me motivated to get cracking on some other projects that have been in hibernation for a while too.

I’m transitioning back to mid shifts on the ambulance (long story) so I’m exhausted again. Then in a few weeks I move to days for two weeks to take dispatch class, then i move back to nights (hopefully for good) to train on 911 call taking. My body has no clue what time of day it is any more.

In other news…my Macbook is broken 😦 There is a crack in the palm rest right by the right front edge of the computer. I went online and found that this is a common problem with Macbooks that came out around the same time as I bought mine, and that Apple will (should) fix it for free. I have a 6:30 appointment at the Apple store in Tampa to have it looked at, and hopefully I can get it taken care of right there. I hope their service is worth what I paid for the warranty!

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Check it out

We have grass!
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Actually, it looks like this:
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I got 15 trays of grass plugs and put them in yesterday (and this morning), and they only covered half of the area I thought they would cover. They’re spaced out about a foot apart which was the recommendation they gave me, and each tray of 18 plugs was supposed to cover 32 square feet – but clearly it didn’t. Thats ok though, I’ll go next weekend and get another 15 trays to finish the back half of the yard. i’m not going to tackle the mulched area yet, because I would need to rent a tiller and tear it up and it is way way too hot for that. If the back half grows well, I’ll do the other half next spring.

I got my Jagger wool-silk in the mail today (that I ordered last Saturday – what service!), and knit up my official mystery stole swatch. I LOVE this yarn. It is silky and drapey and yummy. The beads I picked go very well with it too. Once all this crazy lace knitting is done (or at least when the mystery stole-along is done) I have an idea for a shawl pattern to work out, and I’ll definitely use this yarn for it. It comes either in a 1 lb cone (no weaving in ends in lace!) or various vendors sell it in 2 ox (650 yds) or 4 oz increments. The one I got is 4 oz (about 1300 yds) because the shawl calls for about 1200 yds.

mystery-stole-swatch-jagger-wool-silk.jpg

I’ve done 4 1/2 repeats of the 8-row center pattern on the alpine lace, and hope to get 2 more done tonight. That will leave 13 8 row repeats, 8 rows of garter stitch, three 16-row repeats of the border, then 8 rows of garter stitch. I can totally do all that in nine days, right? Even though i only have two days off between now and then? I think I can, I think I can….

Rainbow Handspun

Two 140 yard skeins of yummy rainbow handspun:

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With a quarter for size:

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I heart it 🙂  The weight feels good for socks, I’ll just have to knit them toe-up since I only have 140 yards in each skein.

Lace, lace, and more lace (and some spinning)

I can’t say enough about the Beadwrangler – I ordered my beads on Saturday night, and they arrived today!  She’s actually located in Tampa (which helps), but I’m amazed at how fast she shipped my order.  I will definitely order again.  I got beads for the Zephyr wool-silk I ordered for my Mystery Stole, beads to go with the rest of my white cashmere/silk laceweight, beads to go with the cone of red merino laceweight I got from mom (hey mom, do you remember where that was from?), and beads to go with my llama that I have yet to spin.  I spun up a sample a few weeks ago, and it’s fingering weight!  I don’t know yet if I’ll even like knitting with beads, but the beads were so cheap I got lots to make the shipping worth it.  If I like the beads I’ll use them again in the future, and if not it’s no big loss.

I knit a swatch for the Mystery Stole using my 80/20 cashmere silk laceweight yarn (the same as I’m using for the Alpine Lace shawl) even though I’m not using that yarn – I had to try out those beads!  The beading is pretty easy, just fiddly with such a teeny tiny eensy weensy crochet hook (seriously, I can barely see the hook).  I like the look of the beads; they are small enough that they’re not gaudy, but have enough sparkle to make it special.

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A little messy getting used to the beading, but  I think I like it.  This was knitted on 3mm needles.

I’ve also been spinning my hand-dyed (by a woman from knitting group) merino and I LOVE it.  I really enjoy seeing the colors come out!  I have 1 1/2 bobbins done and I hope to finish the second and ply it tonight.  It is spinning up nice and fine, so I’m hoping to get sock weight yarn for socks.  I’m interested in trying navajo plying too, so I’ll probably take whatever is left after the first two bobbins and give it a whirl.

I have the next three days off, so I’m hoping to make a large dent in the Alpine Lace shawl (or maybe finish it…but that might be a little optimistic) before the 29th when the Mystery Stole-along starts.  I’ll keep you advised.

Things I’ve learned so far on Ravelry

Thing 1:  I don’t actually have much stash.  This is because I pretty much decide what I want to knit, then pick out the yarn to go with it.  I pretty much don’t buy yarn unless I have a specific project in mind – except sock yarn.  Which really isn’t an exception, because I know it will be socks.  This is why almost my entire stash is sock yarn.  The rest is leftovers from old projects.  I can’t decide if this is good (I don’t needlessly spend money) or bad (I need to get me some stash!)

Thing 2: I have a lot of works in progress.  Well not a LOT, but more than I thought.  I found things I forgot about.  I ripped out three different socks-in-progress that I hated and abandoned, and re-balled the sock yarn to reuse in the future.  Hence, my stash (see Thing 1).

Thing 3: I knit a lot of lace.  I knew this already, but it is even more evident from my projects page.  This is because I like lace.  And cables – but I don’t have a lot of use for cables here in Florida.  Lace is interesting, plain knitting is boring.

Thing 4: I am a selfish knitter – all but one project on there are for me!  This will hopefully change soon.  Or maybe not.

Motivated Again

Thanks to Ravelry, I am excited to start some new projects and finish some old ones!  I joined the Mystery Stole 3 knit along and ordered my yarn and beads today.  I ordered some charcoal grey Jaggerspun zephyr wool-silk laceweight yarn and some grey shiny beads, as well as a teeny tiny crochet hook to string the beads with.  I’ve never used beads in my knitting before, but I’m excited to start!  I got some other colors to go with some other laceweight yarn I have in the stash (just what I need, a new kind of stash!).

Don’t worry though, I haven’t forgotten about my WIP’s.  The mystery stole knit-along starts on June 29th, so I want to finish Alpine Lace by then, and then get back to the bridal knot shawl (finally).  I also have some Christmas ideas in the works, so there’s plenty coming 🙂

I gave in

After seeing everyone else talking about Ravelry, I finally got my invite!  I started posting my FOs and current projects this week, but I have to try to find some old pictures of pre-macbook projects to add as well.  I’m really enjoying the site so far.  It’s a great way to keep a record of my projects and to see in print exactly how many WIP’s I have!  It was a great reminder of some of the projects I have sitting on the back burner, and gave me some motivation to try to work on some of them again.  I need to take some online courses soon so I’m on a bit of a yarn diet…this will be good for me.

Speaking of online courses…I didn’t say much until now because I wasn’t sure if it would all come together, BUT today I took my GRE (test to get into grad school) and I did great!  The program I’m applying to wants at least a 1000 (out of 1600, like the SAT used to be) and I scored well above that.  I’m definitely satisfied and I think they’ll be happy with my score.  And all this is so…I can apply to PA (Physician Assistant) school.  I’ve been hemming and hawing for (wow) five years now about what to do next, and the stars seem to be aligning and I think this is what I really want to do.  🙂  There are NO schools with PA programs on the west coast of Florida, but a university out of Miami has a distance learning program with St. Petersburg College – they teleconference lectures, and I’ll be able to do all my clinicals in this area.  The program is designed for people like me who have jobs/houses/lives/etc and cannot go away to school, and people who can’t go to school out of this area get special consideration.    I just need to take a few prerequisite courses before I apply.  If all goes well (keeping fingers, toes, arms, legs, and eyes crossed) I can start in fall of 2008.  There are a lot of ifs here, but the biggest hurdle for me so far has been the GRE, and now that that is done I’m breathing much easier.

Off to garden and knit and spin and enjoy my night off 🙂