Mother-Nature-is-My-Homegirl Post of Epic Randomness

It dawned on me that taking some WIP pics this morning might have been a good use of my delayed office opening. But, of course, I didn’t actually do this. 

Way to go.

You’ll just have to imagine how awesome the colorwork on these looks. And how I’m cruising along on these awesome-looking cables.

I did snap this pic of the worst part of my commute today.

I hardcore love this building.

That’s the traffic getting off the highway at my exit, backed up for a quarter mile because three lanes are down to two.

But, there are worse sights to see while you’re sitting in traffic. I’ve worked in that on that campus and under that gold dome for four years now, and I’m still constantly struck by how beautiful that building is. Can you believe there are people who actually think it’s ugly? Crazy.

Mother Nature dumped another foot of snow on us last night, officially making this the snowiest January ever. Literally. Folks round these parts are unhappy, but I’m loving it. The kids love it, too. Tilly plays with the snow off my boots! Simon likes watching the neighbors use the snowblower.

So cute…and so smart!

I don’t know where he learned how to use his paw to part the blinds and look out the window—his mother doesn’t do this—but it cracks me up every time. He’s just so charming!

Madori, however, prefers her prime spot: The couch.

:::contented sigh:::

Even better if she’s under the blanket. Even better if that blanket is my Girasole.

Annual Busy Time, along with Extra Work I Do After Actual Work, is totally kicking my ass right now. But I have been knitting. No spinning to speak of, but lots of knitting—it saves the sanity. It’ll all get blogged at some point…maybe…

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Snow Driving 101, Plus an FO

I should preface this whole rant by saying that I love snow. Seriously, deeply and truly. Love. It.

What I can’t stand are people who don’t know how to drive in it.

Trying to get to work. Behind a bus. Being towed by a dump truck. Going 10 mph. On the worst snow plow-job ever. FML.

Now, we got whalloped yesterday with snow of epic proportions, so I kind of understand the roads being less than awesome the next day. However, this is New England and, from time to time, we do get some snow during the winter. Shocking, I know, but history will support this. So I don’t get why we’re all so shocked when we get slapped by Mother Nature with some serious white-age.

All that being said, I’m not a 4-wheel-driver. My first car had it; it was fabulous. That car broke. I got a new one. A little one, subcompact-style. Very fuel efficient and cute. And freaking KILLER in the snow. This car is unstoppable. I’ve never gotten totally stuck. Ever. But idiot snow drivers threaten to bring my bad-ass-mobile down constantly. So, as a public service message here’s my tips for the not-so-snow-savvy motoring public.

  • Don’t brake. Seriously. An attribute of the modern automatic-transmission automobile is that, if you simply lift your foot off the gas pedal, the car will slow down. CRAZY, I know, but I assure you its the truth. So don’t brake. If you brake, you will slide. And if you’re following the car in front of you so closely during a snow storm that you’re forced to slam on your brakes when they tap their’s, you’re probably just going to slide into them anyways. And you just learned a valuable lesson about proper following distance. Just say no to braking.
  • Maintain forward motion. If you stop, you might not start again. Momentum is a beautiful thing. Embrace it.
  • Don’t be a dumb ass. So simple, but such a difficult concept to grasp.

And that’s it! Wow. I feel so much better now.  End rant.

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So, because of the Epic Snow, I got to stay home from work yesterday. I used my free time wisely and finished my Girasole. I love her.

Isn’t she lovely?

I have almost two full skeins of yarn left over, so go me on finally having an adequate yardage estimate. I’d heard stories about the edging on this pattern, and they didn’t disappoint. The edging took forever to work over those 640 stitches. But it was totally worth it in the end.

Simon was *very* helpful with the blocking process. So helpful, that I’ve already had to fix two pulls suffered from his little claws.

The pattern itself  isn’t terribly difficult, and I liked that it was broken up into a whole mess of smaller charts. It would have been monotonous, but the excitement of getting to start new charts all the time helped keep it moving.

Another close-up

The final piece is about 60 inches in diameter, plenty big to curl up with on the couch. While knitting, I had some concerns about how I was going to actually block this, and it needed a serious blocking. I don’t have an abundance of floor space, and leaving it in the middle of the living room for three days — where two eager cats could have their way with it while I’m at work — was not an attractive option.

Then, I had a stroke of brilliance and decided to try steam. It took me and my iron an hour and three cups of water, but I got a nice even block on her. Not as hard a block as I usually want on lace, but it’s a damn blanket, not a shawl. I’m really happy with the results.

The view from the couch: I love how happy and sunny it is!

So, there it is, the first FO of 2011! And Operation Stash Containment continues. Still loving the stashdown, too.

After I wrapped up Girasole, I dug out two skeins for my next project and got to casting on.

Sanguine Gryphon Free Range in “Ixworth”

Sanguine Gryphon Free Range in "Cochin"

You know I love me some colorwork.

Well, Hello There 2011…

I ushered out 2010 and welcomed 2011 with two faves on what wound up being a really fantastic night.

2010 was a weird year for me: fewer tears, big changes, mountains of stress and mountains of joy…it was a year to reboot, I think. Not great, but not horrid.

2010: The year of the kitties

I have high hopes for 2011.

I’ve been on vacation since Xmas Eve; tomorrow, I go back to work and Wednesday starts Annual Busy Time. This vacation was all about recharging my batteries…and catching up on so many little things. So, here’s my catch-up blog post…

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I finally got around to taking project pics. I’m still not in love with my new camera, but we’re getting along better than we were; color is still a bit off, though. Gotta figure that setting out…

“Dutch Tulip”

This is the 80/20 merino/cashmere 2-ply laceweight from Corgi Hill that spent so much time on Evelyn this fall. It’s lovely, and will make some pretty lace someday.

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These were, officially, the most labor-intensive socks ever.

“See You Later”

They weren’t difficult, and they worked up very quickly, but the manual crossing, twisting and interlacing of the stitches was really intense. They came out fantastic, though…

Great pairing of pattern and colorway

…and I see many more handspun socks in my future. I also see more toe-ups with heel flaps. Way better fit on my feet than short-row heels.

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I knocked out that pair of Pointelles. They finished beautifully.

Cookie A. is a flippin genius.

I still have to give them to Mom for her birthday. I’m resisting the urge to keep them. That little touch of cashmere just makes them so delicious.

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I Navajo plied off the first skein of Crazy Silk

The silk that never ends…

…and wound up with 339 yards of 52 WPI. I have a lot more of this to spin…a lot…

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I finally got around to photographing Multnomah.

Pretty sparkly waves

The pics are terrible, but the shawl is lovely.

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I knocked out a quick hat between Xmas and New Years.

“Lallans”

It was a tricksey little pattern, very engaging to knit. The two yarns—Malabrigo Worsted and Lorna’s Laces Greenline Worsted—are just delicious together.

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I’ve spent way more time on knitting than spinning lately. This BFL has been on Evelyn for quite a while now.

From FiberOptic, in “Vitamin C,” a bright cheerful orange batik

I have so many things I want to knit, though, that it might have to stay on Evelyn for a while longer.

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My current obsession is my Girasole.

A delightful project!

I can’t seem to put it down! It’s on track to be my first FO of 2011.

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So, here’s to a new year! One full of friends and creativity and love and fun and much, much more!