Monday, May 26, 2008

Blog makeover, proud mother moment, more fibre confessions

You know how one day you walk into your house and suddenly realize that the fact that your couch has been against the same wall for YEARS is irritating as hell? Or suddenly your books have to be re-organized - maybe by colour this time instead of height? (except fibre books - they still belong in random piles around the bedroom - its a STYLE people, work with me here).

Well, my blog was pissing me off. It NEVER changed - oh stop laughing back there! I DO realize that for blogs to change one should probably post something on them every now and then.

Time for a spring cleaning. I wanted some of my own fibre in the picture at the colours! A fresh spring feeling. Let me know what you think...I'm not sold on the light green yet but its growing on me.

The other thing I think I need to do is find a direction for the blog and it occurred to me that, given support I have been showing to my local LYSes, bookstore and pretty much any place willing to sell me something to do with sticks and string, the least I could do would be to turn my financial loss into blog gain. So I am going to start subjecting you to my opinion - little reviews - patterns, books (knitting and not), cat breeds, coffee, podcasts, yarn...whatever strikes my fancy.

Knit that: pattern review

Today I give you: the Burridge Lake Aran Afghan by Anna Dalvi.

This pattern originally appeared on the sadly defunct Magknits but has been put up for free download through Ravelry or Anna's site. Anna Dalvi who lives here in Ottawa and was the mind behind the Mystic Waters Shawl (which I started and frogged - beautiful pattern but I was having fidelity issues because I still hadn't finished the Swan Lake stole).

I think this is going to be my grand opus. If I can finish this, I can do ANYTHING - climb Everest, do the side splits again, eat only sugar and fat and never gain weight, become patient, perfect and loved by all. I may be a bit optimistic, but its good to have goals. (OOH! lightening outside!)

The picture is less than a 1/4 of the first of three panels that will make up the afghan. It is absolutely to fascinating to knit. For one thing, the Trinity Stitch (the columns on either side of the big Saxon Braid) is made on the wrong side so purling rows are as interesting as cabling rows on the right side. Also, every one of the three patterns has a different number of rows - remind me to take a picture of my chart where I keep track of all this for you.

The pattern is absolutely perfect. Its fun to knit. If you like BIG projects, cabling (learn to cable without a needle for this one - there is a LOT of cabling going on) and knowing that you are making a family heirloom that you may be knitting for years to come (if you are like me), I recommend it.

The yarn is Patons Classic Merino - I couldn't afford the full 20 balls but I think a basic grey should be safe. (more lightening!)

Pictures from my stash

In the newly purchased department - Cascade 220 Wool Heathers and purse handles for a medium Noni Carpet Bag. Wool purchased at Yarn Forward in Kanata.

Spinning and spun

Right now I have some copper superwash merino I purchased at The Black Lamb when I got my wheel last year. I had spun up the first 50 g right away and it has been sitting on the bobbin for over a year. I am finally spinning up the rest - I am not a fan of spinning superwash because I find it way too slippery but I admit that the singles are really pretty and shiny and will be lovely when I ply it up.

Off the bobbin is an absolutely gorgeous 2-ply silk/merino blend from Fleece Artist. A larger skein has gone to its forever home - and this smaller skein is going to follow it there whenever I see Leanne next (Yes, hon...there's more...I'll trade you for a gallstone!)

Non-knitting news

Alex competed in his very first baseball tournament on Saturday and his team (the Yankees) came in second place in a very close final playoff game! This is his first year doing any kind of organized sport and he got off to a bit of a rocky start. But on Saturday one of the parents did some one-on-one with him to help him get his batting technique down and in the final game he got a run batted in, a triple and eventually got to home plate for his first point! I am so proud of him and really glad he had some success - he was getting very discouraged and nothing we could say was going to be as good as just hitting the ball.

Here he is at bat - just before his very first hit. Sorry for the fuzzies but it was really sunny - I couldn't actually see what I was photographing so I just shot the picture on faith.

Alex is super strong - and built like a 1920's slugger - if he can connect I think he's going to hit them out of the park.

Stuff I'm looking forward to

I have a 1 pm meeting tomorrow with our Director General to "talk about my future". This could be anything from a fun project to a minor career change and no one wants to tell me what its about but everyone seems to think I'm the one for it (whatever it is). Curious huh?

Test drives - my lease is up in mid-July so its time for dreaded car shopping. I'm going to pretend I am looking forward to this the way I look forward to checking out a new yarn shop. I am hoping the power of positive thinking will find me a decent price on a lovely heathered 4-door with cashmere-alpaca-quiviut seat covers and plenty of room for my wheel and knitting friends. Oh and an Ipod docking thingie would be nice too so I can listen to podcasts while driving to yarn shops. Oh, and it should probably have an engine and other car stuff in it. And somewhere to park kids and groceries. Are you thinking that maybe my car salesperson is going to be as confused by me as I am by him/her?

Have a great week - kids are back from dad's for the next three days and I'll line up my next review for the weekend. Let me know what you think of the new look and format!


Chriss said...

Yay Alex, looks like fine baseball form to me.

I think I like the new look/new direction of the blog. Green is my fave colour right now. Great idea about the reviews. I'm always on the look out for someone else's opinion before I buy, try, or commit.

wanna-baa said...

Love it all!! (Loooove the greeney heather purse stuff!) Masthead is lovely. That grey PROJECT is just amazing!! I remain impressed :) Good spring cleaning, girl!

T said...

I'm just so excited you're posting again the colour could be puce and I'd love it!

Ifn you want to borrow a car guy you know where the bbq is located ;)

Jeanne said...

Congrats to Alex on his great game! Love the new header on the blog, and can't wait to read your reviews. The afghan is amazing, and love love love the handspun. Good luck with the car, and hope your new project is a good thing!

Leanne said...

Oooohhh, more pretty yarn. The skein I have is still sitting on my desk being petted regularly. I missed it while I was in the hospital.

I came home this morning - the gallstone has dislodged, so I am no longer in pain. And the gall bladder will be coming out in a couple of months.