Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not Much, Including a Meditation, with Bad Pictures

I finished the first of the Thelonious socks early yesterday. I kept going with the traveling motif on the top of the foot until the two lace panels were closer together. Just felt like it.

Here's a more pulled back shot, although it's really hard to get a good photo of a sock on one's own foot.

I liked the pattern (from Cookie A.) and the yarn (Shibuiknits sock). Looking at the yarn in the skein, I didn't expect it to stripe the way it did. I'm glad the color tones were so close, or I wouldn't have liked the pattern in this yarn at all. I had a feeling that the new Socks that Rock club package would arrive today, so I didn't cast on for the second Thelonious. This left me pretty knit-less :(

I dealt with this by doing some spinning. I finished the first bobbin of my merlot merino a while ago, but hadn't started on the second. It took me a while to get the mechanics correct, but I think I finally managed. (Getting the wheel tension and brake tension right was tough today for some reason.) Here's a picture of the bit that I've done so far today:

Still, with the bad pictures. I took one without the flash that would have been better had it actually been in focus. I'm still not completely satisfied that I have everything right for spinning this the way the first bobbin was spun, but I'm making a singles that looks like the first, so it'll have to do.

And I was correct: the STR package arrived today, with some very purple yarn. It looks very pretty in the skein, but that's never a predictor of what the final fabric will look like. The sock pattern that came with it looks interesting. I'll probably wind that up and hopefully get a chance to cast on tonight.

Obligatory Baseball Report

Last night was Sr. Jr.'s last regular season game. His team was set to play the team that was currently in last place in the league. At game time, we only had 8 kids. There was one kid who showed up for a practice and a game or so, then we never heard from him again. Another was still away for a Memorial Day getaway. Two other kids, brothers, didn't come because the game was starting late (7:30) on a school night, and Virginia kids are taking SOLs this week. SOLs are those stupid tests that schools use to measure progress under the stupid No Child Left Behind Act. Since the tests mostly measure the school's progress and not the child's, I don't put any pressure on my kids to do well on them. (Sr. Jr. does well anyway.) I guess that was the long way of saying that we were on the verge of forfeiting, which would have given us a loss to this team and put us in last place.

Luckily, there was a family there from the previous game that had a younger kid who could be "called up" to our league and play in the game. The game didn't start well, but it finished nicely. Our team won, 10-7. Sr. Jr. didn't pitch, because the coaches want to save him for the playoffs. But he made a couple of good fielding plays to help out the team.

Tonight is Jr. Jr.'s game.

A Meditation on the Evening News

A lot has been written about the "demise" of the evening newscast as it currently exists on network television. Fewer and fewer people are tuning in at 7:00 pm to watch the roundup of the day's news. Blame has been cast at the 24 hour news channels, at the Internet, at the short attention span of today's youth, etc. I'd say all of that could be true. But part of it is the changing nature of the news available today. As a whole, we have breaking news available to us 24 hours a day through the cable channels and the Internet. Why would we need to tune in for a half an hour of 90 second blurbs on what we already know? Nothing in the evening newscast gets covered in depth (not that it does on cable, either, but with 24 hours to kill, they have the time and the ability to provide more information). It's the video equivalent of just reading the headlines in the newspaper, without reading the full article.

Add to that the way the press has fallen short of doing its duty during the Bush Administration. No in depth reporting was done during the run-up and aftermath of the war in Iraq. Very few people, and none in the mainstream media, dared to investigate whether what the Administration was telling the American people was true. The press let questions about its patriotism cow it into submission.

Pundits complain that more and more people get their news from "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," but they're ignoring that those shows do something that the mainstream media does not -- question the crap that comes out of politician's mouths. Those shows may be "comedy" shows, but they take the time to find the contradictory statements and changes of position. In short, they have a bullshit detector that the mainstream media needs to get. A news broadcast shouldn't just report on what a politician says in a speech, but should also tell us whether there's evidence that the politician means what she says, or if that politician is playing fast and loose with the facts. In its attempt to be nonpartisan, the press shies away from challenging anyone.

Personally, I want to know more about what's going on that can be provided in a 30 minute broadcast (less commercial time). I value newspapers and magazines like the New Yorker, which can give depth and breadth to the issues they cover. I'd love it if the cable channels could be more like that, but they seem to be very personality-driven these days. I watch a fair bit of cable news, but stay away from the likes of Larry King, Chris Matthews, and Anderson Cooper. (I'm fond of Keith Olbermann, though. Ooh, and CNN's hurricane hottie, Rob Marciano.)

Problem is, I don't think there's a way to "fix" broadcast news. The economics just don't favor it. There's little money in the news, so budgets get slashed. The more budgets get slashed, the less in-depth reporting can be done, and the more viewers turn away. Competition from cable ensures that people who turn there during the other 23.5 hours of the day will generally find what they need. Networks have absolutely no incentive to support the news. Maybe it's just time to accept the inevitable.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good Impulses; or An Addition to the Family

We had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. For the first time in forever, the DC area managed to string together three beautiful days. (Back to the gloom today, however.)

The weekend started out on a nice note with Sr. Jr.'s call-up to the M1 game Friday night. The kids on the team were 12-13, all very nice. The coach was big and gruff, but good with kids. He was particularly welcoming and encouraging to the two M2 players he had that night. His son was the team's starting pitcher and he was enormous! He actually hit an honest-to-goodness over the fence home run in the first inning. Sr. Jr. was in awe, I think. SJ played in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings out in right field. Nothing came to him, but he showed good hustle, and ran to back up whoever needed backing up. He struck out once and walked once, but he looked really confident in the batter's box against much stronger pitchers than he's used to. He swung at strikes and let the balls go by. Even though he didn't do anything spectacular, he looked like he belonged out there. I think he'll take that confidence back to M2, as well as knowing that he'll belong in M1 next year.

As I noted in my last post, I finished the Dayflower camisole. As predicted, it did stretch out a bit during washing and blocking. It's a little bigger than I would prefer, but I think that a wash in hot water might help. Before you gasp at the idea of a hot water wash, you should know that I've swatched and abused this yarn this way before, so I know it holds up well. Here's an on-the-bod shot:

I still haven't decided what to knit next. I didn't knit much this weekend, and I certainly didn't have time to really mull over what to do next. Commenter Kippi and I have both been looking at the North Roe shawl. (Apologies for the Ravelry link.) Others under consideration are Anne Hanson's Casino Shawl and her Star of Evening shawl, both available at the Knitspot pattern shop.

Impulsive Addition to the Family

As many of you know, both Mr. T and Sr. Jr. are avid cyclists and racers. They race road, cyclocross, and mountain, which covers about 10 months out of the year. Until recently, Jr. Jr. showed very little interest in riding a bike, but this Fall, he finally managed to make the transition to a big bike with no training wheels. When he did, he decided he really like it! He's also decided he wants to race bikes like the other guys in the family.

Whenever we went to races or bike team get-togethers, people would ask me if I rode, too. My standard answer was always that I was the one who stayed home with the kids while Mr. T rode. Now that Jr. Jr. is mobile, however, there's no reason for me to be sitting on the sidelines. I had an old bike that I got for myself when I was young and poor, but I'm told it was a piece of crap. So we toodled off to the bike store this weekend and got this:

That's a Cannondale Road Warrior, carbon fork. The rest of the family bikes are all by Specialized, so I'm a bit of a rebel. I just liked this one better.

So Sunday morning we all went for a nice family ride. After a few miles, Jr. Jr. and Mr. T headed home, while Sr. Jr. and I went on. No longer needing to keep it slow, we got our speed on. In fact, we not only kept going, but we turned around and made it home before the other two! It was quite a lot of fun. Arlington (and the DC area in general) has a great network of bike trails. I could probably ride out to West Virginia if I wanted to.

I also wanted the bike for some errand running. There are a lot of little errands that I do -- post office, bank, quick visits to friends or school -- that really don't require a car. I like the idea of leaving the car in the driveway and using less gas. I'm afraid to count up how many bikes we have at this point.

The rest of the weekend was just lovely, with barbecue, home-made pizza, and a quick trip to the very cold pool club.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Life is Good (for now)

It's been a nice 24 hours. The medical thing I mentioned a few posts back turns out to be benign, so there will be no death or dying for me right now :)

I finished the Dayflower Lace Camisole. Here are some shots, including a close up of the lace pattern, a picture showing the straps, and a bad picture of the whole thing blocking. I don't have any on-the-bod shots because none of my little helpers is around to take one and, well, it's been pretty cold.

This was a fast and fun knit. The specs on it are: Dayflower Lace Camisole, size small and a half, knit with Knitpicks Shine Sport in the Cloud color. I think I used 6 skeins. I lost count somewhere along the way. I really liked this pattern. It has some nice designer touches, such as using a bind off/pick up method of creating the decorative horizontal bands across the underbust area. The medium was a too-large 37 inches (and the small was too small at 33 inches), so instead of increasing 24 stitches after the underbust band, I increased only 15. Or rather, first I did the pattern as written, discovered that it absolutely fell off me, ripped out that band (easy because of the aforementioned cast off/pick up feature), and reknit it with fewer stitches. The pattern was easily memorized. It was far more interesting than plain stockinette, without requiring too much attention. A perfect balance. It looks cute when it's on, but you'll have to take my word for that for now.

Also part of the Life is Good report is Sr. Jr.'s baseball game last night. His team is young and inexperienced, so they've had some rough games this season. Not too many blowouts, but a lot of games where they blew large leads or came back from behind only to lose by one run. Last night Sr. Jr. was the starting pitcher, and he pitched three stellar innings. He allowed only 2 men on base in those three innings, didn't walk anyone, and made a great play throwing a guy out at first that left the first baseman shaking his catching hand in pain. Needless to say, no one scored off him. He went 3 for 3 at bat, too, with a spectacular hit to the left field corner that allowed two men on base to score. They won 8-1, very pleased with themselves indeed.

Sr. Jr. has been "called up" to play in an M1 game tonight. M1 is the next level up (in which Sr. Jr. will probably play next year). They maintain a list of good players from the M2 league who they can call up if they're short players. It will be fun for him to play with the bigger kids. What's more is that our next door neighbor's son, N. is on that team! N. plays pick up whiffle ball with the Jrs all the time. It will be nice for him to know someone on the team. I just hope he plays well, and learns that he'll do fine when he gets there next year.

So, again, what to knit next? I'm still working on the Thelonious socks, pictures coming soon. Sweater? Vest (it's still chilly here. A vest would be useful.)? Lace? I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for. Cables? More lace? Fair Isle? I can't decide right now.

We are not doing anything special for the holiday weekend, so I'll have time to think about it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What is that Glowing Object in the Sky?

The "sun," you say? Is that what it is? It's been so long, I forgot what it looked like. Yes, sarcasm aside, today it is bright and sunny in a way that it hasn't been in a long time. Yesterday we sat huddled in the rain, watching baseball. I was wearing a sweatshirt and a jacket. And it's the middle of MAY. Usually by now it's well up into the 80s here. This weekend is Memorial Day, and the POOL is supposed to open.

Anyway, here's what the Dayflower Lace cami looked like before the weekend (don't know why blogger rotated the picture and I'm too lazy to figure out how to fix it):

And here's what the Dayflower Lace cami looked like after the weekend:

Now, you may say, "Why, Loren, there's no discernable difference between the two. Does this mean that you didn't get any time in between baseball games to knit?" Au contraire, my friends. I took the version in the top picture to try on and it was waaaaaay too big. I'm knitting the medium size, which is 37 inches around, and my bust is 36 inches around. Gauge is accurate, but I think this sweater really needs a closer fit around the bust. (The small is 33 inches at the bust, which would be too tight for me.) So I ripped it back and increased 10 fewer stitches. I'm afraid to go try it on in case it's still too big. Since I have to get the kids from the bus stop in a little bit and rush through homework and dinner before yet another baseball game, I'm not sure I'll get to it today. Finding out it's still too big is something that can wait for a time when I can throw a good tantrum in privacy, so as not to reveal to my children that I can sometimes be not quite as mature as a mom should be. Shhh. Let's keep that our little secret, ok?

Because of all the rain, we must make up all missed baseball games before the playoffs start. Playoffs start next week! So we have games today, tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. No games over Memorial Day weekend. I'm sure someone will pop a game in on Wednesday, just to even it out.

On a braggy note, the coach on the opposing team we played this weekend, the team that's undefeated and ran right over us, told Mr. T that he was very impressed with Sr. Jr.'s playing and pitching, and would be voting for him to be named to the Little League All-Star Team! (More baseball....)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And the Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

In rushing, rising rivulets. Once again, the DC metro area was awash in rain. We got nearly 8 inches in two days, just several days after being inundated. There was nowhere for the water to go but into our basements. Yay. Much time was spent mopping. Mr. T got soaked trying to rig up an irrigation and diversion system (which eventually worked).

For the last two days, Jr. Jr.'s first words upon getting off the bus in the afternoon are "Is the Wii here yet?" Isn't it sweet how he just wants his mother to get a new video game system, so he can sit quietly and watch?

I've finished the "skirt" portion of the Dayflower Lace camisole:

I thought about making it a half or a whole repeat longer, but decided against it. It feels heavy, and it's a cotton blend yarn, so I think it will stretch out lengthwise. If I leave it alone, it should end up the right length. I don't want it to end up around my knees. After this, there's a bind off/pickup thing that goes on to make an underbust ridge. It's a baseball night, so I'm not sure if I'll get to that this evening. Otherwise, I'll just keep working on my Thelonious socks:

The pattern is fun and the yarn (Shibuiknits sock) is divine.

I'm resisting the lure of the lace yarn. I signed up for the Mystic Meadows shawl KAL, to see if I could rid my metaphorical mouth of the bad taste of the Mystery Lace KAL. The Mystic Meadows KAL is being designed/run by a woman 1) who's run KALs before; 2) who's designed pretty shawls before; and therefore 3) this shouldn't be a fiasco. So I'll wait to see how I like the design before I go casting on willy nilly for something else. A swatch has been promised for sometime next week. Hopefully that will give me a little hint about the pattern.

Holy Hellacious Junta, Batman

The situation in Myanmar gets more and more distressing every day. Apparently, the state-run goverment told the people to expect rain and 45 mph winds, so very few people understood the seriousness of the situation. It is inconceivable to me that the rulers of the country would refuse international aid in times like this. The people are suffering from lack of food, shelter, safe drinking water, medical aid, and more. People across the world are willing to provide as much help as needed, but the government is refusing it. (Even slower on the ball than Bush with Katrina, eh?) It takes real paranoia to let so many of your people die rather than let other nations get a glimpse of how you rule. My normal instinct in these cases is to donate to Doctors Without Borders. They're also seeing what they can do to aid the victims of the earthquake in China. It appears from their website that their supplies have been getting into Myanmar, which is heartening news. If you haven't already done something to help, please do.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Unclear on the Concept

Today is Mother's Day, a day to bask in the love of one's family, to be appreciated for all that I do, etc. blah blah blah. We all went out for a nice dinner last night to celebrate. The boys woke me up with gifts this morning. Jr. Jr. gave me a great plate that he'd made from a "decorate your own plate" kit that says "Mom's a star." It's really cute. Sr. Jr. went with the tried-and-true Godiva truffles. Mr. T gave me a nice card with a certificate inside letting me know that he'd ordered me a ...... wait for it ...... Wii. Yup. A Wii. I'll have hours of fun watching the boys play! Yay! (Later, they were outside playing with our neighbor's basketball hoop, and I suggested that we get one of our own, and we could make it my birthday present.)*

As I said in my last post, I've finished the STR sock club socks, and since the next installment hasn't arrived yet, I was getting itchy to start knitting some socks. I wanted to knit with a sock yarn I hadn't tried yet, so I rooted around in the stash and found some heavenly looking and feeling Shibuiknits sock yarn in Peony, and cast on for the brilliant Cookie A's Thelonious sock.

Not much to look at yet, but I am alternating between this and the Dayflower Lace cami. The yarn is buttery soft and the color is so vibrant! I love semisolid sock yarns, because they satisfy my love for hand-dyed yarns and visual interest without overwhelming whatever patterns I want to knit. Mmmm.

Speaking of brilliant, Anne Hanson over at Knitspot has just released a beautiful shawl pattern, the Star of Evening Shawl. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw her first little swatch, so I snapped it up as soon as I realized it was available. I think THIS is what I will knit with my Lanas Puras Melosa that started out as the ill-fated Luna Moth shawl from a week or so ago. Her blog is one of my favorites, too.

I finished the book I mentioned in the last post (After You'd Gone, by Maggie O'Farrell), and it was every bit as moving as I thought it would be. I cried at the end. Must go find more of her work, or find some way to encourage her to produce more!

Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there!

* Don't worry about the gift situation. I'm very happy to have something that will make the boys happy. Plus, I did order some special stuff for myself that should arrive in 4-6 weeks... just in time for my birthday ;)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Finished Objects; Progress; Book Report

I had some minor medical stuff done this morning, leaving me sore and ouchie, so please forgive the lack of sparkling wit and erudite insight today :)

Meanwhile, as promised, I finished the Fitted Tank, but haven't blocked it yet:

I also finished the March installment of the STR sock club:

I don't love them. They're a little big. Also, they're knit with STR mediumweight, which is a bit thicker than I typically like my sock yarns. They'll make good bed socks for next winter, I guess. I also made some progress on the Dayflower Lace camisole:

So far I'm enjoying this pattern. It's easy enough that I don't have to pay too much attention to it but interesting enough to keep it from getting boring. I also finished up the first bobbin of that burgundy merino, so I can start the other half of that when I'm feeling a little better.

Book Report

For some reason, my reading has slowed down a bit over the last month or so. I finished reading Person of Interest by Susan Choi. This book centers on a mathematics professor who gets caught up in a Unabomber-type bombing investigation. There were parts of the book that were slow, but I was glad I didn't give up on it. It turned into a fascinating portrait of a difficult man.

Right now I'm reading After You'd Gone, by Maggie O'Farrell. I really enjoyed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, Farrell's most recent book, so I went back and got a few of her older books. She had me hooked into this one, too, from the beginning. She creates wonderful unconventional women in her work. I'm eagerly reading to find out what happens.


Longtime readers of this blog (of whom there are two) will remember that I vacillated for a long time before voting in the Virginia primary. At the time, I had a hard time choosing between Clinton and Obama, feeling that I'd be happy to support either one in the general election. Not any more. I've come to truly despise Hillary Clinton. I'm not quite sure why she's still fighting, tooth and nail, for a nomination she will most likely not get. Is it delusion? Does she really think that she's the only Democrat who would make a good President? Is it a messiah complex? Is it a sense of entitlement? Either way, she's wrecking the Democratic Party right now, perpetuating racial and class divisions, and virtually handing the election over to McCain. When Mitt Romney quit the Republican race, he had a far greater claim to stay in the race than Hillary does now. It was still early enough in the primary that he could have amassed a significant number of victories. But he clearly valued something more than his own ambitions. Sad to say that I can't say that of Hillary Clinton.

To the Woman with the Golden Retriever

CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG. It's the law. Kids play in my yard. And don't try to claim it wasn't your dog, when I watched the whole thing from my study window.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Earth Moved for Me, But Not in a Good Way

After lunch today, I was sitting and doing some spinning, when all of a sudden, the whole house shook and rumbled. The shaking and rumbling went on for about 20 or 30 seconds. The cats freaked out. I ran outside to see if a tree had fallen near the house or if there was construction going on nearby. Nothing. I ran downstairs to see if the washing machine had exploded or something. Nope. Turns out we had an earthquake that measured 1.8 on the Richter scale. If that was a 1.8, I really don't want to see a 5 or a 6, so no matter how much I love San Franscisco, I'm staying here, thankyouverymuch.

I'm still working on the burgundy merino. I've only got a wee little bit to go before I finish the first of two bobbins:

That's a penny on the right, for scale. I want to get this spinning done so I can start on some of the other gorgeous fibers I've gotten recently!

I've also been working on the Dayflower Lace camisole. It's an easily memorized pattern, so it's fun knitting. I've gotten through 4 repeats of the pattern so far. Here's the long view:

Hmmm. I see I got a bit of camera strap in that photo, too. Mad picture taking skillz, yo. Here's a close-up of the pattern:

And still more camera strap interference. Good thing I'm not a professional!

Kippi of the comments reports that she's finished her doily! Kippi, if you want to send me a picture, I'd be happy to post it here for you. I can't wait to see it. I WILL get back to mine. Really. I've just gotten to a kind of tedious part, so I just have to power through it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sheep! Wool! (Lots of pictures)

Yesterday I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, which I described on Ravelry at some point as being "heaven, nirvana, and happy place all rolled into one." The last time I was able to get to MDS&W was in 2003, I think, so I was really interested to see how attendance has changed, especially with the rise of Ravelry. I took my friend Lori with me. Lori's a knitter, too. She's gotten her invite to Ravelry, but as of yesterday, hadn't actually gone to check it out. She'd heard about MDS&W, but never been before.

The weather started out a bit cloudy and cool, but the sun came out and it warmed up nicely. All in all, it was perfect outdoor festival weather.

There were far more people in attendance than I remember from a few years ago. The last time I went, I had no traffic getting to the fairgrounds, and parked relatively closely early in the morning. This year, we left Arlington at 8:30, thinking that if we arrived at the fairgrounds at about 9:15, we shouldn't have too much trouble. Ha! Traffic was backed up on Fairgrounds road for 20 minutes. The parking lot was already two thirds full when we got there. All this is great news for knitters, of course. This is the view down one concourse at lunchtime -- bear in mind that this doesn't account for all the people inside the buildings, down the other concourses, or watching various fiber-related shows such as the sheep shearing demonstration or the border collie demonstrations:

Lori was amazed that there were so many people there from so many places. She was also pleasantly surprised to see so many men.

Unfortunately, by the time I got to the Ravelry gathering, they were out of buttons and I couldn't find my Ravatar, so I went anonymously through the crowd. Casey and Jess were there in person! I strongly resisted my urge to go all fangirl and squee at them. I can't even begin to estimate how many Ravelers were there. The gathering place was packed. I'm sure that there were many more wandering around, too.

We saw many cute fiber bearing beasties, such as this gorgeous guy and the two cute alpacas to follow:

Look at this sweet face!

We didn't just spend our time shopping. We watched the sheep shearing and the border collies. Loved the border collies chasing those sheep around!

That little sheep let out an occasional blase "Baa," but seemed nonplussed by his undignified display to the crowd.

But shopping there was, so here's the fiber p*rn. My first purchase was this gorgeous Merino top in the "thistle" colorway, from Stony Mountain Fibers:

I also got some of this beautiful handpainted Wensleydale from the folks at Flying Fibers. The owners and I embarassed their poor daughter with all our talk of stubborn, know-it-all 10 and 11 year olds while she very professionally rang me up and made my change. That's what parents are for :)

On the left is a skein of Suri Elegance laceweight in "morning mist" from Uncommon Threads. They had some beautiful stuff. On the right is a skein of "Primero" mohair yarn from Brooks Farms Yarns. Their booth was mobbed. I hadn't seen their yarns in person before and they were stunning!

Last, but not least, was my stop at the Misty Mountain Farm booth on the way out. I've gotten an lot of fiber from them at MDS&Ws past, and this year was no exception. I got some Finn combed top in a gold/green colorway:

and some heavenly soft baby alpaca:

I love seeing the things entered into the Festival's various fiber judging contests. There was a beautiful square shawl that the knitter had designed herself. I think we were most impressed by some of the felted/fulled entries. There was a stunning coat, an adorable pair of boots, and some beautiful wall hangings. Lori was inspired to get a couple of felting books.

By the time we got home, I was worn out, but very happy. And Mr T had managed to deal with a typical Saturday afternoon of baseball pictures and simultaneous baseball games without losing any of the children!

Misery Lace

I have to admit that I was rather restrained when I wrote about the implosion of Susan Reishus's Mystery Lace KAL. I had many choice words for how I felt about the whole situation and her behaviour/delusions of grandeur/personality. The more I read about subsequent events (she thinks people are hacking into her Yahoogroups???), the happier I am not to be involved with that any longer. But the hashing she's taking over in the Misery Knits group on Ravelry has been fun reading.

Coming soon, to a blog right here, more Dayflower Lace, and a book report or two.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Old Business and New Business

I can't believe it's May already. This school year is flying by. But it's still cold!

I've decided to turn away from the shawls temporarily. I can't find the exact right fit of pattern and yarn right now, and I don't want to force it. I ripped out the Luna Moth that I had started because I think I would prefer it in an airier yarn. There are a couple of patterns I like (Anne Hanson's Casino Shawl, another shawl that she's blogged about but hasn't finished the pattern for, and the Spring Things shawl), but not with the current crop of yarns in my stash. Fortunately for me, this weekend is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Hopefully I can find yarns to inspire me.

Meanwhile, I remembered a shell that I had been working on last year, but dropped when I got sick and then too busy to knit. It's the Fitted Tank from the Summer 2007 Knitter's (I know, but occasionally there's something inoffensive that slips past the powers that be). I was using Knitpicks Shine Sport in cream and sage. I discovered that I'd finished all the knitting, grafted the shoulder seams, and left it to age.

I think I might have been concerned that it would be a little shorter and more fitted than I like. Tonight or tomorrow, I'll finish the seaming, weave in the ends, and block it. It's going to be tank weather soon, anyway (I hope; it's chilly here now), so I might as well have it. Hopefully it will fit.

I really like Shine sport yarn. It's very soft and holds up well. I did a lot of swatching with it over the past two years, sometimes ripping out and reknitting the same yarn five times, and it never pilled or looked worn. I have a lot of it in my stash, so.....

I trolled around Ravelry looking for something lacy to tempt me, and I found Knititude's Dayflower Lace camisole. It's a really cute pattern! I got out some more Shine Sport, this time in the Cloud color, swatched, and cast on:

Not a lot to look at yet, but I think this will go quickly.

I do still want to design my own lace shawl, but that will have to wait for more time and inspiration. I'm sure I'll come back from MD S&W this weekend with lots of the latter. Plus, the Summer IK just arrived. As for the former, well, that's never a given.

In the non-knitting realm, I can offer a movie recommendation. Mr. T and I watched "Lars and the Real Girl" this weekend and it was great! The premise makes it sound like it could be a farce, or a very dirty Farrelly movie, but it was quite heartwarming and sweet, with a low-key humor.

On the WTF? front, there's CNN's new t-shirt business. I noticed that next to some of the headlines on, there's a little t-shirt symbol. If you click on it, you can order a t-shirt with that headline on it. Do people really want t-shirts that say "Mom-to-be charged with another DUI"? I could understand an Onion headline, but that? Really? Why? Are they that hard up?