Sunday, November 25, 2012

Coolest Shoes Ever!


 The toes are shiny blue and the purple stripes on the heel are shiny and the Ns on the side are too!

That Other Girl had two pair of boots, one with heals and one flat and a pair of sneakers.  She really needed new shoes.  It became especially apparent when, over the Thanksgiving break, her father decided he hated her boots.  So, today we went out and bought her a couple of pair of shoes.  

My walking sneakers are quite old - at least 5 years - and have big holes in the lining where the plastic heel stabilizers are coming into the shoe and tearing up my socks and feet.  I saw these really cool shoes in the store and they weren't ridiculously priced, so I now have some seriously cool shoes.

 When we get rid of the kids, we are going to move to Florida.  Just over the border is this hotel and souvenir stand.  We are going to run them and live there, happily ever after.

This photo is blurry but I think you can see what I'm trying to show.  In April of 1999 my DH bought his BMW.  December first of that same year, he bought me a Landrover Discovery II.  I sold the Discovery in 20007 with about 120,000 miles on it and bought a brand new Acura MDX.  This weekend it hit 100,000 miles.  DH's BMW also recently hit 100,000 miles.  Guess who drives more!  (It doesn't help that we always use my car to go to the beach, but I drive a LOT.)

I think Casey has really become attached to Zuzu.  She comes running if Zuzu yips and sometimes just comes to get Zuzu and takes her wherever she is going.  At the beach, she both dug holes for Zuzu to lay in and taught Zuzu the fine art of digging in the sand.  They were quite the pair.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

. . . more walking on the beach, playing with the dogs, and a bit of knitting . . . lots of knitting . . . a movie but absolutely no shopping . . .

Thanksgiving Day

. . . cooking turkey and long walks on the beach . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for so many things, but family most of all.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Having fun!

Test Knitting

 One of the reasons that this blog has been so badly neglected lately is that I cannot post about what I am doing when I am test knitting for designers and yarn companies.  This is the yarn and the first clue on a test knit that I just finished for a Knit Along on Ravelry.  The yarn is a gradience yarn which means it gradually changes colors from the beginning to the end.  I can only show you the yarn and the first clue because the clues are released one a week and only the first has been released.  I love the colors of the yarn . . .  and you will love the finished project!

This is the next test knit I have been hired to do.  Each of those hanks of yarn is 312 yards of fine lace weight, there are six different colors.  I start with the one on the bottom, knit until it is almost gone and then blend into the second, knit that until it is nearly gone and blend in the third, etc, until I have knit all of them.  I don't know when this needs to be completed, but given the amount of yarn that has to be knit, I hope it isn't any time soon!

This is my early Christmas present.  I really couldn't afford it, but I wanted it and convinced myself I needed it.  I have one of the original iPads that came out - but I didn't pay for it, it was a gift.  It won't do 3g internet which means that if I travel I cannot use it to go online unless I find wifi.  That doesn't bother me most of the time, but we don't have wifi available at the beach.  It's hard to answer emails and read patterns on the phone.  Also, the first iPad had no cameras so Skype, Oovoo and Facetime were a lot less fun.  This little mini has the two cameras that Apple has added to the bigger iPads since the second generation but it's small and oh so lightweight.  

It was a splurge, but it's so much fun!  

Zuzu doesn't care if you pay attention to her or not, as long as she can still play!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Doctor Is Calling

This is Mom's Bigger on the Inside shawl on the blocking boards.  It is a lot bigger than the one I knit for Girl Far From Home here.  Casey is always so helpful when I'm blocking knitting.  Zuzu is just trouble, so she gets relegated to the bed because she cannot jump off of it yet.

This is the backside - I blocked it upside down - but you can see the Tardis pattern on the bottom quite well.

The finished shawl - it is a good bit bigger than the one I made the Girl.  I'm not sure if I just blocked it better or if I knit looser and then blocked better.  Actually, I added length to both of them and maybe I made this one even longer than the first one.  Either way, it is nice (if you ignore the ends hanging down - they will be worked in eventually).

 This is some more Tardis colored yarn that is going to become a hat for Mom.

Zuzu and Casey showing us the toy box, in case we missed it.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Yarn Notes

 These are some yarns Dena sent me to test knit.  She needs help deciding where to send the fleeces from her own alpaca to have them spun and what blends to use.  
Creekside Spun Umpqua Alpaca Blend
70% Alpaca 30% Silk 
Sport 2 ply - 200 yards - 65 grams
Dena, did you notice that this label says that the fiber was from Snow Peak Alpacas?

 Creekside Spun Umpqua Alpaca Blend
70% Alpaca 20% Merino 10% Silk 
Fingering 2 ply - 200 yards - 76 grams
Interestingly, the darker 70/30 blend felt softer in the hank, but the lighter 70/20/10 blend feels softer in the ball.  I will let you know which feels softer when knit - or feel it for yourself.

I have cast on with this now and it is loosely spun which makes long tail cast on a little more difficult as the tail unspins as you go.  Also, this is not as consistent as some mill spun yarns are - it is just a little thick and thin, not nearly as much as the Royal Fiber Spinnery crap that I used for that big shawl I never got paid for knitting.  It is delightfully soft to knit with but it looks like the lace will show fine when blocked - pics later.

Fantasy Fibers Inc.
80% Alpaca 20% Merino
Says Sport Weight, but definitely Fingering - 300 Yards - 105 grams

 Snow Peak Alpacas
85% Alpaca 15% Merino
Fingering - 200 yards - 55 grams
This yarn was noticeably less soft when I was winding it into a ball.  I didn't feel the difference in the hank.

  Snow Peak Alpacas
70% Alpaca 30% Merino
DK - 200 yards - 77 grams

 This is the two browns together - they are actually the same color.

  Snow Peak Alpacas
80% Alpaca 20% Merino
Probably DK (not on label) - 200 yards - 77 grams
 This is the unknown 'bulky' yarn.  I will just knit it into a small square.

I am going to knit the two Creekside yarns into this Arroyo.  I first thought to put the softer one near the neck, but I can no longer decide which is softer, so I don't know which to start using first for the lace.

Update:  When I started knitting, I realized that the lighter is fingering and the darker is sport.  So, given that the lace should be more open, I used the lighter for the lace.  I also cut out three lace repeats (7 1/2" out of 60" but I think it will be larger than the pattern says it will be) so that I would be sure to have enough yarn.

The original plan was to knit this with the two brown and the black.  I think I have changed my mind.  I  suggest that I use the black that is a DK, the brown that is a DK and the white that is supposed to be sport.  I am thinking that I will knit all black for two thirds of the ball and then alternate black and brown to sort of blend them then switch to all brown.  Then I will do the lace in the white. 

Here is one someone knit that is similar to what I'm thinking.  Of course my blending will be much more stark and obvious because this person's yarn is a gradience yarn. 
What do you think?

Zuzu wants someone to sit in this chair so they can play with her and cuddle her!  See that suitcase behind her?  That's where some (not all) of the dog toys live.  Both my girls really love their toys!