Monday, December 31, 2007

Well, Christmas has come and gone and here we are, staring a new year in the face. K and S think there is nothing better to ask for than the weather report we have - a storm warning for 12 inches of snow to arrive the night before and morning of the first day back at school. I have mixed feelings about a foot of snow all at once, whenever it arrives.
Christmas was a nice time. Everyone pretty much got things that made them happy. I even managed to pick an article of clothing for the other three members of the house which I have actually seen them wearing (this is a major accomplishment, especially for Miss Teenager, for whom I have not been allowed to shop alone since she turned 11) (obviously I snuck out on my own this time, but I did save the receipt, which won't be needed).
We had just enough snow to have a white Christmas, followed by just enough warmth to give us good driving weather. We're having a white New Year's Eve, to be followed by a severe storm. Hmmm.
I took the Rogue with me on the driving and I've got the body up to the underarm done. Sleeves are ensuing (simultaneously) and I've got a couple of inches done. I have green silk on the wheel and green wool on the spindle. I'm getting antsy to start something new, so I'm holding firm; if I start something new, I'll drop all the old stuff - not what I want to do right now.
I have no new year's resolutions; I gave up on those several years ago. I discovered a long time ago that I don't do well in knitalongs or swaps or... anything else that requires me to move in lockstep with other people. If I'm in the middle of something, and try to start something else, one of two things happens. A) Thing 1 gets dropped, never to be returned to (annoying if it was something I really wanted) or B) Thing 2 gets a halfassed job because I really wanted to work on Thing 1. This applies to Resolutions. Usually they wind up in B) state. It's much better if I make changes (the smaller the better) as I go through the year, rather than trying to make Change happen just because the date does.
Gotta go nap. K and S intend to make sure I'm awake at midnight, but there's nothing that says I can't get some shuteye between now and then.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You've seen this before, just in different form. I took the skeins of charcoal laceweight, ran them through the yardage counter onto the ball winder and got a length on them. (Next step is weigh them and actually calculate ypp, but that requires that I: a. take the yarn downstairs, not letting the cat follow me to potentially knock over J's rocket parts and b. find where J has hidden the scale since the last time [not a trivial undertaking since he has remodeled his work area since then and built a new workbench] - sounds easy but obviously I haven't gotten a roundtuit). These two skeins are 1000+ yards.

I am trying to wind off the third skein but keep getting interrupted. It should be about another 500+ yards. I'm contemplating the idea of spinning just the silk for a skein, and then just the charcoal merino/silk for a skein.

Am I insane for visualizing a cardigan out of laceweight?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My last year's amaryllis declined to come back for me, so I decided I needed a new one. This poor thing had gotten a trifle crunched in packing, but it is perking up nicely and even the bent leaves are greening (and red-ing) up nicely. Given the red shades in the leaves, I think I'll believe the claim of having a deep dark red for the flowers.

Monday, December 17, 2007

One sleeve for Oberstdorf - making progress at last. I'm almost through with the increases and about an inch away from starting the upper sleeve patterning. I like the short circular, but it does make it more difficult to try on than dpns.

I had one person looking at me in a puzzled way and say: That's a funny looking sock.

Umm... yes. It would be.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Recent books:
Talk Talk Talk by Jay Ingram
A very interesting discussion of what was known about the biology and history of speech at the point in time that it was written (1994). How do we talk, how do we learn to talk, how have languages converged and diverged over time...

Journey to the Ants by Bert Holldobler and E.O. Wilson
I picked this up when I was at my PILs for Thanksgiving (my FIL is taking a class on the social insects). I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly when he explained the display we saw of the fungus farming ants in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest 4 years ago.

The Barmaid's Brain by Jay Ingram
Another book of essays about odd points of everyday science. I particularly like his side comments on social issues.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A solution, of sorts...

Unless one is sending cards to good friends and family, many people have been stumped on how to send Holiday cards without the effect of offending the very people they are trying to get to think kindly of them. Most have simply shifted to the generic "Happy Holidays".

J got a card from his university's alumni office that solves the whole problem: Happy Thanksgiving and a Joyful New Year.

Skips right over that pesky problem altogether.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Random things again:
It's snowing. It's been snowing for three days and the weather service promises the possibility of snow for the foreseeable future.

I've started filling the bird feeder again.

I went and complained about the (lack of) service we're getting on road plowing. We live on a spur off of a loop. Obviously it is much quicker (if you are a road plow) to swing around the loop and ignore the spur. Equally obviously (if you are not a road plow but a fairly low sprung car) the pile-o-slush-and-ice left by this maneuver is rather difficult to climb over, even when the actual amount of snow on the road is not a serious problem. The Sup't saw my point without any quibble and promised to speak to the drivers. It was squeaky clean last evening and not too bad this morning. We'll see how long it lasts.

I've gotten up to the elbow (for the third time) on J's Oberstdorf sweater sleeve. He was mentioning that it would be nice to have it for this weekend (Hah!). I'm just hoping that this weather isn't a flash in the pan. Last winter we didn't get weather like this until the end of January. If we get this now and then nothing left after I get Oberstdorf done, I'll never hear the end of it.

I measured the two skeins of charcoal grey that are finished - I have about 1000 yards so far. I think three skeins will be all I need at this weight...