Sunday, June 25, 2006

Crabs and Seahorses

Well, it has been slow going on the "Creatures of the Reef". I've been working much more than I thought I was going to (four nights a week, which is an extra shift every week). While great for my budget, it is murder on my knitting time. You can't knit when you're passed out. And, as for "Clapotis", well, I did wind a fourth ball, which is sitting on the coffee table, ready for me to start knitting with it. I'm up to row 41 on Creatures, which puts me halfway through the Crabs and Seahorses section. And, as a bonus, I will only have 335 stitches when I finish this section, so things should start going a little faster. I am nearly halfway through Clapotis, so maybe I can finish that one before Labor Day. Aren't I a dreamer?

In other news, it's been the same old boring weather. Rain. More rain. Ands, still more rain. With the occasional Biblical flood thrown in just for interest. Had to detour the other morning when I was coming home from work. You can't drive a Neon through a puddle that is, like, oh, three feet deep. At least the detour wasn't flooded. That happens every now and then, and when it does, getting home is a real crapshoot. It's hard to try to figure out which road may or may not be flooded, which ones are not at a standstill because of said flood and normal rush hour traffic, and god knows what else. Locusts, maybe? At this point, nothing would surprise me. I just know that after a 12-hour shift, my brain is not real willing or able to make coherent decisions about getting home. We just get in the car, point it in the direction of home, and, god willing and the creeks don't rise, we're in the driveway 25 minutes later. And facedown on the bed, passed out, five minutes after that.

It looks like Gremlin, my beautiful blue cat, has developed a hematoma on his ear. I noticed it yesterday evening for the first time. I haven't really seen him in a few days, because I worked three nights in a row. I'll have to call the vet tomorrow to see if we can do anything about it. I guess if we can't he'll wind up looking like Waffles. He's had the little cauliflower ear thing going on for about 10 years now.GremlinWaffles

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tiny Bubbles...Not From Hawaii

Yay!! I've made some progress on my Creatures of the Reef shawl. I finally got past the interminable row 10 with all 17 frillion yarn overs. I did come out of it with most of my sanity, some nice seashells, and one dropped stitch!! Aack!! I am so not going to unravel this thing down again. I have the stitch on a paperclip, and I will decide how best to fix it at a later date. I'm thinking I might just tie it on with a small length of yarn and work in the ends. Between the varigation of the yarn and the general busyness of the pattern in this spot, I might be able to pull it off. Ordinarily the anal retentive part of me would be ripping this sucker off the needles to correct it, but I cringe at the thought of doing all those effing yarn overs again. Once was enough, thankyouverymuch. Right now, I am working on the crabs and seahorses, and it's looking good. And, as a bonus, I am down to only 400 stitches in a row.

So. I took my camera to work with me the other day, and took some pictures while I was driving. Well, not actually driving.Stopped at stoplights, or waiting for someone to pull out of a parking spot, or something like that. I don't really have a deathwish. And, I didn't even look where I was pointing the camera. Just hopefully out the window. And, for the most part it worked. Some of these pictures can be more interesting when I figure out how to crop them. (Baby steps, people, babysteps.) The bottom picture is the Dinky station at Princeton, on the University grounds. I think every building there looks like it was built in the 1700's. In England. The top picture is the graveyard in Princeton. If you ignore the right half of the picture, where my windshield and support are, it might be a nice picture. See what I mean about cropping? Gotta learn how to do that.

I worked for the past few nights. Got home this morning really pooped. Woke up at four o'clock, and thought, wow, nice outside. I'll get the rest of the impatiens in. I've been trying to get these things in the ground for three weeks now. Walk out the front door, and it starts raining. Again. And, yes, it's another monsoon. Did I move to Oregon while I wasn't looking? What's with all this rain? Try again tomorrrow.

On the "I can't believe I did that" front, a slightly embarrassing moment. I bought two sets of landscape lighting with solar panels. We have lots of trees in our yard, and not a lot of sun. I was trying to light our path, but didn't want to use plug in lights - no handy plug nearby. So, I opted for solar lights. These are nice because they have a separate panel that I can put in the sun, while the lights are in the shade. So, install them, let them charge - great. One set works fine, the other doesn't. Hmmmm. Let them charge for a couple more days. No juice. So, thinking the batteries are dead, I pull the panel out of the ground to look at it. Oops. Off-on switch that I didn't see. And guess what, it's in the off position. So, flip it on, and everything is fine. Except, some of my kids think that's hilarious.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

All Work and No Sleep, or Knitting, Either

Which is not exactly true. I AM up to row 19 of Creatures of the Reef, and I'm nearly half done on Clapotis. It's just that each row of Creatures has over 400 stitches, so at this point, it's pretty slow going. I'm trying to knit two rows a day, but yesterday, I only knit one and a half, and today, I just finished up the half row. You can see the variation of the colors, and you can also see how fuzzy this yarn is. I should have realized that a merino would not be as smooth looking as a silk-wool blend, but I still like this shawl in this color. It reminds me of deeper water variations on a sunny day - blues, purples, greens. And, not coincidentally, these happen to be my favorite colors. I'm working on the first tiny bubbles section of Creatures right now. A couple of more rows, and then I can start on the crabs and seahorses (and decrease some stitches!).

The sun was actually out this morning! What a surprise! After days and days of rain, thunderstorms, wind, and all the rest of the fun stuff, it was beautiful this morning. When the sun rose, I was looking out the window at the end of the hall, and I noticed I could see blue sky. One of the day shift workers came in and said this was the most beautiful day of the year so far. I didn't have my camera with me this morning, and I wish I did. There was one white cloud that stretched across the sky. It looked like a big roll of dough. It was windy, and there were lots of puffy white clouds across the sky. Although the sun is out, there are black clouds moving in, and it looks like we're in for more rain.

Work has been insane lately. I am working tonight, my third 12-hour shift in a row. Plus, I was called in for an 11 pm to 7 am shift earlier in the week. I don't know if it is a weird combination of storms and impending full moon, but everyone has been giving birth this week. All this is bad for my knitting time, but good for my finances, and that will help things along.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What Did Blogger Do With My Footer??

Hmmmm. Every now and then the footer to my blog disappears. I don't know what causes it; most of the time it's there, sometimes it isn't. Today is one of the isn't days. I have no idea where it goes, or why it goes.

We actually had blue sky this morning. It was nice to see, and I thought I would get out and do some planting. I didn't get a chance to do that yesterday, because the sky looked like this on my way home from work at 7:45 am. It rained on and off yesterday, and came down very hard. My yard currently is very squishy. Walking on the path up to the front door is a dicey trip right now. It's muddy and messy, and if you don't actually slip and slide all the way up the path, you're still going to track mud in the house. Which I get to clean up. Everyhone else says "mud? What mud?" So, anyway, the skies went from this nice blue with puffy white clouds:

to this murky sky: Which is now making a lot more rain,
thunder and lightning outside.

I didn't get too much knitting done yesterday. I just got done working two nights, and I was pretty tired. Slept in and woke up around 4 pm. I wanted to watch the last episodes of "Sopranos" and "Big Love". So, I did a little sock knitting, and just worked on Clapotis some more while watching those two shows. Creatures requires too much of my concentration to work on it while watching tv. I think Clapotis is going to need some serious blocking, at least at the beginning of it. The beginning point is curling up on itself. I'm nearly done with the frogged yarn. I'm going to try to get working on the Creatures of the Reef tonight. It'll be interesting to see if I actually get one or both of these done by Labor Day, or if my project ADD kicks in. And truth to tell, blogging, pictures, and all that goes along with it has cut into my knitting time. I spend a lot of time reading other blogs, time I could be doing my own knitting. Oh well, it's always interesting to see what everyone else is doing, and it does give me ideas for what to knit next (like I actually need any more projects. I'm going to be knitting socks for the next 50 years.)

Megan wants the thunder to stop so she can
continue her nap.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Yep, it's true. We broke up. Lacy scallops and I have temporarily separated. I left them on the desk, they were knocked to the floor, and one of our cats did something unspeakable on them. I don't have time to deal with this now. I'm going to frog them, wash the yarn, and start over at a later date.

In the meantime, let me introduce you to my new partner. Actually, this partner has been around for a while, but she has agreed to join me in the Amazing Lace. Here she is:
This is my Clapotis, done in Noro Silk Garden, colorway 47. This will join my Creatures of the Reef shawl in the Amazing Lace.
I will try to get daylight pictures at another time. We have been having thunderstorms since last night. Tons of rain, flooded roads, trees down - the whole nine yards.

The garden is loving this weather, even if I am not. I still have some flats of flowers to plant. It was too hot this week, and now it is way too wet. Supposed to rain tomorrow, too, and I have to work tomorrow night, but then I get four days off, so I'm hoping to get busy outside.The pic on the left is my shade garden, the flower on the right is growing in one of my pots. I planted my window boxes, too. In the photo at the top of this entry is one of the windowboxes with Missy front and center, CJ on the right, and Muffy snoozing with her head up against CJ's butt. She is a sweet kitty, but not terribly bright.The window boxes are a source of contention between our squirrels and me. The squirrels are enchanted with the nice, soft soil - a perfect place to store acorns, or so they think. I, however, want to grow impatiens. They dig up the impatiens and toss them overboard, and hide the acorns. I come along, toss the acorns out, and replant the impatiens. The way I see it, is they have my half-acre+, and the wooded area behind my house to plant acorns. I'm not budging on the windowboxes, or the pots either.

Has anyone noticed that I have not
only figured out how to upload
photos, but I can also get them where I want them? I'm so excited! I'm becoming a 21st century citizen! I want more technology! Bring it on! I love this. Digital camera now, who knows what next? The possibilities are endless. I'm doing pretty well for a technophobe, I think. Now I just have to learn how to program my DVD and VCR, and I'll be all set! Oh, yeah, I have to learn to resize my photos so I can use my free Flickr acct for more than 12 pictures every month.

I'll leave you with two more garden photos, one of a beautiful rose, "Scentimental" (yes, that's spelled right), and a blue Verbena, "superbena lilac blue".