Saturday, June 28, 2014

La Vie Baroque

Madelinetosh Pashmina in Baroque Violet.  I bought this yarn not too long ago and it has been sitting in one of my recent acquisition piles so I picked it up when I finished up my Wind in the Willows and needed to cast on a new project.  If I had bought this with a project in mind, I forgot what it was so I did a pattern search on Ravelry and found a top-down raglan, La Vie Douce.
The cast on was new to me.  A crochet cast-on that I like.  I got through all of the raglan increases and am on the body.  Now I just have to decide if I want to do the lace panel down the sides.

Pattern:  La Vie Douce by Vera Sanon
Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina in Baroque Violet
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Moulin Huet - Chart 1A Done

This is the first shipment in The Unique Sheep's Inspired by Art Club.  This is their first lace weight club.  This shipment was designed by Janine le Cras and inspired by Renoir's painting Children on the Beach at Guernsey.  This is my first Shetland Lace project.  Shetland Lace has lace patterning on both sides and is knit in garter stitch.  Once I got my head around the concept it isn't too hard, although working lace stitches in garter stitch is not as easy as working them in stockinette stitch, especially when you don't have any rest rows and you're working into yarn overs.  It is a challenging knit so I started an unofficial knit along on Ravelry.  I think I prefer the look of regular lace, but I do like the feel of it, it has a nice texture.  Janine decided to design this in Shetland Lace because of the way it diffuses the lace pattern, which she thought was appropriate for an Impressionist painting.
The yarn is The Unique Sheep Eos and the colorway, appropriately enough is Moulin Huet.

Pattern:  Moulin Huet by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Eos in Moulin Huet
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wind in the Willows - Finished!

Now that the final clue has gone out for The Wind of the Willows I can finally reveal my finished shawl.  I added an extra chart that extended clue 7 and used up all but 4 grams of my yarn.

This is where the end of clue 7 left me.
I completed the diamond and added a modified tulip to create my extra chart.

Blocking was a bit of a challenge until I figured out what was going on.
No matter what I did the front edge of the shawl just did not want to close up.  Finally I figured it out - the increases occur at periodic intervals (every so many rows) instead of continuously (every other row).  The Treasure Island shawl was essentially 8 triangles, with continuous increases.  This shawl is constructed using Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl formula, so periodically you double your stitch count.  If you do this in the context of a circular shawl the shawl is constrained to remain a circle, even though you have these periodic doubling of stitches.  When I turned it into a cape I removed that constraint and ended up with this onion dome opening at the front.

When worn it hangs well, however.
I like the way that one increase round falls on the shoulders.

Project:  Wind in the Willows by Janine le Cras variations by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  Sunglow on Selene by the Unique Sheep
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ever had one of THOSE days?

So let me tell you about my day today.  It actually started a little over six months ago.  Christmas.  I stayed home with Fred, the special needs kitty, while Bruce went down to visit with his family in Florida.  While he was gone I rearranged the living room and made some shelves for our (well, my) extensive DVD collection and ordered us a large screen TV (a Samsung UN65HU9000FXZA) for our Christmas present.

The TV came after he got back from Florida and we had five months of large screen bliss.  Then one day there was a weird message about a software update and the TV started behaving rather strangely.  It would start up and bring up the "SMART TV" splash screen and then it would power off and it would just do that, cycling over and over again.  Eventually it came on and so we left it on while we contacted tech support to find out what the heck was going on.

After talking with a tech from an electronics shop down in Richmond it turned out there was some kind of conflict in the software and we needed a part replaced.  So, an order was put in for the part.  I called the Electronics Doctor (the Richmond repair shop - great folks by the way) a week after the part order had been put in only to find that Samsung had cancelled the order.  Seems I was going to get a new TV because the replacement part was on backorder.  I called Samsung and was informed that actually I would be getting a refund because there were no replacement TVs available.  I told them that I didn't want a refund, I wanted my TV and I didn't mind waiting, so please put the repair order back in the system.  We went through this cycle I think twice before the repair shop decided to leave the ticket closed and just order the part and let me know when it came in.  A week after that happened Samsung called me and told me that I would in fact be getting a new TV, but it would be a comparable model (actually the next gen of the one I had).

All of that happened just before I had to go to Bead & Button and I was told that the replacement would arrive in seven to ten days.  I got back from Bead & Button to two messages from the delivery agent trying to arrange the delivery.  I called them back and a delivery was scheduled for June 18 - 2pm to 6pm.  June 18 rolled around.  We took the afternoon off.  We waited all afternoon.  No TV.  No calls.  At around 6:30 I called the delivery agent.  The truck had broken down.  No one had contacted us.  We were informed that it would be delivered the next day.  Thursday.  We took another day off from work.  We went into town in the morning to run all the errands that we had been planning on running on Thursday afternoon.  We got home just before the delivery window.  There were two messages from the delivery agent.  They couldn't deliver that day.  The delivery required two men, and they only have two men teams in our area on Wednesdays.  Silly me.  I thought they would have the Wednesday team taking care of those deliveries that they didn't get done on Thursday.  I called the delivery agent.  They told me that they would deliver the TV on the next Wednesday, June 25.  I pitched a fit.  I did not swear, but I did tell them it was unacceptable.  I talked to the manager.  He arranged to get a temp worker so that the delivery could be made on Monday.  Today.

The delivery window was 9am to 1pm.  Yeah, don't you just love those delivery windows?  Same with the cable company.  It seems that in this day and age we should be able to do better than that.  So, I had a nice leisurely morning knitting, puzzling, reading.  At around 12:30pm the driver called.  He was on the way.  They arrived just before 1pm.  I helped them set the new TV up.  They packed up the old TV.  I went upstairs to change into work clothes.  Came downstairs.  Reached for my bag and noticed that my wallet was missing.  Yeah.  One of the delivery guys had lifted my wallet.  It was an easy target of opportunity.  My bad for not removing it from temptation.  But still, only a moron would steal in this scenario.  The list of suspects is just too small.

I immediately called the delivery agent.  He called the driver.  They were down at a local Walmart, making another delivery.  We figured it was the temp guy they had hired.  He didn't admit to anything.  The driver came back to the house.  I searched the truck but didn't find anything.  As they were getting ready to leave the driver took me aside and told me that while he was taking the stock into Walmart the temp guy would have had the time and opportunity to ditch the wallet and that I should go check the dumpsters by the loading dock.  I went to Walmart.  I drove around back.  I found the dumpsters just as they had been described.  They were locked, but there was enough of a gap to shove my wallet through.  I went inside to find a manager.  She agreed to come open the dumpsters for me.  I went back around to the dumpsters and waited.  She came out.  One by one we opened the three dumpsters and I looked inside.  Thankfully they were empty.  Really empty.  They were used for old produce.  I looked around.  Where else might someone ditch a wallet?  How about that little strip of straggly woods?  I walked over to the straggly woods.  The manager told me to be careful because a snake had been seen.  I told her that I like snakes.  I spotted the wallet almost immediately.  Just laying there, about ten feet from the curb.  I picked it up - forgetting everything that I might have learned watching CSI or The Mentalist or Castle.  My credit cards and driver's license were still there, as well as all the other random stuff that a wallet accumulates.  Only the cash and the change had been taken.

I came back home elated that I had at least recovered my wallet and the important things that would have been a pain to replace.  I called the delivery agent.  Told him the story.  I called my husband and told him the story.  Then I went down to the Sheriff's office and reported it.  A very nice deputy came by the house an hour or so later as we finished mowing and took the details.  I recommended that he go check the security footage at the Walmart and gave him a time window to check.  He came back an hour or so later and showed me a picture of the guy.  He had also seen me on the video out there looking for and finding my wallet. Yeah, it was that easy.  The guy was an idiot.  The cash was only $60 or $70 odd dollars, but combine that with the price of the wallet (RFID protected from Travel Smith) and it bumped up over the magic $100 limit.  Larceny to Felony.  The guy could have come clean.  If he had no one would have pressed charges.  He didn't.  Through out this part of the experience the delivery agent was stellar, totally making up for the delivery glitches last week.  They really should invest in some good technology though.  This whole delivery thing could be handled so much better.

You know, I thought about moving my bag this morning, but didn't.  Maybe fate stayed my hand.  Maybe the universe put me in this guy's path so he would get caught.  Maybe he's gotten away with this before.  Who knows.  Maybe I'll find out.  Maybe some Karmic debt of mine just got zeroed.

On the bright side, the new TV is even better than the old, and we can turn it off and it will come back on.  Just like it is supposed to.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wind in the Willows - Clue 6

I finished up this clue on June 15.  It is amazing how quickly you can finish something if you're a monogamous knitter, which I seem to have become.  I am actually almost finished with the shawl, and I even added an extra chart.
I'll finish it up tonight and get it blocking and figure out what to knit next.

Project:  Wind in the Willows by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  Sunglow on Selene by the Unique Sheep
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Twisted Rib Pullover II - Finished

I didn't get very much knitting done during my Bead & Button trip, but I did manage to finish this sweater, just in time for summer.  I only had 15 rows left to do on the second sleeve, and some ends to weave in, so it was pretty quick.  Now back to my Wind in the Willows shawl.  I've come up with an additional chart to use up more of my yarn, and I really need to finish it before I start anything else.

Pattern:  Design 1835 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino in Malachite
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wind in the Willows - Clues 4 and 5

I finished up Clue 4 on May 26, but couldn't post about it until the clue came out to the complete group, and that happened while I was at Bead & Button, so no blogging.  It was a straight forward piece of knitting, but the first time that beads were called for.

Then came the challenge of the final increase.  I agonized over this one for quite a while, trying to make sure that I did not screw up the symmetry of the design.  I actually graphed out the transition from clue 4 to clue 5 with the increases just to make sure it was correct.  As far as I can tell it is.

Project:  Wind in the Willows by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  Sunglow on Selene by the Unique Sheep
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fred Update

I think that I've mentioned that Fred's fur is a challenge to keep tangle free, and I have not been successful.  I didn't think that having fur matts would cause problems, but they did.  Almost two weeks ago, Friday May 30, I noticed a nasty bloody thing on Fred's hind quarters.  I took a picture and sent it to my sister Liz, the vet, and her diagnosis was "gross, get medical attention".  It turned out to be an abscess under a fur matt.  We spent the next morning at the vet's getting him taken care of, and then I had to take off for Bead & Button the next day, leaving Fred behind with Bruce.  Today we took him back for a follow-up.  I'm happy to say his abscess is almost completely healed, and while he was there they gave him a bath and trimmed his fur.  See how beautiful my little lion looks?  His trimmed fur is velvety soft.