Mondays are for Blogging

I really need to set aside some time just for blogging. Otherwise, as my dear readers can see, I just keep putting it off and putting it off and before I know it, a week has gone by when I promised I’d blog the next day. There hasn’t been too much going on here, but I did want to wax a little about E’s sweater and knitting with yarn you don’t like.

I had made a fair amount of progress on E’s sweater, when I realized I just didn’t like the yarn. No, “didn’t like” does not do justice to the feelings I was having for this yarn. I hated it. No, I loathed it. It was loathsome. Yes, that’s it. The yarn in which I was knitting E’s sweater was loathsome. It was scratchy. It was shiny. It was acrylic.

Up until this point, I had absolutely no problem knitting with acrylic. Acrylics have come a long way in the past few years. Yarn manufacturers have developed many fine, fun, and even soft yarns. However, my last few projects have mostly been from premium natural fibers–merino wool, cashmerino, Peruvian wool, etc. It sure did not take much to spoil me. Yes, when I first started knitting, I really didn’t see the difference between yarns (excepting of course the cost). But now… Well, why keep toiling at a project if the yarn you are using is an abomination? This is another thing I learned from the Doctor Who scarf. Yes, that was a tiresome project, but at least I liked the yarn. Buy the best yarn you can afford, dear reader. It makes all the difference in the world.

I’ll be casting on E’s sweater in the Artyarns today. I can’t wait.

It’s here!

I am beyond thrilled. Received in the mail today: one size zero 32″ circular needle from Knit Picks and twelve hanks of Artyarns superwash merino in the Navy Sunset colorway from FabulousYarnDOTcom. I can now knit Christmas socks with my sock yarn and I can start over E’s (and eventually start I’s) sweater in a yarn I do not hate. More on this tomorrow. I am going to work on my dishcloth.

Waiting

This morning I am waiting for E to poop. Yes, you read that right. Late yesterday afternoon, E swallowed something. I thought it might have been a toy, but wasn’t sure. So, I packed him (and some knitting) up and headed over to the ER.

They were busy. Our recent snow and ice storm had people out on the sledding slopes, so there were many kids (and adults!) with banged up faces and broken wrists. We waited. E slept. I knitted. We were there about two and a half hours before they came to take us for an x-ray. The x-ray tech was cryptic. When I asked if they saw anything, he said the doctor would discuss it with me. I prepared for the worst.

Then more waiting. I tried knitting, but E was awake by then, so I chased him around the gurney instead. We played peek-a-boo with the curtain that was supposed to provide us with some privacy. I made him an exam-glove balloon. We waited some more.

The doctor came in and I steeled myself. “It’s a screw,” she announced.

Luckily, it had already passed into his small bowel. So now, we wait.

UPDATE–We didn’t have to wait long. He passed the screw while I was blogging. Hooray!

I did it!

The Doctor Who scarf is finally finished. It is easily the largest thing I’ve ever knitted. It’s about 16 feet long and maybe 14 inches wide. There are 8 colors used in total and 48 color changes. All in garter stitch. This project challenged my fortitude, let me tell you.

Even the kids were glad I finished it.

So glad that it was impossible to get the image of it that I’d envisioned.

Maybe tomorrow. DH is going to wear it to work (I’ll get a photo of him on the way out the door), so I’ll have to try when he gets home. :-)

While I was finishing up the last three colors last night, I had a chance to reflect on my experience knitting this scarf. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Always have more than one knit project on the needles. It’s very easy for enthusiasm to flag when faced with a large undertaking like this.
  2. Spend a knitting session, or two, just focusing on weaving in the ends. It really would have sucked to have to weave them all in today. It was nice just having a few–it went quickly and I was really able to enjoy having finished this monster!
  3. I don’t knit as fast as I thought I did. I mean, I reckoned myself a pretty speedy knitter since I was able to knock of small projects so quickly–a baby hat in a day, a pair of socks in a weekend, 2 pairs of Fetching in another weekend. Boy was I wrong. I figured last night that I was averaging about two and a half minutes per row. With 60 stitches in a row, that’s 24 stitches a minute. I guess that’s not too bad. Here’s some more math. There are 890 rows in this scarf so it took me around 37 knitting hours to complete. Sheesh, then why on earth was it on the needles that long? I’ll tell you why. If I had to knit for 37 hours straight on that thing (or even 8 hours a day for a week), then I probably would have strangled someone with it. Thank goodness for other WIPs!

Oh, I’m so thrilled. Now I can turn to other projects which have been waiting in the wings. Like this:

and this:

and this:

and, of course, these:

There are more photos, but I have so much yarn in my stash and I didn’t want to upset you low-bandwidth folks. Most of my yarn was purchased while Doctor Who was on the needles. I guess I was really craving some knitting variety.

PS–> Don’t forget to hit the gallery for images of stuff I’ve finished. :-)

Done!

I did it! I finished knitting the Doctor Who scarf last night. All that remains is end weaving (which shouldn’t be too bad because I wove most ends as I went) and tassel making (also easy). Woo-hoo! Check back for pictures and commentary. :-)

30 second movies

I admit that I often enjoy commercials. The really good ones are like tiny little movies–a complete story arc in under a minute. Yesterday was the advertising industry’s big chance to knock the socks off a huge demographic–the Superbowl. Companies pay a lot of money to advertise during the Superbowl–we’re talking as much as $43,000 for each second of air time–and so they do their very best to make their ads entertaining and memorable. Lucky for us, and thanks to the power of You Tube, we no longer have to suffer the Big Game to see them.

Many of the ads this year are quite violent and while I don’t generally condone violence, it can be entertaining. Case in point: Terminator 2. Violent as heck, but very entertaining. Most of the superbowl ads were OK. Here are my favorites (from You Tube):

Everyone knows someone like this.

This one has a great punchline.

This one was pretty good.

But I think this one was the funniest.

But the best commercial I’ve seen in a long time is this one which they say has been banned from TV and therefore did not air during the Superbowl. Too bad.

As a side note, I learned today that 1 cup of flour weighs in at around 4 ounces (depending on how you measure it), not at the 7 ounces I guessed. For future reference, if you have a cookie making method that makes really great cookies, don’t screw it up by guessing the weight of a cup of flour. Seriously. There’s nothing more annoying than having to answer the question “Well, did you follow the recipe?” with, “Kind of.”

I am going to try to finish the Doctor Who scarf tonight. Pray for me.

We’re Back

We’re home from our trip to Florida. I must say that in spite of my husband’s granddad being ill and dying, we had a wonderful time. Please say a quick prayer for him as he will be greatly missed by his grandson who has many funny stories of him.

While we were there, we stayed with my hubby’s grandmother. She lives in this beautiful condo/retirement community in Juno Beach which has rental units for visiting families. This is the information sheet we found in our room:

Note at the top what they have to say about children. We had fun anyway. There was a lovely pool. Well 3, actually–a spa, a lap pool, and one they called a walking pool which had a gentle current that carried you round and round. Here’s my oldest next to the walking pool:

It was too cold for the Floridians to go to the pool, so we pretty much had them to ourselves (awesome). In fact, when I mentioned to grandma that people could do like they do in the arctic and jump back and forth from the cooler (85 degree) pool to the hot tub, her reply was “This is a place of old people.” I laughed.

In addition to the pools, they had a library, an art room, a dining room where hotel/buffet style meals are served 3 times a day, and a game room, et al. It’s a fancy hotel for old people–a way to retire in style, provided you have enough money.

Speaking of old people, our children were a constant source of entertainment for them. Everyone we passed in the hallways or in the dining room or strolling along outside just loved smiling at the baby and watching my 5 year old’s antics. All in all, we felt very welcome and enjoyed our visit very much.

Here I am with E on the Juno Beach pier–very lovely.

We took a two day, three night break from the old people, and headed up to Disney World. Now, I have lived in California, not too far from Anaheim, and I have been a stubborn fan of Disney Land ever since. I have many, many happy memories of Disney Land, as we went almost every year we lived there–sometimes more than once. That being said, Disney Land sucks ass compared to Disney World. I’m sorry, it just does. It’s bigger–the streets are wider, even Cinderella’s Castle is bigger, the monorail is longer (and more usefull). Here is Isaac in front of the castle:

Yes, he is wearing his winter coat. It was very cold that day. But we had fun anyway. Here’s the baby, asleep in the stroller on Main Street:

It was a great day, even though it was so cold. The kids had a blast going on the rides–sometimes more than once–and we grown-ups had fun watching them have fun.

Finally, I didn’t do as much knitting as I’d hoped to. I made some progress on E’s sweater and finished my Jan mid-month dishcloth. Isn’t it pretty?