Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh, my heavens.

Craziness, I know, to see me post two days in a row. But it MUST be shared.

My coworker has just informed me that apparently a lady she knows over at the Foundation (the arm of the university that manages our patents and donations and all of the money and crap) is, as her husband describes her, an "alpaca pimp." She farms out the "services" of her prize-winning alpaca Sebastian, and together they will be driving around across our great land this summer, as this woman brings him along in what she calls Sebastian's Love Wagon.

Hilarity ensued while discussing the situation with my pal.

bamp chicka wow wow

he is, apparently, also a Therapy Alpaca.
I have GOT to meet this guy.

well, he'll need therapy after tha... oh, wait, the opposite.

Oh, I'll bet he enjoys it QUITE a bit.

The tricky part is getting him to cuddle afterward.

he probably just wants to lick.


It was at that point that I found pictures... and lo, my afternoon was shot.

I may have to really work on my spinning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I've got problems... whoa-oa-oa...

First things first: I'm on Ravelry, as Madam. (Friend me!) I'm really excited about it and have begun to update it a bit. I LOVE making lists, and given my stash quirks (discussed in detail below) it would be so fricking helpful indeed for me to keep my stuff inventoried properly. Of course, this would be another great reason to get a camera and be better about taking pictures. I have to remember that digital cameras really help the quality of finished photos because, hey, you only have to keep the non-crappy ones :) So I will hop to it!

Went on a lovely trip up north this past weekend, which brought several of my little issues to light.

I ripped out about two inches of the Noro sweater's first sleeve a couple weeks ago when my lack of a physical row counter got into a fight with my constant near-narcolepsy. Falling asleep when you can't remember how many rows you have until the next increase? Even if there are less than five to go? Baaaad news. So I ripped back to try and figure out where the last increase was... and I couldn't see it very well... and it was crap. Le sigh. This section has at least 100 rows of ever-increasing length anyways, so it's just no fun. I did a bit in the car on the way up, but nothing when I was actually there or on the way back down.

While in the Twin Cities area I stopped by to visit with the lovely Lemur and make our usual trek to Borealis Yarns. This time was especially pleasant because of a) the walk through the neighborhood -- such a gorgeous time of year -- and b) their annual sale. Somehow I managed to get out with less than $20 spent, including the CUTEST Clover notions case evarr. And they have them in alligator, frog, koala and dolphin form, too! Ridiculous, I tell you.


So I managed to get out without buying a crapload of stuff for some nonexistent shawl or whatever, but after I had wandered between the front and back rooms for, oh, half an hour, I still ended up grabbing two skeins of Misti Alpaca Laceweight in a very soft seafoamy green color. The store had a beautiful enlarged Swallowtail Shawl on display, and I have also of late become completely enamored with the Hanami stole. (Never mind that I have a cone of light green Jaggerspun Zephyr sitting at home... or that skein of Skacel Merino Lace that gave me such grief in winding...)

So Leems and I walk back through the neighborhood, and as we're talking she says, "You know how I have a bit of a sock yarn problem? Yeahhhhhh... I think you have a bit of a laceweight problem."


(I did just pick up Victorian Lace Today.)

So when I got back home to Chez Madam, I decided that I needed to get my yarn out in the open. I've got some empty shelves, and I should really have my stuff on view so I will use my stash instead of letting it languish.

I pulled out my blue yarns... and then the green yarns... and then the bluish green yarns... and the turquoises... and the bluish slate... and the seafoams...

Okay, so maybe I have a blue and green problem too. Because there's a five-foot shelf that's full of nothing but bluish green worsted, and only one of those lots involves more than two skeins of the same thing. I LOOK LIKE MY OWN YARN STORE, PEOPLE.

Hoo boy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Who knew???

Who knew that amidst all my facetious talk of a faithful readership, I actually had one?

Yes, it's been a while. Babies have been born (and bunny hats still not finished :P), more greenish-bluish yarn purchased (oh, like that's any big surprise...), Mermaid's Hair creeping along like a fricken snail.

I've been very busy due to a few factors. in particular, grad school is coming up in the fall, so I'm stressing a bit about getting my ducks in a row. I've already gained my first sunburn of the season on the back porch of lakeside Fibers, though, which has proven a welcome relief. (Knitting outside, not the sunburn. Silly.)

I've been plugging away doggedly at my Noro sweater for my mom. Yes, folks, it's true: I said I'd start something, and I actually did. So I've got the fronts and back finished, and am now maybe a quarter of the way through my first sleeve. Following the sleeves, I've got two button bands that actually curve around to the back, topped off with a collar. Now, I'm not sure what that collar will end up looking like since I'm not overly fond of the one they have on it, so maybe I'll just do one ginormous button band and make it sort of self-collaring.

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(No, I'm not making the matching skirt. That might be a bit much, even for my mom.)

This sweater is GORGEOUS. I'm making it in some sort of green/blue/deep reddish brown/gray colorway. I love how I can get motivated to knit more quickly by following the color changes. "Come on, green!" "Okay, blue, haven't seen you for a while... just a few more yards!" (Yes indeed; I'm a big, big geek.)

Unfortunately, some weird stuff has gone on. Here's my diagram of the sweater's construction:

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So you can see how the unique construction curves around to turn the back into the fronts. Ingenious, no? Well, somehow that armhole on the back is about 15 rows below the armhole on the front. And it ISN'T MY FAULT. The front calls for 55 rows of stockinette, while the back calls for 42ish. I've looked all over for errata and find myself at a loss.

Eventually the only thing I could do was to cart myself out to the Sow's Ear and ask a helpful lady to pull and prod it to see if it would SOMEHOW go together. I mean, really. How is that possibly supposed to match up? It's not short rows or anything to accommodate ample frontage (though I've got a good seven inches on my mom, at the very least... oy...). Still, I was assured that it will turn out okay in the end.

I remain skeptical.

I think I will have the helpful lady sew it up for me. Normally, I'm all for doing it myself to learn, but wouldn't you know it -- for my first completed sweater, I've chosen something in which the seams are completely cockamamie. The helpful lady in question is actually a friend of my mom's, so maybe we can just stand my mom up on a box and tack it onto her like a dummy. Yeah, that's the ticket!