30 July, 2007

Mood Art

Yep, that actually reflects today's mood pretty accurately. Thanks to Wannietta's blog for that link - I just found her site through the MS3 board, and she's really interesting. Lots of yummy yarn pictures lately.
Click here to create your own painting.

28 July, 2007

Project monogamy is a difficult thing...

I want to be knitting on the MS3. Honestly, I do. It's just that the dark version isn't quite through Clue 2, and it's murder on my eyes. The sensible thing would be to drop it for a while, and go back to work on Clue 4 of the natural wool version. Do I do the sensible thing? Noooooo. I start a pair of socks instead.

I must be crazy. They're awfully nice socks, though. I am using the Broadripple socks pattern from Knitty, because I love the garter ripple tops. However, I am not using the the ripple lace throughout, just regular stockinette. Made these last summer and they were lovely; I gave them to mom, and I have them in my drawer now.

I'm using Hot Socks German sock yarn for this pair, and size 1 US needles. Here's what I did today. I'll keep working on them tonight, since DH has Blazing Saddles on and I don't think that's conducive to complex knitting. Tomorrow, I rededicate to MS3, although I think it'll have to be the lighter-colored one.

24 July, 2007

Since I have no knitting to show off...

Check out David's post here for some really keen knit-creativity.

I did finish the Horcruxes and could not stop myself from casting on another one in sport weight for small D. Faced withe a shortage of that yarn, however, I found another complementary ball to use for the feet.

But I think I'm putting that pair on hold to get back to the MS3 knitting. David brought down the tilting laptop desk, so I can display the pattern better. Looking forward to knitting on it, and snuggling up with my sweetie, in a very few minutes once the kids are off to bed.

22 July, 2007

Harry Potter - party, knitting, book, film, and no spoilers

Hello, everybodeee! We've had a total Harry weekend here.

Friday evening we went down to the base for the big ole party at the bookstore. Lily's "His-mione" costume was first place for her age group, and David's Stan Shunpike won him first place for his as well! Lily had an advantage as she was the ONLY 0-6 year-old in costume. As you can see from the pictures, late night parties aren't really her thing, although she did appreciate the highly frosted cupcakes.

David enjoyed everything from the cupcakes to butterbeer punch to wandmaking, rune reading, crystal ball fortunes, and tarot card readers. He was quite the showman, wandering around saying "Tickets, please" and showing off his moakskin farebox (moakskin contracts and only the owner can open a bag made from it, for all you Muggles out there...). The bookstore went all out, and they did a super job putting together a fun event.

The kids' prizes were free copies of the book. As we didn't need two copies, we decided to give one away to a deserving person. The girl who was wandering around playing Harry's theme on her recorder was our choice - I had a nice chat with her mom, who had been planning to buy three copies of the book to accommodate all the HP fans in their house. So, our extra free copy went to a good home. Besides, Lily thought her little bag of sweets WAS her prize. No harm, no foul...

Friday afternoon I started the Horcrux socks to keep me busy while DH got first dibs on the book. Finished sock number 1 before the party even started. Started sock 2 after we picked up the book, knit on during the waiting/previews at the movie next day, and I finished sock 2 as DH finished the book - perfect timing! Loved, loved this pattern.. Easy, interesting, and fast. Thank you to Susan Pierce Lawrence, who wrote it up. Here's my sweetie with the book, and sock, in hand at 12:30 that night.

Saturday, while he was reading away, I took David to see Order of the Phoenix. We both enjoyed it very much; as the movies go, it's right up there with the best. However, we hope that nothing they left out for time constraints will be too difficult to explain away in the last two movies. I'm just saying...

Am I the only one wondering whether the movie actors have all grabbed a copy of the Deathly Hallows to read, to find out their characters' fates?

David, David and I have now finished the book; small D. wrote a fan letter to Ms. Rowling already. Now, it's back to normal life, including all the laundry I ignored, a little vacuuming, a little grocery shopping...and the MS3 of course!!

19 July, 2007

Whooo. Barely made it.

Wow. Just in time for the release of Clue 4, I've finished Clue 3 on the first MS3. I decided to finish Clue 1 on my "can't stand the waiting" second MS3 before starting Clue 3 on the first one, so that took a little time. Actually, I must admit that I took more time to re-read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

So. Here we have Stole 1 through Clue 3. Not stretched out at all, and very ramen-esque. I'm still loving it, despite its untidy look right now.

And here's a shot of Stole 2 through Clue 1. If you click on this one, the sparkle of the yarn shows quite a bit better than it did the other day.

Now, to get in the mood for the book release party tomorrow evening. There seem to be no in-store parties where we are in the UK, just queue parties where you are entertained in the street waiting for a midnight opening. Therefore, we are going to the in-store party down at the base where David works. Small David decided last week that he wanted to dress as Stan Shunpike (the Knight Bus conductor). I rounded up some various items, and his costume is going to knock 'em dead! My mom would be proud. Lily wants to be "His-mione" as she calls Hermione, so we've got school skirt, her Gryffindor sweater, and the black velvet cloak Mom made for David when he was 4. He won a costume contest as young one in that one.

Stay tuned for pictures of the costumed ones after tomorrow's festivities.

In honor of Mr. Potter and the final chapter in the tale, I plan to work on some Horcrux socks. I fell in love with these when I saw a striped version on
Tabitha Knits' blog. She can knit an awesome sock, that lady!

13 July, 2007

Crazy-tastic Waiting Fun

Waiting for MS3 clue number 3. Still waiting.....Must. Keep. Knitting. MS3.

I know - so many people seem to be making two stoles...why not cast on a darker version? Call me crazy but I'm flowing with it. Stash-diving produced a charcoal grey fingering weight yarn in the right amounts. This is a Mystery Yarn itself, from a charity shop. All acrylic, charcoal grey with silvery flash in it that the camera does not capture. The actual color is somewhere between the two shots below, and the shimmer is very groovy. Needles - US size 4 (3.5 mm). I'm knitting this one with no beads because they'd be lost in the shine of the yarn, unless I used fluorescent yellow or something. I think not.

I think I am becoming Lace Literate because Chart A (first 50 rows of the stole) took me only 1.5 hours. I am using several of the tricks I have seen on the message boards, including covering the rows above where I am in the chart and "reading" the knitting. With the bigger 2-part charts, I have found that it goes faster if I look at each chart alone, without taping them together. In other words, I knit the right half chart, then pick up the left chart and do that. My eyes don't boggle quite as much this way.

12 July, 2007

Noodles, Anyone?

Someone on the MS3 message board on Yahoo referred to unblocked lace as looking like ramen noodles. Sure does look like ramen to me. Fuzzy, beaded ramen, but ramen no less for all that.

Pleased to have finished Clue 2 before the release of Clue 3 tomorrow. It's keeping my brain occupied, which is always a good thing.

10 July, 2007

Mystery Stole 3

Well, I was away from the blog for a while. We traveled home to see family and have my mother's memorial. We've been back in England a week now - it was a wonderful visit to home, and a really great memorial for my mom, but I really can't talk about it coherently. Perhaps I can in time. Just know, my family and friends reading this, I am so grateful you're in my life. It was so healing to spend time with all of you, and I am so very thankful to Sheila for opening her home and heart for us.

Trying now to fill my mind with things that don't make me sad, and this Mystery Stole 3 project fits that bill. The should-be-famous (is she?) Melanie (see Pink Lemon Twist) has designed and hosted a mystery knit-along for 3 years now, releasing one clue at a time with the end result being a fabulous, themed lace stole.

Here's a shot of my materials before starting. I am using the handspun Swaledale wool from my stash (same stuff I used for the Snowdrop shawl; what a great charity shop score that was) and 6/0 (4 mm) gold glass beads, and knitting on old size 4 (US) Susan Bates needles.

I knitted Snowdrop on size 5s and decided to drop down one size for this, as the Snowdrop is really, really airy after blocking. The wool is a little hairy, but I like it.

Here you can see the texture of the yarn, and also have a better look at the beads. I like the gold color against the natural wool. I tried some greens, blues, lavender and clear beads, but the warmer color just clicked for me.

Here's a shot of the first clue, knitted up and stretched out a tiny bit. Still looks like spaghetti, but it's going to be glorious when it's blocked. I think the stole width will be more than 20 inches for me, but I'm OK with that...