Saturday, July 26, 2008

Finished Object Friday Saturday

Due to my weak router, which apparently can't pick up my computer's signal if I move the computer two inches to the left, I now bring you yesterday's post:

And it's actually Friday! I've been busy this week, as has probably every one of you, what with summer, and gardening, and the general crazy-inducing effect of life. (That's not just me, right?) This week, my girlfriend Mel took Arleta and I cherry picking! I've never done this before, but I was keen on it. I had actually never seen how cherries grew in clusters. I thought they only grew two to a stem, like you see in pretty pictures. Well, they still take a very pretty picture, even when stemless:

Aren't those just about beautiful? Then it was on to cleaning, pitting and freezing them, a most enjoyable task if it's a windy summer day, so the bugs can't bother you too fiercely. They couldn't believe their luck at having cherries brought to them, so I had to work quickly. Earlier that day, I decided to try my hand at turning a batt into roving. This again was something I had never tried before, and I've only begun to read about it online. I thought it worked out just fine, even if I did break it in a spot or two:

And last but never least, the Chipmunk socks are done! They're a feather-and-fan pattern, but a chipmunk got into them while we were camping, and I could no longer call them The Camping Socks, so The Chipmunk Socks they are. They were done with Opal sock yarn, I believe, with 72 stitches on size 1 needles. I've been having troubles with gauge this summer. For some reason, I am knitting socks so tightly that I can't get them on my feet. These didn't even fit my oldest daughter, who thought she was going to get them, and yet another pair of socks goes to the eight-year-old. She walks around smiling, wearing twenty dollar socks. Grrr.

And now I'm off to do my pushups! I'm going to do them while the husband is off picking my oldest daughter up from camp. I'll look properly superior when he gets back, and he need never know how easy it wasn't.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ow, Ow, Ow

Yikesaroni, I did my second day of the HundredPushups program. It hurt, which is weird, because I wasn't sore at all during my rest day. Obviously, those muscles are only used in that certain position. Anyway, my involuntary cry of pain had the four-year-old responding thusly:

Then she laughed at us (husband and I), and I had to have her sit quietly while we struggled. When I was done with my set, she said, "May I get off my blanket now?" Well, I suppose.... it was pretty peaceful for a few minutes, there...

Now that it's over, of course, I looked over the program and realized I was supposed to rest longer before each set of pushups. Darn it. I'll have to look at that on Friday, make sure I get all my resties before the pain =) Anyway, I'm going to complete this program. I can do anything short-term!

Feel free to play along, and thanks for everyone who has signed up so far. Leave a comment if you want to join, and be prepared to post before and after pictures of your muscles. If you send me those pics at the end of the six weeks, I'll enter you in a drawing for some wooly prizes, and you can sit and knit with your monster-strong arms if you win! I, for one, am looking forward to poppin' off a bunch of pushups in a month or so. Good times.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Can you do 100?

Today I'm starting a new program from By the end of the program, I should be able to do 10 sets of 10 pushups, with a small break in between each set. I need this. I have never worked my arms, and as I gain and lose weight and gain it again, it really shows right there. So check out the site and join me! I can't wait to see the end result. I have never been able to do a pull-up, even in elementary school, and a pushup was something I only did when I wanted to feel virtuous. Well, I'd like to really see what I can do. This program takes you through small steps, week after week, and you gradually increase your core strength. And it's not a competition, but a bettering of myself, which I am all about. I have to admit, though.... it would be more fun if people did it with me.

Shall I do a contest? Let's try this: If you're willing to post a before and after picture, at the end of the six week program, on my blog, I'll enter you for a random drawing of a prize of wooly goodness. And we'll better ourselves together!

Let's play! Please leave a comment so I can keep track of who's playing along. And do invite your friends. It's much easier to be motivated if we're all having fun together. Okay, maybe not fun. Do it anyway. It's good for us.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Finished Object Friday

I thought it was time for a Finished Objects Friday post. Well, yeah, it's Saturday. But for two weeks I've been trying to write this post, and Friday keeps getting by me! So this morning I thought, Meh, they'll understand if I write the post a day late, because most of you have been reading my blog for a bit, and know how scattered life can make me. My first FO is some Merino wool I spun for a friend. I finished it very quickly, 4 ounces with a spindle - it just took a matter of days. Then probably a month later I washed it up. Sorry about that, Mel. I don't know what happened there, except it took me at least that long to block a quilt as a favor to my mom, and she's my mom, for goodness sake. It might have something to do with the drudgery of washing, instead of the joy of creating. At any rate, here's a pic of the 285 yards of DK weight merino:

And of the quilt, which I made for my mom's birthday a few years ago. I sort of wish I hadn't fallen into the rabbit hole of knitting quite so far, because I did enjoy quilting.

Then I found the July Spinning Challenge on Ravelry, and decided to do Marjoram Spice. I know I showed it on the spindle, but here's the finished product spun up. It's 80% merino/20% silk, and it spun into such a fine weight yarn that it gives me pause. I want to knit cabled fingerless gloves with it, so I'll see if it blooms any when I wash it. Otherwise, I'll be on teeny little needles. I really like this yarn, though. It's pretty and soft, too soft for socks, but I'd spin it again in an instant. Maybe next weekend, at the Fiber Festival, I'll see some more of this mix and snap it up.

And last in the pic pirade, but never least, my Skull Hat, off the needles and ready to be blocked. Well, it's been off the needles for at least a week, so we'll see when the blocking thing happens. But I like this pattern. It's knit with Plassard yarn, a DK weight, with size 8 needles. I thought it would be too loose, but the ear band is doubled, and it fits just right. Love it. Into the gift closet it goes.

Now work with me here, kay? For an instant there, it was Friday, and now it can be Saturday again. Thank you. I knew you'd understand.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spicy Spinning

I joined a Ravelry group that picks a different theme of spinning a month, and July's is Spicy. A lot of people are running with hot spices, reds and chili pepper colors. I like earth tones, myself, so I went for a deeper spice. After several attempts to find the closest spice to what I was spinning, I picked Marjoram.

I'm three-quarters done with the spinning, and having a fine time. The merino wool has 20 percent silk mixed in, and it spins like a dream. I can do a long draw, and it spins up thin and consistent, which is a long-searched-for goal of mine. I'm very happy with it. The weight is coming out to a fingering, and cabled gloves or fingerless gloves (more likely) is what I'll knit with it, for the winter. It's been very relaxing to sit this summer and watch the hummingbirds out the window, and drop the spindle, wind it up, drop it down again.... I love these soothing moments, because so much of the summer is busy and craziness, managing everyone's schedule.

Last night was much fun, though. Friends came over, and we played a game that my husband made up, called Jedi. You make a circle on the ground, and give the person in the center one or two bats, whichever they prefer. Then everyone gets to throw balls at them, but they get to decide if just one ball can be in the air at a time, or more than that. They then use "The Force" (or instinct and fast reaction, as I like to call it) to hit the balls back, and try not to get hit themselves. If they do get hit by the ball, the person who threw the ball gets to be in the center with the bats. If the guy in the center hits the ball back and hits the thrower, the thrower is out of the game. It's pretty hard to get a person out by return volley, but not impossible. If the center person manages to get everyone else out of the game, they go on to Level Two. It's the same as Level One, but the title is the prize. We've never had a person get to Level Three, but the game is very exciting, and everyone is laughing and having fun. The only rule we had to institute is, if you hit the person in the center, that person has to say "Good throw," in a very happy, convincing way. Otherwise, you get grouchy pretty quickly if someone beans you with a ball. My daughter got hit in the face last night, and through her tears and smiles, she choked out, "Good shot." I was quite proud.

The husband and I arranged childcare and were going on a swimming date tonight, so of course it's cloudy and overcast this morning. That's the way the weather is up here in Northern Michigan. You can't count on it at all. I'm going to finish my spinning and get my entry on the Ravelry forum. Have a great day doing what you like to do!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

First Socks!

I have a good friend who has been waiting and waiting for me to write this blog entry, since I haven't yet convinced her to start a blog of her own. As a matter of fact, when you get done reading, if you feel like it, leave her a comment. She can read them here, and it will pull her deeper into the world of Blogland... At any rate, she's knit her first socks! It's very exciting, and her feet look so toasty and well-clad. She didn't even use a basic first sock pattern, but went ahead and knit the Jaywalkers, which I haven't attempted yet. I should, though. She has thoroughly shamed me.

What's so fun about these socks, other than the obvious fun of knitting socks, is that she did so much of them while intaking alcohol at our knit-togethers. I took some pictures along the way. There might be a mistake or two in these socks, but you'd never know it, and who cares? They're for your feet. Doesn't she look like she's having fun?

She was seriously bummed that we ran out of Kahlua, but it may have saved her heel....

And tada! The finished, cozy feet:

Good job, Mel. The only problem is, now everyone in your family wants a pair. Happy Knitting! I'm storing some extra Kahlua for your next casting on.