The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And Again

This month will not end soon enough

We said farewell to Scruffy Neil tonight. Although he was only with me for three months, I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful little man.

I really hope I make it through the rest of this hideous month without any more losses. Three pets in one month is enough.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Me Wednesday

Tami, the Oh So Clever person behind FO Fridays also hosts WIP Wednesday. Isn't that kind of her? To provide one forum for a blog post is wonderful but two? Nobel Peace Prize I'm looking at you. So here is my W.I.P for this week. It will come as no surprise to anyone, I'm sure, that's it's a HAT.

Isn't that an artistic photo? No? Anyhoo, this is a very special hat. Because I have finally found an alternative to wool that I actually like to knit with. I am pleased as punch. The yarn is Knit One Crochet Too's "Babyboo". It's a DK weight that knits more like a worsted and it's 55% nylon and 45% bamboo, 115 yards. Plus it was only $5.75 a ball. The jury is still out on whether or not I'll be able to get an adult's hat out of one skein but I'm hoping. The bamboo gives it a bit of a sheen and it has fantastic stitch definition. This one is a KEEPER.

The pattern itself is the Plain Roll Brimmed Hat Doesn't that eloquent name just make you want to grab your needles and get to work? Did I mention how soft this yarn is? Like baby bum soft. Like little rattie tummy soft. Like apparently I have lost my mind. And now that you're seen my fascinating Work-In-Progress why don't you jump over to Tami's blog and check out the rest?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Well Stocked

Yesterday was 50% Off All Easter Candy day! Or Easter Monday if you're Canadian. It's one of my most favorite days of the year, followed closely by 50% Off All Valentine's Day Candy and 50% Off All Halloween Candy. So in the spirit of the occasion I managed to hit Walgreen's Drugstore, Safeway and the CVS drugstore.

I exhibited remarkable restraint at Walgreen's and Safeway. However, I may have lost it a bit at CVS. Do not shop for 50% Off Easter Candy right before dinner!

Fatal, fatal error. Especially when they had Russell Stover's Coconut Nests on sale. They say as you get older you become more like your parents. It would appear that over the last few years I have developed my mother's passion for chocolate and coconut mixed together. What other possible reason could I have for buying THIRTY Coconut Nests? My original plan was to buy 6. And then I thought, "Oh hell, what's a dozen, they're only 44 cents." But then I started to feel sorry for the rest of the Nests and I thought, "Screw it, I'll just buy the entire box." Allow me to repeat that. I bought the entire box.

There were actually 31 Nests in the box. But as I was standing in line counting them, the lady in front of me turned around and said, "Oh, are those good?" Umm, duh? And then she took one out of my box! Is that not the absolute height of rudeness? I mean, when was the last time you were standing in line at the grocery store and turned around to the person behind you and said, "Oh right, ice cream, that sounds good." And then taken their ice cream? Bloody chocolate thief.

Anyway, the picture above is my desk drawer at work. We've got your Reester Bunny peanut butter filled bunnies (2 bags, $1.49 each), Twizzler Nibs (those weren't on sale but I'm addicted to them), Cadbury Chocolate Cream Eggs, a LOT of Coconut Nests, Lindor White Chocolate Truffles and some Koigu yarn. Buried under the Nests is a bag of York Peppermint Patties and half a Snickers bar. Oh and a Zone Protein Bar because I like to eat healthy.

Do I really need that much chocolate at work? Probably not. But I'm the one everyone comes to when they want a snack. We don't have vending machines at work. We have coffee and we have water. Those are your choices. But now, you can have coffee, water and Coconut Nests! Yay!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crappy Picture, Nice Hat

Yesterday all I basically did was knit. It was sunny. There was plenty of time to take this hat outside to get a decent picture of it. Did I? Obviously not. No, I waited until 10pm and took it inside. I did this knowing full well that my camera does not like to take inside pictures. So I ended up with a lousy picture of a hat I really like.

This is the Lace-Edged Women's Hat. I think the designer should rename her pattern to be something a bit prettier as opposed to merely descriptive. Because this really is a lovely hat, despite how it looks in my crummy picture. I used Knit Picks Merino Style yarn and I was surprised (it just took me 4 attempts to spell "surprised" correctly, hello Monday) at the quality. There are some Knit Picks yarns that I absolutely loathe (Palette, Wool Of The Andes) and some that I adore (Gloss). So it's nice to add another yarn to the "Win" column since, as we all know, Knit Picks is tres cheap. And it's superwash, how great is that?

In other news I went to the Knitting Room on Saturday to use my "$20 For $10" Groupon coupon and I bought up a bunch of Plymouth Yarn's Wildflower DK. But guess what? It's so splitty I refuse to work with it. Therefore and herewith and as you will, I shall endeavor to take a nice picture of the four skeins of yarn tonight and then tomorrow we'll have a little give away. That's if you're in the market for four skeins of a cotton/acrylic blend that splits at the drop of a hat.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fraught With Peril

You would think that knitting a hat would be a simple affair. Six or seven inches of knitted fabric with a design perhaps. But when you're a world class worrier like I am, the entire process is anxiety inducing.

I decided I wanted to knit chemo caps for a change. So I found a pattern, The Sisters Hat, pulled a ball of yarn out of my stash and went to work. First I worried about the lace. Was lace appropriate for a chemo cap? Would it show too much of the scalp and be embarrassing? Then I worried about the yarn. I'm reasonably sure that it's Stonehedge Farm's Shepherd's Wool which is 100% wool. But most chemo caps seemed to be knit in cotton, or some other non-animal fiber. Would my hat be useless?

Then I worried about washability. Would the person who got the hat be too sick to hand wash it? Then I fretted over the length. Most hat measurements, I'm assuming, are given for people with hair. How much would the lack of hair affect this measurement?

I went back to worrying about yarn content again. I don't like to knit with cotton - did this mean I'd never be able to make chemo caps? EVER? The lace again. If this hat was unsuitable for a chemo cap then I wouldn't be able to send it to the Reservation because a lace hat in the winter is very impractical. Oh my God, was I doing all this work for nothing?

Was the yarn soft enough? We shall not speak of how many times I rubbed this stupid hat on my face to see if it was scratchy. Was my yarn inappropriate for a lace pattern? Huh, wut? Let me tell you, the last four days have been nothing but worry, worry, worry. It's amazing that I actually managed to finish the damn thing. But it's done so I will send it off and hope for the best for my little hat.

At least I managed to finish it right in time for FO Friday. FO Friday is the brainchild of Tami, who I do not know but she seems like a very nice person. Anyhow, what you do is click on the FO Friday linky which takes you to Tami's blog and you can add your blog if you have an FO to post today. Not only is it a great way to show off your handiwork but you can promote your blog. I of course do not need to promote my blog because I already have three readers, all of whom are named Cindy. Shout out to The Cindys!

And that's it for this Good Friday / Earth Day of 2011.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Hat. Just That.

This may go down in history as one of the most boring hat pictures ever taken. But the pattern wasn't boring at all, it was rather fun! This is The Swirl Hat (Rav link). I used Classic Elite's Liberty Wool again. The original pattern calls for fingering weight yarn but I didn't have any that was machine washable. So I used a U.S. 6 and worsted weight. And the hat came out the same size as if I'd used fingering weight. It's possible I'm a little tense these days.

I am proud to announce that I have gone all week without Internet access at home. My DSL bill is overdue and because of all the rattie vet visits in the last few weeks I ain't got the funds. And you know what? I really don't miss it. I thought I would go through severe withdrawal but instead it's been wonderful. I'm not checking everyone's Facebook status every five minutes, I'm not printing out patterns from Ravelry, I'm not checking Craigslist for adoptable rats. Instead, I'm gettin' stuff done. Like ... knitting. And spending time with the ratlets. And ... cleaning. I baked cookies. Honestly, I'd forgotten what real life was like. I could get used to this.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

They Always Go In Pairs

Yesterday Bella followed her life long buddy, Celeste (who left us last week), across the Rainbow Bridge. Bella and her other buddy, Sophie, came to live with me on 10/01/09. At first glance, she seemed to be just your regular old brown rat. But she was much more than that.

Bella was a kind and gentle soul with a heart as big as the world. She loved to give kisses and never fought with her cage mates. If there was an Olympics competition for rats, Bella would have won the long jump time and again. Her favorite trick was to leap from the toilet tank to the towel hanging over the shower doors, scurry up the towel and then run back and forth along the top of the shower. She also loved to sit on top of my head and do my hair for me.

Bella had been slowing down the past few weeks. She'd still try to jump on top of things but wasn't quite as successful at achieving the great heights she loved. Never a chubby fuzzbutt, she was even leaner than usual. On Tuesday something must have ruptured in her head and so she made her last trip to the vet yesterday.

I've lost six rats so far this year. With each rat you grieve in a different way. With some it was just a matter of time before they passed. With others, like Jordi who just up and died at the age of 2 months, it's a terrible shock. Even though I knew Bella's days were numbered this one sucks the most. Jump high, Little Princess, you will be forever missed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snail Porn

You never really know what's gonna show up on this ol' blog. Sometimes it's knitting, often times it's rats, now and again it's food. Today, it is Snail Porn.

I am endlessly fascinated by snail shells. I know a lot of people don't like snails because they like to munch on plants but me, I love 'em. I've even been known to pick up a snail off a sidewalk and relocate it to a snail friendlier location.

So I grabbed my camera at lunch and went out in search of snails. There's a park not far from where I work that always has snails. I may be the only person in the world that knows this. April Paddock, Snail Hunter. But look at all the different colors, aren't they amazing? And they go round and round and round.

This is why I burn up camera batteries like it's nobodies business, macro lens. Yes, I should probably get rechargeable batteries, I'll think about it. Where do all the designs on snail shells come from? Did you ever wonder about that? I suppose I could Google it but I'd rather believe it's just magic.

OK, enough with the snails. Yesterday we had an earthquake but it was only a 3.8'er. However, it was most appropriate since yesterday was also the 105th anniversary of the great San Francisco quake which occurred in 1906. What a coinkydink, eh?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Seeing Triple

I wonder if you scrolled really fast, whether you'd think these three pictures were the exact same hat?

I wouldn't be surprised if you did. After all, they're all the same pattern, they're all in Wool-Ease and they're all modeled by Maybe Bruce on top of a rat cage. I'm sure it's good to be consistent in same areas of one's life but knitting? Kinda dull. But productive! And productive is the name of the game when it comes to charity knitting. Followed closely by "machine washable."

In other knitting news I am contemplating joining this KAL. I haven't really jumped on the "Shawlette Bandwagon" yet but this one promises cables. I love me some cables. Actually I did knit a shawlette once and then gave it to a friend to block. And she lost it. How sad.

Speaking of sad, I was reading a new to me blog and the woman who writes the blog lost her husband in a motor vehicle accident a short while ago. She posted a picture on her blog of her husband lying in his casket with her children around it crying. Now I know I announce all my rattie deaths on my blog and I freely admit I use this blog as a personal diary but I wonder if that kind of crosses the line. I mean it's her blog, she can post what she wants but that just struck me as maybe a bit too personal for a blog. Something to think about on an overcast Monday.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Eight And Nine

I am oh so slowly making my way to completing 52 hats this year. Accent on the word slowly. Theoretically, I should have 14 hats made by now. Try nine. And considering that most of those nine are baby hats, well I'm really laggin' here.

This is Drew (Rav linkage). I knit this in Kooooooiiiiigu, my all time favorite yarn next to Wool-Ease. Drew is supposed to have little bitty bobbles on top but I suck at the fiddly stuff. Or I'm lazy. One of the two. This is a very teeny tiny hat.

The Windy City Hat (more Rav linkage). I love this hat. It was super fun to knit and FAST. I used Classic Elite's Liberty Wool for this because it's machine washable and it's inexpensive and I like it. I'm not sure if it would make a good chemo cap with all the holes but that was my original intent. Unfortunately someone was a little tight with the knitting so now it's going to The Boyfriend's eight year old daughter who LOVES hats.

In even more exciting news I can now see my dining room table! Seriously, I need to start opening mail more frequently than every two months. What if there had been a check in there somewhere?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keep It, Throw It, Box It

I was looking for a particular skein of yarn today (clickity biggity for a larger picture of the disaster). Can you tell I was having a hard time finding it? It wouldn't have been such a big deal except I'd sold that particular skein on Ravelry. People aren't really impressed when you take their money and then go, "Dang, can't find your yarn!"

So it seemed like just as good a time as any to do the biannual yarn organization. Things had gotten seriously out of hand. Fingering weight was in the worsted weight bin, there were multiple Michaels' bags stuffed in the closet, there were 8 million tiny little half skeins and a whole lot of ugly. Plus a few surprises.

Apparently my love for Wool-Ease is out of hand since I had one complete bin full of it when all was said and done. OK, there may have been 3 or 4 balls of Vanna's Choice in there as well but jeepers, lotta Wool-Ease. Also, I probably have the world's largest collection of single balls. There are maybe six colorways I have more than one ball in. And then the number goes up to ... two balls. My sock yarn stash is also looking rather pitiful (relatively speaking). A few W.I.P.'s took the opportunity to make themselves known. I quickly buried those under some ickrylic.

Speaking of which, I managed to fill a small moving box full of charity yarn for my friend Cindy's group, Hugs 'N Stitches. And I filled a garbage bag full of really, really horrible yarn. I know, I know, it's sacrilege to throw out yarn. But this stuff truly made me shudder. Either the color was disgusting (I obviously shop for yarn with my eyes closed sometimes), it was mangled beyond repair (thanks Andy) or I was misled by the yarn content (I'm looking at you Spud 'N Chloe).

Tomorrow: The Dining Room Table!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Selective Listening

Here's little Luna Grace, one of the newer additions to the crew. She's another one of the "Hoarder Rats". Luna is a good example of how I only hear what I want to hear when it comes to ratties.

Brill is one of the few intact males I have. He lives with his long time companion, Tink (who is spayed), and loves her madly. Unfortunately Tink is getting on. My best guess is that she's probably 28 months. So I've been looking around for another spayed female. Enter Luna Grace.

There's just one problem. Brill is a VERY big man rat. And rambunctious. Luna Grace is tiny. And justifiably terrified of Brill. Now the thing is, is that I knew Luna G. wasn't going to be a big rat. They told ME that when I adopted her. They SAID, "She will always look like she's only three months old." What was I thinking?!? Oh I know what I was thinking. "Oh look at this pretty little grey rat that loves to be held and cuddled with the white squishy wishy tummy . I just wanna snorgle her to death."

And that dear readers, is why I have 16 rats.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Consistent In My Inconsistency

Celeste left us yesterday at the age of 20 months. This picture pretty much sums up Celeste's personality. Celeste had "estrogen issues." She was constantly fighting with the other rats and wanted absolutely nothing to do with me unless I had some food. She ended up with two large mammary tumors that I unfortunately didn't have $600 to remove. The vet assured me that they were causing her no pain and that when the time came that they affected her mobility, we would help her cross The Bridge. I really hope that she is happier now than she was with me.

For those of you who are keeping count this brings my rat total to 16. I've had to resort to keeping a spreadsheet so everyone gets fed on a regular basis and that everyone gets their "out time." Most of my ratties are "stashers" so it's very easy to feed them one day, come back the next and the bowl is empty. "Oh gosh, I need to put more food in there." Then come cage cleaning day you find five pounds of rat food hidden at the bottom of the cage. So yeah, a spreadsheet's a good idea.

In knitting news, I'm working on Molly which is a seriously cool scarf. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding a colorway I like. I started it in Classic Elite's Liberty Wool in kind of a blue/purple/gray colorway but the way the yarn was variegated made it look, I dunno, sloppy is the only word I can come up with. So then I switched to Wisdom Yarn's "Poems" which is a self-striping yarn. I like the self-striping bit but OMG, the colorway is hideous. However, I'm not ripping it out again. And since I plan on making a lot of these I'm sure I'll come across the right colorway eventually. Maybe.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Drive By Post

No, this isn't an April Fool's Joke, I really am posting something. In case you have a spare pair of socks lying around, or you have a hankering to knit a pair, please check out this linkage - Socks For Japan. I think this is a great cause and I'll be casting on for a pair this weekend, I figure it's the least I can do.

In rat news, March sucked with the demise of my little Fuzzlet and my buddy Doug. I think I have 18 now but I'd have to do an actual head count to be sure of that. Maybe I'll do that this weekend and take some pictures at the same time.

In April (me, not the month) news I hope to be out on disability next week. The ticker isn't working quite like it should. Blerg.