Friday, October 31, 2014

Haiku Friday: It was the salmon mousse.

That's disappointing.
Well, off to the afterlife.
Shall we take the car?



(Readers, this is my favorite bit from Monty Python's Meaning of Life. The casual and nonchalant way these characters react to their demise cracks me up every time. Happy Halloween!)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What I've been up to: Autumn edition!

Hi Readers!

It's been a while since my last blog update, so I thought it would be a good idea to let you all know what I've been doing for the past month:

First, I finally finished up and blocked this sweater...

 Pattern found here, btw: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sweetheart-sweater-5

...and I have to say that I am delighted with how it came out! The yarn is a mite bit itchy, though, so if I were to knit this again I'd use something different.

But my word. I love this sweater. I wore it for two days in a row after it was completely finished.

I've also been working on building up Lace Mountain 2014...


...which is considerably smaller than last year's Lace Mountain. I'm aiming to have at least thirty flakes, though.


I haven't had a chance to crochet as many snowflakes as I'd like; my inner ears are acting like divas so I can't crochet on my bus commute like I usually do. I'd make more time to crochet at home, but I've been distracted from my crochet projects because WE GOT A PET!

 Readers, meet Carl Sagan the Angry Fish, the newest member of our family!

Here he is showing off his gorgeous fins <3 He's his most impressive when he's hacked off. 

FISHY LASER BEAM POWERS ACTIVATE!
...thus named because the very first thing he did when we put him in his bowl was to attack his own reflection.

He's also known as Carl, Sagan, Fish, and Fishy (depending on our moods).

While it has been noted that there is the possibility of this little guy developing an identity crisis, Carl Sagan the Angry Fish doesn't really seem to care one way or the other about what we call him.

Because...you know...he's a fish.

It's been a lot of fun having a pet for the first time in goodness knows how long. Cats and Dogs are strictly forbidden in our rent agreement (And keeping Carl Sagan the Angry Fish is...kind of toeing the line on what exactly is allowed), so it's nice to be greeted after a long day.

Even when that greeting is coming from a homicidal Betta fish; swimming out with his gills and fins all puffed out in an attempt to destroy any and all who try to intrude on his fish bowl.

I caught a nasty head-cold last week and had to stay home from work for a couple of days. Carl isn't nearly as comforting as a furry kitty cat, but he did come out of his favorite hiding place (behind a large, flat rock) and followed my finger around the fishbowl glass.

Then he puffed his fins out and swam/crashed into the side of his bowl in an attempt to kill my finger.

He shows his affection in his own 'lil fishy way.

So anyways, that was my October, Readers! I'll try to be better about updating this blog, although it may be a little while before I have anything to report apart from Carl Sagan the Angry Fish's murder attempts.

Until next time!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A spider-y Haiku Friday

With skill in her heart,
Makes jeweled gossamer threads
Little lace master.



I love how the morning dew on spiderwebs looks. Almost like tiny diamonds. <3

Until next time, Readers!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Haiku Friday

Soft, lullaby sheep
Sweet berceuses, "Baa Baa Baa",
Have you any wool?




I finished up this sweet little sheepy sheep sweater for a friends' baby shower tomorrow, Readers!

You'd better believe that when Mr. Orb Weaver and I have our baby, I will be knitting one of these in every color.

Until next time!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Good News and Bad News

Hi, Readers!

Well, I suppose I should start with the good news.

The parasol got First Place/Best in Category!

Wooo, but why did they put ribbons on it?
The Rocket Ship Blanket and Crocus Doily didn't place, but both did get honorable mention ribbons!

I'm VERY happy with my first "enter something in the fair" experience! The hubs and I had a fantastic time all around!

Now for the bad news.

We WERE going to go to the fair again this weekend with our buddies in tow  (I asked my husband if it as okay to do one trip with it being just us; since I didn't want our friends to witness me descending into a puddle of nervous feels), but...


(This is the bad news)


I went and sprained my ankle yesterday while running to catch the bus. So walking around the largest fair in Washington State isn't going to fly.
Urg.

I was hurrying down a set of outdoor stairs (we live in a very hilly area) when I tripped over my own feet. Luckily, I was able to catch myself before I fell all the way down the stairs, but I still twisted my ankle pretty badly, and heard an audible "pop".

It hurt so bad I nearly threw up.

I called my husband, my boss, and my mother (for good measure). I sat down there on those concrete stairs and waited for my husband to come by and take me to the ER.

So after the triage, the waiting, and the X-Rays, the doctor diagnosed me with what is probably the least dignified sounding injury in existence:

A mild sprain with a bony contusion.

Heh.

So, I get to sport an ankle splint along with this fabulous thing (which I am TOTALLY going to bedazzle)



 along with a set of crutches to use "as needed".

If there is a silver lining that can go along with yesterday's adventure, it's that I'm going to have a LOT more time to knit and crochet! I'll keep you guys updated, Readers!

Until next time!

<3


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washington State Fair: Entry Etiquette

You know, Readers, one would think that by now our society would have come to a generalized consensus about acceptable standards for civilized behavior.

Especially when it comes to participating in competitive exhibit entries at the Washington State Fair.

I mean, seriously? SERIOUSLY, KNITTERS/CROCHETERS OF WASHINGTON STATE? DO I REALLY NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH YOU?

*snort*. I guess I should start from the beginning.

As my regular readers may know, I've decided to enter some of my knitting and crochet work into the Washington State Fair for the very first time. The deadline for dropping off items for judging in the Home Arts/ Textile division was last weekend, so Mr. Orb Weaver and I packed up my entries and drove down on Saturday.

Ooh! Ooh! Let me shamelessly show off my entries before I launch into my rant!

I re-did the lace parasol using a merino wool/silk blend in charcoal grey:


...and I am VERY, VERY happy with the end result! The yarn I used (Juniper Moon Farm Findley) ended up making the lace quite a bit smaller than my first go-around, but it had a lovely stretch to it; shaping the final parasol into a glorious bell when opened. The picture doesn't show it (and all of my attempts at getting a close up shot did not do the yarn justice, because my camera is terrible), but the yarn also has a lovely yet very subtle shine to it.

I had a bunch of the Findley left over, so I whipped out my lace working hooks and made a doily, which I also ended up entering:


It's nothing special, but I thought it would be worth a shot.

So, I packed these guys up along with the Spaceship baby blanket...

(which I'm posting again because I just love it so much!)
...and drove down to Puyallup on Saturday with the hubs to turn in the entries along with the paperwork.

It wasn't too busy by the time we got there, but the volunteers at the main pavilion (where they were collecting and organizing the entries) all seemed to have their hands full. The woman who helped me enter my crochet lace items looked absolutely exhausted.

She took my name, I signed the papers, and all that jazz. When I handed her the clipboard with all the t's crossed and i's dotted, she looked at me and said,

"Thank you, THANK YOU for being so nice and polite."

At first I thought nothing of the comment. I told her she was welcome, and then made my way towards the volunteers sorting the knit items.

After I was done entering the baby blanket, the volunteer from the lace area stopped me and asked if I could specify which side of my doily I wanted to be displayed, since "many participants get very upset if the doilies aren't shown correctly."

Um...I can understand feeling mildly peeved, but getting very upset?

Seriously?

For the doily I made, it really doesn't matter which side is which, so I just told her to display it however she liked.

But for other crochet pieces that incorporate cables, clusters and such, one would think that it was obvious what is right-side up. And even then, the judges inspect all of the entries BEFORE they are displayed, so in the grand scheme of things in really doesn't matter that much.

Readers, if you find yourselves getting very upset at a poor, over-worked fair volunteer because your doily is upside-down, you may need to re-examine your priorities in life.

Plus, on our way out, I witnessed some ridiculous behavior: as I left the main pavilion, I saw a woman scream at a poor security guard because the guard wasn't able to escort her to the pavilion personally.

Admittedly, I may be a bit of a Pollyanna when it comes to the culture surrounding competitive fair entries, since I've never done this before. But holy hell, knitters of Washington State, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT?

Is this a thing? Is it expected for participants to treat fair employees and volunteers in this way?

Perhaps I came in on an "off" day. I dunno.

But still, one would think that by now our society would have come to a generalized consensus about what's acceptable behavior when participating as an exhibitor at the state fair.

Anyways. Thanks for sticking with me through the above rant, Readers! Wish me luck!

Orb Weaver out!



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Apis

"One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care. Such is the quality of bees."
                                                 -Leo Tolstoy

I've got a new snowflake pattern, Readers! I hope you enjoy!






"Apis" snowflake

Materials:

Size 10 crochet thread

1.65 mm crochet hook

Chain 6, form ring (or make magic circle).

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 11 dc in ring. Join with sl st in third ch of beginning ch 3.

Round 2: Ch 1, sc in same st. *ch 8, skip next dc, sc in next dc. Repeat from * 4 times. Ch 3, dtr in first sc to form last ch-8 sp.

Round 3: Work beginning 4-dc cluster in same sp. Ch 9, *work 4-dc cluster in next ch-8 sp, ch 9. Repeat from * around, join with sl st to beginning 4-dc cluster.

Round 4: ch 12, sl st in same sp. Ch 20, sl st in 20th ch from hook. Ch 1, 8 sc in next ch 9 sp, *Ch 21, sl st in 20th ch from hook. Sl st in next 4-dc cluster, ch 12, sl st in same 4-dc cluster. Ch 20, sl st in 20th ch from hook. Ch 1, 8 sc in next ch 9 sp. Repeat from *4 times. ch 21, sl st in 20th ch from hook. Ch 1, and sl st in first ch of beginning ch 12.

Round 5: sl st to the center of first ch 12 loop. Ch 1, sc in same loop. *Ch 10, sl st in 2nd ch from hook; hdc in next ch. ch 1, skip one ch, tr in next ch. Ch 1, sk next ch, dtr in next ch, ch 1, skip next ch, ttr in next ch. ch 1, sc in same ch 12 space. Ch 9, insert hook into 10th ch of next ch-20 space, yo and pull up a loop (2 loops on hook), insert hook into 10th ch of next ch-20 space, YO and pull up a loop, YO and draw through all three loops on hook. (Ch 6, sl st in same st just made) twice. Ch 9,  sc in next ch 12 space. Repeat from * 5 times, omitting final sc. Join with sl st to first sc. Bind off.

Pin and stiffen using whatever method you prefer:



Crocheters, you may use the flakes you make from this pattern in any way you like, but please do not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks!