Friday, August 13, 2010

the big five-oh

No, I didn't age a decade in the last month but sometimes it feels like it. We're mostly recovered from the camping trip although our cookie stash is still severely depleted. I made 8 doz chocolate chip pecan cookies and they didn't make it past day 3 of our camping trip. Yes, we're oinkers when it comes to cookies. The nieces definitely helped out.

The other big thing that happened is that we finally figured out why my computer (less than a year old) has been acting flaky the last 8 months - bad RAM. It started out with the odd app error and escalated to full out OS crashing. We ran a diagnostic tool which pointed a big finger at computer memory. I convinced hubby to yank the RAM out of his computer and put it into my computer. We ran the tests again and the RAM passed so at least, we knew it wasn't the onboard memory that was flaky. Hubby did some research and I made him pick out a "better than good" RAM for me to buy. I installed the new memory and I've been crash free for 3 weeks. I don't even want to think about what data might be corrupt on my HD...

Pattern: plain top down 60 sts with picot cuff & short row heel
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight; col unknown (mill end from Sock Summit; might be Spy Say Guacamoly)
Needles: 2.25mm dpns
Notes: Number FIFTY!!!! Yes, I have knit 50 pairs of socks. I've been knitting socks for 4 years now and I'm averaging about a pair each month. That's pretty good.

I've been working on another pair of socks which are top secret. But after completing the first leg, I had to rip the whole thing out. I decided that it was too tight in the leg and the row gauge was so far out that the heel wasn't working out. It's one of those Cat Bordhi heels and my row gauge resulted in a too-high instep. I'm going to go up a needle size (to solve the too tight leg) and use the shorter instep heel instructions.

I always need a plain pair of socks to work on. So I dug in my stash (nearly got lost) and pulled some Claudia Hand Paint that P-la gave me for my birthday last year.

The base reminds me of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock which I absolutely love - my second favourite behind STR.

Sadly, I haven't gotten very far. I seem to have hurt the thumb on my right hand. When I grip stuff a certain way - chopsticks, steering wheel, knitting needle - it hurts. I don't know why but it does. So I'm giving my thumb a rest. If I hurts, I won't do it. I haven't knit for 3 days and it does feel better. This self-imposed ban is driving me a little crazy but it's not like I don't have stuff to work on.

I finished sewing on the binding on a quilt top that I rescued.

It's taken me 3 years but it's finally done. Talk about a labour of love. I bought two embroidered tops and carefully took one completely apart. Then I took one strip of blocks from the second top apart because those blocks clearly matched the other quilt top. There was a lot of careful measuring and cutting to get all the blocks the same size. I fixed up some of the embroidery where the knots had come undone or the tails had been pulled to the front. I used Fray Check on some of the places where there wasn't enough tail to make a knot. I hunted high & low until I found the perfect sashing & border fabric (Aunt Grace 30's repro print). I preserved the original layout of the blocks. With one exception - I accidentally turned one the blocks on its side. Oops! The backing is unbleached muslin. It's machine pieced & hand quilted. All that's left is a label. I'm going to see if I can use pre-treated fabric in my new printer otherwise, I'll have to go the iron-on transfer route. I know what the label will say. It will identify the flowers in each block and document the construction of the top. This is one quilt that will hang on a wall to preserve the embroidery.

I've also pulled out my drop spindle. I had some BFL on there and decided to ply it to see how it looked.

I was aiming for fingering but I seem to have lace instead (that's Claudia HP on the right).

That's why the spindle never seemed to fill up no matter how long I was spinning. Oh well... I don't have much of the BFL (and the store that I buy it from no longer has a source) so I'm trying for fingering with another fiber before I return to the BFL. Wish me luck.

Neither cat has been very photogenic lately. Phoebe is sleeping under the bed and Ricky's in a heap on the washing machine. A few days ago, they were standing guard by their food bowls. Every time you got near them, they would dance on their paws and meow at you. When you left, they'd settle down and wait.

Phoebe's sitting on the new step stool that I bought from Ikea. It helps her and Ricky reach the "cat shelf". I used to have a small desk in front of that window but the cats were always sleeping on my stuff and knocking bits onto the floor so I got rid of the desk and installed a shelf for them. I'm well trained, aren't I?

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