Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!

I had a fabulous yoga session tonight. I'm wonderfully relaxed. And now DH and I are going out for pancakes!

Eating pancakes on Fat Tuesday is traditional because they are made up of all the tasty things people (used to) give up for Lent. No one I know, outside my immediate family, has ever heard of this tradition. When I tell people I'm having pancakes for Mardi Gras I get the weirdest looks. But! I've the Wikipedia article to back me up (I swear I didn't write it). So Kerbey Lane here we come!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Looking for a balanced center.

I’ve been making swatches*. A lot of them. I originally pulled nine different stitch patterns as options for the center of the baby blanket. I just finished my twelfth.
I got a picture of these on the one day it was sunny this week. Pretty, right?
I’m searching for a balance. Balance between how it feels to knit and how it looks, between interesting to knit and not too intricate, between cozy and cool enough for Texas. That's why I've done twelve swatches, but still haven't settled on the right one yet.
Interesting, but it might be a bit much.

Pretty, but the slip stitches would drive me up the wall.
While I was looking up stitch patterns, I came across the KBTH Online Symposium Lace Extravaganza** that suggested one could knit the edging first then decrease to the center. It blew my mind. I’ve been pondering the merits of doing the edging first, and then the center. But I haven’t dug any further since I've a slightly sneaky idea niggling at the back of my head. What if I combine all the swatches and make a lace sampler baby blanket?
I'd need more, but not much.
Since I've finished the first twelve swatches, I’m going to get back to my shawl and let the ideas percolate in my subconscious. By the time I finish another pattern repeat on the shawl, I should have a better idea of what I want to do with the baby blanket. I hope.

This will be huge.

*Knitting up a swatch is what the perfect knitter is supposed to do before a project (not counting scarves). The swatch is a little bit of fabric that tells the perfect knitter if their gauge is correct, if they are using the right needles for the yarn, and if the yarn works with the pattern. That way they don’t end up with a sweater in a yarn that pills and is three sizes too big.
I don't know any perfect knitters. In the real world no knitter I know, myself included, actually wants to do a swatch. Most would prefer to jump right into the pattern, and think of swatching as “that thing I really should have done before I started this #$@%$#@# thing” as they pull out half of a sweater that’s three sizes too big. There are those who do swatch, but most have picked up this habit after ripping out a few too many sweaters.
**It seems to be from 2005 or 2006. I love the internet.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I can't stop partying, partying...

Friday night we went downtown to see the Minor Mishap Marching Band. The doors were supposed to open at 9:30pm, Antone's didn't let us in until 10:30. Not a big deal, except that we were supposed to be at a different party at 11pm. So we didn’t get to see the band, but hanging out in the line was a lot of fun.

We left downtown to change into our superhero costumes, so didn’t make it to the party till midnight. We left early (3am), and then came home to crash. V&K spent the night, but we were asleep when they got in.

Saturday morning I ran around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. But I found my calm when I got to yoga just after 1. I basked in the calm for an hour and a half, and then returned home to hang with DH and V&K. Around 5 we decided it was time to eat. So we met up with some of the superheroes from the night before, and we all headed down to Driftwood to eat our weight in Barbeque at The Salt Lick. (If you haven't been you are missing out.)

On the way back we stopped in Goodwill so V could find a costume for the party that night. Then we headed home and zoned out, each in our own food coma. Once we shook off our stupor, we planned the rest of the evening. V&K would head to the costume party and DH and I would meet them up later as we had a previous engagement.

DH and I went to N’s to hang with some of our besties around a fire pit. Erin had made marshmallows (yes, she made them - they were delicious) and we roasted quite a few. I ate until I hurt, again. Then it was time to head over to that night’s costume party.

We got there a bit after midnight. The cops had already come and gone, so the bands were no longer playing outside. However, there were DJs inside spinning great music. I got my second (fourth) wind and danced till 2am.

Sunday I was sore; I hurt in places I haven’t hurt in years. So, aside from spinning and plying a bit, I did nothing productive. Most of the day was spent on the couch watching White Collar (my newest TV love). It was the perfect day for it - cold and dreary. I'm glad I had a day of down time to rest up for the week. I hope your weekend was as party-filled, or as chilled, as you wanted it to be.

Next time: Swatches!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Resolutions

I’ve been a bit off lately. Not down, just a bit off. There are different possible causes for this feeling. I’ve recently developed a taste for coffee and, since we acquired a single serve coffeemaker, I’ve begun to indulge my taste by having a cup in the morning. It’s not a lot of caffeine, but I’m instantly awake rather than slowly waking up over a cup of tea. Another possible cause is not going to the gym as often as I should. There are a whole bunch of excuses I could site here, but they aren’t important. I’ve not been in over a week, and haven’t even done any yoga since last Tuesday. Add a few parties, and too much rich food, and I guess it makes sense that I’m a bit off.

To fix this feeling, I’m going to start going to the gym every day after work, except Tuesdays when I’ll be doing yoga. I'll actually do some cardio. (I haven’t done cardio in months.) That should work for the body part. For the mental part I’m going to bring the spinning wheel back into the living room and spin at least once a week. I’ll do go to yoga class once or twice a week. And I’ll continue to focus on my shawl, as well as designing the baby blanket.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm excited about swatching. No really, I am!

I recently found out that another friend is expecting. And I've quite a few ideas for the baby blanket I want to make. It is time for me to design my own pattern. (I'm a little nervous.) I've a few lace ideas for the center, so I'll be posting pictures of swatches as they are done. I bought the yarn I plan on using today. I've got a lace shawl for me on the needles, a crochet scarf I'm working on, and I've started spinning again. There will be pictures... eventually.
But right now, I'm going to go find my size 6 circular needles and start swatching. Hell must have frozen over - I'm excited about swatching.