Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's the Last Day of September

This is what I started with
September & October are my favorite months of the year. Even when I was a little kid I loved them which is strange considering most kids love December for Christmas or the month they were born. I love the gusty wind when the sun shines. I love to buy school supplies & still get that itch when school starts in September. I love the cool nights so I can cuddle under my flannel covered quilt with the window wide open. I love rolling in the leaves, picking apples & the smell of wood smoke in the air. And best of all, I love wearing a big comfy sweater over my shorts & sneaks when I take a dog for a walk. I'm not taking walks with my sore knee - yeah, it's still sore - but I'm taking a few more steps on my Gazelle. 

And knitting a Poncho Pullover to wear.

And this is what I'm getting
  I had the darned thing down to the armholes which I put on strings & had moved into working on the body when I realized something was wrong. Went back to the pattern & found that I missed a section & should have more stitches on than I actually did .  .  .  .  sigh. Spent three evenings TINKing it back to where I split the sleeve openings from the body & have now added back what I took off & then some. Another evening or so in front of the tube & I should be well on the way to the hem - how 'bout some good dramas, Knowledge Network??? Public TV?? Anyone?? There's nothing like an evening of good Murder Mysteries to move that knitting right along.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Technology Still Sucks

My computer is back in action. Sort of. The guts of my computer are working more or less - the inside of the box is exposed to the world & it sits on my desk in all it's naked glory with no fan covers, no side panels, minimum hardware holding everything in it's place & cords running everywhere except to my printer & fax machine. At least I have a keyboard I can use, a mouse, speakers & can find my email again. I can even pay my bills again. It's amazing how much of my life is occupied by computers.

Nine whole days - more or less - without a fully functioning computer, made me have to withdraw from one of my Coursera courses & fall behind in the other. Yesterday, I did manage to redeem myself in the remaining course - assignments have no specific 'due date' thank gawd - so I was able to make up two weeks work & three quizzes on Sunday. My ass was reshaped into a chair shape after that marathon session!!! How did I do that?? you ask. Well, who doesn't love Dinosaurs??? The course is Dino 101, put on by the University of Alberta. They teach in audio lessons, interactive puzzles, short quizzes & actual sessions out on a dig site in Edmonton & Drumheller, south of Calgary. We started with skulls & hip bones & have worked our way out to Walking & Eating. And in case anyone just noticed, I was so busy catching up on Sunday that I actually worked a week in advance & didn't even notice until this morning!

So, with all this time on my hands without a computer, did I finish knitting anything?? Nope. Started a second sock. Tinked several rows of my 'Poncho Pullover' because I decided it needed to be longer from shoulder to armhole after I tied off both sleeves and knit several body rows .  .  .  . Wound all the balls & skeins of blue yarn into centre-pull 'cakes' for that 'Poncho Pullover'. And spent almost 4 days removing viruses & mal-ware from a loaner lap-top only to find I accidentally removed the wireless internet connection software as well. I just wanted to kill something with a hammer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sometimes Technology Sucks

I've never been a laptop fan. In fact, I hate them! Since my desk-top is once more being worked on, I'm reduced to a laptop. I think the worst part of it is not having  the equipment I need to make it functional. I mean, how can you operate properly with only ONE USB port??? And no mouse??? I need at least three operating USB ports just to run the every day stuff. Haven't figured out where to put the camera yet or the printer. I just hope my old desk-top comes home soon, sob, since my neck is also complaining about the unnatural position it has to be in for me to operate. It's like knitting socks from the toe up in the wrong yarn & jumbo needles when you always work from the cuff on down with your favorite DPs in size 1. Nothing feels right.

Good thing I've got my knitting. The Poncho Pullover is 6 rows from the armhole split & it looks like I'll have tons of blue yarn leftover. I plan on knitting the body in one color only but will have some fun with the sleeves. Maybe I'll throw in some orange or purple stripes for fun.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chilly at Night

I know it looks like I've been a procrastinating, lazy so & so but it isn't the truth. I just had too much to do to get at the blog. I meant to take photos but the day seems to go by so fast that it's dark by the time I get to the computer & I can't get a good shot. I'm just not good with a camera - I just point, pray & click - hopefully, something useable comes out on the memory card .  .  .  . Like the current short sock. I just love this blend of color from Regia. Unfortunately, I only had one ball. I probably got it in the bargain bin when Knitopia was closing & I had no idea how beautiful it would be when knit. I'd love a whole sweater in this colorway. Sigh.

I finished my 'Emergence of Life' course with Coursera! Had a great time, struggled a time or two with assignments but finished it just in time to start two more. I think I've bitten off more than I can chew though so one may have to go. I'm taking 'Dino 101' taught by the U of Alberta - who better with all those dinosaur museums & digsites from the Peace River in the north to Drumheller in the south!! They're finding new dinosaurs every week too. Follows the first course nicely too. 
The second course is 'Useful Genetics' taught by a purple haired prof at UBC. It's going to be the one with a lot of work. And I'm not sure I can do both. Too many courses & not enough time!!!

And yes, I'm still working away at sweaters for me. Since the weather has become quite chilly at night, a sweater will soon become a necessity. Especially since my pals & I have found a new Tim Horton's with outside tables. I'm plodding a little on the Panel Sweater from the Cabin Fever book - 'Need an Ample Cardigan'. It's quite light, in my favorite screaming Magenta - I think I actually caught it's real color for a change - but will probably be worn at home in the office this winter when its cold.

The sweater I've been concentrating on is the 'Poncho Pullover' from Cabin Fever. Knit from the top down with a nice snug collar & no buttons or zips, it's a great casual, pullover sweater for every day. I'm using up a bunch of Briggs & Little Heritage that I bought in the 'Clearance' bin in every shade of blue they had, including the Anniversary Twist they put out for their birthday - I believe it was the 125th year of operation. I have a lot of blue as well as lots of bits & pieces in every color B&L makes. At one time I thought about a 'Patchwork' sweater in all the colors but after knitting a sample strip, I changed my mind. The Poncho is just about to the point where I can split for the sleeves. This is an easy knit that anyone could do - especially a teen wanting to knit for her/himself.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Wasn't that a Rainstorm???

I was sitting, finishing off a late lunch, when the sound of pouring water startled me.  I jumped up, opened the front door, and peered out into the heaviest rainstorm I've seen in a very long time. It was raining so hard, the eves-troughs & downpipes couldn't handle the load so it sheeted off the roof edges. It was the sort of downfall that makes you pull over to the side of the road because you can't see even with the wipers on HIGH. And the last time I saw anything like it, it came with pink ball lightening bouncing across a very large lake. And it reminded me that winter isn't very far off.

Winter, in the Vancouver, B.C. burbs usually isn't cold enough to wear a Cowichan Sweater unless you work on a boat, work up in the air welding a metal building skeleton, work up a mountain on a ski hill, walk a beat at night, sleep outdoors or wait for a bus. A lot of us don't even own boots. We do get cold spells where everything freezes solid but they seldom last for more than a couple of weeks. We even get a bit of snow most winters. But, most of us run to & from vehicles of some sort & get by with hoodies, touques, scarves & mitts. Waterproofed hoodies, touques, scarves & mitts.

I love wool in all it's incarnations. I wear wool socks to keep my formerly cold feet warm, even when they're wet. I have yet another pair on the needles as I type. And I have three - yup - three sweaters on the go for this winter. I am just about to the hem of my top-down, circular yoked wool sweater in a light sport weight yarn. I haven't decided yet what kind of hem to finish it with. For a change, I won't be using my usual ribbing. Maybe a seed or double seed finish?? This one is light enough for Fall when you just need something to take the chill off. I don't even think I'll bother with buttons even though I bought Lady Bug ones.

Number two is worsted commercial wool - also top-down - I really, really hate sewing things together!!! I wanted a hoodie but I have enough stomach already & don't need a 'pouch' to draw attention to it, so the pouch went. I also didn't want the usual ribbing - I thought a slight A-line with boob & belly short rows would work better. Doesn't look much like a hoodie anymore, does it?? So I thought I might as well do the Poncho Pullover.

Number three is not actually wool but instead is a comfy acrylic that will be able to wash & dry often to keep me warm in my cold office. Another top-down with boob & belly short rows in a light worsted yarn from "Need an Ample Cardigan?". I just have to find some good Detective shows or Dramas on the tube to help me knit like mad to get these done on time.   .   .   Just discovered the damn camera battery is dead as a doornail. Pictures next time .  .  .