Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I hope you've been having a great weekend!

There's been lots of knitting going on here, and I've finished one Christmas present (although I think I'll add a bit more to it), but it's been slow going. Needless to say, I can't show what I finished knitting here.

I hope you've been able to keep up with all the Halloween spooky, scary movies. TCM is having lots of vintage ones on, and it's not too late to catch a few. If you want something eerie, but not too scary, check out Hallmark and Lifetime Movie Network. They've been showing some off-beat ones that just hit the spot!

Happy trick or treating!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quick Update

Most of the news around here is the weather.

The air conditioning went off Monday a week ago here, and (as reported before). That wasn't too bad for almost the whole of the first week. Of course, that meant the windows were open, so I've been getting big doses of pollen, to which I'm grossly allergic, but the temperature wasn't too bad.

Sunday, the temperatures went up, and they've been up to 75 most of this week. Not only did they turn the AC off, but the heat is on now.

The temperature in my apartment didn't get much over 90 degrees this time, so I got off lightly, at least in that department. It's been over 110 degrees (as a high for the day) in here for extended periods in the past, so 90 is much more livable. But it didn't go below 80 for about a week, either.

Once again, I've had a headache, nausea, muscle aches, extreme exhaustion (I can't stay awake), and I'm just generally sick. And the pollen seems to do something to my head and make it difficult for me to even think.

So, anyway, I haven't been much inclined to write.

Sorry!

The temperatures went down drastically last night, so, although there's still a ton of pollen coming into my apartment, at least I'm not roasting anymore. I was seriously thinking of spending all my days at McDonalds because they have air conditioning.

During all this, we had almost 24 hours of tornado watch in our general area.

OK, the end of that was mostly in Maryland, and about 60 miles away, but the whole general area was being warned. I haven't heard of any tornados actually happening, but it was exciting, nonetheless.

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I'll leave you with a small Halloween celebration link. This was sent to my by my sister in an email, and it's wonderful! Please click on the link! I know you'll love it!


Hope you're having a terrific Friday, and will have a wonderful weekend, and a scary Halloween!

If I don't get back on the internet before, have a

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

No Air Conditioning! Again!

You won't be hearing a lot from me for the next week.

In the Spring and Fall, there is always a period when the air conditioning is needed, but not on in my apartment building, and this is it for the Fall season.

The AC went off last Monday, but it wasn't so bad because we had highs of about 60 degrees all week. Which wasn't bad with the window open. Yesterday, though, the high was about 70 degrees, which brought my indoor temp (with the window open and fan on all day) to somewhere between 80 and 85. Today, it's going to go up to 75, which means (since I couldn't get the temp below 80 degrees overnight) that it's sure to be over 90 in here later today. Part of the problem (as mentioned) is that I can't get it cooled down at night, so each day it's over 60 degrees adds to the afternoon temp. For example, three successive days with a high of 70 degrees outside are likely to produce indoor highs of 80, 85, and 90 degrees respectively. With a high of 70 yesterday, and 75 today, with 70 for a high the rest of the week, we're looking at the likelihood of 83, 95, 100, 105, etc. It makes me want to alternate between taking showers and lying flat in bed. Plus, having the window open and a fan going just drags in tons of allergens!

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The good news for today is that Borders sent me an ad via email for a new reader/tablet computer that they will be selling soon.

It's called a Velocity Cruz TabletVelocity Micro Cruz Reader, Black (R101), and it may be a rival for the iPad!

I've been trying to find out if there will be  a keyboard available for it, like the iPad. It promises to be the ultimate book reader, though. It runs on the same Android operating system as my phone, which means it takes many of the same apps, and will connect to my google account.

I can't tell you haw wonderful getting my current Android G1 phone was. When it started up, it asked what my Google email address was. I typed that in, and it came up with all my information. All my phone numbers were instantly on the phone, along with email addresses for everyone I know, etc. The tablet runs on WiFi, and with that connection, can (from what I can tell) do all the things my phone can do (except make phone calls) and a lot more!

It also has a USB connection and an SD card slot so you can upgrade the memory! And it can display PDFs, so all you knitters with a library of PDF knitting patterns can display them and carry all of them around in color!

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Tonight, there will be brand new episodes of Chuck, The Event, Castle, and Hawaii Five-O


Each night this week, ABC Family will be running a different Halloween movie. They're all movies that are suitable for children, but some of them are fun, especially The Spiderwick Chronicles, which I watched last night and enjoyed. They'll also be running Halloween movies all this coming weekend. It's worth checking out.

Have a wonderful week! I'll be doing my best to not die of either heat exhaustion or allergy overload!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quick Post!

I got out and did some walking today (probably at least a half a mile at a good clip), and I'm pretty tired from it. Everybody seems to be pretty clear on the idea that I should do more walking or other exercise, and I'm trying. But it's hard in the beginning.

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Anyway, for all you knitters out there, I found a neat giveaway! Webs will be giving away a Della Q needle case! Check out the link! You have to enter in two places, so read carefully!

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A while back, I brought you the R2D2 cell phone, and now I'm bringing you the R2D2 bathing suit!

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There's a lot of new stuff on TV tonight, and a lot of Halloween stuff, too! Check your local listings, and I'll update the info soon, when all the stuff isn't on TV now!

BBC in America will be having a Torchwood marathon on during the day tomorrow, so check it out!

Have a great Friday, and an even better weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Knitting Update!

I know.

I go through phases. Sometimes, all you get out of me is science fiction stuff, and lately, all I've talked about is knitting. But I have more knitting because I'm trying to finish some projects and get on with the Christmas present knitting.

First of all, we have a partially finished neckwarmer in Bernat Mosaic yarn (colorway is mosaic). This looks a little odd at the moment because I've gone crazy for patchwork, and I'm knitting  a section in one direction, and then picking up stitches and adding another shape in a different direction. I started with a band around one end to establish a size and with a matching border at the other end, too, it will look a bit more finished, planned, and less haphazard.


This is slow going because the yarn is less even and more thick-and-thin than I first thought, and even though I can work out how many increases and decreases at the edge of a given patch will give me the right shape, it means that I may have to pick up more or fewer stitches to match up. So, I frequently do it wrong and wind up ripping it all out. I'm going to use some yarn in either off white, or a very pale grey to whip-stitch over all the joins between shapes.

There will be a hat and mitts to match this, and then I will finish the Celtic sweater and I'll have some things I can wear together to look good, even though it will be too cold by then to wear them as outerwear. The neckwarmer, hat and mitts will work with a coat, though, and that's why I want to do them first.

Since this is the third time around for the Celtic sweater, I just want to get it done!

After all that, I'm going to get back to the hood I started for Jeff. You may recall that the Mosaic yarn hadn't arrived, and I wanted something to knit, and instead of finishing something that I'd already started (which would be sensible), I chose to start a whole new project. Being even earlier into my patchwork phase at that time, here's what I have so far on the hood:


I want to get some chocolate brown yarn to go with this for some patches, and some more of the lighter brown. So, it will have some patches that look like Fair Isle, and some in solid shades of brown. For the lighter solid colors, I plan to use simple textural stitch patterns like the seed stitch shown to set off the Fair Isle look. I found some really nice medium blue yarn that I'm going to use to whip stitch the joins in the patches. I think this is going to look really fabulous when it's done! It will also get a matching patchwork hat and mitts for a complete set.

After all that, I'll be switching to Christmas stockings for all except Malaia and John because I already made stockings for them. I've been collecting sparkly yarn in various colors that are popular with my family and friends, and can't wait to make stockings for everyone.

Besides, if I make something else for each person, I can stuff them in the stocking and not have to wrap them!

Then, it's onward and upward with just finishing projects that I've already started!

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For all you non-knitters out there, if you're thinking about obtaining Christmas presents for your friends and family, I can make custom knits for them! Yes, folks, I'm trying (once again) to make some "extra" money so that I'll have enough to continue being able to eat through the end of the month! So I'm very open to creating a fabulous one-of-a-kind item for Christmas gifting.

Some ideas include: Christmas stockings, a Doctor Who scarf, almost any knitted garment you've seen in a science fiction movie or TV show, a Weasley sweater for a Harry Potter fan, a rune bag with runes knitted in, or almost anything your imagination can come up with. Some of the Christmas presents I have planned to make are: a pair of stigmata mitts with a matching crown-of-thorns hat, and much more.

Exercise your imagination and have me make something truly spectacular for a loved one!

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The new season of Sanctuary starts tonight on Syfy! There's a new episode of Supernatural, too, and an episode of Medium which may or may not be new. It sounds a lot like one I've seen.

Tomorrow night, BBC in America will be rerunning episodes of Torchwood, and I'm wondering if that means that they're building up to the new season.

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Franklin has done it again, and put up the funniest blog post of his that I've ever seen. You have to check it out! Somebody asked him for help in retouching a photo.

Have a fabulous weekend! I'll be spending the weekend knitting, and you may not hear from me!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lump of Coal Pattern

Knit Picks is giving away this lump of coal pattern to knit!


I went nuts when I saw this pattern! Everybody knows somebody who deserves a lump of coal in their stocking!

So, go on over there and get the pattern free, and buy some stuff from Knit Picks. They're nice people, they have great yarn at even better prices, and if you haven't bought something from them, you really should try them! The prices are great, the delivery is as close to instantaneous as you will find in the real world, and they are a dream to do business with! Check out their needles, too!

I'm going to put a link to this pattern in the sidebar, too!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Columbus Day!

Happy Columbus Day!

It's Columbus Day, and that may not be a big thing where you live, but in the Washington, DC area, it means huge sales in all the stores!

Happy shopping!

I'm staying home today and knitting!

I got started on the hood for Jeff yesterday, and I have the border around the bottom done, and have started the patchwork above that. Photos soon.

I was up for just a short time, and heard a thump at the door. I looked out, and there was my package from Herrshners. UPS does deliver on Columbus Day!


This is what I saw when I opened the box. The fuzzy stuff is also sparkly, and it will be used to make a sort of furry cuff around the top of some Christmas stockings. A lot of people will be getting their presents in stockings this year. There is lavender, black and white fuzzy yarn. Underneath the white yarn in the photo (and actually covering a while layer under what you can see) is the Bernat Mosaic yarn in the colorway Mosaic. and all the way at the bottom of the box in the photo is my new Addi lace needle in size 7 that's only 16 inches long! Just the size to knit Christmas stockings, not to mention doing the sleeves for my Celtic sweater! The Mosaic is just too, too, beautiful for words! I love it!

This is the box of stuff I've been waiting for! Unfortunately, it took long enough to arrive that I've already started the hood, but I want desperately to dive in and start knitting the Mosaic. I'm restraining myself, though, and plugging away at the hood.

I wonder how long it's going to take to convince myself that I should start knitting stuff for myself in Mosaic because I can wear it as soon as it's knitted, and nobody can use my Christmas presents until Christmas?

Actually, that's an important thought. I really should knit the stuff for me right away! As soon as I finish the current patch on the hood!

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I hadn't planned to blog today (or yesterday), but it was 10/10/10 yesterday and it's Columbus Day today, and I just couldn't miss either of those important days! Or wishing Steve a happy birthday.

So, I have some errands to do (which involves the bus and lots of walking and time), and lots of knitting to do this week, so don't expect another blog post for a few days. Or maybe just some little, short ones.

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Check out the schedule for BBC in America over the next few weeks. They had three hours of Torchwood on earlier today, and they've been advertising it heavily. There will be more Torchwood on Saturday, too!

There's a new Chuck tonight, too, and a new The Event, Castle, and Hawaii Five-Oh!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's 10/10/10!

This is an unusual date that won't happen again until next millennium!

For the implications of this date, and to see how it links with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (you knew I was going to work that in somewhere, didn't you?), check out this website.

On a more personal level, it's Steve DesRoches' birthday!

Happy Birthday, Steve!


And some more Steve photos:


This was taken at an event we went to ages ago. He's wearing a hood and tabard that I made for him. The hood is handspun, and the tunic is from some wool yarn he picked out at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.


I hadn't planned to blog today, but I couldn't let 10/10/10 pass without a mention or wish Steve a happy birthday!

Just continue with your wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Busy Saturday

I've been busy making Christmas presents!

I'm getting to the end of the yarn I have on hand, and projects keep shifting under my feet. I started one project for me, and as I was knitting it, I looked carefully, and the project was saying "I belong to Malaia." Just whispering it quietly, but I couldn't ignore it.

I ordered several things, and there was one I was hoping would arrive yesterday, but it didn't. That was the one with the Bernat Mosaic yarn (color swatch below), the Addi lace needle, and some sparkly, furry yarn for Christmas stockings.

I was originally thinking of the Mosaic yarn for a Christmas present, but then it occurred to me that it would make perfect accessories for the Celtic sweater I still haven't finished knitting, and would go well with my jean jacket, too, so I'm going to do a hat, mitts, and something to go around my neck with it. That's another project that's changed ownership! I haven't really made up my mind exactly what, but I'm suddenly in love with self-striping or self-patterning yarn, and think that they would look great in patchwork!
The Addi lace needle is one I want to use to finish my Celtic sweater. So I really wanted it ASAP! The weather is getting just right for a sweater like that. I'd like to get the stuff for me done now so that I can use them right away and get on with the Christmas projects. But they're coming UPS, and I'm not sure if UPS delivers on Saturday or on Columbus Day, so there may not be a chance of actually getting all this until Tuesday. I keep checking outside my door in case the UPS person knocks and I don't hear it!

In the meantime, an order I placed the day after the one I described above was delivered by UPS yesterday! There's only one thing in this order: a bag of 10 balls of overstock self-patterning yarn.


They sent me an email full of self-patterning yarns, and I took one look at the swatch of this light worsted weight yarn knitted up, and it said "I belong to Jeff." My brother, Jeff, that is. I can safely write about it here because Jeff has severe dyslexia, and avoids reading whenever possible.

I wanted to make a hood, watch cap and mitts for him, and I'm picturing it knit in different directions in random patchwork style. And while I was writing that sentence, it suddenly occurred to me that it would look good with a few solid patches in there, too. Maybe the solid patches could be in seed stitch or something. This may generate a new pattern to sell!

I'm planning on knitting it in one piece by picking up stitches from previous patches (so it'll be in one piece), and I want to get a solid chocolate color yarn to do a whip stitch over the joins when it's done so it will look like it was hand sewn together. It should turn out looking very handmade.

I bought some tan yarn to use as trim on another project, and happened to set the bag of yarn down next to it, and it is a perfect mid-tone match for this yarn, so I'll probably use that. There's enough yarn in the bag that I can probably make a set of two hoods, hats and mitts with some left over, and if I mix in a solid color, it might stretch to three. One set for Jeff, one set for another Christmas present, and one set to sell.

Anyway, I got the whole bag of ten balls for $25 plus shipping! A good deal, even if it will leave me broke for the rest of the month!

If you want a custom project knitted to give for Christmas, now would be the time to request it (while I'm broke, and more willing to do almost anything for money).

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There's not much on TV for science fiction fen this weekend. I'm glad I have my DVD player hooked up, and I wish I had all my DVDs back from Holly.

I have had my TiVo record two episodes of House because it was listed as Human Target. The second time was last night, so I checked it out on the internet. Fox dragged it's feet about deciding to pick up Human Target, decided they did want to pick it up (I understand it got great ratings--I certainly enjoyed it), scheduled it for their Fall season, and then said to the people who create it something like "What, we ordered 13 episodes of it last week! You haven't filmed it yet?" So, thanks to the gross incompetence of Fox, it won't be on until later in November (the 17th), not the early October date that they scheduled. At least this was only gross negligence, not deliberate murder, like they did with Firefly and Dollhouse!

Speaking of Dollhouse, Syfy will be rerunning the second season soon. I'll keep you updated, or you can check your local listings.

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Holly is going to her knitting retreat next weekend. There is a contest on for all returning knitters to create a knit-in-the-round cowl starting with some yarn that they supplied.

She hasn't started yet.

She described to me how she wants to knit it, and I described to her how to chart the pattern for it. She's known about this since last year, and got more yarn for it at the Sheep and Wool Festival, but hadn't done anything as of last week. So, last Saturday, I sat down and charted the pattern for her the way she described it. She has to come up with the actual pattern herself, but I think it's OK if she uses a chart that she didn't write. People use stitch pattern dictionaries to design things all the time, and the design still belongs to them.

So, today, she finally decided to start swatching to test the chart I drew, and maybe later in the day, actually start the cowl.

The yarn they gave her was a skein of navy blue wool in a worsted weight (she had her choice of colors), and she's bought some other med/light blue and off white beaded yarns to go with it. I'm excited! I can't wait to see it actually done!

All I can say is she'd better take pictures!

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Most of the things I have to knit are not things that you can knit and watch TV. They're things that require almost complete attention (that's why I've been putting them off), so this weekend is a good time to do them. I'll be spending the rest of the weekend in front of TV watching things that I've seen at least a dozen times (so I can follow them while I pay attention to my knitting) and doing all the stuff that I haven't done because it requires too much attention. You may not hear as much from me as usual for a while.

But I wish you an even better weekend than I'll be having!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Fiber Fest Aftermath

I'll bet you're all ready to see all the beautiful things I got at the Fall Fiber Fest.

Well, we didn't go.

It was a combination of a lot of things. The bad economy, Holly being low on money due to the new Hummer, the current cost of gas combined with the distance to the Festival, and the torrential rains that happened earlier in the week coupled with our vivid memories of the muddy mess that ensued a few years ago after two days of light rain.

But, in an effort to make up for it all, the universe managed to time my brand new Herrshner's Fall Yarn Sale catalog to arrive on Saturday. So, I had a lot of great yarn to look at! I'd gotten Herrshner's catalogs a few years ago, and thought they only had a poor selection of yucky acrylic yarns, but two years ago, they sent me their Fall Yarn Sale catalog, and I discovered they have lots of wool, alpaca, and many other yarns with natural fibers in them. Not to mention some acrylic yarns that are really nice!

I got my order in today, and if you're interested, check it out. I ordered some Bernat Mosaic yarn, and they're already sold out of some of the colors. I thought I'd have a tough time deciding between their ambrosia colorway and mosaic, but the ambrosia is sold out, so there wasn't much of a choice.

This is the ambrosia colorway:
This is what it looks like made up.



Here's Mosaic, the color I did order:
Here's how it looks made up:


I think I'm going to like it. The only problem with it will be trying to let go of it so that I can give it to someone else as a Christmas present!

They had some yarn I bought to trim Christmas stockings, too.


I got some in the lavender (shown), black and white.

I also, finally, ordered the 16 inch size 7 Addi lace needles! The listing on Herrshner's says the size of the needles, but doesn't say the length. I called up the store and asked them, and the guy I talked to was reading the listing, and assured me that they are 16 inches. Then he said "Holy cow! Those are almost 17 dollars!" I told him that was why I wanted to be sure!

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Holly had surgery on her leg today, and planned to go to work afterward. She just called to tell me that it had gone well, and that afterwards she was so stressed out that she decided to call in sick today. She was at a restaurant with Robin when she called and planned to go home and start the cowl that she's supposed to make for the retreat in. The one she hasn't started yet! Oh, and she planned to watch a football game, too. That should be relaxing.

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An all new Chuck will be on tonight! And a new Castle!

I apologize for saying that there was an episode of Human Target on Friday. My digital TV Guide said that there was up until it recorded House on Friday evening. I hate it when they do that!

Have a fun evening tonight!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy October!

The weather outside still feels like summer, although there's a noticeable chill in the evening air, but it's now officially October.

When I was a teenager, this was the time of year when you actually needed a Winter coat. Global warming is probably not something you notice if you're currently a teenager, but if you've been around like me, you can't miss it!

This month includes Octoberfest and Halloween! The TV stations will start airing their spooky shows, building up to the end of the month. I, for one, can't wait!

Tomorrow is also the Fall Fiber Fest, and it's been raining for most of the week. OK, so it's sunny today. After attending the mud fest they had a few years ago after only two days of rain and one sunny day, I have serious doubts about attending. I talked to Holly last night and told her that although I'd like to go, I have serious doubts about the ground out there, and if she doesn't want to go, I won't be upset with her about it.

Later on in the month, Holly has a knitting retreat, and a project she has to knit for it. And even later in the month, the Renfaire is over, and we're hoping to squeeze in just one more visit.

It's going to be a busy month!

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Tonight, we have brand new episodes of Medium and Supernatural, and an episode of Human Target that may or may not be new. I know it's new season is starting soon, but I'm not sure if this is it.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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