lblanchard: (swannfountain)
I worked hard this week preparing for the big PACSCL meeting, and today I am feeling rebellious. Also, temptation is sitting right on my credenza. And I only have three episodes of Dr. Who to go before I'm totally caught up.

Isn't this pretty? It's the yarn I was nattering about in my previous post.





3-10-03_0232knitpicks
lblanchard: (Default)
Done and blocked and packed up in a giftie bag along with care instructions. It's cheap acrylic yarn but it blocked pretty nicely nevertheless.

I finished the blocking etc three days before her due date. (This is my next door neighbor.)

We've been taking in baby gifts that come via UPS for a couple of weeks and then calling to say "we have packages for you." So today I called and said "there's a package here for you." Haven't heard back yet.

Yesterday I lost the lens cap to my Nikon. I think I didn't put it back on securely and it got knocked off in a crush of people -- I was at a reception for Walter Smith, who's been a doorman at the League for 50 years and took his picture as a souvenir for me. It probably fell on the dark rug and was mistaken for a common piece of trash. Happily, we have a Calumet Photo here in Phila, so I biked over late this afternoon and bought two of their own brand. Theirs seem to stay on better than the Nikon one, and also come with elastic straps you can put around the lens, like the old straps that kept us from losing our mittens. I had fashioned a makeshift lens cap from a linen napkin and a rubber band, which offered some protection but not much. I'm glad to have a real lens cap again and even gladder to have a spare.

It's ungodly hot in Philadelphia right now -- temps going up to the high 80s or even the 90s. Bleah. But the harvest moon looks really spiffy. This weekend it's supposed to settle down again so I think I may do some yard work, bring in the hippeastrum, take coleus cuttings for myself, etc.
lblanchard: (Default)
I am pleased to report that there is now new growth on every hippeastrum I brought in a couple weeks ago, as well as the two new bulbs. The current seedling crop continues to thrive and I think I will pot them on into a larger container in March.

Last night I brought in the last of the adolescent hippeastrum and tried giving them the hot water bath in the bathtub, being as the container was too big to fit in the sink. Bad move. Filling the bathtub enough to submerge the container totally depleted the hot water tank, so I had no reserve of hot water to compensate for cooling. But I think they got close to the 30 minutes at 110F they're supposed to have gotten, so we'll see.

Roy was out at a dinner function last night, so I got to do Netflix-on-demand at my computer, finishing up the 1983 Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton and Zelia Clark. I also finished up another set of those nice wrist-and-hand warmers. I bleieve I was using leftover yarn from the ben.ben.blankie, although I'm not entirely sure. With that little project complete, I've switched to crocheting the 2010 snowflakes. But first, I made another half-dozen of the 2009 version, of which I made too few in the larger size and too many in the smaller size.

Still no sign of life on the pansy seedlings. It's about time to give up on them, I think, but I'll water them for another week before I do.
lblanchard: (Default)

091219_01wristwarmer
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
We don't need no stinkin' swatch! This little proof-of-concept piece made with scrap yarn suggests that the ribbing piece should be longer, the pointy bits should be longer, and I should include another pattern repeat (or use thicker yarn/larger needles. With those modifications, it should cover all knuckes and a fair bit of the first joint of the fingers while allowing range of movement . I have some more scrap sport-weight yarn around here -- I think I'll try it again!
lblanchard: (Default)
Okay, that's a metaphor because the sun has already risen (or is about to -- difficult to say when there are clouds to the east without checking the almanac).

But it's the weekend before Thanksgiving and I want to beat the Mongol Hordes. I have a "free turkey" coupon and plan to acquire one that's somewhat larger than Tiny Tim, if possible. The Wells Fargo wagon delivered my new,huge roasting pan and rack last week. I'm not quite sure how we'll wallop the bird off the rack and onto the carving platter, but I'm sure we'll think of something.

The ribbon yarn was delivered Thursday to the place where the brother-in-law of the recipient will pick it up. I like the simple pattern of the kimono-like sweater, though, and may try it in some other, less expensive, yarn to see how it makes up. [livejournal.com profile] kightp, it looks to me as though once I swatch it and figure out my gauge, I can use math to set up my rectangles and be good to go, no? (Except that I'll have to re-learn "mattress stitch," which I never really learned in the first place.)

(EDIT: Okay, sunrise was half an hour ago...)
lblanchard: (Default)
This weekend's forecast:

Saturday -- clear, highs in mid-50s
Sunday -- clear, highs in mid-60s

A good weekend for catching up on outdoor chores, perhaps, such as hacking down any about-to-die plants in the back, moving the pots full of more tender stuff indoors or into the alley, etc. Also good for raking our very few leaves from the sidewalk, and for running errands.

A little indoor gardening is called for, too -- I have several small pots full of rooted cuttings that I've potted up and watched to make sure they've "taken," and now they need to go down under the grow lights, where they'll only be looked at once a week when I do laundry. I have some more rooted cuttings to pot up, too, which means bringing more potting soil from Anderson House.

I'm keeping Roy company on Weight Watchers -- now that he's over the hump he's really channeling his inner accountant, very conscientious about filling out his food diary and calculating how many points he's earned from his exercise. I'm not quite as compliant as he is, but I did notice that I was able to get up from the eat-em-up sofa in the sitting room without bracing myself on something. So my legs are stronger or the load they have to lift is lighter, or maybe a bit of both. Perhaps I'll try on my too-tight trousers again and see if they fit better. If they do, I'll get around to hemming them up.

Pride goeth before a fall, feather-and-fan-wise, and I'm one stitch off on the pattern. Serves me right. But since I didn't put in a lifeline and I'm only doing a little lap robe for having around the house, I don't plan to frog it. And it doesn't even look that bad...
lblanchard: (Default)
This pattern rocks. I am a happy camper. That is all.
lblanchard: (Default)
I'd been fooling around with knitting a bit in the past couple of weeks. I find I have enough crap yarn in pale blue to make a little lap robe. So I turned to my Big Book o' Ripple Stitch patterns.

knitting trivia )
lblanchard: (Default)

090421_03blankie
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
I have broken the curse of the attempt at continental knitting and completed an (admittedly pretty simple) lace pattern for this christening blanket for our grandson.

Next, I break the curse of the Japanese Silk Yarn, using the same pattern, and then I go on to make the kimono sweater using the very very cheap on sale ribbon yarn from Herrschner's.

A break from doilies is nice...


EDIT: I don't know when I finished this blanket! I noted on my LJ for February 23 that I was on the final border, and I was certain I'd mentioned it, but I can't find it. Maybe I mentioned it on Facebook. Must.Do.Research.
lblanchard: (Default)
I think I did it all by the numbers. I washed the blanket in Johnson's Baby Shampoo since I couldn't find any hand-wash Woolite or Ivory Flakes. Then I let it drain in a plastic colander, squeezing gently to get rid of some more water. A roll in a couple of towels took out a bit more water. I laid it on the mattress pad on the bed in the spare room and wove the blocking wires through the edges, then pinned the wires to the bed.

I'm going to wind up with a blanket that's approx 48" x 41". I'll be delivering it on Friday. It ought to be dry by then.

(Blanket was made of white fingering-weight wool yarn using the "kimono" pattern from Folk Shawls.)
lblanchard: (Default)
Not exactly but close.

I neglected to get heel protectors put on my one-piece black Merrill slip-ons, and they've worn on the outside of the right shoe to the point that they throw ankles, knees, etc. out of alignment. Ouchy ouchy ouchy. And with much stand-uppage in my future later this week and next for The!Flower!Show! that will not do.

So I went to Benjamin Lovell, a small chain (5 or 6 branches) specializing in comfort shoes at price points from $80 to $500, and found another pair of black Merill slip-ons very much like the old ones but looking just a scootch dressier. I'll wear around the house today, wear out to a meeting tomorrow, and take them on a test spin around the show floor on Wednesday.

Oh, and I'll take them to the nice while-you-wait shoe man on my way home from tomorrow's meeting.

A new pair of shoes is a big deal for me. The Merrills were purchased in 2003. The last shoes I bought were a pair of Lands End sport Mary Janes last summer and before that it was a pair of sneakers the summer of 2007. I bought a pair of Danskos in 2004. And that's it.

090223_01hippeastrumIn other news, the second hippeastrum has opened (sort of) and looks like a clone of its parent. And I'm on the final border of the Ben.Ben.Blankie, so that should be done this week. No new knitting projects during Flower Show time. I'll just crochet snowflakes.

I saw a modest Flower Show display in a shop window today. The shop wasn't open, so it was covered by a grate and wasn't very photogenic. I'll try again tomorrow. [Edit: I don't have to! It's here, along with a whole lot of other Flower Show-themed windows!]

My brother-in-law had laparascopic surgery to remove his appendix over the weekend. I met my two-doors-down neighbor this morning and she told me she had been laid off. She had been managing the construction of a large apartment complex in Harrisburg, the state capital.

Edit: put here so I won't forget it a link to Victor Davis Hanson's current column, Some Reflections in a Time of Hysteria.
lblanchard: (Default)
Yesterday it hit 50F in Philadelphia, so I hopped on the bike, rode 2.5 mi to the supermarket that was selling whole pork loins for $.99/lb, ran into a sale on whole roasting chickens as well, and lumbered back with another 35 lb of meat on the bike. Afterwards, my knees felt...more or less like they used to when I hopped on my bike to go for a little ride, pre-diet. That tells me something.

It's another nice day today. When I break for lunch (as opposed to breaking for LJ), I think I'll repeat the experience, except that I'll stop at the Asian grocery on the way home to pick up vegetables and tofu.

Today I am doing something pretty mind-numbing: reconciling three sets of changes to the bylaws of the nonprofit I work for. Important work but fiddly, extremely fiddly.

I have felt so cozy in my home office over the weekend, using it as my den: listening to an audio book version of Little Women while knitting, with Flickr photo sets or groups done as slide shows on my monitor, and with poor old senile Ferko yowling to herself as background. I can hardly wait until I can pick it up again.

After Little Women, I think I'll do A Tale of Two Cities...
lblanchard: (Default)
1. Do not go to the Asian supermarket the day before Lunar New Year unless you're more interested in teh spectacle than the shopping.

2. Do a real swatch before starting a major project, or risk winding up with Too Much Yarn. Srsly. The Ben.Ben.Blankie is almost half done and I've only used one quarter of the yarn I bought.

3. Something potentially life-changing has happened. The Union League has stopped charging members an additional fee for the use of its fitness center. This means that effectively Roy and I just got two free gym memberships. How cool is that?
lblanchard: (Default)
I skittered out ahead of the alleged snowstorm to pick up the rest of the yarn for the christening blanked, and also to lay in some groceries from my new favorite store, the Big 8 market at 16th and Washington.

The yarn isn't especially fancy. It's Debbie Bliss 4 ply fingering yarn
http://www.loopyarn.com/Detail.asp?ProductID=51693

The suggested gauge calls for a #3 needle, which felt way too small, so I'm working with #5s, in the pattern called 'kimono' from the Folk Shawls book. It's a nice comfy pattern and I'm pleased to be working it.

The Big 8 has gone up a few more notches toward being my favorite store. It carries milk. Also, it takes credit cards. And it has these huge tins of low sodium biscuits from Malaysia, perfect for having with afternoon tea. I bought other tasty things -- a jar of galingale, a big bunch of cilantro, incredible quantities of baby bok choi and broccoli crowns.

I came home and made myself a soup of turkey broth (from the Christmas turkey), bok choi, onion, cilantro, and tofu, flavored with galingale and cayenne. Mmmmmmmm. A few low sodium biscuits and I am a happy camper. Now I think I'll go find a nice movie and work on the BenBen Blankie.
lblanchard: (Default)
Ferko has transformed herself into a lap cat. Wants to be on my lap almost all the time. She's hard to type around, though, and little clouds of white hair float through the air every time she moves or I pet her. I can't seem to groom her enough.

The biggest and plumpest of my seedling hippeastrum bulbs is now putting out a flower stalk, one that appears to be almost full-sized. This makes three so far.

Snow is forecast, to be followed (or so says the hyperventilating media establishment) bone-chilling cold. I wish these guys would turn down the alarmism. Still, I had best hustle to the crack dealer yarn shoppe and the Asian grocery this morning. Roy has already headed out to the sidewalk de-icer purveyor (hardware store).
lblanchard: (Default)
Your kind of project, except that it uses Lion Brand yarn:

Car Cosy Pattern for VW bug

In other news, I have finally settled on the "kimono" pattern from Folk Shawls as the pattern for the christening blanket I need to make for The Grandson Known as BenBen. Not wanting to fuss around with this any longer, I've put seven balls on order at my local crack dealer yarn shop while I finish up the first ball as a sort of starter swatch. It's fingering yarn but it's still knitting up pretty fast. I can do an inch a night.

I'm back to English knitting and am a happier camper for it.
lblanchard: (Default)
Kind of like the one [livejournal.com profile] kightp dazzled me with when she came east last year.

Check out the yarn sale:

http://www.herrschners.com/products/product.aspx?sku=711346

But it gets better! With my sekrit code and customer number and calling on the phone, I am getting the stuff for $1.99 a ball.

I ordered three extra, just in case. I can always make a scarf...

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