Friday, May 30, 2008

Eric is definetely one bad ass shut-yo-mouth. Our back patio had these pitiful looking horizontal slat divider things between ours and our neighbors and we've never been terribly fond of them. One side has this chicken-wire sort of mesh woven into it, presumably so someone (not us) could attempt to grow climbing plants. Either way we've been tired of looking at it, so we got the bright idea to basically put a fence on top of the fence. It's definetely got some bonuses--
a)sound deadening privacy wall
b)LOTS more space to hang stuff
c) lovely cedar smell
and now... planter boxes!

Keep talkin' that smack, don't be suprised when you wake up on the ground....

There seems to be a bit of trouble and tension brewing around Chez Dog Hair. Not between me and Eric, mind you-- other than E's impending departure on Sunday for Bumfuck, Egypt things are pretty cool within our little abode. Out in the world, though, things feel hostile and uncomfortable. I have a slightly sinking feeling that some of it might be due to one very small (but very key) misunderstanding. Nonetheless it seems like everyone, E included, has ramped it up to Defcon 5 or something.

The whole thing makes me want to move out to Double Ditch Road* and put a big "Trespassers will be shot on sight" sign at the foot of my driveway, despite my dislike of guns. There are just few things that bother me more than coming home to a hostile environment, especially a passive-aggressive one.

Then again, who am I to talk when I'm sitting here pouring my frustration onto the internets instead of discussing it with the other parties. Hey kettle, pot here. I think we already know what color you are.

*There actually is a Double Ditch Road within Whatcom County. Sometimes living within Bellingham makes me forget that the rest of the area is pretty fucking rural. The road's name is accurate however-- there is indeed two big-ass ditches running the 5-mile length of it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I don't envy you, but don't worry-- I've got plenty of other deadly sins to work with.

It's becoming almost redundant, but I am very grateful for a renewal of the spirit, though I find my feelings even harder to explain than usual. All I can say is that I get pretty in love with my life sometimes. It's probably not the best in the world, but I love it all the same.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spin to win!

I made my first balanced 2-ply yarn last night. No really, this shit is awesome. (and will soon be followed by pictures.)
In other words, my spinning class has rocked and I have rocked it right back. Compared to my fellow students, I kind of felt like I was cheating. In fact, when it came time to discuss our experience spinning at home and do our show-and-tell, I wanted to crawl under my chair.
Having spent the last year occasionally playing with a drop spindle, I already had a lot of practice at the drafting part (ie, the kind of tricky part.) So I had a bit less trouble with some of the basics and got to use the class to adapt my skills to a wheel. Consequently, I tiny bit more to show for my work. And if there's one thing I don't like, it's a show-off. Luckily, the ladies in the class were very sweet and wanted to see what I'd come up with.

Because we had to postpone the second session, I've had two extra weeks to play with the shop wheel I was using and spent my time doing experiments. I spun some merino and merino/silk blends to test out the difference between different fibers, tried to my first attempt at plying the merino and silk blend (it failed miserably), and made the Noro Knockoff pictured earlier.
Now I get to test out the Ashford Kiwi for another week or so, which is awesome since I was looking at buying one. However, I just found a gorgeous Majacraft that I might actually be able to afford!
For now, it's all about plaing with a double treadle. I plan to spin more silk.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The meteorologists were finally right for a change. By the time I left work, it was sunny and warm and actually felt like May. As I drove home, I got all nostalgic, remembering how, starting right about this time of year, we'd have "porch parties" when it got too warm and too nice to stay inside, but going somewhere else felt like such a chore. So Eric and Shannon and Myra and I, along with a revolving cast of characters in the form of various friends, would hang out on the stoop in front of the apartment, drinking blender drinks and watching the day fade.

I no longer have a porch, or even much of a stoop, or quite frankly anything that resembles a good sitting spot,* but the impromptu barbecue tonight felt like one of those times. Nothing renews the spirit after a shitty couple of days (more on this later) like raspberry dacquiris, fresh grilled corn on the cob, and sitting around the table telling funny stories. Thank God spring/summer is finally here.

*We have been known to use the parking lot a time or two. Meh, atleast I have a really pretty welcome mat.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No stashing for Jilly.

I am kicking myself for not budgeting for NW Handspun Yarns Mother's Day Sale. 20% off everything? Why oh why does it have to be this weekend? So instead, I've been focusing on the great things about the last few days.

Some favorite things of today:
  • Potato Bread Rolls from BreadFarm. I made it to the farmer's market too late to get a loaf yesterday, but the rolls are just the perfect portion of potato bread-y goodness.

  • The new yarn I spun Friday night. I had picked up four or so coordinating colors of New Zealand wool last time I was at NW Handspun, so I divided each color in half (so that I can possibly get two skeins that are similar in pattern) and spun each color in succession, throwing some reddish orange I already had in for smooth transitions. I'm calling it my Noro KnockOff.

  • The sun is, if not shining, atleast making an effort. That's about all one can ask for in Northwest Washington, especially after last night's torrential downpour.

  • Basil plants, ready for the repotting.
  • Yarn from the lovely girls at Spin Cycle. I picked up a hank of Rusted Rainbow to test out gauge. The bad news: It's not going to work for Knitty's Cathode, like I'd been deluding myself into. I probably should have read the patter first. The good news: I love it so much I'm definetely going to be making a sweater out of it anyway.
  • The Manos del Uruguay hat I managed to make in one slow day at work. A bit big, since I just cast on and went to town, but it should felt down a tiny bit and be perfect for this cold spring that won't seem to end.
  • Listening to a ska album from about five years ago that I loved, but had since forgotten about. (for those interested, it's Catch 22--Keasbey Nights.)
  • Getting to spend Mother's Day with my mommy. We're going to dinner tonight for prime rib and giant hunks of chocolate cake. She won't be getting her present until tomorrow though, because I haven't had time to pick it up. She asked for a candy thermometer, a specific one that she found at Target, and I haven't had the time and sanity required to brave the mall. So she'll be getting it tomorrow.

Man, I am one lucky girl if I have that many things to be happy about!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mantra time.

It took some serious self control, but I managed to come home without stopping to buy yarn for the Lace Skirt with Bows that I SO don't need to be knitting right now. I can only chalk it partway up to will power, though. Truth be told, I skipped lunch earlier today and was far too hungry to bother trekking across town for anything that wasn't food.

Instead, I'm just going to continue my spinning practice while repeating to myself "you must finish your projects" over and over. I might intersperse round of "no new yarn" in there as well.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy Wednesday.

The only pictures I can ever seem to get of Gus are when I'm holding a treat in my hand, which is why they always feature him sitting, trying to look his most obedient and sweet. Otherwise, they all either come out with him looking the other way at something, or (90% of the time) as a giant blur because he's hyperactive and can't sit still for more than two and a half seconds.

I was just trying to capture the post-bath cuteness. He tends to get all fluffy.

I'm thinking of getting him a tiny blue t-shirt and making him the unofficial mascot of Eric's softball team, the UltraSonics. (By the way, the name has absolutely nothing to do with the soon-to-be-not-in-Seattle Sonics, and everything to do with the company he works for. They do ultrasonic testing, go figure.) I scoped out the first game tonight, and it looks like dogs are totally cool to come to games.

As for tonight's game, it was pretty fun despite the fact that they got their butts handed to them. After a while, I lost track of the final score, but that's probably for the best. Fact is, it wasn't pretty. In the UltraSonics defense, everybody on the team is currently on 60-hour work schedules and full team practices have been impossible to come by. Nonetheless, I have hope for next week.

The only real drawback, other than watching the team get stomped? Bellingham's experiencing a pretty cold spring, one that has even included snow, as documented by Steph. By the end of the game, even with three layers, my fingers and toes were still pretty numb.

Although IT SHOULDN'T BE THIS FUCKING COLD, I knew exactly what to do. Which is why, despite my resolution to finish some projects before I start any new ones, I'm halfway through the first in a pair of new armwarmers. Pretty simple-- 2x2 rib cuff, stockinette for about an inch and a half, and for slightly added warmth at the pulse point, with maybe a bit of visual interest given Noro's color changes, a two-row combo:
Row 1: sl1, k1
Row 2: k1, sl1
Herringbone without the double stranding. Next Wednesday's game is gonna be sweet. You know, assuming we fix our issues at first base and start hitting towards the gap.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

We won't stop until somebody calls the cops

The borrowed spinning wheel is looming, staring at me, waiting for me to finish my spinning homework. I think I know what I'm going to be doing with atleast part of my Sunday. I've still got a bit to get done before my next class on Monday. Thusfar I've really enjoyed spinning, but hanging out with friends I haven't seen much trumped sitting in my room. It's almost embarrasing to realize you've barely talked to people that live less than 30 yards away from you.

Yesterday pretty productive, as far as days off go. I got pictures taken of last weekends dyeing experiments. I'm pretty happy with most of those-- I tested out frosting colors in earnest (the first time was kind of half-assed and didn't go well at all) and "overdyed" some less-than-spectacular Kool Aid yarn. I also found that I LOVE Ashford's purple dye, despite it not really being purple. I'm hoping I have enough left to dye up a sweater's worth of yarn. I'm thinking it might lend itself to a Wicked sweater, or atleast something wicked-esque.

I also got the front of Baby's First Tattoo pinned up and set aside, and the back is about done with just a few decreases left before it gets set aside for sleeves. With any luck, this thing might be done while Wyatt is still small enough to wear it! (Then again, I cheated and started knitting the 1 year old size for my five month old brother.)

Now if I can just fortify myself long enough to finish Rambling Rose, I'll be set!