Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cold Wind, Warm Scarf

Yea!  We are getting new shades on our bedroom windows, at last.  All this time we've had the pleated kind that you draw up and down on strings. They're translucent, so some light comes through even when they're down, and I can lower them halfway when the sun angles in and shines on my computer screen.  But they're at least 10 years old, or more.  Came with the house I think.  Anyway, I broke a second string on one of them yesterday, so it's really lame.  Only has one string left, you can barely get it up or down now.

So we ordered new ones today, in a parchment paper pattern.  These are the double-cell kind, so they'll be more insulation from the outside air.  We got the strings again but with the top-down option.  Hopefully they'll last a while.  The next fix is our bathroom sink fixture.  We have to keep tightening the washer or it drips.  Be nice to get rid of the stupid central ball-joint lift thing that turns it on.  I want separate hot and cold taps.

Anyway, there's plenty of big things I'd change about this house, but the simple fixes really help reduce the frustration factor in every-day living.

There's a storm blowing in.  I'm hoping it's snow, rather than rain, but any precip will do.  Doesn't feel quite cold enough, but the clouds have the fuzzy indefinite bottoms that usually come with snow.  Guess we'll see.

My new crochet equipment arrived yesterday.  I ordered a few books and some foam blocking mats.  There's nine 12" interlocking squares.  I'm going to block the green and pink scarf this afternoon, just to try them out.  The two books were on sale.  One of them is Kristen Omdahl's "Seamless Crochet".  The other is "Go Crochet Afghan Design" by Ellen Gormley.  I'm pretty happy with the Gormley book.  There are some good motifs in it I'll probably use.  May not make an afghan with them, but certainly a scarf or shawl.  That's the nice thing about motifs. Change the yarn weight and use them as building blocks for almost anything.  I was not as thrilled with the Seamless Crochet book.  Maybe after I've gained more experience I'll find more patterns in it I want to make.  But for now not a lot of them interest me.  I'm really not a fan of grouped triple-crochet stitches connected with chain stitch, and it seems like a lot of the patterns use that technique to make the flowers and other patterns.

I'm making some progress on my blue-green pineapple scarf.  I've finished one full pattern repeat, 9 rows of stitches.  It's enough that you can see complete pineapples with the relief texture.  I have to keep track of which row I'm on whenever I stop, but it's not a difficult pattern.  I've decided I'm starting the socks tonight.  I want to get those done in the next few months.  Diane is already 3/4ths of the way through the shawl she's making for me.  I want to get a trial pair of the socks done so I feel confident enough to make a pair for her out of whatever intimidatingly-wonderful yarn she chooses from her stash.

With all this nice cold weather we've been having I've been craving a cozy soft scarf in bulky alpaca yarn.  I was even day-dreaming about a natural color - sort of a tweedy or marled cream.  But when it came down to buying some, nothing I found interested me.  So I ended up with some discounted 50% alpaca/50% wool from Misti Alpaca.  And of course while I was looking I fell into the Etsy money-pit.  Oh. My. Gosh.  There are some wonderful-looking yarns on the Handmade area of that site.  Two stand-outs (to me) were BlackSheep Dyeworks and Sheeping Beauty.  I just loved the colors and the fibers they use.  There was one skein of lace-weight on Sheeping Beauty that reminded me of iridescent peacock feathers.  Wow.

Well, I'd better do something constructive.  Happy weekend, all.

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