Monday, February 28, 2011

Mount UFO...

Things have gotten a little out of control at Chez Hedgehog. Call it Partial Continuous Attention Disorder, call it being unable to look away from the shiny, call it having too many

I have a mountain of unfinished objects in my livingroom.  Well...it's at least a small hill.  The cat could probably hop over it, though that would most likely have some interesting connotation in mythic lore and then it would mean that during the next full moon I'll lose 3 of my size 2 DPNs on the Fullerton Bus. 

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I lay them all out and realized that in there I have 4 partially done shawls, 1 cowl, 5 pair of socks, 2 pair of mittens, and a pair of gloves. 

And that doesn't include a few other projects that are around Chez Hedgehog.  Gonna see what I can tackle this week once I get through the database nonsense and tutorial evals.  Most things need less than 5 hours on them and I'd like to get all the ends woven in on the beautiful afghan that I knit last year before my new couch arrives on Friday.  Cross your fingers!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where there is Wollmeise....

I had been doing so very well. I'd purchased some yarn tools but not many. I'd even ventured into Loopy to get a couple new sets of needles but getting brushed off by one of the staff had deterred me from lingering.

And then I got a text message. From Sherri at TLE. There was Wollmeise on her site.

I am weak in the face of Wollmeise, especially when there are new colorways.

And so the yarn buying moratorium is over for 2011. I made it six weeks into the new year, which I find pretty impressive! I only bought two skeins, but when it arrived, I realized there was at least one round of WM that I'd purchased late last year (probably near the move) and not entered into Ravelry, nor admitted.

I got the yarn from the post office on Friday. Sherri and the Elves were prompt as always in sending but my mail carrier is really cautious about leaving packages. Most of the time I'm okay with that.

So, without further ado, the yarn that got me shopping again:

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Meet Madame Souris and Nazar Boncugu

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Aren't they lovely? I really really really must figure out what I'm going to knit up with all of this Wollmeise. Keeping it in a hat box in my living room just isn't doing the yarn justice. The yardage is wonderfully generous, 510 yards per skein. It is a little challenging in that one can only get 1 skein per colorway at a time from TLE but I understand why the policy in place and in truth, it does spread the love and yarn around. I do wonder though if it will ever settle from being a shark feeding frenzy when those pages update.  It took the doubling of Sherri's order to Bugga to get things to slow down for The Sanguine Gyrphon.

Also, in full admission, here are the skeins that followed me home one late day last November:

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The Petit Poison No 5 might stay in reserve for Sibling-the-Elder. If I ever need to bribe her or something of that persuasion. :)

But if you were ever concerned as to whether or not I was consistent when it came to colors, here is all of the Wollmeise sock yarn that I own:

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Yes, I have 9 skeins. Plus the laceweight that I nabbed from Claudia's site last fall.  A part of me wonders if I should feel a little shameful. All this yarn just waiting, sitting around, not being used. And part of me knows that I'm stashing for when times may not be as good. Which in this economy.....

I did manage to resist the second WM update when it came through. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Best Three on the Fives

I signed up a month ago for a Shawlette Swap with the Knitgirllls, which is my second favorite videocast (Carin still wins top spot).  I browsed through my stash as documented on Ravelry, browsed through patterns, debated with Sibling-the-Elder and tried to figure out what would be nice for my partner.

Yesterday morning I was headed out to a optometry appointment, lunch, and finally a knitting date a few miles from home. I knew my optometrist was going to require pupil dilation and while I understand the reasoning why, it is rather frustrating when a girl is trying to read a chart. As I would be on several buses and at least one train and would be having lots of conversations, it was time for simple knitting only.

I grabbed two projects: the Purple Pond socks, I'm through the gusset on Sock 2  and the yarn and needles for the shawlette. Only the pattern I'd settled on started immediately with the chart and see above for how much chart reading I was going to be capable of performing.

So I hastily rummaged through my Ravelry library and pulled out Lady Bertram's Shawlette.  I've never actually fully knit a WendyKnits pattern, though I own several and think they are lovely. I flung a skein of DIC Starry in November Muse along with the only size 5 circular needles I could find (16") and my pill case of stitch markers. On the back of a page with HIPAA information from said optometrist I scrawled the opening instructions of the pattern and ran for the Western bus. 

The bus, eye doctor, coffee after the eye doctor, my lunch date, and the bus over to my knitting date saw me working on the socks. The challenge of knitting on size 1 needles--socks take so much longer! There's a reason I love my size 2s and sport weight wool. I am about halfway down the foot though, so there may be hope for me yet!!


Finally at my knitting date I pulled out quickly compiled shawl pieces and cast on. I didn't get a massive amount done over the two hours but I chugged through stockinette increases. I also realized that I was going to need to move relatively soon to a longer needle. I came home, checked Ravelry again (it's my knitting brain-can you tell?) and saw that the color changing shawl that has been hibernating since the move was on size 5 needles. Excellent, I thought, and pulled out that project from where I'd most recently stuffed it. I started moving the pink shawl onto the 16s, with plans then to move the brown shawl onto the longer needle.

Then I saw it. The color changing shawl was on wooden needles and apparently at some point in the near recent past, I smashed the end of one of the needle tips. Smashed as in not going to be able to knit with these anymore. There was a moment of silence while I thought impolite words. I had already checked my Harmony Options set and knew that there were no 5s there either, so now I had two shawlettes on a size 16" circular.

This evening, after mounds of paperwork--the remnants of which I'm still ignoring, I decided I needed to locate those Options needles. They had to be in a project somewhere in the apartment. I pulled everything out that I could think of--no needles. I remembered a secret stash of half done projects--no needles. I drug out the stash and spent some time reorganizing it on the off chance I'd thrown a 24" cable with size 5 tips in the bin of "Blue Fingering Weight Yarn, Much of Which is Actually Sock Yarn, But Will Never Be Socks." What? You don't have a bin like that?

Finally, convinced I was losing my mind, I called AudioGirl and begged her to look around her stash to see if she had some 5s I could borrow. She was on her way home and promised me a text once she'd looked through her needles. Irritated with myself, how could I lose the needles?, I wandered into the bedroom to have one more look in the quilted project bag that is currently holding a pair of footies (not on my Rav page, I'm using up leftovers from another sock project). I yanked everything out of the bag, tidied up the yarn, and started working on a round. And then I noticed a ball band.

Suddenly I remembered a similar dilemma in the fall: a road trip and a dinner where I'd be able to knit and nothing easy enough on the needles. I'd grabbed a skein of yarn and started a shawlette! And that particular shawlette, I now recalled, had gotten thrown in the basket by the front door where I keep my hats and gloves and other winter accessories!

I threw things onto the floor and yanked out the project and tada! There were my 5s. I could move the projects around, get back to the brown shawl, and perhaps be done with it by the time I'm supposed to mail it out the door to my swap recipient.

Only, now I have 3 projects on size 5 needles and only 2 size 5 circulars.

But wait! I have straights. A pair was located in the vases in my bedroom and I sat down to move the shawlette over. What pattern was this? I flipped it open: Lady Bertram's Shawlette. I'm consistent at least. For a second I contemplated finishing it up and giving it to my swap partner instead but I restrained myself. I'd cast on the DIC for her and the DIC she will get.

Once I finish this shawlette though, I apparently have two more also on size 5 needles that would appreciate some time in the knitting rotation. For now though, I need to go put the stash away and work on that paperwork that really does still need my attention.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Uh-Oh

I think I may have just found what might need to be the first yarn purchase of 2011.

Morehouse, they of the fabulous Alligator scarf kit, now has a Hedgehog Mittens Kit.

I am nearly powerless to resist. Just holding out til payday ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Creation of Closet Space

Feb2 010As I mentioned in my new year's resolution post, I'm a bit short on closet space at the present Chez Hedgehog. Generally speaking, this isn't all that bad, as it does make one clean out, but the loss of a linen closet has been deeply felt. I can turn yarn stash into decoration but I have challenges when it comes to finding attractive ways to have extra rolls of toilet paper and such.  Also, having my towels in a laundry hamper that was over the closet and therefore not particularly reachable without a chair wasn't really working.

So I started looking about for over-toilet storage and something that I could put into my bathroom to make up for this.

I have a very nice bathroom. Certainly all of my guests have approved of the shower--which is large and mostly glass.


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And the red, while not my first choice of bathroom color, is suprisingly enjoyable. It's not a fire engine red, it's much warmer. Balanced with white on the lower half of the walls, and the white vanity, toilet and shower, it's elegant rather than making one feel as though you're inside someone's lipstick tube. At least, that's my story.

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The only storage in the bathroom is under the sink. This would be more acceptable if there was a linen closet somewhere but as it was, that under sink looked like this.




Feb2 012The bathroom has an interesting 19" nook from some modifications regarding the water heater that my landlord made just before I moved in. That has made a perfect location for Gypsy's litter box. There's not really a better spot in the apartment for a litter box, so I was pleased by that.  However, I still needed some kind of bathroom storage space. My landlord had intended to put shelving there but hadn't found something he liked. And so it was up to me.

May I just say, the options for shelving units that fit in 19" spaces that have a space at the bottom that one can leave open for a cat box that don't need to be attached to walls one of which is glass and another of which I'm pretty sure doesn't have studs are FEW AND FAR BETWEEN.

Feb2 018Fortunately, I spent too much time in La Crosse watching Style Network, specifically the television show Clean House.  Trish loved to extol the virtues of the Container Store and there I found a solution.


Elfa storage! It comes in 18" drawer widths!!! A friend of mine originally helped put it together but as neither of us read the directions and I had left the hammer swinging to him, I ended up having to take it back apart and purchasing a rubber mallet to put it back together correctly. Also fortunately, it comes apart not easily but more reconstructably than wooden storage units from IKEA or other big box stores.


Here's the empty shelving once done. As you can see, I left a couple drawers out at the bottom so we have somewhere still for her furriness to use the box in peace.

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And me next to it. I can reach the extra drawers that are on the top but I'm trying very hard to leave them empty. I'm 5'4" without shoes on, in case you're trying to figure out height.

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Chuffed at my own building success (and finally managing to convince UPS to deliver my Bed, Bath, and Beyond order), I sorted things into drawers, liberated the towels from my bedroom, and lay down new bathroom rugs. It should be considered a great sign of personal growth that I did not buy all new brown bath towels for my bathroom. I resisted most valiantly by getting only a couple of hand towels, despite a known love of new bath towels.*

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Feb2 028Those shelves, my bathroom linen closet, make me so happy. I can find things. My nail polish is actually accessible. Toilet paper has an appropriate home, as does my straightening iron. Since everything is white, it works nicely in the bathroom and while it doesn't quite hide things--as you can see right through the mesh--it still feels put away and tidied. Things aren't out but none of my guests will need to look too far should they need something.












Under the sink has become cleaning supplies so that out in the kitchen under the sink could be small appliances. I'm so pleased. Cat litter gets stored here too but I changed her box right before I took this picture and I'm not hauling out to the car to get the other 20 lb bag right at the moment.



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I am remarkably pleased by all of this. One space at a time!!  

*There used to be a BB&B across the street from the place where I got all of my car repairs/oil changes done in NY. Every 3K miles or so I would drop in, hand over my keys, make small talk, and head across the street to shop. It was easier on them, they didn't really have a place for me to wait, and it meant I got a new bath towel about every 3K. I have a very nice collection of towels as a result.

Begrudgingly Entrelac'd

My Loopy Academy Senior Year Entrelac project has been completed. I did enough to complete the yardage and bound off.  It's a 5&#...