Saturday, August 25, 2007

What I Lack of Protestant Work-Ethic

I make up for with an Irish temper.

I made the mistake Friday of whining to a friend about my playscape's lack of a roof. Bad move. I got repeat advice from the beginning of summer. "Pay someone $200 to put it together and quit worrying about it." Well... I'm a bit stubborn. And a bit pissed at myself for whinging on about it. Just a little. And I forgot just how much of a thrill I get from heights.

So, Mr. Robincat agreed to watch the kids today after he finished a project of his, and I got a little crazy on the roofing. It was a LOT of fun. About as much legal fun as a married woman can have. I told him this, and he doesn't believe me. I really do love working outside, and especially heights. What could be more fun than roofing?

playfort 001

playfort 005

Some of you may notice that there's a couple of boards missing on the eastern side. Well... It started raining a little and I didn't want to bring out the big metal ladder in the rain. Mr. Robincat has promised to help me finish those out and install the roof runners (just 2 boards) tomorrow before knitting.

Now for Q and A:

Q: What do you mean, you didn't want to bring out the ladder. Of course you were using a ladder to do all that roofing, right?

A: Actually, I was standing on a pair of 1x4s laid across the width of the railing boards (except when I was sitting on the monkey bars). Mr. Robincat thought I was crazy and refused to watch.

Edited to add: Apparently, I blew out my knee (not a rarity for me) as I was coming down the ladder for the last time. ;) At least it was after I finished!

Mediterranean Lace Shawl

Wow. This is going to be one big shawl. I must really love my mother. I'm knitting it from white Zephyr lace-weight. I ordered it in the 600yd mini-cone put-up, but am washing it and re-winding it into balls to knit from. I'm aware that no one else in the world minds knitting from Zephyr cones, but it drives me crazy. They keep falling over.

I'm one repeat away from the beginning of the decreases -- for the first third. That doesn't include the wide lace border knitted on size zeros. Fortunately, it's going at a pretty good clip now that I've pretty much memorized the rose lattice lace pattern.

Mediterranean Lace Chart

Mediterranean Lace Close-up

Mediterranean Lace Progress

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On the Knitting Front

I've gotten a lot done in the past week or so since I finished my husband's sweater.

I'm almost done with the back of the Braids & Leaves Sweater in Bouton D'Or Merinosoie. I'd have a lot more progress, though, if I didn't keep losing the pattern. I've heard it's visiting at my friend Ana's house right now.

Also, significant progress on the Mediterranean Lace Shawl. I'm only one repeat away from the midpoint of the first section. Yeah, I know it doesn't sound like much, but this is one huge bugger of a shawl. A friend's daughter asked me the other day if I would be done that day. Heh. I wish. It's going to be a couple more months, I think.

Pictures will happen at some point. My kids have just been on a cranky, high-energy tear recently.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's DONE! ... AGAIN!!! and Sniff-o-rama

The Jamie Jumper is finally finished for the second time. That makes a Robincat Record (tm) of 2.5weeks for a self-designed, hand-knitted, 48" chest aran sweater. Kind of impressive, huh?

He doesn't want pictures until it's dry, which makes sense, considering what happened last time.

On another (base)note, Mary, Mary (that's just one person... really!) and I went to Neiman-Marcus for a sniff-o-rama. See, we're scent-hounds. We love perfume. Love it. And we're snobs. Snobs with completely and utterly different tastes. But that's ok, cause I love Mary, Mary and she tolerates my kiddos, even when they're not. having. fun. in the fancy-schmancy department store. They were astoundingly good, though. Sarah even permitted the make-up lady to give her a makeover. Yes, she's learning the girly ways at a very young age. Well, at least she's learning them -- I'm just learning them now at 30.

So, here's the results of the Sniff-o-rama. I love Guerlain. Guerlain and I go together like kittens and milk. Mary, on the other hand, has been sucked in by Creed, which I must admit, has some fabulous "green" scents -- one of the very few houses that do not equate "green" with "bug spray."

The favorites of the day in my book were Mitsouko EDP, which I have already in the Eau de Toilette formulation. Just my opinion, but the EDP is much richer and nicer. Oh, yum. Next on the buy list is Champs Elysees. It doesn't do a whole lot for my nose, but Mr. Robincat likes it enough to offer to pay for it, so he must LOVE it. Hehe. Another love of mine is Imperiale, which I pretty much guessed already. I'm a neroli fiend. FIEND, I tell you. I have a bottle of orange blossom water in my fridge just to sniff whenever I get in a bad mood. Yup, I'm weird like that. The only problem I found with the Imperiale is that the dry-down is fast. Like, didn't even last through lunch. Le Sigh.

Disappointments: L'Heure Bleue. I thought I would love it, but the floral is just a bit heavy and comes off a bit too "precious" for me. Jicky. I adore the smell of Jicky. I just can't wear it myself -- a bit too manly. Well, it is a unisex fragrance, so not too surprising. Now... if only I could get Mr. Robincat to wear it, I'd be in heaven.

I'll let Mary blog about her own opinions, but I do have to say that one of her favorites, Green Irish Tweed, is something I'd definitely buy for Mr. Robincat. Tabarome, another men's scent by Creed, is just lovely. Mmmm.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Raise Your Hand

If you think I'm insane.

Because I felted my dear husband's nordic jumper, I've begun "Jamie Jumper Redux." He doesn't know about it because he's in Ireland for 2 weeks. I have 10 days left to finish this, but no worries. I only started it 4 days ago and I'm already 15 rows shy of the underarm. There have been some major design alterations, too, because although he was incredibly happy with it, there were some fit issues.

nordicjumper 032

nordicjumper 031

First, though the welting on the original looked great, it was really heavy and caused the whole sweater to lengthen, which isn't very complimentary to man of smaller stature. So, I've put in 2x2 ribbing to create a "sweater bra" to hold up the yarn weight.

Second, all the twisted stitches are now plain knits between cable elements. The twists were fine until I had to separate the front and back, and then purling through the back loop just wasn't fun anymore. I don't want to do that again.

Third, the twisted rope cable has been replaced by a simple 3x3 twist. I felt that the twisted rope didn't quite mesh with the nordic central panel and zig-zag figure eights.

Fourth, the sleeves are going to be different. Not sure how yet, but I wasn't a huge fan of the original ones. I'll probably use the central or zigzags, depending on how many stitches I have available. The dragon heads were cute in theory, but very distracting from the intricate body of the jumper.