Thursday, January 25, 2007

Techno Babble

I'm not having a very good time with the Newfoundland mittens. I finished one, and I don't really like how the thumb is done. Maybe it's just because I've only ever knit mittens with gussets. Anyhoo, I fiddled with the top shaping a bit, and I like how it looks, but I still need to tinker with it. I have decided against ripping it back and will make another one and put this pair in my Dulaan pile. I did two rows of "honeycombs" before doing the thumb thing, but in order for the cuff to be in a better place for the Littlest One I should have done three. This will be a good pair for a smaller child, maybe age three. (Mine just turned four, but he's bigger than the average four-year-old. That comes from a dad that's 6'4", I guess.) I will need to pick up two more balls of Emu Superwash to have enough to make the Oldest One his pair of mittens. (I made lots of scribble notes all over the pattern so I know what I did to get the first mitten, and I know what I need to do to make them right for TLO. Then I'll have to tinker again for TOO.)

The mittens are on hold right now, along with everything else. I have been guilted into making work socks now. It's winter time now, they won't be needed in the summer. I got new socks, he didn't get any. He's the one freezing his feet off in the Prairies. (You get the idea.) So I am on a work sock marathon. So far I have one finished and started the second one. I bought a whole bunch of grey and natural ragg yarn on eBay one time for $0.99US. It was advertised as Patons Shetland Chunky Ragg, but I don't think it is. (It was wound into centre-pull balls and no labels.) I've worked with that enough to know. It's softer now than it was ten years ago, but I still think this is Red Heart or something. I don't think there's any wool in it (Patons has 25% wool), but it's good enough for socks that he'll wear over store-bought socks. I have a bag full of real Shetland Chunky leftovers from all of the hats and mittens I made this winter to use for heels and toes. The socks I am making are the ones on the cover of this book. They're a fast knit on 5mm needles. I hope to have two or three pairs finished by the time he goes back to work on Monday or Tuesday.

I was not a happy camper yesterday. In the morning I went on-line like I do every morning, checking my blog, the weather, bank accounts, e-mail, play a little Pogo while I eat breakfast... Shut the computer down, went to work, no one was home all day. Came home from work, started up the computer, went to go on-line, wouldn't connect. I thought maybe the desktop icon crapped out, as they can do sometimes. I opened the network connections icon -- nothing. Hmmm.... That's odd. Checked to make sure nothing got unplugged. I restarted my machine, rebooted the modem, did the typical stuff, no go. Got out the cd from the ISP and tried to make another connection, no go. Called the ISP for help. A nice lady got me to tell her what kind of modem I have and which lights were lit up on it. She told me different places on the machine to go and tell her what it said. I go to device manager, and it says it cannot find a certain thing. She politely told me that was beyond anything they can do to help, and I would have to get someone to look at my machine. (Good thing part of the store that I work in is computer sales and repair. Free computer labour.) Sooooo... I call the big boss man at home, he says virus. I run virus protection all the time, run full scans pretty much every day, run anti-spyware software, how did something slip through? Where did it come from? Haven't been downloading anything or getting mysterious e-mails. He says run the two programs I have, see if it finds anything, bring the computer in to work in the morning. Soooo... no internet last night. It's amazing how much I miss it. I took it in this morning, and he worked on it a loooonnnnggg time. Whatever it had it deleted some windows files and was very hard to get rid of. He had to load a fancy-shmancy antivirus program on it to clean it. At first the computer didn't want to reload any of the missing files, he had to go on-line on his machine, burn new cds, then load it on mine. Another program he kept running would almost do what it was supposed to do then shut down for no apparent reason. That had him kind of baffled. At least at the end of the day I brought it home, plugged it all back in, and here I am. Only thing now is he loaded video drivers in it. Apparently there weren't any before (integrated video), but now most of the time it looks like water is running down the screen, it's all rippley, and it messes my eyes up. Not to mention the fact that I get motion sick very easily, so it makes me seasick almost. I'll have to find out what that craziness is all about tomorrow. One thing, though, the wheel on my mouse scrolls up and down web pages a whole lot faster.

I'm still thinking about this. I didn't think about it, but Pat reminded me about Knitpicks lace yarns. (Go check out her beautiful Argosy.) They have this and this and this. Anyone have any recommendations on which one and/or color? You're talking to someone here who doesn't knit lace. (Well, just lacey socks.) Never knit a shawl before. I want it for the annual Firemen's banquet in May. I can get a new outfit to match the color of the shawl. I know I don't want white. I sort of lean towards this one because I like the heathers. Oh, I don't know. I'll have to decide by mid-February or I'll never get it finished in time for the first Saturday in May. Help!

Well, I guess I've kept everyone long enough. I'll leave you with a picture of the Littlest One wearing a sweater I made for him quite awhile ago. It's getting too small, but he loves it and still insists on wearing it. Guess I'll have to try to make him another one. See how short it is in the arms and torso? (It's kinda like this.)

Everyone go visit Heddy, a new blogger from my area! She's got a new kitty. Look for pictures on the weekend! (I hope -- me loves cats!)

Happy birthday today, too, to the Old Fart! (Assistant manager at the store where I work -- he's 42 today.)

Happy knitting!


Blogger Donna said...

I love the shawl pattern. I wouldn't do it in a varigated yarn as you will lose most of the pattern in the colour changes. I love the Alpaca Cloud ones, especially Tide pool and Iris. That's just my opinion of course.

Sorry about your computer woes, but you are lucky to have on site tech help!

Good luck with the socks.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Alpaca cloud! One of the neutral colors in the second row probably unless you have a favorite. I'm glad you are back online, I hate it when I'm cut off from the world!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Pat said...

The ONLY problem with alpaca cloud (I knit Trellis from it) is that it is seriously slippery! You'll have to find the perfect needles (probably not metal) BUT very slippery yarn makes for a nice soft stole!
I like the Shadow... merino is a bit easier to knit lace with in my opinion. My "Estonian Garden Wrap" was knit in Shadow with size 4 needles (the needle size she recommends for lace wight yarn in PrintO'The Wave)and I really like it.
SO.....I don't know what you should do - maybe get both (they are not too expensive) and try them out??

I hate computer problems!! We are down to one working computer right now (somehow blew out the hard drive on the laptop)You are always at a computer's mercy!
Thanks for the link to my Argosy - you are so kind!!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Ragan said... problems! That is the worst!! Alpaca cloud...oooooo.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous heddy said...

thanks for the referral to my blog ... I've just started blogging and there isn't much yet for anyone to see (but the new kitten will make an appearance on it over the next day or so!)

I like the shawl you plan to make(made a simple one one time myself from one of the hand dyed kid mohair/alpaka kits at Have a Yarn (its gorgeous, I love it, but have only worn it a few times).

I like the Alpaca Cloud (I love alpaca!) ... for your colouring I'd go with the "Autumn Heather" or the "Moss Heather" or the black would be very dramatic, but you wouldn't see your lacework as well.

How are the socks coming? Knit! Knit! Knit!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I am using the Alpaca Cloud for a lace scarf, and I like it. I haven't worked with it since before Christmas because other things got in the way. I'm using the Tide Pool Heather, and like the look of it. I have the Peppermint one too, but haven't made anything with it yet. It's on reserve for another lacy scarf though.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Lexa, here's a link you might be interested in that might help you with your lace...

When I was starting my lace scarf (a little while back) I mentioned something about it on the Yarn Harlot's blog, and she emailed me with this link...hope it helps you (I looked through it but haven't had the chance to really read it).

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Dipsy said...

Oh yummy, Alpaca cloud, now, that's heaven, absolutely!
I'm so sorry to hear about your computer problems, isn't it such a nightmare when stuff like this happens? I hope everything is perfectly fine by now and won't happen again!

6:15 AM  

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