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Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning Sky

I was treated to a lovely rainbow this am, a product of the drizzle that continue off and on all day. My plants are most happy for the rain. It made for a lazy day of destashing the cook books and cleaning off the dining room table so it can actually be used to eat off of.

Sunday was another bead day. Here are two more crystal cuffs with 3 rows instead of 5 and one color crystal for the black one and 3 for the blue one. The magnetic clasp made it much easier to put on. These magnets are very strong, so I'm thinking I won't add a guard chain.

I swapped some finished earrings for some plastic hearts and turned them in to more stitch markers. I also made a couple of earrings. I was inspired by some dragonflies Opal had in Opalesence, her Etsy store.

The combination of an easy, fun pattern, Knitty's Spring Forward, some Koigu and Knitpicks DPs, have caused me to abandon all other WIPs. Luckily I had already put a little work time on Sashiko Baby Futon earlier in the day.

After thinking about school, I decided hold off. I reminded myself I don't need a new career:) I might as well get the TB clearance done anyway, just in case a more viable impulse comes along.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This and That

Although I've started A Better Bucket Hat in Malabrigo worsted, and my Portland Lobster from A Fine Fleece is inching along, I'm having more fun beading.

My blogless beading buddy, Kathy, gifted me a bracelet class for retirement and we made a crystal cuff at Bella Beads, taught by the talented owner, Karen. I had to do mine over again as I goofed on the endings, but it produced a fine sparkly cuff which I'm very pleased with. It's very sparkly!!

I finally sorted all the odds and ends of jewelry makings that had collected on my desk. I made a bunch of angel stitch markers and a row counter. I haven't tried this style row counter yet. It has 5 rings. I don't have a project to try it on yet, but it was fun to make.

After only living in Hawaii most of my life, I finally visited the Makapuu lighthouse. There is memorial nearby for plane that crashed there during WW2 and some left over bunkers. It's a very dry part of Oahu. There were some night blooming sirius (or is it Cereus?) nearby.

I'm considering taking a certification course in health administration. I must say, the thought of going to school again is terrifying! I'm only going to try it if I can do it online. But yikes, I have to commit by next week!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hats, FO and Noro Love

I've said this before, but I love Noro silk garden. It's one of those yarns that just makes me happy! I especially love the thrilling surprise of the color changes. I can't help myself. Even those little chits and things in the yarn don't annoy me.
Both hats used color 84, but what a difference in the final look.
A smaller obsession has be the beret/tam. What's up with that? It started with that movie.

Pattern: Three Tams. I like that Angela Sixian Wu is an engineer:)
Yarn: Noro silk Garden color 84 and 269
Needles: size 6 circs/DPs

This fake fair isle is very addicting. The double decreases drove me crazy until I read on Ravelry that the last stitch of each circuit becomes part of the the double decrease. It looked very small when finished, but after a soak, it fit on a 10 inch dinner plate to block and actually fits a head!
I used less then one skein of the reds/browns (color 84)

Pattern: Noro Hat by Saartje de Bruijn
Yarn: Noro silk garden, color 84, about 1.5 skeins
Needles: size 7 circs/DPs

This was one of the best times knitting I've had for a while. Color 84 is a wonderful mixtures of reds/browns and pinks which just a tease of green in every skein. If I hold the hat by the point, is stretches out like a cone, but on, it looks like a stylized beehive. The pattern is alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette and only requires thinking to count the simple decreases at the top!

Retirement lessons:
1. If I don't enter information into the palm calendar, I will miss appointments or wait 3 hours for the other members of the party to show up.
2. Always take a recharged camera battery, the ipod and the palm device for those surprise 3 hours waits.. Never mind thinking a smaller bag is more stylish:)
3. Sitting in the Moana hotel on a breezy Hawaiian afternoon is a good thing:)when one has the time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random thoughts and WIPs

As I dreamed of retirement I made up lots of scenarios about how much I would get done...I would have house and yard beautiful...all clean and organized. In my mind I had owned a table saw and I'd built all kinds of furniture to store my stashes in...a potting table for my my patio which was devoid of weeds...a boss storage unit for my fabric and fiber ( there's a term that dates me!)and of course I was in training for the marathon and had lost a bunch of weight. The reality of course is that life is the ultimate WIP and a series of random thoughts.

1. I feel good about fixing my clocks.

2. Now I want to make lots of clocks. Totoro clocks, but how many clocks does a person need? Less sawdust and noise, and less chance of injury then a table saw. But really, I don't need another hobby!

3. I can live with the fact the first row of crosses on my Portland Lobster go a different way. I know I will go back eventually and figure out which way they are supposed to go and right this on the front.

4. If there is beach glass, I'll go to the beach. Even if it's "young" beach glass, mostly green and brown. The added benefit is seeing the ocean and sky in it's ever changing jewel tones of greens, blues and people.

5. I will not settle on the chosen colors for the borders and trims on baby Madeleine's sashiko baby futon. It will rest until I find better choices.

6. The current favorite but still virtual dog is a French bulldog. I will not pay $1200 dollars for a dog, though. I miss my birds. A dog is so much responsibility. Although Mr. Cricket is a beautiful and charming dog, he would be dragging me around town, so a smaller dog would fit me better.

7. I liked Dexter, showtime TV series, about a serial killer/vigilante even though in my mind I just couldn't see glorifying a serial killer. Must be the good acting.

8. I'm not a marathoner:) I want to preserve whatever cartilage I have left in my knees for the future.

9. My new approach to yard work is to do only a little at a time. It's less painful that way.

10. Is it true people do not read blogs anymore? I still do. Is everyone on Ravelry? I love the online diary. I like the idea of being able to put pictures on to document my hobbies. My penmanship sucks. I like the virtual world. The struggle is to balance real life and not let it go by while I figure out how to format a post.

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

FO, Tototo TP cover

Yarn: Cascade 220, Red Heart
Pattern: made up on the fly
Needles: 13

I crocheted a base to fit my toilet papaer roll using Red Heart.. I cast on 72 stitches and knit back and forth. I would loved to knit in the round intarsia is impossible in the round. I felted it until it seemed it would be too small if I went on. He came out shaped like a large bell. The white Cascade did not felt as much. I gathered the bottom and sewed it to the crocheted cover, and ending up have to take a big tuck in the back and around his tail. I stuffed him with fiberfill. His face is needle felted on. I watched to make the smile with the big teeth, but he looked rather mean, and Totoro is not ever mean.

This retirement life seems to suit me for now. I'm cleaning bit by bit and purging a few things. My retirement company has still not sent me my information but my financial planner took me to lunch at the Outrigger Canoe Club. It is a wonderful spot on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. It was an outrageously beautiful day and I ate a wonderful hamburger with bacon, mushrooms and caramelized onions. Malabrigo and Ultra Totoro went home with him for his daughter.

Thanks again for all the comments!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July

Happy Birthday America!

I made only one set of stitch markers so far. I may have time to make more. It's one week into my retirement and the revelation is that my house is still messy. Apparently just being retired doesn't turn into house beautiful. The secret is that I'm supposed to spend all that time I used to be at work cleaning...not shopping, dreaming or going to movies. I decided not to get serious until all my lovely flowers have died...and I've had time to veg. I've heard that can be dangerous as sloth is contagious. I've also come to the conclusion that I cannot eat all the junk food I received as gifts as it is counter to my plan to be more healthy. I'm slowing giving it away. I'm sad about that. I really want to eat all those chocolate covered cherries. They are fruit, arent they?

Portland Lobster is inching along. It's muggy and warm these days and not conducive to wool and alpaca.

And besides, there is a FO! Here is:

They call me Malabrigo
Yarn: Malabrigo bunny, Cascade 220 sweater, sticker of flag on sweater
Pattern: Easter Bunny, Barbara Prime
Needles: size 7

Just in time for the Fourth of July! I think about how grateful I am to have been born an American, although technically Hawaii was a territory when I was born. I think about our American forces and the lives lost overseas and the injured returning home. I hope they can all come home soon.

Thanks for all the comments and well wishes on my retirement. It's still a bit surreal.