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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

current WIP count = 3

i still find it pretty amusing that after years of turning my nose up at knitting/crocheting, i'm completely obsessed.  and look, all it took was a global pandemic!  whee!

the blanket that i started working on while on our colorado road trip is...still in progress.

i love working with that yarn - it's a "velvet" and it's super duper soft.  but it's one of those things that takes a good bit of time - the finished product is supposed to be somewhere around 50" or so long, and it's kind of slow going.  i go back to it every few days, but i've been sprinkling in smaller patterns that are more of an instant gratification kind of deal.  like this one - while we're in the dead of summer with temperatures in the high 90s, i decided to make myself a scarf using this fun, chunky yarn:

i wasn't used to working with a jumbo sized needle, which had me working really slowly at first.  and actually, my first attempt at this simple scarf was kind of a mess.  my stitches were all uneven, the edges were all wonky, it was just all bad.

so i ripped it apart before i got too far into it - i think the term knitters use for this is "frogging," for the fun noise the yarn makes as you tear those stitches apart.  i started over from the beginning, took my time and things were better the second time around.

by the next morning, i'd gone through both skeins of yarn that were called for and i was done.  yay!  it's my first completed wearable project!

next, i decided to try my hand at a simple crocheted circle to use as a coaster.  i was about this far into it when the hub walked by and snickered as he said "oh wow...we're living in my great grandmother's house."  hmph.

i shifted gears again for the next pattern - a basic crocheted beanie.  it looks pretty weird at this stage:

but then you sew the short ends together into a tube, add some ribbing stitches at the bottom and close the top and you end up with this!

i don't think i ever shared the first floppy sun hat that i made a couple of months ago, mostly because while it turned out pretty cute i'd misjudged the sizing and it ended up too small for my big ol' head.  and so i decided i'd try to redeem myself with a different hat pattern - this time, for a crushable, packable fedora.  i got started with the top of the hat while listening to the new CD from the chicks - yes, i said a CD.  i bought a physical CD.  oy.

by later that evening i was done with the bucket portion of the hat.

i did finish this hat too, but somehow i managed to screw up the sizing again and now it's a little too big.  i don't have any pictures, but the hub has been sporting it around the house, which is really funny.

now i'm working on something totally new - a beach coverup/wrap.  it uses this pretty, soft variegated yarn that fades into different shades of the same color as you work with it.

i was working on the back panel and had just finished this section, after which i had to do a color change.  and as i counted the stitches according to the pattern i was using, i realized that somehow i'd managed to screw this up too.  it was supposed to measure about 50" across...and i was a good 15" short.  dang it.

i kind of wanted to cry, because it seemed like it had taken forever to get to this point.  but actually, it had only been a few hours of stitching this up, and i guess i should be glad i figured it out before i really got too far into it.  and so i was "frogging" again, this time winding the yarn into a ball that would be easier to work with than the way the skein was wound when i bought it.

i've already gotten a good start on redoing that portion of my coverup, and this time i'm feeling more confident and my stitches are starting to look a lot prettier.  even the old lady let out an "ooooohhh" when i showed her what the finished product was going to look like.  i can't wait to see how this turns out.

along with my road trip blanket and the cardigan i'm still knitting that i started about three months ago, that makes three different works in progress ("WIP" - another knitting term!) that i've got going at the same time.  i get bored when the project takes too long, but i try to go back to those unfinished ones in between these smaller pieces.

good lord.  what have i become??

Monday, July 27, 2020

catching up at home

after being gone for a week, it's always so good to sleep in your own bed.  the dogs concur.

the old lady and her special friend had come to the house every day in our absence to check on the status of the work in the back half of the house.  our bedroom was still in disarray, but at least the repositioned closet was in place so we could get an idea of what it would look like once it was all done.

our bathroom had seen a bit more progress.  the fun wavy tile we'd chosen for the shower and extended out onto the bathroom wall was in place, as was the ledge that will eventually have some downlights built in.  and the holes are for the twin medicine cabinet/mirrors that will be hung over the vanity.

meanwhile, the bean's room was coming along nicely.  the floor was mostly done, but still covered up so the painters could do their thing.  she'd asked to change the color on the walls from the pale mint green we'd put on them back in 2010, and switched it up to a brighter shade of lavender.  we'd both tried to talk her into something that she won't get tired of in a couple of years, but she was pretty insistent.  i suspect it's an extension of the ongoing BTS obsession, so if it lasts as long as her sister's with the jonas brothers did we won't need to worry about repainting for...awhile.

it was so good to reunite with the old lady and her special friend.  we'd really missed them while we were gone.  they came over for some pool time, complete with cold, refreshing piƱa coladas that she whipped up for us:

and added some strawberry puree to turn them into lava flows...like the ones we love to indulge in when we're in hawaii.  which we had been, a year ago.  remember traveling?  sigh.

and because i'm a dork, i was extra excited when the hub brought in the mopping roomba we'd been waiting for.  the D2 to our vacuuming R2.  i set her up immediately, and teddy was just as fascinated with her as he'd been with her brother R2.

the special friend was pretty stoked to receive his hard-earned prize for the step challenge.  i mean...wouldn't you be?

and even though she'd peaced out on the challenge about halfway through despite her initial enthusiasm, the bean still managed to snag the prize she'd chosen.  at BTS concerts, these light sticks dubbed "army bombs" are kind of a big deal and they're synchronized to the show.  it actually looks really cool when you look out at the sold-out arenas and see thousands of these things lit up and changing colors and all that jazz.  and since the pandemic had resulted in their tour being postponed indefinitely, i'd ordered this for her online as kind of a consolation prize.  she'd been watching the official BTS app and lamenting its sold-out status for weeks while i would just smirk out of her line of vision, which i suppose is kinda mean of me...even though i'd already secured one for her.  watching her open the package and flipping the eff out was so fun.  she burst into actual tears, and we were all kind of taken aback because she's never reacted like that to anything before.  that's when you know that shit is meaningful.

the highs and lows of parenting, man.  heh.

Friday, July 24, 2020

the long way home

we got up early the next morning, ready to go home and bracing ourselves for the long day of driving.  a little before 7:30, we were all packed up and taking one last look around the cabin to make sure we hadn't left anything behind.

it was the 4th of july, and it was a gorgeous day to be outside.

well, sorta outside.  we were in the car, does that count?

teddy was being his usual weirdo self, contorting himself into positions that couldn't possibly be comfortable but insisting on riding in the hub's lap at all costs.

cocoa was not as stubborn, happy to relax in the back seat and not have to share the space with anyone but the bean.

as we passed this sign, we noticed what looked like remnants of an old mining town.  knowing we likely wouldn't ever be out this way again, we decided to pull a u-turn and drive through to check it out.  during non-covid times, it looks like it's probably a fun place to stop and visit.

we also passed this, which we figured was significant in some way.  i'm still not quite sure why, and i'm too lazy to google.

not long after that, we were driving through breckenridge.  there were a good number of people walking around, and i could imagine how busy it must be during skiing season here.  and we could see some folks riding in the ski lifts overhead.

it was very green in the mountains, and you could see where the ski runs are.

two hours into our drive, and we still had a long, long way to go.

the views were pretty, though, and we got to drive through a couple of fun tunnels that took us right through mountains.

this reminded me of california adventure.  man, i miss disneyland.

and then just like that, we were leaving colorado...

and heading into utah.

teddy had shifted gears and crawled into my lap to snuggle and snooze.

more pretty clouds.

we pulled over at a rest area so everyone could have a potty break.  we'd seen this place on our way out and had made a mental note to stop on the way home and check it out because it was so cool - looked like the grand canyon, almost.  i can't remember for the life of me what it was called, though...devil something or other?  i don't know, but it was a nice spot to stop and let the dogs get out and stretch their legs a little.

hello again, arizona!

teddy moved again...

and then deigned me worthy of handfeeding him some food.  i've probably mentioned it before, but when we're away from home he turns into such a diva - doesn't want to eat, only wants to potty if we find him a patch of grass, turns his nose up at water.  okay, maybe "diva" isn't fair.  it's probably more that he prefers to be home and can't figure out how to make himself comfortable enough anywhere else.  my little homebody.

i missed the sign welcoming us to nevada, probably because i'd dozed off again.  but i woke up in time to watch the vegas skyline as we blazed on through.  you know you've been far from home when you get to las vegas, usually a destination that takes us 3 hours to get to, and think "YES VEGAS WE'RE ALMOST THERE!"

and about half an hour later, we were back in good ol' cali.

the world's biggest thermometer in baker told us that it was...butt ass hot out there.  shocking.

this is how teddy spent the rest of the drive home.

we were happy to see the old lady and her special friend at the house when we pulled in, enjoying the pool on a hot day.  and the hub had made such good time on that drive that we even managed to squeeze in a mini 4th of july barbecue.  tomahawk, anyone?

it was so good to be home, back in our own space and our own beds.  and the moment teddy set foot in the back yard he ran right into his favorite corner and pooped out his whole damn body weight.  heh.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...