Saturday, March 12, 2005

For those of you getting snowed on again....

Here's a little bit of the sky as seen from my backyard:




While you are snuggled in your houses, drinking hot cocoa and watching the snow fall and knitting, I saw this glorious, cloudless, deep blue sky while busting my ass doing yard work all day. Somebody remind me why it makes sense for a single woman to keep a 3 bedroom house? Oh, that's right, the mortgage payment is $838 a month, and a decent condo around here would be double that, easily. And I'd have to deal with Condo Commandos, and I'll take my annoying but relatively unobtrusive HOA over that any day. That's why.

I have had a full day. I went to Costco, Petsmart and Home Depot, replaced my busted mailbox, did loads of laundry, cleaned the house, sorted yarn for the garage sale, watered the yard, filled two trash cans with yard trash, trimmed the confederate jasmine and raked and dug out tree roots so I can get the damn gate open, cleaned the pond filter - and now it's 5 and I am off duty, thank you.

A view of the yard, which needs much attention:




The flowering shrub on the right is the bougainvilla that fell over in the hurricanes and is now threatening to take over the entire yard. For the uninitiated, bougainvillas have spikes that make rose thorns look like nothin'. You could kill a vampire with one. They can go through ANY garden gloves. I guess I need to chop it back and stand it up again somehow, but that's a project for another weekend.

Did I knit? I did knit. And I have some comments about working with the Fiesta Yarns' Rayon Boucle. The un-pattern called for a size 15 needle and didn't specify a particular cast-on. I think it really needs a size 13 Addi Turbo and a cable cast on. I had two false starts before I figured out that a 15 was too large, and the yarn grabbed the plastic Inox needle in a way that would quickly make me insane. The stitches were too loopy, they crossed each other, the little boucle nubbins grabbed each other and tangled - a switch to a smaller Addi solved that problem completely. This yarn NEEDS a slick needle - it grabs. The size 13 showed the yarn off more than the 15, which created huge sloppy loops. Of course, I am a loose knitter, maybe other people really can make it on a 15. But be good to yourself, use Addis on this stuff. It's lovely yarn, it has a great sheen, it's very elegant, but it wants to tangle with itself, the boucle nubs begin a mating dance if two stitches touch each other, and you can't slide it on a plastic or bamboo needle. It needs SLICK, baby. This was somewhat counter-intuitive to me, I would have thought that a rayon yarn would be slick and would want a grabby needle. Lesson learned.

Otherwise I'm delighted with the scarf, it's coming along easily, it's a fast, stylish project, but not as easy as you'd think - the combination of the fat needle and the challenging yarn makes even garter stitch something that requires a bit of attention. I'm starting to understand why so many of the Fiesta Yarns patterns are so "easy." The yarn is challenging enough.

Of course, after my yard work my hands are so rough and torn up I won't be touching that boucle this evening. I have a healing cut on my left thumb that grabbed the yarn this morning; I can't imagine what would happen if I tried it with my hands as rough and snaggly as they are now. And yes, I do have leather work gloves and wore them, but I didn't have them in my purse at Home Depot, which is where I snagged my hands on rough replacement fence boards. I'm thinking the second Koigu sock will not be too rough on my tired, sore hands. A heavy application of hand lotion overnight and they'll be much better tomorrow.

I did not go to the gym today - I put in about 3 hours of a very physical workout around the house, I think that'll do.

1 comment:

Mia said...

You can never heave enough gardening gloves. I hope our hands feel better soon.