Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring is for Tidying

There are things that are necessary when moving between the seasons. A good sort of the closets, a deep-clean of items that usually get a regular clean, a new project, and a kick-ass playlist for aiding all of the above.

A proper playlist for a solid Spring Tidy includes anything upbeat enough to make elbow grease seem effortless, booty-shaking inevitable, and a healthy dose of classic rock. It's amazing how shiny and dust-free a living room will become when you're singing your heart out to an appropriate song... I recommend "When the Going Gets Tough" from the Easy Virtue soundtrack, some cheesy pop music I wouldn't play in any moment I actually wanted to think but has a beat to it, and Boston's "Peace of Mind" (though "More than a Feeling" will do, in a pinch.)
I volunteered to make some blocks for a woman giving back to the hospital where her son was born and had a rough time of it. (More of that story as the blocks progress.) I went rifling through my stash to find the perfect fabrics and discovered that a)my stash was a mess and b)almost all my non-project specific yardage was unwashed. So, I washed and dried and started one of the most soothing activities of tidying - Ironing. I love ironing. Not clothes, mind you, just large fabric swaths - expanses of wrinkles smoothed away, the smell of hot cotton drifting towards me, and the satisfying shhhhtt of the spray-bottle full of water. And when you get to do that in the sunshine...!!! (JOY.) Then folding and stacking and putting away in stacks so neat, they're almost precious. The best part of Spring Cleaning is that mental calm that comes with it. I'm a believer in the literal affecting the metaphorical... I get the same way with new journals, unused crayons, and perfect rows of the same item over and over again. Visual order - inner peace. (At least for a moment or two. ;-)

Chaos can be fun, too, though. The annoying bit of washing un-hemmed fabrics is all the ravel-ly bits that need trimming away. But roll them all into a lump and it seems so very pretty.

I'm going to name it Norman.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Six Days

In the last six days, I have...

...watched the snow melt...
...and return again...
...baked banana bread...
Asante sana, squashed banana, wewe nana.... Lion King? Anyone? No?
...finished the pencil sketch for a project inspired by many, but this one in particular...
...did push-ups with this guy in the way (Buddy - when I'm swearing and sweating, I don't want to pet you!)...
...and attempted to get into shape.
I am not trying to lose weight but I would like to be able to outrun a toddler and to do so without wheezing. I've done it (the video - not the toddler thing) three times to date, prompted by a kick in the behind (Thanks, Wende!) and, though mine will likely be a "64-Day Moderate Firming of The Jigglier Bits and Ability to Run at Least as Fast as the Vacuum" and not a "30-Day Shred", I'm going to give it my all anyway. As you can see above, I have already died trying and therefore, it can't get worse. I have also remembered everyday to take my vitamins and brush the little dude so the spring shed doesn't end up imbedded in every piece of clothing I own. The pool on how long I can keep this up should prove lucrative. :-) Your entry can be forwarded to.....

Have a terrific one!

PS - I have decided that they call them calves because when you stretch them too far or overwork them, you make the same noise you would make if you were giving birth to a calf.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Steamed Milk

I finished the milk scarf. Then I sewed the ends together and turned it into a loop. Then I steamed it. Which I should've done before I sewed the ends together. That would've made it easier to do both.
Looped three times. Super soft.
And Happy St. Patrick's Day, if you're Irish. Happy Big Green Excuse to Drink Day, if you're not but enjoy a tipple. Or a triple. (PS - please don't pinch me; I took this photo yesterday.)

Irish Blessing: May your house always be too small to hold all of your friends.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Knitting with Milk

Today, I was helping my mother pick some yarn for a project. It's been a while since she's picked up needles but she decided she needed something to keep her hands busy.

She found yarn for her project and I found this...
Yarn. Made from milk fibre. I haven't figured out exactly how yet. And I needed to try some of it. Has anyone else given this a go?
And it knits beautifully. So very soft, too. I'm tinkering with a pattern I've used before but making it wider and using slightly smaller needles. I think it'll be a new spring scarf for me. I'll let you know how it turns out and if I ever stop craving cookies....

(Viking of Norway - Pure Milk Fiber in Light blue. I'd tell you more but it's all in Norwegian.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Basement: Not for the over-actively imaginative...

It's spring. It's melty. Water invades alleyways and old buildings. And someone has to venture down to the basements and plug in the sump pump.

Even if it's a basement that gives you the heebie-jeebies.

I use the word "creepy" a lot in the video. I couldn't help it. It sprang to mind. Actually, it crawled into my mind and wouldn't leave. Much like the smell of damp. But it's definitely interesting.... in a dimly-lit, "did you hear something", "where's Buffy when you need her" sort of way.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Liverpool and Lies

Okay, so I lied about the Love when I said I wouldn't use it to make the Liverpool tunic. Love's a funny thing. But I didn't know I was ordering it when I ordered it. And WHOA. That print turned out to be a LOT larger in person. It was "punch you in the face" larger. I have come to terms with the practically audible nature of it. But I merely 'like' it and don't officially 'love' it.
The most shocking part of the whole thing is that I took my time with it. (Almost a week.) No big marathon sprint. With projects, I can sometimes tuck into them like a rottweiler with a t-bone and not come up for air until there's nothing left. But I didn't rush it and I still had to take the collar off three times before I finally gave myself a seven and moved onto the next hole. (Mini-golf. Anyone? No?)
I had no idea the pattern had ties on the back or button detail on the cuffs when I bought it. I discovered it while reading the pattern through before I started. And it took a bit of figuring since there were no diagrams of the cuff detail. No pictures outside, no diagrams inside. It's almost as if they structured the pattern with built-in "Enough-for-now-I-need-a-Diet-Coke" breaks. I am pleased with how it turned out, even if I tend to wear more neutrals and solids. I can always make it again sometime. Once I come to terms with collars, that is...

Haughty Supermodel Attitude Pose:
Terrible picture of back detail which looks like I'm burping a baby Fuji FinePix:
So that's what I was doing all week, next to trying out my skis and not dying just in time for the snow to disappear early and catching up on the Oscar picks. My vote goes to The Hurt Locker for Best Picture but I'm not a member of the Academy.

Next post: A basement so creepy, it could scare clowns.