That is off tha hook! No, actually, it still is on the hook...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Heading to Paris

Not really, guys. It's my metaphor for almost being done with my KAL/CAL project. Not that I've been blogging much about it, or contacting my team leader. I'm new to the K/C AL scene, after all. Not to mention socially challenged.

But I've been steadily working away at the Arrows stole on evenings and mornings this week. I've been on vacation from work, so have had the fortune of getting to watch a.m. coverage of the Tour this final week. Phil and Paul from my Versus coverage have kept me in the race; "dancing on the pedals" and "avoiding the road furniture" describe my pace. Bobke might say I was "a strong, consistent rider with enormous potential." ha!

I finished the main body of the stole during stage 17, the punishing and grueling rise to L'Alpe-d'Huez. Like my 'team', AG2R, I'm just plugging away quietly at the course. I was surprised to see that they are in 2nd place as a team. They are hardly mentioned on any given day, but continue to work a solid race. I see why they are the winners of many other (not so famous) races. I just checked: two of their riders are in the top 10 standings of this tour. And no one noticed.

Here's my Russian fave: Vladimir Efimkin

Now I'm fiddling with the border. I wasn't sure I would even do the border on the long sides of the piece, since I really loathe picots, and this amounts to a whole lot of picots. I even looked up alternative borders to try, but nothing seemed right for this piece. Why mess with the pattern? I've already possibly butchered it by adding the beads...I truly hope the designer is not displeased with my choice. I love her work, and I certainly want to do this stole justice.

So, by my calculations, I should have the last side of border done tonight. Tomorrow morning at the latest. But it has to be by then, as we head to the beach for the day, and lace is not something not easily hooked with a brisk offshore breeze. Blocking should be taking place concurrent with the time trial...a complete contradiction. They'll be racing the clock, and I'll be waiting for moisture to dry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where's my team car?

Ack. I was nearing the finish of the first half of the Arrows Stole, when my beading needle broke. Well, it's not really a true beading needle since I couldn't find one at JoAnn Crafts; it was a needle threader I was using instead. And it was flimsy.

Regardless, it's broken, and now I really need the right tools. It's like trying to ride a Huffy in the Tour, when everyone else has Specialized. I guess I'm off to the craft store(s) tomorrow, to find a proper beading needle or wire. I will not withdraw from the race like AG2R La Mondial's John Gradet! I race on!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

smell my bag

I posted this on Ravelry in the 'Namaste Love Group' (not to be confused with the 'Knitting Bag Lust' group I have also joined.) - but I make my appeal to all, far and wide, beyond the boundaries of the Ravelry community.


So I found an inexpensive Namaste Laguna in charcoal on Ebay and snatched it up. It was promptly shipped and delivered to my job. I left positive feedback for the seller, and did a happy dance of handbag joy. (you know the one, you've done it too.)

A couple of days pass. I don't immediately use my new (used) bag because I can't figure out how to explain the appearance of a new handbag to my husband. ("you know, the Pocket Book Fairy came to see me today" just won't work)

So, I can't stand it any longer, and decide I MUST use my new fabulous bag. I'll stick with the Fairy story and take my licks.

BUT. (there's always a but)

I started putting things in my bag. I went out for a walk with it. I returned to work. I took my glasses out of my bag. THEN it hit me: the unusual odor omg. I think my bag must have had a *dead fish* in it. Or maybe a live one, I don't know. I did buy it second-hand. Who knows what the first hand put in there. It definitely was not yarn. Maybe a bunch of seacell, but I can't be sure.

This is perhaps why it was such a bargain on Ebay. (?) I made everyone in my office smell the bag. Everyone at my job now dislikes me, for making them smell my fish bag. ("Hey, this smells awful. You've GOT to smell it.") Noses scrunch up at me now. They already thought I was a nut case with all the yarn.

So, I guess the question is: how do I rid the bag of the smell? Returning it is not an option, I love the style too much, and I already gave glowing feedback.


What shall I do? I put a bag of aromatic herbs that I purchased at the CTSF in there, but now it smells like I'm baking a trout with lavender in the bottom of this thing.

Dry cleaner? Baking soda? Febreeze? Cedar chips? Odor Eaters? Always Maxi Pads to absorb odor? I'm not kidding, I'll try anything.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time trials.

Cruising along on my Tour De France KAL/CAL. I'm thinking now that this might have been too easy to do for the Polka Dot Jersey. I've finished 2 of the 6 sections in just 3 days of the race. order to 'challenge' myself even more, I decided to modify the pattern slightly: by adding clear beads (I've never beaded anything before) to the Section III motifs. I only have size 6 on hand. I think it will work, and add to the drape of the stole when finished and blocked. I plan on also beading in the border on the short edges, too.

Here's side 1, Section I:

Side 1, Section II:

And Side 1, Section III, a pattern and a quarter (or so) repeat, with beading begun.

At this pace, I might whip out another stole before the race is over. (Okay, no need to go crazy, Suzy.)

Meanwhile, the actual race goes on. My team is struggling, and have only one rider in the top 30 at this time. The new American teams are making a good show of it, and the usual riders are predictably placing. No surprises yet, few crashes, no doping, no controversies to speak of. All in all, a good, interesting race so far. The mountains will once again make or break men, soon enough.

It's funny, but watching the Tour makes me ride my own bike harder. I think of words like "cadence." I push myself more. I sweat more, yay! I think: "shit, if those guys can ride a bike for 5 hours at a time, I can make it home in less than 17 minutes. Woot!

Friday, July 4, 2008

King of the Mountains

Help! I need opinions on a color choice for this project. I bought some Knit Pics Shadow in Vineyard (purple) and Malabrigo Lace in Emerald Blue. (variegated) I LOOOVE the Malabrigo in touch, but I'm concerned that the variegated color will detract from the pattern. Opinions? I did a swatch of each and I'm just torn up!

Knit Pics Shadow in Vineyard, 100% Merino

Malabrigo Lace in Emerald Blue, 100% Baby Merino


I've tried pleading with my husband to help...and his response is, "whichever one you like the best." aaaaaahhhh! Oh, of course. That really makes my choice so clear now.

I have to make up my mind, as I am doing this as part of the Tour De France KAL - yes, they have accepted a mine as a CAL. yay! I'm a contender in the Polka Dot Jersey (King of the Mountains). I've chosen a project that should be challenging to me. I think I could have chosen something even more difficult, like beading and lace, but I kind of wimped out. Plus, I really wanted to do this stole - for this CAL. The pattern screams "King of the Mountains" to me; it did the first time I saw it months ago.

I love the tour for many reasons, but for now, I'll mention the coverage provided by the Versus network. (previously OLN) In depth coverage, excellent 'play by play' - if you can imagine such a thing in a seemingly boring sport as cycling. The announcers are pure entertainment, no boredom. They bring an amazing depth of knowledge in the sport. And, then, there's Bob Roll. Just kidding, I really like him. He's like the comic relief. No, wait, that's not fair, either. He's very smart about the sport, but he is a character...someone you might find at your local dive bar throwing back a few shots and telling some great tales with emphasis. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen have the most pleasant voices. I get some of my best sleep in July, as these men escort me to dreamland nightly as I watch and re-watch the stages. Bliss.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Yikes. I mean: Hi!

Uh, yeah. I am going to blog, more regularly. Consistently. 'Regular' makes me think of poop.

Right now, I've got to return to the mess and pile of papers on my desk at work. I have a ton to do before my 4 day weekend begins.

And all I really want to do is a gauge swatch for my Tour De France CAL.

Hyper Death Babies

Hyper Death Babies

watching you watching me