Bad Dalek Mitts

Last night I finished the Bad Robot mitts. Here they are, drying:
badrobotfin

Like I said before, it’s all my handspun. I’ve been trying to figure out why one seems bigger than the other. I measured them against each other, and they appear to be the same size – except when I lay them next to each other. Maybe when they’re finished drying it’ll even out. Maybe.

I also thought I’d try changing the order of finishing ops to see if it makes a difference. Blocking first this time, then weaving in the ends. It’s a little more nerve-wracking than I thought, but that may work itself out too.

Today is Memorial Day in the US, and my dad’s birthday. Before the Monday Holiday Law here in the US, Memorial Day was always my dad’s birthday, a fact that I vaguely remember. He lives a pretty good distance from us, so a phone call and a card will have to do until we see him again sometime this summer. Baby Goth and her twin cousins all go to high school this fall (how the hell did that happen?), so we’d like to see everybody again. If all goes well with a new thing I’ve got going – and there are enough ifs that I don’t want to talk about it yet – I won’t be able to go anywhere until after December. So I’d like to go see them soon.

Happy Memorial Day – that always seems odd to say, there’s nothing really happy about it. Remember those who gave their lives for our country.

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High Schooler

Yesterday was Baby Goth’s last day as a middle school-er. Apparently it was a weird day; there was a half day consisting of a)signing yearbooks and b)queuing up for the snow-cone truck. As usual on a last day of the week/year, I waited in the car outside. Obligatory Knitting Info: I worked on the second of the Bad Robot mitts I started last weekend. That and some podcasts kept me normal.

It was weird watching the kids wandering around, going from the truck outside back into the school. Many of them were doing that for the last time. Some of the kids I’ve known since Baby Goth was in kindergarten. They’re “big kids” now, almost unrecognizable when you see them from a distance. Up close, they are the same as they were (for the most part). Not quite adults, far less adults than they think they are. But not children either.

As my mom’s always said, teenagers are weird.

Finally Baby Goth got to the car, along with her friends/our neighbors. The chatter was non-stop: summer, with songs from High School Musical and Frozen accompanying them; signing yearbooks/what people wrote; what are we doing this afternoon. It was good.

I’ve been thinking for the past couple of days – well, I think about it almost every day, but a lot more now – about how fleeting time can be. In 4 years Baby Goth will be an “adult”, far later than she’d like to, and she’ll be able to live on her own. I can’t stop seeing the kindergartner who couldn’t bear to see me leave when I dropped her off from school. She may always be in there, underneath everything else. I guess it’s good that I’ve got 4 years to figure out how I can let her go.

It’s FO Day

Or something. Yes indeed, I’ve got a finished thing to show off. The Dalek Shawl, she is done! Finally! And blocked.
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I’m okay with it. The shawl is all handspun and the border is hand dyed. Next time, I’m not making a shawl unless I have at least 4 oz of fiber on hand and dyed. Nope. Preferably 8; I have a hard time with underestimating the amount of yarn I have/will need for any given project. It’s a talent of mine.

In hindsight, I’m glad that I ripped and redid so many times. The yarn held up remarkably well, stood up to blocking even after ripping out 5 or 6 times. The BFL is considerably “crunchier” than the alpaca, but even washing before blocking softened it up a bit. I’m happy enough with it to wear it to A’s band concert tonight. But we’ll see.

There’s another skein of Churro done too; 74 yards/2.5 oz of very dark gray.
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Once it was washed and set, it shrunk down to 66 yds. But still not bad. I’ve got more fleece to go through, so I might have enough.

Other than that, not a lot else going on. I got Geek Knits from the library this week. I think I might try one of the mitt patterns first. Baby Goth is in marching band this year, and gloves will not work with a saxophone. It’s a sad, sad thing, especially when marching in cold and snow, but the gloves she’ll need will have to be fingerless. Since we’re both Whovians, possibly the Dalek ones.

And Now, a Bit of Knitting

This has been a long week so far, and it’s only Tuesday. I guess I could start this off by saying there aren’t a lot of good things happening for us right now. We still have a place to live, a car to get us places, and food and clothing. That’s the good part, and the only part I can bear to write about.

Let’s get on with the fiber stuff. I’ve been working on a version of a Dalek shawl for the past couple of weeks. The inside lace part is finally finished, no thanks to my little yarn eater. This past weekend I looked for some yarn for the outside border lace.

There was some laceweight Blue-faced Leicester that hadn’t yet been dyed. It looks like there will be enough. I grabbed a packet of dye that said “Gold”, weighed the yarn, measured the dye, and got to work. While the yarn was simmering it looked yellow. Really, really yellow. Like a giant pile of lemons yellow. Not exactly the gold I was going for. dalekdyejob1

By this time I was sad that I didn’t have any “copper” dye around, but I figured I’d stick with it. I took the dye pot outside and let it cool off, then drained and rinsed the yarn. Not a lot bled off, which was a nice surprise. Then I hung it up to dry.
dalekdyejobdrying

Superwash wool of any breed takes dye a little differently than even the same breed of sheep without the treatment. The wool tends to suck up the dye and the color is a bit darker than it would ordinarily look. The small skein is a sample of Shetland singles that I had lying around and wanted to experiment with. The color isn’t exactly what I wanted, but I’m going to go for it anyway.

Yesterday I wound up the two BFL skeins and picked up stitches for the border.
dalekborder1

I guess it’ll be okay.

The Evil Robot with the Plunger and Roller

Sometimes I feel compelled to make something…different. I’ve made a TARDIS shawl, and will probably make another one all out of handspun. This time, I thought I would try a Dalek shawl.

The Dalek shawl is a variant for the outer lace of a TARDIS shawl. So far, I’m 2/3 of the way through the inside lace pattern (the lace closest to the wearer’s neck). I started this last Thursday. So far, I have ripped and redone the shawl 5 times. But the yarn seems to be holding up well enough. It’s the unravelled remnants of another shawl that just isn’t going to get finished. The lace border is a different story. I know I want a gold/brass-y yarn, but I’m not sure whether I want to spin for that. I will probably be able to find yarn for this, but the spinning bug may get the better of me.

There are some pictures up on Instagram (like the ones on the sidebar), but I probably won’t put any WIP pictures up on here. When you’ve seen one giant piece of fancy cheesecloth, you’ve seen them all.

No More Obituaries Today

Hopefully not for a while, either.

This week has been kind of crazy. My hands still haven’t recovered enough for the knitting I’d like to do, so I’m progressing really really slowly on my socks. On Monday, I went on the lookout for some yarn for the next pair of socks from Custom Socks. Didn’t find anything I liked/could afford this week, so I settled for some yarn for this year’s Geek-A-Long. Yep, I’m giving it another go and using double-knitting this time. I’d also like to try something else. Probably not for this year, but I’m thinking about it.

Would anybody be interested in a “Goth” blanket? I don’t even know what sort of squares would be in it. Plus designing blanket squares myself would be a…new thing. I don’t really expect anybody else but me to be interested, but I can’t seem to get it out of my head. If anybody else would be interested, comment away.

It’s shaping up to be a weird week at Chez Goth. Little Bat had a Big Thing at school today, and won’t be home again until at least 7. This feels weird. I know that there will be many more days to come, especially next year, but it’s hard to get used to.

School’s Back

So, our Baby Goth is back in school. She started 8th grade about a month ago, and it’s…going. The days begin far too early for our little night owl; she gets on the bus at 7AM and gets home after 3PM. We’re having more and more arguments about homework and practice time. I guess that’s all part of the fun-filled world of Having a Teenager in Your Home.

Other than that, it’s been hot. Really hot. Like in the high 80s to high 90s F for over two months now. Which could be worse, but the fire danger is getting considerably higher. Again, that could be a whole lot worse too. (We’ve had it a lot worse, in fact.) Hot doesn’t lend itself well to fiber things.

I did manage to finish the Wavedeck shawl that I made from the yarn I spun during last year’s Spinzilla week.
This was really a lot of fun! I wasn’t sure whether or not the yarn would work, but I like the way it turned out.
Also, another pair of socks. For the person who almost never wears them.

Perhaps she’ll wear them this winter.

I’ve also been learning how to make a rug. Donna Druchunas has a class in Amish rugs at Ruzuku, and I decided to give it a try. My grandmother, and most of the women in her family, made a lot of rugs from rags and leftover yarns. Most of them were woven, but I did recognize some of the rug styles; especially when she showed combinations of knitted and woven rags in rugs. Mine is nowhere near that impressive, but I’m still at it.

Now for a bit of a BatFit update:

Have I mentioned that it’s been hot? There’s a small window between when I take Baby Goth to the bus and it’s too hot outside to breathe. So I’ve been walking our dog in the mornings. For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying Zombies, Run 5K training. It’s a little more fun than the average C25K program, so that’s been nice. I used to run when I was Baby Goth’s age. I had enjoyed it so much that I talked to the high school cross-country coach about starting when I got to high school. That was the summer that we moved away to the End of the Earth. When I asked the cross-country coach there about joining, he smiled politely and said that that wasn’t open to girls. And that was the end of my running.

Running is hard now. I’m a hell of a lot older now. But. surprisingly, I’m able to do it. I feel better mentally afterwards, which has been helpful. Since I’m about to start working in health care soon, it’s not a bad thing to be more healthy. It’s gotten me to eat slightly better again, too. We’ll see whether I can finish this, but I really want to.

As for one of my other goals, I finished my certificate program in May and have been studying for a CPC certification. I have a certification exam in one week. I’ve been studying, but I’m not certain if it’ll be enough. As I’ve said before, this is a huge 180 shift for me, so we’ll see how this goes. It’s also a test that people seem to take multiple times, and that makes me more than a little nervous. But we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, studying and spinning will be on my to-do list for the next week.