Months With Only 28 Days In Them Either Suck or Rock

I can't decide which. On the one hand, my rent, phone, and internet is more expensive because I am paying the same price for fewer days. On the other hand, everything else is cheaper because there are fewer days in which to spend money buying food, gas, and heat. Hmmm.

I did accomplish some spinning during this short month! Here is my latest, an entry in the Ravelry Spindler's group monthly challenge, that I'm calling Black Magic Woman:


If you think it looks familiar it's because it's the fiber I showed on the spindle the last time I popped in for a visit. (Man, am I irregular or what?) And check it out, I don't know the WPI (and I'm too lazy to check right now) but it's pretty fine, the finest I've yet spun, and pretty consistent too. It is approximately 150 yds of 2ply, 26g (7/8oz).


And compared to J Knits Superwash Me Light Sock:


There are actually tons of nepps in the batt, kind of annoying actually since I am trying to spin it so fine. Grr! I end up stopping a lot to pick them out, and some crept into the yarn, so it is a little tweedy-looking. Still, I love the way the finished yarn looks. I can't believe I have 150 yds from less than an ounce! And I can't believe it is finer than the J Knits!

There's action on the knitting front as well. I finished plying (finally) the second skein of Vash the Stampede for a grand total of approximately 185 yds. I wound up a little ball from the first skein...


And even made a little swatch...


I was thinking originally of making Tudora, but the yarn is not bulky enough and I think it would end up quite floppy, which I do not want at all. It knits up at about 26 stitches per inch on US 4s, and I'm thinking going down a few more needle sizes would be wise. Still, the thought of a neck-warmer in this yarn is appealing. I'm itching to cast on. Any ideas?

(Oh, and still have not figured out what to do about the sleeve caps on Henley. Quite frustrating as I am this close to being finished!)



It occurred to me a few days ago that if one can make one's own pudding (which this one does, and it is lovely), then one should also be able to make one's own hot chocolate. A brief net dive was all it took.


Admittedly, this is not the perfect cup of hot chocolate. (In fact it is not hot chocolate at all, but in fact is hot cocoa. Homemade hot chocolate would rank up there with ambrosia as one of the foods of the gods, but rather more time consuming. This is as near to instant as you an get without adding unpronounceable chemicals to your mix.) It would be made perfect by the addition of whipped cream, which, sadly, my refrigerator is devoid of at the present time. I don't even have any heavy cream, with which I could just whip up (ha ha) a batch. But nevermind.

Two things:

  • You can mix up your very own hot cocoa mix with unsweetened baking cocoa, sugar (or artificial sweetener - I used baking Splenda in solidarity with my aunt who needs to avoid sugar), and a bit of salt. The salt is important, don't leave it out.

  • The secret ingredient is cayenne.

  • I's possible that everyone knows this already and I'm the very last person to find out, but just in case, there you have it. I've been putting a dash of cayenne in my chocolate pudding for some time now and thought, "what the heck?" It adds warmth but not a lot of heat (unless you go crazy) and gives it an extra special little something. Be free friends, from the shackles of commercial hot cocoa mixes! It's better, and cheaper, this way.

    Speaking of divine...


    Why is it so darned hard to photograph purples? The first quarter is nearly complete.


    New Things

    Back in the day when the streets weren't all flooded out and we actually received mail deliveries, the postman delivered a couple of packages. I told myself I was not allowed to play with the contents of the packages until a certain sweater have two sleeves, but alas, I am weak. Said sweater still does not have two sleeves - in fact it does not even have one. The issue is that I decided to knit the sleeves in the round, thus eliminating the need for bothersome seaming later on. In doing so I also eliminated any means of increasing evenly in the lace pattern and am stuck at what to do about this. I can't increase invisibly. I can't not increase because then I won't be able to bind off at the bottom of the sleeve cap. What to do, what to do...

    So instead of contemplating ripping back the entire sleeve thus far instead I broke my own rule and started in on the pretty:


    Interestingly, overcast does not equal perfect light for taking photos. We have here the second installment of the Butterfly Girl Designs fiber and spindle club, a Murano foil spindle (I think 0.8 or 0.9 oz, although I can't find the paper right now) and a lovely batt called That Old Black Magic, a purple & black merino & bamboo blend. So even though it looks pretty much identical to the Twilight I was contemplating spinning next, it is not. I got a little overzealous and am almost 1/4 of the way through the fiber.

    Moving on.

    Next up is a source joy and light in the world:


    That, my friends, is a pound of natural black Shetland from Spunky Eclectic, which will eventually become (hopefully) a lovely vest for me. I know there's no real scale to the photo, but trust me when I say it's a lot of fiber to contemplate spinning on a spindle. It's more than the sum total of fiber I have spun to date.

    Oh gulp.


    Token Pink

    A quick jaunt around the neighborhood while dodging raindrops revealed that spring is a lot closer than we might suspect. The trees are especially eager to display their finery in the odd half-light.




    New projects to be revealed tomorrow.


    Happy 1234567890 Day!

    I'll take a pass on Valentine's Day. Happy 1234567890 Day instead!!


    One Pound

    One pound of something came today, and it made me incredibly happy but a little sad as well because two something elses must be completed first. Plus 3.3 oz of another something arrived on the same day, along with a pointy and whirly thing. And my CSA box arrived as well, packed with goodies like dau miu, fresh lemons, kohlrabi, and my favorite (of the moment) collard greens. It was Christmas in February.


    Wanted: One Potholder

    I nearly burned down my apartment last night by setting fire to my one and only potholder. I don't have a photo, but it was truly horrifying. (The fact that something was unintentionally in flames in my kitchen was the horrifying part, not the fact that the potholder bit the dust. It was a cheap potholder from Target. It won't be mourned.)

    So, does anyone have any favorite knitted ones? You know, that aren't stupid or kitschy looking?




    Ten minutes per day is all I can handle.


    Special Weather Statement

    Today a Special Weather Statement was issued for our area! It must be something really serious, right? This is the reason:




    Things that are Hard to Believe

    1. It was 65 degrees yesterday. January 31st. There are days when I miss New England to the very depths of my soul. And then there are days like yesterday.

    2. We are 1/12th of the way to 2010, at which point we can dispense with saying "two-thousand blah dee blah blah". It will just be "twenty-ten". Sweet.

    3. I have not spun anything today, and in fact I still have not even plied the second skein of Cardinal Vash the Stampede! All in the name of Henley. Sleeve #1 is half done.

    4. I think I may be turning into a plain old vanilla stockinette person. Doing all that stockinette on the lower sleeve yesterday was really nice. I was surprised.

    5. Our California state income tax refunds may be held up because of the state government's inability to balance a budget. Luckily my state refunds tend to be small to non-existent. Still, really?

    6. I have taken to drinking Kahlua and milk. Actually, that isn't all that hard to believe.

    7. I have ordered a pound of fiber with which to spin and then knit a vest. Call the men in the white coats.

    8. Spring is on the way. At least, it is here.

    Trees behind my office park, Friday. Would you look at that sky?

    No, I don't know what they are either.