...the absent-minded ramblings of a sometime diva, hyperactive yarn ya-ya.

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Name: Cyndilou :)
Location: Texas, United States

Just a little piece of sunshine and rainbow set free to wreak happiness on the universe.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lack of wool

Sadly, all the woolshops hereabout seem to be like Joanne's or Hobby Lobby - haven't found a specialty shop yet. Oh well, caerphilly tomorrow, and I think I remember one being there.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The weary traveler

I don't think I've ever been up for 36 or more hours straight (all right, outside one or two all nighters for college, and even then...). We were so tired yesterday afternoon that it was all anyone could do to stay awake on the bus. As a matter of fact, after we toured Windsor, everyone did fall asleep on the way to Cardiff.

Windsor is amazing - the palace is surrounded by the urban center, rather than standing off in the country a ways. I got to see the changing of the guard - and the one who took up the post looked like he was all of fifteen years old. I took lots of pictures so far, no place to upload them yet, but I'll document it all and share the pics once I return.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Almost Time to Go...

...but before I take off, one more reminder of the CONTEST for my fourth bloggiversary (apparently four = koigu :).


Friday, June 23, 2006

Good and bad

Bad: Still can't find my claddagh ring. I really want to wear that ring this week.

Good: I found my college ring that I'd been missing for a while.

Apparently the black hole of rings was willing to settle for a trade.

Yup, I said Koigu

There she is, folks -- beautiful Koigu fresh from the stash, waiting to go home with one lucky contest winner. The actual color depth is slightly darker than this, but it is a nice variegated purple to black colorway.

...and what's the black goodness peeking out from under the yarn? Nothing less than my completed Wales Sweater, based on the Lacy Cowl sweater pattern from The Happy Hooker. I used Red Heart TLC Amore for the yarn, and I had to go down a hook size to make gauge. More notes on the pattern: the sleeve instructions are insane, so I decreased the number of rows for the sleeves and modified the neck increases so the cowl falls at the back of my neck and not halfway down my non-existent hump. Also, the fronts are so not designed for boobage, so the sweater does not close fully on me. However, I prefer that anyway -- and I opted not to do the lacy lacy edging because the sweater falls below my butt and five inches of lace at the neckline would have made that already large cowl look like a hood. I just used crab stitch to finish off the sleeves, as they hand just to the juncture of my thumb and hand, which is plenty long for sleeves. The neck/bodyline I finished off with a shell stitch. So, the sweater is done and ready to go on the plane with me tomorrow.

Tomorrow? Holy cow, I need to finish packing (don't panic, L - just the little necessities are all that is left. :)


I'm being attacked by seaweed!!!

Seriously, though, who thought this was cute? I realize we all have different tastes in fashion, but this one screams murky swamp camoflauge.

In other news, I'm off for a choral trip to Wales tomorrow -- and tomorrow is also my four-year bloggiversary!! I know I don't do many contests, but here's one in honor of the auspicious occasion...

Contest Alert! Leave a comment with a link to your favorite celtic cabled or fair-isle pattern with pics (even better if it is something you've done!). Entries must be made by July 15th, at which time I'll pick a winner at random. The prize pack will include two skeins of Koigu Painter's Pallette Premium Merino and perhaps some other goodies I'll drop in the box. Cheers!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pontoffel Pock, where the heck are ya?

Yes, I know I've been lax in my posting this past week, but in my defense, I've been a bit under the weather. Every cloud has a silver lining - I lost five pounds! Granted, that was because I was mostly too nauseated to eat much, but still...

In the FO category, we have my sweater from The Happy Hooker -- all done according to my specifications, and less so the patterns. Well, the sleeves were long enough without adding several rows of lace, and the shawl collar would have been ridiculously bulky with that extra lace as well. Add to that the fact that I did NOT make the sleeves 18 inches in circumference (do you realize what that would have looked like at my wrists?!?) and that I tried to add a little extra for the...uh...boobage issue. All in all, I am pleased with the final product. Pictures as soon as I find my camera battery charger (which is hiding from me just because it knows I need it for my trip next week).

Monday, June 12, 2006

A question I have to answer

Someone found my blog by searching on the question "How many yards in a skein of yarn?". The answer to that is simple, and complicated.

The shortest answer is: check the ball band. To expound: every skein of yarn can be different, although most yarn manufacturers attempt to come up with a "standard" amount in their balls/skeins/hanks/whatever. Unfortunately, that standard amount is usually by weight (25 and 50g balls are popular), and since different yarns weigh differently, the amount in the skein will vary. Cotton is heavier than wool, so you would expect less yardage from a ball or skein of cotton yarn that weighs the same as a hank of wool.

Often you will only see the length of yarn in a packaged unit represented in meters. For those of us too used to the English system of measurements, simply multiply the meterage by 1.1 (or add 10%) to get the approximate yardage.

Some yarns (like many Red Heart yarns, for example) do not have yardage or meterage on the ball band or yarn label at all, just a weight. In that unhappy event, do a Google search (or use your favorite search engine) for "[manufacturer] [name of yarn] yardage" and you will usually come up with a few helpful sites with approximate yardage. (Red Heart Supersaver 8 oz skeins, by the way, contain approximately 452 yards of yarn.) If you have a McMorran yarn balance, you can skip this step altogether and just measure a yard of the yarn in question.

Other things to note:
- Yardage on a yarn label is approximate - you might get a little more, you might get a little less. Rarely does it error towards less, probably due in part to the sue-happy society we live in.
- Even the most expensive yarns sometimes have knots in the ball. Always get one extra so you don't run out on a project.
- Patterns that call for a specific yarn by weight or number of balls without giving yardage of said yarn are a tool of the devil. Avoid them - otherwise, look up the yardage of said yarn so you have a good idea of the yardage expectations of the pattern; this way you can substitute yarns as needed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Photographic Evidence

2006-06-10_BoatTrip 054
2006-06-10_BoatTrip 054,
originally uploaded by Cyndiva.
Here's my proof that I did, in fact, get some knitting done yesterday while on the lake. Yes, it's just a toe, but there was...a lot of distractions. Heh.

That sock is now almost a complete foot, thanks to second Sunday at HCW. However, now I really need to finish a sweater, so no more sock (maybe) until the sweater is complete. Mostly.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

KIP to my Lou, My Darling

For those who are interested, today is worldwide Knit In Public Day. (To the peanut gallery: I know, we KIP or CIP just about every day, but whatever. :)

I decided to KIP in an unusual place -- I took my knitting out on Lake Travis. Pics later this evening after I've recovered a bit (and gone to a wedding) but it was a nice, breezy day on the lake, albeit HOT.

So, did you knit (or crochet) anywhere different today?

Friday, June 09, 2006

All crochet, all the time

Well, it seems like it, anyway. Lately I've been working on two main projects -- a wedding gift scarf and the sweater I plan to take to Wales with me. 15 more days on the sweater - I just have the rest of one front, the seaming, and the trim to do. I should have had this sweater done weeks ago, but I kept getting bored with it and setting it aside in favor of other things. The scarf is almost done, needs a block, an edging, then the final wash and block.

In other news, tomorrow is the official KIP day (aren't you excited? what? you KIP all the time anyway? :) and I'll be representing out on Lake Travis. Woot.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

All this and she's single, too...

Well, I had a long post made up, but it started to sound like a pity party. I don't know why - I really didn't have a bad day, even though there was a...not so stellar moment.

At any rate, I just wanted to brag, 'cause I installed a new shower head today. Before you roll your eyes, just note that this is a handheld that had multiple pieces to assemble, AND I had to take the old gooky head off. I don't do gooky. I don't like touching anything even remotely resembling gooky. Tonight, however, I have a brand spanking new showerhead and the old one is safely disposed of. Woot!

Thriller, thriller night

What in the world am I doing up after midnight in the middle of the week? Oh yeah, still playing on the computer.

You ever have one of those surreal moments when you wake up and you're not really sure what day it is? That question alone tells me it is way past bedtime for Bonzo, so I am off...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Time for a meme...

All righty then, I suppose it is time for my monthly (or every-other-monthly...whenever) foray into the meme world. This one via january one. No high school pic from me, cause I can't find my yearbooks offhand, and even if I did, it would take too much work to hook up the scanner.

1. Who was your best friend? Ekela. Still one of my bestest buds.

2. What sports did you play? Um...I opted for ROTC. Air Force, two and a half years as an officer, and no gym credits needed.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Due to my older sister's propensity for car accidents and traffic tickets, I did not get my driver's license until age 20.

4. It's Friday night, where were you at? Probably at home studying. Perhaps out at a movie with friends.

5. Were you a party animal? Nope, I was the Good Kid.

6. Were you considered a flirt? I don't think so. I was definitely in the "nerd/geek/too-smart-for-their-own-good" group. Add to that the fact that I chose Orchestra, and the various UIL academic teams for my extra-curricular activities, and you can guess my level of shyness. Or obliviousness, take your pick.

7. Ever skip school? Technically, no. I did skip a class when we were supposed to be back early from a field trip, but I went to the career library and hung out. Both my parents worked for the school district - I was taking no chances.

8. Ever smoke? Not a chance.

9. Were you a nerd? See #6 above.

10. Did you get suspended/expelled? Nope.

11. Can you sing the Alma Mater? Not anymore, although I knew it in school. Sadly, I can still sing the Math Team cheer. Yes, our Math Team had a cheer. Again, see #6 above.

12. Who was your favorite teacher? I had a few, but one that stuck out was my 9th grade english teacher, who shares my first name.

13. Favorite class? All of them except for Government and Economics. I lived for school. Above all, I loved my math and computer classes.

14. What was your school's full name? Like I'm going to let you Google for it.

15. School mascot? Mustang

16. Did you go to Prom? Yes, we only had a senior prom. My date stood me up and I stayed long enough to see if I was voted Most Likely To Succeed. I wasn't.

17. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Let's see...no.

18. What do you remember most about graduation? One kid getting escorted off the stage and not allowed to graduate after making a victory symbol (possibly a gang symbol) on stage.

19. Favorite memory of your senior year? Awards Ceremony and Graduation -- I graduated 6th in the class, top female, and got a big ole ego boost. College came along and deflated that nicely.

20. Were you ever posted up on the senior wall? We didn't have one in the way I think this question is asking. I did get included in the senior cariacatures for the hall decorations, but I was not included in the models chosen from the senior class for the yearbook cover.

21. Did you have a job your senior year? No - my father didn't want us to work, but to focus on studying.

22. Who did you date? Hah.

23. Where did you go most often for lunch? The school cafeteria and the Nursing class. We rarely left campus because the only thing close enough to walk was Dairy Queen, and that gets old.

24. Have you gained weight since then? Duh.

25. What did you do after graduation? Enjoyed my last summer as an irresponsible kid, then went off to college.

26. When did you graduate? 1992.

Stuff from Memorial Day

originally uploaded by thevalkyry.
Man, we had way too much fun with alcohol at Mom's over Memorial Day weekend. Margaritas and cherry bombs... Whoo!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Eatin' crow

Well, not exactly crow...perhaps pigeon. :)

At any rate, I just wanted to make a public shout-out to Melissa of the Lux pattern at MagKnits. M - thanks so much for your comments regarding the pattern; I promise I wasn't ranting specifically at you as a designer, and I want to thank you publicly for being willing to adjust for someone you don't even know. :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wake up and smell the boobage

For a moment - a mere second - I was excited about a particular pattern in the new MagKnits. I mean, what could be more perfect than a tank pattern entitled Lux? It called to me -- and, oh frabjous joy, the sizing goes up to XXL.

Then reality kicked me in the face. This pattern designer intended a 2XL to be a 40-inch bustline. Um....nope. The only reason I often wear 2XL tops is the excess weight I have to carry around in my bra. That's a 49-inch finished bust, thank you very much -- and a 40-inch bust should only generally be considered an XL in petite sizes (and even then, I feel that is pushing it). Granted, even making a 2XL to this sizing generally means that the bottom of the top is a bit looser than I want, but I'm willing to have a little extra material at the bottom if it means not popping out of the top.

Yes, I could modify the pattern if I cared to do the math and sizing, but DANGIT people, let's get the concept of women having actual BOOBs down.

Man, I've been ranty in the last week or so. Time to go knit something.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Reason #112...

...on my list of "Why I need to move":

- Apparently our maintenance team thinks that coming over immediately to resolve an emergency plumbing situation means they need to show up six hours later. Even when I called the office five times to verify (over the course of two hours, during one of which I was supposed to be meeting some people) that they were in fact coming, and the office staff assured me that the maintenance guys called back an hour ago saying they'd be here in an hour and fifteen minutes...AND no additional follow-up calls were forthcoming. Not to mention the fact that they were supposedly driving up from South Austin --- and it doesn't take that long to get to FREDERICKSBURG for goodness' sake. *pant*pant*huff*wheeze*

Ok, rant over -- they finally showed up and fixed my water, and now I really need to get into a better mood for a blind date I am supposed to be getting fixed up for. At least it is a group outing.

Mutually exclusive?

While I wait for a plumber (long story *sigh*) I've been thinking about the practice of yoga, and its possible disagreements with Christianity. For the last couple weeks, I've been taking a yoga class to help with the severe lower back pain issues I've been experiencing, issues that my chiropractor has not been able to completely resolve.

If you Google for yoga and christianity, you get several results on both sides of the fence. On the negative, we have this article from Got Questions? -- which has a valid reasoning but not enough explanation behind it. Specifically, I believe that one can focus on God's power within oneself and come to a higher spiritual relationship with God without focusing on self. Most of the negative articles on yoga and Christianity focus on this same concept, along with noting that yoga was developed as part of the Hindu "rituals" as worship for their gods or other meditations.

On the positive, I did not see many online articles, unfortunately, but there are several books published on the subject, most of which bring up my point of contention, which is that you can focus on God within yourself and therefore make your yogic practice God-centered and not self-centered.

One thing I have found myself doing is replying "Peace be with you" to the closing "Namaste" (which is used by most of the teachers at the yoga studio I attend). "Namaste" is a greeting which means approximately "I bow to the divine in you". While I do believe we are all saints and sinners, I haven't yet come to terms with this usage, as it seems as though we are trying to elevate ourselves to divinity.

Another thing I do (and this may be just because music is so integral to my life) is to find myself mentally singing an arrangement of the Lord's Prayer or some other chant or hymn -- most often the Lord's Prayer as composed by James Lee Stanley.

So, am I wrong to still use yoga as a healing tool as well as to meditate on my own faith? I don't know, but I will certainly pray about it.