Monday, April 30, 2012

The Half-Assed FP Post

It is already April 30th and I missed another Snapshot Sunday.  In my defense, I didn't really have too many snapshots.  Kind of a slow week for me. 

I thought I best get over here and share two projects that I did finish this month.  There were only three and one was just a dishcloth.  I'm foregoing my usual format because I am rushed lazy and I really just want to start May off fresh!  I promise to try and stay focused and committed.  Or rather, I will try to stay uncommitted (as in not being committed to some sort of rehab program for procrastinators).

First up we have another jersey.  Sadly I only completed one this month, which is a huge disappointment for me.  But, I did get the St. Louis Blues done.  It is sort of an "alternative" jersey in that I grabbed the wrong colors and could not find another team that fit these colors, so after much research decided that they were pretty spot on for St. Louis' third or alternative jersey.

Happy accidents, you take the best of them.

The other project I managed to start and finish this month is a cute little baby dress/top.  I think it is just adorable.  I used Cascade 220 Superwash and Cascade 220 Superwash Paints.  I was not going to buy more yarn for another project, but when I saw these two colors, I knew they would be perfect for a little girl.  And I was right!  They worked up beautifully, even if there was some pattern troubles.

The pattern doesn't call for the ribbon, but I thought it would be adorable.  I was going to do orange, but when I found the little sunburst buttons, I knew it had to be a golden yellow.  Forgive my horrible bow tying skills.  I will check my girl card at the gate. 

So the pattern troubles...ugh.  The pattern was originally written to be done in two pieces and flat.  Well I don't do seaming if I don't have to, so I opted for the in-the-round version.  Calling it a version is a stretch as it really tells you to cast on X number of stitches and then follow the flat instructions.  Basically you are screwed when it comes to having the correct stitch count if you follow the instructions as written.  There was a lot of fudging and makie dos.  I will do this again, but I will sit down and come up with a more complete instruction set. 

You can get all the fun details over on my Ravelry Projects Page.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The One About The Playoffs Round 1

I thought I would hijack a post and stray away from knitting and all things fiber and talk a little about a HUGE passion of mine…hockey. Specifically NHL and Stanley Cup Playoff hockey.

I am sure that most of my readers know my undying loyalty to all things Pittsburgh Penguins. Well all things with the exception of former Pens turned traitors Max Talbot & Jaromir Jagr. So it should come as no surprise, if you follow even the most limited amount of NHL hockey that I am beyond bummed. My beloved team was ousted by their bitter rivals (and mine) the philadelphia flyers. I don’t feel the need to give them the respect of capitalization. It is the passive-aggressive demeanor in me. It is also better than calling them something that borders on obscene. And by borders, I mean full on crosses the line. There is really no excuse as to why the Pens were eliminated in the first six games of the playoffs. Well I’m sure there is, but nothing really seems valid. They showed up pretty early in game one, but then somewhere around the third period, they went elsewhere. Then they were pretty much absent until game four and they stuck around for game five (barely), but then game six was one of those matinee games and pretty much nobody was on board for that.

Let me veer off course here for a minute and talk to you about these matinee or day games. I don’t like them. I don’t like them at all. I do stuff during the day. Errands, napping, stuff. At night I settle in and watch hockey. Hockey is only played during the day when it is outside and that is only because there are no lights and it becomes a touch more dangerous. So, night time. Players are used to this. They have their routines, meals, naps, routines. I follow mostly Eastern Conference teams and I don’t live on the East Coast. I live in Montana. Mountain time, two hour time difference. So if a game starts at noon on a Sunday that means it starts at 10:00 a.m. in my time zone. 10:00 a.m. On a Sunday. That does not really work for me and if it is a Saturday you can full on forget it. I have stuff to do. I don’t like to get out of bed and then immediately have to be prepared for a hockey game. Hockey is meant to be played at night. Night! Not day! Game Day simply refers to “today is the day of the game” which translates to “the game will be played on the night of today” or something like that. Night!

But back to the Playoffs. I hate all things philly. I just do. It sort of like an injection you get when you decide to be a fan of Pittsburgh sports. In my case, I became a Penguins fan and thus was given my anti-philly injection. It sort of covers you in case you decide to like other things philly, which thankfully my injection worked and I don’t. That is not to say that there are not some nice people there. I am sure there are. I am sure there are some quite lovely people who probably don’t turn on their team the minute they lose a game. I am sure there are some people who live under rocks there and don’t really follow sports. And when I encounter them I will be cordial. But if they come at me wearing a flyers jersey, all bets are off.

I was left with somewhat of a dilemma. My team was out; they are all headed off to various parts of Canada and Russia. And here I sit with nothing really. Well that’s not true, I have stuff, but I am left with this hockey void. This empty feeling. Sure there are games still being played and there are teams that I don’t mind still in it, but really there is not any one game that is a MUST see for me. Blah. I will say that I am pulling for the Rangers. They are sort of like my second team. I adore John Tortorella, their coach, in such a way that baffles a ton of hockey fans. I am finding that not many people can appreciate all that is Torts. I can. I have for a long time. A long time. I would follow that man to almost any team. Even maybe philly. I wouldn’t like the team, I would be a bit miffed at him, just like I am Max & Jagr, but I would still tune in. Why you ask? Because the man is pure entertainment. He wears every emotion he owns on his face and it is stellar to watch. I love to watch his pressers and see him get pissed off at the media for asking inane questions. See that I used a big word. I wish they had a Torts Cam for every game, just to watch his expressions. Pure entertainment. So Go Rangers tonight in game 7 against Ottawa. How did that even happen? The top team Rangers, versus the bottom team Ottawa and they are going to a game 7? That sort of boggles my mind because I totally expected NY to handle that series in five games. Ugh!

Last night there was somewhat of a silver lining. I am so anti Boston right now it is unreal. There is not one player or person on that team in that organization that I can stomach. Not one. Well maybe Marty Turco but…nope, nope, not him either. It was difficult, seeing the Bruins being matched up with the Capitals. I am a Pens fan after all and the Pens and Caps don’t mesh well together. It is hard because I was a Caps fan for a long time. Sure it was only because they had Jagr & Brent Johnson but still. I didn’t really understand the huge hatred between the Pens and the Caps, but I went along with it and started hating them. It became easier when Alex Ovechkin showed up and Mike Green. A lot easier actually. But there was something to this series and that something was a young rookie being called up at the very end of the regular season and needing to be the starting goalie for the first round. Say what? Yep! So Bradon Holtby (sorry if I spelled his name wrong, I am both on a roll and too lazy to go check) was something to watch. And something good. There were no blowouts, there were many overtimes including last night’s game 7. And there was something else. I HATE the Bruins. I hate all of them. Tim Thomas is basically like a dead person to me. I cannot stomach to even look at him, let alone support him in any game, no matter who they are playing (hint hint you lousy flyers). So, imagine my surprise when I found myself rooting for the Caps. And imagine my surprise when I decided to watch the OT last night and found myself yelling at the TV. in my most excited voice “it went in. It went in!” That’s right kids, the Caps are moving on to round two and my beloved Pens are setting up tee times and gassing up fishing trollers. Where is the freaking justice? Mind boggling.

I guess I should talk about the West for a minute or two. Mostly what happened there is what I wanted with one exception. First, yay for St. Louis. I am not going to hate on them just because of their coach Ken Hitchcock, who is not one of my favorites and I am not really a Sharks fan. I mean Joe Thornton was a Bruin after all (not that that is fair to hold that against him, I am just saying…). So good for them. They are going to play the Kings who ousted the Canucks, the president trophy winners two years in a row. I am more anxious to see what happens come July when Bobby Lou can be traded away. I don’t think there is an ECHL team with enough cash to take him, but that looks to be his best bet. Unless it is a year like last year where teams are throwing money and nobodies just to reach the cap floor. Throw some of that shit my way, and I will strap on some goalie gear and just sit there. It’s basically what happens in philly. I digress.

I was not sad when Vancouver was eliminated. I don’t think much of their players. I thought when I saw Schneider that he was the third Sedin twin. Shocking to find out he doesn’t speak with an accent. Plus a lot of their players are divers. I expect to see some of them in the London Olympics.

Then there was the Detroit/Nashville series. I was on team Nashville right up until Shea Weber used Henrik Zetterbeg’s face as a squeegee. He had to pay $2500 for that. Note, there are only two zeroes in that amount. Two thousand five hundred dollars for grabbing a man by the back of the neck and slamming his face into the glass. In society that gets you a night in jail and probably at least a five thousand dollar bail. I think, I am not sure as I have never done that or been in the pokey. Still, I used to respect Shea Weber, I especially liked the piece they did with him and his dog I think it was last year. Still like the dog though. Even if his owner is a dick. After that I really didn’t much care who won. I will admit though it felt good that the Pens won more playoff games than the Red Wings.

Chicago versus Phoenix. I don’t like Chicago. A few years ago I liked Chicago when they beat philly for the Cup but I don’t really like them. Their captain has no sense of emotion. NONE. He is like one of those special people who can’t feel things. You know like the little girl on that Grey’s Anatomy episode who was unable to fee any sort of pain. That is Jonathan Toews. Unable of showing emotion. He, Claude Julien and Daryl Sutter are those kids whose faces “froze that way”. And speaking of Claude Julien, does anyone else think that he and Bruce Bodreau are DNA related? Anyways, Chicago. Don’t like them. So I was rooting for Phoenix. And then Raffi Torres became the poster boy for long suspensions. I don’t like Raffi, I didn’t like him last year, don’t like him this year. But I do sort of like Mike Smith. I think he sort of got hosed down in Tampa and right now he is kicking back and laughing at them. They are going to play Nashville and so I am still on Team Coyote. It is more than just Shea Weber in Nashville. I cannot lie, it is also Carrie Underwood. I don’t like her and I hate when they show her at games and she looks like she is winning a beauty pageant.

Holy crap! I almost forgot about the New Jersey/Florida series. That is probably because it is a sleeping aid. New Jersey has this uncanny ability to slow down every game they play so that it takes three years to complete. They probably don’t even know that they weren’t in the playoffs last year because they are still playing the season after their last Cup. I am rooting for Florida because who expected that? I fully expected Florida to tank the season after going out and completely rehauling and overspending on their team. They threw a bucket of cash at Jovo and he is a hurt and aging defenseman. Not to say I don’t still love him, but he is closing in on 36 which is not OLD, but is OLD when you are a hockey player. Unless you are Nik Lidstrom or Teemu Selanne. Except that I think it is old if you are Teemu. I think Nik Lidstrom drinks from the Dick Clark fountain of youth, which may or may not be tainted. From all that you should have gotten that I am for Florida.

So there you have it. Go Rangers, Go Panthers tonight. I think you can expect to learn the outcome of the New Jersey/Florida game sometime around 3:00 p.m. MST Sunday, April 28, 2013.

I am quite certain that most of you are going to look at this and not read it because it is long and there are no pictures. But I will tell you that it was fun to write and took up a little chunk of my time and for that I am thankful.

Sorry if you were looking for some Works In Progress, but, while I have some, they haven’t been progressed since the last time I posted them. I do have a couple of FPs coming up though. Someday.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Snapshot Sunday: Volume 1 Issue 6

I didn't intend on taking last week off but it was just not happening.  The last week has been what I am referring to as "The Week of Crap".  I felt like it most of the week, thus not feeling like Interneting!

But I did manage to take a few photos...

Monday was the big Bonjour for Teague.  He set off for his adventure, his first stop being Colorado.

Here he is all ready to go with his journal.  He made it to Colorado on Wednesday and seemed to enjoy the snack they set out for him.  I haven't heard any more, so I am just praying that his is being Teague the Terrific and not Teague the Terrible!

On Tuesday I had one of these...

On Wednesday I was feeling a bit spunky and decided to do something I never EVER do...

...that right there is a picture of your very own LdyPngn!  I loaded up on the Penguin jewelery as well and what do you know, the Penguins won Game 4!

On Thursday I was feeling meh and in need of breakfast...

...caffeine and a cookie wafer treat.  Covers most of the adult breakfast criteria.

On Friday, my little guest arrived, Miss Blossom and she is totally into flowers, so I hooked her up with the Ultimate Flower...Marc Andre Fleury aka Flower

This photo was taken after the win.  They stayed up partying just a bit too much and it showed when today Blossom was ready with these

when the Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Right now she is relaxing as we have a big work week ahead of us.  She has promised to be a good monster, so she is coming to work with me and hopefully she can get some of that filing done!

And that is about all I have for this week.  Hopefully there is not a sequel to "The Week of Crap".  Because as we all know, the sequels are always worse than the original!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 11

I sort of thought I would have more things in progress, but alas only a few items today.

First up we have another mitered square

This was done over the course of a few days because I could only seem to concentrate for a couple of rows at a time.  This is number three.

And here are all three together...

Next we have a project that I did not cast on!  My sister urged me to start my linen scarf and I balked at the idea of casting on 451 stitches!  Holy crap that is a lot of stitches!  So she said she would do it and while I told her it wasn't necessary she did.  And she got to that point that I was afraid I would get to, some 400 stitches and had to rip it out because she did not have enough tail!  Crazy girl!

It's really hard to see that pattern or colors other than that bright ass pink!  I am using Koigu in variegated colors.  She casted on with a bubble gum pink Koigu I have had for years (I am not a big pink fan, I was gifted two skeins of it in a swap and I pretty much still have two skeins!)  It takes a long time to knit and slip one row and then purl and slip another.  A LONG TIME!

These are not knitting projects per se, but they are knitting related.  Project bags!  And while they look completed, they are not.  I still have to darn the lining fabric at the turn opening.  The one on the left is flannel from Joann's and the one on the right is my Bad Ass Penguins bag.  It has a skull fabric contrast bottom, a gold patterned main fabric and a black and gray lining fabric, all closed up with some skull ribbon.  LOVE IT.  I was able to complete these under the expert tutelage of my sister, an expert quilter and all around master crafter.

The next little item replaces a frogged item.  I tore out the Molly Bubble Romper in favor of this...

...a simple baby tunic using some bright Cascade 220 superwash and some Cascade 220 handpaints.  Can't wait to work on it some more.

And finally...

there is a KAL/CAL going on over on a ravelry group and I was going to get started back on the 1st of April, but somewhere my ability to focus took a leave of absence and so I just casted on last night.  Love this cotton colorway. 

Next week I am waiting patiently for as I will get to premiere a new project.  If you read yesterday's post, you will know that I am casting on my 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Project tonight during the Penguins/flyers game.  I am so So SO very excited to get started!!!!!!!  And so very excited to start knitting the project too!

Sorry no links today, I am in a bit of a rush and on a computer that lacks speed!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The One With The Hodgepodge

Today’s surprise entry is a bit of a hodgepodge of stuff. I Googled hodgepodge and the images were quite interesting, but I didn’t really find one that fit the theme(s) of this entry.

As you know from my Snapshot Sunday post, I spent a good chunk of Saturday building my office suite and then I spent most of Sunday working on office work. Sunday also marked the birth of the Stanley Cup Playoff schedules and a few threads over on Ravelry. I started thinking late on Sunday about attempting yet another Playoff Project. I don’t know that I detailed last year’s attempt, so here is a run down.

In late March of last year, I stumbled upon an Etsy & Ravelry user who dyes sock yarn in hockey team colors. Well holy cracker jacks Batman! I needed some of that. I started taking input on what pattern to use so that I could make sure I ordered the right amount. I sort of settled on the Clapotis and thus ordered not two, but three balls of this miraculous discovery. A little side note: I always order more than I need! Always! It is some sort of unidentified illness. Well I was super excited and could not wait to get started. Only the yarn didn’t come in a week and it didn’t come in two weeks and it didn’t come by the time the Playoffs started. After some passive-aggressive inquiry my yarn was shipped and I spent an entire game winding one ball! Seriously the tangled mess I had was ridiculous. Finally I was able to start on the Clapotis and not far into it I discovered that I did not like how it was looking, I hated the edges and well I just gave up and frogged it. Then I started two other shawls with it and frogged them too. I was dejected. For a year now this yarn has sat mocking me, begging me to create something with it. A few months ago, I started some arm warmers and basically wanted to stab myself instead of knitting on size US 2 needles in the round for over twelve inches. I just couldn’t do it. I frogged those as well.

Now here we are and the Playoffs start on Wednesday so I had to decide if I was going to do a project and if so, what project to do. I had a lot of options. Way more than I needed. I started to bracket the choices. After all, it is a Playoff Project, so what better way to decide the winner.

Once I had the winner, I had to get the gear ready. I purchased the pattern, got the yarn all bundled up and searched in earnest for my size US 4 Harmony tips. I cannot find them! The freaking horror that ensued. I searched every where, I just cannot find those tips. Normally I would just go and order another set, but I have a habit of wanting to get free shipping and I really cannot justify a $50+ Knit Picks order right now…or in the next 20 years. So today I had to sit down and come up with some options. I could use a US 2 (what the pattern calls for) or a US 3 or I could use my nickel Options US 4 tips. Since I couldn’t decide which would be the right thing to do, even though knowing what I wanted to do, I did something that is totally me. I took a random sampling of Hitchhiker projects and averaged out the needle size used. First, let me tell you that probably nothing pisses me off more than people not filling out the information on Ravelry project pages. How hard is it to put in the needle size? GRRRRRRRRRRRR.

It just so happened that with my random sampling the average needle size came out to be 3.8 so a 4 needle. That is just what I wanted. I may or may not have randomly thrown out some size 2 numbers. So, it is settled I will hunt for the Harmony but will plan to use the Options.

Yes, I am that much of a dork!

Another thing that I wanted to throw out at you all is the new ABC show Missing, starring Ashley Judd. I adore her. I just do. During last week’s “Visit” my sister and I took a little day trip and she was telling me about the pilot, which I had downloaded for free from iTunes. Well I quickly decided I wanted to watch it and so I downloaded all the episodes I missed through last week. I spent a little time printing checks and stapling stubs this morning and got through the first two episodes and I am hooked. It does not hurt that this man…

…Cliff Curtis is a regular. Nor does it hurt that this,, Italian Adriano Giannini is in it either. Seriously both me could be on my Top 5 list. Yum!

Another show that I am watching is the Killing. It gets more involved every episode. Always a new twist or a new person of interest. I am about two episodes away from setting up my own, Detective White Board to keep track of everyone! This is no “CSI One Hour We Solve it or You Don’t Pay” show! There is no Horatio Caine with all the answers and rhetorical questions. This is the real deal and it’s not James Neal!

Speaking of Horatio Caine, I watched the final or what I am hoping will be final episode of CSI Miami on Sunday. I watched it simply because it could be the last, if the gods love me, and I had to see how it ended. Everything was all sunshine and roses. It was quite disappointing.

Also related, last night I was watching an old TJ Hooker rerun and tweeting it as I did. I equated Hooker to Horatio in that he always had that go do line and was pretty direct. Horatio’s sunglasses are Hooker’s car slides. It was quite interesting and I am fairly certain that I lost some followers because of it. Eh…people don’t understand true 80s simple television series. There were no complicated matters that could not be solved in one hour. Heck, the Huxtables solved their problems in 30 minutes! Sure the writer’s of today have more meat and more leeway in what they can put on the air, but there was some magic happening in the writer rooms of yesterday. Imagine if fan fiction had been around all those years ago. I might have become a real writer!

Well that is what I have. I now realize that I need to start prepping tomorrow’s post by taking some photos and figuring out all the things I have going on! Yikes!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Snapshot Sunday: Volume 1 Issue 5

Well hello there!  I didn't intend on taking a vacation from posting, but I did!  My dear sister and her family was here in Montana visiting for a week and well family time is more precious than blogging.  It was a great visit and I am sorry to say that I didn't get the camera out once!  But, I have a few photos from the previous week to show you and a couple from the last two days.

YUM!  I often stop at the convenience store to pick up some of their delicious fresh popped popcorn for breakfast.  This big bag will last me for a couple of mornings or sometimes a breakfast AND lunch! 

I think I have an addiction!  Only one of these USB drives holds my life!  The others hold snippets from other areas of my life and hobbies.  Can you guess which one I would be absolutely lost without?

I had a birthday and this is how Happy Bunny greeted me on that special day!  Nice huh?  I have to say that I had one of the best birthday surprises ever in the early morning hours of the 30th.  A special happy birthday wish from someone whom I just adored many moons ago.  I think it made my whole day!

I did a little pattern shopping on my birthday.  I am suffering through a rabid bout of starteritis right now and this is just feeding the illness.

I was more than spoiled for my birthday and this is just a snippet of what my sister and family gifted me with.  Above is the beginning of the Private Penguin series written and illustrated by my oldest nephew Niklas.  The bag is a sister creation, an ipad case that was stuffed full of stuff just for me!

I received some birthday money as well and was able to find a few things to buy.  Some Tim Holtz stamps and a new cover for my Nook Color.

Mom made it a Pittsburgh Penguin birthday for me.  A new bag, hat and some floor mats!  I am over the moon with them.  Photo bombing in the back is a little monster that was knit up by my sister!

This is my Easter treat!  Some lovely Gardner's Therapy from Crabtree & Evelyn.  It smells divine and the wonders it does for my hands!

I spent some time with this and this...

...yesterday.  This is part of my new office suite of furniture.  A new desk, bookcase and file cart.  It took all day but I got it all put together and set up.  I would show you photos but I have stuff all spread across it.  Hopefully I will be able to get it all put together sometime this week and can share the goodness.

And finally, here is my "aster basket"

...or my purse that needs to be cleaned out!  This is my Vera Bradley that a dear friend gifted me with a month ago.  It is amazing how much crap I can throw in it.

There you have it.  A little look from the past couple of weeks.  It is time to get back on track and get back to all those things I took a vacation from, like work and life!

Happy Easter to you and yours and may you enjoy celebrating it any way you please with those you love!

~Lady Penguin