Friday, March 23, 2007

Market Squares Update

Well I made it to the third tier in the Market Squares entrelac bag!

My tension varies quite a bit and the stitches on one end are always looser and therefore bigger than I would like. I am hoping that all will look okay once it is felted but time will tell.


The colors in the pic above are a little off the actual ones but they are close.

I believe I have two more rectangles to complete the third tier. Then I believe I switch to the color used for the first base band for the fourth tier. Then back to the first tier color which is the triangle row.

Of course, I also think I did the base band section incorrectly. I think I folded the inch of knitting the wrong side facing but perhaps not. But in either case it may look perfectly fine in the end.

Color scheme seems to be okay so far. Something else that you can't tell how it will look until you actually get far enough. My gauge is off from what it should be. So this bag will be a little smaller I believe. I just hope that the felting process doesn't make it TOO small.

Definitely an interesting project and I can see why so many have made several of them.
If you get a chance to look at the pictures in the pattern book they show how different it can look with variations in color and after felting. The pattern is in "Bags a Knitter's dozen" published by XRX books.

Stressed Out

Many of my friends are in similiar situations as I am. Our parents are getting older, having more health problems and also having memory loss, confusion and other issues. Sometimes these issues are harder to deal with and more stressful when they are not living closeby.

My 78 year old Mom lives with me and her elderly problems are I am sure worsened by being on medication for over 50 years. She has always had some memory problems and she has always had a tendency to exagerate. Something is "ALWAYS" happening. She has a tendency to worry about things before you would really need to and gets herself all worked up. That of course makes all of her other health and physical problems worse. She will hyperventilate and get all panic-ridden.

Her neurologist does not feel she has Alzheimers but she does have dementia which varies in it's intensity. She hears things. Someone talking on the phone that she hears while she is at a distance from a phone. The church across the street having choir practice (all night) when all is quiet.

Her ears also produce alot of wax which makes things worse since she is also hard of hearing. Her hearing test showed that she hears at over 60Db while the human voice is usually 50-60Db.

Of course she hears me calling her perfectly well when I am not calling her but can't hear me when I am in front of her asking about something. Since things are so real to her, it never occurs to her that it might not make sense.

The worse part is her hearing people that I am no longer close to. Which of course just reminds me of that. I also worry that she might hear something that could cause her to do something unsafe.

I have an elderly cat at home as well who has elderly issues (loudly meowing for something) with arthritis and bone spurs in her spine. The cat needs supplements added to her food nightly and on alternate days in her morning food.

So I am the exception to my geriatic household. With the typical high stress work environment, changable priorities, emergencies, politics, etc, on top of the stress at home it can get extremely difficult to cope. I try to take some time to relax and knit. That helps a bit. Easier to do that than to try to have enough time to watch a complete movie on DVD in one sitting.

Things could certainly be worse.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My First Entrelac and First Felted Project

So I got Wool of the Andes yarn for the Market Squares felted Entrelac bag.

I am not sure how the colors I chose will work out but I will see. There is a function on the KnitPicks site that allows you to figure out how much wool you need for the project. That is they have a "form" with project size for that pattern with the recommended number of skeins of their yarn for the project for each color: A,B,C,D, and E. Unfortunately, it would be easier to choose if they had a graphic of the basic bag that would fill in the color choice entered for each so you can see the effect. Or at least something that puts the color choices in the order the pattern will use.

All colors except for the main take 2 skeins, the main needs 3 skeins. Here is a pic of the colors I chose but I forgot to put them in the order they will be used (without the repeats of course). So the color order of the skeins is arbitrary. Although the first skein on the left is the main color.
As you can see from comparing the in-progress project on the needles to the photo in the book, it is knit from the opening of the bag downwards. I am currently working on the second tier which is the first one using the main color and the first tier of rectangles.


Weird picking up stitches from the part already done to add on the next part.

Will update the progress when I can

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! No corn beef and cabbage for us tho. :-)
I had forgotten to pick up the ingredients during the week and I don't have the time to deal with getting them in time. Ah well.

The happy circumstance of the USPS package incident is that I have my order of knitting items from Knitpicks. I had wanted to try some of their yarns and their new circular knitting needles. I would have ordered their KnitPicks Options circular needle set but I didn't NEED them right now so opted to wait until next time. Instead I ordered the yarn needed for a felted Entrelac bag pattern and the book the pattern is in. Plus a couple of other yarns I have been meaning to try and two smaller circular needles which are not in the interchangable set.


So I hope I picked good colors that will work with that pattern. It is the Market Squares by Staff of XRX. I have seen posts by several people who have made it. Looks like a pretty good size for me to use and a nice look to it. And a big plus is that I would be doing two new techniques. Felting and knitting Entrelac - the interlocking squares/triangles. Will post the results when finished.

Don't drink too much green beer!

And The Difference Is?????

Thursday evening when I checked my mailbox (after my Mom and her health aide did so just before 3pm), there was a notice for a package from the U.S.P.S. . Although my Mom is always home, unless someone attempts a delivery before her Health Aide leaves for the day, she will usually not hear the buzzer. And since we do not have a doorbell she probably would not hear someone knocking at the door either.

As usual, the notice does not list the sender. I could guess that it might be an order I had placed recently, but then it might not be. According to the notice, I could request re-delivery or go to the Post Office to pick it up myself.
My post office is not the one located about 3 blocks from my complex. It is the one nearer (but not close to) our last apartment. To get there I could take a bus or take the subway 2 stops from is one.
Not too bad if I could carry the package. In the past, I have gone there on my way to work for a package and then taken it all the way into Manhattan. But Friday's forecast was for the storm, so I opted for re-delivery. Of course by the time I had gotten home and called the re-delivery section was unavailable so I had to call back in the morning.

When I called for re-delivery I had to listen to and respond to alot of automated questions and read off parts of the notice. One problem, the handwriting was almost as unreadable as my doctor's prescriptions. So when I was unable to respond correctly, I got re-directed to an actual person. He coped with my interpretation of the scribble pretty well. He said that no one can usually read the handwriting so at least I was not alone. One question was whether someone would be home for the day requested and I told him I would wait for it. The phone number I gave was the one to reach me at home. So I was set, or so I thought.

I was surprisingly exhausted after sloughing through the snow/slush and fighting against the stinging of the sleet. So I overslept in the morning and was running late with the morning tasks. Feed the cat, wake Mom and give her osteoporosis medication, make breakfast a little later, etc. But I knew I would have woken earlier or heard if anyone had buzzed me from the lobby.
Last time I had re-delivery they came at noon so I was not really concerned until then. Watched the normal Saturday morning cartoons and ate breakfast, logged online and downloaded my work and personal emails. I was hesitant about going out for the newspapers since that would be when they would try to deliver the package. But I finally decided that I had to. Dressed, coat and scarf, boots on, money ready, keys in hand, I unlocked the door, opened it and....

There was the package - re-delivery sheet attached, sitting just against my apartment door!

So, if no signature was required, what exactly was the difference between the original delivery attempt and the re-delivery that allowed the package to be left unattended in front of the door?

I don't get it... *sigh*

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sleet, Sleet, Sleet

Yesterday it was 68F with some rain. Then the temps started dropping until by night it was 38F. Warnings of an approaching storm were all over the news.

This morning the streets were wet and it was sleeting. Nothing seemed to be sticking on the ground, just on the cars and some bushes. On my way to work the wind had kicked up a little. That was driving the sleet hard against your skin. Ouch!

In the later afternoon I had to walk over a few blocks to a meeting in another building. It wasn't too bad to walk, winds were fairly calm and the streets were not too bad to walk on. A bit of slush. Of course there were those areas where the drains in the street were clogged and the slush was building into lakes but still passable. By the time we headed back to our office the winds had kicked up again and drove the sleet sharply against your skin.

Leaving tonight, there was a fairly good accumulation and the winds were still bad. Still sleeting with some snow as well. Some poor woman literally slid into the subway car I was in. Not hurt just startled.
This is my neighborhood tonight. Doesn't look that bad but the winds are really gusting and the sleet is non stop.

So do you think they will have cleared streets for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue tomorrow? Hmmmmm.... I wonder.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Forward?

Sunday morning was the new date for the Daylight Savings Time change.
What a pain. My work PC and home PC had updates to change the effective date but not all the other electronics in the house!

But even my home PC seemed to not have known. Until I looked at the date/time pop up change panel and realized that somehow the automatic DST had gotten Unchecked. Once I checked it everything was corrected.

I went around changing all of the times on the electronics and clocks. Since I don't have any updates to correct the effective date for DST on the electronics I just set them all on manual time change. Of course I had forgotten that I needed to change my Mom's watch and mine. I never remember how to change the time on these. All those buttons. Which ones to push at the same time to invoke the SET function? Luckily, this time I found it pretty fast.

I love the Green market at Union Square here in New York City! You never know what you will find. I also try to save items and drop them off there for the compost project. I can usually do that on the way to my office. Good idea since they are often heavy and could be a bit fragrant and not suitable for the office.

Here are some dwarf plants I picked up for my Mom yesterday:

A little sign of life and that Spring is coming, eventually.
Spring is supposed to start next week. The weather has been fairly warm for the last few days but the temperature is supposed to drop again.

Will Spring arrive soon and stay? Time will Tell!

Magic Loop Rocks!

Finally ordered a long and smooth enough circular needle to actually use the Magic Loop method. Some of the members of one of the knitting groups had mentioned having good dealings with a store on Ebay from the UK for Addi needles. At that time I had saved that store name but until recently never got a chance to order anything. I had wanted to get two circulars at a shorter length and one at a longer length. That would allow me to try to two circular method as well as the Magic Loop method. Unfortunately she did not have what I wanted in stock. I ordered one longer needle and one medium length and they arrived fairly quickly. It cost for two Addi needles with shipping less than the normal retail price for one of them here in New York.
magicloop hat
The photo above is a hat I am working on using the Magic Loop method. The needles are not really at the positions I use when working on them but they are positioned for the photo.
Here is a site with a good video on the Magic Loop Method.
Have not gotten to the decreases yet but I am sure I will love it.

Magic Loop Rocks!