Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vermin and Blankets

Ominous title . . . dun dun dunnnnnn!  Ha.

So, life is very interesting in Texas.  Sometimes we have scary weather - remember back in 2011 when we were bursting into flame? - and sometimes its just unusual.  I have now been here for a decade, which enables me to say with feeling that this year's weather has been incredibly unusual.

Wet.  Very wet.  What does the wet do?  Makes the grass grow (with a +10 multiplier) and makes trees and flowers bloom (and pollinate) and breeds these little guys.

3 feet over my reach with a 12" swatter . . .

That my friends is a moth fly, more commonly known as a drain fly.  They breed like mosquitoes, in water.  Or slimy sewers and drains.  Where do we live?  Not very far from a water treatment facility.  This is the most wet year that I've lived here, but talking to my neighbors I've found that these guys always show up when it's wet for long periods of time and they're darn difficult to get rid of.  They climb up through drains and can fit in small cracks around doors and windows, so there's no keeping them out.  Fly strips everywhere!  For the first time in Texas, I am actually praying for hot weather!

Oh well, it's survivable and, unlike other flies, they don't bite people and are only really active at night.  They do like to mockingly sit on the walls where I can't reach them (like the example, grrrrrr).  Still, it could be worse!

Like, fleas.

Yeah, they're back this year with a vengeance.  I've been here for five years and they've only been this bad once before.  So, it's bath day!  Even the cat couldn't escape.  Luckily he takes it well or the Man would be minus several layers of skin.  I find it amusing that the cat comes to me, mewing plaintively afterwards.  He must not realize it was on my orders.  You can still see the top of his head is mussed, despite his constant grooming.  Poor kitty.
"What is that noise?  Attention?"

I, in the meantime, have been blanketing.  First is my niece Madison's blanket.  Forgive me, the ends aren't woven in and the pattern isn't mine but I loooove the colors.  I swiped them from Nettie's stash 'cause she hates my beautiful melon yarn. I'm going to have to make hats and booties and cardigans and all sorts of things to use it up!  The best part is that Madison isn't due to arrive until June (yes, yes, I know June is this week), but I've got until winter to make those baby things!  Small projects over summer, thank heavens!

Larger on Ravelry
I love reversible lace!

Awesome pattern from Ravelry: Wave Baby Blanket.  Designer made it completely reversible and it's incredibly simple to make.  I will probably make more

Ignore the ends, this will be frogged.
On the other hand, I owe my nephew a hand knitted blanket and I needed a "manly" style.  Log cabin seemed perfect and I even had a great mix of colors: Navy, Cream, Grey, and a Country Blue.  Gorgeous.  One snag: finding a good pattern.  I found one that seemed perfect: Easy 4 Colour Log Cabin Blanket.

Fatal flaw?  Me trying to pick up stitches on the edge.  And work in a worsted weight yarn, honestly.

A little to the left . . .

See the curve?  Yep, I fail.  And I HATE picking up on the edges.  You'd think after all the thumb and heel gussets that I wouldn't mind.  Totally do, it irritates the crazy out of me. (If you knew me, you'd realize how special that is.  There's a lot of crazy here.)  There are tons of log cabin patterns out there.  I looked at a lot. Almost all of them pick up and work in the opposite direction.  Yeah, not me.  I'm going to write my own darn pattern from the bottom up. 

Too lazy to rotate, sorry!
Yeah, it doesn't look like much besides scribble, but so far it's coming together well.  I was able to use my incredibly terrible original block to get a gauge (I used the blue square in the center).  From there, I tested it with a lighter color yarn (navy is impossible to see and I had to break out a flashlight and enlist the Man's aid) and made sure that my gauge was correct.  It was wrong.  Twice.  I finally figured it out (see the scribbles?) and was able to cast on last night.  Today I got to switch colors- color blocking on this blanket is going to look insane, but as long as I remember to cross colors across the back it'll be great, I think.  What do you think?

Only 3 color rows so far, compared to 16 cream.

That's all for tonight. Hopefully I'll get some more work done on the blanket.  I've only finished watching through the 10th Doctor's seasons (sad, 10 is my favorite!) and still have to rewatch 11.  Lot's of time to finish the blanket.  And the sweater . . . and maybe some socks . . .  11 has a lot of seasons!

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