Welcome and thank you for visiting! Here you will find a bit about my life, including my obsession with the fiber arts and the written word.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Thing Is...

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while now.  And I think it's about time that I did.

I hesitate to say that this blog is closing, because the truth is, I may find things I want to say here again in the future.  But the fact of the matter is, I don't get the same benefits from it that I once did.  I haven't thought of anything worthwhile to say in a good long while, and I find myself struggling to think of post material when I do think of posting.  So let me put it this way: this blog is on indefinite hiatus.

You can find me elsewhere on the web, if you so chose.  I do the Twitter thing @KrisTBethke.  Google + occasionally--Kris Bethke.  I have another blog over at WordPress that's mostly about my writing www.kristbethke.com.  And if you're on Ravelry you can find me there as krissibeth.

I cannot say enough how much I appreciate everyone who has followed along and commented.  Y'all have been there for me, and words cannot express how much that means to me.  You've been so wonderful.  And I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.  

I hope to see you around at other places on the web.  May the world treat you right, and may you have joy and happiness in everything you do.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Scarf

Okay, first I have to start with the car.  Oh, poor Roxy.  She was more of a mess than I thought.  I'd hoped the noise she was making was because the bushings were going bad.  But upon examination by a qualified mechanic, whom I trust, it turns out there was much more wrong with her than that.  So she got new ball joints and control arms and new wheel bearings and new transmission lines.  And I am out a small fortune that I'll be paying off for six months or more.  Which is less than fun but I will deal.

Second I have to say that I ended up getting sent home from work today.  It's actually pretty cool when you have a headache bad enough that your boss notices and tells you to get out and go home and get better.  Now, granted, she needs me to come in tomorrow so she'd rather I went rested so that I didn't have to cal in tomorrow, but still.  There's a lot of things that are crappy about my job, but the people, and the family atmosphere in our little office, isn't one of them.  

But after pain relievers and a good long nap, I woke up feeling 95% better and that was awesome.  I was able to eat, and that helped even more.  And then, I sat down and finished the scarf I'd been working on. I'm keeping it and I love it a lot.

So, I adore it.  And it's actually brighter than what is usual for me.  I honestly didn't expect to like it as much as I do.  But because I do, I have no qualms about keeping it, even though I usually feel guilty about making stuff for myself.

It was super easy too.  I only had to frog it twice before I figured out that a simple basket weave pattern would both show off the yarn and give it texture and excitement.  It's color change yarn, and it happened to work out that the number of stitches I used meant it self-stripped.  Which, I think, is awesome.  

Pattern time!  In case anyone cares to give this a go.
I used Hikoo by skacel Simplicity for the yarn.  It's a DK weight, but I used size US 8 needles (5 mm).  It gives the yarn a bit more stretch.

CO 50 (or any multiple of five)

Row 1: K 5, P 5 to end
Row 2: P 5, K 5 to end
Row 3: rep row 1
Row 4: rep row 2
Row 5: rep row 1
Row 6: P 5, K 5 to end
Row 7: K 5, P 5 to end
Row 8: rep row 6
Row 9: rep row 7
Row 10: rep row 6

And yep, that's it.  Repeat these 10 rows till desired length, bind off, and you'll have alternating blocks of stockinette and reverse stockinette that are 5 stitches wide and 5 rows tall.  It means that this scarf is basically reversible, because whichever side is showing is the right side.  I love that in scarves.  

Okay, yeah, super easy pattern right?  Sometimes, simple is better.  Not always, but in this case, I definitely let the yarn do the work and I didn't want to muck it up with complicated stitches.  Besides, reversible! :D

Monday, January 26, 2015

Knits Like A Dream

My new needles arrived!  Yay!

I was so excited to open them up.  I was like a kid at Christmas.  Really.  They're pretty and the cables are nice and it's just a really lovely set.  Of course, I couldn't wait to use them and I immediately set up the size 8's so that I could replace the circular needle on the scarf I'm working on.  

First thing is they connect really easily to the cable, and the join is really smooth.  Since they are, in fact, Addi turbos, the finish on the needles is really sleek.  The yarn just slides right along and really, it's wonderful.

I'm telling you, this was one of the best purchases I ever made.

I'm loving this scarf, and I've been convinced to keep it for myself.  I'm just over the 75% done mark, and I think I may finish it this week instead of doing other things I should because I really want to get it done.  Then I have my hat, so there's that.  And the BFF's afghan to finish as well.  Now that I have this stellar set of needles, things will be easier and I intend to get working on those two projects.

I'm also making a baby blanket, for a new baby that will arrive at the end of May, and I am absolutely loving that one as well.  The yarn is simply fantastic, and I can't wait to finish that and show off pictures. :)

In other yarning news, the BFF has decided she wants to give it a try again.  I'm super excited about that.  We tried knitting a few years ago, but she didn't really take to it.  We're going to try crocheting this time, and we'll have a wine and learning night in the near future.  I love sharing my yarn knowledge, and I love teaching people the art, so I can barely wait. I want her to love it, and nervous she won't, but I know she'll give it a good try.  And that, in and of itself, will be fun.

Monday, January 19, 2015


So, last weekend I bought a couple of hanks of rainbow yarn with the intent to make a scarf.  This past Friday, I finally got a chance to sit down and yarn, and I started on the scarf because I didn't want to work on the hat.  After a couple of attempts, and frogging about three patterns, I decided on a simple basket weave.  I fell in love with it pretty quickly.  On Saturday, I worked on it some more, and as I neared the end of the first hank of yarn, I realized I didn't have enough.  In fact, I had nowhere near enough.  

I contemplated my options for a while.  I had enough for a cowl-ish neck warmer, and I could do that instead.  I didn't really want to buy more.  But then I got an email from my LYS saying it was birthday sale weekend, and everything in the entire store was 20% off on Sunday and Monday.  Well, that decided it, and I went to the yarn store on Sunday and bought two more hanks.

It's color change yarn, a variegated that basically self-stripes.  That was, in part, due to the number of stitches and rows in my pattern.  But it's fantastic.  But I discovered it had a very set pattern of colors.  So when I went to join the second ball of yarn, I had a decision to make.  I could just join on where it started, and the color pattern would change a bit.  But it would be clear where each new ball joined in.  Ultimately, I decided that wasn't something I wanted, so when I joined the second ball, I had to pull out a bunch until I got to the right section of color.  I wound that into a mini-ball, and then started knitting again, thinking I would join that little bit at the end or figure out where it went in the grand scheme of things.  

I went to the store and got two more hanks, and I wound them into balls last night.  And when I was done, I discovered something magical and utterly fantastic.  I chose all four hanks at random, just picked the same colorway and dye lot, but didn't examine the hanks too closely.  But, as I said, wound up into balls I saw something amazing.  The two hanks that I had bought, along with the little bit from the second hank, all end on the color where the next one begins.  It's perfect.

The ball I'm working on now ends in green.   There's a ball that starts with green and ends in purple.  The little bit left over starts in purple and end in yellow.  And the last ball stars in yellow and ends in purple.  That will be be the last ball I put on and, as an added bonus, it ends in purple which was the color that started the scarf.  

It won't be a perfect match for number of rows and the like.  But it will be a general match and that is just awesome.  It was a serendipitous series of events.  The yarn gods were with me.  Or something.  But it's awesome and I'm really happy about it.  

The pattern is relatively simple, with just a bit of variation to keep me interested.  And the color changes give an additional excitement to working on the project.  And I'm loving it.  

Also, I've gotten back into Ravelry, a social media site for yarners, and that's exciting too.  I joined about five and half years ago, but it fell by the wayside.  But I'm back there now, and that's fun.  Though as I was adding in some of my projects, I realized that I am sadly lacking in pictures of completed work.  I was going to be better about that, but it seems I've seriously slacked on it.  So that's another goal for me, to take the pictures of the completed works!

Anyway, after a bad few days, where nothing seemed to be going my way, and my temper was getting the better of me, and so was my sadness, it was really awesome to end the weekend on a lovely yarn note.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Poor Sis

Sis is sick.  Way sicker than she's been in a long time.  It started with the sniffles, and then of course, got worse.  She started throwing up, and everything was bad.  The doctor diagnosed her with bronchitis and sinusitis.  But unfortunately, she was also still throwing up.  Because she couldn't keep anything down, she got really dehydrated.  With the sickness, and the dehydration, and the throwing up, there came a migraine.  But she couldn't do anything to combat the migraine because of all the other things.  

We ended up in the emergency room Thursday night because the pain was so very bad.

After an insanely long wait, during which she was crying and begging me to take her home, she was finally seen by the doctor.  Two hours, a half a liter of saline, some anti-nausea meds, and something for the pain later, and it was like she was a brand new person.  The pain was gone, and she was tired, but acting like herself again.  

She's getting better every day.  Still very sick, but she's better than she was two days ago. 

Which is why the relatives are still arriving today instead of cancelling their trip.  

So yes, house is going to be invaded again.  But with Sis sick, it's going to fall to me to pick up the Sis slack.  So, you know, socializing.  But fortunately, everyone is pretty able to entertain themselves so I don't have to chase after anyone or keep them occupied.  

It's still too cold, but I'm dealing as best I can.  

Knitting on a scarf right now, because now that the interesting part of the hat is done, it's sort of boring.  I'm trying to decide if I want to put some sort of patterning in or not.  Until I decide, it's sitting on the table and waiting.  When I get my new needles (I ordered a very exciting set of interchangeable needles from Addi and I can't freaking wait to get them!) it'll be the thing I work on.  One of the needles I have on the hat right now I don't like, so that, and trying to decide on pattern, is my excuse for leaving it as it is.  Since the needles may be arriving as early as next week, I'll have to make some decisions soon.  Until then, it can sit and I can work on the scarf.

It's not anything complicated, just a simple basket weave pattern, but the yarn changes color and that's always fun.  As I go along, I keep thinking, oh, I'll just do it until the next color comes up.   But at least it gives it a little flavor.  lol.  I didn't buy enough yarn, sadly.  But I just today got an email from my LYS saying that their big birthday sale is going on tomorrow, so I figure I'll pop over there and get some more, and 20% off to boot!  That's a good thing.

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Too Cold and Other Stuff

I thought I was pretty inured to the cold.  I've lived here my entire life, it's always been like this, I thought I was used to it.  But this below zero weather?  Yeah, I've had enough. It's too dang cold.  Can I have my 20s back please?  

Brub is being sworn in today, and he'll officially be a lawyer.  I have to go to work, so sadly I won't get to watch, but Tato and Mum are going and Tato agreed to take pictures if he could.  It's a big deal, and I'm proud of Brub.  

I've implemented a time budget!  Can you believe it?  Finally!  lol.  Okay, so it's still a little, shall we say, flexible.  I think it needs to be because you know what happens when I make plans.  But I've got all the important things in there, the things I need and want to do.  And largely it consists of: when I get home from work I do X on a certain day.  It's been working for a few days.  So I'm going to keep at it.  Today, being Wednesday, means that when I get home, I write.  

Now the computer is near the window, and that makes things a big chilly, but I will deal.  I have my fingerless mitts, slippers, and a wrap.  So I think I'll be able to work.  As long as my brain doesn't freeze, that is.

Mondays means writing or reading, depending on what needs to get done.  Tuesdays are reserved for reading/reviewing.  Wednesdays I write.  Thursdays I yarn (and will be continuing work on my hat).  Fridays are more of a free day, in which I will do one of the three depending on either what needs to get done or what I feel like doing.  Saturdays there's sister time, but after that (or before) there is reading and/or writing.  And on Sundays is another free sort of day, where I read, write and/or yarn, again depending on what needs to get done and what I feel like.  So far, it's been working pretty well, though this past Saturday and Sunday got switched.  I'm going to try very hard to continue on this way.  

It works well in the regard that I can view it as rewards as well.  If I'm in the mood to yarn, but I need to read or write instead, then I tell myself, get through this, get your stuff done, and then you can yarn on this day.  I'm finding it to be a good motivation.  

So that's the report from my corner.  I'm freezing, but I'm doing okay.

How about you all?  Things going well with you?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Open Knitting Fail

So, I was ready right?  Nervous as hell, but I was ready.  I walked into the store, knitting bag in hand, and swallowed down the butterflies.

First thing I noticed?  The owner was not there, which she usually works on Saturdays, and someone else was behind the counter.  No one was sitting at the table knitting.  But it was just exactly one o'clock, so I thought other people might show up.  I went perusing the yarn.  Not that I actually needed more yarn, but I was looking for something particular for a special project.  So I wandered and contemplated, and picked up one and put it back, and picked up another, and put it back.  I finally settled on a third choice, which I got in hanks to the delight of being able to use my swift, and walked up to the counter.

Roughly 25 minutes had passed since I walked into the store.  And despite one other customer, who was very talkative and took forever to check out, it was just me in the store.  So yeah, after I bought the yarn, I left and came home again.  Because it was just weird.

I think if the owner had been working, I would have sat down and knitted, because Beth and I could have chatted.  But I didn't know the lady working at all, had never seen her before in fact, and it just felt all sorts of wrong.

But I went with intent, even though I was nervous, so I have to give myself points for that.

And hey, I got new yarn, and that is always a good thing.