A few rather plain pictures

I may have started a couple more baby blankets. I wanted to jump up and take pictures of the blankets, but being the only person in the house that can see spots and crumbs on the kitchen table, I had to clean up a bit first.

I remember the days when I’d have a cat that would come in photobomb a blanket picture like this, but sadly those days are behind me and likely to remain behind me for some time.  I had finally gotten up the nerve to think about going check out a local shelter to see if a cat there would accept me. A small conversation was had and I was debated right back down to staying petless for a while longer. I’ve never been with a pet before, it’s uncomfortable. So, the pictures are plain. Just small starts of baby blanket, sans cat. At least the colors are lovely and the table is clean.

 

I was amused that one of the skeins of yarn had it’s little tail sticking out all ready for me to start.

 

Every person who needs to reach up high to hook things into a computer should have a makeup mirror, don’t you think?

 

 

Color changing acrylic wagon ride

We survived 4th of July. I love fireworks when I don’t have to get up in the morning and don’t have a pet that freaks out. The show was impressive but with every single block in the valley shooting off some really expensive sounding fireworks, the place sounded like a war zone.  This helped:

I’m doing a little Tour de Fleece on Ravelry.  Work has been so busy and I’ve been so tired that I haven’t gotten to spin or knit as much as I would like.

Everyone has jumped on the self striping acrylic bandwagon.  First I ran across Caron Cakes and I thought that was neat even though the yarn itself wasn’t soft like Caron Simply Soft. Fun colors.

Then came something from JoAnns that I may have purchased a few of because the colorway was called Butterscotch.

Again, the yarn isn’t amazing, but like the Caron Cakes, it’s a step up from RHSS and the colors are fun.  What an easy way to whack out a granny square blanket and not have to change colors! The other day I learned about Bernat Pop, Caron Baby Cakes, and Lion Brand Mandala.

I haven’t found Bernat Pop in the store yet, but you can be sure I’ll grab some when I do because I just won’t be able to help myself.

I was helpless to resist Mandala at WalMart because it was just so soft and the Unicorn colorway was the tiniest bit sparkly. Sparkly. Unicorn.  I’ve started this little blanket with it and I can’t wait to see how the pattern looks with color changing yarn.

 

June in pictures

Chynna got her Associates degree

The Great Quail Rescue of 2017

Engagement party

21st century equivalent of carving one’s initials on a tree

 

 

Viva Las Vegas

Ah, the joys of Las Vegas. Nearly a month ago, from June 3 to June 8, I was with David helping out at convention. I didn’t have an official role in the process but did what I could to help out. It turned out to be a good thing I was allowed to go along because otherwise David would have been hauling in all the equipment by himself. He would have also been setting up all the computers and equipment by himself and not finding any time to rest or eat.

We found out that we weren’t allowed to get any kind of cart or dolly and unload things from a convenient place, like the front door closest to the venue, by ourselves. We could haul in all 10 of the very heavy boxes from the parking garage of a nearby casino much like we’d normally be hauling in ourselves and laptop bags in every day. It was nuts. I found out how the labor union unloading stuff worked, got permission to charge DH’s company for it (I still don’t know how much it cost), and arrange for some very nice people to get David permission to drive into the loading dock, get the stuff onto one of those electric carts and delivered straight to our booth.  It was such a blessing. I was already dead tired from walking all over the place getting this arranged. David had already carried two of the boxes in by hand from the closest casino parking lot and looked like he was going to have a heart attack. If you’ve been to Las Vegas, then you know that everything is huge and you have to walk great distances to get anywhere. It’s usually through a massive smoke filled casino. For whatever conference he does next, I’m getting us laptop rolling cases.

Getting the servers ready for the booths in Vegas.

It got to over 100F most of the days we were there. Thank goodness for AC.

Sat/Sun It took us two solid days and a trip to Fry’s (swoon!) to get everything set up and working. David still had a few bugs to work out on Monday. Many, many trips back and forth between booths later and our feet have never hurt so much in our lives.

It was really interesting watching the venue take shape.

The cranes and carts had plastic wrapped around their wheels and the entire floor was covered in plastic while the construction was going on.

The area to one side of us was completely open to the storage loading area of the venue which was then closed off by these sliding panels that became the wall of the venue.

David’s phone spent much of the week being unreliable, not holding a charge, and rebooting many of the times he tried to use it. On top of working at two booths and talking to the HPE partners and customers, he still had to conduct some of the day to day business with support. I had a hard time getting him to take food breaks so I would scout out the meal and snack locations which were close by and bring back food for him.  The drinks were all coffee and soda that we don’t drink and there wasn’t a water bottle to be found anywhere. There were water fountains and small cups, but we relied on a case of bottled water that we brought with us. Unfortunately, we ran out by the end of Tuesday. I was happy to find that the open bars in the evenings had club soda.

If you make friends with the bartenders, they give you extra bottles to keep with you.

The food there was really creative and amazing. Even the snack items were fancy things. We were good for the most part and stayed as low carb as possible until these things showed up:

This is an adorable cone that was filled with chocolate, coconut, and pistachios. It didn’t stay filled for very long.

Our badges didn’t always get us into the venue where and when we needed to be, so everyday David and I had to hunt down special early entry permission wrist bands. It still meant that I missed out on some of the special panels where Mike was speaking.

Badges?  We don’t need no steenking badges.

My view from my the couch/charging station where I took refuge from being on my feet answered emails and kept our phones charged.

The booth all put together.

David, Marc, and Colin making ClearOS videos.

David on our first day of setting up in the venue.

I doctored up my iPad cover to look less Apple-ish and more ClearCenter-ish. An Apple logo wouldn’t have looked kosher at an HPE event.

There were fun things to see walking back and forth from the venue to our hotel room. I eventually started taking a cab because of the heel pain.

The company become a partner with HPE and we’re really excited about it. The partnership was announced there at the conference.

Monday, I took to the internet  to see if I could find  some ideas on how to relieve the pain in my heels. The symptoms of plantar faciitis fit the best and the Ravelers in my SKC group came through. A cold can of soda to rest my foot on, lots of Advil, and stretches kept me going.

We had a presence at two booths, at the AMD booths I met these darling people.

Yvonne and Josh from AMD.

Tuesday and Wednesday was more of the same, lots of walking, talking to as many people as possible, learning a million things, and being absolutely exhausted.  It was a lot of fun being surrounded by untold amounts of dollars worth of computer hardware. A true Nerdvana.

Wednesday night, AMD hosted a huge party with an old Las Vegas theme.

I had my picture taken with handsome gents:

And then David and I danced to some great music inside a large circle of people and some of the musicians. Great music.  Probably not so great dancing.  At least the video hasn’t show up on the Internet.  I wish I at least had a picture of the dip at the end 😉

We got home late Thursday night after packing up the equipment from both booths.  That went a lot faster than the setup as we, thankfully had a lot of help.

She walked the walk

Congratulations today go out to my dear Danica. She’s graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s in Digital Animation and Game Design. I’m woefully late in posting this but I couldn’t think of what to say about my child graduating college.

Yes, my first child has graduated. And my third, but he’s not counting that until he gets a higher degree. Rest assured that *I* am counting it .

I keep finding myself at a loss when I think about what I want to say about Danica and her graduation.  The ceremony was weeks ago and I couldn’t get the words out right away. I had to be there a bit early so Danica could be in her place on time. Before the graduation my mind wandered about a bit, flitting here and there, landing on something for a moment and fluttering off to something else. I brought a knitting project thinking that I would knit during the wait time because that’s what I do. I thought about how many classes I’d taken at UVU back when it was Utah Technical College, and then a community college, and then UVSC. I thought about bits from the past. I thought about the kids growing up. I thought about it maybe being time to get my own degree now that my children were getting theirs. I thought about the knitting project I brought with me to pass the time. I didn’t knit and instead kept thinking about all the things. I thought about how proud I was of her for working two jobs and going to school full time.  I was surrounded by friends and family and sure, we chatted.  But, while we chatted, I thought about all the things.

Then, there they were. The graduates were talking in and I got a little choked up while I waited for my first glimpse of her walking down the aisle to be seated with her class. She’s colored her hair bright blue the day before so she was easy to spot.

She had them read her name as Sierra Danica Fawn and I got a little choked up about that as well.

My parents are in town to see their first grandchild graduate from college.

My son Joshua just got his Associates from Snow College and my daughter Chynna has started her last class her for Associates.

That’s a whole lotta collegiate in one house 🙂

Yard work shouldn’t require stretching

I have posted pictures before of the water feature in my back yard. It’s probably one of the neatest things about this place. This week, along with other yard work, I’ve spent some time cleaning it up. The base is full of rocks that surround and cover a bucket or well that holds water feature parts. Probably the pump. The bucket is covered by a grate which is covered with rocks. It was rusty and falling apart. 

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I started pulling out rocks and vegetable matter until I could lift out the grate. 

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I pulled out the old grate and put in a new one and replaced the rocks minus a lot of the detritus that comes from the surrounding stuff in the yard.

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The poor thing is covered in algae, so I’ve ordered some algaecide that is supposedly safe for birds/pets and will pray that it doesn’t hurt the bees that like to come and drink from the fountain. I also scraped out a lot of the algae by hand.  So nasty.  If this were a pond, I’d just throw in some algae eaters.

Yes, I washed the rocks before dumping them back in.  I didn’t get out nearly as much of the leaves and pine needles that I wanted but it does look a lot better.

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Chynna and Stefan have been rock stars in mowing, edging, and pulling out the 10,000 dandelions that are trying to cover the yard. I did a lot of sweeping around the air conditioners, grill, and porch. I wanted to get as much of this done as possible before David gets back from his trip so that he and the kids will only have light upkeep to do this weekend.  I am so sore, it feels like I’ve been going to the gym for hours three days straight.

I should have stretched. Thank goodness for jetted tubs and muscle relaxants.

Knitting funk

I’m in a kind of knitting funk. I want to knit, I just don’t know what to knit. I’ve spent a lot of time planning this thing or that thing and never quite start on anything. I’ve wanted to make something with the ClearCenter logo on it for a while now. I knew I would have to chart the logo myself. I used a program called Stitch Fiddle to make the chart. I have some yarn in mind for the first test knit, I just need to swatch and plan on how big I want the logo to be.

clearos_logo orange white clearos_logo

In the meantime, I crochet. Miles and miles of crochet. I have a little over half of a Caron Cake to do on this one.

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And I’m still in love with this one: I’ve finally started on the second skeins of each color. The blanket I copied modeled this one after started doing 2 rows of each color. I’m not sure why but it looks nice and I’m still trying to decide if I want to do that.

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In which I get a little twisted

While waiting for my car to be done, and that’s another issue, I found an article online that showed me how I could add twist into the yarn while crocheting. I’ve got to try this on some of the more frustrating yarns I’ve crochet with. Yarns, in which I love the colors and softness, but they untwisted so horribly that I hate crocheting with them. The yarn was splitty and it slowed me down. This doesn’t happen when I knit. I felt cheated as a crocheter, like the yarn world didn’t seem to care about me.

I have been searching for a solution to this problem for years and just never managed to put in the right search words. I was confident in my Google Foo and so thought the information either just wasn’t out there, or that a solution didn’t exist.

I had just started another baby blanket because I didn’t want to drag out my almost done blanket in the mechanic’s waiting room and pondered once again what on earth could be done.  My usual word-around (I refuse to call this a solution) was to roll the skein of yarn to add twist. I would stop every few inches of stitches and roll the skein over several times. This is irritating. If I would just doing a small granny square I could easily flip the square around on the hook by waving it in a circle and I’d get twist in the yarn that way. This doesn’t work once the granny square blanket gets to a certain size. It’s irritating. It’s frustrating. A yarn that I would normally love becomes my nemesis and I just can’t crochet as fast as I’d like to be able to. This is why I gravitated to certain yarns over the years when making the endless parade of baby blankets for the babies that just keep coming into this family.  Anyway while pondering something Abby Franquemont said during her spinning video.  She was explaining about putting twist in the yarn and that you could keep or lose that twist depending on how you wound the yarn or fiber onto a stick.  My DVD was at home so I once again did a Google search and for whatever reason typed in something different.

I came across a blog post by Doris Chan that told me exactly what I needed to know. I’m trying not to be irritated that I didn’t figure this out by myself because in the back of my mind, I had thought this might be the answer.  But I didn’t know which direction I needed to try and was never willing to experiment. It turns out that if I’m using the yarn from the outside of the cake, it’s this way:

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I positioned the skein in the direction Doris showed, started crocheting off the outside of the skein, and EUREKA! So far, I appear to be putting in just enough twist to match what I’m taking out by crocheting. If the yarn gets too twisty, I can simply flip the cake over for a bit. It’s like magic.

I’m going to try this with some of the other yarns I loved for their color and softness, perfect for baby blankets, but HATED because they were hard to crochet with. I’m looking at you Yarn Bee Soft Secret and Caron Simply Soft.  I didn’t want the mess of trying to crochet from the outside of a skein, so I wound the Yarn Bee into cakes and placed them in the project bag with the correct side up.

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Pardon me for saying this, but today I am a very happy hooker. Thank you Abby and Doris! You ladies have saved my crochet sanity.