Monday, January 30, 2006

Impulse Buy

I've had the Coldwater Creek catalog next to my computer at home for a while now. It's the Holiday edition. They have such fabulous sweaters & such luscious descriptions. Well, I'll tell ya right now this post was a great! idea. I just clicked over there to post a pic of the one I liked & it was ON SALE & so, of course, I bought it — in purple. I know that it's acrylic but as the Yarn Harlot her own self has said. Yesterday's acrylic is not today's acrylic. Besides, it's only $20. I can't buy the yarn for $20 & I don't need to make every sweater or pair of socks I wear, anyway. Life is too short to HAVE to knit & not nearly long enough to WANT to knit.

I've been really mulling over what sock pattern do I want to knit with the Claudia yarn from KPixie. A simple lace panel up each side is calling out. Like the very simple one in the pic up top. I've not done lace before & this wonderful yarn calls out for something special. Since it's for ME I can experiment. When I knit for someone else, I feel I must be a little more conservative, a little safer.

Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
Heart Breaker by Robert Ferrigno
Audio book: Jump The Shark by Jon Hein

Parting Shot:
"I read a report that said the typical symptoms of stress were eating too much, drinking too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Who are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day."
Quote Source

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Tinking We Will Go

Tink . . . Tink . . . . Tink . . . ooops . . . . dropped one . . . pick it up with the crochet hook . . slip it back on . . . ok . . . Tink . . . Tink . . .

You count — so carefully. You get to 2 stitches before the next round & you are off 1 stitch. So you count that needle. It's OK. You count the previous needle & it's OK. You count the one before that & it's OK, too. So you count the needle you're on — the one where you're got 1 extra stitch & it's still OK. So you count the very 1st needle & there it is. You have to tink 72 or so stitches one at a time with your pretty ice blue seagull cable needle & sometimes, your purple or gold (depending on which one you find first) crochet hook.

Sometimes you get lucky & it's the needle you're on so you only have to tink less than 20 stitches or so.

I'm not very good or let's just say something always goes wrong when I try to correct these little mis-counts by fixing them as I knit the next round. I am usually not in a quiet room with no distractions. I'm knitting at work or Husband is driving & I'm knitting & the concentration is just not there. I've learned that with this particular diamond lozenge pattern it's better to tink than to fix it on the next round otherwise I'll be tinking a lot more than just 70 stitches.

I've only got 6 more rounds (counting the one I am tinking) until I change from white to lapis blue & start the heel flap. The heel flap & turn should go fairly quickly & then onto the foot. I've got 65 rounds of the foot & then 24 rounds for the star toe. I like kitchnering the toe. And then the pure joy of weaving in the ends [color changes & all] for 2 socks!! I don't mind weaving in the ends, but I want the sock DONE at that point so it can be worn!

I've also cast on for the bamboo socks with the Rowan Wool-Cotton last week. Under my Ott light the green is green but the purple I was hoping was more blue is really purple. It's a light purple but there is no denying that it's purple. Husband will never wear purple socks. So — I can knit these green & purple socks for me or sister-in-law — or — I can get more green (I only have the 1 skein) & knit them all green. Hey, they are [going to be] bamboo socks. I cast on 72 stitches. I'm only on round 3 so when I get a couple of inches I'll have husband try them on & see how they fit his calf & go from there. I have no problem froggin' them if they need to be a little bigger.

I'll save the purple for something for myself or sister-in-law. So far I like the wool-cotton. Not as much stretch as wool but a lot more than straight cotton.

Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
Heart Breaker by Robert Ferrigno
Audio book: Jump The Shark by Jon Hein

Parting Shot: "
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." ~ Margaret Thatcher

  • Quote Source
  • Thursday, January 26, 2006

    Again with the software ranting & raving

    And yes, today, too, is all about the Axis of Evil Software & some knitting so don't leave yet!!

    If didn't think I'd eventually get sued by my company &/or the AoES or fired by my company & maybe sued too for harping on how truly screwed up the software is I would post the REAL name of it. Monday it was completely down for over half a day & then ran like C R A P for the rest of the day.

    Tuesday. Tuesday it was pretty much unavailable ALL day. You could do anything in this wonderful software except PLACE ANY KIND OF ORDER. You could scan serial numbers in so you could build systems. Nope can't do that. Can't place any orders. hmmmm. You could ship orders . . no wait, can't place any orders so I have no orders to ship. . . hmmmm. You can invoice . . . no . can't place any orders so I have nothing to invoice. See the drift here. And this wasn't just our branch. No. Every. Single. Branch. Was. Down. Nothing be ordered. And they paid HOW MUCH for this piece of crap software. Sales was pissed & customers were hot.

    Wednesday, it was back up, barely, but crawlin'. We were so backed up with e-mailed & telephoned orders to place. And, for over an hour yesterday morning, we only had 3 out of 8 sales reps. If that wasn't a lovely cuppa. So I pretty much bailed yesterday on the Time Study thing with the phone ringin' off the hook & e-mails to the missing reps piling up like so much cordwood. And the wonderful software kept dropping parts. You'd do an order & the warranty code would be missing or the operating system wouldn't be there so you'd have to cancel the order & have the sales rep put it in again. Yes, FUBAR & SNAFU had a child & they named it _ _ _.

    So, today we're still having the missing item problem, but the Brain Trust is telling us it's OUR fault. We're putting the orders in wrong. Hello! We can't do that. It only let's us do it ONE way.

    OK moving on . . .

    I've gotten lots of wonderful knitting done ~ except for yesterday when I just slammed down my lunch & went back to work. As all the "governing authorities" aka bosses were out I authorized myself some OT!!

    I only have about 20 more rounds to go before the heel flap. I haven't done any knitting at home & not much at lunch the 10 rounds of progress have all been made thankyouAoES at work while I was working.

    It's getting light enough now on the way home that I could begin knitting at stop lights, but NOT with this project. I am thinking of casting on for the bamboo socks because it's a simple k3, p3 ribbing the whole way. Maybe tonight, if I feel like it.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    The Dead House by Linda Fairstein

    I know I am taking an inordinate amount of time with Alton's book, but I'm only reading it at lunch while I am eating.

    Parting Shot: "All I want is software that doesn't suck." ~ Warrior Knitter

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    AoES stikes again!!

    It was a great day at work. Our wonderful Axis of Evil Software that is worse than anything Microsoft ever put out was down until after lunch. The whole system was up & down all Friday afternoon & we came in this morning to no AoES. That means almost nothing could be done. I work for a white box computer manufacturer. We had an entire tractor trailer of things to build computers with & to sell with computers. We could receive NONE of it to use. Customers could not use our wonderful on-line ordering system. We couldn't even fill a walk-in order for a stinkin' $2 mouse pad.

    I did busy work for most of the morning. I updated spreadsheets with dates & formulas to the end of this year. I did 3 blank weeks for my time-study. I organized my e-mails. Finally it was time for lunch. After lunch I'd run out of busy work, so I sat & knit. Last time this happened I ordered yarn on-line. Really can't afford to do that every time this damn software decides to take a sick day. It came back up at 1:15. I just crawled the rest of the day. So I got a lot of knitting done during hourglass time.

    I only have about 30 more rounds until I start the heel flap. The yarn I got for Husband's next sock (his 3rd pair) is a Rowan Wool Cotton ~ 50% merino wool & 50% cotton.

    And I am finally on the Midwest Knitters Webring! Now I have to figure out how to get the fancy little button over there.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    The Dead House by Linda Fiarstein
    Audio Book: Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillian

    Parting Shot: "Of course you found it in the last place you looked. If you hadn't found it you'd still be looking"

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  • Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Knots & Loops

    Yesterday, Husband tinkered with the impeller/sending unit for the knotmeter in Spray. One of the fins was missing & another was half gone. We thought one of the magnets was also missing but it turned out not to be the case. He fabricated the missing pieces & glued them in place. He tested the output with the scope & it was working. We went out after breakfast to see if it would work when he connected it to the instrument & nothing. So we took the instrument out & brought everything back home. It's a Signet knotmeter. It seems like the hand on the dial is messed up somehow. It doesn't fall back all the way to it's stop. Husband's going to mess around with it a little more. If he can't get it to work, he wants to come up with a lighted dial of LED's. The faster we're going the more are lit. We're not necessarily interested in how fast we're going but if we make a sail adjustment, did we slow down or speed up.

    As to the loops, Husband's sock is progressing right along. Have I mentioned that for the next socks for him I'm going to use what I'm going to call the bamboo stitch. 9 rows of k3, p3 ribbing then 1 row of purl, then 9 rows of k3, p3, etc. The yarn is kind of greenish anyway. It will be a nice change to knit a simple pattern that doesn't change every darn row. Of course, I'll be bored silly by the time that one's done so it'll be time for a complicated one again. I'm thinking maybe a bit of simple lace for my Claudia Handpainted yarn. I've never done lace. I've seem some socks that are not solid or stripes in lace & the pattern doesn't seem to get in the way of the color. I just want to enjoy the colors in this yarn.

    And, ah, the weekend's about over. It's never long enough. I love Saturday's with no work the next day. Monday just seems to hang over Sunday night for me. In the summer, when we'd be out on Spray, I could just enjoy being on the water & the Monday weight would fade away. The next "official" 3 day weekend for me is Memorial Day. Husband will have President's day as no banks will be open.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    The Dead House by Linda Fiarstein
    Audio Book: Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillian

    Parting Shot:
    "Always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn."

  • Quote Source

  • Saturday, January 21, 2006

    Memory lane is small & narrow

    We took a drive today. For some reason we got it in our heads to visit a shopping mall. When I worked for the boat shop, several years ago, the mall we went to would have a "boat show" in the mall with local dealers supplying a couple of boats for their "display". We were always the only sailboats. Anyway this mall is almost dead. Lots of empty stores. We were floored. We stopped by a calendar shop & got a couple calendars for 75% off. We picked up a sailing calendar (duh!), a knitting calendar (DUH!), a fractal one & a smiley face calendar.

    The knitting one is a Knit Bits page-a-day one. Every page is a bit of knitting lore, taken from all over, books, magazines, interviews, yarn or wool facts. Very interesting. It's on my desk by my computer. I don't want to tear off the pages because I don't want to lose them. So I have a sticky note on today's date. The sailing calendar is well pics of larger racing boats. The smiley face calendar . . . well . . . it's weird, but I think that's why I like it. Every day has a different smiley face & "Have a ._____ day & Friday & Saturday say "Have a _____ night. For instance, the pic on 1/15 has a smiley face with an icky wig & it's "Have a bad hair day." 1/8, which was Stephen Hawking's birthday says, "Have a smart day'" & shows a smiley face with a thought bubble of e=mc2 (hmmmm . . . . don't know how to superscript on this blog yet) Anyway, it's a cute calendar for work. I love calendars.

    OK back to driving. We then decided to drive over to a different mall that a long time ago was open but had been roofed in. Not many cars in the parking lot. We walked in the mall entrance & hardly any stores. This was strange.

    We drove on thru downtown were I used to work at a large bank. We drove by the apartment were we lived when we were first married, almost 27 years ago.

    We had lunch at a place where my Mom worked before she met & married my Dad. Food is still great! Place hadn't changed. Back before I met & married Husband, I worked with a fellow & his wife who was running for some minor political office, maybe councilman, something like that. This would have probably been 30 year ago. Anyway, I put his bumpersticker on the back side of the extra parking sign for this diner. IT"S STILL THERE. Faint & fading but still readable. My Gosh! Who Knew!

    Since we were close by, we drove by the house where I lived my whole life until I moved out at 18. The whole neighborhood was like it had shrunk. The houses were so little. The street was narrow We were the 7th house down on the block . . . a LONG way to the corner. It's not anymore. There was a HUGE hill that began to slope the 4th house after ours, again pretty far from our house & very steep. LOTS of room to ride your bikes on the flat before the hill. Up & down the street, flashing in & out of the driveways.

    NOW the street is short & narrow. All the tall trees are gone. The hill is rather shallow & kinda whimpy. All the houses are squished & very close together. It's like someone took my block & shrunk it in the dryer.
    When we drove by maybe 10 years ago, it didn't look so compact. My house is still there, still with the faded, chalky tan aluminum siding. I wonder if the trees are still in the backyard. I wonder if it's still fenced.

    I almost wanted to go up & knock on the door & ask for a tour. But then I'd have to live with the NOW image instead of the picture I have now in my head. The way it was. The way it used to be.

    After that, still gliding down memory lane, drove to one of the first malls in the area. Last time we'd been there (maybe 10 years ago??) it had changed but was still thriving. It had stores but they'd cut the mall in half. Half was inside & OK & the other half was like an outside strip mall. Weird.

    So, are malls dying? Why? The internet? On-line shopping? Strip malls? hmmmm. The 2 we most frequent (well, we go there maybe once a year & not at Christmas!) & they're doing OK.

    Oh, & on the way back, we stopped at a Penzey's spice store. I picked up a large jar of the granulated toasted onion & small jars of Spanish smoky paprika, Hungarian & sharp paprika, celery flakes, CA dill weed, Tellich black peppercorns & a large jar of the mind hot chocolate mix to try in coffee & maybe make hot chocolate with. I love that store. All my spices are Penzey's. I always get the small jars (unless it something I use a lot of) so they don't fade.

    OK! OK! some knitting stuff . . .
    Got a lot of knitting done as Husband wanted to drive. I've got over 50 rounds done on the leg. Only a little over 40 rounds to go until the heel flap.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Burning Garbo by Robert Eversz
    Audio Book: Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillian

    Parting Shot: more trivia ~
    7.5 tons of gold is used each year in the US to make class rings.

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  • Thursday, January 19, 2006

    It's Thursday!!

    WoW! Last time I posted was Sunday. Been a busy week sort of - brief recap

    Monday was MLK day, banks were closed so Husband had the day off & he wasn't on call. We went out for dinner & a turn around Borders. Should never have had an Italian Margarita. We came home, zoned out & fell asleep in front of the TV.

    Tuesday a tech from another area came to help Husband with some problem equipment. We went to dinner & sat & chatted until after 10. He's a lot like us. Wish he & his wife lived closer.

    Wednesday nite, for some reason, we had dinner then I settled with Husband & Husband's sock in front of the TV.

    Still doing the time study at work. It is seriously cutting into my at-work knitting. By the time I record the time & what I'm doing I don't have time to pick up my knitting. But golly is it enlightening. Bossman was very interested in how much time I spend doing stuff that's not really my job but I'm doing because there is no one else to do it. I e-mailed him last week's totals last Friday night. I spent a couple of hours this evening inputting this totals from this week so I won't have that much to do tomorrow.

    Am making good progress on Husband's 2nd sock. I'm on round 35 or so of the leg. The leg's about 96 rows - so about 1/3 done. I haven't even considered yet what I'm sock pattern I'm going to use for my KPixie yarn. I have it out on my desk most days.

    That's all for now

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Burning Garbo by Robert Eversz
    Audio Book: Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillian

    Parting Shot:
    " There ought to be a better way to start the day than by getting up in the morning."

  • Quote Source

  • Sunday, January 15, 2006

    "Spray" ~ Sailboat post

    Went out to the boatyard this afternoon to do some work on Spray, our 23' Precision sailboat

    • Took the top of the mast off so we could investigate
      • how to run a 2nd halyard for the spinnarker. We also took off the main halyard sheeve & bushings so we could lubricate them & get stuff the same size for the spinnaker halyard.
      • how best to attach a masthead anchor light (there is not one presently)
    • Took the steaming light off (this is the light about light half-way down (or up) the front mast which sailboats should have on only when they are under motor power at night. There were NO wires connected to this thing. They'd been cut or were never connected. No wonder it didn't work. We took the whole thing off, including the little teak pad. We're going to get a eye strap (hopefully the same size as the holes already there & use it to attach a swivel block for the uphaul for the spinnaker pole
    • Removed the impeller for the knotmeter from the bottom of the boat & installed the dummy plug. The knotmeter wasn't working when we bought Spray. One of the impeller fins is broken & is missing a magnet. We're going to see if we can rebuild the fin & glue another magnet on it. This particular model has been discontinued & you can't buy parts anymore. We also pulled out all the wire attaching the impeller sending unit to the knotmeter mounted in the bulkhead in the cockpit & the wire providing power to the knotmeter as it was very sloppily done.
      • I used to work for the boat dealer that sold this boat to the original owner. I cannot believe that's the way he installed the power to the knotmeter. It was just taped with duct tape across the companionway. The wire from the impeller sending unit to the knotmeter looked ok but there may also be an open in the wire. By brining the whole thing home Husband can check continuity.
      • If we can fix it great! If not, we haven't lost anything
    • We were going to remove & recaulk the side shrouds but we forgot the caulk.
    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Mumbo Gumbo by Jerrilyn Farmer

    Parting Shot: "It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better." ~ Sir Frances Drake

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  • Saturday, January 14, 2006

    STILL raving over yarn

    Yesterday I posted that I had many wonderful things to blog about but that I was tired. Well, today, the only things I can remember that I wanted to blog about were the absolute crappy day I had at work & the equally crappy day Husband had at work. But today. Saturday. It doesn't matter. Friday the 13th with a full moon is over. You got the most important stuff, anyway.

    Smooshed, scanned pics of wonderful Claudia hand-painted yarn are icky so I will bribe co-worker with lunch Monday (owe co-worker lunch anyway) to take a couple of pics of lovely yarn with cool camera phone.

    I have frogged that damned Visible Ribbing Scarf AGAIN (twice today!!) It. Is. Cursed. The. Yarn. Is. Cursed. Or maybe just the Whole. Damned. Project. Is. Cursed. Since these two folks have no idea that they were getting a guilt scarf for a late Christmas gift they can be pleasantly surprised (maybe . . . if I ever get them done) next Christmas!!

    That way I can move on & continue to knit on Husband's 2nd sock & then knit another pair for him with yarn I got at the same time that I got the Cascade Fixation. Then I can knit up my cool Claudia Hand-Painted yarn.

    I learned how to do 2 cool html things ~ they are almost the same but different. The one I figured out for my self yesterday is in yesterday's post where I reference Knitters' Review. I now know how to post a URL in my blog & give it it's own name. I am so blind sometimes. It's the same process I used to put the links on my sidebar. Duh!

    The 2nd thing I learned at KR. I can do the same thing on KR now (post a URL & give it it's own name). Same basic thing but the HTML code is a little different. Thanks to MMario who posted the answer to someone else's question. I decided not to go back & fix the things I now know how to do. It's kind of interesting to see how the post & this blog evolve.

    I am still in the queue for the Midwest Knitters webring.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Answer Came There None by E X Ferrars

    Parting Shot:
    [trivia] If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. [I know this was keeping you up nights]

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  • Friday, January 13, 2006


    Yesterday I could hardly think of something to say & today I am almost overwhelmed but I am tired as it's after 11pm here. So I will save some of my news for tomorrow Yesterday was famine & today is feast.

    This cannot wait!
    My KPixe Claudia hand-painted yarn came today. Luscious. So soft! I LOVE the colors. I'll try to scan them in tomorrow. If that fails or looks crappy I'll have someone at work take a camera phone pic & I'll e-mail to myself at home. It looks even better than the website pic. I've done all the embarrassing yarn tests (see numerous threads at KR
    Knitters Review) & it passes every one with flying hand-painted colors!! Can hardly wait to knit them up into socks for ME!! This will spur me to even greater speed with Husband's 2nd sock.

    Husband has a dentist appt at 8am tomorrow (UGH!) to have an old filling repaired/replaced. The ladies at the front counter are all interested in my socknitting. So I am wearing my Cascade Fixation socks & taking the 1 finished sock & of course, work on the 2nd one. I might also happen to have my KPixe yarn with me.

    I wore sock #2 & 3 (the 2nd & 3rd sock I ever made. The 1st sock was WAY to big, having made it to the pattern specs. I made sock # 6 which matched sock #1 in size for my sister-in-law which finished the pair) as it was casual Friday. These are Kiogu green handpainted sock yarn. You can tell they are beginner socks ~ ladders, loose stitches & holes that always need patching.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Answer Came There None by E X Ferrars

    Parting Shot:
    It costs more to buy a new car today in the United States than it cost Christopher Columbus to equip and undertake three voyages to the New World. ~ Source: 2201 Fascinating Facts

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    WHAT to post about

    • I could post about how I frogged the Visible Ribbing Scarf (AGAIN)
      • changed needles & the ribbing pattern
        • am thinking of frogging it (again!!)
          • today was the 1st time I'd touched it since I frogged it the 2nd (or 3rd? or 4th? time. I knit 3 rows & . . . see top line.
    • I could post that I am making small but steady progress on Husband's 2nd sock.
    • I could post that sister-in-law stopped by today with
      • new SUV (silver Torrent - We wanted her to name it Bitsy for Bit Torrent (geeky reference)
      • & 365 Knitting Stitches a year calendar for my office
    • I could post that I didn't get my Kpixie yarn yet.
      • maybe tomorrow as it was mailed Priority mail on Wednesday
    • I could post that tomorrow is Friday the 13th & Good Luck tomorrow.
    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Answer Came There None by E X Ferrars

    Parting Shot: "I must be crazy. You're beginning to make sense." Xena from The Furies, 3rd season

    Wednesday, January 11, 2006

    tiny tree frogs or small amount of tink

    Well, actually I didn't frog so much as tink a round and a half on Husband's sock. I had the color change to white & the diamond pattern going on, almost thru the 1st round when my count was off by 2. I keep counting thinking it'll change. It rarely does. But I keep counting until I've come to accept that I have to frog or tink. Often this counting takes place over several hours.

    Last night I realized I was off 2 so I counted a couple of times. I put the socks down for the evening & didn't even pack them up to take with me the next day. This morning, before I shoved them in the tote bag, I counted. Nope, still off 2. I had some time this morning & I counted again. Nope, still off 2. At lunch, when I was finally convinced I was off 2, I counted again, before I tinked. Yep, still off 2. So I tinked all the white off & I was still off 2. I was supposed to have increased 2 in the last round of purl stitches & I remember doing it but it wasn't there now. So I tinked 3 needles of the lapis so I could increase 1 stitch at the beginning of needle 2 & 1 at the end of needle 3.

    This evening while reading my warm-up blogs, I knit the 3 needles with the increases & counted 3 times & all three times the increases were there. So now I am ready for the white & the diamond pattern again, but 1st I think I'll count 1 more time.

    Got my Vogue Knitting mag Monday. There are a lot of candidates for You Knit What? Nothing particular just begged me to knit it. Haven't really looked at it but just paged thru it so far.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Answer Came There None by E X Ferrars

    Parting Shot: "If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead."
    ~ Johnny Carson

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Not MY fault

    What do you do when your wonderful AoES (Axis of Evil Software) is taken down for 45 minutes & you can't do ANY work. Everything I do is tied to that damned software & "they" took it down to "reboot" the servers this morning.

    So after knitting for about 15 minutes, I decided to read some of my favorite daily reads (see side bar under The Quill is Mightier) & knit. Crazy Aunt Purl had partied down all weekend. I was appalled, as usual by awful stuff on You Knit What??? And then I clicked on over to Knit & Tonic. Bad Bad Bad Bad move. I read all thru the post from yesterday. la la la read read read & Wendy finishes up by saying
    "(BTW: More Vesper Sock Yarn is going to arrive at kpixie soon...)"

    What could I do? WWASKD (What Would Any Sane Knitter Do?) Of course, I clicked on over to & looked at their one of a kind yarns. I found 2 hanks of Fingering in Twilight (pic at right). I'm assuming that since I can't find the link on the website NOW that it's gone so I feel very fortunate as they only have this stuff every 4-5 months. I googled Fingering Twilight yarn & it popped up so I could post this pic. I'm hoping I REALLY do have some. Everyone says how quickly they ship so I can't wait. I'll try to get someone at work with a cell phone camera to take a pic of the yarn when I get it. I would also love to get my hands on a couple of hanks of the Lady Bee Vesper Sock Yarn (on the left). I'll keep watching & maybe I'll get lucky!!

    On Husband's 2nd sock, I'm done with the cuff in lapis & am switching to the white to begin the diamond pattern for the leg. Let's see ~ only 96 rows until the heel flap!! For me, the 2nd sock always goes faster, or so it seems.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Murder in C Major by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

    Parting Shot:
    "Show me someone in denial and I'll show you a person in Egypt up to their ankles."⊂=0101&page=1

    Sunday, January 8, 2006

    Back to socks

    After I frogged the Visible-Ribbing Scarf (for the 2nd time yesterday) I cast on today, only 25 stitches this time. I knit a few inches & it's just not working. So. . . . I'm setting it aside, not frogging it & I cast on for 2nd Husband's sock. Working the the small dpns just feels so normal. For some reason, this is more relaxing that the scarf. I think because the needles are big (for my hands, anyway) & the yarn is slippery I have to support the needle in my right hand in my lap. So I'm going to do the Fran thing (KR readers will know where I'm goin' with this) & knit on the scarf 10 minutes a day. Use the sock as a reward for the scarf. I think once I get going & get serveral inches it will be easier. For now, sanity with socks.

    Went out to Spray today & took the outboard off & brought it home. It was very windy & the 50° temp felt colder. No one sailing today. The side of the garage when I park Mathilda, looks like a chandlery. 3 sail bags, anchor, chain & rode, life jackets, square cushions & other assorted crap that came off the boat. And we still have to bring home the cushions. We were going to take the chain plates (the 2 circled areas on in the photo above) off & recaulk them but didn't get around to it yesterday & it was too cold today. We took the mast down last week so it'll just be a matter of unbolting them & cleaning off the old caulk.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Murder in C Major by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

    Parting Shot: "
    Eccentric: Too rich to be called crazy."

    Saturday, January 7, 2006

    Warm enough to swim in the frog pond & listen to music

    I frogged the Visible-Ribbing Scarf — again.

    • the ribbing didn't draw it up hardly at all so instead of 55 stitches across, it's now going be 25 or so. (6 pattern stitches +1)
    • I had a really ragged loose edge on one side. I try to tug firmly on the 1st 1 or 2 stitches so the edge won't be that way. The other side was OK. Go figure.
    I'm still going to use my Lantern Moon rosewood US11 /8mm straight needles. I liked the stitch size. I think my US13 Brittany’s will be just a touch too big.

    At Knitters Review yesterday I came across this wonderful scarf The Linux Illusion Scarf. Husband is a Slacker ~ Husband is a big fan of Patrick Volkerding, who is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. So after I finish the 2 guilt scarves & his other sock, I'll work on this scarf.
    Had one of those wonderful 30% off Borders coupons, so Husband & I HAD to go. We picked up 3 new CD's.
    Have listened to ELO & The Drum Battle so far all the way through. I listened to cut 3 on the Cook Dixon & Young Volume One cd at Borders & just broke into a huge grin when Rodrick Dixon began to sing the words Fly Me To The Moon. So after dropping Husband off to pick up Itsock (our silver Buick Century — like all the other 4 batrillion silver Buick Centurys out there) who had his oil changed, I listened to that same cut all the way home.

    And earlier while Husband napped, I went to the library. In addition to another load of mysteries I also bought home 3 boxed sets cds.
    We haven't listened to any of my library cds yet. We have the Evita CD is with Patti LuPone as Evita. As far as I'm concerned, Patti is the only Evita. I also liked her better than Glen Close in Sunset Boulevard. She just has such a lush, full voice. We also have this in vinyl. The other 2 looked good. We like many of Bernstein's works & Husband especially likes West Side Story. We like old 40's music so the 3rd one was a no-brainer.

    After I stashed my library books & cd's in Mathilda (pic at top of page) I walked over to a used bookstore to look for knitting books. I have NEVER seen a used knitting book at any bookstore. There are lots of other needlework & craft books but never knitting ones. Why is that? Are they snatched up immediately by the folks that work in the store? Do knitters give their unwanted books to other knitters? Whatever the reason, I never see one.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Last Puzzle & Testament by Parnell Hall

    Parting shot: "
    Linux, because we don't need no steenkin' Blue Screen of Death!"

    Friday, January 6, 2006

    Work-Related Cultural Rant ~ long

    I apparently work at a kindergarten. I like my job ~ most of the time ~ Axis of Evil Software notwithstanding. I like most of the folks I work with. But sometimes, I feel like I work with 3-year olds — or maybe that's insulting — to 3-year olds.

    I work for a company that manufacturers white box computers. We are owned by Chinese-Americans & our company employs a lot of Chinese-Americans & other Asians. Most of them are now American citizens. I'm sure a lot of our problems stem from the Asian/Chinese culture interacting with the American/European culture. About 1/3 of our staff is Asian.

    This is what is particularly irritating to those of us who don't speak Chinese (all the American/Europeans). If there are non-Chinese-speakers & Chinese-speakers in, say the lunchroom eating lunch, the Chinense-speakers speak to each other in Chinese. Us non-Chinese- speakers speak English. When us non-Chinese-speakers are discussing stuff as we chow down (such as the weather, what was on TV last night ~ general lunchtime chat directed at no one & everyone, "Hey, anyone see American Idol last night? That [insert name here] was really good.") The Chinese-speakers comment & reply in English & we non-Chinese- speakers comment & reply & then a Chinese-speaker will say a couple of sentences in Chinese & another Chinese-speakers might reply in Chinese then a non-Chinese-speaker will continue the conversation in English & there might be a couple more Chinese-speaking comments.

    Another favorite ploy is having 2 Chinese-speakers having a conversation in English, say chatting while they wait for the microwave. When you walk into the room, you hear enough to know they were speaking English but without glancing at you or breaking conversational stride, they switch to Chinese in mid-sentence. It's just rude.

    I know that if us non-Chinese-speakers spoke a 2nd language, say Spanish or maybe French or German & we broke into Spanish or German when we saw them or at random, there would be an decree that only English was to be spoken in the workplace. I do know they can't figure out Pig-Latin so maybe we could go there. Petty, I know.

    The main rant today: If one of our customers calls his (or her) Sales Rep to ask for an update of when their computer will be ready to pick-up or ship:

    • The sales rep asks me
    • I ask the Operations Manager [OM] (Asian)
    • The OM checks with Production (sometimes this may take several hours as the OM is very busy)
    • The OM tells me the status
    • I tell the Sales Rep
    • He/She gets back with his/her customer.
    Reminds me of the game we used to call gossip where several people sit in a circle. The 1st person whispers something to the 2nd person. The 2nd person whispers it to the next one & so on down the line. It's amazing to see how different it's become by the time it gets back to the person who whispered it in the 1st place.

    The folks in Production are not allowed to tell me or any of the Sales Reps the status of an order. They are only allowed to tell the Operations Manager & the Branch Manger if the OM is not in the office. We know from our oh-so-wonderful software that the system IS indeed in Production but depending on whether it's a desktop (takes 2 business days) or server (takes 5 business days) it could be there awhile or be almost ready. And inquiring minds want to know as the end user is driving the VAR (Value Added Reseller) around the bend wanting to know precisely when.

    This has long been an unspoken, spoken policy but in light of the many Axis of Evil Software issues which since Sept 12, 2005 has doubled if not tripled the amount of time it takes to accomplish something, we did not need this re-stated.

    I understand why management doesn't want 8 sales reps running back there 6 times a day to check on the status of a system. But I don't understand why it's limited to basically one person & why we have to go thru this whole chain. I know the Operations Manager doesn't like talking to the Sales Reps. Often if the OM has a question for one of the Sales Reps the OM asks me, I ask the Sales Rep, I get the answer & I tell the OM ~ even tho sometimes, the OM comes to my desk & the Sales Rep is in the next cube. It would be easier, if the Sales Reps could e-mail the lead tech in Production to find out the status or ask me to find out.

    I'm not sure if this is this particular OM's way of doing things or just the Asian way of dealing with the European/American culture. What ever it is it's a bottleneck.

    >< >< >< >< >< >< >< ><

    Still working on the Visible-Ribbing Scarf. Didn't get much done as we're also doing a time study, where I have to write down what I'm doing & how long it takes. I'm a really busy lady!! Overworked, underpaid, etc. etc. etc.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown
    Last Puzzle & Testament by Parnell Hall

    Parting Shot: "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others." ~ Confucius from The Confucian Analects

    Wednesday, January 4, 2006

    Blogger fixed the problem I was having with the Archive or something. It would not let my pithy posts post to my blog.

    As you can see I've been accepted to & have added the Midwest Knitters webring gizzy to my side
    bar. I'm going to try to figure out how to get one of their neat buttons, like this one on my side bar. I don't know much about Html but I know just pasting a pic ain't gonna do it. I think I'll have to have the Html code. I'll have to e-mail someone & see what it is. If you go look, I'm not actually ON the ring list yet, as she's been really busy. but I will be . . . I will be.

    Been knitting away on my now visible ribbing scarf. I think that's what I'm going to call it. The Visible Ribbing Scarf. Because, you know, you can see the ribbing. See
    Warrior Knitter: Remedial Knitting or can't be too obvious for me for long-winded explanation.

    I am compiling a list of things I've got to learn how to do in Html or webdom. Another one is links like my e-mail does where you can have the whole link in a word or phrase of your choice.

    Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown &
    Last Puzzle & Testament by Parnell Hall

    Parting shot:
    "If one man says, "it was an uphill battle," and another says, "it went downhill from there," how could they both be having troubles?"

    Tuesday, January 3, 2006

    Remedial Knitting or can't be too obvious for me

      Obviously. I Do. Not. Know. Ribbing from [fill in the blank] stitch. And I must be crocheting to boot or maybe quilting or even quilling.

      Remember yesterday when I said I was ribbing & yet you could not see the ribbing? Because I must have been doing some incredible invisible ribbing. Over 5" of this marvelous, fantastic non-visible ribbing. Remember when I said that I was having a hard time telling which were the purl & which were the knit stitches on this phenomenal, astounding not perceivable to the naked eye ribbing? And remember, also that I have been doing nothing but knit-in-the-round socks for days & weeks & months. Knit-In-The-Round on dpns. Where when you begin the next row you do the same stitch. If you are k1, p1, k3, k1 all the way around on the 1st round you k1, p1, k3, p1, all the way around on the next round & on every single round.

      But I'm not knitting the not-a-garter-stitch scarf in the round. It's flat. And when you do that to flat knitting you don't get ribbing. I had to look up what you do get.

      Well, it wasn't garter stitch (thank the gods!) It was MOSS stitch! Yes, I had (note the tense here) over 5" of invisible ribbing
      MOSS stitch.

      No wonder my purls & knit stitches looked ODD. I was looking at the knits & purls as purls & knits & thinking all the while, this is strange. I'm doing it right (for knitting-in-the-round) but it's weird.

      I have no idea why all of a sudden it made sense why I had invisible ribbing. But there it was. Plain as the
      MOSS stitch in my scarf. I was doing it wrong. I didn't even think about it. I just slipped the whole thing off the needles, frogged it, wound it back up & cast on again.

      Now, I definitely have RIBBING. I could see it on the 3rd row. I have about 1½" now of ribbing. Real ribbing. Even Husband can see. The. Ribbing.

      Invisible ribbing my . . . . . . .

      Reading: I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown

      Parting Shot:
      "It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious." ~ Alfred North Whitehead

    Monday, January 2, 2006

    Jesus saves & so did I

    Update: Ok, so now it's posted my original post & this post. Gah! I LOVE technology! I'll leave both for now.

    Oh & in the meantime I requested to join the Midwest Knitters webring. I had a devil of a time finding a nice place to put the link. I'm still not very confident on this HTML stuff. I do OK as long as sometime gives me the code & lots of time to play with it. Some day I'll design a Warrior Knitter button. I have link to a site which will help but enough with the blogging & typing & back to the Not a Garter Stitch scarf!

    >< >< >< >< >< >< >< >< >< >< >< ><

    I have this cool post with pics & everything but Blogger says I have an Archive error & it won't post & then it lost my post. Thank goodness I got into the habit of saving the text on Word before I actually publish. Anyway I can't get it to go & I don't have the patience this evening to find out why or upload all the picks (yeah, all 3!) so tomorrow.

    Reading: Cold Company by Sue Henry

    Parting Shot:
    "As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing."

    Not another garter stitch scarf

    Nope. This one has ribbing!! Ahhhh Grasshopper. Usually when I decide to do a scarf, yes, it is garter stitch but the yarn is usually really cool. Like Prism's Cool Stuff on the right. Or Trendsetters Sorbet on the left. They make really impressive scarves for non-knitters. They're more impressed with the yarn than with how or how well you knitted it. Knitters know that you just took a really fancy yarn & did the same damn boring stitch over & over & over until your eyes fell out. With the Alpaca with a Twist Punch yarn (the lilac one) I decided to do ribbing. This yarn is fairly thin (NOT as thin as Kidsilk Haze) & it's fairly shiny so I really didn't want to do a cable. The recipient of the scarf is short & well, not stick thin but not fat either. I wanted to do a wide scarf as it was a thin yarn so it would bunch around her neck easier & since ribbing stretches it just seemed right. (That last sentence made no sense but somehow it says what I want it to say.) Anyway, a couple of months ago I started to knit the Conway sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. I fell in love with the ribbing for the cuff. [I frogged the sock about 2" in because I didn't like the way the yarn looked with the mini-cables but that's another post.] Anyway, I love this ribbing. k1, p1, k3, p1. I used it as the cuff ribbing it on a fingerless glove I made out of dark gray alpaca to keep my mouse hand warm at home. So that's the ribbing I'm using for this scarf.

    Now this goes under the knitters are a bit touched heading. You can't really see the ribbing on this scarf — at least not yet. I'm using US11 / 8mm needles. I'm about 3" into the scarf & I can't see the ribbing. Normally, way before this, usually on the 3rd or 4th row you can see the ribbing. Not on this scarf. It's even diffucult for me to tell which are the purl & which are the knit stitches. The important thing is that i
    t's Not Garter Stitch!

    Oh, well. It's lacy & pretty & I think the lavender will go with her coloring. She has a dark coat so I think the whole thing will work. Gosh, this stuff sure is soft.

    Reading: Cold Company by Sue Henry

    Parting Shot: "For people who like peace and quiet: a phonelss cord."

    Sunday, January 1, 2006

    Sail Away Sail Away Sail Away

    Went out to the lake this afternoon. It got up to 66°F. today! We watched the big Erickson (38') sailing. The wind was probably 12mph or so with little or no white caps. It would have been great sailing.

    We dropped the mast on Spray & took all the sails, life jackets & crap off the boat. Geeze. How did all that stuff make it onto the boat!!! Next time we go out, we'll take the motor off & take it & all the cushions home. We looked at the top of the mast where we're g
    oing to install an AqualSignal series 25 masthead anchor light whch is clear or white all around. The light half-way up the mast (steaming light) didn't work when we got the boat & we're thinking about doing away with it altogether. You only use it at night when you're under motor instead of sail power. It's not mandatory on boats the size of Spray (23').

    We'll have to deal with the wiring in the mast as it only goes up halfway in a pvc type of tube (to the steaming light) & there has never been any kind of light on top of the mast. We have an extra switch on the electrical panel so we could keep the steaming light but we'll see what happens once we take the plate off the top of the mast & start fiddlin' with wires & such.

    Dropping the mast when you're 12 years older than the last time your did it is quite a challenge. We were both exhausted. Thank goodness we'd loaded up Mathilda (my truck & yes we name everything) with all the crap before we started on the mast.

    We figure the mast hasn't been down since the dealer put it up over 18 years ago. It'll be good to check all the masthead fittings, spreader attachments, etc. The previous owners had cotter rings almost everywhere. They are good in their place, but we're going to replace all the ones in the shrouds & the forestay with cotter pins. Our genoa sheets kept catching on the cotter rings at base of the outboard shrouds. Replacing & taping them with rigging tape that sticks to itself but not anything else should solve that problem.

    Other projects for Spray over the winter

    • sand & finish all the gelcoat repairs we made over the summer.
    • polish & wax the hull again. We rubbing compounded & waxed it before we put it in & I think it just needs more wax.
    • rubbing compound & wax the top of the boat. We never did get around to it this summer
    • If we have the extra dinars we want to install a traveler system in the cockpit.
    For the non-sailors (who probably don't care anyway) it will help us to more efficiently trim the mainsail. On our 1st boat Relentless (a 1985 Laguna 22) we had a traveler installed at the very front of the cockpit, right as you would step up to go down below. On Relentless, there actually WAS a step, but on Spray there isn't one. You step over the edge of the companionway down onto the cooler step then onto the sole (floor of the cabin). There will be about 3' of unsupported track which someone could step on so we'll brace that. Presently, the mainsail trims from a bridle at the back of the cockpit (see circled area in photo). You can see that if I'm not careful, when we tack or jibe I could be closelined when the mainsheet (the ropes) moves from one side of the boat to the other. Or the mainsheet block (that black & silver pulley) gets caught in my hair. ouch! Anyway, the traveler will take care of that & put it in nicely the way of going down below. When you're sailing you usually aren't in & out of the cabin a lot anyway. When we're docked or at anchor, the mainsheet & traveler car are moved all the way to one side or the other & the boom is raised up out of the way. What it actually DOES when your sailing in heavy winds (which we like) ~~ you can dump the excess wind more easily. It actually puts a slight twist in the mainsail so that the excess wind funnels out the top. In light air (which we don't like) it puts more of a cup in the sail to catch more wind. There are all kinds of tricks with sail trim & crew placement to deal with whatever kind of wind situation you have.

    We'd have to purchase the track, a car that runs on the track & we don't need to but we're going to get hexaratch mainsheet block (a fancier version of the one we already have) to make it even easier for us. The whole traveler system will be Harken & hopefully will be very similar to the one we had on Relentless which worked very well.

    Now that I've bored ya'll to tears I'll return you to your regularly scheduled whatever.

    Reading: Cold Company by Sue Henry

    Parting Shot:
    Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. ~Mark Twain