Monday, May 29, 2006

Where have all the hermits gone?

Spray ~ Oh. My. Gosh. Where to start?? And it's not over yet!!

Each morning we were at the boatyard by 7:30-8am. We'd work until it got hot. We were usually packed up & home by 9:30-10am.

Saturday, we went back out at 7:30pm & worked 'till dark, came home, showered, did some cool knit stuff (see way below) then crashed. After the Sunday morning stint, we came home, showered & napped, stopped at the Home Depot & were back out at 5ish & worked until 8:30ish. Today, we left after the marina kids helped us put the mast back up as it had clouded up & was going to rain. We didn't go back out.

Last weekend we'd finished running the wire thru the mast to attach for the new mast lights & we'd recaulked the chainplates. We did so much this weekend that I can't even remember (for the most part) when we did what.

  • rubbing compound & polished cockpit on the left side of the boat with polisher
  • installed new anchor lock latch
  • replaced all 4 deck cleats
  • dremmeled off our previous fiberglass repair on the mast step (as it had cracked also ~ we found the crack goes all the way down) & filled it with caulk
  • replaced the motor well boot
  • replaced fuel lines & fuel fitting
  • replaced the topping lift
  • CLR'd stains between the bottom paint & the boot stripe
  • polished the port side of the boat
  • worked on the gas locker lid ~ it doesn't rock now!)
  • re-ran mast wires thru the PVC tube in the mast (which only goes up to the steaming light fitting)
  • installed a new steaming light bracket
  • installed & wired the new Aqua signal steaming light (we installed the Aqua signal anchor light last weekend)
  • tested both lights (they worked!!)
  • reattached all the shrouds & laid everything out for the mast raising
  • put the mast back up with the marina kids help ~ THANKS!! Justin & Stacy!!)
Still left to do:
  • bottom paint
  • a little more gas locker lid work & attach hinges
  • polish the sides & back
  • rubbing compound & polish the rest of the top of the boat
  • put teak stuff on the teak
  • lightly oil teak on inside of boat
  • connect the mast wiring to the rest of the wiring in the boat (once the deck plug from Precision arrives ~ but that won't keep us out of the water—we'll launch without it if it's not here & everything else is done)
  • load all the crap we took out of the boat
  • launch
And, of course, as we were going along, stuff got added. Saturday after the initial boat work, we went home & showered & drove off to Boater's World. We found deck cleats that would work & fuel line & fittings so those 2 things were added to our list. We also picked up various SS screws, cotter pins & more rubbing compound & polish. A trip to the hardware store Sunday netted more polishing bonnets, fish tape (fish tape OK, but delivery system sucks) & aluminum rivets (for the steaming light bracket).

We are sore from numerous trips up & down the swim ladder & from stepping up & down from the cockpit & side decks to the coach house roof. And stepping over & under the mast, as it was laid across the top of the boat this whole time.

But WoW! Spray looks so good. When we finish polishing she will look even better.

Not much but significant. I finished the MayDay socks Friday evening, well, early Saturday morning. Considering how the rest of the weekend was spent, I'm glad I did.

Saturday, after we got back from round 1 at the boatyard, I quickly decided which 2 Fortissima colors to knit with next. I wound the white & red into center pull yarn cakes. Honey drove & I cast on. I was initially doing a white sock with little red v's scattered throughout but you could barely see the red v's so I yanked that out all the way down to the cast on row. Then I started 1 round of red & 1 round of white in k4, p2 (my NEW favorite ribbing). Not much there in the pic to see yet but it's now my stoplight knitting sock on the 2mm Clover bamboo needles. I'm on round 10.

OK now to my JayWalker socks in Claudia handpainted Twilight socks. Saturday night, I got out my swift & inaugurated it with one of the Twilight hanks. I re-wound it once I got it wound the 1st time as coming off the swift it was kinda rough. I'd never used a swift before & the hank was wound kinda strange but it all worked out.

So Saturday night, I cast on for the JayWalker. I did 9 rounds of k2, p2 & then began the JayWalker magic. I love clever simple patterns that I don't have to keep referring to the directions the entire way thru. This is one of those patterns.

I had been distracted by my stash of Socks That Rock yarn & had forgotten a little why I fell in love with the Twilight colorway until I dug it out again & unhanked it to put on the swift. It's very aptly names as it DOES remind me of twilight colors. The yarn is soft & easy to knit with. I haven't knit with pure wool since the Seaweed Socks that I finished at the end of November. I've forgotten how soft & forgiving pure wool is.

It's hard to tell the pattern on this pic, too as I'm not very far along, only on round 12. Looking closely at the sock in my hand I can just begin to discern the famous JayWalker pattern.

A busy, busy 3-day holiday. And I resign tomorrow!!

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

Parting Shot:
"The perfect boat drinks 6, eats 4 & sleeps 2." ~ unknown
Quote source: a sign on our living room wall

Friday, May 26, 2006

I quit

Well, I haven't quit, yet. But on Tuesday, back fresh from a 3-day weekend, I am turning in my notice. I'm giving 3 weeks notice. My last day will be 6/16. Cutie & I discussed it at dinner. That I was going to quit was a foregone conclusion. And my last day of work was also a given ~ a week before the move on 6/23. I just don't want to wait any longer. It's not like I was going to change my mind.

So on to all these new Husband names. We rarely use each other's name when we're alone together. And I don't call him "Husband" hence all the endearments.

OK, knitting!
The 2nd MayDay sock is almost done. In fact, it will most likely be done before I quit on Tuesday.
I'm on round 60 of the foot. Only 20 more foot rounds to go & then 31 toe rounds. All the ends, except the 2 I'm knitting with are already woven in. This weekend, along with everything else, I plan to break out my new swift & wool winder & wind me a hank of wool. The Claudia handpainted fingering yarn in Twilight to be specific. Then I plan to cast on for the Jaywalker sock by Grumpernia & knit with my 2.5mm rosewood dpns.

Since I'll also need a stoplight knitting sock I'll browse around in my Fortissima cotton stash & pick 2 colors & maybe do a stranded thing, or maybe not. Maybe a stripey thing or maybe not. I dunno. I'll pick the colors, cast on with 1 of them & go from there. I'll keep you posted. I wonder if you can cast on with 2 colors. hmmmmm.

The bracket for our steaming light that I didn't think would be here until Tuesday, arrived today. So, Sweetie & I will finish the lights on on the mast & maybe get that sucker back up this weekend. I honestly don't think we can do it by ourselves but we'll see.

Well, this bloggin' is seriously cutting into my kitting so . . . .

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
High Country by Nevada Barr

Parting Shot: When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses. ~ Shirley Chisholm
Quote Source

Monday, May 22, 2006

More Clueless Manglement

Only 13 more working days until I turn in my notice & then only 10 more working days after that! I can do that . . . I hope! More clueless manglement today. They've solved the all problems by sending out a memo that says that everyone needs to work together. Oh, really! Now why didn't WE think of that!

Got a little more done on Spray. I began doing the polishing of the smooth parts of the gelcoat (the non non-skid parts) on the deck up by the anchor locker & around the front hatch. Honey worked on the gas locker lid. It always rocked a little which eventually (after 18 years) broke the hinges. He fixed it & got it ready to screw the hinges back in. He also worked on polishing the sides.

That's about all we got done as it was hot. We were still tired & sunburned from yesterday so after that we called it quits & went home. We showered & then we napped so hard. It's been a long time since I was that physically worn out.

Sunday evening I finished the heel flap, turned the heel & picked up the gussets on the 2nd MayDay sock. I knit on it some today. However, there was a loose spot that never got any better so this evening I gave in & pulled those 8 rounds out, all the way back to picking up the gussets again. But, it'll be correct. And maybe I can get the same amount of stitches on each side picked up the same this time.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
High Country by Nevada Barr

Parting Shot: 'Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." ~ H.L. Mencken
Quote Source

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sail Boat Post (at last!)

This post is mostly about Spray with just a little knitting content.

We FINALLY worked on Spray (our 23' 1988 Precision sailboat) today. We got the upgrading part, well, most of it, done today. Spray didn't come with an anchor light at the top of the mast. Our 1st boat, Relentless, (22' 1985 Laguna sailboat) had one & since we anchored out overnight a fair amount it was a must. We didn't do that on Spray at all last year ... well, that was 1 reason.

We bought a 50' orange extension cord & cut off both ends. We needed a wire with 3 distinct "wires" instead of a bunch of stranded ones. And buying the extension cord was cheaper than buying 40' of the "proper" wire.
We'd dropped the mast earlier this year so that part was already done.

We ran a tag line thru the mast. That was a trick. We noticed several pieces of 1" diameter pvc pipe in the marina boneyard that had been used previously for de-icing. We duct taped those together & ran them thru the mast, dislodging in the process a huge birds nest that had been 4' or so up from the bottom of the mast. It had been blocking access thru the mast. We attached a line to the 1st pvc pipe & when it poked out the other end, we attached our "tag line" ~ a piece of string ~ & using the line attached to the pvc piece, Honey pulled the pvc pipe back out while I fed the tag line in on the other end of the mast. We made the tag line a continuous loop then pulled the extension cord & the supporting line thru the mast. We're going to keep the tag line intact until we put the mast back up & make sure the lights work.

Honey got the mast light installed, the electrics hooked up & the extension cord supported by a line tied to the mast cap. We put the mast cap back on.

Now for the steaming light, which is halfway up on the front of the mast. When a sailboat is under power at night, if you have one, that's when you have the steaming light on. But it also shines on the sail when you're under sail & lets folks know that you're a sailboat not a powerboat. So often sailboats will have it on when they're sailing.

There was a steaming light on Spray but it didn't work. We thought it might be that the plug at the base of the mast was corroded but when we messed with that the light still didn't work. When we dropped the mast, we found that there were no wires hooked up to it when we took the broken light off. When we looked today, we found that the wires had fallen off. They were corroded & poorly done so we pulled those out.
We fished a piece of the orange extension cord out of the steaming light hole. The steaming light we brought, doesn't match the curve of our mast. So, we are going to order a bracket from West Marine that will be riveted to the mast & the steaming light will mount to that. That looks like the easiest way.

On the maintenance side, we took off the chain plates, cleaned those up, recalked & reseated them. So much for THAT leak.

Since we hadn't been out to the boat in months, it was in pretty good shape, considering all the rain we've had. It's been a wet, cool spring. I cleaned up what water trails there were so we can see if it still leaks in the same places. We still have to fix a pretty serious gelcoat crack that leaks at the base of the mast. That may not be fixable. If not, we've got some ideas on how to get around that.

Tomorrow, we're going to re-seal the teak on the outside, start rubbing compounding & waxing the top of the boat. Honey's also going to work a bit on the neverending gelcoat nick repair. We're pretty tired so we may not get much more done. In fact, Honey's asleep in his chair already.

We're going to have the marina take the boat down to the water during the week & power wash the bottom. It came out so late last year, they didn't do that part. When that's done we can throw a fresh coat of bottom paint on.

We are a bit sunburned & really beat this evening. But we feel really good about what we accomplished.

Monday, Honey's going to contact Precision & get 4 deck cleats, a set of new weatherboards, & the 12v deck plug that will hook up the electrics in mast to the 12v power in the rest of the boat.

Some knitting . . . .
Started the heel flap this evening. Maybe I'll have the heel done & be on the foot by Monday.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori by Robert Barnard

Parting Shot:


I MUST down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over."

~ John Mansfield
Quote Source

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Same old torture, every day, every day.

Just a reminder that posting's gonna be light all summer, only once, twice, or maybe thrice a week.

What a week! And it's only Thursday ~ Finally!

  • New clothes
  • Finished the 1st MayDay sock
  • Got the ball winder
  • Crazy crazy stuff at work
  • Xena DVD's
I am enjoying wearing all my new clothes. They fit. They look good. They're comfortable. Now if I just had a new job to go with all my new clothes. Well, I am looking & looking. I plan to be outta there by 6/23. That is going to be my absolute last day . . . if I last that long. It seems now that I've made the decision to quit but haven't yet, almost every day pushes me nearer the edge. I can afford to quit now & maybe I should.

This is one job, where I really enjoy my immediate co-workers. Middle & upper manglement is the problem. Oh, yeah, google & weasel are a bother but I don't have to interact with them. Especially now that I don't have to do any fixing of things.

I have got only a very few things to do. I have some pet projects I'm working on that are busy work that I enjoy doing. I only have about 1-2 hours of REAL work each day. Monday, white-guy-who-thinks-he's-boss, is supposed to have me start doing some other stuff, but we'll see. He has me doing a daily report that takes all of 5 minutes, (done it 3 times now) but today, he took it back, I think. I wasn't able to get into it because he was in it all day.

Yes, I finished knitting the 1st MayDay sock on Monday 5/15 & wove in all the ends at lunch on Tuesday. I knit that sucker in 12 days! I cast on for the 2nd sock on Tuesday, 5/16. The 2nd sock is going to be a reverse image of the 1st one. I cast on with the light green & things are up to round 54 of the leg in 3 days. There are 80 rounds on the leg. Oh, & in case you missed it or forgot or didn't really care the 1st time (or any of the subsequent times I posted), it's Fortissima cotton.

Wednesday was a busy day, well afternoon. I had a dentist appointment, I had to get my glasses adjusted (again!) & my ball winder was in! So I left work early & got my glasses fixed, then I had 30 minutes to spend at my LYS. I strode in & was greeted by name. Whoa! I go in there once every couple of months or so, but it's not like it's every week! So, OK, I'm branded. She went & got my ball winder & I looked at all the dpns, again. The notions wall. All the sock yarns. All the sock books! And then most of the rest of the books. And then the sock yarn again. Along with my Royal "wool winder" (is what's on the box), I picked up 2 hanks of the bright pink & dark gray/black Koigu sock yarn. I decided that there probably isn't a bad sock yarn colorway once it's knit into a sock & on your foot. But there are some I like whole lot more than others.

I love the ball winder. I haven't yet paired it with the swift. I am having so much fun with the winder!! I have several big ugly BALLS of leftover yarn. So I wound a couple of those. The 1st thing I wound was some green Fortissima cotton. WoW! It looks just like it does when the LYS does it! Duh!

So I played with it a while. I
wound a messy leftover ball of sari silk yarn. Cool! I wound the teeny ball of green Fortissima that I was working with on the 2nd MayDay sock. Neato! I wound a tight ball of pink rayon something I've had in my stash for mumble mumble years into a yarn cake! Peachy! I wound a couple of other things before I put it away to knit.

I am enjoying the fast knit of my MayDay socks so much & I want to wear them really soon with their mirror image that I decided to hold off on the Claudia handpainted Twilight yarn for my Jaywalker socks until I finish my MayDay socks. So I didn't wind any of my hanks. I decided to enjoy them in their hankness until I'm ready to knit them. They are soo cool that way & once they're wound, there's no going back. Besides, I will enjoy their woundness all the time that I'm knitting them & the leftovers will be wound until I use 'em up.

Oh & Wednesday I also got ALL the rest of the Xena dvd's! I took them out of the box & sat them on the end of my desk to admire & fondle all day. I didn't take the plastic off at work. I didn't want someone (weasel) to get any ideas about "Let's try one in the notebook demo up front" & have some lowlife customer steal it. They've stolen other dvd's we've had up there to show the features of stuff.

Tonight, Honey (aka Husband), had to work late so I came home & watched The Furies & knit. This is the 1st show of season 3. Oh, yeah, I watched Lost Mariner & A Comedy of Eros, Tuesday, I think. They were the last 2 shows of the 2nd season.

It's been so long since I've seen any of these. I'd forgotten some of Xena's funny lines from A Comedy of Eros. And that amazing leap in Lost Mariner. And crazy Xena in The Furies.

So when I near the end of watching the Xena eps, I may start purchasing the Herc ones.

The last couple of nights, it's finally been warm enough sleep with the windows open. It's so neat to wake & hear the birds & see the curtains breathing in & out with the morning breeze.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
The Corpse at the Haworth Handoori by Robert Barnard

Parting Shot: "Procrastination is not the same as laziness. Laziness means you don't want to do anything. Procrastination means you just don't want to do it now." ~ Jorge Cham, creator of comic strip Piled Higher & Deeper
Quote Source

Saturday, May 13, 2006

There is shoppin' & there is SHOPPIN'!

It's been a busy week here.

I don't have the ball winder yet. But my lovely swift is leaned up against a wall in the living room so I can admire it every time I walk by. No, it's not expanded . . . yet!

I've been working every day (except today, so far) on the MayDay socks. I am within 20 or so rounds of the foot being done. As this is my only knitting now, it's flying. The 2nd sock will be a mirror image of the 1st. I've finally mastered the almost-jogless stripe knitting. The whole leg was done with the "jog" in the purl ditch so you can't see it. On the foot, you can see the 1st 3 or 4 but rest are better. The 2nd sock, will have the "jog" in a purl ditch on the top of the foot.

My next stoplight knitting sock will also be in cotton. I have LOTS of Fortissima cotton to use up. I'm considering, the same k4, p2 pattern, but more of a fair isle or stranded knitting thing. Possibly 1 color with single knit stitches of a contrasting color dotted throughout. I don't know. I'll see. This stripey thing I'm doing now just happened.

On the Xena front, I bit the bullet & ordered seasons 3-6 (all the seasons I didn't have) the other day. The site I found thru Xena Online Community forum, Legendary Heros has the DVDs a whole lot cheaper than Borders. I expect those next week. This morning I finally threw out ALL my old VHS taped Xena & Herc episodes. Most were unviewable, due to the ravages of time on cheap tapes. So I now have LOTS of room for my new Xena DVD's.

Last night, Husband called as I was just leaving work & said he would be working very late. This was just what I had been waiting for to do some major clothes shoppin'. So I turned around & headed back into town to Coldwater Creek. I ordered a couple of sweaters from their website earlier this year. I was there for 2½ hours. I am NOT a shoppin' girl. Most of the time I'm under time constraints but not this time. That is a store that takes time. They had maybe 7 or 8 or 12 women there to help. It was a great experience. I normally HATE shopping for clothes for me & only do it when I HAVE to. Which means I'm crunched for time & I settle.

So I tried on & tried on & tried on & narrowed it down & ended up with 2 skirts (1 jean & 1 black with big flowers in pinks & other colors), a dress (sleeveless, purple), 3 sleeveless shells (1 white knitted, 1 cool pink, 1 cool purple), 2 short sleeved knit sweaters (1 cool pink & 1 cool purple), 2 3/4 length fold back sleeve blouses (1 white & 1 cool pink), a pair of pants (black crinkle ~ which I have to hem) & 2 3/4 length fold back sleeve jackets (1 white & 1 cool pink). A total of 13 pieces that ALL work together & with other stuff I have. That is some kind of major accomplishment for me.

The women were SO helpful but not intrusive. I am just not used to that. If I wanted to work retail again, THAT would be the place. I spent more on clothes at one time than I probably spent ALL of last year & the previous year combined. I plan to go back, late summer, early fall & do my "winter" shoppin' at the same place.

What made it more bearable, was that one of the women gave me 2 $25 off coupons & then I got 20% off the whole shebang by opening a charge account. I've done that at other places & then paid it off when the bill came. I saved over $250. Their clothes are not cheap but they're well made & will last for a long time. I even liked their "free" gift of a pearl necklace & earring set.

Now I have me some good interview clothes, to boot. It's going to be fun when I show up at work in all these new clothes & just smile when asked, "Got an interview?"

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Tell No Tales by Eleanor Taylor Bland

Parting Shot: "There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation."

Quote Source

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

I'm a cartoon character

Today I realized that I work in a Dilbert cartoon or as one of my fellow worker bees said, "I don't have to watch [the movie] Office Space. I work there." I've never seen Office Space so I may have to rent it. But I post the Dilbert cartoons every day.

We have a newish sales guy. He thinks an hour for lunch is not long enough so he often takes longer. As he's a sales guy, he's not on the time clock which rules the rest of us. So today, google (can you guess why he has that moniker?) leaves at 11:30am & gets back at 2:00pm. google told just-got-married (another sales guy who has the cube next to google) that he (google) was going to a job fair & did he (just-got-married) want to come along. They would be back around 2pm. just-got-married wisely declined. It didn't take long for word to spread around the front office (except for manglement [aka management], of course) what was going on. Everyone up front knew when google walked back in the front door.

The white-guy-who-thinks-he's-the-Branch-mangler (he's not, Chinese overlord is) is out of town at the monthly Sales
Mangler meeting so we decided one of us should e-mail the white-guy-who-thinks-he's-the-Branch-mangler. I volunteered. Heck, I'm outta there in 45 (or less) days anyway. I didn't mention any names but let
The white-guy-who-thinks-he's-the-Branch-
mangler know what had gone on. No response by end of business today.

Anyway, before google came back, several of us (weasel is on vacation this week) discussed when we're leaving. So, me, the 2 top sales reps in the company & the 2 newer guys (not google) plan to be gone before we move. There are 2 others who are also actively looking but will stay until they have another job. That leaves weasel & google to run the place.

My unannounced last day will be 6/23. There will be several of us, I'm sure, who will turn our 2 week notice in on the morning of 6/12. So right off the bat, that's BANG! 5 people out of his 9 person department ~ GONE.

I don't remember if I've posted about this before or not. One of the strangest things local manglement does is when a customer wants to check on the status of a system, he calls his rep. In a regular company, the rep would call or go talk to the guys actually building the computers to find out when it will be ready for pick-up or whatever. Not here. The sales rep has to e-mail me. I have to restate the sales reps e-mail & forward the e-mail to Chinese overlord. I have to restate it so Chinese overlord doesn't have to scroll down. (saves time, I'm told by the Chinese overlord, just in case you were wondering). Chinese overlord calls or e-mails or goes to find Production
mangler guy. Production mangler guy goes to find system & asks the person who's dealing with it at that time, when it will be ready to ship or pick up. That person tells the Production mangler guy. Production mangler guy tells Chinese overlord, usually via e-mail as Chinese overlord does not have time to wait & is on to the next pseudo-crisis. The person dealing with the system has no e-mail so we miss that part. Chinese overlord then just forwards me Production mangler's e-mail. I waste my time scrolling down to read Production mangler's e-mail for my own edification & then forward the e-mail to the sales rep. And the sales rep finally calls or e-mails his customer. On a good day, this process can take several hours ~ never less than 2 or 3. The longest I've seen it take is 2 weeks. Yep, almost 10 days after the system had shipped, Chinese overlord, e-mailed me that the system is ready to pick up anytime.

Neither I or the sales rep are permitted to query the Production mangler guy or the persons building the systems directly. Chinese overlord says that it wastes their time & "causes delays". The Chinese folks building the systems & the Production
mangler guy have been instructed (I have seen the e-mails! ) not to answer if we ask. If they are caught talking to us front office folk at any time, they are subject to a lengthy unpleasant closed door meeting with Chinese overlord. It is assumed that we are finding out where a system is in the system & not anything mundane such as "Is it going to rain?"

It's time to go to sleep & I'm pissed. Not drunk, cross. I often wonder if I can last out until 6/23.I woke up last night at 2am & could not fall back to sleep. This job is NOT worth it.

OK ~ tiny knitting content ~ I'm on round 14 of the foot of the MayDay socks.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Tell No Tales by Eleanor Taylor Bland

Parting Shot:
" It might look like I'm doing nothing, but at the cellular level I'm actually quite busy." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Sunday, May 7, 2006

What's Done is Done

I really can't believe it. I am done with all the Conway's & the Asparagus socks & am ready dive into my next project. But 1st, some statistics.

Conway socks (blue): These were done in Rowan wool-cotton on 2.5mm dpns. Asparagus (green) socks: Also done in Rowan wool-cotton on 2.5mm dpns. So it was like knitting the same sock 6 times, same yarn~same needles, although on the Asparagus socks, the pattern was very easy, k3, p3 & then every 10th row was a purl row.

Conway sock #20 & sock #22 are my socks. Sock #20 was completed in 24 days of actual knitting & sock #22 was completed in 14 days of actual knitting ~ I normally wear a size 5½-6 shoe. The pair of my socks weigh 128 grams & cost $22.94 in yarn by weight. Mine took about 2½ skeins to knit.

My sister-in-law's sock #23 was completed in 21 days & her sock #24 was done in 14 days. She normally wears a size 9 (I think). Her socks weighed in at 187 grams & cost $42.81 in yarn, by weight. Her's took by weight 3.75 skeins to knit. The skein of slate blue wool-cotton & have left, weights 26 grams.

Interesting how the 2nd sock on both only took 14 days. Gotta stuff the project knitter back down.

Husband's Asparagus socks, my stoplight knitting stocks, socks #19 & #21. Almost all the knitting on these socks were done at stoplights & in very slow moving traffic when I was by myself in the car. So they took a lot longer. I didn't keep a date count, but I cast on for the 1st one on 1/26/06, when it finally got light enough to see to knit on the way to & from work. He wears a size 9½ shoe & his weigh in at 166 grams, a little over 3 skeins. His cost $38.01 by weight. I have 44 grams of the green left.

These wool-cotton socks are heavy in the hand & the knitting feels dense, especially on the cabled part of the Conway's. By comparison, my cotton Cascade Fixation socks (k3, p3) weigh 100 grams & my wool Seaweed socks, are only 84 grams. Husband's Cascade Fixation Lozenge socks are 145 grams.

I am now down to 1 sock on the needles, the Mayday socks. They are the only ones I'll be knitting on until the ball winder I ordered when I got my umbrella swift comes in. Then I'll wind the Claudia handpainted Twilight from Kpixie & begin the Grumpernia's JayWalker socks. The MayDay socks will revert to being my stoplight knitting socks.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Reflections by Jo Bannister

Parting Shot: "
He conquers who endures." ~ Persius
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Saturday, May 6, 2006

Almost There

I am on the toe decreases on SIL''s 2nd Conway sock. I have 24 rounds to go but I am too tired this evening to knit any more. I have a paper cut on the ball of the RH index finger. That's the finger I use to push the left dpn to help get the completed stitch off the needle. Don't know why I do it that way, just do. But if I hit my paper cut ~ OUCH! And I had an invisible splinter on the side of the middle finger of my left hand that's infected & it hurts, too. Also, when I get tired, I make dumb knitting mistakes & drop stitches so I'm done knitting for today. I did a lot tho. I knit 26 foot rounds & 4 toe decrease rounds (which are long rounds because I've only decreased 8 stitches).

But I except to finish the socks by days end tomorrow. I'll take both pairs of Conway's & Husband's Asparagus socks to work Monday to show off. I'll e-mail SIL when they are really done & the last 3 ends (only where I joined this last skein of yarn & the finish end) are woven in.

I might try to do a fancy sock sleeve along the lines of what Grumpernia has done. I don't have a color printer but I can do up a simple one with fancy résumé paper on the laser printer. Depends on when she wants to pick them up or I can come to lunch at school as to if this part gets done.

I picked up 2 more crochet hooks today. I have several in size B, which is 2.25mm. That has worked great for this Rowan wool cotton, which is what I've been knitting with exclusively since February 12 ~ almost 3 months. But for the Fortissima cotton, a smaller size, especially with the 2mm needles, will be easier. So I found a size A which is a 2mm & a 1.9mm hook at Michael's.

Now, if I had my ball winder, I could play ~ for real ~ with my swift & wind the Claudia handpainted. But I'll take a bit of a knitting break & just work on 1 sock, the green striped cotton MayDay socks that I started when I ran out of yarn last week to finish the Conway & Asparagus socks.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Two Down by Nero Blanc

Parting Shot: "
He who hesitates is not only lost but miles from the next exit." ~ unknown
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Friday, May 5, 2006

Not very fast but Swift

Friday is finally o ver. This week is FINALLY!! O VER.

The really good thing about yesterday, what kept me goin' at work (other than the fact that this day just can not last forever) was that I was going to go to my LYS & get more yarn that evening. And we (or rather I did). I got another ball of the mint green to finish the Asparagus sock & another ball of the slate (I hope that's all it takes) it finish the Conway sock. And, of course, you can't go into a yarn shop & just get what you need & leave Well, you can once in a while.

I was wandering about, feeling the yarn (I do that . . . feel the yarn ~ my hands were clean!) and I wandered over to where the swift they have was. I was looking at it & one of the gals asked if she could help me. I asked if they sold swifts like they use because I know they've had that one a long time. She said they did & proceeded to show me a new one. It was beautiful. Polished smooth blond wood. The new one had linen string holding the various pieces together while the one they've used for years had various kinds & colors of yarn. She said (she's been there for years) that the linen string was the only thing they've ever had to replace. So I got it!! I think (I forgot to ask) but I think someone local makes them as there is no brand name anywhere & the box it came in is also unlabeled. I ordered a Royal ball winder, too as that's what they use. She says they have to replace the ball winder every now & then as it wears out. Of course, they use that thing all day, every day. And it IS plastic. I can live with that.

So when my ball winder gets here, I'll be winding & winding & winding. No more sloppy skeins. I can rewind balls more neatly & so they pull from the center. But I may not because although I don't like chasing the skein around the room, I like even less the collapsing skein. Well, if I don't like it I can rewind it. Hah!

OK, project update. I set the MayDay sock aside & took up last night with the Conway. I only have 26 rounds to go on the foot. On the Asparagus, I am finished with the foot & am racing for the FINISH! Only 15 more rounds to go & that will go quicker & quicker as I decrease every 2 rounds now, but in 3 more rows, I'll decrease every other row & then in 12 more rounds, I'll decrease every round & then I'll be done with only this last new yarn to weave in & the finish end. I will be done this evening & Husband will have a brand new pair of socks to wear!!

I'll take them to work on Monday & show them off. I may even get the Conway done! And THEN I could start on the JayWalker socks with the Claudia Handpainted, but the yarn is still in a hank. But the ball winder will be here next week & I am lovin' the MayDay socks.

When I began last night with the 2.5mm needles after knitting for a couple of days with the 2mm dpns, the 2.5's felt large! Even the Rowan wool cotton felt fat!

Oh, and Knitters are SO COOL. When I was paying for the yarn & the swift, the gal (who helped me with the swift) asked what I was making, as I only had 1 ball of each color. When I said I was getting the slate blue to finish the Conway socks, she KNEW what I was talking about. She had never considered knitting them out of the wool cotton. I'm not around any knitters at all (well, there's a gal at work that I taught to knit, but she doesn't knit very much, so she really doesn't count) so it was really cool that I could mention the Conway socks & she knew without any further info exactly what I was talking about.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Two Down by Nero Blanc

Parting Shot: "I've run out of wool," said Tom, knitting his brow.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Stoplight knitting

Happy Wednesday! I ran out of yarn on the Asparagus sock Monday during lunchtime knitting. I can really pick up speed with plain k3, p3 & no cables!

As I am officially out of yarn on both the Conway & Asparagus socks until I can get to my LYS on Thursday, you may be wondering which of the possible projects I was contemplating is letting me keep my sane on. I chose the stoplight knitting socks.

That pic is 51 rounds on 2mm (yes you read that correctly no decimal point five anywhere), size O US Clover bamboo dpns. The yarn is Fortissima cotton, dark green & mint green. The, uh, pattern is k4 p2 for 5 rounds then 1 round of the other color. On every round divisible by 5, it gets the different color for 1 round. Carry on like this for 19 rounds. On round 20, when you switch colors again, stay there for 6 rounds
{not 5 rounds, I know, but they're my socks, deal with it & besides, it repeats every time you change the main color so it is too a pattern} (until round 25) when you change colors for 1 row. Then in 20 rounds (row 40) change colors & stay for 6 rounds (until round 45) etc. I plan to keep this up & try to make it work thru the whole sock. I'm going to try to match up where I stop for the heel flap with what gets picked up gusset-wise, but we'll see. With 2mm needles, these are very small rounds.

Since they are very small rounds, meaning not very tall, I am carrying the color I'm not using up the inside. No twisting, no picking it up very round. Like stranded knitting only just up the "seam." The last cotton socks I knit, which was 2 years ago, the pair was knit in light blue Fortissima cotton. They were socks #4 & #5. These green ones will be socks #24 & #25. Exactly 20 socks later. WoW! The blue socks were done on 3mm dpns & there are ladders & loose stitches all over the place. But they are still comfy & so so soft.

As I know the evils of cotton yarn (or think I do, anyway), I am knitting 1 full mm smaller in needle size & trying to knit very "firmly". I give a slight tug after the 2 purl stitches & a firmer tug at the beginning of every needle. It's automatic. I don't even have to think about it. I started some socks for SIL a long time ago in cotton (sometime after the blue socks ~ maybe last summer). I've since taken them off the needles (2.5mm) but I haven't frogged them. They were in 3 colors. Several rounds of red, then 2 or 3 of white then 5 or 6 in yellow, then the white again, & back to the red & so on. I think there are 30 or so rounds done. I experimented with several ways of carrying the other colors up the seam & for some reason it never occurred to me, then, strand them up the inside. It's a tube. I tried wrapping them & knitting 2 at once. But that "seam" looks crappy. Also the knitting is better than what it was on the blue ones, but this green one is far superior. I don't know whether it's the smaller needles or that I'm a better knitter now. Probably a little of both.

I dreamt I met Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot last night. I remember looking over her shoulder (in the dream) & she was explaining how to fix something (I don't remember what) but the yarn was a cream color & it was knit very loosely. I remember trying to see around her hair over her left shoulder. Anyway she realized that I was trying to see so she sat down beside me & then next I remember her facing me before she began making her way still facing me thru the gray metal folding chairs up to the front to have her talk. Weird, huh?

Work is crappy again ~ still. Chinese overlord & her minion will take over a bunch of crap beginning on Monday. Some stuff minion was doing (for the past month) but now cannot do until Monday so I am back doing it. Go Figure.

I rained & stormed early this morning, around 4am. It was wonderful, snuggling with Husband in a warm dry bed & surfacing from sleep every now & then to hear the rain & wind beat against the windows & the house.

Our morning glories are coming along. Not yet big enough to twine up the trellises. The ones in back under the hummingbird feeder are having a harder go of it. Husband saw the 1st hummingbird this morning. We've had a feeder out since around 4/15. It's been rather cool here so that's probably why they're late getting here.

reading: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot &
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos by Donna Andrews

I realized the other night that I read this book a long time ago, but I don't remember how it ends. I do that every now & then, pick up a book at the library that I don't realize I've already read. Sometimes I'll finish it, but sometimes I remember that it wasn't that good to begin with.

Parting Shot: "It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others." ~ unknown
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