Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's only knitting. Rinse. Repeat!

When knitting messes up it's nice to know that "It's only knitting." Thank you Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka THE Yarn Harlot. However, even tho it's only knitting, it's MY knitting. I've been knitting-bummed since I found out that I will not have enough STR yarn to finish SIL's Mesa Jaywalker. I frogged the unfinished one back to round 65 on the leg & need / want to frog it back to round 60 & then put it back on all the needles so she can try it on Sunday & see if that leg length will be OK when we go over there for BIL's birthday.

But, it's been sitting there off then needles with the pathetically little pile of frogged yarn. I wanted a
pathetically larger pile of yarn so that I KNOW I will have enough yarn to finish both socks in the Jaywalker pattern. Because I know that if I have to frog both socks & re-knit them in a ribbing, they will be beautiful but not Jaywalker so I will want to find other yarn (at least 2 large hanks) & start again on Jaywalkers for her. But I still get a little bummed every time I look at them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There. I covered them up with a piece of paper. Now, I'll probalby forget about them until it's time to leave & I'll be froggin' & puttin' 'em back on the needles in the car on the way over. heh.

So the rest of Monday I didn't knit & most of yesterday I didn't knit. But yesterday evening sometime I took up sock, yarn & needles again. I had started on the toe decreases of my Yoga sock, which may still be called Yoga but somehow with these 2 pics should be called my Daughter sock. The one with more of the white is the Yoga sock. The other sock is my 1st Cascade Fixation sock, which will now maybe be known as the Mother sock, as you can clearly see where one begat the other. The Father sock is this one. I only have about 6½ yards of the blue left. But I had almost 2 balls of the white & almost a whole stripey one left. So looks my my kittin' mojo is back. Anyhow, 1st of a pair is done, I've cast on for the 2nd sock (on round 12) & life is grand.

I want to knit more cotton for this hot weather, which has become more bearable lately. But my stash cotton color choices are not inspiring me. When I finish SIL's socks (in whatever fashion) & my Yoga sock, the only socks left on the needles are the much neglected stranded Fortissima cotton Castle socks (the with one the floats so tight I couldn't get it on) in white & yellow. Maybe once I get past the crenelated pattern (about 2 rounds left) I'll be back on 1 color & maybe just do some stripes, which are OK. Maybe, get real creative & do up & down stripes. Hmmm. I'll be thinkin' about that as I finish the Yoga & SIL's socks. hmmm. how about some solid Cascade Fixation & some stripy ones so I can have stripy-stripy socks like my Yoga socks. But what colors??? Or should I get some more Fortissima solids, such as dark blue . . . . .

We went sailing late yesterday afternoon. Sweetie woke up from his nap, the wind was good & the temp was in the middle 70's. It was wonderful. We came in at dusk as we were both starting to get cold. Not much wind today & it's warmer. Maybe we'll take the canoe out later.

reading: Liars Game by Jerome Dickey & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "If age imparted wisdom, there wouldn't be any old fools." ~ Claudia Young
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Not IF . . . WHEN

OK, I've knit far enough now (it was difficult to tell earlier) to know that I AM going to run out of yarn on SIL's STR Jaywalker in Mesa.

I've lived with this info for a couple of hours now & have decided that there is no saving / fixing by frogging back on the leg unless I frog back to only a 50 or 55 round leg & that's a short leg. I'm going to take the unfinished sock to SIL's house Labor Day weekend, explain the problem & have her try on the unfinished sock with the shortened leg to see how she likes the shorter leg. I'm also going to have her try on the finished (not yet frogged) sock to see if the foot & / or toe can be made any shorter without feeling like her foot or toes are being throttled.

When I have THAT info, which will be more info that I have now, I can make a decision based on

1) if between the shorter 50-55 round leg (20-25 rounds less on the finished sock) & maybe a little shorter foot/toe I have enough yarn (this is still a BIG maybe) to finish the pair with & SIL doesn't mind a little shorter leg I'll do it that way.

2) if she doesn't like the shorter leg or it's doesn't look like there's not going to be enough yarn even with the shorter leg (I don't really want to make it any shorter) I'll frog both socks down to the nubbins & start again with a different pattern for SIL's sock.

3) if she doesn't want the shorter leg & REALLY wants these socks as they're knit, I'll order 2 more hanks (so the dye lot matches) & make them again. THESE I will frog down to the nubs, wind the yarn & put them in my stash for a pair of socks for me later. MUCH later. If I have to frog the 1½ pair I have I'll not want to look at or mess with this yarn for a while. I'm already sick of it. If I had layers in my stash, this would go on the bottom.

I've put 2 pics of Mesa up. The Jaywalker socks are the 2 small pics. The other one I found on the web & I'll show SIL that pic so she can see another option with the same (not yarn eating) pattern that will probably work. It's 3 x 1 rib.

Now that I've made the decision not to make any decision until I've thrown it all down & make SIL choose I feel better. I actually like the one I didn't make better. but then I think that pooling looks good in the STR. I like the drifts of color.

Now I can get back to work on my Yoga socks. I've started on the toe. I'm doing a star toe as I haven't done that in a while.

reading: Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Rules are for people who don't know how to get around them" ~ Tori Harrison
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

I hope I don't run out of yarn

I sat down last night to post but Sweetie got a service call so I shut down, grabbed SIL's Mesa SIP (sock-in-progress) & went with him. If I would have posted at that time, the name of this post would have been
Damn Big Sock
as that is how I feel about SIL's sock(s). Her feet are much bigger than mine. She is more than a half a foot taller than me so it stands to reason that her feet, lower legs & calves would be larger than mine. And then so are her hand knit socks. Last night I was on about row 20 of the leg of her 2nd Jaywalker sock. I was thinking that if these were MY socks, we'd be about done but I had barely begun on the 2nd sock. Not that I keep strict track, but I don't think I'll make her another sock until around Christmas even tho I don't give my hand knit socks as gifts.

I've only got 1 more hank in my stash that she has specifically chosen; STR in the Romancing The Stone colorway.
I've got 2 hanks that may be earmarked for Sweetie; Cherry Tree Hill in the Northern Lights colorway. The ball band says it's a sportweight instead of fingering but it'll make a nice pair of socks. Sweetie won't wear his hand knit socks out of the house, even the one that has more than acceptable colors & an almost indiserable pattern. The Northern Lights colorway is dark, a very dark navy with sreaks of raspberry, dark forest green & a dark purple running thru it. The more I look at it the more I know he won't wear it even tho once it's knit up the color streaks won't be that obvious. Oh well, another pair for me!!

I've knit SIL 3 pair this year; Conway, Pastoral & now the Jaywalkers. Sweeite has 2 pair this year, Diamond socks & the Asparagus socks. Sweeite has a pair that I knit last year, sprial tube socks out of Trekking XXL in a dark blue heather colorway. SIL has 1 pair that I knit last year. A spiral tube sock out of Ann Schaeffer yarns in a spring-type colorway.

The 1st pair I ever knit SIL was unusual. The 1st sock was my VERY 1st sock out of a green handpainted Koigu & the mate to that is my 6th sock. When I saw that the 1st sock I knit was waaay to big for me, I didn't frog it but put it aside & knit a pair out of the same yarn that fit, so they were socks # 2 & 3. Socks 4 & 5 for me were light blue Fortissima cotton. I swore after that to never knit another pair of cotton socks but I've since changed my tune. When SIL & BIL were at our house during the cotton sock knit, I showed her my "spare" sock. She tried it on & it fit so I made the mate & gave them to her. They were not knit very well as I was (& am) still learning. They were on 3mm needles. Since then, I knit all my wool or wool blend socks on 2.5mm needles & the cotton ones on 2mm.

So far this year I've knit, 10 or 11 pair, counting my 2 SIP, SIL's Jaywalker & my Yoga sock, which I am about 2 or 3 rounds from beginnng the toe on the 1st sock. I'm too comfortable here to go look it up, but I think that's a little over 1/3 of my total sock output.

Back to SIL's 2nd Jaywalker. I hope I have enough yarn to finish or I'm going to have to do some serious frogging back to the leg on each sock. I "think" I'll be OK (famous last words). Hopefully, I'll have a Yarn Harlot moment & have 2" left. Then I can dance around the room singing ABBA songs & drinking wine. I might do that no matter how much yarn I have left!

I would post a pic of the completed Jaywalker, but I'm on a different computer this evening & (as noted above) I'm too lazy to go thru the processes to run it down this evening. It'll give you something to look forward to! Heh!

In the book I'm currently reading, The Tooth of Time by Sue Henry, the main character visits a yarn shop in Taos, NM & YSO & she discuss a ruana patten in Cheryl Oberle's book Handpaint Country who is, of course, a REAL designer & it's a REAL book. Cool. It's always enjoyable to run across knitting refereances when reading a non-knitting book.

reading: The Tooth of Time by Sue Henry & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot:"Everything in moderation, including moderation" ~ unknown
quote source:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm painting again

Yeah, well, it's not as grand as it sounds. Today I painted the hallway. A few weeks before The Visit (SIL & BIL in for SIL's birthday) I got the extra paint I needed to finish painting the living room & maybe paint the guest bathroom, too! But it didn't happen. So what. We all lived thru it & went on to lead happy, normal lives.

And you know me, with the discovering things all over again [like knitting with wool] painting a previously unpainted [except for the icky white paint that came with the house] area with your colors & nice expensive satin paint just looks fantastic. I am all agog, again, about how GREAT it looks and why didn't I not only finish what I'd started 3 years ago but why didn't we do this 20 minutes after we moved in?

Well, one reason was that it took 10 or so years to figure out what colors. All the paint & colors are Sherwin Williams & the palate is cool as in not warm colors.

  • The living / dining room / hallway is Icicle (light, cool blue ~ 1st color on strip 35) & the trim is Ceiling Bright White (cool white ~ bottom color on strip 140).
  • Our home office walls, closet door & baseboards are Upward (medium blue ~ 2nd color on strip 35) & the crown & door moldings are Bracing Blue (3 shades darker than the walls ~ 5th color down on strip 35). In the office almost all of the baseboards are hidden by furniture so we decided not to go thru the extra hassle of painting them a different color.
  • The library / media room walls & closet doors are Rainwashed (green ~ 2nd color on strip 31) & the trim & baseboards are Underseas (3 shades darker than the walls ~ 5th color down on strip 31).
  • The guest bathroom (just across the hall from the library) will be done in Window Pane (light green ~ 1st color on strip 31) & the trim will be one of the 2 library colors, haven't decided yet.
  • The kitchen walls are Silver Peony (light violet ~ the 2nd color on strip 79) & the trim & baseboards are Ash violet (4th color down on strip 79 ~ 2 shades darker than the walls)
  • Our bedroom will either be Upward (the same color that's in the office on the other side on the house or Windy Blue (1 shade darker ~ the 3rd color on strip 35) & the trim maybe Icicle (the color that's on the living room walls) or Upward, depending on what color the walls are.
  • Our bathroom. I want to paint it Bracing Blue (trim color in office) with either Ceiling Bright White or Icicle for the trim & baseboards. I would replace our aging marine blue towels with bright white towels. I think with the towels, the white linoleum floor, the white toilet & white fiberglass shower stall it will be OK. Sweetie thinks it will be too dark. I then suggested maybe something from the purple strip (strip 79) like Cloud Nine (1st color on the strip) so I don't know.
Our bathroom is the only room we don't have a firm idea on. We want to stay within the tones / colors we already have so it will all tie together. By the time I / we get the rest of it done, we'll have figured it out.

The only room we've put crown molding on so far is the office, the 1st room we did. But we want to put molding in the all the other rooms. It just gives it a finished look & hides that ceiling / wall color transfer. The ceilings in the living / dining room, kitchen & guest bath are very high & I don't want to bring them down. So we will probably paint them the same color as the walls & put them up already painted & after the walls are done. The library, our bedroom & our bathroom will have the same color crown molding as the other trim.

We went sailing last night & it was wonderful. The temperature was moderate & the wind was not over 10 mph so it was very relaxing.

Knitting-wise, I've finished SIL's 1st sock & have cast on for the 2nd one. Pics next post.

reading: Parrot Blues by Judith Van Gleson & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.” ~ Georgia O'Keeffe
Quote Source

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How could I have forgotten???

Since I had to or rather wanted to quit knitting on SIL's STR Mesa sock until she could try it on I've been working on my Yoga sock which is being knit with Cascade Fixation. So it's been just over 2 weeks since I've knit with wool.

This morning, I was just knocked flat when I discovered AGAIN how wonderful it is to knit a great pattern with a gorgeous wool. A M A Z I N G ! The wool just flows under my fingers & off the needles. It feels like it has magical properties. It just feels good & right to knit with it.

I guess I just need to spend a couple weeks with cotton or a cotton blend or a wool blend or anything that's not 100% merino & experience this "I've come home." feeling.

reading: Come to Be Killed by E X Ferrars & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: 'Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze." ~ Amanda Cross
Quote Source

Saturday, August 19, 2006

hippo birdies ewe ewe

The house was clean & beautiful. The rain held off. The dinner was delicious & everyone had what they wanted & it was prepared the way they liked. Birthday presents were exclaimed over & admired. And I always wonder WHY I ever worried because everyone always has a GREAT time.

As we are the king & queen of Hermitville & don't entertain except once or twice a year when BIL & SIL come for Sweetie's birthday sometimes & always for SIL's birthday that's why I fret. Maybe that's why it works, but I don't think so. Neither of us has the social gene.

Anyway, they're gone & we have clean house . . . well . . . except for the pile of wrapping paper & boxes by her chair & the pile (yes a pile) of socks completed since I saw SIL last & socks in progress spread out on the dining room table along with the swift & wool winder set up there. Heh!

She loves her Pastoral socks & her STR Mesa Jaywalkers fit! So I'll get her Jaywalkers done in about 2 weeks when we go over to their house to celebrate BIL's birthday.

Not often do we treat ourselves to a great steak & that's what Sweetie & I had at the steak restaurant We both had the fillet & they were so tender. Like buttah!! A good steak like that doesn't need any seasoning. A great baked potato with lots of butter & a touch of pepper. Yum! And to top it off, once we got home, a little later, after she'd opened her presents, we had tripple chocolate cheesecake slices.

SIL & I played with the swift & ball winder. She'd never seen either one. She's a needlepointer. So we wound a couple of hanks of Koigu & then rewound one of them. She thinks knitters have fun toys! I'm trying to convert her but she doesn't like the "math" or the "counting". Oh, well. I'll take the beautiful needlepoint things she's made for us anytime. Her colorwork is beautiful. I've tried needlepointing & it's OK but it never stuck. I guess I was waiting for the knit to come.

Come to Be Killed by E X Ferrars & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Sharing is sometimes more demanding than giving." ~ Mary Catherine Bateson
Quote Source

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cotton yarn has A plus

Most of us will agree that knitting with cotton yarn, Fortissima cotton in this particular case, is not a "fun" knit. It's an OK knit. I knit with cotton because I want cotton. I don't want wool or anything with wool in it. I want to be able to wear these socks when it's 100°F outside. So it's cotton.

I did, however, find in frogging & tinking the yellow part of my fair isle pattern that if you're very careful you'll not need your crochet hook to pick up a dropped stitch. The stitches just hang there in space, waiting for your needle to slip in & put them back on the needle.

So, yes, I've finally frogged the piece of the sock (5 rounds) where the floats were so tight I couldn't get the thing on. Now I'm ready to begin the fair isle portion again & try to let the floats just float & be free & loose. We'll see.

When I've got one of my Yoga socks done, I'm going to post a pic, but also a pic of the sock that caused me to get the stripy yarn in the 1st place.

Along the sock pic lines, yesterday & today, I ran across 2 different blogs where someone had used a different pattern with the same sock yarn. The 1st instance was the STR Mesa. Instead of using the Jaywalker pattern, they'd used a 1 x 1 ribbing. It made some very nice striping / pooling. I was surfing the Midwest Knitters ring & I didn't keep track of where it was, but I did leave a comment on her blog. The 2nd instance was this morning & again, I was surfing the MW Knitters ring & there was my SIL's Pastoral sock.

If I can figure out how to do it, I'd like to post pics & links of the yarns & the patterns they were knit in. Like have a STR section & then a subsection for each colorway I find. The pattern really affects how the yarn looks. I remember I was very dissatisfied with the STR Seal Rock colorway & I couldn't find a way to knit it that pooled the way I wanted. It would be neat to have a sight like that.

I may start a new blog. I'll have to cogitate on that.

Didn't do much knitting today. Cleaned house, getting ready for The Visit. I don't know why I stress out so much about this. My BIL is so picky & he would never say anything. I know by now that whatever I / we do is never going to be to his standards whereas Sweetie's sister, my SIL, is good with whatever. If it was just here, I wouldn't worry a bit. Oh well. I'll probably find out on his / my deathbed that all these years, he's envied us & our lifestyle but something in him wouldn't let him live our life.

We went to Borders this evening to pick up a gift card for SIL's birthday. While there, I visited the knitting section while Sweetie browsed the Linux section. I found 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton. I've got her 200 Knitted Blocks book. As I've said before if I have somewhere to start I can launch from there but I'm not good a coming up with an idea from nothing. So I love stitch dictionaries.

reading: Blue Screen by Robert B Parker &
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

Parting Shot: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou
Quote Source

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Retirement Rehersal

I realized [again] today that for the most part, the life Sweetie & I live now is probably pretty much how it will be when (God willing) we retire & are no longer working. Most meals at home. Most eating out is breakfast rolls or pastry & coffee at the local Panera's or bakery or an ice cream cone at the Dairy Queen. Although once in a while, we do splurge & go out. We try to go to a "nice" restaurant We've both losing a little weight on my cooking so we're tending to eat in most of the time, anyway.

Sweetie gets up early (5 or 6 or 7) now but he does that even when he's not working. I sleep in until 8 or 9 but have been known to occasionally be up at around before then. I'm usually awake by then but not necessarily out of bed. I love to wake up & read in bed. Sweeite has been getting home by 9 or 10 in the morning.

Then we spend the rest of the day however we want. Usually a nap for him & sometimes for me. If I don't nap, I watch TV & knit. If the wind & weather cooperate, we sail or canoe. Although we've only had the canoe out that once, the day we brought her home.

Yesterday afternoon we had a great sail. The weather was grand, only about 85°F. The wind was calmish to the point of DEAD calm after we'd been out only a short time. I took out my Yoga Sock & began knitting on it. The boat drifted & the sails flapped for about 10 minutes or so then it began to slowly pick up. Usually I helm (steer) but Deck Muffin took the stick (tiller) & I kept knitting as the wind built. I'd put the sock down when he wanted to tack (turn the boat) to help then pick it up again. It was fun. Deck Muffin got to twiddle & tweak & I knit. We sailed for 4 hours, which is lately, considering the HOT weather, some kind of record.

I've got one of those disposable digital camera that I keep in my knitting bag. There was a Thistle sailboat [similar to the photo up there] out also (we were the only 2 sailboats). He sailed up close & we chatted a bit about the fluky wind. I took some photos of his boat framed between our jib & mainsail. It will be interesting to see how they turn out. Now I've just go to get the camera up to the Walgreen's. Not sure what else is on there. Sock photo's probably!

I'm just past the heel, on the foot of my Yoga sock. I frogged the heel flap because I didn't like the way the striping was working out. I'd not cut the yarn & let the color change begin in the middle of the heel but it looked really odd so out it came. I did the heel turn in the color & it looks good.

On SIL's STR Mesa sock, I picked up the gusset stitches Grumpernia's way as I have been doing. Part of that process is that you pick up the stitches thru the back loop which makes the stitch tighter. On SIL's sock, I also knit the 1st round of the picked up stitches thru the back loop. It looks kind of neat. Anyway, with my Yoga socks, I had the "great" idea to do ALL the picked up stitches that way. Well, knitting thru the back loop is OK sometimes, but ALL the time, even just for a small part of the round is a pain. So after 3 rounds of that "design element" I went back to straight knitting. As that knitting was also a stripe it does look like a design element.

reading: Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters

Parting Shot: "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." ~ Janis Joplin
Quote Source

Saturday, August 12, 2006

And a good time was had by all

We had a wonderful sail this morning. I prised myself from our oh-so-comfortable bed a little after 7am on this fine Saturday morning to go sailing before it

  • got too hot
  • before the wind died
It was pretty good. The wind was little on the fluky side — shifty & down & up in strength. It was foggy-hazy, too which was neat. It was early enough that there were not too many noisy skiers or jet skis out yet. We left shortly after the sun burned off all the haze & it began it get really warm as the wind died.

The weather is to be much the same for tomorrow (Sunday) but with better wind so I'll give up sleeping late.

One of our down the dock buds bought the 27' sailboat that I posted about near the bottom of this post. He's borrowed a trailer from someone & had it hauled out of the water & this morning he was there rubbing compounding, polishing & waxing the hull. He has a LONG way to go. That boat needs so much work but it's a good price. I'm glad it's staying in the marina & the family that bought it will enjoy the sailing. (And I'll get to sail on it, too!) His old boat is a 24' version of our 1st boat (Laguna) & he will be amazed at how well it [the new boat] sails!!

Sweetie had a service call this afternoon about 2 hours away. Normally, he's not on call on weekends (thank goodness!) but every 5 weeks he is. And the OT pay will be nice. He really wasn't expected to actually fix anything, just go there, confirm that, Yes, It Is Broken & place an order for a new one which someone else will install next week. Nice.

So I took my trusty sock & we set out. I've decided to call these my yoga socks even tho I don't do yoga (unless you count the "Knitting is the new yoga." thing) because of the colors. Calming. The blues, aquas & purples. Ommmmm. I'm on the heel flap. And ya know, I was going to try (AGAIN!) to figure out the center decrease heel, but I forgot the book. Oh, well. I did remember the important part — the sock-in-progress. And there's always the next sock or the next one or maybe even the one after that!! After all, THE Harlot herownself has said, "It's only knitting."

reading: King Of The Corner by Loren D Estleman

Parting shot: "Zephyr: Warm pleasant breeze. Named after the mythical Greek god of wishful thinking, false hopes and unreliable forecasts." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What's Canoe with you?

Sunday we bought a canoe. We've been talking off & on about how we'd like a smaller boat of some kind to explore the places Spray (our 23' sailboat) can't go. We figured we watch the papers this fall & pick up a used. But there was an add in Sunday's paper from a sporting good store so we checked it out. We got a 15½' Pelican Colorado canoe. As the price was great — $280 we decided to go for it. We also sprang for a car-top canoe carrier to make it easier. We'd brought towels for padding, duct tape & plenty of rope but the foam pads that fit on the edges of the canoe worked better.

We brought the canoe home & since it was still over 100°F. we waited until the sun was about to go down for our maiden voyage. We put in in the marina cove & paddled around for about 20 minutes. Good thing we already had life jackets & square cushions.

It's been way to hot even at dusk to go canoing & today it raided off & on so maybe tomorrow. If there's wind now, we sail. If not, we canoe.

In knitting news . . .
I stopped on SIL's STR Mesa sock because I want her to be able to try it on before I go any farther. I've got about 10 rounds done on the leg. I chickened out, well actually, I couldn't figure out the center decrease heel. One of those things, like the long-tail cast on, that it'll come when the student is ready (I hope).

So that means, I had to either take up my Castle sock in Fortissima cotton (not too appealing right now) or do something else. Shortly after I decided to put the brakes on the Mesa sock, Sweetie came home & asked if I wanted to grab my knitting (Yes, he actually said “grab your knitting” ~ he's learnin') & ride along with him as he had to go to another location & pick up a part, then go back to the original location & install it.

I had all my sock yarn stash out, trying to find some inspiration so I had to choose quickly. I didn't have time to wind anything so I grabbed some Cascade Fixation. I had 2 balls leftover from these socks & 1 ball left from a pair of socks I finished before I began this blog. It's purple, aqua & white ~ it's color #9903 in the pic. I figured I could do something with that & I think it's looking pretty good.

Next weekend we're having SIL & BIL come over for her birthday. Can't decide if I want to cook to go out. If it's HOT I think we'll go out & then have birthday cake & presents here so the oven won't heat the house up so much.

reading: King Of The Corner by Loren D Estleman

parting shot:
One of the universal rules of happiness is: always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual." ~ Terry Pratchett
Quote Source

Saturday, August 5, 2006

I just want to knit.

Sometimes you just want to knit. Just knit. You don't want to cast on, pick up gusset stitches, or ladder down & fix something. You just want to knit. Slip the needle into the stitch, get the yarn around the needle, do that neat little trick that involves slipping the old stitch off the needle while keeping the new stitch on the needle & move on to the next stitch.

You have your rhythm. It's comfortable. It's comforting. Even when you don't think you need comforting. There are times when I pick up my sock-in progress & just the familiar act of that first stitch is soothing. The soft feel of the wool in your hands. The warm feel of the wood needles in your fingers.

Your mind & thoughts are free to wander or to concentrate on each stitch. There are times you knit slowly. Contemplating each stitch. Marveling how you're not only knitting a sock (or whatever) but creating the fabric of the sock with each stitch.

Some yarns aren't all that promising in their hank or ball form. The bones of a good knit are there in the colors & the feel & something drew you to that particular yarn. If the wrong pattern for the yarn is chosen, the full beauty of the yarn will be hidden.

Some patterns are great for some yarns but not for all yarns. I am one of those knitters who lets the yarn tell her what pattern it wants to be. Sometimes it takes a while. Much ripping & putting down & then packed away to try again another day.

But those times when the yarn, the pattern & the knitter come together are magical. You get incredible results. I'm also one of those folks who have a hard time seeing a finished product from a hank or a drawing. I can't look at a hank of hand dyed yarn or read a pattern & see what it's going look like knit up. I try to choose colors I like but sometimes when you unhank it you get an unpleasant surprise. But then when the yarn tells you what it wants to be (& if you're listening.) it can be surprising & very pleasurable indeed.

Exit Wounds by J A Jance
Cheaper Than Therapy edited by Annie Modesitt

Parting Shot:
"People may not always remember exactly what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Not an anniversary

I've tried journals in the past, both handwritten & plunked out on a word processor. I like the idea of keeping a journal but I've always failed to keep it up. I even tried a Gratitude list ala Simple Abundance. In fact I still have all the books & occasionally refer to them when I feel really unstuck.

I even tried tying journaling to knitting. Posting each day my knitting progress (or lack there of) along with a line or so about my day or whatever. Nope, the journaling part didn't work. The part that did stick, morphed into my knitting spreadsheet. More about that on a future post.

I want to keep a journal. Some kind of track. Something in me wants to but something else in there doesn't want to or is too lazy. I think it was/is the EVERY day thing. I felt I had to write something every day even tho maybe there was nothing I wanted to write about or I didn't want to write that day at all. That's where the Gratitude list came in & even that didn't work. At least writing it down. Sometimes I lie in bed & mentally list all the things I'm thankful for.

But somehow this blog thing works for me. I don't feel compelled to post every day. I don't know whether it's the on-line thing or what. Or maybe it's because it's more versatile. I can upload photos, link to other blogs or articles or ANYTHING on-line. Maybe it's that I'm published thing, even if it's only a blog & I don't have bazillions of folks reading it.

Maybe it's because although, this is an anonymous blog, I still don't put my most personal & private thoughts out here which I would do [or be tempted to do] in a private, personal journal. And even then, what if someone finds it & reads it. I don't have any kids, but Sweetie's here & although he's not been interested in my past journal attempts [which have been burned & deleted erased & written over] or even my blog, whose to say someday he won't be.

Even tho I LOVE Sweetie to pieces & cannot imagine life without him & can tell him almost anything, even he doesn't need to know EVERYTHING. For instance, that back in 5th grade I . . . . . well, never mind., you don't need to know either.

But the amazing thing to me is I am still doing it. No attempt has lasted this long.

OK, knitting content.

I finished SIL's Pastoral socks last night. Well, I still have to weave in the ends, but the knitting part is done. I'm very pleased with them. I hope she will be, too. I'm now looking into Sock Sleeves. That link will be enough to give me some ideas & I'll take it from there. I don't have a color printer but with fancy-schmancy paper & an elegantly simple design I maybe won't need colors. OK maybe a little color with some markers. I'll scan in what I come up with.

I've been working on SIL's 2nd pair, her STR [Mesa colorway] JayWalker socks. At this point, I think I'm going to do what I did with her Conway socks. Knit on both to the beginning of the heel, do the center decrease on one & let her try it on. I'm kind of nervous about the JayWalker pattern because it doesn't have as much give as a sock with all ribbing in the leg. I think it'll be fine but it's she'll feel less guilty if she thinks I only have to rip out 1 leg instead of having 2 complete socks that do not fit. I would be real bummed if I had to rip out an entire pair of socks. That way I can also see if the new heel I want to try will fit her foot.

I was a cleaning demon yesterday. I cleaned, thoroughly cleaned the fronts of all my kitchen cabinets. They don't look any different [well they kinda do to me, lighter somehow], but they feel different. Not grimy. I was shocked at the difference in the feel between the "cleaned" ones & the "clean" ones. I've always wiped them all down every now & then (but mostly when something spilled or dripped on them) but never attacked them with Dawn (really cuts grease) dishwashing liquid & a plastic scrubby. It was the worst over by the stove! WoW! But I could even tell the difference on cabinets across the room.

I also put all the crap that seems to accumulate [because it's important?] on the kitchen counters. The coffee container, the sugar container, directions on how to program the phone [when the time changes—can't remember from 1 time to the next ~ E V E R], directions on how to set the time on the coffee maker & stuff like that. I found a real place (not just shoving it in a drawer to get it out of sight) to put it all. I like uncluttered, clear counter tops, but realistically since I don't have enough space to put EVERYTHING away, I put away the small crap. With the small crap gone, it looks much better.

Yesterday, the kitchen, tomorrow, the paint store. Sherwin Williams has a sale & I have 1 room to finish & 3 (2 bathrooms & 1 bedroom) to do. Today, I'm resting.

And that's a whole 'nother post. Hey, maybe it'll get cool enough to sail some one of these days!

Beware of the Dog by E X Ferrars
Cheaper Than Therapy edited by Annie Modesitt

Parting Shot: "If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees." ~ Kahlil Gibran
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