Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny . . .

Yes, that teeny pic is my new sock. Don't laugh! It's taken me 2½ days to get THIS far! This is the farthest I've gotten with the pink yarn. That's 11 rows of pink garter stitch on 2mm bamboo needles, I'll have you know. The green yarn is the "waste" yarn. Oh, the pattern??? The Mermaid socks from Lucy Neatby's Warm Socks, Cool Feet. She's either a freakin' genius or an anal freakin' genius. I'll let you know.

I started a post yesterday but then I deleted it because it was really whiny on Do I want this sock to be like the pattern or not? I decided that I DO want it to be more like the pattern than not. I was going to change the cuff from the "anal" cuff to some kind of just plain knitted-like-a-normal-person ribbed cuff because the Sideways Garter Stitch Cuff & I were having "issues". Ok, it got better once I changed the waste yarn to the same kind of yarn as my main yarn (as per the instructions) — & stayed away from it the whole thing for almost 24 hours. Yes, I usually think I know better than the designer & sometimes I do. But not always. Don't you?

I think I'm on my way — but we've still got some major bridges to fling myself off of. The 1st one being when I get this teeny-tiny bit of knitting long enough to go around my leg & do the waste yarn thing on the other side, I get to graft the 2 ends together. Yes, this "anal" sock cuff is knit flat. Then once that bit of magic is complete I get to pick up & knit stitches from the bottom of the now in the round cuff so I can go on & live a beautiful life while knitting the leg of my Mermaid socks.

Since I've got the whole leg to recover from the cuff, I should be ready for the heel. Yes, I want to knit the heel in the pattern. Lucy Neatby calls it a Garter Stitch Short Row Heel. I've never done one of those & I think they look really neat. That heel is the MAIN REASON I'm knitting this sock. Yes, I like the pattern but I. Want. THAT. Heel. Yes, I know I could probably put that heel on ANY sock, but I'm weird & bull-headed that way.

Once I'm past the cuff & am actually on the leg (don't anticipate any problems there, it looks pretty straightforward [touch wood]), I can read the heel directions. over & over & over & . . . about once a round should do it! So we'll see.

Tomorrow morning I go for a haircut. While I'm downtown, I'll stop by my LYS [finally] & order the Cascade Fixation for CIL's sock & pick up my 2 sets of Suzanne's ebony 2.5mm dpns that I ordered a few weeks ago. And, of course, browse the books & yarns. Should be a fun time.

I've been baking a lot, lately. Easy box mixes. Comfort baking. A few days ago, I baked another butter cake & frosted it with chocolate icing. Monday, I baked a pan of chewy brownies. This afternoon, I found a marble cake mix at the store & since the last of the brownies disappeared last night, I made it today & iced it with chocolate icing. Neither Sweetie or I has had marble cake, well, since we each left home, over 30 years ago. I spiced up the chocolate marble part bit with about a half a clove, ground. A bit of clove is supposed to make the chocolate taste more intense. I used to use it all the time, but haven't for a while. I wanted the bit of chocolate marble in this cake to have a bigger punch. Anyway, it's good.

reading: Cat-Eyed Trouble by Robert Skinner

Parting Shot: "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries." ~ A. A. Milne
Quote Source

Monday, September 25, 2006

At last some Xena content

All spammers suck. E-mail spammers. Junk mail spammers. Phone spammers. Door to door spammers. Blog comment spammers. Because of the last, I've had to put the verification thingy on my comments. I dislike that at other sites, primarily because my fingers usually outtype my brain (not a difficult thing, I assure you.) But such in life is the spam world. (sigh)

So to offset the yuck of spam, here is a Cute Overload link that I found on Chaos Theory's blog. [Not a knitting blog, but she does knit. She's even got a Knitters Olympic Gold Medal!] It's a good thing the pattern is free. Even then, for me, no way.

Well, the pattern I was going to do for the toe up socks from Cool Socks Warm Feet by Lucy Neatby has a strange way to do the toe thing. I tried twice, I know, only twice, but . . . Anyway, life is too short to waste on complicated directions where there must be an easier way that I'll figure out or discover later.

However, this little "experiment" showed me that I wasn't really interested in doing a toe up sock as much as I wanted the heel. The "center decrease" heel, the "afterthought" heel, the "Turkish" heel. Those types of heels. I like how they look. So I'm NOW doing my version of Lucy's Mermaid socks, which mainly involves changing the cuff. I didn't like the fiddly nature or the look of the sideways garter cuff. Nor did the rigid nature of the Wavy cuff do it for me. So I'm doing my regular thing.

I've cast on with 3mm dpns with the pink & purple Koigu using the cable cast on (my favorite) then transfering to my favorite 2.5mm Suzanne's ebony dpns. Yes, upon casting on & almost thru the 1st round, I discovered that the yarn isn't hot pink & black or dark brown, it's more hot pink & a very dark purple, with splotches. Anyway, I like the contrast. As with any hand painted yarn, I'll knit a bit in my pattern of choice & see if I like how the yarn looks.

The Great Sock Repair Project is done. And all the ends are even woven in. I'm the weird & strange anal type who weighs the completed pair of socks when I'm done & based on what the yarn cost, how much the socks cost, yarn-wise to knit, among other things. I've got this huge spreadsheet, that I track all sorts of stuff about each project. Anyway, on SIL's Pastoral socks, before the surgery where I frogged the toes & took out 12 foot rounds & then re-knit a Star toe instead of the French or wedge toe, the pair weighed in at 4.1 oz or 114 grams. After, they weigh 3.7 oz or 105 gr.

On her Jaywalker STR in the Mesa colorway, I didn't finish the socks as I ran out of yarn before I shortened the leg & the foot. So I have no "before" weights. I did calculate that I have 50 yards of yarn left.

I hope both pair fit better. If not, I know what to do!! I'm going to meet with SIL sometime this week & give them to her again.

And no, I still haven't ordered the yarn for CIL's socks. Sometime this week, I promise.

Yesterdays' post was long & I forgot to let you know that Friday evening Sweetie had a service call & because of the nature of the call I decided not to go. So, I watched a couple of Xena episodes; King of Assassins & Warrior . . . Priestess . . . Tramp & their accompanying interviews.

When Leah, the Hestian Priestess in Warrior . . . Priestess . . . Tramp first speaks, it sounds like she has a bit of a speech impediment but now I think Lucy was going for a British accent. I think 3 was the limit of how many versions of herself Lucy played in 1 episode. There was this one & then there was Warrior . . . Princess . . . Tramp in Season 2. And that's not counting, Lucy dressed as Xena who is really Callisto playing Xena (get that??!!) in the Intimate Stranger & Ten Little Warlords episodes.

And I got to listen to another version, the bawdy version of the Joxer the Mighty song. You get that one stuck in your head . . . ear spam!!! Ted Rami did a very good commentary on King of Assassins.

I still find it hard to believe that the show first premiered 11 years ago this month.

Also this month, I'm celebrating my 3rd year of re-discovering knitting. Labor Day weekend, 2003, it rained almost all that weekend. Sweetie & I were in our home office which we'd recently remodeled. I remember I was sitting in a chair looking out the rain & wanting something else to do. I was tired of being on the computer (this was before I discovered blogs & forums) & tired of reading. I dug around in one of our closets & found a sweater I'd begun the last time I got the knitting bug, say 5 or 6 years before that. The front was done, I think but either the back hadn't been started or wasn't very far along. I remember I had to look up on the internet how to do the knit stitch & how to do the purl stitch. I kind of remembered but not really.

I finished that sweater in a couple of weeks or so & dug out another barely begun sweater (which STILL isn't finished.) I'd done the ribbing & stopped so I frogged that & began again. When I began this sweater the first time, I was a smaller, thinner person. I knit the front & back as per the pattern but I knit the sleeves according to my size now. I don't have enough yarn to put in gussets on the sides so it will fit now so I need to locate a complimentary or contrasting color yarn to do that. Then all I need to to is sew up the side seams with their gussets, the sleeves & finish & attach the collar & it will be done & fit. If I'd just do a little yarn research I know I could find a yarn that would work. But anyway, that's what got me started again & I'm still at it.

reading: Nash, Rambler by Frank Sennett

Parting Shot: "To conquer others is to have power; to conquer yourself—is to know the way." ~ Loa Ma played by Jacqueline Kim from The Debt II, Xena, Warrior Princess, season 3
Quote Source

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main

What an amazing 2 days. Lots of sailing. Lots of froggin'. Lots of reading & contemplating of the knitting books about toe up socks & Turkish heels. And even some knitting (yeah, how about that!)

Saturday morning after breakfast, Sweetie fiddled with some mysterious computer thing & I un-kitchenered the toes of SIL's Pastoral socks. It went a lot easier than I thought it would. I took them back to round 63 of the foot from round 75. Then I put them both back on needles. At that point we decided it was warm enough to go sailing. So I packed up both socks & off we went.

We got out to Spray about noon. It was very windy (15-25/30) mph, in the high 60's & partly cloudy (more clouds than sun). We were dressed in shorts & t-shirts but I brought along hand-knit socks (for our socks-less feet) & warm sweatshirts.

We put hanked on the working jib & decoded not to reef the mainsail. The combo was a good one for us. It was nice & warm when the sun was out but when a cloud passed over you could really tell the difference. We sailed until we got hungry (no idea what time) but as it was so windy, still mostly cloudy & seemed to be getting cooler, we went back into the marina & tied up in our slip.

We left the jib on deck & the main uncovered as we thought we might go back out again after we ate. We had a delicious lunch of fruit, cheese & crackers washed down with cups of hot tea.

Deck Muffin felt sleepy so he napped on one of the main saloon cushions. I wasn't so I made myself comfortable & began to re-knit the toe on one of the Pastoral socks. Originally, they had a wedge or French toe but I decided to do a Star toe. By the time I finished, Deck Muffin was awake. It was still overcast & was getting colder so we “put the boat to bed” & went home. It was just after 5pm.

We'd both gotten up early. Combined with that, no nap & all the sailing I was tired. I crashed about 8:30!!

Today, we lounged around a bit this morning but were out on Spray by 10am. It was definitely cooler today & again, more clouds than sun. We were both dressed in jeans this time, Deck Muffin in a short-sleeved polo shirt & me in a long-sleeved “jean” shirt with handknit socks on our feet. After we got out on the water, we both opted to put on our sweatshirts.

The wind was less today, only 10-20 mph but shifty, so we decided to go with the same sail set-up as yesterday. At one point, Deck Muffin was on the low side, sitting on the coaming & he wasn't quick enough! The wind gusted & boat heeled waaay over. He lifted his derrière off the coaming so it wouldn't get wet but somehow, his whole sleeve, the side of his shirt & a big patch on the back got wet. I was laughing so hard, I couldn't help him clamber up to the high side. He took off the wet sweatshirt, his polo shirt being mostly dry. We strung the sweatshirt up to dry & kept sailing. It wasn't very long after that tho, that we decided to go back in for lunch as Deck Muffin was getting cold.

After the same lunch as yesterday, Deck Muffin fell asleep. The sun was coming out more often so I lazed on the sunny side of the main saloon. I began re-knitting the toe of the 2nd Pastoral sock but got sleepy so I lay down in the sun with Lucy Neatby's book, Cool Socks, Warm Feet to try to figure out her toe up sock. When the sun was out it, was wonderfully, bakingly warm & I would doze in the sun like a cat & think about what I'd read. When the sun would go behind a cloud, I'd wake up & re-read or read some more. I never really napped but after awhile I wasn't sleepy anymore, the sun was out for good, the wind had died some & it had warmed up. I sat in the cockpit & had about half the toe re-knit when Deck Muffin woke up.

We decided to go out again. We'd put the jib away but although the wind was much less, probably 10-15 mph we decided to put the working jib back up. It was so relaxing. A gust now & then, but it was warmer & Deck Muffin's sweatshirt had dried. I tried to soak him again, but he was onto me!!

We sailed 'til about sundown as it began to get cooler. We stopped on the way home for dinner.

On both days, it was like being inside a Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom episode with all the birds. Hundreds of sea gull type birds with some ducks, maybe mallards, some comerants & a few pelicans dotted over the lake's surface & riding the thermals over the lake. With Spray, we're able to get very close to the flocks as they bob up & down in the waves. Birds on either side of our projected path would take flight, about a foot or so off the water then settle back down, some still in our path, but 100 yards or so further on. In the distance you could see clouds of birds take flight now & again. They would seen to take off for no reason that we could see. Hundreds of sea gull type birds were wheeling & circling high overhead. Once in a while a V of geese would overfly the part of the lake we were sailing on.

What a wonderful weekend!!

I Right The Wrongs by Dylan Schaffer
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

Parting Shot: "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."
~ from Sea Fever by John Mansfield
Quote Source

Friday, September 22, 2006

Knitting & a recipe!

I was sitting here, reading blogs & knitting & I realized that I only have about 10 rounds of toe decreases left on SIL's Jaywalker Mesa sock & then I'm done . . . well, done with the knitting anyway. I'll still have to kitchener the toes on both socks & weave in the ends, but THAT'S easy-peasy. The evil socks from hell are almost DONE.

Now mostly, you can't see the brown in this pattern. The top 2 pics in this post is the Jaywalker. To me the cranberry & maybe the green show up more but I swear, to me these socks are brown. And the only color lower on my list of colors I like is orange. So I am T H R I L L E D that these socks are almost done.

So why am I stopping NOW! when I only have 10 toe decrease rounds left when, as every socknitter knows, the knitting is less with every decrease round?? I could have these socks out of my life in about a half an hour, give or take.

But . . . I just realized that if Sweetie gets a page for a service call & has to go somewhere this evening the only things I have to knit is the finish of these socks & then the un-kitchenering of the toes (or failing that cutting the toes off) of the Pastoral socks & then fixing those. These next steps (after the toe decrease rounds) are fiddly & I don't necessarily want to be doing them parked somewhere not at home.

And, no I haven't ordered the Cascade Fixation for CIL's socks yet. I want to see if my LYS can do it. If they can, I'd rather give them the business, even if it costs a little more. I need to go there sometime next week anyway & pick up the 2 sets of Suzanne's 2.5mm ebony needles I ordered a while back. They called yesterday & said they were in.

So I had to find something else to start. I have 2 sock yarn stashes. The hanks I purchased after I got my swift & wool winder sit in the living room in baskets. There are not that many & it makes a colorful display. It's also nice to paw thru the basket & pet on the hanks!! The bigger sock yarn stash is in a very large very cheaply made FREE tote bag in the closet. This holds all the hanks I purchased that were wound for me by my LYS prior to my swift & wool winder purchase from them. It also has the sock yarn that comes in balls or skeins. And it holds the leftover sock yarn from previous sock projects.

So I was looking thru my hank stash & trying to decide what I could wind to take with me if the need arose. Then I saw the wound hank that SIL & I did while she was here for her birthday. Yep, that's what the scanned pics are. The un-wound & the wound. It's Koigu, color # P308. I already know what needles, 2.5mm, what I always knit wool on & a pattern??? I'll throw my 2 Nancy Bush books in my knitting bag & go from there.

Here's what I made for dinner yesterday. I like it because
  • it's quick
  • I can adjust ingredients to what I have on hand
  • it's good
  • Sweetie likes it
  • the leftovers taste good
  • exact measuring is not important
It's just fancy beenie weenies.

1 pkg hot dogs
1 large (28 oz) can pork & beans, drained, with the gross pork thingy tossed
1/4 cup catsup (or 4 or so good squirts from the squirtable ketchup bottle)
1 bell pepper (green, red, yellow, whatever's in the fridge), large dice (1" to 1/2")
1 medium onion, large dice (1" to 1/2")
couple of shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 to 1/2 tspn minced garlic, jarred or fresh (less if you use dried)
1/8 tspn (or to taste) Tabasco or that Jack Daniels grillin' sauce (for a bit of a kick)
1/8 tspn liquid smoke (really don't overdo this one)
1/4 tspn ground pepper (I use Penzey's 4 pepper blend)
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn dried mustard
1/4 tspn grated nutmeg (not a typo ~ I use it in ALL my red sauces)
1-2 tspn (or so) of molasses (I use dark)
1-2 tblspn of brown sugar (I use dark)
anything else in the spice drawer that looks like it will work!

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Chop the hot dogs up into bite-sized pieces. I cut each dog into quarters, then cut each quarter in half then cut that in half. Brown the hot dogs. When the hot dogs are done, set them aside (or if you have all the stuff mixed into the beans already, put the hot dogs in with the beans). Cook the chopped pepper & onion in the hot dog pan until the onion begins to brown. Set aside or mix into beans, if all the stuff's in there. Now the beans: Pour the drained beans into a 13" x 9" baking dish. Gently (so you don't smoosh the beans) stir in the rest of the ingredients. If I don't have any brown sugar I use a little more molasses & visa versa. If you're missing a couple of things, don't sweat it. Use what you've got. Then add the hot dogs, peppers & onions & mix them in gently. Smooth them out & bake about 20 minutes. You're just heating up the beans & blending the flavors.

I usually put it in soup bowls wrapped in kitchen towels & we eat it watching TV.

I Right The Wrongs by Dylan Schaffer
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

Parting Shot: "If the going is real easy, beware, you may be headed down hill." ~ Anonymous
Quote Source

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Patrick Volkerding you da THE MAN!

I've been having minor problems with my blog for a few weeks now & as soon as I blogged about how I was going to put Slack 11 on the job, Viola! the problems are gone. I can see all my blogs & I can see all the posts on my blog. Just the thought of new & better Slack sent the evil MS back where it came from. It's like the time my SIL & BIL were having problems with their TV. They tuned across Oral Roberts & the TV was cured. In case you're not a Slacker, Patrick Volkerding is the guy who founded, writes, updates & generally keeps track of all things Slack. It where we get our Slack. See the link on my side bar under The Convert heading. Clever, huh!

And I'm progressing the Great Sock Repair Project. I've only got about 20 more foot rounds to go before I start the toe decreases. Then, I have to shorten then foot by 10-15 rounds on her Pastoral socks. That should be easier, as I only have to re-knit the toe decreases.

On this 1st day of Fall, we've go a nice soft rain goin' on. It held off long enough this morning for me to mow the grass. Now I'm going to sit here & drink hot teas & after I post this, read blogs, knit & contemplate the socks after CIL's socks. One for me. Will it be wool from my stash? I have several nice hanks waiting or something with the Cascade Fixation I'll be ordering. Or from something deeper in the stash.

reading: Knit Lit the Third edited by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf [ I am really enjoying this book. I'll have to see if the library has the 1st 2.]
I Right the Wrongs by Dylan Schaffer
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Slackware 11 ~ Where are you??

Ok, this is a bit of a whiny post. So grab some cheese & maybe a better wine than this or come back tomorrow.

Yes, Slack 11 is going to solve ALL my problems. Especially those I seem to be having these past 2 weeks with my blog & the problems I seem to be having today with the Internets. I still can't see any of my posts after the 9-11 one. But apparently others can because they've posted comments. And when I went to post today (just now) it said that my last post was yesterday, 9/19. I never got on the superhighway yesterday. And, in fact, according to the edit posts function, my last post was actually the Sunday, 17th. Good thing Slack 11 is now in release candidate 5, or it was last night, according to Sweetie & the bazillion posts over on Linux Questions.

And, today, I have access to some of my favorite blogs but others, no. On the KR form, I was able to read some posts but not others, no. And this is after re-booting this computer & our firewall system.

Maybe, it IS me. Because I'm having Jaywalker problems, too. That one I'm re-knitting for SIL that was too big? Well, every round, heck every needle seems like it's a struggle The count is off or some other wonky problem & I've got to tink or frog a few rounds. Sheesh! I hope all this karma I don't have is benefiting someone else.

So, what have I been doing? Well cooking & cleaning & re-vamping my computer recipe file.

Honestly, there are only 2 of us here in this house. It is amazing how much time I am spending cooking, then filling & running & then emptying & re-filling & running the dishwasher. I'm surprised we haven't worn the face off our dishes. Since I'm home now, we're eating most of our meals at home. When I was working, it was probably closer to half & some weeks it was most meals out. Hey! No dishes!

And I have to come up with completely new & wonderful things to eat twice a day during the week & 3 times (or more) on Saturday & Sunday. I refuse to get up at 6:30 am if I don't have to so Sweetie's on his own for something to eat during the week when he gets up. How do women with kids do it? Well, I know how, they just do it. They don't have a choice. And those women with a job on top of it all?

I know I am pretty damned lucky to be in the position I'm in so I just better shut up & just deal.

I'd e-mailed CIL about her future socks. She can't wear wool, so THAT narrows it down a whole bunch. I'm thinkin' Cascade Fixation. She admired my Yoga Daughter socks so now that I have the yarn & yes, even the stitch pattern (probably ~ k3, p1, k1, p1), all I need to decide on is the color & how to stripe it. Her favorite colors are navy & burgundy but she also wears a lot of gray & black. I really don't want to a knit gray &/or black pair of socks. So, I'm maybe thinkin' the 9245 (2nd card) for the burgundy stripe & the 9030 (6th card) for the navy stripe. And while I'm ordering yarn . . . might as well . . . let's see 2 balls of plain white . . . 9840 (2nd card) looks good & 9843 (7th card). . . .

reading: Knit Lit the Third edited by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf
I Right The Wrongs by Dylan Schaffer
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Never think you've seen the last of anything." ~ Eudora Welty
Quote Source

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fall has fallen

Although, calendar-wise, autumn is still a few days away, the temperatures in my part of the world are telling a different story. The low this evening is to be 45°F / 7°C which is pretty darn cool considering that less than a month ago, highs were consistently over 100°F / 38°C. It's nice to have a long run of no air conditioned or furnaced air. Nice on the wallet, too!

I'm making great progress on the Great Sock Repair Project. The 2nd sock is done except for kitchenering the toe & I've just started on the foot rounds of the 1st sock (the one that was completed & had to be frogged back to round 61 of the leg). Looks like I'm going to have plenty of yarn. The ball attached to the 1st sock is bigger than the one I had to finish the 2nd sock with so I'm good to go.

I'm getting anxious to start on CIL's sock & I'm still kinda of up in the air about the yarn & still no idea of the pattern. If I haven't figured it out by the time the
Great Sock Repair Project is done, I'll just start on a sock for me & mull some more.

After watching the NASA channel today, if I had an extra 20 million, I'd be a spaceflight participant, too. Who's next, Paris Hilton?

OK, this is VERY strange. Other folks can see my posts after my 9-11 post but I can't when I click on my blog???? Gail from Gail's Good Yarn posted a comment to yesterday's post so obviously she must have been able to see it!!?? So maybe the problem is on my end. I love techmology (what Crazy Aunt Purl calls technology gone wrong.)

edited to add: I now have (I hope . . . it tested OK for me) an e-mail addy for this blog. It's at the top of the side bar. I'll have to look thru my Xena eps for an appropriate title.

reading: Knit Lit the Third edited by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf
Something's Down There by Mickey Spillane
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is." ~ Will Rogers
Quote Source

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Operation!

My blog is having problems in that the posts from 9/12 & 9/13 aren't showing up. I've gone thru the e-mail route & now I'm just waiting. So I'm going to continue to post & when they all show up they'll show up.

Sweetie's been on call 24/7 since last Monday. That's will last until 8am this coming Monday, 9-18. Normally he's only on call from 8am to midnight, Monday thru Friday. But once every 5 weeks or so, it's his turn. Last time we ended up going to a town about 2 hours from where we live to tell the folks at a fast food restaurant that, yes, their monitor is dead, & he'll order one on Monday to replace it. I got to go with him & I got some major knitting done on the drive up, during the the half hour service & the drive back home.

So in preparation for what will surely happen this weekend, I prepped & operated on SIL's 1st Jaywalker last night. I frogged it back to round 61 of the leg. That was kinda fun. Usually when I frog, I'm only frogging a couple of rows but this was a major frog. It was 79 92 stitch rounds, 30 toe decrease rounds & 24 46 stitch heel flap rows & 24 heel turn rows.

Yeah, a major frog. So it's back on the needles & ready. I'm going to finish the 2nd sock as far as the yarn I have left will let me. Then I'll see how far that actually got me then re-knit the 1st sock smaller & we'll see where we are. The whole froggin' thing went much easier than I anticipated. I actually thought I would have to cut off the kitchenered toe as I didn't think I would be able to un-pick it.

I am already so tired of this pattern & this colorway & I want it to be done. The last time this happened, I knit 2 Conway socks in the same yarn, all 4 pair, one right after the other. This project has gone on so long with the froggin, it's like 4 pair, only it's not. Good thing I'm mostly a process knitter, huh!

Re-doing SIL's Pastoral socks may be a whole 'nother story. The ends are woven in on these socks, so we'll see. At least, all I have to do there, is frog the toes then frog back the foot about 10 rows then re-knit the toes.

Once I'm done with the Pastoral socks (again) I can start on CIL's socks. I'm still mulling over yarn choice (kinda) & for sure pattern. I've been cruisin' thru the
200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton which sits in the bathroom; thinking bout something there.

I wore my new Yoga Daughter socks with my new shoes the other day. They are some of the most comfortable socks I've ever worn. I've got another pair of Cascade Fixation socks, the Mother (pic on the left on that post) socks to my Yoga Daughter socks but they aren't as comfortable. They're knit in a tighter rib, k3, p3 so that could be it. Anyway, my new socks are a success.

I've decided /discovered that for summer I prefer white socks with some kind of colored patterning / stripe. So I'm going to get another ball or 2 of the white Cascade Fixation & a ball of the purple (which would match the purple in the leftover 1/3 of a ball of the stripey) & there's another sock. When I was at my LYS the other day, they had a ball or 2 of this yellow / limey green solid that would make a fun stripe.

Thursday, late afternoon, we went sailing. We went out to Spray intending to just read, knit & hang out, but once out there, we saw that it was indeed windy enough to go sailing, so we did. We hoisted the working jib as it was white capping a little (winds 12-15 mph) & we were just lazy enough to not want to work that hard. Every time we go out in Spray, we are just amazed at how good a sailing boat she is. When Relentless, our 22' Laguna would get a gust she would heel over alarmingly then pop back upright & then heel over some. With Spray, she'll accelerate, heel & hold the angle. As long as the wind holds, I can hold the rub rail in the water if I want. She is so easy to sail, she darn near sails herself.

In case you were wondering, the Spicy Pumpkin cake was a success. It's not going as fast as the angel food cake which disappeared in 24 hours, but this is a richer cake with all the nuts, pumpkin & spices. I am (of course) using the whipped cream in a can but I dust the whipped cream with either ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg. I found a recipe for fresh apple cake from my Penzey's catalog & I might make that next. The pumpkin cake will probably last out the weekend. I'll see what we're hungry for when the time comes.

reading: Knit Lit the Third edited by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf
Something's Down There by Mickey Spillane
Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt

browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." ~ African Proverb
Quote Source

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Socks ~ Yarn ~ Cooking











That 1st pic is the scanned image of my Yoga Daughter socks. They fit well & I'm quite pleased with them considering they were a grab-some-yarn-&-run-out-the-door kind of project. They're made out of Cascade Fixation. Six rounds of white then alternately 2 & 3 rounds of the purple, aqua & white stripey yarn. The rib pattern is one I discovered when I did the Conway socks; k3, p1, k1, p1.


The first Cascade Fixation socks I did were with the purple, aqua & stripey yarn in a k3, p3 rib. I found that because Cascade Fixation has elastic in it, it may not be relaxed as you knit it, especially toward the end of a ball. The stitches tighten up on the needle & makes it very difficult to knit the next round or in my case do the toe decreases. If you unwind several yards (5 or 6 did it for me) from the ball it solves the problem. If you're near the end of the ball, unwind it completely then wind it up again, very loosely.

The 2nd pic is the yarn I exchanged Monday. It's Koigu. It's an ugly color to me — baby shit green or brown. Ugh. BUT something about those dark splotches spoke to me. Anyway, I think it will make a good pair of jean socks.

I have recovered my knowledge of how to do short row heels. I think I've mentioned this before but when I'm having a knitting problem or crisis I don't want to knit. Anything. Until I've either come to terms with a lot of froggin' or figured out what to do I don't pick up the needles. Finally, earlier today, I felt like tackling the heel again & it looks fine. The weird stitches that you get when you k2tog are still there but they don't bother me today. Yeah. Whatever.

Anyway, I've reknit the turning of the heel, picked up the gusset stitches (12 on 1 side & 11 on the other ~ not bad for me). I'm on about round 4 of the leg.

I got the new Patternworks in the mail today. That's where I found this. I've been eying knitting bumper stickers on Cafe Press & other places. But with this car magnet I can drive either Itsock or Mathilda & be known as a knitter. Now what else to order??? HA! Sock yarn, of course. I'll be paging thru the sock yarns & I'll let you know.

I've been pawing thru my recipe archives again but here's one I found recently. It's what I'll probably bake tomorrow as we've finished the plain angle food cake I baked yesterday. I'd forgotten how god plain angle food cake is. And it's fat-free so indulge!

SPICY PUMPKIN CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS

From: Kraft Food & Family magazine, Fall 2006
Makes: 16 servings

1 pkg (2-layer size) spice cake mix*
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened, divided
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tspn ground cinnamon
½ tspn ground ginger
6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup whipped topping, thawed
1 tblspn granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 12 cup fluted tube pan or 10" tube pan.

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, reducing water to ½ cup & increasing oil to ½ cup. Add half the cream cheese & all of the pumpkin, cinnamon & ginger. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Stir in chopped chocolate. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan & cool completely on wire rack.

Mix remaining cream cheese, whipped topping & sugar until well blended. Spread on top of cooled cake.

* You can use yellow cake mix for the spice mix if you prefer.

It sounds good. I probably won't use the chocolate but I will throw in some black walnuts. I'll also beef up the spices to make it more pumpkin pie-ish; dash of cloves, ginger & nutmeg. Mmmmm I'm also hankering for another butter cake with chocolate icing. I have to go to the store tomorrow anyway so I'll get ingredients for both & we'll see which one I'm hungrier for when the time comes for baking!

reading: The Unbidden Truth by Kate Wilhelm & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." ~ Harriet Van Horne
Quote Source

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

STR Mesa Jaywalkers almost back on track

I still can't watch the videos & sometimes even a still photo is hard for me to look at when it concerns the 9-11 terrorist attacks but apparently the written word I can take. I read so many tributes yesterday on so many blogs. Amazing what you all have said & how you said it. So much better than I could have done. Honor our head. Honor our living. Don't let the bastards win.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I knit some yesterday, but not a lot. Mainly I finished up my Yoga Daughter socks & even wove in all the ends. I'll have a pic up tomorrow along with pics of the yarn I picked up yesterday when I exchanged the stuff I already had in my stash. It's a limey- yellowish green with dark splotches of green & blue & brown. Should make a funky pair of socks.

I've started on SIL's Jaywalkers again. Gail at Gail's Good Yarn gave me an idea if I still don't have enough yarn. Her suggestion was to get a coordinating solid color & knit 1 row in the solid & 1 row in the striped yarn for in this case, the toes. Well, I'm good with taking someone's very good idea & running with it. If I don't have enough yarn even with the shortened leg & foot I'm going to knit the toes a solid color. I WAS going to frog both socks & just start again with a different not-a-yarn-eating pattern such as a simple rib. But this way SIL can still have her STR Jaywalkers. Thanks Gail! I'll keep ya'll posted.

Right now, evidently, I have possibly lost the ability to do a short row heel, because I've frogged this heel twice & it still looks like crap on one side. Weird stitches where I k2tog. They are on the 1st sock but for some reason, maybe with the way the colors on the yarn work out, they just stick out. I'll try again later, in dim light.

reading: The Unbidden Truth by Kate Wilhelm & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "Fortunately, psychoanalysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself remains a very effective therapist". ~ Karen Horney
Quote Source

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-Six




R E M E M B E R




Saturday, September 9, 2006

They're not just for knitting anymore

Ott lights! My wonderful SIL gifted me with one at least a year or so before I started knitting. It was just a light [a strange light] that sat in the library as a floor lamp. Then I started knitting & I knit in the library in the Katie chair with the Ott light while I watched TV. I was off work at the time so a lot of knitting got done. This was also before I began knitting socks.

Then I began reading blogs & I began to knit while I waited for pages to load & so the Ott light got moved into the office where it sits lighting up my knitting as I read blogs & forums. I guess I need to purchase a 2nd Ott light to put back in the library.

Anyway, these last couple of weeks I've been painting, most recently in our hallway, with a icy blue for the walls & an icy white for the trim. The light there isn't so great & the blue fixture on the hall light looks great but makes it difficult to tell where I've painted & where I haven't. Enter, the Ott light! So now a 2nd use (among many, I'm sure) for our Ott light.

I'm almost ready for the toe decreases on my Yoga Daughter sock — 5 more rounds then 23 toe decrease rounds. I'll be able to wear them tomorrow or Monday. Just in time for my new white Reebok Princess shoes. I've worn that style for ages — so comfy.

I've been making a list of what colors of cotton sock yarn I want to order. So far I've come up with dark or navy blue. With that color I can make
  • navy & light blue stripes
  • red, white & blue stripes
  • navy & forest green [left over from my MayDay socks] stripes
  • navy & white stripes
OK that's 4 socks I can make with the addition of 1 color.

Other combo's with the yarn I have
  • red & white stripes [another try]
  • red & green stripes [Christmas socks — gotta have 'em]
  • light green & light blue stripes
  • light blue & yellow stripes
Yes, I know there are other combo's I can make with white, yellow, red, light blue, light green & forest green but these are the ones I like the best. Now that I have some color combo's I will start brainstormin' on different stripe patterns. I've decided I'm going to finish my Castle sock but the stranded knitting is going to be mainly a wool thing or a small hi-lite on cotton socks. The stranded thing goin' on now is a 5 round pattern. The sock is white & the stranded part is yellow. When I get the stranded part done, I'll scan it & post a pic. But I've got other socks in front of it to fix.

I've also made another yarn decision. I'm going to exchange the yarn I got for CIL's sock for a different Koigu handpaint. I'm going to use the yarn I have in my stash. I haven't wound the hanks & I just purchased it so it should be no problem. I'll scan a pic next week. The yarn I'm going to get (if it's still there) is a lime green with darker (or maybe lighter) dots throughout. Not what I would usually wear, but the dots were intriguing.

reading: Have Your Cake & Kill Him, Too by Nancy Martin & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting shot: "I'll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has got to say." ~ Elizabeth Gaskell
Quote Source

Thursday, September 7, 2006

It's official

I may be a Gemini but I still can't blog & knit at the same time. I can & do quite often get a whack of knitting done reading other folks blogs [when I'm not playing Spider] but so far I haven't got the hang of typing & knitting. So for now the Yoga Daughter sock (Note the capitals on both words. Yes that is the official name/title of this sock.) sits quietly under the Ott light to the left of my keyboard.

I'm on round 28 of the 56 round leg. All the gusset decreases are done. This pair has got the worst picked up gusset matches of any for a long time. The 1st sock had 18 on the RH gusset (as you would be wearing the sock) & 12 on the LH gusset. The 2nd sock has 15 on the right & 13 on the left. And yet there are no holes or gaping & as long as you don't anally examine both gussets you'd never know. Must be something about the RH side.

The sides always pick up differently anyway. I've tried slipping the stitches the same way — as if to knit & as if to purl — & there is still a difference in the way they look. Must be because 1 is slipping a purl & 1 is slipping a knit stitch. Oh, well, it works. Part of the miracle that is the "heel".

Yesterday, I trekked to my LYS to pick up replacement needles. I lost track of an ebony needle [which their dog then found & destroyed] & SIL broke one of the rosewood 2.5mm dpns trying the sock on. That left me with only a complete set of each. I like to have a spare so if I break a needle, I don't have to stop.

I love how the Suzanne ebony needles feel — so silky. They were out of the ebony so I ordered 2 sets. The tips on the rosewood needles I picked up, are more blunt that the current set. Lately, I've taken to using a spare 2mm needle to help pick up stitches as it seems like each successive replacement has a tip that's a little more blunt. The difference in the tips between the new sets & the old set of rosewoods dpns is very obvious.

And it seems like the finish on the needles isn't as smooth. It could be that with use, they get more polished. I know that was the case with the last set of ebony dpns I picked up. They felt almost rough. But after using them & intermingling them with the old set, I couldn't tell the difference. Odd.

I may get a set of bamboo 2.5mm's for the Cherry Hill black yarn. That way the yarn will show up even better.

I kind of settled on a yarn & maybe a pattern for CIL's sock. I found some hand painted Koigu in blues that would look nice in the Blueberry Waffle Socks pattern. I may use that or pair it with something else or do something else. I'm going to finish my socks 1st as I can wear mine NOW. SIL won't be wearing her 2 pair until it gets colder, a couple of months from now.

Sweetie & I went out canoing after lunch today. We didn't go far as it was hot & we both tired out quickly. We could STILL feel our paddling muscles once we got underway. When we were pulling the canoe out & stepped out onto the launch ramp & was pushing him & canoe away from me as I held on to the painter. I was going to let him drift out & then yank him in with the painter. But I no more gave the canoe a good shove & I slipped & fell derrière down on the slick ramp. Sweetie thought I was hurt but I was laughing so hard I couldn't talk. I was soaked from the waist down & now I have lovely algae stains on the bottom of my shorts.

We finished loading the canoe onto Mathilda & I rode home atop one of our square cushions [type IV throwable device] so I wouldn't get the seat wet. They're about 3" deep so I felt quite tall on the ride home.

I started & finished Angles & Demons by Dan Brown between this post & the last. I really liked the book — a lot more than the much hyped The Da Vinci Code. I also read Deception Point
a couple of months ago. I liked it better than The Da Vinci code by not as much as Angles & Demons. I guess I like that Catholic bent.

just started reading: Have Your Cake & Kill Him, Too by Nancy Martin & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "A person who talks fast often says things she hasn't thought of yet." ~ Caron Warner Lieber
Quote Source

Sunday, September 3, 2006

My feet aren't that big

Got the SIL Jaywalkers in the Mesa colorway problem solved. The leg will be at 60 rounds but I've made the foot too long. I can take 15 rounds off the foot. So I'm going to go as far as I can before I run out of yarn on the sock that currently sits at 60 rounds on the leg. Where I run out of yarn will tell me if I'll have enough to finish that sock with the yarn I'll gain when I frog part of the completed sock & re-knit it smaller. The completed sock has the toe kitchenered but the ends haven't been woven in. If I can't un-kitchener the toe easily, I'll cut it off, [just the very end] as I have to frog back to round 60 on the leg anyway.

SIL's tried to be careful, but she broke 2 needles as she was trying on the Jaywalker. She didn't realize it, thank goodness. But now I don't have any extra needles so I have to go by another set so I'll have spare needles. What a shame!!! A trip to my LYS Tuesday morning.

Evidently I made SIL's Pastoral socks too long in the foot. I'm takin' 15 rounds out of them, too. I took them back. I'll do the same thing to them (cut off the kitchenered toe) & frog back 15 rounds on the foot, then re-knit the toe. I'll do 1 then go make her try it on.

Cousin-in-law (BIL's cousin) was at BIL's birthday bash. She gushed much over my sock-in-progress, the Yoga daughter sock & SIL's socks (SIL also brought out her Conway to show) that I offered to make CIL a pair. Technically she's NOT family, but close enough. I made a tracing of her foot & marked where her toes begin (for the toe decreases). She wears a size 9 shoe but has slender legs & very narrow feet & heels. I measured her heel length & around her calf where she wants the sock to hit.

I plan to finish SIL's socks-in-progress, fix the Pastoral socks & finish my Yoga daughter socks first. CIL wears a lot of navy & she also likes cranberry. Must be a winter palette like me. She really liked the striping on my Yoga daughter socks but not so much the solid color of the Conway. I couldn't get a feel for the STR striping. I don't have anything in the stash colorwise that would work for her. I'm thinkin' maybe a 2 color stripe in Koigu ~ a navy sock with narrowish cranberry stripes in a rib. Or one of the darker blue Koigu handpaints ~ maybe make her a blueberry waffle sock. Or I could do the navy & cranberry with the handpaints, too. That might be interesting sort of a heathered stripe.
I could also do something with Cascade Fixation. I'll have to find out if she can wear wool. I forgot to ask. Hmmm, I'll have plenty of time to think about it as I have 2 socks to fix & 3 to finish before I start hers. Probably by the end of Sept or so.

BIL's birthday celebration went great. One of the things we gave him was a soft heather blue Henley. He's into that cowboy action shooting thing & Henley's are one of the things that's from "back then" so it worked out great.

Both of us were still a little sore this morning & there was a little wind, so we elected to go sailing instead of canoing. The wind was really flukey. It would go from 2-3 mph to around 10 mph or so & really change directions. Almost a 180° switch a few times. You'd go from a nice tight beat upwind then to almost dead down wind with a calm spell in the middle. We sailed for a couple of hours then after a longer than usual calm spell, we took the sails down, put the sail cover back on & motored back to the marina. And of course, as soon as we got the sails down & stowed & were motoring back, the wind came up nicely. But it was calm again, by the time we docked & were heading up the ramp toward Itsock.

reading: Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: ". . . . Here's looking at you kid."
~ Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa Laszlo (Ingrid Bergman) in Casablanca

Saturday, September 2, 2006

I'm paddling as fast as I can

We went canoing this morning. Temps were in the low to mid 70's. The wind was 4-5 mph with "gusts" up to 7 or 8 mph. Not enough to sail like WE like to sail but enough to provide a nice breeze. From our rough calculations, we paddled about 5 miles across a portion of the lake.

The lake we sail on has a multipurpose pool & several lines of trees. There are large open spaces between the lines of trees & if you follow the "creek" or "old river channel" there are no trees. Several years ago, when we had our first sailboat, Relentless, a 22' Laguna we sailed way back up thru several tree lines & eventually made "landfall" waaay across the lake at a road that deadened into the lake. Facing shore, off to our left, maybe a ¼ mile away was a 2-story house with a row of windows facing the lake. We've NEVER been able to find this road or house from land.

This morning we thought we were heading that way. We saw a structure in the distance & so we paddled that way thru trees & open water. When we got closer, it was a pump house or some other kind of "official" lake structure. Not the house or road at all. But we had a great time. Crocs make great canoe shoes. As they're plastic, they don't absorb water so they're perfect for splashing in the shallows to launch & clamber in & out of the canoe. Sweetie's leather boat shoes get wet & stay wet. As we knew this ahead of time, I was always the first out of the canoe to hold it & the last in so I could hold it. Worked out great.

We forgot a couple of things, tho.

  • sunblock
  • a painter (a rope that ties to the bow so you can tie the boat off on a tree so it won't float away
  • straps for our glasses
  • "rafting" hats
We were off the water by noon & no obvious sunburns. We stopped midway on the way back & held on to a skinny tree & rested. We both have prescription eye glasses so we don't want to lose them if we capsize. Years ago, we were go on "float" trips with a could of wild & crazy guys & it was deemed that you had to have "raftin' hats. Which are straw hats or really any hat. I have a favorite brim but as it was partly cloudy, not really necessary this morning.

We're going again tomorrow morning but we're putting in in a different spot. We probably won't paddle as long or as far as my left shoulder is a bit sore from this morning. And we've already but the missing items in our canoing pile. We also found out that Mathilda will go into the garage with the canoe on top! Yippee! That solves the immediate storage problem.

OK, knitting content. I'm on the heel flap of the 2nd sock of my Yoga daughter socks.

Tomorrow afternoon, around 3:30 we are to be at BIL & SIL's house to celebrate BIL's birthday. We went to one of those stores that sell discounted no-name (not Hallmark) gift bags & cards & I picked up some inexpensive plain gift bags for the 2 shirts & 2 gift cards we got for him. I got SIL's sock frogged down to row 60, I figured that was short enough & back on the needles so she can try it on.

reading: Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting shot: "We'll always have Paris." Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa Laszlo (Ingrid Bergman) in Casablanca

Friday, September 1, 2006

Blog news

I'm trying to set up an e-mail address for this blog. As I'm blogging anonymously I don't want folks to be able to access my identity thru my real name e-mail addy which is my last name & Sweetie's & my 1st initials. Evidently I am still techmology-challenged. And thank goodness for spell checker as I can't type or spell today. So I think I've screwed up my real e-mail & will need to wait for Sweetie to come home & fix it. (sigh)

Anyway, it would be nice for those folks who read this to be able to e-mail me if they choose instead of having to comment. As we get 3 "free" e-mail accounts with our dial-up I'm going to use one. Once we / he gets it fixed, I'll put a contact me thingy in the side bar. One of these days, I'll figure out how to add stuff to the left side of my blog such as progress bars or WIP kind of things. But as I usually only have 1 or 2 WIP I'm not so motivated. But maybe a FO thing might not be a bad idea even if it would mostly be socks.

Sweetie & I did a little birthday shoppin' for BIL earlier today but he got paged so we came home & I've been surfin' & knittin' on my Yoga daughter sock. I'm almost done with the leg — only about 10 more rounds. And yes, SIL's Mesa JayWalker is still just sitting there — although the paper has been moved.

This morning Sweetie & I watched part of Casablanca on TV. All those great quotes. I'd forgotten how many of them came from this great movie.

reading: Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein & Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt
browsing thru: 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton

Parting Shot: "You played it for her, you can play it for me!" ~ Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca