Monday, February 26, 2007

Chauffeur Needed ~ Apply Within

Knitting and Sailing stuff at the bottom. Techie OS stuff up here today.

I use the Linux Operating System instead of Windows; Slackware 11 to be more precise. When Sweetie compiled the kernel I'm using, 2.6.17 (aka as the "huge" kernel) he didn't put in a couple of modules that would be needed to support the card reader that "came" with the new digital camera we got about a month ago. At the time, we didn't have a digital camera and had no desire or intention to get one. Things change. I've been having to go into Windows, download the photos into the computer then pop back into Linux, get them from the Windows side and go on with my life.

Sweetie loves to do this kind of thing. He figured out what modules I needed and that it would be best if he re-compiled the kernel with the new modules. Then he decided that if we're going to re-compile the kernel anyway why not compile the latest and greatest, (aka the "homicidal dwarf hamster" kernel . . . Really!). We have dial-up and it would be very slow and make everything else slow so we drove to a coffee shop about 40 minutes away that we knew had free WiFi to download a new kernel. Of course, I took my knitting — the Redux in Blue sock — and a book, just in case. KIP!!

We had a grand time, sipping java (mmm, hazelnut), Sweetie munching a cheese pastry and me a tart cherry scone, Sweetie downloading a new kernel in record time and me knitting away and people watching. The download went so quickly, a 35mg tarball in less than five minutes (which would have taken around three hours at home) that we decided to also download the most current Open Office Suite for Windows (which Sweetie uses instead of Excel and Word). That was a larger file, a 51mg tarball, which took about 20 minutes. It would have taken 4-5 hours at home. A grand adventure, to be sure. But wait! There's more.

Sweetie drove home and I knit all the way (sock progress below). Almost home we decided to see if our local Borders had free WiFi. We both thought they had a pay system but if it was free that would save us some drive time. Once in the parking lot, might as well go in. They had none of the new knitting books that I wanted but we found a new sailing magazine which I also blather about below.

Back in the car, Sweetie fires up the laptop and they DID have an unsecured (free) WiFi signal. Cool. That's when we decided to go War Driving. Beats walkin' around WalMart when you're bored. I drove and Sweetie had the laptop up and running and in search mode. It was fun. As I drove around, Sweetie kept up a running comment on what he could see; if the wireless networks he saw were secured or unsecured and what some of the more esoteric names were. One was rather risque (Dave Loves P*****s) but most were either named Linksys or Belkin, Default or were rather ho-hum in nature such as the person's name.

We found LOTS of local restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc with unsecured or free WiFi signals just pouring out into the ether. We could go in and nosh or shop or sit in the parking lot to download or surf at the same high speed as the network at the coffee shop we were at to download our stuff.

That's why we need a chauffeur. When Sweetie drives, I knit. Now he wants ME to drive so he can WarDrive. LOL!!

While we were at Borders, after I'd checked out the knitting section, I wandered over to the sailing magazine section. I found a new one
Good Old Boat. According to the masthead, it's "The sailing magazine for the rest of us!" Most of the boating magazines feature very high end boats, sail and power, that most folks can only read about. The closest most of us ever get to these is a national show such as The Annapolis Sailboat Show held in the water every Columbus Day weekend in Annapolis, MD. Good Old Boat magazine features boats like most of us who have boats own. For instance, in the issue I picked up, the January / February one, they have an article about an old 1978 Chrysler 22, a boat I've sold and sailed on. We may be subscribing to this one.

OK! KNITTING!! YEA!! (finally!!)
The Peachy Keen scarf and I made up today. I picked it up again and put a few more pattern repeats into it. I also decided that it's now long enough to turn it over and start knitting on the back (or front) side. If you recall, about a week ago I discovered while I was taking a picture of it that about 15" into the scarf I had somehow switched sides. The WS of the pattern was on the front and the RS of the pattern was on the back, or visa-versa. Whatever. I screwed it up. But as I didn't switch back, I decided I did it on purpose so that the ends of the scarf would be all matchy-matchy. Which, unless I somehow switch again, they will be. So the Peachy Keen scarf is now back on track.

The Redux in Blue sock is just roaring along. I am within an inch or so of beginning the toe decreases. YES!, The. Toe. Decreases. ALREADY! But you know, when you have the dreaded measurement goal instead of a row goal, every time you measure you need 1 or 2 or 5 more rounds (rows). Then you measure one last time because this time you're sure and you're like a 1½" over
— and you only knit 2 rounds. When you measured before you had a solid ¾" to go.

blogging to: Jazz on the radio

reading: Chamomile Mourning by Laura Childs

Parting Shot: "Talk about high-tech! My new lawn mower not only mulches and is self-propelled
it starts!" ~ unknown
Quote Source

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tink Squared

I've been trying very hard during the knit of this Redux in Blue sock to fix any errors as soon as I notice them. Which meant tinking back an entire round three different times because I forgot to do gusset decreases. You'd think that after the first and then the second time I would remember!!

And, yeah, I know I could have either
  • did them on the next round or
  • laddered down 1 round and did it then
But when I do the second option it's always a little loose there and I can never pull the stitches around enough to make up for it. So I did the right thing by tinking back and doing the decreases correctly.

And then for some reason, in the middle of the bottom of the foot stitches, between needles, I must have picked up a bar or something because four rounds later I notice this really strange stitch there. I laddered down to try to fix it and it disappeared. So then I had four rounds of very loose stiches right on the very bottom of the foot. Well. Crap.

There was nothing to do but frog or tink back four rounds. Here was my dilemma. I could very easily take the sock off the needles and frog four rounds then painstakingly put the sock back on the needles, stitch by stitch. Or I could tink back four rounds. OR. OR. I could "double tink" or TINK Squared. (I wish I knew how to do superscript in html).

What is TINK Squared? or even TINK Cubed? I don't think I'd want to go beyond Cubed. Well, Squared. OK. We've all tinked one stitch at a time. Carefully pulled the yarn through the loop, all the time holding tightly to the bottom of the loop so you don't lose the loop. And sometime you lose the loop anyway and have to fumble around and find your crochet hook to pick up the loop and put it back on the non-working needle.

TINK Squared or Cubed is pulling the working yarn though the loop then pulling the yarn from the row below loose. Eventually (on knitting in the round) you'll have a loose yarn running around the inside of the sock which will meet up with the working yarn once you work your way all around the sock. Not a very good explanation. Another way to explain is that your tinking two or three rounds at a time.

Anyway, it worked very well for me and I tinked those four rounds in record time. The sock is looking very good and I'm very pleased with it. I've got about 1½" done on the foot, 16 rounds. Of course, I would have more, maybe as much as 23 rounds and over 2" except that I had to keep fixing things. Maybe a photo tomorrow.

blogging to: the sound of the TV from the library where Sweetie is watching How It's Made on the Science channel.

reading: Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

Parting Shot:

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's Only Friday??

It's been a wonderful end of week here in Hermitville. Wednesday the weather was sublime. with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 60's. We went out to the boat which is still in the boatyard at the marina on the trailer. I packed a cooler with some sodas and Cheddar cheese chunks. I also took along a box of Triscuits. We sat in the cockpit, leaned against the bulkheads, feasted on cheese and crackers and listened to the wind clank the halyards all around us.

I was too lazy to climb down and get my knitting bag so while Sweetie prowled around the boat measuring and thinking about the placement of all the new hardware we're going to add before we splash this year I took photos of boat parts.

Later we meandered down to the marina and I took some photos of stuff more recognizable to the non-sailor. Wednesday, the lake was mostly still frozen as evidenced by the picture below. There was open water all around the marina and along the edges though along with a couple of big swaths of open water visible out in the lake.

Edge of the ice.

We must have been so energized that we both stayed up late which set the stage for Thursday.

We got up at our regular time, before 7am for Sweetie and around 8am for me. Around 11am or so Sweetie fell asleep in the big chair in the living room and I curled up on the sofa with a book and fell asleep. We woke up around 4pm!

Today, I got my haircut; still growing it out. All the layers are pretty much the same length now — finally! Then I went to the library and the grocery store. We are all stocked up and ready for the thunderstorms and chance of snow this weekend!

I've been making salads with LOTS of stuff. Most of the time, if it's just for me, I just use lettuce, grated Cheddar cheese, that homemade real Ranch dressing and sprinkle toasted almonds and pine nuts over it. Yum! But if I'm making a salad for the two of us, I make a huge bowl and add raddiccio (the purple cabbage), green onions, red pepper, carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli and radishes. It makes a wonderfully colorful salad. The raddiccio adds a bit of spice or something. Filling and satisfying. The ratio for us seems to be about half lettuce and half the other stuff so there is lots to crunch and chew. And any leftover salad goes in a zip top bag. (Note: I grate the cheese over the actual serving. It doesn't go in the "big" bowl.) A lot more work to chop up but, oh so much better than purchased bag salad. I'm spoiled.

I love toasted nuts on things. I get a big bag of slivered almonds and toast the whole bag. Then I get a bag of pine nuts and toast those, too. I mix them together and store them in a medium-sized butter tub. That way I have toasted nuts for my cereal, ice cream, salads, whatever. It lasts me about 2 weeks.

I'm in the process of turning the heel on the Redux in Blue sock. The leg on t
his one is 7½" long 97 rounds. The 1st sock which got tried on, is 5½" — 64 rounds. I'm rather pleased with it. I'll probably get the heel turn done this evening, the gusset stitches picked up and onto the foot. Yea!

I am lovin' this pattern so much and it knits up so easily that I'm tempted to use it for CIL's sock. I'll see how I feel when I'm done with the pair.

At last we are happy with how the wall in the master bath looks where we're installing our new light. We put the last coat of paint on up there. With Sweetie's help we also taped off
and painted the baseboards in there. Very fiddley around the back of the toilet but it's done. Saturday we're going to finish painting the trim around the bathroom door and install the light.

blogging to: Blackbird
by the Shelly Berg Trio (piano, drums and bass)

reading: Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (the same Susan Conant that writes the Cat Lover's (which I've never read) and the Dog Lover's (which I love) mysteries. Jessica is her daughter.

Parting Shot: You only get to keep what you give away." ~ Sheldon Kopp
taken from The Best of Success compiled by Wynn Davis, page 150

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yarn-y Goodness

This is a photo-heavy post (for me) so all you dial-up folks, pick up your knitting . . . .

I got my sock yarn order from Simply Socks in the mail today. As promised (or maybe threatened) here are photos of the stash enhancements. The blue and white yarn is Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace Yarns. The fiber content is 55% bamboo, 24% cotton and 21% elastic nylon. I got 3 balls for CIL's NEW non-wool socks. The color is Faded Jeans. I'm going to let the sock yarn do all the striping work this time. I still don't have a pattern, but that will come. For now, I have the yarn.

Remember I said that I needed just a little more to make my order over $50? That's where this bright ball of Cascade Fixation SprayDyed yarn fits it. It will add a bight spark in my summer cotton socks color palette which was on the cool and is now on the very dark side with the addition of CIL's failed sock yarn. The color is Sunset. You can kinda see it in the photo; there are lighter and darker areas of color.

The Schaeffer yarn — Anne. No way could I photograph the cotton / bamboo yarns with this. It's called Silver Sage. It has all these wonderful dusty green / silver colors. A whole sock of any of these colors alone or even just 2 wouldn't work for me. But together, WoW! The colorway seems to have 6 distinct shades of green in it. The fibre content is 60% merino wool superwash, 25% mohair and 15% nylon. The hank is 4 oz (I weighed it. It really is.) and is 560 yards. Socks for me or maybe SIL. Don't know who at this point. Just that it's socks.
Now some WIP photos. This is where I am on the 2nd Redux in Blue sock for SIL's principal.

And the Peachy Keen scarf. I could say that I planned it that way but then you'd think I was "smarter than the average bear and I'm clearly not. And yes, on purpose, I chose a photo that doesn't give away a thing. This pattern, not boring to knit for a scarf, has a front and a back but unless you lay the scarf out on the picanick table (see above link) to take a photo you won't see it. About one third of the scarf is knit with the front on the front (or back) and the remaining two thirds is knit with the back on the front (or the front on the back). Whatever!

As I said, you can really only see it if you lay the scarf out on a flat surface and look at it all stretched out in good light — like daylight. Otherwise the subtle pattern change looks like a trick of the light. You have to be able to see the row where the change occurs.

Sooooo, when I'm ready to knit the bottom one third of the scarf, I'll reverse sides again. It's not a mistake, it's the
~ P ~ A ~ T ~ T ~ E ~ R ~ N !
That way if / when the recipient (victim) has both tails of the scarf hanging down together the ends will be all matchy-matchy. So maybe I AM smarter than the average bear . . . once in a while. heh.

Small progress on our bathroom. We've been mudding and sanding where the new fixture goes. We had to tear out about 6" of drywall above and below the outlet box we installed to hold the fixture so Sweetie could get his hands in there to screw to it a stud. This part is taking longer as neither of us is very good with it. We're better than we were but it just takes awhile. We THINK the little bit of mud we put on today to fill in just the few low spots will be the last. Maybe we'll have the wall sanded and painted and the fixture installed by the end of the weekend.

Sweetie's birthday is in a few weeks and the other day I e-mail SIL and BIL to ask if they want to come to our house to celebrate. I think I'll cook this time instead of going out. Let's see, probably a brisket, Lemon Blueberry biscuits, potato salad and maybe corn or green beans. I'll have sandwich makin's of good bread, onions, pickles, etc. also. Of course, Triple Chocolate Cheesecake from our favorite restaurant will be the "birthday cake". Yum. I can taste the leftovers now. I'll post the brisket, biscuit and my potato salad recipes as I dig them out of my files.

blogging to: The Best of The Rippingtons by the Rippingtons

reading: Drawn to the Rhythm by Sara Hall

Parting Shot: "Inhabit ourselves that we may indeed do what we want." ~ Mary Caroline Richards
taken from The Best of Success compiled by Wynn Davis, page 215

Sunday, February 18, 2007


With the temps around 50°F. today a lot of melting was going on around here. Monday, I may finally be able to venture out on my own with Mathilda, my 4 cylinder little Mazda / Ford truck. For the past couple of weeks (seems longer) I've only been out once by myself and that was to the grocery store a few blocks away. I took Itsock, Sweetie's car. It's a big 6 cylinder Buick Century. I've not felt confined or trapped but it'll be nice to be able to get about on my own again, especially if Sweetie's on a service call.

I've now got 42½" done on the Peachy Keen scarf. I'm also into the new skeins. I'm knitting the scarf with 2 strands of Kid Silk Haze (not Rowan — but the fiber content is the same). I had three skeins to start and had to buy a fourth. I'd wound the third skien when I frogged a previous try and it's a bit smaller than the fresh new skein I bought. So when the smaller skeins runs out the scarf will be done.

I cast on for the 2nd Redux in Blue sock last night. Haven't got very far (round 4 of the cuff) but I've started. No change in the plan from my last post. I'm going to spend the bulk of my knitting time with the Peachy Keen scarf. I started the scarf on Feb 3. The scarf has stayed mostly at the computer where I knit while reading forums and blogs. Currently, the sock is parked in the library, where the TV is. As I seem to spend more time in the office on the computer than watching TV, it works.

Sometime this week I should get my sock yarn order from Simply Socks. She mentioned in her blog that because of the snow she wouldn't be sending anything out until last Thursday and I'd placed my order on Wednesday. She ships stuff via USPS so maybe Tuesday. No mail delivery Monday because of President's Day. The delay is great because as soon as I get it I'll have CIL's new sock breathin' down my neck. Did I mention that I'm NEVER doing this again??!!

blogging to: Smooth Jazz, disc 2 ~ a compilation of "smooth grooves and soulful jazz classics"

reading: Drawn to the Rhythm by Sara Hall

Parting Shot: "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." ~ Tom Clancy
Quote Source

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Envelope, Please

I got the Redux in Blue sock back in the mail today from SIL and her principal. News is not all bad but not all good, either. Here's what I have.

I asked the recipient to:
Measure from the end of the sock to the end of her toes so I'll know how much longer it should be.
She replied with the notation: 2¼" — maybe [a] shade longer

OK, I'm pretty close here. I should maybe start the decreases about now.

Next item:
Also measure from the end of the sock to where her toes begin so I'll know where to begin the toe decreases.
She replied with the notation: 5/8"

OK, yeah, I can deal with that. Good.

Third item:
And if she wants it taller on her leg or any other changes . . .
She replied with the notation: 2" more

Not so good. The heel is done and I'm on the foot. But wait! There's More!!

Last item:
If it doesn't fit, swear under your breath a little (for me). Let me know how it doesn't fit at all or if it's just a little tight . . .
She replied by circling a little tight and adding the note: across ankle (turquoise stripe area) {it looks blue in the photo between the purple areas where the sock changes direction for the non-socknitters}

Sigh. You can see from the photo (click on the photo for bigger) where the turquoise stripe area is on the ankle. I can deal with frogging the foot and the heel to lengthen the leg by 2". No biggie. Been there done that.

I'm going to cogitate on it a little more this evening, but this is what I'll probably do. If it's tight across the ankle. chances are the leg is probably maxed out. Sooo, I'm going to cast on for the 2nd sock and (for now) leave this one intact as all the length of foot measurements are based on where this sock is now. When I cast on for sock #2, I'm going to cast one 1 more pattern repeat. That will be 4 more stitches for a total of 64 stitches.

When I get there, I'm also going to pick up a couple more gusset stitches than normal so it'll be a little more loose around the ankle area. Having never met this woman, maybe she's got thin legs and thick ankles. I dunno.

Then when all is done on sock #2, I'll frog sock #1, rinse and repeat.

Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. In the end, I am SO glad I had her try it on. It's much easier to deal with it NOW than having to frog another pair. That gets depressing. It took me over a month to get back on the horse for CIL's sock.

SIL also sent along (in another box) a container of her homemade chocolate truffles. Mmmmmm.

Don't cry for me all you Socknitters.
The truth is I have some chocolate
That I'll be eating
In a mad existence
I'll keep on knitting
Just keep your distance

[ Everybody sing ]

As the the recipient of the Redux in Blue socks is NOT a knitter I should probably start the 2nd sock about where the first sock started, color-wise so they'll be similarly striped (I hope). If it were me, I'd just cast on wherever I am color-wise and take it from there.



In other news, I've got 39" on the Peachy Keen scarf done. I am almost to the end of the skeins I started with.

And, it's snowing. Again. We're to get 1-3" by the time it quits sometime Saturday. Ah, yes. 2007. The year we had winter.

blogging to Time and Tide by Basia Trzetrzelweska

reading: Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton

Parting Shot: "When God's green grows it's rarely in rows Awry the rye rises .. unruly the rose." ~ Saiom Shriver
Quote Source

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sock is in the Mail

I got an e-mail from my SIL today telling me that she is mailing the Redux in Blue sock back. That's all she said about the sock. I don't know if it fits, if the recipient hated it, loved it, frogged it, re-knit . . . what? BIL was to have put it in the mail today so maybe I'll have it tomorrow. I guess I'll find out when I get it and go from there.

Haven't done much knitting today. But we did go to my LYS and pick up a 4th skein of the peachy yarn. I see from the receipt that the color is actually cantaloupe. I bought the other 3 skeins back in December 2005 & I have the cost in my stash spreadsheet as $5.50 per skein. Today it was $12. It's the same stuff because the ball bands match as does the color number. I'll have to do a little research to see if it really WAS $5.50 back then. Since it's $12 a skein now, when I get to the end of these skeins, the scarf is DONE.

That's a photo of our pussy willow. Someday when the snow melts, I want to do a walkabout in our yard and look at the buds on all the trees and bushes. I am longing for spring.

blogging to: An Ancient Muse by Loreena McKennitt (This is her NEW CD! Just out! Great stuff!!)

reading: reading: Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton

Parting Shot: '"Ships are the nearest thing to dreams that hands have ever made." ~ Robert N. Rose
Quote Source

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Was it good for you? I hardly noticed. I'm now on Blogger2 or NEW Blogger. I don't seem to be missing anything (more than usual) and everything seems to work. I can't spell any better and I'm not suddenly blessed with charm, wit or grace so I guess everything is normal — whatever THAT is (as the saying goes).

I wonder if my pictures will load any faster or bomb out any less. Well, yes it does seem to be faster.
NEW Blogger! Now with Less Photo Upload Bomb Outs!

Did they make old Blogger more buggy & difficult on purpose so we would say that
NEW Blogger is wonderful when we finally got here?

With the
NEW Blogger I can label or categorize each post. Usually mine are all over the map so that's not going to be any large help. I guess I could choose a category or two (or nine) for whatever makes up the largest amount of verbiage. Does anyone search someone's blog by category? I usually use the "search this blog" thingy. Seems to work for me.

OK, knitting. I knit a lot today. Well, it seemed a lot. I've now got 30" on the Peachy Keen scarf. I'll need at least one more skien. This weekend I'll have Sweetie take me down to my LYS or maybe tomorrow (Thursday) as they're open late. Mathilda doesn't do so well in the snow.

I probably should be knitting on my Mermaid socks but now that I've started the scarf I want it finished before the Redux in Blue socks come back from their fitting or CIL's different sock yarn is delivered. At that point, I'll feel compelled to spend some time on whichever one comes in first. When they both get here, my time will be split three ways. Once these two projects are done, NO MORE. I might do another sock for CIL but it would be a surprise not something I opened my big mouth about.

This is a shot I took this morning standing right outside my front door in my robe. It's the ice and snow on our white birch tree's seed pods back lit by the sun.

blogging to: The 50's on XM Satellite

Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton

Parting Shot: "I reject your reality, and substitute my own. " ~ Adam Savage from the Mythbusters
Quote Source

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Good-Bye Old Blogger

Well, Blogger is forcing me to change to New Blogger. As this is the last time I will be able to get onto the old Blogger, I've saved my template and between now and the next time I post, I will have backed up all my posts & comments . . . just in case. Yeah, I have a lot of faith in technology. Everyone seems to report some initial problems, lost comments, lost or damaged templates so we'll see. If I don't post for more than a few days, that's why.

We got the forecast 1" of snow + 2-3" inches. At least there was no ice this time. And, Sweetie had no service calls today. Yea!! I took some obligatory "snow" photos. Some day, my posts will be filled obligatory sailing photos, but for now, snow.

Tomorrow, Sweetie and a fellow from the home office in Atlanta, GA (who arrived today and was a bit dismayed at the snow) are going to the big company with the big expensive contract. It's a government contract and I think therein lies the problem (as does everyone else). Even the owner of the company is tearing his hair out trying to keep these folks happy. I can bet that if his company bids for this contract again, the price will be doubled.

What started it at this location was Sweetie trying to keep everyone on the same page as he is wont to do. However, everyone in the company that has to work with the government contract folks are now being told not to say ANYTHING to the government workers as they are blowing every little comment waaay out of proportion. Our tax dollars at work. Wonderful!

What is wonderful is that I've now got almost 25" done on the Peachy-Keen scarf. Yep, that's the name now. The recipient is tall . . . well . . . as I'm just over 5' tall, almost everyone is tall to me . . . and slender and I want the scarf to be long. I'll see where I am when I run out of yarn. I have 3 skeins and I'm using it doubled. I have 8 gr left from a 25 gr skein. It may be close. At least I got it at the LYS that is closest to me.

I started frogging CIL's sock last night and gave up in frustration. I know now that I will NEVER have to worry about the tail from one of my Cascade Fixation socks wiggling out and unraveling. Those's ends are woven in to stay. So, I did the next best thing. I initially thew them in the trash (that felt soo good) but this morning I pulled them out, put them in a zip top bag & stuck them in my stash for a someday frog.

Then I went on-line and ordered NEW completely different, but still cotton, sock yarn from Simply Socks. I ordered 3 balls of Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in the 2305 colorway (blues) for CIL's socks. Then I ordered 1 hank of Anne Schaefer yarn in the Silver Sage colorway for me. And since you get free shipping with a $50 order, I ordered 1 ball of Cascade Fixation in the 9210 colorway (Sunset). The entire order plus shipping was $50.50. Photos when they arrive.

The frogged Cascade from CIL's sock and the new ball will go into my sock yarn stash. I've discovered I like to do my own striped socks from this yarn. One thing I have discovered with cotton yarn, is that of course, it shrinks . . . a lot. Even with cold washing and "drip" drying. Future socks with cotton yarn (including CIL's) will be made a tad longer/wider in the foot to accommodate the shrinking. My 2 Cascade Fixation socks and my 2 Fortissima socks are getting a bit short in the foot. It doesn't however seem to affect the leg as much.

blogging to: White Stones by Secret Garden

reading: Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton (I finished Aunt Dimity's De
ath this morning. I must really enjoy this series as I keep checking them out of the library and re-reading them so I'm going to start to purchase them one by one and make them a part of my permanent library.)

Parting Shot: If you don't know where you're going, you will probably end up somewhere else." ~ Laurence J Peter
taken from The Best of Success compiled by Wynn Davis, page 154

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Peachy-Keen Scarf

More Bacardi Limon and Pepsi fueled blogging. See? I told you I was addicted to this stuff. I pretty much wet the bottom the the glass with the rum then add a handful of ice maker ice and top with a can of Pepsi. I'm probably in more danger from the nail-eating combination of sugar, cola and carbonation than I am from the minuscule amount of rum!

Finally, a photo of the now 17" peachy kid silk haze scarf. I like the contrast between our boat trailer, the ground and the soft scarf. As this scarf looks like it's going to actually be finished, I need to come up with yet another catchy name for a soon-to-be FO. The recipient is a breast-cancer survivor and everything is now just peachy-keen — so maybe something along those lines.

We went out to the lake again today to take photos of the top of our mast. We're going to install new hardware up there before we launch this year and we want to be able to drop the mast, install the hardware then put the mast up again right away. We're using the zoom feature on the computer to zoom in to make sure there's room for what we want to do.

We're going to put a spinnaker halyard on the very front of the mast. We're not going to run it through the mast. The main and jib halyard are run that way but we'd have to cut a hole in the mast for the halyard to exit and frankly, it's more work than we want. Relentless, our previous sailboat (a 22' Laguna) had external halyards and we had no problems. So, that's the way we're going. All we have to do is rivet an eye strap to the front, attach the right size swivel block then run the halyard through it.

It's going to take longer and be more trouble to get the mast down then back up that it will be to attach the hardware. Last week UPS finally delivered the spinnaker halyard (blue line with white tracers), our spinnaker sheet (white line with blue tracers) and the 2 Lewmar winches which are going to be mounted on the coaming, just off the cabin roof. These are the winches that we'll use when we fly the spinnaker.

When we start to install all this stuff, I'll post before, during and after photos. But that's all at least a month off.

On the big bathroom remodel, we were waiting on the drywall patches where we had to install an outlet box. But the one we got will show behind the fixture so we got a different shaped box. Sweetie's going to have to take out the one we put in then re-do the dry wall. Oh, well. When it's done it'll be terrific.

He put ends on the bare wires sticking out of the wall where the old fixture was so we could turn the power back on in there. There's a light on the vent fan on the ceiling and for now that's our bathroom light. It's kind of neat. There's plenty light for showering but not so much over the sink / mirror area. We're now thinking of wiring the vent light to the fan switch instead of all the lights to the light switch. We'll see how much light the new fixture puts out by itself once we get it up.

If the new fixture puts out enough light that we don't need the vent light, when we replace the vent fan with a quieter one, we won't have to get one with a light.

The other day we watched a Combine Demolition Derby on the RFD channel.

blogging to: Chill: Brazil, disc 2 ~ a compilation of "36 sexy soul bossa tracks"

reading: Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton (I've read this before. I re-discovered it on another blog and remembered how much I like it so I checked it out of the library again.)

Parting Shot: "We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves." ~ Eric Hoffer
taken from The Best of Success, compiled by Wynn Davis, page 218

Friday, February 9, 2007

Let There Be Light

First, a whine about a free service — Blogger. Maybe this is Blogger's way of nudging those of us who haven't been assimilated [into Blogger 2] to make the change sooner rather than later. For the last week or so every time I've wanted to post a comment on another blog that is on Blogger 2, I have to log in. Previously, that was not the case. Starting with this post I also have to log in to post to my own blog. Yes, I will make the change but when I want to. I'm rather obdurate in that sense.

I forgot to take a photo of the Kid Silk Haze scarf (gotta come up with a cool name), again. Oops!

We found lights for both bathrooms at Lowe's. You guessed it. No photo of THAT either. But here it is on Lowe's website. The whole fixture is just over 6' long stretched out. But you can move the 2 outer arms into any angle. We're going to mount it on the wall near the ceiling in both bathrooms as that's where the ugly light is. We also think it will look better on the wall kind of like a light sculpture. When we get it mounted in the "blue" bathroom, I promise, I'll post a photo. That is the kind cool / weird lighting we like.

Once we get both fixtures up except for the walk-in closet in our bedroom, we will have gotten rid of all the cheap, ugly lights that "came" with the house and upgraded to better, cooler lights. I'll bet that someday when we sell the house, it will be known as the house with all the really cool or really strange lights!

This has also motivated us to start on the "green" bathroom. All the drywall repair as been done. We just have to paint. And I've already got the paint. We're also going to install one of the curved shower rods & get a shower curtain to give it a more finished look. Several years ago we took down the ugly spring loaded shower rod and trashed the curtain, mainly because we never took showers in that one. It has a tub / shower combo whereas the "blue" bathroom, which is off our bedroom, just has an large shower.

reading: Bitch Creek by Willlam G Tapply

Parting Shot: "Skateboarding is not a crime it's just illegal." from the Captain & Casey show on Fuel TV.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Change of Focus

I've got almost 14" done on the peach kid silk haze scarf for SIL's buddy. She's tall & since the scarf is knit with lace weight yarn, (even though I'm knitting with 2 strands) I'm going to make it a little long so she has plenty to double wrap around her face and neck. I'll try to get a photo tomorrow now that it's actually long enough to show something.

As I'm mentioned before, since every row is different I'm not bored. Even though I just finished knitting my Heavenly sweater in the same pattern. And no, I haven't gone any farther than take the pieces off my fancy blocking board. They are sitting in a nice, blocked pile on the back of the sofa.

Tomorrow, Sweetie will be gone for several hours. He has to do a PM (Preventive Maintenance) on the 2 machines that big contract company has. This is the same company that had the terrible problems with one of their machines, a few weeks ago that took a week to diagnose and fix. I hope it goes smoothly and that Sweetie is home before noon.

Since Sweetie will be out of the house most of the morning, I may attempt to do some seaming on the Heavenly sweater then. I can settle myself at the dining room table — plenty of room and plenty of natural light from the sliding glass doors. Chocolate, hot tea and if necessary, Bacardi Limon and Pepsi at the ready if things go very right (for celebration) or very wrong (for consolation).

And then again I may just park myself in front of the TV and knit all morning. Both are equally tempting.

Sweetie's been home most of the last several weekdays which is very nice. It was balmy here Tuesday with one bank temperature sign displaying 60°F. for a very short while. So, of course, we went to the lake in the afternoon. And, of course, I took the camera.

This is looking back into the marina cove just after sunset.

Since the weather was so nice yesterday, I hand-washed several pair of wool & wool blend handknit socks & laid them out on the wooden glider on the patio to dry in the sunshine and breeze. I forgot to bring them in last night. The weather was only above freezing for several hours Tuesday during the day. Today, we are back to the brrrrr cold with temperatures in the low 20's. The couple pair of socks that hadn't completely dried out were stiff as boards as the water still in the socks had frozen solid! I just laid them out on a towel inside & they defrosted nicely!

Monday, I got the Patternworks catalog. Previously, I'd gone through the catalog mostly interested in the sock yarns, sock patterns and gadgets. This time around, I found myself examining every single sweater and just skimming over the sock yarns and gadgets. Hmmm. One sweater off the needles, not even blocked and my focus has seemingly changed altogether.

I like this one and this one. Even this one isn't too bad. I don't think I'd knit the sideways lace at the bottom. I'd just do a plain bottom. Except for the 2nd one, which is knit in Euroflax Linen at $20 a skein, the yarn's suggested for the patterns are reasonable. Something to think about.

SIL is probably coming to visit Saturday. She'll be in town to take a class and will come by if she's not too tired. She received the Redux in Blue sock in today's mail and will have her principal try it on. She plans to bring it with her if she does come in. My fingers are crossed!

reading: Deadly Detail by Don Porter

Parting Shot: "Are you going out after the truth, or are you going out after something you believe." ~ Richard Rose
taken from The Best of Success, compiled by Wynn Davis, page 318

Sunday, February 4, 2007

After 28 years you think you know somebody

That "dental organizer" there. Yep, that unattractive tooth brush holder. By the way, they don't call them tooth brush holders anymore. They're "dental organizers". Yeah. Whatever.

Many years ago, so long ago that neither of us remembers when, we purchased that thing to replace one that I am sure wasn't nearly so ill-favored. I thought we got it because HE liked it. He though we got it because I liked it. We both detested it and only tolerated it because we thought the one like really, really liked it. We were both wrong. Sheesh!

And Thank You for the Anniversary wishes

While we were at Bed, Bath and Beyond getting our new shower rod (see below), we also purchased a new pump liquid soap dispenser, bar soap holder (for the fancy-schancy soaps no one, not even company uses) & a new "dental organizer". Yeah, baby.

Anyway, our bathroom "remodel" is almost done. The towel rack, which started this whole thing, has been installed. Our contractor-white bathroom is now a gorgeous slate blue (the background in the icky "dental organizer" photo). The Sherwin Williams color is Upward (just enter Upward in the search field & click on GO). The base boards & door trim will be an icy white. I'm still trying to convince Sweetie to let me paint the door blue, also, but he likes white doors. I will explore this issue further so we don't live another "X" number of years in this house with a white door instead of the matchy-matchy blue door I know we both want!

We have what's called a ¾ bath as our master bath. It has an extra larger shower instead of a tub & shower combo or just a small shower stall. We've put up with the spring bar shower rod ever since we bought the house over 13 years ago. When we were in Atlanta before Christmas, the motel we stayed at had one of those curving shower rods. (Note to self: We need to get out more.) We found one at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

It screws into the wall instead of being spring loaded so our shower curtain will never fall down again. And it's silver, to boot.

Can't wait to take a shower tomorrow morning

Next up: the guest bath in a light shade of cool green.

We're also on the look out for much cooler lights for both bathrooms. They both have the 3 clear bulb gold rectangular fixture over the mirror. Cheap and also ugly. The pendent light there is what's in our entryway. There is a halogen bulb just over the blue ball. When it's on the light shines through the glass blue ball & the light is blue. We have eclectic lighting tastes. I thought I had a photo of our kitchen lights but maybe next time. We'll just keep our eyes open & we'll both know it when we see it.

Knitting update: I've got about 4½" done on the scarf for SIL's buddy. I'm pretty pleased with it and not bored at all. However, doing p3tog on US 11 needles with a heavier weight of yarn is quite different from doing a p3tog using 2 strands of lace weight kidsilk haze on size 6 needles. A lot of concentration. I also have to remember to knit loosely and not cinch up or tug on the completed stitches. That tends to make them clamp down on the needle and make it difficult to move the stitches up or down on the working needles.

Technically, according to the Heavenly sweater pattern from Artful Yarns, there's a right side and a wrong side but I don't think it's going to make a difference with this scarf. And only a knitter looking closely would be able to tell anyway

I took the Heavenly sweater parts (nice segue, huh?) off my hi-tech blocking board this afternoon. They now await the seaming sometime this week.

reading: The Fig Tree Murder by Michael Pearce

Parting Shot: "The key to your universe is that you can choose." Carl Frederick
taken from The Best of Success, compiled by Wynn Davis, page 22

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Strange but wonderful

It's been a strange and wonderful day.

First off, when I want a soda I usually reach for a Pepsi. I also like a bit of fresh lemon or lime in my Pepsi. I juice the citrus & freeze it in zip bags. Then I just take a chunk out of the bag & plop it in my soda. My very favorite is several drops of fresh key lime juice. Otherwise, I settle for regular limes. I also prefer lime over lemon. At restaurants I'll even use the fake lemon stuff in the little packets if they don't have fresh lemons near the iced tea. Cue the music

Today, I discovered Bacardi Limon. Lime and lemon, but it tastes more limey to me. Very good stuff. Mmmmmm.

Now some wonderful.

My Heavenly sweater is . . . . blocking. YES! It's completely off the needles and on the blocking board. Yep, my hi-tech blocking board. Note to self: Next time, try to remember to block on the solid not the printed side since you can take photos now. But the knitting is done.

Now some more strange.

So what do I do once the sweater is off the needles, blocking? Frog CIL's sock down into the ground? Nope. Work on my Mermaid sock? Nope. Figure out the gussets for my gray cabled sweater? Nope. Cast on for another project? YEP!

I've cast on (AGAIN!) with the peach kidsilk haze to try to do a scarf for one of SIL's buddies. SIL kind of adopted her as she has no family here. She comes to Christmas Day at CIL's house & has Easter & Thanksgiving dinner with us.

While I was working on the Heavenly sweater sleeves it did occur to me that this pattern would make a great scarf. It wouldn't be boring as every row is different and the pattern is not so complex that it can't be memorized, which I already have. I'm pretty good now with the p3tog part and get most of them on the first try. So that's the pattern. On size 6mm Suzanne ebony straights. Those needles are so silky smooth. I love knitting with them. I'm also knitting with 2 strands as it's so thin. It's easier to keep track of than the heavenly yarn which is 5 strands. After that two is a breeze. I cast on 29 stitches and am almost done with the first pattern repeat. I'm not going to keep track of rows. I'm just going to make a note of which pattern row I'm on when I stop each time.

I haven't finished a scarf in over a year. Yowie!

Now some more wonderful.

Today is our 28th wedding anniversary. I am blessed with the best husband (for me) on the planet.

reading: The Fig Tree Murder by Michael Pearce

Parting Shot: "There is only on thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience." ~ Archibald Mcleish
Quote Source

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Almost there

I am sending the Redux in Blue sock off; out into the world to be fitted. I've got 47 rounds done on the foot and Friday I'm mailing sock to SIL so her principal can try the sock on. I've strung the live stitches onto my trusty green acrylic waste yarn and removed all the needles. That way it'll travel well and it'll be easy for the . . . ah . . . victim . . . err. . . intended recipient to try them on.

Since the size debacle with CIL's sock I'm a bit skittish about going any further with no fitting. SIL is about an hour away and frankly, I'm lazy & cheap. I don't want to drive 2 hours to have the socks fitted. The postage there and back again (I'm paying both ways) will be less that it would be to drive there.

Now that I won't have to worry about that for a while I will concentrate again on my Heavenly sweater. I'm over halfway done with the second sleeve. It's time to research methods of seaming. I've been looking over on Knitty. There's an excellent tutorial on the mattress stitch which looks good. I think I can do that . . . in daylight . . . taking my time.

The pattern says nothing about blocking but the Knitty tutorial strongly recommends it so I will. My next step will be to rip out the basting so that I have 3 separate pieces again. I'll need to put the first sleeve back on the needles and tink back a row so that I have enough yarn to bind off.

Then I'll block those 3 pieces. I have no blocking size measurements on the pattern so I'll just make sure the front and back are blocked to the same size and the 2 sleeves to the same size. Meanwhile I'll knit on the second sleeve. When they're dry I'll start with the shoulder seams as per the pattern instructions. The next step will be to sew the sleeves onto the sweater then do the side and shoulder seams. Simple, right?? I'll get back with you on that.

When I'm done, I'll have a fluffy, cranberry sweater.

THEN, I'll deal with my gray cabled sweater, a UFO since March, 2004. All done except for side gussets, finish the collar then seam it.

This is our limber pine with the deer damage from late last year. The deer nip off the branches to get at the bark. We don't know if we'll replace the tree or if we can trim it some how so if it does survive, it'll look OK. We're going to take photos to a couple of garden centers & ask their experts.

The Cornbread Killer by Lou Jane Temple

Parting Shot: "The successful people of this world take life as it comes . . . The just go out and deal with the world as it is.." ~ Ben Stein
taken from The Best of Success, compiled by Wynn Davis, page 318