Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rain and No Sailing but Lots of Knitting

Posts that start out "not a lot has been going on here" and then go on for days. This could be one of those. It's been raining, not hard, mostly, but a soft drizzle/sprinkle/rain and soaks nicely into the ground and doesn't soak you, too much, in the process when you have to/get to be out in it. It's so chilly here I've broken out the wool socks!!

All that rain means no sailing. We've got more sailing hardware we're putting on Spray. It's a mainsheet traveler. It'll help us trim the mainsail better. You buy all the separate pieces and put them together. Sweeite's been working on getting it to fit Spray better. He's enjoying the creative process. I'll have photos when it gets installed when it stops raining.

I've been getting a fair whack of knitting done. I've got just under 2" done on the foot of the stripped Madder Rib sock. I'm still on the gusset decreases. Mindless knitting.

I've ripped out the Lemon Ice Waving Lace twice now. Luckily, I wasn't very far along each time. I'm still on the cuff. Once I get past the cuff, I'll be easier. It takes a lot of attention for that fiddly round with the YO's, K2tog, and SSK's. On one of the frogs, I'd dropped a stitch all the way down and couldn't get it picked back up from the cast on round to where it looked OK. Thank goodness for the Madder Rib sock. I haven't told SIL that this is her sock yet. She does like the yarn, though.

I got to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitty-Gritty episode Friday. Listening to her explain about the sock, she has a no-frills way of explaining things that is very easy for me to understand. He voice and manner seem very calming and reassuring. Too bad there wasn't much time for her to open up more. It was also kind neat knowing some of the background from her posts about the episode on her blog. She comes across as more professional than some of the "professionals" they've had on the show.

When I was out Thursday to pick up another hank of the Lemon Ice for SIL's sock two hanks lilac Louet Gems leaped into my hands. I'd been eyeing this sock yarn for some time now but couldn't settle on a color. This time I approached it with the idea of a solid color lace or cable sock. The lilac won out. Photos when it stops raining.

Our Middle Eastern neighbors have invited the residents of Hermitville for dinner Sunday. When they found out we've never had Middle Eastern cooking, they extended the invite. The wife was over moon when I said she could pick all the fresh mint she wanted from the accidental patch I have on the side of our house. I've been thinking about a "hostess" gift and a pot of fresh herbs seemed right.

So when I was out and about I also stopped by the garden center, well, two garden centers, actually. I picked up two pots of lemon verbena. I love this stuff in iced tea. I also scored some orange mint and greek oregano for both of us along with some rosemary for her. I picked up a nice pot to put them for her.

Then I went on to the second garden center which carries the bird food we or rather our birds like. A couple of years ago, SIL got us a big bag of Wild Delight Cardinal Food. So that's what we feed them. For a couple of years now, we've been on the lookout for well made, comfortable wood Adirondack chairs. I found them at the garden center and bought them. They're rocking chairs, actually, with matching ottomans. We had some fairly comfortable green resin
Adirondack-style chairs that we'd had for years but last summer they finally broke beyond resonable repair. We replaced them with some white ones in the same style but they weren't the same. Meanwhile, we'd passed up many chances to get comfortable, reasonably priced wood Adirondack chairs as the green ones were good. After our expereince with the bad white ones, the hunt was on for real.

When it quits raining, we're going to treat them with Sikkens, the same product we use on the teak on Spray. You put three coats on intially and then apply one coat each year and that's it. That way the chairs will stay brown.

Still raining, so back to some more knitting.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Plant Them Deep by Aimée & David Thurlo

Parting Shot: "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Quote Source

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just Breathe

Yippee!! I cast on today for my second lace sock. It's the Waving Lace sock from Favorite Socks 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave. I'm using Claudia's Hand Painted yarn in the Lemon Ice colorway. I've done three rounds of 96 stitches each and I haven't had to frog and I don't have to frog. So far there's really nothing to photograph and anyway it's raining and the humidity is over 90% outside and so no photos, yet.

So far this is a very demanding pattern, for me (and I've only done 3 rounds . . . sheesh!) The pattten stitch is eight stitches. On the third round there are two YO in there, one K2TOG and one SSK sprinkled on top of the two P1's and the two K1's. And that's just one round!!! Luckily, that's the money round and only in the cuff. It's repeated two more times. It's also the most complicated round of the whole entire sock. Yeah, I got this lace thing DOWN!!!

When I finished that complicated third round I had to stop, breathe for a while, and tell some knitters. What am I going to do when I finally decide to knit a lace shawl for cryin' out loud? I may have to learn how to take in oxygen some other way. I think took in a little air between pattern repeats but I swear I never took a real breath until the entire 96 stitch round was complete.

In other more plebian news, I've turned the heel on my striped Madder Ribbed sock. As you can see, I just went crazy wild with the striping on the heel. And the entire heel turn is all in red!! Yikes!! But it looks really cool and I'm very pleased. I've picked up more gusset stitches than I really needed because this all cotton sock will shrink and I want to give it room to shrink some and still fit well. I haven't decided how I'm going to do the striping on the foot.

I went with Sweetie today on a couple of service calls. He drove and I knit. Then I knit in the car while he was in the building fixing stuff. That's how I got so much done on the sock today.

I've been reading Stephanie's lastest book
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. Some how just calling it Casts Off sounds weird and so to me the name of the book is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. I'm really enjoing it but I'm reading it way too quickly and it's going way too fast. I'm almost halfway though. I'm not rationing it very well. I love the Alice letters. I did not know about the Yarn Store Twenty Minute Rule. Oops!

blogging to: the sound of the 4th America's Cup race. We saw it this morning and Sweetie's watchin' it again. I'm listening and running in to watch at the mark roundings. (Sailors are little strange!) Allinghi (Swiss) and Emirates Team New Zealand are now tied 2-2. It's a best of nine series. Go Kiwis! Battle On!!

reading: Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman

Parting Shot: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his graps. Or what's a heaven for?" ~ Robert Browning
taken from Good Advice, compiled by William Safire & Leonard Safir, page 14

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Take us Onward Guided by the Setting Sun

We had a wonderful evening/night sail Monday night. The wind was great, 10-15mph when we started and a steady 8-9mph after the sun set. We had two great spinnaker sets before the sun went down. The sail is so big, even though it seems small when it's up and flying, that I can't get a photo of the whole thing when I'm on the boat. I'm looking forward to having someone else take some photos from another boat. I'm going to pick up one of those disposable cameras that I can hand/toss to someone in another boat while we're both under sail. If it gets wet, dropped or falls overboard, no biggie. But for now, we'll all just have to make due with partial spinnaker shots from Spray.

Also, we're going to have to go without on board night shots. As Spray is ALWAYS moving, having a stable platform for long exposure shots is not an option. I tried several shots last night and the best I could get was this blurry shot of the path of the moon on the water. Other shots of the moon, other boats, etc, were a jumble of light paths. I can see that additional reading of the camera manual is in my future.

Here's a photo of the progress on my Madder rib sock. As you can see, I didn't stick with my initial color stripe idea. The first three red strips have four blue rounds between them, the next three have five blue rounds and next three, six blue rounds. When I get done with three sets of seven blue rounds between the red strips, the leg will probably be long enough for me to begin the heel flap. I'm going to stripe that, too — in skinny blue and red stripes and maybe the triangular heel turn will be in red. I don't know. I'll see what I feel like when I get there.

Also, on the knitting front, I've settled on which pattern I'm going to use for the Lemon Ice yarn. It's going to be Waving Lace socks (the rose socks on the previous post) from Favorite Socks 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave. I just let the three socks bang around in my brain for a couple of days and somehow the Waving Lace socks struck a cord. I think it's because they remind me of waves on the water. And I decided, I'm going to make them for my SIL. I'll need to pick up another hank but that's OK.

On the America's Cup front, and I know you've been keeping up, Team New Zealand is ahead, 2-1. The first boat to win 5 races, wins the 32nd America's Cup.
Go Kiwis! BATTLE ON!!

blogging to: classical music on the radio

re-reading: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
This was the first science-fiction book I even read - - - way - way - way back.

Post title taken from Sailor's Revel ~ written by Jerry Barry and TY Billings

Parting Shot: "Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow." ~ Norman Vincent Peale
taken from Good Advice, compiled by William Safire & Leonard Safir, page 103

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Frugal Knitter

So how's that workin' out for ya? Huh? I think most knitters are a frugal bunch. When we frog a project, we don't toss the kinky yarn out unless it's been frogged into the ground and even then we think about it and sometimes regret it. We pick up good wool but ugly sweaters from Good Will and frog them for the yarn. I haven't but that's mostly because I think someone beats me to it.

Many moons ago, when I was a new socknitter and had a partial hank of light blue soft Fortissima cotton leftover from my second sock I decided to knit a cotton blanket. I had all kinds of lofty ideas. This was sock yarn and so I had to double it. Also I wanted stripes to run vertical to the knitting. Not making it too difficult, am I?

I'd been a knitter again for less than a year, I'd just found my socknitting Mojo. I wanted to knit in cotton sock yarn and I wanted vertical stripes. Yep, a plan for disaster. And I forgot to mention. This blanket was for SIL & BIL's new puppy
— a poodle/yorkie mix. Not to denigrate the knitting or puppies or cotton yarn and blankets; but this was not going to be an heirloom piece. It was going to get snagged and soiled and washed many times and maybe dragged around some, too.

I cut yarn butterflies about 2 yards long, paired them up so that they were doubled. I cast on and knit some with my main color (dark green
) but I didn't have the whatever to get anywhere with it. It sat on it's circular needles for several months before I frogged it and rewound the yarn, still doubled into small balls and butterflies. This was before I had my ball winder.

Now, I've dragged that poor cut up yarn out again and have begun to knit with these little butterflies. I started out with five of the little doubled butterflies and I'm about ready to start on the third one. Although this IS cotton yarn and won't felt I'm using a spit splice because I don't want to weave in eleventy-seven ends in 3" of knitting. You just have to be a little careful because the join pulls apart easily before it's knit in.

I make the join a little less bulky by pulling or cutting a couple of the strands from each end. After I unwind them, I lay them out on a flat surface (if possible — fun in a car, let me tell you) and try to intertwine the remaining strands. I only do this for a couple of inches. Then I twist and rub and wet (eww!) the join and try to keep the raw ends aligned. I carefully knit the join, smoothing any recalcitrant sticky-up ends.

So far, the most fiddly part, even with the red stripe is the splice. But I'm very pleased with the results. A less patient knitter would (maybe) have just tossed the butterflies. There's not that much yarn, only about 20 yards. And I have LOTS of the light blue. The four little balls are all doubled, too. The two bigger clumps/wads are not doubled.

And, of course, that little 19 round sock is my new project. I WAS going to do big chunks of blue then red but I kind of like the warm red stripes on the cool blue yarn. I look that that big cake of red yarn and think, I don't want that much red all at once in my sock. So. A light blue sock with red stripes. So far, the stripes are four rounds apart. I do a red stripe on the rounds divisible by 5 to to make it easy to keep track.

I'll say one thing about the short pieces; it's easy to untangle the blue from the red when they get wrapped round one another as I go round and round and pick it up and put it down.

Meanwhile, I've also (kinda) settled on a pattern-style for the Lemon Ice wool. It's gonna be lace. I've been looking through all my sock books and I'm right now I'm thinking
about the Waving Lace Socks (rose) or the Embossed Leaves Socks (blue). Both of these socks are from my new sock book, Favorite Socks 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave. Also in the running is Cookie A's Monkey socks (yellowy-green). All three of these lace patterns are quite a bit more intricate than the lace on the Mermaid sock.

I like all three and will probably eventually knit all three. But which one, now? None of the elements in any of the socks is out of my technical range. The two Interweave socks have charts
(which I dislike) instead of the pattern written out but I can cope with that. I've been flippin' back and forth in the book and have saved Cookie A's pattern. Right now, I'm leaning more toward either the Waving Lace socks or the Monkey socks.

Since I don't DO charts, I'm going to write out the charts to the two Interweave socks and look at them. Maybe that'll help me decide. This is one of the most fun part of the sock. Especially, if you already have something on the needles to keep you sane so you aren't rushed in this important decision making process.

To answer Pixel One, Purl Two's question in the comments about the Drop Stitch pattern . . . I did four rounds of stockinette stitch. On round five I put an extra wrap on every stitch. On round six, I dropped off the extra yarn from the wrap to make an elongated stitch. The elongated nature of that stitch makes it poof out and look like horizontal ripples.

blogging to: A Night on the Town

reading: Death of a Maid by M C Beaton

Parting Shot: "Do what you feel in your heart to be right
— for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
taken from Good Advice, compiled by William Safire & Leonard Safir, page 143

Friday, June 22, 2007

Not My Favorite Socks and A New Beginning

The Drop Stitch socks are done. They are not my favorite socks. I think it's because they look so . . . weird. Now, normally I like weird things, sock included. But these? I don't know. I like the colors but the big, fat Drop Stitch stockinette on the leg and then slim, trim stockinette on the foot, is just too weird — even for me. I'll wear them. I get a kick out of the poonchy out drop stitch part on the leg and the way the color flashes on the foot.

Any by the way, don't adjust your monitor when you look at the photos. The socks look like they were knit from two different skeins, two different dye lots. They were not. The one on the left looks bright and the other looks, faded. This skein had at least had three breaks in it that were knotted together when I tried to knit with it the first time. That's why I stopped and frogged the sock. It was for someone else. I couldn't give a sock like that to someone. I could, however, knit it for myself. I've not had this problem with any of the other Socketta yarn I've knit with.

Almost forgot. I ran out of yarn when I was almost done with the toe decreases. I used about 2 yards from the new skein. Evidently, when I frogged the original socks, I lost 5-6 grams somewhere. If I had that I wouldn't have needed more yarn.

Here are the stats:
Yarn: Socketta and the color number is 15
Pattern: my own ~ inspired by the Garter Drop Stitch, the April 11 stitch, from 365 Knitting Stitches a Year calendar with a short row stockinette heel
These are socks 45 & 46
They weigh 3.2 oz or 92 grams
Based on weight they cost $9.66

I got really bored with them about 1/3 of the way through the foot on the second sock. Anyway, they are done, I can wear them and I am ready to MOVE ON.

. . . . . . . . .

At this point I have no socks on needles. But I have a plan. I think the pattern is going to be a winner but I'm not sold on the colors, yet. My brain want
s to knit a cotton sock so I have another all cotton sock to wear this summer. The great thing about cotton is that I can also wear it this winter. I can't do that with my wonderful wool socks. My soul wants to knit a wool sock. Here's why. It's Claudia Hand Painted yarn and my LYS has started to carry it. This colorway is Lemon Ice. It looks so cool. So yummy. And it's 100% merino wool. Yeah, I'm cryin' in my Bicardi Limon and Pepsi.

**** /# **** !!!!!
^ idea ^

Maybe, it can be my INDOOR in the AIR CONDITIONING sock. Whoa!!! I love thinking out loud!! OK, I'm sold. Now I get to hunt for the perfect pattern for this great yarn!! Whoo! HOOOO!

OK, back to real life. I will also cast on some Fortissima Cotton and make a stripy sock with some light powder blue and some high contrast red. I don't have any navy blue otherwise I could make an Independence Day sock. I'm knitting a simple rib from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks book. It's the Madder Ribbed Sock on page 24. All knits and purls. No YO or 2togs or any of that racy stuff. For me, when I'm knitting with no-give cotton I want to stay simple. Plus, I'll be doing some kind of two color stripe. I don't know yet how I want to do that part. I'll cast on with 2.75mm needles then change to 2mm neeldes to knit the sock. I'll probably go back to a heel flap as I want this to be a simple easy knit.

Anyway, al
ong with two hanks of the Lemon Ice I was also attracted to this colorway. This is more Socketta but I love the purple and grays. So cool looking. As I just finished with this same yarn in another color I won't be starting on this one anytime soon. But I have it in my stash. Also, I don't know how Socketta with it's 45% cotton, 40% wool and 15% nylon will work in hot summer heat and our humidty. I'll see how the Drop Stitch socks work before I go all wild this this yarn for summer socks.

My last great find of the day was this wonderful book. I've been eyeing it for
some time and I guess today was the day.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Death of a Maid by M C Beaton

Parting Shot: "Do not be afraid of growing slowing, be afraid of only standing still." ~ Chinese Proverb
taken from Good Advice, compiled by William Safire & Leonard Safir, page 143

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Runnin' on Empty

I'm on round 59 of 70 on the foot of my Drop Stitch sock and I have maybe 5-10 rounds of yarn left. And that doesn't include the toe decreases. Bugger! And I never did think of a clever or witty name for this sock, either. Is the sock (or the yarn) punishing me for this? Maybe it senses that it's not as well loved as, say the Mermaid sock. Or my Conwy socks. At any rate it's an easy knit being all stockinette except for the 1x1 ribbing on the cuff.

Off to the LYS I will go tomorrow to get two skeins of this yarn and maybe . . . who knows what else. My SIL loves the colors in this yarn and since I have to get one might as well get two so I can make a pair of socks for her. I COULD, frog back both socks to the leg and take some off the leg and do the heels and foot again, but why? I'm not in love with this sock or the pattern anymore. I'm bored with it and am just knitting it to be done with it so I can wear it already.

I have the yarn all picked out for my SIL's socks. No pattern yet. I've not delved into my pattern stash. I've got sock books, and individual patterns I've purchased from my LYS and lots and lots of freebie sock patterns that I've downloaded and saved to a word processor along with any photos.

Nor have I decided on what's going to be my next pair of cotton socks. I have two plus balls of white and one ball of cantaloupe Cascade Fixation sitting on the dining room table along with some red and white (separate balls) of Fortissima Cotton. I'm leaning toward the red and white, mainly I think because of the yarn but the cantaloupe color draws my eye every time I walk past.

On top of all that, I want to cast on for a sweater . . . or something. I think all the boring round and round and round of the stockinette on the Drop Stitch sock is getting to me. I'll keep sloggin' it out. It's a mindless knit. I just have to remember when I come across the stitch marker to mark down that another round is done.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Death of a Maid by M C Beaton

Parting Shot: "Enjoy yourself — it's later than you think." ~ Chinese proverb
taken from Good Advice, compiled by William Safire & Leonard Safir, page 100

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Use for Leftover Sock Yarn

This evening we had our first evening sail of the year. We'd probably still be out there sailing under that quarter moon except that the wind died. That photo was taken shortly after we set out when we had about 3 hours until sunset. Often the wind dies at sunset but then once the sun actually sinks below the horizon, the wind freshens. But not this evening. About a half an hour before full dark it went from cats paws on the water to nothing.

We did have a wonderful sail though. We set the chute with a new techinique. When we had Relentless, our previous boat, a Laguna 22, a way to control the spinnaker was to fold the sail then run it down a tube and put rubber bands on it every so often. When the sail fills it would burst the bands. From watching the Louis Vuitton Cup races a few weeks ago on the Versus cable channel we learned that the big boats now use yarn to control the chute. I don't know what they're using but we're using 100% merino wool sock yarn — Ann Schaeffer sock yarn to be exact. It's the yarn I had leftover from making SIL's first sock.

I wasn't sure how that would work. I thought I would have to spin some singles with my spindle which I have been neglecting. But we found that the leftover sock yarn I had would work just fine. The Schaffer yarn I have is a three ply. When we fold the sail, I cut off two foot lengths and tie a bow. I figure if the yarn doesn't break, the bow will come untied. As the wind catches the sail to fill it and I pull on the sheet (rope that trims the sail) the pressure of the sail opening up breaks or unties the yarn.

The hardest part about the whole thing, is going to be re-folding the sail on the boat, in the cabin for the next set. This first time we folded it in the back yard. We brought it home this evening to do the same. On the boat, it's going to have to be a one person job, as the other person, me, is at the helm. The sail doesn't have to be folded that way, it just lessens the chance that it would be twisted when it comes out of the bag.

Well, either I get to spinning singles with my spindle and the shocking pink roving that came with my spindle or my sock yarn is going to go for one heck of a sail, two foot at a time!

To answer Roxie's question from a couple posts ago when I listed all the crap on the boat . . . Most sailboats with cabins (except for strictly racing ones) are floating campers. And yes, a few times we've had most of the stuff, even all the boat cushions, at home. Inside things get stacked out of the way, in the library mostly. The outside stuff, the motor on it's stand, the anchor and line, battery, the rudder and tiller assembly stay in the garage. Sometimes our house looks more like a combination chandlery and LYS in the winter.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Tight Lines by William G Tapply

Parting Shot: "Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idel seashore of the mind." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
taken from Good Advice, compiled by William Safire & Leonard Safir, page 302

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

After all the Socks with Short Row Heels . . . What's Next?

The second Drop Stich sock is sailing along. The short row heel or as I call it in my world the wrap and turn heel (since that's what it does) was done this afternoon. I'm now about 5 rounds into the foot. It'll probably be done by weeks end.

I have so much really GOOD wool that is just beggin' to be knit into a pair of socks but I'm gonna stick with the cotton for my next sock. I'm also starting to think about . . . THINK about . . . either getting yarn for a sweater OR more likely, pinning together the front and back of my gray cabled sweater and figuring out how wide to make the side gussets. It would be great to have it done so I can wear it this winter.

If you remember my SIL broke her ankle badly about three weeks ago. She's doing fine. She has three more weeks of no weight on it then she goes back to the doctor for another assessment. She's getting a lot of movie watchin' and needle pointing done. I want to do another sock for her so that'll take care of my wool fix. She doesn't wear socks in the summer so I don't worry about summer weight socks for her. When I paw through my stash this week I'll also start thinking about yarn and a pattern for her socks.. I don't give my socks as Christmas or birthday gifts, they're just . . . socks that I knit.

I finally picked up Stephanie's new book Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. And I'm continuing a couple of traditions I started with her first book. Use a ball band as a book marker. I didn't want to fold down the corner of the page so I used the ball band from the yarn from the sock I was knitting at the time. The other tradition: Savor it in small chunks. It's gotta last a long time . . . until her next one. It lives in my knitting bag.

blogging to: December Morning by Tim Janis

reading: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off by Shephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot)
Tight Lines by William G Tapply

Parting Shot: ". . . and knitting is like that." Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Sunday, June 17, 2007

And if the Wind is Right You Can Find the Joy

Deck Muffin (aka as Sweeite on dry land) and I went sailing today. It was windy, about 20mph with gusts to 30mph. Besides being up and down in strength it was also shifty. Made for an alert sail. I had the helm, as I usually do and Deck Muffin trimmed the sails as he usually does. We do switch now and then.

We both love to be on the bow when it's windy like this. Spray feels and sounds completely different than when you're in the cockpit at the back of the boat. I like to lay down across the bow with my legs over one side and my head hanging over the other side watching the waves curl out from the bow as Spray cuts through the water. When it's windy like it was today and Spray is heeling (leaning) if you have your head over on the low side you're going to get a face of of water every time she cuts though a wave. When I get hot I sit on the low side of the bow and drag my feet and legs through the water churned up from the bow.

As the sailing was athletic today we are both sore. Deck Muffin's hands and forearms are sore from letting the sails out and pulling them back in under the pressure of the wind today. My hands, shoulders and upper back are sore from the pressure on the tiller from the wind. This is a great way to get more upper body strength as it's a steady pull. You don't notice the exercise and you have lots of fun. I wish I'd remembered to bring our swimmies as the water is finally warm enough for us. They'll go with us on our next trip out.

And we wonder why it takes seventy-eleven trips when the boat is hauled out for the year to get everything OFF. It just seems to gradually accumulate as soon as you launch. What's on there now that will come off this fall?? This is what I can do from memory. I sure there's more.
  • 2 pillows
  • blanket
  • bed sheets
  • radio
  • batteries for the radio
  • book of music CD's for the radio
  • 50' white extension cord
  • fan
  • 2 warm jackets
  • took kit
  • small container of raw sugar (for coffee or tea that'd we bring in a thermos. I take sugar, Sweetie doesn't)
  • Soft Scrub (for swabbing the decks)
  • Linux programing book for Sweetie
  • first aid kit
  • boat yard keys
  • motor manual
  • small bag different size zip bags
  • several plastic grocery bags for trash
  • zip bag with change for the pop machine on the main dock
  • 2 flashlights
  • fuses for the electric panel
  • boat battery
  • various bottles of sun block
All this stuff stays on the boat in the cabin, usually:
  • 3 large bags of sails (working jib, genoa and spinnaker)
  • 2 jib sheets
  • spinnaker pole
  • whisker pole
  • paddle
  • fire extinguisher
  • wind scoop
  • 6 adult life jackets
  • 3 square cushions
  • 5 HUGE cushions for the seating / sleeping areas in the cabin
  • cozies for cans and bottles
  • cooler
  • porta-potti and chemicals
  • 2 burner stove (which is currently at home)
  • table and table leg (which is also at home)
  • small bag of pastic picnic bowls
  • swim mask and snorkle
  • white duct tape
  • 2 spoons, paring knife and half a plastic cutting board (don't ask)
  • corkscrew and bottle opener
  • water toys: frisbee & a small rubber ball that floats
  • bunches of bungee cords
  • odds and ends of line
  • a couple of extra dock lines
  • misc sailing hardware (blocks, shackles, eye straps, sail slides, etc)
  • sailing gloves (several pair, for guests, too)
  • hats
And when we're actually sailing add, the sail cover and 4 fenders to the below decks mess.
I'm sure there's more I just can't think what it could be right now.

The photos were taken a few days ago, when it was NOT windy. They were taken on board Spray, in her slip looking out over her stern toward the west at sunset.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: A Detective Under Fire by H R F Keating

Parting Shot: "The canvas can do miracles Just you wait and see Believe me" ~ Christopher Cross, Sailing
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Friday, June 15, 2007


I know the neighbors must think I have totally gone around the bend. Every time they get their hopes up that maybe it's OK now to go outside unarmed with the hose or maybe a rake with a ten foot handle there I go again with the camera and the sock or yarn or socks or what have you. At least I stick to my own yarn and my own stuff. I haven't taken to draping socks or yarn on the neighbors stuff, yet. Luckily, I have many colors and textures to choose from in my own yard.

I finally Finally FINALLY got the Mermaid socks DONE! Never has a project plagued me so much. Of course, I was learning several new techniques with these socks so I guess a bit . . . a lot of waling and gnashing of teeth was to be expected. Heh. And these are just . . . socks.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Mermaid socks. I am enchanted with them. Well, I'm enchanted (mostly) with every FO! but these are really cool. They look different than any other sock I've ever done. The cuff, the heel and the toe. All different. I've bored you enough already going on and on and on about various things on these socks in previous posts. Last (well, maybe not the last) thought on these socks??? Totally worth all the hassle. I would and will make them again. Just not right away. They are awesome.

Here are some stats:
The first sock took me eight months. The second sock took eight days. Interesting.
One weighs 54 gr. and the other weighs 56 gr. Strange.
Based on weight and the cost of the yarn, they cost $24.48 in yarn.
I used Koigu. The color # is P308.

I ran out of yarn very close to the end of the toe so I bought a third hank. As I couldn't match dye lots over a year later, I used the third hank to make the cuff and short row heel on the second sock. I have 36 gr of the third hank left and only 3 gr of the second hank left.

I don't know that I will make a sock yarn blanket, but I will eventually get some Koigu in solid colors that will work with my leftover sock yarn and make some stripy socks with it.

Now I'll get cracking on my second Drop Stitch sock. It will go super quick because it's straight knitting until I get to the short row heel. Still, it'll go quickly.

blogging to: December Morning by Tim Janis

reading: Live Bait by P J Tracy

Parting Shot: Daffy-nition: Spectacular ~ kind of like 'rectangular', but spectacle shaped instead.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Progress on Mermaid

It's been a quiet week so far here in Hermitville. Well, at least as far as I'm concerned it's been quiet. Sweetie's been out actually "working" all day every day this week. He maintains several machines around the area and he normally doesn't have to do anything unless they break. One of them has a weekly PM (Preventive Maintenance) every week. Some are once a month and a few others are every six months. Sometimes we can go for several days with him being home all day. Sometimes the fixes are very quick and simple and I go with him. He goes into the business to fix whatever needs fixing or tweaking and I sit in the car and knit and / or read. And then there are days like this week. One of the machines has a weird problem and it takes ordering parts and conferences with other techs that know this machine to figure out what's wrong. The machine still runs, just not as well as it should. Sweetie thinks he's got it licked though. Some tweaking and fine tuning Thursday, he says should put it right.

Since he's been gone all day every day this week (so far) I've got a lot of knitting in. I've finished the short row heel on the second Mermaid sock and am tumbling toward the toe. I'm on round 25 of 46 foot rounds. After that there are 23 in pattern star toe rounds. I started this sock on 6/7 and here on 6/13, almost a week later, I'm within a few (or so) days of being done.

Again with the short row heel
Having done three (plus) complete short row heels, you do get used to the fiddly nature of it. This time I narrowed down most of the fiddly nature. It's the first and last three or four stitches on each of those two side needles. Since the stitches are a bit loose, I constantly have to be aware of where those stitches are on those needles. Are they safely in the middle of the needle or have they crept down to the end, AGIAN?? I only lost them once on one side and was able to snag all four of them with no probelms. Once you get more than four on there no worries. They tend to stay where you put them.

This last heel is the best looking heel of them all. All the wrapped stitches are tight and I didn't have to finagle a stitch (or two) to close a gap where you transition from the instep to to the heel stitches once you got back on the bigger needles.

Yeah, I know. I sound like I may actually, well not like, but maybe not dislike the short row heel so much now. I'm committed to one more, the stockinette one on the second Drop Stitch sock.

I don't know yet what the colors or patterns are going to be for the next pair. It will probably be my own pattern. It will be cotton, however, for summer. I'm mulling over Cascade Fixation or Fortissima Cotton, which maybe isn't made anymore. Anyway, my LYS isn't carrying it anymore. If I use Fortissima Cotton I usually use 2mm dpns. It has no stretch as all. For the Cascade Fixation I tend to use my regular 2.5mm dpns. I don't know whether it'll come down to the needle size or the colors available in the particular yarns as the deciding factor. Whatever I decide to do I'll probably do some variation of the striping on the Yoga Daughter Socks (first photo) or my May Day Socks (third photo). That way the simple ribbing won't be sooooo boring. And with only two colors, it'll travel easily, too.

blogging to: Provocative Percussion by Enoch Light

reading: Live Bait by P J Tracy

Parting Shot: "I don’t think remote controls promote a sedentary lifestyle. Most people exert more energy looking for the remote than they would by just getting up and turning on the TV." ~ unknown
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Being an Adult

It's great to be an adult. You can spend whole, entire days not doing adult things. You can sleep in then go out for coffee and pastries. Lounge on the Katie Chair and watch Dog on TV while you knit on your Mermaid sock. Have a ham and swiss on rye with potato chips and grapefruit for lunch. You can take a nap in the afternoon. Grill brats for Sweetie, chicken drumsticks for yourself and grilled asparagus for both for a later dinner. AND you can eat ALL the toasted marshmellows for dessert you want!! After dinner and dessert you can sit on your bug-free patio (thank you purple martins) and listen to the water in your little pond and the birds calling goodnight. If you stay out late enough, just after dark, you see the lightening bugs come out. I. love. summer!

Later in the week we plan to somehow obtain a few home-killed tomatoes (home-grown and flavorful) and cook hamburgers on the grill. Hmmm. Fluffy, soft, "homemade" buns from the bakery, red onion slices and melted Cheddar cheese. And some home made baked potato salad and mint iced tea.

All it took was the taste of that good steak last night at Applebee's.

I am rolling along on the second Mermaid sock. I'm on round 60 of 75 leg rounds. The cuff and leg are about 6½" long. I will probably start on the heel tomorrow. I may have this sock done by the end of the weekend. Then I can finish the second Drop Stitch sock in a week or two. And then cast on for a pair of NEW socks!!

Life is so good and so sweet.

We didn't go sailing. You can see why. Also, there wasn't much wind. There is always tomorrow. However, I do have some sailing photos. The top photo is a little board boa
t (you sit ON it not IN it) called a Butterfly. I don't know the sailor but he was having fun. The big boat in the other two photos are of a Benéntéau First 235. I do know those two sailors. The two smaller boats with spinnakers up are Thistle's. They had a race that day and were sailing out to the course.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: On the Fringe by Aaron & Charlotte Elkins

Parting Shot: "Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy." ~ unknown
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Birthday Weekend

We're not big celebraters. We're quiet celebraters. We quietly celebrate every day — or try to, anyway. We enjoy being at home. Since my birthday was Friday and I LOVE sailing we decided to go sailing. There's a big music festival at the lake where Spray is docked. For the most part it doesn't affect the marina or it's patrons at all . . . except for the noise.

There wasn't a place on the lake we could sail to that we couldn't hear the thumpa-thumpa of the music. There wasn't much wind, which didn't help matters. If it were windier and if the wind were from a different direction it would have been better. We ended up back at the marina where we had dinner. We thought we'd go out again, but the wind died completely. So we came home.

With the music festival we didn't go back out to the lake all weekend. But you can bet that's where we'll be Monday afternoon, if possible. Even if there's no wind. We can at least sit on the boat and enjoy the quiet that is our marina most of the time. Sweetie'll read or nap and I'll knit.

Saturday we went to visit SIL & BIL. About a week and a half ago, she slipped on a wet floor at school (she teaches 5th grade) — with only a day and a half left mind you, and broke her ankle — but good. The joint popped out of the socket and messed up a lot of bone, tissue, muscle and tendons. At the hospital, they popped her ankle back in and she's now got a couple of plates and lots of screws in her ankle and heel. I'm just waiting in the wings for the "screw loose" line. Now that every thing's lined up to heal properly and as best as it can, she can't put any weight on the ankle for at least six weeks. At that time they'll make another assessment. If she's good to go she starts physical therapy. That's when the real work begins for her.

She's got a wheel chair and a walker. Since the only other thing that was injured in the fall was her pride she can shift herself using the walker for support in and out of the wheel chair. She's got a bevy of good friends that are suppling her with needlepoint canvases, yarn and very good chocolate. She achieved SABLE (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) years ago but more stuff for the Stash is always good. BIL is pretty much retired and her friends are filling in during the day now and then to give every one a break. She's to get her first out of the house outing Tuesday as she's got her first doctor's appointment then.

We've put off celebrating my birthday with them. We go to their house for BIL's and my birthday and they come to our house for her birthday and Sweetie's birthday.
She wanted to DO something for my birthday even though she was in no shape mentally or physically to do so. She and BIL had their hands full with getting used to her new situation. I told her the only present I wanted was a ribbon around that well heeled ankle. Her birthday and BIL's birthday are about two weeks apart in August. So we're going to celebrate mine, hers' and BIL's and their anniversary all together in August. She'll be well on the road to recovery. The big question now is whether or not she's going to teach this next year. Time will tell.

Knitting progress on the Mermaid sock is being made in leaps and bounds. It took me eight months to finish the first one. This one is going a lot faster. I'm on round 36 of 75 rounds, which translates into 3" of leg. With the leg and cuff together, the sock is about 4 3/4" long.

Last summer, it seems I moved to knitting only cotton socks, mostly because the only hand knit socks I had were wool. Now that I have 4 pair of cotton socks I'm not so motivated. The Drop Stitch socks are a cotton/wool/nylon blend. I don't know how they'll be in August on a 100° F/38°C. day, though. I've got LOTS of Cascade Fixation in several colors so maybe some kind of ribbing / stripped sock. Hmmmm. I do like my Cascade Fixation socks. They are sturdy and not hot at all. I usually make the cotton socks with a little shorter leg since I wear them with shorts and tennis shoes.

They've worn fairly well. They've shrunk some so the next ones I make will have a bit of a too long foot. I machine wash them but try to pick them out so they can air dry when I transfer the wash load to the dryer.

This afternoon we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Applebee's. We both had steak with grilled asparagus. It was very good. A great end to a pretty good weekend. And it rained enough this morning that I didn't have to water today!!

Photos today are of the yellow day lilies I have. It was windy so it was a challenge to take a centered photo. I don't know what they're called. When a neighbor moved several years ago, she split a clump to share with me, her MIL and to take with her. I split two of mine into clumps to share with her and her MIL. It does have a nice scent, though. The other photo are fushias from one of the hanging baskets below the hummingbird feeder just off our patio.

In reading my camera's manual again, I found a scenery setting. Among other things that setting has is a flower setting. I've been going a bit wild in the yard with the camera and the flower setting. It needs a knit setting.

blogging: Night Grooves by Chieli Minucci

reading: On the Fringe by Aaron & Charlotte Elkins

Parting Shot: "It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea—whether it is to sail or to watch it—we are going back from whence we came." ~ John F. Kennedy
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Thursday, June 7, 2007

No Rest for the . . . .

I basked in the joy of a finished Mermaid sock for about 24 hours. Then I cast on for Mermaid sock II, The Mate. That was after I'd been to my LYS for the third hank of this yarn this morning. Every other sock I've ever made for me with Koigu has taken less than two hanks. This sock, with it's yarn eating cuff and heel is the exception. What we do for love, huh?

Since I know where I am going and how I'm going to get there, things are already progressing much faster with this sock. I already knew what yarn I was going to use for the cast on. The pattern calls for using waste yarn in a contrasting color to cast on 15 stitches and knit 6 rows of stockinette. Then you switch to your real yarn and knit in garter stitch until the little strip of garter stitch fits around where you want the cuff of your sock to be. Finally you switch back to the waste yarn and knit 6 more rows of stockinette. The idea is that you see where and how the waste yarn weaves in and out of the "real" yarn. Follow that same weave pattern with the tail of the real yarn and weave the two ends together so that you have a seamless cuff for your sock.

Although the kitchner process leaves a little ridge on the underside, it was so much easier for me to do the waste yarn thing only at the beginning, except I did only 4 rows not six. I knit the cuff. It was so quick this time. It took me only a couple of hours, not days and days spent whining about it like I did at the beginning of October of last year. And I've already cut the waste yarn from the cast on, inserted a needle into the live stitches and kitchnered the two ends together.

My next step, maybe tomorrow, is to use one of my smaller crochet hooks and pick up 78 stitches around what I determine what will be the bottom edge of my cuff. A few rounds of purls and then knits (or is it the other way around?) and I will be off and knitting on the pattern stitch again.

When I wound the second hank of yarn on Tuesday, I did it outside so I could take some photos. I love using my swift and Woolee Winder. Notice how the winder and the yarn on the winder is blurry and the rest is in focus (sort of). Yes! An action shot!!

I usually leave the yarn in hank form until I'm ready to knit it. I like how the yarn looks both ways, unwound and wound. However, once it's been wound, it'll never go back to being a hank so I leave it in it's "natural" state as long as possible. I also re-wind the yarn a couple of times so it ends up being a really big loose cake instead of a small tight one. I like the loose, squishy cakes best. You can really feel the softness of yarn better. Kind like the old Charmin' commercials. However, please DO squeeze the yarn.

And while I was winding, a cardinal stopped to see what I was doing with all that luscious yarn.

Friday is my 52nd birthday. Sweetie and I plan to go out for lunch or dinner and then a nice long sail into the night or until we get cold. The low Friday night is around 51
°F/11°C. The weekend looks nice, too. Temps in the mid 80's with about 13mph winds.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Alone at Night by KJ Erickson

Parting Shot: "Creativity is no substitute for knowing what you're doing." ~ unknown
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

V. I. C. T. O. R. Y. ! ! !

That's the Mermaid sock and Team New Zealand Battle Cry!!

My first Mermaid sock is done and Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Cup finals.

They will face Allenghi, the Swiss defender in the 32nd America's Cup starting June 23. Allenghi won the 31st America's cup four years ago from New Zealand. The Kiwi's want to take The Cup back down under. GO Kiwi's!

'Cause, you know, that although Xena is Greek, Lucy Lawless is from New Zealand. The whole Xena: Warrior Princess series was filmed in New Zealand, as were all the Lord of the Rings films. If I had to live somewhere other than in the USA, right off the top of my head, with no deep research or thought, I'd pick New Zealand. Deep and extensive research might change my mind, but an asked on the street question would get you, "New Zealand." Does water really go down the drain the other way there?????

Your best and sweetest victories are those hardest won and most fiercely fought. Finishing the knitting today on this first Mermaid sock is very sweet indeed. I struggled with this pattern and this sock from the cast on. The easiest choice was the yarn, hot pink and dark purple (almost black) Koigu. It doesn't have the fish scale-look like Lucy Neatby wants but I'm pleased with the spiraling of both the pattern and the colors in the yarn.

I'm pleased with the sock overall but I do have some favorite parts.

The Star Toe in pattern. This is my hands-down absolute favorite part of the way the sock looks. I was a bit skeptical at first — how can you do a star toe decrease, stay in pattern and have the pattern retain both it's look and it's integrity? Well, Lucy Neatby's done it. Stockinette doesn't make a showing at this party until the very last rounds. By then the overall round stitch count is so small it's not noticeable.

The second thing I like is how the spiral pattern swirls down from the leg onto the foot. Because the pattern goes all the way around the foot, instead of just on the instep it looks very different from all the other socks I've ever knit. All pattern all the time.

I also like how the spirals gently bend at the ankle and swirl to take a bit of a different direction on the foot. Totally. Cool.

As much as I've said I like the short row heel or as I called it initially, the wrap and turn heel it's down at number three. There are a few errors on the heel which to me are GLARING but to someone else, maybe not so much. When I study the heel on it's own, it does impress me with it's cleverness of construction. All on it's own, it IS a very. cool .heel. A pain in the heel to knit, IMHO, but a snazzy heel nonetheless.

Because of the garter stitch the heel and cuff really stand out on this sock. Every thing else is a smooth swirly spiral right on down to the toe. But the stitches on these two are perpendicular to everything else around them and in a completely different stitch, to boot. For me, the jury's still out on the garter stitch cuff. A neato device, I think, when you want something completely different.

I'm satisfied with my Mermaid socks. I had a LOT of trouble with each section, except for the toe. I fought against it every step of the way and in the end, Lucy Neatby was right most of the time. I still can't share her vision of weaving the two cuff ends together. I ended up pulling out the waste yarn, putting the live stitches from both ends on two needles and kitchnering the two ends together. I will still have to do a bit of the waste yarn thing to get started on the cuff for the next sock because I do want to have live stitches when I kitchner them together. At least I know where I'm going this time.

I lost my way so many times while knitting the leg that I ripped back to the two rounds of knit stitches under the cuff a couple of times. Other frogs were less severe but nerve-racking nevertheless. About ¼ of the way into the foot I finally got a handle on it the pattern and was able to get into the Zen of the knit on this one. At least it was on the first sock and not the second one!!

Between the heel on this sock and the stockinette version on the Drop Stitch socks I bet I ripped out and knit this heel over a half a dozen times. A lot of needles and a lot of fuss but I DO know how to knit short row heels which was the whole point of this sock. Now I have another heel option for all my future socks. The next two heels (garter stitch version for the second Mermaid and the stockinette version for the other Drop Stitch sock) will look a lot better. As the heels on the two finished socks are OK but still sorta peculiar, think how awful the first six were and how nice the next two will be.

I'm going to wallow in my Mermaid sock victory a bit before I cast on for the second one. I'll knit on the Drop Stitch sock awhile. I'm still on the k1, p1 cuff.

Go Team New Zealand! Go Mermaid socks!!

blogging to: the jazz on the radio

reading: Alone at Night by KJ Erickson

Parting Shot: "To conquer others is to have power; to conquer yourself — is to know the way." ~ Loa Ma from Xena: Warrior Princess, The Debt II, episode 53, season 3, episode 7
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Monday, June 4, 2007

Knit . . . Knit . . . Knitting Along

Progress is being made on all fronts. Some are just more up front that others. I'm tending to spend most of my knitting time working my my WOOL Mermaid sock instead of my only partially wool Socketta Drop Stitch sock. The Drop Stitch sock at least has only 40% wool. The rest of it is 45% cotton and 15% nylon. The Drop Stitch sock has another thing going for it. I've got one of those done already. When I finish this sock, I can wear the pair. When I finish this Mermaid sock, I get to knit a 188 row 15 stitches wide garter stitch cuff to start off the mate.

Finally, 3" into the foot of the first sock, I've fallen into mindless mode on this one. Although I do keep track of that six stitch pattern every six stitches. This pattern is pretty and fun to knit and all but it's a pain in the SIP to fix something on it. It's easier to tink back a few rounds than to risk messin' it up by trying to ladder down. I can fix something in the row below the one I'm working on but not below that.

And although I've still got 2¼ socks to knit I'm cogitating on my next sock. I'm thinking about leaving the lovely Silver Sage Schaffer yarn and the Nancy Bush's Child's First Sock pattern for a late summer, early fall knit. It is WOOL and temp's here can get over 100°F. / 38°C. for weeks at a time. I'm thinking about a cotton sock or a cotton blend sock. It may not even be for me. Hmmmm. At any rate I've got at least a couple more weeks, probably closer to a month of knitting left before I can wear both of these socks.

I'm convinced even more now that I WILL run out of yarn for the Mermaid sock and will have to buy another hank. Awwww. A trip to my LYS. Ahhhhhh!

We had a 27 sprinkle "storm" come through last night. There was some lightening. Enough that we shut down and unplugged all the computers and the phone line to the computers but not a LOT of lightening. I took 98 "pictures" and got two with the sky lit up. No bolts. Just a couple of photos of lightening lit up sky. The next time a "real" thunderstorm comes through at night with by-God-lightening I'll be somewhere with my camera. Both of these were taken on automatic. This was a spur of the moment lets see what I can get thing. The one above was taken sitting on the floor in front of the front door just snapping and snapping and snapping as fast as I could, hoping for the best. I took this one outside on the back patio as it was just a sprinkle every now and then. Not great photo work but I was pleased with what I could get with no prior planning. Meanwhile, I'll read how to do this better in the camera manual and set up the tripod.

Don't worry. I don't plan to stand on the picnic table in the middle of the yard in the middle of a lightening storm with my camera to get THE shot. If I wanted to go "that way" I have a much better way. Eleven minutes from my house I have a 29' lightening rod floating in a slip. Been there. Done that.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Alone At Night by KJ Erickson

Parting Shot: "One of the worst mistakes you can make as a gardener is to think you're in charge." ~ Janet Gillespie
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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Vicarious Living

That's what it's all about today. Deck Muffin (aka Sweetie) & I are so worn out by yesterday's adventures (10 hours on the water) that we not only dozed through (OK, I dozed through) the 3rd Louis Vuitton Cup finals race in which Team New Zealand won again. We both dropped off to sleep after the race.

I managed to rouse myself enough later that I made Lemon Poppy Seed Muffies. We dragged ourselves to our home office where we surfed for a while, ate muffies then we took a nap.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffies
Makes: 12 muffies

1 lemon
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn grated nutmeg
1/8 tspn ground cloves
1/8 tspn ground allspice
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 box lemon poppy seed muffin mix
toasted slivered or sliced almonds, optional

Preheat oven to the temperature on the box for lemon muffins. Grease muffie or muffin top pan.

Zest and juice the lemon. Send the rinds down the garbage disposal to freshen it. To the lemon juice, add enough water to equal the liquid called for on the box. In a medium bowl combine lemon juice/water, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, eggs and oil. Whisk until blended. Stir in muffin mix from box just until blended.

Put about what you would normally put into a muffin cup into each muffie cup. Spread it out a bit with the back of your spoon. If desired, sprinkle toasted almonds over top.

Bake about 13 minutes or until the edges are brown. Remove them from the oven and let them sit a couple of minutes before you devour them with tall glasses of ice cold milk.

I always add extra stuff, like spices and in this case lemon juice and zest to boxed mixes. You'd never know by the taste that they started out life as a boxed mix.

This is today's vicarious sailing as noted by this photo taken on yesterday's outing. I leaned over the rail on the sun side of Spray and tried to snap a good photo of the water curling out from the bow. The water this time of year is usually a wonderful cool green. Because of all the rain and high water, the water is still a muddy brown. The photo at the bottom is what I usually see of the spinnaker when it's flying from my position as helmswoman in the stern.

My Mermaid sock and I are in a race to see if the yarn (see yesterday's photo) I have left will last until the toe is done. At this point I'm inclined to say I'm going to run out but I have been proven wrong many, many (way too many) times in the past (on many, many things) to risk any bet at all — even a virtual one. I don't even have 2" done on the foot and have a long way to go. Luckily, this is a Koigu colorway that my LYS normally stocks. As I bought the yarn over a year ago, I know they won't have the dye lot. As the garter stitch cuff and heel on this sock look so different from the leg and foot pattern, using the other dye lot on those two pieces won't matter much with this sock. As it's a sock for me, I don't mind.

And up top a photo of 1/2 an FO. I normally try to get rid of clover in my yard but this spring, I concentrated on that fine yellow flower friend the Dandy Lion and some of the thin spots. This fall the clover gets it, along with more thin spots. In the meanwhile, it makes a nice, cool backdrop for my sock.

blogging to: the sound of the neighborhood through the opened windows

reading: All the Lonely People by Martin Edwards

Parting Shot: "A flower is an educated weed." ~ Luther Burbank
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