Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Waving Lace WIP pics

This is another one of those posts where not much has happenin' here at Casa Hermit. I sent off SIL's Waving Lace sock in the Lemon Ice colorway today. Before I mailed it I took a couple of shots. I'm still lovin' the pattern and lovin' the yarn. I was meant to knit good wool. I cast on for the second sock yesterday and had absolutely no trouble with the cuff. I frogged the cuff on the first sock six or eight times. But this one was just easy-peasy. Go Figure.

Our county fair starts tomorrow (Wednesday). The part where they have all the animals there and they've judged all the static exhibits and they'll all out with their ribbons. That part. The part with the cotton candy, and vendors selling lemonade made with real lemons and the ubiquitous funnel cakes. And the bee folks there with their bees and their local honey. And the carnival rides. And the antique tractor pulls and the draft horse pulls. And on Friday night the demolition derby. Saturday night is the hot rod tractor pull.

Being a born and raised city gal I like to pet the cows and horses (with the owner's permission, of course ~ don't want to get bitten) and being a knitter I also like to pet the sheep, the lambs and the llamas (also with the owner's permission). One year there were a couple of lambs / sheep that had never been sheared. They were so soft. And this year I have a digital camera. Should be fun.

blogging to: Valley in the Clouds by David Arkenstone

reading: Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill

Parting Shot: "As a final incentive before giving up a difficult task, try to imagine it successfully accomplished by someone you violently dislike.' ~ unknown
Quote Source

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Evening

The sun has set here, although nowhere near as prettily as in this photo. I love sky and water photos. When I collected photos from the "net" to use as backgrounds / wallpaper for my PC the majority of them were / are (as I still have them) water and sky photos. Now I use my own photos which makes them even more special. It's been mostly overcast and somewhat rainy all weekend with little wind and lots of humidity so no sailing for us.

I did manage to catch a photo of what we determined is a Southern Leopard frog. This is the first year we've had "regular" frogs in our tiny pond and we've got three of them. Usually we have tree frogs which are VERY LOUD. I think word has gotten out to the other tree frogs that if you frequent this particular pond you never return. These frogs seem to be the quiet types as we've never heard them, windows open or closed. Between these frogs and the martins we have very few bugs around our patio, well, except for little tiny ants.

At the front of the house we have tiny toads that survive on the bugs around the outside lights in the front of our house that we keep on 24/7. Here is a photo I took the other day. The top one is in the shadow of the light fixture. There's a larger toad, about the size of the leopard frogs that lives in the front yard somewhere. We've seen him occasionally on drizzly cool days hanging out.

The knitting on the Waving Lace sock goes on. The heel is done and I've got half of one pattern repeat (ten rounds) done on the foot. I've got about 20' of yarn left in the first hank. When I've knit that down to a couple of feet, I'll put the live stitches on some waste yarn and send it off to SIL for a fitting. Purl One Pixel Two noted that I can avoid sending off the sock for a fitting by using a sock size chart. That's true but as I usually only knit for SIL, Sweetie and myself, it's not that big a deal. And I think the recipients enjoy the peek at their sock.

I decided to do the pattern all around foot (a la the Mermaid sock) as it's not very lacy and it makes the short row heel look better. I'll get a progress photo before I send it off. Using the Mermaid sock by Lucy Neatby as a guide, I'm going to try to do the toe in pattern like she did because it looks so cool. We'll see how that works out.

blogging to: In the Wake of the Wind by David Arkenstone

reading: Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime by Robert J Randisi
(Yes, the whole "Rat Pack's) in it.

Parting Shot: "Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Someone Noticed!!!

I was at the grocery store today, at the check out. An elderly woman behind me asked if my socks were handknit. I about fell over. No one has EVER EVER EVER EVER said anything or noticed. I was wearing these socks ~ the Drop Stitch Socks aka Not My Favorite socks. Wouldn't you know? My least favorite socks and somebody notices that they're handknit. Well, I'll take it. As they were bunched up around my ankles she must have noticed the cuff. If you're a knitter, there's no mistaking k2, p2 ribbing. She's a knitter but she hadn't knit much of late. She's been crocheting afghans for her grandkids.

And so I've knitting away and sailing away. I love summer.

I've gotten quite far on the Waving Lace sock for SIL. I'm almost done with the short row heel. Less than ten complete passes left (knitting the right wide then wrapping and turning to knit the wrong side) and the heel will be done. Since I'm gaining two stitches on each complete pass, the row gets longer every time, but that means I'm getting closer to the end of the heel. Again I'm more pleased with one side than the other, but it's the same story with the gussets on a heel flap and turned heel. Once side looks better than the other. Oh, well.

When that's done I'll knit about an inch or so that I'm well past the heel and then send it to SIL for another fitting and a foot measurement. Meanwhile, I'll cast on and start the second sock.

I've been cruising the Knitter's Review shawls, scarves and stoles free pattern links as far back as I could. I picked up a lot of great patterns. I'm getting ideas for what to do with this yarn. It's the 100% merino wool I picked up in graduated colors from my LYS at the sidewalk sale. Now I just have to sift through them. How terrible for me!!

We've been blessed with wind again. We were out the other evening and I saw a sundog. That's two this year that I've seen. I haven't seen one for several years and then I see two this year. I hope that's a good sign. This time I did happen to have the camera.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Concrete Desert by Jon Talton

Parting shot: Rapture of the Deep: aka Nautical Narcosis. It's symptoms include an inability to use common words such as up, down, left, right, front and back, and their substitution with a variety of gibberish which the sufferer believes to make sense; a love of small, dark, wet places; an obsessive desire to be surrounded by possessions of a nautical nature such as lamps made from running lights and tiny ship's wheels; and a conviction that objects are moving when they are in fact standing still. This condition is incurable.

[although I don't actually own (nor have I ever owned either of the above linked items) I do suffer from Rapture of the Deep . . . except for the small, dark, wet places one. ick.]

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's Not My Fault

I didn't get much knitting done today and it's all Roxie's fault. As much fun as it would have been to travel with her I've been to a much more exciting place, The Thon Academy of Higher Magic for Young Ladies of Exceptional Talent. It's all in Roxie's book Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice. (Click on the Book Store link at the top. I just type Sanna in the search box then scroll down in the new link.) There is also a link on Roxie's blog to buy the book. Such a deal. Go and click and buy. It's really good.

I started reading this last night. Big mistake, I was up until after midnight. I picked it up again after breakfast and finished it this evening. I love how the book has entwined magic and fiber arts. A woman of many skills is Roxie. It reminded me of Anne McCaffrey's writing, not the style so much as the setting; an agrarian society. Instead of dragons and thread, Roxie's protagonist, Sanna is Talented. She's a Sorceress or learning to be one anyway. Sanna has a cool way to process raw fiber to get it ready for spinning with her staff (like Gabrielle's, perhaps). There are lots of fiber references throughout the book. I like how they were woven in so neatly that sometimes I would get caught up in the storyline that I would almost miss them. And yes for some reason I was looking for them. Loved every one, too. I enjoyed the book and I'm really looking forward to the next one, Sanna and the Dragons.

What little knitting I did do today I had to rip out. I did something to this sock that I couldn't fix easily. If it was my sock I may not have ripped back but as it's for my SIL I took the high road. Personally, I think a bit of the effrit got into it (from the book) but I'm patiently re-knitting.

to answer POPT's comment,
I would love to take credit for the pattern, but it's called called Waving Lace by Evelyn Clark from Favorite Socks 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave. I love the colorway. It's more of a lemony yellow and the gray keeps it from being too yellow. I didn't think I was a lace person either until I knit the Mermaid socks, my first "lace" so beware. But now I think I'm hooked. I've been going back though old Knitter's Review threads on Shawls and Scarves looking for free lace patterns. I'm trying to stay out of and away from the Lace forum.

blogging to: Victory at Sea by Richard Rodgers

reading: The Gold of Thrace by Aileen G Baron

Parting Shot: "You're a good storyteller." Xena to Gabrielle in Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards, season one

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Sky's the Limit

I love knitting these socks. Haven't heard that one here before . . . . NOT!!! Here are a couple more in progress photos of the first Waving Lace sock in the Lemon Ice colorway. I never knew all those colors where in the yarn until I began knitting with it. I only saw the lemon yellow and the pearly gray but there are kinds of shades in between. I've taken photos of both sides. One side seems to have more gray and the other side more yellow. I guess that's the chance you take with a yarn with any kind of color variation. The variations are subtle and they don't take away from the pattern at all. They just add another dimension to it. The photo reflects 2 rounds shy of three 20 round pattern repeats.

Although it's going to be a few more weeks until I done with these socks I've started looking through my sock books and sock patterns for my next lace sock. I've also started looking at lace shawl / stole / scarf patterns. I want to find one that uses less than 400 grams of laceweight. At this point I'm thinking, practically, of a scarf. When I go for my first shawl, I want it to be a warmer, heavier one for winter / fall / early spring — not so much a decorative lightweight wrap. A wide long scarf, although thin with the laceweight would be able to be wrapped around your neck for warmth and the tails either tucked into your coat for the extra warmth or left outside. As both SIL and I have dark winter coats the light colors I chose will be great.
We had a great sail Saturday evening. As with Friday evening's sail there were enough clouds around at sunset to make it spectacular. Looks like we're in some tropical paradise, doesn't it? It's just our local lake, 11 minutes from our front door.

We had a successful spinnaker run just before sunset AND a successful jibe. No wrap arounds and no tears (either pronunciation!). In fact that photo was taken while sailing with the spinnaker. I made Sweetie trim both sails and steer while I snapped off a few quick shots.

blogging to: smooth jazz on XM radio

reading: Mansions of the Dead by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Parting Shot: "And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~ Anais Nin
Quote Source

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Somewhere powerboaters (or stinkpotters, if you prefer) are sinning. Or maybe somewhere sailors are not [sinning] (. . . yeah, right). Either way, we have wonderful temps in the low 80's F. (mid 20's C.) and a marvelous amount of wind.

We had a great sail Friday evening. It was pretty windy when we set out about 6pm so we put up the working jib (our smallest headsail). Whitecaps and for a long while we were the only sailboat on the lake. A little later a couple of others came out to play buy they didn't stay long. We sailed into the night under a lovely quarter moon. No jet skies. No skiers. No loud powerboats. No loud stereos. Only a handful of fishing boats, mostly anchored and quiet.

After the wind died a bit we set the chute. When we tried to jibe (turn the boat with the tail of the boat through the wind) the spinnaker wrapped itself around the top of the forestay
(the cable that attaches to the front of the mast and goes down to the very front of the boat) and got hung up on something. Sweetie took it down and now we have a very small tear up near the headboard about where the black dot is. The headboard is reinforced with several layers of ¾ oz rip-stop nylon like a parachute. The tear is only about an inch long and only in the top layer of fabric. We're just going to put some sail repair tape on it and it'll be fine. No idea what it hung up on to get torn. We're thinking maybe where the forestay attaches to the mast. We've had trouble with jibing this sail before so I guess we need to work on that.

And maybe there is a crocheter or whatever the opposite of a knitter is sinning or a lot of knitters are stash-busting (again, NO frigging way) because this Waving Lace sock is almost knitting itself. I'm almost done with the third pattern repeat. I'll see where I am, lengthwise, when I'm halfway done with the next pattern repeat. You're only supposed to do 3½ pattern repeats but patterns are just guidelines, like recipes, right???? Anyway, I'd rather have the sock be a touch long in the leg than too short. I forgot to get a photo of the sock on the boat last night but I'll try to remember tonight. SIL will be surprised to get it back so soon for another fitting. While it's gone, I'll cast on and start the second one.

I didn't realize how much I learned about lace sock knitting on the Mermaid sock. But those lessons are standing me in good stead on this one. I know how to recover when I forget to do a YO, although I don't forget very often. I wonder why this was SUCH A DEAL on the Mermaid socks? And that stitch pattern was the same pattern for each round. This one is different each round and each pattern repeat is 20 rounds long. Granted that each even numbered row is the same but still. And this one has SSK's and K2tog, depending on where you are in the pattern.
I'm likin' this sock lace thing.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Mansions of the Dead by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Parting Shot: Nautical Definition: "Emergency Mooring Lines ~ Old ropes too rotten to use regularly but too good to throw away."
Quote Source

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Triple Word Score! ~ Yahtzee! ~ Bingo!

Well, that's what I felt like this morning when I scored some great stash yarn! This may give away my location to some folks, but that's OK. I'm kind of thinking about poking maybe a leg and or an arm out of the closet (so to speak), anyway. But I digress.

Every third Thursday in July the downtown has a sidewalk sale. It kind of ends up being a city wide thing, but it started downtown. Rain or shine, hot or cool, low or high humidity, it's on. Normally, I don't go. It's too hot, too humid and there are way too many people. But a few days ago I received a post card from my LYS reminding me about the sale. So I decided to go this morning. I wore my "I knit therefor I am" T-shirt and my Madder Rib socks. (If you talk the talk [knitting T-shirt] I figure I'd better walk the walk [hand knit socks]) By the time I got downtown at about 8:15am parking places were already hard to find. I did find a free one and hied myself to my LYS's sale.

I didn't except any sock yarn and there wasn't any yarn that was specifically sock yarn. However, they had these Strickwear Merging Colors Feather and Fan Bolero kits in all sorts of sizes and colors. I'm not too hot on the bolero part but the yarn is laceweight 100% merino wool. The regular cost of the kits was $88. They were 35% off and since I spent over $100 there was an additional 10% off. The two kits ended cost only about $48 each. I got the Cape Cod colorway which goes from blues to greens and the Rose Garden coloway which is roses to lilacs. There are only 56-60 grams of each color, except for the final color in each line up and that one has 28 grams. Each kit has about 433 grams of wool. I should be able to figure out something to knit with it!!

With my newly found lace infatuation (too soon to tell if it's real love) these wonderful color graduated hanks may end up as a lace shawl, or a delicate lace scarf or well, who knows what!!

We finally got to go sailing Wednesday evening. It was lovely windy and although a little hot and humid when we started it ended up being a grand evening and a marvelous sail. This photo was taken earlier this week when I was dangling my feet in the water and putting the Waving Lace sock back on the needles. I set the camera down on the dock (again!). I tilted it slightly down and in toward our boat. The circle of ripples in the extreme lower left hand corner are my splashing ripples. Yeah, pretty calm that evening.

YUCK! Bagworms! ICK! I went around the side of the house today and noticed that all three of our Wichita Blue Junipers had bag worms. These are the same pests that killed our St John's wort last summer. I pulled all I could find off two of the trees, all the St John's wort and the spirea I planted about a month ago. I plunked them in a pail of water and mixed in a little Sevin. Then Sweetie sprayed all with Sevin. We're going to lose one of the junipers. It's so heavily infested that in a couple of days, we're going to take it out, cut it up and put the pieces in sealed trash bags. We've only had them a couple of years so we'll replace the one in a few weeks or so. I checked everything else so we're good there. We're going to respray everything in about a week or so.

We got these hummingbird feeder cleaner bushes a few weeks ago. Today, I cleaned and re-filled the two hummingbird feeders and the new oriole feeder. When Sweetie does it he uses a few coffee beans from gift coffee we don't like. Well, we're almost out of it so I got the brushes. And boy they work great! They even got out all the tiny bits of mold in the yellow bee guards. We have the Perky Pet pinch-waist glass feeders for the hummers. We don't use hummingbird nectar either. We mix ¼ cup sugar to 1 cup very hot water. No food coloring. The color on the plastic feeder flowers attracts them. And the hummers don't like the cheaper beet sugar. They want the C & H, C & H, pure cane sugar from Hawaii. I've yet to sit outside and get some photos, but I will.

The Waving Lace sock is going along nicely. I can read and knit ribbing (usually) but with this lace it's more like doing one stitch repeat (eight stitches) while a page is loading. So I'm kinda reading and knitting lace but not really. Even though the page may finish loading before I'm done with all eight stitches I finish them before I look up to read. When I sent the sock off I had the cuff and one 20 round pattern repeat complete. Since, I've started back on it Tuesday, I've just about done half a pattern repeat. I'm on round 29 of the leg. I guess it would also go faster, if I just knit instead of stopping to admire it. Oh, well. Since it's going to my SIL's I won't be able to do that once it's done. (sigh!)

blogging to: Mystic Island by Cusco

reading: Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann

Parting Shot: Nautical Definition "Bow: 1) Gesture from the helmsman as she crosses the finish line first. 2) Part of the boat that no one should have to work on. 3) Best part of the boat to ram another with. 4) Front part of catamarans often found under water. 5) What you do after performing an outstanding docking maneuver."
Quote Source

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Reading and Knitting

I love reading blogs and knitting while I read. (Now if I could just figure out how to blog and knit at the same time!) And I love reading knitting blogs most of all. Most of the knitting blogs I read (a small sample in my sidebar) are mostly about knitting most of the time. I probably have about twice as many bookmarked that I try to get to once a week or so that aren't listed in my sidebar. And there are almost 150 other knitting blogs that I've bookmarked that I read when I've read everything else and want more. It's almost as calming reading about what everyone's knitting and what they're knitting it with as it is to knit on my own stuff. Once in a while I'll get a link to a great (and FREE!) sock pattern or some other bang-up link.

Monday evening we went out to the lake so Sweetie could put more hardware on Spray. I took the Waving Lace sock. While I sat on the dock dangling and splashing my feet in the very calm water I transferred the sock from the waste yarn to the needles. By the time I was done, I was not in the mood for any wool knitting. The water was so warm it felt like bath water. Today I actually started knitting on it again. Such a great pattern and such a great yarn. I can see that in no time at all I'll be sending this one off to SIL for the next fitting.

I took these photos a week or so ago on yet another calm day. There's the ubiquitous marina sunset photo. Will I never tire of taking those? I hope not. The other one was fun to take and surprising how well it turned out. That's the reflection of the bottom of a power boat hull up on one of those hoist things in a covered slip.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Mansions of the Dead by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Parting Shot: "To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat." ~ Beverley Nichols
Quote Source

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tedious Knitting but a Clear Conscious

Some projects start and end well. Other start well and on the second sock sorta not do as well. The second sock was the first sock in all the time that I've been mostly just a socknitter (3+ years now) that I almost didn't want to finish. I had no trouble casting on (maybe because I was at the lake on the dock dangling my feet in the cool water) but after I did the first two rounds or so I kind of had to push myself to knit on it. After I sent SIL's sock off for a fitting it was a bit easier.

I don't think I'm losing my socknitting love, however. Two reasons, I think. One, about that time I cast on and knit the cuff and one pattern repeat of the Waving Lace socks in the Lemon Ice colorway from Claudia's Hand Painted yarn. That yarn is sooo soft. Last year I bought some of her yarn on-line (my very first internet yarn purchase) and I was amazed at the softness. I thought Koigu was soft but this was even better. When I discovered that my LYS began to carry it I held off for a couple of months then succumbed. I just love the colorway and the pattern (once I got past the cuff).

And the second reason is that although I was doing a stripe and varying the stripiness by whim so I wouldn't get bored with just a rib, once I had the first sock done, there was no mystery as to what the second sock would look like. I'll have to keep in mind for future cotton striped socks to make the second sock a fraternal instead of an identical twin.

This knit was also hard on my Colonial rosewood 2mm dpns. Prior to my recent introduction to short row heels, this Fortissima cotton was the only yarn I used with the 2mm dpns. They are much more fragile than my "everyday" Suzanne 2.5mm dpns. By the end of the first sock, I'd broken off about half of the tips. When I emptied a needle I had to make sure I was knitting with the sharp end each time. When I finished the first sock I took some 220 grit sandpaper and sanded new tips on all five needles. By the time I'd turned the heel on the second sock, I'd broken a few of the tips again. When I was doing the toe decreases, I split one about 2" down and a little later another about a ½" down. I'll sand tips on 'em again, even the shorter ones and put them away for the next sock. I do have a full set of 2mm Clover bamboo dpns and 4 Birch ones so I'm not stuck if I break one in half.

But anyway, the Madder Rib blue and red striped socks are done. With a clear conscious (except for the two sweaters but they don't count as they're sweaters and this is socknitting) I can pick up the Waving Lace sock for SIL. Ahhh, wool. Good wool.
It's been too hot and no wind so no sailing. The wind is "supposed" to be better Tuesday but still hot, in the mid 90's. Maybe we'll get an evening sail in. Take a close look at the the water photo (click for bigger). See the calm water swirl. When we tack (turn the bow of the boat through the wind) that's what the boat does to the water as it turns.

The day lily below is a smaller but fragrant one. I got this one a couple of years ago from a local garden center but I can't locate the tag. I also planted one in the neighbor's garden as a thank you for something but there's no tag there either and the neighbor I planted it for has moved and we've lost touch. Oh, well.
SIL got the OK from her doctor. She can put weight on her ankle and "walk". Everything healed well and now it's onto several months of physical therapy. I don't know yet if she feels comfortable enough to drive. It was her right ankle/foot so that may take a little more time.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Mansions of the Dead by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Parting Shot: "I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself." ~ Sir Peter Smithers
Quote Source

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yeah, Well . . .

I'm back. I never went away, actually, just didn't have anything (and I still don't) to blog about. But I betcha by the end of this post, I'll have several paragraphs spit out here.

Well, first off, here are a couple of "under sail" photos. The top one is the prow of Spray ploughing through the less than 10 mph winds. Again with the camera hanging over the bow. That ring is the bow eye. The bottom one was taken from the back of the cockpit as we were sailing into the sun. I love taking light and water photos under sail. The water does something to the light or maybe the light does something to the water. Anyway, it triggers something in me. I like these kinds of photos because they don't look static to me. I can put myself in the picture and be there. Of course, with the photos I take that's easy because I WAS there. But other shots like this, taken by other folks it's easy, too. They'll be good to look at this winter when Spray has been hauled for the winter.

And the flower photo is phlox. I love the scent of phlox. I planted this one at the edge of the patio to the south so that if there is any breeze, it carries the scent over the patio. I'm not out of day lilies yet, though.
Part of my time has been taken up with painting our new wooden Adirondack rocking chairs and ottomans. We could have sealed the wood and left them brown, but something about the classic white
Adirondack chairs on green grass just says downtime to me.

On the knitting front, I've been zooming along (except for today) on the mate to the completed blue and red striped Madder Rib sock. I'm about 2" (or so) past the heel.

SIL loves the Lemon Ice Waving Lace sock and it fits her calf. So now I'm waiting for her to mail it back and I'll get cracking on the next section. I'll knit up just past the heel and send them to her again for another fitting. I plan to do a short row heel because I think it'll just look grand with the pattern and these socks. Also, SIL really liked that heel on my Mermaid socks. I love having options.

Sweetie's been working a lot this week (hence all the sock knitting) and hopefully we'll have enough wind to sail some this weekend and it won't be too hot.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: The Widening Gyre by Robert B Parker

Parting Shot: "Die dulci freure."
translation: "Have a nice day." (somehow it's sounds better in Latin)
Quote Source

Monday, July 9, 2007


I love strange and wonderful camera angles. I love hanging my head, sans prescription glasses, clip-on sunglasses and hat, over the side of the bow of the boat. The sounds are amazing. Liquid, gushing rushing, splashing water sounds as the bow surges and plunges through the water. The colors in the water are incredible. And they change depending on the light; the angle of the light and the color of the light. Sometimes the water is a clear green and other times it's a muddy greenish brown until you look it in the eye. This photo was taken laying (lying?) on the deck on the bow, holding the camera over the side of the bow, strap securely around my neck with the camera titled down and in toward the boat and looking toward the stern. That curl of water is made by the bow as it cuts through the water. As the curl gets farther from the bow, it quickly flattens out and spreads into the foam which has mostly dissipated by the time the stern flows by. That photo is pretty much what you see should you hang your head over one side of the bow of Spray on a sunny late afternoon sail.

And as you can see, the Waving Lace sock in the Lemon Ice colorway also enjoys sailing the high seas. That's the cuff and one pattern repeat with waste yarn at the bottom. I mailed it off today to SIL so she can try it on. Meanwhile, I'm knitting away on the second Madder Rib sock. I've decided to ignore my inner child which is clamoring to cast on another lace sock RIGHT NOW!! I've put away the possible yarns. However I DID relent, a little, and picked up Charlene Schurch's second book, More Sensational Knitted Socks. I happened to open the book to a page with wonderful lace socks and I was sold. I even looked for Arctic Lace. Luckily, they didn't have it in stock. Whew! That was close.

While Sweetie and I were out mailing the sock to SIL, we picked up a new Oriole feeder. The pretty copper and glass one we received as a gift wasn't doing the job. I think this one will be better. It has a nectar holder, which the fancy one didn't have. It also has smaller places for grape jelly and it only holds only one orange half. Time will tell.

Looks like we're in for more rain and lightening so I'm signing off.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess

Parting Shot: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to use the Net and he won't bother you for weeks." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Must Knit Lace . . . . . . Socks

I have nothing to wear.

There is nothing to eat in this house.

I have no sock yarn.

Well, not really. But today I did the equivalent of the first two. You know, standing in your closet after you've done laundry and hung everything neatly away and finding nothing you WANT to wear. Or my personal favorite, standing in front of the open freezer or fridge door (or both!) and trying to figure out what you're hungry for. It's never in there. EVER!! But sometimes you can come close. And ya know, it's never the carrot chips or grapes or the fat-free yogurt prominently in front.

Today I had that same experience with my sock yarn. I've got the cuff and one pattern repeat done with the Lemon Ice yarn and I would like nothing better than to sit and knit the whole rest of the sock up . . . now . . . today. But I need to mail it to SIL (with the broken ankle) so she can try it on. I've e-mailed her photos of the yarn and the pattern but I didn't tell her I was knitting it for her. Tuesday she goes to find out if she can begin to put weight on it and then map out a physical therapy program to get her back on her feet. No matter the outcome, she'll have a new pair of soft wool socks to look forward to. Either to cheer her up a bit or to celebrate.

Anyway, I can't knit anymore on THAT sock. I enjoyed knitting that pattern so much once I worked though my issues with the lace cuff. Once I got through the first 9 rounds or so it was pretty easy. Now I want to knit it more. I don't want to go back and knit on the second Madder Rib sock, although I will.

And I can't take any photos of the very lovely sock because I left the camera on Spray this morning. Photos in my next post!!

Sorting through my sock yarn stash this afternoon, which is adequate but not that big (Really! I'll stage a sock yarn stash photo shoot one of these days.) I discover I have no sock yarn that just reached out and grabbed me and said, "I want to be a lace sock." I'm going to have to beef up my sock lace yarn.

To me, so the intricate patten won't get lost, you need either a solid color (which can get boring) or a subtlety colored hand painted yarn. The Lemon Ice fits the bill perfectly for the Waving Lace socks. And I am very tempted to cast on with one of the the two remaining hanks for socks for me. My LYS has more of the dye lot which I could pick up Monday. On the other hand I don't want to do that. I want to explore more lace sock patterns with different yarn. To that end, from the stash I've picked out two Koigu hand painted hanks which are now sitting on the dining room table. I'll look at them every time I go by and let them stew around in my brain until one surfaces. Again, photos in next post of the possibilities.

And I'll think about lace patterns. I still have the written out charts from where I was trying to decide between the Waving Lace, The Embossed Leaves and the Monkey socks. I'll look at the last two again and maybe look again at some other lace patterns.

And now I wonder, where will the lace end? Will I move on to a lace stole or shawl? I have to admit, I AM eying those things when I come across them in my blog surfing. Not so much the lace weight gossamer ones, but the more substantial warm ones, maybe out of . . . a fine sock weight yarn. Hmmmmm.

Meanwhile, I've woven in the ends on the first Madder Rib sock. And since I want to / have to knit, more will be knit on the second Madder Rib sock. I'm still attaching miscellaneous balls of light blue cotton yarn to this sock. My goal, other than a pair of blue and red striped cotton socks, is to use up all that cut blue yarn from the doomed cotton blanket project. Thank goodness for the split splice. Although a bit fiddly and the cotton yarn doesn't felt it holds together long enough for the ends to be knit together. Better than weaving all those ends in.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess

Parting Shot: "Remember, even at a Mensa convention someone is the dumbest person in the room!" ~ unknown
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Friday, July 6, 2007

Traverlin' Man

We had a quiet Independence Day. I think Sweetie had a touch of flu. He began to get a sore throat late Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday morning, he was miserable. I fixed him honeyed hot tea or fetched ice cream bars which is all he wanted. He slept most of the day and through the night either in the recliner or the bed. By Thursday he was much better and today, except for the huskiness in his voice, he's "cured."

I hope I've paid my dues to the knitting god I pissed off by bragging that I didn't have to frog my Waving Lace sock on this post. I've frogged that cuff several times and started with new yarn twice now. Never doin' THAT again!

Anyway, I have a better handle on the pattern now but I'm still on the cuff!! Someday, there'll be enough on the needles to actually photograph.

I do have a piece of good news. Rosewood and bamboo dpns float. Late Tuesday afternoon (yeah, about the time Sweetie was getting his sore throat) I was sitting on the dock dangling my feet in the water while he installed the traveler on Spray. I really couldn't help with most of it so I cast on for the second Madder Rib sock. I'd carefully set the dpns I wasn't using in a shoe near me so they wouldn't roll off down between the dock boards but of course I forgot all about that. When I reached for my shoes so I could fetch a couple of iced teas from the pub there went all my dpns, into the water. Luckily, they all fell right in front of me, between the boat and dock and there was no wind or wave action to move them out of my reach. In case you're wondering, if they hadn't floated, I would not have gone in after them. If they'd floated out of my reach, yes, I would have.

In the photo above, that black bar in the cockpit is the traveler. Previously, the lines (coming down from under the navy sailcover) would be at the back of the cockpit, behind where I helm (steer). It's awkward and this'll work much better.

This is the next lily I got. A neighbor was moving and she had these in her garden. She split her clump and I split the ones I had. She didn't know what they were and I don't either so I just call them "Petta's" lily for the same reason as "Marge's" lily. These also have a wonderful scent.

blogging to: Givin' It Up by George Benson & Al Jarreau

reading: The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess

Parting Shot: "Brevis esse latoro obscurus fio"
translation: "When I try to be brief, I speak gobbledegook." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I'm Better, Now, Thank You

The 32nd America's Cup is over. The team I was rooting for, Emirates Team New Zealand, lost today's race by ONE SECOND!! The overall score was Alinghi 5 and Emirates Team New Zealand 2. (They STOLE it from us. The Precioussss.) It was a best of nine series. The first boat/team to win five races won The America's Cup. It was the most exciting and thrilling sailboat race I've ever seen. Beats the heck out of watchin' golf!!

Now that I'm done moping around because my team lost (thank goodness for cashmere in the stash to pet), I've cast on the for the second Madder Rib sock. I finished, well, except for weaving in the ends, the first one last Monday night. I'm very pleased with it and it feels so soft on the foot. While Sweetie was in the cockpit of Spray measuring some more for our traveler, I sat on the dock and dangled my bare feet in the water to keep cool while I cast on for the second sock. The humidity is still very high here and when the sun's not shining, it looks like rain. There's not much wind so you just sit quietly and sweat. Thank goodness it's a cotton sock.

For this photo, I set the camera down on the dock on it's lens cap to get it slightly up off the dock and snapped the photo. Yes, that IS a satellite antenna, one of many in our marina (I was surprised, too) and that's not Spray.

And speaking of sock yarn, not all my sock yarn is good yarn to tie a spinnaker with. I'd left the leftover Ann Schaeffer sock yarn on Spray for the spinnaker. But last week (or whenever) we brought it home (the spinnaker, not Spray) and so I had to dig around in the stash to find more sock yarn. Koigu is too strong as is the rest of my wool sock yarn leftovers. We figure if you can pull it apart it would be OK. You can't pull Koigu, or STR or Claudia's Hand Painted yarn apart. I was NOT going to sacrifice yarn I'd not even knit with until I HAD to so I went for the wool non-sock yarn stash. Yeah, so angora works but I vetoed that because although technically I HAD knit with it I'd frogged what I'd knit so it reverted back to virgin stash. Alpaca, or at least Reynolds alpaca, is too strong. However, dark purple mohair, Berroco Mohair Classic Heather in particular works great. (Big Sigh of Relief). So now we have on-the-boat spinnaker yarn and at-home spinnaker yarn. Sheesh!!

And speaking of sacrifices . . . (it just goes on and on) . . . I've given up my two best resin cutting boards for backing plates for equipment on Spray. I gave up half of one for the two winches we installed earlier this year. Sweetie just came in to ask where the full cutting board was. He had the half one in his hand. I was "hiding" it in the dishwasher. ~ Sigh ~ As those cutting boards are about a ¼" thick and will NEVER rot if moisture somehow gets in there and are relatively inexpensive that's what we're using. These will be used as backing plates that the bolts holding the traveler to the boat will go through to spread the load.

And here's the second day lily I ever got. This one, was given to me by a lady I worked with many, many moons ago. It's scent is VERY light. If it's windy or not humid, you can't smell it. It's got be like today outside to be able to smell the fragrance. Anyway, she didn't know what it was and I have no idea either. I've always called it Marge's lily because "Marge" gave it to me.

blogging to: the sound of the replay of the final race in the America's cup series. (maybe it'll be different this time . . . )

reading: Double Act by Eileen Dewhurst

Parting Shot: Brad Butterworth, [Alinghi's skipper] on what he thought crossing the line: “Please put the blue flag up! - I’ve been lucky with the guys I have sailed with through those past four editions – Dean Phipps, Murray Jones, Warwick Fleury and Simon Daubney and I have sailed together for years, and it’s been a fantastic partnership and friendship. We have ended up in another team and with such a strong group of people. The strength has been fantastic and it has been incredibly fulfilling to sail with the best people in the world and show it in a regatta that has gone to the wire. It’s been different to the 5-0 of the others – it’s been really tough at times. To win against a team we have been so close to shows the strength of our group. It’s very fulfilling. The [America's] Cup is getting bigger and better. Defending with TNZ [Team New Zealand] was a fantastic achievement as it hadn’t been defended outside the US, but now 150 years later it is defended in Europe for the first time ever with this team.”

Monday, July 2, 2007

Six Months of Books

I decided to keep track this year of what books I read. I was SHOCKED and ASTOUNDED to discover that from January 1 through June 30, I read 72 books. Most are mysteries. The few that aren't are in green. You can see I have several favorite authors. The Richard Bach and Piers Anthony books are from my own library. The rest are from my public library.

Here's the list in the order that I read them.

1 Robert B Parker ~ Walking Shadow
2 Sandra Scoppettone ~ This Dame For Hire
3 Jennifer Sturma ~ The Jinx
4 Maj & Wahlöö Per Sjowall ~ The Laughing Policeman
5 Patricia Smiley ~ Cover Your Assets
6 Nancy Pickard ~ The Truth Hurts
7 Sara Paretsky ~ Blacklist
8 Don Bruns ~ South Beach Shakedown
9 Robert B Parker ~ Hush Money
10 William G Tapply ~ The Spotted Cats
11 Mary-Ann Tirone Smith ~ She's Not There
12 Lou Jane Temple ~ The Cornbread Killer
13 Michael Pearce ~ The Fig Tree Murder
14 Don Porter ~ Deadly Detail
15 William G Tapply ~ Bitch Creek
16 Robert B Parker ~ Shrink Rap
17 Nnacy Atherton ~ Aunt Dimity's Death
18 Nancy Atherton ~ Aunt Dimity Digs In
19 Eleanor Taylor Bland ~ Whispers in the Dark
20 Sara Hall ~ Drawn to the Rhythm
21 Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant ~ Steamed
22 Laura Childs ~ Chamomile Mourning
23 Nero A Blanc ~ A Crossword to Die For
24 Sandra Brown ~ Words of Silk
25 Loren D Estleman ~ Nicotine Kiss
26 Nancy Pickard ~ The Secret Ingredient Murders
27 Barbara Paul ~ Kill Fee
28 Cynthia Riggs ~ Deadly Nightshade
29 William G Tapply ~ Death at Charity's Point
30 Robert B Parker ~ Stardust
31 Jill Conner Browne ~ The Sweet Potato Queens
32 Lou Jane Temple ~ Death du Jour
33 Isis Crawford ~ A Catered Valentine's Day
34 Nancy Pickard ~ The Virgin of Small Plains
35 Maeve Binchy ~ Silver Wedding
36 Robert B Parker ~ Cold Service
37 David Rosenfelt ~ Open and Shut
38 William G Tapply ~ Nervous Water
39 Sue Grafton ~ S is for Silence
40 Sarah Stewart Taylor ~ Still as Death
41 Robert B Parker ~ Back Story
42 Susan Wittig Albert ~ A Dilly of a Death
43 Richard Back ~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull
44 Robert B Parker ~ A Savage Place
45 Piers Anthony ~ Split Infinity
46 Piers Anthony ~ Blue Adept
47 Piers Anthony ~ Juxtaposition
48 Stella Whitelaw ~ Ring and Die
49 Linda Fairstein ~ Bad Blood
50 Janet Evanovich ~ Twelve Sharp
51 Robert B Parker ~ Crimson Joy
52 William G Tapply ~ Out Cold
53 Robert B Parker ~ Hundred-Dollar Baby
54 Anthony Elgin ~ The Lost Gardens
55 Bill Pronzini ~ Step to the Graveyard Easy
56 Robert B Parker ~ High Profile
57 Sara Paretsky ~ Hard Time
58 Nancy Pickard ~ Ring of Truth
59 Kit Ehrman ~ Dead Man's Touch
60 Martin Edwards ~ All the Lonely People
61 K J Erickson ~ Alone at Night
62 William G Tapply ~ Dead Winter
63 Aaron & Charlotte Elkins ~ On the Fringe
64 P J Tracy ~ Live Bait
Robert B Parker ~ Valediction
66 H R F A Keating ~ Detective Under Fire
67 William G Tapply ~ Tight Lines
68 Robert B Parker ~ Melancholy Baby
69 M C Beaton ~ Death of a Maid
Madeleine L'Engle ~ A Wrinkle in Time
71 Tony Hillerman ~ Listening Woman
72 Aimée & David
Thurlo ~ Plant Them Deep

A Little Sunshine

Finally, it quit raining long enough to take some photos outside. These were all taken yesterday. It was overcast (still is) but sometimes a hazy sun peeks through. The humidity feels like it's off the charts. We had the air conditioner off yesterday and the windows open as it was lower yesterday, but today, summer in the Midwest is back and so is our lower humidity conditioned air.

You can what progress I made on the Madder Rib sock. I'm within striking distance of the toe decreases. I keep tryin' it on and I'll get there eventually.

This is the sock yarn that leaped into my hands last week at my LYS. Someday it'll be another pair of socks for me.

We had our Middle Eastern dinner with our neighbors Sunday evening. Some was good and some was not to our/my taste. I didn't like the humus, which has a chick pea base. The wife also made the same thing as humus but with an eggplant base. That was better. The humus, the egg plant thing and pita bread were the appetizers. We also had dates which we both liked. They had some Arabic coffee which is very light in color and very finely ground. It was mixed with cardamom and cloves and served in tiny, beautiful cups. Each cup held about a swallow's worth but you sipped it nicely. We both liked this, too

We ate sitting on the floor cross legged at a very low square table, Japanese style.

For a side dish, she had steamed dumplings with a ground beef center. They were OK. I'm not too fond of steamed dough but I had two of them. She also had tabbouleh, which had (a lot) of parsley, mint, tomatoes, lime juice and other things. All the herbs and veggies were minced very finely. It was OK. She made two main courses. One was basmatti rice with shrimp. The rice was OK and I had two shrimp. I'm not much of a shrimp person. She also made a beef, potato and carrot dish which although VERY spicy was delicious. They served sweet mint ice tea with dinner.

For dessert I had no idea what it was, some kind of cheese and dough that she baked in the oven. The cheese was very sweet and good around the edges where it browned and was just cheese and no dough. With this we had hot sweet mint tea.

We took our shoes off at the door. As I knew this ahead of time, I wore my Mermaid socks. She doesn't knit and doesn't really have any interest in knitting. She like to scrapbook. Oh, well. I also explained why I drape yarn and partially finished socks over the flora and take photos of it. I didn't really want to own up to this blog so I said I take photos to e-mail my SIL which I do.

I took photos of all my day lilies. I'll post a photo or two every time I post so until you've seen them all. This one is a Christopher Robin day lily and it was my first day lily. The scent drew me and and I love the name. Ever since, I've always bought day lilies that have strong scents. Which means I can only get them around this time of year when they bloom.

Pixel One Purl Two asked where I find my Parting Shots. Anywhere and everywhere. I have several websites bookmarked that have interesting quotes. Sometimes I'll just Google something like "garden quotes" or "funny one-liners" or "nautical quotes" whatever and just surf and see what strikes my fancy. When I find a site with lots of good things, I bookmark it. And I have several quotation books, too. Sometimes I'll find a Parting Shot I like right off, but sometimes it takes me longer to find the right Parting Shot than it does to write the whole post, uploading photos included!!

blogging to: Chill Brazil ~ "sexy soul bossa tracks"

reading: Double Act by Eileen Dewhurst

Parting Shot: "The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money. ~ unknown
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