Friday, August 31, 2007

Becoming Obsessed

I think this is how the sock thing started. I got two hanks of hand painted green Koigu yarn and a simple Koigu sockinette sock pattern from my LYS, Yarn Barn of Kansas. I knit it. I did another and another and turned into a socknitter. For over three years I've knit mostly socks with an occasional scarf and an unseamed sweater tossed in for flavor.

Then I knit a pair of Mermaid socks from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet. I chose it mainly because the cuff was interesting and I wanted to learn to do a short row heel and I liked how the pattern ran all the way to the end of the toe. I didn't choose it for the lace. Lace was the last thing I wanted in a pair of warm, wool socks. I struggled with this pattern, which with one YO per stitch repeat, it was your basic spiral lace pattern. Somewhere in the knitting, I got it. I got the lace thing. At that point it was still confined to socks. I branched out a bit and currently I'm working on the Waving Lace sock from IK. Then I grew bolder and now I'm knitting a lacy baby blanket.

Somewhere in there, I began to look at lace books. Not just the lace sock patterns in a sock book but Lace Books which didn't have ANY Sock patterns. Today I visited two book stores and looked at socks books and didn't buy any sock books. I also looked for just lace books and they didn't have any. Probably a good thing. But I can see the handwriting on the wall. Eventually, probably sooner rather than later I will purchase / own a just lace book. I still haven't bought into the whole lace weight yarn / shawl thing — yet. But I can see where purposeful on purpose holes in your knitting is not a bad thing after all.

I did buy some yarn today. My SIL gave me a gift cert to Yarn Shop & More in downtown Overland Park, KS. Photos tomorrow. I got another hank of Schaeffer yarn, Anne in wine, gray, and a dark slate blue. I also picked up two skeins of Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in the Painted Iris colorway.

They also had some Claudia hand painted sock yarn but I already had similar colorways in other yarn. They had some wonderful lace weight colorways but I'm as I said, I'm not there
yet. As I was looking for a particular weight of yarn, fingering or sock weight, and not caring particularly about the color, the way they have the shop arranged, by color, was frustrating for me today. I did figure out (finally!) that the thinner stuff was on the bottom and the heavier stuff was at the top. So I cruised around the shop all hunched over looking for sock-style yarn that wasn't in the sock yarn area.

I feel ready to tackle the error on the frosty pink baby blanket tomorrow. And no, I didn't have a life line and maybe that was an even bigger Ooops! When I get this straightened out, you can bet one is goin' in. I have a feeling this won't be the last oops! on this thing!

blogging to: the quiet

reading: Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley

Parting Shot: "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." ~ Robin Williams
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Uh Oh!

I have erred. Knitting happily along on the frosty pink baby blanket I have hit a speed bump at faster than is recommended speed. I saw it when I was "there" but I thought I fixed it. Ooops! How come I couldn't see this one row later? It's now several rows later. I can fix this. But for now it's in time out.

To me it's so glaring as to not need help finding it but the reality of this thing is that it's pretty small. It's those two or three odd stitches a little below the needles (where all the brown wood is). And I have no idea of how it happened.

Question is
what is the quickest and bestest way to fix this? which is not the same thing. I would like to ladder down to it, pin out each row and fix it which would be the quickest way. But I have a feeling that it'll end up a huge mess and I'll end up frogging anyway. The other way is, of course, to frog (carefully) down to that row. And there is no doubt that I will fix it and not leave it. But for now, I'm just going to cogitate on it and go knit on SIL's sorely neglected Waving Lace socks.

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

In other news, in a few weeks Sweetie and I are heading to Council Bluffs, IA / Omaha, NE for a Combat Apple reunion. We went to one of these about four years ago in San Antonio, TX. Sweetie had such a great time connecting with these guys. I had a great time just listening to them talk and reminisce. This year I've got my knitting. And no, I'm not going to knit on the oh so pink frosty pink baby blanket. I plan to knit on a pair of socks while they chat. I love listening to them.

To that end I need to get a dress for the banquet. So Friday morning I'm off to Coldwater Creek in Leawood, KS and the other shops in that area. Sweetie'll be busy all day with a sales rep from his company in town to drum up more business. Anyway the last time I was there I spent some major bucks and came away with some nice work clothes and a great experience. Sadly, none of the clothes are nice enough for a banquet.

While we're in the Council Bluffs, IA / Omaha, NE area I've scoped out a couple of yarn shops. Oh, yeah. We are not forgetting about the yarn souvenirs.

blogging to: Mystic Island by Cusco

reading: Judgment of the Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Parting Shot: "Computers have enabled people to make more mistakes faster than almost any invention in history, with the possible exception of tequila and hand guns [and knitting]." ~ Mitch Ratcliffe
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life on the Wild Side

Yes, we've been enjoying a bit of the wild life here. Today, in our yard we've seen:

blue jays
bluebirds
cardinals
crows
goldfinch
grackles
house finches
hummingbirds
mourning doves
rabbits
red squirrel
Southern Leopard Frogs
sparrows
toads
wrens
Western Ribbon snake

True most of them ARE birds, but still. And I'm sure there are birds I forgot to put down. The one item on the list that we see infrequently is the snake We've only seen three (counting this one) in the 14 years we've lived here. This time I had a digital camera! Ribbon snakes are not poisonous and he/she was more afraid of us and kept trying to get away from the stalking paparazzi. The little sucker was quick, which is why there is the head shot and then a body shot.

We also had a birdbath full of bluebirds on their way to somewhere. By the time I had the camera out and up and had stealthily sidled in front of the patio door I got one very blury photo of them all and this better shot of two of them. We see the odd one during the summer but they come through in flocks spring and fall.

We've got goldfinch year round but not often do they stop by for a drink after work.

Just the past year or two have we had a squirrel now and then. Most of the time they're red squirrels but I've seen a gray one a couple of times. The same goes for blue jays. They're regular visitors to our feeder and bird bath.

One year a Kingbird adopted our yard and left us lovely little piles of bird poo (not his, other birds that he collected) as gifts. The lawn chairs and hose caddy would have to be right up against the house to escape being decorated. It would also dive bomb me as I mowed. It didn't bother Sweetie.

And, of course, we had purple martins earlier this year. Occasionally, we also have hawks perch around the yard hoping for an easy meal. Last year, there was a dead rabbit in the yard behind us. I noticed it because there was a Turkey Vulture feeding on it.

We are still getting flocked by hummingbirds. We fill all three feeders once a day now.

* * * * * * * * * *

I'm progressing on the frosty pink baby blanket. I've got about 6" done which turns out to be about 3 complete pattern repeats. It's very soft and airy and pink. I'm pretty pleased with it. No glaring errors unexpected design elements, so far.


Fall is coming. When I was mowing this morning the breeze was from the north, cool and refreshing. I happened to be mowing around our River Birch clump, which which had a lot of dead leaves on the ground due to the all the dry weather and it looked and felt a bit like fall. I can hardly belive that this is almost the end of August. Our Eastern White Pine's needles are starting to turn yellow already in anticipation of it's annual needle drop.
Gosh, this summer went by so fast!

Well, I've off to put a few more rows on the baby blanket.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Judgment of the Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Parting Shot: "Why do opera singers make good sailors?
Because they can handle high seas. (high C's)"
Quote Source

Monday, August 27, 2007

Me! Me! Me! It's all about ME!!!

I've been tagged by Bo for the 8 things about myself meme. In the spirit of my last post I decided to do this one.

1. I've never been tagged before and so this is my first “official” meme.

2. I couldn't carry a tune with a handle on it, but it doesn't stop me. I sing “real” songs and made up nonsense songs at home even when Sweetie's around. He likes to hear me sing. He says he likes it that I sing with I'm happy. When I'm driving I like to sing along to the radio or the CD player. And I really don't care what it looks like to folks in passing cars.

3. I tend to do things in more of a seat of the pants way rather than rigidly by the book. If I have no idea then I'll look it up. Even then, I tend to use the instructions as more of a guideline. Sometimes I get in over my head this way.

4. However, in light of number three, I don't speed. Everyone passes me. I don't care.

5. I love to read, even more than knit. I would rather read than do almost anything. If I could figure out how to read and knit (audio books just aren't the same) . . . . I carry a book everywhere. In case I'm stuck somewhere with time on my hands, even a few minutes, I'll have something to read. So far this year I've read 100 books, mostly mysteries from the library.

6. I can get so involved in the book I'm reading, the movie or program I'm watching (Xena!) that if I'm suddenly interrupted, I'm a bit lost for a moment as to where I am.

7. I love fruit. I would eat servings of fruit over most vegetables for any meal. Watermelon is my very favorite with peaches and grapefruit second.

8. If there are a bunch of kids around, they seem drawn to me. I identify with them. Maybe it's because I feel we're on the same side. Us against the folks (adults) wanting us to do things we'd rather not do or wanting us not to do things we'd rather do. Yeah, I have some authority issues.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Pastime by Robert B Parker

Parting Shot: "There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Saturday, August 25, 2007

WAS Just a Little Paranoid

I was up against a rock and a hard place. So far I'd kept my identity and any personal information such as my location off this blog. At first I felt it gave me more freedom to write, uh, freely. I wasn't really hiding my identity from anyone. Now I've come to realize that most people don't care who I am (mostly). And someone who really, really, really wanted to find out who I was probably could no matter what I did or didn't include. And when interesting things happened in my town or near my town, I couldn't really comment on them without giving away where I was.

Well, that's all changed, recently. I've been thinking about this for several months and just the other day, I changed the location on my profile. This morning I got tagged by Bo for an Eight Things About Me Meme which I will address in my next post. I've gotta think about this one a bit. This afternoon I attended my firstest ever knitting group gathering, Knit Lawrence at a coffee shop downtown.

In comments lately to a few bloggers I've let on where I actually live because it was germane to the comment / post. All in all now I feel kind of silly about the whole blogging deeply anonymously thing. But back when I started this blog, I just wasn't sure. Also, I didn't think anyone but me would ever read the darned thing anyway and I didn't personally KNOW any knitters. And now I've met a whack of real live knitters and had a great time. So, a few limbs are out of the
anonymous blogging closet. I'm still keeping the warriorknitter (at) yahoo (dot) com e-mail for this blog, though. Don't want to get too wild here.

Anyway, about the knitters. Never before have I gone into a group of complete strangers and felt a part of the group right away. Everyone had knitting. I had knitting. They had yarn. I had yarn. They had needles and so did I. There was all kinds of knitting: flat, in the round, swatching, a sleeve, socks, a mitten, tanks, cables, a dishcloth and baby/toddler knitting. There were all kinds of needles, metal, wood, circs, dpns, straights. All kinda yarn that I don't remember. Musta been the yarn fumes by that point but it was all good. There were eleven of us today.

Everyone was nice and relaxed and made us newcomers feel welcome and a part of the established group. It was grand. I'm looking forward to going again in two weeks. I worked on the short row heel for SIL's Waving Lace socks. That's one way to make that slog go more quickly. I would start a row and before I knew it I was at the end of the endless row, which suddenly wasn't so endless. Cool!

blogging to: smooth jazz on Watercolors on XM radio

reading: Death is Semisweet by Lou Jane Temple

Parting Shot: "If you hate to knit, why bless you, don't; follow you're secret heart and take up something else. But if you start out knitting with enjoyment, you will probably continue in this pleasant path." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman in Knitting Without Tears
taken from Knit Bits 2006 calendar, Tuesday, May 23

Friday, August 24, 2007

Crimeanitley

One the one hand things are balancing out. And they are on the other hand, too, mostly. Thank goodness I put all those bothersome place markers in. I haven't lost any for long even when I took the whole thing out into the backyard just now to take a photo of it and when I came back inside one of the place markers was gone — even though I have 50 of this same size — I went back outside to try and find it, it was right there where I took the photo) and I haven't screwed up my first big lace project (in frosty pink acrylic, no less) so bad that it couldn't be fixed (except for the first time). So all in all, We're (the Royal, We're) having a good time with the lace baby blanket. All the same, it IS a wee bit irritating when as careful as I'm trying to be I still mess up. Oh, well.

No ingenious name yet either. I need a project Thesaurus. I could enter all the words and phrases that describe the project, click on a button, and it would spit out a half a dozen wonderful names.

But the knitting (and purling) goes on. I'm about 4 rows away from completing the second 12 row pattern repeat. I'm glad the WS side row is plain
— just purling, except for the first and last stitch. I will probably say this a lot. It gives me a chance to double check the knit side and fix things easily.

I am pleased with how it looks. It looks like all the unblocked lace I've ever seen. I. Am. Thrilled! All the holes seem to be in their proper places and all non-holes seem to be right, too. Because there are so many stitches it some how doesn't feel strange to be knitting flat. Most of the time it looks and feels like I'm knitting in the round except at the ends.

I told myself that I would do one pattern repeat on the blanket then one on the socks but you can see that that's already been thrown by the wayside. Maybe, two on the blanket and one on the socks. I'll let ya know how that one turns out.

blogging to: classic music on the radio

reading: Camelback Falls by Jon Talton

Parting Shot: "Present fears are less than horrible imaginings." ~ William Shakespeare
Quote Source

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Post #350

I / We are still dazzled by the DSL. Things. Load So. Fast. Click and it's there. On the screen. No Waiting. I downloaded a bunch of pdf patterns from Knitter's Review a little bit ago and BAM! right there on the desktop. No progress bar. Just click and it's an icon on my desktop. All my Socknitters and Spindlers e-mail, just bing, bing, bing, bing. Flowed right onto the screen. I haven't yet been able to look at all my blog reads with the DSL yet but the ones I've been to, WoW! I think I'm gonna like it here!

I worked a lot today on the pink blanket. No clever name yet. Sorry. I've got one 12 row pattern repeat almost completed. Thank goodness for stitch markers at every 12 stitch repeat. Since I was counting and counting and counting if I messed up the error would have to be in those 12 stitches. I did a couple of times, but as I knew right where it had to be it was pretty easy to find and fix. The pattern is starting to show now but it's still mostly a wad of frosty pink yarn.

I swung by my LYS and picked up six more skeins of the pink yarn. I need eight but six is all they had. I ordered the other two. Not too worried about dye lots. The six match the one I have. The other two should be in next week. If they look a lot different (I'll take one that I have for comparison) I can space them out. I'm not too worried.
Does anyone else have hummingbird feeders? We've now got three up. One in the back, which after 10am gets sun all day, and two on a double Bo Peep pole (ours is black, but you get the idea) in front where we can see them from our computers in our home office. The ones in front are in shade from about 3pm on. I think that's why they're so busy. I filled all three feeders up Tuesday AM and by this evening, the two in front were empty. The one in the back is still half full. They're swarming. They feed. They play grab-ass. They chase one another. They "hide" in the white birch or the crabapple. They zoom about up and down and around chasing one another. I don't see how they keep from running into each other or anything else. While I was standing in the embrace of the birch taking photos one hovered about two feet in front of my face looking at me for about five seconds. I tried to slowly bring the camera up to my face but it flew off. They will often hover at our sitting down face level outside the window and look in on us. These are a couple of the photos I took this afternoon. They are quick little buggers! I hope to get more and better shots in the coming days.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Bad Faith by
Aimée and David Thurlo

Parting Shot: "I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Quote Source

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Only a LIttle Obsessive

I've started the Leafy Baby Blanket. That sounds weird. Like the baby's leafy. But Baby Leafy Blanket is worse — Baby's Leafy Blanket??? Maybe, Baby Blanket, Leafy. Hmmm. I'll keep trying.

I decided to go with the larger needles. I've already completely frogged three 194 stitch rows, cast back on and am currently on row two . . . again. (EEK! I sound like that annoying woman blathering on in that irritating weight loss add that's on TV constantly.) This is the largest project I've done in YEARS!! The most I usually ever cast on for socks is 97 stitches for SIL or Sweetie. But it's going pretty good, considering.

I'm on my 6mm long rosewood circs. Haven't used them in — well, I don't know when. Anyway, they're workin' out OK. I like being able to slip all the stitches to the cable when I'm not knitting on it. I've got black O-ring place markers for every pattern repeat (12 stitches) so I won't come up long or short and the end of 194 stitches The first time I had them every two stitch repeats (24 stitches) and evidently that wasn't good enough. So. When I do the WS purl row I check my count at every place marker.

At least this one is not one of those triangular shawls that starts with one, two or three stitches and ends up with 975 stitches on the last row!! Since I've jumped onto the lace bandwagon like well, wool on sheep, there is probably one of those in my future. But for now this is a simple yet challenging enough knit to keep me lace happy. One of my concerns (other than the binding off in a wavy manner) is that this IS acrylic and it's not as forgiving as wool. I am heartened by the fact that the swatches don't look horrible, even unblocked. The larger one is a little more uneven in tension but I think that the larger guage just encourages the stitches to act up. Also, I think a lot of that will settle down in time.

No photos yet. It looks like two rows of knitting scrunched up on a circ. You can't even see any pattern yet
just a wad of frosty pink yarn.

We're now on DSL. Setting it up was pretty easy. Setting up new e-mail addresses for Sweetie and me was also fairly effortless. Changing around my e-mail client (Thunderbird) so I could send and get my e-mail was a whole 'nother issue. But it's done. The e-mail addy for the blog will stay the same.

Things do load a whole lot quicker! And WoW! It sure loads photos into Blogger fast! I've been scaling the images down to 1,500 x 1,125 pixels so they'll upload faster on dial-up. Usually it would take Blogger 3-4 minutes to upload a scaled down photo. I just loaded the unscaled photo (2,848 x 2,136 pixels) and it took less than 20 seconds to load. Whoa!! Often it would take so long to upload the unscaled photos that the photo thingy would bomb out and I'd have to start all over
— which is why I started scaling them down. Cool.

Usually I would sit and knit and read blogs and when something took a while to load, it was OK because I would knit while the page loaded. But now . . . . I guess we'll see.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Bad Faith by Aimée and David Thurlo

Parting Shot: "Life is complex: it has real and imaginary parts." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Monday, August 20, 2007

Knitting — With Pictures

As promised, this will be the Photo Edition. First up, my "new" project. The Leaf Panel baby blanket. Hopefully, by the time this thing is knit I'll have a catchier name. Anyway, the green photo is from the pattern book. I'm not changing anything . . . except for maybe the guage. I knit a swatch [scroll down] on 6mm needles (the larger swatch) and a swatch on 4mm needles (the smaller swatch). Both swatches are unblocked. I figure that 99.9% of the time this blanket will be tossed in the washer and then the drier and handed back to the child. I do intend to block it for it's presentation. The yarn in the swatch photo looks creamy or yellow but it's the frosty pink in the photo of the skein.

Both swatches are three, 12 stitch repeats wide and three 12 pattern rows tall. I figured that would give me a good idea of what's what. I like both swatches for different reasons. The larger swatch feels lighter and airer, somehow softer and, of course, would be faster to knit. I think the pattern looks better in the smaller swatch and it makes a denser, warmer fabric. I'm going to live with both for a couple of days but already I'm leaning toward the larger swatch. The Mom wanted
a delicate pink blanket with holes in it, so she can put her fingers in it and hold on to it as she get older. I think the larger swatch looks more delicate and the lace holes are bigger. And I don't think she intends to use it as a blanket-blanket.

I'll figure out based on one of the two swatches, how many stitch repeats to cast on, and about how many pattern repeats it'll take to make a three foot (or so) square blanket. I think that'll be big enough, don't you? From what I've seen when I've Googled baby blanket size, (yes, really) is that most of them are smaller than three foot square. But I think I'd rather have bigger than smaller for shrinkage. Anyway, then I'll calculate my yarn requirements and go from there. The smaller swatch weighs in at 7 grams and the larger one at 9 grams. The larger swatch measures 7¼" wide and 6" long at it's longest edge. The smaller one is 6" wide and 4½" long.

Each swatch only took a couple of hours. Each row of the pattern is easy to memorize and each even row is purled except for the first and last stitch. The only problem I can see now, is how to create the wavy edge of the cast on row on the cast off row. If anyone has any ideas . . . . Meanwhile, I think I'll experiment with the larger swatch. I can pick out the bind off row to live stitches and see what happens.

The cotton sock yarn that IS cotton yarn but is not technically SOCK yarn. This is a yarn my LYS just started to carry. It's by Knit One Crochet Too and it's called Ty-Dy. For me, any yarn is a potential sock yarn. The colorway I have is called Blue Pansy. The color's better on their website than it is in my photo. It's 100% cotton and feels very soft. There are 100 grams / 196 yards per skein. I got two. It's hand wash and dry flat which is just like all my wool socks so no bother there. I can see a wonderfully thick, warm pair of cotton socks for winter . . . eventually!

While she was here SIL tried on the sock that's farthest along. The foot on that one is three full 20 round pattern repeats — only 10 rounds (half a patten repeat) shorter than the leg. It's ready for the toe decreases!!. I like the look of the Mermaid socks pattern that goes all the way to the end of the toes. Like the Mermaid sock pattern I did the lace pattern all the away around the foot instead of just on the top / instep. I'm going to keep going and try to adapt Lucy Neatby's Mermaid sock toe pattern to this one. Both have YO's and straight knitting so I think I'll be able to keep the pattern until the last few rounds like she did.

As for the mate, I'm still slogging along on the short row heel. I'm putting stitches back on now (finally!) so every row gets longer and longer! This part's just a plod for me. Longer and longer each time BUT nearer and nearer the end with each completed row. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Terror on Tuesday by Ann Purser

Parting Shot: "If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" ~ Will Rogers
Quote Source

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And a Good Time Was Had By All

Don't fall off your bar stools. A positive post with very little whining. I can't quit all at once!!! What's brought this on?? Well, a little yarn shopping (yea!!!), a break in the weather (yippee!!), and a dual birthday celebration. (Can I a get an Amen!?)

There will be photos in the next post. Previously, on Warrior Knitter's blog: . . . . whine about the weather . . . more whining . . . and well, some more whining about the weather . . . Thursday morning I'm going to finish birthday shopping for SIL . . . and let's finish off here with one last whiinnneee.

SIL & BIL left a few hours ago. They came out to celebrate SIL's birthday and to give me my birthday gifts. A few days before my birthday SIL fell and busted up her ankle, but good (screws, plates, physical therapy, the whole nine yards) so we posponed that celebration. She is just now getting to where she's wearing an "air cast" and walking very slowly and carefully. For long excursions she uses a wheel chair and a walker is still handy. We went out to dinner at a local steak house (like buttah!) then came back to our house for presents and birthday cake.

Among other things, I got a gift card to Borders and a gift cert to a LYS. SIL liked all of her gifts. For their 35th anniversary which was last week, we got them a digital photo frame. So it wouldn't start out empty, we also got a 512 SD memory card and loaded several of my sailing and sky photos that have been on this blog and some that haven't . . . yet. They were very pleased and surprised and liked all the photos. I've e-mailed SIL some of my photos but they hadn't seen very many. They don't know about this blog. I was glad they liked them. We left plenty of room on the memory card for their photos. It will be interesting to see if they load any of their photos on it.

Let's see, the recent trip to the LYS. I chose the pattern that I'm going to do for the pink baby blanket and I found the yarn. Photos, next post. I was too busy earlier ~ cleaning ~ and now I'm too lazy to take them and besides, it's dark now. The pattern is from a stitch dictionary 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Heaton. There knit patterns are on one page and the facing page has a crochet pattern. The pattern is called Leafy Panels (page 24 for those who have the book). I love stitch dictionaries. I don't necessarily NEED a pattern for the garment, such as a "sock" pattern. But I like to at least start with a stitch pattern — some of the time, anyway.

The yarn is washable. It's 50% acrylic microfiber and 50% nylon. It's a very soft pink. It's pink like lemon yellow is yellow. That kind of pink. Photos, next post! PROMISE!! It's Plymouth "DreamBaby D.K." 50 gr skeins, 183 yards per skein and the guage is US6 = 5½ sts/in. I'm even going to . . . . S W A T C H !!! I picked up only one skein so I'll go back and get more once I do some basic calculations and try to figure out scientifically how much yarn I need. In the end, I guarantee it'll be by the SWAG* method. I'll just keep knitting until I run out of yarn or time. It'll be fine. As The Harlot says, "It's only knitting."

Next time on Warrior Knitter's blog: "I also picked up some new sock yarn that's not really sock yarn but I plan to make a pair of socks out of it, anyway."

blogging to: Audio Visions on XM Radio

reading: Terror on Tuesday by Ann Purser

Parting Shot: "And if you give us any more trouble, I shall visit you in the small hours and put a bat up your nightdress." ~ Basil Fawlty
Quote Source

* Scientific Wild Assed Guess

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Demotivated

Yeah, more whining about the heat! This year for some reason the heat is really getting to me. Last year it was the same heat (105°F./41°C.) for a longer period and it didn't bother me as much. This year it just sucks the life out of me to do almost anything outside. By 8am in the sunshine you can feel the promise of the heat to come. By 9am, it's no longer a promise. It's hot. 90°F. / 32°C. At 9am! By that time it's just barely late enough to fire up the lawn mower to mow the tops off the weeds. We have nice green areas around all the trees and bushes. The rest of the lawn is a lovely, crunchy brown.

I posted these two photos to remind myself that it WILL get cooler!! The top one is looking down my street after a February snowfall. The second one; junipers on the south side of the house after the same snowfall. Think cool thoughts! February is only six months away!!

I have been knitting on the Waving Lace socks. I'm halfway done with the heel on the second sock and I've got about half the foot done on the first sock, the one that's been sent away twice for fittings. I want to try to have the foot pretty much up to where I think my SIL's toes might start on one of the socks by Saturday afternoon so she can try it on.

I've marked several lacy pattern possibilities for the pink baby blanket that I'm going to knit for SIL's friend's daughter. Thursday morning I'm going to finish birthday shopping for SIL. While I'm out I'll stop by my LYS and scope out the soft pink washable yarn possibilities

Otherwise, not much going on here. Sweetie and I are mostly staying inside, hiding from the heat. A lot of reading, knitting, TV/DVD watching and some surfing is being accomplished. I'm cleaning here and there and getting ready for SIL & BIL's visit. We're going out for dinner so no meal worries.

blogging to: Audio Visions on XM radio

reading: Beautiful Rage by Sandra Scoppettone

Parting Shot: Nautical Daffinition ~ Hazard: 1) Any boat over two feet in length. 2) Skipper of any such craft. 3) Any body of water. 4) Any body of land within 100 yards of any body of water.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It's In the Bag

It's still too hot. Temps are over 100°F/38°C. We are so spoiled with the air conditioning everywhere except between the car and inside. But life goes on.

Sweetie and I did a little birthday shopping for SIL & BIL's upcoming birthdays today. Hers is the 15th and his is the 28th of August. They are both coming over the 18th, next Saturday for dinner. If it's in or near the 100's as it has been we'll go out to a local steakhouse for dinner. If it's in the low 90's, I'll cook. So far the long range forecast puts the temps in the low 90's but we'll see.

We picked up a gift cert for SIL at her favorite needlepoint shop. BIL got one at a fly fishing shop and a gift card at Bass Pro.

It's at the fly fishing shop that I found my new knitting accessory. A fly fisherperson would use it to hold flies. I'm using it for coilless safety pins, several sizes of those o-ring type place markers, my fancier stitch markers, other stitch markers, my fiberglass tape measure, my gull wing cable needle, my wooden straight cable needle, a tube of tapestry needles and a leather quilting thimble. The large area has little dividers but I took all those out.

There were several styles and this one was the best fit for me.


A few days ago we stopped by Office Depot so Sweetie could fax something and I was pawing through the bins of school supplies and I found a pencil pouch that does a great job of corralling my extra needles, scissors, several pencils, a highlighter and a couple of small crochet hooks.

Both of these great things fit into my traveling knitting bag which is a Green Mountain Knitting Bag. Note the nautical motif. I've had this bag for about a year and a half and it's a great bag. The inside has three large pockets on one side which I use to store several 3x5 note cards. I use those to keep notes on my current projects. A pocket also holds my "free" plastic needle sizer and guage thingy from Vogue Knitting that I got when I subscribed. I've also got several band-aids and a small square pull-out tape measure in one of the other pockets.

As you can see there is plenty of room for my SIP, an extra ball of yarn,the small clipboard where I keep my notes and the pattern, and my two new "notions" holders.

I didn't intend to turn this into a "What's in Your Knitting Bag" post but as there's not much else going on around here, this is what ya get today.

It IS fun getting new toys to make your hobby easier. I've been looki
ng for a new tool / notions bag for a long time. I didn't know exactly what I wanted but I knew it when I saw it.

As for real knitting, there is a little of that. I'm doing the short row heel on the second sock and I'm about a quarter of the way done. I'm not trying to have them done by Saturday. Since SIL forgot to measure how far I need to knit to get to her toes I'll have to have her try them on when she's here. I do plan to have them done by the time we go to her house for BIL's birthday at the end of the month.

We also stopped by the spice store, Penzey's. I needed to restock a couple of things and maybe try some new things. I restocked with a .7 oz bottle of Italian Herb mix, and small containers of French thyme, (for when I forget to get the fresh stuff at the store) granulated garlic powder, (same thing as the thyme) Oriental Canadian mustard powder (hot) (I put a bit of this in my tuna salad) and a 1 lb bag of cinnamon sugar. I also came away with a small container of beef roast seasoning which I'm going to try in hamburgers . . . and maybe rub on a pot roast when it cools off . . . someday. All of my spices are Penzey spices. When I cook I open my spice drawer, start pulling jars out and sprinkling.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Murder on Monday by Ann Purser

Parting Shot: "If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment." ~ unknown
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Is This Thing Still On?

It. Is. So. Hot.

So far it's been a cooler summer overall than it was last year. Last summer, we had day after day after day of temps near or over 100°F./ 38°C. from mid-July through early September. And last July our air conditioner quit right in the middle of the heat wave and Wasn't That Fun! Today is the first day that we are officially to be over 100°F./38°C. Still. Too. Damn. Hot. Of course, this past winter I was whining about how it was Too. Damn. Cold.

We've been sailing and swimming. I love swimming in a large body of water. The water is more liquid, somehow. We've only been sailing and swimming in the evenings when there's wind. And there has been plenty of that.

And I discovered, quite by accident, that I can take interesting flash photos at night on Spray. I've also learned how to take short videos with sound with my camera. I don't intend to upload any. Right now, the videos look like something from The Blair Witch project!

And there has also been knitting. On a whim the other day, I took my US19 needles with me to the boat. The photo below is about 50' of 3/8" line.
I "cast on" 10 stitches using the cable cast on & knit some stockinette stitch. Once you get the hang of the big "yarn" and how to manipulate the needles around it, it's not too bad. You have to deal with each stitch on it's own. There is no automatic to this knitting.

I've also been doing some "regular" knitting. I've got just over 1½ pattern repeats complete on the second sock. The leg is 2½ 20 round pattern repeats so I'm well on my way there. I also got the first sock back from SIL and she is thrilled. The sock fits great. Yippee!!

I think I've narrowed down SIL's stole / scarf possibilities to the tried and true Feather and Fan pattern or some version thereof. When I went back through the patterns I'd marked, at least three were outright Feather and Fan patterns ( wasn't paying any attention to the pattern names the first time around) and two more were Feather and Fan patterns called something else, like, Anna's Mom's Cousin's shawl.

But first I have another commission that I volunteered for. The daughter of one of SIL's dearest buds is having her first baby in December and the daughter wants SIL to knit her a baby blanket. SIL used to knit many many many moons ago. SIL was going to give it a shot but I suggested that since I'm getting into lace knitting anyhow, I'd knit the blanket if someone else paid for the yarn. So I've been looking at lace patterns for a whole different project. I still want to keep it simple and washable as the daughter wants a delicate pink blanket with holes in it, so she can put her fingers in it and hold on to it as she get older. All Righty then.

I've got some ideas which I'll share with SIL when she comes in Sunday to celebrate her birthday. Nice segue, huh? We've swung into the whole house cleaning frenzy again. I think that's why I like having them over a couple of times a year. It forces me to deep clean the house.

Today we're shampooing the living / dining room carpet. I've got a Kirby vacuum that we bought from a door to door salesperson a year or so after we bought the house. Normally, we don't do this but it IS a great vacuum. We bought the rug shampoo kit at the same time. The rug looks great where I've been.

Let's see what else has been going on behind your back. We're getting DSL later this month for the same price as we've been paying for dial-up. We've been on dial-up since we discovered "the internets". As we use Linux, Slackware in particular, anytime we get a DSL sales call just saying that 5 letter word sends them running and no calls for months. This time the geek on the other end knew his stuff, well some anyway. Evidently, you just need Windows to set it up initially. Sweetie's been onto his Linux sites, specifically Linux Questions, and that has been confirmed. My computer, Xena, and both of our laptops are dual boot. Which means when they initially power up we get a menu (see the photo) that lets us choose which Operating System we want. Naturally, everything defaults to Linux. But there are those few times when having Windows does come in handy, like for work. Anyway, Sweetie is pretty sure he can make this work so DSL here we come.

blogging to: The Blues Naturally ~ a NorthSound CD

reading: Too Darn Hot by Sandra Scoppettone (how appropriate!)

Parting Shot: "Hot? I saw a bunch of winos passing around a Dilly Bar!" ~ unknown
Quote Source

Friday, August 3, 2007

Searchin'

Cape Cod colorway

I've started searching in earnest for a lacy scarf/stole pattern for the lace weight 100% merino wool I bought at the sidewalk sale a few weeks ago. I'm going to make one for me and one for my SIL. I haven't decided who gets what colorway. This is going to start as a side project to whatever socks I'm workin' on at the time but it may take over or frogged and abandoned all together to be taken up another time.

I've searched for sock patterns, both already written and just a stitch pattern but this is a S E A R C H. In a few years, maybe, I'll have a stock of favorite lace patterns and a stash of those I want to knit but I don't have that now. I've not yet gone out and purchased any strictly "lace" books but I've always been a big fan of stitchionaries. I've got several and I've been going through them. I think of myself as a pretty good knitter with a few lace patterns under my, uh, feet so I'm also looking any pattern than has a lace motif. I figure I can adapt one if I find I like it.

I'm not looking to knit Franklin's breathtaking Four Wishes for Abigail christening shawl or Stephanie's wondrous Wedding Shawl here. I also don't want something for SIL that has to be blocked within an inch of it's life every time she washes it or it gets wet in the rain and I don't really want to do that either, maybe. So several patterns are not even considered right out of the gate. I also want more of a scarf / stole / wrap so the triangular shawls are sorta out although I could start little with the smallest amount of yarn and when I run out of yarn at the wide top it's done. I also don't have enough yarn for a large circular shawl so those are also not in the running.

That still leaves an huge amount of work out there to be considered. And that's not even going into just the stitch patterns I've seen. So I've been having fun, trolling the net and dipping into my stash of knitting books, marking time and possible patterns. No outstanding favorites yet. The good thing is that since I have two wraps to knit, I only have to narrow it down to two patterns instead of one.

Once I've been through everything, I'll start through again and begin eliminating. Since I don't have a time when this has to be finished I intend to take my time and enjoy the process. This is gonna be fun!

blogging to: Greatest Radio Hits by Bruce Hornsby

reading: Perish Twice by Robert B Parker

Parting Shot: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." ~ unknown
Quote Source
Rose Garden Colorway

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries

'Nuff said.

We went to the county fair this evening. I took some photos of sheep and llamas and reclined cows / cattle but they didn't turn out as well as I'd like so you get birds and a marina photo instead. This is why our bird bath always needs cleaning and refilling a couple of times a day.

We were going to have fair food for dinner but it was hot and so humid that we decided not to. We strolled through the exhibit building with the fiber arts and looked at the knitting. All the knitters were 12 or under. It was all quite good. Every one of them admitted "straying" from the pattern in their write-up. True knitters, all.

We picked up two large bottles of local honey and went off to our favorite BBQ restaurant for dinner. We'd been smelling grilled sausages and potatoes the whole time at the fair so it HAD to be BBQ. After dinner we sauntered up the street and wandered into our favorite cookware store. Hence the post title. We also came away with dark chocolate covered coffee beans and cocoa dusted almonds along with a colbalt blue pan. (The link is fussy. You may have to click on it a couple of times to get it to go.)

Knitting is coming along on the second Waving Lace sock. I've got the cuff and one pattern repeat (20 rounds) done on the leg. Not much else going on here.

There's been no wind to sail in but it's supposed to be good this weekend, over 10mph. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

blogging to: Valley in the Clouds by David Arkenstone

reading: How to Succeed in Murder by Margaret Dumas

Parting Shot: "
Life is complex: it has real and imaginary parts." ~ unknown
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