Saturday, September 29, 2007

Present and Future Knitting

Raverly:
* You signed up on July 31, 2007
* You are #22,127 on the list.
* 2,040 people are ahead of you in line.
* 15,271 people are behind you in line.
* 53% of the list has been invited so far.

I'm kind of excited. I should get my invite sometime this coming week. I've looked at the screen shots a bit and read other folks postings about it. I'm kind of a geek about organizing. Should be interesting. Since I'm mostly a lone but not lonely knitter having this kind of connection of with other similarly inclined folks is very nice. That's what I love about reading knitting blogs and Knitters Review and being on three knitting e-mail lists. Not strictly necessary, but very nice. I would have soldiered on on my own but The Internets make it much easier, more interesting and more fun. I don't intend to neglect this blog or my knitting.

I don't regret missing last week's knit group as the sailing was great fun, but I did miss the camaraderie. Unfortunately, it looks like I might also miss next week's gathering. Shoot. I'll have to see what works out.

Since we got DSL a little over a month ago, we've re-discovered You Tube. I may finally learn how to do a more complicated cast-on, such as the long tail. I'm a visual learner and it's more difficult for me to learn from a printed source only, no matter how detailed the directions. There always seems to be a step left out. I usually get it [eventually] but it takes a while.

Well, I've made some fair knitting progress and it's all been on the frosty pink baby blanket. I'm just past halfway on the second half. I've also been looking at lacy afghan patterns. I'm thinking I'm going to stay with a pattern that has you purl on the wrong side rows like the one I'm doing now. Despite all the recent lace projects, I'm still very much a lace newbie. I want this to be a knit I can do in front of the TV. Having the WS all purls means it'll also be easier to fix.

I love the weather this time of year. Cool nights and warm days with no air conditioning and no furnace. All the windows open all day and depending on the overnight low, maybe open all night, too. The photo up top, is our front yard, heavy with morning dew before I cut it.

blogging to: night sounds outside the open window

reading: Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson

Parting Shot: "Do not wait; the time will never be just right." ~ Napoleon Hill, author
Quote Source

Thursday, September 27, 2007

In Sync and in Kilter

I treated myself to a morning out of the house; excellent coffee and a superb blueberry muffin at a local coffee shop, a visit to a local garden center and finally the library. I felt out of sync with the rest of the world. I leisurely sipped coffee, nibbled on my muffin and read while others were busily to-ing and fro-ing in and out of the coffee shop and the parking lot. Talking on cell phones, pecking at laptops and getting things "to go."

At the garden center, I "needed" two low house plants to replace one that had died and the one that I repotted to a larger pot. I ended up with two maiden hair ferns, a Silver Dollar (scroll down to the fifth one ~ Adiantum Peruvianum & click on the photo) and a Adiantum Raddianum Fragrantissimum (right below the one above), a gold dust dracaena (I wanted one with pink spots but they didn't have any, maybe next time), a Pachira money tree with the braided stem, and a some kind of variegated philodendron which I just found out trying to find a decent photo on-line is toxic to pets. We don't have any pets or kids around so that's OK. I had fun picking out the plants and then find new pots for the two maiden hair ferns.

I also picked up two six-packs of yellow pansys to replace the sun-struck white vinca in the front planters. It was relaxing, taking my time, mulling over plant then pot selections. Other folks dashing in, making a quick selection then darting out again. Maybe they just knew what they wanted and I didn't.

While cruising to the library via side streets, some old brick, I poked along when there was no one be
hind me, aware of the neighborhood's sights and sounds as I motored through. I realized that all morning I'd been in sync with me. I was in kilter. Moving at my pace, doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it and how I wanted to do it.

The bluebird photo is from a week ago. They came, they drank and bathed in shifts, they flew off. The hawk is from this morning. He/She landed on the edge of the birdbath and checked out the yard. While I was trying to stealthily maneuver around to get a better / closer photo, it flew off. As often as we see it, it'll be back.

blogging to: Hallelujah! Seminal Recordings 1946-1950 by André Previn

reading: Surrogate Evil by David and Aim
ée Thurlo

Parting Shot: "Only take the time.
From the helter skelter.
Every day you find.
Everything's in kilter.
You don't need a reason.
Let the day go on and on." ~ from Wild Child by Enya

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just a Quick Update

Ravelry:
* You signed up on July 31, 2007
* You are #22,127 on the list.
* 4,928 people are ahead of you in line.
* 13,412 people are behind you in line.
* 48% of the list has been invited so far

I'm getting closer and closer. I love to organize things and this sounds like it's going to be fun. According to the Ravelry blog, they're letting in 500-600 folks a day now.

The frosty pink baby blanket is still coming along. I've got 2 pattern repeats done on the second half. The first half has a total of ten pattern repeats. The Lorna's Laces Simple Sock is now about 2" long. I'm going to set aside some time tomorrow (maybe) and work on the Waving Lace sock. I think I've got one round done on the foot.

I haven't taken any photos in a long time, a couple of weeks now so the one up there is from a sail way back in July.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: The Irish Cottage Murder by Diecy Deere

Parting Shot: "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop" ~ Confucius, Philosopher
Quote Source

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sometimes, You Really CAN Go Home Again.

A few weeks ago, I wrote how we re-connected with an old friend we hadn't seen in 15 years. We decided to run a few errands in town then drive out to see him and his brother. I took my knitting, the frosty pink baby blanket and the simple sock. In the past we'd drop by and spend hours and hours talking, usually just the four of us. That's exactly what we did today. It's like there hadn't been 15 year break in the conversation.

We sat around in the shade and talked, like we always did. Well, they all talked and I mostly listened, which is also what I did 15 years ago, except now I knit while I listen. I got a lot of knitting done. To the point where I was tired of knitting on the simple sock and I picked up the frosty pink baby blanket and finally quit knitting altogether.

Today was very unusual for us. We go to the boat and sail and hang out by ourselves and we hang out at home by ourselves. We spend most of the time by ourselves. So it was very different for us to go visiting and spend from noon to 7pm at someone's house. Visiting. Normally, we head out as soon as we feel we've satisfied our social obligations. Our excuse is that we have a hour's drive ahead of us and and Sweetie has to work the next day. See, I told you we were weird hermits.

Other than the fact that we did have a 60 minute drive home and Sweetie really does have to work tomorrow, we would have happily stayed several more hours, just talking. We're meeting up again in a few weeks to talk (and knit) some more.

blogging to: Fourplay X by Bob James, Nathan East, Larry Carlton, Harvey Mason

reading: The Irish Cottage Murder by Diecy Deere

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

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The World Is Too Much with Us*

Which is why we had a grand sail today. The temperature was in the mid 70's F. / 20's C. and the wind was around 10-15 mph / 16-24 kph when we set out around 11am. It felt like we hadn't sailed in a long time. It has been a long time since we sailed in the mid part of the day, maybe a couple of months. The light is so different from late afternoon / early evening. And I forgot to bring the camera.

We had a wonderful spinnaker set and even jibbed it (changed direction) a couple of times, which can be tricky. The wind was kind of fluky, up and down and sometimes circled us around almost 180°. The breeze was cool, the water sparkled in the sun and there was even a Thistle race going on. There were three 470's out in what I think was a "unofficial" race.

Question: What's two sailboats on a lake?
Answer: A race.

Since we opted to go sailing, I missed my knit group today. Not too worried because once we pull the boat, I'll have all winter. Days like today on the water are not to be missed if you don't have to.

I've already got one pattern repeat (12 rows) done on the second half of the frosty pink baby blanket. I just keep chuggin' along.

I can hardly believe that at 8pm it's dark already. Sunset is now around 7:15 cdt. Sunday is the autumnal equinox, 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark, relatively. And September's 2/3's over. August was sooo long and in contrast September is flyin' by. Maybe it's the cooler temperatures. When I went into a local department store last week, I was stunned to see Christmas trees up already. And a house a block or so up the street already had Halloween decorations up in the front yard. I'm still coming to terms with Labor Day being over. Sheesh!

We plan to sail again Sunday and I'll remember to bring the camera . . . I hope. I can also see that our life is even more boring than usual and that's OK with me.

* from The World Is Too Much With Us; Late and Soon by William Wordsworth

blogging to: The Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: Down By the Riverside by Jackie Lynn

Parting Shot: "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. In-Between." ~ The Danny Kaye Show
Quote Source

Friday, September 21, 2007

And So It Goes

The frosty pink blanket that is. I'm done with the first half and have cast on for the second half. And like football and basketball and any game that has time outs, the first half lasted a month. I'm hoping the second half goes at least as smoothly.

But the mate to the first Waving Lace sock hasn't gone anywhere — other than moved around from room to room a couple of times — does that count as "working" on it? I guess I'll have to apply the same technique that I used to finish the first one. I'll be fine once I pick it up and actually knit on it because I do like the knitting and the yarn, again. Weird, how that happens.

Thanks to my offhand remark in my last post about subtle ocean colors I have settled on the color for the afghan. The more I thought about it tones of blues with maybe a little green there would be great colors. So now that that's out of the way, I only have to decide on the yarn and the pattern. Sometime next week, I plan to cruise my LYS for yarn inspiration and stay away from the lace books. I'll let you know that that last part works out. Heh. My library's got sock books, even some of The Yarn Harlot's books, but no lace books. What's up with that?

Up top is a photo of the hawk that hangs out in our birdbath once in a while. He/She doesn't seem to drink or bathe in it but uses it as a lookout to watch the bird feeders which are around 20 feet behind her/him.

blogging to: Ain't But a Few of Us Left by Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Grady Tate

reading: Down By the Riverside by Jackie Lynn

Parting Shot: "Never enough time, unless you're serving it." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Can See Clearly Now — or Maybe Not

Literally! I cleaned all the windows, inside and out today with the tried and true vinegar and water mixture and newspaper. The windows look great — all shiny and streak-free. I'm never able to do that with commercial cleaners, even the "streak-free" ones. You don't realize how dirty they are until you clean 'em. I'm a bit sore but after a soaky bath and some Tylenol I feel a lot better. Ever notice how when you clean you get dirty? Well, at least I do. Dirt Transfer or something.

So to reward myself, I sat down to knit some more on the frosty pink baby blanket and watch a couple hours of Charmed. (In it's own way, it's as addicting as Xena). Unblocked and slightly stretched the blanket's about 20" long. As I'm (now) going for a 4' length when I reach 24" I'm going to transfer it to a smaller circ and cast on for the other side. As I still can't think of any way of get the same wavy cast on edge on the cast off edge, I'll kitchener the two sides together. I think folks would notice that both edges aren't the same before they'll notice the seam. Anyway, that's my plan and I'm stickin' too it.

I figure with the leftover yarn I can do a hat or little socks and/or maybe something else. I can't imagine that I'll need or want this yarn for anything else. But it will probably live in my stash until . . . well . . . until.

Thanks POPT for your reassurance on the Waving Lace sock. And I agree about the Plymouth Encore. I'm just wishing I could come across a nice DK weight superwash cashmere in a lovely subtle hand painted ocean colorway (like the subtle Koigu sock yarns) for $3.25 for a 500 yard hank.

*

*

*

*

OK, maybe I shouldn't have taken the
Tylenol with a very weak Pepsi and Bacardi Limon in a hot bath with scented bubble bath and candles while listening to new age music.

*

*

*

It would make a nice afghan, though.



listening to: classical music on the radio

reading: Tracking Bear by Aimée & David Thurlo

Parting Shot: "You are here. But you are not all there." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Short Sock? and The Future

As King Mongkut of Siam or as most of us know him from the musical The King and I as Yul Brenner says, "This is a puzzlement." I finished one of the Waving Lace socks this afternoon but I think it's too short. The foot just looks short. I had SIL try it on when I saw her over Labor Day weekend and it was ready for the toe decreaes. I think I did the "correct" amount of toe decreases. A gradual decrease over either 18 or 23 rounds, depending on which set of notes you want to believe. Ahem.

It doesn't look off-kilter, does it? I just made Sweetie try it on and it's a little short for him but his feet are longer than his sister's. I know this because I used the length of his feet as model for one of her socks and it was an inch or so too long. Based on THAT I think I'm OK. But the foot still looks short to me.
  • I think part of it is the short row heel. It's a huge damn heel and takes up over 2" on the bottom of the foot. Your eye wants to start the foot where the heel stitches stop and that also makes the foot look smaller.
  • As the pattern goes all the way around the foot the sock not only stretches more widthwise but lengthwise, too. Stockinette stitch is not all that stretchy.
I'm so pleased that I was able to figure out the toe deceases in pattern. That's where my round tracking got screwed up. I kept better notes on my scratchy pattern paper, which I'm transferring to my permanent pattern notes for this sock. I know I would forget to mark down a round on my pattern card now and then.

Well, anyway, one sock is complete. I got the foot and toe to do on the mate so I'm good to go. The toe decreases on the second sock will be a lot easier because I've already been there.

I'm still mulling over what I want to do when these last two WIP are finished. I know I want to do an afghan for me / us / the house. That can be my loooooog term project. Surprisingly, I like having the frosty pink baby blanket to knit on. I have a great basket that I tote it around in from room to room. And I've decided I'm not going to get the yarn for the sweater until I finish the gray cabled sweater. Oh, and somewhere in there I want to do a shawl/stole thing with the lace weight I got this summer.

So my immediate knitting future is set. A pair of socks for either Sweetie or me, an afghan for us, a sweater for me and a stole / scarf for either me or SIL.

The socks: the sock yarn I already have (duh!) and it's just a matter of selecting the yarn (from my stash) and the pattern (also from my stash) but I bet it will be wool and some kind of lace! I want this to be a no pressure knit.

The sweater: I may go back to this nautical looking number from Louisa Harding's book Modern Classics but we'll see.

The afghan: probably some kind of simple lace on 4mm circs so it's not too airy. But what kind of yarn? Wool so I have to handwash and line dry the thing? Maybe not. A super wash wool? Hmmm, a possibility but cost is a factor here. A soft acrylic? I would consider that because I can toss it in the washer and drier and the yarn would be cheaper as it's gonna take a lotta yarn. I want the afghan to be useable not just for show like the Absolutely Fabulous Afghan Kits out there. They are beautiful but maybe not so much for actually using, watching TV under, eating popcorn or salsa and chips over and occasionally getting trampled underfoot. And then there's the whole color thing, one color or multiple and already I'm overwhelmed.

And the shawl / stole thing. I already have the yarn. I've downloaded lots of simple lace shawl / stole/ scarf patterns. I only have about 400 yards of yarn so not a forever project. I can get started on this while I ponder my afghan choices.

blogging to: the sounds of the hummingbirds chittering away outside

reading: Tracking Bear by Aimée & David Thurlo

Parting Shot: "When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." ~ John M. Richardson, Jr.
Quote Source

Monday, September 17, 2007

It Could Happen To You

I never thought I could be one of those knitters. But more and more I am. I think I'm burning out on the sock thing or maybe just singed a bit. I find I'm having to push myself into knitting on SIL's Waving Lace socks. Or it could be that I'm at a thinking stage in the one sock and I want both socks to be more of a mindless lace knit. It's an easy pattern and although I've got to look to see what the next stitch pattern is for each round once I've knit the first one I'm good for the whole round.

But I've changed the pattern a bit. I'm on the toe decreases on one of the socks. I like the way the Mermaid socks have a pattern all round the foot and all the way down to the end of the toes. I decided to do the Waving Lace socks that way. Since the pattern's not written that way, I'm having to Make It So. No biggie, but it's not mindless, as I'm writing and making the toe decrease pattern up as I knit each round. And I have to pay attention.

It's goin' pretty well and I've done 20 rounds and it looks good but I want to be done with at least one of these socks. It feels like they've dragged on forever. Having the frosty pink baby blanket is not helping. The half hour thing (knitting the first half an hour on one of the socks every time I have a block of uninterrupted knitting time) is workin' OK. All is not completely lost. Once I pick up the sock, figure out where I am and begin to knit, I tend to stick with it a lot longer than 30 minutes.

When I'm done with the frosty pink baby blanket and SIL's socks I'm definitely casting on for a sweater, finish up my gray cabled sweater, or something else. Just not socks. This may just be a purl ridge in my socknitter's round but I've not been feeling as much sock love as I used to for some time now. Having socks as the background / backup project for a while may be just the thing.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Tracking Bear by Aimée & David Thurlo

Parting Shot: "The watering of a garden requires as much judgement as the seasoning of a soup." ~ Helena Rutherford Ely
Quote Source

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dodged a Bullet

I had to go to my LYS today to pick up the last two skeins of frosty pink yarn for the frosty pink baby blanket. While I was there I came thisclose to getting a lace book. Two things slowed me down enough to Stop. The. Insanity — at least for a while.
  • I'd bought all that sock yarn in Omaha, NE just a few days ago.
  • They had several books and I didn't want to take the time (right then) to go though each book and determine which book I wanted first. I realize that if this lace thing keeps up, I will probably eventually own most of them like I own a LOT of sock books (only 11 and that's not counting all the sock patterns in magazines and the not just sock books and ones I found on The Internets and saved).
Lace books are becoming what new sock books were and still are! (GROAN!) I hope not but I think my fate is sealed. I also realize that there was no reason other than the large Mastercard bill not to buy ALL the lace books at once, right there. But somehow that would have diluted the experience of each book. Besides anticipation and research is part of the fun. One of these days, I'll drop by my LYS when I have time to sit at the table and page though ALL or at least some of the books. I may need to do lots and lots of research here.

Now to the yarn souvenirs. There were two yarn stores within blocks of each other in Omaha, NE. I didn't spend a lot of time in either store as Sweetie was waiting in the car. Our first stop was Personal Threads Boutique. It was stuffed to the gills with yarn. They indeed had an huge selection of Koigu sock yarn. H U G E! My LYS carries maybe 15 colorways. They had what looked like every colorway in the fingering and in a thicker Koigu. They had a basket of Koigu sock yarn that was 20% off. I got lucky and got three hanks of Bright Coral. I'm not an orange person. In fact, orange is at the very bottom. It's even below brown. But this yarn is not just orange. It's lots of shades and tones and moods of orange. It makes me think of an orange popsicle, orange sherbet, canteloupe, anything but plain ol' orange. These ought to make one cool pair of socks. I got three hanks so I can make a bright pair for me or my SIL.

The other on sale colorway I took a liking to was called Pasta. Most of the yarn is pasta colored, a pale gold/cream along with some dark gold. It's also got some light gray, dark gray and some dark blue slate. Should make an interesting pair of socks. I got two hanks of that.

The second yarn shop String of Purls was smaller but was in a great shopping area. For us locals, it reminded me of the Prairie Village shopping area in Prairie Village, KS. I liked the atmosphere of String of Purls better. Less yarn but friendlier, somehow. Maybe it was because they had a spacious seating knitting area which was occupied by some knitters. There were more knitters at the second shop. I was the only customer in the first shop.

Anyway, this shop was organized by color like another local shop, Yarn Shop and More in downtown Overland Park, KS so I had to hunt for the sock yarn. Once I figured out where it was it was OK. Ever since Sweetie had decided that the gray cashmere was to be a hat and not socks I'd been on the hunt for sock yarn for him. PLAIN. No girly colors. I found two hanks of PLAIN cream Koigu. Soft and PLAIN. So I got that. I already have a hank and I'll work that in if the dye lot looks different. What he doesn't know he can't complain about. I also fell in like with some Crazy Cotton by Schachenmayr Nomotta. It's 100% mercerized cotton. See? Thinking ahead to next summer's cotton socks. This has a wonderful forest green, a bright purple, a dusty rose/light pink, a darker rose and a bright pink. And it's also soft.

blogging to: Jazz 'Round Midnight by Antonio Carlos Jobim

reading: Fear on Friday by Ann Purser

Parting Shot: "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." ~ J. R. R. Tolkien
Quote Source

Friday, September 14, 2007

How Do You Say It

I had a post written but it wasn't right. I wrote the post Wednesday afternoon after we got back from Offutt AFB. Feet propped on the air conditioning unit (which was off), the screenless window wide open to the view of the Missouri River, warm sunlight pouring in along with a cool breeze and the laptop propped on the lap desk on my lap. I wrote but it didn't feel right.

What do you say to folks about these things? Only someone who was there back then could really know and truly understand what went on today.

I listened to the guys talk. I saw countless reunions of guys who last saw each other in less than favorable circumstances and conditions and never expected to see each other or anyone else from there ever again. Back then it literally WAS life and death every day, or at least a couple of times a week. These were and are stoic guys. A few hugs, lots of slaps on the back and even more hearty and heartfelt handshakes. But somehow no one was embarrassed when wet eyes were dried.

What made this even more intense is that since they were all in the Security Service with top clearances they didn't think they'd ever be able to talk about any of it — ever. Even the name Combat Apple was classified. And now here they all are, 40 years later and they can and do and are. The stories aren't tales of daring and fearlessness in combat situations but of everyday — even though their everyday included two in-flight refuelings and 18 hour flights. Back then they were either getting ready to go on mission, on a mission or recovering from a mission.

It was an honor being around those guys. To me they're Jim and Sam, Mike and Joe but to them they can still see each other as Colonel Jim, Brigadier General Sam, Captain Mike and Staff Sargent Joe. The respect is there, not because of the rank and title, but because of the man and the Major General, a
Colonel back then who brought them all together in the first place.


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

Despite my best intentions, I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done. The only project that made it out of the knitting bag was the frosty pink blanket and I only forwarded that project by a few rows. I do have updated photos of the blanket and the two Waving Lace socks for SIL. I did get some sock yarn stash enhancement though which I'll save for next time.


blogging to: classical music on the radio


reading: Fear on Friday by Ann Purser



Parting Shot: "Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun! (Give 'er the gun hey!)
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one hell of a roar!*
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We're Back


Had a great time. We got back earlier today but I'm still too tired to think or post much. We stayed up too late, ate too much, talked some and listened even more. These are views of the Missouri River from our hotel room. I'll do a proper post in the next day or so or the next day. As promised I even have updated photos the frosty pink baby blanket and both the Wave Lace socks for SIL. In addition to the reunion we also visited TWO yarn shops. Photos of my "new" yarn and all, too.


reading: A Whole New Life by Betsy Thornton

Parting Shot: "We Can Handle It"
Words I saw on one of the patches on the flight suits of several men and women at Offutt AFB.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-Six




R E M E M B E R




Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some of This ~ A Little of That

I watched part of the Woody Allen movie Love and Death this evening. I'd forgotten how funny and yet how strange it was. I like the Russian music in the film.

That has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than I got a lot of knitting done on the frosty pink baby blanket while watching it. I'm going to try to remember to get some updated photos of WIP Monday.

Sweetie's on vacation this week. Tuesday we're off to Council Bluffs, IA / Omaha, NE for the Combat Apple reunion. It's about three hours north of us so not much traveling. While we're in the area, I plan to visit a couple of yarn shops before coming home Thursday. We're taking a laptop but I don't know how much time I'll have to blog. I hope to get a lot of knitting done listening to the guys chat and reminisce. I'm taking all four WIP (both Waving Lace socks, the Blanket and the Simple Sock) but all except the Simple Sock will be confined to our room.

Sweetie's immediate boss flew in today (Sunday) from Austin, TX to cover for him this coming week. He took us to dinner which was very nice of him and much appreciated. Monday, late afternoon, if the wind is decent (which the weather channel says it will be) we're going to take him sailing. He's never been. When we get back in town on Thursday, our plan is to take him to dinner then sailing again (if he liked it the first time).

Most of our hummingbirds are now gone. Only a few today instead of the swarms of the past couple of weeks. We're going to keep the feeders up for another couple of weeks to catch the stragglers. Lately, a hawk has been perching on our birdbath. Sweetie and have both seen it a couple of times. I'm trying to get a photo.


With the cooler weather we've been enjoying having the windows open and no air conditioning. Hopefully, we're done with that for the year and it'll be a good two months or so before we have to turn the heat on.

blogging to: Jazz 'Round Midnight by Antonio Carlos Jobim

reading: A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton

Parting Shot:
Sonja: "You were my one great love."
Boris: "Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm dead."
Sonja: "What's it like?"
Boris: "You know the chicken at Tresky's Restaurant? It's worse."
Quote Source

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Knit Group Saturday

I attended my 2nd knit afternoon at a local coffee shop today. I had a terrific time. I'm still learning names and faces and projects. Although that last one may not be such a good idea as they'll change from week to week! I recognized some faces and remembered a couple of projects from last time. One of the women (I forgot her name) but she knit Mystery Stole 3 from . . . . alpaca something, I think . . . I don't remember what. But I do remember that it was beautiful and so very soft. Yes, she actually let us fondle it. It was like holding a cloud it was so light and airy. I have lace envy.

I prattled on a bit about the frosty pink baby blanket and was encouraged to bring it to show next time. Such an amazing range of talent there. I took my Simple Sock today. I'd cast on and done two rounds. The first round after the cast on is so strange, no pattern established so you can't look at the stitch in front of you and see where you are. Also the cast on stitches sit oddly on the needle so I don't like to leave a new project in the middle of the first round. And the dpns are kind of wonky until you get a couple of rounds on them to hole them properly. As you can see the Simple Sock and I and the group got along fabulously.

I also made good progress on the much neglected of late Waving Lace socks for SIL. I need to get you an updated photo. I'm working on the toe on one and I finally got the short row heel finished on the other sock. When I have a couple hours of knit time, I'm going to try to devote the first half hour or so of it to these socks until they're done. I still like them and like the pattern but they have a soft deadline and the blanket has a hard one.

The Simple Socks are great conversation, mindless knitting socks. Frankly, although I love the yarn and the way they're turning out, they're kind boring to knit after the the lace knitting. No k2tog, no yo no ssk. Just knit and purl. NEVER thought I would ever say that. I went back to a simple sock recipe after the Conwy socks and never thought they were boring. Hmmmm. Well, I did knit two pair right together, same yarn, same pattern, even the same color so maybe I was ready for some simple after that.

This afternoon Sweetie updated the Operating System on my computer. I'm now sporting Slackware 12 which won't look any different from where you're sitting. But I can now hear the internet, and it sees the card reader for the camera and the MP3 player. Unfortunately, every time this happens I forget to save / backup something and it's gone. Last time, it was a bunch of old e-mails that I'd been saving for some reason. This time I forgot to export all my internet bookmarks. I had them from the last time, but I just got through updating and reorganizing them. Oh, well.

blogging to: Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton

Parting Shot: "Connection reset by Aboriginal with wire cutters" ~ unknown
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Friday, September 7, 2007

Simple Knit Sock Started

Thank you for your wonderful compliments and comments on my photos and the frosty pink baby blanket. I have to credit the photos to the camera and the subjects. I've never been able to take photos like this with any camera I've ever had and I'm still learning. Digital does make it easier because I'm not afraid to take lots of photos in the hopes of getting a few good ones. Thanks for the positive reinforcement.

The frosty pink baby blanket gets longer every single day. It's now over 12" long and I'm almost done with the seventh pattern repeat. As I mentioned earlier, I'm into the third skein of yarn. It's also wider than three foot but well, things happen, ya know! Instead of 36" wide it's more like 45" wide. Whoops! This is going to be a frosty pink baby afghan!! Good thing I'm not makin' a sweater here.

Does anyone
else fall in love with whatever yarn they've just wound or cast on with? I sure do. I wound one of the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn hanks in the Mt Creek colorway this morning and WoW! I can't wait to see what the colorway does with the ribbing I've decided on.
p2, k4, p2, k2.
Groundbreaking, huh? The colorway looks so jewel-like when it's wound. I never would have guessed from the hank. This simple knit sock is going to be so cool.

Mostly, except for once in a while, I'm a serial monogamous knitter. One project at a time, one sock at a time, one after another. We shall not speak of the 2½ (don't make me go there) UFO's as being UFO's they're not active projects. They. don't. count. So, currently on the needles, I have (in order of starting them)
  • two Waving Lace socks for SIL
  • frosty pink baby blanket afghan
  • simple knitting sock (as yet unnamed)
Four projects. Luckily only one has a hard deadline, the blanket. The baby is due in mid-December and I want to have it done so I can give it to SIL at Thanksgiving so she can pass it on to the Mom-to-be in plenty of time. If I hadn't got distracted by the blanket I would have had SIL's socks done in the two weeks between her birthday and BIL's birthday. But I didn't. Besides:
  1. It's too hot to wear wool socks now.
  2. The sock wouldn't fit over her injured foot as it's still too swollen.
I do plan / intend to have the socks done by or before Thanksgiving. But if I don't, there's always Christmas. (sigh). So, one hard deadline and one soft deadline. But I think (hope) I'll be done with the blanket and SIL's socks well before Thanksgiving. (sound of the evil knitting Fate guffawing in the background)

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Dead Clever by Scarlett Thomas

Parting Shot: "Revera linguam Latinam vix cognovi."
translation: I don't really know all that much Latin.
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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Continuation

Everything is continuing. The hummingbirds continue to consume 5-7 full feeders a day. Sometimes I have to fill the front two feeders three times and the one in the back once in the same day. It's amazing to watch them. I've taken a video with my camera (which can take short videos) but I can't get blogger to upload it with it's new video uploader thingy. I'll keep working at that. The most I can count in a slightly blurry photo is 14.

Of course, the frosty pink baby blanket continues on. What to say? It goes. I have (sorta) decided how I'm going to get around the edge problem I have. The cast on edge is slightly wavy and, of course, if I bind off normally, it'll be straight and to me will look . . . odd. So, unless I come up with a different solution, I'm going to knit half the length I want it to be then transfer it to an empty circ. Then I'm going to cast on again and knit the second half of the blanket. As both "middles" will have live stitches, I'll just kitchner them together. There will be a "seam" down the middle but that's OK. As it'll be down the middle and the ends will match, I don't think it'll be that noticeable.

We went sailing Wednesday evening for a couple of hours. The wind was up. The sky would be overcast then clear off then overcast again. The sunset, however, was magnificent. Except for a short period about an hour before sunset we were the only sailboat on the lake. A small daysailer came out for a bit then sailed back in at dusk. It was loverly.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Dead Clever by Scarlett Thomas

Parting Shot: "True joy is a serious thing." ~ Seneca
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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Stop and Smell the Freesias

It's windy this afternoon, cooler and overcast so we'll get to go sailing in awhile. In the mornings I can feel more of fall's nearness. Heck, it's only about two weeks until the Autumnal Equinox. This summer seems very short and very long at the same time.

I finally decided what to do about the the yarn for my simple socks. I'm going to go with my gut . . . which means the Lorna's Laces Shepard Socks Mt Creek colorway, the one with the green in it — and a back-up. The back-up yarn will be the Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in the Painted Iris colorway. That way, if the wool acts up, I can move immediately to the Panda Cotton. I want socks from both, well from ALL the yarn, but these two will do nicely as traveling socks.

Ah, yes, the frosty pink baby blanket. I'm zoom, zoom, zoomin' along on it. I've got 10¾" done and earlier today I began the third skein. Doing this thing with the acrylic isn't so bad. The yarn is soft and easy to work with. The patten is complicated enough to keep me interested and not bored but simple enough to work on while watching TV, reading blogs or knitting in the car. Thank goodness for place markers!!

When I was running errands Tuesday I stopped in at a Dillion's grocery store to pick up packets of the Melissa brand of dried blueberries and dried cranberries. I don't usually shop here as the prices are better at the HyVee but the HyVee doesn't carry the dried fruit I like so I go to the Dillion's. And yes, I do have a point other than where I shop why. When I go to Dillion's I always make a point to stroll through their floral department. They are the only place I've consistently seen Freesia's in bloom. They only have them in the spring and fall but if you ever see any stop and smell the flowers. They are amazing. To me they smell like a flower should — even though Mr Lincoln tea roses are also amazing.

These are Blue Moon freesia's. These are also my favorite color of freesia. Even the name is cool. Anyway, I bought two pots and they tend to follow me to whichever room I'll be in for awhile. They'll last several weeks and I intend to enjoy every sniff.

blogging to: River of Stars by 2002

reading: Dead Clever by Scarlett Thomas

Part
ing Shot: "Perfumes are the feelings of flowers." ~ Heinrich Heine
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Monday, September 3, 2007

Watching From the Corner

  • You signed up on July 31, 2007
  • You are #22127 on the list.
  • 10874 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 8516 people are behind you in line.
  • 36% of the list has been invited so far
So, yeah, that's where I stand on Raverly. That's still a way out but it's better than it was. I think I'm pretty organized in my stash and on “paper.” I have spreadsheets on my stash, projects, books, needles, etc and WP documents on every project — even the two completely frogged ones.

We picked up a new toy today — an MP3 player that holds 250 4 minute songs or 1 gb. Since I was used to a Walkman-like tape cassette player with auto reverse, 250 songs is a lot of music. I like to listen to music when I mow the grass. So now I get / have to load up the thing up with MP3's. That's turning out to be the tricky part. Figuring out how to get the track on the CD to be an MP3. And we have to use Windows, too! Ewww! Sweetie has a piece of software he got with something and we think that's going to work. The MP3 player is a cute little thing, about the size of one of those tiny USB memory sticks but it feels heavier. I also got some new cushy ear buds, too.

I've caught all up on the frosty pink baby blanket frog. Now that I am where I was and beyond and all the crinkly yarn has been used I find that I over-stated the amount of frogging. I frogged 8½ rows. Not the 16 I thought. It really was only 8½ rows (even though it felt like 16). I know what I was thinking when I thought it but now I'm thinking how could I have thought what I was thinking when I thought it! (shakes head and throws hands up in the air)

I've narrowed down the yarn for the mindless socks to four colorways. Three of the yarns are wool and one is the Painted Iris Panda cotton. Two of the three wool choices are Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn which I've never knit with. The third is a STR colorway. The three wool choices all are purple/blue colors.

There's the Lorna's Laces Mt Creek colorway which has aqua, wine, purple and a forest green. I'm really drawn to the forest green in this but it could be because it's a color not found in any of the other two wool choices.

Then we have the Lorna's Laces Fresh Stripe colorway. Only two colors here. Here is is knit up. Now mine may look different, but it gives me an idea.

The STR Romancing the Stone colorway — two runs of dark royal purple, two very short runs of light turquoise, two slightly longer runs of a deep wine and two dusky rose color runs just a little shorter than the purples. This could pool in an icky way like my Seal Rock socks did. It took some fiddling to get the pooling to where I liked it.

Just looking at them all laid out in their hanks I like each one, the discreet colors in each are wonderful but how will they look knit up? I'm going to wind one hank of each of the Lorna's Laces and see what that looks like. I read somewhere that when you wind the yarn, you get a pretty good idea of how it's going to look color-wise knit up. I've found that mostly to be true.

And I'm still mulling over a rib pattern. I looked at the notes from my other ribbed socks and noticed that some of my inspirations came from Nancy's Bush's books. I've done her Madder Rib socks. The cuff ribbing on the Conwy sock I used on a couple of socks. Both of those socks are from her Knitting Vintage Socks book. I also altered (just one stitch) the ribbing on the cuff from the County Socks in Folk Socks. So I'll pull those out this evening and look 'em over. I also remembered that I got the broken rib pattern for Sweetie's dark gray cashmere hat from Charlene Schurch's book Sensational Knitted Socks. I've also got here follow up More Sensational Knitted Socks so I'll check those out, too.

And you know what? I'll probably end up not using any of the patterns I find, but I will be inspired by all of them.

blogging to: Dawn of a New Century by Secret Garden

reading: Dead Clever by Scarlett Thomas

Parting Shot: "Remembering is for those who have forgotten." ~ Chinese proverb
taken from the Slackware fortune I got today. You get a new one every time you boot up.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Blast From the Past

This afternoon we were moments away from pulling out of the driveway to go to SIL & BIL's house for dinner and birthday celebration and a friend we hadn't seen in 15 years pulled into our driveway on that. It's a URal motorcycle made in Russia. That particular model is the Patrol.

It was wonderful seeing him again. It's great to see someone "our age" after a very long time and see that they are and look fit and healthy. And it was a typical motorcycle for him to have. We visited a bit and made loose plans to get together again in a week or so. Sweetie and I reminisced all the way to BIL's about past exploits with him and his brother.

I'm making good progress on the frosty pink baby blanket. I'm not quite up to where I was when I had the problem but it's going along fine and I'm back in the groove. Today was the first time SIL's seen it. She loves it.

I'm still mulling over yarns and simple patterns for my mindless knitting sock. I'm still so relieved I got the blanket back on track. All I want to do is knit on the darned thing now.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Dead Clever by Scarlett Thomas

Parting Shot: "The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." ~ Theodore Rubin, playwright
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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Whew!

It was an epic struggle but it's back on the needles and mostly back on track. It was eight rows down. I tried laddering down to fix it and that didn't work. So I had an idea. If it didn't work I was already screwed, the glue was drying and I was trying to decide about a tattoo.

I'd done this kind of thing before, although not on this scale. An eight row scale. I frogged all the rows at once, stitch by stitch. Frogging and Tinking at the same time. A bit nerve racking as the pile of squiggly yarn kept growing. But I was putting stitches back on a smaller circ and things were progressing. I frogged/tinked to one end. I'd done this part by putting several stitches on a safety pin and I was close to running out of safety pins. Then got out some waste yarn and a tapestry needle. Then I got an even better idea. I began taking the stitches off the safety pins and putting them on a smaller circ. After I put all the stitches I'd already done on the circ I began going toward the other end putting the stitches on the circ as I frogged them. Towards the end, I got so good I even began putting the stitch markers back on. Wish I'd thought of the circ and stitch marker thing earlier. Oh, well.

When I was done I had eight rows (16 if you count knitting one and and purling back) of crinkled yarn. I wound all that back onto the ball and now I'm ready to begin again.

I figured out by studying the stitches which pattern row I'm on. Many of the 12 stitch patterns I did when I started don't have the YO's but I can pick those up as I go. I'm now in the process of painstakingly knitting from the smaller circs to the larger circs, checking to make sure that each 12 stitch repeat is correct.

All in all it wasn't so bad but it could have been worse. I worked over a dark blue tablecloth and with that frosty pink yarn, everything was easy to see. I worked at it off and on all day. I took many breaks when my patience would begin to wear.

And yes, once it's all back on and correct I'm going to put in a life line. I've read somewhere that unwaxed dental floss makes a good life line — better than waste yarn I'm told. It's a pain getting stitches with waste yarn through them back on the needles. I'll try the dental floss and hope I never have to use it. So how often should I put in a new life line? Every 12 row repeat? Two pattern repeats? I guess it depends on how much you want to frog.

The photo is the Anne Schaeffer yarn I picked up yesterday. Here's a link to the Panda Cotton Painted Iris colorway (2nd row, about the middle) that I also got yesterday. As I've got two lace things going, I'm going to cast on with something else and knit a more simple sock pattern for me. Something I can knit on and not have to concentrate, too much. Something I can take that to the Knit Lawrence gatherings and the reunion coming up.

blogging to: the quiet

reading: Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley

Parting Shot: "Miracles can be made, but only by sweating." ~ Giovanni Agnelli, auto executive
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