Monday, October 29, 2007

TGIF = Toes Go In First

Yeah, it's not Friday and I don't do toe up socks, yet. So actually, the toes of my socks get knit last. However, they do go into the socks first! And finally, it's all about the toes on the last Waving Lace sock. I started these socks way back at the end of June. JUNE! for Heaven's Sakes!

Well, I did stop and knit up the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket and fiddle around with the guess-ets on the gray cabled sweater. And then when I need to have non-fiddly knitting I knit on the Lorna's Laces Simple socks. But, at last, I'm on the toe decreases. Now these are — in pattern —
so the decreases will take more time. But gees.

Anyway, once these are put to bed, I can concentrate on the guess-ets and the seaming up of the Heavenly Sweater. I don't want to leave that until I have two sweaters to seam.

And Tuesday, I'm going to devote at least a hour or more to spindle spinning. Maybe I'll even have something I like to show for it. I'll never get any good unless I practice.

And even though once the Waving Lace socks are done, I'm going to cast on for my next socks, they will take a back seat to other projects. Socks aren't going to be my main focus, at least for now. I'll also still have a easy ribbed travel sock, too. As I've blogged about, I'm going to do a sweater for me and a lace afghan for us. Any socks I do for anyone else, such as Sweetie or SIL will be back seat. It will be interesting to see where my knitting takes me now. Even though I want to throw the spinning in there, it's still all about the knitting for me.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: The Stolen Gods by Jake Page

Parting Shot: "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." ~ George Bernard Shaw
Quote Source

Saturday, October 27, 2007

22 Years Ago — Then and Now

Twenty-two years ago this weekend we became sailors. It was daylight savings time weekend back in 1985 that we took delivery of our first sailboat, a 22' Laguna that we eventually named Relentless. The dealer hauled it out to the lake for us, showed us out to step (raise) the mast, attach the boom (the horizontal spar) and bend on the sails. We launched her, had a great sail and even anchored for lunch. Later we practiced docking. That was the hardest part of the whole sailing thing, the docking, still is. And here we are all those years later, still sailors. So what did we do to celebrate 22 years of Sail??

We bought a new outboard motor. The one that was on Spray, was a 9.9HP Mariner. It ran OK but it didn't run great. It ran forwards OK but backwards? Not very well. Never had and never would. The nature of the beast. And backwards IS important because that's how you stop a boat. Since it has no brakes, to stop or slow a boat, you run the motor in reverse.

Back when we had, Relentless, we had a Chrysler 7.5HP Saildrive outboard as her auxiliary. The "saildrive" part meant that it was geared lower to provide more torque and had a large prop that was pitched to provide almost as much power going backward as going forward.

The sailboat we have is a displacement hull. It's not meant to plane like a ski boat. It's meant to push the water out of it's way, not ride on top of the water (plane). We just need enough power to provide movement (forward or backward) so we can steer in whatever winds there may be as we motor. So a motor with a lot of torque (power in the low range) and a large prop is a great combo.

We ended up getting a high thrust 9.9HP four-stroke Yamaha outboard. It runs forward great and it runs backwards great!

Some knitting is getting accomplished. Really! Although from two days ago, you'd never notice. Just a couple of rounds on each sock. Since we're going to visit friends to give them our old outboard Sunday, I'll get lots of knitting (and listening and talking) in.

blogging to: Retro Cocktail Hour (It's the Halloween special!)

reading: She Smiled Sweetly by Mary-Ann Tirone-Smith

Parting Shot: "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." ~ Kenneth Grahame from Wind in The Willows
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Morning, Glory.

Sweetie's back at work from a wonderful two-week stay-at-home vacation. It's always tough going back to work when you've had such a wonderful, restful vacation where you can do what you want when you want. No schedules to keep. Ah, the life.

I've been uploading more stuff to Raverly. I've been visiting the way back machine. Revisiting OLD knits. Why put that old stuff up there? Since I have a relatively short knitting life, only four years, it's really not that much stuff, and it's kind of fun revisiting the old knits. Especially the ones I gave away. And the very first socks I EVER knit. One of the big socks was my first sock. The two smaller socks are my second and third socks and the other big sock is my sixth sock. I knit the first sock and in my first case of socknitting knitters denial, I kept knitting. I cast on for the next two socks and made them smaller. When my SIL came to visit I dragged out the big sock and she happened to try it on. It wasn't perfect, but it fit well enough that I knit the mate and gave them to her. Both socks are both gone, but not forgotten. You never forget your first, right?

I've been working SIL's Waving Lace socks. The foot is half done. I've also been knitting away on the guess-ets. I haven't tried them on yet. I can see that more knitters denial is in my immediate future. Hmmm

Friday, I'm meeting up with SIL and the mother of the recipient of the frosty pink baby blanket. We're lunching at Andre's in Overland Park. Should be a yummy lunch and DESSERT!

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: She Smiled Sweetly by Mary-Ann Tirone-Smith

Parting Shot: "Plants are like people: they're all different and a little bit strange." ~ John Kehoe
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Someday

Someday . . .

I'm going to Rhinebeck. (reading all the wonderful posts and looking at all the terrific photos is great but . . . .

I'm going to really learn how to weave and spin with a spindle AND a wheel and someday get a nice wheel or two and a loom. (reading Rhinebeck posts, again . . . sigh)

At this point all I have is a cheapo spindle but I have spun yarn that I like with it. It was only a couple of inches, but I liked it and was very pleased with myself. I just need to do more. I ought to set aside one day a week as my spinning day, don't do any knitting, just spin. I won't get any better at it unless I practice.

I'm going to knit a hand-dyed, handspun . . . something, anything. (see above)

I've never been to a wool festival and reading all the posts and hearing all the stories and seeing photos of bloggers I "know" . . . it would be so great to meet them. I'd rather hang out with a buncha cool knitters (cool knitter: any one who does actually knit) than with A-list Hollywoods anytime, unless of course, they knit . . . but wait . . . they're already in the first group.

I'll finish my assigned UFO's and can start on NEW stuff!

I'm making good progress with the guess-ets. I've cast on for both of them, on two separate 4mm needles. When they both get to 9 pattern rows, I'm going to use some icky acrylic, base it all together try the whole thing on again. Alas, no progress has been made on the Waving Lace socks. The Heavenly sweater's still in the closet. I have to finish these three things and make a good faith start on the vest. I'm not including the vest to finish because it's going to take some serious work picking apart the front that I "stitched" together. I don't want to fix the shoulders until I "fix" that.

I'll get all my stuff on Raverly.

I'll knit beautiful lace shawls. Doesn't have to be handspun, but Gee Golly!

I'll knit sweaters that fit & flatter. I don't have to design sweaters, I just want the two I have and any future ones to fit and fit well. That will take a flattering pattern to begin with, good yarn and not settling.

Rhinebeck even though I've never been, inspires me and sounds a bit like a knitting New Year — even if I'm calling them . . . . Someday.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Double Dead by Terry Hoover

Parting Shot: "...Every master and pilot prided himself on knowing exactly how much way his ship was making. He knew the ship, he considered the wind, he watched the sails, he watched the water. In fact, it was a matter which just could not be explained to the landsman. A good sailor knew his ship, and that was all." ~ E. G. R. Taylor
Quote Source

Sunday, October 21, 2007

They Cost How Much????

I've been playing around on Raverly again; adding more projects of the FO kind. I need to figure out how to put a clickable Raverly button in my side bar.

I have all the things I've knit this year, last year and the year before (2007, 2006, 2005) in there now. Most have photos but there are a few that don't. As anal about keeping track of things as I thought I was, on some things I wasn't keeping enough track. On several projects there are photos of the WIP but but not the FO. I didn't have a digital camera until this year but before that I scanned the item on my HP scanner, mostly for this blog. But I'm amazed how often I never scanned in the finished item. Before the blog, I took photos with a disposable camera. I still have one of those around here so maybe some of the earlier FO's are on that.

One of the things I keep track of on my geeky spreadsheet is based on the cost of the yarn and the weight of the knitted item, how much did the finished item cost. I put that in the comment section of each thing on Raverly. Also, on items that I didn't give away, I put how it's wearing. If I was looking at someone's FO, for the yarn and maybe the pattern, it would be nice to know how well it wears. Did the yarn pill? Did it shrink? And the cost thing's kind of interesting, just by itself.

So far the most expensive item I've knit has been a scarf. A. Scarf. It's not on Raverly, yet. It's two hanks of Trendsetter Segue ribbon yarn in the High Tide colorway. It was $26 a hank and I used both of them. It's a beautiful garter stitch scarf, but $50! For A Scarf!??!! This was at the very beginning socks for me. I was still a scarf fiend. The next most expensive thing I knit was my pink/gray cashmere cabled hat. Thank Goodness the yarn was on sale, but it was still high. It IS cashmere, though. Again, based on the cost of the yarn and the weight of the item, the hat cost $45.26. Next up, at $40 each we have a (tossed in the trash over a year ago) extremely wormy purple chenille scarf and an Anny Blatt scarf kit in pourpre. It's a cloud soft angora and ribbon yarn scarf that I love but it sheds like crazy on my dark wool coat so I only wear it with my denim barn coat.

The most expensive pair of socks I've ever knit, yarn-wise were SIL's Conwy socks from Nancy Bush's book Knitting On The Road. I kept having to go back to my LYS and get more yarn. They cost $42.81 for the pair. Cables eat up a lot of yarn — even tiny sock cables. But they're warm, they look fantastic and intricate and she loves 'em and shows 'em off, so it's all good.

The least expensive thing I ever knit was a cabled gauntlet from alpaca from a pattern I found on The Internets. It's slightly itchy after a while but it only cost $3.74, based on the cost of the yarn and the weight of the item. It's not up on Ravelry yet either. The least expensive pair of socks I've ever knit cost $4.28. They were my second pair of socks and I still wear them. They're just over ankle height, k2,p2 ribbing. I took the ribbing on these all the way down the top of the foot. I remember feeling very daring about that as the pattern I was using said to use only stockinette on the foot for comfort. I remember wondering if I would be able to feel the ribbing when I wore it. The yarn was a light blue Fortissima cotton on sale. LOL! Now I'm taking the pattern all the way around the foot and down to the very ends of the toe!!!

So what does that say about me that the most expensive thing I'd ever knit is a scarf. A pair of socks is the second most expensive thing and the second least expensive thing I'd ever knit.

So far in my knitting life (four years and 1
½ months), I've knit:
  • 7 watch caps (1 frogged to make a different hat- but counted here because it was complete and had been worn when it was frogged, 1 tossed because it was just too wierd)
  • 49 socks or 24½ pair (one Claudia Hand Painted Waving Lace, and one Lorna's laces Simple socks still on the needles and not counted here) ~ as far as I know, all except for the first and third pair are still around)
  • 1 gauntlet
  • 13 scarves (most of these I gave away, so I have no idea if they're still in use)
  • 1 felted purse
  • 2 vests (1 tossed & 1 needing to be fixed)
  • 1 sweater (wore once, then gave away when it shrunk)
blogging to: the sound of the wind and the night outside the open window

reading: Double Dead by Terry Hoover

Parting Shot: “Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Quote Source

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A One And A Two

So I've frogged the first guess-et already and am ready to cast on again, 20 stitches (5 2x2 ribs less). I did the 12 1x1 rib rows and 5 2x2 rib rows and it seemed awfully long. I pinned the guess-et (still on the circ) to one side of the front and the corresponding back and tried the whole thing on. A classic case of guess-et droop so off it came and off it went.

That's how it goes with seat of the pants knitting. At least I figured this out NOW instead of 60 rows down the road. That just means it'll use less of the precioussss yarn and take less time to knit.

Sniff! Sniff! Someone upwind is cooking some that smells wonderful. Sometimes it sucks having neighbors that like to cook outside.

We had a wonderful but very quick sail this afternoon. Quick in the sense that the wind was 20-30 mph! Didn't have any exciting boat heeling where the rub rail is right at the water line. The wind was more flukey, up and down in strength and quick, brief gusts instead of sustained ones. We did have a couple of good down wind runs where we were surfing. That's fun but kinda spooky. You can't see it but you can feel that the boat is different and the water noise is different. Very cool. We're both at home again, worn out and sore.

The trees are just beginning to change here. I read in the paper this morning that it's because we had a very wet spring and a relatively warm fall. Chlorophyll leaves then the weather gets cold. We've had cool days and nights but no cold ones. One frost and the leaves will begin to change big time.

blogging to: Jazz 'Round Midnight by Antonio Carlos Jobim

reading: Double Dead by Terry Hoover

Parting Shot: "It's out there at sea that you are really yourself." ~ Vito Dumas
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Friday, October 19, 2007

It's Alive!!!

After finishing The Frosty Pink Baby Blanket and squashing my laurels flat — by sitting on them a little too firmly, ahem! — I've cast on for . . . GUSSETS!! Yea! Heathered Gray gussets in a defunct ribbon / tape yarn. It's Reynolds Coventry, 70% acrylic and 30% wool. I have five 50 gram balls to do both gussets and finish the collar. If I have enough left after all that to also seam it, then OK. If not, I'll figure something out. But I will seam it and wear it. Well, at least seam it. I can't move on to my reward project unless I finish this. I NEVER said I HAD to WEAR it.

As these two gussets will be easy-peasy ribbing, these will be my carry around projects until they're done. I had to { ( { ( { ( { go back in time } ) } ) } ) } and re-read (more than a few times) how to do the ribbing on this thing so the gusset knitting (I keep wanting to type guess-ets
— there is probably some Freudian thing in there) matches the rest of it. I need to do 12 rows of 1x1 ribbing on 3¼mm needles then switch to 2x2 ribbing on 4mm needles. In the pattern, you're suppose to increase x number of stitches on the last row of the 1x1 ribbing but I'm not going to do that.

Since the only
3¼mm needle I have is currently holding the unfinished collar, I just scooched it up and cast on to one side of it. Once I get 12 rows, I'll switch to the 4mm needle and change to 2x2 ribbing. I thought about doing both gussets at once, but decided against it. They won't get done any faster and I remembered when I did the two sleeves at the same time on this sweater that it took some clear focus every time I picked it up to keep them together, separate but equal.

One good thing I did with the front and back of this sweater, was to put a marker at the beginning and end of each row every time I finished a pattern repeat. That way it would make seaming easier since I just had to match up between each marker each time. I'm also going to do that on these gussets. A bit of a hassle now, but I bet I really appreciate it when it comes time to seam it. I added two stitches to each gusset for selvage and I'm slipping those knitwise, like the heel flap on socks. I'm hoping that will also make seaming easier, since with gussets I have two extra seams.

So one UFO from the depths of the closet, unearthed by Raverly and autumn, is coming back to life.

In other news, I've been taking photos of the stash yarn I don't have photos of for Raverly, so there's some Koigu yarny goodness.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Double Dead by Terry Hoover

Parting Shot: "When you've seen one non-sequitur, the price of tea in China." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Done. Done. Done. And Done.

The Frosty Pink Baby Blanket has been kitchnered, ends woven in, blocked, photographed, e-mailed, Raverlied and now blogged. The only things left are to finish my notes on the project and give it to my SIL to give to her friend to give to her daughter who's having her first baby, a daughter, some time in December. Whew! If I wasn't tired of it before I'm tired of it now. Telling my SIL about it in a lengthy e-mail (with these photos), putting it up on Raverly (with these same photos), and now here. By this time I have my story straight (and, yes, I am stickin' to it).


You always have the most recently updated info on any project, of course. For those not yet on Raverly (you will be assimilated!) here are the stats:

yarn: 6 3/4 skeins of Plymouth DreamBaby DK
pattern: Leaf Panel from 200 Ripple Stiches by Jan Eaton (page 24)
needles: 6mm rosewood circs
size: 44" x 44" blocked ~ 16 12 stitch pattern repeats wide ~ 20 12 row pattern long (10 per half)


Now I'm ready to move on to the next project. I've done a bit on the Waving Lace socks. I'm now over 2" on the foot. Round and Round and Round we go!

I dug out the gray cabled sweater and did some math. I measured and calculated and I know what I have to do for the gussets. All I need to do now is dig out the needles and cast on. I need to make 2 gussets, in a k2, p2 rib. I kinda want to get all fancy-schmancy with some decreases for the waist. I'm going to seat of the pants this and try on as I knit. We'll see how well that goes.

When I get this sweater done (and not just the knitting, seamed, too) and the Heavenly Sweater seamed, I'll feel sufficiently accomplished (and not at all guilty) about buying the yarn for the Great Afghan project (for which I have only some vague ideas of a pattern and colors) and my Nautical sweater (scroll down for the photo) from Louisa Harding's book Modern Classics. Oh, and the Waving Lace socks will have to be done, too. My goal for the socks is to have them done by Thanksgiving. I bet they'll be done by the end of the month or shortly thereafter.

After all that, the only UFO's I will have will be the embarrassing Silk Sari vest, the glove cuffs and an old as hell Broomstick lace afghan I began, maybe 20 years ago. The yarn is such icky, rough acrylic that I will feel no guilt WHATSOEVER if the whole shebang ends up out at the curb come a trash day in the near (or not too far) future. So, maybe that last one's not really a UFO. What's the step below a UFO?

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Secrets on Saturday by Anne Purser

Parting Shot: "The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea." ~ Isak Dinesen
Quote Source

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blocking

Yep! The frosty pink baby blanket is blocking! Whew! That was a job! The blocking board I have is a large piece of that pink foam board cut in half then taped together so the pins won't stick out the other side. Stretched out, the blanket is a wee bit bigger than the board. I solved that problem by turning the corner on one side and one end. Still not happy with the seam, but well, there it is. A lesson learned for the next knit.

I did take some before photos. Tomorrow during the day I'll take some in progress photos.

Tuesday was one of those busy days doing stuff (except for the grocery shopping) you like to do. We had a terrific sail and a great spinnaker set. The take-downs are always fraught with a bit of danger. This is a lightweight sail but very sturdy — an ounce of rip-stop nylon (parachute cloth) weighs just ¾ of an ounce. I don't know how many square inches that is but it's got to be a lot. Coming down there is always the possibility that it could hang up on something and tear. Although it IS rip-stop nylon, it's not kevlar. And, yes, they DO make kevlar sails. Think America's Cup type boats. Anyway, the take down was picture perfect. Within moments of loosing the halyard, Sweetie was over-the-knee deep in red, white and blue fabric on the foredeck. Nice.

Once we were off the water, we cleaned up a bit and headed to a Kansas City Linux Users Group gathering at the main library downtown. I wish they had pictures of the inside of this building on their website. Beautiful. It looks more like a very very very high-end bookstore than a public library. Wood, marble, lamps, glass. WoW! In jeans and a sweater for the meeting I felt really underdressed.

The Linux gathering was OK but I was there for the knitting. Sweetie enjoyed it and I enjoyed the chatter and the knitting. I got about an inch done on the foot of the Waving Lace socks. I know. I'm shocked, too. Next time we go to one of these (in about three weeks) I'm going to wander about the library for a while or maybe the whole time.

Today it rained and stormed all day. I made these wonderful from scratch

Apple Nut Muffins
Makes: 12 muffins or muffies

½ cup chopped nuts (I use black walnuts)
cooking spray, optional
1 egg, beaten to blend, at room temperature
2/3 cup apple juice or milk (I used apple juice)
1/8 tspn ground cloves
1/8 tspn ground allspice
1/8 tspn ground ginger
¼ tspn ground cinnamon
¼ tspn grated nutmeg
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tspn pure vanilla extract (I used double strength)
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used dark brown)
1 tblspn baking powder
½ tspn salt
1 apple, peeled, cored & chopped
cinnamon/sugar mixture, proportioned to taste

In a 10" skillet over medium heat, lightly toast nuts, shaking skillet frequently then set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Grease 12 medium muffin cups, 2 muffie tins or line muffin cups with paper baking cups lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat egg with apple juice or milk, cloves, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, oil & vanilla.

In a small bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder & salt then stir into liquid ingredients just until moistened. Batter will be stiff & lumpy. Stir in nuts & apple.

Fill prepared muffin cups & generously sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.

Bake muffins 20 minutes and muffies 12 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven & let set 5 minutes. Muffins will come out of tins easier & paper liners will peel away easier.


Since I rediscovered my muffie tin, which just makes muffin caps that's the kind of muffins we've been having. These come out wonderfully lumpy from the nuts and apples. Since I love toasted nuts, I've taken to toasting a couple of cups of black walnuts and sliced almonds (separately) then storing them in small sealed containers. That way I have toasted nuts whenever I want without having to stop and toast them. It really brings out the flavor of the nuts.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Secrets on Saturday by Ann Purser

Parting Shot: "Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." ~ Doug Larson
Quote Source

Monday, October 15, 2007

Finished But Not Done

The frosty pink baby blanket halves have been kitchnered together. Now its a fluffy pile of frosty pink knitting. Maybe not the best decision I ever made but based on what I knew at the time (What did I know? and When did I know it?) and what'll happen to it it'll be fine. The knitting is great. I very proud of it and pleased with it. The kitchnering is great even good but the seam (to me) really shows and detracts a bit from the whole piece. But I'm not changing it because I'd have to frog the ENTIRE blanket and start again and it's just not going to happen. So. There. (Crosses arms, sticks out tongue and stamps right foot.)

I plan to lightly hand wash and block it, sometime this week. Before I do that, I'll take the obligatory before blocking, crunched up lace Before photos.

Now I can concentrate on finishing the entire foot and toe of the second Waving Lace sock. I have no idea what happened to the pattern. I figure I'll open a book, move a sofa cushion or look under something and there it'll be, after I'm done with the sock, of course. I'm not good with charts (yet) which is what's in the book so I'd translated it to words, saved it and printed it out. Thank goodness, I'd also transcribed from the scratchy notes scrawled on the back of the printout my in pattern toe decreases sometime before I mislaid it. I've got a fresh printout and I'm ready to start. Once the pair's done I may not wait until Thanksgiving to give both of the projects to my SIL.

We drove up near Waverly, MO to a farm stand we discovered several years ago wandering around on one of our motorcycles. We had a very late freeze this April that I thought was local but turns out was widespread. Anyway, they had few peaches and nuts (walnuts and pecans) this year, and no Braeburn apples, our favorites. They did have Fuji's so that's what we got. I also stocked up on my favorite jams and jellies, two jars of brandied blackberry jelly with the seeds, and a new one this year, amaretto peach jelly. I also picked up a jar of raspberry jam with the seeds for my SIL. She likes all things raspberry.

The trees haven't got with the fall program here yet so no lovely autumnal photos yet.

Tuesday, we plan to get in a little sailing. The weather should be warmer with sunshine and a decent wind. Sweetie discovered a Linux Users Group that meets at the main library in downtown Kansas City so we're going to one of their meetings. I plan to bring both the Waving Lace sock and the Simple sock. If this turns into a monthly or more thing I may get the makings for the Linux Illusion scarf and work on that there.

blogging to: Italia by Chris Botti

reading: McMansion by Justin Scott

Parting Shot: "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." ~ Carl Sagan
Quote Source

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Knit Group Saturday

I had a wonderful time. I brought the frosty pink baby blanket on which by the way, the kitchnering of the two halves is FINALLY going right. I've got 3 pattern repeats done. Egads! What a struggle. Now I've probably cursed it. (sigh!) Anyway, I also showed off the one Waving Lace sock I had done. Thanks all for the great compliments!

Every time I go I remember more names and can match that name to a face. For some strange reason I might not remember your name but I would remember what you were knitting. I was that way when I sold sailboats, too. Folks would come in and I would know what kind of sailboat they had and where they sailed it and what her name was but sometimes I couldn't remember their names. Luckily, folks were so amazed that I remembered their boat they overlooked or didn't mind that I forgot their names.

I've progressed a lot on the Lorna's Laces Simple Sock. It's about 4½" long now. I can sit and chat and drink coffee and listen and knit and not have to pay too much attention to what or how I'm knitting. It's my slow pace project. The socks' for me so it can take months to finish a bit at a time, if necessary.

When I was working this morning on the frosty pink baby blanket, I had one of those Eureka! moments. Instead of doing one kitchner stitch at a time like I do socks, I figured why not do two at a time, both back needle or both front needle stitches at the same time. The knitting is fairly loose, being lace with big needles. That worked out so well that now I'm doing all four kitchner stitches at the same time. With four at a time, it's coming together very quickly. I may get this thing done yet!

blogging to: Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: McMansion by Justin Scott

Parting Shot: "Nihil est—In vita priore ego imperator romanus fui."
translation: "That's nothing—In a previous life I was a Roman Emperor." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Friday, October 12, 2007

How I Spend My Time

As if I needed ANOTHER place on-line to waste spend time learning stuff. Already, I:

  • blog
  • read blogs & surf for new blogs
  • am on Knitters Review
  • prowl Raverly (OMG!!)
  • surf You Tube (ain't DSL grand?!)
Now I've found Library Thing (through Raverly) where you can catalog all the books you own. OMG!!! Winter is coming and the computer puts out heat and the monitor puts out light. I'm glad Sweetie's as much of a geek in this respect as I am.

And I am spending WAY too much time on Raverly. I even started a group, which works like a mini-forum inside Raverly. It's called Sailors. Here's a list of the groups I'm in (so far). A few (not listed here) I've been in and out of already.
  • Knit Lawrence
  • Dolores Devotees [Franklin's Dolores]
  • Capital City Crafters [Topeka, KS]
  • We are fans of Crazy Aunt Purl
  • Linux Knitters and Crocheters
  • Mike Rowe [of Dirty Jobs fame]
  • The Nerdy Knitters Group
  • P3 - Charmed and Knitting [for the TV show Charmed]
  • Sock Knitters
  • Socknitters [I'm on their e-mail list]
  • Yarn Harlot fans
  • Dragonriders of Raverly [fans of the book Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffery]
  • Conservative Knitters
  • Blogging [for those with a blog]
  • Knitting Book talk
  • Yarnographers [folks who photograph their yarn and knitting]
  • Knitters who haven't read Harry Potter anonymous [that would be me]
  • Ravelaholics anonymous [Duh!!]
Have I been knitting much yesterday or today. Ah . . . . . no. But I will. I will. Really.

blogging to: Italia by Chris Botti (just got it today - wonderful mellow trumpet)

reading: Stealing For a Living by Naomi Rand

Parting Shot: "There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." ~ Old Norwegian Adage
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nothing to Say and a Will to Say It

This ever happen to any of you? You're in a writing mood so you fire up Blogger (or whatever) and realize that you really don't have anything to write (or blog) about? So, I'll punt . . . a bit.

Kitchnering this frosty pink baby blanket is kickin' my butt in a major way. Maybe I'll just spend the whole post whining.* I got through 2 or 3 inches just fine, with no problems. I turned it over to admire my work since I'd finally gotten enough done to actually do that* and realized that it was wrong, Wrong, WRONG. Again. I'd put the two right sides together, since that's what you do when you're making a seam, right? Well, it is, unless you're kitchnering, which makes the ridge, underneath on the RIGHT side of the work. So out it came. Sigh.* I've started, again. Hope springs, eternal. Thank God!*

Now that I've used up that bit of news . . . what now? Hmmmm*

Oh, we went sailing Wednesday. Great winds, 8-12 mph for the most part with the high in the upper 60's. We had one spinnaker set before the winds got too high. After a while, we anchored and had lunch. I knit a while and Sweetie futzed around doing little things to Spray. As the frosty pink baby blanket is too cumbersome to travel now, with the #$%&**!! knitchnering situation and all,* I took the Simple Sock and the Waving Lace sock. Good think I had the Simple Sock as a back-up and a book. Somewhere along the way I took the pattern out of my knitting bag for the Waving Lace sock. Why? I have no idea. Note to self: print out the pattern again & put it in the bag.* I got a few rounds done on the Simple sock and a few chapters read before we upped anchor and sailed on.

Looks like I got my groove on . . . keep going.*

There swirls and flocks of seagulls all around on the water and in the air. There were times I felt like we were in an episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins and poor Jim Fowler who always seemed to come out the worst in any animal/human interaction. We'd sail along and clouds of ducks and seagulls would take off ahead of Spray. We could hear the wing beats and the splashings of the ducks' feet on the water as they ran to get airborn. With what looked like hundreds of birds overhead, it was inevitable that Spray (or us) would eventually get a deposit. We did and it missed both of us, but got the spinnaker once and the deck in a couple of places.

Stalled again. Look out the window . . .*

Most of the leaves haven't started to change here yet, but you can see that a lot of the greens are are more yellowy green and there are more shades of green when you look at a line of trees, like along the shore you're sailing past.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Stealing For a Living by Naomi Rand

Parting Shot: "If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." ~ J. C. Raulston
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* inner voice

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Halves and the Halve-Nots

I changed the avatar on here the other day. It's not Xena anymore. It's a favorite photo of Spray. I thought about putting the knitting hands I have on Raverly but I think I'm going to do a sailing one there, also. Stuff like this is cool. It's so easy to change when you decide you want to.


I've been spending my time fussing with kitchnering the two halves of the frosty pink baby blanket together. I've ripped out the same five or six stitches several times. For some reason, I can't keep track of where I am. I think it's because there are many stitches to do (just under 200) and I have such a looooong piece of yarn that by the time I pull it all through and keep it tangle-free (not an easy undertaking) that I forget where I am in the process. I've taken to marking down, each time I do a stitch. At least I'm not getting lost now. Someone remind me of this the next time I get a wild idea like this.

About halfway through the first half, I found that a lot of folks don't have to deal with the points or the putting together of two halves. They do some garter or moss stitch on each end so the wavy edges created by the decreases aren't there. I'll have to keep that in mind for the next project. If I did that I wouldn't be struggling with this kitchner thing now. This is a whole lot different than kitchnering the toe of a sock. Oh, well. Live, knit and learn.

Thanks, Roxie for your offer of small yarn projects for all those bits and pieces. With the sock yarn, I have nebulous plans of making a pair (or more) of wildly-striped socks. With the rest of it, (even more nebulous) maybe a funky scarf or a vest. My own Wild Stuff!

Last night I dragged out the Sari Silk vest I knit a few years ago from Folk Vests. I've worn it twice. It's too big and the way it was knit (sideways) makes it sag even more. In a spate of trying to fix it back then I sewed (or something) the front's together but that just made it worse. Now I'm going to pick the front back open and take up the shoulders. This is one of those projects that I'm going to finish before I start my next two (or three or four) projects.



This photo was taken on a windy day but not as windy as the day we had water pour over the coaming. This photo (above) is how the picture came out — because that's the angle of the camera (and the boat). That brown line in the background is the dam.


This is the same photo, rotated so that the dam in the background is level. This gives you a better idea of the lean angle. The water is just a few inches from the wetting deck. The winch (the black knob looking thing on the raised portion) is on the coaming. We had the boat heeled over so far that time that's what the water flowed over. It wasn't a lot, probably several gallons but it was still a lot of fun. This is how we LOVE to sail.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Stealing for a Living by Naomi Rand

Parting Shot: "Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." ~ Samuel Ullman 1840-1924, Educator, Writer and Poet
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Monday, October 8, 2007

Stashed

I feel like I've passed a milestone and completed a LARGE task. All of my stashed yarn (that I can find) — (even the little bitty stupid short pieces that I don't know WHY I'm keeping because they're too short to make anything with by themselves) are in Raverly. I still need to take photos of the yarns I can't find on line and take photos of the yarns that have photos that I found on-line but aren't very good ones.

All my WIP's and UFO's are also in there. Even the embarrassing loser that I have to un-fix and then fix properly before I wear it. I'm in the process of putting in my FO's. Mostly socks, but some hats and scarves. I'm finding it interesting what I've left out of my project notes and what I put in them. Thank goodness I kept a spreadsheet when I started knitting for real in Sept, 03. I only have a few yarns & projects from before then but everything since then is fairly well documented.

I didn't find any yarn that I forgot I had but I found some sock yarn that was in the wrong place. I also re-organized my whole stash. Mine's not very big so it didn't take that long and doesn't take up much room. By touching it all again I know really what I have. I also realized that most the yarns in my non-sock yarn stash are leftovers. Where as, most of the sock yarn IS stash. You can tell where my knitting focus has been for a long time.

Using the site is pretty intuitive. I haven't really had any problems putting stuff in or figuring out how to do this or that.


OK, on to the current projects. The knitting is done in the frosty pink baby blanket. I decided not to do the extra pattern repeat and to return the untouched skein of yarn. Now I'm in the process of kitchnering the two sides together. I think it'll look great, but it's going to be a long and tedious process. When I get tired of fussing with that I'll work on the Waving Lace socks.

reading: Stealing for a Living by Naomi Rand

blogging to: night sounds outside the open window

Parting Shot: "If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent. ~ Isaac Newton
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Friday, October 5, 2007

NOT Wasting Time

As much as I am enjoying Raverly, I enjoy knitting more. Though, I STILL need to find a way to type and knit at the same time. Anyway, I'm zooming along on the frosty pink baby blanket. The finish is within striking distance. I have only about 5 or 6 rows to go before I have as many rows knit on the second half as on the first half. Notice I didn't say "before I was done." I have about two and a half skeins of this loverly yarn left and so I'm going to add one more pattern repeat on each side to chew a little more of it up.

When it's done and blocking I plan to do a simple watch-type cap for the baby as she's due in December and can maybe make use of a hat for a few months. And maybe a pair of pink booty's or something. I don't know, something quick and easy. I just know that for now anyway, I will have no more use for this yarn once I'm done with the baby stuff. I suppose I could take the untouched skein back. I'll see when it's all said and done.

I've also made a half-arsed promise to myself that I wouldn't start any new projects until I cleared a couple of really old UFO's that have been kickin' around for awhile. There's the Heavenly sweater from earlier this year last seen looking like this
. I just need to seam it up. And then there's the gray cabled sweater which needs a pair of side gussets knit up, the collar finished and then blocked and seamed. I want to do that so I can wear it this winter. I'll get me fired up for the Nautical Sweater I want to do.

I wasn't counting the foot and toe of the Waving Lace sock, which also needs to be done. The Simple Sock is not in the running as it's going to be my on the go stop-gap project.

I am having a good time on Raverly. Even if you don't want to DO Raverly, I would recommend that you join up just to have access to all the goodies. I've got all my sock yarn stash up (I think I found it all) and am ready to start on the other stash. It's more strange. As I log it, I'll post some of the more weird stuff in there. I've only got on FO on there so far but all my WIP's are up.

There are a lot of groups, like mini-forums for just about anything you could imagine. No Xena one, and no sailing one either. I'll have to think about starting one or both of those. There is a Charmed one, one for Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs guy, a Linux one, no Windows one, though. Hmmm. There are over 1,300 groups. You can search by type, by location, or just browse through all of them.

You can also search for people, by location, by tags, or just browse through them all, letter by letter. Some folks have their real names and photos. Other have a real name (maybe) but something else for their avatar or no avatar.
Although I didn't enter, I was inspired by Roxie's knitting hands contest and took a photo of my own knitting hands for my avatar. I think I'm going to substitute some kind of sailing photo, though. Everyone there already knows I knit! And you really should visit Roxie's blog as she's begun to post photos of the knitting hands.

I imagine that once I've put everything on Raverly I want, it'll be like browsing blogs or KR, a valuable knitting resource.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Leaving Cecil Street by Diane McKinney Whetstone

Parting Shot: "This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons." ~ unknown
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Amen! Alleluia!

I'm on Raverly. I'm Warrior Knitter. I was a bit worried that someone would snatch my handle but I lucked out. Whew! And I also now have a Warrior Knitter Flicker account. It never ends.

Anyway, my brain is whirling. There is So. Much. Stuff. There's your own stuff to put in as you get to it (and you can put in a lot of stuff) and then there's looking at everyone else's stuff.

I put in some stuff then I got distracted looking at other people's stuff. Then I put in some more stuff and got distracted . . . AGAIN! It's a vicious circle but a very fun one.

One very, very bad thing about Raverly. You start to pull out all some yarn and a project or three and some FO's and a couple of books and I haven't t even got to the needles yet and then another really old WIP and already your Sweetie's lookin' a bit shocked at the Knitting Stuff that is just coming out of nowhere. Even I'm a bit dismayed. Yikes! And I don't have that much. (sigh)

blogging to: tap, tap tapping of my computer keys

reading: Zero To The Bone by Robert Eversz

Parting Shot: "He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen! and Hallelujah!" ~ from You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon

While I Wait for My Raverly Invite . . . .

Sweetie and I had a great sail Sunday. It was windy as all get-out. We started out around 9am with wind solidly in the 25 mph range with gusts 30-35. We even reefed the mainsail and we rarely reef. Since we sail on an inland lake and Spray, our Precision 23, is so well balanced and easy to sail that normally it's just not necessary [for us]. When we came back in, only a few hours later, the wind was in the 30 mph or higher range with gusts 35-40 mph which put it at a Force 7 on the Beaufort Scale. Spray could have withstood it but the waves were so high (swells over four feet) that it was difficult to tack. Spray would stall before she got halfway then fall back to where she was. If we had a second reef point in the mainsail and /or a storm jib (a very small headsail, about a quarter or a third the size of our working jib (the front sail)) we might have stayed out longer.

At one point Spray heeled (leaned) over so far that lake water poured over the cockpit coamings into the cockpit. That was fun!! Then there was the time Sweetie was on the low side sitting on the coaming for some reason (I don't remember why) and Spray heeled way over. His weight down there didn't help things any. He arched his back against the life line and pulled his derrière up off the coaming so it wouldn't get wet. I was on the high side, laughing so hard I couldn't let the mainsail out (which would have flattened angle of heel) or turn up into the wind (which would have backwinded the sails some and done the same thing). And yes, he did end up with a dampish but not totally soaked bum. He's promised to retaliate.

And yes, I forgot the camera, again. However, I don't think I would have had it out. Too much of a chance of it getting wet with all the spray or getting knocked about. I've got to remember to bring the disposable and put it on board for times like these.

As far as knitting goes, I've got over six of the ten pattern repeats done (and am closing in on the seventh) on the frosty pink baby blanket. I've also just attached another skein. It's such a fun knit. I've got two full skeins of yarn left. When the second half is done and I see how big the blanket is and how much yarn is left, I may add another pattern repeat to each side.

blogging to: the sounds of the outside through the open window

reading: Zero To The Bone by Robert Eversz

Parting Shot: "Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~ Mark Twain
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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Anticipation

Raverly:
* You signed up on July 31, 2007
* You are #22,127 on the list.
* 326 people are ahead of you in line.
* 16 356 people are behind you in line.
* 56% of the list has been invited so far.

A real post is coming . . . really!

Parting Shot: "We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway." ~ Anticipation by Carly Simon