Thursday, November 29, 2007

Preparations

We're about to get our first bout of pink weather early (2am cst) Saturday morning. Pink is what The Weather Channel does to freezing rain on the weather map. Lovely. Oh, well. I grocery shopped today in anticipation but I think I'm going to hit the store again Friday morning to pick up ingredients for beef stew which I'll make Saturday. I'll also haul a bunch of firewood around to the garage and put it in the back of Mathilda which won't be going anywhere until the streets are if not dry at least not frozen. Should be a great weekend! The first big storm of the season always seems bad. We've got knit group scheduled for Saturday but I'm thinking that's now going to happen, unless we don't get much.

And I have plenty of reading and knitting. I hit the library today so I'm fully stocked up on books ~ for a week or so, anyway. The knitting will last much longer. I haven't achieved S.A.B.L.E. (Stash Achieved Beyond Life Expectancy) but I could keep going with the sock yarn I've got for at least a couple of years!!

And speaking of socknitting . . . I've turned the heel (already!) on Sweetie's Burr Oak Socks. I did a heel flap heel. I've picked up the gussets and have already knit two rounds on the foot. The socknitting will really slow down once I get the white yarn for my Nautical Stripe sweater.

And yes, I AM taking under advisement the Plymouth Encore suggestions that y'all keep sending my way. I even have quite a bit in my stash leftover from a failed vest project.

While I was out and about today running eleventy hundred errands I looked for a nice basket to put my spindle spinning in. When I wasn't looking for a basket, I kept seeing all these great baskets (at least I think I did) but now I can't find any of them. I saw a couple of decent possibilities but they didn't leap off the shelf at me like a great one would. I think by shifting my sock-in-progress baskets around I can free up one of the larger ones for my spinning and that may be all that's needed. I'll try that for a while, until something better comes along.

blogging to: one of our Manheim Steamroller Christmas CD's

reading: A Deeper Sleep by Dana Stabenow

Parting Shot: "The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it." ~ Patrick Young
Quote Source

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Photos of Current WIP's
















Today, I'm photo blogging. I have new photos to go with almost everything I'm working on. Except for the Simple Sock [which hasn't changed in days] I've knit on everything else in the last couple of days or so.

The top photo is the swatch and beginning of the Nautical Striped sweater. No more knitting on that until the white yarn is in.

Next up is the Jayhawk sock for my SIL. I've knit a little more on that since the photo. It now has a whopping 6 rounds and two stripes!

Then we have the sock with the most progress. It's Sweetie's Burr Oak sock in all it's plain, natural Oak Ribbed-ness. The sock is about 7½" long now, about an inch longer than in the photo taken earlier today. I'm within 15 or so rounds of starting the heel flap. I had him try it on a while ago and he just loves it. He said he'll even wear it OUT OF THE HOUSE with his tennis shoes. Can't beat that with a deluxe set of dpns!! So even though simple and plain is boring to knit if he'll WEAR IT OUT OF THE HOUSE I guess it's worth it.

Last up is my current favorite sock to knit upon. Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern with that amazing Schaefer ~ Anne yarn. The sock is just under 4" now.

blogging to: cowboy music on You Tube

reading: Black Alley by Mickey Spillane

Parting Shot:
"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."
~ Clyde Watson
Quote Source

Monday, November 26, 2007

More Updates

I cast on for my Nautical sweater yesterday. The white yarn isn't here yet but I have the red (for the trim around the bottom, sleeves and neck) and the proper needles and so a sweater's yarn journey has begun. Literally from sticks and string I will craft a wearable garment. Amazing, isn't it.

Since I finished the 6 row border on the Nautical sweater I'll have to knit on something else. I'm finally though the cuff for Sweetie's Burr Oak socks and am onto the leg. I also knit a bit more on SIL's Jayhawk sock; still on the cuff on that one. I was craving a super soft wool and a complex pattern this afternoon so I knit several rounds on my Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. This is the one in the amazing Schaffer ~ Ann yarn in the Silver Sage colorway. The shell pattern is not as obvious as I would have liked with this yarn, but oh, the pure delight every time my fingers touch it as I weave the needles in, out and around. It's almost lace weight in it's fineness. I may double up on the yarn for the heel flap portion.

I've added a few new thing to my side bar. I have no idea how to do progress bars, but I can do text. Under the e-mail addy, is my On The Needles section for quick updates. The 2006 FO's I covered in a post with links near the bottom. This year I decided to list them separately with links to the post with the photo of the FO. 2006, apparently, was the year of the sock. I knit 21 freakin' socks last year. 10½ pair! No wonder I'm a little burnt out on the sock thing!! This year I only knit 12 socks, 6 pair. But I knit lots of other stuff!

It'll be interesting to see what's on the 2008 list this time next year. I had no idea that I would move on from socks (a bit) into sweaters and hats and blankets and booties! Booties! fer cryin' out loud! What sweaters are out there over the horizon that I'll cast on for? What socks? What yarns will I knit with for the first time?
And what will the afghan look like? It's all so exciting. And it's all right within my grasp. I have sticks (many, many, many sticks) and string (oh, you should see the string around here and most if it doesn't belong to the boat!)

I've also taken to putting my sock projects into little baskets and spreading the love around house. I need to get a basket for my spindle and roving. If it's out where I can see it I may not tend to pick up a sock because it's closer. It may also guilt me into using the darn thing more.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Black Alley by Mickey Spillane

Parting Shot: " Hardware: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweater #4

I was out Friday morning with all the crazy shoppers but I had a different mission. I got yarn for the Nautical Sweater. I picked up 1 skein of the red, 5 skeins of the blue and have 13 skeins of the white on order. I've swatched the blue in two different needle sizes. I've washed it, wet blocked it and it's now air-drying. Once I see how that goes, I'll cast on for the bottom border with the red.

This pattern from Lousia Harding's book Modern Classics calls for her Nautical Cotton. I subbed Reynolds Saucy. My LYS doesn't carry the Louisa Harding yarn line. According to what I found on-line about the Nautical Cotton, the Saucy has the same guage and with only a yard difference in the yardage vs weight I think it'll do nicely. Both are mercerized cotton. The Saucy is very soft and I like the stitch definition. In the daylight I'll take a photo of the swatch so you can see, too.

I also fiddled just a bit with the colors. The pattern calls for a natural and I wanted white. I also chose a dark slate blue rather than the navy. It looked better with the white.

The pattern calls for a 4½mm needle but when I did the swatch, I was getting 20 stitches to 3
½" instead of 4" so I went up a half size. With 5mm needles I have 20 stitches to 3 7/8". Close enough.

So that's my big news! I also looked a bit at yarns for the afghan but didn't see anything that just grabbed me. I WAS thinking superwash wool but NOW I'm thinking Saucy. My LYS has LOTS of colors. It's not very expensive either. I may do a small swatch in pattern (whatever that may be) on my 6mm long crics to see what it looks like. That's the largest long circ I have. Good thing I got an extra blue skein to play around with.

Uh oh. I just checked the ball band;
hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry out of the sun. I really don't want to have to hand wash a big blanket and dry it flat, indoors. Where am I gonna do that?? I may need to re-think the Saucy thing for the afghan. When I go back to pick up the white yarn, I'll see what other soft, mercerized cotton choices they have.

blogging to: The Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: Nash, Metropolitan by Frank Sennett

Parting Shot: "I used to be sane. I got better." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Friday, November 23, 2007

Clearing the Decks

Thanksgiving Day I finished my last FO of 2007. Maybe. All the other projects currently on the needles are socks:

Burr Oak Socks ~ for Sweetie
Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern ~ for me
Jayhawk Socks ~ for SIL
Simple Socks ~ for me

That order is kind of how I want to knit them unless I'm craving a particular kind of sock action. Except for the Simple Socks they're all pretty much in the just-cast-on phase in the life of a sock. On the Simple Socks I'm closing in on the heel and it'll be a simple heel flap heel.

I wore the Gray Cabled sweater to Thanksgiving Dinner at SIL's house. Everyone exclaimed over it and loved it and I felt quite proud all around. I wore my Mermaid socks. SIL put on her Waving Lace socks and wore them. And my CIL wore her Tiger Blue socks for the first time. I was a hand-knit holiday. It was kind of neat having so many of my hand knits in one place worn by 3 people all at the same time.

While I was there I showed off the Heavenly sweater. Everyone liked how soft it was. It was also noted that it was fluffy and WoW! Sparkley!
The frosty pink baby stuff was a hit, too. The hat and booties were taken out and cooed over. I think it was the little bows. Even I have to admit that they really add a finished touch to the knitting. I cast on for the booties the night before Thanksgiving and finished one completely. I cast on for it's mate Thanksgiving morning and finished it up on the way. The FO photo above was taken blocks from SIL's house. I just laid them on my be-jeaned leg, clicked on the Macro feature of my fancy-pants camera and Fannie's your aunt and Bob's your uncle.

I spent several hours today organizing the FO's of the past few days; taking final photos, putting the finishing touches on the project notes, printing those out and filing them away along with a ball band, a sample of the yarn and a copy of the pattern. Rewinding, weighing, photographing and cataloging the leftover yarn, in my spreadsheet and on Raverly.

Sweetie had a service call this morning so I geared up, loaded up my pattern book and notes and went to the yarn shop. That's what all this clearing up was about.

And yes, I'm going to leave you hanging . . . . .

blogging to: classic music on the radio

reading: Pale Death by David & Aimée Thurlo

Parting Shot: It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Is It Too Late To Hit the LYS??

The Gray Cabled Sweater Is. Done. It has officially moved into FO status. All the eleventy-billion ends are even woven in. It fits. It looks nice and I'm wearing it Thanksgiving Day. It's very warm and amazingly heavy. The darn thing weighs almost 2½ lbs! No wonder! It's got 22 1/3 50 gr balls of Reynolds Coventry, "a heathered wool blend" (70% acrylic & 30% wool). Hey! Back then, way back in the mists of time, maybe 10 or even 15 years ago when I bought this yarn that was probably GREAT! yarn! It was made in Italy fer cryin' out loud and probably cost me a whopping $5 a ball.

Well, it's done. I don't feel relieved; anti-climatic is more like it. What with all the Drama two years ago of not enough yarn to finish and then finding more yarn a year ago [THANK YOU! PEGGY!!!] and starting again and the more recent DRAMA of the guess-ets and the seaming. I don't think it's sunk in yet. I keep looking over at this pile of finished sweater next to me.

I kept my yarn pact. I finished the two UFO sweaters and SIL socks. Now guilt-free I can go and buy the yarn I'll need for my Nautical sweater and the afghan which I still haven't researched fully. The only problem is that I finished the sweater this evening at 8pm cst which is the night before Thanksgiving. I won't be able to hit the LYS until Friday when EVERYONE will be out. I may just knit on one of the four socks I have going and wait until after the weekend. Maybe the yarn'll be on sale. And I'll wear my sweater, too.

Photos tomorrow or the next day!

H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G ! ! !

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

Parting Shot: "Talk does not cook rice." ~ Chinese Proverb
Quote Source

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Best Laid Plans

Ya'll are not the only ones tired of the drama of this sweater. Instead of the Gray Cabled sweater I should call it The Drama sweater except I don't know if all my larger projects will be like this. (sigh)

I worked and worked and fussed and fiddled trying to rip out the shoulder seams. I frogged just about everything else up there and the shoulder seams are firmly welded in place. SO, I'm just going to ignore them. The only folks that'll notice anyway are knitters!! The ribs and cables match up from both sides and overall the sweater looks good.

I attached the remaining guess-set this morning. Enjoying the last day of warm, sunny weather for a while I did it outside on the patio. It was 70°F/21°C+.

All I have left to finish is seaming one side (sleeve and side) and attach the collar. I will probably finish the sweater in time to wear it Thanksgiving. If all the ends aren't woven in no biggie. I'll make sure that I weave in any ends that can hang down below the sleeves or bottom.

When I'm not futzing with the Gray Cabled Drama sweater, I'm de-stressing with Sweetie's Burr Oak sock. It's really the Oak Ribbed Sock from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks. But since we have a Burr Oak in the back yard and I kept referring to it mentally as the Burr Oak Ribbed sock, I gave in and The Burr Oak sock it is. I had about 2" done last night. I had Sweetie try it on it was a bit snug and he wanted it a bit higher on his calf so I frogged it. I cast on again today with two more stitch repeats.

For Thanksgiving, we're traveling all of about an hour east to Lenexa, KS where my wonderful SIL is cooking the turkey. I'm bringing homemade white bread and the Strusel Topped Pumpkin Pie that I bring every year. The links are to recipes I've posted in the past.

I'll be bringing the frosty pink blanket, the frosty pink hat and her Waving Lace socks. I'm hoping that my CIL will be wearing her Tiger Blue socks as it will be cold enough but I'm not holdin' my breath. I know my wonderful SIL will have on a pair of handknit socks. I'll have on a pair, probably my Mermaid Socks. Maybe I can even convince Sweetie to wear a pair of his. I'm even going to bring the finished Heavenly sweater. I'll have so much finished stuff to show off that I'm not bringing any of my WIP. None of them are very far along anyway.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

Parting Shot: "If at first you don't succeed, redefine success." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Kick In The Pants

I read this post on Claudia's Blog. The second paragraph under the photo was like she was speaking directly to me. Yeah, it's still all about the Gray Cabled sweater. It was this line, "If I don't, then my project starts falling in my esteem from a "wow, look how great this is" to, "well, it will be good enough" to "I'm not wearing that homemade looking piece of crap" that was the kick in the A$$ I needed to fall back and re-group. I fixed the other things that demoted this project from WoW! to Crap! so why not this, too.

I did the shoulder seams in some kind of weird over-stitch which worked great for the fuzzy (and sparkly) Heavenly sweater but not so much for a piece which has well defined stitches. The other seams in my
Gray Cabled sweater are backstitched which makes my seams very tidy from the public side and even the private one. So, I'm going to rip out the shoulder seams and backstitch those properly. This will turn out to be a great sweater after all.

This project may still make it to Thanksgiving Day but then again maybe not. I frogged and re-knit the other guess-et but I haven't seamed any of that yet. We'll see where the rest of the evening takes me.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

Parting Shot: " As easy as 1, 2, 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841" ~ unknown
Quote Source

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Moving On

I've ripped out part of the seam attaching the one guess-et and frogged the guess-et back to where the waist decreases are. There's no reason to rip out the entire seam as only the top five or six inches need to be frogged. The live stitches are back on the proper needles and I've started the re-knit.

I'll knit this one guess-et up with lots of decreases on both sides and see what happens when I get to the top. I'll keep good notes so I can recreate the success on the other side.

If I Really. Push. and Everything Goes Well, I could still wear this for Thanksgiving. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't there's Christmas Day. And whatever happens, I'll still have a finished sweater.

Anyway here are a couple of in progress photos with the sleeves. It really DOES look like a sweater now instead a pile of gray ribbing!

11pm: edited to add: I've already got one of the guess-ets fixed and that entire side and sleeve seamed. So it looks like I'm back on for Thanksgiving. Yippee!! I need to fix the other guess-et, attach the guess-et, seam that one side and sleeve, attach the collar and weave in the ends. It looks like I just might (every body sing and throw something in the air ~ it doesn't have to be a tam
"Make it after all."

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

Parting Shot: "One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try." ~ Aristotle
Quote Source

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Takin' a Break

I'm going to blather on (even more) about my guess-et problems so if you're tired of hearing me grumble and carry on about it, scroll down or come back another day.

I've been cogitating on my guess-et problems off an on all day and I still have no firm solution. I'm still leaning toward Door #3 from the last post but I know that's not the best option. Now I'm trying to reason myself into Door #1 because that's the right way. I guess it all boils down to immediate or delayed satisfaction. It's not like if I don't get it done NOW I can't show it off all the rest of this winter and those many winters to come. And not having to worry with it until Christmas gives me the time to do it correctly. I just don't have to take until Christmas to do it.

And yes, my original reward plan stays in place. No starting the Nautical sweater or the afghan until this Gray Cabled sweater is done and wearable. However, I AM going to order the sweater yarn next week so I have it. I don't know how long it'll take to get here and it'll be an additional incentive to rip and re-knit if I can fondle . . . . mercerized cotton. Some how not as attractive as saying you're going to be fondling Sea Silk or Schaefer ~ Anne sock yarn. But we must all make sacrifices for our art!*

Since I merely glared at the Gray Cabled sweater whenever I happened upon it today there was no physical progress wrought. I did get in almost a full pattern repeat on my Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks. Such a pleasure knitting with good wool. So soft. I'm such a dab hand at knitting lace socks now that although several months ago this pattern looked incredibly complicated it's really not too bad. The traveling stitches on the Waving Lace socks helped a lot in that area.

I'm going to continue not knitting on the
Gray Cabled sweater this evening and maybe cast on for Sweetie's Koigu cream socks. I finally decided on just the Madder Rib socks [again] from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks. (It's got great patterns. What can I say?) No cables or anything else. Just a plain and simple ribbing with plain cream yarn.

*tongue firmly planted in cheek!!

blogging to: Lost In Paradise by Armik

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "Is this true or only clever?" ~ Augustine Birrell
Quote Source

Friday, November 16, 2007

Monty Hall is Your Friend

Knitting on the great, Gray Cabled sweater is progressing. This evening I'm about 2cm (½-¾") from binding off the collar and I may finish that this evening. When that's done all that remains is seaming.

I seamed the first guess-et to the one of the sides. That's the great thing about guess-ets. It's all a big GUESS as to what I'm going to do at the armpit where all this wonderful guess-et-ness comes togoether. And it was even more of a GUESS when I figured out because I didn't think ahead on this guess-et thing (one of my many fine qualities) that I should have narrowed the guess-ets at the top (A. Lot.) so they would fit into the arm pit area better.

So, faced with options. I can:
  • Door #1: Do. The. Right. Thing. Which would entail ripping out the guess-et I've already sewn in, rip out the bind off, and frog several rows down to where I started to increase from the waist decreases, then knit it straight up from there and maybe take it down even more as I get really close. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Door #2: Do. The. Semi. Right. Thing. Which would involve a sewing machine which I don't own. I could machine sew along the sides of the guess-ets, a la steeks, and cut out the parts I don't want.
  • Door #3: Damn the Torpedoes. Which is what I'm inclined to do. (Surprised?!) At least to the point of seaming the other side of the one guess-et that's already there to the back of the sweater, seaming up the sleeve and seeing what the real deal really is. It may be worse than I thought or not as bad.
At best, if I'm in for option three, and it works, and I like it I'll do it and leave it and call it good. And a[nother] lesson learned. If it doesn't work, I'd rip out what I'd done and I'd be no worse off than I am now.

At worst, (option one) I probably wouldn't be able to wear the sweater at Thanksgiving but I would continue to work on it until it was done and the original deal I made with myself would still be in effect. I can wear it to the Christmas Day thing with friends and more extended family members.

And, I think you probably know, it's
Door #3. So, Full Speed Ahead as I go out of the frying pan and into the fire. Not for the first time and no way near the last! Onward!

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

Parting Shot: "Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!" ~ Admiral David Glasgow Farragut
Quote Source (scroll down)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Two Year Blog Anniversary

I can't believe that as of today I will have been blogging for two years. I've always wanted to keep a journal or a diary and I've tried several times, both in long hand and by typing into a word processor document.

I enjoyed doing the longhand version more but I wrote more (but not necessarily better) when I sat at a keyboard. Now I tend to think of the handwritten version as more quality and less quantity. When I'm able to sit and think with pen and paper my thoughts seem deeper (which, again, isn't
necessarily better) and more focused. There's just something about the tactile-ness of opening a fine book of good quality paper and putting a pen to that paper which feels good in your hand and moves smoothly across the paper. The romance of that image is seductive and attractive to me but it didn't motivate me enough to keep it up like I have this blog.

Likewise, my attempts at keeping a journal via a word processing document didn't meet with any better success. In fact, I was a bit better with the handwritten version.

I've blogged about this before and it amazes me that I still want to write here. True, most of the content is either knitting or sailing but there is the fact that two years later, I'm still going. I still can't say exactly what's different between my past attempts and this but I accept it for what it is. And I'm glad to have this creative outlet as it does feed something in my soul.

I also want to thank my readers for plowing through the drivel for the occasional nugget or an interesting photo.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Slight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

Parting Shot: "Not all who wander are lost." ~ JRR Tolkein
Quote Source

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Seaming in the Sleeves

Seaming in the sleeves,
We shall come rejoicing, seaming in the sleeves; . . .

I know. Sorry. But I AM sewing in the sleeves to the Gray Cabled sweater. Sewing. In. The. Sleeves. Still cannot believe I'm this far along. I'm backstitching the sleeves in. It looks good. I keep turning it over to the public side and checking it. Hopefully, by the time I turn in this evening, both sleeves will be attached, which will make this thing EVEN heavier. If get really motivated I may even weave in some of the eleventy-thousand ends. Where did they all come from!!??

I'm going to try to mattress stitch the guess-ets, sleeves and side seams together but I may end up back stitching them, too. I'll do a couple of inches and see what it looks like. Of course, the mattress stitch is very fiddly and I may just not want to deal with that much fiddly-ness. And the backstitched seam is stronger, in my opinion. See? I'm already talking myself out of the mattress stitch.

I dislike seaming which is maybe one of the reasons why this sweater sat for almost a year after I had the yarn I needed. I do a few stitches, read a blog or a couple paragraphs of one, do a few (or more) stitches then read some more. It gets done. I've got SEVEN days from Thursday, the 15th. I'll be fine. With Spray out of the water and up on the hard that's one distraction out of the way.

I was a little farther along with the sweater Tuesday before I decided I wasn't happy with the way the edges of the collar were turning out so I frogged it. Again. Easier to fix now than to fret about it later. The pattern says to garter stitch the edges but that just looks sloppy to me. Could be my knitting or the yarn or whatever. So, I'm going to have the edge stitches be knit stitches. And, of course, you can't really See that little detail on the pattern photo.

blogging to: Dawn of a New Century by Secret Garden

reading: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling

Parting Shot: "If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Monday, November 12, 2007

It Ain't Heavy

Well, actually, it is. My gray cabled sweater. I've picked up stitches all around the neck today and knit the neck band so I've been lugging the front and back around together. Yeah, I know I've hauled them around and tried them on several times when I had the shoulders basted together. But I never had the whole freakin' front and back in my lap turning it around and around knitting back and forth and fixing something here and there. I feel like a sweater wrangler. Must be all yarn in those extra neck band stitches.

Anyway, I'm very pleased it's gotten to this stage. It actually LOOKS like a sweater now. My next step according to the pattern is to join the left shoulder seam then sew in the sleeves. Somewhere along the way I'll need to attach a guess-et to each side. And I've frogged the half-knit collar. I found my notes on where I was but comparing my notes and the pattern I've made an error so out it came. It was only 13 rows. I'm being so persnickety about other aspects of this finishing so why not that.

Late yesterday I was reading a LOONG thread (over 500 posts) on Raverly so I was able to finish up the cuff for my Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern.

I've also been able to cast on and knit one whole round on SIL's JayHawk socks.

Things are progressing so well that I better be digging out the book with the Nautical sweater pattern and figuring out if the yarn at my LYS will work. And deciding what yarn and how much I'm going to need for my afghan.

blogging to: cowboy music on You Tube

reading: The Witch Maker by Sally Spencer
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark." ~ Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure, Rosebud, 1993
Quote Source

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Priorities and Choices

I've got the first step done in seaming my Gray Cabled sweater. That was to seam the right shoulder in pattern. Not as easy as it sounds as there are 2x2 ribs to match up not to mention a cable. It all matches up and I'm satisfied with it. The next step is to pick up stitches around the neck line and do a 2x2 rib for 7 rows. That's Monday's project.

This evening I've been deciding and narrowing down choices for the next two sock projects which will be on the needles the same time as everything else. Everything else being:

These two which are already underway:
  • Simple Sock (for me ~ a simple rib I can work on anywhere)
  • Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern (for me ~ complicated lace pattern)
These two large projects which I don't have the yarn for yet:
  • Nautical sweater (for me ~ know what yarn I need)
  • Afghan (for us ~ kind of have a couple of pattern ideas and colors but haven't even really thought about the yarn yet)
These are the two sock projects which are using stash yarn:
  • Sailors Rib sock (from Charlotte Schurch's book More Sensational Knitted Socks (for SIL ~ using Cascade Sassy Stripes in KU Jayhawk crimson and blue)
  • Some kind of simple rib with a very simple cable down each side, bracketed in purl or seed or moss stitches [so I don't get super bored] (for Sweetie ~ using Koigu in cream)
Sometimes when I would have more than one project going at the same time I would fret a bit because it always seem to work out that they were FOR someone and I always figured they were wanting their socks already. Well, two of these are for someone, but it will be understood that they will be long term and they'll get 'em when they get 'em.

This will be quite a change for me having so many WIP's. It's been mostly one sock at a time for a long time but here and there have been multiple WIP's but NEVER this many!!! We'll see how it goes. After I finish the gray sweater, I want my main focus to be the Nautical sweater, then the afghan and then whatever sock comes to hand. I tried to have a good mix of sock projects to choose from. A difficult one (the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern), two medium ones (SIL's and Sweetie's) and then the brain dead one (my Simple Sock). After I get going on the sweater and the afghan, I may add a sweater for Sweetie but at this point I have NO idea what other than it will be wool or cotton. Well, that's something!

In a few days, I'll try to get some photos or scans of what's in the works and what's actually on the needles. I've added the Child's First Sock, SIL's & Sweetie's sock to my WIP's in Raverly even though I haven't cast on for the last two. I will in the next day or so. As soon as I get past the cuff in the Child's First Sock I'll want another sock to work on when I'm too brain dead for seaming the gray sweater or working a complicated lace pattern.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

r
eading: The Witch Maker by Sally Spencer
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "I have many skills." ~ Xena in The Black Wolf, the first time it's ever said

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Boo Hoo! and WhooHoo!

We pulled Spray today. She's up on the hard — sailor talk for up in the [boat] yard. With renting a U-Haul van and $15 for gas (those things only get 5 miles per gallon!!!) we still came in under what the marina would have charged. Yes, it would have been LOTS easier to have them do it but we got to sail a whole month longer and they were very nice sails, as I recall.


Now my side of the garage is full of boat cushions, life jackets, square cushions, two anchors (lunch hook and an overnighter) and line and other sailing related items. The living room has two sails spread out that need to be folded. It'll take a few days for the garage stuff to be migrated to where it'll live for the next 4½-5 months until we're ready to splash in the spring. Ah, the life of a sailor over the winter. I'm glad I have all those terrific sailing photos I took this summer. That's what we'll sail on all winter long.

* * * * * * * * * *

The guess-sets are so DONE. YES!
! I cast off the last guess-et during knit group today. It's wonderful how being somewhat distracted like that makes a sorta boring knit not so boring. Anyway, my next step is to properly seam the right shoulder. Right now, both shoulders are basted together so I could try it on. After I seam just the right shoulder, I have to pick up and knit x number of stitches around the front and back of the neck and knit in 2x2 rib for 7 rows. After that I seam the left shoulder, then sew in the sleeves and do the side and sleeve seams and the guess-sets in there, too. Somewhere in all of that I'll finish the collar because sewing on the collar is the last step. Go! Me!

As a reward, I cast on with my Schaeffer ~ Ann ~ Silver Sage sock yarn for Nancy Bush's Child's First Sock from her book Knitting Vintage Socks. I have a whopping two rounds done. As usual I cast on with my 3mm dpns then switched to my 2.5mm dpns for the knit. Once I get the cuff knit, 20 rounds according to the pattern, I'll try 'em on and check the fit. Everyone there loved my yarn so that was cool. I'm just not used to having live and in person fellow knitters. My focus will still be the gray cabled sweater until it's ready to wear.

I always feel so energized when I'm able to knit with other knitters. Why is that?

blogging to: Italia by Chris Botti

reading: The Witch Maker by Sally Spencer
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "One swallow does not make a summer." ~ Aristotle
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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Project Updates

OK, here's a photo of the wee frosty pink baby hat done in the Mermaid Socks pattern — even the decreases at the crown are the Mermaid Sock toe decreases.

I'm within 17 rows of finishing one of the guess-ets and I'm about half done with the other one. Guess-ets are boring to knit and probably even more boring in a photo but I'll see what I can do. At least they're not very long — only 78 stitches before the the waist decreases. And it's a 2x2 rib so I just knit along.

That's my Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Mountain Creek colorway. That's about 50 rounds. Lately it's o
nly been a round or two here and there. But that's how it's supposed to be with this sock. I do like how it's pooling.

I've got almost ALL my stash yarn photos uploaded to Raverly. I've taken photos of everything but some photos were blurry or there was something about the photo I didn't like. All the stash is there, just not all of it has a photo. I've really enjoyed re-connecting with my stash. I've got a fairly small one, I think. Most of my non-sock yarn stash is left over yarn but there are a few things I've bought for projects, scarves, mostly. Most of my "stash" is sock yarn.

I don't know how folks buy yarn for a sweater on spec. How much do you buy if you don't have a specific project in mind. With socks (for me, anyway) it's easy. Two 50 gr skeins or hanks for me and three for SIL or Sweetie.

Well, back to knitting on my guess-ets. I have a hard DeadLine with this one.

blogging to: 24 Songs of the Depression Era

reading:
reading: The Spice Box by Lou Jane Temple
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "Pleasure in the job put[s] perfection in the work." ~ Aristotle
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Post #401

What will I do with myself once I have all my stash and FO's photo-ed and uploaded to Raverly? Haul everything out and take all the photos again??? I've been having great fun haulin' through the stash and taking photos. Most are just OK but a few are pretty cool. I think it depends on the yarn and the color. I'm finding that greens and blues are the hardest for me to get the true color — except for this one.

That's the yarn I'm going to use to knit my next pair of socks. It always looks so different to me wound than it does in the hank. I think I like it even more wound, which is closer to what's is going to look like knit-up. Haven't cast on yet for those socks.

But I did do a baby hat in the frosty pink yarn. I'll post photos tomorrow. The pattern is based on Lucy Neatby's Mermaid socks pattern from her book Cool Socks Warm Feet. I got sizing for the hat from The Interenets. It looks little. I hope it fits for a couple of days anyway. I'm going to try for booties next. I may even do another hat. I have 44 gr left of this yarn and really don't want any leftover.

Since I still have two weeks before The DeadLine (Thanksgiving) I may do some more on the guess-ets. I WAS going to try to wear the gray cabled sweater to Thanksgiving dinner and I still might. I'll have to choose between pink or gray knitting. I can always MAIL any other frosty pink knitting to my SIL since they'll be small. How much can booties and maybe another hat weigh? OK, you talked me into it. I'm going to push on the gray cabled sweater for Thanksgiving. Two. Weeks.
  • Finish the guess-ets
  • Finish the collar (about half done . . . maybe)
  • Block the pieces (directions don't say ANYTHING about blocking - but there are measurements given for each piece)
  • Seam it up (OMG!)
  • Fall over in a dead faint
Cool.


I can't believe I have over 400 posts to this blog already. Next Thursday (11-15) will be the 2-year anniversary of this blog.


blogging to: Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on the radio

reading: The Spice Box by Lou Jane Temple
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." ~ Epictetus
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Monday, November 5, 2007

A Portent of Things to Come?

I wound the Schaeffer ~ Ann ~ Silver Sage yarn this evening. It's going to be socks for me — Child's First Sock from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks. I've been enamored with this pattern since I saw them knit up on Grumperina's blog over a year ago. I'm going to attempt the mirror image version. Like this project isn't already cursed and I need something to INSURE difficulties.

When you wind hanked yarn on a swift you have a 50% change of choosing the correct piece of yarn to start winding with. You can pull on one and see it's mostly behind the other yarn but start with it anyway. That's not the way I would recommend. Choose door #2.

I got most of the way through the first wind when it became noticeably more difficult to wind. The loose end had wound around the bottom of the swift. That was only the beginning. The last 15 or so strands on the swift took 45 minutes to untangle and then when I was rewinding the ball to loosen it up a bit, a bit fell out of the center and gobbed things up. The third wind was finally a good one.

Now it's sealed in a zip baggie with piece of yarn from the center trailing out a small cut corner. Since this is going to be a long term project and I may be trailing the project around for some time, I figure it'll protect it. Who knows how long this will take since I've given up (at least for now) project monogomy.

I haven't cast on for my socks yet. I've have copied the pattern out of the book so I can scribble on it, set a tea mug on it or a cookie and it will still be OK.

I have, however, cast on for a baby hat with some of the remaining the frosty pink yarn. Right now it's a 3x3 spiral rib. I'm using 4mm dpns and I cast on 72 stitches. We'll see how that looks after I get a couple of inches done. For some reason a hat sounded easier than a pair of booties. I've knit LOTS of hats but never any booties. The booties depend on how much yarn, patience and time I have when the hat is done.

I also picked up Crazy Aunt Purl's new book Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair. I read her blog regularly. From just skimming the book it sounds like her blog. Can't wait to get into it.

blogging to: classical music on the radio

reading: Seaside by Scarlett Thomas
and
Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl

Parting Shot: "God's delays are not God's denials." ~ Robert H. Schuller
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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Last Sail???

Today was one of those days. No, not those days. One of those wonderful, everything-fell-into-place-days. I made pumpkin bread from a box and added spices, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts and it was delicious with a tall glass of cold milk.

Then we went sailing. We figure today may be our last sail of the the year. We may have one more but well, we'll see. The wind was up and down a bit 5-15 mph overall with a forcast high of 70°F / 21°C. It was lovely. We got in a great spinnaker set and did three jibes with the spinnaker up. The first one wasn't so hot, but the other two were pretty good. Jibing is always a bit tricky but with a spinnaker up it's even trickier. You have to let the sheet (line used for trimming (adjusting) the sail) you've been using way out as you start to go around and pull in on the other sheet. If you don't do it right, the sail can get wrapped around the forestay, which is the cable that runs from the top of the mast (the vertical spar) down to the very front of the boat. No a big deal if the wind isn't strong, but there's always the possibility of the sail catching on something and tearing.

The second down wind run we did we sailed wing and wing (with the wind behind you, the mainsail (the sail in back) is out on one side of the boat and the jib (front sail) is held out with a pole on the opposite side, like wings.

So a wonderful day on the water. And since our neighbor isn't living on his sailboat anymore, we had a nice, quiet time once we docked just before sunset. We feasted on pumpkin bread and hot lemon tea with honey.

On the way home, we picked up one of those take-away bake-it-yourself pizzas and had a great dinner. Now we're pleasantly tired, full of good, hot food and reflecting on the
idyllic day.

We're planning to pull Spray this coming weekend if the weather is good (dry with winds under 10 mph). If this was our last sail of the year it was a wonderful one. And yes, that is Spray taken a few months ago by another sailor.

blogging to: Blackbird by the Shelly Berg Trio

reading: Seaside by Scarlett Thomas

Parting Shot: "If the Spray discovered no continents on her voyage, it may be that there were no more continents to be discovered. She did not seek new worlds, or sail to pow-wow about the dangers of the sea." ~ Joshua Slocum
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Two FO's

I'm making good on my resolution to finish what I started before I start something else. Today, I completed the Waving Lace socks for SIL AND I finished seaming the Heavenly sweater. Now, I'm in the process of updating my project notes but I have taken a few photos.

The sock pattern is from 25 Favorite Socks from Interweave. When I got this book I had to really think which lace sock pattern did I want to knit. I chose the Waving Lace. I did make some changes to the pattern. Since I'd finished Lucy Neatby's Mermaid socks from her book Cool Socks Warm Feet before I started these, I'd say I was heavily influenced by the techniques I learned on those socks. For one thing, I did a short row heel. The other two changes I made were taking the pattern all the way around the foot and taking the pattern clear to the end of the toes. In retrospect, the swirl on the Mermaid socks is what made them neat. If I'd realized that earlier I may not have done the pattern all the way down to then end on these socks. But they look OK and I know SIL will be pleased with them. It look 2 1/3 skeins of yarn for her socks. So now I have more sock yarn for that Krazy Striped pair of socks I'll make for myself one day.

The othe
r FO was actually a UFO. [How long does it take for a WIP to turn into a UFO?] I called it a UFO because I ignored it for about nine months. I'd finished the knitting and blocked it on Feb 3 so it's not THAT old. I'd actually seamed the shoulders some months earlier. The good thing is that this is fuzzy yarn. So I didn't have to be particularly fussy about matching up the stitches on one side with the stitches on the other side of the seam. I pinned it together in several places and made sure I was OK between pins. It fits, but gosh it's Fluffy. And Sparkly.

Now that those two are out of the way, I'm going to concentrate on the guess-ets and doing a hat and/or booties with some of the frosty pink yarn. I have most of three weeks to get the hat and or booties done so I'd better get crackin'.

blogging to: The Badger Song (look it up on YouTube)

reading: Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling

Parting Shot: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." ~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Behind The Times

The leaves are finally starting to change here. As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of the changes aren't dramatic but there are some exceptions. I found a couple when I was out and about this morning.

Well, the time change didn't happen last weekend. It's THIS weekend. I forgot that both ends of the time change, changed.

And another thing, I'm finally jumping on the Harry Potter bandwagon. I checked the first two books out of the library. A friend gave me a different view of the books and now I'm interested enough to see for myself.

Of course, I've been knitting. I'm almost half done with both guess-ets. I'm knitting them at the same time, but on two different circs. All the decreases have been done for the nip in at the waist. Now it's just straight knitting (2x2 rib) until I get past the waist. Then I'll increase again and before I know it they'll be done. Then I'll finish the collar and then on to the finishing. NOT looking forward to that. But if I want to wear it and move on with my other projects, I HAVE to. And so I will.

The Waving Lace socks are languishing, again. Hopefully, I can get them done by the end of the weekend. I know once I pick them up, they'll go quickly.

I have a couple of deadlines, I'm facing. Luckily, the deadline is Thanksgiving so I have lots of time. I picked up some satin frosty pink ribbon today. I'm going to thread it through the seam of the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket and tie a pretty bow on each side. Instead of trying to hide the seam, I'm going to embrace it. So I have that to do. The Waving Lace socks to finish. And I want to do a hat and / or booties to use up some of the left over yarn. A hat I know how to do but maybe booties would be quicker. And I've never done booties. I'll have to do a little surfing and see what I can find out there on The Internets.

When I returned the untouched skein of frosty pink DreamBaby DK I fingered through their loose lace patterns
. I found the perfect pattern for my dog-loving SIL — Evelyn Clark's Paws To Remember scarf. I'm going to use the Rose Garden colorway from the Strickwear yarn I got this summer at my LYS sidewalk sale. Since I don't have the 550 yards the pattern calls for I'm going to adjust the pattern. And this falls under the no starting thing until the two sweaters are done and wearable.

The only thing that I can cast on is when I done with the Waving Lace socks. I can cast on for my next lace sock.

While I was at my LYS, there was a woman test-driving a spinning wheel. I spent more time watching her than looking through the patterns. She was so smooth. It was wonderful watching her draft the fiber. So I strolled amongst the wheels. I didn't do any spindling Tuesday. But I did get the spindle book out today,
Connie Delaney's, Spindle Spinning from Novice to Expert. And when I was at the library, I picked up Shannon Okey's book Spin to Knit. I really want to spin but the knit force is still too strong. I'm not going to push it, just maybe nudge it a bit . . . now and then . . . here and there.

blogging to: The Gift of Time by Jean-Luc Ponty

reading: Frostline by Justin Scott

Parting Shot: "Nothing is as far away as one minute ago." ~ Jim Bishop
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