Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What They Don't Tell You

I suppose every knitter has something they can't do either knitter or fiber-wise. With me it's the longtail cast on. I've watched that part of the DVD over and over (and still over) and it's not working for me. I have longtail-cast-on block. So I can START I've decided to go with my standard cable cast on on needles a bit larger that what I'll just to knit the piece with. In this case as I'm going to use my 5 mm needles, I cast on with the 5.5 mm ones.

Oh, I'll keep at this longtail cast on thing until I get it. Which I will. Eventually. I must be missing some crucial piece but I have so-mo and stop motion and rewind (or whatever it's called with it's digital) on the DVD so I'll practice. I learned to cable and do a short row heel and lace on my own. I can learn this.

So I've cast on for the BSJ on Monday. You're so right, Roxie. It IS only knitting. Thank you for that reminder. And with this project I'm outta project baskets, again. So which sock project do I make homeless or do I get more baskets? Notice that although I only need one basket (now) I will get basketS.

And I'm using a different method on this project to keep track of where I am. Usually I note down what row/round I'm on among other things on blank 3"x5" note cards. I draw my own lines; some narrow some wider to accommodate the particular project. This time I'm marking off the rows on the BSJ spreadsheet I printed out.

Today, we had all kinds of plans for going out to the boat and work on the %^$#!!! windows but life intervened. Sunday we took our little pond halfway apart so we could replace the hose that carried the water from the pool back up to our tiny water fall. When we plugged in the power to the pump we had no power. It worked earlier but then decided not to. It's a GFI plug so we figured water got in there somehow. When it didn't work yesterday or today we decided the wall plug was bad. So we got a new plug. Still no power. Long story short and a large whole in the wall ~ for some reason, the entire piece of wire that connected that outside plug to power and disappeared up the wall into the ceiling had no power.

Luckily, Sweetie also has many skill. He was able to tap into the power where the light switch was and so now all the electrics work. While he was doing that, as the 6' step ladder was out, I cleaned fan blades and lights in several of our ceiling fans. Now all we have left is to patch the large whole in the sheetrock, paint and put the drapes over the patio sliding door back up and we're done. ARGH!

So tonight, I'm tired and sore and do not feel like knitting on . . . anything. Life is back to normal — whatever that is. Think I'll curl up with a book, a mug of hot tea and the heating pad. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

blogging to: various Mike Oldfieldd You Tube videos

reading: Desert Run by Betty Webb (a Lena Jones mystery)

Parting Shot: "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." ~ Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tra La La Tra La La

I'm poised on the brink of casting on for my first Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. I've swatched and settled on a needle size. I've got the yarn. I've looked at several (more than 50 but probably less than 100) completed ones. I've got the pattern and the DVD (which I still haven't looked at yet) and I've downloaded a spreadsheet with row by row calculations on the number of stitches before during and after the markers. What can go wrong? After we're all done laughing (this may take a while) I'll cast on, maybe Monday.

I should also find out next week what colors for the baby blanket. They're still getting a forest green and white BSJ.

Today was Sweetie's first Day after two weeks of 7:30 pm to 5:30 am work. When he got home this morning (Sunday) we went out to breakfast then home for naps. After that we drove in to Kansas City for various things for Spray (polish, caulk for the new smoked Plexiglas windows and bonnets for the buffer). I knit on the second Simple Sock and am on round 15 or so. We're getting back to normal; settling back into our familiars routines.

Late in the afternoon we went out to Spray and installed the new lifelines and worked on getting off more of the old caulking that held the old window firmly to the boat. A LOT of scraping. It was too cold to polish but it's supposed to be warmer on Tuesday. We HOPE to be able to launch by this next weekend.

blogging to: : Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells III Secrets/Far above the clouds

reading: Desert Run by Betty Webb (a Lena Jones mystery)

Parting Shot: "In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." ~ Margaret Atwood

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Occasional Irregularity

For the first time EVER a heel flap took forEVER. It's the one on this first Four of a Kind sock. It's my standard eye of partridge heel flap on half the of the total stitches. It think what bugged me was the tiny US 0 / 2 mm needles. When I do socks in wool or a wool blend I use my standard US 1.5 / 2.5 mm dpns. When I use cotton yarn for some reason I got it into my head that I need to use the 2 mm dpns. I think this started with the Fortissima cotton sock yarn because it's thin and has no stretch. This Reynolds Sunday Best yarn that I'm using isn't thin but it doesn't have any stretch either. Well, I do like how the leg turned out so I'll keep going.

I hope I'm not going off socks. I have too many on the needles and too much sock yarn and too many in the queue for that to happen. That's why I have all these WIP's going at the same time.

The soon to be cast on Baby Surprise Jacket in the Dale of Norway Baby Ull I hope will cure that. That and the next baby blanket will take center stage until they're complete. That'll get me away from my regular knitting for a while. I also think that once we get back on our regular schedule things will even out.

Anyway, the BSJ (Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket); here's the swatch with all three needle sizes. I plan on tossing in it when I do laundry this evening. We'll see what happens to it. Who knows, I may cast on for it later this evening. I think I'll also toss the swatch in every time I do laundry just to see. Couldn't hurt. If it won't work for the BSJ, it IS wool fingering yarn. Hmmmm. socks.

This evening (Saturday) is the last night on the night shift for Sweetie. YEA!! This non-regular life on a long-term basis is not for us. It works for a lot of folks but not us. I am so thankful that Sweetie has few daytime service call during this two week period.

We put one of hummingbird feeders out on April 15 as always. Today I saw the first hummers as I was taking these photos.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: In Sheep’s Clothing by Rett MacPherson (a Torrie O’Shea mystery)

Parting Shot: "It took Hephastus months to forge those weapons."
"Yeah, well, Hephastus needs a new hobby like, maybe, knitting."
~ Ares and Hercules in Armageddon Now

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mad as a March Hare in April

Only two more nights left and then back to life as we knew it. Things were scheduled to go through Sunday night but now he's been told that Saturday night will be the end. I hope he gets off early that night, too.

I've been watching Xena episodes every evening to keep myself entertained. I'm about halfway through season six, the last season. I saw more episodes than I realized. Since the show went off the air, I'd catch an episode here or there but I know I didn't watch hardly at all that last season. There've only been about three episodes (so far) that I never saw at all.

At least I'm getting some quality / quantity knitting done. I'm on the thirteenth repeat on the White Caps afghan. It's now about 25" long and just under ¼ done.

And the leg is done on the first Four of A Kind sock. That went fast. I cast on for it on March 29 and I've knit on lots of things since then. I'm now on the heel flap. I'm doing the heel flap on this sock in fuchsia and I plan to turn the heel in pearl gray. I'm also going to make the toe fuchsia. The striping for the foot will pretty much follow what I've done on the leg. Random and when I feel like it.

This evening I had a chance to drop in to my LYS. I picked up Meg Swanson's DVD on EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket. I haven't looked at the DVD but the pattern is on the inside of the plastic DVD case. I decided on a forest green for the main color and a white / cream for the stripe.

The yarn listed was 3 oz Shetland wool. Having no idea what weight Shetland wool was at the time so I searched around until I found a yarn with both oz and grams on the ball band. About 1 3/4 oz = 50 gr. I decided to get Dale of Norway Baby Ull. It's soft and machine washable. I got 4 skeins of the green and two of the white. I didn't get any buttons. The pattern calls for five button holes but Stephanie (the Yarn Harlot) only uses three and I'm all for the easy road. I'll see when I get to that point and in the meanwhile, I can keep an eye out for cool buttons.

There are no needle sizes listed on the pattern but there is a gauge ~ 6" to the inch. So I sat down and swatched this evening. The yarn suggests 2½ mm but no way am I doing a sweater — even a baby sweater
on 2½ mm needles. So I started with 3 mm; too small. Went up to a 3 3/4 mm: still too small. So I jumped to a 5 mm and that's when I got gauge. Next step is to wash and dry it the next time I do laundry.

That'll give me a chance to watch the DVD and really, really read the pattern. And print out one of those charts that folks have done.

I haven't taken any photos as it's been wet here. I post photos of the yarn and the leg and heel flap of the first Four of a Kind sock.

blogging to: sound of the wind

reading: False Knight by Peter Turnball (a Hennessey and Yellich mystery)

Parting Shot: "When March goes on forever,
And April's twice as long,
Who gives a damn if spring has come,
As long as winter's gone."
~ R. L. Ruzicka

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'll Take an Oat Bran Muffin

The hand polishing is finally done on Spray. And I'm out of polish. And my two best sources, our marina and Cabela’s don't have any. I'm going to call around on Wednesday and see if I can find some locally. If not, I'll order some from West Marine. At least the slow and plodding part is done.

This next bit will go quicker but be a bit harder on me as I'll be using the buffer. It {s}-{h}-{a}-{k}-{e}-{s} as it goes round and round and I always feel like my hands buzz for a while after I'm done with it. Doing the hull and the flat areas in the cockpit will take at least two sessions I think. We'll see. This stuff always takes way longer that you think it will.

This evening I mowed grass for the first time this year and now I am sore and tired. Thank goodness for Tylenol . . . . and chocolate. In the middle of the lawn mowing I took a "break" and got rid of our mini brush pile in the back yard. I took our bow saw and cut all the tree branches we'd trimmed a few weeks ago into four foot lengths. Then I tied them with twine so the trash folks will (hopefully) pick up all six bundles Wednesday morning. Not such a big deal. The largest couple of branches were no more than about 2-3" thick and the saw had a newish blade so it was OK.

About 4:30pm or so, I was mowing in the backyard on the other side of the yard from the bird feeders where we also scatter the deer (feed) corn. I looked over there and there was a deer, looking for the corn I hadn't yet put out because I was mowing! There were two more a ways back in the field behind him. I stopped (with the mower still running) and watched him. He/She looked at me plaintively as if to say, "Go inside and get us our corn and will you please stop that noise." I lifted my hand as if to say, "I'm mowing here. I'll bring it out when I'm done." At that he/she turned and leapt back over the barbed wire fence surrounding the field and they all leisurely made their way back across the field. Broad daylight! They must feel safe.

As to the knitting, I'm coming up on the end of the twelfth repeat on the White Caps afghan. I'm on row 165! out of a possible 700. Yep, movin' right along. This is a great TV project since it doesn't require a lot of concentration.

When you long, LONG to be off the cuff of a sock and onto the more fun leg part, the cuff takes For. Ever. And you don't want to knit on the cuff because it's mindless and boring you don't knit on the cuff and so you are still stuck on the cuff. The last five rounds on the cuff of the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern were just like that. It should have been an easy knit.
When I knit the cuff the first time it was apparently so much fun that I knit five extra rounds; a 25 round cuff instead of 20. But this time I know how much fun the shell pattern is and so I trudged through those last five rounds.

But now, finally! I am on the pattern rounds! YEA!! And when I quit knitting on it in a couple of days or weeks what'll be my excuse then? (sigh)

blogging to: Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells III Secrets/Far above the clouds
I just love this video and the music is so powerful. I could listen to this over and over and over and . . .

reading: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot:
"Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower--but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, all in all,
I should know what God and man is."
~ Lord Alfred Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall

Monday, April 21, 2008

Make Hay

The Grumpy Part: This upside down life is wearing and wearying. It's the halfway point. At least on Saturday and Sunday I know there will be no daytime service calls.

As you can see, I'm making great headway on the polishing of the boat. When I'm out there with the boat I always find more things to polish. And so it was Saturday and Sunday evening. The hand polishing on the top is finally done and most of the cockpit is also complete. Maybe this evening I'll be able to finish the cockpit and start on the stern. Yes, this is the part where you want a 12' boat and at times like these even that will seem like a lot of boat to polish. Listening to archived episodes of Lime & Violet podcasts really makes it nice and not seem such a job.

I like working by myself like this out there. It's quiet. No one's around. I work at my own pace with no thought to anyone else. It's peaceful. When I'm tired and about out of light I quit, pack up my stuff and go home.

I took the camera with me Saturday and got some great shots — the sunset in the back of the cove
and the full moon over the dam. I've learned in low light situations to set the auto timer for 2 seconds, press the button and stand back. For the full moon photos, since I didn't bring the tri-pod with me I rested the camera on a handy picnic table and then for just a little more height, the camera strap.

And the knitting's going great, too. I'm on round 15 (of 20 rounds) of the cuff on the re-knit of the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern.

The Paws to Remember Shawl even gets a little action in while Sweetie sleeps in the afternoon. I'm done with the first pattern repeat with both strands of the #4 colorway.

I finally got around to casting on for the second Simple Sock Saturday afternoon. I knit three rounds on it so that the dpns would be more stable for travel knitting. I didn't try to match up colorwise where I started on the first sock.

Early this afternoon after Sweetie woke up we ate then I drove us out to the lake. It's seems counter intuitive but to be rested a person not only needs sleep but awake mental relaxation. He rested well physically over the weekend so I decided his metal processes needed a break, too. It was just what he needed. We sat in the boat awhile then drove down to the marina a sat for a bit. Then we drove home. The air feels soft today. Temperatures about 75°F / 25
°C with a wonderful breeze. Would be a great day to sail.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world." ~ Virgil A. Kraft

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Way Leads on to Way

I am so behind on my regular blog reading and commenting, let alone the ones I stop by now and then. And also the Raverly reading and commenting. So if I haven't commented lately, it's not your writing. I'm not spending much time on the computer. It's one of the many things that Sweetie and I do together. We sit in our office, me at my computer and him at his computerS. So I'll be reading when I can but probably not commenting that much until this whole thing is over by the end of the next weekend.

I decided to go to my LYS this coming week, next time Sweetie has a daytime service call. I'll get the book that has EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket pattern and hopefully they'll also have the DVD. I understand that for the first time knitter of this pattern there is a lot you have to take on faith, like turning a heel. Follow the directions, believe and it will work. I also found out that Meg Swanson's DVD on this makes it easier. And, of course, if I get really stuck, I hope I can count on those of you who've knitted several of these. Once I've secured at least the book, I'll look for yarn. It will be a super wash wool. No idea what colors but I want it to be bright. Not pastels.

If I've received any leads on the blanket spec's I'll look for that yarn, too. When I started searching for patterns I already knew a lot about what I wanted or rather didn't want to knit. I didn't want chevrons. It's gotta be lace. And the back must purled. I don't want a pattern on every row. I also think that a stockinette looks prettier. It's also easier to fix an incorrect or dropped stitch. No cables. And no p or k3 or more tog. I knit the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket on US 10 / 6 mm needles and that's what I'll probably do for this one, too. Larger rather than smaller but I'll do a swatch. I'm also going to do this in one piece and not knit it in two halves then kitchner it together. What happens, happens.

Projects like these is what I LOVE stitch dictionaries for. And I have several. There were several patterns in the running but it'll probably be this one. It's from
a book I must have picked up in a previous knitting life, The Pattern Library Traditional Knitting put out by Ballantine books in 1983. I got it for $2 at a B Dalton's Bookseller when they were everywhere who knows how many years ago. The editor is Amy Carroll. It's on page 57 and it's called Willow. I like the way it looks and it'll be a fun knit. But I've still got my eye out. This was just the one I like the best so far.

I'm getting lots of knitting done on the White Caps afghan. I'm on the last row of the 11th pattern repeat and a few rows earlier I attached the sixth skein of slate blue yarn. I did some spreadsheet work based on measurements taken at 10 rows and 20" long. It looks like this afghan could be 700 rows long!! As a skein seems to last 30 rows I could use most of the 25 skeins of slate blue I have.

It's nice today, sunny and supposed to be in the high 60's F / high teens C today. That means I'll make a run out to the boatyard after Sweetie leaves this evening for more hand polishing on Spray. My goal is to get all that done today (or most of it) so that next time I'll bring out the buffer and the generator.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
~ Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken, 1916

Friday, April 18, 2008

Keepin' On Keepin' On

Haven't fallen over the edge. (The earth is TOO, flat!) This temporary topsy-turvy world is draining and I'm not even the one having to do it. Tonight, Friday night, will be Sweetie's fifth night out of 14. So far he's not being run completely off his feet during the day with service calls. Although he's had one each day, including today. Thank goodness they've been pretty quickly dealt with for the most part.

I frogged the leg and what I had of the heel flap on the Child's First Sock down to the ground the other day. It's a decision that had to be made. I pretended I was still thinking about it while I russelled up the necessary fortitude to carry it out. Yeah, I know I just posted a lovely photo but it had to be done. The problem is one that I touched on earlier. The sock fits fine but it could stand at least one more eight stitch repeat width-wise. That way I can make the leg, which is the heart and soul of this pattern, longer. If I would have finished both socks that way it would have been OK but I would have always wanted them longer — and now they will be.

I've cast on again with eight more stitches. Doesn't sound like a lot but it is and I think it'll be OK. I'm on round eight of the cuff.

I'm getting some good knitting in in the evenings. The only thing I've been able to concentrate on is the White Caps afghan. I'm on the eleventh pattern repeat and it's about 20" long. It's a pattern I've memorized long ago. The cotton yarn is large, easy to deal with and it's mostly a mindless knit while I sit and watch endless Xena episodes. Yeah, just like last year. I haven't watched any at all since this time last year. I guess two solid weeks of nothing but Xena in the evenings will do you for a year or so. And as the song goes . . . "57 channels [on the TV] and there's nothing on".

So far I'm about halfway through season five. Near the end of season four, I watched more sporadically. Through the last season or so of Xena I watched less and less. I caught an episode here and there and saw almost none of season six. So now I'm catching up.

I got an e-mail from my SIL this morning. Remember the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket, hat and booties? Evidently the mom's wish came true and the baby does go everywhere with that blanket. Well the other daughter (or maybe the same daughter? I'll have to find out) is having another baby, due sometime this fall. And guess what she wants. Yep. I'm going do this next one in some kind of superwash wool instead of acrylic. And hopefully NOT PINK!!! And I'm going to do an EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. They've always looked interesting and now I get the chance to find out. I'm going to start on that first since it'll be more time consuming. The first step is the pattern then the seemingly endless color choices.

No treadmill for me lately. And after luggin' it out into the living room, too. When I've want to use it Sweetie decided to nap in the living room. Oh, well. But I did put in a good couple of hours the other night polishing on the boat so there's that. Most of the deck is done. I've got a little bit to do on one side. It really seemed to go quickly with a Lime & Violet podcast in my ears. Next up is the cockpit. Bigger places where I could use the buffer, but I want to get all the hand polishing done before I lug out the generator. After the cockpit there's some places on the stern where the ladder is, the motor mount, things like that that I can't use the buffer. Maybe I can get all that done the next time. That'll probably be Saturday evening since it's cold and rainy here again today.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Patience is a virtue." said by Callisto from Xena: Warrior Princess, episode 38, A Necessary Evil (season 2, episode 14)
episode info courtesy of Whoosh!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lovin' Every Minute of It

I finished the first Simple Sock on Sunday. I decided to do a round toe. I decreased down to two stitches on each needle, drew the tail of the yarn through those remaining stitches twice and drew it up tight. We were driving home from KC and when I got down to seven stitches on each needle we still had a ways to go. I wanted to keep knitting, didn't have the patience (right then) for kitchnering and I didn't want to dig around in the back seat for my knitting bag and another project. And so that's why I did that toe. All in all I'm pretty pleased.

It seemed like I'd been making mad progress on several other fronts but upon checking, maybe not. The White Caps afghan is (finally!) back to where it was pre-frogging (one 14 row pattern repeat) about two weeks ago.

The Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern is a little farther along. I started the heel flap this afternoon. I'm using a new piece of yarn for the heel. This yarn seems delicate so if I do wear a hole in the heel I can take the entire heel out easier and put a new one in. The leg is 70 rounds.

There may be less knitting done in these coming two weeks than I originally intended. It depends on if Sweetie gets any servcie calls during the day. If he does and it's warm enough and not raining then I'm heading out to the lake and polish on Spray. There's a lot of hand waxing / polishing around various fittings and non-skid areas that are too small or a buffer (even one of the little ones) won't fit. If I can at least get all the hand stuff done we won't need to spend more than an hour or so with the buffer on the sides and another hour or so on the cockpit. I'm hoping I can get it all done before Sweetie gets off nights.

Then all we have to do is haul the new outboard out to Spray, hang it on the back, connect the battery leads, haul all the rest of the C R A P out there and we'd be ready to lauch. If he doesn't get many calls I'l do some polishing in the evening after he leaves. Today, however, it's too cold, only around 50°F. / 10°C.

And today is the first of the fourteen nights Sweetie has to work. He took a good long nap today. I went to the grocery store earlier and got the ingredients for stew. It'll be a quick good meal for him anytime. When he's done with that I'll move on to . . . something else.

I'm going to have to find a temporary home for the treadmill during these two weeks. That way I can walk during the day when Sweetie's sleeping. Today I walked after he left.

blogging to: Toolin' around on YouTube last night I found this Milk Oldfield video. It's called Tubular Bells III Secrets / Far Above the Clouds.

miles walked today: 2.08
miles walked since 4/11/08: 6.67
minutes walked today: 80.07
treadmill speed set at: 1.6/7 mph

reading: A Detective at Death’s Door by H R F Keating

Parting Shot: "One of the worst mistakes you can make as a gardener is to think you're in charge." ~ Janet Gillespie

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Singing to Myself

Finally a partial FO in the offing. WooHoo! While I was waiting in the dentist's office this morning for Sweetie to get two old fillings replaced (what fun!) I finished the foot (60 rounds) on the first Simple Sock. On to the toe decreases. I even wove in the cast on end.

I was debating whether or not to go out to the car to try the sock on or go into the bathroom to try it on and then the last person in the waiting room was called in and it was empty. So I speedily stretched out all the stitches on the needles, untied and slipped my shoe and Mermaid sock off and put the Simple Sock on my bare foot right there in public. I noted that I was right where I needed to be (and maybe about three rows past) to start the toe decreases. I very quickly admired the sock on my foot then whisked it off and put my Mermaid sock and shoe back on. I was tying my shoe when the next patients opened the door and came in. Whew! That was close but worth it.

It may be a couple of days or several weeks until the toe is done and ready for whatever closure I decide on. It depends on how much driving or passengering I do. Until it gets down to only six or seven stitches on each needle it'll stay the traveling sock. However, I better put the 3 mm dpns in my travel bag. I usually cast on with needles a couple of sizes larger than what I knit the socks with so that the cast on edge isn't tight. I'll have plenty of sock yarn from this first hank to hold for while. But next time I get the swift and winder out I'll wind the second hank of this yarn and put it in my travel bag.

I'm officially on two strands of color #4 on the Paws to Remember shawl. The shawl is 37% complete. IF I stay with the current number of rows. When I finish both strands of color #4 (in 51 rows) I'll be on row 200. The halfway point. At that time I'm going to take a close look at what I've knit and decide how long it's actually going to be. I may put it on waste yarn, take it off the needles and play with it to see how long half the shawl's going to block out. Theoretically, (and all knitting until it's off the needles and completely finished is
theoretical and even then . . . ) that'll tell me how long the whole thing's going to be.

Anyway, in the middle is where I can add more pattern repeats without messing up my carefully thought out color progression.

While I was walking today and listening to music near the end instead of a podcast, I was thinking about the next socks I want to knit. Actually, I was thinking about doing a pair of sock in a corrugated ribbing. I found it earlier this month on the Wendy Knits blog. I'd thought about doing this for one of the Four of a Kind socks but all the rest of those socks will have horizontal stripes and this will be vertical striping. So one of the next pair of socks I'm going to do (probably for me) will be with this corrugated rib. I even have half the yarn picked out. I have two hanks of Louet Gems in lilac buried in the sock yarn stash. I think it's rather lighter than it appears in this photo. I'd get another two hanks of the same yarn in violet or shamrock green or sage green, maybe grape. When I'm ready I'll take one of my hanks with me and see what my LYS has in stock.

One of the patterns I want to do, maybe for one of the Four of a Kind socks, is a Spiral stripe that Kathy of Grumperina fame talks about here, here, here and here so far. I'd have to think about if I wanted the stripes to be one or two or more rows high. At this point I'm thinking, two rows high. I can have them any height I want. It just depends on how many balls of yarn I want hangin' off the sock here. I'm thinkin' four will be my limit (one for each needle) so I don't go stark raving mad knitting this thing. We'll see when I'm ready for the next Four of a Kind sock.

And, speaking of that sock, it IS rolling along nicely. I'm on round 40 and it's 4½" long. I'm liking the varied height, random stripes. It's the sock I pick up when I walk on the treadmill. Lately, it's been overcast here and it's an easier knit, being all light colors than the darker colored Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock would be. Once the sun comes out again, I'll knit more on the Jayhawk socks while I'm walking.

blogging to: a quiet house

miles walked today: 2.05
miles walked since 4/11/08: 4.59
minutes walked today: 75.07
treadmill speed set at: 1.7/8 mph

reading: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Parting Shot: "Live out of your imagination instead of out of your memory." ~ Les Brown

Friday, April 11, 2008

And So the Fun Begins

For the next 2+ weeks I will be getting a LOT of knit time in. Like I haven't already been knitting a lot in the past couple of days. Like last year at this time we're in the process of gong from day people to night people. Well, Sweetie is more than me. I'll be like the twilight person. Not at home in either one. (cue the spooky music). As I referred to it last year, big contract company starts their annual two week peak time this Monday, April 14. Someone from Sweetie's company has to be on site for two 10 hour shifts. Sweetie's company has brought someone in for the "day" shift and Sweetie has the night shift.

Like last year, he also has to run any calls during the day. Last year the first week was fine, no calls until Friday then he was completely off all weekend. The second week really sucked as he had calls single everyday. His company brought someone in late in the week to run the day calls so Sweetie could sleep. It just SUCKED.

Well, we're slightly more prepared this time but only because we know the situation and Sweetie's worked with these machines and these folks for over a year now. Also, we found out that Sweetie's the only solo tech like this. He's going to yell for help a lot earlier this year if it starts to get bad.

So this weekend, a lot of staying up late, sleeping in and naps. The other fellow starts 7:30am Monday and is on site until 5:30pm. Sweetie starts at 7:30pm and gets off at 5:30am. Sweetie's last night is supposed to be the 27th. Last year they extended it two days. I'm hoping that it won't happen this year.

When he's sleeping during the day I'll get keeping myself occupied with the knitting.

So, the knitting. As usual, I've focused on only a couple of things. This time it's the Paws to Remember shawl and the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. If I had it to do over, which I could still do but won't. I'd cast on another pattern repeat in the sock. It fits OK, but another eight stitches wouldn't hurt any. But I'm less than one pattern repeat away from the heel and I don't want to. It's fine.

Now my question is, what kind of heel. This yarn (Schaefer Ann) is thin. Almost lace weight but I'm knitting a pair of socks from it. Go figure. Anyway, I'm thinking I'm going to do my regular heel flap heel because I don't want the WoW factor of a short row heel to take away from the cool pattern on the leg and the top of the foot. But I'm going to take a page from short row heel book and do the heel on separate yarn from the leg and foot. Not quite sure how that's going to work but it will.

The stats so far on this sock. It's now about 7½" long and I'm on round 63 of the leg. If I had cast on one more eight stitch pattern repeat I could probably go one more 10 row repeat but I'm still not froggin it so I'll be ready for the heel soon.

The Paws To Remember shawl is just flyin'. I'm on the 6 row part where I'm knitting with one strand of colorway #3 and one strand of colorway #4. That's puts it on row 146. Two more rows and I'll start the 52 row run (just over four 12 row pattern repeats) of both strands of colorway #4. As usual, an update photo when the new colorway has been firmly established. When done with both strands of colorway #4, that'll be the halfway point in the shawl.

Colorway #4 is now very close to purple. Next to the red it looks purplish. Next to the purple it has a definite reddish cast. Colorway #5 is firmly in the purple camp. So onward toward the purple.

I'm not doing the 100 mile thing that some bloggers / knitters are doing. This is for my own (and your) edification. I'm going to keep track of the number of miles I walk for some damned reason. So more crap at the bottom of every post for you. Today, just to start things off, I walked for 100 minutes, average was 1.6 mph and I walked 2.54 miles.

I was knitting away on the first Four of a Kind sock. Those little, tiny bamboo US 0 / 2 mm dpns are fragile and I can't knit very fast with them. But progress is being made. I'll get a photo soon so you can see the fuchsia and pearl gray stripey goodness.

blogging to classical music on Icecast. It's what Sweetie plays instead of Pandora Radio.

miles walked today: 2.54
miles walked since 4/11/08: 2.54
minutes walked today: 100
treadmill speed set at: 1.6 mph

reading: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smth

Parting Shot: "Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." ~ Roger Miller

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

You Are What You Knit

Move along. Nothing to see here but more boring lace gushing. Proceed at your own risk.

I'm still amazed by the fact that I am indeed, a lace knitter. As much as I was blown away when I realized that I was a socknitter. Even though I've been knitting lace for over a year now (in socks but still lace). What brought it home was the specifically for lace, lace needles. That is so cool.

I know I'll have the same epiphany when I do something else, such as my first fair isle sweater or cut my first steeks or spin enough of my own yarn well enough to actually want to show it off and knit with it. That day will come, but it's not here yet. Although the urge is quickening a bit. If I could just sit down and magically know how to spin and not have to go though the learning of it. I want to spin. I don't want to learn how to spin.

I have my crude spindle and the eye-popping dyed roving that came with the kit sitting out in a basket so I see it several times a day. One of these days I'll take a photo of what I have. I am toying with the idea of buying a better spindle. I think that will make the learning of it easier. But I need to spin a bit with what I have to determine what kind spindle I want.

Patience, grasshopper. It will come when you are ready.

Well, to that end, slow progress (as always) was made on several fronts. The Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern with the wonderful Schaeffer Ann silver sage yarn has made the most progress today. The sock is about 5½" long. It's a 20 round ribbed cuff and so far 47 rounds on the leg. Almost 4 complete pattern repeats. I'm going to have a lot of yarn left. This photo was taken at the end of November when the sock was 4" long. It looks much the same except that the pattern part at the top is whopping 1
½" longer. It looks longer in person. At least it's finally longer than the cuff!

I still can't believe that I ever thought this pattern would be a challenge. I know I keep repeating this. Maybe I'm trying to convince myself. I hope I'll come to think that about the Paws To Remember Shawl.
How difficult it was and how simple it is. I've come so far with my lace knitting. And I know I have a long way yet to go and much still to learn.

And yes, I'm already thinking about my next lace project. It'll be a shawl. Probably one of the big triangular ones. That's about as far as I've gotten. No idea on pattern or yarn or color.

The deer have come in to feed early this evening so the heavy thunderstorms they're predicting will most likely come to pass. That means all the computers (and related stuff), the big TV and all the electronics will be off and unplugged. A quiet evening on the couch, candles at the ready and in all likely hood, the Paws To Remember lace shawl in my hands.

blogging to Pandora Radio seeded with David Arkenstone

reading: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Parting Shot: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea..." ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Workin' It

Thing's aren't flyin' off the needles around here but progress IS being made. I've finished row 118 (out of a possible / probable 400) on the Paws To Remember shawl for my SIL. I'm using both strands of colorway #3 (of 8). I've knit almost two repeats with both strands now. I've got two repeats to go. Lounging there, unstretched and bunched as unblocked lace is, it's 12½" long. The black line at the bottom and little white lines are my lifelines. I put one in at the end of every single pattern row. The black one is a bit of the wool sock yarn from Sweetie's Black socks. The white is dental floss.

I'm really rockin' the 24" Addi Turbo Lace circs for this knit. I can stretch it out. Now that this shawl is on circs and can really stretch, I have to be careful and not stretch it beyond the lifelines. I use 30" pieces of dental floss for this 20" wide shawl but I have to watch that one of the ends doesn't disappear when I stretch it width-wise. I've already lost one end just above the black lifeline. I'd lost the end of one I actually needed (only about 3 stitches) but was able to carefully, tink that part, pick up everything and put it back without having to go down to the next lifeline. I worry that if I took out all the lower lifelines, I'd have some foul-up and I'd mess up the lifeline row and have to keep frogging back down to the next lifeline. It wasn't such a issue when I only had the border and three pattern repeats, but with seven pattern repeats done and 118 rows, I really don't want to be frogging this thing right down to the ground and re-knitting everything without a damn good reason. Every single one is staying in until I bind off.

I got totally off track there with the lifelines. What I wanted to say with the lace needles is that this yo, ssk, k2tog laden piece of knitting is much easier with the narrow lace tips than it was with the Lantern Moon wood straight needles. I'm really surprised how much the lace tips make a difference. I could do with less slipperiness of the metal but well, I guess that's the trade-off.

I've been keeping up with the treadmill thing. I do at least an hour at 1.5-1.6 mph, usually 70-80 minutes. That usually nets me at least 2 miles. Today I did 85 minutes. Simple knitting (today it was the first Four Of a Kind sock) and an interesting podcast can really keep me, if not motivated, at least not bored. I can also just knit and listen to music and walk, but I prefer a podcast.

And speaking of the first four of a Kind sock, it's about 4¼" long. I'm on round 23 of the leg after a 20 round cuff. The stripes are going nicely — all odd numbers. And the fuchsia always leads the pearl gray in whatever number of rounds I'm doing for that particular stripe. In other words, if I do seven rounds in
fuchsia then I do seven rounds in the pearl gray. One of the socks will be totally random. One of the podcasts I was listening to recently, mentioned that an interesting way to do that was to roll a die (singular of dice—I looked it up) and knit the stripes that way. That's maybe how I do one sock.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Acoustic Alchemy

reading: Blood Thirsty by Marshall Karp

Parting Shot: "We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?" ~ Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!

Those who read my blog on a regular basis know that the Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks are for my SIL and that the rib pattern p1, k5, p1, k4 is for the 11 games that the KU football team won in 2007. Since the Jayhawks are in the Final Four and may well win the 2008 NCAA Tournament, I'm going to do the second sock in some kind of rib that commemorates that. What? I don't know yet. But I have half a foot, toe decreases, kitchnering, casting on of the mate and then the cuff before I have to come to a decision.

The White Caps afghan has had one pattern repeat frogged and it's now back on the Addi Turbo Lace needles. [I need a cool Addi Turbo sound like Brenda Dayne has on her podcast]. I didn't have to go down that far (only two extra rows) but it was easier. Where I stopped was plain stockinette. I didn't have to worry about yo's or k2tog's. And the afghan knits up so fast.

I've got several rows in on the Paws to Remember shawl last night. I needed to frog seven or so rows down to the lifeline. I did that earlier this week, put it back on the the new Addi Turbo Lace needles then only knit one row. Last night, I knit back up to where I was and a little beyond. Maybe with one more pattern repeat down, it'll be ready for it's next close-up. I'm knitting on both strands of colorway #3 now. I've got a total of 48 rows to knit this way.

Everything else is zoomin' along. Now if I can just get / take the time sit down and knit for an extended period. With thunderstorms moving through our area this evening and tomorrow, I think I'll get plenty of off the computer knitting time in.

We took the plexiglass window from Spray into our local glass place today. They had the right stuff in stock and they think they'll have both windows done sometime Tuesday or Wednesday. Next time we're out at the boatyard I'll take some photos of what's goin' on. I just didn't think about it when we were there on Saturday. I know, bad blogger. I should know by now. I even had the camera and took some photos of a killdeer that was running about in the boatyard. Those bird are quick, hence the slightly blurry photo.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Blood Thirsty by Marshall Karp

Parting Shot: ""Men who cannot enter into the mind of the sea, cannot for the same reason enter into the mind of ships." ~ John Ruskin

Everything in It's Place

Of all the projects I have on the needles right now, it's always interesting to me when I'm ready to pick up the sticks, which one calls the loudest. Often, I find, it's the one nearest to me and / or in sight of where I am at that moment. But not always.

Often it depends on what I'm going to be doing in addition to the knitting. If I'm on the treadmill, then I'm definitely limited to an easy sock, lately, usually the Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks or the first Four of a Kind sock. Simple easy ribbing on those two. The Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks are just a bit easier in that I'm working with only one skein at at time. However, since most of the time I'm knitting on the dark blue yarn, it's an almost even match-up. The last couple of times on the treadmill, it's been the first Four of a Kind sock. Simply, I think, because it's the newest sock on the needles.

If I'm sitting at the computer reading blogs and forums, for some reason, it's tended to be the White Caps afghan, although the first Four of a Kind sock has been sneaking in there with regularity. Again, I think because it's the newest WIP. And now until I get the problem with the afghan sorted, it'll be the project I pick up when I'm at the computer.

I've mentioned this before, but for some reason, when I'm on the couch, it's the Paws to Remember shawl. Sweetie sits just across the occasional table from me in the Lazy Boy. He's either reading or napping — most likely napping. Sometimes, he sits at the desk across the room, surfs on the computer and we listen to the conversations on the short wave radio while I knit.

When Sweetie's on a service call and I'm by myself, I tend to sit in the library where the TV is, in the Katie chair. There I've worked on everything, except maybe the traveling Simple sock.

And when I'm doing the stop light knitting, I tend to stick with the Simple sock. Easy and predicable. When I'm the passenger in Itsock (our gray Buick Century) and can knit or in for a stint at a doctor or dentist office it's either the Simple Sock or the Rock Chalk Jayhwak sock. When I'm out and about with Sweetie both the Simple and the Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock go with me. If it's just me, just the Simple Sock.

We didn't work on Spray today as planned. It was off and on a bit rainy and it's no fun working on a wet boat when you don't have to.

Well, I've worked up the gumption (I think) to either fix or frog several rows of the afghan so I'm going to get to it.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Blood Thirsty by Marshall Karp

Parting Shot: "April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers." ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's Gnu* With You

Not that you'd notice, but I'm blogging this evening, not on Xena (my computer) but Dilbert, which is one of Sweetie's computers. Sweetie wants to use my 60gb hard drive for some project so we bought a new Western Digital 160gb hard drive for Xena. Along with the stuff I've always had on Xena, this past year I've added lots (and lots and lots) of digital photos and downloaded lots (and lots) of podcasts. Both of which seem to take up a lot of room so the space on the larger hard drive won't go to waste. We had things all loaded up and working OK, or so we thought. Now I just have to make everything look and feel like it did before.

Caution: technical content
I have a dual boot system which means that I can either boot into Windows XP or Linux Slackware. Sweetie formatted the Windows partition at 40gb, a 1gb swap partition and the rest for Linux which I use most of the time. I only use the Windows side for work (when I'm working and if I have to) and for transferring downloaded podcasts and music to my MP3 player. We haven't figured out yet how to make it work in Linux (but we will.)

Anyway, Sweetie's doing some more tweaking and so I'm typing on his Model M keyboard which makes a satisfying clicky noise.

Caution: sailing content
We finally got the port plexiglass window off Spray this afternoon in one piece. We're going out tomorrow to remove the cracked one on the starboard side. Monday, we'll go to our local window place, with the intact piece and see what they've got. If they have to order it, we're going to see if they can get dark blue pleixglass. We've seen on the internet so it MUST be real. If they have the dark smoked plexiglass in stock (which is what's on there now) and would have to order the blue, we'll get what they have. We may even get some polishing done on Sunday.

Friday the new mainsail came. It arrived with a new bag and a set fiberglass battens (long sticks that fit into pockets in the sail which help shape the sail) which we weren't expecting. I took a couple of photos of the sail as it came out of the bag. Once we unfurl it, it will NEVER EVER be this small again. Even if we used the same fold lines, which you're not supposed to as it'll wear on those fold lines. Besides, the main stays rigged on all the time. We only take it off when we haul the boat out in the fall. We're going to leave it all nice and folded until we're ready to launch, then we'll slide the blue bow off, spread it out and insert the battens.

Caution: knitting content
I'm enjoying the Addi Turbo Lace needles. I haven't knit much on the Paws to Remember shawl but the White Caps afghan is getting a workout when I sit at the compter and read blogs and forums. I've put it aside now because I've arsed it up (again) somehow and it's going to take some thinking to fix it without having to frog back several rows. (sigh)

I've knit quite a bit on the first Four of a Kind sock. It doesn't look much different than the last photo, a little more length, a few more stripes. It's slow going on 2 mm dpns but that's how it goes. It's about 2" long now. The cotton yarn is very soft with a bit of a sheen. I like it.

* GNU Operating System

blogging to: The Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: The Edge by Dick Francis

Parting Shot:

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's So Amazing

This morning I exchanged both sets of Addi turbo Lace needles. I exchanged the 24" US 6 / 4 mm needles for US 7 / 4.5 mm 24" circs and the 32" circs for 47" ones. I've got both projects (White Caps afghan & Paws to Remember shawl) on the new needles. I knit the afghan onto it's new needles first — almost done with the ninth pattern repeat.

The main reason I wanted new needles for the afghan (at least a longer one piece cord) is that the connector on my Denise Interchangeables would untwist at least once every pattern repeat and ALWAYS in the middle of a bunch of stitches. It was a hassle having to work the dropped stitches back onto the cord over the connector. Or if there were a lot,

  • scootch all the stitches off the needle on one of the working ends back onto the cord, [be careful of that end or put a stopper on it]
  • untwist the needle
  • twist it onto the open end where the connector twisted loose
  • pick up the dropped stitches
  • gently work the stitches on the pronged end of the connector (very fiddley) either off and then onto the needle or back up onto the cord
  • scootch the stitches from where it separated back off the needle onto the cord
  • untwist the needle
  • reconnect the connector (very fiddley) and cautiously try it (if it didn't hold, re-do from step 3)
  • twist the needle back onto the working end
and then fix any stitches that I didn't fix (or feel like fixing when I were there) when I'd knit back around to that point. I don't necessarily need the lace tips for the afghan, in fact they may be a bit of a detriment with this yarn, but I figure there's a (or several) large scale lace something(s) in my future. At least I can try out the lace tips on this afghan.

And, as I mentioned above, I'm using the 24" US 7 / 4.5 mm Addi Turbo Lace needles for the shawl. These needles are already making a HUGE difference. Here's a photo comparing the wood Lantern Moon needle tips (the two inside tips) with the the Addi Turbo Lace tips. Not a large difference but enough. I'd really rather knit with wood needles. Wood is warmer to the touch and the metal ends are cold. The wood is prettier. The wood's not as slick. Stitches tend to stay on the needles and the needles don't slide out of the stitches as easy with wood needles. All reasons why I LOVE LOVE LOVE all my wood needles. BUT, I also love the tips on these lace needles and I am beginning to love how I can stretch out the shawl easier on the circs and not have to worry about it falling off one end or the other (as much).

I realize I could take some time and with careful sanding lengthen and narrow the tips on these wood needles. But I love them as they are. And the lace tips on these needles are such a pleasure to use.

I find that being a lace knitter (I am not a squee-er and yet I wanted to sqee when I re-read the lace knitter part) is making me a better all-around knitter. I'm not splitting the yarn as much on other knits and I'm knitting more carefully (for the most part) (for all good it does me on the shawl) and with more confidence.

And I'm getting better at reading the lace on the shawl. Evidently, when I put the lifeline though the last time I missed a stitch. As the lifeline row and the two rows below it were mostly garter stitch I was able to read down four rows and figure out where the missing stitch was. I think I've got the right one. Once I get a few more rows knit, I'll be able to see if things are lining up the way they should. So far, it looks OK.

blogging to: classic music on the radio

reading: The Edge by Dick Francis

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

Thursday, April 3, 2008

It's Totally Not My Fault

I felt so good later last night that I took up the Paws to Remember shawl, which had a[nother] grievous error and frogged it back to the life line. I put all the stitches back on the needles [again] and knit the first row of the pattern repeat. I'm still on the lookout for unwaxed dental tape or extra-wide floss. Thank goodness for my dental pic/crochet hook. I can pick up the teeny-tiny bit of yarn that lays across the thin bit of floss with the pick then lift it onto one of the needles and go from there. Having a wider platform for the yarn to lounge on would be fantastic.

I also decided that the first Four of a Kind sock was a little small and had no room for shrinkage so I frogged it, too. But I cast right back on with 84 instead of 76 stitches so it's still going. Same pattern just a little bigger around.

And I've been knitting a lot today on the Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock. I've got around 3½" / 8.9 cm done on the foot of this sock.

Earlier today I HAD to get out and go the the grocery store. When I do get out and around I like to do as many errands as I have the time, patience and money for, though not necessarily in that order.

Among the many things I needed / wanted to do / get was more slate blue yarn for the White Caps afghan. I was down to three skeins (1 I just started and two in reserve). I finally broke down today and bought all the skeins in that dye lot. I figured one of these days I was going to be shit outta luck. As the afghan's for us I decided early on that wouldn't be a problem. But as time (and the afghan) wore on and I kept buying skeins three and four at a time I decided I didn't want to have to deal with a dye lot that was waaay off. Then I'd have to come up with some fancy tone on tone stripe. Which is fine if that's you have need to do. And now I don't have to. I bought all of that dye lot they had, 19 skeins. That ought to keep me going for quite a while.

When all was said and done, I was about $6 short of the $100 needed to get a 10% discount on the yarn. So I looked at the sock yarn. I couldn't make up my mind. So I decided to get some sock needles instead. I can ALWAYS use sock needles. I'm always breaking one (or the tip off one) or losing one. I looked at the rosewood and ebony Suzanne dpns and decided that I would pick up another set of Clover US 0 / 2 mm bamboo dpns instead. They tend to snap more easily than my larger 2.5 mm ebony or rosewood Suzanne dpns. And they bend easier. All my 2 mm dpns have this wonky bend thing going on from knitting with them.

While I was nosing around the needle area, I saw these. Yep. Addi turbo LACE needles. I knew what size the White Caps afghan was on, US 6 / 4mm circs but I couldn't remember what size the Paws to Remember shawl was on so I took a guess that they were on the same size. I got a 32" circ and a 24" circ. Turns out the shawl's on US 7 / 4.5 mm needles so I'm going to exchange the 24" circs next time I get out. Somehow it figures that the project I most want on these needles (the Paws to Remember shawl) is the one I have the wrong size needles for. But I am excited to eventually be able to put both lace projects on real LACE needles. If I wasn't a bona fide lace knitter before, the acquisition and use of real LACE needles makes it official. I guess the next step is blocking wires or maybe not.

But wait! There's more!

At this point, I was up at the counter (again), and there was a sock leg there to demonstrate one of these dpn WIP tubes. I was more interested in the sock leg — what pattern (I had it already) and what yarn. Now is where it gets interesting. NOW, I only needed about $15 to get to the next level. At $150 there would be a 15% discount. Since I already HAD the sock pattern (which was in Charlene Schurch's book Sensational Knitted Socks); what I didn't have was the yarn, which was very soft. So I went back to the sock yarns and in no time at all picked out a 100 gr skein of Austermann's Step sock yarn in the Volcano colorway (#18
— the red, light gray and dark gray). Well, I have it now . . . along with a nice 15% discount on all the yarn.

It's wet and cold outside so yarn and needle pics next post.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with David Arkenstone

reading: The Edge by Dick Francis

Parting Shot: " I can resist everything except temptation." ~ Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Joke's on Me

I woke up on April Fools Day and my body and the the Universe played a joke on me. haha. I felt even more lousy than I did Monday evening and so I [metaphorically] called in sick to the blog and Inexplicable Knitters Day. I rested and napped all day yesterday and most of today and now I feel quite ready to re-join whatever fray is still goin' on out in the real world. But I'm stayin' in and stayin' quiet.

Meanwhile, I wrote most of what's below late Monday afternoon with the intention of finishing it up and posting it sometime Monday evening. But I started to feel icky and so here it is now.

Yea, so now I'm knittin' on this new sock project — Four of a Kind. Like I needed another SIP. Well, really, I kinda do. Many of my other cotton socks are unwearable because of the cotton shrinkage and the holes. I could have done one of those, but they aren't NEW socks. I don't know what kind of heel I'll put on these socks, but I'm already considering a heel flap heel.

I knit a bit Sunday night on the White Caps afghan
just a few rows. I've just started the ninth repeat out of ???. It's beginning to get a bit unwieldy because of the length and the two colors. When I turn it around to knit or purl I always have to de-tangle a bit. I have the two yarns in separate small plastic zip bags with the working end running out a hole in one side of the bottom. The skein stays intact no matter what happens to the yarn after it leaves the bag. And I don't have to be super careful picking up the skein, especially when it's almost all knit and just a shell of it's former self.

And I keep wondering WHY I'm keeping track of rows on this project each time I mark down the finish of another row. I guess, technically, I'm keeping track of how many lace rows to knit between the plain rows with the white stripe in the middle. It's not like I need to knit another one exactly the same, like a second sleeve or sock. Maybe it's a ritual. Another row complete and ready for the next one.

I love reading blogs and Raverly. Last night, [Sunday, actually] while I was blog surfing and knitting on the White Caps afghan and I came across this post on corrugated ribbing from Wendy at Wendy Knits. I was thinking about doing something like this with one of the Four of a Kind socks but had decided against it since me, fair isle and cotton don't mix very well. The way she's doing it might actually work with cotton and a knit in the round sock and me. Hmmmm.

I'm going to have to put some serious time into the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. It's the only project that hasn't had any attention in a long time.

Now back to the present:

And low and behold I did actually put almost a whole pattern repeat into the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern a little while ago. That's what convinced me I was feeling better when I sat down and wanted to knit on this sock. I remember when I first started this sock, coming off the Waving Lace socks for my SIL. The pattern seemed more doable than before but still fairly complex. Picking it up again today, it just seemed so . . . incredibly simple after matching wits with the lace on the Paws to Remember shawl. I guess y'all are right — the more lace you do the easier it gets
— even when the pattern's different, the skills are the same. And as you also know; I have many skills.

blogging to: Along the Shores of Acadia by Tim Janis

reading: Not Quite Kosher by Stuart Kaminsky

Parting Shot: "Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying." ~ Baba Ram Dass