Thursday, May 29, 2008

Music to My Ears

Just when I think I'm posting almost every day I'm not. I could have sworn the post for the 28th was yesterday's (the 29th) post. Well, I don't have as much done as I think I should have for two days of knitting and reading then. Hmmm. So what DID I do yesterday??

Yesterday I finally finished the cuff on the second Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock. For about eight weeks in late spring and early summer there are band concerts each Wednesday evening put on by the Lawrence City Band. Yesterday (Wednesday) was the first one this year. It was wonderful. We got there about an half hour early. I settled in with the cuff of the
Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock and Sweetie had a book which he hardly looked at as he was chatting with the fellow next to him. And they played one of my favorite songs Beguine For Band by Glenn Osser. Here is a link to the Lawrence City Band's version. If you can't get that to work/play (I can't) here is a good You Tube version. On the You Tube version, the group that uploaded that tune, Concert Times USA uploaded several others which are also quite good if you like band music.

Today I was determined to start walking again. I haven't done any since the middle of April. You know how it goes. Anyway, I'm glad I got going again. My Four of a Kind Socks have been languishing ever since. I'd done the leg, turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches. So I dived right in on doing the gusset decreases on the foot. I'd forgotten what a pain in the derrière it is to work with size 2 mm bamboo dpns. Bendy and fragile. I didn't break any and just went slowly when I was doing the decreases. Anyway, I managed to knit an entire three rounds in the hour I was on the treadmill listening to a Lime & Violet podcast. They've got two new ones up. Yea!!

The parts for the hummingbird feeders came yesterday. I assembled two complete feeders and those are outside our office window, which is actually a front bedroom that looks out onto the street. I haven't seen any birds there yet, but it may take a bit for that to happen. Meanwhile, the oriels keeping sucking down the sucrose in the two feeders just off the patio in the backyard. The two in front are only about six feet from the window and that may bother the oriels but the hummingbirds never seemed to mind. In fact, they would sometimes hover just outside the window at face height like they would be looking in at us.

And yes, that photo up top is the BSJ. It sure seems little. And I AM going to leave it unseamed so I can show off the magic. I have a lot of yarn left. I have two full skeins of green and one of white. I think I'll trade this in for some sock yarn. (insert evil cackle!)

blogging to: Concert Times USA tunes on You Tube

reading: The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "If you believe everything you read, you better not read" ~ unknown

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Knitter Who Frogs Things Either Just Before They're Finished or When They've Barely Begun and Rarely Takes a Photo Before Said Frogging Happens

I ought to rename this blog what this post title is. It fits. If you'll recall I DID take a photo of the almost complete first BSJ. But, sadly, I did not photograph for posterity the 12 rows of the WB³ on size 6mm / US 10 circs Denise Interchangeable circs.

I didn't start out to frog. (Do we ever?) No. In fact I was going to tink back the two pattern rows and put the whole thing on the Addi Turbo Lace needles I bought . . . in size 5.5 mm / US 9 because that was the largest size my LYS carries. But well, on the FOURTH stitch I tinked I dropped it and it just went up hill from there. So I took the frickin' thing off the needles and laid it out. It was almost five feet wide. So I chopped two feet and 60 stitches off the thing and cast on again — only 144 stitches this time instead of 204. All I could think about was getting the yarn re-wound and casting on again.

Which I have. Oh, these lace tips make it so nice. And the join is so smooth. Happy knitting ahead.


The knitting part of the BSJ is done. I've done the button holes, knit the three garter stitch ridges and bound off purl-wise on the right side. I've even woven in all but the last end. The tip that Meg Swanson gives on the video about ears on the end is a good one. Many of you probably know it and use it so I don't feel like I'm giving away a state secret here.

When you're doing a k1, k1, pass the first stitch over and off bind off when you get to the last two stitches, don't bind them off separately. k2tog and slip the one stitch over. No ear. At least it worked this time. I'll be adding that one to my bag of tricks.

Anyway, the only things left on the BSJ are to seam the shoulders, get and sew the buttons on
— maybe sailboat buttons. The list may get longer as I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the little collar.

I'm torn between showing my SIL a finished sweater and presenting her with the amorphous mass and then showing her and my BIL how it transforms into a sweater. It's magical genius and I think she'll like it. So I'll do it that way. Won't take that long to do these tiny little seams anyway (I say that now).

blogging to: the quiet

reading: The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

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

Monday, May 26, 2008

Red, Gold and Green

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
You come and go
You come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dream
Red, gold and green
Red, gold and green

And those are the weather colors of this Memorial Day Weekend in my part of the world. Green for rain and of course the red and gold / yellow for the bad stuff. We've had plenty of both and also plenty of blue skies with a bright yellow sun. What color is humidity? Whatever color it is would be the darkest and meanest of that color. Sunday it really wasn't the heat, only in the high '80's F / low 30's C. It was the freakin' humidity which was about the same as the Fahrenheit temperature. Welcome to summer in Kansas.

We went sailing twice this weekend. Both were good sails. It rained most of the day Saturday. Sunday morning it cleared off and we cleared the house by 11:30. It looked calm in the main channel of the lake from our dock. So we hanked on our 150 genoa. When we actually got out there it was close to white capping. When the wind picked up even more, I went forward to change sails to our working jib. We sailed for quite a while after that. We came in before we were exhausted. The lake was pretty crowded with lots of pontoon boats, ski boats, large power boats and 11 sailboats, including Spray that we counted before we came in. Only a couple of jet skies. The water's still too cold for them, I guess.

Three Thistles were having an informal race. Spray was heaving up and down so much in the choppy water I was lucky to get any of the several I took in focus.

Monday morning was rainy but it cleared off by 1pm and we were again out the door and headed for Spray. It was like sailing on a work day! There was hardly anyone out there. It was great! We were the only sailboat on the lake for quite a while. Not many other boats either. Sweetie wasn't convinced there was ANY wind at all so we left the dock with no sail on deck and the mainsail covered. NOT like us, at all. When we got out to the main channel, like the day before, it was almost white caps. So up with the working jib. The sun was warm and the breeze was cooling. One of those perfect days. Later in the afternoon we saw bad weather gathering in the south so we headed in. Amazingly some folks were headed out!!!

As to the knitting, I've got ONE more row until the button holes on the BSJ. Yippee!!

On the WB³ I'm past the border and on the fourth row of the pattern. Woot! Photos to come. I PROMISE!! I'm looking forward to getting better, less blunt needles for this knit. When I finished the border I weighed the skein I was working on. It took 19 gr to knit the border, almost half the 50 gr skein. And I only have six of these puppies. What I'm going to do is when I'm done with the third skein, I'll see where I am. If I'm not where I consider halfway in the blanket, I'll procure a skein or two of a markedly darker blue and make it look like I'd planned it that way. And of course I did. Eventually.

My "plan" is to finish the BSJ this week, bind it off and seam it. Then my focus will be on the
WB³ and whatever else I feel like. Something else, anyway.

blogging to: various '80's hits on You Tube

reading: The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "My "check engine" light came on the other day. I popped the hood, and looked, the engine is STILL there! Silly light . . ." ~ unknown

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's Official

I've cast on for the Willow Blue Baby Blanket aka WB³. And, of course, I've changed it. Well, not the pattern itself but the knitting around it. As it has double decreases which will make points on one end and I have no idea what will happen on the other end. My experiment to see what happens (the White Caps Afghan) is only on row 186 of 700. (sigh). It wasn't supposed to happen this way.

So I'm knitting a border all around. I'm thinking of it as a frame. For the pattern I'm getting inspiration from Evelyn Clark's Paws to Remember Shawl pattern. For the bottom and top borders I'm knitting four rows in garter stitch, then on row five: slip 1, k2, *yo, k2tog,* k5 then three more rows of garter stitch. For the side borders the first stitch will be slipped, then k2, yo, k2tog, k5 and then the pattern will start. On the other end of the row, k2, k2tog, yo, k3. That should put a nice YO frame around the whole thing. And I'm making this whole thing up, the border part as I go along so it may change.

And, no. I. Am. Not. Swatching. So just kill me now.

So, anyway, I've cast on just over 200 stitches on 6 mm / US 10 needles with my Denise Interchangables. The tips are too blunt. They tend to split the Dalegarn Baby Ull. Next week I WILL be getting a set of Addi Turbo Lace needles for this. I'm also going to check at the hardware store to see if they have a bag of small o-rings that'll fit the needles. Too many projects, I suppose. And I'll keep knitting until I literally run out of yarn. This particular color has been discontinued and I bought all six skeins. When I get farther along I will take photos.

We didn't go sailing today. First it was rainy and stormy and later we just were so comfortable at home that we decided to stay there, sorta. We DID go out and get new phones. We have a crappy one in our bedroom a really good one which we have as a wall phone in our kitchen and one that's kinda OK but the handset doesn't hold a charge very long and we can't get batteries any more. So, new phones were in order.

We ended up with this AT&T phone. Now we have phones scattered everywhere, it seems. We took the batteries out of everything, packed up the two crappy phones (we left the kitchen one), the digital answering machine and the caller ID thingy in a box and put them away. We'll save them for a while and then we'll take them to the thrift store.

Sweetie and I were just talking about what numbers to put into it's directory. Family numbers, of course, even though we use our cell phones for that because there are no long distance charges. He was rattlin' off names; his cell number, my cell number, a couple of friends, the doctor's office, the dentist, the marina and I broke in with . . . the yarn store . . . Does anyone else have their LYS on speed dial!?

blogging to: A Night on the Town radio program

reading: The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: sailing daffynition: Swell - a wave that’s just great.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Panama

My goal is to hammer down on the BSJ in the coming days. I've just done the neck bind-off and those of you familiar with this pattern know that I'm just a half a dozen rows away from 20 rows of only 90 stitches in each row. After that, it's a downhill s_l_i_d_e into home.

I want to have two things accomplished by my birthday in two weeks. I want to have to BSJ seamed. I don't need to have the buttons or even have them sewn on. And I want to have enough of the Willow Blue Baby Blanket done so that you can see the pattern and where it's going. We usually get together with my Sweetie's sister and her husband for birthdays and it would be great if I could have these things done to show off. My goal for finishing the blanket and any other baby stuff is at the end of August. That's my BIL's birthday and I can take the blanket with me and give over all the baby stuff to my SIL to pass along. Of course, my hard deadline is the birth of the baby which is . . . I don't know yet . . . but I'll find out in the next month or so.

That being said (er . . . typed) if I get bored and want to cast on for the Willow Blue Baby Blanket or WB³ I will.

Shot holding the camera as close as I could to the trunk and
looking up through the branches of our Burr Oak.


The weather's supposed to be warm (near 85°F / 29°C) this holiday weekend and windy. We're going to try to get some early morning sailing in. Usually it's not windy at all in the early morning but these next few days it's supposed to be.

blogging to: the quiet

reading: The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire." ~ Virgil

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A-well-a Bird, Bird, Bird, B-bird's the Word*

We have a lot of humming birds and now apparently a lot of Baltimore Orioles. The bird not the baseball team. We've seen at least four birds, two pair? maybe. But at the rate they're emptying the hummingbird feeders maybe we have more. But on the other hand, they're a much larger bird and eat? drink? more than the tiny hummers. Oh, the way we've gotten around the larger bird on a feeder made for a much smaller one is on one we've moved the perches to the middle between the feeding stations. And we've taken all the yellow bee guards out. Anyway, we're refilling at least one feeder every day. It kind of reminds me of last September when the hummers swarmed before they left for the year. We were refilling the feeders several times a day.

Today I laid out all the leftover parts. We have two feeders going now and want to put at least one more up in the front so we can see and hear them from the office. We have three glass bottles and plenty of the red plastic flowers and yellow bee guards (which we don't use). We're short on perches, threaded cup inserts and stem cups with threaded cup inserts
. I found all the parts we needed at Perky Pet. I ordered three perches, five of the stem cups and three of the plastic inserts and another whole feeder cheaper (even with the shipping) than I could have purchased at our local hardware store. For a little over the cost of a complete feeder, we'll have the parts to make three complete feeders. With the two we have in use, the three we made and the new one that'll give us six. WoW! Sounds like a lot but we'll have two in back and two in front and two spares. And I bought some extra parts, an extra perch, two extra stem cups with the threaded inserts and three threaded cup inserts. That ought to keep us going for quite a while.

On the knitting front, we drove to Cabela’s
to pick up some "boating" supplies. We got a generic "one size fits nothing" canvas cover for our new outboard. It's too big but a drawstring cinches it at the bottom and I tied it onto the motor mount so even if it does blow off it won't blow away. A custom made cover that would fit the motor would be a lot more than the $13 this generic one is and it's still subject to being blown off or stolen. We also picked up a handful of glasses straps. We're always wearing them home. This way we can forget to bring them back a few times before we run out. And we have plenty for any guests.

Anyway, back to the knitting. I took the BSJ along on the ride and made some good progress. I'm within a row or so of increasing across the middle back stitches for diaper fullness. And I'm still resisting casting on for the Willow Blue Baby Blanket. Once I do I'll be enamored and sucked in for days and possibly weeks. I want to get this BSJ done before that happens. It's actually easier than it sounds. The yarn and pattern are tucked away out of sight so they can't tempt me every time I see them. Clever, huh. We'll see how long that lasts.

No sailing lately. We went out Tuesday and took out the things we bought at Cabela's but that's been it. The rain chances for Friday and the three day weekend keep shifting so I guess we'll play it by ear as usual. I can't believe the Memorial Day weekend's already upon us.

I also can't believe how I'm roaring through the books lately. If I'm not knitting I'm reading. So far this year I've read 53 books with an average of 357 pages each. Thank goodness most of them are library books

* from Surfin' Bird by The Trashmen

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Leave a Message for Willie by Marcia Muller (a Sharon McCone mystery)

Parting Shot: "2B or not 2B? I think it's a grade of pencil." ~ unknown

Monday, May 19, 2008

Suntne vacci laeti?*

Not a lot of knitting going on here since Spray launched last Thursday afternoon. In fact, the most knitting I've done was stoplight knitting while running errands earlier today. I'm on round 40 (or so) on the cuff of the second Simple Sock. 30 (or so) more rounds and I'll be ready for the heel.

Sitting here this evening I realized missed it so I intend to settle in Tuesday with needles and something; probably the BSJ. I'm a bit tempted to cast on for the Willow Blue Baby Blanket but maybe I can force a few more rows of the BSJ before I succumb.

This year I've decided to try to keep a journal of our sails. Where in the lake we sailed, what sails we set, what the wind and water were like. Anything that did or didn't happen. I imagine it's pretty boring stuff to someone who doesn't sail and doesn't know us. A lot of sailors I know keep a simple log but I wanted it to read more like a blog entry. Right now, I'm just typing the entries into a word processor. I may put them into a blog. I just don't know yet. But it'll be fun reading and re-living them this winter and maybe in years to come if I can keep it up.

The unfortunate by-product is that it drains some of the blog-writing energy. But since I don't write about anything but the actual sail, I'll still come here and bore you all to tears about knitting and other things.

We sailing almost all day Saturday. Winds were light in the morning so we came in after a couple of hours. Sweetie napped and I read and knit a few rounds on the cuff of the second Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock. Only 20 more rounds to go before the cuff is done. This sock and the Simple Sock travel in my knitting bag now. It gets carried down to Spray, along with the camera bag and a book every time we go. In fact, Saturday morning, we officially "installed" the official 2008 tell tales.

We went back out mid-afternoon and the winds were much better, white caps!! We came back in around 6pm really tired but very happy. No way did I have any energy to cook but we were famished. Thank goodness for Pizza Hut delivery!!

We went back out early Sunday afternoon. The winds started light but built to just under white cap strength then began to die off after 5pm.

I love our backyard. It's like living in a park. The deer still come although not as often. But we have Baltimore Oriels that refused to use the "oriel feeder" and so I trashed it an put out a second humming bird feeder. On one I moved the little perches a bit off to the side for the oriels. Both the hummers and the oriels use both.

* Latin for "Are your cows happy?"

blogging to: a quiet night

reading: The Stone Veil by Ronald Tierney (a Deets Shanahan mystery)

Parting Shot: "You are the kind of friend who would overlook my broken fence to admire my flowers." ~ unknown

Friday, May 16, 2008

Royal Flush

I didn't consciously realize until a few days ago how much the first flush of enthusiasm fueled the knitting of a newly cast-on project. If I put that project down for any length of time or have major problems or have to frog and start again, for me, some of the initial GO! GO! GO! is gone gone gone.

A recent example is the BSJ. It was almost done. The buttonhole row was the next row. And then I frogged it and cast on anew. Oh, I'm still knitting on it but it's not such an exciting knit anymore. I "know" how the story ends. And although this BSJ will be a better garment the blush is off the rose. The re-knit is not a trudge but it's not I can't put it down knitting either. I'm more easily drawn away.

And I have other examples, the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. I was DONE with the leg and on the heel flap and I frogged it so I could make a wider, better fitting leg. And now? I've got the cuff done on the re-knit. Granted, some of my time was and continues to be bled off by the BSJ but how far along would I be if I'd kept going. Would the cuff I'm now knitting be the cuff of the second sock instead of the first? Again, the re-knit sock will be a better sock.

And the worst? best? example is my lovely Nautical Striped Sweater. The front and back are done. I had trouble with the first sleeve fitting properly and ripped it partway back. I've picked up the neck twice? thrice? and ripped it out each time. And so it sits.

I do know that when I eventually get back to the last of these WIP's (not even the sweater is old enough in my book to be a UFO, yet) I'll have a renewed energy in these projects and it will be almost like casting on for the first time.

blogging to: the sounds of a Friday evening through an open window

reading: The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R King (a Mary Russel mystery)
I am really enjoying this re-read as much as the first time I read it. This is one of those books and series that I want NEVER to end.

Parting Shot: "Trust everybody, but cut the cards." ~ Finley Peter Dunne

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Splashed!!

I started this post Wednesday and now it's Thursday.

Wednesday:
I ran around all morning doing errands. From cedar shoe trees to a siphon kit and beyond. I brought my Simple socks to knit on which is my stoplight and waiting in line knitting. As much running around as I did Monday and today I got three or four rows done. And when I have the sock with me, I rarely ever seem to have to wait anywhere. Or maybe I do, I just don't notice or care. No wait. I do care. Because the more wait time the more I get to knit.

With the siphon kit I was able to siphon most of the gas out of the generator (which ran the buffer when we polished the boat) and use it in the lawn mower. And that was way less than $3 a gallon gas seeing as how it's been in the generator since last spring. Oh, well. Everything ran great with it.

So I was mowing early this afternoon [sunny with a nice north breeze] and listening to a Lime & Violet podcast [I'm halfway through episode 28] and wondering. "If I had a riding mower could I knit while I mowed?" Course, if I had one of those robotic mowers it would be a moot point.

I'm toiling along on the re-knit of the BSJ. I just started the first stripe. It's not as fun the second time around, but I keep going. I'm determined not to cast on for the Willow Blue Baby Blanket or the WB cubed until the BSJ is done. Button's and the weaving in of the ends don't count.

I DID score a big huge tub for yarn storage at the hardware store. It's a lot bigger than the ONE I have. I put the non-sock yarn, icky projects (like the Heavenly sweater) and the extra yarn for my current projects (afghan, baby blanket, shawl and BSJ) in it. I put the sock yarn in the smaller tub and stacked them both in the closet. I have lots of room in the sock yarn tub. Just sayin'.


Thursday:
The boat's in the water! The boat's in the water! The boat's in the water!

After I got the phone call from the marina that it was going to launch today I danced around the room for several minutes trying to bleed off some of the excitement. That did not work. It just make the excited and tired.

Spray launched with no problems. I LOVE our new outboard. We can go very, very, very slow which means that I (me, myself) on a calmish day can dock Spray alone. I will have to see how this would work when it's windy. But that it in itself is a HUGE step. We may not need to do the inboard motor controls.

Sweetie's been working hard all week with another tech on a new installation and there have been major problems from day one. The new machine is a piece of crap and they're trying to get it up and running. So he's had a tough week. Long, long frustrating days and it's still not up and running. Anyway, when I called him to let him know that we were finally afloat, I think his whole day got better.

And we had the inaugural sail of 2008 this evening. The new mainsail is wonderful. It rustles like paper. Ah, the sound of a new main. We'd forgotten. The last time we had a new mainsail was on our first boat, Relentless, way back in the fall of '85. It feels so good to be back on the water.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R King (a Mary Russel mystery)

Parting Shot: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip's over.
~ Sea Fever by John Masefield

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do Overs

It took me four or five tries and the first four or five times I had the damned thing upside down and thank the gods for the DVD and rewind.

But the first time you [finally] fold that amorphous mass correctly and it LOOKS like the BSJ. It. Is. @#$%^&*!!! Amazing. I set it down on the footstool and just looked at it. I'm still blown away by the genius of it. How in Hades did she [Elizabeth Zimmerman] figure this out?













So after looking at it. REALLY looking at it hard in it's BSJ format above (as opposed to the
amorphous mass) I came to a hard decision. I decided to frog it down to the ground and reknit it, better, stronger, faster or the knitting equivalent. And if you click for big and examine closely you can see. And it's even worse close up. It really was for the best.

I'm using smaller needles, 3.75 mm instead of 5 mm. The knit was just too loose and floppy. The needle size recommended on the yarn is 2.5. I don't know whether that is US or
millimeters, it doesn't say but as the yarn is made in Norway, it's probably millimeters. Anyway I like that section on the swatch so 3.75 mm it is.

And my knitting wasn't the best either. It's a real pain in the arse to ladder down and fix garter stitch. Mostly the errors would probably happen when I'd missed a stitch or for some reason had to take one out and re-do and I'd re-knit it incorrectly. I'm going to be inspecting my work on the previous rows a lot more careful and often.

I always think that I can just knit blindly and blithely along and my knitting will be great but it's not. I also realize through reading other knitters blogs that they have the same problems. They have to take care, go slow, and count and all that, too. I realize that since I'm knitting in wool any loose or uneven stitches will settle themselves out but a knit on the wrong side won't fix itself. And more's the pity.

So I am re-knitting this little jacket. It and I will be better for it. These are some of the things I'll be fixing on this re-knit which I wasn't too pleased about on the first go around.
  • I slipped the first stitch on each row and some were mighty loose.
  • In the M1 part I evidently didn't do several in the middle section which necessitated me having to rip back several rows and I still ending up cheating.
  • Making sure the M1's are tight. Mine seemed really loose. It could have been the larger needles which made the whole thing seem loose to me.
And I might do something different with the stripes. That's mainly why I took the photos so I can SEE how it was. That's all I can think of off the top of my head but I'm sure there are others.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Games to Keep the Dark Away by Marcia Muller (a Sharon McCone mystery)

Parting Shot: "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." ~ Douglas Adams

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Embarrassment of Riches

How did THAT get in there? I have no memory of that.

THAT is a 100 gram hank of Mountain Colors sock yarn in the winter sky colorway. It's niiicceee. We likes it. It's my reward yarn for knitting a podwer blue lace baby blanket with the six skeins of Baby Ull. Technically, I suppose, I should have purchased the reward yarn AFTER I made the blanket. But I guess what really counts is that I don't cast on with the yarn until after the blanket is done, RIGHT?! Right . . . mostly. All I've done (so far) is fondle it, document it, and then not put it away. I haven't even wound it. But it's really nice.

I had kind of a hard time deciding on yarn for the Willow Baby Blanket. As the pattern is called Willow I guess (for now) that'll be the working name. Beats Frosty Pink Baby Blanket which was named for the yarn and never got renamed. Anyway, there were lots of choices as I decided to knit this one in a washable wool, just not any that I really liked. So in the end, I sucked it up and decided to metaphorically shut my eyes and knit it already. Kind of like I did with the frosty pink one. I wanted the slate blue yarn or the sky blue yarn with the little dabs of color in it (which came real close) or the pretty wool yarn which wasn't superwash.

Oh, well. I have my reward yarn. I can fondle it and all the other great sock yarns I have in my stash as I knit up this blanket. I plan to cast on as soon as I finish the forest green & white BSJ for this kid. I'm just about to the point where I knit back and forth on the 90 stitches in the middle. After that it's almost done. I still don't have buttons. Nor have I decided on how many. I may just do the five that the pattern shows because I am lazy and the math has already been done for the five.

I went to the library this morning. I love going to the library. Every time I walk out with an armful of books I feel wealthy. Truth be told, I like books and reading way more than knitting. It's not even close. But I like blogging about the knitting.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Stranger in Paradise by Robert B Parker (a Jesse Stone mystery)

Parting Shot: "Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants." ~ Dorothy Parker

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Call on God but Row Away From the Rocks

Friday I made excellent overall negative progress in my knitting. I successfully (eventually) cast on for the second Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock. Since I didn't take note of what I used for the cuff rib I examined the first sock and determined that it was p1, k1, p1, k2. I did a whopping two rounds on that just to establish it. Now it's been put aside to be walking knitting, boat knitting, car knitting or whatever.

And I have decided on a rib for the second sock. I decided to go with a nine stitch pattern which is number of games they won leading up to and including the final game for the their NCAA Championship. k4,p1,k3,p1. Basically one stitch down on each of the knit panels from the first sock. The first sock was k5, p1, k4, p1.

Then because I haven't worked on the White Caps afghan in days? weeks? and had some TV time I picked it up. I did about a row and a little (350+ stitches) and found an error that I couldn't fix. Well, I couldn't fix it so that it looked like there hadn't been an error. I have no idea why I did what I did. In one stitch repeat I moved it over about three stitches about 3 rows down. So took all 350 stitches off the needles and frogged back down to the clean row below it and put them all back on the needles. That's one thing I do LOVE about this Reynolds Saucy cotton yarn. The hanging in the air off the needles stitches just stay there until you're ready to deal.

Every spring when Spray is launched some of the wool from whatever wool sock I'm working on is used as tell tales on our side stays, one on each side. As you know, I've branched out and I have several wool projects on the needles just now. The first year it was Schaeffer Anne yarn in a Springtime colorway from the first pair of socks I ever knit for my SIL. The second year it was yarn from my first ever internet yarn purchase, Claudia Hand Painted in the Twilight colorway which was a pair of Jaywalkers. Last year, it was hot pink / dark purple Koigu that was the Mermaid socks. This year it HAS, HAS to be the crimson and blue Cascade Sassy Stripes that I'm using to make the Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks for my SIL. I'll have to cut the tell tales in such a way as to get some of each color.

Unfortunately for us, Spray did not get launched Friday. I'm going to find out Tuesday when they think they can do it. Sometimes relying on someone else sucks. If it's not going in this coming week (and the sooner the better), we're going to rent something and do it ourselves.

And I screwed up the Paws to Remember Shawl (one more time!). I've put that aside and I'll figure it out later. I know where the error is but that doesn't mean I can find it and fix it. Sometimes both you and the project need quality time away from each other. When the possibility occurs that you may have to frog back to the lifeline, it's always one row away from putting in the next lifeline — rarely the other way around.

But, hey, the BSJ is getting some serious face time. I've done the neck shaping where you cast off five stitches at each end. The white stripe is done and I'm almost through one skein of the forest green Baby Ull. I seriously overbought on yarn for this tiny sweater. I will have two untouched skeins of green and not much used on the third one. I'll also have a whole skin of white and most of the one I knit the stripe from. When I'm done I'll decide if I want to keep the leftover yarn for socks. It is fingering wool and it's soft so that would be OK. I could make another BSJ sometime and just have it has a spare. I could also take the yarn back and get some Koigu sock yarn. hmmmm. Decisions. Decisions.

The leg on the second Simple Sock in Lorna's Laces if half done, already. We went out Friday evening to bend on the new mainsail (sweet!) and I knit all the way out to the lake. After we'd put the sail on we drove down to the marina. After we walked down and looked at our rental water (our slip) we came back up and sat in car the parking lot and looked out at the lake and I knit.

blogging to: The Good Life by David Lanz

reading: The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0." ~ unknown

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cigars All Around

Spray is ready (as she'll ever be) for launch sometime Friday. There is always more to do but there comes a time when you have to say ENOUGH!! already. We did the big bits and we promise (someday) to do the littler bits — or the bits that don't matter as much (right now). We took two loads in Mathilda. We wondered how we got some of the stuff home last fall but then remembered we'd rented a big U-Haul to pull Spray out. We hauled everything home in one trip. And mark my words, we'll be haulin' stuff out to the marina until the DAY we haul her out for the season. Oh, some stuff will be carted back but not usually.

The corner of the library where all the cabin cushions and sails were stacked all winter looks bare. Spray's cabin was large and spacious but now it's not quite so large but it feels and looks better.

Pelican in flight taken this March

We were so tired after this last push that we decided not bend on the new mainsail. We'll do that on the water. One of the first things we do once we're in the water is scrub the top. There's no water where Spray is stored for the winter except what you haul in. Any cleaning that gets done topside is minor. Once the deck is clean then we'll bend on the new sail.

When the marina is ready to launch they'll give us a call at home and we'll go out and motor Spray off her trailer and over to her slip. I'll bring the camera and take way more photos than I did last year.

blogging to: sounds through the open windows

reading: The Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp (a Lomax & Biggs mystery)

Parting Shot: "The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared." ~ Ted Turner

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Air Force to Yale

Blue. The latest baby blanket is blue. She's having a boy. I am SO happy that it's blue. I already have the pattern now I just need the yarn. What I WANT is a superwash DK wool in shades of blue like the Koigu handpainted. Subtle blue tones, not large color changes. Oh, and I don't want to spend more than $5 a skein or hank. hahahahahahahahahaha!

I'm going to see what my LYS has to offier in the next day or so, next time Sweetie goes on a service call. I would rather buy local and I will settle. On the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket, I used almost 7 100 gr skeins of DK weight yarn so I'll probably start there. I'll do some swatching. As with the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket I want it light and airy and lace which will mean larger rather than smaller needles and a quicker knit.

The green & white BSJ is progressing nicely. I'm done with row 68 and I'm on the second, well, technically the fourth stripe. Just a handful of rows and I'll be ready for the neck. About time to watch that part of the DVD again and take another progress photo.

This was the sky a week ago, looking to the southeast from my front door about 7pm when we had the wind storm. The wind storm was actually about 1am but that weird yellow light and the dark sky just shouts BAD WEATHER!!!

The knee is much better today. I liken it to twisting your ankle. It hurts like Hades the first day or so and then it gets progressively better fairly quickly . . . as long as you don't re-injure it. I'm wearing one of those adjustable knee braces when I want / need to hobble about. It aches when I first get up and move about but the more I use it the less it aches.

My knee did feel well enough we went out to Spray this evening and finished the polishing and cabin cleaning. Sometime Thursday we're going to load up Mathilda with as much as we can and haul stuff out. As soon as the motor's on I'll let the marina know that she's ready to splash. I sure hope they can do it by the weekend.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp (a Lomax & Biggs mystery)

Parting Shot: "Always keep several get well cards on the mantel. If unexpected guests arrive, they'll think you've been sick and unable to clean." ~ unknown

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bummer!

Somehow today I stepped wrong or something and twisted my knee again. I was inside the house going from the office to the kitchen and on one step on the way down to putting my foot down I could feel something twinge. And ouch! So now my knee's wrapped in an Ace bandage and a heating pad. It feels more comfortable bent than straight. I've always been a little bent. (HaHa! Beat you to it!)

And Spray's still not done. We both fell asleep late Monday afternoon and didn't wake up until dusk. Too late to go out to the lake and work on Spray. Sweetie had service calls today and I did stuff around the house, until I twinged my knee. Then I confined myself to the office and did stuff on the computer. Hopefully we can git 'er done Wednesday and have the marina launch her Thursday or Friday in time for the weekend.

Since the name of this post is Bummer! the theme continues. Today I paid the second half of our personal property taxes and the taxes on our vehicles so we can get our new license plates. Somehow when you get an actual licence plate back in the mail instead of a 1" x 1" sticker to put on your old plate it doesn't hurt as much.

And I have a dentist appointment first thing Wednesday morning. Always a great start to any day. I read somewhere that your pain threshold is lowest? / highest? — where you feel the least amount pain at 4am. An 8:20am appointment was the closest I could come to that. It's just my regular six month cleaning and check-up but still. I can't knit through it. I wonder if they'd mind if I listened to a Lime & Violet podcast or some soothing music with my MP3 player. It's so boring just sitting there with my mouth open. It's not like you can't carry on a conversation
— well I can't, anyway. I'll bring it and ask. All they can do is say no.

I think I'm done with the foot and ready to start the toe decreases on the first Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks for my SIL. I've got 66 rounds on the foot and it "looks" long enough. I think I'll set it aside and cast on for the mate. When I see her in June I'll have her try it on and see. And since I'm not sure and don't want to finish the sock and have it too short or too long it's a bit of a bummer, but not much of one. And that's all that's left from the first skein. I do have two more, however. So that's not a bummer, thank the gods!

This first sock commemorates the KU Jayhawks winning football season and consequently winning the Orange Bowl this past January. They won an astounding 11 games and only lost 1. Hence the rib pattern is k5, p1, k4, p1
— 11 stitches. The second sock is going to commemorate the KU Jayhawks basketball team winning the NCAA Championship this year. March Madness and all that.

Basketball has too many regular season games to make a stitch pattern out of that. However, there were three games in the Big 12 Championship and six games in the NCAA Championship Tournament, and KU won all nine. So a nine stitch rib . . . but I would like to mark somehow that at 2.1 seconds left in the game and KU was LOSING! that Super Mario Chalmers made a three point basket which tied the game and threw it into overtime. And the rest, as they say, is history. So maybe an eleven stitch rib, but different. I'll have to cogitate on this for a bit. It's not like I have anything else to knit on in the meantime.

As far as the BSJ goes. I'm ready for row 49. I'm increasing now instead of decreasing. I watched more of the DVD and I know where I want to make my next stripe. I'm already thinking about the next one. What colors. Still conservative as I don't know these people. As the next one's going to be for the baby girl I knit the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket I'm thinking of shades of purple or lavender. I would like to get all three (or more) projects done by mid August, SIL's birthday so I can give them to her then to pass on. This new baby's due sometime in the fall. They are to find out Friday what sex the baby is and I'm hoping that soon after that I'll get some idea of the color they want for the baby blanket. I hope it' not a girl or if it is she doesn't want PINK! or heaven help me the same damn color PINK!!! Oh, well. If it is, I'll just shut my eyes (metaphorically) and knit. Could be worse. Maybe she wants . . . BROWN!!!!!! AAAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHH! Just kill me now if that's what it's going to be. (talk about BUMMER!!)

blogging to: sounds of the birds and the wind outside the open window

reading: The Sorcerer's Circle by Michael Siverling (a Jason Wilder mystery)

Parting Shot: "How could I have been doing 70 miles an hour when I've only been driving for 10 minutes?" ~ unknown

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Closer You Get

If I had Spray listed as a WIP to launch she would be 85-90% done now. The top of the boat is has officially been polished AND we have most of one side of the hull polished and the other window installed. Gosh! Sometimes things that don't seem like they would take much time take a lot of time!! All that is left is:
  • finish the one side of the hull (just over a ¼ of it)
  • polish the other side of the hull
  • clean the waterline gunk with CLR
  • swab stuff on the black rub rail to make it prettier
  • vacuum and clean the interior
then hopefully make one but probably two trips with all the crap that goes back into the boat before she's launched. That includes but is not limited to
  • all the cabin cushions
  • all the sails and their paraphernalia — including the new main and sailcover
  • the outboard, fuel tank and battery
  • live vests and square cushions
  • CD's, radio, flashlights, batteries for the last two, extension cord
  • sheets, pillows and blankets for napping
We are both very tired this evening. If Sweetie gets a service call on Monday I'll go out and work on the boat (unless I decide to mow the grass). Otherwise we'll go out Monday evening and finish up.


The only thing knitting-wise I've worked on has been the BSJ. I'm done with row 34. I've got to watch a portion of the DVD again to figure out where to start the next stripes. It's hard to tell from the photo of the finished and folded BSJ since I'm still in the manta ray stage.

This week I also plan to get back to the treadmill and knitting. The Four of a Kind Socks (for me) and the Rock Chalk Jayhawk Socks (for my SIL) have been languishing for that reason. (Any reason is a good reason in my book.)

But this evening I feel it's going to be an early night. Between now and then maybe a book and a few rows on . . . something.

blogging to: the sounds through the open window

reading: The Sorcerer's Circle by Michael Siverling (a Jason Wilder mystery)

Parting Shot: "Disclaimer: Any errors in spelling, tact, or fact are transmission errors." ~ unknown

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Too Much Time and Nothing to Blog for It

I spent some time this afternoon scrolling through ALL 184 pages of Raverly groups. I clicked on any group that looked even remotely interesting. I joined a lot of groups that I have a passing interest in and joined some that I have a definite interest in but no time to get really into it. Then I created a bunch of new tabs and rearranged all my groups. So depending on what I want to be entertained with or educated by, I can click on the appropriate tab. Unfortunately, unless you're me, you won't be able to see any of this behind the scenes stuff. You'll just see that I belong to (gulp!) 145 groups! Once I get a chance to actually visit each of the new groups, this number will likely drop.

I belong to all the Local (Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka & Kansas) groups, which I've got all in one tab. I have a Lace tab with six groups, a Spinning tab with nine groups, a Podcast tab with three groups, a Blog tab with five groups, a Tech tab with six groups, my Socks tab has 13 groups and the rest just looked interesting for those times when I'm even too lazy to surf and just want to click and read.

Here's a photo of the current state of the BSJ. That's row 28 which is about a quarter of the way done if you go by the row count.

And here's an updated photo of the Paws to Remember Shawl. That's row 168 with both strands of colorway #4 at the very top. You can see the wider ribbon lifeline near the top, also.

Sunday promises to be warm and dry. I'm hoping we'll be able FINISH everything on Spray and then have her splashed!! on Tuesday or Wednesday.

blogging to: The Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: Thief in Retreat by Aimėe & David Thurlo (a Sister Agatha mystery)

Parting Shot: "Have you ever noticed how the contents of a box are much more interesting before the box is opened?" ~ unknown

Friday, May 2, 2008

Same Ol'

The BSJ is going along swimmingly. I'll pay for that remark later, probably. The knitting gods are merciless but oddly quirky. I've added a narrow white stripe on rows 13 & 14. I plan to do a wider stripe in a few more rows. I'm making this one fairly conservative — mainly because it's my first one. And I'm making it in non-traditional baby colors and I don't know the mother's (or the furture wearer's) taste at all. I make "break out" on the second one. We'll see. And wouldn't it be totally cool if I could finish this BSJ before I found out what colors and so forth I'm to use for the blanket?? But, this is a VERY boring knit. Garter stitch with a blip of excitement every x number of stitches.

We had a big storm early this morning. We're in the hardest hit area, northwest Lawrence. But we're OK. Like any good midwesterner we were plastered up against the windows looking out at it all. We found out later that we were under a tornado warning but we heard no sirens. We lost power for an hour or so. We were so keyed up we didn't go back to sleep until after 3. I've never heard wind like that and it lasted for 15 minutes or so. It DID sound like a freight train
— a loud roar that never changed in pitch or tone.

When we finally got up and around this morning (it was after 9am!) we went out to check on Spray. Several small day sailors had been moved sideways by the wind. A couple had blown off their trailers (they weren't tied to the trailer) and a couple and been blown over with the trailer. One of the big camper trailers at the park entrance was blown almost all the way over
just feet from it's propane tank. The camper trailer next to it was fine.

And with today's partly cloudy skies it would be great to lay on the ground and take photos of the budding out trees against the sky . . . except that the ground is very wet from last night's storm and I don't feel like a) getting wet or b) dragging out a tarp and fighting it and the wind (20+ mph) every time I want a different angle or subject. And it just reminds me that I need to mow (again) every time I do look outside. And it's even too wet to mow (saved!). I guess I'll HAVE to knit!!!


I got the Paws to Remember Shawl back on track. After I got down to the life line row I ended up having to take out the lifeline. I lost both ends several stitches in. Well, I wanted to try the ribbon anyway. It worked out great. A bit more of a hassle getting the wider ribbon in instead of the narrow dental floss but I think it'll pay off in being able to pick up the stitches easier should I need to frog or tink back down to this or any of the future ones.

I've been copying and downloading lots of patterns lately. Some sock patterns, but mostly lace shawls. Funny how that goes, huh. A year ago I would NEVER have even considered anything with lace in it and now . . . .

blogging to: The Good Life by David Lanz

reading: Thief in Retreat by Aimėe & David Thurlo (a Sister Agatha mystery)

Parting Shot: "The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out." ~ J R R Tolkien

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!!

It takes more time to be green. The other day we explored the recycle place at our local WallMart. So now I'm recycling our plastic, steel and glass containers. I've been doing newspapers, mixed paper (mostly junk mail), aluminum cans and cardboard for a couple of years now. Those containers are in the same parking lot as the grocery store. Make it easier and they will recycle. Did you know that the lids to all those plastic containers aren't recycled — at least at our facility. Still, most of the container is recycled. Next trash day I expect to have to haul out a lunch sack of trash. Probably not, but still.

I took a 2 day knitting vacation. Well, I did knit a bit Sunday night, long enough to screw up the Paws to Remember Shawl. Again. (sigh) I tinked the two rows back to the lifeline. I have two or three more stitch repeats to tink and then I'll be good. (crosses fingers). And while I was out running the seemingly endless errands that needed to be done this morning, I stopped by the fabric store and picked up some 1/8" wide ribbon on sale. I some white and black to use for lifelines. As soon as the shawl's back on track and I'm ready for the next lifeline, I'll let you know how it works. I think it'll be easier to pick up the narrow yarn from a wider platform, should I need to tink or frog back down to a lifeline in the future.

I picked the BSJ up this afternoon and I'm on row 12. My increase row went just fine.

I wound the second hank of the Lorna's Laces Mountain Creek yarn for the second Simple Socks sock. I'm on round 18 or so. There's probably half a leg of yarn left from the first sock but sure as I don't have that second hank wound and in my knitting bag, I'll get stuck somewhere and run outta yarn.

Sweetie and I spent Wednesday evening at the boatyard workin' on Spray. The port side (left side) window is in. The old window came off in one piece. The starboard (right side) window came off in pieces and chunks. We figure that that side of the boat has always faced west (it's been in the same slip for 20 years) and consequently received more direct sunlight which made the Plexiglas more brittle. It's the one that cracked. So it took a long time to get off. Sweetie had a tough day today so we won't be going out to work on the boat this evening.

blogging to: the sound of birds in the yard

reading: The Melting Clock by Stuart Kaminksy (a Toby Peters mystery)

Parting Shot: "By the time one is eighty, it is said, there is no longer a tug of war in the garden with the May flowers hauling like mad against the claims of the other months. All is at last in balance and all is serene. The gardener is usually dead, of course." ~ Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman, 1981