Thursday, July 31, 2008

More FOs!

The BIG news is that I finished first Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern sock last night (Wednesday). I did a star toe and instead of grafting the toe closed I decreased until I had only six stitches left on three needles then ran the yarn tail through those stitches twice and drew it up. I even wove in the ends. It fits well and I'm very happy with it. I'm glad I decided to rip all the way back and do a shorter cuff and a longer leg. I like the colors in this yarn but I like them even more in the shell pattern. In fact with the blue, green and yellow greens in this yarn it looks more like fish scales than shells. Most shells around here are from dark brown mussels and not very pretty. Looking at it now, I see a subtle blue and yellow green diagonal stripe swirling around the leg.

Late this afternoon I cast on for it's mate. No SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) for me . . . so far.

And I've also finally! sewn the little buttons onto the BSJ. Just in time, too, as I'm delivering it and the Blue Baby Blanket on Friday. Now I just have to swaddle them in tissue and a bow.

One of these days when I need a little mindless-but-not project, I'm going to do another one of these little sweaters in gender neutral colors, but on slightly larger needles. That way I'll have one waiting in the wings, so to speak.

I'm still making progress on the second sleeve on the Nautical Striped Sweater. I've come to a no-decision decision. I'm going to do the second sleeve all on the same needles and compare the two. Then I'll block both of them and decide what to do. I know the length will be OK, I'm just concerned about the width of the sleeve head.

Friday, I get to drive into Lenexa (about an hour away) and have lunch with my SIL and a few of her pals. One of our lunch buds will be the lovable (mostly) curmudgeon. She's the one I'm planning to make a scarf for from the skeins of lilac Punch from Alapca With a Twist yarn I have. I'm going to take along the yarn I intend to use and see if I can get any kind of reaction from her, good, bad or neutral. I have a bag from The Yarn Store and More (a LYS) that I'll put the unused skeins in and pretend that I got it that morning. I'll either be thrilled or disappointed and have to start over.

I'm also going to take the opportunity before and after lunch, if need be, and do some birthday shopping for my SIL. Her birthday is in a couple of weeks. I don't plan to take any show and tell WIP knitting as the FO! knitting I have will be enough. The WIP I have going I can show my SIL when I see her for her birthday.

We watched a GREAT movie this afternoon. It was They Came From Beyond Space. It was in color made in 1967. All the marvelous late 50's and early 60's ultra lounge music sprinkled throughout. And all that wonderful, what they're now calling mid-century, furnishings. There was even a Lava Lamp in one scene. It was great. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

blogging to: Mondo Exotica a compilation of great Tiki music

reading: Dead Run by P J Tracy (a Monkeewrench mystery)

Parting Shot:
"The steady buzzzzzzz of the Katydid chorus,
the bass solo of the croaking Frog,
the steady woof-woof-woof a barking Dog -
a summer night's serenade."
~ Michael P. Garofalo, Cuttings

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

In between knitting on the second sleeve of the Nautical Striped Sweater I've been working on the foot of the first Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. I'm on round 40 or so and I think the foot is about half finished. I can't believe how quickly it's coming along. I rarely look at the lace pattern anymore and, of course, two of the needles, half the stitches, are plain stockinette. And so it just flows.

I still haven't made any progress in basting the first sleeve to the body of the sweater. And I have been making good progress on the second sleeve today. Too good. I'm almost to the go or no go area — the part of the sleeve where on the first sleeve I inadvertently knit the entire shaped sleeve head and several rows before that with a US 7 needle instead of an 8. I've only got about 30 more rows to go and these aren't long rows either.

Tomorrow, sometime, maybe, I'll deal with it. And instead of basting I think I'll start seaming it for real. I'll have to do the neckband first but that's not that difficult so we'll see. At least this issue is kind of forcing me to finish the sweater instead of getting all the pieces done and then letting it languish until I want to wear it this fall.

And then I can get some dark blue Reynolds Saucy cotton yarn and cast on for the Regatta sweater. I just might go into fall with two cotton sweaters. Oooo La La!

We've had a couple of days of cooler temperatures (low 80's F / 25-27° C) , cloudy skies and summer rain showers. I'll take it!!

blogging to: A Touch of Class by Les Paul and Mary Ford

reading: The Spider’s Web by Peter Tremayne (a Sister Sister Fidelma mystery)

Parting Shot:
"Rain showers my spirit
and waters my soul."
~ Emily Logan Decens

Sunday, July 27, 2008

At Sixes and Sevens or Rather Sevens and Eights!!!

Here I thought I had been ignoring the blog and not posting for days and it's only been since Friday. I guess when you get busy time flies. Time flies anyway and I just need it to slow the heck down, already. July is almost over fer cryin' out loud.

I haven't done much knitting the last few days. I've got about 30 rounds done on the Romancing the Socks sock which is really only ten rounds as I already had the 20 round cuff done. I'm glad I decided to frog back down to the p1, k2 cuff and do the whole leg that way. I like the way it looks.

Earlier this evening I cast on for the second sleeve of the Nautical Striped Sweater. I didn't remember what size needle the red garter stitch edging is knit with so I looked it up in my notes. I noticed that the size I had down for the rest of the sweater was US 8. I remembered that the needle size I finished the sleeve with was a US 7. How did THAT happen?

I'm using the Denise Interchangables that my SIL got for me this past Christmas. When I picked up the sleeve again, it was on the cord with the little stoppers on the ends. In other words, no needles. The needles I thought I'd used were loose in the basket with the rest of the sweater. They were US 7s. I removed the stoppers and stuck the US 7s on and began knitting. I didn't even think that they might not be the right size. Otherwise, why would they be in there? Anyway, I didn't notice the gauge difference while I was knitting. I just now measured and there is a slight one, 1/8". Ten rows with the US 8 is 1 1/4" tall and ten rows with the US 7 is 1 3/8" tall. Hmmm.

Most of the sleeve is done with the US 8s. When I ripped back, maybe I used the US 7s to put it back on the needles? Anyway, where I picked it back up, the blue stripe just below where I bound off for the sleeve head, is on the smaller needles. When I baste the sleeve onto the body I'll also baste the sleeve shut and then baste that side seam on one size of the sweater, which I did not intend to do. I'll try it on and see if there's a sizing issue with the top of the sleeve. If not, since you can't see it I'll leave it and do the other sleeve that way.

If there is a sizing issue, I'll rip back to where I KNOW it's on the larger needles and do it, again. GAAA! I can't believe I didn't check the needle size and just assumed it was the correct needle. Well, at least it's only the top of a sleeve and not the whole freakin' sweater.

The only "have to" knitting this week is to sew the little buttons I got onto the BSJ. Then I'll bundle both projects (the BSJ and the Blue Baby Blanket) up for delivery on Friday. I'm driving in to Lenexa, KS, about an hour away, on Friday morning to have lunch with my SIL. And I think I'll take my SIL's new Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks, too.

Thursday, I have an eye exam scheduled for 9:15 am. They usually dilate my eyes near the end of the exam. I DETEST drops in my eyes and it's always a stuggle for both me and the doctor to get them in there. And then I can't see well enough to do anything close like reading, knitting or even watching TV for several hours. I probably won't even be able to see the computer monitor, even it I pump up the print size. I'm keeping the frames I have and just getting new lenses. I wonder if I'll have to get tri-focals. I have bi-focals now.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Spider’s Web by Peter Tremayne (a Sister Sister Fidelma mystery)

Parting Shot: "She had an unequalled gift ... of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities." ~ Henry James

Friday, July 25, 2008

Holy Bind Off, Batman!

Just a quick update. I finally finished the first sleeve on the Nautical Striped Sweater for the second time. This doesn't count the three or four times I frogged back because the sleeve was STILL way too long. I haven't basted it to the body yet, maybe sometime this weekend. That's something I'm gong to have to be in the mood to do as it's fiddly. I'm just happy that the sleeve as it sits now, fits, which I "think" the rest of the sweater is.

If this does work, I kept pretty good notes on how I altered the decreases on the sleeve head shaping (in a major way) so I can match the second sleeve and don't have to re-invent the wheel. Sometimes, being a bit (ok a whole lot) anal is a good thing!

For the time being I'm leaving both colors attached to the balls of yarn, just in case. I did that last time and it worked out OK.

I'm going to go ahead and cast on for the second sleeve even if I haven't tested the first one for fit. I have quite a bit of knitting to do to get anywhere near where I need to start the sleeve shaping, which with my alternations starts on row 112.

And if I remember from the last time I frogged the neck band, there's some kind of issue with it, too. Oh, well. Since I apparently don't have any trouble frogging a LOT of knitting, I can probably fix that, also.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Marc Antione

Parting Shot: "The way we get into these scrapes and get out of them, it's almost as though someone was dreaming up these situations; guiding our destiny." ~ Robin aka Dick Ward from Batman

Told a Simple Way

I've been knitting quite a lot on the sleeve of the Nautical Striped Sweater. Every few rows I lay it across my outstretched arm to see how the length is going. At one point in the sleeve head you are to decrease at one edge every fourth row. At that rate it will be too long, again so I began decreasing every other row. Then I began decreasing at each edge but I think it's still going to be too long. So I'm going to rip back a dozen rows or so which is a half a dozen rows before the decrease at each edge part and I think that'll be OK.

I'll knit along some more and we'll see. I'm kind of a seat-of-the-pants kind of person which works well in some areas but not necessarily in the knitting sometimes. I could have gotten all technical with the math and the spreadsheet but I've discovered that doesn't always work either. I guess as long as I don't mind the occasional or sometimes more frequent froggings (sigh) it's OK. And since this sweater's for me I can take as long as I want. So. There.

It's a pleasant change to work with a larger gauge yarn and larger needles on a simple flat knit stockinette. Knit all across then purl back. Other than the decreasing the only thing to keep track of is I do ten rows of white then two rows of blue. And the colors are calming. Bright white with slate blue stripes.

I found some buttons today for the BSJ. Those little button holes are tiny but they also stretch. With such small holes I found that the odd shaped buttons were really difficult to button — even the little bitty ones. I imagine that little zebras and anchors will work just fine with larger button holes. In the end I found these. And they were four to a card. Although I have five button holes I'm going to sew the bottom one closed.

I also found these cute blue pacifier buttons. They did not match the jacket and there's no hope of them ever fitting these little button holes but I couldn't resist. They do however match the Blue Baby Blanket. When I package the whole thing up I'll tie these little gems onto the package bow. Mom or one of the other relatives can maybe use them in something, or not.

I'm "doing" lunch with my SIL and maybe a couple of her buds a week from today (Aug 1). I intend to give her the baby stuff then. Surely, I can find time to sew on the little buttons and wrap everything before then.

blogging to: You Tube videos from the Jonathan Livingston Seagull album by Neil Diamond based on the book by Richard Bach

reading: Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley (an Easy Rawlins mystery)

Parting Shot: "What he had once hoped for the Flock, he now gained for himself alone; he learned to fly, and was not sorry for the price he had paid." Jonathan Livingston Seagull from Johnathan Livingston Seagull, a story by Richard Bach

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Paved With Good Intentions

I got about two rounds knit on the green Child's' First Sock in Shell Pattern today. I even tried taking a photo of it but the in-focus gods went to lunch after I took this one.

That's the BSJ. No buttons but I have a couple of weeks yet and it doesn't take long, even for me, to sew on some of buttons.

I did move the basket with the parts of the Nautical Striped Sweater from where it's been sitting lo these many months and now it's sitting in a different place.

******* Thursday ********

I knit about two or three more rounds on the Child's First Sock in Shell pattern. I've got about an inch done on the foot and all the gusset decreases are done.

I picked up the sweater earlier today, determined where I am on the sleeve and updated my notes. Since I have short arms I'm starting the shoulder head decreases an 1½" sooner which is where I ran into problems the first time. The sleeve was too long and I didn't want to have to fold back the cuffs. Now that I've got it started again and all I have to do is pick it up and start knitting (or purling as the case may be). When I set something down for so long that I have to spend time figuring out where I am in the pattern, not only knitting-wise but pattern-wise I'm disinclined to start again because I can't just pick it up and start knitting. And so it sets even longer. And when you pick it up after you've fogged it you have to match where the knitting is now to your notes (if you keep notes) and then adjust your notes to reflect the frog, especially if it was a major frog as this was. So except to see regular updates again on the Nautical Striped Sweater.

And despite all my nay-saying I have started to look a bit for patterns for the lilac scarf for my SIL's
curmudgeonly pal. I've looked through a couple of pattern books that I hadn't reshelved and nothing leaped out and said KNIT ME! I liked the pattern I used for the Peachy Keen scarf which I knit sideways but I don't want to knit it again anytime soon. There's a p3tog which was not fun with lace weight. I can imagine how much more fun it would be with this yarn which has little bumps in it. So, I'm keeping my eyes open but I'm still determined to finish the lace socks before casting on.

I don't have any timetable for for sweater. When it's done, I'll gear up for the next sweater project, which I believe may be the Regatta sweater. I'm doing it in bright white and navy blue. I already lots of white from the Nautical Striped Sweater. I seriously overbought. And although I'll be using some of that white in the White Caps Afghan I'll have more than enough for this sweater.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley (an Easy Rawlins mystery)

Parting Shot: "Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it." ~ Russel Baker

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weather or Not

It seems I blather on about the weather a lot but I like weather. I don't know if I could live somewhere like Phoenix, AZ or in southern California. At least in Florida even though they don't get snow it does rain there. I'm always on It's usually the first thing I click on when I sit down at my computer and the last thing I do before I go to bed, even when it probably hasn't changed any. And if there's lovely green rain coming our way or especially a storm with violent yellows and pulsing reds I'm constantly refreshing the interactive map to see how close it is NOW. When the lightening starts flashing, we shut down all the computers, unplug them, the phone line that connects them and every other reasonable thing in the house.

And since I watered several plantings and trees today I'm hoping it'll rain tonight.

The BSJ is done and blocking. The only thing left are the buttons. It went a lot easier than I expected. The seaming in particular. I wasn't looking forward to that even though there wasn't much of it. And the little collar knit up (I did the shaped one) in about an hour and a half. I kept having to stop and move the sprinkler so it took longer than it probably would have otherwise.

I hope to have photos in the next post even if I don't have the buttons yet. Maybe I can get those tomorrow.

Since the BSJ was such as success I feel daring enough to see where I am on the sleeve of the Nautical Striped Sweater that I frogged partway several months ago. I may look into that tomorrow (Wednesday). If I did take up the sweater again, that would give me a lot of plain stockinette knitting with decreases here and there. I may even get both sleeves done before I get stalled again.

For sure I want to take up the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern soon. I'm on the foot and with only half the round in a pattern stitch it'll go quickly. I've decided that once these sock are done, BOTH socks, I'm going to cast on for the lace or cabled or whatever scarf for my SIL's curmudgeonly pal. She's the one that's getting the lilac Punch from Alpaca with Twist. But I want to have the socks done first. The scarf will take the place of the "complicated" sock for a while. I don't travel with this sock because of the lace so substituting a scarf for a while will not be an issue.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Remains of an Altar by Phil Rickman (a Merrily Watkins mystery)

Parting Shot:
"The steady buzzzzzzz of the Katydid chorus,
the bass solo of the croaking Frog,
the steady woof-woof-woof a barking Dog -
a summer night's serenade."
~ Michael P. Garofalo, Cuttings

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well Maybe I'm Just Thinking That the Rooms are all on Fire*

The evil loss of knitting mojo is gone but I think it's the heat. We've been in the mid-high 90's F / 35-37°C here lately. No where near the 110-115°F / 43-46°C folks have suffered in various parts of the US recently but still. It's all relative. When you're used to high 80's F / around 30°C and then jump up 5-10° it feels really hot. We're to get back into the high 80's /around 30°C for the next week or so. I hope it rains here, too.

I love thunderstorms anytime but especially those that blow in, hang around for a rainy few days, drag a major cold front along and keep the temps down for the next week or so. I suppose if I lived in a climate where it was cool and rainy a dry, hot and sunny few days would be a welcome change.

My plan is to hop back onto the BSJ sometime this week. Seam it and do the collar. I dislike seaming as it's fiddly and fussy and I "feel" like I'm in the mood. If I don't have it done by Aug 1st I may have to force the issue and just do it. As you've probably guessed, I'm not going to return the extra white and forest green yarn leftover from this project. It's now in my sock yarn stash as it is fingering yarn. I kept the powder blue fingering yarn from the Blue Baby Blanket, too. The only reason I returned the two unused skeins of the pink from the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket was that it was acrylic and would probably make crappy socks.

To get myself back in the swing of the knitting, I frogged the ten round leg on the STR Romancing the Sock sock. I didn't like what the rib I'd chosen (p1, k5) for the leg changed the pooling so it looks like the entire leg's going to be p1, k2. Since this is my travel sock, not a big deal. When I'm 2" into the second sock it probably will be but oh, well. Anyway, it's all back on the needles now and stowed back in my knitting bag.

I got quite a bit done on the second Four of a Kind sock. The 20 round cuff is done and I'm on to the leg. It's taking a bit of getting used to going from a 1x1 rib to the weird rib pattern I un-vented — k1, p2, k3, p2. Once I get several rounds done and can just look at the knitting and know whether I need to knit or purl instead of having to count back from the beginning of the needle. I always try to start each needle at the same place in the pattern. The stripe pattern is working out well. I originally thought I'd only go up to five rounds of the same color but I decided to do seven. I had a couple of sections of seven rounds of one color striping in the first sock and it looked OK.

This evening, I've turned the heel on the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. Still using the doubled yarn. The jury's still out on the doubled yarn bit but I'm pressing on. Heck I had ten rows knit on the heel flap when I ripped out the entire leg three months ago. What I'll probably do, is get a few inches done on the foot, transfer the stitches to some waste yarn and try it on with shoes to make sure it's not too thick there.

I've got the gusset stitches picked up and the first round knit on the foot. When I picked up the gusset stitches I went back to a single strand. I pick up my gusset stitches the the pretty way. Click on the link. Grumpernia has a great tutorial. I also then knit the first round of those stitches through the back loop. I read somewhere that it tightens the stitches. I feel it's kind of loose there anywhere with the picked up stitches so I do it. I don't know that it makes any difference but I like how it looks so I do it.

* from Stevie Nicks song Rooms on Fire

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with David Arkenstone

reading: The Remains of an Altar by Phil Rickman (a Merrily Watkins mystery)

Parting Shot: "What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance." ~ Jane Austen

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"After all, tomorrow is another day!"

I must be on a wee knitting break as I've no pressing desire to pick up the needles or anything attached to them. I don't even feel like casting anything new on (Whew!) Must be mid July lethargy. Which is OK because I know that in a few hours or days I'll be grabbin' a set with something (most likely a sock) attached and then it'll be all over. The wee break, that is.

I used to kind of worry about these. How long does a knitting break go on before you're telling folks, "I used to knit." or "I was a knitter and then I just stopped." For some reason the other two or three times I stopped knitting it must have started out as a break. But deep down I know there is a difference. I know that right this very minute I don't necessarily feel like knitting. But if I were to pick up the nearest knitting, which would be the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern I would commence to knit and would probably knit for a while. When I quit before I remember dreading picking it up again. I don't know why.

Now for some reason knitting on the heel flap with the doubled yarn isn't thrilling me but I'll slog through it. I know it won't take much more (the heel flap is over half done at this point) and even if I end up ripping it out and doing it over with only one strand it'll be OK. Not enough to make me want to stop altogether.

And I have other projects that if the sock really starts to bug me I can do the knit for 10 minutes thing then reward myself with a more pleasurable knit. But I doubt it'll come to that.

Or you can read some knitting blogs where actual knitting content is occurring (which I just did while waiting for some blogging inspiration) and voilà, I'm going to go and knit now.

blogging to: Film Music by Ennio Moricone

reading: The Remains of an Altar by Phil Rickman (a Merrily Watkins mystery)

Parting Shot: " . . . I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." ~ Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Lazy

Sweetie had a string of long, rough days and so at the end of the last one (Wednesday, while I was writing up the last blog entry) I suggested we go out to the lake and just sit on Spray and maybe swim a bit. He wasn't particularly inclined but I let the idea marinate a while and within the half hour he agreed it was a good idea.

Although there was enough wind to go sailing he was weary in body and spirit. Once we got down to Spray we decided to motor to the back of the cove and drop anchor instead of swimming in the marina. We dropped anchor off the stern so that the breeze would wash over the cockpit and the sun wouldn't be in our eyes. He wasn't in the water very long, maybe 30 minutes, tops. But when he climbed up the swim ladder he was refreshed and more energized.

I stayed in another 30 minutes or so. We had one of those disposable cameras from back before we got the fancy-pants-big-assed camera. I'd stuck it in the camera bag because you never know. I had Sweetie hand me the camera. It wasn't water-proof or even water-resistant so I had to be very careful and keep it out of the water.

I cautiously paddled around Spray and took several pictures at water level. Keep in mind I was treading water, endeavouring to keep the camera dry and take halfway decent photos of Spray.

I climbed out and toweled off a bit. By the way, the new swim suit was great. Sweetie settled in on one side of the cockpit to doze a bit and I grabbed a book and my knitting. I don't think I even took the sock out of the bag, just settled in with a book. Eventually, we noticed a full moon had risen while it was still quite light.

Sweetie dozed some more and I read some more. In time, it became too dark to read. Sweetie woke fully and we just sat in the cockpit and gazed at the moon on the water and listened to all the sounds as the night birds and insects took over in the tress surrounding the cove. All this time the wind was great for sailing but we had no desire to leave our little piece of heaven.

We had so much fun and it was so relaxing that Thursday afternoon, we went to Wal*Mart and got a couple of water toys. Sweetie got a standard air mattress. I got a floaty chair. And we picked up a foot pump to inflate both of them. We went back out to the lake and anchored in the same spot. We spent two hours, TWO HOURS!! in the water. Playing and splashing and chasing each other and ramming each other's floaty of choice. We never tipped each other off the air mattress because it was such a struggle to get on the thing. When we clambered back onto Spray we were tired but not exhausted. However, I didn't even pick up a book this time. We just sat in the cockpit and listened to the sounds and watched the birds.

The thing we've always enjoyed about having a sailboat is that we can escape from land and by extension any responsibility you have there. Even 30 yards from the dock they can't get at you (as long as you turn OFF the cell phone). It's a vacation every time we loose the dock lines. We're going back out this evening.

And the knitting? I finally cast on for the second Four of a Kind cotton sock. I've got about 3 or 4 1x1 ribbing rounds done on the cuff. On the STR Romancing the Sock sock I have ten rounds done on the leg. I don't like how the change in ribbing (p2, k5) has changed the pooling so I'm going to rip back down to the cuff and maybe do the p1, k2 thing for the whole leg as I really like how that looks.

blogging to: Anúna by Anúna

reading: The Remains of an Altar by Phil Rickman (a Merrily Watkins mystery)

Parting Shot: "The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." ~ Isak Dinesen

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Well Begun is Half Done

I've settled on a rib and stripe pattern for the second Four of a Kind sock. I'm going to call it the Progression sock. The cuff ribbing is going to be a 1x1 rib as was the first sock. The leg and top of foot rib will be k1, p2, k3, p2. The stripe pattern will mimic the rib but go farther up, number-wise and not go back down but keep starting over: gray - 1 round | fuchsia - 2 rounds | gray - 3 rounds | fuchsia - 4 rounds | gray - 5 rounds then start over with the fuchsia and 1 round. That's the plan, anyway.

I haven't cast on yet but I've gathered everything and put it in my knitting bag so I'm ready to go. The first sock I call the Odd sock because the ribbing is odd numbers, p1, k3 and the stripes are odd numbers of rounds.

The 85 round leg on the first Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern is done. I started the heel flap this afternoon and am holding the yarn doubled for extra strength in that area. I'm doing my standard Eye of Partridge heel flap. I've got about 5 or so rows completed.

The photo is a picture of our first boat, Relentless. That's me at the helm and Sweetie is one of the two sets of legs near the bow. This photo was probably taken 20 years ago. But that's still where I sit and still what I do. And I still love it.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with David Arkenstone

reading: The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "If Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either." ~ unknown

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We drove to Kansas City Sunday morning (an hour or so each way) and I got the 20 round cuff done on the first STR Romancing the Socks sock. Doncha just love how it's pooling. I hope it's just as attractive when the leg leg pattern (p2, k5) gets a little further along. Otherwise, I'll just frog back to the beginning of the cuff and the cuff pattern (p1, k2) will BE the pattern. With the drive I took on Monday (see previous post) I'm on round three of the leg.

And the first of the Four of a Kind socks is done. I just have to weave in the ends. I finished it on Sunday. I'd cast on for it on March 29. Well, at least I know what the yarn will be for the second of these four socks and I know that it will stripe. On this first sock all the stripes are in odd numbers, 1, 3, 5 or 7 and paired. If I did three rounds of fuchsia then I did three rounds of the pearl gray and so on. For the second sock, I'll cast on with the pearl gray as, you guessed it, I cast on with the
fuchsia on the first sock. At this point I don't know what striping pattern I'll use or what rib. But I bet I'll have it figured out by the time I cast on.

And the long neglected Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern which was cast on for the second time on April 15th has the leg almost done. Just five more rounds and I'll start the heel flap. Since this is such a thin yarn I'm going to double up on the heel flap and heel turn yarn so it'll be a bit sturdier.

Again, I am AMAZED at how much knitting gets done when you focus on just a few projects. Progress is made. Stuff gets finished. Remind me of this post when I start yakkin' about wanting to cast on for more projects. Right now I'm wearing knitting blinders. NOT looking at the books and NOT pawing mentally through my stash. One sock down and three to go and one sock almost half done and over one and a half socks to go.

I started a Xena forum on Raverly (an excuse for you to join up Roxie) and we're theoretically watching an episode a week and then posting about it. I started this a few weeks ago and just yesterday I watched the first two episodes so I could post about them and I watched the third one today. This way for quite some time I'll have some Xena content.

When I do post my thoughts about it over there I'm going to post them here, too. Here are my musings on the first episode. Please, jump in on the comments about this, too.

Season One ~ Episode One ~ Sins of the Past
This was our first exposure to Jo LoDuca’s haunting music. Loved it then and still love it.

I also love how Xena enjoys a good fight. How she sometimes overtly and other time subtly taunts whomever she’s fighting.

And that amazing New Zealand scenery.

When I watched it this time I noticed that when Xena was going home to Amphipolis, she didn’t have her breast plate body armor on. But after the conversation with her Mother it’s back on. Subtle but telling.

I enjoy the banter between Draco and Xena. He’s such a smarta$$ but does seem to have and keep to his own code.

And one of the first Xena proverbs was in this show at the very end. She says to Gabrielle “It’s not easy proving you’re a different person.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with David Arkenstone

reading: The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence." ~ Hal Borland

Monday, July 14, 2008

But Wait! There's More!

I have a whole 'nother post that I wrote Sunday evening. All it lacked was photos which I was going to take today. I have the photos and I'll post it in the next day or so.

On Monday I had to drive to Kansas City to drop off a part to Sweetie and I brought with me $130 in gift certificates to my other LYS, Yarn Shop and More in downtown Overland Park, KS. My plan was to use that money to buy yarn for a sweater but

a) I haven't finished the current sweater
b) I know that doesn't preclude me from buying yarn for a future sweater
c) I already have a future sweater and some of the yarn for it. This shop doesn't sell that yarn
d) I don't have a future, future sweater pattern picked out.

I just can't buy sweater yarn on spec. Sock yarn I can. It takes one, two or three hanks / skeins / balls depending on who the socks are for and what kind of yarn. I can make a three hank sock yarn commitment in advance with no idea of what pattern I'm going to use for that yarn. But a sweater? Maybe if I'd've knit the same number of sweaters as I have socks (currently sitting at 59 socks ~ 29½ pair) and I'm still on my fourth sweater with none of the previous three being a sweater I LOVE. So, now you know.

Since I didn't have a sweater pattern then there must be sock yarn and books. And there was. As always never enough of either one. I got two books: Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby and New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi. Since I've been knitting lace I've been wanting a lace book. I paged though it and oh, Yes. I am NOT a chart reader and all these patterns are charted. I guess I will either learn to read charts or painstakingly write the pattern out that I want to knit. A learning experience from the git-go.

As for Cat's book, I've been hearing about this new heel that's in this book. I've resisted the book because of that which when I sat down and really LOOKED at the sock patterns was really STUPID on my part. Aside from the new heel issue, there are some really great patterns that I'm looking forward to casting on. All kinds of cool socks. Despite the new heel.

I also picked up two small bottles of Soak. Very nice. I got a small bottle of the Aquae and the Citrus. The scent is so light even concentrated in the bottle that you have to breathe in deeply a couple of times to get the fragrance. Instead of re-bottling from my large bottles of Euculan into plain small clear plastic bottles to go with a knit item for someone, I'll just get some of these.

I also picked up a Susan Bates metal Knit-Chek gauge. I got it mainly for the needle size gauge. I had a free plastic one but it finally cracked apart. The printed size on some of my older wood needles has worn and I don't know what size they are. Now I will.

Now what you really want to see. Yarn P0rn. I only got two kinds of sock yarn. They had a lot of Opal and some Regia had several sample socks knit up. The feel of the yarn and the colors just didn't do it for me. They had several kinds of sock yarn that my local LYS, The Yarn Barn of Kansas doesn't carry but I wasn't wild about any of the colors. Yep, free yarn and I'm picky. Go Figure.

I did however immediately lock onto this skein of Kureyon sock yarn. My LYS doesn't carry Noro. This has got all the colors I love, blues and purples and some green. Everyone raves about the color progression in this yarn. The yarn feels odd, kind of stiff. Like fabric that's been air dried, not dried in a dryer. But somehow the stiff feel is one that you somehow know will soften up with the first wash and /or wear. Strange. I'm looking forward to casting this on. They had another color I like, more greens but I could also see a lot of brown down in the skein so I passed that one up.

The only other yarn I got isn't technically sock yarn. A lot of my sock yarn isn't technically sock yarn but the socks I've knit from this yarn have been wonderful socks. I got three skeins of Louisa Harding's Jasmine in a plum colorway with silver sparkles. I'm not usually a sparkly wearing person but these silver stars on this plum background just spoke to me. The content of the yarn is 48% cotton, 39% bamboo, 10% silk and 3% polyester. The polyester is probably the silver sparkles. And if there were no sparkles I still would have probably bought it (love that color) but if the sparkles had been gold, definitely not.

So there you have it. One of my infrequent stash enhancements. AND it only cost ME about $10. All the rest were gift certificates.

There may be another small stash enhancement this Thursday. It's the day of our annual downtown Sidewalk Sale. Last year I got two colorways of the Strickwear Merging Colors yarn. Who knows what if anything will strike my fancy this year.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Colored scents that fill the air as drowsy insects hum around in the meadow is the place of secret magic where nature alone renews itself." ~ Kate Bergquist

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rainy Days and Saturdays

Two of my favorite things and they both came at the same time today. The only thing that would have made it better would have been lightening and thunder. Oh, yes. I love summer thunderstorms. Terrific time for knitting. And it's so cool today. We're not even going to hit 80° F / 26.5°C today. A marvelous early July, early summer day.

So I've been working a lot on the leg of the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. We watched the 1969 film Battle of Britain this morning and I got a lot of knitting done. The leg is 2/3 done, round 55 at the time of this writing. And I've worked a lot this afternoon / evening on the leg of the first Four of a Kind sock in Reynolds Kids Sunday Best, a cotton / Viscose blend. In fact I just started the toe decreases. And now I'm at that stage with this sock where I'm no longer a process knitter but a product knitter. I'm very pleased with today's knitting output.

It seems odd, to be knitting on MY stuff, guilt-free. Well, I DO have the BSJ to finish (seam, do the collar and find and attach buttons) but I've about a month yet and I've just spend a large chunk of time knitting on things for other people. But in the back of my mind I sorta want to cast on for something else. It's like I don't have enough to keep me busy. But one more project would be too much. It's when I'm NOT knitting on a sock that the urge is strongest. So I guess I just keeping working one, huh.

I know that if I cast something else on IT will take over and both socks and the Paws to Remember Scarf will be in the background, again. True, I won't actually wear the wool socks until October probably, and who knows when I'll get all four of the other socks done, but still. So I'm enjoying the knitting on projects just for me. I'm amazed at how quickly I finish a needle, then a round and suddenly I've done 5 rounds.

I've decided to channel my want to knit something else into deciding what my next at home wool sock will be. At this rate I'll have the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern done in a couple of weeks. Lace or cables? or both? Or would this be the time to try a corrugated rib? What yarn(s)? Maybe that lilac Louet Gems in my stash. Perfect for lace. Or a skein of Plymouth Sockotta and Cookie A's famous Monkey socks or her Pomatomus socks. It's fun to plan things like this knowing they're set in sand. No commitment knitting. What's not to like?

I've also decided that if I don't search out or think about a pattern for the LmC scarf that I won't be tempted to cast on for it.

blogging to: The Retro Cocktail Hour

reading: Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul." ~ Emily Logan Decens

Friday, July 11, 2008

Burnin' Down the Department Store

Today I went and purchased two things that I loathe shopping for and always put off until I HAVE TO. Bras and even worse . . . a swimsuit. OMG! I cannot tell you how much I detest shopping for a new bra. And as far as the swimsuit? Multiply the bra thing by the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin and well, it doesn't even come close.

The bra thing was OK. I found two that "work". I'll wear 'em for a couple of weeks. If they work out I'll go and try to get a couple in the same style . . . if they haven't been discontinued by then. They probably won't be because if I LOVED the bras I bought the styles would have been discontinued and nowhere to be found ever ever again. Ask me now I know.

Having had that little issue taken care of I felt "lucky" and also that my self esteem hadn't taken a big enough hit with the LARGE mirror and the oh, so flattering lighting. Hmp! I wandered over to the swimsuit department. I wanted a simple tank suit. Not in black or brown or a wild, loud floral print (read LARGE orange and fuchsia flowers!! ~ and y'all KNOW how much I LOVE the ORANGE ~ just as much as BROWN!!!). I wanted cool blues or greens. But if all they had was a wild, loud, floral print in black that fit that's what I'd get. I decided to be optimistic and only selected the ones in colors and styles that I liked. And amazingly enough, the first TWO I tried on, FIT!!! The first one splendidly and the second one pretty good. I stopped right there. Didn't even try on the other two. I just got dressed and went out to buy them before the store caught fire and burned to the ground with the two suits that fit.

Now that I have not one but two well fitting bathing costumes it will be a short, cool summer and I will only get to go swimming once because the water will cool off. And since global warming will be at an end you can all thank me in the morning. Of course, we'll be plunged into the next ice age, but, hey, we're all knitters here (or some of us are, anyway). No Problem!

Knitting-wise, I've been plugging along nicely on the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern but haven't knit too much today.

I also cast on for the first Romancing the Sock socks. Yeah, that's my oh-so-clever name. Since the name of the colorway is Romancing the Stone . . . (shrug) Since I cast on for the socks I must have a pattern. And I do. The cuff is p1, k2 for about 15 or so rounds. The leg will be p2, k5. Why those numbers? No particular reason. I'm currently knitting a p1, k3 rib on the Four of a Kind socks and the Simple socks were a p2, k4, p2, k2 rib. Obviously, I wanted something really boring. We'll see how the color pools with this rib.

That's a whopping three rounds there with my Suzanne's 2.5 mm / US 1½ ebony dpns. I did knit on it at stoplights today and it works well. When we head to the lake I'll probably stick the Four of a Kind sock in my knitting bag in case I really don't want to knit with wool sitting in Spray's cockpit, at anchor clothed in my damp bathing costume while drinking a nicely, chilled rum-infused adult beverage.

blogging to: Soul to Souls by Nelson Rangell

reading: Vanishing Point by Marcia Muller (a Sharon McCone mystery)

Parting Shot: "Of course, it's very easy to be witty tomorrow, after you get a chance to do some research and rehearse your ad libs". ~ Joey Adams

Thursday, July 10, 2008

All That Spare Time

It's amazing how not having any "extra" knitting projects lets me work on the current WIPs. Duh!

I've been flailing away on Nancy's Bush's Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from her book, Knitting Vintage Socks. If you remember, I had a 70 round leg done and I was ten rows into the heel flap when I frogged the whole thing. I wanted to make the leg wider so I could make it longer and show off more of it. I love how this pattern looks in the yarn I close, Silver Sage colorway in Schaeffer Anne. There's a bit of mohair in it so it's got a bit of that great mohair halo. This photo was taken before I frogged it. Isn't it pretty? With the color and the pattern is almost looks like fish scales.

Anyway, after I frogged the seven round leg back to the cuff I'm back on track. I've got 35 rounds done on the leg. Which equates to 4½". I've finally (maybe!!) accepted the fact that when I'm doing a lace project, even one as "simple" as this one I've got to count. Every single needle. Every single time. Maybe you don't. But I apparently have to do. Usually, I've noticed I forget to do the YO. Which is fixable on the next round, but a few times there have been other problems. (shrug).

So, I'm doing the counting thing, which has saved my derrière, numerous times on the Paws to Remember Scarf for my SIL. I've still had to frog a lot but I'd of frogged a lot more if I hadn't been counting. And speaking of that project, I've got to fix something on it again. If I can't figure it out, I'll frog (again!) back to the last lifeline. Thank goodness, this time it's only about 5 rows instead of the row before the next lifeline.

And finally, here is a photo of the blocked Blue Baby Blanket. It's now folded up in a plastic zip bag awaiting it's August delivery. It's so soft and delicate.

Paring down to a few projects and working on only one or two of those projects has made me see how I can have more than one WIP but maybe having NINE was a little much for me. So, a lace sock, a lace scarf/shawl, a sweater, a long term afghan type project, and a simple sock or two (if one is cotton) is about the right amount of WIPs for me. A little of everything and yet enough room to slip in an I want to knit something for someone project like a pair of socks for my SIL or husband, a baby blanket or a scarf for a friend.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with David Arkenstone

reading: Justice Hall by Laurie R King (a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Parting Shot: "Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." ~ Warren Buffett

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And the Winner Is . . .

When does a new project start? When you get the idea? When you select the yarn or pattern? Or when you cast on? Sometimes all of those things, at least the last three (yarn, pattern and cast on) coincide. Sometimes not. In this case they came close together but not all at once.

From my last post you knew I was going to cast another travel sock. I had some ideas on yarn but they all (every single last one) flew right out of my head once I actually had my wool sock yarn stash spread out around me. Here's about how it went.

First I set aside the bag with all of my hanked yarns. I consider these my "good yarns". Then I kind of pawed through the other yarns, like Sockotta (lotta Plymouth Sockotta), Trekking, Stepp, Swizzle, and Socka. All great yarns but none of those tripped my trigger.

Then I took each of the "good yarns" out and looked at them. Six hanks in three different colorways of Koigu, three hanks of Socks That Rock in different colorways, a couple of hanks each of Louet Gems, Lorna's Laces Shepherd, Cherry Hill, one hank each of Lucy Neatby's Celestial Merino Dream Multi-Color, Mountain Colors Barefoot and Schaeffer Anne.

Originally, I'd considered only light colored yarns as they'd be great when the light wasn't ideal. I even thought about making another pair of Blueberry Waffle socks from the blue toned Koigu or something from the pasta colored Koigu but once in in front of me nothing gelled. The Louet Gems I have is a lovely shade of lilac but it would be better suited to lace. I unhanked a few of the hand dyed / painted ones; Celestial Merino Dream Multi-Color and the Socks That Rock Rhodonite colorway. I decided I didn't want dramatic color changes. That eliminated several. I also really didn't want to knit with really dark yarn such as the recently acquired dark blue Mountain Colors Barefoot and the Cherry Hill Northern lights which is black with colored streaks. That cast out a few more. I'd looked at two of the Socks That Rock hanks but I was less then thrilled with how the colors pooled on the two socks I'd knit so I set them aside. They also had abrupt color changes. I was running out of options. Hmmm. It was not looking good for the stash.

Then my eye landed the other hank of Socks That Rock. The one I hadn't unhanked. I unhanked it. I turned the skeined yarn over and around in my hands. I looked at the colors. Saw how close they were. And bundled everything else back up and put it away. The colorway is STR Romancing the Stone.

I wound the hank.. I read somewhere, I think it was Jared on b r o o k l y n t w e e d that said you can tell a little about how a yarn's going to look knit up by winding it. I agree with that. And I like how this yarn looks wound.

And now I'm ready to go. Except that I haven't settled on a pattern. I'm thinking along the lines of the Simple Socks, p2, k4, p2, k2 or maybe a k2, p2 rib or even a p3, k2. And whatever pattern I choose, I may frog and start over with a different rib if I don't like how the colors pool.

The good thing about this knit is that once I get it cast on and a few rounds knit to stabilize the dpns, it'll be strictly a knitting bag project much like the Simple Socks were. I only finished those as I was so close and frankly was kinda tired of 'em. It won't disrupt the knitting on the other WIP's.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Marc Antione

reading: Justice Hall by Laurie R King (a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Parting Shot: "Colored scents that fill the air as drowsy insects hum around in the meadow is the place of secret magic where nature alone renews itself." ~ Kate Bergquist

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Life's Like This

While running around doing errands this morning I decided I DO need a wool Simple sock for my stoplight waiting in line knitting. The Four of A Kind sock is OK for longer stretches of passenger knitting but not so good for the other because of
  • inflexible cotton yarn
  • two bags of yarn (one of each color for the striping)
  • 2 mm / US 0 fragile dpns
Because of the above I can't just stuff the project in my purse so that I can knit while I'm waiting in line, like at the post office or the grocery story. Also, with the two bags of yarn, that's a whole 'nother issue.

So. A wool sock project on my usual 2.5 mm dpns. I was actually giving this some thought while I was driving around town on these various errands. Usually, I don't think about this until I'm pawing through the stash and then it's more of an emotional decision influenced by the wool fumes. I decided on wool over cotton because wool's more forgiving, than cotton. Wool's not as splitty. Some are but I would chose a more tightly spun wool, such as Lorna's Laces or Koigu ~ there are undoubtedly more, but these I thought of off the top of my head. And again, a simple rib pattern. I'll have to cogitate on this some more.

I met a knitter today. Hi! Barbara! (waves!) Sometimes when I have a bunch of errands to run all over town I start at a coffee shop. Between the caffine, sugar and cream in my coffee and the yummy pastry or muffin that usually keeps me fueled at least until I get home. And coffee and a pastry out is such a great treat.

Anyway, I was going for my second cuppa joe and on the way back I noticed her knitting in the round on dpns down the counter from where I was camped out with my book. So, of course, I had to say something. It was great meeting another knitter.

I blocked the Blue Baby Blanket Sunday. By the time I unpinned it it was dark, I didn't take the time this morning to get a photo and now it's raining. Maybe later or tomorrow. It really came out nice. Unblocked, it was about 30" long x 27" wide. Blocked, it's 40" long x 36" wide. I didn't bind off anywhere near loose enough but it'll be OK. The Baby Ull wool was soft to begin with but it feels even soft now. I'm even more pleased with it.

I've been making some progress on the Paws to Remember scarf for my SIL. But I've made negative progress on the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. I had the cuff done and about 2 rounds done on the leg. I worked my way up to about round 7 or so and ended up frogged back to the ribbed cuff. It's a good thing that I really like the yarn and pattern. It's all back on the needles now. I just need to knit a round of ribbing to put everything back properly then begin (again!!) on the lace pattern.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Justice Hall by Laurie R King (a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Parting Shot: "I like making a piece of string into something I can wear." ~ unknown

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gotta Blame it on Something

I just keep knockin' 'em off. I finished the Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks late Sunday night. Here are the stats:

yarn: Cascade Sassy Stripes
pattern: my own ~ first sock: p1, k5, p1, k4
second sock: p1, k4, p1, k3
heel: 50 stitch short row heel
toe decreases: stitches evenly divided among 5 needles and decreased at the beginning of every needle.
needles: 2.5mm rosewood dpns

The foot on the first sock is noticeably larger than the second sock. Late last spring, (May 2007) my SIL slipped and broke her ankle very badly. That ankle and foot are still swollen hence, the larger sock for that foot. She was thrilled when she tried on the unfinished except for the toe decreases sock several weeks ago that it fit her injured foot. Together both socks weigh 100 grams. However, I have 37 grams left on the third skein. Technically, I should have the entire third skein. I didn't weight the skeins before I dug into them. I have no idea what happened to 56½ yards of this yarn. Oh, well. The socks are done and I'm pleased with them.

The Blue Baby Blanket had it's two ends woven in this morning and now it's soaking in Euculan. I plan to block it today.

I almost succumbed. I came thisclose to casting on for the LmC scarf and . . . AND another pair of socks. I was putting away the leftover yarn from the Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks and rooting around in there looking for the socks I need to repair and the yarn for them. I must have been overcome by the wool fumes in the sock yarn stash. I pulled out the two skeins of Schachenmayr Nomotta Crazy Cotton in the colorway I call "Spring". Then I proceeded to look through pattern books for a pattern for the scarf to cast on RIGHT NOW!

Well, I did fix one pair of socks. These were very small. Not pretty but serviceable. I tried them on and they are not too small. And since one repair is on the bottom of the foot and on the other sock it was on the heel no one but me will know. I looked at the others and put them down. I think I can fix another pair without frogging but it would be better if I did. I fixed one and I'm done with the repairs for now.

Since I'm not going to frog and fix my socks I DO need another travel sock. So I did kept out the cotton yarn. I'll figure out a pattern and put that and the needles in my knitting bag. But I'm not going to cast on until I need to.

I want to finish the BSJ before I start the scarf for the LmC. I still can't believe it. I went from a WIP high of nine projects to six. And one of those six is close to being done. I'll relax awhile and knit on some of the other WIPs.

listening to: Rush Limbaugh

reading: The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot:
"The steady buzzzzzzz of the Katydid chorus,
the bass solo of the croaking Frog,
the steady woof-woof-woof a barking Dog -
a summer night's serenade."
~ Michael P. Garofalo, Cuttings

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Warrior Knitter, Sweetie and Spray to the Rescue!!!

I'm back on the Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock. Often a break from a project is revitalizing. The foot is done and I'm on to the toe decreases. In fact, it'll probably be done in the next day or so. That is if I don't up and finish it this evening. As I noted before, the toe decreases rounds are short because I was loathe to frog the half a dozen or so rows I'd already knit on the first sock before I had my SIL try it on.

A few days ago we'd driven out to the lake and stopped by the spillway. They were still letting out a lot of water.

Looking down from the top over the outlet

Looking back toward the outlet

Looking from the outlet down stream

We went sailing Saturday afternoon and on into the night. The temperatures were in the low 80's F / mid to upper 20's C. The winds started out probably around 15 mph / 24 kph — whitecaps!!
— just not very big ones and dropped to 7 or 8 mph / 11-13 kph by nightfall.

Here is a screen capture map of Clinton Lake. And, as always, click for bigger. Near the upper right hand corner, under the Army Corps of Engineers red logo is a white anchor symbol on a brown background. That's where the marina is. Where we anchored is the dot near the center bottom. Directly across from the dam, Bloomington Park, the large green area, there is a tiny finger of green. That's part of the breakwater to the old marina cove. We sail parallel to that finger toward the big green. The marina used to be in that cove. We sail through there quite often. We seem to be the only "large" sailboat to do that. Also, we're about the only ones in the marina left that had a slip when the marina was across the lake.

We sailed for a couple of hours then decided drop the sails and anchor at a favorite spot (see above). We had a snack then Sweetie settled down for a bit of a snooze. I broke out the Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock and finished the foot and started on the toe.

About an hour or so later we pulled up the anchor and set sail again. As it was an upwind sail to the dam we decided that once we got there, if there was enough light, we'd set the chute (aka the spinnaker). We sailed from the farthest corner of the dam from the marina. It was great. The wind was fairly steady in both speed and direction. And the take down (of the spinnaker) was pretty good, too.

By the time we stowed the spinnaker and hoisted the working jib back up it was dusk. We sailed back the way we'd come with the spinnaker. By the time we got back over to the far shore, we decided we were both tired and decided to head back. Keep in mind [for you non-sailors] that when you sail the only sounds are the wind and the water. There is no noisy motor to have to talk over (if you're under sail) so you can carry on a conversation in normal conversational tones. Which is why loud power boat radios, jet skis, loud powerboats, etc are so annoying to sailors.

Shortly after tacked (turned the boat) we heard shouting. By this time it was nearly full dark. At first we thought it was the exubrent shouts folks celebrating on a Saturday night the second night of a three day weekend. But there was something about the shouting that wasn't quite right for a group of partiers. So we sailed closer and located them with a flashlight. They were indeed in need of help. Their boat battery was dead and consequently they had no lights and couldn't start the engine. We wondered how long they'd been shouting for help. Over a boat's engine, especially one that's very loud you wouldn't have been able to hear them and they had no lights to signal with. We sailed close enough to let them know that after we dropped sail we'd come back and tow them in. T
he dot just below center on the left edge of the map is where we rescued them.

We sailed off a ways, dropped sail and got a line ready. While we were getting ready we'd lost track of them and had to search around a bit with the flashlight. [We have one of those large
waterproof, floating ones, the kind that holds a 6v lantern battery, tied to a white throwable device (a square cushion) with a length of poly line so that the whole thing will float. The idea is that before you heave it overboard at night you turn on the flashlight so that a) the person in the water can see where it landed and once the person in the water has it you can locate them by the flashlight.] They could track us as we had our night running lights on. Once we motored close enough, Sweetie threw them one end of the line to tie off on their bow and he secured the other end to the cleat at the right rear of Spray. They were about 20' behind us and we slowly motored back to the marina where they had the trailer.

That took about 30 minutes or so. We figured that was the slowest they'd ever crossed the lake. As we got near the boat ramp we slowed way down and maneuvered Spray so that she would pass within a few feet of the dock. As they neared the dock, they loosed the line from their bow and Sweetie gathered it in. One of the guys jumped overboard and swam the boat the final feet to the dock.

We've "rescued" several power boats, with our first sailboat, Relentless. This was the first one with Spray.
There’s just something a bit satisifying about a sailboat towing in a powerboat. Over the years we towed in only one sailboat, a small daysailor with no motor, that was in out in the middle of the lake. The wind had died and it was getting on toward dark.

blogging to: Forest by George Winston

reading: The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: "In summer, the song sings itself." ~ William Carlos Williams

Friday, July 4, 2008

Takin' a Break

Not from blogging but the Rock Chalk Jayhawk sock. I know. I know. A concentrated effort of just a few days will see this project done, done, done and a nagging WIP will cross over into the FO column. I figure a few days or a week away will see me back into this sock with the renewed energy to finish it in two or three long sessions.

So what have I been working on? A bit here and there on the first Four of a Kind sock. The foot is about half done but I can only work on those 2 mm / US 0 dpns for so long.

Which means that eventually I'm going to have to cast on with something for another Simple Sock kind of thing to take the pressure off having to have to knit with sharp 2 mm dpns. I'm going to hold off on that for as long as I can. . . . Hmmmm . . . A perfect project for that may be the re-knit of one or more of the too small socks. I'll have to rummage around and get one of those in the knitting bag. Not every exciting but it's one of those things I need to do.

The main thing I've been occupied with lately has been the Paws to Remember scarf. I've been calling it a shawl, denying the fact that that's what my SIL is going to use it for. A scarf. So, a slight re-name here. Anyway, I WAS within four rows of being half done. I suppose with all the frogging and re-knitting it could have been more than half done. I laid it out an measured it, unblocked this morning. I figure that when my SIL washes it she won't pin it out it so it'll be worn unblocked after she washes it the first time. Any length from the initial blocking will be gravy. And yes, I will offer to wash and pin it out every spring or when it needs it. But still.

So. I measured out what I'd knit, 196 rows. It's barely 23" long. A four foot scarf on a 5'9" person. Not unheard of but not what I want. I hung my five foot tape measure around Sweetie's neck and liked that length. I'll keep knitting on this "half" of the scarf with both strands of colorway #4 until I reach 30" unblocked then I'll proceed to the second half.

blogging to: the sounds of fireworks

reading: The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters (an Amelia Peabody mystery)

Parting Shot: America the Beautiful

"O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea."

lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates