Thursday, August 28, 2008

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

I've cast on for the third Four (maybe Five) of a Kind Socks. I decided to do a 2x2 rib instead of the 1x1. These socks are all about being different so socks three and four will have the 2x2 ribbing. I've decided to do a narrow stripe on this sock. I'm going to randomly or maybe patternly (haven't decided yet) between one and two round width stripes. I cast on with the fuchsia and am currently on the second round of the sock with the first round of the light pearl gray. I still haven't decided on a rib pattern but I've got 18 more rounds to figure it out.

And I finally got the ends woven in on the first two socks.

These socks are getting a lot of knit time for one reason. We've taken up target shooting again. We used to do it quite a bit, before our first boat back when we were first married. With Spray and the canoe we've got great outside interests that we do together. Inside, there's computers, but we're split a bit on that. I'm a user and Sweetie likes to experiment with programing. True we're in the same room but we use these tools for different things. With target shooting we're both doing the same thing at the same time. We're just a bit on the competitive side — seeing who can mess up perfectly good paper targets better.

There are a couple of local indoor ranges, one about 45 minutes west of us in Topeka and one about an hour east of us in Overland Park.
That's where all the sock knitting time comes in. Sweetie usually drives and I knit. There's also one in Lawrence but it's a bit restrictive. It's in a multi-use community center so I understand why they have to do it they way they do. It'll be nice to go there occasionally. It was a relief to see that target shooting is a skill that comes back quickly, like the knitting did. We've been asking ourselves why we quit shooting and we can't come up with a reason. Anyway, we've been having great fun shooting round holes in perfectly good pieces of paper!

We're also thinking about get back into reloading. That would also make a good inside (read winter) interest. We gave away all of our reloading stuff years ago so we'd have to buy it all again. We enjoyed the process so it's getting some serious consideration.

I'm making slow but decent progress on the Fern Lace Wrap. It seems to go along quickly until I look at the big picture. Oh, well. Good thing I'm a process and not a product knitter, huh. It's good TV or blog / forum reading knitting. I don't know how well it'll do for car knitting (as a passenger) because the yarn is a bit slippery. I've always got a pair of socks on the needles for that anyway.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Game by Laurie R King (a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Parting Shot: "He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed." ~ Harry Kalas

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moving Right Along . . .

First off, the brisket I cooked yesterday (Tuesday) was / is delicious. All that caramelized goodness on the ends. Yum! We'll have at least one maybe two more meals from this 2½ lb flat brisket.

The other FO! yesterday
was sock #2 on the Four (maybe Five) of a Kind Socks. The toe decreases on this thing seemed to go on For. E. Ver. But, it was finally done. And no, I haven't woven the ends in yet. In fact, I haven't woven the ends in on the first sock. We're going to be taking a drive to Kansas City today (Wednesday) or Thursday and if I'm not driving I'll do it then. It won't take long, but it'll take longer than with a pair of wool socks. Since cotton doesn't felt, I weave in extra long ends.

I haven't cast on yet for sock #3. I still haven't decided on the ribbing or stri
pe pattern. At least for the ribbing, have a 20 round 1x1 cuff to knit first so I can put that decision off for a bit. However, the stripe decision needs to be settled the first round after the cast on. If I'm stuck and need to cast on this sock, I can always fall back to the matching random even rounds. Or . . . (thinking) . . . I could do a wide-ish stripe, three or four rounds. Both of first two socks have a combination of very wide (seven rounds) and very narrow (one round) stripes. On these next two, one could be wide stripes, maybe alternate three and four round stripes or four and five round stripes and the other sock could be alternating one and two round stripes. Hmmmm. I like that. Well, that solves one problem.

I decided to take a wee break from the US
size 0's / 2mm dpns. After all those toe decreases, I need a break. Since I have the "new" yarn for the Fern Lace Wrap I decided to pick that up for awhile. It takes some getting used to — going from bamboo US 0 dpns to a US 9 metal Addi Turbo Lace circ. I'm just starting the sixth pattern repeat and the second skein.

blogging to: Rush Limbaugh

reading: The Game by Laurie R King (a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Parting Shot: "Nothing splendid was ever created in cold blood. Heat is required to forge anything. Every great accomplishment is the story of a flaming heart.” ~ Arnold H. Glasgow

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Multi-Tasking

Oh, how I wish I could type and knit. I can read and knit a simple rib which I often do.

I'm still plugging away on the second Four (maybe Five) of a Kind Sock. I'm finally on the toe decreases. This foot is ten rounds longer than the foot on the first sock. Why is that? Has my foot grown? Has my gauge changed? I don't know. I just made it longer. Good thing I tried it on before I started the toe decreases. The top of foot pattern rib pattern is different from the first sock which shouldn't affect it. (shrugs and moves on). I'll probably have this sock done sometime today (Tuesday).

I'm not usually a kit person. I usually either like the yarn or pattern, rarely both. But this time I did buy a kit. The Pink Ribbon Sock from Sugar Bunny Boulevard in Wichita, KS. Lace and cables — it reminds me of a ballet slipper. And the yarn hank is soft and gorgeous soft pink tones. Don't know when I'll knit this but at least I have the pattern and the yarn in my stash.

The GOOD thing about cooking a brisket? A great meal and terrific leftovers. The BAD thing about cooking a brisket? the great smells that leave you salivating for the 3½ - 4 hours until it's done. And the longer it cooks the better it smells. And unlike perfumes or other odors that you get used to and don't smell any more, good cooking smells just get stronger. Here's the recipe.

BBQ BRISKET

From: The Pirates House Cookbook, Savannah, GA
Makes: 4-6 servings

3 lb beef brisket or lean boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat
garlic pepper, to taste
1 cup catsup
2 tblspn prepared yellow mustard
¼ cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tspn Worcestershire sauce
½ tspn salt
1/8 tspn coarsely ground pepper, or to taste
¼ tspn Tabasco or other hot sauce, or to taste
1/8 tspn liquid smoke, or to taste
11 oz can cream of mushroom or celery soup*
1 envelope onion or beefy onion soup mix*

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil in a jelly-roll pan or a 9" x 13" baking dish. Cut all visible fat from meat then place meat in prepared pan.

Sprinkle both sides of meat with garlic pepper (or garlic and pepper) & set aside. In a small saucepan combine catsup, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce & liquid smoke. Heat, stirring to combine flavors. Add mushroom or celery soup & onion or beefy onion soups to barbecue sauce & blend well. Pour over meat in pan.

Seal foil tightly, leaving about 1" clearance between foil & meat. Bake, 3-3½ hours or until meat is almost falling apart.

Let rest, 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thin & serve with sauce or cut into bite-size pieces & reheat with sauce.

You can also prepare it one day, let it set then slice it. Wrap in foil & reheat, about 30 minutes, in a 275°F. oven.

* I've made this without the cream soup & using garlic herb dry soup mix & it still tastes great!


I got the extra yarn for the Fern Lace Wrap today. Thanks to Yarn Yenta on Raverly I now have the skeins I need that match exactly to finish this. I'm going to finish the second Four (maybe Five) of a Kind sock and cast on for the third one before I pick this up again.

blogging to: a quiet house and great smells

reading: The Game by Laurie R King (a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Parting Shot: "If you can't ride two horses at once, you shouldn't be in the circus." ~ unknown ~ an American proverb

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Socks on the Run

The foot of the second Four (maybe Five) of a kind sock is two-thirds complete. I'm on round 45 of 64. Yes, I do have a short foot. The first third of the foot where you're doing the gusset decreases always seems to go slowly for me. But once the gusset decreases are finished, it just seems to pick up speed and in no time at all I'm within 20 easy rounds of the toe decreases. And man, do they go quickly. I'm doing the standard decreases on these socks at the beginning and end of the instep needles and then grafting the toe when there are 20 stitches left. Anyway, it works out. I bet I'll have this sock done and the next one cast on by mid-week.

I've haven't yet decided what striping or ribbing I'm going to do for sock number three. By the time I finish the third sock I'll have a pretty good idea if I'll have enough yarn for five socks. I'm thinking that for the final sock, everything will be random, the ribbing (halfway through the second round I'll probably regret it and change it) to the striping. I could do a matching even number of stripes like I did the odd stripes on the first sock. I could keep all the stripes the same width, three or four rounds wide. Hmmm. I've NEVER done that. Or I could do all narrow stripes, one and two rounds each either matched or not. Hmmm.

The weather was great Saturday so we went sailing late in the afternoon. The winds were a bit fluky in direction and strength but we set the chute (spinnaker) anyway. We managed to turn the boat with the spinnaker up. Not a complicated maneuver but everything has to go right and you have to know what you're doing or you'll tear the sail or break something or foul the sail on any number of things. It also helped that the winds were light. We finally tired of fighting it and took it down. Wouldn't you know that within a quarter hour of us taking the chute down and putting up the 150 (our biggest genoa) the wind evened out. It was a very nice sail. Most of the large power boat and jet ski traffic was off the lake by that time.

In another week folks will deem that summer is over and begin filling out haul-out orders. We hope to sail through mid-November. Sweetie last week of vacation is the first week in November. To us some of the best sailing is in the fall, the weather is cooler but the water is warm. Although, this was a very nice August, we're still looking forward to days and days of being able to sail at will. Say all the stripes three or four rounds high.

The hummingbirds haven't started to swarm yet. And they may not swarm at our feeders this year. Last year they did but they'd not done that for five years. They still spend their days chasing each other around. We are still at the stage where we fill two of the four feeders every two days. The deer visit most nights and when we forget to bring down the feeders they are usually kind enough not to empty them. We leave them four or five ears of corn and whatever food the ground feeding birds have left in their tray near the feeders each night. That tray is usually licked clean in the morning.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Where There’s a Will by Aaron Elkins (a Gideon Oliver mystery)

Parting Shot: 'It's remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living." ~ Ernest K. Gann

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Will Go On

It looks like I'll get to be knitting on the Fern Lace Wrap again soon. I did the deal with a nice Raveler that had two skeins of the lilac Punch by Alpaca with a Twist in the same dye lot. The yarn wasn't in her sale/trade stash but in her regular stash. This the first time I searched for needed yarn on Raverly and found it. A few months ago I was the person on the other end by sending what was leftover from the Seal Rock socks to someone who was a little short. I kept a yard of the yarn to fix the one of mine that has a hole in the leg, which I haven't done yet.

The second Four of a Kind sock is slowly coming along. I maybe have an inch done on the foot. I haven't spent much time knitting on it lately but it'll go quickly. I finally started the second skein of the light pearl gray yarn.

So a sock and a half on two skeins of yarn. I have four skeins left. I may be able to get five socks out of this instead of four. The last one may be oddly striped, depending on what's left. Well, I'll keep knitting and see what I get.


Later
My grand plans will take a slight detour. A teaching friend of my SIL's, K recently passed away.
She was a knitter. She'd been fighting cancer for a couple of years. She was knitting a pair of socks for her brother or brother-in-law, I forget which. She had finished the first one and my SIL says she was half done with the second one. I volunteered to finish the sock.

The other day my SIL brought brownies to K's husband. She told him that I would finish the sock. He gave her the socks and all her yarn. He also told my SIL that K had promised to knit him a pair of socks. My SIL wanted to know if I would. She also wanted me to know that he wears a size 12 or 13 shoe. So these are going to be BIG socks. The largest socks I would ever have knit. Yes, I will. I'll look at K's sock yarn stash and determine if she has enough of any particular sock yarn. If not, I'll use as much of her sock yarn stash for those socks as possible. I'll try to make it as much with her stuff as possible, such as needles and from a pattern book that she has.

I'm going to coordinate with my SIL as to how she thinks I should handle the fittings for K's Husband's socks — by mail like I've done all the other long distance knits, send them to her to take over there or what. I'm going to assume the brother/brother-in-law socks fit. I hope they weren't a surprise. If they don't fit, I'll deal with that. As to those socks I plan to knit a couple of rounds with a yarn of a similar fiber but in a contrasting color so they'll know where K stopped knitting and I started.

I'll do these socks and the Fern Lace Wrap at the same time. I have no idea what pattern or yarn the socks I'm to finish are. If the socks are a complicated lace or cable the simpler pattern of the Fern Lace Wrap will be a break. If, on the other hand, the socks are a simple rib or even stockinette, the more complicated scarf will be a break of another kind.

I'll be getting together Labor Day weekend with my SIL to celebrate her husband's birthday so I'll get the socks and the yarn and anything else then. Meanwile, I'll keep knitting on the second Four of a Kind Sock.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Where There’s a Will by Aaron Elkins (a Gideon Oliver mystery)

Parting Shot: "The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it." ~ C.C. Scott

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On a Different Track

I cruised on down to my LYS this morning to get another skein or two of the lilac Punch by Alpaca with a Twist. They don't carry it anymore because it doesn't sell. I can understand that. Once I'm done with this scarf I won't get anymore either. It's a fine yarn, I just can't see making anything other than a scarf out of it. The lady assured me that they still make it, however.

So, I came home ready to go on-line and get some when I decided to search Raverly to see if anyone had any and even better had any with the same dye lot!! And I did find someone. The skeins aren't in her sell or trade stash but she has two skeins in her regular stash. She moved not too long ago and may not have unpacked them yet. She's going to check and let me know. If she did want to sell me hers she could replace them with two new skeins that had different dye lots than these and it would be OK. I'm mainly after her dye lot. I could see where she might not want to sell if she had five skeins and I wanted two of them. Then she'd be in the same boat I am. If nothing comes of it I can always order two on line and make the best of what I get. I don't want to go any farther on the Fern Lace Wrap until I hear back from her and get the yarn from her or elsewhere. As long as I have this done by the time it gets cold here, say the end of October I'll be fine with it.

Meanwhile, I've picked up the second Four of a Kind Sock as my main in-house knit. That's still the plan. Do these socks and then cast on for the next sock project. The heel has been turned on this sock and I just finished picking up the gusset stitches. The end of sock number two gets closer with every stitch.

I've been so focused on the fact that FOUR socks done make this project an FO! that I completely overlooked the fact the when this second sock is done I will, in fact, have a pair of socks! just do it. The yarn is hold out just fine, too. I started the second skein of fuchsia while I was on the heel flap and I still have several yards of light pearl gray left on the first skein. I'm on the section of stripes where I'll use more gray so it should catch up to the fuchsia soon.

The heel flap on the first sock is fuchsia and the heel turn is the pearl gray. On this sock. I do six rows of fuchsia and two rows of the pearl gray on the heel flap. And the turned heel is gray. I want to remember to reverse this trend on the next two socks so that the heel flap is gray and the turned heel is fuchsia. I would have done it this time except that when I started the heel flap I was four rows in before I realized I didn't change colors and I didn't want to rip it back. I'll get a photo up in the next post.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

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

Parting Shot: "You cannot be lost on a road that is straight." [wanna bet?] ~ unknown

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ramblin'

Today was yard work day. It was cooler today and mostly overcast so I felt like doing things outside. I don't think it even reached 80°F / 26.6° C. and there was a nice breeze. I mowed and trimmed and neatened up things that needed it. I was outside most of the day with a long break in the middle. Sweetie was gone all day so it worked out great.

Now I am paying for it and probably will tomorrow, too. Thank goodness for Advil and heating pads. I have a feeling that except for a trip to my LYS for another skein or two of lilac Punch by Alpaca with a Twist and a stop by the library tomorrow, I'll be parked somewhere in the house, backed up to a heating pad, knitting on something.

I'm almost done with the first skein on the Fern Lace Wrap for my SIL's pal. When I get the other two skeins tomorrow (Thursday) I'll get back on that one. I hope I can find one or two skeins close enough in color that I don't have to alternate rows.

I've frogged six or so rows of the Paws to Remember Scarf last night, put it back on the needles and am off and knitting on that one again. I'm on round 200 or so and it's about 7" short of where I want it to be at this planned halfway point. So I'll keep going with two strands of the number four colorway until it reaches 30" unblocked. That'll give it an unblocked length of five feet. I doubt she's going to pin it out but I'll be glad to do so once or twice a year. We'll see.

I've started the heel flap on the second Four of a Kind Sock. I probably won't be long before I done with this one. I better be thinking about what I want to do with the third sock of this four sock set. One of the remaining two socks will be stripes in rounds of even numbers and maybe the other one will be completely random stripes and ribbing. The random ribbing might not be as fun as it sounds but maybe I could do it for one sock.

blogging to: the chittering of the hummingbirds outside the open window

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

Parting Shot: "A thing of beauty is a job forever." ~ Keats

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some a This and a Little of That

I've been knitting along on the Fern Lace Wrap. I've got just over 4 repeats done. With only 59 stitches this goes quickly. I haven't been knitting on it all that much either. But I'm still counting. I'm just about done with the first skein, too. Scrunched up it's 10" long and slightly stretched, it's 13-14". I think I'll need to get another skein of this. There's no hope of getting the same dye lot. I'm going to take one of the skeins in to get as close as I can. If there's a very noticeable difference I'm going to get two skeins. I'll alternate rows with the two new skeins and one of original skeins and use the last old one to do the end so the ends match and it looks planned.

As you can see the lace looks very scrunchy right now — drawn up with peaks and valleys and holes of different sizes. This yarn is very soft and with the 46% tencel content maybe not the best thing for a lace scarf as it's also kinda slippery. But it is pretty and soft and soft is what I'm going for. As this yarn also has 46% alpaca (along with 8% nylon) it does need to be hand washed and dried flat. And as y'all know, if it's not pinned out it'll end up kinda scrunchy again. I totally expect my SIL's pal to hand wash it, lay it out and when it doesn't look like it did when I gave it to her (dried in a pinned out state) she'll give it back to me to do that. Which is fine. Unless she drops it in a puddle it probably won't need to be washed more than once or twice a season.

It seems like every time I take a long break from the Paws to Remember Scarf that I not only come back to it refreshed but a better lace knitter, too. I hope that's true this time.

It's going to be interesting not to have a lace sock on the needles if I DO cast on Cookie A's Monkey Sock or maybe even her Millicent socks which do have a lace cuff. But I still want to finish the Four of a Kind Socks before I cast on for the next socks AFTER the Fern Lace Warp is done. Or there might even be something else that catches my fancy between now and then. Oh! Look! Something with cables and lace and ribbing and . . .

blogging to: Rush Limbaugh

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

Parting Shot: "Percussive Maintenance: The fine art of whacking an electronic device to get it to work again."

Friday, August 15, 2008

FO!

Evidently a short break from the Fish Socks was all that was necessary to spur me on to the finish. This afternoon while Sweetie was napping I completed the final two rounds on the leg and then it was on to the toe decreases. When I do this type of toe, maybe it's called a round toe? I always drop on stitch on one of the final rounds. A not-brief description of the decreases would be

round 1: *k6, k2tog*
next 6 rounds, knit even
round 8: *k5, k2tog*
next 5 rounds, knit even
round 15: *k4, k2tog*
next 4 rounds, knit even
round 20:
*k3, k2tog*
next 3 rounds, knit even
round 23:
*k2, k2tog*
next 2 rounds, knit even
round 26:
*k1, k2tog*
round 27: knit
round 28: k2tog
round 29: k2tog (if necessary)
then run a needle through the remaining 6-8 stitches twice and draw up.

On the first sock I had three dropped stitches where the first or second stitch of the k2tog wouldn't have made it onto the needle. I caught two of them only a round or two past where I'd missed them. The last one didn't show up until I'd woven in all the ends. So I just took one of the leftover ends from weaving in the ends and secured the errant stitch on the inside. On the second sock I had none . . . so far.

I'm so pleased with these socks. These are from a pattern I wanted to knit as soon as I saw them in Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks. I got the book on Oct 27, 2005. But I didn't DO lace then. I wasn't a lace knitter. So every time I got the book down for inspiration I would look at those socks and think, someday. When I saw them on Grumpernia's blog I liked them even more. I'd even bought yarn for them — two hanks of Louet Gems in lilac. But I Still didn't do lace. Along the way I found even better yarn, the Shaefer Anne yarn in Silver Sage. I had the pattern. I had the yarn. But I didn't DO lace.

Almost two years ago I decided to DO lace. The Mermaid Socks. A simply lace pattern there could not be. The same damn 6 or so stitches for the ENTIRE pattern. I think those socks were even more difficult that the first socks I did. Then I did a pair of lace socks for my SIL, the Waving Lace Socks and I was roped into doing a lace baby blanket which was the Frosty Pink Baby Blanket. Suddenly, I'm doing lace and lots of it. My lace knitting got better. A lot better.

And so the time came that it was right and I cast on with the yarn, pattern in hand. It was a match made in knitting heaven. I'd knit the cuff, the entire leg and almost a dozen rows on the first sock and decided that if I made it a bit larger around I could knit a longer leg and see more that wonderful pattern. And so I frogged it and cast on again. I was able to 15 more rounds which isn't a lot but it seemed to have made a difference. I was concerned that although there was a strand of nylon in the yarn that I'd soon have a heel blow out so I doubled the yarn and did an eye of partridge heel and turned the heel with the yarn doubled. So now I have another beautiful pair of socks.

Here are the stats:
yarn: Schaefer Yarn ~ Anne
colorway: silver sage
pattern: Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks
needles: 2.5mm Suzanne ebony dpns (set of 5)
heel: heel flap & turned heel
amount of yarn used: 3 oz / 86 gr ~ approx 418 yards ~ 3/4 hank
amount of yarn left: 1.1 oz / 31 gr ~ approx 151 yards ~ 1/4 hank

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Marc Antione

reading: Snow Blind by P J Tracy (a Monkeewrench mystery)

Parting Shot: "I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." ~ Helen Keller

Can't Resist the Mist

Hello. My name is Warrior Knitter and I cast on for the Fern Lace Wrap project before I was done with the Fish Socks. Yeah. Late Wednesday night, sitting in front of the computer I had nothing to knit. I'd been knitting on the sleeves to the Nautical Striped Sweater and I don't know what before that. But as the sleeves are in a major "time out" now I had to knit SOMETHING. And the Fish Socks were not going to be it.

Can I just say how irritating it is to find an error in the pattern right off the bat? At least I only had to rip back part of one row. But still. It's fixed now and so I'm on track. The good thing is that I recognized what was happening fairly quickly and not a long way into the project. It also helped that the error was in the first two pattern rows.

And I am counting, counting and counting. Apparently, that is the ONLY way I can do lace. I have my little black O-rings at the end / beginning of every repeat. As this is a stockinette scarf (WS rows are purled except for the four-stitch garter stitch border all around) any errors should be fairly easy to see and fix. This is what I would call a progression pattern. It moves over one stitch every even row and then at the halfway point begins to move back one stitch.

That's the BIG difference between the lace I've been doing on everything else. This and the
Fish Socks, are like this. The White Caps afghan is the exactly the same for several rows then there are several rows of stockinette along with a color change. In the Paws To Remember Scarf the lace holes make little paw prints. So it's really difficult for me to SEE the patten until I stretch it and hold it up to the light and even then it's not real clear. And it's garter stitch so it's also not easy to fix. It's a very challenging knit for me.

I'm hoping the Fern Lace Scarf will be like the
Fish Socks, enough to keep me interested for 60 or so inches but easy enough to do while watching Xena or Dog the Bounty Hunter. It doesn't look like much yet, just a bunch of flat lilac knitting on circs. I'm using my Addi Turbo Lace needles that I got for the Blue Baby Blanket. They're not the size recommended for this project, but then neither is the yarn.

Here is an updated photo for the second Four of a Kind Sock. This is round 34 of the leg on top of a 20 round cuff. It's a pretty mindless knit. I just have to make sure I watch the round count on the stripes. Interesting how the k1, p2, k3, p2 leg draws in more than the k1, p1 cuff. I've been knitting on this when Sweeite and I are in the car and I'm not the driver. These are going to be great socks as there'll be FOUR of them. And cotton so I'll be able to wear them all year round.

And finally a photo of the diagonal striping on the STR Romancing the Sock Socks in the Romancing the Stone colorway. I like how it's striping. Next to all the other socks I have on the needles, this yarn is the thickest / heaviest. At the time, this was the only sockyarn weight available. I think now they do have a lighter weight sock yarn. Back when I got this yarn I was in love with the self striping yarns. So random and so different than anything else out there. But now, not so much. Good thing about wool yarn though. Kept properly there'll be time to fall back in love with all of it. I do love the feel of this yarn. I'll probably like it a lot better once it's cold.

blogging to: the sounds outside all the open windows ~ I can hear the hummingbirds chittering and squeaking

reading: Snow Blind by P J Tracy (a Monkeewrench mystery)

Parting Shot: "I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease . . . observing a spear of summer grass." ~ Walt Whitman

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Peeking Over The Edge

While the sleeves on the Nautical Striped Sweater "rest", I've been contemplating my next knit which is the scarf for my SIL's curmudgeonly pal. And as you probably figured I've decided on a different pattern. The closer I get to finishing on the Fish Socks the more I want to be done. At this point I don't know if it's the socks or the pattern. As I've knit quite a lot of that pattern I decided it was the pattern and so I've been thinking about what kind of lace do I want for the scarf. I remembered that I'd purchased the Little Box of Scarves some time ago and that there were a few in there that I really liked. I dug it out and spread them out. Sure enough the two I'd set aside on top were still my favorites.

They're very similar. The Diamond Leaf Ascot (the cream one) carries it's lace holes in a diamond pattern around the knits and purls and the Fern Lace Wrap (the blue one) has it's lace holes in the center of diamond of k2togs. Sort of mirror images. I'm going to knit the Fern Lace Wrap (the blue one). I like blue so that may have influenced my choice. I like both of them and know the one I don't knit now will be a future knit. I may even hunt up more stash yarn or even buy some appropriate yarn to make it. Now that that's settled . . .

I'm about ready to start the toe decreases on the
Fish Socks. They should be done Thursday or Friday. When they're done I intend to update the photos on all the projects I've worked on lately. Lucky you!

blogging to: Space Capades a compilation of "Atomic-Age Audities and Hi-Fi Hi-Jinks!"

reading: A Darker Place by Laurie R King (an Ann Waverly mystery)

Parting Shot: "If the first grape you eat is bitter then you will not bother eating grapes again. If the first grape you eat is a sweet one then you will be willing to eat a lot of bitter grapes in search of another sweet one." ~ unknown

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Re-gress Sometimes Follows Pro-gress

Well, shoot. I'm going to have to re-think and maybe re-knit both sleeves. Or I could just do the neckband, attach the first sleeve, seam that side and the sleeve and see if it fits. It's a question of doing it or doing it right. It's my sweater. In other words, I'm not knitting it for anyone else. I'm knitting it for me. Sometimes, it doesn't matter. I'm not sure that it would matter in this instance but I would know. I want this sweater to fit me properly and to look good on so that I WILL wear it.

What brought all this one was the second sleeve being done with the proper needles. I'm around 30 rounds from the "official bind-off and I'm very close to the top of my arm with the sleeve. I've set it all aside to "rest" but right now I'm thinking I'll see if the first sleeve with the smaller needles will work. Otherwise, it'll take a major re-work of the sleeves. The good thing is that whatever happens, when it's done, it'll fit and fit properly.

While the sleeves "rest" I'm continuing to knit on the Fish Socks. And yes, every time I type Fish Socks I copy it from a previous blog entry. I have about 3½" done on the foot. The gusset decreases are long done and so it's plain sailing for just under 30 rounds to the toe decreases. I feel like I'm on a slog to the finish. I'm starting to get a little excited about the scarf. But I'm going to hold off as I know that if I cast on for it the socks are history for a couple of weeks. And they're so close to being done.

As you've probably noticed by there being no mention for weeks, I haven't picked up the Paws to Remember Scarf in weeks. I put it down because I messed it up, AGAIN! and will have to frog back to the last lifeline. No biggie but I haven't felt in the mood for it. It takes a lot of concentration. It's not TV knitting. It's sit on the couch and just do that, knitting. It's a great fireplace or thunderstorm knit. And one of these days I pick up the afghan again. I don't remember it having an error so I'll just pick up and knit on it one of these days.

Christopher Robin day lily

Sunday was a wonderful day. We sailed a bit and we played in the water a lot. Who knew that a blow-up chair, a blow-up lay-down lounge thingy and a purple "noodle" could be such fun for two adults. The last time we "went swimming" the lake water was so warm it was like bath water. This cooler weather has also cooled the lake down and the water was a nice temperature.

blogging to: Space Capades a compilation of "Atomic-Age Audities and Hi-Fi Hi-Jinks!"

reading: A Darker Place by Laurie R King (an Ann Waverly mystery)

Parting Shot: "We come from the earth, We return to the earth, And in between we garden." [and knit] ~ author unknown

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More Progress-ing

I've just reached the point on the second sleeve of the Nautical Striped Sweater where I bound off eight stitches on each end for the sleeve head shaping. Before I did that I carefully laid out the first sleeve and put the second sleeve on top to make sure (double and triple) that, at least to that point, they are the same length. Since I sped up the decreases we'll see how well I kept notes on this part. I think between the "official" instructions, what I want to do and my notes I'll be OK. If I do a decrease a row or two sooner or later it won't be any big deal. Just so the sleeves end up the same length and width at about the same spots. It's not like I'm sewing them to each other.


My other progress has been on the
Fish Socks. I finished the 85 round leg today and have started the heel flap with the yarn held double. Again, it's amazing how quickly a project goes when you also aren't working on other projects. I'm not makin' any promises but it may be done by the end of next weekend, if not before. We'll see. It's not like I'll wear it anytime soon.

And I've made small progresses on the other two SIPs. Nothing particularly photo-worthy though I should probably get an in-progress shot of the second Four of a Kind sock soon. It's going well. I'm on the second half of the simple striping pattern. It's:

1 round ~ fuchsia ~ round 1
2 rounds ~ light pearl gray ~ends on round 3
3 rounds ~ fuchsia ~ ends on round 6
4 rounds ~ light pearl gray ~ ends on round 10
5 rounds ~ fuchsia ~ ends on round 15
6 rounds ~ light pearl gray ~ ends on round 21
7 rounds ~ fuchsia ~ ends on round 28
1 round ~ light pearl gray ~ ends on round 29
2 rounds ~ fuchsia ~ end on round 31
3 rounds ~ light pearl gray ~ ends on round 34
4 rounds ~ fuchsia ~ end son round 38
5 rounds ~ light pearl gray ** ~ ends on round 43
6 rounds ~ fuchsia ~ ends on round 49
7 rounds ~ light pearl gray ~ ends on round 56

then start over again with with the one round of fuchsia. Currently, I'm on round 22 which puts me at the gray double asterisks above. I stared the pattern with a 20 round cuff so yes I actually do have 42 rounds done. Looking at it the way I have here, one "pattern repeat" will pretty much do the leg. The first sock has a 61 round leg. And the ribbing keeps me away although I've found the rhythm. The color changes keep it from being a completely boring knit. This is what I knit on if I'm not driving.

Otherwise, I'm working a couple stitches here and there and sometimes an entire needle on my Romancing the Socks sock stoplight knitting socks. They're up to round 35.

blogging to: A Night on the Town

reading: Badger’s Moon by Peter Tremayne (a Sister Fidelma mystery)

Parting Shot: "Multitasking: Screwing up several things at once . . ." ~ unknown

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Over Analyzing

Of course, I'm over analyzing. It's what I do.

I was just over on Ravelry updating the Fish Socks (which, by the way, have 2/3 of the leg complete) and realized that I'm down to six WIPs from a high-water mark of ten. Having ALL those WIPs, many duplicate projects, was a bit of stressful knitting. Not stressful in the daily working, living life kind of way, but when I wanted to sit and knit, what should I work on? What has priority? Sometimes, I wanted to work on a particular project and I'd pick that up. Other times, I felt pressed to knit on the pieces for other people, socks for my SIL, the baby projects, etc.

I've learned a lot about my knitting self by casting on so many projects over a relatively short period of time. What got put on back burner what took center stage. Which projects I felt compelled to knit on even though I didn't particularly want to at that particular time. Of course, being the type of person that I am, all my personal knitting was put on hold while I knit for everyone else. I don't regret or resent this it's just the way it is.

I also wonder if I'm beginning to become more of a product knitter and less of a process knitter. Or maybe, I'm a process knitter when it's for me or the other person doesn't know she's getting a sock or a scarf. But whenever it becomes known by that person that I'm knitting for them that project — presto! chango! — becomes a product knitting piece.

Well, however it works out I'm glad that what's on my knitting plate now is mostly for me. Oh, there's the Paws to Remember Scarf for my SIL but she has no idea and so I can take as long as I want with it. Although I do have a soft mental deadline of Thanksgiving or Christmas so she can perhaps wear it some day.

How does it over analyzing going to affect my immediate future knitting? A little, but not much. When the
Fish Socks are done, I'm still going to cast on for the scarf in the lilac Punch by Alpaca with a Twist. And, I'm still thinking about doing it the same pattern as the Fish Socks. But when that scarf is done I'm not immediately going to cast on for my next fancy-pants sock project. I'm going to instead finish up the Four of a Kind sock project.

Yeah, for some reason I want to get my WIPs down even lower
— to five. For me I think that will be the ideal blend of projects.
  • fancy-pants lace and/or cable socks
  • travel socks
  • sweater or vest or other non-sock or scarf garment
  • long-term lace project like a shawl or other wrap
  • long-term afghan or blanket project
That'll give me a variety of projects to keep me occupied, from super-simple like the travel socks to I can't do anything else when I knit on this lace project to middle of the road TV knitting but not boring knit such as the fancy-pants socks, a sweater, or an afghan.

But I betcha that somewhere in my Perfect Plan there will be some other sock proje
ct or a hat or something that will just HAVE to be knit. There always is.

And with an eye to a future knit, I've kind of already decided on my next fancy-pants socks. Currently, I'm thinking about doing Cookie A's ubiquitous Monkey Socks in stashed Cherry Tree Hill in this Northern Lights colorway. It's a black yarn with strings of greens and reds through it, kind of wintery and Christmassy.
But as casting on is WEEKS away, that could change. It sometimes does.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Frail Barrier by Edward Sklepowich (a Urbino Macintyre mystery)

Parting Shot: "I never said most of the things I said." ~ Yogi Berra

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just Knitting

Anyone ever have a dream about their blog or blogging? When I woke from a nap this afternoon I remembered a piece of a dream I'd had. It involved a very good idea for a series of blog topics, like a one a week or so in a continuing series. Do you think I can remember it now? No way. I know it wasn't about knitting, just some off-topic blog thing. I can remember having the thought about the idea and how good an idea it was but not the idea. Hmmmm.

Most of my knitting lately has been in the evening or at night. I just don't feel like picking up the needles in the morning or the afternoon. Odd. Anyway, I knit away last night and I've now got 20 rounds (out of 85) complete on the leg of the
Fish Socks. I'm almost a quarter of the way down the leg. I type like I'm anxious do be done with this knit but I'm not. I'm enjoying the yarn, the fabric it creates and the pattern. This is one of those rare knits (for me) where everything comes together and it's right. Even if wasn't right the first time, it's right now. My Mermaid socks are / were like that. Although I struggled mightily with various aspects of the pattern, like the short row heel and the lace which were both firsts, they're one of my favorite pairs of socks. I marvel at what I made every time I see them in my sock drawer and especially every time I wear them. These Fish Socks are like that.

a small reminder

So now the question begs, what to knit next next, sock-wise? You can't ask the question, too early in the process, in my opinion. I know the yarn will be stash sock yarn. Even that opens a mini yarn store of choices just in fiber content — wool, wool blend, cotton, cotton blend, bamboo-cotton or something else that I don't remember I have in there. And what color(s)? Solid, tone on tone or contrasty? And what pattern? I'm glad I have 3/4 of this sock and a scarf to think this through.

I love the planning stages with a new project, sock, sweater, scarf or otherwise. It's fun deciding what to knit next, even if the direction of the project changes with each choice. And what do you choose first? The pattern or the yarn? With me, as I'm sure with you, also, it varies. Sometimes, as with the
Fish Socks the pattern was there in the back of my mind waiting for the right yarn. And I suppose you can say that all the yarn in my stash has been chosen, too. It's just waiting for the right pattern!! At this point there is no particular sock pattern singing it's siren song but I'm sure that'll change one I begin to look in earnest. And neither is there a particular yarn that's yarnin to be be free.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Acoustic Alchemy

reading: Frail Barrier by Edward Sklepowich (a Urbino Macintyre mystery)

Parting Shot: "My granddaughter came to spend a few weeks with me, and I decided to teach her to sew. After I had gone through a lengthy explanation of how to thread the machine, she stepped back, put her hands on her hips, and said in disbelief, 'You mean you can do all that, but you can't play my Game Boy?'" ~ Author Unknown

Friday, August 1, 2008

And the Livin' is Easy

I saw the movie Mamma Mia! last Friday. If you've seen it, my absolute favorite "song" was the Dancing Queen number. I wanted to be there. Fun times.

I passed on the BSJ and the Blue Baby Blanket to my SIL. The official baby shower is this weekend. The baby is due Sept 19. The Grandmother, one of my SIL's BFF, was there and she loved both pieces. All good there, too.

I didn't get a chance to "show off" the lilac yarn. No matter. I'll continue on with my nefarious plot. And everyone knows that nefarious plots are always the most fun, anyway. It'll be a great surprise and if she doesn't like it she can pass it on to someone who will. Knitted items are always loved by someone, even if it's not the someone you hoped would love it.

It feels good to have the three FOs! (BSJ, Blue Baby Blanket, Rock Chalk Jayhawk socks) out of the house. It's strange but out of the house means they're not my responsibility any longer. They were kind of like complete WIP's but not yet FO status. Weird, I know.

I haven't been working much on the Nautical Striped Sweater lately but it's sitting right here (reaches over and fingers the partially completed second sleeve).

I have been knitting a bit on the second Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. The 20 round cuff is finished and I've got almost half a pattern repeat done on the leg. Only 81 more leg rounds to go!!! Go Me! I keep looking at the finished sock and I've decided to re-named them. As I mentioned in my last post the pattern in the yarn and colors I chose look more like fish scales than shells to me and so. The
Fish Socks they will be. Those colors are reminiscent of the colors in the yarn — on my monitor, anyway. Let's see how long I keep the color thing going in the name. I plan to take another better photo in the sun with them on soon. I don't like how the one I took in the shade mutes the colors.

But it's been so freakin' hot here the past several days. The weather's supposed to break in the next day or so. I'll get a better photo then when I don't feel like a bug under a magnifying glass out in the sun.

I really love the lace pattern in those socks. how it looks an the knit itself. So much so that I'm seriously considering using that pattern for the scarf for my SIL's curmudgeonly pal. I'm going to try and hold off casting on for it until my socks are done. I'll see if I'm still in love with it after a whole socks worth of doing it.

The hummingbirds have really become active in the past week or two. All of the little ones are out of the nests, probably. We have four feeders out, two right outside our front office windows on a double hook "Bo-Peep" pole and two just off our patio each on their own single hook "Bo-Peep" pole separated by about ten feet. They aren't swarming yet like they do before they leave but they are certainly gearing up. We are filling at least one feeder every day or so and sometimes two. At the height of last year's swarming we had all four feeders out and were refilling the front two (in the shade in the afternoon) three times a day. The two in back, in the sun only once or twice a day.

And the deer are back. We've been leaving our bird feeders out all night since late spring but we're bringing them in each night again. A couple of mornings in a row the feeders were mostly empty in the morning after we'd filled them in the late afternoon. Another clue that the deer are back is the feeding tray for the ground feeding birds. We put food in the tray for them and most mornings, lately, the tray has been licked clean. Not even any hulls, which would be there if the birds were doing it. We've been putting out corncobs, lately, mainly for the rabbits. It seems to take the rabbits a few days to go thorough the four or so cobs we put out. But again, lately, all the cobs are clean in the morning. A sure sign that the deer are back.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Frail Barrier by Edward Sklepowich (a Urbino Macintyre mystery) ~ book #85 so far this year

Parting Shot: "Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones." ~ Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir