Thursday, June 28, 2007

many many colours.

My Lithuanian Amber Socks are making steady progress, when I work on them. I had anticipated finishing them tonight, but had an unexpected mommy-daughter outing. If they are not finished tomorrow, I shall howl in frustration.

Last Friday I was anticipating a day outside the house but I had no simple, portable knitting prepared. I ran to the sewing-room-stash, and found this Regia yarn that was an ebay purchase from my early sock-obsession days. It knits up quite cute, eh? These socks are so portable that I can easily knit them while walking to work.

Better living through computers

Edited -- post removed -- I decided I would prefer to keep work off my blog so I have removed my rant about a mega-bookstore. If you read it, please note they did fix their grievous error and even sent a hand-written apology and cookies, although I didn't get any of their cookies, I was in the desert, picking up my son, who had spent the week at camp, nicknamed Cookie....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Who's the psychoest of them all?

It's not quite the Gift of the Magi, but it's pretty sweet serendipity. While I was doing secret knitting for Ember, turns out she was doing secret knitting for me! What I'm showing here is only a teaser. I've known all along that Ember is the psycho-knitterest of them all, but now everyone knows it! Now go click that link and:


2) Please note in particular the frog. That's my frog! But see, how she's holding it and not meeeee? Hey, Angela, send me my frog!!! Oh right, I ordered her to send it to the state fair. Hey, Angela, go get a ribbon!!! A ribbon for MY FROG!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Limbo Hat!

I reknit this hat to better dimensions. Using an inox size 8 needle, I knit in Limbo yarn with 110 stitches around. It fits me fairly easily, the cables giving it a good hug, of course, but with plenty of stretch left over. This hat will be going to Socks for Soldiers.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lithuanian Amber Socks

Nancy Bush's pattern for Lithuanian Amber Socks, from Folk Solks, knit in Colour4Me.

new fresh scent!

I just want to take this moment to note: Clothes-lines are cool! I adore the fresh crisp clean of line-dried clothes. It's not all that difficult to walk outside and hang my clothing up, and often I can get the slaves children to help me. Willingly, even! Good outside chore. Admittedly, I'll only make time to do this on the weekends, but that's when I usually do all the laundry anyway. Today I've line-dried 5 loads of wash, and only ran the dryer once. I have to confess, I've never acquired the taste for line-dried towels and sheets, so I just stuff them all into the open dryer throughout the day, and by the time the last load is done, I have a full dryer, and I can dry them in one batch.

hats in progress part two

On the left
This little hat is a baby present for the neighbours, who had their baby during May, my most insane month in recent history. Now that it's June, it's like I'm waking up. I suddenly noticed that they'd had their baby, and that I'd not done a thing for them.

On the right
Another hat for Socks for Soldiers. This is Limbo yarn again. In order to not make the same mistake twice, I cast this one on at 100 stitches on size 8 needles. However, I'm still not happy with the size and may have to reknit this one to make it a little roomier. I'm sick of knitting up mistakes!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Finished Hats

On the left
yarn: Zitron Life Style
needle: Size 4 Inox 16" circular
notes: Knit top down, using Emily Ocker's Circular Caston. I increased by ten stitches every other row, and as it got larger, every third row, up to 140 stitches, and then knit until I ran out of yarn. I bound off using the k2tog bindoff. Look at how much yarn was left!
destination: Socks for Soldiers.

On the right
yarn: Karabella 8 ply and Limbo
needle: Size 5 Addi Turbo circular
notes: I cast on 100 stitches, based on my swatch which showed I was knitting at 5 stitches per inch. When the hat was complete, it was far too tight, and I note that my gauge was actually 6 stitches per inch. The only person it fits nicely is my 8 year old.
destination: It was supposed to be for Socks For Soldiers, but I may donate it or let my daughter have it.

hats in progress

First of all, note the little skull markers. Don't they look fabulous? This was my first attempt at knitting a one-skein hat. I knit it at 160 stitches around, wanting to make sure it was properly large enough. However, I ran out of yarn before I could close the crown.

After a few days of deliberation, I decided not to go buy another skein, but instead to knit it over again. I knit from the crown down, with 140 stitches per row. I didn't even need to frog the hat, I just knit directly from the old hat onto the new.

Can you see the pattern on this yarn? It never repeats. If I had two skeins to make a pair of socks, I don't think I could match them unless the skeins each started in the same spot.

Terrible Tomato Tragedy!

Before heading out to the farmer's market this morning, I paused at our little garden to check the progress of the heirloom tomato plant from last week's market. Oh the horrors! The plant was nothing but a dying stem! I was forced to buy a new one this week, as well as a few herb plants and two other tomato plants, to compensate. The new tomato plants have now been protected from enthusiastic mowers by tomato cages, and I have high hopes for their progress and safety.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

the yarn's in the bag

You can
halt your car
for an afternoon in Utopia
We shall
stop the wars
on those afternoons in Utopia


I'm sure it seems trivial, having a lazy Saturday to do as I please, but it's been a very intense spring. I've had the hardest classes yet, these past two quarters, all while work has been the equivalent of an exploding hornet's nest. Getting ready to go to Spain was huge, especially with trying to get my school out of the way in advance, and especially with the passport fiasco that finally resolved itself TWO DAYS before I departed. I know it's wrong to include going to Spain as a major stress-point, because it was lovely, but recall I was there with NINETEEN teenagers, and while I was thrilled to be there, it was no vacation.

So although my school work was not complete, I was able to take Saturday as a Day Off, and do nothing but whatever I wanted to. Really! I cannot express the bliss. The day started out with sending the 12 year old off to an amusement park, get this, with some one else's mother. ahhhhhhhhhh.

Then we went straight to the farmer's market, which was a little slice of bliss. Hot onion-cheese empanadas to snack on while browsing. Fresh salsa from handsome salsa-artists. Dill-cottage cheese bread. Handmade cheddar. Kettle corn. Soap handmade by a sixth-grade teacher who supplements her income every year by selling soaps at the market. I got an heirloom black plum tomato plant, which went straight into the ground at home. And everywhere I went, compliments galore on my stylish purse that was a mother's day gift from my 8-year-old daughter.

Next stop, yarn heaven. I had not one but TWO gift certificates, courtesy of mother's day and birthday, and they were burning a hole in my pocket. Look at those skeins, lined up so neatly in the bag there! I stocked up on Colour4Me, because it has been discontinued, and was at a very very good price. It looks perfect for some of my hat-and-mitten objectives. While it's not sensational yarn, it's good basic coloured yarn, and sometimes I can't find just good plain coloured yarn.

To round out my bargain shopping, I got two skeins of Andes handpaint, from the bargain bin, in lovely pastels. I'm not a fan of yarns that knit up blotchy, but I know I have some good uses for this yarn!

For lunch we dined just on fresh salsa with chips, and bread and cheese. For all that it was a simple meal, it was a little taste of heaven. But no, the fun wasn't over yet. My daughter and I walked to the bookstore for an author event. Shannon Hale, dressed in a Regency gown, spoke for nearly an hour, keeping us all in stitches. It was a little glimpse into the world of Pride and Prejudice fans, where ladies could admit that they've only watched the BBC P&P30 times.

We came away each with a new book, plus an extra copy for a college friend who has written a screenplay adaptation of Northanger Abbey.

You might think that would be all the fun I could stand in one day, but no, there was still a party that night. Catered fresh Mexican food, complete with the best guacamole out there, and 2 slices of flan, might have made it a perfect evening, but the dancing was fun, too. I relived my youthful days by repeating a familiar old ritual: I went and begged the DJ to play Safety Dance. At the moment, his ipod wasn't working. Back in my day, you had to hope the DJ had brought the record, now you just have to hope it's on his ipod! Late in the evening, when I was exhausted from all the dancing to disco and classic rock, he finally put on the Safety Dance. Once that had been danced, we were free to leave.

Friday, June 08, 2007

infectious yarn

Have you ever had that feeling where you know you're getting a cold... you're not sick yet, but there's that tickling in your throat and that little twinge that lets you know it's impending? I had that this week, but with yarn. There was this ticklish feeling that I knew a yarn spree was impending. I took plenty of vitamin C but there was not stopping this yarn-acquisition-infection. It hit on Friday with a break-time-dash to the yarn store not so far away. In less than a half an hour I walked to the store, combed through the shelves, and returned with 2 skeins of yarn. I had cast on and knit several rows before dinner had been served.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

a rare sight!

The kids and I have been buying cacti at the farmer's market for 4 years now. This is our first big showy desert bloom!

As seen in...

Last night we watched Star Wars II, Attack of the Clones. Naturally, our #1Son is always wanting to watch Star Wars, so that in itself was a reason to watch. But we adults wanted to see the connection that our Sevilla Tour Guide enlightened us on. While touring the Plaza de Espana, aka Naboo, our intrepid guide Pablo pointed out every angle and every scene shot by the Lucas team there. Next we'll watch Lawrence of Arabia, which also has scenes filmed there.

Compare this photo I took with the photo found here. Oooh. Ah.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

meet Jayne

Shown here with her best friend, Roxxy, Jayne recently had to leave Roxxy and move with her big sister, phanC, some 1300 miles away to their new home. The girls bought matching dresses not to match while together, but to have a common gown while far apart.

meet phanC

A sophomore in college, phanC is still exploring her possibilities. She's a bit of a chameleon, and while her friends and classmates know her as phanC, when she's at work at the Country Club, she wears her choice of a wig and/or a hat and goes by phae, and when she goes out at night to clubs or parties, she gets dressed up and goes by phantaC.