Saturday, June 29, 2002

A couple more knit shops that I checked out today. The first one I went to was Stitches in Time (thanks, Debby). A nice store with lots of different stuff. A lot of crochet going on here as well as knitting. I got a few skeins of different novelty yarns just to play with, but enough for a couple of scarves. They have lots of samples on display which I think is a big help for people. A good store to browse in because the yarn is just kinda all over the place so you need some time to see all there is.

I finally went to Temple City Knit Shop. This shop has been there for a couple of decades I guess. I didn't have much time as they were closing just as we arrived but I did get a quick look around, just enough to find 10 skeins of Cotton Classic in a melon/tangerine color. So I have to get back there, maybe in a week or so. I had met the owner once before when she came to check out Skein.

I hear a lot of comments that there just aren't any knit shops anymore. I've been to five different ones this week, plus Skein. Granted some of these shops are not right next door but they're all pretty easy to get to. It's about a 45 minute drive from my house to Long Beach. I know people who drive longer than that to get to work. So they're out there. Go buy something!

Thursday, June 27, 2002

On Tuesday we went to Knitroplis, a small shop in Long Beach. It's in an old bungalow duplex that has been converted to shops. This place is really cute. I'd like to spend some more time there. It's a little hard to see everything at first but the more you look the more you find. Really nice stuff. However, I only bought a couple of skeins of Cotton Classic.

We also went back to Forget Me Knot. This was my third time there. I was able to get the additional skein of Cotton Fleece handpaint. The shelves didn't have it so they thought they were out. I found one as I was checking out, mixed in a display near the register. I also got some more Cotton Classic here. I'm building a collection so I can make some of the Ann Norling fruit caps. And I love this yarn to work with. They also had a sale on Gedifra Wellness. So I got six skeins of that in a very nice buttery yellow. And a size 9, 32" Addi Turbo for my new project for Skein.

Our final stop was back to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. This was also my third time there. Didn't buy anything but really enjoyed seeing Ginger, one of the owners, and finally meeting Cindy, the other owner. The shop was very busy. They have a knitting cruise every Tuesday and all the knitters had just returned from a morning on the water.

Almost done with the back of the Rebecca top. I'm having to take it a little slow because I've started to have some wrist pain. Took yesterday off and it seems to have helped.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

You know you've been reading too many blogs when people you don't even know start showing up in your dreams. I don't remember the dream just that there was someone from my list. I don't know her except from her blog. I can't remember what she looked like in the dream, just that she was there.

After much debate it has been decided that I will make the top from the wedding ensemble in last summer's Interweave Knits. Very lacy. I've been wanting to make something a little more intricate than usual and I think this will do it. Have to cast on yet, but I'm too busy with other stuff right now. Maybe tomorrow.

A couple of 'Net related things. I got an email asking me to sign up for a service that would increase the number of hits I get every day. Why would I want that? Secondly, an email inviting me to the SnB in Santa Monica. I have a scheduling conflict with Tuesday so I can't make it.

I'm off today to go yarn shop hopping with my friend Carole. Hmm. Why am I doing this since I'm already oversupplied with yarn and way behind on projects? I think we'll have a good time anyway and I'll get to have lunch somewhere new. We're going to stop at Forget Me Knot again. I need one more skein of the Brown Sheep handpaint fleece. Hope they still have some.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Summer is officially here. It started with rain! How bizarre. But it's certainly preferable to the hot days we had last week. It's still gloomy today. Maybe some people will think of knitting.

I took the Sage sweater to Skein yesterday. Ann Mary seemed really pleased with it. I think she's planning to wear it herself. And now I have another project. We have new yarn called Organdi, from Bouton d'Or. I'm trying to decide which pattern from their book to use. Ann Mary wants something with lace. I don't actually like any of the patterns. I think I'm going for something very simple with just some openwork around the bottom and on the sleeves. There's one dress that looks challenging but Ann Mary wants it as a top. So I have to figure out how many stitches to cast on after all the skirt decreases have been made so I'll know where to begin. Does that make sense?

Skein will be closed for a couple of weeks after this weekend. Annual vacation. So I have next weekend free. I'm sorta planning to go to the Pacific Asia Museum to see the textile show.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Don't know what happened to this morning's post. But it's sure not here now. I tried to put up a photo just as a test. It didn't work for whatever reason. So I'm back to the book again. I just wish I could wake up knowing all I need to know about this stuff but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

The Sage sweater is done and I've started a new sweater using some orange Sugar'n Cream. Actually it's the one Bonne Marie made from Rebecca. Since my yarn is sort of a light cotton worsted I had to refigure the whole pattern. But that's okay, thanks to Sweater Wizard. I'm also making it in two pieces rather than in the round. I've only done one repeat of the pattern, but I did make a large swatch and I think the yarn looks pretty good if a little clunky. Clunky can be nice.

Tonight was bowling night. We started our summer league three weeks ago and I have be doing pretty bad. Tonight, however, I had my best game ever in this league. I'm feeling pretty good right now. I even won some money!

Lisa is out of town this week and I haven't had any email from her. That kid better straighten up.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

What to post about? It seems like nothing has changed in the past couple of days. But there are a few things.

Yesterday I finished about half of the front on the Sage sweater. I should finish today and maybe get it put together tomorrow. This is a cute little shell but kinda boring to knit after the first couple of repeats. I want to do a three needle bind off but I'm not sure if this will work for this sweater. There's no finishing on the neck, just the bind off. I'm not sure if I can make this look neat. Guess I can always rip it out if I don't like it.

About twice a year I go to a weaving show and sale with my friend Joanne. This is a good place to pick up yarns not usually available in the yarn shops. Some of the vendors have web sites but there's nothing like seeing the yarn live. Anyway, I bought some merino/angora blend a couple of times back. I made a shawl for Lisa with part of it. Now I have a lot left over so I'm trying to find a way to use it that would show off the variegation well but would be interesting to knit at the same time. So last night, while watching PBS, I tried out several different options. I still want to do some more but I think I will definitely use some cables. Maybe some double moss stitch. I'm probably going to start with a long vest. I'm not sure how much yarn I have left so I'll try to create something that will allow me to add sleeves if it looks like I have enough when I get to that point. I've been knitting a lot of simple things lately. Now I want to do something a little more challenging. Plain knitting puts me to sleep. The issue though is that I like the look of simple sweaters, especially the Berroco designs. What to do, what to do?

I was watching Masterpiece Theatre while I played with the stitches. I think this must have been a rerun but I had never seen it. Oliver Twist. I don't know how I escaped it. I've never read any Dickens, even though my BA is in English. So I guess I'll have to visit my local library and see what I've missed. I couldn't always understand the dialogue because of the mumbling and the various accents. I didn't see the first episode so I want to get all the background.

Went to the market yesterday. Bought a huge bag of Roma tomatoes that were on sale. Since these tomatoes were already on the way out I thought I'd better do something with them right away. So I peeled and seeded them and made a chunky pasta sauce. I was very pleased with how it came out as I just improvised. Not something I do very often. I'm a slavish recipe follower. Someone told me to put a pinch of cinnamon in fresh tomato sauce. I got a little too much I think, but it does add a mysterious trace that isn't easy to figure out. Anyway, I have lots of sauce in the freezer. Do you have any idea how long it takes to scald, peel and chop 51 tomatoes?

Sunday, June 16, 2002

It's really great to be a dad! I had a wonderful evening with my daughter, although she made me drink way too much wine and a marguerita on top of it all. She got me started on my web page and we played around with all the things you can do with your page. I'm very excited to get started on this. I've been reading Learning Web Design. Now I can begin to apply some of the stuff I've been reading. Coming soon to this theater etc.

I've been wanting a user friendly chair for use with my computer for a very long time. That was my Father's Day gift. Thanks, Lisa. I put it together tonight. Being slightly tipsy made it a lot easier! So now I'm really set. It's so terrific when someone pays attention and surprises you with the very thing you've been wanting.

Today at Skein... absolutely no paying customers! Very depressing. I did have two ladies who needed help. One I had made a pattern for (using Sweater Wizard) and another whom I taught to use her gauge to figure out how to adapt a pre-existing pattern. So while sitting waiting I finished the bottom rib of the Sage pattern. Way too much excitement for a hot Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Where have all the knitters gone? I guess I expect all people who knit to have the same degree of committment and obsession that I have. Must not be true because they sure stayed away in droves today.

I finished the back of the Sage sweater from Rowan's Summer Tweed. Guess I'll start the front tonight and see if there's anything interesting on PBS.
I finally got around to trying the new Cotton Ease from Lion Brand. I think it's gonna be okay. It's a fairly simple yarn but works up nicely with good stitch definition. I tried it first on some Clover bamboo needles and couldn't quite get the gauge. I switch to Addi Turbo and my gauge was right on. I like the way the swatch feels. The yarn looks a little loosely plied so I thought it might split or snag but I didn't have any problem. And the price is good, $4.29 per skein, 207 yards. It's machine washable and dryable being 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. I think the acrylic in the yarn causes a little bit of drag when it's knitted. The Addi Turbos took care of this.

I never used to pay any attention to the kind of needles I was using, just assumed a needle was a needle. Now I try different needles specifically to see which ones work best for a particular yarn. I really prefer bamboo or wooden needles but sometimes metal is better. The Addis are really very nice but sometimes the points are a little too blunt for the yarn or stitch pattern. I tried them on a lace patterned shawl and they were really a pain. I switched to some old Susan Bates needles and things went much better, except I didn't like the sound those needles made, kinda raspy. I could go on for a long time about this but I won't.

Lisa, my daughter, got rid of the ad at the top of my blog. What a sweet kid! I need to have her show me how to link again. I just can't seem to get it. She even left me written instructions. Still don't seem to get the links to work.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Lakers win three-peat! Very exciting final game, too. I finished the Noro scarf, except for the fringe. Only had to re-do one row.

So what's up next? I'm starting another shop sample. This time it's really simple, Sage from Rowan's Summer Tweed. The color is called Ghost. I've only done the swatch so far and my gauge is right on. So I think I'll start the band for the back tonight. We still have a lot of customers who get rattled when they have to work in metrics so I'm making notes of the inches so I'll have the answers if I'm asked. This yarn feels a little sluggish to work with. I'm using bamboo needles. Maybe I should switch to Addi Turbos.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Well, Carolyn is back! I'm so happy.

Haven't had much time for knitting the past couple of days. Working, partying and cleaning house. But today is all mine. I'm just about to finish the Noro scarf. I'll also spend a couple of hours on the Shapely Tank Top.

I got some of the new Cotton-Ease from Lion Brand yesterday at the local Michael's. I bought three colors, turquoise, magenta and yellow. Not sure what it's going to be yet. I only got one skein of the magenta and three skeins of the turquoise and yellow. I'm thinking of stripes in the turquoise and yellow with magenta around the neck and armholes. Seems a little obvious. Maybe I'll just insert some random squares of magenta into larger blocks of the other two colors. Have to work a gauge first. Maybe I'll be doing some intarsia afterall.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Still no Carolyn. I'm getting worried.

Very slow day at Skein. As in one customer. I sat with her most of the afternoon and got her started on her argyle sweater. I haven't done intarsia for a long time. But it comes back quickly. Glad I'm not making that sweater though, 15 bobbins all in a row. No thanks.
It's raining in sunny Southern California. But then it is June so you can expect just about anything. My stupid MSN web page says it's sunny, but they've never been real accurate anyway. But trust me. The sound of cars on wet streets is unmistakable and is a sweet sound to wake up to. Especially if you don't like bright light.

So I'm really having a good time with the new project, the Shapely Tank Top. I'm using the Dale Kolibri called for in the specs and it's very cool. It does want to split a little when you're busy talking to someone or just thinking about what you're going to have for lunch. So if you try it, keep an eye on it. Short rows are a very good way to add shaping to you garment but a little tricky to keep track of and they don't always hide real well, but they do make the shaping nice. Just don't look too close at the details and you'll be okay.

Going to a surprise birthday party tonight. Former co-worker and cohort. Don't know how he got to be 50 and I hate to think what that says about me. Haven't seen him in a long time so this will be good. On the down side, I'm gonna miss game three (already missed game two for the ballet) unless those smart folks have a TV that works.

Tres good day at Skein yesterday. Just enough action to make the day move along. Only one student but she was a good talker so it was like visiting with old friends. Did some good business too so Ann Mary will be pleased when she sees the receipts. Her son, Steven, took care of the register and played games on the computer. He brought a friend with him for part of the day. Ah ha! so that's what it's like to be not quite 20 in the day and age. And we all had pizza for lunch. As I said, a good day.

Today is only for three hours so I should be able to breeze through that. Gotta go vacuum now before the floor turns to mud.

This did not post before so I'm trying it again. So the above may be a duplicate if it's just a delay with Blogger.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

Yesterday at Skein! Almost chaos. Ann Mary has taught her son the rudiments of register procedure so he took care of all that stuff while she stayed off the floor trying to finish a sweater that she was making for a relative. I had plenty of people looking for help plus handled the people who were shopping for yarn. Taught one brand new knitter.

I left Skein an hour earlier than usual because I had tickets to the Kodak Theater in Hollywood to see the Moscow Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Fabulous seats! Center front orchestra about four rows back. The tickets were a gift from my former boss. Thank you, Bill!. Driving into Hollywood at 6PM on a Friday night is not a fun thing to do. But we got to the complex in plenty of time to have dinner at The Grill, a way upscale eatery. Great food and terrific service. The production was nice, very traditional. The dancing was superb. I didn't care much for the orchestra. They seemed a little tired. Getting out of the building and the parking lot was really bad. It took about 30 minutes just to get to the exit gate. I got home at about 12:30. But it was all worth it.

Got some new yarn yesterday. Some Dale Kolibri in a pretty deep blue, almost a navy. 100% Egyptian cotton with a nice sheen. Started a swatch but didn't have time to finish. Then some of the fall yarn I ordered had arrived. I got a bag of Turino Silk from Plymouth in a really dark, murky orange. This is a beautiful raw silk. Good yardage, and reasonably priced. I don't know what I'm going to make with it yet.

I got the specs I need for the argyle sweater I complained about a couple of days ago. So I guess I better go do that.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Worked on my new scarf while watching the Lakers/Nets game last night. Had to rip out everything I did during the second half. Somehow I switched the pattern and had made the right side the wrong side. So that's done and I'm back to where I was at half time. There's no way this scarf is only going to take 3 skeins of Kureyon. I may get about 48" for the scarf with nothing left over for fringe. I have to see if I can find one more skein somewhere.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I went to Skein yesterday to meet with a new customer to help her with finishing her current project and starting a new one. I was not supposed to be there on Tuesday but she really wanted to come in so I agreed. You got it, she didn't show. She finally called late in the afternoon to say she wasn't going to be in. Irritating at best. But while I was there I finished the lavender top that I've been working on for about three weeks. It's really cute and I like the color but I still think it's going to be too small for my daughter. It's cotton so it will probably stretch. I hope so.

I'm trying to create a pattern and graph for another customer. She wants to make an argyle pattern for her grandson. Is argyle coming back? I've seen several scarves and sweaters recently so maybe it is. I haven't worked with bobbins for a long time but I guess I'd better track mine down and get ready. Anyway, when Ann Mary took the specs for this lady she didn't include the row gauge or the needle size. Sweater Wizard won't work without those. Plus the lady has already knit half of the back. She told Ann Mary that her grandson wore a large. What size is that? It turns out that he's really a medium, based on his chest measurement and has pretty short arms. When I get the rest of the information I'll do the schematic and then chart out the arglye pattern but now I'm running out of time. It's just knitting. Why does it get so complicated?

I have three skeins of Noro Kureyon in a turquoise, brown, lavender and lime green color way. It's just the right amount to make one of the scarves in the latest Vogue Knitting, the men's issue, #34. Pretty mindless but not totally. Easy enough for relaxing or watching tonight's first NBA finals. Go Lakers!

Sunday, June 02, 2002

How about those Lakers! I didn't get to see the game but the waiter at the restaurant kept me informed. We left at the end of the third quarter so I didn't see the final score until I got home. So now on to the finals!

I like the way knitting from the top down works on set in sleeves. Sweater Wizard does a good job of telling you exactly where and when to pick up. And no sewing when you're done, except the sleeve seam. So I'm going to pick up the second sleeve tomorrow while I do my laundry. I should be able to finish the sweater tomorrow.

Still busy at the shop today. Some regulars and one new student. Next weekend I'm going to be by myself. Ann Mary is going to TNNA in Columbus. She's sending her college age son in to run the register for me but he knows nothing about the yarn business. Going to be interesting/frantic.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

Very busy day at Skein! All the chairs were full and people were milling about. Mostly people who just needed a little shove to get on with it. Several new knitters who were buying yarn for their first project. That's so exciting. I think working in a yarn shop must be a lot like being a hairdresser. People tell you the most amazing things.

The Blossom sweater is hanging in the shop and is really helping this yarn to move. People love the feel of it. I don't usually tell them how tedious it is to work with. Maybe they'll have a different experience.

I'm trying my first top down set in sleeve. You have to pick up all the stitches around the armhole and then work in short rows gradually adding stitches as the work progresses. I have to figure out how to center the rib pattern but that should be simple once I know how many stitches I have all together. Tonight's a quiet one for me so this should be a perfect time to get this started.