Saturday, May 31, 2003

Stuff and nonsense

Well, I just wrote this fabulous entry and it has disappeared. And it's not Blogger's fault. SBC Yahoo disconnected just as I was ready to post. It's taken me half an hour to get back on line. What was it Charlie Brown used to say? ARRRGH!

Anyway. You know what I need? I need a locally available techno-savvy person who would like to learn to knit in exchange for helping me get this whole thing working. I'll even supply materials. I never really wanted to know how to do this stuff. I think I already know enough stuff about other stuff that I don't need any more stuff. Guess I'm wrong though. But if you're interested, let me know.

Worked on my new Plymouth yarn socks yesterday at Skein. Several people commented on the yarn so maybe Ann Mary will decide to stock it. I like it a lot!

Mendy came in for most of the afternoon and we went through her current projects. There's a lot of them. She also brought me a neat new tape measure. Guess she was tired of watching me rewind my old worn out one. This one is really neat. It's self-winding and is in a luxurious leather case with a silver heart on the side. When you press on the heart the tape rewinds. Nobody gets to borrow it! Oh, and she also gave me a new pocket sized calculator with a display that I can actually read. Thanks, Mendy. You're the greatest!

Started a new Skein sample. A child's top worked in Katia Rumba and Mississippi. I'm substituting Cotton Classic for the Mississippi since we don't have that one. My first gauge is a little tight so I have to redo that. The English translation of the Spanish is missing some of the basic information but it's easy enough to figure out what needs to be done. The Rumba is worked on a US15 and then you switch to a US5 for the Cotton Classic. That part is missing from the English translation. I don't know very much Spanish but enough to figure out what was missing.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Up and running, kind of

I haven't finished putting all my favorite blogs into my new bookmarks but I have quite a few there. So this morning I was able to go through, in less than an hour, what it used to take two hours to do. Of course, that's partly because I couldn't access comments or links on any of the blogs. But still it's a vast improvement over dial up. I'm so anxious to get the additional memory installed so things will get back to normal. Blogspot sites still take longer than others but even they open faster. Woo yay!

Years ago, when I was in the navy and living in Korea, it wasn't unusual to wait six weeks or more to get a package. That was just how it was and nobody complained. Having to wait a week for a memory board is driving me nuts. I suppose I could have gone to one the local PC Clubs and purchased what I needed but I'm not sure exactly what I need so I'm just going with the Gateway people. Like they're supposed to know what my computer needs, not me. So I'm waiting.

I got the kit for a modular knit purse yesterday. I am surprised at how fast it got here. I bought it on Sunday (they were out of stock at the weaving show) so they sent it to me. It's going to be fun to knit I think. I'm not going to start it until I finish the current pair of socks. There'll be pictures then.

Lisa came over yesterday and we went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Contempory Art to see the Laura Owens exhibit. I hadn't been to look at serious art for maybe ten years. What an experience! I've been out of the art scene for so long that I'm sure I missed a lot of the nuances and references in the paintings but they were awesome even so. Just going to an art museum was exciting. And driving in downtown LA.! (Well, actually Lisa drove.) It was sorta hicks in the city. When I was on jury duty a little over a year ago I had to drive downtown everyday but I always took the same route and didn't see much of the city. But everyday I got to see the new Frank Gehry designed Disney Hall being constructed at the Music Center. So I got to see it again yesterday. It's almost finished. It's pretty whimsical with all it's flashy, curvey, swirling shapes. We tried to drive around the block so Lisa could see it but in that traffic it was not possible. Anyway it was nice to do the art thing again but I don't think I really miss it.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Way over my head

Now I understand when a new knitter has trouble grasping a new technique. I'm having significant trouble getting everything to work on my DSL. It seems like one of the major problems is not having enough resources. So I've ordered some more memory which should be here next week. I can't open any links or comments on anyone's blog or from any site. So we'll see if more memory fixes that.

I don't like the SBC Yahoo home page so I'm thinking I will switch to another browser. I used to use Internet Explorer. Is there any reason I can't do this again? SBC Yahoo uses Netscape. Such a novice!

So I'll be unable to respond to comments or emails, actually not even read comments, that might be left on my blog. I have changed my contact address to my new email address. I seem to be able to read emails but just can't link to anything inside them. Does that make sense?

So I've spent most of today working on a new sock that I started in another of the Plymouth yarns. Haven't tried to take a picture since I don't think I could upload it. I finished the second Mexico sock. The pattern is still a little off near the toe. The real problem is they're supposed to fit a women's size 8. They fit me, size 11. Oh well, I like them and I may actually wear them this weekend.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Too much going on

I spent most of the morning getting my DSL connected. Then I went to Skein for the afternoon. Very slow there. Then I spent the evening messing around with the new set up. Have a few problems that I'm trying to muddle through. Like I can't get all my current favorites and email addresses to import. Some old ones from a prior ISP transferred but not the current ones. So at the moment I'm trying to re-enter all those addresses. Wish I knew a shorter way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Not knot happy

Last night I was happily knitting away on the second Mexico sock, thinking I'd be able to finish. After all, I'm almost to the toe shaping. I thought the pattern repeat was a little short but decided it would be okay. It's just a sock. Right? That's when I came to the knot. This is the first time I've found a knot in any of the sock yarn I've used. So, if I rip a few rows and attach the yarn after the knot the color repeat will be more "on" but I really don't want to spend the time doing that. But I will. I could have done it in the time it took me to write this.

My stuff for the DSL connection has not arrived. I'll be at home all day, waiting impatiently. It was supposed to be here Friday or Monday. Since Monday was a holiday I'm expecting it today. Seems like I'm always at the end of the day for deliveries. The problem is that I don't have much time in the next few days and the connection is supposed to start on Thursday. I sure hope this works. Am really, really fed up with MSN. I keep getting disconnected, almost every time, about ten or fifteen minutes after I sign on.

So to pass the time today I'm putting the new Interlacements into cakes. The hank is pretty gnarled up. I tried using my swift but the hank kept falling off. (I need a bigger swift.) So now I have it over the back of a chair and am feeding it slowly onto the ball winder. When I finish I will test it for gauge. I think I'm going to make a slouchy vest. I used to make these a lot when Mariposa was still in business. I saw a variation of the one I used to make when I was at the Handweavers' Conference on Sunday and remembered how much fun they are to do. Once I figure out the dimensions and gauge I'll write up the directions. I need to see if I can draw a schematic on one of the programs I have. Sweater Wizard won't do what I want. I sure do have a lot of things I need to learn when it comes to being a geek.

Monday, May 26, 2003

New loot

Yesterday Joanne and I went to the Southern California Handweavers' Guild Conference. It is primarily about weaving but their exhibits did include some spinning, dying and knitting. I didn't get any pictures because in the past we haven't been allowed to take pictures so I assumed the same rule would apply. This year, though, I guess it would have been okay as I saw a number of people snapping photos of the exhibits. But, anyway, the main reason I went was for the vendors' hall. Sunday was the last day of the Conference so some of the vendors had already left. But I got to see the ones I wanted to see, plus some others that I had not seen before.

I got this hank of Interlacememts "El Paso". It's a blend of rayon, cotton, silk and linen. This was the first time I had met the folks from Interlacements. I had been checking out their website and was curious about what their stuff would look like IRL. It's very nice. Wish I could have afforded some of the other things. After Joanne saw this hank she went over to their space and got some for herself and one of their other new yarns.

Finally got to see some of the Habu Yarns too. The big hank is paper (made from linen) and the smaller one is 100% silk. There isn't enough to make anything more than a scarf and I don't think it will really work for that. I may order some more after I've tried it out. Habu is a fiber shop in New York that I had been seeing references to. Really fascinating stuff made from unusual materials. There was one hank made from wild silk that I wish I had bought but then I can't have everything. Maybe next year.

I also got a kit for a small purse from the good people at The Knitting Basket. They were out of stock on the one I wanted so they're going to ship it to me. From what I've heard these are the people who brought Horst Schultz to the US and started a new craze for modular knitting. The kit I bought uses modular knitting, which I've been meaning to try. I'm not likely to just sit down and do it from a book. Getting the kit will "force" me to try it out. And I think it will be okay is a small item like this. Most of the garments I've seen made using this technique look a little too county fair rustic for my tastes. Although there was one vest done in very neutral colors that looked like it could be worn in the real world.

I've been very busy for the past few days at Skein as well as socially. I'm supposed to go to a party later today but I think I'll stay home and knit. I haven't had much time for my own stuff and I'm missing it. Plus if I don't get my laundry done, well, let's just say there's a lot of it.

Saturday, May 24, 2003


Finally, after much travail, I have finished the plain ol' stupid scarf. I tried to get a picture but it just doesn't look like anything. I have hated this scarf since the first stitch. I used Berroco's Mosaic FX, one of the "railroad" yarns that just about every yarn distributor has in its line these days. I think this yarn should only be used as a carry-along. It is stiff and crunchy. Great care must be taken not to pick up a strand from the stitches in the row below and thereby increase the number of stitches one has on one's needles. So now Ann Mary decides that we ought to have fringe afterall. So I'll try to get started on that while I'm at Skein today. I do not want this scarf to ever come home with me again. Ever!

A friend from another part of my life came to Skein late yesterday afternoon. He bought some Encore to give to his grandmother for her birthday. I was working with a student so I couldn't stop and visit right then but he waited until we closed so we could go to dinner. He said some very nice things about my teaching and my relationship with my student. That was good to hear. We went to a restaurant I'd been wanting to try, The Cajun Way, in Monrovia. Pretty good dinner but not over the top, as I'd heard. Afterwards we wandered the Friday Night Family Fest, a weekly street fair. Didn't see anything I particularly wanted but there were lots of people milling about. Lots of kids in stollers makes walking hazardous.

I have a couple of patterns to rewrite before I go to Skein this morning so I'd better get started.

Friday, May 23, 2003

I am amazed

The first few pairs of socks I knit were done on three needles. No matter how hard I pulled to tighten the first and second stitch at the beginning of each needle I still ended up with a ladder, the one in the center back being more noticeable than the other two. I'm sure there's some physical principle at work here but don't know exactly what it is. Something about angles and stresses no doubt. At the suggestion of my sock knitting guru I started using four needles. I can't find a ladder, no matter how I try. And I don't have to pull anywhere near as hard on the stitches at the beginning of each needle. Amazing!

Yesterday was Anny Blatt, Bouton d'Or, Stop day at Skein. I had never met Jean Christophe before but had heard about him for years. I don't know what I expected except that I wasn't prepared for how charming he was. But then he was pushing his lines so why wouldn't he be charming?

Some people don't care for the Anny Blatt yarns. Many years ago, when I was doing some free lance knitting, Anny Blatt was the yarn of choice of the designer I was working for. The leap from Super Yarn Mart and Red Heart yarns to a prestige yarn was stunning. Birth of a yarn snob. I still like their yarns a lot. It's true they can be a little precious aesthetically and economically but I still like them.

I feel the same way about the Bouton d'Or yarns. They're not for everybody. The Stop yarns were new to me. The yarns are made in Spain and generally have a lot more synthetic fibers. They're not as pricey or as complex. Ann Mary chose a few summer yarns that she thought would be good for kids or adults. So I'm looking forward to trying out this line.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

A weavers' show
I forgot to mention earlier that I'm going to a weaving show on Sunday. You can go here for some information about the Southern California Handweavers Guild. And here for specifics on the conference. I'm looking forward to the market. There are several vendor that I have seen at previous shows and I always like to check them out. Plus, if you like gadgets, it's a good place to see some.
A different day

Today I start a new routine. Now that my bowling league is out of the way I am freed up to spend another afternoon at Skein. We're going to try this to see if it will stimulate a little more business on what is apparently the slowest of slow days. It will take a while to find out. There's another instructor who teaches in the morning on Thursday but it seems her class doesn't attract many people. Since I only teach drop-ins maybe people who can't commit to a regular, on-going class will take advantage of this additional time.

Had a fun-filled afternoon yesterday. Mendy, one of my newest, came in to check some gauge swatches and to try on her first finished sweater. What a delight! Did you ever meet someone that you had an instant bonding with? It's like that for me with Mendy. I was so tickled that her sweater came out so well and that it looked great on her. I have a couple of patterns that I'm rewriting for her. This is so much fun!

Let's see. What else is going on? I'm just at the point of working the heel on the second Mexico sock. And I really need to go to the market. Somehow jalapeno-cheese bread with peanut butter just doesn't work as breakfast. But it was fast!

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Gone and pretty much forgotten

A couple of days ago I was looking for some old knitting needles that a friend had given me. I more or less knew where I had hidden them so I started digging. Found the needles without much problem but I also found some abandoned projects.

I have absolutely no recollection of making this sweater. I do remember the wool and I have another sweater that is worked in the same stuff. This sweater must be more than ten years old. The shoulders are stitched together rather than using a three needle bind off (my currently preferred and only way of putting shoulders together). One of the sleeves is sewn up. I tried the sweater on and it no longer fits. (Another typically blurred photo. It looked pretty good in the camera viewer though. I've already put the sweater away and don't want to dig it out again, until I get ready to rip the thing.)

This peach colored vest, which I don't remember knitting, needs to have the sides sewn up and the armhole ribbing added. It's a terry cloth looking yarn that we carried at Mariposa eight or nine years ago. I do remember the pattern because I had designed it using a different yarn that we gave away at the shop when you bought the yarn. I liked the original better than this one, so that may be why I decided not to finish it. It looks like I had learned how to do the three needle bind off by this time. The stitch pattern is from one of Barbara Walker's Treasuries. (I think this is the best photo I've taken so far.)

I vaguely remember knitting this vest. I don't know what the yarn is but the whole thing is very heavy. The black borders were a bad idea and I think that's why I put it away. The body yarn is a kind of tweedy mix. I think I can reuse that. The black is not worth saving.

This one I remember. I did one of the front button bands but it has to be stitched in place. I didn't want to do that. I used some Fingerlakes soft wool and I have a lot left over. This one will get ripped and recycled. I originally made this for Lisa but I think I got the size wrong. The cables are nice but I don't like the seed stitch. It looks a little mechanical.

I told someone the other day that it's inappropriate to recycle projects until you've worked everything in your stash at least once. That seems like a good enough excuse to delay reprocessing these sweaters. I did find one of my missing circular needles, still in the Aran sweater, and a couple of stitch holders. I'm really pleased that I didn't find any moth holes.

I gave in and cast on some of the Plymouth sock yarn. I just had to know how it would work up. And I'm just about done with a gauge swatch in some Opal. (Size one needles are really a pain.) And at Joanne's last night I got about four inches done of the second Mexico sock. I'm a little perturbed with the second skein of this yarn. It's the same dyelot and color but the reds don't seem to match. Grrr!

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Slogging through molasses
Something is seriously wrong over at Blogger. Every Blogspot blog that I read has taken foreverthis morning. And when I get the page to open, if there are photos, most of the time the photos don't show up. So I finally called my local phone company and signed up for a DSL connection. I've been intending to do this for several months. I should have that up and running in a week or so. I don't know if having DSL will be a total fix but it should certainly help. And I won't miss any of those important telemarketer calls.

I'm still working on the Mosaic scarf. Sometimes I feel like Penelope. I've had to rip this thing so many times! I keep gaining a stitch. I have finally decided that I won't rip anymore. I'll just knit two together if this happens again. But I am at least half way through the fifth and final skein. I tried to take a picture but all three attempts were just too blurry to even recognize what it's supposed to be.

The Clown Stripe socks are done and here's a blurry photo to prove it. These didn't take all that long but it sure seemed like it last night. I'm pleased with how well they match. I did have to wind off almost a whole color repeat before I found the matching starting point in the yarn but there's plenty of yardage so that didn't matter.

Monday, May 19, 2003

More sock yarn, it must be Monday

Plymouth Yarns is finally getting into the sock yarn business. These skeins are a gift from a friend who is also the rep for Plymouth Yarns. I saw one skein of the yarn last week when Nancy (the rep) came in to Skein to teach the Wednesday night class. I asked her where I could see more of it and she said I could come by her home. So Friday night we went to dinner and she presented me with ten skeins, two each of five color ways. I haven't worked with it yet but I saw a couple of socks she had started and I like it a lot. The colors are a little clearer than some of the other pre-printed yarns and there are some unusual color combinations. The fiber is 80% wool and 20% nylon. The name is Reggio. It's made in Italy for Asa Gjestal Spinner (I think that's a Swedish company). 150 meters per skein.

I'm just about to finish the second of the Clown Stripe socks. Maybe later today. Then I'll start the second Mexico sock. I have errands to run today so I won't get to work on these until this evening. Bother!

Friday, May 16, 2003

What a day! Very busy at Skein this afternoon. Well, it seemed like it anyway. The rep for Rowan and Jaeger yarns was in the shop all afternoon. I really wanted to sit in with Ann Mary and look at all the new stuff but I had three students and also kind of watched the floor so Ann Mary could get through the whole presentation. Ann Mary's husband, KC, was there to handle the register so that made it a little easier. Since I don't speak Chinese there were a couple of times that Ann Mary had to get involved. And then a few times when I couldn't break away because of the students. I did get a few chances to see some of the really incredible new Jaeger and S. Charles yarns.

We'll be getting lots more Rowan this fall. The new tweeds are so nice. Well, most of everything is nice. And the patterns are just fantastic. Lots of elaborate cables plus still plenty of "novelty" yarn patterns. I sure hope some of the scarf knitters are ready to move to a little more challenging stuff. Knitted coats are a hot item if the pattern books are any indication. Striped sleeves and fringed edges are still big. Color is more saturated and deeper, not quite as clear as it's been recently. Of course Rowan and Jaeger are English so that may have something to do with the muted tones. The S. Charles yarns are from Italy and are a tad brighter, especially in the novelty stuff.

The presentation took most of the afternoon so I didn't have a chance to do any knitting. Tonight I'm just going to sit quietly and work on the Clown Stripe socks.

I was sorry to read this morning that Kate is thinking of pulling out of the blog world, or at least is going to stop for a while. I've been reading her blog for over a year, since I first discovered blogging. It's been wonderful to watch her progress and to hear about her life with the two great kids and her husband. She's talented in the extreme. And helpful and supportive. I sure hope she doesn't leave for good. So, Kate, stay in touch.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Over and done with
I guess I can put my Lakers t-shirt away until next year. I'm glad I didn't get to see the final game. Too sad!

And my bowling career has come to an end. Tonight was the last of that. Kinda sad in it's own way. I've been bowling with the same team for five or six years. The guys were very nice and said all the right things about how much they'd miss me and if I ever wanted to come back, etc. So what do you do with a bowling ball when you no longer need it?

Now that Kerstin has succumbed to the pressure to knit socks, is there anyone else out there holding out? I finished one each of the Mexico and Clown Stripes socks. I'm going to cast on for the second of one these, not sure which, as soon as I finish this entry. In my stash organization frenzy last week I put all the sock yarn away and the box it is in was on the bottom of the stack. Had to wait until I had enough stamina to move everything to get to it. (It's on top now.)
Of course, I still have the bag of stuff I bought on Monday. It hasn't made it's way to the stash as yet. But I decided I'd better finish these two pair first. Besides, if I wait too long I'll forget all the modifications I made along the way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Not much in the way of news around here. Still happily knitting away on the Mexico socks and fantasizing about the next pair. Had to spend part of yesterday talking to car insurance people. That left me feeling all fidgety and anxious so I didn't feel like sitting at home. Went to Skein to visit with Joanne instead of going to her house in the evening. I meant to come home and watch the Laker game but I forgot. It wasn't until I heard the neighbors yelling that I remembered. By that time it was too late.

Today started off very slowly at Skein, as in there was no one there. So Ann Mary and I were just settling in for a good afternoon of knitting when the crowd started to arrive. Another returning knitter (32 years) and then several more newish knitters came in for help. It was pretty exciting for a couple of hours. About the time we got through that it was time for the evening class. I don't teach that class but sometimes I stay to help out. My energy level was pretty depleted by this time so I was glad that the instructor said she didn't think she needed me to stay.

The sun just came out for the first time today. It's been very dark all day. The predicted rain never materialized.

See. I told you there wasn't much news.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003


One day last week a nice lady came into Skein for a little advice and help on her project. While we were talking she told me how much she enjoyed reading my blog. Now that's the kind of thing that just makes my day. I've had a few other people make similar comments and, believe me, it's a wonderful sensation. These are not people who blog. They're interested enough to take the time to read. So thanks for the support.

Alison left a comment yesterday about my current obsession with sock knitting. She's so right! It's all about socks right now. But what's really happening is just my usual way of reacting to anything that I happen to become obsessed with. I have to stick with it until I've burned out. Sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes it's over pretty quickly. I was really taken with needlepoint a few years ago. I accumulated a lot of fibers and canvases. Most of that stash now resides in a closet in my yarn stash room. I think that obsession lasted about a year. I got interested in web design for a few months but gave it up almost before I got started. It took me several years to make up my mind about getting a Master's in drawing and painting but I finally did it and haven't really done much painting since then. I don't imagine my current obsession with sock knitting will last a long time. Right now I'm thinking about baby sweaters.

I did go over to Temple City Knits and got some different yarn for the heels and toes of the Mexico socks. And some Jawoll and some Kroy for a couple more pairs. Part of my obsession has to do with buying the supplies. I like shopping and I get a real charge from knowing I have the stuff.

I cast on the Opal that Emma sent, just to see how it was going to look, mind you. Didn't get enough done to really see it yet but I think it's going to be quite nice. Very subtle stripes. Today I'm going to play with the Calmer. I haven't made a hat in a while. That was my obsession a few months ago. So after I check the gauge I'll work out a pattern using the two colors. Can't wait!

My faux grandson, Nicholas, at two months old. His dad brought him to Skein last Saturday. Although he wasn't quite so happy as in this picture it was still a joy to see him.

Monday, May 12, 2003

A Monday Miscellaney

Emma,bless her generous heart, sent me these yarns to sample and enjoy.

There, in the back, is some Rowan Calmer. And to the right is some Jaeger Celeste. And, in front, a skein of Opal sock yarn. I had been curious about the Calmer because Ann Mary didn't want to get any for the shop. I think I'm really going to like it. I'll probably make a hat using the two colors. The Celeste I'm not sure about. We do carry this at Skein but I haven't tried it. And the sock yarn is just pleading with me to try it out to see what it does. Maybe tonight. Thanks so much, Emma.

These are the finished Sockotta socks. The yarn is easy to work with but I'm disappointed that the feet are so different. I'm not sure if this is just what the yarn does or if somewhere along the way my tension changed and caused the whole thing to shift. But I still think the socks are cute.

Update on the Mexico socks.

Well, I have to rip these back to the gusset pick up point. After spending a couple of hours on these last night I discovered a couple of dropped stitches just at the beginning of where I started. I think, since I'm ripping out so much, that I'll replace the heel with something else. The color is okay but I don't like the way the thinner yarn looks. I'm going to try to get to Temple City Knits this afternoon to see if they have something in a similar weight in a solid color. The red that I have is too bright for the red in this yarn. So that makes a good excuse to go over there and look around.

Mother's Day is not good for business! It was so slow at Skein this weekend. Maybe we should have been selling flowers and chocolate instead. I did have a couple of students who came to visit. And spent a large portion of Saturday afternoon listening to one of them complain about her husband. Very depressing. Working in a knit shop is a lot like being a hairdresser. People tell you the most amazing things!

Last week, while trying to tidy up a part of my stash, I found

four balls of Katia Flash and four balls of Lana Borgosesia Flower. I must have had this stuff for seven or eight years. The flower is 70% cotton but these rest, including the Flash, is synthetic. I need to do something with this yarn. So I'm going to be playing with that for a while, between socks and finishing up the dumb boring scarf.

Friday, May 09, 2003

What it looks like from my window, the one next to where I sit when I read blogs. Sorry about all the wires and telephone posts. I just ignore them myself.

It's a gorgeous day here and I'm really enjoying it. Going to Skein today and am looking forward to seeing Mendy again. She's one of my newer students. I love working with her. She's absolutely unafraid to try things. I think she's going to get bit by the sock bug real soon.

Speaking of socks, of course.

This is Regia in a repeating stripe pattern. I'm calling them Clown Stripe Sox. I don't know what they or anyone else calls them but they just look so crazy and whimsical that nothing else seemed appropriate. I worked on these last night while sitting in my car waiting for time to go inside the bowling alley. And a little this morning while I read the blogs. I need to find something for the contrast heels and toes. I'm thinking about using green but maybe I'll use the red that I have left from the other Regia socks I did a few weeks ago. I'd really like orange but we don't have any at Skein.

I'm so pleased with myself right now. I finally got all the yarn stash that I had moved into the living room packed into the plastic boxes that Carole gave me. I had to move it all back into the bedroom but at least I'm not tripping over all the bags. There are still a few bags that I didn't have boxes for. But I'm getting there.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Scarf knitting pays the rent. Yesterday at Skein was pretty slow. We did have a few batches of customers. It's really amazing how frequently we get these little rushes of shoppers all at one time, and then nothing for a hour or so. I think almost everyone was getting yarn for a new scarf or, in a couple of cases, for several.

I only had one student but she's a delight to be with. (Her mom is one of our regular customers.) She already knew how to knit and purl. So she's started right away on a baby sweater from one of the Debbie Bliss books. We're using this project to master cables. And how to read a pattern. Another of my students dropped in to show me her progress on an intarsia project she'd doing. I worked on the Mosaic scarf for as long as I could stand it and then cast on for another pair of Regia socks. Bought some size 1 Inox dpns in an 8" length to use with the Trekking yarn. I was concerned about breaking my bamboo needles as I'm having to really pull hard on the yarn to close up the ladders between the needles. And since I was already buying stuff I got some Brown Sheep sport weight (pink) and some Fortissima Colori (blue, white, turquoise) for some more socks. I'll get over this someday.

Finished the fourth Harry Potter book at about 2:30 this morning. I really need some more sleep but I have chores to do and I want to try out the new metal needles.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Whatever possessed me? I bought four skeins of Trekking sock yarn without really thinking about it. Now I'm losing my eyesight and patience trying to make a pair of socks with it. There's really nothing wrong with the yarn; it's really pretty nice. But it is tiny! I'm using a pattern from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks, Flammegarn. I don't have enough done yet to justify taking a picture but maybe in a week or so I'll have the ribbing done.

I finished the Sockotta socks. Not entirely happy with the difference in the patterning on the foot. These socks are not fraternal, more like second cousins twice removed. I'll try to get a picture when the sock model comes over this weekend.

Knitting with Joanne last night was nice. There were just the two of us. We had a chance to catch up on what's going on. We're tentatively going to a weaving show on the 25th of this month. We looked at the newest Interweave Knits and the latest Handweaver magazines. Had lots of fun poking fun.

It's off to Skein for a while. I need to find a different yarn to use for the contrast heel and toe on the Mexico socks. I used some Wildefoot but it's much thinner than the Fortissima Colori. I went down a needle size to do the heel but I don't like the way it looks. So I'm sorta stuck on those for the moment. Think I'll start the Fast Floridas.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

I didn't do much knitting yesterday, just a little on the second Sockotta sock, while I read all the blogs I keep track of. I went to have lunch with a former co-worker and then came home and did laundry for the rest of the day.

I've been trying to finish reading all the Harry Potter books before the next one comes out. So I've read the first three and am about half way through the fourth one. When I read I get totally immersed in the setting and all the local color stuff. When I put the book down I'm usually a little surprised that I'm in my own world, not the one in the book. But anyway, last night I kept dreaming that I was teaching knitting to all the kids at Hogwarts. I was having a hard time making it hard enough for them to be challenged. I kept using some hand dyed yarn and lots of texture stitches to make it look really complicated. I don't know what woke me up but I finally got up and read some more. Guess you just had to be there.

I'm off to lunch with another former co-worker. I'll try to do some more on the sock this afternoon. Maybe I'll get it done. I'm really excited to start the Crusoe socks, and the Fast Florida etc. Tonight is knitting at Joanne's.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Sock it to me! (If you can remember that you're older than you're letting on.) Here's a couple of pics of my newest sock yarn acquistions.

The colors are not all that accurate. The green is more olive, the brown is more cinnamon and the grey is not quite so blue. Other than that it's okay. The yarn is machine washable and there are 560 yards in the skein. Schaeffer Yarns, Anne. So soft!

These are Koigu yarns that I got from Threadbear. This is my first purchase from Rob and Matt and I have to say it was a real treat. Rob put a lot of energy into sending me pictures of the various yarns they had in stock in the color ways I wanted to see. (I actually got the package on Friday but it's been raining, ergo, no sunshine, ergo, no pictures.) Anyway, I'm going to use the orange colorway to make these socks from the current issue of Knitty. Rob even too the time to check with the designer to make sure that two skeins would be enough to make the socks in the size I want to make. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the other colorway but probably the same or a similar pattern. So if you haven't dealt with these guys, go do it. You'll like it!

I needn't have worried about being kept busy at Skein. Friday was a good day. Got to see a couple of people I've been missing. But Saturday! It's still a blur. I don't think I stopped (other than for a quick lunch) the whole day. There's something about rain that really brings the people out. And a couple of folks who couldn't make it in called for a little phone help. There was only one absolute beginner. Everyone else needed to learn some new technique. I was switching from teaching intarsia, to explaining different decreases, to how to pick up stitches and sewing some pockets on for one lady. It was a great day and today promises to be more of the same since some of the people didn't get everything done that they planned. I didn't do any knitting on my own stuff at all. Probably a good thing as I've been having some aches and pains in my arms and hands. Taking the day off seems to have helped.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Not much new going on around here. I'm working on a couple of different sock patterns but nothing new. I will buy the new sock yarn I wrote about a couple of days ago. I'm waiting for some Koigu that I ordered from Threadbear. I'm trying really, really hard to resist starting a new pair of socks. But I have all this new stuff sitting around and it's getting harder and harder to say no.

I'll be at Skein this afternoon so I'll be working on the Mosaic scarf. I'm a little over half way. Will sure be glad when this is done. I haven't seen some of my students for a while. The weather is cool and cloudy so maybe that will stimulate some of them to stop by. Otherwise I'll just have this stupid scarf to distract me.