Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Back to normal

I haven't had a lot of time to knit the past couple of days. I worked at Skein yesterday covering the afternoon that Joanne would have been there. Spent a couple of hours repairing a sweater for one of my students while she went off to take care of something else. Some of the novelty yarns are really fun to look at but can be a real pain when you make a mistake. You probably already knew that. Anyway, I hope I found all the dropped stitches.

I plugging away on some more socks. These are the Brown Sheep Wildfoote "handpaint". I'm working on size 1 needles for the first time ever. Am also continuing on the yellow Reggio socks that have been in the works for a month or so. I've finished another pair in Reggio that I'll take a picture of when I've finished these and when the sun comes out again.

I also tried out the Anna from Schaeffer. Got an email asking if I had any input on the yarn. I hadn't used it yet so I put the hank into a ball and tried it out. Started with a 2, then a 1, then a 0. I think the size 1 works best for me. I haven't actually measured the gauge yet but I will later. On the size 2 it looked okay but a little leggy. Plus I don't think the yarn will wear well as socks if it's this loose. The size 0 looks very,very nice but I seemed to have a little trouble with splitting the yarn with those tiny points. The size 1 was quite enjoyable to knit and the stitches look nice. So that's probably what I'll go with. I'm not sure yet if I'll try to add some kind of stitch pattern. The hank I bought is overall kind of dark so I'm thinking a pattern won't show, but it might make the knitting more enjoyable.

One of my jalapeno plants has lots of peppers on it. Does anyone know how to tell when it's time to pick them? The other plant has lots of blossoms but that's about it so far.

Things are getting back to normal. I had dinner with Leah and Anita last night. I think it did us all a lot of good to talk about Joanne and our relationships with her. We will continue with the Tuesday night get together sometime later in the summer.

My car is sending me a signal that I need to service the engine soon. How much more normal can you get?

Monday, July 28, 2003

Thank you all for your kindness and comforting notes. I am doing fine. I'll be back later in the week.

Saturday, July 26, 2003


My good friend Joanne died today. I saw her last Tuesday when I went to visit with her at Skein.

Joanne's first love was weaving. She taught me to weave and was always disappointed that I did not pursue it more. We saw each other almost every Tuesday night for the past six years when we would get together for class or to just knit and visit. We went to weaving shows together. I first met her when we were both taking a spinning class. I have a throw that she wove for me. I've been with her through a couple of knee replacement surgeries and a shattered wrist. We've shared memories and talked about what we're going to do next. I still can't believe it.

Friday, July 25, 2003

TGIF, I think

I'm pretty sure it's Friday. I'm a little confused because Lisa came over last night. She normally comes over on alternate Fridays but she's leaving on a camping/fishing trip on Saturday so she came over last night because she has to pack tonight. Ergo, I'm a little off kilter. But I think I'm updated now.

Lisa thinks the lemon tree lost its lemons not because of the heat but because it's not ready for motherhood. Just too young to know how to take care of babies. So I'll just have to rely on Ralph's to keep lemons in stock even though they're way overpriced considering we are in the heart of lemon country. It's kind of like where my brother lives in Idaho. All their potatoes come from Washington.

I taught two brand new knitters yesterday. They're sisters from a locally famous family. The family is famous because they've adopted a whole lot of kids from all over the place in addition to the kids they produced on their own. Anyway, you couldn't ask for nicer people. I'm not sure how well they're going to do on their own but I hope they'll be back in a week or so to begin their first real project. I also worked with another fairly new knitter who was struggling with a Katia pattern. I can see why. Very poor translation and awkward instructions. Plus I think there was just some flat out errors in the pattern. And I finished the shawl which I will add fringe to today. If I don't forget my camera, and if the sun comes out today, I'll try for a picture when it's done.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Yes, we have no lemons today

Yesterday I found three little lemons. Unfortunately they were on the ground under my lemon tree, not on the tree as they once were. I asked KC who in addition to being Ann Mary's husband is a horticulturist. He said that probably the very high temperatures we've had the past couple of weeks are responsible for the tree losing its lemons. Probably the roots get too hot because the tree is in a pot instead of in the ground. This sounds like it might be an on-going problem. Does not bode well for my lemon meringe pie plans.

An unspectacular knitting day yesterday. I got about half of the new shawl done while working at Skein. Not a whole lot of traffic there. It was very peaceful and quiet. One lady kept announcing to the room in general that it was so quiet. Well, it was, after she left.

I worked some more on the new socks. Finished the first one and got about three inches done on the second one. Still not motivated to take pictures or to work on any of the more demanding projects.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

My day, or how to fritter

Yesterday afternoon I went to Skein to visit a while with Joanne and Ann Mary. I was supposed to go to Joanne's in the evening but since Anita would not be there for her weaving class I decided that I could knit at Skein as well as at Joanne's. The rep from Meunch Yarns was there when I arrived. Got to see a few of their new yarns but didn't really take them in. Seemed like more of the same. There was a little traffic in the store so I tried to help those people so Ann Mary could focus on the yarns. That almost worked. Ann Mary just can't sit still if there's a customer in the store. So it ended up that we were both working with the same people. It was sort of a divide and conquer approach and everyone bought something.

I took the start of a new shawl to show Ann Mary and she seemed to like it so now I can just work on it at odd times. I really feel like a beginner when I use the size 35 needles. And carrying three yarns, one of which is about the size of sewing thread, is a pain. And I started the second sock of a pair I've been muddling through for about a month.

I was supposed to go with Carol and Barbara to Bishop's Yarns tomorrow. The July sale is still on. But they decided to go on Saturday instead and I don't want to take that day off from Skein. So I'm going next Thursday with Mendy. We'll hit them as soon as they open the doors and should be back in Arcadia in time for me to start at one o'clock, or maybe a few pizza slices later. I already know that Bishop's doesn't have much sock yarn so I'm not sure why I'm going. I just have this thing for yarn shops. And Bishop's always has something that is marked way down. And it's the last day of the sale so it's practically compulsory to go.

I'm almost finished with the first sock of another pair that I started on Monday. I have about eight rows left on the toe shaping. I should have finished last night but I got involved in some Mah Jong Tiles that kept me busy for about two hours. So I guess I'll go finish that sock and cast on for the second one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


I love it when I'm knitting away and am so focused that I'm not even aware of my surroundings. Last night I was just doing this mindless sock and was so wrapped up in the process of just watching the needle move through the stitch and a new stitch coming up that I felt like I was floating. Well, maybe that's a little strong. It was just such a neat sensation. I'm not big on the knitting as meditation thing but I think it was a little like that.

(I once had a friend, he wasn't from around here, that always referred to anything that was new or different as being too LA CA. As if only in LA would such a thing happen. )

So right now I'm just enjoying the physical process of knitting. I don't have any deadlines to worry about and even though I have lots of projects going I feel okay about just doing these socks. I have the Rio yarn that I got a couple of weeks ago sitting in a chair across from me. I look at it and think some about what I'm going to do with it. Nothing has come to mind yet. I know it has to be something simple that doesn't require much yardage. I don't know. Maybe in a day or so something will click.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Get it while it's hot!

Sometimes a yarn just doesn't make it. For whatever reason the stuff that was so appealing in the catalog falls flat when it's on the shelves. So, Ann Mary, never one to be defeated by a mis-purchase, decided we should have samples using some of the overlooked yarns. Here's the latest:

A child's dress using Berroco Bubble FX and Tahki Como. The pattern calls for Berroco Pronto but we decided to try the Como instead. The dress is a fairly fast knit. The finishing took a day because of the crab stitch borders on the openings and around the bottom, plus a 47" tie made with single crochet. (My crochet skills are nominal at best.) So far no one has taken the bait but "isn't that cute" has been heard several times.

Skein, the sauna. Another sweltering day yesterday and the a/c seems to be in need of professional attention. I had five or six people sitting around with various projects waiting for attention. Ann Mary's husband, KC, brought in a fan after about an hour and that was a big asset. I'm glad Sunday is only a three hour day. Anything more and I think there would have been a mutiny.

Wireless weirdness. I notice if I post a comment while I'm reading blogs using Mozilla that they do not show up when I'm reading on IE. I wonder if the intended recepient gets them or not. I think this might be because the blogs are imported from IE to Mozilla and the road only goes in one direction. I think maybe I have to save the blogs to Mozilla in a separate folder. Does that make sense?

Finished the speckled socks and started another pair using the Plymouth Reggio. Pics t/k.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Patience is a virtue

I probably get more comments from students on my patience than just about anything else. What's not to be patient about? After all, they're doing the work and I'm getting paid. Student number one (from yesterday) kept commenting to all and sundry about how patient I am.

Actually, I'm not very patient. Sometimes I'd rather just fix it myself than be bothered trying to get someone to understand what the problem is and how to fix it. Or not be bothered at all. It's a good thing that no one can see what's going on inside. When you grow up in a family that stresses appearance over everything else you get pretty good at masking what you're thinking. But anyway. I'm trying to be patient right now. I have to remember that I didn't gain these extra pounds in a week so why should I think I can lose them in a week. It's hard to be patient when you're dying for pizza or some just out of the grease fries.

I'm just about finished with the latest shop sample. Ann Mary said it must be pretty easy since I haven't complained about the yarn or anything. I must remember not to let that happen again. She said she was watching me "shepherding" the students yesterday. Kind of apt, don't you think? Anyway the knitting is done and I'll do all that fiddly weaving in of ends and sewing up today. Hmmm. Wonder how you mattress stitch garter stitch borders.

So now I'm going to start a sorta simple shawl. Just three different yarns held together and a lot of elongated stitches. Way too much fun!

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Quel jour!

Who knows what motivates knitters. Yesterday has got to have been one of the muggiest days in the history of So Cal but we were swamped! Ann Mary had barely finished observing that most people seem to get out early, before the heat starts, when the first student arrived. She tries on her nearly completed project, which doesn't fit quite the way she had in mind.

During all this Ms Doom and Gloom arrives. She needs help picking up stitches around the armholes of her husband's vest. That translates as I pick up the stitches while she wrings her hands and bemoans the fact that she still has 31 skeins of this yarn. So that's underway.

Back to student number one and her dilemma. She wants the neckline to be narrower. So we get her started on undoing the bound off shoulders and ripping back to where the neckline starts. She's using Berroco Flax which is some of the most godawful yarn there is. It fuzzes like crazy and falls apart with almost no provocation. She's not having a good time and keeps going from one shoulder to the next and letting the ripped yarns get all tangled up. Making noises about how she's going to just chuck it all but then she's never been one to give up. Just ask her daughter. Anyway it's all a mess.

Then a lady with her granddaughter come in. They want to learn how to knit. She's brought an afghan kit that she wants to make and the seven year old child really wants to learn. I get the grandmother started on a gauge swatch, an alien concept, and cast on for the child. She does okay for a little while, so long as I'm there watching every stitch. Which I can't really do since I have student number one and D'n'G to keep checking on.

So then there's these two ladies who decided they need a sock knitting lesson. Not too bad since I've already worked with them before and they are comfortable with dpns. It's easy enough to just tell them what to do and keep working with the other students. Except they want to use their size 7 needles to work with sock yarn. Get them started over on some size 2. Just had to show them how to join the round and gave them an overview of the steps involved in making a sock. They'll be back in a week or so for the heel.

Did I mention how hot and muggy it is? Air conditioner just can't cope with the climate. Ann Mary is busy with the sales traffic, of which there was a lot. D'n'G has left but student number one is still ripping and trying to figure out what's happening. So I stop and go through her pattern with her, changing the numbers so she can reknit. (Man! I hope this works.)

The grandmother and child are about ready to leave. I've no idea if they'll be back or not. The sock knitters are having a good time just ribbing away. Check back with them to see if they have any questions. Nope.

So now everyone is gone except student number one. I've taken over the ripping so she can calm down a little. I try to straighten out her yarn but it's way too hot to deal with, so she's going home and have a rum on ice and then maybe it will be better. She's promised to be back on Friday.

I did get my current store project out and worked a couple of rows. I finished the back of the dress last night and am going to start the front before I go in today. Need to make the pocket linings first. Since I have no life I'll probably finish it tonight. And I did about an inch on the speckled socks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

How hot was it?

It seems a little cooler today but it's still a little early to tell for sure. I didn't go to Joanne's last night after all. It was just too hot to bother. So stayed home in front of the fan and worked on some socks and got started on the new child's dress as a shop sample. I may have to break down and turn on the air conditioning if this heat continues. But right now I'm being stubborn.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I've been around computers for a long time now but I've never paid much attention to the whys and hows, just went with the program, literally. So I really have almost no skills when it comes to these things. But I'm trying. Last night I downloaded and installed Mozilla. It was really easy which was a surprise to me since I usually have to call Lisa whenever I want to do something like this. Catherine suggested that I give them a try in lieu of IE. Also I'm not really happy with how IE displays things. I didn't know that different browsers show things in different ways. This is much better. There were a couple of blogs that got timed out but I was able to go back and read them later and one that was totally messed up. I can still go to IE if I need to though.

I'm trying to find the information I need in order to set up a mail account with Mozilla. I know I've seen that information somewhere but I haven't found the right page yet. All my IE favorites were imported automatically. I'm not sure if it's possible but I would like to have my favorites stay on screen so I don't have to go back every time. When I use IE my favorites are in a column on the left of the screen so I can just click on the next one. With Mozilla I had to go back to Favorites, then to Knitting Blogs and then click on which ever one I wanted to read next. (I just realized that this is probably very boring to most of you and way below your skill level. Sorry.) So that's what I'm working on now.

And on the knitting front. It was just too hot to handle much yesterday and today isn't looking much better. I did make some progress on the second speckled sock. I'm just about done with the heel flap and should be able to get started on the gusset sometime today.

Going to Joanne's tonight. It's going to be fun because Anita is going to start actually weaving after having spent the last few sessions getting the warp on the loom. And she's going to bring me a copy of the latest Harry Potter. Woo hoo!

Monday, July 14, 2003

Weather related

It's really hot here right now. Hotter than we're used to for this time of year. Yesterday the air conditioning at Skein was not functioning properly or rather it wasn't set properly. There weren't many people around but those that were determined enough were grumbling and mopping their necks and faces with whatever tissue or paper towel they could find. We finally got the settings adjusted and it began to cool off but not before a number of folks had given up and melted away. It was enough that I didn't feel like doing any knitting. Just too clammy to be handling yarn.

But I did get a little done before I went in. I have some new projects for store samples so I did the swatches. A couple of shawls that will go on size 35 needles and a child's dress. The swatches for the shawls were just so I could figure out how many stitches I'll need for the width we want. The dress, however, is being done in different yarn from what the pattern calls for and I'm not getting the gauge called for in the pattern. I don't think it's a good idea to have a shop sample that is too different from the pattern so I wanted Ann Mary to approve the changes before I went ahead. All I'm really doing is going up a needle size and the final product will the slightly smaller than it should be. So Ann Mary said okay and I'll be able to get started on that today, probably.

Last week I posted a little bit about blocking wires. When Debby, one of our customers and an online friend, read this she came to see me and brought some samples of lace work she had done and had used blocking wires to block. She gave me several pointers about the process as well as suggestions for where to buy the wires. What a nice lady! Especially considering the weather and the distance she had to travel to get to the shop. And her lace work is beautiful. So thanks again Debby.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

I have been encouraged to get some of the Wildfoote "handpaint" sock yarn. So now I'm trying to decide which color way I want the most. Probably the gold and jewel tone one as the others are pretty dark overall and I'm finding dark colors are too hard to see.

I think I'm going to have to rip this sock.

I'm don't think I have enough yarn to finish and I'm not very happy with how big it looks. I need to find some yarn that will look good as a contrast heel and toe. This Plymouth Reggio yarn only has about 150 meters per skein. The last pair I did without contrast toe and heel were also a close call. One of my teaching mantras is "if you knit you will rip" so I really can't complain. Besides I like the colors so I will enjoy working with it just that much longer.

Four more rows of ribbing on the second arm band of the Fuzzy yellow thing and I'll be done, except for sewing up the side sleeves. Then to find a spot to show it off at Skein. Hope it helps the yarn move. We've sold a lot of the All Seasons Cotton since the sample was put up a week ago. I don't have another shop sample project lined up yet. Possibly another elongated stitch shawl using two or three contrasting yarns.

Lisa didn't make it over last night due to work load. She's supposed to come over tonight instead. So I spent most of last night working on the Interlacements top. This is going really well and fast. I'll have plenty of yarn after all. I'm thinking I'll need to block this one. I'm not a big freak behind blocking but I think this one will need it. I've never tried the blocking wires. I wonder if they would be a good thing. And I could use a board of some kind. Guess I'll start looking for those sometime soon.

Friday, July 11, 2003

What's new?

We're starting to get some new stuff in at Skein. Looking ahead to the holiday season I guess. They're not out yet but we do have some new Christmas stocking kits. I think the knitting is pretty straightforward but the embellishments make them special. Knit early because all those beads are going to take a long time.

And some new back pack kits from Cherry Hill Farms. Each pack has six skeins of hand dyed wool that looks like small rope and feels a little scratchy. The kit includes the pattern and enough yarn to make a small practice piece for those of us who have never felted on purpose. Not sure how these will look after felting. The image on the patterns isn't very well done and looks washed out. We have three different color ways: denim, mossy green/brown and blue/purple.

Just when I was deciding that I had enough sock yarn for a while we got in some Wildfoote from Brown Sheep. The color ways remind me of their Handpaint line. There's about 215 yards per skein so you can make a pretty good sized sock from one. I'm still resisting but may have to get some just because.

Still trying to finish the Fuzzy yellow thing. And I made it to the armhole decreases on the Interlacements top. There won't be much knitting tonight though. Lisa's coming over so we'll be catching up, wining and dining.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Getting to lemonade

Yesterday's five hours at Skein took forever. It was not just dead but deadly dead. Not that there weren't a few people wandering in, and out. It just was not interesting. Handholding can take its toll as well. Ms Doom and Gloom was in to see about getting started on learning how to finish. So today or tomorrow I'll be showing her how to pick up stitches and mattress stitching. This is not going to be fun in the fuzzy boucle yarn. And then there was Ms Oh I'm so busy I don't have time to do anything else what should I make next. She's very sweet and cheerful but fills the room with her scatteredness. Three hours later she left with a new project that I'm sure will give her fits. She'll be very happy.

I got started again on the Interlacements top. It's kind of nice to be working on a real project again. And working on 5mm after all the 2.75mm dpns is refreshing. I need to finish the two pair of socks I have going and I think I'll be done with simple socks for a while. Time to add a little challenge with maybe some lace tops or entrelac. Don't know yet.

I got the extra skein of Eskimo I needed to do the neck and arm bands on the Yellow Fuzzy top. Had to rip the first two attempts. It's very difficult to see where to pick up the stitches and then I thought I'd dropped a stitch, which I hadn't. So the neck band is done and I'll start the arm bands this afternoon while I'm at Skein.

Now I'm off to have lunch with a friend from my pre-retirement days and to catch up on all that's happening over there. I'll try not to be too smug.

If you look closely you can see the first lemon just getting started on my new lemon tree and that blossom looks promising too.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Orange you glad?

A few years ago Lisa told me she really liked orange as a color. I had never paid much attention to orange. It was just one of those strange colors that I would never wear or buy anything in. But I started paying attention and now I have a veritable grove.

This is a section from a top I almost finished a couple of years ago. It's Tahki's Cotton Classic, one of my favorite cotton yarns. I'll probably rip this and make something else as it's now too big.

Some more Cotton Classic in a more coral color. Destined for another top, someday.

Encore Colorspun from Plymouth. Lots of greens mixed in there. Another abandoned project that may be recycled as an afghan for someone this year. It's a pretty nice, serviceable yarn if you need easy care.

A very dressy yarn that I got for $2.00 a skein at a shop in Long Beach, The Knitnut, or something like that. Georges Picaud has been out of business for years. This might become a short vest or top later this year. I keep looking at it so something is coming soon.

Ironstone Mohair that I got when Mariposa was closing their doors. I've had a pattern set aside for this one for maybe five years. A cardigan with large cables. Someday.

Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted that I got at a weaving show about three years ago. If I have enough, which I think I do, it will become the Clockwork Vest from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Vests.

Some more Brown Sheep. NatureSpun in a worsted weight. I have six skeins that I got at the same weaving show where I got the Lamb's Pride. Not sure what this will be. I may need to add something unless I do a vest.

And the latest acquisition. Rio, made in Brazil and imported by KFI. It's 100% viscose but feels a lot like cotton. Just got this yesterday, a gift from Mendy. I was looking for sock yarn but Bishop's didn't have anything that I didn't already have so I was looking at the sale stuff, just in case. I really liked this color way. The orange is pretty much on the red side but still qualifies as orange for my purposes today. I like the swatch and that it works on a 6mm (US10) needle. I have ten skeins, enough for a shell. I'm probably going to work from two separate balls at a time to avoid the pooling that you can see in the photo. Especially if I do sleeves.

This is by no means a definitive presentation of the orange tree that grows in my stash. It's just all that was near the surface. Someday this will all bear fruit. (I hate myself when I do that.)

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Time well spent

Well, the walk to Michael's was good but the stock selection wasn't. I really wanted to buy something but there wasn't anything I really, really wanted. So I decided to wait until today when I knew I was going to Bishop's Yarn in Chatsworth. (I don't find a website for them.)

I'd been there once before at the end of February and remembered they had lots of goodies and at the lowest prices around. So Mendy and I drove up there this morning. It's about a forty five minute drive and we got there just as they were opening. Today is the shop owner's 85th birthday. They were having a 20% off sale on all regular priced yarn plus they have racks and racks of discounted yarns, some at cost. I don't know how much money changed hands but the discount on the regular price yarn was about $70. The sale runs through the 31st if you're able to get there. We're going to try to make another trip before then ourselves.

Then we had a most enjoyable lunch at Angeleno's. Wonderful pasta and lots of nice conversation. And now I'm home thinking about what I'm going to work on since I left my current project in Mendy's car. I guess I'll get started on the second speckled sock. Going to Joanne's tonight so I need something portable and simple.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Monday, Monday

It was a so-so kind of weekend at Skein. It was hot enough here to keep most people indoors. And for most people, I guess, knitting is just not a summertime activity. But still there were a few of the faithful in attendance. And I had time to catch up with what's happening for fall. Ann Mary didn't think all that much of the TNNA show. At least she didn't think there was anything that she hadn't already seen from the yarn reps calling on the shop. Seems like there's still going to be lots of novelty yarns. Ribbons and furry things. The colors are deeper and richer. The new yarns should start to arrive sometime after the 15th of July.

I did finish the All Seasons Cotton baby sweater.

It's a little difficult to see everything in the photo but I'm fairly pleased with it. I need to focus more on my finishing technique. I wanted to bring it home and wash it but Ann Mary thought it was fine the way it was. This is a size 1 to 2 years. I think it would have been better in a little larger size. The seams are a little bulky at this size but it's still cute and should help move some of the yarn. I liked working with the All Seasons Cotton though. But then I like working with cotton.

So now I'm off to Michael's to see if they got any new colors in the Cotton-Ease. Or if they ever got any of the Lion Brand sock yarn.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

It's off to work we go

After almost two weeks of vacation Skein is reopening today. I'm really looking forward to being back. I hope we have lots of people today. I've seen a few of my knitting sibs during vacation but there are lots of others that I've been missing. I'm taking the Fuzzy top to show Ann Mary and to get another skein so I can finish the neck and arm bands. And the little sweater which I didn't quite finish yesterday. Just the sewing up left and finding some buttons. I find finishing is a lot less boring when there are other people around. I hope there are some new yarns to look at and I'm excited to hear what Ann Mary saw at the TNNA show.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Happy July 4th!

How boring is that? I like July 4th. It's the only holiday that falls in summer and is always a nice break. No more holidays until Labor Day in September. It's always been one of Lisa's favorites as well. Guess she loves the fireworks. When she was little it was still possible to purchase fireworks from temporary stands that were set up it seems like on every corner in town. It was always difficult to wait until dark before we could set everything off. Most of the stuff was really pretty unspectacular but to a kid it was wonderful. I still remember the fun we used to have with Sparklers, waving them around and feeling the tiny pings as bits of stuff shot off from them. Of course there was the time I stepped on one that had been discarded but hadn't quite cooled down. Don't go barefoot around fireworks.

There was some kind of fireworks display last night somewhere around here. Don't know where it was and couldn't see it. All I heard was the booms and crackles. It was kind of neat.

I didn't quite finish the shop sample yesterday. I ran out of yarn, or so I thought. When I was putting it away last night I found a partial skein that I had forgotten. So I think I can get it done today before I go to Robert's for dinner.

It's really hot here so knitting, even on small projects, is a little on the tacky side. The yarn just doesn't want to slide very easily. But I did get a couple of inches done on one of the socks.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Getting there

I have twenty rows to do on the right front of the shop sample I'm making and then all the major pieces will be done. I tried to finish last night but the blur was too severe. I still have to knit the collar, the front bands and the pocket welts. I don't have the buttons yet so that will have to wait until Skein reopens. I hope to get it done today. Then I can, in all good conscience, go back to my socks.

There are people who think that because I'm retired I have unlimited time to knit, and they say they envy me. I used to think that I'd spend hours and hours knitting. Well, I just can't do that unless I'm under a deadline. I don't take on much deadline knitting. Maybe because I do have a lot of time I don't push myself. Some days I may work for several hours and sometimes it's only a few minutes here and there. And then there's a limit to how long I can sit still.

I'm looking forward to Skein reopening on Saturday. I'm missing working with other knitters.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

...and the knittin' is easy

It's only a little after eight and already the day seems hot. I haven't checked with my usual weather predictors but I can certainly feel the difference, just since yesterday. I'm glad I don't have anything complicated to work on today. The sweater I'm making is small and the socks don't take much room either.

Bess is devoting July to making her holiday gifts. I wish I were that organized. By the way, have you seen her beautiful boucle handspun? I started thinking about what I would like to make for gifts and realized that it would take a year of Julys to do everything. So I'm scaling back. Unfortunately scarves are not a big item with the people I make things for. I'm waiting for the yarn for a sweater I'm going to make for one of the people. And I want some yarn from Mystical Creations. (I think Mendy and I will put together an order so we can sample a few different yarns before we commit to a full scale purchase.) I could make some great shawls from some of their lace weight. If I could only decide which colors I want.

Anyway, about those gifts. I think I'll do some hats and see if any of them are appropriate. And I'll so some scarves too. You just never know who might show up on my list.

Something is digging in my plants. Probably the squirrels that populate my neighborhood. I finally cut out the oak tree that got started in the pot with my single rose bush. I think it was really a holly but Lisa insists it was an oak. Since she has the degree I'll have to defer, even though I would have probably kept it if it had been a holly. I have little lemons starting on my new tree. I'm watching the peppers closely too. I haven't grown any food producing plants in years. Except for the nastursiums, which I didn't think tasted all that great. My balcony is probably only about four feet by ten feet so there isn't a lot of room for watermelons, which I don't care for anyway so it's not a big loss.

It turns out that my problem with the DSL connection wasn't my problem after all. Seems there was something happening with the lines in my part of the cyberworld that was causing the disconnects. Nobody told the tech support people I guess. But it's all working fine right now.

Not much knitting content today. I'm still on the same stuff I was on yesterday.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

It's July. Already?

Rabbit! Rabbit! (for those who follow such things)

A few progress shots today. I did get a little done yesterday, between bouts of fighting with SBC. I think that's more or less settled down except for getting connected easily. Still some issues around that. Lack of knowledge on my part and lack of competence on theirs.

Here's the back of a child's sweater that I'm making for Skein. I'm using Rowan's All Season Cotton and it's a delight to work with. The size 8US needles are also a pleasant change from the 1s and 2s I've been using for socks. I've started the sleeves and am saving the fronts for last as they're the most interesting part.

Got this yarn in the sale basket at Alamitos Bay. Not much different from some of my other ones except it's got a sort of burnt tangerine color that I like. Two skeins for $6.50 is hard to pass up.

This sock is some of the Plymouth Yarn that I got from Nancy Attix, the Plymouth rep. Makes me think of those black and white speckled chickens. The black heel was a problem for these old eyes. I had to wait for daylight to see the chain stitches along the gusset and even then it was tricky.

And because I wanted to see how this yarn would work up I started these socks. Another gift from Nancy. I like the colors a lot. I'm using a K6, P2 rib for the leg on this sock and the speckled socks. I'm doing the foot part plain.

I have four more days of vacation and have no plans for any of them except dinner on the 4th with my old friend Robert. The weather is nice, not too warm but summery. If I can just keep from starting anything else I should be able to finish some of these things.