Monday, May 31, 2004

Saturday was a record day for me. I had thirteen students, most of them in the afternoon. Six of them were brand new knitters. Fortunately most of the others were just there for a little help with their current projects. I like it when it's busy but this was a little more than I'm used to. I'm glad I had yesterday to recover. Today looks like another easy day too.

All last week it was very cool, never above 75. But that all came to a screeching halt yesterday. I think it's already over 90 and it's only a little after seven. I don't think I'm going to be doing anything very strenuous today. I spent most of yesterday on a sock. I think I'll be able to finish that today and get started on the second one. I need to start the front of the cabled sweater which I may do if the heat doesn't get to me.

Friday, May 28, 2004

It was the kind of night that makes you wonder why you ever tried to knit in the first place. And secondly, should you just give it up and stick to bowling.

I took three projects with me to the Thursday night group. The first one, a multi-directional scarf, I have managed to lose a stitch somewhere. We're talking mindless knitting here, right? Well, I haven't found the stitch yet. I put it aside an worked on the current, very mindless knitting, sock. I'm also missing a stitch there, and even though I know approximately where it should be, I cannot see it. Un-knitting row after row of tiny stitches really wears me out. I didn't even try to work on the third project, casting on for the front of the moving cable sweater.

As if all that wasn't bad enough today I find that Teresa has decided to leave Blogland. I'm so sad.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Floosie Scarf

We finally got the Mango Moon recycled silk that was ordered last January. It's kind of neat stuff but really needs something carried along with it. Most of their patterns call for something to be worked with the yarn. Of course we could have used something sedate and subtle but I thought we should tart it up a bit.

You'd need to see this live, in the flesh, to appreciate how wonderfully gaudy and delightfully tawdry it really is. One skein of Mango Moon recycled silk with one skein of Trendsetter Aura. I really expect we'll sell a lot of these this weekend.

Four hours from winding to weaving. 17 stitches on size 17 US needles. Garter stitch with occasional extended stitches (aka drop stitch). The scarf is about five feet long. I expect the weight of the yarn will cause it to stretch some.

I put the yarn in heavy plastic bags to keep them from tangling. I still had to keep an eye on it though. Not because Patrick bothers my knitting but he does love to lick and chew on plastic bags.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Some more finished socks

I finished the Gull Wing socks last night. The pattern is from Socks, Socks, Socks, designed by Vivienne Shen. I made the leg an inch and a half longer because Lisa likes her socks long.

I used some Socka that I got at Velona's a few weeks ago. Now I've started another pair in one of those self patterning yarns. I have to be careful not to buy any more self patterning yarn. To me, they usually look better in the skein than they do knitted up.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The fourth and final box

While I do have lots more boxes filled with yarn, this is the last of the original four that I packed up and put in a corner some ten years ago. Most of what I've shown I remember. Some of the stuff in the last box totally escapes me.

The yellow yarn is a wool and cotton blend that I bought in Taos on that first trip. I used most of it for a sweater for myself. After a couple of wearings I decided yellow, while a very nice color, does not look good on me so the sweater went away. The flat disks are skeins of Kid 'n' Ewe from Bryson. I'm not sure when I bought them or for what. We used to carry the entire color palette at Mariposa and I did once make a fairisle sweater using it. But I have no idea what this yarn was/is for.

Some more Kid'n'Ewe plus something called Spicy from a company I don't recognize, Milan Tricot. I have some more skeins of the Spicy but they must be in another box somewhere. I remember buying ten skeins and I've never used any of it. It's sort of a tufted chenille. It definitely needs a carry along even though it's kinda fat all by itself. I think I must have been planning to use the Kid'n'Ewe as a contrast. Who knows? Not something I would do nowadays.

Three different colors of Grignasco Old England. I don't remember buying this yarn. It's really nice though. At least a worsted, maybe a chunky weight. All together there's enough for a sweater but I can't imagine I would have ever put these colors together. Not even back in the '90s. I do like the tweed look though. This may be a yarn whose time has not come.

Some more yarn I don't remember. Grignasco Aran mostly. I must have been planning a sweater since there are fourteen skeins. There are two skeins of Rowanspun Tweed that I also don't remember. And some odds and ends. The Aran is 80/20 wool/mohair and has 130 meters per skein. It's a color I like to wear. Looks like this one will get outside the box, so to speak, and move close to the beginning of the line.

So, that's it. Now all I have to do is separate the yarns into things for the stash redistribution program, things for Goodwill, and stuff I need to hold on to for a few more years. Oh, and put the boxes back in the corner now that I've vacuumed it.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Box Three

More photos of yarns of the past.

This is 1475 yards of Fingerlakes Soft Wool. Probably be nice as a multi-directional scarf or something similar.

Some worsted weight wool from Reynolds. I have this yarn in several colors but only this coral pink in this box. This is definitely jacket weight for around here. Not sure if it's a color Lisa would like so I'll have to check with her this weekend.

Ten or twelve years ago we had a pattern at Mariposa that was called "The Slouchy Jacket". It was very popular as it was easy to do and was easily adjusted for different weight yarns. I made several of them. This is one that I never finished. I remember working on it while driving to Scottsdale to visit my sister. Well, Lisa drove. The yarn is a mixture of Rowan Chunky Chenille, Magpie Tweed, Rowan Designer DK and a hand spun yarn called Rambouillet. I don't remember why I didn't finish it except I think it's too heavy to be comfortable to wear. Or maybe I ran out of yarn.

I bought this heavy wool in Taos on the first trip I made there, maybe 1986 or 87. The company was called Rio Grande or something like that. I think it now belongs to La Lana Wools. I remember thinking it was really cheap but I didn't think about how heavy it was. I started a sweater with the yarn right after I moved to Pasadena in 1990. You can see I didn't get very far. I think the wool was intended for rug weaving. I have some more of it in another color, teal, worked up in a sweater that I never put together. I'm sure that's in a box around here somewhere.

I'll have the final box tomorrow. I've already peeked and it's pretty good. Now I'm going to go cast on the front of the moving cable sweater. I finished the back last night, all 161 rows. I lost a couple of day's work because I didn't cross one of the cables. I tried fixing it with a crochet hook but that just made it worse. I have to admit that it was very tempting to just leave it but that only lasted about 30 seconds. I do have an image to maintain, after all.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Box Two

Wow! that's a lot darker than it looked before. Anyway, it's a very ugly yarn that I don't know why I have. It my defense let me just say it was probably very cheap. It's Bucilla's Sparkle. Mostly fake mohair with some glittery stuff. I got it at Super Yarn Mart, the late, much lamented chain. This yarn is so old! I don't think I had yet realized that all yarns are not created equal when I bought this. Although you can't see it there's a large block of knitting that was going to be a Rebecca Moses design. This yarn is at least fifteen years old, probably more. I feel good about dumping this yarn.

Hmm! Another darker than expected photo. But it doesn't really matter since the yarn is black, except for the one skein of burgundy. I remember seeing this yarn at TNNA a few years ago. It's 100% Virgin Wool from Quinnehticut Woolen Co. Sandra and I were very excited about it but we were about the only ones. I think most of it was sold for cost or given away. And I don't think the mill is in business anymore. I have five skeins of the black and one of the red. I'm sure I have the pattern I was going to make. So far I don't see any moth damage.

Living proof that glitzy yarns are not new. In the upper left corner there's some pale lime green stuff called Must. It's a kind of large scale chenille. This I might be able to use. Then there's a couple of stacks of something called Kilmory Jewels, from Hayfield. I don't think they're in business anymore. I have a lot of this. Might be okay as a carry along. And off to the left there's some of the world's oldest chenille, Hayfield's Crushed Velvet. Another yarn we had to sell off cheap. It knitted okay but it really grew!

I feel like I did when I went back to visit my hometown after being away for several years. It looked more or less the way I remembered it, but it was less interesting and somehow smaller than I thought it was.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

So, what's in the box?

Here's one of the first boxes I filled with stash. It's probably been eight to ten years since I closed it and put it in a corner of my yarn room. So I had no idea what was in it.

First view of what's inside.

Fourteen skeins of Jacques Fonty worsted tweed. I have no idea of who Jacques Fonty is or was. I think this was for a sweater for me. And there are ten skeins of Tahki Tweedy Lamb. I found another bag of ten after I took this picture. I don't remember buying this yarn but there's plenty for a sweater for Lisa.

Seven skeins of worsted weight alpaca. I don't know what I'll do with this. Eighteen skeins of a chunky tweed. I remember buying this at Village Needleworks, a long out of business shop in Glendale. And three skeins of red merino, left over from a sweater I wore two times and put away for good. It pilled like crazy.

A hank of Lorna's Laces worsted weight, wound into a ball and a cake. Some Kid'n'Ewe left overs from a fairisle project. Three balls of microfiber from Unger. Are they still in business? Three balls of Crystal Palace Cotton Flamme. And five balls of Grinasco Flamingo that I got on sale.

One of our Thursday night group is putting together a yarn redistribution basket. I'm trying to decide what and if I can part with anything. Maybe the alpaca. And perhaps the Flamingo. I still have three more boxes that I packed at the same time to open. Maybe there'll be something in there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

What's your social?

There's something about this that really bugs me. It's not that I don't know what it means; it's more like "What's wrong with saying Social Security Number?" There's just a hint of something slightly off color about the way it sounds to me. Or perhaps it suggests "social class" or "social disease".

I had to go to my bank a few days ago to close my checking account and open a new one. (Don't ask. The answer isn't pretty.) The guy that was helping me just asked me, "What's your social?" I knew what he wanted but for a moment I was thrown. And yesterday I had to go to the local Social Security Admininstration office to give them my new account number. At least the lump receptionist asked for my social security number so I felt somewhat mollified and vindicated. Maybe I'm just stuck in the past when conversations were more than a string of acronyms and "you knows".

So, how's that for an opening? On the upside, though, I do have my new checks and new debit card so I'm back in business.

I didn't get as much knitting done yesterday as I had hoped. But I'm almost done with the gusset stitch decreases on the second sock. Nothing on the cabled sweater or any of the scarves. And I'm going to a concert tonight so the only knitting will be what I can manage at Skein. That will depend on how social things are.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I don't speak Cat, or read or write it for that matter. I wish I did. I'd post a sign that said "Do Not Disturb. Blog reading in progress." Patrick is constantly coming up to me and meowing about something. Usually he just wants me to play Snake or point him to his dish. I think he must have had a very disturbed early kittenhood. He almost never eats if I don't show him his dish, even though he's standing right beside it. And I'm pretty sure he thinks my days off are for his benefit. "Oh, goody! We can play Snake all day long." Sometimes, when I'm knitting, he comes and tries to tell me something. I wish I knew what it was. If I don't get up and see what he wants he will just sigh and flop down on the floor beside me. Or if he's really ticked off he will claw my chair because he knows how much that irritates me. But most of the time he's a sweetheart.

I finished one of the lace socks I showed last week. I even grafted the toe. What a royal pain that is. Maybe it'll get easier with practice. I've cast on and worked the ribbing for the second sock and will try to get a lot of that done today. We've been so busy at Skein that I haven't made much progress on the cabled sweater so I might spend an hour or so on that today. I ripped one of the socks I've been working on, just too big, so now I can start something else. It'll probably be another sock although I'd like to do something with the La Luz yarn that Mendy brought me from Alberquerque. Or a top from some of the stuff I got at Velona's the last time I went there. And I have several languishing scarves that need to be finished or ripped. So I just don't have time for Snake today.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

It's kind of boring but there it is. When you take on a big, slow moving project like a cabled sweater it's just hard to find anything to say about what you've been up to. It's like "See Wednesday's post". Almost always the same. Even though I worked for five hours yesterday on the Moving Cable Sweater it still looks the same. A couple more weeks of this and I should have something to show for it, just not right now.

I did take a break from the sweater and work on a sock last night.

I'm going to start the heel flap next but first I have to vacuum up some cat fur and do a little dusting.

And just so you know, Sarah, I'm still finding my orange wherever I can.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Moving Cable Sweater

Here's the first third of the back of the current Tahki Cotton Classic sweater. Not much different happens from here on end. Just several more 16 row repeats and a little armhole shaping.

We've been trying to get more of the catalog and were finally told today that it's sold out. Lots of folks are going to be disappointed as there are several things in this catalog that lots of people want to make. I got my Ram Wools Catalog yesterday and I notice they have the book so I'm referring people there if they want their own copy.

Here's a detail. I'm pleased with how it looks and feels.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Not much new around here. I read in a couple of blogs this morning that Blogger had a new format so I thought I'd check it out and see how it works. I guess I'll have to play around with it for a while. So far it seems easy enough.

The cold is still hanging on. But I'm so much better! It's mostly a cough now, and fatigue. I'm taking it easy today. I should be doing laundry but I don't think I can. I'll see how I'm feeling later today.

I've finished the second sleeve of the Moving Cable sweater, the one I'm making in Cotton Classic. I've started the back and have completed a couple of repeats. This is going to be one slow sweater. There's some kind of cable work on almost every right side row. And there are fifteen cables. That's a lot of twisting. Now I remember why I don't do Arans very often. But I think this sweater is worth it. Lisa will love it.

I think I'll take a break and work on a sock for a while.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Day five

After five days of feeling pretty lousy I'm still feeling pretty lousy. Except now I'm coughing, pretty violently sometimes. I did go to my Thursday night group last night though. I didn't really get a lot done, just a few rows on the current multi-directional scarf. And I helped rip about eight rounds on one person's project. And taught a couple of people how to use a swift and ball winder.

I'll like to stay home today but Ann Mary has a doctor's appointment so I'm going in to help her husband open the shop. I don't know if I'll be able to leave early. Seems like something almost always happens.

This week is pledge drive on our local classical music station, You can listen on-line, as make a contribution if you'd like.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Sock yarn!

I was going to take pictures of my sock yarn but when I realized how many boxes of it I have I decided that would be too much work. I have six of those plastic boxes packed with sock yarn plus some that I haven't found storage for as yet. And I've only been knitting socks for a little over a year. I saw some new stuff that we got in at Skein. That will most definitely have to be added to the stash. I tell myself that it's cheaper than buying yarn for sweaters.

I've had several sock knitting dreams this week. It seemed perfectly logical that I could make a sock into a sweater for Patrick. Not that he'd wear it, but I could do it. And Stephanie was there, cheering me on. And Sarah was also there providing technical assistance. Mind you. I've never met either of these ladies but they were in that dream all the same. When I woke up I realized that a sock would not begin to fit over Patrick's head. But it was still a fun dream.

And last night I dreamed I was teaching knitting in London. I've never been to London so I don't know how I got there. But this one was very strange. I had two different groups to teach. One, the Well Turned Heel group, only made socks with DK weight yarns and none of them knew how to cast on. So I had to get them all started. The other group, The Surreptitious Sock Knitters, only knit with worsted weight and they also lacked casting on skills. Plus, it seems that sock knitting was a banned activity so we had to be very careful not to get caught. This was the kind of dream that seems to go on all night. I'll be glad when this cold is gone and I can get back to what passes for normal.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


Do you ever feel like you have too many projects going? I know I do. Right now I have three or four pairs of socks in various stages of completion, a shop sample (that's almost done), the sweater for my friend Robert, a shawl and a multi-directional scarf. And those are just the ones that are easily accessible. When we were at Velona's on Monday I got some Cotton Classic for a poncho/shawl, like the one I just made for Skein, and some Pingouin Coquillage, a blend of cotton, linen and rayon. I think it might be an old yarn since it was very inexpensive compared to similar yarns currently on the market. Anyway, I'm thinking I might just have too many things in the works.

I'd like to stay home today and rest some more. But I have one person coming for a "consultation" on a pattern that I've written for her. Plus she's going to pick up the yarn I bought for her at Velona's. And I have two people coming for a lesson. And the yarns I wound last night will be picked up. I am feeling a lot better today. Maybe by tomorrow this will be over.

It's Cinco de Mayo today. I'd love to go to Amigos tonight and join the celebration but I think I'll probably just come home and work on some of those projects.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I kind of knew what was happening yesterday morning but I decided to ignore it. After all, I had a yarn shop hop planned plus lunch with Mendy and a couple of other knitters. We spent a couple of hours at Velona's and then went to lunch. By that time it was pretty clear that I was coming down with something. So when I got home I went to sleep and slept from around two in the afternoon until eight this morning.

I feel somewhat better but my ears are stuffed up and my throat is swollen to the point that it's painful to swallow. I should have stayed home today but there were a couple of people coming in for a lesson. I ended up staying about an hour and a half late.

I spent a couple of hours winding some yarns for one of my students. If sweating is good for what ails me I should be fine in the morning.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Rabbit! Rabbit!

Where have all the Bloggers gone?

Seems like everyone but me has gone to Maryland to watch some sheep and feel some wool. Well, not everyone. But a lot! Will I ever get to go? Someday. And it's only six months until the Knitters Retreat.

I've finished one and a half sleeves of the Cotton Classic cable sweater but progress has been halted because Ann Mary wanted me to make this.

Filatura di Crosa's Giordino. The pattern is in the back of the current Vogue Knitting. There's almost nothing to it. It's hard for me to calculate but I think this took about four hours. I have to make another one exactly like it. And sew up two side seams. And weave in a few ends. Just tie the shoulder straps.

The yarn is a zigzag of ribbon caught in a tube of crisscrossing threads. There are tufts of white thread at regular intervals caught under the ribbon. It's not easy to photograph but the fabric looks like wild asters on a black background. It's pretty easy to work with if you watch out for the loopy "flowers".