Wednesday, September 29, 2004

1.12 Sox

Well, it's not much but that's all there is. I finished the first sock and started the second. I think I was lucky and got the second one to match the first but it's a little soon to tell.

These socks will go to Lisa's mom for her birthday in a couple of weeks. I'm calling them the Hang Glider Sox. Lisa told me that her mom had taken a class in hang gliding and loved it. I don't know why this surprises me so much. And delights.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Almost no knitting content

I never did have the time to do any knitting yesterday. A few rows on some socks I'm trying to finish for a birthday next month. But I did get everything else done, including laundry, that I needed to do. And I had a wonderful visit with Lisa. I hadn't seen her in almost a month so we had lots of catching up to do.

It wasn't insanely busy at Skein but a steady flow of customers. And four students. We got in some Araucania Nature Wool Chunky. I hadn't seen that one before. Should be nice for felting or a very warm sweater. I already have a couple of colors in the worsted weight and I've used their Nature Cotton. I should probably get some of this just because. Anyway, there's lots more coming. Novelties and stuff for baby things mostly. And some great new sock yarns. I'm glad I don't have to justify my yarn purchases to anyone but me.

Monday, September 27, 2004

It was so foggy this morning that it was literally impossible to see across the street. It's cleared up a lot now but it's still very hazy. Very happy that I don't have to go out early anymore and have to deal with the traffic.

Yesterday was so totally different. It ended being very hot but I was at the beach so it wasn't so bad. I went with two friends to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company that is right in the marina in Long Beach. I talked with one of the owners for quite a bit while my friends were shopping. She is always so pleasant and friendly. The shop was packed! I love going there because they always have lots of garments on display and they have gorgeous yarns, mostly Trendsetter and Prism but good selections from other companies as well. They've opened another space a few doors down from the main shop. They call it The Living Room. It's where they have knitting classes and seminars. Very comfortable and quiet. I got a couple of skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn.

After we had lunch, at a nice place right on the water, we went to Velona's. I know. I was just there last week but my friends hadn't been in a while. I figured I might as well get this:

I almost bought it last week but decided I didn't need two new sock yarns. But now I have it after all. And I bought a copy of the current Vogue Knitting since I didn't get one at Skein and there are a couple of thing in this issue that I might consider making, if I ever get caught up on the current pile of projects.

I haven't had much time for knitting this weekend. I am almost done with the second shoulder of the Aran sweater that I started last Monday. I hope to finish that today and pick up the stitches for the front. That's a little doubtful though since I'm having lunch with Evelyn, a former co-worker, and then Lisa is coming over tonight. I have to do a little vacuuming and stuff like that before she gets here. And laundry if there's time.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Photo Op

When there's very little else to write about, it's a good time for pictures.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock yarn. 370 yards of incredible merino softness. This will most likely become a scarf rather than socks. You just need to see this. It was hard to choose just one. I got it at Velona's last Monday. I also got a cone of an anonymous carry-along that defies photography.

Four skeins of Kureyon 128. If there's orange in the yarn I will probably fall for it. Lisa likes orange, too. This will either be a Multi-directional diagonal scarf or a variation of that pattern. Art Yarns has a pattern that is similar but enough different that it will be fun to try. They call it the Zigzag Modular Scarf. Got this yarn at Phebie's on the same shopping trip. And I bought the pattern at Skein.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The new sweater begins.

That's actually the last line from a haiku I've seen around a few times but I don't know the rest of it. Something about autumn and the click of needles. Anyway, my new sweater begins.

This is the neckband and the start of one shoulder. I have some concern about the weight of the yarn. The gauge swatch was fine but the yarn looks a little thin. On the other hand that might be a good thing. It's not exactly the Hebrides here, even in mid-winter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

No more kvetching

So, I'm done with complaining about my computer and my lack of knowledge. I've received some very helpful suggestions and am moving, slowly, but moving toward getting things under control. But just as a sidenote, AVG found nine infected files that Norton had not identified. I don't think I had the actual virus, just the stuff that would have enabled it to download. Could be wrong about that but all traces have been healed or put in a vault so I'm feeling better about the new protection system.

What am I knitting? I've made a small start on my aran sweater. The gauge was right on. I've started the neckband. It's slow going because of the number of stitches and the PTbl that happens on every other row. I think I have about and inch to go. I managed quite a few rows on the Koigu sweater today though while I was at Skein.

It was pretty slow most of the day. Strange after such a hectic day yesterday. I did have three students show up about an hour before I was supposed to leave so I ended up staying about an hour over. And I had a couple of people earlier in the day. So it was pretty good overall, for me at least.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I can't think of anything that stresses me more than when my computer starts doing unfamiliar things. Even six beginning knitters gathered around the table doesn't get to me like this.

A friend of mine who knows a thing or two about computers decided I should have a different virus scanning system. I've always had Norton but now I have AVG. It's a free download and he said he had replaced Norton with it on all three of his computers. So I said okay. Well, the install took a lot longer than it was supposed to and I was half an hour late at Skein this morning. That didn't help my stress level a whole lot. And I keep getting a message when I open that there's a Trojan Horse hiding somewhere. He thinks that's a mistake but I don't know. I keep telling it to heal and I can keep going but it always comes back when I start up again. And now there's a soft clicking sound coming from my CPU that wasn't there before, and a little blinking light next to the on/off button that I don't think was there before.

Some of my email ended up in Outlook Express instead of Yahoo and I haven't figured out how to get it moved. I can survive that. And I've changed the default back to Yahoo, so at least that's back to normal. Now I just have to get used to the new type size that he set. I also know how to change that back if I want to. Oh well, enough about that.

When I finally got to Skein today it was packed. Ann Mary and I didn't even say more than "Good morning" until after 2:30. I had students the whole time. The back stock area is so full of new inventory, still in boxes, that we have to stand to have our lunch. You have to keep moving so the stock person can keep doing his job. I was really glad when 4 o'clock came.

But I had a nice evening. A friend took me to dinner at a Mexican place that I hadn't been to before. The food was excellent. We went to Starbucks afterwards and worked out some details of a sweater pattern that she's using. Just the kind of thing that I love. Good company, good food and good knitting.

Monday, September 20, 2004


One of the many things I like about knitting is the simplicity of the technology. A couple of pointed sticks and some kind of fiber is about all you really need. There are other things that ease the process: a swift and yarn winder, some markers, a row counter, stuff like that. But all you really have to have are the yarn and needles. Most of this stuff is readily available either from a specialty store (LYS) or on line for many of us or a craft store such as Michael's. With just these basic supplies you can amuse yourself for hours and have something to show for it.

I spend several hours a day sitting in front of my computer. Well, I guess it's really the monitor. I don't understand the technology. I can push and click and make things happen but I don't know why they do. And when there's a problem I have no one to turn to to help me fix it. What's really bad is when something happens that I don't think I caused. Many of us are familiar with the blue screen that tells us we didn't shut down properly etc. I'd love to shut down properly if my computer would let me. It just doesn't want to do that.

I've been having some trouble with my DSL connection too. Sometimes I'm just booted off. No idea why. At least with knitting I get to stop when I want to. Nobody just comes and takes it away from me. And I can usually start up again without getting a lecture about how I shouldn't have put it down that way.

Now I hear there's this new thing called Bloglines. Lots of bloggers are praising it and I'm pretty sure it's a good idea. But I have no idea how to begin. And while I'm at it, what's a RSS, or is that RRS?

The thing about knitting is, you can start with some basic information and that's all you need. Knit! Knit! Knit! With computers though, at least for me, you have to learn a whole bunch of stuff just to access the Internet. Now I'm supposed to know what they're talking about and they're using all this jargon and acronyms. I'm not satisfied to be "just making a scarf" when I'm knitting and I don't want to be at the same level when it comes to me and my computer. Sometimes though I think I should just stick to my knitting.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Corina comes back

You don't know Corina. She's one of my students from last spring who just evaporated. We didn't know where she'd gone or if something had happened. It turns out that she just took the summer off. Now that the weather's cooler she's ready to get going again. And that seems to be the case with lots of folks. We had about two hours of pandemonium today. New people, returning people and well as lots of regulars. I only had Corina as a student so I spent most of the day selling people lots of gorgeous, expensive yarn.

We finally got some of the new Trendsetter yarns last night. I was selling out of the back room a lot of the time. Stuff that's not even marked yet. Trendsetter doesn't have a web site but you can see most of the stuff here.

I started a new shop sample today using some of the Koigu. Using one of their patterns for a child's pullover. The yarn is nice enough but the colors are what makes it so exceptional. I did have some splitting problems but generally it's a breeze to work with. So I'll be spending some time on that tonight. And the baby poncho.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


We're at that wonderful time of year just between "Man! It's hot outside!" and "Man! I can't believe how cold it is!" It's not quite officially autumn but it's close enough for me.

The kids being back in school and the cooler weather has meant an increase in traffic at Skein. I've been averaging five or six new students per day plus all the people who are just picking up their knitting and don't know where they left off. The new fall yarns continue to arrive. Today we finally put our first shipment of Koigu on the shelves. Personally, I'd have chosen a wider color range, more brights and clearer colors, but I wasn't involved. We're just glad to have it. It's taken almost nine months for it to get here. I think Ann Mary said there were ten different colors.

We had our Thursday night group on Wednesday this week. Such a genial group! I worked on three different projects, all of which I managed to mangle to some extent. You know you're in trouble when a garter stitch scarf goes amok. And the I turned and went the wrong way in the hood of the child's poncho, stockinette stitch. I did get the ends woven in on the two scarves I just finished so it wasn't a complete loss. Came home to a ball of yarn wound around all the chairs in the living room. Patrick doesn't usually bother my knitting but I think I must have knocked the ball off the table as I was leaving and that was just too tempting. We've had a talk about it though.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Just another scarf

This is the second multi-directional, diagonal scarf of the ones I swatched last week. I used Fiesta Yarns Pebbles in the Amazon color way with a carry along of Rowan's Sea Breeze. I used a size 13US needle to give it more drape and show off the yarn a little more. It's just about six feet long. Do you know how hard it is to photograph a six foot long scarf? There's another picture below that I would have used up here but I have to stop and figure out how to wrap type. That's for another day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Catching up

No. I haven't been away or ill or anything interesting. Just distracted. My weekend, which begins on Sunday, was pleasant and hassle free. And I had a great day on Saturday at Skein. It all started with a plate of muffins, some bran and some blueberry. They were brought by one of my on-going students. She even included a ziplock baggie for me to take home the leftovers, in case there were any. And there were a few and they made a great breakfast on Sunday.

Then in the afternoon, Article Pract's very own Christina came in to visit. She's such a delight. She is also generous and caring. She brought me this:

A very effective ointment for temporary relief from the aches and pains I've been having in my wrists. I've been using is for three days now and it really is a big help.

Anyway, we had a grand time gushing and oohing and aahing over all the new yarns and books.

On Sunday I finished the Fantasy Naturale MD scarf.

It's not a long as I might have liked. Just over four feet but that's where the yarn took me. I still have to weave the ends but it's not Christmas yet. I have another couple of feet to go on the Pebbles/Sea Breeze scarf.

I felt so good yesterday after getting my laundry done early, for a change, that I took a couple of hours and went to a couple of local shops that are open on Monday. First it was Needle in a Haystack in Montrose, about fifteen minutes drive. I picked up a couple of poncho patterns. Then I went to Stitch in Time in San Marino, about ten minutes from my house.

Stitch in Time has always been known as a needlepoint place. They started getting into knitting yarns earlier this year, or maybe it was the end of last year. It's still an incredible resource for needlepoint. The knitting has really expanded though. I talked with the owner for quite a long time. She's just learning to knit and is doing great. While I was there I picked up a copy of Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks, Warm Feet. And a couple of skeins of Lana Grossa Meilenweit sock yarn.

I'm joining an Aran knit-a-long that Bess is hosting starting next Monday, the 20th. I haven't decided once and for all which pattern I'm going to use but this

is the current frontrunner. It's from Two Sticks and a String by Kerry Ferguson. I've had the yarn for more than ten years. Pingouin Fleur de Laine. It's a little more green than the photo shows. I have to get busy and wind it if for no other reason than to make sure there are no moth binges. I've done top down sweaters before but never one so elaborate. I'd like to have this done to wear to the Knitters' Retreat the first weekend of November. More realistically I'll be taking it along to work on while I'm there.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Thanks to Cindy and my friend Lisa for the current link to the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. The pattern has been slightly revised and an alternative ending triangle has been provided. The new ending is very much like the one I devised for myself. I'll have to try it and see which one I like better.

There's really nothing new on the knitting front. It was a slow day at Skein so I made some progress on the toddler poncho with hood that I'm making as a shop sample. Maybe I'll finish tomorrow or some time over the weekend. I spent most of the evening at the Thursday night group working on my third Harlot poncho. I've just started the second skein so I'm not quite half way.

And I heard that there was a little rain here and there around town but none over here. And it's still in the 90s.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


There are some knitting patterns that are so well known that they are almost mythic. Stephanie's Harlot Poncho comes to mind. I've made three so far and have a few more planned. And almost everyone in my Thursday night group has done at least one.

Then, there's the multidirectional, diagonal scarf. (I tried to link to the pattern but it seems to have been taken down.) I have made I don't know how many of these scarves. I remember well enough how to make it but I wanted to tell one of my students about it and use it to teach her about short rows and decreases. So instead of the pattern I made several samples of the scarf at different stages and took them with me today. They were a big hit.

The student I made them for wasn't all that interested but her mom, also a student, started one right away. One sample I made used two yarns held together on a much larger needle that I would normally use. It's a lot less rigid and more open. And the very textured yarn creates a much different look from the ones I've made before.

This one is Fantasy Natural from Plymouth. A nice worsted weight that is pleasant to knit. I like this well enough that I'll probably finish it and add it to the holiday gift stack.

I tried the Fiesta Pebbles that I got last week. I didn't think the striping showed very well and the yarn is harsh. I'll probably rip this one and use it for

this one. I added a strand of Rowan's Sea Breeze, a cotton yarn that I think was discontinued about ten years ago. It made the Pebbles much easier to work with and, even though it's hard to see in the photo, made a much more definite stripe. I'm using a US13 here. I like the way it drapes. So another one for the stack.

Monday, September 06, 2004

One Oh Two, in the shade

At least that's what's predicted for today. Much better than the original projection of 106. It's very normal for Labor Day Weekend. I hope the weather people are proved wrong just like the earthquake predicters. We were supposed to have earthquakes on Saturday or Sunday according to a group of serious scientists. I haven't seen anything in the news about this for a while but I'm very happy that it didn't happen.

I pretty much took the day off from knitting yesterday. My wrists and the back of my hands were hurting to the point that it was unpleasant. I have a shop sample that I was hoping I'd get done this weekend so I'll try again today. I'll try working for shorter periods and take lots of breaks. Several people have suggested yoga but I don't know anything about that. I've always relied on conventional medical approaches to take care of my aches and pains. I thought of yoga as some sort of weird alternative witch doctor thing. Right up there with snake charming and sword swallowing.

I'm willing to give it a try though. I will talk to my doctor as well. I don't want to rely on pills and I don't want to give up knitting, even for a short period. So we'll see.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Recent acquisitions

Here at the Museum of Aquired Stash (MAS) we never say no when someone wants to leave us some new stuff. This week we didn't have to go out to the open market to get our fiber fix. We had it hand fed to us.

First some new yarns from Lammia, one of our Thrusday night regulars.

Three skeins of Paton's Grace. I already have thirteen in this color way and dyelot. Plus two skeins of Sirdar's Rio in a shocking pink. I am sort of on a pink kick right now so this will find a project very soon.

Six skeins of 100% silk from Estelle Designs. I don't know anything about this company but the fiber is beautiful. Maybe a top.

Trendsetter's Bloom. Ten skeins in a soft gold. First time I've ever actually seen this yarn. No ideas yet.

And then another round of acquisitions from Mendy, close friend and hostess of the Thursday night group.

This is Fiesta Yarns Pebbles in the colorway Amazon. It's mostly cotton but there's a little bit of rayon to make it shiny. I think Pebbles has been discontinued.

More Pebbles but in the colorway Salsa.

And finally, six skeins of Fiesta's Chamisa in Australia. Another possibly discontinued yarn. It's 100% rayon and is sort of a cross between boucle and chenille.


I hope this doesn't get eaten by Blogger.

And everyone have a great Labor Day weekend.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Rabbit! Rabbit!

End of Summer

Even though it's a few weeks away, and even though it's hotter than blue blazes around here, there is still a strong feel of autumn. Maybe it's just because it's September and school's starting up again. The change of season is more gradual here in Southern California. We don't get a lot of fall foliage viewing, unless we go to the mountains.

Anyway. Last night while I was working on this poncho

I was reminded of the beginning of fall when I used to live in New Hampshire a long time ago. The green of summer is still there but there are a few trees beginning to turn. I'm using Southwest Trading Company's Phoenix, 100% soy, in a colorway called Canyon. It's a braided tape and feels more like cotton than anything. It's very easy to work with, no splitting and very little twisting. There are 175 yards per skein and this is about half of the first one. The colors are not quite accurate in the photo. It's more subdued and not quite so teal.

Everyone must know the Yarn Harlot poncho by now. This is my third one using the pattern as written. I have some wool chenille that I think I'll use to make a more wintery version. I'll probably change to a different increase and maybe add a few more rows to the neckband.