Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I did finish the back of the Tweed Sweater. There's not much to tell about it. Just stockinette with some ribbing on the sides. I've started the front and am debating whether to do some sort of decorative thing up around the neck.

The color is actually a bit more rust than you see here. I really need a new camera so I can get better detail shots. The zoom feature on my current one seems to have ceased functioning. There is currently no budget for a new camera.

While we were at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company yesterday I came across a new sock yarn. Well, it's new to me. So I had to have some, just for research you know. It's a fairly standard mix of wool, cotton and nylon that will knit up into stripes. Nothing unusual except it's a new label.

And another new to me color. This is Noro 124. I've never seen it before but I expect, because of the number, that it's not new to them. Seven skeins that I got while we were at Velona's. Not enough for a sweater but maybe another multi-directional scarf and a couple of hats for Dulaan 2007.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pat the Cat loves it when I have several days off in a row. He gets lots of brush time. That's especially nice right now given the heat and humidity. Poor cat does nothing but flop around in whatever cool place he can find. And, of course, come and interrupt my catnaps. I brush him three or four times a day and he's still pushing out hair. But he's happy I'm here.

He's really going to be happy next week. Skein will be closed for its annual summer vacation from July 2 through July 11. I don't have any plans for those days so Patrick will get to see lots of me, and the brush. I'll be taking house calls for anyone who might be interested. Locally, that is.

I thought I had finished the back of the tweed stockinette sweater. It came up about and inch shorter than I was expecting. When I went back and checked my Sweater Wizard patterns I found I had misremembered the number of rows. Still six to go and then I'll have the right length. So that's what I'll be doing today.

After I get home from a mini-yarn crawl.

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's almost too hot to knit. Almost. We were supposed to go to Burbank yesterday to visit the Great Wall of Sock Yarn at Unwind Yarns but my partner in crime wrote and postponed as she was afraid the heat would be unbearable.

Actually it wasn't too bad until about 3:30 in the afternoon. I've never experienced anything like this. Suddenly there were huge gusts of heat coming in the window. Really, just like someone opening an over door. It got hot so fast that I had to go check to make sure my building wasn't on fire. In about fifteen minutes the temperature went from 84F to 98F.

I have been working on a couple of pairs of socks. One is ready for the heel flap on the second sock, the other is just about ready for the toe shaping on the first sock. I don't know what happened, maybe it was the heat, but suddenly I couldn't stand working on socks. I've been going through a bunch of yarn that's been stashed in my living room for the past six or seven months. I found a sweater that I had started sometime last year (I think) and decided to work on that. When I got to the armhole decreases I discovered that my row gauge was way off and I still had another twenty rows to go. They're done and now I can move on with the rest of the back. There's not much point in taking a picture right now as it's just a big square of stockinette. Tweed stockinette at that! Maybe tomorrow or the next day.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It is not true that I enjoy telling my students that they have to rip out. If that were so yesterday would have been a total delight instead of the sad, depressing day it was. Of the four students that I saw only one didn't have to completely start over and she had already started to rip before she came in. I just showed her a more efficient way to do it.

I did have a few friends that stopped by to sit and knit for a while. And that was cheerful. But several of the people I usually see on Wednesday did not show. It's been very slow of late so when there's no one to chat with the day is pretty long. Add to that that I couldn't access my browser yesterday morning so I had no idea what was going on in by blog world. Major bad! But when I got home there was a message from Alamitos Bay Yarn Company that some buttons I've been waiting for have arrived. Now I just need to round up someone to go with me to Long Beach to get them. Raise your hand if you're interested.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another sock. This one is from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. I just wanted to try her heel method to see if it's any better looking than the standard heel flap that I usually use. Actually, I don't much care for the garter stitch edge on the heel. I think the stitches stretch too much. But I do think that starting the flap on the wrong side and doing the heel turn the way she suggests makes a tidier corner. I'm not sure yet if I like her method of picking up two stitches at the top of the gusset. I'm not far enough along to tell if that will really solve the big hole problem.

I spent part of yesterday afternoon at Unraveled knitting with a friend. We've beem trying to do this for months. Yesterday all the stars and planets aligned so we were able to spend a couple of hours together.

While I was there I knit a swatch from the Yarn Tasting basket. You knit a swatch and give it back to them. You get to keep the balance of the skein as well as get a 10% discount on your purchase. I think that's anytime up to three months. It just so happened that I was going to buy a skein of Classic Elite Four Seasons and that was one of the yarns in the basket. I liked the way it worked up so I got eight skeins in orange plus one in black, the one I was going to buy anyway.

I think the objective of all this swatching is to have a sample of every yarn in the shop. When they're all done they'll be put on display but I'm not sure if they'll be with the yarn or just on a board somewhere. Either way it'll be a great help.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Guess what I got for Father's Day. And inside were several grey(my favorite color) t-shirts, and a belt that is going to be exchanged.

It was a great day. Dinner at Holly Street Bar and Grill. We hadn't been there for something like fifteen years. It was superb. It was the same and not the same at the same time.

And we had a good time just being together, dad and daughter, and the cat. of course.

I've been kind of out of it for a few days. Nothing much to write about. I finished the shrug for Skein on Saturday but I forgot to take my camera so it'll be a couple of days before I get a photo. I'm now making a glitzy garter stitch vest that will maybe help sell the yarn.

It's been a bit on the slow side at Skein but I hear it's that way everywhere. I had a much better week than I've had recently. More new knitters and some who are moving into more complex projects. That's encouraging. All of a sudden I'm getting people who want to make socks. That's great! I love making socks and turning people on to the process.

I finished the first sleeve of the green lace sweater that I wrote about last week. It's fine, except I made it too big. Somewhere along the way I switched sizes so I have about 36 rows to rip and redo. But the second sleeve is moving along.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Remember this? It's the project that I was going to use for the Knitting Olympics. But I had a problem with the pattern. So I put is aside in favor of knitting for Dulaan.

Well, Dulaan is done, for now, so I pulled this out last night. Haven't looked at it since February. Just as I figured out where I was, the phone rang. A friend of mine who can go on for an hour at a time about stuff that I don't really need to know about. Fortunately her grandson wanted to use her phone so I only had to spend about half an hour. So I went back and refigured where I was. I managed about 16 rows before I ran out of steam, and yarn. I have to add a new skein. Is it too soon to start worrying if I'll have enough yarn?

This is still the first sleeve. I started with a sleeve to use as my gauge swatch. I had some problems with the pattern chart because I was trying to make it read the way I wanted it to instead of how it actually works. Once I got over that I had a pretty easy time. There's a 10 stitch, 24 row pattern repeat so, even though I've done a lot, I still haven't memorized the pattern. And probably won't.

It's really difficult for me to finish something as time consuming as a sweater. I used to finish a project before I started a new one. Not anymore. Coming back to this project after so many months allows me to feel some enthusiasm for it. I'll have to see how long that lasts. Maybe the other sleeve. Or the back.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The start of a new year. Here's the first hat of the new Dulaan year. We're going to meet a little less frequently for a while and then resume our weekly sessions in October.

I've picked up most of the odds and ends of yarn that I bought this year and tried to consolidate everything in one box. I'm going to need a couple more. I did finish two more hats and some mittens that have been added to this year's shipment but I didn't get around to taking a picture.

I'm using some Cascade 220 for the new hat. I'll have lots left over so there'll probably be others in slightly different permutations.

Our group has decided to expand our knitting efforts. We're planning to make blankets or afghans. We're still talking about how we're going to organize everything but it looks like we'll be making squares and putting them together later. Will probably use Encore as the basic yarn and one of the sampler squares books as a guideline. I'm excited to be doing this. A couple of people that I work with are making these squares and I've wanted to make some too. Now I have a good excuse.

Friday, June 09, 2006

We have wild parrots around here. They're really, really noisy as they fly from place to place around the San Gabriel Valley.

I had never seen them up close until this morning. While I was out walking I came across about six of them. Four of them seemed to be fighting over something while two others sat on a power line and squawked their approval or disapproval. Not sure which. They're pretty good sized birds. Bigger than a robin but not quite as big as a crow. I wouldn't want to run into a bunch of them that were really angry.

Anyway it broke the monotony of the morning walk. You don't realize how hilly Pasadena is until you walk it. What seem like flat streets turn out to be slow uphill climbs. But the way back is much easier. I'm finally at a point where I can walk without my legs feeling like they're going to collapse. I guess it's time to add another mile or at least a few more blocks.

I went to the yarn sale yesterday. I didn't buy anything. That's the second time that's happened recently. Should I worry? There was lots of stuff I would have liked to buy but nothing that really insisted that I bring it home. A friend went with me and he got some yarn for a vest and we met Mendy and had lunch at The Peach. Nice, relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

And then knitting group last night. I spent most of the time ripping and reknitting the same two rows. I kept adding yarnovers where there weren't supposed to be any. So no real progress on the shrug. But I do have a new pair of socks started.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A birdseye view of the Dulann knitting. I guess this will be the end of the Dulaan photos. Seems like we're only allowed one picture a day on Blogger. I'm not sure that's correct but it seems to be the way it is on any of the blogs I read that are "powered by Blogger". I have some tentative numbers but I think I'll wait until next week to post them, after everything is boxed and ready to ship.

I'm going to the "fishbowl" sales at Unraveled today. What's a fishbowl sale? Well, when you get to the register with all your goodies you draw a number from the fishbowl and that will tell you how much discount you get. In this case, from 20% to 75%. When I went to Stitch in Time's sale on Tuesday I was looking for sock yarn but there wasn't anything that I didn't already have. I got a few hanks of Cascade to replenish my Dulaan hat knitting supply. I'll see what Unraveled has. I can usually get some handpaintrd sock yarn, Shaeffer's Ann, Mountain Colors Bearfoot etc., and I'll see if there's any new Plymouth Sockatta.

Now I'm just waiting to hear from a couple of people who said they might like to go. Once I know that I'll know if we're going to The Peach for lunch.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Dulaan group photo. There are others in the group but they weren't there this week. Clockwise from the upper left: me in the yellow striped hat, Thom, Mendy, Susan and Judy with Brandy the mascot. There are more pictures but Blogger is being difficult this morning and I'm running late so I'll see how things are when I get home tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Can you do this with your double point needles? These are Comfort Zone DPNS that were sent to me by a dear friend. I'm finally getting around to trying them out. First of all, they're very sharp. Be careful. They're made of an unbreakable polymer. They do hold on to the stitches very well and they're lightweight.

Knitting with them is weird. They're so flexible! Not exactly like knitting with rubber bands. I haven't used them enough to tell if I'll get comfortable with the sensation. I miss the solidity of regular dpns when I try to pull stitches through. And it looks like my knitting will have a different appearance. Not sure about that yet.

I finished the Tipsy Knitter socks last night. I enjoyed knitting them and I think they look great. Not so sure how they'll fit. The gauge is correct, etc., but they just look big to me. Maybe that's because I don't often use a solid color sock yarn.

The yarn is 75% cotton and 25% nylon Fortissima Cotton from Schoeller-Stahl. First time I've used it. I have some pink and some navy blue that I'm planning to use for lace patterned socks. I have some other socks to finish first so I'll have time to find out if the cotton holds its shape after it's washed.

Today's knitting will include this Bamboo Shrug. The pattern is in the current Knit'n Style, not a publication I usually consider. But Ann Mary wanted me to make something using Plymouth Royal Bamboo. The yarn is very shiny and not difficult to use. There's a tendency to split if you're not careful. I'm using some Inox needles as they have smoother points than bamboo so I'm not as likely to snag the yarn but they're irritatingly heavy.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Summer has arrived. No advance warning, just boom it's here. The official temperature on Friday was 95F. At my house it was 98F at six o'clock in the evening. It could be September already. Today is looking a little more normal with June Gloom hanging over us.

The a/c at Skein was repaired, mercifully, on Thursday. It didn't seem to help much with my traffic. Only a couple of people each day. I spent most of the time working on a new shop sample, a shrug made with Plymouth's Royal Bamboo. I should have some photos by tomorrow.

It was so hot yesterday that I did nothing but sit in front of a fan and work on the Tipsy Knitter socks. Should be finished tonight so I'll have photos of them tomorrow also.

We're going to take pictures of our Dulaan projects today. I have 47 hats, 4 sweaters and some mittens and a scarf to take over to Mendy's. We're planning to ship everything next week so I have time to finish another pair of mittens and maybe another hat. I'm excited to see everything.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogger wasn't working yesterday morning when I got ready to post and when I got home in the evening I was too tired and distracted. I didn't really have much to say though. I knit this scarf on Tuesday and was going to post a picture. It wasn't very good and this one isn't much better but it's better than the first one. I used some Cashcott ribbon from Cherry Tree Hill that I've had in stash for a couple of years. When I finish a couple more samples using different yarns I will try to write the pattern and maybe actually get around to posting something on my patterns page.

If you'd like to see a picture of my famous kid, click on the link. While you're there you might want to check out some of the other stuff about the LA County Fair. Prep for that is getting into full swing so I imagine Lisa will be more and more busy. I'm fortunate because I get to see my daughter usually every two weeks. This month though I get to see her a bit more often because sometimes things just happen close together and there's no way to space them apart. This weekend it's the final day of Dino's Italian Restaurant, one of our favorite places. Next weekend we're having dinner with a couple of my friends from Skein and then it's Father's Day. So, in spite of the distance, the heat and the very high gas prices, Lisa will come to see me. Woo yay!

And speaking of the heat. The air conditioning at Skein went out yesterday. I had just been telling a friend how glad I was to be getting to stay in an air conditioned space all day. You'd have thought the heat was on to hear the people complain. It really wasn't all that bad. Ann Mary opened both doors so there was a breeze coming through. The a/c people are supposed to be back today with a new motor or whatever to get it going again.