Thursday, September 28, 2006

Today is L.A. County Fair day. My friend Judy and I will wind our way from the distant parking lot and into the once bucolic setting. Nowadays there's more of an open-air mall feeling to the whole place. We'll try to avoid being run into by the unruly kids and drunken adults. And try to stay cool. It's almost always hot in late September and this year is no exception. Plenty of asphalt and very little shade.

I'm not sure if we're going to see any animals. Mostly we're planning to see Lisa's exhibit, Education Expo, and then visit the Tapestry Hall where they have all the needlecrafty things. Visualize afghans and over-the-top sweaters and toys. (Skein was one of the sponsors for the speed knitting and crochet contests.) Maybe we'll hit one of the marketplaces. One of our customers yesterday said her granddaughter had purchased some alpaca at the Fair so maybe we'll see if there's still any left.

Meanwhile I've decided on my next big project. This jacket in color 7609. It's an easy pattern. Just moss stitch and a bit of shaping. Not sure when I can get started though. I'm trying to finish a sweater for Dulaan (one sleeve to go) and there are a couple of pairs of socks still awaiting their turn.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

There have been lots of cute cat pictures this week. Knitting bloggers do this a lot, especially when they really don't have any knitting content. Why should I be any different?

Patrick loves books. Well, he loves to sleep on books, especially knitting books. They have such sleek, slippery paper. He has been known to flip pages to get to one with more ink coverage.

I finally got around to moving all the knitting books from the dining table to the floor so I could organize them and, theoretically, put them away. Patrick was delighted when he saw this. He almost immediately selected a stack of Vogue Knitting for his nap. I had to disturb him to get a copy of last winter's issue to show Lisa the yoga wrap that I want to make. Not to be outdone Patrick moved to the other small stack, Knitter's Magazine. (The one you can see is the one that has the pattern for the Sunset Wrap.) He slept like this for at least an hour.

It's great that he likes knitting magazines. He doesn't ever bother my needles or the yarn. I guess he's more of an intellectual type of cat. On the other hand, he can be very irritating. All he thinks about is getting me to brush him some more.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here it is! The Sunset Wrap, at last. Lisa came over last night and tried it on. She loves it. And it's just in time for autumn. Even though we're still having summerish weather.

I'm generally happy with how it came out. I had to rework the shoulder seams several times before I got them right. I still have five skeins of the Tahki Ravello which may become a top if I can find something to put with it. But it'll be while. The yarn isn't all that much fun to knit. It has no give and it snags like anything. But it's sure bright!
It would also come in handy if you ever needed to direct traffic.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sometimes my every day, thirty minute walk only takes twenty minutes. On other days it can take forty or forty five minutes. Whatever it takes, I do it every day. Well, except Mondays when I have to be somewhere earlier than other days. I don't particularly enjoy going for a walk. In fact, I'm always complaining to myself about how I don't want to go, but at the same time I'm lacing up my shoes and getting my headset on so I can listen to some music as I go.

It's sort of like tinking. I know I hate to do it but that it's something that I need to do if I want a good result. But the whole time I'm saying to myself, "Oh, I hate doing this. No one's going to know if there's a small mistake." On and on, over and over. But first thing you know, like walking, I'm done. Home again and back on track to reknit what I just took out.

Lots of my students seem to delight in hearing that I make mistakes. If they only knew! So I admit to a few mistakes now and then. It's encouraging in a perverse sort of way.

One thing I've noticed though. A mistake will almost always be at the beginning of a previous row, almost never at the end, so you have to tink at least two rows to get to the fix.

None of this is apropos of anything. It's just what I was thinking about as I was out walking this morning.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Southwest Trading Company's Phoenix. I've used this yarn before and it's a pleasure. I think this is going to be a short sleeved pullover of some sort. Just need to fiddle around with it to see how much it will take in the way of stitch pattern etc. When I'll get to that I don't know.

I'm giving up on the two remaining photos. They're both of some sock yarn, one a gift and one from the de-stash. You'll see it eventually when it's transformed into actual socks.

Yesterday was disappointing considering how busy I was on Tuesday. A couple of students late in the day. There weren't all that many shoppers either. I did spend a couple of hours helping a guy pick out yarn for a cable sweater. He wanted a nice yarn but didn't want to spend what that would take. Finally settled on Galway Chunky. It'll work but won't be as spectacular as the RYC called for in the pattern. I wonder how he was paying for the Mercedes sedan he was driving.

It's a day off for me. It's also laundry day. I'd better get started so I'll be done in time to go to Knit Night.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

So much for the additional photos. Blogger is not available at the moment, at least the photo upload part.

Four students yesterday, one of whom started two pairs of socks. One for her mom and the other for her husband. That one's a secret. Another student was in to learn how to turn a heel. She'll be back today for the gusset. Just not enough time in the day. And another hat started, for the third time, by a different student. How to describe the fourth one? She's trying to teach herself, which is fine, but she sure didn't get it when it came to Kitchener grafting the shoulders together. So we redid that and got started on the hood of the sweater she's making. Showed her how to do a M1.

That doesn't sound like so much when I write it out but it really did occupy me most of the day. Holding hands can be slow sometimes. So I didn't finish the shop sample slippers or start the second sleeve of my current personal project. I did start it last night and have the twenty rows of ribbing done.

All this sock making has got me hankering to start a few pairs myself. Maybe it wouldn't hurt if I pick a colorful self-striping yarn and cast on. I'll take some with me today and see what happens.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What to do with six skeins of Koigu. I got these last week in the yarn de-stash that was put on by one of our group. I'm thinking shawl but I could be persuaded to make something else. Maybe a shell. Ideas?

Or these sixteen balls of Mystik DK. It's pretty dressy so maybe a lace bordered jacket or sweater. I haven't worked with any of this company's yarns. It's from Estelle, a Canadian company. I do have some silk in stash that I got a couple of years ago, in an earlier de-stash held by the same lady.

And there are thirteen balls of this cotton yarn, Kelly. This is a totally new name to me. It looks a lot like Katia's Arc en Ciel but it's a bit smaller, more of a dk than a worsted. Short sleeved jacket?

There's more but I think I'll wait to show it off.

The homeowners' meeting was a dud. Not enough people showed up to have a quorum but the jerk who said he wasn't going to be there, was. He's such a waste of time. After I got home I finished the first sleeve of the rust tweed sweater I've been trying to get done. I'll start the other one today while I'm at Skein, after I finish the felted slippers I'm knitting as a shop sample. One is done and the other is started. Ann Mary will do the felting and then I'll do some sort of embellishment on the instep.

Monday, September 18, 2006

No matter how many times I've tried I'm not able to load photos from Blogger this morning. And I had a lot. Maybe later.

Not too much knitting this weekend. I started a new pair of socks on Saturday evening. By the time I stopped, my left wrist and thumb were really aching. So I took the day off yesterday. Well, until the evening. Worked a bit more on the sock and realized that it was causing my wrist to ache again so I switched to a sweater that's been in the works for several months. Much better. Using size 6US vs size 2US. And I notice I don't hold the needles quite the same way so there's more motion instead of the vice-like grip that I use when I'm knitting socks.

I'll work some more on the sweater today. After I do all the running around and errands that I need to do. Tonight I have to go to a homeowners' association meeting that I'm dreading. It might not be as bad as I anticipate because the one person who causes so much discord has indicated that he won't be there. That should help us stay on point and get it over in an hour or less.

Well, off to the post office and the market and to Petsmart for more kibble and stuff.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

You can click on the photo if you really want to see a bigger image. These socks, which I started several months ago, finally resurfaced last night. I sorta vaguely thought I'd finished them but I guess that was another pair of similar color and size.

It had been so long since I worked on these socks that I forgot that I had Kitchener stitched the toe on sock number one. Just before trimming the final thread on the toe of sock number two I decided to check to make sure they were the same length and lo and behold there was the proof that I would have to rip back on the second sock and redo it. Which I did and now the socks are ready for gifting. Someone has a birthday next month. I can't believe I'm already ready.

Friday, September 15, 2006

No pictures and very little knitting content today. Last night was our knitting group's weekly meeting. I managed to redo the shoulder seams on the Sunset Wrap. Wrong. That's the third time. The two sides are so similar that it's hard to tell which one is which. I thought I had it right this time until I realized that I had grafted from the inside rather than the outside.

I still have a few ends to weave in and then, when I see Lisa next, I'll get some finished photo shots. A couple of people tried it on last night and gave it their approval.

We had a yarn redistribution event last night, unannoucnced. So really it was just one person who was getting rid of stash. Maybe I'll have time on the weekend to get some photos of my score.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Halloween Hat is done and the pattern is written. It's never too early to start promoting when you work retail. Skein happens to have lots of orange yarn right now.

I used one skein of Sirdar Foxy for the black "fur" and one skein of Tahki Panda for the main part of the hat. I need more yarn for the scarf so I'll get that tomorrow when I go in.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I tried to post this morning but I ran out of time waiting for Blogger to upload this simple photo. It's no longer up to date. It's about seven inches longer than it was this morning. This is my first sweater for Dulaan 2007 and it's more red than orange no matter what the photo shows.

I'm using some Superwash Sport that was donated by one of my knitting friends. I made a couple of things from it last year for Dulaan. It's a nice, sturdy yarn. The pattern, at least so far, is one from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. Since we decided to knit more small sizes this year I should have enough of this yarn for at least two sweaters.

I finished the Ironstone shawl last night but didn't get around to taking a picture. I don't think Ann Mary likes it very much but I have sold some yarn already because of the sample and I had a couple of ladies drooling over it this afternoon. It's hard to beat glitzy yarn when you want to be impressive, especially on a large scale piece.

Next up, a Hallow'een hat in black fun fur and orange something that looks like strips of foam rubber. And a matching scarf.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I finished the Sunset Wrap. It's done but must be undone. Lisa tried it on and gave it her enthusiastic approval. I'm not happy with the shoulder seams. They draw in too much. So I'm going to take them apart and try sewing them together instead of crocheting them. The seams draw in somewhat in the photo in the magazine but I think I can do better. I might try a three needle bind off first just to see. I really don't like sewing and will avoid it if at all possible.

Meanwhile our Dulaan knitting group is getting back in gear. We have been meeting sporadically but we'll soon be back on our weekly schedule. There were only four of us yesterday. I guess some people have jobs now so they can't make it. I'm looking for some new volunteers.

This week should bring us lots of new fall yarns. Skein already has the newest Berroco yarns and the Katia is in house waiting to be put on the shelves. I've seen the new Tahki/Stacey Charles/Filatura di Crosa books. I hope the yarns arrive this week along with the Westminster/Rowan/Jaeger stuff. We got a lot of sock yarn last week. I was a little disappointed in the color selection. I had asked for brighter, more playful colorways. There are some nice colors but I'd have preferred something wilder.

Latest shop sample is a triangular, garter stitch shawl using Ironstone's Pizzazz. Not very interesting to knit but it will probably sell a lot of yarn. I've finished the first hank. When it's done I'll add some Trendsetter Ruffles (those faux abalone things that look like potato chips) along the outer edges. Maybe.

It has been a bit busier the last week or so. Probably because it's been in the 80s and low 90s for a few days. And school is back in session.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I buy a lot of yarn. Sometimes I buy yarn just because it's there or because I want to show support for a local yarn shop. I buy way more yarn than I'll ever be able to use even if I were a faster knitter.

It's rare that I obsess about a yarn, can't quit thinking about it, will it still be there tomorrow. That sort of thing. Skein got this Berroco Trilogy a few weeks ago. Ann Mary is just now trying to find a place for it on the shelves. I had to get a bag of it before anyone else saw it. The photo doesn't come anywhere near showing its wonderful mix of colors and textures. I've no idea what to do with it but it's mine!

The yarn comes in other colorways but none of them compare to this one. They're more monochromatic, which is fine if you like that sort of thing. Why settle for one color when you could have this riot?

I also bought ten skeins of Berroco's new Ultra Alpaca. A 50/50 blend of alpaca and wool. Pretty basic yarn. Off white worsted weight. But it's really soft and I think the wool will help show off some interesting cabling. It's put up in 100 gram skeins at 215 yards (198 meters) and is priced at $10.50 per skein. I still can't believe that price for that much yardage. I would have expected a much higher price. No picture yet. I'll need a swatch first.

Eight more rows and I'll be done with the Sunset Wrap except for four short seams and weaving in the ends. I'm taking an additional project with me today because I'm pretty sure I'll finish this by noon unless I get a lot more students than I've had lately. The weather has changed abruptly and we're supposed to be ten or twelve degrees cooler than yesterday. I hope they're right.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Willpower. That's all that's keeping me going on the Sunset Wrap. The back and one front are done and the other front has 18 of the 106 rows done. I've long since memorized the pattern so all I can do is just keep knitting.

I had a very quiet Labor Day. Just me and the cat trying not to do much because of the heat. It's didn't break 100 yesterday but 98 is close enough to still qualify Labor Day Weekend as one of the hottest of the year, as usual. It was 100 on Sunday though. I went to my friend Robert's house where it was only 80 and he was complaining about the heat. So anyway, yesterday was quiet.

I have about an hour before I need to get ready to go to Skein so I guess I'd better go do some more orange rows.

Friday, September 01, 2006

What a clean floor! And a nice photo of the birthday socks in use. And, yes Lisa, they work quite well with your red skirt. Thanks for sending the pic.

Here it is September and summer is hanging on tenaciously. Labor Day is almost always one of the hottest days of the summer around here. It doesn't look like we're going to break a hundred this year though. But we'll be close enough.

Since this is the last holiday weekend of the summer I don't expect we'll be very busy at Skein the next couple of days. I did manage a couple of full pattern row repeats on the Sunset Wrap yesterday and will do at least that much today. Well, that's the plan. I'm finding it extremely difficult to stick to one project and not let my mind wander off to some of the new patterns and yarns I've been seeing. If I just keep gritting my teeth I should be able to finish this sometime next week.