Friday, March 30, 2007

Shawl update

The Spanish Dancer shawl is about 30% complete. It should start to grow more rapidly now that I've decreased over 100 stitches per row. I'll be able to spend a couple of days on it plus tonight at one of my knitting groups. It's hard to stick to it since there are so many other things tempting me. I just want to see if I can stick to my plan.

I didn't have time to repost my book review from yesterday. A bunch of ladies from Unraveled tied me up and drug me to dinner last night. And they made me drink some margaritas. I have to admit it was lots of fun. And now I'm off to A Stitch in Time where I'll probably have some more fun except it'll be Starbuck's and cookies.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Watch out for Spellcheck

Something wacky happened with my post. So I'm going to try again and see if I can remember what I wrote. Maybe later today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kind and generous!

I have some very kind and generous friends. Here's an example of that kindness and generosity. A sheepie bank filled with quarters. (Just in time for today's laundry hassle.) Thanks, Pat. I tried several times to get a decent photo but this is the best. Too much glare from the glaze, even without a flash.

Last night was Dulaan knitting. Th hosted and it was really nice. Wine all around plus cake and coffee. I made a small hat. I wonder if Mongolia babies have really small heads. There were five us, the four guys in the group and Susan. Lots of fun. We're probably going to meet at Th's house again next week. Great for me. It's only about five minutes from my house.

Speaking of Dulaan. Here's a photo that a friend in North Carolina sent. She made all these things from yarn I had sent her and has already shipped them to Flagstaff. Thanks, C! It's a good thing to have kind and generous friends.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Finish what you start!

I'm still working away on the Spanish Dancer shawl. I'm about 20% of the way based on how much yarn I've used. This is not the shawl. It's another zigzag scarf that I finished yesterday. Three skeins of Kureyon and the zigzag pattern from the back of section of Scarf Style.

Generally I don't work on projects at work that use yarn that the shop doesn't carry. A Stitch in Time doesn't carry Koigu but it does have Noro Kureyon, just not this colorway. So I've been using the Zigzag Scarf as my at work project. I'll have to find something else now.

We're having our Dulaan knitting tonight at Th's house. (Mendy has been in Charleston and Savannah for the past week and is returning today. I'm going to LAX in a couple of hours to get her and Robert. We figured she'd been too worn out to host tonight. Robert just called and their flight is on time so I'd better get started getting ready.) Anyway, I need to choose something to work on this evening. Probably another hat.

Monday, March 26, 2007

There was this yarn sale

I have a hard enough time resisting yarn when it's not on sale. But let me hear about a sale and I'm done for. Black Sheep Knittery is having a 50% off sale through the end of March.

The last time I went to Black Sheep Knittery it took an hour and a half to get there. We used rapid transit (an oxymoron if ever there was one). This time we drove. It took twenty three minutes and we didn't have to walk three blocks after we got there. I went with L&H (of L&H fame). L's car knows to the way to every yarn shop in Southern California. She can get there blindfolded. We stayed for maybe an hour and came away with so many treasures. I'd go back except I pretty much emptied the check book. I could really use one more hank of that Alchemy Silken Straw though. Even at half price it's pricey.

There's another yarn sale next month at Unraveled. but I don't think I'll be going to that one. I just managed to get everything put away, after I added some more storage cubes, and now I have the stuff I just bought at Black Sheep. And it's unrealistic to think I could ever knit everything I have in my stash, even if I only use the good stuff. But that's never stopped me.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Notice anything different?

That's right. I changed the color of the provisional cast on. That red color was just wrong. Really bothered me. Made the colors of the actual yarn really difficult to see.

Then I thought I might as well correct the gauge since I was starting over anyway. And I was able to use a longer needle that I just happened to have in the bigger size. And this time it only took about an hour to do the 441 stitch cast on. I'm really getting the hang of that one.

When I first noticed that my gauge wasn't what it was supposed to be I figured it wouldn't matter since it's a shawl. Then I realized it did matter since my row gauge was about 2 shy per inch and the shawl would come out too short. Since I'm decreasing four stitches every other row there was no way I could just keep on knitting until it was long enough. Of course I'd worked a few more rows before I figured that one out. So now I have four rows done.

I was also informed that Easter is on the 8th of April. Whose idea was that? So this might just become the May Day Shawl.

The color is better in the photo, especially of the provisional cast on.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And forsaking all others

at least for now. Forget the Aran, the socks and all the other projects I've started.

Remeber the eight skeins of Koigu I got last Saturday? this is what I got it for. The color is totally washed out. That dark pink/red line you see is the provisional cast on, all 441 stitches. Took me over two hours just to do that. And I've worked about twenty rows. There are fewer stitches now but there are still lots. I'm hoping to make a big dent in that today.

My friend S made this using some Jitterbug and it's really smashing. I don't think I have enough of the Jitterbug that I got and haven't found the other two skeins I bought that I think are the same colorway. I'm making mine a little larger that she did. I think my daughter is about 40 stitches larger.

The ruffle goes on last. That's not the ruffle in the photo, just a lot of stitches bunched up on a too short needle. I hope I don't run out of yarn. If I do I'll make a coordinated ruffle and pretend that's the way it was supposed to be. I'd like to finish by Easter. We'll see how good my attention span is.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Little Jack Horner

wouldn't be happy. The westher is causing me some problems. Yesterday the high was only 58°F and it rained a bit just to make things worse. I think it's the weather although it could just be that my arthritis has racheted up a bit. My left thumb is really hurting this morning. Right in the joint where the thumb meets the hand. I can bend it but at a price. I worked on some socks yesterday and had to do my best to keep my thumb straight. Given my technique that was hard to do. I should probably take a couple of days off but that's not likely to happen. After all, that's why they invented ibuprophen. Not going to be pulling out any plums for a while.

I know I'm behind the curve on this but I just listened to my first podcast. That's not strictly true. I did listen to parts of one that a friend had on her i-pod. I don't have an i-pod so I listened on my computer. I could probably get hooked on this. (How do you write that anyway? ipod, iPod, i-pod?)I read wabi-sabi every day. She has a series of podcasts called Purl Diving. You can link from her blog. I love her laugh.

I've been trying to teach my cat to speak English. I have to admit though that there hasn't been much progress. Sometimes he will say mmm-keh which I think means okay. That's usually right after I've told him to wait a minute. His only other word is more of a whine than a word. That's also usually after I've told him to wait a minute. Other than that it's pretty much body language. And the constant meowing he's doing this morning isn't making any sense at all. I gave him some treats but that didn't seem to be what he wanted. I brushed him some but that wasn't it. He doesn't want to play string. It will be lots easier when he learns a few more words.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm so confused!

It's Saturday, right? I was convinced it was for nearly half an hour this morning when I first woke up. There's not much difference between Tuesday and Saturday for me. The cat wakes me around 4:30 or 5. It's dark. I worked yesterday so this could be Saturday. I don't have anything planned for today. I went to bed early which I frequently do on Fridays 'cause I'm usually worn out by then. Everything pointed to Saturday.

I had turned on the radio and heard one of the annoucers talking about what was going to be on his program this evening. My first thought was that someone had put on the wrong recording. That happens a lot on that station. But then I began to think, maybe it's not Saturday. But what day is it? Obviously I figured it out and I do have something planned for today.

Later today I'm going to take my swift and ball winder to a friend's house to help him wind a truck load of yarn for an afghan he's making for the bedroom he's decorating for this year's Showcase House. I hope he makes it.

And furthermore! I heard this is the first day of spring. It's more like winter. I had to get out my heavy coat when I went for my walk. It's dark and gloomy. Hard to believe it was 97F here a couple of weeks ago. Guess I'll go turn on some lights and knit for a while.

Monday, March 19, 2007

From the ridiculous to the sublime

or the other way around, depending on your point of view.

It was a busy and fantastic weekend starting with an evening of hilarious juggling and commentary by The Flying Karamozov Brothers at Cal Tech's Beckman Auditorium. I'd heard of these guys and seen a short clip on some TV program years ago. They're amazing, not only with their juggling, but their sense of humor.

At the other end of the spectrum was a trip to see Tannhauser. I haven't been to a live opera in maybe twenty years and have never seen a live Wagner performance. This one was worth it. Thanks to my friend E for a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

And in between that there was the sale at Unraveled.

Eight skeins of Koigu and four of Colinette Jitterbug. Not only was it 30% off but I had gift certificates from my birthday that offset about half the purchase price. I think I have two skeins of the Jitterbug already that I'll add to this for a shawl. The Koigu is also for a shawl. My friend L (of L&H fame) is making the Spanish Dancer shawl and I want to make one like it. I just have to find out how many more stitches to add to the original pattern to make it bigger.

And then there was St. Patrick's Day Dinner at Judy's. A really perfect dinner of corned beef and cabbage and potatoes and carrots. And jalapeno rolls just for fun and they had some green in them.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I'm lovin' this Tofutsies sock yarn. (Click on the photo to see it a little better. Not perfect but better.) I'm using a free pattern from South West Trading Company. Look for the pattern under Free Patterns. The yarn does have a tendency to split but since I need to keep an eye on what I'm doing with the stitch pattern it's not a big problem.

I really like this color way and the fabric makes me think of haberdasheries. It's hard to see the lace pattern until it's stretched. The fabric has a slightly dry feel to it, more like cotton than wool. I can't detect any shrimp or crab shell, nor does my cat.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The collection

You may have noticed. I buy a lot more sock yarn than I ever actually knit. I've begun to think of my stash, especially the sock yarn, as a collection. Something that gives me pleasure just to look at rather than for its more utilitarian aspect. I don't have one or two of everything that's out there but I do have a lot.

Here are the skeins of Sweet Georgia Super Sock that I added yesterday. It's a colorway called Coal Harbor. I wasn't familiar with this yarn and had barely heard of it. But when my friend L (of L&H fame) mentioned a few weeks ago that she was going to Unwind to get some I tucked the reference away thinking maybe someday I'd see some.

I got an email newsletter from Unwind on Monday that said they had a very limited supply of this yarn and that there wouldn't be any more because the vendor was not going to make any more, ever. So I called and purchased two skeins, sight unseen, just so I'd be sure to have some in my collection. I'm pretty glad I did. It's not a colorway I would normally choose but I liked it more than the three others that were available. And it is nice to the touch. It's 100% merino, hand paint.

Other than that, I've got nothing. I've been really busy with other stuff but I think my week is settling down a bit. Tonight's our last Thursday night knitting group. I work tomorrow and am going to the the Flying Karamozoff tomorrow night. Nothing planned for Saturday though. Oh, no. Wait! I forgot. I'm having breakfast with Mendy before we go to the St. Patrick's Day Sale at Unraveled.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Summer! So soon?

I'm not ready. Yesterday, according to my weather page, the high in Pasadena was 97F. It's not even the middle of March yet! I've already made arrangements to have the freon in my ancient a/c replenished. The guy that was here this weekend to replace my hot water heater said that so long as the a/c is still working that it probably only needs a resupply. I sure hope he's right. The hot water heater replacement turned out to be a lot more difficult, and expensive, than the original projection. But if we're going to have the kind of summer weather that's been predicted I'm going to need that a/c.

I took a couple of pictures this morning while I was out walking. It was still pretty early, just barely getting light.

The sky was not quite as blue as it appears in the pictures. There were no spectacular cloud formations. Just my favorite palm trees.

And these irises. Another of my favorites. I used to walk by these several times a week but I haven't been on that street for a while. There's usually a lot of trash caught in all the leaves but this morning I didn't see any. I don't think these are volunteer but they're usually pretty neglected.

Oh! You want knitting news? I worked on some socks while I waited for the hot water heater guy. And sorted a bit of yarn.

The real news is that Mendy has decided to discontinue our Thursday night knitting group. "Our" isn't the correct pronoun. It's really "her" knitting group. She started it, what, four years ago? She's also the host for our Tuesday night Dulaan group. She stated in her email that she was just taking a break and will resume sometime. For now we'll only be meeting on Tuesday. The Thursday group has experienced a lot of negative growth recently. Last week there were only three of us, including Mendy. It was a bit of a surprise but I can certainly understand. I haven't spoken with her since she sent the email as she was away for the weekend. I'll be calling her later this morning.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I forgot

I had the day off yesterday. No plans. Nothing in particular to do. Somehow I forgot to blog. Not that that's a big deal, except it's a strange feeling to realize that you totally forgot something that's a part of your routine.

Speaking for things forgot. While I was wandering around looking for something with which to entertain myself, I found this scarf that I had forgotten. I meant to use it as a holiday gift but when I was looking for it last December I couldn't find it. Seems I forgot where I put it. I'm almost done.

Not a forgotten but a belated birthday present. Have you seen or tried this yarn? Tofutsies from Southwest Trading Company. It's wool, soy silk, cotton and chitin. I'm told that chitin is ground up shrimp and crab shell. And that it has some therapeutic value but I don't know what the therapy is. I'm looking forward to making some socks for me. There's 425 meters in this one skein. Should be enough. Thanks L&H.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Yarn sales abound

When I got to work yesterday there was a sale going on. None of us knew it was going to happen. The owner, who is on vacation for the next couple of weeks, left some flyers and a note for us to post the flyers and have a sale while she's gone. It's called "Shhh! The boss is a way and we're having a sale." So that's 25% off on all knitting yarn and books and needlepoint canvases. I emailed everyone on my knitting group list but I want to make sure that everyone who might be interested knows about it. The sale is at Stitch in Time in San Marino.

I also had a couple of emails from other yarn shops. Needle in a Haystack in Montrose is having a sale on some of their knitting yarns and some of their other needlecraft items. I think that one goes on just for this week. And Unraveled has marked down a bunch of stuff. I haven't seen their selection but I know they always have big discounts once they decide to clear out some of their yarns.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Aran Update

It's been a while since I've had time to work on my Aran. But this weekend was a good one. No plans that took me away during the day so I was able to sit and knit without interruption (other than the cat wanting some attention) for several hours at a stretch.

I finished the yoke back first and then picked up for the right sleeve and have maybe half of that done. I'm beginning to think the sleeve is going to be short. Once I finish the pattern section I'll put it on hold and work the other sleeve and the body. Then I'll be able to tell if I'm going to need to add some more pattern repeats before I do the ribbing.

That's all a long ways off.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Who could resist such a yarn? Not me. I was definitely not going to buy anything. Just taking my friend on a yarn shop hop. But then I saw this Colinette Jitterbug in the colorway Jewel. I guess it was a good thing they only had one hank.

My camera batteries died right after I took this photo. Otherwise I'd have tried again to get something with a better focus. The colors though are pretty accurate.

There's supposedly enough for a pair of socks but I doubt it. I'm looking for somethng to use for heels and toes. No hurry. I'm just as happy admiring the yarn in the hank.