Thursday, June 28, 2007

There goes the neighborhood?

It's been seventeen plus years since I bought the condo where I live. It's in a neighborhood that is euphemistically mixed. When I first moved here it took a while to get used to the street noises: kids on skateboards, gardeners blowing trash, garbage trucks beeping and backing, the drive-through at the Carl's Jr. on the corner. It took a while but I got used to it and now I rarely notice it.

The neighborhood has changed some over the years. There are more condos and there's more traffic. Motorcycles are common. Loud motorcycles. Kids have grown up and now have trucks, loud radios included, of their own. You get used to it since it happens over time and not all at once.

The thing that I'm having trouble with is the amount of police activity that's been happening.

A week or so ago the cat and I were wakened earlier than usual by some loud conversation that was taking place right below my kitchen window. I looked out the window and there were at least four squad cars parked in the street. I couldn't hear everything that was being said but it sounded like the police were questioning one of the Ho'ville denizens that sometimes frequent the boulevard a couple of miles east of here. That went on for a while and eventually everyone left. The next morning I found a broken Hennessy bottle in my driveway.

A couple of days later my downstairs neighbors had their van parked in the street and when I looked out there were a two police cars that were joined shortly by the forensic unit. I guess someone had broken into the van.

Last night, just after I hung up from an hour on the phone with my brother, I happened to look out my living room window and there was a swat team forming up and getting ready to "attack" somewhere across the street. It was interesting to watch but a bit scary since I had no idea what was going on. Still don't. They were across the street and went in through the security gate and then I couldn't see what they were doing. I didn't hear anything. Just an occasional cop coming back out to their vans and then going back in. They were all still there when I went to bed a couple of hours later. They were gone this morning.

The worst part is that I don't know how any of these incidents played out. Too many incompletes.

There are some new people moving in downstairs from me. At first I thought it was a couple of guys. Now I think it might be a young family. They've been moving it at night so I only hear them but can't see them.

But I just keep knitting on through noise and incompletes with hope and confidence that everything will work out. I'm a bit over halfway through my current shawl. I'm pretty sure I have enough yarn.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No progress Tuesday

Actually it was no progress Monday. I wasn't swamped yesterday but there was a steady stream of people taking classes or getting help. Just enough to keep me from working on my own project. And last night I spent most of the time doing some chores, brushing the cat and getting caught up on some emails. Ergo. Little progress.

Today should be better. I'm going to Costco this morning and then to lunch. I'll be stopping at Unraveled this afternoon since I'll already be over in that area. So I'll be able to work on my Kureyon red shawl, or something.

The June sale at A Stitch in Time is almost over. Saturday will be the last day. There's still some good stuff to be had. Prism yarn at 50% off, for example. Cascade 220 at 30% off. Anyway, just a reminder.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quiet weekend

It was a quiet weekend. Restful anyway. I didn't leave the house yesterday except for my early morning walk. (Thanks, by the way, to everyone who wrote expressing their support.) My experiments with Modular Knits consisted only of reading the book.

Instead I started a shawl. I'm using some Noro Kureyon that I've had for a while. Basically it's just some alternating squares of knits and purls. I like the rustic, wabi-sabi look. There's no sunshine this morning so the color is only an approximation of the real thing.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Going off in another direction

I got this book yesterday while I was at Unraveled. There was a 10% off sale going on and I had been hankering for this book ever since I saw it last week. One of our regular Stitch in Time customers brought it in to show me. I could probably have saved a bit more on one of the on-line book sites but then I'd have to wait. And besides I'm trying not to buy any yarn right now but no one said anything about books.

I have done much with the modular knitting concept unless you count all those multi-directional scarves. Now that I think of it, doing the gusset on a sock is just another variation on modular knitting. There are some things in this book I'd like to made, mostly just so I could say I had done it. And if I can do this without having to weave in a bunch of ends it will be even better.

So I'm spending today playing around with some of the techniques. (Unless someone wants to go shopping of course.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Exercise intolerant

I had to laugh. Exercise intolerance. Actually I've always hated exercise. So when the cardiologist told me that my treadmill test, which I thought hadn't been completed, showed that I was exercise intolerant all I could do was agree.

Personally I think it was unrealistic expectations on their part. How can you expect someone who is accustomed to walking 4 miles an hour to suddenly be able to walk at nearly 8 miles an hour. No wonder my heart rate went up really fast.

Curiously enough the cure for exercise intolerance is more exercise. I just got back from my first extended exercise bout. I thought I had it figured out that it would take an hour but I got back in 50 minutes. So I'm going to have to add a few more blocks to the circuit. But I think I'll wait a week or so until I've adjusted a bit. Anyway, I'm home, I'm soaking wet and I'm ready for a nap. The cat has other ideas.

Didn't get much knitting done yesterday. One round on the socks but I have to rip it because I think I should have done the cable first. A few rows last night on the yellow lace scarf. And I finished the zigzag scarf Thursday night. Can I start something new?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A little bit of knitting content

I did promise to have some knitting content today so here it is. This is my current Zigzag scarf. I've been working on it since I bought the yarn back in March at the big Black Skeep Knittery sale, phase one. I've mostly worked on it while I'm at A Stitch in Time but it's taking too long so I'm finishing it up at home.

And I have some socks going. These are Regia Silk. Nice to work with. I got the yarn at Unwind last year sometime, or maybe it was the year before. Anyway, I worked on this sock after lunch yesterday sitting on the patio of Heirloom Bakery where L (of L&H fame) and I went after we went to see the new Abuelita's in South Pasadena.

The new Abuelita's location is easier to find and more accessible. They seem to have more space to move around. All the knitting yarns are on one wall so it looks more impressive than in the former shop. There were some nice samples to admire. We'll probably go back sometime soon. I bought an addi Natura while I was there. I hope it will help with my other big project.

I'm working on a lace shawl. I've tried to get a photo but it's just not happening. I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hot Father's Day presents

Here they are. All lined up on my balcony. These are going to make for some hot salads and side dishes. Three different pepper plants that Lisa got for me for Father's Day. Her friend helped her nourish them from infancy to the full grown state you see them in today.

Purple jalapeno. I've never seen this one. The text just said "longer and milder than Ancho 101". I don't know what an Ancho 101 is.

These I know. Santa Fe Grande. "Hybrid pepperoncini, classic fruit size that is jarred commercially". I'll be trying these today.

Topepo Rosso. "Small Italian pepper that is round and bright red (when it's ripe). Eat fresh, roasted or pickled". These have a ways to go.

I'll be back tomorrow with maybe some knitting content.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer's kinda here

Summer arrived a few days early this year. It has been in the mid-90s for the past few days. Not pleasant. However, today looks to be cooler, only around 80. I'll be inside for most of the day, sitting in the usually over-active air conditioning. Must remember to take a jacket, just in case.

I did quite a bit of knitting on Saturday and Sunday but I'm not ready to post pictures. I'm making another shawl. Actually I've resumed one that I started last year. I made a lot of progress but it's lace snd the yarn is fairly stiff so the going is slow. It's not something I can safely knit in public so I'll be working on it at home. I'm going to need better light that we have right now before I can get a decent picture.

Have you signed up for the Mystery Shawl knit-a-long? I'm still debating. I think I have enough projects going, and I know I get a lot of distractions, so probably I won't be officially signing on. But I am curious to see what it's all about. Maybe someone will at least show me the pattern parts as they come along.

I'm really enjoying the new radio/CD player that Lisa gave me for Father's Day. My old radio was really getting bad about holding the station. But it served me well for about fifteen years. I'm not particularly sentimental about electronic things so I won't have a problem discarding the old radio. Maybe I should do the same thing with most of the clothes in my closets. Not the yarn though. Never the yarn!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

to those that qualify. We celebrated yesterday. Lunch at Acapulco followed by a stroll through some of the shops in Sierra Madre. I love spending time with my daughter. And she brings me presents.

And Patrick loves the box.

Today is also the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. I know. I can't believe it either.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The end is near!

No! Not that end. The end of my Clapotis. I almost finished last night but my brother called and we talked for over an hour. By then I was ready to fall asleep. I only slept about three hours the night before due to being out late and the cat getting me up even earlier than usual. Anyway, I should finish today. I'll take some photos on Saturday when Lisa is here. (We're observing Father's Day one day early to avoid the crowds.)

This morning was a fast. I had to go back to Kaiser so they could sample my blood again. This time it's to check on my cholesterol and diabetes. I also picked up a new, stronger cholesterol fighting drug. I'm also trying to get through to the cardiology department to make an appointment with a specialist. The nuclear perfusion stress test showed that there was no blockage in my heart but since I've had a couple of angina events my doctor wants me to see a cardiologist to see if I need some more meds or if I'll need an angioplasty. Or maybe nothing. Perhaps that's TMI.

So, now that Clapotis is almost done, I'm thinking about the next big project. I have a shawl already started from some time early this year, or maybe late last year, that I think I'll go back to. And there's the new Knitty to choose something from. I have several colors of Schaeffer Anne that I could use for those socks. So that will probably end up on the needles soon. After I finish the two pair I started over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Disappearing breeds, or I'd better get this yarn while I can

Just in case there's never any more wool, maybe sheep will suddenly disappear, I thought I'd better add a few more things to my stash. I got two bags of this new Noro Silk Garden (#267). I think it's the most monochromatic Silk Garden I have ever seen. Unless there's a stray color buried deep inside. I checked a couple but didn't see anything but brown tones. I'm pretty sure what I'm going to do with it but I'd better mull it for a while. This is the yarn I got at Hissy Knits last Sunday.

Here's a breed I'd never seen before: Lisa Souza Sock Yarn. I've heard of it for years but never seen it. Got this yesterday at the Unraveled sock yarn sale. I also notice that I'm moving away from the oranges and limes a bit. This is the second or third time that I've picked something up in the blue, green, turquoise family. Although there's still some rusty orange in there. This yarn is 100% superfine merino and really, really soft. I hope not too soft to hold up in socks.

And here's some of my all time favorite (this week anyway) Jitterbug from Colinette. This colorway is raspberry even though neither the photo nor the yarn is particularly raspberry. Sometimes it is though. I also order two hanks in Mardi Gras. I went ahead and ordered it so I could get it at the sale price.

Last night was our last official Dulaan knitting night. We're not shipping stuff until the end of next week so I'll be able to finish the hat I started last night and we'll collect a few items from other group members. I haven't heard or seen any mention of the Dulaan project continuing next year but if it doesn't we'll still get together and knit for other charities.

Monday, June 11, 2007

One of these socks isn't like the other, somewhat

I really meant to make them a lot different but it didn't work out that way. But they're done and it only took a week for the first time in a long time. I've cast on for another pair but they're much more complicated and have lots of K2tog on size 1US needles so they're not going to moved so quickly.

Yesterday the Hissy Knits shuttle picked me up at around one o'clock so I could go visit them in their new location. L and H came along. The new shop is in a big red barn right in the middle of a residential area. Annie, the shop owner, also runs a day care which is right next to the big red barn. The shop is a lot easier to find than the Google map suggests.

I don't know if the barn ever funtioned as a real barn or if it was just built as a recreation space. The yarn shop is on the second floor and you have to climb some stairs. No wheel chair access that I could see. The shop is full of Noro and most of the other lines that are distributed by Knitting Fever, same as her old space. The lighting leaves a lot to be desired but there are windows if you need to see the colors better.

I helped reduce her inventory to the tune of a couple of bags of Silk Garden. I'm beginning to think I have a genuine addiction problem. The light isn't very good this morning so I'll wait to show you the yarn.

There's a sock yarn event at Unraveled tomorrow. I plan to be there as soon as the doors open. I need some more Jitterbug and a little Koigu would help.

Friday, June 08, 2007

What's new?

Tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day. Who knew? I don't know how I missed hearing about this but there it is. I don't think I'll be joining in as I'm already pretty booked for tomorrow. Cats to brush; floors to clean; naps to take. But I never know for sure. I could be tempted if I knew of a place to join in.

I got my weekly Knit Bits newsletter from Berocco this morning. It's the first one in a while where I found much of interest. Their new falls books are highlighted. Some pretty exciting things including a new book devoted entirely to Norah Gaughan. I've always liked her work. Not that I've ever actually knit one of her designs. Mostly I like them for their interesting construction and stitch patterns. But I'll get that book plus several others from the collection. Just in case I finish all the other things I want to do.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

You pick

I finished a sock and what's her name got out of jail early. Which is the bigger surprise?

As you can see I've cast on for the second sock. No bad luck for me. I decided to use a round toe this time. I'll have to wait to see if Lisa likes the fit before I use it on another pair.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Winding down

and winding up. Our Dulaan group only has one more meeting before we get everything sorted and packaged for shipping. We've been pretty good recently about finishing things and Mendy thinks we're a lot closer to our goal than I thought we were. I still have two hats to finish but that shouldn't be a problem.

No photo yet but I have turned the heel and am starting the foot of the sock. I'll be going to meet friends in a little while and will take the sock along.

I stopped by Skein yesterday. Hadn't been there in quite a while. Their instructor was out with allergies so I helped a couple of people while I was there and had lunch. I went back today to pick up the skein of sock yarn I saw yesterday but didn't buy. And a couple of other things.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Some knitting content

Last week one of my friends (you know who you are) got after me because I didn't post every day. Well, we all know that sometimes it's really hard to find anything relevant and sometimes we just resort to talking about the cat or how we had to take lots of naps to get through the day. So I don't always post but I'm trying. Mustn't disappoint the readers who have to be reminded to read once in a while.

I did make some progress on my sock yesterday. It wasn't very busy during the first part of the day but by noon I had too many things going on to knit on my sock. Since I teach on a drop-in basis it's difficult to know how busy I will be at any time. I had three or four people sitting with me for most of the afternoon.

When I got home I worked some more and again this morning. I'm decreasing the gusset now. I have some errands to do and Dulaan knitting tonight so I don't expect to finish this first sock today.

I was helping someone get started on her Clapotis yesterday. I got myself into a real panic when I read that there was supposed to be an increase at the end of every row. I've only been increasing at the end of the knit side. I couldn't figure out why her stitch count was coming out correctly with the increase and mine had been correct without the increase. When I got home I looked at my scarf and discovered I had done the increases as directed. It's just been so long since I started that I had forgotten that I did them. That was both a relief and a caution that I shouldn't put things on hold for such a long time. It's not like I can remember things as well as I used to.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The plan and what happened

The plan was that I would knit a sock yesterday. I had the whole day ahead of me with no obligations. It was going to be so great to just sit and knit with no interruptions. I haven't knit a sock in a long time so I was looking forward to.

My friend L (of L&H fame) gave me the yarn (Opal Magic) on Saturday. I hadn't put it away yet so when my daughter came over on Saturday evening she saw it and said she liked it. So I thought it would be nice to have a little sock diversion. That was before Pat the Cat got involved.

Now he's a really nice cat and isn't a whole lot of trouble but sometimes he's kind of needy. Plus he's pretty determined once he's made up his mind. Yesterday was one of his brush me or else kind of days, plus we have to play. You never play with me. And, because he gets me up really early, I tend to fall asleep about every four rows. So all that took a lot of time.

Then, around ten I thought I'd better go take a walk. Plus it was Swap Meet Sunday. I went to check out the new location and to see if I could find the lady that bought yarn from last month. (I know I said I wasn't buying any more yarn but it doesn't count if it's less than $50.) It was really humid and I thought the enclosed garage was oppressive and the cigarette smoke was pretty noticeable. And I never did find the lady with the yarn.

By now it's time to fix lunch. And then clean up the dishes. And then another nap. So I finished the sixteen rows of ribbing by around three thirty. I made some progress and then it was time for dinner, and cleaning up.

So around seven I was ready to really get a lot done. Half an hour later my older brother called and talked for over an hour and a half. I'm stopped in mid-row. So I'll take this with me today and see if it's any less distracting at work than it is at home.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I'm not buying any more yarn

but that doesn't mean you can't. Today is the big kick-off for A Stitch in Time's mid-year sale. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of my yarn-starved friends at this one. There are a few items that I have my eye on but if you want it just say so. Just remember, 50% off on selected yarns but you have to buy all we have of that color. And all the other yarns are 30% off but you only have to buy the amount you want.

I frittered most of yesterday away. After all, I'm retired. What else have I got to do? Lunch with a friend and a bit of yarn shopping, for her, not me. Then off to pick up my prescription at Kaiser. It wasn't ready. What's up with them? Back to Unraveled for the rest of the afternoon. Made a lot of progress on the Clapotis. Then out to dinner with the ladies. More Mexican and margaritas. All in all a nice fritter.