Thursday, July 31, 2008

Harbor Cruise 2008

It was another sunny warm day after all. It started out looking like it was going to be hazy and cool but by the time we all left Monrovia the sun was out and the fog was gone. Yesterday we went on our third Alamitos Bay Harbor Cruise.

Alamitos Bay Yarn Company sponsors these boat rides every summer. The small boats are docked just behind the shop so it's an easy walk from the parking lot to the boat loading dock. We all bring a bit of something to snack on and some wine or sodas to help with all the cheese and crackers, and olives and wasabi almonds and cranberry orange bread and tapenade and on and on.

You can see some of the homes and boats that line the canals of Naples in this photo of Renee talking to Mario. We had a different pilot this year and we had a few new sights but we still got to see the "moonies", the slightly eerie jellyfish that live at the end of one of the canals. I didn't get any photos, unfortunately.

Each boat holds eight people plus the pilot. There were supposed to be eight of us but one person had a last minute thing that came up and couldn't go. (Sorry, Judy. Hope all those tests got done.) And we had one first timer. Andy, who has been signed up to go the two previous times but had to cancel, finally got to go with us. And he drove one of the two cars we needed to get to Long Beach.

Thom, looking elegant and worldly, and Mendy just barely in the lower left of the photo. We're just getting ready to go to the boat.

Another shot of Mario (and Mendy sneaking in yet another photo). In the background you can see the view from the front of the yarn shop. More blue sky and sail boats.

And one final snap. Sitting at the table, trying to get everything together. We've already been shopping. I didn't get a photo of Susan, except for this tiny bit of her head in the lower left. And her hand.

I don't think anyone did any significant knitting. It was more like a row or two or a few stitches here and there. Just too much fun in the sun. You know. Just the usual yarn gang get together.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Who needs to shop when you have friends to bring you presents? Jane, one of my regulars, went on vacation and brought back this Plymouth Rockin'Sox yarn. She knows I like orange.

I think this must be a new yarn. I haven't seen it anywhere. It's 60% superwash wool, 25% bamboo and 15% nylon. The color number is 005.

I was curious so I cast on this morning and did a little sample. Not a project really. No, really. It's not. That would be silly since I already have ten or twelve other sock projects going. I just wanted to able to tell Jane how much I liked it and to let you know what I think of it. It's pretty nice. Soft and smooth. I thought it was going to be splitty but it seems to be fine one these bamboo needles.

I also wanted to see how the colors would play out. So far it looks like a long spiral. But who knows how it will look after the heel and gusset. Well, I'm not really making a sock anyway so I guess it doesn't matter.

ETA: It's a 100 gram skein.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Socks, socks and more socks

For the first twenty five years of my knitting career I avoided making socks. I'm not sure why but it was probably partly because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it. So I just said socks were not something I did.

Then, about seven years ago, the demand for help with knitting socks began in earnest. So I got a book, Folk Socks by Nancy Bush, and taught myself the basics. I still reference that book a lot as well as Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. Not that I don't have lots of other sock knitting books. But those I use mostly for patterns. And I do find bits of helpful information in other books and on-line, of course.

I can't get enough. Here are a couple of my currently active sock projects. You will probably recognize the Annetrelac sock from IK's Holiday 2007 issue. I'm having some problems with it. I managed to mess up on the final round of triangles and in trying to fix that problem I dropped some stitches. And it got worse. I may end up ripping back to the ribbing before this is all done. I'm using some Schaefer Anne that was gifted to me a few years ago. I like the colors but I'm having problems seeing some of the stitches, especially in the dark purple areas.

The other sock is a newish pattern on Ravelry called Harris Tweed. It's pretty easy and straightforward. The Sockotta yarn doesn't have much give so it's a little hard on these tired old hands. But at least I can knit these socks while I'm working. I should be able to fix any inevitable errors without too much fuss.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Spring Forward socks

Happy Fourth of July! I love this holiday. I went out for a very early walk this morning and the flags were flying all along Colorado Blvd. which is near where I live. The streets were still quiet because it wasn't quite six yet. Very little traffic, unlike most Friday mornings.

I have been knitting even though I haven't been posting. Most of what I'm working on is for gifts so they can't be posted yet. But I did finish these Spring Forward socks.

The pattern is pretty easy and moves along quite rapidly, if you stick to it anyway. I could probably have done these in a few days if I hadn't spent so much time knitting with my friends. I don't really get much done when I'm at knit group. Partly because there's so much conversation that I want to hear and partly because I'm often helping someone. Anyway, there has been other knitting. I just can't talk about it right now.

Here's a detail of the stitch pattern. I can't find my sock blockers so I've stretched one of the socks over my hand. I'm not sure if blocking will help these socks to relax but they do flatten out and show the pattern when they're worn. Thanks, Mendy, for trying them on. I should have taken a picture then.