Well this has been one of those days. I had a few hanks of yarn that have somehow appeared around here in the past few months, and they needed to be put into storage.
I have told you about my fabulous overly obsessive-compulsive yarn database, haven’t I? I’m sure I have. Here’s what it looks like on my iPad.
Glorious, eh? I have a billions skeins of yarn categorized in a sortable database so I can search by yarn name, fiber type, number of yards, and most importantly, know exactly which numbered box it is in.
So anyway, after I got my little new skeins all happily stored away, I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the whole thing, adding a few new database fields, deleting some yarns that have been used or given away, etc.
Every time I put new yarn into the storage warehouse, I’m reminded of the warehouse scene at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. You know the one.
That’s all for today. After all that sorting, I need a martini.
So I did finish the first sock of the pair. After all that measuring of the foot, I got to the last row of the toe decreases and had John try it on before I grafted it closed. I knit on the edge, but I’m not a complete idiot. Of course it was too short. I was tempted to just knit some more rows onto it but realized how totally dumb that would look, and ripped it back to the beginning of the toe increases and added a few more rows. Now it’s Really Done.
Click to embiggen!
The second one is started:
In other news, even though I’m only a Mother to four-legged creatures, I got a swell Mother’s Day gift from them. I didn’t even know that Lewey HAD a credit card! Anyway, they picked out a very nice Tamron macro lens for my Canon 60D. I’ve been taking photos of everything around here, as has John.
Really, do click on those to get a better look. Even if you don’t care a hoot about one pitiful sock, you should care about pretty flowers and martinis!
I sort of disappeared again. It’s been a bit of a busy week or so, and I just forgot about the blog. I didn’t forget about the contest though! Karen from Nova Scotia won, with this:
There once was a Doctor who knit.
For acrylic she cared not a whit.
It was Cashmere she wanted.
So the yarn shops she haunted.
And she bought up every last little bit.
That was chosen by the random generator, but if I’d have picked the joke that made me laugh the loudest, she still would have one. She chose the Mama Llama sock yarn, which is on its way to her house. Here’s a photo of it…
The really funny thing is that John and I have been planning our big fall trip, which involves trains, planes, and automobiles, and includes a trip to Halifax, NS where Karen is from. So I’m hoping it works out that we can meet up, and she can give me the lowdown on all the local fiber opportunities.
I’m still knitting the same old stuff. I’m working on the Big Green sweater, and am nearly done with the back half. It’s knit in the round, which I’ve decided I really don’t enjoy. It’s gotten too huge to stuff in a knitting bag, so I can only work on it at home. I rather enjoy doing seams, and I think they give a sweater some structure, but the real advantage is that it makes for a more portable project right up to the end.
I now have three lace things on the needles, that Pretty Thing cowl, which is in a time out, and two shawls, which aren’t really in a time out but I only have so many hours in a day. I’d like to petition Congress to do something useful like add another 8 hours to each day, but I doubt they could ever agree on the details, so I suppose I’m stuck with the usual 24. And then there is John’s one lonely sock, which I’m nearly done with, then I have to get to make its mate.
I’m off to knit. My husband is at a Tacoma Rainier’s baseball game with a buddy*, so I have the afternoon all to myself at home, which is a rarity. Maybe next time I’ll have some progress photos to post!
*I was offered first shot at sitting next to John at the game, but it might hit a high of 50 today if we’re lucky, and it’s been spitting rain off and on all day. No thanks. I’m a fair weather baseball fan.
Here we go again! Another year of blogging. Let’s see, this whole thing started in 2004 with this entry.
Since then, there have been 623 posts, including this one. There have been 8557 comments! You guys can be a talkative bunch.
This past year I was sort of a slowpoke in the knitting category. I actually finished very few projects. I’m hoping to get a few more done this year. Stick with me and you’ll see what I’m up to! There should be knitting, spinning, perhaps some dyeing! And as always, cooking, travel, and just general silliness. And whiskey and frogging, you can almost always count on that now and then.
In my last post, I showed the frogged lace cowl thing. It did get restarted on a 16 inch circular, which is working out better. Here’s a photo.
I’m about a third done with it, I think. This yarn is really, really fragile. It also has a major halo, which is OK in a cowl, but I don’t think it would hold up to any kind of wear and tear. Click on that photo to see the fuzziness. The KAL on the KnitCompanion website includes a wrister pattern to match, but I’m not sure I’ll do that. I doubt I’d wear them, and I’m sort of sick of knitting this. I have so much other stuff on the needles that I would rather work on. So there. It’s my knitting, I can do what I want.
Last but not least, let’s do a giveaway in honor of the blog anniversary, shall we? That always draws out the crowds.
Here’s how you enter. All you need to do is leave me a joke in the comments. It can be a knock knock joke, a shaggy dog joke, a limerick, or anything else funny. I’ve done this one before, and it always provides me with days of laughs.
What are you playing for? It will be for one pair of sock’s worth of yarn from my precious stash. I’ll draw one random winner from the bunch, and since I know tastes vary, I’ll let you choose from four different possibilities. Here they are:
Click to embiggen and really see what’s up for grabs.
From left to right we have:
Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes, color Ann Mare (AKA very pink), 367 yards
Mama Llama Sock, color Day, 400 yards
Jitterbug, color Lagoon, 267 meters
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, color Flames, 430 yards total
Let’s see. Let’s give you all until this Sunday at midnight, my time (Pacific daylights savings time). After that I’ll pick a winner, and you can choose some lovely yarn.
Here we go. I’ve been a slackard when it comes to blogging and knitting. I’m hereby posting photos of some of the things from the top of the heap in hopes of inspiring me to get knitting. There are a few more UFO’s in the pile, but I’m not dragging them out. These are the “in progress” projects.
That’s the Platinum Seraphim shawl. I just finished the first chart, which is mostly stockinette stitch. On to the fun part!
Oh, by the way. I had purchased an ancient version of this pattern, way back when the designer, Miriam Felton, had a different blog and website. There is a rewritten version of this that you can download automatically if you had bought it from her new website or from Ravelry. I had run into trouble with the stitch counts on one of the rows, and sent her a message on Ravelry. Literally within minutes she responded with a “fix”, which was all I really needed, but she sent me a link to the pattern and had the new version in my Ravelry library waiting. I love good service!
A River Runs Through It Socks, for John. That’s the first sock. John’s feet are about the same size as mine, but his foot is wider around the instep, so I’m doing a little widening around the gusset area so he can get them on his feet.
Evenstar! Beads! I have to tell you, the beads are making me pull out every swear word I know. They are very pretty though, so I’ll suffer through them.
Right. Another crappy Green Jeans Corduroy photo. That yarn is just impossible to photograph attractively. It’s Araucania Nature Wool, and the color is not quite solid, but not really variegated. In real life it doesn’t look so horrifically splotchy. And it’s hard to tell, but I’ve finished the bottom part and am knitting the back.
If you have too many UFOs, the only sensible thing to do is start another, right? Right. That’s a Pretty Thing. I skipped right over all of February between our trip to Hawaii and when Riley got sick, but there was some Great Big Fun in there. Dorothy came to stay overnight to visit the fiber and yarn market at Madrona in February. We met Sally, the owner and inventor of the Knit Companion software. The three of us wandered by a booth with this incredibly soft yarn, then discovered that it was real MINK. We each swooned and picked out a skein, and a Pretty Thing KAL was planned. Here we are:
We should look happy. All three of us got a lot of loot at that market. Sally is a genius by the way. I can’t imagine knitting without Knit Companion at this point. You should go check it out.
The Pretty Thing pattern calls for doing this on a 16 inch circular, which I’m not very fond of, so I found a video to teach me to knit on two circulars and took off. This will have to be frogged and restarted, unfortunately, since it looks like crap. My joins at each end are loose and wobbly, way too ugly for even me to tolerate. Part of it is my inexperience, but part of it is that this yarn has absolutely no memory, so it’s not very forgiving of knitting inconsistencies. I’ve dug out a 16 inch circ and will bite the bullet and use that on the do-over.
By the way, those needles are Chiaogoos, which are hands down my new favorite lace needles. The tips are perfect, the needles themselves have just a touch of texture so stuff doesn’t just slide off, and the cables are flexible but not too flexible. They also don’t have any memory, so don’t coil up on you while you are trying to knit. And the join is absolutely smooth. I dithered over whether to buy the interchangeable set or just a bunch of the fixed sizes, and decided on the latter since I mostly use the smaller sizes of needles anyway.
Things were in quite a whirl around here after Wintergrass. I realized that I had never picked my favorite artist of the festival. It just has to be Seldom Scene. We saw two of their shows, and they were just terrific as usual.
My favorite song was their rendition of Darlin’ Corey. Here’s a relatively recent video of them performing this. Lou Reid’s voice alone is worth the ticket price to a show. If you ever get a chance to see them live, don’t think about it, just go.
Last but not least, Riley came home for good today. We decided to have her cremated, and the vet that did the home euthanasia brought her ashes back today. It was a bittersweet moment, but we’re glad we paid extra to do this.
I fracked up both of the knitting projects I brought with me because I’m totally distracted. One is a mostly stockinette shawl, the other is a completely stocking stitch sock that I’ve knit a million times.
Laurie Lewis sang a “my dog died and I’m sad” song tonight, and totally destroyed both of us. John and I were weeping in our seats, then laughing hysterically at the fact that she was singing a dead dog song and we were sobbing.
I’m sure we’ll find this all amusing some day.
Tomorrow is the last day of Wintergrass. We haven’t enjoyed it as much this year, and that’s not surprising. I’m glad we came though, it provided a much needed bridge between this past week and next week, when real life obligations hit us like a semi truck. I might get around to posting about some of my favorite artists later on.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. We’ve had tickets (and hotel reservations) for this years Wintergrass festival since about two days after last years event was over. We debated for a bit about whether to go or not, since neither of us is in much of a mood, and decided that this would be better than sitting home staring at an empty dog bowl and the empty spot on the end of the couch where Riley always hung out. So here we are.
The festival started last night, and I made it through about two acts before somebody played a sappy sad song and I was just done. Hopefully tonight will be better. My favorite last night was Sarah Jarosz, who is a superb musician.
So far today we’ve been to a workshop with David Grisman and Kenny Smith playing an impromptu “concert” set on vintage mandolins and guitars, most from the early 1900′s. It was just fabulous, they played a bunch of old sweet tunes, many from Grisman’s Tone Poems days.
I’ll report back with more as the weekend goes on. Of course there will be knitting and spinning, I brought one of my drop spindles, which is a good portable activity for those down times between musical acts.
Speaking of knitting, one of the projects I brought is that Seraphim shawl. I spliced in the second ball of yarn yesterday using a Russian join. This morning I noticed this, which really irritates me to no end.
So I guess I’ll get more practice doing Russian joins. I hope this is the only knot I find, or there may be some inventive swear words flying around. What really annoys me is that this is on the very outside of the ball, so I should have seen it when I bought it. Oh well.
Thank you all for the sweet condolences on my last post. I’m working my way through answering all of your comments, but each and every one of them makes me cry, so I have to take it in small doses or I might run out of hankies.
Our sweet puppy left us yesterday, with her best friends around her. We’re both heartbroken and spent much of yesterday looking at the hundreds of photos that we’ve taken of her since she adopted us. Here are just a few that show the people and things she loved best.
Rest in peace, sweet girlie. We’ll always miss you.
Sheesh. I’m trying this from the WP app to see if this works better on the ipad. Let’s try a photo, shall we?
Those are my new socks. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces, color is the January color of the month, A River Runs Through It. It came in the mail, my husband saw that blue, and said, “mine”. So these will be socks for John.
That’s all I have. I’m just trying to find a better way to blog on the road.
And that pretty much says it, right? I only have crummy phone photos for you, and not many of those. Yes, I brought the “real” camera, and yes, I’ve taken lots of “real” photos. I just forgot to bring that little extra piece that lets me upload photos from the camera to the iPad. So you get a few phone photos instead.
We’re on the Big Island, which I’ve never been to before. I think it might be my favorite of all the islands. We’re staying “upcountry” on the hillside overlooking Kailua-Kona, with a terrific view of the bay, well out of the traffic of the main town. The cottage that we’re in is part of a small coffee farm, and we have noisy chickens and tweety birds instead of city sounds. We don’t have air conditioning, but it’s been quite pleasant without it. We have wall to wall sliding glass doors along the ocean side, and it’s been nice enough to sleep with the doors open at night, and it’s been cool enough that we’ve needed blankets. And wool socks at night.
Here are a few photos.
Yes, I found a yarn shop. I only bought one thing. The shop had a surprisingly large inventory, with a great selection, but my vacation yarn buying goal is to try to buy stuff I can’t get at home. Here’s what I found.
It’s from local alpacas, hand spun, natural colored. There are 400 yards of it, I might try dyeing it with some of my natural dye stuff that I have at home.
Being upcountry in the tropics, you might guess that there is a bit of wild life here. Our hosts warned us about mongoose, and the rare wild boar that wanders in. Last night’s fauna was a gecko that we found in one of the kitchen cabinets.
Last but not least, a Finished Project! This was one of my January goals.
I’m not going to do a whole Project Details thing with these. The yarn is Frolicking Feet, from Done Roving. The color is Pot o’ Gold. I used size 0 Pony Pearl double points.
I’ve already started another pair but that’s for a different post. Blogging from the road on an iPad sounds lovely, but the WordPress dashboard interface with the iPad browser is less than ideal. That’s it for today, we’re off on another adventure!
I could just stop there, right? Be careful what you wish for, is all I have to say. The past few weeks at work have been a bit busy, to say the least. The hospitals are not just full, we have hallways lined with sick people in extra beds sans rooms. It’s been pretty demoralizing and exhausting for everybody; last week I saw veteran nurses in tears. At any rate, I finished my work week Thursday night, ready for a three day weekend, and had the thought “It would just be nice to have a few extra days off.”
Ha. Friday morning I woke up with the crud which just got worse as the weekend went on. I finally broke down and went to our Urgent Care Sunday morning, and came away with the last two packages of anti-flu medicine, one for me to treat influenza*, and one for John to keep him from getting it. The pharmacy was also out of prescription cough syrup, which should tell you something. Our hospital was near to running out of influenza test kits last week, so we’re down to diagnosing it the old fashioned way, by history and exam. What a concept.
Anyway, this “got” me those two extra days off I was wishing for. I haven’t done much except sleep and wander around in a drug induced stupor. I’m hoping to be up to speed to go back to work tomorrow.
Enough whining. I have gotten some knitting done this weekend, though I’ve stuck to plain stocking stitch for the most part, since my brain isn’t working very well. Here are my January goals for your reference:
Finish the body of my Green Jeans sweater
Finish the pair of socks on the needles (Pot ‘o Gold socks)
And here’s where I am.
That’s the Green Jeans sweater (AKA Corduroy). I’ve reached the split for the bodice part, and have started the upper back. This is actually pretty mindless knitting, with just a bit of garter striping for interest.
And those of course are the socks. One done, one almost half done.
I’m not sure I’ll hit either of those goals by the end of the month, but we’ll see. I’d be closer to getting there if I hadn’t gotten distracted by that shiny shiny platinum yarn from the last post.
I’m off to take more drugs.
*And yes, I did get a flu shot. I hate to think what this would be like if I hadn’t.
I am officially bored with everything I’m knitting. I actually like all my projects, but they’ve all been in progress for so long that they are starting to grow mold. There is only one thing to do in that circumstance: cast on something new!
I rummaged around in the yarn bins and found some lovely light fingering weight shiny stuff that I bought when we were in Europe this past fall. It was a simple matter to find a pattern that would work. I had both in the stash, and voilà, I even had the right size needles!
The yarn is Lana Grossa Lace Lux. It’s more of a light fingering than lace weight, and I have 930 meters of it. The color name is Platinum 10, though it looks more like cremini mushrooms to me. Very shiny cremini mushrooms, to be sure. It’s a wool/viscose blend. I got this somewhere on our trip through Amsterdam to Budapest, though didn’t write down where we were at the time.
The pattern is Miriam Felton’s Seraphim, so this is officially my Platinum Seraphim. Just to keep track, I’m using my Holz & Stein ebony needles, size 3.5mm. I uploaded the pattern to my iPad, tweeked it in KnitCompanion, and sat down to knit and watch those Seahawks lose today.
Started: 11/2/2009. Yes, this was in a very long time out.
Finished: Today! 1/3/13! First finished project of the year!
Yarn:Black Water Abbey worsted weight. The color name is Haw, though in real life it is a True Blood Red.
Needles: Knit Picks Zephyr, size 6 & 7.
Modifications: Well. I pretty much knit the pattern as written up to the hood and sleeves, then just winged it from there, since the pattern was never completed in the Tuilich sizes. I used the sleeve pattern from the largest size in the Faery Ring pattern, and just made up the hood. The hood instructions for the smaller set of sizes called for a bigger hood for each size, which is just ridiculous. Your head doesn’t get a whole lot bigger as the rest of you expands. I just picked up what looked like the right number of stitches around the neck, then increased until it was wide enough, decreased a bit, then grafted the top when it was tall enough.
What I learned: I love cables. And I love this yarn. I have another sweater quantity of it in the stash in a warm caramel toffee color that will turn into a sweater someday. The yarn feels a bit stringy and harsh initially, but softens up, and shows cables marvelously. I also adore these buttons. They were made by a goldsmith named Carolyn Kent, her website is Minnowcreek Studio.
Alrighty then. Now that that one is done, here are my New Years resolutions, such as they are:
Knit from stash. John and I have been going through our credit card expenditures to set up a 2013 budget. Let’s just say that the amount of money I spent on yarn last year is quite embarrassing. I’m not ruling out the occasional yarn purchase, especially if it’s in the category of vacation purchases, but I’ve got plenty of yarn around here and I’m going to try to use some of it.
Blog more. I’m going to go back to doing monthly updates and goals.
Spin more. And get back into dyeing fiber and yarn.
That’s pretty much it.
Here are the January goals:
Finish the body of my Green Jeans sweater
Finish the pair of socks on the needles (Pot ‘o Gold socks)
In the cooking category, here are the photos of our New Years BEPs (black eyed peas). You didn’t think we’d forget them, did you?