I Never Knew These Things

I just had to post this one! My favorite is number 9 on the second list. That might explain a few things.
This one came from Ryan. Stick your name in that box below and click “Go” to find out the Ten Top Trivia Tips for you!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Lorette!

  1. The blood of mammals is red, the blood of insects is yellow, and the blood of Lorette is blue.
  2. It takes forty minutes to hard-boil Lorette.
  3. Lorette was named after Lorette the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
  4. A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find Lorette.
  5. Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are Lorette.
  6. The word ‘samba’ means ‘to rub Lorette’!
  7. Lorette cannot jump.
  8. If you toss Lorette 10000 times, she will not land heads 5000 times, but more like 4950, because her head weighs more and thus ends up on the bottom.
  9. Without Lorette, we would have to pollinate apple trees by hand.
  10. The book of Esther in the Bible is the only book which does not mention Lorette.
I am interested in
– do tell me about

Ten Top Trivia Tips about The Knitting Doctor!

  1. India tested its first nuclear The Knitting Doctor in 1974.
  2. It takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 to frown at The Knitting Doctor.
  3. Only fifty-five percent of men wash their hands after using The Knitting Doctor.
  4. A The Knitting Doctorometer is used to measure The Knitting Doctor!
  5. If you lace The Knitting Doctor from the inside to the outside, the fit will be snugger around your big toe!
  6. It is bad luck to walk under The Knitting Doctor.
  7. In the Spanish edition of Cluedo, The Knitting Doctor is the victim!
  8. Scientists have discovered that The Knitting Doctor can smell the presence of autism in children.
  9. If you put a drop of liquor on The Knitting Doctor, she will go mad and sting herself to death.
  10. The Knitting Doctor can taste with her feet.
I am interested in
– do tell me about

For Kris

This one is for Kris, who at this very moment is packing all her worldly belongings to move to the great rainy state of Washington. I received an email from her Monday in which she asked, somewhat plaintively,

When it rains each day, is there even a portion of the day where the sun peeks through…. even if it’s just for a few minutes?

Well, yes, indeed. We’ve had one of the rainiest winter seasons that I have seen in my five years living here. Our dock is nearly under water. We got a letter recently from the lake association reminding us that if our docks weren’t attached to the pillars, to get out there and secure them before they float away. We do get those “sun breaks” though, just often enough so we don’t all start shooting holes in the kitchen appliances due to cabin fever.

Here are photos from Monday to prove it.

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Note the level of water under that dock. We are leaving the canoe out there for now. If that lake gets high enough to float the canoe off, I promise to show pictures.

I Forgot

It happens, it’s probably all that bourbon. I intended to add these two items to the last post, then screwing around trying to get that stupid quiz thing to fit into the blog window distracted me.

First, Washington (the state) has finally arrived at another major turning point in civilization. It only took them 29 years to do it, but we’ve extended civil rights to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. The right wing promises to fight this one by a ballot initiative, but hopefully common sense will prevail. (Though as my mother always said, “common sense isn’t all that common”.)

Second, the Yarn Harlot’s TSF campaign has topped $100,000 in the past year. Think about it, people. $100,000 is a lot of money from any one group. I plan on making this an annual donation. I can spare a little yarn money, how about you??

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One Finished, Another Restarted

The blue scarf is finished. Before I say anything else, if your name is Linda, and you’re my sister, and you’re expecting a gift from me, don’t go any further if you want this to be a surprise.

If your name is Linda, and you’re my sister, click here instead so you have something to do for the next few days until this arrives in the mail.

Here it is, for those of you not named Linda, and not related to me.

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Pretty, eh? Project details:

Pattern: Lead or Follow Lace Scarf, by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. Her website is here.
Yarn: Richesse et Soie, by K1C2, a cashmere-silk blend; color is #9633, which is a pretty cornflower blue.
Needles: 3.75mm
Started: July 2005. Actually I started this a couple of years ago, but it sat in hibernation for awhile, so I had to restart it because I couldn’t figure out where I was in the pattern.
Finished: January 24, 2006

This is a great pattern. It’s clear and well-written, and once I figured out that it doesn’t mix well with bourbon, I did OK with it. It’s “knitted lace” instead of “lace knitting”, meaning that every row is a pattern row with increases and decreases. “Lace knitting” means that every other row is a plain row, either knitted or purled. I didn’t know that before. “Knitted lace” is really no harder than the other kind, it just means you don’t have that long easy row every other row to relax with.
The yarn is heavenly too, though spendy for anything more than a scarf. It’s fingering weight, so it’s a little easier to handle for someone relatively new to lace.

My next lace project (already started, but no pictures yet) is in “real” lace yarn, and I’ve already expanded my knowledge of swear words logarithmically.

And then there are those socks. Here’s a picture:

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If you’re thinking that it looks like I finished the first sock and that this might be the beginning of the mate, you would be wrong. I ripped the damn thing out and started over for two reasons. First, I decided that I liked the section where the contrast-rainbow color pops out better than the more subtle version. So I switched the yarn-hand-holding position when I restarted. So now the multicolor is in my LEFT hand. I like it better. The second, and more important reason, is that I think they were going to be a bit tight on my Bigfoot big feet, so I started over with the next bigger size on the chart.

Last, but not least, a little amusement, and a quiz. I always knew I was a nerd. Not bad for a biology major.

True English Nerd
You scored 89 erudition!
Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your
definite
from your indefinite articles, but you’ve got quite a handle on the
literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well
done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 90% on erudition

Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

OK, after some fiddling around, I still couldn’t get that to fit in the blog window, so it’s staying the way it is. I have zero patience for html crap.

Four Things:

I was tagged for this one by Gretchen!

Four Movies you could watch over and over:
1) Philadelphia Story. Or Cary Grant in anything.
2) Paint Your Wagon. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard Lee Marvin sing.
3) Lord of the Rings. Any of the series. One of the few movies I actually own.
4) Last of the Mohicans. I’d watch Daniel Day-Lewis just stand there for two hours.

Four places you have lived:
1) North Dakota (Edgeley, specifically)
2) Helena, MT; first in college, then for several years after med school
3) Irving,Texas
4) Lakewood, WA. My favorite of the bunch.

Four places you have been on vacation:
1) Spain
2) Tahiti
3) Costa Rica
4) France. It’s hard to pick a favorite of all of the places that we’ve been fortunate enough to visit.

Four TV shows you watch
1) Desperate Housewives
2) West Wing
3) Star Trek reruns
4) CSI, it’s got to be the Vegas version for me.

Four websites you visit daily:
1) Google
2) NY Times
3) Bloglines
4) Too many knitting blogs to list individually!

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Beans and rice
2) Macaroni and cheese, but only if it’s homemade
3) Roast chicken
4) Foie gras

Four places you’d rather be right now:
1) Uh, nowhere? I live in the best place on earth
2) With my sisters, with whom I actually get along. (And going to visit them in March!)
3) In France, eating roast chicken and foie gras
4) Anyplace where it hasn’t rained for the past thirty days straight.

Four bloggers I am tagging:
1) Nobody, I think I’m the last person on earth to do this. If you haven’t, have at it, and let me know in the comments.

Knitting Update in the next post! Stay tuned!

Viva Las Vegas!

We’re off again on another jaunt! No pictures this time, as I left the camera at home, but I figured that I was way overdue for a post.

This was a spur-of-the-moment trip, planned around Tom Jones tickets. That’s right, Tom Jones. He’s performing at the MGM for the next few weeks, and I figured that he’s just going to get older and fatter from here on out, so I better go to see him soon. We have tickets for tonight, and flew down for a few days of total decadence. Last night we went to see “Avenue Q”, which was hilarious. We are going to Cirque du Soleil “O” tomorrow night, then home on Thursday. Four days in Las Vegas is about all I can stand. I’ve already lost the requisite twenty bucks in the slots, which is about all I have patience for.

Once I finish this post, we’re off to In-N-Out Burger for lunch, which is a reason to come to Las Vegas all by itself. This used to be a great town to eat cheaply in, not anymore. A plain Americano at the MGM Starbucks was almost 5 bucks this morning. The flip side is that there are some marvelous restaurants here. We ate at an Italian seafood place at the new Wynn resort last night, Bartolotta. “Yum” is all I have to say. They specialize in great fish flown in daily, presented whole to your tableside, then oven roasted and served with a wonderful garlic-parsley pesto. We started with a warm seafood salad for an antipasto, then a vegetable risotto for our first course, followed by an impeccably fresh sea bream served with roasted peppers, zucchini, and roasted fingerling potatoes. I want to go back tonight, but we have reservations at Nob Hill at the MGM so we can make it to TJ on time!

In knitting news, I am just a few rows away from completing that blue cashmere lace scarf. I nearly finished it on the plane, and will probably get it done later today. Then it will be blocked once I get home, and mailed off to the lucky recipient (not named here, as she may occasionally check out the blog!). No pictures until I get home though!

Peace Fleece Cardigan

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Specs:

Pattern: Plain cardigan, set-in sleeves, pattern generated by Sweater Wizard software.
Yarn: Peace Fleece, in the color Kamchatka Seamoss.
Needles: Denise circs, size 7 & 8.
Buttons: Purchased from Blackwater Abbey Yarns
Started: Late September, but I took a long break while we were on vacation to Spain.
What I learned: I started this one as the Everyday Cardigan sold as a kit from the Peace Fleece people. While I just love this yarn, I didn’t love the pattern. It’s a drop sleeve style, which isn’t what I had in mind, so I ditched it and made up a pattern with Sweater Wizard. So I guess the main thing I learned is to knit what I want, not just follow a pattern. I also learned how to do buttonholes a little less sloppy, and did a buttonhole stitch around them to neaten them after I finished them.
Verdict: I like this one a lot, and I predict that it will get a lot of wear. I would definitely make more just like this, and will definitely use the Peace Fleece again. It’s not one of those soft-against-your-skin yarns, but is a good, basic wool yarn in great colors.

Knitting Update

I finished that Norwegian hat. Here it is:

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I really liked this one, and it was a fast project to knit. Project specifications:

Pattern: Bea Ellis, her own design,  purchased as a kit here.
Yarn: Dale Heilo in red and white, and cotton sportweight for the headband lining.
Started: December 2005
Finished: January 7, 2006
Needles: size 3.5mm. (3mm for the lining)
What I learned: Two color-knitting is a blast. I practiced knitting with one color in each hand. This required that I polish up my continental style knitting, which was awkward at best.
Would I do this one again? Yes, ma’am. I thought it might be too warm to wear this where I live, but the Heilo is a sportweight yarn so it’s not too heavy. I really, really liked making the tassle!

I’ve also been working on my socks:

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This two-color stuff is big-time trouble for all the other stuff on my to-do list around here. I just keep knitting and knitting and knitting…

There was a question in the comments from the last post about the yarn for this one. It’s Lorna’s Laces sock weight yarn. The solid is red, of course, and the multi is her Rainbow color.

I’ve learned some things already. It does indeed make a difference which hand you hold each color in when you are knitting with one color in each hand, as most knitters knit with a different tension between the two hands. It’s a little hard to see in that picture, but the first half inch of the leg part (after the ribbing) shows that the rainbow stitches are more prominent than afterwards. I switched the yarn colors between the hands at that spot, and in person it is noticeable. I decided that I’m not ripping it out, but definitely learned the lesson for the future. Given my inability to remember simple things, I’ve made a note on the pattern itself which hand I’m carrying which yarn in for future reference. And in case I lose the working copy of the pattern with the notes, the multicolor is in my right hand on this one.

And in non-knitting pictures, I keep meaning to post this and keep forgetting:

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Yes, it’s a ladybug. I took this picture in my bathroom, where I have about a half-dozen ladybugs that have taken up residence. There are no plants there, but they move in around December every year and stay until it warms up a little. I have no idea why, or what they eat, but I find this somewhat fascinating. So do the cats, though they never catch one.

Here We Go Again

Finally, the last of the Spain travelogue photos. There were lots of them, but I’m getting tired of putting them up, so here are all the rest of them, in one big post. The knitting content is at the end of this post, so if you’re getting tired of them too, just scroll on down.

Your fearless Spain adventurers left you on the road to Arcos the last time. We stopped along the way at one of the little white hill towns, Grazilema. We took the very scenic route off the main road to Grazilema, with miles of twisty, hairpin-turning roads.

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I didn’t get much knitting done on this leg of the trip, as I wasn’t about to pry my hands off the dashboard to take up the sock. I did get one shot of the sock over the valley, though.

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And here a a couple of pictures of the town of Grazilema. This was the cutest little town; I’d go back here for a longer stay next time.

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After a lovely lunch, we continued on to Arcos. We stayed in one of my favorite hotels of the trip while there, La Casa Grande.  If you have a few minutes, go to their website and check out the photos; they are better than mine. The house is almost 300 years old, and very charming. We had one of the rooftop rooms, next to the terrace with a spectacular view. The only drawback to the place is that it is on a tiny street too narrow for a car or taxi, so we parked and walked, lugging our luggage the last few blocks.

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Arcos is only a short drive to Jerez, so we drove there the following day for a little horse-watching and sherry-tasting. Unfortunately, Jerez is one of the worst places in the entire world that I’ve ever navigated. There are absolutely no street signs, so a map is next to useless. We got hopelessly lost, though finally found our way after stopping several times and getting help from mostly non-English speaking locals. They couldn’t read the map, either, so I didn’t feel so bad. We missed the horse show at the Equestrian center, but made it to the Gonzales-Byass (the Tio Pepe people) sherry bodega with plenty of time to spare for our tour there.

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That last photo is part of a display of some of their original bottles and barrels. The new ones weren’t quite that dusty.

After the tour, we got to have a little tasting and eating, our favorite part.

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That tapas platter (and the bottle of sherry) was just for the two of us. They don’t believe in letting you go home hungry in Jerez. Probably this is because they know you will get lost and spend hours wandering around Jerez trying to get out.

We were back in Arcos for another night:

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Those two photos really give you an idea of how narrow those streets are. And here is our private terrace:

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After Arcos, we headed for Sevilla, another one of my favorite places in Spain. We had a walking tour of the old part of the city our first day, including a tour of the Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe. It’s hard to take a photo of it, as it is so huge. I didn’t get many good interior shots because of the vastness of the space.

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We also toured another Moorish palace/fortress, the Alcazar. Here are a few photos:

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And a fine example of rococo excess:

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This is one of my favorite photos of the trip. It was in a cave-like lower room, with a ground level pool. The arched ceiling reflects in the pool below.

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And a couple more Sevilla street shots:

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We stayed at the Convento La Gloria Hotel in Sevilla, another one of my favorite sleeping-places on the trip. As the name suggests, it is an old convent that has been converted to a hotel. The rooms were small, but the service was wonderful, and the family run restaurant downstairs was fabulous. There were dozens of paintings on the walls of the hotel, but this is the photo I found the most amusing. This is the fire-extinguisher box outside our room.

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I believe that was a commentary on the narrow streets of Sevilla. If there were to be a fire, there is just no way a fire truck would get here, so you might as well pray.

There was a little sitting area outside our room. I took advantage of it for a quiet knitting space.

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We ate at the hotel restaurant our last night in Sevilla. I think they must have heard about us.

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Sevilla was home to many more Don Quixote statues. Here are a few.

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There were several more in the train station:

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While we waited for our train back to Madrid, I did the usual:

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We took the fast (Ave) train from Sevilla back to Madrid:

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After our arrival in Madrid, we checked back into our original hotel for one more night before our flight home. We did a whirlwind tour of the Museo Del Prado and the Thyssen Museum. Without a doubt, my favorite museum of all time is the Thyssen. It would be worth a trip back to Madrid just to get a longer visit there.

Here is Sweetpea after a long journey. Sweetpea loved Spain, too.

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And last but not least, the last photo of the trip, from the plane over the coast:

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——————————————————————————–

Knitting Content

The Jo Sharp sweater is still in time-out. I’ll get back to it later this week, as I’ve decided that I don’t hate the details of the pattern as much as I love the look of the finished sweater. I’ve gotten caught up in two-colored knitting this week. First is the latest sock pattern that I started.

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The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. This is a great book, for all you sock-knitters out there.

The other one is a Bea Ellis hat pattern, using two-color Norwegian style knitting.

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The pattern is rather ingenious. Because it is relatively itchy wool, the first two inches or so of the hat are knit in a soft sport-weight cotton. Then you change to the wool, purl a turning row, and start the hat pattern. When you’re done, you turn up the cotton lining and hem it, so you have the soft cotton over your delicate little ears. I am a right handed thrower, so I’m learning how to knit continental style, so I can have one color in each hand and not have to stop and change yarns every couple of stitches. I’ve learned that I actually do continental much faster than the way I’ve always knit, though I’ve not been able to master purling and picking at the same time.

I’m also still working on that blue lace scarf. I hope to finish that one soon, so I can get some wear out of it this winter!

Merry Merry!

To all of you from the Knitting Doctor household:

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Merry Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Bright Solstice, Merry Christmas! Whichever tradition you and your family celebrate, here’s to a happy holiday and a very prosperous New Year for all! (And more yarn in your Christmas stocking than you can possibly knit in the coming year!)

Grrrrrrrr!

We will take a short break from our Spain travelogue for a brief knitting update. After I finished the Peace Fleece sweater, I was one project short on the needles, so I started a new sweater. What do knitbloggers do when they run into a pattern glitch? Go to their readers, of course!

Here’s what I’m making:

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Pretty eh? So why has it generated a string of menopausally-induced swear words in the Knitting Doctor house, you might ask?

It’s from Jo Sharp’s Handknitting Collection, Book One. I bought the book and yarn some time last year, I think, and it’s been aging in the stash until just the perfect moment. I dug it out last week, dutifully swatched, and surprisingly got perfect gauge with the yarn and needles recommended in the pattern. I cast on for my chosen size and was off doing that ribbing section. The yarn, by the way, is Jo Sharp DK Wool, which is heavenly.

After I finished the ribbing, I set it aside and looked at the cable pattern. It was written out, not charted, so I printed out some graph paper from here, and spent an evening charting it out, as I find cable charts much easier to follow. I grumbled just a bit about good old Jo not including charts with the pattern, but figured that some editor cut them due to space considerations.

The next evening I started on the first pattern row, and came up two stitches short at the end of the row. I counted, recounted, and my stitches were right, it was the pattern row that was short by two stitches. After a few swear words, I did the Google thing and found the corrections page* on the Jo Sharp website. Yup, it was the pattern that was wrong. I needed to adjust the stitch count on the moss stitch panels in the body section. This was a simple fix, I just needed to go back to the beginning of the row and reknit the first cable row. I did that, grumbling a little more at good old Jo. Then I looked again at the corrections page, and read the rest of the story. Not only was the stitch count incorrect for the two larger sizes, ALL of the body measurements had been revised. Here’s a table to explain:

Bodice Circumference (inches)

Published pattern…
A            B            C            D
42.5        46.5       50.5        54.5

Corrected…
A            B            C            D
33.5        38          39.5        44

For the Diagram width measurement (the width of the front/back pieces, finished), here are the measurements for size C, which is what I was going to make.
Published: 25.5
Corrected: 20

Would this piss anybody else off royally? Does anybody else think that an error of over TEN inches in body circumference is unacceptable?  I took the thing off the needles to measure it, in case their “corrected” measurements are wrong, but nooooooo. I am still perfectly on gauge, and my measurements match the corrected measurements pretty well. I briefly thought of finding somebody who fit the size C measurements and packaging up the whole damn mess and mailing it to them to finish. As this is supposed to be a relaxed fit, not the Jane Russell look, it will get frogged again, and I’ll start over at the larger size. Right at the moment, the whole thing is sitting over there on a chair, in time-out. Fortunately for whoever answers the phones for good old Jo, I bought an extra ball of yarn when I purchased this, for insurance. I guess I’ll need it.

* Here, if anybody is interested. All of the pattern books have at least one correction listed, so check it out.

Spain Photos, Part Eleventy-Thousand

This time we’re off to Granada, city of the Alhambra. This stronghold of the Moors was the last city in Spain to fall to the Christians in 1492. You simply can’t go to Spain, or at least certainly not to Andalucia, and not see this place.

We stayed at the Parador here, which is one of the state-run hotels. The Granada Parador is built in a 15th-century convent, and sits right in the middle of the Alhambra itself. It was the only Parador we stayed in on our trip, and though expensive, was well worth the money. Here I am knitting on the terrace in the afternoon.

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The day after we arrived, we had a guided tour of the Alhambra. Again, the pictures just don’t begin to show what this place is like. Here are a few though:

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Simply splendid. As a sidenote, listening to a recording of Julian Bream playing “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”, while hanging out in your Parador room inside the Alhambra, is one of the highlights of the trip for me. What can I say, I’m easily amused.

We also spent an afternoon wandering through the Albaicin, the oldest section of Granada, which dates as far back as the 11th century. This is a labyrinth of tiny streets that is a hoot to get lost in. We hung out at a Plaza overlooking the city for sunset. Here are a few of the natives, doing what they do.

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This is a knitting blog, after all. The woman with the yarn was selling the paintings in the foreground, and while she was waiting she knitted. The guys were part of an impromptu street concert. Here’s the sunset we waited for.

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Next time: Off to Arcos!

Finished Sweater!

I’m getting over the Bug of 2005; you know, the one that involves vomiting at a swanky holiday party, then spending the next two days in your jammies on the couch. I think I picked it up from my spouse, who has been sick for the past ten days and is just getting over it. I’m feeling considerably better today, which I attribute to the fact that I got a flu shot, and he didn’t, and that I come from much hardier peasant stock than he does. (For those of you with inquiring minds, the swanky holiday party was at our house, and no, I didn’t drink too much pomegranate punch.)

The only good thing about the Bug of 2005 is that spending two days on the couch in your jammies gives you lots of knitting time. Here’s the Not-Really-An-Everyday Cardigan, finished. Even the buttons are sewn on, my least favorite part of knitting.

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No, the front is not asymmetrical, I think that I am. The button bands are actually quite straight. They should be, I had to knit one of them twice. I had the whole thing done, and as I was crawling around on the floor putting pins in to mark where I needed to sew on the buttons, I noticed that the button band was about two rows narrower than the buttonhole band. My ever-helpful spouse said that nobody would notice, but really, they would. So I undid the bind off and added a couple of rows. Here’s the “Rachel“.

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And a close-up of the buttons.

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Specs:

Pattern: Plain cardigan, set-in sleeves, pattern generated by Sweater Wizard software.
Yarn: Peace Fleece, in the color Kamchatka Seamoss.
Needles: Denise circs, size 7 & 8.
Started: Late September, but I took a long break while we were on vacation to Spain.
What I learned: I started this one as the Everyday Cardigan sold as a kit from the Peace Fleece people. While I just love this yarn, I didn’t love the pattern. It’s a drop sleeve style, which isn’t what I had in mind, so I ditched it and made up a pattern with Sweater Wizard. So I guess the main thing I learned is to knit what I want, not just follow a pattern. I also learned how to do buttonholes a little less sloppy, and did a buttonhole stitch around them to neaten them after I finished them.
Verdict: I like this one a lot, and I predict that it will get a lot of wear. I would definitely make more just like this, and will definitely use the Peace Fleece again. It’s not one of those soft-against-your-skin yarns, but is a good, basic wool yarn in great colors.

Last but not least, a picture of Willie being his intrepid self.

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Next time, Spain Photos, Part Eleventy-Thousand.

Spain Photos, Part 3,

Or,

The Case of the Missing Sweater Sleeve

First, the knitting content. I’ve finished all the pieces to the Not-Really-An-Everyday Cardigan. There was a little sleeve mishap in the process. I finished the body pieces before we went to Spain, but didn’t take it along to work on, as it was a little bulky for the carry-on bag. After I got home and recovered from my jet lag, I pulled out the sleeve that I had started, and went back to work. I was about a third done with the sleeve, and decided to go ahead and block the body pieces and the first sleeve that I was certain that I had finished, so they would be dry and ready to start seaming when I finished that last sleeve.

The only problem was that I couldn’t find the first sleeve. I was quite certain that I had done it before we left for the trip; so certain that I tore up the house looking for it, and even considered the possibility of a sleeve thief in the neighborhood. After digging around for days and losing sleep over where it might be, I reviewed previous blog posts, counted up the balls of yarn remaining, and determined that I indeed had not ever knit the first sleeve. I do occasionally dream about knitting (OK, I frequently dream about knitting), but I’ve never actually hallucinated finishing a whole garment piece that I have in fact never started.

After some judicious swearing, I have now finished both sleeves, and it’s all blocked, ready for the sewing party, then the neck and band finishing. Here are the pictures:

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Now for the Spain pictures. Today, we travel to Gibraltor. We drove from Marbella along the coast to get there, but then parked our car on the Spain side and walked across the border, thereby avoiding the hour-long line of cars trying to get over. Here’s the Rock from the Spanish side:

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And walking in:

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We took a guided driving tour of the city, which took us to all the major sites. It’s not that difficult to walk the whole area, but as we only had a few hours, we opted for the more expeditious way to see everything. Part of the Rock is a nature preserve, and is home to the famous “Barbery apes”, which are anything but wild at this point. Here’s one fine example:

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And a few more:

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A word of warning to any other Barbery ape visitors: these monkeys are little thieves (maybe that’s where that sleeve went). That cute little fellow on my shoulder snatched my reading glasses off my bag on his way down and scampered off with them. Our guide had to bribe him with a whole bag of cheetos to get them back.

This photo is a reminder of what Gibraltor meant to the British in past years:

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They wouldn’t let John fire the cannon, for some reason.

We toured the Siege Tunnels that were built by the British. Here are a couple of photos from inside the Rock:

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Yes, the road in and out of town goes right across the runway.

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That would be the shadow of the Rock, from inside the Rock.

After a busy day of touring, we stopped at a pub in town for some very British pub food and a pint to tide us over.

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Ahhhhh. And no, I was not the designated driver.

Here’s another view of that runway, from ground level as we were leaving.

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I hope they don’t make any unscheduled landings here.

Back in our condo, here is John reading up on the history of Spain, with a visiting feral cat that seemed to like our hospitality. Note: if you happen to be the owner of this condo, move along. There’s nothing for you to see here. We certainly weren’t the ones who let that cat in.

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That’s enough of the travelogue for today. I swear, I’ll finish these soon! I’ll leave you with a puppy photo from earlier today. Riley likes to sleep in on cold mornings. Actually she likes to sleep in every morning; she’s not much of a morning puppy.

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Watercolor Socks

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Project specs:
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, Watercolor

Needles: Size 0 for the cuff, 1 for the sock. I used Ivore double points, my favorite sock needles.
Pattern: Plain sock, generated by Sole Solution software. The sock cuff is 72 stitches, 2 by 2 rib, eye of partridge heel stitch, plain flap heel. Simple as pie.

What I learned from this project: Not much. I’ve done this sock so many times that it’s mindless knitting at its best. Perfect for a train trip, or a few rows after work when you are dead tired.