Monday, October 31, 2005

I got to see Steph of the Desert!

As it turned out she and Bobbi came over for a Sunday knitting visit in my backyard. Heather also came by and she brought along the swift and ball winder she'd just gotten from Gary, then decided not to keep. Lucky me. When Gary had posted about selling a few things, Heather beat me to them, but now they're MINE!!!!

Steph came down to San Diego, courtesy of her DH who took care of the kidlings so she could have a weekend to herself. So, there was knitting.

Meanwhile, Heather's been kidding me that I make 'boring' things in basic, neutral colors. I'm still in the useful phase and can't see doing weird stuff without it having some practical use. She especially noted all my beiges.

That got me to thinking about leftover sock bits, so I started a toe up pair to use them up. Lots of fun and they are turning out way nicer than I expected. Most of the color interest is provided by some Opal Magic. So far, in addition to the Opal, there's Kroy, Regia, and Knitpicks Essential in the mix. As I run out, I don't think I'll be able to continue matching, but they'll still be cute and practically 'free.'

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cable Socks Pattern

I've been surprised by how many folks have asked me for the pattern for the cabled socks in worsted weight yarn. I don't mind sending to individuals via a Word attachment, but I did upload it at a blog entry. It follows the photo in the Sep 10th entry. Enjoy. If you have any questions, give me a holler.

Inventory Day

What's almost as much fun as actual knitting? Why fondling the yarn, of course!

Yesterday my Knitpicks yarn order arrived - One skein of the Dye Your Own fingering weight merino and 14 skeins of the Essential. These are solid color sock yarns.

As I stuff my new acquisitions into my yarn dungeon, aka the closet under the stairs, I figure I better take stock of what I have because I suspect the situation is getting out of hand.

Sock yarns are so easy to accumulate. A skein or 2 here and there won't break the bank. During the past 3 years, I've made a total of 42 pairs of socks. Hmm... I've got yarn for 60 pairs in the closet. Then I have 16 orphan 50 gr skeins in solid colors I bought to use with the various left overs. That adds up to at least a 4 year supply of sock yarns....

I'm not as bad with other yarns. At least I wasn't until this summer's Cotton Ease frenzy when I acquired 110 skeins. So far, I've only knitted up 25 skeins. Okay, by knitter's math, I've got a 3 year supply of Cotton Ease. My excuse is it's been discontinued and you just never know...

The 26 skeins of WoolEase for the Great American Aran Afghan = 3 years worth.

Yarn for the projects I plan to work on [and finish!!!] during the next 12 months don't count.

For the rest, just let's call it 4 boxes of miscelleaneous stuff, some will probably never made up because they found their way into the closet during delusional episodes. Don't laugh, we all have yarns that scream, "What was I thinking?"

I had bits of paper with inventory notes, so I had a good time logging them all in my Workshop notebook. It also gave my hands a much needed knitting break. I'd been at it too long, but the gift socks are DONE.

Monday, October 24, 2005


I got the black metal buttons in Kansas City, MO. They will adorn the plain black sweater I'm working on. I started the collar last night. Once the 2nd taupe sock is done, I'll work to finish it up. Still have sleeves and bound buttonholes to go.

I found the leaf buttons while checking out the 50% off sale at JoAnn's this weekend. They are so pretty. The thing is I don't have anything to put them on. As I glance over at my prominently displayed 10 Knitting Goals for the year, then look in the closet where my WIPs and UFOs await my attention, I'm thinking of making a cardigan to go with the buttons. I've even picked out the color, Paton's Classic Wool, Dark Natural Mix. A classic style with some texture, maybe cables... but nothing to overwhelm the buttons.

Obsessed by footwear

I consider these as souvenirs from my Mall of America trip even though I just got them from Amazon. While trolling the mile long levels of the MOA, I found these in one of the book stores. I'd heard the buzz about Bush's book, but I have so many..... spent about a half hour in the store drooling over it, so I HAD to have one of my very own.

The page a day calendar is pure indulgence. I've got a real thing about footwear. Shoes were my first enduring love and while I'm still devoted to them, I have branched out into handknit socks. But I tell my sweeties [I'm up 3 pairs this month] the socks are just to complement them. The same day I got my slippers, I got my 36th pair of Birks. I'd been at the Navy Exchange where they were sitting forlorn in the sale area. Black leather Bostons [the closed toe clog] retail for $110. These were $69, the last pair, AND my size. They had to come home with me to join my other Boston clogs [suede in navy, green, purple, brown; black in nubuck] I tell you, I am POSSESSED. I've got to make some socks with designs on the heels. I bought the Walking Away patterns, so I just need to get to it!

Sock monster

Another ongoing workshop project has been the ever growing Sock monster, my sampler of various heels. There are at least 3 more to be added - Lucy Neatby's garter stitch short row is next, then the common heel and Strong heel.

Since the sample is worked on 64 stitches - my usual CO for my socks, I can try each heel out. Working it all out on the same yarn [Knitpicks undyed Dye your own] helps me do a true comparison. I label each heel as soon as I'm done. If not, I'd be wracking my brains trying to sort them out.

Quietly knitting away

I realized it has been almost a week since I posted. It seems not much has been happening. With all the new Tee Vee shows and returning old favorites, I've been doing a lot of knitting while watching the tube. I've mostly been working on the 2 pair of socks for deployed soldiers I committed myself to. I'm currently on the second sock of this pair, which looks remarkably like the Navy blue pair I finished last week.

Even though I had more Navy blue in my stash, I went out to my LYS and bought this overpriced Kroy in taupe. My eyeballs were about to fall out from working with the dark yarn. The Navy was the Knitpicks Essentials my workshop instructor gave me. She should get a commission from Knitpicks since I went and ordered 14 skeins of the stuff - but NOT in Navy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

San Diego weather

OMG!!! It rained in San Diego. The rainy season has arrived!!

I got to wear some of the socks I've made over the summer and even the sweaters. I am so happy.

Meanwhile, my old slippers are dead. I've been eyeballling some Ugg scuffs. Last year I tried to buy some, but couldn't find my size. Now that the stores have all the slippers in preparation for the holidays, I went out in the rain to get me some.

My toes are in heaven. These babies are absolutely the best thing.

After and Before

The trees in our front yard are melalucca, a type of eucalyptus, aka weeds with shallow roots. We got the tree trimmers to come before the San Diego rainy season. The trimmers came on Monday morning at the stoke of 7 am. By 7:45 am, the crew of 7 and their equipment were gone, as were the trees. It only cost $1,060.

You see that white car? It's other name is the BOILER. The day before we went on vacation, DH noticed the heat came on - HIGH. No matter what buttons were pushed, you got HEAT. It's got over 100K miles, so DH doesn't want to spend any $$$ on it.

You see the VW? My DD gets a 'check engine light' while we are on vacation. She drives the boiler to school and work 'cause she has no time to take her own car to the shop. Poor baby.... she can't wear sandals driving the boiler car, her little toes are crispy critters. Did I mention the AC died on the 'boiler' last year. DH refused to pay the $1,200 tab to fix it, along with the lock on the passenger side door. But it still runs and we are paying for the kid's tuition at a PRIVATE university! So the kid wears closed shoes and has the windows open...

The day we get back, the kid kicks off her shoes as soon as she gets home. The parents run for cover. The stench from those pretty piggies is unbearable. The dad takes her car to the dealer. OUTSTANDING!!! The problem is covered by warantee, so it's FREE. The kid is happy.

Next then is DH's car. The shop has had it for 2 days and can't figure out what's wrong. DH won't spend much $$ on it. It seems we have a mechanic who is determined to figure out this puzzle. It's been 2 days of testing. They swear the initial estimate of $80 is good. They can't duplicate the problem. DH figures they jiggled something to make the heat turn off. We are happy. Maybe it will last a few more months....

Sunday, October 16, 2005

PT Cruisering

I thought I had taken more pix of the car visiting places in the US, but I could only find these three. I figured since it's the second 4,000 mile plus this car has been on, it should be documented, especially since DH is seriously thinking of replacing his 100K mileage 1995 vintage car. For future road trips, we'll take his bigger, newer car. He prefers something a bit more substantial than the PT Cruiser for his 6' 3" frame and golf clubs. That said, this car was plenty comfy and roomy. Worked well for knitting, too.

The first pix is at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah, the 2nd in Kansas City, Missouri, and the last in Arches National Park, Utah.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Home at last

After 16 days on the road, traveling over 4800 miles, these are my primary souvenirs. The black cardigan, done on the way east is ready for seaming at shoulders and sides so I can pick up the stitches for the sleeves to be worked down to the wrist in the round. This is in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. I keep track of rows with snippets of yarn. The interest in this plain black sweater will be in the bands done with a facing, the bound buttonholes and the double knitted middy collar. Those are next after the sleeves. Charlie, my workshop instructor will be holding my hand as I learn how to do the buttonholes. I got some really cute buttons in Kansas City, Missouri to remind me of my trip.

The red Cotton Ease cardigan is my favorite, the Sitcom Chic. I did the sleeves full length and made the body of the sweater a bit longer too. I've just attached the sleeves, but will put it aside to work on the socks I promised to make in support of the Army squad our workshop adopted for Xmas. I signed up for 2 pair by Thanksgiving and only have one sock done. Three more to go before I have fun. The red sweater is for my own holiday wearing. Got a candy cane swirl button which I'll change after the holidays.

Oh, BTW, we had a wonderful time on our road trip. We went up to Minnesota's Mall of America via the Rocky Mountains, then down to Kansas City, Denver and Santa Fe. On the way east, we went through National Parks. Westward, we sort of followed the Santa Fe trail from beginning to end. Our last day on the road was a stop in Laughlin, NV. Alas, the slots didn't come through, so we'll have to pay our own bills when they come in next month. My neighbor recently got back from a vacation and his wife won enough to pay for the whole trip. I'd hoped I'd at least win some yarn money, but it was not to be. Will have to be satisfied with great memories and hundreds of photos.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

If it's Saturday....

We're in Denver making our way back to California. Got in yesterday from Kansas City. We'll be going on a morning city tour to get oriented. Hope to make the history museum this afternoon. Our hotel is right downtown, so we won't be in the car for 2 whole days.

Rocky Mountain high

Bob got me to laugh at 11,000 feet even though I was pale and dizzy. We didn't get that many pix. No way to capture the vastness.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am totally shopped out! Two full days of trying to check out all the stores in the Mall of America. My feet and eyeballs hurt. My credit card is sore...

No yarn, but I did get to get a good look at Nancy Bush's Vintage Socks. Yet another book I absolutely must have. Biggest purchase was 2 bottles of my perfume, DKNY. It's been discontinued for a few years and I was thrilled to find it. I am about to start the last bottle I had. I'm not much of a perfume person, so when I found one I really liked, it was logical it would stop being made soon thereafter.

Got tops, souvenir tee shirt, shoes and lots of good things to eat.

I'm about 3 inches into the 2nd front of my black sweater.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Here I am at the Balancing Rock in Arches National Park, Utah. That was Friday. Yesterday, Saturday, we drove into Colorado and Rocky Mountains National Park. That's mostly a drive through. The hiking trails were mostly 5 or miles long at altitudes over 10,000 feet. Our excuse was that we'd driven over 300 miles to get there and didn't have the time.

The winding road through the park had me gripping on to my seat. It's a wonder I didn't break through the car floor while I was 'braking' as Bob drove. Hairpin turns at 15 miles an hour at 11,000 feet with no guard rails made me crazy. When we got out at the highest visitor's center, Alpine, I got altitude sick - so dizzy, I could barely stand. I felt badly 'cause I couldn't enjoy it after traveling so far out of our way to see it. I haven't uploaded those pix yet.

Today we crossed Nebraska. No pix. Many said it was boring driving, but after yesterday, the straight, empty freeway with 75 mph speed limit was wonderful! Besides, I got a lot of knitting done. Am almost done with the first front on my black sweater. I only brought enough yarn for the back and 2 fronts, so I'll probably make some good inroads into my red Sitcom Chic cardigan too. So far, I haven't driven at all..... :}