Monday, July 31, 2006

Opal socks finally done

After a false start a few months ago, I redid these using a basic 2x2 rib crew sock. I was pleased the pattern matched up as I had 3 balls from the skein due to a knot and break in the yarn and the ill fitting sock.

It's my 59th pair overall.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday at the LYS

If you drop by the Bonita Knitting store you'll see my blue sweater on display. Susan, the owner, asked to borrow it since I certainly won't be using it any time soon. I propped my own copy of the book the pattern is in by it. Can you see the blond man wearing it on the cover?

My faroese shawl is kicking my butt. The lace section may only be 38 rows tall, but over 400 stitches, it's killing me. My first lace project.

The heat has me working on just socks or the lace shawl. I cannot have any knitting large enough to sit on my lap. As it is, I'm on the couch with a fan pointing directly at me. This classy option helps me from melting into the fuzzy fabric.

Showing my stash

This is my works in progress bin. Not too bad, 2 pairs of socks, 2 sweaters and the UFO, the Great American Aran Afghan.

Meanwhile, here's the yarn cave AFTER I got rid of 2 big bags of acrylic yarns. The blue pop up hamper holds my sets of 50 gram wool sock yarns. The non wool sock yarns and the 100 gram skeins are bagged separately. There are 3 large bins with my Cotton Ease stash. I knit and knit, but I still have 80 skeins left.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Liberating destashing

Friday night saw me going into my yarn cave determined to analyze my acrylic stash. I had 3 Xerox paper style boxes crammed with the stuff. I had been making hats for the Ship's Project a few years ago and they needed to survive the cruel treatment in the ship's laundry. I had skeins and skeins of blacks, browns and blues that felt coarse to my now 'refined' fingers. I kept the stuff that felt relatively soft, but purged 2 large shopping bags full. I even threw in 2 UFOs I knew I'd never really get to. Without second guessing myself, I took it all to the Goodwill collection site near me. GONE! It felt so good.

I still have 2 Xerox boxes full of acrylic yarn, which is strange, since I took away at least 2 boxes worth. Gives credence to my theory that there's hanky panky going on in the stash cave. I can't remember when or where I acquired a lot of the stuff in there.

With my knitting workshop beginning around Labor Day, I took time to analyze my WIPs and knitting goals. My main goal is to conquer lace.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This is the other Xmas gift I worked up. I did the scarf horizontally on 270 stitches, but it only took 2 evenings of knitting. I make these hats in a few hours using the formula I worked out when I was making hats for The Ship's Project. I did the hat on straight needles just because the stripes match up better when sewn together.

This is a new heel for me. The chevron pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks. The heel called Forethought, was suggested. It's the afterthought heel worked in place. The instructions said to attach yarn from the other end of the skein, but I just continued with the yarn. Luckily, it worked out nicely. These are a bit thicker than socks made from most other sock yarns, but they are going to a cold climate.

These Magic Stripes socks are my first Xmas gift! I don't send my hand knit items to many, so I try to finish them in the summer so when my Knitting Workshop starts up in the fall, I can devote myself to class projects. I made the cuffs pretty long and the recipient has large feet. I did use more than one skein, but only needed it at the light stripe before the toe on the second sock.

I have not been idle in this heat. I have either been ISO air conditioned venues or with a fan pointed directly at me. I finished the black lace socks and sent them off to my aunt in NYC. She's the one who taught me how to knit and I'd never made her anything before.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I was reading through old blog posts finding it hard to realize I've been posting for over a year. Early on I wrote about going to Disneyland, wading through the crowds and bratty kids.

Then I found this photo just scanned from a slide. Oops, I bet someone back then had something to say about my spoiled princess. This is the one who recently got married.

Disney has got to be a rite of passage. Back then, we were living in Newport, Rhode Island and came west during Xmas break and loved the mild temperatures. If you look closely, you can see the wings the flight attendant gave her on the trip out here.

Hot and listless

Where I live near San Diego is usually cool and breezy. Homes do not have air conditioning. So, on the occasions when we record setting temps 23 degrees above the normal 73 average, we are sweatily grumpy! I took refuge one afternoon at the Bonita Knitting Store with its cool AC and couches.

On the knitting front, I finished the Opal 'owl' socks and started some with Magic Stripes using a chevron design. The yarn is a bit thicker, but I intend for these to go to someone who lives with snow. I like my sock legs long and the intended recipient has a large foot, so I bought 3 skeins of the Magic Stripes so I could get 2 pairs. The second will probably end up being a gift too. We'll see.

Started a cardigan, then took the pluge and just started a Faroese shawl. Casting on 431 was an adventure. Right now I'm getting the knack of working with lace weight yarn and size 8 needles with garter stitch. The only lace motif is 38 rows, so I hope to muddle through. I know black is harder to work with, but I really want a black shawl, so I figured I would just go with the gusto.

Meanwhile, I've signed up for the lace classes at the Bonita Knitting Store...

I've started Sock Monster 2. So far, I have a 2nd attempt at the Strong heel and give up. It's too big at the ankle and doesn't make enough of curve around the heel. The second heel is the Sherman. I'm working my way to experiment with a short row heel without picking up any of the wraps. Someone on the Socknitters list tried this and was happy with her results. I know it works great in the garter stitch heel, so I want to see how it looks in a plain st st.

I'm showing off my latest toy. It's relevant to my knitting 'cause it has and will continue to eat up time I would otherwise be knitting.

It's a scanner specific to slides and negatives. My DH took slides for 25 years before going completely digital. We printed our favorites along the way, but I went through thousands of shots and selected at least 800 I wanted to digitize. My flatbed scanner's attachment was muddling through, but quit. Works okay for everything else, but not the slides.

Found this Plustek Optima 7200 on Amazon for less than $200. It got some really good reviews, so I took the risk. I tried not to get my hopes up, as sometime peripherals just don't want to play nice with the computer when drivers compete with each other.

Out the box and with the software included, I plugged it in and it works wonderfully. So far I've scanned about 100 slides and am up to 1987. Have slides through 2000.

Look at this cute darlin'! She's 21 now and it's fun rediscovering the lost baby images.