Monday, December 31, 2007

The last project of 2007

The Peerie Brocade Cardigan with Class designed by my previous knitting workshop instructor, Charlie Hada, is DONE!!!! I started it last January and was determined it would greet January 2008 as an FO and not my oldest WIP.

Just like I suspected, it's wonderful and it will get lots and lots of wear. I used just over 20 skeins of Knit Picks Telemark yarn in Colonial Blue. I had purchased 21 skeins. It's a dense sport weight, so each 50 gram skein had only 103 yards. I was discouraged for a time, thinking I would not have enough yarn to complete it, then worried about mismatched dye lots after so much work. I started the last skein just as I began working on the garter stitch section of the second cuff.

It was a 'hard' knit. Each peerie pattern was graphed over a 16 stitch repeat. I definitely used markers because it was easy to get off track with the knit and purl designs. It was not a portable or mindless project. I did enjoy working on it and really like the end result of a seamless project. Yet, as it got larger I had some issues managing the monster. For example, I had a lot of good knitting time this summer when other workshop projects were not vying for my time. But I couldn't stand having this afghan sized sweater on my lap. Due to our mild weather in coastal San Diego, my old house does not have air conditioning. Being wrapped up in mass quantities of Peruvian wool was just impossible. It's heaviness also led to my hands getting tired, especially during my marathon home stretch.

I really do love it, just as I knew I would when I first tried on the sample my instructor brought to class last year. It was a long journey, but I'm happy to have undertaken it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pre- New Year's Resolution

In January, I will be starting two new projects as part of my knitting and crochet workshops. The knitting class will be doing the Adult Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I had already started the Baby Surprise Jacket back in September, then put it aside. I'll complete the Baby version to learn the techniques and to build up my supply of baby items, often needed at short notice.

The crochet class will be completing a crochet sampler afghan. I'm really excited about this. We'll be doing 2 largish (8 to 10 inches) squares a week and expect to be done before the summer break. This one the instructor/designer made is in cream and greens Patons Decor. Mine will be in Dark Horse Fantasy in cream, taupe and brown.

Meanwhile, I've been working furiously to bring my WIPs down from a high of 12 actively in progress to 3 before the New Year. Right now the count is 5. I've started the second sleeve of the Peerie Brocade Cardigan I started last January and will be done by the weekend. I'll post pix then.

I did finish a workshop knitted triangle shawl I started in March from Kid Merino. Between one thing or another, it also got pushed to the back burner. Blocked, it ended up nicely huge. About 44 inches deep and 100 inches from corner to corner. It took 6 skeins. Before the edging I was at 545 stitches per row. It's a stockinette with eyelets every 10 rows and can be made to any size. The garter stitch edging was knitted on and took 3 evenings to complete.

The crocheted Short & Sweet cardigan from Panda Cotton initially intended for my Mom's Christmas present now resides happily in my closet. It was all done save the button bands, but I couldn't gather the umph to finish it. Luckily, she called from the East Coast requesting some Barry Manilow CDs. When I got on the phone with my brother to make sure he did not get the same thing for her, he advised me she was no longer the size I was making the sweater in. Saved by Barry Manilow! I did the plain single crochet button bands and 'tho a little big on me, I love it and have already worn it.

My quest to finish the Peerie Cardigan was interrupted by this Falling in Love Scarf, a Fiber Trends pattern by Evelyn A. Clark. I made it in GGH Soft Kid. I had special ordered the pattern from my LYS and suggested it would be a good Valentine's Day project. Next thing I know, I'm slated to teach it on Jan 12th. A terrific excuse to pause my completion marathon for some fun. It took 4 evenings. I messed up a few times through inattention and learned the hard way that mohair is a booger to frog.

I'm off to finish my second sleeve, then the second sock to my Aran Sandal Socks.


That's 'greetings' in Spanish. It's been an eventful couple of weeks. Here we are in all our finery for a Victorian Christmas celebration at the Hotel Del Coronado. The Lamb's Players represented a family [the Marshalls!] enjoying a Christmas dinner with all their friends [all of us in the audience]. Both in costume and character, they mingled among their guests singing and telling stories of the time, 1907. It was really well done and quite elegant. All of our men donned jackets and ties, so we had to properly document the event. Our oldest and her husband spent Christmas with his family back east, but I'm leaving in a bit to pick them up at the airport. We'll do Christmas, part two this weekend.

Bob and I have been married entirely too long. We've been dubbed 'cute' when we went to the dentist earlier in the month for oral surgery. Seems like teeth have an expiration date. What are the odds we would both need THE SAME TOOTH extracted and prepped for an implant? A few years back, we both got crowns on the same tooth at the same time. It's a bit of togetherness I could do without. Our stitches were out in time for Christmas and my bone graft seems to be taking. I'm still limited to chewing on one side, but things are healing up nicely.

Got to go to airport. More about holidays some other time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wash Day

Unpacking from a Vegas trip means dumping everything in the laundry whether it's dirty or not. Even when it doesn't seem overwhelming in the casinos, the smoky smell permeates everything and is quite noticeable once you get home to a smoke free environment.

I took advantage of filling the washing machine [cold water and Euclan] and threw in the yoke sweater I had not wet block when I finished it. I soaked, then spun for a bit before laying it out to dry. As you can see, we have no pets, or this would be impossible.
It's that happy time of year in San Diego when I get to wear my sweaters, socks and shawls. Yay!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I love Vegas

Gambling is such a small portion of why we love Vegas and visit frequently. This is the 3rd year in a row we have gone during the first week in December to kick off the National Finals Rodeo. We do not attend the rodeo, but really enjoy country music. Downtown at the Fremont Street outdoor stages, there were free concerts and lots of people in Western Wear.

The first night we were there was also the first night of Hanukah, so there was a ceremonial lighting of a menorah at sundown, before the first concert. In the distance under the canopy, you can barely make out the Christmas tree being set up.

In conjunction with the rodeo, there's a huge shopping venue set up at the convention center by the Hilton called Cowboy Christmas. Here you can buy any and everything you could ever want to fulfill all cowboy related needs.

Bob said he finally figured out why he could never lasso anything as a kid. Real cowboys use stiffened ropes.

The super sized pick up is for hauling the luxury RVs with room for people and horses in extreme comfort. The price tag on this rig alone was $200K.

Cowboy folk have an outlook on life I quite appreciate.

How can you not like a town with a mayor like Mr. Goodman who shows up for most events flanked by two showgirls with a martini in hand?

We don't have our reservations for our next trip yet, but we are aiming for February around Valentine's Day. We make a game of counting all the brides and grooms.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

One for you, one for me

Retailers must love me. Other than yarn and supplies, I don't do all that much shopping. So around Christmas when I'm looking around online or in the mall for presents, I invariably find a bunch of things for myself I cannot live without. This shirt is a perfect example. I would have never come across it had I not been searching for a specific item for DH. The only trouble I had was limiting myself to just one knitting themed item. I got it at CafePress Just search for knitting, or whatever, and you'll get a dazzling array of tempting options. My birthday's coming up in January and I have a wishlist to compose....

Here's the new mixer, since I knew you were waiting with bated breath to see what a modern one looked like. DH said he needed a second mixing bowl for when he makes pies, so I got that at the Navy Exchange with my scratcher coupon (15%, woo who!) I always encourage his cooking endeavors.

It's 60 degrees in San Diego and it rained yesterday for the first time in months. Break out the parkas! It was raining so hard yesterday, I wimped out from driving the 20 miles to my beloved knitting workshop. There were over 360 accidents around town yesterday, up from the daily average of 50 or so fender benders. Traffic was often at a stand still.

Anyhow, with the chilly weather, I have been wearing socks every day. I have about 50 handknit pairs. Fun ones and those I had a great time making. But the reality is I keep reaching for the same few pairs because the colors complement what I'm wearing. Last year at this time I bit the bullet and made myself 2 pairs of plain black socks. I wear them every single week during sock wearing season. I wear a lot of jeans and I wear the blues a lot, but I don't have many socks with blue in them. So here's my after holiday sock to do list. I should also probably make some for DH in the boring colors he prefers. At least he's branched out to the wide muted stripes in the Austermann Step colorways.

Lastly, a little holiday imagery. This is the nativity set we got for our 1st Christmas when we were stationed in Rota, Spain. The mud dolls were made by local prisoners and are all less than 2 inches tall. These tiny treasures are celebrating their 30th Christmas with our family.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday preparations

I've only managed to finish a couple of crochet pieces and some swatches in the past few weeks. This star shaped centerpiece is from my crochet class. This larger one is for the dining room and I made a smaller one for the kitchen table. I took stock and although it seems I have been knitting and crocheting like crazy, nothing's DONE. Must be due to working on 9 things at once. But I am happy to report on this last day of November I'm mostly done with Christmas shopping, the house is decorated and cards are slated to go out this weekend. Now, if I could only put my butt in gear to work the button bands on my Mom's Christmas sweater, I'll be golden.

I have been attending my knitting and crochet classes and even taught a beginning sock class last week, so lots of fiber related fun is going on. Then there's the serious time bandit - Ravelry. I like it so much and it's getting better daily. My projects - at least those I want to share - are all up. Every bit of my stash is up, save the one basket of odds and ends I use for my homework samples. What's really addicting is all the forums.

Thanksgiving was great. It's the one big meal I am mostly responsible for. As is commonly known, I am not the family cook, so it's always nerve wracking for me to get everything in place at the same time. Bob makes the pies the day before and this year Heather make a potato and leek soup to augment the side dishes for herself and boyfriend, both vegetarians. So, to add to my frenzy, there's another cook in the kitchen. She watches every cooking show and is much more creative than I am, but when she turned off the double oven timer for her potatoes, little did we notice, she turned both ovens off. An hour later as I was wondering why the turkey was not browning on schedule, there was panic and I admit, tears. But it really wasn't a big deal with just the girls and their other halves in attendance. We plied them with drink. Bob joked about it being the revenge of the militant vegetarians.

Then I'm preparing the sweet potato side dish and our old faithful mixer dies in dramatic fashion. The beaters seemed to wrap around one another and seized up. I about killed my little hand mixer too to get that in the oven too. But it really was great because these are the tales that make the holidays special. The girls were quite happy the mixer was dead. Somehow the then stylish color of dirty yellow offended their sense of style and I always kept it covered so as not to hear them complain about it.

We celebrated on Wednesday, since Erika and husband were flying out on Thanksgiving day for a weekend wedding of a special friend in Pennsylvania. We armed them with turkey leftovers which they enjoyed in their hotel Thanksgiving evening with drinks from a convenience store, the only thing opened when they arrived.

On Thanksgiving Day, I relaxed and watched the Macy's Parade with my feet up instead of flurrying around preparing my meat stuffing. Forget Cyber Monday, I shopped online until my credit card cried, "Uncle!" The best thing is most of the stuff was on my doorstep by Monday. The new White Kitchen Aid mixer took a few days longer, but is now in its appointed place on the counter, uncovered.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Not knitting. We're in Laughlin playing. As big time spenders, we play the nickel video poker slots. After more than a year without winning the big jackpot, I'm happy to report the dry spell is over. I just got this one at the Edgewater, AND I got one last night here at the Tropicana Express. Yay! more yarn money....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Seamless Yoke is done

It took a little longer than expected to do the buttonbands. I made myself slow down to do them just right. Then to tack down the steeked sections with a nice even herringbone stitch. I steamed it a bit, but will hold off on a full wet blocking for now. I didn't get the top button in the exact spot needed, so I put in a snap. Overall, I really like it, especially after learning so many new techniques.

Now, if it would only cool down here in San Diego, so I could wear it!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I steeked it!

With my heart pounding, I cut my sweater in class yesterday. My instructor was hovering and about 15 members of the class surrounded me, watching and giving encouragement. It worked! and there was no fraying of the edges. I felt like a rock star with everyone ooh and aahing over the results. Although I had brought my camera to class, I was so caught up in the moment, I forgot to ask someone to take pictures. I picked up the stitches for the button and neck band and should finish that tonight. The buttons from my stash I thought would work are not quite right, so I'll go out tomorrow to get some. I'll be doing the afterthought button hole.

I did get some pix of the sewing process in preparation to the actual cut. Being careful to catch the legs of the stitch is absolutely essential. It didn't take long, but was tedious. I stitched 2 rows on either side of the cut line. It was hard to resist the temptation to do 3 or 4 rows, but I was warned that could make it stiff.

With all the counting of things to upload to Ravelry, here is my needle inventory. Let's see, 75 circulars, 11 Flex, 9 Options tips and assorted cables. 69 sets of Double Points, 36 pairs of straights and the 2 vintage Boye sets. The yellow Boye set is the one I went into hock for back in college in the early 70s.
I was so happy last week when I went to the ISO and destashing board on Ravelry to find the 10" double pointed needles I have been looking for for several years. I got them on Thursday. These are the aluminum Boyes which are no longer made. I wanted the size 9 and 10s. These work well for hats and sleeves. I'm so comfortable with the DPNs, I often use them instead of the short circulars.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sock Boot Camp

It was an especially fun day yesterday at the Bonita Knitting Store. The Tofutsie's trunk show spurred a sock themed event, the boot camp. Lots of folks came in and I got to reconnect with some knitters I had not seen in a while. I feel like such a proud mama when a student from one of my beginning sock classes comes in with socks to show off. Although not made by my own hands, they seem partly mine, too.

It was also Kathy's birthday and our celebration included pancit and cake. Her 'men' came in, hubby and sons, with flowers. Everyone was jealous because they were so obviously loving.

This past week brought me several special moments. In Crochet class Wednesday, a classmate's grandson had arrived two weeks prior. I had made baby Joshua a pair of Ugg booties. The thank you card with a photo of the tiny baby wearing them was priceless. I have the photo up on my bulletin board and it brings a smile every time my eyes wander over in that direction. It has also helped inspire me to get on with making some more of the booties. My daughter is going to a baby shower next week and has requested a pair. I should really just knock out a few pairs to have them on hand.

Since Wednesday was Halloween, I was happy the child development class came through our crochet class on their costume parade. Who wouldn't love 50 preschoolers in costume? I love kiddies in costume but in past years very few come to the door, so I got my fix of adorable cuteness.

I am also making good progress on my Elizabeth Zimmermann percentage sweater, the Seamless Yoke. The mechanics of colorwork is still not fluid for me, but I'm liking the results. With some pointers from my workshop instructor, Athena, I plan to be ready to cut my steeks next Friday. Stay tuned.

Another happy surprise was our guest in Friday's knitting workshop. Charlie, the previous instructor, is in town for a few weeks and spent the afternoon visiting. It was great seeing her and catching up with her adventures rebuilding her home in the woods of Missouri.

Monday, October 29, 2007

What a draining day....

The phone woke me this morning. The last time that happened, my kid wrecked her car. It makes me jumpy. But it was the company we had hired to remove some things from our back yard last week before the fires made the air quality too bad to anything outside, much less physical labor. So far, so good. I was happy because it's the first step in doing some fun stuff to the back yard. The old, mostly empty shed was going, as was the side fence separating it from the rest of the yard. With a new, sturdy fence between my neighbor's and our pools, the second one would not be necessary. A bench, rickety pool slide, picnic table and clothes line were also slated for removal.

Things are going great guns when they drill into a copper water line. Oops! Shut the water off to the house and put in an emergency call to the plumber. Somewhere along the house's history, a fence installer poured concrete for a fence support right over a water line. A line that should not have been there in the first place, just 6 inches down. Seems like it was a long ago solution on how to get ample water pressure to the backyard sprinkler system.

The dismantlers, who were doing a great job and were not really at fault about the water, hauled away all kinds of stuff and I'm enjoying the bigger yard area. But now it's obvious that this old HUGE tree really needs to be removed at some future date because the roots are crawling under all kinds of important things, like the house. The roots had already bent the aforementioned water pipe, so it was 'fortunate' it got broken when we were here, as opposed to flooding us out. They leave us to the plumber...

The plumber does his thing which includes lots of drilling and soldering and now we have water AND a huge hole. Once everyone's gone, I get to grab my own shovel and a big bucket to rearrange dirt, filling in the hole and otherwise getting grimy.

You gotta love an older house. And this is just the first step in us giving it a face lift, but between the electrician who came a couple of weeks ago to kill the power going out to the shed, the actual removing of the junk, and an emergency visit by the plumber, the next step will have to wait for our bank accounts to recover.

Friday, October 26, 2007

An FO, finally

You would have thought with being stuck in the house for the past week due to the lousy air quality and my classes canceled, I would have been knitting up a storm. But no. It seemed as if I had this overwhelming lethargy, especially in anything creative. Instead, I cleaned or reorganized stuff. Cleaning and related tasks calm me. I feel like I'm in control of a little corner of the universe. I went to the LYS on Wednesday to turn in some more hats for the Susan G. Koman fundraiser, then stayed to count the donations and otherwise tidy up. Susan thanked me, but I was happy to IN CHARGE of something!

I finished a pair of Walking Away Socks, a Fiber Trends pattern. I did the 'Reflections' motif. I like them, but in the future I will definitely start with a ribbing all the way around the top before jumping into the pattern along the back. These socks don't stay up as well as I would like. I used Knit Picks Essential Tweed yarn in the slate colorway.

I made myself finish the gray socks before starting another pair with this Austermann Step yarn. It's the #10, Melba colorway. I've been wanting this particular colorway for months. Even when the LYS ordered the sampler pack allegedly containing it, they would arbitrarily substitute other colors. I ended up ordering it from Patternworks at full price, plus shipping! It arrived last Saturday. You know I threw this skein in with the items packed for a potential evacuation. It will become a basic crew sock with a 2 x 2 ribbing for the leg and a st st foot. I don't have any plain socks OTN and I missed my favorite non-thinking portable project. I'm not getting into that situation again.

I also played around with my yarns so now all the sock yarns are stored so I can see each colorway. Such is the current level of excitement in my life. I have also been playing around in Ravelry, looking at who else is signed up in the San Diego area, who else has made the same things as I have and what yarns are the most popular. The top 10 yarns used in projects were an interesting mix. The top yarn by far was Cascade 220. Not surprising because it's a classic worsted weight. Second was Noro Kureyon, 3rd Patons Classic Merino. What got me was numbers 5 and 6 - Lily Sugar N Cream and Caron Simply Soft. I am so used to the lists with the most vocal decrying such pedestrian yarns, but am aware of the many people, especially in my crochet workshop, who are die hard Red Heart fans. It seemed to me the Ravelry folks were more like the 'in' crowd, but I like that they proudly flash their stash no matter if it's not especially cool.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today's happy chore will be to unpack. I set up my computer last night and returned the part of my sock yarn stash that was protecting my monitor back to its assigned spot. I'll do the suitcase and photo albums today.

We are getting a bit stir crazy, as this is the 4th day we remain indoors with the windows closed. It's smokey and ashy out and everyone is still being asked to stay off the roads.

But things are good for us. I've got my knitting, books, computer and TV. Hey, I've got my home and get to sleep in my own bed. We hope we continue to have electricity. The large fire to the north of us is still really out of control, threatening other communities. The Harris fire that had affected us has been pushed back away from the neighborhoods it was threatening here, but it's still less than 10% contained. With the wind change that was good for us, the fire has returned east and is descending on the eastern communities where it first started.

We have it so good, but I do confess to initially being paralyzed when faced with the situation of having room in my car for a finite amount of stuff and deciding what to take and what to leave behind to face destruction. I know they are only things, but it's sobering nevertheless.

Thanks for all the good wishes. Keep them coming, especially for the less fortunate.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Much calmer now

Once I removed the back seats from the car and loaded up my photo albums, which number more like 30 binders, I felt ever so much better. Of all my possessions, including the yarn and computers, these were my first priority. (I took this photo after I unloaded the car and had already put away about 6 binders.)

Then I actually packed a suitcase for a week with jeans, sweats, t-shirts and toiletries. With room to spare, I went to my cache of handknit socks and put my favorites in the outside pockets. I totally dismantled my computer station into its components. My brand new flat screen monitor was carefully placed in an XL Ziplock shopping bag with a layer of sock yarns to protect the screen. I'm typing on my old laptop. We've got everything ready to take out to the car. If we get the call to leave, it'll just take 15 minutes to toss it all in the cars. I have more of the XL baggies in case there's room. Then it's more sock yarn to make me happy. You know I packed up all my needles.

The 'good' news is that tankers and helicopters are able to fly and drop copious amounts of water. The Sweetwater reservoir is about 1/4 mile away from the burning Mount San Miguel and it seems to have stopped the spread towards us in Bonita. I think I'll take a nap.

Thanks for all the good wishes. Please keep them coming.

Still here and fretting

I managed to get a few hours sleep. As soon as the sun comes up, I'm going to remove the back seats of my PT Cruiser and start loading it up. I suspect a decent amount of my stash is going to find its way into the crevices of my car - and some of my favorite FO's. Bob's got a big sedan, so a lot of things will fit there. DD will load up her own car. Our destination will be married DD's apartment in the city. If not, the oceanfront.

We may not have to evacuate, but I'll have a lot more peace of mind once things are packed and all we have to do if need be is just walk out the door. It'll keep me busy and become a happy chore to unpack if it's not necessary.

Hope the winds die down enough to allow aircraft to make the much needed drops of water and retardant. 0 percent containment is not good, nor is 300,000 folks evacuated.

No sleep tonight

The fires and evacuation orders are getting uncomfortably close. Good ol' Bob went to bed and is snoring peacefully. His calmness is quite comforting. The cars are not packed, but I have gathered what needs to go. Every time the news mentions Bonita Road, my heart jumps. So far, it's all about 5 to 6 miles east of us.

As I was thinking about to take with, I honestly thought about which projects and yarn to bring. I got a package from Patternworks today with 2 skeins of yarn I couldn't get anywhere else.

Geez, the news just said the fires towards Bonita, let's see if we've got to get going. Pray for the winds to stop.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Party, party, party.

The Bonita Knitting Store had its second annual Pink Party last Saturday night. It was a come in your 'jammies to knit or crochet, eat some pink food, and otherwise just relax with friends. Growing up in NYC, I had never been to a pajama party. My daughters had them when they were younger, but this was my first. Such fun!

One of the regulars brought her mother in law visiting from Buffalo, NY. She showed us how to whip up a crocheted hat that many in her senior center make to donate to schools. Whenever a teacher notes a child freezing due to lack of necessary hats and scarves, they are able to give them to the needy right then and there. It's basically a rectangle of double crochets worked into the back loop. When it's long enough for the sides to go around a head, slip stitch the last and first rows together. Gather one end of the tube. Using chains, she made a squiggle topper, but you could do whatever you like or leave it plain. I made this one in a couple hours watching TV.

Here's some of the yummy food set out for us and Susan, the owner, preparing flavored coffee per request.

California on fire

First things first.... we're fine and don't expect to be evacuated. The fire closest to us, the Harris fire, is about 20 miles east of us. It's making it smokey outside, but so far no homes have been threatened. There are several huge housing areas in Eastlake much closer to it than we are and none there have even been given a 'get ready to go' notice.

That said, I'm still a bit nervous. I've lived in the San Diego area since 1989 and this is only the second time the fires have been this bad. The last time, in October 2003, we were also quite safe, but we made lists of what we'd take if we had to go. Bob and I have always been photo fanatics, so I made sure all 20+ volumes of our photo albums were in the same place, as the 20 or so slide storage units.

We've all been told to stay indoors and off the roads due to air quality and the need for emergency personnel to have easy access. Also, we've been asked to stay off cell phones, as that's how the professionals on the front lines are communicating. The news literally asked all parents to confiscate their kids' cell phones.

Me? I've been knitting, crocheting and cleaning. I clean when I feel a need to be in control of SOMETHING, so I'll be tackling this old house, grateful I have one.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Time Bandit

After much gnashing of teeth, frustration, and an entire day in COMPUTER HELL, my new and beautiful 22 inch flat panel computer monitor is up and running.

We had selected the same model DH got last month, causing me much hardware envy. As I began to pester "Santa" about how I've been such a good girl and really deserved one just like his, he replied I didn't have to wait for Christmas. Off we went to our favorite toy store, Fry's. I was giddy with excitement, literally jumping up and down. We got it home and so I wouldn't bother my beloved computer tech rep, left for an errand, knowing I had hours of delight awaiting me. Got back to a blank monitor. Not working and didn't want anything to do with my computer. Oh, we jiggled every connection, downloaded every driver, rebooted upteen times. Nada. Was my beautimous monitor a dud? No! The traitor worked quite nicely with DH's set up, which is just like mine. I wanted to pitch a full tantrum like a two year in the grocery store, throw myselft to the ground, stiffen my back, then kick and scream.

I called the tech gods at Fry's after not getting any help from the manufacturer. They suggested bringing it in the next day along with my computer tower. They swore I'd leave the place with a working monitor, even if it was not the one I had originally wanted. Holding on to that thought, DH and I were able to get to sleep. In the morning, the first thing DH said was monitor related. Oh yes, we are geeks of the most serious kind.

Due to this dire emergency, I missed my Wednesday morning crochet workshop so we could get to Fry's before others with insignificant problems took up too much time with the techs. It took us about an hour to get there although it's normally a 15 minute drive because it decided to rain - drizzle, actually. But in San Diego, where we have had less than 1/2 inch of rain in the last 6 months, wet streets are traumatic. Once we get there, the tech discovers in short order my video card is misbehaving. Off with its head! A new card, installation, and clean the baby up while she's open, have all conspired to dip into my yarn budget. But my originally purchased monitor works! When we got home, hooked everything back up (I remembered to take photos of the back of the computer so all the wires went back in the same holes), I sat on the floor with all fingers and toes crossed muttering, "Please, please work.." and it did.

So, a 10 minute installation took a day and a half. Then I seriously had to play with it once it was working. I ran slideshows of many of my photos on the big screen with at least 4 times the resolution of the old one. This morning I watched a video from my college and gleefully recognized several classmates I had not seen in over 30 years. But then I turned on the TV in the family room and the picture tube is going. I think I'm going in for our first flat screen TV as soon as my credit card turns over!
I have barely knit a stitch in over 2 days.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Coriolis failure

I give up for now. After two major frogging episodes, all I got was a too long foot with baggy ankles and a binding tight spiral around my leg. My gauge was right and I know the number of stitches I need to go around my mid foot and leg, so the next time I attempt this, I'll do some more maneuvering But for now, I'm done. My brain needs a rest and my yarn wants to grow up to become something else.

I am intrigued by the construction and I see real possibilities, but I'm tired of fighting the book format and failure of my 1st attempts. I've made almost 80 pairs of decent socks, but my confidence is a bit shaken.

Right now I'm working on a lace scarf sample for a November class I'm giving at my LYS. It's from the Interweave Knits Holiday issue and sufficiently intricate to boost my confidence - proving I really have some knitting skills.

Monday, October 08, 2007

FOs completed while absent from blogland

From my Knitting workshop class, my first real stranded colorwork in preparation for my seamless yoke sweater per the EPS calculations. I'm also going to steek the pullover into a cardigan. The hats went to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer fundraiser. I made great progress on the stockinette sections of the sweater while sitting at the booth at Bonitafest and on the train to and from Santa Barbara. I am almost ready to add some color.

The crochet workshop is also going well. I went ahead and made this placemat to practice the motif and the edging. A bit lumpy, but definite progress in honing my rusty skills.

This Noni bag is the Cascading Fuschias Really Big Market Bag. I used 2 strands of Navy Patons Merino for the bag and one strand of the colors for the flowers. The flowers took just as long as the bag to knit. I modified the straps to make it a shoulder bag.

I finally finished this plain pair of socks made from Opal Sommernachtstraun, a hand dyed colorway. This has been my take along project since I started it back in May.

Another Short and Sweet for me. It's from Elsebeth Lavold Silky wool. My first one was from a Yarn Pirate tencel wool blend that bled rather badly when hand swished. I took a friend's advice and let the Yarn Pirate folks know about the bleeding issue and promptly got a nice reply. It seems the first batches had some 'issues.' I was offered yarn as a replacement. Never to turn down the offer of free yarn, I got this yummy stuff within the week. I noted it doesn't contain any tencel. I suspect the dye was not sticking to this fiber as well as the wool. I felt a bit guilty since the garment is still usuable, though faded. The original yarn was a gift, so it's 'free' yarn to replace yarn I didn't pay for in the first place.