Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Knitter's Geek Code

I was reading the current Knitty's surprise articles and came across the Knitter's Geek Code.

Spent a fun half hour figuring out mine:

---Begin Knitter's Geek Code Block---
Version 1.1

KCmR+++$ Exp++(+++) SPM++(+++) Addi++ KPO++ Boye Syn Nov-- Cot++ Wool++ Lux Hemp? Stash +(++) Scale++(+++) Fin+ Ent? FI- Tex++ Lace+ Felt+ Flat Circ++ DPN+++ Swatch+ FO 80 in 06 GaugeF(W) KIP++ Blog+ SNB EZ+ ALTSwCr

---End Knitter's Geek Code Block---

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sinfully decadent

You probably can't see how wonderfully soft and yummy this reversible cable scarf is. I made it this week, despite having numerous projects started. It's from Muench Touch Me yarn then felted. This was scarey since the yarn is so pricey. 5 balls runs $70 retail, but I had to have it. It only shrinks about 10% blurring the stitch definition some. Comes out of the wash a bit hard, but it goes in the dryer until it's almost dry. It's so soft it feels like liquid.

I enjoyed crocheting so much, I started another shell scarf from Debbie's Happy Hooker book. I bought 2-50 gram skeins of Knitpicks Swish superwash to experiment with and this is the perfect project to see how it works up and wears.

Looks like Tiger's going to win the Buick.

Retirement ain't for sissies

The cruise was outstanding! We had so much to do between the classes and all the ship's events and activities, I came home on Friday exhausted. But no rest. The next day was my birthday, so there were presents to open and new toys to play with. The family got together for Brunch on Sunday and more presents. Between the cruise, the shop, home and brunch I was sang to 4 times. I sure hope that doesn't mean I'm aging faster. I enjoyed the champagne, but had to settle down because I was teaching at the Bonita Knitting Store that afternoon.

Activities on the cruise included the Captain's dinner where we all got prettied up. That didn't last long, as we were scheduled for a pajama party. Here's our celebrity knitting instructor, Debbie Stoller of Stitch and Bitch fame. What a fun person and good teacher. She was at every knitting activity, taught all day Thursday, scuba'd in Catalina, rode a horse in Ensenada, then went clubbing onboard while some of us slept. Susan's in the red robe and Annie from Santa Fe is on the floor. This was in the ship's library and many of the ship's guests thought we were quite the show. Some wandered in despite the Private Party sign.

On Monday morning, I went to a make up session of my Knitting Workshop so I could get past a glitch at the beginning of my top down raglan. Then I had to interview a high school senior who's applying to Princeton. I also had folks sign up for private lessons both Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday, Bob and I took a Daytripper bus tour up to LA for a tour of the Federal Reserve. Under tight security, I got to see a BILLION dollars cash. Friday we got an early start again as we headed out to Torrey Pines for the Buick Invitational. Saw Tiger and we went out to dinner.

Yesterday, I taught the first Lace sampler class. Didn't get through nearly as much as I had hoped, but it went well. I had to rush from the store so we could make 7 pm dinner reservations with the daughter, her husband and in-laws who were in from Columbus for the weekend.

Today, I'm resting. My agenda for next week only has one more applicant interview and my regular Friday knitting workshop. I hope to make progress on my TWELVE works in progress!

Cruise pix

Blogger was giving me fits, not allowing me to upload more photos. Here's the group on our last night. 4 cruisers missed the photo.

Mimi and I dressed up for the Captain's Dinner.

Every evening when the steward turned down my bed, he'd leave a towel toy. We all compared notes and it was different for all.

I helped out during one class and got this as a reward! Enough for a shawl or some other luscious thing. Here's all the loot from the goodie bag. This does not include the five project kits.

I convinced Kathy to trade some yarns like kids on Halloween working to upgrade the goodies. She took the purple mix skein so I could have enough to make a pair of socks with this superwash merino.

The crochet class produced this really cute scarf.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Busy in a good way

I leave for my knitting cruise in the morning. Am packed except for some morning toiletries. I did manage to finish my two pairs of black socks although I redid the toe on the second sock of the second pair three times.

I'm riding shotgun with Susan, the owner of the Bonita Knitting Store, up to Long Beach. I bought some bamboo sock needles just to be sure I'd be able to have a project handy that could go in my carry on. For some reason, the only restriction was metal needles. I'll be working on a pair for my husband out of Austermann Step #12, Earth. I just can't tell you how excited I am he has condescended to wanting a pair that has stripes!

There will so many knitting goodies and classes aboard the ship, I will barely have time to explore. Sleep will have to wait until I get back next Friday. We prepaid for everything, so every class will include all materials and yummy new to me yarns.

The knitting celebrity is Deb Stoller of Stitch and Bitch fame. We start off with a book signing and cocktail party. She will be teaching classes on Wed and Thu. Crochet for Knitters, Workshop in Sweater Design and Color Tips and Tricks. The staff of the Bonita Knitting Store will be doing a Luxe cable scarf with silk yarn, an evening bag with beaded yarn and a class on finishing. Other actitivities are a Bitchin' Pajama Party and a Yarn Tasting event. AND these are just the knitting related events. We are also spending one day in Catalina and one in Ensenada. Whew! All this in 4 days.

As if that were not enough to get me into creative overload, I got to go to TNNA here in San Diego because I teach at the yarn store and sometimes man the store. I limited myself to 2 classes since somewhere in all of this fun I had to get ready, do laundry and otherwise prepare to leave my loving honey on his own. Since we retired over 10 years ago, I've gotten so used to having him underfoot that I'm already missing him.

At TNNA I took Adventures in Lace Knitting, a 6 hour session from Myrna Stahman. I was disappointed with this one. 3 hours would have been plenty and I could have done without the student intros which took over an hour! As a former educator who taught folks to teach adults, I just did not think it was the best use of all of our time. The class this morning in Cable Variations by Melissa Leapman was OUTSTANDING!! She should have had the 6 hour block. New tricks and new skills with fingers flying as we did swatch after practice swatch.

I walked the floor with all the upcoming products and was delighted to learn Addi is now selling lace needles. Their circulars with wickedly pointy tips. Life is good.

On a kinda weird note, a few weeks ago I did a swatch on Southwest Trading Company TOFUtsie yarn. I really did not like it for a variety of reasons which I wrote down in a critique I provided to the store. When someone on the Socknitters Yahoo group asked about it, I repeated my negative personal opinion. This was countered by at least 4 very positive experiences. Hey... it was my opinion. At TNNA the rep from the company sent me a full 100 gram skein with a request to give it one more try. hmmm.... how did they track me down?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bob and I celebrate New Year's at 9 pm local per the ball dropping in Times Square since I'm originally a New Yorker and we can't stay awake until midnight. There was champagne and us being silly, but the party was over by 10 pm!

We started the day with a wonderful champagne brunch at Humphrey's by the Bay. They were the ones who provided the snazzy party favors and a lot of champagne. We had to walk around for an hour or so before we could head back home to watch the Chargers win.

I've got lots of knitting goals for the year. Finish the sleeves on the gray cardigan, work on my winter workshop project - a top down shell, finish 2 shawls in progress. Then I've got a layette for an April baby and I promised my mom a sweater by Mother's Day. Then there's the socks..

The 2007 sock list:

1. Black Fortissima cotton socka- the second black pair
2. Redo toes on pair that were really too short
3. Brown subtle stripes in Austermann Step - this is too exciting since they are for Bob who said he liked the way this yarn striped!
4. Maroon Knit Picks Essential
5. Gray tweed Fortissima cotton socka
6. Taupe Kroy
7. Bright pink Kroy [a bit wild, but still a solid color]
8. Blue tweed Fortissima cotton socka [can you tell it's my new favorite cotton blend?]
9. Opal hand dyed. A dark colorway. I figure by now I'll need some pizzazz.
10. Light mauve Opal for spring.

I've cast on the 2nd pair of black socks. I want to have these in time for the cruise which is less than 2 weeks away. I got the tickets and boarding info right after Christmas. It's really going to happen. Got some new clothes and an extra memory card for my camera. I'm ready!


The only knitting items I got for Christmas were Volumes 1 and 5 of the Harmony Knitting Guides. Now I have them all. Thanks married daughter! When my youngest was wondering what to get me, I was pushing a gift certificate to the LYS since with my employee discount, it would go a long way. But alas, she got me an MP3 player. The MP3 player is really good because I wanted a second one to have for just music. I download audio books from NetLibrary and listening to them works best when they are the only thing on the player. So the new one is for music to go walking and the old one is for novels to listen to while I'm knitting. I spent a good part of the week after Christmas listening to the unabridged version of The Other Boleyn Girl - all 23 hours of it.

Hubby got me the 60 GB portable hard drive and a new Palm. Although I have a back up external drive for my PC, I wanted one to take along on trips when we bring the laptop. We take LOTS of pictures when we travel and usually download them to the laptop at the end of the day. I'd feel a lot more comfortable also backing them up. I also loaded this hard drive with my favorite photos and all my knitting files, so even on the road I'll have my references. My Christmas scroll - the gift certificate my DH gives everyone every year - is a trip to Mesa Verde National Park. We'll go in the summer after the youngest graduates. Can you say, "Goodby tuition!"

Then there's the Palm. It took 2 days to get everything transferred and updated which included photos of the people in my address book so when I look them up, I can see their little faces. I'm such a geek. THEN I downloaded some games to preview. I liked 2 of them so much, I bought the full versions. So instead of knitting my huge 'to do' list, I'm literally playing with my new toy.

In my defense, it's basic socks we need and are not nearly as much fun to knit. I did finish these before the new year.

Christmas with the kids

We do not have a lot of family here in California. It's always been just the kids and us. This year we were lucky to have the addition of a son in law AND is was 'our turn' to get them for Christmas.

I got lots of fun toys, but the kids had a blast playing a board game called Quelf.