Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Guests don't need much room

This is my final, final storage in the studio's closet. With the addition of the second hanging shoe holder, all of my sock yarn is on display. The storage container under the open shelves holds my acrylic sock yarns - for those allergic and some baby items. I filled up the empty space in the yarn cave with completed sweaters, freshly laundered and put away for the season - at least the wool ones. I love looking at all the yarn and imagine what they will become when they grow up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Then there were Four

Crocheted Fillet Ruffle Shawl as written by Athena, my workshop instructor. The body took less than 4 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky wool. The ruffle and small border used 5 entire skeins. It took an amazing amount of willpower not to take the crochet class this semester, but I really want to get my WIPs done. I'm also committed to working on some items for the Pink Ribbons campaign this summer. Last year it was all scarves, but this year it can be anything in pink. I will do at least one pair of socks. I ordered some Opal and Regia pink yarns from Astrid's Dutch Obsessions in the Netherlands. Why is plain pink sock yarn so hard to come by? I scoured many sources when I made my own pink ribbons socks and ended up using Dale Baby Ull.
Austermann Step #12. I've been carrying these around since January, working on them here and there, mostly while getting pedicures. Bob's already worn them and they're in the hamper.
Free Panda wool and cotton samples. I didn't think they'd go together, but I liked the mix. When I was putting them away, I noticed one seemed longer than the other. Sure enough, somehow I lost count and one leg has an extra repeat. Since I used up all but 10 inches of the yarn, it's staying that way. Don't look too closely.
Yarntini 'gimlet' toe up socks with a short row heel. I did a Kitchener bind off for the first time. These are the socks I'm entering in the San Diego County Fair along with the crocheted shawl and the Braids cardigan I completed in November.

Can you believe it? I only have 4 works left in progress and am determined not to start another, the Spring knitting workshop shawl, until I've finished the 2 gifts I'm working on - the sweater for my mom and the socks for a certain someone. The Sitcom Chic for mom is coming along. I started the second sleeve which means I'm about halfway done since the sleeves get attached to the body at the underarm then the entire raglan yoke is worked in one piece. I'm on the second gift sock and hope to have it done by the end of the week.

I special ordered 10 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold silky wool in claret for the workshop shawl. When it showed up, the color is not maroon as depicted online, but red. I still like it, but not for the shawl. I had my heart set on maroon. I have to scour my patterns to come up with a worthy project. I've been staring at my yarns displayed in my studio and think I'll use the Anna yarn just frogged from a garter stitch shawl or some Yarn Pirate stuff I got as a gift on the cruise. Light or dark? hmmmm.... decisions.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I am such a geek

Since last reporting in, I've been to Las Vegas and back. The 6 hour drive each way afforded me much sock knitting time. I brought along the 3 pairs of socks in progress. Two are toe ups and it had been a while since I had done a short row heel. I got them all up to that point, then did 4 short row heels back to back to back. Now I'm on the home stretch of each. The video poker machines 'tho not overly generous, were pretty loose, so I came back home after 4 days of gambling with $3 more than when I left. I happily returned my budgeted gambling money to the ATM. It's just keeping that moola in storage, as we have already booked our next 2 visits in July and September to Sin City. In between, we'll be in Laughlin for a few days as we return from our June road trip to Colorado. I wonder which knitting projects will capture my imagination and demand to come along.
My knitting workshop is on Easter break and even though I have not finished the 2 projects from the winter semester, Athena, our instructor has tempted me with some shawl patterns. I have already ordered the Elsebeth Lavold Silky wool for the one I want to make. Since the color I wanted [claret] is not normally carried by the store, I'm buying the entire bag of 10 skeins. Darn the luck! I am so in love with this yarn. I plan to make a tank top with the extra, probably 4 skeins.

With all my works in progress, my many plans for the future and me toying with the idea of taking a crochet class, I reevaluated my current works in progress. I woke up Tuesday with a wild hair and totally frogged 2 shawls I had started last fall. The one on the left is from Schaeffer Anne and other Crystal Palace Kid Merino. Really great stuff, but I had rushed to play with the yarn and these are garter stitch. I think the yarn deserves better treatment, so it's been rewound and is now with its other lace yarn brothers and sisters until something more wonderful comes along.

MY BIGGEST ADVENTURE was not on the knitting front. We [as in DH] got a new laptop equipped with Windows Vista and all the latest bells and whistles. I haven't had much of a chance to play with it, but did take over the 5 year old laptop with its 256 mb of RAM and 20 GB hard drive. I put it on my desk upstairs and with its little wireless card poking out from its slot it was good enough to do my online chores. I got used to it although it was finicky. After numerous error messages, not shutting down properly or rebooting, I got so frustrated I decided I needed to buy myself a new laptop. You must understand there are only 3 people who live here and we have 5 computers. I didn't NEED one, but wanted it so badly I could taste it. I priced some, then DH got into the act telling me all the features I couldn't live without. So instead of $500, now it's $1200 for something I don't really need. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I REFORMATTED THE HARD DISK on the old one. I've never done this before, but went step by step with the recovery disks - and it worked!

It's taken a lot of time away from my knitting with all the reinstalling of programs and the gazillion updates. Even my Outlook Express started working again. The other thing wrong with it was the battery had totally died and it only worked when plugged in. Since everything has been working as it should for over a week, I found a replacement battery online from ebatts.com. I ordered it YESTERDAY and used the free shipping option. It showed up this morning! Now the baby has a real battery and with all the caca removed is acting just as it should. I had gotten an 80 GB external drive that's about as big as a deck of cards for Christmas, so all my music and pix are stored there anyway. I am quite the happy camper and am feeling very smug about the money I've saved.

Once again my interest was piqued by someone else's knitting project. Lakia at the shop started the Aran Sandal Sock from Socks, Socks, Socks and had a question about how to turn the heel. Alas, everyone seems to have this faith in me that I can just look at something and figure it out. The reality is it takes me a while to see what's going on and those damned heel instructions did not make sense [when in doubt, check for errata which cleared it up]. But it was too late. I got into the pattern and had to make it myself. I had always wanted to make these socks and I was recently gifted with the perfect yarn. So far, I've only completed one sock. The second one will wait until I've finished up some other things. I plan on giving it away and have until June.
I met some more great knitters last night. I finally went to the Knit @ Nite event in La Jolla. It's part of the North Coast Knitters. I joined the organization and look forward to the newletter and member directory. Heather Broadhurst and her pentagons were there and with so many other knitters and their varied projects, it was definitely worth the drive. I might even go up to Encinitas for some of their upcoming events. Ah, life is good.