Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I can actually sew

I've lost my sewing mojo. It was rough going making the latest batch of knitting needle holders for my LYS. It didn't help that my trusty Viking sewing machine was acting up so badly that what should have taken 15 minutes, took over an hour. The straight stitch kept skipping. Luckily, I had been working them up production style, so when it totally gave up all I had to do were the dividing sections which I could use a different stitch which worked fine.

Once I delivered some to the LYS with these leftover to fill the next order, I took the machine in to the shop. The repairman seemed hopeful it could be fixed. I hope so. I love that machine! A similar machine would run over $1200 and that's a lot of yarn money.

The aunt who taught me how to knit and my maternal grandmother both worked as seamstresses in the NYC garment district. I have a new found respect for the grueling work that must have been, especially when getting paid by the piece.

More fun is one of the latest things I've started. I use Google Reader to subscribe to my favorite blogs. Susan of posted this wonderful shawl, and I ordered it the next day from Sivia Harding knit Design. It's the Diamond Fantasy scarf or shawl. I have 2 skeins of Schaefer Anne that started out as a plain shawl, but begged to be made into something more spectacular. With over 11oo yards, I hope it ends up huge. One photo is as it appears on the needles and the other a preview of what it'll look like blocked. I just love that the edging is knit as part of the pattern.

Knitting for the Cure

I've gotten started on my pink items to donate to the Susan G Komen fundraiser. After the October San Diego 5K event, hand knit or crocheted items from area LYS's will be sold with all the proceeds going to the SGK foundation.

The pinwheel style cap is from Tofutsies yarn. I used less than 30 grams of the 100 gram skein, so I can either get 2 more caps from the left over, or a pair of toe up footlets. The short socks are an adaptation of the Pink Ribbons socks with the ribbon motif worked 4 times around with only one repeat. I used Regia yarn purchased from Astrid in the Netherlands with enough left over for a cap or a pair of baby socks. All nice small projects easier to work in the summer heat.

Scarves give almost instant gratification

I finish one or two projects and start five, keeping a steady 8 in progress. The Peerie cardigan started in January is in serious danger of becoming a UFO. I really do want to finish it, but now I think I won't have enough yarn, so like an ostrich, I'm ignoring the issue altogether.

I've completed 3 scarves. A simple garter stitch ruffled one from lace weight Kid Merino worked on size 11 needles. The garter lace scarf is from the last of the cruise yarn, Louisa Harding Grace silk and wool. I found the pattern in one of my Harmony Guides. I had started 2 other scarves with this yarn and had over 24 inches done and they were not the right fit for the yarn. It definitely wanted to become this. The decadent one is the Reversible cable scarf from Scarf Style called Vintage Velvet knit in Touch Me. Once knit, it went through the washer and dryer and softened up to an almost liquid consistency. I had made one in black, but when the red came into the store, it screamed Christmas to me.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Back to socks

I've been seduced by lace, so even though I have several pairs of socks started, I haven't completed a pair since April. With brand new sock yarn, Knit Picks Risata [cotton, wool plus other stuff], I started the Leaf Lace Sock from Fiber Trends. It's by the same designer as the Leaf Lace Shawl, Evelyn A. Clark. I completed one in just 3 days. Rather than start the second one, I went back to a heavier pair I had started a couple of months ago. Based on Dad's Easy Cable Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks, I worked these toe up since I was unsure how far the yarn would go. Once again, I was taking advantage of the yarn destashing by Charlie, my knitting instructor who moved. It's worsted weight Grignasco Natural Yarn, a 50/50 blend of Merino and Alpaca. Finished the 1st one on the 8th, then the 2nd on the 10th. I thought they felt pretty good on the toes, but got so much yummier after washing.

Although the leaf lace sock is fun, I'm making myself do some charity knitting before I start playing around again. Besides, the sewing machines have been sitting out all week and there's stuff to be done there too. I love the nature of my retired 'in basket.' I recall the days of deadlines and reports and am happy to note all current deadlines are self-imposed, so I flit from project to project as my mood takes me.

The Circle of Death

Sounds like some Sci Fi movie, but it's actually a patch of dirt in my backyard where nothing grows. Admitedly, as a New Yorker, I know squat about outdoor plants, but I have tried seeds, bulbs and all manner of bedding plants that look gorgeous in the containers at the store. I see other people's blogs with their thriving plants, and this is the best I can do.

I went to the Navy Exchange last weekend and grabbed everything labeled "Full Sun." This is dedication, since I never brave the crowds on weekends AND it was a scratcher day. Usually the scratchers with the mysterious discounts are good for a week, but it was a special promotion for 7/7/07. Zoo does not begin to describe the nightmare. I am still traumatized.

Even with our drought like conditions, I've been watering extra in addition to the sprinklers. My experimental patch is marked off by bricks with a warning to the gardeners to leave it alone. I know they just laugh at me. I was hurt to the quick last week when I consulted them about additional watering time and the head guy said he thought I did not water at all! Look at my water bill! I snuck some ice plant in there and think if that doesn't stick, I should just pave it over.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 4th

After relaxing around the house, a dip in the pool and otherwise enjoying San Diego's weather of the high 70's, Bob and I went on a dinner harbor cruise to see the fireworks. I swear I told him at least ten times how glad I was we opted not going to Laughlin where we enjoyed the fireworks last year on the Colorado River. It was 123 degrees there. I can't even imagine.

Although it's been hot [for San Diego] earlier in the week, I plodded on working on the Peerie Cardigan, my oldest work in progress. I started it back in January and would like to have it done by the time I return to my workshops at the end of August, but with its bulk, it's hot on my lap. I've separated for the fronts and back which seem to go faster since each row of the body was 266 stitches. I've been working on other WIPs just to keep my interest up and of course started something else. A pair of Leaf Lace socks for me in solid green yarn. With all the sock yarn in my stash, I'm using the Knit Picks Risata [cotton blend] I got last week.

I was pleased to lend my Leaf Lace shawl to the Bonita Knitting Store as part of a display featuring Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool. I may just have to buy that shawl pin when I get it back.