Donnerstag, August 31, 2006

Life in the kind-of High Desert

Looking out over the Great Salt Lake this morning:

The sky really is big out here where there's nothing to limit the horizon but mountains. This is where I come to commune with nature and wear Trusty out so he'll nap for a while so I can get something done.

But life is not all dog walking and sight seeing. The yarn came from English Yarns for the Lorelei sweater! And I have lost weight three weeks in a row (7.2 lbs. total) so I should be able to knit some.

The only problem is that I had planned to knit the Rustic Sweater first since it's a little larger. OK, I admit that I could potentially just knit it bigger. But, EXCUSE ME! It's a diet sweater. I want to knit it in the size it comes in, knowwhatImean?

Can you tell I've been feeling a little aggravated about the Rustic yarn not being here yet? I was so upset about coming home from a successful trip to Weight Watchers with no Rustic sweater here to knit that I ate pancakes with about a half a stick of butter. And then Sharman made me eat half her onion rings. I tell you it's a conspiracy.

I have been working with Handworks Gallery to figure out where my yarn is. And apparently it's still at their place, due to a computer glitch (not usual for them, by the way). My big worry was that they had shipped it and it had gone postal.

Oh well. I knew something like this could happen. So I have a backup plan. The Organic Bag:

It has (horrors!) crochet in it. The dangly things that look like Nox hair are crocheted. But hey, I can crochet a few dangly bobbly Nox hair things to get a bag that looks like that.

Cesare checked out the yarn for it. The main yarn is the new Rowan Tapestry yarn. It's 70% wool and 30% soy silk. It's the variegated. The tan and burgundy ones, which Ce obviously prefers, are Kid Classic.

Speaking of Che, it's his fault there are no pictures of my almost finished Hippy Crunchy socks. He chewed on the yarn and I am trying to knit with two-foot strands of yarn. Can these socks be saved? Will the Vortex of Chaos devour this project completely? Tune in next time for the gripping final episode of
Hippy Crunchy Socks!

Donnerstag, August 24, 2006

Another diet sweater

I was excited to walk to school this morning past some gardens that get a lot more attention than mine.

Sockie was not brave enough to get out of the bag in music literature class. However, he went down to the library and said hi to Wolfie.

This was before Weight Watchers, so he hadn't grown any since his last photo. But I had lost .2 of a lb. And that was with my shoes on! So now, do you want to see the other diet sweater?

No, silly, not the polka dot one.

I was a little nervous about this sweater. It's very retro. In fact, I had a vest just like the body of this in the 80's. However the pattern includes a larger size than does Lorelei, and since it's a cardi I could wear it unbuttoned if it gets done before I do.

Mittwoch, August 23, 2006

Balance of power

The kids are not happy with their new, yarn-free surroundings.

Sockie, on the other hand, is going great guns. He went to his first English class today (Medieval Literature slash Old English)

A trip to the airport and a long ride to puppy class netted him a few more rows:

We'll see what happens tomorrow at Renaissance Music Literature class--will Dr. Rorke actually let Sockie come out during class???

Dienstag, August 22, 2006

See, I'm not panicking

The puppyproofing is proceding apace. Only one spindle and a hint of fiber are left in my room, an they're out of Puppy's reach.

This is partly out of desperation. The pets are working together now to destroy my stuff (note chewed ends indicated by chubby yellow arrows).

This was a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Lupine, which I believe is a discontinued color. Cesare could not have gotten it out of its hiding place. Trusty had to have done it.

But I think if Trusty had done the chewing, I would not have been able to recover it.

The Rock Bag
The last time I mentioned the rock bag Archer commissioned I was all set to put the stitches onto a circular needle to work in the round using Magic Loop. This turned out to be easier said than done.

Like this is going to work:

Or this:

I suddenly remember why I never use this toe on a sock.

Although to be honest, it's easier to figure out if
a) your brain actually works
b) you do it on double points

Also, if I were to do this for a sock I wouldn't use the long-tail cast on. The cast on edge ends up on the inside of a sock, so you need something less bulky like the e-wrap (Sally Melville) aka wimpy (Nancy Bush) cast on. I wanted a crisp edge so I left it on the outside. I knitted the bag through the back loop to make it firm (it is, after all, going to hold rocks) except for the top edge where the tie goes through. Of course this resulted in the bag pulling in enough that I had to do some increases, and also caused the bag to bias.

In other news:

I finished one Hippy Crunchy sock (chubby yellow arrow pointing out "heel flap")

and the mailman brought more incredibly beautiful STR yarn

And now I have only to wait for the yarn to knit not one but two diet sweaters to come from England. I know, but I can't help it. English Yarns and Up Country Yarns have everything Rowan, including purse handles and beads.

Sonntag, August 20, 2006

Don't Panic

I am just hyperventilating. I'm not panicking. I refuse to have a panic attack.

About every ten minutes a grandchild or pet destroys something. Usually it is a grandchild destroying something that belongs to a pet (My Quick Draw McPaw was the most recent victim in that category) or a pet destroying something that belongs to a grandchild (Emerald's Vienna sausages were a recent entry in that category). But often it is a magazine or cardboard box. I freely admit I let Trusty have cardboard boxes because they are often disposable, or if not, at least more easily replaced than, say, my spinning wheel, Paul's shoes, or the sofa. However he makes an ungodly mess with them.

The only solution to this is putting everything behind closed doors: no more baskets of yarn sitting around (Emerald already convinced me of that one). No more spindles artistically arranged on bookshelves. The closet doors in the office must stay shut: sock yarns are in there.

Maybe I need some project management.

Things to do by . . .

The end of August
Buy a propane stove for my dyeing class
Finish puppyproofing my bedroom (read: put away all yarn projects)
Finish filing my CDs so I know what Renaissance music I already have
Buy another bookshelf for my office
Make pepper relish

The end of September
Spin the rest of the wool for the exchange I'm in
Plan the sampler for my lace class
Write the pattern for the sampler
Buy more stash so I can teach a spinning class out of stash
Finish re-organizing my office

The end of October
Knit outerwear for the exchange
Knit the sampler for the lace class
Organize the wool studio
Knit Christmas stockings for Nicole and Conrad

Samstag, August 19, 2006

I take a knitting commission

The Commission

Last night I was working away on my Hippy Crunchy sock. This is the latest project from Blue Moon Fibers Arts's club. I mention this just in case. I am just about finished with this sock, even despite an accident yesterday in which it lost a needle while hiding from a dinosaur
Posted by Picasa
at Red Butte Gardens.

My grandson came in to remind me that I was supposed to be working on his red bag. How could I have forgotten? He commissioned a red bag to hold his rocks. It has to be bigger than the blue bag he already has. He even designed a pattern.

There was a discussion about red. What kind of red should the bag be. Regular red, he said, quite definitively.

So we went downstairs to the Neutron Star area I mean Stash Room. I, always practical, began looking in the leftover yarn bins. Luckily the bins are translucent, because said grandson quickly spotted exactly the red he wanted. It was a skein of Alice Starmore Guernsey yarn I bought right before it became extinct. The ball band did not say Regular Red, but it was anyway.

I forgot to grab needles before coming upstairs, but the 2.5 circs in the bag in the bedroom were fine. I cast on right away using an adaptation of the double knit sock toe I learned from my niece Ane. I cast on about 25 stitches, then knitted and purled into each stitch. The next step is to transfer the knit stitches to one needle and the purl stitches to another, then knit in the round. I didn't get that far because I fell asleep.

The Entrelac Hat

The Berocco Foliage is not going to be an entrelac hat. It may become some other kind of hat. I like the swatch more or less. Size 9 needles gave me a fabric I am happy with. But the yarn is too soft and splitty to work for a technique that requires as much picking up of stitches as entrelac requires. Plus it doesn't frog well, and beginners (and swatchers) sometimes need to frog a lot.

I don't think the Karaoke is going to work, either. It looks as if it may also be splitty and soft.

What, then? Maybe Manos. I like Manos.

New! Yarn Goes Weight Watchers!

I got my Rowan Book 40 in the mail and had a life-changing moment. Every design I would want to knit for myself, not to mention the ones I wouldn't want to bother with, only look good on thin people. True, there is a big wrap-around shawl.

But I have something like that on the needles. No, I want Lorelei.

It has horizontal stripes. It has beads and sequins. The largest size is for a 42" bust. My bust is 42" plus some. Plus a lot, in fact.

Normally this fact makes me depressed and drives me to eat chocolate. This week it made me call my Weight Watchers leader. She sees me so seldom that she wouldn't even know who it was if we didn't share three grandchildren. But when I made my proposal, she jumped at it. I am getting yarn for Lorelei and leaving it (yes, leaving it) at Weight Watchers. I only get it one ball at a time, and only if I've lost weight.

I will keep you posted on how this works out.

I'm a little worried about the sequins. I may leave them off. Green sequins may be a bit much for the grandmother age group. But I love the beads. The beads are definitely in.

Donnerstag, August 17, 2006

Things I need to do by . . .

The end of August
Buy a propane stove for my dyeing class
Finish puppyproofing my bedroom
Finish filing my CDs so I know what Renaissance music I already have
Buy another bookshelf for my office
Assemble and load the bookshelf
Make pepper relish
Move the woodpile

The end of September
Spin the rest of the wool for the exchange I'm in
Plan the sampler for my lace class
Write the pattern for the sampler
Design an entrelac hat (the Berroco Foliage is eating a hole in my brain)
Buy more stash so I can teach a spinning class out of stash
Finish re-organizing my office
Weed the whole stinkin' yard

The end of October
Knit outerwear for the exchange
Knit the sampler for the lace class
Organize the wool studio
Lose 10 lbs

Black Holes

Today was Black Hole Day. I took the boys to see the Black Hole show at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake. We agreed it wasn't scary, except for a loud bit and flash of light at the beginning, so next week we may take Quinn. Quinn, who is 7, has had many sleepless nights over black holes since seeing something on The Science Channel that suggested that there is a black hole at the center of our galaxy which will, in the end of time, devour the entire galaxy.

This is what my yarn stash tries to do. There is so much of it that at some point it will implode from its own weight and take the house with it. A few months ago I had a de-stashing event and gave a lot of stuff away. I kept any projects where I had enough yarn for a whole sweater, hard to get yarns like Satakieli, great colors that I still like, such as the two whole bags of Noro Kureyon. I gave away acrylics, yarns I got on sale where there was one of this and two of those, some unwashed fleeces I was never going to get to, and some rug quality rovings. It was nice to get things so they will mostly fit into one room if I really want them to and if I can discipline myself to put them there.

But the best thing is that now I don't feel so guilty if I buy something new. In fact, I have almost convinced my sister to go with me on a road trip to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby next month! We have to drive so we will have room to bring back WOOL!!! I can't drive by myself because I fall asleep if I don't have company and another driver to trade off with. Everyone cross their fingers that she gets a calm first grade class this year so she dares leave them with a substitute.

I start school next week, too. I am taking the semester mostly off. Mostly off means that I'm taking only one class for credit: Renaissance Music Literature; playing in one group: The Early Music Ensemble; and auditing an English class: Medieval Literature/Intro to Old English. There's a definite trend there. If it wasn't invented before 1600, I don't want to know about it.

P.S. I just looked at Margene's blog and was reminded of the Great Basin Fiber Festival coming up in just a week and a half. And it doesn't even require a road trip. Shopping! Stash renewal! A dyeing class. Say, I need to get a propane stove for that class. I've been looking for an excuse . . .

Mittwoch, August 16, 2006

We do the Joint

So today I decided to head for the Needlepoint Joint in Ogden to see what classes I'm scheduled to teach and decide what yarns to use. Well, and I forgot to resub to Interweave Knits so I had to pick up one of those as well.

I already promised Laura I would bring Trusty, so I thought I might as well bring along the boys, too.

Unfortunately Trusty didn't want to stay in the back of the SUV. The boys were good sports about it. I had to bribe them with McDonalds later, though.

Laura, of course, adored Trusty.

Betty had rushed out thinking I had brought a new grandchild, and had to make a serious effort to smile at him. Verna and Eileen were accepting.

We decided on Ashford spindles for the spinning class, since they're inexpensive; or people can bring their own. I will provide fiber out of stash. They can bring sportweight yarn for the lace sampler (horrors! I have to design a lace sampler!) and bring leftovers for Knitting the Other Way. But which yarn to use for the entrelac hat?

If I use Karoke (50% soy silk/50% merino), I can use the Three Kittens pattern.

If I use Foliage (Berroco, wool and acrylic--but nice acrylic), I have to write my own. But the Foliage is so gorgeous. It is really brown. I can't get my picture to match. Do I want to write an entrelac hat pattern????

Dienstag, August 15, 2006

I Go Wit' da Flow

I finally got a copy of the Fall Vogue Knitting and got to start Cat Bordhi's "Flow Motion" sock. I'm using a skein each of Meilenweit "Fantasy" and "Magico" so I'm getting a little larger stitch gauge than called for, but it's working for me.

Cat's designs really do work like magic. You know where you're supposed to go, but the route is not the one you usually take. You just have to turn yourself over to her in an act of faith.

This sock has the arch increases on top.

Then just when you're convinced you're knitting a hat instead of a sock, you make the first half of a short row heel, then decrease out all those extra stitches as you create a heel flap. I was sure it couldn't possibly fit, but it does, perfectly.

By the way, Vogue had some editing errors in this pattern. If you decide to knit it, be sure to check out the corrections on Cat's website.

P.S. Yesterday's picture of Trusty was a little misleading. He's not that big! Celia was holding him. He's about 14 weeks old and weighs close to 40 lbs.

The Guys

Turbo and Cesare:

And Trusty (with Celia):

Montag, August 14, 2006

A blog is born

I thought I would finish my first Hippy Crunchy sock today. It was looking good when I took it to the organ recital at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

I was startled to see that the organ has a 64-foot pedal stop on it. I didn't know there was such a thing. The organist demonstrated it for a small coterie of groupies (two of us). The sound was so low that I heard the oscillations as a whuff-whuff sound, rather than a pitch.

But then I made the mistake of taking the sock to my granddaughter's Scottish dance class. The teacher failed to show up, so there was nothing to watch but the sock. There was something wrong with the pattern at about the level of the heel. Trying it on only made it worse--it looked as if I had a rubber band around my ankle. I tried desperately to ignore this, but eventually I gave in.

I really need something a little more brainless to take on the road.
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