Sonntag, Juni 29, 2008

OCD Knitting

Tsock Flock Spoiler Warning!

I really wanted to start this project yesterday:

frenchman's creek
Frenchman's Creek from the Tsock Flock Club

I just wanted to finish the ribbing on my Dragon Dance socks from the BMFA club first. All I had to do was a quick half-hour's worth of sewn bind-off.

So why did I start doing this?

loopy things

  • Procedure:

  • (on 2x2 ribbing)
    (u klikz 4 big)

    two stitch icord
    10 rows 2-stitch I-cord>

    wrap around
    pivot right needle . . .

    wrap farther around
    . . . until pointing same direction
    as left needle

    transfer to left hand needle
    transfer I-cord stitches
    to left needle

    read to k 3 tbl
    slide over by next stitches
    to be knitted

    finish by k3 tbl (the I-cord
    plus the next stitch to be
    cast off). . .

    . . . then k1, pass 2nd stitch over
    as if to cast off . . .

    . . . place this stitch
    back on left needle . . .

    . . . k2tog, k1, move to
    left needle and repeat

    OK, so I'm not good at HTML

    You know how it is. Some people wash their hands. Some people look in mirrors. I put weird edges on my toe-up socks. I did manage to put a plain bind-off on Cleopatra, but that was kind of a work-of-art sock where less was more.

  • A Quick Tip for Magic Loop Knitting

  • Problem: What do you do when you have a decrease or other procedure to do, but some of the stitches you need are on the back side of the Magic Loop?

    Answer: Put the stitches on a clip-on earring marker until you're ready to work them.


    OK, I really did use earrings until I got these markers from PetYarn on Ravelry.

    I will wind the yarn for Frenchman's Creek as soon as I finish looping down the other side of my socks.

    See ya later!

    Montag, Juni 23, 2008

    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

    Yesterday's excitement at our Sunday get-together was the casual appearance of this little guy, who was sauntering across the lawn to get in on the action:

    snake on a stick still more
    Read more about the Western Rattlesnake here

    Luckily Mike saw the snake first, and cornered him with a stick. Otherwise I'm pretty sure Pea, the world's greatest animal lover, would have picked it up to play with.

    Mike with snake
    When not wrestling dangerous reptiles,
    Mike is an award-winning architect

    I handed the camera to Laurel and went to call the neighborhood snake expert. Laurel is a better photographer than I am anyway.

    snake's cute little rattles
    Two rattles indicate that
    the snake is probably two years old,
    since they add a rattle each time they shed

    15-year-old Taylor and his dad showed up with a shovel, but it was such a cute little snake that it seemed a shame to whack it's head off (the usual procedure in rattlesnake country).

    snake's cute little tongue
    You really need to
    click for big on this photo--
    the tongue is amazing

    We were not sure what to do with it. Our first thought was to take it up into the foothills and release it. Then we thought, what if it's our fault that a hiker gets bitten? Taylor's dad, an attorney, opted for euthanasia. They took it to their house, put it in a plastic container, and stuck it in their freezer. When I saw it later it was rock hard, but probably not dead.

    snake's cute little wedge shaped head
    The wedge-shaped head is
    one of the indicators of a venemous snake.
    Sorry he wouldn't hold still for the photo

    They plan to give it to one of the dad's clients who is a taxidermist. We may see our snake in a taxidermy display at Cabela's some time.

    Freitag, Juni 20, 2008

    A rose is a rose is a bead

    Happy Solstice, everyone! I am a little sad at the prospect that the days will be getting shorter now. Ironically, I love winter but don't function well in the dark.

    But it's summer now; we must enjoy it while we can!

    My project for the day:

    I am trying to decide which beads to put on my Briar Rose socks.

    If I go with the red beads, I can have some buds in the gorgeous red yarn that Gryphon sent with the kit.


    On the other hand, these pink ones are so delicate and pretty! I probably have some pink yarn that would give me matching rosebuds.


    I don't like how the lavender ones look on the grey, but they will be fun to use in a grandkid project.


    I probably ought to go with the red ones. They match my house.

    P.S. I like having a singer back in the house. He is doing Puccini right now.

    Donnerstag, Juni 19, 2008

    A Fish Lives in Portland

    Sharman and Chris are moving back to Utah, so now I have no excuse to go to Portland.

    I'm so sad. I love Portland!

    We flew there on Saturday for one last look, and to pick up our truck which has been working there for two years. Flying with Paul was educational. He found volcanoes, which I'm sure have always been there but which I have never noticed.

    Mt. Ranier and Mt. Adams

    Mt. Hood

    I cheated on the Mount Hood picture.
    I was on the wrong side of the plane,
    so I took this picture from the Japanese Gardens,
    where it floats like merengue above a garish skyscraper

    Since it was Knitting in Public Day, my Cedar Creek Socks got an outing on the train.

    Pattern and Kaw Kaw colorway of STR from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
    Famous person holding the socks: Paul

    One thing we hadn't done yet in Portland was visit the Japanese Gardens.

    japanese garden1

    japanese gardenD

    japanese gardenG

    More pictures of the gardens on my Flickr page

    Sharman says they are most beautiful on a rainy day. I'm sure they were designed on a rainy day. It's usually a rainy day there, in fact.

    The kids' favorite thing was the bubble blowing fish.

    I was excited to drive through the Columbia River Gorge in early summer, because my sister had promised me waterfalls. There were lots, but it's hard to photo them from a moving vehicle.

    I finished my Cleopatra Socks on the drive.

    Cleopatra yarnissima blue moon violet
    May sock club offering from BMFA

    Now we are just waiting for the fomer Portlandites to get here, sometime this evening. Things will not be as quiet around here, but Sharman and Chris will shop and cook for me. All things considered, I think it's an improvement!

    Montag, Juni 09, 2008

    Congratulations Becca and Devon

    This is Becca and her Best Beloved, Devon.

    I've known her since she was a little girl of six, when her family moved here from Hawaii in a snowstorm.

    It hasn't been that long. She's only nineteen.

    She made her bouquet.*

    Congratulations, Becca and Devon! You're off to a good start!

    *This isn't as easy as it looked. Cherry and I made Joanne's, and it was so heavy she could hardly carry it. With bouquets, less is more.

    Sonntag, Juni 08, 2008

    Grafting is my friend; usually

    I don't only knit socks. Sometimes I do something else with my sock yarn.

    Flutter Scarf
    MimKnits Flutter Scarf
    in Hannibal Lecter by Dharmafey's Cosmic Fibers

    Carrie designed the colorway to resemble Hannibal Lecter's leather mask. I liked it so much that I wanted to use it right away, even though I had the Skylark Yarns Les Oiseaux called for in the pattern. LesOiseaux is dyed by Annie at Wooly Wonka Fibers here in the Salt Lake area.

    The Flutter Scarf is knitted in two pieces, from the center out, starting with a crocheted provisional cast-on. Not being one who can easily find a crochet hook on a normal day, I did the EZ waste-yarn provisional, using a circular needle cable in place of waste yarn. No stitches to pick up when it's time to graft! EZ is easy!

    Now, I am normally a happy grafter. In fact, I am even good at it. Check out the toe of my Leafling socks. I defy you to find fault with this graft.

    Leafling graft
    Yes, I actually knitted them top down as written.
    I know you're shocked into speechlessness

    However, there was a slight glitch in the scarf project. I was knitting away on it in church when there was a tug and a pull. I looked up to see my 9-month-old grandchild holding a frighteningly pointy knitting needle. Horrified, I got it away from her before she could blind herself with it. It was only later that I realized where the needle had come from.

    While I haven't experimented with this a lot, it has been my belief that provisional cast-ons are pretty safe. After all, try ravelling your knitting from the wrong end. However, the first row out on this cast-on had yarn overs and k2togs in it. These didn't exactly unravel, but they sort of disintegrated. I am not a patient person. I spent maybe an hour trying to put things back, and it didn't work. So I grafted the mess slight glitch just the way it was.

    It was not pretty. But I have been reading a lot of Terry Pratchett lately, and I know that sometimes a little visible stitching is a badge of honor, not of disgrace. So I present to you:

    The Igor Scarf

    Igor stitching closeup
    I originally thought of calling it an Igorina Scarf (from Monstrous Regiment). On further consideration, I realized that an Igorina would not do a sloppy job like this. It's a matter of professional pride, which I do not have.

    ETA: A careful second reading of Mim's pattern shows that I wasn't even supposed to have a graft. I was supposed to pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on and knit the other end on. So much for following instructions.

    If I had gone to kindergarten, my report card would have said:

    Works and play well with others -- D-
    Follow instructions--D-
    Stays in the lines while coloring--F

    Freitag, Juni 06, 2008

    Purple is not Blue

    I have been working on the May Rockin' Sock Club socks.

    Blue Moon will make this yarn and pattern available some times next year. They've just put up Firebird and Monsoon from last year (along with some other new colors)

    The diagonal bands do a great job of breaking up the stripes, don't you think? Only I've had a hard time getting the left-slanting bands tight enough.

    The odd thing is that my camera refuses to accept that this yarn is purple.

    Purple and Che

    By upping the red in the color balance I was able to get something closer to the actual colors, but look what that does to the green towel!

    May yarn

    Oh well. Do you think it's just a Nikon digital camera thing? Or is it The Color Purple?

    Dienstag, Juni 03, 2008

    Unofficial Summer of Socks

    I am not in the Summer of Socks, so I don't have to wait for June 21st to go nuts with sock knitting.

    I have been knitting like a maniac to finish the knitting on these socks:

    socks with crenellations
    Briar Rose in Eidos Sock Yarn from The Sanguine Gryphon

    so that I could start working on these socks:

    purple and pattern
    The Rockin' Sock Club kit for May: The Incredible Shrinking Violet, with Cleopatra's Stockings, a pattern by Yarnissima

    The Briar Rose socks are another project with a lot of embellishment. Inspired by the "castle wall stitch"

    wall stitch

    I decided to add crenellations to the top of my sock (I also used intarsia instead of embroidery for the gilding on the window, which was a pain in the you-know and I wish I hadn't):


    What I wish I had done differently on the crenellations was 1) plan ahead and 2) make the gaps smaller. My crenellations did not come out evenly spaced because I didn't think about the total number of stitches, but just barged blindly into a complicated procedure that I don't have time to redo. The balance between gaps and crenellations is all wrong. With gaps that big, I would not be able to hide many archers on the roof. Inaccurate. Sad.

    The reason why I didn't do the needed planning is the same reason I don't design knitting patterns in the first place. I hate counting and planning and doing math. I can sometimes manage to swatch. If I had swatched the crenellations I might have noticed that the size and spacing were bad, but only actual math would have solved the spacing problems.

    I think I am the same kind of musician that I am knitter. It is much easier for me to improvise using someone else's composition than to start from scratch and write my own. And I run into the same problems improvising music that I do with knitting--I take a wrong turn tonally and my improvisation is suddenly in a key I can't even play it in, or else clunks back into place so that a 2-year-old could tell the harmony is wrong. I could plan my improvisations, too, couldn't I? My organ teacher would be so surprised.

    Incidentally, the Briar Rose pattern calls for vines and roses to be embroidered on the castle walls. I am going to cheat (I think) and use beads for the roses, although I may embroider some buds. If the yarn and beads match well enough. And if the beads don't look dumb.

    Click the picture for a link to Fire Mountain

    Montag, Juni 02, 2008

    Happy Anniversary to Us!

    We celebrated our anniversary yesterday! Together! On the actual day!

    For some reason, IHC always schedules Paul to be on call on our anniversary. We've had takeouts and a movie in the call room more times than I can remember.

    On our 35th anniversary we were going to make up for it with a romantic weekend in St. George at the Green Gate Inn. I ended up spending the weekend alone when a wildfire closed the freeway and Paul couldn't get there (I had flown down in advance to play piano for a wedding reception).

    This year I dropped a few hints about a trip to Vegas and tickets to the Love Show, but I got the Love CD for Mother's Day at least.

    But this year, although Paul was on call during the day, he got home around 6:00 p.m. and grilled steaks for us. We broke out a couple of his birthday Almdudlers and had a lovely celebration.

    Paul is an amazing person who is equally nice at work and at home. Someone he works with is pretty inept, so when employee evaluations come around he refuses to fill one out because if he wrote the truth she would lose her job. When someone pulled out of a parking lot and rammed right into the side of our car where he was sitting, Paul climbed out through the remaining undamaged door and asked the other driver if she were OK. If he comes home and there's no dinner ready, he's willing to eat creamed tuna on toast.

    Paul once said that all he wants out of life is for people to be nice to each other, and I think he meant it. I try to make sure that, even if dinner is late and the vacuuming is behind, we always have nice. And so does he.

    Thirty-eight and counting.
    No tickers