Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coffee Break

I'm sitting in my comfy office listening to the radio trying to drown out the sound of my neighbor screaming at her screaming child. This neighborhood is getting too crowded & waaay too noisy! It used to be that I could pound on the keyboard in peace & quiet with only the sound of my windchime tinkling outside the window. Why DO people pack themselves in cheek to jowl & then spend their time screaming & blasting their cars & radios???

It was very quiet & peaceful at 1:15 AM - maybe I should work at night?? I have been contemplating a move to quieter digs but moving 3 tons of books, a room full of fibre & seventeen cupboards full of canned goods scares HELL out of me. I think it's better to have a fire. Or run away.

And I've officially finished another pair of purple infant socks - they're soooooo cute!! I've got my order in at the Dollar Max for diaper pins to go with the socks. I planned to pin them together with a pair of diaper pins! Hopefully, the Dollar Max gets pins with cute ducks or bunnies on them!!

I was knitting on my top down sweater with Arvik last evening. The BT ran his fingers over the Sweater-in-progress & announced that it was 'soft but the wrong color for you'. Wrong color?? I DON'T think so! And I wonder who the color is 'right' for?? Hmmmm?? He's moving at last!! Yeah, I'll miss him - but not THAT much . . . .

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spinning the day away . . . .

The BT is supposed to move this weekend.
I've tried to get him motivated to do something
since the apartment has been open to him for a month. I've even boxed up & delivered canned goods & stuff stored at my house to his new basement home, but HE hasn't moved a thing to date. I decided on Friday that his move isn't MY responsibility & I wasn't going to help him move this time. So, I made plans to be busy for most of the weekend. What I can't see, I won't worry about - right????

So I spe
nt Saturday, across town, Spinning. Karen, Gail & I decided NOT to go to the Spin-In at the Stewart Farm in Crescent Beach this year & we organized our own instead. Gail got snagged at the last minute to babysit - a REAL, tough job now that Freya's 17 months old & moves like the wind!! But Granny Gail bravely volunteered to deal with all that cuddling & kissing!! Karen & I has to spend the day spinning without her.

I finished up spinning all of my Purple
Passion silk & merino from Aurelia Fibres - I have three big fat gorgeous skeins!!! And I even managed to spin up a small skein of the beautiful Brown Sheep mill ends I bought from Carol Lee at the Sheep Shed last year!

Karen was spinning some silk that she Crock-Pot dyed in greens & yellows. She wasn't sure what it would be but she thought it might end up in a shawl. Karen loves shawls AND lace knitting. I got to peruse her large collection of books - it's so nice to see what's in the book before you buy it!! Karen's now got Gail knitting her first lace shawl out of handspun! Gail spun up the greeny/browny/goldy roving, made a two ply yarn & has started knitting it from the bottom up on her new Denise needles!! I'll have to post a picture when I see it again.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Oh My Itching Eyes . . . .

There's nothing like a good eye infection to make your summer!
I went from scratchy & itchy to goopy in a couple of days - I really thought it was allergy, then I was getting a sore red lump in one eye - a stye? but, I think Karen's diagnosis of Pink Eye was probably closer to the truth! There was NO way I was gonna go sit in the doctor's office for an hour to be told to put that sticky Polysporin Occular in them as well!! I checked it on the Internet & changed the towels, bought anti-bacterial soap, got a new box of kleenex to blot my goopy eyes & washed, washed, washed . . . . Took one whole day & I can see again!! This morning all the swelling is gone & the lump is no longer painful! Let this be a lesson to you - DO NOT continue to wipe drippy eyes over & ov
er with the same old kleenex in your pocket!

Another lovely day & I don't want to work! Is this old age?? A virus?? Perhaps the 'I need a holiday' worm??? If the BT EVER gets a settlement from his car accident over TWO YEARS ago, I'm taking my share for a month long holiday!! I'm going to spin & spin & spin!! In the meantime, my little sock project is coming along very nicely - at least something is!!! I dug out all the sock leftovers & it's been a riot trying out this one & that one - you certainly don't need a lot of yarn for little socks! They're so small the larger patterns are lost in the knitting so I'm trying to concentrate on the busier or narrower striped yarns to make them more interesting. Here's a sampling of the ones already knit.

And I've actually started knitting up my Arvik handspun. It's knit from th
e top down in that 'Legal Loopholes' pattern by Medrith Glover - bless that woman for the larger designs she creates!!! I've only got the neck shaping & one complete round of increases in place but I think I'll just knit it up in plain knit to show off its color & softness. I want a basic sweater to throw on when the evenings turn a little cool or to wear to work when I just want a little extra warmth. I can always double-stitch something in silk if I think its too plain later . . .

I've been asked for a pair of BLUE socks. I have three kinds of blue in my collection at the moment - besides t
he last ball of the blue/white splotchy Confetti so beloved by the BT which I am forbidden to use!! Not sure which is the more appropriate - this is for a woman but I'm hesitant to use the one with the turquoise in it since I really like it so much . . . I Just know if I knit it up, the colorway will be discontinued & I won't get any for ME. Maybe I'll just check the stash one last time to see if anything else is lurking in the back somwhere.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doggin' it on Monday

Yup, I was doggin' on Monday. Shoulda bin working but headed off to the local Top News - to get my Lotto tickets checked - ya, right! I'd heard about the new Interweave Felt magazine & I just couldn't resist checking it out. So many good ideas & techniques all in one issue - so, I bought it. Like I need another magazine in my house . . . . I'm thinking about moving & really need to get rid of some junk. But, I like Interweave Press magazines & books. I have a lot of them. I've bought a lot of them. I LOVED Threads magazine when they had knitting, crochet, weaving etc as well as sewing in it. I had a subscription for years & years!! I've only bought one or two issues since they went to sewing only. Booo hoooo!! but I buy a lot of the Off Prints - I have a dozen or so. And I buy several of their magazines faithfully. Not sure if I'll buy Felt every time but the first issue is promising.

Just a little brightness in the middle of a dull post!! This is a pic of one of my poor chicks that got dug up by the Sq
uirrel who likes to bury food in my planters. Chickie was tucked into the basket with the strawberries & a Dusty Miller. Chickie then took over the basket - where's the Squirrel when you really need him???? Beside Chickie is another pot with one of her offspring right in the middle, all by her lonesome! Well, she was lonesome until some Sedum climbed in beside her. Now its a race to see who will dominate the pot!

I've added several more pairs of socks to my Little Sock collection. I've now got it down to a science & should reach my 13 pairs by the deadline easily. I'm using up a lot of little bits - I've got three big ZipLocks full - Got a couple in the BT's fav black/white or blue/white splotchy Confetti, started a pair in my Opal FISH remnants & two pairs in Elann's Sock it to Me in red/blue/green/white. The only way to knit these is in a big bunch so you don't forget how - who knows?? maybe I'll get even more of them done up in time.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Summer Rain

I've enjoyed the rain this week & I don't care what anyone thinks - we needed that rain!! Now that everything has greened up again, the forest fire hazard has lowered, my jungle has exploded into growth & all the computers are turned on, we can go back to sunshine! It was actually nice being able to work at client sites with the computers ON this week - we literally had to shut 'em down at the worst of the heatwave because they were crashing. Not a good way for a contractor to make any money to support her fibre habit!!!

I've been knitting baby socks this week. They're almost more trouble than they're worth. I think I could've knit up a pair of men's socks in the time it took me to knit up 3 pairs of teeny, tiny foot covers. I got wind of the last call for infant socks to be sent to Afghanistan. They want newborn socks for a medical clinic - the newborns are sent home with warm socks & hats. They want them in natural fibres with heels - no booties. I guess they want them to stay on - I know booties are a pain & NEVER stay on. But - have you turned heels in newborn socks lately??? I knit the first two pairs up in handspun - I wanted something colorful but soft. Most of my handspun is a bit too bulky or not soft enough for baby socks, except for Arvik. And I don't want to send DARK GREY socks . . . So I decided to just use up the commercial sock yarn leftovers instead. I just finished some wild red/blue/green ones & love them. I'm using 28 stitches & a modified Queen Kahuna heel for them - I CANNOT imagine picking up stitches along a heel flap for these things!!!! OMG I've only turned the heel using three stitches on either side & then short-rowed the balance of the gusset but it's enough to make a defined heel. They are cute. And I hope to knit up a baker's dozen before August 15th when I need to get them in the mail to Elann.com It's an interesting way to use up some leftovers!!

I started to knit a sweater with Arvik. I've knit it up with TWO singles in a TOP-DOWN pattern called LEGAL LOOPHOLES by Medrith Glover. This is your standard Polo Shirt style sweater wit a twist - there are more increases to the front & back than to the sleeves. This means the sweater fits a larger size body without having extra bulk under the arms or having the armholes halfway to the waist in order to get a larger circumference. I thought I'd knit it up as a cardigan using her method since I just want something to throw over my shoulders to run out to the store when its chilly. I want it simple & I want it now. Good reason to knit a raglan top-down sweater!! I have enough Arvik to make several sweaters so I thought I'd just knit up some of it to see how it looks - I've been busy spinning Arvik for so long that I wasn't sure how much I actually had spun up but upon examination, I think I have enough for a couple of simple sweaters! And its so soft & lofty!! I think I love Arvik all over again . . . . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11

It's been too hot to think. My lovely basement faces west, need I say more?? Two of my clients have had to shut down their office computers because it's too hot. I do have air conditioning in the Van but it takes time to cool down that big interior - so I generally don't even bother with it unless I'm going somewhere that takes longer than 10 minutes - so I've been spending time at any place with really good air conditioning. Yaaaaaaah - think they'd mind at Home Depot if I took in a box full of work, the calculator & my laptop??? Probably.

I finished the wild Opal socks. It's just too hot to model them!!!

July 13

What a difference a day makes! It's relatively overcast & you can actually breathe in my basement today. I started on the Sisu Fantasy socks Wednesday nite & I only have a few inches above the ribbing done but I love them already! Unfortunately, Fantasy is too heavy for short, summer socks . . . . but they'll sure be neat to wear in the fall. I'm just starting to increase for the gusset stitches but I really do like the colors - I believe this one is Jewel Tones. I can't remember for sure & the first thing I always do is lose the ball band! But, according to Lynne at KNITOPIA, the colors change so frequently that they've changed by the time you get back to buy more! S'okay with me - no one will have the same ones.

July 14

It's finally cool. The whole neighborhood is out watering, mowing, planting & moving. The kids didn't even come out to play for three days!! The BT should be moving today but he extended his stay till the end of the month due to the heatwave. I haven't felt much like spinning or knitting in the heat at all but I DO need new washcloths so I pawed thru the stash & found some kitchen cotton in pastels - oh what the heck, no one will see it 'cept me. I love the nubbyness of the garter square - just enough exfoliation to make you glow without taking off the surface of your hide. Who needs sugar or salt scrubs!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Purple Passion

The more I play with color, the more I love Purple! It didn't used to be that way. I preferred Red for most of my life; red with black, red with navy, red with anything actually!! I even owned Red platform shoes in the 70s!! I dyed my hair with Persian Red henna & used to dance the nite away in those shoes. I even sewed a red cover for the couch - it has purple monkeys on it!!!
But, now that I'm in my declining years(snicker), I've discovered that I prefer Purple. And, of course, Fuschia
, Magenta or Hybiscus with my purple! So, I've spent the evenings lately, spinning up that delicious "Purple Passion" that I bought from Aurelia at Fibre Fest this year. It's a lovely merino/silk blend that I'm hoping to knit into a top-down shawlette to keep me snug when I'm reading in bed or sitting outside with a drink in the evening! I think I like this colorway even better than the Hybiscus(bright purply pink) merino I was spinning up before I found "Purple Passion".

And I've also been working on some Opal socks. You knew there had to be some sock content in this post somewhere, didn't you??? I bought 4 balls of Opal from a friend who was making room for other goodies. I knit up the yellow Opal for the BT's mom. The Red - similar to my Ladybug socks - is knit up & in the Gift Basket as long socks & a special sporty short sock. I decided the other two balls will be for ME! ME! ME!!! The Purple will be long socks for winter. And I'm in the process of knitting up the multicolored ball. I have to admit I was surprised at how this ball turned out - I'm not sure just what I expected but I didn't expect the wild, bright stripes that I got. Not sure how I feel about it but who knows, I'm sure they'll grow on me. And Louisa, this is a Queen Kahuna heel. It's very deep & cushioned on the back & under the heel - I used the K1S1 on the central heel area. It uses short rows to form the cup once the gusset stitches are made, similar to the old flap heel. And I don't have to pick up those darned gusset stitches!!!

And here's a closeup of that heel! It took me TWO pairs of socks to finally 'GET IT'. All those rubber band markers made me crazy till I stopped, figured out the architecture of the actual sock & the heel shape within it. Then I knit it again. BOING. The lightbulb came on. And I've never looked back.

The nice thing about this heel is that you can knit it from the toe up or the cuff down. It works the same way, no m
atter what your direction. I know I sound like an advertisement for the Queen's book but, I've tried a number of heels. I love Jan's heel for its very simplicity & her pattern is wonderful for beginners - we taught Kathy to knit socks using her pattern!! And, I've tried other short-row heels including the Afterthought heel but they don't fit well & the socks crawl into my shoes when I walk! I always went back to the Flap heel till I found this one. Now ALL my socks are knit with this heel. The BT with his high arch & skinny heels to my Ex with his flat feet & quadruple E width, both find this style comfy & well fitting. Who am I to argue with success???

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Got My Recycled Sari Yarns

I can't believe how fast my eBay purchases came!! Got both of them in the mail on Friday! I really love the Rayon but am not too sure about the Silk which is much darker than I expected, almost a muddy brownish yarn with flashes of color. Mind you, it's also filthy & incredibly overspun! Even the photo came out too dark & muddy to publish . . . Hopefully after I unwind it a little & wash it, things will change for the better!!!
But, the rayon shines like a jewel, even in its overspun glory. This is a picture of the skein as it came out of the package.

I spent most of last
evening & today unwinding it. I wound it into a centre-pull ball & then made a second ball of the yarn after letting it unwind. I then wound the relaxed yarn into a second centre-pull ball. I have to admit I tried to pull the fibres apart a little more in the first ball I unwound but I soon learned it wasn't a great idea. I'm not going to re-spin this - it will regain some twist as I knit it up - pulling it too thin caused the fibres to separate too much & I'm going to end up with too many knots!

I learned my lesson
& the subsequent balls are much nicer, the yarn is not as ragged & I might just order more of this to make a
bigger project! I love the colors. This yarn was a little darker in the overspun skein but when I let the yarn unwind, the colors really shone through. The yarn also softened up a great deal in the unwinding process. At this point, I guess I should re-skein the yarn & wash it - I wonder if the colors will run ???

So far, this has been a great amount of fun but unwinding all this yarn is also hard work. Pulling it all apart - my poor hands & fingers are sore & stiff!! - gives me great sympathy for the women who spun these threads into smooth, heavy yarn! It boggles the mind! I have to say, I think I'll stick to silk hankies & merino/silk blends in the future!!