Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fat Ankle Socks

Sometimes I don't know why I bother but I've been knitting as fast as I can on a pair of socks for Our Fat Ankled Hero. I tracked him down yesterday in the Neighborhood Pub having a nosh & a pint or two with all his noisy pals. He found the blue socks I made for him last Christmas - his girlfriend talked me into it - & decided he only needs a couple more pairs. I guess this is the old 'one on the feet, one in the wash & one in reserve' routine men like to play. If they don't feel like doing the wash, they wear the current article until they do! Don't mind a whole lot - knitting dark socks is a pain in the butt. I was trying to knit while watching the tube but it's dark enough now that I'm splitting the yarn because it's hard to see dark yarn. I may have to turn the light up & put a white towel in my lap as I go.

This sock is a little bit longer than shown now - about mid foot - so I broke the yarn & started the second sock. I'm using a 2.25mm needle & started with 72 stitches cast-on loosely with a 2.75mm needle. It's my usual K2,P2 ribbing for an inch or two & then plain old stocking stitch to the heel shaping. I love the K1,Slip1 heel flap which I've carried on to the bottom of the heel & stopped where the instep starts. This gives a nice 'cushy' heel. Since I can't see to pick up stitches along the heel flap anymore, I cast-on my gusset stitches on either side of the flap as I go. I've made the heel nice & deep by increasing by 15 gusset stitches on either side & short rowed to bring me back to my original 72 stitches.

The yarn is something called Mega Boots Softcolor with a barber pole of lighter & darker indigo yarns. It changes color a little from slightly lighter to darker as you work down the sock but you have to really look to see it. I have one other ball in Grey. Obviously, I bought this to make manly socks. It's a nice color but the yarn splits. I had a tough time knitting the ribbing - guess it was the combination of dark day, dark yarn & barber pole twist that made me crazy!! I had a hellova time getting the whole stitch every time. Grrrrr. It's not so bad now that I'm past the ribbing but I found it tough to knit the flap & turn the heel too. No wonder I like the tight, bright yarns that most companies produce for socks - I can knit them without looking & whiz along. This stuff is slower to use & I'll be glad to finish off these two balls.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Beautilous Day

When it rains in the Vancouver area, it's damp, grey, gloomy, miserable & it rains a lot. People are grouchy, mean to each other & suffer a lot from Road Rage.  When the sun shines upon us, the whole atmosphere changes. People throw off their coats & mittens, they unhunch their shoulders, get out of their cars & suddenly, the world is a happy place. Surprisingly, some people even put their shorts back on. Everyone sits outside at the coffee shops & strangers are greeted with smiles. Today I got up to one of those days!!!  What a beautiful day. 

With the change in the weather comes a change in my joints. Nothing really hurts today. My thumbs are working correctly & the damned knee is not clicking or shooting pain arrows into my lower leg. It's a good day to walk somewhere, get a coffee & knit.  

And speaking of knitting, I've had a plea for socks from a guy with Diabetes who's having ankle swelling problems. Seems the dastardly guy pinched the two pairs of hand knit summer socks I gave to his lady friend because he couldn't get any of his OWN socks on his feet. I made those for myself but the ribbing was a little too tight to get over my heel. Since my knee injury, I often have difficulty bending that damned knee far enough to put on socks. I've learned to make them a little longer, the heel depth a little deeper & the ribbing looser so I can get them over my heel with the aid of a folding step stool. Some mornings I could do a half hour comedy session with a sock & that stool .  .  .  .  As a result, I've given a lot of my socks away to friends who love them. Mr Fat Ankles was not one of them!!

I'm not overly sympathetic with Our Fat Ankled Hero since his ankle problem is related to his dietary misbehavior but, my friend would like to keep her socks for her own feet. She says He says he'll pay any price I want & will wear any color I choose to knit. Sounds like desperation to me. LOL

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nothing to do with Knitting

I'm always doing tax returns for trade with people with little or no money. I did just such a trade about 30 years ago for a portable JVC, 14" color TV. It could run on AC or DC which made the trade even sweeter. I brought it with me when I moved because it was supposedly portable - it actually weighed a ton but had lovely color & a really sharp picture.  It's lived ever since on the top of an old wooden dresser that I painted red, in the corner of my living space. I can't say I turned it on every day but I've watched it more & more since I damaged my knee & spent more time knitting last winter. 

I noticed about a year ago that I couldn't read the print at the bottom of the screen when something was translated any more. It IS 14" after all & I DO watch it from across the room, then I wrecked my knee .  .  .   Well, I recently noticed my eyes were getting really tired when I watched TV. When I watch it, look down at my knitting & then up again, I have trouble refocusing. It HAS been several years since I changed my glasses .  .  .  guess it's time. And then the other day, while watering the plants on the window sill close to the TV, I noticed that the picture on the tube was a bit fuzzy. Oh yeah, when did that happen???

A buddy of mine said he'd come & haul it away for me - it weighs a ton!!! And offered an old 36" TV in it's place since I don't have the money to buy a new one. What a monster!! It feels like a Big Screen after my 14 incher. And Holy Eyeballs Batman, I can actually read all the lettering on the TV screen from across the room!! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Baby it's Damned Chilly Out There

Wow - it suddenly - for us - got cold. The Landlord even showed up at my door carrying a furnace filter for me to install!! And then he turned on the heat. I think a lot of people suddenly turned on the heat over the last couple of days! It's not that we're cheap, well maybe we are cheap, but that damned Hydro bill just keeps going up every year. Even as a renter, I try to keep things turned off & down low. As I age, my previously damaged parts really feel the temperature & barometric changes. My knees hate being cold so much that my new wardrobe contains a lot of thick, fleece lined sweats to go with the handmade wool socks & the electric lap blanket. 

This sudden decrease in temperature caused me to remember most of my house plants on the covered patio yesterday but it seems I forgot a couple .  .  .  oops. They're tucked in the corner, under my patio table & hopefully survived near freezing. The Jade is 15 years old & used to being quite cold but not sure about last night .  .  .  .  I tucked my Rosemary into the fern box against the back wall of my covered patio for the winter. It needs a little protection & the ferns do a good job. They're good for things like fuchsias that you want to save for next year.

I've been knitting like mad on tuques again for street people. I've been knitting them for years. I said I was tired of them. I said my hands & fingers were too sore. But here I am, again. Street people like dark colors that blend into the darkness so that's what I make. My buddy Bryan hands them out on the street to folks who don't have a hat in the winter. Sometimes I take them down to a small industrial spot by the Pattullo Bridge where I used to hand out Bum Bags at Christmas time. There's always a bare head needing coverage there. I still have a few balls of this & that which have been popular in the past. But I have a few balls of "Craft" yarn that've been hanging around for eons. Stuff the street people shy away from. I wondered what to do with it until the other day. 

I hauled out my Denise interchangeables - I love them. I cast on 100 stitches on a size 6mm or US10 with a 10" cord so I can knit a circular hat. Idid the usual K2,P2 ribbing which I may just carry all the way up the hat. I'm not a fan of the color but it will be warm & comfy. I may even wear it myself.
This yarn is some sort of fancy Italian yarn made up of wool, acrylic & nylon. Not sure how it will wear or how warm it will be but it certainly will be better than nothing at all. It can be hand washed & air dried so what the heck. If worse comes to worse, I'll overdye it with Koolaid.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

It All Goes So Quickly

I was a little horrified to see my first Christmas commercial of the year this week - yeah, I know there were a couple of hints in the last couple of weeks but it seems they go whole hog around the US Thanksgiving. I'm not even gonna comment on the 'Christmas in July' thing. So here we are again, entering the Silly Season. The only other thing that drives me crazy is that new commercial for CUBA. It seems to be running every 9 minutes on the Home & Garden channel. Yeah, I admit it, I DO like some things on the Home & Garden channel. I love Leave it to Bryan. I also love Income Property. I'm a little tired of Holmes but really like the Timber Kings. Their amazing log structures take my breath away. But this isn't a bloggy commercial for a TV station!! In the end, the never ending commercial for CUBA made me turn off the TV part way through a show!!! Ain't nooooooo commercials when you listen to an Audio Book.

Finished my latest Kroy 4ply socks. I just loved this colorway, couldn't wait to knit them & ran into a problem in one ball before I finished them. My friend Karen found a single ball of yarn that was similar in color & I managed to finish them. Another lovely, thick pair of winter socks to keep my old dawgs happy. Aren't they great??? The color is bang on for a change - could be because I opened the door to take this picture when the sun actually peeped out between the continuous rain clouds. I guess we're paying for that long, dry, hot summer we had this year with all these wind & rain storms coming in from the Pacific.

Monday, November 03, 2014

A Little Bit of Warmth

It was so dark & dreary this morning that when I woke up I had to check to see if it was morning or still night. I was cold all weekend with icy hands & frozen feet. It isn't even winter yet & I'm cold. It's not that the landlord doesn't turn on the furnace  - he will if I call him - but we're in that weird place where it's not cold enough to crank up the thermostat but it's too cool not to. Now, I've always preferred a cool house - I still open the window in the bedroom at night because I think you sleep better in fresh air. But what the heck do you do when your personal thermostat is wonky??? I guess I've finally made the transition from Power Surges to Low Simmer .  .  . 

So I dug out my thick winter socks - thank gawd for Kroy 4ply!! And then the light bulb came on & I looked for yarn to make some wrist warmers to keep my hands warm. 
I found a 50gm ball of Berroco Merino. It's 100% extra fine Aran weight - a very cushy & squishable yarn with a gauge of 18 stitches & 24 rows to 4 inches on 5mm needles. 
I cast on 40 stitches on 4mm needles & knit the first row. I knit 2 & purled 2 on the following row. I continued these two rows for 30 rows & did a purl cast off. Nice. Warm.