Monday, October 30, 2006

You can turn a heel from Park to Porter

So the sock is moving right along nicely, thanks in part to the commuting fairies who freed up the seat at Harvard this morning. I could have done without their additional gift of the long pause after Kendall waiting for something to move through Charles, but, eh.

In any case, on my way home I managed to get my brother's sock through the heel flap. turn and now I have the second edge of instep to pickup. It will be time soon to grab that reference sock and make foot notes..... This gives me hope that things will be accomplished this month. I think I'd gotten myself into a funk between having just big, long-term projects going and then so many iterations of the baby surprise in quick succession. Is a change as good as a rest?

It'll be an early night for me tonight. Something didn't agree with my tummy and nerves last night, so I was up for a good portion of the small hours, augmented by Himself's relaxed throat vibrations. What I would give to have his talent of sleeping through the night and the noise.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It looks to me like it's grinning

As promised yesterday, at the right is the blocking photo of the surprise I've been working on for a co-worker who covered for me on vacation, when things needing to be done weren't ready for me to work on before I left, so she wound up doing a whole lot more than usual. I had hoped to have it finished to give to her last Monday when I went back, but that turned out to be too ambitious of a timeline.

Project details:
Pattern: Shapely Shawlette by Judy Pascale
Yarn: Flames of Heck colorway, from the Mind's Eye Yarns Etsy Shop full skein used
Started Wednesday, October 18th, finished Saturday October 28th, with other projects worked on during that timeframe.
Size -- not measured, but those are standard size bathtowels, there's a stitch marker about 1/3 of the way from the point I can claim wasn't forgotten but instead was deliberately left in for size reference.

I've talked about how even small shawls have this puppy-like atmosphere to them -- they tend to start small and cute and easily manageable and the next thing you know you've got this relatively big project that requires a lot of time (per row) if you're going to make progress and have a finished object. This one is intended to be just a covering for the shoulders and be small enough to stay out of the way. I still tend to take mine off if I'm going to be running things into the shredder at work. By the end the rows were taking a while, but it's just a simple garter pattern with increases. I'm not ordinarily a big fan of yellows and oranges, but I really like how the colors came together in this. There are just enough incidences where bits of color laid right on top of each other to create patches, without being overwhelming big puddles.

Finishing that allowed me to get to work on socks for my brother, since I need gifts for him coming up soon. I had started just a few rows of ribbing when I cast on Monday night, and last night got the leg as far as the 1 p.m. (formerly 2 p.m.) width of sunlight on the shelf of Himself's big picture window. I've borrowed a pair from Himself to take numbers from, and for future reference (self) the ribbing is 30 rows and the leg is then 45 rows down to the heel flap. Foot notes in future posts.

I also took some time this morning to work on the nascent Pirate Hat. I've had a bit of difficulty in that only one 16" size 13 needle was readily available, so things are rather cramped, and I've only just finished the part where you're working double stands each of worsted weight and eyelash together, so it's a bit thick. But, I'm now into the part where the eyelash is discontinued and the decreases have started, so things should start to improve for ease of manipulation. I find I'm so used to working at smaller gauges, that just holding and using larger needles takes a bit of getting used to, and they tend to make my hands hurt more than usual. On the other hand, winter hat weather is coming, so it's justified to work on this more.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Using that extra hour wisely

It's funny, most people think about SAD in the true winter time of January and February. I find this time of year to be a problem -- starting about August/September/October, it's just not light enough in the morning when I get up. The fall back thing will help some, but, fortunately, it's not that long until the Solstice for winter. Note the new ticker up top. It's from a nifty little site that seems to be more about fertility and conception, but if you're counting up to or down from something (days till birthday, days since ate cheesecake), they'll make a ticker for you.

In any case, just now I finished the suprise project. It's blocking, so details and photo tomorrow when there's light. On to my brother's socks. It's been awhile, so I need to grab one of Himself's socks to use as a reference.

Things may go a little wonky with the blog as I'm thinking of updating the template. Blogger has put up some template forms (don't know if they're new or I just didn't notice them the first time) that have better margins. I get frustrated with the current template because the post part is so narrow that text and photos have trouble fitting, but yet it seems like so much wasted space with those wide margins. Something do to instead of going out in the bad weather.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

< 2 months till Christmas

and that's not just sayin.....

I've cast on a number of things in the last few days (including the Pirate Hat, at last), but have had to focus on one project. The project is a surprise gift that I'm really hoping to finish up over the weekend, so.... knit, knit, knit, it's a lot of garter. I'll just say that there's a lot of yarn in a skein of Lucy's sock yarn.

BTW, Lucy, where's that picture of the greeny-blue one from last week you said you were going to take?

Once I get the surprise done, I probably need to focus next on the birthday socks for my brother, since those will be needed for Thanksgiving-ish time. We'll see if it's one pair or two.

It would be nice if I had Himself's sweater done by the time he's back in Mid-December. That sentiment would include the sewing up and stuff like that, not just the knitting of it. Need to allow time for someone else to do the sewing up, since my finishing skills are lacking. Like parallel parking, there are some skills that you know you need to improve, but yet.....

Other than that, I've got no particular time frame for any of these projects though the weather will probably make me want my Pirate Hat sometime soon.

On the other hand, it's creeping into my consciousness that local charity knitting (i.e., the Mind's Eye Yarns Mitten Tree for Somerville Family Network) goes up the day after Thanksgiving, and I really should have somethings done for that so there's not just a bare tree at the start.

Time to get busy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How could I not have.....

It has come to my attention that (it seems) I don't have a size 13 circular needle.

Sunday I cast on two projects to celebrate the new moon -- there's now a Red Quattro 220-bellied hedgehog underway, and the front of Himself's ongoing sweater.

Last night I got home from the Boston Knit-Out wrap meeting and started a few more things: socks for my brother, a top-down raglan baby sweater with Lucy's Sock Yarn I got last week to see how far a skein will go (on size 2s), a swatch of Sockotta to start calculating a future sweater for me (also on size 2s) and.....

I don't have a size 13 circular needle to start the Knit Like A Pirate Tricorn hat, with Cascade 220 Black Tweed and Funny blue/red as the brim trim. I could see how I might not have acquired one in the past, given it's only recently that I've started working the larger gauges for felting, but yet, there are size 13 straights and doublepoints extant in the drawer, so why no circulars of either 16 or 24/9 inch length? I've had a knitting disposable income since the late 1980's and I've never got one, even of a now not-favored needle manufacture form but it would work for getting started on the blessed project?

Lucy, I'll be calling on you later today.

Monday, October 23, 2006

All This Sock Yarn Already Extant

I sat Himself down yesterday (and then told him to move off the couch, I needed the space) to look at all my sock yarn and tell me what I could consider using to make socks for my (when he had hair) strawberry blonde, blue eyed, gets pink in a moment skinned brother. The first picture is colors set aside that I should not use. The "Girly Stripe" colorway of Lorna's Laces in the upper right came in for particular don't-use-this-ness.

Which leaves the rest of the collection. The Baby Suprize Jacket Commuter Project may go on a brief hiatus while I get a few pairs of socks done for the dear boy.

And this is the week that Lucy is having the Sock Fest. Oy. Can I persuade myself that sweater-amounts worth are okay to get? And what is a sweater-amount worth of sock yarn?

First to get through, though, is the wrap meeting for the Boston Knit-Out tonight. Borders at Downtown Crossing at 6:30. Time to put it to bed for this year and set up what we need to think about before next March. Hope we're in the black!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Moon Sunday - what's new?

Tomorrow I'll be starting the front of Himself's Wonderous Woven Cables sweater. The back got finished last night. It's supposed to be 22 inches wide by the schematic. When I first put it down it measured 20 inches across, but a quick smoothing of the fabric got it to 22, without blocking and pinning even, so I'm feeling good that this sweater will come out okay. And the funny thing is, the same way the ride home can seem quicker than the ride out somewhere, I think the front will go more quickly than the back did, at least until I have to determine where to start the neck shaping. There's just less angsting in doing something at least a little familiar by now.

The new moon happens tomorrow, so it's time to start projects. I used the day today to do the real finishing, seams and buttons stuff, on the most recent iterations of the Baby Surprize Jacket commuting project. That means I'll be ready to send them in to the Dulaan project, once I print out and fill in the box inventory form.

Lately I tend to have one big project (at any moment) requiring a lot of attention, and then smaller projects that are less time consuming and flit around in my attention stream. Not sure what I'll really get started on once I'm done with Himself's sweater, but a sweater for me is in the offing. I've been thinking about small gauge sweaters done with sock yarn lately, and, yes, I can do it myself with EPS, but I'm looking for patterns to give inspiration and guidance. Course, I haven't been looking very hard, so what I seek is probably just hidden in a blind spot. It's not like I don't have just about all the Knitters, Interweave Knits and a number of Vogue Knittings stuffed into magazine holders.

I have a 10 skein bag of Sockotta already and will probably start with an EPS saddle/hybrid/one of those types, probably a pullover rather than cardigan. This will give me an idea of how much smaller gauge yarn is required to make something my size.

Other ideas -- Given the size of the sock yarn stash already extant, I'll probably do a bunch of socks for my brother for his birthday later in November and then Christmas. I'm lucky his feet seem to be that same size as Himself's, so I can just use the same numbers and run on automatic. Or he's lying to me about the socks I made him before. Since he's the type that doesn't want to cause anyone trouble, he might do that, if he didn't realize it would hurt my feelings more to know there was something I could fix and wasn't allowed to.

The Knit Like a Pirate Tricorn Hat will be in the offing this winter done in Cascade 220 black tweed, with blue/red/purple Funny as the highlight around the edge. More hedgehogs will be coming, too. There's Lucy's sock yarn to experiment with to see how far it will go to create a layette -- since I got asked that question by an expectant grandmother last time I was minding the shop.

I'll have plenty to do while Himself goes away for the better part of November and early December......

Friday, October 20, 2006

For those of us staying close to home this weekend

I.e., someday I will get to Rhinebeck, but not this year. Best bet for it to happen, persuade Himself to take one of his multi-week turns around a far away part of the Earth in late October some year and work on getting into someone's carpool.

In any case, I started checking out some of the bloggers listed on the Boston Knit-Out's page (yeah, it's only taken slightly less than a month to get to) and found this here:
True English Nerd
You scored 76 erudition!

Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online datingYou scored higher than 99% on erudition

Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
Himself's back of sweater is now less then a long-finger length from being done! Which will win first -- sweater, or falling into sleep from boring Friday night TV? The other question is, of course, having finished the back and two sleeves, how much yarn did I buy in the first place, and will it be enough?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

All That's Left.....

The Shapely Shawlette with one skein of Lucy's Sock Yarn in Grasshopper Sky colorway was finished yesterday, with this small bit left over.

It was delivered to Mind's Eye last night, but having honest-to-God customers in the shop prevented photos from being took. Lucy promises size photos soon, however, given her exciting news, I can see why it didn't happen today.

Another skein (or two) came home with me. The Iris Sky colorway came home with me and I'm going to experiment with baby garments with it, just to see how far it goes. Reports in future weeks.

Right now, Himself's Wonderous Woven Cables sweater is getting full attention. The back looks like it has about 5 or fewer inches to go, in the a rough, hold it up against him kind of way. Then again, those inches could be as long as the MA Pike some times......

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I can answer that!

Thanks for the comments about using Lucy's sock yarn. As of January, 2006 I counted 26 pairs of socks and two singletaries, of which I sent off a bunch to the fellow with Stupid Sock Creatures. Given that I only have two feet to wear them on and eschew socks in summer, I've been vaguely looking at what to do with sock yarn I like (and keep buying) (and Himself has enough pairs for his feet, too).

Over the summer I used Lucy's sock yarn to make the Diamond Fantasy Shawl (available for download through the Knitting Zone). In my notes (!) (okay, Blogger's search feature - diamond fantasy) it looks like I started in on Saturday May 20th, and I'm writing finishing comments on July 12. I did the full 10-repeat shawl with a fist-size postal-scale measured ounce of the second skein left over, and the first skein went to 8 repeats, so I've got a note that the 6-repeat scarf in the pattern could be made with just one skein easily. See Lucy's post from yesterday -- she's dyeing more!

I should be finished with the Grasshopper Sky shawlette this week, if only I can trust my memory on the particular cast-off used in the pattern. I'm in Lexington, the pattern got left behind in Cambridge, what can I say.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Enjoyable things

The 9th iteration of the Baby Surprize Jacket Commuter Project is using up the last of the orange-red yarn! Here we have a bad picture with an object of known size, to show how little is left! I am so, so, so looking forward to getting back to the rest of the palette.

I need to get what I've already accomplished together (some sewing up to do!) and sent off to the Dulaan project. They're looking to get 10,000 garments by next July, and she's hoping to have 2,007 knitters sign up to each make 5 garments by then. If the Harlot can get how many of us were there to sign up for the Knitting Olympics, come on, this is for a good cause.

However, given that I'm on vacation this upcoming week, I've taken a break from the charity knitting and am making a shawlette with Lucy's sock yarn, just to see how far a skein goes and to serve as a shop sample. And this past week was one where I needed a Really, Really Simple project to work on. The colorway is Grasshopper Sky. Lucy will be dying more on Monday, so look back soon for more colors.

Yesterday was Himself's birthday and the 5th anniversay of our first date dance. We went to Oleana for dinner and it was excellent, as usual. Southern Mediterranean (Morroco and Turkey) flavors that are just not your standard American comfort food, but yet you don't have to work hard to figure out it tastes good.

And the weekly sensor report. Had some trouble this week with a couple sensors going dead, one not wanting to do a third 3-day cycle (teach me not to be greedy), the other having had so many sustained high readings it gave out about a half-day before the end of its expected life. Tuesday night there was the experiment with the lower-fat (at least than the tuna salad) roast beef wrap, that still showed that wrap sandwhiches are taking much more insulin than the normal carb-insulin ratio would dictate. It's coming time to decide do I really work at them, or just give them up as a bad job, like trying to combat pizza.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Progress being made

The 8th iteration of the Baby Surprise Jacket Commuter project is finished (knitting, not finishing) and the 9th iteration looks like it will be the last of the red-orange that doesn't go with the rest of the pretty colors in the collection being finished up. The 8th was started just before the Knit-Out, I think. The Duulan project is looking interesting and I may start sending some of these out there. Of course, that would require finishing, like seams and buttons and sewing in ends, first, wouldn't it?

Himself's sweater back is up to row 88 completed, who knows how many more to go to reach the shoulder. Rinse and repeat for the front. But at least the sleeves are already done!

Lucy has more sock yarn in her Etsy shop. She'll be starting a Sock Yarn Club soon. I don't see anything up about it on the shop website (Lucy?) but it's a skein every other month in a colorway she promises not to repeat in her regular dying for at least a year, and I think she said it's $108 for the year. On the right is a shawlette I just started in the Grasshopper Sky colorway. It's a backup no-think project for when I might need garter stitch without counting/tracking issues.

And Sitchy McYarnpants will be at Porter Square Books this Friday at 7 p.m. with the trunk show of uglies! I'll be ready to enjoy myself by then. Just sayin.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Frosted Hairdo Hedgehog and a Lovely Day Out

The knitting of a hedgehog got finished this weekend, though not the finishing of the hedgehog. And no, I have no explanation for why there are three bumps in the belly. This is yet another hedgehog colorway not found in nature, but I kind of like it. The base wool is something I have several skeins left over (Cascade 220 Quattro) from a previous sweater, and I kind of like it with the pink. I may try other colors for the eyelash portion in the future, as you can see on the left, it creates a nifty halo effect. The pink looks like the 70's style old-lady frosted hairdos I remember when I was little.

Yesterday was a lovely day for the Monadnock Knitters' Wool Tour (no, they don't have a website). We (Himself thinking we were going leaf-peeping) stopped first at my long-time friend Deb Degan's Woolery in Wilton, NH, which isn't recognized on the tour, but is a great stop on the way up from Massachusetts. We stopped on Main Street for lunch and found Nelson's candies (no website) still in business. Assorted yummies, including chocolate covered ginger puffs, were purchased.

We had a grand time driving around the roads of the Monadnock region, with relatively little traffic compared to the inner-128 driving we mostly do around here. The Subaru has just the right kind of door handle, more like a deep divot, to keep cable needle and pen handy and enable much work to get done on Himself's light-sucking dark blue sweater. Here we seem Himself in the parking lot of the Fiber Studio, holding the back of the WIP, still light-sucking and unphotographable for detail.

I wound up not buying much (other than candy) given the lack-of-willing-to-cover-new-technology news from my insurer (it will be a couple hundred dollars a month), and a realization of the current extent of SABLE in my stash. That closet that got cleared out in January, 2005, is creeping back to stuffedness again.

And this week's glucose sensor readings.... Who knew a tuna wrap (see Tuesday and Thursday suppers) takes 18 units dual waved 9 immediate and 9 over 8 hours, versus the 7 tried earlier? It wouldn't seem like it would.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I forgot to blog!

Last week went by in a blur of tiredness and arm soreness. Epsom salts soaks are helping though and I can work my arms without them protesting much. The 8th iteration of the Baby Surprise Jacket Commuter project has made slow progress, given seating issues on the T and the soreness. On the other hand, I can rejoice that the ball of red/orange on the left is all that's left to use up!

Then I can get back to the pretty colors.

Speaking of pretty colors, the next hedgehog made progress over the weekend. I'd put him (her?) down the Saturday before the Knit-Out since I'd managed to put two out of four paws on inside out, but those are fixed, the very small seams are sewn (!), the ends are tucked in and the eyelash is in play. The light pink over the blue/purple Cascade 220 Quattro creates a sort of frosted hair-do.

Weekly sensor readings are here. I had voicemail last week that neither Harvard Pilgrim nor Harvard Vanguard will cover the CGMS, but I'm waiting for the formal letter denying coverage I asked for. For those who are curious, that's the sensor set-up in the spring-loaded insertion device last night. No, there is no photo of it going into the back of the hip, that would be gross.

I've been thinking lately about winter sweaters coming up, wanting to work in lighter weight yarns, but not quite having the impetus to start swatching and calculating. After all, someone else's exact right pattern will be dropped from the blue by the knitting fairies, right? Yeah. In the meantime, I have 2 skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Nothern Lights in dyelot 222 that I'd like to add at least one or two more to the project. The store I got it from doesn't have any more, so I'm starting with the on-line stores that carry it to ask, then I guess I get to start contacting every shop on Cherry Tree Hill website's list.

I'm thinking a vest out of Dragonskin from the 2nd Barbara Walker Treasury. Anyone know sock yarn yardage to make garments?

Birthday? Mini Golf, Blue Ginger (yummy gasping) and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit on DVD. What more could I want?

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