Saturday, June 11, 2005

Early Summer

Summer won't arrive officially for another 10 days. Tell that to the thermometer! It's been steamy and hot (in the 90's) for the past week or so. Wednesday, the power went out. (Think: no lights, no windows in the warehouse, no lights, no air conditioning in the office. Oh, we have windows, but they don't open. Think: time to go home!) Fortunately, power was restored about 90 minutes later, so there wasn't any permanent damage (think walk-in freezer full of food), but we are now back to working on contingency plans and thinking "generator." (Or not.)

This morning, I decided that I would take a walk around the neighborhood, now that the Great American Neighborhood Yard Sale is over for another year. I was out for nearly an hour and saw only one other person! And he was on a bike. What a contrast to last Saturday (see entry for 6/4)!

Some of what I saw pleased me. It's still the neat and tidy 'hood we moved into 16 years ago.

Some things were a bit puzzling. Lawn ornamentation. A small house with fenced back yard (pool? maybe) with children's toys scattered on the front lawn. Toys for very small children. WTF? Lovely lawn bench. At the outside edge of a shade tree canopy. Facing. The neighbors' driveway? When there's both shade and view about 5' away? WTF?

And at least one thing gave me enormous pleasure when put in context. Our neighbor with all-the-kids (something like 10 of them, ranging in age from about 5 years older than mine, so, mid-30's, to about 8 years younger than mine, or late teens) have seven cars that are not "adult-type vehicles" parked in their very large driveway (and 2 more in the garage). Hmm. Makes one kid still living at home seem not so bad after all!

I finished the fishy blankie last night. It looks pretty good, and photos will follow when I do my "fair edition." For now, though, here's what I am doing with the leftovers:

Here's my Recipe: Using whatever yarn you have on hand and appropriate needles (set of 5 dpn), figure out your gauge. (Use the numbers on the ball band and the suggested needles, and hope for the best, or make a swatch and measure.) Mine was 4 st/ inch using size 8's and worsted weight yarn.

Cast on 8 stitches onto one needle.

Slip 2 stitches to each of 3 more needles, join.

Knit 1 round.

Yeh, yeh, I know. This is a royal bitch to do. Just do it and stop whining! Or don't.

Next round and every other round: increase one stitch by knitting (or purling) front and back in the first and last stitch on each needle (8 stitches increased). Once you have about 8 stitches on each needle, you may want to mark the beginning of the round with a small safety pin, moving it closer to the open stitches as your square increases in size.

Continue working in rounds, in pattern of purling an occasional round, doing k2 together, yo rounds, until the square is as big as you want it. In my case, I wanted a 9" square, so I knew I needed to increase until I had 36 stitches on each needle (4 X 9, my gauge X finished size). I did the last 8 rounds in garter stitch (knit 1 round, purl 1 round) so that there would be a firm, non-curnilng edge. Bind off, somewhat loosely. You can make these things any size you want, including blanket size by continuing to increase, moving up to circular needles (you'll want to mark the spots where you increase) as necessary.

One of the co-moderators at Native American Support has issued a challenge to the members. She would like to be able to put together comfort blankies for kids served by the foster care system at Cheyenne River Reservation. To that end, we are creating these 9" squares, and Gail will be joining them. (Gail is drafting patterns for the squares and sharing them, too. Knit and crochet.)

Goal is 47 blankies in time for Christmas. Feel free to join in. Restrictions: 9" or thereabouts, square, machine washable and dryable yarn, worsted weight. That is all. Well, except that they are for children, so keep that in mind when selecting colors and/or patterns.



Hmm, squares in green cotton?


I'll send some ACKrylic ones as soon as I have my brain in order. My first ~real~ day off happens tomorrow ...
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