Monday, June 30, 2008

Pond Scum

The people who did this:

have hit the absolute depths!

Of course, the people who did this are even lower.

It's not bad enough that gas prices are soaring and people are having a hard time putting food on the table.

Stealing from hungry poor people? Disgusting!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Finished Object and Bad Photos

After several minor issues were resolved, it was full speed ahead on the Christmas Stocking, knitted, and just a little while ago, I finished the last weaving in.

Of course, photo shoot turned into nightmare as I attempted to get a decent shot of bright (Jockey) red acrylic. It didn't work in front of the stash, nor on the rocker, nor hanging from my yarn drying hooks on the magnolia tree, nor on the grass.

Finally, a decent depiction on the throw pillow on the living room sofa. With major tweaking in the edit process.

If you click (and it works) you can make it big enough to see the XO cable and the pine tree motif. Maybe.

Here's my first afterthought heel.

Putting it right into the middle of the cable twist (per the pattern directions) was not the best idea in the world.

I have made afterthought thumbs, so I knew what to expect, but correcting the problems in the cable where I took out the contrast yarn proved to be "interesting" on the upside. (Think about removing a cast on edge and trying to frog from that end.) The untangling made for pretty slow going. Then I had to pick up stitches that I simply Could Not Find.

But it's done. And no turning back.

Here's how much yarn was left from a 100 gram skein. Three (3) grams. Of course, I have 4+ skeins left over on the shelf, but it felt good not to need to try to splice.


Pattern: Pine Trees and Cables Stocking from Creative Knitting (November 2007).

Yarn: Red Heart Classic (100% acrylic) Jockey Red ($1.59 at the hardware store--cheaper elsewhere--any elsewhere!)

Needles: Bryspun dpns, size 5

My opinion: Christmas stockings (assuming you celebrate) are a good way to learn the basics of sock knitting. Most patterns call for worsted weight yarn and bigger needles, so the knitting goes fast. Yet you get to practice all the same techniques: if you are a traditionalist, knitting in the round on double points (or circulars if you're more contemporary than I), turning a heel (magic, no matter what style heel you choose), capping off a toe, kitchenering.

And you only have to make one!

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The FSM Has a Sense of Humor

Saturdays are for shopping at the farmers market (see many previous postings) and people watching. It never ceases to amaze the Other Half that people dress the way that they do.

Now, I will grant you that we don't get dressed "up" to shop. I was wearing a clean (but not pressed) pair of jeans. a polo shirt, and sandals. He had on khakis and clogs and a polo shirt. But my mercifullordinheavenabove, the outfits!

Of course, the woman we saw at The Tree on the way home. . .

I can only hope that she doesn't own a mirror, because if she does, she would have No Excuse At All. Clearly, this was the first time in years that she could get her Skinny Jeans zipped. Not muffin top. But the whole damned 3 dollar loaf (see photo--demitasse and sandwich cookies for scale)!

If your butt is still a size 22, it's not a good idea to squeeze it into size 12. Even if the zipper closes! (I would have Kineared, but I feared for my life.)

Moving right along.

Bear Claw is finished.

The particulars are posted way back this time last year. Yarn is Elann Sock It To Me! and Cervinia Calzetteria sock weight wool/nylon blend held double. All 4 colors are No Longer Available.

Size 5 and 8 needles. Finished size, about 40" square.

The original pattern also finishes to 40", but it calls for Koigu solids held single and size 0 and 2 needles. It also has 9 blocks.

And here's looking at: How to fix a mis-twist

Isolate the errant stitches.

I use 5" or 6" double-pointed sock needles in the same size as the piece is being knitted. The needle is shown here only for illustration purposes. There is no real reason to transfer the stitches to another needle at this point.

Note that I have isolated only one twist (4 stitches) of this 8 stitch cable.

Now, the scary part.

Pull the needle out of the stitches and frog the stitches down to the wrong-way twist. Remove the twisted row carefully, keeping the strands of yarn in order.

Correct the twist. I find it easier to use a short dpn than a long cable needle. (translate: I was too lazy to look for my short birdwing cable needle).

Re-knit each row using the strands of yarn that are being held at the back.

This can be a frustratingly slow process. If you discover the mis-twist sooner, rather than later, it may be less time-consuming to frog and reknit.

Next, I repeated the process on the other half of the cable.

Then I repeated again on the other cable. (Yes, there are two. Yes, I mis-twisted on both.)

I forged on and have added the contrasting yarn where the afterthought heel will go.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oh, Noes!!

Can you see it??

I will not be ripping or tinking! I will not frog.

I will drop down those 8 stitches and re-knit those 9 or so rows.
It will be okay.
Move along. There is nothing to see.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Here's the Score

Mrs. Santa is sitting over there looking depressed and dejected because Mr. is no further along(just flat pieces) than he was in September. Patience, Sweetie!

The Christmas stocking is 40 rows (58.4%) to go (plus the toe and heel).

The Bear Claw blankie has 8 border rows and a bind off on one side plus 4 teeny, tiny corners and it's finished.

The Penny sock is in the same state as Mr.

The car blankie is fast approaching the center (where the rows start to get shorter). Okay, the truth. I will still be knitting this puppy when I have 6 grandchildren.

I need to work up at least 22 more ideas.

Or 32. Or even 40.

The painters started on the interior at work. It stinks and my eyes are all burny.

The exterior, however, looks wonderful. So clean. So new! First person to put his/her foot on the wall by the ashtray dies slowly, painfully.

Just saying!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday Night Lite

I'd love to be able to write that I finished Bear Claw last night, but that would be a lie.

Fact is, I finished the second last round of wide bands and 3 of the 4 corner squares and have added the 4th color. So, yeh, almost finished.

One more corner on this round, 12 more rows on each side, 4 more corners, and I can stick a fork in it.

Meanwhile, that yellow blob to the right of Bear Claw is the beginning of a giant dishcloth square blankie. I was planning a 3-piece baby set (blanket, hat, booties), but you know what they say about "best laid plans." The Premium Book for the fair calls a 3-piece set blanket, hat, sweater. ::sigh:: so I'm thinking that a baby surprise might be in the works. Something classic. Or a top down raglan. Or an envelope-shoulder pullover.

Here's the progress on this year's Christmas stocking.

The written out directions for the Pine Tree motif were giving my weary eyes fits, so as soon as I finished Row 16, I charted the damned thing. That's so much better!

I slide the paper ruler up as I complete each row so that the the ruler is above the one I am working on at the moment. I find that this works better for me than putting my marker (ruler) under the row (thereby covering up the already completed patterning). Try it both ways and use the one that works for you.

I have completed 20 of 96 rows (a little over 20%).

Sparky's fans have been asking after her. Here's a picture from earlier this morning. The Other Half was there but he got up to um, you know.

No other cat we have ever owned was ever allowed to sleep on or near the pillows. Either he's mellowing in his advancing years, or Sparky's a lot more aggressive than Cats Past.

She goes for blood work in about an hour. Still trying to regulate her thyroid. The belly gnawing has all but stopped after more years than I care to research. (I posted a picture when it was just starting.) I'm starting to wonder if it was a reaction to the anti-depressants that she was taking for years and years. (Yes, my cat was on mood altering drugs. Trust me. It was drugs or a different home!)

Mittnz reminder: If you want in on the prizes (currently: 7 really great books, bunches of yarn, some tools, some lotion, and I haven't added mine in yet!) you will need to email me ( a photo (or send me a link where I can capture the image) of your 8 (or more) completed pairs so that I can post it here. Then you need to mail your mittnz to Cheyenne River Reservation (Cheyenne River Youth Project, P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625) the last week in September.

There is no requirement to join any group in order to participate in the Challenge and be eligible for a prize. That said, Native American Support welcomes new members to our group. If you are looking for a worthy charity to craft for and some fun people to chat with come check it out.

Children in Common has just announced that they are joining us in Mittn Blitzn again this summer. We appreciate their support!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

On the Home Stretch, Sort Of

It is looking a whole lot like Bear Claw will be finished this weekend. And not a minute too soon.
At least this Garter Stitch Hell is somewhat interesting (unlike the Garter Stitch Car Knitting I have going right now--but that's blog fodder for another day). The change of color/change of direction thing that this pattern has going is a damned sight better than good old Granny's Favorite Dishcloth!

Not that there's anything wrong with Granny.

And since I was so close to the finish line, I couldn't help but cast on ::ta dah:: the Christmas Stocking, knit (Pine Trees and Cables from Creative Knitting November 2007).

I really wish that the pattern was charted (it's words), but I am soldiering on, one round at a time (12 finished--84 to go). There's an afterthought heel which I have yet to enter in the fair.

Lessons learned. (I like that in an entry!)

Has anyone besides me noticed how difficult red is to photograph?

Yes, that is Red Heart Classic. Why?

This week has been one constant "open mouth, insert foot," thus the disclaimers above re: garter stitch, granny, and Red Heart.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dear Lawn Care Pros,

Eight o'clock at night is a little late to be ringing doorbells to offer your services.

Especially when the homebodies get up at 5.

Just a thought.

The Sheepies


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Say "Uncle!"

You know how every once in a while the clutter, trash, and just plain dirt get to you?

Well, that happened to me this week.

Over the past couple of days, the building pressures at work (nothing I can talk about here) and the realization that 4 (that's one more than 3) of the people that I respect, rely on, and yes, even love, have recently revealed serious illness and let's just say that I am overwhelmed.

Couple that with the absolute dump that my house has devolved to since, oh, January or so, and I threw myself into a frenzy of cleaning and organizing that just won't quit. Normally, I would just lie down until the sensation passed, but not this time.

I'll spare you photos of the more mundane parts of the house. (I am assuming that all of my readers have toilets and kitchen floors. Please correct me if I am wrong on that score.)

Instead, let's turn to the organization of the stash.
I have not updated the sidebar yarn countdown for a couple months, because the yarn stash has ceased its downward spiral.

I have been in a acquition mode (I know I mentioned the stuff Mary sent me) and have not logged the new stuff in.

I also discovered that there's a lot of older stuff (something like nearly 2 bags of sock-weight that I am using on Bear Claw) that was never logged in either.

What that boils down to is the knitting of vast quantities of yarn with nary a dent in the stash sheet ::sob:: (and I started buying sweatersworths of yarn for Christmas knitting that won't be logged in either).

Ignoring the stash shelves went along with ignoring the sheet and there was much spillage onto the floor to the point that I could neither identify, nor even find, some of the yarn I sought, and indeed, it was becoming more and more difficult to approach the shelves with several square feet of yarn mess spread hither and yon, mostly hither.

Add to that, the guilt. Someone on the NAS group mentioned that there comes a time when we all need to say (or even shout) "enough!" and start divesting ourselves of some of the "stuff" we've acquired but will never use. (Did I mention the Rowan Magpie that I just bought from a friend?) so I packed up a bunch of straight needles and mailed them to the Reservation, because lord knows, it's been years since I've touched a 14" straight needle. (I'm inclined toward circs, and I have some 10"ers that I use all the time!)

As I was cleaning, I gave a moment's thought to culling as well. I found two balls that I can feel okay about sending on to someone else. Come on! Only two?

I looked at the odds and ends in these bins and could not bring myself to part with even the crappy ribbon yarn or the pink variegated crochet cotton!

It's a sickeness and I don't wanna get well!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008


I finished Mittnz pair #9 this morning after procrastinating for days over the thumbs (or was it weeks? It might have been.)

They weren't anything special, just basic "afterthought" of a sort. What was holding me hostage was the matching of the stripes. Should I just take the next color as it came (the dark green to navy) and conserve yarn, or should I go with the burgundy tweedy bit and waste several yards X 2?

Eyes left for my solution. I think these look great.

Pattern should be evident. It's from Knit Mittens! by Robin Hansen. I used the pattern from Stop and Go Mittens (the first one in the book) modified a whole lot because the pattern calls for bulky weight yarn knit at 5 st/in on 2s and 3s.

While I recognize the need for windproofery and thickness, I also would like to live to knit another day. So I used Moda Dea Sassy Stripes, a "light" that knits up at 4.5 st/in on 3-4 mm needles (about a 2.5- 5 US size) and the 2s and 3s. I got a nice fabric and a good shape and I am happy.

These will be a fair entry in August and on to the reservation in September. There's enough left to make a hat.

And speaking of the fair, I am making some nice progress on the Penny sock (first of 2) and I'm onto the border on the Bear Claw.

I finished a dishcloth and started (and frogged twice) a potholder.

The Santa pair remain untouched since the last fair came and went without me finishing them. All the parts are there, I just need to seam and stuff. That may be a project for the coming week.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Random Spelling

These two are way too common for me to think they are random:



(You know who you are!)

ETA: _o_ (and I know better, so let's add: too=also and to=toward to the list. Thanks Lizzy)


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Random spelling


AISLE (you walk down it, you shop in it)

ISLE (it's land surrounded by water)

IT'S (it is)

ITS (belongs to it)

THERE ( not here)

THEIR (belongs to them)

THEY'RE (they are)

YOUR (belongs to you)

YOU'RE (you are)

There is NO Apostrophe (') in HERS. Apostrophes denote missing letters (don't = do not--the apostrophe "stands in" for the missing 'o') or possession (Ann's=belonging to Ann). They are not used to denote plural!


Saturday, June 07, 2008

To All the Mittnz Knitters

more cat pictures

Just saying.


They Didn't Stop

While I was away, the Overachievers continued their battle for world Mittn Domination. I figure, let 'em fight it out!

Meanwhile, quietly in the background, folks knittrz like Emily G are making sweet little Mittnz like the ones shown here. Way to go, Emily!

Your name is in the hat for the prize draw to be held in October.

And speaking of. . .

Yours truly (that would be me) has finished 8 pairs (6 of mittnz, 2 of mitts) herself. And well ahead of deadline, which is a good thing, as the fair looms.

Labor Day comes early this year, so the Fair does as well. That means that I have a week less than usual to get my act together. (Would anyone care to jump in and remind me that there are about 52 weeks between Fairs, no matter when Labor Day falls? Just like Christmas.)

Pair # 9 (the ones over there on the corner of the desk without the thumbs) and a matching hat will be an entry. A Ship Support hat that I posted earlier, the Bear Claw blankie, the Pi blankie, and the pair o' Santas that have been in the works for freakin' ever will also be up for judging.

I need to sit with the premium book and some patterns and get serious and identify yarn from the stash and order yarn from some of my favorite pushers. (Oh, that will be such a trial.)

The rules changed this year and there is no longer a limit on the number of entries (though it's still one per category). I suspect this may be in response to dwindling interest in "home arts" all around.

I will be knitting my fingers to the nubs over the next several weeks. Watch for updates.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

A good night's sleep has been a pretty rare thing lately. I get up early (5 in the A), so I go to bed early (like 9 in the P). Often, I find myself waking at midnight, checking the clock, then rolling over and trying to get back to sleep (sometimes, for an hour or more).

So, when I actually feel really tired and ready to sleep and I am able to crawl into bed at a reasonable hour on a Monday night facing a long drive on Tuesday, I really don't want to hear clinking horse shoes and clinking Corona bottles until nigh onto midnight. Just saying.

This afternoon when I got back from said long drive, the a/c unit had been installed in the bedroom window. Apparently, the Other Half agreed.

And speaking of that drive, today, I saw something I have never seen before!

You know those weigh stations that are placed along the interstates? The ones that say "truckers must exit when lights are flashing?" Only they never are (flashing)? Well today, they were (flashing).

I looked up to see a trucker breeze right on by those flashing lights and thought to myself "except for you, buddy!" I wasn't the only one thinking that. Yep, state PO-leece. Right on his back bumper. [snicker]


Sunday, June 01, 2008

We're Back. Did You Miss Us?

Here's where we were. Hattaras, NC.

The lighthouse has been moved back from the beach and is once again, climbable.

The Tiny Prince's mom and dad wanted to climb to the top. Carrying of babies (and other children) is not permitted, so Mammo and Daddo stayed on the ground with the Tiny Prince.

I would say "drat," but this was not exactly a "drat" moment.

You will just have to trust me on this.

The Tiny Prince does not travel light! In fact, his gear fills vast empty spaces in large car trunks.

This was "the big toy" that we brought along. Fortunately, it breaks down for transport.

It sings, it dances. It does everything but change diapers.

There are hangy things all over.

The Tiny Prince loves the Big Toy.

Here's the Tiny Prince enjoying the sand and surf. He really did enjoy it!

We slathered him up with SPF 30-something, then created shade.

You can now see why the all-in-one is called a frog suit.

Tiny sandals. B1G1 at the Mart of K.

Decor in the "cottage" (4 Bedroom, 2 bath) was on the beachy side. They had a real theme going, right down to the shower curtains!

Some of it was downright awful, but I took pictures anyway so we could rememeber it.

The dolphin lamps add a nice touch, don't you think?

Daddo and the Not-So-Tiny Prince had a lot of fun!

Truthfully, Rowan is about the most pleasant baby I have encountered in more than 20 years (yes,those would be my kids!).

He has a ready smile, a chuckle, a laugh, any time except when he's smelly or hungry.

And he loves to eat!

Here are the highlights:

It's 500 miles! Each way! From where we live to there with a short stopover to pick up passengers (TP and his mom).

The drive-on beach access sucks if you are walking because all the cars (4 wheel drive) full of fisherfolk have churned up the sand so badly that it's impossible to walk. However, the wooden walkway over the dunes is fine for walking. We learned this the hard way.

The water tastes like it smells. So we bought drinking water.

People brought dogs (I don't remember there being dogs in years past). There are cats all over.

There is a real grocery store (that's relatively new--but our last trip was nearly 20 years ago). The cottage had a "bonus buy" tag. That was a good thing, because everything has to be trucked onto the island.

Babies are fun to watch (and poke).

Little knitting happened. (I forgot my most basic tools--needle, scissors--at home.)

The weather was gorgeous most of the time (it rained on Wednesday).

At the end of the day, it's good to have a shoulder to sleep on (or to have a little head resting on yours).

I did not cry when we left the Tiny Prince, but I am tearing up now, so I will leave the rest to your imagination.

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