Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Amblin' Along

I finished my first pair of 6 Sox Knitalong socks tonight. I present for your viewing pleasure, Amble. The picture doesn't even begin to show off the great pattern that is on these socks. I do believe that these will be for my sister. Hmmm, I guess that means that I can't give her this URL until after the holidays. Of course, I could just torture her with them. Bwahahahaha.

Details: Knit with Brown Sheep Company Wildfoote in Mistletoe on 2.75 double-pointed needles (US2). The pattern took a little getting used to, but the charting was great and kept me right on track. The pattern goes down the heel flap so these will look great with clogs. I may have to make myself a pair!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

What I Have Learned About Lace

  1. Never attempt knitting with kid mohair using aluminum needles. This is an exercise in futility and will end badly. Put the slippery needles down and get some bamboo needles. If you do not do this, don't blame me for skipped heartbeats when 15 stitches slide from your needle.
  2. It is possible to frog kid mohair, but it is probably best to grab the scissors when you find yourself cursing more than frogging. However, it does not appear wise to attempt to frog the cast on row. It is also unwise to attempt to frog twice.
  3. Not all slipped stitches are slipped purlwise. If the stitches on row 5 look odd and twisty, they will continue to look odd and twisty on row 30.

My pretty citrine kid mohair is now nicely wound back on its ball. I will go back to it in a few days or maybe after Clapotis.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Chirp, Chirp, CHIRP!

Technology and safety gadgets are wonderful things. They are. Sleep is also wonderful. Last night was the first night in four that I actually got some. I know, those of you with small children are laughing at me. You have my sympathies and may go right ahead and giggle.

Four nights ago, The Hub and I were rudely awakened by an electronic chirp. You know, the high-pitched kind that is hard to locate if you aren't close by and tells you that one or another of your gadgetry needs attention. We suspected the smoke detector in the hallway. It is one of those sealed ones with a battery that is not replaceable. The next day that detector was removed and put in the living room to ascertain if it was the culprit.

Three nights ago, more chirping. We started noticing it around 3 a.m., but the chirps were again too widely spaced for us to find the source. Of course, there being just enough time between chirps to fall asleep didn't help matters. The next day, the entire family was getting grumpy. The Hub inspected the batteries in all three bedroom smoke detectors. While it was apparent that we had not changed them at the last time change (we mark the month and year on the batteries when we install them) we were puzzled that they would be dying so soon. In any case, we pulled the old batteries and went to bed anticipating a quiet night.

Two nights ago, yes, the chirping was back. Still unable to find it and getting grumpier by the second, we were stumped. What dreadful thing was keeping us from sleeping! We puzzled and pondered until our puzzlers were sore. Then, The Hub thought of something he hadn't before! Once upon a time, we had a linen closet. Then we began to accumulate gadgetry. Eventually, we turned much of the linen closet into a network closet. This little space still houses a few towels and a vacuum cleaner, but it has evolved to serve a much more important cause. This space now has a network printer, the router, the network backup device, numerous cables, a punchdown block or two, and the all important cable modem. Some time last year, we figured that since this space was only designed for towels and such but was now holding enough electronic stuff to power a small business, we should add a smoke detector. We made two mistakes in this otherwise clever plan. First, we left in the cheap junk battery that came with the detector. Second, we forgot about the detector altogether.

The entire family is much happier this morning. I spent yesterday hiding from the world since my sleep deprivation was not making me ready for prime time. Instead, I jumped on the bandwagon and started my very own Clapotis. Since I can't do anything as written, it is going to be a little different. Instead of a worsted weight, I'm using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock knitted on US6 needles. I loved the colorway (Blueberry Hill), but couldn't make it behave in socks. I think I'll need to add one or two extra increase repeats and who knows how many extra straight repeats. So far, I really like the weight. Being in SoCal, the last thing I need is another worsted-weight scarf/shawl. This should be perfect.

The sewing machine has also been getting a bit of a work out. Last weekend, I put together a bag from Handle With Style. This weekend I added a matching needle roll from Tostetoes' pattern. This is a gift that is actually ready a week or two before the deadline!

One of my other obsessions over the past few years has been beads. Seeing all the cute stitch markers around the web made me want some of my own. Want very quickly spiraled to need and I spent some time this afternoon with my tools and some spare beads. I used a US11 needle for the sizing then remembered that I would want a set of four for felted bags. That is why one set is a bit larger. For those, I used a US15 needle to make sure that they would fit over my US11 circular needles.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What Did I Get Myself Into????

Those enablers on the 6 Sox Knitalong have really done it this time.

So have the Summer of Lace crew.

Oh, dear.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And Again, It's the Little Things

Sometimes it's amazing how little it can take to make me happy. Today was going to be one of those average too much to do when did the people I hire become the same age as my niece kind of days. Then I played with my new find... Oh, wait, I'm jumping ahead of myself again.

A few weeks ago I saw a picture of the Knitty Cocktail Monkey bag. It was cute, but I thought it wasn't on the plan. Then I remembered that I had quite a bit of hemp cord leftover from a shekere I made last year. The problem was that I didn't have any monkeys and I wasn't going to spend more on shipping than on the monkeys. What to do? Then last night, the family wandered through Party City and they had their summer drinkware on clearance. US$4 later, I had 500 assorted drink markers. They aren't all monkeys, so I present to you (with apologies to Shel Silverstein and the Irish Rovers) my latest font of happiness:

You'll see green mermaid ladies and long-necked g'raffes
Some humpty backed camels and some monkey riff-raff
Donkeys, bulls and elephants, but sure as you're born
You're never gonna see no unicorns

What can I say? They are great! I certainly don't need 500 of them (the picture is of one quarter of the whole), but I now have monkeys.

Knitting has also been very successful. I completed my character building exercise and I feel much better for it. Okay, so I just want to go shopping, but I still feel better. I finished my petticoat socks.

I also finished Branching Out and even finished blocking her on the same day I cast off. Do you see the error? It's a doozy and it was quite early on. I actually find it rather endearing. Yes, that is called making the best of things.

I still need to photograph Tivoli. I've already cast on my first Amble socks and joined several knit alongs. Silly, silly engineer.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

No Time, I Got Got Got No Time

Well, no time to blog, anyway. I had the delightful feeling of finally finishing the Petticoat socks! These were showing all signs of being destined for the back of the yarn bin. First, I ignored Ursula's hint to use US2 needles. Then the US2s I bought were really US 2.5s. Finally, I admitted that the sock knit on US1 needed to be completely unraveled. The final socks are pretty, but not identical. After all the ripping and reknitting, I ended up a round or two off and one sock has a blue toe while its twin didn't quite get to the blue at the end. At this point, I will take what I have and count it a good job finished!

Tivoli is also finished and looks somewhat less rolly with a quick steam pressing. It needs more blocking before I pronounce it good. Okay, so losing 20 pounds would also help.

Next up is the return to Branching Out.

All this and work has intruded with requests for more of my time. It's always something.