Sunday, September 28, 2008

Have I told you lately how much I love knitting?

I can't seem to stop. It's all I want to do. I have many projects going and I am not at all stressed by that right now. I just calmly and happily go about knitting on which ever project moves me at that time. 

The Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn that I picked up at KDO is becoming a seed stitch vest.  I detest seed. That K1 P1 is so annoying. In my present frame of mind, however, the annoying seed stitch  transforms itself into being a good chance to improve my continental purling skills.  It's baffling! But just look at how the jewel tones in the yarn glow.  (clicken to embiggen)

The Thelonious sock sock is 47 of 70 rows into the leg and moving along nicely.

Bob's miles and miles of stockinette are actually nearing an end, for the body, at least. He tried it on yesterday and within about 3 inches I will change form stockinette to ribbing. 2 x 2 not K1 P1, thank goodness! 1 x 1 ribbing might just put and end to my happiness with the seed stitch. giggle. I have already begun the first sleeve. I picked up stitches around the armhole and did short rows for the sleeve cap and have finished the sleeve cap and begun sleeve decreases. 

The lace scarf has only made a little progress recently, but I love it still and will probably knit on that some while watching football today. I was a little worried about the length of the scarf since it's pretty wide - about 8 inches unblocked. But I have about 26 inches in length, stretched manually, not blocked, and I have used a little less than one of the two balls I purchased. I think it will be long enough and very soft around my neck.

I am also still slooowly working on the cashmere scarf in pinks, blues and lavenders, but other projects are interesting me more right now, especially since the cashmere is such a fine yarn.
I have been interested in projects that are easier to make and show progress faster. I'll get back to it, have no fear.

We had an unexpected visitor this morning. I set out my new birdfeeder, made by my brother to accommodate cardinal feeding.

A cardinal was not the first visitor. This guy is so cute that I had trouble chasing him away. He did make a pig of himself, though. Looks at those stuffed cheeks!

He wasn't adverse to sharing, but the bird wasn't so sure.

DH just left to go fishing on our boat. I was invited to join him but due to a whopper sinus headache, I declined.  I didn't walk with Karen this morning, either, thanks to the same headache. The pain is lessening, but gentle movement is what I am favoring right now. So, football (watching, not playing), some laundry and lots of knitting is what I have planned for today.  
Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fishing with .... the birds.

It may surprise you to know that the pursuit of fish under the water frequently requires the presence of birds over the water. All around the fishing areas - docks, marinas, bait shops, the call is "have you seen birds working the water?". What that means is that we look for the birds to fly around like crazed creatures and dive bomb into the water to get bait fish. That's where we go, then to catch fish. The birds show us the way.

It is a little strange to be so close to these birds as they flit and dive in many directions. Bob even had one get caught up in his fishing line! I didn't have time to take any photos, but we hauled him near, Bob held his wing still (I do have a tendency to call the stupid ones him. giggle) and we unwound the line from his feathers. He indignantly flew away and was soon back to hunting for his meal.

The circle in this photos indicates the bird that is just about under water getting his fish. all you can see is one wing. 

Bait fish are the little fish that have come too near the surface in their efforts to get away from the bigger fish that are trying to eat them. They can't win! It's a good thing that there are a lot of them. Under those fish are even bigger ones, trying to eat the middle fish. What we were trying to catch were the striped bass near the bottom. What we caught were the ones in the middle layer - bluefish. Very yummy even if they were not exactly what we went there for.

There are beautiful natural (as compared to planted there) plants growing all over the area. Here is one of the roses that grow abundantly. Too bad I couldn't share with you the perfume in the air. ahhhh.

Beach grasses are beautiful even without blossoms.

I am sure that if this were growing in my garden, I would call it a weed and pull it, but here it seems right.

We'll finish up with another beautiful Montauk sunset.

Knitting content tomorrow, I hope.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vacation continued

Montauk beach memories

Moving on....
We arrived home at about 12:30 Am on Friday, and I left for
Knitters Day Out
at about 2:30 PM. Three of us drove together and shared a room - that leaves more money for purchases, in addition to being much more fun. Nancy and I had classes on Friday night. I took Sock Party with Carol Breitner. We had fun, got to know other fanatical sock knitters and learned a few tips and tricks both from Carol and from speaking with the others in the class. One of the activities was designed to get us to know each other better, and we learned a lot about each others sock knitting preferences and specialties. Nancy's class on Friday was Curly Q Scarf with Joy Jannotti and she was excited to have that going. Karen visited with friends and cruised the market.

We ate in a nearby diner after class and just after we arrived, and lot of local people came in - Friday night football at the high school finishing up. Many had face paintings and were in costumes - fun to observe.

The next morning came earlier than we wanted after staying up for *a while* to knit the night before, but we were motivated by our morning classes. Karen took Seven Things that can "Make or Break" a Sweater™ with Margaret Fisher. Nancy and I both took Double Knitting - THE NEXT STEP with Linda Montgomery-Blair. Considering that Nancy and I hadn't done double knitting for a while, we did pretty well. The emphasis was on shaping in double knitting - increasing and decreasing symmetrically, and I think I got it. Of course, I thought I had it before and was stuck once out of class, but we'll see. I was not at all graceful but did what I had to do, and I was able to do more repeats the day after, and remembered what I had to do so maybe there's hope. giggle. I think that this technique is one I have trouble with because it helps to be able to visualize both sides of the work at the same time and that's not easy for me....

After lunch, which was pretty good, Karen went off to teach her class and Nancy and I hit the Market. If only money was no object.... sigh... reality snaps me back to the present.

I bought 2 patterns, (I am not sure why Blogger uploaded these photos horizontally - sorry)

I also surprised myself by buying 5 skeins of Mountain Colors Mountain Goat, a mohair/wool blend.

I usually avoid mohair in yarn due to the itch factor, but this feels yummy so far, and the color is wonderful. It was also on sale. ; ) It will be a vest.

This book came home with me, also. There are several patterns in here that I will make use of. It includes patterns for women, men and children.  (again with the horizontal uploading. Ugh.)

While in Montauk (and before we left) I knitted on Cookie A's Thelonious. Here's my first completed sock:

I will close for today with yet another Montauk photo. We watched a storm blow buy just north of us.  I just love that place. sigh.

Love vacation, hate return to work

I've been gone, as you have probably noticed. We went to Long Island (NY), way out on the east end, to Montauk. We stayed in a hotel right on the ocean, and I got to go to sleep each night with the sound of waves crashing on the beach - loverly! We even stayed an extra day!

The weather was good most of the time, and we spent a lot of time on the boat (my husband's favorite place in the world). We went fishing every day, and we both caught many bluefish. I mean, we caught enough that we threw a lot back in the water (right away, so they weren't hurt). Still, we brought home a lot of fish meals.

There were beautiful sunsets

the light house viewed many different ways

the very dependable buoy system that intrigues me so much

and, of course, and yarn store stop. What would vacation be without a yarn store visit? I came home with some fine alpaca to make a vest for younger son. We had discussed colors and shapes and gauge before, and I thought I had a handle on what he wanted. From his reaction, I think I hit the nail on the head. Now I can continue to swatch and do my calculations for casting on. Yippee! I will make this vest top down so he can try it on and decide on the length as we go. The colorwork will be completed early on and the remainder will be mostly stockinette, but I love this yarn so much that I don't think it will bother me at all. Besides, that's good football watching knitting, that stockinette. ; )

More next time.