Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sleeve Island and the new sock

I am stuck on sleeve island and it is frustrating. I knit 4 inches on DH's sleeve and have to rip back 2 or 3 inches (the sleeve is narrowing too fast for his comfort). I knit an inch on the Elemental Boatneck and discover that I have to tink back 3 rows because I got off the pattern of the linen stitch by one. Grrr. What I really want to knit on is my lace scarf and the new sock. I have completed the increases of this Whirlpool toe and am knitting even for a while. The toe looks so graceful and pretty with the swirled increases that I keep stopping to look at it. The colors are making me smile, too.

DH and eldest son are on the boat today, trying to catch some fish. They got up earlier to go fishing than I did to go to work. I smiled as I went back to sleep this morning after they got up, and I got up at 5:20 AM!

Tonight is knit nite at the LYS and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone. I want to show the yarn I dyed and see everyone else's projects, especially Nancy's knitted animals. Nancy is a friend of mine who enjoys knitting unusual things as well as sweaters and socks and "usual" stuff like that. Last year she knitted a labyrinth sweater. The sweater in the link is not her sweater, but someone else's, and it illustrates the idea very well. Nancy's was done in natural shades with alpaca yarn and is so awesome! She cast on over 3000 stitches!!!! She is currently working on knitting zoo animals - two sets - for a niece and a nephew and will then begin a set of dinosaurs. The animals she has completed so far have been adorable. Maybe I can remember my camera tonight and get some pictures to share. I plan to do more sweater sleeve knitting then allow myself the treat of some new sock knitting time.

Last night I did very little knitting. I had a migraine during the work day and while it was gone, I still felt very tired and had some residual headache to deal with. I did get a few rounds on DH's sleeve knitted. Actually, I should say re-knitted. : (

This weekend I hope to get caught up on household and garden chores, and I hope to do some spinning. I also hope to get the yarn for my brother's socks wound into balls so that I can cast on when I am ready. I can't wait to see whether the variegated yarn held with the solid will look the way I think it will.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My new sock

Instead of going into a long, complicated story about why I haven't posted, I'll just move on to the interesting stuff. Knitting and dyeing.

I started a new sock yesterday. I chose Claudia's Handpaint, colorway Chocolate Cherry for my yarn. After much deliberation (which I thoroughly enjoyed) I settled on one of Cat Bordhi's constructions - the Spiral Coriolis. I started with a Whirlpool toe, and that's what I am working on now. My markers are in place, the cast on went reasonably well and the toe looks good. I limit my time knitting on this new sock because I am under a deadline - I haven't finished DH's white sweater yet. One sleeve is at the elbow (I had to rip back because I was doing the decreases too fast) and the other has not been started. Pressure .....

Laminaria is still lying, untouched, at the foot of my bed. I have picked up the bag several times, decided that I a) didn't have time or b) was too tired to concentrate or c) I'll try to insert a life line below the mistake first and I don't have time for that right now or d) S**t! I am too scared to try this at all! or e) all of the above.

I sent the red cotton baby sweater to my cousins, along with one pair of booties (that were practise Bordhi socks) and a couple of bibs that were woven by Mayan women that I picked up at Rhinebeck. I hope they like the package.

Two weekends ago I was very busy, but had a great weekend. I judged knitting at the Montgomery County Fair on Saturday morning. It was a long drive but very interesting. I had thought that my biggest problem would be to concentrate on the knitting, not on the color or pattern that I liked best, but there were so many nicely knitted items entered that I still had a hard time deciding in some cases. Thank goodness there were 3 of us judging the same items (there was another panel of 2 judges for other entries) so that no one's personal preferences could take over. Very interesting, and I would do it again.

After that I drove to NY to visit Mom - it took 6 hours from the site of the county fair. I was very happy to get out of the car. We ate dinner (she brought food in, assuming that I would not want to drive to a restaurant), then chatted until after 11. On Sunday, though we had planned to go to the beach, it was so hot and humid that we stayed in the AC - and went shopping. DH groaned when he heard that, but he was a good sport when we paid the bill. I even found something to buy for Mom for her BD, which is in a couple of weeks. She can be very hard to buy for. She was trying on a knit fabric long black dress for the summer. It looked great on her, but she wanted something to go over it- break up the black, hide her tummy, whatever. I found this silky poncho kind of thing and it looked wonderful on her! We did go out to eat that night - seafood, wine and good company.

I drove home on Monday, after the NY rush hour traffic had eased. Luckily I checked the traffic on the TV first, though. (Long Island does a much better job of that than Baltimore.) The route I usually take was jammed with traffic due to some construction and I was able to find an alternate route that worked well. I was home in 4 hours, in time for dinner with DH.

The week, while a short one, was busy with work and trying to get household chores done.

This past Saturday, I went to a friends house and we dyed yarn and fiber. It was lots of fun. Most were dying blank yarn, but a few of us were over-dyeing, and it's always interesting to see how that turns out. Here are some of my results.
This is 2400 yards of lace weight alpaca yarn. It's is turquoise with a little bit of blue dye powder sprinkled over it in the dye bath. I think it will knit up beautifully. I was hoping for a not quite solid so that I can knit just about any pattern in it, and that's what I got.

This is fiber from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club. It is a blend of merino and mohair, 4 oz, but the colorway included a lot of a greenish/olive yellow that looks terrible on me and that no one else in the house liked either. I over dyed it with blue and it's much improved.

This is merino, amount unknown, that I dyed silver grey, again sprinkling some blue dye powder on it while in the crock pot. There's not much blue there and the color is more grey than silver, but it will do.

This yarn is for my brother's socks. He wanted some heavier socks, warm, not itchy, for inside his boots. This is Happy Feet, sport weight and I will knit with it doubled. He requested NY Giants colors, and I think I got that. I plan to knit with the variegated yarn and the red yarn held together, using the blue for heels, toes and the cuff. I have to decide when to start the ribbing - the entire leg of the sock or some stockinette and then ribbing just for the top 3 inches or so, but this will be a simple pair of socks.

Sunday was a boating day. We fished a while but were a little too late for the tide fishing, so we went swimming to cool off - it was HOT! The water is in the 80's, warm enough to get in qucikly and cool enough to still lower the body temperature. We ate, did more fishing and got chased in by a thunderstorm. : (

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's a contest!

Not mine, though I have given that some thought. Go see this blog for the details. Good luck!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sleeve Island

Work has resumed on DH's sweater. I had him put it on yesterday and looked carefully at it. It could have worked but I think I would have been pulling at it all the time to 'fix" the line of it so to the frog pond it went. The sleeve, not the whole sweater. I picked up fewer stitches and knitted a few rounds, then decided it had too few stitches and ripped again. This time I believe I have the number right and I plan to knit on it as much as possible each day. I want this puppy done. It will take a while, I am afraid, but it's right now.

Sleeves are also being knit for the Elemental Boatneck. Those are linen stitch sleeves, two at a time and so you can see why I feel like I am on sleeve island.

I have my Cardi Cozy on the needles, but don't really want to side track myself away from finishing those other two garments, so I will not pick it up. I am working on my scarf in between sleeves - the cotton yarn and the hempathy can tire a knitters arms and hands when knitted with exclusively. I am also continuing the swatching for the cardigan sweater I want to design with Shelridge Farms cotton/wool blend in a moss green color. I think I have settled on the cables, need to complete another pattern repeat before I know for sure, and I am still working on the plan for the edges. Laminaria has not been touched. I am scared.

I hope to be on the boat later today, and will work on eldest son's afghan - that will give my hands a break. I am not sure yet what else I will bring along. Yesterday was a laundry and gardening day, as well as resting from 2 days of constant headache. I don't know why I get these severe headaches - they feel like they start as sinus headaches (teeth and eye sockets hurt) but they get so severe sometimes that it hurts to open my eyes or move my head. I was home from work Thursday and Friday because of it. They were not fun days off and no knitting was done.

Say Hi to my turtle friend. He graces the table on the deck. Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mid week blahs and a rant

Not much progress on any front to blog about. The Luscious Lace Scarf is growing. I love it. Not much else has seen any progress. I was a slug last night after work and accomplished next to nothing.

I read on the net today about a woman in NY who drove drunk and high and killed herself and 7 other people. She drove the wrong way on a highway with 5 kids in her car! What in the world made her do something like that? Why would she drive at all, and especially with kids in the car under the influence of drugs and alcohol? She killed 3 other innocent people in addition to her family members, and for what? To get home sooner? Why was she getting high and drunk in the morning? I just don't understand and I am sickened by it. Her family claims that she didn't have a drinking problem and that it must have been her diabetes that did something to her. Blood sugar alterations can certainly happen if you are a diabetic and drink - but why was she drinking and driving?

If people would just think of others first instead of themselves first, the world would be a lot better place. Most people are so self-absorbed these days, and the lessons that kids learn by watching their parents' behaviour are horribly wrong. They go to church then cut off someone trying to exit or enter the road. They hear their parents say that they shouldn't lie but then the parents lie - on the phone or in person doesn't matter and it shouldn't matter whether or not they know the other person. Everyday language is foul, and there is no respect for others as people talk on their cell phones right through transactions, elevator rides whatever they do. I do not need or want to hear your conversation in the elevator car, especially at the volume most people use for their cell phone conversations. Put your turn signal on for a lane change and what does the person behind you in that lane do? Speed up so you can't get in!

Sorry. I get so upset when people do stupid things and others suffer, and the level of self-centeredness in this world upsets me. Maybe I'll be in a better mood next time.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The week improved, thank goodness

I started this last week tired, stressed and unhappy. I had a bit of a pity party, too. You know, I do things right and things go wrong anyway, why me, that kind of thing. I put in a lot of hours at work, set some priorities, cleaned and organized my desk and my schedule and I feel much better now. I didn't even cry when I received an email asking me how I would suggest the University (of Maryland, which is my employer) should handle the upcoming budget cuts - furlough, layoffs, salary reduction, reduction in benefits, etc. I managed to respond in what I think was a positive manner and still get my thoughts across.

I have not yet been able to get started on my exercise program. Actually, program is too grand a word for it. I hope to ride my bike every day for at least 10 minutes. I hope to do at least 15 sit ups per day. I hope this will give me stress relief, more energy, better feelings about myself and will develop further into a real exercise program, including weight bearing exercises and some cardio. I need it.

I have had a problem with self image for many years. It affects all phases of my life, and some times are worse than others. I have just been through a particularly bad patch and I hope that I am back on the rise now. I took steps to change my feelings about my competency at work. If I can get this exercise going at home, I can improve both my feelings of bulgy ugly body and my feelings of satisfaction on the home front - no more "I am a terrible housewife, gardener etc." because I hope to have increased energy to take care of those things. My brain knows that I will feel better if I can do it, but my emotions make excuses and my body complains about aches and pains. The I tell myself that I am a weak willed lazy creature, and you can see how it perpetuates. One week of being strong will change this and I think this is the week.

On the knitting front, I lost and then found the baby sweater that I knitted for my cousins. I will sew the buttons on it and send it out soon, before I can loose it again. ; ) This is the best shot I can get for the cable view.

Aren't the buttons cute?

I knitted 4 rows on Laminaria over this week, but last night I discovered a dropped stitch and a hole. gulp. I think I am going to have to frog the entire edging section that I have completed, because with all of the increasing and decreasing I do not have faith in my ability to drop the section down and re-knit. D**m.

I lost and then found the pattern for my travel sock, so that's back on track. I have started the heel.

The body of the Elemental Boatneck is complete and I wanted to cast on the sleeves. I found the correct needle size and then couldn't find the yarn. Have you noticed the trend here? I have since found enough yarn to start both sleeves, but I could swear that I have more. Somewhere.

Karen gave me some gorgeous yarn a few years ago, purchased specifically to make the pooling colors scarf. I didn't work. I just could not make the colors line up for more than a few rows at a time, despite trying many needle sizes and a few different patterns. The yarn marinated in my stash for a while. Then I though I was happy with using that yarn to make Montego Bay. I knitted happily along for several inches, but as it progressed, I became unhappy with what was happening with the colors. Rip. I was recently rummaging (I think it was one of my attempts to find the Hempathy I needed for the boatneck) in my stash and saw the yarn again, had an idea and cast on. The pattern is the Luscious Lace Scarf. This looks right. I know, I thought that before, but this feels good to knit and it looks really good right now. I think it's the match I was seeking.

At the MD Sheep and Wool Festival I purchased this yarn from Shelridge Farms. I have been doing some swatching and trying to imaging what I see this yarn being knit into. It is a rustic kind of yarn, not smooth, so I think lace is out. I saw this pattern in a stitch dictionary and liked it, but when I knitted it up, I thought it looked like a spider.
I don't hate spiders, but I don't think I want to wear one. I will search further. I don't have enough yardage to make a really cabled cardigan, but I should be able to put a cable or two down the front, but a twisted stitch pattern is in the running, also.

We plan to go out on the boat today. The forecast is encouraging. I had thought that we might spend the night on the boat for a change, but the temps are supposed to remain in the 80's until after midnight and the humidity is predicted to be above 90% until morning. In a boat cabin that is small and has no windows, I think that is not a great idea. There would be lots of tossing and turing and not much sleep, I'm afraid. We'll go out mid-afternoon and stay out until dark - I love to watch the sun set on the water.

Have a great day, everyone.