Monday, September 28, 2009

Destined for the frog pond or knit on?

What do you think? I like the pattern but I am not sure that it works well with this yarn in this color. Maybe something more open? Lighter color? What should I knit with this yarn? It's soft and yummy to the touch.

While at KDO, I saw a few patterns that I liked. They have a display wall for vendors and designers to showcase yarns/patterns to catch knitters' eyes. Patterns that I liked from KDO were:

The Seven Eighths shawl
This was knitted in a soft, silky feeling yarn and looked a lot nicer in person than in the photo.

Curlicue coverlet
This was knitted in Mini Mochi. It looked impressive and felt so soft that I wanted to just curl up in it and never give it up. You omit one or two sections of the coverlet pattern to make the wrap and it highlights the color changes in the yarn beautifully. Or the color changes highlight the pattern, depending on how you look at it. ; ))

I am home from work again today. I saw the doctor this morning, was diagnosed with a persistent upper respiratory infection and the recommendation was to go home, take your medicine (new antibiotic and strong cough medicine) and rest today, so I am doing just that. It's a little chilly here (in the 60's) so I will bundle up a little, go sit in the sun for a half hour or so now that I have tended to work issues and knit. Maybe I'll swatch another pattern for that scarf before I rip out the one that has been started. I may decide to continue it after all.

Have a good day, all.

Finished project

I bound off the mobius last night. This yarn was gifted to me last year, and started out as several different things, none of which totally suited it. Finally I settled on a basket weave pattern for a mobius, and I love the way it came out. It wraps twice around my neck nicely, and can easily be pulled up over my head if needed - I love that about a nice mobius. No need to carry/wear a scarf and hat. Here it is in all of it's blue and purple glory. ; )

Yesterday had some sunny periods (I managed to catch about 10 minutes worth - gotta build up that Vitamin D) but I did indeed spend the day knitting and watching football. The Ravens and the Broncos (my two favorite teams) won! I only watched about half of the Sunday night game because I was tired and hoped to feel well enough to go into work this morning.

I bound off the first sleeve on DH's sweater and picked up the stitches for the second sleeve, working on the short row sleeve cap for a while before I got tired. Then I moved on to the mobius and finished that off. My next project to finish (because it doesn't need a lot of work to get to the end) is the felted bag my MIL started for me the month before she died. I decided to finish it but couldn't work on it right away. Once I got started, the work flew, but then it got warm ....
Anyway, I am on the last 5 rows, it's going quickly and I should be binding off and felting by the weekend. The I cord is already done for the straps, though I might decide to buy some leather straps once I look at the finished project.

Tonight is Monday night football and I will watch that until half time, knitting on the felted bag and then the sleeve for the Elemental Boatneck. Sleeve island. That's where I am, but I will keep at this until they are both FOs. I will not let myself cast on for anything new until then. I have that new yarn I just bought .... I will be strong. If I am too tired at the end of today (I did make it into work) to knit, I will just browse through some patterns to see what might work for the new sock yarn and/or the mini mochi ?scarf.

Spinning fell by the wayside during my illness the last few days, and I won't try it tonight, but maybe by tomorrow .... at least some drop spindling, I hope. I don't want to loose what I have gained in my ease with spinning.

Speaking of loosing and gaining, this not feeling well has helped the number on the scale. I lost 5 -8 pounds in the last month. I don't obsess about the exact number, I just watch trends, and depending on which weight I go by before vacation and which one I go by over the weekend, I have lost more than 5 but less than 10 pounds. That's good. I'd like to loose another 5 or so pounds, don't know if I can manage it, but will keep trying to cut down the junk food. That's really all I've done, and having no appetite does help. I have been eating meals, though, and fruit, so I am doing the weight loss in a healthy manner. And I still allow chocolate daily, but much less than before. Next thing will be slowly adding some exercise. I hope to try riding my bike this fall, once I get healthy. Right now I would be lucky to make it around my block once. LOL

Here's a view of my son's cat Moneypenny in a rare position - on DH lap. She is not a lap cat by any means, but didn't wish to be disturbed for a while yesterday evening.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Knitters Day Out

KDO is an event that takes place annually in PA. It is a very affordable way to take knitting classes, spend some time with fellow knitters and, of course, shop.

Short rows was my morning class I learned to do the Japanese short row method. I thought I knew it before but I was doing it wrong, and now I know how to do it correctly. ; ) The other methods covered were the yo (new to me) and wrap and turn (which I knew). I liked the Japanese method the best.

My afternoon class was with Merike Saarniit - bobbles, berries and buds. That was cool, and I liked her a lot. I learned a lot of practical things and some Estonian history. I would take another of her classes.

I bought 4 balls of mini mochi in the fall colorway for a scarf (probably) and a ball of Zauerball sock yarn . I don't think the link picture is a good representation of the color, which is deep and yummy purple with deep magenta or rose shades. I think my photo did pretty well in capturing the color. It has long color repeats and I think will look great as socks. I saw a few on Ravelry and liked them. I bought another clear notions bag and a small, foldable back pack. There were other things I was tempted by, but nothing I couldn't resist and that's good. (for the pocketbook and for actually using some of the stash I have been collecting) I had hoped to see some Mountain Colors River Twist there, but didn't find any.

It's raining here and likely to do so all night and all day tomorrow. I am not sure I mind. It's a good excuse to stay inside. I can see a day of football and knitting in my future. And extra Vitamin C so that I can feel better. I cannot shake all of this cold and sinus infection and after almost 2 weeks it is getting old.

Stay warm and dry, and enjoy your knitting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vacation part 3

The last part of vacation was spent at home. We unpacked the car in bits and pieces as we felt well enough to carry some things inside. I think there are still a few items in the Expedition from vacation, and we've been home almost a week now. Friday I washed clothes, knitted and rested. Most of the wash was dried on the line, which I love to do. Saturday was also spent at home, doing essentially the same thing. Sunday was a beautiful day and we went out on the boat one last time before the RTTRW (return to the real world). The water was calm, the breeze just enough, the sun was shining and we had fun catching some fish. They all went back into the water - it was just fun to catch them. I knitted and used my drop spindle. We got home in time to watch most of the Raven's game, and the night game as well. I am a football fan - actually much more of a fan than DH.

Thought of work kept intruding - I was dreading what I had to do when I came back. I fought it off, though, determined to enjoy every minute of vacation. I really have a hard time with the return to work after being away, and it was a struggle to make myself go into work on Monday morning. The day passed, though, with no major crisis and fewer than 200 emails to respond to after 2 weeks away. Monday night football was enjoyed until the 3rd quarter, then I had to head into bed. I did do my daily spinning before the game, and I am very happy that I have resumed that practice.

I am not sure what it is about spinning that I like so much. It takes some concentration, but at a different level than knitting. I can listen to an audio book while spinning but I can't watch TV - I have to watch what I am spinning. I get in a zone when spinning that leaves me feeling more relaxed, somehow, than knitting does. I can't be called a product spinner at all - I don't produce enough yarn fast enough. I'd like to increase my productivity, and yet I don't want to stop knitting. Since I can't take more time from working or sleeping or doing housework, knitting time is the place spinning time comes from. This is my current project. someday this will be a shawl.

Things are winding down in the garden now. I still have beautiful things to look at in the yard, though. Here are a few examples.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vacation 2009 part two

We got out on the boat 4 days out of 7 and Bob got his big fish - a 41.5 inch striped bass.
I like catching the smaller fish - they fight and are fun, but not too much work to bring in. Even so, I felt so weak that I had to stop fishing and just rest for a while on several occasions.

We did some shopping, though I didn't go to the LYS in Montauk. That should tell you how sick I felt. I bought T-shirts or sweatshirts for family at home and for DH and myself. Mom was there for 2 days, (we even did some shopping together) and all of my brothers were also in the same place for at least some of the time we were there. We visited with them, but only for short periods, outside, so as to not share our germs with them.

We drove to the point, down on the beach and up at the observation areas and just watched the waves and the birds. There has been quite a bit of erosion lately from the storms (formerly hurricanes) that passed by. It was sad to see the beach shortened so much.

The 4-5 ft. drop that you see in the sand wasn't there last year.

The trip home was fine - no trouble with the trailer or traffic, thank goodness, since we both were still under the weather. It's about 400 miles each way, towing a boat on a trailer, and that can be rather stressful on some of the narrow roads in Queens and Brooklyn. Once on the highway it is not bad at all.

We arrived home on Thursday night. Since then I have been unpacking, washing clothes, resting, knitting and spinning.

A loooong time ago DH worked on the fishing fleet on Montauk. He started as a mate and by the time he left there had obtained his captain's license for a boat like this one - 100 ft./100 ton boat. They took people off shore for fishing trips - some overnight, but mostly day trips. This is not the one he worked on, but it's very similar. These are some of the views in the Montauk harbor. These are work boats - long line or commercial fishing boats at the dock. This is the ice house and unloading area for the work boats. This is our boat. It's a 20 foot with a small cabin. We can spend the night on it, and have, but it's very cramped for sleeping 2 people . We just use it for day trips, and we are comfortable in it. Here, DH is bringing it to the launch ramp to be hauled out to go home.

And just because it's pretty, I'll end with a beach rose

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vacation 2009 part one

Vacation this year was very much anticipated. I have had a busy year and things haven't exactly been smooth and calm. Vacation wasn't, either.

We actually had a good, uneventful drive to Mom's house on Long Island on Tuesday, 9/8. We had a good dinner with Mom, spent the night there and drove to Montauk the next day to begin our stay there. That drive went well, also - not broken lights, no flat tires, none of the other problems that have plagued us on other trips. We arrived in Montauk in the middle of a gale - winds 20-40 mph. Only a small complication when the boat is on the trailer, a big one when you want to be in the boat on the water. Waves too hight, gusts too high, not safe, so we were grounded (so to speak). We were grounded for the first 3 days of 7. Topping that, we both got sick within a day or two of arrival. Sick enough that it was a struggle to make ourselves go on the boat on the nice days. This was what the water looked like near the Montauk Point lighthouse. It is not very welcoming or friendly looking, is it?

This kind of sea isn't for small boaters - actually, even the charter boats cancelled their trips - but it is so awesome, so awe-inspiring to look out at those waves, see nature "in action" and kind of let you know your place in the bigger picture. We couldn't stay away. If I hadn't felt so miserable, I would have sat there for hours watching the water, the birds, the sky. Wow.

Normally, at the lighthouse, there are fisherman in the surf, in the water, all trying to catch striped bass. Some even wear wetsuits and swim out to fish on the rocks further from shore. This time, all of the fisherman were up on the rocks - no one ventured into the surf.

9/11 occurred 2 days after we arrived, and in NY, at least, that's a big deal. There are still people dying from things they were exposed to during that terrible event, and it really hasn't slipped as far back in peoples' minds there as it has elsewhere.

Saturday was nice, finally, and we got the boat in the water and went fishing. I brought knitting, of course. I chose different projects each day - visible progress was made on Bob's sweater sleeve, Rob's afghan, my sock, my brother's sock and a scarf. Bob and I both felt pretty sick and called our doctors on Monday morning to request antibiotics, which were called in for us.

That's it for tonight. I'll continue this another day.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Still on Sleeve Island, but with field trips

Well, I won't have DH's sweater finished in time for vacation. I might finish it while on vacation, but that's it. At least I have most of the ends woven in already.

Please excuse the vacation staging area in the background - we are not yet packed.

I won't have the Elemental boatneck finished in time either, but those sleeves will make good vacation knitting. I think it will be too chilly to wear that top on vacation anyway. We frequently have 80 degree days and 60 degree nights while vacationing in Montauk, but the forecast for the week we will be in Montauk this year is for high 60's and low 70's in the daytime with about 60 at night. On the water you can drop that low a bit further, too. I am bringing winter clothes - mittens, hats, jackets, etc.

Field trips include my brother's socks being knitted with the Happy Feet that I dyed a few weeks ago.

Socks abound right now. In addition to the travel sock (the second of the two is over the heel and working up the leg) we have the Claudia's Chocolate Cherry sock being knitted following the Spiraling Coriolis pattern.

If you look carefully, you can just see the spiral going across the top of the instep.

My gauge on this sock is about 10 stitches to the inch. I decided that since this yarn has no nylon and I want it to last, I would knit it very densely. As a result, I had to order another skein of this yarn - each skein is only 175 yards and I don't like anklet socks. The spiral will wind around the leg to the cuff.

The cashmere lace scarf. I love the combination of this yarn and pattern. Finally, the perfect match (as far as I am concerned).

I have been fighting an urge to start a shawl. I really want to knit a shawl but really want to finish Laminaria first. You all know the story of the Laminaria work coming to to a screeching halt. So, does that mean that I can start a new shawl because Laminaria is not longer active or that I have to wair until it is finished? Oh, the agony of decision. I suspect I would have caved but I have satisfied my craving for a new shawl project temporarily by starting a scarf. What is a scarf if not a small shawl, right? I had purchased some Marisol yarn - a wool, silk and bamboo blend - a few months ago from my LYS and decided to knit a scarf with it. My current problem is which pattern to use. I have it narrowed to two and have started/swatched both. What do you think?

This is the Asherton Reversible Scarf

This is the Seagrass Scarf from Twist Collective.

I like both of the patterns alot, but wonder which one looks better in this yarn. I think I will knit both eventually, but which one should be knitted with this yarn? It is a deep blue and I am afraid that some of the Seagrass patterning is lost in the deep color.

I think that's the end of my field trips. I will bring a lot of knitting with me on vacation, and probably only knit about 1/2 of what I think I will, but I like choices. DH has adjusted. ; )
I will also bring some fiber for spinning on the drop spindle I have packed and hopefully get back in the swing of spindling. I miss it, but have felt the pressure to get knitting done to finish up projects lately. Vacation is not the time for deadlines, though, so I will do what I want to do. (Except that I will knit on DH's sweater for at least 30 minutes each day.)

I mentioned in my last post about Nancy knitting animals for her nieces and nephews for the holidays. She didn't bring the zoo animals with her to knit nite last week but she did bring the dinosaur group and I took photos. They are so cute and machine washable, with no removable eyes, etc. to be unsafe or too much trouble for the parents. Great job, Nancy.

I have to go pack now. We will start driving to NY less than 24 hours from now and my clothes, while gathered, are not packed. My knitting is packed and my bead supply. I think I will try my hand at a few earrings and necklaces while away. Maybe a few stitch markers, too. I have a new, more portable storage system for my beading supplies, so they will be able to accompany me on vacation for the first time.

Vacation pictures when I return. Eldest son is still not working but can't come with us. I hope he is not too lonely while we are away. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets work while we are gone. Please. He needs work for his emotional state as well as to support himself. Back in two weeks or so.

I love vacation. : ))