Saturday, May 29, 2010

Here's A Little Yarn Hors d'Oeuvre

I confess, I haven't been knitting much this week. I spent all my energy being excited about being asked to write an article about The Clearing for Door County Living magazine, getting ready to go up there for a night to gather the info I needed to write it, and being up there gathering the info, etc. I got smart yesterday (for once) and didn't force myself to stay up there staring at my blank laptop screen. I acknowledged my "process" (pretentious enough for ya?) and came home to go to knitting and sleep on it. I finally came to accept that I need to mull the info over, that there seems to be some separate space in my brain where stories and such things go to arrange themselves for a while before I am able to put them down. I sat down at the laptop after lunch and grumbled my way through transcribing my notes, and by the time a couple hours had passed, I had the beginnings of an article. I typed and cut and pasted, printed it out to read through, got Durwood's feedback, and rewrote. I took a "weeding" break to deal with the invaders in the asparagus patch and that break helped too. Now that supper's over and the day's nearly done, I've gone over it another time, made a few more changes, and added my sources at the end. I'll let it cook overnight, revisit it, have my neighbor and writing friend, Jenny, give it the once over, but I think it might be done. I'll let it sit another day and do the final rewrite on Monday so that I can have it to the editor on time. ** I need to insert a disclaimer here: I can't often poop out a finished article so quickly. This one is short and about something I'm passionate on and know a lot about. Don't be too impressed, only a little.

This is the newly renovated Root Cellar at The Clearing. They turned it into a bathroom. It's what I wrote about.

Oh, the yarn. Like I said, I went to Friday Night Knitting last night and I worked on my Cartoons socks. I got to the heel and made some progress on it. I'm really liking how this is turning out. I just have to make sure to remember not to put the purl strips on the bottom of the foot. Ouch.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creative But Not Yarn-y

I've been working on creative things the last couple days but more "playing outside in the dirt" creative than "sitting in the air-conditioned house writing and knitting" creative, because it's been uber-hot and humid so it'd be silly to stay indoors where it's comfortable, right? Tuesday's usually my day off so I spend it zooming around accomplishing things I don't do on work days.

Last week the Brute Squad enlarged our patio and I got around to prettying it up last weekend. It's just lovely and so much roomier.

Then yesterday Durwood and I went to Stein's to buy plants for our garden. He picked out 6 different tomato plants (6 is much more reasonable number of plants for my one Tomato Boy than the 7-9 he usually finagles me into buying), and I chose a third blueberry bush, 2 bell pepper plants, and 3 tiny celery plants. We collaborated on picking out "something viney" to grow on the fence in back of the garden. This year's winner is patty pan squash. We waited until nearly sundown to go out into the hot but finally shady backyard, get it all into the ground, and watered in. The only thing I want to add is a row of red and golden beets. Maybe on the weekend I'll get to it.

You can't imagine how glorious it smells when I'm sitting on the patio these days. The lilies of the valley are in bloom and the little wrens are busy making a nest in the birdhouse with the flamingo on it. I have a lovely, Durwood-made birdhouse hanging on the fence and a crab-faced one with a convenient hooked side for cleaning further down the fence, and where do the wrens nest? In the on-close-out, mainly decorative birdhouse I got from JoAnn's three years ago only because it had a pink (now greatly faded) bird on it, that's where. But we do enjoy listening to the babies cheep for worms and bugs and watching the mama and papa wrens zooming back and forth with food.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Friday night I cast on the cuff of my next sock in Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed in the Soot (discontinued, but it's black, there's always black) colorway. Funny how much skinnier US3s feel than 4s and how much thinner this yarn is. 6 ply vs 4 ply maybe? Sport vs. fingering, that I know for sure. Anyway, I finished the 2" of cuff yesterday and moved into the leg of the sock using Knit Picks Stroll in the Cartoons colorway. I also decided to use the "purl when ready" technique that I read about in the Big Book of Socks. You use it with short-repeat variegated yarn, pick one color, and when it shows up on your needle (NOT in the working yarn) you purl it. Naturally, I chose the red. When I got to the red stitches on the needles I purled them; there were more than I anticipated so the purl segments are long, more than a needle's worth, at first I wasn't sure if I liked it but now that I'm into it I'm liking it. Alot. It looks cool. What do you think?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Escape to Door Co.

I kidnapped a friend this morning and forced her to go with me to Door Co. to walk the trails of my favorite place. She'd never been to The Clearing so I had fun showing her things that I forget to notice.

I bought yarn. One skein. It's Trekking 6 Ply in the Sunset Multi colorway. More socks!

On the way home we stopped for ice cream, chocolate ice cream. It was a perfect day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Socks On Fire

I focused on knitting the second sock at work this week and look what I had before bedtime last night. Finished socks! They please me, and they feel great on my feet. Love the color, like the pattern. I might be more partial to just plain socks knitted with colorful yarn so the yarn colors shine, but I won't be giving these away. These are MINE.

An old friend and a friend of his came over on Tuesday and made our patio bigger. There's a bit more work to be done today and then I can put it all back together so we can enjoy the new bigness of it. Thanks, JJ and Bruce, you make a lovely Brute Squad.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Package! *edited to add*

*squee* It came! I didn't take a picture of the needles, we all know what they look like, they're Knit Picks Harmony straights in US 10 3/4 or 7.0mm--lovely, colorful, and pointy. But the yarn, look at the cool yarn I picked out.

This is Felici Sport in the Chimney colorway. I
think it's discontinued because I picked it from the "Last Chance" area and it's not there anymore. It is so soft, I can't wait to make socks with it. So soft.

This one is Stroll Hand painted in the Cartoons colorway. I intend to make the cuff, heel, and toe of the socks solid black to show off the gorgeous colors. Bright! Colorful!

I want to knit them all (the ones I got last month too)
all at once. I need more hands.

Thanks, DD, for the gift card and, you're right, sock yarn is like chocolate, addictive.

I saw the first hummingbird of the season at the feeder on Sunday while I was getting ready to grill the chicken breasts for supper. Yay!

P.S. I grabbed this photo off the web; I'm not nearly fast enough to snap one all by myself. But this is the kind we have, the Ruby-throated. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An Excess of Inspiration

Last time I posted I couldn't think of a title, this time I can think of three. I'd like my inspiration to be a bit more regular and even, thanks.

For the "What a Heel!" portion of this post, I give
you Socks on Fire sock #2. I knitted the heel flap and turned the heel at work yesterday--because I had all of one customer in 6 hours. One! Good thing I can watch Netflix on the computer (if the sound card decides to cooperate, that is).

In the "Not So Much..." portion, we have the frogged remains of Fish Net Scarf #2. I realized that it just wasn't turning out like I wanted it to so I took out the needle and tugged. There's something strangely satisfying about pulling that piece of string and having
all your carefully wrought stitches disappear. I pulled out my US13 needles and am giving the pattern, and yarn, one more chance. If it isn't right this time I'm going to give Zoe's lace shawl pattern a whirl, see how that one likes the yarn.

And finally in the "Ahh, That's Better" segment, I decided to crochet around three sides of the warshrag with dark brown to kind of finish it off. I understand that it's just a warshrag but I do want it to look pleasing. What if we have guests and I want that to be their warshrag, huh? It needs to look... finished.

So there you have it, what could have been 3 separate posts all in one. I'm just not in the mood to stretch them out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stuff (I couldn't think of a snappy title for this post)

This was the view out the patio doors on Saturday morning. Saturday, May 8th for those keeping track. That's the remnants of 1 1/2" of snow we got overnight. It didn't stay long but, still, snow in May? Thanks, but no thanks. On a happier garden note, the lilies of the valley are beginning to bloom.

It's been a slow week for knitting; our DS and DIL came to visit on Wed. night so they could apartment hunt. Naturally I spent time visiting and cooking and visiting and laughing and visiting and staying up too late, and I neglected my yarn duties.

I worked a bit on Socks On Fire sock #2...

and added a few repeats to the Sea Foam Scarf...

this morning
after walking in the mall (it was rainy and cold--boo) I visited with Dusty and finished Car Knitting Warshrag #3. Now I have to get more cotton up from the dungeon and cast on another one. I can't tell you how many times I have grabbed that little project bag out of the door pocket of the car to go into a repair shop or medical office. It's a lifesaver when I'm coming home from writer's or work and the bridge goes up, and I get funky colored washcloths out of it. I think I'll crochet a brown border around this one to finish it off.

Sunday was Mother's Day and I got the best gifts. DS and DIL gave me a card good for an all-expenses paid lunch and giraffe feeding expedition when they've moved home. Squee! (This little beanie giraffe was a gift from KnittyZoe, the yarn whisperer, after our knitters' visit to the zoo where I introduced them all to the joys of giraffe feeding. Thanks again, KnittyZoe.)

DD sent me a Knit Picks gift card so I can get more of their colorful and pointy Harmony needles. Double squee!!

Durwood gave me a lovely card (sniff) and a funky spatula for scooping out t
he last of the catsup in the bottle.

It was a lovely day that actually extended over 3 days. Thanks, family, you're the best!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Here, BirdieBirdieBirdie!

Durwood called the bird lady yesterday and she told him that the hummingbirds and orioles are on their way back, so he made up some birdie juice and I got the feeders out this morning.

The lilacs are in bloom. You wish you were here to smell them.

Look what I picked! And it was yummy too. I don't share those, no, I don't.

And in knitting news, I'm waaay happier with the way the Fish Net scarf is turning out with the Silk Bamboo yarn. Very smooth and soft.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

And I Didn't Even Have To Stay Up Too Late

Last night after supper I sat myself down on the couch, turned on HGTV (I'm a sucker for House Hunters International), and cast on the second Socks On Fire sock. I can't say enough positive things about the pattern and the yarn, and the colors make me very happy. It's a win-win-win situation.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can You Believe That It's May 1 Already?

Who is in charge here? Someone is twirling the days by so fast that my calendar looks like a flip book. It's not me, that's for sure, I'd like to go back to having 24 hours in my days, thanks. In honor of the warmer weather I've put the Khaki Cardi in timeout for the time being and I swear (cross my heart) that I will cast on the second Socks on Fire sock TODAY even if I have to stay up until midnight to do it.

Last night at Friday Night Knitting Circle I frogged my first stab at the Fish Net scarf and started again using bigger needles (10.75 US) and smaller yarn (Patons Silk Bamboo in Bark colorway), also I cast on 10 fewer stitches because the first attempt seemed too wide. Now that I think on it the thinner yarn's making it look about the same width as a necktie so I may find myself frogging the, what, six rows I have OTN and start once again with the requisite 35 sts. I'll take a long hard look at it before I go any further.

I finished Durwood's replacement hat the other night. The man has the biggest head, one of those deceptive heads that's big without looking big, but could have enough of its own gravity to keep a satellite happily orbiting. Just kidding, honey, I'm happy to make you a new hat anytime you'd like. Gotta keep my personal chef warm and happy.

The apple trees in the parking lot behind our house are blooming this week. They look
so pretty and they give us lovely applesauce apples every fall. The tulips are blooming this week too, at least the ones that the $%#&* squirrels haven't bitten the tops off of are.