Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Knew I Should Have Waited

It only took me a few minutes to finish decreasing the toe and Kitchener-ing it to finish the first Underwater Sock. I like it. It's pretty and ocean-y looking.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Making Progress

At work yesterday I finished the third repeat of the pattern on the foot of the Underwater Sock and started the toe. Just a bit more decreasing and it'll be done. I'm really liking the look of the stitch, it looks like a cable but it's a series of yarnovers and either slip slip knits or knit 2 togethers. One of these days I want to play with it using worsted weight yarn to see how it looks life-size.

At home I've been trying to do at least a few inches of wrap each evening. I got the first sleeve done and I'm working my way down the 5 feet of flat between. I love the color blocks, the black
cashmere really makes it look rich. You can see on the one picture the turquoise stitch marker indicating the start of the round. I'm hoping that the second sleeve will be nice and straight. I have a fear that it'll somehow be twisted and look goofy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You're Not Going To Believe It...

...but I have two roses on Dad's rosebush out front (it faces south). We've only had one hard frost that killed all the tender annuals, but somehow these two little roses just won't give in. Thanks, Dad, for the little red floral treats.

I hate the thought that I should rake the leaves off the front lawn. It's so pretty when I drive up coming home from work or errands. I wish I could find carpeting that looks like that. And the mums are enjoying the cooler weather. The gold ones tipped over in the rain but they're still pretty. I need to plant the ones from the pots next door in line so they survive the winter. Next weekend, when it's not raining and mucky.

I've been knitting away on the silk & wool scarf but the imperative to keep casting on more and more narrow fashion scarves is abating a bit.

I dug out the 8 skeins of black Lion Brand Cashmere Blend (can't link to it, it's discontinu
ed, but trust me, it's scrumptious even if it's only 15% cashmere) I got for 75% off at Hancock last year that I'm holding with the Dalegarn Ara I bought in Door Co. this fall, to knit the Campsie Wrap from the 2009 Knitting Calendar. I'm very intrigued by the construction of it. You knit a sleeve in the round (that's 9" of sleeve--about half), then knit about 5' flat on the same number of stitches, and then you join them in the round again and knit the other sleeve. To wear it, you put on one sleeve, wrap the flat part around you, and put on the other sleeve. I can see this being fun and warm to wear with either the crisscross in front or back. I have 10 skeins of the Ara, most of them different colors (I have 2 each of the pale blue and green in the pic on the right), so I'm just knitting away pulling the colors out of the bag one by one. I intended to do that blindly but I'm going to put a bit of thought into it so they follow light-ish and dark-ish. That way all the colors will get their due.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weaning Away

Just a bit, but I'm branching out from the skinny scarves the teensiest fraction. Never fear, I still have the tote bag of potential scarf skeins right beside me when I sit on the couch so if the mood hits me I can cast on immediately. I have an extra pair of US10.75 needles there too, also just in case. I'm making progress on the Silk & Wool scarf. I knew I'd gotten the yarn in the FNKC yarn swap in January but didn't remember who I'd gotten it from. It wasn't Zoe. Tanya's eyes lit up when she saw the yarn and she said she was glad that it had gone to a good home and was making such a pretty project. It's Berger du Nord Charmant and evidently few yarn shops carry it. It's very nice, feels great and knits great. The scarf will be hard to give away, but I'm sure I'll find a good home for it.

I have to say I'm a bit surprised at myself for not putting fringe on these skinny scarves. I usually love fringe and feel that a scarf's not finished without it, but I'm liking these better just square at the narrow ends. See? Even old dogs can learn new tricks.

Yesterday "the sock" got to go to work with me. I try to always have a sock on the go so even though I name them, they're usually just "the sock." Not that I don't love each and every one as an individual, I do, and I appreciate their individual qualities as well, but I'll bet even the most loving mother gets lax when she refers to kid number ten or twelve,
the youngest always gets to be "the baby," so I know that if I grab the red bag on my way out the door, I'll have "the sock" even though it change from sock to sock. Only rarely do I knit sock #2 immediately after I knit sock #1. I always have the intent but I'm just not bound by convention anymore so I am free to wear single socks with others and love them both. I figure I'll knit all the second socks when I'm old. Maybe next year.

I'm loving this sock. It's turning out exactly the way I hoped and it's a simple pattern that looks complex. When I bought the yarn I thought it looked like the ocean so I wanted a pattern that looked like waves or rippling water--and I hoped to find it for free. Eventually I found the River Rapids Sock pattern from Sock Bug. It's a series of yarn overs and knit-2-togethers or slip-slip-knits that make it look like cables without all the cable needle hassle. I'm loving it. Loving. It.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sunday was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, the breeze was cool, and fighter jets flew over. I love them. Love. Them. Once they had passed I loaded up my bike (still haven't named her, maybe I'll call her The Zipper although I ride pretty slowly) and headed off to the trail for my longest ride to date. I parked behind Eve's Supper Club and rode 4 miles south through the next town and back. It probably doesn't seem very far to those of you who ride a lot but I'm pretty pleased with myself--and my butt bones are a little sore. I don't ride fast and the trail's pretty flat so I don't get to coast but I keep going and enjoy the sights along the way. Like the dozen or so Navy guys having a run. Very nice.

It's pretty quiet at the dive shop these days so I made a lot of progress on the brown silk & bamboo scarf. So much progress that I finished it off last night with seashell fringe on crocheted loops on both ends. The shells add a nice weight and I like the way it looks kind of nautical-ish.

The peach and gold silk and wool one's next. I couldn't keep on knitting both at once; it was just too fiddly.

The only people that interrupt me at work this week are UWGB students coming in to ge
t fitted for their Open Water dives this weekend. Hey, I don't mind, at least it puts a bit into the till and keeps me from having long naps, I just get catnaps. Hee.

And a Downy Woodpecker came to have a drink and a snack this morning so I snapped her picture. I love the trim size of them and the tidy colors of their stripes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Help! I've Fallen Into Scarves And I Can't Get Up!

It's become a mania. Wanna know how I know?

See? I had 2 different yarns at work with me yesterday and
only one pair of needles. No prob. I just cast both on the same needles and worked on them at the same time. Not a big deal. These are scarves #3 and #4, and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. I'm using US 10.75 needles (7 mm), about 120-150 yds. of yarn (whatever's on the skein) and only casting on 12 sts., then knitting until I'm out of yarn. No fringe, no embellishment. Except I'm thinking of figuring out how to make a seashell fringe on the dark brown silk & bamboo one.

I see on the 'Nother Scarf (#2 shown here) that I should probably cast on only 10 or even 8 in the bulkier, woolier yarn to preserve the narrowness that I like and make the scarf long enough to double and then wear looped together like the big kids do these days.

I've got lots more yarn lined
up in the queue.

Help meeeee!

I think I might need an intervention.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Drunk With Yarn *Lots of Pictures*

I returned yesterday from a week's writing retreat. I had a great time up in the woods of northern Door County with a group of enthusiastic writing women who lifted my spirits and got me back to the page. Thanks, you Incredible writing women!

On my way up I dawdled. I stopped in Sturgeon Bay at Spin a
nd picked a few skeins out of their 40% off baskets to use to make a narrow fashion scarf. (See it there at the top of the picture? I'll explain in a minute.) I had a difficult time resisting the shelf after shelf of variegated yarn. I have to confess that 2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet leaped into my bag too.

After stopping a few times to take pictures of the fall colors and the waves stirred by the wind along the way, I visited Red Sock Yarns in Fish Creek. I was amazed to see that most of her yarn is solid color, except for the sock yarn. I had a devil of a time finding a couple variegated skeins to buy but I managed.

Once I got to The Clearing, moved into my cabin and unpacked, I took the 2 skeins of Gedifra Fiorista cotton and poly yarn I'd bought and went out to sit in the sun and knit. I cast on 12 stitches on my 7.0mm needles and got started. It went fast. I could knit and talk, getting up from time to time to hug an old friend, and got nearly through the first skein before I turned in. On Sunday I took a walk but mostly spent the time in my sunny spot knitting and waiting for the rest of my camp-mates to arrive. The session started officially at 6 PM when we met for supper, but I still managed to wrap up the 2-skein scarf by 11 that night, meaning I had a brand new scarf to wear on the first day of class.

All week long I was glad that it was cool in the morning so I could wear my new scarf and I was very careful not to dribble food on it at meals. (I have a problem with that.) I cast on another scarf with a pretty and bulky variegated wool, but it just isn't as addictive as the cotton one was. By mid-week I was trying to remember if there had been more of that yarn in the basket at Spin. I did NOT waste my Thursday afternoon off driving an hour back to Sturgeon Bay to check but I knew I'd stop on my way home on Saturday.

On our Thursday afternoon off, Laurel and I drove down to Cave Point County Park and walked along the shore/bluff to Whitefish Dunes State Park and spent some time on the beach. It was a glorious sunny day and we really had a blast. The water at Cave Point was shallow and sparkle-y and as waves came in over the white sand bottom it looked warm and Caribbean-y but it was not. About a mile down the trail we were able to clamber down to the water and even in the shallow pools the water was chilly. It only LOOKED warm. The coolest thing was that the sand squeaked. Really! You stepped on it and it squeaked. You could brush your hand across it and it'd squeak too. It wasn't wet either. I'm going to have to do some research online. Maybe call someone at the park. Now wouldn't that have been a good idea, to talk to someone that day when we were there? I'm getting used to being smart too late.

I did stop at Spin on my way home yesterday and there were 3 more skeins of that cotton Gedifra Fiorista yarn, 3 different colors of course, but I still got it. I don't mind if the skeins don't match. There were some skeins of Classic Elite Yarns Montera Llama and Wool too. Also 40% off, so I bought the last 2 Falcon Gray ones and 2 of the Red ones. I already have 2 white/natural ones so now I've got enough of it to actually make something with it. Maybe a purse. And to go along with the Dalegarn Ara skeins I got from the sale baskets the two previous times I was there I just had to get a skein of each of the three new, more vivid colors she had. What can I say? I'm a sucker for variegated in bright colors.

I had a fabulous week. Durwood
showed the duplex twice and I did once after I got home, the ad's in the paper this weekend. We're still fine-tuning it and hoping to have it rented by Nov. 1. Anybody need a place to live? It's at 1508 N. Mennen Ct. in Green Bay, WI and it's on

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Arrived Today (picture heavy post)

It's been fall-ish lately, but this morning when I was walking from 1508 after I finished cleaning I looked up at the maple tree in the front yard and it suddenly had red leaves. All the leaves were green yesterday, I swear it. I finally figured out how to make the ad show up on which was a real relief. Maybe we'll have a renter by November. Keep your fingers crossed.

Dusty and I walked on the trail this morning and there were hardly any other people there. We saw a big gray egret in the river, which was a flat as a mirror, lots of wild grapes (some had orange tags tied to them so someone can come and harvest them, we figured),

and we walked down to see the "secret house." It's all by itself at the river end of a tiny street with a lot of growth around it and it looks uninhabited. I could be very happy there, I think, being the creepy lady at the end of Lazarre Ave.

I made a big pot of chicken mushroom soup this afternoon because I'd gotten a couple of deli chickens on sale at the Pig last weekend and a bag of crimini mushrooms at the farmer's market and didn't want any of it to go bad while I'm away. I had a cup of it for supper. It's good.

The other day Mom stopped at the dive shop and admired the scarf I was knitting. She ordered a velour pantsuit that would look great with the colors so I offered to give her the scarf. It wasn't too hard to convince her to take it. I finished it at work yesterday, put on the fringe last night, and delivered it this afternoon. She liked it.

Last year Judy, who teaches the Women's Writing Retreat I'm going to, tau
ght an afternoon lesson about writing that knocks your socks off. She held an extemporaneous wacky sock contest. I won. That was not a surprise since I regularly wear wacky and mismatched socks, no one else really stood a chance. Her husband was up there taking a print class so he made me an award.

This year Judy emailed me and said she was planning to have the sock contest again and, since David's not going to be in an art class, would I make an award. I said sure. One trip to Goodwill and I had a pair of kids' socks with duckies and a frame. I had a pencil that looks like a twig and I got some burlap and sticky foam letters at Jo-Ann. Voila! Hope this is what she had in mind. Durwood and I had fun putting it together today but I burned my fingers on the hot glue--as usual.

I won't be posting for a week, I'm off to The Clearing for a week of writing workshop and peace in the woods. I won't be thinking about you much at all. Sorry.