Friday, October 31, 2008

Done and Finished—times 2!

Yesterday on the subway, I finished up the toe of the Patons Stretch socks…All but the drawstring bind off and finishing--and I finished that once I was home.

Then, as a reward to myself for good work, I finished off the toe of the Snow Drop socks—and finished that pair of socks too!

I had been holding off, waiting till I finished the tube socks to finish these socks.. I love them--simple, pretty and fun to knit.

The skein where a bit small, --I finished with only a few yarns left over--enough, but just!

So this morning I grabbed 5 balls of yarn, (white, taupe, cocoa brown, aqua and teal) and a pattern (as a guide for cast on) and will start the first of two grand children sweaters.

The yarn is Moda Dea’s Washable Wool—nice cabled worsted weight 100% wool.

Miss B’s will be white, and taupe, aqua, teal, with just a bit of brown.

Master C’s will be taupe and brown teal, aqua, with just a bit of white.

Not quite matching, but coordinated, and gender neutral—But-- what does that mean?

My grandchildren are growing up in the Castro district of SF—and are as likely to thing that pink and lace and ruffles are part of the normal range of attire for guys!

---When I was in 3rd grade –same age as my granddaughter, my teacher was Miss Mahon-(flattened to a single syllable, “Mann”)—who was, as we kids knew, mannish.

She wore skirts, (but then in 1950’s parochial school, skirts were, if not required, the generally accepted garment --once in a while, say on a snow day, she’s wear pants.. but..) but we kids all knew, Miss Mahon wanted to be a man. We didn’t know the name for such behavior, be we recognized it.

It wasn’t spoken about—but it wasn’t mocked or ridiculed either. It was just part of the normal range of human experience.

I am sure our parents and our teachers had their opinion about Miss Mahon, but presumed we kids were oblivious. We weren’t –but we accepted Miss Mahon as she was.

It was a good lesson in tolerance and acceptance.

But back to the sweaters, or I should say, cardigans—both will be top down, raglan sleeve—with buttoned closures.

Striped, with some sort of Fair Isle element--because I get bored easily and want something to make the sweaters more interesting!

Ideally, both sweaters will be finished before Christmas—and will be tucked into the Christmas box of goodies—my son & dil and family enjoy winter camping—and extra sweaters are always put to good use.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Movement!

Every knitter has experienced it..
You are knitting something (usually, but not always, something tedious)

You measure it.

You knit some more, and measure again—only to find NO PROGRESS

Then you knit some more, and IT'S STILL THE SAME LENGTH!
Finally after rows and rows, more rows, Progress-movement!

These socks—are exhibiting this.
It took forever to get to 10 inches. and then, no matter how many rows I knit, they were 10 inches.
Finally –overnight, they are 12.5 inches!

Yeah! Now only another 2.5 inches and I can work on the toe.

I’ve made this tube sock before—in a green and grey wool—and they didn’t stall. (You can have the pattern --it a free!)
(these socks are slight variation, with both left hand and right hand spirals--most knitter can figure out the changes--mostly its swapping the decrease--SSK vs.K2tog)

I think the tediousness of these socks is a form of second sock syndrome.

Another aspect is they are designed planned for use next summer –tube socks are perfect for pulling on at the pool –when you just need something between your feet and croc’s—and there is no pressing need to finish.







But finish them I will—and as soon as I do, I’ll finish the toes on the snow drop socks.
And then,onto something more interesting!

I have a list—(there are still things to knit on the list I made last January!) and its growing—all the time..

A hat, another hat, and matching fingerless gloves, 2 sweaters (these must be first!) for my grandchildren, more socks, a shrug.. (oh, I have a great idea for a shrug.. I hope it knit up half as nice as I imagine!) and I have all this lovely lace weight yarn, and some mohair, and cashmere—each and every skein crying out to be knit up!—Oh and I want a new vest for myself.. some long and a bit lacy…

But First, these damn socks!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pill Poppin' Mama

Generally speaking, I don’t do drugs…

I tend to get by with out prescription (or non prescription drugs)

I was crazy, but got better (OK, better but not 100%!) with a ‘talking cure’.

I don’t have allergies (I lie—I do have some allergies—but they don’t cause serious reactions-and packages of Benadryl go bad before they get used up)

I’ve inhaled, in the past, but by and large, I am too cheap to spend money on recreational drugs… (I tend to factor in the cost of use, not just the cost of purchase—and dang—the USAGE cost can be expensive!)

But…
Lately, I have become a pill poppin’ mama.

First, the multi-vitamin…a big name brand one and big is both literal and figuratively.
That multi vitamin is so big its hard to swallow!

But it doesn’t have enough Vitamin D or calcium
(It’s not just that I live in too far north—I hate to walk or sit or be in the sun.. (it bothers my eyes!) So I get little enough sunshine, and less of it on my skin)

And if you take calcium; well it just doesn’t make your bones hard…
So I take fiber.

Then, there is the Omega3 oils—and Omega 6, and some other number.
I eat fish, but not enough—not that anyone knows what enough is!

I take extra vitamin C too. Lots of small (60 to 250 mg) doses—because it’s more effective to take small doses every few hours, than 1 mega dose a day.

Finally, there are the ‘anti Aging factor’ pill that a friend convinced me to try.
Don’t know if I’ll stick with them.. they are way to expensive. (and I haven’t noticed a difference –half way through the months supply)

I do notice a difference when I forget to take my Vitamin C or Omega3—(my hair and skin loose luster—and I don’t feel as peppy.)

Lastly there is the daily dose—or frequent daily dose of an NSAID—Arthritis has been a companion for more than 30 years—a chronic condition, with acute attacks… (and lately, it seems I am always suffering somewhere. (today, its my thumbs.)

I look at the pile of pills, and I am always slightly amazed!

Mentally I feel like a teen--No better than that, I was unhappy most of my teen years--physically, well I recognize I have less energy--but I stay up latter, and rise earlier than I did when I was younger.. There are consequences to burning the candle at both ends!

But all these pills everyday--They make me feel old! (but I feel older when I don't take them!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rhinebeck Goodies.

I window shopped more than really shopping..

It's wonderful to see everything (and to want most everything!)

The alpacas—were beautiful..But alpaca is such a warm fiber.. I just don't want that much warmth in clothing. I would I am sure if I lived a bit more to the north.. I go hatless most of the winter, but winter trips to Boston require hats. (and further north, I am sure, I too, would be knitting with alpaca.)

But some colors/fibers reached out and forced me to take them home.

First a fingerless glove and hat set.. (I know they just look like skeins of yarn now, but.. I see fingerless
gloves and a soft lacy hat!)

And some ruby red Linen.--a set of kitchen towels! (I have some black and some white linen to add some decorative details, but the towels will be mostly plain, (textured, but plain) and just a touch of contrast.

A bought a silk cap. too--I keep thinking about spinning—maybe with some silk to add to my wool, I will actually spin up some of the roving.

Two HiyaHiya size 00 needles found there way to home too.. I have straight and DPN's 00's, but I didn't have circ's. I don't knit much with 00's –but having a nice set of needles will be an incentive.. I think!

I also finally balled up the Peachy goodness from early this summer—That's a full 9 ounces!
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Meanwhile, I trudge away on the pink tube socks.. I photographed them last week, with thoughts of posting about them.. and even that is dreary.--

And like all dreary projects, they seem to make no progress at all. They stubbornly remain 10 inches long.. and Really, i knit a few rounds every day!

I'll measure them again tomorrow, and if they have cooperated and gotten longer, I''ll take yet another photo, and post about them.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thinking about knitting

Yet another image of the one of the beautiful maples at Rhinebeck!



Are you a production knitter.. Do you knit to have sweaters or hats or socks for yourself for family?

Or are you a process knitter.. Do you knit to relax, or to learn new techniques, or to try out new yarns?
Or are you a bit of both?

I am MOSTLY a process knitter.

I love to knit--but I don’t wear sweaters much, or hats, or gloves or scarves.
I give them away, or store them—I keep them as samples (of my original designs, or as samples to show a technique, or…)

I would be more of process knitter than I already am –except for socks—I love hand knit socks, and they are one of the few items I knit for myself, and wear all the time!

I love thinking about knitting-and often mentally knit an item, working out the details in my head long before I pick up needles—Sometime with great results, but not always!

Have you ever thought about knitting? And what it means to you? Then you might enjoy some of the articles here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cheating...

I’ve not been knitting much…
Partly because the Pink socks are boring me.

The yarn is nice, the pattern is OK, but I just don’t feel the love.

(I've stuck a bottle into one sock to open up the pattern and make it more evident)

They are twice the length they were last week.. but really, they should be finished already!

They're not because I’ve been cheating on them..

I tend to only work on the pink socks on my commute home (a scant 40 minutes or so on the subway).

At home, I’ve been knitting these socks—made from another Patons yarn.. the Kroy Sock (4 Ply) Jacquard in the summer moss color way.

With a simple lace pattern centered on the front and back (the lace continues right down into heel flap) –I’ve outpaced the pink socks.

The lace is being worked upside down--the lace pattern is designed for bottom up, not top down—but I like it better upside down. I think, upside down it sort of looks like snow drops—making these socks a spring fling.

I tend, with all knitting, to let it ripen.

Some knitters can’t wait to wear a newly finished object..
Me, I am the opposite. I like to keep my knit pristine an unworn for a few day, (weeks!, months!) before I wear them. I will finish these socks and put them away for the spring—I’ll pet them, and admire them—enjoy them in all sorts of ways (except wearing them!)
I keep them for some bright day(or perhaps some rainy day-- when I need cheering up!) in February or March!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Not Knitting Much…

So there is not much to blog about..

I could blog about politics—but then I would just get more aggravated than I am already am.
(It seems every election since I have been voting, has been a case ‘the lesser of 2 evils’-- One party has an abysmal choice, and the other, just an inferior one.)

Same goes for the financial mess.
Yes, something needs to be done, but why should I reward those that got us into this mess? (but doing nothing is only going to make it worse)
Why the bail out NOW, and the regulations LATER?—that’s backwards!

So onto more important things..

I am thinking about the sweaters I want to knit for grandchildren.. And haven’t found a pattern I like.. (For that matter, I am still not sure if I want to knit sweaters or cardigans—though I am leaning toward cardigans--Soon tho...)

In the meanwhile, I am slowing working on these socks—they are a variation of my Barley Sugar tube socks. In this case, each sock has a different spiral—(a minor PITA to do!)

The yarn is Patons Stretch Sock -- Cotton (31%)/Wool 39%)/Nylon (13%)/ Elastic (7%) blend. The white/pink/ black combo reminds me of Good ’n Plenty’s—and the jury is still out on whether these will be tube socks or heeled.

I started them a week ago, at the Stitch n Pitch, and made a mistake (that I missed until I was a dozen rows away.) I frog back and now am just about where I was Sunday.