Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Progress Report

Wifi? Yes
Monitor? Hardware (mounting bracket) Installed, and monitor mounted, but no connections/wiring done.
Woodwork? (drilling hole for wire routing) on today's schedule.
Labeling and re routing wires? Also on today schedule.
Printer? Still in the box.
Paper work cleaned up—in progress. (Filled the shredder bin once already!)
Next 2 loads of wash? Also on today's schedule—The four loads washed and folded on Saturday didn't get all hung up and put away till Monday (with a few left over pieces yesterday)
Knitting? Remember Knitting? The sock is almost complete—just the cuff(s) are needed for completion. (Today!)There should be photo's of the finished socks tomorrow.
Reading? Finished (loved!) Girl with Dragon Tattoo, about to start 2nd book in series, The Girl who played with Fire. (The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest is also in my possession, and these two books will cut into my knitting time no doubt.)

As always thing get worse before they get better-Right now desk has two monitors—One (on mounted on a swing arm bracket is swung out of the way (but .. it's still visually taking up space!) and one (the old CRT monitor) is still sitting where it always sat, waiting to become obsolete.

And the cleaned desktop is now in need of cleaning again (saw dust)--but there will be more before I am finished. And there is small but ever growing pile of tools hanging about--the drill (and charger), the box of drill bits, the screw driver (and box of interchangeable bits )--I could use the drill but its just as easy to screw most things in by hand and the set of allen wrenches--(for adjusting the bracket) –Oh, and the label maker, too for labeling the cords.

The final step will be mounting the power strips-- and relocating the phone (it's close, but just inconveniently out of reach!)

There are some other details—moving the calendar, and hanging up magnetic white board—and getting rid of the old printer stand (It served well for a while, but it is (always was) way too big) And maybe, buying of of those neat little charger stations—the kind with 3 or 4 short extension cords –( transformers take up so much space—and block outlets!) and an on/off switch; so I can leave transforms plugged in (convenient) but turned off (and not waste energy).

The new monitor has 2 built in USB ports—so I can get rid of one transformer (the USB expansion box) but the wireless router has added one, and the cordless phone (if moved) will be another, Plus the one for the cell phone, And.... What a world we live in! All this work—and in another year or two, some other pieces (like the computer/cpu—now 2.5 years old) will be obsolete and so much will have to be redone.

I feel like I have spent half my life setting up and then improving (and then setting up again!) desks and work tables for computers--and then upgrading them and having to do more work and re-arranging things. (and come to think of it--it has almost been half my life--I got my first computer in 1982--almost 30 years ago!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Simple is Never Simple

A wireless network—simple really, buy a router, connect to modem, install CD, run set up, set up security, done.

Ok buy router, done.
Connect to modem. Wait. My crappy cable modem provide by cable company? No port to connect wireless modem.

So I could wait a week,and pay $ (a little every month for a rental fee) or go out today and spend $$ (not too much) and own my modem (and it will pay for itself in saved rental fees in less than a year) OK time to buy a modem.

Well let's up grade the monitor— I have a flat screen on, and mounting hardware,just waiting for me to instal it. This will free up space for the new printer (which has a much bigger foot print) So it really has to be done first.

OK, easy enough, I have the power cable and the USB cable for the new (not really new, just new to me) monitor. I can disconnect power cord and monitor cable from old monitor, and get that done.

No I can't! The monitor cable is hard wired into the old monitor, and I went through my bag of goodies—and found –lots of stuff (even a old scusi cable) but a monitor cable? No. So I am 2 for 2 for failing!

Still, I did crawl under the desk, and clean out 2 years worth of dust bunnies in the corners were they hid escaping the swiffer. At the same time, I washed the floor, and cleaned out and got rid of stuff I really just don't need...

So the desk is clearer—and a bunch of paperwork that was on hold has been shredded—Thankfully the shredder is really plug and play! (unlike the modem and monitor!)

Fortunately Staples is near by—and I can pick the cable and cable modem up later today.

I still have to drill a hole in the desk top for the bracket to mount the monitor, and I will (I think) also drill a BIG hole to route the wires more neatly—or if not neat, out of sight!) I have the drill bit even and a plastic cap to plug the hole, and and all the split flex tubing I need. and baggie full of try wraps--everything I need to to do the job-- but it's the last step--not the first one!

So for now, the desk top (and underneath!) is neater and cleaner—but its all the same old stuff.

It's so simple to upgrade—except when it's not!

While I am working at this upgrade, I hope to get my web cam working too. I tried installing it a few months ago--but there was conflict--I could chose between a web cam that worked, or an internet connection that worked. (Guess which one I went with!?)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Envelop, Please.

So I was talked into waiting on buying a wireless router—but time is up! I've wanted a to go wireless for awhile—and now have an extra incentive. I am moving—belatedly—but better late than never-- into the new, wifi always on line world.

Just another thing to be thankful for!

I now have a tablet--it's an off brand-- and the battery life is way too short—but it's Android powered—and bigger than the 2 X 2 inch screen of my not-so-smart phone. (And I should not be looking gift horses in the mouth. It's Great!)

And since Saturday is for sewing—yesterday it got itself a nice little envelope to hold it. Inside (between the layer) there is plush iron in interfacing—giving the envelop a bit of padded protection. A small Velcro dot holds it closed— enough I think. A pocket on back will allow me to carry the charger, too—since with only 6 hours of battery life-it need to be fed often. And while it doesn't really fit, I will the manual tucked into the envelop, too. (The manual has bigger exterior dimensions than the tablet-but barely 20 pages thick, so it can be crammed into the envelop and folded over a bit)--I don't plan on carrying the manual long term--and decided that the envelop should fit the tablet--not the manual.

For now, I still need the manual handy to reference some paths—but already in 24 of playing with it—I feel like I know my way around.

It will get a try out this afternoon—Sunday means knitting at Panera's—and Panera's will have wifi. I think I am going to need to find some sort of Droid manual too--I have figure out how to connect it to my computer in the most basic way. But not how to communicate with it.

It seems like it should be able to talk to my Google account and let me exchange and sync info with a hard wired connection (but I haven't found out how yet!) I am sure there are thousand of other users who will show me around.

Another system to learn! My first hand held computer was a 8086/dos based Psion (circa 1995) then a Palm Pilot, (and an upgraded Palm) and then for the past few years, nothing. For now, a low grade tablet—and for Christmas (I have been a good girl) a new smart phone--(also android based!) —by then, I should be, if not a wiz at Android –at least proficient--a full fledged member of this century's technology--(and not a dinosaur left in the last one).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A History in Knitting

I love to knit—it satisfies, to some degree, my need to be creative and productive
I love to knit—its helps me calm down and center my self, instead of wildly spinning out of control
I love to knit—my knitting is a reminder, that: this too, shall pass.

These socks (LOOK, progress has been made while I haven't been blogging about it!) are all three.

I started them earlier this month when some health issues were not going well—and they served, one Monday a few weeks ago, as a tool to keep me from emotionally falling apart--there were cracks at the seams--but in the end, I held together.

And they remain mute evidence to my precarious state of well being.

I had an idea (originally they were going to be a floral lace—but that idea was pushed aside for a simpler pattern of twisted, (each knit stitch is twisted) cabled pairs.

I figured out the grouping of stitches on a scrap of waste paper (actually a bit of light cardboard as found in magazines for subscriptions—exactly that!) and set to work.

The first pattern repeat? Well, its really patternless. I had an idea, but I couldn't think straight—and there really is no design. Just a mismash of some simple cables.

But the act of knitting did its magic and by the time it came to do a second repeat, a real organized pattern emerged—gone were the chaotic, disorganized thoughts, and gone were the chaotic disorganized stitches.

The two repeats since then are just as organized—but a secondary problem(?)--well not so much a problem, but an after effect—the pattern I worked out for the instep works fine—but well I didn't want a full repeat on the back of the sock (because then there would be two sets of lace with out any purl ditches between them at the side (seam)) and there were too many stitches to drop one column of the lace and too few to have 2 sets of the cable element.

Poor Planning on my part!

So the back is plain. Not the best choice—but it's OK. I normally would plan better—but on the day I planned these socks I wasn't thinking well enough to do a better job. And they are not so bad that I would even think to frog them.

No, they will be as they are, patterned on front, plain and back. A bit of history. A knit reminder to myself. The socks could be better—but it doesn't matter that they aren't—I AM.

Now back to the laundry that I have talked about doing for 2 weeks now (early this week the laundry room was closed 2 days for repairs—so the delay is not just procrastination on my part!) There are 4 load washing--1 complete load is nothing but socks! Soon all the load will be drying. Then for next week, 2 more loads of stuff to do (still left in the hamper)! I have this bad habit of wearing clean clothes every day—and using towels and sheets, and Oh how the laundry piles up!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Day of Thanks

And I have so much to be thankful for—not the least of which is all of you my readers.

I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Footsies and Hardware

The heels are completed—but I haven't yet begun to knitting in the round again.

Nor have I gotten laundry done (today!) or started on the gloves, or done any sewing.

But I've lost another pound and half in the past week—SO some progress has been made, somewhere.

Today I am going shopping.. a new printer (I've been without for months!), finally, too, a wireless router and for good measure, a paper shredder—some basic upgrades that have long been needed.

The printer I am eying isn't just a printer—it's a color scanner and copier, too. Goodness knows, I have a back look of things I want to print out—and a second back log of copies to be made. I've never felt the need to have a scanner--but I suspect once I have one, I will find a use for it.

And while I am doing this upgrade—I will also get my web cam connected—last time I tried, there was an I/O conflict—and my Internet connection failed. Needless to say the cam quickly got uninstalled!

There are other details to work on too. Like (better) mounting the power strips, and finishing labeling all the cords—Life is so much easier with things labeled—starting with the circuit breaker, and down to the plugs. This is another place (knitting is one, too) where being a bit obsessive is an asset!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A 7 inch Foot

Is just about the right size for me, sans the heel. In a round or two it will time to start the heel--a short row heel--which will add about another 2 inches—and I'll have the 9 inches of sock I need to fit.

I am going to momentarily pause work on these socks then. My friend Debbie is working on her 2nd pair of socks—and I want her to see a short row in progress. She is a very visual learner. She's now started on her second pair of socks—and will be doing a short row heel in a few weeks.

She finally finished her first pair of socks last week—Not quite 6 months in the making—and while they are not perfect(far from it!) She is pleased as punch with them and has already worn them. I'll nag her a bit, and make her take a photo—but, already, her second pair are looking so much better!

I'll see her Sunday, at Panera's—and I want to be mid heel at then. Then she can see a few short rows being work, and also see how to pick up and do the second half the the heel.

So a few more rounds, and I'll start the heel, then, pause before finishing the first half.

But—before that—as promised, here are the socks stretch out and semi blocked—Now you can see the center pattern of twisted stitches that cable back and forth to make intersecting diamonds—do you sense a recurring theme here? It could be! The gloves are likely to have yet another iteration of a diamond pattern –one done in knits and purls.

(Look closely, (double click the image to enlarge) and you can see the first "pattern" repeat is not as well done--but I don't care!--The knitting got me through a bad day- and will be hidden inside my shoes.)

I find I often repeat a design element over and over (till I grow bored with it)--This month its Diamonds—who know what will be next!

So in the mean while, I'll cast on the fingers of my gloves—and start to work on them. I have the yarn and needle ready--and I need to finish them before the Christmas holidays anyway--so it's not too soon to get started.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Viola!

Dry and unpinned from the blocking board, the Red Diamond's scarf is more like a small shawl than a scarf! I am pleased as punch with FO. It was qick to knit, (I finished long before I was bored), it's as soft as all get out, and now, finished, it's bigger and prettier than I expected.

As for the socks—working well rested, and with no anexity, it's much easier to formulate a pretty, but simple pattern for the twisted pairs of knits and purls. The pattern takes a bit of time—but I think its worth it—see—the are beginning to look quite pretty.

Next time I photograph them, I'll stretch them (or put them on LEGS), so the pattern is easier to see. The yarn is also merino--home dyed to create a hand painted effect--there are at places, (not this part of the skein) more blues in the mix--but all in all I like the look.

OK, that's it—I have done a ton of stuff already this morning, and have a ton more to do—So I am off!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blocking!

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to buying some Styrofoam insulation panels—a set of 6, each 15 inches by 46 inches with tongue and groove edges—so they can snap together for larger panels.--I can get long and narrow shapes for long scarves, and square shapes for sweaters, and even giant stepped triangles for shawls..

I have a ton of knitting that needed something longer than my couch, and more convenient than my bed—so these panels (each about 1 inch thick) are, for me, the perfect solution--they store readily, out of the way under the couch. (I didn't actually remove the plastic overwrap this first time—the plastic is the source of the reflected glare!). The price was right, too--the set of 6 cost less than $10.

The color in this image is pretty true—or it is at least on my monitor--it's a little darker, now, damp, than it is dry, but its just about right.

Today is the first time I am using them—with very little tension, the scarf is being block to a full 46 inches! I didn't thread the blocking wire in the chevron ribbed center back—I want that part of the knitting to fold up accordion style—seeing it 'scooped in' at the neck looks perfect!

I can't readily get the whole scarf in a single image--well maybe from 10 feet away I could, but then the light wouldn't be as good, and the details would be lost. No matter really--since each end is a mirror image, seeing one end is the same as seeing the other!

Tomorrow AM is yet another Dr's appointment--(but it should be a quick in and out!); when I return, (before noon with any luck at all!) it should be dry and ready to unpin. Then, I'll drape it on my dress form again for a finished photo.

Knit and Grafted

This was yesterdays post—that never got photos or posted.

But not quite finished (still ends to weave in) and not blocked. But it looks good—and unblocked its 34 inches long—not bad, not bad at all. Blocking will add a few inches—but not to much since I don't plan to hard block it.

Maybe today--(Tuesday)

Yesterday (Monday) was a lost day—I got a lot things done, that needed to be done—but it took hours, (boring, and TMI health stuff)—Fortunately, I had knitting with me. I was able to while away a few of the many hours involved, knitting.

Socks that were nothing more than a cast on and a round are now looking like this—the pattern is going to be problematic—this first repeat is free hand—and I'll have to think about what I did, and when to repeat it.. Or come up with something similar and chart it! (I am not obsessive) –I can have a pattern break and be different –especially if its going to be hidden in the toe of most of my shoes!

I could have even knit more—but I need to rest my hands and take a break—still it's a nice start to a pair of socks!

But knitting is going to take a hit—ever behind the curve when it comes to fiction reading, I just got The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—and well, this book (and the next two in the series !) are seriously going to cut into my knitting time.

Since yesterday, all I did was add a few (6? maybe, if that) to the socks—I still haven't finished the scarf or blocked it. But I did get photo's taken--and this bit posted!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

While I am Generally Feeling Better

Every day—I am not quite as recovered as I think. Thursday I was addled, and tired, and yesterday I felt fine—till I took out some garbage—and got chilled to the bone. A hot drink (decaf coffee) didn't help—instead I crawled under a pile of warm blankets, and took a nap.

That did help—no laundry got done--(there are worse things) but after my nap, (and dinner) some knitting did get done—There is just a bit over 6 inches of lacy ribbing now—and just a little bit of yarn left—2 inches worth? 3 inches worth? (I hope so, but I doubt it)--what ever the measure, the end is in sight for this scarf.

2 pieces of lace –each about 14 inches equals 28 inches, plus another 8 (maybe 9?) inches of ribbing at the back of neck—that's 36 inches in total. Not bad—Just about right for an inside the coat/jacket scarf. And it's so pretty, and so soft—and even with the set backs—so fast to knit!

Today is Saturday, so the first order of business will be finishing the skirt (Saturday is for sewing!) but come the evening, I'll be knitting—and will finish the knitting--I might not finish the scarf—I could end up grafting tomorrow at Panera's on Sunday. And even after I finish it (weave in the ends!) I will still have to block it. So it's really still has a good deal of work to be done before is really all done.

Then it's glove (and sock!) time—I think I will work the two projects at the same time. One thing about socks—there are almost never ends to weave in—and they are knit and go—no blocking required not even for this next pair-- which will be lacy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Progress—But Nothing Finished.

Almost nothing knit on the scarf--Well actual a number of rows knit—and frogged, and re knit again,and frogged again—with a net gain of just a half a dozen rows!

I was was tired—more tired than I realized (fell asleep before the evening news!) and kept making stupid mistakes--like forgetting to decrease, or knitting the purls or purling the knits!-I should have realized I was too tired to knit!

And while progress was made on the skirt yesterday afternoon, —the bits and pieces had edges bound, the pockets got sewn in (side) and on (back)--and top stitching details were added, the zipper got put in and the waist band started, (but not finished). All in all, a lot of work got done--but it's not quite finished, yet.

Left to sew is the inside waist band, and the hem, plus details like the hook and eye closure for the waist band. Maybe an hours worth of work—that I can easily complete tomorrow and have the skirt ready for Sunday. I think I'll leave it for Saturday sewing.

I have some other projects to sew up tomorrow—little ones—and maybe I'll get another skirt (a smaller sized one!) cut and ready to sew.

I am itching to start my November socks, too. And I need to start on the gloves—in theory they shouldn't take much longer to knit than a pair of socks, but...

For 1, the yarn is finer, (superfine lace weight cashmere) and the gauge will be finer—I knit most of my socks on size 2 needles—but the gloves are going to be knit on size 1's (2.25 vs 2.75mm)

This afternoon I need to do laundry—Again! It's this habit I have—every day I shower and get dressed in fresh clean clothes (well fresh clean underwear and socks—I frequently wear a skirt several times before I feel the need to wash it!) and I use towels, hand towels, and bath towels, and kitchen towels-and sheets, and other miscellaneous stuff ends up in the hamper--(the table cloth from last weeks change the light bulb and a whole bunch of other stuff at the same time!)

Most of the summer clothes have been put away—except for short sleeved T-shirts—I find I wear them all winter—sometimes as an undershirt (for warmth!) sometimes as a top shirt (my apartment can get so hot!)

So that's it.. Simple stuff. Work done, but not really much of anything!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Diamonds to Chevrons--

The switch has been made. I've changed over from one lace pattern to another. Now I am working a lacy chevron rib—about 3 inches so far. I am only working one end—the chevron is a one way pattern—so I can't work both ends at once—but it will be easy to graft—I worked a plain row on the end I am working—and will the grafted row will mirror that--(not that I think anyone would notice if there was one rows difference in the two sides!)

The half scarf is too long now to fit entirely on my improvised blocking wires (a pair of 14 inch long, US size 4 (3.5mm))knitting needles—and stretched out like this the ribbing looses all of its natural tendency to corrugate--but it does, and when it does eventually get block, the ribbed portion won't be blocked at all--and will naturally scrunch up.

This style of scarf is in the air—Evelyn (aka Lost the Thread--Oct 10th entry) has just completed a very similar scarf—a different lace pattern (but it's sort of diamonds) a different rib pattern at the back of the neck (but its still ribbing) different yarn (but a super soft one!), different color (how pretty it looks in white!) --everything is different—but its also very clearly the same sort of scarf!

I'll do some more work on this scarf later today (well, this evening) but this afternoon I am going to do some work on my skirt—I want to have it finished (and ready to wear!) this weekend. I'll wear my new Ragg Effect socks at the same time—a treat to myself for doing so well with my weight lose. I have everything I need—a zipper, some skirt hooks for the closure—all I need to do is sit down and finish it.

And I've had a great idea that is going to have me working double time—for now a bit of secret project--(a big one!) but I can do it. It involves a lot of extra knitting—and even more time consuming—lots of extra documentation! But I am committed.

I don't think I'll finish the scarf tonight—but it will be done this week—this has been a fast project!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Getting Better—Day by Day

I look at my wound every day, and see, every day, that is getting smaller and healthier looking—but yesterday I had proof that I (as a total person!) am getting better. Yesterday was a frustrating waste of time, money (OK, just $10 or so, but $1o is a lot of money when you are out of work!) and energy—and while I was annoyed—I wasn't done in.

A few weeks ago–3 to be precise—a day like yesterday would have had me in tears—not for long—but I would (I did!) find I had no reserve of patience to deal with even minor set backs. Now, they piss me off, but I take them in stride. And I can even find joy in little things, and be happy in the evening after a rotten start to the day.

I started off noticing—I had messed up (in a very minor way) my lace scarf. Instead of working both halves every row—I found I was half a pattern repeat (6 rows!) out of sync!--An easy fix—but really, where was my head at!?

Each end is a bit over 12 inches long now—and while the smaller of the two balls is pretty limp, I think I still have enough yarn to do yet one more pattern repeat, before starting the lacy rib pattern for the back of the neck.

This is going to be a nice size scarf—which makes me happy! I am still not sure I like the color—It's a lovely cranberry red, but cranberry red is just not a color that sends me. But I love the yarn, and I love the how the pattern is working out—and I love how the overall length is going to work out too!

Tuesday night knitting was sparse—just 3 of us—and it ended early (which I really didn't mind, because I was tired and planning to leave early anyway, though not quite as early as I did!) I am off in a short while to deliver my DD's CSA veggies—and I got a veggie of my own (with out stealing any from her selection)—a wonderful sweet dumpling winter squash. (This mini squash is single serving)

I love winter squash—just about all of them—but unless you go to the farmers market—the selection of choices is often pretty sparse—you have your acorn and your butternut—and that's about it. The best fruit and veggie stand (which is also 6 blocks away and the other side of Queens Blvd (aka boulavard of death!)) some times has some other squashes—but last time I went there—looking for a spaghetti squash—I came home empty handed.

Well, no, not really empty handed-- I came home with several pounds of fruits and veggies (that grew heavier and heavier with each passing block )--just with out the one thing I wanted to buy! I'll try again tomorrow-- I still want a spaghetti squash!--and maybe I'll find some thing else interesting.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Busy Day!

Heading out in a few minutes—will be gone all morning and a bit of the afternoon.

Then later, in the late afternoon, it's out east (just 5 miles—but thousands and thousands others will be doing the same on the LIE!) to pick up my daughters CSA (and maybe even steal a veggie or two for my effort!)

After that, turn round, and head west—and go from one end of Queens to the other (from 230th Street (apx) in eastern queens to 11th Street in western Queens—thankfully, while there are some who reverse commute—traffic will be heavy—there aren't so many—so it will be moving.

Evening will find me at Tuesday night knitting. I am going to pass on delivering the CSA veggies till Wednesday morning. My daughter won't be home (to come down to the car and get them) –and road work makes it impossible to park at night. It will be cool (in the 40°'s)enough that the veggies (likely to be a bunch of root stock!) and they will be fine in the car trunk over night.

In between all this running around I have to find time to eat well—I know me—if I skip a meal, I get so hungry I am likely to make poor choices—and pig out out something yummy (but not very healthy!) and I don't want to do that—not when yesterday foot on the scale found me down another 2 pounds—that 9 now for the month—a good start to my goal of 50--(maybe 50 lbs is too small a goal? Maybe I should aim for even less of me?)

Well I got some knitting done yesterday –(not much, but some) and will, get some done this AM, and some more this PM, and should have something to show tomorrow.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Growing Like A Weed

Now there are 9 inches of lace (and the once plump balls of yarn are hollowing out)—I can do another inch or two before I begin to get nervous—then I'll change the stitch pattern to a simpler, open lace (a much more open lace) for the back of the neck—All the fancy lace up front—and something easy to bunch up for the back of the neck.

The result will end up being an ascot style scarf—with soft open lace in the back will scrunch up nicely (who needs 12 inches of fabric at the back of the neck?) Front ends--the diamond lace-- will fall flatter, across the front of the neck upper chest-- Nicely filling in the opening of coat neck line.
A showy front, and simpler back.

This photo shows the variations of color that exist in the wool—but the previous photo's are closer to the actual color (this image was lit with a Ott type light) Amazingly-- the light to dark and dark to light gradiations are very similar on each piece—Not perfectly matched.. but balanced.

This has really been a quick knitting scarf—I think I'll be done before I have a chance to get bored!

PS--D finished up her socks, and I grafted the toes of mine too!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Saturday is for Sewing

That's what I decided last week... Then, last Saturday, in the snow, I was out all day, up to Westchester, and didn't get any sewing done!

But that's not the case this week. I didn't get anything finished, but...

Friday I cut out the makings of a denim skirt—a cute 8 gore one with a kicky little ruffled hem—not too full a ruffle—just a bit of interesting edge. What was I thinking?

Denim, as everyone—even non sewers-- knows—Ravels.. (or does it unravel?) The raveling property of the fabric is what makes cut off's, and other unfinished edges look—interesting.

Commercial clothing made from denim has flat felled seams—again you don't have to know much about sewing to recognize the special seam found on jeans –even if you never knew the name for that kind of a seam.

Flat felled seams encase the edges and keep the denim from unraveling. But they are a real PITA to do at home. And I just don't do them.

But—I needed to do something—or the inside of my denim skirt would unravel until the seams opened! So— I did what classicly is done (in home sewing) —I zig-zagged over the edges before sewing the seams. Now remember the part where I says 8 gores? That's 16 edges to over sew. Remember the part where I said it had a kicky little ruffle? Another 16 edges to sew.. plus another 16 top and bottom edges on the gores, and another 16 top and bottom edges on the ruffles.

That's is a whole bunch of sewing—with out putting any of the parts together! I used an entire spool of thread (and the skirt still isn't all together!)--I still have a waist band to edge, and pockets to edge, (2 front ones, and 2 back ones)and side seams to sew up and zipper to put in!

So while I spend several hours sewing yesterday, I don't have a skirt—yet! The bare bones are there (there is a front of 4 gores, and a back of 4 more gores—each with a bit of fancy top stitching)—but there aren't pockets (they haven't even been edged!) or side seams —and there is no waist band and no zipper, no belt loops, or tabs.

The few seams that did get sewn, did get pressed. Lot's of sewing got done—but there isn't a skirt! I don't think I am going to wait till next Saturday to finish the skirt--but not I won't be working on it today.

After dinner, I went back to knitting my scarf—and LOOK—another row (or two!) of diamonds. It's now 7 inches long (14—total!) It's not a scarf yet either, but something got done—even if I don't have anything finished!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Started

A bit of lace. And made some progress, too A bit of a hem is a garter stitch chevron, morphing into a diamond (or is it a zig-zag?) lace. Not much progress.. but enough to see the pattern—and since I am working with 2 balls of yarn and 2 halves at once, I've actually made twice the progress! It's about 12 inches wide, (stretched/semi blocked) and so far, just a bit over 3 inches (in each half)

The yarn is super soft and squishy—it's a dream to knit, and the scarf will be a joy to wear. I have no idea how big it will end up being (before blocking or after!) but 300 or so yards is enough to make a decent length. Scarves are pretty flexable when it comes to length! I have no need for another scarf, needless to say—but then again—I have no need for more socks, but I plan to continue knitting them too!

I got some sewing done, too. I finished up a skirt that I started last year (that was too tight in the waist—but now fits!) and got some small projects cut and interfaced, and even got a second skirt cut—another denim one—not one of the 4 colored ones I planned last January. And, in a fit of optimism, I even bought a remnant—a lovely piece of a black linen like cloth--(not real linen, but...) and will be able to add a black skirt to the mix. NY'ers have a reputation for always wearing black—but I only have 3 black skirts (and one is over 20 years old, and faded from a real dark black to a pale imitation of black). So adding an other black skirt isn't really overwhelming.

The denim skirt is going to be semi fitted—but also have an elastic waist--(and a drawstring!) so the it will fit as I lose weight. I am am sort of putting off the other skirts—I don't want to make them them and have them not fit 6 months from now Though, actually I will be very happy if I have to make some clothes because nothing fits 6 months from now!--I just don't want to make a bunch of “fit now” skirts when I am (and really planning to) losing weight.

Well I have a skirt or two that needs some mending—I'll mend and add some new elastic to some stuff, and hold off till next year to make some new stuff.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Socks—Done!

Not Done!—The thing is they are all knit (done!) but they are not done because they are still on the needles—and will remain there for a few days.

They are really wonderful though --(I have, of course, tried them on!) The rib pattern is so soft and cushy—and the the fit-- perfect. The ridges in the rib pattern make the feel so warm and cozy! I think I like how the the stripes look on the sole (the plain stocking knit) better than how they look in the ribbed pattern—but, OH, I LOVE how the rib feels!

The reason they are still on the needle and haven't had the last few stitches grafted is: My friend D. is completing her first pair of socks--(she started them in July and has been struggling with them—but not ever giving up) and the last lesson she needs is how to graft. SO... I'm holding off till the weekend—and then I'll demo grafting on my socks, and let her try it out on her socks.

What Next?--I don't know! Gloves—from the fingers down—are high on my list, and November's socks are already on my mind (these are easy—a pair of lacy socks in shade of lavender!) And last night I balled up some 300 yards of home spun merino is a lovely soft red..its about DK weight—and would make a lovely scarf--(the merino is so soft!) --and I have an idea of what I want to do.

An other rectangular scarf—with broad lacy ends that taper to a simple lace—for most of the scarf. The homespun is in two slightly mis-matched (yardage wise) balls.. It makes sense to start both ends and work them together, and then graft the two halves together—But.. Grand as this sounds—I have at least 3 books that feature scarf patterns (alone!) and another half dozen book with lace patterns—and I am going to at least thumb through them and see if any of the scarves or lace pattens in them jump out and say—ME! You want to knit ME!

The paragraphs below might be TMI—so skip them if you are squeamish.

My leg is healing nicely—It went from really ugly “raw meat”--a deep open wound (one big enough to fit half a walnut (shell!) in, to a pink edged crater--(as it drained for 3 weeks)

Each day the crater shrunk in size—getting narrower and shallower. Tuesday (this week) I saw the surgeon again—and we've entered phase 2—Now I just cover the open wound (it is still draining a bit) but I don't have to “pack” (that is, stuff gauze into the wound) and it's beginning to “granulate” (that is, dry out and form a scab--(why don't they just say that?)

In some ways this is the worst! Scabs—work by 'shrinking'--they pull the edges of a wound together (and close it) as they protect the process of skin's growth.

The shrinking (and pulling) is an annoying discomfort—It's not so much pain—as irritating.. It's like having a bandage pulling--(you want to rip it off and replace with a more comfortable one!) and it's itchy--(so damn itchy!) too.

And its going to take weeks (about 3!) to fully scab up and be a closed wound—Until then, it's dressing (gauze pads) and outer bandage (an ace bandage) to hold the gauze in place and provide some compression (to help the edged come together.) And annoying itch!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Knitting

Not much, but...
Yesterday saw the socks with the gussets finished—and a few rows of the foot done.

I was just starting the pale green stripe. Its complete, as is the golden brown and the red..(which finished one 'color collections”--red was the first stripe after the turn.

I will need (judging by the leg) 2 full repeats of the colorway—and a bit more (about half) to finish the foot. The toe will be started somewhere near the next stripe. But there is still a ways to go.

Still some progress is better than none—I just can't get my knitting mojo on the right track—I knit, but I dawdle, I knit but..

I'll keep at it—and will have a finished pair one day soon (I hope!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Gussets? Done. Socks? No.

Sunday's NYTimes crossword puzzle 95% done though! (one corner and 6 words elude me!)
The gussets (and a bit) are done—but Octobers socks lingers into November.

It's at the easy part now—with plain stocking knit on half the stitches, (and the rib pattern only continuing on the instep) each round is faster and easier to knit. I just have to do it! It's not like I don't like these socks—I do, I do! But—there have been distractions—

Like light bulbs! I moved into my apartment almost 10 years ago—and most of my every day lighting (I have some specialty/mood lighting) is CFB—which have about a 10 year life—and this month—a whole bunch failed! So it's move some furniture to get to the wall sconces, and trek out to Ikea to get some 10 watt halogen bulbs for the under counter light fixtures, and finding the step ladder for the ceiling fixture. I also made a bunch of labels for all the cords—It's one of those obsessive things I like to do—(label each cord)—so if I want to move something—I can easily find the cord/plug I want.

None of these are really big tasks—but each takes a bit of time and effort.. And each has side effects--

To get to the wall sconce I needed to move the end table.. and while I was at it, I changed the table cloth, and really washed (as apposed to just wiping it clean) the glass top. And there where the dust bunny's that eluded the vacuum, and the odd thing or two that had rolled into a corner and been left behind. And I gave the floor a good wash, too,--cleaning up the grime that circled the table legs.

I needed the step stool too, to reach the bulb and fixture (so much dust had collected in the half bowl of the wall sconces!) and now that I was close to the ceiling, I could see all those cob webs up in the corner...So out came the duster with the long wand.

So-- changing the bulb is a bit more than simple screwing out one bulb and in another. And while I have changed now, 3 different bulbs, in the living room (and 4 more in the kitchen) I know that 3 more are going to fail soon--(since they were all put in at the same time 10 years ago) and all this will be be going on for the next few months!

I treated myself to 2 Ott type (ie pure white) CFB for the sconces—which provide the general lighting—the pure white light is so much nicer. I have a pure white (one of my few incandescent bulbs) in one table light for task lighting –most of the other general lighting (and about half of the mood lighting) are CFB—but I do have some low voltage (12Volts/3 10 watt halogen) fixtures, for general lighting, too. I even have a few super flat LED accent lights (that gently spot light works of art)--A real mix of light types—but all low voltage/low wattage. The Ott type (but not Ott brand) white light CFB's are twice the price of the general purpose CFB's—but worth it—at least in a few key fixtures.

I know someone who always has the TV on (as background noise)--it makes him feel less alone—for me it's having a light on—I hate to come home to a dark house. I love the 7 watt (night light wattage) CFB—they give off about the same lumins as a 60 bulb—enough light to be bright and cheery. Not always the warmest most pleasant light—but still welcoming—all for pennies.

Electricity is bought by the kilowatt (1000 watts) A 8 watt bulb is 5kw a month—vs 42 for a 60 watt bulb. Here in NYC, a KW cost a bit over 20 cents--(yes! One of the highest rates in the nation!) or $1 a month vs. $8! (those numbers are based on 24 hours of usage—something I tend to avoid!--but I do leave a single light on all day and night.)

CFB are a real savings. The bulbs seem expensive--but they last only cost twice as much as incandescants--but last 10 times longer. (Of course the disadvantages is no cleaning the bowl of the wall sconce ever year or so--and instead cleaning out 10 years worth of dust!)

Most of all, it's nice to have bright, white lights as the days get shorter and there is less sun light! CFB—like all fluorescents, tend to dim before they fail. Things have been darker—and now they are brighter. (The black safety netting for the terrace work is no help either—it cuts down on day light significantly!)

Oh and more good news—there is less of me—5lbs (or about 2.2K)less in the past 2 weeks. It's just 10% of what I hope to loose in the next year—and it's unlikely I will keep up this pace (2.5 lb/1 K(apx.) a week—but it's a nice start. There is nothing worse than dieting and not seeing results!