Friday, June 15, 2007

Vacation day #2

Well, I could also have called it "Shopping Frenzy 2007", but I don't want to encourage myself any further. LOL I have done a bit of that as you can see.

I started off my Vacation Day #1 with a trip to order my advanced copy of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. Why wait so long? Ah, well, I wanted to draw out the excitement. Then I got all weird about getting my hands on a copy for sure (like that's really going to be a problem) and decided to get my copy reserved. Now I can sleep at night. I also picked up a couple of mysteries (here and here) that I absolutely did not need, so of course I bought them. sigh. And the Summer issue of Spin-Off. Don't faint, I've never gotten a look at an issue before, it was there, so I bought it. Seriously, it was like sharks on chum. I can't tell you how many books I put back. (I got my oldest DD Skippyjon Jones, it is very cute. See how I work?)

Okay, seriously. I'm a librarian with little time to read (mostly because I knit instead, not that I mind), and when I do read, I go a bit overboard. I have a huge pile of TBR books (To Be Read), but when I finally get time to read, I go buy new ones. Well, if I don't they'll disappear from the shelves and then I won't ever read them, now will I? (Work with me here, support my logic system. It extends to Fiber Acquisition too. If it fails for one, it may well fail for both.) I'm thinking I'll knock out the Harry Potter numbers 4, 5 & 6 next week to refresh the details in my memory before the next movie and book. In the meantime, I've been reading Gil's All Fright Diner and In the Company of Ogres. I go on binges, okay? I can stop any time I want to. Really.

Next stop on my list was a LYS I never get to visit. It is in-between work and home and is really not very convenient. It is a cute little shop, I went a few times when it first opened, but haven't been back in some time. Wow. When I walked in there was a lovely group of knitters just knitting and laughing and drinking tea. I really wanted to sit down with them, but I had sort of a time schedule and I really wanted to shop. I was delighted to find that the shop had added spinning supplies to their inventory (it was not there before). Sooooo, I bought some lovely roving, a beautiful new threading hook for my wheel (because it is pretty, that's why), sock yarn (like I needed it, but it too was pretty and it was Fleece Artist Seacell!) and some more washcloth cotton. I didn't need that last either, but I was on my way to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and they had this cute little Jolly Roger washcloth and I just had to have the pattern... You know how that goes. So here's the details on my booty. Arrrrrrr.

The Fleece Artist is up top. It is their Sea Wool (70% Merino, 30% Seacell) and seems to be Raspberry or possibly Ruby Red. I really couldn't say for sure. I can't find anything on the lable to indicate the colorway (at least not that I can see), but it is a very pink red and some orangey stuff in there too. It has the Sea Wool Bordello Socks pattern, and I'm looking forward to getting this on my needles. (I think I like the pattern name as much as the yarn!) Also pictured is the new threading hook for my wheel. It is made by one of the ladies who was sitting and knitting while I was there. Gotta support those local artisans, right?

Next up is the Jolly Roger pattern and some GGH Java in black. I got two because I never see this cotton stuff in black. I mean, I have to have a couple in black and white, then I can go all pink or something later. Right? (The Java was on sale too, so as good a deal as the Sugar 'n Cream.)

Lastly, this lovely roving from Dragonfibers, another local craftsperson. (There's an email on the label if anyone is interested, let me know.) This is 4 oz. of Bluebells and Buttercups and is 60% Merino and 40% Bamboo. This will be new and exciting, I've never spun bamboo. The colors on this are just lovely and completely unlike anything else in my stash. I just love it, though, and I can't wait to get spinning on it. Right after I finish plying the other stuff on my bobbins...

Hey, what else is vacation for? Getting caught up on projects, and starting new ones, right?

The evening was spent at a Sock Hop at my daughters school. I had a lovely time dancing with my girls, some of their friends including the Fiber Hating Twins (I've mentioned before). It was great fun, but my knees are killing me today (and a good bit of last night too!) The Bunny Hop, Cha-Cha, Jitterbug, Conga line, Hokey-Pokey, the Swim, the Electric Slide, the Macarena & just general dancing. Some people pay for that kind of work out! The kids also did the Limbo, but I was definitely not competing with 5 year olds. They can get lower than me just walking. No sense in putting myself into physical therapy for a few months over that. I figure I'll recover from this just in time to paint the girls' room.

Vacation Day #2 was shopping for very specific things (things I couldn't find - so very frustrating!) and to the movies for Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer. I can't tell you how nice it is to sit through a movie all by myself. No trips to the bathroom at the most exciting part, no one begging for popcorn and candy (I don't have to beg myself - lol). Also, it is a chance to preview things for my kids. "No" on Pirates, the girls are just too sensitive (even if they don't think so) and "yes" on Fantastic Four, not as intense.

I should have spent more time knitting, but I managed a bit while I was getting the oil changed in my van. That was a chore that was way overdue. Next week, I think it will be knitting and cleaning time. I have promised myself to find a balance in that. We'll see how I do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Woo-Hoo! Look at that progress!

Would ya look at that?! I've almost got the length on this puppy, then it will be sleeves and finishing. I really might get to wear it this year after all. I can't believe it! No picture from the 5 year old either, though she might have done a better job.

I've been knitting like mad at lunch at work, and it is starting to pay off. Since my TV shows are done for the season (and I haven't picked up any of the filler shows), I've been watching movies on my PC at work. So far, Gothic and Shadow of the Vampire. I'm sensing a theme here. Anyway, they seem to have inspired speedy knitting, so more power to them. I wonder what I should watch next...

I start my long-awaited vacation on Thursday. I cannot tell you how delighted I am about that. I so need a break from work. I'm planning to kick it all off by FINALLY going to see Pirates #3. I can't believe I've made it this long, but since I wasn't taking the girls, that is how it had to be.

I did cast on the next sock. I've made about half an inch of progress, so, enough not to forget what I'm doing. I hate to spend too much time on it, however, as I'm doing so well on the blue sweater. I'm also jonesing to do some spinning... Just one more day & then I can go nuts. Well, at least I'll be free to do more knitting and spinning than I can currently work into my day.

One more day...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It is finished!

Woo-Hoo! I'm certain I must have started this thing last June and last night, 6/4/07, I Kitchenered off the toe. I'm not 100% pleased with how that went, but it'll do. I couldn't wait to get that sock off the needles, I didn't want to wait until I'd spent a week researching ways to finish the toe. I'll do that in the year it takes to do sock #2. LOL Ahhhh. I can't tell you how pleased I am about ending the Endless Sock. I'm sure everyone has an experience with the project they thought would never end, so I'm guessing everyone knows the feeling themselves. It is good, no?

I was trying to get a closer image of the detail on the twisted cables. Maybe I'll try again another time. Now for the details:

Opal Rainforest Eule / Owl
contents 75% wool, 25% polyamide
465 yds / 100 gram ball

The pattern is from Classic Beginnings: Socks for the Family by Michele Wyman and I used the Mock Cable Leg Ribbing (which I adapted for a hat back in November or so). The pattern was well written and was in a formula sort of format. I made some copies so I could just fill in the blanks for any size of sock that I might be knitting. The patterns are all written for dpns, however, so I had to do some adjusting to do them on two circs. No big, I just used Cat's book for that and it all seemed to work out (once I adjusted for the stitch counts).

I used Knit Picks #2 circs for the bulk of the socks (started on bamboo dpns #2). I think I knit these much tighter than I normally do (everything else I knit), so I managed to get 8 stitches to the inch. Or, I think I did. I must have for the gauge swatch, and whatever else may have shifted, the sock fits, so I'm good. LOL

I have not yet cast on for sock #2, I was pushing bedtime back about 20 minutes to get the sock off the needles and the pictures done (see what I do for you?). I was sooo tired yesterday, I didn't sleep well the night before, so I didn't want to stay up late. It was worth it for the sock. LOL I'm wiped today, of course, you know how you get when you finally get some good sleep after missing sleep. I'm thinking one more good night's rest should set me right. Maybe finishing the sock will let me sleep better. (Or maybe moving back to cooler weather will do it...).

While looking up the stats on the Opal yarn I was distressed to see that they have released a second Rainforest collection. Holy cow! I've only just made peace with not buying all the colorways in the first collection and now they add even more colors I want to own in Rainforest 2! Jeepers. I was really setting a new goal for myself to only knit socks with thicker weight yarn (than the Opal). What in the world will I do with a humongous collection of tiny, tiny sock yarn?! Besides pet it, I mean. Oy.

Back to the sweater. I'm still behind on all of my TV shows. I haven't seen the season finale on a single show yet and they've all been done for a week or more. sigh Oh well, at least I've got some good knitting time left (and some more dark chocolate covered almonds!). Then I think I'll watch Firefly again. And the Dresden Files will be out in August. Now that's something to look forward to!

Excuse my while I go model my sock for people. Whether they like it or not...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Skating but no sock

Okay, the birthday girl is in the pink pony shirt, the other two girls are friends. 4 hours of roller skating! It was about 85 degrees (F) outside (unseasonably warm for Seattle this time of year) and there was no air conditioning. Mom was too warm! Yes I'm from Texas. Yes, I've acclimated to Washington state weather. Anything over 80 is pushing it for me. Anyway, more people showed for her birthday than I expected, so good for her. The kids all had a blast, and most of them actually got worn out and left for home before the party was technically over. We were allowed to stay for 4 hours, so that's what I put on the invitation. Next time, I think I'd shorten it by an hour or something. That was too long for me, I was wiped out and I wasn't even skating. Pirate cake and princess presents, quite a combination. LOL

You know, I used to skate all the time. You'd think, as a fully-functional adult, that I could skate fairly easily if I wanted. Um, no. I tried it last year and discovered that there are muscles in my legs that I apparently have no use for on a regular walking-around basis. Go figure. Another little tidbit I picked up last year, falling is sort of painful. Yep. No skating for mom. If we start making a habit of skating, I might change my mind, right now, I don't think so.

Our hot water heater blew out on Thursday night. It's been coming, but Himself kept putting off getting it replaced. I think he was hoping it would just go away or something. I decided I wasn't going to do it for him, I have enough on my plate. Anyway, I came home Thursday night to a stream of water winding its way out of my garage. Neat. Just what every home owner wants to see when they open the garage door, right? Fortunately, nothing was ruined by the water AND we were able to get someone out Friday afternoon to replace the darned thing. Yee-haw! (See? I am from Texas!) Got the weekend off to an exciting start.

What with the party and all, I did not have much time for knitting. Big surprise, right? I did manage to get a "before" picture of my sock. Here I am all ready to start the decreases. It rolled a bit away from my toes, but still, it is time to get going. Look, I even included a shot of one of my cats' fuzzy behind (and Himself's foot). Isn't that thoughtful? Who wouldn't want to see that, right? I would like to appologize for the photo quality, actually, I was trying to get the flash working again before the party and took shots of the sock because I needed them and it was easy. That is not a stripe running down the whole sock, that is the cable on my circ needle, btw. Sorry, I could have done a better job with that.

I managed a few rows and decreases on the sock this weekend, and it is going pretty quickly. I decided I'd set aside the sweater for a few days in an effort to finish the sock, but I forgot to switch out my knitting for work, so blue sweater it is for today. Still, maybe by the weekend I'll have the sock done. Here's hoping! At any rate, the sweater is now about halfway in length, so I've made some good progress there too.

I'm looking forward to a "quiet" weekend this weekend. No birthdays, no parties, no other scheduled events at all, in fact. I'm quite thrilled. We plan to clean the house, and that is really all I want to do. Besides knit. And spin. Here's hoping... (A younger me would probably find this paragraph quite depressing. LOL)