Monday, July 31, 2006

These fish are fast,
These fish are speedy....

I've started my first Pomatomus socks and I have have to say I'm amazed at how fast they are going! In just three days, I completed the entire leg and the heel flap. It helps that I am using size 2 needles of course (I usually use size 0 for socks). The picture above is two days old now, and I have now finished the rest of the heel and am into the foot. This part, not so fast. Turning the heel and working a gusset goes much much slower than a short row heel. On the plus side, I don't have any little holes in my sock around the ankle though.

Otherwise, it is just plain hot here. Humidex over 100F. Not enjoying it. My mom called last night to find out if we had power. They saw on the news that Cleveland had blackouts yesterday. News to me! But this morning we saw in the paper that Westlake had done a couple of rolling blackouts while we were at work. I don't think they did our neighborhood - all the digital clocks were still showing the right time.

Too hot for the kids to play outside at the daycare either. They've been keeping them inside all day and letting them run races in the hallways.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ooh la la this yarn is posh.

That's a fancy word for fancy.

Pictured above is a skein of Feza Alp yarn in the black/silver colorway. It was a gift from my One Skein Secret Pal, who has sent me two very interesting skeins of yarn! The first was sock yarn by Cherry Tree Hill in the wild cherry colorway, the second is the novelty yarn shown here. She is really introducing me to some new yarns - this is a fun exchange! I have recently decided that the CTH yarn will become Pomatomous socks - and I will make them as the pattern says, top down, with whatever that kind of heel is called. I need to learn new sock techniques. So far I have only done toe-up short-row heels.

Recognize the title? If you have a little girl in your life, go get her a copy of Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Conner. Currently residing at #1 on my daughter's "must-read" list, this charming story about a girl named Nancy who loves to be fancy will amuse any little girl and her parents, even if they aren't so fancy themselves. Audrey is 2 now, and I think the book would entertain children up to about 5 years old?
A great book for the preschool set.


Yes, I am still doing some of that. I started the mate of the Regia striped sock shown a few posts down. It has been quite humid at our house, even with the A/C on, and the yarn was not exactly gliding over my bamboo sock needles last night. Very slow going, I think I added only about two inches in length to it. The Lucky Tank is finished, I think, and I will share it as soon as I get around to taking a picture of it!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

“If everyone lived like you, we would need 6.6 planets.”

Wow. Lay on the heavy guilt as I drink my coffee this morning. Recently I have been thinking more about the planet, due in part to the recent media attention to the subject (Al Gore movie/book, Discovery Channel Tom Brokaw special) and was prompted to go find some calculators to determine my carbon footprint ( I also found a calculator for my ecological footprint (

Very depressing. I knew before I started that I would be on the high end globally of energy and resource use. I’m American. It’s our lifestyle. I live in the suburbs and commute to work in my very own car. Okay, I carpool with my toddler as far as her daycare, but I don’t think that counts. I live in a house that is not large by suburban standards (2600 ft/3 BR), but is gargantuan by urban or worldwide standards. We have a nice green lawn (water, fertilizers). We eat meat almost every night. I buy my food at the megamart, where fruit and vegetables of all kinds is available every day, regardless of season, shipped to us from around the world.

But I thought we were doing better. Although we live in the suburbs, we actually work very nearby our house. My husband’s company is only 3 miles away, and he does bicycle sometimes (weather permitting), and my drive is only 7 miles. I feel smug compared to my neighbor who drives 45 minutes each way on the highway. We’re frugal with the A/C and heat (76-78 deg. in summer, 66-68 deg. in winter), warmer/colder when we’re at work. I have been making a greater effort to buy locally grown produce at the farmer’s market during the summer.

Clearly I have a long way to go. Some changes we can make immediately, like replacing our incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, installing an energy-efficient shower head and water aerators at the faucets, replacing the aging weatherstripping on the doors and windows. I really should make a vegetarian meal a couple times a week (good for our hearts and arteries too). Some changes we will phase in as practical, like buying more efficient appliances whenever an existing one dies, and the next car will have better mileage than the current one. It’s unlikely we will downscale the house though (probably the biggest contributor to global consumption), and there are long sections of the year when nothing edible is growing here.

Food for thought. For comparison: my eco footprint was 29 acres (national average of 24); my carbon footprint was 15 tons/year (national average is 18.6). How about you? How do you feel about it? Do you plan to do anything different?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The end is near! The end is near!

I'm near the end of both the Bamboozelle basket and the Lucky Tank. Oh Joy! Oh heck - now I have to finish them. Finishing is always my least favorite part of any project. It could be the tedium (pick up 140 sts around each armhole), it could be the pressure (sloppy finishing = sloppy project, no matter how nice the body is), it could be just that little letdown of something being over. A relationship that is no more. The tank will be relegated to the inside of a drawer. I may wear it every week or so, but it's not knitting any more, it's just clothing. The basket will be sent away to my OneSkein SP.

But... then I get to choose a new project! Yay! Next on the needles will probably be something for my October Knitted Thing Pal. I haven't decided what to make her yet. I'm going to shoot for a 2 - 3 week project. Of course, my MIL's lace Christmas scarf is yet to be cast on. That's a good choice for steamy summer knitting too.

Choices, choices.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thank you SP!

I have a great SP for the KnittyBoard Mellow SP2 round! She spoils me so - look at all the goodies that were waiting for me when I got home from work last night:

Three paperbacks, a skein of Malabrigo in Velvet Grapes (yummy!), a needle point protector made out of a lab stopper, a bar of soap (Orange Cinnamon) from Anthropologie, a big bar of Cadburys, the new Fon's and Porters magazine and a teddy bear (not pictured). Wow!!!! Wow!!! That's a lot of stuff in one box! Can I say it again? Wow!!!

The bear (not pictured) was snatched up by my 2 year old with a gleeful cry of "MINE!" before I had even finished unpacking the box. Do you think I could pry it loose from her arms to take a photo with it's box-mates? Not on your (my) life. It's very cute.

Isn't that the coolest quilt on the cover of the magazine? It's called a kaleidescope quilt becuase the blocks are made to look like what you see inside a kaleidescope. Slightly tricky piecing, but I may have to try it just for the technique. 24 different blocks, all from 1 (one) piece of patterened fabric. Very clever. 60" x 85" is twin size, right? If I start now, I could conceivably make this for my daughter's bedroom. She's still in a crib, but she is tall enough to climb out. Hasn't tried to do it yet, but its only a matter of time. She climbed out of a pack-n-play while we were on vacation last week. But quilting will cut in to my knitting time, and I wanted to make a quilted wall hanging for the holidays this year and I am never going to get everything done unless somebody unlocks the space-time continuum and gives me more than 24 hours in the day.

In other news, I finished the knitting part of Bamboozelle last night, and did a lousy job sewing up the side seam. I'll have to unpick it tonight and try again.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ahhh, vacation knitting

The joy of a week-long vacation! Plenty of time to relax with family and knit. We just got back from a week in Seattle, where we stayed with my sister-in-law. My brother-in-law (her brother, not her husband) lives there too, and had the whole week off, as he was inbetween jobs, with a new one starting on Friday.

So, we saw all the sights that Seattle has to entice a 2 year old - the zoo (fantastic - the animals live in spacious "habitats" with other animals from their natural ecosystem), the aquarium (undergoing renovation/expansion, but still full of fish and small marine mammals), the Children's Museum, Snoqualmie Falls and Twede's Cafe, and lots of just hanging out in Queen Anne, where SIL lives. DH got all the coffee he could drink, and I checked out the LYS - Hilltop Yarn. Audrey liked the otters best. Our last night we went to Sam's Sushi in Ballard, then to a Cupcake restaurant for dessert. Imagine, a bakery that only sells cupcakes! They were delish; I had a chocolate cupcake with orange-cream frosting.

What, you don't know about Twede's Cafe? That's the diner from Twin Peaks where Special Agent Dale Cooper liked to get a piece of cherry pie and a "Damn fine cup o' coffee". We stopped there for lunch of July4th after visiting the Falls.

Hilltop Yarn was not all I remembered it to be the last time I was there. Perhaps because I spend much more time in LYS's now than I did a few years ago, it just didn't seem as big as it used to. They had a nice selection of luxury yarns I had not seen before in person though - Hand Maided Sea Silk (so soft!), Alchemy (so pretty!) and Lorna's Laces sock yarn. Due to my recent binge at a local sale though (not to mention the prices of the Sea Silk and Alchemy), I left empty-handed.

But, in between all this sightseeing, I knitted. Oh, did I knit! I finished a sock in 4 days! I put another 6" on the front of the Lucky Tank! It's amazing how much more you can get done when you don't have to go to work.

Here's the sock:

It's a bit, umm, stripier than I was expecting. But it fits well and looks like it will be nice with jeans next fall and winter. Looking at the skein, it was not so obvious how bold the stripes would be. The yarn is Regia.

And, here is the progress on the Lucky Tank:

Also moving along nicely.
Perhaps another week to go?