Thursday, August 31, 2006

We interrupt this blog

to bring you a lake

a dune

and a lake sprite

We will return to the usual programming shortly.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A pattern continued..

and a gift received. Lookee below! It's a felted clutch purse from my upstream OneSkein Secret Pal Brenda, in North Carolina. The color is a light tweedy peach.

I guess I should have added something else to the picture for a sense of scale. It's big enough to hold my wallet, hairbrush, lipstick, cell phone and a sippy cup for my daughter. Not as big as my everyday luggage, but not so small I couldn't use it for a day of light shopping and going out with family. My smallest purse fits not much more than a driver's license, $20 bill, and lipstick, but not the car keys. A little to small to actually be useful. Thank you Brenda!


I added another pattern repeat to the short row modular scarf. I'm liking it a lot more now that I can see the pattern coming through. I'll continue on and make this scarf length.

I really like the Diamond Modular Scarf Pattern from Iris Schreier/Artyarns, which I understand uses the same techniques. I'll look for it next time I'm at the LYS (today after Audrey's 2 year well-baby checkup, if all goes well). It's currently the first pattern in the pattern section of the link, but if they change it - it's pattern P50.

Adding to the data

Jerry and Maxy is holding a contest to collect data for her Random Knitting Theory #1 - how does the shape of a knitter's hand influence whether they knit English or Continental. Personally, I knit Continental because my grandmother knit Continental. And she knit that way because her mother knit that way. And grew up in Germany, where everybody knit that way.

Here are the photos of my hand, and my hand in action:

That's all for now folks! I'm heading off on vacation tomorrow - I'll try to post a couple of nice lake shots for you all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Alice the camel has...

One hump! (and two passengers)

Just had to post this picture from the weekend. We took Audrey to the Memphis Kiddie Park, then over to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Of course she wanted to ride the camel. As she is a little too young to ride the camel solo, I was elected to ride with her. I plan never to ride a camel again, so enjoy this picture. It's the last one you'll see.


The second Pomatomus sock is done except for the grafting! And I've cast on for a scarf. I'm using one of the CTH DK skeins I bought a couple weeks ago, and am following a diagonal short-row pattern. Not sure if I like it yet. I'll knit a couple more inches and make a commitment or look for another pattern.

Short post today - more later this week I hope. Wish me luck on my job interview tomorrow!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why didn't I think of this before?

I had a realization today that was shocking. The Strongsville Borders Bookstore, a good 45 minute drive from house, is a mere 10-15 minute drive from my office. (And my house is only 15-20 minutes from the office in the other direction. Traffic lights near the mall create a warp in the space-time continuum.) It's a grey day here, and I could not stand the thought of eating lunch yet again at one of the many restaurants near my office. I work near Great Northern mall and there are many, but after 5+ years on the job, I'm bored with the options.

What I really wanted to do for my lunch hour was curl up with a few knitting magazines or books and drink a hot chai. Despite the mall right around the corner, there is no "real" bookstore around here. There's Waldenbooks in the mall, and a Border's Outlet nearby, but I wanted a mega-store with attached cafe (for my chai), and comfy chairs to sit in. So I headed down to Strongsville. The fact that there are only a couple of traffic lights between my office and the Strongsville Borders (one to get on the highway, one to get off, and one near the Borders) meant that I can drive there, eat an overpriced yet fairly tasty chicken tortilla wrap, read two magazines, flip through one book and buy another, and be back at my desk in under 75 minutes. Which isn't long enough to raise any eyebrows around here.

Of course, who am I kidding - nothing short of yodeling in my office is going to raise any eyebrows around here. The building is half empty and the remaining zombies (I count myself in this group) are too busy looking for new jobs to notice how long my lunch hour is.

I read the new SpinOff from Interweave (drool. drool. Anyone want to buy me a wheel? A spindle? A box of fluff?). I quickly flipped through a knitting magazine with ugly patterns. Then I took my paper cup of chai and headed over to the knitting books section. I picked up Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's first book "Yarn Harlot - the secret life of a knitter" and Norah Gaughan's "Knitting Nature". The first was to purchase - I had previously read "At Knit's End" in one sitting, laughing until tea came out my nose. I knew I would like this one too without previewing it first. The second book won't be coming home with me.

Don't get me wrong, Norah's designs are creative and inspiring, but I really can't see wearing almost anything in that book. I love symmetry and mathematics. As a grad student, I majored in Inorganic Chem and minored in Physical Chem. This means I spent most of my first year deriving molecular symmetry point group tables. My wedding ring, which I helped design, has D5 symmetry. But I like my clothes to have more symmetry, not less. No odd cutouts in the hems and arms. Both arms should be the same length. You know, that kind of symmetry. A fascinating tour of applying nature-inspired symmetry to the fiber arts, but for me it will remain a theoretical treatment, not a hand's-on lab experiment.

Only 1.5 hours left until the weekend! Back to work for me - must understand the generalities of the Shockley-Queisser limit derivation before next week.

Later all!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Pattern: Bamboozelle
Yarn: SWTC Bamboo, Parrot colorway
Lining: cotton
Interfacing: Pellon 70

Pattern notes: I had to go up one needle size to obtain gauge with this yarn. Finished fabric is very floppy and a very stiff interfacing was required.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

20 inches of i-cord

That's all the knitting I did last night. Monday evening is always busy at my house. It's garbage night, recycling night and paying bills night. It was also bath night for the kidlet. So, not too much "me" time when all is said and done.

I also did some project finishing work - lining Bamboozelle. Here is a picture of the unlined basket. The SWTC Bamboo knits up into a pretty floppy fabric, even with the fairly dense basketweave stitch. It can barely stand up on its own.
I made the lining out of a single piece of Pellon 70 interfacing - very nice stiff interfacing, yet easy to push a needle through. I did a simple running stitch to bring the sides together.

Then I sewed the lining into the basket, grabbing the yarn from the inside stitches and tacking it about 2 mm down below the upper rim of the basket. That will give me room to secure the inner lining into the basket. The remainder of the skein is sitting in the basket. Of the 100 g. skein, I have 70 g left! Enough for two more baskets. Except I don't like the color well enough to want to do that.

I think I'll attach the i-cord before inserting the fabric lining. That way I can run the stitches all the way through and really secure the basket to the lining.

The second Pomatomus is coming along - the leg is finished. After I get Bamboozelle finished and mailed off, I'll get back to it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Q: What is 18x12x4"?

a) Audrey's birthday gift from Aunt Wendy


b) Zoey

And the correct answer is:

Aunt Wendy's gift was slightly smaller than 18x12x4" to accomodate packing material. Zoey is a pretty tight fit. Zoey would like to add though, that most of that is fur. She is a svelte 10 pounds.

It's Sue's fault

I stopped by Yarn Knit by Sue yesterday at lunchtime to pick up the new Interweave Knits and one skein of yarn to make a project for the October Knitted Things Swap. One skein. Maybe two if she had some good sock yarn. The Swap limit is $20, and I figured I could make a nice scarf or pair of socks for that.

But Sue had other plans. She had a bag sale. 50% off per bag. She had pairs of CTH superwash merino DK in bags. Two different colorways per bag. There were other yarns in bags too, but none so pretty as the CTH superwash. Of course I couldn't leave it there lonely in the crates, so I took home a few. Final bill: $82.

Is it not beautiful? From left to right: Spanish Moss, Tropical Storm, Old Rose, Green Mtn. Madness, Winterberry, and Peacock. I'm thinking a mini-clapotis for my pal. One of those colorways matches her favorite colors pretty near perfect.

Second Sock Syndrome

I cast on the second Pomatomus:

We're off to a slower start on this sock.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A nearly perfect weekend

Such a wonderful weekend we had! It was birthday weekend for DH at our house. Saturday morning we awoke and went downstairs. Audrey handed Daddy the card she "signed" for him and said "Berfday Daddy". He liked all his presents (a Dremel from me and safety sunglasses from Audrey). After a trip to the Farmer's market (cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, sourdough bread, lettuce, organic mozzerela cheese), Audrey helped me bake a cake (double chocolate raspberry rum cake, from The Cake Doctor book). After lunch and a nap, the swimming pool, followed by dinner at Quarryman's in Berea. Then home for cake! After Audrey went to bed I finished Pomatomus #1. I opted to do a short row toe, then grafted across the bottom of the foot. Not perfect, but not too bad considering it was my first attempt at Kitchener stitch. And I did not run out of yarn. 7 g remaining.

Sunday was a lot hotter, so we weren't quite as ambitious. DH spent the morning testing out the Dremel on any available projects. Our bedroom door now closes and latches, and all the garden tools have been sharpened. In the afternoon he went back to the Home Despot for more Dremel attachments (okay I may have created a monster), and Audrey played in the wading pool in the backyard until her teeth were chattering. Dinner was perfectly cooked, followed by more Berfday Cake.

After dinner I finished the second Regia sock. Quite a nice weekend! Here are the two completed socks, and the little ball of CTH that was left over. There is lots more Regia left over, but then that sock is much shorter on the calf as you can see.

So, what about the weekend made it not quite perfect? I burnt all the skin off the roof of my mouth Saturday night. Took a big bite of a piping hot pulled pork sandwich. The melted cheese and boiling barbeque sauce adhered to my palate, and it was very painful.

Regia striped socks

Regia Striped Socks
Yarn: Regia sock yarn
Needles: 0 (US)
Technique: toe-up, short row toes and heels on dpns
Pattern: Wendy's Generic Toe-up Socks
Begun: July 1. Finished: August 6, 2006.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A break in the weather...

Ungodly heat has finally broken here, meaning the heat index is only in the high 80's today instead of over 100F. Feels downright balmy. I'm still sitting in my office with the lights off and the blinds drawn to keep from cooking. Other people complain about too much A/C at the office? To them I say "send it over here!".

I got a lot of knitting done on Pomatomus last night - almost done with sock #1! Below is my graceful (ahem) size 9 foot with most of a Pomatomus upon it. Cat feet included for scale.

I'm a little nervous about this sock though. Let me show you why:

See that little itty bitty ball of yarn I have left? That is all that is left from the 1/2 skein of CTH I balled up before I started. I divided the skein in two using the kitchen scale before starting to ensure I wouldn't use more than 50% on one sock. Do you think I'll have enough to cover my toes? This is a definite shortfall of the top-down method. If I thought I was going to run short, I would have done fewer repeats in the leg. Now if I want to shorten the leg, I'll have to rip out the foot and - gasp- the gusset and heel. And I really don't want to do that.

Keep tuned for further updates...

Birthday madness

Went shopping for birthday stuff today for DD and DH. Two Leos. What did I do to deserve this? DH is getting the Dremel rotary tool kit with 4 extra attachments and a zillion accessories. DD got a swingset (we set it up already) and some toys. Haven't bought them yet. I'm kind of waiting to see what my sister got her. It's being mailed to the house, and she couldn't get it giftwrapped. Nana and Papa C. got her something loud with batteries I think. How come I didn't get loud toys with batteries when I was a kid? Huh? Where's my loud toys?