Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Less Knitting, More Pictures!

Well, I intended to tell you all about how we spent our Memorial Day Weekend, complete with photographs. Instead of being long winded, I'll cut to the chase.

We went camping. It was the first family camping trip and the kids are little so we went to see Yogi Bear here. It was great! The kids had a wonderful time! The place was just fabulous. We went up on Thursday afternoon, arrived in the dark, put up the tent and slept outside in 39 degrees. I was @(*%@ freezing and everyone else was happy. Good thing I had my Jaywalkers on. Then, the next day, the place was packed. Oh well, can't have everything.

On Saturday, I asked hubby to watch my camera for a few minutes and it got stolen. Sad, but true. It had about 120 pictures of my children in it, toasting marshmallows, putting up the tent, having a blast and some rotten horrible fiend took it, right off the hook in the men's room where he left it. They didn't have the decency to turn it in. It isn't so much the camera, which has come down in price considerably since I bought it last July, but I really wanted the pictures. Plus, I don't like the horrible rotten fiend having pictures of my children. Thief.

So, with my gift from George Bush, I took the plunge and got what I really wanted in the first place. This. I love it. The world of point and shoots is great, they serve their purpose as an every day camera. I have an old Canon AE-1 Program that I love and I couldn't resist upgrading to a DSLR at this point. The Canon XTi is great! I bought the kit but I'm aching for either a macro or a 50mm 1.4f lens next. Real pictures, composed and controlled by ME. I took it out for a spin today to take 200 pictures and learn how to use the thing. So, for today, no yarn shots. Hope you like these instead! (and...I don't know how to really use it, yet.)

a nice rhododendron.
My babies pretending they like each other
Action shot!

I saved the best for last. IMHO, this is a very, very nice photograph. In fact, I put it in "This is one of the best pictures I have ever taken". Maybe it's because it's my baby, but I just really like it. How about you?
The weather was terrible here today but it is expected to be much better tomorrow. I'll wake up early and photograph my knitting and some new stash enhancement that I got from my pal, Elizzabetty from her last road trip.
Tomorrow, pictures and knitting updates!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Odds and Ends

Well, I've chosen Baby Fern from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch for this lovely dark green yarn. So far, I only have one repeat done but it is going smoothly and not worth showing you a picture until there is a bit more meat.

Being I spent this weekend rearranging my house to make more room for my ever increasing stash tidy up a bit, there wasn't much knitting. The flowers are blooming, the birds are twittering, the days are getting longer and the stash has been enhanced:

Valley Yarns Huntington, which bears a striking resemblance to Cascade Heritage, in green and red. To the right, Louet Gems in Champagne.

I am very excited over the Huntington yarn. It's nice, it's thin, a teeny bit splitty and screams for nice intricate patterns. Not overly expensive either! The colors are gorgeous in person, it's a darkening sky here today...

I haven't worked with Louet yet but I'm looking forward to it. I am considering making those into Waving Lace socks.

Next up, a member of everyone's top ten list of favorite sock yarn: STR:

l to r: STR - Downpour, Hard Rock, Mustang Sally

Ah, STR, a pleasure to work with... I want to be able to complain about the pooling. Mustang Sally isn't as solid as I wanted. She is my second choice for Waving Lace.

The Palindrome scarf is well on its way to being a grown up scarf. This pattern eats yarn though. Each ball makes about 10" of scarf so this is an expensive endeavor. I am using Plymouth Royal Silk Merino and it's absolutely lovely gorgeous and yummily delicious.

Nothing new with my Dragon Scarf, the yarn broke and I have yet to reattach. Wow, I currently have three WIPs. That's alot!

Just so you don't think that I only photograph wool, here's a picture of Saturday's sky, with telephone lines. Too bad I wasn't down by the water or in the park for this sunset. It was spectacular.

I am home from work today, enjoying my aloneness.

Time to knit!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Sock Yarn! Huntington by Valley Yarns

OH BOY!! My order arrived yesterday!

I had a moment of weakness and Webs was having their sale and I'm so into pretty soft scarf yarn and new sock yarn and I am 'saving money' so I had to do it and now I have more yarn than I know what to do with and it's taking over the house.

(I worked with someone who used to write exactly like that...all the time!)

Actually, I was a little annoyed at the packing job my order received. It was in a nice priority mail box but the box arrived saturated due to the heavy rain storm we had. The guy could've put it between my storm door and my nice new front door but didn't. He left it out to get wet. And..the yarn wasn't in a plastic bag. Some of it was, some of it wasn't. It was packed hastily, some were hanging out of their ripped plastic bags. Sloppy. Luckily, everything inside the box was dry, saved by the packing list.

It was late but I couldn't resist pulling out the new Valley Yarns Huntington Sock Yarn! I believe this to be Cascade Heritage. It's like...the Kenmore version of Cascade. The colors I got (red, dark green and white) appear to be the same as those on the Cascade website. They're wound up the same. They're both new. The plastic bag they came in from Webs said "Cascade Yarns Inc. Quality: Huntington". Interesting. I wound them up on my nice ball winder. They're very thin, like Lorna's Laces. They feel very soft but not as floppy as Lorna's Laces. I used a size 0 to knit the cuffs last night.

Valley Yarns Huntington - photographed in fluorescent lighting at night.
sample cuff for your viewing pleasure, k1, p1 ribbing on size 0 needles. 72sts casted on.
photographed in morning sunlight.

How do I like it, you ask? Well, I think that I like it better than Lovely Lorna's Laces. Don't get me wrong, Lorna fans, I do like Lorna's Laces its just that it works best for me on size 0 needles. I used a size 1 on my Monkeys and LIKE them but the stitches are too large. Lorna's Laces is ultra soft and makes a sock that seems very floppy but is very comfy to wear. I feel like the ribbing isn't snug and elastic enough which makes me not like the socks as much as I should. My Socks that Rock socks really retain their shape well. This yarn feels soft in the hank but not as soft when working with it. The fabric it produces is stiffer and seemingly coarser. I'm sure it won't be like that after I wash it. Do I like it as much as Valley Yarns Franklin? No. I loved that yarn and will definitely use it again. Probably when I'm 85 and have finished up my stash. I highly recommend Franklin. It's not nearly as soft as Socks that Rock but it works up very, very nicely and you get a ton of yardage. I made one pair of socks out of it and love them. I thought that they were going to be too small but when blocked, they were gorgeous. More importantly, they fit great and when washed, they go back to their lovely original shape. I wore them all winter and they are wearing like iron. They look and feel: NEW. Only problem: limited selection of colors. Huntington is nice and will probably make a thin sock, which is good. I love tiny little stitches and love working on size 0 needles. The solids cry for intricate patterns. Stay tuned for what this will be! Let's see how I feel about it after getting through an entire pair of socks and have them blocked and ready for your comments. Then, it'd be only fair to use Lorna's Laces next to compare them side by side.
Stay tuned for an update on my Sleeping Dragon Scarf, the Palindrome (nearly done) and the pattern I have chosen for this sock.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Palindrome Emordnilap!

So, it's about a third of the way done. I've used two balls of Plymouth Royal Silk Merino so far. I increased the pattern by one cable; therefore I casted on 52 stitches. A lovely day here on Long Island for a photo shoot.

Isn't she lovely? I'm loving this yarn, it's soft and silky and dreamy. I am so happy that I bought six balls. This was taken at the end of ball two and I think that I may need about 5, unfortunately, to make ONE scarf. I was hoping to get a scarf out of three of them. As my son would say, "no way, Jose". I don't know where he picks up these things....

Now, an update on cabling without a cable needle. I did it. I can do it. It isn't working for me on this scarf. The yarn is entirely too slippery and even pinching the stitches that are hanging in midair for a moment, they become dropped stitches. The thought of taking out 500 stitches for a dropped stitch isn't striking my fancy. It's not that easy to fix dropped stitches in a cable. One time, I forgot to do the cable twist and, three rows later, I did a knit fix. I only dropped 8 of the stitches, for three rows and fixed the problem. There's no trace of the 'error'. However, to be knitting along, I'm finding it faster to use a cable needle knowing that I won't have any issues.

The other thing is, maybe I should switch to wood. This would be a perfect reason to spit for the set of Harmony needles, wouldn't it? It'd be nice if they'd offer them just the tips, not the needles, maybe at a cost savings. Maybe I'll buy size 5,6,7,8, the ones I use the most and call it a day. I'm using a 7 on this scarf.

Well, it's nearing Memorial Day Weekend and I've already got a jump start on Christmas knitting. Tee hee!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sleeping Dragons and Cables Sans Cable Needle

It's 8PM. The kids are in bed. I am working diligently on the Palindrome Scarf. I am addicted to the yarn. It is incredible and luscious and I want to cuddle it all day long. The scarf isn't going along at a good clip for the following reasons:

1. I have been a good girl and have actually been using my treadmill. This takes away from knitting time.

2. I don't currently have a sock to work on. That's weird. My socks are done and I'm scouting out new patterns.

3. I want to learn how to cable without a cable needle and have been practicing on this scarf.

I know that I know how to do this. It was the way that I originally learned cables but when it came time to do it and I was switching the stitches order, I sorta...drew a blank. Must be that I killed those braincells off back in my younger days. It's just..gone. I find this so peculiar. Grumperina has provided an excellent tutorial on her blog and I will check it out again shortly.

So, tonight's project is to to get this down pat and get another foot done of the scarf. Pictures coming soon!

In other news, my DD was on the stage again for a play at her school. The kids were great. They're only 4 and 5 and did a circus. She was a tumbler. She originally was an elephant but didn't want to twirl on the stool, she'd rather tumble across the stage.

DS if finishing up his Kindergarten year with a bang. Only a few short weeks and the school year will be over. Hurray! I get more knitting and treadmill time! I won't have to drive them in the morning. They'll be home attending Camp Daddy.

The Dragon Scarf is still sleeping in my basket but I may take him out tomorrow night after Palindrome is ... done? We'll see how it goes. I've gone through just about one ball of yarn and I have about 16" worth of scarf. The pattern eats yarn a bit.

What pair of socks shall we make next? I'm thinking STR Hard Rock Monkeys, perchance....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Walk, The Tidal Waves, The Dragon Scarf

Able was I ere I saw Elba. Palindrome, a reversible cable scarf. How cute. And, it's free. And, it uses relatively inexpensive yarn. I started it today out of my new Plymouth Royal Silk Merino and let me tell you, it's luscious. I know, it's New York, it's May, soon to be summer. Hot Town, summer in the city, back of neck gettin' dirt and gritty. However, I was considering making some scarves to give as Christmas gifts this year, particularly to teachers. Let's see how I do. Nothing like getting a jump start on the holidays!

Well, today, I did alot of things. First and foremost, yet another finished object! Tidal Wave Socks.

Pattern: Tidal Wave Sock
Yarn: STR Lightweight, "Pebble Beach"
Needles: Knitpicks Options, size 1, 2.25mm
Started: April 4, 2008
Finished: May 4, 2008

So, for not, I am working on scarves. I am up to the tenth spike of the Puff the Magic Merino Dragon Scarf. The yarn broke. I'm supposed to spit on it to splice it back together. Yeah, right. I hate spit. I don't spit. I don't even like my own spit. This is why I played violin in school, no spit valve. Those of you who have waded walked through the trumpet section and slipped know exactly what I mean. So, Dragon sits there. I will need to weave that end in. I'm still not sure how much in love with Morehouse Merino I am. The pattern is fun, it isn't hard but you have to pay attention to what's going on. Plus, I could use a DPN instead of having three needles bopping all over the place every time I make a spike and have to do a three needle bind off.
So, to keep me busy for awhile, I'll work on Palindrome. I could use cable practice anyway.
In other news, today was the MS Walk. I didn't raise all that much money, unfortunately, but every dollar counts. I got the kids and the dog into it this year and had a great time. The walk is 1.8 miles. I was able to clock that on my new pedometer. I'm into the 10k steps a day thing and this little gadget, albeit a bit on the large size, is fun. Just in case I hadn't set it correctly, Elizzabetty was there with her GPS. She's a real geek. She tried to knit, walk and use her GPS at the same time. The walk takes us around the lake and only at the very end are we all that close to the edge. Good thing we had the GPS though, in case we got lost we could see how far above sea level we were as well as whether or not we were going to walk right into the lake.

Elizzabetty, MS Walk (and Knit?) 2008
Always at home with a cannon.
Did I tell you about my treadmill? Well, I got one of those, too. I didn't have to use it today because I did the walk and now my step counter is up to 12,468. I'm not so sure that that is correct though. I rode my bicycle today (for the first time in like 5 years) after having it tuned up and got a flat. I wasn't all that far away from my house when I got the flat but I did walk back. So, I walked, rode my bike, planted some flowers in front of my house, finished the socks, started the scarf, made lunch and dinner and did kindergarten homework. Oh, and I blogged.
Do I deserve a brownie now?