Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Makings of a Busy Weekend

I am so sad that I haven't had all that much time to work on my slipped stitch rib sock. This weekend is flying by and has been somewhat of a blur.

Friday afternoon, I left work at 2 to do a lumbar MRI. It took a long time before it was my turn, I think that I waited about 50 minutes. Much to my dismay, it was a closed machine. I keep my eyes closed so as to trick my brain into not knowing that it was inside a tube with the diameter of a ziti. I daydreamed. I had headphones on. I listened to banging and clanking. This was my fourth MRI but only my first time in the ziti. I think. The first one was in 1999 and I only vaguely remember it. This was my first MRI of my lumbar area and I felt the scan. It was weird. My lower back felt nice and warm at times. Very, very odd feeling. Oh well, lovely pictures. Modern technology, they give them to you on a CD nowadays. No sense in printing them out on film. They looked pretty good to me, much better than I thought they would but then again, what do I know? This Thanksgiving, I will not be taking the turkey out of the oven because that's how I think I got hurt in the first place.

After that, I went to the Halloween party with my kids and DH, who was a chaperone. This was as the school and was pure chaos. Kindergartners, first graders and second graders, loud DJ, candy, popcorn, cotton candy, a craft, get the picture?

A nice picture of my DH in a rare moment of 'glow' as he gazed lovingly at our fine children. Here they are, wax teeth for him, real ones for the princess.

It was fun for them (not for us) and they were dirty and tired afterwards. Glad I don't have to deal with that for yet another year.

I finally got my account straightened out with Google. I now have 9MB of space available and I can show you my latest projects.

I am attempting to learn to spin. I shouldn't have gotten the merino, it's tougher to spin but the color just grabbed me. I kept making a bit of a mess. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to spin and then wind it up all down the shaft or keep it at the top. I tried both ways. Here's some predrafted fiber and how I started out.

After awhile, I was able to get it somewhat even.

My family's feet and my new yarn.

This piece came out great, looked almost store-bought! Finally, after only an eternity a few hours, I had a small ball of yarn that one may actually be able to knit with.

I was very inspired by the Tsock Tsarina. I was lucky to actually get a chance to meet her at Rhinebeck and she was happily spinning yarn with the width of dust on a spindle. She's my idol! Plus, just like me, she loves itty bitty stitches. In fact, she loves even itty bittier stitches than I do. She spins beautifully. I noticed from her blog that she picked up a few more spindles. I got my Bosworth at Rhinebeck.

One other thing I picked up was a hank of Creatively Dyed sock yarn in beautiful autumn colors. It has tons of yardage and I am thinking about making a pair of matching socks for DD and I. Just lovely and it seems that alot of people picked that up at Rhinebeck, too! I am seeing it all over the blogs. Hmmmnnn....

The sun is coming up now, it's Sunday. Today on the agenda: French Toast making for the family, church, Ragamuffin Parade at noon and maybe a trip to the preserve to take some fall pictures of the great outdoors. Stay tuned to some shots of trees, flowers, geese, spinning and my slipped stitch rib sock!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eye Candy Friday, Rhinebeck, Zigzag Sock

Picture time!
First up, let's look at some more Rhinebeck pictures.
Just pictures of the crowd, walking around. I see Harry Potter stripes there in the foreground, nearly matches the beautiful trees.

STR, LSS in "Bleck" whatever a bleck is....its lavender and I will photograph it again. I couldn't stop pettng it so I had to take it home with me.

My son coming down the slide in his Weasley sweater.

This was taken on the peaceful wagon ride, pulled by those two lovely horses from last times post. Time to remove the polarizing filter, I'm afraid. I got them to stop and pose for me so I will show you another picture of the lovely horses.

Ah fall, time for celosia. Love the colors.

There was a big turtle or tortise. I don't know which one is which.

This nice lady was playing with that beautiful wheel. Notice the carving work, a work of art! This can be viewed at Golding's website. I got to try it, too and made a small mess. It was only my second time spinning on a wheel. She gave me a quicky lesson so I could proceed to ruin the fiber.

My babies having hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. They even got their picture taken with a sheep! My daughter loves sheep, my son was a bit leary...
Check out this picture, yarn spun from dog fur! No sheep for you!
A rare photo of me, my daughter and my son wearing sweaters all made by me. Mine is the hooded Danbury from Lion Brand's website made out of Cascade. It's a little big, so I have the sleeves rolled up. I steamed blocked it. The other person is my friend with her son. She gets to live up there and can be at Rhinebeck in half an hour. She's lucky. PLUS, she will soon be a knitter.

Now, regular pictures. I finished my Zigzag sock last night and will update Ravelry tomorrow morning.

Here's the sneak peak.

And finally, a boring picture but you can see ...

The First Frost has arrived! It was in the upper 30's last night!

Stay tuned for the next sock project in which I use this mill end....Dora be loved my little girl.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rhinebeck - Part II - The One Where She Spins

I didn't set out with the intention of really buying anything other than some STR. You know from previous posts that I'm not totally into the yarn itself but I love the colors. Don't get me wrong, it's a pleasure to knit with and the colors are absolutely awesome but it's a bit on the thickish size and I want 10 more yards per hank so I can make man socks without sweating it out. I hate that feeling of, "OMG, These will be peddie socks for my husband".

However, next year's New Year's Resolution will be to be able to spin yarn on a wheel and do a good job of it. Entirely do-able, being I have what, 14 months? I'm almost brave enough to actually sew alone but not quite yet, this is yarn so it will be a piece of cake. Let's talk about spinning...

I tried on a really pretty wheel at Rhinebeck. I have done it only one time before and this time was a little bit harder, actually. I think the first time that I tried it, the lady was helping me draft and the roving was somewhat predrafted to begin with. All I had to do was peddle slowly and feed, drafting only a teeny-bit for evenness. I was able to do it and created lovely bumpy yarn. This time, harder still. The wheel keeps going and it was hard to keep up with it, peddle, draft, feed the yarn in the little hole, all these things happening at once. There was no doubt in my mind that I would get it, just that I needed time to get the right coordination thing going and learn to draft smoothly. So, I got a drop spindle.

Sunday morning, I got up and took apart this nicely braided pile of roving and sat down to try out my spindle. It took me a long time to get it started. I cheated and used a scrap piece of yarn to slip knot it around the shaft instead of trying to spin my own. I don't think that it makes much of a difference, actually. You can't really use the very end of the yarn anyway. After about 40 minutes, I got it. I watched a few videos on youtube that were very helpful. I spun and spun and spun. And, after like the ... the entire day, I had enough to actually wind into a ball. I have no idea how much you can spin before you HAVE to wind it off but I was getting very excited and wanted to see how even it was. The very beginning was coming out nicely and then when I got to the end, I saw the unevenness. That's ok, this is just practice and I'm not at all hard on myself. After all, the day before, I couldn't do it at all. It was actually knittable yarn! I started another ball last night with the intent of actually using it for a small swatch, to keep forever, maybe hang it on my Christmas tree with my first sock....

Pictures are coming tomorrow. I am out of space on my Google account and cannot post pictures until my space limit is raised. I just bought 10GBs but it takes 24 hours.

Next post, more Rhinebeck pictures, pictures of my spindle and homespun plus more ponderings.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rhinebeck - Part One

Ah, Draft Horses, fall colors and.....some of my haul from Rhinebeck.

Yes, I'm back! Yesterday, I roused the kids and the husband at 4:45AM, "comon, let's go!" and we got in the car and left the house at 6:10 AM. One stop on the road around 8AM (when it happened to be 34 degrees and I was freezing, woolies and all!) and we arrived at precisely 9AM. The parking lot was somewhat full already and the gates were only open for a few moments. I grabbed my Stop N Shop tote and bag, woke the kids and hustled off to The Fold to raid the STR.
Needless to say, it was a mob scene. I ran into Christine A., who was behaving and not buying all that much. Shortly afterwards, Elizzabetty, arrived and she was trying to be good like Christine. Behind her are the mill ends, tons of them. They were gone when we went back later in the day. I was lucky to get three of them. I also got two skeins of Soft Touch Ultra in "Straw" which I think I'm going to adore. One other skein of some autumn colored sock yarn and then a moment of weakness. I bought a Bosworth Spindle and some lovely purple roving. I was able to spin some yarn on it this morning. I plan on getting a wheel, maybe in early 2009, we'll see how things go. It was really fun to do and I would show you but I just exceeded my Picassa photo limit. Pictures coming next time!
I was able to see my friend, Marina, who is lucky enough to live in upstate New York only a half hour from Rhinebeck but she doesn't knit, .... yet. We'll get her going soon enough. She brought her adorable little boy who my kids loved playing with. (Pictures next time.)
Everyone was sporting their Ravelry buttons and wandering around with bags of roving, fleece and yarn. There was a petting zoo and I even saw a kangaroo with a little joey in her pouch. He briefly popped his head out to see things.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Off to Rhinebeck!!

No picture today, packing up the entire family and our woolies and we're off to see the Sheepies in Rhinebeck.

Look for me, I'll be with Elizzabetty sporting out Ravelry buttons. Mine says PunkinPie!



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I give thee..Zigzag Sock #1

Yes, I know that I usually knit two at once but this time, I didn't. I was winding up a ball of my beloved Cherry Tree Hill one morning before work and it and I were having issues. Firstly, the ball jumped off the winder. I usually don't believe my son when he says, "It happened all by itself" but that's exactly what happened. The ball jumped off the winder and the swift moved swiftly and all of the yarn in progress was instantly a mess. After untangling that, I tried again and successfully got a ball, sort of. So, I put it in a box under my desk and rewound it up and then had a similar tangling problem. The third time was a charm. I wasn't going to tempt fate and try to wind two small balls and I was already late for work.

So, I started this sock on Thursday night at knit nite. I finished it on Sunday, not really working on it all that much, this pattern was much easier than it looked and went quite fast. Easier than Embossed Leaves but not easier than Waving Lace.
Sorry about the bad pictures, I will take nicer ones in daylight for Ravelry. The inside fluorescent lighting doesn't do justice to this lovely yarn and lovely sock.
I loved the way the picked up stitches came out. I also love the star toe. I didn't put the needle through the loops and pull, I used Kitchener stitch.

I'm not sure if I like it better than the standard toe or not. It's easier to do and looks kind of nice but I can feel it when I walk.

Time to get the kids up and ready for school, stay tuned for sock #2.

Four more days until Rhinebeck!!! It's supposed to rain, dagnamit....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Knit Night Projects

This past Thursday, we had a little celebration for one of our knitters, Cat. There were cookies and goodies and there was ...booze. That's Annette in the white sweater. She doesn't like to be in pictures so I'm careful to amputate her face when I photograph her. Her new haircut looks super spiffy and she's really pretty, honest! You'll just have to take my word for it. She's like Wilson on Home Improvement to my blog.

Yummy food, and yummy yarn. you can see my teal Cherry Tree Hill in the foreground. Yes, I frogged the Bavarian Sock and started anew with ZigZag Sock from the same book. First let me show you some of the other stuff...

Remember Lars and his Lobster Pot sweater? Well, as fast as you can say entrelac, he frogged it and knit it up into this:

It is really very impressive, look, it's circles and it morphs into squares! See it? It's soft and ultra nifty!

Erica and Lisa are displaying Erica's crocheted baby blanket.

Still a WIP but coming along very nicely.

As for me, I started a new sock out of my lovely Teal you have one leg of ZigZag just about done.

I'll have to restock my Cherry Tree Hill supply, only six more days until Rhinebeck!

It's weekend, going back to cooking! Roast Pork and homemade Russia

n Black Bread are on the menu today. I'm getting in touch with my Slavic Side, I suppose.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Frog Bavarian Socks?

Bavarian Socks, should they stay or should they go? Isn't this a beautiful color Teal? Nice stitch definition, as always, from my beloved Cherry Tree Hill.

Hmmnn....I've been working on these for a few days now and you can see how slowly it is going. I can do the cables without the cable needle for the most part but it's SO tiny and still quite easy to drop a stitch with this slippery little yarn. The problem? I don't like the fabric. It's really lumpy to have cables on a sock leg. I haven't ripped it out yet but as I was knitting, I was thinking how nice this yarn would be for Embossed Leaves. The second problem? Embossed leaves uses little yardage. It seems such a waste to make it out of this beautiful teal Cherry Tree Hill yarn. Sorry that the picture is a little blurry, I was trying to crop out that hair at the top, I seem to be shedding again. Why do only the brown ones fall out?

In the meantime, Karen of the Village Knitter e-mailed me yesterday to tell me she has a hank of Dream in Smooshy In Vino Veritas for me. Isn't it gorgeous? I have seen some dark wine and some mauve so I don't know what I'm getting. I am very tempted to bring my needles and make something out of it tonight. My issue with Smooshy is that my other pair grew in length and width when washed. It just stretched and stretched right over the top of my sock blockers. I nearly have Froot Loop Kilt Hose.

They grew nearly 2.5" in length and you can even see how they got wider and longer by looking at the holes between the stitches. This was taken when they were wet and they did shrink back a bit but I still don't know how happy I am with them.

I must say, you know what I really like, as far as sock yarns? Valley Yarns Franklin. It may not be as soft as some others, a little on the coarse side when you start to work with it but softer after washing. I wish it came in nearly solids. That would make me so happy. At 450 yards for 20 bucks, discountable at Webs, you just can't beat it. I can get a pair of socks out of one hank and still have enough left over to make a baby pair for little Boobette. She'd be thrilled with the purple ones....

In other news, I taught DH how to make bread. He doesn't follow directions fully so he had a little sinking in of the top yesterday but for the most part, he's getting good at it. Here's his first loaf. (Ok, ok, I twisted it for him but he did the rest by himself!)

In other news, ponderings... the next debate is to be held at Hofstra University. My friend works there in a prominent position. Hmmn, do you think she could get me in? Do you think I could get close enough to actually say, "Here, hold this"? Which color would look the best with John or Barack? It'd be really hilarious to photograph them with a yarn named "In Vino Veritas" (translates to "in true wine") Hofstra is a mere 15 minutes from my house on a good day. Realistically, I could be standing next to the next President within, say 45 minutes of leaving my house, knitting in tow. I wonder how you get in? Invitation? Do they give out bracelets like American Idol or a Rock Concert? I would be honored...I could go Kinnearing. Regardless of who I have decided to vote for, I find it amazing that anyone has the gumption and drive to actually run for this office. The other thing is, considering what you have to deal with the salary is awfully low. ($400k, used to be alot less only a few years ago but they gave him a raise.) I may not agree with everything that Sarah Palin says (or does, for that matter) but I really admire her, too. She's working her way up the political ladder and she's a you think she knits? She might knit, it gets cold up there in the land of the midnight sun. And how about her beautiful family? They're so pretty, all of them. Ok, she names the kids with almost hippie names, Bristol, Trig, Track, Piper, Willow. Track and Trig are named after classes in school. I like the name Piper Palin for some reason. And, one more thing, she's distant cousins of FDR and Princess Diana. I think that may make her related to Nancy Reagan somehow who is also distantly related to the royal family. In fact, many people are distantly related to the Royal Family but I'm not one of them.

OK, stay tuned for an update on Shawl Collar Sweater!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bavarian Socks

I started a new pair of socks. I know, I haven't sewn my sweater together yet but I can't do that at night, the lighting is bad and I have to be fully awake. I haven't even done the shoulder seams yet. This weekend...promise. It'll be sewn, collar knitted and fully blocked. I will get up at 5AM to work on it this Saturday and have the collar done by lunchtime if we don't go pumpkin picking.

(Crappy out of focus picture in fluorescent lighting.)

I have been thinking about knitting this pair of socks for the longest time. I knew that I wanted to make them out of Cherry Tree Hill because you get alot of yardage. There are 72 sts casted on so it can't be a fatter yarn. It also has to be a smooth yarn so the cables look beautiful. CTH it is. I really think that this is my most favorite yarn. I do like knitting with STR but they're so skimpy, the price went up and I hate the feeling of "I'm running out of yarn" which would certainly happen with this being it's a cable pattern. I wanted to choose a lighter color but only had this one, burgundy and lilac in my stash. I nearly went with the lilac, which was already wound into a ball. Instead, I chose this and had to wind it three times before I had no tangles. Lord knows why, it must've been the gremlins again attacking my ball winder. It's easier to do this with a lighter color but I think the teal will look really nice. We'll see.

In any event, I casted on last night and knit the cuff. I am doing these one at a time (SURPRISE!) because the pattern is very obvious and it'll be easy to count the rows. Also, I couldn't deal with the ball winder yesterday, I was very tired.

Time to do some e-banking before my bank fails!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Yarn Harlot's New Contest

I can't believe it. Stephanie has done it again. She's having a new contest where we and our socks get to stalk politicians/heads of state for charity. Check it out here. This is hysterical. I can't see Prince Charles holding a half knitted Embossed Leaves.

In my line of work, I have seen many, many people in person. Davy Jones, Frankie Valli, David Dinkins, Jack Klugman, Ed Koch, Dan Rather, Lucille Ball, Harry Connick Jr., Eve Plumb, JFK Jr, Ted Kennedy, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Maureen McCormick, Bill Clinton and George Bush and many others. I haven't been close enough to any of the politicians to have the opportunity to ask, "Would you please pose with my Cherry Tree Hill?" but I have spoken to many of the others.

Actually, now that I think of it, I have. I once saw Teddy and Pat Moynihan once and would've had the opportunity. They were strolling along 52nd street, alone, mere feet from me on their way to lunch at the 21 Club. I could've easily asked them to pose with a sock. This was many moons ago though....

Hmmn...I'm taking my camera with me today, how about you?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Autumn Sky

Today started out as a cool almost cold day but it warmed up to cloudy and then cleared. It didn't feel like autumn all day. In fact, I was wondering how the leaves will look in Rhinebeck; I'm suspecting they'll be at peak in two weeks. Here on Long Island, things are just beginning to make the change. It's nearly Autumn in New York.

I went back to visit the tree from yesterday's Eye Candy so I figured I'd show you the rest of it.
Kids got new boots today, they've grown so much since last year. They're like, real kids now. I look at the moms pushing strollers, changing diapers and thinking how foreign that is to me. It's somewhat bittersweet I guess but it seems like eons ago that I was doing that. Not that its all that much easier now but at least I don't have to carry food, drink, extra diapers, diaper changing pad, wipes and a change of clothes for all of us. Instead, I carry half knitted socks.

BTW, please notice she got HOT PINK boots and wanted their picture taken. No way that I'd lose her on the playground!

Other than her shoes, I know everything looks pretty ... well, green. I wanted to head over to the Massapequa Lake today and we may do that tomorrow morning depending on how the kids feel and how the days going. The leaves ARE changing closer to the water but there was some color at the park. Just a hint here and there...

But you can't really notice it unless you look, see what I mean?

Let's hope they change nice and slowly and we don't have a hurricane or a bad wind storm that will knock them all off.
I know, I know, I'm keeping you all in suspense about actual knitting and even some sewing stuff. I promise, tomorrow's post will talk about both and even have some pictures. Maybe NOTHING about leaves, architecture, roots, flowers and the sky.
Ok, maybe almost nothing. You know I like things that are outside.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Tree Roots and Sunlight -Cedar Creek Park, Wantagh, NY

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Am Sick Today...Blah!

I got sinus cooties, guys. Yesterday, I went to work but I was in a fog all day. I have pain over my left eye somethin' fierce. I woke up last night and, as one of my kids would say, "Only one of my noses worked". I used that Simply Saline stuff and Claritin-D before, during and after bed but I'm still clogged up. So, I used sick day #5 for the year. I hardly ever call in sick and it's better to call in sick than to go to work and do something wrong that will come back to bite me later.

I don't know how restful today will be, school is closed for the Jewish Holiday and the kids are home. The world doesn't stop when you're the mommy. There's still homework, scout meetings, baking, karate, piano lessons. laundry, cooking dinner. There's still the ongoing series: Trying to find the Kitchen Counter. It should be, like, a game show. A bunch of women, their kitchens and their mess and seeing who can clean off their counter the fastest and most effectively. Put away things that you have no idea what they do.

I must show you these pictures....awhile back we took down a giant oak tree. It was simply too close to the house after we added the extension and, sadly, had to go. It must've caused some weird spores to come alive from the rotting roots and these hard mushrooms grew. HARD, like tree bark. They weren't smooshy at all.

There's three ugly clumps of them. At first I was blaming the dog for ripping up something but, alas, she was behaving herself. They don't look hard so I tried to remove them but I couldn't budge them at all. DH had to get a spade and dig them out.

Ok, finally, knitting time. I must make some today! Look at my Shawl Collar Sweater, nearly done and shaping up very nicely. Should be done in time for Rhinebeck without a hitch.
I'm being summoned by DD...she wants me "now".