Monday, July 30, 2007

How to Not Knit without even Trying!

So my husband mentions to me Saturday morning that he's been doing some genealogy research on a site that offered him a free 2 week trial. "Oh," I reply, and proceed to casually meander over to the site. What I therein discover is a pure goldmine of data for the overly obsessive, Internet hooked mind. Literally millions of records to pour through including federal and state census records from the 1800's through 1930, military records, social security death records, and pre-existing ancestry links that have already been started. Endless I tell you.

To build your family tree requires a certain amount of reliance on existing family records, research into said family records, detective work and logical deduction... not to mention sacrificing sleep... and things become especially tricky if your dealing with ancestors near their time of immigration as name spellings are likely to change and eventually become unrecognizable "Americanized" names over a matter of years.

Now I was not raised by my natural father and though I know him well now, I still know almost nothing about my ancestry on that side. Would it have helped to know the names of my paternal grandparents? Sure. Did that stop me from wasting almost all of Saturday? Absolutely not.

In the end, I learned some fascinating information (getting a few names and dates from my dad on Sunday afternoon was really the turning point... oh, and the stories he told helped too... however the whole gathering information through verbal communication is much less seductive to my rather introverted obsessive mind).

I knew my maternal grandmother's side was Welsh but I didn't know that my paternal grandfather's family can be traced back to 1600 New York and beyond (England & Netherlands)... with only a splash of German and English along the way.

Most interesting to me however, was the discovery that I'm only 3rd generation American on my dad's side. My paternal great grandparents immigrated from Croatia in the early 1900's and my maternal great grandparents are Russian-Germans who immigrated around the same time. They were Gypsies. I'm feeling very exotic today (as well as having a much greater understanding why I have so many blond children as my husband is of English & German origin as well).

You can also click on a link to find famous relatives (which leads to more research and discussion on just what it means to be "once removed"... as in 7th cousin, 3 times removed). But the enthusiasm of finding out that you are related to, say, Jane Austen and Orville Wright, is quickly overcome when you notice the occasional married couple who share the same grandparents. (I like to assume a mistake has been made here... but not one that would disrupt my relationship to 4 preceding and 1 standing president.)

The visual treats include a picture of the pattern I am knitting with the Katia Jamaica (which I intend to wear with just as much attitude as the model) and some birthday treats from my pals who took me out to lunch today. Julie blessed me with the lovely little tote (which is just the right size for a small knitting project) and the beautiful beaded bowl from Kenya. Isn't it gorgeous?! And btw, Julie has been laughing at my ancestry obsession for the last 2 days so feel free to visit her blog and ask her when she's going to post again!
Tomorrow I should have pictures from an outing planned with some blog pals from out of town. I wonder if we'll visit yarn? Hmmm....

Sunday, July 29, 2007

So... Do You Feel Any Older?

You know the question. It starts out as an enthusiastic question we receive as youngsters and each new birthday makes us feel a year more significant and a year closer to adulthood. Exciting things happen like starting school (at 5 you don't know you're going to hate it in a few years), entering double digits, becoming a teen, getting your driver's license, becoming an "adult" (at term we use loosely at the age of 18), and turning 21 (the legal age to drink in California).

At about the age 30, their tends to be a twinge of humor in the question... but I think for the most part one is feeling pretty mature and confident at this point so the question is met with a laugh and rolls off.

Then there's 40, when the question is presented drenched in sarcasm and responded to likewise being as the next big milestone is menopause. But I'll tell you, this year, as I continue to creep forward away from 40 into the future, the question may be a joke... but my answer this year is, "Yeah, yeah I do." Because apparently for me, it means suffering from slight pressure induced "black-outs" on roller coasters, really (really) raging PMS, and knitting entire lace scarves on the wrong size needles because the 8 looked like a 6... every time I checked.

But here it is...

Montego Bay Scarf
by Amy Singer
Handmaiden Sea Silk - 1 Skein
Size 6 (because I can't read) Knit Picks Options needles

As you know I had a love/hate relationship with this scarf. It was an easy repetitive pattern which I tend to enjoy only if I can read along while I knit but I couldn't with this because I had to constantly watch my K2togs with the fine Sea Silk. It also took forever, but it surely would've gone faster on the recommended size 8 needles.

That said, I love the finished scarf. I also think it would be an excellent knit for a beginning knitter who wants to knit something lovely that they will continue to enjoy once their skills expand past garter stitch.

Upon completion, I finally managed to pull myself out of my knitter's block and cast on for a new top using a pattern and yarn (drum roll please) from my STASH... although I will admit to selecting a different pattern out of the Katia No. 48 pattern book than I originally intended when I made the purchase over a year ago because, well, something had to be new.

I'm using Katia Jamaica in color4010 to make a boat neck style top. For cotton it's a pleasure to knit with and, of course, I love the color changes. It called for a tubular cast-on with a slightly different style of ribbing which I really enjoyed. If you're not familiar with tubular cast-ons, you basically use scrap yarn to cast-on half the necessary stitches. Then after working a few rows, you begin to pick up the stitches from the first row in between each stitch in the row you're knitting thereby doubling your stitches and setting it up for ribbing. It gives the ribbing a nice, firm finished edge. I snapped a picture about halfway through picking up the blue stitches from the scrap yarn to give you an idea of the process. Very cool. (And yes I have double checked both needles size and gauge.)

And finally, Donna... you are so sweet to check on me in my brief absence. I've just been busy being crabby and tired. It's not the age that bothers me nearly as much as the side effects.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Upside Down & Sideways

Today I got to do one of my absolute favorite things! Besides buy yarn that is... and, of course, knit. For my birthday, my husband took me to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a day of roller coaster fun! My pal, Paula and her husband joined us... and we made good use of the water rides (and ice cream) to withstand the 100 degree heat. (But I will tell you that I was definitely feeling a year older. 5 years ago I wouldn't have left the park until they kicked us out.)

I didn't get many good pictures, but this was our favorite ride... Tatsu. (Paula can hardly wait to get aboard! Hee Hee)

My mom and dad also spoiled me with a great present...

I'm looking forward to checking out some of the knitting podcasts and listening to some good books while I knit. (And I'm lucky my 15 yo son can teach me how to use it.) What's that on the screen you ask? Well I had to download something to try it out! Yes, I'm well familiar with the word obsession.

Oh, and that is a finished Montego Bay in the background. More pics tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Can You Guess Who?

So last night while I was knitting away on Montego Bay, I did some TV viewing as well. Have you seen the new show, The Singing Bee? We watched the first one just to see how lame such a show could possibly be... and while it is fairly lame... I do have fun trying to sing along. I also find great comfort in learning that there's a whole world full of people out there who can't sing either.

Then we had the great disappointment of realizing that Pirate Master, Mark Burnett's Survivor-with-a-Pirate-twist, had been cancelled mid-season. With all the really shameless reality shows on TV, I was surprised that they would cancel one mid-season. True, it wasn't what I'd call captivating... or even good, but my 8 yo loved it. The remaining episodes are playing on so he got to skim through that and tell us who was cast-off.

I was up late enough to see Rob Schneider as Lindsey Lohan, who had apparently needed to cancel at the last minute (what a surprise), on the Tonight Show... and even some Conan O'Brien who tends to make me laugh in spite of myself.

But in between I watched some of a TV series I rented on DVD.

Who is that fine gentleman walking down the street...

and sipping tea in bed?

That should help.

Can you name the actor? How about the TV series... can you name the TV series too? There's a prize in it for you if you can!! Maybe, hmmm, sock yarn.

ETA: Uberstrickenfrau was right on. It's Hugh Laurie in Jeeves & Wooster. An old British TV series in which he plays a rather foolish, hopeless man of wealth who is often rescued from his foibles by his butler Jeeves (Stephen Fry). It's especially enjoyable because the character is so different from Dr. House, yet the expressions and mannerisms are so much the same... only silly instead of sarcastic.

And yes, DH is well aware of my House crush... but knows the two of us wouldn't last an hour in the same room together... plus, you know, the whole fictional character thing is a problem.


Well I gotta grip on my restlessness today and decided to face my slippery little nemesis head on, with sheer grit and determination. I worked on it every chance I got today... swimming lessons, waiting for my son, getting gas... heck, I figured every silky K2tog YO row was getting me that much closer. I'm easily distracted at home, so I even ventured over to the LYS for some focused knitting time. You know.. because there's nothing to distract me at the LYS. Oy.

I so wanted to finish this today... but it's 12:30 and I'm starting to mess up so, with great will power, I'm putting the scarf, and the golf ball size lot of yarn left to go, aside until tomorrow.

Don't get me wrong... I must tell you again that the Sea Silk is heavenly and the scarf is gorgeous... I just think that it's needles are 2 sizes too small.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Help... Knitters Block!

I could've more appropriately titled this post "The One in Which I Blather on in Hopeless Inner Angst over the Supposedly Relaxing, Sanity-Inducing Hobby of Knitting", but I didn't think it would fit. Or look interesting. You might've run... but who can resist an earnest plea for help? And who, tell me, doesn't like giving advice?

So, based upon my heightened awareness of the fact that I will never be able to "knit it all" (again... I hate that), combined with the impending start of a new school year, I am trying to take control of my WIPs and reconsider how I really want to spend my spare knitting time (which should drastically decrease... "should" mind you). This whole concept has somehow put me into a sort of knitter's paralysis.

I'm really enjoying socks (well at least the first ones)... I love the variety of yarns and patterns, and the portability. I would also like to have one article of clothing in the works... and right about now, I need something exciting as I've been totally uninspired by my current WIPs for some time. Maris is simply too boring (K3P1 endlessly) for a simple white cardigan. And Peek-a-Boo, well, it's just not fun (8 sections of cable repeats on every row with cotton yarn does not excite me). I thought it would be worth the effort but I'm not feeling the love, ya know? Either way, they both will take way too long to knit to hold my attention right now.

I've really been wanting to knit Tuscany from "No Sheep for You" since I first saw it... but it doesn't seem "practical"... even though I think it would be terribly fun to knit. I could use the lovely purple Svale for it instead of Peek-a-Boo... I think.

No, maybe I need a quick, satisfying tank or short sleeve pattern... knit in the round, size 6-8 needles... yet interesting. Nothing too fitted. Let's see, I have tons of cotton including Rowan Calmer, Dale Svale, 2nd Time Cotton, Katia Jamaica, Pachuko, Brown Fleece, etc.


Because until somebody comes to my rescue this is me.

Oh, and regarding my not so brilliant sock swap idea, you're all probably right... even if you had the 1st sock in hand to match, gauge would still be tough.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

This and That... and some more of This

Okay... I'll admit it, I'm starting to feel a bit buried by my WIPs. As Solomon tried to teach us long ago, gluttony and wealth do not lead to contentment, but rather, in fact, to disorder and distress. The pleasure is only momentary. Like they say... knowledge is power. Like I say... ignorance is bliss. I will most likely continue to ignore this lesson.

That said, I have been sorting through my basket trying to figure out what needs attention and what makes me ask "Why?" I've weeded out the projects I have least interest in actually finishing and have hidden them away to think about another day. Now I'm trying to focus on the knits that I either really enjoy knitting or really want to wear. However, my head is still spinning as I am unlikely to finish all I want to knit. (And all I keep thinking throughout it all is that I really want to start the Alpine Knit Scarf from Victorian Lace Today.)

Has it ever occurred to you? That notion, I mean. The realization that you will never be able to knit all that you want to knit so you better start choosing wisely? I hate reality.

Oh, and the new Fall Interweave will be out soon... it doesn't seem like the page is quite finished but here is a sneak peek. I can tell you right now that I have yarn in my stash ready for this "Placed Cable Aran" so I guess I better finish something soon. (How did I find this you ask? Think "obsessive".)

Anyway, I have been (painfully, slowly, dreadfully) working on the Sea Silk Montego Bay Scarf. The yarn and colors are both exquisite although I must say that slippery little K2tog on size 6 needles is a bit tedious. What's that you say... the pattern calls for size 8s? Well yes that would make it go quite a bit faster. Are you sure? Oh yeah... look at that. Argh! Oh well... I'm more than halfway there so I'm not frogging. I just hope I wear it when it's done. No, I WILL wear it when it's done.

In the mail today from The Loopy Ewe... my last splurge from my destashing...

2 hanks of Louet Gems and a Maruka City Girl Bag.
The pictures don't really do this bag justice. It's very sturdy with great details and great for throwing on messenger style when you just need to take a few essentials (like to an amusement park or party) or, of course, for carrying your wallet and some sock knitting.

But the most exciting arrival would have to be these...

Wooden Feet! Or "legs" if you're a child... especially if you're an overly imaginative child with a penchant for pirates. "How do these attach?" "Why is this sheep here?" "Tie it on me, mom!" I have a feeling I'm going to have to keep these hidden.

Adorning them are my Meida's Socks from Favorite Socks. My sock addiction is starting to fade so these may take awhile. I have a great idea for a *sock swap* though! Each person picks a yarn and a pattern they want, then knits one sock. Then the partners swap with each other to knit the second. No second sock syndrome. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just a Typical Day

When your 4 years old and the youngest of 5...

You expect to be the center of attention.

Mommy gets to watch all of your lessons without chasing a younger sibling around the pool.

There is always somebody there to catch you. (At least you think so... even when the teacher is helping somebody else... then Mommy gets to find out how long it takes 2 swim instructors and a lifeguard to figure out that the child flailing around in the pool doesn't know how to swim.)

When you're a middle child...

Sometimes life can be rough.

But Mom is still there for you... even though she may make you tough it out for a few days before taking you to the doctor... just to make sure that you're really hurt.

X-rays and splints are really cool!

But nothing beats a pink cast!

When you're 15... well... you need to start easing up a bit when you throw the football or baseball to one of your younger brothers! Next cast is coming out of his allowance!

BTW - Thank you to all the new friends who took the time to say hello yesterday! I enjoyed visiting your blogs very much. And if you didn't delurk to say hello yet, it's not too late!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Guess What???

Today is my 1 year Blogiversary!

(And you know it would be rude to drop by without at least saying "Hi!"... and it just takes a click to drop a comment... really!

Okay, a click or two, a little typing... but if you're here you surely have one more minute to spare. Right?)

Not much has changed since my first post except now I know how to use my camera when I can find it... sort of. And back then it was rattlesnake bites vs. staph infections. But most important are the wonderful friends I've met out here in blogland! You rock!

Monday, July 16, 2007


As I mentioned previously, I've been doing a bit of de-stashing. Nothing major... just some yarn and knitting books that I haven't used or know I won't.

Next comes the fun part... reinvesting!

From Knit Picks...

Obviously the circulars are for keeping as many pairs of socks going at one time as I can... but the book, well, that's a little harder to explain. I love books. A lot. And I just did something I never, ever do... I cleaned off my shelves and parted with many books, let alone the knitting ones, because I had just run out of room. (And books are a lot harder to stuff into corners than yarn... I've tried.) I don't really understand my attachment to books, especially ones I've read, but it is almost impossible for me to get rid of a book.

Yarn is actually easier for me to part with... especially the impulse yarn, the you-know-you're never-really-gonna-knit-it yarn, the yarn that I have way too much of (unless it's Blue Sky Cotton... I'm hanging on to that). But I have 20 year old books on my shelves that I've never read, yet I hang on... you never know... some day I may. A $6.99 paperback can feel safe and secure in my home knowing it has a place to rest for life and will not even suffer the abuse of dog-eared pages.

Anyway, back to the book. I'm trying to be wiser in my book purchases (I'm a painfully slow learner) and am patiently awaiting the release of several knitting books this fall. For starters... Indigo Knits, Bag Style, The Best of Interweave Knits, and Knitting Circles Around Socks.

Additionally, Old Navy meets Victorian Lace just doesn't sound like a hit. While I do like to knit lace (just ask Clementine or Montego Bay... if you can find them), I will readily admit, that a book called Victorian Lace Today never even caused a stir in me before. Before, that is, I bought those 2 hanks of Malabrigo Lace, saw an Alpine Knit Scarf (pictured below with sticky pirate guys), and Knit Picks offered 40% off all their books. I can hardly wait to start! (But I'm thinking I need to finish at least one other lacey scarf first... hmmmm...)

But my biggest surprise is how much I love this book... at least what I've seen of it so far since above mentioned pirate stickers required most of my attention. Not only does it feature beautiful patterns, but it also has gorgeous pictures and an interesting history of Victorian lace knitting and the rise of knitting as a popular hobby. It would make a great coffee table book even if I didn't knit a thing out of it!

Today's mail also brought this little Allhemp6 Perfect Purse kit from Lana Knits. I got to pick my own colors (did I ever mention what a difficult time I have making decisions?) and it came packaged in this cute little canvas project bag. I can't wait to get started! (Hmmm... that sounds familiar.)

Finally, I managed to get started on Meida's socks last night. I'm in love... totally and completely... with the yarn (Dream in Color) and the pattern... ooooohh the pattern. <3

Today I actually had to do some housework and laundry (hate that), take a child to the doctor, and cook dinner (my DH mentioned that he would like it if I did this more often - go figure) so I didn't get much knitting time yet.

Speaking of DH, he had a nasty staph infection that turned out to be a particularly antibiotic resistant strain. In addition to the mega doses of antibiotics that they already gave him, they have now had to start him on a 6 month treatment plan to destroy the bacteria. Son #2 had a slightly suspicious pimple/infection pop up on his nose so the doc wanted to see him too. Even though it's probably only a pimple, the good doctor wanted to take preventative measures and gave him a special antibiotic cream. Very scary... maybe a handknit sock will make them feel better... ya think?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In Which There is Knitting

Well, I clearly had lots to say about reading, so I'm just posting a quick up-to-date on what I've been knitting which in a word would be.... socks.

My present stages of sock knitting...

Planning stage... Meida's Socks with Dream in Color Smooshy Sock "Petal Flowers"

Partial Undulating Rib in Panda Cotton (which I love... more later)

Lonely Only Yarn Pirate awaiting a match

To the toes on my Lorna's Laces Somerset shorties (at which point I had to stop reading to start decreasing and was then sidetracked by blogging). Upon completion, these size 1 circs will be put into play on the above mentioned Meida's... hopefully by days end (pending all other distractions).

Then the grand finale... the drawer where all my pretties await a day cool enough to actually be worn in our So Cal summer.

From drawer to drawer, yarn to sock, it's an exciting life for sure.

Attempting to Review Books

I have discovered many great books through the blogs of others so I thought I'd share about a couple of books I've recently read. However, as a precursor to this post, I want to warn you of a couple of things...

1) Except for the fact that I knit while I read, this post is entirely non-knitting related.
2) I am not a literary expert so you will only be getting my humble opinion versus an eloquent review of the books I present.
3) In considering my opinion, you should know that I am a woman of conservative moral opinions who also happens to be watching the Saturday Night Live that I tivoed last night while I write this. (I think it's always good to know the perspective from which the reviewer is reviewing.)

As I mentioned some time ago, my buddy Julie and I began this book some time ago as a plan to encourage each other to get into some of the classics of literature. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised... I really enjoyed this book. I am a great fan of historical fiction so I fell into this book quite easily. However while it was fiction, it was more than just a historians take on a moment in time, it was the highly intuitive and perceptive reflections of a very real man living in pre-socialist Russia.

Fyodor Doestoevsky had amazing insight into humanity. He demonstrates a remarkable understanding of human nature on both an individual and societal level. His characters are each representative of a prevalent attitude or perspective on the encroaching ideas of Marxism, socialism and humanism on Orthodox Russia. I'm sure there is much to this book that my limited understanding of these times kept hidden from me, but it was a fascinating and enlightening read in spite of this. At the same time, I'm sure it was an undoubtedly rich and provoking read for the people of it's time. (As much as I highly recommend this book, I must note my disappointment in the ending. Although, I must admit that I have a thing about endings... and since I have yet to be asked to write a classic piece of literature, my opinion here is most surely short-sighted.)

I have mixed feelings about this one. It was a quick, light read. Set in Africa, and based on the undercover work of the intriguing Mma Ramotswe, it drew me in, got me quickly through a sock (which is a plus), but then seemed to lose steam as it became a series of brief, easily solved cases. I couldn't help compare the sophisticated Mma Ramotswe to my new favorite lady detective, the abrasive, socially impaired Agatha Raisin who I just find so much more fun to read about. I knew this was the first in a series of books and by the time I was about 3/4 of the way through, I knew this would be the only one for me. However... much to my surprise... upon finishing the book, I immediately added the sequel to my Amazon list.

On deck...

Yes, quite a variety.
Agatha Raisin... Sure to please (and produce a sock or two).
Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elizabeth Elliot... Definitely needed.

Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? ... I just started to read this one today and am already halfway through. It is a part of a series of "Uncle Eric" books in which the author attempts to make economics, law, and politics (and the flaws that lie therein) more readily understandable for the average person. While he is the first to admit that it is impossible to approach such subjects without bias (as is it to offer an entirely unbiased review), he attempts to shed some light on the ideals and goals of present day political parties and systems around the world in the simplest of terms. Politics made quick and fun... you betcha!

His own perspective is quite interesting in itself as he is neither conservative nor liberal yet instead steps outside the present notions of government and leans more towards a view comparable to that of our founding fathers. A view that sees government more as a necessary evil than a savior. I will surely have my sons read through his books in high school for a quick and easy course on economics, etc. and to encourage them to step outside the mold and think a bit more independently on some of these subjects.

So there you have it... if you've stuck with me so far.

And if you don't feel like reading, I most emphatically recommend the first two seasons of House on DVD... (You know... in case I haven't mentioned it before.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All the Hype

Sometimes a lot of excitement can lead to a let down. You know... you get all enthusiastic about a new movie, or say, a yarn you've never tried, but it the end it can't live up to it's hype and just leaves you disappointed? Actually, very few widely hyped movies ever live up to my expectations by the time I see them... when you're expecting amazing, even great will hardly fit the bill. And, btw, I'm the worst because when I've seen a show or move that I just love, my enthusiasm is readily imposed upon anyone who even happens to bump into me while I'm in my love fest.

(Did I mention how much I'm loving the first two seasons of House? How it's the greatest show with the greatest character e-v-e-r?? Oh, and I was also very pleasantly surprised with Evan Almighty. It was a terrific family movie although my 4 yo may have been a bit young as he was quite confused on several points, "Isn't God up there (pointing to the sky), Mommy?" and "Didn't Noah build the ark?" I'm also fairly sure that he will be confusing Morgan Freeman with God for some time to come, but I think we can work through it.)

At any rate, I didn't really intend to get into movies, I was actually talking a bout yarn... more specifically, that much hyped, can't wait to try it type of yarn which for me was Yarn Pirate. Now I have to tell you that I've wanted some of this yarn since I first heard of it just because of the name, so when it was featured at One Planet Yarn and Fiber in a colorway that just screamed Tammy (really, don't you hear it?), I knew I had to have it.

Well, I hate to admit it, but when I received it, I was a bit disappointed. It didn't seem quite as squishy as I like and the colors didn't seem as saturated as some. Then when I cast on, I wasn't sure what the colors were going to do... stripe, clump, muddle. The big let down was surely imminent...

But then I knit... and knit some more. I kept going, stitch after stitch. I was pretty sure I didn't want to do a pattern with such bold colors so stockinette (with a hope and a prayer) it was. And guess what? I love it! Everything about it! The beautiful (and unique) color combo, the depth of the color, the casual striping, the feel. No disappointment here fellow knitters!

I felt that such a piece of work certainly deserved a special heel so last night I spent 2 episodes of House knitting a short-row or wrap-and-turn (whatever) heel. But I didn't like it. So I - ripped - it - out! Very few socks would have been worthy of this kind of treatment from me!

All that to say... Yarn Pirate rocks! I'm in love!

Oh, and the "Detective" book is good too! Just saying.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I love to collect 2 things... yarn and books. However, spring cleaning is forcing me to take a more realistic look at my collections and pass on a few items that I haven't used and am unlikely to get to.

I've posted many books, including a couple that are brand new like Socks Soar... and a Vogue Knitting Quick Reference.

I'm also parting with some great yarns for summer including yarn for Knitty's Isabella and a Noro tank.

You can see the new yarns, books, & patterns for sale here!

Back to cleaning....

Saturday, July 07, 2007

In Other News...

After almost a week of browsing only, I finally succumbed to the 30% off sale at the LYS. With the rare insight that I needed nothing, the questions of what, when, and why wouldn't leave me alone. However, a sale is a sale and I finally decided to give it up for a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Lace that I was able to pick up for about $13. I love Malabrigo but find that it's pretty impractical for So Cal so the lace seemed like an acceptable alternative. What will I knit with it? No idea. When? Doesn't matter. Why? It was cheaper than taking the kids to Taco Bell and won't take up too much room in my stash bins. And that's good enough for me.

After finishing Ms. Waving's mate last night, I anxiously cast-on for my Yarn Pirate socks. I was very curious to see how the colors would look knit up... I was a bit uncertain as I cast-on but they seem to have a cool stripy thing going and I love the bold colors.

Also, Kristie asked about the crochet book I pictured yesterday. I do like it. It's full of detailed photographs (as opposed to drawings) with very clear instructions. I think it will be very helpful. Here's a sample page.

Now the question is... what should I crochet? Does anyone know of a nice crocheted scarf pattern? Eventually I'd like to do some small afghans... maybe granny square sort of things... but not cheesy and not with acrylic... you know what I mean.

Waving Lace Socks

Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn A. Clark
Favorite Socks
Seacoast Handpainted Merino/Tencel in "Fresh Air"
Knit Picks 32" Size 0 circulars - Magic Loop

I really enjoyed both the pattern and the yarn. The pattern was interesting, yet easy to memorize so I could carry them around without constantly needing the pattern. The yarn is a nice light weight for summer knitting and has a beautiful sheen.

I'm loving this book and plan to cast-on for another pattern right away.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Other Way

I'm not sure what this means...

other than I've had this bizarre nudging over the last few weeks to manipulate fiber in some other manner. I think it started with some cute little crocheted animal patterns I saw at a yarn shop in the valley... not that I'm likely to make a cute little animal critter as, I might as well face it, I'm pretty short on people who would appreciate it around here. However, I think I could definitely find a taker or two for this guy. But I guess I should start with a scarf... or granny square.

Actually, if you count these socks, I do have a bit of experience with crochet. Many, many years ago, a friend of mine taught me to add a beaded crochet trim to plain socks. Everyone I knew got beaded socks that year.

Speaking of socks, I'm still wildly obsessed with knitting socks and have touched nothing else for well over a week or two. I almost have myself convinced that I'm going to knit my way through the entire Favorite Socks book over the summer. (Having said that, I'm sure to have broken the spell.)

Next post... Ms. Waving meets her match.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Fourth of July

at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library...

I had no idea that good old fashioned July 4th events even took place around here, but some friends of ours invited us to join them at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for their annual festivities where we were quite pleasantly surprised...

Crafts and fun for the young ones. (Here's my youngest with his very best friend who he is most certain he will marry some day... and have 10 kids, live in a mansion and sell lemonade and Power Rangers to make money. Not that he's given it much thought or anything.)

Or maybe he'll be a fireman...

Old fashioned games and races. It took a while for Wy Guy and his buddy to work this one out. Come on boys... left, right, left right...
Mom joins in for some face (and arm) painting fun... (with his big muscles, he loves making his flag "dance", hee hee)

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln mingled with the crowd, watermelon and birthday cake were served, and a couple of bouncy jumps picked up any slack.

The highlight for many was the magic show. Unfortunately, JoJo's attention span was exceeded by the wait time. After the first trick, he enthusiastically exclaimed, "That's my first magic ever!! Let's go, I'm hungry." (Lucky for me, his big brothers were able to tell me all about it... in great detail. They're actually still telling me about it. Still.)

And did I mention it was all FREE?! I think we'll make this an annual tradition!

HAPPY 4TH my Friends!

BTW: As for fireworks, you'd think they'd reconsider following a year in which our dry mountainous landscape received only 3 inches of rain, but no... apparently this only concerns us common folk. But I must say we do have some of the best firefighters in the nation on the job so I'll try to overlook what to me seems a bit frivolous at such a time. Just saying.