Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I've moved!

Please come visit the new Beadlizard site.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Imaginary Friends

On Saturday, DD and I took the ferry to the city, ran a bunch of errands and ended up on the ... ... train down the Peninsula. And, after a day on the move, we spent a few hilarious hours listening to ...
Stephanie, who exclaimed, "My imaginary friends!" when DD and I introduced ourselves. If you're a knitter seeking that sense of fitting in, of being normal, a confirmation that you are on the right path, then attend one of Stephanie's talks. There is something wonderful about sitting in a sea of 300 knitters, laughing together for a few hours, totally enjoying Stephanie's jokes.

We had supper with Lynette and Nathania and got flyers for N's new knitting store, Purlescence, which we're planning to visit as soon as it opens. She's near a train station and a Peet's, so we're set!

Teen knitting club was a joy this week. Only had a handful of kids, all mellow and industrious. One learned to knit last week and another, a shy 6th grader, knit his first row Wednesday. His little brother had gone to knitting club at the K-1-2 last year, but there wasn't a club at the 3-4-5, so this fellow was delighted to find out that he could FINALLY learn how to knit. The first stitch made him squint and mutter, "This is tricky..." By stitch number three he had a rhythm going, and he finished a row rapidly after that! We applauded and he blushed. Charming.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Summer roses

Here's a bouquet of late roses from the garden. The pink rose is lovely but has only a faint rose perfume scent. The gold rose has a rich, truly pleasant apple scent that fills our home without causing any allergic response. And sorry, but I have no idea what the cultivars are.

This snippet of lace is a triangular shawl with a garter edge, using some of the Yarnplace Graceful I blogged about last week. I'm fiddling with the center, playing with a few ideas, and will probably frog it, but it's easy on the eyes and a fun bit of knitting. DD has started something similar with the wool/cashmere aqua she bought. I warned her that it was awfully fine, and she scoffed, "It's thicker than my handspun!" Hers has a bit of grab and is infinitely easier to knit than mine, which is slippery and splitty. I'm using some old size 0 or 00 steel dpns. I hadn't pulled them out of the bin for a few years and they needed cleaning and a bit of PAM. Stirred memories of self-quilting double-knit Fair Isle gloves knit on the 0000's for the coooold Montana winters...

The late birthday present for a small friend. I'm plodding through the sleeves. The actual color of this Cascade 220 is a emerald teal heather and I am having fits trying to see the stitches. It's a color I cannot see well, thus the very visible deep purple marl lace goof-off to rest my eye. My vision has improved radically since the surgery in April (eye appointment went well, don't have to have more repairs until next year at the soonest, though will definitely know my laser guy well for the rest of my life -- oh, and he has a great sense of humor when things are going well -- he was a cold fish the last few appointments because he was so depressed about the condition of my orb), but I'm still adding colors. The combination of radiation damage and brain fatigue had me in gray scale for a long time. I've been playing a lot of Civilization II (the old version of Civ with simpler graphics) to help relearn color differentiation.

Apologies for no bird photos. Saw only a single giant pure charcoal pelican yesterday on the way to Teen Knitting and couldn't whip out the camera fast enough. Didn't have the camera out when I was waiting at the light by the junior high, knitting a sock, and a woman drove by, stuck her knitting out the window, and cheered, "Knitters! Woo-Hoo!!!" Didn't have the camera the other day when I saw that trio of fat pelicans sitting on the water, doing oil derrick fishing with a sea lion (he drives the fish up and the birds spread their wings and furl them so they end up rocking back and forth, scooping up fish on the down, swallowing them on the up). And didn't have the camera when I saw a gargantuan barrel-shaped seal basking on the rocks, or when there were two harbor seal pups fighting over the best rock perch, doing that U thing that must be the seal equivalent of flexing biceps, or the last few times I've seen rays.

I promise to take the camera this weekend when DD and I head down the Peninsula to see Stephanie!

Monday, August 28, 2006

FLAK and More Crabs

Two of my FLAK swatches, before and after washing. Cascade 220, size 5 US. The purl ditches between the cables relaxed a lot and the double seed improved. The upper swatch is a sketch, the lower the probable pattern (substitute seed for moss). I'm still iffy on whether to cant the 2-stitch cables the same as the 4-stitch cables or the opposite. The lower swatch has them done the same.

A crab party

A crablet watching the tide come in

The other day I was rinsing a few hanks of Cascade and didn't feel like adding figure-8 ties, so I grabbed the monzo hair clips by the bathroom sink. Perfect!

Anemones near Mendocino

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trekking socks, catching up

Tide pools near Mendocino, CA

Mr. Hermit Crab

My daughter, whose nickname *was*
Smallness, wearing her size 10 1/2
Trekking socks.

For Jason, the answer is I mark every ten rows with a contrasting strand of leftover sock yarn so I don't have to count the rows over and over again. It also makes it easier when altering a garment to see at which row I need to add or subtract width, or whether I need to decrease the length by ten or twenty rows.

And yes, I've been knitting. I just frogged half the sweater I knit on vacation (the proportions were off -- the recipient's proportions are off, too, but I'd like to make something that softens the effect instead of intensifying it). There's a looming birthday deadline so it won't be perfect but I would like it to be a little less ugly!

I have finally gotten my eyesight to the point where I was able to finish my FLAK swatches before vacation and will soon cast it on for real. DD found some lovely laceweight yarn at the Mendocino Yarn Shop (lovely place), Yarn Place Gentle SY181 in a soft aqua (not a light blue as pictured on the website!). I finally found a copy of Stephanie's first book at a real bookstore and read it aloud to the family in the evenings, making them chortle and exclaim, "You're just like that!"

I have another eye exam this next week so might disappear for a while again. Sorry about that, but blogging and vision are rather dependent.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Odd bits

I'm sorry it's been a while between posts. I've been afk (3400 posts behind in Bloglines!). Here are a few shots of the much wider sleeve. I still haven't stitched Ribby together, though I do have the correct zipper. Soon!

Another pair of staggered baby cable ribbing socks in the works. Patons Kroy, which works up with a tighter row gauge than Regia, for me anyway. Sturdy socks.

A tin sock tube from Woolworks in Connecticut. Along with my ESK from Cassie, this is portable knitting at its best.

One of the colourways of Regia recently from elann.com. It's even nicer in person.

DD has been doing kumihimo lately (instead of spindle spinning). These foam core disks from LACIS are splendid. She's especially fond of the clip-on fishing weight she got from her grandfather.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Ribby Cardi for DD grows apace (then I rip and knit again). We have VERY square shoulders here, so I haven't knit a raglan in many years. I chose frog-able yarn with this in mind. Above is a photo of the basted body and a large size sleeve basted in (with circ cables) and the beginning of a much larger sleeve.

The blue yarn is a one-off of really lovely fine 4-ply wool from Morgaine, some she dyed herself. It's actually a muted variegated marl indigo, close to the color in the top image. DD chose Cascade 220 in color 2427 for the sleeves, a deep red that sets up a wonderful resonance with the indigo. The blue fabric has cush and great elasticity. The red isn't as soft to the touch but appears to be sufficiently compatible.

For the body, I cast on the largest size, then decreased two sizes in the first row of the stockinette panels with a series of k2togs over some of the single purls. It accommodates DD's hourglass figure nicely and without any flare. Even though I knit all but one sleeve in less than a week, she outgrew it so I'm probably going to have to re-knit the entire thing. I may be re-knitting this sweater until she hits six feet.

The new sleeve is many inches longer and larger around than
Bonne Marie's largest size, in part because DD needed a lot more ease in the elbows. Her pattern is very logical and makes it easy to do massive size mods. I'm having to add significant width to the top of the sleeve to fill the gap made by those shoulders. When knitting sweaters with set-in sleeves, DD and I add at least two inches to the height of the yoke. To maintain the visual line of a raglan, I'm keeping the body yoke pretty much as writ and making most of the changes in the shape of the sleeve cap. A typical raglan sleeve is almost triangular; I'm using a wide bell shape, truncated at the neckline. The additional width in the shoulder area of the sleeve drops the yoke down a few inches, and it may overemphasize DD's linebacker shoulders, but with luck it will fit.

I was knitting one of the fronts at the grocery store last week and was nearly at the point where I would change needle sizes so had the next circ poked in the ball of yarn. When I got home with the groceries I realized I'd dropped the needle. DD and I went back to the store and she asked for the lost and found at customer service and the lady took one look at DD's
WWKIP t-shirt and said, "I think you need this!" and handed us the circ. YAY! I had a spinning t-shirt on, but that WWKIP tee was very effective. Dolores to the rescue!