Friday, June 30, 2006


The birds haven't been posing much lately, but I had a moment to get a few quick snaps of the shoreline the other day and here are some outtakes. The largest of the crabs was about four inches across. Some of these are different poses of the same crabs.

They were eating as fast as they could, and on one rock there were so many crabs it looked like Les Ballets Trocadero.

It boggles my mind that my brother still likes me: I used to catch these little guys and put them down the back of his shirt!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mom's Alligators

Remember that little in-the-round tail? Frogged. Way too fussy to knit. Instead, here are some photos of my mom's alligators. The big guy is 32" long. I have a wonderful mom.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Trekking socks

More Trekking socks are ready for fitting -- should see DD's feet early next week. I usually simply knit the tube of the foot way past where I expect the end of the toes to be, as I did with the socks for Alfred, then baste around the digits and re-knit. DD's ankles and heels are a smaller version of my brother's and her feet are a larger version of mine (these are very baggy!), so I knit some sample toes a full size too long for me. For some reason I never mind ripping and re-knitting toes. I have a snippet of contrasting yarn marking every ten rounds from the pick-up to the toe. It helps speed the tailoring process.

These socks have gone on some nice little hikes during their gestation. I'll post photos when DD takes them on a walk.

I'm in a finishing mood so am cruising through the last few inches of another pair of socks for my brother. With luck, *this* pair will fit.

As you can see, they are much too bit for my feet. It is fun knitting for my family. My mom's feet are slightly smaller than mine but otherwise nearly identical, so I can knit a pair of socks that's a tad snug and they'll fit her perfectly. Mom's, DD's, my brother's, and my hands match, too, with slight variations in size. Genetics in action!

Here's something I started on the bus the other day. I'm not sure it will work. Decades ago I converted my grandmother's worsted weight alligator pattern (which was an improvement of, I think, an old Sunset pattern?) to a fine gauge (Harrisville tweed singles) and slightly different shaping: the guys who were cuddling with the ESK Cassie sent me. Then, I reworked the pattern to be done in sculptural peyote stitch with seed beads. The other day I started shifting it back to sock yarn, but in the round. It's going well, but I know the legs are going to give me fits, and ideally I'd like to knit the feet instead of using felt, since felt is too easy for teething infants to mutilate and swallow. I know I can tweak a pattern but I don't know if it will be feasible for normal people to knit. Shaped knitting can be terribly fussy. I'll post more photos if I succeed (and it will fade into the ether if I don't).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A lovely person

My friend Alice Peacock is going to be on the Prairie Home Companion on Saturday! She is a true gem of a person, one of those rare individuals whom everyone likes. Good music, too.

My new computer arrived today, but DH also got back from overseas so I haven't had time to set it up. Should be able to process some photos and do some better blog posts in the next few days.

I was wishing I had the camera today when I had a Cathy moment. DD and I were walking home from the library and saw a falcon doing an odd hover and squawking in an irritable, nagging way. Another falcon flew over, grabbed in mid-flight the food dropped by the hovering one, then flew to the hole in an empty house where last year there was a starling nest. We have baby falcons! They raised at least one chick to full size last year, but they lived in the next town (we'd see them flying home). Glad they've come to stay!

DD and I were standing there feeling so lucky to see the falcons, and then twenty pelicans flew right overhead in close formation. Life doesn't get any better than that!

Monday, June 12, 2006


Mom, DD and I went to a lecture on Saturday. We wore our
t-shirts and sat near the front and center, in full view of many hundreds of people. Mom finished the top body of a bright green alligator, which I thought was excellent for Dolores' theme of Hide No More.

DD was too caught up in the lecture to spin, but she had brought her Bosworth midi and some Nancy Finn Chasing Rainbows silk from Morgaine's.

I worked on a boring pair of socks for DD, who has a fondness for stockinette and k1p1 ribbing. I wanted to knit a lace wave pattern with this yarn, but she asked for plain bobby socks, so that is what I'm making. At least it will be quick, and then I can get back to knitting something more interesting!

We had hoped to go to the local
WWKIP picnic, but the lecture was long and we ran out of time. Maybe next year? Mom and I did make a point of kip'ing when running errands later that afternoon. My best guess is that I alone kip'ed in front of over a thousand people.

We've had a small flock of pelicans fly in this week, some monstrous fellows and a few youngsters. If they stick around I'll get some good photos, but I didn't have the camera handy when they flew by so here's a clip of them sitting on the sea wall.

I've finished the big laptop bag for DD and to sew in a zipper and finish fulling the strap. It is definitely too large, but I think the math error may turn into a positive design feature -- it is more comfortable to carry a laptop when the sides can curve around a bit. I'll post more details and photos when it's complete.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Feeding frenzy

A rare treat today while I was walking (and knitting a Trekking sock): sharks. They were in the shallows, 18" to 48" of incoming tide, swimming in ever-smaller circles and then shooting through the middle with mouths wide open. DD and I figured they might be herding a new hatch of small yummy things? It was a wild sight, sharks spinning daisies all over the cove. Here are four shots of the one closest to the bank.

Alfred's 13EEE Trekking socks are ready for a fitting; I tried them on and can see why it took so long to knit them -- BIG SOCKS!!! I've started my Trek Along pair for DD, whose shank is as big as Alfred's now and pure muscle. She will soon be able to look down at me...

My apologies for the low photo quality and messy layout. My big computer died and I'm on borrowed laptops for another week or two.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mobile Knitting

Sheryl was surprised that I knit lace while walking. Actually, if I forget my knitting I carry a pine cone or rock in my left hand. I have some nerve damage in my left side and need to hold something in my hand to complete the broken circuit. I think what it does is strengthen the impulse so it bridges the tattered synapses?

What works best is to knit. After much practice, I was able to do more than knit stockinette sock shanks -- now I can knit complicated lace while running down the cobblestone stairs on my hill and chatting with my daughter.

The other walkers in the neighborhood check that day's knitting, ask questions and say, "Oh, good progress! Did you finish the pair of socks you were working on last week?" They tend to encourage, not nag, and I'll often chide them for not having their knitting with them. There's a baby on our road and I've knit crawling bootees for her; other friends flaunt the socks I've knit them. A few people wait until they see me walking by, then dash out with their knitting, needing help with a dropped stitch or a new technique.

Things that make mobile knitting easier:
1) My emergency sock kit, which matches and fits in:
2) My messenger bag. I can use a stitch holder to fasten the bulk of a project to the strap at a comfortable height so there isn't any weight dragging on my wrists. The yarn fits in the bag and doesn't slip out because the fulled bag has grab.
3) I usually carry my bag only on outings. For the normal walk to and from town I hook the stitch holder to a belt loop or the front of my sweater, then tuck the ball of yarn in my left armpit. My arm just hangs there unless I try hard to move it, so it's a good system.
4) Another weight-abatement technique is to knit something from within the circle, like a sleeve. If I turn it inside out, then stick my left hand inside, the bulk of the fabric rests placidly on my forearm, relieving any wrist strain.
5) Pocket patterns. [Cassie, how's it going?]

Hazards of mobile knitting:
1) Lost needles. People turn them in to the circulation counter at the library since they know the needles are probably mine.
2) Humiliating moments when you realize you dropped the ball of yarn a block ago and it's been happily unwinding (the only thing wrong with a properly wound, relaxed ball of yarn is it can unwind over a very long span without tangling).
3) Signpost poles, curbs, and other obstacles that sneak in front of you when you're concentrating on a skp...
4) Knitting too far and needing the next page of the pattern. [See #5 above.]
5) If you think the peer pressure to produce FO's for the blog is intense, you should try KIP'ing in a neighborhood of knitters!