Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Asleep on my Feet.

Hi Everybody, I am back from Lambtown and still recovering. After a trip to the auto shop to have the car checked out (while I knit the foot of the second Gray sock), I drove up Friday, listening to a new book on tape on the way ("The Sunday Philosopher's Club" by the author of the "Ladies' No 1 Detective Agency" series). My first sheep sighting was at 6:09pm, so I knew I was finally getting close. I located the park and scoped out my location, knowing that I wanted to get in early, get set up fast (and first), and get out for breakfast before the show opened.

Saturday morning at 5:55am I was unloading the car and setting up the booth. I had a nice spot, got out to IHOP for breakfast and more knitting by 6:45, and came back well before we opened at 9. It had all the makings of a great show: the sun was out, Carolina Homespun was my neighbor, Gail from the limeade booth kept me in limeade and lamb taco salad all day, I met lots of great people and was happy to see several folks who have come by every year. About 6 I started putting everything away and loading the car right back up. I stopped to visit with some friends who own Fanfare Farms and The Loom Room, and then went back to the hotel to collapse. It had been a hot, sunny, and busy day.

Sunday I packed up and headed off to Courtland to see the Pear Fair. I only got a little bit lost. The Fair was fun: two soap vendors to examine, fruit butters to sample, music to listen to, pear-aphernalia of all types, and an exhibit of old photos of life in the Sacramento Delta and tools used (and still used) to harvest, sort, pack, and package pears. Then (as I had soap melting in the car) it was back on the road and another book on tape to entertain me. With the help of a blended cinnamon dolce latte, I made it home right around 9.

Miles driven: 988
Socks knit: 1/2
Sheep spotted: Jacobs*

Tonight's big adventure is a trip to see "The Simpsons" movie with a friend. I hope I stay awake!

Mr. Fixit is back in town and I was quite pleased to see him yesterday. We have plans to watch "Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift" this weekend... the plot may be thin, but the cars are very shiny.

*it's a sheep and wool joke.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lambtown Loometh

I am chugging through work* and counting down the hours until I can leave for Lambtown. It will be the 4th year I have been there representing The Soap Plantation - where does the time go? I think I may actually be able to resist buying fiber this year... unless I see something really extraordinary. I don't have any Cormo fleeces, you know.

Knitting is progressing. I finished Gray Sock #1 on Tuesday while at the Redlands Bowl watching "Brigadoon". Go see it! It runs through this weekend. I started Sock #2 while I was there and have finished the toe and begun the instep, lace pattern and all. I love, love, love this yarn. Pictures soon, if the hotel has wireless internet, or if by some miracle I finish all my pre-trip chores before 10pm.

*I only wish I was chugging beer. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Favorite Soap!

Move over, goat's milk soap, you are being replaced in my house with honey soap. Wowsers! It is smooth, creamy, foamy, and has a light finish. I may have to take tomorrow off work and stay in the shower all day.

We did make up a special batch of 4oz bars of the Honey soap in "honeysuckle" scent last night and I will be taking them up to Lambtown unless there are any takers here!

Knitting progresses on the Gray socks - I started the cuff this morning and worked on it at lunch. I should cast it off and start the mate tonight. Meanwhile, here is a picture of the finished, hemmed "Wild Honey" socks.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Where Does the Weekend Go?

I had a nice little weekend. I am trying to finish the first Gray sock and am almost there. There was some trouble with knitting the lace in the round, and neglecting to put a row of plain knitting between each lace row. I also desperately need to get some pictures of the finished socks up on Flickr for the Summer of Socks contest.

Saturday a friend and I went to see "Ratatouille" and I give it two thumbs up. The animation was amazing, the story was pretty good, and the rats were adorable. I have had many a pet rat in my day and they got the personality bang on. I have a minor quibble with the plot: if the point of the story is that a rat can cook because "anyone can cook", why does the story depend on the human assisstant NOT being able to cook? Can't he learn from the rat? I am willing to pretend that he (the human) just didn't WANT to learn.

Sunday we made soap, soap and more soap, and then I dyed some wool for Lambtown. Tonight is rinsing, rinsing and more rinsing.

Mr. Fixit is in Ohio and headed westward. Hooray!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Today's Pick is... The Angelfish Socks!
Sock on foot...

Socks at bus stops...

Right now the socks are at the coffee shop, but they are feeling a bit shy just now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Yarn is in the Mail

My Yarn Pirate Sock Club box is out the door and is winging its way to me as I speak. I am very excited. I wonder if I am required to keep the bird on my shoulder when I am knitting with YP yarn? I am drawing the line at the peg leg, though. Awaiting new yarn is an excellent motivator for finishing the second "Angelfish" sock. Although I realized that I am already on the 5th fishtail repeat and have forgotten how many I need to match sock 1.

Luckily I brought the yarn for the second "Watermelon Tourmaline" sock and the ball of grey yarn to restart the Italy socks (yes, they did take a dip in the frog pond) to work today. The grey/Italy socks were just not working up like I wanted, so I swatched on bigger needles and I think size 2 (not size 1) DPNs are the way to go. I was concerned I would not have enough yarn to make a pair, and the bigger needles should make it go further. Further, I have re-evaluated having the lace on the instep and think I will put it on the leg only.

7/17 SOS tally: Wild Honey (pair) - done. Watermelon Tourmaline (single) - done. Angelfish (pair) - only final repeat and cuff to go on sock 2, done tonight. Grey/Italy - starting over from scratch.

Soap news: Lambtown is racing towards us and the soap re-stocking has begun. Last night we made 4 batches of soap and I think there are another half dozen waiting in the wings. I made a list of specialty soap to make, and we will be making new and exciting lotion too. Closer to home, we have posted the summer soap class schedule on The Soap Plantation site, and you can still find us every Thursday at Downtown Market Night.

My plans for tonight involve finishing the Angelfish socks and going to the San Diego Zoo, which stays open until 10pm these days for Nighttime Zoo. Getting home at 11:30 seems so early, compared to the bedime hours I have been keeping lately.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekends are for Knitting.

There was much knitting progress this weekend. I finished the Watermelon Tourmaline sock on Saturday at our Riverspinners meeting. I also unearthed my swimmy suit and joined the other knitters (and non-knitter) in the pool. It has been far, far too long since I splashed around.

Sunday I started the first "Angelfish" sock. I knit. And knit. And knit. And knit some more. Before I went to sleep, I had a finished sock. Gotta love those size 2 needles. I put the "fish scale lace" pattern up each side of the leg (May 31 from the 365 knitting stitches calendar), and am quite pleased. I started its mate today and was 1/3 of the way through the foot by the time I got to work.

All the morning knitting was done between 6:30 and 7:50, as I took the bus to work after dropping off the car to get evaluated for repairs needed before it will pass its amazingly long overdue smog check.

Mr. Fixit took 3rd in his race and I am quite pleased.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pat on the Back

I picked up the "Wild Honey" socks last night, sewed down the hems, and worked in the ends. Now they are done, done, done. And the most amazing bit? You won't believe it is me saying this of my own free will... the sewing up was easy and it was fun. I'll wait while you all pick yourselves up off the floor.

Then I managed to crush down the start-itis that was brewing, and worked some more repeats of the "Watermelon Tourmaline" socks. I started them a week ago tonight, and I am really ready to move on to sock #2 of the pair.

If you are in town, you should come to Market Night and make fizzy bath salts with us. It is easy and fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fast and Furious
Progress on the Watermelon Tourmaline socks would be better if I did not have to rip out 3 repeats of the feather and fan pattern last night. Curse you, yarnovers! I am not looking forward to the second sock, for while I adore this yarn and this colorway, I am not a big fan of the row of purls in the F&F pattern. I will knit until I run out of yarn; it should be soon.

And one on the foot...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's About Time, Too.

The "Wild Honey" socks are (mostly) done. All that is left is to sew down the picot hem (see that line of holes? Those will be adorable picots soon. ) They were lovely to knit and fit like a... sock. Go buy yarn at Cider Moon or the Loopy Ewe.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

So Close! Yes, there has been knitting! No, there are still no pictures! I am about 12 rows short of finishing the second "Wild Honey" sock, and then I just have to sew down the hems (they have a picot top). Knitting went speedily when I had a chance to sit and do it on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon.

I think I will cast on a new pair tonight at Market Night if things are slow (which, of course, I hope they are not), and get the toe done. Which colorway, you ask? I don't know yet. It might be about the right time for "Watermelon Tourmaline" from Stonebarn Fibers (courtesy of the Loopy Ewe, who else??). We will see what ball of yarn floats to the top of the sock yarn bag.

Progress on the gray socks is still slow - I managed a quarter of a round in the drive-thru this afternoon. I am severely worried I will not have enough yarn for 2 regular height socks. I suppose I will just have 2 medium height socks. Or they will go into the frog pond and become a scarf. It will not be torture to knit this yarn over and over, as it is so soft and lofty.

Things with Mr. Fixit are going well, but my knitting time has been severely curtailed (and don't even ask about WoW or Netflix or keeping up with SOS blogs. Way behind on all counts). He leaves for vacation this weekend (wah), but it means that knitting will regain its #1 priority. How many knits would a knitter knit if a knitter could knit knits?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Back to Real Life. I had a wonderful, lazy weekend. There was some knitting, but it was not the all-knitting-all-the-time extravaganza I thought I could pull off. I did finish the first "Wild Honey" sock on Friday night and am well into the foot of sock #2. The gray socks are languishing, poor dears. Perhaps I will show them some love tonight.

Instead of knitting I managed to start the process of making my car extremely spiffy. I got the hood and front sides claybar-ed and waxed, and did half of my first oil change (the easy half, thank goodness). I also managed to spend some very quality time with a friend this weekend and that is never a waste of time that I could spend knitting. Sometimes I can even knit and talk at the same time. Imagine that.

Petsitting continues. I am growing attached to the cat and the dog. And shhhhh, don't tell my dogs that the petsitting dog gets walked. Daily. Sometimes twice. And I enjoy it.

Movies? We watched "Rize", "Definite Article" featuring Eddie Izzard, and did not manage to make it to "Ratatouille", although it is still on the must-watch list.