Thursday, August 30, 2007

Knitting Scout Badges

I saw these over at MimKnits and had to go have a looky-loo. I am in love! I know what I am going to do with my Winter now, since I am not taking another class at the local community college.

Except for the divorce badges - let's not rush things.

Monday, August 27, 2007

All The Things I Love

I had a fabulous weekend once again. The festivities began on Thursday during Market Night when I got to open my Yarn Pirate Sock Club box. The yarn is gorgeous, in a sock yarn base I have not tried yet, and the goodies are pretty fun too. I will wait to announce so it doesn't spoil anyone else's surprise!

This weekend The Soap Plantation was booked at Summergrass, a bluegrass festival held in Vista. I took Friday off work to go down early and help set up, but the motor home had other ideas. Even after it got coddled through a smog check and had a low tire replaced, it decided to be cranky and have a second leaky tire. Mr. Fixit threw in the towel and the lovely and talented Mandy held down the fort at Summergrass on Friday with her nephew and the flying screaming monkey. I spent the remainder of the day with Mr. Fixit. We visited his friend and they worked on a piston for the racecar (I brought knitting) and we went out for lunch. We tried the new Pei Wei in Tustin and I tried some Orange Peel Chicken. It was very tasty and pretty swanky for fast food. After we were done, the guys went back to work in the garage and I played a little Chocolatier and then lay down for “a minute”. I think it was dark when I surfaced again.

Saturday we got an early start and headed down to Vista. The day was easygoing and fun. We sold some soap, heard some good bluegrass, ate some yummy snack food (Mr. Fixit woos me with root beer floats. I am powerless before them), and I actually got a little spinning done. I plied 2 oz of some Merino/Tencel lace weight yarn that had been sitting on the bobbin since June and it came out very pretty; a nice peachy-orange. Then I fired my Millie up again and started on some BFL roving. I am spinning it heavier, and, gee, the bobbin fills up fast when one is not spinning lacewieght! It felt good to be spinning again. I have been focusing on knitting for the last couple of months and the change was refreshing.

We packed up for the night around 8, found our hotel, and had a tasty dinner. I am pretty sure staying in a hotel ended up being a better bet than putting gas in the motor home for the weekend.

Sunday morning dawned bright and partly cloudy, until I looked toward Escondido and saw the wall of black clouds. eek, the soap! I wailed. We drove through the deluge, arrived at the site, and I was relieved to see that the soap was high and dry. We had the farm breakfast and the sweet old ladies were flirting with Mr. Fixit right and left. We got ready to open – bluegrass fans are a devoted bunch and I did not think that the show would be cancelled – and the deluge returned, soaking the site for over an hour. We still held the high ground and were nice and dry and toasty under the pop-up tent. Soap sales were slow, but the visiting and entertaining were alive and well. Everything was bright and sunny again by noon, and Mandy joined us for the afternoon. Denise came over and tried her hand at spinning on a wheel – and did quite well!

We packed it in about 5 and headed for home. Mr. Fixit and I stopped on the way to meander around Dana Point and we had a nice time – we saw stingrays and fishies and all manner of seabirds. Lots of folks were out walking their dogs. We admired the boats and picked out the ones we would have if a) we won the lotto and b) we had much interest in boating. Then it was a fish & chips dinner at the Harborside CafĂ©, which was excellent, and watching the moon rise and the sun set. I think I may just be the luckiest girl in the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The "saffron" socks: these are coming along quite speedily (when I knit on them). I measured the foot quite carefully before decreasing for the heel, but I tried them on today and still they are going to be 1/2 - 3/4 short. Tonight I will be ripping back, adding more length, and re-heeling. Once that is done I just have to pick up the lace from the front and adjust stitches (if needed) to fit my leg. Easy Peasy. Knitting them does make me hungry for Mac-n-Cheese, though, as the yarn is Kraft yellow.

The "painted desert" socks: Sigh. These have been waiting on a fitting and evaluation. I found some time to do that today and the foot is a smidge loose and the leg is a smidge snug. I will try them on again tonight before deciding if I am ripping all the way back to the heel. Sigh. The yarn is so darn gorgeous, I suppose it won't be too difficult to knit them again.

The "rum runner" socks: Sock one is in progress. I started it when I needed some non-lace knitting at the races last week. I love the way it is knitting up, but progress is slow due to the size 0 needles. This is the Yarn Pirate Sock Club yarn from last month. I suspect that this month's yarn will not be distributed to me until the Rum Runners are done, which is just as well.

The "watermelon tourmaline" socks: no progress. Sock 2 is still a skein of yarn, not even balled up yet. Damn you, feather and fan. I just can't face knitting another whole sock in it.

I have a soap show this weekend at the Summergrass bluegrass festival, and perhaps I will be able to squeeze in some knitting during the sets.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yes, This is a Knitting Blog

Much to my surprise and delight, I had a fantastic weekend at the Monterey Historics. We started seeing neat old / rare / interesting cars on the drive up the 101 Wednesday night, and it was neat to see Lambourghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Astin Martins, and other great cars on the road to and from the event each day. Mr Fixit and I picked up our tickets and set up our "pit area" on Thursday, and I learned something right away: it is not to be referred to as "the encampment". Sorry, faire folk. I also learned that "helping" is subjective. We drove the racecar over to tech inspection and we saw Al Unser, Sr, which was pretty exciting. That evening there was a brilliant reception and much visting with Mr. F's friends. The wine was never ending and high quality. I learned that I love crab cakes with a burning passion.

Friday was warm up day for the drivers and the racecars. Jan and I watched them race from the driver's lounge and the view was spectacular:

The view of Mr. Jan, anyway. Here is the view of Mr. Fixit:

Clearly I needed to practice with the camera a little more. However, I did catch him coming past the start/finish line:

The rest of the day we moseyed about, socialized, and watched races from the Corkscrew. In the evening we went to Fisherman's wharf to see what we could see. There were boats, and crabs, and starfish, and seagulls, and sea lions, and then we saw this:

I realize the picture is teeny, but believe me when I tell you that this is a momma otter with a baby otter coming along for the ride. We watched them swim past all the boats, closer to shore, when momma let the baby float while she went to go dive for dinner. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. That pretty much made the trip for me.
Saturday we looked at more cars. Some Bentleys:

Some H-Mods:

A Cheetah:

... and we went out for a lovely fishy dinner with friends and family on Saturday night. I was not brave enough to try the grilled baby octopus. Sorry to disappoint.

Our big race day was Sunday, right after lunch. I got to come along for the drive up to the pit for the warmup, but for the race itself I watched from the Corkscrew:

To celebrate the end of a great weekend, we chilled a bottle of Champayne:

And got ready for the awards ceremony. The Daniel Boone hat was the hit of the party:

On the way to pick up the trailer, I saw a bobcat, and we startled a family of California Quail. We heard accounts of foxes near the campsites - wow.
It was a great weekend. I had so much fun. I met great, friendly, interesting people and can hardly wait to see them again. I got to spend some quality time with Mr. Fixit and how can that be bad? He did a fantastic job driving us home early into the morning, and I drug myself to work nearly on time.
Knitting did occur. I promise. I now have 5 socks on the needles instead of 4. Nothing was finished however, and I have to say it was because I was having a blast. Whee!

Thank you for the kind words about the Adamas shawl. I am quite pleased myself. It did get worn this weekend and is surprisingly warm for such a wispy looking thing.

I am back from my trip to Monterey and here at work. I am also running on 2 1/2 hours sleep last night (we got in at 3am) and about 4 hours the night before that, so am a little loopy. I will work on a long chatty post *with pictures* for later today or tomorrow.

We had a fantastic time and I can't wait to do it again at Coronado in October.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Last night it was likely 100 degrees in the house until about.... 2am. What is the perfect activity when you have the combination of new sheets, a trip to Monterey where it will be 65 degrees, and you live in an oven? Shawl blocking, naturally. The Adamas shawl (finished lo these many months and shoved in a drawer) went for a swim last night while I banished the furry children from the bedroom and unwrapped and installed brand new sheets on the bed. I resisted the urge to lay down and conk out, and started blocking the shawl instead. It actually fit, much to my surprise (or I did not block severely enough), and needed fewer than all the pins I own. It was a race to see if I would finish pinning or it would finish drying first, but I think it came out quite nicely.
*edit for project notes* For this project I used Alpaca with a Twist "Fino" and size 4 circular needles. It blocked out great, and ended up a hair over 6' across the top.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Goats Goats Goats

A lovely weekend was had by all... although it is being rapidly forgotten under the pressure of hating my job. Saturday Mr. Fixit took me for a bike ride, we had a soap planning meeting (there is a Big Announcement coming soon), we had our RiverSpinners meeting and I made some progress on the "Painted Desert" socks, and afterward I splashed in the pool. Two words: pool noodles. Sunday Mr. Fixit and I went to visit his friends who keep goats - nubians and alpines and la manchas, oh my! They were adorable and entertaining, and a good time was had by all. Then it was back home to battle the ants and watch some "Sunset Tan". Monday morning came far too soon.

I made much knitting progress on each of the "Painted Desert" socks. I think tonight I will take the stitches off the needles (onto a safety line of some ilk) and try them on. The pattern pulls in more and is less stretchy than I anticipated. I am hoping that I can increase by 2 st inside each of the motifs to accomodate the above-ankle, below-calf section of my leg. I would like to get them done before the "Summer of Socks" is over! I have no plans for the "Fall of Finishing Projects", although that probably isn't a bad idea...

Today I managed to work the toe of the second "Saffron" sock... and realized I left my "365 knitting stitches" perpetual calendar at home. I know exactly what motif I want on them, I just have to turn to the correct page. They are a heavier yarn on #2 needles, so should knit up quick and easy.

I made an effort to put fun events and soap / fiber shows over in the sidebar, but I don't know that I have succeeded. I will keep fiddling with it to the best of my ability.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Trigger Happy

You would think, that if I were bored all day at work, that I would be spending my doodle time constructing a fascinating, intelligent, amusing blog post with details, pictures, and links for all to enjoy. But you would be wrong! Instead I click on the same 5 blogs all day, hoping for an update on other peoples' knitting progress. Sigh.

The gray socks are DONE. I just need to get the ends woven in, pictures taken and uploaded to the blog and flickr, and the SOS post made to add them to my entries for the "most socks" contest. I am quite pleased with the way they turned out. After all my worrying that I would be short, I find that I have plenty of yarn left for a cell phone cozy or two.

The socks in the Painted Desert colorway are moving along nicely. Both heels are done, the leg pattern has been chosen, and I have over and inch of leg done on sock #1 already. I had to decrease to make the pattern come out right, and am getting some color pooling, but I am going to run with it. I really like the pattern I picked (chevron & feather) and will love them no matter how they came out.

I swatched some yarn from Sweet Georgia in the "Saffron" colorway yestrday. I thought it was time for fluffy yarn on #2 needles (= almost instant gratification) . I cast on this morning and had a toe done before I got up. I have had this yarn marinating in the stash, and find now that it is almost a perfect match for my Steelers sweatshirt which Mr. Fixit brought back from Pittsburgh. Hopefully the socks will be just as soft and snuggly.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fat and Happy

It was a great weekend. Friday we had open spinning night, and Scott knit on his trivet and I knit on my Painted Desert socks (alternating between the two). Denise had fun spinning stories and job hunting advice. It is so nice to just sit and knit and talk and unwind from the week. I don't know why knitting is soothing, but I know it works and I like it!

Saturday was my exciting and much-anticipated trip to BlizzCon in Anaheim, and it did not disappoint. I got to try the new WoW offering: "Return of the Lich King", listen to presentations and Q&A sessions, and generally soak up the atmosphere. I am only a beginning WoWer, but I kept my mouth shut and my ears open and think I learned a lot. There may be a trip to the coffee shop tonight :) I did NOT ride the mechanical pachyderm thingy.

Sunday Mr. Fixit and I went yard sale-ing in the midday and washed the car and went to see "Harry Potter 5" in the evening. The movie was pretty good; I think it moves faster than #4 and it included many of the things I found interesting in the books, including Harry finding out how his dad treated Snape and Hermione's explanation of all the things girls think about.

Knitting did occur! I fixed Gray sock #2 and have gotten most of the leg done. If I push myself I could finish it tonight, but I think walking the dogs and then a 7pm bedtime might be in order. The Painted Desert socks are both about 6" long (toe to end of foot), so it is nearly time to turn the heels and make a commitment as to whether or not I want a pattern for the leg. The yarn is so striking it might not need one.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stupid Day Job

I have finished the toes and am working up the feet of both Painted Desert socks. They are a smidge big, but I am not ripping them out to decrease by 4 measly stitches (1/2"). I am thinking ahead to my "cuff treatment" and am thinking about using the picot edge again. As for the actual knitting, I am watching it closely becase I love, love, love, love this colorway. It is burgundy, gold, electric blue, and shades thereof. The yarn is from Stone Barn Fibers and is the "painted desert" colorway. Pictures soon.

My homework for tonight (besides laundry, dishes and catbox*) is to look up the Spin Off article by Sara Lamb on spinning a silk warp. I have visions of silk/alpaca scarves for holiday gifts.

*And as for the cat, he got stuck in the garage again. I rescued him last night (he gets in and can't get back out the same gap), he came inside and wolfed some cat kibble, and then tried to run outside again. What a nut.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bad, Bad, Naughty Zoot

Gray sock #2 is grounded. I was happily knitting lace and watching "Law & Order" last night, when I suddenly and without warning had too many stitches. Or maybe it was too few. There is a very unattractive blob of a lacy diamond on them though, and it is going to have to come out. I dislike ripping lace (doesn't everyone?), so it stayed home today.

My lunchtime knitting was the Painted Desert socks. I finished the toe and pick up the provisional stitches on #1 and cast on for #2. I am halfway through the toe of that one. I am going to knit them at the same time (2 sets of DPNs, separate balls of yarn) so that they do not go the way of the Watermelon Tourmaline sock. It would be tragic if this became the SOSS - Summer of Second Socks - when I have not had a problem with second socks in the last couple years.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Heel is Turned...

...and knitting progresses on the lacy leg of the 2nd gray sock. Meanwhile, I started the toe of the Painted Desert sock a couple days ago, just to give myself some plain stockinette knitting for those times when I am not capable of working lace.

"The Simpsons Movie" was fantastic! It is on my "must see again soon" list. If you go to see it, stay through the credits.

This weekend I am going to BlizzCon. I hope they don't check to see how long it has been since I last played World of Warcraft. Perhaps tonight after yoga I can find some WoW time.