Sunday, July 31, 2011


I spent a hot, restless, dehydrated night in bed yesterday, and woke up to this! It finally rained in my town. I a very strong urge to run out and roll on the cool wet concrete, but somehow managed to resist. It was a gray, drizzly day until the late afternoon and I took full advantage. I didn't get much gardening done, but it was fun to spash in the raindrops, deadheading the roses and poking at the grass shoots.

After gardening I spent some quality time with Martha's sweater (Cece), knitting on the porch and reading on my eReader. I started the decreases for the fronts and bound off for the sleeves.

Dozer and I took a walk in the early afternoon; unfortunately by then the rain had lessened but the heat turned up, so it felt like I imagine Panama does in the summer. Hot. Hot and damp. My frustration was increased when, after the muggy walk, the knitting shop was out of the size needles I needed to purchase. How I managed to have every size save the one I need is a mystery.

In the late afternoon, it was movie watching and sleeve knitting time. Unfortunately, sleeve knitting time lasted about 3 hours longer than it should have: I cast on the wrong number of stitches not once, but twice. The third time I got it right and the first sleeve is about half complete. Without the restarts, I think I could have finished both sleeves and been ready to attach them to the body today. Bummer.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Prize Day

I didn't hit my Tour de Fleece goal, but I feel good for participating and I was rewarded with my prize pack of fiber today when I arrived home from work.
There are three baggies of an alpaca / BFL blend and some postcards of London. I am tickled yellow, orange and brown!

I meant to post last night, but was just so tired and forgot to log back in to say something witty. This morning I went to work for a few hours, but tomorrow is gloriously empty and free! I estimated my hours for the second half of July (16-31) and it came to over 100. Even with a conservative guess on how much of that is overtime (they calculate it strangely), I should have a very respectable check coming ... which almost makes up for the fact that they pushed the pay date 3 days later than usual.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Workaday World

Haven't managed to touch the crafts today, but I did get a few pages read of _The Two Towers_; Frodo & Sam have met Faramir and co. I put in 7 hours at work on my day off today and am looking forward to a 12 hour day tomorrow. It will be so nice to have some breathing room in the budget - or maybe go to the doctor, dentist, eye care or ob/gyn for the first time in four years. Or get the cat to the vet and solve the mystery sniffles.

Early bedtime tonight!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Working Woman

Tomorrow is my day off after the craziness that was month end, but I was offered the opportunity to come in and work in a different department for extra hours. I said oh yes, please! and have the double good fortune of getting more hours and feeeling like I am coming to their rescue. My budget is so tight that every little bit helps.

I put in a few more rows on Martha's sweater and should really get the yarn for Margaret's mitts balled up and a pattern designed. It is hard to balance my knitting time with "resting the knitting muscles" time when I am on a knitting jag like this. Overdoing it will only lead to permanent pain, so I take breaks and try to pace myself.

A happy week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Best Knitting Compliment seeing your work in use!

Jess wore the pink hat at work today and is very happy with it. I forget how cool it is to make things, because I can. Perhaps if I received a hand turned pottery bowl or carved statue I would have the same feeling about the creative process. Anyway, I am glad it all came together. Go team!

I managed to get a few more rows put on Martha's sweater today. It is coming along nicely and I cracked open the second ball of wool. I love the color, love the pattern, and am getting ready to start the decreases soon. School starts Monday, and I am aiming for the closest delivery date possible. I hope she is just as please with it and wears it often.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Long Day

Put in 13 hours at work today (minus lunch and 90 minutes driving). I managed to get 3 rows knit on Martha's sweater at lunch and a few short rows on a sock heel during my break. Mental note: take more breaks.

Another long one tomorrow; betime soon.

Oh! Gave Jessica the hat. She loved it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No Post Saturday

Just too wiped out.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Different Night, Different Bowl

Went to the Redlands Bowl after work tonight to hear the symphony. They had a Beethoven program which was quite lovely, with the 5th piano concerto and 7th symphony.

I managed a little spinning on my Tour de Fleece project today, although I am hopelessly short of my goal. I thought I could catch up tonight and Saturday, but I got called in to work and I can always use the hours.

On that note, I think it is bedtime!

Mad Hatter

I knit like a fiend Thursday night and finished the Bow Tie Cloche. It came out really cute. Here it is drying on a conveniently head-shaped ceramic jar. I hope Jessica likes it and can wear it to her chemo treatments.

It was a super easy knit that used the techniques of alternating stripes of color, a little lace and I cord. I was very proud of myself for working in all the ends and finishing the fiddly bow promptly.

Total knitting time, approximately 3 days.

Eddie, baby

I figured a title from a Monty Python skit was a good title for a post about our trip to see Eddie Izzard on Wednesday night at the Hollywood bowl. My pictures didn't turn out so well; here is a vido to tide you over.

It was fantastic and fantastically funny. It was great when he did the crowd run right past us

and great when he was back onstage and waxing philosophical. My favorite parts are when he cracks himself up and starts dissolving into laughter.

It was a great time with good friends. Thanks for the birthday present, Martha! I will have to make her a knitted toilet roll cover or something for her birthday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Progress Report

It is hot as the dickens in here tonight - time to soak in the tub for a while.

The hat is nearly done - just have to knit the bow, attach, wash & block.

I managed to spin for a few minutes this evening, but it is just too hot to have 12 gr of wool and silk wrapped around one arm.

Tomorrow night is the big day - Eddie Izzard at the Hollywood Bowl - and I am ramping up by watching you tube clips. I may die of excitement, but I hope not.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

B-ow!! Tie Cloche

I knit and knit and knit this afternoon and have one repeat (of 4) done of the lace. I am working on two #3 circular needles - my dpns are too short to work comfortably without worrying about stitches falling off the ends. I am hip to finish this today, and I could do it if all I did was knit, but my thumb is telling me it is time to switch projects for a while. Back to Tour de Fleece spinning for me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saddle Sore

I am still spinning away on my Tour de Fleece project. I am on the last puff (12 gr) of the first colorway and can finish tonight if I log off the computer and get back to work.

I started the pink hat last night and am almost finished with the ribbing and ready to start the lace pattern.

Friday, July 15, 2011

WIP Crazy

WIP is work-in-progress and I am about at capacity! I took a bunch of pictures, but must finish charging the camera before I can post them. I feel like my whole life is knitting oriented and I like it very much - at least until my left thumb and wrist tell me it is time to take a break.

The yarn for the hat (the Bow Tie Cloche) and the fingerless mittens for Margaret came in today and it is all gorgeous! I am going to start the hat tonight as soon as I hit "post". I have an early bedtime tonight, but I think I can manage to cast on and knit a couple rows. I should be able to finish the hat this weekend and then start the mitts. We are short staffed at work and next week is going to be somewhat insane... I will either need lunchtime knitting to stay calm and centered, or put it aside entirely so I don't knit all that craziness into the projects. Maybe I can finally finish _The Two Towers_.

The yarn for the Camp Loopy project (mittens - or maybe gloves - with owls on them) has been balled up for quite some time, the pattern is printed, and I am allowed to cast on anytime now. The only hiccough there is that the pattern calls for size 1.5 needles, which I do not own and have actually never seen. I may fiddle with the pattern and make the largest size with a size 1, which should bring down the gauge. The yarn is so fine that I think that making the smallest size with a size 2 needle will not yield a dense enough fabric.

I am still spinning for my Tour de Fleece project - 3/8 done and 5/8 to go!

I added a few rows to Martha's sweater this morning and have about 2" to go until I can start decreasing for the fronts. Note to self - research "3 stitch buttonhole" or decide to leave the dang thing off.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Beautiful Day

Today was an amazingly beautiful day. The weather was temperate, the wind was breezy and the air was clear. I didn't focus too much on fiber projects, but rather gave some time to other items. I took a stab at tidying up the garden by cutting back the dried out coreposis tinctora, the rosebushes and the oregano, cutting down the weeds and pulling up some wayward grasses. It looks somewhat less wild and wooly now.

I made a batch of bread and started some laundry, so I can say I did some chores.

Anne and I met for a yummy thai lunch and then spent the afternoon knitting in the park. We worked on washcloths for a while and I managed to weave in a few yarn ends on the Iron Horse shawlette after my arm started hurting from too much knitting. There were several species of birds to watch and even some groundsquirrels playing chase. I am sure we saw sparrows, starlings, black phoebes and even a robin.

Eventually it was time to come home and I am getting excited about starting my second Camp Loopy project. I am going to make some mittens with owls in the pattern in some stashed cashmere yarn. They will be a hoot! I even scared up some beads for the eyes in my lacemaking stash. Cast on starts at midnight, although I may wait until the morning. Tomorrow I go back to work so I should impose a respectable bedtime.

Good friends, good food, good weather, good knitting ... a good day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

She's Crafty

I made lots and lots of time for fiber projects today! I spun 25 gr of merino / silk top for my Tour de Fleece project. I had forgotten how much I love to spin (luckily my hands remember) and how lovely Bosworth spindles are. Good fiber + good tools + practice = beautiful yarn.

I knit a few rows on a washcloth, but that is hardly photo-worthy. More exciting is the progress on Martha's cardigan. Iwill be able to start the shaping for the V-neck in a few inches. I had an idea to work on row of Martha's, one row of mine and finish them concurrently, but it might eat too much into my fiber time. OTOH, I might not get mine done otherwise. OTOOH, I am making two different sizes, so I should probably not get them confused.

I watched far too many shows on Netflix while working, but it beats watching shows while not working and staring at the wall doing nothing. If only I could figure out a way to play World of Warcraft while knitting!

The new box of hat yarn is in the mail (shipping to my work, this time) and I hope to have it Friday for weekend knitting. There is a skein of yarn for a pair of fingerless gloves for my aunt stowed away in it also. To round out the knitting queue, the cast on date for Camp Loopy project II is on Friday and I am making mittens for myself. The pattern is for fingerless gloves, but that is outside the parameters of the project so I will just add a mitten top. It will match my muffin top. I might make them gloves instead... but that would require both learning how to add fingers and learning how to make fingers, which might be beyond my patience at this time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I get to have a mini-vacation this week, as I am off work Wednesday, Thursday and half of Friday. So many projects to work on! I think I will put some serious time into my Tour de Fleece project as I am 9 days behind already. I also want to make a dent in Martha's sweater and get that to a good stopping point so I can whip up the hat when the reordered yarn comes in.

I am loaded up with projects, but not feeling overwhelmed. I am also not suffering from "startitis" - I actually want to make the items and be finished with them more than I want the excitement of starting something new. It is an unfamiliar feeling, but a good one.

Time to tour! My goal is to turn these 4 oz of merino / silk top into a nice fingering /sport weight yarn, one ply of each. Lori Lawson at Capistrano Fiber Arts recommended the color combo and I am going to give it a try.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I had a long day at work (yay, overtime!) and it was not too fraught with drama, I got a few rows added to the plum sweater at lunch today and the pet store had millet seed back in stock tonight.

Now the cat is lying next to me with his head on my arm instead of on top of my arms. It is very sweet.

Almost bedtime - leaving work at 8pm = getting home at almost 9 and suddenly the night has disappeared...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Knitting on Commission

I have been accumulating a "request" knitting list and it is very exciting! I actually do love the idea of knitting a project if someone else "sponsors" the yarn and pattern. I am juggling plans for a hat, a shawl, fingerless mitts and now a cardigan and am only feeling a little overwhelmed. Just "whelmed", maybe. I am going to make the most of the week "off" between Camp Loopy projects!

Today I started a cardigan for Martha to wear in her classroom when the a/c is blasting. I already had the pattern, we found a great yarn, and I settled in with Netflix to get in some quality knitting time today. It is jsut a baby in that picture; it is about twice as long now and I still have some knitting energy left in me.

It feels good to have my knitting mojo back. Of course, only I seem to have the urge to cover myself in wool and wool projects during the first crazy hot week of the year. Contrarians unite!

Knitting to Relax

I have had two skeins of Merino / Tencel yarn dyed by The Yarn Pirate in the stash for quite some time. I love merino/tencel blends for their softness and sheen. Either one of these would look fabulous as socks, but after the fun I had knitting the (far too small) Iron Horse shawl, I got the idea to alternate the two.

First I make a yarn "cake" out of the Icicle colorway. It is a lovely blue - dark blue - white - gray colorway that reminds me of my parakeet, Skye. Snowy walks, gray gravelly drives, bright blue sky, ah, white winters back east.
This is the Butternut skein, with brown, yellow-green, dark brown and bright orange. It is everything I love about Autumn (and I love just about everything about Autumn!).

The two little yarn cakes, ready to be knit into something wonderful. I am quite a ways into the shawl now - it goes quite fast with largeish (for me) yarn and size 4 needles. The fabric is soft, smooth and has a lovely drape. I am not entirely sure if I like the way the stripes are lining up, but I like the idea of blending the seasons so I will keep at it.

Now the only difficult descision left is: do I use the blue or the orange colorway for the edging lace?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Pissed Office

No box of yarn on my doorstep today... but a delivery confirmation on the USPS website. I am furious.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

End of the Line

My first Camp Loopy project is done! It is pinned out on my bed, blocking and drying. First I gave it a good soak and rinse and put fresh sheets on the bed. Bingo is my self appointed sheet monitor, and made sure everything was ready for me to begin pinning out the damp shawl.

Drying as fast as the fan will go. It is very tiny, but very pretty. I could definitely make this again (in a larger size). I might even go wild and use the needles the pattern asks for!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Swimming in Music

I have been soaking in Scottish folk tunes since yesterday. My current obsession is "Cam Ye O'er Frae France" most famously by Steeleye Span and covered by Highland Way last night. I just want to drown in the sound. The picture is boring, but the sound... oh the sound.

...and to keep up the fiber content

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Highland Way

I went to the Redlands Bowl tonight to see a night of Scottish Music; I thought it would be primarily piping. My first clue that something might be "up" was the fact that the parking lots were full and the place was jam-packed. The opening perfomance was a pipe and drum band, but the feature was a more modern band called Highland Way . They are quite good! There were some original songs, some Dougie McLean covers (will I ever stop calling him Dougie McDougal?), some traditional tunes and even a Steeleye Span song *swoon*. Oh, and a cover of the Proclaimers. Mmmm, Proclaimers. I thoroughly enjoyed singing along and knitting away.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Into the Final Lap

I have managed to make good progress on my Iron Horse shawl this afternoon, although I spent much of the day playing around online. It goes fast when I knit it. I had some minor mistakes but am just *cough*fixing*cough* them as I go along instead of ripping out rows and rows and rows. For some reason the lace seems to go faster than the stockinette rows did; perhaps I am paying more attention. Or maybe it is all those K2tog and SKP stitches eating up the mileage.

The illegal fireworks are really starting to pick up now and the younger dog is hiding under the desk. The older one surely can't hear the booms and bangs over the sound of her own snoring. The doors and windows are secured anyway. Not 20 minutes ago I saw a pitbull flying up the middle of the 7 lane street in front of my house; running away from the noise, I assume. Hmm, I should turn on the light in the birdroom so they are less distressed by the noise.

The new Camp Loopy project is socks or mittens or gloves with cables and the cast on date it 7/15. I found a free pattern for some cute socks with owls on them and have resolved to use some more stash yarn, although I have not gone stash diving in search of the perfect skein. I wavered for a moment (I still have some Christmas Present Credit at The Loopy Ewe), but managed to come to my senses when the cat sneezed on my arm. His vet trip comes before new yarn.

I signed up for the Tour de Fleece, but as I have have now missed the first 3 days entirely, I am giving up. Stick to my knitting, that is the plan.

Whew. The house is starting to release all the heat it soaked up during the day. It might be time for another dip in the tub *brrrr*

The Dreaming Time

With the advent of HOT HOT HOT HOT this weekend, I am up more (and more lively) in the middle of the night, it seems! A much better day was had today.

Unfortunately, the day did not contain much knitting. I think tomorrow I will find a coffeeshop or such and enjoy some air conditioned knitting time.

Happy Day Off!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

July 2 - still

I am aware the clock says July 3, but I am still awake and I am counting this as Saturday's post. It has been a long day (even with a nap in the middle), as I was up at 4am and it is now 1am.

Harlequin was safely delivered to his new home in Temecula and he was busy snuggling with his new person within 5 minutes.

I am still feeling depressed, frustrated, short tempered, angry and generally hopeless.... so I will call it a night.

Edited to add a picture of my sweet Harley bird... now Russ' sweet Harley bird! He is the one on the left. He and his siblings are all turning 1 year old this weekend!

Friday, July 01, 2011


I was reading the pattern for my current shawl project and realized that the needle size bears no relation to the size the pattern recommends. Fabulous. I could have used needles that I already had instead of going bonkers that I needed new ones AND it would be the proper size instead of suspiciously small.

I will just block the holy hell out of it.