Thursday, May 08, 2014

A KAL - What was I thinking??

For the non-knitters: KAL is Knit-A-Long. This is a thing whereby a group of knitters (can be neighbors or across the globe) choose a particular project and everyone knits the same thing. 

Sounds boring, but being knitters, it's not. It's usually this-side-of-crazy if you don't like stitching to a deadline (aside from baby knitting or wedding knitting).

So of course, I joined one. It's a sock KAL. And I'm knitting Plain Vanilla socks - which basically translates into "the easiest sock pattern you have: no lace, no cables, nothing fancy). 

I'm using my favorite: Opal yarn. And a colorway that I had in stash: The Little Prince. Here's the start... 
Opal Sock - The Little Prince

The ball is the usual 400-something yards, which is ample enough for a pair of socks. The color is 7760 and the dye lot is 758.

I'm not using the wooden needles. I'm using Karbonz dpns. You can see them in the other pictures. They're steel tips, carbon body. Really interesting to knit with. If my regular Kollage weren't stuck in the second Teal Sock, I'd have used them. 

Speaking of the Teal Sock... I'm stuck. The second heel is OBVIOUSLY different from the first, but I have no notes telling me what I did for the first sock's heel. Note to self: Don't EVER assume you can remember. Because clearly - you can't. 

KAL cuff
So Teal #2 is set aside. As is my schedule for knitting, because the end of the KAL is June 30. Yes, that's more than a month away. But you all know how life can get in the way. So I'm knitting furiously on these. And here's the cuff. What I did this time was knit SIX rows straight for the beginning before I started the ribbing. It rolls, but that's ok. The point is, the ribbing won't cut off my circulation and it'll also go over my insanely high instep, too. Without too much stretching of the sock itself. 

Oh, the pattern!  Basic Top-Down Sock Pattern. It's in Teach Yourself to Knit Visually. It's got a slightly longer leg than I'm used to - a whole 7" on the leg, where most of my socks are about 5" or so. But I'm going for it. Look at the Pink Socks - I have a lot of that Opal left, so I figure I've got enough in this ball for a pair that are slightly longer.

One pattern repeat
I've been plugging along rather intently, and since this is a self-PATTERING as opposed to a self-STRIPING, I was motivated to see what a whole pattern repeat would look like. Here's what it looks like so far. I started with that tan-ish brown, as you can see, and it went into the orange, then the crazy colorwork. I am really liking how these are turning out. Rather autumn-ish, but not, if you know what I mean. That zing of green is really nice. And there's enough white to make them "light" and not like the more mellow tones of the fall.

The Karbonz? Well, they get high marks. They're not as grippy as wood, for sure. But they're not as slippery as a traditional aluminum DPN set would be. Which is nice, because I need a tad bit of grip on this. I just need to be careful to not knit off the tips, which I have a habit of doing with socks. I actually really like these needles. The issue I have is again - the markings. They're already rubbing off, so I need to be meticulous in putting them back into the package. They're a US 1.5. 

That's what I particularly like about the Kollage: it's engraved. 


Well. I'm on Thursday. I've been on Atkins in the Induction phase since Monday. The sample induction layout that I'm following from the book is really heavy on cheese. I mean REALLY HEAVY ON CHEESE. Where you're having four servings -- yes, FOUR - on 5 days out of 7. I'm sorry, but that's wayyyyyyyyyyy too much cheese for my tummy. And without going into TMI - let's just say I have some strategic fiddling to do. I figure that as long as you stay within the carb count, you can substitute from the approved list. So if a cheese stick is 0.5 grams of carb, then I can substitute 6 radishes. I have to make sure that I'm getting enough of the foundation veggies in, but also the fats and proteins, so it'll take some strategic balancing of the ingredients. 

That being said, I'm eating a ton of salad, and making my own salad dressing is lovely. I had forgotten (a) how easy it is; and (b) how much you can do. Atkins actually has a recipe for Ranch that's fantastic. I'm ok with having the same dressing for a while (they give you about 4 or 5 variations within this one-week sample, and I don't have that kind of room in my fridge). 

I'm hoping that my system adjusts to this. I "feel" lighter, but maybe that's a placebo. I'll have to let you know when I step on the scale.

I'm not sure "you can lose up to 15 lbs. in 2 weeks" -- I know that you first lose "water weight" but I'm not feeling it. 


So I'm re-reading The Canon - the complete Sherlock Holmes. But I have joined a book club with some of my yoga classmates, and I'm reading a self-help book. I dislike self-help books. I mean, I dislike the "know your better self through embracing your pain" kind of self-help books. If there's something concrete, I'm good. The "Yoga for Depression" book is good - she's not only relating her story, but she's giving you steps to take to help yourself.

I guess I'm not a person who can effectively absorb what this book is saying, but then again, I'm going into this with a bias, and I haven't really gotten too far into the book yet.

I may change my mind. Luckily, I'm a fast reader, so I'll be able to whump this out quickly. 

I'm also working on my thesis for yoga training. Here's a picture of Raisa nosing my Mudras book. I'm doing a presentation on yoga for hands, including mudras, which are specific hand positions used in meditation. 

Raisa is not interested in the book. She's interested in what's going on outside the window. I suspect the across-the-street neighbor's cat is out or the Big Evil Squirrel. I don't know what happened to the Big Evil Bunny, but I'm sure he'll come around again.

Anyone have any specific examples of self-help books that are useful? I'll look into them. Can't make any promises, but I can give it a shot. 


We have the seeds for the flower garden, as you know. Hubby bought a thing called an Herb Trug. He has a cover for it, to keep out the marauders (a/k/a squirrels) but that kind of defeated the purpose of my wanting to plant chives and borage for the birds...

So those will go into the garden itself. And I'll still put plenty into that trug. It's large, and nicely enough, tall so that I don't have to stand on my head to garden. 

Garden Trug
We also have the beds improved with new soil and compost. I still want a compost pile, but honestly, I know we can't have an open one. I'd have to have a compost system that's enclosed. Too many people let their animals roam free, and we already have some opposum critters around - I don't need to encourage them. 

Here's what the trug looks like, sort of. I don't think ours is as long as this one. It's going to be interesting and I think it'll be a lot neater than the rows of pots we'd been using for ages. We did use chicken wire around the pots to keep the critters out, but it was cumbersome, and frankly - not very nice to look at. 

As soon as we plant (probably this weekend if the weather cooperates), I'll start documenting the garden. I can't wait to see what we come up with. 

And I'm also anxious to see what the Seed Exchange seeds do. Can't wait for my OWN lettuce!

Random Picture...

In honor of the many graduations happening in the next few weeks, this is what Tippi wore for her last visit to the university. Honestly, she tolerated it better than the bunny ears!! I wanted to get something that didn't have the year on it, so we could wear it different places.

We'll be picking up some work at the local Children's Advocacy center over the summer, but we aren't sure how often. Which is fine. 

Everyone needs a summer vacation, if they can get one. 

My plans this summer are to continue knitting, get on the bike (if it's not beastly hot) and try to enjoy the outside a bit more.

Which won't be easy if (a) it's hotter than Hades; and (b) we really ARE going to get the Pollen Vortex we've been warned about.

I'm going to talk to the allergist about the new sublingual drops and get that rolling before too long. I can't do the shots; this seems to have good results, though for some reason, Hubby isn't happy this week. Can't decide if it's allergies, or whatever it is that Kid #2 brought home from his job...

No comments: