Friday, June 26, 2015

Reading About Knitting...

...makes me want to KNIT!!

So I'm at a temp gig - strangely enough, at another location for the place I used to work before they laid me off... And they said, since it's a position answering the switchboard, "bring your laptop for the downtimes." 

I figured this would be a perfect way to get caught up on my knitting blogs. My favorites will be listed alongside the blog, but for now, I'm caught up with Jean Miles (Oh, my - I hope her hubby doesn't have any more major health issues); The Knitting Curmudgeon (which I'm not listing as a favorite because she blogs less than I do!); Queer Joe (too many pics of the Men's Knitfest, but some beautiful projects he's been working on)... and all I have to do is catch up on The Yarn Harlot.

Pi Shawl
The kicker, of course, was Knitting to Stay Sane. Glenna does some PHENOMENAL knitting. I swear, her designs are gorgeous. Although some folks have commented that her Jaywalker sock pattern is a tad too tight, her sweaters are "to knit for." I've - of course - written a bunch of her pattern names down, and we'll see how that goes. 

I'm also on a mission. I've gotta do a Pi Shawl... Of course the pattern is on Ravelry, but here's a picture of its "un-venter" Elizabeth Zimmerman, wearing her creation. It's in her book. 

And if you don't have her book(s) -- what are you waiting for? She's the Goddess of Knitting with Your Brain. Her instructions aren't so much "instructions" as they are "indicators pointing you toward using your common sense." 

It's a little scary trying to do her patterns. Because they're not specific in many of the respects that we expect a pattern to be. But I'm going to try. I've had a suggestion from my friend M. to try the Baby Surprise Jacket first. 

And since I have a car-load of stash, I'm going to do that. THEN, the Pi Shawl. In sock yarn. Lord help me!


So the first "Bowties are Cool" sock is done. I have actually started the second sock. It's just that this temp gig got in the way. They told me the one thing I could NOT do was knit. 

Sock side view
Apparently, I can cruise Ravelry, look at my blogs, etc. but knitting is a no-no. Oh well. I had to catch up on the blogs at some point. 

So - the sock. Lorna's Laces "Bigger on the Inside" is basically navy blue with black tucked in here and there. It doesn't photograph well with my phone and honestly looks better in person. 

I didn't get this from their site; I got it on clearance at Jimmy Bean's, so I'd suggest starting there. This is, for me, my "luxe" yarn. It's a bit pricey. And I'm hoping, since this is the first pair of socks I've knitted with this yarn, that it's worth it. 

Otherwise, the remaining yarn gets put to use with shawlettes. 

Bowties are Cool
I apologize in advance for my whiter-than-white leg. What can I say? I never tan. I go straight to burn. I took the above shot so you could kind of see the pattern. In the diagram for the pattern, the "bowtie" effect looked to be achieved by the ktbl that you did. But honestly? I think the bow tie image comes when that ktbl pulls together and you get the "shape" of the bow tie, with the two "wings" and the center roll of the knot. Here's a Pinterest page showing the original picture. The red looks darling, but really - it had to be TARDIS blue. 

Hopefully, the other picture gives you an idea. If you click on it and blow it up a bit, you'll see what I mean. 

The sock is snug. More than I would like, and I made a Large. I did my usual 6-row knit at the top of the cuff to make it go over my foot more easily. But the whole thing could use more ease, in my opinion. 

The yarn is certainly squishably lovely. And the color is stunning. But I'm worried about the wear. How will this work over the long-term? Will it pill like the Madelaine Tosh that I did up? Well, the MadTosh I used, in honesty, was 100% superwash, so perhaps that ramps up the pill-factor. 

Stitch definition
The stitches in this yarn pop. I mean they absolutely shine! As you can see, I used the black Karbonz and I did start the first sock using my Ott lite + magnifier, because it was the darkest yarn I've used at that size. But as time went on, it did just perk along nicely. I didn't have any trouble casting on the second sock. I could seriously see this as a vanilla sock with a cable up the leg. 

As is usual, I did NOT take the pattern down onto the foot. I learned from Roman Rib that I don't like it. So I'm not doing it. No Sock Police!! 

So tonight, I'm knitting. I really need to get cracking on that sock, because I want to wear the pair!

I also need to start on a Plain Vanilla pair for not only the stash-busting, but also for "carry-along" knitting. Something I can do relatively mindlessly, where I almost have the pattern memorized. 

Oh, and on one pair, I want to do the Fish Lips Kiss heel. I bought the pattern. This link takes you to an image. Everyone who's done it says it's a better fit than the usual heel flap. And it's worth at least one pair of socks to try. 

Heck, I did a Strong heel just to try it. (See Roman Rib sock at the left) I don't think I'll do that again, unless I feel strongly (ha) compelled. It wasn't horrible. Just not something I think will wear well in the long run. 

And I don't like that string of "lacy" look along the gusset. It annoys me. And life's too short to be annoyed at silly things when there are better alternatives. 

So Then This Happened...

Wow. In a span of about 10 days, the Pope issues an encyclical on climate change; the Affordable Care Act is (finally, please??) declared constitutional, AND we get gay marriage in all 50 states

That sound you hear is the sound of multiple conservatives and "Christians" whose heads are exploding. 

Though I do wish that the Pope had done a little more in exploring the idea that PEOPLE -- creating MORE people, that is -- may perhaps be a bigger contributing factor. C'mon Catholic Church - please. Birth control. Now.

So of course, there are people in a certain (Southern) section of the US who will try with all their might to delay the gay marriage issue. 

And the House and Senate can, maybe, please, please, PLEASE get past the whole kerfuffle on the ACA and get something else done...  Is it too much to ask for immigration reform and proper funding for schools, and maybe doing something about student loans rather than kowtowing to banks? 

A girl can dream. And while I'm dreaming, I'll think that maybe with this slew of good news, the overturning of Citizens United might be nearer than it has been. 

Like I said... I can dream. 

And this meme was floating around the "face-space" (that's what the kids & I call it...). 

No, sadly. He didn't say that. But the truth is still there. 

Oh, the other thing, Congress? Jobs for the rest of us. Stop worrying about getting your lazy selves re-elected and do something for us voting slobs who actually may still believe that YOU work for US. (Sorry - again with "a girl can dream.")

I'm sitting here, with two master's degrees, answering phones. And don't get me wrong: I'm HAPPY for the gig. But when I'm talking to my brother and he says, "I need to teach you to drive a forklift" -- then I have to wonder. Jobs for folks like me aren't in vast supply. Not even "medium-reasonable supply." But there are apparently jobs aplenty for forklift drivers, material handlers and welders. 

Kid #1 said he'd teach me to weld, but then he figured that, given several factors (including raging hot flashes and lack of sleep), putting a torch in my hand was perhaps unreasonable. 

I actually may take my brother up on that forklift thing. I've always been handy with my hands, and as a woman, perhaps there's a hiring preference. Yes, I'll use my gender. Thanks. I've lived with it, so I may as well use the few advantages we DO have!

The Garden Grows...

We've had rain. LOTS of rain. To the point where we haven't done anything except mow the lawn, and that barely between showers. My carefully plotted flower garden is a mess. And the veggie garden is nuts. Totally nuts. 

Tonight, we're having cod, with dill from the garden and snap peas, if we have enough. And a salad. LETTUCE we have a-plenty! 

This is the sage I took from the garden the other day. I should have put my hand there for a reference. It's HUGE. Freakishly huge. 

There's Rosemary there, too. I was cooking something - can't remember what - and I figured I'd use the herbs we had. 

I've already done a batch of pesto from the basil. And I found, sadly, that you CANNOT use common garden sage for smudging. Which is what I had intended, but apparently, it's not the right variety. Now I have to find something to do with an enormous quantity of sage. I didn't plant a lot of it. One plant, and with the monsoons we've been having, this is what I get. 

Any ideas?? I'm open! 

The Dogs...

Quinn surveys her domain
I'm not happy to report that Quinn and Raisa got into a tangle. Luckily, Hubby was home. I don't even know what started it, but it had been brewing. If I had to guess, I'd say that as Raisa enters her "adolescent" phase (she's just about 2 years old), she's been trying on the "who's top dog" thing. 

So they started in, and I grabbed Tippi - who was going to join in the "fun." I got her into her pen, Hubby got between the two, and we did sadly discover that there was blood. 

However, it wasn't as bad as we initially thought. He whisked her off to the Emergency Vet (of course, it was an hour AFTER our vet closed) and what we thought was a really bad thing turns out to be just a nip on the nose. 

I'm not saying that lightly...there are behavioral studies examining just how and WHERE a dog bites another one, and apparently, the bite on the nose is indicative of a much milder case of aggression. 

I think we need to contact a behaviorist, and so does the vet. Hubby doesn't think so. I've got to work on that because this really scared me. They're all big dogs. Raisa will not mess with Tippi after their last tangle (no injuries, but Tippi made her point). But she and Quinn? I'm not sure and I want strategies. 

Random Picture...

This was taken the other night, as I was leaving a yoga class. It was a much larger view of a beautiful cloud, but I was struck by the little sliver of moon here. 

Luckily, we are in an area that's still semi-rural. We have, for Illinois, a lot of sky in a lot of places. I've been going nuts with the sky pics. So we don't get the Northern Lights, but we do get some quite interesting sunsets and beautiful cloud formations with the storms we've had. 

Not that I want more storms! I'm feeling a little moldy!! But Mother Nature has provided some lovely sights while we're in between the storms. 

No comments: