Unexpected Outcomes

I pondered blog posts while I was away.  I can't say anything deep and meaningful about July 4th.  


Besides, my parents told us that the fireworks were for their anniversary.  (I didn't really believe them but neither did I get another explanation.)


(This picture is soooo lacking a fuzzy white dog running on the beach.)

So, ya'll were gonna get "the same old thing".  I never grow tired of it – the beaches and the water, the sun, and the sand.   But it didn't feel very exciting or fresh.  (And the weather was gorgeous.  Perfect.  Clear.  Sunny but not hot.  Breezy.  Absolutely delightful.  This is what summer is supposed to be.  Summers of my childhood.  None of this 100 plus degree days and 100 % humidity.  (Nevermind that it was only 2 days.  O.k?))


So there's rocks.


And the sun-dappled path.


And sailboats – way out on the ocean.  (About 1.5 miles.  And we never have that kind of visibility so it was just a stunning day to be out.)

And as we approached the end of the beach – the estuary where you can't cross during high tide – we noticed red string (about worsted weight twine) around some of the sand dunes. 


Piping Plovers.  

There's about 6,410 (you know, approximately) according to wikipedia.  In the world.  And they nest on this beach.  If you got close to the grass you could hear leetle peepings.   (Which, upon greater research, was probably the male of the species, uhm, …  nevermind.)

I've been going to this beach, forever.  (I am almost "old".)  I've been hearing about piping plovers since the early 1990s.  Every once in a while you see them.  But they are kind of hard to spot.


They don't stand still for photos.  They're quick and scuttle right through the camera frame before you can focus.

And with the sunlight glare I wasn't the least bit sure I got anything at all. 


So, this is what you're looking for, and there's two of them in the next photo. 



Project Status Update

(Aside:  I've been working too long.  I can tell by the title.)

(But it is a 3 day weekend!)

(But it is my parent's 50th (Fiftieth!!)  (Five-OH!) wedding anniversary.  That doesn't happen very often.)

O.k.  so, the dog is packed.  The kittens are almost set.  Where's the knitting? 

(Yes, there is still laundry and dishes and trash.  (I've given up on the vacuuming and bathrooms.)  Oh, and packing.  Gotta pack!)



Yay!  A Photoshoot!

In the Disappointing Department:


The chemo-cap Turban.

I thought I was done.  (It is a rectangle with 2 seams.  Damn cute, too.)   Fortunately, I had someone else try it on for the photo shoot and the back seam is terribly bad/loose/ACCCKKKK!!!  I can't give that away!

So it is back with me.  I'm looking at alternate seaming methods – including using another yarn.  (Suggestions welcome!)

In the Patiently Waiting Measurement Department:


My Sister's Stranded Socks.  No change here – they're being packed for the trip.

In the My Next Socks are for My Mother Department:


Dude's socks – just a few rows past the afterthought heel.  My whole foot fits in there.  

(Mom has the same size feet as me.)

(Don't get me wrong – I'm actually enjoying these as a soothing alternative to other knitting (well, now that the Turban is done.)   I'm just not used to not having Meeting Knitting time – they it seems to be taking forever.)

In the I Wanna Make Gloves Department:


Oh my goodness. 

I'm glad I did this (as a test case for cabled gloves.)  Just as I was finished with the thumb gusset (for my hand), I only had a few rows before the pinky finger needed to be added.  (Its making me rethink cable size and placement.)

And I feel like I'm done (which I'm not.)  (But how fiddly can 5 fingers be?)

(Don't tell me.)

And, yes, those are safety pins for stitch holders.  I borrowed them for lack of supplies.  (Can I bring safety pins on the plane?)

And in the UFO Department:

The shawl (in the purple bag).  (But we're not doing a photo shoot.)  Maybe at Mom's I can off-load it to another needle and get a feel for how big it will be …

In the Tripping Hazard Department:

Tripping hazard

p.s. Dude says five projects is too many for 48 hours.  He says:  Sister Socks and Shawl (for variety and plane knitting).

Maybe I'll bring the hat to reseam.

(And his socks.  In case of emergency.)


The Last One


This is Old Maiden Aunt handpainted yarn.  It is 70% baby alpaca/20% silk/10% cashmere.  Laceweight, 100 g/1300 yards.  In the Midnight colorway.  (Picture color does nothing for depth or saturation.  Or feel.)

It is totally totally scrumptious. 

I blame Enchanted Juno.

And it is the Last One.  The LAST one.   LAST.  (Which makes it extremely special and I will consider what it will become.)

I have put myself on a yarn buying moratorium. 

(Dude doesn't believe me either.)



Boris, this is Winnie;  Winnie, Boris.


And, uhm, Ned.  (Don't worry!  I trimmed his nails this a.m.)

Boris is my hand-spun samoyed fur hat, from my first dog.   (Sorry – I looked for digital pix but didn't find any in a short time frame.)  It is lovely, warm, furry and very very special.

I've been looking for good gloves worthy of wearing with it. 

Enter Guinevere.  Or Winnie as her family called her.  Winnie was a well-loved dog who I followed through Ruth's blog, Knitting on Impulse.  (Which, in my case, should be "buying on impulse".  I love everything she makes.)  When Winnie passed away, and Ruth created this awesome colorway in her honer, I knew I had gloves. 

I think they'll like being together.

The gloves I have in mind are a variant of these.  


The swatch at the bottom (which does have a mis-crossed cable, at the start) has a provisional cast on – so that I can pick up, knit the other way and turn the cable 90 degrees on that side too.

I think I may have  maybe figured out how to provisionally cast on, knit in one direction and turn the cable twice.  (Such confidence …) 

But the original pattern had a hem (which I loved) at the cuff and I'm not sure about that bit.

What I am sure of, really, is that I will probably work this all out in worsted weight yarn.  (And I've no idea what I will do with the giant sample when I'm done.)

Here's what the kittens did when they were done inspecting my cables:




We've been seeing these:


under the tree out front, by the street.

And she:


Has been diligently hanging around the front yard.   All the time.   Staying close.  (I have no real idea if this is a he or a she.  I'm making it up without googling.)

This morning I found this:


There's wee peeping inside.  

And I think it is high enough up that it is safe from the neighbor cats (uhm, ugh) but also high enough that I may be able to get some pix without disturbing them.


The Blues

Not the sad kind, the blue sky kind:

Blue sky

(Omg, three nice days in a row.   What a relief.)

The sun helped these along:


First harvest (and more to come).

The sun is shining, the birds are singing (and the woodpeckers are pecking), and (despite the following pic) the kittens are running window to window in merry chase.  (Woot!)


Awesome case of the blues.


Actual Knitting Content

(No, really.  Just scroll past the text.)

I suppose it isn't fair to call this a knit blog and not include any yarn.   Here's my dilemma: 

when I think about telling you what we've been up to, and I get 2 things:

1.  Poop:  The Kitten Litter Box Trials (and Tribulations) Continue:  this
week we're testing corn, wheat, feline pine nuggets and clay.  

What's that?  Yes, we have only two cats but 5 litter boxes.  So? 

Ned's problem is that he is a boy  'forgets' to go downstairs if there are human's around. 

Nickie's problem is
Ned.  (a.k.a. Litter box Ambush) And the box must be fastidiously clean.  And she's fussy about her litter.  (Not too much!)
(Soft, tiny pieces, please!  I wouldn't want to damage my delicate samurai swords little paws scratching and digging!)

My problem is that I don't like the wheat litter.  (Everyone who poops in the box or regularly scoops poop gets a vote.  So far I'm out numbered two to one, but I have size, oposable thumbs and PetSmart on my side.)

2)  The finer points (and real life impacts) of solar flares and geomagnetic storms on NASA communications, current NASA missions to the moon lunar missions  (see "moon" could be any ol' planet's moon(s).   "Lunar" refers to the particular moon orbiting the planet Earth.)

ahem. (I feel like I'm living in Star Trek.)

O.k. you don't really want to talk about #1 and  I can't really talk about #2.  This leaves me commenting on the weather (two beautiful blue sky days in a row, woot!) and yarn.

Let's get to the yarn.


Or yarn bags.

The Tom Bihn Swift bag in cork.   I gave up.  As summer approaches arrived, I didn't have enough pockets to adequately ride the train to work.  I've been carrying other various (canvas) bags but just don't like it.  Now that I have it – I love all the little pouches.  I just grab the one I need and go.


This is Spirit Trail Fiberwork's Alexandra yarn in the Myst colorway,  Charcoal Grays, semi-solid:   I
believe my skein is an irregular – it has a splash of red in one spot.

Approx. 382 yards/skein

This will become Hedgerow Gloves.  I need to make a pair of lightly textured gloves for practice purposes.


Dude's socks aren't much bigger than last time.  (I haven't worked on them.)  (Oh, is that, like, obvious?  They don't knit themselves?) 

The yarn is Berroco Socks (color 1433).   (You can see the exact color choice about 1/2 way down the page.)   

Summer just started – no hurry!

I've really been working on something new:


A friend asked me to knit a chemo hat.   I love the way it is gently pooling colors in a zig-zaggy stripe.

This is Araucania Yarn  Ruca Multy , Color 1

100% sugar cane, 263 yd/241 m per 100g/3.52 ounces

Label says:  Knit at 22 sts = 10 cm/4" on size 3.75 mm/US 4 – 5

It is 6 ply, verrrry splitty.  I'm using  Clover bamboo blunt needle tips on a size 7.    Usually I have to go down 2 sizes.  This is oddness.

Sugar cane (how'd they do that?)  is not as harsh as cotton (or linen!) but not stretchy like ruminant yarns.  I'm wondering how it will stretch with wear (but I'm not stressed because it is a hat.)

I couldn't find the sugar cane yarn on the Araucania site, but the label says the American distributor is Knitting Fever

I'm working on one of these

And I'm just over half done (except for the part where I now detangle the yarn after Ned found it.  /sigh)



Small things

Well, maybe not so small.

It finally stopped raining  (June rainfall, as of yesterday, with 10 days to go in the month, is 250% of the long term average.)  (May was twice as much rain as average.)  (We're a bit soggy.)

So I rearranged the days activities to allow for some early morning yard work:



The sunflowers have grown tall enough to lose their squirrel protection.


Which was timely because the blueberries are ripening enough to need bird protection.  (I swear those bricks have been moved 6 times since moving into this house.  All purpose weights.)


The butterfly bush has its first blossom.


The hydrangea is beginning to bloom.


The geraniums look better this evening than this morning – a day of sun and drying helped them out.  But check out that marigold!  There's actually two of them, side by side.  One is just ginormous and the other is rather average.

And a quick check of the vegetable garden, yields this:


Our first cucumber.   (Score!  One thing about having a fence around the garden (to keep out the neighbor cats) is that it also keeps out Little Miss Fuzzballless.  She has a fondness for strawberries (which I'm not growing this year) but has been known to also snack on fresh cucumbers.)

Speaking of the pampered pooch, she couldn't be bothered showing you around her yard today.  It was a bit wet and muddy this morning,  she slept here:



Rethink, Rephrase, Recast

After careful consideration (and Rho pointing it out), I've decided to I need some spin on my knitting (no, not the drop spindle kind):

1a)  I am NOT unfaithful, with finishing issues and poor time management skills.

1b)  I AM prolonging the pleasure of my Super Spiral Shawl, at least until it is cool enough to knit something else.  (I am all ready contemplating blocking it.  There's no way you're getting another picture until then – which will not be anytime soon.)

2a)  I am NOT suffering from startitis.

2b)  I have adequately surveyed my surroundings and planned accordingly:  I
AM knitting Dude some socks that will be finished when it is cold
enough to wear them.


3a)  I do NOT suffer from delusions or capricious whims.

3b) I'm knitting my sister some socks that will be (can only be) finished
when I next see her because she has the feet they belong to.  


(Please, nobody tell her that, perhaps, at this stage in the game, I have knit her a sufficient quantity of socks that I should be able to finish them without her feet in the same room.  

She will bandy that I have not knit her enough socks. 

This does not bother me:  we knitters know that there can never be enough handknit socks.)

4a) I am NEITHER fickle, unreasonable, NOR traitorous.

5) I am studying the finer skills of knitting cables  and learning to turn one at a 90 degree angle. 



On the right is a cable (in worsted weight) from here.  I did the first one in some lovely proper weight (fingering) yarn and didn't like it.  (Ripped)  I decided to try again on worsted weight.  (Still don't like it.) 

In the middle is a regular ol' braid  (which will soon turn 90 degrees).

On the left is a cat paw (Nickie, I believe.)

I am NOT a perfectionist.  (Oh lord!  I am not!) 

I am persistent and of excellent hearing.  When my yarn wants to be something else, I rip and reknit. 
(O.k.  That sounds a bit like my yarn talks to me.  And I listen.  Which might be crazytalk.)


New Stash, Re-stash and De-stash


Recent arrivals :)

On the left is Ruth's Socks of Fraternal Happiness.   It is rainbow colored, 3 ply fingering weight, 80% superwash/20% nylon, 115 g, 420 yds.

Next is Zauberball:  420 m, 100g,75% wool, 25% nylon, in the Schatten (shadows?)  colorway. 

Both have long color repeats that fade into each other.   Pictures of finished socks (from the Zauberball) here.

Both will be simple stockinette socks.

Next to the right is 3 skeins of Euroflax sportweigh linen.  In the Neptune colorway.  I ordered it while looking for red linen (for the gift knitting).  It was back ordered.   (Ooops.)  I think it will become some form of string bag.

Last, on the right, is 3 skeins of Malabrigo Lace:  470 yds, 50 grams, in the Applewood colorway.  Because I am insane. 

There are so many sweaters I'd like to make.  Right now, I've fallen in love with this one.

But I am very discourage because I don't seem to finish much.


/sigh   My lace leaf triangle is in time out.  I'd made it through 7 repeats when I realized that I (yet again) made a(n other) mistake and needed to (re)rip back.   

Seriously wrt finishing issues:  I've got 4 pair of socks and 1 scarf to block.  1 blanket and two hats need sewing (and blocking).  1 bag needs felting.  And I think there's a sweater somewhere that I need to decide if it stays or needs longer sleeves.   (O.k. in my defense, we've had an absurd amount of rain (and thunderstorms) the past few weeks and it is far too humid/warm to make use of any of these. 

But I think I used that defense last summer when I didn't sew up the blanket.)


The spiral swirl shawl is a larger puddle.  (You'd never really know, I didn't temp Ned by trying to take a new picture.) 

I took it with me to Vegas (you know, longish flight).  On the way there I knit and then unknit 2 rows.  Then I did the Suduko puzzles in the flight magazine.  (On the return, I actually made progress.) 

Is there any way to guess at how large it will be when blocked?  I'm thinking I did some number of "solid rows", twice that number of "morphing rows" and in two more rows I'll need to decide how many "lace" rows to do.  (Of course, that number won't be reached for some time because there are now 560 stitches per row.  So there's no hurry in contemplating this.)


Off to de-stash  (or de-clutter or de-accumulate or "seal-and-address-the-boxes-leaving-the-house-tomorrowdamnit")


But, really, the dog comes first