Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Socktober - aka When I Lost My Mind

I don't know what happened this month, but I guess I wanted to be an over achiever. My sock knitting mojo was in high gear. I rocked the socks. Ok, enough of that. You get it.

So, last post there were 3 pair - Sock Wars (Scar), Broken Rib and the Heelless. Not bad even for a month's worth of knitting. And let's not forget the mini's! Let's add a few more....

Ribbed Ankle Socks

Ribbed Ankle Socks made from the leftover yarn from Scar. I had less than 18" of yarn left when I kitchnered the toe on sock two. I thought I would have to unravel my gauge swatch! Meilenweit 6fach Special #8842, knit on size 3US needles, with an improvised pattern.

Ladyslipper Socks

I call them Ladyslipper Socks. Mountain Colors 4/8's Wool in the colorway Ladyslipper, knit on 5US needles. The pattern was again improvised.

The next two wouldn't have happened without that wonderful sock tome Sensational Knitted Socks.

Moss Stitch Socks

Moss Stitch Socks in Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in the colorway Lakeview. Knit on 3US needles. I have had this is my stash for almost 3 years. I loved this colorway, but just didn't know what to do with it. I like to wear cuddly socks at night, and these ended up being perfect. With only two skeins, the possible projects really only lent themselves to scarves, socks, and mitts/gloves. I only use one of these with any regularity. Take a guess?!

Twin Rib Socks

Twin Rib Socks in Lorna's Laces Swirl DK, colorway Purple Club. Also knit on size 3US needles. Hey, I figured I was on a role, and the other pair had worked out so well, why not.

And I finished two more Chemo Hats.

Chemo Hat - Willow
Chemo Hat - Hydrangea

I used Knit Picks Sport Shine in the colors Willow and Hydrangea, size 3US needles. I think I've done 22 of these now.

I'm just a busy bee. Buzz. Buzz.

I started a new job and it's totally cool and I'm loving all of it accept the commute. And my body really hates 6 am. Really hates it. I'm sitting here at 9:47 PDT, and could go to bed now and be perfectly happy. I would be asleep before my head hit the pillow. It sucks! I get my best work done between the hours of 10 pm and 3 am. It so sucks getting old. Seriously.

Anyway, I decided to embark on a new adventure the same week I was negotiating the particulars of my new job. I decided to start a Knit-a-long, because I am addicted to sock yarn and need all the support I can get.

If you are a sock knitter, or like many of us, collect sock yarn, join us as we reclaim our storage space an dignity. Check out the Sock Stash Elimination Campaign. Be a soldier in the war against insurmountable stash! Ok, it's a little hokey, but it's all in good fun.

Until next time - Carpe Lamun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Really Long Update

This is what happens when I fail to post as I complete or do stuff. It backlogs and I feel bad. So get your adult beverage of choice and enjoy the post.

September Baby Hats

I wanted to do some baby hats for Hats for Alex. I managed eight! The yarn used was Lion Brand Baby Soft in Pastel Yellow and Candy Print. Here they are...

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Ribbed Baby Hat
Ribbed Baby Hat - pretty typical ribbed pattern - single strand

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Lattice Baby Hat
Lattice Baby Hat - alternated rows of stockinette and rib - double strands

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Sprial Eyelet Baby Hat
Spiral Eyelet Hat - single strand

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Raindrops Baby Hat
Raindrops Baby Hat - a combination of single and double strand - when stretched there is a faint pattern.

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Rolled Brim Baby Hat
Rolled Brim Hat - double strand

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Subtle Strip Baby Hat
Subtle Strip Hat - alternating yarns for a striped effect.

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Sprial Eyelet #2 Baby Hat
Spiral Eyelet V.2 - single strand

Lion Brand Baby Soft - Seeded Childs Hat
Seeded Hat - double strand - alternating k1p1 to create the seeded pattern

So that is it for the hats. Aren't they cute?

The Bag

I wanted to create a felted hand bag, and embellish they hell out of it. Here is the bag felted:

Lavender Haze felted

I used a little over 2 skeins of 2 Cascade 220 colors (8912 & 5015). The fabric is dense and rigid, which is what I wanted. I will be lining it. I have finished beading it and adding some surface embroidery. Once it's lined, I will post and update. I wrote a pattern for this, and I want to do it again to see what I need to do to bring it under 4 skeins of Cascade. When I have it done, I will post the pattern.

All Scarfs Should Be Made from Alpaca Blends

I had two skeins of Cascade Bulky Leisure, which is a 50/50 blend of Alpaca and Cotton. OMG it is so soft! I had planned on this going to the Red Scarf Project, but I had already made two scarfs and they had asked for quality not quantity. The other two were machine washable, and this is most assuredly not. So I got out the stitch dictionary, and decided to use the Moss Stitch.

Moss Stitch Scarf - Cascade Bulky Leisure
The picture doesn't do it justice. The color is a much deeper red. I want it to get cold so I can wear it.

We're better than half way through.

Another Chemo Hat

I still have enough yarn for at least 10 more Chemo Hats, so I thought I would get another done. I have completed this pattern so many times, I now can get it done in one night.

Chemo Hat - Knit Pick Shine - Apricot

And Then There Were Socks

So here are three of the 4 pairs of socks I have done this month.

Mini Socks
A whole bunch of Mini Socks for my Sock Blocker Key Chain. I now have a mini sock for every pair of socks that I have made.

Broken Rib Socks
I call these Broken Rib. This is a pattern I wrote myself, and I am quite happy with it. I will be testing it again before I publish it. I used 2 skeins of Regia Design Line Kaffe Fasset #4252 on size 0US needles.

Heelless Sleeping Socks
Heelless Sleeping Socks, from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. The yarn is Super Socks Color, 2 skeins in #29 and knit using 2US needles.

I participated in Sock Wars this year, and I "died" today. I was able to "kill" my target, so I have that. It was brief, but fun. These are the socks that I knit:

Scar - Sock Wars
Lana Grossa Meilenweit 6fach Special, the pattern is Scar by Julie Gardner and I used 3US needles. There was enough yarn left over to make a pair of ankle socks. I will post that in a separate entry later this week, along with the other stuff I finished the last couple of nights.

Well, that's it for now. I will be posting again tomorrow or Thursday with some cool news. Come back and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 01, 2007

No Soliciting

Has our populace become so illiterate that they don't know what it means, or is it simply that it applies to everyone else accept them? Seriously, the No Soliciting sign is on the screen door, right next to the handle they have to open to knock on the entry door. IT IS IS PLAIN VIEW.

Since I have been home a lot this year - lack of work will do that - I have had the opportunity to talk to many strangers ON MY OWN PORCH. When there is a knock at the door, I assume that it is a delivery. Half the time it is. The other half is made up of college students selling magazines for a special trip or something, or it's home security and cable salesmen. Poor souls, they obviously are doing this because they DON'T KNOW HOW TO READ.

Case in point - today a very nice young lady was selling magazines door to door. This is some kind of point system to earn scholarships and trips overseas. I was polite to her, as she complained that a lot of people had slammed the door in her face. I told her I wasn't interested in purchasing a new subscription. I was offered renewals, I declined. I told her I only get a couple of magazines a month, and they were not usually offered through these types of programs. She said I could give them as a gift. Again, I declined.

I maintained a nice conversational tone with her, even though I feel like crap today. I have some kind of flu/cold bug and I can't turn off the faucet that is my nose. I wished her luck and stated again that I just wasn't interested. As she was turning away, she said usually people that were this nice to her and talked to her bought a subscription so she could win. Huh? I'm supposed to feel bad that I can't afford to give her money for a subscription that I will never see? (I've been burned three times by these things.) Should I have just yelled at her "can't you read - get off my porch"? Or should I have just scowled at her through the window until she felt intimidated enough to run away?

This isn't the first time this has happened. Because I answered the knock on my door that means I want whatever they have. When did civility and decency take a vacation? Or are manners too old fashioned for those under the age of 25?

No offense to those out there who appreciate and practice good manners, but I know when I was 18-20 years old I knew that it was polite to open doors for the elderly or give them my seat on the train. I still do that at 42. Case in point last Friday. A mother with 2 small children got on the train in Oakland. Two teenagers were sitting next to the door. She asked if they could give up their seats for her children. She was ignored. I offered my seat to the mother, and the lady sitting next to me offered to get up as well. It was them I noticed this mother was pregnant. What made it worse, the teenagers got off at the next stop.

Recently, we took my mom on a weekend getaway to Solvang, a little Danish town north of Santa Barbara. It was a busy weekend, since they were celebrating Danish Days. Twice, my mother was bumped by a young person so caught up in their conversation they couldn't be bothered to look where they were going. One person through a "sorry" over their shoulder, the other didn't. She's 80 years old. She had to step out of the way of many people that weekend.

Is this what we have come to? We are so absorbed with our own importance that we can't see how our lack of empathy and civility affects others? I don't like where society is headed and much of it comes from what isn't taught at home anymore.

OK, since I can't change the world as a whole, I can stop one thing in my immediate sphere of influence. I did something that I will probably regret, but I am sick and tired of getting attitude from strangers that come to my house. I typed up a note and put it in my front window. If you are looking up when you come up my steps, you can't miss it. If you can't read, it won't matter. It says:

No Soliciting

That means if you are selling, promoting or offering services, we are not interested.

Don't knock.

Don't leave your flyer's.

Thank you.

USPS, UPS, FedEx and those with legitimate business and personal matters are welcome.

Not too harsh. But at least if they still knock, I can refer them to the local reading program. Any suggestions? I have considered a big Stop sign at the base of the stairs - like a silhouette of a salesman with the circle and line through it. No, they won't think it's for them. I wish I could rig a device that when they knocked a recording would play of a snarling, ferociously big barking dog. Maybe that would keep the "solicitors" away. No, they are probably used to that. Oh well. I guess I'll have to resort to door slamming after all.