Monday, August 27, 2007

Poor boy

Pity the poor second child*... condemned to hand me downs and forgotten.

I should know, I am a second child.
Of course I should point out, my elder sister was allergic to angora-- and I got all the super deluxe hand knits trimmed with angora, knit for her, unworn-- I also got the rabbit muff, and ear muffs--in pristine condition, also unused.

Master C is the younger brother, and while he has had his moments of acclaim, (scroll down—that him in the orange shirt), it's also true, I haven't knit as much for him. (It's also true that Miss B, 5 years older has given me a lot more time to knit.. maybe by the time he is 7, I will have caught up!)

On the needles now (and looking at the moment, dark and dull) is a soon to be raglan sweater.
The front will be steeked, with a casing knit to hold a zipper, there will pockets and likely a hood—and some colorful elements, too. Its Araucania Nature Wool, and zipping along.

There are socks on needles too, Schoeller andStahl Fortissima Colori 'socka color' #9044. A few inches done in a faggotted rib pattern.

Oh, yeah, **porcelain—one of my favorite words...
Do you know its etymology? Read about it here!

*Master C is actually the third child... Mr P, his older (teen age) brother is the honorary grandchild, who's early childhood I missed—I first met him age 7 or so --and while he knows how to knit, he claims to never wear anything knit! And I know better than to force hand knit on reluctant teens.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Neighborhood Report

I live in Rego Park. Its a nondescript distinctive neighborhood in central queens --look a map of NYC, find NY's airports. Draw a line from one airport to the other, find the middle of the line—you've just located Rego Park.) (You can take a photo tour and get a history lesson here,
or read what the NYTimes had to say earlier this year. There is even an entry on Rego Park in Wikipeadia.)

Before WWI, the area was home to many small farm, many of which grew traditional Chinese vegetable for NY's Chinatown.

Between the wars, the Real Good Real Estate (a development company) bought up a lot of the land and created RE(al)GO(od) Park--much of what they developed has no park areas! (The park like environment was created by small home on medium lots, and lots of grass).

After WWII, development continued --and real city parks and playground were added! But the parts of Rego Park that were first developed still have very little park area. Many of the new developments (like my co-op) have large gardens and grassy areas, too, continuing in the earlier style.

What we do have is lively mix of ethnic groups, and great green groceries!

Since my fall last month, I have been making an effort to loose some weight. It's easier to do in Rego Park than in some other places.

I am blessed with 4 green grocers locally, plus a general grocery store that works hard to compete.
I can find a huge selection of fresh fruits and vegetable at price far less than the national chains. The selections are so abundant and attractive i wanted to share the variety available at just 3.
All of these stores are on 63 Drive –a street that changes names and becomes 63 Road when it crosses Queens Blvd.
First the grocery store:

The furthest green grocer

The closer green grocer:

These photo's just are most colorful and appetizing--the interior shot weren't as bright and colorful.

And they don't begin to show all the selections. Both of the store each featured; 5 or more varieties of eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, grapes, beans, and bean sprouts! and lots of other interesting vegetables and fruit--like the fresh lychi's above and MOO.

Does anyone know what MOO is?

It seems to be a tuber of some sort.. but...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swirl Part 2

I've finished the neck edge of the sweater

—and the matching hat.
It puffs up a bit at the center.--my first reaction was to frog and re-knit the last few rows.. but—I came to like it. It gives the hat a bit of personality.

The swirl design on the crown is same basic design as the design on the sweater yoke.

I still have a full skein of the Lion Brand Wool, and half a skein of the Paton's Classic Merino—so there might be a Part 3—I just haven't decided it it will be a swirl, or just the same yarn.

But before I even start—I need to finish some baby booties.. Kafia, the proprietor of Communitea, and her hubby had a baby boy last week. I made a hat months ago.. and now will knit up some booties to match.
The LICKnits group I belong to meets every week at Communitea.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Day at the beach.

Wild Flowers on the trail
Yesterday (Saturday August 17th) was a beautiful day.. Warning dial up users—lots of images.
Cool, crisp, the sky clear and blue, the breeze brisk, the sun shining.
After a breakfast, I headed with a friend to low key day out.
We ended up at A Garvies's Point.

I love geology—and Garvies Point is a small geological museum and a series of nature trails along Long Island North Shore—the ridges and hills of the North Hills Moraine, and the deep washed out gullies of that run off the moraine.making long deep harbors. (The south shores is the more typical flat plains that many associate with Long Island)

The walking was a bit more rugged than my still a bit sore back liked, but it was worth it. Some of the day's sights....
One feature of the park--clay outcropping on the shore

Glacial erratics

Looking north to Long Island Sound

Looking South

Another part of the beach

Friday, August 17, 2007

Almost done.. My, oh, my!

By Wednesday evening, I had 12 inch (of 13 of the body) knit.

Yesterday, I was supposed to clean my bedroom, change sheets,and get some laundry done.

But.. I was seduced into finishing the inch of the body, and then to joining the sleeves.
A few short rows later, and it was time to start the swirl pattern.

Just one.. maybe two rows.. and then I'd get on to my chores.
Yeah, like that was going to happen!

Here the sweater, mostly finished.

I didn't like the suggested neck finish, and planned a faced/hemmed edge.

By the time I got to sewing it in place I was too tired to do it right—but all the other finishing, (the yarn ends, the underarm seams, etc) did get done.

Its very pretty (even before blocking!) Definitely—a matching hat --a Beret style hat. With a repeat of the swirl design on the top!

In total I used 3 balls (and some of the 4th). I started the 4th ball in the second row of the yoke pattern.

And used in all about 8 oz of wool. (just as the pattern called for!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mindless Knitting (vs Mistakes!)

What to knit next?
The answer has come.. I started the edging on the blue lace –way to late at night—and messed up.. Frogged, and looked for something simple, mistake proof, mindless.

And have started on a knitting adventure. Even with 45 + years of knitting, there are still new things for me to knit.

Recently, YH blogged about toe up socks.. (and how she rarely knits toe up socks.)
(I presume I don't need to link to YH--either your read her blog and have it bookmarked, or you don't!)

Me? When it comes to socks, Toe up/Cuff down..doesn't matter... except to think about the stitch pattern, and how it looks right side up or right side down.

But knitting in the round sweaters? Up until now—it's always been top (neckline) down.

I am now knitting my first in the round sweater, cuff up.
The pattern, from an issue of Vogue (2003!) caught my eye then, and finally Miss B, my granddaughter is the right size for it--actually she is slightly too big for it!

I'm using a different yarn(Lion Brand Wool/color “flower garden”); and having worked with the yarn before, I was pretty sure the gauge would be fine (it is). It is fractionally off--so the sweater is a size bigger than the pattern –the body is 29 inches (not 27) –but a the pattern is for size 6, and Miss B is a size 7 (and like all good children, growing!) this gives almost 4 inches of ease.. enough to make the sweater comfortable over a T shirt or other top.

To make sure I was close enough, (and not about to knit a sweater sized for a linebacker) , I worked in the European style, and started with the sleeves.

Generally, I hate knitting sleeves, and getting them out of the way first is a good idea! Sleeves are great gauge swatches—these sleeves especially since the are supposed to be a bit puffy –It was easy to check the gauge –again and again!

Sleeves finished, I am now at work on the body--more plain stocking knit! I am truly looking forward to the spiral swirl in the yoke! But I can mindless knit stocking knit (in the body especially—no shaping till the yoke!) till late in the night—and already have 6 inches of the body completed.

I've made minor changes --a different cast on than the one suggested, different yarn, different colors—eventually some different details at the neck edge-- but I have no doubt if Meg Swanson were to see it, she'd quickly recognize the pattern as one of hers!

The hope is granddaughter likes the finished object. Her current favorite colors are purple, blue and green, and the color way includes all these colors –along with a pinkish purple tone--I think of the color way as Kindergarten Camouflage—there is enough blue and green that is not all girlie colors, but the swirl top makes its soft and feminine. Her Mother likes the idea of gender neutral clothes.. but Miss B loves girlie clothes. This pattern, in this color way is an nice compromise--(or so I imagine!)

The pale pink contrasting color is Paton's Classic Merino in petal pink--an almost impossible color to find in the NY area—Smiley's Yarn has every color of Paton's Classic merino but 2—Maize and Petal Pink! (this is my only skein of this color –in my embarrassing large stash of over 100 skeins of Paton's classic merino!)

The pattern didn't give yardage –just 2 4oz. Skeins. So I was wondering if I had enough yarn.. but the sleeves are finished, and almost 6 inches of the body is done –all with the first 2 skeins. I have 3 more skeins for the rest of body/yoke---I'm likely to have a full skein left over and then some.. (a matching hat or some leg warmers come to mind as 'bonus' extras)-- definitely a hat! --but as I have been typing and editing, the idea of matching bag comes to mind.. maybe even a felted one! I have lots of the Paton's pink, too, left over, so what ever is knit will be very coordinated.

Meanwhile--- I got a package in the mail (Don't you just love packages in the mail?)

A pair of earing's from Sulu.. Have you shopper her Etsy site? You should!

She has the most wonderful earings-- I own several pairs, and have given pairs away as gifts. You should own a pair for your self!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Drum roll please!

The time has come to announce the winners of my blog sweepstakes.
First some details on how the winner(s) were selected.

I used a double randomized process.
Each comment, as it was made was mail to me, and stored in a folder (70 comments in all!) My mail automatically kept a count.

First I used a random number generator and assigned each entry a random number. Then I got a new set of random numbers and the first two numbers in that set became the winners. (an alternate has also been selected)

The first winner, (with first choice of prize) is Nicole.
The second prize winner is Rachel.

Right after this, I'll be posting notices on Knitters Review, Knitty's Coffee Shop, Lime and Violet, and I will be posting comments on the winners blogs to contact me.

There is a gmail link on my About page--Please send me your snail mail addresses, and Nicole, let me know which prize you'd like to receive. Rachel, you'll receive the other.

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by --many of you didn't comment, but I hope you will continue to come by every once in a while--and comment, (with no prize as incentive!) Likewise, many of your blog's have been visited and bookmarked by me for future visit!)

I wasn't sure if blogging was for me when I started a year ago, and now I wonder—What took me so long to get started? My childhood dreams of being a famous writer, (while also being a doctor, and science researcher, will living in splendid isolation on a mountain top, ) have morphed into being a not so famous blogger.

And that's OK!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Plans (and Reality)

Some where in the distant past (that is January!) I made a list of knitting goals...

I am not sure that I have knit anything on the list!--I don't even want to look and see!

--I finished one UFO (a bamboo shawl) and have made a half dozen baby hats (and other hats) and potholders, bathmats and wash cloths. I know I have KNIT in the past 8 months.. but I don't think I have knit much of what I planned to knit!

And I've just finished the Koigu socks I started in December, frogged and started again. They are now bound off, finished. I made an experimental heel for this toe up sock, and bound off with a picot edge--(a sure fire way to make sure the bind off is loose enough)

The heel, is so so –it's not exactly as I hoped, but it does work. In other yarn, in other times, I might have frogged and reworked it.. but I am just so glad to have the socks done!

Well first, I am going to add the edging to the navy blue lace scarf and finish that.

Then? --We'll see. I have 2 cousins who recently became ill, and I am thinking about Prayer Shawls for them. (even if don't call them shawls--but lap blankets or something else!)

Definitely, I want to make a sweater for Granddaughter, and a hoody vest for grandson...(but I am not sure which will come first)

And I have some pent up sock plans.. including a spiral pair— and there is lace yarn calling out to be knit, and fermenting, is a design for a fair isle vest--I already have the yarn.. I just need to knit it! (isn't that always the case?)

The blog sweepstakes closes tomorrow, the 1 year anniversary--be sure to check back on Tuesday--especially if you don't have a blog!
(and if you are one of the many posters from across the pond, remember, you can assign your prize to a SP or a not so secret pal, here in NA if you want.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Weather, Again!

Well, the classic line is, if you don't like the weather, wait a bit, it'll change—and boy oh, boy! Has it been changeable!

Rego Park is far away from Park Slope (NYC is geographically large –especially so for an old east coast city) so the the tornado didn't effect me, but the wind and thunder woke me early yesterday. I live on a rise.. the grade is much to slight to even be called a hill, (and I live on the 14th floor!) so I never worry about heavy rains and run off (that a problem for those down the block).

By yesterday afternoon the mercury had climbed to the high 90's—but there was a breeze most of the day.. I stayed out of the sun, and it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

But then, I am blessed, and I didn't have to get to Manhattan.. (the E,F, R and V trains—the ones that run under Queens Blvd) weren't running at all! (and still had delays this AM)
Today, is drier (less humid) and cooler.. a beautiful day all in all.

I got some knitting done.. the Koigu socks are getting cuffed. I have enough yarn that I could easily add a few more inches to the leg, but I don't particularly like high socks, and I just want these socks to be done!

The stitch pattern (sort of) looks like kernels of corn, (or so I tell myself) the cuff is a twisted stitch plus a rib, to sort of look like corn silk.

The Heel is an experiment.. it's OK, not the most successful, but not a complete failure. I'll try it again sometime, with some changes. --I'll make sure to show the detail of the heel when I photograph the finished sock.

I found a cute project back too.. clear vinyl, with handles and zip top.. (with a a pocket too, that is about 4 X 6)--shown here with a pretty postcard in it to make it visible.
I don't think it a very durable bag.. but the price was right (under $1!)

My back is feeling better day by day.. until I forget and do something stupid.. My sewing machine died on Monday, and lifting the machine (not considered a portable) off the table, carrying it to car, lifting into the trunk, (and then out) then from car to the sewing repair shop, then up to counter, was all a bit much.. (it didn't hurt particularly at the time--but...)

I love my machine, and hope what's wrong is a hiccup, (This is the second sewing machine I've owned--I've had it since (circa)1975.. but I don't remember exactly when, but when my children were young.

Back then I sewed a lot—curtain, clothing, costumes, quilts and other household stuff.. Now, I use it once in awhile..(and, of course, I was in the middle of project when it died) It has lots of features—and I know the ins and outs of it well (and have a boat load of special throat plates, and feet, and other accessories) I would hate to have to replace it.

The Blog Anniversary Sweepstakes closes on Monday, August 13, the anniversary of my first blog post--Don't forget, commenting on this post (or any post!) enters you to be a possible winner! Scroll down for prize details.

Thank to everyone who has entered already!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Weather.

Isn't amazing how many of us are if not obsessed, at least, Interested in the weather?

I don't have cable TV, but I did once, and Yes, I watched the Weather Channel.
Used to frequent The Weather Channel page, too. (My son, many years ago, was on the team that produced the weather channel page.. some of the code he wrote may still be there, but there have been many, many changes to the site since he was there.)
Of course, seeing how today likely to be the hottest day of the summer.. how can you think about anything else but the weather?

I have owned (for years) a glass water barometer, and a few years ago, I got this indoor out door mini weather station--There are far nicer once available now, with more information, and since my station's outdoor humidity index has failed, I might one day upgrade.

There is more news coverage of the weather, too. Local weather, national weather, international weather reports are common.

It used to be, we only heard about the monsoon in India if it failed to arrive (and spelled drought for the area) –but now days, it doesn't have to be a crisis for it to make the news.

I suppose part of the interest lies in personal interest. We travel more, and want to know what the weather is like where we are going.. and we are more spread out.. we friends and family spanning the continent and globe. I am frequently reminded of my northern hemisphere assumptions.. (It's not summer everywhere, and not all my friends are complaining of the heat!).

An other aspect of interest, is how we are all interlocked in weather systems...
Rain today in Ann Arbor, means rain tomorrow in NY (frequently).
El Nino (or the lack of it) in the Pacific, effects not just my son and his family in SF, but food prices, and weather (eventually) in NY!

Heat in the south Atlantic means tropical storms --a percentage of which travel up the east coast (along the gulf stream current) and one day soon, it will be NYC that is under water from a storm and storm surge. ( my south-westerly exposure, usually one that tempers the heat of the sun with lovely south western breezes will be a big of disadvantage when those breezes turn into hurricane gale force wind!)
Well here's hoping the weather is nice where ever you are!

I would have posted about knitting, but the heat make me not want to do anything.. I've only completed 10 rows (2 pattern repeats) on my Koigu socks in the past 10 days.

I made the socially responsible decision not to have an air conditioner (none!) and only use fans.. Every once in a while (this past week for instance!) I question the sanity of the decision!

Don't forget... there is a sweepstakes on..(see previous post) Post a comment to enter!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Blog Birthday Sweepstakes

I know everyone has blog contest... and usually at some milestone like 100 posting. But then I am not everyone, or usual!

A sweepstakes? Yes, a sweepstakes. All you have to do to win is enter.

This sweepstakes is limited to the North American continent, (primarily US and Canada, but Mexico too, if I have any readers there)

Read a post (any post!) and post a comment to enter. That's it. It would be nice if the comment was meaningful, but “I want to enter the sweepstakes” works, too.

Since blogger mails me copies of comments as they are made, it will be easy for me to know which comments are new (even if you made them on older posts.)

One commenter will be randomly selected to win....

This Knit Kit –that includes this project bag, (about 12 long, and and 20 inches around--5 inches high X 5 inches wide). That's 30cm long and 50 cm around (12.5 cm high, and 12.5 cm wide) for Canadian readers

It is fully lined, and has an small handle on top and small interior loop to hook something on(What? That's for you to decide!), with an extra wide 18 inch opening—making it easy to store yarn, a pattern work sheet, and work in progress. And what the use of a project bag empty?

Well-- it won't be empty! It will come packed with a some yarn (a skein of Great Adirondack Yarn), some needles (Clover) some beaded stitch markers, and a small zippered notions bag, (matching naturally!)

Or if they prefer,

This Fiber Art Are My Bag. Packed in this fully reversible drawstring project bag, (suitable for socks and other small projects) are a Felting Needle tool, and basic felting instruction, and some clean, white fleece. It also includes a small drop spindle, and a drop spindle key ring ornament. The needle felting kit consists of 612 No. 36 felting needles, and a 2 piece felting needle holder holder. (A scrap of waste foam for felting will also find its way in, too.) Links to on line tutorials for using a drop spindle will be emailed, too.

A second lucky commenter will receive which ever prize was not selected by the first winner.

The winner will be selected by random number on 8/13/17, (the 1st anniversary of this blog) and announced. If you don't have a blogger account, be sure to check back (if you do have a blogger account, I'll post a comment on your blog, if possible.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

WWKIP day follow up and other stuff

Hello, long time no blog.

It's easier to blog every day or two.. when a week goes by, there is so much to say.. 1—The prime reason I haven't posted anything this week (to date) was I fell Saturday--A cup toppled during the night and spilled some water. The water puddled far away from the up ended cup, (my floors aren't level—are yours? Are anyones?) and bright and early Saturday morning I stepped in the watery puddle and fell flat on my big fat ass. I went down fast and hard!
It knocked the stuffing, if not out, then around—the shock strained my lower back muscles, and since then, I have had some limited mobility, (sitting upright is the most uncomfortable position, followed by standing.. Walking is OK –but tiring.. but every day I feel better, and have managed do more--including sitting up at the computer! (--about here I paused, I was feeling some pain—and realized it was past time for medication (1 Aleve every 12 hours gives significant relief!--but I was well into hour 13!)

2—the Koigu socks have past the half way point.. heels been turned, and they still remain so so.

I'll finish them. But I can't say I love them. The stitch pattern bias a bit, but I knew that would happen, and each sock bias in a different directions.

I thought they would sort of look like kernels of corn.. they don't but... I am not going to change now.

3—Some good news. Back in June (WWKIP day) I had an interesting day. (see here)
Yesterday I heard from the young lady's mother. Ms J and her mother Mrs J both work in a nearby shopping center (most every one in Queens knows the former Alexanders –a huge store once. The building is now home to Sears, Marshall's, Old Navy, Bed, Bath and Beyond and a Circuit City. The Mses J both work in one of the stores.

After I got on the train, the police encourage Ms J to call family, and she called her mother at work (1 block away.)

By this time, an ambulance had arrived, and the para medics where encouraging Ms J to go to the hospital. (she didn't want to) Mrs J, who caught sight of the assailant, insisted to her daughter to get treatment (she was treated and released)

The assailant was high (on something) and filthy (and totally unknown to Ms J)—he had followed her from the train.

The case has been settled. Richard Brown, (Queens DA) finds it appalling that so many young men are sent to prison, and Queens has a pilot program for substance abusers.. they get suspended sentences if they complete a rehab program, and remain clean for the period of their sentence, (the man plead guilty, and was give a 3 year sentence)—if he gets clean, and stays clean, he stays out of prison. If there is a second conviction, he gets to serve the 3 years first, then what ever the second conviction entails. He has a record, (including one for sexual assault) but he still has an opportunity to turn his life around.

Ms J is largely recovered.. she still is a bit anxious but she told her mother about my help, and how much she appreciated it. Mrs J found the card I gave her daughter, and made a point to call me and thank me. I was glad to hear Ms J is OK, and learn all the follow up details.

4—This weekend is the annual family reunion, and with visiting family and other activities, I won't be blogging much... but Next week there will a anniversary and give away, so be sure to check back for details! (there is a hint in the sock photo!)