Friday, September 27, 2013

3 Days Later

And not much to show for it. Between Monday and Wednesday, I got four rounds knit. Since then, another 5—and in theory, I am done with the increase/decrease section. But I've decide to add another round—for a set of 11 increase/decreases, not the ten suggested (my gauge is slightly tighter than the recommended gauge).

Progress was slowed by a migraine—It's been a while since I've had one, and this one is holding on like grim death—the worst is over—its now just residual pain. Light doesn't bother me (well soft light) nor noise, and no more nausea, either.

A few more edits to the web page—and soon I think—some new videos. The Bind Offs page keeps collecting more and more different bind offs, and some videos are needed. The page is most definitely lacking links.

Earlier, I posted about getting a Chromecast device—and now, I've gotten another (for my other television—Oh, the luxury of 2 TV's!) Since I haven't installed it yet—here it is.
Here it is: the box, the device; the whole caboodle. The device is, as I said about the size of a table spoon, and its simple enough to install--USB to transformer/power supply, the other end of the cord to base of device, HDMI (with or with out the short extension) to TV--2 minutes to install (including crawling under table to find power stripe to plug the power supply—it could be faster if you have an accessible outlet!)--Then connect to network.. (another 2 minutes) and then you're done.

After that, I use my nook (I could use my phone—but its a PITA on the small screen) to connect to Netflix—It's really easy enough for anyone to install. (JUST be sure to go to your main network device to connect to the Chromecast to your Wi-Fi network)

It's been fun catching up on all the movies I haven't seen (and getting annoyed that some I want to see aren't available!) soon I'll start catching up on all those TV shows (Breaking Bad, etc) that I never saw. Its a normalizing factor. A common bond. I know, I often watch way to much TV--(don't we all) but not all TV is a total waste (after I post here, I will catch up and watch this week's NOVA broadcast—Law & Orders season premier bumped it on Wednesday).

This second Chromecast will make it easier to watch MORE TV—but since most of the time I watch with one eye on my knitting—its not a total waste of time

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some Progress Made

Last week, as I was about to snap images the hat progress, I found I had a twist. I was just 3 rounds past the join. Yeah, it happens, even with 50+ years of experience—not often, but. Partial to blame are the needles—I don't mind the stiff, un-yeilding cords on my old Boye needles—they are the needles I learned to knit on (well, these and DPN's) But their tendency to coil up masked the twist problem –until I went to smooth the hats out to photograph.  Even with pins, it's hard to show the shape of this hat. (I have new needles with more flexible coils for my socks.. (sizes 0,1, 1.5, and 2 (US sizing) –but sizes 3 and 4? I have way few needles, and most of them older.)  It's bit clearer when modeled on HEAD (but Head is bigger than this hat (6 month size--because, in our family (and I suspect, twins not withstanding, these new babies will follow suit) BIG heads are the norm. Starting at birth.  I have a 22 inch head--and my daughters head is bigger than mine. So six months for any other baby is newborn size in our family.

It was just one hat that had the twist -- so off the needles it came, and a frogging it did go. By late Sunday evening, I was back to were I had started. I did make a small effort to just do a partial frog—but messed up (twice!) trying to remount the hat.. so it just made more sense to start from the beginning.

Yesterday—I had appointments, and tasks that kept me out from 8 am to 2 pm—and I came home exhausted. I hadn't sleep well Sunday to Monday—well-- actually I sleep fine once I got up mid-night and put on some clothes, closed the terrace door and put a blanket on the bed. Though it did take me a while to warm up. The weather is lovely with warm sunny afternoons, and cool breezy evenings.. but I wasn't dressed, nor was my bed, for 50° weather!

Still-- I have an inch of knitting done—which is nice progress. Each hat is 120(+) stitches, and that's 2 socks worth of stitches per hat—so with 2 hats, each gaining an inch—its almost equal to 2 inches of progress on a pair of sock.These hats aren't hard, but with increases and decreases, they do take more time than a plain sock leg. The hats start out with a series of M1's and Raised Center decreases—and the stitch count remains even for a score of R's. I am just at the half way point—another 10 R's, and the decreases (only) start. Then progress will really be fast. Every other round, the stitch count will be reduced by 6-- just 40 ever decreasing rounds to finish the hats. So—as promised—a photo or rather, 2.

 Tonight is knit night—so some more progress will be made. I don't think I will have finished the first portion (where the stitch count remains the same) but there should be some visible progress.

If you haven't visited my web page recently—you should. I have been making small changes (and bigger ones are to come) and there is yet another new cast onDollyq (on Ravelry) came up with yet another version of a double chained (or as she calls it an imitation I-cord) cast on and bind off method.
The bind off page has some new links (it's really much more of work in progress than the cast on pages) – you can expect more improvements soon.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Needles Found

And 2 hats have been cast on. The first few rounds—weren't--I worked the border flat –so much neater and easier to do with garter stitch.

Now, they are joined into rounds, and split over 2 circs. With 125 stitches, they are socks—doubled. But the decreases start in R1 – and soon—a lot sooner than in a sock—all the stitches will be decrease and the first of a dozen or so hats will be knit.--

After this, I think I will knit up some hooded dickies. New infant car seats are engineered so precisely, that snow suits/buntings are forbidden. Babies are supposed to be put in car seat, and then covered with blankets. A hood like hat, with a bit of covering to upper back and chest will be a useful garment. And make wrapping new born infants in a blanket easier.--and Hoods, with nothing to bind around the neck are safer too. 

I've been given a commission, too. A cousin has given my daughter one of the last sweaters her grandmother knit (for the cousin's baby (now school age!))--My daughter wants a second—not identical, but as close as possible. Sight unseen, I know the sweater is likely a top down raglan sweater—cabled and vaguely Aran in style. No to hard to copy. (I will use the sweater in hand like a chart--)

I found just the right blue to make some Blue-Footed Boobie baby booties, too. The NZ wool my sister sent to me (from her Christmas trip to NZ last year) is just perfect...4 skeins means I can make some small ones (new born size) and some bigger ones for when the babies are toddling around.

At 5 months, they are just under a pound—just perfect for singles—exceptional for twins. But then, I wouldn't expect anything else from my grandchildren!

Expect photos of hat progress in my next post

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Size 3 Needles are Hiding

No doubt they would be easier to find if I felt better.
Off to take more fluids, vitamin C, zinc and a nap.

Tomorrow is another day.  

No doubt they would be easier to find if I felt better.
Off to take more fluids, vitamin C, zinc and a nap.

Tomorrow is another day.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So They are Socks

There are still a few ends to weave in, but they are more or less done. They are OK. It happens sometimes, I have and idea, and try it out, and I am rewarded with something better than I hoped.

These socks are not one of those occasions. These sock are an idea that I tried out and the results, are meh. Liz and Margaret and Kimberly at Tuesday Night knitting—all disagreed. But they are still meh in my opinion. Kimberly pointed out they would be great boot socks. The ruffle top would make a great boot topper.  But I don't wear books. EVER.

The waitress thought they were funky... and I guess they are a bit.. but I have the 4 F rule.
4F's are rejects. The F's? Female, Fat, Fifty (or older) and Funky. Any 3 F's are OK, fine—but 4 F's? Is one F to many. Female, fifty, and funky—works. But fat, female, fifty and funky? One too many F's.

Fat, female and funky? That works too, but youth counts for lot!

But enough—sock are done, and it's time for the first baby hats to be knit.

First up, the sweet baby hat. At home, after knit night, I balled up the skeins of sock yarn, so I am ready to go. (I printed out the pattern yesterday when I got the link.)

EZ baby surprise sweater was discussed last night, too. I don't think it will make my list of things to knit.--but I am thinking about Debbie New's Ouroborus sweater—It will require 4 identical pieces. 2 in each yarn...
But it is such an interesting sweater to knit--and I have been wanting to knit another.  It was on my list for when DD had a baby--and I think its staying on the list, even if I need to make 2.  

I spend a lot of time reading this summer. Some hard copy books, and some e books.

E.M. Forester's Passage to India was one of the hard copy books—I watch the movie (I had seen the movie before, when it first came out.) and the book (and movie) were so different this time around. I am a very different person than I was then.

Eban Alexander's Proof of Heaven was interesting –though I am not quite sure he offers what the title suggest. Others have covered this topic better. (but at least he doesn't preach in favor of a particular religious view—so many books of this type seem to be proselytizing for Christianity.)

The Invisible Thread (Lauri Schroff/Alex Tresinowski) was wonderful. I at once was appalled by Ms Schroff naivety, and impressed by actions. A wonderful heart warming story that avoids the usual cliches.

My ebooks tended to be classics, that till now, I have managed to skip over.
Thackeray Vanity Fair.. (a bit wordy, and dated—the view of the world is one of a society long gone, with rather strict, unfair roles for women.

Victor Hugo's Les Miserable, too, was dense. It is interesting to read about these societies.. It's a lovely portrait of society long gone—I paired this with a portrait of Marie Antoinette—different views of the world... each one closed to one an other. Occupying the same time and country, and millions of miles apart.  

I read a ton (Well not really,but a good  half dozen ) before the summer started, too. Most of those were ebook, and a greater percentage were non fiction.  I feel caught up now on my reading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lookin' Like Socks

Not done yet—they still need another almost inch of foot before I can begin to shape the toe, but knitting is being done.

I was able to squeeze out 3 full sets of grey stripes, and 1 half stripe (a single round). I contemplated adding an extra stripe to one sock, and not the other for about a half second. But that wasn't going to happen. And I discovered (its been there all along, but I have managed to not see it) a mistake. One of the grey stripe (mid leg part of the sock) has 3 rounds of grey—not two. Oh well. I am not frogging back and making it perfect!

Here is some of my new, to be knit almost immediately stash.

There first is 2 colorways of Filitura Lanarosa Fashion Toes (aka Cascade's Happy Feet) –these skeins (I just bought the 2) will become hats.. Likely the Sweet Baby hat—one of my favorite little baby hats.
(Note: all the links are ones--I am not sure if all can be seen to by non Ravelry members.) 

The Northern Lights will become an other hat.. or perhaps (I have 5 skeins of each color way) a caped hood. Not quite long enough to be a poncho—but a garment that covers the head and neck and fits easily inside a bunting. With enough left over yarn to make some booties, and mittens, too.
I don't have a pattern picked out yet—so these plans may change.

I need to check my stash of blue wools (and golden yellow and orange, too) I want to make the blue footed-boobies booties, (try saying that 3 times fast!) --or maybe some duck (or goose) booties.
The booties are fulled (felted)--so wool is needed (and I have lots of wool!) and even if they are blue (not a pastel baby blue) they are gender neutral--species neutral,  even!

So that is the future of my knitting --and there is more yarn in the babies to be stash. And more ideas—Some white sock yarn is going to become my own baby hat design –Syncopated Rhythm—Some traditional baby clothes (whites and soft baby pastels) are in order. And the babies will need a green hat, for St Patrick's day—and.. Well I could knit my fingers to nubs and still not have knit up all I want!

The summer past was also one one of technology upgrades.
It started in just before May, with my Nook --which I love! Then continued in August with 2 more technological additions. First a new phone. My old phone (a 3 year old one!) had suffered the several falls, and was after each coxed back into working. That was till early August. They it just gave up, and all my usual ministrations were to no avail. It wasn't quite a smart phone—but it was web enabled.

The new phone is a Samsung Galaxy—the smallest,(screen), thickest (but still incredible small) cheapest one available. ($125 before taxes and a protective cover) It's a real smart phone. Touch screen, built in wi-fi (connectivity, not a wi-fi hot spot—that cost more!) and all the other bells and whistles that smart phones are known for. I hardly use most of the features (which is why I got the smallest) I do text message, and occasionally use some of the other features (once or twice so far since I have owned it.)  But I just am not that big of a phone user. And not likely to become one.  This plenty of phone for now. 

The second upgrade is my new ChromeCast.  This device, is about the size of a table spoon (well, the bowl portion of a spoon) it connects my TV to my home wi-fi network—via the HDMI port.

Since I don't have cable, (well I do for internet, but not for TV) and didn't have a Ruko (I had been considering one) –I had, until this technological addition, a basic TV only. Now with the ChromeCast, I have Netflix, and full internet connectivity on my TV. My nook is my new “Remote” and I can watch anything I can down load on my letterbox shaped TV and not just on my square monitor.

I like the ChromeCast so much—I am seriously considering buying a second one, for my second TV. Yes, I could unplug and move it.. but it's a PITA to do. And at $35, (which includes 3 free months of Netflix) the thing is practically free. Buying a second one is a basic no brainer.

So another time waster has been added to my life. I hardly every go to the movies (I did once this summer--more on that later) but I do enjoy watching movies... especially at home.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gusset'd –In Stripes of Grey

The grey has held out—and 20 rounds later, the gussets are done—and the grey is not quite done. I have enough for one or two more stripes. Not the ideal time to run out.. but it will be OK (that is unnoticeable) in about half my shoes. And the rest of the shoes.. Well, really who looks at my feet that much anyway?

(I am holding off till tomorrow to photography my progress)

I always feel that the foot of sock is faster to knit... and it is. Unlike the leg portion, the foot is broken up into 3 parts—and each is about 1/3rd of the knitting.

I have completed the gusset, and from the base of the heel, I now have about 3.5 inches knit (the gussets are deep, but then, I have a high instep)--the foot proper is next. 4 inches or so of plain knitting.

Or rather, plainer knitting the instep does have a simple pattern—with a pepper stitch every 6th stitch, randomly. Pepper stitch is a super anemic bobble. Knit a stitch. Return it to left hand needle, and purl the same stitch. Return it to left hand needle for a second time and knit the stitch. (continue with remaining stitches, (in my case, K5) and then repeat.

The pepper stitch adds a bit of texture, and breaks up the clean line of the stripe—just a little bit.
It almost looks like a mistake—except it is clearly one that is repeated again and again, so it can't be.
One set of pepper stitches, on the first row of the color stripe is all that is needed.. Which means, once every 4 rounds.. And now, since the sole is plain—one half set (a mere 6 per sock) every 4th round. And soon enough, when I run out of grey (I think I have enough grey yarn for 2 more stripes.. 3 at the very most) even that bit of work will be gone. The last 3 inches of the foots 4 inches will be mindless simple knitting—made enjoyable by watching the yarn color change.

The last portion of the sock...the final 2.5 inches or so? Simple, simple toe. With each round getting smaller and smaller.

But I am getting ahead of my self! I still must actually knit the foot, and knit the toe. But I have done more knitting this past week, finishing the leg, turning the heel and making the gusset, than I did all summer—so there is hope. There is a doctors appointment, too, tomorrow that will provide some time for knitting, too. Nothing special, just a check up.

As for what I did on my summer vacation? Well I was an audience member on a TV show. Too bad the show isn't  scheduled for broadcast--well some segments are definitely being broadcast, and others.. might be- (its a back up/rehersal  show in case the host can't make it to work someday-) So if you do(watch)  or if you don't(watch) , you are not likely to see me in the audience of Wendy Williams show

I have lived in NYC all my life, and many shows are taped here...Rachel Ray, and Martha, Wendy and Anderson Cooper, and one of the court shows—The Peoples Court, and a whole lot more (SNL, and Jimmy Fallon, and so on) and I have never really been that interested in ever going to watch them live. But someone else did—I just went along for the ride as it were--

It was a lot of waiting around, standing in shade at least—since it was one of post pool (the pool closes Labor day) hot, hazy and humid days. There are always too many of these days in September!

I am not a fashion plate, and not the target demographic—so I was happy to be in the mid-section (and not the back!) of seating. And even if the show airs—I am not likely to be seen. The camera pans the audience most often when the members are standing, and I was standing behind a lovely, thin, tall woman—at best you'll see my sides—not my face.

The experience of being an audience member wasn't a great one—but it wasn't horrid either. Being with a companion made it better than it would have been alone. But not so wonderful that I am likely to repeat the experience soon.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Spent the Summer Not Knitting

Also, not reading about knitting, or reading yarn store catalogs, or posting on Ravelry (or even reading Ravelry much.) And most obviously, not blogging.

I was knit out. Back in May, I started project after project (all now, collecting dust) trying to drum up interest.. But nothing worked. Finally I gave my self over to reading (and have read a mountain of books) and to summer leisure.

Finally I have gotten back to work. I think I needed a rest—and it's good that I took it, because
now, more than ever there are pressing projects.

I started early this week on a pair of socks that have been languishing. I am not sure that I like them.. but I wasn't willing to frog them.

The yarn is Patons Kroy, the color way (a misnomer) is rainbow.
First off, it's not rainbow colors.. and second, its not rainbow (ROY F BIV) order. But who knew that in the skein?

The ruffle is a simple set of short rows..with a picot edge.. the ruffle hides an inch of ribbing.

After the ruffle was complete, I didn't think I had enough yarn for a pair of I added a stripe of grey (and now I am thinking I don't have enough grey to complete the sock in the striped pattern—and the toe is likely going to be un-striped.

I've added a inch to the leg this week (they are still slightly shorter than my average socks) and have gotten the heel flap done, and the heel turned. Now on to the gusset and the toe, and at least 1 UFO will become a FO.

I have a half knit silk scarf, too, that is pending. But as soon as I finish the socks, I am going to start work on a pair of baby blankets... New grandchildren are on the way—twins! I dread this! I have second anything (most noticeably socks. But really anything)—syndrome.

I have to get over it. I will have years of knitting 2 blankets, and 2 sweaters, and two hats, and so on, new pairs of everything! They aren't identical twins, (and for now just twins! My DD get to decide when we know more) The same DD has declared: Gender Neutral!

Not really a problem for me—it's easy enough to buy yarn in every color of the rainbow (and in rainbow colorways!) and to avoid the common trap of being forced to buy only blue, (or only pink) I can buy reddish plum purple and blueish grape purple, and Lion Brand BonBons samplers for solid blue or solid pink and trim out the finish blankets.. Either color works well for a boy or girl—especially when the yarns aren't solids, but tweedy blends-(the now discontinued Lion Brand Color Waves)

I'll catch you up on all that is and has gone on in my life over that past few months.. but don't expect much knitting—because there just wasn't any.