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Archive for August, 2009


Knitting in PCS Status

Dear Ellen,

“PCS” stands for “permanent change of station.”  PCS status is when you have checked out of one duty station and are on your way to the next one.  For us, this meant a 28 hour drive across country.  You would be correct in assuming that it also meant a good bit of knitting time.  The projects I worked on included the “Hopeful Booties,” “A Boa for Marie,” “A Stitch Away from Genius” and “Desert Skies Socks.”  No, I did not finish them all.

dscn1880.JPGdscn1878.JPGdscn1879.JPGIn fact, the only project completed was “A Boa for Marie” — which on Ravelry I’m calling “Beautiful Boa.”  Please no comments on the photos.  Dale and I had to horse around a bit while taking them.  I made this to show my support for Marie’s burlesque efforts…how many mom’s would do this? The result is actually quite good. I knit 10 stitches across for 2 skeins…quite a long fuzzy scarf. Then I picked up dscn1884.JPGstitches down the longitudinal center of the scarf and knit 3 rows and bound off. Then I picked up stitches down the longitudinal center of the other side of the scarf, knit 3 rows and bound off. The result is a scarf with an “X” cross section…and lots of fuzz and a good heft for throwing about one’s shoulders. It packaged up nicely.  And I have to admit…taking the pictures was kinda fun! 😉

The boa was the only project I actually finished on the drive.  I did almost finish the “Hopeful Booties,” and have since finished them…in fact, I finished a second pair.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that since then I seem to have totally misplaced them.  No pictures.  And unless I find them soon, I’ll need to start a 3rd pair as that baby isn’t holding back on growing in order to give me time to find them.

dscn1918.JPGI did get pretty far on another footwear object, this time in my size.  (Good thing as these are for me!)  The “Desert Skies Socks” are a very pretty mix of turquoise and browns in the Crystal Palace Maizy yarn.  It’s 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic and nylon.  The same yarn as for the booties…I liked it well enough with them that I picked up a few balls for adult-sized socks.  They sat there on the counter for a while waiting to go into my stash for packing…and somehow never made it.  Instead they went into my knitting bag and I cast on for them on the first day of our drive.  I could have finished at least one on the trip, except I ripped out the insole about 3 times.  I was trying to do a very cool stitch pattern with following stitches and crossing lines.  First my mind screwed me up (now there’s a first) and had me thinking public and wrong side rows since I wasn’t knitting the stitch pattern all the way around as I did the foot of the sock.  Duh…it’s still all public rows as the sock is in the round even if the instep doesn’t go all the way around.  After 1 1/2 complete pattern repeats (18 row repeats…yes, 18 row repeats) and wondering why the heck it didn’t look at all right, it came to me in a blinding flash. I did the dscn1917.JPGobligatory whining and moaning and then ripped it out and restarted.  This time the pattern looked far better and I finished 2 whole repeats.  It was at that point that I had to overcome my denial and say that although it was now correct, it still was not right.  The yarn characteristics and the colorway caused the pattern to be lost.  This time I kept the sole stitches on the needles and dropped all the instep stitches and kept the boundary stitches and sole stitches intact.  dscn1915-1.JPG(The soles are princess soles in reverse stockinette.)  I rethought the whole thing and decided that stair-stepped cables would be simple and would be more effective with the yarn.  I was right.  This time the foot moved along nicely, the gussets looked smashing and I was on the leg by the time we were accepting household goods at the new place.  I finished the first sock of the pair this weekend and intend to get the next one cast on tonight.

dscn1921.JPGI also plugged away a bit on my Einstein Coat, that I call “A Stitch Away from Genius.”  My substitution of a bulky for the chunky is driving a few adjustments in row counts, but the schematic gives plenty of info to work it out.  I’m about 2/3 around my hips for the bottom part at this point.  It’s a great knit for when I get home at night and am brain dead.  As long as I remember to start with that slipped stitch, I’m golden.  And there have been a few frogging sessions as I’ve managed to forget it a few times.  That’s how porous my brain is some nights!

More on our move and on the re-establishment of my knitting rhythm in a few days.  I still hate you for getting to go to Sock Summit.  I really hope you had a BLAST at Sock Summit.   I expect pictures.

Love, Jan

We Were There, Now We’re Here

Dear Ellen,

dscn1850.JPGI’ve got loads to tell, but it has to wait.  I’m an hour past my bedtime, but felt I just had to put up something.  So,…here is the signage as you enter our new housing development.  Quite posh, don’t you think?  If one were to look inside our home, they’d not think so quite yet.  However, the signs are there…and only a dozen or so boxes left…but lots to be resorted and resettled and tucked away.  The family (doggies, Dale and I) are all content with our lot…and I am able to work on my desktop computer now.  Things are looking up regarding the possibility of more frequent and more lengthy postings.  Even ones related to knitting!!

Love, Jan

Marking time…

Hi, Jan,

11.jpgOne nice thing about jet lag – you sure get a lot done before 10 in the morning.  One of my tasks before leaving for Sock Summit on Thursday morning was to make stitch markers for swapping with other summiteers.  I sat on the deck as the sun came up and knocked these out.  And to make myself distinguishable as a SMS (stitch marker swapper), I devised a necklace of sorts showing off the markers I have to swap and which will allow me to easily add the markers I receive.

2.jpgJenny reminded me of the Lip Smacker necklaces she and Karen wore as little girls.  So adorable on little girls, and only on little girls.  I promised to only wear my marker necklace at Sock Summit, where she admitted it would probably blend right in.

I say if her parents won’t embarrass her, who will?

Love,

Ellen

Platypus Dreaming…

Hi, Jan,

1.jpgIt seems we’ve both been on walkabouts lately.  I have one more big loop on mine and then should be home for at least a month, and I plan to latch onto home as tightly as I can during that period and steep in domestic satisfaction.

I’ll also be able to record the output for your amusement, as I now have a functional camera.  The last one bit the dust first day of our Rocky Mountains adventure.   My responsible husband exercised his fiduciary duties to our family corporation and vetoed buying one at tourist prices.  I enjoyed vacation without photo duty and now have exactly the small camera I wanted – an orange Canon Elph. And to amuse myself, I picked up an inexpensive chartreuse camera sack that will attach to most anything with a caribineer.  Just my style.

I’ll try to post a couple of shots of things in progress before I take off for Sock Summit.  Of course, the item I’m most pleased with is in a pocket in the luggage that is currently “lost” –  the airline has found it once in Amsterdam and then didn’t deliver it yesterday as promised, so I fear it may be unfound.  Cross fingers.

Safe travels home to you.  I’m looking forward to hearing your insights from your travels.

Love,

Ellen

P.S. Painting, Platypus Dreaming, from my collection.  Painter is Les Julian, of aboriginal Maori and Australian descent.