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Archive for July, 2010


Can Internet Connections Drop Stitches?

Dear Ellen,

dsc00611.JPGIn answer to the title question, evidently so.  We had a power outage on 4th of July that certainly messed up our connection.  By the time I got it figured out on Monday, it was already past my bedtime and I was pretty tired, so no post from me.  I have a hunch that with the kitten-induced ecstasy going down at your place, you probably didn’t miss it.  The highlight of our 4th was a nice visit from our favorite daughter and daughter-in-law.  We enjoyed a nice block party with our neighbors, made a trip to Costco and decided to forgo the fireworks in lieu of what may have to become an annual tradition…the “screwing-with-the-security-alarm-because-the-power-loss-signal-(a mild beep every 5 minutes or so)-is-bugging-you-too-much-to-leave-it-alone-with-the-result-of-disrupting-the-whole-neighborhood-when-you-set-off-the-alarm-and-can’t-get-it-shut-off-for-almost-a-half-hour” extravaganza.  I will let you guess who came up with this event…but it wasn’t me.  Oh, and we did play Hand and Foot.  The excitement never stops.

dsc00577.JPGI finally found someone to take some pictures of me in Not So Naive.  I love this sweater!  It fits so very confidently.  You know — the kind of garment that makes you feel like you are looking good and that doesn’t have any “fidget” associated with it. And it is nice and warm too!  Of course, this is a far more attractive feature when the temperature is NOT 102 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be very welcome the next time we get over two feet of snow though.

dsc00620.JPGdsc00622.JPGKniestrümpfe are now finished.  At least the knitting is finished.  I still have to test wash the swatch to see how this mystery yarn handles shrinkage so I know whether or not I need to add elasticizing.  If I do, it will be brain dead hand work for some night when I don’t feel up to even thinking about garter stitch.  I doubt I’m going to want to wear these till the fall Oktoberfest season rolls around so I think I have some time.

dsc00615.JPGdsc00625.JPGI whipped out a quick little hat made out of leftover fleece (as in micro-fleece, not sheep fleece) that somehow landed in my basket one time when I was at an LYS in Colorado Springs.  (Six small balls of micro-fleece for $2…how could I resist such an inexpensive opportunity to try this chunky yarn?)  I love the result.  I just played with making up dsc00627.JPGslip-stitch color work patterns as I went.  Were I to do it over again, I’d probably go up a needle size or two.  The fabric is very dense.  These pictures are pre-blocking.  I’m confident the stitches will even out a bit when I do that — though I’m seriously thinking about just sticking with the fun, bumpy, lumpy results that I have right now.  If I decide to keep it for a barn hat, I’ll not block it.  If it goes to charity, I will — I don’t think bumps have the same charm for everyone.  It is a snug one!  Oh, and I did like using the micro-fleece yarn…quick knit and very cooshy.  You know how I feel about cooshy.

dsc00562.JPGI’m up to the armscye on the back of TGIF, but haven’t taken any new pictures.  I’ll probably wait till it’s off the needles and blocked.  I need a double check on the gauge after blocking before I proceed to the fronts and sleeves, so plan on doing that pretty soon.  I’ve also cast on some new socks out of a cotton fingering weight, the name of which escapes me at the moment, but it’s of the ilk of Trekking.  I’m finally doing the Monkey Socks pattern by Cookie A, but I’ve modified to add an extra repeat of the lace pattern to bring the cuff stitch count up to 80.  If I’d stuck with the 64 stitches she says to cast on, I’d have socks for a skinny 12 year old.  Some shenanigans were required in the heel turn and instep to accommodate the change in the stitch count, but nothing too fancy.  I’m well into the foot of sock number one.  I’m calling them Tropical Gorillas based on the colorway (which looks like pale rainbow sherbet), their “enlarged” status in comparison to normal Monkey Socks and the fact that I cast on during a trip to Tampa Florida.  Extra bonus on the trip was that I got to join Chris, Jim and Tom for dinner…and got to spend some quality Aunt-nephew knitting time!  (Yay, Tom!!)

dsc00559.JPGdsc00512.JPGdsc00525.JPGThe weekend before the 4th we made a quick run up to the property.  Dale had great fun whacking weeds and cutting up downed trees.  The doggies and I hiked in the woods and basked in the grass.  dsc00523.JPGdsc00518.JPGdsc00542.JPGRuby loves running through the ferns.  Max thinks the farm is pretty much Nirvana.  dsc00536.JPGdsc00526.JPGdsc00527.JPGI was amused by a funny bug that crawled around on my knee and less amused by some stuff that I am moderately concerned might be poison oak. I am thrown off by the 5 leaves though.  If you can help i.d., I’d greatly appreciate it so I can try to avoid last summer’s itch-fest.  The two panoramas are the view of the house from the curve in the driveway and then the view from the front porch looking out over the farm.  (Use your imagination here — strain your eyes to see if you can make out the re-bar stakes in the ground marking the house outline — there, right there…to the right of the shed in front of that dried brush.)

dsc00574.JPGIn the coming days we will entertain Patty and Ken (yippee!) from Friday to Sunday, Chris, Jim and Tom from Sunday to Monday, and sometime thereafter I will start a page to track Rebecca’s and my progress towards the Level I Master Knitter certification.  (Anyone else want to join in?)  I’m tired (but happy) already.

Love, Jan

Can’t stop posting pictures of kittens…

Dear Jan,

1.jpg5.jpgThis last weekend we went from five kittens to three as Carol picked up the momma and two of the babes.  We are keeping two and a knitter friend is planning to take one other, so why move them again?

7.jpgI chose Selkie, a short haired grey tabby.  She is highly athletic, very smart (I think), and looks absolutely smashing in blue.

3.jpgWilson chose NoNameKitty, a cute little black kitten with a blaze high on her chest.  Maybe someday NoNameKitty will get a real name.  Wilson takes his time making decisions, so don’t hold your breath on the timing of that.

2.jpgKathleen is taking Barkley, biggest kitty since birth, if he gets a clean bill of health at his upcoming vet appointment.  Yes, he was named after Sir Charles on account of his size.

6.jpg4.jpgDespite the distraction of all things kitty, I did get some cherries picked and pitted and yet another project cast on – the very popular Hemlock Ring blanket based on a 1940’s doily with adaptations by Jared Flood and Susan Rainey.  My color scheme is a little flamboyant.  Several of my buddies and I are leading a KAL at an autumn knitting retreat and we wanted to show a wide range of styles.  Mine is definitely the farthest out there.  (and no, the live stitches aren’t part of the pattern – I flubbed and took the opportunity of ripping back to get a shot of the center spread out a bit.)

Thankfully, this is a short week so I can get back to taking pictures of kitties again soon.  And you can bet they will be posted here soon after!

Love,

Ellen