Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reely Reely Big Present

On the first night of Chanukah my son said to me:
Happy Chanukah and Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.

He also told me that a package was coming that covered all three.

He refused to give me any hints even though I asked some 'innocent' sounding questions.  I joked that I might get it in February as he isn't very good about actually getting the package to the PO.  But he said that DIL Liz' sister, Irene, was in charge of mailing so I knew it would get here soon.

Matt then texted wanting to know if he needed to have me sign a signature card with the package.  Hmmmnnnn what would need a signature?

Last Thursday, on my birthday, a package from Matty & Liz from San Ramon (must be Irene's sense of humor as DS and DIL live in Livermore and I've never heard DS called Matty) arrived!!!!  I was too excited.  You see I had been doing a lot of guessing and had myself worked up to a new iPod or maybe an iPhone, what with that signature question.  But the package was rather light.  Hmmmnnnn

I opened it up and to my surprise there was a gift bag of Celestial Seasonings Herbal Teas including chapstick and mints.
Matt must have been misleading me with the signature question.

Then Jim said to look into the bottom of the tin as everything seemed to be on top.  That wasn't as easy as it looks as it's all hot glued together. Nope, nada on the bottom but that squiggly paper filling.   So now I'd have enough for a whole summer's worth of iced tea pitchers.


On Friday a largish package arrived.  And this one had weight to it.
I called my sister (put her on speaker phone) and got Jim, and together we opened the box.


This is an iPad 4 Retina.  I am blown away (still).

I've been playing with it exclusive to almost anything else for days now.
Compelling, additive, fun and incredible.  I've downloaded apps for drawing and writing and games and reading. This is the first thing I did with an app called Paper.
and sent it to Matt & Liz.

I also downloaded iBooks and eRead as I figure that if I am carrying this 1.6#  iPad around I don't want to also haul books.  My sister is gifting me with a cover/case and there are about a zillion to choose from but only a few reelly reelly reely nice ones that are book-like.
I have narrowed it down to between a Contega or a Portenzo.

Now to get back to that Holiday Knitting.  Well --- in between taps on the pretty iPad.

Friday, December 7, 2012

How I saved $640

The week before Thanksgiving I hit a deer coming home from Knit Knite.  It was about 9:20 so very dark but dry.  All of a sudden there was a large deer blocking my lane.  I braked, heard a loud crunch and saw the deer roll and run up the bank on my right side.  I stopped and fortunately there was no one behind me or coming the other way.  My car seemed OK and anyway it was a dead zone for cell service so I drove home in a hyper awake state and shaking.

When I got here I called my insurance company who were very calm and helpful.  They made out a report and told me someone would be calling in a day or two.  As it was just after Hurricane Sandy I wasn't expecting a call too soon.   They also said to call the police.  I did and a nice State Trooper arrived about a half hour later from the barracks on the other side of the county.  He made out an official accident report and was glad I was OK.

In the morning I could see that my front grille was completely gone and there were deer hair in the cracked bumper but I couldn't see much else.  The inspector showed me other parts that needed replacing.  Jim made me a temporary grille from some plastic lattice as I as afraid the radiator would get hit with something while I was driving.  Very cute.  I almost laced it with artificial vines.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because while my Pilot was in being fixed (front grille, front bumper, right fender, radiator)  I was given a basic Civic as a loaner.  I loved zipping around town in it.  It made me realize how big and wide my pilot is and remember how it fills out most parking spots so that I have dings from other car doors.  My last Pilot was a bit smaller and I didn't have these problems but this one is more awkward for me.  When I thought about it I really only need the Pilot for 6-8 times a year when we do vendings and such.

Then the next week it told me I needed a B1 service.  That means tire rotation, fluids, oil, etc.  It also needed alignment and alas is very close to needing new tires.  The estimate was $770 for 4 and I need 4 as it is AWD.  2 tires are at 3mm and 2 at 2mm.  Not good enough to get me through the winter and to my lease ending late April.

I called around town and got estimates at $712, $690, $670 and finally some UniRoyals that were merely $640.  It's Holiday season.  Do I really want to spend my budget plus on tires?? Noooooo but then again I also don't want to wind up in a ditch in January.   What to do????

I remembered that last time I turned in my car a month or two before the lease was up they rolled the unpaid months into the new lease.  I also called Honda to find out about changing my current lease into a purchase.  They said that was very possible but I needed to talk to someone at a dealership to get the details.
Oh and while the Pilot was being serviced earlier this week I walked into the showroom just to look at 2013 Pilots and compare a CRV with them.  When I first started driving Hondas I wanted to shop local but the guy in the showroom at that time was so snotty I wound up going to Rochester and getting a great deal.  I have leased 3 cars from Holtz Honda up there.

The other day the guys I met were so friendly and Jeff, who showed me the 2013's, said that they would make me a great deal. He was sure of it.  So I made an appointment for this afternoon to talk to the sales manager. Between Jeff and Jerome I knew they wanted a sale and were going to offer me whatever it took.

Well the CRV is 50 cu ft smaller than the Pilot BUT with a roof box it would then be only 30 cu ft smaller.  Plus I can zip around town and have a bit of fun AND get 10 more mpg than the Pilot. I took a test drive in a blue CRV that matched all my criteria even though I thought I wanted a teal or white one.  By the time I was done test driving I liked the blue CRV best as it has purple undertones.  :^)  And I like those hub caps too.

Jerome says they are buying my Pilot outright from Honda and paying for the new tires (at retail) and the all remaining lease payments.  In the past those have been rolled into the new lease.  Hmmmmnnnn and what else?   

Then Jerome told me he would also be paying for the installation of the roof rails and trailer hitch plus my new payments will be $30 less than my current ones.  Considering inflation I think I am getting a very good deal.  It seems that used Pilots are in short supply and used cars are very much in need since Sandy.  Add the CRV to the December total for these guys and they are happy and I am happy too.
So the one I test drove now has a SOLD sign on it.

I'll be picking her up on Dec 31.

Friday, November 30, 2012

And then there were three

First there was the Simple Faroese Shawl, really designed by Cathy but she wants to stay anonymous so I wrote it up and posted the pattern.  All profits from this pattern go to Animal Shelters.

This shawlette is meant as a first shawl experience for fairly new knitters.  It's all garter stitch with a few yarn overs, knit 2 togethers and a picot cast off.  It's done on US9's and uses only one skein of fingering yarn.

Then I realized that most of my shawls were aimed at intermediate knitters so designed Chatty to be a fairly easy shawl for advanced beginners.  Again it uses only one skein of fingering yarn but smaller needles, stockinette stitch for the shoulder area and some easy lace at the bottom.

A few weeks ago I watched the lights blink out over NYC when Hurricane Sandy wrecked its merry way up our coast.  Those lights took many days to come back on and some are still out.  In honor of all the people who helped and are helping each other come back to whatever might be considered normal after such Katrina-like devastation I am donating partial proceeds from the sale of City Lights patterns to OccupySandy relief efforts.

Kits of laceweight yarn, beads and the pattern are available in my Etsy shop. $5 from each kit sale is going to for help with recovery.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Last winter, for the first time, one of my patterns, Heart to Heart was published in a National Magazine - Knitters.  A month or so before publication I was sent some galley sheets to check that the pattern had no mistakes and that all of the charts, etc were included.  Then a week or two later one of my Knit Knite crew mentioned she had seen the Neckerchief in the just released issue of Knitters at a LYS.  HUH?    So I ran over to B&N but they didn't yet have it.  Then I boogied to Wegmans and sure enough it was on display.  I bought 5!
Then a bit after publication I was sent 3 complementary copies of the Winter 2012 K105 Issue of Knitters.

So this year another pattern, VERVE, was accepted for the Winter 2013, The SKIRT Issue K109 of Knitters and I expected the same procedure.  Wednesday night at Knit Knite Aimee mentioned that she was so excited to see my skirt in the newest issue of Knitters.  HUH?????   I knew it was expected out soon but since I had yet to receive the galleys thought it might be in December.  Aimee was especially pleased to tell the folks at the knitting shop in Watkins Glen that she had seen the skirt in progress and knew me.  Well that tickled me too.

So after knitting I boogied over to Wegmans but couldn't find the mag.  Then I drove to B&N where it wasn't on the shelves either but asked a customer service person to check.  Sure enough they had come in that day and were scheduled to be put out the next but he brought me some from the back.  I promptly purchased 5!!!!  Then yesterday I received my 3 complementary copies.

No matter. It's thrilling anyway.

AND there will be another of my patterns (which I am madly knitting to make the deadline), a shawl, published in the Spring Issue!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rachel Maddow says it best

“We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this Court. We’re not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We are not going to do that.   

To hear her say all this go here:

“We are not going to give a 20 percent tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid’s health insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut. We’re not going to make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you’re on. We are not going to redefine rape. We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married. We’re not going to double Guantanamo. We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or [the Department of] Housing [and Urban Development] at the federal level. We are not going to spend two trillion dollars on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans because the country’s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents. We’re not vetoing the Dream Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt. We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a President, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help, and there was no apology, not ever.

“We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the choice to do that if we wanted to do that as a country, and we said ‘no’ last night, loudly.

“Ohio really did go to President Obama last night, and he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii, and he really is legitimately President of the United States, again, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month, and the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy, and the polls were not skewed to over-sample Democrats, and Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math, and climate change is real, and rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes, and evolution is a thing, and Benghazi was ‘on’ us, it was not a scandal ‘by’ us, and no one is taking away any one’s guns, and taxes have not gone up, and the deficit is dropping, actually, and Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and UN election observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in the country are not the same thing as communism…

“…in this country, we have a two-party system in government and the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems, and we debate between those possible solutions, and by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff…if the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum-sealed, door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems…they [GOP] are going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again, and that will be a painful process for them I’m sure, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right and center.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sunrise / Sunset

Jim and I are spending some well deserved R&R time in the Adirondacks at Loonhaven Cottage. We drove up yesterday in lovely sunshiney weather, were greeted by a red bodied dragonfly almost camoufloged on the red dock,
then settled in for reading and snacks and dinner and quiet.  Cole is taking care of the buns and the kitties while Baz came with us.  Baz loves it up here as much as we do.  
This morning we woke up to a glorious sunrise gilding the Tamaracks across the lake.
Then this afternoon we ventured down to Old Forge to the View, which used to be called the Old Forge Arts Center, to view the annual quilt show featuring 84 traditional, wall and art quilts, mostly from NYS but some from elsewhere too.
The quilt on the bed is being raffled off.  I love this display.  In the old center, the raffle quilt was hung in the stairwell but this shows it off way better.
Some of my favorite quilts were:

Seaway Avenue by Clara Pope of Syracuse
1st Place in Bed quilts, Best in Show and the Silver Needle Award

Majestic Mountains by Allison Brown-Cestero from San Antonio, received Honorable Mention in Bed Quilts. Until I actually took its picture I could have sworn this quilt's 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock points went outside the frame.

7 Green Quilts by Bethany Krawec of Upeer Jay, NY received 2nd Place in Bed quilts.  This was done as a club and learning experience in parts.  Bethany then decided to place the 6 parts as though they were completed quilts overlapping on a bed creating the 7th quilt.

Dragonfly Windows by Julia Masters Deisinger of North Syracuse.  The photo doesn't come closer to doing this one justice as the dragonflies are 3 dimensional and the piece itself is spectacular.

ADK Pond by Linda Swanekamp of Buffalo was my fav of all the pieces I saw.  It's hand and machine embroidered but neither comes up well in the photo. Got me to remembering my own machine and hand embroidered art quilts and bemoaning the fact that my Pfaff will not do these things for me.  sigh

In a special nature room are live mosses, stuffed birds, photographs and ceramic sculptures depicting many areas and animals of the Adirondacks.
Open House by Mary Yodeer shows a hollowed out tree stump containing mushrooms, a mouse, a toad and a visiting bird with a snake climbing up the outside.

Resting Hare by Mary Philpott is full of texture and color.  She used several glazes and engobes to get the effect.  It seems to be quite accurate anatomically too.
We ended the day with some homemade clam chowder, with Jim going upstairs to watch baseball playoffs, with me reading the latest Andy Carpenter mystery and Basel fast asleep on the rug.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Festival Recap

Doing 2 back-to-back Fiber Festivals takes stamina and energy.  I am happy to report that Jim and I are not only alive but happy campers too.
We picked up T in Ithaca and had a nice uneventful drive to Hemlock, NY.

Here's our booth at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival at the start of Saturday's show.

And Jim and T spindling away.

Apologies for not getting the name of this young lady who looks so good in the Starflower Beret.

FLFF was fantastic and the weather too.  Major thanks to T as we couldn't have done it without you.

We spent Monday - Thursday trying to fill in on stock.  It was a happy thing to need to do but very long hours each day.
Then on Friday morning we set off for Greenwich and the upper Hudson, finally arriving 5 hours and many road construction delays later.  Those are the Green Mountains in the distance as we come into Schuylerville.

Our booth at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival with Aaron as our assistant for the weekend.

On the other side of the black curtain was felting demos both days.

Plus the spinning nuns from St Mary's were back with their cashmere goats.

The weekend was good, friendly and our new location helped a lot.  Major thanks to Aaron and his friend, David, who traveled down from Montreal.  Fun to share time with you both.

Jim decided that we would travel home on the 2 sides of the triangle (Albany to Syracuse, Syracuse to Homer to Ithaca) and leave the hypoteneuse (rt 88) to the road construction.  The mileage may have been longer but the time sure wasn't.  
The clouds, as we drove along the Mohawk River, were delightfully dramatic.

Now to catch up on paperwork, pet Basel a lot, put the shop back to rights and prep for the next show.
And the Fed Ex guy just dropped off our newest yarn.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Loaded up

Ready to go!

Hemlock Fairgrounds, Hemlock, NY
Sept 15 & 16, Sat 10 - 5 and Sun 10 - 4
Barn A. Go down past the big white tent and a bit to the right.  We are in Barn A across the aisle from the llamas, next booth in after the quilts.

Washington County Fairgrounds, Greenwich, NY
September 22 & 23, Saturday & Sunday, 10 -5 each day
Building 21, Booths 24 & 25, left aisle, 3rd booth on the right.
Physical Shop will be closed both Fesitval weekends.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Water in faucet went to a trickle while I was starting to rinse the next to the last batch. Checked other faucets and got even less water.  OH NO!

Pump is only 2 years old so we looked elsewhere.  
Switch in the basement hole was corroded. 

Jim went to Lowes and got another, 

switch installed and still no water.

Pressure tank now not working. 

Jim went to Lowes and got another.  

Tractor wouldn't start so Jim used the dolly to get the tank down 2 levels to the basement.

Tank uses 1inch pipe and we have 0.75

Jim went to Lowes to get connectors.

Tank is installed but still no water.  Primer works but nothing happens.

Lowes is now closed.

Monday morning

Pulling 125 feet of hosing and electrical lines out of the well. Strung it out down the driveway.

Pump tests OK but still no water.

Jim went to Lowes and got new electrical line and other just in case parts.

 The casing collapsed on the top of the pump.
Jim went to Lowes and got another,

 All installed and now we have water.

36 hours without water and now we wait for it all to settle.  

We can drink it today but tonight we need to add clorox because the well was open for so long.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Made in America

Let me start by saying that I have no problems at all with items made in other countries for companies that are based in that country and then sold here. I think everyone who wants to work should have that opportunity.  What I have problems with is American corporations who close American plants, let go the workers and then outsource those jobs overseas for a pittance of what they would pay an American worker, yet sell the items here for the same old price, therefore garnering themselves a hefty profit.

When I find those companies I try to avoid purchasing from them if I can find something just as good or substitutable that is made here or just do without.  That is one reason I do not enter Walmart, but that's a whole 'nother discussion on why a company pays its workers so little that they need food stamps to survive.

I have been using iContact for my newsletters for 4 years now.  Over that time I have called their Help line several times and always gotten great help, even on the weekends.  Recently their website was being funky so I called again.  The answers I received seemed to be rather pat, sort of like she was reading them.  Odd, and then I realized that English was not the woman's first language.  I then asked her where she was and she told me "In the Philippines."  Odd again, as the last guy I spoke with had a southern US accent and I know this company is based in the south.  I wound up calling several times as the answers were really not helpful and so finally asked for a supervisor.  He also told me he was in the Phillippines. I have no problem with those folks having a nice job, but I do with people who are repeating stock answers and not solving my problem.

Then I realized that iContact had OUTSOURCED its Help staff, putting quite a few Americans out of work.  NO NO NO NO. I will not be helping some CEO to buy his second yacht. Immediately I instituted a web search for other reputable newsletter hosts.

I asked a bunch of questions and found ConstantContact who have offices in Boston, MA, Colorado and the UK and have no intention of outsourcing any of their staff.  I spoke with a couple of their people who were ever so helpful in guiding me through removing my extensive email list from iContact and uploading it to ConstantContact.  They also helped me start a new newsletter template, learn their imagery system and were generally quite pleasant and easy to work with.  All this to let you know that tomorrow's and future newsletters will be hosted by this company who I hope to work with for a long time.

Spinning Bunny is also now listed with

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Annual Demo at the NYS Fair

There's a tiny old building, called the Wool Center, squeezed between several others at the NYS State Fair. It's really only a couple of rooms with garage doors at either end but has served quite well through the years for all kinds of demos having to do with wool.

My guild, the Black Sheep Handspinners, take on one day each year to demo wheel and spindle spinning in this building.  Jim and I have been doing this for the last 3 years.  The first 2 were so hot we thought about not going again.  Really sticky, muggy, in the 90's, hot is not too wonderful for spinning wool but this year the temps were merely in the 80's and sometimes clouds blocked the blasting sun so it was fun and always interesting talking to folks wandering by.

I got to eat greasy expensive yam fries.  Jim had a humongmous fried haddock sandwich and Deirdre  got some excellent coffee with real cream.  I also indulged in fresh squeezed lemonade and a people watching walk around the area.  Other than that it was 4 hours of spinning with no phone calls or internet to interrupt us, just pleasant folks asking good questions.

That was my view from behind the picket fence.

A weaver answering questions.

Sharon and Sue getting ready for the afternoon shift.

Hard to see but these two stands had bacon everything -- batter fried, dipped in chocolate, etc.

And we couldn't have done it without our faithful Dolly.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Done and Done

As of Friday, the knitting of the
was completed.  All that remains is the paperwork - finishing the pattern, figuring all the yardages, and whatever else is needed before I send it all away to Knitter's Mag.

Once that knitting was done, I concentrated on the socks.  It felt very freeing to have 5+ days to get it all done.  I was actually going for being able to mail them by Tuesday so MVOS would have her socks by her birthday on Thursday.  Instead of spinning at guild yesterday I knit.  Both Becki and I knit with these results.
 Hers are on the top and mine are the bottom ones.  One sock was ready for ribbing and the other had about 3+ inches to go on the cuff before the ribbing.

I remember on Friday Marina wrote to say she was spending most of her weekend trying to get her shawl done on time.  I thought she meant before her trip to Madison but, no, she meant before the Olympics ended.  I was happy to tell her it went until Thurs or Friday.
Then this morning while talking on the phone with my mother she mentioned the Olympics ending today.  I said I thought it was later in the week so she checked her newspaper and confirmed today as the day. My mother sometimes gets her dates mixed up but since the newspaper said the same she had to be right. Don't know where I got the 17th as the ending from either.
Sheesh!  And there went today's schedule of getting the paperwork for the skirt done.  I immediately turned on my ipod and the latest book I am listening to - Fern Michaels' Kentucky Series (I'm on Bk2).

Amazing how much knitting can get done when one puts one's mind and fingers to it and does not check email or facebook.

These will ship tomorrow!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

19.5 - 9.5 + 0.5

I play Words with Friends from Zynga with a few friends.  Yesterday Ruth played ungot.  Ungot?  What kind of English is that?  We fooled around thinking of other un words - unhad, unborrowed, uneat, unknit.......

Little did I know what a portend that was.

About midnight when I was merely about 120 iterations away from completing the skirt I had a brainstorm.  Before even completing the I-cord cast-off I wanted to see just how the skirt might look. There were enough stitches off the needles to allow for that neat sneak peak.  So I spread the skirt on the table and it was HUGE.  Really HUGE. How could that have happened?  Was I just too tired and not seeing correctly?  No the circumference was really really big.  I had planned for some flounce but when I started analyzing the results I realized that the flounce was only meant to be 3-4 inches but now it was 9.5 to account for the extra length I misread.  Sigh.  Midnight is not the time to make big decisions.  But I was now not at all sleepy either so I left the skirt to sit and watch an episode of The Closer.  When I got back to it there was no difference but I was tired enough to sleep.

I woke up several times to relook, each time nothing had changed.  I guess I was hoping my view might change or my reaction - something.  Nope.  Even this morning at 7 it looked too big and bulky.
However this morning I also could think more rationally.  OK, so I submitted a piece to be done in sport weight yarn and they changed it to worsted making for automatic bulkiness.  Also when I lengthened the third tier got elongated. I could now see how out of proportion it was.  The second tier should be way longer and the third back to 3-4 inches.  sigh.  Major sigh.

So I fed Basel and the kitties and the bunnies and went to put out the new fly catcher thingie which really does keep flies away from the buns.  You know the kind you fill with water and dump in the magnet smelly stuff?  The old one was so full of dead smelly flies that it split when I lifted it. Dead smelly flies all down one leg, into my expensive Alegria clogs and all over the top of the bunny run.  DISGUSTING is too mild a word.  After I cleaned it all up I roamed the fresh smelling yard getting rose, berry, apple and Bee Balm branches for the buns.  On my way back to the bunnies I saw that the new, just put out, fly catcher thingie had separated from its top and spilled all over the spot I had just cleaned up.  Seems the screw on cap is not quite right so doesn't stay on.  Made in China is starting to mean no quality control. Not my morning.

I had something cool to drink, had an attitude adjustment and looked at the skirt again.  It had not changed and neither had my opinions.  OK. Frogging time. UNknitting.  Good thing most of the ends are left for tying at the end or it might have been a nightmare with 4 colors.

Several days of knitting now looks like this.

(I figure grayscale reballed yarn is not giving anything important away.)

The last time I frogged this piece it was 5 rounds from done, this time on the last round. Hopefully now it actually gets completed to my satisfaction.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Almost Done

The skirt, which I cannot show you even a bit of and that is so frustrating, is about to be done.  I am casting off.  Of course the cast-off involves I-cord so is 3 times as long to do as a regular cast-off.  I love the look of I-cord so put up with the repeat stitches but like to whine about it.

*knit 2, slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch, move 3 stitches to left needle* and repeat what seems like endlessly until one day in the far future you reach the last stitch.

One of the socks is ready for gussets and the other is 2 inches shorter.  Once this skirt is done those socks will fly.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's All Good

Part the first:

Friday night T (w/ Theo and Jeremy),

 Ruth and Shirley

Becki, me and Aimee all met up at Panera's for the GREAT CAST-ON.  Marina could not make it and Deirdre was Missing in Action.  We had such a great time some of us didn't leave until almost 9.

Ruth and T both started baby/toddler sweaters.  
Aimee a hat. (photos complements of Aimee)

Becki and I both began toe-up socks and Shirley was new, not a Ravellenics participant but was invited anyway to join us after her shift at Panera's.  The more knitters the merrier.

Becki had made little toe swatches with her hand spun 2 -ply MVOS.  Me I made the world's smallest swatch, (shown in the last blog) and incomprehensively believed those measurements so cast on with US zeroes.  After 3/4 of an inch I realized that the fabric was way tight.  We discussed this little difference from the swatch and decided I should leave the toes alone as they will never wear out, but do the main part of the socks with US1's and the heels with US0's.    Then we thought about how that swatch didn't work very well even though I used 3 needle sizes and measured carefully.

I also remembered the rule about swatches needing to be about 4" by 4".  Hmmmmm.  Think that makes much difference in gauge?  Duh - well I guess it sure does.

However, even with the fooling around, eating and fun my first evening's goal of completing 2 toes was accomplished.

Part the second:
Saturday's goal was to get the skirt ready for cast-off and do an inch on each sock.

One inch was accomplished on one sock and then I went back to the skirt.  At around 7pm, when I was about 5 rows from cast-off, Jim remarked that the skirt was awfully short.  I answered that Rick wanted it short and pulled out the email with Rick's sketch of dimensions.  That was when I saw the the 12" was not for the entire skirt but for the hip to hem measurements.  oh my!  So I measured the last tier and came up 5 inches short as it should be 17", not twelve.   What to do?  What to do?  I left it alone for a bit to let my brain cool down and ponder this puzzle.  Actually I went and watched an episode of While Collar on my netflix CD.  I do love that show.  

That bit of space let me decide to keep tiers one and two as is (phew!) and only redo tier 3. The decision could have been to start over so I was grateful.  At 10pm I began frogging.  Mind you this meant removing a stitch marker every 6 sts for over 300 stitches and not losing most of them.  I slowly removed the needle which allowed me to lift off the st markers and then frogged back to round 5.  At that point I had no real plan so thought some sleep might help before I messed it all up. Sometimes I am clever and sometimes I am not.  Looks like this was a combo event.

But before I headed up to bed I wanted to recheck the tier 3 stitch pattern.  It hadn't been turning out the way I wanted and I needed to know where I had gone wrong.  I wanted a scalloped edge effect but was only getting mesh.   Actually I had been telling myself that becuase I was using a 40" needle and the skirt had a larger circumference at that point that the needle was holding the scalloping as straight. 

Of course I couldn't find the page where the pattern was located so looked through at least 5 stitch books.  One thing I saw in common in all of them was the fact that if you want a scalloped effect the yo's need to be in the same column of stitches.  I was doing a dropped st pattern but the idea was essentially the same.  hmmmnnn   Finally I found the little idea book the skirt was dreamed up in and sure enough there was the Elongated - Wave Stitch, p81 of Barbara Walker's Treasury, Book 1.  Hmmmmnnn the picture does what I wanted so where did I go wrong? 
 Now I was wide awake.  Slowly the instructions were charted. It was then that I saw that the dropped sts did not go above each other but alternated in each row so that the elongated stitches cancelled out the regular stitches after every 2nd row.  Odd very odd.  It was now almost 11, the bunnies needed to go to bed and so did I.  The picture only alternates after every 4 +2  rows.

This morning I re-looked at the instructions and saw that this pattern was listed as 8 st + 6.  That means any multiple of 8 plus 6 stitches on the end.  However in the first 4 rows it only uses 8+2 sts.  The last 4 use 8+6 though.  hmmmmmnnnnnnn   I never expected an error in a Barbara Walker book but think we have one here.  I recharted to mimic the picture then did a swatch to check.  Sure enough it now works properly.  My copy is ancient so maybe/hopefully in the newer ones this has been corrected?

Frogged back another 3 rounds and then tinked and placed the st markers back where they belonged.  Funny how things work easier in the morning.  So because I made a length mistake I was able to catch a major stitch error before I cast-off, felt done and then sadly had to frog it all out.  Funny how the Universe does guide if it is left alone to do so.  Thank you.

Alas, no more was accomplished on the sock but the skirt is back to round 5 with more rounds planned for this afternoon after July's Fondle This! kits are made ready.