(Knit.) Read and re-read and studied and analyzed the Snicket Sockspattern until I finally figured out how the leg pattern works. It's not all that hard, but I had put the pattern on my iPad instead of printing it out and that meant I could not compare the written instructions side by side with the chart -- had to keep flipping back and forth. When I bit the bullet and attempted to print out the chart, my husband's computer (the only one with a functioning printer at the moment) locked up. So I went back to flipping back and forth between screens and eventually it all clicked.
Attended our lake association annual meeting, gave my report on doings in county government. (I am the county board rep on our lake association board.)
Knit. Started a simple ribbed hat with the skein of Knit Picks Swish Bulky that was left over from my hat and scarf. This turned out to be the perfect thing to knit while watching the above movies because I didn't need to keep my eyes on my knitting, thereby freeing them to read the subtitles.
Made a dandy dinner that took less than 10 minutes of actual prep time. Stir-fried chicken with jalfrezi sauce over brown rice with steamed asparagus. One more thing out of the pantry, one more thing out of the freezer.
Began cleaning my office. My first goal is to clear a path wide enough to use a walker easily, in preparation for my recovery from the hip replacement. Once that is accomplished -- probably today -- I will begin dealing with the clutter around the edges.
Played many rounds of Word Seek with Smokey. He worked this weekend (nights as always) so he tended to fall asleep after two or three games.
Did NOT knit on the deck. Not quite warm enough. Yet.
I have been wanting to make some patterned socks for rather a long time, but most of my sock yarn is not suited to that. For the past couple years I have tried to remember that when buying sock yarn, to greater and lesser success.
This Regia yarn was essentially free in a Webs order last year b/c my total was enough to get the discount; said discount covered the cost of two skeins of this sock yarn.
1. Cast on to make these toe-up, not remembering that the pattern is top-down, and that if I want to make the cool heel pattern I need to knit them according to the pattern.
2. Cast on from cuff, work 2" of 1x1 ribbing. Discover that cuff is supposed to be k1tbl, p2.
3. Cast on following cuff pattern, work ~1/2". Discover that I twisted the knitting when I joined in the round.
4. Cast on following cuff pattern. Work 3 rows back-and-forth before joining in the round to ensure that work is not twisted.
Color is off in this photo, but I couldn't fix it without making my desk look even more overgrown with moss than it already is. (see next two photos)
Pattern:Sideways Grande Cloche from Boutique Knits. Mods: None except that I used a different, slightly heavier, yarn so I cast on 36 st for the body of the hat instead of 42. Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Bulky (100% superwash merino) in Aegean; 1 skein exactly. Needles: Knit Picks Options, US#10, 9, 8, and 7, as called for in the pattern. I do not understand why the designer had me use four different needle sizes, but whatever.
Scarf is not blocked yet so the lacy pattern is rather...camouflaged.
Pattern:Lace Rib Scarf by Kay Gardiner. I found this one by using Ravelry's advanced pattern search -- which is wizard, btw -- to look for a scarf using bulky yarn. I avoided ribbed ones b/c they draw in in width, and I didn't want to have to knit the scarf wider then necessary. Lazy efficient, me. Yarn: (same as above, 2 skeins exactly) Needles: Knit Picks US#9 because they were handy. Kay used US#10s for the same reason.
This is a more accurate portrayal of the color from the KP website:
This will be a cozy set to wear next winter when the winds howl. Color is gonna be kinda boring next to my brown coat, but whatevs.
Got a call yesterday morning from the surgeon's office. Hip replacement is tentatively on for Tuesday, June 4. Nurse still had to clear it with the actual surgeon. I had called last Friday and left a voicemail. Hello, remember me? The hip replacement that hasn't happened yet?
I finished these Sunday night whilst watching Wallander*.
Better photos in daylight.
Yarn:Country Classics Yarn for Sox Pattern: my usual, Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Socks, here worked over 48 st. Feet are a little too big (44 st would have been better) and legs are barely big enough, probably because I made them so tall. Shapely calves, etc. Needles: US#2 for the feet and ankles, US#3 for the leg. I just looked at other socks from this yarn on Ravelry; most people used a US#6, although there were a few 3s, 4s, 5s, and even 9s. No one else was dumb enough sufficiently intrepid to use a 2, though.
Photo styling assistance provided by the ever-helpful En Esch.
En: "I'm outta here!"
I call these bulletproof. Here is an example of their heftiness and body. I had to whap them back onto the table after they tried to walk away on their own.
* Kurt Wallander is played by Kenneth Branaugh. I would never have believed that Branaugh could be so annoying. He plays the character, a Swedish police inspector, as stoic to the point of being inarticulate. The only time he can put more than three words together is a, when he is discussing the case, and 2, when he is livid. After watching my way through two seasons of this on Netflix I have gotten used to him; either that or he has lightened up a bit on the tongue-tiedness. Also of note is the cinematographer's excessive fondness of wind-blown grasses/rape/other crops. Nice effect the first couple dozen times...
I am nearly done with my bulletproof socks. They were not as much fun to knit as I expected. Worsted weight yarn on US#2 needles = hard work. The socks will last forever but I'm not sure they are worth the effort. I think the second pair will be knit on US#4s.
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We think winter may be over. It hasn't snowed for over two weeks. (Hope I didn't jinx us with that statement.) Ice went out of the lake two weeks ago. We haven't had the heat on since Tuesday or Wednesday. Temp has been well over 70˚ for several days. I have opted for capris instead of long jeans. Our winter down comforters are just too warm for comfortable sleeping.
Let the summer begin!
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I ran out of coffee a couple days ago. Oh, the horror!
Happily, I had put in an order for my favorite -- a 3-pound bag of Alakef French Roast -- at the coffee kiosk in my tiny town. Younger Son picked it up for me on his way here today so I am currently enjoying a perfectly marvelous homemade quad latte.
Yesterday was Younger Son's birthday... and we totally forgot. We had been talking on and off about what to do for his 24th b'day so we didn't completely forget, but we missed the day.
I called him to apologize and wish him happy birthday and chat. He is such a good guy that he laughed it off -- sincerely, I think.
[digression] In somewhat the same vein, I just glanced over the last few posts. Jeez, one would think I lived in the Quagmire Of Despair, which I most emphatically do not. Guess I just like to complain. [/digression]
Now, in celebration of yesterday's birthday, here are a few choice photos of the boy's man's life. (My photo library is heavy on his teenage years and light on the past couple. Before that, no digital camera; after that, he moved 75 miles away.)
May 16, 1989: the story begins:
Much to his mother's delight, he was never camera-shy.
When we traveled, he liked to pose in front of things.
He always loved artsy-techno stuff.
He sometimes looked to shoes to express his wild side.
He has experimented with short hair...
...and a beard.
He has always had the most delightfully wacked-out sense of humor.
He has also always loved animals.
and eventually got a dog of his own.
For better or worse, biking is one of his passions.
In the comments to my post yesterday, Lisa directed me to the Apple Help topic on how to move the iPhoto library to a different location. Duh. Why didn't I do a little internet research myself?
Upon further reflection, however, I decided that my whining had more to do with my confidence in my own abilities (or lack thereof) and fear of failure (mainly the latter). The same thing happened last year when I whined about how my Apple Magic Mouse was so unreliable. Erika pointed me toward a site that described how to use folded bits of aluminum foil and paper to make the battery connections more solid.
Now, in my own defense, I have no problem googling and YouTube-ing for help on a knitting problem*. I guess I have more confidence in my knitting abilities than my computer abilities. It helps that one can actually see one's knitting; computers are virtual -- everything happens behind the curtain.
Okay. Not lazy. Scared.
Will I use this new-found knowledge of myself to my advantage? Will I do a little research on my own next time?
I celebrated my own Mother's Day yesterday -- spent pretty much the entire day in my recliner reading, watching Netflix, drinking coffee/soda/wine (as the day progressed), and knitting. This is Smokey's weekend to work (always with the night shifts) so when he is home he is tucked up in his bed with two dogs and a cat and a box fan for white noise. Today I might be productive. Hard to say, really.
Reading: A few weeks ago I read a piece in The Nation by Deborah Kopaken Kagan about her experiences as a woman author and how she was demeaned by the publishing industry. I was so inspired/enraged by her experience I clicked over to bn.com and bought all four of her books to read on my iPad. (I also clicked over to her website and sent her an email telling her what I did; she emailed back that it made her cry.) Anyhow, I want to recommend her books. She came from an ordinary middle-class background, graduated from Harvard, moved to Paris, worked as a photojournalist covering a lot of gritty stuff (ex., she went into Afghanistan alone during the Soviet-Afghan war), eventually married, had three kids, started to write. The woman has lived more in her 40-odd years than a dozen other other people put together. I highly recommend her books, especially Shutterbabe (memoir) and The Red Book (fiction). Her collection of essays, Hell Is Other Parents, is pretty damned good, too.
Yesterday's book was Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich. I had read the first 60+ pages in fits and starts and was not particularly engaged by it, but yesterday I decided to give it a chance to pull me in. Which it did, in spades. Protagonist is a quant who specializes in the odds of disasters; the 3-person consulting firm he works for makes him rich. Then a real mega-disaster hits New York City -- essentially Hurricane Sandy plus Katrina -- and his life changes. Some of the scenes were lifted straight out of the news stories of Katrina. Good book, four out of five stars.
Knitting: I am enjoying having several projects to hand at all times. A hat, a pair of socks, the top-down set-in sleeve sweater, a scarf of the same yarn as the hat. They are strewn about my chair in various stages of doneness. When I sit down there is the delicious feeling of What shall I pick up this time? Project monogamy, begone!
Stuff: Remember the humungous external hard drive? I have moved most of my data files over to it and gone into my most-often used programs to direct them to that drive for files. Two programs have me stumped, though: Excel and iPhoto. I can deal with the former, but iPhoto is being a bugger. I have searched through all its menus and preferences and cannot find a place to tell it where to store its files. My internal 160GB hard drive has 76GB of photos. It would be nice to get them all moved and backed up. All suggestions welcome. (I started to email Younger Son yesterday to ask him but got distracted, had to reboot, lost the email, yada yada. So I'm asking y'all.)
No photos popped into my head to illustrate today's post. Here, in honor of Mother's Day, is a gratuitous one from 1984 of me being a mom to Elder Son.
A couple summers ago I bought some worsted weight sock yarn when we were on the North Shore.
The person at the yarn store told me that one skein was not quite enough for a pair of socks, but that I could get two pairs out of three skeins. Hence, my choices.
During tax season I had decided that, when I had free time again, I was going to focus on knitting down my stash. Lots of good yarn there; time to use it. My priority would be to knit up the yarn that didn't fit into my Rubbermaid bins. Although I had planned exactly what I was going to knit first -- and it was not this sock yarn -- when the day actually came to pick up my pointy sticks, this is what I chose.
Sock The First:
It may not be apparent, but this sock is like armor. I knitted the foot and ankle on a US#2 and the leg on a US#3. Result: very dense fabric. The sock is also a little big on me; I am hoping a hot bath will correct that.
In other news, Younger Son was here yesterday to work on his car with Smokey. Did I ever show you the car they found for him to replace the 14-yo Chevy Metro he had been driving?
Someone had donated it to a tech school in St Paul, which sold it for very, very cheap, like <$2k cheap. YS is thrilled with it -- sunroof, turbo, heated seats, power everything, plus it all works (except for the speedometer, they are still working on that; he uses the GPS in his phone to gauge his speed).
Anyway, while he was here he installed a new external hard drive for me. My Mac Mini has a 160GB hard drive that is nearly full -- it has been nagging me for several months to delete stuff. I had done that, but it was a stopgap measure at best.
This external drive was one that had been sitting around where he works for a couple years; since his firm went to network storage they had no need for individual backup drives. It may not look impressive, but there are two 1TB hard drives in there. He set it up so that one mirrors the other -- automatic backup!
The copying/migration process, which kinda scared me, but to him was just click click, all in a day's work:
* * * * *
The official ice-out day on our lake was yesterday, May 5, the latest anyone can remember. Transiting geese and ducks and loons and maybe even some swans have been sighted and heard. The trees are still completely bare except that I saw that the swamp maple opposite our kitchen window was blooming. Maybe spring/summer really will come.
* * * * *
Well, there you have it: the minutiae of my recent life. Knitting has been on my mind constantly -- well, except for when I was fretting about the surgery -- and I hope to have more projects to show soon.
That phantom hip replacement? Postponed again. This is the fifth postponement. Let me just say... ARGHHHH!
Had the pre-op physical last Monday. Doc found a heart murmur, ordered an echocardiogram to check it out. I had been told about 40 years ago that I had a heart murmur but had none of the accompanying signs and symptoms that would indicate a problem. Apparently that is true when one is young, but this doc told me that as we age our heart valves become less flexible, and what was not a problem at 23 may become a problem at 63. Hence, the echo.
Results of echocardiogram: I have a noisy valve, not a defective one. No worries.
So why is the hip surgery postponed? I have a previously unsuspected urinary tract infection. No big deal, except that surgeon will not operate until my urine is clear. And two days of antibiotics was not enough to achieve that. He wants a clear urine culture, not just a clear urinalysis, and the former takes 48 hours and... there just weren't enough days between then and Monday to get there.
Wish I had remembered earlier that I needed the pre-op physical.
* * * * *
On the other hand, the spring weather has been... crappy. This was Friday when I went for the second urinalysis.
The lake is largely clear of ice but not nearly completely. This is the latest ice-out since we have been here, 22 years. The fishing opener is today on a lake farther north. The joke is that the folks there had their ice augers out to make sure their lake was clear.
Okay, now for something cheerful: the top-down sweater with the set-in sleeves is coming along nicely. Here is is drying after its preliminary blocking.
I thought it would be easier to pick up the neckband and button bands if I blocked it first. It may go to Afghans for Afghans or it may go to the Pine Ridge reservation or it may go into a cedar chest to await a possible grandchild. Hard to say...
Awhile back I won a contest at knitnzu.com. It was so long ago, in fact, that I don't remember what the contest was! Lisa offered the winner her choice from a number of different yarns. I gave her my list of favorites and told her to surprise me, so when the box came it was like Christmas and my birthday.
I warned Lisa at the time that the winnings wouldn't appear on the blog until after tax season. The time has come!
Yes, the yarn sat in its box until today.
There are three skeins of Lane Cervinia Cabrezza, a lovely soft woolen worsted which apparently was discontinued so long ago that even Google couldn't find it, let alone Ravelry.
Ha, ha, suckahs! I have the last three skeins in existance!
All lint and animal hair courtesy of our menagerie; opened box sat on couch for a l-o-n-g time.
Then there were two skeins of Knit Picks Palette, a yarn I have been contemplating. I bought one skein of Jamieson's fingering weight, thinking to experiment somehow, but it was so scratchy that I lost interest. The Palette, however, is a lovely soft wool. Methinks there may be some detailed colorwork mittens in my future (someday).
What colors would go with this rich bright brown?
Last but not least was this little treasure. Light fingering weight merino/nylon. Scarf? Socks? Time will tell.