Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Eastern Sock in a Western World

Today, in the seemingly never ending parade of socks, I bring you my Pomatomus socks. They are from Knitty, which I would link but I think you all know what I'm talking about and the Knitty home page is acting all funny, so I'm letting it go.
Anyhow, this is more than a repeat and a half. I did one repeat successfully in the car on the way back from California, but didn't pay enough attention to that little stitch rearranging deal you do after you finish the chart. I started the second repeat, got 3 rows in, realized the mistake, tinked back, and needed a break. Okay, really I got pissed off and threw the thing in my bag, but there's no need to go into the sordid details. Alas, I was annoyed and my hands hurt from all those K2togtbl. Yeah, that gets old. And that's even coming from the girl that used to think that Ktbl was the way to knit normally. I can see why people are frequently just doing plain knits in this pattern and moving on with their lives. I don't think that it helps that this is the medium weight STR and not the light weight. Although, I suppose I might end up doing the light weight on size 1, which would probably mean that it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference, but who knows. Having never seen the light weight, I can't say what I would knit it on.
Anyhow, after doing so much on this pattern yesterday my fingers feel a little funny and my wrists are not feeling so hot. I don't think that this pattern will be going anywhere fast. While it is fun, it hurts like hell after awhile, so this might only see action once a week or so. Maybe a little more once I get down to the foot where I only have to pattern on a couple of needles. I'm starting to wish that I hadn't "sucked it up" and done the Ktbl approach, but I didn't think it was going to be such a big deal when I started, especially considering my stupidity learning experience in the past. I was wrong. It sucks. But, hindsight is 20/20. I sure as hell am not ripping out the hours of work I've put in so far. They will simply take me much longer to do. No big deal, especially since it isn't exactly sock wearing season right now (hello! 96 degrees yesterday!).

So that's the Eastern Sock bit. Now for the Western Town......

While we were in Cali I kept seeing these signs for Paramount's Western Town, so I asked the soon-to-be MIL about it. Apparently, it is the large stretch of land and buildings, owned by Paramount, and used to film any sort of western style film or tv show. The likes of Gunsmoke and Dr. Quinn have been filmed there, and from the look of some of the buildings, I think Maverick might have had a moment or two in this town, but I could be wrong. See if anything looks familiar to you....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sock crazy

I've been hard at work on my Jaywalkers, lately, and here's the evidence. I'm past the heel, on to the foot and through the gusset decreases. I started it after getting exceedingly pissed off at myself for screwing up the Pomatomus socks, while on the road back from California. I haven't turned back since (Don't worry, I didn't frog them, just put them aside).
I never thought I would have any desire to knit these after the mania that ocurred at Cara's, but I must say, there was pretty good reason for it. The pattern is simple and entertaining, and easy to pick up at any time. I've had to tink back my share of rows for forgetting to switch to a pattern or non-patterning round, but it hasn't gotten to me at all. I must say I'm surprised because that has happened a LOT. What can I say, I'm easily distracted.
One thing I must say is that I'm using Lorna's Laces and I've been really pissed off with this skein. I had to break and start about a foot further down the yarn because there was a part where all but one of the plies had been broken and were untwisting down the yarn. Now I have a nice hole where I did that and have to try to weave in the yarn to cover it. I've also found an especially large number of pills. Some of them won't even come off. When I tug at them, it becomes apparent that removing them would break one of the plies and I'd be in the same mess all over again. I'm hoping that this is just a poo poo skein and that the other one is not like this. I'd be especially aggravated if it was. The only other thing is that it might be the colorway. I don't why, but I guess it's possible, especially since I didn't have any problems with either of my Black Purl socks. Oh and that second pic there is just to show you the color better. My camera seems to have major issues with color and direct sunlight. Figure that one out!

And Now for Something Completely Different:

Here are some crazy pictures of the out of control fog at my soon to be In-Laws place in Cali. Apparently in the spring every night the fog rolls in, so when you wake up it looks like this:

And then later in the afternoon, say between 12-2, it all burns off and looks like this:

And then it all rolls back in again that evening. I had never seen anything like it!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Of Elephants and Peacocks

After I landed in California, last week, Fiance took me to his parents house. At this point I had had a hideous travel experience and was both famished and tired. We decided to stop at the house, change and head out to eat. As we pulled out of the house, heading for dinner, I glazed over while looking out the window, until something caught my eye. That something was so out of place that it caused me to yell "holy $&@#, there's a peacock in the road!" It was perhaps not the best response because it freaked fiance out and caused him to slam on the brakes. And then he said, very calmly I might add, "Oh, yeah....they have them around here." Needless to say I was a little more than surprised to find out that right up the street was a park that happened to have peacocks. They are not "wild" since someone put them there, but they do quite well for themselves. They are not kept in cages or a petting zoo, but rather are allowed to roam as they please around the neighborhood. It was strange, indeed, but really fun. They aren't the sharpest birds in the world, but sure are entertaining to follow around. Here are some more pictures of the random, but beautiful, birds I met.Click for big

Yesterday, I had dinner with my Mom for Mother's Day. Yes, I know, I'm a little behind, however, considering I was in California on the actual day, I was given some leniance. =) Knowing that this dinner was coming, I managed to finish the elephant that I talked about, so long ago. It took a LOT longer than I had anticipated, more than twice the time that LMKG seems to thinks it should. I knew it was going to take me a little longer, but the amount of time it acutally took was insane. I'm thinking over 20 hours here. Some of it had to do with the yarn, some with making it bigger, and some with me never having made a knitted stuffed before. Could I do it again, but faster? Yes. Will I? Likely not.

Yarn: 2 blobs of Belleza Collection: Dolcetto from Joann's (best color pic here), a bit of pink Shine Sport left over fromt he Intarsia baby blanket, and leftover Cascade 220 from a scarf.
Needles: US 6 16" and 24" circs and set of 5 dpns
Gauge: Forgot to measure
Pattern: Elephant from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Measurements: About 16" tall and 7" wide without ears at full extension
Notes: I made about every change I could to this pattern. I used a bulky yarn instead of 2 sport weight strands held together (except where I used pink "Shine sport" to make the tip of the nose, I made it about 150% bigger than intended by casting on more stitches and knitting more rounds (time consuming), I made it a "him" instead of a "her" by using blue Cascade 220 to make the scarf, I did extra decreases for the neck, and extra increases and decreases for the ears. I'm sure the list is even longer, but I can't remember all of them =)
The pattern was pretty cool, though, except for being a little small. Most toys I've seen have ALL the peices knit flat and then sewn on, whereas the arms and legs are knit flat, and then the legs are joined by using 2 circs and knit together to make the body. This reduced some of the seams and sewing, but I managed to make up for that by having to sew extra on the ears that I made too big and floppy. Ooops.
Either way, "he" turned out well and my Mom couldn't believe that I made him. A fellow knitter could have noticed, but for a first try, he looked pretty good.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Exciting News!

I am back, lovely readers and I have some very exciting news! See this gorgeous rock?? That beautiful ring came from Boyfriend, who has been upgraded to Fiance! That's right! He proposed and I said yes! Despite the fact that most of the English speaking world had been consulted on the proposal and ring, I was completely surprised when he got down on one knee at the Grand Canyon! It was adorable and I was totally shocked. This is the spot that we overlooked when he popped the question. I love these two rocks because they look like bird baths. I wanted to climb down there and put some water in them, but it was
a) a poorly planned idea since I don't rock climb
b) I was shaking from surprise and excitement.

Maybe some day in the future. =)

After we had both calmed down, we looked over and there was another couple hanging out on our little over look with a little friend.

This little gray guy had come up to this gentleman who had been eating and hit him up for some Lays potato chips. He couldn't have just one either. He crawled up in the guys lap and starting munching away. The guy would give him a little peice of chip right to his mouth and he would take it and then hold it in his little hands and munch it until it was gone. It was absolutely nuts. No pun intended.

Here's a close up of him reaching up for the bag that Fiance was holding in his hands. It was crazy. He had absolutely no fear of humans at all.

And lastly (for today, that is), here are some more shots of the gorgeous landscape of the Grand Canyon. Please brace yourself for some very picture intense posts in the next few days. There will be lots of knitting photos too. Just check my side bar and you'll see all kinds of surprises! Visual updates are on the way.

Also, I would like to know which of you conspired to make my news gator feeds explode. I logged on to over 400 new feeds. You people sure are busy! I'll be trying to catch up with everyone this week, and next, so if you get a comment from some archived post, it's just little ole me trying to catch up with the cool kids. ;)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Aquisitions Dept.

My apologies for the delay in getting this posted. I've had nothing but trouble convincing Blogger to upload the pictures. It would work and then quit and work and quit, and I think I finally got them all in!

Here we are, a post full of yorn! I went to post this yesterday and couldn't convince blogger to upload the photos, and a post about yarn with no pictures is pointless, so I threw in the towel.

Here is my first yarn. It's a Tess' Design sock yarn. The color wasn't true on the camera monitor, but it is on this computer screen. It's a nice deep, solid blue.
I had it in my mind that I needed to buy a bunch of solid colored yarn because I'm not big on lacey/cabley patterning on variegated yarn. Ofcourse, this was the only solid yarn I could manage to buy. That's what happens what you're a color addict.

Next up we have this Merino from Tess' as well. It's between 500-600 yards and the color looks much darker on my monitor. It's kind of a crappy shot, but I don't think it will ever show up right because the variegation is so subtle. It's green to blue and I love it! It's soft, there's a ton of yardage, and the colors are gorgeous. Plus the price was right ;) I'm intending to make it a shrug, but I have a very specific design I want to do, and since I don't have a lot of experience in this department, I think I'm going to try another shrug pattern with a different yarn, and see what I learn. Then I will tackle this one

Here we have some Lorna's Laces. I am very fond of this yarn and had to practically fight Heather for this colorway. We could only find three skeins of it. I think it's called Vera. I'm thinking about making the pomatomus socks with it, but I want to look around and see if anyone made those out of Lornas and see how the striping/pooling worked out for them.

And lastly, here is my STR! As Heather mentioned, getting just these skeins was a small nightmare. There were people everywhere and they were not polite in any way. Pushing, shoving, the works. I am happy with these colors, though. The green will likely be the emobossed leaves from IW and I have no plans for the other color. Sorry, I was too silly to look at the color names for any of these skeins. When I finally knit them up, I'll tell you what they are.
Boyfriend and I are driving cross country next week, so I will be out until next weekend. I hope everyone his nice week and weekend(s). I'll take lots of blurry pictures of the countryside for you =) and promise not to post them all. I hope to have lots of knitting progress to show when I return since I'll be sitting in the car/plane/airport for long periods of time.

It should be interesting, but I'm not looking forward to seeing my newsgator feeds when I get back!

The garden

I just wanted to put some of my flower shots up in a separate post. So here it is. Yorn and such to follow....

This is a close up of the flowers that have exploded from my thyme plant. These little pods showed up and I thought they were the flowers, and then they got all brown a couple of days later, and I thought "that was fast!" Then about a week later these purple flowers came out of the pods. It's almost how a salvia explodes. You think they're dead and then they pop out of the pods. Very cool.

This is one of the roses that Boyfriend left on my desk. You can really tell here that it's a double flowering rose. It's kind of neat to see like that, but it's not my favorite when it opens. The rest of the roses we have are single flowering.

One of the roses when it's completely open. Once they get to this point, they quickly decline. The head drops from all of the weight and the bloom goes brown. It happens in a matter of a day or so. At this point they smell amazing, though, and even once the are at the end and I dead head them, I can take them and dry them and they retain their gorgeous scent. If I could get it together enough, I could make a spectacular potpourri.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


As the weather has been rather gloomy since I got out of a concert on Sunday afternoon, I haven't been able to take pics of my MD S&W aquisitions. The weather has just cleared up, so I can get you some "yorn" soon. I got some STR and some Tess'. Most aquisitions are going to be socks one day, but I did get some for a ballet style shrug for when my office turns into the meat locker (sorry sheep!)
Until then I will distract you with some photogenic fur producers.

Impending knitting content: 1 yarrow rib sock completed and kitchenered(!) and the cuff of the second half way done, and more knit tonight. (I hope)

This gal has an eye on ewe.
Omg that was awful! I'm so sorry. Feel free to groan.

There were loads of lamby-kins and I wanted to cuddle all of them. Sadly they look down on this at the festival unless you intend to buy.
Hrm, this black sheep is giving me the same stare I alwatys get from Jordan. Somehow I doubt she wants a milkbone.

Look at the horns on this guy! This is a Jacob sheep. Apparently this breed goes back to biblical times and hasn't really been altered since. They can have 2, 4 or 6 horns! We didn't see any with 6, but I would love to.

The wrinkly nose makes me giggle. These sheep look so tired all the time.

This is an Angora bunny. I think I have dust bunnies floating around the house that might be this big. Too bad I can't make yarn from them. I'd make millions! Okay, thousands...

Just kidding around. Some kids playing and eating. They were adorable and cheap. Boyfriend should thank his lucky stars we're not zoned for live stock.

Here's another good reason. Alpacas are so dman cute. Where's the next alpaca fest?

Things that make you hrm....and ew! all in the same breath.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Still Here

I know that it seems like I have fallen off the face of the planet, but it's not true. I am here, but I have been very busy. I usually have a spare moment or two to myself at work to blog, but I have not been afforded that time lately. I've also been a grumpy so and so lately, but today it's just so darn lovely outside, there's no way I could be down. It's a gorgeous day, and my mood is looking up.
And so I present you a mostly done Vesper sock. I turned the heel, and have completed the decreases on the foot. It fits like a dream. I had to turn the heel twice because of what looks to be a mistake in the heel. Every other heel in the book has you knit or purl one stitch after you SSK or P2tog, but this heel doesn't. What you're left with is the same shaping, but there are holes. Bad holes. That really grumped me out. So I ripped it out and did it again using other directions. This time no holes, and a happy Jes.
This baby should be done in time for MDS&W. I can't wait! I'll be happy to finish one and rewind the ball. I want to see how much is left after making a whole sock. I know it's plenty and I know that the ball will be a little smaller (read more portable) when I rewind it.

And since you know there's no way I could get through a post without showing a little plant or two, so here ya go. This is one of my wee tomato plants (that I clearly started too late! but oh well). I'm so proud, though, because it's getting real leaves. Several of the other tomato plants are getting leaves, and another Brandywine tomato even decided to germinate and poke it's head out. I don't know that it will do all that well, but it sure was funny to see a latecomer popping up. The peppers are getting ready to bust out, and if I see roots poking out, they'll get a transplant, but otherwise they're stuck in the flat until I see new leaves on them too.

And finally, to show you how adorable Boyfriend is, this is what I found on my keyboard last night after a long, long day.It's one of the first roses off the season off of our out of control tea rose. This plant is gorgeous, but it's a mammoth, and at least 6 ft. already. The flowers on it are beautiful and fragrant, and come all season long. I can't tell you how wonderful this little rose smelled.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I'll post an update after MD S&W. =)