Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dear Cathy, Naomi, and Sharon - It's a pirate's life for me, my hearties! This hat makes me feel like singing all the great pirate songs from A Three-Penny Opera and Pirates of Penzance. It will be even better when it is lined and blocked. My first fair-isle experience hasn't been too bad, unless you count the part where I was over half finished and decided it was too tight and the strands were a mess so I frogged it and started over. Well, not totally frogged; I left the provisional cast on and the first couple rounds, which were solid colors. Fair-isle may not have been the best choice for Olympic knitting if I had intended to actually watch the games and not just listen to them, but I have looked up for an occasional replay!

These are valentine socks that got delayed by the Olympic challenge, but they should be done by the end of February, which will put them in the right month!

Cathy, you are so right about the wool sock comments! Haven't these people ever worn wool socks? I wear them myself until the weather reaches the 80's, and then I give up on socks entirely. Mostly I wear commercially made wool socks, since I give away most of the socks I make (that's gotta stop) and I am discouraged by how quickly they wear out at the heels and toes.

I just found out that the baby I'm making a blanket for in due April 21, so that project has to jump back into the queue. It has reached what the Yarn Harlot calls the knitting black hole: yarn goes in but nothing comes out! Must focus, must focus.

I have a little garden experiment set up in my family room: tomato plants from seed in 5 little peat pots under a grow light! I got seeds of 2 varieties that are supposed to grow well in containers, and since that is all the space I'm willing to devote to vegetables I decided to try these varieties. I started the pots on a heating pad under plastic, and as soon as they sprouted I moved them off the heat and under a light with no plastic. As of now there are 4 sprouts and one still on the heat. I'll keep you posted!

The Norway trip is taking shape. We reserved a cabin on the 7-day coastal cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes. On the fourth day we cross the artic circle, so at that time of year (late June) we have three chances of seeing the midnight sun. I am getting very excited about this trip and plan to go ashore at all 34 stops, even though some of them are only 45 minutes and may be in the middle of the night. There will be sleep enough in the grave; I don't need regular sleep on this trip.

Keep up all the good work, and keep those posts and e-mails coming.



Monday, February 20, 2006

Socks that Rock, Baby Blankets and a Hit Man

Dear Pointy Things friends.
The weekend was cold enough to have a fire - raw and wet and cold. Today was still cloudy, but I had to kick the A/C on to get some cooler air in this place.

I know that Ellen is an Olympic knitter and would like to see the progress on her project. I for one, am by the sidelines cheering all on as they work towards the finish line. I present you with a finished project that has NOTHING to do with the Olympics, but if I were there, I would have them on my tootsies. Socks that Rock Yarn in the Mesa colorway - size 2 needles - cast on 56 and sock away. They feel good on the feet - it's always interesting to hear the comments when you tell folks you are wearing wool socks. They ask 2 things most of the time. Don't they make your feet and legs itch (NO), and don't your feet sweat (NO).

Status of baby blankets - the one that went to rehab is in phase one of recovery - I have bordered it with a garter stitch where I don't have to add an edge to it. Should have been smart and done it in the first place. The one for Elliott has the center finished and is ready for the edging to begin.

Also on the needle: Ellen and I are working on trying to match up a sock joint effort - she has completed one sock and I am in the midst of working on the other - it's been interesting that her size 1 knitting work is looser than my size 2 knitting work giving a completely different look. So I am now on size 1's again since my size 2's would be too big in circumference, but cannot adjust the number of stitches cast on due to the pattern of the sock. Knitting can be so interesting!

ON the reading front: Been slowed down by doing a little reading. Finished reading The Rebel Angel by Robertson Davies - that was an interesting book. Focused too much on stuff that, if I put some of the terms in this blog, would probably get some hits from folks searching for more than just knitting - they would be so disappointed.
More interestingly, I am reading Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins - found that gem on CSpan's weekend Book TV.

Well Presidents' Day came and went - so now we start a new week on Tuesday!


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Playing with pointy things

Cathy, Ellen and Sharon,

It seems we have all been busy. I keep forgetting to take down the Christmas tree, I missed Epiphany and then St. Valentine's day but maybe I can get it down before St. Patrick's day.
For Christmas I received 100 g of NoBo yarn which is just perfect for the beret I want to knit and I found a beret pattern that seems appropriate for my knitting skill level, practicing on some other yarn first. Lots of increases but Cathy showed me an easier way to increase so that is my next project. Still working on the two shawls.

Ellen's cat beds are great. Lucky cats. Another superior product that Ellen produced is the beautiful daughter holding the kitten in her last post. Ellen asked about Bleak House on PBS. It was tempting but I am trying to wean myself from TV so opted not to watch. The last few months I became dependent on TV after years of seldom watching. Now the legislature is in session feel sure Ellen's days are long.

Two babies that Cathy is knitting shawls for arrived this week. One shawl is finished, one to go. And she has a pair of socks working. How does she do it ?

What's new with you Sharon?
Cheers all. Naomi