Friday, May 25, 2007

A Productive Night

Well, I am finally making some progress in my lengthy list of projects, UFOs and the endless pursuit to organize my creative outlets. Much like my eating habits, my eyes are MUCH bigger than what is good for me and I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, sometimes quite literally. I could be stranded on a desert island with the contents of my craft room and be content for years - by the way, that is on my Christmas List!

My co-worker's daughter has a birthday coming up and she asked me if I could make her some socks. I, being the plain Jane I am (and having no use for them for myself), had just the perfect socks to make for someone who can pull off pretty.

These are Twinkle Toes by Cookie A.
(there is a free pattern here: DIY Network
I used Yarn Botanika in Peach Spice
(again in a color I could never pull off)
Superwash Merino & Tencel in a fingering weight on US size 2
It took approx. 176 yds. for a size 8 1/2 foot.
I squeezed my skis into them to get these pictures and I am sure glad I did - I would have hated not having a picture of these.
I also pulled this together pretty quick. As per the plan's claims, "if you start it today, you can use it tomorrow. It only took about 4 hours to knit, felt and block.

Amanda's Squatty Sidekick by Amanda Berka sent through Knitting Daily
I used Paton's Classic Wool in Chestnut Brown and Moda-Dea Gleam in Jasper
It was knit on US10 1/2 circulars which was like knitting on tree trunks. I am glad to be moving on to some smaller needles.

I also have been updating my knitting journal like a good girl, with pictures, yarn samples, details, changes and all. I have purchased a few clear containers for projects so "Hanz the Chewer" can't eat my progress. They double as a teaser toy for him... he can see the yarn so it keeps him busy trying to get at it. If he is busy at that then he is not trying to help me take pictures.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hell Hole Canyon

Southern California has so many great places to hike that you could literally hike every weekend for several years and never hit all of them - AND if you did, many of the desert hikes drastically change each year due to flash flooding during the "wet season". Since it can get pretty hot out there, I am trying to eek out the last few East County hikes this month as the weather is getting warm very quickly. This past weekend a friend and I hit inappropriately named Hell Hole Canyon - apparently it was named more for the 'hell of a time' it was to migrate through more than a description of the weather and surroundings.

I will say that it is always surprising to me how such beauty can grow out of such desolation.

We had a great time - of course we just did the lower portion... the upper portion goes from the originating 1800' to 3030' in less than 2 miles and there is NO foliage to provide shelter OR to photograph - which is why we went in the first place.

The lower trail starts out desert (top picture), has a sudden dip into a wooded area surrounding a creek (complete with mud and a tadpole! - not something you see many of here in such a dry climate) and suddenly you are back up to desert (see the desert through the trees??).
The rocks at one point formed a cave which I am sure something had made a home out of - a palace in such a sunny dry area.
We didn't hike very far due to the frequent stops we made for pics but the first 1/4 mile is a 200' decent which coming back is all up hill. I'll call that my exercise for the day.

Well, we got some great pictures and we had a great day (even if I did get very sunburned on my arms - even with 2 layers of SPF 30.
By the way.... did you see the needles?!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


My friend surpised me with this great banner as well as a business card template with a picture she took. I do believe I will be doing some cooking for her this weekend. Thank you Deb!

Finishing up old projects

I have a tendency to get projects 90-95% done and then just STOP. Either in my head it is done and I run out of steam or worse I RUN OUT OF MATERIALS!!!!!
That is what happened with this...
The After Dark Nightie from Mason-Dixon Knitting
(the T-shirt is because no one wants to see that much of my skin... thus the "after dark" part of the title) I didn't do as much open work on the top lace work so that the neon reflection from my pasty-ness wouldn't keep me awake at night.
I used the recommended yarn:
Euroflax Linen in Sandalwood The pattern called for 4 hanks, I bought 5 and ran out while binding off (in December - HEY! I don't judge YOU!) I finally got around to ordering more and since I now had 99 yards left over, I decided to knit straps - just 4 stitches in garter stitch until I got the length I wanted. I didn't need fancy adjustable ones... no one else will be wearing it but me. Also, I didn't feel too concerned about them stretching out since sleepwear is usually worn while you are horizontal thus taking the gravity affect away (if only we could apply that 24/7!)
I now have 99 yards left over which I will probably use for:
The Basic Bra from Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael (who I LOVE!!! - I have another 95% done project from her in my "To Do" pile) I purchased the book during a "little" book spree - call it productive PMS shopping - and have a deal with myself that since I want to make most of the book that I won't start ANY of the patterns until I have caught up on my finish work. Maybe by that time I will be the same size of the models in the book - "Bra shown measures 34B. Panties shown measure 23" - or maybe I can't just make that size and wear it on my lower legs! Bitch! - OH wait! my lower legs are BIGGER than that! Bitch! Doesn't anyone FEED these women?! AND, how is it that we still have women this size? They CAN'T POSSIBLY reproduce with hips that size! Doesn't evolution weed anorexia out? OK, maybe not - but do we have to flaunt it? How many knitters (who are usually mothers) actually look like that? Show us the 38D women with the saggy boobs (DAMN THAT GRAVITY!) from breast feeding and bras that actually hold us up Show us the women with child bearing hips! I think I was born with hips wider than 23"!
...Funny story... My name was supposed to be Francesca Maria but my mother - always looking out for me - looked at me, just a few minutes old and decides that with a butt the size of mine (yes, at only a few minutes old) they would surely call me 'Fanny' and so to save me years of torment, she went with Plan B - THANK GOD! Thank you Mom!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More socks

I will never buy socks again. I have finished my 2nd pair of socks and I can't figure out whether I enjoyed making them or wearing them more.

The pattern is from called Widdershins by Brooke Chenoweth Creel (no cables)
I used a Collinette colorway called Jitterbug on US 1 DPNs
Approx. 129 yds. of 100% Superwash Merino - Color 128 - Castagne
I used the Universal Toe Up Sock Formula for the toe and did 1" of ribbing starting 2" above the heel.

(When you have "kankles" (as The Man calls them) like I do, and calves just as big, you don't try to make socks that go anywhere past the ankle unless you want to take out a loan for the yarn.)
Since I made them short I will be able to get another pair of socks out of the same hank - gotta love that!
Well, off to figure out what socks I am making next!! I am thinking about stepping it up a notch and doing some cables or maybe some lace - I'll let you know as soon as I do!