Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving along

Hot on the heels of my bright red socks, I found a shawl pattern.  The moment I saw the pattern, and pushed the button to purchase, I knew exactly which yarn I'd use: Madelinetosh DK in red, red, red! Well you know what they say about plans...

I went upstairs to grab that red yarn and instead pulled out Louisa Harding's Thistle in the color, Stone. It's a blended yarn with merino wool and suri alpaca.  It's soft, drapes and will be really warm. There was plenty of yarn there as I'd originally purchased enough to knit a sweater.  In fact, I might have enough to knit two shawls.  I cast on last night and while I think I'm half way through the pattern, as the shawl grows by 4 stitches every other row, I know I'm not halfway through knitting.  Those rows are already more than 100 stitches long. This, well it may take awhile, but the yarn and the pattern are wonderful, so it's not exactly a hardship.

It's nice to realize that if my knitting mojo disappears once in awhile, it's always a temporary situation.

This weekend, I'm making up for a long stretch of days I just finished working by celebrating a 4 day stretch of laying low.  In fact, I'm proud of myself for turning them down this morning when they tried to cajole me into changing out of my pajamas and going in to "lend a hand."  Instead of that, I'm continuing with my plan to work my way through this year's Oscar nominated movies I've yet to see.

Today's fare is Zero Dark Thirty and knitting.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I'd take photos outside to show you the true color of these socks, but frankly it's way too cold to go outside without sherpa lined boots.  I could wait until it's warm  to do it, but they're done today and I wanted to show off my Papal Conclave Socks. Besides, who knows when it'll be warm again?  Right this minutes, it's only 28 degrees with a wind chill factor that makes it feel like it's only 19 degrees out there.  The winds today were brutal.  Suffice it to say my woolen goods have had a workout this month.  So has my umbrella and the shovel.  That filthy rodent in Punxsutawney is a liar.  Early spring, my foot!

But I digress, and would rather talk about my red feet.  My two red feet.

On the second sock only, and it is important to point out that there is a second sock in the first place, there is a little flair...courtesy of some smartly placed purl stitches.

I couldn't help myself.  It just seemed right.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Variations in Red

The Papal Conclave socks in Vatican Pie are coming along.  In fact, I can truly use the plural form of the word sock as one is now complete and the second is on the needles.  There will be SOCKS!  I may not beat the Conclave to the finish, but this is a good development toward completion of a pair, which is nice because I have two feet.

Last night, as I was coming to the toe of my sock, I veered away from the normal Kitchener stitch toe for a bit of flash.  I consulted my Nancy Bush book, Folk Socks, and put a star on the tip of the sock.  I tried to take a picture of the toe bling I created, but instead of showing off my stitch work, the sock looks like a snake.

I like it.  If I ever give up nursing for a living, I can become a sock puppeteer.

Over the past week I've shown you a couple of pictures of my socks and yarn that show off that rich red color.  What appears to be a completely saturated and solid red clearly is not once it's knit up.  This was such a surprise to me, but I'm enjoying my many faceted Papal socks.

I'm a little uncertain about yardage.  I wasn't worried until I started the foot of the sock, which seemed to go on forever.  I have big feet.  US size 10.  About 2/3 of the way through the foot, I took out my scale and weighed all of the yarn.  First I weighed the sock alone and then I threw the ball of yarn on the scale with it.  Together it came to 110 grams, including the needles, which don't weigh much at all.  The ball alone weighed  74 grams and I convinced myself I shouldn't worried.  There would be a pair of matching completed socks.  After the sock was done and I'd taken pictures of the snake, I weighed the finished sock alone at 54 grams and the remainder of the ball of yarn weighs 62 grams.  Combined they weigh 116 grams and no needles were weighed.  Apparently something is off and it may be the scale!

There are only two things to do...Pray for the Conclave and knit faster!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Simply Red

I won't say balance is completely restored, but I'm getting there.  I wound the sock yarn last night and was pleased I didn't feel or see any weak spots, holes or splits...a harbinger of moths.  It is old. So far, so good.  The next issue was to settle on a pattern.  And I did.  Wayward, by Cookie A.  I bought the pattern, downloaded it into my Goodreader App and began looking at other Wayward projects on Ravelry.

I got a little worried that it was totally the wrong pattern for my cluttered mind.  I needed a simple--knit with my eyes closed--pattern.  Wayward is anything but.  The second issue that bothered me is that the pattern calls for about 400 yards and while new hanks of Jitterbug may come with that yardage, my semi-vintage Jitterbug does not.  It has around 300 yards.  I didn't want to throw caution to the wind and come up short on a yarn I can't find to supplement.  Instead I went with a plain sock, which is really OK since the yarn is certainly loud enough without suddenly sprouting peacock feathers to show off even more.

With luck, I'll finish the first papal sock before the conclave even begins.

And, yes, my yarn is really all that red and more!

Question of the day:

How does a white man from England sing soul so well?  While I still prefer Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes singing this song, Simply Red produces a more than acceptable version.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spam and change

Not the stuff in a can, though that's just wrong, too, but the comments in my blogger spam folder, comments awaiting moderation and comments that slip through.

To my spammers, I'm truly not interested in seeing pictures of naked teens, better blog platforms, your discounted gucci purses or allowing a total stranger with a questionable website to write a guest post on my blog.  Go the hell away.  Because of you, I am, sadly, considering making this a fully moderated site. 

I'm this >|< close!  Seriously.  

To ward off these persistent cockroaches of the blogging world, I've changed my settings to moderate all posts older than a week and have eliminated anonymous comments.  I try to be careful when going through comments to ascertain I've deleted only the spam, but I'm fairly sure I've deleted a legitimate comment or two here and there.  I'm sorry for that if I've accidentally deleted what any reader here has had to say because I do care and I do read and appreciate all of your comments.

OK, I think I'm done ranting now, though suggestions to foil this slime are truly welcome.

Please forgive my absence.  I've been in a bit of a funk since returning home from California.  At first I thought it was a minor case of fatigue.  We did so much in such a little amount of time and I thought all the running around finally caught up with me.  Now I know it isn't the fatigue since I've made up for my sleep deprivation.

I think I've got a case of the blues.

I wouldn't call it depression, per se, but instead, a bit of sadness or melancholy.  Change will do that, I guess, and I'm surrounded by considerable change, both at home and professionally.  It's the double whammy.  I've paid the price in losing interest in pretty much everything that brings me joy: cooking, cleaning, shopping, knitting, socializing, blogging and my ridiculous dog.

One change I would welcome, would be a break in the weather, but that lying groundhog has not delivered in the prognostication department.  Winter is clinging to southeastern Michigan with a tenacity that only serves to annoy and make me moody.  The winter weather skipped us last year  and we suffered for it in terms of our apple, cherry and peach crops, not to mention other produce.  We can't have it both ways, can we?  Spring can't be far off though and this is the weekend we fast forward one hour to prepare. Even though I'll lose an hour, I do have a 3 day stretch off so it shouldn't be too much of a hardship to adjust. To celebrate the coming of more daylight, I set aside the drab blue yarn that's followed me all winter and went hunting for something bright to welcome this change.

I discovered the perfect foil to what's been boring me to tears. Is there anything more suitable than this find?  It's Jitterbug, by Colinette.  The color?  Vatican Pie.  How fitting in terms of timing, retiring popes, and conclaves.  This yarn has been in my stash for 9 years.  NINE! I don't even know if Colinette makes it anymore.  It's time for Vatican Pie to meet a pair of size 1 double points and become an outrageous pair of bright red socks.

Wouldn't you agree?