Knitting by Judy @ 7:56 PM

Oh yes, I have found a new love. Love at first sight, it was.

What’s this? I can hear you thinking. Mom in love? Who is it? Someone tall, dark, handsome…. ?

Actually, it’s something thin, stretchy and brightly colored. It’s Cascade Yarns Fixation, an incredibly cool, stretchy, mostly-cotton-but-with-elastic yarn.

the swatch that got away

You will remember I picked up some in lime green, turquoise and hot pink last Saturday at Tangle. I decided to knit a swatch in various colors just to see how it was to work with. Usually swatching is one of my least favorite things to do. But this time I swatched and swatched and swatched with different color combinations and different stitches, until I finally decided I’d better stop swatching and actually decide what to knit while I still had some yarn left to knit with. The picture is my swatch. The saturation is not far off. The colors are really bright. Click for the big version.

I have, since getting to know my new love, become incredibly inspired by the “Color Socks” section of Socks Socks Socks. Three colors of this yarn, I’m thinking, are just too few…

OK. Who am I kidding? I’m like a junkie with a major jones on, and I need my fix. Now.

I ran to Tangle in Lake Oswego as soon as I could today after work and grabbed up the two colors I hadn’t picked up on Saturday — a light blue and a peachy pink. More! I cried to Alice, the dealer shop owner, as I lay twitching at her feet. I must have more!

Not to worry, Alice told me. There are many more colors being shipped on Friday. She promised to call when they arrived. Purple is coming! And more greens! And mixed colors!

I can see why this stuff is called fixation. I’m warning you fellow knitters… put this on your needles at your own risk! You can’t stop at one!

My pocketbook might be in serious trouble. 😉

mermaid socks

As I’ve been promising, this is a pic of the Mermaid socks for E. The one on the left is the toe flattened out to show that the spirals go all the way to the end.

I’m kinda proud of that effect, actually. Remember that the pattern I’m sort of using is for a top-down sock, so I’m knitting it backward.

I’m also rather taken with the way that the colors in the Mermaid yarn are swirling in the opposite direction of the pattern spiral. It will be interesting to see if that continues as I work my way up the foot.

If I can get myself interested in working on it, that is. I like them, but I’m going to like them better finished. For some reason I’m feeling uninspired by them. I keep promising myself that I’ll knit mermaid socks at lunch. Today I forgot to take them with me to work. Again. When I got home, they glared balefully at me. Tomorrow, I promised them. Tomorrow, for sure!

shirttail sweater

And this is the progress on the shirttail sweater. I’m just about ready to start the decreases for the neckline in the front. This picture is the back. You can see the two front pieces off to each side.

The pic is a little blurry because Moo Cow reach up with her paw and tried to pull the left front off the counter just as I snapped. And then the camera battery, which I had been nursing along as I took the other pictures, gave up the ghost.

It’s not easy working with any fiber art while living with a fiber-obsessed cat. The other two cats don’t care about my yarn. Kidd can sit in my lap while I knit and never even look at my work. If Moo sat in my lap while I knitted, she’d eat the fruits of my labor. One emergency yarn-ectomy was enough.

OK. I’m going to try to work on the sweater (I want to wear it this fall, after all) and the mermaid socks.

But… many new colors are coming….

Long ago when I would have a kid-free weekend, I used to go looking for adventure on Saturday afternoons. Adventure usually took the form of a spontaneous trip to the coast; or driving down a road I’d never been on just to see where it went; or maybe trying a new, not-so-kid-friendly restaurant; or enjoying a movie that was aimed at an audience older than 12.

This week it finally occurred to me that I have, for all intents and purposes, a kid-free summer. And really, if I’m being honest, a pretty kid-free rest of my life given that #1 Son has become so grown up and responsible. He will be around, of course, and we will continue to do things together, of course, and we might have to juggle schedules sometimes. But I no longer have to plan around taxi driving, dropping off at school, hauling band equipment like a roadie, dropping off at work, picking up from work, etc. I’m free. Free Kind of.

The day didn’t start out that great. I woke up early and decided to tackle #1 Son’s computer first. It wouldn’t boot normally. Or to safe mode. Or to “last successful configuration.” XP would not reinstall because it claimed it couldn’t write to the hard drive. Chkdsk froze at 5%. When I started getting “imminent failure” warning messages from the hard drive, well… I know when to fold ’em.

So a new task (obtain new hard drive) was added to my list for today.

First off — Lunch with M. Always! Every weekend (more or less) for the last 26 or 27 years. (I lose track).

Next, I decided to drop in on the new yarn store in Lake Oswego — Tangle. I’d heard about Tangle via the local Stitch n Bitch newsletter and I’d been dying to check it out. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was located. Traffic was terrible in Lake Oswego because of some festival that was going on. But I drove around a bit and found Tangle without too much problem. I even found a parking place right in front of it!

And what do you know… it turns out that Tangle is owned by none other than Alice of Alice In Yarnland fame! I can remember reading on her blog that she was opening a shop, but I hadn’t connected it with Tangle. Is this cool, or what! Alice and I had a great time talking about yarn and teen aged boys. 😆 And, wonder of wonders, Tangle will soon have a washing machine for those of us who are top-load-machine challenged. (I am cursed, or blessed depending on how you look at it, with a front-loader that I love for laundry, but not for felting).

Although I’d promised myself to “just look” (yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen), I did pick up a long circ to try the “magic loop” method. Which requires, er… yarn. 😉 So I bought some really fun cotton/elastic yarn in hot pink, lime green and turquoise blue. That ought to make some striped socks that will… knock your socks off? (pun unintended. really.) It would also make a cool tee shirt, but I didn’t buy enough for that. One sweater on the needles at a time for me!

From Tangle I headed south to Fry’s in Wilsonville. And I was really, really good. I only bought a new hard drive. (And some breath mints and a latte, but those don’t count.)

Hard drive in hand, I decided that it would be fun to take a scenic ride home a la my old “adventure” days, so instead of turning right toward the freeway, I turned left. I drove for a ways through the country, and happened to see a sign pointing toward the right that said “Canby Ferry.”

Now, I’ve lived in the greater Portland metro area for more than 30 years. It was only about 15 years ago that I learned there was a ferry across the Willamette in Canby. I’ve always wanted to ride it because I think ferries are really fun, but I didn’t know where it was. So what was I to do? I followed the sign!

The Canby Ferry was down a steep, twisty little bit of road. I just missed the ferry, so I had to wait a while for it to come back. But it was a pleasant wait because the weather was perfect. I was the first car on the ferry when it returned, so I was right in front . It was a weird feeling, too. The ferry deck sits low to the water, so it’s a little scary the first time, but in a very cool way. And it was only $1.25! I loved it.

And I had a nice scenic drive back, although I did eventually end up getting back on the freeway.

And now I have a hard drive to install and new yarn to swatch. And I need to decide on a pattern to use with this very cool yarn…

Miscellaneous Musing |Techie Talk by Judy @ 4:54 PM

In amongst other exciting developments…

I have about 16″ completed on the Sensational Shirttail sweater and I’m just about ready to start the neckline decreases.

I’ve worked about 2″ on the Mermaid Socks. I really like the spiral lace effect. And the colors are creating a subtle spiral in the opposite direction that I really like. I’ll try to get a pic up in the next day or two.

My task for this weekend, whether I want to do it or not, is to try to get #1 Son’s computer working again. I upgraded his Norton Antivirus, and now it won’t boot. It hangs with the cursor pointer on a black screen and the desktop won’t come up. Not even in safe mode. < snarl > And since it was mid-NAV-upgrade, I can’t even reinstall XP. NAV won’t let me. (thanks Symantec) (suggestions from techie types gratefully accepted)

I may have to wipe his hard drive and start over. But at least I can knit while waiting.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 4:46 PM

Voice mail received this morning from #1 Son:

Hey. Just wanted to let you know I got home OK after work last night and no big mishaps with the car. (giggle) I wanted to say thank you again for lunch and going to the college with me and blah blah. And I think fall is going to be a good term and I’m excited. Thanks again for everything. I’m really excited about the car and it’s totally sweet but I will be really responsible and don’t be worried. And I love you. And give me a call later.

And I think that’s one of the nicest voice mails I’ve ever received.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 6:49 PM

Today #1 Son passed his driving test. He passed both the written and the actual driving tests with 100%. Yeah… I’m pretty proud.

From DMV he drove me to lunch, and from there up to PCC for an appointment with an advisor. My part in the whole school thing was to ask, at the very end of the appointment, “How much?” He handled everything else himself, asked all the right questions and made what I think are some good decisions about his future direction while still keeping his options open. He’s all registered for school in the fall. Yeah… I’m pretty proud.

After he was finished at PCC, he dropped me off at “my house,” and then headed off by himself in “his car” to go first to “his house” and then drive himself to work for the very first time ever. He called later to let me know that he made it with no problem. OK… I’m pretty proud.

After 7 years, there’s no longer a blue car parked in front of my house. It will be back. In the fall.

I’m…. proud. (she says with lump in throat and suspiciously damp eyes)

News Of The Weird by Judy @ 6:31 AM

Is it just me, or does Tom Cruise have absolutely no sense of humor? Sharon Osbourne obviously does!

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