Knitting |Sockapaloooza by Judy @ 8:09 PM
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Sockapaloooza goodness!

I came home today to find a large envelope smooshed into my mail box (I sometimes think my postal carrier has it in for me).

I was so excited, because I knew what it was! SOCKS!!!!! Socks that have come all the way across the US.

And look at all these cool things that my pal, Kat, sent! There are postcards and pictures from her area of the country. And a beautiful hand dyed merino/tencel sock yarn from Mind’s Eye Yarns in absolutely my favorite shades of my favorite color, green!

And what’s that down there towards the bottom? Could that be… maple candy? Oh, Kat, how did you know that I will kill for that stuff!

aren’t these great socks!

There were also a couple of candies that unfortunately didn’t survive our mini-heat-wave of the last couple of days (ok… mild warm spring weather). And a candy bar that I have put in the fridge where it will hopefully solidify. And cookies that unfortunately didn’t survive my mail carrier smooshing the package into my mail box (darn him/her!).

I ate them anyway. 😛 Nothing wrong with cookie crumbs.

And here you can see the lovely socks on my happy, happy feet. They fit perfectly! I love the way the colors spiraled. It’s hard to tell from this pic, but the spirals actually continue from one leg to the other. Very cool.

This is Artyarns Supermerino. I’ve been wanting to get a good look at this yarn, and now I have some!

Thank you, Kat! These were well worth the wait!

Knitting by Judy @ 7:44 AM
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rainbow over Willamette

… there’s a rainbow…

I shot this pic last Thursday from a parking structure downtown. We don’t see the sun that often this time of year. It had been soggy all week, and then the sun broke through on the west side, although it was still raining to the east. And there between the buildings was a rainbow.

Do click on the picture to see the bigger version.

It’s Rose Festival now, or will be starting in a few days. We are, therefore, guaranteed rain for at least the next couple of weeks. But today the sun is shining, and ya gotta love it.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I had a very quiet holiday, although I did see a few friends. #1 Son is in and out and not much in evidence. He’s trying to get everything ready for the next tour, different band, starting soon.

it’s a secret

This is what I worked on during the weekend. It’s a super-secret project. One of those just gotta try it, but will never admit it if it doesn’t work projects. So the picture is just a hint. I think it’s going to work.

Any guesses on what this is? Or, any guesses on what it should be? 😀

No progress on any other project. In fact, you can see that I haven’t even managed to get the page up for the Tipsy Knitter socks. It was a lazy weekend.

I need one of those every now and then.

Knitting by Judy @ 7:28 PM
yarn winding corner

… never let it be said that I can’t make a good one!

The task was not so hard. Not really. I simply needed to wind a hank of Socks That Rock into two balls. Usually I do that at home with my low-tech equipment (nostepinne and chair). Today I decided to wind at Tangle Knitting Studio because Alice has a yarn measure so it’s easy to tell when 1/2 of the yarn has been wound.

I have wound yarn there before. Really. But the yarn measure thingy is a little new to me.

It turns out that when the yarn goes through the measure thingy, the balls are wound sort of tight. I also had some problem with the ball winder coming un-anchored and falling on the floor. And I no sooner got that picked up and re-anchored than the center thing that the yarn winds around fell off with my ball on it. Needless to say that the first ball was a little strange looking. I decided to rewind it. I pulled on the center end, and it stuck. So I pulled a little harder, and the ball started to fall apart. Someone else needed to wind yarn, so I moved over out of the way and started trying to untangle my yarn.

happy feet

And it got worse, and worse, and worse. At one point I actually had the yarn tangled through the slats on the back of a chair. I have no idea how I did that. I was afraid I would have to take the chair home. I told Alice I hoped she didn’t mind too much staying open for a little longer than normal.

When it became clear that my ball of yarn was becoming increasingly more tangled, I began to press other Tangle (oh what a now-appropriate name that is!) visitors and customers into service. Eventually there were three of us untangling different portions of the yarn while Alice tried to wind it with the ball winder.

Alice was only semi-successful because the part she had was so tangled.

But when the other end of the yarn was finally located and freed, and the chair was unchained, and we began to get a little bit of control back, I started winding the yarn on to the swift. Then it was down to myself swifting and Alice untangling, and we finally got it back on the swift.

From there I could wind it using the ball winder, and bypassing the measure.

tipsy knitter socks

I wish I’d thought to take a picture of us all hysterically untangling yarn. It’s amazing how tangled 500 feet or so of yarn can get. But I did not think to stop and grab my camera, so you will have to be content with pictures of my Tipsy Knitter socks, which I finished this morning.

The second picture is my happy feet enjoying the fine, yarny Tangle ambiance. Look at that lovely cabled heel! (click on the pictures for the biggy version)

And here are the finished socks after washing and blocking. They are a bit fraternal. But, strangely enough, if I hold my legs together the diagonal stripes on one leg meet the diagonal stripes on the other leg. There’s a couple of splotches of pooling, but both are under the foot, so who cares? I love their red rock stripy-ness. I think it fits the leaning ladders and cables perfectly.

The particulars:

Socks Socks Socks
  • Changes made: I knit toe-up instead of top-down. I used a star toe. I ribbed the top instead of using cables. I didn’t think the cables would hold the sock up as well as ribbing.

You can see from the pictures that the socks fit pretty good. They are a little big, especially in the toes. But I think washing without blocking will help them to pull in a little tighter.

They certainly fit a lot better than I thought they did on the night that I almost frogged them out!

And what am I doing with the yarn I was tangling up winding today? Ah… it’s something of an experiment. I will post pics if it works out.

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bleeding heart

Well, I didn’t get the Tipsy Knitter socks finished last night during Lost, although I knit before, during and after. I still have about 1/2 a pattern repeat and the ribbing. Then done. That’s a hard show to knit through, though. I had to keep stopping and paying closer attention. Some questions got answered. Only to raise new ones. What was with that ending, eh? It will be a long Lost-less summer.

So, since I have no pictures of the socks, I will give you more pictures from my garden.

When I was a little girl, my great aunts – my grandmother’s sisters – lived together in a little house. Or at least most of them did. Aunt Allie lived in her own apartment. I used to love to visit Aunt Allie because she baked her own bread, She would make special little loafs just for my brother and I. She baked them in a muffin tin, so they came out looking like little chef’s hats. It was the best bread I’ve ever had – flavored by memory, I know. And her apartment was on the parade route, so we would always visit her on parade days. I’m not sure why she lived alone, but the location was certainly good.

Aunts Bertha, Bess, Florence and Jose, who were all either widowed or had never married, and who were all childless, lived together. Some day I might write more about all of my great aunts, who were truly great. But this is really about their garden.

In the back yard, they had a bleeding heart bush. The climate there must have been better for bleeding heart than it is here, because their bush was as tall as me (not that tall back then), and mine isn’t even knee-high to a toddler (at least this year). I was always fascinated by this bush and by the heart-shaped flowers. Every time we would go to visit, I would ask if it was blooming. And if it was, I had to go out to the back yard and just be with it. Since I’ve grown old enough to have my own gardens, I’ve always planted some.

The Aunts also had a really cool little tractor sprinkler. You’d lay the hose out where you wanted to water and then set the tractor on the hose. It would follow the hose, watering as it went. I loved that thing.

Helga writes:

If you like the tea pot (I do, too!) go ahead and google “Siglinda Scarpa” and check out her pottery You will LOVE it, I’m sure. She is a (formerly) Italian artist now living and working in the USA.

I did and I found this site. And I love it! Thanks for sharing that with me Helga.

Shelly said:

Blogging is kind of like writing a book don’t you think? A tiny little bit, but over time a real body of work.

rosa gallica officionalis

I guess you could think of it that way. But writing a book has always seemed to me to be… work. This is more like having my brain leak around the corners and catching the drips, except with more pictures.

The second picture is for you, Shelly. I took that picture yesterday. That’s my gallica, blooming away! So it’s time to visit Heirloom Roses!

Please report on what’s new this year! I must be able to squeeze one more rose in my yard… just one…

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 7:27 AM

I dreamed last night that I wrote a book. Not a book about knitting or something geeky. A book about my childhood. About growing up in my normal family.

At least I thought we were pretty normal. My college roommate once said to me, You had a brain-damaged dachshund, an alcoholic canary and you used to leave the door open when you went on vacation. There was nothing normal about your family. Well… OK… that’s a different perspective. It all seemed pretty normal to me.

But I have absolutely no desire to write a book about anything, let alone my childhood.

In my dream, I’d managed to write a title (don’t remember it now) and put my name under it. And I searched on the web for advice on how a manuscript should be formatted. And then I ran around asking all of my relatives, What do you remember about this event or that person or yadda yadda yadda. And then I told everybody I knew that I was writing a book. And they were all impressed.


Clearly it was a very strange dream because, as I said I have no desire to write a book. But mostly because I can’t imagine anybody I know either being impressed by it or actually thinking I could pull it off.

So I wonder what this dream is really about?

I had dinner last night with my friend L, who then indulged me with a visit to Teavana. And there I gifted myself with this little teapot. It grabbed my attention right away. I was struck by its organicness. A little “teapot symbology” flier in the shop said that lizards are a symbol of living strong. L, bless her, said that’s you and nodded. I made monkey picked oolong tea in it last night. The tea was very good.

L and I had a wonderful chat. Our last topic was children, and how hard it is to see them launch even though that is what, as parents, we work towards. Her children have launched. My is launching. It seems strange. This year, for the first time, I face taking a vacation without #1 Son. I’m OK with that. I do things by myself or with friends all the time. But I haven’t taken a vacation without #1 Son since he was born. I’m OK with it. But it seems strange. I guess that’s why I’ve been a little blue lately.

And maybe that dream wasn’t about my childhood at all. Maybe it was about holding on to our own children’s childhoods and not forgetting. Write it down. Take pictures. So we can remember after they’ve launched. We can remember what we had and let it blend with what we have, because what we have is good, too. Just different.

And, yes, I’m knitting. But I’m not knitting much. Perhaps I can finish the Tipsy Knitter socks during Lost tonight. I only have about 1 pattern repeat and the ribbing left.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 8:19 PM

I know… I’m easily pleased. But I’m going to interrupt the regularly scheduled whatever-we-usually-have-here to toot my own horn just a little.

Today PI received its 30,000th visitor. I know that probably seems pretty lame to people who regularly get that many visitors a day (or week, or even month). But to me it’s a very big deal and I welcome each and every one of my visitors. #30,000 visited from the lovely state of New Mexico, dropped in on a search for free sock patterns and ended up at my Sockapaloooza socks page. Sorry, #30,000, that you didn’t find what you were looking for. But I hope you enjoyed your visit!

And the other never-happened-before event happened yesterday, when my post about the Astoria bridge (among other things) spent all day in the Popular Today box. Again, those who regularly spend time there probably think that’s a little lame for even mentioning it. But I’ve never been there before, but I was always picked last for any team in school, and I felt that certain thrill, ya know?

Thank you, again, to everyone who visits. I promise not to let it go to my head. 😀

OK… we now return you to your regularly scheduled whatever-we-do-here.

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