Knitting by Judy @ 6:53 AM
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Alice comments:

The red socks look great!!! Really nice in that yarn, do you think it is the solid color or the twist before and after the drop stitch.

Alice, I think it’s mostly the twist and the cotton yarn. I’m going to do the pattern in the Sock Candy that’s on my needles now to check. But the twist helped a lot. I think it will still be cute in multi-colored yarn. And, yes, I do think your next project should be this!

Since others might be confused by Alice’s comment, I’ll just say that Alice has seen a less-successful rendition of this same pattern. (Most things I admit to on here. But not all.)

Becky asks:

Can I ask what pattern you used for these and what size needle? I have two balls of red fixation that I might like to try your sock with! Would you have had enough to do the heels in red too you think? Thanks. They turned out beautifully!

The pattern is my own, and it should be up here as a freebie just as soon as I can get another pair knit (it’s really supposed to be made with Blue Moon yarn). I don’t have much knitting time right now, so that might be a couple of weeks. Thanks for your patience.

The pattern did work great in Fixation. I used US#3 needles — but I tend to knit fairly tightly. The socks were knit for someone with small feet. But I had tons of yarn left over. I think I could have knit a pair in a medium size that were all red and still had plenty of yarn.

Kathy opines:

Yikes, it’s been hot!

Yes, it has! I’m not an over-90-degree person so I have not been liking this at all. But today I much, much better!

I understand that you are a recent Portland resident. Welcome! And, never fear, we only get about two weeks of this a year. The winters, though… You do know about the winters?

Knitting by Judy @ 7:03 AM
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red and black Fixation socks

It’s 100 degrees here in Portland. It was close to 100 on Saturday, it was 100 yesterday, it will be 100 today. I have no air conditioner. Usually I don’t miss it. There are only a couple of weeks every year that it’s useful. But, this is one of them. My house will stay cool for one day and part of another. But by the end of the second 100-degree day, my house is only marginally cooler inside than out. And then it takes a good solid week of lower-than-80-degree days to get cooled down.

You can see that the red Fixation socks are finished. Cute, aren’t they? I’m really pleased with the way they came out. I hope that the intended recipient is as pleased! In the picture I show them baking in my back yard. At 9:00 PM, it was still 94.

I don’t like heat.

And that’s why I’m not knitting wool socks. The Rainbow stranded socks, to be specific. They are glaring balefully at me from inside my knitting bag.

I had planned to take the Key West Sock Candy to Tangle on Saturday and wind it up. I forgot to put it in my bag. So what was I to do? Mysteriously, I found that some Sock Candy in Lapis had somehow wound itself into balls and fallen into my bag. Go figure.

So I started a pair of socks in the Lapis last night. I’m barely up the toes so nothing to show yet.

I love all of the Blue Moon yarns, but I think my stash is sufficiently enhanced now, and I must start to show some restraint when it starts calling to me from Tangle’s window.

Furry Friends |Knitting by Judy @ 9:53 AM
Moo Cow

Long-time readers here will remember that one of my cats is a fiber junky. Moo Cow eats anything that is even vaguely string-like. As a kitten, she cost me $$$$$ in emergency surgery when she decided to eat the cotton drawstring from #1 Son’s pajamas and was then unable to digest it. I am very, very careful to keep all of my stash (wool, angora, mohair, alpaca, silk, blend), either in closed containers or up out of reach.

While knitting along on a project, I have been the victim of Moo’s addiction – she has neatly sliced my yarn in two from underneath my chair. It’s been an issue between us. (I love Moo, but she is #1 Son’s cat without doubt.) She’s also the most maddening cat in the world to photograph because she will not hold still for even 5 seconds. It takes a fast shutter and the patience of Job to snap a pic of Moo.

Now I’m going to digress for a few minutes. But only a few, I promise.

Way, way back in the dim past — some time in the 1970’s I think — one of my relatives started a crocheted afghan. It may have been my grandmother, or perhaps one of her sisters. They were all very crafty and sewed, quilted, knit, crocheted, tatted, embroidered, etc. They were young in an age where those pursuits were ones that women of society did. Towards their later years, each dropped many of these crafts and concentrated on the one or two that they particularly liked. My great-aunt Jose, for example, sewed beautifully. I suspect that Grandma started the afghan in question, because she liked to crochet.

The craft gene skipped my Mama and her sister. Mama had many, many admirable traits, but handiwork was not amongst them. Mama always wanted to be crafty. She tried to be. I inherited from Mama a set of pillowcases, one of which is partially embroidered (I believe she started them in the 1930’s) and a Crazy Daisy afghan kit, complete with daisy loom and acrylic yarn. She tried. But it just wasn’t her thing.

As Grandma and Aunt G (Mama’s sister), lived with Mama for years after my Dads died, there were crafty things around the house that belonged to Grandma. One of them was the afghan in progress (you remember the afghan).

Grandma, or whoever started this afghan, had branched out from the typical 70’s color scheme and had gone with black and bright red. We all thought it was quite striking and a little outre. The yarn was acrylic – Red Heart – because that was all that was available in my home town in Idaho apart from wool, which was horribly expensive and scratchy. The lovely fibers we have to work with now just weren’t around back then in semi-rural America. Grandma worked on the afghan now and then, and kept the project in process in an antique oak bucket that had belonged to my great grandmother — Mama always called it the sugar bucket. I don’t know if that’s what it really was, not being the sap-collecting type myself. But it’s a cool bucket, and it looked so striking sitting on Mama’s hearth with the red and black afghan in it.

Sugar bucket, afghan and Moo Cow

Grandma passed away, and Aunt G moved across the country to be closer to her daughter. And the bucketed afghan sat on Mama’s hearth.

I wanted that bucket in the worst way.

I lobbied Mama incessantly every time I got a chance every now and then. I even worked on the afghan when I went home for a visit. To show that I was interested, you know. Actually, everybody that visited Mama worked on the afghan. She insisted. It’s a simple afghan-stitch pattern that isn’t hard to learn. Here, Mama would say when visitors came. Work on the afghan while I make some coffee. I have no idea how many hands worked on this project.

By that time Mama had forgotten the afghan stitch, and wasn’t that interested in learning it again (I offered to teach her). Yes, it would be nice if the afghan got finished some day. But didn’t it look nice sitting on her hearth? So striking with the black and red in the sugar bucket.

Yes, Mama. It really does look great. You know… I’d love to have that bucket some day.

I’m sure you would. But you don’t have a hearth, so where would you put it?

This was said with a smile, but just a little smugly. And there the conversation stopped, because Mama was right. I didn’t have a hearth. Or even a flight of stairs where the bucket could be strategically placed on a landing to be glimpsed from the entry. Or even an entry, for that matter. I lived in tiny apartments and small houses that had no place suitable for an antique oak sugar bucket, complete with unfinished red and black afghan.

And then my ex and I built a house. And it had a hearth. (And an entry way and a landing, for that matter.) So I stepped up the level of my begging lobbying. Just a little. But the bucket looked so nice on Mama’s hearth, she hated to give it up. And then Mama decided to move to Portland, to be nearer her grandchild (#1 Son), and incidentally both of her children. I will not bore you at this time with the tale of Mama’s packing, which took Bro and I a week, it seemed, and included many trips to Good Will and the dump – and this was after several garage sales.

You know, Mama, you’re moving into a small apartment. You won’t have a hearth….

All right. You can have the sugar bucket. But you have to take the afghan, too!

No problem! And that was how I came to have sitting on my hearth a little piece I call antique oak sugar bucket belonging to my great grandmother, complete with 1/2 finished red and black crochet afghan worked on as a communal project.

Since then I have become single and changed houses. But I still have a hearth. And I still have the bucket sitting on the hearth. And the afghan is still in it. I haven’t worked on it for years – not since Mama passed away – and I don’t ask my guests to work on it. But it looks so striking sitting on my hearth.

Our tale now circles back to Moo Cow. You remember Moo, the fiber junky? Moo, who will eat anything even vaguely string like? Moo who will seek out and destroy my stash if allowed?

Moo has never touched the afghan, or displayed more than a momentary interest in it, even though there are skeins of yarn there for the taking, and even a whole single strand of yarn leading from the skein to the afghan. She sniffs it every now and then. And then she walks away uninterested. You can see her in the picture sitting next to the bucket (she doesn’t mind sitting still for pictures she’s not supposed to be in). Moo who will devour my (wool, angora, mohair, alpaca, silk, blend) stash if not watch closely.

The afghan is made from acrylic yarn, remember.

Could it be that the lovely Moo Cow is not only a fiber junky, but also a fiber snob?

Knitting by Judy @ 6:57 AM
tags: , , ,
red Fixation socks

Look! My computer is speaking to me! I have the internets back! I have pictures!

Ah… it’s the little things that make me happy.

I won’t bore you, gentle reader, with the long and sordid tale of what it took to get this damn doorstop fine computer back amongst the living. Suffice it to say it’s been a long, slow, tortuous path. I lost a few things in one of the restores, but not things I can’t get back (I’m still hoping). Fortunately I keep my data on a drive separate from my operating system, and I back my data up religiously.

But enough techie stuff.

The socks have progressed further than this now. Not a lot further because I just haven’t had nearly enough knitting time. But I’m a ways up the ankle now. I hope to get these wrapped up this weekend. Then the rainbow socks might have to still wait a bit while I try out some of that new Sock Candy. Yum!

Knitting |Techie Talk by Judy @ 12:48 PM

I was minding my own business yesterday, doing a little computer stuff and uploading some files to PI, when WinXP decided to download some updates. And when WinXP wants to download updates, it wants complete control and it doesn’t stop to ask please even if you tell it to. I’ve had this happen twice before (update download during upload to web), and both times XP has been damaged.

This time my (nice, well-behaved, well-protected, working) computer has been turned in to a large doorstop. It’s a pretty, flashy, glowing doorstop, but a doorstop nonetheless.

Yep, it’s deader than Marley’s ghost. Deader than a doornail. Dead.

Try to boot: Cannot boot. System files corrupted or missing.

Try to repair: Blue Screen Of Death, BAD_POOL_CALLER

Say what?

In the end, I had to resort to reinstalling XP from scratch, which means I lost Windows knowledge of all of the software I have installed, some of which I need and use every day. Some of which gets me to the Internets. I tried something to “fix” it, and it’s gone back to being dead. No reason giving. Just won’t boot. So I will reinstall again. I have a backup that’s about 4 months old. It should be reasonably close. I haven’t done that many new things since then. So, reinstall again, and then restore, and then we’ll see.

I tried to use #1 Son’s (newly working) computer last night to check my e-mail, and I couldn’t get to the web on his computer either. And I couldn’t figure out why, I tried and tried and tried everything I knew. I worked at it for 2 hours last night (e-mail is a powerful incentive). I could talk to the network router, but that’s as far as I could go. It was very mysterious.

This morning I tried again. Still no go.

Then I went back to my desk to get something and noticed that the modem wasn’t working. See, it’s powered through the battery backup that my computer is on. And I’d turned it off when I shut down the doorstop.

That’s right, gentle reader, it does indeed work better if you plug it in.

Three hours killed to learn that little lesson. Ah well.

I planned on showing you knitting progress today. But, alas, the pictures are on my damn computer. There will be no pictures until I can get my computer talking to the world again. 😥

You will have to trust me when I say that the Fixation socks are coming along nicely, I’m almost ready to start working on the Rainbow socks again, and all that STR is yelling knit me, knit me.

[sigh] Computer things seem to come in waves. Once I get past this, it should settle down for awhile again. Here’s hoping!

Knitting by Judy @ 11:02 AM
Blue Moon that somehow came home with me

The rumors ran through the city like a snag on a cheap pair of stockings. (Stole that from an old Darkwing Duck cartoon.)

First there were only whispers. Then sightings from friends of friends. Then the first-hand reports began to trickle in.

Then I called Alice.

Blue Moon is in at Tangle.

So where do you think I was on Saturday? At Tangle, maybe? And remember that the rule is that sock yarn in no way counts as contributing to one’s stash. So just maybe some of that yarn mysteriously fell into my knitting bag and ended up at home with me.

Left-to-right, that’s Sock Candy in Carbon, Socks That Rock in Stonewash, Mudslide, Jewel Of The Nile, Kryptonite and County Clare, and Sock Candy in Key West.

What’s a girl to do?

I thought I showed admirable restraint. I didn’t buy any of the ribbon, or the kidmo, or the bamboo (that’s right, gentle readers, bamboo). Just the sock yarn. And it doesn’t count.

I don’t have immediate plans for most of this. But I think the Key West will be next on my needles, after the two pair of socks already going. I’m also considering a fair isle pair using Stonewash and Mudslide. While I was there, D picked up some of the Jewel Of The Nile and wound it. My camera doesn’t do it justice. It is truly jewel-like and almost glows. I can’t wait to see it knit up.

That’s the cool think about hand-painted yarns. They don’t look anything in the ball like they did in the skein. And they don’t look anything knit up like they did in the ball. It’s fun to see the colors emerge.

I did get some knitting done, also. I’ve been hard at work on the red and black Fixation socks. I have turned the heels (black) and I’m heading up the ankles. I hope to have these done very soon. Then I need to finish the Rainbow socks that I’m doing in the stranded pattern. Then it’s on to the Key West.

As long as so many wonderful sock yarns are made, why knit anything else?

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