Knitting by Judy @ 3:55 PM
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Mudstone socks

As well as fondling yarn, I’ve actually been knitting some!

Here’s the progress on the Mudstone socks. I’ve turned the heel and started up the ankle. Isn’t that a pretty eye of partridge heel? I’m quite pleased with it.

Strangely enough, from a distance these socks appear gray, even though the yarns are blue and brown.

Yes, I am doing something on the ankle. But exactly what I’m doing will remain unrevealed until I decide I like it. But you can guess what I’m doing. That might be fun. If anyone comes up with the right answer, I’ll send you a skein of sock yarn from my stash. Fair enough?

And just look at all of the fellow Yarn Collectors listed over there in the left-hand column. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone! 😉

Knitting by Judy @ 12:20 AM

A yarnaholic. That’s me. I love yarn. I love fiber. I love all of the fibers and all of the yarns. I even love fibers and yarns that I would never in a million years knit with. Pink ones, say. Or very long eyelash. Not my thing. But I love it anyway. I love to squeeze it and caress it and fondle it and smell it and stroke it.

I’ve been known to buy yarn. Not yarn that I would never knit, it’s true. But sometimes now and then all too often yarn that I don’t have any current plans for. Sometimes I buy more than one too many a few skeins, just in case I want to start a large project with it.

I kid myself that sock yarn never counts as stash. And that enables me to have a lot of sock yarn.

But, you know, I’m not going hungry, naked or unsheltered, and #1 Son is likewise fed, clothed and has a roof over his head. I really have few bad habits. (OK, my nearest and dearest may disagree. But you know what I mean.) So if I want to buy yarn, it doesn’t seem that harmful.

Yarnaholic just seems so… harsh.

I think I’d rather be known as a Yarn Collector.

I’m sure that I’m not the first one that’s come up with this idea, so I won’t claim that it’s original. But doesn’t Collector seem like something you could be proud of?

Oh yes, (said with high-toned air) I collect only the finest fibers that have been made into only the best yarn. What? Knit something with my yarn? But that might lower the value of my collection, if it were not in its pristine condition. See — the ball bands are even still on!

Hmmm… I think I could do that.

In fact, I do think that being a yarn collector is something to be proud of. So I’ve created a button to announce to the world that I’m a Yarn Collector.

Yarn Collector

If you’re a Yarn Collector too, feel free to steal the button (please save it to your own server). If you let me know that you’re a Yarn Collector in the comments or via email, I’ll start a list of Yarn Collectors in the left-hand column and link to you.

Yarn Collectors of the world, unite!

Knitting by Judy @ 7:07 AM

Sorry about the problems with PI titles yesterday. My host had issues that have since been resolved. It should be OK now.

And just when I think I’ve got problems, I read something like this that puts it all in perspective.

It’s been hot here. But I’ve had electricity and running water the whole time. Can you imagine living for 15 years without? Can you imagine children’s faces aglow with wonder at a sight they’ve never seen: street lights.

We are so very lucky.

OK… I’ll be back to regular knitting content tomorrow.

Knitting by Judy @ 7:20 AM
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Long ago, when a breeze from the ocean was expected, one of the local radio stations would forecast that the weather was turning due to the “cool marine influence.” One of the DJs at that time would always say, “The cool marines are coming!” I know I’m easily pleased, but I always got a kick out of that.

Galileo thermometer

Last night the cool marines landed. Finally. But sooner than the current crop of weather forecasters expected. And ohmygod was I glad to feel that cool ocean breeze! I threw open all of the window. And the cats, who had been pressing themselves against the tile floor, pressed themselves against the window screens. Which sort of blocked the breeze from three of the windows, but I can’t say that I blamed them.

I have a Galileo thermometer on my hearth. (yes, yes… I have a messy hearth. It looks worse than it actually is because I have two mantel clocks right now.) The Galileo measures temperatures from 66 F to 84 F. This is the first time in five days that it has registered at all. It’s showing that as of 8:00 AM this morning, my house has cooled down to 80 F. It doesn’t seem like much, but that is a significant improvement.

Yesterday the mercury thermometer on the furnace was through the top at 90 F. So who knows how hot it actually got in here. On Sunday I periodically grabbed the cats and splashed some water on them to help cool them down. Poor babies. It was so hot that they didn’t even care.

I have managed to do a little bit of knitting on the Mudstone socks. But not enough to post a picture and brag about. Since it’s cooled down and the yarn won’t stick to me so much I’m hoping to get more knitting time in.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 3:33 PM
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hot town - summer in the city

Ohmygod it’s hot! It’s hotter than Dave’s Insanity poured on a habanero stuffed with a firecracker. I stayed at work last night until about 10:00 PM just to stay in the air conditioned coolness. I don’t think my house cooled down past about 85 F last night.

Today it’s about 84 F or so, with about 70% humidity and not a breath of breeze. It wouldn’t be so bad if the air would move around a little. But as it is, it’s about like trying to breath at the bottom of a tropical fish tank.

I just got off the phone with a customer service guy at my cell phone provider, who was helping me understand one of the charges on my bill. I’m a reasonably intelligent person. But are there any bills harder to understand than cell phone? What is all that gobbledygook?

Anyway, the very nice and helpful customer service guy was up in Seattle. He said it was very hot up there, too. I think they’re having the weather we had yesterday.

I grew up in SE Idaho. The winters were long and brutal — I can remember praying that it would snow so it would warm up above zero. The summers were very short and very hot.

I do know there are a lot of places that are hotter right now. But that’s not the point. It’s hot here, and here is where I am.

There were reasons why I moved to Portland, and reasons why I stay here. One of them is that I like the climate. I like the fact that the difference between the average summer temperature and the average winter temperature is about 15 degrees F. It means I can wear essentially the same wardrobe all year, and just add or subtract a couple of water-proof layers as necessary. I take it as a personal affront the one time each year we have snow or an ice storm, and the several days of above-90 F heat that we have in the summer. OK, this is twice now. I don’t have an air conditioner at home. Cut it out!

It’s too hot and humid to knit. The yarn sticks to me. Blech.

I’m melting.

In The Garden |Knitting by Judy @ 12:35 PM
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Marsh Mallow

4000 years ago, Egyptian royalty favored a confection made from honey mixed with the sweet, sticky juice from a flowering plant that grew in marshy areas. Later, eighteenth-century apothecaries used the same extract, cooked with sugar and egg whites and then whipped, to sooth sore throats and coughs. The extract was also used on burns, scrapes and minor cuts.

The plant, of course, was Marsh Mallow (Athaea officinalis). Nowadays gelatin has replaced the Marsh Mallow extract in marshmallows (the candy). There’s no egg any more, either. Marshmallows are made from gelatin, corn syrup and corn starch, whipped and with air “jet-puffed” in.

Marsh Mallow (the plant) has naturalized in the Eastern US, where it grows wild in many areas. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it makes an unusual, rather exuberant garden plant. I use the sap, along with lavender, rose, mint and rosemary, to make an after-shampoo rinse for my hair.

I’ve never tried making candy from it, but I’ve been tempted.

mudstone socks

My latest pair of sock toes are enjoying the Marsh Mallow.

This is STR in Mudslide (the brown) and Stonewashed (the blue). I’ve dubbed these the “Mudstone” socks. I’m knitting them in a spiral stripe — i.e. work one round of color 1, drop color 1 and work one round of color 2, drop color 2 and work one round of color 1, etc.

I made the toes brown after polling the teenagers who were at Tangle last Saturday. I might make the heels blue.

I haven’t decided what to do on the legs yet. Well… I have an idea but I think I’ll keep it to myself until I can work it out a little more.

And, just in case anyone was wondering, keeping 4 strands of yarn untangled is the pits.

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