Knitting by Judy @ 11:05 AM
view from window

Actually, I didn’t do too badly in Las Vegas. I have a fairly low tolerance for feeding my hard earned cash to the one-armed bandit, and I’m fairly good at sticking to my vacation budget which includes a line item for how much I am willing to lose. You don’t go to Vegas and expect to win. Well… maybe there are some out there who do, but I’m not playing with the high rollers.

The pic is the view from my window at the Aladdin. Not bad, eh? What this picture doesn’t show is the daylight view. Everything from the Bellagio down to the Monte Carlo is now a big hole in the ground, soon to be filled by a high-rise casino/shopping/condo/timeshare thingy. Every time I got off the elevator, some joe tried to sell me a timeshare. Or, if I wanted, they’d be happy to sell me the whole condo. Sure… I have a few spare millions just lying around. On Thursday morning, sick and in need of coffee, I told one sorry, I’d rather knit. He looked rather startled, and I have to admit it makes no sense to me either. But afterwards, that particular salesman backed away whenever I entered the casino by his assigned station.

I took that picture the first night after I had checked into my room and settled in. Not much sleep came my way that night, and I finally got up at around 5:00 AM with a splitting headache and a pouring nose. Yep. The cold that I had been holding at bay for days and days finally got me. With no energy and flagging spirit, I never made it outside the casino. Ah well. Them’s the breaks.

The Aladdin is undergoing renovation on its way to becoming a Hard Rock Hotel. Part of the casino is walled off while the renovations proceed and a lot of the games have been moved up to the mezzanine level. The better restaurants are closed, also. A few new ones have opened off the mall, but I didn’t try them out. I found that the mezzanine is very quiet because hardly anyone plays up there, and the slots looser than on the main floor. I found a slot machine that payed enough that I could play for a long, long time on $20. I will have Walk Like An Egyptian going through my head for days now, but the quiet and repetitive button-pushing suited my cold-addled brain quite well. The casino nicely comped me some free slot play, and I almost won enough back to break even. Not quite, but close. I consider that a successful casino visit.

The Aladdin has one of the better casino malls, in my opinion. So, a little shopping was done. OK… a lot of shopping, but very little buying.

So now I am home and feeling a little better. I slept last night in my own bed with my own cats piled around me, and life was good.

Knitting by Judy @ 1:19 AM
tags: , ,
Knitting For Peace

For Christmas, #1 Son gave me Knitting For Peace, a wonderful book full of simple patterns that can be made with inexpensive yarn, and lots of stories and ideas about knitting for others.

He gave me the book a couple of days early, and we leafed through it together, looking at the pictures. When we cam to the picture of the Caps For Kids Swirled Ski Hat, #1 Son said Mom, if you knit that for me I would so wear it. Blue would be nice.

What more does a mother need to hear? It’s not often that #1 Son asks me to knit him anything. When he does, I believe in striking while the iron is hot (so to speak). Yarn was purchased that very day and the hat was cast on that very night. #1 Son had already received his big present from me, but I was determined that Santa would leave a hat under the tree for him.

spiral hat

I couldn’t hold him still long enough to take a picture of the hat actually on his head, but rest assured that it fits perfectly and he liked it.

The Particulars:

  • Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 (100% extrafine Marino wool/ 50g, 98m per skein) in colorways #1 (dark blue) and #44 (light blue) — about 1-1/2 skeins of the light and 1 skein of the dark. A second skein of the dark blue was needed to make the pompom after I totally messed up the first pompom, but those better at making pompoms than I could make one using the leftovers from the second light blue skein.
  • Needles: US#7 (4.5mm) and US#8 (5 mm) — larger needles for the hat, smaller for the brim
  • Pattern: Knitting For Peace: Caps For Kids Swirled Ski Hat
  • Modifications:
    • For adult size large, cast on 50 stitches and worked one extra pattern repeat.
    • Used a provisional cast-on and then grafted the two sides of the hat together (hat is worked flat)
    • Kitchener/grafted/tubular bind-off instead of standard bind-off (a little over-achiever, I know, but I just like that bind-off)

Blogging may be sparse or non-existent for the next few days. Not that there’s been an overwhelming amount the last couple of weeks. You know how the holidays are.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 5:43 PM

What every holiday, event, anniversary you celebrate — or even if you celebrate none at all — I hope yours is happy and full of love and joy and that your loved ones are all around you.

I have no knitting pictures because I’m working on a last-minute secret project… shhhhhhhhh

Pictures tomorrow….

P.S. Go to Google and click on their logo. You know how they often have seasonal themes? By clicking on the logo you can see all of the days in the series. Yesterday the little kangaroos were knitting!

Knitting by Judy @ 2:55 PM
tags: , ,
Noro hat

I finished the Noro hat on time for the gift exchange yesterday. The recipient seemed pleased with the gift!

I love Noro. This is Noro Kureyon colorway #159. Look how the stripes just naturally changed at every purl row group, so it looked like I did something really, really hard when in reality I did nothing at all but knit around and around. Magic like that is just too cool.

I used about 1-1/2 skeins. Some of it went towards matching the stripe sequence when the color changed abruptly at a knot as Noro yarns are so fond of doing.

As I said, I love Noro. But really, if one pays that much for a skein of yarn, shouldn’t one reasonably expect that there will be no knots? And if there is a join in the middle of the skein, that the color will at least match? Just saying.

Anyway… 1-1/2 skeins of Kureyon, size US#6 needles, simple beanie pattern, about 4 hours worth of knitting (partly wasted when I didn’t like the top the first time and frogged it out).

Sorry for the really horrible picture. It was dark (naturally) when I finished the hat, and since I had to give it away the next day there was no time for a daylight pic.

Thank you to everyone who commented on the Snake River Socks! I washed them three nights in a row so I could wear them the next day. Yeah… they’re that good. 😉

Of course I have a new pair of socks on the needles. Not much chance of actually finishing any of those UFOs right now. But we’ll see what the holiday vacation brings, eh?

Knitting by Judy @ 11:01 AM
back fence

When I say surviving December, I’m not talking about the normal Christmas/Holiday of your choice madness. There’s very little of that at my house, and I’m surviving just fine, thank you very much.

No… I’m talking about just physically surviving what Mother Nature continues to throw at us.

Thursday we had another of those storms of the Decade/Century/a long time, featuring high winds, soaking rains, downed trees, etc. Thursday as I left work and drove towards Tangle for Thursday Night Knitting, I could see transformers going out in the hills above. It looked like the 4th of July, with huge, bright blue and green flashes. I had heard on the radio that a main road near my house was closed because 4 or 5 trees had come down across the road, so I was relatively certain that my power was out. The wind was whipping and tree limbs were coming off around me and things were blowing down the street and the rain was lashing everything and I probably should have been driving straight home, power or no power.

But I needed Noro.

I needed Noro to knit the hat for the gift exchange on Monday. Strangely enough, I have no Noro in my stash. What would you have done, gentle reader?

the side fence

I dashed into Tangle. Noro in hand, I settled down in a chair to work on the Snake River socks, at that time nearing completion. There were only three of us intrepid knitters there, willing to brave the weather. Every now and then I looked outside to see trees whipping back and forth. But with no power at home (probably) why go there?

But… I have to drive home down tree-lined streets.

At around 8:00 PM I decided I’d better wimp out and head for home, because it might take me a while to get there. It was an interesting drive. Several roads were closed, and some parts of the city went dark as I drove through them. I looked up ahead and couldn’t see the lights on my little mountain, so I knew I was right about my power.

At home, I called the power company:

We are experiencing a power outage in your area. Approximately 5,000 homes are affected. We have received calls from 3,243 locations. Due to the nature of the outage, we do not have an estimate when power will be restored.

I settled down to knit with a flashlight balanced on my shoulder.

There were actually about 500,000 homes across Oregon that lost power. Some people still don’t have it back. I was lucky! It was back by 10:00 PM that night.

Snake River Socks

The fence came down last night. I think the wind, combined with the alternating freeze/thaw and the huge amount of rain we’ve had the last couple of months just finally did it in. The uprights rotted at ground level. Much of the rest of it is about to come down, too. It’s been there for 10 years. I haven’t talked to my neighbors yet, but we’ll work something out about replacement. The shiny gold bits on the ground in the second picture are what’s left of a reflecting globe I had in the back yard. It’s the only casualty besides the fence. I’m very lucky considering the damage to some homes.

It’s fun to see what people have in their back yards. Whodda thunk my neighbor would have a concrete cherub?

The Snake River Socks are finished. There’s still not much light — we’re having freezing fog right now — and this is the best I can do for pictures. I’m really pleased with the way that these turned out!

Snake River Sock heel

The stitch pattern looks really complicated and cable-ish, when in reality it was simple increases and decreases. I love the color, too. And they fit perfectly!

I included the close-up of the heel because I’m quite proud of how it came out. Note how the garter border on the heel flap joins up with the purl stitches in the pattern and the knits stitches sort of flow next to it? Not bad, eh? I was going for sort of a waterfall effect on the heel flap, with the garter stitch representing moss-colored rocks edging the stream. Fitting in with the whole river theme.

I wanted to include a close-up of the ribbing at the top, but neither the camera nor the socks cooperated. Hopefully you can see from the picture how the stitch pattern separates and then rejoins, eventually merging into a 1×1 rib… sort of like a stream rippling over rocks. Or that’s what I was going for, at any rate.

These are going to be on my feet today for sure! And maybe tomorrow and the next day, too!

I’ve started the Noro hat and will try to post a pic tomorrow.

Stay day and warm!

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 8:16 AM
school Christmas program

The Snake River socks are progressing up the ankles. No, I have no pictures. Yes, it’s still raining. No, there is no light. It might stop raining briefly this weekend, at which time I will madly snap all kinds of pictures of anything I have knit lately.

Yes, I would like some cheese with that whine.

I just found out that I need to provide a $10 – $15 gift for a gift exchange. I’m thinking that knitting a quick hat (need to have it by Monday) would be much preferable to venturing out into the malls and shopping centers of America amidst crazed shoppers looking for that perfect bargain with only 10 shopping days left before the immovable Christmas deadline. If I use something stripy like Noro it will look a lot harder and more expensive than it was. What do you think, gentle reader? Can this knitter, to whom deadlines have not been kind lately, actually produce something on time?

Since I still have no real knitting content here, I will offer this picture of my lovely and wonderful niece Z at her school’s Christmas program. (She attends a private school so they can still call it a “Christmas Program.”) The kids were all super cute and the program was fun. I’ve sort of missed this kind of thing a bit since #1 Son has grown up and stopped doing school programs.

Lovely Z is in the middle row, 3rd from the left. Bro and Sis-In-Law are rightfully proud of their little girl! (And so am I!)

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