Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time off from work

Thursday was fairly lazy. Dinner with the family, but not at my house. DD#5 is in town for a few days. It's great to see her and her husband. Friday started at Home Depot to buy the sink for the basement. After lunch I put in a couple of hours doing dry cleaner alterations.

Saturday was really lazy, nothing but knitting. I did repair two socks that had come home from Florida. You know socks are appreciated when holes are worn in the bottom of the foot. He'll get more socks, even though he has the largest feet in the family. I did finish sock #1 of the black socks for DH. I need to figure out how to isolate the pattern repeat on my chart, then I can write the pattern.

Today started with breakfast at a nice Jewish restaurant with DD#5 and husband. One of many things Tallahassee doesn't seem to have. Repaired socks were returned.

Oxtail stew was started by putting the oxtail pieces in a pot with about 3 cups of water and into the oven to cook for about 4 hours. A large head of cabbage was put in my pasta pot to steam so I could remove leaves for stuffed cabbage. That worked very well. Food shopping was done. I was able to pick up a couple of large green peppers for a good price. I made enough oft he ground beef rice mixture to stuff 7 meals of stuffed cabbage and 3 meals of stuffed peppers. The oxtail stew leftovers (mixed with noodles) yielded 2 more meals. With all the different soups I've made for the work crew, I'm stocking the freezer much faster than I'm using the meals.

Keep knitting on black sock #2. Back to work tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

They're Tearing the House Apart Again!

A pile of rubble, the work of Runner Girl and her strong son Ninja. The day started with 3 laundry tubs in bad condition, left over from the days of wringer washers. 90 years later, they were in bad shape. The tub nearest the washer was cracked and the drain was deteriorated.

Early in the day we went out and bought a new sink. Then the demolition commenced. There's nothing like calling in your kids and grandkids when you want something destroyed. They had a great time! Sledge hammers and a Sawz-All did the job. I made many trips up and down stairs getting enough boxes for the rubble, which was carted out to our front porch to await garbage day. They did a good job of cleaning up!

This is what it looks like tonight. The sink is in place and the washer moved to what is probably it final position. Our son will come soon to help with the plumbing. I think DH wants to move the pipes lower. The wall needs work. Shelves will be built. The gas line needs to be moved to put the dryer on the other side of the sink. We had a dryer vent installed when the glass block windows went in.

My shop was closed today, giving me time to shop for the sink. I also made a German Potato soup for lunch, potatos, carrots, cabbage and 1 # of bacon. Seasoning is pepper, caraway seed and nutmeg, with sour cream added added with the bacon at the end. I have made so many varieties of soup to feed the work crew, that I'm definitely running out of room in the freezer. I put the soup in the Crock Pot before I leave for work, and it's ready when they are. Also, it feeds whoever shows up, especially when they are young men with large appetites.

Last post, I said something about wrestling with a wedding dress. It looks something like this, a small part is under the presser foot and the rest is all over the place.

One of the other jobs I do is to replace elastic in pants. This pair has had the elastic removed. I will edge the top, sew in new elastic, fold it to the inside and top stitch about 1" from the fold.

Knitting Progress
I finally finished the fair isle socks for DH. Seven weeks is a long time for a sock project, although I did finish other socks in that time.

I have one sock finished from the SKA November Mystery Sock pattern. I'm trying to finish the black cable socks first.

I am getting a little tired of knitting almost nothing but socks. This next year I hope to spend more time on other projects, but the new sock patterns are so tempting. I just found an Advent Calendar mystery sock. The pattern clues are available each weekend, for 3 days only for each clue. Yes, I downloaded the first clue.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I hab a cold...

and my brain is working slowly. Drugs only help so much. Some weeks my work load is light and I can knit at work. This was not one of those weeks! It's good to have work to do, but I'd rather knit than wrestle with a poufy wedding dress to alter the bust , shorten the straps, and redo the hem.

The weather today was beautiful, but I had no energy to work in the yard. I'm hoping that its mild over the holiday weekend, so I can finish pulling out dead stuff. Dinner is not at my house, and I'm not working. I need to deal with more boxes in the remodeled area. Garbage day is early Tuesday morning. I am trying to get one extra bag out of the house each week. Stuff breeds when you ignore it.

The mystery sock #1 is finished through clue #3. The next clue will be out by tomorrow morning.

The fancy sock for DH is 85% finished. It's still a love/hate relationship. I'll soon be finished. I like the yarn, Verve dyed by the Unique Sheep. I should actually have enough yarn to finish the socks without changing yarn. Only another day or so. These started as a SKA under-appreciated challenge, but didn't qualify. It was a club pattern, not released to the public by the deadline.

In the meantime, I have started a cabled sock for DH. The theme for the Ravelry Solid Socks group is "air" and the SKA theme is cables. These socks fit both themes. The color looks like night air, and there are cables. I need to finish them by Nov. 30 if I'm in the running for Solid Socks prizes. That may not happen. For SKA, I have until Dec. 31. There are over 10,000 knitters in that group, and I've already won a prize this year. I still like a challenge.

BTW, Ravelry has over 1,000,000,000 knitters registered, and most of them have only registered once. A certain daughter of mine forgot her name and password, so registered again. I'm sure she's not the only one. They won an award in London for being the best social network, beating out Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Love/Hate Relationship

That's how I've been feeling about the socks I'm knitting for DH. It started as a Ram Club selection from last year, a fair isle pattern and two colors of variegated yarn, a dark color and a light color.

The socks were started for SKA on Ravelry, with the idea that they fit in the under-appreciated category. Because the pattern was not released tot he public before July 1, they didn't qualify. Oh well, knit them anyway. They're toe up and when the heel was started I tried them on the target foot. Too tight! And too short! Riiip.

Back to the toe to increase up to the next size. I matched the gauge in the pattern, but the larger sizes were too wide. The error came in lack of stretch in fair isle knitting. The socks are now size S in width and size XL in length.

There have been doubts about how the pattern shows up. I would have been happier with one solid yarn and one variegated. There also have been concerns about having enough yarn. This package did have more yarn than the other two from the club. I measured around each ball. The light color was larger, so I used that to finish the cuff. When I was home and had access to the kitchen scale, I weighed each ball. They each started with 75 gm of yarn. The light had 46 gm and the dark had 44 gm after one sock. Cheers were heard!!! There is enough yarn for the second sock, and yes, this sock has been tried on when the heel was started, and it fits nicely. I think I mentioned this in the last post, but it bears repeating for these socks.

The mystery sock is finished through clue #2. Time to start a cabled sock for DH. It's cable month at SKA. I wanted to finish one sock before starting more for him.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Everything has been moved off the first floor. After over 2 years, I have my living room and dining room back. DD even cleaned them for me. Strange things happen when I am at work. This pile is what's left to organize/put away/throw out. I'll tackle the Christmas storage when the season comes.

I have too much yarn. When it's all in one room, it is a little overwhelming. I also have fabric storage in that room. I'll be purging that slowly.

I have been using some of it. These mitts are a birthday gift. I have the pattern written, It is available on Ravelry and Patternfish. The yarn is Regia 6-ply sock yarn, so they're machine washable. I also have knit another family Christmas stocking, It's #28 in the ongoing series.

Right now, I'm working on some fair isle socks for DH. They're toe up and when I was half way through the heel I tried them on him. They were too tight and too short. We are now past that point and the fit is good. Combining fair isle and large feet does not make for fast sock knitting.

There is also a mystery sock on the needles. Clue #1 is finished for the first sock. Clue #2 comes out tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Now to move in

The remodeling is finished on my third floor. DD Jan nicely took pictures for the rooms empty of tools and before boxes and shelves moved in. Now I have to arrange everything and purge what I can. She blogged about it here. This part of the house must be storage as well as working space. It's the storage part that still has me scared. What can I get rid of????

This is the most finished view I have of the bedroom. Tuesday morning it looked like this! On one side are boxes of cone yarn, on the other, drawers of skein yarn. The tables have been moved around. The white one will hold my swift, ball winder and who knows what else. The one in back is for one of my knitting machines. Right now it has battered boxes of fabric, which need to be reboxed.

The main room is more empty now! But those empty shelves will be put to use. How do we get all this stuff? Why do we hold on to it? Don't answer! We get it slowly and put it aside because we might need it. Right now it weighs me down! I have already purged a lot of yarn and many boxes of fabric went to the fashion department at a local college.

Best solution for the moment, go to work and deal with some of it tomorrow, when I have a day off.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stocking Surgery

Over the years, I have knit Christmas stockings for a few customers. "Grandma knit this, can you copy it?" Some of them were old Bernat patterns. I don't know the original source of this year's batch.

The customer now lives in N. Carolina, so she sent me a box of stockings. Two of them needed the name changed. Original people no longer in the family. These are stockings knit by me in the past, so I had matching yarn left in my stash from a house sale.

Separate stocking into 2 parts, ravel back, knit new name, graft back to stocking. Fair Isle is easier to ravel than intarsia.

A new stocking was also needed this year. I had designed this a few years ago, a couple of changes were requested for this year. It looks like this. The top is knit flat on 2 needles, and then continued in the round. When flat, it looks like this.

The stockings are back in the box. I just need to send it back to its owner. Yes, I did get paid for this!

I've knit a couple of other things, but they are gifts and the donee may be reading this blog. Here's a Christmas gift. I'm not sure who it will go to. It was a mystery sock, meaning that I got a clue a week and didn't know what the sock would look like until the end.