Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sock obsession

I love socks. LOVE. I love the speed, the portability, the tempest in a teacup-ness of socks. I can learn new knitting techniques on a small scale; try outrageous patterns or colors -- or BOTH! -- in one little item. One of my favorite designers is Hunter Hammersen, and you can find her sock designs at http://www.violentlydomestic.com/. I am drooling over several of her patterns while I work on the socks for my father... I really like the Bines pattern, although I'd probably make them a little taller than her pictures. I have some lovely green variegated sock yarn that would be perfect for those. The Popped socks totally catch my eye - the sinuous curves of the pattern make me want to use a green yarn, something close to a Slytherin color. The Propitiate socks actually remind me of the beach, and I have a lovely blue cotton yarn that would be good for those. My next dilemma is finding a pair of brown work shoes that I can wear socks with; my dress shoes are too snug to wear socks with - only hose.

As far as the socks for my father - I've turned the heel and am working on the foot. I think I've gotten the foot long enough to start the toe decreases, but I am hoping to get Bradley to try it on so I can be sure. His foot is wider than my father's but about the same length. Hopefully I can take some pictures while he has it on (as long as he doesn't run as soon as I pull out my camera).

A coworker has commissioned two baby headbands; they are going to be adorable. I have to learn how to crochet for the flowers that will be attached to them, but no worries; crochet can't steal me away from my true love of knitting.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Is crafting a hobby for you? What defines a hobby to you?

I don't think of knitting as a "hobby". I don't feel like I have a "hobby" - I love to knit, to pick out colors and fiber contents and patterns, and then watch something grow off my needles. It keeps me from fidgeting; it helps me pay attention and hear more of whatever I'm listening to. If I can't do something with my hands, I zone out and tune out whatever is going on around me. Or fall asleep.

I have been wanting to read more lately but haven't made the effort to get to the library. I've also been wondering about the Kindle, but found out from a friend over on LJ that Amazon has a Kindle app for the iPhone. Downloaded it last night, picked a book to sample, and yep - I'm hooked. I'm definitely signing up for the mobileme subscription next payday; if I have this much of my life on this little piece of glass, plastic, and metal, I do NOT want to lose it. My knitting counters, a Kindle app, four different e-mail accounts, my Facebook & Myspace accounts... yeah, I need to be able to wipe this thing if I ever lose it. I'm wondering if I can get knitting books on the Kindle app, or if it would be worthwhile, given the screen size.

Anyways, this post was supposed to be up yesterday but I got swamped and forgot.

Who's on Twitter? Anyone?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pattern Problems

So, I have to confess to spewing a lot of bad words over the weekend while working on the Eesti Hiking socks for my dad. The pattern isn't right in the book, so I found the corrections on Interweave's errata pages -- but THOSE were wrong, too!!! I was quite unhappy that I had to keep searching online and on Ravelry for what other people did to correct the problems.

Turns out, what you have to do is increase and decrease 10, not 8, stitches on rows 4 and 19. THEN you repeat the entire star pattern, just like it is marked in my version of the book - but NOT like it's indicated on the "corrected" chart on the website, which has you repeating only 2/3 of the pattern, not the full star band.

Once I figured out the problems, I was able to sail right along. My knitting style is Continental, and I grew up knitting English, so I was able to do the colorwork relatively easily. Slowly - but easily. I tried to use Continental for both colors, but I couldn't get it to work very well. I need to do some more reading/you-tubing to find out what I was doing incorrectly. I finished the colorwork last night, so now it's onward with the rest of the sock.

I'm still in love with the yarn, thankfully, even though the chart has a lot of loathing now. At least I have it figured out now, so the next sock and the other 2 pairs I'll be doing of this pattern will be MUCH easier.

Friday, September 18, 2009

quick update from real job

WHOA SLACKER. That's all I have to say!

The 9/15 deadline passed us this week, and now we're focusing on the 10/15 deadline. Yay. Except not really. Whatever. Can't get into work stuff on a public blog... am too paranoid about all the people who get fired for decisions/posts about their jobs.

Uh, house stuff: the door frame to the garage is finally finished. Just needs to be painted and then that little project will be done. Then we can move on to painting the office area. I think we might be working on the corrugated steel wall in the living room first; once we get that up and see how it works with the floor, we'll have a better idea of what colors will be most appealing. We've also been looking for a kitchen table. I've hit my limit for not having one so it's time. We measured the room and hopefully will hit Ikea for some inspiration this weekend. The kitchen and eating area have such dark wood that we're pretty firmly set on a glass/metal table. Adding more wood would probably make it far too dark in the room.

Knitting: finished a set of garterlac dishcloths: 2 red and 2 yellow. Next set will be lime green and brown. Also started on the Eesti Hiking Socks for my father. The City Tweed heavy worsted yarn is delightful! I love the way it feels and knits up. Doing colorwork is interesting - stripes aren't that hard, and I'm about to begin the star pattern tonight.

Well - gotta get back to the real job. Booooo!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer's end

Summer in Florida doesn't end at Labor Day. No, the hot weather and afternoon thundershowers continue well into September; maybe in October, we'll see some lower temperatures. It's not time for me to pull out long sleeves or sweaters yet, and definitely not time to pull out the wool yarn -- unless it's for a Christmas gift or something special!

This past long weekend was a lot of fun. Laughing, playing, story-telling and story-making with friends! A small group of us went out Friday evening for some social time; Saturday, Bradley went diving for lobster with some friends down in West Palm Beach. Saturday night I ate lasagna with my friend LB - she makes delicious food! Sunday was cooking out by the pool, cannonball contests with friends, and then general silliness as the night progressed. Yesterday, we lounged around - I knit, and Bradley snored away while Anthony Bourdain showed us some great places to eat in Chile, the Rust Belt, and Sri Lanka.

I finished the first of the Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks, and I'm not sure what I think of the way the toe looks. My office-mate really liked it this morning when I showed her, but I'm not convinced yet. These socks are for me, so it's entirely up to my mood whether I rip out the toe and re-do it. I am thinking right now I'll wait until I'm finished with the second sock to decide on the first toe.

Then, I cast on Criminy Jicket's Garterlac Dishcloths in a pretty buttery yellow cotton yarn. Definitely a learning experience - I have a new cast-on method in my arsenal now, along with learning how to entrelac. The yarn calls for size 7 needles, but I didn't like how open the stitches were, so I frogged the whole thing and started over with size 5s. In my recent KnitPicks order, I bought a pair of the new Zephyr tips - in size 5 - so I decided to try them out with this pattern. I really like the needles, although I'm convinced I'm going to break them. They are a little more flexible than I'm used to; the Clover bamboo DPNs I use are flexible but I know that bamboo bends quite a bit before it breaks. Plastic/acrylic? Not so sure where the line is between bending and breaking.

Well - time to leave the computer and get back to reality. See you Thursday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor day labors

This time of year at work gets busy. Many people are surprised - "I thought accounting was busy only in the spring!" I wish! The returns that were extended the spring are due in September and October. I'm in good shape with the returns assigned to me; almost all of the CIRA entities are out. CIRA = Common Interest Realty Associations. Homeowners' associations, timeshare associations, condominiums, etc. The rules for them are weird(er) than normal, so all of the ones the firm prepares come to me. I was even able to handle a surprise addition of 15 entities a month away from the deadline with grace.

The knitting is going well. I'm almost to the toe decreases on my first Diagonal Cross-Rib Sock. Then that one will go into hiding while I start on my father's socks. The Fox shows I watch are starting this month, which means a lot of time planted in front of the boob tube, which means a lot of time to knit.

Balancing the time to knit for the Sirens and myself is going to be a challenge. I need to be sure I can produce and meet my commitment to them, but I also have projects promised to my family members (like the socks) and things I'd like to make for myself. One way to juggle everything is to have a day dedicated to each part of my life, with certain things fitted in every day. Say, do 30 min of chores every day, gym on M/T/R/F, and then fit in a personal knit night, a Sirens knit night, a sooper-sekrit project #2 night, a bum around night, and a night to be flexible or do things with my honey. Then that leaves the weekends wide open for house projects or catching up from the week.

Tonight and last night, my honey has been finishing the door frame for the door to the garage. He is also going to put in the baseboards, and then it will be time to PAINT. I can't wait! The walls are a bland tan with an interesting set of horizontal stripes around the room, which I'd like to leave. So we need to find a blue that we like... he's nixed green since there's a lot of it in the slate floor and he's concerned it would be overwhelming. I am looking forward to getting some sample tubs of paint and having fun patching the wall with colors.