Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rockin Sock Club 2008

Great news today! I got a call from Tina at Blue Moon Fiber Arts about the balance for Camp Crows Feet and was told that they were opening up for a few more people to join this year's Rockin' Sock Club. I'm in! Usually I procrastinate and miss out on things like that...I am so happy. Do you think I will buy any less yarn when we go to Orcas Island for camp because I am in the club?? Probably not. According to chatter on Ravelry, most of last year's campers will be returning. Part of the adventure for me was getting there. After my flight from LAX to Seattle, I took a Kenmore Air seaplane (from Lake Union) that taxied right up to the dock at Rosario Resort where the camp was held.

My plan to continue with the two socks on one needle took a back seat to laundry mountain yesterday. Perhaps later today there will be a window of time to continue with that challenge. The big push is on to finish the "Christmas Jaywalkers" today. We'll see. Here is the most recent picture of the Jaywalkers...what do you think?Hopefully, Knitdad will not have to appear for jury duty tomorrow and I will be able to continue with the sleeves on Greg's sweater. If he is called to go in, that is when I will attempt the two sock challenge. Either way there is knitting to be done, all is well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sock Washday

Finally, a sunny day to put socks out to dry!  We have our wonderful California sunshine back...yippee!
The Noro sock yarn unhappiness is spreading, apparently.  Knitdad did rip his sock out and orders have been cancelled at two LYSs that I know of.  Too bad, too.  I love the Noro colorways.  But, who needs to suffer when making something?  I am so not into that.

Today is going to be an adventure in knitting.  Last night, after work and before Knit Night at Unraveled, I cast on two socks on one circular.  Meghan  found Melissa Morgan-Oakes'  2-at-a-time Socks for me last week and now the time is right for the challenge.  The Patrick Sweater is on hold until second pair of Jaywalkers is progressing's see if I am up to it.

Greg and I had a delicious lunch at Matsuri and now it is on to projects.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Unraveledgal Unravels

Yes, I am not enamored with the Noro sock yarn. As you can see, the Jaywalkers that I started with the Noro sock yarn (that I ran down to buy) have been undone. That project is back in the sock yarn tub. The yarn was not fun to knit with-I found it to be very scratchy stuff. Even though I have been told that it softens up after washing, life is too short to invest any more time.

I ran into a snag on the sleeves of the Patrick Sweater project. Shortly after the cuffs, there is an error in the pattern (a missing k4). Also, the way it is written is too complicated for my intermediate skill level to follow. A chart would really be helpful here. So, Knitdad to the rescue. I hope that he will not have to report for jury duty this Friday so I can continue with the sleeves then.

If I can get to the store early today and can find a #2, 40+ inch circular, I will cast on some nicer yarn to do 2 socks on 1 circular. That should keep me busy until the sleeve problem is solved.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Rain and Snow

There is more snow on the hillside above us and it is truly beautiful to see. But, oh is chilly. It appears that we will have rain on and off for the next week. Greg and I have been watching the weather in Cancun - 70 low/80 high is somewhat appealing right now.

I am plugging along on the sweater front, feeling much more confident with my new system of keeping track of rows and decreases. According to my stitch count, all is well with the Patrick project. Brenda Dane is keeping me entertained today. She is an inspiration to improve my limited technology base. Through her, I found these wonderful e cards that can be sent to friends.
Jacquie Lawson e-cards

Last night, Greg and I went to hear a friend, Rob Kyle, at the Pasadena Jazz Institute, which is located in the Paseo Colorado, downtown Pasadena. The group was a real treat as the focus is Brazilian. Since I studied Portuguese in college, it is fun to listen to the lyrics and grasp bits here and there. It would be great to see them again, soon. They are scheduled to appear with a larger group on February 14, at the same venue.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Raining Cats and Dogs

It is really pouring outside! I know some of you who live in other locations will be unimpressed with our weather - but for those of us who live in So Cal this is really some downpour! Spookie is snuggled in his bed in front of the fireplace waiting patiently for someone to light it.

It is a perfect night to knit on my Patrick Sweater. I am at the armholes of front (back is already done) and can't believe that I made the same mistake in decreasing. No biggie, just one row to unknit. Knitdad to the rescue again. When I mentioned that the rate of decrease didn't make sense to me, he gently reminded me that I had made the same error on the back. Perhaps I should learn to read more carefully....

This mountain lion picture was taken by a person coming from the parking lot near the JPL bridge. It is a reminder to us all who live "close to nature" that we need to keep an eye on our pets and children.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Day Off

Happy day off to all of you people who would normally be at work. Thankfully, that no longer includes me. Since I only work part-time at Unraveled, and we are closed on Mondays, it means more crowds at my normal Monday routine at the gym and at Dish.

I am working on my second and third pairs of Jaywalkers at the same time. The second is a very Christmassy yarn that I acquired at a knitting group exchange. The third is out of a new Noro sock yarn. I haven't decided how I feel about the Noro yet - so far I am concerned about how it will feel on my feet. Rumor has it that the yarn softens up a bit after washing. We'll see - hopefully that is correct.

Saturday I received my latest Christmas gift - from Christine, who owns Unraveled. As you can see, it is a very lovely starfish. Such a wonderful reminder of Cancun snorkeling adventures past and to come.

Last night we had a delightful dinner at Gale's in Pasadena. It has become our favorite spot for entertaining special friends and late night dinners for the two of us.

On Thursday the author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, Kate Jacobs, is going to be at Vroman's Pasadena for a book discussion and signing. At this point it looks like I might pencil that into my calendar. I haven't read the book yet, might be fun.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

My New Year's Resolution this year is to have a regular exercise routine and to shed 30+ pounds. For the past few weeks, Greg and I have been to the gym (24 Hr Fitness) three times/wk. Already I feel an increase in my energy level and have dropped a few pounds!

My second resolution is to focus on sock knitting with the hope to be able to design my own patterns by the end of the year. At Stitches West, I am enrolled in Vintage Socks(Nancy Bush), Even Cooler Socks(Lucy Neatby) and Develop Your Own New Sock Architecture(Cat Bordhi). April will find me on Orchas Island at Sock Camp hosted by Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

I had to post this fun selection by a group called Straight No Chaser for your enjoyment. Hope you like it...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Back on Track

I am "back in the groove" of familiar activities - working at Unraveled, doing laundry and trying to get some knitting done.
Doesn't Spookie look regal? This shot was taken the morning after we got back from vacation. When we arrived home from The Cats Pajamas, (his home away from home), he jumped on top of the magazine table in the studio to study his surroundings. The holiday bow they attached to his collar lasted only a few hours.
My Jaywalker Socks are coming nicely. As soon as I finished the first one, the second one was started. Nothing else gets knitted until this project is theory, at least.
The pattern is easy - a two row repeat, and very satisfying to watch develop. No doubt, several Jaywalkers will be done by this novice knitter in the very near future.
Meghan and Julien arrived back from France last night - safe and sound, thanks to our new-found airport limo service, AM-PM. After a very dangerous journey to LAX (when we were taking off for Cancun), we have all vowed NEVER to ride the "blue and yellow" van again. Between the shoddy equipment and a driver who was nodding off, it must have been divine intervention that got us to the airport safely. Perhaps it due to the two couples from Fuller Seminary who shared the van with us - I wanted to kiss the sidewalk when I got out of the van!
Here is a shot you won't see often from someone living in the hills above Pasadena - snow. I grabbed my camera when we got to the roof of the gym the other morning. It has been chilly all week- a real winter for us.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Last Christmas Pictures

In going over my lasts posts and pictures there are a few more items I should include from our vacation.

Meghan said that she had a gift for each of us to be opened Christmas morning. We had a small one for her, too. Mario, a knitting friend, made a fantastic risotto dish for our Christmas potluck at Mindy's. When he mentioned that the recipe was from The New York Cook Book and that it was just one of many he liked, I immediately ordered it online. Meghan enjoys cookbooks, so it was an easy choice as it included not only recipes but many interesting stories.
Meghan gave Greg several chunks of exotic wood. Who knows what he will decide to fashion them into...something beautiful!
When it came time to open my gift, I was truly surprised. I had not given any thought to trying my hand at spinning - even though many friends have. Knitting has been quite a stretch for me....but spinning will be fun. Included in the package was some roving that I will use after I have some knowledge of how to spin, I think. I have already contacted a friend who teaches drop spindle spinning and we will probably meet sometime next week.We had some favorite drinks ordered from the poolside service at the Mayan. One was coco fresco (without alcohol) and the crazy-looking pineapple was high octane.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Start the New Year Right

We got up early this morning and went to the gym before breakfast. One of my New Year's resolutions was to take better care of my, so far, so good.

I have one or two more shots from our trip that must be shared. This one is a starfish that was taken on the journey to Sian Ka'an. We also saw a spiny lobster! Yes, that is brain coral in the foreground.

The day before we left for Mexico, Meghan found out that both she and Julien had "won" the Caltech Olive Oil Lottery. I had not heard about it before she told me (apparently, it was in the local news). Caltech staff, faculty and students participated in the collection of olives from the trees on campus and the olives were pressed to extract oil. Since there was a limited amount, a lottery was conducted to offer a chance to purchase the bottled oil. One of their bottles went to France with Meghan. The other will be sampled after they return.
Over the past two days I have had several communications from fellow campers from Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Camp Cockamamie held on Orcas Island last April. We all had a such a wonderful time at Rosario with Stephanie, Cat and Cookie A. I took my first (and second) seaplane ride to the resort, purchased way too much yarn....and can't wait to go to Camp Crows Feet this year and repeat the experience!