Another Distraction

A somewhat eclectic blog by a woman who's easily distracted...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Predictable Me

Happy Friday!

I know I use a lot of pictures of the ocean for eye candy Friday, but it never ceases to impress me. We went to Mendocino last weekend, when I took this. I got a few pictures I like (not all of them of the ocean), so I have a few weeks worth of eye candy.

Sock update:

In a foot-to-sock comparison, I have determined that I am ready to start the toe decreases. HOORAY! (Actually, hard as it is to believe, it's possible that I actually went a bit too long, but I'm going to ignore that for now. I'm sure it'll bite me in the tush later, but it's easier for me to rip back and make a sock shorter than it is to make it longer.) I'm hoping for a modeled shot of a completed sock this weekend. Cross your fingers.

Now, to avoid the whole "second sock syndrome", I've mentioned that I want to try the second one on one or two circulars. Help me out: which of the two techniques do you like best? I'm leaning toward the magic loop, largely because that way I only need to buy one circular needle. It just seems to be wasteful to buy two circular needles that are the exact same size. Thoughts? Opinions?

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Size Matters

Okay. Remember that sock that is taking me FOREVER to knit? Well, I decided to renew my interest in this by learning how to knit a sock on one or two circulars. I may not be able to start on the sock in progress, for fear of totally messing up the gauge, but I figured I'll at least be motivated to cast on the second sock.

I have the books. I have the yarn. I have the pattern. (More or less.) So what's stopping me? I don't have the needles. Even after ordering (what I thought were) the needles. (My LYS doesn't normally carry circular needles that small--just DPNs.)

The current sock is being knit on U.S. size 1 bamboo Takumi DPNs from Clover. The new needles are U.S. size 1 nickel-plated circulars from Knit Picks. So far, so good, yes? Not so much. The DPNs are 2.25mm, while the new circulars are 2.5mm. Can someone please explain to me WHY the U.S. sizing doesn't seem to be consistent? In the mean time, I'll be checking the yarn stores near me for 2.25mm circulars.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Happy (Eye Candy) Friday!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Done, Done, Starting, Won!

<- Done!

Done! ->

The Malabrigo mistake rib scarf is done! It's about 80 inches, but I haven't washed it yet, so the final number isn't in yet. I love it!

And as an added bonus, I started--and finished--this dishrag ("Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth") on Saturday. I cannot tell you why--I don't understand it myself--but although I have never made a dishcloth in my life (and have never really been interested, to tell you the truth), I suddenly felt a compelling need to make one IMMEDIATELY. Of course, I had no cotton in the house, so I fell off the "Knit from your stash" wagon, and bought some cotton.

I'm re-evaluating the "knit from your stash" thing. I'll let you know what I decide.

So, now what? I'll give you a hint: it's been on this blog before (although, not in this yarn), but got frogged. Want another hint? How about this:

It's just a swatch--a big swatch, but a swatch. The plan is a "compare and contrast" type of thing. More on that when I have another swatch to show you.

And the coolest thing of the day? The Rainey Sisters had a "bloggiversary" contest, and I won Susan Rainey's lace tam and scarf pattern, AND two skeins of Rowan Silk Wool (enough to make the tam). Looks like it'll be a lot of horseshoe lace around here for a while! I'm so excited!

So, how's that for knitting content, eh? When it rains, it pours.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Losing more than time

Happy Friday!

The dbf and I went to San Francisco last Saturday to visit the botanical gardens and the zoo. Both were wonderful, and both confirmed for us our need for a better digital camera. Anyway, today's eye candy is from the gardens.

We had also wanted to go to the Presidio to see "Remembered Light", but we ran out of time, so we'll have to try again soon, while the exhibit is still there.

We stopped at the Moss Beach Distillery for a light dinner on the patio on our way home, and I'm kicking myself because I didn't take any pictures. Bad blogger!

We didn't see the ghost, but we came for the view, the crab quesadilla (for the dbf), and the steamers (for me)--and we weren't disappointed! Very tasty! (The beer was good, too.)

And lest you think I've abandonned knitting completely, here's what I was working on while we were in the car:

Yep. The Malabrigo scarf. I'm hoping that I'll finish it this weekend. And that I'll get a better picture of it. Of course, that was my hope last weekend, too. I know my progress on this (and my other two WIPs) is painfully slow (and I have a theory about that--perhaps in my next post), but I really do love this simple scarf. The colors make me happy, the stitch pattern is basic but pleasant, and it is indescribably soft. Actually, it's plenty long enough to be a scarf now, but I love it so much, I feel like it deserves to be extra long. Is that strange?

And now, changing the topic entirely...

My last blog entry talked about lost time (and lost money). This week, I thought I'd mention lost weight. I joined Weight Watchers last Tuesday (one year to the day since last time...). I want to lose twenty pounds, and am off to a good start - 4.1 pounds! I know that's just because it's my first week, and that my weight loss will slow down considerably, but that's okay. This seems to me to be the safest, sanest way to lose weight. And, with any luck (and committment on my part, which has proven to be the tougher part in the past), it can become a healthy and thinner life style. That's the theory. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Lost Time

I hate this. I know that by as early as this evening, I will appreciate the longer daylight hours, but right now I'm tired and a little cranky with the federal government for taking almost half of my bonus AND an hour of my weekend in the last four days. Here's to hoping they don't waste any of it. (Yeah. Right.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring is Springing

The new Knitty is up, with some great spring patterns I'd like to knit; the spring/summer VK preview is up ; and even Knit Simple has a pattern or two I'm considering (very unusual--I haven't been very impressed with this magazine so far.) Of course, the spring IK has been out for a while.

It may not be official yet, but in the knitting world, spring is springing, so happy spring and happy Eye Candy Friday!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Mysterious Hat

Today I'll go into a bit more detail on the mysterious hat that seemed to appear out of nowhere. I do this in part because I said I would a while ago and never got around to it, and in part because I've misplaced the camera cable and can't download any new images right now. I apologize right now for the incredibly crappy pictures. (Consider yourself warned.)

But first, a quick thanks to Pam, a very nice lady with a very cute dog, judging by her blog, who left a comment on my last post (I love comments! And this is not exactly a popular blog, so I'm thrilled whenever I get them. Except maybe for the real estate spam a while back, but I digress...). Pam asked how my Malabrigo scarf is coming along. When I find my camera cord, I'll show you, but I love it. Now, it's just the mistake rib scarf--I still haven't gone back to "my so-called scarf"--but it's so soft, and the colors seem to fall in a very pleasing, random manner--no big pools or flashes. Of course, now that I've typed that, it'll probably be nothing but pooling and flashing from here on out. I'm not sure how long it'll be when I'm done, but I'm over halfway there, since I've joined the second skein (and I only have two).

I had hoped to finish this before I went to NY, but I was concerned about bringing the aluminum needles on the plane, and we were so busy on vacation that every time I sat down to knit, I'd fall asleep. It was a great vacation!

Okay. On to the hat. You may remember this:

I never actually intended to knit this hat. Having pretty much finished the scarf for my dbf, I wanted to make a hat for him. I decided it would be much easier if I could do it top down, but wasn't really sure how to start. After doing a little Web surfing, I found Susan Pierce Lawrence's site, where she has instructions for her top-down "Live Dangerously, Don't Swatch" hat (if you're following the link, scroll down to November 21, and then follow the instructions up. It turns out you can also buy a nice PDF of the instructions on, scroll down.).

I grabbed a skein of a wool/hemp blend I had laying around to try out the cast on. I was worried that it was going to leave a hole in the top, so I needed to do enough knitting to see if I could pull the starting point closed tightly.

I struggled a bit, but a little more Web surfing yielded great instructions for the slip knot crochet cast on in the Jennifer Tallapaneni's Topi pattern on (which I'm also going to make one of these days).

Once I got enough knitting going to confirm that I could pull the slip knot closed tightly, it seemed a shame to just rip it out, so I kept going. It got a little boring, so I borrowed the chart from another of Susan's hats, Amber, which was published on MagKnits. Since I was knitting in the round, I attempted Meg Swanson's "jogless jog". I don't remember if it was in Interweave Knits or Knitter's Magazine. I'll try to find it again if you're interested. This looks like a reasonable basic tutorial, though.

Not perfect, but not bad. I thought I had a picture... I'll have to take another one later. Anyway, I do think it's better than it would have been without the technique, but I don't really like that it moves your starting point over with each color change. I'll get over it.

And then, since I like a brim, I did basic ribbing until I couldn't stand it anymore. And managed to mess it up. (It's just under my thumb.)

And fix it.



Friday, March 02, 2007

Long Time No Post

Greetings, all.

If anyone was actually here looking for new content recently, I apologize. I was on vacation, immediately followed by a business trip, immediately followed by the worst cold I can ever remember having.

To make it up to you, I'm sharing this lovely tiger from my vacation at Disneyworld's Animal Kingdom Park for eye candy Friday.