Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Photos of Hey Teach

Well, I did finish Hey Teach! It turned out well - fits like I made it myself. Wait...

However, although I wore it several times, I had no one to take a photo. I almost recruited my mother, but she was recovering from dental surgery and wasn't up to it. So, no FO photos. I have to say, though, that the yarn, 2nd Time Cotton, really exceeded my expectations. It seems stiff and heavy in the skein, but it knits up like a dream, particularly in lace patterns, and it wears extremely well. It hasn't stretched out much with wearing, and it's very comfortable. The best part, I think, is that it is made from waste from the fabric industry, so it's got that green vibe going. Check it out for yourself - you won't be disappointed.

Here's my progress on my latest effort:


This is Liesl by Ysolda in Elsebeth Lavold Angora. I think it's turning out well. Considering I used size 11 needles because it was what I could find (it calls for 10 3/4), I am shocked with how well it fits. I thought it was going to be way too small, just by looking at it. At this point, I have the sleeves to do, which I have to do on two circulars because I couldn't find a 32" or a 40" circular needle in that size. I'm not looking forward to that, so I'm taking a short break from this project. Plus, the yarn irritates my hands. In fact, I swear I had a hive on my finger the other day. No worries, though. Although my hands are incredibly sensitive, the skin on my body isn't, so it should be fine. I've tried it on with no itchies or irritation.

Instead of finishing Liesl, I have cast on for Marilyn's Not So Shrunken Cardigan. I am making a not at all shrunken version with a full-length body and 3/4 sleeves. I'm using Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in a pretty periwinkle color. I said to J today that I thought it was coming out to bulky, but I've pressed onward because I think it will be fine in the end.

Even though I was apparently the only person who didn't watch a single minute of the Olympics, I am busying my evenings with watching the bloodsport known as politics. Every night, I watch coverage of the Democratic National Convention and am as riveted as Olympics-watchers, I can assure you. I hope you are enjoying your week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Knitting Pics

While I have knit a couple more rows of WRS, it still isn't photo worthy, unless you want me to keep showing photos that look pretty much identical. What I am sharing today is a photo of the cute little red Fiat 500 that I rented while I was in France. I LOVED this car, it was adorable. It didn't have a lot of pick up and go, but it had a sun roof thing (it didn't open) it looked like I could have connected my Ipod to it, and it was just fun. I actually only paid for the most basic of cars, but there was an incident at the car rental agency when I tried to pick up my car on Saturday. I think that as a result of the incident I got a better car. The Fiat was brand new. If these cars come to America, I very well might have to get myself one :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quick Update

My knitting mojo seems to have been on vacation most of the summer. I have a sweater started that I just don't feel like working on. I finished one Gothic Spire sock and now I don't know where my second skein is, and I don't feel much like looking for it. The only knitting I seem to still be working on is WRS, and not even consistently on that. I know that it is probably totally boring to see photo after photo of lace in progress, particularly if only a row or 2 has been added, but sadly, that is all I have to share.

As of this writing I am 13 1/2 rows into repeat #3 of the center panel. Each repeat is 62 rows and there are 5 full repeats plus another 40 rows.

Since I have nothing knittingwise to share--here is a photo of a wonderful cheese salad that I had in Carcassonne (I may be sharing way too many France photos, but I have nothing else, sorry) I don't remember exactly what cheese were on the salad (there was a goat and an emmental) but there were all delicious. As you can see there were orange, cucumber, kiwi, tomato and lemon slices artistically displayed around my pile of lettuce. Yum!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Out With the Old, In with the New

Hey Teach! is blocking:


She's almost dry, but it turns out that it takes a while for thick cotton fabric to dry:


It didn't take me long to choose my next project. I decided to cast on for Liesl by Ysolda Teague. I always knew I'd make one of her patterns someday, but I always figured Arisaig would be the first. Lets just say that a fingering weight sweater isn't exactly calling to me right now. I'm using yarn that I bought for 70% off a long time ago. The store only had 6 hanks left, so I took what they had. Later, I offered one to a friend who was finishing her Under the Hoodie (she also bought her yarn at the same sale). However, she wouldn't take it because she told me that she knew a project would come along where I wished I still had the 6th hank. Well, guess what?


That's Elsebeth Lavold Angora. According to the pattern, I should have plenty, but I'm dubious. However, I got this far on just over one hank, so maybe there's hope:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to Reality

Sometimes in life you get lucky, sometimes you get REALLY lucky. I was REALLY lucky recently. My aunt and uncle are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary by renting a villa in Provence, and they invited family to come stay with them. Who am I too say no to a free place to stay in Provence?

This is the pool at the villa. Doesn't it look peaceful and relaxing? The float you see there is a cheapo float that I bought at CVS just for this trip, I couldn't wait to just spend some time relaxing, floating, and sunning in the pool.

Of course, when you go to Provence you can't spend all of your time floating in the pool at the villa, you must do some touring too! There was a stop at a lavender field and museum, the lavender had been harvested a day or so before my arrive.

I visited Pont Saint-Esprit:

Pont du Gard:

Chateauneuf-du-pape: Carcassonne: and, of course, Paris:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Short Attention Span Theater

Rather than be good and frugal and finish my Hey Teach!, I decided to go to a yarn sale today and buy more yarn and cast on for another project. I'm not being too strict with myself because I've found my knitting mojo so fleeting recently. But still, I'm a little annoyed with myself.

For the local readers, the yarn sale was at Two Sisters and Ewe in La Mesa where they're having a 20% off all yarn sale. They have gotten some new shipments of yarn in, including Nature Wool, a new Brown Sheep yarn, Lanaloft that is essentially Lamb's Pride without the mohair (GREAT idea!) and a hand dyed merino by Southwest Trading Company called Jezebel. They had some other cool stuff, too, including a yarn called Eco wool by Sirdar. This yarn had two pattern books that go with it. I thought the patterns in both books were really cute and the yarn is yummy. I just loved this pattern, though:


I've seen a lot of sweaters in this style over the last year, including one by Debbie Bliss (Silverbell?), but this is by far my favorite. It's close fitting and looks like it would be easy and comfortable to wear. It's also not as busy as some I've seen. Here is the Ravelry link.

The only yarn I bought is Kureyon sock, which I've wanted for a while, but stopped myself for the simple reason that I don't knit socks. But I love, love this yarn, and I'm hoping that the color changes will keep me interested long enough to finish a pair. Hey, it's been known to work before. I'm easily amused. I've cast on for a simple stockinette sock with a long ribbed cuff.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Walk Around the Lake

Hey Teach! is coming along really well. I've already seamed up half of it and I've done a good portion of the second sleeve. It will definitely be done sometime this weekend. Which leads to the obvious question...what next? He he. If you can believe it, I don't have a project picked out, but isn't picking it out half the fun?

Let's see, what else happened this week? On Wednesday, I had a birthday - a milestone. Thirty-five. 35. The big 3-5. It's the kind of birthday that makes you take stock of your life. I've decided that everything's going pretty well, so there's no need to feel bad. Moving on...

Tonight after work, I decided to take a walk around Lake Miramar. Actually, I do this walk twice a week. I thought I'd take you with me on my walk. That way, you can sort of have a workout without leaving your chair!

First off, let me just tell you that the lake is a great place for walking. It has a nice wide well-paved path:


The path is marked every quarter of a mile so you know how far you're walking:


The views are lovely:




And there's some pretty foliage to look at along the way:


I've got to say, it sure beats the gym! It's almost like not working out, but not quite. I'm enjoying daylight savings and going after work because I know, come October, I'll be stuck back at the gym.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I'm going to be holding down the fort here on the Purly Gate while J is in Provence for a week. I'm not sure how much I'll post, but we'll see how it goes.

Over the last few months, I have not really been knitting. I couldn't say exactly why, but I guess it has to do with adjusting to a new work schedule, warm weather (I prefer to knit with wool) and a lack of interesting new patterns. I think all of that is going to change this fall since the Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and Rowan previews all show promise. Plus, I've heard that Kim Hargreaves is publishing two new books this fall comprised of patterns that were previously only offered as kits. Personally, I never liked the fact that her patterns were only available as kits since it took yarn choice out of the knitter's hands and the kits were prohibitively expensive at the current exchange rates. So, I've actually been waiting for her to make this decision for a while. All I have to say is yay! There are several things that I can see myself knitting from the new magazines and books that are coming out.

I was also really pleased with the Knitty surprises that were released at the end of last month. So much so that the day after they came out, I drove over to La Jolla to buy some 2nd Time Cotton to cast on for Hey Teach!. It's coming along really well. I have the back and one of the fronts done. The first front only took a couple of days of sporadic knitting, so I'm hoping to be ready for seaming next weekend. I'm enjoying the simplicity of the pattern. It's the kind of pattern that combines several simple elements to their best advantage in order to create a cute, fashionable, wearable garment. I'd say that's sort of my bliss when it comes to knitting patterns. It's got stockinette to appeal to my mindless requirements and it's got some lace to keep me from getting bored. The shaping is done subtly using stitch patterns instead of overtly (decreases). I think it's going to fit well, now that I've added 4 inches (to accommodate my very long torso).


I was hoping to get a lot of sewing done this summer, but my sewing machine has been on the fritz. Turns out that it needed a rather costly tuneup, so it's in the hospital as we speak. Hopefully, I'll be back and sewing in no time.