25 September 2007

I'm In!

Too much going on. Must be quick.

1. Got invite to Ravelry! But can't take time to play. Aargh.

2. Going to South Dakota Thursday. To Buffalo roundup. With In-laws. Who have made all arrangements. Including no car for us because we will all fit in their van. whee.

3. Finished first Sock Gang sock. Overcast day, bad color representation on little photo. Click to make bigger.

4. Pretty sure I will die from eating McDonald's for lunch 3 days running. Bad bad bad.

22 September 2007

Fickleness, Thy Name is Kathy

I finished my Bartholomew's Tantalizing Sock from Cat Bordhi's new book. It's made out of Socks That Rock in the Ms LaRock colorway. I think this might be the best fitting sock that I've ever made for myself. I also think that my neighbors may be calling in the gents in white coats after watching me wandering around in the back yard trying to find a good place to lie down, put my foot up in the air and take pictures of it. This may be one of those things the muggles just don't get.

I must tell you though, in the spirit of truthfulness, that there is very little chance that Bart's partner will see the light of day anytime soon. You see, yesterday I was sitting innocently in my living room, working on Bart's toe (which is the only change I made. It's got my favorite tapering toe rather than the star toe called for in the pattern) when the mail came. We got some bills, some catalogs, some credit card offers, and... what's this? A big envelope from Interlacements. **heart starts beating faster** I know what this is. This is my first care package from the Interactive Sock Gang. I wasn't even tempted to not open it. Bart's buddy will have to wait. Inside was a bundle of wool and the pattern. This is a pretty good reflection of the colors, excepting the part that looks blue is actually much more purple. This morning I got out the swift and winder and discovered that the wonderful Judy Ditmore even thought ahead for us and sent 2 small skeins rather than one big one. After winding I now have two lovely little balls of heaven waiting for me to cast on. The pattern is for toe up socks, which I have never done before, so this will be a good opportunity to learn some new stuff.

One final note regarding the health camp I was bragging up last week. If you are interested in taking up roofing as an exercise regimen you will have to find your own workout area. The gym I was using closed roofing operations on Monday morning. As far as I know the only casualties were a few pairs of gloves and one shirt. No one fell, was punctured, or received any hammer wounds above and beyond the routine blisters and banged up thumbs.

18 September 2007


It's amazing how quickly a person's life can go from 0 apd to 90 apd (that's activities per day for those who aren't up on my newly created acronyms.) Sure I was busy during the summer, what with people breaking arms, traveling, wanting me to play with them during every waking hour, but I didn't feel like I was on a 1200cc motorcycle hurtling towards a cliff at top speed. There are deadlines rushing towards me, there are things to prepare for that are completely neglected, there are people who live in my house that I haven't seen in days.

The upshot of all this is that I have no new knitting news. I have finished weaving in ends, but I'm waiting till the zipper's in to take the Ta Da photos. My sock is feeling very neglected and the donate pile is wondering why I haven't fed him lately. I'm going back into the photo archives to pull out pretty things for you to look at because I've accomplished nothing in the last week. This is Daughter winding her yarn shortly after Stitches:

This is (from tallest to shortest); Brother, Me, Daughter, Nephew, Niece at the Laughing Whitefish Falls which we visited in July.

And lastly, something to help me remember why I need to enjoy the beautiful days that we are having now. This is coming, and it's coming sooner than I want...

13 September 2007

Ends, Ends, and More Ends

Everything I have so far has been sewn together. All that remains is to knit the two sides of the hood, sew them to the center cable panel, put in the zipper and weave in 20,000 ends. Well perhaps not 20,000. The total is probably somewhere closer to 30, but that's still a lot of ends to deal with. Have I mentioned that the finishing is my least favorite part of this process. That's why I love Wonderful Wallabys. When you're done you have 2 seams of 6 stitches to graft together. I can deal with that.

For those of you who expressed personalized concerns that I might be feeling a little achey, rest assured that today I can walk up and down the basement stairs without holding on to the railing or leaning on a wall for support. To anyone looking for a good investment I regret to say that the massive purchases of Aleve have stopped, so you missed the bubble on Bayer HealthCare.

11 September 2007

Billy Blanks Has Got Nothing On Me

I have discovered the best workout ever. Using this system I lost an average of a half pound for each day that I tried it, and I ate as much as I wanted of any kind of food that I wanted. This new exercise regimen is a total body workout, leaving no muscle group unused. What is this amazing new workout? Roofing.

You begin your workout by climbing up onto the roof of the dwelling that you want to work on. My particular exercise location had several different components; a nearly flat area, two slightly elevated basic roof areas, two long basic roof areas and one section where several areas came together at different angles. Start at the area most distant from the dumpster and begin. At this point you can choose either prying up the old shingles or hauling the pieces to the dumpster. I chose hauling which involves a lot of leg work moving across the various inclines and peaks. It is also helpful if, as in our case, the dumpster is left in a location directly under the telephone cables leading into the house. This creates more motion in your body as you either duck and throw, or heave over the cables, making sure that you can throw your burden high enough into the air to clear the lines.

After shingle removal you move into the next phase of the workout, nail removal. If your homeowner doesn’t want his new roof to leak the old nails must be either removed (which was the preferred method in our location) or driven tightly into the decking. To make this station most effective it helps if the wood you are removing the nails from is good 60 year old pine; the nails will be less likely to pull out easily. This can be used to exercise both arms. One arm wields the claw on the hammer and the other uses a pry bar to coax out the more embedded nails. This exercise is also good for the lower legs as you are constantly standing, kneeling, or squatting on an incline.

The last phases of the program are similar to each other. The first is the application of ice barrier and tar paper, next is the application of the shingles. Each involves finding a stable exercise position, then a lot of arm work as you drive in nail after nail. Some people sabotage their exercise regimen at this point by using a compressor and nail gun, but fortunately in our case the gun proved to have mechanical difficulties for the entire first day of fitness camp.

The best way to spend your last day of conditioning is to work out for 7 hours then get immediately into a car and drive for 4 ½ hours. When you get out of your car at the end of the journey you will have a true appreciation for which muscle groups have been exercised.

If you are interested in trying this out I know a guy in Southfield, Michigan who can get you started immediately.

07 September 2007

On the Road Again

It's beginning to look like a sweater. I have 6 of the 7 pieces sewn together, just need to put on the second sleeve and then finish the hood. I tried it on last night after getting the first sleeve in and I think the length will be OK. The sleeves will be a little on the long side but not too much. I'd rather have slightly longer sleeves than too short anyway.

That's all for today as I'm about to drive to Detroit to help my brother reroof his house. With luck I will be back late Sunday night with no broken bones or fresh puncture wounds. Brother's new toy is a pneumatic nail gun, so we'll have to give it a test drive. One of his construction buddies showed him how to bypass the safety but I think he was wise enough not to listen. My brother is the walking embodiment of Murphy's law. It's a miracle that he's survived as long as he has.

06 September 2007


The knitting is finished and the blocking has commenced. I didn't find any helpful errata on the web so I took the side panels apart and did them myself. Everything went for a swim in cool water and a little Soak. It's been lightly pinned out and has a a ceiling fan and a table fan blowing on it. Next will begin the most dreaded stage of sweater making; the sewing up. This particular sweater is going to be even more fun than usual owing to the side panels and the zipper that needs to go in. This is a frequent stalling point for me. I have a lovely sweater coat that's finished with the exception of putting on the button band. It's been languishing in the UFO basket for about a year, and all it needs is the button band to be sewn on. I truly dislike the sewing up.

While the Celtic Icon bits are drying I'm working on Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks from Cat Bordhi's book. Sock 1 is coming along nicely. What you see over there is a side view. The ribbed portion is the back of the foot and the angled portion is where I'm increasing over the instep. The colors are working out quite nicely. These should be good wearing-with-jeans socks.

Son came home from his first day of real classes at the American Academy of Art. His first class was Life Drawing, and sure enough they had a nude model. I didn't ask him how much giggling went on, but I'm sure he behaved with aplomb. He showed us his work and I was actually surprised at how good he is. You have to keep in mind that all we usually see from him are demons and mechanized warriors. Of course Daughter put it all in perspective when she came over, took a look and announced, "That's Gross!"

05 September 2007

That Can't Be Right

I finished the first side panel of the Celtic Icon sweater. Everything went fine till I got to the last tiny bit of instructions. Just 12 stitches left to deal with. What I think I should have is an upside down U shape, since that would fit nicely into the back and fronts that I made. What I ended up with is this ->. I thought to myself, “That can’t be right; you must have read something wrong.” So I pulled it out and tried again. And again. I have a feeling that the lovely Ms Ellis would not design such a thing as this, so I go to the computer to check and see if there are any errata for the pattern. As Murphy would have it, the router is in one of its No Connecting phases, so I can’t check to see if there is an easy fix or if I’m going to have to correct it myself. There’s no way I’m leaving that aesthetically challenged ending as it is.

After another day of not being able to connect to the rest of the world my son told me the secret computer voodoo ritual that is required to appease the technogods: Unplug the cable modem, plug it back in, unplug it again, then plug it in again. You have to do it twice because after you unplug it the first time it won't always reconnect. After the second unplugging it realizes that you're really serious and connects again. After performing this ritual I am once again connected to the rest of the world. I'm off to see if I can find a sensible way to end my side panels.

01 September 2007

Technology is Great

Appologies for not posting, but we've been having connection problems. It seems that our router was manufactured by the Peter Paul company. Some times it feels like connecting, sometimes it don't.

This is Moose. He greets people at our front door for us. He is holding the front panel of the Celtic icon sweater. There’s a problem with it. I know when I made the back I needed to start doing some shaping at 14 inches. That coincided nicely with the end of a pattern repeat. So when the instructions for the front said to start shaping at 14 inches I thought to myself, “Good, I just need to make the same number of pattern repeats. I don’t need no stinking ruler!” Excellent plan, Kathy. The truly smart thing would have been to count the number at that point. But I didn’t. Then when I started the front I assumed that I would recognize when I had 14 inches of knitting done. Turns out I’m not such a great estimator of length. After 4 repeats (of 28 rows each I might add,) I looked at it and said, “Nah, that can’t be long enough,” and went along my merry knitting way. After the 5th repeat I thought, “This is it. I’ll just measure and be sure.” It turns out that “it” was actually the end of the 4th repeat, not the 5th. This afternoon I’ll be jumping in the frog pond. Anyone care to join me? The water’s great.