Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Surfacing for a Navigation Check

I feel like I've been rushing from one thing to another and getting nothing done for weeks.  Which is mostly due to the phenomenon that when something is done, you stop thinking about it and switch your attention to the list of things still waiting.  And truly, things have been happening. 

Last night I realized that it had been over a week since I'd finished knitting the auction socks, and had still not gotten to weave in ends.  So I did, and blocked the socks.  Hopefully I'll get them sent out this week.

Seeing the socks on the blockers reminds me that weekend before last, the Interweave Labs conference was close to me.  I didn't take any classes, but I did manage to swing by the marketplace.  In addition to the sock blockers (see the above photo), I found some lovely glass buttons for one sweater-in-progress.  I also picked up some blocking mats to replace the tattered, cat-shredded piece of styrofoam I've been using for blocking, and some blocking wires.   Which means I've pretty much wiped out my list of 'knitting tools I'd like to get one of these days'.  Despite severe temptation, I managed to leave without any new yarn. 

The root cause of not completely finishing the auction socks was some business travel.  I didn't want to take a knitting project that only needed about fifteen more minutes to finish with me.  So instead I packed a sweater (for bland conference knitting) and a ball of sock yarn for the airplane.  This is my last skein of the lovely Deep Water Dye Works yarn that my sister gave me, and I thought it would look good in Nutkin.

After looking over the pattern and noting how much it draws in, I decided to knit an extra pattern repeat in the leg.  Which I did, casting on 80 stitches.  Somewhat to my chagrin, after the heel turn I tried it on and discovered that it's still too tight for me.   I actually considered frogging and casting on again with 96 stitches, but came to my senses.  In its current size, this will make a perfectly nice pair of socks as a gift for someone with smaller feet.  And since I hadn't yet started Christmas knitting, this is a good way to get a jump on it.  Fate has spoken- this yarn is not meant for me, and I should just enjoy knitting it, then pass it on.

For conference knitting, I took  the long vest I'm working on.  I'm past the arms, so it's just a whole enormous whack of stockinette with a few increases as I knit out the long A-line body.  My plan is to make this mid-thigh length, so there is still a long ways to go.  Fortunately, as far as I can tell, there is just as much yarn on the cone as there was when I started, so I'm unlikely to run out anytime soon. 

And then when I was taking pictures,  I came across these mittens, which I knit during the last couple of weeks of the auction socks, because I really, really needed to finish something.  

In non-knitting news- the same weekend as Interweave, we had a couple of really gorgeous days, and I got a lot of spring yard cleanup finally done, weeded, mowed, and planted some flowers.  This week I've got a bunch of little nasturtiums coming up, the lilies of the valley and violets are blooming furiously, and the irises and impatiens are full of budding promises.   The day lilies, lupins, and Siberian irises are all flourishing, and I expect they'll give me a show later in the summer. Maybe I'll even get the camera out in daylight so I can take a picture. 

Then last weekend- a long holiday weekend here in the US- we had a huge board gaming party, completely with grilling, snack food, and the infamous maple baklava.  Biscuit helped by fiercely attacking the sheets when I was making up beds for guests.  He even stuck around to see what was going on for a while before hiding from all the scary strange people.

This week...I really, really need to eat sensibly and exercise!  And, of course, to knit. And maintain cats.  And...I was about to mention other things on the list, but really.  Actually finishing everything on my list is never going to happen, but then it's all about the journey, isn't it?  

Saturday, May 3, 2014


The boys have had a busy day.  Not only did they start the morning by presenting me with a dead rodent, there was a great deal of watching the 'out'.
Sam, the neighbor cat, came by.  Cookie disapproves of Sam, who he suspects has designs on Cookie's cat food.  There was a good deal of crouching and tail lashing, as well as trailing around from window to window, following Sam's progress through the yard.  Sam, while he no doubt would eat Cookie's cat food if the opportunity arose, does not seem to harbor any hard feelings for Cookie- rather the reverse.  He'll sit outside the porch door and meow until Cookie comes out.

Then there was the supervising of yard work to be done.  I had a keen audience for raking and pool maintenance.   It was all pretty exhausting, and by mid-afternoon, Biscuit needed a little lie-down in the cat castle to recover.

But that wasn't the only excitement to be had-  our Santa Fe pottery arrived.  Jonathan and I were pleased to see what it looked like glazed.   And I was amused to note that the bowl we got the preview photo for?  Wasn't one of ours!  I'd been a bit confused when I saw it because I didn't remember something exactly that shape, and figured it had to be something about the way it was photographed.  But no.  I think they must have meant to send me a picture of the interior glaze on this bowl:
Which I was delighted with.  See, when they asked what kind of a pottery thing I'd like to make, my very first thought was a yarn bowl.  Here's the outside:
I also made a large dish.  After I took this photo, I immediately put it to use- filled it with fruit and put it on the kitchen island.  
And there was a smaller dish, on which I also particularly liked how the glaze came out.

 Jonathan also made three dishes.  A vase:
A small dish:
And a rather arty candy dish which may be the single prettiest piece of the lot. 
Great fun, and delightful reminders of our trip- I'm going to enjoy using them.