My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To echo the sentiments of so many others - Happy Thanksgiving!

Things I'm thankful for...

1) Family - The folks who love you no matter what & help keep you grounded. I'm happy to have a DH who can remind me when I'm steppin' over the crazy line.

2) Healthy & Happy Kids - When so much can go wrong that is out of your control, I'm thankful my concerns have been limited to runny noses. Let's hope they are continually blessed with good health & that our country can figure out a way to ensure that all children are so fortunate.

3) Great Friends - They know all about you & love you anyway. It's nice to know there are people out there you can chat with about anything, any time.

4) Financial Means - As we explain to our kids - we're not 'rich' in terms of cash, but rich in so many ways, I'm thankful to be in a profession that offers relative job security. So thankful that we're able to take our kids on vacations such as the one we're on now. Thankful that I can indulge myself in yarn & books. I'm hoping that educating youth will help them pave a path to financial security in their futures.

Day 3 in Kauai:

Orion & the perpetual sand castle building endeavor. Love how he's wearing goggles up on the shore - must be prepared in case a tidal wave floods his moat.

Iain off on his first snorkle. Poipu beach offers a nice shallow area perfect for kids. The lagoon is surrounded partway by a set of rocks which allows views of tropical fish such as Needlefish, Butterfly Fish, & "Gill" fish from Finding Nemo.

It's raining today (crazy rain!!) - but that hasn't dampened (ha ha ha) our spirits. It's great being together with family & having the opportunity to relax. Think I'll sign off for now & go finish sock #1.

Aloha ~

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Aloha! I know - it's been so long since I've posted on line. Best intentions, and all that you know. In fact, I thought I might just designate November as "NaNoWriBloMo" - i.e. - National No Write Blog Month", since I haven't written since (gasp!) mid-October.

Quick recaps:

1) Knitting - Yup: I've finished at least one project that I haven't shared yet & of course photos are on my computer at home. So - take my word that I finished "The Wonderful Wallaby". I knit a size 4, which really looked like a size 2. So - since I don't have anyone suitable for such a small sweater, I donated it to my children's school auction.

2) Non-Knitting: I took a sewing (gasp!) class at our local quilt/knit shop to learn how to make a Kuspuk (a traditional Alaskan garment). It is really cute & pretty darned easy to make. I've finished one for me, one for my 9 y.o (for their Alaska studies project) & have 2 more in progress. Photos to share upon my return home...

3) Vacation: The fam & I flew to Kauai last Sunday for a Thanksgiving vacation. It's similar to a vacation we took w/friends 3 years ago. Unfortunately we weren't able to coordinate travel plans with our friends for this trip. Fortunately we were able to travel with hubby's family. It's a nice treat as we haven't spent Thanksgiving together since we were in college.

Day 1: Day at the Beach

Fun in the sun. Iain's suitcase didn't make it to Kauai on the first day, so no swim shirt for him. Lots & Lots of SPF 50 sunscreen in it's stead. I think you can easily spot the Alaskans at the beach - glaringly white (yet healthy!!) skin.

We got up close & personal with a Sea Turtle - very cool! Throughout the day we spied several turtles close to shore in addition to 2 Monk seals.

Day 2: Trip to the North Shore

On our last trip to Kauai, we stayed mostly on the south shore & didn't venture past Lydgate state park on the east shore. We decided to drive north to the end of the road (literally!) to "see what we could see". We knew the beaches wouldn't be conducive to swimming (HUGE waves due to winter storms), so we opted for a hike on the north end of the Napali coast.

We only hiked about 2.5 hours & maybe went a total of 2.5 miles ??? Lots of up, up, up & after the previous weekend's rain, lots & lots of mud. Slippery conditions, but the views were spectacular. Just like Jurassic Park.

This is one of the caves/tunnels near the end of the road. Don't drink the water - Leptospirosis lurks within.

Knitting - the drive to & from the north shore took a few hours - a great opportunity to knit on my vacation project - Holidazed, the November RSC 2008 installment. I was able to finish the foot, turn the heel, & finish the flap before we returned home. It's a bit long, but not too big that I feel the need to rip back. I'm choosing to knit this from the toe up which has been a bit of a challenge. I'm knitting the 56 stitch size, meaning 28 stitches per needle (I magic loop). However - the pattern is a 8 stitch repeat. Hmmm - I know I haven't taught math in a while, but I'm pretty darned sure that 28 is NOT divisible by 8. Arghhh - so, in order to center the pattern on the instep, I used 2 stitches on either size of the 24 stitch (which IS divisible by 8) pattern as a 'frame'. I choose to alternate 2 rows of knits w/ 2 rows of purls for the "wing" stitches. So far so good - now that I'm on the leg, I've just adjusted accordingly & now use only the charted pattern. Here's what it looks like so far....

Well - the photo was taken in haste & only shows the pattern. Oh well - I'll share more later.

Okay - off to the beach!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lickety Split FO

One pair off the needles means another pair on (not counting the TTL Mystery socks, of course). I wanted to start a pair of socks that I could easily work on during staff meetings and while riding in the car across town to soccer games & soccer practice. Little did I know that my car project would take such a hold of me that I would work on them outside of riding in the car...


Van Dyke Socks by Wendy D. Johnson

Yarn: STR Mediumweight
Colorway: River Rocked
Needles: Knit Picks 2.75mm
Size: 52 stitches - 5 repeats on the foot before gusset increases, 6 pattern repeats on the leg

Neato-Bandito trick: Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. It is slick & makes a nice stretchy cuff, perfect for toe-up socks! You can find the how-to in the Fall issue of Knitty.

Cast on: Sunday afternoon, October 11, 2009
Finished: Saturday afternoon, October 17, 2009

These were such a blast to knit. I was inspired after reading the Rockin' Sock Club forum on Ravelry & saw another knitter had used her Sept. yarn for a pair of socks other than the intended pattern. I felt like I had been given permission to deviate from the club shipment. I loved the yarn - such pretty fall colors!, but the pattern did not interest me that much. So - I followed her lead & knit the Van Dyke socks - a pattern from "Socks From the Toe-Up" by Wendy D. Johnson of Wendy Knits! Fantastic, fun, quick pattern. It certainly didn't hurt that the yarn was a heavier weight than what I've been knitting with lately & that every other row of the 10 row repeat was a knit row.

True, instant gratification knitting. Now to find another project that will be easy to work on while in the car....

Happy Knitting! Ciao~

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Go Time!

The Babies & Bears Sweater KAL has officially begun. I know - crazy to think about a sweater project when holiday knitting should be forefront in my mind, but that's just how I roll, I guess. Also - my BKFF & I thought we'd make this a nice and loooooooong KAL (through Feb) so that folks can get the holiday knitting completed without having to stress over the KAL progress. Since I haven't really started any holiday knitting, I figured I'd start right away.

Here's what I have so far:

Not too much - cuff #1 is done (who knew 2" was so big?) & 2 sets of increases of the sleeve are done. The construction is interesting as the sweater is knit from the cuff to the middle of the back & front, repeated for the other side & then the backs are grafted together. Pure knitting genius, I say. Right now the knitting is fairly straight forward & brainless - good t.v. knitting for sure!

Meanwhile I'm plugging away on the TTL Mystery sock as well as sock #2 of some instant gratification knitting.

More later - it was an in-service day today, so I'm actually home at a reasonable time. Kids & hubby aren't home yet, so perfect quiet atmosphere for some quality knitting time.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Socktober is for Socks!

Nothing like a witty name for the month of October to get me inspired to finish languishing pairs of socks!


Pattern: Shur'tugal

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight

Colorway: Star Sapphire

Size: Medium (64 stitch count)

Needle: Knit Picks 2.25mm

Cast On: March 28, 2009
Cast Off: October 11, 2009

These were started for the Socks That Rawk Ravelry group's Q2 KAL. I finished the 1st sock in a reasonable amount of time (for me) & then let it sit, and sit, and sit. Fortunately I left it on my dresser so I'd have to look at its lonely face every day. Finally I'd had enough & in my flurry of finishing of late, decided to finally knit up its mate once and for all.

So glad I did - this is a great pattern & the socks fit fine. I really love how the pattern flows into the heel:

Expect a couple more pairs over the coming months. I've finished clue #2 for the TTL Mystery Sock KAL and cast-on a pair using a pattern from Wendy Knits' Socks From the Toe Up book.

Happy Knitting & Happy Fall!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

FO: Hey Teach!.... Again...

Few patterns harness my knitting mojo and make me want to make it more than once. Monkey Socks, Leyburn socks, the Danish Ear Flap Cap are the ones that spring to mind. And now - Hey, Teach! Joins the list. Last year I jumped on the bandwagon & knit Hey, Teach only to underestimate my size & the finished project was too small. So - I ordered the same yarn & set out to knit it again - a size larger - for me. And finally - I have achieved my quest.


Pattern: Hey, Teach! (knitty - Summer 2008)

Yarn: Knit Picks Shine, Worsted

Needles: KPO US 8

Mods: Nothing except the three-needle bind-off.

Lots of finishing around here. Another project is on its way to FO status. I think that gives me the green light to cast on a new project.

This is some Malabrigo sock yarn, remnants from the Jeanne Shawl that I'm going to use for the 2009 Mystery Sock KAL designed by Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops. Come along & Join us!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

In Season

As promised, another FO to show:


Pattern: In Season by Melissa Morgan-Oakes the July kit for the 2009 BMFA Rockin' Sock Club.

Yarn: BMFA Lightweight in Garden Daze colorway. Tina's notes said the color reminded her of heirloom tomatoes. Since I'm not a fan of tomatoes (much to my Grandfather's dismay), I didn't really see it. Other knitters thought the colors reminded them of bell peppers - yup - that I agree with more.

Size: The Medium (64 stitch). I think these will fit someone w/a size 8.5 - 9 foot.

Needles: Knit Picks US 1.5

Dates: Cast on: August 11, 2009
Finished: September 24, 2009

Modifications: None really to the pattern other than I decided to knit these toe-up. I'm a big fan of Judy's Magic Cast on & thought the foot was incredibly easy (1 x 1 rib), that toe-up might be more fun. I used Wendy Knits instructions for a heel-flap & should have followed the instructions for the smaller size as the heel flap is just a tad too wide. I also knit 2 more pattern repeats than the pattern called for. These are relatively short socks, so I'm glad I went with 2 more pattern repeats. I could have done more - plenty of yarn left over. I'd heard about Judy's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (thanks Michele!!) and decided to give that a go (after the tubular bind-off wouldn't work due to my lack of smaller dpns). JSSBO is fantastic & so easy to execute. You can find the instructions in the latest issue of Knitty.

Intended Recipient: Someone at my children's school fall auction.

A bit blurry, but that's the best I have of the pattern detail.

Feeling good about the progress made with knitting projects this week. As mentioned before, I have a finishing class next Tuesday (mostly for socializing with friends & getting wee bits of assistance) where I hope to get a head start on seaming up my Hey, Teach. I have another project for the school auction that is just about finished & I picked up the 2nd sock of a pair started 5 months ago. It would be nice to finish these up before the September installment of the 2009 RSC arrives & Socktoberfest's Mystery Sock begins.

Must be the drop in temperatures & snow on the mountain tops that has kicked my knitting into high gear. Now I need to think about holiday knitting - maybe hats for the boys' teachers. What about you - what are your holiday knitting plans?


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hello again...

It's been a while. That's what happens I suppose - school begins, things get a bit more crazy. I'd considered giving up the blogging bit, but I figure - nah, every once in a while is good & I like to post progress of my knitting. So yes, while I haven't been blogging, I have been knitting. In fact, it addition to the flurry of snow on the Chugach Mountains (hello winter - I see you!) there's also been a flurry of knitting around here.

Let's start with my first FO:


Pattern: Jeanne by Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops. My Aunt's name is Jeanne, so I thought this would be a great pattern for her birthday.

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Velvet Grapes. I used 1 + a smidge of a 2nd skein to make the large size. Now I have to figure out what to make with the remaining yarn. Decisions, Decisions....

Needles: KPO Size 5

Finished Size: Size Large - It ended up with 375 stitches & I didn't take specific measurements, but think it didn't block out as large as it could have. I tried using blocking wires to no avail, so I think it could be blocked a bit larger.

Overall it was a relatively easy knit & fun. The edging took way more time than I thought it would (this will be a belated gift...). The yarn is incredibly soft - I think it will also make a great pair of socks. Kirsten sponsors a Mystery Sock through her blog & Ravelry, so I wonder if I have enough for that. hmm...

Stay tuned - another FO for tomorrow & if Tuesday night's finishing class goes well, I should have another by midweek.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer's Over...

Summer, for teachers and students is over. While teachers returned to work last Thursday, summer's end didn't feel official until today. Today students returned to the classroom. Some teachers think today is the easiest day to plan for: hand out textbooks, go over class rules/expectations, etc. Not me. I think it's one of the most difficult, as I see today as the one day where I can really make an impression on whether or not a student is going to enjoy being in my class. So, I agonize over what I'm going to do. How is my class going to be different, more memorable, even perhaps, more enjoyable than the ones experienced earlier in the day, or yet to come. So - in chemistry I don my tie-dye lab coat, put on the goggles & sing "We Dig Chemistry" loudly and proudly. Some students joined in & others sat in bewilderment, wondering what on earth they were in for during this school year. I figure if I can take a risk and put myself out there, so can they. Success follows risk taking. I certainly find it's more fun than going over rules - I figure I can go over those later & incorporate my philosophies and expectations by examples by what we do in class. "Hi Johnny, Welcome to class - oh, back row, huh? Don't you think you'd rather sit closer to the front in the "learning zone"?" Sure enough - Johnny moves & realizes I mean business. It's all good. Hands on demos & an inquiry based lab & before we know it, class is over & I've taught (and learned) some, the students learned some, and we had fun. Not a bad days' work.

You can see from the photo above that my boys also headed back to school. My big 4th (gasp!) grader is on the left, my 2nd grader on the right. Where does the time go? These photos were a bit impromptu & quick as I'd almost forgotten to take the annual first day of school photos. I usually do this in front of our fireplace, but today - a quick jump in the front yard had to do. My kids are in combo classes (1/2 and 3/4), and loop with their teachers, so both were able to slide right back into school as if an entire summer's worth of fun hadn't taken place. I'm so impressed with how independent they've become and easily settle into the expected educational routine. Very nice and comforting to know they'll do well and be fine as I zip off to do my educational gig.

On the knitting front, I have an FO to show:


Pattern: Orion Sock (The official sock of Sock Summit '09). No longer available to download from the site, but I did notice at Sock Summit that Blue Moon Fiber Arts was selling hard copies of the pattern - perhaps you could order directly from them.

Yarn: Koigu (dark blue) and Shibui (light blue = "River Rapids") One ball each. I had to dip into a second skein of the Koigu just for the ribbing of sock #2. Can you say, Stash Busting! :0)

Needle: Mostly a US 1 (2.25mm). However, after the fair isle on sock #1, I decided to move up a needle size to a 2.50mm for the fair isle on sock #2. This made it much easier to put sock #2 on over my heel.

Project Dates: Cast on during July & knit part of the foot of sock #1. Working on sock during our Lower 48 vacation & finished up on the plane ride home from Sock Summit on Aug. 9th. Overall a very quick knit. I'd certainly knit this again.

Even though school has commenced, I plan to keep knitting away & hope to share more FOs very soon.

OTN: "Hey Teach" = only 1 sleeve left to knit & then seaming.; Jeanne shawl = edging left, In Season (July RSC kit) = finished foot of sock #1, February Lady Sweater = finishing garter portion (once needles are free from Hey, Teach, I'll be ready to pick this up again.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer & knit on!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Summit Aftermath...

Sock Summit was kick-ass. I've already talked about the classes - learned some (forgot to mention the new way to SSK taught by Meg Swansen (slip as if to knit, slip next stitch as if to purl, knit both together), but was just pleased as punch to be in a class taught by such highly regarded knitters and designers. I was surrounded by like-minded peeps, or as Mrs. Q describes them - our tribe. It was so comforting that everyone there spoke my language & didn't find it odd at all that I was knitting on a sock, or that I draped said sock over the Sock Summit sign. Love my peeps.

The photo above is my wonderful MIL holding up the little sock she knit during the beginning socks on double points class. It's adorned with a wee ribbon & filled with a fragrant sachet. Wow - she's very pleased & as you can see, 2 of knitting rock stars, Stephanie & Tina are equally impressed. That was another thing I loved about SS09 - you could approach these wonderful knitters and they would talk and interact with you. I'm sure it was quite tiring for them being constantly approached by us star-struck knitters, but they were so gracious. Somehow I doubt other celebs would be as gracious.

What else was kick-ass? The marketplace. To quote my students: OMG! I wandered through Thursday afternoon and was totally overwhelmed (I blame the wool fumes). Everything was so pretty.... I was able to contain myself & bought nothing on my first venture through the market. I don't think I even saw everything because after about an hour and a half, everything just started to blur together & I became overwhelmed.

Luckily, on Friday and Saturday I was recovered enough to buy:

5 skeins of Dream in Color Classy - a worsted weight yarn that is sooooooo yummy. I was first introduced to this yarn when I knit the Tulip Cardigan & have been on a quest to find this so I can knit a sweater for myself. The color way is "Happy Forest" - remind me of that painter guy on PBS who always painted "Happy Little Trees and Happy Little Clouds". I think this yarn is destined to be Norah Gaughan's Eastlake pullover (rav link) when it grows up.

Look what else just happened to jump in my bag....

More Dream in Color - but this time the sock weight, smooshy. However, the 3 skeins I purchased are not destined for a sock, but for a Waves in the Square Shawl (rav link) designed by Sivia Harding.

What I loved about this colorway was that it was dyes specifically for Sock Summit & it won't be available again.

But wait.... There's more!! Flashin' more stash:

"School Supplies" by Knitted Wit. I'd used her yarn in my Tessuto Socks & loved it. She also left me a message saying she'd grown up in Sitka, AK and likes to meet fellow Alaskans. So - when I wandered by her booth, I just had to buy more. The gal who took care of my house & pets while we were away always bugs me about knitted socks & likes bright colors. So.... I thought this was a perfect colorway - very timely for this time of year.

Another Knitted Wit creation called "Take Steps". This colorway is destined to become socks for my boys. I hope I can squeeze 2 pairs of child sized socks from this skein. Perhaps something simple... When asked what color socks they both wanted, they rattled off a litany of colors & started to describe something that would end up requiring intarsia to knit. I. Think. Not. Camouflage was also another request, but I didn't really like any "Camo" colorways I came across. So - this is what I found & both my guys think it's perfect.

I knew I wouldn't leave without something from Blue Moon. I just love their yarns & colorways. I think I'd have to say that STR is one of my faves. So - in honor of Sock Summit, I had to have the colorway "Sock Gate".

No self-respecting chemistry teacher could pass up a colorway called "Carbon Dioxide". I know the pictures are crap (thanks cloudy, rainy skies) - but it's a colorway that, if you could see CO2, works perfectly. A nice mix of greys, blues, and greens. Perhaps a pair of Nanner socks by Wendy Johnson are in order. Or.... perhaps I'll have to find a pattern with a very scientific name.

This is "Beached". I just liked the colors, but after 3 weeks of eating & feeling like a beached whale at times, very apropros.

Hmmm - seems I've left out another skein - a BMFA skein of Twisted in the "Jubilation" colorway. I purchased this on a whim after admiring my friend Sandy's Sea Lettuce scarf by Lucy Neatby. Other purchases include Jared Flood's new book & sets of stitch markers created by (and featured in the Fall edition of VK) knitwit momma.

Yes - a very full 4 days, and I didn't even attend the Sock Hop, Opening Reception, or the Luminary Panel! I arrived at the Rav party late due to dinner out with friends and family. But - no regrets, it was a great time & if there is another Sock Summit (which rumors say there will be - just not next year), you can count me in!

Okay - off to decompress from returning to work by knitting & enjoying a good Petite Syrah.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summit Conquered!

I'm back....

Where to begin? (Start at the very beginning.... it's a very good place to start) - Pardon me while I escort Maria Von Trapp out of the kitchen....

Sock Summit was fantastic. Of course it was - anything organized by two of the knitterati's most prominent members couldn't be anything but awesome.

The photo to the left is of the signs posted all over the convention center (with the exception of near the elevators from the parking garage....). I just had to have the Orion sock pose for a quick shot. I so desperately wanted one of these signs. At one point I thought about commandeering the sign with my great friends creating a distraction so I could make my get-away. However - at the time I'd overlooked that the sign was hanging outside the police office within the convention center. Oops. So - rational thought prevailed & the sign was left in place. Besides - how could I have fit it in my luggage?

Wednesday: Registration day! My MIL and I arrived from Sacramento late afternoon & after a brief Seinfeld moment at the rental car desk, met friend Sandy at registration - under the:

dragon boat! The realization that Sock Summit was actually occurring hadn't yet sunk in. I did run into Stephanie P.M. & got over my nervousness about being in the same room with her & approached her to thank her for all of the work she had done to make the summit a reality. I hope I didn't come off as a total gibbering idiot.

Thursday: Day 1 of Classes! :0) My morning found me taking "Moccasin Socks" with Meg Swansen and her assistant, Amy Detjen. What a hoot! I was taking a class from Elizabeth Zimmerman' daughter! I loved it when she referred to EZ as "Ma" - it was classic. Honestly I don't think I needed to take this class to knit the moccasin, but I did learn something new - knitting backwards!!! Meg explained that sometimes when working back and forth, turning the work can be such a pain. So - she examined the knit stitch carefully from the 'other side' and determined she didn't have to turn her work to knit and/or purl back. She could just knit backwards. Crazy! Of course - I was hell bent on finishing my moccasin (I didn't - just a few rows short), so I didn't give the knitting backwards technique much time. But the fact that Meg figured this out is just crazy - I'll have to try it. I'm constantly astonished how clever some people are.

In the haste to secure a class during registration, I signed up for a mini toe-up sock for Thursday afternoon. I didn't pay much attention to what this class was about other than the date, time, and that I didn't have to do any homework. I was hoping to learn how to knit a better short row heel (another class....). So - imagine my surprise when I come to find out the class was being taught by Yarnissima! Her real name is Marjan Hammink. It wasn't until after she'd passed out examples of her socks with the interesting gusset architecture that it clicked who she was. I'm so slow.... Again - nothing new learned in this class as I'd already learned to cable without a cable needle, but I'd made a new knitting friend - GoatLady on Ravelry!

I have to say probably the best part of Sock Summit was meeting blog friends in real life. On Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Naomi of gnomiejo knits! Then, on Thursday - I met Michele of PDXKnitterati. Here we are in the Knitted Wit! booth:

By chance during a bathroom break, I ran into Ms. Quimby in the hallway! We were both a bit incoherent, without cameras, but as luck would have it - we were sitting in the same row during the World Record attempt on Friday:

Here she proudly displays her bit of knitting (washcloth? swatch?) accomplished during our 15 minutes of fame. I must point out that this photo was taken after the 15 minutes - I can attest that during the 15 minutes I was actively knitting (photo later) and was not operating a camera.
Yes - we are a part of history. We were 2 of the 935 knitters gathered at the Oregon Convention Center on Friday, August 7th to knit continuously on 2 (not 4!) needles for 15 minutes. Crazy! Magic loop is my method of choice, and I didn't even bring straight needles with me. Fortunately, my BKFF, Winston's Mom came to my rescue with some BIG (size 13??) purple acrylic (yes - acrylic) needles. She's such a life saver.

Earlier in the day I was taking J.C. Briar's Bind-Off Bonanza. We'd knit 9 (yes - 9!) small swatches to practice various bind-off techniques. Most I'd tried before, but a couple were new & pretty slick. The best however was the tubular bind off. It's a great technique to use for toe-up socks & incorporates double knitting - something I'd learned at Madrona, but haven't practiced since.

Wow - I think I could just ramble on & on about Sock Summit & still not be able to put together a coherent, descriptive sentence that could do the experience justice.

I'll have to continue later.... today was our first day back at work. I hear the wine bottle calling my name...


Monday, August 3, 2009


I interrupt this 3-week vacation to present not 1, but TWO FOs:

"Rainbow Sherbet Socks"

Pattern: Tessuto Socks - The July Knit/Purl Sock Club installment

Yarn: Knitted Wit in "Saturday Market" colorway

Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm)

Comments: A great, toe-up, slipped stitch pattern. Very easy & relatively fast to knit. I really like the texture the slipped-stitch creates. The texture plus the colorway reminds me of rainbow sherbet. I'm not crazy about the short-row garter stitch heel - but I think that's more a function of my ability with the short row heel rather than the pattern. For some reason I've lost my heel mojo - I need to go & inspect earlier projects to recreate acceptable SRH. My only real issue with the socks is that they are a bit looser than I'd like. I think either a smaller stitch count, or a smaller needle size would take care of this. Otherwise, a great sock to take (and finish!) on vacation. I cast these on after we took off from Anchorage & finished the foot by the time we landed in LAX.



Pattern(s): Just in case you've been out of touch with the knitting world, it's the infamous Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman. This baby sweater pattern is the work of a knitting genius (EZ, not me!). Again, I'd forgotten to take a photo of the sweater before I'd seamed up the arms - it really looks like an amoeba!

The booties are the Saartje's Bootees. These are just the right accessory for this sweater & helps to use up most of the skein of yarn.

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock, Mediumweight - "Typhoon Tina" colorway.

Needles: US 4 KPH (Knit Pick Harmony)

Recipient: My dear friend, Hilarey's baby "David Matthew" (at least that's what I've named him until further notice). I hope the weather in San Diego gets cool enough after he's born (he's due in Nov) so he can actually wear a knitted wool garment.

So I guess that's actually 3 FOs! Wow - however, most of the knitting of the BSJ was completed back in May, and the booties were finished during our June Alaska road trip (gee - I still need to post about that!) Only the socks were truly cast on & finished during our recent vacation.

Less than one week of vacation left, but plenty of fun to be had. Sock Summit begins this week! Here's what I'm working on:

Pattern: "Orion's Sock" - the official sock of Sock Summit 09. This was a pattern available through the Sock Summit swag shop. Rumor has it that it's no longer available to download. Perhaps it'll resurface during SS09. Most of the sock (gusset to ribbed cuff) was completed during our 10 hour drive from Las Vegas to Sacramento.

Off to cast on sock #2. Hope to bring the blog up to speed on San Diego, Las Vegas, and Sock Summit.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Where it All Began....

On Monday, my DH and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. How crazy is that - time seems to be speeding up! To celebrate, we left our children with their grandparents at the family cabin on Palomar Mt. while we stayed in downtown La Jolla for 2 nights. For old times' sake we decided to visit our Alma Matter: The University of California, San Diego (UCSD). We both graduated from UCSD's Revelle College (designed for science nerds) in 1993 - DH in the traditional 4 years, me - 4+. After graduation, he and I loaded up his 1978 green VW pop-top and drove (with lots of push-starting/popping the clutch - think "Little Miss Sunshine") to Alaska. The rest, as it is said, is history (and hopefully a very long future).

Here's my dorm - one of Revelle college's "mud-huts" called Galathea. My room my freshman year is the corner room on the 3rd floor. My friends and I thought it was a great idea to live in the same dorm again during our sophomore year (the year DH and I met) - an idea that quickly got old. We moved to the 4th floor on the opposite side. DH lived in an adjacent mud-hut called "Discovery" - often shorted to "Disco" by some practical jokesters. I wonder how many times UCSD had to replace the -very letters.

This is the Revelle anchor - outside the cafeteria which at the time was named "Anchorview". DH and I both worked there during school. Say what you will about working for the dining services - not very glamorous, I know. However, when it comes to cutting your grocery bill as a poor college student, working at the 'caf' was just the ticket. The anchor is constantly getting make-overs. In the dead of night, groups of students will come and re-paint and decorate the anchor. One contribution while we were at school was the anchor covered in cotton balls.

This is Urey Hall - home of the physics department. However, most Revelle college students know this building for the annual Watermelon drop. According to Revelle history, a physics professor asked his students one year how large a splat a watermelon would make if it were dropped from the top (7th floor) of Urey Hall. Good science is based on experimental results, so of course students took a watermelon and chucked it from the top of Urey. It is now an annual tradition - complete with a watermelon talent show to determine the watermelon king/queen. After the drop, students enjoy watermelon chilled in the Revelle fountain.

This is what we knew as Central Library, now known as Geisel library. It was renamed in honor of Theodore Geisel - better known as Dr. Seuss. His widow has made countless, generous contributions to UCSD, so in 1995 the library was renamed in their honor. It's a fantastic library, one of 9 on the campus and one I wish I could say I took great advantage of. However..... I think I only used it maybe twice. Primarily as it was far from my dorm & 2nd, being in the library was more of a distraction for me. I'd always find something else to do - doodling, counting calories to maintain racing weight as the varsity coxswain, (the link takes you to a great LA Times article about being a female coxswain for Men's crew. I was on the women's crew - but one of my teammates, Meghan and a former suite-mate in my dorm, Annette, and my former coach, Jack, are all quoted) or just people watching.

This is the Sun God - a piece of art in the Stuart collection and icon of the UCSD campus. I remember when I first arrived on campus, my dad thought this was the San Diego chicken. :0) This is where the Sun God festival used to take place while we were at school. I think I only got to attend the music festival once, as the timing always seemed to coincide when I was up in Sacramento for the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships.

The trip down memory lane was fun - it's amazing how much the campus has changed since we were there. I'm glad that not only did UCSD provide me with a fantastic education but also the opportunity to meet my fabulous DH. UCSD was just the beginning of many, wonderful adventures.

Happy Anniversary DH!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Put Me In The Zoo!

Our San Diego visit continued Friday with a visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo. We've visited the zoo countless times, but still find it quite fun. Our primary reason to visit during this trip was to visit the newly opened Elephant exhibit. What used to be The Mesa is now Elephant Odyssey. You begin the journey through the expansive exhibit by walking through pre-historic times. A mock-up of the La Brea tar pits and other fossils great you upon your arrival. The exhibit suggests what southern California looked like and the critters that inhabited the region in prehistoric times. I think the highlight of the exhibit for the boys were the numerous models of various animals.

"Ouch!" - Disclaimer: No 7 year olds were harmed in the taking of this photo. Feet belong to an elephant model.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears - Oh My! While we didn't visit the bears (with the exception of the Polar Bears) We did see Lions and Tigers. My oldest loves Tigers, so of course we have oodles of photos. Of course - tigers aren't always cooperative with photo shoots (how fickle models can be!). So - most of the photos captured are of the tiger "making room for his next meal". I'll spare you the visual.

The favorite part of the zoo for my youngest was the Harpy Eagle. During 1st grade his class engaged in a theme study of Rain Forests. One of the animals found in various rain forests is the Harpy Eagle. While a very interesting looking critter, what fascinated my son the most was that this bird was able to carry off Howler Monkeys. What skill! Good thing they're kept in an enclosure.

Monkey See, Monkey Do! -

I saw this at one of the exhibits - thought it was a great reminder for times when we think we are powerless to right injustices in our society.

Still knitting - something to show soon.