Sunday, July 25, 2010

A hike in the hills

My South Dakota memory socks are finished. They look a bit washed out here but trust me they are beautiful, unless you ask my husband. He admitted to me that he thinks they are ugly. I forgive him since he is entitled to his own opinion. This is the same man that wished they made Grr-animals for adults when he got out of the Navy. He was having a tough time matching his own clothes. I must admit I thought green and brown are great manly colors. Good to know before I make him any more socks.

This is Castle Fibers "Black Hills Hike" sock yarn that is 90% superwash wool/10% nylon. I do think it is funny because she told me that the dying increments are short so the yarn will not pool or flash. No offense lady, but I know how to make a yarn pool. In this case I absolutely adore the way they did it. It reminds me of how the colors come together in the Hills.

I bought this yarn on a trip home to see my nephew graduate from the same high school I graduated from. We were delayed an extra day due to a plains thunderstorm rolling through around the time our flight was to leave. Well we were actually waiting for the plane to get in then take off with us. We decided it is better to stay where there is family (free room and board) than to get caught in another town at midnight trying to order pizza to a hotel room. Yeah that happened to us once also. So lucky me took Mom to the yarn store in town and had a lovely time.

I have a great pair of socks that remind me of home. I took them out for their inaugural outing to tea with a friend yesterday. I guess we had not seen each other in a while as we talked for 4 hours and closed down the tea shop. We did not even get to talk about books. Now we will just have to do it again.

Here is my socks in the wild shot. I am thinking this is my new sock shot. Boy is it going to be difficult to take in the winter.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Celebrate Spring!

OK so I know it is not spring, I am celebrating the fact that I finished my spring Yarnkettle sock club socks.

Celebrate Spring Socks by Ann Budd. Yarn is Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm yarn, 50% Merino/50% Tencel fingering weight. Unfortunately the colorways are not noted anywhere. I think they may all be called "Oh Pretty"!

As you can tell I am still playing with how I take my pictures, in this one I was attempting to get to the level of the knitting. Instead I got a really cool jungle shot. Well at least I think it is cool. It does not show the sock at all.

I was curious how much yarn I had left over. So I got out my handy dandy scale. I don't think that is enough to make another pair of socks.

This was the first sock but I think that it shows off the pattern better.

I enjoyed this pattern so much. I am enjoying doing the Yarnkettle seasonal sock club. This one took a bit longer than I thought it would. I have picked out the summer yarn and pattern and will update as soon as I have something to show. I will tell you now that you should always check for errata for patterns. It saves you from having to cast on more than once.

How do I get over feeling dirty when I type the word 'errata'.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Speaking of Pictures

I've been experimenting with my camera settings. I've heard of people using a macro setting on their cameras to take well defined pictures of their knitting. I started looking for that setting on my camera, either I don't have one or it is called something else.

I gave up and went on my merry way only to discover a setting called foliage. That triggered a memory of reading something about pictures of plants needing more saturation to reveal their true colors.

Here is my latest sock in progress with the camera set to auto.

Here is the same sock a minute or so later with the camera set to foliage. I do think the colors pop more in the second photo. I've been taking photos of my knitting in pairs this way for a little while now and I usually prefer the photos taken with the foliage settings.

Don't you just love the colors of that yarn? I is my SD yarn from Castle Fibers. The colorway is called Black Hills Hike. It reminds me of home so much. I do think it is funny that I managed to make it pool, because we were discussing this in the store when I bought it. The color repeats are very short so with a normal person it most likely would not have done what it is doing for me. I rather enjoy a sock with a bit of swirl to it.

A normal sock pattern commonly has you cast on 64 stitches, or in that neighborhood. My feet are so wide that I commonly work a sock on 80 stitches. The funny thing is that width works for both me and the Hubby. Our feet are not the same circumference, but I suspect he likes his socks a bit more snug than I do.

Well that is what is going on at our home front, hope all is well on your home front.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yep that time of year again

Time to support the Hubby, who in turn is supporting MS research. Time for the Follow the Foothills Bike MS ride. Here he is fueling up for 62.5 miles of endurance.

I call that his military smile. Don't get the wrong idea he was really excited just nervous how the day would go. Last year there were some hills that kicked butt, not just his as a new rider either.

We missed the count down and official send off but that was Ok.

Even from a distance he is cute isn't he?

We had been having a heat wave here that stifled the thought of doing anything outside. This day was better and worse than the ones that came before. Better because it was cooler but worse because the rain is what brought the coolness. D was worried about doing some of the hills wet this year. They would have been very slick. Luckily the route was changed to remove some of the hills.

I had a wee bit of a fruitless adventure myself. I tried to meet D at one of the rest stops but he always seemed to be just out of reach. I found the first one as he texted me that he was at the second one. I got short cut directions to that one but arrived to find no D. I chatted up a man that had the same color number on his back as I had pinned to D that morning. The colors indicated what mil age they were riding. The rest stop I was trying to get to was at 28 miles. I was at the 50 mile rest stop.

I attempted to reverse engineer the route but there were not enough signs or riders for me to be successful. I got frustrated and returned to the start/finish before I got myself totally lost.

I waited a bit and just as I was getting out of the car to walk to the road I saw this.

He looks good for having just finished that long of a ride. He looks very happy, even though the temperature rose as soon as the rain dried up.

So Betty, here is another ride dedicated to you. I hope they find a cure soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How I plan a vacation

Once we decide where we are going I start researching. I look up things on the internet. I checkout every book in the library even remotely related to where we will be going. I find out all there is to do and see in the area. I research hotels, B&Bs, rental cars, public transportation and of course yarn shops.

I present my findings to the Hubby as a long list of "we could". I basically make myself an amateur tour guide of the area. We discuss and I implement our (my) plan. I book it all.

In the week leading up to our departure when people start asking me if I am getting excited, I usually reply No. I used to think it is because I don't travel well and I don't want to work myself up before hand, but now I know that is only part of it.

I had just spent the last so many months at DefCon III planning this thing. I have used up all my excitement till I get to see it in person. Think maybe that is why I crash like a 6 year old kid after a three day weekend of birthday parties?

Don't get me wrong, you know how much I love lists and planning. Each trip is like the Super Bowl for me. I can not believe I made it here today! I am so lucky!

Oh maybe I should go look up Nova Scotia, D talked about going there one day maybe I should just check in to that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Dirty Knitting Secret

I am only going to tell you one secret to start with, I am sure I have more than one. OK deep breath.....

I don't understand the weights of yarn very well. I think I understand what is called for in a pattern. I can not tell by looking at a yarn what weight it is. I use a lot of fingering weight yarn or what is commonly known as sock yarn. I can usually identify that, but if I was forced to positively identify fingering or sport weight yarn I don't think I could do it without referencing Ravelry.

I bought yarn at the Washington County Fiber Festival last September because of its color. I bought purely out of love at first sight, unfortunately it was without a clue as to what it would become. As I purchased I did remember to ask what weight it is so I could go pattern hunting. It was bulky weight about as far from what I think of as my yarn style as you can get. I must admit that I had a fun time working with something different.

I don't get why things like that are not always labeled. I can not be the only person with this secret. Oh and while I am on the topic why don't they always put the weight of the yarn on a pattern too? I get that patterns are developed around the yarn most of the time. I understand they are trying to create a demand for the yarn, but some people will never have access to the yarn.

I was surprised to see a story that more than half of the patterns are knit using the exact yarn, down to the same color, that is called for in the pattern. I can see how people fall in love with what they see I've done it myself. I am surprised that it is more than half of the time.

Anyways that is my first acknowledged knitting secret. Anyone want to volunteer their secret?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

le Tour has started!

So I will be distracted for the next few weeks. The Tour de France has started and I am obsessed already.

I love watching cycling. Although I don't understand it I love seeing the strategy play out. Seeing the peloton catch the breakaways breaks my heart, unless my favorites are not in the breakaways, then I am cheering them on.

The international flavor is highlighted in all the names. Mark Cavendish, George Hincapie, Thor Hushovod, Andy and Frank Schleck. I think I like to watch them all.

Another thing that I like about the tour is finding other Tour people. So many friends to make.

I still have not figured out who I am "really" pulling for. Really right now I'm pulling for them all. Happy Tour to you all!