Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Late afternoon, my cell phone rings. It's never a good sign. A teacher from Mitch's preschool. Not good. Mitch had a hard fall again in the playyard, tripping on the lip that holds the tanbarks in place, and hit his face on the concrete. De ja vu from a month ago. And last week.

It looks worse in person. Will you stop doing this to us, kid? Sure you are a boy and it's your job to get scratched up time to time. But I'm not used to this. I'll never be.

As I arrived, the teacher was holding him down so he could put some ice on Mitch's cheek. Mitch was trying to get free so he could play some more. This evening he looks into the mirror in the bathroom, and says "cool."

OK, enough about the ouchies. Last weekend, I got some cheap felting wool from a local yarn shop. It's not easy to spin -- short fiber, not uniform, lots of nobby debris. But it was fun to spin. So I needed to empty my first three bobbins..... So, as scary was it was, I decided to ply my second and third bobbins.

A spinning book I have says that "learning how to ply is a snap, compared to leaning how to spin." Un huh. It's not easy. So it looks uneven --
some places it's tightly plied, some places it's just two parrarell strings. But I got two skeins, about 80 grams each, and they do look like two skeins of yarn. It feels good.

Knit Night Friday is coming! I'm going to look for a new sock pattern -- the last four pair were done in the same, vanilla design -- and I look forward to finishing the hooded shawl so I can start a sleeveless sweater. And meanwhile I will mull over what to knit with these 160g yarn.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm Back

It was a loaded trip. Businesswise (no knitting related findings. Bummer). I had no dinner meetings, and hotels and their locations were not good. The hotel in Montreal kindly gave me a wake-up call, at 3:20 in the morning. I specifically requested NOT to call me. Especially an hour and forty minutes before I actually had to get up. Gee, thanks.

I missed the flight from Toronto to Montreal, and had to wait in a long, long line to get the next flight available. Even with the commuter flights like this, most everyone needs to check in the luggage because of the newly restricted items on the plane. That makes the check-in line awfully long.

I got a flight an hour later, and there's an hour to go. I drunk beer at the airport and worked on my sock. Beer and knitting make all better. It really does.

This is the state of the socks at the hotel in Toronto.

I left SFO when I was just below the green line of the second sock, so that's a lot of work done in the flight.

And this is Honey Boy, from Future Bakery in Toronto. It's about 1/3 the size of regular Ginger Bread Man. Cute, eh?

I met no other knitters on the trip. No one asked what I was knitting (could have been too obvious), and saw no one working on his/her project. How sad.

One thing I noticed about Telemark from Knitpicks is that for both skein I found a very noticeable yarn joint. I don't see this often with other yarn. The first sock I just didn't do anything and knitted that joint, but after it's knitted the joint is still very noticeable and "pickable."

I ran into another joint as I was starting the toe decrease on the second sock on the Montreal - SFO flight. This time I picked on the joint part, just a little, and it came apart easily. Good thing I had a yarn needle. I did a Russian Join and kept going. But now I'm worried about my first sock getting unraveled. That wouldn't be good.

Here's the joint part on my first sock (the one I didn't do anything). Can you see?

Here's another view in darker color short. This is much closer to the actual color.

I'm really worried about it now. Does anyone know if I should reinforce this part? And how?
I'd recommend anyone using Telemark to watch out for this. Otherwise it's a nice yarn to knit, and it knits up quickly. Oh, also, if you are using Telemark for socks, you may want to get three balls or make the sock shorter than you'd normally do.

This is my fourth pair of socks. One thing about knitting on the road is that I'm more prone to errors -- I didn't make any big errors (aside not doing anything about the dangerous yarn joint), but I did some backwards decreases (like doing SSK on where I should be doing k2tog). I don't usually fix these errors unless I catch it right away. To me socks are socks -- you wear them on your feet and be useful. No point trying to make them perfect. I will work on weaving in ends, and they will be off to Japan to my mom. Hope she'll like them, and also will consider the imperfection as a flavor of handmade socks.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

From Toronto

I never thought I'd be blogging while I'm on a business trip! But the hotel charges $10 for the internet connection per day, so I feel like I should use it.

The flight was nice -- it was not full, and that has not happened to me for the last three years. I knit, knit, knit while I watched "Inside Man" for the second time. A good movie -- and my favorite actor is in it.

I keep thinking about Mitch and his big bump on the forehead. Yesterday at Erin's, he was so happy to be running around in the backyard, he tropped and fell forward, gonking his head on the concrete pad. Why is that kids never do that on a soft lawn? It has to be on a concrete. Always.

Mitch cried hard for about a minute, and sat on Daddy's lap with ice on his head for two minutes. Then he was ready to play some more. We were not.

He had done the same at his preschool just a few weeks ago. Can't you get enough, kid? Are you just going to keep torturing us?

OK. That's all for today.
I may post a picture of my second sock tomorrow, if I get a free internet connection in Montreal...

Oh, by the way, there is a great new bookstore at SFO. I went in to look for the Fall Issue of Interweave Knits, being excited with the idea of reading it all the way -- No such luck. Oh well, I guess the knitting community is still small. It means no yarn shop at the airport. Darn.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Knit Night. No Pictures.

I don't know what I was thinking. First Knit Night at our house, and I forgot to take pictures.
I think I was way too excited -- and so were my family. Mitch was bouncing around chanting "Knit Night Friday, Knit Night Fridaaaay!" all day.

The family awaits (anxiously) for the Knitters' arrival.

Liz brought Nicole, and the kids watched Harry Potter -- for Charlie and Mitch, it's probably the 47th time. Mitch still enjoys it, but I'm not sure about Charlie.

The Knitters all dove into talking about the last Saturday's outing. No one else knew that the owner of the Full Thread Ahead left a comment to our post! Howard said why we didn't come in and knit in the shop -- rather than in the car! -- We did think about that, but your shop was full. What a great event it was though -- so well organized, and very pleasant all around. Thank you again, and yes, we'd definitely show up if you plan for another event.

Erin was sick all week, but still didn't miss our Knit Night. Good going. Hope you are feeling much better today. She worked on her beautiful shawl. Liz was on the soft yellow baby blanket -- with Berrocco yarn. Oh So Soft. Huguette was working on the magical two-socks-at-the-same-time. I can't believe I didn't take pictures.

The door prize activity was Knitters' Haiku.

Yarn is my passion
Lie, steal or embezzle
I do it for yarn!
-- Erin

Alpaca Erin
Tamami, Lotus girl
Oh Liz, what great yarn!
-- Huguette

It took only two minutes for them to come up with these. They both received a prize.

I worked on the hooded shawl from the Japanese pattern book titled "Design Knit."
The yarn is called "Fashion Trend" -- 51% wool, 49% acrylic. I didn't realize that it was so -- variegated. Stripy. I'm not sure if I like this, but I'm going to go on and see how it's going to turn out. I love the feel though -- very light and soft. Here's what this should look like at the end... Cute, huh?

Charlie joined the crowd for the last hour, demonstrating weaving on his inkle loom.
Mitch and Nicole had a wonderful time together, and Mitch stayed up until midnight -- this is a first.

Today, we had a real slow, lazy day around the house. Mitch helped me plant some flowers.

Next week I will be on a business trip to Toronto and Montreal. Unfortunately I don't have any room in my schedule to make a stop at Lettuce Knit -- or at Stephanie's house! Sorry, fellow knitters, there will be no souvenir yarn, unless I find some at the airport. Come to think of it, why don't they sell yarn and needles at the airport? Wouldn't it make traveling so much calmer and enjoyable? Waiting in line would be less stressful. Flight delay? No problem.
Ladies, a business opportunity?

Thanks Tamami!

Tamami just hosted a wonderful Knit Night Friday. I find it interesting that our children seem to be just as excited about Knit Night as we are! Tamami and Liz's kids are excited to be part of the activities and my kids are excited by the possibility of getting mom out of the house for the night! I'm sure that Tamami will post for us, but I just wanted to post first to say "Thanks! It was wonderful!"

As I type this a moth flew past me, possibly on its way to my wool stash. Must go now and protect the yarn...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Somebody Stop Me!

Tamami just keeps posting, and posting, and...

I'm running out of the batteries. I'm on my new laptop, but I didn't bring the power supply (the one from the old laptop doesn't work). I have about 60% of the battery left. My digital camera's battery just ran out, so I'm charging that one. I need to download the photos from the camera before the laptop dies. (Insert Jeopardy's theme)

Another suspense. I am about to finish the first sock for the pair I'm knitting for my mom. She doesn't have an access to internet (I know, I know) so there's no risk of ruining the surprise. Anyway, I'm using Telemark, one of the new yarns from Knitpicks. I've found out in the hard way that it's not enough to do a pair, unless you go very short and small. Do you think I have enough, or do I have to buy another ball to make a pair? (Jeopardy again) Place your bet at the comment link.

As promised earlier -- my spinning photos. Here's my first and second bobbins, and the third in progress.

See the improvement?

And lastly, here's the DeStash link I was talking about at the last Knit Night Friday. There are some bargains there right now. And now that we are the proud blog owners, we can post there too!

OK, that's all for now :-) Good night!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

We have a visitor!

Ladies, we have the first comment from outside the group! This calls for a celebration. (Hi Kemma, thanks!)

I forgot to mention about the Fiber Festivals on yesterday's post. Next weekend is Mendocino County Fair, and there's Fiber Festival -- Nancy's going, and I'm contemplating, too.
Whie searching for the site, I found this on Knitty.

I was going to spin today, but was a bit tired from all that activities yesterday. I just woke up from a short nap. Mitch has been high all day on something, and bouncing off the wall. Oh, yeah. He found my beautifully pedicured toes first thing this morning. Maybe this is what he's high on!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Off to see Harlot

(Don't you just wonder about this title?)

The day was finally here. But not without some suspense. First Erin gets sick on Friday, and Liz's mom too -- Erin recovers on time, but not Liz's mom. We really missed you Liz, and we all hope that your mom will get better soon.

The long drive down to Los Altos feels so short when Erin and I were busy talking and laughing all the way down. I was busy laughing so much that I almost missed the turn onto 280, and it's almost impossible to miss that. Boy, driving under the influence of uncontrollable laughter is dangerous. At least I wasn't knitting while driving.

As soon as we got in the line in front of Full Thread Ahead, Huguette arrived. Perfect. The line was not that long, and we got the very early number for the book signing. Erin, your leg work paid off -- thank you! I got so many compliments on my Lotus Blossom Tank. Kind knitters, they didn't even notice that the first leaf is a total mess. Or they pretended that they didn't see it.

Once we got our number, we were off to our appointment at Pinkies Nail Salon just down the block. This was my first ever for the pedicure at a salon. And it was such a wonderful "first" at that. We all felt so pampered. It really was one of the nicest thing I've done for myself in a long time.

Here, on the right, Huguette and Erin are trying to knit. I was trying hard to stop giggling. We really missed you there, Liz. We have to do this again with you soon!

When we were back at the yarn shop, it was almost like a morning rush hour at a subway station in Tokyo. We all managed to buy some yarn. I don't know about you, but I always have this problem of blanking out on everything I was planning to knit, or the kind of yarn I was looking for. I just hate it when that happens, but it happens every time when I'm in a yarn shop, book store, and hardware store.

It's nice to knit among so many knitters. Three hundred of them. I wonder how many pairs of socks were being knitted this afternoon.

Stephanie is so much funnier in person. Her sock was there, and at the end she was knitting while she talked, without looking at her hands. I can't do that.

At the book signing, she comments about my LBT. Yeah. I'm really glad that I wore that today.

We were in the first group for the signing, and we were done pretty early. Then off to our dinner at Maltsby's.

Their amazing ladies' room. This is the ceiling. In case you misread, it's a ceiling of the restroom of a -- restaurant.

After we were done with the dinner, we were stranded. The downtown looked so quiet -- nothing is open. Gee, we thought Novato was dead. This is deader. Even the Starbucks is closed. But it's Saturday evening, only eight-thirty! There's nowhere to sit and knit! We saw two knitters sitting on the dark and cold sidewalk knitting, and we knew why. We thought about pulling a table and chairs over in front of a brightly lit shoe store, but alas it was too cold. So we walked back to our car, sat and knitted. I saw the owner of Full Thread Ahead walk by, obviously wondering what the heck was going on (or snickering). Reminded us of our teenager days. (Someone said, but the activity was different, but I don't know anything about it.)

I was really looking forward to this outing for the last two month or so, and now it's done and over with. And it hit me. I have nothing to look forward to!!! Obviously, we have to plan a new fun stuff.

Meanwhile, next Friday is our KNIT NIGHT FRIDAY. That's something I can definitely look forward to. Thank you ladies for the fun day, and Liz, we really really missed you! See you next week!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Ok, so I haven't posted for a while. Ok, so I really don't have an excuse except for the hordes of munchkins that take over my home everyday, and in the evenings the big munchkins (my kids) take up a little bit of my time as well. Enough of the excuses (my Dad always says "Excuses - friends don't need them and enemies don't believe them.") Here's the update complete with photos.

Before knit night on Friday, I finished the baby blanket for Dylan (a son of a co-worker from my previous life). The blanket did not turn out as expected because when I washed it the whole thing stretched width wise - yikes! Anyway, here's a pic of what it looks like folded up. Unfolded, it's not rectangular and not real pretty!

We had a great time knitting together on Friday. I know that Tamami already posted about it, so I'll just add some pictures.

Here is Tamami opening up her birthday present of wool and sock yarn. Hmmmm, I wonder what she'll make with this...

Here is Liz opening her belated birthday gift. She received some Cascade 220 and sock yarn. We'll get her to knit socks yet.

Can't wait to see the new projects on the needles next knit night ladies!

After the birthday presents, we jumped right into our prize puzzle. It was a crossword that I made online specifically with knitting terms, our kids names, our current projects, etc. It was fun to make, but the girls thought it was a little too hard. Sorry!

Liz is trying to figure out the clue of "Wood, metal, plastic or bamboo". The answer... needles.

Huguette finished the puzzle first and won the prize! It was 3 skeins of soysilk in "her color". Here she is after opening the package.

After some fun, it was finally time to start knitting. A little while later we took a break for dessert and coffee. The dessert was from our new favorite bakery, FlourChylde Bakery in downtown Novato. We had the Pure Chocolate Tortes and the Rustic Lemon Tortes - yummy!!!

I also thought I'd update everyone on my works in progress. I am working on my first sock and a feather and fan shawl. Here is a photo of the shawl so far.

And, here is some help that I am receiving on my shawl, although I'm not too sure I want the help!

On Saturday the Designated Knitters are going to see the Yarn Harlot in Los Altos. We're really looking forward to seeing her, buying yarn, getting pedicures, going out for dinner, hanging out with our friends and, oh yeah, KNITTING!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

OK, ladies... I was hoping that someone would beat me to it, but here's the Labor Day weekend report. The long weekend that marks the end of the summer started, of course, with our third Knit Night Friday!

The Designated Knitters celebrated birthdays for Liz and me. I received a sock package. Thank you, ladies! The funny thing is that I thought I was turning a year older than I actually was. I found out my real age when my friend in Japan sent me email. Oh. Yeah. Now I feel like I saved a year.

Here's Liz, squeezing the skeins she got for her birthday!

At the Knit Night, I finished my third pair of socks that's been on the needles since mid-June. They actually traveled to Japan and back! And they are going back to Japan as these are for my girlfriend in Japan, for Christmas. I can't believe that I'm already preparing for the Holidays :-)

The socks are done in Knitpicks Parade. I love this yarn as it's sport weight, and gets done pretty quickly.
The next socks will be for my mom, but I will choose somewhat muted color for her.

Needless to say, we had a great night again. Erin even prepared a Knit Night door prize, which Huguette won, after completing Erin's original Knitters' Crossword Puzzle -- two balls of soysilk yarn, in her favorite color, lettuce green. So, everyone but Erin got yarn. This needs to be corrected, ladies.

We talked a lot about next Saturday's outing -- a trip to go see Yarn Harlot! Lots of fun stuff is planned, and we are all excited.

Sunday night, Charlie, Mitch and I went to Stafford Lake to watch the fireworks. Boy, it was cold! But it was worth the wait in the ice-cold wind. It was the best fireworks display I've seen in the US. It was close too, which helped. Mitch really enjoyed it too. It was our first time going to the Labor Day at the Park, and we intend to return next year, dressed much warmer!

Charlie spent pretty much all weekend warping the loom for the next project. This was the first time I saw the warping labor. P. A. I. N.
I can't imagine myself doing it. Ouch.
Now he has to fix a couple of broken strings. Compared to this, a long-tail cast on is a breeze, even when I had to cast 230 stitches for the Lotus Blossom Tank, and repeat it three times because I didn't have long enough tail (don't you hate it when that happens?)

OK, I don't think weaving is for me. I'm glad that I have knitting and spinning. Speaking of spinning, I've filled the second bobbin. Looking at the two bobbins, I can clearly see the improvement. I will post the photos next time.
Now the question is... what to do with them? I don't know if I should ply them, or just leave them as a single? What to knit? I will mull it over... I have two more empty bobbins to fill while I think about it.

Well, that's about it for the weekend. I'm feeling a bit sad that the summer is over now. It was a short summer for me -- nothing is long enough though. The next long weekend we can truly relax will be Thanksgiving, a long way down the road. Charlie and I will be busy at work until then.... Sigh.

Ladies, your turn. What did you do this weekend?