30 August 2007

Hot muggy, miserable doesn't sound like San Diego weather but that's how it has been. Depending upon who you ask it has been this way for a month or better with little relief.

I don't do hot and humid well. I really don't do weather so hot and humid that even cotton gets too wet in your sweating fingers to knit.

All of the projects I have on my to finish list are, of course too big to comfortably knit even if the weather was a bit less uncomfortable. Still, I finally got my swatch for reclaiming the Casual Cables cardigan done. I'm comfortable with the fabric I'm getting with size 5 US needles and a gauge of tick over 5 spi. The only fly in this mix is that the popoki shawl is also a size 5 US project and my supply of suitable circs is pressed to the limit.

27 August 2007

The wire story continues.

Curious about the colour variation in the blue kynar wire, I dropped into yet another Radio Shack and picked up not only some blue wire but also a package of magnet wire.

At Radio Shack the kynar wire goes by the name of insulated wrapping wire.

The colour selection is limited (blue, white & red) and the price per foot is not the most economical for larger projects, it's a good option for the just wants to try it crowd. Yes, I'm always thinking of teaching options.

The magnet wire packet contains 40 feet of 22 gauge, 75 feet of 26 gauge and 200 feet of 30 gauge. I'm interested in comparing this to enamel coated copper wire.

I braved the possibility of a bead bath by worrying the tin containing the tiny beads. The fates were with me and the lid finally came loose without a bead shower.

Meanwhile I'm being uber picky about the latest green wire cube.

I wasn't happy with the first wire ball I knit for this effort so I did a second with more beads.

When I was ready to start the decreases to encase the ball, I realised that my decision to purl the sides wasn't very well thought out.

I turned it inside out, started again, tore back, put it back to the original and began again more than once.

It didn't photograph well and I think that bothered me a little more than it should.

But it still bothered me and so I frogged it back again and it is just sitting waiting for me to make a decision about its fate.

My thinking at this point is that I should just finish off this cube and knit a second (this time not purling the sides) to contain the knitted wire ball.

The little bracelet experiment seems to have legs so I think I'll add it to my list of classes I can teach if asked.

24 August 2007

Girl gone guildless?

I'm going to be guild-less soon. No, I'm not dropping out and I probably will re-up come January but I have my reservations.

It's a calendar thing.

September's big guild and subgroup meetings have the usual mix of work day conflicts without enough draw/interest for me to take time off to attend.

The only evening option, Knitnite, is being supplanted with a Sally Melville class called Advanced Shaping. I'm not signed up.

Knitnite nights are very long days for me starting with a 23 mile commute to a full work day, a 30 minute drive across the mesas to La Jolla and then home. I typically get home around 9pm and more often than not, I'm having my first meal of the day after that.

For some classes and teachers I'm willing to substitute general comaraderly for a paid class, for others I'm not. This one's in the not column. That said, the North Coast Knitters web page has a list of the classes that are still open on September 5th and 6th.

October's big guild meeting does have the October stash sale happening and Judy Stinton's presentation of Silk Painting (I'm a fan of Judy's work she's at Studio 37 in Spanish Village at Balboa Park but I'll be in Cleveland.

November's big guild meeting is on Knitted Sculpture and Knitted jewlery. Yeah, it's the same workday issue but that's a subject near and dear to my heart.

Looking around the studio I can see wire shoes, wire torsos, paper lace shoes, knitted cubes, knitted flowers, the ever popular knitted dreidel, various knitted jewelry bits and where is that copper wire knitted bowl? I know for a fact that I have more than a few knitted animal parts
that just want sewing and stuffing and even more photos of same.then there's the skull, the wiggy thing and I'm seeing a boring trend.

You might think that this would be a no-brainer why not strut stuff sort thing for me but I'm not so sure. Yes, I could _be_ the program or at least one of the presenters but I'm not. Haven't been asked, probably was never even considered and perhaps there's the rub.

Based on what I've seen in the newsletter it's not an organised presentation type of programme but rather a bring out your weird stuff casting call and I get the general impression that more than one or two examples would not be welcome and I'm not at all sure that anything I might have would be of interest/welcome.

I don't really like that sense of disconnect of being in the guild but not of the guild but I don't really have a solution.

Of course, if I start the Master's programme I'm researching, the whole business may become moot as I'll have even less space in my calendar.

Meanwhile I'll keep doing my only slightly fish out of water walkabout to Whistlestop and other local knitting events and do a bit of hmm, who can I visit in greater Ann-Cleve-burgh in September/October. The Cleve is, of course Cleveland, the burgh is Pittsburgh and the newly added Ann is for I'm assured is really not too far to drive to visit Ann Arbor.

Knitting content soon -- no, no, really

23 August 2007

Warning no knit content just a brief battery interlude or Diehard with a Ranger

A recall notice that suggests you shouldn't park your vehicle in a structure to avoid the risk of fire is one to pay attention to. So this morning, I drove the truck "home" to Mossy Ford.

I had planned to take the shuttle home but when the estimated three to four hours was estimated down to 40 minutes I spent quality knitting and reading time in the waiting room while the offending cruise control harness was replaced and the truck went through
a free 99 point inspection and a trip through the car wash.

In addition to a few fluid issues that will get sorted out at the next oil change and my "yes I know they're crap windshield wipers", the free 99 point inspection indicated that this was the year my original factory installed battery was finally ready to retire.

The truck is a 1998 model year and so is the battery. Factory installed batteries typically last between three and five years. All batteries have a nasty habit of giving up the ghost in the most inconvenient locations and times so I've been monitoring the health of this battery carefully for some time.

For the last few years the San Diego Knit-Out at UTC has also provided me with an opportunity to visit Sears for a battery check.

Since there's been no announcement of when and if the Knit Out is happening this year, I guess it is a good thing that the recall came and my over-achieving battery finally decided to stop holding a charge.

The Sears check confirmed the dealership's findings, good voltage but only holding a charge at 60% -- time for a change.

I'm going to miss the how long will she last checkups but no worries, the Aerostar (model year 1993) is on year two of her second replacement battery -- the first replacement was deemed defective and replaced gratis by Sears even though I know I put it in deep discharge (a big no-no) at least twice due to my own duh.

21 August 2007

Wirey -- cubes balls and cords

Recent warm weather knitting has been mostly more wire.

The first cube measured just under 3 inches.

While it holds its shape reasonably well, it also can be manipulated or toyed with. It is easily brought back into shape so it makes a nice "executive" toy which is another way of saying a physical doodle device. You know, the sort of stress relieving and or poke at while trying to focus/remember.

The second cube is about an inch and a half and has a not insignificant bead suspended inside of it. That bead wasn't part of the original design vision and as a result, I wasn't entirely happy with the way it sits in there.

My thinking was that if I positioned a bead into the cube earlier in the knitting I'd have more control and more wiggle room to work with the wire and the bead. That's where the third cube's experiment came into play.

It is about 2 inches and has beads plus a bit of wire wrap happening. I mixed some 22 gauge green enamel coated copper wire into this piece and I'm not all that thrilled with the result.

Enamel coated copper wire is sold by a number of different companies and more of then then not they call it permanently coloured. That's a bit of a misnomer as the enamel coating can and will chip/flake off when it is manipulated. That's exactly what happened to this stuff.

I finished the third cube off while Czech bead shopping on the weekend. and I started on a fourth before starting the walk home.

I have been leaning toward putting a knitted ball inside of it although that idea could morph into a round peg depending upon my mood.

One of these (or still another) cubes is bound to be a gift. Which one is TBD as is whether I or recipient will ultimately decide which one.

The knitted balls are semi-mindless and like most semi-mindless knitting easy to get wrong as you find yourself lulled into a false sense of security and end up with a mishapen ball for all your efforts.

I solved that problem through the cunning use of beads to mark the end of each knitted segment. If the bead placement isn't in line with the other beads you've gone wrong and either missed a short row turning or done too many. I used red kynar wire for each of these and the one with the beads on top looks for all the world like a clever little lantern.

Something about putting things inside of other things while working with wire cubes and seeing how nice the kynar wire icord was got me thinking about doing beaded icord jewelry.

I think I mentioned the idea of simply knitting icord instead of Viking knitting and pull plates for jewelry in a prior posting and so far I'm really liking what I'm seeing with this experiment in blue icord and double knitting.

In my stash of wire and beads I came upon a length of blue kynar wire that I'd threaded very small (what was I thinking?) beads onto in preparation for a long forgotten project.

I'm not sure whether that wire came from Radio Shack or one of the electronics supply places in the mesas (Kearny/Clairemont) but I was a bit surprised to discover that it was a much different blue than the spool I just bought at Fry's. The photo doesn't show the colour difference adequately.

I toyed briefly with the idea of creating beaded icord using the prestranded light blue wire but abandoned it quickly as the idea of suspending beads in icord took hold as a in fishing floats suspended in knitting.

The rest of the What was I thinking tiny beads are housed in a small metal tin that seems to have its lid stuck.

Every now and again I give it a tentative twist hoping that some shift in atmospheric humidity will unstick it without having to use the sort of force that would, in all likelihood not only unstick it but set hundreds of tiny beads free to fly into the air and on/into the carpeting.

The suspended beads are just cheap Mardi Gras style beads I actually found during a weekend ramble. I think a lighter colour would offer more contrast and I'm still thinking about knitting up some of the lighter blue wire into icord and braiding/plaiting the lot into a bracelet

And yes, I did walk to the Whistlestop on Sunday. I did have a cone of bamboo and the nylon twine for the breast cancer water bottle cosy so you gotta know who was a no-show.

20 August 2007

Czech again or more on that bead ho thing

After the temptation trek down to the San Diego Bead Society's Bead Bazaar, I further gave into temptation at Amonite (local bead pusher of note) for some Murano glass and more. I thought the beading frenzy was over and promised myself that I wouldn't include the upcoming GemFest on my calendar.

Whether I make good on the latter promise or not, given the weekend's walk and spend about it is very clear that the beading frenzy is/was far from over.

When I saw the blurb in the events section of the Reader about the Czech bead trunk show by the folks (read Wiley & Kelly) at San Francisco Arts & Crafts, I was just planning to classically enable Brenda a bead-ho co-worker.

Okay so maybe I thought that I'd walk down, look around, keep my spending to a minimum and walk home -- an easy four and a half miles or so and just a look see for the right bead s to finish off a few projects that don't quite have all the right components. Easy right?

Sure, right. The walk was easy as was the walkabout knitting (more cubism on the knit with wire front) but finding the show in the motel was a bit more challenging.

The girl at reception's "through the cafe and a left at past the counter" instruction didn't quite get me there -- there was a bar and there was a meeting room sans beads or bodies.

I could have been a good girl, called it an omen and walked home. But I'm not a big believer in omens and I am a big a believer in more than one way to skin a cat so I walked outside and did a bit more poking about.

The trunk show was (and maybe always is when it is) in the meeting/event room that opens onto the motel's swimming pool. It is also through the cafe, left past the counter, through the bar, into the pool table room and then to the left. Yup, a bit of a maze and I feeling like a lab rat looking for cheese when I found the place.

Me? I got there through a walk 'round the outside of the cafe/motel where I observed that there was a "Bead Sale" sign on the security gate/door to the swimming pool and that said door was ajar -- bingo. Yeah, I'm good at heuristics, analytics and general problem solving skills too.

In any event, I arrived. I shopped. I schmoozed. I spent. I knit. I walked home.

I'd been kicking myself a bit over only buying one strand of the creamy beige coloured pearls at the bead bazaar so I was looking for some work back to beads to extend the single strand. As you can see, I found plenty of good combinations to make a really special piece.

My Amonite adventure Murano glass purchase was also in a looking for something else phase as was the Rama ceramic piece I picked up at the Bead Bazaar.

I was thinking about playing up the green quality of the Rama suite of ceramic beads with an eye toward giving the resulting piece away. You can see the I was thinking green until the blues came into town story in the photo below. Given the fact that I didn't have any of the looking for companion pieces with me I think I did really rather well.

On the Murano front, the only thing missing from the make the perfect earrings equation for me was a small copper/metallic bead. I was sure I had such an animal in the stash but couldn't find it for anything. That's my excuse for the metallic excess of the day.

As things turned out, I was right I did have just the right beads already (a Lost Cities adventure) I just couldn't find them until I had others they could work and play with. Here's the mix with the inspiration strands with the beads and one of the tubes of metallics that demanded to come home.

I spent more than at Amonite and Bead Bazaar combined so it was a very dangerous trek but I'm happy with the purchases so it's all good.

15 August 2007

Check, cheque, chequebook oops

Most of the time I remember to take a picture of a finished item before I give it away. I learned this lesson the hard way when I would design something, give it a way only to find that my notes were not up to snuff and absent at least a photo to reverse engineer from I was SOL.

So mostly I do but this time I ooopsed again.

The progression of the second knitted cheque book cover was a slow one that actually had fewer technical problems than the first.

I still keep thinking that I have more of the blue or the purple colour way stashed away somewhere but I'm not finding either one. While I wish that this stuff was still being manufactured I'm not jumping on ebay to pay way too much to someone who doesn't appreciate the stuff.

Initially I didn't realise that the poison green that I used for the second version also worked back beautifully to the blue colourway of the original but then that's the genius of Eisaku Noro.

The good/bad news for Judy (aka intended recipient of the second cheque book cover) was that I was becoming increasingly fond of the second colourway version and less and less attached to the original that she had so admired.

The pull in that happens when shifting from double knit to single knit was somewhat less pronounced in the second version. Some choices for dealing with the taper include blocking, increasing or my choice -- short rowing a band.

My plans for the second version always included Russian grafting to join the two sleeves and either an applied icord edging or some other treatment to tie the poison green further into the overall design.

The grafting happened. The edging didn't. The edging did happen to the original blue cheque book cover and here's my ooops -- I didn't take pictures before giving it away.

I simply picked up the edge stitches and knit allowing the stocking stitch to roll. To account for the pull in, I did a bit of short rowing.

I may do the same to the second cover which still doesn't have its ends woven in while covering my business cheque book.

I don't believe I have enough of either colourway to do a second project of any meaningful size but I have been toying with the idea of combining the hemp with the kynar wire for some one-off knitted jewelry.

14 August 2007

In the loose ends category, I'm trying to make myself come back to and complete some projects that have spent far too much time being schleped and too little time being knit.

The first in that category is the Popoki Shawl. It and my notes have been reunited in my knitting bag but I haven't had the time or inclination to get my paws coated in loose Linus linen that would inevitably result if I started knitting in the recent hot sticky. My goal is to get the notes paired down to the bare essentials (think index cards) and let it be A/C knitting.

Next up is a pentagon project that still wants undoing. I didn't start my increases for the armholes soon enough so much tinking was (and still is) in order. The piece is on Knitpicks size 3s and the pointy nature of the needle limits the amount of tinking even my highly calloused fingers can

The third in the bunch is a diagonal project last seen here in March. I've been trying to decide whether I want the handpainted stuff at the sides or centre. If I opt for the centre then I need to do the second Fixation section exactly as I did the first. If I choose sides then I have the option of working a series of cables in the fixation to pull the fabric in even more. If I do that, I was thinking that I could play with reversible cables and or cables mixed with lace/open work.

Fourth comes the Berber Cotton swatch for the reclaim the Casual Cables. What should have been a fairly straight forward swatch exercise took a veer off into the shrubbery as I started playing with different stocking stitch variations with an eye toward showing how combining twisted stocking stitch and cables can make a cable pop even when using material that isn't crisp and cable friendly. The Berber Cotton's a perfect example of just such a fabric BTW. Loosely spun it is soft, soft, soft and without twisting the stitches would have made for blah, blah, blah cables.

Fifth is the twine and flagging tape for a second girlie girl painfully pink water bottle cosy. I need to write the pattern up so I need to do a quick sanity check swatch to see if I can specify the 5oz (75 yd/68.6m) put up of the twine rather than the Flying Colors pre-pack which tends to be thinner and doesn't have quite as much yardage. The single colour put up has about 1 oz (15 yards) more yardage than required to complete the project without using the optional flagging tape segment. I think a slightly more demure white version with pink flagging tape would also be fun.

Do I have a sixth or just how big is that bag? Yeah, I have a sixth. That's the really should cast on pentagon cell phone cosy to reproduce (in more subdued colours) the one I knit up and shipped off to India with Roopa.

Are there more loose ends in other bags? If you have to ask you're not really a knitter.

12 August 2007

I had every good intention of ambling over to the San Diego Knit Together yesterday but by the time I finally got one foot in front of another any knitters who had been in the park were long gone.

had every good intention of executing on my plan to get back to dropping the bad habits and the pounds but once again I slid off the rails -- sigh.

I did finish off a few more bits of wire weirdness between yesterday and today's ramble. The ramble took me up Park Blvd where you'll find the lovely vintage shop of Frock You.

I dropped in at the ever changing but most recently always Asian influenced import shop at the intersection of Park, El Cajon Blvd and Washington before detouring down El Cajon Blvd for this shot of yet another San Diego neighbourhood street signs before a meandering tour of U Heights.

My plan to get a photo of the U Heights street sign got sidetracked so I guess I'll just have to ramble back that way and beyond on a book store browse tour.

The sight of this guy standing outside a small neighbourhood market has charmed for years. He sort of reminds me of an uncharged Reddy Kilowatt

So what was I knitting? Wire, kynar, red this time. I went from Saturday's knitted wire balls to a pentagon to star to flower piece.

Just for fun I doubled the number of stitches when I got out to the desired size. With twice the number of stitches, I did twice the number of short row points (10 rather than 5).

When I finished the lot, I did a second set for short row points that were off set from the original before decreasing back down to close the loop and finish up with the green again in icord.

The second round of short row points looks a bit wonky in a couple of places and it might have been better to do a decrease round and second doubling round before doing the additional 10 short row points but it isn't horrible as is.

The icord has a very nice quality to it. I think that it would do very nicely with "Viking knitting" as well but I'd just as soon icord it and leave out the pull plate.

Given some of the prices I've seen for Viking knit jewelry, I may have to dust off my silver wire and get a different sort of retail therapy going.

In working the flower, I added beads along the way back down. I plan to add more to the face of the piece by just looping the beads on with the red wire ends rather than knitting them in.

When I doubled the number of stitches I was expecting a ruffle. I suspect that probably would have happened if I'd been working with
something other than this particular wire.

10 August 2007

My 1st Take on the VK 25th Anniversary Issue

I finally tracked down a copy of the current Vogue Knitting issue. I have mixed feelings about it. Lily's VKTech article is IMO, pretty much worth the price of admission. It is a well written piece that you can come back to over and over again. Any time Lily is talking technical and construction
a thoughtful knitter will pay attention.

The sweater map and Norah's swing coat. Hmmm, I like the idea of a sweater map section especially if that means that Vogue is going to continue down the path of publishing unconventional designs and providing the sort of support that helps more conventional knitters to step outside the box/comfort zone. But if it going to be a meaningful feature it really needs to be a serious discussion of construction choices for a featured design -- more truly tech and less feature fluff.

Norah's design, I'm not really a fan of this one. For the most part she gives good cable and she and I are both polygon obsessed but this combo really doesn't work for me. I find it to be an odd mish mash of both design directions. I haven't studied it enough to know whether it also relies too much on blocking (one of my pet peeves) but I can't help but be struck a bit of editorial/copyproof confusion. The page 148 semicircle reference (no, not really) doesn't match up with the reality of the construction as laid out elsewhere in the magazine. Three triangles and a godet (gusset by any other name) doesn't a semicircle make.

I'm not hugely concerned about whether there are any designs I'd actually knit since I almost never knit some one else's designs.

That said, in the Designer's Panache segment, I like the James Coviello (#44) on page 159 but I'd lengthen the sleeves and probably bell them at the bottom with or without a ruffle to match up with the body of the garment. I also like the Michael Kors pieces 45 & 46. Of the two, I can see myself knitting #46 but the whole double breasted look with the saucer buttons would not be on my hit parade.

In the Craftwork section, I like the hat (#47) and I love the colours in the skirt/dress #49 but that's about it -- maybe just too close to couture? I dunno.

In the Well Red section, I love Lily's dress (#41) on page 156. I'm pretty sure I've seen this or a sibling on La Lily herself from time to time. Mari Lyn Patrick's #40 on page 155 is another I could see making/adapting. Ditto for Shirley Paden's #37 on page 152. Teva Durham's offering in this section (#39 on page 154) is very interesting but I find that, like many of Teva's designs the gauge and motifs are too big for me and for my taste. If I did more knits for svelte Amazons I'd probably be more enthusiastic.

Most of the "A touch of classic stuff" just isn't for me. You might think that my centre out instincts would be stirred by #28 on page 144 but you'd be wrong.

It is a counterpane converted into a sweater. It would make a better counterpane. Nikki Epstein did a much better version of counterpane come sweater many years ago complete with classic Nikki frou-frou knitted embellishments.

And I feel much the same way about Pam Allen's counterpane come sweater in the Fall IK. Given the gauge of the IK offering, it might be better suited as a counterpane cushion cover.

In Textured messages, I like 8, 9, 10, 14, 16 & 17. Number 11 reminds me a bit of a boiled wool or Chanel style jacket so I'd shorten the hell out of it and look for a straight tweed skirt to combine it with.

Number 13's sleeve and yoke are gorgeous but the side to side body would get a revisit with an eye toward working the front and back in either a pick up and knit down or a knit up and graft solution.

Of the Top 10 hits, I've always liked #26 (on page 141) and from time to time I've looked at that issue and thought about converting it from pullover to swing coat. Enchanted Forest (#25) on page 141 is still way, way too hunky chunky for me.

My feeling about Annie's 2005 Fall cover sweater hasn't changed. I think Vogue was great to publish it but I still think it needs a gusset, it relies too much on blocking to make it work and to tell you the truth? It reminds me of one of my grandmother's braided rugs.

The old guard and new guard fluff interview pieces didn't do much for me. It seems a bit too self-congratulatory but then the whole issue is more than a bit that way and why not? Twenty five years of doing anything is a milestone worthy of note. A knitting magazine all the more so as the craft's popularity has not been consistent in those 25 years.

But you know, if there's a top ten, there's also got to be a WWVT? What Was Vogue Thinking top some number or another. One of the first that springs to mind are the knitted lace pants from Spring 2003.

As per usual, this mag was almost as much about the ads as it was the published patterns. The good thing for me about the ads is that while I'm not likely to go forth and buy the patterns I'm highly likely to knit/design something based on the inspiration photos. The Signature Needles ad on page 91 sounds like a gimmick that's at least worth a click-see.

09 August 2007

It's been a wild week of hurry up and wait.

On Tuesday the 7th the
electrical work that was supposed to have happened earlier was rescheduled.

We initially thought that the work would mean a loss of
power for at least part of the day and I wasn't keen on taking my network down if I didn't need to, nor was I interested in having it brought down unexpectedly so I worked from home and hoped that the workmen would arrive early enough for me to catch up with pal Steph.

such luck, they finally arrived roughly 15 minutes before the end of my work at home day schedule and didn't even need to shit down power. Pish. Still, a work at home day ends at 15:00, doesn't involve a commute and even if I missed lunch with Steph, I managed to put in some mileage.

Mostly that mileage was just a round and through the park tour but I also took a snap or two of this building on 5th & Palm (?) that's mix of East & West styles has kept me puzzled for years.

I also managed to book my flight to Cleveland in September/October. I'm still a bit concerned about who's going to look in on Kali while I'm away but I've time to get that ironed out.

07 August 2007

A slightly different take on enabling -- The Best of VK the book

I've been meaning to write about this book for some time. My original plan was to write a post that also talked about the ever so wonderful Knitted Lingerie Style from Joan MM. But every time I tried to write that post I found myself veering off into a rant about sizes and such.

My rant was not going to be of the "how dare Joan abandon we amples for the skinny minis shown in this book" variety that I've heard so much of. No, I was more likely to rant about those self same ranters and how so many knitters trash perfectly good knitting books and patterns just because the designs/images don't suit them. I hope that I don't come off as one of those knitters and if I do, call me on it.

I've had a love/hate relationship with Crafter's Choice off and on for some years now. A few months back one of the Editor's choices was a Debbie Bliss title and as much as I love Debbie Bliss most of her pattern based books (other than the knitted toys/teddy bears) contain the same sorts of classic knits I'd be able to grind out myself. One of the few other knitting titles was the Best of Vogue Knitting book and that one got my attention.

I think that I'd already read a snippet or two about this book on one or most lists/forums whatever and the overall impression I got was that the book was more of technique anthology than pattern s to knit.

A bit of coin toss on the support Debbie Bliss by buying a title I'm not likely to knit a single design from (I've plenty in the library) or picking up the VK title as a good single source anthology much like the Threads knit techniques books ended up with the Editor's Choice getting a pass and the VK getting the order.

It's a great book. I own many of the issue the excerpts come from but not all and the ones I do own I probably couldn't easily put hand to.

I loved this book so much that I took it directly to work and emailed a die hard knitting co-worker to have a leaf through -- she was Amazon bound after the first pass. Like all Sixth & Spring books it is beautiful and this one's indexed (would that they would do that for all their titles).

05 August 2007

Beads and Wire -- enabling and enabled

At Knitnite this month the show and share was not limited to knitting as some beading inspiration pieces and beading WIPs were passed round for admiration and comment. Then came the news that the San Diego Bead Society was hosting a bead bazaar at the Scottish Rite Temple on
Saturday & Sunday. Turns out that some of my fellow guild members, are, like myself, bead-hos.

That's right, I'm not just a sluttish knitter (will knit with damned near anything), a jewelry junkie and a bag hag but a bead-ho to boot.

Last Sunday's necklace purchase and the poke about for cached kynar wire already had me in a beading mood.

It occurred to me that white kynar wire might be a good choice to rescue a thrift shop find that became a problem project. It was a gorgeous clearly vintage multi-stranded tiny cream coloured beads with a fab-o beaded finding. Before I could ever wear it, the string gave out and all those tiny beads scattered. I scooped as many as I could find and the findings into an oversized insulted mug and set it aside to restrand someday. The white kynar wire is found and sitting with the rest of the wire stash but the mug is now in that mysterious place known as somewhere.

My original plan was to hit the bead bazaar on Saturday by walking up through U Heights, down Texas Street & back. That would leave Sunday free for Whistlestop. With one thing and another that just didn't happen.

With my creative juices flowing on the wire front and not looking forward to a scavenger hunt for electronics shops in Kearny Mesa this week, I checked Frye's online for kynar wire -- bingo. I followed that up with a quick phone call to verify local stock and all important aisle number and set off.

A simple plan -- gas in van, Frye's and maybe a quick stop at the Bead Bazaar before home and walkies to Whistlestop. Hey, two out of three ain't bad.

I opted for the park far and avoid the idjits parking lot plan -- always a good choice but particularly good in hardware and electronics stores. My info (or my memory) was one aisle off but I quickly found that Frye's had small spools of multiple colours, 500 foot spools of blue and both red & green in the economy 1000 foot spools. I did a quick are you a Canon or Nikon shop (Canon) in the camera side of the house before checking out and onto the next agenda item.

I parked at the Scottish Rite Temple, unpacked the green wire and began knitting as I headed in for what was supposed to be a short look see.

Immediately I was in classic enable mode with the ladies manning the ticket sales and it just continued from there. I was very deliberate in working through the exhibits, enjoyed some good conversations, picked up cards and literature for follow up and when I was ready to buy I was also ready to leave. Never mind that that was at least two hours after I'd planned to leave. Speaking of leaving, several bead loving Knitnite sorts said hi and bye as they were heading out and I was making a final tour of the second exhibit room.

Most of my money went into pearls and whether it was my classic enabling or what, I ended up lucky to get one strand of the strands that initially caught my eye as the woman who questioned me about them ended purchasing the rest of the strands. Just as well as I know I'll be breaking up the strand into multiple projects and the directional nature of the shells has me thinking about bringing out my diamond drill bit to experiment.

My only regret is that I didn't get a few more strands of the peach/pink toned pearls but the same vendor may be back for the Gem Faire in three weeks time.

When I headed out to Frye's I briefly thought about putting the bamboo (and my regular knitting bag) in the van but convinced myself I'd be dropping back 'round for it before walking to Whistlestop.

It was way too late to make the walk and since I had told a number of people that I would be there not going wasn't really a good option so I did the unheard of and drove rather than walked over. I've occasionally snagged a ride home but I don't believe that I've ever driven over. I'm not planning on making a habit of it either.

My driving also meant that I wasn't drinking any thing other than water. Boy,was bartender Scott confused.

No bamboo means you know who was, in fact happily knitting away on some fairly small gauge not for her project. She'd been to a 3-day walk expo earlier that day so we had some discussion about her fund raising progress and my idea/plan to offer the girlie girl pink water bottle cosy as a pattern for donation.

By the time I left Whistlestop the knitted cube was about a half inch or so from the turning and decrease point. I finished it a few hours after I got home and started in on a 2nd one with an eye toward making smaller cubes to be contained inside a larger one.

04 August 2007

Duh moment of the week. Not counting my not catching my dyslexic finger fumbling of the word catching, my duh vote of the week is for the "DUI ONE" vanity plate I saw the other day. Some how I'm just seeing this one as a bait the CHP message to be avoided not embraced.

When I mentioned to a co-worker that I felt a little guilty about knitting for Roopa but not knitting for her when she was pregnant with her son she said she'd like me to teach her. If you want to learn to knit you only have to ask me once.

The super hunky-chunky white cotton I used to teach knitting at our Stitch n Pitch game was too chunky for most of my knitting needles so I made a quick stop into the local Michael's and picked up these adorable needles. Designed for kids they are just too cute and a good match for the hunky chunky cotton.

The second half of the cheque book cover was closing in on the divide and bind off pocket length at the start of the day so the only way to know for certain when it reached that point was to carry both sides for comparison and a spare needle to do the stitch division.

I shoved a wine cork onto each end of the three needles required and tucked the lot into my bag. The wine corks do help keep the knitting needles from poking through fabric and into skin but not reliably. I cast about a bit looking for a rubber band or other doesn't require real engineering device to keep the lot together but all in my immediate reach came up short.

I was thinking thumb tacks and elastic but wasn't inspired to start another potentially fruitless search especially since I was so late getting out the door. Look for more on taming for safe transport the dangerous beasts that are lace weight dps with readily available household items.

Active working project for walkabout was a green kynar wire cube that started life that morning as a centre out Maltese Cross square.

Working on it, I got the somewhat mad idea of doing a series of small cubes connected with icord to form a bracelet or necklace. When I finally ran out of wire and folded it up I was even more intrigued by the jewelry potential.

Did it get attention? Well, yeah, duh. Lots of what's it going to be, even more why and then there's the short and smallish double point factor.

Not every one appreciates the idea of a silly little bit of sculpture just because as much as I do but I did happen upon two Camp Surf Counselors who, being the arts and crafts sorts, got it.

One of the two is planning to live in work in South America and hoping to incorporate crafts/textiles into her teaching. We talked about knitted soccer balls and other likely projects as well as other good stuff including her recent exposure (positive, of course) to traditional Hawaiian culture).

As I headed out from the books store down 5th I was glad I'm also lobbed a cardigan into the bag as the day was starting to cool down. When I reached the end of the spool I had some concern about when I'd be able to continue. I hadn't found any additional spools and last week's check into Radio Shack turned up no wire to be had.

So I switched gears to the cheque book cover which continued the almost there, almost there, almost there endless knitting mode.

Round about I made my way down to Laurel, and then looped back a bit to follow First most of the way back into Hillcrest.

In an unexpected knitting moment, I found this display of yarn in the dollar days section of the local Rite-Aid.
This is the same Rite-Aid where you can find Singer brand knitting supplies. The yarn is acrylic, from China and fairly fine gauge. No clue on the yardage but at 2 for $3 it was worth purchasing a couple of balls if only for the novelty factor.

As I'd heard some good reviews about the current Vogue Knitting mag, I checked in at the local newsstand to see if their reasonable selection of knitting mags had Vogue Knitting in the mix again.

No joy on that front, but I did snag a July/August Piecework and reminded myself to check/update my subscriptions.

Just as I was finishing up the five mile trek and rolling home the cheque book cover finally reached the divide and bind off pocket length.

After two attempts of fighting the needles and attached yarn while mobile, the project and the rest of the knitting got a time out while I finally tackled some of the long over due laundry and other bits of drudgery.

01 August 2007

Guilded again and off to Inida

When I left home this morning as far as I knew I needed to work at home on Thursday to accommodate planned electrical work in the apartment complex (read make sure my computers don't lose power unexpectedly).

Roopa is returning home to India on Friday and, given the work at home day on Thursday, I wasn't sure how many opportunities I'd have to finish and deliver the 2x twine and co-ordinating cell phone cosy before she left .

Given those two constraints, I wasn't planning to attend tonight's Knitnite when I left home this morning. Since September's Knitnite will be a Sally Melville class that I'm taking and I won't be in town for October's Knitnite, I was looking at a pretty long gap between guild events.

When I discovered that the electrical work was postponed and Roopa would be in the office all week making delivery options more flexible, I was pleased to be able to get one last guild outing in before November.

Not a huge turn out but a good time and this posting is mostly snaps of the FOs that are heading home with Roopa on Friday.

Despite the fact that I have no current source for the near day glo orange hemp that I used for the mesh section of 2x twine, I will be reproducing the pattern for both of these in the coming months.

It is very clear that I won't be lacking test knitters and/or pattern purchasers so consider these snaps teasers for now and if you find a source of that hemp do let me know.