26 September 2007

So what does a knitter do with just a few more days before my workplace Teradata becomes not a division of NCR but a public company and I get on a plane to Cleveland?

In my case -- work, workout, knit, throw in a volunteer stint for HOSD (Hands on San Diego). and then there's a bit of shopping at a what will soon be a bit of an Diego knitting history.

The volunteer gig was removing non-native plants a from Ruffin Canyon with co-workers and people from Friends of Ruffin Canyon.

The workout bit has been part of the whole see less of me more often effort and so far it doesn't seem to be getting the desired result. My guess is that my body is just being stubborn and things will shift sooner or later if I just keep it going.

The history part of the equation is the closing of Helga's. She closed down a few years back but was persuaded to start the business back up again but according to Helga, 24 years is enough. She's never been crazy about the business side of running a LYS so perhaps in retiring from that aspect of the business she can do more of the teaching and designing that she clearly loves.

After cleaning up from manhandling ice plant on a fairly steep slope and other stupid knitter tricks, I packed up a few things and drove to La Jolla.

The shop wasn't very busy and although I have this general sense that I'm needing to control the money bleeding, I bought a lot of fine gauge silk and had a really good chat with Helga.

Popoki shawl is a ends need to be woven in FO.

I've washed it once and I did not treat it with the gentle care suggested by the ball band. Since the linen is short staple, it is pretty fuzzy. The fuzz will abate as I wash and abuse it into softness.

I don't believe I've ever seen or heard of anyone using my
turn the corner and mirror my edges solution to working a shawl but I believe it has legs.

The photo at left gives a glimpse of how I put this thing together. Since it is for me, it isn't perfectly executed but the design elements are well documented and will doubtless show up in later designs.

I wanted this done in time to take and not still be knitting on it while on route to Cleveland. I know myself well enough to also know that if I didn't finish it before the trip I'd be highly unlikely to pick it up and finish it after the trip.

I've also been shopping the STASH room of travel knitting. Most of the stuff I'm selecting is slated to stay in Cleveland. So there's yarn assembled for the Milanese Lave smoke ring and its companion mittens. Also in the mix is the cream coloured brushed alpaca and 2 ply I set aside for a Borjana beret & mittens as is the pink and green yarn I bought with an eye toward projects for Libby & Abby.

In other knitting, the Milanese Lace smoke ring is finally starting to work. The fingers, brain, yarn and needles are co-operating and I'm making good progress. I suspect that this will be the travel knitting.

Speaking of travel, I've made a few out reach emails to Cleveland to see if I can connect up with knitters while I'm out there.

Hey, it doesn't look like the whole law school reunion thing is coming together so I may as well see about making some knitting connection.

So far I know that the Cleveland Knit & Crochet out will be happening on the 7th of October which is the same day the San Diego event takes place at UTC. So I'm hoping to get at least a little group knitting going.

17 September 2007

Wandering to Whistlestop

Walked over to Whistlestop yesterday with a spin by the La Boheme condo complex. La Boheme is located near Claire de Lune and what some of us refer to as the Bermuda Triangle of North Park.

The complex was touted as part of the redevelopment renaissance of North Park at the ground breaking and it has made news ever since.

The latest bit has to do with an auction of some of the units slated to happen on the 29th. The come on for the auction sounds very attractive but raises my skeptical side.

It's something of an academic question/issue as I'll be on a plane bound for Cleveburg when the auction actually happens. But I still wanted to get a feel for the place and the possibilities.

Perhaps more than anything else, I was curious to see what sort of people were coming by and going through the open house tours.

My opinion is that while there were plenty of just want to buy and live the dream of home ownership sorts the pool still had plenty of land sharks in the form of flippers and speculators. Somethings about San Diego and real estate are enduring truths.

As I said, the area is a strange one. You have nice places like Calabria Coffee, Claire de Lune's and the art scene on Ray street, you also have head shops, dark alleys and associated weirdness.

I don't feel like I'm really going to be missing a golden opportunity on the 29th. As I was walking down Ray, I found myself once again wishing that the between here and there blocks were less iffy because I really would like to catch some of the Ray at Night events and log some much needed mileage for the ongoing see less of me more often effort.

While I could have followed Ray all the way down until it turns into 30th at Upas, I was on the hunt for a few more of the neighbourhood oddities that I love to document.

Not only is So Cal known for the house of the mouse (aka Disneyland) but also to the lesser known House of Naugahyde.

The sight of this place at 3586 30th in North Park always takes me back to my college days when we pondered how many Naughas died to upholster a recliner and actually had some people believing that "save the skeet" was a legit animal rights effort. If you gathered that my coffee swilling college buds were Monty Python sorts you'd be so very right.

Another on the way to Whistlestop often overlooked sight is this bit of sidewalk art that has a John Lennon art feel. I have no clue what the story is on this little gem and I couldn't tell you which intersection it graces but I think it is at least as cool as the sidewalk patch that looks like Africa over on 5th.

Still plugging away on the popoki shawl and its edging no news on that front but I'm also revisiting my not so successful effort to rechart Milanese lace for knitting in the round. The brain and fingers are not co-operating as well as I would hope.

Final oddity from yesterday's meander is this house on Cypress near Park Boulevard

15 September 2007

Fountains & felines

I manged to log about five miles round about and through the park today. On the way home I caught this shot near sunset in Balboa Park.

That's the plaza by the Natural History Museum and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

I was, of course, knitting and the popoki shawl's edging is finally moving right along. This being for me and a pattern that I can't sell it shouldn't come as a huge shock that the design to complete time line is approaching four years.

As I was attaching the edging, it dawned on me that I should have either purled the live stitch from the shawl together with the slipped stitch of the edging rather than knitting them together -- duh.

But the shawl's for me and it needs to be done so tearing back was not an option. The shawl will just have to have a bit of a scar.

13 September 2007

What a month of holidays and transitions -- Ramadan (aka the party starts at sunset), High Holy Days, Mexican Independence day, and End of Summer --- eeek.

Got a mailing from Helga's -- she's closing shop again. This time perhaps for good. I think I'll try to get over there on Tuesday after I do my volunteer gig (and clean up a bit). I would try for tomorrow but I have a back log of blog entries I need to finish, polish & publish.

I've 15 days to Cleve-burg and while much is settled, much is still in flux and weighing down the to-do list.

Mexican Independence day (the 16th) is also Whistlestop and I will be walking and most likely working on my endless add the edging to my Polynesian Popoki shawl. With a bit of luck I'll be working the mirror image version of the edgings.

In a weird twist of things, the woman -- Hi Robin! -- who took the place of the company librarian is an artist, novice knitter, not much of a reader and part of a co-worker's Tuesday night knitting group. I find that I can help her in her new role as librarian and also as new knitter.

I also did a mini walkabout on Thursday and, on a stop into the Mission Hills Library, found yet another fallen away knitter and librarian.

If you're sensing a library theme/back story you're right -- more on that in a later posting.

11 September 2007

Vintage hood

Since so much of Hillcrest seems to be disappearing into new development , I like capturing images and evidence of what once was.

I'm old enough to remember when references to phone numbers shifted from a named exchange and the last four digits to all digits.

This is a very different animal from that all too annoying chose a phone number with digits that spell something -- cute but we all still have to translate the letters back into numbers since the basic phone "number" is still a 3 letters assigned to each number on the key pad affair.

Ma Bell had approved/suggested names for different exchanges so the 295-7649 of Mary Lou's pace was probably Cypress-5 as in 295-7649. In another geographic place it might have been shown as AX5 standing for Axminster 5 or Axtell 5. The exchanges are gone and Ma Bell's babies have long since left the building but I'm not the only fan as the Telephone Name Exchange project seeks to document and rekindle phone number exchange usage.

Reusing the old exchange names and creating new ones is an appealing idea that I can get behind.

Some memorable exchanges I can recall are Parkway-4, Garfield-1 (Cleveburg reference as in Garfield-1 2323)

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08 September 2007

Saturday in the Park

One of the things that San Diego's is known for is so called perfect weather.

San Diegians are also known as weather wimps.

One view is that some of us are and some of us aren't. Another view is that we probably all are but it's a sliding scale of wimpism.

This post shows evidence of the sliding scale of weather wimpism. For the record, I was not bundled up behind the camera so that's three out of four afternoon knitters agree that Julie's a weather wimp.

September is traditionally one of the warmer months of the year so a knit get together in the park should be a slather on the sun screen scene. In fairness to Julie, the shade and the breeze did make the late afternoon a much cooler event than earlier in the day.

However, she lives by the beach, as in near the water where it usually colder than it is in Balboa Park.

For a classic vision of LOL you have to check out Amber's reaction to Julie's plight. This image is my current mental image of LOL.

I was, per usual late getting out the door and over to the park so many other knitters had already gathered and gone but the company was good and the comedic relief was even better.

Meanwhile, I'm still in countdown to Cleveburg and vaguely disgusted with myself for not executing on the plan to return to the East nearly my old size and shape.

I was clicking around my radio buttons on the way home last week and heard a radio spot about local Curves locations looking for fitness study participants --
checked it out and there's a location near my work so I think I can fit it into the schedule between now and the Eastward trip.

While the whole promo
might be a marketing ploy to get membership, if it gets my ass in gear and into a smaller gear I'm all in favour. I start Monday and we'll see how it goes.

06 September 2007

Sunsets and Sanseido

First a bit of eye candy. This is a shot of the sunset from behind Saint Spyridon that I took walking back from Whistlestop knitting on the 2nd.

It's a pretty church attended by many people I know and also home to _the_ annual Greek festival in San Diego

I've always been slightly amused by the fact that the cross street is Cypress -- it's a geographic, social history sort of thing and not botany. The fact that I feel I need to spell that out is a whole 'nother thing.

These are the titles I picked up at Mitsuwa/Sanseido. If you go in search of books on knitting or on crochet be forewarned that they are all intermixed on a shelf labelled crochet.

If you're a beader, there's more temptation in the same general area beyond the fact that you could clearly use the crochet chart diagrams as beading diagrams.

One of the books which is clearly all about crochet is part of the "let's knit series" -- go figure.

This is the one I bought mostly for my "teach me, teach me" co-worker crowd. I'm a new enough hook handler that I need reinforcements for me and students so this is a good choice.

Also in the go figure category is how in one of the books some characters that, in context, would appear to be contact/address information have been translated as naughty.

For additional adventures in less than on point translation, you can use Google's beta Japanese to English translation tool to translate the sanseido books web page.

I'm going to try to stay comfortably away from Mitsuwa and Senseido until after I get back from Cleve-burg.

In other totally unrelated new, the 2007 Rugby World Cup begins tomorrow. I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy about catching too many of the fixtures -- grump.

On the Cleve-burg front, the Tribe's doing well and looking good for the playoffs -- sorry rabid fans I won't be around to carry them through but I'm hoping for good post season beisboll into 'merican football in the dawg pound.

05 September 2007

Clearing up some mysteries

At the Whistlestop this past weekend I had occasion to really watch someone knitting continental. The knitter in this case was a relatively new knitter who was knitting in the Eastern Uncrossed continental style.

Since I'm perfectly comfortable with Eastern Uncrossed, I was able to confirm that the combination of knitting into the back of the stitch and scooping when she purled would "correct" the twist put on the stitch from knitting into the back of the stitch.

What struck me most is just how simple continental knitting is. I've always been lead to believe that it so foreign/different -- it really isn't. The major difference as I see it is that the needle does more of the work in forming the stitch. I've been playing with it a bit off and on ever since Sunday and while it still isn't as comfortable as my usual throwing styles, it's something I'm planning to add to the mix.

One thing that watching this particular knitter clarified in my mind is that those knitters who have told me that my insistence that using the generic YO for different actions is wrong headed didn't apply to them because they knit continental were just out of touch with how they were actually forming the stitches.

Also at the Whistlestop, there was a successful bamboo hand off. Two cones came with and only one came home. The girlie girl water bottle cosy got a good reception but it came home this time so I can finish writing up the pattern. I'd better get cracking on that to make sure it and the loaner headlamp get delivered before the 3-day walk. My Cleve-burg sojourn means I'll miss more than October's Knitnite and other local knitting events slated for the first week of October.

Speaking of Knitnite, while some folks were at the Sally Melville class I stopped off at Mitsuwa and did myself a bit of a mischief in the book store. Three Japanese books on crochet came home with me. I'm fairly new to crochet, having been shamed into learning at the hotel bar during Stitches West a few years back, but I'm a total believer that Japanese crochet materials are far superiour to English language ones and let even relative novices achieve advanced results quickly.

More on those in a later post but don't be shocked if wire and beads are also part of the mix.

02 September 2007

Hat stands a recycling how to

A query to the knit list about creative solutions for displaying kid's hats at a craft fair inspired this post. I will be emailing the link to the list member who asked and may or may not emerge from my sleepy lurkdom to post to the list.

When I was on a wild Afghans for Afghans hat knitting tear a few years back, I was confronted with a similar issue when I wanted to photograph the work.

While wig stands aren't terribly expensive, they also aren't very portable, take up space and Styrofoam isn't very environmentally friendly.

I reverted to my crafty scouting past and came up with cardboard and wooden skewers solution.

The only must do part of this is to use the sort of cardboard with an corrugated centre layer -- you run your skewer through one of those channels to tie base and head together

For my example, I used a very ugly duckling box. For a craft faire you'd probably want one a bit nicer and sans tape. Don't forget the value of spray paint in sprucing up an otherwise suitable box.

Cut three circles, ovals or similar shapes of the same size.

Two of the three shapes will for the head and the third will act as the base.

Cut a strip in the centre of the two head shapes as shown.

The strips should be long enough to allow the shapes to interlock.

In a perfect do as I say, not as I do, my box's real estate didn't give me enough space to create an ideal base.

The ideal base would be created by cutting the third circle/oval in half across the widest point -- that gives your stand more stability.

My base isn't as stable as I'd like but the rules of construction remain the same.

In one of the base pieces , cut a centre strip from the flat bottom up. In the other base piece, cut a corresponding centre strip from the rounded top down.

These two pieces will interlock to form the base and this is where the skewer and the importance of corrugation comes into play.

Run the pointed part of the skewer into the bottom of your assembled base and into your assembled head pieces.

You've got a portable, easily stored hat stand that is also recycled.

01 September 2007

The popoki project and the associated notes have been in my knitting bag for some time now. This was how I left the swatch for the border treatment. After reviewing the notes and charts I did a little tweaking and decided to swatch my new plan with something other than the black linen.

I decided to focus on the not well charted treatment of the shark edging being worked at the same time as the growing triangle. I didn't bother with the central cats paw motifs in the centre triangle after the first one.

There were a couple of false starts because my notes were not all they could have been but the act of swatching made things much clearer.

I made the executive decision to finish the shawl before continuing the revisit of the casual cables cardigan so a second size 5 US needle got pressed into service to hold half of the 300-something stitches of the shawl's edge.

After working in the poison green cotton, I picked up a ball of the linen and worked up a second version this time with the centre motifs.

The idea is that I'll use the short rowed live stitches to begin the wave stitch pattern portion of the final edge treatment. The sides of the shawl will have both the wave stitch and the shark's tooth edging but the centre back will only have the knitted diamond and the shark's tooth edging.

The wave stitch portion of the edging will be joined to the body of the shawl by knitting the body's live stitches and the edging's first stitch together.

This is not exactly suitable for walkabout knitting and I still have a few questions to resolve and maybe another tweak or to the design before I commit to the knitting but the project is much closer to the FO column.