29 October 2007

Beret ole -- all the way to the desired diameter

The Borjana beret is ready for its close up.

It started life as a swirl pentagon in Heirloom Yarns Alpaca and then shifted to a circle in Plymouth's Baby Brushed Alpaca.

I knit a similar hat in Lang Time in what turned out to be a way too big -- yes there is a trend there for me and knitting hats -- proof of concept for altering increase ratios and points to change the underlying geometric shape.

The Lang Time version, being a much larger gauge yarn wasn't terribly practical for a garment but would work well as a pillow or other bit of knitting.

With this hat, when I moved from pentagon to circle, I didn't hedge my bets and take the pentagon out to a stitch count that would match a comparable circle. Instead, I did a catch up round of increases to get to a good stitch count to begin increasing for a circle.

I went to the target/bullseye increase scheme rather than the radiant, and although the reverse stocking stitch in the brushed alpaca doesn't emphasize the increases, in a production/publication version I would use the latter scheme.

A traditional tam/beret would stop increasing before the desired diameter and rely on blocking to transform the no increase segment into a flat hat. That method allows insertion of Fair Isle bands, cables, and other knitting that gets complicated, if not impossible, with increases in the mix. Down side? That method means you must be working with a fibre that will block out.

Although my material will block, I didn't use traditional tam/beret construction. Instead, I increased all the way out to the desired circumference, did a few extra non-increase rounds and then, shifting gears to stocking stitch, began decreasing down to my ribbing.

I did the ribbing in the Heirloom alpaca because while both yarns are alpaca and it has some issues with memory, the construction of the Heirloom is more of a cabled yarn and I felt that it would hold the ribbing better than the Plymouth.

As a just in case measure, I not only went down in stitch count but also in needles size for the ribbing. I also knit the ribbing twice as long to allow me to tack/hem it up to the body of the hat long enough to .be doubled back and give a nice finish and extra stretch.

The colour of the two yarns isn't as near a match as I might like but it isn't a real clash. In a perfect world, it would be a dyed to match story of two different yarns in the same dye bath but imperfect as it is, I think it works.

I'm not going to try to do the pentagon morph mittens but I will be doing mittens to match. The good news, given the fact that I had to tap into that second yank of the Plymouth, is that Borjana's hands are small like mine so I don't think another yarn purchase and dye lot mix is required.

27 October 2007

A different kind of fire story

I've been having trouble feeling the "California love" since I got back.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not being nostalgic for what never was (which is what nostalgia usually is) and I'm not a big rose coloured glasses sort -- read, I remember ice storms, steel grey days and other joys of life on the North Coast of the inland sea that is Lake Erie -- but I'm just as much a realist about San Diego and all its charms and flaws.

One of those flaws just floored me this week. I'm walking through my neighbourhood, and, even with all the fires going on, people are not pulling over and letting fire engines through. Compare/contrast that with people in the Eastern 'burbs of Cleveland dodging parked cars to pull over and give the fire engines the right of way and a smooth path when the county isn't ablaze.

A self absorbed thing? I don't know but I found it more than a tad disturbing this week and worth noting even as others got enough outside themselves to help out.

So what's the other fire story? It's a Mission Hills moment. On Tuesday's ramble about, I took some snaps of the new face of Washington Street between Goldfinch & Falcon.

This block used to be the home to shops and businesses including Mission Hills Cafe, As Cute as a Button and others. For awhile it was just the centre of controversy whether it was developer versus local residents or developer's rep versus the homeless who took shelter in the empty doorways.

The chain link fence is now gone but it's still a big vacancy moment with some what were they thinking architectural moments.

The brief was to restore/refresh the original facade and eliminate the familiar 50s box look and I gather that this final version is a compromise but I still think that the siding and grid work portions are just a honking huge non sequitur.

All I know for certain is that it has been a long time coming and, at least for me, another example of confusing commercial development that seems to have a cut nose spite face element to it.

As Cute as a Button has relocated to Point Loma and that means less temptation for me and my love of vintage glass buttons. Yes, Kim has a web site but I can resist virtual buttons.

I don't know what happened to Mission Hills Cafe but it was a fave
for-bloody-ever with locals and not just for the great fixed price dinner menu. It looks from here like another didn't survive the arguably unneeded "upgrade" --- locals may recall Aztec Dining Room and other businesses caught in the path of the must expand trolley service to the stadium stupid Super Bowl push.

But I was going for a happy note and here it is, not this fire, and not a big firestorm that made the news but a small fire in a small place. Just across Goldfinch from this still vacant adventure there's a fire station and a restaurant that are my good news story for the week.

The fie station and the restaurant have been a make lemonade out of lemons story for a long time.

Where other business owners might have decried the business disruption from the noise of a fire station responding to an alarm, the owner of The Gathering made it an occasion and patrons got a round of drinks on the house if the alarm went up and disrupted their dining pleasure.

Everyone's dining pleasure was disrupted when, in 2006, a fire raced through The Gathering and even the proximity of the fire station couldn't save the structure. A long recovery followed but it did follow and in June of 2007, The Gathering did its phoenix rising thing.

Good things can happen, they take time. Good will does happen it just takes good will.

25 October 2007

The office is open and the surreal continues

I was a bit less news obsessed yesterday. It was Eileen's birthday and I decided that even though I didn't get a gift there on time, I could get something in the mail to mark the day.

I'd picked up some coppery coloured Murano glass during one of my bead store excesses.

The plan was earrings for Eileen and the girls -- not exactly alike but related and in a nice neutral. I got these great copper head pins at Lost Cities -- the centre one is really long with a more brassy coloured ball at the bottom. The flanking head pins have a little upside down pyramid of copper balls.

I dithered a bit about whether or not to use the copper ear wires in case of allergies but the overall look is better and I can always swap the wires out if there's a problem.

So I did a little wire bending and earring construction before making another post office run before taking the knitting on a walk through damn near deserted Balboa Park.

The art museum has an exhibition that includes these computer animated figures by Julian Opie.

When I got home, I checked my email and was surprised to discover that the office was reopening today. I fired off an email to some people and phoned other to spread the work.

Since the office is just above the Westwood area, I really didn't know what to expect. Kali did not make the get out the door any easier -- she's been stranger than usual through all this.

Unlike the Cedar fire where you could see burned areas as far South as the Northern wall of the Cubic building from the 163 and much of Miramar looked lunar, there was almost nothing to show that there had been any fires or that fires were still burning for most of the commute.

It wasn't until I was coming up on Exit 18 on the 15 Northbound that the smoke in the distance gave some clue of the fires. I took my usual exit and other than the strong scent of smoke there was very little evidence of the fires that had ripped through the area.

The Sony-ites were not back on site but it was on the drive down Via Del Campo that some signs of the winds and fire appeared mostly in the downed branches.

When I got out of the truck, it was like stepping into an ashtray and the view from the walking track down into Westwood still didn't send up any huge shivers beyond the haze.

As several people pointed out, what I wasn't seeing probably told more about the devastation than what I could see.

Although they had replaced the filters and cranked the HVAC up to clear the building the smell was still pretty nasty inside the building. The television in the lobby was airing George W's arrival at Miramar. I didn't stop to watch.

As I passed Miramar, I saw the news trucks setting up their trucks to cover the imminent arrival of George W.

They still hadn't let the residents back into the area when I took these shots. I heard later that they waited until after the photo op.

It was strange to be back in the office at all and there was a lot more water cooler chatter than productive work for most people. Plenty of people chose the work at home option waiting for better air quality and some people were still evacuated.

I'd have to say that the biggest and saddest evidence of the fire that I saw was animal behaviour. While catching a cup of coffee in the afternoon, a co-worker and I saw a road runner (a rare sight in RB) and it was frenzied trying to get into the building.

I managed to stay in the building longer than I thought and perhaps longer than I should have.

23 October 2007

Fire burn out and another orange sunset

While in Hudson, I'd agreed to knit at least one chemo cap for the Miss Chickpea's breast cancer effort.

I started the project with some of the pink yarn I'd purchased for Abby's leg warmers some time back. This was before Abby turned from pink to green.

It's a cotton and microfibre blend which is nice, soft, easy care and nice for a pretty chemo cap. I was happily working away when I realised that it was going to be way too big.

In a plan B moment I decided to put it together with some funky stuff I had from the Guild stash sale.

I finished the chunkier gauge version on the 14th or so and hoped to make a second one but I got side tracked with other knitting.

With the get it back to Hudson deadline looming, I packed it up and took a trip to the local post office
where they assured me that it would make it to Hudson by the deadline.

I have my doubts but I'm hopeful.
One of the only locals know this things about the fires is that a major US Postal Service distro facility is in Rancho Bernardo in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area. So a whole bunch of mail is going to have to be rerouted.

Yes, Id d weave in the ends before shifting it.

Per usual with me, centre out top down and I added a couple of lace panels just because.

Today, like yesterday, has been a surreal experience -- fires raging all over the county but near Balboa Park and downtown you wouldn't know it unless, of course, like most people, you were glued to the news.

Today's media message beyond the what's closed, what's open, what's threatened, was about conserving water, power and limiting cell phone usage.

In my part of town it was almost impossible to make a connection on a land line as all circuits were in a constant state of busy so while playing info central for a circle of friends, I did my best to at least keep the cell phone calls short and to a minimum.

Like a lot of people, I was feeling the need/desire to do something but there were more volunteers than slots to fill so I went with plan B and knit, sent my chemo cap to Hudson, played info central and registered at Volunteer San Diego to match myself up with either fire related volunteer needs or openings that won't be filled because the fire stuff is "sexier."

The Borjana beret hit the needles today as I cast about and needed to cast on for another project. It's portable, moderately mindless but there will be a duh -- discussion of tams, berets and when and why to use different construction methods in a future posting. I'd reached the time to shift increase points and ratios point by the time I was out the door to the post office.

After dropping the chemo cap into the tender mercies of the post office, I decided that I was approaching fire burn out or information over load.

My plan was to roll down to the Shake's for happy hour and maybe at least catch a few minutes of catch up time with Steph. I've not been down the pub or seen Steph in an age and with our plans to catch coffee/breakfast this morning dashed, I thought I could catch her before she headed home.

Didn't quite work that way as I ran into a number of distractions along the way and arrived much later than I'd originally thought.

I took the shot of the orange sunset over the bay from the top of the Washington Street hill in Mission Hills. That's not fire that's just the ash impacting the atmosphere.

22 October 2007

First views of fires

Most of the post Cleveland knitting has been on Abby's leg warmers. I'd started them while still in Cleveland but I wasn't totally sure beyond the colour mix and measurements which way I was going with them. By the time I was assembling stuff to walk over to the Whistlestop yesterday (running late as usual), I had the first leg warmer done and was making good progress on the 2nd.

I had hoped to have the Breast Cancer water bottle cosy knitted up and/or the pattern written up before heading out to the Whistlestop yesterday but I had to settle for outlining it and making notes. I took the original and the promised loaner head lamp along and delivered them as promised.

Tina was standing in for Jen & Tony and there was a good turn out. In a who knew moment, there were 3 day walkers in the mix both been there done that (like me) and getting ready for the first. So there was plenty of talk about that.

As usual, the television was on and the news started showing footage of fires. We gathered that there was one near Ramona/Santa Ysabel and another near Potrero. With the furst fire, we couldn't make out where from the graphic they kept showing. With the Potreo fire the discussion turned to the recent outcry over Blackwater's designs on that community.

As I walked home around 6pm, the smoke from the fire was showing itself in the sunset. Once a photographer, always a photographer, I stopped to snap these pictures as I crossed the canyon and later by Pershing. I wasn't the only one shooting from the canyon overlook.

By the time I took the second snap, (and yes that small spire toward the centre of the picture is the California Tower), my eyes were dry and burning a bit.

To tell the truth, I was more concerned about the outcome of the Sox/Tribe game -- curse foiled again -- than I was with the fire most of Sunday.

I had some concerns as I have plenty of friends in Ramona/Santa Ysabel/Julian and, as the Cedar fire brought home clearly, any fire can go from distant and not dangerous to imminent threat very rapidly. And I've lived here long enough to remember the Normal Heights fire so even my proximity to down town is not a guarantee of safety.

When I woke up this morning, I was relieved to see that I wasn't looking at the nuclear Winter sky that I saw with the Cedar fire. That gave me enough comfort to make coffee and plan to drive into Rancho Bernardo although I had some concerns about what I was hearing about Poway.

As I checked my email, the news was getting more dire. Had I gone North, I would have been stuck. As it was, I was stuck/glued to the news, the phone and the internet so I knit while hearing worse and worse news about evacuations, winds and more.

That's how the leg warmers got finished.

I mixed the green Cotton Rich left over from Libby's leg warmers, some of the pink Cotton Rich I'd originally purchased of Abby's and the Noro Sakura I bought at Fine Points

Not having the lady herself to consult with, I had couple of design ideas on the needles at the same time.

I abandoned the idea of starting with a ruffle. There's nothing wrong with the ruffle but the more I thought about it the more I felt it was a bit too much like a ruffle on the bottom of a clown costume.

I also had to tear back the original stripe choice when it became clear that when the pink was right next to the Sakura, the green in the Sakura had a bluer tone to it that worked against the spring green of the Cotton Rich.

I found that I had a bit of pink ribbon yarn and pink Fixation (left over from the girls' shadow knit headbands of a few years back) to add to the mix. The pink ribbon was a nice pop feature but it was too inelastic to work the bind off even using larger needles and the stretchiest method I know so the Fixation was another happy find. Ends need to be woven in and I'm trying hard not to revisit and work more ribbing.


19 October 2007

Rocking Knit Out,

On Sunday the 7th, some North Coast Knitters were doing a Knit & Crochet Out at the food court at UTC.

On a different North Coast, other North Coast Knitters were doing a Knit & Crochet Out on Lake Erie by the Rock Hall (aka Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).

Me? I was
soaking up the sun in Cleveland.

I couldn't say for sure, but I suspect that it was sunnier and warmer by the lake in Cleveland. There was much shuffling of seats in search of shade as the time went by,

I'd hoped that the girls could have joined me but between a HVAC emergency at the libary, a pre-PSAT prep course and a social butterfly other engagement, I was on my own.

Shannon and Megan from Stitch Cleveland along with Kate from Knitting on the Square, Lorraine Ehrlinger and, of course, Ludmilla were among the assembled. I didn't catch a lot of names but I did have a good time and made pretty good progress on my knitting.

The vendors sorted things out so that everyone who filled out a raffle ticket won something. While I was hoping, bag lady that I am, for one of the stunningly attractive knitting bags, I ended up with rather large knitting needles that are now part of the Polott knitting supplies.

As things were winding down, I accepted Ludmilla's invitation to catch a coffee. It was a bit of a Mr Toad's wild ride to the West Side but we arrived safely a little shop and I sucked down green iced tea to counteract the day's sun.

The knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners had all rolled home by the time Ludmilla dropped me back at the parking lot so dreams of Maria's Roman room excesses are also in the next time bin.

17 October 2007

Bamboo, Baseball & an Ohio public knitting surprise.

First the bamboo, I never did find any in Cleveland so I continued with the knit both leg warmers in tandem to make sure I didn't run out of yarn and short one.

I did a spiral 3x2 ribbing that I mirrored on the two leg warmers. In the bamboo section, I did sort of random cable crossings in the 5 stitch section of the 5x3 ribbing.

My brief was to not make them too slouchy, so they really just cover ankle to knee. I didn't spiral the top ribbing and I also didn't decrease back down as I had an inkling that doing so would cut off the top of the calf. I actually went up a needle size at the end. Between that needle size increase and the super stretchy bind off, I got a lovely ruffle action going.

Onto baseball, even before I went out to Cleveburg, I was really enjoying the success of the Indians.

Just days before the trip, I spotted a Jeep with a Chief Wahoo wheel cover parked on Normal Street near the DMV. The last time I was in the Cleveland area when the Indians were part of the post season action, the tribe was winning until I left town. Some die-hard Indians fans jokingly or not, suggested that my departure was a form of fan betrayal.

I was concerned that history might repeat, but for the record, I can't really be held accountable for whatever happens since they did lose one to the Yankees (aka Satan according to the cockpit on the flight back from Cleveland) before I left town. They've redeemed themselves since and I'm still enjoying the ride. My door is happily decorated with a politically incorrect Chief Wahoo luggage tag from Uniquely Ohio to show my loyalties.

On Friday the 5th after taking leave of Borjana and Barney, I went over to Case, had lunch with Miss Jean and then sorted out where and how I was to register me and Eileen for the Alum stuff. It wasn't the easiest thing to figure out and it took longer than it might have done but I got it sorted and in a had I but known moment, could have saved myself a few coins and headaches with a parking permit -- pish.

When I phoned to check on plans, I found that Abby's cold had moved from her to Libby, to Eileen by Friday, so the reshuffle of the House of Blues and law cocktail party was academic and I rolled back to Hudson rather than down to the Flats.

On Saturday, while the rest of the household was doing ballet, I walked to downtown Hudson, did a bit of shopping and knitting -- mostly knitting. It was hot and the walk was about a five mile round tip but I'm a resilient sort even if I did manage a wet flip flop blister.

The Village of Hudson had a whole go pink promotion going on for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

As part of that, Hudson's own LYS Miss Chickpea's Funky Fibers was holding a "knit in" on the green. Since it coincided with my walkabout I ambled over and agreed to knit at least one chemo cap for the effort. While on the green, I spotted an unexpected sight -- the lovely Ludmilla. I knew that she'd moved back to the area but Hudson isn't a Cleveland Western 'burb so the encounter was decidedly kismet.

The other San Diego connection on the day was meeting Katherine the far too young to be the mother of a son stationed here in San Diego.

15 October 2007

Two Square Yarn Stores & a Belgrade Beauty

Because Southern Californians can't really resist the price comparison photo, here's a shot of the prevailing price of gas while I was in Ohio. I actually saw it for 2.55 at one station -- such a bargain. I'm feeling quite nostalgic.

On the Wednesday, I decided to take a swing North East and revisit some old haunts and take in yet another LYS.

Eileen had expressed an interest in learning to knit with dps which gave me an excuse to go pick out some needles and yarn suitable for a quick knit first project.

I took the 91 North out of Hudson and rolled up through Twinsburg, Solon, Moreland Hills, and Hunting Valley. By Mayfield, I turned East onto Wilson Mills Road and caught the 174 (aka Chagrin River Road) North through the North Chagrin Metropark before catching the 6 into Chardon.

I took a couple rings round the square before I found the shop and a convenient parking spot near my destination -- Knitting on The Square in historic downtown Chardon.

I did my usual check for a softcover copy of Mary Thomas Knitting Patterns, talked knit with some fellow customers and knit away on Libby's leg warmers before picking up some dps and a bit of yarn suitable for the learn to knit with dps project.

Owner Kate and a half dozen or more knitters were enjoying a bit of group knitting as I took my leave and headed South.

I dropped round Punderson State park, the Polo Field and then dropped down into Chagrin Falls.

It was a gorgeous day in Chagrin and I stopped into the Popcorn Shop to pick up some food souvenirs for the co-workers.

In a perfect world, I'd have been able to bring back the first round of Presti's doughnuts, Nighttown ribs, chocolate covered strawberries or even some of the terrific caramel corn from the shop, but the world's not fair so I settled for the highly addictive Euclid Beach Candy Kisses still available from the Humphrey company.

I rambled around a bit, phoned old pal Billy -- just to say hey before winding my way back South.

On Thursday, while running about, I dropped round to the Trader Joe's at what we used to call Eton Square (now renamed and reopened as Eton Chagrin Boulevard) to pick up some wine and flowers for my evening with Borjana & Barney.

Earlier in the week at Fine Points I heard that he knitting shop near Eton Square was closing.

I had visited this shop some years back and found it to be very frou-frou yarn friendly and since that's really not my thing, I wasn't very bonded to the shop. I had time on my hands and I couldn't resist a look see.

It was a pretty sad scene as all LYS closings are. I don't know the whole back story enough to know whether it was a retirement, a fad run its course or what. While
I was still hoping for bamboo but I found corn and Glace instead.

I know Borjana & Barney well enough to budget my caloric intake before visiting. There will, inevitably, be lots of food, lots of wine and lots of good conversation and a bit of B& B bickering -- somethings don't change.

Another thing that doesn't change is Borjana. She's gorgeous - seriously gorgeous and although she doesn't count her own knitting in my crazy class, she has done some lovely stuff and her crochet is wonderful.

There's a rich textile and handwork history in her family and I was treated to a show and tell of some of the pieces. I didn't see the tea towels I designed and embroidered for her lo those many Christmases ago, I'll have to ask next time as I've totally forgotten how to do that sort of embroidery and I could use a brain jog.

In a total surprise, I ended up bringing home a sweet little crocheted cardigan that Borjana made more than 30 years ago in Belgrade. It's an inspiration piece for me on two levels, right now it doesn't quite button at the bottom and I'd like it to. I'm also planning to use it as an inspiration for a knitted lace cardigan

14 October 2007

Circle (University) , square (Shaker) and stitch Cleveland

Abby going from pink to green is my excuse for popping into Fine Points before making my way to University Circle and the law school on Tuesday the 2nd -- well, that and concern that the single skein of bamboo was not going to go the distance for Libby's legwarmers.

While I liked the place and I even did my bit at classically enabling in the clothing boutique side of the biz upstairs it has a totally different feel than the quaint charm of Cornerstone Yarns.

Different shops, different markets, different positioning to make it work. Some elements of Fine Points remind me of an interesting mix of Helga's and Crewel World -- all of those shops have/had inventory with long discontinued yarns and they all found/find a way to merchandise/market/kit up the bits and bobs.

I can't say that I really bonded with Fine Points but I did spend a few bob on some Noro after considering some more uber embellished options for Missy Abby's legwarmers.

Leaving Larchmere, I made my way to CWRU and University Circle. The construction/destruction of the area made it a bit more of a circle jerk than I remembered but I got there.

I found a parking spot out by the Cleveland Music School Settlement and in a nothing ever really changes, the meter wasn't working (read sucking quarters and not giving time) and the voice mail box to complain/register the problem was full -- pish.

Still, it was so all worth it to sneak up and deliver the specified but unexpected smoke ring to Miss Jean aka Jean Carter.

I'm not a good judge on sizing for such things because I have a pin head and tiny hands so I was really worried that the smoke ring /hood was a honking huge wind tunnel and that the mitten was an oven mitt. Turns out that the smoke ring was perfect and the mitten was on target.

I decided to get adventuresome and roll West to Lakewood to connect with Shannon & co at Stitch Cleveland. I'm not sure which was more of the adventure -- going to the West side or going through Dead Man's Curve. It's hard for me to believe/remember how intimidated I used to be of that stretch of road and of all the highways/freeways in the area. Even with a back up on the Shoreway/interbelt it was a total breeze compared to my frequent six lanes of stupid.

Whether Shannon's directions or my interp were less than perfect is a debate point, but a nice guy who was out for bread -- no really, a run to Breadsmith got me turned right round on course.

It's a nice workshop area. Shannon & Megan couldn't have been more fun and my only regret is that the bamboo hunt once again turned up no parrot.

Once again depending upon how things pan out I may or may not be working with Shannon on one of her many book projects. Timeline's tight but I can usually crank out a sweater in two weeks or less and I love the idea of really out there fibres -- like that's not a trend for me -- duh.

12 October 2007

Richfield riches -- Cornerstone Yarns

On the 1st, while sipping coffee in Kent and filling out my TNNA renewal form, I phoned my buddy Rick in Ann Arbor to wish him a happy spin off.

At the office in San Diego a celebration with Aloha shirts and dunk the leadership team was organised so I figured I should at least phone a fellow employee.

Since my plans were very fluid we'd had some discussion about a possible swing up that way so I could finally meet the wife and daughters.

Logistics and schedules didn't work out but it was good to chat and given how up in the air things had been when I left San Diego it was good to have a backup plan.

As part of my getting my bearings and generally enjoying the colours of the area, I ended up swinging back into Richfield and having a chance to check out Cornerstone Yarns.

The shop owner, Kathy, is a long time spinner and has owned the shop for about three years now. It is a beautiful shop, very well laid out and full of lots of nice natural fibres. It's web page doesn't do it justice and Kathy's a delight.

I didn't buy anything although her hand spun was pretty tempting -- cashmere, merino & silk oh my.

She's open six days a week and I love the idea of offering "at your own pace" classes. Spinning classes are also available by appointment.

Since she wasn't very busy when I came through, besides the visiting and knitting, she got a mini Russian Grafting lesson and a mediocre session on Continental knitting & purling.

I may still not be expert with continental but now that I understand the process, I can at least demo it even if it isn't my preferred method.

I could be wrong, memory being not as good as it could be, but I think that I was still reswatching with the baby brush alpaca and 8-ply superwash and had begun the long promised green legwarmers.

I had a bit of a surprise on Sunday when I discovered that the love affair with pink for the younger of my Hudson honeys had diminished since my last visit. Not a big deal but the shift into the green zone combined with the limited amount of green Cotton Rich and Bamboo in the Parrot colourway had me concerned that I'd not enough of the right yarns to get both pairs of legwarmers at least started if not finished while I was on site.

That concern is my excuse for a bit of yarn crawling while in Ohio even though I'd packed yarn and projected earmarked to stay or at least return to Ohio.

I left Richfield and made my way up to Cedar/Fairmount where I discovered that my parallel parking skills have really tanked. I browsed the bookstore and wine shop and phoned Borjana & Barney to try to arrange our visit before taking the knitting in to Nightown for an ice tea while waiting for the Eileen and the girls.

The spitting that had started when I was window shopping and taking stock of changes had turned to serious down pour by the time we connected and Abby was looking like the threatening cold was winning. Although my long time fave ribs were on the menu for the night, I went with the duck salad and the sometimes gruelish clam chowder (we used to order it with a pitcher of cream and a shot of brandy to thin it out).

I did get a bit turned about on the drive home at the traffic circle/round about by John Carroll but even in the rain and in a rental car, driving's easier back there and it really isn't a density difference.

11 October 2007

Smoke and mittens the trip East

I'm really not stuck in September although the blog would seem to be as I slowly get the in the queue entries polished and published.

I dropped an in progress knitted cube into the carry on but the stitches kept jumping needle so while I was still waiting for the first flight, I turned it back in itself and created a sweet little sculptural piece that will make it's way to the blog at some point.

The original cube will get knit and delivered to its original intended recipient at some point, but where that project will fall in the line up is a TBD.

So, once into the air, leg one of the travel knitting was Miss Jean's smoke ring. I short rowed the top section just in garter to make it easier to wear as a hood or to tuck deeper into the front of a coat. It's a subtle shaping.

The prevailing winds that gave us a bit of bumpy ride over the desert also meant that we arrived in Vegas a bit ahead of schedule. That shouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that there wasn't any one home to get us off the plane. So, full flight, early arrival and we're just sitting.

Not as bad as some British Airways snafus or the memorable Amtrak to Albany Xmas fiasco but I didn't have a very long time on the ground before my next flight. As I hoofed it over to the next gate, I was grateful that I had an "A" boarding pass for the flight.

The Vegas to Cleveland flight was also near full -- who knew? Again we had a bit of a bumpy ride but with the smoke ring done, I turned to the matching mittens and just knit through it all.

The photo shows just how far I got with the project during the flight. All the way from cast on to thumb stitches on a holder.

The mitten was looking awfully big to me so I set it aside until I could match it up to recipient's hand for a sanity check

Once on the ground in Cleveland, I finally connected with my dear friend and agreed that I should probably sort out my rental car and book a hotel for the night before heading to Hudson in the morning.

At the rental car place, not only had my booking vanished, someone had made a serious staffing mistake -- two bodies on a Saturday night is way short handed. We got things sorted and I got upgraded since there were no mid-sized vehicles available. I was bummed to discover that I had just missed a hybrid SUV and went with the slightly more fuel efficient Chevy over the other SUV.

I was also a bit bummed out to hear that the Indians were losing to KC but the real disappointment on the night was the non room at the inn story. The suggested hotel was booked solid and with a Genesis concert in town there was shortage of hotel rooms.

I ended up driving well Southwest to Brunswick before finding shelter for the night. Although that's alien territory for me, it worked out because I wasn't too far from the 303 and the 303 is a fairly direct run into Hudson. On advice, I didn't try the 303 at that hour of night.

The next morning, I set out and enjoyed the scenic drive along the 303. While stopping to phone in, I spotted Cornerstone Yarns in a charming little building along the way in Richfield.

Being a Sunday morning, I wasn't incline to stop but it did look like an attractive place to at least put on my might visit on the way back short list.

I got into Hudson, bopped around the new down town redevelopment area where I discovered the wonderfully named Heather's Heat and Flavor where the sign swears that everything's better with Heather's Butt Rub.

After getting much needed coffee at Caribou Coffee, I got directions to the house and, armed with a nice little floral arrangement at the Greenhouse, made my way to my home away from home.