Archive for December, 2013

The Year of the Sock

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Ramblings

Back in 1999, I made a few pairs of socks using self-striping yarn, because it was interesting yarn and didn’t work right for sweaters or whatever. I hated it, because double-pointed needles are a nuisance to work with. Over the last 10 years, people have invented other ways of knitting small things in the round. I tried Magic Loop and hated that too – it interrupted my flow because every half a row I had to stop and fiddle with the cable – but never tried using 2 circulars until recently. Mostly this was because as a spatially-challenged girl, I couldn’t get my head around the idea. Chris bought me a book about it, and there were some videos about it on YouTube, but it just didn’t make sense until I found some tutorial on the web which was very simple and got me over all my fears. I knit Alex a test pair of socks with this method, and they fit, they were easy to do. With this method, stitches are secure while in transit (they always used to fall off my dpn’s) and the process goes very quickly! A sock takes me less than a day now, and so, in the light of several other knitting-related things, I have designated 2014 as The Year of the Sock.

Rules:

At least one pair a week.
No purchasing new sock yarn in 2014 unless 20 pairs are completed by March 15. (Yes, I’m frantically combing online sites for interesting sock yarns I can order today!)

Yes, we will end up with 52+ pairs of socks! However, I’ve got foot measurements from all the family members, so you can expect gifts of socks periodically.

This idea came to me about a month ago, but I’m very glad it did. Because I just finished knitting a coat of my own design (using my Vacation pattern, available on Ravelry, but with added sleeves). Took me almost three months to knit. The fabric is beautiful, warm, nice and wintery-looking and fills a hole in my outerwear wardrobe. The coat fits well and doesn’t itch too much, and the yarn only cost $120 (not bad for a plus-sized coat). Unfortunately, although it got a full wet-blocking treatment to increase its drape (4 days to dry!), it looks fab from the front but hellish from the side. The back does not fall straight down but ‘bells out,’ making me look about 100 pounds heavier than I actually am. I’m not sure what to do with the coat. It’s a keeper, but not for wearing! So, since it did take three months and did cost $120, I’m disheartened, and won’t do any more long-term experimental projects like this for a while. Thus, the Year of the Sock.

Some photos to round out the old year:

The first pair I made with the 2-circs style of knitting.  These are Alex's.

The first pair I made with the 2-circs style of knitting. These are Alex’s. Those are his feet, too.

Second.  This is a pair (by now) and made for Alex.

Second. This is a pair (by now) and made for Alex.

Third pair.  Dad's Christmas present, made with Cotton Classic.

Third pair. Dad’s Christmas present, made with Cotton Classic.

First pair for me.  Need to make my cuffs higher.

First pair for me. Need to make my cuffs higher.

The coat in question.

The coat in question.

Today’s Geocaching

Posted: December 27, 2013 in Ramblings

Since we were in Kirkland to visit the yarn store, we did a little geocaching. The first picture was an experimental shot. I wanted to see just how well my camera could focus while I was walking along, just idly snapping photos, shooting from the hip, as it were, without trying to focus on anything. So I was swinging the camera around with big arm swoops, randomly pushing the shutter button. This was the only one that came out in focus. But I was really not framing or trying to steady the shot at all.

Taken with the Sony RX100.

Taken with the Sony RX100.

This is a framed, artistic, centered and focused picture of the geocache. We did not open it and sign the log because (a) it was pouring by then and (2) we still didn’t bring a pen or pencil. But here is the photographic evidence of it.

Buried under a rock.

Buried under a rock.

Boxing Day

Posted: December 26, 2013 in Ramblings

Well, we unboxed our Christmas gift to ourselves – a couple of Intermetro shelving units from Container Store – and finally got the loft closet organized. Found about six boxes’ worth of stuff to get rid of/donate, one box worth of pure trash (old receipts, labels from yarn), and got the rest (mostly camping gear and camera oddments) organized onto one unit. Now we have two more shelving units remaining! (We hadn’t measured the available space and thought that three would be needed in that closet.) One we will save for the summer, and finally get the Wii room organized, and possibly the last one will go into the master bedroom closet. But since I am beat, and only got about 3 minutes’ worth of work from my son, this will have to wait. Chris was a champion and helped me with good cheer and good strength.

Sausage Rolls

Posted: December 25, 2013 in Ramblings

These were yesterday’s culinary experiment, and the photos were taken with C’s previous lens.

Sausage Rolls Closeup

Sausage Rolls Closeup

Sausage Rolls with Cheese

Sausage Rolls with Cheese

Merry Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2013 in Ramblings

The Man got a new lens for his Canon, and these are some of the preliminary results.

A shiny Crimbo ball.

A shiny Crimbo ball.

He and Alex each got a Nanoblock kit (like Legos, but really, really teeny!) Here is the Young Master at work.

Concentration!

Concentration!

Alex’s was the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which at this point in time is about 5% complete. Chris got Big Ben, which is…as you will see…99% complete. (He chose not to put the clock face stickers on it because he didn’t want to screw it up, and I’m too fumble-fingered to try.)

Stage 1.

Stage 1.

Stage 2.

Stage 2.

Stage 3.

Stage 3.

Stage 4.

Stage 4.

Stage 5.

Stage 5.

Stage 6, with Landscaping.  My hand shown for scale.

Stage 6, with Landscaping. My hand shown for scale.

Chris’ Pants are Blue

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Ramblings

Despite photographic evidence and his own current state of sobriety, he continues to insist they are black. Pfft.

Am I right?  I'm right.

Am I right? I’m right.

First Snow

Posted: December 20, 2013 in Ramblings

We had it last night and today. School got cancelled, but birdfeeding did not. Chris took these with his fancy Canon EOS 7D.

He spent almost a minute trying to get the manual focus right, because there was a bird in the center of this shot.  By the time he'd focused it right, the bird had flown.

He spent almost a minute trying to get the manual focus right, because there was a bird in the center of this shot. By the time he’d focused it right, the bird had flown.

There are 7 birds in this picture.  Can you spot them all?

There are 7 birds in this picture. Can you spot them all?