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Little Tofutsies

As I noted yesterday, the first of the pair is finished. I did have some trouble with the bind-off being too tight. I figured that binding off in my 1×1 ribbing would allow for enough stretch — it didn’t. So I took it out and tried again using the sewn bind-off demonstrated by Silver’s Sock Class. This looked beautiful . […]

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Little socks

No photos at the moment — I’m just writing a quick note about the pair of socks I’m currently working on. I’m making Tofutsies footies as a birthday gift for my sis, and these socks are firsts for me in a few different ways. Up to now I’ve managed to finish a total of three pairs of socks, and all of them were worsted weight and knit from the cuff down. I call them my house socks and I’m crazy about them; but now I’m ready to move on to using actual sock yarn . . . and I’ve got plenty of it stockpiled, including Socks That Rock, Lorna’s Laces, and Opal Handpainted. So now I’m using the Tofutsies yarn that I bought probably a year ago, and I’m knitting footies for her because she hates wearing regular socks. And because I haven’t yet mastered the art of calculating the right number of cast-on stitches for top-down socks, I decided to knit these socks starting with the toe — another first for me. I figured this way I could try the socks on as I go to make sure they fit (our feet are about the same size). I began the first sock on 17 June and bound off at the cuff tonight. I didn’t work exclusively on the sock during the past week, so for me this was a pretty fast knit. My plan is to finish up the […]

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Gearing up for the Tour!

These entries were originally written on 9, 10, and 11 June, 2008: Well, today I signed up for Ravelry’s Tour de France knit-along, and I’m really excited about taking part. I’m going to go for the Yellow Jersey — but it took me quite some time to settle on that, and I still haven’t decided what my project will be. Last month it seemed a brilliant idea to knit Eiffel. I picked out the yarn and began swatching. But then it occurred to me that a project with such an intricate stitch pattern might keep my eyes more on my knitting than on the actual race, and that just doesn’t work for me. I want to watch the race while I knit! So, maybe something a bit simpler, like lots of stockinette, and yet not too simple. And then I had to settle on the jersey — Yellow, Green, or Polka Dot. No big challenges, for the reason mentioned above, so King of the Mountains is out, at least for this year. I’d really like to finish up my project as the race pulls into Paris . . . but knowing me, I’ll end up getting all stressed out and not enjoying the process. So I guess the Sprinter’s jersey will have to wait. Since this IS my very first KAL, I decided I’d take it easy on myself this year and just enjoy being in the peloton. So it’s […]

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Celebrate the Sun

The following paragraphs were originally posted on 31 March and 19 May 2008: Spring is arriving little by little, and that means, for one thing, more sunny days for my dogs to enjoy outdoors. Gabby especially is a sun bather; I think that’s a definite characteristic of pit bulls. Every pit bull I’ve been lucky enough to share my life with has shown an absolute genius for locating the most comfortable spot in the yard for lounging and soaking up as much sun as possible. Sometimes it seems the only thing that gets a bull dog through the shivery cold winter is a stubborn hope that the sun will come back, just for her. On cloudy days Gabby will stare at me as if to say, “Well? What did you do with my sunshine?” The first even-slightly-warm day of the year is her opportunity to find her spot and stay there until she’s overheated and panting. And then nothing pleases her more than trudging back inside the house for a nice, long, cold drink of water — and right back out the door to do it all again. 19/5/08: I keep seeing images of the Eiffel Tower today! I’m watching part of Project Runway (third season), and of course I watched part of the Giro d’Italia on Versus yesterday, so I’m very much in mind of the Tour de France coming up oh so soon and the possibility of my […]

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Nuthin’ but knittin’

The following paragraphs were originally posted on 8 March and 18 March 2008 on my old blog — slightly edited here: I visited Babetta’s Yarns for the very first time on 7 March — now I’m wondering why I waited so long! It was only the second time I’d ever stepped inside a true LYS. Several months ago I ventured over to Frog Pond Knits, just before it went out of business, but that was a very different experience. It was my very last chance to go there, and I was hoping for some serious bargains (I bought 4 skeins of Cascade Luna in Boysenberry which are still sitting in my stash). Having read tons of posts on Ravelry about other people’s negative LYS experiences, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect — but I was greeted with a friendly hello as soon as I stepped in the door. I felt completely comfortable browsing through the whole store, and that’s saying a lot, given my social anxiety disorder. The owner (I’m assuming she was the owner) was busy behind the counter, answering the phone, chatting with one or two regular customers, and winding some yarn into balls, but after a while she found time to approach myself and the other browsers and ask if we needed any help. All of us were perfectly content to just walk around drooling at all the beautiful yarns! I went in with the intention […]

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What a way to wake up!

The following was originally posted on 28 February, 2008, in my old blog: The first thing I saw this morning when I opened my eyes was the youngest of our three dogs, Pinkie, staggering around the house, barely able to walk, let alone stand. She was clearly in distress; she wanted to go outside to do her business but could barely manage. I panicked of course — my first thought was that she’d had a stroke and that we were going to have to euthanize her. She’s 12 – 1/2 years old, but all of our dogs are in surprisingly good health for their ages, and the thought of losing even one of them . . . well, we don’t have kids, but our dogs are a major part of our family and always have been. I phoned the vet and made an appointment for her, then I got her to lie down and rest until it was time to leave. In the meantime I had read on the internet something that reassured me — it said that even when a dog does have a stroke, they can usually recover and deal with it better than we humans can. So, okay, not necessarily a death sentence, I can deal with this. Of course I was also doing some praying. By the time we got to the vet (which is only about five blocks from our house) Pinkie was walking perfectly […]

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Catching the Peloton, or, Who Are Those Guys??

The following entry was originally posted on 27 February, 2008 on my old blog: Last week we went over to Sebastopol and watched Stage I of the Tour of California. We’ve been there every year for the last three years, and this was the second year we climbed halfway up Coleman Valley Road and watched the peloton snake its way up toward us. I’ve got some GREAT video, but my stills aren’t the best. Oh well — every year I learn something new about photographing the race; maybe someday I’ll get something good enough to share. Either way, I’m happy because I got to see the guys in person and I’ve got pictures to prove it. Work started up again this week, and I’ve got to say I’m glad, although it may be tough getting back into the routine again. Oh, wait — I forgot. I never really HAD a routine, which was part of my problem. Seriously, one of these days I’ve got to make up a work schedule and make myself stick to it. You know, so I’ll be able to work and still have a life . . . I finished up my “quickie” knitting project — took time off from the Pinwheel Sweater to knit up a hat, with the intention of giving it to my mom. Last summer I bought two skeins of Cascade 220 in a lavender shade which I thought she might really […]

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Save some money at the pump

I just read a piece in my local newspaper with some interesting info. The article is supposed to be posted in a special section of this site: http://www.orangevalejournal.com — although at last check I couldn’t actually find the article on the site. I’ll quote the salient portions of the article: “These tips come from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where [the source] works in San Jose, CA. They deliver about 4 million gallons through the pipeline in an average 24-hour period. One day they are pumping diesel; the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. They have 34 storage tanks here in San Jose with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons. And here are some of his tips. 1) Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is coolest. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground, the more dense the gasoline. When it gets warmer, gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening, your gallon is not exactly a gallon . . . A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps. 2) When you’re filling up, do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to the fastest mode. if you look, you will see that the trigger has three stages: low, […]

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