Random with a big FO

So many things to say and so little time! Archie, my laptop, goes back to Applecare tomorrow. He still overheats and shuts himself off. This will be his third trip this year. I am to “run him like a rented mule” after he returns to make sure he is really fixed this time. I don’t like it when Archie gets a fever of 240 degrees and shuts down. So, I may be more incommunicado than usual this week.

The most bestest news (hey, if Shakespeare can use double superlatives, then so can I!)! I won a super fabulous prize from Claudia’s MS bike ride extravaganza!! I can’t show it to you yet, but I am one of two lucky winners to get a subscription to the Vesper Sock Yarn Club for this summer! In July, August and September, I’ll get Vesper sock yarn arriving at my door. I wonder what it will look like?! I am hoping for stripey.

It has become very hot here. M and I have been trying summer cocktails, and he actually did a blog post at Cocktails with M! It’s the Tom Collins, which is very delicious when NOT made with bottled sour mix. Real lemons from our friend Briana’s lemon tree were involved. I like this summer cocktail thing.

This weekend I finally finished my La Gran mohair cardigan! Yay! It was again well over 100 degrees today, so if you think you are going to see it modeled on my person in this post–ah, no. I tried it on twice: once for fit and to show M. I think I had it on for a grand total of 20 seconds including the time to button and unbutton it twice. I am very pleased with it, and in the autumn, I may get M to take some photos of me wearing it outside in the cool autumn sunshine so you can appreciate the lovely coral color it is. For today, you’ll just have to pretend. Here it is enjoying a mojito in the cool AC of our living room.
La Gran Cardi
Mohair is not known for showing off stitch definition, but the simple cable rib with seed stitch neck and button bands works in this uber fuzzy yarn.
La Gran Cardi: detail
I thought this cardi would be huge, as my choices in size had negative 0.5 inches of ease or +5.5 inches. I chose the +5.5 inches, as Vogue Knitting (Fall 2002) described it as “loose fitting” cardigan, and my bust is really a size smaller than my shoulders, arms and waist (we’ll just leave out the whole hip thing). However, although I blocked it to size–pinned it dry as pieces and then sprayed it until I thought it was pretty soaked, it pulled in after I took the pins out. This has made it a semi-fitted, +2 inches of ease jacekt/cardigan, and that is actually better. It looked a little tailored for the 10 seconds I had it on when I looked in the mirror. Perhaps when we get our Delta Breeze back, I can do a more thorough examination without risking heat exhaustion.

Well, I hope to be back with all of you soon. I have email and all my scientific research is on a lab computer, but it just isn’t the same without Archie and all my bookmarks, and he knows my passwords for GoogleReader and the like. Sigh. When I get back I can show you another FO. Here’s a peek:
Gentleman's Fancy Socks: toe detail
When you knit socks from the cuff down, that photo means you’re done.
Have a great week, everyone!

Time on the Patio

Another weekend is nearly upon us, but M and I had a pretty good weekend last weekend. The weather has been sunny and cool (highs in the upper 70s), so after work last Friday, M and I decided some cocktails on the patio was a great idea. Naturally, I took a sock out on the patio to knit while sipping my mojito.
Me with mojito
Since I was just starting the cuff, I was able to knit and drink. M calls this next shot, my “I’m annoyed you’re still taking photos, but I’m pretending I’m not” pose.
Me knitting
One of our neighbors came visiting:
Neighbor's Cat
She hasn’t told us her name, unless she’s named Meow, but she is very well-fed, and she was much more interested in our hummingbird feeder and the dining hummingbirds than of us. They were much too high and fast for her.
Cat watching bird feeder
Sunday we went to the Farmers’ Market in Sacramento and bought some goodies to eat for another afternoon on the patio (but this time with wine). I took this photo of our little feast:
Wine, fruit and cheese with sock
organic cheeses, plums, Rainer cherries, medjool dates and a Beaujolais
M wanted me to take a second photo to post on his Facebook page. Can you see the difference?
Wine, fruit and cheese
He didn’t want my sock knitting in his Facebook photo! My handknit sock was not worthy for his Facebook page. The indignity! I thought it added to the still life composition myself. 🙂

Now we have to see what this weekend brings. Hope you have a great one!

WIPs: the Agony and the Ecstacy

My WIPs fall into three camps: neglected, causing unnecessary difficulties and great fun. We’ll neglect the neglected ones today. In the causing unnecessary difficulties camp, there is the Glace vest from Rowan. It isn’t hard to knit. However, it shouldn’t be knit while recovering from a migraine. All the “tricky” parts are done now, so it should be smooth sailing.
Glace vest: WIP
The first time I screwed up, I didn’t divide evenly at the start of the V-neck, but I didn’t realize that until I got to the second side of the front and the ribbing at the center didn’t match up with the pattern. So I ripped the whole left front back to the ribbing and started over. Then a week later, I had both fronts done, and in the instructions, you knit from the edge of one to the center, cast on 22 stitches and then knit the other front, connecting them all together (then down the back to the end). This is not hard. However, it is very important to make sure you haven’t twisted the second front in a complete circle before connecting; once they are all connected again, that twist is there to stay. I was only four rows down the back when I realized this, so it wasn’t too bad–although it didn’t help my migraine. But the Glace vest now knows I’m irritated with it. I think it deliberately makes the knitting slower because of this.

Luckily, I have two other WIPs that are very fun to knit. First, since I have always loved dark red foliage, I decided to knit my Gothic Rose DIC Smooshy into a pair of Embossed Leaves Socks. I really am enjoying this and how it looks:
WIP: Embossed Leaves Sock
Second, because now that our AC is fixed, which caused unseasonably cool weather, I am able to knit on my Nubby Cardigan in comfort. So, I am trying to get as much done as possible before the weather turns hot. This is just so much fun to knit! It’s interesting but easy.
Nubby Cardigan: back detail
I wondered why there are two stockinette selvedge stitches at each edge, and then it dawned on me that when mattress stitched together, that would make three knit stitches. Then all the different design panels encircling the sweater will be divided by a K3 rib. Pretty nice designing!

For those of you who ask me in comments about my coral pink mohair cardi and when it will be done, the answer is soonish. Often, I brush my teeth, get into bed, turn off the light and think, “You could have seamed your sweater tonight, you dingy!” I’m trying to remember that a little earlier in the evening.

FO: Leaf Lace Shawl

Blocking the Leaf Lace Shawl–my first big lace project–went very well. And when I removed the pins, my fear of having it all shrink up did not come to pass! The depth of the triangle is perfect, but I wish I could have gotten a few more inches in width. All in all though, I am pleased. Pleased enough to try to do a photo shoot with M behind the camera. We were dressed for our friends’ wedding and taking photos in our condo community’s new dry creek garden. Passers-by  gave us some strange looks.
Leaf Lace Shawl: back

Leaf Lace Shawl: in garden
I really like the shawl pin I bought:
Leaf Lace Shawl and dragonfly pin
The dragonfly is made of brushed aluminum wire, which makes it very light weight. I bought it at Nicholas and Felice on Etsy. All edges are smooth, so as not to damage the knitting. It really didn’t pull down on the fabric even though it’s about 3 inches long. It could also work as a hair pin if one had considerably more hair than I do!

And I did wear the shawl to the wedding! The setting was amazing: in front of a pond surrounded by towering redwoods and rhododendrons.
Leaf Lace Shawl at wedding
Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark.
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk in Sunlit Glade. A little less than one skein.
Needles: US 6, Addi Lace.
Mods: none really, except I only knit 10 repeats, which brought the shawl to 55″ wide and 27″ deep.
Take home messages: The jury’s out on the whole triangular shawl shape. I may be a rectangle sort of girl. Knitting the triangle is fine, but I’m much more comfortable wearing a rectangle. But absolutely certain is that I LOVE (perhaps even LURVES) Sea Silk! It’s a dream to knit and amazingly beautiful (I have more in stash! Tee hee!).