June 29, 2008

not enough defiance

purple hair, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Some time last week Alice asked me if she could put a purple streak in her hair and was disappointed when I said yes. Even more disappointed when I took her to Sally’s Beauty Supply and bought her the purple hair color. And then again disappointed at the results. Well, yes, I am her mother but I think it’s lovely.

Yesterday we saw the Chihuly show at the renovated de Young museum and it was also quite lovely. The museum has been finished since 2005 but I haven’t visited in probably about 30 years or so. The work was beautiful – colorful, intense, dramatically lit – oh yes and quite crowded. Go and see it soon.

Tomorrow we’re off to SF again to see Frida.

In the meantime, the river rock socks are coming along nicely. See for yourself.

June 27, 2008

knitting in berkeley

Since arriving in California, I’ve been missing my little circle of knitting friends at Close Knit so I checked out the S&B at Café Trieste in Berkeley which my sister had told me about. What a lovely group of young, talented and friendly knitters. There were lots of beautiful projects and one precious baby to admire.

[As a footnote, I felt as though the man pictured at the far left was making eyes at me and smiling at me throughout the evening. When I mentioned it, everyone ignored me…or maybe they didn’t hear me. I will confirm my suspicions (or my imagination) by hopefully attending again next Wed.]

We observed the sun turned an eerie orange as a result of the many (hundreds) of wildfires in Northern California. The sky here has been a perpetual white smoky haze since I arrived on Sunday.

Lots of progress on socks to report: I finished the embossed leaves pair with about two yards of yarn to spare as well as one each of the colorful striped kneesocks and the river rocks socks. At this rate I may have to run out and buy more sock yarn before my vacation is finished. The gals at the S&B told me about a new yarn shop on Solano Avenue which I’m just dying to check out!

June 21, 2008

socks, socks and more socks!

embossed leaves socks, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

I’m back on socks again, working on three pairs concurrently. You’re already familiar with the Embossed Leaves Socks that are coming along quite nicely. I finished the first sock, leaving off 8 rows but they fit perfectly. Now I hope and I pray that I will have enough yarn to finish the second one. Sally has ordered more jitterbug but said it probably wouldn’t come in until August. Aaarghhhhhh!

From my stash I grabbed the Regia that Alice had picked out months (or was it years?) ago. There’s over 200 meters in each of these balls so I figured they would make nice knee socks. Why hide those lovely colorful stripes? However, I grossly underestimated the size of the average person’s calf and again, got nervous that I wouldn’t have enough yarn. I went to the Yarn Garden (shhh) and the sales person suggested using a contrasting color on the heel and toe. Hah! I never thought of that. So I picked up the green and I’ve decided to make an “afterthought heel” – first ever. This is my own pattern if you can call it that. I’m just winging it. Stay tuned. These socks are going to be interesting.

Now to pair three: I saw a pattern called “Spring forward” in the newest issue of Knitty that promised to be an easily memorized lace pattern. Indeed it is and highly addictive to boot. No fear of running out of yarn either. This hand dyed sock yarn from Pagewood Farm yields a generous 450 yards and should make two pairs. The color is called River Rock and, combined with the undulating stitch pattern, it acutally does look like river rocks doesn’t it? It's a splendid back to nature sock.

So we’re off to California for a few weeks and I hope I have enough knitting to keep my busy. In addition to the socks, I have the clapotis – good mindless knitting when I don’ t want to think too hard.

Happy Summer!

June 15, 2008

falling in love all over again

embossed leaves socks, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Instead of calling these “May” socks I have decided to call them pair #5 for 2008. Yes folks, I have fallen in love with sock knitting all over again. At Knit Night I saw another knitter making these socks and it was love at first sight. I simply had to make them myself. And the yarn is superb! Best sock yarn I’ve ever used. It’s a soft and springy 100% merino called “Jitterbug” from Colinette in a pale shade of my favorite color of course. I splurged and what a difference a good yarn makes. Like a good novel, I don’t want these socks to end. I’m trying to savor them but I fear they will be finished in less than a week. The photo shows a day's progress.

The pattern is called “Embossed Leaves Socks” from the book Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave.

In other knitting news I'm dragging on the final stages of the must have cardigan. Are there other people out there who hate piecing together a sweater as much as I do? GROAN. I did manage to get the buttons on, and they do look lovely (if I do say so myself) but I haven’t gotten any farther than that. I do have a self-imposed deadline for finishing this sweater. I would like to gift it to someone real soon.

And finally, here's my latest drawing. The lower part of the face, the mouth and hand, are based on an old photo of MLK that was floating around the studio. Next Saturday is the last class. *sigh* I'm gonna miss it. But, depending on how things work out, I may enroll in a class later in the summer.

June 9, 2008

first heel flap of 2008

first heel flap of 2008, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Once I decided to forego the short row heel in favor of the tried and true heel flap, the neglected April socks went FAST and before I knew it, I had one completed.

I guess there is something to be said for the heel flap/gusset combo even though, for purely aesthetic reasons, I prefer the short row heel. I think the heel flap is actually a good choice for this particular sock since it's a very sturdy long lasting heel and this sock is for a man. Also, I'll say it again, much faster for me to knit this type of heel (less frustrating too). Right now it’s about volume and I am two pairs behind in my goal to knit twelve pairs in 2008.

In other knitting news the Clapotis is coming along quite nicely. Not exactly mindless knitting because I do have to keep one eye on the pattern, it’s interesting enough both in color and stitch pattern to keep me engaged.

I’ve also pieced together the Must Have Cardigan and should have it finished soon- hopefully by Wed so I can show it off to the gang at knitting night. In non-knitting news, you can see a photo from the prom at my flickr account. Ciao for now!

June 2, 2008


farewell Max, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Max took off for Indianapolis yesterday but I managed to finish one of the "ken" gloves before he left. I miss him already! I should have the other glove finished before the winter snows come - it's only just the start of June after all.

Overcome with a bad case of startitis, I cast on the clapotis. I envied the clapotis scarf the Emily was making at knit night. I suddenly remembered that I had a stash of wool brought to me from Germany by my brother-in-law last Fall and intended to become a Kauni Cardigan. Not so sorry to say that it's been re-purposed for scarf and shawl making. It's called "Ruby Silk" and it's blend of silk and other fibers. I don't normally go for rainbow colors but at least the color changes keep me interested. See for yourself.