Sunday, July 26, 2009


Lesson 1:
When sending Dork to wash some fabric in preparation for sewing, make sure all yarn is out of the way. This WAS about half of my Purple Sunset handspun from last year's Tour de Fleece. Accidentally (not entirely his fault) sent through the wash with lots of cotton fabric. Oops! I didn't get around to spinning the other 3 batts for this year, so I at least can match the hank I have left.

Lesson 2:
Use stitch markers to mark the gusset and instep stitches so you don't spend too much time backtracking. When the Summer Knitty Surprise came out last week, the Sunday Swing Socks yelled out "Make me with the Mini Mochi!" And who am I to ignore a message like that? I love it when it is easy to match pattern and yarn and have it work the first time around!

Lesson 3:
If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. The STR in Tanzanite has finally found what it wants to be - The Lace Rib socks from The Little Box of Socks. This is the 3rd try at knitting this colorway.

Lesson 4:
I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed The Muppet Show. I'm watching Season 2 on DVD and it's still very entertaining. However, I've done my share of knitting with eyelash yarn - aka "muppet pelts", and won't do that again! But watching the show brings back memories of our entire family (I was in high school) sitting down each week and every one of us enjoying the humor. The Dork isn't really watching, but he's come out of his cave a few times and laughed at Milton Berle and Rich Little.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Holy smokes - there's been some...

304 yards of 2-ply heavy fingering to sportweight
Chasing Rainbows - Merino Tencel
Color: Abalone (the color is most accurate on the bobbins)

I loved spinning this! I had a hunch that it would be almost effortless, and it was! It took a total of about 8 hours of spinning (I did half of it Sunday, then another hour+ spent plying it). I think this is the most consistent spinning and plying job that I've done so far.

And with that, I'm bowing out of the Tour de Fleece without finishing this year. After 2 solid weeks of spinning, I've got some other, more critical deadlines that need to be met.

I didn't think it was possible, but we got a larger zucchini than the one the other day. This one was 21" long and weighs just over 5 lbs!

Other garden riches:
In (and around) the planter bed closest to the camera:
Pumpkins: the largest one is 15" across, and there's a new baby too! (and the plant is trying to take over the backyard...)
Basil: which is bolting and I haven't had time to cut it back
Butternut squash: 4 and counting

The back planter box has the zucchini, a yellow crookneck variety, Patty Pans (abundant flying saucers), two types of tomatoes, and apparently a melon plant.

I'm now starting to be afraid of how many figs are on that tree in the back of this picture.

And look! When The Hubby dumped the planter that the potato plant was in, we discovered 8 Yukon Gold potatoes. With the heat we had last week, the plants were getting stressed, and we figured that it was all an experiment anyway, so why not. And we all laughed and smiled and clapped because we grew potatoes! There may have been some squeeing too!

Speaking of the above deadlines, one project involves the sewing machine and it must be done before August 1st. The other project involves socks - yes, I'm going to Sock Summit! However, I didn't win the class lottery, but I'm thrilled to be hanging out with the Sockerati (my term for the Sock Glitterati), including the Purlescence crew. Oh - and go see the Purl Up & Dye entries in the Dye for Glory contest on Ravelry. They're gorgeous!

And other wonderful things too - have you seen the new Designs by Romi shawl pins (her new Ewe pins)? They make me smile every time I think of them!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Drive-by post

Once upon a time, a gardener looked at the garden and there were no zucchini to be seen.
The next day, this monster appeared! Yes, it is 16" long.

"Alas, poor Zucchini! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite
jest, of most excellent fancy."

And this is what happened to it last night! (This pic is only 1/4 of the zucchini.)

Stuffed zucchini
(and we were stuffed...4 people, 1 zucchini; you may want to use smaller zucchini!)

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then into manageable lengths. Scoop out the seeds. Mix any type of sausage that you have with whatever vegetables you happen to have around. Yesterday I used a couple of chopped tomatoes and an ear of fresh corn. I should have thrown in some basil but forgot. Garlic if you want, onions if you want...whatever's around! Add some breadcrumbs if you have any, and maybe a little salt & pepper. Depends on what kind of sausage you're using.

Stuff meat mixture into hollowed out zucchini pieces, put onto baking sheet or wide shallow container. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and bake at 350F (or so) for 45 minutes (or so) or until done.

Eat and enjoy!

Oh, there was spinning too. It wasn't originally part of the Tour de Fleece project, but when I pulled out my wheel, I had 2 partly filled bobbins of Crown Mountain Corriedale Pencil Roving in the Black Sun colorway.

I figured I'd better finish spinning it to free up the bobbins.
It turned out to be 464 yards of a worsted/heavy-worsted weight 3-ply. Fluffy and wonderful!

Back to the spinning wheel!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Too many ideas...

So, going from not enough projects (that I want to work on right now), to too many projects ...

The Tour de Fleece begins today, and I have 3 main goals:

1) Replicating the 3-ply yarn I spun from Grafton batts last year; I loved those colors so much that I got more!

2) Spinning 4 oz. of merino/tencel in Abalone from Chasing Rainbows - intention is for a 2ply lace-weight

3) Finish the remaining 7 oz. of blue fiber that I've lost the label to. I've got 1/2 a bobbin, and no idea what I was doing.

Then there is finishing at least one more pair of socks this month - 2 would be ideal. Way back in this 2007 post, I talked about discovering a sock that I think was made in 2004. Then discovering that, in the knitting of the 2nd one, I used 2 different sized needles. Well, I'm glad to say, it has become purse-knitting, and it will be done on only one magic-looped needle! Stockinette most of the way should make this one go fast. Then there are the Primavera socks and the Summer Sox, etc. And I'd also like to cast on on for Cotty, and there is a lot more sock yarn in the stash bin and how much of it can I get done before Sock Summit.....

Okay, Kathy, get off the computer, which is about to run out of battery, get into the kitchen and get those veggies prepped for a dinner at Sandi & Kaye's house tonight!

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


(Warning - picture-heavy post)

Okay, where did June disappear to?! It's been a busy, busy month, with very little down time, even though school ended during the first week.

Let's see, there have been 2 professional presentations, one each at school and the public library. 3 more are coming up - in about the next 10 days. (But 2 of them are reprises of the one on databases I've already done; one is storytelling.)

We also traveled to SoCal for my father-in-law's funeral. He was 82 and had a good life. Raised 2 great kids, enjoyed his grandkids... This picture was taken 4 years ago, and it's one of my favorites of him and the kids.

DH, his mom and sister, the grandkids and 2 of their cousins. I don't think I've ever had them all in the same place for more than a few minutes!

And yes, there has been knitting!

Finished and delivered the shawl to my friend who needed and loves it!

Pattern: Shawl that Jazz
Yarn: Woobu in Nyame
Needle: size 8 US
Started: May 10, 2009
Finished: June 7, 2009

Finished some socks for me!
Pattern: Fleegle toe-up socks on 56 stitches
Yarn: Socks that rock Lightweight in Peaseblossom
Needles: size 1 US
Started: ?? sometime in the last year
Finished: June 12, 2009

Originally I had knit toe-up Monkeys from this yarn last year, but ripped them out. I like the color striping much better this way.

The Sea & Shells stole is coming along. I think I'm about halfway done with it so far.

Other projects on the needles include 2 new pairs of socks, one is Primavera. The other is CookieA's Summer Sox pattern (no pic of that yet).

Was itching to get back to a crochet project, and oh, gee, darn, shucks, if Purlescence didn't just get some DMC Cebelia thread in! I'm almost done with it - should finish it today.

In other news, the garden is going like gangbusters!

This adorable little pumpkin from 2 weeks ago, is quickly becoming a huge pumpkin. As of this morning, it's about 14 inches across!


Look, a strawberry!

Several quarts of blackberries were picked.

And an abundance of squash.

Clearly, summer is now upon us in the Bay Area.

The dove nest I posted about last time has unfortunately been abandoned. There are no eggs in it, so I don't know what happened. Maybe next year...

Oh yeah -- I also now officially have a College Student Dork boy. He's taking a summer class at one of the local community colleges before his senior year in high school. I think it will be a good experience for him, and give him some good prep before the real thing in the fall of 2010.

Okay, I guess I now know where June went...