Friday, May 30, 2008

Almost a Match

You may recall I ran into a couple of snags with these socks: a stripe that was short changed in the dye process and a break in the yarn. This required a bit of extra work on my part to get the stripes back in sync.

The right way to fix the problem would have been to back up to the spot where the color began to veer off track and rejoin the yarn in the correct sequence. I didn't feel like tinking back though, so I guesstimated how much wider to make the stripe I was on to get the rest of the stripes below that point to match. Looking back, this was risky and could have turned into more work than just fixing it the right way in first place, but luck was on my side. The stripes match perfectly in all but this one spot.

My Almost Matched Socks
Yarn: Online Supersocke 100 (45% Cotton, 40% Wool, 15% Nylon)
Color: Summer Color 793
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) DPNs

This basic sock is knit on 64 stitches and features a 1x1 ribbed cuff, stockinette leg and foot and my favorite short-row heel and toe.

And though I had some trouble with this particular skein of yarn, I still recommend it for warm weather socks. The cotton/wool blend is just right for my climate.

Also, it's the only sock yarn I've ever knit with that can stand up to machine washing and machine drying. That's a big plus when it comes to a pair of summer socks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Using Up the Leftovers

After I knit these booties, I searched Ravelry to see what I could do with the left over yarn. I came across this quick and useful project.

Pattern: Water Web (free) by Amie Gavin Glasgow
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic
Color: Blue 3818
Needles: US 6 DPNs

One thing that threw me a little about the pattern is the use of the asterisks in row 1. They are used instead of quotation marks to emphasize this part of the instructions, not as an indicator to repeat the actions contained within. I didn't realize that at first and kept wondering why I couldn't get the stitches to work right. It took me a while to figure it out, but after that everything went smoothly including the decrease section.

I ended up using every inch of left over yarn, so naturally I needed to replace it with more.

A stash of Tahki Cotton Classic is born!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Family Photo Album

This weekend, John and I traveled to Oklahoma to visit our son Matt and celebrate his 20th birthday. We stopped in Fort Worth on the way to pick up our daughter Robyn. Her husband, James, couldn't come because of work and we sure have missed him. Matt's girlfriend, Carly, was able to join us after work on Saturday.

We've had fun, but now it's time to say goodbye. Usually after a visit like this, I get home and realize we forgot to take pictures of everyone. But, this time I have several nice shots to add to the family photo album.



Me and Robyn

Matt--The Birthday Boy

Friday, May 23, 2008

J is for Jetty

The jetty in Matagorda, Texas on a peaceful day.

A long pier leads to the huge slabs of granite that break the waves before they reach the shore.

Birds often congregate on the calm side of the jetty in Matagorda.

Though this jetty is the one we visit most often, I've seen and photographed several other jetties on our travels.

Walking the jetty in Port Aransas, Texas just before sunset.

Moss covered jetty in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Fishing from the jetty in Freeport, Texas.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Knot Again

I brought a couple of knitting projects to Matagorda to work on just in case it rained or got too hot during the day to be outside. As it turned out, the rain fell at night and temperatures were cooler than normal for this time of year, so only a few inches were added to the second sock of a pair I started some time ago.

The plan is for the stripes on these socks to match.

I've learned to take good notes on the first sock in order to achieve matched stripes on the second one. It's important to know exactly where to cast on in the color sequence and where to start the heel and the toe. Once the second sock is cast on correctly, everything usually falls into place, though I make sure to check the stripes as I knit especially at the heel and toe.

This time when I compared stripes just before the heel, I discovered a problem with the yarn. It appears something happened in the dyeing process and one section of blue is not as long as it should be. See where the red stripe (on the needle) is starting too early?

And then I ran into another snag--a break in the yarn.

Looks like I may need to revise my matching stripe plan.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Every Day's a Vacation...

in Matagorda, Texas.

John and I had a great time last week. We both agree it was our best vacation ever. We camped in our travel trailer at Matagorda Bay RV Park on the Colorado River, just a stone's throw from the Gulf of Mexico.

Each day I took a nice long walk on the beach. It's fascinating to me how it's always the same, yet ever changing. Here's what I mean:

Monday Morning

Tuesday Morning

One day we kayaked over to what we call The Wild Beach. It's just across the mouth of the river from our campsite. The only way to get to it, as far as I know, is to swim there or boat over. Besides us, there were only two surfers there that day and they weren't interested in searching for shells, so we had the place all to ourselves for beach combing.

We found some really nice whelks (some bigger than my hand) and this large murex.

The rest of our vacation was spent fishing. I even fished this time. I like to catch fish, but I will not take them off the hook because I'm afraid of getting poked by the fins. This makes me a burden to bring on a fishing trip, but John assured me he wouldn't mind at all. He bought me my own rod and reel and taught me everything he knows about fishing.

We caught lots of fish--about 20-25 apiece each day. Some were too small to keep and some we wouldn't eat, so most went back into the water. I picked out just a few of mine to show you.

Biggest Fish: 20" Gafftopsail Catfish

Smallest Fish

Yes, he's really hooked. I had a bigger fish on the line, but he got away. This guy was probably something he had just eaten.

Prettiest Fish: Mangrove Snapper

16" Speckled Trout

This one was a keeper. In fact, he will be supper tonight.

So, that's the abbreviated version of our week long vacation in Matagorda. Next time I'll show you the little bit of knitting I did while we were there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gone Fishin'...

and camping in Matagorda this week.

I'm taking a break from the computer on this vacation.

Regular blogging will return next Monday. See you then.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 09, 2008

I is for Ice Cream


A few ice cream memories:

*My granddaddy ate ice cream every evening--vanilla ice cream in a cone. He was never overweight. It's the only thing I ever saw him "cook" in the kitchen, though he said he knew how to make a good fried egg sandwich.

*I remember helping Dad make homemade ice cream the old fashioned way. My sisters and I would take turns sitting on the blanket-covered ice cream maker to weight it down while Dad cranked the handle. And when the ice cream was cranked as much as it could be cranked, we'd get our first taste right from the dasher.

*Growing up, we always had a big plastic tub of Borden French Vanilla Ice Cream in our freezer. I don't remember any other flavors, though we often had fresh fruit or chocolate syrup for toppings. Mom bought a set of banana split dishes so we could have banana splits at home, just like the ones she used to make when she worked at the drive-in as a teenager.

*I liked the buckets the ice cream came in as much as the ice cream. I think they were gallon-sized or maybe larger, with a tight fitting lid and a red handle. We saved them to use for other things, like berry picking and trick-or-treating at Halloween. They could sure hold lots of dewberries and candy.

*John and I took our kids on a trip to Vermont and stayed at a B&B that stocked the freezer with Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. The kids loved the fact that you could go to the kitchen anytime you wanted and eat ice cream. Unfortunately, we had to cut our stay short because the well water in the house smelled strongly of sulfur. When you nearly pass out from the foul odor each time you take a shower, it's time to move along, even if the ice cream is good.

One of the perks of this post was getting to eat the prop after the pictures were took a few tries until I got just the right shots...


Wednesday, May 07, 2008


All I have today is one tiny hat, but it's a new pattern for me and has never been featured on Wool Windings before.

Pattern: Foolproof Baby Hat by Clara Parkes
Source: The Knitter's Book of Yarn
Needles: US 7 straight
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Color: Pistachio (discontinued)
Size: Preemie 3-5 lbs

The stitch pattern in this hat is mistake rib--a simple stitch with plenty of texture and a fair amount of stretch which works well for a hat.

The original hat has a folded brim, but I decided I didn't need the extra bulk for my preemie version. I also went down one needle size to reduce the circumference.

This hat is knitted flat and seamed, though the stitch pattern can be adjusted to work in the round. Find out how here (Ravelry link) and see a two-color version of this hat being worn by the cutest model ever. I promise it will put a smile on your face...and you might just have to knit your own Foolproof Baby Hat.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Cotton Classic

Knitted, photographed, wrapped and gifted. All that's left to do now is blog about these cute little shoes.

These Boots Are Made for Walkin'

Pattern: Boy's Booties from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic (100% Mercerized Cotton)
Color: 3818 Blue
Needles: US 6 (4mm) straight
Size: 0-3 months

Twisted Cord Tie

I like the way these booties are constructed. They are knitted flat, then folded in half and sewn together with one seam. When I cast on, I leave a long tail of yarn to use later for sewing. Starting at the top, I sew my way down the back and across the bottom of the sole. This is opposite the direction you are supposed to go, but it works for me. Also, the pattern recommends sewing the seam with right sides together, but I get better results with wrong sides together, using mattress stitch for the back and a whip stitch for the sole.

Garter Stitch Sole

The seam line on the right shoe isn't quite as neat as the one on the left, but I think that has less to do with the sewing of the seam and more to do with the knitted stitches on the edge of the seam being a little loose. Most likely the stitches will even out when these booties are washed, but I didn't have time for that.

Back Seam

These little booties were wrapped and whisked away to a baby shower almost as soon as they came off the needles. All I have now are the pictures and enough left over yarn to knit another pair or two.

Look for me to begin a stash of Tahki Cotton Classic. It really is as nice as I had heard. And you can't beat the selection of colors.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hannah's Hats

I knit three hats for preemies this week.

One in two shades of blue-green.

A very bright one in hot pink and white with a few rows of orange.

And one that is mostly soft yellow with blue accents.

On Wednesday, I'm meeting with Hannah's Knitsters for lunch and knitting and to deliver these hats and others I've recently made. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone in the group and sharing some knitting time together.