Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Socks As Art and New Yarn

A week ago Megan left a comment that sums up the way I've come to think of my Cookie socks:
I live in the San Francisco bay area and I took a class from Cookie about a year ago. The subject was designing stitch patterns for socks (or something similar). When the students asked Cookie which socks she likes to wear best, her answer was "I just wear plain stockinette socks. The ones that I design are just art pieces." I hope this gives you some insight into the way this socks fits.
I've knit nine socks from the Cookie's Sock Innovation book, not counting the Eunice I just frogged. They're all wearable, but when it comes time to pick a pair of socks to wear I go for the plain ribbed socks that slip on, fit snug to my feet, and stay up all day.

The beautiful Slackford Studio yarn I've been using for the Cookie socks hasn't been wash and wear tested because I haven't been wearing the socks. I've washed a few pair by hand, but I want to find out how this yarn does under my normal sock treatment of machine washing so I can use it for gift socks without laundry concerns.

Slackford Studio is having a Red, Green, and Blue sale. 20% off until Midnight, December 31st . (SolidXMas is the code to get the discount.)

I took advantage of all three colors which are much prettier in person. We've had seriously gloomy weather for picture taking since the yarn arrived.

From the top: Dorothy's Destiny, After Midnight, Cardinal, and Steelyard Blues. Good basic colors for some good basic socks.

Mom has asked for some purple socks, so I get to order more yarn as soon as Susan gets it in the store.

Cookie socks may be art, but function is also beauty. I'm going to do some knitting for function now.

Snowclouds are moving in.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

RIP Eunice

After proving to myself I could modify Cookie A.'s Eunice pattern to reduce stitches and fit my feet (described here), I knit on with enthusiasm.

Last night I finished both Eunice cuffs without following one of the most important rules of knitting Cookie socks: Try them on often!

There's a reason the pattern calls for only two repeats of the chart, resulting in a cuff about four inches high.

I like warm socks. When I'm sitting down I like my socks to end above the hem of my jeans or slacks without showing any leg. Therefore, I had knit three chart repeats and it was a tugging struggle to get the cuff over my heel and instep.

Normally when I'm ambivalent about frogging, I wait until morning. Last night I didn't wait. Both cuffs were promptly frogged. It's 99% probable I will never knit Eunice. Which means I am never going to knit all the socks in Cookie's book.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chat Back for November 28

Answering questions from comments and email.

Kathy B. wrote . . .
I hope Sunny is okay. I'm a bit worried by your post.
A few other readers had similar comments. Thank you all for your concern.

Sunny is her normal perky self right now. Until next time.

DH Bob caught my "flu-like symptoms", and with his ongoing health problems he needed medical help getting through it. Looks like he's on the mend now, but it was a major setback and recovery is going to be slow.

From now on I will be more specific with my blogging excuses.

Sue J. emailed a list of questions which I am totally unqualified to answer, so I'll share my answers here anyway with a disclaimer - Some knitters enjoy trying various yarn brands and blends. I enjoy trying different patterns and tend to keep the yarn choices to what I know will give satisfactory results. The subset of sock yarns I have tried is very small compared to what is available.
1. If you had the choice of buying one skein of merino, cashmere, nylon hand dyed yarn or two skeins of Cascade Heritage, which one would you choose?

I've never knit with merino, cashmere, nylon but have two skeins in my stash I'm eager to try. Because it's super soft I'm guessing it will not wear as well as "regular" sock yarn and the stitch definition will not be wonderful. I'm planning to use a simple rib based stitch pattern (not selected yet) and wearing them at home in slippers.

I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised at how well the cashmere blend wears, and if it wears well it will be a surprise. I intend to enjoy the knitting experience of a luxury yarn and consider that the reward for my dollars, the wearing being secondary.

I've only knit with Heritage once, a pair of gift socks that I haven't given yet. It's a smooth, soft, pretty yarn and I've been told it wears well, but I haven't verified that for myself yet.

If I was on a limited budget, I would go with the Heritage.
2. You used to knit a lot with Opal uni solid sock yarn. Have you lost your love of it, or has something else taken it's place?

Uni-Solid is never a bad choice and always practical. A little pricey, but worth it.

It's the work horse of yarns and I still use Opal and Regia for many of my gift socks. They wear forever and can't be destroyed in the laundry. I have Opal and Regia socks that are over ten years old now and still going strong.
3. In your estimation, which sock yarn is the best bang for the buck?
I haven't tried that many inexpensive yarns, so I can't give a comprehensive answer.

From the little I've used the Knitpicks sock yarns, I don't want to invest my time in knitting with them. I assume, but don't know, that in general you get what you pay for.
4. Do you still knit, on occasions, with self striping or self patterning yarn such as Opal, Trekking XXL, Etc?
Yes, just finished a pair of self-patterning Regia for my brother who wanted "wild" socks.

Much of my pleasure in knitting comes from trying different stitch patterns and I find the self striping/patterning socks require simple stitches so it's not my first choice when knitting for pleasure.

When knitting for loved ones who love the colorful self patterning results, I bite the bullet and knit simple.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Wings - Wild Turkeys

In honor of Thanksgiving and also because I'm overwhelmed with "life" right now, here's a repeat post from February, 2007, almost three years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving to US readers.

Wild turkeys eating dropped sunflower seedsAfter declaring the roads too icy to drive to church Sunday morning, I was just starting to relax when Bob called out from the kitchen, "Bring the camera!"

Between twenty and thirty wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) were in the yard. The camera and I had a great time.

The little birds, chickadees and tufted titmice, take sunflowers seeds from the feeders into this nearby evergreen to crack them and eat them. The turkeys feasted on dropped seeds.

With their normal food (acorns, seeds) buried under a foot of frozen slush, we were delighted to give them a Sunday breakfast.

Tom turkey looking handsome showing pretty feathersThe male gobblers are four feet from head to tip of tail feathers. A very impressive bird.

The females are a foot shorter, but still have plenty of meat.

See the "beard" growing out of his center chest? That's the easy way to tell this is a male. The females have a shorter beard.

Both genders are pretty birds in an ugly sort of way with their metallic iridescent feathers changing color with the angle and the light.

Turkey staring into the cameraThis guy must have noticed the lady in the window aiming something at him.

No way to explain it was only a camera and he was welcome to stay as long as he wanted.

We kept the dogs in the house until the last turkey was out of the yard and out of sight in the woods across the street.

Turkey dancing across the top of the snowWild turkeys can fly, but prefer to run when alarmed.

A few of them had a problem getting out of the yard. They would approach the driveway at a right angle and run into the open gate. Instead of walking a few feet around the gate, they assumed it was an endless fence, and retreated back to the corner of the yard where they started. They repeated this over and over again, giving us the impression that Wild Turkeys are not the smartest of birds.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Eunice Rant

Here's my first Eunice cuff, due to be frogged soon.

The yarn is Stalwart Sock, a fingering weight yarn that knits up a little tighter than Opal and Regia because it's smooth instead of fuzzy. The color is Steelyard Blues.

Before I start listing all the reasons Eunice and I aren't getting along, I have to say that many other knitters are happy, or at least satisfied, with their Eunice results.

The opinions below are just that - my opinions. Let the rant begin.

  • The cuff is too big. In the picture the cuff is pulled over two sock blockers, one on top of the other, and it's still too baggy to show the yarn overs.

  • The ribbing starts with 64 stitches and increases to 80 stitches for the cabling pattern. This large increase is unnecessary since there are yarn overs which spread the fabric to compensate for the cables that condense the fabric.

  • Another reason the pretty yarn over patterns in the center of the diamonds don't show is because the diagonal cable leg pulls the fabric up reducing the row gauge so the yarn overs can't spread. It's no better on a human leg.

  • The cable crosses are over seven stitches. A five stitch cable cross is maximum to look nice in a sock pattern, and that's pushing it. There are exceptions to this rule, but this sock isn't one of them.

  • The ribbing and first pattern repeat were knit on 2.5mm needles. Hoping to redeem what my subconscious already knew was a doomed project, I switched to 2.25mm needles for the second repeat with hopes the socks might fit Mom who has wider feet than I do. It hardly made a difference.

Here's my second Eunice cuff, assuming it can still be called Eunice. I have a feeling my modifications are too major for the sock to count in the Sock Innovation KAL, (a Ravelry link), although we are allowed to make changes for fit.

I redrew the chart to change all the three stitch cable legs to two stitches. That brought the cuff stitch count down to 64 from 80 and the wide cable crossing down to 5 from 7.

The ribbing is 56 stitches on 2.5mm needles with an increase of 8 stitches for the cabling pattern.

With 16 stitches less in a round, the fit is good and I plan on finishing this pair of socks for myself.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chat Back for November 21

Answering questions from comments and email.

Lynn asked . . .
So you should have more (milkweed) next year, right?? Do you get a lot of butterflies around it?
The pretty white fluffy milkweed seeds are everywhere just waiting to sprout into new plants in the spring.

The plants are welcome where we let the yard grow wild. The plants in the grass die after they're mowed so they're not a bother.

The butterfly population in SW Michigan has sadly declined in the past two decades. The few we have do seem to like the milkweed blossoms.

Jean asked . . .
Is that a bumble bee? (On the milkweed flower here.)
That's right. Unlike the butterfly population, I haven't noticed a decline in the bee/wasp population since we moved here eighteen years ago.

I always imagined a bumblebee sting would hurt more than a honey bee sting since they're bigger. After inadvertently testing this theory, I can report it's not true. They both hurt about the same.

Dorothy asked . . .
Wow! Those are gorgeous!! So - how do they fit you?


Dorothy asked . . .
What's up next?
Assuming you're asking about Cookie A. socks, Eunice is next.

I have a rant on this pattern that needs its own blog post.

For now I'll just say this 80 stitch sock is too wide to fit me even though I'm using 2.25mm needles. And a seven stitch cable is too wide to use in a sock pattern.

Sue J. asked . . .
What will you do with all these gorgeous socks? Gifts? Wear them? Are there any patterns so far that you will repeat knitting? Will you be purchasing her new book this Spring?
Most of the Cookie A. socks are mine. I'm reluctant to gift Cookie socks because of the fitting challenges. Most of my gift recipients have no appreciation for intricate stitch patterns and prefer a basic, better fitting practical sock.

When it comes down to picking out a pair of socks in the morning, I also go for the basic, better fitting practical socks. For now, the Cookie socks are hanging on an over the door towel rack on the inside of my closet door and serving mostly as eye candy.

Repeating a pattern? No plans to do so, but it could happen. I'm not going to throw the book away when I'm done with it.

I'm sure I'll buy the new book in the spring, for the eye candy if nothing else. I could be very tired of knitting Cookie socks by then and I do not need more socks. Really, I don't.

Or, I could decide that knitting and collecting Cookie socks is an inexpensive hobby I enjoy, even if it's not totally practical.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashback Friday - Winter Wonderland

On the second or third Friday of each month I go back five years to pick out one of my favorite blog posts for that month and repost it here on Flashback Friday.

This post was originally written Thanksgiving week, 2004.

Ready or not, Winter Wonderland will be arriving in SW Michigan soon.

Winter Wonderland
Michigan license plate from 1967 Water-Winter Wonderland was the Michigan slogan forty years ago.

Water Wonderland appeared on Michigan license plates beginning in 1954. It took ten years for the folks in charge of attracting tourists to realize that for three Michigan seasons out of four, no tourist cared about coming to a cold Water Wonderland.

The slogan got changed to Water-Winter Wonderland in 1965.

1967 was the last year Water-Winter Wonderland appeared on Michigan plates. In 1968 the plates proclaimed the new state slogan, Great Lake State.

I had to Google to refresh my memory on all this when the phrase "Winter Wonderland" popped into my mind while looking at the pictures I took on Wednesday.

Out the front window - pine tree laden with snow.On the busiest travel day of the year, the snow came down. And it wasn't just a nice little dusting. It was wet, heavy, slippery, and nasty.

I was cozy and warm in the house watching winter arrive and cooking for Thanksgiving. My only concern was the power. The snow was so wet and heavy that branches were breaking off trees. All our powerlines are above ground and many links we depend on go through wooded areas.

Fortunately the power stayed on. Unfortunately this beautiful pine tree in the front yarn ended up losing several large branches in the evening, after the picture was taken.

Otu the front window - snowy scene including woods across the streetThis is how it looked out the front window about three o'clock in the afternoon. Before it finished snowing Wednesday evening, we had six inches of snow in our Southwest Michigan Wonderland.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kristi Socks Finished

This was an enjoyable knit, but I didn't try to rush.

Kristi has no "rest" rounds. Of the 38 pattern rounds, 38 have cabling.

Every single row was knit from the chart. Someone who can memorize this pattern has a much better memory than I do.

One warning about this pattern, pay special attention to fit. With all the crossed stitches, the resulting fabric has little stretch in any direction.

Pattern: Kristi from Sock Innovation by Cookie A.

Yarn: Stalwart Sock from Slackford Studio. 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 4 Ply Fingering Weight Sock Yarn.

Color: Wisteria.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in stockinette.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Weeds - Milkweed

Milkweed blooms late June/early July, scenting the entire neighborhood with a strong sweet fragrance.

By the end of August, the flowers have turned to pods.

Because we've had an extended autumn with few frosts and no snow, the pods scattered their seed in November this year.

Last autumn with early frosts and early snowfalls, the pods held onto their seeds until spring.

This picture was taken on a snowy day last February.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Karen's Socks Finished, Dave's Started

Brother Dave's partner Karen asked for dark Christmas socks. They're done and ready to wrap.

She's a Yoga teacher and is very active, so I hope this yarn holds up well for her.

Pattern: Basketweave Ribbing Sock

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Handpainted Sock Yarn

Color: 9922

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in stockinette.

Knitting socks for Brother Dave with size 14 feet is no quicky, so his are next on the list. When I want easy knitting, I will pick them up and knit round and round on 72 stitches. Endlessly.

No complaining, just explaining. His socks are not a last minute project. I have 4-50 gram skeins of this yarn. 100 grams won't finished the foot. Purchasing two additional skeins leaves enough yarn for an additional pair of normal size socks.

Pattern: Basic k7p1 ribbing on 72 stitches

Yarn: Regia

Color: Haltbar Color 1805

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in stockinette.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chat Back for November 14

Answering questions from comments and email.

Lynn asked . . .
How does the cotlin feel? Is it soft after it dries or does it have that typical towel dried on the line feel?

Something in between. It's softer than a typical towel dried on the line, but not what I would call soft compared to yarn that is actually soft.

It's softer than my Land's End cotton sweaters which are still stiff with over five years of washing and wearing.

According to the Knitpicks blurb,
Linen adds the characteristic flecks and additional absorbancy with very low elasticity - helping to alleviate stretching in the finished knit. Summer linen has an extended growing period which results in a longer, stronger fiber. When blended with the already strong Tanguis cotton, it makes a durable, wearably soft yarn. The knit fabric will get softer with each wash too.
I'm hoping all that is true - that it might get a little softer with each wash and when it does that it will still hold its shape.

The dark red Cotlin I'm knitting with now has more dye in it and is stiffer knitting than the light blue was. It will be interesting to see how it washes up.

Dorothy asked . . .
I agree with you about the lighthouse and think I may even leave it off altogether. Can I still call it a Lighthouse Gansey?

We can call our knitting projects anything we want.

Don't take my word for the lighthouse being unlovable. Take a closer look at it. I'm glad it's on the back of the sweater.

Sherilan asked . . .
I was reading some of your older blogs last night and wonder....any plan to knit further sweaters from the Japanese books?
I love looking at my Japanese books, total knitting eye candy.

Right now I don't have any Japanese knitting planned. I'm sure I will knit some of the patterns in the future when the urge strikes.

Sue asked . . .
I am very interested to know how you like knitting with Cascade Heritage?
It's wonderful to knit with. Soft and smooth.

I'm more concerned about how the socks going to hold up. I'm hoping the nylon content means they will wash and wear well for Karen.

Dorothy asked . . .
Frost - really? I guess we can't dodge the winter bullet forever, can we?

This week's hard frost was almost a month later than normal. The average killing frost date is the middle of October and this was our first.

The late frost is because we've had so much gloomy/cloudy weather. The clouds hold the warmth in at night. The sky finally cleared and there it was.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lighthouse Gansey Finished

Front view.
The anchor isn't in the printed pattern. I needed something center front to replace the lighthouse I moved to center back.

Back View.
The lighthouse motif was moved to the back because a) having it in front made the neck too high and b) once I knit it I realized I didn't love it.

The Cotlin yarn is comfortable to wear and washes like a dream. I threw the sweater in the dryer, brought it out damp and laid it out to finish drying. From washing my swatch, I know I can dry it completely in the dryer and it will be fine.

Pattern: Lighthouse Gansey by Anne Bosch.

I made many modifications to this pattern, most of which are chronicled here. There is also a picture of the pattern knit up before modifications - I frogged from the underarm up.

Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin. 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen. DK weight.

Color: Glacier.

Needles: Options #3.

Gauge: 6 stitches/inch, 8.5 rows/inch in pattern.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Wings - Chickadee

The little, smaller than most sparrows, Chickadee darts into the feeder, grabs a sunflower seed, and takes it back to a tree branch to crack it and eat it.

People who take the time to train wild birds to eat out of their hand usually pick the Chickadee because they are super friendly.

If I go outdoors and the feeder is empty, they fly close and scold me in a cute way. It always works.

When the sun came up this morning the world was white with frost.

No snow yet. Everyday without snow means the winter is one day shorter. I'm liking that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Murphy's Law on Gutters

Do young people know about Murphy's Law, or is bringing it up a blast from the past?

Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.

That sounds rather grim, but many of the extensions and corollaries are worthy of a chuckle. I especially like this one because it reminds me of my days working as a computer programmer:
If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.

Corollary: It will be impossible to fix the fifth fault, without breaking the fix on one or more of the others.

Murphy's Law on Gutters: When a gutter develops a large hole, the hole will appear directly over the most used door of the building.

Which is why we replaced 33 feet of gutter on the west side of the house today. Or, to be more precise, we watched two nice looking young men replace 33 feet of gutter on the west side of the house today.

Let it rain.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Gift Sock Knitting Marathon Has Begun

I love knitting Christmas socks for Brother Dave and his partner Karen because otherwise I have no idea what to give them for Christmas. A pair of knitted socks is one way to show my love for them.

The socks are useful where they live in the mountains of Oregon, and they seem to enjoy getting them.

Karen requested via Dave: Dark socks - gray or black or combo or something
dark. She wears brown and black pants a lot, plus jeans.

It's not easy to find sock yarn matching her specs, so I was delighted to see this Cascade Heritage dark yarn at the yarn store.

I love how this stitch pattern shows off the colors. Hope Karen loves it as well.

Pattern: Basketweave Ribbing Sock

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Handpainted Sock Yarn

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in stockinette.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Chat Back for November 7

Answering questions from comments and email.

Cindy W. asked . . .
Of the four books from Barbara Walker Stitch Treasury,which do you recommend?
1, 2, and 3.

If I didn't own these books, they would be at the very top of my list of knitting books to acquire and I would get them in numerical order for lack of any other way to decide.

1 and 2 contain a wealth of stitch patterns in written form. In order to use them in the round, I chart them out.

3 has less patterns (still a lot), but they're charted. It also has a reference section for converting right side stitches to wrong side stitches and wrong side stitches to right side stitches. So valuable when changing flat patterns to be knit in the round, or round patterns to be knit flat.

For example, the pattern calls for a purl right twist on the wrong side, but you're knitting in the round so you need to make the equivalent stitch on the right side. Looking it up in Walker's chart, you see the right side equivalent is a right twist. She also gives detailed instructions in how to execute the purl right twist and the right twist.

Book 3 also has a thorough lesson in twist stitches. This spider, both charted and written out line by line, is used as an example.

Notice I didn't mention Book 4. In my option it is full of ugly, mostly useless stuff. If you think you might want it, try to look inside first to make sure you want to spend the money on it.

Kathy B wrote . . .
We call them wild teenagers, those Jays. They are loud and steal things and hang out in groups!
All true. But they also do community service.

The jays are the first and loudest to give warning when danger like a hawk or cat enters the area.

Dani (from the other side of Michigan) asked . . .
Hey, would you say the leaves are pretty much all fallen out on your side of MI?
In my neighborhood all the tree leaves are down except the dry brown oak leaves that hang on most of the winter.

In Kalamazoo yesterday, I saw some trees that still had a few leaves, but not many.

Dorothy asked . . .
I do like your rule of 3 (maximum number of knitting projects in process). I think I will start that myself. Now is a good time as I don't think I have that many active projects anyway. Do hibernating projects count??

If I intend to finish a project "someday", it counts. If I don't intent to finish it someday, it gets frogged.

I have an uncounted exception packed away, but we won't talk about that today.

Susan asked . . .
So, I have to know, how long does it take you to figure out which sock is the right and which one is the left when you're putting them on in the morning?

Zero seconds. The patterns on the Kristi cuffs are mirror images of each other, but there's no foot shaping so it doesn't matter which goes on which foot.

It only matters that I keep track of which is which while I'm knitting them. The left Kristi sock has a double marker hooked into the ribbing so I can keep them straight.

Jean wrote . . .
I really like the way Kristi looks, you'll have to share if it fits well, if so, then I will move it up my list of must knits.
Kristi is one of those patterns without much elasticity to the fabric. I'm trying it on often while I knit to make sure I can still get it on my leg.

Without some kind of ribbing in the stitch pattern, I doubt they're ever going to fit the way I like my socks to fit, but they sure are fun to knit and I love the way they look. They may just hang on my closet door as pieces of art instead of getting worn.

Did anyone notice I blogged everyday in October? It was an enjoyable experience and I was surprised to find that even on days when I didn't have anything to say, something appeared once I sat down and started keying.

Now I'm back to the goal of blogging five days a week.

Thanks for the questions. They help me so much in having something to blog about when I don't have anything to blog about.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Knitting Log for November 5

For the past two evenings I've been working a little on all three of my projects. For blogging purposes that's an unsatisfactory way to work. Not enough has been done on any of the three to be blogworthy, so here's an unimpressive update on all three of them.

As previously mentioned, this is not a fast knit. I'm still enjoying the process, the pattern, and the yarn.

The cuffs are mirror images of each other. Left foot and right foot are different.

Pattern: Kristi from Sock Innovation by Cookie A.

Yarn: Stalwart Sock from Slackford Studio. 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 4 Ply Fingering Weight Sock Yarn.

Color: Wisteria.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in stockinette.

Red X Sweater
Almost nine inches done. It's time to make some design plans for the top part of the sweater before going on.

The darkish red doesn't show the stitch definition as much as I imagined it would.

Pattern: Winging it for now. Unofficially naming it the Red X Sweater.

Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin. 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen. DK weight.

Color: Moroccan Red.

Needles: Options #3.

Gauge: 6 stitches/inch, 8.5 rows/inch in pattern.

Lighthouse Gansey
The knitting has been done for weeks. Every day this week I've picked it up to weave in a few ends. There can't be many more ends to weave in. I have to finish it soon, maybe tonight. There are new projects waiting in the wings.

A few years ago I decided to limit myself to three knitting projects at a time with swatching not counted. At first it was difficult, but I enjoyed the feeling of not being overwhelmed by too many projects in process and persevered.

Now it's a habit and the number three seems to be just right. If I get some new yarn I just have to caston, there's the swatching exemption. With swatching I often learn new things about what the yarn wants to be and, even more important what the yarn doesn't want to be.

This morning after getting a haircut, I stopped in Stitching Memories to pick up some yarn for Christmas knitting.

The dark cake is Cascade Heritage Handpainted Sock Yarn. Much prettier than it looks in the picture with shades of gray, brown, blue, and some purple. I hope to get a better picture once the knitting begins.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wednesday Wings - Blue Jays

The loud, agressive Blue Jays rank high in the pecking order. When they land on the feeding board, the other birds scurry to get out of their way.

They're a large bird, a little bigger than a robin. The male and female look alike.

Many years ago when we lived in town, one of our animals was trying to mouth a newly fledged jay in the back yard grass. The parents' noise bought DH and me to the rescue.

After pulling off the dog and getting it in the house, I went back out to see if the young jay was OK. When I bent over to look, one of the parents flew down and pecked my butt. A memory that still makes DH laugh while I pretend it wasn't funny.

Today's sky.