Thursday, May 17, 2007

No Quilting, Just Knitting...

So, this is the state of affairs to date. In the center are the two pairs of socks I knit in Australia (well, I finished the second brown/purple/gold one on the plane and in California), below them the wonderful Koigu's, knitted on 3mm bamboo dpns. I tore through these, because the yarn was so wonderful to work with, and the pattern, from Sensational Knitted Socks, (the Baby Cable Rib), was a dream to knit.

And then there are the yarns, needles and other books I've picked up since I got here. Keep in mind that when you see one skein, there are actually two of most, since that's what it takes to knit socks. The dark turquoisy-blue at the top middle is Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks, and there are 11 skeins of that for a sweater. The lighter turquoise sock on the needles at top left is giving me fits. First toe-up sock, and the wraps for the toe and heel are NOT fun. I think I'll stick to cuff-down from now on. That's Crystal Palace's Panda Wool, a blend of wool, bamboo fiber and nylon, and what a dream to knit.

So, I've declared a moratorium on yarn-buying for the rest of this trip. The damage to my credit card is enough, already! (Oh, except for the yarns I bought in Australia on the Internet yesterday...uh-oh!) Good thing I brought an empty suitcase, to carry home my booty...

We're off to SoCal this evening for the weekend, to visit family, then back here for a couple of days before returning to Oz on Wednesday night. At least I'll have something to do on the plane!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Springtime in California...Pretty!

Enjoying the lovely spring in the Bay Area, and feeling like there's something I haven't done.

Oh, yeah, I’ve been tagged by Jane Ann to reveal some random facts and idiosyncracies about myself (moi, idiosyncratic? Nah!) and am finally finding a few minutes to post.

1. I was a professional ballet dancer in my earlier years, a founding member of Oakland Ballet in 1965. We performed in the Bay Area and toured around the Pacific Northwest. Sadly, the company became defunct last year. Being a member of a touring company is an interesting state of affairs: fun, nerve-wracking, infantile at times, satisfying and thrilling at others. I really enjoyed these years of my life.

2. My internal temperature control is set on a hair trigger: 68 degrees F. is just right. 65 degrees is freezing, and 73 degrees is boiling. Just ask my DH! He also says my speed tolerance is too fine-tuned: 65 mph is fine, 63 and I start asking if he’s zoning out, 67 and I wonder what’s the hurry. I think I have to cop to this…

3. I hate people. Well, actually, I love CERTAIN people (all of you, for instance!) but I hate people in large groups. Maybe I’m just really shy, or maybe I have an antisocial streak. Personally, I think it dates back to being raised in the country and having to find ways to amuse myself. I enjoy my own company and am seldom bored. I can always find something to do that amuses me…reading and writing blogs, for one! Quilting (or knitting) for another.

4, I hate to cook, except when I don’t…that is, I enjoy cooking occasionally, for friends and family or to try out an interesting recipe. I hate the day to day, breakfast-lunch-dinner production line, and especially coming up with what-to-eat ideas. However, I LOVE to eat, and as we now live in the country in Australia, I’m having to come to terms with more cooking than I really like. If I had a zillion bucks, I’d have a cook!

5. I love to read, but have gotten tired of amassing too many books. This was a fall-out, I think, of two major moves in three years. I gave away many, many books when we moved from the Sierra Nevada Foothills back to the Bay Area, and then made heavy use of the Marin County Library system. I’m slowly coming back to the land of buying paperbacks again, but I’m really trying to keep the numbers down.

6. I tend to be just the teensiest bit compulsive (like, none of you are like that, right?). If I’m going to make a black and white quilt, I have to buy a gazillion blacks and whites, more than I could use in ten black and white quilts, because once I get into it I want to have just the “right” black and white.

7. I love plants and flowers, and have a need to know the botanical names of all the plants I grow. However, now that we are living in the land of the scary snakes, my actual gardening activities will be curtailed to plant selection, supervision and observation. Maybe I’ll finally have fingernails again!

8. And I have to add an eighth item, after reading the above items, since I have another observation about myself. I have Overactive Exclamation Point Disorder...OEPD...have you noticed that?

In other news, I tried to buy some fabric to back the As Time Goes By quilt, which is the next one queued up on my to-finish list, but they didn't have enough yardage. Gee, I guess this means I meed to make a visit to the LQS before we head for home in a week or so.

And finally, here's what I've been doing at the apartment, since I don't have a sewing machine here...pretty, huh? The yarn is Koigu KPPPM and it was a dream to knit. Also, I knit these on 3mm needles, which seem absolutely huge after using 2.5mm for the last couple of pairs.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Are We There Yet?

I'm seeing lines, lines, lines in front of my eyes! Will this blasted quilt NEVER end? I tell you, a king-size quilt that's quilted with straight lines on the diagonal every inch and a half in both directions, requires a LOT of lines! I'm working several hours each day on it, and it never seems to get any closer to being finished. I'd hoped to have it quilted before we leave for California on Sunday, and in a fit of optimism took an hour or so yesterday to cut the binding, stitch the WOF pieces together on the bias, and iron the whole binding in half, ready for sewing onto the quilt...NOT!

Sigh. In between times, I rest my back and shoulders by knitting on some socks. Finished the Jaywalkers, which I love, and started another pair. Loved the yarn, hated the fit of the finished first sock, so this morning I frogged it and started over. Hope the airlines will let me take my bamboo dpn's onboard. That would be a good 13 hours of solid knitting on the flight to SFO. I hear from the local knitters that no flights leaving Australia will allow knitting needles of any kind, so I may be go along with my being witless from quilting all those lines!

Anyhoo, I'll be reading your posts for inspiration while we're away (only two and a bit weeks), but don't know how faithful I'll be at posting myself.