Friday, August 31, 2007

Argyle update

The argyle socks are almost done. The socks themselves are done, but I still need to weave in the ends (the inside is a big pile of yarn vomit), duplicate stitch the crisscrossed lines in black (is there a term for that?) and block them so the stitches come out looking all purty. But, they're done enough to post on the SAMKAL4 in time to qualify for an August entry, and that's all I was worried about for now.

sock 006

Up next? Why, another pair of socks of course! I'm not sure which ones though, so you can vote on your favorite here. Just note that the fair isle socks are no longer in the running, I'm a little sick of multiple strands of yarn on one piece.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Neighbor Drama

This post will most likely end up with an explicit rating. You've been warned.

The following is an account of the events that took place at approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday, August 25. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Saturday night, we had friends from Boston that were in town for a wedding stay the night. We invited another couple over for small gathering to watch some movies, eat snacks and have a generally good time. We were in between movies, making brownies and getting a little loud when there was a knock on the door. We weren't expecting any more guests, so I was quite curious to know who could be at the door at this hour. I thought perhaps a friendly neighbor thought we were being too loud (we weren't) and wanted to alert us to this fact. It was not a friendly neighbor. There were, in fact, two police officers standing on our porch when I opened the door.

My immediate thought was, "Were we really that loud?", when he asked for Martha Johnson, our friend from Boston. At first I was relieved because the complaint was obviously not with us, but with our friend. I should point out that the officers were very nice and not trying to be assholes, so I didn't have a problem with providing him Martha's whereabouts. She came to the door and he proceeded to hold up her car keys. I should pause yet again to explain that Martha can be somewhat, nay, very scatterbrained, so I was not surprised to see her keys held up by the officer. We all had a good laugh until we heard the officer explaining the reason they were there.

Apparently her car was "blocking" the driveway of our neighbor. She was also parked too far from the curb, a ticketable offense. Martha, in addition to being scatterbrained, is also a notoriously bad parker/driver, so again, not a shock. The shock came from the fact that she had "blocked" the neighbor's driveway by less than 3 inches. And not even the straight line of the driveway, but the angled slope that leads to the main street. So, the asshole next door couldn't pull out of his driveway (he always backs in, which we think is weird) without having to take some care to not hit a closely parked car, and decided to involve the authorities.

Now I normally wouldn't really have a problem with, I take that back and here's why. Remember, there were two officers on the porch and these guys always travel solo. So that means there were two cop cars outside our house at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night. Add to that the fact that we live in a nosy neighborhood and the people across the street were on their front porch at the time...makes for quite a bit of unnecessary neighborhood embarassment. We're upstanding young people, the most we could be found fault with is letting the front lawn grow a bit too much before mowing or yelling at the dogs a little too loudly. We don't throw huge, loud parties that clog the street with cars and keep people up at night. Granted we don't know everyone in the neighborhood, but we've only lived here for about 18 months; we're private people.

Also, why wouldn't you come knock on our door yourself? The car was parked in front of our house, wouldn't it be safe to assume that it belongs to someone there? The only thing I can think of is that he assumes we don't like him (we don't now) but we've never done anything to show him that we don't. I can only guess that he pulled this stunt because he does not like us, but I cannot imagine why.

Other problems I have with all of this: the guy only recently moved in, he's probably been here less than 6 months. I can understand someone who has lived in the neighborhood calling the cops on somone who has only recently moved in, but hey...we were here first, jerk! He also has friends over quite often and instead of them parking in his driveway or even in front of his house, they most often park in front of our house! I normally don't mind people parking in front of our house, we don't own the street and no one has a huge driveway. But I would never park in front of someone else's house if there is open space in front of the house we're visiting. The other thing, and this more of a pet peeve, is they park in the ass middle of the space, when there's plenty of room for two normal size cars.

We just can't help thinking that he called the cops to embarass us, and that is infuriating.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me,

Knit Pick memories in Smores and Yukon
Self-birthday present from someone else's de-stash

Happy Birthday to me,

Knit Picks Bare fingering weight for my first attempt at dyeing, enough for 6 pairs of socks!
Part of the birthday package from my lovely wife

Happy Birthday dear Jason,

Knit Picks Palette in Black and Navy for some more argyle socks
Part of the birthday package from my awesome wife

Happy Birthday to me!

Knit Picks DPN set, one size missing because it's already being used!
Also part of the birthday package from my wonderful wife

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm just sayin...

Of the 25 blogs that I currently frequent (two new ones added today!) only 3 have posted anything today. I'm just sayin...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One down...

One argyle sock down...

...and one to go. I finished the first sock early Sunday morning and promptly spent the rest of the day battling the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome (SSS). I just couldn't bring myself to cast on, and it didn't help that my arms and shoulders hurt from the sprint to the finish line the night before. I eventually did cast on Sunday night and found that once I was over that hump, working on the ribbing wasn't so bad. Once I added the color, I was back in action.

I'm making good progress on the second sock so far. I started with 12 days to finish this to qualify for a prize on the SAMKAL4 I joined and I told myself that if I divided the sock into manageable parts (diamond repeats - 6 total, heel flap, heel turn and gusset, toes) I could get it done. So far it seems to be working, I've got almost 3 diamond repeats done in three days and I could start the heel flap tonight. The wrench in the whole monkey will come this weekend when we have company staying overnight Saturday. Hopefully I can either knit while we watch a movie or knit by the fire if the weather is nice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Knit Wars

Ok, so I just have to post about this. I discovered Chore Wars while listening to the Lime & Violet podcast. Chore Wars was developed to motivate kids to do their chores. It's set up like (insert your favorite RPG here) and you gain experience points by completing your chores. Well, the crazy ladies at Lime & Violet created a knitting version to motivate all us knitters! You can get XP for various knitting "chores" like stash enhancement, dyeing yarn, finishing a pair of socks or even just knitting for 15 minutes. So if you're into World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons, come dork out with the rest of us. Here's the link to join and here's the original blog post with all the rules.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August is for Argyle

An update on the argyle socks...I've made it past the heel on the first sock and only have one more diamond repeat to go before finishing off the toe. I wanted a thicker heel, but I thought just a plain gray heel wouldn't look as neat and one with some color. So, I worked a fair isle pattern over the heel flap using the three main colors of the sock. The idea seemed solid and it looks cool on its own, but I fear that it may take away from the sock design as a whole. We'll see once I seam this bad boy up and try it on. I did manage to slip it over my foot last night to check for a rough fit, but with the two seams and the DPNs still in it, the measure was not accurate at all.

To put even more pressure on myself, I signed up for the Sock a Month KAL 4 and dubbed these my August socks. The goal is one pair of socks a month for August, September, October and November. For each month you complete a pair of socks, you're eligible for prizes. Today is August 16th, which means I am officially cutting into second sock time. I suppose if I can finish them tonight, then I'll be ok assuming the second sock goes a bit faster than the first. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pati-o Daddy-o!

The patio is complete! Click here for more photos.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Patio update!

I came home to a pleasant surprise yesterday after work, some nice progress on the patio! I wasn't sure how much they'd be able to get done in one day's work, but it was definitely enough to get us excited. I'm thinking that today they can get the rest of the block filled in and maybe start on the steps or the firepit? I know there's a lot of cutting to be done to fit the proverbial square bricks into the round hole of the design, so I'm figuring on a Friday finish if the rain holds off. We lost a whole day Tuesday because it poured in the A.M.

Monday, August 6, 2007


I've made some progress on the argyle socks, although not much. I'm alternating between these and the Fibonacci sweater (pics to come soon, I swear) to help alleviate knitting pain. I'm happy with the way they're turning out. I started to worry about the size, so I ran a lifeline through (that's the green yarn still in there) and took it off the needles. It's a little looser than I'd like, but not loose enough to require frogging. These are 88 stitches around, the next pair will be on fewer stitches.

Here's a picture of the back of the knitting. It's a little blurry, but if you click on the photo for the large size, you can see how I've twisted the strands at the color changes to lock in the yarn. It's most noticeable in the white diamond by my thumb. You can also see the "flaps" on the "back" of the leg where I started knitting flat.

In other progress news, patio construction has begun. We're really excited about it, I feel like we can finally enjoy our backyard. Now all I have to do is fill in all the dog holes.....

Friday, August 3, 2007

Rock 'n' Roll Argyle Socks

These are my newly named Rock 'n' Roll Argyle Socks. Why are they Rock 'n' Roll? Well just look at my hand in the photo! Inspirition can come from anywhere. They're knit with KnitPicks' Palette in ash, blue and white and I plan to duplicate stitch the criss-crossed lines in black. I knitted the ribbing in the round on dpns, then started working back and forth for the intarsia; I added a stitch on the edge to account for seaming. I think on the next one, I'll just knit the whole leg flat instead of starting in the round. I realize now I should have taken a photo of the back, oh well.

It's really fun to see the pattern grow with each row and it's really hard to stop knitting these because I think to myself, "Oh the top half of the diamond is almost done, just a few more rows." And then, "Well that's done, but now I want to see how it looks when the grey comes back in." It is a bit of a pain to work with all the bobbins hanging off the sock, but it forces me to go slow and be patient, which is probably good for my wrists. The other nice thing about using the bobbins (which are made from a cereal box thankyouverymuch) is it's easier to manage the tangles. When I have done colorwork in the past, the skeins just sit there while I twist the yarn to lock it in and they get all tangled. Now I can lift the whole bobbin over the working yarn to twist the two strands.

And now for something completely different, the demolition on my deck. Here's a before picture, before we moved in, before I demo'd the deck, before the dogs destroyed the backyard...
and here's the after(math)...

oh, and those dogs I mentioned? Here's one of them, Miss Ruby (Loo), otherwise known as Baloo.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Finally Back Knitting

After a few marathon sessions working on my black cabled sock, knitting every day at lunch, demolishing our deck in two days plus working on a computer all day at work, my arms decided to revolt. I started getting pain in my left wrist Sunday night and had to quit. I did a little research on carpal tunnel and wrist pain in general and decided that I didn't want to end up needing surgery or even braces for my wrists. I went a full two days without knitting (!!!) and finally picked it back up last night. Believe me, the drought was torturous. Not only had I just started a new pair of argyle socks, but I got a new shipment of yarn in the mail on Tuesday! All that beautiful yarn and all I can do is look at it and pet it. The good news is that I got 4 more skeins of Merino Style to finish the Fibonacci sweater I started oh so long ago. I think working on bigger needles (size 6) will help deal with my wrist pain too. I was knitting those cabled socks so tightly it was insane. I really need to relax when I knit. I'll try to take pictures of everything (sweater, yarn porn, argyle sock, demolished deck) when I get home tonight.

In other news...I just started reading The Yarn Harlot's blog yesterday. Yes, I know I'm probably the last person in the knitting community to hop on board, but in my defense, I DID at least know about her before yesterday. If anyone knows of other good knitting related blogs I should be reading, please enlighten me. I like her blog because she's well spoken and her posts are easy and fun to read, so if you know of others like that, please pass them along.