Ch-ch-ch changes

So Yeah. New look. Whatcha think?

It is no where near as nerdy as the one I had before. I used one of the blogger templates. But I still tweaked it. It is lazy. I know. But I was tired of it looking like crap. However, it has turned me into a blog narcissist. I keep coming back to look at it. But that is good news, because it might turn me into a much more regular blogger.

At least for a while.

Anyway, tell me what you think.


Back to the Infinite Knitters

I love returning to my weekly knit night after being away for a while. I hate being away from it but coming back always feels great. Knitters are the best people. I really felt loved and missed. Everyone wants to know what I worked on while I was away, what I brought back and they have all kinds of finished objects to show off.

This time I brought back a couple of magazines from Japan. One is a craft magazine, it starts with knitting and crochet and gets into dolls, sewing, paper crafts and finishes up with foot massage. The foot massage got me laughing pretty good and I had to have the magazine. Cuz what kind of crafter doesn't practice her foot massage? Also the pictures are so clear, the instructions are easy to follow without reading the language.

I also got another that was all knitting/crochet and every pattern is charted so who needs to read Japanese. What I love about it is it takes on pattern and alters it three or four ways and shows you how. I love it!

I worked on the Clapotis most of the night.

I made a new friend named Donna coming back to knitting after a 20 year hiatus. Welcome back Donna. Her and Jolene helped me work out a solution for my Momma's Lucie sweater. I'll post my plan later. night


A Few Comments About Ravelry.com...

...which I totally love so none of these complaints overwhelm the awesomeness that is Ravelry.com in fact, most of my complaints must be towards knitters in general.

I am amazed at how many knitters use the suggested yarn for a pattern. I expected a lot more creativity on the knitter's part in general. Now as you may have read in my last post, I got 5 skeins of Alpaca Silk from Blue Sky Alpaca yesterday. I got onto my newest resource, did a search for the yarn and checked out all the projects made with it. In 33 pages of projects (492 projects!) a very large portion are the same patterns, The Somewhat Cowl, Drawstring Pouch and the Clementine shawl. There are also quite a few Clapotis (there are several of those in any yarn however) and Branching Out Scarf. I am just a little disappointed in the lack of creativity.

Not as a complaint, but a comment. There sure are a lot of hats and scarves as finished objects, but that is understandable. They are quick and satisfying projects.

Also, the groups. I'm not sure what I want to say here, but they seem a little ridiculous. I have joined 13. I know I don't have time for 13. I probably will visit like 5 a week and they will probably be the same 5 over and over again. However, the combo of group badges on your about me page can really help describe you as a person.

I think I may continue to join them as I find them and eventually I will get up to like 40 or 50 groups just to describe the person I am, but I will probably only visit them when working on projects that fit into their categories like Harry Potter inspired projects or Super Bowl knitting.

This brings up an interesting point. Is it wrong to join a ravelry.com group if you are not and do not intend to be an active member? How fair is it to the rest of the group?


Movie knitting

The Vagabond Bettie gave me a gift certificate to kPixie.com for my birthday in July. It was a belated gift that somehow never made it to me. After asking them to resend it I finally got it and could not make up my mind what I wanted. So now it is the end of October, a full three months after my birthday and guess what showed up on my doorstep?
I finally got a yarn bundle (because I still couldn't decide) of Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with it, but right now I just like to admire and caress it. Yeah, I totally just used the word caress.

Also, I went to the movies today and saw Dan in Real Life with Steve Carrell. It was cute. I wouldn't run to see it but a good date movie. Unless of course, your date is in love with your brother, then it just might be awkward and you should go see 30 Days of Night instead.

When I go to the movies alone, I bring my knitting. Keeps me from eating, teenage kids avoid me and I think it makes me look a little tough (yeah right). Well looking at all my WIPs*, I didn't have one I felt comfortable knitting in the dark. I recently started a So-Called Scarf with some acrylic Red Heart in camouflaged colors for a little boy I know and I thought it would be too difficult in the dark.
Since I forgot to tell you about it, here's a pic :)

Also, I really didn't want to screw up mom's Lucie sweater (progressing slowly) because the fabric shows everything and splits quite a bit.
As a little side note, it is curling and that makes the progress seem even slower.

So I decided to jump on the Clap-Wagon and start a Clapotis from knitty.com. Because I just don't have enough WIPs.It will probably be more scarf-sized cuz I gots no patience. In fact I am only one row from starting the straight rows which means I get to start dropping stitches right? w00t! Knitting the clap in the theater wasn't too bad. As long as I knew where my stitch markers were I did pretty well. Only problem was 1 dropped stitch but I actually think it happened before the lights went down so when I figured it out halfway through the movie I stopped knitting.

It also meant I got to Michael's on my way out of the Mall and pick up a crochet hook so I could fix it on the bus and while I was there, I went ahead and also got a couple of row counters since one would really help with Lucie as well as some stitch markers, cuz who never needs stitch markers?

*for the non-knitters WIP=Work In Progress but if you don't knit, this isn't the post for you.


Sister's Ribbed Hat Take 2

So I made a ribbed beanie last year for a sister who helped me move. She recently moved and lost the hat, d'oh ( I knew my habit of losing stuff was genetic). The other day I started a new one for her.

I used left over yarn from the Starfish Cap which was Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted in purple and green and size 5 Clover dpns. I was getting a gauge of 5.5 sts per inch in St st and had a hard time finding a cap with a similar gauge. So I figured out one of my own, it is a basic 2x2 ribbed beanie but I worked the decreases kinda differently. If you are interested, directions are below. I didn't include directions for the color changes, do whatever you want.

CO 128 sts, join.
Work in p2,k2 ribbing for 40 rows.
Begin Decreases as follows:
1. *(p2 k2)x3, p2 ssk repeat from * 7 times more
2. *(p2 k2)x3, p2 k1 rep from * 7 times more
3. *(p2 k2)x3, p2tog k1 rep from * 7 times more
4. *(p2 k2)x3, p1 k1 rep from * 7 times more
5. *(p2 k2)x2, p2 ssk p1 k1 rep from * 7 times more
6. *(p2 k2)x2, p2 k1 p1 k1 rep from * 7 times more
7. *(p2 k2)x2, p2tog k1 p1 k1 rep from * 7 times more
8. *(p2 k2)x2, (p1 k1)x2 rep from * 7 times more
9. *p2 k2 p2 ssk (p1 k1)x2 rep from * 7 times more
10. *p2 k2 p2 k1 (p1 k1)x2 rep from * 7 times more
11. *p2 k2 p2tog k1 (p1 k1)x2 rep from * 7 times more
12. *p2 k2 (p1 k1)x3 rep from * 7 times more
13. *p2 ssk (p1 k1)x3 rep from * 7 times more
14. *p2 k1 (p1 k1)x3 rep from * 7 times more
15 *p2tog k1 (p1 k1)x3 rep from * 7 times more
16. (p1 k1)x32
17. *(p1 k1)x2 p1 p2tog k1 rep from * 7 times more
18. *p1 p2tog k2 p2 k1 rep from * 7 times more
19. *p2 k1 p2tog k1 rep from * 7 times more
20 *p2tog k1 p1 k1 rep from * 7 times more
21. *p1 p2tog k1 rep from * 7 times more
22. *p2tog k1 rep from * 7 times more

cut yarn with a tail ~6 inches long, draw through all stitches and weave in all ends.



So when San Diego shuts down and I am stuck at home, I have knitting ADHD. To start the first pics of Lucie from knitty.com started for my mom.

I am using Peruvian Quechua from Elann.com, its a supersoft alpaca/tencel blend in a great purple color. And of course my gauge is not right so I have tons of math in my future.

I began something Log Cabin-ish with a ton of Caron Simply Soft gifted to me by one of the lovely ladies at my knitting group. I don't know why it is the only color to photograph so poorly, but the blue on the right is really a crazy bright purple.

A replacement hat for my sister. She lost the first hat I made her when she moved to Boise. It is made with Lamb's Pride leftover from the Starfish Cap

This last one is a photo I took at Qualcomm stadium when I was there to volunteer. A couple of evacuees with masks for the smoke.


The leaves should be turning...

But instead the state is burning. Welcome to Southern California during the Santa Anas. The smoke is gorgeous... (sarcasm)

I miss N. Idaho.



I have finally decided I need to share this dream. Some of you video gamers out there might be aware of Penny Arcade. A comic/news site about video games. It is run by two guys who comic aliases are Tycho and Gabe. It is thanks to these fabulous men that we have the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, WA (if you play games, go!).

Ok so I had a dream that I was at some kind of convention. In the ladies room. Where I met Tycho and Gabe and Gabe's wife Kara. I don't know what they were doing in the ladies room but we became friends and Tycho came back with me to my seats in the auditorium. He is somehow smaller than when I met him and when I sit down next to my dad Tycho has to sit on my lap to see the stage. I look over and my boyfriend is on the other side of my dad and fan that he is I took Tycho to meet him. On the way, he is hanging on to me like a monkey. Hanging around my neck. Before I can get to my boyfriend though, Gabe calls Tycho's name from the stage and he runs off all normal sized and not monkey like.

What the hell does it mean?

Why is Tycho a monkey?

How come Gabe didn't come sit with me too?


Transit to Kaoh-siung

We said our final good-byes to Sasebo and the SSK shipyard yesterday. Little sad. I really liked that port and I am quite bummed to leave. I could really spend some time in Japan especially out here in the smaller towns. Though I never did find a yarn shop and I am disappointed I am walking away without any vacation yarn.

So a little bit about life at sea. The dynamics on these research vessels is a little odd. There are three different sets of people on board, the ship crew, the technicians and the science party (currently not on board). The ship crew are responsible for the health of the ship. They keep necessities for life at sea functional, things like engines, water purification, food preparation and all the other little things I can't see. They sign on to stay with a ship for several continuous months of the year sometimes spending as much as 8 months a year on the same ship. And because the 3rd Engineer (no matter who that is) always has the same room, they always stay in the same place on board the ship.

As a result, they develop habits and the ship becomes their home. They sit in the same place in the mess, they watch movies in the lounge at a particular time and they have a favorite condiment. Sometimes they can be really great about being change which is important because the science crew and technicians can change as often as weekly, bringing aboard a ship full of folks unaware which chair belongs to the wiper or if you use the last of the tabasco the chief engineer might never speak to you again. The ship crew usually blame any and all problems on the new science party. They complain about the deck operations interfering with their movie or internet access forgetting that their job is to keep the ship afloat so that the science operations can happen.

The science is the reason for the ship. It is the source of the ship crew's paychecks and without the science, they would not be here. It is often completely ignored by them when science interferes with their personal plans. The technicians are officially a part of the science party. We work intimately with them to get the data that they need from our equipment they borrow. Because there is no official science party on board we are taking the blame.

Now this whole long explanation is the result of a teeny tiny comment made in jest last night. Something I was not offended by at all but is just a small sample of the constant friction on board the ship. The ship just got out of drydock. It was being repaired and out of water for two months. As a result some technicians (including me) are here to see that all the science equipment is operational when the next cruise starts up on the 17th. The computer techs turned on the pump (overseen by the chief engineer mind you) for the uncontaminated sea water which goes through a fancy set up and collects data for the Meteorological system, things like salinity, sea surface temperature, etc.

Somewhere in the plumbing something went horribly wrong and a drain in the mess (dining room) began to flood right before dinner. Everyone on board helped clean up the mess, and the chief engineer muttered "Damn Science". Like I said, it was small and inoffensive at the time, but it is a constant battle between the two parts of the ship. Sometimes it can get pretty bad. Many times as a result of crew mutterings, scientists have come to me and asked if "Scientists are usually that bad?"

Anyway, enough of the glimpse into life at sea and on to knitting.

The picture above was taking at Hanamaru, a fast food noodle and tempura joint right before I ripped them out completely.

The Pomatomus socks are progressing after I ripped them out completely. I rounded the heel and found I was missing 6 stitches in the lace pattern. Picking up that lace is a nightmare so I decided I would rather rip them out and hopefully correct some mistakes I was already unhappy with anyway. The second attempt was coming out pretty snug anyway so I added some stitches to the foot. They can always be removed in the heel construction if need be for the leg.


Sasebo and Pomatomus

So I'm in Japan. Sasebo to be exact. I love it here. I haven't gotten to roam very far. I'm really too tired at the end of the day, but everything I need and want is at my fingertips. I also get to pass through the Navy Base twice a day so if and when I get a little culture overwhelmed I can find a little slice of home.

I found a restaurant immediately beside our hotel. It is one of those grill in the middle of the table places (yakinoki as my local informants tell me, though I'm not sure I spelled it right). I say I 'found' it because even though it is right beside the hotel, none of my co-workers have eaten there and none that came before us that I know of. They all just kinda glossed over it. I think it is in an effort to explore. To some it means moving a lot and taking a lot of samples. To me, exploration means becoming intimately familiar with a few.

Anyway, back on track. So I had a wonderful dinner with some co-workers. One of my big intimidating bosses (who it turns out is not so scary), and two new guys from Norway here to install some new systems. It was a really excellent visit, satisfying meal and left me in all around a great mood. The front of the restaurant is western style with booths. However they took us deep into the back of the restaurant, the Japanese style seating. It is still like a big booth, but you are sitting cross-legged style or on your knees on mats.

I have begun a tour of Asian social services. Accidentally of course. It turns out I lost my passport in Singapore which resulted in a tour including a local police station, the US Embassy and the immigration offices. Now I am in Sasebo and I ended up visiting a hospital this afternoon to get an infected fingernail checked out. I got to spend an hour with the ship's Agent (who is a very nice and friendly man) sitting in a waiting room and learning a little Japanese. I walked away with a prescription for antibiotics which has my name in Japanese characters on it. I like that I got my name in characters from the hospital. I've been wanting to know what my name was, but I was afraid they would get it wrong or rip me off by giving me Mary or something. It seems more official from a hospital.

The little things that are different here are what really get my attention. The fact that they change the plant arrangements on every floor of the hotel every week. Many places won't take your money until you place it in the tray. When they do have to hand you items like credit cards, room keys, receipts, they do it with two hands. They can't seem to decide what side of the sidewalk they walk on. Sometimes it is the right and sometimes the left. I was actually in two different subway stations in Tokyo last time I was here and the one I boarded on had arrows on the left (where they drive, not surprised) but where I disembarked they had arrows on the right (what?).

On the knitting front. My Pomatomus socks with the gifted yarn (love you Jolene!) has been my project. I turned the heel and was about to begin the pattern up the leg when I noticed I had somewhere lost 6 stitches in the lace pattern. Six! How the hell did I lose six stitches? I couldn't figure out how to solve it so I ripped it out and started over. I'm not really hurt about it because there were all kinds of mistakes and I'm glad they will be better, but you know... It always hurts to rip it out.