Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Little Sky Sock

This little sock comes from Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One".  It's the Little Sky Sock, my first learning sock.

It is knit from the top down.  The heel is turned.  It has a star toe.  I used 5 DPNs instead of my usual circular needles, just for fun and to see what her instructions looked like for DPNs.

The interesting thing is that there is no gusset in the traditional sense.  There is no picking up around a heel flap.  The increasing required to make the sock fit around the ankle is done at the top of the foot.

I confess I blindly followed the instructions and if I had to knit one of these without a pattern I couldn't do it.  Cat Bordhi's mind must be an interesting place for the sock fairies to flit around in!

Many more of her socks will be required before I will absorb this "sockitecture".

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another beautiful Fall day

This morning's walk in the park was beautiful.

(Click on the photo to view today's pictures, taken in Lower Bidwell Park, in flickr.)

Into The Wild

Into The Wild: **** Very Good


Chris McCandless graduated from college and then went on a spiritual journey, leaving his unhappy family behind.  He read Thoreau, among others, so he had a romantic vision of living in the wild.

He carried his quest for freedom and being with nature to Alaska.  He met people along the way and had one adventure after another, some pleasant, some not.  He ditched his identity and became Alexander Supertramp.  One time he asked at a government office about kayaking down the Colorado River.  When asked about his experience, he said he had not much.  The officer told him he needed a permit, and the next opening was twelve years away, unless he went with a professional tour company.  ... he bought a kayak and went down the Colorado all by himself, and then he floated all the way to Mexico.

Eventually he ended up in Alaska where he was planning to live off the land, alone and in touch with nature, moment by moment.  What he discovered was that Happiness is meant to be shared, and that he was lonely.  He failed to get out of the Alaskan wilderness, which seems like a waste of a courageous young man who had learned an important truth.

PS:  Great Scenery

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton: **** Very good

michaelclaytonposterMichael Clayton (George Clooney) is an experienced lawyer with a big firm in New York.  Instead of litigating, he fixes messes for his clients and he's good at it.  He calls himself a janitor.  His life is full of personal problems and he is unraveling, and there doesn't appear to be much he can do about it.

There's a big class action law suite.  There is skullduggery.  There are hypocrites, crazy lawyers, rich people, not rich people, people with addictions, killers, and heroes.

It's a great story, well told.  I recommend it on the big screen.  Clooney is wonderful; Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Sydney Pollack - all great.

It's rated R for language and some sexual dialogue, but I sure didn't notice it.  I don't think it should have been rated R.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Typepad, Fall, Google Reader

I've been having trouble reading my posts in Google Reader lately, so I sent a request for help to the lovely people at Typepad.  They wrote back in a timely fashion.  Oops it was their problem and it should be fixed now.

So this is a test to see if my post shows nicely formatted in Google Reader.

Here are a few pictures I took Sunday morning.  Fall is fine in Chico!

20071021 Cramer Lane

20071021 Leaves at the dam

20071021 Persimmon

20071021 Tree Farm Pistachios

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Make it legal

This article is in yesterday's local paper.  It was interesting to me because I live nearby.  Terrific, huh?  If marijuana were legal there would be less motive for robbery.  If guns were unavailable, maybe the robbers would not have had the nerve to do the robbery.

Pot taken in motel robbery, one arrest made

By E-R staff

Article Launched: 10/17/2007 12:51:53 PM PDT

Chico police are investigating an armed robbery with a shot fired at the Deluxe Inn, 2507 The Esplanade, just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Two motel guests said three men pushed their way into their room and robbed them of marijuana.

Two of the suspects, described as black male adults, reportedly wore ski masks and brandished hand guns.

The third had his face uncovered and was identified as Marcus Phillip Drake, 19. Police located Drake early this morning and placed him under arrest on suspicion of armed robbery.

The other two suspects escaped and are still being sought by police.

As the suspects were leaving the motel, one of the victims began fighting with a suspect in the parking lot. The alleged robber fired a round at the man, but missed.

The marijuana is believed to be the motive for the robbery, police said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Chico police at 897-4900.

We need more good news in Chico and less of this.  This is why I pay for an alarm system on my house, and it sucks that I feel like I have to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fixing Edge Stitches with Andre Previn

I downloaded a classic (1956) album from iTunes this morning:  My Fair Lady by Shelly Manne and His Friends.  The lead friend is Andre Previn.  What a terrific album!!!  While listening to it I was catching up on my Google Reader.  Note:  if you play music loud enough in the head phones you can't hear the cat whining about breakfast, which it isn't time for for another hour.

One of the blogs I subscribe to is TECHknitting, which you might guess is a technical blog devoted to knitting techniques.  What makes it so good is her illustrations.  For example, today's post is about fixing stitches that have dropped on the edge of a piece.  I have never seen such a good explanation and now feel I could fix dropped edge stitches if they occur again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Let Fall Begin

20071014 Aspen at Deer CreekYes, we do have seasons in California!  This picture was taken about an hour East of Chico in Northern California's Lassen National Forest.

20071014 Lassen Mtn from Lake AlmanorWe drove to Lake Almanor, Chester, and Lassen National Park.  Snow has already closed the road through Lassen NP.  (Mt. Lassen pictured.)


Let the season begin!

20071014 Fall at Mill Creek near Lassen 

Above: Mill Creek, near Lassen National Park.

20071014 Aspen Leaves 

Above: Holy Aspen Leaves, Batman!

20071014 Let the season begin 

Above: Preparing for a beautiful Fall in Chico, CA.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hooded cape is finished

20071011 Hooded Cape Hood DownHere it is, the finished Hooded Cape.  It's extremely warm, so I can't wear it until the house begins to feel like the inside of a refrigerator this winter.

20071011 Hooded Cape Hood Up



The pictures were taken by Joanne at Heartstrings Yarn Studio in Chico, CA.  She's a peach of a LYS owner who treats her customers well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I can has Ravoolree?

Franklin's wonderful cartoons are always timely.  For example....

Ravelry is amazingly popular and can suck up a knitter's (or crocheter's) time.  This week I learned that you can subscribe to various forums and the discussion topics will show up in your reader - I use Google's Reader.  All you have to do is display one of the forums you are interested in and click on the "RSS" button to start a subscription.

There are still many thousands of people waiting to get on the Ravelry band wagon.  I hope their fancy new servers can handle traffic!

Have a nice day, y'all.  I'm off to work later and then my local knitting group meets tomorrow afternoon.  I'm going to ask the shop owner to take pictures of me in my finished hooded cape, so photos will appear soon.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Out Stealing Horses


Out Stealing Horses Cover I just finished a good book: Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson.  It was translated from Norwegian by Anne Born.  The book has won prizes.  I heard about it in a Sacramento Bee article (newspaper).

It's written from the perspective of a man in his late 60s or his teens depending on which time his mind is in at the moment.  His words and descriptions are beautiful and straightforward.

As a knitter I was taken with this paragraph:

"... and the mittens and the woollen scarf I have worn round my neck for at least twenty years, which someone knitted for me when I was a single and divorced man, and now I cannot recall her name, but I remember her hands from the time we spent together; they were never still.  Apart form that she was still and discreet in her ways; only the click of her knitting needles could be heard through the silence, and it was all too low-key for me, and the relationship dwindled quietly into nothing."

The knitted love lasted longer than the human relationship.  I wonder if this is another instance of the famous wives' tale that says if you knit for a lover before a commitment has been made, the relationship will end.  I wonder what her recollection of the relationship would be, or if she even remembers him.

That's all there is about knitting in the book.  It's a terrific book about aging, the complex relationships we have with our parents, and how our memories of childhood are with us for a lifetime.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hooded Cape Progress

20071004 Hooded CapeYes, I have been knitting, just not blogging about it.  Here is the in-progress picture of the hooded cape.

It's a very easy project, and the yarn is soft and warm... very warm.

Pattern:  Plymouth Hooded Cape N011
Yarn: Baby Alpaca Grande

The pattern is about one page, but I think they gave away some clarity to make it fit on one page.  Here is a part of the pattern:

"... Next Row: Dec 1 st before each marker - 264 sts.  Work 11 rows st st.

Next Row: Dec 1 st after each marker (242 sts.  Work 11 rows st st.

Decreasing alternately before each marker in one decrease row and after each marker in the next, repeat decrease rows every 10th row twice (198 sts), every 8th row twice (154 sts), every 6th row twice (110 sts) every 4th row once (88 sts)."

The paragraph beginning "Decreasing alternately" threw me.  It looked to me like I would be knitting 11 rows, and then knitting 9 more rows before the next decrease row... 19 rows between one decrease row and the next.  I changed it to be more like "... [decrease row, work 9 rows] twice (198 sts)...", and so forth.

What threw me was they were so specific in the beginning and then they just lumped the rest of the cape into one paragraph.  And!  there was no schematic to tell me how long it should be, so I couldn't even use the row gauge to figure out how many rows should be in the cape.  I should have read the pattern before purchasing.  Whatever.  It worked out.

Another change I made was in the hood.  The pattern called for a pointy headed hood.  I added decreases in the center of the back of the hood to round it out.

A while ago I made a resolution to follow a pattern.  Well, not this time.  Maybe next time.