Wednesday, December 31, 2008
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your field
And until we shall meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
(And when I say rain fall soft upon your field, I'm not talking about the torrential downpours we've had in the past week!)
The Soxophone Player will not revel in the dawn of the new year, but shall off to bed early.
So as to rise early, and plug this in:
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Big Canoes are 12.5" from heel to toe, and ~5" across the foot or leg.
I'm thrilled to have these.... you may recall I had to use the leg of my Medium long stretchers to block the foot, and two other long Medium legs, side by each, to block the leg.
I also had a gaggle of new stretchers in Size Medium made. This will save water.
I've had only 6 pair of Medium stretchers....so I had to do a load of laundry every 6 pairs to get my blocking done. Now with another 6 pair I'll save on the small loads!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Above you can see where the creek overflowed the banks of the driveway. The 24" culvert simply wasn't adequate for the flow. I've had the spring melt flow over the top before, but never doing as much damage. I lost about 8" of gravel to the washout. Thankfully the driveway is still stable...just a big rut to deal with.
resilient my high tensile wire fence is in the above picture. The tree pulled a few insulators out of the fence posts when it crashed down, but didn't break the wires.
For that section of fence to come down, the wind had to snap four 8" diameter cedar posts that were sunk 4 feet in the ground!
And here is my 1500 gallon water storage tank. (It's about 8' wide and 7' tall.)
We are not amused.
And to top it of, we were without power for 12 hours with a house full of kids and grandkids.
Do you know what you can't to on a farm without power?
No shlepping down in front of the boob tube.
No shopping online.
I do know that I got off easy compared to many others, particularly in New England and east coast of Canada where many have been without power for days and days.
So I'm thankful that we only had to rough if for a day; and I'm thankful that only trees and fences and water tanks were damaged but no people.
And I'm really thankful I put in a fireplace 12 years ago!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
And Old Man Winter has given way to Old Man River.
A few moments after I snapped this photo the river went right over the top....the culvert simply can't keep up with the run off of the torrential rains combined with the several feet of melting snow.
At least there are pleasant distractions.
Maybe he could fill in for his Grandpa at church tomorrow (since Grandpa was up at 4 a.m. to go to the farmers' market this morning and would REALLY like to sleep in)!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I haven't been MIA... very busy with seasonal craft sales... and then the final push on Christmas Music at church.
Here's a shot taken before the first service this morning.
For two services this morning and one last night our 'Quartet' provided prelude music as well as leading the congregational singing through the masses. This in addition to joining with the choir for one additional evening service last night.
For any music buffs... our prelude pieces were:
Hallelujah It's Christmas (Roger Whittaker)
Child of God's Great Love (Dan Schutte)
He Shall Be Called Wonderful (Leon Roberts)
When A Child is Born (not sure - a Bony M piece ?)
The People Who Walk In Darkness (Timothy Valentine)
O Holy Night (Adophe Adam)
Our accompanist is a pro jazz musician. He writes many of the arrangements we do. He also sings tenor when our quartet sings A Capella. I love his arrangements and in particular how he tosses me 2nds, 4ths, 9ths, 11ths, and even 13ths to voice out a particular jazz chord. (I don't think he's written me a 3rd or 5th in years!)
(Translation if you are not into music....he writes complex stuff and I love it!)
Our choir director is the soprano in our quartet, and another lady from the choir is (besides a spinner, knitter, weaver)our alto voice.
Me... I'm bass/basso profundo when we're singing SATB A Capella, and either bass, baritone or tenor as required when we are singing three parts accompanied.
Music and sock knitting have a lot in common....both take the science and math of patterns as their root, and both become art in their application.
And now, with Christmas Music in the past for 2008, I shall spend a few days with the grandkids, and then back to knitting....
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and Merry Days to all who don't.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Ay karumba....so many ideas to try out. I'm in a tizzy trying to decide which pattern to hit first!
Can you imagine, knitting a Poncho on a sock machine?
And the piece de resistance?
For purl patterns I've simply been using an extra latch needle out of the machine, with a bit of scotch tape wrapped around the foot of the needle to try to hang on with.
(and with which to dangle a preposition ;o) )
The book is US$34.45 including delivery to Canada, plus $1.30 if using paypal.
A bargain at the price.
detersj at sbcglobal dot net
Monday, December 15, 2008
I'm very pleased with the socks, and, as usual, very unhappy with my photo. This is ACTUALLY a very intense rich purple.
The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, un-dyed, which I dyed with full strength Bright Purple Prochem Washfast acid dye.
There was some residual dye left in the bath when finished, so I dyed an extra skein to get the pale value of the same colour, which I used for the heels, toes, and accent stripe between the hem top and leg.
The socks are size Medium +, knit on the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder. The hem top is done in a 2:1 mock rib with a pico edge.
What you can't see:
This is a Royal Crown over a Tudor Rose. The pair of clocks occurs on both sides of each sock.
I'm very pleased with this. Mostly because the scale of the graphic was appropriate to the dimensions of the sock. (My earlier forays into purled clocks were either too squat or too small for the socks on which they were knit.)
The Crown and Rose combined occupy about 35 rows, and 17 stitches wide.
On the first sock I dropped 3 stitches during the purl work. And on the second sock I dropped 1. In all cases the dropped stitch ran 4 - 6 rows before I could get the weights off and stop the runs.
But in all cases (patting self on back) I was able to knit and purl my way back up the dropped stitches, referring to my graph upside down.
To newer readers of my blog.... I make a purl stitch by lifting a knit stitch off the needle, reverse the bar and the loop of that stitch using a latch hook in one hand and a pic tool in the other, and then basically rehang the stitch backwards. Or inside out. Or something.
No doubt this method takes way longer than with DPN's, but I probably make up the time on the rest of the sock.
Each sock took me the better part of a day to make.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The winters we've had since then have NOT been real Canadian Winters. We've had winter, to be sure, but they be late, short, sporadic, or otherwise unCanadian.
I think they may be in for their first real, uninterupted, Canadian Winter this year!
And on the sock machine,
Christmas Socks - size Medium - done on the Legare 400, 54 needle cylinder. The yarn is DGB Confetti solid colours Red and Green. (Another nightmare on the photoshop trying to make the red look red and the green look green!)
In the distant future when someone writes a history of the sock machine in the 21st Century, they will note that one guy with a sock machine could have been more productive with three comely lasses to finish his work, and one geek who knew how to photoshop the results.
There are three Christmas Tree lace motifs on each sock, adapted from Jenny Deters' Unique Fancy Sock Patterns. (detersj at sbcglobal dot net)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Some more stash clean up knitting - these are all 'the last of' efforts done with single remaining balls. These are all size Large, knit on the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder.
These Lorna's colours have been very popular and now I'm out. I should have stashed up on this while the Canadian Dollar was ahead of the greenback!
And I had two balls of Austermann Step #06 left. So I started at the same colour point in the pattern for each sock from the two separate balls.
The yarn patterns go in opposite directions in one ball to the other!
Reading a book.....
I've been reading, The Hand Cranked Knitter and Sock Machine by Richard M Candee. A detailed history of the sock machine in its USA incarnations.
A quote in the book, from early advertising of the machines in the mid 1800's, "one machine will keep three or four ladies in employment finishing articles, which are never out of use or of fashion."
So, no wonder I'm always log jammed. I need 3 or 4 ladies! I knew I wasn't supposed to be closing all these toes...
5 Days of Facsism - ongoing political rant
It's now been 5 days since democracy died in Canada. (I feel like I should drive my Chevy to the Levy!)
We no longer have a government. Rather we now under the dictatorial power of the Harper Regime who rule by Orders in Council, unanswerable to the Parliament duly elected by the people. Answerable to no one.
Canada is, or at least was, a Parliamentary Democracy. We don't elect our Prime Ministers like the Americans elect their presidents, and we don't even elect a particular party. Rather, we vote in our own ridings (district) and elect an individual person as Member of Parliament to represent our interests.
These members are usually associated with a party, but it is the person as an individual that we elect, not the party. Once elected that person may change his party affiliation at his discretion (known as crossing the floor) to join a different party, or even decide to sit as an independent.
(Sometimes members are lured to switch parties. Like when Steve Harper was Leader of the Opposition and his party tried to bribe a dying member of parliament with promise of a million dollar life insurance policy if only he would help defeat the then Liberal minority government.)
The party with the most members forms the Government, and the party with the second highest number of members forms Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. The person selected as leader of the goverment party (by the party members only , not by the population) becomes Prime Minister.
The collective of all the members is the Parliament and represents all the people of Canada. The Government is answerable to the Parliament, and it governs at the pleasure of the Parliament. If the Government loses the confidence of Parliament, it can no longer govern and it is then up to the Governor General, as the Queen of Canada's representative to determine whether Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition can secure the support (majority of the members) of the parliament to form a new government, or whether an election needs to be called.
The governing majority doesn't have to be from one party. It can be a coalition of parties.
So far in Canadian history there has been only one coalition goverment. It was a coaltion formed by (you guessed it) the Conservatives.
The current suspension of our democracy has nothing to do with whether the Conservative Party is right wing (by USA standards they are more centrist than right wing).
And it has nothing to do with whether the coalition is left wing, or socialist, or separtist.
It has nothing to do with Harper trying to legistlate the destruction of all opposition parties.
It has nothing to do with Harper trying to legislate against women having the right to equal pay for equal work.
It has nothing to do with Harper saying that the votes of members of parliament elected by the Canadian people of Quebec don't count.
It has nothing to do with the Liberal leader being an inept weenie who couldn't lead his way out of a wet paper bag.
It has nothing to do with a coaltion of any party with any other parties.
These are ALL issues that ought rightly be decided and resolved by a majority vote in the Parliament and NONE of these issues is the cause of the current crisis in Canada.
The crisis has ONLY to do with a rogue government that decided it was not accountable to the people's Parliament and so it locked the doors in the face of a vote they were likely to lose.
The traitor Harper has joined the ranks of Mugabe, Hussein, and Hilter and in one self serving act has turned the country into a banana republic.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Normally (whatever that is) I like to work with two of the same colour to match up the patterns in the two socks. With a single ball, I simply start the second sock wherever the first finished off.
Austermann Step colour # 05. From the original series of 6 when the Step yarns were first introduced.
This pair is sized Medium + Low Pressure, which is to say no hem top and no ribbing. Simply a 3:1 mock rib to hold the leg up (without the pressure of purl stitches against the leg). The top rolls but does not roll down the leg.
This is a great pattern for anyone with special sensitivities or circulation issues.
The Step yarn is 70% wool and 30% nylon, and is infused with Joboba Oil and Aloa Vera. The only special laundering treatment required is to not use fabric softener, which will destroy the oils.
Austermann claims the oils should survice 40 washes if properly handled.
It certainly is a soft luxury yarn.
I do find a bit of residue on my cylinder after knitting several pairs. So I like to knit 'a bunch' and then clean the cylinder with turpentine before switching back to other yarns. I don't think this would be necessary after knitting merely a dozen or so pairs.
Austermann Step colour # 22.
The pair is sized Large Low Pressure. For this pair I've done a 5:1 mock rib on the 72 cylinder, instead of a 3:1 as for the M+.
Austermann Step colour # 17 is also sized Large Low Pressure.
There is a light colour fade mid foot on the left socks. Maybe not a huge thing, but I don't like when that occurs in a yarn.
At 102 rows, the legs on all these Low Pressure socks are a bit longer than I usually knit. The feet are 65 rows for M+ and 75 rows for Large.
Not the TV show (Jesse's favourite according to his sitter.)
But the 1 day anniversary of the suspension of democracy in Canada.
In case you thought I was over my rant ;o)
Can anyone imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth that would have occurred if Bill Clinton had locked out the House AND the Senate just before they voted on his impeachment.
OR if GW had suspended the vote that led to Obama's election.
Don't get me wrong... I think the leader of the Opposition is a weenie. I don't like him and I think he would be a weak Prime Minister. But when the other choice is, IMHO, a fascist who has turned a once (and by once, I mean once LONG AGO) honorable party into a bunch of brown shirts, inciting cultural hatred ....
And NEITHER of them has done anything for knitters.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This was my first kick at Noro Kureyon....almost a year ago now, and I blogged on them at Nightmare on Noro Street.
I hated these socks more than anything.
(Well, not as much as I hate the current fascist Canadian Prime Minister who has shut down the Canadian Parliament in order to avoid a confidence motion that would have tossed his sorry lying *ss out of power after trying unsuccessfully to disenfranchise all french speaking Canadians, working women, union workers, all opposition parties, and others amongst the 62% of Canadians who didn't vote for his party in the first place. Today Canada ceased to be a democracy. But I digress.)
Any way..... the socks....
I made several mistakes because of splitting yarn, knots, hay and other annoyances and so kept this pair for myself. And since I hated them so much I decided to destroy them by making them my 'barn socks'.
Nothing can kill a pair of socks faster than barn boots. Nothing!
I took the photo above this morning. I've worn these socks virtually every week in the past year, and have put them through the washing machine DOZENS of times.
(Maybe I'm as wrong about our fascist Prime Minister too. One can only hope. When he started using the words 'treason' and 'sedition' I was pretty sure he was setting up to call in the tanks to hold on to power. It was OK for him to him to cut a deal with legitimately elected members of parliament who seek a sovereign Quebec, in order for him to oust a Liberal minority government, but it is sedition for the Liberals to do the same thing. But I digress....)
So, anyway, about the socks.....
The yarn was indeed difficult to work with (for me) and I found it very rough compared to other sock yarns. I admit they did soften quite a bit after a few washes, and I don't really feel softness on my feet the way I do with my hands.
Surely one of two of my readers wondered why I made a road trip to the big smoke and didn't hit any yarn stores.
Well, I did make one stop...
And since I was looking at Noro I decide to give this a shot:
Click here to see what else was in the haul.
This should keep me busy for a few weeks.
(And when Canadians take to the streets to protest the loss of democracy, may they do so in great warm comfy wool socks.)
But I digress....
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Instead, Jesse and I took a road trip to the big smoke to see the sights.
The sights were pretty good.
He is smiling because it hasn't yet dawned on him that with two sisters he is now outnumbered!
While in the city, DW, DD and I went to scope out the One of a Kind show.
This is one BIG show. Hundreds (and hundreds) of artisans, very expensive real estate (booth fees) and 11 long days. They also have half-show artisans who go for either the first 5 or last 6 days instead of the whole gig.
It would be A LOT of knitting!