Monthly Archives: October 2007

Nearly Dead

Deadline is always a killer. Last month, I really did nearly lose my mind — this month, not so bad. November is a smaller issue though I swear I wrote half the content for the largest section of the magazine this month. While it may be a smaller issue, nearly all editorial staff is going to Mexico for an annual cruisers rally we’re associated with. Not me, and I’m fine with it, trust me.

But as of . . . well, 20 minutes from now when the final proofreading is handed to me, I’m done. Hubbo’s in Bodega Bay on the boat he’ll be racing to Hawaii next year, and I’m gonna join him for the weekend. I hope to hit a yarn store . . .

But even if I don’t, I’m still well stocked with new yarn. Just look at what my Secret Pal sent me for Halloween:

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Two luscious skeins of the lucsious Araucania Limari (70% Merino/20% Alpaca/10% Silk). I just wanted to nuzzle into it all night. Seriously, I’d pick it up, rub it against my face, gaze at it for a few seconds, put it down, only to pick it up again a minute later!

Also included were a big ass jar of wool wash, which I’ve totally been needing, a kitty tape measure, some Halloween candy (SP may notice that the bag is significantly less full than when she sent it) and the coolest pen ever:

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Her note said it was in memory of the kamikaze bird that killed itself and our wind generator!With the craziness of deadline, I still haven’t had the time or mental capacity to seam up the shoulders on my TWO finished sweaters. Well, to be honest, I still have miles of mohair ruffle to knit on the bottom of the body but still . . . so close.

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But I did have the mental capacity (and itchy fingers) to start on my SIL’s swirl placemats. Very odd construction. I’ll post progress but as I’m only on like row 4 of flat stockinette, what’s there to post?

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I’ll leave you with this adorable pic of Lauren in her equally adorable crocheted hat — taken at Sunday’s U-Knitty.

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Razzle Dazzle

I hearby nickname Vogue Knitting Fall 2005 Pattern #11 (aka V-neck pullover) “Razzle Dazzle”. There’s a lot of flash in this deceivingly quick and simple knit. I finished the body in about five days and knit up nearly an entire sleeve last night (I would have finished but we had errands to run) but it looks like it’s time/effort intensive. “Give ’em the ol’ razzle dazzle . . .”

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There was some confusion when I got to the front shoulders but a few minutes of reading the pattern over and over and over while looking at the photo helped me puzzle it out. You can just see at the top of the pic the extra length of ‘collar’ that will get sewn to the shoulder and back, creating a yoke look. Another puzzling piece of this pattern: the neck edge calls for one st of garter along the entire length. At first, this looks wrong and I was tempted to switch it to stockinette the whole way but decided to trust the pattern. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? I have to frog back 15 minutes worth of knitting? Big whoop. So on I knit and wouldn’t you know, that one st garter edge helps stop the neckline from rolling a bunch – just enough to tuck the garter edge under so it’s invisible. A very neat little trick!

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It’s still raining. Hubbo is planning on a little trip while I’m on deadline. If you’ll recall, he’s doing a singlehanded race from SF to Hawaii next summer. Remember Tess? Remember that we sold her because we found a better boat? Well, he has the new boat pretty much ready to do his qualifying sail – 400 miles non-stop, sail-only, singlehanded. Should take about 4-5 days. Usually October is a lovely month here – no fog, mild winds, sunny skies. Hopefully this system passes and no more roll through before he finishes the trip. Wish him luck!

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I Styled My Hair Why?

I haven’t even thought about my umbreller in months — months, I tell you — so I had to root around the boat to find it last week when a small system passed through. Of course the sun was shining brilliantly by the time I left work so who needs an umbreller? I’d look at it sitting forlornly in the corner and think “I really should take that home” but never did. Of course, this is what I woke up to:

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At least I remembered to close all the portlights (windows) this time.

Of course Miss Brilliance over here went up and took a shower and styled her hair anyway. Now for you landlubbers out there, you may not realize what the big deal is. Take a shower, do your hair, step into the garage, get in the car, open the garage door with a handy dandy remote control and drive to your covered parking space at work. That’s not how it works when you live on a boat.

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First, you have to gather up your toiletries bag (mine is literally an overnighter bag with all my ‘products’, hairdryer, makeup, etc. and weighs at least 10 lbs.) and towel. Then you walk the green path up to the showers. Hopefully there’s not a line of ladies waiting. After you shower, do your hair and apply the makeup, you pack your bag back up and follow the pink path back down to the boat. There you get dressed for the day, have a cuppa tea, pet Freddy, give Hubbo a smooch and trot back up the blue path to the car. Sometimes I’m lucky and find one a little closer but not always. That little trip is just about like walking across a football field three times! Now imagine doing it sans umbreller.

Yes, I look beautiful today.

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Sweater Fever and Catnip Armpits

I’m still procrastinating on seaming that sweater but I have a great excuse! Hubbo and Big Aaron have the Valient hauled out so I have been running up there and fixing meals, etc. I really want to be focused and have a good amount of time before tackling it.

In the meantime, I cast on Vogue Fall ’05 #11 (aka: V-neck Pullover) a couple nights ago but twisted the cast on apparently. I was about 3 inches into it when I realized I was knitting a moebius sweater! (Why on earth did Cat Bordhi expend all that energy figuring out a ‘moebius cast on’ when all she had to do was twist a cast on stitch in the round?) Frogged and started again last night after Big Aaron left. Already 4+ inches into it!

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How the heck do I get that mohair to distribute more evenly?

Normally when you change a flat knitted pattern to knitting in the round, you have to subtract two sts so the shaping doesn’t look like this (I forgot this step while knitting Miss Thang).

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You can see two rows between the decreases in Miss Thang.

Since there’s no shaping in this sweater (actually, two increases), it doesn’t really matter so I’m just knitting the original number of sts. The Big Wool and size 15 needles really makes it go fast. I should have it done by the weekend!

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Freddy loves Aaron – especially one particular part of him.

Speaking of Big Aaron, Freddy luvsluvsluvs him. As with any person who a cat really likes, Aaron’s allergic but he thinks Fred’s a cool cat. I wonder if Fred burying his face in Aaron’s armpit like it has catnip growing out of it has anything to do with it.

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Disturbing.

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Seamingly Done

My KP On Deck Pullover (my first sweater ever hello how cool is that?!) just needs the sleeves set in and I’m finis! I weaved (wove?) in all the ends and even tightened up the cast ons. I’m a big fan of what’s known as the backward-loop cast-on (Sally Melville calls it the E Cast-on). I use it almost exclusively because it’s nearly guaranteed to never be too tight and bunch up, and because I’m lazy. I don’t have to figure out how much yarn to pull off a skein to do it and I never run out 2/3 of the way through. Lazy. Anyhooters, I find that if I go back and slightly tighten up that cast-on, the item lays just a little flatter.

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One step left to finish my first ever sweater.

I’m ever so slightly worried about setting in the sleeves – I’m a virgin. I suppose I’ll just tackle it and if it looks like crap, I’ll just frog it and try again. I’ll block it and hope that wetting it will ‘shrink’ it just a tad. No biggie if it doesn’t – it’s just a kick around sweater anyway – but then it would fit perfectly. That’s the thing about sweater knitting that always put me off it. You never really know if what you’re knitting will fit in the end and that’s a scary-lot of time to invest it something so uncertain (can you tell I’m not much into the stock market?).

Of course I’m already planning two more sweaters so you can clearly tell I’m insane.

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Wish I had her shoulderblades (and stomach and thighs and ass . . .)

I swatched for Vogue Knitting Fall 2005 V-Neck Pullover last night. I got stitch gauge but I got two extra rows. Puzzling, especially since I’m normally a fairly loose knitter. I usually have to go down two needle sizes to get gauge and this time I hit it (well, stitch gauge anyway) spot on with the recommended needles. The advice I’ve been given so far on Knitty Coffeeshop is to just adjust the pattern so any instructions that read “knit XX rows” to read “knit XX inches” based on the pattern’s gauge. I think I’ll give it a shot.But I’m also sorta hankering for Knitty’s Cherie Amour. I have all that Faux Malabrigo from Handpainted Yarns just sitting there waiting to be frogged from my disenchanting cardigan. Maybe it’s fortunate that I don’t have size 13 needles to swatch with. Must . . . Order . . . Size . . . 13s . . .

I know this may come as a surprise, but I have a little bit of a life outside the office and knitting. Last week Hubbo and I met up with our friends Brad and Kim to visit the Legion of Honor and de Young Museum in the City. A $10 bill gets you into both of these excellent fine arts museums – can you believe that? Brad & Kim had been to the de Young the week before so we started with the Legion, which is featuring a very large Rodin collection. Me, I’m rather ambivalent about sculpture so I was all “Whatever.” But I really enjoyed the majority of the paintings (some of those Catholic-centric ones are a little creepy).

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Obligatory ‘Thinker’ pose.

We took our time meandering over to the de Young, not realizing it closed so early, so we only had 20 minutes to check it out. B & K led the way to their favs with us oohing and aahing along the way. The security guards cracked up that we were trying to see everything in such a short time! We may have ‘seen’ everything, we’re definitely going back to really check it all out. Of course you know how much we like to travel into the City – gack!

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Freddy loves to help with the dishes.

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SP11 Contest

I know I just posted but I also just came across this neglected email from my hostess Christine in my inbox announcing a new SP11 contest. Deadline’s tomorrow – yikes!

List your favorite:

Actor – Who else? Johnny Depp

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Actress – Meryl Streep
Animal – Fred

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Band – Bonnie Raitt
Book – Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bubble Bath – Non-flowery; subtle
Candy – Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Color – Red, as of this moment

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Flower – Gardenia
Food – Fatty (cheesecake, butter, etc)

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Lip Balm – Anything with SPF15
Lotion – plain shea butter (unscented)
Movie – Turner & Hooch (I know, I know)
Song – Copacabana

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TV Show – Do I have to say it? American Idol (don’t shoot me)
Vacation Spot – my boat

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Nearly Done

All the stress from deadline went into plowing through my On Deck Pullover and now I’m pleased to report that I’m nearly done – just finishing up the second sleeve and then I’ll begin the frightening process of ‘setting in sleeves’. That sounds so ominous!

After deadline is over, we always have a little time to decompress (which is a good thing considering how many psychotic breaks I had this time round), so Hubbo and I drove down to Monterey to visit our Japanese sailing friends Motoe and Yumiko. We stopped in Half Moon Bay to visit/interview this cool cruising couple (I’m always workin’…) then stopped in Santa Cruz for the night. Hubbo loves Thai food so when we happened to drive by a hotel right next door to a Thai place, the die was cast. While I can wholeheartedly NOT recommend the Thai place, the Mission Inn was inexpensive and nice enough to sleep in. Plus they had a Jacuzzi we had all to ourselves.

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Good Jacuzzi, bad Thai.

After a nice soak in the hot tub, we went back to the room and got busy — knitting, that is. I stayed up late to finish the body of the pullover. Thanks to Lauren for telling me how to do my first three-needle bind-off EVER!

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The Otter Inn on Cannery Row is another inexpensive and nice place to stay.

Look at the basket of food they give you!

(Why are hotel pillows always 7 feet thick? I don’t get it. We take our pillows everywhere because of this weird pillow-phenomenon. I can’t imagine how much I’d have to spend with my chiropractor if I’d slept on this monster!)

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Can you say ‘Otolarynology’?

Speaking of an interesting phenomenon, take a look at this crazy stripe in the fabric. I’ve looked carefully at it, as have others, and the only thing we can think of is that when I picked up the knitting one night, I must’ve been extra stressed out. It loosens back up about 2/3 through the row. I’ve been assure it’ll block out. (fingers crossed)

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Someone must have really pissed me off that day!

Halfway through the decreases for the bodice, I remembered about the pseudo-SSK decrease. What the heck, it’s only on the sides and no one will notice. Just take a look at the difference in how the two stitches lay. The top is your standard bulky SSK, the bottom is the alternative: slip one stitch, flip around and put it back on the left needle, then knit 2 together through the back of the stitches. Nice, eh?

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Ugly/Pretty

So, back to the trip. We had a lovely visit with Motoe and Yumiko and went shopping in Cannery Row. You should have seen Motoe’s face when he walked into this candy shop – “Ack!” Apparently his senses were offended by the sickly sweet stench of a room full of candy. Hubbo, on the other hand, went on a spree. Wonder why the Komatsus are so tiny and we’re, well, not.

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For the record, Hubbo put back half the candy.

On another topic, I finally got a pic of my friend Betty Lou, she of Miss Thang, aka: Mud Flap Girl.

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Ain’t she just the cutest?! I’m thrilled to see the XS fit her to a T. Yea me!

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