around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Know your priorities Part II

OK everyone, thanks for all the enabling! I knew I'd avoid buyer's remorse if you helped validate my decision to buy a another wheel. (giggle) The wheel was shipped yesterday (I hope).

I still need clothes, shoes, house stuff, etc., but what I got to spend my money on this week was a new tooth.

One of my teeth decided to crack (I promise I did nothing to help this along - it did it all on its own). The dentist thought I may need a root canal, but we did just a crown instead. Oh, and a crown lengthening, too. I just went and looked that term up on the internet - sometimes too much information is not good before the procedure. I'm glad I didn't know exactly what they were up to in there. I was at the dentist's office 5 hours yesterday.

Even with dental insurance, I'm now much, much poorer.

Per the dentist I may still need the root canal later on - we're waiting to see if the tooth settles down. Maybe I'll sing it lullabys every night.

Rock-a-bye toothie, in the sore gum,
When the Tylenol blows , the toothie will hum
When the crown breaks, the toothie will fall
and out will come toothie, money and all.

Guess it's a good thing that I've got plenty of stash - the yarn/fiber budget just went down the tubes.

And now for knitting news:

The red Mom socks are done!

Yarn: Lang Jawoll sock yarn (and I never did use that reinforcing yarn they provided)

Color: Bright red (sorry I don't have the number handy)

Needles: Size 2.25mm Brittany Birch double points

Pattern: Kind of my own thing, although I think I got the idea for the leg pattern from a Knitting Vintage Socks pattern - it looks familiar anyway.

And now on to sis-in-law #1's socks. I promised both of the sis-in-laws socks, since they saw the pair I made my father-in-law. (I think it was the way they pleaded that did it.)

This is Socks that Rock in medium weight Nodding Violet. I'm using 2.75mm size 2 Brittany birch dpns and my own pattern.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Know your priorities

I need new clothes. I need new shoes. The house always needs new stuff. The cat probably needs something new, too.

What do I order?

A new spinning wheel. A Lendrum double-treadle. New in the box.

See - my priorities are all in the right place.

Anybody need a very slightly used Hitchhiker wheel?

Those links are not where I got these by the way. I bought my Hitchhiker direct from the guy that makes them and the Lendrum is coming from an eBay vendor.

My only excuse/reason is that I've been looking at the Lendrums for over a year and this is a heck of a deal. Ok - lame justification is over - I just really, really wanted it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Toe transplants

After all the comments last week, I thought I'd try re-knitting my holey toes rather than darning them. You'll notice this isn't the pair I was showing off - thought I'd start with some that were in even worse shape. (Also a pair that I wouldn't cry about too much if I really screwed it up.)

Step 1: Find a row and thread a set of smaller dps through each stitch. Having a striped yarn made that a lot easier. These were originally knit with a 2.75mm needle - I'm using 2.25mms for the repair.

Step 2: Cut into the top of the sock and attempt to find an end.
Step 2a: Cut some more.
Step 2b: Cut some more. Realize that the yarn is fulled so badly that it'll never unravel from it's present state.
Step 2c: Keep cutting 'til I'm one row away from the needles. Slowly pick away at what's left until I've got a set of live stitches on the needles.

Step 3: Knit a few plain rows until I've got a good base. (I did a fold splice with the old and new yarns so I wouldn't have to worry about working in ends.)
Step four: Do my standard decreases until I've got it back where it belongs. Compare with old toe to make sure I've got the right length.
Step 5: Graft the toe.

Repeat steps 1 through 5 (omitting steps 2, 2a, and 2b) on the other sock.

Step 6: Give the leftover toe to Emy - it has provided endless amusement.

I hesitate to try this on my cable and rib socks. These socks were slightly fulled and miserable to disassemble. The cable and rib socks are heavily fulled (even though they were supposedly 'superwash') and I'm not certain I'll even be able to accomplish Step 1. We'll see what I feel up to doing later....

I suspect I will be performing toe replacement surgery on several other pair. I'm apparently really hard on my toes.

Thanks for all the good suggestions!


Flowers on the local nature trail - only the true adventurers (or rude local teens) apparently try to take this trail. The trail starts at a park and immediately plunges under the pylons of a local road. The graffiti, trash and generally menacing atmosphere do not impress. If you persevere and continue on, there is a nice unpaved trail that runs through the woods and along a creek.
My hubby and I keep promising ourselves that we'll take trash bags next time and try to pick up some of the beer cans and bottles, cigarette packages and general trash next time we go.

A close-up of a hollow tree on the same nature trail - it's still leafing up, even though a gnome could take up residence inside. Yes, the hole goes all the way through.

A volunteer vine in the back yard. It doesn't do much but does spit out a few flowers in the spring.
A jasmine vine in the backyard - we planted it years ago but thought it had died. It came back and vined madly, but has only this year decided to bloom. This is the side over the fence - on the other side, it's covered in blooms. The yellow is so intense that my camera doesn't seem to handle it well.

Broken mosaic - I painstakingly laid this 5 or 6 years ago (my one and only mosaic project). A few rains and hard freezes later and the whole thing is just lying there - it has popped up from the concrete base. Might as well just leave it until it crumbles - I don't see myself trying to repair it.

The ubiquitous Carolina jasmine. A 'must have' in many local gardens. Covered in blooms in the spring and a darn nuisance the rest of the time.

Some people have garden gnomes - I have a garden gargoyle. He guards the garden for me, although I made the mistake of having him on a tree at first. The squirrels were chewing on him (how rude!) so he got moved to the back wall. I brought him back from a visit to the UK.

Wait a minute! I've got garden gnomes, too! Almost forgot about them... I'll try to get of picture of them later.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


To darn or not to darn--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the holes and tatters of the present condition
or to take needle in hand and fix the darn things.
(with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare and Hamlet, Prince of Denmark)

If I'm going to darn them, should I wait 'til there are actual holes, or should I do it now while there's still some yarn left holding them together. A little duplicate stitch in the weak areas now might save them for quite a while.

I know the traditional method of darning socks - as often quoted on the 'net:

Carefully hold the offending sock over the trash bin and exclaim 'Darn it!' as you let it drop.

Each pair of socks represents several weeks of my precious 'spare' time and 24,000-26,000 stitches. They get abused - I wear them, then machine-wash and -dry them every week. I have this unreasoning belief that they should last forever and don't seem to understand that they should show signs of wear after 50 or so weeks.

This pair is one of my favorites - my cable & rib socks finished almost exactly a year ago. They're in slightly better shape than some of the others.

I think it's time to do something about them before my toes explode through. Being the person I am, I still have the left-over yarn from these and every other pair I've ever knit. So at least my darning will be with the original yarn.

And look! I've finished Mom's first sock and have started charging down the leg of sock #2! Mother's a lot more careful with the socks I've made her than I am with the ones I've made for myself. She shouldn't need any darning for a long time....

Monday, March 05, 2007

I need a life

As I was sitting here taking pictures of my feet I realized two things:
1. I'm really glad I have an office door with a lock - I can't imagine trying to explain why I'm taking pictures of my feet to the CFO or the President.
2. I need to get out more, as this is the highlight of my day.

Mom's sock #1 is to the heel. Yes, I remembered to use the carry-along reinforcing thread that Lang Jawoll provides. No, I didn't like it and took it out. I use the traditional slipped-stitch heel and the extra bulk just wasn't working. I'll try it again with the toe (where I get most of my wear).

A rare photo of the species Felinus Emy in its natural habitat. Please ignore the dust. We just leave that around to make Emy more comfortable (yea, right). See the Monarch picture behind her? That did not receive an award at the local photo contest. Neither did the two butterfly photos my husband entered. We've decided the contest is rigged. We'll probably enter again next year as part of an undercover sting operation to find out how far the rot goes. (hee, hee)

Mom got to go home from the hospital on her birthday. Way to go, Mom! She has spent the last few days resting (much better than was possible at the hospital) and will start rehab this week. Dad's relieved to have her home and Mom's relieved to be there. And Otis, their Jack Russell terrier, will be even more relieved to be released from the local prison (otherwise known as the vet) today. Thanks again for all the kind thoughts, wishes and prayers everyone!

Now go knit a square for Rebekah! I've had too many distractions this time around, but I'll hopefully join in the next time. Sounds like she's going to have enough for a nice big blanket.