Call It Olympics Lag

Between staying up until all hours watching Olympic coverage, the un-Tucson-like humidity with can make it tough to sleep, and still having to do all my normal Sandy-stuff during the day, I'm exhausted. As exciting as this all is (yay, Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, Natalie Coughlin, etc!), part of me will be very, very glad when I can get back to a normal schedule.

And I don't really even have any knitting to show for it. Oh, I've been knitting, but it is all secret (shhhhh) right now.

I can show off this, however:
Waving Lace Socks

It's my version of a the Waving Lace Sock from Favorite Socks (rav links). Except, of course, that it's toe-up, with a gusset heel, and a smaller foot, and I may or may not put the lace at the top of the sock. So, basically, I'm making a toe-up sock with the waving lace lace pattern on it.

And it's already giving me ideas, both for the second sock and for another project. Stay tuned.

And because I like the look of a slip-stitch heel with a gusset (and because I really have nothing else to share -- pitiful -- not even cute pics of the animals):
Waving Lace Socks Heel

Oh, the yarn? It's Lang Jawoll Colors #58.

Last Night, This Morning, Tomorrow, Late Next Tuesday?

Whenever it was that the US Men pulled off that astounding win in the 4x100 relay (at least whenever it was broadcast here in the SW) -- M and I were watching from bed, and jumped and shrieked so loudly that the cat ran for the hills. Poor thing -- perhaps rabid sports fans should not be allowed to have pets who startle easily.

Time has become weird here of late. What with the time difference between here and China AND the fact that the "live" broadcasts are actually still delayed 2 hours out here in the Wild West, I am left with this feeling of not really knowing when things are happening. But whenever it was, that relay has to have been the most spectacular thing I've ever witnessed (sports-wise); and it almost makes up for the long faces of 8 years ago (one of which was Jason Lezak's) as the Aussies celebrated their victory in "our race."

Smash the Americans, indeed. BTW, perhaps lost in all the excitement is the fact that Alain Bernard's world record in the 100 meter free also fell during the first leg of the relay.

But, there has been knitting here at the casa.
Crazy Monkeys

Pattern: Sort of my own concoction, loosely based on the Cookie A.'s Monkey and Los Monos Locos. Toe-up 60-stitch stockinette foot with seven repeats of the Monkey stitch pattern on the leg.
Yarn: Regia Ringel Color #5048
Needle: Knit Picks 32" Harmony circ 2.5mm

I've already told most of this sock's story: I needed a project to work on, so I just knit a sock foot; when I got to the leg, I asked for suggestions and got the Monkey. I love it. I love the way the stitch pattern makes the stripes of the yarn undulate. And then I did a knitted bind off. I do believe this will become my standard toe-up bind off from now on. Yeah, it's a bit slow and fiddly, but I love the result.
Southwest Socks

It's been a whole weekend, you didn't think I'd have just one pair of socks finished to show for it, did you?

Pattern: Wendy Johnson's Southwestern Socks (pdf link) (Rav link)
Yarn: Brunswick La Laine "Mt Everest" (guess how long that's been marinating in the stash -- I don't even remember when Brunswick ceased to be)
Needle: Inox nickel plated 32" 2.75mm (US2)

Why did I ever knit socks with sock yarn?! It's been in the back of my mind to knit a pair of socks with this ball of yarn for a while, and Saturday -- after finishing the Crazy Monkeys -- I picked it up along with Wendy's pattern (which I've had since it was published). By bedtime Saturday night, I had a pair of socks. How cool is that? Okay, I admit to spending most of the day Saturday watching Olympic action, so there was a lot of knitting time, but still. Gotta love the break provided by a sport weight sock.

My new socks, however, are being knit from sock weight yarn. No pics yet, but I've started a pair of Waving Lace Socks (Rav link) from Favorite Socks. I'm knitting them toe-up, however, and will figger out that gusset and heel flap math thing if it kills me -- stay tuned.

In other knitting news, I've started a Secret Sample:

It is going fairly quickly, but reveal will have to wait a while.

And now, I leave you with the cats, doing what they do best:
No, I'm Not Dead
He's not dead, really, just very hot and very, very trusting

Is This Comfortable?
I don't know how this can be comfortable, but since he spends an awful lot of time like this, I guess it is.

We Need More of Me
The Queen would like you to know that there needs to be more of her in the world (and less of the boys, if that's possible).

String Art
K-man with just a small portion of his latest string art creation which stretches through the living room, dining room, family room, and kitchen (don't worry, it was leftover from the Southwestern Socks, and I let him have it) -- oh, and don't let her tell you otherwise, the Queen helped with this arts and crafts project.

Been Away Too Long

As much as I love unexpected time off (snow days, boiler died days, police are running drills in the Bunker parking lot days...), the past few days have been a bit much. The online tool which is a necessary component of my "day job" went down sometime last Thursday evening, had to be rebuilt, and just came back online yesterday afternoon. For anyone who's counting, that's nearly a week without being able to work. (Not to mention a week of not getting paid.)

Friday was nice -- we got a lot of work done around the house and spent a lazy afternoon knitting and weaving. Monday was also kinda nice -- got the rest of the cleaning done and spent some time reading. By Tuesday, it was getting really old. I actually read an entire book on Tuesday. Wednesday, well, Wednesday is the day I head in to church to do some proofreading/editing work and have lunch with M, so it wasn't so bad. Today, I can finally go back to work. Hooray!

So, if I've had all this time off, why haven't I blogged? Well, you know how they say if you want something done, find a busy person? You know how sometimes when you only have one or two things on your to do list, it's hard to get motivated to do them? You know that feeling of uselessness that comes with not being able to work? All my excuses for not blogging the past couple of days.

And I don't even have pictures of scads of knitting I've completed while I couldn't work. Nope, I've turned the heel and done about two repeats of the monkey pattern on the second Crazy Monkey sock, and I wove a whole three inches of the scarf I'm making from the Lorna's Laces rainbow sock yarn.

Oh, but I can confess that the scarf won't look like the picture I posted of the warp on the warping board for the simple reason that I was an idiot.
Rainbow Warp
I diligently tied the ends of the warp and tied the choke ties, and stupidly forgot to secure the cross (weavers will know what this means). Basically, it means that once I had the warp off the board, I had little hope of ever keeping the order of the threads straight. Oh well, it's still colorful and I think I'm going to like it. I believe the tencel in the weft is red purple, but don't quote me on that (I need to get a colorbook from WEBS).
Lorna's Laces Scarf Started
And, yes, I'm using the reclaimed yarn unwashed. I'm hoping that the tension on the loom will pull out the curlies as I weave (in these pictures, I've relaxed the tension on the warp since I'm not actively weaving on it) and that what's left will add a little texture. And if not, oh well, I've come to believe this yarn is doomed anyway. But it is curly:
Curly Bits
And, of course, in the way of the world, I got the yarn and pattern for one new sample project -- and the pattern and contract for another -- yesterday. Why couldn't this stuff have arrived when I was temporarily furloughed from my day job?!

And finally, since I got my new desk chair, the Queen has laid claim to the old one:
Queen B's Chair
She especially likes to get it spinning. Don't know what she'll do when it goes out tomorrow morning for the Boys & Girls Club to collect.

Crazy Monkeys of a Sort

Crazy Monkeys

Well, I found something to do with the legs of the brightly striped socks. When I asked over at Plurk, Obstiknit recommended Los Monos Locos. I love the Monkey, so I decided that would be a good idea. I do believe it was in fact a great idea. The monkey stitch pattern is so easy and so easy to memorize (and fast). And I absolutely love the way it makes the stripes undulate. Good choice, very good choice.

Oh, notice anything interesting about the stripes on the socks? No? Perhaps a different pic will help:
Crazy Monkey Stripes

See that? When I reclaimed this yarn from my first failed project, I had finished a whole sock with ball #1, so when I wound the yarn back into a ball directly from the sock, I wound up with the end of the ball in the center, so it's backwards. I realized this about two stripes into the toe on the second sock, but I didn't really feel like re-winding that whole ball to make them match. So, they're a little more crazy than just a normal pair of monos locos.

We had a pretty good weekend here. Saturday, we bought me a new desk chair (the thrift store find I had been using was not cutting the mustard now that I'm sitting at my desk 5+ hours a day). So, we went shopping and found a comfy (and surprisingly affordable) chair rated for more intensive use (who knew chairs were rated in hours per day). Here is the Queen modeling said chair:
Queen B Takes Over

Yes, it is red ("ruby" actually), and I kinda like the red.

We also bought a laptop cart. This will give me the freedom to move out of the office when it gets stuffy in here or I just need a change of scenery. It will also allow me to park my computer next to the exercise bike and pedal while I work (not hard, just enough to keep blood flowing to my extremities). Since we can't afford (nor do we have the room for) a treadmill workstation, this is the next best thing.

On Sunday, we went to Shlomo & Vito's for lunch (wish I could find a website, but they don't appear to have one). One of the things most Tucson transplants from anywhere in the Northeast will say they miss the most is the food. Despite being full of restaurants, Tucson has no really good Italian food, no decent seafood, and a sad lack of good deli-style food. Shlomo & Vito's is a real NY style deli, with real treats like tongue, pastrami, corned beef, knishes, and fried chicken livers. YUM! It tasted like home (or at least like NYC). And the cheesecake! Just imagine 1/6 of a cheesecake that is 3" thick! We'll be eating that for days. The place is pricey, but it will probably be on our "treat" list (along with the Native New Yorker which just opened very close to us -- haven't yet had their wings, but their meatballs are to die for).

In more knitting news: M is conquering lace. After a couple of false starts, she has made quite a bit of progress on Branching Out. Can I admit here that sometimes I envy her for learning to knit as an adult? I've been knitting so long that very little intimidates me or provides excessive challenge (except poorly written patterns or bad design). She, on the other hand, has this joy of discovery at a time in her life when she can appreciate and remember it.

My Favorite Breakfast

This is my interpretation of something we first had in a little bakery in Atlanta, somewhere nearby Centennial Park. This version of the recipe makes enough to serve us breakfast for nearly a week. Food safety people would probably not recommend keeping it in the fridge that long, so feel free to cut in half.

Swiss Oatmeal (that's what they called it)

4 cups water
4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup each slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, raisins and dried cranberries (feel free to substitute your favorite nuts and/or dried fruit)
1 cup milk of your choice (we use plain soy milk)
3 cups lowfat plain yogurt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 crisp apples (yellow delicious and Granny Smith work well), cut into small bite-size chunks
bananas, berries, other fresh and/or frozen fruit (optional)

Bring water, salt and brown sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Lower heat and add 3 cups of the oats. Cook over medium/low heat until thickened but not quite "done" consistency. Remove from heat and pour into large mixing bowl/tupperware/something to store it in the fridge in. Stir in nuts, dried fruit, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, and the other 1 cup of oats. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Remove from the refrigerator and assess consistency. If necessary, add more milk or yogurt to thin to eating consistency. Stir in chopped apples and return to refrigerator.

Serve cold, garnishing with sliced banana and/or other fresh or frozen fruit as desired.


Has This Ever Happened to You?

You're happily knitting along in stockinette stitch and suddenly you break into entrelac? (apologies to Meg Swansen)

I have this sock foot:
A Foot

Started this yesterday afternoon because I needed something to knit while I worked -- figured I could figure out what to do with the leg when I got there. Well, I'm there, and I'm seeking something to do with it.

The first thing that came to me was entrelac (seems to be a theme in my life lately), and that sent me to an article I knew I'd seen in one of that pile of old Knitter's -- one where Meg Swansen discussed how to work out the decreases when going from stockinette to entrelac. And that's where the above butchered line comes from. [Original quote: "If you have ever been knitting along happily in stockinette stitch, and suddenly broken into entrelac, you will have seen how -- without changing the number of stitches -- the entrelac section puffs out like a mushroom cap." (Knitter's #27, Summer 1992)]

I've pretty much thrown out the entrelac idea for now, though. I'm now looking through stitch dictionaries for some lacy ribbing or something to do to it. Stay tuned.

And, get this, I may have finally come up with something to do with that Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock rainbow colorway that might keep the rainbow. Remember the scarf I just wove out of sock yarn? Well, what if I used the Lorna's Laces as a warp? Here's the warp on the warping board:
Rainbow Warp

Right now the plan is to use some tencel in amethyst (I believe) for the weft. That should allow the striping of the warp to show with just a purple cast to it. We'll see what happens.

Fortunately, I just got a reprieve from work for the rest of the day, so I'm off to figure out at least one of these two puzzles (and maybe even get some reading done).