Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sea Watch

I'm keeping one eye on the sea this week. Hurricane Earl is heading this way. Stinky "brains" have been washing up on the Jersey Shore. John McEnroe has been blowing up a storm. And my Windandsea Hat looks more like an octohat than ever.


Seriously, gentle readers on the U.S. Eastern seaboard may want to check out their local Office of Emergency Management coastal evacuation maps and storm surge maps (click here for NJ). It could be time to prepare to head for higher ground – or at least to queue some hurricane knitting.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saturday on Park

On Saturday, DH and I pedaled off to NYC to bike on Park Avenue and other streets car-free as part of the Summer Streets program. As last year, the high point literally and figuratively was the two-story high elevated drive around Grand Central Terminal, usually accessible to cars only.

Perched next to the drive were three public dumpster pools, the hot new thing this hot summer.

Dumpster pools

There even were cabanas to change in, striped ones, of course.


Because every sock deserves an adventure, I took the Piscean singleton to Bethesda Fountain, the heart of Central Park.

Piscean Sock at Bethesda Fountain

After a bit more pedaling, we enjoyed lunch at a favorite spot, Bistro Cassis on Columbus Avenue. DH always gets mussels, which come in a clever hammered copper bivalve dish. Then we wended our way home.

Once home, it occurred to me while resizing photos that I still have water and fish on the brain from watching The End of the Line, a beautifully photographed, powerful documentary on overfishing.

Or view here

It turns out there aren't plenty of fish in the sea – some species are so badly overfished that some fisheries have collapsed. Monterey Bay Aquarium has an online seafood watch and handy pocket guides, mobile guides, and an iPhone app to help informed consumers avoid endangered species or species with high mercury content. Have a look!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I started a Windansea Hat by Kristi Porter, knit from brim to crown. The FOs in the Ravelry project gallery are quite cute, although at the moment the brim on mine is shaping to be an octohat.

Windansea hat in progress

I do believe in blocking and brim wire, I do, I do, I do!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The hybrid swatch is a roaring success. Behold, handspun and commercial-spun knit at the same gauge, albeit different drape. Also, it makes me smile to see my bamboo straights are a bit bendy.

Hybrid swatch

That means S/KAL Plan A, a top-down pullover with handspun yoke and commercial-spun body and sleeves, is a go. From the swatch I guesstimate the current supply of handspun is sufficient to reach the point of the bust, perhaps not the most flattering look. Guess I'm gonna need to spin up another braid of fiber. Paging Zarzuela!

As long as I'm showing off, lookit – it's the inside of my Piscean Sock.

Piscean Sock inside out

Somehow I just can't look away from the UK knit camp horror show, perhaps because last summer I met Lorilee Beltman, one of the instructors who was deported, notwithstanding she is the designer of the official camp sock. She was very kind to me and surely deserves better from the event organizers, as do all the instructors and registrants. I suppose the first hint of trouble was when Ysolda Teague withdrew from the event, followed by Casey and Jess Forbes. Further sorry details are readily available to the avidly curious via Twitter and Ravelry.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Today would have been Elizabeth Zimmermann's 100th birthday – in honor of the day, many fellow Zimmermaniacs are flashing their FOs.Cake Alas, as much as I cherish the EZ spirit of un-vention, I got nothing to show. I've gifted all the Zimmermann FOs I've made and have no blog-appropriate pix. I can't explain why ZFOs are, for me, more giftable than keepable. I can aver they've given me many absorbing hours and made many recipients very happy over the years. Happy Birthday, EZ!

I do have a finished pair of plain old socks that are mine all mine, worked in Opal Harry Potter colorway Lupin. (I suppose I can see the name, but I'd never have guessed it.) They have a contrast short row toe with zigzag bind off to emulate HP's lightning scar. I accidentally made the second cuff two rounds longer than the first, noticed only after I was well into the leg, so compensated by making that leg two rounds shorter. The socks seem functional despite the error.

Lupin socks

Meanwhile, I finished spinning the Targhee singles in record time and decided to try winding a two-strand Andean plying ball. It's supposed to be wound much tighter than one would wind a ball of finished yarn to keep the singles under tension – I'm afraid I pulled too hard and snapped a ::cough:: badly overspun section. I just continued winding rather than start a second ball, because a smaller diameter ball is much fussier to wind than a larger one.

Plying ball and sample skein

The two plies were fairly close, but not exactly the same length. I plied the leftover on itself and ended up with a 9-yard sample skein. I'm going to swatch it to see if Plan A, a hybrid pullover of handspun and commercial-spun, is going to work. To be continued....

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Spin

It's August. The THI goes up, the THI goes down, solar storms make the aurora borealis dance (and I keep missing it), spinning goes on – currently on the spindle is some Zarzuela's Fibers Targhee, colorway Swamp Story. I love the how the tertiary complements, red-violet and acid green, work together.

Targhee singles

Targhee is unlike anything I've spun before. The fiber is neither hairlike nor downy, but rather is soft and spongy. It has a lot of "grab" and can look matted, yet is easy to draft, yielding a sproingy single with a nice sheen. Bizarre as this may sound, it's what I imagine fiberfill would be like were it good wool instead of extruded polymer. There's a thoroughbred, almost an engineered quality to it.

I'm spindling up what I hope will finish as worsted weight for Zarzuela's Late Summer/Fall S/KAL. My silly fingers do want to spin fingering, though, so we'll see.