Friday, November 30, 2007

last day

YAY!

today is the last day for NaBloPoMo.
I can hear the collective sigh of relief.

I did this to see if I could do it. and I could. but I'm not really happy with the results, in order to have content I needed to pull a lot more from my personal life than I really wanted too, and I STILL had a lot of sad one or two lined posts made at the last minute.

ah well.

I learned a lot and I now know that that I can indeed actually post more than I did before and still have an interesting blog. just maybe not post quite as much...

I'm probably going to take a few days off from posting now (besides tomorrow's Saturday sky) and come back with some actual knitting content later in the week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

actual knitting content

Christmas knitting is going well, I've finished a lot of dishcloths and I think I finally have enough.

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I really should move on to finishing the snowflakes I want to put in peoples cards, but instead I have decided to knit a beret.

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The slouchy cabled beret

I have never worn or knit a beret (or tam) before. but I really liked this pattern, and hey, you gotta start somewhere! I can be picky about the hats that I wear, so if I don't like it I know my cousin probably would, so I'm not too worried about it finding a home.

the pattern was written with DK yarn and size 5 needles, but I couldn't get the specified gauge (5 sts per inch, no listed in the actual pattern but is listed on the ravely page) so I switched out worsted and size 7 needles instead. otherwise I'm sticking to the pattern.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

nothing to see here

move along.

today has been filled with gruesome sights, and I'm having trouble thinking about knitting...

first there was the gutted dear the the gas station on the way to Watertown, then there was the gutted mole on our living room carpet when we got home.

eeeewwwww.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

new favorite Book

yeah, I went straight from catching up on web comics to reading my new favorite book: Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller

I ordered this book way back in September, and it just now arrived, I chose the free super save shipping, and the shipping estimates were all over the place, and I see now that amazon isn't even claiming they have it in stock.

no matter, because I finally have it in my hot little hands, and besides a trip to knit night last night I have been sucked into it's pages gleaning all I can about traditional Shetland lace knitting.

*Cue Evil Laughter Here*

Monday, November 26, 2007

Seven things meme

I got tagged for this via NaBloPoMo, but it's not really an official thing, so I'm not going to tag anybody else, especially since this had gone through most of the blogs I read already, if you want to do it, go ahead.

I wound's usually do a meme like this, but Bill did it a while ago on his blog too, and has been poking me to get around to do it as well. So I guess I really should now eh?

"Tell seven random or weird things about yourself"

1) I have flat feet and my leg bones are twisted so that my feet point out perpendicular to each other instead of straight ahead. I'm hard on my shoes in places most people aren't because of the way I walk, and it makes certain dance steps very dangerous. On the plus side I can really freak people out by turning my feet around to point behind me while standing.

2) I'm a classically trained vocalist and took piano and flute lessons for several years as a child. I held one of the highest reading levels in my class in high school and have two associates' degrees, one of them in Math/Science - one of the more difficult degrees and the one with the fewest women graduates at my college. Despite all this I work as a line cook at a seasonal restaurant and am unemployed for half of the year. But I am incredibly happy.

3) When I was very young, - either first or second grade - I threw a small wooden heart at my teacher, both making my parents proud, and upset at the same time. See, our class was decorating ornaments for Christmas time, girls were given little wooden hearts, and boy little wooden stars, and we were given paints, girls red, boys sparkly blue. Now I wanted to paint my heart sparkly blue, but the teacher wouldn't let me, because blue was a BOYS colour. This upset me greatly, and no matter how much I insisted that things like boy colours and girls colours were stupid, the teacher just would not let me paint my heart sparkly blue. So I got very, very angry and threw my heart at her. My parents were happy that I was standing up against stereotypical gender rolls and colours so young, they were not happy that I did it in such a fashion that ended up with me in the principles office.

4) I like cauliflower, could live off of broccoli, and fancy a brusselsprout or two now and again, my husband insists that this is very weird.

5) My husband and I met over the internet, we lived only a few miles away from each other, so we got together, dated, fell in loved and got married, and I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. When I was preparing for our first date, I was telling my mother about him, she was worried that he may be some kind of weirdo psycho killer. I told her not to worry; he was no weirder than I was. For some reason this did not reassure her.

6) I grew up with cats, and when I was a little girl, when one of the cats would die or run away my parents would tell me that they got a letter from them saying that they had fallen in love and run away to get married, and that they were very happy.

7) I love baking, I love making new types of pies and cakes and muffins, and all things sweet, and really bad for you. Unfortunately nearly all my family (on both mine and my husband's sides) are either diabetic or at very high risk of becoming diabetic.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I got nothin'

yep, nothing.

My parents came over to visit yesterday, and that on top of my obsessively catching up on Schlock Mercenary, I've done practically no knitting, and really should get off my but and do some, because I have a bunch of dishcloths to make for family, and I really wanted to make snowflakes for cards.

argh!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Sky

Sorry this is so late, i actually took it this morning. I've been catching up on several years of Schlock Mercenary and it has been a major (but fun) time suck.

Also? it's been snowing all day, so the sky isn't allt eh exciting. ah well.

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Saturday Sky, taken Saturday November 24 2007 sometimes in the late morning/early afternoon, out front of the Platypus Nest.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Post thanksgiving fish?

I hope everybody had a good thanksgiving, ours didn't exactly go as planned, the freezing rain and snow conspired to keep us home.
So instead of dinner with family we stayed home, ate tofurkey sandwiches drank hard cranberry lemonade and watched Serenity.

And I knit fish.

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Yes fish.

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As you can see:

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Esme was quite happy by this.

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The pattern is my own, and I plan on selling the extras in my Etsy store

So, you know, no selling of products made from this design yada, yada.

Felted Catnip Fishies:

Materials:

  • Small amount of worsted weight wool
  • Size 10 1/2 DPNs (or long circulars for magic loop)
  • Darning needle
  • Poly Fill
  • Catnip
  • Cat

CO 30 sts, join in the round, careful not to twist.

Knit 1 round

Tail:
R 1: (K2tog, K11, SSK) x2
R 2: (& All even) K
R 3: (K2tog, K9, SSK) x2
R 5: (K2tog, K7, SSK) x2
R 7: (K2tog, K1) x6

Body:
R 9: (K1, M1, K4, M1, K1) x2
R 11: (K1, M1, K6, M1, K1) x2
R 13: (K1, M1, K8, M1, K1) x2
R 15: (K6, M1, K6) x2

R 16 – 18: K

Head:
R 19: (K11, K2tog) x2
R 21: (K4, K2tog) x4
R 23: (K3, K2tog) x4
R 25: (K2, K2tog) x4
R 26: (K2tog) x6

Break yarn, thread tail through remaining sts, felt, dry, stuff with poly fill and catnip, sew up tail, give to cat and enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

gobble

Happy US thanksgiving y'all!

we're going to my parents today, so I don't have much time to write, theres a Tofurkey calling my name!

see ya!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

stash

I talked about reorganizing my stash the other day, so here it is:

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The drawers hold most of my yarn, the 70's style bag with the license plate cover holds my spinning, behind it are a couple boxes of crochet and tatting thread, under it is some embroidery stuff, the patchwork looking bag-stand-thingy on the right holds my kitchen cotton, and above that is some embroidery floss and a few of my quilting things. The black binder holds all my printed off the internet patterns. The soy garden container on top of the tallest pillar of drawers holds my tatting shuttles and work in progress. Beside it is an old set of BOYE interchangeables under my Tupperware full of blocking pins. To the far left are my blocking wires.

Before I go any further I have to make a disclaimer: I did not buy the majority of my stash, three relatives over the past five years have passed on and left me their stashes, I am sad to have lost them, and hope to do their supplies justice by creating as many beautiful things with them as possible.

Let's take a look in some of the boxes and drawers shall we?



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leftmost box is mostly size 10 crochet thread, rightmost box is full of size 70 tatting thread, top box holds some embroidery things, next to it is a bag full of embroidery floss, the things on the bottom right are blank hankies ready to be embellished.



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Kitchen cotton, the bag holds mostly ombres and prints, the basket mostly solids.



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Bottom rightmost drawer: needle felting supplies and novelty yarns.



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Bottom leftmost drawer: Acrylic, acrylic and more acrylic.



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Middle leftmost drawer:
On top:
Leftover sock yarns, wooly nylon and blank sock yarn to be dyed.
Underneath:
Sock yarn, acid dyes, and in the far back, Lion brand wool ease (wanted to keep it separated from the 100% wools)



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Top drawer:

On top:
Grocery bag in back leftover lace weight, Purple gossamer on right, to the front is bare lace weight from knit picks, bag in the middle is leftover knit picks.
Underneath:
Random wools the purple skein and the brown and whit skein in front are the only two full skeins, leftover from last year's NY sheep and wool.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

out of the hermitage

Yesterday's knit night went really well.
I talked about the sock class some more, (it's half full already!)
there were two new women there who we were trying to teach how to knit, it was interesting, one got it right away and was knitting and purling right along like crazy, the other as having a little more difficulty, but we got her going eventually.

Overall I had a great time, I don't get out of the house much, especially during the winter, both Bill and I get quite hermit like with the cold weather, but it's always nice to go out and spend time with other women that share the same interests.

Monday, November 19, 2007

the measurement of heat lost or gained

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calorimetry

I needed a new winter hat, but I have long hair, calorimetry sounded like the perfect solution.

At first I couldn't get gauge with recommended needles, at least I don't think I could, what the hell does "slightly stretched" mean? Why can't people just give gauge in stockinet?

Anyways, went down to size 6 and also used only 100 stitches, as my head is not 24" around, more like 22"

And it fits perfectly! I braided my tails instead of weaving them in so that I wouldn't have to use a button. I don't know how everyone else manages it, but I would never be able to wear a button there without my hair getting hopelessly tangled in it, a nice simple knot works much better, and I like the way it looks.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yarn!

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A funny story about his yarn: The other day I decided I wanted to dye some yarn, so I soaked the yarn, mixed to colours, and while I waited for the yarn to finish soaking I decided to read my friends list on LJ. Where upon I saw that one of my friends would like to receive some sock yarn for Yule, and her favorite colours just happened to be the exact colours I had mixed up!

Since I didn't really need any new sock yarn right now, I decided that I was meant to be and will be sending it too her as soon as I get an appropriate box.

I hope she likes!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Sky

winter is on it's way, it's definitely getting colder out, all the puddles were frozen today, and there were patches of frost in the grass.


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Saturday Sky, taken Saturday, November 17, 2007, at 8:00am, form the lawn out front of the platypus nest.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Yep, hand still hurts, but that's ok, I have balls

Wow, hat sounded wrong. But it's true!

See, my hand still hurts which makes it difficult to knit on Tasha's socks, because the tiny needles just make it worse.

But that's ok, because my brand spanking new ball winder arrived in the mail yesterday!
I've been very busy winding all sorts of balls last night and today.

It has given me a very good excuse to sort through and re-organize my stash.
Now everything fits neatly into its drawers and I have a better idea of what I have. But then I don't exactly have a huge stash, I have the sock yarns I brought home from Rhinebeck, a few worsted yarns left over from last year's Rhinebeck still to find a suitable project, and a whole lot of partially used balls of random wool or wool/acrylic blends.

I also have a full drawer full or random worsted acrylic yarns. Most of which were half un-wound, so I spent a lot of time re winding the acrylics and deciding what would stay and what would go, since I hardly every use acrylic anymore. So I placed the few full skeins I had up on Ravely for trade or sell, and I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest.

I have also decided I really need to think of a stash busting project to use up all the partial skeins I have.

I'm not quite sure what to do yet, a lot of it is feltable, but not all of it, and I don't really think I have enough feltable yarn to make anything very big or interesting. Lots and lots of felted kitty toys? Well, Esme would be happy...

If you have any ideas let me know!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

now were cooking

hand still hurts, not much knitting for me today. :(

instead I've been cuddling the kitty and doggy and baking!

I have a new O.M.G. Favorite cook book.
Mom's Big Book of Baking
the recipes are simple quick and turn out soooo goood!!!

today I made apricot almond muffins, I'd made the cranberry orange last week (omg, to die for yummy!) and several times have made the macaroons (although I always need to double the whites)

I really suggest everybody and their mother go out and get this book, I haven't been disappointed yet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

hand injuries

Monday when Bill and I were hiking I chose a very long and hilly trail for us to trek, and by the end I had a death grip on my walking stick as I was very tired, and it was keeping me upright. by knit night my hand was very sore, and i couldn't knit very much.

yesterday I took Bill's lunch to him at work and they hung around to keep him company as it was dead and he was working late. I could barely knit though because my hand was so sore.

today is Watertown day where I have to spend half an hour each way in the car while Bill drives, keep your fingers crossed that I will be able to knit, other wise I will be taking a nice nap.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

those socks have CLASS!

knit night was cool as always, there were a lot of new knitters there last night.
also last night I got to announce my super secret plan: I'm going to teach a sock knitting class!

there will not be a 'sock pattern' per se, what I'll be teaching are the several different elements of socks, like different heels and toes and ways of making socks, like toe up or top down or magic loop. then I'll talk about the math of gauge and making socks fit right. once I'm done they should be able to knit any kind of sock they want and way they want. or at least have the knowledge to figure it out on their own.

I finally decided to do this class after the millionth person acted all amazed at how I knit my socks two at once toe up, and how they always fit, and how I always find such pretty patterns. and how they could NEVER do that on their own. I got sick of it, they ARE smart enough, it's just that most of them don't have the internet (and far too much free time) that I do to go out and dig up and read about all these different techniques and figure out what I like and what works for me.

so in this class I will give them a little background, a few different ways things are done, and the ability to take that information and run with it.

it's going to be a two hours once a week for four weeks type of thing, and since all of the practice swatches I'm planning won't take nearly a whole skein I'm going to dye up and bunch of smaller skeins for them to play with, other than that they will only need to buy needles and bring int he normal tools any other knitter has like darning needles and scissors.

I'm totally stoked, I already have all the outlines written up and am working on the handouts, and making swatches in my spare time. kinda sad really since the class won't be until January.

Monday, November 12, 2007

owies

Bill and I went hiking today up on Wellesley Island, we had a great time, but I am exhausted.

tonight is knit night, and while there I'm going to announce my super secret plan. I'll probably write about it tomorrow when I'm more coherent and awake.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

socks: done!

Bills socks are finally finished...

but first...a pause:

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I mean some paws.
sorry, couldn't help myself, she's just so darned cute!

now the socks:
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as you can see I changed the pattern a bit, they were originally going to be the cable top socks from Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar, but my first mistake was panicking about her percentages for when to start the gusset shaping, I jumped the gun and started the heel before the gusset was done because I was afraid it was going to be too long, when in fact it would have been just right, oh well, you live and learn, they still fit him, and that's what matters.

I cast off on the first sock as Cat directs with the twisting i-cord bind-off but it was awful, it flared out horribly and kept rolling over on itself. I immediately ripped it out and sent it to time out for a while.
I really didn't want to knit ribbing, I mean, that's one of the reasons I picked these socks was that it was something other then the usual ribbed cuff. I could have done a picot hem or bind off, but I thought that would have just been too girly (yeah, I know, like a cable top wasn't girly, shut up) I really liked the applied i-cord thing though, so I decided to just do a simple applied i-cord and call it a day.

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the top still rolls a little bit, and they really want to slouch, but Bill is happy, and that's all that matters I guess.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Sky

ok, so I lied, I forgot about the Saturday sky today, that and while the socks are finished I need to get pictures of them on their recipient, who is very busy today, so I won't be able to get pictures until tomorrow.

so instead you get a picture of the perfect sky today and the Willow from next door.

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Saturday Sky taken Saturday November 10, 2007 at 11:50am, out front of the Platypus Nest.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday cat blogging, or day two:

After I posted yesterday there was a bit of a ruckus when Cayenne got a little too excited near Esme, and somebody got a claw full of fur and somebody else had a small scratch by her right eye. (Don't worry, she's ok, no damage)

We decided to close the bedroom door last night so Esme had the living area and Cayenne was in with us, that way there could be no accidental bothering in the middle of the night.

Photo journal of Esme's first two days:

Napping in her safe spot:
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We had to move her food up onto the table because Cayenne kept trying to eat it, we don't actually use that table for eating, and it's easy to clean if we need to:
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After we moved Esme's food we were watching TV and we heard a loud "MEOW" from the bathroom, Esme had apparently wandered into the tub looking for water. We have one water dish down by Cayenne's food bowl, but apparently Esme was still a little too timid to go to it, so we put a small bowl of water up on the table next to her food, and everything was good. Or so we thought. Apparently Esme prefers human spit in her water, and insisted on trying to drink from my glass when Bill was doing his homework:
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"This place is great they have 'Bird TV'!"
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Watching birds is sleepy business:
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After inspecting the Bedroom:
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Even sleepy kitties read SIAM news!
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"I can has box"
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And one of Cayenne so she doesn't feel left out (She's been such a good girl, and we have been giving her so much love. She seems more jealous of us than of the cat, she really wishes she could be friends, but Esme isn't ready to cuddle just yet.)
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One more for the road, I love her colouration:
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tomorrow should be a return to normal knitblogging, including a pair of finished socks, stay tuned!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Introducing...

The newest member of our household!

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It is my pleasure to introduce you all to Miss Esmerelda Weatherwax!

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We went to the SPCA today and looked around, she was quite lovey, and insisted on climbing upon both mine and Bill's shoulders. They said she was used to dogs and small children, and was very calm and laid back.

It was a bit of a bumpy start at first, Cayenne got far too excited by the new kitty and got a little too close for Esme's comfort, which resulted in a scratch upon the nose. But after a while with Cayenne and the leash and time to explore Esme decided upon a safe spot, and Cayenne got used to the idea that she didn't need to constantly inspect the new cat. I eventually put a blanket down in Esme's safe spot so she would have something soft to lie on.

Lunch time was quite interesting, at the Shelter they only feed dry food, so we didn't know what Esme would like, and hadn't actually bought any wet food yet. We fed Cayenne first, we decided to give her the 'special food' it's this all natural stuff that comes in a tube like sausage, she loves it, and we thought it would bee a good treat for today. She sucked it right down, so Bill pulled out a small can of Mighty Dog that we had, and as soon as he popped open the can Esme appeared on the counter! Apparently she used to get wet food at her old home, and the sound of the food can was enough to make her brave the dog and make an appearance! We let her eat her fill (about half the can, Cayenne finished the rest.) and then filled up her dishes with the dry food we had gotten for her. We'll leave the dry out for her all the time, and make sure to get some wet food tomorrow for lunch times.

Right now Bill is doing homework and Cayenne is curled up next to him, he just reported that Esme is napping and purring happily.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

car knitting

today was our usual trip to Watertown for weekly supplies.

I like these trips because it gives me plenty of time to knit in the car while Bill drives.

for instance, today I was able to knit enough to almost finish Bill's socks.
either tomorrow or the next day I will be able to start the cable tops!

yay!

that is is if don't get too distracted my the super secret mystery swatches.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

knit night review and two colour baby mittens

Last night was my local knit night.
I had a great time as usual. I met this wonderful woman who crochets the finest most gorgeous doilies and things. She brought in a beautiful bedspread, some lamp shades and a bunch of doilies. She even had the most amazing fillet crochet runner; it was of a lady bathing surrounded by cherubs, perfect! And using a much smaller thread and hook than I have yet.

Also last night I passed on a pattern I designed.
One of the ladies just recently had two grandchildren, and wanted to knit them mittens, but she wanted colourwork. Well I told her I would look around and see if I could find anything like what she described, and if I couldn't I would make her one.

Well I couldn't so I made her one.

I figured I would pass it on to all of you as well.
It hasn't been fully test knitted yet, I made a small lopsided prototype when I was writing it, but have made several changes to the pattern since then:

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If you would like the pattern, feel free

If you knit this pattern I would LOVE to see, please send me pictures! (Or better yet, post to Ravelry! pattern link for Ravelry here)

Monday, November 05, 2007

My husband is a geek.

Happy Guy Fawkes Day to all my UK friends!

I went to make a post today and stalled out.
I didn't know what to post about, progress on the socks is good, but that's about it besides a pattern for some baby mittens that won't meet their test knitters until tonight.

I mentioned this to my husband, his response?

"You could post about the average momentum of a particle trapped in an infinite one dimensional well."

*heavy sigh*
yeah, he's studying mathematics and physics for his degree.

knitting content tomorrow perhaps.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

heel

Bill's socks are coming along nicely,
I picked these socks because I wanted to try out Cat Bordhi's toe up heel.

well when I did the math to accommodate for my completely different gauge and stitch count I came up against a problem, Cat has you starting the gusset after 60% doubling the sole stitches then doing a 2/3 short row heel over the middle half.

all fine and good but Bill's feet are 10 inches.
start the gusset at 6 + 3.5 inches it would take to finish the gusset + the 2 inches it would take to knit the shortrow heel turn = 11.5 inches.

I started the gusset like she said, but then panicked and started the heel turn and inch early.

once I finished I measured and by my math I should have had exactly 10 inch foot... but I didn't it was an inch short.

because I had forgotten that its was a short row HEEL TURN which means a good half of the short row length was TURNED and goes up the back of the ankle.

*sigh*

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I tried them on Bill and they still fit fine, the gusset gave the socks a little extra room width wise to be able to stretch length wise without constricting anything, so I'm going to keep going and finish the socks as is.
but at least I will know for next time.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Sky

it was cold this morning.
really cold.
theres a good quarter inch of frost on my car cold.

yet the sky was beautiful, so Cayenne (who enjoys the cold just a little too much) and I braved the weather to get the perfect Saturday sky picture, just for you.

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Saturday Sky, taken Saturday November 3, 2007 9:50am from the lawn out front of the Platypus Nest.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yesterday was not a good day

(I know this isn't want you were expecting after the last post, but I need to write about it.)

Wednesday my parent's called to tell my that Duchess was dying and that they would have to take her in on Saturday, So Bill and I made plans to go in and see her yesterday and say good bye.

Yesterday morning Mom called me, Duchess was very weak and unable to walk now, and had not eaten or drank anything since the morning before.

We left early and stopped by my parent's house to see her before going to finish our errands. When dad got home from work we all drove up to the animal hospital and said goodbye.

She had a good life and the vet said she was one of the oldest bassets he's ever seen, 13 years old.
She survived a tumor on her spleen which later ruptured, and lasted two more years until Lymphatic leukemia took hold.

Good bye my duchie girl, you were a good dog, and one of the coolest Bassets I ever knew.
We'll all miss you.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo

ok, so you all suck for not telling about about this until now.

I've joined NaBloPoMo.
I think it will be a lovely challenge!
I'll be posting twice today to make up for my tardiness.

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