Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oddball Word of the Day

prosody (PROS-eh-dee) n. the study of verse form and poetic meter

(from the guide to MMMW edited by Laurence Urdang)

Knitting Knaughties

...or "What I've Been Doing (with my needles) On My Summer Vacation"

Making socks... Blue pair above is a Berrocco "Comfort Sock" yarn, 100% nylon and amazingly soft and the yarn is quite fine. The orange and blue striped pair is from some close-out yarn from Knit Picks. The lilac pair is made from Trekking XXL, and is a heavier weight which will be nice and toasty this fall and winter.

Here we have two pairs of socks in my favorite "Jitterbug" sock yarn from Colinette. Boy, is that great yarn to work with -- very smooth, springy, tightly plied, and the colors are fabulous. The pair on the left is colorway "Sahara" and the cuff is a spiraling 3X3 rib, which looks pretty kicky in person. I can't remember the colorway name for the socks on the right.

Then, just this past weekend, a bunch of us Chix left our Stix behind and went off to take advantage of a yarn sale at Peggy's Strands of Heaven a few towns away. What a wonderful
store! It's in a converted bungalow home, with each room having a table of some sort and several comfy seats, plus lots of yarn nicely stored in wall bins, so that you can sit and knit and really enjoy your time there. They were having a sale because of roadwork going on in front of the store, and wanted to unload some inventory and take a vacation until it's easier for customers to get there -- smart idea. I got some lovely bargains, including this FULL POUND of Mountain Colors Weavers yarn in "Wild Flower" at half price (happy dance!), and this other skein of seductively soft sock yarn from Knitting Like Crazy in "Mint Julep". I've been

touching it a lot and it'll probably be my next project. Not shown are a handful of name brand patterns for the amazing price of a QUARTER each (usually priced over $5), and some freebies, all carefully sold in their plastic protective sleeves. I also got a skein of Bearfoot sock yarn in "Ruby River" -- wow!

The gals at Peggy's were running a class on lace knitting while we were getting ready to leave, but they were just as nice as pie, and I can't say enough about their store; it's definitely worth another visit.

I've been quite inspired by a friend's purchase of Ann Budd's "Getting Started Knitting Socks" book because, even though I already have a wooly clue, she writes in a straightforward, easy to follow manner, with lots of useful illustrations, and the books are always bound so that they can be laid open for reference while your hands are busy with needles and yarn. There's a very good illustration of the "eye of partridge" heel in there, and her favorite ribbing is now my favorite ribbing. I was so inspired and pleased that I wound up buying my own copy.

And, because I have spells where I have to buy more yarn stuff, I picked up a few pairs of Harmony multi-colored wood needles from Knit Picks, and I also gave in and got B. Walker's Mosaic Knitting. I'll report back later on how the needles are in actual use; they sure are pretty to look at. Walker's book is... cool. I like how mathematical the designs are, and as I was flipping through the charts and pictures, I got an idea for using a whole raft of the swatch squares for an entire Mosaic afghan. I may come to pass or not, we'll see.

Earlier this year, I tried out Elizabeth Zimmerman's moccasin foot sock. I was not impressed. It was, as all her creations were, extremely well thought out and it did what she said it would, but I just didn't like all the grafting across the center of the sole, and as I stuck my test sock on my foot, it sure looked like there were a lot of areas which were likely to be under more stress than in a traditional sock, thereby creating, as Einstein purportedly said, more holes. So, I frogged it and moped.

Then, I went a-hunting on Ravelry and found a pair of felted booties, which I will show you when they're done (complete with link) which are being a real logic/topology puzzle to assemble, but the finished product might just be cute. Also in the works, a prototype slipper with a crocheted sole and knit body, which is growing out of my frustration with the EZ MocSock. It's going pretty well, and I'll put it up as a freebie as soon as I feel I've got everything written down properly.

Keep 'em clickin'!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Five Things About Living In The Boonies

(about 0.5 miles from me)

1. Not a lot of traffic, although sometimes the wildlife is both cheeky and stupid. Long drives can be dangerously hypnotic across the flat, flat, flat terrain.
2. Very Big Sky... Which is way cool for those times when you want to lie in the grass or float in a pool or pond and watch the clouds change shape and move on by. It also means tornados, whirlwinds (really!), microbursts, killer arctic winds in winter, and dust storms when it's been dry. And, staaaaaaaaaars, like you wouldn't believe, all year round.
3. Stocking up on canned goods is still a smart idea before the first snowfall.
4. Lots of quiet. Sometimes the loudest noise is the wind.
5. You can let your energetic Labrador off his lead to run and run and run in a straight line, and he'll come back exhausted, happy, and unharmed.

German Idiom for Friday

Das Eisen schmieden, solange es heiss ist.: 1) Strike while the iron is hot; 2) Make hay while the sun shines.

zB: Kauf dir heute noch das Auto. Ab morgen steigen die Preise. Man soll das Eisen schmieden, solange es heiss ist.

auf Englisch: Buy the car today. Tomorrow the prices are going up. One should strike while the iron is hot.

(from the guide to German Idioms by JP Lupson)

Oddball Word of the Day

Weltanschauung (VELT-ahn-shouw-oong): n. a comprehensive philosophy or conception of the universe and of human life in relation to it.

(from the guide to MMMW edited by Laurence Urdang)