Saturday, April 29, 2006

We Have Heel

I am quite pleased with the heel, if I do say so myself! I've only made one other pair of socks (a year ago!) and my grasp of the whole short row concept is much better this time around. Not that I was unable to make them back then, it just seemed like a much larger hurdle at the time.

Here is a close-up of the short row heel:

I used the wrap-and-turn method...I'm not sure if this is what it's "officially" supposed to look like, but I think it looks nice and neat. The heel was stitched as slip 1, knit 1, which is why it has a ridged look.

How about an extreme close-up of the shell pattern, stretched out a bit? I really want to call this the fish scale sock, 'cause that's what it reminds me of! Isn't it amazing how fast you can knit a sock? Especially after making sweaters.

And finally, just thought I'd show you all how much gas has been costing in my town lately: Heh. I guess I better get back to listening to the Red Sox stink up the field. Man, I hope they get better soon. Ooh, they're rallying right now...


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Some of my trip photos are now uploaded into Flickr. Click on "My Finished Objects" in the sidebar if you would like to view them. I took something like 300 photos so I selected just a portion of them as representative of the trip (hey, I don't want to put anyone to sleep).

OK--Here's the big confession--I didn't buy one knitting-related item on the whole trip! We were intending to go to a yarn shop in Munich, but then this happened:

Snow! The day we got to Munich, it was absolutely gorgeous--sunny, warm. We even had a barbecue. Then the next two days were rainy and dreary. The day after that it snowed, so we decided that a road trip to Tuscany was in order...and the knitting shop visit was abandoned. Yay Tuscany! This part of the trip was absolutely amazing--the weather was sunny with temps in the 60's and everything was green and flowering. Tuscany is one of those places that everyone raves about (which usually makes me suspicious that it's overrated), but Tuscany lived up to its billing. It was truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Much wine, prosciutto, and cheese were consumed.

After Tuscany, we had a train misadventure trying to reach Milan. Learn from our mistake and do not ever buy Italian train tickets from the automatic ticketing machine.

Milan is a very large city, so most of the attractions were shopping, museums, and the like. Being the lowbrows that we are, we instead spent our time crawling from bar to bar for happy hour. Milan bars have the best happy hour--you buy a drink and they have out a big spread of food, all for free. All kinds of pasta and rice dishes, marinated veggies, cheese, bread, etc. At one bar, we watched the big match between AC Milan and Barcelona. Found that soccer (or should I say football) is actually not all that bad to watch. Here is my attempt at a surreptitious photo of some Barcelona fans invading the metro--they were running around and chanting songs which kept making me laugh! We also took a day trip up to Lake Como which was gorgeous, although a bit busy due to the Easter holiday. We took a ferry to the town of Bellagio, which is pictured here: After Italy, we took a train through the Alps to Basel, Switzerland, where my sister lives. We went to an great museum called the Fondation Beyeler, which had a big Matisse exhibit plus lots of other modern artwork by Miro, Monet, Giacometti, Degas, and (my favorite) Klee. Our last big adventure was hiking through the Black Forest. We did about a five mile walk between two small towns, St. Maargen and St. Peter. The Black Forest is much smaller and more fragmented by farmlands than the woods here, but it was very enjoyable and pretty nonetheless, especially because the trees are very large compared to Maine scrubby trees. Below is a picture of the wanderweg through the forest: Then on Saturday it was time to fly home. Had a rather exciting landing due to the high winds in New York, but we survived. I was also amused by the differences between the sparklingly clean, well-run Swiss airport where we boarded and dingy, crazy JFK where we arrived. Ah, America! ;)

Hope you enjoyed this little photographic tour!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Made it home on Sunday afternoon and I'm still tired...though finally starting to feel a bit more normal today. Thankfully not too much work piled up while I was gone which helps a lot (thanks co-workers!).

Vacation was awesome. I have a bunch of pictures that I'm working on organizing and uploading so hopefully I can post a few of them and put the rest in Flikr for those who are interested.

Not much knitting was done. Here's a picture of what all that was accomplished over the last two weeks:

This is the cuff and first couple inches of the shell pattern sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush (I think?). This was done only on the plane ride home and then the drive up to Maine. Really cool pattern so far. It was funny when I finally starting knitting and I got the beginnings of a blister on my finger! So I guess I was out of knitting shape.

Not much else to write at the moment. Between catching up at work and trying to clean up the house (which was left in a disastrous state), I'm not quite back in the swing of things. The gloomy weather here isn't helping much either!


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It Ain't Over til it's Over

I guess spring decided to take a temporary leave of absence; this morning there are a couple inches of snow! I don't think it will last long. I'm actually kind of glad we got it, because it was getting way too dry around here--we need to get those lakes filled back up for the summer season!

Well, as promised here are some photos of Cherie. I must've been standing strangely in this first one, because it's wrinkled up a bit. It looks OK in real life though! Here is a photo sans flash, which shows the color of the yarn better:Here's a close-up of the buttons. You can also see my tubular bind-off...I love the way it blends right into the ribbing. I did tubular cast-on for the bottom ribbing as well. So there you have it...another Lobstah production!
Pattern notes: "Cherie" designed by Kim Hargreaves from the book Vintage Knits. Used 10 balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK in Color #354 "Gust". Knit with US size 4 and size 5 needles. I think I sufficiently documented the pattern problems I had. The only yarn problem I had was that even within the same dye lot, there was quite a bit of variability in yarn thickness that made it difficult to maintain gauge. The yarn is quite soft for a tweed (though it does feel slightly itchy, which will hopefully subside with wearing/washing). Interestingly, there was a fair amount of vegetative matter in the yarn which I've never encountered with Rowan before. Overall, I think I would use the yarn again...especially because I've been in love with tweed lately!

Well, this should be my last post for a bit, as we are leaving for vacation tomorrow evening. Everyone take care and I'll see you in a couple weeks! :)


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sugaring Time

Who doesn't love some maple syrup? (All you freaks who prefer that fake Log Cabin crap can just skedaddle along now...he he he)
Yesterday we got to check out a working sugarhouse! Welcome to the Barker Sugarhouse:

Inside, the wood-fired sap boilers were working away: And at one end, some syrup was going through a final filter before bottling. You wouldn't believe how much dirt comes out of syrup in the filtering. Yummm...syrup! And the whole time we were in there, they were feeding us samples of maple-roasted peanuts, ice cream with syrup, maple candy, and "shots" of pure syrup. It was maple syrup heaven!

Oh yeah, I got Cherie's problems all worked out over the weekend and she looks wonderful. I will post some photos before I leave this week.

Edited to add: Just wanted to say that I didn't do the "Flash your Stash" because (gasp!) my stash is so small and pitiful, it would've been embarrassing. Seriously, all I have are about 5 skeins of some random Bartlett Yarn, 5 or 6 balls of cream-colored All Seasons Cotton, and about 20 little balls of left-over crap. Not too exciting.