Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Sweet

My son and his friend at the zoo today. They often hold hands. Way too sweet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Non-monogamy and Cake

Here's a post-nap photo. I am not a monogamous knitter. First I cast on for a pair of little Coriolis socks, but realized about twelve rounds in I wouldn't have enough yarn for a pair. (My mother knit the blue blanket there for my son, recently she made a little one for his baby doll, and I thought I could use the last of it for practice socks from New Pathways for Sock Knitters).

So I picked up my hand spun hat which I just about finished but then decided is too tall, so I need to pull out a few rows. Did I mention I already frogged it once when it was two-thirds done?

Luckily the cabled socks with white toes were on the bedside table. Just started the toe decreases on one, I'm hoping to have them done before next Tuesday.

We've been celebrating K.'s birthday all week. It's nice giving him one present at a time so he really enjoys them and doesn't get overwhelmed. The stove was a huge hit. And I'm hoping it will keep him from "poppity-ing" things in our oven. Did you know size 14 needles are good for opening packages?

Another advantage, multiple birthday cakes, yum. This one was an ice-cream cake.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Little Sky Socks

I made the first project in Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

It's called "Little Sky Sock" and is for babies. Fortunately we have a new baby in the family.

I'm exited to learn more of the "architectures". The basic idea of the book is that gusset increases don't have to be even placed in the traditional spot right after you turn the heel (if working toe up). Instead they can be put on the instep, on the sole, in a combination of the two. And they don't necessarily have to be evenly spaced. This allows for placement of textures and designs.

Plus it is just fun to not be tied to just one way to make socks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Funky Junky Monkey

Things have been kind of weird this past week. Up and down. I keep composing blog posts in my head, but not writing them down. Maybe a good thing. I have one good day and then a string of bad ones. Some issues I keep working on get out of control. Too many things get out of control and it all seems hopeless. Going nowhere. Deep thoughts like that.

We did go to the Giants Stitch 'N Pitch on Tuesday and it sucked royally. Due to external factors, mainly. This was the kid's first ball game and we had him pretty primed for it. And I was going to see knitters and maybe find some Ravelry folks. The bad thing was that it was a 7:15 game.

Well, I decided we would get there an hour to an hour and a half before the game so the little one could see the ballpark, which has a cable car, and slides, and great views. And maybe see batting practice before heading up to the nosebleed seats, then just watch a little of the game. Public transportation had a total breakdown and it took an hour and forty-five minutes to get there, and it was time to find our seats. On the way my husband got a phone call about a big problem at the job site. So we got there frazzled and bummed out.

I got my hat, and I don't care if you Ravelers think I'm greedy, no goody bag. We went to our seats and there was no way little K. was going to sit after being so good on the horrible trip there. I got my knitting out, Mr. TVP ran him about at bit. Then he went to make calls to deal with the problem, leaving me with a wiggly toddler. K. actually had a good time, his beloved fire boat sprayed water at the beginning of the game. Then there were two home runs in the first inning with all the hoopla. And random screaming and clapping! And I bought ridiculously expensive hot chocolate and popcorn from the roaming vendors.

However. He would not sit still or even stand there. He was all wound up and wanted to run. I was hacked beyond all belief. The whole strategy was to have two adults to wrangle one toddler. Mr. TVP came back in the second inning and we decided we were done. We stopped at the cable car and K. had a blast ringing the bell. A ride down the slide, then we left. The ride home was rotten because K. was still wound up, yet tired, and we were bummed.

All in all I knitted one row on a sock and met zero knitters. Don't want to count how much we spent.

Wednesday was horrible, Thursday was okay. We went to the zoo and had a good time. K. amused the crowds at the giraffe feeding.

The Navajo-Churro lambs look so soft.

Today is the little one's second birthday but we're not celebrating for a few days because I finally figured out what to get him a bit to late to have it shipped on time. No biggie, he doesn't know what day it is.

Yeah, this guy:

This morning K. and I went out on our Friday street-sweeper pilgrimage. Yes, this is my life now, chasing down trucks and heavy equipment.

My mother came this afternoon and I puttered and decided to ride my bike for the first time in probably a year. First I had to change the knobby back tire to street tread. Both were new, so a pain to get on and off. Then I had to change clothes and clean the grease off. I did a final check before taking off to meet my husband for a beer. I spun the front wheel and and it got caught on the brakes. Crap. I reached down to readjust and I see broken spokes. What the h*%%. The last time I had this bike out there was a broken spoke and I got it fixed, and it was just hanging since then. I have never had broken spokes on any bike before.

I was so ticked because I finally got the bike all ready and then this. This is the kind of week I've been having. I thought of the other bike but it has squeaky brakes and would need to be all cleaned up, too, and Mr. TVP was already at the bar. In a last ditch effort I took the front wheel off the crappy one and put it on the pink one. Hallejula. The brakes are really soft, but the back ones are all good.

So I rode my pink bike wearing my pink helmet, cute bike skort, and loose shirt with pink, blue and green embroidery. Things were looking up. I rode the twenty-five blocks to the bar. It was very pleasant and my legs didn't fall off as I had feared. I got to the bar and things were even better once I had a beer and knit on my sock. Made up in part for the bad Stitch 'N Pitch. Then I rode back home. Very nice afternoon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I think I've said this before, but I love contests, especially contests that make me think. And what a bonus when the contest is for pink stuff! Phoe is having a contest, for two different pink packages of goodies. One you enter just by emailing, the other by posting photos of things that inspire you.

I do take a lot of photos, just of things I like. But I'm trying to take more that can inspire my knitting and spinning.

I would love to make socks in these colors:

These aren't colors I would normally wear, but there's something about the graduation of shape and color that I find really attractive:

Again, this is an example of colors I would say I don't like (oranges), but in reality I do. This also reminds me that sometimes you need a lot of contrast to make something special stand out.

It's kind of cliche'd, but the industrious spider is inspirational. And the beauty of the shiny drops on a grey day.

I like the way a few lines and shadows say so much:

You can't really see, but instead feel the inspiration of one of my favorite places on Earth, Burney Falls. There is just a tremendous energy here, the motion of the water, the colors, the damp air, and something else, something spiritual:

The ocean always inspires me. The constancy. The strength. I like to think of the ways different people would have used these pieces of wood to build various sculptures. Mine probably would have looked more like a fence.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Uh Oh

After I finished the first sock I knew I was going to run out of yarn. I just didn't think it was going to happen so soon. I thought I could rip out the toe of sock 1 to get sock 2 to that point, then use white for both toes. Noooo.

As I calculate (for what that's worth), I will be ripping out four cables from sock 1. Not so bad, at least the white part won't show in my clogs. Too bad about all that re-knitting.

I can't stand to do it yet. I'm going do the first baby sock in "New Pathways in Socks".

Friday, July 18, 2008

No Glow

Well, my vacation glow lasted for less than 24 hours. Back in the day, when I took week-long trips to Hawaii I would come back to home and work and have at least a couple days feeling like a new person. Like I could handle anything. And that everything was so lovely.

That was then, this is now. I got back at 2:30 pm on Wednesday and by 10:00 am Thursday I was sick of it all. My cramped apartment, lack of dishwasher, whining kid, etc. etc. Then we went to the zoo in the afternoon and said child would not listen to me, and kept running away. Last night he was up for two hours starting at 12:45.

I think he just worked so hard to be good on the long drive home that he lost it the next day. And who better to lose it with than Mom?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It's nice to be back home. After spending several nights in spartan motel rooms, two at my brother-and-sister-in-law's, one at my aunt's beautiful house, and visiting a couple other big lovely homes, it is kind of hard come back to our apartment jammed full of stuff. But I'm trying to embrace it. As Mr. TVP says, it is the price we pay to live in San Francisco.

In eight days I finished one cabled sock and the ribbing and one cable rep on the second. Here is a really crappy Photo Booth shot of it. It looks a lot nicer in person, trust me. I didn't finish the toe because I'm afraid that I don't have enough yarn for the second sock, even though I made this one just above the ankle. If need be I will unravel enough of this and then finish the toes in a white yarn.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Southern Oregon (Fashion Victim #2)

Today we drove from La Pine Oregon over to I-5 to head home. We drove the western side of Crater Lake. It was very smoky so I didn't even take any pictures of it. It was a great side trip, though, and I do hope to go again and camp. Apparently the final road just opened last week. There was snow on the ground in places, but it was still at least 80 degrees. The wildflowers were blooming right next to snow.

K. played in the snow for the first time. He enjoyed tasting it, throwing it, and poking at it, but not falling in it or walking on it.

I think this is a mountain lion print. I'm sure it is a cat, I just haven't checked to see which live in the area. I didn't put anything down for scale, but trust me it is large.

This white-breasted nuthatch was posing at an overlook.
I'm amazed at parks like these that are only fully open a short part of the year. They somehow seem more wild, since they are only shared with humans part-time.

I saw many things on the road I wanted to take pictures of (like the Taco truck in White City, "The Bullet Depot", and the trailer park with a "Choose Life" sign on it), but I was busy knitting and amusing a two-year-old who only napped an hour.

I did manage to catch this car. There are no doors, and the back window is missing. It does have a license plate, I just fuzzed it out to protect their identity.

And finally, our fashion victim number 2. At first glance the shirt seems merely patriotic, but that is a golf course below. I don't get the connection. And those are sandals with socks. I know, I know, even I have done it.

Worse, he is smoking at the gas station. Yes, he's a fair piece back, waiting in line, but still, why is he out of the vehicle and flicking ashes on the ground?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Baby Quail

We're in La Pine, spending the night before heading back to San Francisco. I was here in May, and I'm happy to say my aunt is doing much better. She was able to make the trip to Albany for my grandfather's 90th birthday party, and still have energy to be up and visiting today.

The quail have had babies. I ran out to take a picture and promptly scared them away. Then I hid behind the shed on the "watch your head" side and acted like a statue. Seriously, those are real hammers right at head level, and an axe for good measure.

This mom came back with at least ten chicks.

This dad had two chicks following him everywhere. They eventually came right up to me.

Here's a page about California Quail. Apparently that top knot is made up of six feathers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Road Weary

Man, what a lot of back and forth here and there on this trip.  Mr. TVP had to get back home because we have a job starting tomorrow.  He left at 5:15 this morning. So now I'm here with my son in the motel, ferried back and forth by my step-father.  Tomorrow we are taking the long way home, going to see my new nephew, and then south to stop by my aunt and uncle's house in La Pine.  Probably not back until Tuesday, maybe Thursday.

In knitting news, I had to rip out a ton of the foot of my sock on Friday night.  For some reason I just kept decreasing and decreasing after the gusset.  Whoops.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Albany Oregon Train Station

Albany Oregon has an Amtrak station and a lot of freight traffic. You can hear the trains all over town. The frustrating part for a two-year-old boy is not being able to see them. We drove out to the station to try to see some rail traffic this morning. Of course there was none. He had to be satisfied with a few locomotives and a couple kinds of freight cars in the yard.

But I discovered that the station had been remodeled. My father started his railroad career here in the 1950's as a teenager. Here is a really old photo of photo of a postcard of it back in the 1800's.

I caught Amtrak in and out of here many times as a child. The remodel looks great. They are now calling it a "transit center". You can catch the Beaver Cab here if need be.

There are also some cool bike racks:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bye-Bye Baby

My niece and nephew have grown so much since I first met them three and a half years ago. They are almost different people. I've been watching my son the past few days, a little bit more from afar than usual. Partly because he can spend more time with daddy on vacation, and partly because he's busy interacting with different people.

Sometimes he seems like such a little boy. But when I get him ready for bed he's still a soft round little guy who needs lotion, wears a diaper, and wears little p.j.'s. It struck me how you don't notice day to day that your baby is going away. But one day he is. And it catches you unaware because it's not something with a deadline like a friend moving away, it's gradual.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Enchanted Forest

We made it up north and stopped at the Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon today.  It was actually better than I remembered it as a kid. The first part is nursery rhyme characters. Some are sculptures and others you can go in. Perfect for a toddler. There are also rides and a theater, but we didn't do all that.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Road Trip

We're off on a road trip today. I'm going to bring my computer because we have a lot of business going on right now. Plus, it will make it easier to blog. I just realized we passed the one-half mark in "Blogging 365". No point giving up now.

I started packing yesterday, and am trying to include the little one as much as possible. He really likes packing the suitcase. So much in fact that he ate breakfast on it yesterday.

I've got a hat started with my handspun and a pair of socks to start knitting. Got the new Piecework and Threads, so I'm all set with car activities.

I had the camera packed but had to get it out just now. I'm in the last minute rush to get packed and go to our swim lesson, and Mr TVP is not here. So I'm out of my mind. I realized it was quiet, too quiet and went to check.

I found this:

I'm having a really rough day after two nights of little sleep. What a pleasure to see my little reader cuddled up reading a story to his truck.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth

We had a quiet day. My brother-in-law came over and we grilled some food.

It is super foggy so we didn't bother to try to bundle the little one up to see fireworks up on the hill. The last time we went was in 2006 when I was just week shy of my due date. It's funny how your perspective changes at different stages of life. People are setting of their illegal fireworks, which I might have secretly enjoyed watching in the past. Tonight I'm just hoping they don't wake my kid.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Little Knitting

I've got a temporary very very part-time freelance job so my knitting and spinning time is a bit curtailed for the next few weeks.

It's nice to sit down and work on something for an hour at a time. It's all right there, I don't have to go digging around or call people for information.