Monday, June 30, 2008

La Jolla Children's Pool

I've nothing new on the knitting front to report, I've had a crummy summer cold since Thursday. The Photographer got tired of hanging around the house with a sick-o and went over to The Children's Pool in La Jolla for a couple hours late Sunday afternoon.

Children's Pool Sea Wall

La Jolla Children's Pool

All the people are watching the seals in the water who are watching the people on the shore.

Seals at Children's Pool

(If you click on the photos it will take you to Flickr where you can see the large version of the picture.)

A little history on the Children's Pool. Five or more years ago the seals moved in and took over this beach to have their pups. The seals on the sand were roped off, no swimming in the water as it was contaminated from the seals doing you know what; it was fun to go down in the Spring and see all the babies and adults sunning themselves on the sand.

A People's Rights group sued to get the beach back for the children; they won and the ropes came down and once again humans could swim in the water. Except the seals didn't get notification so they're still there contaminating the water that people are now free to swim in. Ick! Not sure who exactly won the legal battle over beach rights. I would have voted on the Seals side.

La Jolla beach

The pier in the upper left is the Scripps Institue of Oceanography/UCSD

How's this for a view from your desk!
Life Guard

This is what he's looking at
High Tide body surfing

Artists above it all
artists at the beach

Back to knitting soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SOS 2008 - Beginning

It was HOT!! here over the weekend! Record breaking Hot! Summer started with a big smack in the face here in Southern California!

I spent most of the weekend on the couch in front of the fan, drinking lots of ice tea, reading and knitting my Tile Sock.
Tile Sock Sport Weight

Yeah, you read that right, Sock, as in singular. Summer of Socks 2008 started and this is what I have to show for it. Not a pair of socks which is the intent of the group but I felt I should make an initial post to show I'm participating again this year. I have three other second socks in progress; if you knit one sock in Springtime and the second sock in the Summer do you qualify for a half entry in the cumulative count?

Socks are my traveling and meeting projects; when a pattern needs more attention than I can give in a meeting, I'll start another sock to become the traveling project. Right now I have four socks in progress, usually it's only two; one in a traveling bag and one in the car. I live in fear of getting stuck in traffic, finishing my socks and having to sit there with nothing to do. I don't wait well without knitting to keep me distracted.

My spinning wheel is downstairs in the coolest part of the house so I spent the warmest part of the afternoon down there finishing my Orangecicle batts. This yarn came out very nice
Orange silk batts' yarn

6 ounces/250 yards - enough for a scarf?

Last post I left out this yarn I finish last week.
black-bag dyed Red fiber

The fiber, Super Wash Merino Roving, was dyed in a black bag in the sun. The heat build-up in the black plastic sets the dye; no further heat processing is needed. I soaked the fiber in clear water then drained it, layed it out in the bag, sprayed the top side with white vinegar and blobed (does the past tense of "blob" have one B or two?) on five different colors of red, pink and magenta. Tightly closed the bag, left it in the sun for five hours, then went out turned it all over, sprayed vinegar on top, closed up the bag and gave the fiber a very light downward press to help distribute the dye. Left the bag in the sun the rest of that day and three or four hours the next day. Then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed - red is a hard color to rinse clear. Good thing it was superwash or it would have felted with all that rinsing.

I just left the bag outside overnight; afraid it would cause too much mixing if I moved it. Have to say that I would only do this with Super Wash; I'd be afraid of felting with the heat changes during the day. Anyone tried this with plain wool? Did it felt?

My next experiment in sun dyeing will be with blues.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hiding from the US Open

Yeah, the US Open is "still" in town, just up the road. The Photographer and I spent most of the weekend just hiding out at home trying to avoid the traffic. Can you believe they're playing again today! I thought I'd be free to get out and about by now.

I pulled out my drumcarder; I wanted to try something I'd read on Abby's Blog. (Sorry I can't find the exact entry now when I want to link to it) Whenever I've tried to card fiber with silk in it all I get are neps - horrible neps everywhere. Not to mention the long silk fibers all wrapped around the smaller carding drum, a terrible waste of expensive silk! Abby suggests you don't add your silk until the last or second to last trip through the carder. You take your batt and split it lengthwise, lay out your silk on top of one half-batt and lay the second batt on top making a silk sandwich between two half-batts. So that's what I've been doing with (in my opinion) great success.

I've been using up bits of wool dyed at one time or another; three different yellow wools, two orange wools, a fuchsia wool, fuchsia and white silk and at the end some white tussah for a streaky effect. I'm rather happy with the look and feel. And almost no neps at all - yeah!
Orangecicle batt

The color is very much the color of an Orangecicle so that's what I'm calling it. Once I'm done with this blog entry and move the wash to the dryer I'm going to start spinning.

Fairisle is still entrancing me; I started the Tile Socks (Ravelry link) from Socks, Socks, Socks.
Tile Sock

I'm getting their gauge but the socks are too big so I'm going to rip what you see out and start over again with one size smaller needles. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn, I'm using Louet Gems Sport Weight, and size 4 & 5 needles. We'll see if that will tighten up the fabric enough.

Several emails want to know what's happened with the ZigBagZ. I'm working on the handles currently. This is taking me awhile; the double sided Icord is done extremely tightly with two strands of Cascade 220. I'm find this very hard on my bad arm so I can only knit on a handle for 10 mins everyother day. First handle is done and I'm ready to start the second handle. I'm not in a big rush to finish all the knitting because then it's felting time. I'm VERY nervous about the felting part; I only have a 50% felting success rate and I can't stand the thought of this bag not turning out.

Thank you for all the get-well wishes for Annie - she's seems to be back to her regular old happy dog self. She can't have her favorite chicken jerky treats (from China via Costco - the Vet said No, No!) so I tried baking her cookies. She has allergies to wheat, corn and beef so it was difficult to find a recipe to use so I just tried a few mixes of my own concoction.
Dog Cookies

First batch on the left were the consistency and crispiness I was looking for but my taste tester was only ho-hum about them. Second batch on the right aren't crispy at all more of a Molasses cookie consistency but Annie loves them. The Photographer even tried the second batch and says they have a fishy taste. My secret is several jars of Chicken Baby Food. If you're interested in the recipe email me and I'll be happy to send it to you and your pup. (This is the way to bake cookies and Not be tempted to eat any of them!)

The Photographer filled his weekend playing around with lighting. I had an Asiatic Lily in bloom that was happy to sit around modeling all weekend with no complaints.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dog, hat, train Trifecta

Where did the last two weeks go? I feel like I'm coming out of hibernating in a cave. We had a very sick dog around here.

She has recurring colitis, the Vet has given us medication to start immediate treatment has soon as we hear her tummy start to gurgle. We usually can quiet it down pretty quickly; except this time I believe the medication made her so nauseous that she just shut down - no eating, no drinking and no moving. And it was Memorial Day Weekend, OF COURSE!

She ended up at the Emergency Vet Sunday, where they kept her overnight, then we had to take her to our regular Vet. That's where we got the picture of her with the IV in her leg.

She's been home for a week and except for her "poodle foot"
poodle foot

you'd never know anything had happened.

They took complete x-rays of her looking for foreign objects; which incidentally found her spine and joints show no sign of any arthritis - pretty good for a nine year old dog! Annie's a rescue so we have no idea what her life expectancy might be. I'm so grateful that she's OK now!

I spent my time in the Vet waiting room knitting the Fake Isle Hat.
Fake Isle Hat

If I hadn't had my knitting with me I would have gone crazy with the waiting and worry!
I used one skein Noro Kureyon Color 170 and one skein Peruvian Highland Wool Worsted in Black.

The only fun thing that went on over Memorial Day Weekend was a Steam Train came through town!
Steam Engine

Steam Engine Santa Fe 3751 came to San Diego; hadn't been here since 1953. We realized that the trains are very close to us with a bridge overhead which would give us a great view. We drove over to University City High School to park and walked a short distance to the bridge on Genesee. The train was nearly three hours late - we heard it was because they kept having to stop to take on water. While we were waiting the regular Amtrak train came through. Giving The Photographer some test shots.
Diesel Engine

The police drove by and told us the train would be late so we came home to check on Annie and have lunch. I stayed home with her but The Photographer went back and waited and waited and waited but he came home with the pictures. For Him, it ALL about the picture!

Of course he had to play around with it; it was an old train so he made it look like an old picture.
Sepia Steam Engine

For those of you that wonder why Southern California has so many fires - look at the brush in the background of the train pictures. Right now it's still green from the winter rains but consider we usually have no rain past May so it's really really dry come September and October - then one spark and poof it's a roaring fire traveling where ever the Santa Ana winds push it.