Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ready to knit

Okay, there you have it... 2 balls of approx. 50 grams each, ready for knitting. Actually one is about 2 grams more than the other, but it's close enough.

It felt pretty soft while I was winding it, and there were no knots(!), so I should be able to zip right through the next project. I'm thinking of using a pattern from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks".

100 grams

The only good use I have found for my diet scale is to weigh yarn.  I used my ball winder to wind up the Southern Purls.  It turns out that a little over 400 yards weighs about 100 grams.

Now I am prepared to make two equal balls so I can work both socks at once :-)

Southern Purls Amethyst

I bought a skein of Amethyst sock yarn from Ray at Knitivity.Com.  He was prompt, sent what I asked for, and even enclosed a gift of some little purple stitch markers.

He hand dyes each skein and has some really fun colors.  When he started thinking about this business (pre-retirement) he was living in New Orleans.  Yes, he lived through Hurricane Katrina while staying with strangers, waiting for family to come get him.  Now he has moved to Texas, is retired, and has started his business full swing.

What a guy!

Red Tam

Here is the finished red tam.

Yarn is Debbie Bliss DK weight Merino. It's very soft and good to knit with. It's maybe a little soft for a tam, because tams are supposed to hold their shape, but I don't care because it feels so good.

The pattern was my own. A tubular cast on comes from Mary Rowe's "Knitted Tams". It's an excellent cast on which allows for inserting elastic into the hem if you desire. She says Monste Stanley's Knitters Handbook has good tubular cast ons if you don't have Rowe's book.

It is worked in 9 equal sections... incr eo row until 2.5 inches, then decr eo row until you have just about three sts for the icord loop on top.

Chico State W's Basketball

The game against CSU Stanislaus was not fun. We won, but the officials ruined the second half. Jan was yelling at the ref's and becoming red in the face, so we left a little early.

This poor picture was taken with my Treo 650 at half time. Two of the ref's are shown (the incompetents). The scoreboard shows the score at half time was Chico 50, Stanislaus 29.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

1st 2006 Holiday Gift

The first gift of the season has been finished.  It's a really simple Seaman's scarf.  I made it wide and long for a 6'4" man.  Jan picked the colors for her nephew and bought the yarn.  I knit it up, so we both get to be on the gift card :-)

It is made of Plymouth Yarn's "Encore Colorspun" (worsted weight, 75 acrylic, 25% wool), col./lot - 7118/31894, made in Turkey, 3.5 oz, 200 yds).  It feels soft and is semi-machine washable.

20061125 Seaman's Scarf Neck  20061125 Seaman's Scarf

The picture on the left is the neck portion, and the picture on the right is one of the ends.  The ends are garter stitch, and the neck is K4P4 ribbing.  The pattern is online, just google "stahman seamans scarf" for several web sites.  The scarf was popularized by Myrna Stahman, and her book "Stahman's Shawls and Scarves: Lace Faroese-Shaped Shaws from the Neck Down & Seamen's Scarves" is one of my favorites.  Garter stitch is the least creative end you can put on one of these scarves.  For a more creative end, try the Matthew or Matt scarf on Sarah Bradberry's

Next up is a merino wool tam.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sammy and leaves

Here in Chico the city will pick up leaves that residents pile up in the street, except they don't pick up leaves during the heaviest leaf falling period in November, which is Now.  I'm having trouble understanding the logic in this schedule :-/

Anyway, I was out raking leaves this weekend.  Boy howdy, that sure got my heart rate going!  Here are some of the pictures I took.

20061119 Big Sam On Paper

20061119 Grape Leaf Ivy

20061119 Time to Rake Leaves

20061119 White Camelia

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fox News

Several Fox News affiliates have decided not to show a program with O.J. Simpson, who is promoting his book "If I Did It". 

Gee... you'd think it would be right up their alley.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Western Music

We went to hear the North State Symphony play music which focused on the Western USA.  Tonight's theme was "An American Journey: Plains, Trains, and Cowboys."  The link points to the program notes, and will probably only be good for this season.

  1. Grand Canyon Suite - "On the Trail", "Cloudburst" by Ferde Grofe

  2. Poem For Flute and Orchestra by Charles Tomlinson Griffes - Heidi Lohse, flute

  3. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra #3 in B minor, op. 61 by Camille St-Saens Allegro non troppo - Garrett Openshaw, violin

  4. Pacific 231 by Arthur Honegger

  5. Suite from Billy the Kid by Aaron Copland

The Grand Canyon Suite was beautiful, and the Suite from Billy the Kid was wonderful too.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lights Out at CSUC W's Basketball

Lights out at Acker GymWe went to a California State University at Chico (CSUC) Women's Basketball game tonight.  They are having a tournament, and we were planning on seeing the last few minutes of the first game, and then the CSUC game.  At least we thought we were.  When we got there the power was out, and the opening game between Sonoma State and Regis (Colorado) was stopped, unfinished.  We waited about 40 minutes for the power to come back on - never were told what the problem was.  The power did finally come back, and the 1st game finished.  Regis won in overtime.

Lights back on at Acker GymThe 2nd game tonight was CSUC Wildcats against Tarleton State (Texas).  Chico's defense is 100% better than last year, but their offense wasn't so good.  They couldn't make a shot to save their lives.  When we left at half time Tarleton was ahead by two points.  If I didn't have to go to work tomorrow we would have stayed until the end of the game; however, just as we were walking out the power went out again.

The game was ended at the half.  I don't know how you score it.  And we'll never know if Molly Goodenbour, the new CSUC Women's Basketball coach, could have helped them during halftime in order to pull it out and play at both ends of the court instead of just the defensive end.

Jan and I watched Molly play at Stanford in the early 1990s.  She's intense.  I hope she can pass her skills on to this Wildcat team!

PS:  The photos were taken with my Palm Treo 650, so the quality is just OK, but you get the idea.

A Good Year

Click to see NY Times Review
On this gray, overcast day we went to see A Good Year (** Satisfactory) and it's sunshine de provence.  Provence, where wine is grown, good food is served, and love blooms.

This isn't the greatest movie of the year, but it was fun to watch.  The NY Times Review (linked to the photo), called it "a three-P movie: pleasant, pretty and predictable."

If you are in the mood for some pleasing fluff, definitely go see it.

PS:  Russell Crowe melts into this role like he does any other.  He's still good.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Little Finished Things

iPod Nano Necklace imageTrekking Socks image

Not much to report on the knitting front.  I finished a necklace for my iPod Nano, and a pair of ribbed socks.

I got the pattern for the iPod necklace from a free pattern on the web.  The pattern was fine.  The only suggestion I would make is to do the i-cord along the edges on bigger needles than the pouch.

The socks are done in Trekking (XXL) yarn.  I like the yarn a lot.  The color is bright and clean and the yarn had no flaws that I noticed.  I didn't use a pattern for these.  It's just a k2p2 ribbing from top to bottom.  They fit ... me.

Next up is a gift scarf - manly garter stitch seaman's scarf done in dark Plymouth Encore Colors.

Up the hill

Image We drove up into the mountains to see the fall colors and have lunch in Graeagle.  I know you can't see it from the picture on the left, but there were tons of deciduous oak trees (California Black Oak?) in the mountains.  They are a beautiful bronze-gold color, creating huge swathes of gold on the mountainsides.

Image And, there were Toyon berries showing... big beautiful clumps of berries that look like Christmas.

Image Image The route along Hwy 70 was breathtakingly beautiful today.  The Feather River is dotted with little dams created and maintained by PG&E.  In some places the river looks untouched, and the banks are full of yellow color where the low bushes are displaying their Fall foliage.  One extra piece of good news:  it looks like the work on all the old bridges is finished, so it's two lanes all the way with no stopping for construction zones.

(As always, lunch at the Graeagle Millworks was delicious.)

Thursday, November 9, 2006

A Spot of Bother

I just finished "A Spot of Bother" by Mark Haddon (link and book cover to the left).  I liked it.  I even considered writing Mr. Haddon a letter thanking him for making my life a little better.

This novel is set in Britain and is about the family and events surrounding a problematic wedding. The various family members and friends bounce off of the event in dark and funny ways.  I recommend it.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Short walk at the Tree Farm

It's another beautiful day here in semi-perfect paradise.  We went for a short walk at the "Tree Farm".  The leaves are turning.  The air smelled wonderful.  The birds were singing.  Comanche Creek was singing.  The dogs were happy.  Here are a few images.  You can click on any one to see a bigger version.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Neocons deserting the ship

Since this is a day for jokes, I thought I'd pass this one on...

Article in Wall Street Journal Washington Journal, "Another Pre-Election Day Bomb?".

The slitheries are shedding their skins.  It just has to make you smile. 

B.C. Knits and Purls

It must be joke day.  This is from B.C., originally published 11/03/06.  I love Johnny Hart's comics.  (By the way, if you are Johnny Hart, and you think I'm violating some copyright law, then I'll delete this entry.)


... and the answer is ...


Who's on first?

A conversation* between GWBush and CRice.  Author unkown. 

George:   Condi!  Nice to see you.  What's happening?

Condi:   Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George:   Great.  Lay it on me.

Condi:   Hu is the new leader of China.

George:   That's what I want to know.

Condi:   That's what I'm telling you.

George:   That's what I'm asking you  Who is the new leader of China?

Condi:   Yes.

George:   I mean the fellow's name.

Condi:   Hu.

George:   The guy in China.

Condi:   Hu.

George:   The new leader of China.

Condi:   Hu.

George:   The main man in China!

Condi:   Hu is leading China.

George:   Now whaddya' asking me for?

Condi:   I'm telling you, Hu is leading China.

George:   Well, I'm asking you.  Who is leading China?

Condi:   That's the man's name.

George:   That's who's name?

Condi:   Yes.

George:   Will you, or will you not, tell me the name of the new leader of China?

Condi:   Yes, sir.

George:   Yassir?  Yassir Arafat is in China?  I thought he's dead in the Middle East.

Condi:   That's correct.

George:   Then who is in China?

Condi:   Yes, sir.

George:   Yassir is in China?

Condi:   No, sir.

George:   Then who is?

Condi:   Yes, sir.

George:   Yassir?

Condi:   No, sir.

George:  Look Condi.  I need to know the name of the new leader of China.  Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi:   Kofi?

George:   No, thanks.

Condi:  You want Kofi?

George:   No.

Condi:   You don't want Kofi.

George:  No.  But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk.  And then get me the U.N.

Condi:   Yes, sir.

George:  Not Yassir!  The guy at the U.N.

Condi:  Kofi?

George:  Milk!  Will you please make the call?

Condi:  And call who?

George:  Who is the guy at the U.N?

Condi:   Hu is the guy in China.

George:   Will you stay out of China?!

Condi:   Yes, sir.

George:   And stay out of the Middle East!  Just get me the guy at the U.N.

Condi:  Kofi.

George:  All right!  With cream and two sugars.

* based on the original "Who's On First" comedy routine by Abbott and Costello.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Cheese? Peanuts? Food Poisoning?

Oooh, boy howdy!  No sleep for me last night.  I think I have food poisoning.  I've been spending time hugging the toilet, and having chills so bad my teeth chattered.  Something like this happened to Jan a few days ago, so I'm suspecting there are some bad peanuts in the house (urp).

I am resolved to throw away the new block of Vermont Cheddar cheese I just opened, and to throw away the peanuts I bought at WinCo.

This has not been a fun night, so I think I'll have to call and cancel the rug cleaner who was supposed to come first thing today :-(