Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crater Lake

I have been all over the place in the last two weeks and it doesn't look like it will let up any time soon. I was in Davis saying goodbye to friends and helping one pack up her house for moving day. Next week I'll be volunteering my time at a youth camp. But in between I went up to Oregon to visit my Oma. She's not been well, so I wanted to be sure to say goodbye before leaving for New Zealand. We had good, long visits. 
One of the days we were up there, we went out to Crater Lake. On the way we stopped by a natural bridge. The Rogue River briefly disappears as it shoots through a lava tube! It's pretty neat to see, but hard to capture in a photo. Below you can see the river entering the lava tube.

As we continued our way to Crater Lake we stopped again to see the Rogue Gorge, which is where the canyon narrows and water rushes by at a tremendous speed.

The power of the water is amazing to watch. This log had gotten jammed near the entrance to the gorge and water was spraying up into the air as it pressed into the wood.

After doing the two little hikes, we stopped at the lodge at Crater Lake for lunch. Afterwards, my aunt told us to go enjoy the view while she paid the bill. A fellow knitter stopped me and asked about my Pente sweater. (Id' finished weaving in the ends that morning, but hadn't blocked it yet.) It's always a good day when you get to talk about knitting.

I made sure to get my jumping photo in. Once again, I remembered to tuck my shirt in first.

It was cool and crisp up there, but that made it better sweater weather. Just before we left, Mum wanted to do a selfie. (Mum is not the most tech-literate, so I can't help but giggle when she says something like "selfie") She did a pretty good job getting us all in the frame. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm Going On An Adventure

I have a bit of an announcement. At the end of September, I will be moving to New Zealand.

I don't know for how long or what job I will eventually have. But I do know it is going to be quite an adventure!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's Scooter's Birthday Song

Hey Scooter, do you know what today is? It's your 12th birthday.

Although, with the way you live your life, it's like every day is your birthday.

It's been a good year. We've learned and grown together.

We've also caught up on many, many naps.

I'm so happy that we are still best friends. I hope there are still many years to come.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yarn Chicken

I wish I could show off a finished sweater. Alas, with three stripes left to go, I've made the classic rookie mistake and run out of yarn. (Note: It doesn't matter how long you've been knitting, sometime when you play yarn chicken, crash and burn.) 

When I bought the yarn I hadn't planned to make any modifications. But when knitting, I thought I'd extend the sleeves to full length rather than three quarter.

Thanks to ravelry, I was able to get another skein out of someone's destash. It isn't the same dye lot, but I've noticed that Brooklyn Tweed does a pretty good job blending their yarns. Like Cascade, it seems to be pretty consistent between skeins.

Hopefully I'll be done with this sweater (Pente) soon!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tentacles At Monterey

The last time I was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, there was a seahorse exhibit. Well, in April it became a Tentacles exhibit, which included squid, octopi, cuttlefish, and nautili. I've been wanting to see it for months. This past weekend a whole group of us piled into a car and headed out to Monterey. The first stop was to pick up lunch, then head out to the beach to eat. (I loaned my camera to Jay to play with, so some of the pictures were taken by him, including this beach one. Extra points if you can spot me.)
Photo credit to Jay

After lunch we headed out to the aquarium. In this exhibit, the fish (mackerel I think) always are swimming in a circle. Except on this day some of them got real confused. It was interesting to watch a bunch of fish swim at and away from each other. Eventually the head of the pack sorted things out and everyone went back to swimming in a circle.

After seeing an exhibit or two, we finally reached the Tentacles exhibit. (And I took my camera back for a bit) This guy was eating a fish. The fish head was sticking out past his tentacles.

After the squid came the octopi. I wasn't able to get very good pictures of them. They all seemed to know that they were in tanks and didn't want to be there. I'm going to guess that the octopi were the smartest of the tentacles bunch. After the octopi came the nautili. It was fun watching them swim about using their tube structure. The ones that were resting seemed to be using their tube as a suction cup. This guy was definitely sticking to the glass.

I noticed that the cuttlefish had the same tube structure hiding under their tentacles as the nautili. They seemed to just be nautili without shells. Also, these guys have the most interesting eyelids. It was strange watching them blink.

After the tentacles exhibit we had a look at the jellyfish one. There is 1960's style music playing throughout. Jason said that there ought to be a rule that in order to see the exhibit, you had to wave your arms around kind of like a jellyfish. There were games in that exhibit as well. After three shorter children left, three bigger children took over.
Jason, Elaine, and Connor: The big kids

One of the displayed jellyfish were the upside down jellies. We all thought that there were the least intelligent of the jellyfish world. They worked pretty hard to stay upside down. Everyone but Connor had been to this aquarium and I thought he might get the biggest kick out of these guys. Little did we know that he's seen them up close and personal. I'm pleased to say that I've never gotten stung by one of these guys and now I know not to go to the Florida Keys and walk around in the water if I want it to stay that way.
Photo credit to Jay

As we left, I asked Jay to take one last photo. We had seen these blow up tentacles coming in and I knew I needed a picture with me and my tentacle arms. As Jay lined up the shot, I said, "I need someone to fear me!"
 Fear my wrath, Jason!

The evening ended with a meal at Bubba Gump's where the waiter stumped us with Forrest Gump trivia and I nearly stumped him with a question. All in all, it was a great day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Knit All The Socks And Sweaters

My Pomme De Pin is finished! Actually, it was finished July 13th, but it took awhile to get some pictures.

I used Cephalopod's Bugga! in the Nebraska Conehead color way. Just days after I finished the sweater, Cephalopod announced that they were closing their doors. I'm just happy that I have a nice sweater out of their yarn.

I made many modifications, the most visual one being the way I changed the collar. All the details can be found on my Pomme De Pin project page via ravelry.

Of course I can't leave out a picture of the sleeve after explaining how it was sewn in.

Just after finishing the Pomme De Pin, I cast on these socks. It is a future pattern design. The fancy patterning is on the other side of the socks. I have one last diagram to draw before they are ready for testing.

I also completed my Something's Rotten In The State Of Denmark socks from Canon Hand Dyes. It had felt like I'd been knitting these forever. I started these on May 30th and finished them on July 20th. Let it be known that the knitter's definition of forever is a month and three quarters.

Of course I always have to have a Canon Hand Dyes sock on the needles. Here is Yoga For Elephants. I wanted to cast on these ever since the yarn arrived, but I'm proud to say that I remained disciplined and finished the Denmark socks.

I've also got Pente on the needles. A group of us decided to do a knit along with each other, which quickly became a knit against. I'm knitting the second sleeve, then I just have the back and some finishing to do. Once you start knitting the sleeves, this sweater quickly becomes a tangled mess. I considered trying to lay it out, but honestly, the way it sits in my knitting basket is the most accurate illustration as to how it feels to be knitting this sweater. It will be worth it in the end though.

What has everyone else got on the needles these days? Any crazy, tangled knitting going on?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Set In Sleeve Sewing Tips

So much knitting has gotten done in the last few weeks. I'm knitting as if I'll never have time to knit ever again. So it looks like I'll have an epic FO post in the near future, which includes my Pomme de Pin. But first I wanted to share how I line up sleeves when sewing in a set in sleeve.
I think the most difficult thing about putting in a set in sleeve is having to undo all your sewing if you find that you've skewed things a bit. So what I did this time around was put my sweater on my Mum and used two different locking markers to help me line up everything up. I used the orange markers to mark 5 key points. I started by marking both the top center of the arm hole and sleeve cap. Two orange markers marked the beginning and the end of the cast off points at both the bottom center of the arm hole and sleeve. Then I choose two other "middle points" in the front and back of the arm and marked them in orange markers as well.
Here is what a sleeve looks like once it's sewn in

The green markers were put in between the orange markers to help give a visual to see if I was starting to skew the sleeve. Green markers could be off by a stitch when I was sewing everything in, but the goal was to have the orange markers match up. As you can see, the orange marker is marking the seam at the top of the arm hole. The green markers are at arbitrary points.

When I had finished marking the first armhole and sleeve, I put one sleeve inside the other so that I could have both sleeve caps alongside each other. I then made sure both sleeves had markers that matched each other. In the same way, I folded the sweater in half and put one arm hole inside the other so that I could match the markers. This way both my sleeves and arm holes had markers that were lined up the same way.
 
I used a mattress stitch to sew most of the sleeve together. The most helpful tip I found was that if you find yourself skewing the sleeve some, sew two stitches together with the mattress stitch on one side. When I had to get 6 stitches on one side to fit into 10 stitches on the other side, I made sure to have single stitches in between my "stitch two together" stitches. This helped hide the higher rate of decreases that would have made the sleeve look lumpy. 
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