A Bit of Random

First, a Bunny update.
Maxine
Maxine, the bunny, has gone to a foster home. I found her owners, which is how I learned her name was Maxine. The owner had seen our sign, but she wasn’t planning on contacting us. She was moving her family that night, and they were moving to a rental that did not allow pets. She claimed Maxine had dug her way out from their enclosed patio. I decided not to go see if that were true, or if she had simply released her. She did give us Maxine’s better cage, which was nice. In any event the rabbit coordinator at the local SPCA found a very nice young woman to foster Maxine, and she left on Thursday evening.

Second, I am trying to finish a couple of old projects. One of these is a counted cross stitch picture of an autumn harvest scene done in an American Primitive style from The Prairie Schooler. I’ve been “working” on it for three years. My goal is to get it finished by mid-October for autumn hanging. I’m not much into this style of art, except for things like Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday decorations. I’ve done the central three of five buildings, and there will be a horse and wagon and a whole lot of pumpkins and more trees in the foreground. We’ll see if I can hang in there and get it done. Yes, the “evergreens” do turn autumn colors in the design.
Harvest Time  060908

Third, I’ve started Christmas knitting in a pre-emptive strike against relatives “placing orders” as they put it last year, which made me unseasonably crabby. My goal is to have all orders done with the yarn I want to use before anyone thinks of telling me what to knit them for a gift. My friend LC thinks my plan is the way to go. So here is the start of a 4×4 rib sock in Fleece Artist Merino in Lily Pond. The recipient does wear a lot of light colored clothing and open backed shoes, so I think this is a good choice that she would not think to ask for but would like receiving.
Christmas Socks I

Fourth, I finished the first Stanfield 27 sock using a star toe of three points which takes 3-inches to complete, so I could end the basketweave pattern where it would be symmetrical with the beginning. I’ve even got half the leg of the second sock done. I had my camera set wrong, so the colors are wonky (this is a “corrected” copy); but I show it anyway to prove my progress.
1st Stanfield 27 Sock

Fifth, our local U-pick farm has started to get ripe berries, and M and I went on Saturday morning to pick some early Marion berries. Very tasty.
Early Marion Berries

June Reading 2008

Finally, a reading update. It’s all orange-covered books here at Molecular Knitting. I’ve finished the latest Dick Francis thriller, Dead Heat, which he co-wrote with his son Felix. Not bad, but not vintage-quality Francis either. Too much exposition.

I’m really enjoying The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman. If you’ve ever thought you’ve taken the worst exam on the planet, and it wasn’t the Certified Master Chef exam at the Culinary Institute of America, you should check out the first section of this book. Less than one third of the chefs who take the exam pass it, and it is 10 days long, and each day is 12-16 hours long, and each section of the exam gets critiqued and graded in front of the chef, and the chefs pay over five grand to take the exam. Now don’t those qualifying/board exams seem easy peasy?

For serious reading, I’m pleased to report that I am making good progress on my goal to re-read all my Calvin and Hobbes books this year. Weirdos from Another Planet is my current endeavor. I think it’s important to re-read the classics from time to time to gain new insights on the human condition.

That’s all the random for now.  I’d better go cross-stitch a red evergreen tree.  Hope all is well with you!

What have I been doing?

I didn’t mean to be away so long. April was a lot of stress and anxiety, and I didn’t knit. I don’t seem to find knitting relaxing when I’m stressed out. I did do a lot of reading. May gradually got better, and I started to do some knitting, but anything with a chart and/or a lot of measuring was too fussy. So I worked on some socks. Not a lot, mind you. But some. Just keeping my hand in. Mostly I have sock legs.

First I wanted to try the “Poseidon” Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn I had purchased from Little Dog Designs. It is working up very nicely.
2/2/2-Sock Cuff detail
The sock is mostly 2×2 rib with 3 cables running up the front. The cables are from Janet Szabo’s basic cable book. They are alternating 2/2/2 left cross and 2/2/2 left reverse cross. One requires 2 cable needles, but could be done without any if that is how you like to do cables. I think the other would require a cable needle as part way through the cable you move the last two remaining stitches (having put 4 on to begin) on the cable needle from the front to the back. Anyway, they are fun, especially when there are only 3 of them. ;)

While in a cabling-sock mood, I tried the Lorna’s Laces Mother Lode, which has been ripped more times than I can remember due to horrid pooling, in Nancy Bush’s Rib and Cable Sock from the Autumn 2005 IK. I’ve made this pattern before (my first blog post!), and I really find the resulting socks comfortable, so I decided to see if it could tame the Mother Lode. There is considerable pooling again, but I think I can live with it. I really want to get this yarn knit up and out of stash. It’s starting to haunt me.
Cable Rib Cuff in Mother Lode

Finally, I’ve been knitting a sock in the luscious Raspberry Superwash Merino sock yarn I got from Fearless Fibers. The color is delicious, and I like it in the Stansfield 27 basket-weave pattern I took out of More Sensational Knitted Socks. A basket of raspberries socks. I’m almost done with the first sock–toe started!
Stanfield 27 SockStanfield 27 Sock detail
Since Wednesday, in addition to everything else, M and I came home to a lost domestic rabbit tunneling by our front door. So we have been rabbit-sitting. We bought a cage and rabbit necessities and posted signs all over. No one has called, so Monday M will call the rabbit coordinator at our local SPCA. She is not a very nice rabbit, we can’t have pets on our lease, and M is starting to sneeze a lot. Here’s a photo of her in our little herb bed. We let her out on our enclosed patio when we are home, but we have to watch her as she wants to eat the tomato plants which are poisonous. She’s not very smart. I hope she can find a home with more rabbit-tolerant people.
Black Bunny.JPG

Well, it’s good to get a post out. Now I just need to find time to catch up on what all of you have been doing. Thanks to everyone who emailed or left comments asking about my absence. When I feel good, I can keep up and stay in touch. Let’s hope that happens.