Corner Garden

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Isn’t that lovely? Many of the first floor tenants at our condo building like to garden. I enjoy them when I am out for my walks. This little garden is on the corner of my condo.

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Impressionist Socks

Wow! These Impressionist Socks have taken forever. First, the pattern itself is hugely slow to knit.  The pattern has no rest rows.  The way the stitches line up from one row to the next makes it difficult to execute the many SSKs and the K2togs.  Second, the yarn is a bit splitty. It’s very nice when knit but getting it knit required care.  Finally, I have worked on many, many other projects, first Christmas gifts, then birthday gifts, then hats for students in India, and another pair of socks for myself which are still on the needles.

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The fussy pattern was worth the effort. I had a suspicion that this yarn would flash and pool. It did but the pattern made it pretty instead of a problem.

The pattern is not very stretchy and I was afraid the tencel yarn would not stay up well.  To solve those problems, I switched to 2 x 2 rib when I reached the ankle. Although the yarn did flash and pool on the legs, the rib made for a good fit and the socks stay up.  I figure not many people will see it under my pant legs so fit was more important.  I made the cuff long enough that I can fold it down and wear the socks as anklets.  That also hides the pooling and flashing. Mission accomplished.

Impressionist Socks

The heels were a bit of a pain to knit. If I knit this pattern again I would do the more traditional type of heel. The heel looks fine now that it’s done, but it didn’t need to be such a bother.

I think the only bad call I made was to continue the pattern for a few rows after the heel.  The socks would have a nicer fit and be more firm if I have just gone into the ribbing at that point.

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Most of my projects lately, not counting the hats, have needed darning or mending as soon as I finish them. These were no exception. I was admiring their loveliness and I folded them down to have a big cuff. I snapped a photo. As I did so I caught some movement. Right before my eyes the socks were turning into a Clapotis as a dropped stitch raced down the leg.

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I had to pick the binding, go back, and fix the mistake. After I had done that, I realized this new binding was too tight.  I picked that out and tried again. Along the way I dropped some more stitches. Eventually I got it all straightened out.  Despite all the drama, the socks are done and very comfortable.

The yarn was a gift from my sister.  She purchased it at Shelley’s Yarn and Fibre Shop in Taylor’s Falls, Minnesota, USA. It is Sexy Socks in the Surfer Girl color way a blend of 50% Merino and 50% tencel. It needs hand washing or gentle machine washing in cold, laying flat to dry.  I will do as I always do. I’ll turn them inside out, put them in a laundry bag, and wash them on cold. After the spin cycle they should be dry enough to hang on the line without stretching.

Queen of the Stash

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I accidentally organized my stash yesterday.  I went diving into one of the bins for a skien of yarn. Four hours later it was all photographed, entered into Ravelry, and organized by weight into bins and bags.  Pretty impressive for a task I didn’t know needed doing.

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I knew it already but if you scroll through the photos of my entire stash, there is a preponderance of blues, greens and purples because those are MY colors.  There are also a lot of tans and browns, because I often wear tan or khaki pants and needs socks to wear with them.

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I also found some yarns I can destash. I sold a box of cotton yarn at work on Thursday and other people expressed interest, so I’ll put an ad on Marketplace, our mail group at work.

In any case, it will be nice to be able to sort my stash by size or color whenever needed. Should also help when I am home this summer.  Either I will buy skeins to hold with some of my fingering weight yarn, or I’ll buy worsted skeins and sell some of my fingering.  I find that I don’t want to invest the time knitting socks out of 100% merino yarn.  The pairs I have knit out of that have not worn well enough to justify the effort.  However, people knitting scarves, gloves, mittens, etc. could make good use of it.

Of course, as I started to make up the flyer to sell yarn at work, I found I didn’t want to part with it.  Ideas began to niggle about what it could become. However, I will be strong.  It felt good to clean out closets last weekend.  Now that stash is done, it is time to tackle medical claims and filing.  Just the thought of it makes me want to take a nap.

On a different note, isn’t it nice we purchased an ottoman for our cat?

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She was a bit annoyed when I covered it with laptop and yarn last night while I organized the stash.

New Sofa Set

One of the delights of spring in an international school is that all the people who are leaving start selling off their belongings. We have a mail group at work for people can post the things they are selling. Those of us who are staying start hunting that list looking for good buys.

Our best buy this spring was a new living room set. These are the photos taken by the person who sold it.  They turned out better than the ones in our living room since his light was better.

 

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We are delighted with how comfortable it is.  Thankfully, the cats have not been scratching it.  They like that they can walk along the back edge of it. They also like the laying on the wide arms.

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Kent’s students are delighted that we brought the old sofa to school. It is very economical. At our place it usually only sat three people. In his classroom it regularly seats eight.

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Bork! Bork! Bork!

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Yes. Swedish meatballs were eaten today. We also walked 3.5 miles in the 3.5 hours we were at the store. We now have new anti- slip mats to put beneath the carpets to replace the ones that disintegrated in the Singapore humidity.

We have an additional towel rack for the guest bathroom so that when we have four guests they can all hang their towels. We also have enough glasses and bowls for all of them.

We have a new ottoman to go with our new chair and a new kitchen light fixture to replace the one that keeps blowing halogen bulbs.

That was most of our list so we did well. I am glad we arrived early. By the time we left it was so crowded we could barely stand it.

Velvet Skies and Temporary Truces

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Tonight, I looked up while hauling the recycling. This lovely velvet blue sky greeted me. Against the creamy white condos it made me think of the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we had a bunch of home projects going on. My attempts at sorting and cleaning the coffee table inspired both cats to jump on board.

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It is very rare that they are both this close together without one of them getting upset. I think set for once the catnip Kent put on the scratcher was making Ella mellow. Whatever the cause it was nice to have a relatively peaceable kingdom.

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Siren’s Song of Stripey Yarn

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Oh this dangerous yarn. I rescued it from a twined hat project. The yarn was making a beautiful, warm hat. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the twining process. The yarn was too lovely to languish as a WIP so I frogged it.

I wish I had thought to give it a relaxing bath. My twining was so tight that the yarn lost some of its bounce. Fortunately, it is knitting up well.

Never mind that I already have two hats on the needles. They are both displeasing me. There was no way to resist the siren’s call of this soft, warm, lovely yarn.

After casting on, I have stayed up far too late because watching the colors change is so beguiling. The dishes aren’t yet washed. The laundry awaits. Time to stop knitting.