Sunday, July 23, 2006


This photo was taken Saturday afternoon next to our back door. The thermometer is in the shade - but obviously not in a Stephenson screen. Anyway at about 6pm it read 116 degree, earlier in the day it peaked just below 120. When we went to bed about 10pm it was still 93. I dont think I ever remember it being so hot here - and according to the news channels its a record breaking weekend. I think the peak official temperature was 107.

In fact its too hot to do anything much other than hide out in the air conditioned house, or swim. This weekend Adam has learned to dive and also to swim a length of the pool underwater (it must be mentioned that a length of our pool is no great distance however). Here is an action shot...

And what else to do during a heatwave? Knit and wear some woolen socks of course. This is Nigel modelling his new socks...

The wool is Mountain Colors Bearfoot which is a mostly wool mixed with some nylon for wear and mohair for fuzziness. I really liked knitting with this wool - much more than the much-raved-over Koigu - it has a much softer hand.

The colour is called Thunderhead which really captures the purply blue grey colours - the photo is not such a good representation of the colour since while just about acceptable to try on wool socks - taking them outside for the photo would have been too cruel.

The pattern is a generic top-down plain sock - I didnt really make many changes apart from the adjustments in size and to make the toes less pointy ( sock patterns always seem to default to a pointy toe - no good for feet like ours).

I'm off to Vegas tomorrow - so probably limited blogging. I am however taking my new knitting project with me - and it's not socks!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

All gussied up

We went to an IBM recognition dinner on Friday night. It was a surprisingly fancy affair at the Fairmont Hotel downtown. I came away with one of the centerpieces which smells wonderful. (Dont worry - I was actually given it - rather than stole it).

It was nice to get a chance to dress up although since it was about 100 million degrees I didnt actually need to wear the capelet. This is "Big Sisters evening Cape" knitted by Christina from a Stitchcraft pattern dated in the 1950s.

I did do some sewing myself last weekend. I made a bias cut skirt, but unfortunately my inaccurate measurement (and fat tummy) make this rather an unflattering garment.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Instant gratification

This scarf is a feather and fan stitch knitted from some cashmere I scored from ebay. Its a rather vivid dark red shade and im planning to give this to our babysitter Meredith for her birthday which is in August.

I cast on during a particularly dull solutions assurance review and it was about 12" but Thursday night. Its now about 36" and close to completion. Its really a bit short, I had intended a long skinny scarf (partly because I only have 250 years of this wool), but I am hoping that "The Magic of Blocking" will work again and transform this rather mean looking scarf into an item of elegance and high fashion.

(Do you think I'm expecting too much of a soak and a stretch?).

In other news - it has been hot, so when not knitting, we're in the pool.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The magic of blocking

This is a Clapotis that I knitted for Eileen. Its knitted from a wool/silk/mohair blend from brooksfarmyarn. I just blocked it and the effect is quite transforming. I may need to block everything I ever knitted now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Something green

Another completed item. I finished my green cardigan (aka the big green booger). Its the 'Something Red' pattern, again from Knit and tonic. It was a nice easy pattern with lots of instructions on modifying the cardigan.
Knitted in knitpicks Shine and with some modifications to the pattern. I lengthened the body and shortened the sleeves (thanks Billie and Fran for sleeve advice). Im not thrilled with the results - the fabric (sorry...fabrrrrrrrrrk) is rather heavy and floppy, I think I would prefer a tighter crisper knit. But it looks OK on and I will probably wear it. I am very pleased with the buttons however which were frightfully expensive but the perfect colour. I picked them up at Knitting Arts on my way out of the door after our knitting meetup.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Natural Bridges

At the weekend we went to Natural Bridges State Park. Its a lovely beach, one of my favourites. We saw loads of pelicans and cormorants on the 'bridge'. We took the boogie board and actually got Adam on it with Nigel. Finlay is still, rightfully, rather cautious about the sea.

Embossed leaves

I finished my socks. They are the embossed leaves socks from IK Fall 2005. Knitted in Koigu KPPM which was really nice to work with but quite stiff. I expect after washing they will be a lot softer.

I actually knitted one entire repeat less than specified in the pattern. I know I have little fat feet but...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sewing and knitting

I actually made a clothe this weekend. On Tuesday morning, while the boys were happily playing, and I was listening to Agatha Raisin. Its a tried and tested old Vogue pattern and I made it in the liberty fabric that Christina sent me. I didnt line it and was concerned that the material might be too floppy - but it does not seem to be. Its cut on the bias - so although very simple in construction, it looks nicely fitted.

(Note to self - do not let Nigel take photos of me from Sofa thus highlighting chins).

I also progressed with my green cardi - however there is a not-so- subtle error which means I need to unpick the button band. In the progress of the short-row shaping on the back neck - I knitted back in my starting direction, thus making one side of the band 2 rows wider than the other.

Althogh Nigel thinks this is imperceptible, I am going to unpick it. I was not really pleased with the buttonholes either so its a good opportunity to fix them.

Fourth of July

We celebrated the 4th of July by attending the annual LG concert given by the San Jose Wind Symphony. Their programme included 'patriotic music' as well as many poor jokes from the conductor.

The Civil War reenactors always bring their cannon and the finale of the music programme includes some very loud gunshots. This always sets of any car alarms nearby and scares small boys (apparently).

The highlight of the concert occured when, as we were leaving we passed a couple of the LG Police from the search and rescue unit just leaving on their ATVs. The boys were fascinated - and thrilled when the officer offered them a 'sit' on the bikes.

Of course before they could ride the bikes they had to be sworn in as junior officers...

Monday, July 03, 2006

More spaceships

I made this duvet covers for the boys from some flat sheets. They are a lovely retro print of rockets and planets. Finlay can see his spaceship in the design too.

The sheets came from garnethill which has some lovely childrens bedding but frankly I'm far too mean to pay $75 for a child's duvet cover!

China Camp

We spent the weekend camping at China Camp State Park.

Its an abandoned Shrimp fishing 'village' on the north side of the San Francisco Bay. The campsite is what they call "walk in" which in this case meant haul your vast amount of heavy camping gear 400 yards to the site, but once there, enjoy the absence of traffic. Previous visitors are easily recognisable by their wagons - smart idea!

We remembered camping in Portola with Duncan, Penny, Thomas, and Elliot while we barbequeued steaks and opened a decent merlot. Of course we rounded off our meal with smores and ghost stories around the campfire (Yang the china camp ghost cat, Rocky the spectral raccoon!).

Sunday night was particularly quiet - we could only see one other tent from our site. We were visited by a deer on Sunday, in addition to the hoardes of raccons on Saturday night.