Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knitting Again

Friday I finally got some knitting interest going. Worked on a garter stitch shawl at my seniors' group, using some bright red acrylic 'mohair' we received as a donation. This is a perfect project for our seniors' meetings: it's nearly mindless, and with markers for the increase points, I can manage the 'pattern' in the midst of all the chat, lol!

My 'grrls' have been pretty excited lately, since I've been the happy source of some great new yarns. Not my yarns, but yarns donated by 3 of my knitting friends, Knitdevil, mehitabel and one of the members of our 'Friday Unwinders' SnB. I am so glad I bought one of those folding milk-crates-on-wheels, since I've been the Bag Lady the last few weeks, stuffing it full and piling on more big sacks of lovely yarn. mehitabel in particular provided a lot of excitement, donating lots of lovely baby yarns and lapghans'-worth of other good acrylics all in one color. Our group doesn't usually get more than a couple of skeins of any one yarn, so we're experts at making up pretty designs from leftovers. I still have 2 bags of her yarns to take in, mostly the so-useful Lion Brand Jiffy in the very hard-to-find off-white. I'm keeping a few skeins to make into shawls, using the LB pattern I wrote about a few days ago.

I pulled out the neglected pink and purple socks and got a couple of inches done Friday night at the 'Unwinders' group, and then I managed to stick with it over the weekend and finish it Sunday night. The looser-gauge phenomenon I've experienced over the last few months is really being a problem for sock knitting. I knitted the first sock with US1s, and switched to US0s for the second sock. But there's still a definite difference in the final sock, including a bit of a bulge where I started again, before I figured out how to tighten up as much as I can. This tension problem is going to limit the sock patterns I'm going to be able to knit, since I don't know of any circular needles smaller than US0.

I joined the Six Sox KAL Yahoo Group, and I started the current Harry Potter-related pattern, Horcrux. I was going to use some lovely sport-weight yarn I got from See Jayne Knit, but even on US0s the 60-st cast-on was huge. I got to thinking that the lovely Coral Glow color really needs to be something other than socks, perhaps a small shawl (I have 400yds). So I dug around the sock stash and found some nice dark red solid sock yarn from KnitPicks, which seems appropriate for a HP design. I'll start again today and see how that goes. If this combination still doesn't work, I'll try using a 50-st cast-on. The KAL pattern has a 70-st version, and there's a free version for worsted yarn here using a 40-st cast-on, so 50 sts would seem likely to work.

In non-knitting events, we discovered we were the home of some opossums. I saw an adult on Sunday, and DH and I started being better about closing the walk-in door to our free-standing garage. Yesterday our gardener came in laughing that we'd been too late closing the door: she'd found 4 little possums clustered at the door. So Animal Control came and took them away from their garage home. They'll be fostered and then released, somewhere else, TYVM. This morning I was up early and saw the adult, Mom of course, hanging around the door. After the Animal Control people arrived at their office at nearly 8am, they called to say they'd rent us a humane trap. Thanks so much, I don't think. If they'd come at 6:45 when I left a message, they could have caught her, no problem. Grump. Possums are just b*tt-ugly, and little ones aren't any cuter, IMO.

Midnight's been unusually quiet the last few days, so she's getting a trip to the vet's tomorrow. It's been 3 months or so since we checked her blood levels, and I want to keep a close eye on her kidney function.

And, hey! I'm a Gryffindor! Thanks, T! T has joined the Blogspot world, and I snared this from her new blog, Wandless Knitting today.

Want to Get Sorted?

a Gryffindor!


Sarah-Hope said...

I actually discovered I had a possum living in my closet several years ago. I kept hearing odd scritches in the middle of the night, then one morning noticed a hairless tail peeking out from behind the stacking bins of sweatshirts. I got a friend to help me, and we gradually emptied the closet of its contents, until we could trap the possum in a box. We drove it up to campus and released it in the woods there. Apparently it had come in the cat entrance to sneak a little food and decided to make itself at home.

You're right that they're hideous, but I have a soft spot for them. They always look to me as if they're made from all the odd bits God had left over after making the more sensible animals.

smariek said...

Oh my, a whole family in your garage. Do you think Mommy Possum will vacate the premises in search of her babies elsewhere? Never seen a possum in my house.

Madge said...

Congrats of finishing your pink and purple socks and casting on your Horcrux(es?)! Y'know, the one sock's poochiness is kinda cute, and imitates my own widening middle. *grin* But gosh, needles smaller than 0...whoa.

Hope Midnight's vet visit goes well, and the gal's okay. Please give her a pet for me. And good luck with the possums.

Today was loads of fun! Yay for socks!

jayne said...

A possum in the closet, goodness!

Our neighbours across the street had a mom racoon with two babies living in the space between their roof and their house. The wildlife center advised them to soak a cloth in bleach and put it into the space. The smell caused mom to take the babies and relocate. I got to watch her climb down with the wee babes in her mouth (by the scruff). They were cute, but my neighbor was happy to have them gone. They can be very noisy.

I like those pink and purple socks. I'm curious about your socks on tiny needles. Are you getting loose fabric or just loose socks? If the fabric is a nice firm fabric for socks, then the cast-ons need to be adjusted. I can't imagine doing socks on such tiny needles. I do like the idea of an airy shawl in that coral though.

Sandra said...

I'm a Gryffindor as well. No surprise - I love these books - hae them all, and will start reading them with Son soon.

mehitabel said...

I tested for Ravenclaw this time! We have had possums inside and out--most notably when one jumped onto D3's chest during the night! After the screams and alarms died down, we opened the windows to the room and closed the door, and the girls slept in the living room. Next night, he was back, scratching at the window to come in... Oh, and you are welcome to more yarn any time--I think I'll be doing more "weeding out" soon!