Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sock Darning

Suddenly, I needed to finish the scarf mentioned in my last post.

I needed the yarn to darn a hole and a soon-to-be hole in the warm woolly socks (Malabrigo worsted) I wear around the house, now that the weather has turned.

I understand the theory behind darning, as imparted by my mom. My technique may be somewhat lacking, but I hope it will hold up.

I could have matched the color better, but it's not a high priority with these socks.

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Car Knitting"

As part of my preparation for our trip to Oregon earlier this month, I needed a knitting project that was suitable to work on in the car.

The socks I'm working on weren't a good candidate. I have to keep close count of the rounds, and there would be the risk of dropping the stitch marker or the cable needle.

I could have started another scarf, but I wanted something a little more interesting. And besides, I haven't finished the last one.

So I looked through the patterns I have collected over the past several years, and selected an easy baby sweater.

The back couldn't have been any easier to knit — just a simple stockinette rectangle. The front pieces have a simple decrease. I should be done with the right front, but I've had to rip it back a couple of times to fix errors that required more than just picking up a dropped stitch.

The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, 1967 (Wisteria). I skipped doing a gauge swatch. I cast on for the 12-month size, but the measurements from my gauge matched the 6-month size, so it's ending up being sort of a conflation of the two.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mobius Cowl

I finished something today.

I have this tendency to have several projects underway at any given time. If I don't feel like working on a particular one, then I can choose to work on this, that or the other one. I like the variety, but it also means that actually completing something takes longer.

I'm not sure how long I've been working on the Mobius cowl, but I'm guessing it's been since about the beginning of summer. One reason it took me so long to make it has been that I would do only one round at a time. Sometimes even less. It was something I would do to fill a few minutes before it was time to go somewhere, or I would try to do one round in the morning after breakfast.

Each round is 136 stitches, and it took 10 to 15 minutes to complete one round. (There is also a shorter Mobius cowl pattern by the same designer, where you cast on only 46 or 50 stitches).

It's based on this pattern, but instead I used the Spud and Chloe yarn I'd used in an attempt to make a scarf of my own design, which just wasn't working. I also used 9mm circular needles, which is what I already happened to have (and is close enough to the 8mm needles called for in the pattern).

And I knit more rounds than called for in the pattern, because I wanted to use all the yarn I could. It worked out just about right. Since I was pulling the yarn off the other already-knit scarf, rather than out of a skein, when I got toward the end I calculated approximately how many rows of the old scarf when into one round on the cowl and planned accordingly.

When my bind-off was complete, there were maybe 3 or so rows left in the old scarf.

Other Mobius cowl patterns are knit flat, and then you sew together the ends. But I knew I wanted something seamless.

The instructions direct you to an online tutorial showing the Mobius cast-on. I watched it through once, and then again while I did the cast-on.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Out and About in Shoreline

Earlier today, while I was out doing some errands, I happened to be driving west on N. 175th Street in Shoreline, just a few miles from my house. There is a park there called Ronald Bog Park. It's not very big, but it's a pleasant enough place.

The first thing I noticed that was  different was the trees along both the north and south sides of the street. They appeared to have undergone a version of yarn bombing.

Then I saw the horse statues.

It seems that in the past, these have occasionally been decorated in one manner or another, similar to what happens to "Waiting for the Interurban" down in Fremont. What I observed today, however, went beyond the usual, more casual additions.

If I had had my camera with me, I would have turned around then and there. As it was, I finished my errands, went home, dropped off my purchases, grabbed my camera, and got back in the car.

On closer investigation, the trees had not been yarn bombed. What I had at first thought were little knitted tubes turned out to be pieces of fleece wrapped around the tree trunks and tied with crocheted cord. The ornaments in the trees consisted mostly of CDs wrapped with yarn, but there were some crocheted disks, as well as more elaborate pieces.

Next, I went to take a closer look at the horse statues. In addition to their costumes, the rocket was a new addition. It wasn't until later that I spotted the sign with the title "Reluctant Horse Nebula Visitors."

From seeing a banner on a fence nearby, as well as a conversation with another person taking photos, I confirmed that this art installations were connected to a community event last weekend.

As I was taking my photos of the trees and the horses, I spotted something else in the park that piqued my curiosity. I walked over to investigate. The sign reads "Bog Nest for Humans . . . come in and hatch your dreams."

As I walked into the park away from the street, I started seeing other art installations. After the Bog Nest, I saw a turtle on the roof of a shelter on the other side of the park.

A short distance from the turtle was a low wall made of real rocks and oblong felted balls — "It felt like home — fuzzy memories of a New England childhood."

Next, I headed over to check out some balloons I had seen earlier on the little lake, while driving by. But I got sidetracked by this —

— called "Cottonwood in Yellow-Orange." I like how I could arrange different compositions, depending on where I stood and how close I zoomed in.

Over at the lake, three groups of green Mylar balloons held down by weights floated this way and that in the breeze.

I thought I had seen everything there was to see, but I was wrong. On my way back to my car, I passed the "Metro Shelter Upgrade."

The world is full of pleasant surprises when you're not expecting it.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blooming Lettuce

After our week away from home, we went out back to check on the garden.

Before we left, I had noticed that the lettuce was starting to put out skinny little flower stalks. I remember being told once to keep these trimmed off to prevent the lettuce from going to seed, but since it was getting late in the year and it was looking unlikely that there would be any lettuce worth harvesting, I let them go.

Yesterday, I saw that there were some little yellow flowers. It was late in the day, though, and they seemed kind of closed up. So I waited until this afternoon to check on them again.

One in particular seemed more open.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Maryhill Museum of Art

Today's featured attraction from our vacation is the Maryhill Museum of Art.

Tim has been told he visited with his family when he was a kid, but he has no recollection. His understanding has been that it is a really fine museum, but it's in a rather out-of-the-way location.

We stayed in Bend, Oregon, last night. It took about 3 hours to drive from Bend to the museum, a distance of about 140 miles — 90 or so of which were devoid of gas stations.

But it was worth including it as part of this vacation. It featured some really phenomenal exhibits.

First, we walked around to see all the outdoor sculptures scattered around the museum. There are many more than I've shown here, but these are the ones I liked the best.

If there was a plaque listing the name of this piece and the artist, I missed it. But it is so whimsical and fun to look at.

Malabar Bombax by Matt Cartwright.

Quantum Man by Julian Voss-Andreae. This reminded me of a couple of pieces we looked at in my Modern Art class last spring — Nude Descending a Staircase and Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, both of which in their own way show motion within a static piece of art. To really appreciate this piece, you need to walk around it, so here is a short video to that effect. (I apologize for the shaky quality.)

Merriweather by Dixie Jewett. This reminded me also of an artist's work from Modern art class — Deborah Butterfield, who sculpts horses from found material.

Inside, there were several exhibits to look at — a collection of chess sets, woodblock prints by Arthur W. Higgins, pottery by Kenneth A. Standhardt, sculpture and sketches by Rodin, Russian orthodox icons, and an extensive collection of Native American basketry — as well as exhibits about the unique assortment of individuals (Samuel Hill, Queen Marie of Romania, and Loïe Fuller) who contributed to the creation and establishment of the museum.