dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Tomorrow should be interesting, if somewhat lacking in the sleep department – I’m traveling to the Santa Clara office. One of the better perks of working for Intel is getting to go on the shuttle (corporate jet) between the major offices. However, to get the maximum time there, I need to check in at 5:45 AM and I land back home at 8:30 PM (and still have to drive home, but it’s only ten minutes or so). This is way better than flying commercial, because you apparently just show up, show ID and get on, no major security hassles.

Also, I had a midyear review today (my first formal review since starting here) and was nervous, but the boss seems to be happy enough with me, so that’s good.

Meanwhile, I figured it was time to post a few more finished objects. Some socks, a toy for a coworker’s new baby, cowls (the blue one for me, the dark red for a swap)
and a couple summer sweaters.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

My birthday Friday was good but unremarkable. At work, I started doing some actual useful things and joined a small weightlifting class in the gym that was actually pretty good. In the evening there was the monthly Chardon-knitting (which is where you drink wine and try not to screw up your knitting) at my LYS. I brought Prosecco and Tina, the LYSO, provided a delicious marionberry pie. The Prosecco itself has a story; because I had the gym class at 11 in building 2 and another meeting at 1 in building 3 and there’s a cafeteria in building 3, I brought my laptop and wallet with me to the gym so I could get lunch in between and didn’t have to go all the way back to my desk in building 4 (they’re all connected, but the distances are much farther than those sequential numbers make them sound). Unfortunately I forgot to take my wallet out of my gym bag and put it back in my purse afterward, a fact I realized just when I went to pay for the Prosecco. And the woman in front of me in line insisted on paying for it – she didn’t even ask first how much it was. Luckily I had a $14 bottle, not a $40 one! Of course she had no way of knowing it was my birthday and a milestone one at that, but I promptly told her so she’d feel even better about her kind gesture. And I guess I have a favor to pay forward now.

I didn’t have any presents to open – maybe that’s just a fact of adulthood, because it wasn’t that people didn’t care. A couple of people made donations in my name to organizations I care about (which has the major advantage of not having to find house room for more stuff!); my mom is trying to get something online but seems to be having technical difficulties; and Ted’s gift will be a wine-tasting trip to McMinnville next weekend.

Yesterday I did get a good gift – I got Ted back home! (He was only gone a week, but he had business travel on three out of the previous four weeks.) And yesterday afternoon I did something I hadn’t done in a while and got out my beading supplies. So here are a selection of recent objects, finished and otherwise. All photos taken with my iPhone, a few with a macro lens from Photojojo added.

Earrings – only the spotted ones are new; the rest are pairs I’d made a while ago, where I’d lost one and have just made a replacement. (A major advantage to making your own jewelry!)

I made this treasure necklace a long time ago, but it had broken – I restrung it and added a few new items:

Then there’s the knitting. First, socks: there are the self-patterning socks, of which I knit most of the first one while helping out at the LYS during the recent yarn crawl and am still early on the second one; plus the purple two-at-a-time pair I started months ago, that keep getting pushed aside for other projects:

There’s also the Rogue sweater, which has the body and most of one sleeve done; a linen-stitch Moebius cowl made from various leftover sock yarn; and a hat I finished back in January. Not shown are two pink pussy hats I made for friends and a baby hat for a pregnant former coworker.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

FOphotos

Aug. 8th, 2016 06:51 pm
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Just a couple of photos of the knitting projects I’ve just finished:

image

image

image

image

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Sorted into what they used to call “heads” in old sermons (gratuitous L.M. Montgomery reference there) so I don’t just meander confusingly.

I. Rowing and such
My shoulder has been bothering me this week, to the point where I didn’t erg Wednesday or yesterday. Nothing really wrong, I don’t think, just a strain that hurts enough that it seemed smart to rest it. This is not good, partly because of that race coming up next month, and partly because my blood pressure seems to be up lately and the only thing I know to fix that is to lose a few pounds (literally a few, just 5 or so seems to help). At least it wasn’t raining yesterday afternoon, so since I couldn’t row I got in a couple miles’ walk.

II. Yarn Crawl
Tomorrow is the Rose City Yarn Crawl! Or rather, it runs from yesterday through Sunday, but tomorrow is the day I’m going on it. I really, really don’t need more yarn – what I need is time to knit the yarn I have – but I enjoyed it last year, and the LYS is once again fielding a limo to visit several of the participating stores. It’s a bit expensive to ride along ($80) but I’m considering it as a birthday treat.

III. Birthday
Next weekend for my actual birthday (well, the day after) we’re going to spend a three-day wine weekend in Dundee, a town a little south of here where you can’t throw a stone without hitting a grapevine. I’ve been wanting to go for a while, so asked to make it this year’s birthday trip. There will be much wine tasted and probably some great food as well.

IV. Parallax and poetry
There is a really cool parallax effect I see when rowing on our lake, and I’ve been trying to get it into a poem, but it’s resisting with all claws out like a cat being put into a carrier. (Actually, our current cats are more cooperative.) I tend to row fairly close to the shore, especially in cold weather, because it feels safer. There’s a park on the far side of the lake, with some fairly tall trees near the water’s edge. When I’m close to them, the trees are all I see; as I paddle further away from shore, of course the trees sink into the distance – but magically a mountain rises up behind them. Close in it’s hidden by the trees and some low hills, but from further out you can see that the mountain is way higher than the trees. There is a fairly obvious analogy in this for daily life, too, about the big things being hidden by near-term petty concerns, but it might be too didactic to add that to the poem.

V. On a foodie note – cod is still not my favorite fish, but I can recommend this recipe for it with mustard-caper sauce. What a pleasant change, to try a new recipe that only takes about 15 minutes and very little effort to make. Ted suggested that the sauce might also be good on asparagus, as well as other white fish. One warning: that recipe is from Real Simple, who have an annoying habit of giving instructions for a whole dinner at once, with ingredients and instructions for each thing all muddled up together. The Bibb lettuce, red onion and cucumbers are for a salad on the side and are not part of the fish recipe. (We had Brussels sprouts with it instead, that being what I wanted to use up). On the other hand, the spaghetti squah we had the night before will not be repeated – it’s clear that winter squashes in all forms are not welcome in my household. Though I may serve this tomato sauce with gremolata again, only over actual pasta. I used a mix of canned and fresh tomatoes, but it would be better with fresh ones only – maybe Roma ones for cooking and an heirloom one on top.

VI. Knitting
I cast on another project last night, bringing my total WiPs to four. Annoyed at myself for this. I know lots of people enjoy having many projects in work at once. That’s great if it’s what you like, just not for me. I try to keep not more than two in work, because I like finishing things – I get tired of a project when it’s been in work too long. I don’t really seem to have that much time to knit – or don’t focus on it when I do – so having too many projects going just drags everything out.

Currently I’ve got 1) a lightweight sweater (Cecchetti) that has the body and one sleeve done, second sleeve barely started. The body on this went nice and fast, sleeves seem to be taking for-freaking-ever. Also, I put it aside with the advent of cooler weather, because it’s more of a summer sweater. Unfortunately I think the sleeves may end up a little tight. 2) a Dr. Who tie for my brother Hitchhiker necktie). Speaking of taking forever! I thought I’d knock this out in a week for his December birthday, but here it is March and it’s only 36” done. I’m into the narrower part, so it’s going faster now, but moss stitch is an unfortunate combination of slow to knit and boring. 3) Another, heavier sweater (Wisteria) – this one has the body done and I’m into the cabling at the bottom of the first sleeve. I’m still loving this one and would be happy to spend all my knitting time on it, but it has gotten too bulky to carry around to knitting outings or on travel, so that does justify one other project. Also, I’m sad that it won’t be done in time to wear this winter, because it’s beautiful. And 4) a shawl I cast on a few days ago, for no good reason but the desire to do something different. (All Things Oregon). I don’t know why. This is part of a local MKAL and it just looked like fun. Also, I’m doing it in rustic brown and beige yarns, so it will be different from any other shawl I own, while still going well with some colors I wear. At least the clues only come out every two weeks, so I’m hoping it won’t be too hard to keep up with.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

12 projects completed this year so far – socks, shawls, a cardigan, and so on. I have two on the needles at present – a summer-weight pullover I really ought to try to finish before it gets too cold, and a cowl for Mom (plenty of time, since I need to have it done by December.

When these are done, I hope to do a Howlcat (cowl/hat hybrid) for my nephew, fix the gloves I made for Ted (the fingers are too short) and possibly make a Dr. Who tie for my brother – the only thing stopping me from that last one is having to buy all the right colors. I don’t have enough odds and ends in proper Whovian colors all in the same weight of yarn! But I’d need so little of each one that it’s hardly worth buying them. Still, it wouldn’t be that pricy if I bought from Knitpicks.

Here, have a peek at the year to date:
FOs

The two on the bottom right are actually from last year. COme to think of it, I’ve been going to Dutch Brothers with my coworkers more often, so I ought to whip myself up a sleeve to go around a coffee cup like the ones in “Pairacoozies” (made as gifts).

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

That was a pretty good weekend. I erged a total of 20.5 km (13 Saturday, 7.5 Sunday). On Saturday after erging we headed up to Scappoose, Oregon to Blue Moon Fiber Arts, where they were having their annual barn sale and, more to the point, dyeing workshop. I keep trying to persuade Ted to learn some kind of fiber craft, because I think he needs a hobby that can be done indoors in bad weather and that he can do in our townhouse – when we go down to the lake house he seems to have no trouble finding endless things to potter over – the house, the landscaping, the boats – but in the townhouse where we spend most of our time he’s only got his computer and the TV to relax with. Anyway, he said a while back that he had no interest in knitting or crochet but might find dyeing more interesting, so once I heard this workshop was coming up, I signed us up.

We planned to each dye two skeins; I ended up asking to dye one extra, because I couldn’t decide on colors. It was interesting to see the differences between our approaches; I kept mine to colors I’d like knitting and eventually wearing, whereas he was going more for just interesting things to do with dye. I started with Socks That Rock Mediumweight and dyed it purple that had some red and blue and a touch of gold mixed in to add interest, then did semisolids in red and turquoise (Cool Sock and STR Mediumweight again, respectively). The turquoise was beautifully saturated; unfortunately the red faded to a pale rusty shade, where I was hoping for rosy red. Either their reddish dyes were less saturated (the purple faded a bit too) or I just used too much water in some of my dying, that ended up even diluting the areas where I’d squirted undiluted dye straight on. Or possibly the Cool Sock yarn I was using just didn’t absorb color as well.) For Ted’s first skein, I suggest that he do something in colors his mom would like, that I could knit up as socks for her. For his first skein he dyed it in a gradient from turquoise at one end of the loop shading to dark blue at the other end. On his second skein he dyed some BFL fingering weight in shades of dark blue that shaded to forest green and then neon green. I’m looking forward to knitting all of these! Though I have no idea yet what they’re going to become, other than mostly socks and maybe a shawl or two.

dye job

On Sunday (after erging, of course) we got our hair cut, and then in the afternoon headed out to Ardiri Winery. Every year they put out a Pinor Noir that’s a blend between their California and Oregon vineyards, and they let members vote on which blend to bottle. I voted, but I can’t say I was all that fond of any of them – but I’ve never really tasted wine before it’s bottled, and I’m sure this will improve as it ages.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

I got someone at knitting group to take a couple more photos for me. Ted is an excellent photographer – except of people. The local yarn store owner’s pretty daughter has been doing so much modeling lately for other peoples’ patterns that I suppose it’s not surprising she’s developed an eye for good knitting photos!

So here, have another couple piccies:
beachglass_on

beachglass_back

And one more picture, because this is one of those knitted objects whe the knitting is very simple and the yarn does all the work. I think it’s gorgeous, but I don’t get the credit for that (except for choosing a pattern that let the colors breathe. Just look:

beachglass_closeup

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

FOs!

Jul. 27th, 2015 10:07 am
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

(FO = Finished Object, in knitterspeak.) Here’s a thing I haven’t posted for a while; I’ve mentioned my knitting, but haven’t posted any pictures or been too specific.

So far this year, I have completed the following. I will include links to Ravelry for all projects – no membership is required to see them. Info is there on yarn, patterns, and how long each project took me to complete. I have photos of everything in Ravelry, but some of them aren’t really very good, so I won’t include those here.

  • Aisling vest
  • Branching Path cowl
  • Pinot wine cozy – this one is my own pattern
  • Follow Your Arrow shawl – This one was from Ysolda Teague’s second mystery knit along, where there are two options for each of five “clues” – meaning you get a new section of the pattern once a week for 5 weeks, but there are two choices each time, so there are 32 different ways the shawl can be knit up – more, if you include more than one color. THe thing I dislike about knit-alongs is the idea of ending up with the same item as everyone else, so this is a good way for me to do one.
  • arrow

  • Char gloves – for Ted. THese were a pain to knit and I’m going to need to pull out the ends of the fingers and redo them to make them longer. Blah.
  • Gradient Infuscation – for Mechaieh. I wish I did have a better picture of this one, because it came out beautifully in the gradient yarn that shaded from teal to violet, but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture after blocking and before shipping.
  • Green Sprout – baby hat for a gestating coworker. My own pattern.
  • Wildwood Utility socks – knitting while hiking doesn’t actually work out all that well, it turns out. But the socks came out nicely in the end.
  • wildwood

  • Colorsparks socks – these turned out to be harder to knit than I expected; the patten wasn’t very complex, but the problem was that I had to look to see where I was in the stitch pattern, not once but on each separate section of every row. Annoying. I do think the pattern shows off the variegated yarn well, though.
  • colorsparks

  • Beachglass cardi: FInished Saturday, blocked yesterday, looking forward to wearing it tomorrow. I love the way the colors came out, and it’s gorgeously soft – perfect for wearing in summer over a tank top.
  • beachglass

    I have another pair of socks on the needles (literally – knitting two at a time), but I need to start something else because I have some upcoming travel that I’ll need a knitting project for, but I’ve just finished the heel on these and don’t have too much further to go.

    Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

It’s not that I haven’t blogged in the last week – but it was a work-related rant so I made it a private entry. Also, I spent last week on a work trip to Toledo, so I was mostly either at meetings or in transit. Landed back in Portland at 1, drove home (yay me – no issues or brain weirdness this time), transferred a few things to a backpak and headed to the lake house for the weekend. Unfortunately it was fairly windy all weekend so we didn’t get much rowing in; Saturday we kayaked a bit and then Sunday I took my open-water single out but only for 5km. (Poor Ted had a headache and didn’t get to row at all. So not much distance, but I operate on a general principle that any is better than none.

Another of my general principles is that I will only knit for other people is a) they are related to me or b) I really want to. I put a package in the mail today for someone who makes me really want to – we’re not close but she’s put conscious effort into maintaining our friendship over many years and it’s really meant a lot to me, especially with all of my travel. So I guess I just ruined that surprise somewhat – maybe I’ll write more about it later.

There have been another couple of entries I’ve been mulling over. One hasn’t gotten written because it’s going to take a lot more focus than I’ve had so far to give it, but I can summarize: if you actually read the Jewish and Christian Bibles, it turns out that they talk mostly about how to regulate your own conduct (the Torah is also about how to run a communit, but in those cases it’s about structured action and setting up laws, not making your own judgement). What they don’t talk about, and in both cases militate strictly against, is judging other people’s conduct. Similarly, an online acquaintance pointed out that in the Torah, “the prohibition against pork is mentioned twice. There’s 30+ instances of not engaging in various kinds of “evil speech.” So, really, there’s a better argument for eating a BLT than there is for critiquing someone’s choice to eat one.”

The other thing I want to talk about is in response to reading Sarah Vowell’s essay collection “Partly Cloudy Patriot” (which I liked a lot in general). She mocks people comparing all and sundry to Rosa Parks, with a couple of odd and egregious examples (Ted Nugent?) including people who were actually trying to stifle others’ freedoms. But where I disagree is where she goes on to say that really, no one can be compared to Rosa Parks “except maybe that young Chinese guy who faced down cannons in Tiananmen Square”. For one thing, I’d rather stare down an angry bus drive, even if he calls the cops, than a cannon. But avoiding that comparison (because there’s plenty of praise and respect to go around and it’s not a zero-sum game), there are lots of people even just in the US struggle for Civil Rights whose bravery, I’d say, was on a par with Mrs. Parks’ – all those young people on the Freedom bus, for example. Hosea Williams and John Lewis on the Pettus Bridge, on the March to Montgomery. Anyone who walked ten miles to work rather than taking a bus during the boycott. And all the people I can imagine in circumstances I don’t know of, putting out arson-born fires, facing mobs, sitting at soda counters. More importantly, if we put our heroes and hera on too lofty a pedestal, we make them unique and inhuman – and impossible to live up to. I’m not diminishing Rosa Parks in any way when I say that she was just a woman, a good and brave one – I’m just stressing the possibility and the responsibility to live up to her example.

(In My Life with Martin, Coretta Scott King discussed the question of whether Rosa Parks’ action was preplanned, and whether she was chosen to take that action. No idea, but if it was, I don’t think that diminishes her bravery either. It’s probably harder to have to look forward to danger than to do something dangerous on the spur of the moment. And if your character is exemplary enough that the people who know you choose you to be the prow on the ship of their movement, that’s a tribute.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

azaleas!

Mar. 6th, 2015 09:39 am
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

It’s not even my birthday (that’s next week) so I don’t think this is supposed to be happening yet – but apparently nobody told them:
IMG_1831
Tomorrow is the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My local yarn shop organized a group going in a limo, starting on the far side of town, so there will be lots of riding. (I mean, we’ll meetout here but our first stop is way over in Gresham.) I’ve got knitting to take; I cast on a cowl just for this, on the theory that I want it for skiing next week and my other current projects aren’t ideal for car knitting. I’m just having trouble to decide what to wear, since there’s a 30-degree F difference between tomorrow’s forecasted highs and lows, and what to take for lunch. I think I’ve settled on a sleeveless gray top and navy cords as a base, then layered over that a shawl (probably this one or this one, a denim jacket and possibly another jacket if it feels cold when I leave. For lunch, I might take summer sausage, cheesesticks and gorp so I can just nibble.

Apparently we are going to be visiting 11 different shops. I feel like I might need to buy yarn at the first one and leave a clew behind me, like Jason in the Minotaur’s maze. If I don’t make it back, lock my credit cards and send help.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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