Shark Week Socks KAL

It’s that time of year again.  The summer sun bears down on us earthlings with a vengeance, parching the ground, drying small ponds and sending us scuttling indoors where we shelter from the heat with our air conditioners, swamp coolers or just plain fans.  The public pools smell of sunscreen and are packed with children jumping and splashing and not paying attention to where they’re doing it.  A cracked skull may be in your future if this is your venue for cooling down.

If you’re lucky enough, you live close to the ocean; close to a large mass of water that regulates the temperature and cleans the air and is fun to frolic in with plenty of room.  No cracked skulls there.  You are fortunate.  You are blessed.  You are also probably wealthy, or are living in the house your great-great grandparents purchased back in the day, and it’s staying in the family.  Either way, it must be sweet.

Except I would never get in the water.  I’d be hanging out at the public pools – if such a thing exists next to the beach – and taking my chances with the splashing, jumping kids.  And the reason for that?  Sharks.  I was okay with going in the water until I turned 12.  “Jaws” the book and movie changed my mind.  Since then, I have learned of other, valid reasons why one shouldn’t go in the ocean, but the most dramatic and compelling justification for avoiding the open seas remains the movie.  And what better way to celebrate the fact the I’m freaked out than knit a pair of cool socks during Shark Week!

The Knit-A-Long starts on the 23rd of this month, so you just may be able to get your yarn in time if you want to join the fun.  This will be my first KAL and I’m excited.  If you rolled your eyes at that last statement, you are not a knitter!

See you in the funny pages!

Lovely, squishy yarn!

Click on pic to get Lara Smoot’s Shark Bite II sock pattern available on Ravelry

Fire Season

Anytime I mention my neighborhood I’m always gushing about how wonderful it is.  You may have noticed this in previous entries.  None come to my mind right now, but I know I’ve done it because it is absolutely wonderful here.  However, with all things like this, there seems to be a caveat.  Living in California alone puts one at high risk of experiencing an earthquake – hopefully not a big one.  I’ve been fortunate enough to experience only the hiccups.  If you’re near the ocean, there is always the chance of being washed away in a tsunami.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are also common in the sizzling hot California valley summers when the temperatures can hit the hundred teens mark.  I remember driving around in my sister’s little Datsun in July of 1978.  There was no air conditioning, so the windows were down.  It smelled like baking bread outside and air did feel like it could have been coming from a heated oven.  We drove by a bank that had a temperature marquis and I looked up to see the numbers 117.  Yeah.  Life is fraught with dangers of all kind, natural or manmade.

Obviously not my own picture...

Obviously not my own picture…

If you didn’t know, I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains, surrounded by trees.  Trees that have endured four years of serious drought and are now drier than ever.  In other words, tinder for a fire.  Right now there is a huge fire blazing that started about 5 miles from where I live, but because of the prevailing winds, won’t be coming our way today.  Sigh.  So, it’s this time of year that I happen to get a little edgy, watching the horizon for smoke, checking the CalFire website, or even taking deep whiffs of air to catch a hint of smoke in it.  All of us who live up in the forested mountains really look forward to the rainy season and are hoping that the meteorologists predictions of an el nino winter will actually happen because this really sucks!

 

Is Anyone Up for an Afghan Crochet-A-Long?

Click on image for link

Click on image for link

I don’t know if it’s me, but I’ve been in the mood for fairly simple projects, and this one really looks like a blanket I could use pretty much throughout the year.  I’m looking for some company with this one because it may be a bit tedious getting through all those easy steps – LOL!  I know, I know, I said I wanted simple, I’ve got it, and it now it may be too much.  Well, you all know what it’s like making an afghan, and if you don’t, join me!  It’s very gratifying when it’s done and you have a useful item for around the house.  And let’s not forget about the ooh’s and ah’s to assuage your ego that you will inevitably get when you casually throw this over the back of your chair at work or drape it over your neighbor’s fence to “air” it out.

The schedule for this would probably be the month of August.  Don’t roll your eyes!  When you see the pattern you’ll see this is done in piecework, and it doesn’t come together until the end.  Use the thick blanket on your legs during the hottest part of the summer as motivation to finish.  Good idea, right?

I want to hear from interested parties, so don’t be shy!

Working with Fingering Yarn for a Top

Am I out of my mind? I hope not. I found a cute tank I could knit and the pattern called for sportweight yarn, but I was able to find a comparable fingering weight.  Correction:  an expensive comparable fingering weight made of cotton, bamboo and silk. High definition for the pattern – not

A foresee some blocking in my future.

A foresee some blocking in my future.

that it’s needed; it’s a simple 3x rib.  Period.  I need something a little mind-numbing, and the toy rabbit still isn’t finished because I was having to do too much thinking.

Anyway, I wanted a summery top after working with all that heavy winter wool.  This will also be the first article of clothing, that’s not an accessory, I’ve made in a long time.  The last one I made took my three months, and it came out way too big.  So I deliberately threw a wool sweater into the dryer.  Now, the arms a bit short, and all the detail work is lost due to the felting effect, but I still wear it!  I didn’t spend three months on that just to throw it away, dorkified or not.