Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wouldn't That Frost Ya?

That’s what me old dad would have said when this happened:

I broke one of my 2mm Clover 5” dpns yesterday evening. Sigh. But I didn’t break it by stepping on it, squishing it in the lid of the knitting box, leaving it on the bed or executing a too-tight decrease. (All of which have happened to me at one time or another!) No, I merely tried on one of my Tulip Socks in progress to see how it was looking. Apparently the needles didn’t want to stretch over my instep and a weak one bent instead. Boo-hoo. I’m substituting one of my ubiquitous bamboo skewer needles instead. Why don’t I use them all the time instead of spending the big bucks on a set of Clovers, you might ask? Because my homemade ones break even easier and the points get shredded faster and then I have to spend half-an-hour or so sanding a new one. And the new skewers I have are really nice but they’re closer to a 2.5mm so it takes quite a while to get them down to the right size. The commercial knitting needles are finished with something that makes them keep their smooth surface longer. At least in my experience. I believe some people are harder on their needles than others. I tend to use the 2mm size for most socks so they get a lot of use and 2mm is a pretty skinny piece of bamboo. (Wooden needles break even easier at this size no matter how much prettier they are.) So it’s no wonder that damage occurs occasionally. I’ve heard that manufacturers say you should get 3 or 4 pairs out of a set of bamboo needles. I usually get double that before the points start to degrade and then I gently sand them and wax by rubbing with a piece of waxed paper. If I’m careful I can get several years worth of use. Another trick is to have several sets so I’m not using the same ones all the time. Though I sometimes end up having more than one pair going instead! Did I mention that a “set” for me is 10 needles? Because I work on 2 socks alternately, I need 2 sets of 5.

I did discover that the Tulip Socks are looking quite good. Sorry I didn’t get a photo while I was sacrificing one of my needles! Next time I’ll transfer to a cable first. And I scored another ball of that gently ombre-ing red Mega Boots Stretch yarn at my LYS so I can make another larger pair for Someone who was admiring mine-in-progress.

I’ve got all the craft stuff, seminar stuff and reading material (sci-fi/fantasy books) packed and ready to go. Next I need to pack all the electronic gear: camera, Palm, batteries, chargers, cables, SD cards etc. No, we can’t go camping without all the mod-cons. Even if we don’t often have electric plug-in. My Palm has my knitting patterns and sock dimensions for family members in it. Not to mention T-Man’s cell phone number which I can never remember, in case I need to contact him from the conference. I also need my hearing aid supplies especially lots of batteries. If I’m wearing them all day I go through a set of batteries every 3 days or so.

Today’s excitement was a stolen SUV left in my back alley with the lights on and wipers going. I checked that there was nobody inside in case somebody had had a medical emergency or something but thought maybe they had just gone into one of the other houses nearby or maybe the new building next door. Nope. Several hours later a Canadian Springs delivery guy tried to get down the alley and when nobody came to move the car he wisely called the cops. He had to leave before they got there so I went out and told them my story. Car is now gone. Why does it never occur to me that there may be something nefarious going on? I always think something legitimate first and only later realize that more is going on than meets the eye. I watched building materials being loaded into a panel van next door and only as they quickly drove off when T-Man came home realized that they were not supposed to be taking stuff! The builders themselves come and go and move supplies around all the time so I have no idea which are ok and which not. I decided that it’s their problem if they can’t secure things better. My little revenge for the loss of my lilies? They could have put up some fencing around the building site which would protect both of us somewhat. But no.

Speaking of the builders, they just showed up and missed all the excitement. The tree parts are still there and I hope they remove them before we leave. I can’t afford to lose much more of my fence. T hopes to talk them out of more trunk but we can’t move it ourselves.

So far the weather forecast is not looking too promising for the next week as we pack and leave on our vacation. Figures. But I don’t care! I’ve got stuff to amuse myself with in the van and rain gear and dry boots to hike in and I’ll be at the conference for almost 4 days in the middle anyhow. I always bring clothes for both warm and cold conditions, no matter what time of year we go camping. I’m just not a hot sunny beach kind of girl anyway. The point is to get away and see new scenery. The biggest problems might be roads flooding, mudslides and campground closures. There’s been all of the above happening around the province with the combination of high snow pack, hot weather and then lots of rain. All we can do is go, cross our fingers and be flexible if necessary.


Sharon in Surrey said...

Mmmmmm - you & I must be using different bamboo skewers because I've knit a couple of dozen socks on mine without problems - well, there was this one time when I stepped on one . . . but I don't think that one counts!

Rodrigo said...
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