i've been taking advantage of all this dry weather we've been having by riding my motorcycle a lot more than usual. in fact, there hasn't been any precipitation since the snowstorm on saturday and next week looks to be rainless as well. my riding days are numbered but so long as it doesn't snow (real snow, not that october joke snow) i can keep on riding.

i went to the cafe in the late morning to see the finished red-orange thorpe hat. my mother was there with her knitting circle, which today was just the older chinese lady knitting a small thorpe hat for her grandchild with instructions from my mother. my mother isn't a very good knitting teacher but when you're stuck she'll show you how to fix it, which is pretty much all you need.

the red-orange thorpe was a fine hat but it wasn't exactly the one i'd designed. the problem was i miscalculated the gauge and my mother had to add another inch and a half of stripes resulting in a double band of brownish orange. she also made a slight modification to the earflaps, knitting an additional row of garter stitches. fitwise it's very good, and now that we know the proper gauge using wool ease chunky yarn on size 10 needles, i'm going to redo the stripe pattern and get my mother to knit another one when she has the time.

i went to belmont to check up on hailey. my sister coddles that dog so much that she can't bare to leave her at home alone for more than a few hours. i told her i wasn't going to visit but i had nothing better to do. turns out she took hailey with her on her nanny duty, and i only realized this after searching the house for the dog in vain. i ate some fried green tomatoes and hot peppers my father made, washed the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink, then went back to cambridge.

i haven't knitted in a while, it's been weeks. i've read up on a lot of knitting material, and i've visited the crafts store on yarn runs countless of times, but i haven't touched needle to yarn. even then, i keep on borrowing needles from my mother, swapping them for different sizes when she needs them back. turns out she needed her size 8 double-pointed-needles. instead of dropping them off at the cafe, i took a quick trip to ac moore first to see their wool ease yarn selection. i ended up getting my mother another skein of mulberry chunky (still on sale, $4.99, there's no tax on yarn in massachusetts).

today i did some last minute cleaning before my two european visitors arrive tomorrow morning. they're here all day friday, spending the night, then leaving for a day trip to new york on saturday, coming back and sleeping here one more night before going home sometime sunday. i did a load of laundry and tidied up the living room and kitchen. i said i'd take them on a tour of boston but i haven't prepared anything yet. they did tell me they wanted to do more sightseeing than shopping (they are guys after all) so that helps shape my tour route.

i visited my community garden plot for the first time in weeks. i brought gloves and a pair of clippers and pulled up all the dead tomatoes and basil plants. surprisingly, the hot peppers were still alive, but i don't think they're going to ripen anymore. my radishes had sprouted but given the low temperatures, i don't think they'll reach maturity. they seem to be in pretty good shape, given the fact that they were covered in snow last weekend (unlike the radishes at my parents' garden which are protected by the plastic row cover).

i laid out a new color stripe scheme for a potential thorpe. my original original idea didn't work because i used single row white stripes to break up the larger orange and red stripes. single row stripes are kind of impossible to do on the circular needle. that's why i came up with a revised scheme that used double row white stripes. unfortunately i miscounted the gauge. i was expecting 4 rows of knitting to equal an inch, but turns out it's more like 5 rows per inch. so my stripes ended up being more squished together and that's why my mother had to add an additional orange and white stripes. that threw off the color balance and now there's more orange than red. my latest pattern uses 36 rows of knitting before reaching the red garter stitch brim. that comes out to 7 inches of crown which is a bit tall so i might end up revising it again or hope that the gauge is more like 5.5 rows per inch (for a medium hat, the crown should be 6.5 inches).

later i created some paper cutout mock-ups of patterned hats. i guess i like the designing part of knitting more than knitting itself (but that's probably because my actual knitting skill is almost zero and it's easier to imagine something than actually build it).

for dinner i finished some leftover tuna fish sandwiches.