Friday, March 31, 2006

Pink and tan, tan and pink

Zonda and I worked out a perfect win-win situation with the swap: three balls of Bamboo and one of Calmer for her, one LMKG book and two balls of Koigu for me (I still feel like I should throw a lot of chocolate in there, too). Here's her yarn:
Made for Each Other

Here's my new yarn, Blue Sky Organic Cotton, with which I am knitting the free Baby Cardigan pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple:

Blue Sky Organic Cotton

And here's yarn for an experiment, either cuff-to-toe and toe-to-cuff socks in the style of Nona's gorgeous, gorgeous socks or just wildly fraternal weirdies that "match" but don't:

Dale Baby Ull

(Really sorry about your retinas.) Oh, and check out this super cool needle case Zonda made Heather - of All Things Heather - you know, the super yummy sock yarn...that sells out in two seconds at KPixie...

The Art Meme

I'm going to do Scout's meme, because it's about art.

The meme is - post one of your favorite paintings.

But, there are too many that are my favorites for me to decide. So I'll post five of my favorites.

1. So Happy, Andy Warhol (any of his cats, really, because they are weird, low-rent paintings that don't have the typical Andy Warhol irony in them.)

2. Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), Jackson Pollack - (Pictures stink - this is so amazing to actually stand in front of) There is a grace about this picture, a sadness, a weariness, and a frantic quality.

3. Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth - there is peace, but a little desperation - how will she get to the house? All she can do is look at it.

4. The Luncheon of the Boating Party, Pierre-Auguste Renoir - because when you see it in person it's absolutely astonishing. Every character has a personality and a story. Every stroke is there on purpose. The colors are living. It breathes.

5. The Last Judgment, Michelangelo Buonarroti - this fresco is over the altar in the Sistine Chapel and is an allegorical or "story" painting that illustrates different parts of the bible (and is sometimes very creepy). Michelangelo's bible characters are real people; his Christ is a powerful, muscular man who bears no resemblance to the delicate, non-Jewish, blue-eyed Jesus of the 1800s. This is Christ who sweated blood, walked miles on dusty roads, and said things to the religious establishment that sounded crazy. He is human. Artfully done, maybe a tad massive, a teeny bit too Roman, but human.

I love that. So, your turn for the meme.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Baby Cable Sock

Baby Cable Sock

This is what the Koigu WANTED to become. I kept thinking cables, just not the right cables.

Isn't it just so stinking pretty? Don't you just love when you try something on a goof and it works?

And today it was 78 degrees!

For trade

I'm trading away the SWTC Bamboo yarn. The colour is not for me.

It's about $45 worth of yarn. If you think you have something (sock yarn? books?) I might like, let me know.

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Mason-Dixon Knitting
Knitting On the Road
Fall 2004 Interweave Knits

Yarn - LL's, Sundara, Opal, Koigu, Cherry Tree Hill, etc. Paradoxically, I prefer neutral colors.

So do you have something neutral in your stash that you hate??

Round 3


I frogged those super happy cable socks. I made an error in judgment - I thought the ribbing at the top was the problem, but it wasn't; it was the non-stretchiness of the cable itself. So it pulled in, and it bothered me.

Grady looked at me like I was crazy while I was ripping it out. And while the math wouldn't have been too difficult to get it back on track (just do 10 repeats instead of 9 and leave out the shaping, that would have been great), I decided that after cabling approximately 90 times already in this pattern with jack to show for it, I could not abide the thought of attempting more cables.

So I decided to take a lesson from the masters and make the Baby Cable Rib Sock from Sensational Knitted Socks. (Scout got me thinking about this by making Welt Fantastics - but I just finished a pair of lace socks plus one of the baby socks, so I picked a different pattern).

I also found a great new free pattern at Knitting Pure and Simple for a baby hoodie. It's so cute, and since it calls for DK yarn I thought for sure I could use my SWTC Bamboo. I bought it ages ago for a different pattern but it turned out I got the wrong yarn. And then I had to SIGN ONLINE to find the washing instructions (note to SWTC: This is inEXcusable) and found out after I got my little bag of supplies ready to go that it is HAND WASH. I don't want to give my friends hand-wash-only baby gifts. I would make them for myself, but I don't want to trouble anyone.

So tonight, IF I get my issue finished, I'll be over at my favorite yarn shop digging around for DK weight washable stuff. Maybe there will be some Lorna's Laces, or maybe Cascade Pima Tencel. As a last resort I'll place an order to The Store That Shall Not Be Named. You know who they are, and I figure since they had such abject paranoia at the idea of a little upscale yarn boutique being confused with them, I'll have to avoid trouble and stop using their name altogether.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's late

But I managed to frog and rework a lot of the Sock in Progress (yes, That One, shhh) today while the tech guy wired up my computer - back from the shop. I decided I want this one to come up higher on my leg than I have with other pairs. This meant that in order to have a 6" cuff I'd need to have a starting diameter of 10" instead of the 9" that I need for the sock. My gauge is 7 st/in and the pattern is a 7-stitch repeat, so I didn't even have to do any maths, just think of my times tables.

So, obviously there was an issue with how to do shaping. I've never actually done a pattern with calf shaping before but it had to be done, because that 10" around my 9" ankle was going to be a problem otherwise (all together now: socks work on negative ease). I wanted all the shaping to be in the cuff - that is, once I got down to the place where the cabling started, the # of stitches would have to be 63. So - decrease 7 (not a nice even number, but 7) stitches down over the last 1" of the cuff.

Oh, and I got 7 rows to the inch. So I picked a spot in the middle of the back where the pattern repeated once and decreased two stitches, one at each edge of the repeat, every other round 3 times, then did a k2tog as my last decrease.

The result is a rather sneaky little wedge-shaped bit of fabric that doesn't precisely match the rest, but if you didn't know what it was, you'd think it was part of the pattern:

Back of Cabled Sock

Front of Cabled Sock

(My only complaint is with my halfassed ribbing, which surely could use a stint at reform school.)

The coolest part: it fits. I'm not one of those knitters who Apparently I am one of those knitters who cannot follow a pattern properly. I can name a few that I've actually managed to knit...verbatim accurately according to pattern, but this usually doesn't apply to a) socks or b) anything that does not have arms, legs and stuffing.

I guess I've discovered something new about myself. I hope it worked. Not sure you can see what I'm talking about, or even if it's "proper" sock shaping.

This pattern really doesn't bear any resemblance to the Nancy Bush one anymore besides cast-on number and stitch repeat, but I am still looking to her for inspiration.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm thinking

Of frogging the socks so far and using this yarn to make my own version of these -

Or at least frogging back and working in more ribbing and a longer leg in what I have here. I'd be knitting anyway.

There is not enough sock yarn in all the world for me.

By the way, the winner of this year's coveted Mean Girl Award for Knitting Book Design is - you guessed it - Mason-Dixon Knitting. The typography! The blurbs! The photos! It's fantastic!



What I'm trying to think about today -

for the heel flap on my new socks I decided to make an Eye of Partridge heel flap. It's super, super cool looking and really shows off the Koigu, and I figure it's at least as sturdy as a regular slipped-stitch heel flap.

But, after 16? 18? rows into it, I see why people don't knit heels like this on everything. It's almost impossible to count rows (and I'm really not that skilled with a row counter, unless I'm doing a 10-row repeat that's different every row and I'm hanging on to my needles with white knuckles, and even then I get lost). So yeah, keeping track of what row I'm on is hard. And because the lil pattern is so subtle, I didn't notice one mistake until about three rows later. Riiiip. I had straight columns instead of the lovely diagonals you see here:

Heel flap

That's a lot closer to the true colours of the yarn as well. If you want to know how to do it just Google "Eye of Partridge" - it's really easy and they can explain it better than I can.

My ear hurts today. Stupid Singulair. I did the Neti pot and everything, let's see if it helps.

Monday, March 27, 2006



Oak Ribbed Cable Sock

Where it's at

(Think Beck.)

I finished the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern on Saturday night - they are sewn up and everything. Just need a quick soak in the sink and they'll be (hopefully) fabulous. I'm still a little worried that they aren't knitted tightly enough.

The baby socks - they are so cute! My gauge, however, is not "cute." It's way off; about 8 st per inch instead of 9. So what that means is I have a "baby" sock with a foot that is 5 1/2" around. I'm going to email a couple friends with year-old kids and ask them if that foot is remotely their size. If it is, I'll finish the socks and give them to them, and make a smaller pair for Hailey.

I don't think I've ever gotten a gauge tighter than 8 to the inch in my life. Honest.

In other news, I started a pair of socks for me! In my yummy Koigu goodness! I started out by using the Oak Ribbed Sock pattern from Nancy Bush, but quickly decided I wanted a cable, so I kept the same stitch repeat and instead of the K4 part of it I C2F every fifth row. I think I may also work a short-row heel into these socks. Anyway, they are knitting up beautifully. (I was working in them while standing on line for new license tags today.) So these are for me me me. And after I finish, I'll make some other pattern from my Sundara Popsicle yarn. And then, some Cascade Sierra house socks, toe-up with short row heels and toes.

I'm a busy gal. Will I ever finish Clapotis? Sheesh.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I'm off

Like a dirty shirt, to Louisville for a one-day business meeting. Back tonight; more later.

I decided that (in keeping with my cheesy hair salon and pet grooming salon names) I want to collect cheesy yarn shop names. I'm making my own up first - Yarnhenge. First there was Strawhenge (as Eddie Izzard says), then came Woodhenge and Brickhenge, followed by Stonehenge. And apparently the Three Little Pigs were Druids.

So yeah, Yarnhenge. Who's with me?

[PS, profound apologies for the perfume commercial, which I did not see the first time I clicked the link and am really sorry now that I did.]

I finished the Child's Sock in Shell Pattern and I'm about to start something with my Koigu-liciousness. Probably one of the Nancy Bush basic socks in Knitting Vintage Socks. THey're in the beginning. Maybe the Oak Ribbed Socks.

Friday, March 24, 2006

(Insert stunned expression)

I just knit an entire short-row heel from memory. Didn't even have to think twice about how many stitches to do it on - I didn't want to do the PGR short-row heel...I wanted a wrapped heel. Wow.

In other news, my gauge is off on these socks by about one stitch per inch. They are definitely not newborn socks. Maybe they are one-year-old socks. I have a couple of girlfriends with one-year-olds.

We'll try that. Also, my row gauge is lower than specified...22 instead of 26 rows and I'm getting 8 stitches per inch instead of 9. So they are sort of very consistently larger. The sock is 4.5" around (therefore) - 44 sts - and that is smaller than the child's size 4 in my Sensational Knitted Socks book. (Thank God for that book.) also have a friend with a three year old. (No, they aren't that big.)

Grady is snoring.

Oh, the preciousness

Last night at That Knitting Group (you know, the Copyrighted™ One), Jenn (wish I had a link) brought in the Cutest. Ever. Baby. Socks. They were knit from Dalegarn Stork in a light ivory colour using the Better than Booties pattern from the Summer 05 IK.

I had already made the Kimono and I really wanted to make these socks at the time, but it was also the same time I knit a Bubby bear for my nephew, and decided to make a Tiny bear (also featured in that spread) to go with it. Because of the purchase of a tiny plastic arsenal, it's been put to good use.

But let me tell you about those needles. Size 0 10" Skacel dpns. Hideous monstrosities. Killed my hands. Made me cuss using words I didn't know I knew for half the time, and sound like a crazy woman talking to myself for the other half. I. Hated. Those. Needles. I originally bought them for Mom to use (to make the Better than Booties socks!) but she hated them too. So I tried that one project, and they've sat in the pasta holder that holds my straight needles ever since.

Complicated, huh? So now, let's fast-forward to last December, when somehow after knitting a few socks halfheartedly, sock-making clicked for me. Not only that, I discovered I am an obsessive sock maker. (Possibly compulsive as well.) I bought Nancy Bush's vintage socks book, but was disappointed to see how many of the patterns were for 2mm size 0 needles - which I detested.

Eventually I caved and bought the size 0 Addi Turbos I complain about for my Olympic socks. What's one more challenge when you're already doing a toe-up lace sock with short row heel and toe that's too small for you as written? And have an ear infection? Come big deal!

So I bought two 0 40" Addi Turbos (to do two at once) and I cussed all the way through that pattern, mainly because I have an innate misunderstanding of the structure of lace but also largely due to the fact that I was using these Addi 0s. They bent in my hands. They were clacky and noisy. They didn't feel good.

I complained and complained. But you know, while I sit here with my Olympic socks on my feet, I think I did the right thing.

But, my excuse for not making all those Nancy Bush patterns faded. And so did my excuse for not making those baby socks. (I even tried the booties from Holiday Knits and ended up with a great pair, if your baby has a giant foot and a normal foot.)

So I couldn't avoid the Better than socks anymore after seeing Jenn's version of the Chevron Lace socks last night. I bought the Dale Stork, I cast on (with the 0s), I somehow did a turned picot cast on hem without destroying it on the first shot (I didn't even really read the instructions through, just followed them blindly). The yarn worked. The needles worked. The pattern worked (except for the 4 rows I had to tink back because I didn't realize that the second yarnover comes before the decrease).

I have an inch of darling, darling baby sock, and I couldn't be happier. I don't know if these needles will ever be my favourites, but at least they are passable with cotton yarn.

The cords are nice, though. So there's the story of what I'm knitting now. I need to update my sidebar - I have the cotton hat, the cotton socks, and I finished on of the Child's socks for my friends last night. (I couldn't wait to block it, because I have a sinking feeling I should have used the 0s to knit the Wildfoote. The bottom feels a little thin.)

All this is part of an elaborate plan to avoid working on Clapotis, which is useless until October because in Tennessee in April you really don't need a scarf. Really.

Let's just not forget

Just for today, that somebody proclaims themselves a "religion of peace."

Imagine for a moment that an American preacher, a Jerry Falwell or a Joel Osteen - a fringe guy like Fred Phelps even - said something like this. You'd think less of Christianity even if I argued that Christianity is a religion of peace.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This is for Kirsten

Now you, too, can smell like Creepy Sean Walsh!

Old Hat, New Hat

So now I'm up to Sweet (Rowan), Ribby Cardi (ChicKnits) and one of Wendy Bernard's sweaters (Something Red or Essential Stripe).

Honestly, I'd better get cracking. I don't really want to knit sweaters, but I want to wear them! The Ribby Cardi looks like I'd wear it most, but I'd really love to learn top-down sweater construction (although I no longer feel ice water in my veins at the thought of seaming anything).

Now let me tell you about this yarn I just bought. It's Cascade Sierra, 80% cottton, 20% wool. Comes in giant hanks (191 yards). It is absolutely wonderful to knit with. It makes my hands so happy to touch! The stitches are even, it isn't splitty (well, once in a while), and it's just got a lovely drape. See if you don't agree -

New Hat

As for my Old Hat (the Manos hat made from some lovely Secret Pal yarn Jo sent me got a little trim last night with a safety razor. Never put the object close to your face if you wear contacts (I'm still picking fuzz out of my eyes) but my hat looks brand new! Just lay it on a flat surface and go over it with the razor gently. Voila! New hat.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The covert project

Ok, I figured out what I should have done. The covert project was going to be incorporating the diagonal rib pattern from the socks I made my mom into a hat. A lovely blueberry-coloured hat. But, I wanted a rolled brim, so I started it on 7's and did a few rows of stockinette. Then I should have changed needles - I didn't realize what a huge difference there would be between stockinette and that diagonal rib.

I'm thinking that if I had changed to a 5 for the body of the hat, it might have worked. But, I ran into trouble trying to math out the decreases for the top. Couldn't really decrease only in ribbing sections, etc.

The problem was, I was impulsive and didn't plan anything properly. So I'm making a plain hat, and I'll maybe make a fancier one later when I can...plan.

The covert project was scrapped

Mainly due to a severe gauge discrepancy between stockinette and ribbing. I continued on with the original project, with Honky Tonk Women blaring at full blast out of iTunes.

Great line: "I just can't seem to drink you off my mind" Not morally admirable, or upstanding, but a great, poetic line.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Covert operations

I just started a covert project. Sheila and David have seen the yarn, but when I got home to knit it, it asked me to become something else. So far it's working ok, but I don't know if it will work all the way I'm not talking about it yet. Math is involved (that's never a good sign for me).

What about Elliot and Kelly? They kicked it!

Oh my goodness

An Amigurumi Easter Lamb.

Fluffy chubbo.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Baby sweater!

Daisy is nearly done. My seaming has improved drastically since I sewed the first raglan seam on this sweater in December. Unfortunately, I once again wove in the ends so well I a) cut the selvedge trying to undo the sleeve, which was craptacular and b) can't possibly find them well enough to undo the raglan without ripping.

So I have one "nice" raglan and one "craptacular" one. They don't look that far off (apparently it's a fine line) but dammit, I can see it, and that makes me super frustrated.

The cat bed is dry and is being summarily ignored. Of COURSE.

I just downloaded Hot Rocks from the iTunes Music Store. If you're going to buy one Stones album, that's the one to buy. There are a few holes in it, but not many. Let it Bleed is my second favorite. I was contemplating buying the Arctic Monkeys, who remind me woefully and nostalgically of The Replacements (I still miss them terribly), but I decided some Keith was in order. Maybe next week I'll buy a Matthew Sweet album and groove on that. Old stuff.

At the moment I'm listening to some friends singing "Lost Highway." They also did a version of "I Saw the Light" that I quite like - even more than Hank Sr's version.

In other news, my friend bought a cashmere wrap at Goodwill for 99 cents. It's lovely - 20" x 5.5 feet and knitted at or about 8 stitches per inch. When some of us go to the Goodwill, we find crap. Others are luckier. I consider it a gift. She found a Kitchenaid mixer - new in the box - one time for $7.99, and all the attachments for like $15.

It's a good thing she's my friend, because otherwise I'd be forced to hate her. :)

Did anyone here ever listen to Government Cheese? Camping on Acid? The Shrubbery's Dead Where Danny Used to Fall? Come ON, who's heard them?? Another band I miss, terribly, especially since The Codenames opened for Tommy Womack the other night in Evansville. Tommy has a song called Martin Luther, which I quite, quite like. It's not on the free songs page, but there are many others to listen to. Check it out.

Parlor games

Tell me something interesting about your ancestry, lineage or family history.

My Knittyboard name is Yoshimi, but I'm not Japanese. I just like the Flaming Lips.

My ancestry:
Maternal grandparents: Grandpa is half Scots-Irish, half French, Gran was Norwegian.
Paternal grandparents: Grandpa was Swiss, Grandma was German.

My Grandpa on my dad's side was born in 1883, and died in 1947 at the age of 64. If he'd been alive when I was born in 1970, he would have been 87. Today he'd be 123. (Now that's old.) His family came from Switzerland in the 1740s, and founded Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (They were Mennonites for many years, but that was way before my time.)

Anyway, looks...I guess I look Swiss most, with Norwegian-Irish running a close second. My mom has the classic ruddy skin, red hair and square (I mean Kennedy-esque) jaw of the Irish. Dad looks like an old Swiss guy, and a bit like Christopher Plummer.

Your turn!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

So guess who's felting?

At this very moment?

Guess who's felting?

PS - must remember that I have a new tracking service (Bravenet sends too much spam!) and last count as of today was about 12300 hits since end of August.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I cheated

I've been thinking about that Snap Cardigan from Blue Sky Alpacas. Tonight I saw one at The Limited. Same shape, super soft's mine. I also bought another cotton sweater - one that feels similar to the Zip Cardigan but with more detail and a band collar. Both of them together cost me just under $40. Those are excused because I couldn't knit them for that little. I also found a machine-knit allover cable cardi (possibly knit on size 00000 needles) at Eddie Bauer - excusable because I will never, ever, ever in my life knit anything on size 00000 needles.

I bought a pair of shoes that have no backs so I can happily wear my handknit socks to work. I can't believe it's my first pair. They are bøc brand, kind of the fashiony version of Børn. They're ok...but SO comfy.

So I cheated and bought knitted stuff, but cheap or impossible to knit makes it ok. Doesn't it? Help me rationalize!

After seeing Eunny's UNBELIEVABLE lace tutorial, I am actually thinking of attempting some kind of lace thing.

It will pass. It must.


I can check off those Dream socks that needed a toe. Last summer I started knitting these, but after a washing, the right sock got a hole in it - right about where you see the weird stitch in the picture. I ripped and reknit, but put the new short-row toe on crooked. Got mad, ripped again. This time I did a plain toe. I wanted to compare comfort. I think the flat toe is more comfortable.

I'm almost finished knitting the kitty bed. Here's a picture...

Kitty Bed

The browns are Patons Classic Wool and the blues are Wool of the Andes. Both are doubled.

Fee attacks a milk top (the only thing she likes more is attacking a cough drop):
Fee Attacks

while Grady would like to remind you that even half of Grady is more than most other cats can offer you.

Half of Grady is more than most other cats

Fee wants to know, "Do they make corsets for cats? Mraow!"

Friday, March 17, 2006

I am small and weak

"31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?"

That's Romans 8. I need me some Romans right now. I look in the mirror or into the depths of my own heart; I believe and yet I have no faith.


Kitty bed update - on about round 50; I watched The Constant Gardener with a friend (typical "rich men are all greedy and bad" movie, but kinda interesting) and knitting a few stripes on it. I'm up to 144 stitches per round, so each round takes a while. I started it on 10s and went up to an 11 as soon as I could - I hope it felts and isn't knitted too tightly.

Natural Cheetos rock.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


That I can use double-pointed needles. This is the start of the felted kitty bed.


Two new freebies

For converting dpn sock patterns to magic loop, and how to do a gusset using magic loop. Will be in the sidebar later as well.

Gusset PDF
DPNs to Magic Loop PDF

What these will do is show you how to make any dpn pattern workable on magic loop. What they won't do is show you how to do magic loop knitting - for that I'd suggest Google. :o)

Time for a cat bed

I'll be making Wendy's kitty bed, and I'm trying to decide on colours.

I have two balls of Paton's Classic Wool - chocolate brown and light tan. Those are in for sure. I'm trying to decide between a light green/dark green or a light blue/dark blue combination for the other colours.

This is the colour scheme that inspired me. So maybe I should just pick one blue or one green - and throw in a random stripe of pumpkin or something.

Also, I think I have decided on a sweater to make. It's a pullover in The Ultimate Knitter's Guide (basically a book for beginner knitters published by Rowan) called Sweet. (I can't find any pictures.) It's a basic pullover with ruffled cuffs and bottom edge. The ruffles call for 400+ stitches to start! Whoo, I'll be practicing my cast-on.

Just need to figure out which yarn. I'm leaning toward Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.

I've finished winding two of my three hanks of Cascade 220. I just need to finish this sweater. I need to seam one arm of the baby sweater for my sister that will probably fit her just fine now (it was too big at Christmas). Poor, lonely, ignored Clapotis...sigh. I need to make a couple of second socks. And then I will be finished with my WIPs!

1. Sweater
2. Second camoflague sock (do my own short-row heels this time though)
3. Seam baby sweater
4. Clapotis
5. Prize socks (one done to toes, the other is still in gusset-land)
6. Armwarmer - am I doing anything with this?
7. Second Jaywalker (which reminds me, I think the Jaywalker pattern would make a great armwarmer)

Not too bad.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Pam's Blanket

Click through for another (closeup). The color is more accurate on this one, though.

Not to be negative, but...

Mom called yesterday - this happened in the house across the street from her.

Mom went over to do CPR but there were already two policemen there doing it, so she stayed and gave a clinical exam of the baby. The baby didn't move the entire time.

Pool fences, people. Our dog fell in under the cover one time and it took both my parents a long time to rescue him. He nearly drowned.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I finished Pam's blanket and it's in the wash. Pics after it's dry.

Pattern: Modified Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n Bitch

Yarn: Encore Worsted, 2 strands held together, colour 896 and 514

Needle: Denise #13, and 15 for bindoff

Fast knit - if I wasn't allergic to the acrylic in the yarn, I'd have been done in three days.

Two nutters

I just walked out of the bathroom, and found Fee sitting in the circle of yarn.

Cat bed, I know. Must knit cat bed. There is cat bed in future.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Photo of the day

Schmade likes him some Cascade 220


(actually I have no idea what he's doing, or how he came up with this.) That is Grady Schmady, laying smack in the middle of one drying hank of Cascade 220. Notice how he's not laying on the yarn. Notice how he somehow deduced he would fit. Notice how ...

never mind. He's a nutter.


I don't know if I want to knit these stockings or if I am just wishing that I had slim, non-muscular calves like those.

Ten Reasons I Like Kirsten

I just feel like being a fun friend today and doing something nice. Call it a meme - find one blogger in your life you especially appreciate and post your own list. Tag, you're it.

Ten Reasons I Like Kirsten:
10. She drives a yellow car. Who drives a yellow car? Cheery people, that's who. (Evidence of sunny outlook on life.)
9. She taught me how to do Magic Loop.
8. She can never, ever, ever think of the right word for anything. She can think of an 18-word explanation for what that one word means, but not the word itself. So I call her the "human thesaurus." Or dictionary.
7. She likes bright colors, in stark contrast to me. It's good for me to have a friend who likes bright colors.
6. When I need advice, she is always calm, thoughtful, and gracious.
5. When I told her, years ago, about my wild years, she said "it's like you're telling me about somebody else." I have never forgotten that - it was a very meaningful act of grace.
4. She appreciates other cultures.
3. When she is struggling, she is a great example of perseverance: "I've been here before; this too shall pass."
2. She's a great knitter.
1. Nobody, nobody, makes me laugh as hard as Kirsten does (except my sister).

Kirs, you rock. I'm glad you're my pal and I hope today is great!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


To the woman who was throwing Koigu around the yarn shop when I left at ten minutes after closing:

Why? Why, why, why did you think it was a good idea? Buying twenty-five skeins of sock yarn a half-hour after the yarn store closes? Throwing yarn on the floor? Who's going to pick all that up and arrange it as nicely as it was before? Were you going to expect them to wind it for you? Did you assume they didn't have any plans tonight and wouldn't mind spending two hours winding your yarn?

Did you really think your too small mutton dressed as lamb outfit looked great? And did you really, honestly need to be rude to me for being friendly to you while I was stuck waiting up by your display?

I have an explanation, because I want to think the best of you. One, you have a personal stylist who is currently angry with you. Two, you came for a quick weekend trip from a remote location with no yarn store, and you have no internet access despite the diamonds caking your hands. Three, you had horrible PMS, but thought you'd go anyway. (You went one other time this year, and darned if you didn't buy enough yarn to keep you busy until next trip.) So you're making up for it by buying the 25 skeins of Koigu and 15 of some other stuff. On top of that, you must catch your plane to return to your small, remote, yarnless location and you're feeling stressed about it, you haven't eaten in hours because this yarn is keeping you so busy, and you don't have any time to be nice to people. And, you have a ball winder and swift at home so you aren't asking them to wind it for you.

I want you to know I completely understand, and I'm sorry I used the b-word in my brain to think about you, and further apologize for adding the mental comment about the size of your butt. I have some PMS my own self today.

But the two skeins of Koigu I bought and the pizza I had for dinner have gone a long way to alleviating that. :)

How I spent my afternoon

Cleaning the stash. I took photos for Flash Your Stash, and wonder of wonders - I don't have that much. I don't have anywhere near what I thought I did, anyway.

In progress list:
Liesel scarf (needs frogging, not enough yarn)
Jaywalker sock #2 (half done)
Reknit toe of Vera Dream Sock
Camo dream sock #2
Scoop du Jour sweater (sleeves and half of back done)
Pam's blanket (about half done)
Clapotis (ouch)
Socks for Tif
Fix Guitar Boy socks

That's it. It! Can you believe it!

So I've been complaining that something in Cascade 220 (not the superwash) bothers my allergies immensely. I'm not allergic to wool. After sniffing many skeins of wool one night with Sheila, we decided that it's probably the oil that it's spun in. I've been wanting to wash it, but the lady I purchased it from (eBay) wound it for me - but not in center pull bals. Also I don't have a swift. So finally today, I decided to wash it. I wound it around the backs of 2 chairs and then gave it a long soak in lavender cat shampoo with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. After a rinse and a spin, it's drying out:


And here are the cat pictures of the week. I was really trying with Fee, but she was annoyed beyond belief with the camera.

Blurry Fee

"If I can't see you, you can't see me."

Grady, on the other hand, was a darling:

Grady outside

"Yes, my fur really is purple in real life. I prefer the term "purple grey," however."

Oscar fashion

I worked hard on this post at the Knittyboard, so I'm also posting it here for posterity.

Uma was my "fashionable" favorite (although her dress was not made to be its best in daylight), and despite the hysteria over the pockets, I loved Sandra Bullock's dress. (I also LIKED the Carolina Herrera dress Amy Adams wore - stunning). JLo's dress was amazing but I'm not sure I've fully forgiven her for past fugshion.

Nicole Kidman's dress looked unfinished to me (necklace or something?) and Naomi Watts' looked like the cat had a fit on the bodice while Naomi was showering. Joan Rivers had a lampshade on her dress, Felicity Huffman's sternum is not sexy, Selma Hayek's dress was unutterably fabulous but somehow reminded me of the Columbia Pictures logo;

but purely from a glam standpoint, Ziyi Zhang (if you're American, or Zhang Ziyi if you're Chinese) was my absolute favorite.

(PS, Sock just came out of Surgery - I had to CUT the part where I did the oversewing! I weave in ends a little TOO well. Reknit tomorrow.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Don't they call it Moral Turpitude?

I need some now! Guitar Boy ripped a hole in the bottom of one of his Thuja socks.

I found a web tutorial for mending, after the very terrifying experience of trying to do in practice what I know in theory I'm supposed to do.

I followed the tutorial. Well. The yarn is thick, and weaving three thicknesses of yarn is just.not.happening.

So then, you know, I found out exactly how well I wove in alllllllll those ends. And the toe end.

So I found the grafting edge, and I cut.

Now I have to pick, and soon I'll have to rip.

I need courage!!!

The Cabling Evangelist

I'm a cabling-with-no-cable-needle evangelist.

I think the whole cable needle thing is so fiddly. Today, you should click this link and read Wendy's excellent tutorial on how to do it. Twists might be harder to work out.

I want to free knitters everywhere from the bondage of knitting cables with cable needles. Try it! You'll like it. It will speed up your knitting considerably.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Daylight again

Albeit stormy. I started the Ents again, this time on a #8 needle (the first go was on a 7, second on a 9). I'd like a slightly tighter fabric than what I was getting before. There was just a little too much show-through on it (and we all know what a mistake show-through can be). I've only done three rows but I'm already liking it better than version 2.

Must go dry hair!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Round 3 of the Ent pattern-writing bonanza has begun. Round 1: frogged. Round 2: frogged. Round 3? Going to be reknit, possibly tomorrow.

Things it needs - a tighter castoff, 2 rows less of thumb ribbing, and some decent increases in the gusset. I think on top of all that I am considering going off on a total tangent and knitting them using the diagonal rib stitch pattern instead of cables. The cables are just...chunky. I'm thinking something more svelte.

The stretchiest bindoff I've found so far is this - beginning with the first stitch of the row, p2tog, slip back to left needle, bring yarn to front, p2tog with the next stitch. You keep slipping the p2tog stitch back to the left needle to p2tog with the next stitch (try it!).

The trick (I think) is in the way you move the yarn forward again after the p2tog. When you slip that first p2tog stitch back, you're also moving your working yarn so that it comes off the left needle. Slip, bring it to the front and then p2tog - it's almost like a mini short-row wrap. It makes the edge VERY pretty. It's VERY stretchy. Maybe too stretchy for this. Stretchy enough for a pair of toe-up socks or wherever you need a loose bind off edge that hangs together better than casting off on #35 needles.

Hee hee hee

Presenting Someone Teeny I Knit For (or, Reason #438 Why I Knit):

Best Girl

A good night's sleep always helps

I feel better when the sun is out.

Here's a button if you're so inclined.


This is the Official 144 Inches of I-Cord Button. :) I'll put it in the sidebar later this week for consumption. If you like it, click on it. It will take you to my Flickr page, and you can download it to your own server or photo page.

Don't use my Flickr bandwidth by linking, though. Thanks. :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I'm tired.

I'm thinking about getting another course of immunotherapy for my asthma (allergy shots). I had them 30 years ago for it, but they don't last forever. Most people who know me would tell you I have never even mentioned that I had childhood asthma, or that my mom got me the allergy shots because she got tired of seeing me turn blue. Most people who know me don't know that I've had a rescue inhaler in a drawer or my purse all my life. Bet Kirsten doesn't even know, and she was my roommate for...years.

So, I'm tired. I'm tired today of being human and having to have faults and thinking about people dying at age 44 and other people being diagnosed with 4 months to live because they worked for a chemical company 50 years ago and oops, got exposed to radiation and asbestos and we're sorry, there's no treatment.

I mean, not to be preachy or anything but I literally do not know what people who do not have the hope of Christ do when they hear things like that.

So, my new little 10-year old knitting friend got a little package on her front porch tonight. Two balls of Bernat Boa and some Wool-Ease to strand them with, so she can have a fluffy scarf, and one ball of Sugar 'n Cream and two dishcloth patterns. And some needles. I know, dishcloths. But they are small, they are a finished object, and they are great confidence builders.

Everybody should knit dishcloths. Oh, and I got her two needles and a crochet hook. I hope she can figure out the blow dryer trick for straightening the cord, and yeah, I did tell her to ask an adult to help her (the nanny is going to be thinking I am crazy tomorrow afternoon).

I'm tired. Did I say that? Tomorrow I have to go to the dermatologist and get my skin examined with a fine tooth comb, my daily prescriptions renewed, and a strong warning to actually use my retin-a because of its anti-aging properties.

I have horrible, awful, yucky acne. You really don't need any more information than that, do you?


Great toe-up cast on

Presenting Queen Kahuna's Aloha Cast On. (Opens PDF.) If you can do a long-tail, you can do this one. It makes so much sense to me!

Monday, March 06, 2006

And HA! HA!


Yes, I'm going to be playing out Ent jokes for a while. Explanation below.

Here are pictures as promised.

First, when I got the mail today I was treated to this yummy sight:

Sundara Sock Yarn

You MUST get some of this yarn! The spin! Oh, the spin. Oh the spin spin spin spin. It's so soft and lovely. It's just lovely.

Second, the Prize sock in progress:
Prize sock, take 2

Third, Grady says "That's my food."
Still Life with Food Bowl

Fourth, Fee says "I like the tissue your yarn came wrapped in."

Now, here is the Ent:

You know why I call it the Ent, don't you?

Here are a couple images of it on me. I'm not sure about the length of the thumb. I have wonky, weird, extra bones looking thumbs. So I am not sure it's my thumb or the knitting. Also, I used a super-stretchy bindoff at the top, and I'm not sure that is the right answer either.

But, since I've changed enough about the original pattern I'm thinking of writing this one up. What do you think? Yea or nay?



Ok, so I ranted a little

But it's awfully quiet out there!

I worked quite a bit on the gauntlet this weekend (photos later, I need your opinions). It kind of looks like a tree trunk, and I'm not sure if the thumb is too long or what. So I finished one, put it aside, and started working the rework of the Prize socks for my friend.

On the plus side, my mattress stitch is now "there." As in, it has finally arrived. Good thing, because six months of foot-dragging is too long when you are waiting for your mattress stitch to "click" - way too long.

The sock yarn is so pretty. "Gunsmoke" doesn't really say anything - gun smoke isn't really anything more than a dirty white color. This should have been called "denim." It's exactly the color of my darkest jeans in the middle tones. Not the darkest, not the lightest...the middle.

It really glows in the daylight. In flourescent lights it's kind of a warm gray. I don't know if there will be light enough for a picture tonight, but I'll try. I've begun decreasing the gussets on one sock, and am about two rows into the second pattern repeat on the leg of the other (there are four to the heel). Tnight should be a good knitting night (I hope!).

About the Oscars - mostly terrible dresses. As always, Uma Thurman stood out as among the best dressed. I thought Jon Stewart was funny, but apparently I'm in the minority.

What do you think? Do you have any "must" beauty secrets for looking your best? Who looked fabo last night? And how is your grafting?

It's Hard Out Here for a Chick


This weekend was a breathless rush of activity in which I had the distinct honor of teaching my favorite ten-year-old how to knit (she is off and running!), staying in a house approximately 11 times the size of my 900-square-foot apartment, meeting elephants, tigers, alpacas, goats and red pandas, trying to cook gluten-free meals for a seven-year-old without a kitchen, being a substitute soccer mom (and thinking the whole time what they must be THINKING about my oxidized black Altima which was also covered in road salt), and watching the 2006 Miss America pageant (don't ask).

Someone sent me a picture of myself at the arena game. While I'm slouching terribly, I do have to say that I have a nice profile. I didn't realize I have a cool nose. But I do!

I'm really wiped out today. Something I meant to blog about last week - it's a very strange thing to meet with the envy of another person. Not joking, I'm-your-friend envy, but catty, woman-to-woman, "I hate you" envy. Someone I met last week assumed I am in college. When I let her know I wasn't she was just strange and weird to me. She was older, and clearly her eyes are bad and she couldn't see the wrinkles in my forehead - they are a dead giveaway. The next time I saw her, she was wearing tight clothes (great figure) and had this crazy hairdo (disaster).

(Honey, I have spent the last seven years of my life shooting pictures of 16-year-olds with perfect bodies and skin. A 45-year-old with a self-styled fright wig doesn't quite do the trick, I don't care how much botox is in there. )

Really, there are four tricks to looking younger than you are. Hair dye, sunscreen, teeth whitening, and being a young soul. None are obligatory, but if you're going to do the no-makeup-weekend-hair thing they will make you look fabulous while you do it. Grey hair, sun damaged skin, outdated fashion and yellow teeth do more than make you look old. They make you look tired. (If you are lucky enough to have salt-and-pepper hair instead of the yellow-gray mess most of us get, you get a pass on the hair dye. Rinse with shampoo for grey hair and you'll be stunning. In this way I am envious of Sheila, but in an I'm-your-friend way.) Beauty is about looking like you, but polished. Natural and pretty is best. Some days that means lip gloss and a baseball hat. Other days it means more effort.

Personally, I'm all for minimal effort. Yes, I straighten my frizzy hair and cover my bad skin and freckles with makeup. I get my roots dyed, and I've been known to use some whitestrips in my time. But I'm also out of the bathroom in 40 minutes from start of shower to finish.

Your hairdo and skin regimen should be working for you to the point where this is possible. If you are more than 20 minutes away from looking great (the other 20 minutes is for shower and hair drying), then you have the wrong haircut and makeup.

Seriously. Don't be envious of others, don't wish you had something you don't. Do the best you can with what you have. You'll look great. 100% of you (including me) are never, ever, ever going to look as good on your own as I can make you look with a makeup artist, a stylist, a hair stylist, photo lights, a forgiving camera setting and the magic of Photoshop. I absolutely promise you that you will look stupid if you try.

Knitting content later.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I'm going to borrow a bit from the Natalya pattern and knit across half my stitches, place a marker, inc 1, pm, knit the other half. And increase one stitch near each marker till I have 15 stitches between them, then put them on waste yarn and go back later and knit in 2 x 2 rib until it's as long as the top cuff. I worry that somehow I might be inadvertently closing off the hole if I do it that way, so I will have to be careful.

Or, I can start it as a separate piece with one or two stitches and increase to 15, knit the ribbing, and put it in the seam. But I'll need a selvedge stitch or two.

What do you think? Is either one obviously destined for failure? The problem with the Natalya pattern in this case is that it's knit in the round and I'm knitting flat. I can do a gusset no problem in the round, but this will be trés challenge.

I bought that RAM for my new computer last night and also a cool little case for my iPod. It's nice and clear. The belt clip that comes with it has a spring-loaded release so you can easily take it on and off. What I like best is that you can see the cool design of the iPod instead of seeing a case. And the RAM? In most cases, this new computer is now faster than my work computer. And that is fast.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ripped & Reknit

The warmer. I started it again today after knitting a gauge swatch on 9's in which I got four st to the inch. Last time I knitted it on 7s, because she said she knitted tightly on 8s. (I'm still not convinced I did the right thing there, once again, the magic of dyslexia. I puzzled over it the entire three hours I knit it.)

So...this one is...a bit loose. Just a bit. It is going to fit, but it's not as nicely knitted from a purely aesthetic fabric point of view. The yarn was softer and snugglier on 7s. So I may use an 8.

Trouble is, I don't know if this yarn can stand to be frogged one more time. I know the 8-ply cable twist is the beauty of this yarn, but it shreds. So we'll see. I'm plowing ahead with one, about half done and I still have zero idea of how to construct a gauntlet...

I remember on Kate Gilbert's Gifted mitten pattern, she has you knit the mitten flat and seam up the edge. It seems like the thumb gusset is worked in the middle of the piece and then seamed with a crochet hook. That probably isn't exactly what I need, but it has suddenly occurred to me to put the gusset in the middle of the flat square instead of on the edges. I wonder...I would increase out to x, then do ribbing for 11 rows.

Huh. You know, it's sneaky and it just might work.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The first, but not the last

Let me recommend, by way of the lovely and talented Grumperina, Sundara Yarn Company.

This stuff is just breathtakingly pretty. I ordered two hanks of this for a "me" project. My sock stash is reaching epidemic proportions, but I'll knit it up (YEAH RIGHT!).

Anyway, support this chick's business! The yarn is amazing!

In knitting news, I wore the wristwarmer a lot today and decided it was a tad too small. I tossed around a bunch of options - knit in a panel, add a thumb gusset. While LOST was on I decided to rip out the seaming. I found out how well I weave in ends - I started undoing the bottom cast-on edge of the mitt! So I frogged. It's ok - it's only a night's work. I'm going to reknit it on bigger needles and see if that takes care of the problem. I want to modify this pattern. For one, the seaming seems unnecessary if I could knit it in the round and use the Dragon Scale Gauntlet's brilliant idea of knitting back-and-forth (like a heel flap) for the thumb hole. But then, I'd really like a thumb in there too. A nice ribbed thumb to match the upper ribbing. I'm going to figure out how to do this, and if it looks good I'll post the pattern.

I'm watching some friends' kids this weekend (Kirs! Join me!) and I will hopefully have a lot of knitting time. I took good notes, and I'm going to go off on as many tangents as I can to get this right.

Mmmm, Karabella. But did you see how easily I abandoned it for some good sock yarn? Pathetic!