Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dear Pure Knits:


Okay, it would be difficult for me to explain in words the sheer depth of my recently-discovered intense dislike for Thursdays. Bad stuff has been happening around here on Thursdays. And not like, "Waiter, there's a dead fly in my soup" kind of bad. More of a, "Waiter, there's a dead guy in my soup" kind of bad. (No one has died, that's merely a metaphor.)

Yahaira is, unwittingly, attempting to restore goodness to Thursday. (And hey, Thursday deserves it. She does have the fortune to be Nearly Friday, and that's a blessed position.)


Le sigh. Four brilliant skeins of Yarntini. (Top to bottom: Cherry Cordial, Pure Knits, Gimlet, Mimosa.) Four brilliant, cheerful, shining skeins of Yarntini, begging to be knit. I have Eleanora on the needles, and I intentionally cast on for a pair of grey socks tonight, for Travis. I WANTED to cast on for a pair of Mimosa socks for me, but I'm trying to be strong. (Besides, I have Tilia on the needles for me.) There's also a Copper-Boo:


It's a hair-thin strand of copper wrapped around a hair-thin strand of bamboo, making it just a little bend-y (that's a technical term) and looks like fun to work with. It'd make amazing jewelry. (Someday....or know, whenever I can't stand it anymore.)

And what's this?


Crunch, crunch, crunch....could this be a big ol' cake of Hip Knits aran silk? In the colour "Barbie", which just makes me love it that much more? (It's more fuschia than red, but Photoshop would not adjust the colour for me the way I would have liked.)

Could it be that I might not have ordered that? Could it be that was just a day-brightener? Could it be that I wanted to lie down and die of sheer joy right there in the post office lobby? (Could it be that I was riddled with guilt for my cashmere sock yarn once more and felt compelled to try winding it again, only to open the box in which it still rests, right next to my knitting chair, and almost burst into tears once more?)

Oh happy silky Thursday, I love you!

Life is getting in the way of knitting a bit around here. There's a lot of MD/PhD/DMD action lately, too, and that's been less conducive to knitting than I would have thought - no one's been willing to let me sit in a waiting room for more than five minutes. When I didn't have a sedentary hobby, I used to have to wait for they rush me right in. Go figure.


So I only have marginal Tilia progress. I will probably not continue to post daily updates of the three chart repeats I completed in two days. For now, I'm still excited, and still loving it.

On to grey sock and brown sweater! (Hang on, cheery Mimosa socks, I'm coming!!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Born To Knit

Okay, I'm a nerd.

I just realized that my name, Alyson, is knitty. Someday I'll open a yarn shop. Let's say it's on Main Street. (Creative, no?) So I would run a local yarn store on Main. You know...a LYS on Main. A-LYS-On-Main. It'd be even weirder if I could open it on a street with my last name.

Anyway, we're here today to look at socks. As promised, Susan hung onto her socks so I could take photos.

Lost Coast Socks
Start Date: June 14, 2006
Finish Date: June 25, 2006
Pattern: own randomly-occurring thought process.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Baltic Sea colourway
Needles: Size 1 Crystal Palace bamboos (my favourite brand of dpns...coated with I-don't-know-what to make them nice and smooth, but still light as wee feathers.)


I love that even though it pooled a bit at the gusset, the yarn was courteous enough to pool the outside of each foot has a puddle of grey and green, and the inside of each foot has a puddle of grey and blue. And I think I love this yarn, by the way.

You may notice (and how could you not?) that one sock is smaller. The top sock's cuff came out a wee shorter, and the heel flap also came out a wee shorter. I have no idea how this happened. I'm kind of compulsive about measuring. I'm annoyed.

For Rene:


Gratuitous heel shot.

(Seriously, that short flap drives me nuts. Thank God they're not my socks. Although, oddly, I never noticed it until today.)


The final packaging, complete with the inspirational photo of Lost Coast, California. (I know they call the colourway Baltic Sea, but the colours were reminiscent of a black sand beach to me.)

I have to get back to Tilia now. I'm hoping to get her done in less than seven months. ('Done' to me equals knit and blocked, not necessarily seamed. There is the distinct possibility that I will just hang her pieces on the wall when finished, because the idea of seaming anything terrifies me for some reason.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Finally, The Big News!

Oh, where to begin?? Well, actually, I began by whining and being pitiful while Travis performed minory surgery and tweezed bits of glass out of my foot. But that's beside the point. Let's fast-forward to now. First of all, there is my new cut-and-colour.


Travis is still sucking up due to all the needling and tweezing. Ouchie.

I finished Susan's Lost Coast socks. I gifted them to her on Monday, and insisted that she not take them home until Wednesday so I could retrieve my camera from my LYS and get a photo. (I know, I'm such an ass.) So I'll post pictures of those tomorrow.

I got notice and "dibsies" status on Pure Knits' latest batch of Yarntini. Silly woman thought I might want a skein. Hehe...that's cute...a skein. I wanted eight. I bought four.

Then there's my new sweater. I swatched, and actually got gauge (miracle of miracles, wonders never cease). I was off pre-wash, but post-wash, I have the perfect gauge on the softest most delectable Hempathy swatch:


So I went ahead and cast on for the back of Tilia. I've completed three chart repeats and I LOVE this pattern so far. Stay tuned.


I'm anxious to block it already! Doesn't it look tiny? Here's a closeup of the lacy leaf detail.


I've had several compliments already on the pattern and, oddly, the colour choice. I mean, yeah, I like the's...brown. Wooo. Brown. (Actually, it's a nice warm caramel...but still. Brown.)

But that is SO not all.

Things have been, ah, difficult Chez Nous. So difficult that Travis thought he might need something therapeutic to occupy his time. And maybe he wanted to identify, or share a little time, or...hell if I know, but Saturday, he popped The Question.


"Will you teach me how to knit?"

Yes, yes, oh a thousand times, YES.

And I was going to cast on for him and teach him the knit stitch first, but he wanted to do it all himself. So he's casting on!



Our Ale House server was hanging back watching Travis learn, and she finally sat down and declared, "Alright, show me because I have NEVER been able to figure out how that works!"

Sigh. It was heaven.

We took Hedwig (my Prius) to the Toyota dealership for the speediest service I've ever gotten, which I must attribute to the fact that other customers were probably feeling uncomfortable by the seemingly straight couple sitting in the waiting room knitting away.



He went to the LYS with me. He sat down. He KNITTED. And he was happy about it! Or frightened! I'm not sure! But I'll take it!


He even tolerated the loads of pictures I had to take to commemorate the occasion.


I got a picture of his swatch progress before we headed home. (And promptly left my camera on this table until today.)

Currently, this is where he stands:


He knitted, he purled, he stocking-ed, and he ribbed. Sort of. See, that was my fault...I was working on ribbing my sock, and I told him that ribbing was easy - just K2P2 (or any number). Except he was working flat. So K2P2 didn't work. It took me a full day to realize that I'd told him wrong - now he's giving it a shot again, with proper instruction.

Which brings us to tonight. How could I be much other than content in this living room?


Man, knitting. Doggie, snuggling. Kitty, running from camera. And my hair, supercute.

Life's not so bad.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

In A Word...Damn.

I have such exciting things of which to share photos. Earth-shattering by knitty standards.

Too bad I left my camera at the yarn shop. And they're closed Sunday and Monday.


(Which ALSO means either there will be no FO photo of Susan's Lost Coast birthday socks, or she'll be getting them on Wednesday instead of Monday.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

This Is Why You Don't Knit While Distraught

Four-inch 2x2 ribbed cuff? 'Kay.

Eye of partridge heel flap? 'Kay.

Carefully pick up gusset stitches, knit around one round? Got it.

Decrease this round by....OH MY GOD.

Yeah, how about turning the FREAKING HEEL!!!

Oh, and incidentally, of course you're going to notice this mistake RIGHT BEFORE the waitress brings your lunch. You will politely but quickly eat before immediately turning back and ripping to the end of the heel flap - in the dim light of an Italian restaurant, while cheesecake sits idly by, neglected in favour of yarn.

Did you hear that? I ignored CHEESECAKE for a SOCK.

I just stepped up one more rung on the ladder o' knitting wack-a-doodleydoo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

May I Rent Your Baby, Redux.

**Reposted in an effort to get people to quit landing here from whatever strange Monsters, Inc. related search that keeps directing to my blog. Seriously, 200 hits a day based on that? Knock it off.**

What? Hang on, we'll get there.

First, tell me this is not the cutest little ol' thing you ever did see:


Yep, that's Travis, trying his hand at winding yarn. (I did ask his permission to put this photo up, and his response was to shrug and declare, "It doesn't matter what I say, you're going to put it up anyway." I took that as a yes.)

(Erm, also for the record - he is wearing shorts. I know he's looking a bit nekked here, but there is a garment, you just don't see it. It's June, it's Florida...we keep layers scarce around the house.)

Also, I finished Lost Coast #1:


They fit me beautifully. I almost can't bear to give them away. Fortunately, I am more tolerant of the idea of giving these away than I am of the idea of starting YET ANOTHER pair of socks for poor Susan. (Note: This sock does not fit on my head. Yes, I did try.)

The yarn shot (which sort of looks like a yarn-y representation of Paris Hilton...drunken smile, wonky eye, and all):


That sock used surprisingly little yarn, really. I'm hoping to get a pair of anklets out of the leftovers.

Since Rooster and I were the only ones still awake in the house by 9:00 p.m. (what is this?), we got plenty of grooming and knitting done. (I'll let you figure out who did what.) I also wound a few skeins. Oh, and perused a few things...


I got my Amazon order today - the Montse Stanley (which I apparently cannot live without - though for a measly eight bucks, I don't see any point in even attempting to live without it) and the Debbie Bliss Special Knits baby book. More babies, people, crank out some more babies. I have a lot of things I want to do here. (Even if Debbie Bliss does refuse to use charts....which I don't normally like, until faced with three pages of row-by-row written instruction...then charts start to look pretty good.) The book is worth buying even if you don't knit and you just like babies. There are some freaking precious babies in here. (Not to down the baby on the cover, but she's not even the cutest.)

Like this kid...dig this kid:


"Yo Dad, can I get the keys to the car?" I love how earnest he is. (I bet I so should not be taking pictures of strangers' babies from a book and putting them on my blog....but I've given credit to the book they came from, and should a parent wander on here - I'm only doing this because I think your child is precious.)

Now okay...listen...I'm about to obsess for a moment. This book has a baby so priceless that if I bumped into the parents on the street, I would BEG them to let me babysit the kid for a day, just so I could carry her around and show her off to people.


Seriously. This kid is freaking a-ha-dorable. I gasped audibly and tears leapt to my eyes the first time I saw her, that's how precious I think she is. Wait, look at her from another angle.


Yeah, I KNOW!!!! Right?? And lest, heaven forbid, you should think it's totally the sweater that's making her cuteness cup runneth over (and that is a FABULOUS baby sweater that I will have to knit right away), let me reassure you, it's not the clothes that make the darling:


Come on!! It's not even fair to the other babies! This baby makes the Jolie-Pitt baby downright ugly!!

I'm coming off a twitch too close to psychotic here. I'm not actually that baby-crazy - I want babies, but it's not like I eat/sleep/breathe the idea. But when the time comes, I would really like this specific baby, only brand new and preferably birthed by me personally.

By the way, this is so much more reasonable than when I decided that I didn't even WANT a baby if I couldn't have Boo from Monsters, Inc.. (It was brought to my attention that Boo was not actually a real child, but was in fact a computer-generated toddler. Pixar. Those bastards.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ohhh, The Humaknitty!!!

I had such a nice evening. (Almost. We'll get to that.) Remember that mystery package I received word of on Saturday? Remember that swift and ball winder that I ordered from Joann Fabrics? The ones that they shipped on THURSDAY? (Please allow 7-12 business days, etc.?) Let that sink in - shipped Thursday, arrived Saturday.

Anyone spot anything different about my knitting room?


Wait, wait, let me give you a hint:


Wheee! Hurray for Joann and their lightning-fast shipping! I immediately wound the second skein for my Lost Coast socks (photo of at least one finished sock coming soon, I promise). Oh, and I almost took my hand off with the swift. (Note: you gotta pay attention while you do this stuff, try to avoid sticking your hand - or head - real close to a juggernaut yarn swift.)


A finished ball in about four minutes! Travis' arms give thanks for the swift, mine give thanks for the winder.

But then.....tragedy struck. I snatched my darling cashmere sock yarn off the shelf. I have one, count it, ONE skein of anything cashmere in my collection. I carefully snipped the loose ends free, put it on the swift, and....ooh, that's not a good idea. So I attempted winding it delicately off the skein. Nothin' doin'. This skein was ANGRY. This skein wanted to be a SKEIN, dammit, not a ball - and it certainly did not want to be knit! I spent probably twenty minutes accusing the skein, its cousins, relatives, friends, and even mother of being .... well, it wasn't flattering - and then I finally gave up. After 20 minutes I'd wound 15 yards and broken two knots, and I had a hopeless mess.

Here lies my cashmere:


It breaks my heart - I put her in a box and closed it up. God forgive me, I couldn't bear to look at her. I even emailed Yahaira to beg for forgiveness and answers. The skein was hopeless, I knew that - but where did I go wrong?? Goddess that she is, she offered, among other potential solutions, to try to wind it for me if I mailed it back to her. (No, no, no...I like her far too much for that - I can think of one person I would consider tying to a chair in a locked room with this skein of yarn and the instructions, "Figure it out," and trust me, she'd deserve one else on the planet should have to suffer in such a way. Trust me when I say I REALLY mucked this up good. You've heard of making a bad situation worse? Yeah.) Long story short ("Too late!"), I ruined my cashmere, Yahaira is still a saint (once again, my heartiest endorsement her shop) and yet I'm probably going to end up trying this again very soon because I NEED cashmere socks.

Oh, but the rest of the evening - we had a nice quiet night, watched some Dane Cook Tourgasm on HBO over some calzones and Ritter's frozen custard. If anything can dull the pain of tragic cashmere loss, it's a Peanut Butter Mountain with cake-batter custard:


(Cue: "Only You" by The Platters, Peanut Butter Mountain spinning slowly in a dimly lit room.)



I found this photo on my camera this morning while I was uploading - I guess Travis must have taken it. I had to share - she's just so adorable.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Whoooo, Saturday!

Man, oh MAN. This is a goooood Saturday. There are criteria for a great Saturday, and so far I've met them.

1. Watch movies and waste better portion of morning/afternoon. (I've finished the wonderful Oscar-winning documentary Born Into Brothels and am in the middle of Paradise Now, the Palestinian foreign picture Oscar nominee - so at least I don't feel like I'm COMPLETELY wasting my brain...although I do plan to watch something mind-numbing later.)

2. Master a skill. (Both movies are subtitled, so I'm practicing my eyes-free knitting. Fortunately I'm just 2x2 ribbing a sock cuff, so that's pretty hard to mess up.)

3. Accomplish something small so you don't actually FEEL like you've wasted the better portion of the morning/afternoon. (Started some laundry, sprayed some countertops in bathrooms and kitchen with some manner of cleaning solution.)

4. Consume tasty and mostly healthy lunch acquired by means other than own work. (Travis ran to Chef's Table and got me that wonderful Gorgonzola Crunch salad I love so much.)

5. Sneak some ice cream. (Klondike York bars. Dude. Seriously? Oh my God.)

6. Avoid donning real pants if at all possible. (It is now 3:30 p.m., and jammy bottoms are still in effect.)

7. Receive gifts.

Oh yeah, that's right. TWO gifts. On a Saturday. Triple whammy! I also received notice that I have some other package as well, although I have no idea what that could be and the post office wants me to pick it up in person. It's either ridiculously huge, or it's something I have to sign for. Here's hoping it's not an audit from the IRS or something, because I'm wondering if this day is just going TOO well. In addition to that, and the two Capital One credit card offers (grrr) and the American Express bill for $.99 (one sad little lonely iTune), I got not one, but TWO gifts from TWO secret pals!! (Both of whom totally rock my face!)

I present to you photographic representation of my weekend (fear not, photos of me in jammy pants will NOT follow):


Kais Nashef in profile, along with the newly-named Lost Coast sock (cuff...still...), a postcard from my One Skein pal, a spectacular pattern from my SP8 pal, and a skein of Noro Sumile Multi!!!


I've never even seen Sumile before! I loved the vibrant colours as soon as I opened the envelope, then that little round Japanese-embossed tag fluttered out and..."Noro!!! Noro...what??" I LOVE it. It's like chenille, only way better because it's a cotton/silk blend. It gives you that wonderful sort of fluttery stressed-out feeling you get when you have only one skein of something fabulous and you absolutely have to use it for the perfect thing. Thank you pal!!! (And maybe you noticed and did this on purpose, or maybe I'm the only one who picks up stuff like this - but the colours around the Purdue water sculpture in the postcard you sent TOTALLY match the colours in the yarn. Love that.)

The hat only just happens to be that Perfect Cabled Hat pattern I've been wanting. I've poked around on my free pattern sites, but I haven't found just the right non-fussy cabled hat. And here it is! I'm thinking that Fable baby alpaca I just got? Yeahhhh, the white...that's all me, baby. And it'll give me more cable practice without being some huge intricate project. (Um, speaking of intricate cable projects, anyone seen that Faye Dunaway cabled blouse that Eunny's working on? Its gorgeous, and yet it terrifies me.) And I'll have to size down and make tiny baby hats, too.

Oh, and Travis appears to have stopped loving poor Brodie:


I think this hat was purchased for Little Bit by my parents as a gag - but it fits Brodie, and so Travis put it on him and dragged him upstairs for a photo op. Poor baby. I've already promised him that if Travis brings home a sailor outfit for him, we are SO out of here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Happy Birthday, Indy!!

First and most importantly: Today is Indiana's fourth birthday (observed)! She's an adoptee, so I had to create a birthday for her, but I know it's not far off because I adopted her at about eight weeks. For her birthday, I didn't have any treats (someone broke into the stash and ate the entire bag...but she's not a big treat fan anyway, the freak) but I did allow her to play with my yarn:


This is a CAT given PERMISSION to mess with STRING. Why does she look so disinterested? Nay, even disgusted? Because this is what was going on opposite her on the bed, while she was attempting to enjoy her birthday attention:


Here's Brodie with Dead Fred, one of his favourite toys (destuffed, of course...I think it used to be a bear, but who can tell?)


I've no idea why my dainty little princess has any interest whatsoever in this little deflated toy, but they spend more time fighting over Dead Fred...


I'm really very proud of how she manages to hold her own against a dog more than twice her weight.

Oh, and I started my second Yellow Rose Of Texsock tonight!


What's that? No, no, this is the same yarn. What are you talking about?

Yeah, I finally woke up and took a good hard look at that Opal sock this morning at work. I took it downstairs to Susan (different one, not the birthday Susan) and we had a good laugh at that poor sock's expense. It is not, mind you, the Opal's fault that I'm handicapable. Okay? So, without further ado, I present to you:



It's HUGE!!! AND IT'S COMING TO GET MEEEE!!! Save yourselves!! Run, RUN!!!!!

The good news is, there's no need to knit a second sock!


Finally, as if all these other humiliations aren't enough:


It's a HAT. This sock is a FREAKING HAT.

It's okay to laugh. I burst into giggles the second after this photo was taken. I'm not taking this hat sock to heart, and CLEARLY this sock is not taking me seriously.

So I'm starting over, and hoping to get this new pair (Lorna's Laces in the Baltic Sea colourway) done in a reasonable size period of time. I haven't decided what to do with poor Opal yet. Right now I'm keeping her around for our amusement...ah, we do have our fun.

Oh, a word on the Britney Spears interview on Dateline: Matt Lauer!!! I'm surprised at you!!! Jeans, and penny loafers, and NO SOCKS???? Well. Apparently I need to knit socks for Matt Lauer now, too.

Yellow Rose Of Texsocks

Okay, one Susan Sock down, eight days gone. Seven to start and finish the second, then wash and block the pair. Considering how much time I relatively did not spend knitting this first one, I'm doing well enough. And, if all goes horribly wrong, at least I have one sock I can put in a bag (and take back immediately).


I am, however, concerned. I'm ballparking - I know she wears a size 8 and her foot appears to be a bit wider than mine. So I made the sock shorter than one for me would be, but wider. Except I made it a bit more than a bit wider. Kind of a lot wider. Like, "cut the toe off of this and it could be a dog sweater" wider. So I'm hoping she can wear them okay, even if it's just around the house. I also botched the length a bit. They may have been a hair long for her, but I hope I managed to avoid disaster by decreasing each round at the toe - the ribbing is bunching a little around the toe, but I can block that out, and if not, no big deal: it squares right up on the foot, and the bunching is only noticeable when they're lying about. Oh, and I goofed a little on the top-of-foot ribbing - okay, fine, I shouldn't ever try to knit a sock without a pattern. But that's what makes them special - I was trying to make them just for her...oh, I feel like a kindergartener trying to pass off a lovingly crafted papier mache ashtray to non-smoking parents.


Here we have it on my foot - it's not too bad, really, but I wish I'd done better. Still, I like the way the yarn (Opal) patterned up (even if it does feel funny when knitting - that superwash coated feeling, yum...) and I do always enjoy knitting a sock without a pattern, even if it's just a simple 3/2 rib. And even though I wasn't crazy about the colours in this skein, I do like that it has red, white, blue, and yellow. (Hence the name - we're both Texans, so I like that I got the flag colors and pulled off a clever little "Yellow Rose of Texas" pun.)

Oh, and I JUST found out that friends Gina & Geoff are having a baby girl! And thank goodness, because I had girl-yarn stashed, but I didn't want to start until I was sure. Wheee!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Greatest American Hero

I'm so proud of myself. I'm a bona fide enabler. (Or at least part of a team of enablers.) Rene did her first spindling, and it looks awesome. (And I'm frantically trying not to focus on how much more even her twist appears to be than mine was...)

I haven't bought yarn in a little while. I got needles on Saturday, but no yarn. Like my snarky soulmate Kathy Griffin says, I am a strong black woman. (Or, at the very least, a woman.)

I did finally cave today and order a yarn winder and swift. The idea of having to hand wind all of that velcro-y Malabrigo makes my stomach cramp up, and even though Doni at the LYS said if I brought it in, she'd be happy to wind it, I couldn't possibly ask her to do that.

Oh, and this is how much of a cheap bastard I am - Joann won't let you use the 50% off code (which is junh650, hee) on more than one item in an order, so I actually purchased the winder and swift separately and paid for shipping twice. It still ended up saving me maybe ten bucks. Hey, that's a decent skein or two of something!

I'm still trying to get through my Susan Socks. I can't get over how much I want to do and how little time I'm able to dedicate to my projects, especially now. And it doesn't help that I'm a thrower, but I'm COMPLETELY incapable of throwing with just my index finger. I have my own excruciatingly slow special process. It's not really THAT slow, but I want so badly to be good at the index finger thing. (Don't offer advice, it'll just end in tears - I've spent hours obsessing over every possible way to do this, and I'm just too handicapable. You know, I can't roll my "r"s either, which to my mind makes me lousy at Spanish - and Travis has spent hours trying to teach me how. Some things I just can't do.)

Amazon is sitting on my Montse Stanley and my Debbie Bliss Special Knits books because the other (non-knitting gifty) book I ordered is on backorder. Damned combined shipping.

When Jessi was here, I showed her my Odessa hat and she said, "Oh yeah, I saw that!" The only place to see it is here...on my blog...where I talk about knitting projects...including Eleanora. Damn. Not like I tried to keep the blog a secret from her, or anyone for that matter, but I just figured this stuff was way too dull for anyone who doesn't knit. (And probably a few people who do...) So, yep, gotta keep the Jessi projects secret from now on, y'all.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Knit's End

To coin a phrase...

Okay, I'm coming back around...slowly. I am not accomplishing my socks well, however. Some, um, stuff came up on Thursday and there was sort of a wrench getting tossed around into all WIPs. My best friend Jessi came to visit for the weekend, which was so fantastically wonderful (even if it wasn't under the most glorious of circumstances) and she brought all sorts of wonderful goodies and more smiles than you could shake a stick at, if you were into that sort of thing. (I've never been one to go around shaking sticks at things, but I'm not going to tell you what's not okay for you to do for a good time.) I failed to get a single photo while she was here - she took heaps, but I didn't download them to my laptop like I said I would.

For the record - root canals are cake. I was expecting so much worse - I don't want to say I was disappointed, but...well, root canal, you get a bum wrap. (You are, however, SERIOUSLY detrimental to my yarn budget, and I'm gonna go ahead and hate you for that.)

I did get the needles I think I'll need to start my Elsebeth Lavold sweater (assuming I get gauge with the needles suggested by the pattern - and you stop laughing right now!!) I'll probably give that a shot as soon as the socks are done. I chose perhaps a rather unreasonably advanced pattern for my first ever sweater attempt, and I'm sure it'll make the Malabrigo Hourglass sweater seem like a breeze when I get to it, but - hey, I like what I like.

For my Secret Pal: I thought you might get a kick out of this one.


Told you Brodie loved his toy. Well, he loved the OUTSIDE of his toy, which he still carts around but is not pictured here - these are the discarded innards. Someday I'll take a picture of all "his" toys. I say "his" because all toys that enter the home fall victim to his own special brand of play, so all poor Bitty's toys end up with the same sad deflated look of a toy that has been viciously de-stuffed. My bunny Thumper, my favourite stuffed toy since I was like four (which I am proud to say I still sleep with on frequent occasion), has managed to avoid that fate, but that's only because Brodie got such a ferocious tongue lashing and nose-thumping the one time he went near Thumper, and he hasn't dared since.

Okay, a WIP photo, but with some perspective thrown in:


I frequently watch movies while I knit - lately (for the last, oh, two months) I've been on a Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit kick. How can I not love a claymation knitting dog? Of COURSE I want to knit with Gromit. But when Jessi was here, she brought me the DVD of Clue, which was a movie I watched almost daily when I was very young and to which I STILL have every line memorized. So here's me, with my Clue and my Opal sock-in-progress. And the bowl. I'll describe to you what's in the bowl, and add that it was actually my DINNER, and if that doesn't tell you where my head is at....that bowl contains popcorn I drowned in a melted mix of peanut butter and chocolate.

Yeah. It's like that. :-)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Live From Ouchie-ville

I don't know. There's a scarf that's done blocking. I have a funny puppy picture to share. I'm working on a new pair of socks. (Coworker pal's birthday on June 22 and I completely failed to plan well - I'm frantic, even with two weeks and a simple sock pattern and some Opal.) I had sneaky Susan find out Pal's shoe size in a tremendously clever little ruse. She's so good.

I'll take some pictures and post something, once more with feeling, in a few days. Things are...not...great for now, and I'm having trouble focusing on the fun stuff. Dontcha just hate that?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It Begins...Edited


I really must have blinded myself to the whole thing.

I don't know how it happened...

I got my Pure Knits order yesterday - with more little samples thrown in by Yahaira's superhero alter-ego, Evil Enabler - and while I was putting away nine skeins of Malabrigo, four of Fable alpaca, and four of Blue Sky organic cotton (oh, that was a destash acquisition), I opened my eyes.

I looked in the cedar chest. I looked on the shelves. I looked in the cubby holes. I looked in the cabinet. I looked at the chairside table. Travis chose that moment to walk into the room.

"I...I...I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with all this yarn."

Tears in my eyes. REAL TEARS in my EYES. It's all beautiful! The ten skeins of Noro Silk Garden that are so beautiful (but so godawful scratchy you could never knit anything that touches skin). The ten skeins of mohair for a hoodie. The twenty skeins of silk/alpaca that has no intended purpose and never did. The UNBELIEVABLE collection of single-skeins from when I was first starting out. The yarn you buy when you're new. (You know the yarn - the sock yarn that to your now-trained eyes is hideous and scratchy and not fit for human feet...that stuff)...and so much more, so VERY much more.


You know what else, though? I find myself wandering into my knitting room sometimes, and especially before bedtime and in the morning before I go to work, and just sort of looking around, maybe squeezing a few skeins. My cotton and my wool, they comfort me.

I'm not saying I need less yarn. That's crazy. I'm not saying I'm going to stop buying yarn - also crazy. That was Travis' suggestion, and he got very frustrated when I told him that was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard. How is that a solution to my problem??!!

You know what I need? I really need more babies. I've cast on for a teddy bear from my adorable Toys to Knit book in that deliciously soft (inelastic and unforgiving bitch-goddess that it is) organic cotton. Increase after increase after increase...who classified this stuff as worsted? This is a bulky weight yarn! And why am I still knitting it on 6s? Because I'm stubborn.

I started those Greenwood socks for Travis, knitted three inches on the cuff, slipped it over his foot and up to his damned kneecap, and pulled the needles out right then and there. Clearly, the 72-stitch cast-on that would be fine for me doesn't work for Travis' twiglike slender gams. (I never saw anything wrong with muscular but slim legs - I just failed to plan properly.) BUT! On the bright side, I only have to work 56 stitches now instead of 72. Nothing wrong with that.

I guess I'm just in a teensy rut. Maybe I should start doing some stash-buster projects, like that Mason-Dixon log cabin blanket I like so much. But I have to stay focused! Especially since I have 15 pair of socks I NEED to knit, with intended recipients and everything, and absolutely no idea to whom I would give a knitted teddy bear.

Also: I outed myself to my One Skein secret pal (I left a comment on her blog, and I SIGNED IN. Duh. You can delete the comment, but the name still hangs around. I guess I can hope she's not the curious sort. Sure. Hi Emily.) Also, the Knitter's Little Helper that my secret pal sent me, the hand balm I ADORE? I figured out what it smelled like - that Aveda shampoo with the scent that I lovedLovedLOVED (but which I had to get rid of because it dried my hair out so badly.) Yippee!

Edited to Add:

Hourglass! Hourglass, Hourglass, HOURGLASS!!! Yahaira mentioned it (I think) in her note, and then I see a blogger who's knitted one (that is GORGEOUS on her) and I MUST HAVE IT! It is my Perfect Malabrigo Sweater. Now I'll just need the book, Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Thankfully, it can wait (no sweaters for another six months 'round these parts) because I just made an Amazon round yesterday. (I still have that lightweight Hempathy Elsebeth Lavold sweater to do anyway, and I still need two new sets of circs for that. All this crap, and I still don't have the materials I need to start stuff.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

All Things Considered....

I'm sharing a bunch of pictures of the same thing, because several photos turned out well, and I like when that happens.

I cast this project on Friday night after finishing my Ziggy scarf (the Malabrigo zig-zag lacy one). I finally caved and blocked the scarf (I rarely block anything, including the project below) and it's pinned to the guest room mattress right now, so no photos of that yet.

In the interest of full disclosure: I had a root canal today. Before heading to the dentist's office, I showered, did nothing with my hair, and put no makeup on. For the photo, I managed to apply powder before I lost interest and said to Travis, "Screw it, just focus on the gloves and try not to get my left side, it's swollen."


Project: Lace-up Fingerless Gloves from Alterknits.

Yarn: Malabrigo 100% merino, Holly Hock colourway

Needles: Colonial rosewood circs, 8; Addi bamboo dpns, 8

Notions: Some brand of silk ribbon in THE PERFECT colour

Changes: The only change I made was to use 7 mm ribbon instead of the one-inch silk Hanah ribbon the pattern called for. Artistically, I felt that the aesthetic of the glove would be jeopardized by the one-inch silk due know what, that's total BS...I would have had to order the Hanah online and wait for shipping and the only silk ribbon I could find around town was either one-inch, but only in white, or 7 mm in several shades, one of which was uncannily precise for this project. I don't think it's missing anything by having skinnier ribbon.


The pattern calls for one skein of Manos del Uruguay, with yardage of 138 yards. My Malabrigo skein measures 215 yards, so I have plenty of yarn left over.


Okay, I'm looking maybe a bit rough here...but this is the photo that best demonstrates how freakin' dead-on that ribbon is matched to the gloves.


Bitty just wanted so badly to be photographed with her mama's gloves, so I took one silly faux-artsy photo with her.

Okay, these gloves were the FOURTH project IN A ROW that I cast on for I have to go start on some socks for Travis before the yarn for my sweater gets here. Hee.