Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Color Is A Yo-Yo?

You know what I want? I want to be just cool enough to score my own colorway. Man, I would love that. I don't need a book deal, or a huge fan base for my brilliant patterns (thank God I'm not striving for that, since it's not looking good), or my own yarn shop (not that I wouldn't like my own yarn shop....that's a post for another day.) But a colorway would be pretty sweet, don't you think? Like Fig & Plum, or Lime & Violet, or doesn't matter how much yarn I dye for myself, I really want some fabulous little indie person like Yarn Pirate or Yarntini to adore me and name a yarn after me. You know, they wouldn't even have to adore me. Even if they just ACCIDENTALLY named a yarn "Yo-Yo"....I'd take it. Even if it was fuschia and orange and sky blue. It has my "name" on it. And then I'd really BE somebody. (My needs are simple and few.) It wouldn't even be that hard....I'm such a color ho that just about any combination of colors would be perfectly suited.

.....although....if I do have an Indie Yarn Fairy Godmother, my really perfect colors are dusty rose (that antique pink-with-a-touch-of-brown), deep dark red (the kind that makes that doesn't clash with that pink but makes it look oh-so-sexy), chocolate brown. I'm just sayin'....and I don't think I've seen anything that quite hits that combination yet.

Ahhh....we have to have dreams to make our days float by, don't we? But fortunately I'm not that picky, really - I'll buy any old stuff anyway.

punkin head

This could be Yo-Yo. It's from Yarn Pirate and I like it. But instead it's called "Punkin Head". And I've studied myself thoroughly in the mirror and I think I can definitely state that this colorway was not named after me. I'm no "punkin-head". I think I see here, finally, Pomatomus.


This is not a Yo-Yo. This is a Secret Pal. (I'm telling you that so that I'm not able to squirrel it away for myself when it gets here. You all know and must hold me to my commitments.) This one's Yarn Pirate, too. Secret Pal discounts are kinda awesome. And I do love that shimmery Merino/Tencel sock yarn....

Damn, is Christmas over yet? I'm ready to knit me some socks for ME!

(Oh, fabulous images courtesy of Yarn Pirate. But don't tell her I yanked her photos, 'kay?)

I suppose I'm feeling rather self-centered lately. I think it's 'cause I'm sick. I can be SUCH an obnoxious brat when I'm sick. I won't eat anything other than grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and I want everything done for me - I even asked Travis to prop me up better on the couch a few nights ago (hey, I had a really high fever, I was a bit delirious) - and, now here I am dreaming up a line of my own boutique sock yarns...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ants Are From Mars, Worms Are From Venus

First of all - please, oh please tell me you read the Harlot's post today. I laughed till I stopped. Then I declared, with full fierce resentment, "Why doesn't this shit ever happen to ME???" Travis read it and declared his love for Harlot and her tales, thus scoring me one Knitter's Point for getting him to read and enjoy a knitting blog other than one that features a silly picture of him.

I forgot to mention that I finally scored a copy of Rowan 40. I had to have it, though I hadn't actually SEEN it so I couldn't tell you why I had to have it. While perusing it, I had one of those catch-your-breath moments where I turned a page and saw something I MUST HAVE. I see a lot of stuff I want to have, and I make careful notes of them in my mind so I can be sure to forget them right away, but I rarely see stuff I MUST HAVE. I'll have to get a picture when the light is better.

I also picked up Domiknitrix. Actually, I picked up two. (I mean "picked up" quite literally - that's all I did. Travis actually paid for them, although I didn't realize he was only offering to purchase the coffee at the Barnes & Noble interior Starbucks, not the coffee, a muffin, and three books. And yes, he did almost choke when she announced our two caramel macchiatos were going to set him back sixty-five dollars. My efforts to convince him that boutique coffee prices had really gotten out of hand fell flat. Well, excuuuuuse me.) The book is clever. The patterns aren't all completely practical, but some of them are really quite dear, and the knitting tips and such things are clear, concise, and well-photographed. (Hence I also got a copy for Jessi, even if most of the patterns in the book are more intermediate-level.)

Travis is playing Dead Rising on his 360 tonight. It's a zombie smash-em-up kind of game, and it's fun to watch. It takes place in a mall (This game bears no resemblance to Dawn of the Dead, we swear it!) and he busted into a toy store and started attacking zombies with stuffed bears and a toy light sabre. He can also pick up giant Lego Man heads and drop them onto the zombies heads. I'm here to tell you, one helluva happy Wednesday night can be had just by spinning up some BFL and watching groaning zombies with enormous Lego Man heads bumping into each other and flailing their arms about.

I am knitting. I'm knitting Hourglass. I'd show you photos, but....well. It's olive. It's knit in the round. It's an ocean of green stockinette. If that doesn't get you all jazzed up (and I know it doesn't), I don't know what else I can offer you.

Finally: it's no crazy-lady-in-grubby-panties, but it's what caught me off guard today:

Lost in Translation

Things start out so well. Business model? Clever. Graphic? Works. Slogan, "We'll close the case on:" etc.? Appropriate. Ants, roaches, rodents, "and other aliens"?


I think we misplaced the mojo right there. Other criminals, other gangsters, other bad guys, sure. Other aliens? I think we've lost the whole idea of what Dr. Watson was about, fellas. And don't even get me started on dissecting the theory that the billions of bugs that inhabit our planet are not actually of this world. For a moment I actually considered calling the number on the side of the truck and asking them to explain themselves.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Too Sick To Knit

The entire day at home, absolutely no knitting or spinning achieved. I can't seem to bring myself to do much other than just lie here. You know that kind of sick that starts as kind of an annoying itchy throat and throttles within hours to the sort of agony akin to having all the nerves in your body replaced with stinging nettles? Poor Travis, he's taking spectacular care of me but every time he gets too close, I "screech" (it would be a screech, if it wasn't a weak croak) "Oh God, oh GOD don't TOUCH ME!!!"

One of the worst things to do is call in sick the day after a long holiday weekend. I feel like I could vomit onto the handset, and my employer would still think I was lying. Not because my employer thinks I'm not trustworthy....I'm just paranoid. And tomorrow's my work-from-home day and I think even that could be out of the question, unless I experience a miraculous turnaround.

I had a couple of accomplishments this weekend:

Danielle's beanie (handspindled)

I fully-finished and blocked the birthday beanie for Travis' sister. I missed her birthday over one of my trips down south, but I got to gift it on Thanksgiving, and she loved it. (Even if it did end up with a nipple on top - I ALWAYS pull my hats too tight and get a little pucker at the top. Sigh.)

Danielle's beanie (handspindled)

You can only vaguely make it out here, if at all, but I purled her initials into the side too. It's knit from my own handspindled (pre-wheel days) in a merino-silk blend that corresponds with her high school's colors. The pattern is based off of a couple of generic hat patterns, but deviates enough from all of them that I'd have to call it my own.

I also made a matching yarmulke, but only because her high school colors are also perfect Hanukkah colors:

Handspun yarmulke/kippah

Here it is on Travis. I'm concerned - I think it's too big. It's for a VIP, so I don't want it to be wrong. I'm thinking about felting it so it's smaller. Thoughts? Any readers familiar with yarmulkes want to weigh in? Please? (Oh, again, this is my handspun, but from the wheel. I got the pattern here.)

Sweet Georgia BFL Roving, Firefly

I've split this up and rolled it, but I haven't been able to get any excitement up about spinning either. This is Sweet Georgia's Blue Faced Leicester roving in her Firefly colorway - PERFECT for me. I picked up some Blue Steel for gift-spinning, too, but I'm going to try this first. It's four ounces, and I need to get it to sock weight. Keep your fingers crossed.

Finally, some general eye candy:

Heh...c0ck soup

I was punchy from holiday grocery shopping and ended up buying this because it made me laugh. Thank you, Jamaica.

Straightforward enough

Well, that's just straightforward, isn't it? I wonder...why not "Veterinary Services" or something? "Veterinarian"? Maybe the sign company was out of 'v's. Or maybe the business owners were concerned confused local veterans would wander in looking for like-minded individuals anxious to share stories? In any event, it amused me.

Class of '97, yo

Ahhh....the ol' Class of '97. We went to see The Fountain (Eck! ECK!!) and snapped this photo. Enjoy it, you'll never again see me without makeup. (The agony - forgot to pack it, spent the entire weekend naked.) Clockwise from top left, you have Patrick, me, Jessi (my bestest friend and the latest warrior I've inducted into our knitter's army), and Bekah. Bek just got back from Ireland, where she was working with one of the top horse trainers in the world. (Ahh, to be doing something with your life that you're truly passionate about.) She brought her "lad" back with her, and he seems lovely. Come to think of it, we're all in satisfying relationships currently with individuals that all of us seem to approve of. I'm pretty sure that's a first. These were some of my best pals in high school, and the last time we were all together was AGES ago. (We celebrated by drinking in Pat's car outside of a pizza joint and singing Weezer's "The Sweater Song" at the tops of our lungs. Good times.) It was a terrifically sad event that brought us all together - but we had some great times nonetheless.

My aching back is about to shoot little bottle rockets all over the living room - time for me to roll over. Ta ta!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bracing Myself



Not that I don't love it - I do. But this one's bittersweet (heavy on the bitter), and then you gotta add in that whole grocery factor....

I LOATHE holiday grocery shopping. And I have to go tonight to get stuff to make a nice simple recipe to take with me to two Thanksgiving dinners (thanks for the tip, Rosi!) I tried going to the store yesterday around 4:00. Walked in, grabbed a cart, walked ten steps - bumping into at least seven people in the process - and turned the hell around and went home, thinking I'd just get milk some other, maybe in January. Of course, today it's probably gonna be even worse. I'm gonna need to stuff my pockets with yarn - you know, for strength and courage.

So after we're all stuffed and miserable, we leave for South Florida again. This time, though....the whole entire world is different. It's all kind of fuzzy and a little less exciting when you have to face that a piece of it has moved....not completely gone....just....elsewhere. And harder to see.

Giving thanks can be a challenge some years.

But I digress. I started a scarf from Victorian Lace Today, got 13 rows in, dropped something, became hopelessly tangled and lost, and ripped. We'll try again, maybe something different. I'm not in a concentrating way right now. It might be a good time to start thinking about Hourglass. (Yes, there ARE still people who haven't knit that yet.) I know it's supposed to be all about the Christmas knitting, but I only get 34 days in a year that I could even wear a wool sweater, and I'd hate to miss them.

Oh, you know - I also discovered I've been executing the SSK incorrectly. Cute. It does, however, explain why my decreases always looked a bit sloppy. Glad to have that right now. (And it's not as bad as the time I realized I'd been purling incorrectly for almost a year.)

Finally - Jessi revealed to me that her favorite part of knitting is "unknitting". She's a fearless frogger - but I take that as a good sign, since frogging is a big part of what we do. Besides, she's in good company on her adoration of the frog pond!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fa La La La La, And A Call To Arms!

Sometimes I have more fun photographing and playing with my yarn than I actually do knitting or spinning it.

Last night I got a special delivery at the house - my Black Bunny Fibers Christmas roving. It was so almost-garish in the photos that I had to buy it. (Ummm....sorry, no roving photos - I kinda jumped right on the spinning.)

Close-up handspun

It barber-poled really nicely! I would have liked to three-ply it, but I was afraid it might end up kind of muddy. It's mostly green and red, with just a touch of orange due to blending. It was dyed in long sections, so it was easy to get long segments of one color. The spinning was great too - long staple fibers, easy spin...and I managed to keep this one away from DK weight - at 180-190 yards in four ounces (100 grams), I'm closer to heavy worsted weight. No earthly idea what to knit with this, but a Christmas item is a safe bet...


Yarnf?  Scarn?

Maybe I'll start a new trend! A yarn-scarf. (A scarn? A yarnf?) I suppose I'm just crazy enough to think this actually doesn't look half-bad....thank God I have Travis to point out, "Um...actually, it pretty much looks like you have yarn around your neck." Bah - he just doesn't understand. Damn Muggles!


Okay, fine, how about a muffler?




(Travis' verdict: ", baby. Still yarn. Sorry.")


Well, to hell with the Muggles! Let's band together on this one! Who's with me?! We can make this happen - and it'll make holiday gift-giving that much easier if you can skip the knitting and just go with yarn-as-accessory! Think of the possibilities - Mittarns, Scarns, Yarfflers....and my personal favorite, the Yarnulke. (Because I have attended synagogue during Sabbat service - hey, why not? - and I kept thinking about all the cool yarmulkes I could knit....all those plain ol' black satin-y ones....yawn! Although I did see at least one hot pink one, and that made me happy.)

Handspun Rundown

Oy, it's been a while since I went through this stuff.

Handspun Spritely Goods

Handspun Spritely Goods

This is a Spritely Goods batt, merino and firestar. It's 1.8 ounces (about 50 grams) spun to 190 yards two-ply. That's solid fingering sock weight. Can I get a hell yeah? It's some of my best spinning to date - and it's already out of my hands and on the way to someone else's. It can be hard to say goodbye to your children....

Natural hand-dyed and handspun Natural hand-dyed close-up

This is three of my mini-rovings from my Natural Dyeing - Colors from Nature class. There's about one ounce total, 60 yards, of a three-ply yarn. One roving is dyed with henna (the lightest vanilla color), one is dyed with brazilwood (the lighter pink color) and one with red sandalwood (the sort of orangey-salmon color). They blended well, I thought, so I figured rather than having roving I couldn't do anything with, I'd ply them together and see what I came up with. The two remaining rovings are red and purple....I'm still trying to decide if I should give that a shot. Could be pretty godawful garish...

Hand-dyed and Handspun Hand-dyed close-up of my favorites so far. I didn't quite get the colors I wanted (you could probably guess - I was going for pink/cream/brown and I got more pink/cream/teastain tan), but I think it'll be great as a hat/booties for one of the impending baby girls. This stuff is S-O-F-T. 70% merino, 20% silk, 10% angora...delicious. Two ounces, 150 yards of two-ply. The roving came from I See Spots Farm, which is where I got a LOT of my roving when I was at SAFF. This was a fantastic bit of fiber.

So was this:

Black Llama handspun Black Llama close-up

Pure black llama, soft as merino, silky as....well, silk. I loved spinning it, and I hate to give it up, but this is definitely Pal-worthy. Once again, two ounces, once again 140 yards in two-ply. (Anyone else getting tired of DK weight?) The roving also came from I See Spots.

This last one was mostly just for fun. I ended up doing something a little different than I had planned, due to the nature of the roving (Corriedale/silk, kinda....chunky?). It was a kit with these beautiful little rovings, and a few packets of mohair and angora. I ended up with something akin to Ozark Handspun.

Handspun Novelty Handpun novelty close-up

There's 2.2 ounces, 75 yards (look Ma, no DK!) to this single - plying it would have been absurd. The light is making this a bit more crazy-carnival colored than it really is - think more like autumn leaves. I bought it because it reminded me exactly of the view out my parents' window in October:

Fall colors

They have a tree right at the end of the driveway that's red and orange and magenta in fall. Man I love it there......

Monday, November 20, 2006

Don't Feed Them Past Midnight

Twee rovings

The only thing better than getting a big bag of roving is getting a big bag of little rovingettes. Aren't they .... CUTE?? I ordered this from StonyCreek, and they make me smile. (I wonder....if I get them wet....will they multiply?!)

It was a pretty good mail day:


Who kicks ass? AMAZON kicks ass! When did I order these? Thursday? And with the free shipping? Color me impressed!

I have learned the joy of toe-up socks:

Leftover yarn (toe-up!)

Nobody likes wasting Koigu. Especially your own hand-painted Koigu. This is actually what I had left over. Ha!!

Boyfriend Sock

The first boyfriend dad sock is done! I loved it - whipped through it like crazy! Maybe ten days? Seems long, but I really worked on it at my leisure (if you can call it that.) And that includes the time it took me to fix a mis-crossed cable nine rows and two crosses down (with a little help from the Harlot). Oh, and it also includes the time it took me to pick up a stitch I'd dropped during a cable cross six rows down. The blessed little thing was just chilling, sticking out there, waiting to be spotted, gracefully refraining from unravelling further. I did avoid having to unravel all the way back down - I managed to pick it up and drag it back up through the running threads, and damned if I can even figure out where it was now.

And short row heels?

Short-row heel


Boyfriend Sock

I love cables. I LOVE them. It's basically ribbing, ya know? But they're so much more INTERESTING than ribbing, both visually and for the knitting. Pop's gonna be thrilled with these. (And if he's not, he's stuck with them anyway, 'cause they're too big for anyone in this house!)

Public Service Announcement Time:

Nifty Gifty Alert: Ten dollar sale at Threadless. I bought a whole slew of fun/cute/clever/artistic tees for friends and family. Huzzah! Here's my personal favorite, I think. (I love zombies. Well, no...that's a misstatement...I love the IDEA of zombies. Actual zombies would probably make me pee myself.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Brace Yourself - Extreme Cuteness Ahead!

Edited to make photos smaller because stupid Blogger in IE won't keep my sidebar in the right place if the photos are too big. Someday I'm going to ditch Blogger and start paying for a blog so it can look like I WANT it to look. But that's going to require effort and cash on my part....and currently, I'm having to divert both to other departments.

There was a bit of baby knitting not long ago. (There will be a LOT more soon....friend Melissa is having a baby, and I just found out friend Mike is going to be the daddy of a little girl, and the cousin's twin boys were born a few weeks ago.)

New mom Gina got some photos of Baby Kat in her little jacket. This kid's getting cuter by the minute - by the time we get to see her, we may have to look at her through a hole in a piece of paper. (We'll be in the DC area in May, yay!)

Baby Kat in her HUGE sweater

I love babies. I love them 'cause they don't give a DAMN. She's all, "Um, this thing is kinda huge. Have you guys noticed? Yeah, it's totally sorta big. I can't even...lookit....can you please...I need my thumb, and this sleeve is....could you just maybe, you know, shove that down? Or take this thing off? Or something?"

Baby Kat wondering why she's wearing such a huge sweater

"Alright, enough with the pictures. It's real special, I love it - now take it OFF. I NEED MY THUMB!! This one! You can't even SEE IT, but it's in this sleeve right here!! GIMME MY DAMN THUMB!!!"

Baby Kat in her sweater

"Oh...well, it is kinda cozy. But hey, whenever we get where we're goin', take care of that sleeve thing for me, wouldja?"

Thank God they grow. Although it terrifies me to think that it'll be way too small for her in just six months. Babies are so bizarre that way.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tag, I'm It!

Hey, no one tagged me! I'm tagging myself - and that's okay. (Though I hear if you do it too much, you'll go blind.)

1. How and when did you learn how to knit/crochet? Who taught you?
I am almost certain my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was young. I wasn't particularly good at it, but I've always had an interest in handcrafts. I cross-stitched and painted for a while, and I've tried a lot of things.

Knitting, though.....oh boy. First of all, I'm not particularly trendy, okay? I pick up trends once in a while, when they appeal to me, and I follow fashion somewhat. But I don't get into things just because they're "in". I had no earthly IDEA that knitting was becoming so hot. (I have this fear that people will think I'm a bandwagonner, and I'm totally not.) In Florida, knitting is still not particularly hot. Because Florida IS particularly hot, so knitting seems insane. Anyway....

About maybe three-ish years ago, I bought the book Knitting for Dummies. I didn't even glance at it - just went to Michael's to pick up yarn and knitting needles. That was ALL I KNEW about knitting. That I needed yarn and pointy sticks. I picked out some Lion Heart acrylic (one pink, one grey) and some needles (one 8, one 10). I remember standing in front of the needles wondering which ones I'd need. (No clue about ball bands and suggested gauge.) I recall thinking there was no way anyone used that many needles. (Heh.) I also remember looking at the ball band, at what I now know is a gauge diagram, and thinking, "Are you shitting me??? This ENTIRE THING OF YARN will only knit up a 4 by 4 inch square? DAMN this must be an expensive hobby."

I went by my Dummies book, and I knit and knit. Tightly. Horribly tightly. Knitting was a NIGHTMARE. Scratchy yarn, aching hands, and these needles - UGH!! (Susan Bates aluminum Which is why when I taught Jessi to knit, I bought her some nice light bamboo straights and had her pick out a pleasant soft wool yarn.) So went my first attempt. I think I tried picking it up again a few times within the next year, never getting more into it than that time.

Then I stumbled onto my friend Kathleen's blog. I had worked with her for all of one week before she moved to Germany. In the maybe two weeks that we became friends, though, I ADORED her. (Still do!) She's still in Germany, and I got curious about her one day and Googled for her - found her blog - she KNITS now? I knew her sister and mom did, but .... knitting?? Kathleen??? Well, hell, knitting must be pretty badass then. And I saw her socks, and sweaters, and awesome stuff she was cranking out, and all that yarn in all those colors.....I went to a yarn shop this time, and got a better book, and some better yarn....well, sort of. (Remember when you were new, and novelty yarns were AWESOME? Eck. I got over that in a hurry.) I bought oodles of yarn...oodles of one or two skeins of yarn, only later realizing that it would probably take a lot of yarn to knit something substantial.

And the rest, as they say....

2. How has this craft impacted your life?
Oh. My. God.

Poor Travis. Travis fell in love with a woman who set foot outside occasionally. A woman who rode a dirtbike. A woman who could hold a dinner conversation without tugging a ball of yarn from her purse. And I have to say, he's handled the change with grace and dignity. (The Xbox 360 helped, I think.) I don't stick to many hobbies, but I do have a tendency to go headlong into them. But when I dedicated an entire room to the craft, drove across state lines to find better yarns, learned to spin my own know, I really started to think this could be for real. I'm in love.

I keep getting in trouble at work (I'm not allowed to knit here....let me tell you how that burns me....) and I think about knitting at the MOST inopportune times. (The MOST.) Pretty much constantly. During meetings, I'm designing charts. I have my Bloglines link on my cell so I can keep up with my knit blogs even when I'm not near a computer. And I haven't TOUCHED my dirtbike in a year.

3. Pick at least one person to talk about who you have met through the knit-world and why you are thankful to have met them.
Well, there have been all the LYS shop owners who have influenced and shaped my wallet tremendously. I've cyber-met a lot of people, through Secret Pals and exchanges and just through blogging. There's Necia, who demonstrates that it IS possible to knit and craft and wife and mom and work and all that and still be cool. There's Rosi, who does the same thing - but without spinning - we'll forgive her for now, it's only a matter of time before Necia breaks her down. Random sidenote - I think Rosi kind of looks a bit like Jaeda from this season's Top Model...when Jaeda had hair and was girly and pretty and didn't look scary and butch. Not to encourage Jaeda - 'cause DAMN that girl could bitch about some hair - but really, Tyra, why would you do that to her? Sorry, what was I saying? Oh, right. There was Rene, who hasn't blogged in FOREVER but who was kind of my first reader who didn't know me in the real world - and who got me stuck on these damned Eleanora socks. And Yarn Harlot, who taught me that it's okay to make knitting be funny. (Thank God - I can't enjoy anything I can't make funny. Or at least try.)

There's all my swap pals, who have all been so generous and wonderful. There's all my favorite enablers, who encourage me to buy stuff and try new things. There's all the bloggers who read and leave me comments, and who I read and leave comments for.

I don't know, it's just a GREAT community, isn't it? Everyone helps each other out, and encourages each other, and makes each other laugh....I love it. I've mentioned that I also do did a lot of theatre. The community there is amazing, and you make wonderful friends...but hanging out there over you is that vague threat from a lot of them, the feeling that they love you...but they will crawl over your lifeless body to get to what they want. (Okay, maybe not THAT vicious, but you get the idea.) I have NEVER ONCE felt like a knitter was hating on me. I love that.

Man, you guys just rock.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yay, Productive Post!!


First, let me take care of some admin business - if you subscribe to my feed through Bloglines, may I suggest the rss.xml feed instead of the atom.xml feed? For some reason, the atom feed seems to take a day or two to show up. I was on my own atom feed and it still wasn't showing this post, which is now a day old. So I've switched to the rss. And I still hate Bloglines, but I'm addicted to it now.

So I came up with this brilliant idea for a sock pattern. It's classy/sassy/punky/prissy and I think it will be specTACular....if I can write it up. I'm not very good at that - I always have the best ideas in my head and I can't quite get my brain knitty enough to get it onto paper. (But if I CAN get it managed, I'm totally gonna have to mail it in as a submission for Yahaira's book - have you heard about that, by the way?)

I saw a review today of the Victorian Lace Today book and ordered it that very minute. (I may have also picked up that book on plant dyeing that I needed, and wandered over to Etsy and grabbed some roving too. It was a good day for spending money I am so not supposed to be spending.)

Check this out.

Eleanora - Endgame

Yes!! Yes!!!! It is what is left of Eleanora!! (Okay, it's what left AFTER Eleanora. I worded that poorly. Fabulous little phone included for scale.) I am officially 50% done, having completed Sock 1. Which, ironically, took me exactly 50% of a year. To the day, the stupid thing took me six months. (Hate that yarn.) It is, however, STUNNING. I'm going to wait until I have the pair to show you, though. Which may be a long time - I've decided to set it aside and come up with something else for now. The pair will be finished one day, but not within the next month. Why? Because knitting isn't supposed to SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF YOU. I just know this yarn would probably be a cakewalk on a sunny day on bigger needles - I think it's the combo of size 0s and the split-prone yarn. I'll try the next pair on 1s or 1.5s and see how it goes.

I've done some spinning too, but I haven't taken photos. Things are going well, though!

And - this has nothing to do with knitting - how about this?

Chicken Dinner Tofu Dinner

I made the most deliciously fabulous Thai dinner. Ginger-garlic carrots, cucumber-radish salad, mint jasmine rice, chicken (Travis) and tofu (me) with coconut/lime/cilantro sauce.....good Lordy it was yummy. See, I can do other things. (I do them much smaller, though, because they're not made with yarn. I figure if you're really curious, you can click.)


Oh yeah? Can you bust out the treats? Huh, lady?? We'll just wait here. Ahem.

Okay, but let's talk why you're REALLY here.

Zee weener! (That's French for "the winner"...)

Almost immediately after the contest announcement post, I decided to abandon the "pick a random number" idea because I remembered that Travis is obsessed with his favorite I could have told you three days ago who would win. I instead went with the highly scientific "pull a name from a cereal bowl" method.

So, as I was saying.......zee weener:

The Winner Is....

Yay!! (Sorry about the lighting - poor Travis had to stand still with his eyes crossed - that part was his idea - for a very long time, and this was the best I could do.)

(In case you can't quite make it out - Schrodinger!!!! Yay for you! I'll be emailing you with a barrage of questions so I can pick out something fabulous.)

Okay, now you gotta see this. But don't tell, 'cause I told him I deleted it.

Stabby McWall-Eye

Hehee!! The mug shot of Travis' alter ego, escaped mental patient and, possibly, deranged lunatic killer "Stabby McWall-Eye". (He also made me promise that next time I would let him shower and change out of his work clothes before attacking him with a camera. Whatever.)

Monday, November 13, 2006



In honor of my recent relative success destashing some stuff (though there's still a bit left...

In support of my belief in charitable causes...

In honor of my brilliant best friend and her knitting success...

In honor of all the fiber I have to spin and find room for...

Leave me a comment. Yep, that's it. Just comment. You have until Thursday the 16th. (The number 16 is brought to you by Jessi.)

I'll pick one using a "random number generator" (what I like to call a "Travis") and you'll win....something yarny. I haven't decided yet, since I just got this bug up my butt at work and I'm not at home to examine my stash. I can promise it won't suck. (As always, I will take your personal preferences into account. And for any sneakies out there - no fair stacking the deck...just one comment!)

And yeah, it's just a "leave a comment, maybe win a prize" thing, so you can just say "OOOH, ME!!" You're not, statistically, any more likely to win by saying something clever or funny or adorable or flattering....but you'll make me love you that much more. ;-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

All Shall Fall Prey....

(I shall continue to make efforts to compartmentalize my life, blog-wise, and try to keep it as light and airy here as I possibly can.)

I was back down in South Florida this weekend, this time without Travis and the pups. (So we managed to not incur anymore exorbitant stomach-pumping vet bills...huzzah! I feel like we should have one of those signs like they have in industrial work areas that state how many days we've gone without an incident. "Congratulations! 8 Days Without Veterinary Disaster!") I wish it wasn't for such a shitty reason that I was getting to spend this much time with my extended family and beloved bestest friend in the world. Jess and I did get to take a few hours on Saturday to get out of the house and unwind as much as conceivable, hitting a few shops and having lunch. Of course, I had to make a small detour. Or two. I'd discovered there was a chain of yarn shops (Great Balls of Yarn, heh) in the West Palm area. (And a fifth store will soon be opening about 15 minutes from her house...huzzah!) I behaved myself with remarkable restraint - a few Secret Pal purchases and a couple of skeins of sock yarn for someone not only desirous but also well-deserving of some handknit socks. Nothing intended for me directly. (See? I'm all about other people!) And we might have picked up something for her as well....

Jessi's Garter Stitch

Lookit!! Lookit!! I got her! She can knit! She picked out a yarn she liked (having attempted to learn a couple of times with crappy yuck-yuck acrylic, I know the value of learning to knit with a yarn that really appeals to you) and we got to work. Would ya look at that garter stitch? Daaaaamn! And check this out:

Jessi's swatch

Dude! No accidental yarn-overs. No weird flubby stitches. She started with 20, she ended with 20. She cast-on and cast-off, and would you check the consistency of those stitches?? Sheesh. She attempted to attribute it to the fact that she had a teacher, and I'd learned from a book - but I'm willing to concede anyway that she's better from the get-go at this than I was simply because she's brilliant.

I even got a picture of her with her swatch:

She can knit!

I'd like you to notice that she also knit that swatch while wearing braces on BOTH wrists. (Yeah, carpal tunnel, too. She's somethin', I mean it.) I love that in the background, her brother's face is all "sure, knitting, whatever" but his arms are totally "hey, my sister rocks, what what?!"

I could shed a little tear.

I spun up some stuff when I got home. (This isn't it...this is old.)

Handspun Spritely Goods

This is Spritely Goods batt, about 80 yards in 50 grams. Maybe a week old? I spun up some more Merino today, and some llama (which I freaking ADORE and have to keep reminding myself I spun for a pal.)

My weekend knitting was the Boyfriend sock for my dad.

Boyfriend Sock

This is my first toe-up sock. That short-row heel is a bitch the first few times, huh? I didn't mess it up (and actually, damn it looks good) but it was a bit of a pain. This is that Koigu I hand-painted, and I was a bit concerned that the variegation would obscure the cables, but I like the way it looks. Some might think the yarn turned out a bit muddy, with all the colors, but it actually ended up doing exactly what I wanted it to - look at it with those leaves on the ground. Nice camo effect.

Travis was wonderful while I was gone this weekend...the house was spotless, the yard was mowed, the flowerbeds were weeded, and he was appropriately overjoyed to see me walk through the door. So he got his Christmas present a bit early. It seemed only fair - I spend hours every evening spinning or knitting, and this way we can entertain ourselves in the same room.


Rooster's shame

"Great. Yeah, real glad you're home and everything...but between the fluff I'm not allowed to play with and the Gears of War explosions, I can't get a moment's peace!!"

(I know sometimes it looks like I'm totally ripping off Wendy. I don't have an excuse....sometimes I just really like to post cute pictures of Rooster.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bit Of This, Bit Of That, Eye Candy, So On...

Man, I love destashing. I've got all this money to buy more yarn pay off some of the vet bill. (Status update: Brodie is fine, but still dumb. The "he's still a puppy" excuse didn't really stick - he's 14 months now. We kind of have to just go with "he's kinda dumb". But dammit he's so cute...)

Okay, I am shaping up to be the suckiest Secret Pal ever this round. I don't know what is wrong with me. First of all, I didn't get my package off nearly as early as I'd planned. Then I sent her something she specifically stated she DIDN'T like (but which had stuck in my head as a favorite, for some reason.) I think she's going to hate me. And she has nut allergies, so I'm afraid to send periodic mailings of chocolate in order to assure her that I'm really a decent person. (Good Lord, nut allergies must suck. Everything is made on or near nuts. You can't even buy freaking SNEAKERS without a warning that they may make your feet explode if you can't handle peanuts.)

I'm spinning up some Spritely Goods that I got from Pure Knits. (Sorry about that forty cents, Yahaira - coincidence, I swear...I'll be back for the yak!)

I'm going back out of town today, headed south to be with my surrogate family again. I'll be away until Sunday, and while I'm gone, I'll be getting started on those socks for Dad. (Is it weird to knit the pattern "Boyfriend Socks" for your father? I feel kinda strange about it.) Yes, I know - Eleanora. I have good reason for putting those aside on this trip though, I swear.

I never did share the last few photos from our trip to North Carolina. On the way back we darted through Savannah (Travis has never seen it) and ate lunch at a place on the waterfront. (Mmmm....all-you-can-eat snow crab legs....) We were in a hurry to get back to Florida, so we saw virtually nothing - but we did stop for a couple of photos:

Savannah, October '06

Here we are along....some river.

Sock n' Savannah

The now-finished Bell & Whistle with a really nifty fountain.


A li'l tugboat! It's not tugging, though. (Lazy bastard.) Anyone remember Little Toot, the Silly Symphony (Melody Time?) with the little cartoon tugboat? I LOVED that one. (Featured the Andrews Sisters, I'll have you know.)

Have a good weekend! Happy knitting!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Arches?

Hey, couldja maybe buy my stuff? (There will be more before long - I wasn't kidding about that damned vet bill.)

The rest of this post is not for the faint of feet heart.

It's funny how many people (relatively speaking) commented on my arches. I've never thought of my feet as being overly arch-y in their normal state.

Nope, not in their normal state.....

Ewwww, toes

Are you dying? I'd never actually SEEN my feet like this until this picture...good Pete, now I know why my dad and Travis freak the hell out every time they see me do this (which is frequently.) It doesn't bother my mom - she was a dancer also and nothing about this seems abnormal to her.

'Kay, back to work...

On the bobbin