29 January, 2009


Today my boss called and surprised me by giving me the day off. This came directly after I spent the trip home listening to podcasts and thinking "I should make one of those... when I have a spare afternoon..." then scoffing at the spare afternoon part. 

Gentle readers, I give you (drumroll please!) Gives Good Knit, a podcast about knitting of both the charitable and selfish variety, among other things. 

You may now shower me with praise. 

27 January, 2009

The Plague

I has it. 

It's harder to write blog posts when I have to go to bed at 8:30 every night in order to make it through the next day. Hopefully this clears up soon; I have a stealth trip planned for this weekend. 

There has been knitting. I will show it to you once I can stay up with the grown-ups. 

21 January, 2009

A Small Tally

Books Currently in my Knit Picks Cart:

Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti
Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle

Things I Have Cast On in the Last Week: 4

Things From Above Tally That Are Viable Knitting: 1

Skeins of Yarn in my Knit Picks Cart: 0. You read that right, zero. So hah!

I am waiting on my student aid check to come in and then those books will be mine, all mine. In the mean time, I continue to truck away on my Seamless Yoke Sweater. Miles of stockinette in the round are soothing, but not necessarily good photo fodder for the blog. So lest you think I am neglecting you, dear reader, allow me to set your mind at rest. There have been pictures. And I shall show them to you.

First, Jasmin and I went lens shopping this Saturday. I got an inexpensive low-light lens for my Canon Rebel XT and I am loving. it. Here are a few shots:

A friendly game of Settlers of Catan, in which I kicked everyone's butts. Just sayin'.

The skein of Pagewood Farms Denali sock yarn in "Forest Camo" that has been haunting my dreams - and is now mine!

I bought the Pagewood Farms yarn on Sunday at what I'm pretty sure will become a new Mecca for me: Bobbin's Nest Studio in Santa Clara. The owner seems to have a palette similar to mine, so I like a lot of the colors she chooses. After knitting there for awhile, we had to take off - except there was this fountain that looked SO cool in the setting sun. So we pulled over, hopped out and snapped some pictures in the spirit of our 2009 selves:

I also got back into spinning this week with a well-placed kick in the pants from Jasmin and her devilish ways. She showed me her new Golding spindle, which I tried and loved. Those things spin forEVer. And then, because I am maybe a masochist and might lean towards spinning cobweb lace on spindles, she showed me this little beauty:

Magpie Woodworks "Maggie" spindle, 30 g

Apparently Maggie and Jasmin never got along, but we took to one another perfectly and I've been messing about with some of the Crown Mountain Farms BFL I got in May. It's so nice to have a spindle that just spins and spins. I'm trying very hard not to engage in grand illusions about how much spindle spinning I will really do, but it's difficult to be rational when you're in love.

The spinning bug also encouraged me to pull out my neglected Sonata, and since Sunday I've finished one of three plies of some more CMF, this time in the super-wash merino colorway "Wish You Were Here." Those will be some cheerful socks, itellyouwhut.

Lastly, I cast on another pair of No-Purl Monkey socks in Fleece Artist's 2/6 sock yarn. They are also very cheerful:

I've also been working on my Marvelous Mingus socks, but they're not much further along than last time you saw them, so I'll let them marinate a little longer before I show them off again. Note the lack of finishing going on. Fear not, gentle reader. I'll get there.

OH! Brie, here's the shot of the Salina sweater from Rowan Vintage Knits. I think this purple would look FAB on you. Jasmin's mom is contemplating a KAL for this one - I'm trying to talk her into the purple as well.
Mine will be cooler than this with vintage buttons. And also it's green.

Until next time, remember. Be the water.

14 January, 2009

Pick Me! Pick Me!

From Sockpr0n's linkjunkie blog. Do you part!

Quincy Jones has started a petition to ask President-Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts. While many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture for centuries, The United States has never created such a position. We in the arts need this and the country needs the arts—now more than ever. Please take a moment to sign this important petition and then pass it on to your friends and colleagues.


13 January, 2009

Getting Better All The Time


EZ Gauge Hat
Crystal Palace Creme, Brick and Apple
92 yds.

Gratuitous closeup

My colorwork is getting better. And I worked on some super-awesome new stuff designed by moi. I know you don't really care much, but here's my desk as it was when I got home. Really this post is just so I can add 92 yards to my total yardage. And also to say that it's gone from being 30 degrees at night to being 60 in the last 4 days, and it's supposed to go back to 30 next week. Since I'm not acclimated to warm feet yet, I wore my Panda Silk No-Purl Monkey's yesterday (despite the lovely 72-degree weather) and I was cool and calm and collected all day. I'm going to have to make more of them for summer evenings.

12 January, 2009

Mah Bad

So remember how I got all choked up about my Pistachio Mitts because I looked at them hanging out of my purse and thought "it's not a good idea to leave them there..." but did anyway and then they got lost, proving (AGAIN) that I should always listen to that voice in my head?

Well, apparently I did, in fact, listen to that voice, because I found my mitts stuffed in the back pocket of some laundry-bound jeans last night.


Jacoby Mitts, Claudia Handpainted Yarns, "Pistachio," 160 yds.

I've already showed them to ManCandy with an appropriately shamefaced.. face. But it was a shame-face that had mitts, so it wasn't perhaps as sad as it could have been. Yearly yardage tallies have been adjusted accordingly.

Also, here is the Maybe It'll Fit Someone Hat, post-soak:

Cascade 220, red and Magik Purple-Blue
115 yds.

I handed it off to the Elder R-N today, and she was quite pleased. Or at least as pleased as a 10-year-old girl can be about anything. I wouldn't go back to being a pre-teen for an.y.thing.

I hit up Purlescence this weekend and cleaned out their remaining stash of Crystal Palace Creme, which netted me 2 extra balls of the brick red I had already, plus a couple of workable colors for yoke stranding. I cast on another Gauge Hat that is up to the decreases, and I'll begin the sweater tonight - preferably while watching Heroes, but maybe Dexter, or maybe Smallville. I also have to 'fess up to buying 4 bags of the pearl-colored Creme from Little Knits today. Seriously, WHY does all the yarn I lurve get discontinued? Just an FYI, if there's more of that Creme left by the time my next check hits my bank account, I'm picking up more, SPE be damned. It'll dye beautifully and I have every intention of knitting it into a myriad of sweaters and other such things. All for me. So hah!

And here is the Scarf #21 with crazy lace border things from Victorian Lace Today. I'm up to row 8, Brie, so I hope you're keeping up with my wicked speed!
Schaefer Anne, "Autumn"

10 January, 2009


Time it takes to get a bowl of cereal: 30 seconds

Time it takes to haul myself away from reading the internet in order to get the bowl of cereal: 3 hours

Today we're heading up to hang out with my ex and his lovely wife. The four of us used to live together in perfect harmony - the Ex and I broke up on extremely good terms - and we haven't spent any time together since my birthday, so this will be a fun evening. 

I finished the EZ Maybe It'll Fit Someone hat yesterday. Low and behold, it fits the Elder Relatively-Normal and also looks adorable with her Mexican cornrowed hair. I'm going to wash/block/weigh it this weekend and give it to her on Monday. 

This leaves me with a quandary as to which yarn to use for EZ's next project. I am remembering my dislike for crew-necked sweaters, but I think I should be able to skip the last set of decreases and make a cowl neck instead. The only issue is the stranded yoke - I haven't bought sweater yarn in 1-ball quantities, so I'm at a bit of a loss. However, Little Knits has the Crystal Palace Creme on deep sale, so I may be able to mix and match.I already have 10 skeins of it in my stash, so it won't count against me in the Social Pressure Experiment, which is extremely nice given the yarn acquisition that happened in December and the first week of January.

Anyway, I'm off to swatch and measure. And maybe practice my stranded knitting. Bloody floats.

09 January, 2009

The Knitting Workshop

Last night, I finished the Seeded Rib Scarf #6, hurrah! It weighed in at 168g, which is roughly 331 yards. Because I have become one of those people who anticipates finishing things (when did THAT happen?!?), I also threw some Cascade 220, some size 6 needles and EZ's Knitting Workshop in my bag. I cast on and made it through the ribbing and increases before I got sent home from work early to recuperate.

The Maybe It'll Fit Someone Hat
EZ's Knitting Workshop Pattern #1
Stash-busting Cascade 220

The knitting made it into the house, but the book did not - it's in the passenger seat of my car. I took the opportunity to start a pair of Cookie A's Mingus Socks while finishing Season 1 of The Tudors and a disc of Smallville. I'm quite proud of myself in terms of my choice of yarn - some Koigu PPPM I bought ages ago and was saving for when the Pope came to visit, apparently.

Cookie A "Mingus" sock
KPPPM "If The Pope Wore Green"

The pride part comes in because I tend to knit with the newest thing in my stash and save the older yarn for something "special," when really I should just dive in and use everything. I've never knitted with the Koigu before, but I'm liking it so far. I particularly enjoy the stitch definition; I'm hoping it washes well, since the Mingus is a pretty intricate lace pattern and I'd hate to have it get all felty and muddled like my Hedera Socks did. (That could be because I washed the Hedera's on HOT and then dried them in the dryer. I am sometimes a bit of an idiot.)

The pattern is lovely, but it requires attention, so I think I'll be leaving these socks at home for TV knitting. More time to work through Knitting Workshop!

08 January, 2009

Down for the Count

As the resident carrier monkey among my acquaintance, being ill means that whatever is going around is a doozy of a virus, so here's a wish for the good health of all my 3.5 readers. I hate being sick. I know that puts me squarely in the majority of everyone else on the planet, but I couldn't manage to keep my fingers from typing the phrase over and over again. Just once more: I haaaate being sick! This cold/flu/deathplague thing I have seems to be on an accelerated schedule - misery right now, but it does mean I will probably get better soon. Typhoid Tika that I am, I'm usually better before I'm no longer contagious. I promise not to be offended if you cross the street when you see me coming.

Being ill also means I get all scattered and a little forgetful, which could explain why I misplaced my Pistachio Mitts in a place where it is unlikely they will ever be found again. ARGH. I put them in my purse in the car, went into my house, and the next day they were nowhere to be found. I had a half-waking dream this morning that a kindly stranger picked up my poor mitts in the street and put them on the hood of the nearest car. Then the person who owned the car took them off the hood and is now enjoying lovely hand-knitted warmth and will maybe start knitting and someday will lose a pair of mitts, and some stranger will put them on MY car, and then the circle will be complete. Sominex plus NyQuil do strange things to my head.

I'm adding 200 yards to my finished total anyway. So there, fate!!

(someone please take away the cough medicine)

Here's the completed Hated Manos Scarf, all posed and pretty like the last 50000 Seeded Rib Scarves I've made:

And here's the Edgewater Scarf for Unka T:
Seeded Rib Scarf #6
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, "Edgewater"

It'll be done today; since I don't know when I'll get the chance to photograph in the morning again, I figured I'd take the opportunity to pose it appropriately. Only one more to go after this and I can send the whole lot off for a late Christmas gift. Sadly the Huron Shepherd Worsted is knitting up a bit more feminine than I'd like, so I'm going to toss it in the dyepot this weekend. Some navy blue will man it right up, I'm pretty sure.

Here are some shots from our outing on Sunday:
Backs of heads, L to R: Jasmin, Gigi, Cynthia, Chloe, Andrew

Please note the lack of baggage that means we are on our way to the yarn store, not away from it.
An artsy shot on the way to lunch

Afterwards, Chloe and I stopped by Cynthia's to clear out her Malabrigo Chunky stash:

Chloe has opened a Home for Wayward Yarn. She's been relieving friends of their yarns, knitting them up, and returning them (sometimes!) with a renewed purpose in life. I can only aspire to such generosity.
And speaking of generosity, Cynthia gave me this Malabrigo Lace yarn. It's just as bright and intense as it looks in the photo - by some miracle my camera picked up the red tones perfectly. I don't know what this will be yet, but probably something from VLT. I wish with all my heart that the Malabrigo Lace yarn came plied, because I would never want to knit with anything else. Ever. It's that lovely.

And this is a color called Oro y Vino. Cyn has an extra sweater's worth in her stash, and as soon as it shows up it's coming to me. It's not a color I would choose on my own, but the girls assured me it's becoming and that I should expand my color palette, so I'm gonna do it. After all, I spent a good chunk of time at the yarn store convincing Cyn to do exactly that, so it's only fair that I practice what I preach.

Later that night, Chloe and I sat in with Jasmin and Gigi to record their podcast. You should go listen. I'm all internet famous now, but I promise to remember you.

06 January, 2009

An Ominous Tickle

Yesterday morning I woke up with that feeling you get when you're not Really Sick yet, but you can tell that The Sickness is coming. Of course it happened on a Monday, and of course it happened on the day when I started my second job at the Visual Resources Library - formerly known as the Slide Room - at the University. This morning, the oddly-colored effluvia started, and now I'm fairly certain I'm In For It. Between the Emergen-C and the chicken soup, I'm hoping to stave off the inevitable day of laying on the TV room couch and whining to ManCandy for more soup until the weekend.

Last weekend, Jasmin and I went to Commuknity to take advantage of the closing sale. It felt a bit like picking bones, especially because I had never been there before, but I made good choices and stocked up on yarns I will definitely use. In fact, I've already started; on Sunday I finished a pair of Jacoby mitts out of a single skein of Claudia Handpainted. They're perfect, and I've barely taken them off to wash them. There are many more of these in my future, I can tell, although I may re-write the pattern to make them top-down so I can do two at the same time and have no leftover yarn.

I also finished the Hated Manos Scarf. Aside from the intended recipient, I dislike pretty much everything about this scarf. I bought the yarn back before I knew about dye lots, so the two halves are slightly different from one another. In the Seeded Rib pattern it didn't show so much, but when I tried to make a My So-Called Scarf out of it a million years ago, there were weird pooling issues and I ripped it out about 6 times because in addition to not knowing about dye lots, I didn't know that there's no fixing dye-lot related pooling.

Also I'm not a fan of the yarn itself. I find Malabrigo to be softer, more manageable and more consistently spun, and while the colors aren't as intense, I'm definitely willing to deal; after all, I'm the only one who was in the yarn shop looking at the two side-by-side. Gift recipients won't ever know the difference.

There are no pictures as of yet for the Pistachio Mitts or the Hated Manos Scarf. It turns out that when you have to be at work at 8:30 am instead of 1:30 pm, there is no time in the morning for taking pictures in the 9am light. At least not so soon after the solstice. However, there's an "in progress" picture of the HMS that looks like the finished object, so here you go:

Hated Manos Scarf, for Unka F.
270 yds.

I'll try to get pictures shortly, but in the mean time I'm trucking away at Seeded Rib Scarf #6. Only 1.5 more to go!