Thursday, December 28, 2006

Not disappeared!

Nothing like a holiday to make you stop writing. Anything. To anyone. Ahh, relaxing. But now I'm back in my office and it's e-m-p-t-y. There are a few lawyers meandering around, but most of the support staff is off doing whatever it is they do in their off hours. Adult things, I'm guessing. Like vaccuuming. Dusting. Making hors d'oeuvres. Doing their taxes. I don't know.

An office this empty is both exciting and cause for worry. It can go one of two ways:

1. With so few people here there will be no work. For anybody. This is not terribly different for me than most days, but it's always nice first day back.
2. With so few people here any work that DOES come in will go to me, including things that I don't generally do because I don't know how.

Gratefully it's tending towards that first one, and I'm lazing about, enjoying my free Diet Dr. Pepper and catching up on blogs and news and comix, oh my.

On the ride up I spent the night with High School Friend Russ and his girlfriend. We celebrated Chanukkah, which was excellent -- it's not often I get to be part of an Actual Ceremony instead of my family's tradition, which is more "light candles for the first night or two, sing something about the Chanukkah bunny, hand out the traditional Chanukkah flashlights, call it a night" and less "praying".

Arrival in Philadelphia involving happy parents and dogs and some last-minute weaving in of ends. That's right, I waited until 11pm Christmas eve to weave in the very last ends on mom's mittens. I had this fear that once I snipped them they'd fall apart and I'd end up giving my mom a bag of crinkly wool. Merry Christmas!

All was well, and mom loved the mittens:

And said they were just like the ones she used to have when she was young. Ooh, that felt good.

(It's a bit of a silly face; she was mid-word).

Dad loved his hat:

I got a nice knitterly haul: VK's Stitchionary (vol. 1), a knitting-pattern-a-day calendar, 2 skeins of hand-spun, hand-dyed 2-ply wool/mohair that is lovely and which I have absolutely no ideas for, and THANK YOU GOD, a swift!

Finally! A swift! Not using knees! This is unbearably exciting.

The only thing is that it's table-top, not clamp which -- well, I'll see how it goes. And there aren't strings linking the arms so you have to pull them out one by one, which seems awkward. Still. Swift! Oontz! And it's a pretty one, too.

And pups had a good Christmas, too. Right, noodlies?

Hmm? Skritchies?

(I swear Scamp is made of jello).

*crunch crunch crunch*

And chew toys were chewed by all.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


slow as I am,

things get finished.

And it's good.

(Next question is: do I want to add a lining to the hat? (Dad's sensitive to itchy wool, and Andean Silk is full of pokey guard hairs). I have some Knitpicks baby alpaca laceweight, but it's blue, which is iffy with the red hat... hm...)

Now I have 1-4 weeks to finish the baby hat.

And then? The knitting world is MINE again!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Hat: too short? Decent length? And before you ask, no, I don't know how big my dad's head is.

Progress? Yes!

I finished the top of the second of mom's mittens and started work on the first thumb. Three times.

#44. To save on lots of grief (and ripping), remember that using a pattern makes a project go much faster! It's worth the money. Seriously.

Shedir 2.0 is finished! And... oh. It's a little short. AGAIN. It leaves earlobes out in the cold! I did 3 base increases instead of 5 because I measured it and darnit it seemed like it was going to work! I have a few options:

1. Rip back the crown, do another repeat of the lower cables, re-do the crown (ack!).
2. Carefully undo the cast-on edge and do some more ribbing (wouldn't look stellar).

I guess I'll go with option 2, though, as always, not optimal. It's far more exciting than ripping back the crown, though, because doing cables with splitty worsted yarn on size 1 needles? Ow ow OW ow ow. My wrists. Ow. I am actually astounded that my needles aren't permanently bent out of shape.

Pictures? No. But soon!

In the meantime, look! Loch Ness!

Aw. I miss Scotland.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh, innernet

Thanks to SiteMeter I've learned that my site's been popping up on a lot of google searches for nostepindes1, and so I thought I'd help a knitter out.

If you're in need of a temporary yarn-ball-making apparatus I highly recommend taking a toilet paper tube, cutting a slit in one of the edges, folding it in half longways, inserting the yarn end into the slit (for holding purposes!) and then wrapping around that. It makes a nice loose center-pull ball.

So, y'know, go forth, and, um, wind yarn! Or whatever.

I don't know. It's so boring here.

Me: Remind me again why the gym is a desirable place to go?
D: Because you feel so incredibly good when you walk out of there... Don't you?
Me: Not as good as I do with a beer, my knitting, and a good movie. I've never reached the "this feels great" stage of exercise.

#43. I pretty firmly believe that knitting will always trump exercise.

(Y'all! I'm in love with sitemeter. It's the stalkin-est voyeuristic toy ever! Not only do I know how many people visit, but I know what city, state and country they're in.

I know what kind of monitor and what operating system people use! I have no idea why that's at all necessary. It's creepy and totally wild.

Seriously, though! Holland! Finland! Canada! Korea (hi Beth)! Bulgaria (hi Lauren)! Germany! England!

It lists what people search for that brings them to my site. I want to help them with their searches! Nostepindes? Lace leaf pullover? Let's talk!

Also, frequent visitor from Sweden: drop me a comment! That would be neat!)

1 I was also puzzling over why I was the first hit when googling fair isle, and then, heh, I realized it was because I'd spelled it fair aisle, which is wrong. Not many people spell it that way, with good cause(see: wrong). Ergo, I'm the first hit. Heh. Errg.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


So. I was at the crown section of Shedir and tried it on (I'd been having some trying-on issues because if I stretched it that far then it'd fall off the needles, which, as we all know, = bad).

It's, um... well, look:

Yeah. It -- yeah. And do I know an teenagers who that might fit? More accurately, do I know-and-like any teenagers who that might fit? Big ol' no. So I'm not sure what to do. I could:

1. Rip that puppy because... well. I do that a lot. (Hat? What hat? I knit socks!)
2. Finish and donate... to... somewhere? I know someone going through chemo at the moment, but I don't know that it would fit her either...
3. Rip back to the body cables, rip back one repeat, do the crown, give to friend-having-baby? (Seriously -- without stretching this thing could fit a baby).

And I... dunno. And now I've spent lots of time on something non-Christmas, which makes for more of "HOLY HELL ONLY 21 DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS OH CRAP OH CRAP" because really, that is what Jesus was all about.

So I rooted through my stash and nostepinned-and-swatched a couple of yarns and HI COULD NOT GET GAUGE.

Except with some leftover Plymouth baby alpaca worsted of which I have not enough. Then I thought about ordering it, but if I'm going to order more then I may as well order the recommended yarn, eh?

Instead I ran to the yarn store on Sunday when I was all kinds of pressed for time, where I found out that they're not open on Sunday which is, to me, ridiculous. Yarn stores should be open 24 hours. I will become president and make this happen. Just you watch.

So, being the resourceful (read: impatient) young knitter that I am, I packed a ball of Knitpicks' Andean Silk (sizzle? What sizzle?), pattern, and... size... 1 needles? or similar and took off for Handel's Messiah, which I wouldn't have attended if the lovely-yet-blogless Kate weren't singing in it. Because y'all, it's 3 hours long. That is a lot of long.

I decided it wouldn't be rude to knit during the performance because Kate said it was okay. That is reason enough for me. Also, helps with the focusing on the music. I was able to keep the needle clinking down to a minimum and only dropped a needle once, which was far (far) less disturbing to the audience than the people in front of me who 1. kept coughing, 2. slept, and 3. left early.

I hate audiences.

After 2.5 hours I finished the ribbing (2.5 hours = 9 rows ribbing? Ouch) and post-dinner I went home, climbed into bed, did one section of the first set of cables (1/8 of the hat or 16 stitches) before putting it down so I could try to sleep. At 9:30pm.

The new hat, while not having gauge, SHOULD end up about 21.5", which is a solid hat size... I hope... So... still going on that...

And I did a row and a half on mom's mittens! Zowie!


#40. I wasn't kidding when I said I was slow. Sheesh.

#41. Next year, nothing more complicated than a potholder for christmas presents. Seriously, self.


Me, at work: Hm. What to get for friend of whose tastes I am currently unsure?

I know, I'll knit him a scarf!

#42. I just never learn.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Since I don't have anything knitterly to post (Shedir1 looks the same, just a smidge longer) and it seems to be required to post squeezy animal pictures on knitting websites, I present: Master Featherbottom! (I didn't name him. I called him wee one or ootie pootums (I lost any kind of grace I may possess while around animals)).

You may remember him from his previous yarn-hunting adventures. Here he is after escaping his cage (he wasn't fully house trained yet and had a big ol' cage to live in) (I was a little gun shy after one of the other cats I was briefly housing exacted revenge in a not totally unfamiliar sounding way), causing me to run around like a madwoman trying to catch him. Y'all, my apartment is 520 square feet. There's not that much space for him to run! Turns out my apartment is FULL of kitty-friendly nooks, including under my couch, and that big ol' hole under my cabinets (which, along with the giant hole under my dishwasher, has been since covered with duct tape which is klassy with a k).

Still, though, how hard can it be to catch a wee beast? AND YET, two hours later, here we finally (finally) were:

A-hee! Look, Big Kitty! I get out! I get out! I get out again! Eee!

I don't know if it's something with the camera or if it's a result of chasing the punkin around for two hours (after dancing for 3), but I look 50 years old here. Sheesh.

And that cat's trouble if I've ever seen it.

I get out again! Big kitty, I get out again!

1 On Nov 1 I put a moratorium2 on knitting projects that weren't destined to become Christmas presents (outside of extenuating circumstances like being around people for whom I'm knitting, or severe boredom). Shedir qualifies because it might be a Christmas present. That totally counts.
2 Why yes I do work in a law office. Why do you ask?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I just got burned out on knitting at the worst possible time (pre-Christmas). I'm too tired to even think about knitting.


Monday, November 27, 2006

It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that bling

I am cursed. It has become impossible for me to take a flight that leaves on time. Honestly. The weather gods mark my travel days in their calendar and start arranging major storms.

Because I'm cursed (seriously, there's no other explanation) I spent three hours sitting on a plane Wednesday evening (for a one-hour flight, yes indeed). At the gate I swatched for Girl From Auntie's Shedir. The yarn in question is Lang's Jawoll which was a part of my Prize! from Bridgette. Got on the plane and started ribbing away (that's right, ribbing is a verb. I rib, you rib, he/she ribs. That's right).

The thing, though, is that the pattern's a little weird. It gives a gauge commonly found in sock yarns (8.72 s/in), and yet the manufacturer gauge for Rowan's Calmer is 5 s/in. But what do I do when my spidey sense starts tingling?

BLINDLY BARREL AHEAD! That's right I do!

It seems to be going okay. Since the yarn's skinnier it's a looser fabric (it looks a bit better with the Calmer), but, you know, BLINDLY BARREL AHEAD! So I, um, hope it fits somebody. Like me. Or dad. It's not so much a man-hat, though, is it?

Before I left my apartment I looked at my stitch markers and thought, "Naw, I won't need those." I remember that exact moment. Naw, I won't need those.

I ribbed (totally a verb!) and got all keen on starting Wee Cable Action! And realized that hey! Stitch markers would be a really useful right now. Oh.


I searched my bag and found nothing mini and round. I had a broken keychain, but I couldn't quite break the links. So I asked the stewardess if she had any paperclips. Safety pins? What did I need them for? Oh, my knitting. Anything small and roundish?

She frowned thoughtfully. "Soda can tabs?" she offered. Yes!


I asked for five and she brought me two, but damned if it didn't work. Ish. Add to that the broken keychain (which, in my impatiance, I managed to at least partly dismantle) (see? This is why I never throw anything away. You never know!) and my ring and I was set.

I would have an artistic recreation but all the soda tabs would pop off and so they're, um, still up in Philadelphia.

The hat, you see, was a red herring1 for KAP (knitting around parents) and also because... well. The allure of a new project. You know. Turned out I didn't do any work on the mittens, nor did I even show them to anybody. Ah, well.

I tried cabling without a cable needle (I tried that first one) but it elongated the crossed stitches in an unattractive way, so I just used an embroidery needle as a cable needle and went about my business. Now that I know there are other options I may try them.

I went dancing on Saturday (12 hour dance, what what??) and during the half-hour breaks while the bands switched around onstage I would periodically pull out the hat. There were a ton of knitters there! It was very encouraging.

Also, I figured out how to fix a mis-crossed cable by dropping only one stitch! I am so clever. It's easiest with one-stitch crossings. If there's interest in a demo I can do a test swatch and document the whole thing.

For serious, though. Must finish mittens. Christmas is coming! (Christmas is coming! Run!)

#39. I think the internet has given me totally unrealistic expectations of how long knits should take from cast-on to cast-off.

1 "This all has nothing to do with my disappearing nuclear physicist husband or Col. Mustard's work with the new top-secret fusion bomb?"
"No. Communism is just a red herring."


Heather adjusted my photo! Thanks Heather!

The only thing that's missing is the low-level hum of radioactivity emitting from the wool. (Keep in mind that my clothing color of choice tends to be black, sometimes going as bright as gray). (You see why my knitting of the lace leaf pullover is therefore so perplexing).

(I finally found out how to get emails when people leave comments, so I'll actually know when y'all say something instead of finding it six weeks later! Yay!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Hubris Avenger strikes again!

There I was, knitting and knitting on the second mitten, cruising right along, feeling all pleased with myself at how fast it was going. I was mentally writing the entry about how good I'm getting about "reading" my knitting so I didn't have to use the excel graph of the pattern, and boy howdy aren't I cool!

I mean, observe!


And so, naturally, I was punished by the knitting goddesses! You'd've thought I'd've learned my lesson.

So the ribbing was a little longer in the second mitten (same number of rows = longer cuff? How?!), blocking would fix, surely! Look at me go! Zip zip!

Notice anything missing? Anything at all?

I'll give you a hint. It rhymes with "thumb gusset."

I cursed. I complained. I glared at the lack of thumb. And then I got to share with a friend the joy of frogging a knit. I picked up the stitches and handed it over with instructions to pull the long strands of yarn. Yup, just pull 'em.

I like letting my friends frog things. Paige frogged something for me at one point and she sat there and giggled, ripping out row after row.

Merely forgetting something so trivial as the THUMB and having to rip 12(ish) rows was only the beginning. All yesterday evening I found wrong stitches: blue where white should be, white where blue should be, increases in the wrong row, lost crochet hooks, and so on!

But it's still going, though quite slowly as I've been trounced by my hubris. Again.

I'm not really such a grouchy knitter, it's just that whenever something really good happens then I screw up mightily before I can get the joyous entry into my blog.

And then what did I see this morning? A primer for two-color Norwegian-style mittens by Eunny. It's great! So much excellent information!

That I really could've used back in, oh, September.


I also learned that the cuff I "made up" is called corrugated ribbing. Now, knitting has been around for waaaaay too long to presume that there's really anything "new" -- particularly something so, well, intuitive. (Once you hit fair aisle it seems only natural that one would go on to two-color ribbing). Still, though, it's nice to have a few days in which you think that maybe you've done something at least a LITTLE original.

Dear Hubris Avenger,
I am sufficiently humbled. Really. I won't forget this time. Thanks.

In other news, I was thinking about making my dad a scarf for Christmas. Nothing too fancy -- chunky baby alpaca in fisherman's rib (which is the only way to go with chunky baby alpaca). Thing was, it's kind of... boring. Lux, yes; but still boring.

My folks have a farmhouse with some land attached, and they love working in the fields/woods/yard, and it being PA, it gets cold. A scarf would work, but baby alpaca is too nice for such things.

So yesterday I graphed out a hat that compliments mom's mittens. Aw. ("Merry Christmas, dad! I got you a sweater! It's from Banana Republic.")

#38. Sometimes I just never learn. But it's still fun!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ooooh! Pretty!

How is it that I have no recollection of seeing this before?

I think it might have red-black-gray-pink yarn written all over it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More SAFF-tastic stories

I wish this photo had captured the colors right. If I had to guess, I'd say this cable-ful sweater was made with only the brightest Noro colorways. Something like this:

It was... amazing.

-ly bright.

And there were animals! I swear this alpaca was smiling:

I could totally fit an alpaca in my apartment.

And, of course, bunnies:

both terrified...

and ready to chew your face off:

And the purple/pink roving?


I was heading past one of the more wheel-laden stalls when a woman stopped me. "You look like someone who could help me with this," she said, holding up her cell phone.

I laughed. Clearly I have "teh g33k" scrawled on my forehead. I helped her find a phone number lost in the depths of her "recent calls" list and continued on my way.

And finally, as I was pulling out of the parking lot, I saw this:

A man and his alpaca trying to cross the road.

Dear fibre fair,
I love you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Work's gotten really busy so I haven't been able to write any knitterly anecdotes about how I frogged something else (or even finished talking about SAFF!). Then I went to Atlanta for a dance weekend (where, if I'd had free time, I would've hollered to the Atlanta knitters for a meet-up, but I had zero unscheduled time. Oof. But grand!

The first mitten is finished [except for the thumb] and after battling with some serious Second Mitten Syndrome I took the yarn and needles to Atlanta and during drinking-in-the-hotel hours I cast on for the second. I haven't gotten very far. It's not terribly interesting at the moment.

I'm telling you -- I'm so NOT a morning person that even my camera can't focus.

Over thanksgiving my grandmother (who originally taught me to knit AND
taught me to wrap the yarn around my finger which, ah-ha, made knitting way faster) is coming to visit. She wrote to say I should bring some ideas for knitting. This makes me giggle with excitement, and also... not have any ideas. I can show her the mittens, but beyond that? Sizzle's not really her thing (too low cut), I'm not working on socks, the scarf I started is pretty boring...

So perhaps I should start something new? (something else new). But what? I could bring the blue tweed, but that'll just be a stockinette sweater. New socks?

Okay. Honestly? I want to show off a little bit. I'll be bringing the lace leaf pullover with me, so that's something, but I want to be working on something. Y'know? Hm.

Oh, the scarf? It's coming from two skeins of Noro Blossom that I bought ages ago. Simple k2p2 ribbing -- I really needed a brainless project while I took a break from the mittens. The thing about the blossom yarn, though, is that it looks a little... ratty. The fabric has zero body. What keeps me going, though, is the stripes. Mmm, stripey... I might could give it away when I'm finished if I decide I don't like the fabric, but darnit I need more handknits. For me. Me me me.

"Why do I dance? [which detracts from knitting]

Why do I breathe?" - Someone (that's me in the black)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Okay. So I bought some luscious like whoa silk/merino fingering weight yarn in red and black (and pink and gray). I bought it with socks in mind, but I've been thinking, and Amy agrees, it's just too nice for socks!

So I put it to y'all: What do I do with 665 yards(ish) of fancy pants fingering weight yarn given that:

1. I don't really wear hats (I have short hair -- hats make me look bald)
2. I already have the same yarn (different color) set for a scarf
3. I don't wear shawls
4. Or vests
5. Or anything with more than one color, so much

Sooooooo... recommendations?

The yarn in question:

Monday, November 06, 2006


"Down from each project a few stitches must fall." - Me

Silver lining

I was running through the mitten-top decreases, and... it just didn't look right. But far be it from me to stop when things look wrong. Surely blocking will fix it! Maybe if I keep going it'll be okay!

And I was so close to finishing... [one mitten]... [except for the thumb]...

And it sucked. So frog-tacular!

Just the top, though. And the silver lining? I'm getting really good at picking up stitches and ripping back to them.

One step forward,

a third of a step back.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

#37. Picking up stitches in fair aisle? Kind of a pain in the butt.

Let's play "spot the mistake"!

Who wants to guess how many rows ahead of the mistake I am?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Over the weekend I had some request for a color palette generator. I'd been using it to custom-ify my blog (though I can't fix that one stripe of green -- arg!), but it was pointed out that it'd work really well for dying. These both bring out colors from a picture that you upload, and give the hex number of the colors.

So here's the word on the two best that I've found:

This one requires uploading from your computer. It allows from 9-27 variations, but doesn't always pick up all the major colors.

This one requires uploading from a URL. It offers 10 colors -- a set of 5 full and 5 vibrant. It's better at pulling the main colors of the picture -- no matter how small.

In the end, though, I used this one for my pink/gray scheme.

Hey, does anyone have a recommendation for a blog hit counter?

Monday, October 30, 2006

SAFF play-by-play!

My first Fibre fair. Oh heavens.

Miss Kate was supposed to join me, but couldn't at the last minute. Since I couldn't get in touch with MattAndJulie to see if I could stay with them on Friday night (because I'm a chicken and didn't call them but rather sent emails) and hotels = expensive, I decided to head out on Saturday morning.

Stupid early on Saturday my alarm went off (getting up at work hours on the weekend?! Sinful!) and I showered, pulled on my Lace Leaf Pullover for her debut, forgot to get breakfast, packed my camera, checkbook, and two (why two?) notebooks. Into the car, off to the gas station for brekkie (pound cake... it's almost nutritious!), and then!

A million miles to Asheville. Meaning 180. Which is plenty, thank you.

Some bad mapquest directions later (apparently "right" means "left") I found a parking spot and walked up to building number one! To my left was a building that had a sign saying "ALPACAS." Heep! Omg.

I walked in, and saw this:

And I believe my heart exploded just then. Two! It-- two floors! Of YARN! And FIBRE! I've never seen so much yarn in one place at one time. I've never seen so many knitters in one place! And spinners! My stash runneth over!

I started walking around the top section in a daze, fondling fibres and yarns as I went. How, I wondered, does anyone ever decide what to buy? There's just so much that the thought of settling on any one thing is completely flabbergasting. I'd set a basic budget, but was willing to overlook it if need be (how many fibre fairs do I go to? None. Well, one).

Clearly the best course of action was to wander the whole place, get an idea of what's around, then go back.


Oh BABY...

And I made it through the whole top floor and about 3/4 of the bottom floor before my hand fell upon some merino/silk. I squoze. I loved. My checkbook quivered in fear. A round rack of the softest, squoziest, most buttery, delicious yarn that I've ever felt. My knees went weak and I wrapped my arms around the rack and hugged the yarn.

Dignity? Overrated.

But this! This place! They understood. The vendors giggled at me and got it. Oh. Heaven! I eventually settled on a skein of fingering-weight variegated red/black/pink/gray yarn ("Power colors," the seller called it). "I don't care how much it costs," I declared to myself. "Wait, how much is it? Yeep! Um. Well. Whatever! Fibre fair! Gimmie gimmie gimmie!"


A few booths down I spotted some batting. Purple mixed with hot pink. Oh, it was sexy. Yes it was. I touched it. Soft! I picked it up and hugged it, ready to growl and snap at anyone who came near me. The vendor -- she and I chatted every time I made a lap around the bottom floor -- asked if I was ready. Oh! I'm just going to look around. I settled on just the batting. While I haven't, um, had much success with spinning yet I think proper motivation will really help. So pretty!

I ended up watching someone spin on an Ashford Joy -- the very wheel I've been thinking about getting. As I stood, mesmerised, the spinner's friend, Grace, started chatting with me. And hoo boy she was cool! Elizabeth spun away as Grace told me that she'd decided she was going home with either a rabbit or a spinning wheel.

Of course! I love it.

Then she let me know that there was a knitblogger meet-up.


I knew I started this for a reason. I tagged along and oh!

Oh. It -- oh. I have found my people! (well, my fibre-related people). They get me! They're just as obsessive as me and they speak my language!

Someone said "flash your stash" and my heart skipped a beat.

And I learned that apparently people read my blog! That is really exciting.

Hello, people! Leave comments!

And the Lace Leaf debut?

It shed all over my bag and bunched around my chest, but I've never been so proud of something I've knit. And that picture makes me so happy!

I ended up being very reasonable with my purchases. I got two more skeins of the merino/silk in a slightly heavier gauge in a stunning antique rose color.

I tried to find little gifts for my two local knitters, Kate and Andrea, but I just couldn't find anything. "Ah!," I'd say, "a little skein! ...of $20 silk. Right." I love them both, but in this instance it's not $20 worth of love.

There was a blogger meet-up at a pub at 7:30, but I was done by 4:45 and had nowhere to hang out before the meet-up, so with a heavy heart I went home. Good thing, too, because 8:45 rolled around and I went to bed. And slept for 13 hours. Heh.

More to follow!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dear Cobalt,
I feel like I need to be honest with you, and I hate having to write this letter. We've had some good times -- some really good times. From the first time I saw your cousin phosphor, to the time I saw you -- yes you -- on Savvy Minx's Etsy shop and knew I had to have you. And how fast you arrived! And your softness!

It was love. Deep, fast, wonderful love.

But there were problems almost immediately. You're thin. Really thin. And there's nothing wrong with that! I'm just... not used to it. I had to buy special needles for you. But still there were issues. I knit a swatch, I accounted for you and your incredible spi number. And I started, Cobalt, and you was too big. Way too big. And I've tried again -- two other times, which is no small feat with your, well, splitty nature.

No offense.

And I know this last disaster was my fault. I accidentally knit two different lengths on your picot edge and made it all lopsided, and when I tried to fix it -- it just didn't work.

Cobalt: I'm tired. I've tried so hard to make this work but I just can't right now. I've spent too many hours for no product, and I've... well, I've met someone new. She's new and squishy and -- she doesn't require size 000 needles.

Cobalt, I need some space. And I need socks more than I need a challenge right now.

I'll be back, I promise. And I'll be thinking about you until then.


*Soon, SAFF report!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh yes, and--

I cast on for my cobalt socks which -- even a glance makes me nervous, because -- oh... 10 spi. Size 0 needles. I feel faint.

So, with that gauge I decided to CO 80 for the picot edge because I have no imagination and couldn't find anything new/better than picot which would then be increased to 88 for the ankle. Ankle = 9" at 10spi gives me 90, minus 2 for snugability and easy division by 4 = 88 stitches! Right? (If you already know this is stupid then congratulations! You're smarter than me!).

Right! 88 stitches away! I knit maybe two rounds and... oh. It's kind of... big. This seems... wrong.

It was frogilated and now I'm giving up and have cast on something like 15 stitches per needle, which is my standard (and I'll increase a bit after the edge is done) and it'll be a nice Surprise as to whether or not it fits.


#36. Gauge in the round can be different from gauge knit flat. (Thanks to Stephanie I knew that too, but knitting a swatch in the round is too annoying to even consider).


You know what would be clever? Checking cold meds to find out if they're "daytime" or "nighttime" before I take them. Sure would be clever, that... So if I sound a little... off... then... it means something.

Because I'm a dreamer (sometimes) I entered another contest. A Name this Cardigan contest run by Brigitte of Wrapped Around My Finger. It's a lovely Norwegian sweater with red and white fair isle. I offered "Sunrise Cardigan," because with the zig-zags and all... you know... kind of sunrise-evocative, even though, you know, tbthh, boring.

And then I clicked on the picture from the patternmaker's website to get an idea of the finished project. Check it out:

Boy, I thought, she looks pissed! And so I added a name to my contest entry:

The Surly Norwegian.

I thought it was the peachy keenest. And apparently so did Brigette!

Okay, I wasn't the winner, but I'm a runner-up, which I think is just the coolest. I get a prize! I like prizes!

Aw, yey.

What else. Oh, so much else.

I tried on the Sizzle last night, and first of all:

#35. If you want to try on something that's on circular needles it's easier to put it on two circular needles (ideally the same size or smaller) so you can try it on instead of threading the whole thing onto waste yarn and then putting it all back onto the needles when you're done.


1. Oh... it's... oh, kind of loose... and a little... huggy of curves that don't want to be hugged... Oh... Well! Um... maybe it will improve when finished?
2. ITCHY ITCHY, OMG ITCHY! With the little bits of poke-y yarn! That wasn't supposed to happen!
3. Um, a wee bit short... I like longer torso'd shirts, and this one... well, it needs a bunch of inches to get it where I want it, but that puts the V neck at below the center of my bra... Oh dear... And I don't want to go back AGAIN...


1. Waste bin. Deny any knowledge of project. Sizzle? What sizzle? I make socks!
2. Frog, knit in a smaller size (and, I don't know, follow the directions this time?)(I'm concerned that this would hug the wrong curves. You know, the belly-curves, or the right-above-the-waistband-curves).
3. Knit an inch taller to get a length that just might pass and pray like crazy that the attached neckband will cover my bra.

I'm going for option 3. Wish me luck.

In other news, the jerks at Webs are having a beastly sale on Debbie Bliss Merino DK.

$2.75 per ball!

Holy shit! How can they do this to me?!

I debated briefly -- it's nearly perfect for the Classic Slant Cardigan (one spi larger, but easily adaptable), which I'd been planning to make for my mom. I'd been searching for months for yarn for the sweater, but it was all more than I wanted to spend or the wrong color and so I'd given up to work on the mittens (hahaha!).

BUT! Will I ever get to the project? What about the big makeup purchase yesterday? And the fiber festival this weekend? I need moneys for that!

So I asked one of my co-workers. She's a crafter too. Buy it! She said.

And I agreed. I have the project laid out, it'll never be on this big a sale again, and even if it doesn't work for this it'll be good for something else. If I don't get it now I'll likely just get it later and I may as well get it while it's cheap. So I did. Hee!

Finally: fiber festival! Eeee!

Query: is it geekier to geek out about yarn than it is about, say, comic books? Discuss.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I have decided that the mittens can wait until I finish at least the body of sizzle (never mind that October's almost over and I need to figure out some kind of knitted project for dad)("Look! I got you a movie!"). How far am I?

This far:

Mistakes and concerns galore: will it be long enough? Is the v-neck going to be too deep? Is it too wide? It looks too wide. Do I really have to weave in all those ends? Stupid ends. Am I going to roast? Is it going to look like a vest and therefore look ridiculous on me?

#34. The problem with knitting a garment is that you can't try it on beforehand. You never know if you just spent a few weeks to a few months (or years) on something that, in the end, makes you look like you just cut some holes in a delightfully colorful potato sack and chose to wear it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


A few days ago I checked on the mail status of the gifted "halloween" socks. After an hour or so of "What do you mean the package is being returned? What happened??" My sister-in-law heard back from the recipient who said:

Anyways, I did received a super, yummy, delicious pair of socks in the mail from ya today! Maybe the post office screwed up and didn't update correctly??? So thank you soooooooo much!!! Did you make these??? WOW!!!! They fit perfectly and you can see them on my tootsies in the swap thread!!! Feel great on my feet....I had to go to my podiatrist this morning and had another rather painful shot in my foot for a bunion/neuroma and it was great to have these to slip into when I came home!!!!!! I think they are about the prettiest pair of socks I've seen in a long time and with great autumn colors, too!!!!! Fabulous stalking!!!!

Thank YOU!!!!!

Boy did I turn red! I could've heated the office with my cheeks.

Her picture (probably the best representation of the color yet):

#33. Knitting rules.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh, expletive

It really helps to read the directions.

#32. "Every 6th row an additional 6 times" is very different from "every other row an additional 6 times" and would probably explain why the body seems so short.

Andean silk

*update* Can you spot the big, honkin' mistake that will warrant frogging about 15 rows? I can!

I just love this yarn. Smooth, next-to-skin soft, with just a hint of wool.

I am a little concerned that two balls of yarn have garnered me just this:

I'm notorious for buying too little yarn, and I should have way too much of this (according to the pattern, anyway), but I can't help but be a little nervous...

Sizzle pains

I managed to work, oh, fifteen or so rows of the back (though at the time I thought it was the front) before deciding that 1. I preferred ribbing over the seed stitch (indeed, I thought it was ribbing which didn't occur to me while I was working the seed stitch), 2. I didn't much care for the side slits, and 3. It would be way better knit in the round (hello, no seaming!).

Ripped it out, planned for working in the round, and started going. And going. And going. She says in the pattern that it can be whipped out in three days, and to that I respectfully respond, "LIES!" I've been working... a while on it, and even AFTER the frogging and reworking it's been two(ish) days and I'm only about a third through the waist shaping darts. The lower waist shaping darts.

It's a whole whole lot of stockinette (which I should get used to -- the tweed sweater-to-be is going to have the same) and the rows are loooong. On the other hand, I did want some fairly brainless knitting.

#30. Be careful what you wish for.

And, unrelatedly,
#31. When working a hem/picot edge you should cast on ten percent less than your total cast on and work the hem/picot edge, and then increase back when it's done. I could've used that information several weeks ago, kthx.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


The cobalt is is really splitty and runs about 10spi on size 0 needles.

These socks are going to kick my ass. *whimper!*

Friday, October 13, 2006

And like magic...

Linda of The Yarn Tree wrote me back. She's facing a book deadline and is in fact in Canada at the moment, so yarn will be ordered upon her return to Brooklyn.

I could be snarky about this whole ordeal, but you know, life's too short.

Also, I'm all aglow with my love for cobalt. Mmm, cobalt...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stores and the act of lightening one's wallet

Y'all, the Yarn Tree (yarn shop in NY) is really disappointing me. I ordered some yarn and roving, and put in an order for some Schaefer Anne yarn. They said they'd send it out when it arrived. That was back in August. It's now October, and I am Schaefer-yarn-free (they haven't charged me for it yet). I've written them twice and haven't heard back. That = all kinds of no good. Alas. I guess I'll call them tonight. Man.

In good news! I bought some sock yarn (since I can't be bothered to wait around for the Yarn Tree anymore)! Guys. It = unreasonably pretty. Will post a pic soon. Seriously, though, you will die with the pretty. And it arrived wicked fast! But is way small. Possibly too small for my size 1 dpns. Oh dear.


Cobalt from Savvy Minx! I'm in love.

Also, I've recently become directed to Little Knits where, hello, deep discounts! Oh my god!

You know, I've never been fond of tweed. Like, ever. And then I saw Brooklyn Tweed's Seamless hybrid, and y'all, I felt a Deep and Wild Lust rising from the Fibre-ous Core of my body.

And so 12 skeins of (discontinued?!?!) Dale of Norway Sisik in navy blue is winging its way towards me. Right now. Mmm, sweater materials...

BUT -- can I figure out waist shaping? And arm decreases? Only time will tell.

New new new new new!

After finishing the purple socks and declaring the Hateful Green Sweater close enough for government work (and waiting on finding the perfect bead -- how hard is it to make a nice wooden toggle, people? Honestly!) I spent, oh, two evenings on the couch occasionally looking around in bewilderment that I didn't have anything to work on, really.

(The mitten may need to be tinked back a row and... I'm just not feeling that kind of enthusiasm right now, what with the stupid thing maybe being too SMALL now, stupid mitten; the long-denied baudelaire sox? Too complicated and may be frogged since I'm not convinced that yarn is going to stand up to sock wear; tubey? Scott's hat? Baby hat?

...right. Well. Um. Look! A diversion!).

So I finally ordered Knit and Tonic's Sizzle pattern. I've been good about waiting until things were finished before starting it but I have a pile of Knitpicks' Andean Silk with Sizzle's name on it.

Can you stand another gauge story?

Pattern requires 5spi. Andean Silk on size 5 needles gets me 6spi. No problem! I will just cast on for a slightly bigger size because bigger size = more stitches, and with more stitches to the inch, all will be as it should be.

Cast on for the back! Seed stitch! So pretty, and so slow!

I went about four rows before thinking that hey, this looks a little long. I'm by no means tiny, but this seemed... excessive. I pinned it out and measured it: 25". I measured my back: 20". Ah. Yes. But... wait.

I'd cast on 122 stitches, divided by 6spi = 20.3".

How... how did I get 25"? Is... does seed stitch have a totally different gauge than stockinette? Is every calculator I've used broken?

Well. I cast on for the smaller size and it seems to be going better. My brow is still squozed together in confusion, though. How?

#29. Gauge is a cruel, cruel mistress.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Finished things?!

Yesterday I decided it was Finally The Day I was going to work on the green sweater. Finally get those extra stitches worked out.

Plan 1:
Drop the stitches down, combine two right above the ribbing, pick up the stitches, re-graft. Again. Oh, grafting.

The drop:

The pick-up:


Plan 2-50:
Ungraft a bit, move the k2togs to under the arm aways, re-graft (ARG).

Something weird had happened with the beginning of the graft (AGAIN), and so finally ended up with this:


Close enough.


Not ideal, but yay socks!