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?