Saturday, September 30, 2006


So Hello Yarn's mitten pattern suggests a women's small/medium mitten size is about 8" around. In 6 s/in that would be 48 stitches. Okay!

I checked my pattern, and, lalala, six stitches to the inch, and I have, let's see, one, two, three... doop de do,

eighteen, nineteen, twenty... dum te dum,

fourty-one, fourty-two, fourty-three... dee-tee-dee,

fifty-four, fifty-five, fifty six... I -- oh crap.

Sixty?! A ten inch circumference?! No wonder it feels huge!

But... how on earth did I decide on sixty? I don't even know!

Heep! How am I going to lose... carry the one... twelve stitches from the pattern?! Okay, less because of ease, but STILL!

Crap. I think the frogging has been confirmed... But at least now I can fix the ladders which are all "HERE WE ARE! LOOK AT US! UGLY UGLY UGLY!!"

At least they are to me.

That's right, my knitting talks to me. You be quiet.

#25. When planning mittens and accounting for gauge, and you happen to have a tape measure and, oh, I don't know, your hand, it's a good idea to measure your hand, dopus!

#26. Der.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

#24. Fair aisle really is addicting. Knitting 2 blue, 1 white, 5 blue, etc. a bunch of times and watching a pattern grow is super neat.

I'm definitely enjoying knitting mom's mittens.

The back:

And the front:

The thing is, though, is that it's looking a little, um, big. In theory the alpaca lining will be tighter and therefore a looser outer mitt will be okay, but... well. I guess I'll find out. I'd be so sad if I had to frog the whole thing though. And also, I'm sort of making up the thumb pattern as I go along. Hee!

It's so pretty...

But there are two slightly-too-wide white ribs and ooh they're annoying. I guess they're ladders -- they were at the bit between the needles... How to fix?

In conclusion, I wish I knew CSS as well as I know knitting, because this formatting thing is driving me batty.

Conclusion addendum: yay beer.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Block, baby, block!

Knitter Inferno!

Well, thank god that's over. Now I can work on projects for me! Like mom's mittens!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Not much progress to report. Tuesdays = nearly zero knitting since I leave the house about an hour after waking up and then get home ten minutes before I go to bed.

And yesterday I had to pack for Feet Retreat this weekend! Heep! Excitement! Three hours and fifteen minutes until departure! I brought the "halloween" sock and my purple sock that actually doesn't fit very well, but who knows how much time I'll have for knitting.

I had the "halloween" sock with me at Ihop on Tuesday night and hauled it out to show Kate, Andrea, and Tristan. Kate agreed that it is, indeed, ugly. Well, at least it's almost done.

It's good to have confirmation.

In other news, I am loving how many contests knitting blogs have. Seems like there's one a week. I never win, but I still enjoy entering. The latest is on January One's blog:

How to win: WRITE A HAIKU. But not just any haiku. YOU MUST USE AT LEAST THREE OF THE FOLLOWING WORDS IN YOUR HAIKU: january, one, rock(s), jet, fall, sheep, wool, feet (or foot), knit, yarn, pirate, fest, dude, fantastic, worm (that is WORM. With an O. My 5.5 yr old nephew gave me that one.) AND EVERY HAIKU MUST USE THE WORD SOCK. (So that means FOUR REQUIRED WORDS.)


Some pirate gift thoughts:
One sock for foot, wool cozies
for peg leg and hook.

Which leads me to:

#23. When it comes to free yarn... well, let's just say I'm easy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In other news, here is first sock:

I'm working the gusset decreases on sock: the two.

#22. The more projects you have going at once the longer it takes to finish any of them.
Because I'm thrilled I managed to figure this out:

How to do a Fisherman's rib!, a photo-tutorial by your very own Fibre Monkey.

Are you ready?

Cast on however many stitches, and knit one row.

Now begin ribbing! Purl stitches are as normal, but knit stitches are knit into the row below.


To compare, this is how a normal knit stitch goes:

If you ever knit with a super soft, cushy yarn you must (must) use this stitch.

Incroyable, non?

Monday, September 18, 2006

I earned myself some craftster/knitterly karma this weekend. I'd written up the Rebecca Wrap with Sleeves not only for myself, but also for some craftsters that, I recalled, had some issues with the pattern as I did. Upon searching craftster I couldn't find the original thread. Indeed, no one had written about it in some time.

After some debate I posted it anyway, to the delight of two knitters. I felt all cool. I may not have cool designs, but dammit, I can decipher patterns like nobody's business.

Then one of those women asked me for some yarn substitution help, and I walked her through the magic of stitch/row ratio (I learned it from Stitch & Bitch Nation).

[your stitch gauge]/[pattern stitch gauge] = stitch ratio
[your row gauge]/[pattern row gauge] = row ratio

Multiply stitch ratio by all stitch numbers in pattern, ditto row ratio, rounding as needed.

Which brings me to an unrelated thing I've learned: When I've had a glass or two of wine and something good happens I giggle in a highly embarrassing way. Seriously. I sound like a little girl on helium.

#21. Knitterly karma is never a bad thing. Know that some knitter, somewhere, has helped you. Pay it back. Or forward! Sideways?
As I am (eternally) in need of clothes, I took one of my rare trips to the mall yesterday. And you know what are in? Bulky knits. And knits in general. (Okay, I know most everything is knit and therefore is always "in" in some manner or another, but I mean things that could, potentially, be hand-knit).

While I'm totally excited that fashion is turning towards knitterly things, it's also, um, kind of painful.

See, it hurts to think about buying something that I could knit myself. And also that all the knits are acrylic. Ick.


I could make this. I could make it not in acrylic. I could make it for a mere five six times the price. How could I, a knitter, an artist, buy something I could make?

I can't!

The thing is, though? I won't. I wouldn't make it. It doesn't Speak to me (see #4). I like it (wait -- since when do I like cardigans?), but it's not $120 and three months' work worth of like. It is, however, $20 and a reluctant concession of acrylic worth of like.

So I bought it.

But I feel ashamed! Like I need to slink home and hide it in a dark corner of my closet so my other knits don't see it! Like I need to put a tag on it: Not Hand Made. Like I'm a bad knitter!

I'm not. I'm a sensible, impatient knitter. Ergo, the purchase. Still, though, shame!

And what about inspiring knitters, both old and new? I'm all for inspiring new knitters, but I feel like the price of yarn and the allure of a $20 bulky knit sweater might scare them away from the agony and ecstacy of a asymmetrical first sweater filled with flaws of every variety. I guess it's all plausible. The ones who love it will stick with it.

#20. Knits in vogue are a mixed blessing.
I had a free weekend for the first time in a long time (and for the last time for a while), so I made some fierce kind of progress.

Let's explore!

I finished the first halloween/camo/mess of concerns sock. For some reason I neglected to take a picture of it. It looks like a sock. And the color... is okay. It's not so much "HEY, HALLOWEEN-STYLE!" as "Oh, you say this is halloween-themed? ...Okay, okay, I could see that."

I'm still a little concerned about the size. I didn't like the information about foot size I found on the internet, so I thought I'd find a size 7 and get a measurement. I asked a bunch of friends what size feet they had, and since I hadn't talked to most of them in ages it was a little awkward.

Me: Hi! How've you been for the past three years? Um! What size feet do you have?
My friends: ....?

But I got a decent estimate for sock length. However, look at the unfinished sock as compared to the sock for me (remember: camo sock = size 7, purple sock = size 9):

Yeah... Oh dear. Well, it's a little too small for me, length-wise, so it'll be okay, right? ...right?

I have to wonder, though, after all this work and worry, will the receiver of socks even appreciate a hand-knitted item? Will I even find out? Does it matter?

I cast on for the second sock at Scott's house last night, and it took me all of The Royal Tenenbaums (including the credits) to knit up just the picot edge (which included making a crochet chain by hand and praying that it was long enough). Still, though, I thought for sure I'd make it to the heel.

Don't have a picture of that either. Heh.

Hanyway. Because I am Single-Minded and Noble in the Gifting of Socks I definitely did not work on other projects, because I am Totally Unselfish and Need Not the Garments for Self. My only concern is the Woolifying of Others! Noble. Yes.

So you should realize that all the following pictures are hypothetical progress. You know, as if I were so Rude as to work on something other than the Socks this weekend. These are all Photoshopped. Yes, that's it. I am a master of Photoshop.

First up, a blur-tastic shot of my re-working of the hideous grafting start/end point:

It took me all of an episode of "Sex and the City" to figure that one out. It looks like I'm decreasing two stitches, not just one. And while it looks like a proper decrease now (without holes! This is a serious victory) it's still a decrease in the middle of stockinette and stands out like a black person at a republican convention (zing!). (Joke survey: Tasteless? Hilarious? Discuss).

So it's still ugly. I think what I'll do is drop the stitches all the way down to the ribbing, do the decrease there, and then chain all the way back up. I'm a little worried that the new, chained stitches will be loose, though. And that it'll pull the ribbing in a weird way. Well, only one way to find out.

I also wove a large number of ends in. It's possible I got a little lazy at the end and started wondering if anyone was really going to check the inside of my sweater for unwoven-in ends. I mean, I don't care if there are loose ends. And none of my real friends will care either. Ahem.

In similar news, here's how it looks these days:

(It was incredibly tilted on the hanger, so I tilted the camera. It's artistic. Shut up).

I also definitely did not work a few (and I mean a few -- like 2) rows on my purple sock, but if I had, it might look like this:

My first pair of socks (which are less "mistake rib" and more just "mistake;" see Thing I've Learned #12) got a hole in one of them, and now I'm desperate -- desperate! -- for socks.

I also didn't do more work on my mom's mittens.

But if I had, I might note that holy hell I love this texture:

(I found the super-macro button on my camera! Hellooo, super close-ups!)

And the last thing I would do, because this would be too slimy for words, is swatch with some scraps of Classic Elite Princess for the Rebecca Wrap With Sleeves.


Really, I would never do such a thing.

(Extreme close-up! Whoooooaaaaaa! Whoooooaaaaaaa!).

My grandparents sent me a very nice check for my birthday, and so while I am an Adult who does Mature, Responsible, Adult Things and plan to put some of it towards one of those Funds that will become Important Later, I also feel it's my duty to spend some of it on me towards awesome self-related things. Maybe to an Amazon gifting, or to a sweater's worth of Classic Elite Princess, because I love that yarn so hard it hurts. I don't know if it's Rebecca Wrap Sweater material, though. Hence, theoretical swatch.


#19: When making socks, only measure feet when sock-receiver is standing. There's a giant difference between sitting feet and standing feet. Trust me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Out of boredom I started looking up information on my birthday on Wikipedia (a website with which I have a GIANT GLARING issue, but that's another entry for a different blog), and I clicked on the link for BBC's on this day.

Violence, violence, death, and -- wait a second... YES!

1954: National trust buys remote island.

Turns out that on my birth day (not birthday) "The National Trust for Scotland has taken control of Fair Isle, famous for its bird life and knitted sweaters." HA! Hahahahaha!

Brilliant! Sweaters! Scotland! Me! September 3!

It's all connected. World cohesion! Or maybe just ego cohesion.
The yarn for Karen's comissioned halloween socks showed up. She'd requested orange and black stripey socks in a size seven, and I said sure!

Because I am delusional.

TURNS OUT, orange and black stripey sock yarn? Seriously hard to find. At all. Ever.

But I found this:

It seemed halloween...ish, and I sent the link to Karen, and she liked it, so I ordered a skein and waited.

I was finally able to pick up the yarn the other day, and set about casting on the picot edge and went for a while and... oh... there are some problems.

1. It's less "halloween" and more "autumn-ish." Karen was okay with this, so oaky.
2. It's not really "autumn-ish" so much as "hunter's camo colored." Lots of dark olive green which I'd thought was yellow.
3. It's only got 270 yards. The website says that'll give you a pair of socks on size 3 needles. I'm using size 1.
4. Size 1 needles gives a firmer fabric than I thought it would. I tried 2s, but it seemed a little loose.
5. I can only hope they fit. They fit ME, but I wear a size 9 and the swap buddy wears a 7. How much do ankle/heel sizes vary? Not much, right? Right?
6. Even though I'm getting refunded, it was kind of expensive.

But hey! On the plus side,
1. It's lovely yarn. Not so much the color, but the yarn itself is nice.
2. It's going pretty quickly.

It's more vibrant and there's more orange in it than this... But not much more.

Hoo boy. I think I'll just tell Karen that if she thinks they're too ugly for words she doesn't have to buy them.

And here's the progress on the purple picot socks for me, which are on hold until the camo halloween socks are done.

Back in the days when I first started knitting I fell in love with a certain sweater:

The Rebecca Wrap with Sleeves (golly, I love that name):

Alas, the pattern (PDF) didn't... make a whole lot of sense. I knew how to do fisherman's rib (though not, technically, how it's described in the pattern, but hey -- I'm a rebel. And I'll take my victories where I can get them, thank you).

So! I did what I do whenever work is slow, I figured the pattern out. And now that I look at it, dag, it's simple.

Sizes: 10/12, 14/16
WP: Work pattern (fisherman's rib)

CO 75(79) sts and work in fisherman's rib to 84cm.

WP 33, CO 9(13) sts, WP 33

This is where you work one side at a time.

Since you will be working each side from the outside in, this will be the same for both sides:

WP 28, K2tog, K2tog, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 26, K2tog, K2tog, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 26, K2tog, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 25, K2tog, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 2 rows
WP 26, Inc1, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 27, Inc1, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 27, Inc1, Inc1, WP1
WP back to outside
WP 28, Inc1, Inc1, WP1
WP back to outside
Place stitches onto stitch holder, then repeat for other side!

WP 33, CO 9(13), grab stitches off stitch holder, WP 33

Work another 46(48)cm, then repeat the armhole. Feel smug.

When finished armhole 2, work another 84cm, then bind off. Ideally, your total height will be 222(224) cm.

SLEEVE, make 2

CO 34(38) sts, and work in stockinette, starting with a purl row.

Work to 29(23) cm, end with WS row

K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 7 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 7 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 7 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 5 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 5 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 5 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 5 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 5 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 5 rows,
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 3 rows
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Work 3 rows
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Purl across
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Purl across
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Purl across
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Purl across
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Purl across
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
Purl across
K1, Inc1, K to last 2 sts, Inc1, K1
66(74) sts.

When work measures 56cm, BO all sts.

Block, seam, wear!

(Since the green sweater has settled me firmly in denial I will ignore the fact that this sweater will likely ALSO not look good on me).

The ssks have been replaced with K2togs.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thing I've learned
#16. It is never a bad idea to carry a knitting project with you.

Well! After ripping, re-knitting, knitting new and omg-I-hate-this-so-much grafting, the biggest pain in the ass sweater ever is closer to done!

So now I can weave in the remaining ends and maybe re-sew the sleeves and add a button and maybe re-block it and then I'm done, right?



That is my poor, poor grafting start-and-end point. I don't EVEN know how to fix it. HOWEVER, it's right in the middle of a sea of stockinette and HI stands out so painfully much.

Maybe a tastefully placed pin?

(The other tragedy? It still doesn't look very good on me. It's cozy, though).

#17. There are professional finishers for a reason. And it's not just because people are lazy, Lazy McLazypants.

#18. As clever as it is normally, seaming with embroidery floss is NOT a good idea with bulky yarn.
Stories! Now in reverse chronological order!

Story the 1!

I had no inspiration this morning for a packed lunch. I had cereal, but there's no milk at the office. I had pasta, but didn't feel like making it. I had a frozen dinner-style lasagna, but that lost its appeal immediately after I purchased it approximately an eternity ago. No bread, not enough spinach for a salad, only one granola bar... So, even though I really ought to not take lunches because I have time to make up after leaving early to get poked in my most enthusiastic bits while wearing a short blue wrap jacket and NO pants, hello, my bottom!, I decided it was an order-food kind of day.

I re-packed my knitting (the second picot-edged sock) for easy removal, headed downstairs, and got a huge shock when I stepped outside.

It-- it was cool out!

It's always a surprise when I go outside after/during work. I'm stuck in a super air-conditioned nook (some people use space heaters in the summer. Seriously) where the only way I can find out what's going on outside, weather-wise, is if I somehow develop x-ray vision. I go outside, and surprise! It's been raining! Or snowing! Monsoon! Plague of frogs!

Lately, however, I step outside and am immediately crushed by the sweltering ick of beastly heat-and-humidity. This might be caused by living down south. Sources are being consulted. But you can see, then, why it was so exciting with the coolness and overcast-itude?

Immediately the knitting jumped into my cool(!!) little hands, and I re-commenced picking up gusset stitches. It was glorious, the walking with the knitting and the loveliness. That's right, I can walk and knit at the same time. Unless I drop a stitch.

And then I came back and had my croissant-turkey-lettuce-tomato-strawberry-cream-cheese sammich (actually kind of disappointing) and sweet potato fries (sweet, sweet manna).

Gorgeous. Makes me wish I had a chair on my porch. And that I wasn't going out dancing tonight so I could enjoy it. HAH! Skipping a dance! That's funny.

Right! On to Story the 2!

As mentioned in Story the 1 (you were taking notes, yes?), yesterday I went to have my excitable parts manipulated and checked. I'm all over leaving work early. Less so much for this. Especially when I remembered the part about peeing into a dixie cup. Oof.

ANYway, being well schooled in the art of sitting in waiting rooms, I made sure to be clever enough to bring picot edged sock 2 (see: Story the 1) with me. I worked the heel a bit in the waiting room. And a bit more. And a bit more. And I didn't have a measuring tape OR the other sock with me to check how much farther I needed to go (I would like to note here that I plan to have a ruler tattooed onto my body somewhere. But where?), so I just guessed. I seem to remember deciding that my thumb is 2 3/4".

I got a few curious looks from a wee boy of about 6 years accompanying his pregnant and exhausted mother. He clearly wanted to ask, but I didn't offer so as to not bug his mom. She'd clearly had a long day.

Finally I got called in (was it 30 or 40 minutes after my appointment was supposed to start?), peed in a cup, reported on the status of my monthly ovary parties, and then got to sit in a whole new spot to wait!

And lo, here came the curious wee gent and his mother. Sitting next to them was a mother and her daughter, looking miffed. As clearly as mom-of-wee-one was tired, so too were these women pissed about a long wait.

Continuing on my way to being solidly clever at least once a day I pulled out my knitting again. Young boy asked his mama what I was doing. She noted that his nana does that, doesn't she? Yeah, he said, his eyes never leaving my needles.

We talked for a while, he and I, about
-how many needles I have
-how the yarn changes color
-how there is green in the yarn
-how there is green on his shirt, but different green
-how his nana does that (turns out she crochets)
-how blankets are big and take a long time
-how my knitting will get bigger (this was a popular topic)

His mama asked if I was knitting baby booties. A generally reasonable question, given the location. I said no, they were for me. Then wee one asked about my baby. I told him I don't have one. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"Not all women have babies," his mama told him. Brow furrowing. I could see his mind trying to wrap around that notion -- woman + baby doctor place ≠ woman with baby? Old lady without baby? (he's six -- or whatever -- everyone over 10 is old). It was totally charming. His mom wasn't convinced of that ("now you're never going to want kids") (which showed that her thinking wasn't too far off from her son's), but I enjoyed it.

While my needles didn't make it into his hands, as the Yarn Harlot suggests, it wouldn't surprise me if he asks his nana to show him some crochet when he sees her next.

Craft on, wee one. Craft on.
Hee! Polar bear scarf.

Monday, September 11, 2006

One of my favorite knitting stories from when I was fostering the wee beastie, who is now known as Master Featherbottom. The yarn under attack is the Tubey made with eBay alpaca.

The great yarn hunt: a story in six chapters.

Chapter 1: The wait, in which we see some domesticated feet. AND the approach of the wild knitting.

Chapter 2: The spotting of the great gray yarns.

Chapter 3: The stalkening.

Chapter 4: The attack.

Chapter 5: I'm glad I'm wearing jeans.

Chapter 6: Post-hunt belly rub.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Dang. My pronunciation would be way better if I spelled it right. It's Clapotis, not clapitois. Now how did I manage to get that so wrong?

I lower my needles in shame.
According to the Cast-on podcast mitred is pronounced "MIGHT-erd" and clapitois is "clap-o-TEE."

I'm not putting this as a "thing I've learned" because I refuse to believe it. I demand that it's "MEET-rd" and "clap-ee-TWA."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Well damn. I wasn't going to have a blog. I can't even keep up the three (THREE) that I have already. Not to mention I'm the world's slowest and most distracted knitter and will NEVER update, will NEVER get the pictures on the computer, etc. But it seems like a solid place to keep up with my knitterly projects, and work IS slow, and it seems like an addiction that's getting worse rather than going away, so maybe it'll happen. Or something.

So. An introduction, so you can see the mess I'm dealing with!

On the needles (and actively being worked on, if only occasionally):

1. Knitty's Tubey, made with alpaca from eBay; modified with 3/4 sleeves; size 3 needles, because eBay LIED and there is NO WAY that fabric would be anything but netting on the recommended size 6 needles. The arms are knit and need their ends woven in (and the seed stitching on the ends of the sleeves probably need to be ripped and re-done because it's a fierce kind of wonky). Am currently on the body, which I used to carry with me and work on while bored, but it's gotten a bit too big for my bag. Also, not encouraging as even with fresh yarn it looks like a rag. Also, k3p1 takes an ETERNITY.

2. Lace Leaf Pullover in Classic Elite Princess doubled, on DAMNIT I FORGOT WHAT SIZE needles. I was so close to being finished! So close! There was DRAMA, with the being SO CLOSE to finishing and then RUNNING OUT OF YARN. I bought the yarn on SALE for $4 and then had to buy one more for $10. It was a sad, sad day. There was pouting.

And then I decided that the body was too short and I UNgrafted the middle and it's now waiting on my chair to be knit more, then REgrafted, at which point it will be summer and I will have to turn my air conditioning to "Canadian winter" just so I can wear the damn thing.

The real tragedy is that it was actually going really fast until I started running out of yarn.

3. Scott's hat. I'd bought a skein of Knitpicks' Decadence in Twilight to see if it was anything like Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande. And they ARE, in that they're both yarn. Beyond that, no. No they aren't.

But Scott wanted a hat! I will knit you a hat, I said, for I am a knitter, and no self-respecting knitter will let a friend BUY a hat. Alas, I have no pattern/plan/ideas yet, because I've been distracted by all the knits listed below. I did cast on while on a flight to... Stockholm? and knit one row, put it in a bag, and haven't touched it since. The leaves are starting to fall. I need to get my butt in gear.

It's not even worth a photograph at this point.

4. A baby hat with Blue Sky Alpaca's bulky in polar bear. This pattern, actually. But I haven't bought the pattern because 1. it's super simple, and 2. patterns are for suckers. But I have until about January, when Miss Kat's baby is due. It's on the wrong size needles, though ( 10.5 when 13 is recommended), so it needs to be frogged. Since it hasn't, though, and since it's on a deadline, it still qualifies as being on the needles.

5. Knitty's Baudelaire socks, made with hand-spun brown alpaca from Ouray, CO; size 2 bamboo needles; modified for knee-highs. My first successful toe-up attempt. I'm not confident that this yarn will hold up to wearing in a sock-like manner, but here's hoping. The other problem is that the yarn has a bit of a halo and doesn't show the pattern very well.

Unfortunately, this project has been cast aside for:

6. Top-down, picot edge ankle socks from Wildefoote's sock yarn in Symphony that I picked up (and apprently dearly overpaid for) last Saturday. Plain stockinette, first picot edge attempt, as learned from Purlwise here. The new carry-everywhere project. The colors shown here are hilariously off. It's much darker than this. I thought sunlight was supposed to encourage color accuracy! Curse you, brain, and your lies!

But this, too, has been tossed aside at home for:

7. Norwegian mittens that I am designing myself because work gets kind of boring sometimes. They're for mom, for Christmas. Yes, I'm trying to start early. This is good because I always make things SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED than I ever anticipate them being.

Me, pre-project: Designing my own Norwegian mittens? Easy!
Me, during project: Now... wait. That doesn't work. Hm, that either. Hoo! That's ugly! Etc!
Me, Christmas: Merry Christmas, mom! I burned you a cd.

During slow days at work I researched Scandinavian mittens, guessed at gauge, and excel'd a basic pattern, praying that I'd get 6s/in. When I was really sick of researching yarns (about a day) I ordered me some Telemark from Knitpicks in alpine frost and cream, and a skein of Alpaca Cloud in stream because I have this notion that these mittens deserve a baby alpaca lining, the inspiration for which I can't find, but I am confident that I'll be able to figure it out ("Look, I also got you a book!").

There's actually a baby mitten (possibly knit by my grandmother years ago?) that would be BRILLIANT to reproduce in an adult size, but of COURSE it's at my parents' home in Philadelphia, where I won't be until Thanksgiving, and who wants to wait that long to knit something exciting? I mean really.

I started the other day, and have this Idea for a 1x1 ribbed cuff (the straight cuff seems like it'd be less good for keeping out the cold), with the blue and white alternating. Blue, knit, white purl. Right?

WELL. I couldn't find a two-color cast-on online OR in my Vogue Knitting, so I just made one up. The first time I tried a slip knot in blue, then a slip knit in white, then CO a blue, then CO a white, etc. This makes a really small cast on, AND I realized, as I started working it with the white in front and the blue in back, that I'd just taught myself double knitting. Non-interlocking double knitting. Failure.

Attempt 2, interlocking double knitting. Nope, not quite, though I'm kind of keen on the double edge the cast on creates.

On attempt 3 I just made a slip knit with the blue, tied a half-hitch with the white around the top of the blue, then did a long tail cast-on with the blue, switching the yarns clockwise after each stitch. Turned out it's very

similar to this. Oops.

It's interesting, though. While casting-on the bottom is really open. I liked the way that looked. And then when I started knitting it closed up. Strange!

It's my first Real intarsia fair aisle project (everything I did while using acrylic doesn't count) and boy do I hate knitting with my left hand. I'd read about yarn dominance and thought it meant whatever color you held in your dominant hand would be the dominant color (subtlest styling EVER), but it turns out it's whatever yarn is carried underneath. So now I feel less bad about having the dominant color (blue) in my left hand, because by god I can't purl with the left for my life.

Unfortunately it's still so slow that they'll be done by the time hell freezes over. And with global warming that's not going to be any time soon.

Also, 8. I have more sock yarn heading my way. My sister-in-law, Karen, has commissioned me to make a pair of stripey halloween-style socks for a swap she's doing. I'm planning on the same picot-edged stockinette footies that I'm working on when I'm not totally submerged in the mittens.

My mom has promised that there's a package headed my way -- another birthday present. I'd sent her a list of mostly knitting related gifts. I hope it's sea silk, but more than that (what with that huge list of projects) I hope it's a swift. My knees/15lb dumbbell/doorknobs/chairs just aren't cutting it.

And I may be comissioning a friend to make a nostepinde! I've been using empty toilet paper tubes, and while handy and free, they're not very attractive. On the other hand, nostepindes look like dildos. Ah well. Six of one.
Knitterly things I have learned:

1. While in Colorado I learned that I can knit a whole pair of ankle socks in a week, so long as I have two 5-hour car rides in there, and evenings free.

2. Also in Colorado I learned that variegated yarn looks way better in a skein than in 1. a ball, and 2. sock form.

3. And that I get a serious kind of pissed when a car full of five people with various degrees don't realize that a yarn store will probably not be open at 8:30am on a Saturday. Seriously, what was all that education for if we can't figure something like that out?

4. If I don't love it hard core it will never be finished.

5. I have too damn many hobbies. I have fierce envy of people who can knit sweaters in two months, plus a pair or two of socks in there and maybe a scarf, plus a preemie hat to donate. I could maybe do that, if I didn't go dancing four nights a week. Plus job. Plus teaching (dance, of course).

6. I really should be okay with that and stop trying to figure out how to knit under my desk while appearing to work, which I have definitely never tried. Ahem.

7. Excel is a godsend for planning patterns. Especially intarsia.

8. There is a wormhole in which I knit and knit and knit and always have new projects but never seem to have finished knit garments.

9. The more I knit for other people the more it will seem like I never actually have anything to show for all my work.

10. New projects are my achilles heel.

11. Also new yarn.

12. When knitting socks (or anything that requires a pair or more), it's a good idea to make sure you use the same yarn for both socks.

13. The Cast-On podcast is BRILLIANT and perfect while getting ready for work.

14. If there is more time for planning (see: boredom at work, also: driving in the car, and: running on the elliptical machine) than there is for knitting, then I will always have more ideas than finished projects.

15. It would probably be a good idea if I started writing these things down on something other than post-its.