Saturday, December 29, 2007

I do still knit, and not just in extreme ways

I'm back in the northern hemisphere, and back in Philadelphia, where it is quiet and uneventful, even in the wake of xmas. In the interest of my laziness and the motivation-suck that is living with my folks, here's what I've done since I've been gone. With notes! Because I care.

Before I start, though, I would like to note that I am not pregnant. To reiterate, me = not pregnant. Okay! Moving on.


A wee tomten jacket! Made of NZ wool in "Haven." It just needs a closure of some variety. I was thinking a zipper, but my mom suggested a button-and-loop.

Baby shedir

Another bebeh shedir! Also NZ wool, but I don't remember the brand.


A very, very modified Cardigan for Merry, which is so modified I've been calling it "Cardigan for Pippin." It's drop-shoulder instead of raglan, and the cable doesn't meet up at the top so I just did a three-needle bind-off and it may just stay that way. Otherwise it's finished.


Bebeh surprise! Just needs to be blocked and sewed up. SO cute. Made from Lorna's Laces Purple Club. I finally found a pattern where the yarn didn't pool.


Snowflake star ornament for mom. I made two, blocked them, and sewed them together. I'll get a picture of it finished. One day. Hopefully before it gets packed away.



Dylan's Hat from Alterknits. The polka dots in the book/pattern are painted on, which is okay, but kind of weak, so I embroidered them on instead.

I also tried to knit socks but they thwarted me at every turn and are in my bag, thinking about what they've done. The jerks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Things people have said to me lately about my knitting:

1. "Is this the first thing you've knit?" About a hat with which I was admittedly having some trouble, but still, that's a stupid thing to say.

2. "Are you knitting? What are you, 60?" But in a flirtatious kind of way, so that was fine.

3. I was sitting on a bench, knitting and waiting for freaking EVER for my bus, when a guy who clearly fancied himself the man about town was showing some friends/family around, leaned over me and said, loudly, "In anticipation of, or because of?" And then he laughed, and I laughed, and then I punched him in the face, because 1. it was a hat (see above), and 2. that's a stupid thing to say.

IN THE MEANTIME, knitting rage aside, XTREEM knitter returns! To knit on a volcano!


...And look very smug, apparently.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


X-treem knitter knits in a cavern:


X-treem knitter knits on a glacier!

Knitting on a glacier

...and gets teased about it.

I was getting teased

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The xtreem knitter will return, as soon as I can find a place where I can upload pictures for 6 hours, because that is how many I have.

Also, used spinning wheels are CRAZY cheap here. I mean CRAZY. Like, $30. 30 New Zealand dollars. That's like nothing. Augh!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


< singing>'Cos I'm leeeeeving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back a-gain1, oh babe, I hate to gooooooooo2 < /singing> 3

1 December 21ish.

2 Well, actually it's not so bad.

3 Yes, I know I'm not going to Europe, but I was when I started it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iceland, some geekery, new toys, a FO, and a problem

Iceland was great. It's a major knitting country, and was all kinds of easy to find yarn. My folks and I were wandering the Main Shopping Street in Reykjavik (you could tell it was the main shopping street because it had a big sign that said "Main Shopping Street."), when I saw this:

(Ăštsala means sale).

And I thought to myself, huh! That's a nice knitted shawl! ...Wait a second... That's Birch! And there's yarn! I looked up at the second floor of the building and saw this:

(It's the Storkurinn, not the Bonus (which appears to be a poorly stocked grocery store))(Bonus does not have yarn).

I can't believe I found a yarn store because I recognized a knit shawl. I'm such a nerd.

(I'm not even going to mention how, when we were walking past a shop, I heard a "clang!" from inside and recognized it as a dropped dpn. It totally was).

I wasn't sure how to get in there, and managed to find it by walking through a restaurant (I was a woman on a mission). They had only Rowan and Debbie Bliss yarns. Sigh.

ANYWAY, let's get to the goods, eh?

First up, some merlot colored merinould (merino) called Lucca (it's Danish):


And now -- the really good stuff! Check this out:

That's nine discs(?!) plates of unspun Icelandic wool at about 100g each. I don't know the yardage, but it's a lot (ETA: they're probably around 300 yards each, for a total of 2700 yards -- thank you, ravelry!). It's around dk/sport weight, and I learned after I bought it that they use it double or triple stranded, but whatever whatever. This has sweater written all over it. I'm not even going to tell you what it cost as you would die with envy. (I'll give you a hint: it was $37). I'll post the link to their store when I find the receipt.

Speeeeaking of sweaters, I bought a Lopi book, and it had these tasty items in it:

(the one on the left)

(Okay, I don't usually wear skirts and the thought of a wool skirt makes me want to cry, but it's still cute).

But the real reason I bought it is this:

I mentioned to the woman I bought this from that I thought it was hilarious and awesome, and she agreed, and added that someone else who worked in the store had actually knit it for her horse.

No, really.

For the record, if I decide to knit anything from this here's what I have to deal with:

(For the record, that's from the horse jacket).

IN the meantime I finished the Gusset Heel Gansey Socks by Katherine Misegades:

I love the heel on this:

It reminds me of stockings from the 50's.

The problem is this: I knit them for my dad for his birthday (they're a smidge long for me), but he's cranky about wool (they're merino), and they're not really stretchy (a little snug, even), so it's a bit of a trick to get them on. I just don't know if this particular pair is right to convince my dad that knit socks are the way to go. His birthday's soon, so it's this pair or no pair. Thoughts?

Final successful cast on: August, um, something.

Finished weaving in the ends: Er. I might not have finished that part yet.

The originator: Gusset Heel Gansey Socks by Katherine Misegades, out of Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar 2007.

The string: Debbie Bliss Merino DK

The sticks: Size 1 addis.

Pattern shmattern: I made them a little longer, but otherwise, no mods. I know!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Returned and jet-lagged

I'm back from Iceland with some goodies and a so-oh-oh nearly finished object. Will update when I'm over jet-lag. Should be any time now. Ahem.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Addicted... quick-finish projects.

It started so innocently, with these (pdf):

And then I got some noro and a bar of soap and made a scrubby*:

I couldn't stop. The booties -- they were too cute! I had to make more:

...can't... stop... making baby booties... so... teeny...

...I cast on for another pair last night...

*Scrubby ingredients:
Noro Kureyon, size 5 circular needle (or 5 size 5 dpns, or whatever gets you about 4 stitches per inch, embroidery needle, bar of soap

C/O 12, work 7 rows in stockinette
Pick up 3 stitches on short side of rectangle, 12 on the far side, and 3 on the other short side.
Work seed stitch in the round until the soap fits inside the bag.
Cast off 18 (one short side, one long side, one short side).
Work remaining 12 stitches in stockinette for 7 rows, bind off.
Insert soap, sew bag closed.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cabins and Knitters and Vodka, oh my!

I couldn't upload my pictures from last weekend until I took my laptop to Panera, which is why it took me a week (?!) to get this entry up. But here goes.

Last weekend Amy, Heather, and blogless Kate, Amy Jo, Taima and I descended upon a wee llama farm in Asheville, NC.

Kate and I arrived together, and our first sight was this:

The view off our back porch. Oh yes. Win.

We met the cabin owners who were very friendly. So friendly, in fact, that within minutes the female half had her nose on my glasses. Her nose. Directly on my glasses. Which were on my face at the time. Because that, apparently, is what one of the llamas will do.

Have I mentioned that my default reaction is politeness? It's true!

But they showed us around, and showed us how the tv works. Apparently you press the on button and then you can use the channel up or down buttons, or type the numbers in manually. What they didn't tell us was that you have to flip the light switch by the front door in order to use the tv. But I guess you don't want to give everything away all at once.

One of the first things we noticed, upon entering the cabin, was this:

Creepy-ass dried fish thing. I call him Fluffy.

The best we could tell is that it's a gourd wrapped in leather with a metal fin shoved into its tail-area, and weird stitches on the top (see them??). I don't know. I really don't know.

When Amy/Heather/Taima arrived I showed them our weekend mascot, and Heather's eyes got wide, and I would've sworn that the next words out of her mouth were going to be "Get that thing out of this house."

In fact, what she said was, "That is the talking fish. No one is allowed to speak without the talking fish."

Heather, if you didn't know, is hella funny.

We spent a lot of our time here:

Or here:

Watching a lot of this:

That brown llama was some serious kinds of lazy. He'd tromp out to the middle of the field and foomf down on his side, and that was it.

We got two bags of alfalfa to feed the animals, but only the goats would come visit (so I never got to see if the llama would put his nose on my glasses -- all that politeness was for naught!).

Some were a little enthusiastic.

But generally friendly.

We didn't know how to call the llamas over, so we tried a variety of things, including "Heeeeere llamallamallamallamallama!" and, um. Humming at them. Because llamas hum, right? (Yes). So maybe they would be open to our humming?

This was the most enthusiasm we got (this was when we called out "snackies!"):

But it quickly turned into this:



We toured a few yarn shops and were not altogether floored.

But then Saturday night we had a shindig for Stacey's birthday.

And it's possible there was vodka,

which we may have added to some very excellent pound cake of Amy Jo's, which we subsequently tried to light

on fire,

and when that didn't work, just tried to light the vodka, which also failed:

And all was good times. (There also might have been talk of getting drunk and shearing llamas in the night with safety razors, but I can neither confirm nor deny such a thing.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I haven't really been updating because everything is TSBL*. Doesn't make good blog fodder. However! I finished the Baby Tart hat. Look!:

(I realized that there's really honestly nothing in my apartment that fits this particular baby hat, so it is being modeled by my very beautiful arm).

Oh y'all. As I said, I'm not so much into the knitted food (why knit food when you can eat food?), and I'm as-yet undecided about that whole "having kids" thing, but when I looked at this hat when it was finished I squealed a little, and my ovaries were all, "YAAAAY, BABY!" I am glad no one saw me.

This morning I handed it over to the comissionee, and she did the same squee thing (as did another coworker when she walked by later). And then I got my payment.

Ooh. It feels good. I kind of like this knitting for profit thing. Especially when it's baby size and all small.

Final successful cast on: July 3(ish)

Finished weaving in the ends: July 18.

The originator: Baby Tart from knitty. Smallest size.

The string: Sugar & Cream cotton in brown and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in red.

The sticks: Size 5 addis.

Pattern shmattern: I tried to do the bobbles in cotton and didn't even get past two bobble decreases before I decided that was some crap and brought out some stashed cashmerino.

I knit the fruit filling section inside out so I could knit the whole thing instead of purling it.

There was some weirdness with the decrease rows -- it didn't work for me, so I changed it as follows:

P12, dec3, p14, dec3, p11, dec3, p14, dec3 became:
P11, dec3, p14, dec 3, p11, dec3, p14, dec3.

And I ignored the bit about "The last stitch on your needle after you complete a decrease round becomes the first stitch of the next row."

Though looking at it now I suppose it makes sense. Whatever.

*the same but longer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A high school meme?

1.Who was your best friend? Cherine.

2.What sports did you play? Soccer, softball. Was a Co-Captain of the Varsity Soccer team my senior year (but it was only because I was one of two seniors who showed up for pre-season). (I wasn't very good at soccer. I'm not much into the "running" thing).

3.What kind of car did you drive? My current beloved Rav-4

4.It’s Friday night, where were you? Probably at home.

5.Were you a party animal? Not really.

6.Were you considered a flirt? Hoo yeah.

7.Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Choir. And a girls' singing group that was really just an excuse to hang out twice a week. We were pretty awful. Example: I remember the one (one) time we were in harmony.

8.Were you a nerd? Yes, but not in the Hermione Granger way. I was quiet and into theatre. That's pretty nerdly.

9.Did you get suspended/expelled? Our school had this policy where if you had to skip a detention for something (like soccer practice/a game) then you had to make it up with two detentions. I started off with two detentions for cutting health (health) class because a friend was upset and I stayed with her. I got two detentions and since it was soccer season I missed about every other one. You can imagine how long it took for me to make them all up.

10.Can you sing the fight song? Well, there's the standard Quaker school fight chant: Burn bright inner light, kill Quakers kill! (See, Quakers are all about the nonviolence, so it's funny. See?) (The Quaker college I went to had a slight variation "Fight fight, inner light, kill, Quakers, kill! which I don't think is nearly as good).

11.Who was your favorite teacher? Angus. History teacher. Always had amazing stories (like how Rasputin was notoriously well-endowed) and drew phenomenally intricate maps on the chalkboard. He was tough but fair (I never did well in history -- no memory for names. Or dates. Or geography).

12.School mascot? Kangaroo. Never really figured that one out.

13.Did you go to Prom? Yeah. It was okay.

14.If you could go back and do it over, would you? Pass.

15.What do you remember most about graduation? I had hideous allergies. My nose was dripping, I kept sneezing, I had no tissues, and I was sitting in the front row. I kept staring meaningfully at the box of tissues under the headmaster's chair, but my mental powers weren't strong enough to move them. So I used my robe. Which was white. Nice.

Also, they mispronounced the name of the classic-over-achiever, arrogant, super-talented-at-everything, made-for-high-school guy, which was very satisfying.

16.Where were you on senior skip day? Did we have a skip day? I don’t remember. (That's Grace's answer, but it applies to me, too).

17.Did you have a job your senior year? Over the summer I worked at my dad's law firm.

18.Where did you go most often for lunch? Cafeteria. I ate a lot of Cup Noodles soup. Mmm, cup noodles...

19.Have you gained weight since then? Sure have!

20.What did you do after graduation? Moved to NC for college.

21.Who was your Senior prom date? Clint. I couldn't find anyone to Go go with, so I invited him. He was a friend(ish) who had changed schools a year or two prior.

22.Are you going / did you go to your 10 year reunion? I haven't made it to any yet. It'd be good, I guess.

23.Who was your home room teacher? My senior year advisor was... was... oh. SOMEbody.

24.Who will repost this after you? EVERYONE.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In which I learn some valuable lessons and maybe use some bad words, plus some maths

My home internets is out so updating is tricky. Just so's you know.

I got comissioned by one of the lawyers in my office to knit a hat for her sister's impending baby. I sent her some options and brought in hats I'd made, and she browsed a while and then picked one.

She picked this.

Okay. I don't get knitted food, but fine, other people like it, that's cool. But good gravy y'all -- that thing is ALL BOBBLES.



Which is when I learned the first lesson: if comissioned, only give options of things you really, truly care to knit.

But I said I would, took a quick trip to the store for some basic cotton and got to work. The crust bit was easy enough (though I'm a little worried about the inelasticity of the ribbing), but then I started the bobbles. Those of you who have worked with bobbles and cotton before already know my second lesson.

For those of you who haven't done either of those things, you should know that 1. cotton has very little elasticity, and 2. bobbles are a pain in the ass can involve something like "purl 3 together." The conclusion that we can then draw is that cotton + bobbles = those kinda scary painful hand twinges.

I finished two bobbles and called it a night, and when I was lying in bed I realized that I had some red cashmerino in my stash. My hands are saved, and I'm one row of bobbles down! Only fifty ka-skillion to go!

So the other lesson I learned isn't knitting related, but it's always fun to share embarrassing stories, so here we go.

I, like most Amurikens, had the 4th of July off to celebrate our country's independence by setting fire to explosives and ingesting poison (mmm, margaritas! Go America!). Like any reasonable human I was most looking forward to sleeping in, and did so at length. But first I woke up at 8am with a dry mouth caused by my dear love the air conditioner.

Being a clever sort I had a glass of water next to my bed. I took a drink, put the glass back, and slept again. A second later I woke up to something dripping on my arm (which was near my head, thankyouverymuch). My pillow was wet! And dripping! And there was a giant wet spot on top of my comforter (or "douna").

Turns out that I'd, um, skipped that middle step of "putting glass back on desk" and went straight to "pass right the fuck out."

Which brings us to our second equation, which is: foofy bed + glass of water = awake stupid early, dammit.

I also might have a vague recollection of setting the glass down on the bed, as though my 1. winter-weight comforter (or "douna"), 2. featherbed, and 3. mattress were supposed to somehow keep it upright like that commercial where they put the glass of red wine on the mattress and the dude with the shorts and tall-ass white socks (why?!) jumps ever-so-carefully on the bed to be all "ooo, the glass didn't fall over." It is possible I was channeling that commercial. A cunning plan, to be sure.

In the end I turned my comforter ("douna") around, threw a blanket over the wet bit of mattress, and fell right back asleep. And later told everyone about how I spilled water on myself at 8am.

Also, Grace tagged/nominated me for this award/meme/thing:

And I get to nominate five people, so here goes:
1. Tanya! Y'all, she's been really super-helpful with my NZ trip. She rocks like whoa. And makes some gorgeous cupcakes.
2. NikKnits. She designs AND is hilarious. An excellent thing, to be sure.
3. Elinor. She always knits gorgeous stuff, posts lovely pictures, and has a doubleplus cute wee bairn.
4. Heather. Knits like the wind. Braver traveler than me!
5. Amy. She occasionally reads my mind, pattern and yarn-wise. She's knitting the Swallowtail Shawl AND the Tomten sweater (both in my queue) and we bought the same yarn at SAFF:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lazy bum

Updating shmupdating.

It looks like I'm going to be teaching some people at work how to knit. Can y'all recommend a good beginner pattern? A garter scarf is standard but it's not exactly instant gratification.

I was thinking a hat, maybe tychus (god I love that pattern) or a basic roll-brim (though that wouldn't teach binding off)...


In the meantime, I'm finally calling that danged sweater finished (though I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the neckline). Am going out today to get needles for my next project (have spent all weekend swatching -- erg).

And since a blog isn't a blog without pictures:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh my god I didn't...

...Oh my god I totally did.

I attached the sleeves backwards. The increases are on the outside.

I am speechless. I'd gotten so far as to even bind off the neck but finally had to concede that a sweater that presses on my larynx might not be so desirable. I ripped back past all of the raglan shaping to reknit a deeper arm hole.

And managed to not pay attention and knit about half an inch more than I meant to, but WHATEVER, I will keep going!

Which is when I noticed that the sleeves were backwards. Nice. The sweater's going away for a while.

And while I'm on the topic, these socks have driven me crazy to the point where they're getting the frog.

The idea's okay, but they're too tight (except the picot edging which is too loose), and I was super bored with the first sock halfway through. That's a bad sign or second sock syndrome. I think the yarn will be reincarnated into some Sidewinders.