Thursday, May 31, 2007

Questions and pictures

I... tagged myself? from Elizabeth's interview. Here are the questions from her (she kindly let us select from a list):

What is the thing you like most about yourself? The least? Extra points if it's two sides of the same coin!

Empathy. It makes me kind, thoughtful, and a wicked gift-giver. I can sense the mood in a person or in people and adjust how I act to accomodate it, which can make conversations really comfortable. And it makes me so scared of hurting people's feelings that instead of being clear and direct I get really passive aggressive and wimpy.

I could write a book about this.

Bebe socks for SteveAndDeb's impending bebe

If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, money is no object, where would you go and what would you do there?

I'd visit my friends. My dancer friends in Scotland, Beth in Korea, Lauren in Bulgaria, Paige, Dan, and Chelsea in Chicago -- all these people all over the world. When I got there I'd take them all out for excellent food and wine/beer.

Alternately, I'd like to have a jet, pack up my friends and take them to somewhere in the Caribbean for lounging purposes. I'd also fly out a band and caller and have nightly contra dances followed by late night swing dances. Knitting in the afternoons, scuba diving in the morning. That'd be so sweet!

Is there a sport or adventurous hobby you've always wanted to try but haven't? If so, what is it?

Part of me wants to try sky diving. Confront those "omg fear of heights eeeee omg" feelings. I don't know if I'll ever do it, though. I thought my plane coming in this weekend was descending a little too fast and I still have red half-moon marks in my arm from my nails. Ow. I can't imagine what jumping out of a plane would be like. I imagine I would pee myself.

Tell us about your most embarrassing moment, but only if you want to.

Oh, but there are so many! How about when I was in a play in middle school, when I didn't bother to learn my lines and so had to read them from the script, hidden in a manilla folder?

Or when I was in a play involving the wearing of roller skates? I was standing there listening to someone talking about something when I realized I was going to lose my balance at any minute and there was nothing I could do about it. And, just as I'd predicted, one of my feet shot out and I stumbled -- but didn't fall. A miracle! When I went backstage one of the techies asked if it was true I'd fallen. Nice.

And, of course, the time I was caught plagerizing one of the American Girl stories in English class in elementary school.

Emily's mitts! I definitely did not fake the blocking by sticking my ipod shuffle in the bottom of the top mitt. Cough.

What is your favorite game to play?

Wink! (Also inexplicably spelled winq). It's a game that (generally) young Quakers play at gatherings to get out energy and some sexual frustration. Here's how it goes: everyone but one person has a partner. The person without a partner is the "winker." Everyone sits in a circle and your partner is either in front of you or behind you (if the group is small it might be a line with the winker sitting 10-15 feet away from everyone else). The winker then calls out a few people sitting in the front row -- either by name, shirt color, or anything else they might think up. It's the job of the people called to get to the winker and kiss them somewhere above the shoulders. It's the job of their partner to keep them from doing that by any means except tickling or major wrestling holds. Including clapping your hand over their mouth. And there's no standing up.

My favorite rule is that "ow" means keep going, and "stop" means stop. Awesome, awesome game.

Want me to interview you? Leave a comment. A comment with a joke. Just 'cause.

The sox:
Final successful cast on: May 14, 2007

Finished weaving in the ends: uh... somewhere around the 21st, I'll say.

The originator: My basic sock pattern (pretty close to the Yarn Harlot's in Knitting Rules!), without the slip-stitch heel. Ribbing continued down the foot and into the toes.

The string: What is likely Rowan 4-ply soft (I have tons left even after making 1 adult sock and 2 wee bebe socks).

The sticks: Size 1 (ish) dpns.

Pattern shmattern: Cast on 38 with a tubular cast-on.

The mitts:
Final successful cast on: Got me.

Finished weaving in the ends: Somewhere around the 25th?

The originator: Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts.

The string: Malabrigo worsted in natural and some variety of green.

The sticks: Size 1 (?) dpns for the ribbing, size 2 addis for the body.

Pattern shamattern: Well, my gauge was crazy. And I think I've guaranteed myself some eventual carpal tunnel. I reduced the amount of ribbing at the top to make it more reasonable length, but that's about it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I'm it!

Carolyn tagged me for the 8 random facts meme.

The Rules:
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 6 people and post their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Random Facts/Habits:

1. I'm tuh-errified of heights. Hate them hate them hate them. I'm fine with being in a building, by a window, many floors up, but get me on a roof or next to a cliff and I squeal and giggle and hang on tight to the nearest tree. A friend invited me to go sky diving, and even talking about it made me shaky. Eeee.

2. I once drove 500 miles in a day to check on a dog that I wasn't sure I'd be able to find. (For the record: I did).

3. Texture is a big thing for me with food. I don't like most nuts because of their texture (I'll gladly eat cookies with ground almonds, but I won't eat whole ones). Love bread and dough-y textures. Hate mushrooms.

4. I'm allergic to birch tree pollen, which means that when I eat raw peaches, pears, apples, cherries, and some other fruits my mouth and sometimes my ears get all itchy. I still eat 'em anyway. Deeeelish!

5. This whole "wearing glasses" thing is weirding me out. Lots.

6. I'm thinking about working towards becoming a zookeeper, but really I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Or where.

7. At the beginning of September I'll probably be moving to New Zealand for a few months. I'm both pleased and terrified. In December I'll come back to my hometown of Philly, but I have absolutely zero idea of where I'll go after that. I have glorious friends here, but Greensboro isn't exactly spectacular. I don't like the thought of leaving these people forever.

8. When I was young one of my favorite restaurants was Seafood Shanty (remember those?) even though I didn't eat seafood (I'm just now getting into it). I'd have pasta with butter sauce (essentially noodles drowning in butter, which, if not for obvious reasons, I would TOTALLY still eat all the time) and color in the placemats which would invariably get me a free dessert coupon which we would always forget to bring.

Hey! Tanya, Amy, Heather, Jenny,Janice, Anita! Y'all are it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Recent developments




Yeah. I wear glasses now. Sometimes. My prescription is so weak as to be near non-existant, but mild astigmatism + sitting in front of a screen 27 hours a day + vision benefits = glasses.

Buying them was quite the exercise in personal exploration. Do I go for the bolder, geek-chic glasses, or the subtler, sly frames?

In the meantime, giant, super-fashionable sunglasses look unnervingly good on me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I have this yarn. I don't remember what kind it is. Name, manufacturer, content -- nada. I got it in Scotland, I know. Or... I guess? Isn't this a fun game? ANYhoo, SteveAndDeb are pregnant, and I'm feelin' all knitty! (Oh, my ovaries, how they want the babies! No, ovaries!)

All I know is that I made a sock out of it a while ago. Of course, it's the pair of socks that I knit with two different yarns (yes I did), and I'm not sure which sock was which yarn, and so I don't know how it'll act with wear. (It might be the slightly felted one, or the one that's not at all).

And what do you do with a free evening and an unidentified yarn?

Burn test! Care to join me?

I got a cookie sheet to burn it on, a lighter, water for dousing, and a pair of pliers to hold the yarn during the burning. Ready?

The set up (I forgot to set the auto timer and just ended up taking a picture of my arm):

Lighting it up:

Oh hey! There was a flash! And the camera fell over!

Taking the flame away (if it's all wool it should stop burning):

Mm, still going:

...and smelling kind of funny:

Aaaand time to blow it out:


And the final result?

The melty ends suggest some synthetic content, but it was slow enough burning that I'm guessing it's not much. And it smelled funny. A potentially non-natural kind of funny, but...? I dunno. Either way, the only thing I really need to know is if it's machine washable, and I'll test that at some point.

So why the burn test? Because it was fun.

ETA: It might be Rowan 4-ply soft, which would make it 100% superwash merino. Entirely plausible except that the fire doesn't go out when the flame is taken away. Have I been lied to??

Monday, May 14, 2007

How sweet it tasted

Look what I'm making:

This picture is also known as "Look! I figured that 'aperture' thing!"

Three living strawberry plants, one eensy-teensy strawberry-in-the-making.


Slogging through second mitt syndrome. It's going fairly quickly -- I'm at the thumb gusset (er, not in this picture). I gave up when I realized I had ribbing and reattaching the yarn for the thumb. A lot of work for maybe an inch and a half of knitting. That's right, I'm a turkey.

And my wrists aren't so happy about worsted-yarn-on-size-2-needles, so I'm taking a break.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cat! Hat!

This pattern is addictive. And finished!

If I had thumbs I would cut you

(Sorry about the crap-tacular picture -- I took it with my phone).

Final successful cast on: ...?

Finished weaving in the ends: May 11.

The originator: Tychus from Knitty.

The string: Laines Du Nord Guinco (remaindered from the damn socks) in purple and black.

The sticks: Size 2 addi turbos.

Pattern shmattern: Cast on 45 with a provisional cast-on, did an extra row in the middle. Single-stranded the yarn.

The model: Blogless Andrea's kitteh, Phoenix. We call him Finny-finny.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Some kind of title

So that news I had is on hold for a while. Which... erg.

I was browsing youtube for fast knitting techniques, because... right? Where else would you look? Also because that is how I roll, which is, I've decided, about the kicken-est phrase ever. I tried the Portugese knitting video, and y'all, I think I'm addicted. The yarn goes around your neck. I mean... knitting is amazing.

Anyway! What's funner than watching a stockinette tube grow? NOTHING!

I still can't get the color right. Dang.

The edge keeps rolling. It will be blocked out. I have Decided it. It will block flat. Yes it will. I am not in denial at all.

And here's a behbeh hat for the future. Not for me. No bebehs for me, thx*. Knitty's tychus with a provisional cast-on and 45 stitches in yarn remaindered from the damned arch-shaped socks. I really hope I have enough left.

Back to the sweater!

*Though the weekend-before-last I got to hold a 7-month old who was all keen on chewing on my fingers, and OH GOD, my ovaries... they ached...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I still make stuff!

There was some noise from my apartment complex people about replacing my cabinets (they're working on revamping the apartments to make them super ugly -- I don't get a say in this). I cleaned out my cabinets, put things in boxes in the living room, and left for work.

I came home to this:

Not too bad, right? I thought so. Until I saw this:


Since they're not done I can't do anything to clean up yet. Oog.

My favorite part? The giant rotten hole under the sink. Observe!

They just painted over it! Hooray!

But now, on to the knitting content.

This is Emily! (my name is also Emily!)

Photo credit: Shell

She's from Pennsylvania, like me! She's living in Edinburgh, like I used to! She's a lindy hop lead and follow, like me! And she's a knitter!

She rocks. She rocks like whoa. and when we met in Scotland and made note of all (all) the coincidental similarities we decided that we needed to do a KAL. I'm halfway(ish) there:

Made with malabrigo in natural and, um, green of some variety. They're dense and feel like fleece. Mmm. Very good for the bitter Scotland winters. Shame it's May. Trying to get gauge with anything else was a beast. I really hope they fit.

It was my first time with the tubular cast-on which was thwarting me more than a little bit. Seriously. I cast on, counted, started knitting, and a few rows later found that there weren't enough stitches. Grrr.

And then there were all these poochy bits on the cast-on:

Turns out you pull that out after you start the ribbing. Heh. Excellent.

And the sweater that refuses to be photographed well. It's a deep maroon. Mmm, kathmandu aran tweed... delicious...

There's more on the needles, too, which comes with some news!


When you decide to undo a cast-on edge to re-do it from the bottom, you have to pick out ribbing stitches one by one.

This goes way slower than you might think.


Real update when my batteries are done charging.