A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

August 31, 2004

Send More Meatheads

The summer I was sixteen I got mono. I spent three weeks in bed and decided to read every book by Kurt Vonnegut that I hadn't read yet. Consequently the books all kind of blur together in my mind. I seem to recall that in one of them Martians invade Earth. They are all killed swiftly and easily by a group of ordinary folks, farmers and such. The victorious earthlings are later seen on the evening news holding up signs saying, "Send More Martians." (I could be getting all of this wrong. I was, after all, feverish at the time). So what's my point? Yesterday at 4:30 I found my meathead kits on my doorstep. Today at 11 I sent back to finished hats to Larissa. Send More Meatheads.

On a totally unrelated note, I had a moment of terrible weakness and bought some Kureyon 87 on eBay to make Butterfly. Amy is planning on knitting Butterfly. Julie is off to a flying start. Knitalong, anyone?

August 30, 2004

Meatheads, Meatheads, Roly Poly Meatheads

I got my meathead kit today. That Larissa sure is fast. And so are these hats. I brought the kits to Purlygirls tonight. I borrowed a pair of size 19 (!) needles and I was off. I finished one and completed the ribbing on the second. I'll snap a picture of them tomorrow when they're both done and seamed up.

I spent yesterday knitting some more psychedelic squares. Then in the evening I went ot Jenna's to watch four episodes of the Knitty Gritty with all the knitters that will be going to LA to be on the show. Jenna needs eight sweaters knit to various points for swap outs on the show. Eight. We all offered to help out. I spent about five hours last night knitting k2 p2 ribbing. It was very reminiscent of Sam, who is still in time out. Once I finish the meathead hats I will head back to Paula. I need to free up those needles for Rogue, at long last.

August 28, 2004


Yesterday, when I said
I'm over ponchos now, I think.
I did not mean that that there is anything wrong with ponchos. I did not mean to criticize anyone's poncho or your affection for them. You can be in love with them as you want. Enjoy them in good health.

The mall windows were overflowing with "shrugs." You may know them as "tubes." Like this one, literally with a twist, from Bebe.

Larissa and Ann inspired me. I decided to make a Psychedelic Square Afghan with my Cotton Classic scraps from the Cupcake Beanie, Fiesta Tea Set and other projects. I whipped one out yesterday afternoon.
Psychedelic, Man

I'm almost done with Paula's first sleeve.
Close Up

The Cotton Fleece is knitting up gauge for stitches per inch, but not rows. This shouldn't be a problem. The fabric is a little loose. This also shouldn't be a problem.

Interweave Knits Crochet is out. There are some cute patterns here but what's with the girl in the see through skirt in the bookstore?

August 26, 2004

Poor Baby

I finished the Cupcake Beanie last night. This morning I followed the instructions to make the pom pom.
Pom Pom: Make one using pale pink, dark pink and mint. Wrap all three yarns around a 3" piece of cardboard for a total of about forty or fifty times.

This produced what I can only describe as a huge-ass pom pom. A pom pom so large that whatever poor baby I saddled with this goofy hat would not be able to life his or her head--ever. So I just wrapped the yarn around three of my fingers and came out with a less huge pom pom. That poor kid.

Say (ricotta) cheese.

I had another needle inventory marathon at work so I wasn't able to do the needle felting on the "Flowers to Go" tote. I brought it home with me along with some felting needles and gave it a go.

I didn't have one of those foam blocks that are used for needle felting. First I tried putting a folded plastic bag behind the part to be felted and one of those flexible cutting mats inside the bag so I wouldn't felt the inside of the bag shut. It dulled the needle terribly. Then I thought maybe a sponge would work. I didn't have any sponges but I did have Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (which are a godsend, by the way) and hey, they are pretty much just a foam rubber block (embedded with a truly magical cleaning solution). So I tucked that under my work and then my needle felting took off. It was stab, stab, stab and then, voila, flowers.

Tools of the Trade

This was fun and easy and a great way to work out one's aggression. Stab, stab, stab. Whee!!

I spent the day at the mall with the boys. I knit about half of the first sleeve of Paula. If you're ever at Bellevue Square and see a fatigued, aggravated woman who is knitting at the tug boat while yelling at two boys, that's me. Stop by and say hi.

I saw ponchos everywhere but they were all being worn by 16 or 8 year old girls. I'm over ponchos now, I think.

Oh, and for you ladies who are 50 or so and dress like your 14 year old daughters? Stop. Now.

August 25, 2004

Want to See My Panties?

After all my whining I sailed through the front of Mon Petit Chou last night. I've just barely started the back. Aren't they cute?

Last night I also tried my hand at making stitch markers. I modeled them after the ones that Marti gave me.

Aren't they cute?

Then I finally got some pictures of my falling-off-a-log easy baby hats.

Aren't they cute?

I also cranked out most of the Cupcake Beanie today.

Over the top, but still cute.

And finally, the most cute of all. We had a playdate today and I borrowed a baby to model a hat.

August 24, 2004

Uh, No, I Don't Think So

Can you see the stitches? Huh, can you? No, you're right. I can't see any stitches either. Which is why, when seaming Trendsetter Blossom, I just reach to one side and dig up any old thing onto my needle then dig on the other side and continue like that. Dig, dig, dig, tighten, dig, dig, dig, tighten. This is a seam on my you'll-slap-me-it's-so-simple baby hat. Also known as a rectangle.

The universe was against me yesterday. I struggled on Mon Petit Chou all day. I finally was up to row 37 when I headed to Purlygirls. Wes was running late and I was already really anxious to get there. There was some mysterious one-block traffic jam which caused me to sit, getting increasingly agitated, for TEN minutes to move ONE block. With jerks trying to cut in in front of me the whole time. Uh, no, I don't think so, Buddy. By the time I made it to the Capitol Club I was pretty riled up. Just ask the Purlygirls. They'll tell ya. I was on a tear. Then the bartender tried to charge me $4 for an iced tea. As in tea and ice. Four dollars. Uh, no, I don't think so. Then the waiter brought me a glass of ice water with a drizzle of tea in it. The stuff was clear. I sent it back and I got attitude from the him for the rest of the night. Grrr...

And my knitting? Oh man. First I started the Cupcake Beanie. I knit one round when I realized I should have purled instead of knit. Then I picked up Mon Petit Chou. I got to the end of the first row and was off by a stitch. I started to rip back and realized that Stitch 'n Bitch in a semi-darkish bar was not the place to deal with it. So I started Paula. I managed to knit the first 25 rows or so of my swatch sleeve without screwing anything up. Thank goodness.

Today I took a mental health day and left the kids with a friend. I got lunch with Purlygirl Jill and ran some errands. Then I went to the Teahouse to do a little knitting. In walks a knitting friend with her basket full of knitting! "Can I join you?" Hell yeah! So we knit and talked until I had to pick up the boys. My knitting consisted of knitting then ripping two rows of Mon Petit Chou. It took me about another hour at home to find the one missing yarn over. But I'm now on row 50. Great progress? Uh, no, I don't think so.

August 23, 2004

Weekend Roundup

I was feeling so pissed and sad about Sam that I needed to go to a yarn shop to cheer up. I went to Hilltop to feel the Alpaca Silk in person since Weaving Works didn't have it in yet. Hilltop also had the Ribbon Twist and Big Just Got Bigger pattern books. They didn't thrill me. The yarn however is just amazing. It's soft, fluffy, sproingy. Lovely, lovely, lovely stuff. Way too expensive for me.

But the sale bins were overflowing. I got some Rowanspun DK at 40% off to make a Retro Prep sweater.

After seeing Alison's, Susan's, Melanie's and Rachael's I had to make one for myself. There was some Kureyon #124 that I almost got to make Butterfly but I held myself back.

I made some progress on Mon Petit Chou. I completed row 17-32. Several times. Just as I allow myself the thought, "Hey, I'm getting the hang of this." BAM! It goes kerflooey. Then I rip back and bit and figure it out. Knit some rows, rip back, etc. At least when it's all done I've moved forward.

And the lace.

And I won something this weekend. When I went to Weaving Works on Saturday I put my name in a raffle. I got a call yesterday that I won a Cupcake Beanie kit.

August 22, 2004


I cut out on the family to head back to Weaving Works. They got the Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca book in and I wanted to get it while the sale is still on. Some Silver Plum Cotton Fleece also followed me home. It was 30% off. I was defenseless. I think I will use it for Paula.

I finished the second sleeve for Sam this morning. I sewed the shoulders together and picked up all the stitches to knit the collar. Both fronts are completely wrong. They look terrible and it does not resemble the pattern at all. I need to rip them out completely and do them again. However, I can't face this right now. I have come to hate this sweater and we need a little time apart. I will shove Sam in the back of a dark closet until I'm feeling some enthusiasm again.

August 20, 2004

A Very Special Day

Today is Cari, Greta, Lisa and Jackie's birthday. It's also my tenth wedding anniversary. Wes and I were laughing last night trying to do our best impression of Jeremy Piven in Grosse Point Blank shouting, "Ten years, man!" How the hell did we get so old? I have to say that it seems impossible. I know everyone says it but the years really have just flown by.

And if that wasn't all special enough, there is a new film up at Angry Alien.

August 19, 2004

My New Crush

Hey, hey Paula, I wanna marry you...

I'm digging Paula. Even though Lara has inspired a knitalong. I'm not sure she's the girl for me. But Paula...well, I'm sweet on her. I'm thinking of using the pale blue cotton angora I bought for Mia. I know I swore eternal devotion to Mia but that was before the never-ending tedium of k2 p2 knitting that is the Candy Sam. Sam is nearing completion. I have about 40 rows left on the last sleeve. And only 5500 stitches for the collar. Not that I'm counting or anything.

I had to miss Ryan's talk at the knitting guild last night. I was very sorry to miss it but I had a wonderful opportunity. Wes and I got to see a free sneak preview of Vanity Fair. And Mira Nair was there. She is passionate, witty and charming. Exactly what I had expected given her work. The film is gorgeous and very interesting. I can't wait to see how disappointed all the teeny-boppers who only know Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde will be when they pony up their $9 in September.

At work tonight I spent the entire four hours checking in and pricing an order of Addi Turbos. Four hours. There were hundreds of them. If you're in Washington and want an Addi, head to the Fiber Gallery. I can't imagine there are any left anywhere else in the state.

August 18, 2004

From Piles of Pink...

...to bundles of baby hats.

I'm still working on the test-knit hat (variegated pink Sugar 'n Cream). And now I'm working on super-simple, falling-off-a-log easy baby hats for the shop. You know the knit a rectangle, fold in half and stitch up the sides kind. I'm going to officially write it up into a pattern using shop yarns. I hope this will help those customers who freak out when you suggest *gasp* knitting in the round or *double gasp* simple math. But hey, we all like to have out hand held sometimes. You should see the look on a rank beginner's face when you say, "You just determine your gauge and use that to figure out how many stitches you need for half the circumference of the hat. Then just knit up until it's long enough and fold it in half." It's like saying, "Take this ruby and make a laser." They get scared.

My best friend's daughter, who has been my six year old son's best friend since infancy and still is, came over for a playdate. I got a huge thrill to see her still using the Hello Kitty backpack I made for her for Christmas.

She's a little beat up but it's nice to see she's being used.

Thanks for all the nice comments on the pink tote. I'll post a picture once I decorate it.

**Totally irrelevant note on the kids: My six year old is trying to taunt his four year old brother right now by chanting, "Nah, nah, biscotti, biscotti!" What a weirdo.**

August 17, 2004

Pink Prevails

I finished the knitting on the Flowers to Go tote yesterday. I only had a few rounds left to knit, the straps, closure and the base. I finished it all at Purlygirls. Then I could barely wait to toss in the washing machine.

So here is the first, tragically twisted version.

And here is the properly knit and now felted version.

As Pepe le Pew would say, "She is very cute, no?" I used Lamb's Pride Bulky in Lotus Pink. It took exactly 2 skeins. I literally have about 18 inches of yarn left over. I knit it on 11s as the pattern states and got gauge. However it seemed a little tight for a felting project. I was thinking maybe next time to make it on 13s but the final results were great so I won't change it. I will attempt the needle felting design when I go in to work on Thursday.

I'm also noodling around with some Blossom to make a shop pattern. I'm still working on the gauge.

August 16, 2004

Problems Plague Pink Projects

Maybe it's Mercury in retrograde. Maybe I'm just getting sloppy.

I had to frog the felted bag. I didn't pull it out. I just started knitting a new one with the opposite end of the yarn and pulled as I knit. I managed to knit almost back to where I decided to 86 the bag. I don't know what went wrong but somehow the base of the bag, the side increases and the handles didn't line up. I think I must have misplaced a marker when the base was finished. Right now everything seems to be lining up. I knit all day yesterday because a) I have a compulsion to regain any territory lost to frogging immediately, b)I was sick and was on the sofa or in bed all day and c) I watched Band of Brothers for the first time. I tell you, the tension of the battlefield really gets the needles flying. At times I found I was clutching my knitting to my chest with my shoulders hunched up around my ears.

The pink hat I was test-knitting also ran into a snag. It's huge. I mean huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge. My gauge was off by one full stitch per inch. I contacted the designer and as it happens she's only really concerned about the decrease pattern so I will continue to knit the giant child's hat.

I'm off to Weaving Works for their anniversary sale. I am only planning on getting Rowan 36 and a drop spindle. Wish me luck.

August 14, 2004

A Plethora of Pink Projects

I looked at all my current projects and everything is pink! In the center is Candy Sam. I finished the right front and am working on the last sleeve. I want this done, done, done. I can't stand to look at it anymore. In the upper right corner is Mon Petit Chou. Still on row 17... On the right is a baby hat I'm test knitting for someone. It's just Sugar 'n Cream but the colors are really cute. And on the left is a Fiber Trends tote I'm making for a store sample from Lamb's Pride Bulky in Lotus Pink.

Have a great weekend!

August 13, 2004


August 10, 2004

Waves Made

August 9, 2004

Mini-Sweaters and Big Bras

I've been asked for the pattern for my mini-sweater. I posted it here at the Purlygirls blog.

I was looking at my own links to see which buttons I had on my blog when I spied a change in the Knitty button. It's Zaftig. I since I am, in fact, zaftig, I am pleased as punch.

August 8, 2004

A Voyage to Lilliput

Diana, a Purlygirl, proposed we make some mini-sweaters to spell out "Purlygirls." I volunteered to make one. I cast on last night using some leftover Regia Cotton Plus. I pulled out Knitting Around and used the Seamless Yoke Sweater as a rough guideline. After Friday night I had part of the body, one sleeve and the start of the other sleeve.

Then last night, while watching Mulholland Dr. (don't get me started on that) I finished the sweater.

The only problem is I forgot to leave live body stitches under the sleeves to graft. I have sleeves stitches but no body stitches. Of course, since this is just a teeny-tiny decorative sweater and there will be no Lilliputian person to wear it, how I handle the armpits doesn't seem like a big deal.

Last night I also finished the first Making Waves sock.

I worked at the shop today. It was dead. It was deader than dead. When I got home Wes pointed out that today was the Blue Angels' show. This is a Seattle tradition and for four days every year traffic gets fouled and noise pollution goes through the roof. I'm surprised I didn't hear them at work. They blast over my house several times when they do their practice runs.

Today I have knitting with the Purlygirls at Le Fournil. Yum!

August 5, 2004

Project Update

I'm zipping along on my Making Waves sock. I got a little mixed up last night. I must have zigged when I was supposed to zag. My cables went kerplooey. I ripped maybe ten rows and got right back to work. I worked on them while watching Hard Eight last night and managed to turn the heel by bedtime. The yarn and pattern are impossible to photograph at night.

I snapped a picture of Petit Chou while I was at it. Good thing underwear are small. I don't know when this will get finished.

Here's the closeup which gives an accurate sense of the color.

I'm also ten inches up the right front of Candy Sam. I didn't take a picture because it looks just like the left front--but with the shaping reversed.

August 4, 2004

Insomniac Update

I brought graph paper and the Petit Chou pattern to bed with me. I spent about two minutes trying to graph it. Then I realized that, as I suspected, creating a useful graph from this pattern was probably beyond me. So I got out of bed and ripped back two rows, found the two missing yarn overs and knit back through row 14.

I was about to head back to bed but heard helicopters swirling overhead. Since the fire in our neighborhood there has been a string of arsons in the city. I kept hearing sirens and then the helicopters and assumed there were more fires. I turned on the TV but there was nothing about it. So I finally went to bed just before 2 AM.

Kate, the designer of Petit Chou, left me the link to a chart for the pattern at her website. Is that service or what? Thanks, Kate!

August 3, 2004

Getting My Bearings

Now that the Waving Lace socks are done I had to take a long look around to figure out what to work on. I put the Candy Sam back in my purse and got a lot done on it today. I'm steadily working my way up the right front. I really want to get this one done. There's probably only a week's worth of work left to it. Who knows how long it will actually take. I also started the second sock for the Six Sox Knitalong. I cast on with the Weaver's Wool Quarters in Red-Tail Hawk like I had planned. No photo yet but imagine one and half inches of brownish-reddish k2 p2 ribbing.

Between Sam and the sock I reached my limit on k2 p2 ribbing for the day. I picked up Mon Petit Chou. Oh mon dieu! I knit two rows. So far, so good. Then I could not get row 13 to work out. I counted, I recounted. I made Wes turn off the TV and count along with me. There was a lot of muttering and cursing. I still have not figured it out. My guess is that I missed some yarn overs. But where? This is not one of the those simple, regular lace patterns where one can easily see where a yarn over should be. Amy suggested that I chart the pattern. But have you looked at the pattern? It would probably take me longer to figure out how to chart it than it will take me to figure out how to knit it. The thirteen rows I've done so far look great though.

August 2, 2004

Big News

My friend and fellow Purlygirl, Jenna, is a superstar knitter. She has two patterns in the new Stitch 'N Bitch book. She was invited to be a guest designer on the Knitty Gritty. She decided to ask the producer if she could bring her own knitsters. I got an email from her saying that I should call her on her cell phone.

She excitedly asked, "Do you watch American Idol?"
"Well, you've seen American Idol?"
"Well, you know on the show when somebody wins they say, 'You're going to Hollywood?'"
"You're going to Hollywood!"

So I screwed up her cool way of telling me that in September I will fly to LA with her and three other Purlygirls to be a knitster on the Knitty Gritty! Woohoo!

Oh, and I finished the Waving Lace socks.

August 1, 2004

Chic and Chou

Corduroy modeled his new hat for us today. My 6 year old son took the photo here of Corduroy doing the Rachael.

Flush with the excitement of finishing the little green socks and the bear's hat yesterday, I cast on for Mon Petit Chou . I cast on after 1 AM. There should probably be a rule about this. Something like "If you're eyes are so tired that you can't focus on an object one foot away from your face, don't start a new project." Okay, I should probably come up with something a little catchier. Anyway, boy was I tired. But I was so excited I pulled out my Elann Esprit in Burgundy and tried to learn the invisible cast on. This should probably also be added to the rule. "No new techniques after 1 AM." So I figured out the cast on and knit the first few rows but never noticed that I had cast on one stitch too many. I finally got the hint that bedtime was long overdue. In the morning I ripped it out and started again. I got terribly hung up on row 8. For about an hour...possibly two. I could not find my mistake but somehow I had an extra stitch. I finally realized that I had two stitches from previous row that were meant to be knit together sitting side by side on the needle. I only did a few more rows before succumbing to a terrible headache. (No connection as far as I know.)

The Waving Lace sock is not done yet. I have 2.75 inches left on the foot then the toe.