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

December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

I'm still not sure how it can possibly be 2006 in a few hours. I'm still trying to adjust to the nineties ending. Everyone have a happy new year. Be careful out there.

Year In Review

Bags: 2
Hair Tamers: 1 set
Hats: 30
Mittens/gloves: 5
Panties: 1
Scarves: 7
Shawls: 5
Slippers: 1
Socks: 12
Sweaters: 10

Items knit from my own hand-spun yarn: 4

Whoa, that's a lot more than last year.

December 30, 2005

Five Everyday Foods Long

I'm working full time this week while nearly everyone else is away on vacation. At night I knit on Clapotis. I just weighed my yarn and I am exactly at the half-way point. Maybe I'll be done for Purlygirls on Monday?

December 29, 2005

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I had some ugly patterns all set to share with you today but last night I got an email that truly made me say, "What the hell is this?" (Actually, I think what I said, out loud to the computer, was, "Are you fucking kidding me?") Anyway, Debbie Stoller, editor of Bust magazine and the author of the Stitch 'n Bitch books is hosting a knitting workshop. In Tuscany. What the hell?

From the (incredibly ugly and amateurish) website:
"Join Debbie Stoller for a fabulous week of knitting, travel and culture in the heart of Italy! The medeival [sic] hill town of Cortona, setting of the film "Under the Tuscan Sun", will be our base as we enjoy the comraderie [sic] of fellow knitters while exploring the art of knitting among the chocolates, foods, wines, culture, fashion, landscape and people of Tuscany and Umbria!"

Yeah, those neo-feminist bad girls are so into Under the Tuscan Sun. I don't see the Cheryl Crow singalong on the itinerary.

Price: $2449.00 plus airfare and transportation from Florence or Rome.

December 28, 2005

Growing Obsession

Everyday Food included for scale

December 27, 2005


Does anyone else think it's funny that Blogger's spell checker doesn't know the word "blog?"

New Obsession

There are currently three women in Purlygirls knitting nearly identical Clapotis scarves, one in Mountain Colors 4/8s wool in Ruby River and two in Flame Manos (#115). I have been filling with envy and covetous feelings for some time. I realized that my Mountain Colors Alpaca Blend had finally found it's pattern. I started last night around 11 pm and can not put the damn thing down. It's simple and addicting which is just what I need right now.*

*Check back soon for a post on how it's repetitive and boring. It's bound to happen, right?

Log Cabin Socks

Pattern: Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: Rowan Cork (just barely went into the third skein)
Needles: US5 and 6 Brittany birch dpns
Pattern Changes: I switched to the larger needle about one-third of the way down the leg after reading reports of too-tight ankles on these socks. Plus I have big ankles and wide feet.

They fit great and feel snuggly warm.

December 26, 2005


Behold! A Christmas miracle!

Our gifts arrived Christmas Eve.

We had a super-extra-minimal holiday celebration. I didn't think our Christmas celebration could get any more minimal but we pulled it off. We went out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve which is about as traditional as we get around here. We then normally go on to view the Garden D'lights at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Only Wes was feeling worn out and my older son was being a giant whiner. I had a small hissy fit and took everyone home. Where we had no tree. We kept putting it off and putting it off then everyone got sick and we found ourselves treeless at 8 pm on Christmas Eve. So we strung lights on the curtain rods and hung a string in an archway and put some ornaments on that. Christmas morning we opened presents and that was that. We made a small outing to the zoo too. Then it was time for Hanukkah. I made latkes. We lit the menorah. We played dreidel. We ate chocolate coins. We opened a few more presents. Holidays done.* Phew.

I have been soothing myself with sock knitting.

The Log Cabins are almost done.

I started the Country Socks for the Folk Socks Knitalong in Cashsoft DK. I think Wes will be happy when I finish these and stop saying, "Omigod these are so soft. Feel this. Isn't that soft? Isn't that just so soft?" every five to ten minutes.

*We will continue to light the menorah for the rest of Hanukkah and give the boys one more gift on the last night.

December 25, 2005

December 24, 2005

Ho Ho Holy Crap!

When I found these beauties I was reminded that some folks don't know crap from Christmas.

Have a merry one!


Yesterday sucked. Wes was incredibly sick all through the night and into the day. He only got out of bed for about an hour all day. The boys spent most of the day just zoning out watching movies while I zoned out and watched Project Runway (season one) and knit a good chunk of my second Log Cabin Sock. Today I'm back to work and, if the noise from upstairs is any indication, the boys are back to normal.

December 23, 2005

Ho Ho Ho

Five year old got the stomach flu on Tuesday. Seven year old started barfing last night followed swiftly by Wes. No sleep for me and the looming dread that my turn is next. Plus Amazon has still not shipped the kids' holiday gifts that I ordered on November 24th! Happy freaking holidays.

December 22, 2005

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?




Fire up your glue guns, ladies!

Sweet Mother of Pearl! It fits!

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates Hat
Yarn: Dale Heilo, one skein each of black and natural
Needles: US1 Crystal Palace circulars and US3 Addi Turbos

This was a really fun, fast knit except for tacking down the hem stitches. I highly recommend it.

December 21, 2005

Times When It Sucks to Have a Husband with a Giant Head

1) When giving birth to his children.
2) When making him a hat.

The pirate hat is complete but I fear it will be too small for Wes's mega-gigantic block of a head (Love you, Honey!). I'm currently blocking the bejeebers out of it. Hence grossly distorted skulls.

Argh, The Scurvy Dog

It's taking me forever to tack down all the hem stitches on the pirate hat. I'll be done soon. I promise!

December 20, 2005

Strange But Trewe

At this point most of you have seen the knitted digestive tract. Last night at Purlygirls Diana told me about the squid hat.

Then in some strange synergy Kathy emailed me this morning with the digestive tract. Thus a blog post was born. Please check out Matie Trewe's designs on her site. She's marvelously creative and totally wacky. Always a good combo.

(Wes's pirate hat is done except for the hem. Photos of a completed hat soon.)

December 19, 2005

December 18, 2005

The Brown Coats Approve

I gave Wes's friend his Jayne hat tonight. He loved it as did all the other Firefly fans in the vicinity.

We had another busy few days. Got to see two movies in theater which is virtually unheard of since having kids. King Kong and Syriana were both great though at opposite ends of the gravity spectrum. I had work today and then went to Wes's company holiday party. I did manage to knit another row of skulls on Wes's pirate hat and knit most of the leg on my first Log Cabin socks. I also knit a few rounds on Frost Flowers and Leaves to free up my US6 dpns. It's now on a circular needle and 1% complete!

December 17, 2005

U of C Knitting Mafia Expands

Okay, this is just getting strange. At the Knitters Guild the woman sitting next to me was a U of C alumna and now I found out that Kristi Porter is too! [Cue Twilight Zone music]

Week In Review

This week just evaporated. What have I been doing with myself, you ask?

Monday: Work and a kick off karaoke party for the Northwest Asian American Film Festival. I rocked the mic with Al Green's Let's Stay Together and Patsy Cline's Walking After Midnight. Then I backed up Wes on Tiny Dancer and did a duet on Zeppelin's Heartbreaker because the hostess accidentally called up the wrong track.

Tuesday: Last day of my spinning class. I spent nearly the whole class teasing and drum carding the CVM we were given at the first class. This stuff was so incredibly full of chaff and dirt I couldn't believe it. It left a mountain of chaff under the carder and I spent a very long time trying to clean off the drum. Ick.

This is some Navajo-plied Shetland (soft!) and some seriously over-plied white Romney (not soft!).

Wednesday: Went to Bainbridge with Molly to visit Churchmouse Yarn and Tea. Left the store empty-handed. We attended the Knitters Guild holiday potluck that evening. I made a baked brie with some leftover puff pastry from the freezer. Talk about easy. Just wrap and bake. I set it on the buffet and got myself some food. I was worried no one would now what it was so I made a sign and went back but the plate was already empty. Mental note: Next potluck make baked brie. The Guild's board did an outstanding job of getting door prizes for the party. Everyone there got a door prize. And there were extras at the end! I'm talking about at least 80 people. I think I may have gotten one of the best prizes--some Handmaiden 100% silk yarn in a Lantern Moon bag. Sadly the colors are just not me. I might try to swap it. I also participated in the gift exchange. I put in a mini kacha-kacha row counter. I couldn't find any wrapping paper so I cut off one of the arms of the sweater I used for my tea cozy.

I thought it was kind of cute but people kept picking it up and then putting it back, slightly disgusted. Maybe they thought that it was too light to be a good gift. I got a tea pot shaped like the Grand Hotel. No, I'm not kidding.

Thursday: Work and then meeting friends to knit. Weaving Works was having a midnight madness sale. I was stunned that only Molly and I wanted to go. What could be more fun then strolling through a yarn shop at 11 pm with all yarn 15% off. I got some Misti Alpaca for a lace shawl ('cause I don't have enough yarn for lace shawl in my stash) and some more Rowanspun 4-ply to compliment the stuff I got last week from Elann.

Friday: School stuff for the kids all day long. Then Molly babysat (and felted in our washer) while Wes and I went to see King Kong. I really had a great time at the movie. It was just pure movie adventure fun. I can't remember the last time I saw so many (severely overweight) guys from 16-30 in one place. I finished weaving in the ends on some mittens I made on Wednesday for my best friend for Christmas.

I used Ann Budd's basic mitten pattern and Lamb's Pride Bulky Superwash in Misty Blue on US8 Addis. I ended up needing just slightly more than one skein which was a bummer. I supposed I could have ripped the first one out when I realized that it was 2 oz. and the yarn comes in 3.5 oz skeins. I could have made the cuff shorter and the tops less pointy. But that seemed like it would involve a lot of knitting and reknitting. I might make a hat to go with it or I might just toss the extra in the stash until the right project comes along.

I also started my Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays in Rowan Cork. Fast, easy. Gotta love it. I hope it doesn't get too narrow. I keep trying it on as I add more cables and the whole thing tightens up. I may just switch to one size larger needle around the ankle area to keep things big enough.

Today: Going to see Syriana and going to a birthday party.

Sorry for not linking to anything. If I have the time I'll add them later.

December 14, 2005

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

This summer we discussed a disturbing ad that appeared in many knitting magazines. Well, things have gotten far more disturbing.

The advertiser proclaims, "Our new signature hat can be worn in a variety of ways. Wear it as a saucy beret, as a cute cap, or straight up as funky Rasta hat. The posibilities[sic] are endless!"

It fails to address the whole chimp issue.


And look! A Teletubby all growed up!

Call Me Cranky

How many knitters have the $480-640 laying around to spend on the kit for this sweater? It's lovely. It's hand-dyed cashmere. I get it. But come on. Even for a particularly flush knitter this is kind of over-the-top extravagant, no? And while I'm at it I thought it was really odd and un-Knitty-like to have a sweater that costs well over $200. Same designer/yarn company owner. Am I just an envious bitch? It seems to me that no matter how cheap a yarn is used in a Knitty pattern everyone is looking to do it cheaper.

I Married a Geek

I read this comic this morning and ran to show it to Wes.

He looked at it and told me, "It's Gleep."

Damn, I Love Hats

They're so quick and satisfying. I started this at lunch.

Pattern: Jayne Cobb Hat
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky in Orange You Glad, Lemon Drop and Spice
Needles: US10.5 Brittany dpns
Changes: I didn't think the decreases as written would make the top of the hat look like the hat from the show. I knit my hat slightly taller then did a round of k6, k2tog, then knit a round even. The next decrease round was k5, ssk, then knit a round even. The next decrease round was k4, k2tog, then knit a round even. Then k2tog on the next two rounds.

December 13, 2005

Internet Time-Suck #2963673873

Make your own South Park character. Here's me.

(via Steph)


Pattern: Jaywalker
Yarn: Socks That Rock in Lucy in the Sky?
Needle: US2 Crystal Palace Circular
Final Thoughts: I did 1x1 ribbing instead of 2x2. I thought it looked a little more delicate. The socks are a little loose. It probably would have been best to use US1.5 needles but I wanted to do magic loop instead of using dpns. This is a fast and easy sock.

December 12, 2005


I don't like science fiction. If it involves a bunch of people flying around in space ships I'm not interested. But I'm not completely closed minded either. Molly keeps telling me I might like Firefly. She gave me the series on DVD. I'm leery of Joss Wheedon. Everyone kept telling me how great Buffy was. I got it from the library and watched at least 4 episodes and could not for the life of me understand why anyone would watch it.

Yesterday at work I sold yarn to two different people to make a Jayne Cobb hat. Everything on tv was a repeat so I started watching Firefly. I'm not in love but it's cute. It's really more of a western. Which only makes me sigh a little deeper every time they get back on the spaceship. Anyway, Wes wanders in while I'm watching it and starts to spout off boatloads (spaceshiploads?) of Firefly trivia. I stare at him for a long time. How the hell does he know all this stuff about a show he's never seen? A friend and former co-worked is a HUGE fan. My knitting wheels start turning.

Really? He's a huge fan? Would he like a hat?

December 10, 2005

Avast Ye Mateys!

December 9, 2005

What a Maroon

I've recently discovered other knitbloggers that also went to the University of Chicago. And then I found out that Sivia Harding went to the U of C too and has designed a scarf for the alumni magazine.

Knit on, Maroons.

December 8, 2005

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I had my whole post planned out for today. A whole whack of ugly sweaters ready to stun and horrify you. But then it happened. I was watching Martha and she was going throught he audience complimenting people on their holiday attire (horrible, glittery Santa sweaters) and the camera panned. I shrieked with simultaneous glee and horror as Wes cried out, "It looks like a pack of ferrets landed on her chest!" It was the mother lode of ponchodom.

Forgive the poor photo quality. Wes helped me with a screen grab off the TV.

Just imagine, first she had to think the poncho pattern was good; she had to make poncho; she had to look at the poncho while she was making it. And then finally, after finishing the poncho, she had to decide that on a day she would be filmed and broadcast across the country, and possibly the world, that she would put that hideous fucking thing on. Oh the humanity.

***Added Later: Martha did ask if the poncho was handknit. Sadly, it was.

December 7, 2005


I had my second Beyond Beginner spinning class last night. It was much better. No talking, straight to work. We spent a little while working on Navajo plying. It was good to work on this with the instructor and it will be very helpful for plying all of our class samples. I remembered to bring my camera to class but forgot to take any pictures. When I got home I also realized that the camera battery was in the charger.

Here's my first little Navajo-plied skein with the combed Corriedale top we spun last week.

The top photo shows my rolags of handcarded Romney. The second are my batts of Shetland made on the drum carder.

The last shows everything else I need to do for next week. There's Lincoln cross and a different Romney that I flick carded when I got home. There's Romney X that I'll comb in class next week. And there's CVM(!) that the instructor gave us at the last minute. I have no idea what I'll do with it.

December 6, 2005

Knitter's Review

No, not Knitter's Review. A review of Knitter's. Normally I reserve posting about projects from Knitter's for Thursdays. But this time around it looks like they've pulled themselves together. A bit.

The issue is one of those good things/ bad things type of deal.

Good thing: The inspiration for the issue is Coco Chanel.
Bad thing: Lots of mediocre Chanel knock offs. There's even one for baby, which isn't a bad idea, but this one looks poorly executed.

Good thing: Rick Mondragon designed a cute, sexy top.
Bad thing: Horrible ginormous poncho--with cuffs! (Even the model is slapping her forehead over this one).

Good thing: Lots of nice looking bag patterns.
Bad thing: Yet another chunky, clunky looking cabled sweater from Kathy Zimmerman

Best thing: These sweet little gloves make me sigh.

Worst thing: Norah Gaughan has lost her mind. Fringed spats? Time to up the meds.

And don't forget the matching sweater. *shudder*

Feeding Frenzy

I went to Elann at 9 am to buy some Rowanspun 4 Ply for this cardigan. I put everything in my cart and went to check out. One item was gone already. I went back and picked another color. I went to check out. Another item was gone already. I went back, etc. etc. until all the yarn I wanted was gone. Damn.

***Update: I came up with some new colorways and was able to complete an order. I hope I don't hate my panicked choices when they get here.***

December 5, 2005

Progress Report

Jaywalker progresses.

Check out the cool pooling on the heel.

I finished the heel last night and am working the gusset decreases. I expect a finished sock soon.

Wes picked up my Japanese pattern book for me yesterday. Oh dear. It's a bit complicated. I know I can figure it out but it's going to take a lot of swatching and experimenting.

Go check out the new Knitty.

December 4, 2005

Jaywalker 1.1

The US2 Crystal Palace needles are working well. The sock made in the small size is running ever so slightly large which I prefer vastly over too tight. A certain five year old left my camera on all day and night and drained the battery so you'll have to take my word for it that they're looking good. I'm just finishing up the heel flap. And I cast on for this cool pirate hat for Wes. Our younger son took Wes's hat to the aquarium on Thanksgiving and it did not making it home so the man needs a new hat. I just finished casting on and knitting the first few rows. More colorwork. Fun, fun, fun.

I'll snap pictures for you later. Happy Sunday!

December 2, 2005

Is That a Turnip?

I bought several sweaters for a dollar or less a piece at a thrift store several years ago in the hopes of making some patchworky pillows or blankets from them. I felted them immediately which worked to varying degrees. Then I ignored them for a long, long time. When I heard about the ReKAL I decided to turn one of the sweaters into a tea cozy.

I finally got around to it tonight when I found myself thinking, "Gee, it's too bad I don't have a tea cozy."

After I cut it out I stitched up the top (badly) and decided to do a needle-felted decoration on it. I read about using cookie cutter as needle-felting templates so I pulled out a giant copper acorn.

Then I pulled out a bag of odds and ends I collected during my first spinning class. It was all the junk that people were going to throw out that I saved to make felted balls with my son's preschool class. Waste not, want not. I never made those felted balls.

I stabbed at the roving until my arm went numb and I have a new tea cozy. I slapped it on my teapot and took a picture.

I have a giant turnip on my tea cozy.

Hat Break

Nothing like whipping out a little hat to refresh you.

This is for the Dulaan pile. I used Susan's top-down approach. I wanted to use up the last bit of my first hand-dyed handspun yarn. I also used up the leftovers from my two Christmas Rose bags and some of the leftover yarn from my son's Chicken Run hat (Which he still won't wear, not that I'm miffed about that at all or anything, I mean, I only went to the trouble of finding just the right yarn and a cute pattern and knit the thing up in a day for him because he asked me and now it's sitting on the shoe rack attracting all manner of animal hair. I'm fine with it.).

Let's not discuss the one I started with sock yarn. It's too big. But I'm trying to ignore that and just keep on knitting.


Thanks to everyone for your information on yarns for Durrow and your compliments on my new socks. You're so nice to me.

December 1, 2005

How Do You Say "Done" in Latvian?

Pattern: Latvian Socks from Folk Socks
Yarn: Twinkle Toes from Joslyn's Fiber Farm
Needles: US0 Addi Turbos

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

This week we have a special edition of WTHIS entitled What the Hell is on Your Head? It seems there are two approaches to bad hats.

Ugly hat? Embellish it!

And the "bigger is better" camp.

But leave it to the French to come up with the "ethnically inappropriate hat to distract you from a completely stupid sweater."