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

March 31, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Dear Editors of Vogue Knitting,
Normally, I don't like your magazine much. The new issue, however, features several designs I think are pretty cute. But I've got to ask, what the hell is this?

When did the poufy sleeve, crop tops, covered in flowers, in 80s colors come back in vogue? Please explain.


P.S. I think I've figured out the inspiration for the hair.

March 29, 2005

Retro Prep Update

The bands are all knit and the ends are woven in. I just need to get buttons and sew them on then block, block, block.

The Dulaan sweater I'm knitting is nearly done too. I've got most of one sleeve left and the front bands. I should have some finished sweaters to show off soon.

March 28, 2005


Despite my best efforts my sewing machine refuses to sew. Fortunately, Purlygirl Rebecca shlepped one of her seven (!) sewing machines all the way to Seattle so I could secure my steek.
I sewed.
Then I cut.

I was a lot more nervous about the sewing. I would sew for a bit and then pause, exhaling, realizing that I was actually holding my breath while I worked. Once the steek was cut I picked up the stitches and knit the button band. I'm working on the buttonhole band right now.
Then I need to block the bejebbers out of this thing.

Knitting Math

I've been wondering for a while when knitting a triangular shawl how to calculate what percentage is complete as I go. I mentioned this to Wes and he created an Excel spreadsheet for it. You just need to tell it how many rows your shawl has and then you can see what percentage you've completed. Aren't geeks handy?

My hate-hate relationship with my sewing machine continues. It now will not work at all. I can't draw up the bobbin thread because the sewing thread keeps getting tangled around the bobbin case. When I can pull up the bobbin thread, the sewing thread winds around and around the bobbin case and makes a huge tangled mess. I found the manual in the attic but I still can't figure out why this is happening. This means that Retro Prep's steek is on hold until I can get my sewing issues resolved.

Yesterday I found some Bernat So Soft in my heap o' acrylic that I've been using for Dulaan hats. It seemed enough for an entire baby sweater so I ran over to Knitty and grabbed the pattern for Childhood. Mine is a boring solid color with no hood. I managed to get the back and one front done yesterday.

March 27, 2005

Easter Edition of What the Hell is This?

I admit that Thursday's installment of WTHIT was a bit weak. I mean, it was painfully ugly and ill-conceived but it wasn't quite on the laugh out loud level of previous installments. I apologize. I'd like to offer this special Easter edition.
May I present the Easter poncho.

What better way to celebrate springtime than having a dozen bunnies slaughtered, skinned and then knit into a poncho that retails for $695?

March 26, 2005

Many Pink Things and a Few Which Are Not

I'm a day late with the photos but the mail just kept rolling in.
First Lisa and the pups sent me this fabulous Regia sock yarn in a berry-ish colorway.

Thanks, guys!

Then my secret pal sent me all this.

A stuffed lamb weighed down with enough chocolate to sink a ship. Godiva chocolate. Guess I picked the wrong week to recommit to Weight Watchers...
Thanks Pal!

Then some spinning fiber I got off of eBay showed up.

If you happen to hear me say anything about shopping for spinning fiber, looking at spinning fiber or anything that might lead to my buying more spinning fiber, please, knock me down and take my wallet. I now have more than I can possibly spin in the next year or so.

And then at work today I picked out my yarn for the Martha-along. Dale Baby Ull. In a fuschia-berry shade which I did not capture well in this photo.

And for something that's not pink, today I got myself a little magnet board to hold my patterns. I'm using it for Backyard Leaves and it rocks. Look how much I got done tonight.

Lastly, yesterday I cranked out hat #8 and #9 for the Dulaan project.

I still haven't killed off that skein of Homespun.

March 24, 2005

Thursdays are Usually For What the Hell is This?

What a day. My boss is in Thailand right now. One of my co-workers came down with the flu and asked if I could come in at 11 instead of 1:30 today. I said okay and got a friend to sit for my four year old. This morning my friend called to say that she and her daughter are sick and they couldn't sit for me. I called about ten parents in my son's class. The one unlucky mom who was home to answer her phone got stuck with him.

The shop was steadily busy all day. I was able to squeeze in potty breaks and lunch between customers. Then, around 5, I had a customer who bought a skein of Blue Heron Confetti (gorgeous, handpainted railroad yarn) and asked me to wind it into a ball for her. It took probably 30 minutes to wind that sucker. Meanwhile everyone in the universe came into the shop. It was slammed for the next two hours. The credit card machine ran out of paper and I couldn't get the replacement in right. Finally a customer offered to help me with it and got it fixed in about a minute. And then the project help instructor never showed up! So I'm one tired knitter after working a nine hour day for the first time in seven years. But I had lots of great mail waiting for me when I got home. I'll share it with you tomorrow.

And now when thinking about what to feature for this week's WTHIS I decided to look across the Atlantic. One can always depend on the French for puzzling designs. I finally settled on this.

It's some sort of Frankensteinian melange of texture which seems to incorporate pieces of last week's featured garment. The patchwork, the tatters. Why? Why? Why?

March 23, 2005

Napoleon Vs. Fender

This site is pretty cute. Especially when there is a four year old watching it while dancing with pajama bottoms on his head.

Oh, That Wasn't So Bad

After spending most of my afternoon knitting time just untangling everything I frogged yesterday, I thought the end of body of Retro Prep would be days off. I was wrong.

I won't be able to finish the neckband until Thursday night because I need to get a new needle at work. I didn't buy it tonight because, as I mentioned, I didn't think I'd be here for a few days. And then I want to wait to steek it at Purlygirls on Monday. Give everyone a good scare. Hee hee.

March 21, 2005

Aw Crap

I spent about two hours at Purlygirls tonight ripping out half the yoke of Retro Prep. I took out several days worth of work. I was so close to finishing! Damn.

(Part of) My Weekend in Photos

Here's an adorable little package from New Hampshire.

Why it's my Sockapalooza socks! And aren't they lovely?

Diagonal Rib Socks from Interweave Knits in Special Blauband
Thanks Hannah!

I've been going around and around and around still on my Retro Prep. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

About 20, increasingly smaller, rounds to go to complete the yoke.

Evidence that I really am knitting Birch.

Eighteen fuzzy rows

Fuzzy leaves

And I've started the second half of Backyard Leaves.

March 20, 2005

On My Way Out the Door

I'm off to a Sneak screening. I haven't had a chance to pull out the camera yet and snap some pics of my socks.

Yesterday I taught my last of three sessions of my Big Sack class. My students figured out how to bind off the front (it's complicated in the book) and how to mattress stitch the sleeves to the front. They're still working on the backs but at least they left with something that looks very much like part of a sweater. I also worked until closing yesterday since the shop owner is out of town. I briefly touched base with my family for dinner ("Hi, kids! Remember me?") then went out to meet up with my best knit-buddies. I worked and worked and worked on Retro Prep but I'm still a good thirty rounds from the end on my yoke. At least the rounds are under 200 stitches now.

Okay, I'm off to my screening and then a birthday party. If I'm not in bed by 11 tonight I believe I will die.

March 19, 2005


My socks arrived yesterday. I haven't tried them on because I wanted to take a photo of them all nicely wrapped up with a bow. Thank you Hannah from New Hampshire for my lovely new socks! I'll snap photos and post them as soon as I can.

March 17, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Ladies and gentleman, may I present the Carnivorous Poncho.

Doesn't this poor infant look terrified as it is consumed by this grotesque poncho?

March 16, 2005

Fiber Frenzy

The Seattle Knitter's Guild had their annual Fiber Frenzy tonight. It was my first time. Primo stash for sale, I must say. Lorna's Laces, Mountain Colors, Noro, all for a song. I was very reserved and walked away with this.

Two skeins of Shepherd Sock in Black Purl, Shawls and Scarves and a skein of what is most likely Cascade 220. The total was $18.00. The yarn and book were $9 each and the 220 was on the free table. Ryan was there in her Dulaan Project t-shirt. I got to meet MaryB, who will be hosting a Dulaan knit-in on Saturday. And when I picked out some books to borrow from the library I saw that Janine had borrowed them previously. I never met Janine when she lived in the area but I read her blog now.

Jill, Marti and I went out for some Chinese food after we were done frenzying. Yum. I pulled out and started working on my Retro Prep which is now all one piece.

Then I saw it. I had knit the last four rows in the wrong color. Damn, I don't feel like ripping right now.

I'm still crawling through Birch. I've completed 18.5 rows so far.

I had tried earlier in the day to meet up with Em and Nipper for their virtual birthday party but my connection dropped out and I couldn't get back to the chat room.

March 15, 2005

Yarn and Prep

I thought it was about time I post something about what I've been making.

Here is Slubby n' Fuzzy yarn, plyed and washed.

It's very fuzzy. And very slubby. I have no idea how much there is or what I'll do with it yet.

And here's Retro Prep waiting for her second sleeve to be done.

Then last night I finished the sleeve and began joining the sleeves to the body. But I needed some extra needles, which meant actually getting off the couch and walking downstairs. So that didn't happen yet.

Special Edition!

I know it's early in the week for What the Hell is This? but Rebecca has shown me something so...so...words fail...

March 12, 2005


Am I the only spinner who gets the Rawhide theme song going through my head while I'm carding? Rolag, rolag, rolag... Probably.

Yesterday I carder and spun two giant shoe boxes full of rolags of the colorful but dirty fiber. I just need to do a tiny bit more and I'll be ready to ply it. I got Wes to help me sort it out a bit the other night. We spread it out on an old rag. When we were done there was so much dirt and debris collected. It was not to be believed. But it still just showers out dirt and crud when I card it.

I inspected some of the fiber that came yesterday. One is a prepared roving and doesn't seem to have any surprises. One is clean, dyed fleece. And it is clean! Like super-duper extra clean. And I don't think I'll even need to card it. I tried just teasing out the locks and they look really nice. I have 4 oz each of two colors. I thought about spinning them separately then plying them. It would make a really cute yarn.

Have a great weekend everyone!

March 11, 2005

Mail Call

I am such a lucky girl. Not only did two more bundles of spinning fiber make their way to my house in the last two days via eBay but I had another unexpected package waiting on my front step today. My pulse raced when I saw Schoolhouse Press as the return address.

My dear knitting camp friend, Mary, sent it to me. Isn't she sweet? Just totally out of the blue. I need to find some quiet time to curl up and read. Thank you, Mary!

Knitting update: Birch is flying along in a relative way. I have finished the first 13 rows. It's--I want to say something confident here but I fear that fate will zap me if I start to feel too good about this project. Let's just saying it's going.

I finished the first sleeve for my Retro Prep. One more to go and it's raglan time.

I also swatched some Dale Baby Ull for Martha last night. I think it will work nicely. And I can get it at the shop where I work.

March 10, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

It's Easter-time and the Peeps marketing machine is cranking into high gear. The website is full of fun and festive ideas. And this.

A Peeps sombrero? What the hell is this? They expect people to make this and wear it on their heads? To quote from the site, "Put it on your head and feel Easter chic!" Oh yeah, I'm feeling the chic.

March 9, 2005

A Different Martha




Anyone interested?

*Martha from Rowan 37

Have You Taken the Pledge?

March 8, 2005

Have You Any Wool?

Boy howdy, do I! Tonight was the second night of my wheel spinning class. I went to the shop to get some fiber with my class discount. I got Merino, Merino/Tussah silk blend, Merino/Kid Mohair and Tencel (will play with blending this). I also picked up a Lazy Kate and a standard flyer for my wheel. It turns out that the flyer won't work with my uprights (even with new bushings). Did any of you understand that? I will be headed back tomorrow to work on special ordering a standard flyer with uprights. Tonight we got to examine a fleece and learn what to look for when buying one. We learned how to use hand cards (boy, did I have that wrong) and we had a plying demonstration. I spent a lot of time carding and making rolags. I ended up coming home with a huge bag of them. I realized that I already have a fiber stash so large that there is no room left to store anything.

I was all fired up when I got home and (properly) carded some fiber I got off of eBay. It was advertised and clean, picked and dyed but ick! It's still really dirty. And loaded with short cuts and little matted bits of crud. I carded a shoebox full of rolags and spun them up. I think I will sell the yarn. I shall call it "Slubby 'n Fuzzy."

Here are the two latest Dulaan hats. The dark one is Wool-Ease Thick 'n Quick and the peachy one is two mystery acrylics. I just started a new one with the Homespun leftover from my No Sweats.

And how cute are these Phildar knitting bags? And affordable too.

March 7, 2005


One of my friend's is pregnant. Now I can make some sort of unbearably cute baby sweater. What is everyone's favorite unisex baby project?

My Weekend

I wrote a long post this morning about my weekend. Then I deleted it because it was so dull. You don't want to hear about it. I'll summarize.
1) Wool-Ease Thick 'n Quick hat is done but I made it too short.
2) I started a new Dulaan hat with two strands of mystery acrylic held together.
3) I made a lot of progress on the first sleeve of my Retro Prep.
It's still dull but at least is concise!

March 5, 2005


Well, well, well. The claws are out. It's interesting that finishing Rogue only got 16 comments but saying something bitchy about a knitting pattern gets 22. As requested I will try to make What the Hell is This? a weekly feature.

I finished the second sock for the Dulaan project. It looks just like the first one so I'll spare you a photo. I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing my office. I found some old, never-finished knitting projects made with icky yarn. I decided the Wool-Ease Thick 'n Quick would make nice warm, fast to knit hats for Dulaan so that's what I'm doing right now. Last night I also reacquainted myself with my Retro Prep sweater. I didn't do it very well and had to rip everything I knit out. But now I've got it.

Have a lovely weekend.

March 3, 2005

Burning Question

My Rowan 37 arrived today! I have one question.

What the hell is this?*

I did a tiny bit of knitting on Birch today. I finished a whole row. Woohoo!

*My friend Janet suggested that What the Hell is This? should be a weekly feature.

March 2, 2005


Little hats are multiplying like bunnies around here. I made hat #3 for the Dulaan Project today.

And the first sock using this pattern.

I also made this little hat from Manos Cotton Stria for the shop.

Speaking of bunnies...

March 1, 2005

Status Report

Backyard Leaves: I bound off the first half last night.
Birch: 4.5 rows done. This is a searing pace compared to last time.
Dulaan Project Socks: I started these Saturday morning then threw them over for the Devil hat on Saturday and the bunny on Sunday. They are sad and sitting next to my computer.
I spent all of today's knitting time working on a little Minnowknits hat for the shop in Manos Cotton Stria. Yummy cotton.

Tonight I had my first wheel spinning class. It was okay. It was for beginner's. If I had started the class on the day I signed up it would have been a lot more helpful. I think I need an intermediate class which I've been told won't happen until fall. But I spent a few hours uninterrupted at the wheel spinning Coopworth. That was nice. There's a second class next week.

And here's the second Dulaan project hat I knit.