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

June 30, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Ah Berocco. The design team that originally prompted me to cry "What the hell is this?" You have not let me down.

I believe you have supplied the world at last with the most horrible poncho for it's sheer ugliness and size. Congratulations. Are those sleeves?

And the least flattering hat. Unless you think looking like a chestnut or a hedgehog is flattering.

Most repulsive tank top. See the detail shot for the full horror of metallic fluff.

Worst home accents.

Celeste pointed out the no knit, no sew, no crochet, no brains, no taste necklace.

But then you outdid yourself by introducing the world to the Creepiest. Mannequin. Ever.

Thank you.

June 28, 2005

Shesh, That Took Long Enough

Since starting the Martha-along in March (March! For crying out loud!), I have just tonight squeezed out my first sleeve. Now don't be mistaken. This is my first and only piece of the sweater I've knit so far.

We've had four finished Martha's so far. Most recently Melanie has finished hers in a delicious wine color.

Also recently spotted:
AmyP's working on her back.
Erin's left front and right.
Holly's front is in the works.
Kristy's almost at the armhole shaping.

June 27, 2005

Sad Times for Pooh

How creepy is it that the man who voiced Tigger died on Friday and the man who voiced Piglet died the next day?

New Ring In Town

June 26, 2005

Switching Gears

***Updated Monday***
Today I won't complain about other knitters and designers.

I brought my camera to work yesterday and got pictures of projects I've made at the shop over the last month or so.

Here is the one skein Lion and Lamb scarf I made. I used a lace rib from 365 Knitting Stitches. This is two sections of the scarf side by side. I made the scarf pretty skinny to make sure it would be nice and long. If I did it over I would have added another lace rib repeat. The yarn is just great to work with. It's soft and smooth. It glides right along the needles. And it looks great. The silk gives it an amazing sheen.

This is the Bouton D'or baby sweater I finished a week or so ago. I used a really fun 100% machine washable yarn called Norma. It has a very tightly spun core with a fuzzy halo around it. It's terribly soft and squishy and nice to work with because the fuzz is short and doesn't cause splitting or snagging. The pattern came from book #13 Fall 2004 Layette. The book contains loads of adorable children's designs but it also contains my least favorite phrase "knit same as left front, reversing all shaping." I got to use some very sweet little blue enameled buttons from the shop. The cable pattern is pretty much the same as the Chutes and Ladders socks a made a few weeks ago.

Here's the scarf I knit from Teseo. It is a mistake rib stitch with an 8 stitch one-row buttonhole. The yarn is very soft and the colors shifts are very pretty.

This is my latest. A new kid's earflap hat pattern from Knitting Pure & Simple knit in Schoeller Stahl Big Print. I'm also making mittens to match.

And my latest yarn crush. Habu Linen Paper yarn. The colors are fantastic. It does feel like paper. Someone described it as being like taffeta.

One of my co-worker's made a water bottle holder from it. I want to make a very structured sweater.

June 25, 2005

Interweave Knits, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Oh, Interweave Knits. I was so looking forward to you. But you're a snooze. Other than Kate's lovely and unique design gracing the cover and a simple pair of socks from Nancy Bush there's nothing much there to knit. And there are a few real dogs.

This completely boring vest is knit with Lion Brand Suede yarn. It makes the slight pixie of a model look about 100 pounds heavier with her breasts down at her waist. What made this one seem like a winner to you?

The reason this model is leaning against the bench is to keep her legs from buckling under the weight of this coat. Mission Falls Wool is a really heavy yarn. It's 85 yards/50 grams. It will cost roughly $160-$200 to look like Akebono. And it's ugly.

Are the sleeves on this shrug big enough? I think the photo should show the model wiping schmutz off the cuffs or at least dragging them through her lunch. And let's not forget the $300 price tag.

And what's with all the fuzzy, out of focus photos? Weren't you listening?

June 24, 2005

Why Wait?

I was advised that there were some really blog-worthy patterns over at the Lion Brand site again by Celeste (go over and vote for her in the Stitch Diva flower contest). So I figured, why wait until Thursday?

This was the pattern Celeste told me about. I can't really think what to say about these babies. Except perhaps, "Blech." Or, "Ew." Or maybe, "Are you freaking kidding me? Aren't the flip flops bad enough?"

The perfect knitting project for a hooker on a slow night. Would make an excellent gift for your pimp.

This pattern instructs you to cast on 8 stitches and knit until you're done. Genius, no? I mean, who would have been able to figure that one out on their own? The models expression seems to say, "Can you believe this shit?"

Note to Lion Brand designers: Dogs already have fur. They don't need fur coats. Especially not fun fur coats. And really not bright blue and lime green fun fur coats. Really.

Okay, I Think I'm Back on Track

The template still needs some tweaking but I managed to clean it up quite a bit.

Blog Meltdown

My template has imploded. Please stand by while I rebuild.

New Photos! Now With Lighting

There is actually sunlight today so I ran outside with my recent FOs to snap what I hope are few decent photos. These give a much better sense of the colors.

June 23, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Two words: Suicide pact

June 22, 2005

One Whitby

June 21, 2005

Hello, Kettle? You're Black.

I have a small rant. It's about photo quality. Now I know I just posted a whole bunch of terribly underlit photos but I'm a blogger. An ordinary citizen who is just trying to show the world what I'm up to --for kicks. What I'm noticing more of is people or companies trying to sell you something and using a terrible photos to do it. I called out Teva Durham's site a few weeks ago for grainy, poorly lit photos. But I keep seeing more and more. Chiagu suffers from this. The Crumpets pattern has an adorable photo that shows off the pattern nicely. Everyone and their dog is buying the pattern and knitting it up. But Cabled? I can't even see the cables. And The Garter Belt? Several patterns have nice photos but the detail shots are itty-bitty thumbnails. The point of a detail shot is to blow up a detail so we can see it. Not make it smaller. I can't make out anything from this photo. Why would I spend $6 for the pattern? Even big dogs like Rowan are giving me fits lately. If I want to see decent photos of the patterns from the Rowan Classic Collection I have to look elsewhere. All you get from them are miniature thumbnails and awkward half-tone detail shots.

But I still have hope. I wrote to Spun Magazine after their first issue noting that the photos were too dark and too small. The latest issue features bright clear photos with big detail shots. Thanks for listening.

Underlit Photo Round Up

Making Waves is done. I ran out of brains as I was finishing up. As I was weaving in and trimming ends I accidentally cut off some that I hadn't woven in! So I pulled out a needle and thread (gasp!) and sewed it up discreetly. Then as I was fluffing it up and giving it a little steam I saw a funny bunched up stitch. I gave it a little tug and pop! It laddered up. Holy crap. A dropped stitch. This is supposed to be my easy mindless project. So more needle and thread. Thank goodness my best friend isn't a knitter. I pinned it up on the curtain rod in the living room to steam it. When Wes saw it he said, "She's going to flip out when she sees this." Here's hoping.

I finished turning the heel and doing the foot decreases on my first Sockapal2za sock. This lighting does not do it justice.

And here's the start of my Wool Peddler's Shawl. I'm only about 60 yards into the first ball of yarn and I've hit two joins. It's 80% alpaca, 20% silk so I can't spit splice it. I tried to do a Russian join but the yarn is very loosely plied and splitty. Hopefully all the skeins aren't this bad. And I do think it's ironic that my Wool Peddler's Shawl doesn't have any wool in it.

June 19, 2005


I meant to bring my camera to work with me today. I wanted to show you all the cool stuff I've been making for the shop. But I forgot.

blogged about the black hole of knitting while working on Birch. For some reason I felt I was better able to express myself in her comments than on my own blog. So I'll just paste in what I wrote there here. "Sadly my project doesn't have Birch's seductive quality of getting smaller and smaller as I work. Instead I am knitting a lumbering rectangle. A mass of never-ending sameness. I will never get out." Truly, the Making Waves shawl continues to taunt me by not getting any larger despite hours and hours of knitting. Fortunately I will run out of yarn soon. Then it will end.

Not much else to report tonight. I knit the heel flap on my first Sockapal2za sock then ripped it out because I forgot to use the reinforcing thread. D'oh!

June 18, 2005

It's a Sickness

I cast on for the Wool Peddler's Shawl. I couldn't help myself. For now it's my computer knitting project. It lives by the computer and I pick it up and knit away in garter stitch while I'm online. I also cast on for a new shop project--the Cocoon Lace Scarf. It's a lovely lace scarf by Evelyn Clark written for Fiber Trends. I'm making a small scarf using a single skein of Anny Blatt Fine Kid in a purple/gray. I'm using Crystal Palace US 8 circulars to work with this lovely, soft yarn. It's bliss. The needles are so smooth and pointy. The stitches just glide. Wonderful. But since I don't always have much time to knit at work it may take months to finish the scarf.

The Making Waves shawl continues. And continues. God, rectangles are so boring.

June 17, 2005

Farewell Faroese Shawl

I knew down in my gut that something was not right. Why else has it taken me nearly two months to knit twelve rows (but over 5000 stitches)? Why did I not take my own advice and use enough stitch markers to sink a ship? Today I hunkered down and counted, counted and recounted. I found my problem. I had marked off the beginning of the center panel one pattern repeat too soon. The entire shawl is off center. Son of a bitch. I am ripping it right now. I'm a little glad to exorcise this demon project. I will have to regroup and either pick a new Gathering of Lace project or drop out of the knitalong. Or--a real long shot--steel myself and cast on 421 stitches for the third time.

I'm racing along on my Sockapal2za socks. I'm using the beautiful yarn I got from Jean and knitting the Whitby sock from Knitting on the Road. It's such a fast and easy pattern. I finished the first leg and I only started on Wednesday night.

I'm still plugging away on the Making Waves shawl. Thanks for all the compliments on it. It's maybe a little too simple to knit. I'm bored. Really bored. I have about 25 inches to go and I'm at that point where no matter how much I knit the shawl doesn't get longer.

I went by the Acorn Street sidewalk sale this morning and found more Llama Seta in the same color and dyelot as the stuff I got at the Weaving Works sale. I have enough know for a full size Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls. I also got three skeins of Mountain Colors Mountain Goat in Garnet. Ooo la la. I may try to use it for the Leaf Lace Shawl. I don't know yet.

June 16, 2005


Stitch 'n Pitch

Two women from the Mariners came to the Knitter's Guild last night to tell us about a new event. Stitch 'n Pitch. There will be a special knitter's section at the Mariners game on July 28th. View all the details here. It sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad I'll be at work.

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

I'm a new subscriber to Spin Off magazine. When I got my magazine earlier this week I was horrified to see the headline, "A New Twist on Granny Squares." Silly spinning pun aside (twist, get it!) it seems the new twist they are referring to is to make the squares really itty-bitty and then attach them to make a very ugly vest.

Have they completely run out of ideas of what to make with handspun yarn? What the hell is this about?

June 15, 2005

My Bug's Life

Any parent out there, or animation enthusiasts, should know these two guys. They are Tuck and Roll from A Bug's Life. Apparently, once the film wrapped they were retrained as finish carpenters and are currently working on the never-ending townhome construction next to my house. All day long in addition to the bangbangbang, slamslamslam, buzzbuzzbuzz and drilldrilldrill I hear these two arguing angrily in a completely unintelligible (to me) language.

Yes, it's just as much fun as it sounds.

June 14, 2005

Book Extravaganza

I looked for Rowan Junior on eBay the other day on a whim. I found it for $2.99 with a Buy It Now option. I got it yesterday. With shipping it was a whopping $5.78. Woohoo.

Then Ann and Iris blogged about joining Crafter's Choice. I'm not made of stone people. Dangle cheap knitting books under my nose and I'm going to crumble. So now
The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, Knitting On The Edge, Loop-D-Loop, Designs for Kids, Simple Socks are all on their way to me.

Okay, I just went back to get these links and they've added nine new knitting books in the last ten minutes. Freaky.

Anyone know about Book Crossing? What a fabulously cool concept.

Oh Dear

Interweave Press has been sold.

Making a Mystery Stole

Step One:
Cast on 110 stitches.
111 stitches

June 13, 2005

New Directions

Late last night I started some new socks with the Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock in Black Purl I got at the knitting guild Fiber Frenzy. I'm trying to come up with a new pattern based on a lace pattern I knit a while ago. It was greeted with a few appreciative murmurs at Purlygirls tonight but someone thought the yarn obscured the lace pattern. And, of course, she's right. I may knit on. I may not.

I cast on for the Mystery Stole-along last night. I have knit one row. Yay me.

I started swatching my handspun. Still not quite sure where I'm going with it.

I'm just going in a lot of directions right now. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon.

P.S. The Making Waves wrap is half done.

June 12, 2005

Prepare to Be Awed

Are you ready? I have completed TWELVE rows on the Faroese Shawl. I know. It's impressive, isn't it? Please hold the applause, you're embarrassing me.

A Few More Details

Sam is all seamed. Fixie is all knit up. I just need to sew in Sam's zipper and make some tassels for Fixie.

June 10, 2005

Taking a Load Off

I've done a few things to relieve my stress and anxiety over my projects. First I shipped off my Dulaan box. It included 13 hats, 1 scarf, 1 sweater and 2 pairs of socks. I also included a very warm child's winter coat, a turtleneck and a stuffed animal. Twenty items in all. I filled in every last space on the inventory sheet which I took as a sign that it was meant to be done. I shipped it off yesterday. I also decided not to knit anything fancy for the new baby. I'm going to make on of Larissa's baby hats in my leftover Fixation from the Lacy Hair Tamers. I started my friend's wrap and am over a quarter of the way through it already. It's a very fast knit and I think it looks pretty. I've been waiting for some daylight to take a picture but this is Seattle after all...

June 9, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Eklectika sent me this photo last week.

My first thought was, "Ooooooo, horrible pink fluffy sweater."
Then, "Ooooooo, horrible pink fluffy matching sweaters."
Then, "Ooooooo, horrible fake smile."
Then, "Ooooooo, horrible fake breasts."

Eklectika summed it up nicely--"...picturing the epic battle between silicone and novelty yarn..."

June 8, 2005

You Learn Something New Every Day

I was IMing with Wes about the new Simpsons feature film in pre-production. Wes deemed it "jump the shark" time for the Simpsons. Huh? What is jumping the shark? Jumping the shark indeed.

Google Does Frank Lloyd Wright

Very cute.

Aw Chutes!

June 7, 2005

Enough About the Heat

All you people complaining about how ungodly hot it is where you are, stop it right now. I am freezing my ass off here. It is 55° and drizzling. It has been cold and gray and blah for days. And it's going to continue for days. We had to turn the heat on.

My brain is about to explode. I have so many projects going right now and so many that I want to start. I keep uncovering yarn that I'm dying to work with or remembering a pattern I want to try. I'm losing it. I told Wes that he has to start knitting too until I can get on top of this. He smiled and nodded but I don't think he meant it...

So to try to straighten out the jumbled trash heap that is my brain right now I'll try to list it all out here.

Currently knitting:
1. Chutes and Ladders socks. I am almost at the toe shaping. I should be done by the time I go to sleep tonight. Thank goodness.

2. Martha. What a crappy knitalong hostess I am. I just keep pushing her to the bottom of the bag. I don't know why. The pattern is pretty simple. The yarn is lovely (Dale of Norway Baby Ull). It's stretchy and soft. The needles are tiny but that's okay.

3. Faroese Shawl. This is pushed down under Martha. I need an entire cleared off table and total silence to work this one. Ripping the Alpaca Cloud is really hard to do. I'm on row 7. It's pathetic.

4. Mountain Colors Shawl. A new project. I'm making the Colinette Making Waves shawl from Vogue but I'm using Mountain Colors 4/8s wool, Mohair, Moguls and Merino Ribbon all in Ladyslipper. It's a gift for my best friend's birthday which was last month. She selected the pattern and we choose the yarn together. I just got rolling on it today. It is a dead easy pattern except it doesn't tell you the color/yarn order or stripe pattern. It just says to randomly stripe it. Which makes me want to find the pattern writer and say, "Look idiot. I got the freaking pattern so I wouldn't have to figure the damn thing out by myself. Why don't you at least tell me what you did? I mean, what the hell kind of lazy pattern writing is that? The pattern is an 8 row repeat so I guess the designer took the afternoon off that day. Anyway, I'm trying very hard to be random. But as my co-worker Kristen just said to me the other day, "Random is hard." Patterns always emerge. So I'm making myself a little tense trying to be random. No fun.

5. Sam. That bitch. The snap that happened last night was the yarn I used to seam the sleeve breaking. This is aran weight cabled cotton that you could not break with your bare hands if your life depended on it. And it broke. With a little tug. So I'll have to unseam that sleeve--again!--either a little bit and have 83984703873287 ends to weave in or a lot and have to seam the entire sleeve again. And there's a zipper too. Don't expect to see me in Sam until some time in late summer 2008.

Other things clamoring for my attention:
1. Mystery Stole Knitalong. Tonight I wound my Grignasco Merinosilk that I got on my trip to Portland. I have my needles. I have my waste yarn. I am ready to begin. Does starting yet another lace shawl seem like a good idea right now? Frankly, I don't know.

2. A new sock design. I have a pattern I would like to create. This will take time.

3. More socks. I have so much sock yarn. I have Knitting on the Road. I need to make a lot more socks.

4. Cash Iroha sweater. I bought a small boatload of Cash Iroha on New Year's Day. I wanted to make the Curry Cable Cardigan from Fall 2002 IK. But then I really looked at the pattern. It's just not good enough. No shaping. Huge boxy sweater. No detail or elegance to the cuffs or the bottom edge of the sweater. Bleh. My yarn deserves better. I'm toying with making Lace & Cable Sweater. But I'm also thinking about making the Knot & Cable Jacket. Just can't decide yet.

5. Dulaan knitting. I have a box that is really full and ready to ship off but I had hoped to make more.

6. Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls. I want this one bad. I have some Llama Seta that I want to use for this but I only have 616 yds. I'll have to monkey with the pattern.

7. Ene's Shawl from Scarf Style. I have two yarns that I bought for this. I still haven't decided which to use. And there's no way I'm casting on another lace shawl until I get all the other ones done.

8. Handspun Bolero. I want to make as much of a sweater as I can with some of the slubby/fuzzy handspun I made a while back. I am slowly amassing handspun yarn and haven't knit anything with it yet.

9. Second Retro Prep. I got yarn at the Fiber Gallery sale in April. It's staring at me.

10. Felted Floral Tote. I actually said out loud last night, "I'd really like to work on some intarsia." What? No one in their right mind says such a thing. Not to mention that I have this intarsia project rotting in exile in the back of the closet. Like the Faroese Shawl this is another nobody speak while I spread my crap out all over the entire dining room table to work on this.

11. Clapotis. I can't be the only knitter in the universe without a Clapotis! I have yarn. I want to start.

12. Fiber Gallery projects. I'm working on a baby sweater at work but there's a million other samples I want to knit for the shop.

13. Sweater for my friend's baby due in September. It's a girl. I never get to knit for girls.

14. Leaf Lace Shawl. I have the yarn and the pattern and suddenly everyone and their brother is knitting this shawl. And they all keep saying how easy it is.

Should I go on? I could. I haven't even started in on the spinning. But I won't. I think you get the idea. If you hear a loud popping sound in the next few days, that would be my head bursting.

June 6, 2005

Sam Snapped

Sam is slowly becoming a sweater.

I brought Sam to Purlygirls tonight and worked very carefully seaming up the last sleeve, matching up all the increases.

Then I gave it a little tug. And snap!

One Done

June 5, 2005

22 Hours of Heaven

Wes and I had a getaway. We left the kids with some friends, spent the day on Bainbridge Island and stayed downtown overnight. This was the second time in the seven years we've been parents that we've had a night alone. SECOND. In seven years. Oh my god, it felt good to get away. There was a lot of knitting time too.

The cursed socks are complete and behind me now.

I finished the sleeve cap on Sam, sewed in the sleeve and seamed it. Now I have all the rest of the seams, ends and a zipper to deal with.

And to show that I haven't completely lost it, I knit the heel flap and turned the heel then picked up the gusset stitches on Chutes and Ladders.

June 4, 2005

Send Help!

I am operating under some knitting hex, I believe. Last night, tired of the heel-challenged socks, got to work on the heel of my first Chutes and Ladders. The pattern for this heel is
Row: *sl 1, p1 rep from * to end
Row 2: sl 1, knit to end

On every purl row so far I have slipped one then purled to the end, then ripped back and then--with luck--knit the row properly. Every. Freaking. Time.

So instead I decided to finally sew up Sam. I sewed in one sleeve. Looks okay. I started sewing in the second sleeve and it looked really crappy. I ripped it out and started again. Still crappy. I looked closely at the sleeve and saw that it was backwards. I ripped it out and started again from the other side but it still looked funny. I ripped it out and studied the sleeve (that I finished knitting last summer). I then realized that I had started the cap shaping on the wrong row so that everything on the sleeve cap that was supposed to be on the right side was on the wrong side. Which explains my troubles stitching it all together. So I ripped back the sleeve cap and am currently reknitting it.

Holy crap. Is it time for a new hobby?

June 3, 2005


What a Heel

I'm up early today. My 5 year old woke me at 5 am after having an accident. He then got in our bed. And then out. And then in again. And then out. And then in again bringing the cat with him. And then out to get pillows to build a barrier wall so the cat wouldn't drool on him. And then back in. And then out--more pillows. And then back in. And then out to get his own comforter. At which point I said screw it and got up. I'm wrapped in my Birch shawl (ends still not woven in) and am enjoying a cup of coffee.

But what I really want to tell you about is this.

Molly gave me this yarn for Christmas. It's Regia 6 fadig. In the skein it looked like mottled gray, burgundy and black. I started knitting Japanese Feather Socks knowing the variegation would obscure the lace a bit. Then it came out striped. Oh dear. I couldn't see the pattern at all. Besides I wanted a simple, mindless project. Can you see where this is going yet? Thus began a saga worthy of a chapter--or at least a page--in the bookbookbook. I knit the leg of the first sock. I started to feel the colors were a bit masculine and asked Wes if he liked it. He did so the socks became his. This is the first time I ever made socks for him. Okay, this is the first time I ever made anything besides the one super-easy hat I made him this winter. I measured his foot. It's .75" longer than mine and the same circumference. Man, I've got big feet.

Back to the sock knitting. I knit the heel flap. In a tizzy of mindlessness and knitting enthusiasm I picked up the gusset stitches without ever turning the heel. What the hell? I realized after a few rounds that my heel is seriously screwed up. I ripped it back to the flap and started knitting the heel. Now what? It wasn't working because I didn't have my stitches evenly divided on my needle (magic loop) but just assumed I did. Rip. Reknit the flap on the right number of stitches. Pick up the gusset stitches without ever turning the heel again! What in the @&%!$#* hell?! And I knit this monstrous heel for many, many rounds before thinking, "Hey, this heel is monstrous." I ripped it back to the flap turned the heel and finally finished the cursed sock.

Here's the little troublemaker.

Last night I finished knitting the leg on the second sock (totally fraternal btw, I'm no Teresa). I knit the heel flap. I started to turn the heel. I didn't have my stitches evenly divided again!!!! What is wrong with me? This was supposed to be my easy project! Bah!

June 2, 2005

Continuing Saga of a Knitalong Whore

I just can't stop. I signed up for . The last one was a lot of fun.

I have also been in the knitalong. My April project was the knitalong within a knitalong of knit in Noro Lily that I bought at 2 am over a year ago to make a tank. (I only ordered half of what I needed and then couldn't get the rest because the yarn was discontinued and on clearance. Moral: Don't order yarn at 2 am.) May was the Leaf Lace Pullover knit in cat puke colored Swa Laine that I got for free in a swap. June will be another killing-two-knitalongs-with-one project--Chutes and Ladders socks knit in Elann Sierra left over from my Elle Tote. This is for the which is starting it's second year. Last year I knit the first three socks but then wasn't interested in the last three designs. I felt much better once I realized that I didn't have to knit the socks I didn't like.

And now on Friday the begins. Ay carumba!