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

August 31, 2005

The Will of the People

The poll results are in.

Marianne wins by a nose.

Marianne from Rowan 37 in Meadow Kidsilk Haze

Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor Socks from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Sheep's Gift in Black Cherry
Needle: US 3 Addi Turbo using magic loop method
Changes: I made my leg a lot shorter than the pattern called for. I wasn't sure how many Chart 1 repeats I would need to do on the foot. I made a guess but when I finished Chart 2 I was already practically at the end of the toe. I did a simple set of decreases at four points every other row until I had 12 stitches on each needle (24 total). I passed the first and last stitch on each needle over it's neighbor and kitchenered the remaining 20 stitches.

August 30, 2005

Port Townsend

Our trip this weekend was to Port Townsend, WA. We went with several other families and shared a row of large old Victorian homes that used to be the commanding officers' quarters. They were spacious but spartan. We were steps from the beach and the children spent their time playing kickball and riding bikes. It was very relaxing. I did squeeze in a trip to town to check out The Twisted Ewe and Diva Yarn & Trim. Both shops are really small. Neither had much that was new to me. It's not like I need more yarn.

I grew up partly on Nantucket. I love the ocean. But mostly I love the animals in the ocean. I was thrilled to see seals skimming along the water and otters frolicking. But I could not take a photo of them worth a damn.

Here is a seal.

What? You can't see him? He's right there.

I now have a deep well of sympathy for people trying to take photos of the Loch Ness monster. I mean, if it's this hard to take a photo of something real...

Speaking of something real, here's a preview of the socks. My first Friday Harbor sock photographed by my 7 year old.

I finished the second one last night and it's blocking. Now I need to start Amble for the Six Sox Knitalong.

August 29, 2005

Miss Me?

I just got back from our little weekend away. I finished my first Friday Harbor sock the first morning and then spent the rest of the weekend knitting and ripping sock #2. I think I was just more distracted than usual. I pulled my classic knit the heel flap and pick up stitches without turning the heel. That was after ripping the heel because...I can't remember. And today I did too many decreases after the heel and had to rip. I'm halfway through the foot now. Hopefully I won't rip and can show you completed socks by tomorrow.

August 26, 2005

Friday Morning Mailbag

I am going out of town for the weekend. There will be no computers where I'm going. No blogging, no emails...I'm trying to practice my yogic breathing...it'll be okay...

But this morning, as if to taunt me, to attempt to lure me back to blogging I received an email from Lion Brand and Berocco! The reigning King and Queen of What the Hell is This?.

So I can't help myself.

I'm not made of stone.

Berocco sent me this.

What the hell is this?

Lion Brand sent me this.

The brain suckers are spreading!

Have a great weekend.

August 25, 2005

More Merry Martha-Makers

Erin and Holly are done!
Nicely done, ladies.

The Beauty Shot

Click to make really big.

Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style
Yarn: K1C2 Madelaine (discontinued), just over 4 skeins
Needle: Clover Bamboo US8
Finished Size: 70"across and 40" long

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

While looking at the new fall designs at Trendsetter I got confused. The patterns for the new yarn, Euforia (so fun that they forgot how to spell!) started to look strikingly similar. So I've come up with a useful guide for telling the patterns apart.

Here is the "Euforia Shawl Collared Cardigan Vest" vs. "Euforia Pullover Vest."

I don't know how I could have been so foolish. They are as different as night and day.

And here is the "Euforia Classic Car Coat" vs. "Euforia Patch Pocket M.P. Jacket."

Silly me. That pocket completely transforms the sweater.

Another "Euforic" design of note would be this "capelet." Now, my understanding of the entirely made up word "capelet" is that it connotes the diminutive form of "cape." Yet this is larger than most ponchos. I believe it is worth coining a new term for "a capelet that grow to a hideously bloated size." Let's call them "capegrossas." Gives it a European flair, no?

And to close, this sweater, which it is indistinguishable from the others to me.

The model's expression says it all, doesn't it?

August 24, 2005


I am in the process of finding afterschool care for my 7 year old and found this program description.

Would that be croquet?

Play It Again, Ryan

Fit to Knit

I've joined a virtual running group for knitters. Now I must get off my ass and run.
One of the other members posted this Asics running ad about knitting.

Poncho OCD

Someone has compiled a list of 326 poncho patterns in alphabetical order. As she points out, "There are almost enough ponchos to have a new pattern for every day of the year! "

God help us.

August 23, 2005

What Did You Expect?

Thanks for everyone's input on my next project. I did not wait for any votes to come in before casting on for Marianne. Good thing that's what you voted for. I'm starting on a sleeve. I've only done the six rows of "fancy rib." I need a better US6 needle. I have an old Inox which wasn't the best to begin with but has now molted it's top, slick metal coating leaving a snaggy, draggy surface exposed. That will definitely not fly with KSH. I'll get some Crystal Palace needles at work on Thursday.

In the meantime I'm keeping myself entertained by starting the Friday Harbor socks. So. Freaking. Fast. I'm more than halfway done with the first leg already. I'm also very pleased with the yarn/pattern match up. The Sheep's Gift is variegated but only slightly so. It's still pretty monochromatic so the lace and texture really show up nicely. Better than in the book, I'd say but don't tell Nancy.

I took a picture yesterday afternoon. It's now much longer.

August 22, 2005

For the Jaws Fans Out There*

"We're gonna need a bigger board."

*Sorry, Molly.

Who's Next?

With Ene done I am left with one current project. What?! How did this happen? Am I becoming a monogamous knitter? I hope not.

I will start Friday Harbor Socks in Sheep's Gift for the Knitting on the Road Along as soon as I find my needles. They're around here somewhere. Once I get the hang of the pattern, and the cuff which I hear is tricky, this can be my purse project (the one that lives in my purse and gets worked on in long lines, trips to play areas, book stores and restaurants).

But then what is my next major project?

Faroese Shawl in Alpaca Cloud for the Gathering of Lace-a-Long?
Leaf Lace Shawl in Mountain Goat? Or Fairy Hare?
Dayflower Daydream in Mignon?
Cherry Blossom Shawl in MerinoSilk?
Marianne in KSH Meadow?

What do you think?

Like Knitter's Magazine, I reserve the right to completely ignore the results of this poll and knit something completely different. Just so you know.

I also want to finally, finally start Mia. The pattern that I was so crazy about before the book even came out? It's mindless k2p2 ribbing with no shaping is just what I need to balance with all the lace.

Oh yeah, I'm also designing a new bolero for the shop in Frog Tree Merino which is sooooooooooooooooooo soft.


Ene's Scarf is off the needles.

Blocking tomorrow. Now sleep.

August 21, 2005

Dyeing to Know

Does anyone know what kind of dye to use on a 50/50 wool/cotton blend? I've been reading and searching but I can't figure it out.

***Update: Thank you, Wendy! I guess I will be using Rit dyes.***

August 20, 2005

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

I love you guys. I love all your comments and the crazy pictures of knitted atrocities you send to me. Your comments just crack me up. When I post What the Hell is This? it's usually in the morning on Thursday. I leave for the day and don't get back home until after 10 at night. I run to the computer to see what you have all been saying. It makes my day every time. Thanks.

I Blame Molly

Last night I had the worst night's sleep. Probably goes on to the top 25 list of bad night's sleep. It's mostly Molly's fault. She came over yesterday so I could show her how to spin on my extra wheel. So we sat together, head to head, spinning for a while in the afternoon. She told me about Cinecast. Sounded right up my alley. So after having a very tasty dinner together and dropping her and the wheel off at her house I came home and started listening to Cinecast and spinning. I stopped at 2am. Okay, Wes is very much to blame here too. He's shooting a trailer for the San Diego Asian-American Film Festival on Sunday and he stayed up late preparing. Really late. I went to bed at 2. I couldn't sleep. I had a bug bite on my ankle. Scratch, scratch, scratch. My nose was itchy. Rub, rub, rub. Scratch. Rub. Toss. Turn. It was too hot. Turned on the fan. It was too cold. Rearranged the covers. Scratch. Rub. Toss. Turn. At some point Wes came to bed. At some point a child came in declaring that he needed a bandaid. The cat came in and sat next to my side of the bed and yowled for what seemed like hours. I put her on the bed. She nuzzled on my head and drooled on me for what seemed like hours. I kicked her off the bed. She yowled. The coup de grace came at 8 am when the phone rang. I gave up and went downstairs into my office. I sat down in front of my computer. While I considered reading blogs and working on Ene I realized that I was too tired to lift my arms.

Oh, and today is Wes's and my eleventh anniversary.

August 19, 2005



Yesterday I showed you the world's ugliest teddy bear. Today I discovered the world's most evil bear.

If you stare at it long enough you can actually feel it eating your soul.

August 18, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

You know how Wired Magazine has the Japanese Schoolgirl Watch column in which they predict hot new trends in fashion and technology based on what young girls in Japan are doing? I would like to start Japanese Craft Book Watch. Based on my last trip to Kinokuniya I discovered the newest craft trend. Dog clothing. Yes, really. Don't believe me? Look at all these new knitting books due out this fall. It's coming people. Brace yourself.

There are some on the vanguard who are already designing jaunty knit dog wear.

Haven't the designers over at Berroco made this little dog happy? Just look at that happy face!

Haven't you been searching for the perfect custom sweater for your dog to wear to cotillions and other formal events? Here it is!

I don't know what the idea was behind this one. I can only hope the person that dressed this dobie in this outfit had his or her throat ripped out shortly after the photo was taken. (Thanks to Nancy for this photo.)

Ponchos are over. That goes double for dogs!

Now let's review everyone. Dog's are animals designed quite well by nature. They have fur to keep them warm. They don't need sweaters or hats or tuxedos. When was the last time you saw a wolf on Animal Planet wearing a capelet?

And they sure don't need this--the ultimate irony--dog clothes knit from dog fur yarn. What the hell?

And why should dogs have all the fun?

One of the Purlygirls was experimenting with cat sweaters last winter and found what this cat has also discovered. Cat sweaters make the cat's butt look really big.

And while this isn't a real animal I had to include it because it must be the ugliest teddy bear I've ever seen. And can we just outlaw the word "bling" and any yarn that uses it in it's name?

August 17, 2005

Be Like Duff

Maybe I'll be like Carolyn and post ten times today. Maybe not.

I just saw via Yummy Yarn that the new Kim Hargreaves collection is up. Could the photos be any darker? I can almost make out a sweater in a few of them but not quite. What's up with the super darkdarkdark photos lately?

I Don't Got Rhythm

You know that episode of the Muppet Show when Fozzie tries to sing "I Got Rhythm." That's me and the Go with the Flow socks. I can't find the rhythm of the pattern. Meg Swansen always talks about finding the music in a pattern. I can't find it. I don't know if it's the pattern or the needles or the yarn but something is definitely not flowing. Plus I started them while half asleep on the plane home from camp and I made some mistakes I should have fixed but didn't. I need to rip them out. Also on the rip list is the Mystery Stole. I'm just not into it. I want to use the yarn for a Cherry Blossom Shawl instead. Adios projects!


I am so in love with knitting this shawl. Wes fell asleep early last night and stayed up knitting. I finally went to bed around 1 but lay awake struggling with whether or not to get up again and keep knitting. My hands ache. I don't care.

I knit while watching Sunshine State. After seeing Matewan last week I moved this one up my Netflix queue. It cover a lot of familiar Sayles territory. Big corporations invading the lives of regular decent people, family history and secrets, etc. Not his strongest work. I think I still love Lone Star the most. Favorite quote (paraphrasing, haven't seen the movie in a long time): "I'm as open-minded as the next guy." "Sure, if the next guy is a red neck."

August 16, 2005


I remember this feeling. It's like a new love affair. I've met someone and we just click. EneEneEne. I can't put her down.

Edit: Ene's Scarf is from Scarf Style.

August 15, 2005

Hopeful Knitalong Blog

Now there's a blog.

Shut Up and Knit

You may be wondering, "Does Jessica knit anything or does she just bitch about other people's knitting?" The answer is, "Yes, I do knit."

Pattern: Minisweater from Glampyre
Yarn: (Bad) Handspun and Rowanspun DK for the border
Needle: US8 Clover Bamboo
1) I did fewer decreases on the sleeves. I believe I did something like k6, m1 instead of k3, m1.
2) When I separated the sleeves from the body I cast on 3 stitches over the gap (I later picked up the same number of stitches when I knit the sleeves). I also worked some yos based on the busty gal instructions. I didn't do as many yo rounds since I had already added stitches.
3) I knit the sleeves in the round instead of flat. I worked the sleeve decrease less steeply similar to how I increased for them. I left the sleeve stitches on the needle when I got to the right length.
4) I then knit the body straight down until I ran out of yarn. I added an extra button hole and should have added a third. I may still do that. I left the body stitches on the needles.
5) For the border I used the "eyelet points" pattern from Knitting on the Edge. I took another needle and cast on 5 stitches and knit the last stitch of every even row together with a stitch from the body. It flares out very slightly. I should have decreased a bit on that last row as I knit on the border. I worked the sleeve borders the same way. I also realized on my second sleeve that I should cast on provisionally and then graft the last row to the first.

It is a little larger than I would have liked in the body but the yarn was so uneven that it was impossible to get an accurate gauge.

I am also moving along on Ene's Scarf. I am on Row 33. According to my handy triangular shawl calculator I am 33% done. I also realized that I was probably going to run out of yarn. I fortunately found the discontinued yarn in the right color on clearance with free shipping from Fuzzy Mabel. I love not having to pay $5 shipping on a $6.50 skein of yarn.

August 14, 2005

Still More on the New Rowan

Okay, I've gone over it and I am trying to find some nice things to say about some of the designs. This Kaffe Fassett design has a very nice shape and design. I don't think he picked the best colors or at least the colors did not photograph well. I don't know if I'd want to knit this much intarsia though. Brigitte also has a very stylish, classic shape. Plus it's the name of the dog I had growing up. I love stripey sweaters. I think I'd like this shawl if I could see it. The gloves are all very pretty but knit flat. Yuck! This Louisa Harding design is pretty difficult to see but a cute pattern.

Elizabeth asked for captions in the last post. How's this?

"After Leno I'll make my move."

"Well that was a disaster."

More on the New Rowan

It came the other day. After looking at it more closely I feel really sad. And disgusted and kind of angry. Most of it is, how shall I put it? Crap. Just tired old crap dressed up to looking mysterious or at least confusing. There's the endless parade of capelets and capes with waistbands? The more mundane designs look too familiar. Stella Smith has a new design which is essentially Martha (her design from the last Rowan) with a different surface detail. Kaffe Fassett has--surprise--a striped sweater with a billion colors. The fact that they've hired the woman who made this to design for them signals a very bad judgment call to me. And don't get me started on the pom poms.

I hope that some knitter will create something wonderful from this book. I don't think it will be me.

August 13, 2005

Hopeful Knitalong Update

We've got 21 knitters signed up so far! Thanks to everyone for spreading the word about the pattern and the knitalong. Jenna told me that she has raised $1000 so far. And Sharlyn is reporting that her Hopeful is complete. But we're still waiting for photographic evidence.

***Update: I just spoke with Jenna. After reading Sharlyn's comments about how low her neckline is she reviewed the final pattern and realized that there is an error. She will be emailing a corrected version to everyone who has purchased the pattern shortly.

August 12, 2005

Dark Victory

Good fiber quote: I was watching Bette Davis die fabulously this afternoon. Her saucy stable boy, Humphrey Bogart*, says to her at one point of a horse she is sure will be a champion, "Yes, but he'll still never be a steeplechaser. We're teaching him to crochet; he's working on a set of doilies."

I was finishing up the minisweater.

I knit the body straight down until I ran out of yarn. For the edging I used Rowanspun DK and did a knitted on border. In other words, I left the last round of stitches from the body on the needles. The I took another needle and cast on 5 stitches. I knit "eyelet points" from Knitting on the Edge, knitting the last stitch of every even row together with a stitch from the body. It flares out slightly. I should have decreased a teeny bit on that last row I guess. I also realized on my second sleeve that I should cast on provisionally and then graft the last row to the first. Very slick. I was trying to explain all of this to Wes to show him how clever I am. As he stared at me blankly I thought, "Screw it. This is why I have a blog." I don't have any buttons yet but knowing me I won't sew any on for at least another year.

I also watched Matewan today. Man, that John Sayles makes kickass movies.

*The film also features a perpetually intoxicated Ronald Reagan.

European Lingerie Crisis?

There is a looming crisis in Europe. As I was perusing the Louet site I began to notice it.

Then a look at the House of Hemp site confirmed it.

There are no nude-colored bras in Europe! I don't know whether to form a political action group or an export business.

August 11, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

I think it every time I look at a knitting magazine and I know you do too.

What the hell is this?

I mean I liked the movie and all.


I know some of you will feel let down by this post. It's Thursday after all. You want awful knitting patterns! Here are a few random choice bits.

Just where are these arrows directing us?

And doesn't this bride look fetching? With a matching headband, no less!

And this one really speaks for itself.

Gone Daddy Gone

The Femmes show was a lot of fun. The band sang all their totally child-inappropriate music except for the omission of one word in "Add It Up." But the audience filled it in for them. But there were a million children there. I guess as a parent I try to keep things more age appropriate. Clearly the dad a little in front of me who lit up a massive joint while sitting on a picnic blanket with his five year old daughter doesn't feel the same way. But since this is Seattle one of his neighbors asked him to take it to the designated smoking area.

August 10, 2005

Add It Up

I'm going to see the Violent Femmes tonight. It will be my third Femmes concert. Each one marks a distinct period in my life. I saw them first in 1986 at Carnegie Hall (who booked that gig?). The concert was sold out but my dad, a man with connections, surprised me with tickets. Sixth row, baby. I was a high school legend (briefly). I saw them again around 1993 in Chicago. They played with the B-52s. Man, that was a good show. And now here I am, a Seattle Soccer Mom, heading off to see a Violent Femmes "ZooTunes" concert which starts at 6pm and end by 8:30. Do I still know how to rock or what? I heard a rumor that the concert was going to be "family friendly." That would knock out pretty much everything I'd like to hear them play. Here's hoping it's just a rumor.

August 9, 2005

Knitting a Monet

Tai: Do you think she's pretty?
Cher: No, she's a full-on Monet.
Tai: What's a monet?
Cher: It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess. Let's ask a guy. Christian, what do you think of Amber?
Christian: Hagsville.
Cher: See?
- Clueless

The minisweater is not so bad from a distance.

Up close? Hagsville.

And the colors do kind of remind me of a Monet.

August 8, 2005


Some knitter's boyfriend is a genius. And he's got waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on his hands.

I've Got to Ask

Is anyone really this girly?

Hopeful Knitalong

Leave me a comment to sign up.

***The pattern link is back up! Order away.***

August 7, 2005

Beyond Dropped Cake and Dorkiness

I want to assure all of you that I have been knitting in between embarrassing myself and working. In fact I started a new project yesterday. I know. You're thinking, "Hang on. Didn't Jessica start a new project on Friday?" Well right you are. But I was suddenly gripped by an unstoppable urge to knit something from my handspun yarn. I have a reasonable amount of the horrifically slubby and fuzzy yarn. I am knitting an adaptation of Glampyre's Mini Sweater. I'll knit the body and sleeves as long as I can with the yarn I've got. I did swatch but the spinning is so crazy-uneven that it's kind of hopeless.

The colors are cute though.

And I've knit 7 rows on Ene's Scarf. My handy dandy triangular shawl progress calculator tells me that I've completed 7.7% of my shawl. Yay me.

Lace always looks so impressive on the needles, doesn't it?

Go With the Flow is growing slowly too.

And Martha's back is getting a bit bigger too after suffering a severe ripping.

I altered the shaping on the front and then knit the back as written. Whoops. Rip, rip.

And my biggest news this weekend is this.

One of the mom's at my son's school told me several months ago she had a old spinning wheel in her attic that I could have. She dropped it off yesterday. It looks like another Ashford Traditional but it's been painted poop brown (it's the one in the back). I oiled it a bit and it seems like it will be fine. I need to put new bands on it. I have some in my maintenance kit. It is only missing the peg for the brake band. But what will I do with two matching wheels?