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

July 30, 2006

Vacation Day

Rebecca invited me to join her, Meg (She just got engaged! Go congratulate her!) and Mara for a trip to Bainbridge today. (I forgot my camera.) We went for the summer sale at Churchmouse. Between working at a yarn shop and the size of my stash I wasn't too tempted by the mostly picked over yarn (the sale started yesterday morning). I did buy one thing. A button for my Sitcom Chic.

Last night was a repeat of the previous night.

Me: I'm going to finish this tonight!
Me, three seconds later after looking at a clock: It's 1 am??
Me, another three seconds later after looking at my sweater: I'll finish it tomorrow.

The yoke is such a trickster. It keeps looking like it's almost done as it gets smaller and smaller but in reality there's still a ways to go. And I have to do the front bands as well. And I got side-tracked and started a new pair of socks...More on that tomorrow.

July 29, 2006

Swag Hag

Today I got to attend a small local trade show. Here's some of what came in our goody bags.

Is there anything better than free yarn?

Habu was there, which was a really nice surprise. I've only seen a handful of their yarns in person before. To see a room filled with cones and tiny bundles of all their yarns was well worth the visit. We only got a reorder on Shosenshi Paper yarn which now comes in some variegated colorways! Curious Creek* was there for the first time too. I haven't seen their yarns in person before either. They make a worsted bombyx silk that is insanely gorgeous and feels...well..really silky. I was very excited to see Somerset Designs. They make suede handles and bottoms for bags. The striped tote bag in Holiday Knits uses them. We've gotten a lot of requests for them at the shop. We got buttons and alpaca and more alpaca. Wheeee!!!

I was chugging away on Sitcom Chic last night. Wes wasn't feeling well so I knit and watched two movies by myself. I was thinking, "I can finish this tonight. I only have a little bit left to go." But then I realized that it was 1 am and I probably have several hours of work left to do.

*Doesn't that name sound like a coming of age movie? Or is that just me?

July 28, 2006

World Gone Mad

An eBay auction for Cotton-Ease--you know that yarn that everyone bought 8 million skeins of at a deep discount when it was discontinued last year--in which the buyer, presumably on drugs or mentally ill, paid over $9 a skein. What's going on?

Edited to add: Did you know there is a Yahoogroup devoted to Cotton-Ease?

Oh No They Didn't!

From the Vogue Knitting Preview:

What on Earth can they be thinking? Being a "hobo" is fun! And chic! Ah, the romance of the rails...

July 27, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Staff of Interweave Knits!
I am the sweater god!

I am angered by your unattractive and unimaginative staff projects(.pdf)!
I will be watching you!

July 26, 2006

Stitch 'N Pitch

I went last night. It was the second baseball game I've been to since the mid-80s. It was my first time at Safeco field. Boy, times have changed.

Either there weren't as many knitters as I was expected or we were really spread out. There were lots of empty seats too. The vendors all had their tables set up. I spotted the president of the Knitters Guild being interviewed by Fox Sport Network.

I also spotted some Mariners-themed free-form crochet.

Hmmm. "Awesome" indeed.

There were dancing sweeper guys.

Apparently watching overweight, middle-aged men boogie with brooms is very popular.

And if you want to get your picture taken, you and your friends should all wear sparkly hats with matching feather boas.

Me? I was just in it for the kettle corn. The Mariners lost. No, they didn't just lose. They were trounced. They were crushed. They were trounced, crushed and then got their asses handed to them. I knit a sleeve.

July 25, 2006

The Fleece Has Been Toured

Le Tour de Fleece is over. In order to make my goal of 30 hours of spinning I brought my Lendrum up to my bedroom on Sunday to spin near the air conditioner. I finished spinning the cormo/silk but still need to ply it. I put the silk aside because I didn't want to coat my bedroom in hot pink cobwebs. I pulled out Dazzle the llama, purchased last year at Oregon Flock and Fiber. Since all my spinning has been coming out too fat lately I went super-thin with the llama. I have 14 ounces (I think) so I'll be slowly spinning myself a big pile of lace-weight llama.

To entertain myself while spinning I put the first season of Pee-Wee's Playhouse which Wes checked out from the library. The kids vowed they had no interest in seeing it. But as I watched and screamed (for the secret word of the day) and laughed, they drifted over to see for themselves. I really had them hooked by the first Penny segment because they recognized the Aardman-style animation.

The weather has cooled--praise be! Tonight is Stitch 'n Pitch. I'll try to remember to bring my camera and actually take some pictures.

July 24, 2006

Calgon! Take Me Away!

The forecast said it was going to be mid-80s today. I left the house to take my son to school and it was already 78°, which I took as a bad sign. But now, a mere hour later, it's 87°. I just want to curl up on the ground, rocking back and forth a la Nancy Kerrigan asking, "Why? Why? Why?"

I'm going to take a cool shower before I have to go to work.

July 23, 2006

Call Me Pinky

This is my Sitcom Chic, light pink sitting on the left, and a Faux Ruffle Tank blocking on the right. The tank is a shop project. It's from Alterknits and is very cute and a super simple knit which I really needed. It's hard to see in the photo but there is a beaded rib pattern in a panel up the front. A novelty yarn gets backstitched into the rib troughs to create a faux, tux-style front. I thought it would be fun and funky in screaming hot pink Cotton Fleece. It's so hot here right now that the pieces were nearly too dry by the time I finished pinning them down.

It has been damned hot here the last few days. I know that most of you are in parts of the country that have been suffering from extremely high heat for weeks now and you think I'm a little whiner. Well, I am. I am one of the least heat-tolerant people I know. Why do you think I left Chicago to live in Seattle? Cool, dry summers. The main problem here when it gets hot is that we're not equipped for it. There is very little central AC in Seattle. We have a window unit for our bedroom and got one for the boys' room this year too. But the shop where I work, the one filled with wool? No AC. Yesterday, after a day of working in the heat I collapsed when I got home in my bedroom. My head ached, I was dizzy and nauseated. I slept from 8 until midnight then was up from midnight until four. I took the boys to the mall today because at least it's air conditioned there. I'm still feeling really woozy and ill. It's supposed to cool down tonight though.

July 22, 2006

Scenes from the Station Wagon

Kid: I love vanilla bars.
Mom: It's "granola," Honey, not "vanilla."
Kid: Gorilla.
Mom: Granola.
Kid: Granilla.
Mom: Gra. No. La.
Kid: Granilla.
Mom: *sigh*

July 21, 2006

I Keep Losing My Shit

Literally. A few weeks ago I left my Estonian sock along with my autographed copy of Folk Socks at a restaurant. Today I left my Sitcom Chic somewhere in Ikea. Fortunately the restaurant folks and the Ikea folks just set it aside until a frantic knitter (me) came looking for it. Unlike some people.

Sitcom Chic's body is now about 9 inches long. I finished spinning the cormo/silk and now just need to ply it. I went to drop-in spinning at Weaving Works and started spinning 100% bombyx silk from Chasing Rainbows. That stuff is a bitch to draft. I pre-drafted a lot but it still locks up as your spinning along. And it gets everywhere! My pants, shirt and face are all covered in hot pink spidery webs. Blech!

July 20, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

While scrolling through the patterns on the Lion Brand site I began to wonder, "What must those models be thinking?" Let's find out.

July 19, 2006

The Afghan's Back

Someone on the Mason-Dixon Knitalong blog asked to see the back of the afghan. Here it is.

I am slowing bracing myself to sew on the backing. I have been making more log cabin squares. I made Kitty. Soon I will be ready. I was thinking I may handsew it (Did I just write that?). I'm afraid I'll get all bunched up on the machine and it will all go horribly wonky and then I'll have to pick, pick, pick out all those tight, tiny machine stitches. Or maybe I just need to baste the whole thing on before sewing? As you can see it's a whole mental preparation process.

I spent 2.5 hours spinning more cormo/silk yesterday so the Diamond Fantasy Shawl and the Sitcom Chic don't look radically different. I stayed up late watching Everything is Illuminated last night. It had a great visual style and a quirky sensibility. Now it's time to finish season two of Project Runway. Oh and to cover my ears and shout, "La la la la la! I can't hear you!" when people discuss season three around me.

July 18, 2006

Hello Kitty

Meet Kitty.

Click for big

Is it getting chilly?

Click for big

Ah, that's better.

I adore her little shoes.

Pattern: Kitty from Kitty, Bunny and Bear
Materials: Kitty - Wool felt, wool/acrylic felt, cotton, buttons from the old button box.
Sweater - Bandolino left over from Sam, buttons from the old button box.
Alterations: I inadvertently flipped one of the body pieces before assembling. The body is supposed to be asymmetrical but I had to stitch her up more symmetrically because of the mistake.
Advice: Many of the parts of these patterns are asymmetrical. Look at your pattern pieces carefully before stitching to make sure everything will match up.

July 17, 2006

Spinners in Seattle

Molly and I have formed a new spinning group. It will meet the first Friday of every month at The Fiber Gallery from 7-9. Join up and I'll see you there!

Random Incongruity

While walking through Toys R' Us I heard Bert of Sesame Street singing Doin' the Pigeon. This was followed up with Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill.

On Wednesday night, walking through Ballard to the Seattle Stitch 'n Bitch group I walked past a man dressed as Jack Sparrow. Facial hair, braids, foofy shirt, all there. Then he hopped on a moped and buzzed away.

On Thursday while knitting with friends at Starbucks there was a man dressed up like Liam Neeson from Star Wars. He kept pacing around and walking in and out of the store. He either had too much caffeine or was trying to attract attention. What do you think?

July 15, 2006

Camera is Charged, My Battery's Drained

We ran all over the eastside today. We went to an organic U-Pick raspberry farm. We ran errands. We got lunch. We drove a lot. I feel like taking a cool shower and going to bed. It's 4:30 in the afternoon!

The dressing wires were on the front porch when we got home. I need to clear a space off to block this shawl. In the meantime the front porch lion offered to model it for me.

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl/Scarf makes a sporty head scarf.

Up close.

Yesterday I worked on plying the cormo/silk for several hours.

I have also been meaning to start a new project that is SIMPLE. I don't want charts, cable, lace, traveling stitches, tiny needles or to use my brain at all. I started a Sitcom Chic in the called-for Cotton-Ease in Strawberry Cream.

Easy shmeasy. Ahhhh.

July 14, 2006

Classic Mistake

I brought everything outside to take photos in the dappled sunlight. Then I realized my camera battery was dead. Boring, I know.

I finished my Faroese shawl on Tuesday night. I'm waiting for my dressing wires to arrive to block it out. It will be *cough* petite. But thanks to the miracle of shoulder shaping it will stay put when I wear it.

With Faroese out of the way I brought my Diamond Fantasy Shawl back into the rotation. After working a full repeat on Wednesday night I stretched it out a bit to admire it. Then I burst out laughing. It's the same lace pattern as the Faroese shawl! How did I not notice this?

At work yesterday we got in three new variegated colors of Manos del Uruguay. They are so gorgeous. I started thinking about making a fast and simple Manos cardigan. Then I shook it off with the realization that I have 15 sweaters worth of yarn still waiting to be knit. No new Manos for me. Yet.

July 13, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Dear Knitscene Editors,

What the hell are "Girly Gaiters?" Why would one wear them? Why would one wear them with really thick, nude colored pantyhose that I'm pretty sure were taken from my grandmother? Why would one ruin the cutest damned shoes I've seen in ages with them? What do they do? Can you wear them with these?

Please send answers soon before apoplexy sets in.

July 12, 2006

Log Cabin

I made a log cabin square today. Not this kind. This.

A few dollars worth of clearance fabric and an evening with a rotary cutter and I have a completed square. I have no delusions of grandeur. There will be no quilt. Maybe a placemat or pillow.

The sewing was remarkable in that there was no cursing or crying. I even pressed the seams as I sewed.

July 11, 2006

Shockingly Monogamous

Monogamous knitting means two things. Projects get done faster. Blogging gets harder. I have been devoting myself almost exclusively to my Faroese shawl.

I'm happy to report that I'm 2/3 of the way through the border.

The shawl is quite small. I only had 600 yards of the alpaca. I only used about 510 yards. There wasn't enough for another repeat. I'm using some Honeylane Farms alpaca for the border. It's slightly heavier. It looks a little puffy right now but I think it will block out flat.

For my knitting on the go I've been working on my Estonian socks. I pick these up a few times a week and knit for a few minutes. Progress is very slow.

I've filled 5 2/3 bobbins with the cormo/silk. My Tour de Fleece time progress is in the sidebar. I got off to a great start but didn't have any free time for spinning on Sunday or Monday. After I finish the sixth bobbin I will ply and see whether I'll end up with the yarn I want.


I just the weekly flyer from my grocery store. They're selling nectocotums. It's a hybrid of nectarine, apricot and plum.

To me it sounds like a flesh-eating virus that attacks the large intestine.

July 8, 2006

Fall IK Preview

Click to preview.

And this looks promising.

But no preview yet.

Vote for Pedro Wes

Vote for Wes's cool shirt slogans at Threadless and they might get made into t-shirts.

July 7, 2006

Friday Fun

From R2


July 5, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I know my readers love me. How do I know? They* send me things like this.

I know a lot of you wanted an audio WTHIS post but this week it would be two minutes of dead air while I stare in incredulity at this design. I mean...it's...damn...what the...who would...

And then there's the kid's version!

And then there's...

It's just so...I can't believe...I...it...damn.

*Thanks Brynne! You made my day.

Thin Skin

I'm upset with myself right now. A designer I skewered in a What the Hell is This? post threatened legal action if I did not remove the post. She accused me of libel and slander. I'm not an attorney but I know both of these terms are defined as false statements. I may make mean statements. I may make unflattering statements. But they are not false. If I say, "this thing looks ugly to me," how can that be false? It's critique. It's opinion. There is no true or false. If I say, "this thing is ugly and the designer is a hermaphrodite drug addict," well, then that's libel. But still rather than debate this with someone whose feelings I obviously hurt--and I'm not saying she isn't right to feel hurt--I gave in. The tenacious, angry side of my personality does not like giving in. But the rest of me knows I have much more important things to do than argue.

My 4th

Yesterday there was a bit of a break from the heat. It was slightly overcast and cool in the morning as Wes, the boys and I got on a bus and headed down to the Center for Wooden Boats for the Wooden Boat Festival. You can walk the docks and board all types of wooden boats. There were tugs, sailboats, race boats, steamboats. The clouds burned off and it ended up being fairly hot and very sunny. I found when I got home that I didn't put on enough sunscreen. I'm not burnt but I'm a little red and very itchy.

I worked on my Estonian sock while we traveled. I finished the color portion and am knitting the leg with traveling stitches running down the sides or "clocks." It's going much faster now that the colorwork is over but I've never done traveling stitches before and have a nagging sense of doubt hanging about me while I knit.

We live up the hill from a prime fireworks viewing spot. Our one rule on the 4th of July is always don't move the car. Fireworks don't start until it's dark which is 10 pm here. We haven't seen them since my first son was born. Staying up late + loud noises + crowds does not equal happy kids. At least for my kids. So we had a fairly normal night as we watched people streaming down or street on foot or trolling for parking spaces.

I spent the night spinning. I have four full bobbins of the cormo/silk spun and another started on my wheel. The second bump is not as well prepared as the first I spun. It has loads of lumps and clumps in it. It's not spinning very nicely. It's making me a little angry. I'm not going to ply anything until I've filled up all six bobbins then try to mix things up when I'm plying. I hope it looks all right when it's done. And I really hope the third bump is more like the first.

July 4, 2006

Happy Fourth of July

July 3, 2006

No Four Day Weekends for Me

I worked half-days on Saturday and Sunday and I've got a regular work day today. I have been spinning trying to get a bit ahead for Le Tour de Fleece. I now have a second bobbin that matches the one from yesterday. I also have 13 oz of carded chocolate-brown Romney that I carded myself on my drum carder.

Got to get to work!

July 2, 2006

J'ai Commencé

Le Tour de Fleece has begun. I spent nearly two hours last night spinning up this bobbin of Cormo/Silk that I bought at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival last September. My plan is to spin 1650 yards of aran-weight yarn to make bpt. But we all know what happens to people who make plans, right? I'm driving myself slightly insane worrying the yarn will be too thick or too thin. My last few spinning projects ended up with much larger yarns than I had planned.

The boys let Wes and I sleep in this morning. When we got up and came downstairs the living room looked like this.

At least they were able to keep themselves entertained.

*I started.

July 1, 2006

Dulaan 2006

I finally finished my last Dulaan sock. I don't know what took me so long. I knit the first one in two days but the second felt like it took weeks.

All my Dulaan goodies are packed up and ready to go.

Since I forgot to make a note of what I dropped off at Ryan's for the knit in I don't have a final tally. Pictured here are three pairs of felted mittens, three pairs of socks and five hats.