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

August 31, 2006

Sock Monkey Madness!

Thursday seems the right day to post the link to The Rainey Sisters and the sock monkey creations they recently discovered.

Thank you to Vanessa for alerting me to these.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

"In an old house in Paris
That was covered in vines.
Lived twelve little girls
In two straight line.
They left the house at half-past nine
In two straight lines, in rain or shine.
The smallest one was Madeline."

So begins Madeline and the Bad Hat. And it keeps coming to mind as I look at knitting patterns lately.

There's a bad hat. Or is it a cute hat being attacked by multi-colored fur? Hard to say.

Whether embellished with a ribbon or flower, it's still a bad hat.

With flowers and feathers, it still doesn't fit on a human head.

Good hat for an infant. Bad hat for everyone else.


Really bad.

Bad hat but excellent for dusting.

Something is not right!

August 30, 2006

Where Was I?

My knitting seems very meandering and unproductive lately. Just before leaving for the weekend I was satisfactorily completing the back of my Knot Cable Jacket. I seamed up the shoulders and started knitting the collar. It didn't work. I was crushingly disappointed, which is incredibly silly since absolutely nothing else about the pattern works. Why should the last part be any different? After spending some time with some graph paper and staring at my knitting a little voice said, "Why don't you check to make sure the sleeves fit in the armholes first?" Well, what do you know. They don't fit. I think a little ripping will fix the situation but once again the my enthusiasm for the sweater subsided. I left it at home to go to Fort Worden.

While away I worked on my sock and my shawl. The sock is dragging on for what feels like an eternity. I finished the leg, turned the heel and am halfway through the foot. Of the first sock. When will these be done? The shawl really grew over the weekend. And got a marathon session last night while I stayed up until 2 am watching the rest of season two of Veronica Mars.* Tonight at Seattle Stitch 'n Bitch I was knitting along when suddenly I was missing a stitch. Just one measly stitch in the edging. I've started to tink back two rows but it really bummed me out. I was hoping to finish one more repeat and be done. I've set a goal for myself that the jacket needs to be done for show and tell at the September Knitters Guild meeting and the shawl needs to be done for the November meeting. I can do this. I just need to marshal some focus and zeal.

*Is it wrong for a 36 year old to have a little crush on Logan Echolls?

August 28, 2006

Fort Worden '06

We went back to Fort Worden again with this weekend. We had eight families. It was a lovely, relaxing weekend. We hung out, went on walks, played on the beach. It's such a nice way to wrap up the summer. School starts next week!

Back and Exhausted

We're home. I'm trying to re-acclimate. Perhaps some photos later.

August 25, 2006

Dance Your Cares Away

I think Nanc nailed Thursday's post. Indeed it would appear that Fraggles are being skinned for their pelts to make Uggs. Hopefully Gobo and Wembley will resurface soon and prove us all wrong.

In the meantime, we're off for a little end of summer family trip. See you next week!

August 24, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Dear Bev,

Your company, Fiber Trends, is top notch. Your patterns are well written, carefully test-knitted and generally excellent. However, your newest pattern leaves me with one question.

What the hell is this?

August 23, 2006

I Must Have Done Something Very Bad

My neighbor's child took up the saxophone last year. Every night we'd be forced to listen to him honk out 30 minutes or so of strangled brass. Now someone next door has taken up drums. I don't know where they are practicing but it sounds and feels like they are right here in my office with me. And with summer vacation they can pound out a little practice any time, day or night. I almost considered leaving my own home last night to go knit at a nearby coffee shop to make the throbbing in my head stop. I don't know what I did in a previous life to deserve this but it must have been very bad.

August 22, 2006

Moving On

Last night at Purlygirls I finished the second front for my Knot Cable Jacket. I celebrated by ripping out the top third of the back.

Now that I understand the cables (and have corrected all the errors in the pattern) it's a lot easier and faster to knit than the first time. I did, however, find another section further down where I left out a cable row. I'm not going back. It will be on my back so I won't have to look at it.

I just finished watching season two of Carnivale. It definitely wasn't as strong as the first season. And nothing gets resolved because the show was cancelled after they shot it. Oh well. Now on to season two of Veronica Mars.

I'm inexplicably exhausted today. I did next to nothing all day long and yet I've wanted to curl up and go to sleep all day. I almost left the photo out of this post because I had to stand up and get my camera.

And thanks to everyone for all the nice anniversary wishes!

August 20, 2006

Two of My Favorite Things

Law & Order meets Sesame Street.

Twelve Years!

There is no way I am old enough to be celebrating my twelfth wedding anniversary today. But there it is. Wes and I got married twelve years ago today on the banks of Lake Champlain in Vermont. Crazy...

Our day was very romantic. Wes took the boys to two different parties and had a playdate at our house while I went to work.

Fall Interweave Crochet

The preview is up.

August 19, 2006

Shop Knitting

Since I don't have any spectacular progress to show you on my socks (I'm moving along on them but really, really slowly) or my sweater (right front is done to armhole) I thought I'd take my camera to work and show you all the knitting I've been doing for the shop. My astute co-worker saw me doing this and said, "Didn't you take pictures of that already?" Why yes. Yes, I did. Then I promptly deleted them off my camera instead of transferring them to my hard drive. Some days I really have the magic touch.

Pattern: Faux Ruffle Tank from Alterknits
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Cherry Moon and Moira
Notes: A very simple pattern to knit and makes a cute top. It could stand to have a little side shaping.

Pattern: (I forget which) Hat from Domino Knitting
Yarn: Noro Tidori
Notes: Fun and kind of addictive to knit all those little squares.

Pattern: Baby Kimono from Minnies
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Lite
Notes: This yarn is fantastic. It has very dramatic color changes and is really light and drapey. Maybe not ideal for a baby but it shows off the yarn nicely.

Pattern: Single Skein Warmer sweater by Schaeffer, Top-Down Baby Beanie by me
Yarn: Schaeffer Elaine in Bette Davis (all this from one skein!)
Notes: The sweater is done in shaker rib which was new to me. It makes a very squishy, plush fabric. While these colors aren't too my taste, I do love this yarn.

August 17, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Let's review this item from the new Vogue Knitting.

  • Unflattering shape, makes the model look boobless and "hippy."
  • It's a mini-dress.
  • It's a knit mini-dress.
  • Gauge is super-duper-extra-chunky. Adds bulk.
  • Uses enormous needles, which are uncomfortable and no fun to knit with.
  • Ugly.
  • "False eyes" confuse predators.

August 16, 2006


How soon does school start?

Here is the start of my Canal du Midi sock for the Knitting on the Road-along. Yes, I am an entire sock behind now. It's just too many. I can't knit them all. I'm currently "in" the KOTR, Folk Socks, Six Socks, Vintage Socks and Evelyn Clark knitalongs. The EC one only sometimes features a sock but the current project was the Lupine Lace socks I finished a few days ago. So I don't know about you but I don't normally knit two pairs of socks a month. In fact, I'm doing pretty well to finish one pair of socks a month. So far I haven't knit a single sock from Vintage Socks, haven't knit anything from Six Socks since last year, have sat out on two patterns from Folk Socks and have stalled out on my Estonian Sock which is peering angrily at me right now from inside a plastic bag on my desk. You should have seen the look it gave me when I took its needle out to start the Canal du Midi socks.

I have a long love affair with this design. When I got back into knitting three years ago I did what I always do when something piques my interest--I checked out every freaking book in the Seattle and King County libraries on the topic. As a new knitter I thumbed through them all thinking, "That's too hard." "That's too hard." "That's way too hard." Knitting on the Road was one of those books. Socks were mysterious enough but the charts! Oh, the charts made me a little queasy. But I loved the tiny twists and turns on this sock. Then when I took my first class from Nancy she had a table set up with every sock from the book. I held the Canal du Midi and I loved it even more. At camp last year, I bought a skein of Satakeili, the actual yarn called for in the pattern, to make these socks. I joined the knitalong thinking that I would finally get to knit them. And now the time is here and I totally suck at it.

I spent an hour and a half on Monday morning alone in a coffee shop (precious alone time--how soon does school start?) and started on the socks. "It's got a chart," I thought. "Easy!" After all that time I looked at my sock--why don't I ever look while I'm knitting?--and it was totally fucking wrong. It was a mess. I felt so humiliated. By a sock. I made a quick stop at Purlygirls that night and ripped back to the ribbing. I started again. Hideous. Disgusting. Wrong. What was my problem? Tuesday I pull Montse Stanley off the shelf and look at her twisted stitch instructions. Ohhhhh. I get it. I knitted on. It looks better now. I still have a little nagging doubt that something is not quite right with my right twists and it's made me question whether I knit Conwy correctly since they have the same left and right twist in them. I also jump ahead a row every single time I get to the center twist. I've had to rip back several rows a few times to fix this already. The Satakeili feels very nice and shows off the stitches very well. It is a bitch to rip out. And it splits. Like the devil. So much for the socks of my dreams. But I will tame these bastards if it's the last thing I do.

How soon does school start?

August 15, 2006

Wes Has an FO Too

The Northwest Film Forum hosted a karaoke video challenge. Filmmakers were invited to create a karaoke-style video and perform (or bring along someone to perform) their song. It wasn't a competition but as I told Wes, he totally won.

Lupine Lace Socks

Pattern: Lupine Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark (Fibertrends pattern)
Yarn: Hand-dyed for me by my Dye-o-Rama pal
Needle: US1 Addi Turbo
Changes: I think I made the leg slightly shorter than the pattern called for. Very nice, simple lace to knit. This was my first time knitting two socks at once on the magic loop.

August 13, 2006

Calder's Circus

When I was little I went to the Whitney and saw Alexander Calder's circus. It was entrancing. Tiny wire circus performers, tiny wire circus animals all performing in the tiny wire circus. There was also a documentary showing Calder and his circus. Today on Boing Boing I found a link to the documentary on YouTube. If you are in New York you can go see the circus in person at the Whitney.

I have lots of Calder-related memories from when I was a child. My father loved his work and we had posters and prints around the house. Once he considered buying a maquette of one of Calder's larger kinetic pieces. I remember the art dealer placing it in my mother's hand as the mobile parts shuddered.

I was very happy, when I moved to Chicago, that one of the more distinctive icons in the city is Flamingo, the immense Calder sculpture in front of the federal building.

In Seattle, Eagle sat in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. I was in Volunteer Park a few weeks ago and was very sad to see the poor condition of the sculpture. I was very surprised and pleased to learn it was being removed the following day for restoration and then to be placed on permanent display in the new Olympic Sculpture Park due to open later this year.

The Knits in Rose-Kim Knits

There hasn't been much knitting on the blog lately, has there? I've been knitting and knitting and knitting on the Lupine Lace socks and I finally started the toe decreases. I keep forgetting that I'm doing them two at a time. My sense of how long they should take is a little screwy.

A few times this week I left the house without the socks so I worked on the right front of the Knot Cable Jacket.

Progress is being made. It's slow but it's progress.

August 11, 2006

The Ant Bully

Last weekend I took the boys to see The Ant Bully. I didn't have high expectations for the film. The kids liked it well enough but have already forgotten about it. I, on the other hand, can't stop thinking about it. It was dull. It was a complete retread of A Bug's Life with a little bit of Antz and Over the Hedge. So they lost me by being a boring copy of other films.

But I'm stuck on the message. In the film a young boy, who is the victim of bullying, turns his fury on an anthill by flooding it with a garden hose. The ants decide to shrink him to their size and take him. They originally hoped to kill and eat him. Then they decide that he must "become an ant." He finally succeeds by helping the ants beat the tar out of an exterminator and run him off.

So what's the message here? The weak can prevail if they band together and commit kidnapping and assault? Beating up little kids is bad but beating up grown ups is okay? The ends justify the means?

August 10, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Several months ago a reader sent me links to a Russian knit and crochet magazine site. (I'm very sorry. I've lost the email and don't remember who sent them.) The photos have been sitting in my WTHIS file for a very long time. Each week I contemplate them and then each week I'm at a loss for commentary. They are so wholly bad. The colors, the lines, the photostyling--all completely wretched. But I can't let my inability to articulate the awfulness get in the way of a good fug. So here are a few choice bits.

I went to Babelfish to translate "What the hell is this?" into Russian and got "ад это?" Knowing how accurate and reliable Babelfish is this probably says, "This is mattress pad in hell, no?"

I was also alerted to a photo here (NOT WORK SAFE). It is definitely worth taking a peek at and if anyone can translate what is being said for me I would be thrilled.

August 9, 2006

Penguins Die in Crash, Octopus Uninjured

An actual headline from CNN.com. You can't make this shit up. Although I do feel sorry for the penguins.

August 8, 2006

Newest Purlygirl

Wes and the boys stopped at the shop just before closing last night on their way home. I suggested they all join me at the Blue Star to eat dinner all together. Then I could join the Purlygirls in the back room. My younger son immediately nixed it. My older son loved the idea but said he needed to get his knitting first so he could also go to my knitting group. I told him to go home with his dad to get his knitting and then Wes could drop him off to join me. I figured he'd get home, get distracted and that would be that.

Well, I was wrong.

He did a great job. He was polite. He wasn't a huge distraction. He sat and knit, ate his dinner and observed. At one point he turned to me and said, "It's like one person says something then everyone else starts talking." Yeah, that's pretty much how it goes. I shuttled him back to the house when he was done eating and walked back over to enjoy a little kid-free knitting time. I made a lot of progress--which I hope is error-free-- on the Knot & Cable Jacket.

I also turned the heel on one of the Lupine Lace socks when I got home. I have to transfer one to another needle because of how the stitches are distributed. I can't pick up the gusset stitches with both on the same needle.

August 6, 2006

Seattle Spinners

The first meeting of Seattle Spinners was on Friday night.

This Is How It Happens

I had a marathon knitting session with the Lupine Lace socks. I knit on them from 6-10 at a local coffee shop with Molly. I'm only 13 rounds from the heel flap. At one point as I was buzzing along I thought, "I really have this pattern down. The second sock will go really fast." Then I burst into a fit of giggles because I'm knitting both socks at the same time. When the first one's done, the second one's done. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Anyway, after four hours I was getting sore in my elbows. Odd, I know. But it was getting uncomfortable. So I went home.

I was planning on watching The Big Heat. I needed something to knit on larger needles while I watched. My Diamond Fantasy didn't seem like the right project for movie knitting. I pulled out the pattern for the Ribby Cardi. I pulled out my Peruvian Highland Wool. I saw the Hauk in the stash. I pulled out the pattern for Retro Prep. I spent a few minutes going back and forth trying to decide between the two sweaters. I finally decided on Ribby. I got out my needles. I couldn't find any US6s. I must own at least three 24" US6 needles but they're always stuck in a project in a bag somewhere. So I started rummaging around in my office. I found the bag with my Knot & Cable Jacket in it. There was a US6 in it. With knitting on it. It was the almost finished welt to the right front of the jacket. I thought, "I can knit the few rows to finish the welt, then switch to 8s and take this 6 for my Ribby." I had to search for the pattern and the chart I made. Miraculously, I found it all. I started knitting but something wasn't right. I had already made a mistake on welt which I guess is why it's sitting in a bag. I ripped back about 8 rows and took it upstairs with me. I finished the welt and kept going. I think I have enough enthusiasm to finish the front. But I don't know what's going to help power me when I have to rip out a third of the back and reknit it.

August 4, 2006

Why Haven't I Heard About This?

Wes read a NYT article about video "trailers" for books yesterday which included this trailer/infomercial (Quicktime) for The Happy Hooker. It includes a West Side Story send up and Debbie being interviewed by James Michael Tyler--that's Gunther from Friends.

Bluefly Blog

Holy crap. I'm on the Bluefly blog!
For being a bitch.

Further Inducement

Wes has suggested that I pledge to knit a gift for Samuel L. Jackson if we win the contest and get sent to the premiere. So there you have it. Help us win and I'll knit Sam a snake or a hat or something.

August 3, 2006

Blanks on a Blank

You've all heard about Snakes on a Plane right? An Austin film group has sponsored the Blanks on a Blank filmmaking challenge. Each filmmaker gets a randomly assigned animal on a randomly assigned vehicle to make a 2-5 minute film about. The only requirement is each film must contain the line "(your randomly chosen animal) on a mother f***ing (your randomly chosen vehicle)."

Wes got Aardvarks on a Tank. There are no judges for the contest. It's based on popular vote. I'm worried that he'll get beaten by a terrible film made by someone who has 2,000 friends on Myspace. So I'm making a small plea to go and watch his film, register, and vote on it. And, if I may be so bold, if you really like it and want to post it on your blog or let your friends know that would also be fabulous. It would mean a lot. Thanks.

Oh yeah, and his film totally kicks ass!

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

It's my favorite time of year. The new fall designs from Tacky Tahki are here. I do have a bit of feedback for them.

When the ruffle covers the entire sweater you've gone too far.

The crocheted doilies over the tits should match.

Next time use a coaster.

You need to let this child know he's been sold to the circus.

An finally an observation.

This model appears to have taken her relationship with her gauntlets "to the next level."

August 2, 2006

So. Stinking. Cute.

Check out the photo gallery for the flower-themed Pincushion Challenge.
I picked some favorites.

Sitcom Chic

Pattern: Sitcom Chic from Knitty
Yarn: Cotton-Ease in Strawberry Cream
Needle: US5 Clover and US8 Addi Turbo
Notes: The only change I made to the pattern was at the underarm. Instead of binding off stitches on the body and sleeve and sewing them up later, I left live stitches and grafted them. The button was my one purchase from my trip to Churchmouse on Sunday. This is a really easy, fast knit. I think I'll wear this one a lot. The Fray-Check mishap doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. I got a small splotch on one front band and a bigger splotch under one arm. I didn't take any heroic measures, like the suggested rubbing alcohol, for fear that it would harm more than hurt.

Bet You Can't Make Just One

I started the Lupine Lace socks for the Evelyn Clark knitalong. I'm doing them two at a time on one circular. I love the pattern. I can't put it down. This is one of the skeins from my Dye-o-Rama pal. The colors are great for the pattern.

Farewell Tankmate

Tankmate had joined Deadcrab in the great tank in the sky. I went to give him a "bath" and he just flopped right out of his shell. Kerthunk. I think that pretty much embodies the kind of day I'm having.

August 1, 2006

Shopping List

When I got home last night I saw that Wes had started a new grocery list.

kitty litter

After looking at it I told him, "I don't know what you're making but count me out."


After weaving in the ends on my Sitcom Chic last night I was ready to put a little dab of Fray-Check on the ends to keep them from wiggling out (darn cotton). I opened the bottle, gave a little squeeze and the side ruptured and a thick stream of glue just flowed all over my sweater! Bah!!! And, of course, it doesn't wash out.


Pattern: Idella from Stahman's Shawls and Scarves
Yarn: Peruvian Nights, superfine alpaca from Joslyn's Fiber Farm, and Honey Lane Farms Alpaca for the edging
Needle: US7 and 8 Addi Turbo

I finally got to use my dressing wires to block this shawl. They are great but my board is still too small for a shawl which is why the very bottom center of the shawl isn't fully blocked out. The shawl in bigger than I thought it would be. I was worried that it would come out very short as I only had 600 yards of the main yarn.

Rowan Preview

It's up. (Scroll down and click on Rowan 40. Also disable your popup blocker to see larger photos of the designs.)