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

November 30, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

All this snow and ice has me yearning for sunny weather. So let's take in some resortwear.

No need for a camera on your vacation with this hot little number. You won't be able to see the photos anyway what with all the retinal damage.

Nothing says "vacation" like fringe.

Ready for a day poolside. Or a night pole dancing.

Little sis doesn't need to feel left out. She can dress like a skank too!

Some eveningwear elegance.

Um, I think the bottoms on this bikini are being worn backwards.

November 29, 2006


We had another )&^%^?$%(! snow day today. And it wasn't even snowing!
Yesterday we were all so bored sitting around the house. I ended up falling asleep in the middle of the day for a few hours. We were so bored my older son said he "wished he was at school." That's saying something, isn't it?

I put in my obligatory 2% on Frost Flowers. I knit a few rounds on my Railway Stitch sock. I knit a few rounds on my Traveler's Stocking. I don't feel like I'm really getting anywhere on any of these. If I can keep up on 2% a day on the shawl (which I haven't done so far--I've been cheating on the shawl a lot)I still won't have it done by the end of the year. I should still make my goal of finishing it by the end of the decade though.

I've joined the Stranded: The Colorwork Challenge. I'm going to be boring and knit a another pirate hat. Ever since I knit one for Wes last year my older son has been asking for one. I bought the yarn some time last year and it is now buried in one of my bins of yarn.

And has anyone seen my sock mojo? It's totally gone. It's been missing for about six months now. First I petered out on my Estonian sock--started in May--, which is still sitting on my desk half knit and giving me the evil eye), then Canal du Midi dragged on for three months, Traveler's Stockings have been on the needles for a month now and the Railway Stitch socks have been in progress for a few weeks and I still only have about three inches done. What's happened to me? All I want to do right now are sweaters but I'm trying to hold myself back until I get the rest of these done and make some serious shawl progress. Ariann, A Cardigan for Arwen, the Sunrise Circle(.pdf) and Poppy are all calling to me. Must. Stay. Strong.

November 28, 2006


November 27, 2006

Snow and Avalanche

It snowed in Seattle yesterday. Not just the three or four flakes that drift to the ground and immediately melt but honest to God snow. A few inches of it. There isn't much left of it this morning though.

I continued on my shawl avoidance, comfort knitting kick of hats for Dulaan. I made two, one bottom up and one top down, with my Avalanche yarn leftovers.

Now with photo!

November 26, 2006

Subtitle Knitting

Yesterday we saw two subtitled films. Volver and 2046. I needed something I could knit without looking. Dulaan hats* are great for times like this. The green one is Cascade 220 and the multi-colored has bits and bobs from all over the place. It started with Lamb's Pride Bulky in Spice, then there's one row of Manos held with Lamb's Pride Worsted, then Lamb's Pride Worsted doubled, then some bulky handspun and finally some Lamb's Pride Bulky in Brite Blue.

Volver was outstanding. If you've ever felt that women's roles in American films are marginal and poorly written you have to see this film. A beautifully written, wonderfully acted story about fully-fleshed out women. I love Pedro! 2046 is sort of the opposite end of the spectrum. The women are mythic and dreamy. It's a visually rich film about loss and longing. It's a good film but I prefer In the Mood for Love.

*These hats are for

November 25, 2006

It's a Common Mistake

Scene: The boys and I, in the car, listening the radio.

Son #2: What song is this?
Me: Gone, Daddy, Gone.
Son #2: Who sings it?
Me: Gnarls Barkley
Son #1: Have we heard this before?
Me: It's a cover. The original is by the Violent Femmes.
Son #1: The Violent Phlegm???

November 24, 2006

A Good Use for Your UFOs

Kristina Wong, a knitter and performance artist, is looking for your UFOs.

Dear Knitters,

Got an old knitting project that you don't plan to ever finish?
Half done socks?
Five inches of a scarf?
Now they can be part of a touring theater piece!

Help performer Kristina Wong demystify the knitting circle and unravel the deep psyche of the master crafter in her new solo show "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Your donations of unfinished knitting pieces from around the world will be included as part of the set for a live serio-comic exploration of maintaining sanity in times that seem almost fictitious.

All contributors will receive "set construction" program credit for the life of the show. (Please forward this notice to all the knitters you know)

Your friends in crafting,
The Cuckoo's Nest

"Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" originally set out to explore the sky-high rates of mental illness and suicide among Asian Pacific Islander Women. Asian Pacific Islander American women have the highest rates of suicide in the country in a statistic that seems to be widely unpublicized and often disregarded. The unfinished knitting collected represent incomplete intentions, women's work, "spinning a yarn," and loneliness. During the show, Kristina uses the knitting pieces to represent "unravelling" women and even unravels some of the pieces during the show. These knit pieces may also be displayed as part of an art installation later in the run.

Please include the skein of yarn (if there is one) attached to your unfinished knitting. Include the knitting needle it's sitting on, or if you want to keep you needles, pull some waste yarn through the loops so that your piece doesn't unravel in the mail.

On a sheet of paper please include the following information. This information is all optional as it may be displayed as part of a public installation of this work.

Name (or alias)
Ethnic identification
Where do you live/ Where are you from?
What was the original intention when you cast on this piece?
What reasons do you have for not finishing it?
Any information about this piece that is pertinent to its history or to your history.
If you are interested in knowing where "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is touring to, please include your email address.

Note: Your name and hometown must be included if you want to be credited for "set construction."

Unfinished knitting, all different shapes and colors that can be unraveled if pulled at the string. This could be the sleeve of a sweater you never finished, the first scarf you started, or any other piece of knitting that for some reason or another you have not managed to finish nor do you anticipate will ever be finished. Knitting that is full of mistakes are as welcome as are perfectly stitched pieces. Unfinished knitting attached to tangled skeins are welcome.

Finished knitting or store bought knitwear, finished knits that are damaged, anything with more square footage than a baby blanket (3 by 3 feet) or tangled yarn. I am interested only unfinished knitting that has been pulled off the needle and that has the capability of unravelling.

At the end of the run of "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the remaining pieces will be stitched together to create blankets for charity. Any attached skeins of yarn will be cut and also given to charity.

* Knitting received by December 1, 2006 will appear in the Berkeley premiere of WFOTCN on December 9 and the run at MACLA in San Jose December 15-16.
* Knitting received by March 15, 2006 will appear in the East Coast premiere of WFOTCN March 23-24 at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA.
* Knitting may also appear in other national performances of this show.

PO BOX 251664

Please do not send anything COD.

k at kristinasherylwong dot com

Help Kristina out and unload some of your unloved knitting.

Slacker Thanksgiving

Endlessly knitting on Frost Flowers doesn't feel like it's getting me anywhere. But there is progress.

This is just shy of 20% complete. I stuffed my son's coat inside for a little color contrast.

I took a little break yesterday to rip out a bunch of my Railway Stitch sock. I forgot the decreases. I knit back to the end of the decreases and got back to the shawl.

We had a very quiet, slacker Thanksgiving. We went to see Flushed Away (everyone loved it) and had Chinese for dinner. Then all piled on the couch to watch Cars.

November 23, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The new Knitscene preview is up. It made me think of Thursdays. They are more "Why the Hell is this?" than "What the Hell is This?" but whatever.

In the category of "The Name Tells You Everything That's Wrong With This," we have "Poncho-Vest" and "Bustier."

With fringe. Seriously?

In the category of "Things No One Will Ever Really Wear," we have "Orbit Lace," "Suspended."

Too sheer, too tight and too long.

More knitted suspenders. Why, people? Why?

In the category of "Total Geek Out," we have "Tux Tee."

Where was this during the 1988 prom season?

And a knitted object that defies categorization--"Acme Baby Bottle."

Can't Wait for This One

Lace Style, coming February 2007.

Or this one! (This might not be really exciting if you've had an IK subscription for a long time but I've only been getting it for a few years.)

November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2006

The End of the Martha-along

A knitalong for Martha from Rowan 37
Sarah Irene
Green = Finished

It's been 20 months. Time to let this one go.


November 20, 2006

The Departed

Wes and I had a long overdue date night last night. We walked a few blocks to the new and warmly reviewed Tilth. The meal was completely delicious. We then headed to the movie theater to see The Departed. During the trailers the audio went bad. There was a very loud buzzing/vibrating sound. It got worse as the trailers ran. Wes and several other members of the audience went out to complain. The movie started and the sound got even worse (and add to that the grumbling of everyone in the audience). We walked out. We were told in the lobby that the projectionist was "working on it." We didn't feel like sitting there while they tried to fix the problem and it isn't like they can just rewind and go back to the being of the movie. We took our refund and departed.

November 19, 2006

Gray Sunday Morning

I was waiting for the sun to come out so I could get some decent photos of my recent projects but according to the weather forecast I shouldn't expect to see the sun until sometime mid-2008. So here are the dark photos with flash.

This is my first project from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I've had the book for over a year. I've been in the knitalong this whole time. This is the first sock I've started. It's really Nancy's own fault. I've been so distracted by all her other socks. The yarn is some Fortissima (actual yarn called for in the pattern) that I got at OFFF and overdyed. This is my purse knitting. I broke my one pair of socks at a time rule because my Traveler's Stockings, which I can not get a reasonable photo of but are about half-way down the leg, are not good for going in the purse. I'm knitting them two at a time. Two socks and two skeins of yarn is a bit much to keep on me at all times.

This is the romney/coopworth/angora blend I got at OFFF. I have 450 yards of bulky, squishy, soft gorgeous yarn. Sadly I wanted worsted weight. Some day I'll actually spin the thickness of yarn I really want. Other than lace or sock weight I seem to always make everything a little too thick. I try for DK and get worsted. I try for worsted and get bulky. I don't have any plans right now for this yarn. If anyone has any great ideas let me know.

I whipped up my Meathead for Larissa's project last night. I wanted to use this yarn the minute she announced the project. It's a bulky yarn I spun at the NWRSA conference. The roving is Brown Sheep potluck. I was really drawn to the color. The buttons are from my great-aunt's button box which I inherited years ago. There not actually sewn on yet.

I did not even pick up Frost Flowers yesterday. I brought it with me to babysit for some friends but I forgot that 14 month old babies don't give you the chance to pull out your knitting let alone work on a lace shawl.

Happy Sunday everyone!

November 17, 2006

Targhee Math

Subtract this

from this

and you get this.

Freaks and Geeks

I'm continuing with my 2% a day pace on the shawl. It's this much bigger than in the last photo. For now the shawl reminds me of Freaks and Geeks. I checked out the box set from the library. I really liked the show when it originally aired in 1999. It had high school dead on. So dead on. The show is set in 1980. I didn't start high school until 1984 but it's all so true to life. Both sweet and mortifying, reminding me of my high school self (I was kind of a freak-geek. A smart loser who hung out with the burnouts.). So I rewatched the entire series this week. The show was canceled at the end of the first season. I almost cried last night when the last episode ended.

Wes also proved himself the much bigger geek while we were watching it though. In an episode one of the kids gets an Atari. He and his friends gather to play Asteroid. Wes looked at it and muttered, "That's vector-based graphics not raster." Once I stopped laughing I asked him what that actually meant.

November 16, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The Misnomer Edition

Does this bear look happy to you?

November 15, 2006

A Little Frostier

The shawl is growing but I keep reminding myself that I'm only 9% percent done and I've already got over 400 stitches per round. Only 45 more days at this pace. *sigh*

November 14, 2006

Folk Knitting in Estonia

I just found new copies still available--at great prices--at Bookfinder.com.

Creeping Onward

I spent nearly two hours last night at Purlygirls working on one quarter of one round of Frost Flowers. Something wasn't right and I couldn't figure it out. I finally fudged in a fit of frustration and now, ten rounds later, it hasn't come back to bite me in the ass. According to my shawl calculator I am 7.4% done with the shawl. This means it should take me at least another FIFTY days to finish it at this rate. Is it warm in here? I don't feel so good.

November 12, 2006

The Coming Frost (Flowers and Leaves)

After a year in hibernation the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl emerges from its plastic baggy.

Avalanche Raglan

Pattern: Basic Elizabeth Zimmerman Raglan, Child's size 3-4
Yarn: Avalanche yarn from Ryan
Needles: US13 Denise Circulars and US11 Bryspun DPNs
Notes: Fastest. Sweater. Ever. Started Wednesday night and finished on Friday. For the Dulaan Project (pdf).

November 10, 2006

Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Cascade 220 left over from my Fair Isle Sweater
Needles: US6 Addi Turbos
Notes: So much fun!

November 9, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Oh dear. I seem to have accidentally deleted my entire What the Hell is This folder. All the little kernels of awfulness I've lovingly culled from all corners of the internet gone in one fell swoop. Shit.

But the show must go on. I now bring you "When Noro Goes Wrong."

When Noro goes wrong, it can go very wrong.

Or it can go very, very wrong.

Or very, very, very wrong.

Or extra super double wrong.

November 8, 2006

Trellis Scarf

Pattern: Trellis Scarf by Evelyn Clark from the Spring '06 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Only Natural (20% alpaca, 80% wool dyed with cochineal)
Needles: US5 Addi Turbos
Notes: Don't let the 7 into 5 decrease scare you. If you purl rows 8 and 16 very, very, very loosely it's no problem. The shawl ended up a little short. I didn't have a scale and stopped knitting the main repeat a little too early. I have a small amount of yarn left and probably could have squeezed out one or two more repeats. This scarf has 25 repeats; the pattern calls for 23. I also didn't block this thoroughly. After one strand snapped during blocking I left it alone.

Cool as a Cucumber

When the yarn snapped I didn't cry. I didn't even curse. I looked at the hole and the running stitches, stopped what I was doing, walked to my bag, got some yarn and a needle and went back over to the shawl. I grabbed the three runaway stitches and faked some little looping around thing. Then I left it alone. This morning when it was dry I took a better look at it. I can see one end where the yarn broke but I can't see the other. I didn't want to start tugging and poking at it so I just did some more semi-duplicate stitching around on the back where it broke and wove in my ends. I think it's all right. I sure won't stretch this scarf out again though. It will have to live it's life a little short and slightly unblocked.

In retrospect I was surprisingly calm. Like a person who has just cut off his own arm with a chainsaw but still has the presence of mind to dress the wound and call for help. Just like that.

November 7, 2006

Aw Snap!

Blocking my Trellis Scarf something went snap.

November 6, 2006

More Loot!

How could I forget? I won a door prize this weekend.

Sheila Ernst's glass circular needles. Aren't they amazing?

And another glass artist was at the retreat. She is starting to make orifice hooks and gave me one to test drive.

Isn't it cute?

I'm a lucky girl.

(Bad) Picture Heavy Post

I barely took out my camera during the retreat. I was too busy knitting and spinning and laughing and chatting. I took some photos this morning of all the stuff I brought back but the weather looks like this right now.

It is black and drippy out. A lot like Blade Runner without the murderous androids. It makes it hard to take a decent photo.

There is a stash sale at the retreat. I am proud to say that I sold more than I bought.

This is a cone of light gray sport weight alpaca, a skein of charcoal merino lace, two old Rowan magazines and Marianne Kinzel's First Book of Modern Lace Knitting. All at rock bottom prices.

We also visited Dinah's Yarn Shop in Port Hadlock. They were having a sale--20% off everything in the store. Dinah's is a shop I like to lump into the "yarn museum" category. There isn't anything in there that is less than three to four years old. But you find amazing stuff that has been long since discontinued and the prices are also three to four years old. I was particularly drawn to all the old Noro yarns she had.

This is three skeins of Cotton Kureyon (50% off!), two skeins of Cash Laine (20% cashmere, 80% wool) and one skein of Sahara (40% spiky angora, 30% camel, 20% silk, 10% wool). I'm planning on making wrist warmers or fingerless mitts with the Cash Laine (the photo is dreadful but it's a purple/black colorway). I'm thinking some kind of hat/scarf thing with the Cotton Kureyon. The Sahara was a lonely single skein. I want to use it for the cuff on some mittens. Or I might just keep it around to squish and pet.

On the way to the retreat a group of us stopped at The Artful Ewe. Heidi is a lovely and gracious woman who dyes some terribly beautiful yarn and roving. She also sells spinning supplies online at some of the best prices you'll ever find. If you're going to be in Kingston, WA give her a call and visit her place. Plan to spend a long time there. It's not a shop. It's her house so you must call first. But what a house.

The entire house is arrayed with bundles of roving, hanks of yarn, fiber over every surface and hanging from the ceiling. It overflows from one room to the next in the most exquisite way.

There is so much more to say about the last five days. I visited with friends, made new friends, had the chance to get to know people really well. I also learned that knitters are boozehounds. Lord. Around 3:30 every afternoon the air would fill with the ch-shink ch-shink of martinis being shaken. Then the wine would flow all night. And then they'd make more martinis. And more wine. I don't drink so it was quite interesting to observe all the goings on. I also learned that putting 150 women in a room the day after Halloween will result in a snack table like this.

I conducted a scientific experiment to see how long a person could subsist only on fun size Snickers bars.

I have the time for next year's retreat blocked out on my calendar already.

November 5, 2006

There Goes the Neighborhood

How much shit are knitters going to have to endure once this movie gets made? Julia Roberts will star in it. Seriously. You can read the synopsis at Amazon but I strongly suggest doing it on an empty stomach.

Totally Nuts

Stand back, people. I'm cranky and I've got a full inbox.

Last week we all grumbled about $50 for Koigu cashmere. Now Lion Brand expects knitters to fork over $40 for their cashmere. Their newsletter describes the yarn as "hand-painted" which I seriously doubt. Their website describes it as "hand-dyed."

Don't want cashmere? Well then there's a silk/mohair blend that's also $40. Looks like a Silk Rhapsody knock off. Why not buy the real thing for the same price with much better colors?


I'm back. The retreat was heavenly. I knit. I spun. I talked with lots of wonderful people. What I didn't do was take pictures. Tomorrow. I'll show off the haul and tell you a little about the last five days. Right now I want to hunker down and finish my Trellis Scarf.

November 1, 2006

So Long

I'm off first thing in the morning for my retreat. Catch you all next week. You'll have to find your own ugly patterns this Thursday. Sorry.