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

March 30, 2007

Friday Night Video

Oh the cute!

Mason-Dixon Road Trip

Sarah joined me for the Mason-Dixon pilgrimmage. We headed out of Seattle at 10 am. The roads were clear and we cruised along happily for about two hours when I got pulled over by a state trooper.

"Ma'am, do you know you why I pulled you over? You were going 80 in a 70 zone? Is there something that's got you in a hurry."
"Uh, no."
(ominous silence while Mr. Trooper examines my license and writes down my number.)
"All right, Ma'am. I'm going to let you off with a warning so make sure you slow down."

At first I was so pissed. How bogus to get pulled over for doing 80 in a 70 zone when there were people flying by us all day. Then I regretted not taking a picture of Mr. Trooper in his fancy hat for the blog. But I feared that would have been pushing my luck.

The rest of the trip was uneventful though a tiny bit slower.

We crossed the border and headed straight for Bolt.

What a great little shop. Everything in it was lovely, tidy and fun. I could have done some serious damage in there. Instead I bought a baggie of "Cowgirl Snaps." These are not like Ginger Snaps. They are like these in the pearl color.

Then we headed next door to Close Knit. The shop is a little overwhelming. It's crammed with yarn. Everything is jumbled and falling out at you. There were also two small children parked in the middle of the shop watching Star Wars on a laptop. Kind of killed the ambiance for me. They had one line of yarns that really appealed to me, Loominessence, which I hadn't seen before.

We grabbed some Cajun for lunch at Lagniappe. They had their phone number listed on the side of the building as 249-PORK, which I took as a very good sign. Oddly there was no pork on the menu. The crawfish ettouffe was yummy though. And the waiter ran after us for a block or two because I left my sunglasses on the table. Thanks Waiter!

Next stop was Mirador. We went there so I could see the Laptop Lunchbox in person. And buy one tax-free. I ended up with the pink one.

Mirador is very close to Mabel's so we had to stop there too.

This one is for Wes, anyone else from Vermont or fans of Thank You for Smoking.

Mabel's is a cute little shop. A large part of the space is used for a cafe up front. The selection was fairly standard with the addition of Barlett (I'm not sure if anyone in Seattle carries them). They had 2 and 3-ply plus cones of sportweight. I nearly bought enough 2-ply for a second Rogue.

Then we landed at Abundant Yarn.

We got there a little less than an hour before the event was supposed to start. And we were the first ones there. We were nearly the only ones there right until 5. Larissa, who arranged the whole thing, was there. I met her briefly at OFFF so it was really nice to get to talk to her some more. When I saw Ann and Kay come into the shop I nearly jumped up to run over to hug them. Then I remembered that they didn't know who I was and that would be weird. So I waited a moment while waving frantically at them. They waved back then asked if I was Jessica. Which is when I jumped up to run over to hug them. They gave a great talk on the process they went through making their book. They signed books for everyone including stamping the books with the woodcut pictures from the cover. While they signed books, Sarah and I were endlessly charmed by Larissa's little guy.

What a cutie!

After the signing wrapped up Larissa lead us (Ann, Kay, Sarah, Kathy--sorry, I don't remember your blog-- and me) to meet another Sarah at an artisinal pizza place. I think "artisinal" is code for "you have to wait a really long time for your table" but man, that food was great. We ate, we talked, we laughed. Honestly, I felt like I'd known them my whole life. It was a truly wonderful time.

With great sadness and fatigue, I got back behind the wheel around 10:30 and headed back home. I got back home a little after 1 and was in bed around 2. And it was so totally worth it.

Stop the Presses!

I just found a pattern that I like. At Lion Brand. In crochet.

I feel faint.

Note: I didn't realize you needed to register to see the pattern. I've changed the link so you should be able to see the photo without telling the folks at Lion Brand anything about yourself.

March 29, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

"Hi, Janie. How are you?"

"Oh, I'm fine, Susie. How are---OH MY GOD! What the hell is on your back?"

"What?? Oh, ew! What is that? Get it off of me!"

"All right. Just try to stay calm."

"Oh God, Janie. What the hell is on your back?"


"AHHHHH, what do we do??"

"I don't know but we have to stop it...

...before it gets to the children."


The road trip was great. I'll have pictures and details up on Friday.

March 27, 2007

Here, Hold This For Me

I just finished knitting the teddy bear for our shop pattern for this year's LYS Tour. I needed to snap a photo before tossing him into the big drink (okay, the washer). I ran to the kitchen and found this.

That would be 1) a cardigan waiting for buttons to be sewn on 2) Rowan 4-Ply Soft in Beetroot purchased on impulse from Webs 3) hand cards and dog comb 4) Rose's fleece in four separate containers 5) my cute new vinyl tote from Murval and 6) my gym bag. Have I mentioned lately what an understanding and wonderful husband I have?

So I went to the dining room table and found this.

Fortunately I was able to clear a little corner off the living room table.

That's 28" unshrunk, baby.

March 26, 2007

The Mob Has Spoken

Okay, I'll do it.
The dinner invitation from Ms. Mason-Dixon Ann herself really pushed me over the edge.

March 25, 2007

It's Insanity I Tell You!

I'm seriously considering driving to Portland on Wednesday to see Ann and Kay at Abundant Yarn. Then turning around and driving home.

Night Out

Wes has a new food obsession. There is now a taco truck in our neighborhood. I think he's eaten there three times in the last two weeks. We ventured there in the chilling rain last night.


Then we headed off to see Zodiac. I'm not a David Fincher fan. I thought Seven was a completely meaningless exercise in vile, sadistic behavior. I left before the ending. Hated it. But the reviews for Zodiac were very good and the cast is chock-full of actors I really enjoy (Mark Ruffalo, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, Chloe Sevigny, Philip Baker Hall, Brian Cox and more). It is above all else an amazing looking film. The art direction is incredible. It is also a film that, thankfully, does not dwell on the violent and grotesque much to the disappointment of all the teenaged boys in the theater. And unfortunately it is just too long. It drags towards the end.

I did get some time to rip back Poppy's sleeves and start reknitting them with increases.

I've also been working a little on a new project that will be as perpetual and never-ending as the shawl in Like Water for Chocolate.

Why it's a square blanket knit from all my sock yarn leftovers. It's currently about 20" across. I can picture myself 15 years from now with this puppy on a 60" circular still going around and around and around.

March 24, 2007

Arms Taper

I got lots done on the sleeves for Poppy last night. Now I have to rip them out to include increases.

March 23, 2007

Stumbling Blindly Into the 21st Century

What the hell. I'll give this thing a try.

Friday Night Video

via Steph

Help Me, I'm Old

Okay, someone explain this whole Twitter thing to me. I don't get it.

Please avoid excessive acronyms which I won't understand.

Rose-Kim Pets

Zasu has been completely baffled lately. She used to sleep all day on top of my monitor. I replaced the monitor a few months ago and got a flat screen. She spent several days standing on my desk peering behind the new monitor waiting for the old, warm resting spot to come back. When she realized that it wasn't coming back she took a new perch--the paper tray for my printer. I'm pretty sure this will void my warranty with HP.

Hugo's still hanging in there. We are constantly watching him for signs that he is uncomfortable or in pain. So far, so good. He still has a great appetite and breaks into the closet where we keep Zasu's food everyday--sometimes more than once--to eat all of her food.

I've started the twisted stitch and cable pattern on the Am Kamin swatch cap. Only a few rounds so far so not much to show you. Poppy sleeves, knit two at a time, are about 5 inches long. Just a few more days of knitting time on those. Estonian socks are a few inches longer. Lots of dabbling going on. Not a lot of progress.

March 22, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

It's the return of the insane knits.

This time the theme is red.

Red Head

Better Dead Than Red

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose (That I Wear Wrapped Around My Ass

Red--Holy Crap! I forgot my pants!

March 21, 2007

The Last Word on Apple

Wow, this PC vs. Mac thing goes as deep as knit vs. crochet.
Here's a bit more details on the story.
The iPod suffered some catastrophic failure. It can not be restored, reset or even diagnosed. Just as the parrot in the Monty Python sketch, it is deceased.
I was offered another iPod for $99 with only a 90 warranty. (This is the point when I cursed at the "Genius" who was "assisting" me.) I said, "So when this thing dies on the 91st day, I'm fucked?" Answer: Yes. I was also offered a chance to "recyle" my iPod and get 10% off another one--but not the Shuffle. There was some third option but I was so blinded by rage at that point I couldn't focus--I think it has something to do with letting some third-party repair guy have at it. The "Genius" who stared me down with a wounded, glassy-eyed gaze, confided that he understood my frustration because the same thing happened to him. I can only say that telling me that this happens all the time was not the most soothing, reassuring thing he could have told me.

At the risk of coming perilously close to saying, "In my day..." I will say consumer electronics should not be disposable. I know that they now are but, really, they shouldn't be. If iPods or cell phones or any other electronic device is intended to be disposable--which, again, they shouldn't be--they should be priced accordingly. I have no desire to pay $300+ a year for the pleasure of using an iPod. Once upon a time I had a little mp3 player. It was tiny, had very little storage space, no display, etc. It broke in less than a year. It also cost less than $50. It still pissed me off but at that price I could kind of live with it. I foolishly thought that if I paid twice as much as I paid for a new monitor for my computer or three times what I paid for my most reliable PDA (a Handspring Visor which I love)I would get a piece of equipment that was built to hold out for longer than a year.

Okay, I'm done. Time to stuff down my feelings of rage into a hard little ball deep inside me.

Apple Sucks!

I am blogging here from the Apple store where they've told me that my iPod is now a paperweight and they won't do anything about it. Since I've owned it for the ridicuously long period of 16 months. Tough shit, out of warranty.

Apple, kiss my ass!

March 20, 2007

Poppy's Body

Onward to sleeves.

Bobbin Winding Party

Details on Leah's blog.

March 18, 2007

Dulaan and On

Signs of Springtime

Janine graciously hosted a Dulaan Project knit-in at her house yesterday. It was a cozy afternoon of knitting, laughing and stuffing our faces. Between the brownies, the cream puffs, the chocolate tofu pie and warm bagels, I barely had room for the curried almonds, homemade cheese crackers or any of the other wonderful things people brought.

I finished my 18th Dulaan item for this year while there.

A simple hat knit in donated plain white wool. I keep one of these hats--no pattern required--on the needles and in my car at all times. I knit on them while waiting for the kids at school, at the orthodontist's office, sitting at lunch, whenever. Apparently I do a lot of waiting.

There were 83 items dropped off in all.

I cast on for my next hat. I'm going to kill two birds with one stone. It's a swatch cap for Am Kamin. Remember Am Kamin? Back in those heady days when we all thought we could tackle this mystifying pattern in Japanese? Well, I'm going to give it a try.

This is Cascade 220. I wanted to try a k1, p1 tubular cast on. Surprisingly no one knew how to do this off hand but Janine looked it up online for me. It's so nifty and easy to do. I'm still working on the ribbing.

When I got home I knit more on Poppy while watching Holiday with Wes. (Oh, Cary Grant. Oh, Katharine Hepburn. You slay me.) The upper back is just a few rows short of being done. It practically looks like a sweater already. But then I remember, "Oh, right. Sleeves."

Thank you everyone for a great afternoon!

March 16, 2007

Through a Lens

I just shot a picture of my progress on Poppy.

This is the front. I flipped it over to take a shot of the back and thought, "Hmm, why isn't the back seam here on the back?" Well, that would be because when I split Poppy for the front and back last night some time after 1 am I didn't center it properly. So the back seam is on the right side edge instead. I could leave it like this. There's no law that says the seam must go in the back. On the other hand I don't know if I want that garter ridge running straight down the center of my stomach.

For the body I came up with my own "random" stripes and garter ridges. For the yoke and sleeves I'm using the random stripe generator. I couldn't really use it for the body because I wanted the body to be tan and navy with random small stripes and ridges. The generator isn't that flexible.

I finished the colorwork on my second Estonian Sock. I didn't take a picture because it looks just like the other one.

That's all for now. I'm off to work.

March 15, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

When you think of Dale of Norway what kind of image does it conjure? Perhaps rugged Norwegians in ski sweaters or sweaters with traditional designs? Well, forget that. Because something strange happens when Dale of Norway does crochet.

It goes slutty.

And Drops does too!

What the hell happened here?

March 13, 2007

Spriral Baby Blanket

The baby hasn't arrived yet but my gift has. So now I get to share it with you.

Recipient: Molly (how about updating that blog, lady?)
Pattern: Pinwheel Baby Blanket
Yarn: Approximately 12 oz of Henry's Attic Kona Superwash hand-dyed by me
Needle: US5 Addi Turbo
Notes: This is the project that broke my US5 Denise needles. Don't use 'em. They're too small for the cord. This is also the project where I ran out of yarn on the edging. I originally was knitting the Twining Elm pattern from Knitting on the Edge. It used too much yarn so I had to rip it out. Then I chose a pattern called Molly's Lace. Why didn't I pick that in the first place?

March 12, 2007

Blogger Makes the Big Time

Eunny Jang has been named the new editor of Interweave Knits (.pdf)! Whoa. Congrats, Eunny.

March 11, 2007

On Notice!

After watching Babel, I've got my eye on you, Innaritu. Time for some new tricks. You're multi-plot, multi-character caravans of misery are starting to get on my nerves.

Shop Knitting

As a yarn shop employee I knit lots of shop samples. We try to have a knitted item--not just a swatch--for everything in the store. The consistent problem for the staff is that we get so excited and start projects but we don't have the time to finish them. We rarely have a quiet moment in the shop to work on any of these projects. But two of mine now have deadlines so I brought them home to work on last night.

I'm teaching a "Socks on the Magic Loop" class. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and knit a shop sample sock for my class sample. The students normally use worsted weight yarn but yesterday I cast on for a Fleece Artist Basic Merino sock. The pattern is printed inside the label. We received an enormous box of the yarn in the last few weeks. The yarn is lovely to knit and the colors are really luscious (they're a bit blown out in this photo). I just need to knit another inch before next Saturday.

I'm also designing a felted teddy bear in Ecological Wool. All the shops participating in this year's LYS Tour will be creating a one skein pattern to give away during the event. I need to finish knitting this guy and write up the pattern by the first week of April which is shockingly soon.

I need to finish this guy up quickly to see how he felts. I'm fairly certain I'll have to knit a second version based on the felting.

Hugo is still hanging in there. His appetite is good (to a fault). He has energetic periods. But he also has difficulty breathing at times and periodic bleeding in his mouth from the lymphoma lesions. His original prognosis this fall was two to six months. He's stuck it out five months so far. The boys are hoping he makes it to his 11th birthday in July. Wes and I are not as hopeful.

March 10, 2007

Don't Worry

I pulled myself together last night. I picked up Poppy and knit a fair bit on the body while watching Stranger Than Fiction. Please, if you passed on this film thinking it would be a dumb Will Ferrell comedy go back and rent it right now. It was sweet, inventive and really wonderful. After all it's the same director as Monster's Ball and Finding Neverland. And the cast is absolutely stellar--Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhall, Queen Latifah and Tony Hale (who I miss so much now that Arrested Development is gone).

As for iTunes I have tried several versions both old and new and have reset my iPod multiple times. I found the problem discussed extensively in the Apple forums but the fix applies to older versions of iTunes so when I feel more patient I will have to go and change back to an older version again. So much for plug and play, hmm?

March 9, 2007

Time for Timer

Wes asked me the other night, after peering into the fridge, "Why'd you buy that hunk of blue cheese?" I told him that I "hankered for a hunk of cheese."

All kidding aside, I have been really feeling like my "get up and go has got up and went" lately. I'm feeling uninspired. I still love my whole hand processing fleece thing I've got going on but that project will take many, many more hours to comb, then I have to spin it.

For a little inspiration I put together a Flickr set with projects that interest me. I think part of my ennui is that I have been knitting from stash. And while I dearly love my stash I don't always find the right yarn for the projects I'd like to knit. So then I wrestle with do I try to knit a project I love from a yarn that's not quite up to snuff or do I suck it up and buy more yarn then feel guilty because I have perfectly good yarn at home. Back and forth I go. But I did order some some Gems in Eggplant to make the Katharine Hepburn cardigan from Lace Style.

Pretty, isn't it?

In the meantime I'm wondering what to do with my sweater's worth of Cotton-Ease. I had been thinking of making one of these two items from an old Mission Falls pattern books. Most likely the cardigan. But now there's a new Rowan Classic Yarn book, Classic Coast, that has lots of patterns I really like. They're mostly very simple, classic all designed for RYC Natural Silk Aran or Cotton Jeans. Both yarns are very similar in weight to the CE. I'm most interested in this cardigan. I also toyed with the idea of chucking everything aside and starting A Cardigan for Arwen tonight with the Cotton Angora I frogged a few months ago. The cardigan is shorter than I'd like but I know the yarn will sag and stretch a lot.

I'm feeling so torn right now I'm a bit paralyzed. It's just knitting, right? Why am I so wound up about it?

Hi. I'm a PC

You know those funny Apple ads with the Mac and the PC? I love those ads. Though I'm waiting for the one where the Mac whips out a sledgehammer and hobbles the PC Misery-style. Because that is what Apple is doing to me right now.My iPod wouldn't update because some of my "playlists selected no longer exist." Huh? How can they be playlists if they don't exist? Just to be sure I deleted all my playlists. Same error message. I was using an older version of iTunes because the newer one had some bug that made it not work on PCs. I decided to try the newest version and see if they had fixed anything. I may never know. Now my iPod doesn't work at all and when I try to install the new update to the newest version of iTunes (since I updated two days ago) it crashes my computer.

In short, Apple sucks donkey ass.

March 8, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

After making a splash in New York Big Ass Knits have now hit the runways overseas.

Big Ass Knits for boys.

Big Ass Knits for girls.

You call that big?

You can get bigger than that.


Keep going.

And we're there.