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

April 29, 2007

Stupid Sinuses

I've had some miserable sinus thing going on for about a month now. I've been knocked out by headaches. If you see me and I'm grimacing, don't worry, it's not you.

Yesterday was spent at an all day spin-in at Weaving Works. I got a little help fixing the connection for my treadle. It was too long and the making treadling a real chore. My wheel is behaving much better now. I had one of those days where I didn't quite have the touch with the fiber. My rhythm was off or something but it was a bit of a struggle at times. I have just a little bit of the blue/brown merino that I have been spinning for a few months left to do.

Today we did a little exploring. It was opening day for the West Seattle Farmers Market. We don't go to West Seattle often and Seattle magazine had a little article this month on it. The market was nice and very similar to the other neighborhood markets we have in Seattle. Someone from the rather twee-named Coffee to a Tea with Sugar was giving out free mini-cupcakes. I had a mocha one and it was dense, moist and rich. Very nice. The balloon man was there.

There was also a horse-drawn carriage taking people around. We never figured out where it went or where to get on. We stopped at Bakery Nouveau which has been getting great reviews. It's the head baker from Essential Baking Company which I love. It's a lovely little shop. More heavy on pastries than sandwiches. Although they were just bringing pizzas out as we were leaving. The pastries--apple danish and chocolate croissant--were deliciously flaky and light.

I've had a bad run of Netflix rentals. First I got Mr. Show. I found it unwatchable. Honestly, I let it go for a while but I couldn't stand it. I skipped to the next episode which was also completely unwatchable. Popped it back in its envelope. Then I tried Little Murders. I like Jules Feiffer; I like Elliott Gould. Couldn't stand this. Could not bring myself to finish it. So then--now I was really going out on a limb here--I got Battlestar Gallactica. I hate sci-fi. Like hate, hate, hate it with very few exceptions. But everyone keeps raving about this show and saying it's not really sci-fi. So I tried it last night. I didn't hate it. I also was a little more interested in knitting my shawl. I also foolishly thought that "Battlestar Gallactica: Season 1: Disc 1" would be the beginning of the series. But no! Battlestar Gallactica: The Miniseries is the beginning so I kept asking Wes to explain everything to me. Of course, he hadn't seen the miniseries either. But he has seen the 70s tv show so he had some sense of what was going on or what the heck a Cylon was.

So with all the headaches, spinning and running around I've made very little progress on the shawl.

April 28, 2007

What Flowers and Huh?

If you look closely at the sidebar you will see something completely amazing. There is ONE work in progress listed. One. A single project. There are no socks. There is no sweater. There is a one. It is Frost Flowers and Leaves and I have not taken it out of its bag since early December. Marti sat patiently with me on Thursday night while I tried to figure out what row I was on and which of the 83738403647 markers in the project indicates the beginning of the round. I did find the right place and marker. I've now knit several rounds on it. I would take a new picture but it still pretty much looks like this.

April 27, 2007

Friday Fun

I pity the fool who doesn't like this commercial!

Getting Soft in My Old Age

When I got the Knitty surprise email this morning and read the words "knitted parasol" I was smacking my lips thinking of Thursday fodder. But I like it. It's totally cute. I must be losing my touch.

In fact, I like all the surprises.

April 26, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Some magazines never fail to deliver the Thursday fodder.

All hail the queen of the tacky twinset.

And a picture of what would happen if you fed yarn to your cat.

This is what you would find in the litter box although hopefully without the cellphone.

And if you didn't clean the box for a few days you might find this (again minus the phone).

I don't want to get in trouble by naming names so let's just say that this magazine's name rhymes with "Shit n' Bile."

April 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

I was very bored marching on the treadmill at the gym today. I decided I need an mp3 player despite how evil they are. Fortunately this Creative Zen MP3 player is priced to be disposable. I needed a little something for my birthday.


Pattern: Dalarna from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock in Burgundy
Needles: US1 Addi Turbos
Changes: I made the leg slightly shorter. I was a little worried about the amount of yarn and I also just like my socks shorter than Nancy Bush. Very simple pattern. Just what I needed.

I Learn Something New Every Day

Until this morning I did not know that John McCain was married to Malibu Stacy!

April 24, 2007

Spelling Hivemind?

Why have I seen moral and morale used in each other's stead what feels like a dozen times today?

Listen up people. It's the moral of the story. Not morale of the story. A story does not have morale, only people have morale.

Technical Mid-Life Crisis

First I was Twittering.
Now I'm Yelping.
I'm trying to keep up with those young'uns.

Miscellaneous Catching Up

Trying to get caught up here...
I've been working on my sock yarn leftovers blanket. I keep it in the car and knit on it at meetings, standing on the playground, in line at the grocery store, etc. This weekend I transferred it to a longer needle.

So far I've used Lorna's Laces in Black Purl, Vera, Mineshaft (I think) and have just started with the Fortissima I overdyed last fall. The colors are a lot more subtle in real life.

I just finished the gusset decreases on the second Dalarna sock. Should finish those up in a few days. I also got my yarn for the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan from Lace Style. I picked up the swatch cap I was working on for Am Kamin and realized I did the last few rows wrong. I need to rip it out and get going again but my attention has drifted back away from that project.

In completely different news, I finally used my little pink Laptop Lunchbox.

I packed pot roast (very tasty with tomatoes and mushrooms), whole wheat couscous, carrots with salad dressing for dipping and beets with balsamic vinegar, blue cheese and pecans. I did put some plastic wrap around the container with the beets to keep everything from getting stained pink. It was all very delicious, nutritious and the most adult lunch I've had in a long time despite the pink lunchbox. It was actually more food than I could eat. Two thumbs up.

April 23, 2007

Birthday Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday: Work, work, work, work, work! Sale is huge hit. Very busy and tired.

Saturday: Work, work, work, work, work, work! Sale gets huger. Debbie brings a cake to work. Co-workers and customers sing happy birthday while I ring up sales. Then dinner with Wes and the kids at Blue Onion Bistro. Very tasty and kid-friendly but kind of expensive. Finish winding Shetland wool bobbins.

Sunday: No work. Ahhhhh. Drop off all wound bobbins. Find out Wes does not have to go in to work for an emergency meeting. Ahhhh. Entire family walks to Green Lake and around to the playground. Play at playground. Play frisbee. Ride bus home (free for Earth Day!). Shower. Ahhhh. Leave children with sitter. Ahhhh. Go with Wes to Volterra for divine dinner. Ahhhh. Get killer headache. Scrap plans to see Year of the Dog. Go home and fall asleep on the sofa.

April 21, 2007

IK Preview

In case you haven't seen it yet, it's up.

April 20, 2007

Birthday/Sale Weekend

It's going to be a busy weekend. The shop's annual sale is this weekend and I'll be working all day and night today and all day tomorrow--which is my birthday! There's a family dinner planned for tomorrow and then a grown ups only dinner on Sunday. Maybe even a movie. Things may get a little quiet.

I've got a few inches of the second Dalarna sock done but I'll have to put it aside to finish winding bobbins of Shetland wool.

April 19, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I was looking at the listings for Knitty Gritty and came across this picture.

What the hell is this?
And who thought putting something in bright, winter white on television was a good idea?

April 18, 2007


Dang. I had a little meet up with a knitter from Southern California today who was in town for a conference. We did a mini yarn crawl, had lunch, bonded. And me without my camera.

And today I learned that if you want to distract entrance a room full of 6 year olds, start knitting. I was impressed that only one of them asked me what I was "sewing." The rest knew it was knitting. I was knitting on my sock yarn leftover blanket. The kids all made good guesses. Most thought I was knitting a hat. They were perplexed when I said it was a blanket. So are most adults. It was my younger son's birthday celebration at school. And me without my camera.


I'm tired today. It's gray and rainy. I stayed up until 1:30 last night winding Shetland wool on to bobbins.

But I'm also tired of violence. I'm tired of our response to violence. All the endless obsessing over the killer and searching for something in his behavior that will explain the terrible thing he did. The headline "VA Tech Killer Had Mental Problems" just makes me think, "No shit." And meanwhile in Baghdad a series of car bombs have killed 170 people today. There's a bigger problem here.

April 17, 2007

New Pair on the Way

One Dalarna, from Knitting on the Road in Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock. Another coming soon.

April 16, 2007

Tomorrow Will Be Better

My condolences and thoughts are with all the families and friends touched by today's gruesome attack.

Since I am not alone in my tendency to soothe myself with food, it is a good thing that tomorrow is Ben and Jerry's Free Cone Day. Let's all go out, enjoy some ice cream and hope that life will get better.

April 15, 2007

Sewing Bee

I've long had aspirations of learning to sew competently. I gather materials. I read. But I rarely sew. I thought I would harness the power of Purlygirls and invited everyone to my house for a sewing bee. Amanda, Sasha and Sarah all arrived at 11 am sharp, armed with their machines, piles of fabric and patterns. (And cupcakes!)

I had spent a terribly long time at the new quilting shop yesterday trying to decide on a project. I finally chose one of the desktop organizers from In Stitches. I picked out some fabric (Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy and Nature's Whimsy from Northcott.

While I was standing at the cutting table a wall quilt caught my eye. It was elegant and simple and used a fabric that I had carried around the shop with me for an hour before putting it back on the shelf. It's a free pattern but you can barely see it in the photo. Plus I don't like the way it's quilted in the original. Too busy. I had everything cut out when my sewers arrived.

I started piecing my quilt.

I ran into a bit of trouble when I realized I had cut two pieces of fabric too short. I didn't have enough to continue so I set it aside and started working on the desk organizer. Then I ran into trouble on that when I realized I bought the wrong amount of Timtex.

Sigh. Are you seeing a trend yet? I was starting to feel a little defeated. What do you do when you feel your sewing has gotten the better of you? Why taking your first stab at hand-piecing, of course!

I am inordinately proud of this. My first block for my Dear Jane quilt. Pieced by hand. By me.

Please ignore the wonkiness of the upper corner. When I sewed the bottom strip to the center I didn't pay any attention to my seams so they're not lined up at all. I did a much better job sewing on the top strip.

After Amanda and Sasha left, Sarah and I headed to Ballard. I did a quick dash through the quilting store to get more fabric and more Timtex. We got a delicious breakfast/lunch/dinner (no time to eat when you're sewing) at Hi-Life.

When I got back home I got back to work on my quilt.

Again, bursting with pride here. My first quilt top. Done in a single day. Granted the pieces are gimundous, but still! The quilt top is 40" x 45". I haven't picked out backing or batting yet. That will be my next adventure. Then on to quilting.

April 13, 2007

Thank You for Smoking

Several people have pointed out to me that Kurt Vonnegut is smoking in the photo I posted to memorialize him. I would like to point out to you that he is not standing in front of a No Smoking sign.

It's all about context.

April 12, 2007

Yarn Dominance?

In response to my Estonian Socks, nova asked, "Did you play around with color dominance in the cuffs? I like the effect." It made me look at the photo again--oh the things we notice through the lens--and what do you know? Those socks don't look alike at all. I thought about it all day at work. I don't think I changed hands so why are my socks so different? I think the answer is "one year of experience." It's fair to say I've done a bit of knitting in the last year. And during that time my continental knitting has improved a lot. The sock on the left has loose, flabby stitches. The sock on the right is crisp and clear. The difference is really dramatic.

Estonian Socks

Pattern: Estonian Socks from Folk Socks
Yarn: Naturespun Sport in Natural, Beet Red, Nordic Blue and Storm
Needles: US0 Addi Turbos
Notes: My longest WIP ever. I don't know why these took so long. The yarn is not ideal for twisted stitches as it splits easily. Just very grateful to have them done.


Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Famous knitting performance artist Kristina (really, check out the new Vogue Knitting) sent me this a while ago. Somehow it got buried in my Thursday folder. It seems to be a response to these. You can see where I'm going with this already, can't you? Okay, so click at your own risk.

April 11, 2007

Old Dog, New Trick

Got the picture off my phone.

Thank You for Not Smoking

When I walked by the first guy standing in front of a "Thank You for Not Smoking" sign while puffing away today (and spitting which I hate even more) I felt the urge to pull out my phone and take his picture. I glared at him and let the urge pass. But two minutes later when I walked by the next moron smoking in front of a No Smoking sign I did take her picture. And I'm going to post it as soon I figure out how to get the pictures off my camera (I'm phone-challenged. I can't help it. I'm old.).

April 10, 2007

Going for the Four-Peat

My Little Baby

My baby is seven years old. SEVEN! I can't believe it.

(I'm sure 40 years from now I'll be saying, "I can't believe my little baby is 47." I guess it's just another reason it sucks to be the youngest.)

April 9, 2007

How'd You Do?

"I see you've met my faithful handyman."

I skipped out early on Purlygirls tonight to attend Cineoke with Wes. I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of singing "Sweet Transvestite" in front of an audience. Wes and I also got to perform a duet of "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast (I was Le Fou). It's fun but it only runs for two hours. Also there were way, way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many numbers performed from Rent and a bootleg of Wicked, which I have never read, seen or heard so was really lost on me.

I have finally made it to the heel flap of the Estonian sock. It does not match the first sock at all and I could not give two shits. I want the little bastard done. Done!

I will try to get a modeled shot of Poppy. As I explained to one reader on Sunday, I was not "camera-ready" when it came time to post a picture. It also involves having Wes and I in the same place at the same time that the sun comes out. This is Seattle after all.

I Don't Think I'd Make It Through the Movie

The trailer is squirm-inducing enough. But ridiculously funny.

April 8, 2007


Pattern: Poppy from Yarnplay
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic oddballs
Needles: US8 Addi Turbos and Brittany birch double points
Notes: I used the random stripe generator to help with the yoke and sleeve patterning. I choose to make the sleeves matching. I knit the sleeves several inches shorter than the in the pattern. Mine are about 19" from the cuff to the armhole decreases. I also made the sleeves less bell-shaped. The original pattern has you cast on a large number of stitches then decrease down. I started with the smaller number of stitches and knit straight until the sleeve increases started. It still gives a slightly bell-shaped appearance without the bulk and potential of dragging my sleeves through everything I eat or drink. I also knit the garter edges of the cuff flat instead of in the round then joined for the stockinette portion. I was going to sew up the seam but decided to leave the slit in the cuff. I like the way it looks so long as it doesn't start to curl. I'm concerned that the neckline and bottom edge will still curl madly even with the crocheted edging. I may have to add a second row of single crochet along those edges.

Poppy is a really quick knit. I highly recommend it for a stylish, simple to knit sweater.

April 7, 2007

The Party's Over

(Edited to add photos)
We just wrapped up what might be the mellowest 7th birthday party in human history. My (anti-social) son invite only five friends. Only three could make it. Then one got sick. So he and two little girls stood around the dining room table and drew. There was a brief bit of excitement when they played "Pin the Tail on the Pikachu" which my son created himself. And then there was the Spinarak pinata which Wes made.

The pokeball cupcakes were made by me.

April 6, 2007

Good Friday?

This morning I was reading up on the box office predictions for the weekend. Everything kept referring to the "holiday weekend." I spent about a full minute sitting in front of my computer muttering, "What holiday?" Then, "Oh, Easter." I've mentioned before that we're not too holiday-oriented Chez Rose-Kim. Now I'm really anxious to see how many millions of people celebrate this holy holiday by going to see Grindhouse. Wes and I were meeting for lunch downtown. We had some checks to deposit at Fidelity (they also validate parking--score!) but we found they were closed for Good Friday. What?! I guess it's so bankers and stock brokers can beat the holiday rush and see Grindhouse on Friday.

April 5, 2007

More Writing Practice

My son is still practicing his cursive.

Michael is a celebrity which means he is famous.
A yeti is a himalayan bigfoot.
Micheal is a big barf bag filled with crap and puke.

Charming, isn't it?

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Dear V*gue Knitting,

Thank you for this reminder to perform my monthly breast self-examination.



April 4, 2007

Lacy Child's Top

Sorry for the fuzzy photo.

Pattern: Lacy Child's Top (free but registration required)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Strawberry Cream (exactly one skein)
Hook: J
Notes: I didn't come close to getting the right gauge so the sweater is pretty small, more like a 9-12 month size instead of 2T.

You Are So Busted

When I came down to breakfast yesterday I was greeted by a grouchy 8 year old. This is not at all unusual.
"What's up, honey?"
"Mom, you were rude on your blog."
"My blog? When did you see my blog?"
[backpedaling] "Well I wanted to know more about your vacation so I went to your blog...and you were rude. I saw what you wrote about the table. And you swore. "
"I'll let you in on a little secret, honey. When I'm not around children I swear all the time."
I explained that my blog was not written for children and that he shouldn't be reading it. Then I changed the password on my computer.

Not Useless

Savage Chickens has fiber-related content today.

April 2, 2007

Smaller Hook = Smaller Stitches

Okay, crocheters. Now you're confusing me. On my sweater I'm getting more sts per inch than I should (stitches are too small). I have already gone up one hook size. Why are you all telling me to use a smaller hook? How will that make my sweater bigger? A smaller hook makes smaller stitches makes a smaller sweater. Right?

The C Word

It has begun.

There was the first attempt. It didn't look half-bad. Hey, I can do this!

Then I realized I was working into the wrong place on some rows. It was a short-lived sense of competence.

After lots of ripping, I prevailed.

Then I worked on one of the fronts last night. I finished it then realized I missed two rows way at the bottom.


I also realized that I had place the stitches on one row in the wrong place. It looks fine so I'm just repeating the mistake on the other pieces. I keep hearing from crocheters about how much easier it to rip out your work than in knitting. That may be true however when I found a mistake two rows below in my crochet I had no choice but to rip when in knitting I could have dropped down, fixed it and moved on.

Another issue here is gauge. I don't care what size this is when I'm done since I'm just doing it for practice. However the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and an I hook. The gauge is "5 (sc, ch-3 sp) + 10 rows = 4 in. [10 cm] in Ch-3 Mesh pattern." I'm using a J hook and getting more like 5.5 sts/4". I can't imagine using a larger hook. The fabric would be so loose and not at all like the photograph. So are they lying? Am I measuring wrong? Is that sweater way more meshy, loosey-goosey than I think?

April 1, 2007

Whidbey Weaver's Guild Spin-In '07

Last year I forgot my camera. Not this time.

I really don't recommend trying to snap photos while driving. But I was all by myself and Deception Pass is really beautiful.

The rest of the shots look like this.

I tried also to get a photo of the Chinese restaurant in the really ornate, fake Dutch house.

I didn't get the windmill in the shot.

Kaye Collins was the lecturer/instructor this year, speaking about camelids.

Our fiber packet had 10 little samples in it, including Guanaco, camel, llama and alpaca. There was also a teeny, weeny piece of Vicuna to touch. Not enough to spin. Apparently it's very difficult to spin.

At events like this all the wheels start to group together. As I looked around my spinning circle the Betty Robertsons looked like they were ready to thrown down with the Louet S-90s.

A woman had a new Louet Victoria wheel with her. That thing is tiny! I thought it was Lendrum-sized but I was wrong.

Please note Dansko clogs for scale.
Tiny. Tiny wheel.

I'm still spinning some hand-painted merino I bought from Heidi Parra in November.

When I got home I snapped a shot of my sock.

Then I ripped it all out.

There are no photos of the haul because I did not buy one single thing. Stunning, I know. But if you could see the stash, you'd understand.

Coming tomorrow: The C Word

Remote Blogging

Cool, the hotel has a computer.
I'm at the Whidbey Weaver's Guild Spin-In. It's been good so far. There are a lot more vendors than last year. I have been good and have resisted all the fiber because I have so much at home. The bummer has been my wheel. It seems to have warped and is now got a fierce wobble and is making treadling and even spinning very hard work. I also forgot to bring a non-skid mat so I'm slipping and sliding all over the gym floor. Another bummer is my Estonian sock. I cranked on it last night. I finally got into a rythym and knit the whole leg. I started arranging the stitches for the heel flap when I realized that I had not done the back of the leg decreases. I'll have to rip all the way back to the colorwork and start again.
I'll be taking Kaye Collins's workshop on camelid fibers today. Vicuna! Guanaco! Alpaca! Hooray!