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

December 31, 2008

Disgruntlement Pays Off

Seattle to use salt in future storms

Of course, now it won't snow for another two years.

December 30, 2008

Oh Noes!

My computer isn't working right now. Posting may be sporadic until I can figure out what's wrong.

ETA: Everything is okay now. Phew.

December 29, 2008


funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies

December 27, 2008

Deep in the Forestry

Sorry for the funky photo. It was a super-gray day.

I'm off and running on Forestry. It's very easy and straightforward once you read the errata and get over the fact that all the stitches you do on the right side are called left-something-or-other and everything on the left side is called right-something-or-other. Kept reversing those. It also features the dreaded "work as for left front, reversing all shaping." Man, I hate that. I knit through Velvet Goldmine and Where Angels Fear to Tread yesterday. Just saw that Horse Feathers is on Hulu. Going to go watch that now while I knit.

December 26, 2008

You Know What Swatching Leads To

When I listed my possible NaKniSweMoDo choices (which have already started to change a lot) a commenter, Mary, pointed out that the Nature Wool I was thinking of using for Drops 103-1 is too thin to knit at 4.5 sts/in despite what the label says. Reading a bit more on the label I saw that it contains 242 yds/100 grams. That makes it it thinner than Cascade 220. Definitely too fine to knit at 4.5 sts/in. I wasn't worried. After looking at the Drops sweater I didn't think I would have any trouble changing the gauge. So I needed to determine my gauge. I swatched. I really, hardly ever swatch. I know, bad on me. I decided that on 6s I got a fabric that I liked that was 5 sts/in. I went back to my list and studied my queue a bit. Forestry jumped out at me. I didn't like it at all in the magazine. That belt...shudder. But seeing some completed sweaters on Ravelry and Veronik Avery's own photos of the sweater I really fell in love with the design.

So I cast on.

Three times.

I decided to knit this in one piece. It's just a raglan so no need for seaming. I also am solidly between two sizes and my gauge is a little iffy so I changed the numbers slightly. I had a *ahem* difficult time getting my ribbing pattern established. But the ribbing is done now.

I also pulled out some of the Noro Cash Laine I was thinking of using for this sweater. I haven't swatched it yet.

But then, I saw this scarf. I love a good stashbuster. I wanted to use up all my worsted-weight scraps. I started this the night before last. I found the pattern instructions really impossible to understand. I've never done linen stitch before. I ended up looking up someone else's better-written linen stitch instructions and it's going fine. But it's super boring and I hate knitting scarves. Also my scraps are mostly gray or green so it's not really popping.

And sometime last week I had a hankering for a sock project. My leftover Puck's Mischief from Selbu Modern was still sitting out. I started Retro Rib from Favorite Socks. It didn't grab me. For whatever reason the pattern didn't click for me. It's a very simple pattern but I couldn't get into it's rhythm. So I cast on for a heavily-modified Gentleman's Sock for Evening Wear from Knitting Vintage Socks. Much better but I've hardly worked on them.

I even got in a little knitting on my Sock Yarn Blanket while we took the kids to see Tale of Despereaux last night (Very scattered, uninspired movie. Our younger son enjoyed it but overall it was meh.)

So right now I'm all over the map. I'm hoping to pull myself together and focus a bit. Not my strongest suit.

December 25, 2008

Snow, Snow, a Thousand Times Snow

I took this picture to illustrate just how much snow and ice remains on my street. It did rain a bit yesterday and things started to melt. But now it's snowing again! Really hard. Sigh...

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Thursdays don't take a holiday. But we're calling it in slightly today by just directing you to go look at this. It was sent to me by Purlygirl Sharon. At first I thought it was fake but I've done some investigating and discovered that it's real! Horrors.

Merry Christmas.

December 23, 2008

Fingerless Gloves for Wes

Pattern: Based on Men's Fingerless Gloves by J. Campbell
Yarn: 1 skein Cascade 220 Superwash, #1913 Jet
Needles: US2 and 3 Addi Turbos
Notes: I changed loads about this pattern. I did all the ribbing on the smaller needles. I knit the pinky first, knit two rounds then knit the rest of the fingers. I picked up more sts between fingers and then decreased them down on the following round.

Let the City vs. Snow Staring Contest Begin!

Seattle refuses to salt

December 21, 2008

Snow End in Sight

Snowpocalypse '08 rages on. Now in most cities snow falls and people come along and clean it up. In Seattle snow falls and we stand around waiting for it to melt. Well folks, it's not melting. And I work in retail and there are no snow days in retail. In fact today I had to go to work because several co-workers felt they were not able to come in.

Morning snow

It started snowing the moment I got to work.

Phinney Ridge just as it started to snow again

It snowed all day and still has not stopped!

Night snow

It's supposed to keep snowing through the night. Fortunately--or unfortunately--if I am unable to drive to work I can walk. It's a long walk and pretty much all uphill but I can do it if necessary. My car handles pretty well in snow and I drive pretty carefully and cautiously. I'm still not looking forward to tomorrow's commute.

The fingerless gloves are kind of mostly done. I need to rework the fingers. But I tossed them aside to work on a few small gifts. (I won't put any pictures here so as not to spoil any surprises but you can look my projects on Ravlery if you're curious).

Wes and I made a run to the grocery store last night for a few essentials and spotted some knitting on the wine aisle.

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm complaining. I love the snow. I just went out and shoveled just to spend some time listening to it fall. The city is sooooo quiet these last few days. It's wonderful.

December 19, 2008

Blame it on Snow Madness?

As you all suspected I do have a little yarn lying around the house. In fact I bought a skein of yarn yesterday to make Wes a pair of fingerless gloves. So I pulled it out last night and cast on. And then I put on Coupling (Season 3) on Netflix Watch Instantly and knit my little hands off.

It is not my way to make a lot of changes to patterns but when it came time to knit the fingers on these I had to go my own way. The pattern I was using has you knit the cuff, start the thumb gusset, knit the rest of the hand then knit the fingers starting with the index finger. Look at your hand. Most people's pinky finger starts lower than their index finger. In the other gloves I've knit I've started with the pinky finger first, knit a few rounds and then knit the rest of the fingers. I'm also unhappy with the number of stitches I used for the fingers. Pinky is too small, middle finger is baggy.

At this point it was around 2:45 am. I decided to be sensible. Instead of ripping out and reknitting the fingers in the middle of the night I cast on for the other cuff! What was I thinking? Why didn't I just go to bed? Even when I went to bed I was awake for a while thinking about what other changes I needed to make to the gloves.

And now I'm am completely exhausted and I'm home with the kids for the end of Snow Week '08. My poor beautiful sweater is still stuck at the shop. I really wanted to show it to you. I've started the fourth chart in the main colors.

Snow, Day 2

December 18, 2008

Forehead Smack!

So I drove sloooooooooooowly to work to today in the snow. Everything was fluffy and white. It snowed all day long. We had a surprising number of customers considering the weather. I drove home even sloooooooooooooooooooooower. Everything is now compacted into a very thick sheet of ice. I have the day off tomorrow. School is going to be closed again (they already announced it). Now where is my knitting? In the office at the shop! D'oh!

Snow My Goodness!

Well that will teach me to complain.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

My thoughts exactly.

December 17, 2008

Oh Come On!

Now school is canceled because it might snow today. That is just silly.

BTW, there was absolutely no snow overnight.

I Fall Into the "Oooo" Category

December 16, 2008

Again With the Snow

What the National Weather Service is saying: Tonight: A 50 percent chance of snow after 10pm. Increasing clouds, with a low around 27. South wind between 3 and 8 mph. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

What our customers were saying all afternoon: It's going to snow 6 inches tonight!

Where do they come up with this stuff?

December 15, 2008

Wee Tree

Pattern: Wee Tree by Barbara Prime
Yarn: Cash Iroha
Needles: US6 Addi Turbo
Notes: The tree is looking a little bare so I wanted to make some new ornaments. I topped it with one plastic bead. Unfortunately I don't have any beads lying around that the yarn will fit through.

Hello Old Friend

For the last few days, since finishing my mittens, I've been working on my hexagon blanket and my sock yarn blanket. Since blankets aren't very portable I wanted to start a smaller project. I had my leftover STR from my Selbu Modern sitting on the table next to my computer. I decided to knit it up in a simple sock pattern. I picked out the Retro Rib socks by Evelyn Clark. I knit the cuffs on Saturday night. I was not happy. My gauge was too loose. The pattern was not flowing for me. I set them down. Then yesterday I dug out my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan. I was able to find all the yarn and the chart right away which is good since I haven't looked at it since I got home from camp. After a bit of a slow start trying to remember what my chart notations meant I was off and running. It's nearly doubled in length since yesterday. I'm into the third chart. I'm happy.

Totally Worth It

We got a robo-call at 5:45 am to inform us that school would be starting two hours late today due to "road conditions." I reset my alarm and settled in for a longer sleep (once my heart stopped pounding*). My younger son popped into my room around the usual wake-up time. I told him that school was delayed. I assumed he would tell his brother. I got up late, showered, strolled downstairs to find my older son looking a little concerned.
"Aren't we going to be late?"
"Didn't your brother tell you school was delayed?"
Then they both told me that they made their own lunches and breakfast and cleaned up their dishes! A pretty good morning for mom.

*Seriously, do not call me at 5:45 am unless someone is dead or dying.

December 14, 2008

I Have Commanded It

The kids, dog and I are all very happy with the snow. The rest of Seattle...not so much.

December 13, 2008

Interweave Crochet Preview

It's up. Anything there to inspire you to take up the hook?

December 12, 2008

Snowbird Mittens

Pattern: Snowbird Mittens by Elli Stubenrauch, Vogue Knitting Fall '08
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM and Louet Gems
Needles: US1 Clover dpns
Notes: Not the easiest stranded knit project. There are a lot of long stretches of a single color. I had to do a lot of trapping and struggled to keep my floats the right length. I'm not happy with how the thumb is designed. After you put the thumb stitches on waste yarn you don't cast on any extra stitches or pick up any stitches along the gap when you knit the thumb. It leaves a huge hole and the pattern just directs you to sew it up.

I also discovered a "typo" in the first mitten. If you look at the "L" there is an extra blue stitch above it. I went over it in white with duplicate stitch and it looks much better now.

A Pep Talk for Seattle

People of Seattle,

Chill the fuck out. There is a possibility of "a few snow showers." You all are acting like Armegeddon is imminent. It's a little snow. Maybe. Just don't do any unnecessary driving on hills. You'll be fine.

You may also be concerned because it is supposed to get cold. By which I mean Seattle-cold. Yes, it will go below freezing. There may be a 24 hour period where it stays below freezing. You'll be okay. Just shelve those flip flops and your lightweight fleece and put on some socks and a coat.

You will survive this. I have faith in you.



December 11, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

100% "cashwool"

You may preorder for a mere £960. Hurry.

Thanks to Katia for sending me this one.

December 10, 2008

Knitting, Reading, Watching

I'm well on my way on my second mitten. So far it looks a lot like the first one so I won't bother with a photo.

I actually finished a book recently. My reading has been slow and sporadic for months now. I just read Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. He's a very engaging writer and weaves together many threads of the founding of the Mormon church, the growth of fundamentalist sects of Mormonism and a very brutal double murder committed by fundamentalists in the 80s. It's all very interesting and well told. In the end though the book is utterly lacking in resolution. It felt incomplete to me. It reminded me of why Capote putting off finishing In Cold Blood until Perry Smith was executed. Not that I'm hoping for an execution but two men sitting in prison for twenty-plus years is not a very satisfying end to a story.

Last night I started One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson. She wrote Behind the Scenes at the Museum, a novel I adore. I started this a long time ago when it first came out and for whatever reason I didn't get into it. I picked it up again last night and I am really enjoying it. I read the first two chapters last night and had to make myself put it down to get some sleep.

There has been a lot of movie and tv watching lately. Most has been mediocre but lightly entertaining.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
is a seriously uneven but seriously hilarious pastiche of every musician's biopic ever made. Gross, raunchy, stupid but definitely funny.

Becoming Jane is a fictional imagining of a love affair that leads Jane Austen to...well...become Jane Austen. Pretty, sweet, too predictable. James McAvoy co-stars. This is a plus for me.

The Long, Hot Summer. Holy crap. Paul Newman just oozes movie star charisma all over this one. The cast is stellar with Orson Welles, Angela Landsbury, Lee Remick and Joanne Woodward. A gorgeous and entertaining film.

Twilight. Teenage vampires. They're in love. Yadda yadda yadda. If you liked the book then you know the drill.

Encounters at the End of the World. Werner Herzog goes to Antarctica and shoots mermerizing footage of the landscape and bizarre interviews with the people who choose to live and work there. Herzog inserts himself solidly in the center of the film. It's very interesting.

So there's a sampling of what I've been up to lately.

December 9, 2008

Let It

December 7, 2008

Take Two

I ripped it all out and started again yesterday. I know it looks the same but believe me it's much smaller and the tension is more even.

Big Dog, Little Cushion

Belly was lying on a sofa cushion that had fallen to the floor the other day.

Okay, it's funnier from the top view.

Someone asked in the comments a while ago about just how big Isabella is. I measured her and she is 25" at the shoulder and from her collar to the top of her tail she is 30" long! She really is a big girl.

Doubleknit #13

It's up.

December 6, 2008

Well Crud

I was using the wrong needles on my mitten and it's too big. Time to rip. Dang.

December 5, 2008

I'm Still Stranding

I wanted to keep my colorwork mojo going so I cast on for the Snowbird Mittens as soon as I finished my Selbu Modern. This may be the first pattern I've ever knit from a Vogue magazine. I'm using a variegated Koigu with some Louet Gems in white. It's a little more vivid than I had originally envisioned but the pattern is showing up nicely.

Can't wait to get to the birds!

Selbu Modern

Pattern: Selbu Modern (.pdf) by Kate Gagnon
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in Puck's Mischief and Koigu KPM
Needles: US0 and 2 Crystal Palace
Notes: I knit it exactly as written. It's a very simple pattern to follow and flows really nicely. I haven't done a real blocking yet. I put it on a small plate and gave it a few shots of steam for the photos. Perhaps you can tell from all the photos that I really love it.

Triple Baroo

December 4, 2008

Knitting on Colbert!

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Let's see what knitwear is coming down the runway.

Our first garment is covered in pustules shaded to match your first apartment's kitchen.

A sprinkling of flowers gives our pustules a "south of the border" flair. Ole!

Just the thing for fall, a paramecium kimono.

In this look we see a mythic struggle of paramecium and pustules for dominance over the human species.

And finally the dawning of the age of flowers.

These last two are cautionary tales for knitters.

Shibori gone wild.

Why entrelac must be judiciously employed.

December 3, 2008

Prop 8 The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

What a musical. What a cast.

Breathy Sigh

I'm in love.
Cast on my Selbu Modern on Sunday night and I'm almost done. I love the pattern and the color combo.

December 2, 2008

Heroes Revelation

While watching Heroes last night I had a sudden realization.

Milo Ventimiglia is Joey Tribbiani.

It's at 3:30 in this video.