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

December 31, 2009


The kids have been listening to The Best of Bill Cosby a lot lately. I summoned Younger Son to come downstairs and he said, "Whadya want? I've been good."

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

What a lovely poncho.

[Photo has been pulled because...ah, you don't even want to know]

Effortlessly stylish for days when you don't need to drive, eat, or wipe your own ass.

December 30, 2009

Not Quite There

I have been working furiously on a gift project that is a) overdue and b) not working out. In the meantime I've been working on my linen stitch scarf and planning for 10 Shawls in 2010. I just found out we can start when it's New Year's in Oslo so that means I'm starting really soon. I wound yarn and printed patterns for my first three shawls--Bitterroot, Clothilde and Echo Flower (.pdf). This should be fun!

December 27, 2009

Prairie Mitts II

Yarn: Buffalo Gals Merino/Bison
Needle: US3
Notes: I improvised these mitts to match the ones I made in Nancy Bush's handcovering class I took at Madrona several years ago. I had a partial skein left of the yarn and used every last bit. I guesstimated how many stitches to cast on, knit until until about halfway done, cast off 8 stitches for the thumb and cast the stitches back on on the following row. Then I did a three-needle bind off to join the cast on with the last row. They fit him well and he really likes them.


Pattern: Incognito by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Verde Adriana (exactly half a skein)
Needles: US8 and 9
Size: Adult
Notes: I needed a project to take to the movies so I quickly cast on for this last night. I managed to knit the hem, do the turning round then knit the another 7 rounds just as the lights went down. I had to do the joining round by feel and was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I knit through the whole movie. (Avatar. It's very long and I hated it.) The cowl was slightly longer than it needed to be and I think my gauge tightened up a lot as I got more and more frustrated with the film. I did the duplicate stitch in Lamb's Pride Worsted this morning and stitched down the hem. It's for my older son and fits him fine but it would be too snug for an adult.

December 25, 2009


Pattern: Veyla by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Dye Dreams Twinkle Toes in Olive (37 grams)
Needles: US3 Addi Turbos
Notes: I strongly suggest you block the cuff before knitting the hand. It made a world of difference in my gloves. These are a very straight-forward knit. The pattern is very well-written. I was glad to use up some leftovers to knit these but I would pick something fluffier if I were to knit them again.


Pattern: Anglerfish from Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh
Yarn: Scraps of Classic Elite Renaissance and Cascade 220
Needles: US5
Notes: This is one of those super-fiddly knits. Lots of little parts. Most of it is knit in one piece. You only stitch on the teeth and the lure. I tried very hard to get the teeth in straight but they end up crazy-crooked. I think it looks pretty silly but my older son adopted it immediately.

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Or for the more cynical among you, Eddie Izzard's take on it.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I assume you've heard the phrase, "You don't know crap from Christmas."

I have in my possession a full kit to knit this vest. I am not kidding. It has the pattern, the yarn, the bobbins, the whole magillah. And it can be yours. That's right. It's the season of sharing and I am sharing this with a lucky reader. Just leave a comment swearing to me that you will actually knit this thing (and send in a picture when you're done) and you could be the lucky winner!

Merry Christmas.

December 21, 2009

School Rivalry

A local school rivalry has turned into an internet sensation. Shorecrest High School challenged Shorewood to a lipsync video competition. They put together this fun but facile rendition of Outkast's Hey Ya.

Then they got their asses handed to them, in my opinion, by Shorewood's awesome backwards rendition of You Make My Dreams Come True.

What do you think? You can vote for your favorite one here.

December 20, 2009

Vogue Knitting Preview

It's up and it's...well, you'll see.

December 18, 2009

A Tale of Two Veylas

With Ulmus finally done I thought I'd do a few small projects to see me through the end of the year. I've had Veyla by Ysolda Teague in my Ravelry queue since the day it was released and it seemed perfect to use up the leftover Twinkle Toes from the shawl. On Monday I started the first one, knit the lace, decided the small length was long enough for my wrist and knit the hand. It came off the needles (minus the thumb) and I was immediately disappointed.

Yuck, right? I looked at other pretty versions of Veyla on Ravelry and decided that I had a few issues with mine. 1) It's too small for me. 2) I should have stopped when I finished the lace cuff and blocked it. 3) My yarn is a bit thin for this pattern. The originals are knit in Canopy Fingering (purrrrr...) which has a pretty substantial fluff-factor. Twinkle Toes is merino and tencel. It has shine and drape but zero fluff. So I tossed this ugly aside and knit the left cuff and blocked it. Still no fluff but, oh, what a difference!

Hello, pretty, leafy lace.

While the cuff was drying I searched my Ravelry queue which, at nine pages, is totally out of hand. I came across Sheldon which I've wanted to knit for ages. I have some leftover Cotton Classic from my Psychedelic Squares. I knit up to the point where you put on the safety eyes.

And now I have to wait until my safety eyes arrive.

What to start next?

Blog notes: My commenting is being "upgraded" so things may be different or weird for awhile. Sorry.

December 17, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This? Advertising Edition

There are so many things that are really hard in life, you know? Hard, difficult things like putting on a scarf. Thank goodness for the Necky.

But if you're brave enough to delve into the troubling and difficult world of scarves then the Knifty Knitter is there to help.

Did you hear that lefties? It so easy even you can do it.

December 16, 2009

Tunnel Vision

As NaKniSweModo progressed this year I found that suddenly I only saw sweater patterns. Browsing on Ravelry socks or shawls didn't even register with me. Now that I've completed the sweater challenge I'm a little sweatered-out. What will fill the void? 10 Shawls in 2010, of course! I've had a serious lace jones lately. Damson didn't really help with it since that project had its own issues. Ulmus didn't help because there was barely any lace to it. Now I'm trolling Ravelry and queueing lace shawls like they're going out of style. The rules for the group are simple.
The minimum requirement of meterage is 250 meter (ca 273 yards) for 8 of these shawls, whereas 2 must use at least 500 meters (ca 546 yards) of yarn.
There are no upper limits to meterage if you want to knit 10 big shawls :) Any shapes will do - and you can even be your own designer!

The plunge starts at January 1st and ends 31st of December 2010. NO WIPS count!

With these puny yarn requirements this challenge will be over for many participants around mid-February. I'm fine because I still want to do Knitting Everest too. My goals for that challenge are to finish my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan and Frost Flowers and Leaves. Then make Celtic Dreams and a Starmore--most likely St. Brigid.

This seems doable. Seems. Excuse me I'm off to queue another few dozen shawls.

December 15, 2009

Petite Purls

The new issue is up. It's much bigger than previous ones and OMG cute!


Pattern: Ulmus by Kristen Kapur
Yarn: Twinkle Toes by Dye Dreams (approx. 40 grams) and Wolf Creek Wools Superwash Merino Tencel (100 grams)
Needles: US5 Addi Turbo
Notes: The shawl is smaller than I expected. It did block out really nicely though. The yarns are both lovely and shiney. I found the pattern exceedingly dull to knit. The slipped stitch portion took me a very long time to complete because I kept wandering off to do anything other than "knit 3, slip, knit 3, slip, etc."

December 14, 2009

The Kindness of Knitters

I'm always amazed by the generosity of knitters. Last week I came home from work one night and there was an unexpected package waiting at my front door from Susanna. Inside were two--TWO!--Finnish mitten kits.

One is this pair with instructions only in Finnish. (I see these were also a gift from Susanna.) The other are made with naturally dyed yarn from Riihivilla. They even have instructions in English! Thank you, Susanna. What a treat to get an unexpected gift!

Ulmus is still drying. Here's a sneak peek.

December 13, 2009

Muppet Holiday Fun

New Knitty

It's up.

Checking In

I've been meaning to post all weekend but I haven't been feeling too great and have just been laying low. I finished Ulmus and it is blocking. It came out pretty small. I used all of my second color though so I couldn't have made it any bigger. It's very pretty though. I'll try to get some photos up tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for all the kindness and support you have shown this past week. Wes's mom is in rehab now and is doing better but still has a very long way to go in her recovery. Wes's brothers have been in town for most of the week helping out but starting on Wednesday it's all on Wes until Christmas. Fortunately the boys and I are faring well on our own.

Doubleknit #29

The latest episode is up.

December 10, 2009

Interweave Crochet

The new preview is up. Please discuss.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Sometimes it's hard to know how many ruffles are enough.

Other times...not so much.

December 8, 2009

Some More Laughs

Last night I finally counted the stitches on Ulmus and realized that I had overshot the medium size and would not have enough yarn to make the larger. I've settled on something in between and am buoyed by the thought of finally ending the interminably dull slipped stitch section.

In the meantime I love this animated version of Mike Birbiglia's "Bear Strategies" routine.

December 7, 2009

"This One Is Wet"

I've been such a downer I needed a little humor this morning. I thought I had posted this before but I couldn't find it in a search. Eddie Izzard in Lego. Not for the kids, either, I'm afraid.

Not Kid Stuff

Older Son was stocking up on comic books at the library yesterday. He often tries to sneak home book with some not kid-appropriate content. One of the books he grabbed yesterday, X-Men: Magneto Testament, had a parental advisory label on it. I told him I would check it out and let him know if it was okay.

The purpose of the book is to tell the story of X-Men villain, Mageneto, in his youth. I'm not an X-Men expert. I knew that surviving the Holocaust was part of his backstory. The authors, one of whom Wes and I know, pieced together whatever clues about Magneto's childhood with an accurate history of Jews in Germany, Poland and at Auschwitz. It's a sparingly told story but incredibly effective. There are numerous notes in the back of the book to flesh out the narrative. There is also a teacher's guide and a bibliography.

There is a brief bonus comic that tells the story of Dina Babbitt, a Czechoslovakian Jew, who artistic talent was discovered and used by Josef Mengele. She paintings she produced while a prisoner are held at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum. She had fought for decades to get them back. And just now, as I tried to find a link about her to include in this post, I found she died this past August and the museum continues to hold her paintings.

This morning I gave my son the book to read.

December 5, 2009


We had a real shock here yesterday. Wes's mother had a fall and fractured her spine. She's had surgery and her doctors think she's doing well. She will have a long recovery which will include several weeks in a rehab facility. Wes's father is not able to care for himself. Their home is about an hour away from us. Wes is ferrying his dad back and forth to the hospital, their house and our house. Life will be pretty chaotic here for a while.

December 4, 2009


Created with flickr slideshow.

Pattern: Babette (sections 1-7) by Kathy Merrick
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton (762 grams)
Hook: Clover H and E
Notes: I'm really happy with it. I wish I had thought about how to use more of the yarn. I ran out of most of the colors and was left with larger quantities of just three shades. Bu then again, I'm just happy to be done with it.

December 3, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The good folks at Red Heart decided that plain snuggies were not good enough. So they've come up with an e-book of patterned snuggies because a plain snuggie doesn't look blanket-y enough, I guess. Included are some snuggies for the men in your life.

Here is quite possibly the most creepy/least sexy man I've ever seen.

I'm going to dismember you as soon as I finish this cocoa.

Here he looks less creepy but still entirely unsexy. I like how he's showing you his wedding ring as if that proves something.

And now we've swung back around to creepy.

That left hand is making a move toward her neck. Like he's been driven homicidally insane but his knitted acrylic man-cocoon.

November 30, 2009

Snar Labbar

Pattern: Snar Labbar
Yarn: Malabrigo Twist in Azul Profundo
Needles: US8 Addi Turbos
Notes: We just got the Twist in at the shop and I really wanted to try it. It's a worsted weight merino that has 8 plies. It's still slightly thick and thin. It is luscious. It's soft, shows of the stitches beautifully and has great color. I love it. The pattern is okay. There's some weirdness with the thumb increases and, I believe, a typo in the pattern but I just fudged my way through it and didn't make a note of it. Oh, and I cast on while riding in the car and only cast on 32 sts instead of 36. But the fit is good so no harm done.

November 29, 2009

Is Wolf the New Black?

This morning, for no good reason, I started hunting around for the pattern for this Mary Maxim sweater.

It only comes as a kit. But then I found a vintage MM pattern online.

This is kind of awesome because it's a dude with a gun in a sweater. Covered in wolves. Awesome.

So then I headed to the mall to buy Younger Son some jeans. I walked into GapKids and there was this sweater.

Design swiped straight off the vintage sweater.

And then this all reminded me of this.

If you're unfamiliar with the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt meme then perhaps this informative video will help.

November 26, 2009

Because It's Not Thanksgiving Without It

Thursdays are for Thanksgiving

I can not possibly top these for Thanksgiving so I hope you'll forgive me for the rerun.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

November 24, 2009

"Oh My Gosh"

More Muppet madness.

Doubleknit #28

It's up!

Muppets! Queen! ZOMG!

via Boing Boing

November 21, 2009

Babette and Bleak House

I've spent the last few nights hunkered down in front of the computer crocheting squares and watching Bleak House. I've made it through episode six and just discovered it's a 15 episode series. Geez, Charles, concision isn't your strong suit, is it?

My original plan with the blanket was to do sections 1-7. I have four more blocks to make including the two largest blocks. I'll have to assess my yarn quantities when those are completed.

So far it nearly covers my coffee table.

Just Go Already!

This is painfully accurate.

November 19, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

You want to keep warm when you're feeling chilled but you don't want to raise your heating bill? Blankets are okay but they can slip and slide. And when you need to reach for something your hands are trapped inside. Now you can crochet a Snuggie!

Click for pattern pdf

That's right with just 9 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver you can be swaddled in plastic comfort. And there's a size for kids too!

Don't let baby get left out.

Click for pattern pdf

Or Sparky.

Click for pattern pdf

Because the one thing a dog wants more than anything is a blanket with sleeves. If they could talk, they would tell you that.

Isn't Barbie fashion doll looking a little cold too?

Click for pattern pdf

November 17, 2009

Babette Has Her Day in Court

I ended up bringing Babette, a set of dpns, a skein of Socks That Rock, Sock Innovation, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
and my iPod to jury duty. I got called right after lunch and ended up going through voir dire for a DUI case but was dismissed. So I had to go back to the jury assembly room and will have to go back again tomorrow. The voir dire was interesting to go through but it made me realize that I would be a terrible juror. I had already formed opinions about the case just based on the questions being asked. I was also one of only two people who admitted to watching crime dramas like CSI. And only one of two people who don't drink! I felt both tawdry and lame.

The jury assembly area for municipal court is swank. It's a giant, clean, bright room on the 12th floor with great views of the waterfront. There is television, games, magazines, wifi and a separate "quiet room" with lots of outlets and seating and four desktop computers that anyone can use. Also if you work within a ten minute walk of the building you can get a pager and just go back to work until they need you. Big thumbs up from this potential juror.

November 16, 2009

IK Preview

It's up.

I'm Torn

I hate Snuggies but I love Weezer.


I have jury duty tomorrow. I have talked to other people who have also recently had jury duty and I'm pretty sure I'll be allowed to take my knitting. But I'm bringing my Babette blanket materials with me too (eight squares done). And I'm going to bring sock yarn and some double points too. And a book. And my iPod. Just in case.

November 15, 2009

Short-Row Hat

Pattern: Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Karaoke in Mermaid by SWTC
Needles: US7 Addi Turbos
Notes: This is a clever, interesting pattern to knit. Unfortunately I kept making the same mistake of forgetting one yarn over which resulted in a lot of ripping and reknitting. I really enjoyed the Karaoke. The color shifts are very long and subtle. It's very soft. We used to carry it in the shop and it didn't sell well. I don't think it feels nearly as soft in the skein as it does when you work with it. I had enough left over to crochet another 8" square.

November 13, 2009

Thank You, Shelly!

I was contacted by Shelly of Butternut Woolens earlier this week about my indigo problem. Shelly offered to send me replacement yarn. I thanked her but told her it wasn't necessary. She insisted that I choose replacement yarn. I could only hold firm so long when being offered yarn so I took her up on her generous offer.

Superwash Merino

Superwash Falkland

These beautiful skeins arrived in the mail just now. They are gorgeous and put up in huge skeins. Thank you so much, Shelly! Now what to do with them...

Baby Steps

This Short-Row Hat has been giving me fits.

At first it was a lot of fun. All those little short-row sections coming together like a puzzle. But it's a real line by line kind of pattern. There are no zoning out spaces. It's nose to pattern and lots of instructions like, "yo, p10, ssp." I completed the first 6 sections and started to feel comfortable. So I tried to knit it in front of the tv. For two nights. The trouble is if you make a mistake you might not discover it until you've knit several more sections. Then you have to rip and figure out where you are. And there was that time I missed one line of the instructions and was attempting to knit the wrong row over and over and over. That didn't work out so well. But last night I got back into the groove of it and made some progress though I'm still only about half done.

I finished my granny square too. And it's a square also!

I know you're thinking, "Yeah, I made stuff like that when I was 8." Well for me this is a big deal.

November 12, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I've had this in my Thursday folder for a while (thanks to reader Adrienne L. for sending it!) but couldn't decide if it was more appropriate for Halloween or Thanksgiving. So here it is, smack in the middle.

I present some of the most unsettling baby costumes ever.

My favorite part is the sideview where all the "food" items on the table are wriggling. And folks, just because your baby can't say "Stop it right now, please!" does not mean you have carte blanche to stitch them into a Boeuf Bourguignon ensemble and leave them strapped to the table all night on October 31st. Clearly I don't enjoy things that make babies appear to be eaten or edible. So to sum up, don't make babies into food please.

In case you want to make your own there's the turkey, the lobster and the salad and pie.

November 11, 2009

It Won't Be All My Fault

Older Son is working on a big school assignment and wanted to use my computer. I was busy introducing Younger Son to Fraggle Rock. Older Son kept pestering and I told him to wait. Finally he said, "If I don't get into Yale it will be all your fault." He is 11 1/2.

Crochet Foray

This weekend after finishing and blocking my blanket and shawl I started a few new projects.

The Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery.

Ulmus by Kristen Kapur.

By Sunday night my hands were very tired from knitting. But I still wanted something to do while I watched the season finale of Mad Men. The Fiber Gallery has volunteered to be a drop-off site for a local project to benefit Knit-a-Square. Despite the name, squares can be crocheted too. I decided to crochet a scrappy square with whatever I had lying around. This is when I learned that I can't crochet a square. I thought I could. I also thought these colors looked good together so clearly my judgment was way off late Sunday night.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to crochet a square that was square damn it! And I did it.

No, really. It's an honest to goodness square. See?

It then occurred to me that a granny square might be easier to keep square.

Only just started this guy but I like it already. And it looks like a square.