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

August 31, 2009

Interweave Weekend Knits Preview

Interweave is doing a new magazineinstead of Holiday Knits. The preview is up now. There are a few obvious Thursday patterns but all in all it looks great.

August 28, 2009

At Least I Finished Something Damn It!

This summer, with all the travel and now vague sickness, has been a bitch for my knitting life. I finally finished all the pieces to Georgie and went to sew it up. The shoulders didn't match up. At all. I stuffed it in a bag for a few weeks. Earlier this week I got the shoulders sorted out, sewed on the front bands and knit the neckband. I just need to sew in the sleeves and seam the sides. But I just can't quite get motivated yet.

Coraline has been really difficult this week too. I spent a really good chunk of time on Sunday trying to knit ONE ROW of the yoke. My stitch count was off, I knit it wrong, my stitch count was off. Finally, finally, around midnight I got it all straightened out. And by "it" I mean one stinking row. Then at knitting on Monday I knit the first row of the smocking. This is a tedious, slow stitch. Place one stitch on a cable needle, slip four stitches, place another stitch on the cable needle, slip the four stitches back, wrap the working yarn around the two stitches, etc. Oy! Takes freaking forever. Then I got to the end--at long last--and I was off my four stitches. I had to rip the whole row out. The row that took me all night to knit. I picked it up last night and--son of a bitch!--I missed smocking one section. I managed to drop down and fix it but it's so tight in the section now. And the sweater is at that stage where it's so damned big and heavy I don't want to carry it around with me.

I've been carrying Smith around but haven't knit on it all since Portland. It's really fiddly and I there's something happening nearly every row that just a little bit different from the previous rows. Also not great for knitting on the go.

So today I picked up a charity hat I started a while ago. And I finished the damned thing. Thank goodness!

It's one skein of Zitron Nimbus. I made up the pattern. There's no buttonhole, just an overlapping band of garter. The button is recycled glass.

Tomorrow we leave again for a little family vacation. I know! Even I am sick of all the traveling at this point. I just want to settle back in at home, clean up the mess and get back to feeling like a productive person. I'll take Coraline and Smith (maybe Damson too?) with me and hope to get something done.

August 27, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Sandra Backlund is back with another collection of flattering, wearable, simple knits. As you can see her model is thrilled.*

*In the words of Homer Simpson, "In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic."

August 26, 2009

RIP Ellie Greenwich

You may not know Ellie Greenwich's name but know her music. She wrote "Leader of the Pack, "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Chapel of Love," "Be My Baby" and scores of other classic songs. She died today in New York.

Your Choice?

So there's an interesting conversation in the comments from yesterday's post. Which book would you choose to knit every pattern from?

I have knit most of the patterns in Knitting on the Road and do intend to finish knitting them all eventually. I'd love to knit through the Knitter's Almanac some year. And knit everything in Knitting Workshop. How about you?

August 25, 2009

Decision Making

If you made the choice to devote four entire years of your knitting life to knit all 50 patterns in a knitting book, would you chose the book that has this pattern?

August 21, 2009

So Long Again!

Wes and I are headed to Portland to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and enjoy a few days to ourseleves. I do plan to fit in a bit of yarn by hitting the Abundant Yarn closing sale and checking out Twisted. We have all our restaurants picked out too. This should be very relaxing.

See you next week. Have a great weekend!

August 20, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Maybe I've been watching too much Project Runway (new season starts tonight!)lately but when I look at designs by Horst Couture I can't help but hear the judges voices in my head.

Michael: Where would someone wear this?
Heidi: It's not practical.
Nina: The huge swaths of felt and the faded jeans...The two pieces just don't go together.

Heidi: It doesn't flatter her figure.
Nina: The proportions are all off.
Michael: I don't even know what I'm looking at here. She's a what? A colorful dust mop?

Heidi: I question the "taste level" on this piece.
Michael: Fetch some smelling salts! Nina's fainted!

August 19, 2009

Am I Blue?

I wasn't kidding about the yarn for Damson turning my hands blue.

August 18, 2009

How Can You Tell When a Knit Goes Viral?

When your Friend's Activity page on Ravelry looks like this.

Vice Versa Socks

Ysolda Ysummit*

Last night at Purlygirls my end of the table was having an impromptu lovefest for Ysolda. I was knitting on Coraline then Damson, and amusing everyone with how incredibly blue my hands were turning. Amanda was working on Ishbel. Jeanne was working on Ishbel. Erin had her finished Damson to show off. She had her finished Ishbel last week. Ishbel also seemed to be the "it" design of Sock Summit. Everyone was wearing one or knitting one or both.

Now, Ysolda is a wonderfully talented designer, and clearly I love her work, but it makes me wonder, why does a designer suddenly become so hot? What is it about her designs?

Another phenomenon I've been witnessing lately is the reaction to made in Brooklyn by Jared Flood. There is an absolute frenzy over this book right now. It's selling out quickly. Why? It's a great book. But what has elevated this one?

I'll have to ponder these questions while I continue to work on my all-Ysolda-all-the-time projects.

*Amanda came up with this last night.

August 15, 2009

Doubleknit #24

Is up and I already checked and it is in iTunes.

New Twist Collective

It's up.

August 14, 2009


fail owned pwned pictures

FAIL blog posted this image as "Mountain Goat Fail." Sheep, people,not mountain goat.

Wes's Continued Quest for Karaoke Video World Domination

The Northwest Film Forum held its annual Karaoke Video Challenge and Wes showed up full of win.

He did a Glee video.

The karaoke version is here.

He made a literal video for Hungry Like the Wolf (my idea, btw).

In this version you can here him sing it live.

Someone else performed his version of You Light Up My Life from a few years ago.

He also performed this Journey song. He did not create the video but he made the karaoke version of it.

Boiling Over

Gah! My life and my knitting have gotten totally out of control. I realize I never even finished my Sock Summit recapping and when I went to take some more photos I realized I never photographed things I brought home from camp! In addition to that I've lost my mind and am knitting on a bazillion projects at once right now. Or so it feels. I keep trying to remind myself of that FLYlady slogan , "You are not behind – you are just getting started." Am I ever!

Buttons from Jennie the Potter. They match my Miss Babs Sport perfectly!

Kimmet Croft Fairy Hare purchased at camp. It's 40% angora. Can you see the dreamy fuzziness? I think this might become a Featherweight Cardigan.

There was a free skein of Fat Fairy Hare with purchase!

Sensing a color trend yet?

Kim was destashing this beautiful Silky Merino Aran from Sundara in Green Tea. Current thought, February Lady Sweater. (She's posted some of her photos from camp. Man, we were silly this year.)

Did I mention that I finally steeked one sleeve for the GLMC while at camp?

Sadly, it hasn't been touched since.

I knit this one baby hat on the way to camp.

I started a second on my way home and--this part is going to start sounding familiar--I haven't touched it since.

I've been knitting a lot on Coraline.

The Cascade Pure Alpaca is dreammmmmy. But the sleeves on my sweater are giving me fits. The first go had to be ripped because it was crazy-huge. My gauge on double-points was so loose and floppy. I ripped it out and switched to magic loop on a smaller size needle and the sleeves still seem kind of huge to me. Do I rip again? I'm thinking maybe I'll cut off the bottom of the sleeve and work it into a slimmer fit.

And did you see Damson? Ysolda is releasing Whimsical Little Knits 2 one pattern at a time. The first is a dainty little shawl. I couldn't resist and cast on immediately with some sock yarn I got from Butternut Woolens a year or so ago at Madrona. It's indigo-dyed and gorgeous. It also bleeds like you wouldn't believe and turns my hands completely blue!

One last thing, since I have a photo. This is my sample swatch from my sock design class at Sock Summit. The yarn is Socks That Rock in a Rare Gems colorway. I was having a very difficult time finding a stitch that worked with this yarn. Lace didn't show, texture didn't show. Then I found this pattern in a stitch guide shown to me by Ellen and it was perfect!

I better go get some knitting done.

August 13, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I kind of love looking at toilet roll covers because they are so absurdly kitschy. And also they reveal the extents people will go to so they do not have to lay eyes on toilet paper, which I can't really get my head around. But this one we'll just have to file under, "Well Now I've Seen Everything."

A Barbie dual-flush toilet toilet paper roll cover! So now you can observe Barbie perched on the can, reading a magazine while she takes a dump instead of seeing a roll of unsightly toilet paper.

ETA: You can see how and why this pattern was created and get the pattern to create your own here.

August 12, 2009

Random Sheep News Wednesday

Ram on the phone lines
This poor guy...

Lincoln wedding dress

This could have gone really wrong but I think it's charming.

August 10, 2009

You Are There

Remember those Walter Cronkite historical movies from the 70s, You Were There?

Here's the version for the Ravelry party at Sock Summit. You are there.

More Sock Summit Recap or Holy Crap, I Bought a Lot of Yarn!

Thursday I took Cool Socks A from Lucy Neatby. She is such an excellent teacher I feel badly to have such a crappy photo of her.

I think I've mentioned before how she uses her instructional DVDs to illustrate and demonstrate techniques in her classes. It works so well. We made a sampler with Channel Island cast on, a short-row garter stitch heel, a stretchy bind off with or without picots.

I had extra time and also threw a double-knit heel turn into my sample. Her class materials are set up really well so you can move ahead if you already understand a technique. We also did a sample of her sock toe chimney technique. When you're ready to graft your toe you knit several rounds in a contrasting color waste yarn, stuff that tube into your sock and use the first row of the waste yarn stitches as a guide to your grafting. It is helpful for eliminating the little "ears" on the sides of a kitchenered toe. I think it would have been a very good technique for grafting the hood of Rogue.

Friday was Socks Exotica with Judith. Again, fabulous teacher, terrible photo.

We got samples of all sorts of luscious fibers and blends. Cashmere, yak, angora, silk...all heavenly. She also gave us blank business cards and one of those full-page plastic sleeves with pockets for business cards. We could write down the information on the fiber then stick small samples in each pocket. I will definitely do this for any future spinning classes.

Saturday I took an all-day sock design class with Anne Hanson. I was so tired and headache-y I left early. Also I think this would have been better as a half-day class.

There were so many beautiful things in the market. I brought home a lot more than I intended. Here is just some of what came home with me.

Hazel Knits merino/nylon sock yarn in Blacklight

Merino/silk from Red Fish

A sweater's worth of Miss Babs's 3-ply sport in Denim

Merino/tencel from Dye Dreams

Merino/Tencel from Wolf Creek

Merino/bamboo/nylon from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks

Merino/bamboo from Lisa Souza

More sport from Miss Babs

A shawl's worth of BFL from Dye Dreams

(I've got to get to work. I'll post more later including links to all these great vendors!)

August 9, 2009

My Best Moment of Sock Summit

While shopping at the market I stopped at Toots Le Blanc. Michelle Comancho is a lovely, lovely woman and now that she lives far from Seattle I always enjoy visiting her at shows and festivals. She was asking me a lot about knitting camp then mentioned that she had hoped to meet Meg Swansen but had not seen her in the market. I told her that Meg didn't strike me as much of a shopper. Not five minutes later I ran into Meg. I ran up to her and told her that I had to take her to meet my friend. Meg seemed dubious but obliged me and we rounded the corner of Michelle's booth I announced, "Michelle, I brought you Meg Swansen!" Michelle turned around and put her hand over her mouth as tears welled in her eyes. She recovered quickly and I left as she was introducing Meg to her beautiful yarns. I came back later and Meg was still there! I told Carl, Michelle's brother and business partner, "I think I made a love match." He agreed. Meg later told me that it was her favorite booth in the market and the only place where she bought anything. Michelle told me that she could just pack up and go home happy.

(I'll try to find time to post some pictures from the Summit tomorrow.)

August 7, 2009

Sock Summit Half-Assed Update

So far this is fairly awesome.
  • Cool Socks with Lucy Neatby. Lucy, as I've said before, is an excellent teacher and you should absolutely take classes from her whenever possible.
  • Knitting celebrities are everywhere. Sat by Ann Budd in class and nearly blurted out at her, "You're Ann Budd!" Glad I didn't 'cause I think she already knows that.
  • The marketplace opened for students only at 4:30. These knitters take their shopping very seriously. I may have bought some yarn.
  • Great dinner with knitters at Pok Pok.

  • Half-day spinning class with Judith MacKenzie-McCuin. Lots of gorgeous luxury fibers.
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping. Famous knitting people at every turn.
  • Yummy tapas dinner at Toro Bravo. Dropped a cup of chocolate sauce in my lap and down my legs. Shoes now smell chocolate-y delcious.

Tomorrow: Sock design with Anne Hanson. More shopping. More famous knitting people.

August 6, 2009

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?


If someone asks you if you have ever felt breasts this is not what they meant.

August 5, 2009

I Packed My Camera

Tonight I head to Portland for Sock Summit. I have a 9am class tomorrow morning so I didn't want to get up 4 and drive down tomorrow. I think I'm all packed. I'm not having my usual pre-trip panic because I can just throw anything in the back of the car I think I might want or need instead of trying to winnow everything down into one suitcase. The Summit will be, for me, a return to some forgotten loves. Like my spinning wheel. When was the last time I used that? And Sock knitting. Haven't completed a pair of socks in...over a year!! Wow.

Georgie is very close to done at last. I have to sew up all her parts then knit the collar. I won't be taking her to SS though. I will be taking Coraline, which is about 10 inches long now, and some socks I half-heartedly started in December.

Erin and I might try to snag a few interviews for the podcast while we're down there too. I will be bringing my computer but don't know if I'll make time to blog.

August 2, 2009

Best Best Of Yet!

I don't know how I didn't notice this but someone just emailed me and mentioned that the Purlygirls were in the paper. It turns out we're the Best Reason to Learn to Slip-Slip-Knit. I'm really thrilled and excited by this. Purlygirls is a very special group and a really important part to my week. Thanks, Purlygirls. You're the best!

August 1, 2009


All knitters have that annoying collection of single skeins of yarn, leftovers from projects, friends' cast offs, skeins we bought with no idea of what to do with them. Once you start to work in the yarn business you get even more. At every event companies press skeins of yarn into your hands.

My sock yarn scrap blanket has been my movie theater knitting project for years now. But it is too big to take with me anymore. It's just unwieldy and I have have nearly run out of yarn for the project. It will have to wait until I knit more socks. In the meantime I need projects to knit in the dark.

It's time to knit up all these oddballs into hats for charity. The only trick is getting the bottom ribbing done before the lights go down. I tried to get a few ready on the needles.

This is Louet Riverstone. I made it generously-sized. I think it will make a great warm hat for a man.

I won this skein of SWS at a knitting fundraiser earlier this year. I hope it will keep a child warm this winter.

These were just the first few stray skeins I found. There are probably enough to knit dozens of hats.