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

March 31, 2011

New Twist Collective

Wow. Wow. Wow! Another gorgeous issue of Twist Collective. Something for everyone.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

After seeing

some of these

knits for fall

I thought...

March 30, 2011

Knitscene Preview

It's up. I'm excited that Knitscene will now be a quarterly. Make sure to click on the bonus photo links because the thumbnails really don't do the designs justice. I see a lot of cute knits here despite the use of colors that make me heave.

March 29, 2011

Change of Plans

With Aidez done, I'm focused on finishing Taygete. Thank you all for the nice comments on Aidez. I showed it to my knitting group and they all thought it looks good on me. So maybe it's not a total FAIL. Anyway, I was hoping to finish Taygete by the end of the month so it could be my March FO for the Sock Stash Knitdown. I think having a goal is motivating. I'm on the edging. I might make it.

I got sidetracked on Sunday night when I found my Sheldon at the bottom of my WIP basket. I started him in December of 2009! His body and head were done and one leg. I've knit all of his other pieces and now I need to stuff him and sew him up.

But then last night I got completely distracted because I realized that my stash of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran, that I bought at a stash sale a few years ago and hoped to make an Elizabeth Zimmermann aran sweater with, would make the perfect background for a Mitered Crosses blanket. That got me rummaging through the stash for odd skeins of Noro to use for the crosses. But then I spotted some handspun that was a bit Noro-esque and thought maybe I should use only handspun for the crosses. Flash forward 20 minutes and I was furiously digging through all my handspun, pulling potential yarns for the project. Fast forward another 20 minutes and I was furiously pulling out all my odd little bits of singles still on storage bobbins. Fast forward another 20 minutes and Wes was getting a little annoyed, wondering when I would be done so we could watch Castle.

So now I am all fired up to knit the blanket. And also more excited to knit the EZ aran using a different yarn. The Yorkshire Tweed was a great yarn for it but the color--oatmeal--was just too blah and uninspiring.

March 28, 2011


Pattern: Aidez by Cirilia Rose
Yarn: BFL Bulky from Yarn2Dye4 (no longer on their site)
Needle: See notes
Notes: Oh Aidez. I diligently swatched before leaving for Madrona. I made a good sized swatch. Then started knitting a few weeks later. The pattern calls for a 10.5 needle which I think I used to swatch and knit the back of the sweater. But somehow when I had completed the back, both fronts and 3/4 of both sleeves I noticed that I was using a 9. What happened? I have no idea. I really, honestly don't have a clue whether I knit the whole thing on the wrong size needle or just parts. The ironic thing is I used up all my yarn so if I had used the correct needle size I would have run out of yarn. The resulting sweater is too small as you can see from the photos. The body is okay but the sleeves, which many knitters have said come out too small so I made adjustments to get bigger sleeves, are still too small and the fit through the shoulders is snug.

It's a lovely sweater though. The yarn is soft and creamy. The design is beautiful. Sigh.

March 27, 2011


While driving through a mall parking lot I spotted a duck waddling through the lot passing in front of stopped cars. I pointed it out to the boys.

Younger Son said, "I hope he doesn't get squooshed."
"It's a girl," I said.
"How can you tell?"
"The ones with brown feathers are female."
"Oh," said Older Son. "I thought you could tell by the way she walked."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

March 24, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

With Ravlery came the opportunity for independent designers to bring their patterns directly to the public. While that has allowed for some great designers to find success that has also lead to some less qualified designers to attempt to earn a buck or two selling patterns that are not quite up to snuff.

Yes, for only $4.00 you can learn to make the face on a crocheted doll. Let's zoom in to see what we will be learning.

As you can see you can learn to make a figurine look like a sex doll or look like a guy who bought a sex doll. And for only $6.00 you can learn to make the rest of the doll.

March 22, 2011

Good News Everyone!

Younger son brought home this Futurama mural yesterday.

It was for a carnival they had at his afterschool program. Carnival goers could stick their face in the holes and appear to be a head jars. Bender is off to the side, pointing and laughing.

Wes posted a picture of it on Twitter and my college roommate, currently in LA, just wrote back to say, "Pls tell 10 yo that executive producer of Futurama says: 'Quite well done, in my opinion. Bender's expression is excellent.'"

Pretty cool!

March 19, 2011


I'm getting to the point in knitting Taygete* where I want to be done with the main portion so badly that I'm being to actively resent the knitting for not being done.

*Did I even tell you I'm knitting this? Well, I am. In two colorways of Socks That Rock Lightweight, Puck's Mischief and a Rare Gems. It's a bit murky and mysterious and I like it.

March 18, 2011

Crazy Train/Crazy Week

What a week.

Sunday morning I left Seattle by train to head to the Yarn Market News Conference in Portland. Unlike TNNA there is nothing for sale, no products introduced. It is strictly a business conference for yarn shop owners and managers. I was seated with two other area yarn shop owners on the train. Before the train even left the station I knew we were in for a challenging ride.

There were two women seated next to us. One was older, clearly in poor health, and quite deaf. We knew this immediately because she shouted everything at the top of her lungs and her traveling companion had to shout at her to be heard. Repeatedly. The woman traveling with her was much younger and I could tell the moment I laid eyes on her that she had a substance abuse problem. She was bone-thin and seemed not quite in her right mind. They had never met before but were the perfect counterparts to one another to create a perfect storm of crazy. They shouted for over four hours about very personal issues like abusive parents and intimate health issues. The younger woman popped pills and drank the entire trip until she was literally falling down drunk. She toppled over in the aisle, they dropped things, spilled things and created a ruckus for over four hours. The craziest moment came, I believe, when the older woman announced in a voice so loud that no one on the train could have missed it that she was wearing a diaper due to incontinence. She repeated this FOUR TIMES. We had several delays and were already completely exhausted when we got to Portland.

Then it was two jam-packed days at the conference and I discovered on Tuesday that my train to Seattle was going to be at least three hours late and would actually be a bus since mudslides had disabled the tracks between Seattle and Portland. I was starting to freak out a bit when I saw the General Manager of Skacel, based in Seattle, and asked if he was driving home that night. It turned out he and the new Director of New Product Research and Development were and they were incredibly kind and gave me a ride home. I got dropped off at Ikea and Wes met me there which was so much better than having him pick me up at the train station at 3 or 4 am if I had taken the train-bus.

My two days at work were a blur. I had things to catch up on but also so many news ideas from the conference. And today the kids are off from school. I feel like I need a vacation!

March 17, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The designer of the following pattern has this note on his Ravelry page.

There has been a lot of chatter on ravelry, as well as other locations, about the designs. The designs may not to everyone’s personal taste or desire, but there is enough interest to keep on offering these designs. Of the different caetgories, the two ‘sun suit’ (swimwear) categories receive the most criticism. To those who spoof at these designs - I will tell you these two categories sell more patterns than all the rest combined.

So to those people I would like to say - thank you for all the chatter - the more chatter - the more hits - the more hits, the more patterns I sell.

Okay, then it's with the designers blessing I say, "What did your grandmother ever do to you that you would do this to her?"

March 12, 2011

Bye. Again.

Even though I've just barely unpacked from our trip to Vegas I'm now packed again and leaving for Portland tomorrow for the Yarn Market News Conference. It's a business conference for yarn shop owners (or managers). Last year was here in Seattle so I didn't have to worry about traveling. I also had severe tendinitis last year so I didn't bring any knitting with me. I'll be taking the train down which is a first for me. Hopefully there won't be any long delays but I have my knitting and a book and my iPad to keep me busy. If that doesn't work I'll just nap.

I'm bringing Aidez which has a back and I'm about one third of the way up the fronts (knitting them at the same time). I'm also bringing Taygete because that will be better for when I have to pay attention to the speakers instead of my knitting. And I don't have to worry about whether it will be okay to knit at the conference. We'll all be doing it.

See you later!

March 10, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I just started checking some of the fashion sites to see what is coming for fall.

If you need me I'll be under my covers until spring again.

March 5, 2011

Garter Yoke Cardi

Pattern: Garter Yoke Cardi by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Handspun, hand-dyed Shetland and Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia 2-Ply
Needles: US7 and 5
Notes: This is very heavily modified from the original. The original pattern only goes up to 40" so I knew I had to do some monkeying with the pattern. I cast on using a provisional cast on because many people had complained the neck was too large. This would allow me to go back later and knit upward if necessary. I cast on the same number of stitches as the largest size and threw in more increases in the yoke. Then I increased longer on the raglans until I like the fit of the yoke. The sleeves in the original pattern have no shaping whatsoever from armpit to cuff. This would not work in a bigger size. I knit the first sleeve several times, each time adding more decreases until the sleeve was generous but not silly. I also knit the cuff many times. I started my cuff sooner, went down two needle sizes and added two round of decreases. I also knit the garter flat and seamed when I was done. In the end I think I might have nipped the cuffs in just a teeny bit more than I wanted. Overall the sweater is warm, comfortable and I've worn it pretty much non-stop since I finished it (that's why it's so creased in the photos). It's definitely far from the slim, sexy sweater Melissa originally created.

Bead Knitted Bracelet

Pattern: Handout from Betsy Hershberg's Design and Knit Your Own Bead Knitted Jewelry
Yarn: Rayon "tassle" yarn
Needle: US1
Notes: This is an exceptionally easy knit. It's just a rectangle of reverse stockinette that's stitched up the back. The beads are pre-strung in pattern. That is the tricky part. If you place the beads in the wrong order your pattern is toast.

March 3, 2011

Well That Sucks

I started Aidez on Sunday while watching the Oscars. I'm using a very plush, bulky BFL I got in a stash sale. After the first repeat I felt I had the hang of it and took off running. I was nearly done with the back tonight when I held up my work and gave it a good, hard look.

Damn. Those center diamonds on the bottom, see how they're reverse stockinette? And those center diamonds on the top, see how they're not? Rip!

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Fashion for the serious foodie. A caul fat dress.

No, not really but it does bring caul fat to mind.