Monday, October 31, 2005

New resolve

As November is nearly upon us, I've set aside all other projects to work on the two that have actual deadlines in the next month.

The scarf, which I just have to finish by the time the movie opens, is now so long that it no longer even fits in the frame! How 'bout that?

And my crafts for the Bizarre Bazaar, the annual weird art and craft fair back home. I started making little zippered bags as a way to use cool fabric, and Mom said she'd sell them for me at her table if I made enough of them. But one can only set in so many zippers before going crazy, and they cost more than any of the other materials. Finally I had the idea to convert some of the already-cut-out materials into these attractive fully-lined ribbon-handled mini tote bags. So I've been running the sewing machine a lot lately. Fortunately it's a Bernina and hasn't complained much.

Wouldn't it be cool if sewing machines had odometers on them, so you could know how many miles of seams you'd sewed?

Saturday, October 29, 2005


This is Peaches.

She really wanted a fuzzy wizard hat.

How could I say no?

Friday, October 28, 2005

High fashion

I was just looking at the winter stuff over at the Gap's new craptastic website, which only works in Firefox, and all of a sudden - whoa! A zillion shawls, wraps, and capelets! I thought, hey, cool, all our wonderful knitted stuff is totally in fashion now. The "pom-pom capelet" is a solid cabled version of the Spiderweb Capelet from S&B Nation, and that lacy shawl pattern looks... waitaminute. WTF are they doing calling that thing a crochet floral wrap? I'm no crochet expert (I can barely ch7 for a provisional cast-on) but even from that small photo, that looks like knitted lace to me. But I have a theory: I bet they call the lacy things "crochet" because "knit" sounds like either drapey jersey fabric or heavy sweaters. Either that, or they're just stupid, which considering the non-functionality of their new website, seems pretty likely.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Flower basketry

Last night I knit a couple of rows on the Flower Basket shawl, and tonight I knit another one. Another row. It only took an hour or so. Ah, the joys of top-down lace shawl knitting. But I think this is the Last Repeat of the pattern, so it could conceivably be done sometime in the non-infinitely-far future! I didn't take a picture because at the moment it still just looks like a big mass of white alpaca fluff, which is soft and cozy but doesn't photograph very well.

I'd keep working on it tonight, but I picked up my new glasses today and I'm still getting used to them, so I want to work on something that doesn't require so much staring at my hands. Spinning requires more energy than I have at the moment so it's back to the heel gusset on the happy rainbow socks.

Earlier today I realized that I only have about 8 weeks left at my current job, before leaving to pack up all our books and all my yarn to move to Colorado. Needless to say there was a lot of panic and profanity associated with this realization. I like my job, and I hate job-hunting (unemployment leaves a lot of time for knitting, but is bad for the yarn-buying budget), and I don't much like the new-job learning curve thing either. Maybe I should convince Oliver that his professorial salary can support both of us while I spend my days snowboarding and knitting. (The knitting is for after I break my leg snowboarding and am stuck inside all winter.)

This concludes our terribly exciting mid-week update. Stay tuned for paint drying!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Socks, lace, and spinning

After a weekend of much knitting, I have the following to show for my efforts:

My first skein of handspun, washed and hanging up to dry. I made yarn! How freakin' cool is that?

The KPPPM sock now has a heel, or at least most of one, and the lace scarf (modeled by my computer) looks much better on these needles, so I think it's a go.

I swear I only went in to buy needles. I was just looking at the yarn. Oliver looked too. And then somehow I came out of the store with the materials for mermaid socks! I can't explain it.

The gorgeous Rock Creek is wound and a swatch of 2x2 rib has been knit on #2 DPNs. I'm trying to save it so that I only have one pair of socks on the needles at a time, but I suspect it's hopeless. Watch this space for updates on my sock-knitting self-restraint, or lack thereof.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Oh, wow

Look what just arrived in the mail.
It's "Rock Creek," fingering-weight hand-painted 100% merino from Sunshine Yarns. The colors... it's sort of earth-toned, but in the way that Cedar Breaks and the Grand Canyon are earth-toned. Hints of moss-green, dusky blue, sunset purple, bronze and sandstone. And the yarn itself is soft and light and feels wonderful. Did I mention it's 440 yards? More than enough for a pair of socks, and no more expensive than Koigu.

And Dani also enclosed two cute little beaded stitch markers with the yarn, so I can keep track of my patterns! I think they might need to help out with the alpaca stream scarf, which has just been ripped and re-started for the third time due to some terrible gauge and pattern indecision. I'm now knitting "Town and Country" on #4 needles - we'll see if it sticks this time.

But for now, I'm casting on socks!

Friday, October 21, 2005


So, I wonder how many other knitters/HP fanatics saw this picture and thought, "Aww, Ginny's so cute! Hmm, I need to make that sweater."

In related news, the scarf is growing slowly; I'm afraid the socks (now well into the first heel flap!) have been luring me away lately. Fickle, fickle. I'd better get cracking if I want to have my Ravenclaw accessory by the time the movie opens!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mail day!

OK, in the US, almost every day is mail day, but in Samoa (where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer) it was very exciting to go down to the office on the day after the weekly flight from the US had arrived. My mom sent me letters and packages every single week, and it was a good idea to be in the lounge when I picked up my mail because I always shared the fancy chocolates and paperback books she sent.

Today we got TWO packages, unexpectedly: one from my mom, and one from Oliver's. My mom sent a copy of Nancy Drew, Girl Sleuth and Jean sent a Wizard Magic Cookie Kit!

I'll let you all know how the book is, but it remains to be seen whether we'll share our magic blue hat-shaped cookies with anyone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Just a quick post since it's almost my bedtime... I bought some new sock yarn today from Sunshine Yarns and it should arrive in a few days. I can't wait! It's a very subtle brown-pink-blue-gray-green sort of blend, but I confess I was also very taken with this pink one. Maybe if I like the stuff when it arrives, and the pink one is still available... we'll see.

Also, Koigu sock! It grew quite a bit during craft night tonight at Amy's, and it's looking like a real sock. I'm doing 1x1 ribbing and it has some exciting multicolored flashing going on: there's a pink/blue section, and a blue/orange section, and a green section. But I think they're going to be fantastic socks.

Friday, October 14, 2005

So much woolly goodness

New mittens! They're all done, ready for a little blocking to cure that pointy look. They're supremely warm and fuzzy and will keep my hands warm and cozy all winter.

And if that weren't enough excitement, look what was waiting for me when we came home! My KnitPicks order, containing: the Elizabeth I lace scarf pattern, a row counter, 3 skeins of Alpaca Cloud (moss, autumn, stream) and 3 skeins of Elegance (barn red, daisy, burnt orange). I was slightly skeptical about the prices at KnitPicks, and some of the color choices are a little bright for me, but this stuff is great. I can't stop squeezing the alpaca skeins - they're so fluffy, and the colors are beautiful. Enough typing - I'll go cast on a scarf and see how it knits up!

Mittens and books

The mittens, they are done!!! Tonight or tomorrow I'll weave in the ends and take a picture. I might be busy tonight - I think we're going out to dinner or something. :)

And please welcome my mother to the internet: she's the director of our hometown library, and she's started a blog on behalf of the library. Hi Mom!

(My dad also has a very entertaining blog where he writes about the latest news from the farm.)

Thursday, October 13, 2005


For readers outside the Northeast, I'd like to point out that it has been raining since Friday night. The forecast says we'll have sunshine on Saturday but I suspect it's just a meteorologists' conspiracy to keep us all from jumping into the floodwaters.

But at least there's baseball, my preferred secondary activity while knitting. Thanks to watching the playoffs every evening, I'm nearly done with the second mitten (about to start the decreases) and I'm on the second stripe of the Ravenclaw scarf. I want to get back to the shawl, since I feel like it just needs one good evening's work to finish it. But I'm also having sock envy. I've been browsing the KnitPicks sock options and wondering if Morehouse laceweight would make good socks. (Particularly the Saffron colorway, which is gorgeous and makes me think of Saffy from AbFab and "Yo-Saff-Bridge" from Firefly.) The obvious thing to do is to pick up the KPPPM again, but I'm having pattern anxiety and I think I need to go back to something I'm more comfortable with, preferably a nice top-down pattern with a little lace pattern and a square heel. Whew, just admitting that is a relief.

So, tonight: Cards-Astros at 8; finish that mitten; and pick a new sock pattern. I think I can manage that, if I don't get washed away in a flood on the way home.

P.S. - I lied, it didn't rain much on Sunday. Which I only remembered because I went to the library on Sunday and checked out two knitting books: the Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, which is fantastic and will require much xeroxing before I return it, and Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns," which is so useful I may have to buy my own copy. There were a ton of other books I wanted but they were all checked out!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Much improved

I'm feeling better, and there's so much to write about!

First, I finished one mitten and have started on the second. They're wonderfully thick and fuzzy and warm. You can see some of the subtle variations in color; the Limbo Color is gray/blue/tan but the charcoal Etoile mutes it nicely. I'm actually looking forward to having some chilly weather so I can wear them!

Second, I just put in a big order from KnitPicks. This is my first yarn order from them, so let's hope it turns out well. I bought Alpaca Cloud (laceweight) in several colors, some alpaca/silk Elegance (DK weight), and their Elizabethan lace scarf pattern. Watch this space for extravagant numbers of new projects, coming soon.

In non-knitting news, yesterday I drove up to Connecticut for a surprise wedding shower for my dear friend Michele. It was all kinds of fun, especially the look on her face when she came in the door. Congrats Michele! :) (It was also great to see Chris and Beth - hey Beth, you said you have two books about spinning? Would you recommend either?)

I am just a little bit tempted to go to Rhinebeck next weekend, but reason and good sense are reminding me of all the driving I did yesterday, and that if I go, I'll spend my entire savings on yarn and roving. Plus Rhinebeck is a 3+ hour drive from here. And it'll probably be raining. Right?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sicky sick

Bleah. Oliver and I are both home with a head cold. At least I managed to make it through Monday and Tuesday's labs, so now I can spend today collapsed on the couch with my preferred beverage (Celestial Seasonings Throat Soother tea).

In better news, I've done amazing amounts of mitten-knitting and also made some progress on the Ravenclaw scarf! The mittens are based on a slightly modified version of these Morehouse mittens. All I changed was the cuffs; I like ribbed mitten cuffs to keep my wrists warm.

I'm currently listening to the new album Stella Maris by trio mediaeval and it's amazing.