Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Movin' out

Great news: it looks like we have an apartment in Boulder! Considering that we're planning to leave in three and a half weeks (yikes!), this is really, really good for my sanity. And it looks like a nice place: 3 bedrooms (that's a bedroom, an office, and a craft room!), 2 bathrooms, porch, back deck, yard, lots of light, fairly new kitchen with dishwasher and garbage disposal, and washer-dryer hookups. The prospect of having our own washer and dryer right there in the apartment is almost too much for me to handle. Such luxury! It's conveniently located on a quiet side street, close to downtown, a nice park, a hiking trail into the mountains, a bike path, and a major bus line. So, once I actually have a job, I won't have to drive to it.

(The bus and bike paths also run right past the yarn store. I have to send out resumes so I can get a job to support my yarn habit!)

Now, if only the Moving didn't have to be preceded by the Packing, and the Cleaning and Spackling... oh well. I can sustain myself through dismantling the apartment with thoughts of my bright, cheery new room. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005


It's not my birthday yet, but my mother-in-law gave me early birthday and holiday presents over Thanksgiving (and chocolate cupcakes with a candle in them)! On the left we have the hand-made, specially commissioned Wool Drying Basket. As my wool is all dry at the moment, it's been pressed into immediate Wool Holding service and is doing an outstanding job in a previously cluttered corner of my desk. On the right is the antique silver thimble originally belonging to my mother-in-law's mother. It seems to be an old-fashioned strickfingerhut, but that's just a guess; if anyone knows better, please tell me! It was apparently made by "De Long," patented in 1926. Thanks again, Jean!


We're back home from a four-day Thanksgiving tour that included visits to three different households in three states. My dear husband is a tremendously nice guy and did almost all the driving, which meant that I got a fair amount of knitting done in the passenger seat. But... I can't tell you what I'm working on because it's that time of year: time for holiday gift knitting! So, if you look at my various projects and think that they're going awfully slowly these days, it's because there are other things going on that will become clear in the fullness of time. I did fit in a few more inches' worth of knitting on the second rainbow sock and cast on for the Rock Creek socks. So much for my resolve.

Because Oliver is so nice, I let him borrow my Ravenclaw scarf while we were away - he was cold and sniffly, and I could use the Flower Basket shawl as a sort of scarf. He loved it so much that he's asked for his own, though maybe not a House Scarf and maybe in different colors. Back to the Tunnel of Stockinette I go!

Monday, November 21, 2005


The first Koigu sock is done! I already cast on the second in the hopes of avoiding single-sock-syndrome, but I'm being sorely tempted by the Rock Creek and Winter Berry skeins from Sunshine Yarns. Must resist!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


The Flower Basket shawl...
Is blocking.

This is my first real lace project. It was easier than I thought - thanks Beth for the encouragement! - and it's incredibly soft and beautiful. I keep looking at it and I can't believe I actually made that. I went a little crazy earlier today, and it went like this:
- I need another lace project.
- Maybe I should knit Birch.
- You know, what I really want to knit is Wrapped in Tradition. It's not any bigger than Birch, right?
I was only stopped by the fact that of the two LYSs, one doesn't carry Douceur et Soie, and the other was closed. Still, maybe I need to put in an order for something online...

Meanwhile, I swore that as soon as I had my #7 32" Addi circs back from the shawl, I was going to work out the size and pattern modifications for Paloma and cast on (only 2 1/2 years after buying the yarn). So I started winding the yarn, and discovered that the red, pink, and purple skeins were shedding a fine red grit all over my desk. Sigh. I don't know if the natural dyes are doing something weird after sitting for too long, or if they weren't rinsed enough after dyeing, or what. I gave them a thorough soak in Eucalan and several rinses, so hopefully that'll do the trick.

I learned yesterday that the fantastic thing about Magic Loop is that you can knit a sock on New Jersey Transit and not have to worry about dropping one of your DPNs under the seats and never seeing it again (or not wanting to retrieve it - ugh). I think I'm a convert. And I'm about to start on the toe of the first sock! So many projects, so many other projects...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Goblet of Fire Knitter's Review

Update: a few details added after our second viewing of the film on the super-big screen at the IMAX in NYC!

We went to the midnight showing last night, and, well, it was FANTASTIC. Mostly I think reviews for movies like this are a waste of time, because you're all going to go see it anyway, so instead of telling you about how it was funny and sad and beautiful all at once, I'll tell you about the new knitting patterns that will come from this movie! There are too many sweaters to describe, of course, as there should be in a movie set in the Scottish highlands. These are the best of the knitted items, as I see it. (Links go to Mugglenet screen shots, don't click 'em if you want to wait for the movie.)
  • The New Weasley Sweater. Yes, just in time for everyone to finish their PoA-style sweater with all the intarsia, Ron has a brand-new sweater which he wears on the Hogwarts Express (and at other points during the film). It's a marled brown wool, with what looks like raglan shoulders and decorative brown buttons along the shoulder seams. The neckline has a slight rolled edge above some wide ribbing. The R on the front is the same shape as before but it appears to be either felt or leather applique! It's a good-looking sweater, still slouchy but more constructed somehow.

  • Hermione's Fair Isle. This one is in the pre-released screenshot of Hermione and Harry before the first task. It's a gray turtleneck with pink fair isle and cables running up the body to the bottom of the yoke, and it's lovely. A challenge for the more advanced knitter.

  • Gred and Forge's Hats. Seen here, these are off-white stocking caps with some gray patterning and a great big pom-pom on top. Looks like a quick and easy knit; I predict it'll be popular.

  • Ginny's hat. In the second task scenes, Gin-gin wears an orange stocking cap with big colored stitches woven into it. This one looks like a lot of fun to knit and wear and I'd love to get a picture of it so I can start figuring out a pattern.

  • Ginny's cardigan. Ginny wears this zip-front sweater at the very beginning of the movie. What you can't see in this picture is the hood, which is long and pointy and reaches all the way down her back. It has 2x2 or 4x4 ribbing along the edges, more of that multicolored embroidery spiraling up it, and another big tassel hanging off the end. So cute!

  • Ron's blanket. Is this the same one we saw at the Burrow in a previous film? Another fun (though time-consuming) knit with lots of room for variations.

  • Gloves - During the first task you can see Hermione and Neville both wearing nice knitted gloves. Neville's are a mix of darker colors (blue/gray/black?) with some sort of Norwegian-style pattern, and Hermione's are pale blue with little white dots on the backs.

  • School Scarf - Sharp-eyed knitters discuss this scarf here. In this picture, you can see a scarf behind Karkaroff, and it appears to be a solid gray scarf with narrow stripes of each house's color (red, yellow, green, and presumably blue). The shape looks just like the usual House scarves, so this will be an easy modification.
That's all for now. The DVD is coming out in April, so we'll be able to get more details then. In the words of Fred or George, "All right everyone, go back to your knitting!"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I love Google maps

Check out our Frappr!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If you've a ready mind

It's done! I finished it on Sunday night but wanted to wait until I had a picture to post. As you can see, I'm all set for the movie tomorrow night! The scarf is warm and thick and basically perfect in every way. I took everyone's suggestion that I do another set of trapped bars (7 total), and you were all right, it's exactly the right length now, about 5'5". I'm actually happy that the weather has turned cold again, because now I have an excuse to wear it all the time.

Rowan Cashsoft Aran, #12 Navy (5 skeins) and #14 Thunder (1 skein)
Knit in the round (60 sts) on #7 Addi Turbo circs.
7 sets of trapped bars (35rows navy, 4r gray, 7r navy, 4r gray)
3.5" fringe

Now that the scarf is done, I have time to work on other projects. The rainbow socks are progressing at an amazing speed, especially because I took Quantum Tea's advice and learned the Magic Loop technique! I had tried it once before on 32" #1 Addi circs, but now I realize that it works much better with a nice 40". And now I just want to go out and buy five of them so I can knit all of my various sock yarns at once. (I have two on the needles and two in waiting.) Thanks to Quantum Tea for the encouragement and this site for the instructions!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Scarf Update

Now that I've survived a very long week involving much educating of undergraduates, I can show off the latest version of the Ravenclaw scarf! It's long enough to be almost a real scarf, so I can model it instead of just photographing it on the table. I'm not sure if I want to do another repeat of the trapped bars or not; it's a nice length for a short scarf now, but maybe I want it a tiny bit longer? We'll see whether my patience with it lasts long enough to do the extra repeat over the weekend. And the fringe, I still have to do the fringe. We're going to a midnight showing on Thursday night, so it has to be done by then.

I apologize for showing a bit of my midsection in this picture. Clearly I've been spending too much time with the frosh.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Jersey!

The polls are open until 8pm - you've got half an hour left. Go out and vote or I'll call down Elizabeth's ghost to haunt you.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Yep, it's a new title, and a new banner! The name reflects my astronomical background, which I'm hoping to use more in my next job.

After a great deal of knitting over the weekend (and during a genetics lecture this morning) the Ravenclaw scarf has grown beyond my ability to photograph it on the desk, and is about to outgrow the coffee table as well. With four more lectures this week, and next weekend to add the fringe, I'm thinking it'll actually be done by the deadline.

The good thing about taking the HP scarf to lectures and such is that it's the only project in my bag. This is critical. If you have the chance to go to the library, and they have a copy of Scarf Style on the shelf, and you take it home and read it while sitting at your desk with the storage bins full of yarn stash right next to you, things like this can happen.

It's the Misty Garden scarf. Remember that gray Etoile mohair I picked up in Portland? It's just so fluffy...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Education junkie

Some of us just can't get enough book-learnin'. Lately I've been thinking about various things I'd like to learn or re-learn, like programming in Objective-C and speaking Arabic (which I used to be sort of good at). I've picked up my knitting skills from various books and also by just making it up as I go along, which never works terribly well, but there are plenty of techniques out there that I'd like to be able to do properly. Such as:
  1. Colorwork. This is the one where I just sort of do what works as opposed to actually having some idea of what I'm doing. If I want to follow Beth in making fancy Norwegian or Estonian mittens, I need to know how to do stranding and carry-along and all that stuff.

  2. Short-rowing. In particular, I'd like to know all the various ways of making sock toes and heels. I tried a short-row toe once and sort of got the idea, but I don't really understand it yet.

  3. Socks on two circs (and its cousin, Magic Loop). I love my tiny bamboo DPNs but everyone raves about these techniques so I feel like I should at least know what I'm missing.

  4. Spinning. I'm working on it. This, I think, mostly takes practice, but I'm also looking forward to stopping by the LYS after we move and asking for some tips. (And picking up some new roving.)
I think that's all for now, though I'm probably forgetting something. My favorite free online references are Knitter's Review and Knitty's article archive, though if anyone has suggestions of favorite books or sites, I'd love to hear them. The only problem I have now is taking the time in between all of my various projects to actually learn this stuff!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Craft Night!

Last night was Craft Night at our house. It was the intersection of my crafty coworkers and my stitch&bitch group, and it was all kinds of fun. I didn't take any pictures (d'oh!) but I made vegetarian lasagna and bread (yay, breadmaker with programmable timer) and pumpkin cupcakes, and they were all very tasty, and I managed another set of trapped bars on the Ravenclaw scarf amidst all the cooking.

Plans for the weekend include lots of knitting - we just got TiVo, so there'll be plenty of fun stuff to watch while trying to make the scarf as long as possible...