January 31, 2006

Terrible News Day

Coretta Scott King has died. Wendy Wasserstein has died. A female postal worker has killed six co-workers and herself. Alito has been confirmed. It is a terrible day. Sorry, everyone.

January 30, 2006

New Knit Sew-Along

Perfect timing. My new sewing machine should be arriving this week.

January 29, 2006

Weekend Spinning Results

This Romney was a little greasy. It was handcarded during my spinning class. I had a difficult time drafting it evenly because of the stickiness and my cruddy carding technique. I navajo-plied it and ended up with 139 yards. I haven't washed it yet but suspect it will puff up nicely.

This is the Romney skein next to 37 yards of Coopworth (2 ply). We used this combed top to practice long vs. short draw drafting styles so the yarn in very uneven but very soft and squishy. I love Coopworth. So creamy and pretty.

Broadway Revival?

Anyone remember the Broadway show Your Arms Too Short to Box with God? Anyone? No? Well there was a musical with that name and I distinctly remember the TV ads for it in the early 80s. I never saw the show but the title popped into my head when I finished the Leaf Lace Shawl tonight.

Off the needles.

Into the washer to soak.

Pinning out on the board.

My board's too small to block this shawl.


Is Squid the New Black?

A while ago I posted this squid hat. And now there's this version meant for infants.

January 28, 2006

I'm a Push Over, Just Push Me

In the last week I saw my friend Cass start and finish a Stahman shawl. In a week. Now granted she used a big yarn (some lovely fat merino something from Blue Moon Fiber Arts) and her shawl isn't terribly large. But she knit the whole thing in a week. It got me thinking that maybe I'd finally make myself a small Stahman shawl from the Peruvian Nights I got at knitting camp. And then I found a knitalong. You know I can't say no to a knitalong. So I may shift my Olympic Knitting plan from the Ribby Cardi to a shawl. The nice thing with the Stahman designs that I noticed from Cass's shawl is that with the shoulder shaping even a small shawl fits well and is very wearable. And it reminded me of how many of the ladies at the last Spin-In were wearing very small shawls that closed with a pin and stayed out of their way while they spun.

I also joined the Unloved Sock Yarn Swap and made a button for it.


Wes is tied up for the whole weekend directing his film festival.* He was on the 4 o'clock news this evening. The boys and I sat down to watch it. There was 22 minutes of chanting, "Dah-Dee!Dah-Dee!" And then once Wes appeared on the tv there was, "DaddyDaddyDaddyDaddyDaddy!"

I was going to knit the edging on my shawl but I made a fatal mistake. I started spinning. You spinners out there know how the wheel sucks you in once you get going. First I finished spinning and plied some of the Romney from my spinning class from last month. Then I started spinning the rest of a different Romney from class. When I finally pulled myself away it was after 10. I put Thumbsucker in the DVD player and knit on the edging. The movie is just over an hour and a half. I then watched the director and book author have a long, lively and actually fairly interesting conversation on the special features. So after 2 hours of knitting I had 5 rows done. This sucks.

*He was recently lamenting that I get many more hits a day on my blog than the festival gets on its website. He wondered if a knitting film festival would be more successful. Anyway, boost his numbers and morale by clicking through to the festival site.

Dude, Here's the Forecast

I sighed deeply when I saw this weather forecast.
Look Melinda! A winning hand!

And then I looked closer.

Uhh, is that the technical term for it? What's next week's forecast going to be, a shitload of rain?

January 27, 2006

Leaves and Flowers

I've been making a full court press on the Leaf Lace shawl. After lots of counting, weighing and calculating I believe I am ready to start the edging.

One of those "lace looks like hell on the needles" shots.

My lifeline.

Just to be safe I placed a lifeline before the last repeat. If I run out of yarn on the edging I can rip back easily. I've read a lot about lifelines but haven't used one before. (I will definitely be using them when I get back to Frost Flowers and Leaves.) I am pretty sure I'll make it though and if I can find enough knitting time I should have it finished tonight or tomorrow.

A family in our babysitting coop has just adopted a baby girl. I knit up a little pink hat for her based on Marnie's Frog Pond pattern. I knit a little flower to go on the hat.

But all those damned ends just made me sad so the hat went off flowerless. And I forgot to take a picture. Why does Nicky Epstein like to make us sew so much? She can take a pattern that any sane knitter can make in one piece and turn it into 17 pieces. Why Nicky? Why do you hate us?

January 26, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Dear Editors of Knit 'n Style,
What the hell is wrong with you people?

This is not a knitting pattern. This is crap.

This one? Also crap. And I must be missing the subtle ways it's different from the piece of crap above.



Oh, and side pony tails haven't been in style since 1983.

January 25, 2006

Everyone's Famous

This week is Wes's turn to be in the paper.

Please help yourself to any of the Olympics buttons. Just remember to save them to your own server. Let me know if there's any other buttons you're looking for. Now that I have the template I can whip 'em out in no time.

I am working very hard on my Leaf Lace Shawl. I have completed 13.5 repeats. Only 1.5 left and the edging. But since the rows have grown so long this means I'm still only about 75% done. I sure helps to have a shawl progress calculator.

And Another

January 24, 2006

Still More Buttons

Stop the Insanity!

This is insane. I wouldn't pay that much to have Alice Starmore come to my house and custom-knit a wardrobe of sweaters for me.

January 23, 2006

More Buttons

Have You Signed Up?

You Know You Want To

Knit your own bear skin rug. Then you can be just like Mr. FurryForearms.

January 22, 2006

Button Needs New Home

There was a brief moment when I thought I would knit a cabled sweater for the Olympics. I was so fired up (briefly) that I made a button. Now it looks like I will knit a Ribby Cardi (until I change my mind again) so if anyone wants a button, have at it! Please save it to your own server. Thanks.


This must be one of those "you know you're getting old when..." things. I seemed to have thrown my back out getting into my car today. Seriously, how lame is that? I stopped for coffee on the way to work and when I got back in my car I felt something twinge. The twinging has gotten steadily worse all day. I did knit the first few rounds of the second Country Sock but I've gotten a little sidetrack by the mindless stockinette in the round of a spur of the moment baby hat for some friends who just adopted a little girl.

On Friday night at the Spin In we all agreed that a blog has to have pictures to make it worth reading so here you go.

I know you all want to run out and buy your own poster. Didn't beefcake shots like this go out in the nineties? And will someone please wax those forearms? Really, if you're going to wax the chest then you've got to go the whole way.

January 21, 2006

One Down

Newest London Tourist

Have you heard about the whale that swam up the Thames into London? Poor little guy doesn't seem to be that well. But he's been scooped up and is being taken back to the Atlantic where he (or she) belongs.

Updated: Oh no. The whale died. Sorry to bum you all out.

Roll Call

Durrow sleeve!


Leaf Lace Shawl!


Country Sock!


January 20, 2006

Two Second Post

A co-worker is sick so I'm off to work then straight to a Spin In at Weaving Works tonight. The Leaf Lace shawl continues to grow. I've done 11.5 repeats now. I think I need to do 15 total but I'll have to weigh my yarn again. I've started a sleeve for Durrow and caught up in that "one more row, one more row, one more row" action of the cabling. I'll try to snap a photo soon. Happy Friday everybody!

January 19, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

This post removed at the request of the designer.

January 18, 2006

Indecision 2006

What to do, what to do? My mind keeps flitting from one project to the next. I still have a decent amount left to go on all the major projects in my sidebar but my mind keeps drifting to what's next. After the shocking realization that I own yarn for fifteen sweaters for me, I knew I had to cast on for one of those projects really soon. At first I was leaning towards Retro Prep Redux. I wear my Retro Prep sweater at least once or twice a week. A woman at a spin in mentioned that every time she saw me I was wearing it. I need another one. So I went to dig out the yarn. It went like this.

Here's the Hauk. This doesn't look like enough. Oh yeah, I bought it thinking the pattern was for sport weight when it's really for DK weight. This probably isn't enough. Hey, what's this? Peruvian Highland Wool. Oh that would make a good Ribby Cardi. Hmmm. How much would I need? How would I mix the colors? Is that Cash Iroha? Right! I want to make the Knot Cable Jacket. Let's see, where is that pattern? Oh Isla! Is the Koigu around here? Fleece Artist! Which socks was I saving this for? The Shell Pattern? No, I want to do the Shell Pattern in Essential. That's in here, right? Oh yeah. Lorna's Laces in Watercolors. Which socks did I want to use this for?

It went on like this for about an hour. I had yarn stuffed in all my pockets and patterns spread all over the room. In the end I wound a ball of Cash Iroha for the Knot Cable Jacket, found my needles and then set it aside, like a good girl. I can't start this yet.

But then Stephanie threw a monkey wrench into all my planning with her . Now the next project needs to be something I think I can knit in 16 days. Actually, I'll have less than 16 days since the event kicks off in the middle of Madrona Fiber Arts and I think I'll be too busy spinning and making Estonian Lace to start a new project. So I'll really have about 14 days for this. What can I do in that much time? At first I thought socks. I'll have to wait and see what the next socks for the Folk Socks, Vintage Socks and Knitting on the Road knitalongs will be. I'm sure I could do one of those. And I still haven't knit the Shell Pattern socks from the Vintage Socks KAL which I'm supposed to be done with by the end of this month. But I won't start until I finish the Country Socks for the Folk Socks KAL. (I just finished the gusset decreases last night on the first one when my needle got all splintery at the tip. I've sanded and waxed it but it's still slowing me down a lot.) But now I'm thinking Ribby Cardi. Can I knit the whole sweater, seam it and sew in the zipper in two weeks? I still haven't sewn the zipper in Sam and that was done months ago.

So what to do? It made me feel better when I sat down at the computer to see that other bloggers are having similar problems as well.

January 17, 2006

Spring is Sprung

The IK preview is up. Looks like some cute stuff and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many bobbles. But there's a cool looking sweater by Kate Gilbert and a scarf by Evelyn Clark so I'll have something to knit.

Via Cosmicpluto Knits

Olympics Fever

I don't like sports. I don't give a hoot about the Olympics. (Sorry, everyone.) But when Stephanie announced the knitting Olympics I was all ears. Since I have never been a monogamous knitter. I have no idea what I can accomplish if I work only on one project for 16 days. I'm going to wait a bit to pick out my project. And as a bonus the event starts during the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. And Stephanie and I will both be there. Cool.

Natalie had a groovy idea too. The UFOlympics. Finish those UFOs in 16 days. You can do it.

January 15, 2006

Small Pond Syndrome

As further proof that Seattle is a very small town I have ended up with a very prominent photo in the local paper for the third time in 10 years.

So please let me share some words of advice with you all. When you are told that a photographer from a local paper is coming to take your picture try to a) wash your hair and b) close your mouth. I forgot both of these things and am pretty ragged looking in the picture.

January 14, 2006

Free Yarn!

Okay, not quite free but Cucumber Patch has Rowanspun 4ply for $19.99 a bag with free shipping! If I didn't have a sweater's worth sitting next to me right now I would definitely buy some. So instead I beg all of you to take advantage of this really good deal and save me from myself.

January 13, 2006

Martha's Back

I've restored the Martha knitalong list. Sorry about the glitch, folks.

I Really Do Knit

For the last week I have been diligently plugging away on Durrow, at home, and the Leaf Lace Shawl, at my knitting groups. Durrow is now a 14-15" tube depending on how "slightly stretched" I make it and the Leaf Lace has 8.5 repeats done. As you can see from the photo the cast on edge of Durrow looks ruffly. I must have cast on a bit too loosely? I think when I finish the body I will cut off the cast on edge and bind off. Or maybe when worn it will look fine.

I think we're on our 26th or 27th consecutive day of rain. The record is 33 days. I'm hoping to break it. Sandy always asks for pictures of the sky. What sky?

Standing on my front porch there is no sky, only a blanket of gray.

And I know I'm a little late in the game but it's Delurking Week. Come out, come out, wherever you are!


*button from Paper Napkin

January 12, 2006

Arrr, Thursdays be for What the Hell is This? Gar.

[Text available in English below for those who do not speak Pirate]

Aye, dear Editors o' Knit1 Magazine,
I see that you have noticed that pirates and pirate-themed stuff is cool. We're all lookin' forward t' this summer (and the summer after that) t' see what kind o' crazy shit Johnny Depp is up to. And you may have noticed how much I recently admired another knitter's pirate designs. I see that you have a spread in your upcomin' magazines on pirates, called Treasure Island.

I think perhaps you have gotten lost on your way t' Treasure Island and instead have landed on the Isle o' Badly Dressed Sluts. Aye, me parrot concurs.

Arrr, what the hell is this? Gar.


Captain Bess Bonney

Dear Editors of Knit1 Magazine,
I see that you have noticed that pirates and pirate-themed stuff is cool. We're all looking forward to this summer (and the summer after that) to see what kind of crazy shit Johnny Depp is up to. And you may have noticed how much I recently admired another knitter's pirate designs. I see that you have a spread in your upcoming magazines on pirates, called Treasure Island.

I think perhaps you have gotten lost on your way to Treasure Island and instead have landed on the Isle of Badly Dressed Sluts.

Translation provided by Talk Like a Pirate Day

January 11, 2006

Rowan's Version of Where's Waldo?

It's called Spot the Handknit.*

Can you find them in the cacophony of pattern and texture?

*This game is a lot more challenging and fun with a crappy old super-dark monitor like mine. I can barely make out the people let along the clothes!

January 10, 2006

Adrian Rocks

In case you didn't know, Adrian rocks. First she came up with the pirate hat. Then the pirate mittens. And now a blank mitten chart that you can fill in anyway you like. Genius.

Running With It

You've got to admire someone who takes an idea and runs with it.

I found this impressive collection of knitted food (with a British flair). I don't think I'll be knitting any food myself any time soon but I love that there are people out there making it.

January 9, 2006

You Are My Sunshine

Who needs the sun when I have you all to cheer me up? Thanks for all the words of sympathy and funny bits. Melinda, your weather forecast poker idea is hilarious. I had to chuckle at myself at work today when I saw that my two shop knitting projects are both gray too! I really need to get some more color in there, don't I?

Gray and Gray

Maybe this is why I'm so tired lately.

I'm not one to complain about the weather much (unless it's hot in which case I will bitch endlessly) but this month-long pouring down rain is starting to get to me. And there's no end in sight.

Last night I finished my first ball of yarn for Durrow. I now have slightly more than 6 inches of ribbing.

January 8, 2006

I Was Not Kidding

Last night after dinner I went upstairs and fell asleep at 7:30! Unfortunately I woke up around midnight (?) and read for several hours then went back to sleep. But people, I was so tired yesterday! How tired? Brace yourselves.

I did not knit.

Okay, a knit a little at work because I was helping someone and I work in a yarn shop. But I didn't touch one of my own projects. I did carry my Country Socks upstairs with me thinking I would knit last night instead of falling into a coma. But no. Passed out. Dead.

Here's a little knitting content for you. Durrow, 4.5 inches into the body.

Sorry, gray ribbing shot at night makes probably the worst blog photos. It's all I've got, people!

January 7, 2006

Bad Knitalong Host!

Somewhere along the way I accidentally overwrote the Martha knitalong participant list with the Handknit Holidays knitalong participant list. D'oh! Of course, there's no back up. Sorry for screwing up everyone. I'd be happy to try to recreate the list if you want to remind me who was in it.

Oh My Aching Body

Today at the shop we got in 5 HUGE boxes of Cascade yarns. I spent the entire day helping customers, unpacking, sorting and putting away all the yarn. I am totally worn out. We did get many new colors of Cascade 220 and I can safely say that we carry the biggest selection of C220 anywhere in Seattle. Yet, funnily enough, a woman called looking for a particular colorway and we didn't have it! Crazy.

Yesterday I knit the first 4-5 inches of Durrow. It's good mindless knitting. I decided to knit it in the round so I'm just going around and around and around in k4, p2 ribbing. I also worked more on the Leaf Lace Shawl. I weighed my yarn and despite making a bit of an effort to work on the shawl this week I see I've only knit 1.5 out of my 6 oz of yarn. I am still continuously amazed by how easy the pattern is to knit. I'd also like to point out that when I said it takes under three hours to knit a repeat this means knitting at a coffee shop while chatting with friends, drinking coffee, eating pastries, etc. I have over 200 stitches my needles. I was wistfully imagining that if I were knitting the small size shawl in the largest yarn I would already be done. But no. I'm knitting the biggest size in the smallest yarn.

Hope dinner shows up soon. I'm starving!

January 6, 2006

Please No Pictures

Now that I'm making Wes a sweater everyone wants in on the action. After my older son ordered his own pirate hat, my younger son asked for a pair of black mittens. We settled on some Deep Charcoal Lamb's Pride Bulky from the stash. I just presented the finished mittens to him and asked to take a picture. He told me that I could not take a picture of the mittens. But I could take a picture of his toes. So there you go.

How Many Sweaters?

At Purlygirls we were talking about stashes and I mentioned that I had yarn for 5 sweaters in my stash (Cotton-Ease for a summer version of Rogue and for a Debbie Bliss sweater from the Cotton Angora collection Grace or Katy, Cash Iroha for something cabled and wonderful, Rowanspun 4-ply for Isla and the yarn that I spun for the Union Square Market Pullover). But in the cold light of day I realized that I also have the yarn for
  • Another Retro Prep

  • The Cabled Riding Jacket from Loop-d-Loop

  • Isla in Koigu

  • A striped Kid Classic sweater

  • A lace sweater in Knitpicks Elegance

  • Cotton Angora for a kid's sweater

  • Cascade 220 for Durrow (in progress)

  • Kidsilk Haze for Marianne (in progress)

  • Cotton Top to dye and make Hopeful

  • An Elizabeth Zimmermann style seamless yoke sweater in Peruvian Highland Wool

That's fifteen sweaters! Oh dear...

January 5, 2006

All Right!

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The biggest internet knitting mystery of the week was the preview for Rowan 39. It appeared briefly then vanished from the Rowan site. But fear not, my friends. I was quick enough to catch a bit of it and I can share it with you today because it is so very, very Thursday, if you know what I mean.

What the hell is this?

Let's hope it was just a hoax and the real Rowan with pretty patterns that real people will want to knit will be available soon.

January 4, 2006

Awesinine New Movie

Have you heard about Snakes on a Plane? It's sounds so supremely stupid that a new word, awesinine (awesomely asinine), is being used to describe it.


I've been a bit short lately, haven't I? Well, I have been busy. Last week I worked a full five day work week for the first time since my oldest son was born. It was fun but tiring and I didn't see the kids at all (which was kind of fun in its own way). I know all you moms who work full time are having a little chuckle at me right now. It's okay. Go ahead. Now the kids are back at school (hallelujah!) and I'm back to working three days a week.

I saw three great movies over the weekend. They're all a bit heavy but all great in their own ways. I started with Hitchcock's Lifeboat which is one of only a handful of his films I have not seen. It's classic Hitchcock--dark, snappy, visually creative. And it's got Tallulah Bankhead which I just like to say a lot. Tallulah. Ah. I also got Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man. What a thought-provoking, disturbing film. I've been bursting to talk about it with people. It's the story of a self-acclaimed grizzly expert who spent 10 summers in Alaska observing (and interacting with) the bears until he and his girlfriend were eaten by the bears. Unbelievable stuff. And lastly we saw Brokeback Mountain which was stunning, heartbreaking and impeccably executed.

I finally picked up my Leaf Lace Shawl. I can still knit a full repeat in under three hours but those rows, they just keep getting longer and I still have a long, long way to go. I've used 1/6 of my yarn so far.

And last night my oldest son asked me to knit him a hat!! He has never asked for or accepted any knitting. Last night he asked me to make him a hat "just like Daddy's." Aw man. He wants the same colors and everything.

I also finally cast on for Wes's Durrow yesterday. I've been stalling because I'm still not sure about the right size to knit. I made my swatch. The pattern's stated gauge is "18 sts and 28 rows = 4" / 10cm in 4 x 2 rib, slightly stretched." Slightly stretched. Those words just set my teeth on edge. How much is slightly? I made a swatch that I could stretch to about 8 inches that was 5 inches relaxed. How the hell do you determine the gauge on that? And I couldn't decide on how much ease. Wes had me measure two shirts that had 6 and 10 inches of ease. The boy likes his clothes loose. So I bucked up my courage and started making what I hope will be the right size. I'll knit a few inches, put it on waste yarn and have him slip it on. That will work better than a stinkin' swatch.

January 3, 2006

So. Very. Tired.

It's done.

and the obligatory close up.

Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Mountain Colors Alpaca Blend in Glacial Teal
Needle: US6 Addi Turbo
Changes: Made it a little skinnier.


Now sleep.

Someone Make Me Go to Bed!

Only 34 rows left on Clapotis. 1:48 am. Crap.