November 30, 2007

Face Really "Comes to Life"

Have you ever seen Faces in Places? I love the quirky and charming photos that show faces hidden in everyday things. Today while waiting in the car at the grocery store I spied this in my rearview mirror.



Isn't this a cast member from Robots?

In other weirdness, Wes and I saw this toy at Fred Meyer the other night.




The box says she "really 'comes to life'!" Umm. No. She really doesn't. And putting in emphatic quotes doesn't suddenly change the meaning of coming to life. You can read more about Butterscotch the pony if you're so inclined.

Still stranger is this hilarious video which shows new Grey's Anatomy star Chyler Leigh's film debut in which she makes out with her own brother. McNasty!

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November 29, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I have long hypothesized that Big Ass Knits repel pants. I now have photographic evidence.



Observe how the pants move away from the giant tank top.

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November 28, 2007

Day Off

This is my first full day off in a very long time. Seattle elementary schools go to half-day in November. It sucks. So today with a full six hours to myself I've filled my schedule with a bunch of boring crap. Haircut, bra shopping (Whee. Don't you wish you were me?), returning library books, mailing packages. The fun never stops, I'm telling you.

I did finish the first Laila sock last night and I think it's quite fetching. And it fits per-fect-ly.



If you like this pattern but think it looks intimidating I urge you to give it a try. There are far more solid color rows than two-color rows. It goes quickly and is very easy to follow.

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November 26, 2007

Enchanted

We took the boys to see Enchanted yesterday. It's a great movie. Amy Adams is pitch-perfect as a classic Disney princess. The film is clever, well-paced and lots of fun. The boys both thoroughly enjoyed it too. My younger son declared, as the credits began to roll, "That was the best movie ever!"

The grand finale of the film reminded me of watching Lord of the Rings with my older son. The boys, sitting on each side of me, kept saying, "Kiss her. Just kiss her!"

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November 25, 2007

Weekender Bag




Pattern: Weekender Bag by Amy Butler
Fabric: Forest Passion Vines and Forest Imperial Fans from the Nigella Collection by Amy Butler
Notes: This pattern is a huge pain in the ass. I've been working on it for a month and a half. All the fussy details which make it a pain also are what make it a great looking bag. I don't know if I'll ever make another one but I'm really pleased with the job I did on this one. I was too excited to wait for daylight to take decent photos.

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I Can Has Foot?

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November 24, 2007

Conversation in a Yarn Shop

"I'm looking for a book. It's called Leviathan Mittens."
"Ummm...Latvian Mittens?"
"Oh yes, that's it."

Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

November 23, 2007

Much Better



I swapped out the multi-colored Socks That Rock for Nature's Palette in Light Teal.

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November 22, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Ladies, there is an accessory that is absolutely de rigueur this winter. You won't want to be caught dead without one.

Helmets.

For day.



And night.



Start knitting, ladies. You don't want to look foolish, do you?

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November 21, 2007

Forward Movement

I took Delf's advice. Using a random number generator, the 9th sock in my queue was selected. Laila's socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia. I pulled out some dark chocolate Koigu and an "oops" skein of Socks That Rock. I thought they went nicely together with good contrast.



I was wrong.



I'm not discouraged at all. I'm taking the brown to work to see if I can find a better contrast color. If all else fails I have some undyed Louet Gems fingering-weight that will do just fine.

Since the sun is out today (but cold!) I finally was able to take some photos.

I've been working on and off on Tailored Scallops from the cover of Lace Style. This is my Cormo/silk that I dyed a few months ago.



And I shot my yarn from the retreat.






On a bit of a green and chocolate kick, I guess.

And then there is my door prize.



Hmm, what's inside that pretty bag?

Why it's 493 yards of ridiculously gorgeous sock yarn! The colorway is "Birches in Norway." Thanks to the Twisted Ewe and Curious Creek Fibers for donating it.

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November 19, 2007

Sock Paralysis

I have 38 sock patterns in my Ravelry queue and I can't pick one. It's going something like this.

"Oh, that's a nice one. I could do it in the Lorna's. But I wanted to make this one in Lorna's. But I don't feel like knitting those right now. That one's nice. I don't have the right yarn for it. I could buy the yarn for it. But I already have so much sock yarn. I could do those ones in that yarn. But I wanted to make a shawl with that yarn. I could do those. But I'd have to find the yarn and wind it. I could..."

It continues like this for some time leaving me feeling defeated and uninspired.

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Bad Sock!



You naughty sock. You took up three days of my knitting time. First the pattern errors. Then my misunderstanding the pattern. Now your gauge is too floppy. I may have spaced out and missed a pattern row (inexcusable, it's so easy). You are not going to happen. It's off to Frogsville for you.

What to do when even your easy knitting is too challenging? Knit more garter stitch squares. So easy you can knit them in the dark at a school play.



Isabella says, "Get it together, Mom."

This is starting to get embarassing.

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November 17, 2007

Chasing My Own Tail

I spent a good long time hunting around for my next sock project. I have about 8 kajillion in my Ravelry queue. So of course I started a completely new one, Oc-Toe-Ber FiddleSticks Socks from Southwest Trading Company. I wanted to try out the Tofutsies I bought at the retreat. I cast on and knit a few inches of ribbing. Then I launched into the pattern and realized almost immediately that the ribbing pattern was wrong. I found the errata on the Tofutsies Sock Club Yahoo Group. If I had looked closely at the Ravelry page for these socks I would have seen that there was errata. I've ripped it out and am starting again.

Fortunately I'm not the only one around here chasing my own tail.

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November 16, 2007

Crystalline Lattice



Pattern: Crystalline Lattice by Janice Kang
Yarn: 3-ply merino handspun by me from Ashland Bay top in the Cranberry colorway
Needle: US1 Addi Lace needle
Notes: I made the socks shorter to avoid running out of yarn. This pattern is beautiful and easy to knit. The text of the pattern is over-written with far too much needle by needle detail which I felt made it needlessly confusing.

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November 15, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Welcome to the World of Wearable Art. All I can say is, WOW is right.





Those kiwis sure know how to party.

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November 13, 2007

So What's New?

(I just got a laptop and am now blogging in a coffee shop like everyone else in Seattle.)

I just started to work on my second Crystalline Lattice sock. I was waylaid by all those garter squares. I knit an additional 4 or 5 over the last few days. I've worked a bit on my sock yarn blanket. I'm actually coming near to the end of my superwash scraps. When that happens I'll set it aside until I knit more socks. I sat down and finally mapped out the cabled ribbing for Am Kamin. In theory I'm ready to restart it. Again.

Yesterday was all about Isabella. There are more shots of her in my Flickr. She has been an angel so far. We've only had one accident. She is calm, gentle and totally devoted after just one day. We bought her a cheap dog bed while out shopping for her crate and collar. We assumed she wouldn't use it but thought, "What the heck." She loves it. She picks up a toy and takes it to her bed. We brought her upstairs last night so we could watch tv. She didn't want to get on the sofa with us. She didn't want to lie on the floor. We brought up her bed and she slept on it while we watched Heroes. She's has picked up a few things that she found on the floor to chew on but happily and easily drops them when told to. She sleeps in her crate without scratching or crying and didn't have any accidents in it yet. All in all, she's an amazingly well-behaved, sweet, affectionate puppy. We're not sure how old she is. Somewhere around 6-8 months.

I hope to get my act in gear and finish some sewing projects soon and photograph all my new yarn from the retreat.

Time to go.

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November 12, 2007

Big News

Big, black, fuzzy, floppy, cuddly news.



Meet Isabella.

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November 9, 2007

Squaresville



This square thing hit me hard on Wednesday. These five were all knit in a day. After using up all my leftover yarn from my Lupine Lace socks (just a coincidence that they matched my pedicure), I turned to my little skein of spinning class sample yarn. It's one ply of merino from Judith Mackenzie McCuin's Color in Plying class and one ply of camel-yak-bison-cashmere from the Three Wild Downs class. It's goofy looking yarn but soooooooooooo soft. The fifth square came out too small. I tried to convince myself it was close enough but seeing it with the other squares it is clearly too small. I'll have to rip it back to the center and add in more increase rows in another yarn.

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November 8, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Is this the beginning of a new trend? Zombie chic?



Brains...braaaaaaaaaains.



Thanks to reader Branden for bringing this creation to my attention.

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November 7, 2007

What I Did This Morning



Knit a garter square for Kay's project while getting my toes done.

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November 6, 2007

Retreat Wrap Up

Blogger does not want to publish but I will write a post anyway in the hopes that someday you will be able to see it.

So the retreat. I left early Wednesday morning and picked up my passenger, Peggy. We were traveling with (different) Peggy and Rebecca. Our first stop was Bainbridge. We had brunch at the Streamliner Diner and visited Churchmouse. I also got to pick up my most favorite travel coffee mug that I left at the Bead Garden the last time I visited Bainbridge.

Next we traveled to Port Gamble to visit Heidi Parra's exquisite shop, The Artful Ewe. Located in the old fire house, the shop is filled with hand-dyed yarns, hand-spun yarns, spinning fiber, spinning wheels and just about everything else fibery you could want to see and feel.



I fell particularly hard for a handspun skein of cashmere. I believe I stood, squishing it in my hands, for a good five minutes. Heavenly. But since I have more spinning fiber than I will ever spin I left with only one purchase.



It's one of Heidi's "Batts of Beast." The label says, "may contain any or all of the following fibers: alpaca, angora, baby camel, cashmere, silk, mohair, blue face leicester and merino wool." That's some good stuff. This one is terribly soft and pretty. Sadly only two ounces.

Next stop a new shop in Port Hadlock called the Textile Arts Company. They had only been open for 8 days when we visited. The space is HUGE with lots of room to sit and relax. Then we headed to Port Townsend for a late light lunch. We slipped out of town just before the Halloween parade began and pulled into Fort Worden.

The retreat is entirely unstructured. There are no classes. It is simply a chance to spend several days with other knitters. I brought my wheel and got lots of spinning done. I'm nearly finished with all my class samples. I completed my swatch hat the first night and jumped into the sweater. After casting on a few times (don't ask) I started the ribbing. I realized soon that this sweater, Am Kamin, will require more thought and planning than I could pull together in a giant room full of people. I set it aside and instead worked on my Crystalline Lattice sock. I found the free pattern just before leaving on the trip and I'm knitting them in my own handspun! The yarn has been sitting in my stash for well over a year. These are my first handspun socks and they are turning out great.

One afternoon I headed to the bathroom. As I lowered my pants I heard a *plop!*.



Yup, that's my room key. Fell out of my back pocket and straight into the toilet. Fortunately I had a spare plastic bag and was able to fish it out without actually touching toilet water. Ick!

So, other than having to reach into a toilet, I had a great weekend!

I'm going to try to photograph all my new yarns tomorrow including my incredible door prize which you'll have to wait to hear about.

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Am Kamin Swatch Cap




Pattern: Am Kamin from New Style of Heirloom Knitting
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needles: US7 Crystal Palace circulars
Notes: I realized after I took the photo that I miscrossed one twist very close to the top making the entire cable pattern appear to veer to one side. I ran out of yarn at the very top and finished with a second color.

The chart was fairly easy to understand as were the decreases. I started with a tubular cast on which made a nice stretchy, clean looking edge.

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And the Winners Are...

The answers were $135.50 and 1405 items in Bloglines.
Hanna guessed the dollar amount within 50 cents! That's just eerie. Sally (no blog) was the closest to guess 1001 on the Bloglines. Send me your snail mail addresses and I'll send off your prizes.

November 4, 2007

Hola

I'm back from my retreat. I got some knitting done and lots of spinning. I chatted. I relaxed. It was wonderful. I also shopped at the stash sale. A lot. I came home with a big bag of stuff.

1 cone of Euroflax Linen (green)
1 skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (also green)
1 skein of Tofutsies (blue)
4 skeins of Shepherd Sock (green--I know!Shut up!)
14 skeins of Noro Cash Laine (20% cashmere in browns and blacks)
Sweater Design in Plain English
Folk Mittens
Knitting Around the World
Knitting Ganseys
Patterns for Guernseys, Jersey's & Arans
Knit Your Own Norwegian Sweaters (Dale, 1974)
4 Old Interweave Knits
Knitter's magazine tribute to Elizabeth Zimmermann
Vogue Knitting Book (Spring and Summer 1955)
Shells for Every Occasion (1965)

These items were all being sold at amazing prices. Some were free.

Guess how much all this stuff cost and win a prize! Guess how many unread items were waiting for me in Bloglines and win a prize!

I will try to get my few, meager photos up tomorrow or Tuesday.

ETA: Contest closes at midnight Monday night. And a hint, I read lots and lots and lots of blogs.

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November 1, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The answer to the question, "What happens to the fingers from all those fingerless gloves?"



Scary chicks wear them while endlessly applying eye makeup.

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