January 31, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The competition rages on. Designers are still battling it out to see who can come up with the worst hat ever.

This one definitely isn't the worst. But I love the way it appears to be photoshopped on to the model's head.

This one, however, is a serious contender.

Insane colors? Check.
Fun fur? Check.
Hunormous size? Check.

And then there's the worst poncho battle.

She appears to be locked in some sort of monastery to reflect on her sins while wearing a hair shirt poncho. Though she looks so happy. Must be the shoes.


January 29, 2008


When Crazy Mom Quilts announced her Quiltalong in November I thought, "Oh, that sounds fun. I want to do that." Each week I saw the new block and thought, "I'm totally going to do that." This week I realized we were on block 11 out of 12! Whoops.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

These blocks go really quickly and are freaking huge. Plus it's a great stashbuster. I do love busting stash.

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I Have Not Laughed This Hard in Months

Seriously. Go watch it now.


January 28, 2008

I Don't Know How He Puts Up With Me

I have been a very bad wife. I completely forgot to blog that Wes's latest film, Cookies for Sale, is showing at the Seattle Children's Film Festival. It is showing two more times during the festival.

Here's a little taste of Wes's film stylings.


January 27, 2008


I haven't done one of these Harry Potter blocks in a while. This block still needs to be pressed to keep the upper right corner from flipping up. The pattern for this block printed out smaller than the others. I didn't notice until I finished it. I'll add sashing eventually to make it match the others.

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In Case I Haven't Mentioned it Lately

I have a really cute dog.


Spider Quilt

Pattern: Designed by my 9 year old
Size: 50" x 50"
Fabric: Tonga batiks
Notes: Machine-pieced and quilted (basic stitch in the ditch).

Okay, everyone who's seen The Simpsons Movie sing with me!
"Spider quilt, spider quilt. Does whatever a spider quilt does."


January 24, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Are you struggling to get some projects finished? Is your huge pile of UFOs getting you down? I have the solution. Just sew together the pieces of all your half-knit sweaters. No one will ever know.


January 23, 2008

Interweave Spring Preview

It's up. Discuss.


Words I Never Thought I Would Say...Jerry O'Connell is a Genius

Have you seen the crazy-ass Scientology film with Tom Cruise yet? It's scary-amazing level of crazy.

Jerry O'Connell has done a spoof which is hilarious.

(Via Jezebel)

What Time is It?

My sleep schedule is all out of whack. I'm still feeling pretty sick and have fallen asleep crazy early a few nights in the past week. Like last night I fell asleep at 7:30. So then I woke up at 11:30 and stayed up until 2. Or Monday morning for no good reason at all I woke up at 6 and could not fall back to sleep. All of this is cutting into my knitting time, my time with friends and my life in general. I'm am so very, very tired of being sick. My sinus infection seems pretty much cleared up but I'm still hacking and coughing and feeling like crud.

I have very little new knitting to report other than I have working on the gusset decreases on my second Bayerische and my Tangled Yoke is getting a little longer in the body.

What I can report on are documentaries. I have been on a small doc kick lately.

Grey Gardens: Albert and David Maysles's fascinating portrait of the Edith and Edie Beale, aunt and cousin of Jackie Onassis. Shot in 1975, it thrusts you into the strange, sad world of this mother and daughter living in a crumbling East Hampton mansion. There is no exposition, no explanation. You are just dropped into their home and observe their co-dependence and decay. Incredibly interesting. The Beale's lives are being turned into a feature film. Given that the director's only previous credits are PA positions on crap films I'm not feeling too hopeful about this turning out to be any good.

The Weather Underground: An informatiive, though terribly biased, history of the 70s radical group, the Weathermen. Mostly talking heads with some historical footage.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly: Werner Herzog's portrait of Deiter Dengler, a German-born US naval pilot shot down over Laos in the Vietnam war. His incredible story of his capture, life in a prison camp and eventual escape and rescue is heart-breaking and bizarre. Herzog revisited his story again in Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale which I hope to see soon.

Born Into Brothels: Zana Briski befriends and teaches children living in a brothel in Calcutta's red light district about photography. The film, which won the 2005 Oscar for Best Documentary, is both up-lifting and gut-wrenching. It beautifully illustrates the universality of childhood and hope.

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January 21, 2008

Another Great Seattle Headline

Sewing, Knitting, the Usual

I took a class on how to use my sewing machine this weekend and it got me all fired up to sew. I finished the quilting on my son's spider quilt. I just need to bind it. I wanted to watch a movie but I also wanted to keep sewing so I pulled out my Dear Jane stuff and knocked off two blocks.

These have the most pieces I've done so far. The second one is not as wonky as it looks in the this photo. It would be nice to actually scan in all my blocks so far. Trying to take a dead on photo is hard without casting shadows.

I've also been working on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

I got it started to take to Long Beach with me thinking it would be easier to work on than my Bayerische socks (which also got worked on this weekend). Silly me. Dark gray yarn with garter ribbing on an airplane at 6 am. There are mistakes. Many mistakes. Some I was able to fix. I also have some serious gauge issues with this project. I ended up finally getting stitch gauge on US2s instead of 5s. But my row gauge is very compressed. I'm going to have to make a lot of adjustments when I get to the yoke decreases.

I've got to run to work. He's a cute doggy photo for you.

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January 18, 2008

Thomas Dolby, You Have a Lot to Answer For

Scene: Standing in line at Trader Joe's, "She Blinded me with Science," a 26 year old song, playing in the background.

Cashier in her 20s: What's this song? She whatted me with science??
Customer in her 30s: "She Blinded Me with Science."

Couple in their 50s.
Man: This sounds like Prince.
Woman: But edgier.
Man: He must be trying to copy Prince.

Watch the video, people. Learn something.

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Endpaper Mitts

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Koigu KPM
Needles: US2 and US0 Addi Turbos
Notes: I knit the pattern as written. I think it might have looked better if I had held the pink in my right hand and the black in my left. The black would have stood out a lot more. They are pretty snug. I know they'll stretch out when I wear them but on my left wrist, where I wear my watch, it looks rather like a python eating a gazelle.


Don't Judge Too Harshly

When I got back from Long Beach Wes told me that Bella had gotten hold of my finished Endpaper Mitt. I looked at it and other than being a little crusty it seemed fine. When I finished the second one I put the pair on to take a picture.

Rut roh!
Fortunately the yarn was broken in the ribbing. So I ripped out and reknit the ribbing. Hopefully that should take care of it. And I'm sure she feels very badly about what she did.


January 17, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

This one has been making the rounds so you may have seen it already. A knitted and needle felted dissected frog.

I'm hoping the artist will continue to knit and needlefelt other traumatic events from high school. Might I suggest Getting Braces, Being Dumped and The Day You Got Your Period While Wearing White Pants.


January 16, 2008

Not Kosher

I am a bagel purist. Even Cinnamon Raisin strikes me as just plain wrong. So imagine how I felt in line at the Nordstrom espresso bar today when I saw that they sell Cheddar Bacon Bagels. How wrong can you get?


January 15, 2008

The Tall and Short of It

Okay, so there are a lot of questions about how tall am I. How tall is Kaffe Fassett?

I am 5'5.5". We discussed it at Purlygirls and everyone thinks I am taller because my kids took some of the pictures of me on my blog. Maybe I just choose pictures that make me look tall.

Kaffe Fassett is very tall. He's a tall, striking, elegant man and if he is anywhere near you you notice.

Eunny Jang is a little thing. So is Adina Klein. Perhaps it is a new requirement for editing knitting magazines because Pam Allen is relatively tall and very slim.

Anyone else?

January 14, 2008

Awesome Quilt

Check out this great Tetris quilt. You can even make your own.


TNNA: A Retrospective

How to describe TNNA? Well, first off, it's a trade show. So it pretty much looks like any other trade show. You're in the bowels of a convention center looking at row after row after row of booths. My boss and I had a huge stack of orders we wanted to get in and many places we knew we wanted to see. So our first day we dedicated ourselves to walking up and down every aisle. We talked to a lot of people, placed a few orders and gathered a lot of information. Day two we went back with our map and all the orders we wanted to place and just went through and hit those vendors. Day three I was on my own and walked the entire floor one last time to make sure we didn't miss anything and to place a few remaining orders. I had printed out a purchase order for every vendor we were reordering from. It made it very fast to walk into a booth and ask what's new and then hand off our order. The vendors all seemed to like it a lot that we were prepared and organized. One gold star for me.

So on top of all this everyone in the knitting world is at the show. As you walk the aisles you pass Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably, Erika Knight, Norah Gaughan, Wenlan Chia, Joan McGowan-Michael, Clara Parkes, Adina Klein, Barry Klien, Annie Modesitt, Cat Bordhi, Pam Allen and on and on and on. The funny thing is that while most designers names and work is so familiar to me, their faces are not. So everyone walks through the show scanning name tags.

The biggest stars of the show without a doubt were Jess and Casey from Ravelry. I bumped into them on the first morning just before the show opened and got my Bob pin. Every time I turned a corner they were talking with people, crowds gathering around them. And everyone was talking about Ravelry (although I had one rep who I am sure has no idea what it really is call it "Revelry").

If you didn't have a lot to accomplish at the show you could devote yourself to a fulltime schedule of collecting swag and chatting up famous people. I wasn't making a real effort to get swag but still came home with some new , books, tote bags, a few balls of yarn and a million pens and post it notes. By day two I was declining offers of free yarn!

When we went to place our order a the Interweave booth we found we had arrived just as they were having a reception with hot pretzels and chocolate dipped strawberries. I grabbed a pretzel (hadn't stopped for lunch) and was stuffing it in my face when I looked at the woman facing me.


Yes, it was Eunny Jang. Thankfully she was also stuffing a pretzel in her face. I introduced myself and the first thing she said to me was, "I thought you were taller." I told her I did too but I sound taller on my blog. We chatted a little. I got to see the preview of the upcoming IK which had just gone to the printer. I had realized the night before that the three projects I'm currently working on--Endpaper Mitts, Bayerische and Tangled Yoke--are all her designs. Perhaps I fawned a bit. I was mentioning to her that Ravelry has been a great tool in gauging interest in a book or magazine. When Eunny's first issue of IK hit the newstands you could see how quickly people were queuing projects and casting on. I made a point when I saw Casey the next day to talk to him more about how useful a tool Ravelry is for our business.

I would sum up the trends I saw as Eco-Everything. Everyone has a line that is eco-this, organic-that. And bamboo. Everyone has at least one or more bamboo yarns. Another trend is lace. Many companies were introducing new lace-weight yarns. I saw a lot of sherbet colors for spring. Sadly I missed the big fashion show on Thursday night which gives you a good sense of what all the designers and yarn companies think will be hot for the next season. I can't say I saw anything that will light the knitting world on fire. There wasn't a lot of new stuff since we're heading into spring. If I can go to the fall show in June in Columbus I think there will be more new, exciting things.

I headed to LAX at 12:30 on Sunday. While waiting in a HUGE line I got a text message from Wes saying that he was in a really long line at the food court at the zoo.

Message from me to Wes: Trying security at LAX.
Message from Wes to me: Touche.

While standing in the endless line I noticed a woman next to me checking her email on her Blackberry.


Yes, Eunny again. We got a chance to chat a bit more. I got a sense of how crazy her travel schedule is (a flight every 10 days for the last year).

Once I passed through security I had a lot of time to kill (the shuttle got me to the airport crazy early). I got some lunch and went to wait at my gate. About 45 mins before my flight it got canceled. Now originally I was supposed to fly from LAX to Seattle then they changed my flight to stopping over in Portland. the flight to Portland was canceled so I ran to the podium and asked if there were any seats on direct flights to Seattle (which I had asked a United rep about on the phone the night before). Yes, I got a boarding pass for a 7:45 flight. By the time I got on my plane I had been in LAX for 7 hours.

I took no pictures. Pictures aren't allowed in the show. I did attempt to Kinnear Rick Mondragon at breakfast. I wasn't all that successful.


7 Hours at LAX

Still coughing and horribly congested but home at last after my flight got canceled. I know you want to hear about the show and see all the name dropping. I'll try to find time tomorrow to post.


January 12, 2008

Live Blogging TNNA!

I'm right in the middle of the sales floor. They have some computers set up with internet access. I'm having a great time. Spending lots of money, getting swag and collecting names to drop. Heading home tomorrow night. More then!


January 10, 2008

My Weekender Bag is Packed

And I'm off for the weekend. I fly out at *eep* 6 am tomorrow. I don't know how much of the show I can document but I will be back with a full report early next week.


Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

The bumpier the better indeed. If only I had a nickel for every time I thought, "I wish I looked bumpier."

Touché designers. I complained that women can't find their own arms in designs like this and you went and proved me wrong. And raised me armpits.


January 9, 2008

A Bright Spot on a Phlegmy Day

Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm doing a little better but not as good as I had hoped.

Yesterday while sitting around the house in my pajamas I heard the mailman come to the door. Actually I heard Bella start barking at the mailman as he came to the door. (This is funny to me because when she sees him on the street she walks up to him and sits because she knows he carries dog biscuits with him.)I went over to shush her and saw him put a package on the doorstep. A package? What could it be?

My order from Sonny and Shear! The super-cute Tulip baby sweater and some Smooshy sock yarn in Cocoa Kiss. I won a gift certificate from Kris last week. I completely forgot about it what with feeling all cruddy and sorry for myself. Thank you, Kris!

So anyone knit this Tulip sweater out there? Can you tell me how much of each color (approximately) it uses? (Never mind. A Raveler listed the exact amounts she used for the 6-9 month size.)I'm fantasizing about spinning and dyeing my own yarn for it. Or at least dyeing.

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January 8, 2008

Better and Worse

Yesterday I got in to see the doctor. I knit Bayerische while I waited in the exam room.

This is what I looked like.

The hospital has a strict Cover Your Cough policy. If you're hacking you get a mask.

Diagnosis: Sinus infection. I've been given antibiotics and the doctor told me to call back on Thursday if I wasn't starting to feel better and she'd give me stronger antibiotics. I don't want to fly with clogged up sinuses.

While knitting on my Endpaper Mitts at Purlygirls I noticed a funny spot a few inches down. I had dropped a stitch on Sunday and when I laddered it back up apparently I left one of the floats on the outside of the mitt for a few stitches! There was really no choice but to rip.

Then when I got home I dropped my taffeta project bag in the freaking gutter in the pouring rain. And it sat there all night until Wes found it this morning.

At least the yarn is superwash. I squeezed out most of the excess water in some rags and have left it out to dry. I don't know if I'll be able to salvage the bag.


January 7, 2008

A is for Ailing

No, I'm not doing the ABC-along. But I am sick and getting sicker. I think my cold has blossomed into a sinus infection. I declared yesterday a stay-in-bed day. I hunkered down with my laptop, Endpaper Mitt and some movies. I knit on and off (mostly off) and am ready to start the thumb increases.

I watched movies between naps. First I watched Once. It's a sweet but slight film. Really it's just a vehicle for the music. Fortunately I enjoyed the music but a viewer who didn't would have a hard time liking this film.

Next up was Elephant. Elephant is a spare, chilling film which documents the mundane events of the lives of high schoolers before their school erupts in violence. Rather than attempting to explain teen violence, it merely documents it as you spend a day perched over the shoulders of various students.

Thankfully I was able to get an appointment today to see a doctor. Fingers crossed I will be well enough to travel to TNNA.

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January 5, 2008

See You at TNNA?

I'm going to TNNA in Long Beach on Friday. Will anyone else be there? I'm fretting about what knitting to take with me, of course. Sure hope this cold is gone by then.


Still Mo Spinning

Yesterday I plied the rest of the samples from my Madrona class.



I also attended my first St. Distaff Day. Along with 200 other spinners. It was packed!

I started out trying to spin my Batt of Beast I got in November. This was tricky to spin and I just wasn't up for the challenge.

The batt is not very thoroughly blended so every time I got to down fiber section (yak, cashmere, camel)it would fall apart because the down fibers need more twist. I also didn't have my wheel adjusted properly and was trying to spin the finest thread I could. It became too frustrating so I moved on to Rose, the Corriedale fleece I got earlier this year. I've only combed a small part of the fleece but realized that I should probably just start spinning it now and can comb the rest as I go. It's been in a plastic bin for months and when I pulled it out I realized that I had not scoured the fleece very well. It was stiff and slightly tacky. It wasn't too hard to spin but I did want to wash a small sample when I got home. I made a two foot sample of a 2 and a 3-ply. I put them in a cup with some very hot water and some Dawn dish soap. The water immediately changed from clear to murky gray. Ewww. I really did not get this fleece very clean. Oh well. I'll spin it up then wash the skeins in the hottest water I can get.

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January 4, 2008

Spin Mo

Margene and Carole have come up with a little spinalong. I have really been neglecting my spinning and love having this little nudge. So last night I shut the computer and did some plying on the class samples I started spinning back in November while catching up on Stash and Burn podcasts.. I did a Navajo ply to keep the color more distinct. Here's the first 142 yards.

Still creeping along on the second Bayerische sock. Still sick. Blech.


January 3, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Oh, Louisa. No. No, no, no. You make pretty things. Lovely things. You should not have made this.

This looks like fungus. It looks like alien pods that will explode and transform the hat into a brain sucker. Or worse, like it will grow into a carnivorous poncho.

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January 2, 2008

Sorry for Radio Silence

Well my six-day straight (while sick) work week has ended. I have one day off then it's back to work and all the counting, counting, counting. Working in a yarn shop is great until inventory. Yesterday I was doing all the needles and notions. So very tedious. Worse than intarsia!

I have been knitting though. I just finished the thumb increases on my first Endpaper Mitt.

This is two old skeins of Koigu KPM that have been in the stash for years. Nice to finally put them to use.

Wes got me a Sew-EZ table for Christmas.

I have finally moved my sewing machine off the dining room table. It was getting kind of crowded with the machine and the two laptops. I was so excited I started sewing up little scrap blocks. Why I didn't work on one of my current UFOs I have no idea.

I seem to have passed my cold on to my oldest son. I'd feel worse for him if he weren't being such a little jerk about it. You've probably already seen the Man Cold video but just in case. This is my life.

And every time I sit down to use the computer I get this.


And if I don't play with her she gets all dejected.

So that's my life right now in a nutshell.

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