August 20, 2008

Keeping My Head Down Toward the Finish

Every time I knit a sweater from the bottom up I have a moment of stupidity. It comes when I join the sleeves to the body and stupidly think, "I am practically done!" No, dumbass, you have about a third of your sweater left to knit. And not only that, it's the part that requires some thinking.

So what this means is that even though I joined the sleeves and the body on Sunday I am only just now finishing the decreases. Then it's on to the saddles. I feel very confident that the sweater can be finished by the end of the Olympics. If I wasn't going on vacation. It will be a sprint to get the steeks sewn before I leave.

Here's my giant lump of a sweater at knitting on Monday night. We're not in the photogenic phase of the project.

But one project that is extremely photogenic, completely beautiful and lots of fun to knit is Rivendell. It's a shop project knit in Smooshy. Love.

Click for extra big and lovely.

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July 5, 2008


I finished the heel on Ziggy last night and tried it on. It fit perfectly. Now that I'm continuing up the leg I can't get it over my heel. I'm not very experienced with toe-up or stranded knit socks. Anyone have any advice here?

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July 4, 2008

Two Timing

Wednesday night I was knitting away on my Ziggy socks when I thought I'd try them on to see how much further I had to go before the heel. They were looking really good.

But they did not fit. At all. Like couldn't get them over my toes.

So last night I ran to the shop just before closing and got a new US2 Addi Lace needle. I ripped out my Ziggy back to the end of the toe increases and started anew.

Like night and day, right? Okay, I'm kidding. They may look the same but the new sock fits--and believe me I'm trying it on every 30 minutes or so to make sure it continues to fit.

In other repeat news, Wes and I took the kids to see Wall-E on Saturday. I love this movie. It's complex yet simple, elegant, beautiful, silly, sweet, sentimental in the best possible sense. Love, love, love it. So when Wes got the day off yesterday I decided to take the day off too. We went downtown and had dim sum, visited the new Wing Luke Asian Museum, visited the downtown library, went to the Seattle Art Museum for the Inspiring Impressionism exhibit and got lunch at Serious Pie with dessert at the Dahlia Bakery. And we went to see Wall-E again by ourselves. I think I love it even more now. I want to see it again.

I've also been working on and off on a Totoro doll. When I first saw the pattern I only read the first bit and thought it made a little amigurumi doll. If I had delved further I would have seen that it makes a GIGANTIC doll. So it's taking a lot longer than I expected.

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May 31, 2008

What's Up

We've been working on the yard. We're going to go ahead and sheet mulch (thanks to reader Andi who gave me lots of good advice) the whole thing and not worry about planting anything until later. Right now we're clearing all the fallen canes and big stuff. We've got some people coming tomorrow to haul off all the yard waste. We've gotten cardboard down with a small bit of bark chips in one corner of the yard. There's a LOT left to do. We've got calls in to some local arborists to see if they can dump some wood chips here.

I'm still working away on the Merino Lace socks. I'm just finishing the gusset decreases.

My sewing has been languishing. I was doing really well with the Dear Jane quilt-along. In fact not only was I completely up to date as of mid-April, I won the contest for people who were up to date! And have only finished one block since then. I went to a little sewing bee on Monday and brought all my Dear Jane stuff with me. I had blocks prepared to sew already. I started stitching and felt like I had never done it before. It was awkward and uncomfortable and the results were shit. I'd show you a picture but it's just too mortifying. Last night I ripped out the really embarrassing parts and managed to finish a block. It's okay but no masterpiece. I'm half-way through another two blocks. They're getting harder just as I'm feeling less confident. I know I just need to work through a few to get the feel for it again. In a sea of 225 blocks no one will notice the wonky ones. It's dark now so I'll get some photos for tomorrow.

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May 28, 2008

The Yumness

You can see here that I'm actually making progress on my socks. And you can also see the subtle, chocolate-y beauty that is Cocoa Kiss in Smooshy Sock. Click here to see really big.

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March 25, 2008

Only Good Things to Report

My Go With the Flow socks are both going and flowing.

My latest and hardest Dear Jane block came out pretty well.

23 pieces! Woof.

I had a group of friends over on Sunday for crafting. Amanda is trying out English paper piecing. She handed me a stack of paper templates. "Here," she said, like a dealer, "why don't you try it?" And, like a junkie, I was immediately hooked.

My dog is still really cute.

She is HUGE. People keep asking me if she's part Great Dane. I'm hoping not but she is definitely a very tall girl. And sweet as pie.

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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.


December 28, 2007

Can't Blog, Crafting

I've just been too busy to blog.

I finished the first Bayerische.

I started my Sophia Carry-All.

I skipped breakfast (and blogging) to make up these gift bags.

I started my Endpaper Mitts with these yarns (Koigu).

I started a shawl for the shop in Noro Kureyon Sock yarn.

I am so tired.

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December 14, 2007

This is Going to Take a While

I started Bayerische on Monday night. This is all I've got so far.

This is Lorna's Shepherd Sock in Pine. The color on the photo is crap. Sorry. The pattern is slow-going but the result is pretty fabulous. It's making me want to cast on again for Am Kamin.

At work I started the argyle double-knit scarf from the cover of Son of Stitch 'n Bitch. I find scarves a bit tedious. A double-knit scarf means I'm knitting two scarves at the same time. A whole new level of tedium. I finally got into a bit of a rhythm with it though and realized that the first repeat looked like crap. I ripped it all out last night and am ready to start again.

In the meantime I'll have to do that old blog stand-by--pet photos.

"Hey, mom. Stop blogging and play with me."


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 23, 2007

Much Better

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


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.


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 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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October 23, 2007

Crazy Fast Socks

Started yesterday. Whoa.

ETA: Simply Lovely Lace Socks from Spring '06 IK


October 19, 2007

Update from the Surgery Ward

The first Pomatomus cuff has been picked up and reknit. It's not the most elegant thing ever but it won't make people stop and stare either. I'm and starting the toe decreases on sock two and see that I still won't have enough yarn to complete it. I'm going to cut sock one--again!--and make the toe shorter and use that yarn to hopefully finish the second toe. A transplant, if you will.

I have some photos and still have to tell you all about Crazy Aunt Purl but not until I finish these damned socks.


October 18, 2007

I Am a Stupidhead

There is a problem with my little "I'll just cut off the top of this here sock. No problem." plan. The problem is that the ribbing seamlessly runs down into the pattern on the sock. Picking the stitches back up and knitting to the cuff will not line up properly. It will not be seamless and elegant and it will not match the second sock.

Of course, I realized this after I cut off the top of the first sock. Shit!

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October 17, 2007

The State of Pomatomus

So here we are. I have one sock done with three leg repeats. I have have one sock done up to just past the gusset decreases with two leg repeats. I have this much yarn left. Now I get to knit up that last bit of yarn, rip out the top of the first sock and reknit the ribbing. Then use whatever extra yarn that produces to knit the remainder (hopefully) of the second sock. If it's not enough, and I'm thinking it's not, I then move on to ripping out the toe of the first sock and knitting both toes with another yarn. If I were I more motivated knitter, and I'm not, I would rip out everything and start again on a smaller needle doing only two leg repeats on both socks. But that, my friends, is never going to happen.

Here's a tiny peek too at the tiny bit of spinning I've been doing lately. My fiber blending class samples from Madrona.

The garish colors made more garish by night photography.

I'm going to see Crazy Aunt Purl tonight at Pacific Place. Who else is going?

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October 14, 2007

Cheating Cheater

I cheated on Screen-Free Sunday today. But I have a really good excuse. I was interviewed by Jenny and Nicole of Stash and Burn! As Jenny would say, "Yay!" It was really fun to talk to them. I felt like I knew them already from listening to their podcast so much.

I finished the first Pomatomus last night. Just for kicks I weighed the remaining yarn. 47 grams. Okay. Then I weighed the completed sock. 67 grams. Crap! I'm going to knit the second sock with one less repeat on the leg then I'll rip back the first sock to match it I guess. What a waste. They're so pretty all nice and tall.

I've been doing a little bit of spinning lately. I'm finally spinning all the samples I made in Jill Laski's fiber blending class at Madrona last year. The fiber is lovely to spin but the colors were *ahem* experimental. I also overdyed the cormo/silk I dyed a few weeks ago. I got closer to the color I wanted. If it doesn't morph into something heinous overnight I think I'll call it good.

I also made a trip to a fabric store. I tried to resist all the fabric but a pretty good chunk came home with me. I basted my son's spider quilt to ease my guilt feelings. I now have four quilts that need to be quilted (three are partly quilted).

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October 12, 2007


Here's my Pomatomus as of yesterday morning. I'm nearly through the heel now. I've seen a lot of comments about how hard this pattern looks. That is the beauty of lace. It looks complex but is often very simple. This pattern is the most simplified version of lace there is. There is one yarn over and one decrease in each repeat. It's spiced up by being worked in a twisted rib. Instead of knit one, purl one it's knit one through the back loop, purl one. The k2togs are also knit through the back loop. That's it. The increasing and decreasing creates the arched appearance in the ribbing. Deceptively simple.

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October 10, 2007

Liberated Sock Knitter

For the last year or so I've devoted myself to not one, not two, but three Nancy Bush sock knitalongs. One for each book. I have enjoyed the socks I've knit immensely. Prior to that I was trying to keep up with the Six Sox Knitalong. Once I gave myself permission to just grab a skein of sock yarn and knit any old pattern I wanted to I feel so free! The Broken Cable Ribs were a delight to knit. They were so simple and so fast. When I got home from the conference I wanted a rest from my Roveniemi mitten bitty-needles-chart-reading (I'm sure there's a Finnish word for that). I opened my bin of sock yarn and just pulled out a skein of Socks That Rock, Ms. LaRock colorway, and looked on Ravelry for a pattern to knit. I landed on Pomatomus. I know. Everyone and her dog has already knit them and then moved on to Monkey. Monkey doesn't really do anything for me. I'm liking Pomatomus. I like knitting it. I like saying it. Pomatumus. Say it with me.


October 1, 2007

Another Screen-Free Sunday

The Gee's Bend show was wonderful. I wish I had had the foresight to buy tickets to the panel discussion with some of the quilters. I had an epiphany standing in the gallery looking at the quilts. The quilts of Gee's Bend made me want to make quilts. I love their improvisational style, their organic forms and the sense of history and time about them. I wasn't attracted to fussy, "perfect" quilting. Then, once I started making quilts, I went straight toward the fussy/perfect ideal and left spontaneous and lively by the wayside. I want to have both. I spent some time in the Open Art Studio at the museum with Wes and the kids and made a "paper quilt." Even just gluing random strips of paper down was very liberating.

Can I work in a plug for museums here? You know how people always say no one on their deathbed ever thought "I wish I'd spent more time at work." Well, I have never left a museum thinking, "That was a waste of time." I always find time at a museum interesting and enriching. So I would strongly recommend a trip to a museum for everyone right away!

I finished my first Broken Cable sock in the car on the way to Tacoma.

I started number two last night watching* Hot Fuzz** with Wes.

I've got my yarn on the drying rack but I have no idea when it will actually get dry. The weather forecast is for lots of rain for the entire week. I hope it can dry before it gets mildewy.

This was kettle-dyed for a variegated effect. The final color isn't what I had hoped for (it never is).

Screen-Free Sunday is still working remarkably well. We went to the museum, did some shopping, came home, made dinner, cleaned the house, reorganized some of the kitchen cabinets, did laundry and dishes! We ate dinner at the dining room table all together! Plus I had time to finish spinning the singles for my current project and start plying. (No photo). It's amazing and embarassing how much time gets sucked up by the computer around here.

*The screen ban lifts once the kids are in bed.
**Very light and funny but the second half was a little too drawn out. The outtakes are priceless though.

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September 29, 2007

In Advance of Screen-Free Sunday

I'm making so-so progress on my sock. I've been sick all week (just a cold and a lot of crud in the chest) and I've been kind of spacey. I knit all night on Thursday and realized that I only knit one half of a cable round about 8 rounds back. I had to tink back stitch by stitch. Then I Friday night I knit about an inch or two past where I was supposed to start my heel. Tink. Tink. I finally finished the heel and gusset decreases and am working my way quickly to the toe.

I was stuck at home yesterday waiting for new washing machine to be delivered so I finally dyed the yarn I spun for last year's Tour de Fleece. It's a sweater's worth of Cormo/silk that's bulky and slubby. I put it on the drying rack today and set it outside. While I was at work it started to rain. A lot. Fortunately none had a) blown away or b)gotten totally resoaked. I was going for a dark reddish-brown. I think it will end up much lighter than I'd hoped.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Tacoma to see the Gee's Bend exhibit. Have a great Sunday everyone!

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September 26, 2007

Hello Mojo

After my post last night I reached into the sock and grabbed one of the first skeins I saw. It's Regia 4 fadig Line Step Color that I got as a blog contest prize a very long time ago. The pattern is the Broken Cable Rib by Ann Budd from the Summer '05 IK. It's easy, easy, easssssyyyyy knitting and I am passionately in love with the color (which is impossible to photograph).