Thursday, December 15, 2005

more cardi progress

Here's a photo of the past couple day's progress (12/26, baby!). I'm gradually getting better with the camera, though I'm still taking multiple shots and then taking the best one. The cranberry is actually a nice Christmas red... and like all red yarns that I've worked with, is slowly dying my bamboo needles pink. :) If I get knitting time tonight, I should be reaching the point (15") where I add my short rows. I need to do six wraps, and I'm planning them four stitches apart since that will mesh in with the ribbing nicely.

Okay, have to do some lab work now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Still chugging along. :)

This picture is actually from Monday night, but for some reason I didn't get around to posting until today.

Due to some heroic knitting efforts, I finished the Ribbi Cardi sleeve caps on Sunday. This probably had a great deal to do with the fact that I'd confided in my DH that since I'd gotten so little knitting in on the sweater since Thanksgiving, I figured it wouldn't be done in time, but that I wasn't willing to tell everyone else to go to hell so I could work on the sweater. Apparently, my DH took that as a licence to tell me to go knit so he could create havoc elsewhere. :) Monday at SnB I cast on for the front panels, and you can see my Monday progress sitting on my needle. I worked on the front panels more last night, but I don't have a current picture of that yet... maybe tonight. :) Counting short row shaping, I'm at 7 out of 26 inches on the front. My DH actually asked me why I wasn't knitting at one point last night. Sometimes he amazes me.

In knitting and gauge news, I don't seem to be rowing out too badly in the sections that are plain stockinette. I'm really hoping this continues as the weight of the project grows. I hate rowing out. I also seem to be bang on gauge of 4.5st/inch. *crosses fingers* I really hope this continues. In other technical details I made the sleeves in the biggest size with an extra k2p2 for width out of Wool of the Andes in Charcoal. It took me six balls to knit them both at the same time, but at the end of the sleeve caps I think I have two half-balls left. This is handy because I'm thinking of making the collar black, but for all you crazy kids who are thinking of using this yarn to make the Ribbi Cardi in the largest sleeve size, you'll definitely want six. :)

I got some great advice from the LJ community called Advanced_Knit about putting short rows into my sweater so that it will fit better around the boobular area. Right now these people are my heroes. :) While my mother is a C cup and not a D, the advice is still very pertinent. :)

Good luck with all the Christmas knitting out there! I have to poke the centrifuge again. :) Maybe another post tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Why, hello!

Yes, yes, twice in the same week. Egads!

My good friend Inertiacreepies came over last night to borrow the laundry equipment, giving me an excuse chance to drink tea, knit, and chat with her and Ladyscience for most of the evening. Shucky darn!

Anyway, I finished up the ears on the Elenuial hat, and took a really crappy picture of it this morning for the blog.

Anyone know how to make navy blue stockinette show up well? Sheesh. Other than that, I'm very pleased with this hat, and if I can find my pom pom mold it may sprout pom poms from the ends of the strings.

What else have I been up to? An in progress photo. (Arguably an equally crappy picture.) It cracks me up how much these look like pants on the needle.

These are the sleeves for Mom's Ribbi Cardi. Since she's got long arms, like myself, I need to knit 20" of sleeve before starting the decreasing. At 6 rows per inch, by my math that's 120 rows. Photo was taken at row 80. (Chug chug chug.)
For a while I despaired of ever finishing these, especially knitting two at once. I'm feeling hopeful again, as I remember that the decreasing part of the sleeves goes much faster than the increasing and I'm almost to that point. Almost. Whew.

I'm thinking about adding some short row shaping to the front pieces of the cardigan to accomodate my, er, busty mother. (Very few people are surprised where I get my bra size from. ;) Has anyone added short rows to the front bits of a raglan sweater? I'm thinking I don't need to alter the sleeves. I'm definitely going to knit both front pieces at the same time so I can match the short row shaping - as well as all the other shaping involved. I've altered the cardi pattern a bit already for length, too... I think I'm taller than the designer, so a comfortable length on her resulted in a cropped sweater on me. (woops) I've also added a repeat of the k2p2 rib to make the shoulder a bit fuller, as my footballer frame is probably larger than the designer as well. ;)

Hopefully in a week I'll have a completed sleeve picture followed by a new pair of Cranberry 'pants' on the needle. I'm looking forward to working with red yarn rather than black, though the notion that I'm giving my mother 'Coal' (Wool of the Andes) for Christmas is highly amusing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Holiday Knitting Update

Hello all!

I had a nice weekend last weekend, (gaming Friday and Saturday!) and then picked up SkullLady & her boyo at the Framingham Express Sunday night. Delta being what it is, they were a tad late. This was nice as I got ahead on some more holiday knitting, but it was not-nice in the sense that I was pretty dead to the world yesterday. Many apologies if my drooling and exhausted self was offensive or spacey yesterday.

So, a whirlwhind update on the holiday knitting, as I dragged out and photographed everything that I still had (in most cases) and took pictures of it for the blog.

First up:

I lengthened the Mom Legwarmers. They are still considerably fugly, but they are warm and at least look like leg warmers now. They also fit well. As my DH said, "Ill conceived but superbly executed."

Next up: Felted goodness. I do like felting things.

This is the pre-felted Knit Picks Nantasket Basket, in Wool of the Andes Coal and Natural. I thought it looked nicely penguin-y. This is also two balls of Wool of the Andes knit together (Bluebell and Winter Night) to make a felted dice bag for Kit. Unfortunately, I had to give Kit the dice bag soon after felting and blocking, because I wasn't going to see him closer to Christmas. I did learn that the felted dice bag attempt that I made blocked nicely into a blue fez that stood up on its own, but alas, I took no picture. If people are curious, I'll post the fez pattern. It worked okay as a dice bag, but the felted sides were a little thick given the doubled yarn and I hope Kit doesn't have too much trouble closing the bag.

The post-felted Nantasket Basket...

I really liked the way this pattern turned out, even if my handle was a little off center. I hope my MIL will like her basket. Many thanks and props to Inertiacreepies for lending me a cake pan upon which to block said basket. (If I'm going to keep making felted containers, I'm really going to need to make a point of getting better blocking molds.)

Now, you wouldn't think purple Lion Brand Wool-Ease would be hard to find, but for some reason none of the craft stores in this town carries it. And my friend Mary, who requested purple for her holiday socks, had also requested purple or green for her hat last year. Last year I caved and got green, even though purple is her favorite color. This year I splurged and bought her a purple. (Trust me, the socks in the photo are royal purple. Many apologies for the questionable photo.) I used Joan's Wool-Ease Sock pattern with Reynolds Encore Worsted and a smaller size needle than I usually use for the sock pattern.

The Encore was a bit more expensive but soft and a pleasure to knit with.

Last but not least, my friend Hazilya mentioned that she saw a hat with cat ears at the store and was thinking of making one. I told her that I'd knit her one for Christmas (foolish me, adding to the Christmas list before Thanksgiving!) and gave her the hat on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I felt a little like an Indian giver as I didn't attach the ears, but as she was planning on putting a face on her hat I figured she'd value options over convienence. Hazilya was thrilled with her hat, and sewed on the ears and lined it that very evening. I'll have to get a picture of her wearing it. This is stash leftover Mission Falls in Stone, and was barely enough to make what you see here.

It is worth knowing that Hazilya's boyfriend, Elenuial, asked me for a hat for Christmas the following Monday. While I would have appreciated knowing this back in October when I asked my friends to tell me if they wanted knitted things for Christmas, I'm a sucker and am currently working on a hat for him. Ladyscience helped me out by selling me some navy blue Mission Falls stash yarn of hers to make the hat, especially since Mission Falls is being discontinued. Currently, I have just to make the ears, take a picture, and give the ears to Hazilya so she can attach them and line the hat. I'm thinking they'll be disgustingly cute.

What else am I working on? The Ribbi Cardi sleeves for Mom are inching along. I'll take an in-progress photo and post it, as I've noticed more FO pictures than in progress pictures here.

Only nineteen days left... I hope I can finish in time. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

post Thanksgiving knitting update

No, I didn't die. Yes, I did make the leg warmers longer. I need to collar the DH and get a picture of me in them for the blog. They look more like leg warmers now, even if the yarn is funky. Man, it is funky.

It's been a Christmas knitting extravaganza around here, with a good rate of small project completion.

Other things I need to post pictures of:
Mary's purple socks.
Haz in her Kitty Hat. (I have some parts pictures, but she's customized it since then.)
The pre and post pics of Kit's Dice Bag and the Felted Nantasket basket.

I took the plunge over the weekend and started the red and black Wool of the Andes Ribbi Cardi for my mom. I started with the sleeves because they always seem to take the longest. I'm doing them both at the same time on my spanking new Addi Nature 24" size 4, which seems to work well. I love Addi Naturas.

However, it is important to THINK about what you are doing when designing things. Like 'I need to have 11 decrease rows over 18.5 inches, and my row gauge is 6/inch.' There's a BIG difference between 'increase every 10 rows' and 'increase every 10 RIGHT SIDE rows', and it's the second I did for ten inches when I should have been doing the first. (I knew there was a reason the little voice in my head wasn't happy with how the sleeves were looking.) I ripped back to where the first increase should be and now things seem to be going well. I will admit that I love how dense and squishy the 2x2 ribbing is coming out... it's making a lovely fabric. I'm thinking my Mom will love it. I'm going to need a in-progress photo.

Hopefully, the sleevage will be the biggest issue of the sweater. When I was working on Haz's kitty hat, I had a gauge issue that made the hat way way too big, and I tried to conquer it by changing needle sizes but decided that I hated the drape, so I just adjusted for my gauge of a plushy 4 sts/inch rather than tight 4.5 sts/inch, ripped out the whole thing and re-cast on, and didn't look back. That was the last problem with that hat, so maybe the sacrifice of ripped back sleeve inches will appease the foul-up fairy again. I hope. I've made the Ribbi Cardi pieces before and it turned out a little small, so I think the lessons learned the first time will show me something about this time. At least I'm making it in wool, not cotton, so I'm not trying to account for shrink on raglan sleeves.

After seeing Haz' hat, (which she got early, as her birthday is Dec 15th and she wanted to sew eyes on it, and I thought she'd rather do that over Thanksgiving than during her finals) her BF asked me for one. Does everyone else notice how the knitting list just seems to keep growing? At least I know I can crank out kitty hats quickly. :)

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Great Debate

These are the leg warmers for Mom for Christmas, modelled by moi. It's Knit Picks Merino Style in Coal, Dazzle in Beach, and Butterfly Kisses in Ruby. This is what Mom picked out of the yarn catalog.

They don't look... right. I'm not sure how to fix it. I'm having visions of mutant muppets. Maybe they're too tight and not 'slouchy' enough. This could be for the You Knit What? blog. Not Good.

Should I make them longer? Looser? Ditch the eyelash? Just close my eyes, put them in a box, and wrap them for Christmas?

(crossposted to my LJ, it's that silly.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Still here!

Hello guys!

I've been in the weeds of writing for work and Christmas knitting. I'm pleased to note that three of my planned knitted projects are completed. :) I'll show pictures of the ones that are going to people I'm fairly certain aren't going to be looking at my blog. (Which is a goodly portion of the world, which may not be a bad thing in and of itself. :)

First, there was a curious convergence of Knit Picks at my house. I bought a bunch of yarn from them for Christmas projects, and then my Mom bought me most of my Wish List with them for my birthday. I was amazed. Because of a quirk in timing, both packages arrived within two days. After I got to open the giant birthday box, I had THIS pile of yarn.

Impressive, no? This is both the Christmas yarn and the yarn for me. I'm geeked and amazed. I'm also the grateful recipient of a bunch of sock yarn, not to mention the sock yarn I bought at Rhinebeck, so I went out and bought a set of Susan Bates sock needles and Knitting on the Road with my gift certs. I'm looking forward to snuggly merino socks if I can ever get down to a sock gauge. (more on that later)

Here are two of the completed Christmas projects. The pink socks are for my friend Melonnie, who loves all things pink. The black-watchy socks are for my father, who I thought might prefer something that isn't *quite* as pink. These are using Joan's Wool Ease Sock Pattern that I found on the web, using Lion Brand Wool Ease in Blush Heather and Dark Rose Heather for Melonnie, and Black held together with Pines Print for Dad. I did knit them with nylon monofilament in the heel and toe sections, so hopefully that will help wear. I need to make one more pair of socks for Mary, but I've hit a small roadblock in that she requested purple, which isn't a color in my stash. I may need to go buy some Encore Worsted for a nice purple, since the local stores don't carry the Lion Brand in that color. (Well, either that or it's all been purchased in the pre-Christmas Present Frenzy.)

Monday after Trick or Treating I finished the second Mom legwarmer, which was what she asked for for Christmas. I've got to get a picture up of these... I think they're well made, and they fit me nicely, but I'm not sure that they're QUITE what Mom had in mind. I'm tempted to mail them to her and ask if she wants me to re-work them in some way. They're made from Knit Picks Charcoal Merino Style, held together with Dazzle in Beach and Butterfly Kisses in Ruby. I'm just not sure about the eyelash on the leg warmers. Maybe she'll love them anyway.

Presently I'm working on the Nantasket Basket for my Mother-in-Law, in natural cream and charcoal. It's important to note for anyone thinking of trying this pattern that the color of the handles is NOT the color of the bottom of the basket, which isn't shown in the picture. The bottom color is the contrasting 'wicker' color. I got a rather embarrassing amount of the bottom knit in the wrong color before I realized my error. Ooops. At least the pattern seems easy... it's slip stitched instead of Fair Aisle. We'll see if I still think so later this week.

As the rest of my house went elsewhere for a NaNoWriMo meeting, I had a fair amount of time to knit last night, so I did some gauging work for my socks. Now, I'm a Continental knitter, and rather loose, so the prospect of 8-9 st/inch is very daunting. Since I've determined that I just can't seem to get smaller than six stitches per inch knitting Continental, I've been trying to teach myself how to knit English on sock needles. This has been frustrating, but last night I got a few rows down to 7 stitches per inch, which is better. More practice later. I will admit that this motivates me to go back to working on my Christmas knitting, even if the patterns in my new sock book, Knitting on the Road, are very tempting. I bought this at Borders with my birthday gift certificate. I was seriously tempted by Nancy Bush's other book, Knitting Vintage Socks, but I decided to ask for the second book for Christmas. ;)

Okay, I should really go. Have a great week, everyone! I'll try to post the Muppet Leg Warmers of Doom tomorrow. :)

p.s. Check out my roommate and I for Halloween! I'm the one in all the green. I was hoping for Poison Ivy, but everyone thought I was the junior dominatrix to my roommate. Oh well.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Went to Rhinebeck with the knitting ladies :) I was looking forward to this trip for months, and it didn't dissapoint. I'm rather slow on the picture upload, but I do have one post triumphant return.

After learning that Rhinebeck this year would be the two days immediately preceding my birthday, I did some hard thinking and decided that I'd like to make a small party of it this year, with a hotel room and some friends. :) We had drinking, and fun, and looked at a lot of sheep and a bunch of hand dyed yarn. It was all good. I even remembered to take my allergy meds, as well as a few pictures.

I still think the spinners get the best deal at Rhinebeck, since there's a lot of washed and carded fiber that's pretty cheap, as well as some untreated fleeces that are equally cheap. However, the yarn there is lovely and the natural-colored alpaca was out in force. (I love the camel colored alpaca, even though I can't wear it. It's so soft and pretty. Melissa kept calling me an alpaca pimp because I kept encouraging other people to touch the alpaca I couldn't have. ;) There was some natural-colored merino there in a lovely, lust-after chocolate brown, but unfortunately I don't want to spend $10 for 100 yds of worsted on a whim... so I left it there, and took a card. If I'm still lusting after the chocolate later on this year, I may place an order for later. (They assured me the ram the yarn came from was nice and healthy, and I'm sure he'd be happy to donate his winter coat next spring. ;) The 'whim' project - a Highland Triangle Shawl, from Folk Shawls.

I also went to The Fold, where I got the yarn for my Zimmerman Pi Shawl? Remember that poor baby? Well, I worked like a demon on it last week in the hope of finishing it to show the nice ladies at the booth, but to no avail - with forty stitches left to bind off, I ran out of yarn. AAARG! So, I gave in and bought some more Ruby Slipper from The Fold (along with some Iolite for socks), and they were nicely admiring of the incomplete shawl (made wearable by Kat's kind gift of stitch holders. Thank you again!) I also discovered a dropped stitch back near the beginning of the edging. I have a feeling that one will get tied off. ;)

I think the big winner among our group was the Brooks Farm booth. Not only were their yarns luxurious, reasonably priced, and gorgeous, the ladies were sainted and broke off a small bit of their Harmony yarn to put in my sock as an allergy test. Now I know Brooks Farm doesn't bother me, which is possibly a Bad Thing for the pocket book but fun to plan projects around. Thank you so much, ladies! My crew bought a fair bit of yarn from them... go check them out!

I was looking for more Interlacements, but I was dissapointed in the scanty selection. Perhaps I got to those booths late. Ellen's Half Pint Farm had really cool hand-dyed yarns that they sold in skeins large enough to make a medium sweater, which was awesome. (Not to mention they had 50/50 merino silk in handpaint... sigh... :) A Touch of Twist was where Melissa found the alpaca to make her Breakfast at Cafe Du Monde gloves, if I recall correctly, and they had tons of the camel and chocolate alpaca that makes me jealous. I'm going to have to go through the cards I picked up for the rest of them, including the chocolate merino.

Other cool things I got... I got the first volume of the Barbara Walker pattern library, a cool felted pumpkin with a Jack-o-lantern face, and some wool for a felted pumpkin of my own making. (Later :) I was tempted to get an albino felted pumpkin for my MIL, but I wasn't sure that she'd like it so I forebore.

Overall, It was a lot of fun, even with getting lost and the somewhat skeevy motel we stayed in, but the weather was good and the drive was lovely, and even though I was tired when I got home, I'm still glad I went. :) I DID manage to finish the pair of Melonnie's Christmas Socks, and over the last couple days I cast on for the pair of Dad socks in the Christmas List of Projects. (Why Melonnie before Dad? The pattern makes Melonnie's size. Now I can convert to Dad size. :)

Last but not least, the day after Rhinebeck I found out that Mom hit me with a lot of Knit Picks yarn for my birthday. (The phrase 'yarn bomb' comes to mind, especially given that I'd also bought some yarn from Knit Picks to make Christmas presents from. Wow. I'm going to be busy for a while! Happily, I picked up some fine Susan Bates sock needles at AC Moore yesterday, so hopefully I should be set with the whole gauge thing, as a lot of the Yarn Bomb was sock yarn. I should take a picture of the Yarn Bomb and the socks.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I've been found by comment a d b o t s!

Apparently, the words P o k e m o n and s t u f f e d t o y s are targets for search engines that want to sell you crap. I've turned on some comment verification... sorry about this!

Let me know if there are other words you've found that attract mischief, so I can delete or misspell them.

Monday, September 12, 2005

QA Says:

The kitty beds are a success! :)

Meet Smokey and Sugar.

Many thanks to Mom and Dad for providing the pictures. :)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Quick Saturday post

I wanted to post a few pics of Kitty Bed Progress, hopefully fleshed out by more words on Monday.

Here's the finished, bound-off after being ripped and reknit, Kitty Bed #2.

I wanted to take a couple of pictures to try and convey how big this sucker was. Look here.

And this one, feeling a bit silly... RAAAAAAR!!!

Then I felted it last week. I love the subtle coloring. :) To my surprise, the Wool of the Andes felted A LOT.

And again, for silly scale :)

Please forgive the bad Saturday hair. Especially in the case of the grey Dancing Vines sweater that I finally finished all of the end weaving for. I decided that since this sweater was Much Too Much Too Big, I was going to send it to Mom for a floppy keep-warm sweater. She said she was very happy with this on the phone. Hopefully she'll still be happy with it. I took a picture of it before I packed it, the kitty beds, and a couple other things in a mailing box to send to Mom for her birthday next Friday. I haven't finished the Branching Out scarf yet. Maybe she'll get it late.

Okay, I really ought to go before Dan thinks I fell in. =)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hi there!

Back from doing the conference thing. The first one was the 2005 Annual Protein Society Meeting in Boston, which I commuted to. I had had fond fantasies of the knitting I would do on the train, a la Wendy Knits. Unfortunately, the reality of my situation was that I needed to finish my poster for the second conference, the 2005 FASEB Glucose Transporter Biology Conference in Snowmass, CO. So, instead of knitting, my first picture is this:

Yes, that's me in the yellow conference T-shirt. They ran out of poster board space so I had to tack mine to a wall. Enzyme kinetics confined to the ghetto! (Just kidding.) I had a lot of fun, went to conferences and was entertained by some and bored by others, went white water rafting in the rain, finished two books to the amazement of my coworkers, and even got a wee bit of airplane knitting done.

I admit, the scarf shows some SnB progress as well. This is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty. The ladies of SnB decided it might be fun to knit it as a knit-a-long. I'm knitting it in Knit Picks Gossamer in the colorway "Leprechaun". I hope to finish it for Mom's birthday, even if concentrating on knitting it can be a bit of a pain. I've not internalized the pattern yet so progress is slow.

The other thing I'm going to send Mom (though it's really a gift for her small horde of cats) is another Kitty Pi bed, made from the leftover Knit Picks Wool of the Andes that I dyed myself. Dharia made me the most lovely handspun, but I had enough for only one kitty bed and maybe a small purse (which I'm going to keep). I supplemented the dyed WofTA with solid colors in Spruce, Hyacinth, Blueberry, and Evergreen. You can see the first three in the photo, but I've not tied on the Evergreen yet.
Somehow, the kitty bed seems to be going faster than the scarf, but I will perservere.

Also, I will admit that I need to start knitting on my Mom's sweater. I've gauged for it and I think I'll need a size 7 needle... I swear I'll start after her birthday. :)

Oh, and the littly guy is my completed Gumdrop Monster. I just need to get Zeffrin's address so I can mail it to him. =)
He just begged to be in all the pictures this morning. :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Kitty Bed Ahoy!

Yeah, I've been working a lot and stressing, but I finally got a zippered pillow case and felted my merino kitty bed.

Image hosted by

Hopefully you can tell from this picture that it has shrunk considerably. Unfortunately I didn't have a 15-inch platter to stretch the felt on, so it dried on my 12 inch one wrapped in towels. (which wasn't very taut) I'm thinking Smokey might not mind the bumps in the center, or Mom can stretch it on her pie keeper perhaps after I mail it to her. I'm excited though... it was my first venture into felting and I think it went very well. I'm still amazed (though I shouldn't be) that the thing stands up on its own. Ya ta! (Now to mail it. :)

What else that is neeto is how the two vareigated yarns held together blended into a mottled-yet-purty whole. There's this spiral pattern on the back outside that is cool and was totally unanticipated (at least by me).

What's on the needles now? I've been working on a gumdrop monster inspired by a LiveJournal crafty person I know primarily as crochetsamurai (The coolest name!). She has a web site with critters for sale, Pepperberry. She's got the coolest marine stuff*d t*ys, and a couple weeks ago she tried her hand at making a monster. Now, I would be hard put to making a stuff*d squid, but hopefully I can try to make a monster. Especially since ideal symmetry isn't a requirement.

Since my 5 yr old cousin Zefferin is obsessed with Poke mon, (and his noun for random-animal-spotted IS stuff like 'water Poke mon', 'air Poke mon', etc) I thought he might like a blue homage-to-the-gumdrop-monsters. I'll try and post a picture in a couple days... right now he's a blue blob with two blue paws and two black horns. If I'd had a brain, I'd have taken a picture of him with the kitty bed... ahh well. I get to figure out how to sew a face onto him tonight at SnB.

Okay, gotta go do lab work. :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The new Knitty is up!

This would be, btw. Most of the patterns are pretty cool. Some are a bit odd, but that's Knitty for you. =)

I'm still sad that I didn't make it in. I understand now a lot of Dan's frustration that most form letters don't tell you what precisely was wrong with your submission, so that you could fix it for next time. Ach well.

I still think I might shorten Dan's vest a bit so it's not too long. That and someday make it up out of a less toasty yarn weight so the poor man doesn't cook because he loves me. And knit it in two peices, back and forth, so that there's not a wierdness issue when I go from circs to straights.

However, while I'm dissapointed, I still learned a lot. Just like baseball, maybe next time. :)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Cou-qi! Cou-qi!

I'm assured that cou-qi is the noise that some Bermudan frogs make. It was the noise I was making this weekend.

Before I go any farther, Happy Birthday Dan! :) We love you! (It was Saturday. He's my SO, my friend, my hubby, and my resident Cancer. Life is good. ;)

Anyhoo, I came to the end of my yarn on the Ruby Slipper shawl before I finished the knit-on, garter stitch lace edging. (This is what the pattern calls for instead of a bind-off.) Arrg. Halfway around the circle, I had noticed that I was doing the edging a mite wrong - I'd added an internal repeat, so I got a kinda-cool ladder effect. However, this had the drawback of using more yarn on the now-wider edging and thus I ran out about fifty stitches away from the end of the bind-off. Arrg. I'd already bought more yarn once, and I didn't want to do it again.

I was so mad! However, I was dubious about the ladder edge anyway and stressed about the In Law Visit, so I threaded a smaller circ through all of soon-to-be unbound-off stitches, hooked the end of the yarn to my ball winder, and ripped out the whole edging, chanting to myself: Rip it! Rip it good! Crack that rip!

It unravelled with a minimum of fuss. I'm so good. Now I've figured out a much narrower garter lace edging that is still the minimum of 8 stitches wide. Back to going around the circle, but since the edge is narrower hopefully it will go quicker this time. I love the shawl even if people keep complimenting me on my tablecloth... I was wearing the shawl with the circular in it while I was in Nantucket, since most of the circle was free - and am looking forward to its finish. It was very nice on a suddenly-cool summer evening. :) Now if only the circs weren't poking me in the neck like some wierd halter. ;)

I swear, I will finish this thing... it won't be the Project that Will Not Die.

I've started swatching the Tile sweater, but as it's gauge-over-pattern, it's going a little bit slowly. The plus side is that I've figured out cabling without a needle and that I'll have lots of preshrunk yarn to sew the bastard darling together. :) Okay, off to be productive.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm not dead yet! Really!

I've been working a lot for the abstract deadlines and such that are dominating my scientific life, and I longed for a new project which some of you may have heard of. I had some clearance Noro Kabuto in my stash, which tormented me with how I might use it, for itchy unhappiness and rashdom abounded from its wool and alpaca. No Bueno. Since I could knit with it in short bursts but might never wear it, I decided I was going to felt that Kabuto into This.

But Dharia, of Skeintily Clad, said unto me 'Lo, that Kabuto hath Cashmere and silk along with the Alpaca. Thou canst not felt that!' and I responded 'Yea, but I cannot wear it, and would use it for something.' Dharia rejoindered - 'Canst thou not make thy mother something from that lovely Kabuto?' to which I sadly had to rebut 'nay, for she cannot bear the Alpaca either, and I am at my wit's end.' And Dharia said 'I will take that Kabuto from you, and you can pick from my stash.' And it was good. But the stash was packed for moving and muchly dominated by the Evil Alpacas of Rashdom. So I quoth unto Dharia 'If thou wouldst enjoy spinning bulky merino for me, that I still might make the Felted Kitty bed for my venerable cat, I would like that immensely.' And Dharia assented, and avowed that she truly would enjoy the spinning, and yea, even volunteered to dye the yarn for me, for Dharia is a sweetheart.

With the advent of being Muchly Tired of garter stitch edging, and the In-Law Visit this week, I began the soothing circular knit kitty bed. Lo, there was much time to knit on the way to Nantucket. And it was good.

Now only to felt this large, variegated doughnut! We must all praise the Dharia of Skeintily Clad-dom, for the yarn was fun, and soft, and I must aver, knot free.

I troth, I'm in a silly mood. :)

Anyway, the gory details are that I made this from two skeins of Knit Picks Color Your Own Wool of the Andes, dyed by me, and eightish ounces of the worsted-wt-plus that Dharia gave me. I held one strand of the thick and thin wonderful handspun together with one strand of the Wool of the Andes. The eyelash is a bit of Bernat that my mother gave me in a colorway that was only distinguished by its number, which of course I don't remember. The finished product is a bit larger than the given prefelted diameter from the pattern, but that's okay, because Smokey is a Maine Coon/Persian mixed cat, and he's HHHUUUUGGGGEEE. Yeah. Before he gained a lot of weight, he weighed about seventeen pounds. And he wasn't fat then, he was just BIG.

So, does anyone have a zippered pillow case I can borrow for the felting?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


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Melissa (of inertiacreeps) made dolls of our All Flesh Must be Eaten characters! She made one of me and a few possible for her character, and then one for Dan as the Zombie Master. They're just AWESOME! Kudos to Melissa!!!

post Muncie craft update

For those who were dying of curiousity, the yarn came in, thereby eliminating the need for all that strategy. I brought the Ruby Slipper shawl on the plane and am now about half-way done with the garter stitch edging.

A report card of sorts, on the projects I'd laid out for this year. (original could be found here:)

Knitting Goals: (Yes, this is the 'reduced' list. This is in some rough chronology of deadline.)
* Finish current project of Gypsy's baby blanket. (Amelia is due in April, but I want to work on other things.)

Done! It got there in time for the baby shower that Jipsie missed because she was busy having said baby. Ooops. Jan Robichaud said that the female relatives loved it, and Jipsie has found a use for the button-flower and loop as a nursing blanket. (More handy than I'd orginally thought... go me!)

* Mary's Christmas Hat IOU (I will put off Amelia for this one.)

Done and handed over to Mary! Though Mary still hasn't let me know if she wants me to sew on the buttons. She got some ladybug buttons which are adorable. I've also taught Mary to knit, though I think she's been concentrating on science a bit much to want to lately. ;)

* Finish Elizabeth Zimmerman's pi shawl that I've started. (The lovely red vareigated and the Addi Turbos make this currently addictive.)

Still chugging... halfway done with the lace edging. Maybe by the end of SnB next week?

* Mom's scarf requests.

I've done three scarves for Mom so far, one of the Christmas yarn that this was originally related to, one out of a pale yellow for Mom's Spirit Days, and the candy-cane Fun Fur one she requested (also out of the Christmas package).

* Give Mom the sweater she asked for, for this Christmas. (This is the epic project for 2005.)

Measurements still pending. Maybe I should call Mom.

* Make myself the Beaverslide Hogwarts scarf I've given away three times now, in the Azkaban pattern.

Not yet. Have yarn, will start this after the Ruby Slipper is done. Depends on Mom. I printed out pattern even if I had to take it with me to Muncie. Maybe I should just start this, as it is good comfort-mindless knitting.

* Other small misc projects that come up throughout the year.

Still pending, though I've been better about starting random stuff. I guess the big random project was Dan's vest.

* If there's any time left, reduce the stash by giving away yarn or knitted small things. After that, consider Knitty's tall garter socks, and do the 'more than circular' shawl from Best of Knitter's Shawl Book.

I bought some sockweight dye your own from Knit Picks for the More than Circular, but I lent it to Dharia for a craft show, and I'm still chugging on other things. I still have the original lovely blue sportweight merino/microfiber, but that might become a triangular shawl as the yardage might (upon second scrutiny) result in a capelet rather than a shawl.

As for the Ribbi Cardi (reduce the stash), it just doesn't fit right. Very sad. I think it needs short rows in the bust, because the *waist* is a bit big, and the bust/raglan shoulders don't fit right. I'm debating if zippering will fix this or make it worse. :( Maybe it's time to make a duct tape mold of my torso and then fit the peices to that.

It's almost halfway through the year, too! Not bad. Don't know how many Christmas presents I'm going to work on this year, but it will most likely not be many with the tile sweater in the hopper. Comments/ideas welcome!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Day before Muncie

I've been a good little scientist, at least I think so. ;) Last week I really worked at my computer modeling, and so far this week I've been trying to put together a decent amount of lab work so I can go play in the Midwest with my husband, Dan, and his high school chums buddies. (I just remembered what else chum can be, and well, Bob, Jay and Tom are much dearer than that. ;) So, has the amount of knitting faltered?

Well, I realized that it was extremely likely that I would run out of yarn before finishing up the Ruby Slipper shawl. After much pondering and agonizing, I caved and wrote to Toni Neil to see if she had any more Ruby Slipper yarn. She kindly took my order for two more balls of Ruby Slipper (and lo, though the Tiger Eye yarn beckoned, and said it would make lovely socks for Dan, I resisted) and sent them out last Friday. With any luck, they will arrive today, and I might be able to take Ruby Slipper with me for the Muncie trip.

In the meantime, I figured out how to make a candy-cane Fun Fur scarf for my mother that looks respectable, and finished that on Monday. This may sound silly, but it took me a rather long time to figure out what stitch, what method, etc etc before finally crocheting the dern thing. There was a lot of ripping involved. Fortunately, ripping Fun Fur with a carry-a-long strand of Lion MicroSpun was not Horrible Evil, but only low-grade evil that was no big deal for someone who's tried to rip mohair. I'm debating writing that crochet pattern up and sending it to Lion Brand, or just publishing it here if people are interested. I figure candy cane season will be here soon enough, and once I figured OUT what I was doing, the pattern was very quick to crochet.

So, the burgeoning question is this: if the Ruby Slipper balls don't show up today, what knitting project do I take with me? I'm supposed to start the Cabled Block Sweater for my mother (which might earn the name of Tile or Parquet, due to its construction) but she hasn't gotten around to telling me what her bust measurement really is. This is, indeed, AFTER the explanation that band size for your bra doesn't equal bust measurement. Oh well, the likelihood is that I'll have to warp the pattern some anyway because the yarn will shrink, and I've not done any of that math yet, so that sweater isn't going with me anyway.

The leading contenders so far are these:

I recently found the Lily Chin Charlotte's Lace Shawl pattern that I lost. It goes with a cone of Brown Sheep Cotton Fine (Jade) in my stash. Bonus - one circular needle, one large ball of yarn, eats lots of time. Minus - This isn't on the To Do list for this year.

Knitting the other balls of Socks that Rock (Farmhouse) into socks. Minus - metal size 1 sock needles. Don't know if people will think I'm a terrorist for having steel lace sock needles. Somehow, I feel like I'm explaining I'm a loose woman instead of a loose knitter. Would a loose woman qualify as a terrorist?

Knitting MY Harry Potter Scarf. It'd be Gryffindor, from the 3rd movie. Bonus - one circular needle, project I've done before so I know about gauge, on my to do list, etc. Minus - I'll need scissors and several balls of yarn. Hrrm. I've done the other one as a traveler before, so it might not be all bad.

I *could* do the stash-eating project of converting the leftover Cotton Thick N Quick that I got from WEBS long ago into a tank top. This also requires mathemagic on some tank top patterns since I don't currently have a bulky yarn one. I also could convert several small balls of Cotton TQ into pot holders, but I'll probably have more time than yarn or space for that many pot holders. Or I could try and convert some closeout Tahki Zebra into a Shapely Tank... narf. Maybe later.

I *could* take two (or four) balls of the Random Fun Fur Knockoffs that my mother sent me and convert them into Mom presents for later. Right now, this looks like a less exciting idea, especially since I just finished one such project. I wonder if Mom really wants a Fun Fur capelet of some kind... ponder. (Yes, I have quite a few balls to Do Something with.)

I *could* work on the felted bulky kitty bed, but the incomparable Miz D and I have recently struck a yarn stash trading deal, and I'd rather wait on the kitty bed until the other yarn is ready. (No mad mad rush, Miz D. And if you want to make that yarn blue-purple-turq instead of blue-green-turq, that would be Very Cool. :) It's Noro for Spun and/or Dyed, and I think we're both going to be happy. :)

So, socks, HP scarf, or shawl? I'll have to see how this evening goes, I guess, since the socks and the scarf would need some quality winding time. I've done the gauging on these and suchlike... otherwise I might be considering the White Lies project I have, but I don't have time to gauge that stuff. That and the White Lies looks like it will need notions aplenty, and I'm trying to minimize.

Ahh well. The things knitters worry about when they're going on a trip. :)

Monday, May 09, 2005

le sigh

Craft update for the weekend:

I'm still at 576 stitches on Ruby Slipper, but those familiar with the Knitter's Almanac version of the Zimmerman Pi Shawl will understand my joy at finishing the first set of diamonds. I actually moved the second set of diamonds up a little bit because I'm worried about running out of yarn. So far this ball is holding out, but it's ball six of seven total and I still need to do the edging. I think the edging will take an entire ball, so I'm hoping... the second set of diamonds may turn out slightly smaller than the first. Amusingly, the bamboo needles that Melissa was kind enough to pick up for me are turning a delicate shade of pink from all the red yarn. :)

I didn't put the sleeves of Dancing Vines in yet, and Ribbi Cardi remains unchanged. Must... get... zipper!

I suppose the big crafting news is that I got my rejection from Knitty today. It's sad, but I understand. I just hope they have a cool issue, so I'm not that angry about being passed up for it! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Knitting post submission:

I finished attaching all the parts of my burgundy and gray Ribbi Cardi over the weekend. I just need to knit the collar and add the zipper, and then I'll be set. I'm not in a mad mad rush, as the other knitters in my SnB who were working on the sweater are going to pool their zipper orders. I really should get that collar on though so that the only thing left is the zipper.

Speaking of 'only thing left' I also should attach the sleeves to my Dancing Vines Tunic that I knit. Incidentally, it's also in an oxford gray whose leftover yarn became the sleeves of my Ribbi Cardi. ;) I'm still not 100% on just how to fit the sleeves into the holes. This could get interesting.

My poor shawl! I put her down to crank out the Ribbi Cardi with my group, and to do Dan's vest. I call her Ruby Slipper (made with Blue Moon Socks that Rock yarn of the eponymous color) and dragged her out into the light this week. I got the yarn for this at the Rhinebeck festival last year as a birthday present to myself. I'm making Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl out of it, and it's been very fun - especially since I (finally) got to use a 24" Addi Turbo needle I got as a gift. This has served me very well until now... I've made the last series of increases and have a TON of stitches on my needle. (Okay, I think it really is 576 like it's supposed to be. But it seems like a TON.) I'm debating whether the nice zippiness of the Turbo has been compromised by the massive number of stitches to push around. I took some of the stitches off of the Turbo and put them on two other needles while I tried to stretch out the shawl so it would be flat instead of bag-like. There wasn't enough needle even with the three needles to stretch the shawl out flat. This sucker is going to be huge. It is, however, gorgeous. I still love the interplay of reds, burgundies, and purples. At least the yarn is fine, which means that 576 stiches sort-of fit. I had some trouble making the diamonds work out on the really cramped needle, but the bits that I stretched still look passable, so I don't think I'm going to rip.

Dharia will probably be dyeing more stuff tonight. I'm going to see if she wants help. She's got a craft show May 14th-ish. (I think) I have four skeins of natural worsted that I intend to dye blue, green, and turquoise and then put with some leftover gray Noro Kabuto stash bits for a Felted Kitty Bed a la Wendy Knits. I'm also enough of an inner child that I still like coloring things, especially yarn, so I don't mind being Dharia's minion for a bit. :)

Knitty hasn't told me anything - those familiar with Knitty's submissions process will know that I'm in round two. Gotta run!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Every story begins and ends with the Cat in the Ruff.

I went to Mark Twain's house two? two years ago with my in-laws when they came to visit. I still have a postcard from that visit on my desk... it's a picture of a painting of a cat in a ruff. He watches me, sometimes benevolent, sometimes mysterious, sometimes aloof. The docent told me at the house (where I saw the original painting) that Mark Twain used to make up silly stories for his daughters after dinner in their sitting room, using as characters the winsome paintings that decorated the room. Every story was different, I was told, and every story began and ended with a cat in a ruff.

I wonder at the stories. I know that I'm going to put the postcard of the cat in a ruff either in a frame or in my hardbound copy of my doctoral thesis. He knows the stories he could tell. I wish he would whisper them to me. Sometimes, I swear he does.
I managed to get the pattern off to Knitty ( on time. I haven't heard from them yet that it was rejected, so if an email doesn't show up on Monday, I know I've made it to round two. I hope I'm 'hip' and 'funky' enough. While some of my lunch buddies thought that knitted penis sculptures would have perhaps had a better impact in the funky department, somehow I wonder.

Yet, my engineer brain says, well, we COULD get some peachy (or chocolatey, let's not be rude) yarn, cast on about, say, twenty in a tube on dpns, knit for eight inches, and then decrease and stuff it... no no no, that's really okay. I'm amazed sometimes at the parts of my brain which helpfully solve some design issues that the rest of my brain really would rather ignore. ;) (like, you'd want to garter stitch the scrotum with eyelash yarn. Really!)

I've been trying to be a good little scientist this week. So far, I've been rewarded with two mixed experiments and one good one. Narf. Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Detail of collar. :)

Egads a picture!

I took this picture this morning with Dan's digital camera. I was in a bit of a hurry so I don't know if the cabling around the neck came out as well as it could have... but here's an in-progress of the Dan Vest! :) Note that I'm in the process of curving the cabled strip around so that it will meet up behind his neck. Yay for short rows!

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I've had to rip and re-do a bit, but I think I've figured out most of how to make this work... now all I have to do is figure out how to explain it simply. Uh oh... :)

Monday, March 28, 2005

Random Question of Today

Due to NetFlix in one case and a regionless DVD player in the other, I recently got to view the first two eps of Sex and the City, as well as the pilot of Twin Peaks. It's worth noting that I'd not seen any parts of either show. In favor of both shows, I did get enough sleep the night before. ;)

Sex and the City made me wonder if I'm a poor specimen of femininity. I found myself trying to understand it the same way I'd dissect a comedy of manners in English/Letters class. I wondered about the portrayal of both women and men, as well as the unreliableness of the narrator. I reserved some of my feelings about the characters as it was obvious some of the actors and actresses were still feeling their way into their roles. (With the exception of the gay friend Stanford, who was goofily endearing.)

The Twin Peaks pilot was suffused with nostalgia. It reminded me of Eugene O'Neill in a way - what was going on was distinctly less important than the past. It was beautifully shot in tones of mostly sepia and gold inside the buildings. I admired the starkness of the mountains and trees as contrast. The adults were sketched like a Stephen King town, with broad strokes and small quirks. The teens were believably teens, and yet I asked myself after the pilot if Laura Palmer would have been mourned so much if she hadn't been blonde and gorgeous? Possibly not.

So, for any who cares to answer, which do you prefer? Twin Peaks or Sex and the City? Why? Discuss.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Craft Update

Saturday I went with Dharia to the Spring Arts at the Station. We sold her handpainted handspun yarn and some Knit Picks yarn that we dyed. It was mucho fun. Dharia could draw children in, Sleeping-beauty-like, with her Magical Mesmerizing Spinning Wheel. Unfortunately, the draw still functioned when Dharia wasn't around, and I couldn't feed the addiction because I couldn't spin... heheheh. Maybe I should learn.

Anyway, Dharia seemed to be doing a good business (at least until I arrived ;) and I even sold two balls of old cotton that I decided I didn't want anymore, as well as one ball of my yarn that I dyed and included in the table. I now have some money to plot and plan about spending. I'm so silly. ;)

Preparing for the craft show along with the Women in Science seminar really ate up last week, so not-much got done on the knitting/crafting front.

State of my projects:

Ribbi Cardi is complete in terms of knitting. I've even shrunk the peices preparatory to sewing. Dharia mentioned having a sewing party at some point, or I could just attempt to mattress it on my own, but I'm not in a mad mad hurry, especially since we've not ordered the zippers yet.

The Pi Shawl (aka RubySlipper) has had its last set of increases done, so now I have ~576 stitches on my 24" size 9 Addi Turbo. It's a good thing the yarn is thin! I've managed to knit halfway through the first set of diamonds. I still love this project, and it was just the thing to pick up and drop at the fair, though at one point I lost some stitches and had to rework a diamond. I must take a picture, she's quite lovely.

I worked on Dan's Vest last night at SnB, and now I'm at the point where I need to bind off and work the front and back separately. This is exciting because I get to start the cabled neck pattern I designed. This is also troubling because I realized that I was getting 4 stitches to the inch instead of 4.5 partway through the body, but I decided I liked the drape of the fabric so well I cut out a set of increases and decided to complete it at this gauge. Hopefully it doesn't bunch up around Dan's middle too much. When I write the pattern, I'll write it for 4 st/inch. It helps that I have all this plugged into Excel and can just change one thing to get new numbers. I'm such a nerd. ;)

I still feel like I should work on something for Mom for Mother's Day. This is a tossup between a fun fur scarf (her request, really!) and the table runner I started embroidering for her last year. I think she might get the fun fur scarf, but the table runner looks fun. Hrrm.

Okay, back to work. :)

Friday, January 28, 2005


Well, nuts. I suppose we could use this for the cardigan-a-long, as I don't mind. We'd need a few site changes I suppose. ;) I think a web site for project photos would be way cool. It's on the list of 'things I'd really like to get to but never quite do'. :) Maybe sometime you could show me how one goes about setting it up. *bats eyes* I suppose I'd have to pay you in something nice, like yarn... *wink*

As for the title... Have you ever seen those paper bags with lit candles in them that people put out on their porch, lawn, or driveway for a vigil (or a party)? It might be a Mid-West thing... Anyway, that's what I was thinking of. A little better than a 'Candle in the Wind' or a lamp-post in a grove (gold star for you if you know that one), but the image of a torch in the dark. Someplace to stop and warm your hands by, and get your bearings.

Come to think of it, do you like British tv? There's a miniseries called 'Neverwhere' that I really like and might appeal to you. There's a cool scene of a dinner party on a private subway platform. ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I created this blog because I have friends on both LiveJournal and Blogger. I'm not a huge-em prolific poster, so please feel free to invade under hntrpyanfar if you're curious about me, life, etc. :)