Sunday, October 15, 2006

Taking time out from the endlessness of packing,

I SWEAR to myself that I am going to get rid of most of this stuff. Why am I so attached to it? I swear to Dog I keep some things I don't care about just because my mother would be sad if she knew I gave them away. Even though the only way she would ever know would be if I told her myself. (It could happen.) And even though my mother is the antithesis of packrat. Her home is camera-ready, 24/7.

Aaaaaanyway, I plopped down here to catch up and was immediately tagged for this meme (chain letter!). I usually ignore them, but this time I seem to be unable to resist. Plus I love talking about myself.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Four jobs I’ve had:

* Wife (who says it isn't a job?)
* Mother
* Preschool teacher
* retail clerk

Four movies I can watch over and over:

* Elf
* Bridget Jones' Diary
* Tombstone
* Siverado

Four places I have lived:

* Seattle, Washington
* New York City
* Omaha, Nebraska
* Madison, Wisconsin

Four television shows I love to watch:

* Grey's Anatomy
* The Office (except that new girl in Scranton better just keep her hands off Jim! Pam will come around!)
* The New Adventures of the Old Christine ( I like her, she's plucky! And slutty! Good combination.)
* Lost of course

Four places I have been on vacation:

* Disneyland
* Milwaukee, Wisconsin (home of my beloved friend Rachel and her charming jazzguy husband David.)
* The Olympic Penninsula
* Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (OMG I need to go on vacation! That was in 1989! It shoudn't even make the list! Jeez!)

Four of my favorite dishes:

* Long grain rice with steamed broccoli and my special spicy almond butter sauce
* Mom's tuna rice casserole (shut UP)
* Chicken enchiladas
* Real Caesar salad (what kind of crazy person puts bacon bits on a caesar salad?)

Four websites I visit daily:

* Yahoo for my email
*, because you never know wht to wear around here.
* My parenting support group

Four places I would rather be right now:

* Milwaukee.
* Someplace where it's about 68 degrees and comfortable to sit outside sipping cappucinos wearing a hand-knit scarf, with plenty of people milling around and maybe some kind of pastry.
* All moved in to the new place.
* In a dark movie theater, with popcorn and chocolate, and a plain vanilla sock to knit on in the dark.

Four bloggers I am tagging:
(I'm quoting Laurie here**)

* You.
* And you.
* And you, too!
* All ya'll are so tagged it is not even funny. But hey, it's better than that one chain mail where you have to send a dollar to five people on the list.

** Probably a moot point since I don't think I have 4 readers. But again, I like talking about myself.

Soon I will post a picture of the pile of boxes of knitting stuff. Except I may have already packed the camera. So don't hold your breath.

Friday, October 06, 2006

OK, damn.

I'm taking time out from the agony of packing to move (Do you have any boxes?! I need more boxes!) to link to this post about grudges.

I am hereby jumping on that bandwagon, and promising to burrow through my baggage, find the grudges, and get the flock over them. I agree that it's horrible that it took this sad, sad incident to awaken me to the toxicity of grudges, and it's time to change myself in yet another way. So here I go. I can forgive the kid who used to torture me in geometry, once by holding me by the hair while he drew a dotted line on my neck and wrote "cut here," and the father who disappeared, and the aunts with the drama addictions who broke my Nana's heart, and the thrid grade teacher who took away all my books, and the other grudges I'm sure I can remember if given enough time.

MEANWHILE, people! I am moving! Oy vey!

I keep thinking I have enough boxes for all the knitting cack and really? Again and again it is untrue. I had all these big plans to slash and burn the clutter, purge it from my life, and somehow as I pick it all up it seems that I NEED all of it. And you know, for future reference, books are heavy! They should be packed in the SMALL boxes.

Back to the trenches. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Laurie is peeping me!

Kind of exciting, really. Crazy Aunt Purl asked for a peek into our knitting spots, kids. So here's mine:

That's where I sit, and here's what I look out at:

and what's directly across the way:

You may have noticed the little princess glued to the window. Here's what she's looking at:

Do you see him? See the teeny tiny guy? Yeah, he is on the roof of a HUGE house. Not sure what the roof-sitter is up to. He sat there for a really long time.

Here's where I am with the dressing gown. This is in the middle of the third ball, and it's the inside, according to the pattern. But I like the stockinette better than the reverse stockinette, so I'm making it inside out. It is so soft and snuggly on my lap. perfect for the Fall-into-Winter knitting, as it becomes a larger and larger lapful. The glaring purple is a misrepresentation, though, it is actually a deep periwinkle. I may have mentioned this once or twice. Aaaaaaaaaanyway:

Also! I made a bunch of these lace tie-on headbands. Pattern coming soon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Oh! and I forgot

to show you this:


I find myself wearing it every day. Thank dog it finally got cold and rainy here!

Seduced, I tell you.

I am helpless in the face of it.

To quote the brilliant Rhys Ifans in Knotting Hill, "It's a combination of factors, really."

First there was this:


(in the blue violet colorway, which for some reason (might be my computer) I can't find a good image of. But trust me, it is the most beautiful deep periwinkle EVER.)

mmmmmmmm ohhhhhhhhhh oooooooooh so soft and cuddly and wonderful and such a joy to knit with. Makes my fingers so happy.

And then there was this:

OMG OMG OMG so freakin' flippin' GORGEOUS and elegant and stuff. I swoon.

I've been drooling over this dressing gown in Jennie Atkinson's Romantic Style for a few weeks now, ever since we got it in at the shop where I work. I swear, that book is the prettiest knitting book I've ever seen. And the patterns! Oh, the patterns. I wish I had time to knit everything in it.

So, put those two together and I am SEDUCED. No one can blame me for buying the book and 18 balls of alpaca blend. (OK, so I have the yarn on hold and am buying it a couple of balls at a time. I'm not made of money, yo. Anyway it is totally



So I have powered through the first ball, only 17 more to go. I'm imagining myself wearing it on Christmas morning, and the beauty has magically caused my hair to be perfect upon waking, so this year's Christmas morning pictures? They will be suitable for sharing! yay!

Good plan!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Big ole pile

of finished objects! Huzzah!

The double sided lace scarf is blocking and man oh man, do I love lace blocking. You take your squished up, hey-this-is-sort-of-a-neat-pattern scarf, soak it, and then, as you lay it out, it becomes something magical. The lace bits open up and spread out and become defined and beautiful and HEY! This isn't a scarf after all. I think it might be a wrap!

Who knew?

Here's another view. I am just so damn pleased. Grinnin' like a fool here folks!


In other news, I finished the Daughter's little teeny shrug. She actually wore it once, too! That's some high praise right there.

and the sleeve from the front:


I needed a break from the Ruins of Dunstaburgh (ohhhhh don't ask), so I whipped up these hats for some friends' kids over the weekend:

Here's the crown:

And some cabling detail:

So. It has been a busy week. The hat and shrug patterns will be written up soon.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Emily wants to know!

the pattern for double eyelet rib. Since I learned it so long ago I can't be sure, but I think I got it from Barbara Walker. I'm not sure. Anyway here's how I do it:

CO a multiple of 7 plus 2, join in round.

Row 1: (WS) k2, (p5, k2) rep () to end
Row 2: (RS) p2, (k2 tog, yo, k1, y, ssk, p2) rep () to end
Row 3: k2, (p5, k2), rep () to end
Row 4: p2, (k5, p2), rep () to end

OR! in the round, comme ca:

CO a multiple of 7, join in round

Row 1; (p2, k2), rep () to end
Row 2: (p2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk), rep () to end
Rows 3 & 4: Repeat row 1

Clear as mud? Yeah? OK.

Got a couple of baby/toddler hats (and their pattern) done this weekend, I'll be posting some pics later tonight.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You know what I love?

Well. I'll tell you.



double eyelet rib.

I love it. It is my favorite stitch, my old standby, my first lace love. My very good friend. I love it.

When I first discovered lace, I must have made literally fifty hats in double eyelet rib. FIFTY! That's a lot of hats. Then I branched out and made scarves, wristlets, a gaiter. I had thought the double eyelet rib was old. Passe. I was over it. Then I decided to ignore my daughter's wishes about me never never ever ever knitting her anything for school AT ALL MAMA!

I have a little preview for you:

It is so preeeeeeeetty! *starryeyed* Although it's not so pinky in real life. More deep crimson (it's baby cashmerino, in case you were wondering). And BONUS! Once I told my precious girl that it wasn't for her but I want her to model it for the pattern, she demanded that I let her have it.

Very satisfying.


I have another FO to share - I wanted to find a way to use a single skein of Mountain Colors' Mountain Goat, an absolutely DELICIOUS hand-dyed wool and mohair blend with a SLIGHTLY (ha! slightly!) off-budget price tag. That is, if I were to need more than one skein.

So I came up with another lace scarf pattern - this one with a small ruffled edge. I used a Harmony Guides lace pattern, which I REALLY wish I could remember now, and the Mountain Goat in Lupine. It is scrumpdillyiscious, and actually it worked out so that I can wear it as a scarf or a very small wraplet. I will have the Camera Master take some shots of it on some shoulders soonish-ly, but here is what I can show you now:

I likey!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Some progress! And a new yarn review.


Well, I'm off to see the lovely and talented Stephanie Pearl-McPhee ( in mere hours at Third Place Books in Lake City and I am DYING of excitement! It was literally the very first thing I thought of this morning when I woke up! I will endeavor to NOT scream like a Beatles fan.

Boy, nothing like a mom with the prospect of a few hours to herself.

But first an update. Finally! Getting somewhere on the Ruins of Dunstaburgh:

Also, we got in a new yarn at the LYS where I work, Classic Elite's Wool Bam Boo, and I'm making up a Reversible Garter Rib Scarf for the shop:

People. I love this yarn. It has all the snuggliness of merino and the sheen of bamboo. It's warm and springy, and the colors are GORGEOUS. So far it's been holding up well to lots of fondling, too, not a pill in sight. (You can get the pattern free with the yarn purchase at www.acornstreet com. If you like. No pressure. :))

Monday, August 28, 2006


My daughter has just informed me, in her very-emphatic-six-year-old voice, that she DOES NOT WANT me to knit her school sweater this year, nor any other knitted item, for that matter.


This as I was getting out the already-purchased yarn for the already chosen design that we have been talking about all summer. Thus destroying my plan of knitting her school sweater every year until she is in her teens, and therefore far too cool to wear something handmade by her uncool old mom. Apparently six is the new sixteen. Alas.

It was going to be so cute, too. An eyelet lace shrug with a bobbled ruffle at the edge of the 3/4 length sleeves and 1X1 ribbing around the opening. In scarlet baby cashmerino. Like the one I made for myself and she demanded a copy of all summer.

*shhhhhhhhhh* I might just make it anyway. Don't tell her.*

Ze Gauge, she is a wily and capricious mistress.

How is it that woman with thirty-plus years of knitting experience and a thousand or so swatches under her belt can make this huge mistake not once, but twice? TWICE! I can blame it on the fictional entity of Gauge As Whimsical Goddess, right? She is really getting on my nerves, man. I swear I swatched this thing ten times before the first disaster. Which turned out to be literally twelve inches shy of its intended circumference.

An entire foot. I'm pretty sure my client, the lovely Gloria actually wants the sweater in the dimensions specified.

So I laughed and chalked it up to a crazy fluke, did a much bigger set of swatches and cast on again, confident in my experience and abilities, and enjoyed the development of the multiple cables and the feel of the yarn softening with work in my hands.

Measured again this morning, and it is wrong. Again. By far less, but still, wrong. Apparently the only thing that will work with this project is a 100% size sample. So that is what I will be doing this afternoon.

It's a darn good thing I really like this pattern. It's definitely not boring me. :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Here's something else I'm currently working on:

I can't wait to block it and see what happens.

I'm putting the pattern together and also looking forward to wearing it because it is *dreeeeeeeamy*. It's in Regia Silk 6-ply, a dk weight sock yarn that I just can't seem to get enough of. So so so soft and cuddly and wonderful to knit. I actually went out and bought a coat for Fall just to go with it.

And the best part is THIS!

The archival (thank you Morgan!) pattern, or the back. It reminds me of some sort of sea creature or seeds embedded in their fruits. It looks great right alongside the facing pattern and I am so happy that both sides will be visible when it's worn. Props to Barbara Walker for her Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I adore her.


And here's the progress on Dunstaburgh Castle (I am now 7 rows into the pattern repeats):

As you see, each individual cable pattern is separated by a set of colored markers. There are six of them. I color coded the parkers and then hilighted the pattern to make following it "easier."

Easier. Yeah.

Although while simple it is NOT, I am enjoying it even more than I thought I would. I just need many many hours of uninterrupted knitting time to finish it.

Finally! A small amount of progress has been made since this pic was taken, but I'm just happy to have figured this much out. Camera Master has given me a smallish lesson (and left all the camera settings on "auto"), so I will be shooting a few other works in progress today.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why does my description show twice? I am such a rookie! *eyeroll* So much to figure out.

While I'm here, I'll just mention that I'm off the endless ribbing part, and onto the multiple-simultaneous cables part. There are SIX. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang. Photos on the way. The Camera Master was too busy to teach me everything there is to know about the camera last night, so I will have to wait for him.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Gloria's Ruins of Dunstaburgh Castle Pullover

OK! Good place to keep track of my custom work, yes? Yes!

Met with the client, the lovely and sweet Gloria, last Wednesday to pick up her yarn and pattern - Classic Elite "Ruins of Dunstaburgh Castle" and Dale Heilo - to make her a huge cuddly walkin'-the-dog-type sweater for this Fall.

She wants to substitute k2p2 rib for the trinity stitch border and cuffs, make it mid-thigh length, and throw on a mock t-neck as well. No sweat, right? Except that today, as I was converting the pattern to knit in the round rather than in flat pieces, I realized that we had planned to make the body 5 inches longer than it is in the pattern.

Rut roh.

Quick, only mildly panicked call to Gloria - quick consult, and what we decided is this: I will knit the body to the length recommended in the pattern, then make one sleeve and see exactly how deep the sleeve hole really is (I'm betting MUCH deeper than originally suspected), to determine whether we need to actually make it that long. She is, you see, a little peanut and our first plan might have left her swimming in a giant cabled sleeping bag. Then another quick call to The Weaving Works to find that they have only 6 balls of this yarn left and they are a mixed bag of dye lots. They are holding the whole motley pile for me for 2 weeks just in case. Bless their hearts.

So now I have to learn to attach pics, I guess. I am so lazy about that. Takes away from my knitting time! Grr! As soon as I figure it out, I will post a pic of the incredibly exciting two and a half inches of k2p2 ribbing I have finished so far. YEEHAW.

That k2p2 sure pulls in. *nibbles nails a little*