Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I looked up about half an hour ago to see it just beginning to snow - and it's getting heavier! And it's cold and dry enough to stick! So, looks like this will be a white one for us!
I am about to stop apologizing for not posting very often... if you're still with me, you know I'm terribly irregular. Maybe I need some blog fiber? I promise to post knitting and baby updates soon!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Which was not a mistake! Staring at the (somewhat limited) knitting shelves, I actually found a copy of Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits, a book I had not previously had a chance to meet in the flesh. I want this book! (I wishlisted it. ;P ) I'm not entirely sure what I think about all of Japel's knitting philosophy, and as a pregnant mama planning to be breastfeeding this time next year the extreme fittedness of most of the designs felt a touch lacking (although in previous stages of my life I would have been swooning - those parts of me still were :) ). Still, there were aspects at least in every design that I liked and want to adapt for my own work - I'm not really into bulky knits, but hers at least have intriguing details I want to borrow. There were several designs I want to make as written (well, almost!), such as the coat with lace lapels, or the pretty summery dress, or Elizabeth Bennet's Cardigan, which seemed more 1950s than 1810s to me, but was gorgeous and covet-worthy nonetheless. I don't often find designs in knitting books that I want to make as written!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Yes, Peggy, they are striped. :)
I mentioned a month or so back that I had something distracting me that I couldn't post about yet. Well, the time has come that it looks like I can finally come clean and public about it, so I am!
As of today, I am thirteen weeks pregnant. I'm due more or less the first half of June, assuming everything goes well. Other than as-yet unpredictable morning sickness (will I be functional today or not? let's spin the wheel and see!), I'm doing ok. I think I'm out of things to say about it right now! Nothing exciting, other than the fact itself, which is as it should be.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
So Josh came home to this pic today, on his regular post-work cruise of assorted intarweb stuff (I get it all day on Google Reader). His first comment? "Block your cat!"
After I finished hooting, I had to explain that most "muggles" don't call it blocking...
Friday, November 16, 2007
Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Cornflower and Iris
Needles: US 3 dpns (these are the largest dpns I own - I really need more sizes!)
Pattern: EZ's Mitered Mittens from Knitter's Almanac
Yay, I'll have something new to finally post to Zimmermania!
eta: I still want to make some fancy colorwork mittens.. but those will have to wait on money and shipping..
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I did reactivate my FFXI character, so I've been playing that happily.. and knitting here and there in the inevitable stretches of waiting.. but I've also been not playing a fair amount. Reading, reading is good, and leads easily to napping...
So yeah. The title pretty much says it all - not much going on chez moi.
But I thought I'd leave you all with a cute kitteh picture, courtesy of icanhascheezburger.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I've spent large portions of the last 3 1/2 years playing a little MMORPG called Final Fantasy XI. We decided to cancel our accounts for this last month for a number of sound reasons, but I shortly began to really miss it. Not only do I still thoroughly enjoy the game itself, but a large portion of my social life is involved in it. So this afternoon I've spent several hours cruising Youtube, jumping from video to video, trying to satisfy my thirst for this long-standing activity of mine, and to pass the time until a few days from now when I can reactivate my account.
The above video is in no way representative of actual gameplay, and I wouldn't ordinarily listen to the song for more than a few seconds, but it does give a bit of a feel for the sense of community, as well as showing pretty well the gorgeous graphics of the game. Besides, I really like the video as a whole, and have for years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
But first, another sewing installment. Not the most flattering picture ever, and the dress needs a good pressing, but meh. I'd started refurbishing this gown - one of my earliest renditions of a cotehardie - back in June, when I didn't have a camera to record the "before". Basically, after ten years of adoring this gown, the long sleeves were shredding, and I was tired of the neckline treatment. So I pulled the sleeves off and made new ones, then picked the black linen border off the neckline and cut the front down two inches in the middle. Aaaaaaand then I got distracted and didn't finish the neckline until today when I had some ENERGY!!! I could probably stand to go over the seams and check for popped stitches, but again, meh. The skirt is actually quite full, more so than it appears in this picture - it stands out better with the correct undergarments (in this pic it's just a bra and yoga pants). Properly I should be wearing a chemise and kirtle underneath, and possibly false sleeves pinned on at the shoulder. The gown itself is a lovely handkerchief weight linen that has survived the wear and tear of ten years of abuse astonishingly well. The seams at the shoulders and armscyes are wearing; when I stitched the new sleeves in, I had to sew the new seam a couple of millimeters in so the it wouldn't simply tear out again instantly. All in all, it's great for the kind of summer weather you don't see much of here in Oregon. :/ However, given enough correct under- and overgarments, it should do all right here, as well.
Construction details: I adapted a commercial princess-line dress pattern to have a longer skirt, and originally a higher neckline - I think this refurb put the neck basically back where the original pattern had it. The seams were sewn by machine to begin with, and the original neckline serged (I had a friend who let me borrow hers occasionally), but all repairs and alterations since have been by hand. Because of the way I adapted the commercial pattern, the skirt was originally fairly narrow. I added the black gores (and the black neckline no longer extant) to honor my foster father, whose colors are yellow and black, as well as general decoration and skirt-widening. I was asked to march as a part of the procession (along with his other adopted daughters) when he was awarded his Pelican, the highest SCA award for service. Now, with the navy sleeves, the dress looks pretty Halloween-y; maybe I'll wear it for dress-up this year. I wouldn't make another "cotehardie" in this manner again; I've learned a great deal about patternmaking and construction in the decade or so since I made this, and all the gowns I've made or refurbished since show my improving knowledge. However, this remains a favorite gown because it's so incredibly comfortable and well-fitting - there's even room to let the bust and waist out a bit if I get any curvier!
On to the spinning!
This is 52 yards of the Icelandic/Red Mohair roving I bought at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Fest, spun and plied. Please note, this is my first plied yarn! I still need to set the twist, though. It came out a fairly dense sport-type weight - not too bad for having been aiming for fingering weight! I don't know wraps per inch, I didn't have a ruler handy. It's not the most even spinning ever, but although it's perceptibly thick and thin, I'm fairly pleased with it, and also pleased how the plying more or less evened it out. The color reads overall as a sort of oatmeal; the Icelandic wool is a pale gray-tan, and the mohair is reddish brown - so if you look close, it's oatmeal with cinnamon stirred in. :)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Instead, I have for your delectation one of my favorite wool tunics, only recently restored to me. It's a true, brilliant red, something digital cameras have a hard time capturing. I fulled the fabric before cutting the pieces out, so it's quite warm and cozy, and entirely hand-stitched - although I'm pretty sure it needed a few... reinforcements? before I was quite done. It certainly needs them now! It also spent the last three years in a plastic bag on my mother's garage floor, with a few other garments, so it's pretty crumpled and even a bit motheaten. :( As you will see from the photos, it's technically a WiP, because I have never finished the embroidery, but I may never finish that during the life of the garment, and I have never let it stop me from wearing the tunic!
This tunic could have been worn anywhere from Roman times up to the sixteenth century or so; in the last couple of centuries, it would have been more of a working class garment than a fashionable one. The embroidery design is from a Dover book of Celtic knotwork transfer designs, possibly this one. The embroidery itself is executed in silk floss, in backstitch for the outlines and chainstitch for the fill. The neck is lined about four inches deep with linen, quilted to the surface for stability.
Yes, that is a needle poked through the work. I always figured that if I didn't give myself permission to wear it while I was embroidering, I'd never get to wear it! It does mean I have to be careful with my hugs while wearing the tunic. I'm not quite certain how I'm going to finish the colors... but that's the fun of it all! I've always thought it would be fun to fill in the eyes with some kind of semiprecious stone bead, like my favorite garnet, but that's a ways off.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I haven't posted recently because I'm pretty distracted with a big chunk of life right now. Maybe I can post about it soon.
In the mean time, I was putting my socks away after washing a couple of days ago, and realized that I can do the classic ROY G BIV with them - well, I wore the greenurple ones yesterday, so they're not in this picture... but you get the idea. :)
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
How is it that time slips away so fast when you're trying to figure out what to do with yourself? It's almost 10 days since I last posted, and I feel like I've done nothing in that time. That's not true, of course - just look at my pile of F.O.s and almost F.O.s.. I'm almost done with my Celtic Swan socks;just need the toe on the second, and I suppose I should see about washing and blocking them - as much as I ever block socks, that is. I made a hat out of the gorgeous Merino/Tencel I won in that MasonDixon contest, and I'm almost finished with a Scholar Collar-type scarf out of the rest. I figure I"ll just use the rest of the ball on the scarf, and it'll be nice and snuggly.
I promise, it's much longer now!
I've been haunting the spinning section on Knittyboards lately, and this morning dug out the basket with my spindle and wool. After pulling out a section of the last fluff of a chunk of sliver I had, and reminding myself how to spin, I got the carders out as well as the random fleece I was given... um... musta been at that Stitches about 4 years ago? I'm not sure what kind of wool it is, but I"m beginning to suspect merino, given its softness and the shortness of the locks. I carded three rolags and spun them, and really surprised myself with how much I"ve picked up about controlling my draft and such.
I'm really looking forward to going to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival next weekend. While the monies are low, I'm kinda hoping to pick up a couple of tools - like a nostepinne, and maybe another spindle or a Viking comb - and some spinnables.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
It's really too bad I don't have the energy (mental, physical, whatever) to cook like that every night. I wish I did. We would eat so much more healthily if I did!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
I’ve known how to knit most of my life, but what got me going as a KNITTER was my first pair of socks. I was at Stitches West four and a half years ago (wow, that long?!) and found some yum-tastic Louet Gems Merino - fingering weight, not sport - in a gorgeous dark purple. I met my first Brittany Birch needles there, too. Anyway, I made Mom buy me the yarn (poor college student b(^_^) ) and rushed home and opened my copy of Knitting Without Tears to see what EZ had to say about socks - and haven’t looked back. Those socks weren’t very well made; the gauge was awful, I made an accidental YO right under the ball of one foot so that they had a huge hole in just a few months, but I loved them.
I would attribute my continuing passion to two books. The first is the Twisted Sisters’ Sock Workbook, and the second is Nancy Bush’s Folk Socks. I still refer to both.Cross posted from my comments here.
Friday, August 31, 2007
I was just taking a couple shots of my current socks (for the nice lady at Celtic Swan Forge), and mah kitteh had to come investigate.
Peppar likes to investigate; here she is investigating my dear friend's baby Megan. Megan is styling my very first BSJ; this picture was taken two months ago, and I doubt she can wear it anymore!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Even more exciting, though, is that I finally have a digital camera again! So if you go check out my Ravelry listings, you can now see some pretty pics of the projects I've been working on recently! I'm very excited to finally be able to do this again, and the camera is a very nice one, which is even more exciting. :)
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Well, I don't have either of those, but I keep re-knitting first socks over and over. The Harlot would say, why worry, it's all knitting, and with my limited stash, knitting a first sock 3 or 4 times with the same yarn keeps me occupied for weeks without using up precious yarn. I'm a perfectionist, though, and frogging and reknitting so many times is.. distressing.
It started with my greenurple Lorna's Laces socks I finally finished a few months ago. It was a new yarn to me, and with two coordinating but mismatched skeins I had to experiment to find not only the gauge I liked with it, but also a pattern that would use the colorways to best effect. It took several tries! I started with a pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks, but decided it wasn't working so well for me, so I frogged that and tried again with the pattern I finally made them in... and because of the tight gauge, it took me a while to finish them (my poor damaged hands!).
Then I got some KnitPicks Gloss that I started making Nancy Bush's Chalet Socks with.. and got about halfway down the first before deciding the pattern was too much work for me, and I dropped that sock and started over with the yarn on a Waving Lace variation. Due to gauge issues, I frogged those about 3 times... so I really started that pair 4 times! I have yet to frog the started Chalet Sock, but I finally finished the Waving Lace a couple of weeks ago - 3 months! For a pair of socks! Ridiculous! Exclamation points!!!
At the same time I got the Gloss, I also bought some Memories in a couple of colorways, one for Josh, one for me. I decided to make Jaywalkers out of Josh's.. and ran into several issues with the first version. I started it on #1s (my standard needle for socks, as I don't like the fabric anything bigger makes in most fingering weight yarn). First off, I didn't like the feel of the yarn through my fingers. It felt almost plasticky, especially compressing it down to work on the #1s. Then I noticed that the yarn itself - made of several plies, not the two-ply I'm most used to after several years of working as much with Koigu as possible - was catching on one of the needles. What was happening was that the imprint on one of my beloved Brittany Birch shorts had cut into the wood just enough to barely catch on the yarn. Well... I could live with this. AND THEN... about halfway down the foot - the standard place I try socks on for length - I decided it was time for a fitting. This was the worst news yet! The fabric of this sock is almost completely stockinette, and on the bias, at that, which makes it far less giving that the lace and ribs I was used to. It was too tight! (Smart readers will have seen this coming.) I nearly gave up on the socks then and there, but my yarn budget is so slender that I really can't afford to not use any. So... I frogged and reknit on size 2 needles. Muuuuuch better. The yarn, allowed to be fluffier (the fabric on the #1s was too tight for the yarn), no longer feels plasticky, the colorway stripes better, and the socks fit! I'm still not in love with the pattern, and at this writing have only forced myself just past the heel on sock #2. I have them designated as TV knitting - when I'm curled up on the couch watching TV, those are what I'm supposed to be knitting, nothing else right now. I don't follow that all the time, but I do enough that the socks should be done by the time cold weather hits (well, cold weather as in fall/winter with the rain and the frost and the occasional snow, not merely a Pacific Northwest summer with fog and threatened rain).
This brings me to my current active socks (ok, the Jaywalkers are active, but they're not what I'm excited about, so they don't count. ;-P). I purchased a skein of Cherry Tree Hill - closest I can get to Koigu from my nearest LYS (and don't get me started on that place!) a few months ago, and it landed in stash until I a) figured out what to do with it and b) cleared some projects from my plate. I almost succeeded in that, but then the June Knitty came out and I fell in love with the Sweet Pea socks. Setting the Waving Lace and the Jaywalkers and the other projects I have going aside (non of which I've finished yet, btw, including the Oxfam sweater), I immediately cast on and dashed through to my standard try-on point, where I discovered that yes, 4 stitches less at that gauge really does make a difference. *sigh* RIP-IT! RIP-IT! Then I finished my Waving Lace... and Becky posted her Monkeys. I'd been considering the pattern for a while, and decided the time was right. So I cast on while we were driving my brother to the airport... worked eagerly all that week... and right about the time we were beginning to talk money at the car dealership (oh yeah, we had to buy a new-to-us car last week. Sux0riffic.), I had the foot finished up to the toe. Now, talking money at the car dealership is not a good time to pull your sweaty stinky foot out of your Birkenstock to try on your sock, so I had to wait until I got home to discover that - you guessed it - it was too tight! Disdaining the directions as written (I did mention my dislike for the fabric from #2s?), I had decided in my infinite wisdom that the pattern is lacy enough that I would be just fine with my usual #1s. Boy was I wrong! There is far too much plain knitting (and not enough ribbing) in the pattern for it to stretch over my size 11 heels when knit on my usual #1 gauge! I did manage to discover that I really liked the fit over my feet, though. RIP-IT! RIP-IT! And reknit.. with #2s on the legs and heel flap, swap to #1s on the foot, and I started sock #2 last night! This pattern I am in love with.. although I'm beginning to think that the Monkey referred to in the name is not the hairy primate, but rather the vicious Monkey Puzzle tree the Victorians so loved. Those things is dangerous!
To make this long rambling story short, I've been learning a lot about gauge, and getting a lot of knitting, out of it, but not so many socks.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
It may appear that I am a poor knit blogger because I have very few pictures up, and none of my knitting. There are reasons for this! My digital camera is as dead as Marley (choose one), and the household budget is too slender to acquire another. Rest assured that I do in fact record my knitting (when I think it's worth it.. socks comprise most of my knitting, and much as I like them, I don't usually bother photographing them), and when I get a chance to develop the roll, I'll get them on disc so I can post! Because I want proof of my awesome knitting's existence, too. ;D
Project updates: I'm about 5" down the leg of Jaywalker #2. Josh thinks they're very warm, and isn't impatient for them before the weather gets cool, so they're not a high priority. My Print o'the Wave is... on hiatus, sorta... I'm very distracted by my Monkey! Plus baby alpaca isn't the most fun to knit with in high summer. Did I mention the distracting, addicting Monkey yet? Maybe I should say some more about that. I did 8 repeats down the leg instead of the recommended 6, turned the heel, and am mostly done with the gusset. I'll prolly have that finished by tonight, especially since I'm going to a BBQ with a lot of people I don't know and I hate being social with strangers. Knitting's great for hiding behind!
Why, you may ask, am I subjecting myself to this social indignity? Well, it's not for Josh's work. I'm a volunteer for the Gentle Birth World Congress, in the hopes that doing work trade will actually let me go. Tonight is a BBQ to meet other volunteers and (I think) form committees.. not sure on that last part.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Anyway. Finished my latest Waving Lace socks; they feel *wonderful*. No pics still, but I posted details on Ravelry. Started the second Jaywalker on Josh's pair, too, and then (I'm so bad) I finally succumbed to Monkey on the way to dropping my brother off at the airport yesterday (hi Tom!). I'm most of the way through the first cuff, according to the original directions, but since I'm using smaller needles (1s vs. 2s) and I like my cuffs longer anyway, I'm going to go for a couple more repeats. Why didn't anyone warn me how addictive this pattern is?! So easy. So fast. So satisfying. They could easily take over my life.
On the excitement front, I finally got my Super Sox Box Swap package yesterday!!! Many very cool goodies: Almond biscotti, Toblerone, Orange Earl Grey tea. Cute-yet-handily-sized bag for sock-knitting-on-the-go. Merino/cashmere sock yarn. Pink and purple point protectors. Cute-as-a-button sheep picture. AND (this is the part that made us laugh) Canadian memorabilia in the form of a keychain and coaster! My buddy was Canadian... I suppose now would be a bad time to mention the part about how often we make Canadian jokes. Awesome package, though! Well worth the long wait.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Knitting stuff first: lots and lots of very cool knitted things, from Umbridge's infamous fluffy pink sweater to awesome Weasley hats, scarves, and sweaters. The item that really caught my eye was the cabled vest Ginny was wearing at very end. I wanted to see Hermione knitting... but I understand that they had to *sniff* cut most of the subplots, just to be able to fit the main storyline (barely) into a standard movie length.
I thought they did a pretty good job of shoehorning the main storyline into a standard movie length - no way could they get the leeway Peter Jackson did, with a 4-hour RotK! Which is sad, because there's that much and more they could easily have done. It never really felt rushed, but it never got to slow down, either - except in the spots where it did for a few seconds, which then you knew had to be important, because the pace of the rest of the movie was so frenetic. I also liked just the few very subtle touches of shots that lingered on someone's face for just a split second - significant if you know the next book, not very noticeable if you don't. Interesting imagery; who says what when and how, and in what setting (give me credit, I'm trying not to give spoilers here!).
I remember coming out of the second movie speculating about how very attractive our characters were going to be when they grew up. I have not been disappointed! Wow. Even Neville, oh-so-Norman-horsefaced Neville, is... wow. Really handsome.
In reading HP5, I always have the most trouble coping with Umbridge, but in the movie, I was distanced enough that she wasn't too bad. The thing that got me where I live was Kreacher. My grandmother was... a very... special... person. Not the kind of special you want to deal with. There was a shot of him (in the Tapestry Room) where for a moment I was wondering how they got my dead grandmother on film. Kreacher looked like her, sounded like her, acted like her... very disturbing, and I'll leave it at that, but I hope, dear reader, that you get the picture.
I did find out that they have the same director on board for Half-Blood Prince, which is very exciting.
Anyway, off to try to finish this book so I can read Half-Blood Prince again by Friday - and to dream about the House Sweater I've been wanting to make!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
It's actually being quite hot here in Oregon - well, one day was. Day before yesterday it got to over a hundred... if you don't live here, you should know that it rarely gets higher than the mid 90s! Fortunately the weather's appearing to be ashamed of itself, and has reduced itself to more usual temperatures since.
Given the heat, not much knitting going on! Although I'm thinking hard about picking up my Waving Lace again... Silk/wool will be better to knit in heat than wool alone, right?
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The last few days we've been reaming out the apartment and rearranging what's left to make room for my brother and his partner moving in tomorrow. I hate housework. And I hate moving. Happily, I'm not the one shifting domiciles this time! But it's been really good... getting rid of garbage that we've had hanging around through multiple moves, and sorting through and reorganizing the rest has been invigorating, despite my detestation of parting with anything. Not only do I hang on to things I think will be useful, but I'm also very sentimental, and keep things that remind me of events or people. Josh, on the other hand, takes a very bare-bones approach - if we don't need it right now, and it's cheaply/easily replaced, toss it! Lots of garbage, lots of loads to Goodwill, even an item posted to sell on Craigslist... and the bedrooms look almost like we've barely moved in. The front of the place shows two years' occupation, but there hasn't been all that much to edit, just a little reorganization (needs cleaning, too. did I mention I hate housework?).
So that's what's been going on chez moi.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I've seen a lot of cute little books about sewing little bags and things coming out lately, and a lot of knitters picking them up and beginning to sew things from them. Cool, more people sewing, that's good. What's bugging me is that these books are picking up the "hipster crafter" vibe all over again - you know, the annoying "Not your mother's
I could make cute little totes if I wanted to. But they're boring! Here's a few things that inspire me to sewing:
The Tudor Tailor: absolutely the bee's knees on making and wearing Tudor-era garments.
The Medieval Tailor's Assistant: fantastic instruction on making high medieval garments from the skin out.
Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd: I own this. Somewhere. Primary research at its most amazing.
This lady from my costuming forum. She gets paid to *do* the primary research!
I could go on and on, but I won't. I will try to have patience with all the knitters discovering the delights of sewing, much as I have patience with all the people discovering the delights of knitting. I think it will be much harder, though, since sewing is my foundation.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Presented the Monk Socks today, to much approval by the presentee - he promptly put them on and (to my knowledge) has not yet taken them off, despite it being a warmish night. Yay, the recipe worked! He will doubtless get more along those lines in the future, as budget and knitting time permits.
Frogged the Jaywalker today as well. It was only about halfway up the foot, and I suddenly realized that I did not know if the tight gauge (the yarn seems to want larger needles, for me) and mostly stockinette would even work on his foot; when checked, it did not. So I frogged it, and I plan to restart on a size larger (2s instead of 1s), possibly with a slightly smaller stitch count to compensate, possibly not. Maybe I'll like the yarn a little better at a different gauge; I hope so, I was starting to hate it at the gauge I had been working in. I can't start these until I finish getting the baby sockies off the needles, tho, as I only have the one set of 2s; however, all I have to do on sockie #2 is graft the toe. Yes, I thought grafting would look cute and not be too much trouble, for some wierd reason. No, I don't know what I was on when I decided this. Maybe I'll do it before trying to sleep again.
The season's Knitty came out Monday if you didn't know; it took me all of 24 hours to fail to resist starting these. I had a skein of Cherry Tree Hill in a very orange (but it has purple and red and yellow and stuff too) colorway that was just begging to be used, so I spent the time while my lunch was cooking on Tuesday winding it, and had the pattern memorized by the time I hit the pool before DH was home. Just lovely, I can't wait to be finished!
Yesterday was very productive as well; I finished and felted (fulled?) the bowling bag for my swap buddy. It just needs to dry. Well, and wait for payday to get a zipper and be shipped... details! I have all the bits I'm sending her ready as well, and I know the pattern I want to point her towards; I'm just not sure how I'll do it. Maybe I'll do what my pal did and email it when I let her know it's all together/in the mail. I sure hope she likes it all... I definitely thought about things I would like to receive when I was shopping, even if I couldn't get absolutley the exact items I would have preferred. Speaking of my secret pal, she emailed me to say my package was going into the mail in a few days about 3 weeks ago, but I haven't seen any trace yet; I'm beginning to suspect she must be international! Either that or realized that she was going to make the rest of us look bad by being so on top of things. :-P Having an international pal would be exciting, though.
Must try to sleep nows. Tired and stuff.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Two books I found invaluable for learning to make socks: The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook and Nancy Bush's Folk Socks. Twisted Sisters I only look at occasionally anymore, I've absorbed all the sock wisdom out of it I need at present, but Folk Socks sits easy to hand at all times, and I still refer to it frequently, for both technique and patterns, and this is 4+ years into my sock-making obsession. Nancy Bush's other socks books are, of course, also great, and I want to own those I don't already, but I think Folk Socks is best for sheer basic technique.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
No pics of Yarn Harlot (or anything else) until I finish the roll and get it all developed... which will be the beginning of next month at the very soonest (payday, dontcha know). I know, I'm a tease.
The Great Harry Potter re-read has me up to just starting Goblet of Fire. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll end up reading them yet again in July... but hey, I've been running low on reading matter. :(
Uh.. the Oxfam sweater: being that I'm tired of knowing no one here, I decided to take a class at my LYS, to be able to meet a few people and maybe make a friend. Sadly, I'm way past the skill level of just about any of the knitting classes offered anywhere around here (that I know of). However, the free (yay free when you're on a small budget!) class to make a sweater for Oxfam sounded like a good chance. Well.. it turned out I was of course miles beyond the other students in skill, which mostly meant that the instructor had an unexpected teaching assistant. When I asked about classes in advanced techniques, she said, well, nowhere around here, really, but suggested that I practice something on the sweater, since she wants everyone to walk away from the class having learned something. Since I've been wanting to learn entrelac since forever, she suggested I try it out on the sweater, which I did. I think it looks horrible on the sweater, but what can you do, it's acrylic? But I learned entrelac. Now I have to finish the sweater in a relatively timely fashion. >.<
Monday, June 11, 2007
I need to spend today working seriously on my Oxfam sweater. I need 9 inches of body length before class this afternoon, and I have 7 1/2, if measured generously. This is a trial because the yarn I selected feels like it was made from saran wrap - great for keeping food, crapola for knitting. But I learned entrelac! Pretty much everything else is on the back burner until my homework on this is done.
My Jaywalkers for Josh and my small-gauge Waving Lace are progressing slowly... they both got a couple inches this weekend. But they're definitely low on the priority list right now. I also started a new pair of baby sockies; my dear friends brought their 2-month old to visit from New Mexico. It was raining, and chilly, and I couldn't let them leave without trying some of the baby things I've made out of ends of sock balls over the years. The Baby Surprise Jacket (Koigu)? Perfect. The sockies (random German or Italian self-fair-isle-patterned)? Great fit, yarn was too scratchy. So, I assured them that the socks would soften with washing, grabbed the end of some Lorna's and had cast on for a new pair of sockies practically before they hit the freeway north to the next set of relatives. I may be able to get them posted before my friends head home; we'll see. First I have to stop distracting myself from the Oxfam with blogging (and laundry, and my other Monday chores...).
Friday, June 08, 2007
I'm so smart. My digicam's still dead, but I remembered that my regular camera still works just fine, and while it was a few shots from the end (kitty and knitted things took care of that!), I did in fact have an untouched roll of film in my desk drawer. So I'll be able to take pics tonight. Yay!
Entrelac is fiddly but easy... why, I wonder, did I put off learning it so long? Oh, well, the learning swatch I'm making will have a place of honor in the sock yarn afghan I'll eventually make enough squares for. Maybe I'll make more entrelac squares, this one's been a good small project.. but horrors, that would take away from sock knitting time! Maybe now I knw why I never did any before.
Weirdly, it took me 3 days to finish Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Such a short book would usually take me an afternoon or so... Maybe I was slightly bored from having read it so many times (although I did pick up a few significant lines this time that I didn't really notice before), maybe it's because I've been so tired this week I haven't really wanted to read! zomg! You know I'm really flattened when I don't want to read.
Anyway, enough blogging, back to my Oxfam sweater!
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Too bad I just blew my yarn budget (and then some!) on my buddy. BUT she will have the honor of receiving my very first felted object! I hope she likes the colors I chose... I promise to get pics! and get them developed! and post them! (After my buddy gets it, of course.) stupid broken digicam...
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Because you wanted proof.
Edit 5/31: For inquiring minds, my mother and I designed the dress (9 hours apart!) after the dresses Arwen wears in the Lord of the Rings movies (she's annoying, but her dresses are gorgeous!). Since I didn't really want to mess with silk velvet while afflicted with wedding brain, I asked my mother to make it. Besides, she's a better seamstress than I am.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The weather is lovely today, so lovely that I began to think about pulling out and wearing one of my favorite medieval-styled gowns. It's (gosh!) nearly ten years old now, and much-worn and -loved. It's also probably not going to live another ten years, since it's made of handkerchief-weight linen, which is now starting to wear holes at some seams. Although it's starting to wear thin in the fabric, it's actually mostly intact. I've had to repair and alter it a few times - the different-colored gores and guards I put on it to honor my foster father, the patches where the sleeves started to shred in the wash, etc. Well, I pulled it out today, and put it on, and was startled to find that it no longer fits as it used to! I've added some curves here and there, but as recently as maybe a year ago it was loose in all those places still..
Well, I don't mind a few womanly curves here and there, and my husband sure doesn't, either. ;p So, I'm taking this as an opportunity to do some refurbishing I've been dreaming about for some time now. I've already taken off the sleeves and the band of black around the neck. My current plan is to drop the neckline a couple of inches (it was always maybe a bit too modest) and add new, shorter sleeves.. same weight linen, but yet another different color, probably navy (because that's the color of the scraps I saw while I was tooling around in those bits earlier). So the gown will end up faded orange (the original color), with faded black gores and new dark navy sleeves. I'm ok with that. It's meant to be comfortable, not fancy!
Monday, May 21, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Favorite snack is harder, because most of the things I like to snack on are either dusted with flavoring powder, or sticky, and therefore don't mix well with knitting. In general, my favorite snack is K.C. Masterpiece Lay's, but I also like more snooty chips.. such as the Cheddar Beer Kettle chips I have out as I type (which do not, by the way, go with Jamba Juice very well. *sigh*).
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I started the first one, and then decided I didn't like how the gauge was working out (as mentioned in previous posts, I'm experimenting with using 0s instead of 1s, and liking the fabric better overall), so I frogged what I had and restarted.
Version 1 was made with a provisional caston and short row toe; I didn't like it, because I split a lot of the initial stitches when I took out the crochet. In the meantime, the latest IK came to my mailbox, with a lovely article on toe-up socks. Ok, I thought, let's try the Eastern cast-on illustrated there, you've been wanting to try that for a couple years.
Now, one of the common reasons people state for preferring knitting socks toe-up is that that way they don't have to graft the toe. Evidently many knitters view grafting (or Kitchener stitch) much the way I view dentists: something to be avoided as much as humanly possible. Personally, I find it a interesting technical detail requiring attention, but I have a soothing rhythm that gets me through it quite happily - when I choose to graft my toes. As often as not, I simply run the end of my yarn through the final stitches a couple times, and then weave the end in.
Version 2 of my Monk Socks started with the aforementioned Eastern caston. I quickly noticed not only that I probably shouldn't have done it the first time in dim light and with black yarn, but also that it's more or less reverse Kitchener: in other words, you build the sock up from the squiggle of yarn that holds the ends shut when knitted from the top down. It was a huge pain in the *$$! I found it vastly more work to knit that little squiggle and slowly increase it to something resembling a toe than I have ever found it to graft, even in the days when I had to find the directions in my battered copy of Knitting Without Tears ever single time.
To make things even more exciting, naturally, since I didn't cast on at the top edge, I'll have to cast off there - and activity I dislike even more than making short rows!
It's a good thing I love my friend, or I'd be frogging again and working sensibly from the top down. ^_^
The Rules are:
1: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 7 random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag 7 people and include their names.
4: Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Seven Random Things:
1. I love candles - but mostly unscented ones, since most artificial scents make me sick.
2. Like Peggy, I want to become a midwife. (at least, I think I do...)
3. My favorite reading is Young Adult Fantasy - well, certain authors. And I collect them near-obsessively.
4. I don't think I can crochet worth beans, but I pick it up every now and then so I can make lace (like, Irish Crochet. You know, the really complicated stuff...).
5. I love fresh air, to the point that I have to have open windows even in the coldest part of winter - but I hate being cold, so I'll crank the heaters to compensate.
6. I saw the first Star Wars movie (the first one, not Episode I), when it first opened, at the tender age of 3 months.
7. Before I 'became a knitter', I always took a book with me when I went somewhere. Now I take both a book and my knitting - even to the knitting guild!
That was pretty tough. As I mentioned above, I'm not tagging anyone for this, since there's about only my brother I'd feel comfortable with, and he's not a knitter. So this meme won't spread further from me!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Super Sox Box Swap Questionnaire:
What are your favorite colors? What colors make you cringe? Well, I tend to prefer blues, greens, purples and the like, but I sometimes find myself drawn to wierd oranges and even pinks sometimes, which then knit up into some of my favorite socks. So it all depends. If it's right, it's right!
Are you a new sock knitter? how long have you been knitting socks? I've been knitting socks since Stitches West '03, so a little over 4 years now.
Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I usually prefer multicolored yarns, so that I don't get bored with what I'm seeing, but my current WIP, which I've ripped completely 3 times now, is a solid sort of slate blue (KnitPicks Gloss in Dusk), and I'm not bored with the color yet.. so again, it depends on the individual yarn and its color.
What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? Wool. Merino, preferably. And I've noticed that I'm coming to detest nylon/wool or nylon/cotton/wool blends.
Where do you usually knit socks? Anywhere I have time, space, and light, from sitting at my computer to riding the bus to car trips to dinner at my in-law's. I find movies don't work, because I can't see my stitches!
Where do you usually carry/store small projects? When I was in grad school, I put my knitting (and tools) into a nifty project envelope I found at a stationery store, and put that into my backpack. Now I put the envelope into a bright red shoulder bag, which also often carries larger projects as well.
What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? Any favorite designers? The sock I've made the very most is the Waving Lace sock from an IK (I could look it up, but...). I've also made the Country Socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks prolly half a dozen times. I really like Nancy Bush. I don't always like her designs, but I want to own all of her sock books. I also want to meet a new favorite sock designer - I like the look of Cookie A.'s work, but my budget is too small to really look at her very seriously right now.
What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? Uh.. knit? Well, more seriously, I just recently learned how to make an eye of partridge heel, and I'm totally in love with it. I'm way more of a top-down person, although I do have a toe-up pair on the needles, because I figure I should learn it before I knock it! I love making lace socks, and I love tall socks (always hard, because I'm long and have long feet, and the skeins you can buy never have enough to make them...). I prefer patterns that involve ribbing of some sort.
What techniques would you like to try? Well, I loved the way Eunny's entrelac socks in the Spring 07 IK looked.. especially since I've been wanting to learn entrelac for some time, but have never been able to justify the yarn expense (cuz you have to do something with the learning piece!). I guess I'm more inerested in different patterns with techniques I know well, than in trying something different.
Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? Both socks on the needles right now are on circs.. but that was because my favorite dpns were involved in something else when I cast on (and I don't have enough size 0 dpns any more for one of the projects!). I'm equally comfortable with 2 circs or 4-5 dpns.
What are some of your favorite yarns? My favoritest yarn I've worked with is Koigu. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn was interesting; I'm not happy about how the nylon is wearing, but I'd like to do more with it.
What yarn do you adore and yearn for? I'd absolutely LOVE to try STR!
Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Um.. I'd have to go cruising. I'd love to feel free to go browse Cookie A.'s collection; the few things of hers I've looked at are amazing!
Favorite kinds of needles? (brand, materials, straights, circs, etc.) The circs I use are 16" Addi Turbos (sizes 0 and 1). My favoritest dpns are Brittany in birch, the short ones that look like toothpicks (and break like them, too!). I have those in size 1; I don't know if they make 0s, that might be too small for the wood! I don't like metal dpns, I find them too heavy for the fabric, usually.
If you were a sepcific kind of yarn, what would you be? Oh, gosh, I don't know.. I don't think I've met enough yarns! Something snuggly and warm, probably a merino blended with alpaca or silk or something similarly pretty, but refined, not a bulky. I couldn't really name a particular yarn.
Do you have a favorite mail-able candy or snack? Sweet or salty? My favorite cracker is White Parmesan Cheez-its, which I don't get very often.
Do you collect anything? um... orts? stray scraps of paper? dust? Books, actually, I have a pretty decent library of my favorite sf authors, knitting references, and costuming references (one of my other geeks being the making and wearing of historical costumes).
What is your favorite scent? Lavender. But in pure, as essential oil, not artificially, and not usually mixed with anything. If it's a choice between an artificial or mixed lavender or nothing, I'll go for nothing!
Will you be celebrating a birthday, anniversary, etc. between now and the close of the swap? No.
What is your favorite animal? Real animal? Cats. Fantasy animal? Dragon.
Do you have pets? What are their names/species/ages? We have two cats: the elder (at about 6 years) is named Eevie; she's fat, white-and-black, and long-haired. The younger (just a year) is named Peppar, and is shorthaired and black.
Tell me the best quote you've ever heard or read. Ask me an easy one why don't you? I have half an MA in Lit, I've read so much... I think one of the few that consistently stays with me is Churchill's "The only thing we need fear is fear itself." I could dig up some others.. Eleanor Roosevelt, Oscar Wilde, etc., but the Churchill comes to me immediately. Edit: I was just reading Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery, and the instant I read, "Truly caring for people cannot be a part time job," I made it my email sig, because that's my life.
What is your motto in life? Somewhere between "Life is good" and "One damn thing after another." I'm not much on one-liners; I think too much.
Do you have a wishlist? (Amazon, LYS, etc.) No, but I could make one if my buddy wants to see one!
Anything else you wish to share? Nothing I can think of off-hand; ask me!
Allergies? Nothing relevant to this, although I am sensitive to cigar and cigarette smoke.
Coffee? Tea? Tea! I like Earl Grey and Constant Comment. My auntie gave me this yummy French tea with flowers in it once...
Monday, May 07, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I'm really looking forward to begin praticing for real, even though I'm pretty apprehensive about that part where I've never actually had any labor or delivery experience of any kind. I was realizing late this afternoon that actually, being a doula is right perfect for the service part of my faith (as much as I actually follow any particular specific path): Starhawk's ideas (which have influenced me as much as anything) more or less require some sort of service to the planet/world community. She does hers through protests and the like, but although I have strong opinions about many issues, I'm not the protesting type. This to me seems a sort of service much more in line with my own ideals; it's practical, it's zomg useful, and it's actually, more or less quietly, pretty radical and society-rocking. And woman-centered!
One of the other women at the workshop told me tonight, as we were all beginning to part, that she loved the idea that I was openly, shamelessly spiritual in a non-Christian way. She said somethings about how if you're not Christian, you're sort of not allowed to be spiritual, and that she found it pretty liberating that I am. I've never found that, but I come from a much different place, one where I was encouraged to make my spirituality where I found it, and I have never pretended to be what I am not in this regard, never been in the "broom closet". I'm not always blatant about it, either, if the situation would make that bad, but I don't deny it. I hope that I can be of use to the Pagan community hereabouts, as some of the other ladies at the workshop intend to have a Christian focus for their work.
I discovered at some point today that I made a booboo on my Argosy. I'll have to rip pretty far back... but that's probably ok.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
However, labor roleplay and massage practice don't leave nearly as much time for sock knitting as lecture does, so I didn't get as much done on my current sock today as I'd hoped; I'm only partway down the heel flap. :( On the other hand, my knitting has brought up comments about knitting in particular as well as other activities to do while passing time during a labor. *And* a couple of my fellows were asking about learning... including one who asked about knitting socks! The infection spreads... *maniacal laughter*
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Today's going to be a day of doing housework and prepping for my doula workshop that's occupying the next 4 days. I'd really rather not go into it with laundry, dishes, vacuuming, or unfnished socks hanging over my head, so I'm feeling ambitious (for me) and going to attempt to do all those things. Ok, the sock just needs its ends woven in. ^^; I really don't want to leave piles of dirty dishes hanging over our heads tho, and they are beginning to accumulate! I hate that.
My copies of Knitting Rules! and The Yarn Harlot Casts Off! arrived yesterday, and along with much laughter and actually a couple of tears I found a solution to a sock woe that has slowly been making myself noticable. My standard recipe fits just fine when I put them on, and then slowly loosens with wear, so that the socks start flipping around on my feet. I didn't even realize this was an issue until I made a pair that didn't! Steph remarks that this is a gauge issue, and recommends going down a needle size or two. I'm leery that this will make it hard to pull the socks on over my heels (I reeeeelly hate that!), but I ripped out a sock I had started, and am restarting it on 0s instead of 1s. Do I indeed have remarkably slender feet? I never thought so, but maybe I do. I'll have to report back about how the smaller gauge sock fits.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I've really gotten turned on to scarves recently as accessories. I spend a lot of time being just a little bit chillier than I'd really like, especially when I'm not at home (and so can't turn the heat up to my preferred sub-tropical!), and scarves help add just a little extra layer of warmth. Once I put them on, I rarely notice them, they're so comfy! So, making another in a colorway I don't have one in is semi-dorky, but practical.
That same reasoning goes for the Argosy I'm planning to make during the doula workshop... I'm not obsessed! I swear! Just chilly around the edges.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
On other fronts, I have been inspired by Norma yet again, this time in the realm of socks. I may someday posess the blog skillz to add the Magic 28 button to this page, but until then this link will have to do.
Edit: I decided to actually look around at the tools provided to me, and not only did I join the webring successfully, but I also added it to my page! whee! I r 1337!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Finished the sweater: it's yummy and warm and I need to reblock the ribbing with steam.*grumbles* href="http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTargosy.html">Argosy... which is naturally lovely and yummy and warm, as well. I can't let myself wear it with the sweater of the same yarn, tho... too much lavender. *cry* I guess I need to make another in a different color... *plots*
Now I'm working on a Shedir (if you want a pattern, go to Knitty and look it up) and a Baby Surprise Jacket and a pair of Nancy Bush twisted rib socks... among other things. Like housework. And using the God-gun on the cats. And my Netflix queue... And (emboldened by Norma's comments this evening) getting back to nursing my spiritual side.
I'm really looking forward to my Doula workshop later this month. It's a huge change for me, completely different from the academic career I'd always imagined for myself, but I think it'll be a good one, especially if I am able to pursue it all the way to my far-off misty vision of becoming a nurse-midwife.
Monday, February 26, 2007
It has been a couple of weeks.. a little has happened.
Still working on those socks - not finished with #1 yet. I still really like the pattern, but it is hard on my hands, being a tight gauge on smaller needles than I usually use for socks.
I finished the body of the sweater I"m making last night. I'm basing it off the one shown here, the Sienna Cardigan in IK's Fall '06 issue. Since I naturally don't have access to the exact yarn and needles, I'm using size 8s and KnitPick's Merino Style, rather than #9s and the Blue Sky Alpaca whatever the pattern calls for. Someday I'd like to make it again in the exact yarn, but that'll be a while, since my yarn budget is slender and KnitPicks is vastly closer to my reach than Blue Sky Alpaca is. Adapting the pattern for a different gauge is.. interesting, but a valuable lesson, and I'm glad I'm doing it. I think the biggest change I'm making, other than yarn and gauge (and making the body in one piece, because why sew more seams than you have to?), is that I'm doing the sleeves differently - I can't stand not to be able to push my sleeves up, and I wouldn't be able to do that with the original design. So rather than a neat hem-thing, I'm going to do ribbing to echo the ribbing on the body.
The single biggest thing in my life in the last couple weeks is that I cut my hair! I went from waist-length hair to an earlobe-length bob; I think I'll try and stay this length for a while, or maybe play around a little with styles around this length, for a number of reasons. Among those, in no particular order: it's easier to care for, Josh likes short hair, and I gather short hair is easier around babies (and we're more or less trying to get pregnant). I plan to donate the tail to Locks of Love; I'm just waiting for payday to afford the shipping!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Back at Christmas, Mom got me skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn for a pair of socks for both me and Josh. I had never worked with this yarn before, and it took a little figuring out as to what it did best. Josh's socks I immediately cast on, and did a variation on a lace pattern I've been making socks in for about 3 years now - the variation looks great, I'll post pics when I can, but I dont ever want to do it again!
Meanwhile, I've been casting about looking for a new pattern to do with the yarn for my socks. The trouble with my yarn is that it's not two skeins of the same colorway, it's two skeins of different but related color/colorway. One is a lucious purple, with slight color variations, but fairly solid. I love it! The other is a purple/green colorway that I find I don't quite like as much knitted up as I did in the skein - don't you just hate it when that happens? Anyway, I've been trying to work out how to incoporate these two yarns in a pair of socks.. and I eventually decided to make them parti-colored - greenurple socks with purple cuff, heel, and toe, and purple socks with greenurple cuff, heel and toe. Next problem was the pattern!
I eventually decided to try one of the patterns from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, and it worked ok... until I saw Annypurl's version of Grumperina's variation on Hello Yarn's Cable Twist Socks. *whew* Anyway, just got them started, looking forward to finishing them!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Sewing has been at a standstill for months. I haven't touched the Elizabethan project since last spring. Some of that is because getting married is very distracting. Some of that is because I have lost interest in the project, at least for now. I have a Gothic Fitted Dress (a la Robin Netherton) in pieces around the living room, but again, I haven't touched it in a couple of months - it might be closer to completion if I'd been sewing the basic seams by machine, but by hand makes for easy discouragement.
What's really distracting me from my sewing is the amount of knitting I've been doing, at least theoretically. Socks as fast as I can get yarn, hobo mittens for Dear Darling Husband, toddler things for my friend's daughter; I even have a couple of sweaters on the needles - one is Annie Modesitt's Short Row Sweater from Stitch 'n Bitch, made this time in baby alpaca lace weight, and again not using the published sleeve patterns, and the other is the Shapely Tank from White Lies Designs. I'm also playing with the Sienna Cardigan from the Fall 06 KI, trying desperately to make my yarn and gauge fit the pattern.. I think I'm close, but I didn't buy quite enough yarn and I think it will be a bit of a struggle. But I'm finishing the Short Row alpaca first.
One hindrance to my blogging is that my digital camera died last September (I think the gay wedding we were at at the time blew its awesome circuits), and we haven't been able to afford a replacement. So I can't show pretty pictures of what I'm doing right now very easily. But I've been reading a fair number of knitting blogs this last month or so, and it's been quite an inspiration, not only to pick up my needles, but also to try blogging again myself.