31 December 2006

tagged by Lucky Charmz

A-B-C Tag!

A - Available? happy with my man

B - Best friend? Kresie

C - Cake or pie DEATH? Um... cake, please.

D - Drink of choice? juice

E - Essential item you use everyday: medication

F - Favorite color? sometimes sage, others crimson, it all depends on my mood

G - Gummy bears or worms? worms don't have feet to nibble on, silly

H - Hometown? settled in 1633

I - Indulgence? Noro ;)

J - January or February? for 2007: February

K - Kids & names? no human kids yet, sadly, but three furry babies: Sassafrass, Hendree, and Witch Hazel

L - Life is incomplete without: yarn and dogs

M - Marriage date: hopefully before I'm 30... it would be nice to be settled

N - Number of siblings: one is more than enough

O - Oranges or apples? apples make pie

P - Phobias or fears? injections

Q - Fave quote: "Do you have a flag?"

R - Reasons to smile: phone call last night

S - Season: Autumn

T - Tag 3 or 4 people: I'll pass. Do it if you want to. :)

U - Unknown fact about me: Well if I told you, it wouldn't be unknown, now would it?

V- Vegetable you don't like: lima beans

W - Worst habit: so many habits... don't know which one is worst

X - Xrays: teeth, stomach, right hand, right collarbone

Y - Your fave food: Mom's "Bombay salad"

Z- Zodiac sign: fishy

25 December 2006

Potato of Love

In French, "chou" means "cabbage." "Chouchou" means "sweetheart." How that little bit of linguistic evolution came about, I'm not sure, but I laugh every time I hear "chouchou," because it translates in my head as "little cabbage." When David started calling me "ma chouchou," I started replying, "hey, who you callin' 'cabbage?'" After a while, he decided to find another pet name.

"Haricot vert?" (green bean) "Pois?" (pea) "Artichaut?" (artichoke) "Ooh! Pomme de terre!" (potato)

I guess I laughed hardest at that last one, so it was settled: I am his pomme de terre d'amour... his Potato of Love. I never would have thought being named after a tuber could be romantic, but I like it. In honor of the name, I pulled out a crochet hook and whipped up this cotton version for him.

potato of love

In case you were wondering, it's really freakin' hard to crochet a Potato of Love from scratch. This is version 5, I think. The eyes were the most difficult.


It's stuffed with a layer of fiberfill around the edge and Poly Pellets in the middle to give it some weight. The yarn is Sugar-N-Cream cotton.

Now I crave potato salad. Hmm.

21 December 2006

Love For the Linux Geek

A week or two after Rhinebeck, my computer turned against me. I had been dual-booting WinXP and Ubuntu off different drives, decided to reformat the Windows drive so each OS could have its own partition on it, and that's when things went terribly, horribly wrong. Tears were shed, curses were uttered, and through it all, David was a beacon of sanity. (He probably just spit coffee all over his keyboard at that.) In thanks, and because it looked so darned cute, I knit Knitty's "Pasha" for him.


I don't remember what the black yarn is. I got it several years ago for the purpose of darning my then-favorite pair of toe socks. The white is Plymouth Encore D.K. and the orange is Shepherd Baby Wool 4 Ply. Pasha (or Evisceron the Harbinger of DOOM, as I believe he's now called) was knit on US#1 needles, and gosh darn it, I want to see if I can knit the next one in the round in as few pieces as possible, because seaming the little beast was a lot of work.


Linux. It's a good thing.

19 December 2006


Sunflowerfairy made my hat! Yay!

Real post later. Hopefully.

18 December 2006

Devil Went Down To Texas

I can finally post about one of the gifts I sent out!

devil hat

This is one of the Hanukkah gifts I made for my dear David. It's my own design, made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease. The horns have short-row shaping and poly-fill stuffing. Maybe, if we're very lucky, he'll post a picture of him wearing it. ;)

14 December 2006

Foot Foliage

Falling Leaves sock progress

I'm nearly finished with the first Falling Leaves sock. I'm still loving it, and I hope that love will continue until I've finished the second sock. I think once that's finished, I'll either frog my alpaca sock and try something lacey with it, or I'll use some of my Rhinebeck stash to try my hand at mittens or gloves. Opinions?

11 December 2006

Falling Leaves, Baking Plastic

The holiday gifts are almost finished, but I can't post pics of them until after the recipients have opened them, so I'll show you a few other things I've been playing with. I started Knitty's Falling Leaves socks last night, and I'm enjoying them. They're my first patterned socks and my first lace anything, so it's really fun to watch them grow. I'm using Patons KroySocks in "Winter Eclipse" on US#1 DPNs.

Falling Leaves sock

Purty, huh? I love the yarn and the pattern... I think these are going to be my favorite pair of socks for a while.

I've also been playing with ShrinkyDinks a lot lately. I have no stitch markers, and I've gotten sick of using hair elastics, so I made these to fill the void. All but Shaun are still waiting on large split rings so they fit on needles larger than size 3.

ShrinkyDink stitch markers

I just made another set a few nights ago after being inspired by the first Shaun the Sheep marker. He's so darned cute that I found a bunch of screencaps of him, traced them, and baked up seven more markers. They're waiting on split rings (split rings at Michael's: utterly useless), which are waiting on cash, which is waiting on a band teacher in Sabinal, Texas to buy my bassoon. Tangential, eh? Here's the new Shaun-y goodness:

Shaun the Sheep stitch markers

There may be more Wallace & Gromit characters coming soon. If I can trace Gromit knitting, that'll be the next one.

06 December 2006

Rock On

A while back, Bernat gave away balls of its Disco yarn, and I got one in a bright turquoise ("Aqua Velvet"). After sitting in my stash for a few days, it told me what it wanted to be: a mohawk. I found a soft, black, acrylic blend to go with it, and three or four tries later, ended up with a mohawk hat I liked.

mohawk hat at completion

I wore this hat a lot. It was my everyday hat all last winter. It went through snow and rain, got shoved into and yanked out of pockets, and all that wear and tear took its toll. It now looks like this:

mohawk hat after long term use

Compare the fluffiness of the Disco in the two pics. It's a fun yarn, and nicer to work with than a lot of novelty yarns, but it just doesn't handle the elements very well. Not that it should, I suppose, but I think a yarn that's essentially plastic should be able to handle a little water and friction better than it has.

I think it's time to make a new mohawk hat with some other novelty yarns I have kicking around. After I finish holiday gifts. Yes. After. *ahem*

01 December 2006

Happy Hooker

For most projects I prefer knitting to crocheting. Knitting has more flexibility and, to my eyes, looks much nicer. There are some projects, though, that demand to be worked with a hook. Here are three such projects:

fan choker

diamond choker

cross choker

These were all made with DMC Senso wool/cotton blend and my ivory hook, which is a hair smaller than a US size F. All three patterns are out of 220 more Crochet Stitches from The Harmony Guides.

I've been knitting, but it's mostly swatches for various projects, some of which must remain secret until after the holidays. I'm also trying to find a good lace shawl pattern that only takes about 600 yards of DK-weight yarn... any suggestions? I may end up designing my own pattern, but if there's a nice one out there that saves me the trouble, I'd love to know about it.

28 November 2006

Diamond Done

How about that... my crappy little webcam captures the texture of this hat better than my sister's fancy digital camera.

teal diamond hat

I had some trouble coming up with a nice-looking way to decrease for the crown, and had to frog back a few times, but the method I settled on looks pretty cool, I think.

teal diamond hat

Now to weave in the ends. If I didn't want to wear this tomorrow, I'd delegate the task to my apprentice. That's what apprentices are for, after all. Hmm.

Teal Diamond

Stockinette hats are great mindless knitting. They're also boring as heck. After my sixth one in a few weeks, I needed a break. I cast on for a new hat that uses a stitch pattern from an edition of Time-Life's Book of Needlecraft so old that its cover is bright orange corduroy. Gotta love the '70s.

teal diamond hat

It's really difficult to get a good photograph of this hat. The stitch pattern that seems so obvious to the naked eye goes into hiding when the camera comes out. Maybe when it's finished I can do some outdoor pics that'll show the design better. The yarn is more Wool-Ease, a gift from my super-cool friends Melissa and Amanda.

26 November 2006

Everything In Its Place

I finally got around to organizing my stash. In the process I discovered that it's a lot smaller than I thought it was. It also contains a whole lot more acrylic than it should. Bad acrylic. Red Heart SuperSaver acrylic. Eww.

Oh well. At least I have my beautiful Rhinebeck spoils to balance it out. So, here's my bagged and organized collection of yarn.


See? Not nearly enough yarn.

On top of the stereo cabinet are my blocking board and a new project that I'll post about soon. The turntable is spinning Blood, Sweat & Tears tonight, and has seen the likes of Three Dog Night, Ella Fitzgerald, Walter Murphy, and the Boston Pops in the last three or four days.*

Also to be posted about in the near future: crochet! I've been making pretty chokers with that Senso my ex bought for me a while back and a beautiful ivory hook I inherited from someoneorother. Stay tuned!

* Speaking of records, I ended up with two copies of Jesus Christ Superstar somewhere along the way... anybody want one? Slightly scratchy, but hey, it's free. I'll even pay for shipping.

24 November 2006

Everyone's Doing It!

You know the rules: one-word answers, no explanations.

1. Yourself: strange
2. Your significant other: creative
3. Your hair: long
4. Your mother: hermit
5. Your father: spineless
6. Your favorite item: BittyBox
7. Your dream last night: sexy
8. Your favorite drink: cocoa
9. Your dream car: classic
10. The room you are in: mine
11. Your ex: many
12. Your fear: loss
13. What you want to be in 10 years? happy
14. Who you hung out with last night? friends
15. What you're not? normal
16. Muffins: cranberry
17. One of your wish list items: yarn!
18. Time: flying
19. The last thing you did: dressed
20. What you are wearing: cotton
21. Your favorite weather: chilly
22. Your favorite book: Narnia
23. The last thing you ate: wheat
24. Your life: journey
25. Your mood: relaxed
26. Your best friend: Floridian
27. What are you thinking about right now? Texas
28. Your car: Dabu'di
29. What are you doing at the moment? typing
30. Your summer: quick
31. Your relationship status: happy
32. What is on your TV? nothing
33. What is the weather like? brrr
34. When is the last time you laughed? dinner

Bonus Quote of Yesterday: "But I don't want to play Uno! I want to knit!" -My 10-year-old male protégé

21 November 2006

More Pics Than You Can Shake A Dead Muppet At

The Dead Muppet bag is finished! And it's nowhere near what I wanted it to be! Maybe if I keep using exclamation points I'll actually start to like this thing!

Here's what it looked like before I threw it in the washing machine:


My Lopi bag had reduced evenly both length- and width-wise, so I assumed the Cascade would do the same. Turns out, not so much.


It's okay to laugh. Really. I did. A lot. Now, while the tape measure is there to give you an idea of the bag's size, let me make the scale even clearer.

dear gods, it's terrible

I discovered that it makes a great sling!


This is the way I'll probably wear it, if I wear it. I'm going to see if I can stretch the strap a bit so it'll sit a little lower.

how to wear a dead muppet

It's actually kind of neat... the stuff I don't need every five minutes can sit in back while the important things ride in front. Maybe I don't need to use all of those exclamation points after all!

Oh bother.

17 November 2006

Greenery Pattern

Okay, folks. It's all yours. You're my proofreaders, my beta testers, my guinea pigs. If there's something wrong, let me know. Sis will be home next week with her camera, so I'll add pictures then.

The Greenery Hat (free Ravelry download)

[Now includes two pretty pictures!]

[April 19th 2007: I've created a Flickr group so y'all can post your Greenery Hat pictures!]


The Greenery Hat pattern is finished!

Sort of.

After being stuck on part of it for a few days, I finally remembered what I'd done, so the pattern is complete. It's just in a very skeletal format right now. I'll polish it up tonight and post it tomorrow. If I'm really lucky, my sis will come home tonight and I'll be able to get some better pictures.

Sorry it's taken so long. For the next fun project I do, I'll take notes along the way.

13 November 2006

What To Do With Scrap Yarn

Four stockinette gift hats are finished except for weaving in the ends, and I haven't worked on anything else lately, so here's another old FO. It's not exactly exciting, but I think it's pretty.

red and green fair isle headband

I don't remember what the yarn is... it might be Plymouth Encore, but I'm not sure. I had a little left over after making gift socks last year, and this headband used it up with just a few inches to spare. I love it when that happens.

It's just a strip 5" wide by 20"-ish long, mattress-stitched into a tube and clumsily stitched closed at the ends (this was before I learned the beauty of the Kitchner stitch). My tension for the mattress stitch was too tight, so it leaves a stripe across my forehead, but it's warm and otherwise comfortable.

12 November 2006

Daddy, Can I Have A Pony?

At Rhinebeck, it was common to see people walking, talking, and knitting at the same time. At the Equine Affaire yesterday, I was stopped at least four times by people who were amazed that I could walk, talk, and look at the horses while working on one of my stockinette caps. Most of them were knitters, too... not Knitters like there were at Rhinebeck, but people who made novelty-yarn scarves once in a while. The most common comment was, "wow, you must be really good at that if you don't have to look at it while you work." I shouldn't have been surprised, I guess, but with Rhinebeck still being clear in my memory, the Affaire felt like an extension of it. I caught myself looking at people's sweaters, checking out the (machine-made) intarsia caps being sold, and wondering if there would be any vendors with nice yarn. I grinned when I noticed that a woman in front of me was wearing a vest with a Jacob sheep embroidered on the back. She, I thought to myself, she is one of my people.

In the eight-ish hours we were walking around before the big show, I finished one cap and got to the third or fourth decrease row on the second. I would have finished it during the show, but I can't count stitches in the dark, especially not while being distracted by amazing examples of horsemanship. Really amazing examples of horsemanship. Did I mention they were amazing? There was the slapstick comedian who had obviously put years into training his horse to "throw" him around the arena. There was the Olympic dressage rider whose flying lead changes were flawless. There was the woman who did some fantastic reining... without reins. To end the night, there was Clay Maier with his Fresians. I'd heard a little about long reining years ago when I rode regularly, but I had no idea that it could be so impressive. Doing dressage on the horse you're riding is difficult enough. Doing it on the horse you're riding and the horse in front of you at the same time... wow. Just wow.

So yesterday was a good day, both for knitting and for everything equestrian. Now it's time to go play video games.

09 November 2006

And When I Return, I Shall Come Back

I apologize for the dearth of posts lately. I've been having some serious and frustrating computer issues from which I'm just beginning to recover. A lot of files, including a bunch of pictures I took before sis reclaimed her camera, are still inaccessible, so there will be text-only posts for a while.

Thank you so much for your interest in the Greenery hat. I'm working on a pattern, I promise. Some of the cabling happens across the end of one row and the beginning of the next, and I'm still trying to figure out how to write that in a coherent way. It should be ready sometime in the next week.

I've been churning out simple stockinette hats during my lunch breaks and after school, finishing one every two or three days. I've gotten really good at hand-winding center-pull balls, which is a necessity given my lack of a ball-winder. Speaking of which, I put one (and a few other knitterly-type things) on my Amazon wish list, because I'm a gift whore. *wink*

School is going really well. I need to study for my theory tests a bit more, but I'm third in the class in the shop. We've finished gas welding and have moved onto arc welding, which is a little bit scary and requires a bit more finesse than gas welding does. It's scary because I'm essentially holding a jumper cable in one hand and running a current through a rod that creates an arc of electricity to the plate I'm welding, melting the rod and the plate together. Playing with electricity is fun!

Okay, I do have one (year-old) picture to show you, since I've been on a hat kick lately. The yarn was probably Wool-Ease (I love that stuff) and it was probably done on US#8 needles (or maybe 6s). The subtle knit-and-purl argyle pattern is from Lesley Stanfield's The New Knitting Stitch Library (p.40, #57).

argyle-textured hat

He usually flips up the ribbing so he can, y'know, see and stuff.

On another topic, are any of the locals going to the Equine Affaire at the Big E on Saturday? I'll be there, same bright pink vest, knitting out of my Lopi bag. Feel free to drag me away from the people I'll be with.

03 November 2006

Furry Beasties

No knitting content today, I'm afraid. I've been working on a new hat that I'll post about soon, and I'm trying to write a pattern for the Greenery hat, but today I'm exhausted from school, so you get to meet some of the furry creatures who live here.


This is Hendree, my sister's cat. This cat is insane, and extremely intelligent. She was a stray my sister found on campus a while back. After a week of watching the cat eat out of garbage cans, sis caught her and brought her home. After half an hour, Dad, who had been very strict about his "no more furry pets" rule, started saying, "well, she's a sweet cat... maybe we don't need to bring her to the Humane Society." There will be a video of her antics on YouTube as soon as I pester the person who's going to upload it for me.


Y'all remember Sassafrass, right? She saw me taking pics of the cat and wanted to examine the camera. Surprisingly, the flash didn't seem to bother her. She's nine years old, seven of which have been spent with me, and she's a retired racer. She loves snow, chasing bunnies and 'possums, and meeting new humans. Other dogs either scare her or get ignored, except for the greyhounds.

We have another cat, Witch Hazel ("Haze" or "Marble"), but she doesn't like to be photographed. We call her marble because she's a bit on the heavy side (runt of the litter, eats like an alpha), and when she sits down she looks like a marble with a head and a tail.

Time to think about sleep now. G'night, all.

30 October 2006

Dead Muppet Purse

Those of you who saw me at Rhinebeck may have seen me working on this bright, happy, fuzzy thing that looked like bits of a dead muppet.

Rhinebeck knitting

I'm happy to report that no muppets were harmed in the making of this project. There was that one a few years ago, but... I digress.

This project began for two reasons:

- A friend gave me a ball of Classic Elite "Phoenix" in "Pink Plume".

- I got tired of looking at the hoodie sleeve sitting around doing nothing, with the better part of two balls of Cascade 220 in that beautiful green unused.

Now, both yarns have a purpose. They're... this thing! So far it's just a big, striped rectangle, but I'm pretty sure it's decided to be a purse. A felted purse. I think. Maybe.

I may be creative, but I'm not terribly decisive sometimes.

dead muppet

I'm hoping that when it felts, the green stripes, being just the Cascade, will felt a little tighter than the pink stripes, which are the Cascade and the Phoenix held together, and it'll give the piece a neat ribbed effect. Whatever happens, it'll be bright and happy, which is exactly what I need now that the sun is setting before I get out of school.

Everybody have their candy ready for the little ones tomorrow?

28 October 2006


Sweet jumping jellybeans! I finished not one, but two projects today! Without knitting in the shower!

Acrylicky is finished!

I'm so happy to be finished with these socks. I hate the yarn, and I'm tempted to take the rest of the ball (see it there on the left?) and just pitch it, but my packrat upbringing won't let me do that. Maybe I'll knit cat toys with it or something.

Greenery is also finished!

The greenery hat is also finished, and now I have to decide who it's for. I'm thinking maybe one of my uncles, but it might end up under someone else's tree. I'll figure it out sometime before it needs to be wrapped. I hope.

Hooray, productivity! Coming soon: the brightly-colored, slightly fuzzy thing I was working on at Rhinebeck.

Mental Quote of the Day:

I'm sitting at my desk, working on the Acrylicky sock. I check the time, realize I need to jump in the shower soon, and think, how am I going to knit and lather myself up at the same time?


27 October 2006

meme en même temps

Gazing at the horde of knitbloggers at Rhinebeck made me realize that I don't read nearly enough knitblogs. Over the course of this week I've found a bunch that I like, so I've expanded the list o' links over on the sidebar. If you don't already read these blogs, go read them now. Yes, now. I'll be here when you get back. Don't forget to pack a lunch!

I can't seeee you!
Puppy says:
Please, Mommy, not another meme!

Sorry, puppy. This meme has popped up on a bunch of knitblogs, so I figured I'd join in the fun. I've deleted a few questions because they only apply if the meme is transmitted via email.

1. FIRST NAME? I go by Lilith.
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, I was given the name because of my resemblance to Frasier's wife on "Cheers" when I was in junior high.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Saturday night
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? This question makes my brain hurt. Would I be friends with someone like me? Probably not. I'd get annoyed by my quirks.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Paper or plastic?
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, as far as I know.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Right now it's Shaw's brand vanilla cream mini-wheats. Sugary goodness.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I lugged five-foot-tall oxygen cannisters around for the better part of an hour Thursday afternoon. You have to be strong to do that. (Yes, I'm dodging the emotional side of the question.)
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Ben & Jerry's "American Pie"
14. SHOE SIZE? women's 8-9.5, men's 7
15. RED OR PINK? red
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Seth. He was too young to die, but at least he was in my arms when it happened.
19. LAST THING YOU ATE? BBQ style meatloaf at Friendly's
20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? I'm listening to the theme song from "I Dream of Jeannie" in hopes of finding inspiration to write a parody.
22. FAVORITE SMELL? wood smoke
24. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Sometimes I notice the eyes, sometimes the smile, but usually it's general body language.
25. FAVORITE DRINK? hot chocolate
26. FAVORITE SPORT? rugby (which American television never freakin' shows... grr)
27. EYE COLOR? dark brown
28. HAT SIZE? My riding helmet is 7 1/8.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? The only contacts I have white-out my irises, so I only wear them when I want to freak people out.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? This really depends on my mood. Some days it's mac-n-cheese, others it's venison sausage, today it's pumpkin bread.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I have to peer over my glasses at scary movies so I won't have nightmares (because everything is blurry over my glasses)... so I much prefer happy endings.
32. SUMMER OR WINTER? winter
33. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs
34. FAVORITE DESSERT? strawberries with real (not canned) whipped cream
35. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Ethical Slut is the only thing on my reading list right now, but I think I'm going to pick up The Salmon of Doubt again soon.
36. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have a mouse pad. My mouse doesn't need padding. It's not one of those pansy American football players.
37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? CSI: Miami... (PTA moms are freakin' scary)
38. FAVORITE SOUNDS? my cats purring, my lovers' heartbeats, the rustling of leaves as I walk through them at this time of year
40. THE FURTHEST YOU’VE BEEN FROM HOME? France to the east, Portland, Oregon to the west
41. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? making my lover weak in the knees
42. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Farmington, CT

Okay, that's pretty cool. After editing out all of the "who sent this to you" stuff, the number of questions is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. It's definitely time to pick up The Salmon of Doubt again.

*My "puppy" is an almost-ten-tear-old retired racing greyhound named Sassafrass. (Yes, that's one more "s" than the tree has. It's unique. Hush, you.)

26 October 2006

Ecky Ecky Ecky Ecky Pikang Zoop Boing

As if standing at a welding platform for five hours a day wasn't exhausting enough, now I get to be a math tutor after school for one of the sophomore students. Basic geometry is something he has trouble with, so I'm going to try to help him out.

During my half-hour lunch break each day, I scurry off to a quiet corner of the cafeteria and knit. I'm trying to finish the Acrylicky socks just so I can use the needles for more deserving projects. Working on these socks has confirmed what I already knew: I'm a really slow knitter. In a week of lunches (2.5 hours), I've knit about 5 inches of a 50-stitch-circumference tube. That's... pretty sad, I think. Still, they're ankle socks, so that five-inch section is almost the entire body of the sock. A few more rows, and I'll be turning the heel. Behold, the acrylickyness:

acrylicky goodness

The bag I carry my knitting in these days is this one, which is just big enough for most of my little projects.

I also have a few more Rhinebeck pictures for y'all, here. This one is probably my favorite of the bunch.


23 October 2006

More Fiber Than You Could Shake A DPN At

Rhinebeck. Was. Awesome.

When you stay at the same hotel as the Harlot and a village-size passel of fiber freaks, the pre- and post-festival knitting circles in the lobby are lots and lots of fun. I wish I'd been awake enough to socialize more... I was running on fumes Friday night after a long day at school, and walking around the festival on Saturday exhausted me so much that I had to take a nap instead of hanging out with the other knitters.

There were so many pretty things at the festival. Cute animals, beautiful tools, fluffy fleeces, and gorgeous yarns almost overpowered the senses. Saturday was Browse Day for David and me: just looking, no spending. This turned out to be a good strategy. It kept us from selling our souls in order to buy every hank of yarn we laid eyes (and fingers) on. On Sunday, we made our selections, and managed to walk away with a little cash left in our pockets. Behold, my spoils!

the spoils of Rhinebeck

The two greys are a llama/merino blend from Mountain View Farm, and I think they're destined to be a pair of intarsia (or perhaps Fair Isle) gloves (or mittens). On the left is Supersock superwash merino from Cherry Tree Hill in a colorway that I wouldn't normally touch. Maybe it was running into Claudia that got me looking at bright orange yarns, or maybe I just needed some brightness to counter the seasonal blues. Whatever the reason for it, the trend continued with the mammoth (665 yds.) skein of alpaca from Maple Creek Farm, which, if I can find a good pattern, will be a lace shrug.

The last item in that picture isn't something I got at Rhinebeck, but it arrived in the mail an hour after I got home, so I figure it's close enough. It's one of two bags of Orappa Creek mohair that I bought from a fellow chainmailler and hope to spin soon.

Sheep says:


"Come baaaaack next year!"

I will, sheepie. I will.

17 October 2006

The Things... They're Happening!

I started welding school yesterday. Five hours of sitting on a hard chair, listening to the instructor read every word of the student handbook: not fun. Watching as the only kid I already don't like comes over to introduce himself to me: not fun. Getting a few rows done on the Greenery hat during lunch break: fun!

more greenery goodness

It's hard for me to focus on anything this week, between getting used to school and looking forward to Rhinebeck. I'm meeting someone there who I've been dying to meet for months, plus, y'know, there's the fiber and animals, so I'm vibrating out of my skin with excitement.

For those of you who are going, look for the girl in the BRIGHT NEON PINK vest. That's me. :D

12 October 2006

Keeping the Blog Warm While I Sew

Six Quirks, a meme from Sunflowerfairy Knits:

1. I hold yarn between the middle and ring fingers of my right hand. Anything else feels weird and slows me down.

2. I pick up potato chips and popcorn with my tongue, unless I'm sharing with someone.

3. I signal before changing lanes. Around here, that's unusual.

4. I use "y'all" a lot, even though I'm not a southerner.

5. I call just about everyone "hon" on a regular basis.

6. I love clocks, and knowing what time it is. If I can't see a clock from where I'm sitting/standing, I get twitchy.

10 October 2006

Payback's A... Spree!

My ex-fiancé, my darling CorBear, owed me for a massage I gave him a while back. To repay me, he took me to a fabric store, pointed me at the yarn section, and told me to pick out whatever I wanted. Isn't he sweet?

I didn't want to go overboard, and Lion Brand was on sale, so I wound up getting five balls of Wool-Ease and two balls of DMC Senso crochet cotton/wool.

wool-ease and senso

All of the Wool-Ease will end up as gift hats, and the Senso will be for something I need to keep secret for the time being.

07 October 2006

Surly Surcoat Sets Seamstress... Knitting

The surcoat that was coming together so well turned on me again. Rather than continue to fume about it, I picked up my US#8 Brittany needles and started the second half of the LemonEgg shrug. I also figured out how to take redirected-flash pictures with my sister's camera. It's a simple little thing, but with the recent project issues I've been having, any victory is cause for celebration. Eggs, anyone?

second half of LemonEgg

06 October 2006

Otherwise Occupied

No knitting progress today, but my renfaire surcoat is coming together nicely. I had a little meltdown earlier because of some sleeve issues, but I finally figured things out, and now there's just a little bit of machine work and a ton of hand-stitching to do.

Blog posts with pictures are more fun, so here's yet another picture of my room. Several projects, a bunch of books, and a few LPs (vinyl rules!) are precariously perched on a chair that, if you're not careful, you'll trip over when you enter the room. So watch out. Y'know, if you're ever in my room.


05 October 2006

Pay It Forward

I'm still working on the Greenery hat, but haven't made enough progress to warrant another scan. Instead, here's the blanket I've been working on for Project Linus.

Linus blanket

The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver, which was free to me, so I figured making a blanket to donate would be a way of "paying it forward." The "Victoria" colorway is on either side of the white, textured section. The only problem I have with it is its weight. I'm so used to making hats and other small things that the bulk of this blanket is kind of a shock. I'm using circs to make it a bit easier on my wrists, but still... it's kind of a monster.

03 October 2006

Spend Each Day the Color of the Leaves

Two inches of progress have been made on the Greenery Hat. Exciting, eh?

greenery cables

I wish I knew more cable terminology. Is there cable terminology? I want a way to describe what I want to do with these cables without drawing up a chart. Let's call the current working strands of each cable A and B. What's going to happen, I think, is that each A will reach out and twist with the B from the next pair, then come back to twist with its own B. That should get it to the point where I need to start decreasing.

The 2x2-rib-into-3x3-cable thing wasn't really planned. It was the best solution I could come up with when I realized my previous plan was screwed by an uneven number of ribs. Knitting is like writing: starting with an outline saves time, work, and frustration. One of these days I'll learn to follow my own rules. "Do as I say, not as I do," doesn't make me a very good mentor.

*title from Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green"

02 October 2006


It's time for yet another new project. Lion Brand Wool-Ease was on sale at the fabric store when I was picking up a few things for faire garb, so I picked up a ball of "Forest Green Heather" and started this hat.

green hat

I did the first inch of ribbing in the dark (watching a movie) and made a mistake that I didn't notice until two inches later. Rather than frog back to the mistake, I just dropped the stitch, took a crochet hook, and fixed it that way. Now that the ribbing is finished, I can decide how I want to do the cables. If it turns out well, it'll be a Christmas present for one of my uncles.

Time to call my doctor. I've been way too manic for the last week or two.

30 September 2006

Pretty Soon You'll Feel Like You're Here

I lack the brainpower to write anything of much interest tonight. Have a picture instead.

pile of knitting

In this picture, you can see:

- I've got big balls, he's got big balls, she's got big... you get the idea
- a Project Linus blanket sitting on a bag of LemonEgg skeins sitting on a stack of craft books (the one with the orange covers and yellow binding? the orange is actually corduroy. seriously. published by Time-Life in 1976. bitchin'.)
- a candle in a bowl... *shrug*
- a pair of batik-print, silk pajama shorts
- a straw hat purchased at Mount Vernon on recent visit
- two Fiesta socks
- two faire stockings (one unfinished)
- a ball of icky acrylic
- the LemonEgg shrug and some more of its yarn
- a ball of dark-bright purple Patons Classic Merino
- the hoodie sleeve (stay tuned, folks, there may be news about this soon)
- a niddy-noddy holding a merino-silk single
- a screen of earrings, all of which will become useless as soon as school starts (piercings aren't allowed, and my holes close up after five minutes, so I'll be re-piercing my ears in about a year)
- a Dremel tool in its case
- a turntable

That last one makes me want to listen to some Ella Fitzgerald before bed. G'night, folks.

26 September 2006

Nothing To Do With Knitting

Have you ever had a project that just couldn't make up its mind about what it wanted to be?

Sometimes you can force a project to be something in particular. You match the yarn and gauge to a pattern, follow the directions, and bingo, a FO that (hopefully) came out exactly the way it was supposed to.

Then there are the projects that need time to make up their minds about what they want to be. They start with an abstract concept, work their way through various permutations, almost arrive at a decision, then ask for a little more tweaking. If you're lucky, the project has decided what it wants to be before construction begins. But that's only if you're lucky.

I'm not lucky today.

This morning I had seven yards of blue linen, almost two yards of tan linen, and an idea. The idea was abstract: something to go over my brown faire kirtle to hide the fact that it's four inches too short. At first I thought I'd go with a sideless surcoat. It's a simple and easily-constructed design. Then I started looking through my historical costuming books.

I should have known better.

The sideless surcoat morphed into a sleeved surcoat with a v-neck and high waist. That would have been the end of it... if I'd been able to figure out how to put the bloody thing on. None of the pictures I found showed any sort of closures, and only one showed a belt with a buckle-type thing, which I lack the skills and equipment to replicate. That's okay, I can try something else.

A cotehardie! Perfect! I essentially have a pattern already, since it's pretty much the same as my kirtle. All I have to do is alter the sleeves and make the whole thing longer. No problem!

With all of the pieces cut out, I realized I still loved the sleeved surcoat, and had, in my absent-mindedness, cut a few pieces with that design in mind instead of the current one. This wasn't a problem, since I'd cut them bigger than they needed to be, but it still proved that the project wasn't finished making up its mind. It's having a time-out right now so I can work through the last issues before I start sewing.

I'm volunteering at the Faire on Friday ("School Day"), so I need either this or a new doublet (half-finished) to be ready by Thursday night. I work best under pressure, so this deadline is a good thing.

I apologize to the non-costumers who have no idea what this whole entry is about. Knitting content will return later in the week.

24 September 2006

Toque Toque

I got a little toasted in the short time the sun was out at the Faire today. It was okay, though, a good time was had by all. I'm becoming less and less satisfied with the outfit I wear to this faire, which means costume construction may get in the way of even more knitting in the near future. For being a knitblogger, I'm not doing so well with the whole, y'know, knitting thing. Hmm.

It's about time I told y'all about the project in my profile picture, isn't it? See, I have a love for Aran... well, Aran anything, really. Sweaters, hats, blankets, socks... you make it natural-wool-colored and full of cable-y goodness, and I'm in love. That love is what prompted this project. I picked up some Lion Brand Wool-Ease in "Natural Heather" and knit this up on US#8 circs and DPNs.

cable hat, v.1.0

It lacks the complexity of most Aran patterns, but this was another one of those "I want to try this technique and see what happens" projects, so I kept it fairly simple. I loved the way it turned out, until I realized that I'd calculated the gauge without considering the cables, and every time I wore the hat it tried to jump off my fat head.

Some say that a "true" knitter* isn't afraid of frogging FOs. I must be a true knitter, then, because I ripped this sucker apart and started something new.

cable hat, v.2.0

It still isn't perfect, but at least it stays on my head. The yarn is now so overworked that I couldn't use it for anything else even if I wanted to, so my next Aran-ish project will require more yarn. I should use wool, but I can't wear pure wool next to my skin (except my hands), so hats have to be made with blends or synthetics.

I'll try to have some current-project reports this week.

*Are there degrees of knitterdom, or is it a binary thing? Are there false knitters out there? A gal needs to know these things.

23 September 2006

It's In The Bag

The rain this morning convinced me to stay home and work on a sewing project instead of going to Nature Day. I'm in the process of making a new winter coat out of some brown wool plaid I bought when I worked at a fabric store (almost a decade ago, like everything else). The design is complicated enough that I'm actually following a purchased pattern instead of drafting one for myself. Yeah. It's that complicated.

Since there's no knitting going on today, here's another FO from the collection.

Lite-Lopi felted bag

The yarn is Lite-Lopi by Reynolds, in colors 422 (Sage Heather) and (I think) 429 (Dk. Berry Heather) and a little 431 (Brick Heather) around the top. I'm not entirely sure about the reds... Lite-Lopi has a bunch of reds/purples/bricks/pinks that look similar, and I've lost the ball bands, so I'm guessing at those color numbers. I held two strands together on US#11 needles, and made my very first I-cord for the handle. Then I tossed it in the washing machine for a few agitation cycles, and ended up with this lovely felted bag.

I was flipping through a catalog (North Style, I think) and saw a knit sweater with a pretty Fair Isle design on it. I went to the company's website, found a picture of the sweater, enlarged it, and charted part of the design, which I then used on this bag.

Yes, I'm crazy. It makes life more interesting.

22 September 2006

Foot Fetish

Now that the merino/silk (I need to name it... suggestions?) has been spun and wound onto the niddy-noddy to set, it looks even nicer than it did on the spindle.

merino silk singlesI'm almost tempted to just use the single, but it's a little stiff, so plying would definitely be better for it. The single comes out to about 90 yards, which will make the two-ply something a little short of 45, which... isn't much. Maybe I'll use the fair-intarsia technique from the hoodie to do delicate cables on a pair of grey or black socks. A New Englander can never have too many socks.

And speaking of socks...

I wasn't sure I'd have enough yarn to do it, but it looks like the 4-ish ounces of the second "vintage" yarn I have (100% acrylic Silky Soft by TMA in "Sherbert Ombre") are enough to make a pair of ankle socks. I've dubbed this pair "Acrylicky" because the yarn has a dry, almost squeaky feel. This isn't surprising, considering the content, and while they feel weird to work with, they'll do fine on my feet. At least the color is pretty.


One sock is already finished, and I'll probably begin the other one tonight. I'm going to be busy all weekend, so there won't be much time for knitting. I'll be at Family Nature Day at the White Memorial Conservation Center with my greyhound tomorrow, and at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire on Sunday.

For now, I'm off to get ready to visit my grandmother while she's in town. Lucky me.

21 September 2006

Sheep + Moths = Pretty Fiber

Sorry about not posting yesterday. I got distracted and forgot all about blogging.

One of the things that distracted me was the joy of spinning. I'm a little rusty, but after a decade without practice, I think I'm doing pretty well. This is the merino/silk I've been working with:

merino-silk blend

I've only spun with plain wool before, so the way this stuff draws is totally new to me. I discovered that I'm not talented enough to draw it as I spin, so I pre-draw each length. It's cheating, sort of, but... it has silk in it! Silk has very long, slightly sticky fibers, which makes it difficult to draw. Maybe with a lot of practice I can figure out how to draw and spin at the same time.

Here's the result of my hard work:


My scanner doesn't like this stuff... I'm sorry for the picture quality. The yarn isn't as even as I'd like, and I have a tendency to over-spin sections, but I'm hoping it will ply nicely.

I'm going to be buying some undyed mohair from a fellow chainmailler* in a week or two... I wonder how that's going to spin up, compared to this stuff. I'm also really looking forward to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (Lucky Charmz, are you going to that? It's in Rhinebeck.), because I get to meet David and spend the small amount of cash I've saved up to get something exotic to play with. *ahem* For Christmas presents. Yes. I promise.

*Chainmaillers make chainmaille (who'd've thunk it?), both for armor/clothing (for LARPing, SCA, and RenFaires, among other things) and jewelry (which is primarily what I do). We take wire, wind it around a rod to make a coil, cut the coil into individual rings, then link those rings together in various formations to make chains and "cloth."