Monthly Archives: February 2007

A Couple of Nice Surprises

Okay, so maybe nice isn’t the right word. Today has been an exhausting day, one in which I worked four hours on my feet at the LYS, and then went home to take my Mom on her errands. Hurray. When I sat down to read my blogs this evening, I got a couple of nice… make that great… surprises.

The first is my downline Secret Pal finally got her reveal package from me. I’ve been waiting for over a week to hear from her, and finally did this evening. She’s Aussie Michelle of The Knitting Muso, and I’ve had a blast spoiling her with knitting stuffs. She’s an accomplished pianist and instructor, and a knitting machine. I hope you enjoy reading about her knitting and not-so-knitting adventures, as I have these past few months.

The second nice surprise is hearing from my fellow Knitty Gritty Knitster Carolyn. She has committed to keeping her blogging going, so head on over to JollyEwe to read about her really great knits. Hopefully, we’ll be able to meet up at Stitches West for some reunion knitting on a sofa. Anybody else interested in meeting up?

The other really great surprise came from Chrissy, the Knittin’ Mom, who is the hostess of the Sock-a-month kals. I won a prize package for SAM 2, enough yarn for 6 more pairs of socks. Woo hoo! I joined SAM 2 to motivate me to keep knitting socks, and I knit at least 1 pair for each of the 6 months. I think my total was 8 pairs at the end of the kal. If this ain’t the best incentive to sign up for SAM 3, I don’t know what is. I’ve already convinced sknitty, annette, and seattle marie to join in on the fun for SAM 3. Won’t you join us?

6 Weird Things

My Secret Pal Michelle tagged me for this meme, and I have to admit, I’m a meme virgin. I hop on the bandwagon for many things, but this one ain’t one of ’em. Anway, I’ve had a hard time racking my brain out for weird things about me. Let me qualify that. Weird things that you *don’t* know about me. There. That makes it even harder. So this is what I came up with:

1. On my resume, I list my undergraduate degree as Liberal Arts or Classics. The diploma actually says Latin. Huh. There’s a reason it’s dead. I can barely remember any of it. That’s why I like to read The Panopticon so much. He’s doing his best to resurrect the language.

2. I’m allergic to practically everything environmental. Trees. Bushes. Shrubs. Grasses. Dust. Mites. Animal dander. Mold. No food allergies, or at least that I know of yet. When I wear scarves or necklaces, I get eczema patches, but that still doesn’t deter me. I’m way too vain. And I keep hoping that I will knit a new fiber, wool, cotton, alpaca, organic whatever, that will keep my neck itch free.

3. I didn’t learn to swim until the 6th grade. Being immigrants to the US, neither of my parents learned to swim, so it wasn’t anything we ever did. However, trying to grow up “normal” like other kids in the US was really hard, if you didn’t know how. So at the age of 11, I called places out of the phone book to find out how much it cost, and my brother and I told our parents we were taking lessons. We paid for it out of our savings account. I suck as a swimmer, but at least I won’t drown… or at least not right away.

4. I won 3rd place in the city spelling bell when I was in 8th grade. I lost on the word “adamant.” I will never forget how to spell that word. My best friend won 2nd place. She missed “sedentary,” which, of course, I knew how to spell.

5. I started kindergarten when I was 4 years old. I have a late birthday, November. I moved away and started college when I was 16 years old, because I graduated high school a year early.

6. In 8th grade, I could kind of do a back handspring. After I sprained my wrist, my mom made me give up gymnastics. To this day, I still wish I could do one.

Finito. No one specifically is tagged, but if you want to play along, go right ahead.

Stuff. Just Stuff.

Frog Stuff
There’s nothing like a KAL to kick me in the butt and make me do something right. My Fable-along with Silverknits is turning out to be just like the others, motivating me to do something I wouldn’t have done on my own. I did say in a previous post that I needed to work on my finishing technique, so here’s the opportunity. Did you see how beautifully Silvia’s ribbon shell turned out? Mine is nothing like hers. Well, for one thing, mine is not done and hers is. That’s a huge difference. Another thing, mine looks like crap; hers doesn’t.

Nothing like putting a little pressure on me. I really want mine to look nice. It doesn’t have to be great, like Silvia’s, but I would settle for nice. I think it’s going to be a bit big, maybe okay to wear over a cotton button shirt, but I still need some extra help here. So, I took it to Patty the knitting guru, and she told me what I needed to hear. And I was glad to hear it, because she gave me some renewed energy and focus to finish this thing. I so want it to be right. I will frog the borders on the neck and arm holes, and mattress stitch the dang thing together before doing the borders. Question is… before or after I finish Wicked? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Yarn Stuff
I tackled Unwind’s SuperBowl Sale on Sunday, and boy oh boy, did it knock me out (bad puns intended). I got there shortly after it began, meeting up with KnitDevil and Sknitty. Although you can’t tell from the pictures below, I experienced a bit of yarn stash ennui at the sale, maybe because I had my heart set on some Muench Touch Me for the Vintage Velvet Scarf in Scarf Style in a rich burgundy. (See pictures of Marie’s beautiful purple version here.) Unfortunately, they didn’t have any colors I wanted, so I passed. Maybe I was a bit restless because I didn’t have any specific projects in mind for this yarn. I was able to overcome my apathy with some herculean efforts, and made some purchases. All for my readers. (Did that sound convincing?)

After waiting in line to get into the backroom where the big sales (50%!) were, we found some treasures. I picked up some Terra, Rowan Summer Tweed, and Louet Gems Pearl all at fabulous prices. There were some balls of Karabella Breeze (cashmere and silk) that I must have picked up and put back four times. Ai-yaaaa! The color was a straw color that has no business being anywhere near my face. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of anybody else it would do for, so it didn’t come home with me. KnitDad got into the back room before I did and scored some in pale green that was gone when I made it back there. I’m a bit green with envy, but happy he got something good. I also picked up some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed and Artyarns Supermerino. I love the Supermerino colorway because it reminds me of Yarn Pirate’s Neapolitan colorway which I covet. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough to make another Wicked so I’ll have to think of a project for it.


(clockwise from top left) Rowan Summer Tweed, Terra, Artyarns Supermerino, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed


Louet Gems Pearl

Yarn Carrying Stuff
Ever since I saw some beautiful oilcloth bags in a boutique window, I’ve been coveting them for my knitting. Brightly colored and a bit whimsical, they’re my kinda bag. However, the boutique price was a bit steep for me, so eBay shopping I went. I found these at Taylor’s Markets on eBay; the price was right and saved me a drive to Olvera Street. I love them and have been happily carrying them around. I guess this means that I’m happy Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow and Spring is coming earlier this year.

Wicked


I finally cast on for Wicked. I’ve seen some great ones out there in blogland, and that was the inspiration I needed to get mine started. I’ve completed increase number 5 of 17, so I’ve got a ways to go before I even put the sleeves on scrap yarn. Now that I’ve got a few more stitches on the needles, it’s moving along swimmingly. The initial 124 or so stitches weren’t enough for the 32″ cable, and kinked up a bit for the cabling at the neck. I’m still on the fence about whether or not I should put on the kangaroo pocket. The pocket is cute, but I know I’ll want to be done with the sweater sooner, so I can move on to a Project Spectrum project or two and my February SAM3 socks. Special thanks to Sknitty for showing me how to manipulate the f-stop to get better pictures with more accurate colors. The burgundy in the picture looks quite accurate compared to the real thing.

I am happy, however, to report that I’m enjoying the Durango yarn. It’s working up to be a thick yarn, quite squishy, and the sweater should be warm enough, even though I’m only going to make it short-sleeved. I hope I get to wear it this season; temps in LA were in the ’80s this weekend. Let’s hope I will have it done for Stitches West which is only 2 weeks away.

The weekend was an exhausting and emotional one at chez dim sum. Sweetie Girl’s best friend and family moved away and we said our goodbyes after dinner on Friday. Sweetie Girl also came down with the latest virus du jour, and spent most of the weekend just lazing around the house. Today, we finally got some meds for her, so I’m forecasting sunnier days for her ahead.

I taught my first knitting workshop (for pay) on Saturday, and it was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I had a moment of fear before it started, and then once I got started talking about gauge, swatching, increases and decreases, I was fine. Once I figured out I knew more than the 13 (!!) knitters there, I was fine. It was a big group, bigger than I would have liked for my first experience truly teaching, but it worked out in the end. We didn’t cover everything, because we ran out of time, but I was willing to stay later for whomever wanted more help. The money I made from the workshop funded my Unwind SuperBowl Sunday yarn excursion. I’ll post about that later, but suffice it to say, it was nice having some cold, hard cash lining my pockets. I’ll show you my finds in the next post or so.

Have a great week!

Bitten by the Bug

I saw this, the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading, on KnitDevil’s blog today, and had to share with you one of my favorite poems (I don’t have many).

***

Fleas

Adam
had’em.

~Ogden Nash

***

I know you’re blown away by my depth and brilliance.

Going Away Gifts
I finished up a couple of quick knits that are going away gifts. Sweetie Girl’s best friend is moving to Northern California because her Daddy got a kick@$$ job. They met in Kindergarten and have been inseparable since then. The scarf is her best friend and the wristwarmers are for best friend’s Mom.
Project: Mistake Rib Scarf from Weekend Knitting
Yarn: Valley Yarns Shelburne from WEBS, 1 ball of orange and 1 ball plus a little more of light blue
Needles: Options Size 13
Start/Finish: Can’t remember but it only took a day or so
Thoughts: This yarn was on close out, so it was a remarkably good deal. If there’s any left over, go get it! It’s really soft and squishy; easy to work with. It was a tiny bit itchy so I washed it with some Eucalan and a lot of green apple hair conditioner. I’m happy with how it turned out, and I think best friend will like it, especially since they’re in her favorite colors.
Project: Fetching wristwarmers
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, almost 1 ball exactly
Needles: Options Size 5, 2 wristwarmers on 2 circs method
Start: Jan 28
Finish: Jan 31
Thoughts: I continue to knit this pattern because I love it. It’s super easy but knits up like a million bucks. This is the first time I have used the yarn called for in the pattern, and it’s to die for. To. Die. For. It feels velvety soft when it is knit up. I had heard that many people run out of yarn, so I decreased the straight knitting part by one row. I must have knit this pair rather tight because I’ve got quite a bit of leftover yarn. They feel a bit short, but I think they’re still fine.
I’m delinquent in my Secret Pal responsibilities. I only just got the last of the items in the mail today, so I wrapped them up and they’re ready to go. My Secret Pal lives in Australia, so I’ve got to get these out ASAP for their overseas flight. Wish them a safe flight!
I cast on today for Wicked, which is the kal for SKC. I’m using burgundy colored Durango by Colorado Yarns. It’s tweedy and made from wool and acrylic. I’m working on reforming my yarn snob self. Wish me luck.