Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm not dead

Just moving. Trying to wrap up LOTS of things in the next few weeks, so posting...and, for that matter knitting, have really slowed down. I promise lots of goodies when we are in our new digs. Until then, here's a little fun thing I discovered.

visited 40 states (80%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Very cool project! I may be wrong about the Dakotas and the upper Midwest, as we might have gone there as kids, but I don't remember them. Clearly I have some travellin' to do...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Makin' with da pretties

I'm happy. Yarn 100% bamboo, size 8 circs, Roko's mods on Fathom Harvill's fabulous Coachella pattern. I may never take this off.

Friday, May 28, 2010

better now

Just tell me it doesn't look like a giant doily/doilie and I'll be ok. I promise.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

13 days and a birthday surprise preview


stats: 1000 (or so) yards of filitura oro merino in red+#2 addi turbo lace needles+13 days, lots of love=The cap shawl from Victorian Lace Today, 45" diameter
Better pics later, but it's blocking now. Of the many errors in this shawl we will not speak, for it is filled with love...and holes...but mostly love.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Waaay back when we went to Maine, my dear friend talked me into trying lost-wax casting. I thought I would give it a try since I had studied it but never done it and she produced such great results. Buttons seemed like the best idea, given my yarny obsession. Since I'm also currently infatuated with birds, silhouettes, and elegant graphics, this came out. I wish I had a photo of the wax version, since the contrasts in form and material were quite striking. While there are lots of little imperfections (due to my being overly prissy with design in some areas and lack of expertise in others...note to self: clean up edges better), I don't think it totally sucks. When I learned how much it would cost to have them cast in silver, however, I had to abandon fond hopes of my little birds gracing a sweater any time soon. My sweet gf, however, had the mold made just in case. As an early graduation present (read: incentive to finish the diss), my friend cast six of them for me in silver and surprised me with them a couple of weekends ago. I cannot express how much my little magpie heart adores them. I have to stop myself from holding the entire set in my hands just to feel their smooth weight and to see their matte surfaces winking gently back at me. Thanks again to my sweetheart and my lovely amiga. Now I just have to design an appropriate sweater.

In other news, I've finished a few things but have been quite lax about posting. So in no apparent order, here are: Glitterati, a scarf based on Crazy Aunt Purl's design. It helped me use up all sorts of odds and ends with what I think is a quite fun result. Fringe is awesome!
Wrought, a cowl-necked sweater with leafy detailing at cuffs and collar that I came up with on the fly. Cascade Eco-wool on size 8 needles. The yarn was a gift from my mum. It makes me think of fresh wrought iron, hence the name.

Finally, meet Hazy, a small shoulder shawl I designed as a costume piece based on Kiri and Icarus, two shawls I adore. Knit from Rowan Kidsilk Haze (name derived from said yarn and the lovely halo it produces in the finished object that always makes me think of soft-focus 1960s home movies) that I bought in Chester this past summer. I wore this all winter as a neck warmer.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Push it

Buttons can make a sweater, or can kill it deader than road pancakes. Case in point: My surface sweater from last year. Faboo pattern, great yarn, I worked like hell on it for more than a month and then promptly destroyed it with the wrong buttons. I haven't fixed it yet, but I need to. soon. Second case in point, my newest sweater Juno:
I had been waiting to post about this sweater because I just could not find the right buttons. They couldn't be too shiny, too bright, too anything that would distract from the fabulousness of the collar and the yarn...mmmmmmm debbie bliss silk alpaca...mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ahem. Right, so I waited for nearly a month, looking, looking, and finally found the PERFECT buttons while shopping for buttons for the Olympic sweater. It took trips to three stores before I gave up and went to JoAnns. I'm so glad I did. They were having a 50% off sale and I got these for a song. And they are Goldilocks buttons: juuuuust right.See what I mean? Matte copper, simple, craftsman-like pseudo handmade detailing (i.e. fake hammering marks and scribing), not perfectly round. I think they match the aesthetic of this pattern. It is my urban fairytale sweater. I wear it constantly, usually with jeans and boots, and feel really quite stupendous in it. All thanks to my sister, who gave me this delicious yarn for the holidays. Thanks Sis, you made this possible!!!!!
This is my third sweater of the year and I'm half-way through my to follow, right now it's deadly boring black. I may be doing a sweater a month this year, whether I planned it or not.

Monday, March 1, 2010

So close!

Deathmarch fail!
Olympic sweater fail! I came so very, very close. They extinguished the torch as I was crocheting on the button band of my unblocked but completed sweater last night. I had two buttonholes to go. Granted, I hadn't woven in the ends or blocked it or even tried the thing on yet, but I got SO *&^%$#$%^& close!!! My dear, sweet, adorable GF made me this button for the blog:So I AM the luckiest girl in the world. She even let me get away with mac & cheese with left-over pot roast for dinner last night to let me try and finish the sweater. The reason I got so close and didn't get the gold was the damn steek. It was my first steek ever and I may never do this again. Ok, I'm lying. It's pretty damn cool as a process. But you have to get the crochet stitches much, much tighter than I did to make it work. I crocheted, I took several deep breaths, I put the sweater down for an hour, and then I cut. Everything looked great (no pictures b/c I was working too fast at this point to stop and find the camera), and then I tried to pick up stitches for the I-cord button band. All went well until we got to the yoke. Then stitches started popping out of the steek. My heart almost stopped. Seriously, all that work and this is how it was going to go down?!!? After much crying and several failed attempts to stop the yarn bleeding I gave up. I put the sweater down and went to bed (it was 3 am on Saturday night). The next morning, filled with bright enthusiasm and four cups of coffee, I had a plan and some dpns. I would knit a separate binding that I would then sew over the steek to seal it, stabilize it and act as a button band, all in one. Garment construction 101, right? More than 50 inches of stockinette later I was ready to start sewing. I made two attempts to knit the neck band on to the active stitches still on a holder but experienced massive fail. The problem with knitted-on Icord on size 8 needles: it's freaking ugly. I mean frankenknit ugly. So I ripped, and knit, and ripped and knit and finally realized I would have to do the entire band separately. I did. I was ready to sew it on at 6:45 last night. Yeah. Which was why I was only two button-holes away from finishing when Neil Young finished his "song." Do you feel my pain, knitters of the world? 17 days of constant knitting (ok, a few hours each night in front of Bob Costas, but still!) and I'm two buttonholes away from glory. Is this how Plushenko felt? This colorwork felt like my quad, I tell you what. So the band is on, I will probably rip out the crocheted button-holes and re-do them since they are slightly off.
On the whole, this sweater in 17 days is nothing to be ashamed of:
Pay no attention to the gaping albeit perfectly-chosen button. The blocking and a new button-hole band will fix that.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

4th imp of the snowpocalypse yet to ride, cites bottleneck at La Guardia

Deathmarch Day: %$$$&**@#!!!
yep, I'm that fried. Still doing the freakin' notecards but had a bit of a brainstorm yesterday. I think that was a good thing. I think. I haven't re-read it yet.
Olympic knitting: much more tangible progress, to wit:overall glamour shot, with supersized at no extra charge steek:

I'm about 2/3 of the way through the yoke. I may actually medal in this darn thing after all. Of course I haven't *shudder* cut the steek yet or done the i-cord or picked out buttons, but I'm optimistic. Wish us luck in the fourth storm of the season...predicted to hit late this evening. I'll be watching women's freeskating, which is altogether much more enjoyable. Provided we don't lose power. Colorwork by candlelight holds zero appeal for me, frankly, so that damn imp had better behave.

Monday, February 22, 2010

pulling back the reins

Deathmarch Day 10: stayed up til 3 am again. My biorhythms are so mucked up right now. Day 9 of the march saw zero accomplishment, mainly because I hadn't been out of the house in 8 days at that point and...we needed food almost as much as I needed yarn and sunshine. And the GF hurt herself sledding, which required major nursing duties. I take those very seriously. They involve baking (chocolate cake with rum buttercream icing), and shepherd's pie making (pork and mushroom) and other house-wifely things. The olympics sweater saw more progress, not surprisingly. I finished both arms, attached them to the body and started the colorwork portion. The fireworks have begun! I'm pretty happy with my color choices, but I'm not posting pics until tomorrow so you can see some of the design.
Today: finish large portion of note cards, begin organizing, make mushroom soup, and maybe write something. And get through at least row 30 of the design section. Oh and perhaps exercise. We'll see.....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

bone-deep bruises

"Yes, mother, I approve."
Day two of flash cards, Day 6 of deathmarch and counting.
Good news: I have a new appreciation for my sources and I think this will work. Eventually.
Bad news: it's taking waaaaay too long. I'm in day 2.5 actually, since I started on Tuesday night filling these little suckers out and I'm still at under 100. Trying to stay focused and positive.
Olympic sweater: done with body and half-way through first sleeve.Clearly we have motivational issues.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

in cold dark places she dreams of spring

Deathmarch Day 4: new day, new plan. After lots of introspection (read cursing and knitting) I realized that I need to go old school on this f*cker...that's right. 3x5 cards. I have NEVER written this way but I've always been able to master all my source material in my head or map it out in other ways before now. This project is just too big for that. I was using my high tech, and really wonderful add-in bibliographic program for this, but I can't lay those notes out next to one another and visualize the project, which is key for me. So dear, dear GF is out at Target right now buying me all the 3x5 cards they have in stock. I'm picturing a big delay in olympic knitting in order to complete this. It's worth it. Wish me luck.
no exercise as yet, and lots of chocolate. Probably fried fish, sweet potato fries and mushy peas for dinner tonight. GF is going to wish she had a cider left. *chuckle*
The one good thing about this, aside from maybe helping me to finish, is that I can do it while watching the Olympics tonight

Monday, February 15, 2010

she's got her blue dress on and she's curled her hair

Deathmarch Day 3: or, wait, what am I doing again?
After staring at the same passage in Chapter 4 for about an hour I began to question what the heck my organizing premise really was...especially this late in the game, and after one major re-organization already, this is NOT GOOD. My argument is clear, but how to get there is the hard part, which is not exactly news, I know. I'm beginning to think that the organizing principle is not untangling the brocade but just presenting it in all its palimpsest-y glory...
Sweater progress: 11 inches and in body increases. I will finish the body section tonight and perhaps cast on for a sleeve. Maybe I'll have the entire thing done except for the colorwork before the pattern even arrives! At least something good came out of today. That, and I ran for half a mile straight today. 2.3 miles total, which helped my mood immensely. The home-made sugar cookies didn't hurt either. As my dear friends would proclaim, "Just say'n."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

coyote oh coyote won't you tell me why

Deathmarch Day 2
page count: 137...excruciating editing of chapter 2 and I'm not there yet.
exercise: 2.5 miles on treadmill
sweater: through decreases on waist shaping, working on body, hopefully my pattern will arrive soon so I can plan for colorwork. Right now I'm thinking brown, cream and light green, but I still need to find the yarn.
on deck for tonight: women's longtrack speed skating, yum! (wow, that was over quickly, I barely finished posting this and they're done) My first Olympic love was Bonnie Blair...and the men are doing things on skis, but I'm not really paying attention. But there's short program pairs figure skating, which I adore. The GF has a love/hate relationship with figure skating because she's always on edge during the technical elements.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Deathmarch and Olympic Sweater: Day 1

Deathmarch stats: reading, thinking, no words on page as yet....trying not to panic...16 days to go.
Sweatermarch: Cast on as torch was lit (poor Vancouver, the ceremonies were AMAZING...k.d.lang is so fabulous...I felt really sorry for poor Nelly Furtado, great dress, terrible terrible song...but it went off flawlessly until the torch and then. FAIL. Leave it to Gretsky to carry on regardless) and am now through ribbing and starting body of sweater. I'm trying the no-sew steek, marked with the red yarn as seen. I'm still not sure if the tweedy yarn will work for colorwork, but I do adore this yarn/color combo!
maybe Blogger will let me post a pic:
Food consumed: migas, coffee (not enough!), pink lady apple
and now for some actual writing...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Deathmarch 2010 begins!

So clearly I'm insane. Not only have I decided that I will follow Elizabeth Bear's excellent example and complete a draft of the diss by Mar. 1st, but I have also signed up for the Knitting Olympics run by this knitting icon/fellow insane knitter. My project, you ask? Well it's this one: Lloie's Cardigan. Because I had such a great time with my last bout of color work that I decided to do another one...this time with steeks. In 17 days. And I haven't even ordered the pattern yet. While writing. Yeah. I'm nuts. In other, long-overdue news, there's been some snow, and some sweaters, and other things. Blogger is being rather annoying and not letting me upload photos of said snow and sweaters, so stay tuned and wish me luck!