Thursday, December 08, 2005

More stash for sale!

Visit my yarn stash sale listings and help me make room for my boyfriend in el apartamento!

More on the knitting grind in the coming days...things are finally calming down here in Chi-town with work, play, life in general, and all the yada yada. Knitting has been occurring, undocumented as it may be!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

FOtos! (A fotolicious FO extravaganza)

I had no luck finding photos of my completed-and-quickly-gifted Russian Winter hat from Debbie Stoller's Stitch n Bitch Nation. Let me just say I knit it in unforgiving wool eyelash yarn, DOUBLED, and had to pick up a bajillion stitches to knit the cute bonnet. Ugh. It was floppy and cute, though not really me. It was definitely Hannah, though! And so I gave it to her. I hope it keeps her warm in Spain, where she's going for the long winter to volunteer and enjoy the lingual/cultural experience. (For all y'all who are curious what this hat looks like, maybe I'll scan or take a photo of the model in the book. I made an all-white fluffy monsta version!)

Now, some palpable, look-it-me Finished Objects (FOs):

1. First and foremost, the Honey cardigan from Rowan's Ribbon Twist Collection, out of Ribbon Twist color 111 ribble. I made the medium size and used just under 8 balls. Here's the goofy umbrella-grasping model. Note the weird pose -- she's turned to the side and the sweater is very pulled in around her waist. This is because it's a naturally, er, tubby sweater. I may add in a hook and eye closure at the front where the belt ties in front. Right now the belt just sort of gathers the sweater fabric and doesn't do much for my silhouette, shall we say. But I still love Honey, My First Sweater. (Awww!) And I'm glad I chose this pattern from Ribbon Twist and not a pullover, as the unspun wool in the yarn is HOT HOT HOT.

Adaptations: I omitted the pom-poms on the belt, and did the belt as a two-stitch I-cord instead of twisted cord as the pattern suggested.

Model time! (Click on thumbnails to see larger image)


2. Second, my one skein wonder made out of two balls of Debbie Bliss Soho in reds and less than half a ball of Rowan Kid Classic in #823 reed, a heathered gray and dark red. I ran out of Soho and was left with less than a yard. I even felted the ends together! Sheesh, Debbie. Gimme some more yarn here. But now I get to count this as a pattern adaptation and a "design element." Lemons into lemonade!

The shrug is a little big. I was too eager to begin knitting to wash my gauge swatch, and the completed Soho bloomed into 3.5 stitches per inch after gently washing. And boy did that red bleed.

Putting on the sass

From the front, the merest shruggy corners peep around

Thanks to my dahling, Charlie, for photographing me. This is the view I had of the living room while posing. Note Charlie and the kitties watching soccer on TV.

Speaking of photographers, the darling Kelly of the Midwest Knitters Blogring took photos of me meeting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at her book signing at Arcadia Knitting. She lightened them up for me, even! And at work I Photoshopped them even a bit more. Excuse the graininess, which I amplified with further futzing. [s](Kelly, do you have a blog? All I have is your email. Drop me a note!)[/s] Thanks Kelly!! Visit her at!

Here are two photos of Stephanie with me (ME!). In the first I am giving Stephanie a measuring tape. She mentioned in her newest book how she can never find hers. The one I gave her was a weird freebie from West Virginia University. Cheap of me, or original? You decide. The second is the requisite starry-eyed pose. Isn't Stephanie SO LOVABLE? Yes. The answer is yes.

Projects in progress (UFOs):

1. Kepler (woo!). I restarted this great design -- check out the knitalong for more information and links to the free design. This is Rowanspun Aran in a pretty orange tweed, called "Autumn." I did alter the photo to try to make the color truer. No flash was used...

2. Multidirectional scarf, pattern from Holiday Handknits, the new Melanie Falick pattern book. It's really faboo! This will be gifted to my friend Rikeesha, who loves these colors -- as do I, so that works out! I'm using the recommended yarn, Fiesta La Boheme in Sedona, just because I had it on hand and didn't really want to knit the originally planned triangular shawl. Pattern says to use one skein for the scarf AND hat -- yeah right. Though I did buy seconds of the yarn, so maybe it's less than usual. In the photo, the fresh skein shows the colors better.

3. Broken rib stitch scarf out of goofy but pretty dark green (#2962) Berroco Softy, bought from Webs's booth at Stitches Midwest and cast on in a fit of excitement, then left to marinate in the knitting basket for a few months. (No photos of this one; it doesn't photograph well and isn't too exciting anyway.) I got the "pattern" free with purchase. It turned out very helpful, as I wouldn't have thought to use this stitch with this yarn. But regular ribbing and garter stitch and drop stitch (all of which I tried early on) looked godawful. Thank goodness I take anything that's free!

Some more cute photos I uploaded while getting these FOtos online:

White Sox celebration in Chicago! Buildings downtown lit up saying "Sox" and "Sox Win." Click for the whole photo; these are details.

Holding Eli the cat in a basket

Eli loves this basket I ordered from the Greater Good online store. You can choose to shop the store and give your donation to animals, breast cancer research, rainforest acreage, and more. Most items are $2.95 flat rate shipping, and many items are handmade, free trade items. It's also the click-one-a-day hub -- your clicks determine the money donated by the advertisers that day. Thanks to Amy for reminding me to do my daily clicks!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

So much work, I just gotta breathe

Wow, I really need to step up my game. I have two big FOs since my last post almost a month ago -- the first sweater I ever did do (awww) and a cute little 2.5-skein version of a one-skein wonder. I'll take some modeling shots -- ooh la la -- tomorrow after work.

The last full week of work before Thanksgiving, and before my big work fundraising event, is almost over. I cannot express my relief! So much stress and such exhaustion, almost to a delightful conclusion. (The fundraiser should be a big hit, on the upswing!)

One more FO: I made a goofy fuzzy white hat -- the Russian-looking number out of Stitch n Bitch Nation. I gifted it to my dear Hannah on her way to Espana, though, and didn't photograph the hat carefully. I'll flip through my shots of her the night I gifted it; I think I have one. So irresponsible of me! Sigh. Must...keep...track...of knitting...

WIP List (wip it good):

1. multidirectional scarf, Fiesta La Boheme in Sedona (black/ecru/fuchsia) for Rikeesha on NDH* -- approx. 60% done.

2. Kepler with Rowanspun aran in autumnal orange, almost completed first sleeve cable band, about 10% done.

3. broken rib scarf, Berroco Softy in dark green, NDH gift for somebody (ain't telling), about 25% done.

So that's six pictures I pledge, oh so solemnly, come the weekend. Thanks to all five of you who read this!

*NDH=non-denominational holiday. I'm considering switcing over to New Year's. Is the solstice truly non-dem or is it more earthy-wiccan? Tell me your thoughts, O Five Wise Readers.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Weekend! Sing a great big song!!!

Ahhhh. This shall be the best weekend ever!

It was a very very long week. Perhaps eight or twelve days long. And there are fun plans for this weekend, albeit bittersweet ones.

My dear friend and former coworker (co-volunteer?) Hannah and her darling boyfriend Jesse are going to Spain for a few months. They may stay longer, and when they come back to the U.S. they may never come back to Chicago. I am heartbroken. BUT they are having a big party tomorrow, then my boy and I are having a fun day with them Sunday. Yay!

Hannah, you are a great knitting buddy and a wonderful, creative, hilarious person. Also bubbly and Muppet-like in the most positive way. Come back soon! I'm already missing you! And even missing our boys playing video games while we knit!

Yeah, everyone else, that's what we do on our "double dates." How cheesy/geeky ARE we???

On another knitting pal note, I'm once again playing Gift Elf through the forums at Knitter's Review. My gift elf this year is the wonderful Michelle (read her blog here). She's so sweet and always writing to me, even when I'm off in lala land and forget to write back for a week or more. I know she'll pick out or knit some fabulous goodies for me! And I thought LAST year was good!

The forums at Knitter's Review: not enough great things can be said. You can search for tips on just about anything, you can join in conversations on the latest yarns or patterns, and all of it is free and run by one woman: Clara. Not only should you use KR's forums, you should read all of Clara's knitting reviews. Then buy some swag from her shop. It supports her site and helps keep flashy nonsense banner ads away. (There are knitting ads, but I actually like them. I am a yarn ho!)

Tomorrow: errands (post office, bank, grocery), KnitPicks order (wheeeee!), par-tay, and another DAY TO SCREW AROUND AND SLEEP IN. Then French food with H & J on Sunday. It don't get no betta.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Is this cool or what?

My friend's e-zine just published a humorous essay I wrote on knitting -- more specifically, on being a Knitter (infinite thanks to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for coining the capitalized term). Read it and be amused, or at least read it. Or at least be amused that I wrote a knitting essay for a patently non-knitting crowd.

Speaking of Ms. Stephanie herself, she is in the footnotes (yes! footnotes!) of this article, which I wrote so very passionately after meeting her at the Chicago stop of her bookbookbook2 tour. She sadly missed us on her first tour, so the greater Chicagoland area showed up in droves on Saturday, October 1 at Arcadia Knitting on the north side (which is my LYS, thankyouverymuch, yippee!). If you check out Stephanie's post after Chicago, you'll see a photo of ME. Go visit Steph's post but I have now saved the image to my Photobucket account for your viewing pleasure (photo credit to Stephanie).

I am on the left. Yes, I look flushed and ridiculous; good photos of me are few and far between. Do not judge me, ye who have not met me in the flesh.

I feel like a knitting superstar, getting to go out to eat with a REAL knitting AUTHOR, a local knitting HERO (Bonne Marie), and the owners of Arcadia (SUPER SISTERS in knitting HEAVEN). Plus I met another hero and SUPER BLOGGER, Franklin (on the right). What luck I have!

We had much wine and laughter. It was lovely.

The reading itself rocked, too; I met at least three classmates from Stitches Midwest's sweater finishing class with Leslye Solomon, had a new friend take my photo with the Harlot (uploaded image to come), and made a solemn offering to Stephanie: a tape measure. This is funnier, I promise, if you read the new bookbookbook.

Here I am meeting Ms. Pearl-McPhee.

Posed and smiley

Candid! Daring!

Many thanks to Kelly, my photographer -- I cannot remember how we met (was she in my Stitches class? Or friends of some who were?), but if she finds me, MAD PROPS!

I must now go to the place that Kelly works for. (I know this because she sent me a work email.) This is a very inside joke for Kelly and me, though probably just me.

On a side note: I extend my thoughts and love to Stephanie again, after hearing about her friend's death recently. She says she is doing better, but more kind thoughts can't hurt.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The c-word

No, it's not that, you filthy muffin! The c-word of which I speak is "consistency." This is a thing I often lack. Not that I consider myself a hypocrite...just a bit unpredictable!

As my ma would say, good thing I'm cute. Yes? Yes. So now, on to more frequent blog updatery!*

First things first, let's discuss my hair:

Your Hair Should Be Purple

Intense, thoughtful, and unconventional.
You're always philosophizing and inspiring others with your insights.

I don't usually go for these sorts of quizzy things, but hair color I can get into. I haven't dyed my hair wild colors since high school, when my hair was very short and I didn't feel attached to it. Plus I didn't have to worry about employment. But purple can be ascribed to an accident with home dyeing, if I play my cards right. Those dark dark red hair dyes used to make my hair a reddish purple back in Ye Day. But seriously, a new haircut is in order, and maybe a dye job just for fun, too!

The Knitter's Review Secret Pal 3 is AWESOME. My pal gives me great things, which I always forget to photograph before squirreling away the yarn and books and ohso fun goodies! I'll take some photos this week. One great thing she sent recently was a bath mitt kit! Now there's a handy thing to knit for myself, nevermind all those deserving loved ones. They can wait. And collecting stuff for my own secret pal is also joyful. I really get a kick out of this. I have two more packages to make, and two more to receive. The big "reveal" for everyone is November/December. Wooo!

More on the knitting front(ier): I have finished re-knitting all the bits to Honey, two sizes smaller than I orginally intended. This meant it was time, last-week-ish, for my first wild and wooly journey into BLOCKING! And I bought blocking wires at Stitches Midwest from my WONDERFUL instructor in sweater finishing, Leslye Solomon. (Hilarious and really knowledgeable. Meet her or better yet learn from her whenever possible.)

I've blocked smaller items before -- an unfelted purse here, a hat there -- but never mastered the wet blocking with needles thing. Wires ROCK! I am preaching-the-gospel-amen over here about it. Plus it makes the sweater look so spiny, so...menacing.

Let it be known that Margot helped me knit this, especially the last stretch: the sleeves (ugh) which I knit at the same time on some long and ridiculously pricy size 17 (!!!) Addis.

I also recently finished the Vivian II, so named for its tiny recipient who already got one hat made in identical yarn but which she has now outgrown. Eli approves.

In other knitting news, I'm going to help my friend Aleeza finish a long-ago stalled sweater by knitting a matching sleeve. Um, I could get in way over my head on this, but it's very worth it to her and to the sweater's eventual recipient, her father, who is currently very ill. Plus this way I get to bring Aleeza back into the knitting "fold" and help her with another ongoing project, a poncho for herself. (It's Aleeza's tiny daughter who will soon get the super-fabulous-colorful little girl poncho out of recycled sari silk and glittery Moonlight Mohair.)

I've joined the Kepler knitalong that dear Amy set up for this free pattern (PDF) by Emily. (EVERYONE, AMY HAD A BABY GIRL - three cheers for the Boogie!) The sweater is faboo, but I'm already stumped. I want to do my fabulous cast-on with waste yarn so I can kitchener the sleeve's cable band together (thanks again to Leslye Solomon!), but the cable pattern calls for doing a slip stitch edging. I know, I know, this is the sort of comment for the knitalong blog, but I had to vent here first. Ahem, done.

And now for some gratuitous cat photos.

Today's post brought to you by (shamelessly poaching) Wendy Knits. Wendy, your kitty is the CUTEST, and that hair color thing was a hoot.

*Footnote: I have yet to delve into the amazing story of the weekend of October 1, 2005, here in sunny Chicago, which involved meeting a Yarn Harlot face-to-face and hobnobbing with the stars! Count on hearing it soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Feeling groovy

I am feeling on top of my game today! At least, personally and knitting-ly. Let's do a list!

  1. My Knitter's Review Secret Pal is just awesome. I never did post photos of the last items she sent, and I oughta do that. (This was a while ago.) She's always commenting on the blog, sending me notes, and just being thoughtful! I assume my SP is a she. I am allowed to "assume" on my own blog, non?
  2. I swatched, and washed my swatch, like a Good Knitting Scout! After taking a sweater finishing class at Stitches Midwest, taught by the talented and hilarious Leslye Solomon, I am both humbled and jazzed about knitting. So much to learn, yet the smallest effort can yield such wonderful results! A kitchener seam from waste yarn is the most magical invisible thing EVER, next to maybe ANGELS. Whoa, dude. And she showed us the differences between washed swatches and unwashed ones...thusly do I wash my Kepler swatch, humbly and with knuckles sore from biting. I want the gauge to be right and I want to start now now now!
  3. The little girl poncho I'm making (and designing, I, just realized that) for my friend's adorable daughter, Mia the Pink and Purple Lady, is looking fan-tas-teriffic. It's stripes of recycled sari silk and Lion Moonlight Mohair in the bright blue and dark purple colorways (alternating). I'm just doing two rectangles in stockinette and seaming them to make a pointy front 'n' back. I hope I have enough of the sari yarn to fringe a bit. The colors are little girl fabulous (TM)!
  4. Lastly, my kitties have been super adorable today, impressing our friend from out of town with their charms. I say this as Margot chews on plastic, of course. Good thing our friend is already in bed!
I hope a list distracts y'all from noticing the lack of images or real knitting content. More to come, I promise!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cabling like a mofo

I joined the Kepler Knitalong, hosted by Boogie for a sweater designed by Emily at Fathom Harvill. Get a free PDF of this sweater here!

(Click to biggy-size)

The be-yoo-tiful sweater has a cabled band horizontally across the front and back, and at the wrists of the sleeves. The rest is simple stockinette with a boatneck. I'll wait for you to see the pattern now, as I have totally sold you on it.

Come back soon!

Heh. I am currently torn about yarn usage. I have a chunky tweed that would require The Dreaded Maths, and a DK weight tweed that would require more yarn (I'd be about 100-200 yards short, methinks) and is possibly knit too loosely anyway, though I'll wash the swatch next. Mmmm...Rowan felted tweed in Pickle...droooool. Been waiting to use this (50% merino/25% alpaca/25% rayon) for MONTHS. Bought enough for a plain stockinette sweater, and no more. Why don't I have the power of reason?! Usually buying extra yarn is no problem for me (ironic laughter, insertable herein).

Alright, to bed with me! Friday night is knittin' night with movies, I think. Bonne Marie would agree: Woot! Did I mention I went to her knitting in public last Thursday? This Thursday pales in comparison! Can't wait to see her and the others soon.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Day After

After what? After coming to terms with the fact that I needed to sell stash. And it feels alright! Mildly (read: devastatingly) embarrassing, to see the part of my stash that is sell-able, implying how much I still have, but it's good for me. And thanks to everyone who has already bought some!

This also means that Today I must reinstate the yarn diet, aka YNBA (yarn non-buying agreement). Must call Mom again.

There was a YNBA button/webring for a while. It was even done by Chicago bloggers! I think they are done with the YNBA, so I think I oughta start my own. I'll even try making a button. Why not? I'll check in with them first...

Photos later this week of the Stitches Midwest stash enhancement (from last weekend) and my upcoming knitting plans! Also, hopefully, some progress bars for my UFOs.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Post-partum, pre-parting? aka Stash Reduction Cometh!

I have given in to my brokeness and lack of space in the urban apartment -- please, take my yarn! Help a girl pay the rent and assuage her guilt.

My stash sale is at

and you can also see the slideshow of yarns and prices at

Friday, August 19, 2005

More about "vay-kay"

I first saw the phrase "vay-kay" in Seventeen magazine when I was, oh, seventeen or so. My friend Heather and I laughed heartily. I still say it with irony. (Do not judge me, readers, for I am still possessed of Sincere Language Skills.)

After doing the knitting tour of Albuquerque proper, the dahling C and I traveled north to Taos, a wonderful artist community (formerly peopled by D. H. Lawrence and Georgia O'Keefe) featuring the COMPLETELY fabulous and unbelievable La Lana Wools.

One more time: La Lana Wools! Click and buy, fer goodness's sake!!

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For most of the additional images, I'll post thumbnails. That one is work BIGNESS, though. Daaaaaaamn, that was some fine yarn and wearables. I wish I had tons more money so I could have bought the woven rugs and more of their patterns. As it was I spend plenty of moolah. Here I lie with enough yarn for four projects:

Note look of complete absorption! At the store I fondled and even test knit the 50/50 silk and wool yarn, Phat Silk, which I bought in green and purple (bee-yoo-tee-FULL) for two scarf projects. It goes with the gigantic curly "tailspun" for a wild and fun neck-wrap.

I also got some 100% silk boucle and more Phat Silk for a faux moebius, which I might make into a real moebius but keep the pretty lace pattern. And I got a gifty for Mom, some of the famous La Lana Forever Random wool with some 100% Bombyx silk to make a lil' drawstring bag.

Aside from knitting-related activities, Taos is gorgeous and adorable simultaneously. Sangre de Cristo mountains, adorable downtown area...twisty, green northern New Mexico back roads, touristy yet arty plaza...fantastico.

Also, great food. We ate at the nice-fancy-ish places at night, so the photos were no good. However, brunch at the diner near our motel was faboo! Huevos rancheros, y'all.

That look means "I feel guilty for eating this, but it is so good!" You can see the shadow of the drippin' queso on my tank top. Mmmm.

On the drive back to Albuquerque, we visited Angel Peak outside Santa Fe so we could take the ski lift up for an off-season view of...the whole damn state, practically!

The ski lift had hooks behind the seats for people to put bikes on. During spring/summer, you can bike down the ski trails. Whoa, dude. Charlie and I got a nice woman, reading a book, to take our photo outside the mountaintop lodge (closed for the season, sadly).

At the bottom of the mountain was a kiddie playland, though C and I couldn't figure out why it was there (this tourist stop is off the beaten path, at least during summer). There was a bouncy inflatable dragon thing that cracked us up, especially after I did this:

Oh, and where else did we stop? Hint: fiber related.

Yep, Victory Ranch Alpacas. I fed that little guy, and this little guy --

-- a total pig who came running when our tour guide opened the gates. Alpacas running = high comedy.

The gift shop had lots of woven and knitted alpaca garments, but most of the yarn available was millspun and not from the alpacas on the ranch. Luckily there was some spun, undyed alpaca as well as some alpaca fiber to fondle. Whee!

Alpacas are sometimes hungry:

Last bit: We went up one more mountain, this time the Sandias in Albuquerque. C and I went up this mountain via tram, as we did once before when I first visited him in ABQ four years ago. Here is a photo of us smooching. (Don't say I didn't warn you.)

Did I mention C is great? He can do impressions, too, such as Sam the Big Cat doing his lazy/mean face:

So, in summary, the trip was great. Now I only have two more big things to discuss (well, maybe three) to catch up: Stitches Midwest, my mom and bro visiting, and my first "knitting in public" with the Wicker Park group (featuring Bonne Marie and company).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Albuquerque...and back again

Everyone, I had an experience on this, my last vacation: it was my first actual long trip where I could really INDULGE the new yarn fetish.

Background: My mom taught me to knit five years ago, during winter break from my freshman year of college. She had just gotten back into knitting, and luckily one local yarn shop (LYS) still existed in our hometown.

I did my research before departing: LYS in Taos, Albuquerque itself, Santa Fe, and the backroads specials. Wait 'til I tell you about that one.

For the sake of not under/overwhelming anyone who may read this, I'll break this report into parts. I'll throw in some general trip impressions and rememories when appropriate/fun.

Today shall be called Day of the Something/Something-else. Celebrate!

My dahling's family lives in Albuquerque, who lovingly provided a base for us in New Mexico. We flew in on Friday, July 29, late at night. By Saturday my knitting hands were itching, and my baby's mama suggested one of the LYSs I'd found in my research: Village Wools. (Apologies -- as I've been out of the blogosphere for a while, I didn't immediately realize I should've been snapping pictures. LUCKILY, a smarter blogger took some photos, as the store has no website.)

See this knitting fella's blog entry for the full story, from December 2003.

The women I met there were amazing. Two approached me to ask if I wanted help, and the second even teased my dahling. She pointed out the yarn store pup (pettable), a rocking chair (rockable), and a nearby coffee shop (edible). I suppose she correctly interpreted his overwhelmed, blank stare. As the blog linekd above points out, they had an amazing selection of wool and natural fiber yarns, especially Manos del Uruguay. I bought two skeins for my knitting homie Mel -- go Mel! -- who also cat-sat and house-sat. And besides all this, she's beautiful and smart and the sweetest thing since iced chocolate. One variegated fall colors with some great gold, and then a matching solid gold (heh). I offered to help her knit My So-called Scarf. I am a blog LINKER today! See the free scarf/stitch pattern at Sheep in the City!

Funny and true New Mexico fact: the Z-Coil shoes, made in ABQ, are all over the place. I first saw them on a woman at the grocery store. I whispered and pointed to my beloved, repeatedly, as he shrugged, but then he said, "Yeah, those. You've never seen those?"

Check 'em out.

Some knitting "other": I saw the preview for Rowan's fall magazine (#28) on Royal Yarns, then of course had to go to for the real deal (mostly what yarns are in which patterns). My Kid Classic wants to be a dramatic sweater, and I think I have some leftover Ribbon Twist that can form an unholy union with cheapo depot Lion Brand thick'n'quick to make an awesome capelet! This means I have to seam up the wicked Ribbon Twist sweater from this winter, just to assuage my guilt (er, and also to measure how much supposed "leftover" yarn I have...though I'll seam with a complementary yarn for msot of it since it's so bulky).

Edit: I just tried importing photos from darlin's computer, but I chose too many and it was taking forever. Beautiful vistas and shots of La Lana Wools tomorrow!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Uhh...where am I?

No, I have not been kidnapped for weeks. And the knitting I HAVE done in this missing time - not many photos. I know, I know, C'MON LAURA BLOGS ARE FOR PHOTOS.

(You're too nice to shout. Thank you. But I digress.)

What have I done?
  • Suede Ugg booties, free pattern from the DIY show Knitty Gritty, which I gave (giggling and squealing) to a coworker before taking a photo
  • Back of Smooch is done (!!) and just finished the lace border of the front
  • A few inches of a four-year-old girl's poncho out of sari silk, frogged because it stretched
So yes, I still need to finish my Gramma's pillow (from MOTHER'S DAY, bad Laurakeet), which I'm putting off because I think I need to re-knit the loopy side (ah the PAIN) with a garter stitch border (that's listed in the pattern, but I forgot) and a nicer cast-off edge. I also need to adjust my gauge a bit, probably just by adding an extra couple stitches width-wise. Then it will fit on the pillow size I have!

Then it will truly be a labor of love. Margot loves the pillow, here shown in progress (click for a larger pic):

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I also have Secret Mom Gift that needs to be seamed and fluffed up (heehee, that's all I write in case La Mama reads this).

Then...I'm almost out of UFO territory (UnFinished Objects, y'all) and into NEW PROJECT TIME WOO!

Sorry for all the shouting. I love the shift key toooo-day!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Joining a KAL!

For the uninitiated, that's KAL for knit-along! In my case, for the ribbon x-back tank top from The knit-along started back when the summer Knitty issue came out. I've been perusing the posts for a while, and I knew before I started that if you don't use 100% cotton ribbon yarn, you'll need negative ease. I bought some Berroco Zen to use for it, in Umeboshi Plum (discontinued), but then I remembered I had stashed lots of Gedifra Poesie (in 2045, Magic Carpet -- woooo!), a frothy mostly-manmade ribbon yarn. The Poesie matched the gauge better, so less math (or less knitting with doubled yarn -- a PITA plus a thicker fabric, which ain't so hot for a hot-weather tank).

I started with it, did 3" or so of seed stitch in a smaller size than I would've expected, and then signed when the fabric wasn't so great (too seethrough and stretchy -- translation: would ride up and show too much BELLY) and the size was waaaay too big. A knitted inner tube. Harumph. So now I'm probably going back to the Zen. I only have 4 balls, but I'll probably bitch to Yarnia (where I bought the yarn) if it's not enough for the pattern in the size I purchased, which is supposed to be enough for a medium/large.

I'm also working on the Smooch tank. I got my ducks in a row with it, FINALLY (I did one too many decrease rows at the waist), and am just about to the armpits. However, I am supposed to do about twelve more rows and yet only knit a couple more centimeters per the pattern. Eh, I'll just keep counting my rows; the front and back will match at least!

Also, a happy shout-out to Amy for her zip-front cardigan in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits. Buy it when it comes to newsstands in a month or so! It doesn't give Amy any nickels, as far as I know, but it would give her many smiles (and probably put a smile on Spawn's tiny mug, too!).

Monday, May 30, 2005

It's been a haaaard daaaay's niiiight!

And I have been working like a dog, y'all. It was one of those "Oh geez, I haven't posted, but now I have so much to say it will take too long, and uh err ugghhhh..." sort of things.

I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool about three eons ago (i.e., three weeks) and had a VUNDERFUL time! I got lots of goodies for myself & friends from Tess' Yarns, Brooks Farm, Green Mountain Spinnery, Mohair in Motion (great little farm in South Dakota with some HUGE hanks of mohair and loopy mohair for cheap-o), Peace Fleece, and plenty more. Mostly yarn and patterns, but also 4-H apple butter and a stuffed bear made of alpaca fur! (Shaved, not killed alpaca.) I only took photos of animals because I'm a dork that way (as in I will cuddle anything furry), but I should've also photographed the folks I met, including Knitter's Review folks like KR webmistress Clara and Amy (Boogie)! She gave me a LOVELY pottery ornament she made. I also got to hand off the devil tail d'Miss M (hot pink). Thanks to everyone else I met -- I'm afraid to list you because I'll forget a few!

My Mom and I had a fun time road trippin' to Maryland, and we're excited to go to Stitches Midwest together in August. Woohoo! We're taking a class together, possibly, if we both get in. It's on finishing. I need a butt kickin' in that direction, so it'll be mega-proactive.

In knitting, I finished my Gramma's loopy pillow and a couple of baby hats. I made the hats out of Cascade Fixation Bulky using the roll-brim pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts (which calls for 1824 cotton). I gave one of them, size small, to my very-expecting coworker. I may find out tomorrow that the baby has come! It's not a newborn-sized hat, but I hope the little girl will grow into the hat as the summer wears on. There's a blue one for an older boy; after it's washed, it's going to the mom!

Next it's my much-delayed All Seasons Cotton tank top and some hot pink Ugg booties, hopefully with matching hat.

In my work world, I had an interview for a great position that's doing just about the same things I'm doing now but for an actual paycheck. No offense to AmeriCorps*VISTA (I'm a VISTA now), but that "stipend" is hard to live on, especially in Chicago. The sliding scale of pay went out the window with the rest of AmeriCorps' budget, and it's just not enough for urban areas unless I got about three more roommates for the apartment. Or stop knitting. Uh, NO!

A co-VISTA who started at the same time I did already left the organization for a paralegal-type job because she needed a new living situation and couldn't afford it. Yowza. Her going-away gift was two springy cotton yarns, needles, and directions on doing a drop-stitch scarf. She's learned to knit before and was totally stoked. Her next question is how to make gloves! Ambitious! Plus, I can't teach her really...but maybe it'll make me learn!

Other than the Stitches Midwest orgy in August, the Yarn Diet (or YNBA, yarn non-buying agreement) with Mom ostensibly continues for me.

Photos and more updates soon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

If Mom is reading this...

...please stop. Seriously, I feel guilty enough even saying that.

Because, y'all, my dear Mama and I made a YNBA with each other. For the uninitiated, that means Yarn Non-Buying Agreement. This was because we hoped to save up for Maryland Sheep & Wool, and especially for me since I've been stash-building compulsively since Christmas or so.

But then Webs had their anniversary sale. And I finally found a good price on Noro Silk Garden on Ebay. (Go see this seller: flat-rate shipping to U.S. addresses and some nice Noro, Mtn. Colors, and Blue Sky!). And I got a free shipping code for Jimmy Bean's Wool from my spring '05 Interweave Knits, which means several issues of Rebecca and a Noro pattern book to make a pretty thing out of the Silk Garden. And free shipping and 20% off at Yarnia, so I got Zen to make Knitty's X-Back. (No one in the knit-along is using Berroco Zen, but I heard of one girl through Knitter's Review who's doubling it -- I think I'll do that.)

Some yarn diet, eh? At least I've resisted Elann. Not much of an accomplishment, but still. NOW there are only 10 DAYS until the Wool Fest, so I must be good.

Now I just have to finish my G-ma's loopy pillow (front is done, now just the garter stitch back in lime green), sew in ends on the hot pink devil tail for Miss M, and then get chugging on my much-ignored tank top (Smooch, remember?). I resist the urge to be selfish and keep working on the Smooch. Soon, Smooch, soon.

I know I promised photos and didn't deliver -- maybe tonight? Charlie, help!

Non-knitting: I watched the PBS documentary on The Ramones last night, way past my bedtime. It was awesome, but man...kinda depressing. I never realized that they never made it big, really. Yet everybody listens to them and has a t-shirt. (Or at least among my friends?) And I hadn't realized that Johnnie Ramone, the guitarist, is a crazy right-winger. At their Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame induction, he ended his acceptance with "God bless America, and God bless President Bush." (This was W., folks.) Joey Ramone, the lead singer, was a leftist in the proud punk tradition. Weird, though, that they hated each other (aside: Johnnie stole Joey's girlfriend; they are now married) and had totally different worldviews. RIP Joey and DeeDee.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Chugging along

After hitting my rock bottom knitting-wise, I picked myself up off the floor and began again!

I got through the charted lace pattern on Smooch, though I'm holding off continuing up the back until I get my kacha-kacha row counter back from...

...the incredibly quickly-moving loopy pillow for G-ma!

I'll post photos for both of these later. I have some love-r-ly shots of Margot getting interested in the pillow, then chewing it, then getting shooed away. A triptych, people. Classy.

I am back. I am unbeatable! (*Shakes fists in air triumphantly*) Bring me yarn and I shall make it FABRIC.

Plus, if my hands get tired tonight working on the pillow (making the loops is SORE on my left hand) I can start the devil tail fun! Even just the i-cord is a distraction. Watch out, Miss M! You shall soon be made NAUGHTY.

Speaking of, this is me with Dream Haircut:
Laura with short red hair

That is Eli next to me, sort of. Hi, me! And I have my "knitting bag" just as Skinny Rabbit suggests. (Hers is on the right hand side.) Click on me to make your own goofy shoppin' avatar!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I am laughing out loud...and other expressions of happiness Pretty Girl's website. This is just killer stuff, y'all.

Knitting my Gramma's pillow is really fun. I'm doing the loopy pillow from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation (pictured here in blue), though I'm planning on doing three colors on the front: turquoise mainly, with two skinny stripes of lime green and bright pink. Gramma loves color!!!

The back of the pattern calls for garter stitch knit on the bias. Though vaguely interesting, I'm inclined to do both sides all loopy and shag-rug-like. But perhaps I don't have enough yarn for it? I do have oodles of Lamb's Pride. And it makes a mighty soft pillow, peeps.

Speaking of which: Bo Peep's Wool Shop wrote back to me today concering my order with them. I backordered some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and some Cascade 220. The Cotton Fleece is holding up my order, but the be-yoo-tiful lime green will be worth it when it arrives, and it slowly but surely gets turned into Trek from Rowan 37. Which means I need some buttons and buckles! This calls for a craft store trip....Oh, and Joann's is having a sale this weekend, you say? How interesting. *naughty laughter*

I'm on a yarn diet, see, but accessories? And beads? And other stuff? Not off limits. Within reason, anyway. *guilty giggle* Plus I probably won't even find buttons and buckles I like at Jo's, but instead little goofery that will just clutter the apartment. Sigh. I'll set a spending limit and make myself happy anyway! *gentle smile of achievement*

Monday, April 11, 2005

She's crafty: knitting AND beading?!

It's a Beastie Boys song ("She's Crafty" -- or is that not the title?). And it's me!

I tend to be fickle with crafts, which is why I'm happily surprised that knitting really holds my attention and my passion. Recently I decided to try my hand at making beaded stitch markers, since I have always loved beads and jewelry. I did the little-kid-designing of jewelry, from pop beads to earrings at the local bead store (which I had them actually put together on hoops), but I have never tried any "adult" beading projects.

Which brings me to a question: Anyone out there have a good beginner's beading book? I perused the stacks at Barnes & Noble, and there seem to be JUST TOO MANY. I want to know how to twist wire, what tools I'll need, a good resource guide, and design tips (though not necessarily project ideas). I'll probably mostly do either knitting with beads and basic beading for necklaces, earrings, etc. using wire or cording.

If you have a suggestion, leave a comment and I will gladly give advice (or handmade stitch markers!!!) in exchange.

On the knitting front, I'm excited to knit up a pillow or two for my Gramma's Mother's Day gift, another devil tail for the Delightful Miss M (mini-Boogie), and the no-longer-evil orange tank top for me. All by May! Can I do it??? Woo!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Knittin' blues...

That's what I got, y'alls.

Today is not as bad as last night, when I originally wrote this post (read: Blogger bites and wouldn't let me upload). I was having a general down night. First I realized I had screwed up Smooch (a cute tank top with a lacey border from Rowan's All Seasons Cotton Collection, knit in -- you guessed it -- Rowan's ASC), or at least too many small errors too many times. I had only done ten rows or so, though those were picot edging and a lace chart, so I thought NEVAHMIND, I will frog it and start over.

I went online to find Smooch advice and found a knit-along from summer 2003. Lots of advice on changing armhole and neck shaping, information on the picot edging -- blah blah, but nothing on the lace chart. I guess I just need to learn charts better and take my time. It's only 11 rows!

See, already much better than last night, when I felt like I could do nothing complicated. Ever. But I'm back to my original philosophy: difficulty makes the heart grow fonder. (Or something like that, right?) The harder projects are usually the ones that give better finished products, and so far I still haven't finished anything I've knit for myself.

Soon -- maybe even in time for Maryland Sheep & Wool! -- I will have a melange orange-and-white (MANGO!) tank top for me me me. This time I will swatch (bad Laura) and measure my tank tops beforehand to prevent yet another big frog-o later on. And I'm taking Boogie's advice and using my real measurements, not my "aren't I a size 5?" ones.

On the non-knitting front....

Sin City is such a great great film. I'm not sensitive about gore (except in war movies), but those of you who are beware, I guess. But honestly it's so stylized it shouldn't bug you much. I only closed my eyes once, and that's because I don't like vomit. Wow, this doesn't come out as a ringing endoresement, does it? Well it is! Awesome looking, cool cool cool. Go see it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I got a comment tonight from another Carleton graduate from my hometown, but the person left no email address. Leave another comment with your email address! I only know of a few other Carleton folks from Morgantown: Molly Charon (sp?) and a few new freshmen from MHS. Do write!

And for the rest of you...what can I say? The Carleton connection is strong. My friends from college do cool things and go to cool places.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Music just sunk my battleship

Don't forget about my stash sale!

I just went ath-crathzy with my With Litht (Wish List) at so I can remember all the GREAT iTunes hoppin' I've done tonight. I remembered two things more or less simultaneously tonight: I found a great new folk singer recently (while in Austin, TX and not-so-coincidentally seeing Austin City Limits on PBS in my hotel room), and I had five free iTunes downloads. Patty Griffin has a strong and wonderful voice, yet she is a tiny lil' twig of a thing. Isn't that how it always is? I recognized two songs from the 30-second snippets and got them. Even Charlie is in love! And she's playing in Chicago on April 24. Who wants to be my date?* If you can possibly get your hands on "Useless Desires" or "When It Don't Come Easy," give Ms. Griffin a try, even if folk ain't your thang.

Plus I got the new Weezer single, "Beverly Hills." It sorta blows, what's new, but I'm a sick loyalist. I know I will never get another "Surfwax America," but that's okay.

On this topic, I could get me some serious knitting vibes if I put on some new CDs...Sounds like an excuse to visit some local music stores!!!

And, anyone got some music suggestions? I prefer unique pop/indie/folky ladies, sorta in that order. I already fed liberally from Jeph's list at Questionable Content, much of which made me snap my fingers and go, "Yeah! [Insert hipper-than-me buddy] recommended that to me!"

* Even if Charlie likes this music, he's not interested in seeing concerts most of the time. I'm already hearty when it comes to amps and loud music, and goodness a FOLK concert won't be loud, but I don't think he'll budge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Finally a secret gift photo!

No point putting this down at the original post now, so here it is: MY FIRST secret pal gift, and what a gift it is! Great yarn and roving and needles and smelly soap!

Image hosted by

Stash sale!!!

[Photos at Photobucket gallery]

All yarn still has its original tags and wrappers unless otherwise indicated. Smoke-free home and stored well away from cats (space bags, Tupperware, dresser drawers, etc.).

To buy or trade something, just leave me a comment; it will send me an email.

Will ship at cost within U.S. via USPS unless requested otherwise (I will also do FedEx). Contact me for shipping estimates outside the lower 48. Most of this is just being sold because I have no plans for it in the immediate future and it’s taking up space!

What I want in trade: any Rowan Cotton Tape (ideally “winter” colors), 5 balls Rowan Calmer for a pillow, any cotton or silk or cotton/silk blends (with no synthetics), any Rowan magazines (especially #33)

NEW -- I will trade my 10 balls of Cotton Tape, bamboo (light grass green, color #544, lot 43852), for another color. I'd like electric (#550), fever (#555), glade (#546), or any other bright pink or turquoise. Leave comment if interested. (I will also consider selling it -- make me an offer.)

Bernat Boa, 1 ball parrot (purple), lot 99854, asking $3

Bernat Matrix, 1 ball natural network (02011), lot ?, asking $3

Berroco Pronto Print, 13 balls park slope (4571), lot 5890, from Elann, asking $35

Berroco Chinchilla, 1 ball tan (5535), lot 42, enough for chemo care cap (ask if you want the free pattern), asking $3

Gedifra Verusca, 2 balls lilac (2106), lot 71701, great for felting, asking $10

Katia Reno Plus, 12 balls fresh water pearl (614), lot 71886, from Elann, 1 ball partially used then frogged, patterns in Katia #43, asking $40

Lion Jiffy, four colors: peacock teal (2), black (2), denim (1), camel (1), email for color and lot #s, asking $1.50 each or all of them for $7

Elann Peruvian Collection Baby Silk, 5 balls raspberry (2010), lot 2, asking $12

Cascade 220, 3 balls orange (9444), lot 4153, asking $18

Classic Elite La Gran, 4 balls coral (a pretty orange), no color or lot # listed, asking $30
* Buy the 220 and La Gran together to make Cherry Twist from Knitty (my original plan), only $42! *

Katia #43, fall/winter, 58 designs, asking $11 (includes sweater patterns for Reno Plus)

Gifts and photos!

My my, this post is overdue!

I will be posting photos to go with all of this TONIGHT. (I need Charlie's assistance to get the photos onto his computer and then onto mine.)

In the meantime, as previously reported my Mom gave me WONDERFUL gifts when I went home! The theme here is bright colors, people. She used really fun flourescent fabrics to make me a straight needle roll and a circular needle holder, both patterns from Stitch n Bitch. Neon cats! This stuff is awesome. I still use my wonderful straight-and-DPN roll from Boogie for my DPNs. Now I have more room for straight and double points! *Bwahahaha*

Mama also made me bright socks! They have this awesome twisted stitch that is hard to see in person, so probably also hard to see in a photo, because of the variegated colors. But they FEEL twisted, sister. Ooooo! Mom's in sock mode lately. I now have two pair and expect more as spring wears on. I may have to get on this bus, too, considering that I have the needles and the yarn! (Thanks, Boogie!)

See, Amy (Boogie) was my Santa-Pal last December. She rawked. And NOW I have another awesome Secret Pal through KR who sent me NIIIICE things. First, two balls of Noro Silk Garden, which I have been craving for ages. (One of those put-it-in-the-shopping-cart-then-take-it-out things!) It's color 65 with lots of muted brights in it: purple, turquoise, pink, green, OOOOO! I am really into capital letters over this stuff. Some dark red corriedale rovingg, too, to get my off my butt and spinning! I am PSYCHED to learn this stuff on my spindle. Then, MY FIRST PAIR OF ADDIS! Yes, another shopping cart dilemma. And they're long size 7s, how practical!!! Then, of course, a wonderful sniffy thing: lavender soap, handmade and wrapped in fabric. Such a strong and delightful lavender it is!

I think I now have to ration exclamation points for the next few posts. Oh well.

For knitting content, here I go: I have been slaving away on the drop-stitch ribbon scarf, which seems to be taking forever. I think I'll work hardcore on it this week and (cross my fingers) finish it at this weekend's Stitch 'n' Bitch with my knittin' coworkers. Alas, Traci must miss this one again! She is the only one who still doesn't know how to knit. Darn her and her LSAT test prep. Wouldn't we all rather be knitting? (Says someone with no idea of taking the LSATs in the near future...)

My Banff sweater (from knitty) is a little too itchy. Not sure what to do with this "barn yarn" as Bonne Marie would say. Maybe it's finally getting too warm to work on this wooly mammoth! Good and bad, I suppose.

The green sweater (Honey) still needs to be sewn up. I think I'll only block the sleeves separately due to the sweater's odd costruction, then wet-block the body as one piece after stitching it up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ahhhh...back home again!

Whew! My whirlwind tour of Both Coasts is done. By which I mean, I have been to Pittsburgh/D.C. and back, then to Tucson and back, and now the Windy City greets me anew with freshly cold weather.

The funraiser reception in D.C. was awesome! I met Sargent Shriver, IN PERSON, and was completely awed. I also introduced my parents to Sen. Barack Obama and got my picture taken with him.

In Tucson, my friend Brody's wedding (to the ever-lovely Esther -- seriously, so beautiful, and as a BRIDE? Whoa!) was ever so great, as was the whole weekend. The five Carleton guests (including Charlie and me) got to spend more time than we had even hoped for with Brody on Friday and Saturday. Lots of frisbee, some mini golf, and general hanging around eating pre-wedding-party leftovers.

We went to the Desert Museum outside Tucson, which also makes you drive through the Saguaro National Park. Lots of cacti and arid animalia were photographed. Also, somehow I did not get a sunburn! Trust me on this, that's rare -- I am as white as a polar bear's belly. (Note: polar bears actually have black skin. I just thought this was funny.)

Speaking of photos, I still want to post pics of gifts from Mom, and also some selected Tucson pics. We took about 350 digital photos in Tucson. To be fair, most of them are duplicates when I thought I had blurred the shot, but still, it will take some sorting through to filter out the best ones.

This Secret Pal thing is awesome! I have been looking at some of the gifts those in the exchange have gotten and I am PUMPED. I won't say whether I already sent mine out, but suffice it to say it did/will rock as well.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Knitting & nerdiness: a lethal one-two punch

Tomorrow is the Big Day, when I go to the fundraiser in D.C. for work and have to meet (gulp) famous politicians and historical figures. At least I got a haircut today!

On to my title. I have so many things to report! When I came home, my mama had a whole bag of goodies for me. She sewed me a circular needle holder and a straight needle holder ala Stitch n Bitch patterns with WONDERFUL and BRIGHT fabrics! I am talking fluorescent, people. (Photos to come, probably Wednesday night, for all'a these.) Also the cool, avant garde (if I may) book, Simple Knits With a Twist. I think I'm inspired to knit with wire and recycled plastic bags! And some great socks, knit with Mom hands so extra-great, and pom-pom stencils (aka little circular whatchamacallits). Also some fun fur she picked up for me at a sale, so I can knit the monster slippers from Stitch n Bitch Nation.

On to nerdiness: I was just thinking that I should add some links to my sidebar, but first let me highlight them here. I read quite a few free webcomics on a regular basis, generally ironic slightly-R-rated ones that deal with goofy animals and/or hipster-youth goofery. (Oh, you would be surprised how often those overlap.) I ain't no hipster, at least not since high school (I guesstimate), but still I do love me some hip friends and cultural references! And humor. So here, in no particular order, are my most-read webcomics. Check 'em out, they're free, and you're bound to find at least one of them funny. Not "bound" bound, but likely...

Achewood by Chris Onstad. Highly bizarre, in the best way. Animals and stuffed animals in a sort of parallel/underground world, being funny and nasty and neurotic.

Scary Go Round by John Allison. Wonderful art, British accents, and again with the bizarre. More surreal storylines than the others. Zombies, spies, bald child-like harbingers of cetera.

Diesel Sweeties by r stevens. All about the old-school: laughing at this one since it started. I have not one, but TWO t-shirts by this guy. The baby dolls he stocks (along with many other webcomic artists), brand name Bella, are totally comfy and soft. Plus they come with funny things on them, like pixellated skulls. You see, DS is drawn to look like old-old compy graphix. Part of its retro charm!

Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques. Read it for the first time a month ago or so, then read ALL the past ones. Fun storyline; more straightforward and less gag-oriented, too. A little romance with your indie? Go get it.

Goats by Jonathan Rosenberg. Anyone on top of "it" enough to register back in the days of the Big URL Shuffle has to have a good sense of humor. Diablo, the satanic chicken, awaits thee. Proceed with caution and beer.

Magical Adventures in Space and Wigu and Overcompensating by Jeffrey Rowland. Wigu is the old comic, retired at the end of 2004. Magical Adventures in Space...seriously, look past the title that makes you think of kids' shows -- well, it's about a kiddie show, sorta. Well. Go see. And Overcompensating is his almost-daily comic-blog that frequently cracks me up even more than his regular comics!

Those are the ones I have to keep up with daily. Though it is fun to forget, since then you get to overindulge and read three or four comics at once! Ahh, I am ill.

Not sure how this makes a lethal one-two punch. Perhaps by making this post inordinately long? Ka-slamma POW!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Leaving on a jet plaaaane

Today is my last day in Chicago for a while. I'm heading home, as I mentioned before, tomorrow morning. Coming back Wednesday night, then leaving Friday night for my friends' wedding in Tucson, coming back Monday afternoon. Whew!

Sherry in Pittsburgh: you left a comment about Yarns Unlimited in Sewickley. That's where Mom and I are going! I couldn't remember the name when I posted the other day. (I would've emailed you but you didn't leave your address.) My mom has been there once before, and she's excited to take me there on the way home from the airport. We live in northern West Virginia, about an hour and a half south of Pittsburgh.

I really don't need any more yarn or patterns, but I'll leave room in my suitcase anyway...

Girl Scout cookies are here. I am trying to limit myself to one "serving" per day, according to the boxes. But let's face it: these little cookies have shrunk over the years, so two Samoas doesn't go too far toward sating my caramel-coconut-chocolate desire. Maybe two servings to start out. I am such a wimp.

Then Easter. I think I'll wait to limit my sugar intake until, uh, April...

If I did LiveJournal, my current mood would be "Guilty, barely."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Yeah, so the title, it's just that I'm WAAAY excited about this Secret Pal thing (through the friendly forums at Knitter's Review, a wonderful site besides the message board -- see my sidebar). Right now I'm knitting up something for my pal, which means no updates on that. Suffice it to say that it's really cute and going pretty fast. If it turns out nice, it would be great to make for lots of friends! Befriend me, all ye strangers, and get a Wonderful Knitted Thing. It's possible!

Also Charlie wants me to point out that the kitty photos in Sunday's post (below) are wonderful passage-of-time selections because the cats are sitting on the same blue cushion. I guess they like it, non? It was in the $1 bin at Ikea but didn't fit in its intended place, a chair. Luckily it fits atop the kitties' handmade scratching post. I want to make this one next -- just need a wooden stepladder and some elbow grease. Well, and all the other supplies. Yeah.

I think I may just block the sleeves and lightly block the body of my ribbon twist sweater soon. However, I'm going out of town for a family visit and then a business trip on Saturday morning through Wednesday night. I doubt I can do the blocking and seaming by then...If I get over the feeling of futility with that time frame, I'll start it. I was sick yesterday and it got me feeling behind.

But soon! I will be flying into Pittsburgh & yarn-shopping with Mama! Weeehaw!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunday is kitty day!

Check out how cute my kitties are.

They were born sometime around April 15, 2004, so they are our tax day kittens. Charlie and I got them over the July 4th weekend last summer, so the ickle-bitty kitten pics are from last summer. Here's a particularly cutesy kitten picture:

Eli is a male, white with black spots. Margot is our gray girl. She has some faint tabby markings and thicker fur than her "brother." (We adopted them from PAWS, a wonderful no-kill shelter in Chicago. No one is sure whether they were from the same litter; a woman brought in several litters at once to be rescued. Margot and Eli were in the same pen, all cuddled up, and to this day they are good buddies!)

The kitties bein' buddies just a few days ago:

Yes, Eli has pink ears. HUGE pink ears.

One more thing: I know the cats look fatso in those photos of them lyin' on the rug together, but they're not. It's weird. Now I'm worried I'm porking up my cats!

On a knitting note, I have finished the second sleeve of Honey out of Rowan ribbon twist (see below). Now I need to block the sucka, seam it up, then pick up stitches for the collar & knit the drawstring & pom-poms. I think I'll have at least one ball left over.

Did I mention Entenmann's coffee cake (especially the raspberry) is the best thing ever? Purrrrrrr.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Happy Tavern Day!

My Secret Pal once again came through today (hope I'm not putting too much pressure on you, if you're reading this!!) with a funny e-card. As it turns out, today (March 4) is Tavern Day, marking the opening of the first tavern in the U.S. (in Boston to be exact) in 1634. Lucky for us, this year it falls on a Friday. Partay!

Actually tomorrow is Tavern Day for me. My friends are holding a fundraiser for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk at a bar tomorrow night. Make a donation and drink all night! Or at least until you're wobbly. I'm taking my dearie and some friends from work (and some of their dearies). It's the Boob Party!

By the way, look out for March 22. I think I'll try to plan a little something special for that one!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Some knitting say the least!

Finally! First, a photo of two gifts for two love-r-ly ladies. On the left, a Hannah in a barely-visible bulky cabled hat. On the right, an Amanda in a drop-stitch thick & thin wool scarf. It's OnLine Linie Jumbo that I got from knitwerx. Yay Yarnni and size 35 needles!
(Click on all of these photos to see them full-size.)

(Also, I gave Hannah that sweater. I didn't knit it; just a hand-me-down.)

Then we have a photo of my lovely Rowan Ribbon Twist sweater-in-progress, from the yarn's own collection: the shy, the bold, the contradictory cardigan called Honey.

Here's a photo of the whole shebang minus sleeves, pre-blocking, followed by a close-up of the edging stitch, a cute wavy triangular jobber.

It sleeps in this bag.

Before the ribbon twist, I started knitting Banff from Knitty in a Rowan chunky tweed yarn I bought on Ebay from Jannette in the UK. It was an unreleased shade so mega-cheapo, plus brrrrown which I loves, I does. The ribbing is killing me, though, so far all I have is this...(Sorry for the crapola photo. Brown is not so easy to pho-to-graff.)

I'm also doing another drop-stitch scarf in Lion's Incredible ribbon yarn. Incredibly twisty, that is. Though it doesn't look neat, I think it's cool-neat, if ya dig.

Finally, here is some of my stash. Uh, I actually have TWO drawers full of yarn, but this one was prettier on top. It's an Ikea coffee table with two pull-out drawers. Awesome.

Now I hope I don't look terribly giant-needle-crazy, though I do seem to be this week. Actually that stash drawer makes me look mohair-crazy. What can I say, I can't resist Rowan's kid classic, nor can I hold back when Little Knits' Sue has a sale on La Gran. It's stashability at its finest. Plus I can't recommend Sue highly enough. If you're in Seattle, you can even meet her at her "real" brick-and-mortar store. Online, she'll give you 20% off your first order (non-sale items, but the SALES people! It's all fine).

I'm actually thinking of knitting something for Me Mama on sizes 2 and 3 needles. She reads this, though, so no more details 'til her birthday!