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!!

Image hosted by

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!