29 December 2006

Back at the ranch . . .

Back home from holiday travels, I find I am tired of having too much stuff and too little time. I shall be tending to that, I think. Right now I'm off to the post office and to see some family. I have goodies to deliver from the folks on the other end of the holiday travels.

Seriously, though. I need to go through things and clear some out. This needn't cut out the knitting time, I think, but I should spend some of the knitting time moving other things out.

I was given a wee little serving dish as a holiday gift, and I was alarmed to face the fact that I haven't been entertaining at home. Thankfully I had the presence of mind not to confess this aloud. And I'll concede that some of this is the natural result of urban life and a bit of job imbalance. There's something to be said, though, about the spectre of the Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Things must change before I find myself really living that pattern!

There's probably more to do with the fact that several friends are incredibly allergic to the feline factor. Ne'ertheless, clean and clear, I say!
Happy New Year, if I'm not back before the switch to 2007!

Holiday Knitting

Not the Grinch, nor Scrooge, this knitter managed to do just enough holiday knitting to make herself content and to have a few things to send out. Mind, some are being sent out now, and the nautilus hat was a skein of yarn. (Worked out the specs on that one with my mother.)

20 December 2006

A good day for easy knitting

So on my way to finishing up paperwork, I found that someone had plagiarized whole papers: one chunk of this set of paragraphs, one slice of that set of paragraphs. One brief paragraph could be original, but that's one paragraph in a couple papers.

Ugh. I'm going home to make up some fuzzy feet for my friend's daughters. I have the shoe sizes. I have the foot measurement chart. I will make tea. I will knit huge feet.

18 December 2006

More knitting, less paperwork

That's what I want for Christmas....
Sneakily, though, I've been doing knitting when I should be doing paperwork. I have a little stack of knitting growing in the to-be-finished pile - a little seaming, a little grafting, a little end weaving.

However, less blogging, more paperwork....

Pictures are accumulating in the camera, such as they are. No photobucket until Paper Mountain is complete this week.

15 December 2006

Holiday Treats

Made these mitts (Knitty's Fetching)a bit earlier and finally finished the neckwarmer to go with it. This will be a gift for someone who worked with me on a project earlier this fall. Have to send it out shortly. Altogether, the set used nearly two skeins of Rowan's Tapestry. I'd had too much leftover from the one skein after doing the mitts, and picking up a second skein wasn't actually enough for a hearty scarf after all. Hence the slit for passing through the scarf end. Added on the ruffle as a means of giving the ends more body. Keeps it from being too matchy-matchy a set.

13 December 2006

a shadowy year in the neighborhood of the Great Towering Textiles

2006: Month by Month

[via the daily purl ]

Instructions -- Copy the first sentence that you posted in each month of 2006.


Since there was very little traffic in to see my cheerful holiday kitsche, I give evidence that I decorated.


My mother will be sharing these words aloud this week with children.


I've been absent from the blog.


I've had a lovely hour's romp through blogs with flashed stash.


I'm late, I'm late, no time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late I'm late I'm late ...


So Thursday, when I kept myself away from all things work, I cheated on my socks.


Summer brings an odd assortment of knitting whims and a lot less computer time.


Such adventures since I've been gone.


There are Fetching mitts (Rowan tapestry is interesting....) in this long weekend of knitting, and 6 or more inches of colorwork knitting on the Equinox whatsit on the Interweave Knits Fall 06 cover.


During the heat of the summer, I do rather yearn for fall.


I do, at long last, have some postable knitting pictures.


Need a lot of push to tackle the tasks ahead.

11 December 2006

December Drive

Need a lot of push to tackle the tasks ahead. There's work to finish with very clear, hard deadlines just ahead. There have already been several events to attend. Need a lot of get up and go, need to push on through. However, no matter what speed I go, it starts to seem as if there's no time for anything. Yesterday I managed to sweep and do a bit of mopping. I have an embarrassment of laundry to do. I did some knitting but have more I'd like to do.

And that's the kicker: more I'd like to do. I continue to try to convince myself that I don't need to do it all. My baking is holding the line: I chopped up dried fruit and gave it a good sousing of Asbach Uralt. Nothing but good brandy in my fruitcake. I'm going to wait until the paper work is done this week to think about what December knitting I can do vs. the knitting I foolishly think I'd like to do. Foolishly, I say, because what I'd like to do becomes crazed, as the drive toward other finish lines looms. I forget that I wanted to do them and think I must.

So I'm holding a drive for clarity and moderation. I've a bowl full of drunken fruit. I have a tiny bag of current knitting. I have a bag of papers to grade. Right now that's all I need, so the rest will have to be clear space. The desk at home is clear. The desk here I'll clear before I go home. My floors have been cleared of the 3rd cat. (Amazing how much there was to sweep yesterday! Appalling. But I digress.) Just need to keep on clearing those decks.

Here's to a successful drive.

29 November 2006

A Hat for Alex

The yarn is leftover from a sweater I made for my niece 13 years ago.
Finished this hat on the Thanksgiving weekend road trip.
Trillian42 on Knittyboard has posted about her hat project here. I used the pattern she had linked to her blog post.

Also finished a hat for the same niece for her 13th birthday. No picture. I left the hat wrapped up for her birthday. All I have left are yarn crumbs.

18 November 2006

Boucle that's bugging me

While I should be working on other things, some boucle keeps nudging at me for some reason. There are four bits.

One's a 200 yd hank of Wool in the Woods that I bought last year-plus as a congratulations to me for surviving something workish. It's very soft. Will look good with winter coats.

Two are two different hanks, each 330ish yards of a CTH end of a year closeout sale that I won't do again, as I have indulged enough.

Interestingly enough all three hanks, above, have an interesting color conversation together. Reds / purples figure into each of them, though each is clearly different (dark purple in one, some green and maroon in another, etc.)

I've been swatching a little bit with the W-i-t-Woods, so today I rolled up one of the other hanks so I could see what would happen if I alternated all three. They're all surprisingly comfortable and not scratchy, so it's rather too bad they couldn't have made an eye-poppingly bold big old sweater. (Never mind the math that I'd need to get less than 900 yards to BECOME a sweater.) The actual yarn weight is subtly different side by side. And there's a clearly visible difference in how they're spun.

Had shifted to using large needles, and suddenly the difference in the actual yarn weight seemed major. Next experiment? I'm back to thinking about what to do with them. Any recent personal bests out there with soft, bumpy boucles?

Oh, there's a bunch of Debbie Bliss Astrakhan that I bought some time ago at a store that was closing. Looking for a sweater, but that's really hanging to the back of the queue. Really, I shouldn't speak of it.

PS. This sounds all name-droppy. Sorry about that. I'm just trying to be specific, since I have no pictures of my puzzlings. If I can get pictures up next week, I will.

16 November 2006

Finish one thing, and move on to the next.

Truly that's the way this fall has gone. I finished one project, and bang we're onto another. That's just work. Knitting has been littler, but there have been plenty of little projects.

This hat is actually one of the later knitting bits - part of the next big project, actually. A student shaved her head for a role - quite a bold thing for her to do - and so I decided I needed to make her a hat. She needed a little extra TLC, I thought, for taking on such a major endeavor and making such a personal commitment.

The hat was done pattern free. The yarn is Misti Alpaca's but it's not alpaca. This is the pima cotton and silk blend. Boring color, but it was what was on hand when I went shopping. Soft, soft, soft. The recipient is allergic to wool, but I just wasn't excited about making an acrylic hat in this particular case. It needed to feel like a treat.

Fetching Tapestry

While away from blogging, I knit a pair of mitts. Fetching, from Knitty. The yarn is Rowan's Tapestry, a soy/wool blend. Must admit that this was late summer already. Was thinking about making them for ssarahevt, my knittyboard secret pal, but I decided I wasn't content with them. I sent her a ball of the same yarn, in her preferred colorway, actually, so she might enjoy the knitting process. These are from the same ball. Isn't it interesting how the color changes have worked up? The yarn is rather like Noro - the color changes are spun in.

Started another sock

I was working on two sets of socks. Naturally as soon as I finished one, I started another sock. I had some early fall commuting time to kill and walked to Loopy yarns. This is Ravenswood, aptly named for a neighborhood through which the Brown line runs. Didn't they call the Brown line the Ravenswood line? Why of COURSE they did.

Some socks finished

Trekking Aunt Socks. Went for pebble rib on the Anne Norling pattern I go to when I don't want to think about fancy socks. I used the pebble rib once before on a sproingier worsted. I think the Trekking isn't as suited. Must send these off to my aunt.

Oh, and I officially have enough for another pair if not more. Did I mention before that I somehow thought I HAD to start from the same spot on matching balls of yarn. I will die of boredom knitting another set of socks from this yarn if I do it too soon.

A hat

I knit a hat as a thank you.
The pattern is Marnie Maclean's Nautilus hat, the second on her page. (I'd link if I were in the mood. I'm not in the mood.) The lovely Lorna's Lace worsted is Black Purl.
The wool came from a lovely little swap on the knittyboard. I think I fancied that I'd make myself a hat. There's some leftover. It may be part of something for me. In the meanwhile, it made a deserving student designer very happy. Purple is one of her colors.

06 November 2006

Is this thing on?

I do, at long last, have some postable knitting pictures. I've been knitting, after all, even little bits. Finished socks, zipped out some mitts and a few other things. Have to go home now, though, so I can do a rare thing and eat a meal AT home. I'm going home - or maybe to the coffeeshop where the knitters are tonight. Either way it's a night OFF. Tomorrow, maybe some blog ON.

20 October 2006

Where's the knitting indeed?

A week without knitting? Sheesh.
I'm ready for some serious knitting.

07 October 2006

Yearning for fall

During the heat of the summer, I do rather yearn for fall. I have always considered myself to be an oily, sweaty person, so the summer is rather a time for giving up hope of feeling in the least bit dainty.

Here we are in October, and my work life has raced me through a month of the best of fall. I've missed the late summer tomatoes. In fact, today was the first in a month that I was able to hit the farmer's market. I have a few tomatoes to tide me over, but the splendor of today's market was clearly the apples. Bought some to eat. Bought some plums for baking.

Now I just yearn to knit more than the couple of socks I keep inching at on the train....

26 September 2006

Insert Pathetic Whine Here

I'm having one of those days. Maybe you've had one? Where everything that runs across your path simply points to twenty billion more things you should have done and have to do, and the phrase whattaloser comes into your head more than you'd like but it's all self directed? Failure day.

That's today in my sandbox.

Maybe the problem is I'm only looking at the day's equivalent of those teensy little offwhite stitches that look like a tension flaw. Even though I know they'll even out in the blocking (and with tweaking), this day is like the kind of knitting day where you can't see Oh COOL, look at the forearm of the sweater. Cool. I did that.

Wish I could have seen the day like I can see the sleeve. Here's to maybe, someday, learning more from my knitting.

23 September 2006

I did frog last weekend

Knitty sp7

Adriennec outdid herself in finding clever ways to spoil me. I am in awe. I'd write more, but there's a bus to catch. For now, pictures. I'll edit next week. The lovely lemon verbena soap was too shy for a photo. Imagine it on the beautiful washcloth.

20 September 2006

Invisible Girl

Still here. Massive frogging. Sock knitting. More on the Equinox. SP7 beautiful things to share - adriennec outdid herself, and she has challenged me to step into some great new directions.

Meanwhile I'm invisible here in the knitting blogosphere. No pictures to air my progress. No stories that amuse me. No one is washing my dishes. My laundry started to catch up and then lagged behind again, lazy laundry. Fortunately cats are fed.

However, I'm keeping quite busy. There's singing and dancing and carrying on. There was knitting aplenty on buses and trains, but I gave myself a few days off from carrying too many things. I read last night. Today I gazed out the window and drank coffee. Enjoyed the anonymity of the urban commute.

More when I can whip off the cloak of busy invisibility.

09 September 2006

Frog the darn thing!

Spitting Yarn mentioned it.

kt gave out the challenge.

I could do with a little guilt offloading.

I join late, but I think this is a worthy task.

I've been rehearsing the idea for the better part of a year.

This is what some of the unknit portion looks like.

I think it will be worth it.

Copycat, copycat

Seen over at SABLE:

My Personality
Openness To Experience
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Surveys, Bebo and MySpace Layouts by Pulseware Survey Software

Interestingly, I think my levels of guilt and perfectionism (see Neuroticism above, *ahem*) take the conscientiousness factor far lower than I'd have expected. Quizzes are interesting beasts.

06 September 2006

Labor Day Knitting

It's interesting to track where spurts of knitting start and where they lead. Interesting to me, I suppose. I'd been picking up some oddballs of Karabella's Aurora 8. It's a very soft, rather springy multiple of merino. I'd been picking up dark colors in the sale bins of a couple shops over the past months. Wasn't quite sure where they were going. Sunday afternoon I ran a bunch of errands in neighborhoods I can't get to during the rest of the week. Picked up a pair of shoes that I'd ordered. Stopped into a Trader Joe's. And I stopped at the yarn store to pick up the order of a book I'd been ogling. I caved under the pressure of a holiday weekend sale. I picked up enough yarn to make a sweater. Karabella, see above.

I used the Equinox pattern to estimate yardages. When I got home, after some judicious browsing through magazines and books, I decided I might give that pattern a whirl. I'll see if I regret it: there are clearly some changes ahead. Among the obvious changes are my combinations of colors - but I'm enjoying that swap. So far I've been pleased with the mapping out I did - a one to one swap that still follows the chart. I'm getting close to a few points where I may do some internal swapping.

So while the magazine obligingly sang the praise of the care with which the designer worked out just the right colorways, I've pitched that out the window. Well, not altogether. I still have a brown body, a few warmish and light colors - just a different interpretation. And of course, the yarn I'm using won't provide the obligingly fuzzy halo described. Don't care. This yarn is incredibly soft and feels like a luxury. With the boat neck, it will be important, I think. Of course the yarn is just a teensy bit heftier than the designer selection. Sorted out gauge to suit myself - even gave a swatch a bath. I think I've found a gauge that will get me a reliable size, even if the hand and drape might differ a bit from the sample sweater. That's okay. I don't need that much cling. It'll be a cozy and warm thing, which is ultimately what I'd associate with a fair isle type sweater yoke.

More importantly, in hopes of identifying the creative spurt of which I spoke above, I should mention that I've embarked on a HUGE project at work. Very demanding. Naturally, one would think I'd want to stick with my recent bus and train knitting. Not this child. I started on Monday with the sleeve so I could really get at the color work.

Could be worse for a late night fluorescent lighting photo at work.

I've already missed my earlier train. I'm leaving early for the last one. I'm sure that I'll be returning to my regular soporific sock knitting later on in the project. For now, my parallel project is the Equinox pullover.

05 September 2006

Long weekend knitting

There are Fetching mitts (Rowan tapestry is interesting....) in this long weekend of knitting, and 6 or more inches of colorwork knitting on the Equinox whatsit on the Interweave Knits Fall 06 cover. I am not using quite as fine a yarn, but I'm enjoying exploring some color experimentation in using some of what I have and some of what I picked up at the Labor Day Sale on Lawrence Ave. And there are socks in my bus and train knitting bag.

Oh. And I will miss the train if I don't leave.

ETA: I missed my train. Thank goodness there was another in an hour.

30 August 2006

Bus & Train Knitting

Bus & train knitting:
A hat for a nephew who requested these colors for a hat, in which I tackled the jogless jog. Sadly, I didn't tackle a perfectly discreet carry along of the color from stripe to stripe. It peeks out. Still better than endless end weaving.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
A pebble rib sock, in which I am so convinced I want the trekking to match that I purchase two skeins (for two pair) so as to start at EXACTLY the same spot, only to discover that this was a fairly regular colorway of trekking.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I also discover that I failed to count correctly. Mindless bus & train knitting was a teenytiny bit brainless. I wanted 64 stitches, and I had 68. This I discovered at the heel flap. Bah. It will be what it will be. They're comfort socks. I just have to remember to write down the "fixes" I did so the two socks will match. That's how this all started: buying a yarn reputed for not matching, I must find a way to make matching happen.

Must go catch my bus or train. Wonder which I'll take today?

23 August 2006

Summer stuff / Semi sentences

Working on a nephew hat. Conquered the jogless stripe.
Lost a needle on knitting night.

Knit another one.

Started a sock for knitting at home. Nancy Bush's pattern has a repeat of more than a few rows. I may not remember it.
Here's the cuff and a little of the first repeat.

Finished Hedera socks.

Started another pair of socks.

15 August 2006

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Question was posed. I hedged the obligatory mid-age response that was creeping round the corner - the one about having become old but I'm still a kid thing, because it is BOUND to come round that corner. It's real.

And it occurred to me.

Good company.

That's what I want to be when I grow up.

I can live with that.

She emerges ...

Such adventures since I've been gone.

I've gone to the theatre three times.

I've been out dining 5 or 6 times in the past weeks.

I've gone to a conference and have taken care of a major professional obligation without major catastrophe.

I've lost one car. Or killed it. Given up on it. Become a pedestrian and commuter. Walked more. Oh, and knitting on buses and trains? Who needs a car, at these gas prices.

I've discovered that I've knit a sock NOT to gauge. There will a brief interlude for second sock syndrome on that pair.

I've (ahem) shopped for yarn. S.E.X. And I've managed to carefully stow it away properly, though I haven't catalogued it. That seemed like overkill at the time.

I've had a summer cold, and the farmer's market is well on its way to curing me.

I've discovered that the only appealing knitting while having a summer cold is the cotton dishcloth.

More another day. Much to catch up off-blog.

31 July 2006

All work and no play

I have to be away. I have a work event, another work-related event, and some company. It won't be ALL work and no play, but I just can't play in this park for a little bit.

There will be some knitting though, if the trains and buses are chilly enough in this heat. I'm back to being car free. I am not excited about car shopping.

But is it bad that I bought little teensy bit of yarn in the town where the car died? After all, I will be taking public transport for awhile, and public transport means good knitting!

Back to the blog in a week or so!

26 July 2006

Petit Pacquet

Such a lovely phrase - petit pacquet - a gift from my fine Knitty SP7 secret pal.

Beautiful chocolate. Will be holding off on this until Monday, by which time I'll be in some desperate need.

From New Zealand, Merino & Fur - some NZ possum! The yarn is amazingly soft. This will need to become something warm and snuggly.

Colourmart Cashmere - and I'm having trouble loading the photo of yarn beauty. This was a grey day, so until repairs, imagine what a wonderful teal the kingfisher cashmere is - because it is. This will become a lovely knitted accent - scarf, lace, something. Knitters with a mission may pooh-pooh the scarf, but I WEAR them. It is a signature accessory and a necessary indulgence, in my mind. (More on that another day.)

Little cinnamon sweeties from Greece. There were five, but one dodged the camera and hid in my mouth.

This is a wonderful set of indulgences. What a thoughtful and wonderful secret pal. My goodness!

25 July 2006

What's in the knitting bag?

Still alternating socks in the little sock bag:

Big knitting bag is sharing its knitting storage territory with a big ceramic bowl in my dining room/studio/storage room. This sweater is hanging out in the bowl and I've been making some fair but slow progress on it.

The brown is creating a slip stitch dash that alternates with dashes of brown garter stitch. The multi alternates in longer stripes.

This is the high contrast photo of the side-ways knit slip-stitch sweater.

I was drawn to a garment I'd seen which had a less dramatic contrast than the photo. I'm liking the fabric. It's heavy on the garter ridge, but there's that little bit of something. Bought the yarn without a clue as to whether I'd find the pattern or have the right amount. I did find. I might have enough. We'll see how it goes!

What about that mistake?

There's the s-curve mistake on the cable.
My niece was right. I'll let it go.

Seed stitch swatch for a sweater

Actually, it's a double seed stitch - or double moss.

Working back towards making myself a sort of traditional aran knit with the blue wool pictured here. May actually use the vintage Brunswick cardigan pictured here.

Just want to find the Vogue Knitting issue(s) which had varied approaches to knitting selvages. I don't mind flat knitting, but I'm not much interested in making seams happen where the bumps and lumps of the aran textures aren't accounted for and prepared for.

That was a lousy sentence, but I'll be clearer another day.

22 July 2006


Here I finished the huge fuzzy feet, all delightfully pink and maroon, and I went and sealed up the envelope Friday before I had a chance to take a photo.

They weren't that glamorous, but it's not on that account that I won't open up the envelope. I'm just not keen on looking for more tape.

Meanwhile, I will upgrade my sock count. They count, even if they were fast. And wow, were they fast. That's a curious thing about knitting in the summer. Done is good. Just not in the mood for lots of detail.

You know, some time I'm going to have to take back the knitting reins. I used to cable a fair bit. I have two sweaters with varied sizes of cables upon them. One of them I wore even past the comical "why did I make the sweater out of THIS" point. That one is now officially destined for a new life. I'll get around to that story one of these days.

Oh, Gracie, look at the time! I have to go.

19 July 2006

Big Hit, Little Mistakes, and Huge Feet

Item One:
The niece hat was a big hit. Imagine a huge pre-teen smile and multiple sets of huggy thank yous. She wore it the next day and the day after that, taking it off only when it got to be too, too hot.

Item Two:
I seem to be talking too much when I knit and visit. I found some interesting sets of mistakes in my socks. In the first Hedera sock I did something odd with picking up stitches, so the nice ridged line is a bit bumpy. I'm over it. It's in the heel. In the finished Jaywalkers, I neglected to read the part about slipping a stitch along the gusset, so I didn't do it on the first. On the second sock, upon discovery of my powers of selective reading, I experimented. I tried some with, I tried some without. Interesting. Didn't care.

And now I discovered, in the Nancy Bush Rib and Cable sock I'm doing, that I twisted a cable the wrong way. My niece, bless her, said no one would see it down there. She also said it looked cool. I did not rip back.

Item Three:
I needed a quick knit on large needles. I'm also desperate to whittle down some of that funny pink ombre, from which I made a knitted and stuffed glove for the knitablog. I'm making Fuzzy Feet for a friend who has been having a rough time. She also has a cold house, when it's not now and hot everywhere in the northern hemisphere. Boy that's fast. I started late last night. This morning I had the heel turned and the gusset about done before I ran out of that half of the hank.

I'd wound up the hank into two balls, using one and some of the second for the glove. This yarn came in one of those floppy skeins / loose hanks with a skein wrapper around the middle, and curiously it winds up into two separate balls of equal size. Wonder if that was for the convenience of the producer or for the knitter. It would certainly make it easier to mix up the striping/pooling that way, that is, IF I were actually worried about that with this yarn. It would be ideal for sock knitting. Look ma, no scale, no guessing.

I'll be winding up the next skein / hank this evening and womp along on the fuzzy feet. She has large feet. She hates pink - this is something that goes back to her high school days. I hope she'll laugh. If she really hates pink fuzzy feet, her daughter with even larger feet will get them.

They'll be doing the shrinking. I'd told her about the possibility. I may have hinted at the pink.

Those fuzzy feet are huge.

Time to drink some water. Everyone stay cool! (Eek. Sounds like a note in a high school yearbook.)

10 July 2006

Cambio, for a Change

I haven't forgotten about this sweater. I have resumed beading. This is, however, a now & again knit.

I have to be very deliberate and knit at my desk, ideally early in the day while there is full daylight streaming in. Clearly it was getting too late in the day for decent photos or good beading, here.

I have a bit more beading to prepare before I can cast for sleeves which should look like this peplum.