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September 26, 2007

CLEARLY some people have too much time on their hands.

I'm all about the knitting, and if you've seen me, you know I'm no stranger with the cupcakes, but seriously

VeganYumYum, Knit Night Cupcakes

Who has this kind of time?

And also?

Wow.


September 23, 2007

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter V: Fingerless Gloves

Date Begun: 08/01/2007
Date Completed: 09/09/2007
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Wheat
Needles: US3 DPNs (4 per glove)
Source: Interweave Knits, Nicholas's Fingerless Gloves
The Story:
This project started, believe it or not, when I was planning to knit a pair of socks for Schondy. I knew I didn't really have any good yarn for that, so I headed to the store to get some. Schondy, being a good sport 99% of the time, went along with me to the yarn store.

I don't remember what I was looking at, but Schondy pointed out this stuff, which is made of 86% acrylic, 10% wool and 4% rayon. Translation: nice and warm like wool, but it's completely machine washable and dryable. He made some comment about the fact that if I was going to make something for him, this would be a great yarn because it looks like Deliah has already been all over it, so no one will notice if it ends up covered in fur. We both laughed at that, and then I bought the yarn, thinking it would make great socks. And that was pretty much the end of that, because when faced with the actual task of socks, I kind of panicked and decided I wanted to use something cheap and ugly so I wouldn't care if they turned out horribly, and this yarn went back into storage, where it sat for the next 9 months or so.

Cut to: July of this year, after Schondy decided to take up photography, and one of the many times I was poking through online pattern sites, looking for inspiration. I ran across this glove pattern and HAD TO HAVE IT. It was a free pattern, which always makes me happy. But more importantly, I knew immediately it would look gorgeous in that yarn I'd bought a year ago. And best of all, fingerless gloves are the perfect thing for a photographer when the weather gets cold. They will keep his hands warm without preventing him from taking pictures. The cable was actually a very simple S1 K2tog, PSSO, done over and over and over again. It looks really complicated, but it's super easy to do. The hardest part was remembering where I was in the overall pattern.

(In the second picture on the right, I had stuck the needles into the skein just to hold them there for a minute, and we decided they looked like cows, complete with paperclip ear tags. We've called those gloves "cows" ever since.)

So when I finished them, Schondy tried them on (YES, I had him try them other times before they were done), and they were too small. Sadness. But I have a friend at work who said she must have a pair just like them and she has tiny hands, so..... well, let's just say they've gone into the closet where I keep the Christmas and birthday presents. And I will be starting another (slightly larger, man-sized) pair of these gloves soon.

September 19, 2007

YARRRRRRRRRR!

In honor of annual Talk Like a Pirate Day.....

My pirate name is:

Red Morgan Kidd

Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Yarrrrrrrrrrrrr!

September 17, 2007

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter IV: Dog Coat

Date Begun: 06/19/07
Date Completed: 07/01/07
Yarn: TLC Amore in Garnet, Lion Brand Homespun in White
Needles: US8 Circular (metal)
Source: Puppy Knits, Foliage Striped Dog Jacket
The Story:
So before you judge me for dressing up my dog, let me explain. Lulu is a wee dog. And wee dogs have trouble in cold weather, especially when they have short fur. This was extremely evident to us last winter when she was a baby and we were trying to housebreak her when it was below freezing outside. Literally, she would not go out without her coat. She would just stand there in the grass, shivering. It broke my heart.

That was when we bought her a coat that didn't fit her well, mostly because she was sooooo tiny, and also, a wiener dog, and not shaped like most of the dogs out there. It was too long, but it had to be that long to match the deepness of her chest, and that meant it was too big around the neck, so she kept stepping through the collar, and so I pretty much safety-pinned it to her and just prayed none of the pins would pop open. I felt really bad about it - bad enough that I swore to her that I'd find her a better coat before next winter or I'd make one.

So earlier this summer, a friend loaned me a book she had bought with dog coat patterns for knitting, and I found this pattern. I really liked the way it didn't assume she had long legs that needed to be kept warm (she doesn't), and it didn't assume that her body length was "proportional" (whatever that means) to her leg length (it isn't)... because I could knit it as long as I wanted. :-) So I did.

It took me a grand total of about 10 hours to knit the whole thing, accomplished over the course of a plane trip home and it fits her just fine. I did have a bit of trouble with the end of it curling up, so I'll have to do something about that. I also wasn't terribly interested in having a stripy dog, so I eliminated the stripes in favor of a deep red. The yarn was cheeeeeeap (and acrylic, so it's completely washable), but that was okay, because it means I don't really mind if she finds a mud puddle while we're out walking.

I wasn't trying to make a holiday outfit for her, but it appears that's what I ended up with. I've bought another dog coat book with patterns I like so I can make a non-holiday coat for her as well. She loves to wear clothes, and she leaves them alone completely, so long as they don't have tags she can pull on. I think it's mostly because every time we took her outside when she was so tiny, we put her coat on her and she got used to it then. She just likes to chew on the tags.

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter III: Judy's Scarf

Date Begun: 11/15/2006
Date Completed: 11/30/2006
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Angel Hair in Blue
Needles: US15 (plastic)
Source: Scarves: A Knitter's Dozen, Color Shift
The Story:
This was the first of two scarves I made, though sadly, neither of them was for me. This is the softest yarn EVER and it's fairly inexpensive, which makes me extremely happy. I swear - working with this stuff was like having another pet in the house and I was positively distraught to have to give it away. But I gave it to my mother in law and I hope she loves it as much as I did.

Of course, I did what any self-respecting yarn harlot would do, and bought more of the yarn to make one for myself. But then... well, then I used the yarn I'd bought for myself for my sister. And once again, it was like having another pet in the house. I almost bought more (again) to make yet another scarf, this time for REAL, for me, but then I got distracted by some other project and felt bad about buying more yarn for another scarf that I really didn't need. So no scarf for me. But I do have a small amount of this yarn left that I occasionally look at longingly.

Enough about the yarn. The pattern is so stupidly simple. This was an amazingly quick stitch that really ended up teaching me a lot about how knitting works. I've taught it to others as a way to make a very quick scarf that looks like it took months to make. I will point out that the stitch as quoted in the book is totally WRONG and so a lot of my stopping and starting at the beginning was due to the typos, but once I figured that out, this became one of my new favorite stitches.

September 13, 2007

Scariness!

So this morning, I'm happily reading through my blogs (as I do), and one of my favorites is Go Fug Yourself. I enjoy being reminded that sometimes celebrities and other people with personal stylists have bad hair days and bad... clothes days. I'm clicking through and come across.... this!


Scariness

(Image obscured to protect your eyes.)


Now, see, here's the thing. If you, like me, were scared witless by that picture, you may not have realized that was Robert Downey, Jr. I think he's a nice looking guy. A little wacky, perhaps, and I don't deny that the man seems to have some serious demons. But you should see him in A Scanner Darkly. Fascinating movie. And Lucas is in that one!!

But anyway, I digress. Seriously, dude. What's with the hair? No one will ever accuse me of being fashionable, but even I know that's just a bad idea.

September 9, 2007

It's Alive!!!!!!!!!

Ha! Bet you thought I was just sitting around doing nothing!

Well, actually, you probably didn't. If you've been reading the newspapers lately, you know what I've been doing. Just between you and me, the fat lady has not sung, if you know what I mean.

But anyway, the reason for this post is......

TA DA!!!! New blog in town! Designed by Yours Truly!

A Thousand Words

My better half has started blogging. What is the world coming to!?!? Madness, I tell you! Pandemonium! Cats and dogs living together! Well, sort of. Lulu thinks it's great fun to play chase. Deliah has other ideas. Miles watches it all with feigned disinterest. And that brings its own form of pandemonium.

...But I digress.

Hubby. Blogging. Go look.

Thank you.

September 8, 2007

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter II: First Socks

Date Begun: 12/29/2006
Date Completed: 01/15/2007
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in Black and White
Needles: US3 DPNs
Source: Knit Socks!, Starter Stockinette
The Story:
The story, here, is pretty simple. Basically, I got tired of scarves and wanted to branch out a bit. So I decided to make some socks. I'd gotten a really nice book of easy sock patterns from The Neighbors and really wanted to use it. I had this yarn laying around from when I first started on this crazy knitting endeavor ages ago, and thought it would make some nice, warm socks that would be completely machine washable. And this is the result.

So really, the only comment I have other than Yay! Socks! is to NEVER, EVER, EVER try to turn a bulky weight sock into a worsted weight by sheer force of will. The yarn will win. I promise you it will. I had hand cramps for weeks after these puppies were done. They were knit on a couple sets of US3 DPNs and those suckers just weren't made for a yarn this bulky. Trust me.

However, I DID learn something positive, which has come in handy again just recently. It's known as "Single Sock Syndrome" and it's what happens when most people knit socks or gloves or anything that comes in a pair. Basically, when knitting a pair of socks, the usual method is to knit one of them all the way to completion and then do the second one. Single Sock Syndrome generally occurs at the completion of the first sock, when you realize you're going to have to start all the way from the beginning and do all that over again. Extreme boredom/fatigue/lack of motivation sets in, resulting in lots of single socks without matches.

I'm familiar with how I work and knew that I would be a prime candidate for the dreaded SSS, and had read something (I don't know who to credit with this gem) that said to avoid getting stuck, don't work all the way through the first one without stopping. Do a little bit of the first one, like the cuff, and then do the same amount on the second one. Then go back to the first and do the heel. Then do the second heel. Then half of the foot on the first.... and so on.

The result is that when you finish the first one, you think, "Oh! I just have a little more to do on the second one before I'm completely done!", avoiding SSS altogether. Works like a charm, lemme tell you. This does mean that you have to have two sets of DPNs in all sizes, but I consider that a small cost when compared with how happy I am when I actually finish a project.

And in case you're wondering, the sock-modeling foot in the very top image belongs to none other than the Hubby, himself, and when it gets cold around here, he loves to put these on over his normal socks to keep his toes toasty. The in-progress shot was modeled by my foot because it's a little smaller than his and could fit inside the DPN triangle when his couldn't.

September 4, 2007

Seems like a scam. But if it isn't, well, we'll see.

I'm poking around on Amazon, looking at stuff and things and I notice that some of their affiliates have copies of the McSweeney's I'm missing. So I cobble together all the ones i'm missing and it comes out to a little over $200. So then I think I'll go make sure those are the right ones, which sends me over to eBay, where I find a person selling ALL the ones I need in one collection for just UNDER $200. So I bid on it. And I lose.

But in the process, I notice this thing down at the bottom of the page that says "get this book for $0.75" and I think, "that can't be right". So I go look, and sure enough, I'm looking at a listing of Mcsweeney's books in various states of "used-ness" all for less than $5.00, which is interesting, given that according to Amazon, some of these can't be had for less than $50.00.

So I've ordered one for $6.49. We'll see what happens. (That's INCLUDING shipping.) It seems like a scam. I'm worried, and a little confused - mostly because, well, why haven't I heard of this place before?

It's through half.com, through eBay. We'll see what I end up with. And if I get them all that way, it'll cost me $50 for all of them, instead of $50 for one of them. I'll let you know what happens.

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