Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Last Knit

"When Knitting Becomes An Obsession"

My husband is apparently having a slow day at work - I came in to find this e-mail from him:

To: Susan
From: Peggers
Subject: Remind You of Anyone?


.....so I clicked on the link and went to YouTube and watched the little video and actually laughed OUT LOUD at a few points. My only comment back to Husband-O-Mine was "I wish I could knit that fast!"
4:37 PM Tuesday - Update!
Oh, my ducks, it gets even better. You just read - above - my comment to Peggers. See, then, how he responded:

"I knew you were going to say that. Sick thing is, I noticed that she would knit once and a whole line would come out, instead of one stitch. You've got me corrupted now too!"
What power we hold in just our little pointy sticks!

Monday, September 25, 2006


I was totally inspired by Kate's ability to knit her Hubbster moccasins so quickly that last night as I sleepily wrestled with my coughing/whining son for 2 hours it got my brain a-tickin'...........

Despite the fact that loads of warning signs have been coming my way ("Hey honey, I have volleyball clinic on Monday night, at 8:30" and "M said that the volleyball roster is being finalized soon", etc.) I have stayed quite firmly in denial about the fact that my Peggers - Mr. Volleyball during the fall & winter months - is soon to start warming up his spiking & bumping muscles and therefore will be wanting his pair of fire-engine red knee-highs before too terribly long.

A size 13 foot and 16" long (and 16" in diameter!) calves did nothing but send me into shudders of terror (envisioning size 1 or 0 dpns with weeny yarn and about 275+ stitches to first cast on for the ribbing!) and so I would quickly jam the mental image down into the deep recesses of my brain somewhat below the memories I have of having my wisdom teeth taken out.

Until I saw this:

Kate made these in Peace Fleece using the instructions in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Around which I JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE AROUND THE HOUSE VIA INTER-LIBRARY LOAN! So I pulled out the book & took a peek.

The socks look incredibly comfy and practical, and as she has you knit them using worsted (!) weight yarn on size 4-6 (!!!!!!!!!!) needles they're not only comfy/practical but also FAST. Top this with the fact that KnitPicks has some new worsted-weight superwash out (Swish!) that just sounds fantastic, and in the colour Red Pepper and I've been desiring a reason to buy some of the new knitpicks needles (both circular & dpns) this seems like the perfect meeting of need & want to me!

Plus I just love the fact that I can re-knit the heel/toe area if & when they ever wear out (volleyball players are tough on their clothes, and socks are no exception - and honestly, who wants to do all that knitting just to have a hole appear in the toe after the first few games & be forced to reknit?????) with nary a shed tear or a problem.

Kate even added in a strand of wooly nylon (whatever in hell that is) to the toe/heel area for reinforcement - as soon as I read that I was sold on this idea! So now all I need is about 10 or 15 minutes with a computer & my Visa in hand & the order will be winging it's way towards me like, well, like 4 (5?) skeins of Swish superwash & a few circular & double-pointed-needles in a FedEx box...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Time for me to earn my keep

I won't be around much this week - a combination of things going on via all fronts means that I will be busier for a bit than I have any desire to ever be, but.........'tis life, right? This is what I currently have either in front of me or lies recently behind me:

** My online students are all submitting their research logs sometime this week - so the joy of hand-grading & commenting on 96 research logs in only 7 days will soon be something of mine to experience.

** My f2f (that's face-to-face for those who aren't familar with the new online teaching lingo!) students are all submitting their Human Subjects Applications Monday by midnight, and the other faculty member and myself have to edit each of them within an inch of their lives by Wednesday before 11 AM. This is unfortunately a Very Big Project as well.

** Tomorrow (Monday) I get to spend four straight hours without a single break working with some honors students in groups of 5 - educating them on keyword searching, boolean search terms, recommending databases, etc. Fun and rewarding, certainly, but also extremely exhausing to be that intense and focused for that long of a time period.

** I have worked this past weekend Saturday & Sunday at the reference desk from 12-4. Why oh why are students here for 4 hours straight expecting me to help them nonstop when really what I'd like to be doing is sitting in an empty library with my feet up KNITTING?????

** My son is not sleeping well and for the past two nights has been extremely restless - last night in fact he was awake and chattering at me for about an hour in the middle of the night while I bleerily tried to keep him quiet(ish) such that he didn't wake up Peggers, which in turn would have simply given him an even larger audience to chatter to and would have made him even more awake.

** Ragweed season is in full bloom (excuse the pun) and the combined medications I am currently on to keep from sneezing my brains out makes me extremely woozy and blurry around the edges.

So - voila. My current situation in a nutshell. Happily enough I have purchased an online book via iTunes and am bringing home my iPod today so that I can listen to it wherever I might be in the evenings this week (my son's restlessness at night seems to somewhat abate if I am sitting next to him in bed) and so maybe - hopefully - will get in a few rows of knitting here and there.

Updates will certainly arise as often and intelligently as I can!

On a total side note (and to keep this from being a picture-less blog) is anyone else hoping that please-oh-please Eunny will provide us with the pattern for these socks? I've been oh so patiently waiting for ages now - and it seems almose like she's forgotten - but aren't they just beautiful and wouldn't they do wonderfully for a male who needs a nice pair of plain socks but on closer inspection aren't exactly so plain but are still nicely masculine????

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Haiku! mania

(The above photo is one of the many rotating/scrolling photos that January One has set up as the header on her website - incredibly talented, isn't she???)

January One is currently running a contest to see who can write the best haiku containing at least three of the following words AND the word 'sock':

feet (or foot)

If you HURRY you can still enter - the contest ends today, September 23rd, at midnight EST.

I myself entered - my entry was as follows:

January chill,
Fantastic dream-sheep knit socks*.
Dude, think Aruba!

She said that she was looking for something funny, which I don't really think I was, but it was still pretty fun to enter. She has some very cool stuff as a prize - which is why some 300+ entries have been gathered so far!
Even if you miss the deadline still navigate on over there - she's totally worth a visit as her posts are funny and her pictures are absolutely INCREDIBLE!

Speaking of another cool blog - this one not with cool photos but with cool pictures - has anyone else ever peeked at Purling Swine? Her pig-themed scribbles really are fantastic...

(The above image is PurlingSwine's main logo that will appear when you go to her site. Isn't that little floating happy pig just the cutest & funniest thing?)

*I just noticed this - do you think I'll get disqualified because I used 'socks' as in the plural and not 'sock' as in the singular?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A sock sighting

One of J's insanely coloured 'Mouse Masala' socks was finished last weekend. Yet because I am at the moment Extremely Busy (the PG13 version of what I mutter to myself as I'm scrambling about my life at the moment) I am only now getting around to telling everyone about it.

I have to admit that I am also slacking on my blogging at the moment because I am (1) working on a Super Top Secret project and you really can't post pictures or details about something that is Super Top Secret now, can you? and (2) since I have discovered this blog I am in constant & deep mourning that my blog will never - ever - be as beautiful as his, no matter how hard I try or how much I wish it to be so. (Note: I so wanted to be like him that I even went & hunted around on his blog & in his flickr pictures to find out what kind of a camera he used - while I know the man has serious skill in the knitting & photographing department there is the truth that some things actually *can* be bought! Well the sad truth for this knitter is that no, for $900, some cameras can actually *not* be bought after all - and that unless I was photographing such beautiful knits that in fact they probably not only can't be bought but also shouldn't be bought.

So at the moment I am trying to console myself with the reality that I will never have a blog filled with luxurious fibers that are knitted into a dizzying array of amazing shawls and sweaters and socks (okay, at least the socks I can eventually manage myself!) and arranged and photographed in such a way that they, the apartment, and the wearer all look like something out of a Crate & Barrel catalog or a Gourmet Magazine layout spread......

(as I was swimming my thrice-weekly laps today I kept telling myself "quirky blog pictures are okay, really, they are.........")

So, without further ado, here are my quirky pictures for everyone to gasp over.

(and by that I actually mean by the insanity of the colours, not the beauty of the knits!)

Oh god I really need to refinish the floors in that room, don't I? Oh well. Remind me to tell you, my ducks, very soon about my recent adventures in drywalling the stairwell this past week - it's one of my more successful and less hairbrained attempts at home improvement in quite a while...

This is the first sock of J's properly knitted up and finished, yet not blocked. I followed the Interweave Rib & Cable socks (something like that) from a summer/spring-ish 2005 issue (the one w/ the long-haired blonde wearing a pink wraparound ballet-type sweater on the front.........isn't that more helpful than a issue number or date?) and like both the pattern and the results very much. I like the slipped heel and the way that the toe worked. The pattern was a first - everything came together quite nicely without a single snag or hitch for me and I was literally astonished - it was a FIRST! And as I was about 20 rounds away from grafting the toe I remember thinking "this is it - this is actually a Perfect Pattern - I've found one - they're like the holy grail!" and then I realized that if I continued on as the pattern told me to - decreasing four stitches every other row that I was going to be decreasing for a good 100+ rows and that while J's toes are actually freakishly long (no, I'm not being mean, I'm being honest! I'd say it to her face - I have, in fact! - and she'd probably admit it as well - she's proud of them, actually, I have to say...) they're not THAT long. So I radically reduced over about 10 rows until I got to a nice round number and simply grafted away. I have to say as well that I don't know what all the fuss is about grafting - I mean, you follow the instructions and Kitchner carefully and in just a few minutes the entire toe is seamless and perfect and you're done, with only one tail to weave in. Where's the fuss about that?

I've done other toes as well - one that was really fun was a star toe on the Embossed Leaves sock (great sock, but I totally did it in the wrong yarn - I'm going to knit it's mate and then immediately give them away!) but I didn't prefer it any more or any less than a basic decrease w/ grafted toe...

One of the particularly fun things about J's sock(s) so far is the bizarre way that the colours are ending up. The most obvious bit is seen clearly above - it striped for the first part of the leg where I was working on size 2 dpns, and then it switched to a huge pooling effect when I was
instructed to switch to size 1 dpns. Now I for one, apparently being a total freak of nature, just love it when colours pool. It's like the whole gasoline-on-water type of thing for me and I just find it stunningly beautiful. And while I like zebras (~ chuckle, chuckle~ actually ate 'em when I lived in Africa, no less!) and other striped beasties as well as the next, I don't prefer stripes overall. So when J's sock went from stripes to pooled I thought that was really neat - then on the slipped-stitch heel it was neat to see how the stripes were very different and tiny - and how that little jog was all it took for the stripes to come back over the insetp and top of the foot despite the fact that I was still using only size 1 dpns. (Well, by then I'd switched to two size 1 circulars, for ease in the whole decreasing/cable design concept...)

And the extra strange thing? I followed Claudia's advice and immediately cast on for the second sock literally as soon as I finished weaving in the tail from the grafted toe (exhausted & bleary-eyed, but I still made myself do it!) and despite all of that the new leg of J's second sock (about 3" long at the moment) looks completely different than the leg of the first. The (purple) stripes are tiny and extremely close together, while if you look at the first one the stripes are fairly wide and decently spaced apart.

You'll have to trust me on how the second sock looks - ditto on the drywall/wallpaper experiment in my house. I have my digital camera with me for once, just not the cable to hook it up to my laptop & download the photos. See what I mean about life being Very Busy & kicking my backside at the moment? I'll take some snaps today & post tomorrow or Friday, I PROMISE.

Why, you might ask, am I so busy? A very good question - and one that I'll explain properly tomorrow, at which time I will also lay out my new Knitting Schedule that I dreamed up today while I should have been concentrating on other things. And about the Fig & Plum E. Zimmerman knit-along that I am seriously considering joining up, as I just bought her "Knitting Without Tears" and inter-library-loaned two other titles of hers. Speaking of knit-alongs, anyone know if there is going to be another Sockpalooza anytime soon? I'm drooling to join if there is!

But now, now I need to go take advantage of the fact that my son is actually asleep and staying asleep and listen to some LibriVox Northanger Abby and knit like the wind, dontcha' know...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My secret is out

No, not my top secret knitting project. (The above is as much as you're allowed to see.)

And no, unlike many famous knitters, at the moment, I am most certainly *not not not* with child.

My secret is the "ohmygodohmygodohmygod" post from the other day - remember? Seeing as how I haven't posted much since the kiddos came back to campus it should still safely be there on the right-hand side of things in my 'previous posts' list. Yeah....that one. Well, my secret is out.

I'm in Cast-On

I had posted a comment about a month or two ago offering to read for Ms. Dayne and didn't hear anything back & so figured that she'd been deluged with offers and didn't need me (and my comment was a - gulp! - audio comment where I "umm'd" and "uhhhh'd" nonstop and sounded like a TOTAL git, so I figured that after she finished laughing at me she just hit the 'delete' button & promptly forgot about me and my sad little offer........) and so just wrote it off as a decent attempt on my part & at least I finally tried for once instead of chickening out like I do with so many other things.

But then I got her e-mail! And with her e-mail came a brilliant essay by Kate that was just an amazing ton of fun to read (of course after I listened to it I totally cringed - Minnie Mouse doing a 'Blanche DuBois-type' overly dramatic reading is how I rated myself!) so honestly how could I ever say no, especially to Brenda Dayne - this is the woman who keeps me happily awake after my son goes to bed when all I want to do is tumble into my feather pillows & comforter myself, yet as that is the ONLY knitting time I pretty much get to myself these days I'm totally greedy about it and so cling to it like a shipwreck survivor hanging on to a liferaft....

And so I recorded it & e-mailed Kate (she's funny & nice as well as an incredible writer - go see her blog, too, she's a fantastic knitter to boot!) and then put it in a public place for Brenda to download and started waiting.....and eventually got an e-mail back saying that she was going to download it & take a listen & would tell me if it needed any tweaking, and then all of a sudden WHAM!

I'm in Cast On!

Episode 37: Mill(w)right, to be exact. Of course because I have the brain of a fencepost I never actually told Brenda that I had a blog, and even though she really is a deity of sorts in her own right she is *not* actually omniscient and so didn't figure that all out for herself, so I'm not linked off of her show notes. But I did send her an e-mail trying very humbly (yet greedily) to ask her to link me sometime in the future if and when she has the time/inclination. We all want our 15 minutes of fame, right?

As my knitting content is fairly thin at the moment (don't you hate how work puts such a crimp in your knitting time? It's such a drag that way, huh?) I'll wait to post about actual knitting progress - yes, there is some! - until tomorrow or Monday...

But until then, I will leave you with the immortal closing words of you-know-who:

".......and don't forget, if you're cold, put on a sweater - that's what they're for."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Oh I am *such* a liar!

No updated blog, no knitting pictures, no Eye Candy Friday, no posts even! My last post was obviously all lies, lies, lies, lies!

This, my ducks, is what happens when work simply Kicks Your Backside for a full five days straight!

I am here, I am breathing in & out quite happily, I'm just busier than the proverbial bee. Next week looks MUCH calmer {she says as she happily pages through her appointment book on her desk} so I'll be back then!

Have a great weekend, and a very happy birthday to my very own Peggers - he's 30 tomorrow, dontcha' know!!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's A Frog-A-Long!

Ribbet. Ribbet.
~ updated added 4:18 PM EST. Scroll to bottom to see!~

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh but these pants have been asking for it for YEARS now!

I was all excited about them when I first saw the pattern in Interweave way back when. I even read up on Alison's blog all about her progress with them and dutifully printed out her modifications and carried all of that around with me (hey, 4-5 skeins of LB Homespun is a lot of yarn!) in a black canvas carryall everywhere I went. And I knitted.............and knitted............and eventually got to where the two leg pieces joined (at which point I smacked myself on the head and said DUH! Why didn't you knit them both at the same time to make sure your gauge was the same & that they would be identical???) and then carefully followed all of the recommended changes to make them fit even better on me than they looked on the model.... (yeah, right, there's a reason that some clothes only look good on the models & not on real human beings who have a good 10-20 pounds too much for their frame size packed on and who have bumps & wobbly bits where models only have firm sleek flesh.....)

Despite all of my good intentions and my actual joy in the colour of the Homespun that I picked out, I never got further than one front piece of these pants. I have the vague recollection of lookign at how much yarn I had left over & how much I still had left to knit and realizing that I wasn't going to make it with what I had.....and for some reason the idea of going out and buying another skein of roughly $4 Homespun just didn't appeal. I could see these things being SO unflatteringly bulky that I just wouldn't wear them....plus with the non-natural-fiber content I was also worrying that they wouldn't breathe - and with that realization the thought of wearing (essentially) plastic pants suddenly just wasn't appealing to me anymore.

So here they are in their long-halted state:
(oh lord and horizontal stripes on top of all that bulky yarn? What WAS I thinking????)

It is now quarter to three in the afternoon, EST. From three to four PM today my job at work is to sit in front of my computer and "be available" in case anyone needs any virtual reference assistance. My non-work job from 3-4 PM is also this afternoon to turn these half-pants into a large pile of yarn. Once I have done so I will immediately photograph & update the entry - - so stay tuned!!!


Man Oh Man but that was a lot of yarn I had tied up in those suckers!

It doesn't look like a lot in these photos, but trust me - it really is! I don't have a scale around in the library that is sensitive enough to weight yarn (we only have a book scale that starts around 5 pounds, and while the pants *were* heavy they were nowhere near 5 pounds!!!) so I can't give you a weight until later. But I figured I'd take a second shot of my 'new' yarn with something for scale......something that any knitter worth their salt will immediately recognize and totally *get* from a scale perspective.

Heh heh. I really like these colours - they're oddly gender neutral in a very nice way without being too (obviously) pastel yellow or green - because as someone who chose NOT to know the gender of her baby I can tell you I was woefully sick of yellow & green baby clothes! I'm bringing this up because I have some major baby clothes to knit - no not for myself! I know at least 3 babies who are owed clothes by me - one is {gulp!} almost a year old now, so he's not even a baby anymore! And I was thinking that this stuff would be the perfect ticket for some baby clothes... I had been debating the 'One Skein' bolero, but wonder if that will only fit a newborn....or if maybe I use the Homespun it would automatically be bigger just because of a large gauge and therefore would fit a child of - say - three months? I've also been considering the Holiday Knits pants idea - basically a pair of cute knitted cargo pants much like the pair seen here in Knitty... Hmmmm....those Knitty pants are done in Rowan's all season cotton........I wonder how they would look & feel knitted up using some of my majorly-huge stash of kitchen cotton?????

This is maybe a quarter of my cotton collection. Maybe.

Hopefully coming next week - an updated right-hand bar or maybe a total blog redesign including (yes Peggers, this is for you) a list of Future Works To Be Knitted.....starting off (of course) with The Ever Important Red Knee-High Socks! (Anyone know of a thickish red sock yarn that knits up like the wind? Nothing ickily acrylic, please - I tried Wool-Ease and was totally grossed out by the way that it squeaked.)

P.S. Thanks to kt for coming up with the Frog-A-Long idea!!!

First Up, Eye Candy Friday

This past weekend my dad & stepmother came to visit, and we ambled on down to Ocean City to stroll my wee one along the boardwalk. It was amazing to see the effects of Ernesto up close & in person, and I was able to snatch this picture amongst the seagulls fighting for bits of discarded hot dog roll, my son whining for french fries (yes, he craves deep-fried junk even at such a young age!) and my own inner craving for a Huge Cup Of Coffee.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Who am I kidding? Of COURSE size matters!!!

......and I'm not afraid to admit it!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was thinking this the other night - there I was working away feverishly on the (seemingly) huge object in front of me when I realized that I just had to finally break down and admit it...........I'm not an 8 inch kind of girl. It's just too much for me! Give me a comfortable 6 to6.5 inches anyday, thankyouverymuch! I mean, we all talk about it and some others of us even address it outright, so I feel very safe in saying that I certainly can't be alone in my preference.......

So I did a few more rounds before I got to the point where my cable round started and measured from there to the end and realized with a sigh of relief that I was exactly at the 6 1/2 inch mark on J's sock leg (which is plenty long for her as she's only about 5'4" and as a rare-books librarian is on her feet ALL DAY and up & down ladders ALL DAY and most certainly wouldn't want socks that pool/bag around her ankles because they were knitted too long) and that meant that I could........

.......what did you just say?.......
...........you thought I was talking about WHAT??????????
Oh people now really. Don't you know that my mom reads this blog? And maybe even my GRANDMOTHER? And certainly my husband!!!!

Please now.....use your noggin! Those conversations are totally reserved for whispered giggles over a recently-refilled glass of syrah - and never EVER where they can be cut & pasted into the body of an e-mail or printed as incriminating evidence. {giggle, giggle, giggle}

So anyway, drag your smut-laden minds back to my sock-in-progress, if you please. The sock that is now a lovely 6 1/2 inches in length for the leg & whose heel I turned this very morning while sitting in the waiting room of my local Toyota dealership for a heavenly 2 hours (dedicated knitting time, people!!!) while my car got a 15,000 service. (I got some seriously strange looks in that teeny tiny waiting room, let me tell you! Everyone else was watching the Ellen DeGeneris show - I was knitting a sock. Reminds me of that song from....was it Sesame Street? "One of these things is not like the other.....some of these things are kinda' the same...." I turned the heel at the dealership and then once back home for a refill on my coffee (never ever drink the coffee they offer you at a dealership waiting room!) I transferred the socks to two sets of circulars so that I could better understand how the cable twist was going to work next to the new instep and the foot of the sock, etc, etc, etc... Which also had the totally bonus bit of meaning that I could finally try them on!
I really like working on dpns, but they are really tricky when it comes to trying on your sock-in-progress. And as I'm still enough of a sock newbie I feel MUCH better when I get to try them on.

The colours of this yarn are the most edible I've ever seen so far - a huge melting swirl of tropical sherbert - you actually want to take a sniff or a surreptitious lick of the yarn to see if it's Willie-Wonka-like stuff and has been impregnanted with either scent or flavour!

The heel was a slipstitch heel - at first I thought it was a Eye of Partridge heel, which I've only done once, but when I saw that you always slipped the same stitch over & over again and always knit the same stitch over & over again I realized that nope - it was just a nice, sturdy slipstitch heel that shouldn't wear out anytime soon - and had the added bonus of short-striping quite nicely, which is a fun contrast against the huge pool of purple that was above it on the leg of the sock...

The pattern so far I really like - I think my cable confusion was mostly due to me not being a very attentive pattern-reader - - I got confused when the author referred to the "purl stitch in the middle of the cable" as to me it seems like there are two middles of the cable (I know there can't be, but neither seemed to be a middle stitch when I was contemplating this last night around 11:30 PM.....probably a good argument as to why I should NOT knit when I'm that completely knackered, huh?) but after the heel was turned & a few rounds of Deeply Concentrated Knitting things are totally back on track with the correct number of stitches all where they should be.....

Plus this pattern has the incredible bonus of being the absolute first sock that I've ever done where I don't have at least one oddly-gaping/pulled hole where the heel meets the instep! I have the sneaking suspicion that this is because there is a cable right at that exact junction, which simply hides any holes or oddly pulled sections, but I'd like to think it's also because the pattern is so clearly written and that my 'pick up & knit' skills are improving!

I really think that the way this sock is going to come together at the end: with the cable continuing down the side of the foot almost all the way to the toes; with the ribs on the top of the foot; with the so-clearly-demarcated line of ssk & k2tog stitches along the heel flap/gusset setting off the smooth expanse of stockingknit stitches on the underside of the foot; the last burst of smooth stocking knit stitches finished off in a Kitchner stitch at the toe...... While the crazy colours of this sock yarn (it's called 'Mousie Masala' - isn't that an oddly funny name???) might actually detract a bit from the pattern, I'm quite pleased with these overall. My dad has (apparently) appallingly cold feet - so after I finish my other single socks' pairs and finish my husband's fire-engine-red-knee-highs I'm going to start up a pair of super-warm socks for him. (I'm thinking an angora blend - anyone having any suggestions on either angora blends or super-warm sock yarns I'm totally willing to listen & read & learn!!!)

Is anyone out there a Sundance Catalog 'subscriber'? I absolutely adore their clothes (and the slim hips & looooong limbs on their models!) but can never afford 99% of their stuff. ($695 for a jacket? Yeah, right. I'm totally going to spend more on a jacket than I am on a monthly mortgage payment!!!) The new catalog came in yesterday's mail and this sweater really called to me.......But after only a peek or two I realized that the shaping of the sweater & the chunky yarn meant that it would totally be a Quick Knit - if I could only figure out the basics of the pattern.
It looks like a nice basic shape with a somewhat oddly wriggled front edge (I might make that a tad bit more even and traditionally boring if I knit this for myself) without a ton of shaping. But see how the line of stitches kind of.....angles towards that front edge? It's almost like the sweater was knitted diagonally.......and the sleeves in the same way - and then they were all put together on one huge circular needle and joined and finished smoothly together as you can see at the top of the shoulder. (Or is that angle just from the way the sweater is draping on the model?) It's a neat knit - I'd love to know how to do it! I'd also love to know how they got their hems to keep from rolling......
Amelia has a technique for such an un-rolled look and I'm totally going to try it one of these days - as I'm a huge fan of plain ol' stocking knit yet loathe the rolled hems they correspondingly produce.......

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I am in Yarnival!

Me! Little ol' me! In Yarnival! Picked out of "500 billion entries." I mean, wow.........that's a lot of entries!

(I feel so Sally Fields-like it's not even funny. "You like me! You really like me!")

I am a knitter. Hear me roar!

Peggers, stop laughing at me. No, seriously, stop laughing -
I can hear it all the way in my office, 30 miles away .............

Oh man O man, this means I need to post some seriously entertaining stuff from here on out. And make my blog pretty. Maybe add in some bells? And whistles? Some Very Cool Drawings? Cartoons a'la Franklin & Delores? Or maybe (just maybe) I need to go and spend a whole huge whacking lump of cash on some really purty yarn & put up lots of shamelessly-macro-taken exploitative pics to make everyone lust after My Stash????

Hmph. Somehow that last option really appeals to me. Funny how that might be, isn't it?

(A true & proper post coming tomorrow - complete with knitting content & pics & all the other good stuff that you could ever hope for......)

Friday, September 01, 2006

"It's like buttah! Now....talk amongst yourselves..."

(That's from Saturday Night Live for those of you who aren't familar w/ Mike Myers & his brilliant character Linda Richmond & her infamous "Coffee Talk" skit......)

The guesses were:
* Cardamom
* Cayenne Pepper
* Cinnamon
* Tapioca
* Pear liquor
* Crystalized Ginger

The magic secret ingredient? Nothing more than plain ol' sweet (unsalted) butter. About 3 Tablespoons for the entire cauldron of preserves. It makes sense when you think about it - after all doesn't jam always taste better on toast if there's butter down on that toast first? It somehow transforms the sweet pear into a more caramelized, slightly rich tasting concoction while never obscuring the pure pear flavour. From a culinary point of view, as well, it gives the sometimes-grainy pear a much smoother 'mouthfeel' and just rounds out the entire thing.

Speaking of butter, I found the following pictures via a Google image search. These - my dears - are butter sculptures. Roughly 600 to 1,000 pounds of butter and 120 to 300 hours of work go into making them. OY. Sharon BuMann is the woman who does the sculpting. The 2nd pic is called something like "How to milk a llama" which made me laugh...

So as nobody guessed the super-magic secret, for now I will keep my five precious jars in the pantry (my husband is breathing a sigh of relief, you can be sure!) but in the future I might offer one up as another contest prize....if I can ever think of anything else to ask you, that is......

We are currently drowning under Ernesto, so my opportunity to take a nice Eye Candy photo today is absolutely soggy with impossibility. And as the Munchkin fell asleep last night at quarter after seven in his high chair I (finally) got a few rows done on R's clapotis before I myself nodded off (this week has been CRAZY at work - exhaustingly crazy!) alas only to be re-woken an hour later by the Munch, who was absolutely miserable with teething pain. He was up for several hours until the pain medicine kicked in and helped to dull the ache enough for him to fall back asleep. So alas, my few rows of a clapotis that is over 150 stitches wide is not a very interesting photo, lemmie' tell you. I can - however - show you the dropped stitches as they currently stand and can say that I'm working on updating my Flickr pics that are linked to the right under the WIPs and FOs. Earth-shaking excitement, I know......

[But now today - today is quiet as a tomb in the library due to the pouring rain outside, and I have a whole two hours before my next committment pops up....hmmmm....I'm thinking a mug of tea & turning off the overhead light in the office & some P.G. Wodehouse via iTunes and voila! A tried and true knitting meditation session! Especially if you throw some chocolate in there.]

Then back home to mop up the house (uggghhhh....I left the windows open!) and start cleaning in time for my dad & stepmother to arrive tomorow AM sometime before lunch...... As I say to the Munchkin every night at bathtime - "scrub scrub scrub!"

Oh and hey! Yarnival is going to be announced soon - I'm excited to see who is the first pick, aren't you????

p.s. Sorry for the (almost) picture-less post today.

p.p.s. Sorry for the (almost) knitting-less post too!

p.p.p.s. Oh, and Emily? Anytime!!!! Just consider us your home-away-from-home hurricane evacuation stop! And of course bring the cats - Betty & Thisbe can compare family trees.......