Friday, June 30, 2006

Aquafino est finito!

I don't know what language that is, Italian, French, franglais, but in any language, this monster of a project is done! I have to say that I'm very pleased with it. It fits well and the finished product is very elegant, so hats off to Glampyre for writing such a lovely, yet elegantly simple, pattern. Anyway, here's a photo. You'll have to excuse my hairdo and lack of makeup. I wish I could say that I tried it on right before bedtime and that's why I look like such a mess, but actually, I was on my way out to work. Hey, I work in a lab by myself all day - what's the point in looking cute? I think I can say, though, that my days of being able to run out of house without any lipstick on are over, but I digress...

I may wind up seaming up the armholes a little more and maybe a little further in on the shoulders - all sizes have the same seaming instructions for the shoulders, which doesn't make a lot of sense. Even though I'm sitting here in the lab alone, I'm wearing Aquafina, but heck, at least I'm here to appreciate it, right?


Pattern: Orangina, designed by Glampyre. I made the 42" size.

Yarn: 4-ply cotton by Rowan in Aegean, purchased at Knitting in La Jolla, 5 balls.

Needles: Addi Turbo circulars, size 3 (don't know the cord length)

Time to Completion: I don't keep track of these things, but probably between 2-3 months. I couldn't find any record in the archives about when I started it.

Modifications: None. Many people switched to a smaller needle for the ribbing, but I didn't and I think it worked out OK for the way I wanted it to fit. When the ribbing stretches out and makes me look like I have a spare tire around my waist, I may change my mind about the wisdom of that decision.

Overall thoughts: As I mentioned, this is a great pattern and although I guess in theory, it's simple enough that anyone could have come up with it, the point is they didn't, but she did. So I think Glampyre deserves a lot of credit. Hip, hip, hooray! My only complaint is that the neckline rolls a bit despite being blocked to within an inch of its life.

Speaking of which, have you guys seen her latest design? It's lovely.

Have a good weekend! I'll see some of you tonight!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

WARNING: Extreme Lack of Knitting Content

Last night I was among the envy of Red Sox Nation. 36,053 baseball fans filled the seats of Fenway park to watch Pedro Martinez, our former ace, return to pitch against his old teammates. Pedro was a key part of the Red Sox World Series Championship, and when he left it left a whole in the bull pen that has still not been filled. (portion deleted thanks Jenn C for the correction to my original post!) This was a much anticipated game. Pedro got a standing ovation when he took the mound. Unfortunately, the game went downhill quickly after that. In fact, it was a very bad game for the former Sox ace. 4 runs scored in the first inning, there was a bizarre fielding incident in which Pedro couldn't decide where to throw the ball, 4 more runs scored in the 3rd, and during one inning there was a hit that basically went through Pedro's legs. Pedro was gone by the end of that inning. To me, the most unfortunate part was when the fans started chanting "Who's your daddy" while Pedro was on the mound. What upset me most about this is that the Yankees fans used to jeer Pedro with this chant and in my mind, Sox fans should NEVER EVER take their lead from Yankees fans. We won the game, and Beckett did a phenomenal job pitching. This was the second game in a row that he made it to the 8th inning in and in which he limited scoring to just 2 runs, with very few hits (I saw him pitch against my former home team, the Phillies on Friday, and man, was he on fire then). Clearly though, the Mets loss can not be attributed just to Pedro, we did score after he left, and the Mets left fielder literally dropped the ball on one occasion.

Now for the obligatory knitting content (just so I don't go 2 posts in a row on this knitting blog without any) :

One pair Pomatomus sock in Blackberry Farms sock yarn (I think, though I can't remember for sure), colorway, Tropical Fish. Start date June 10, 2006, finished today, June 29, 2006. Used size 1 addi bamboo (?) dpns. Sorry all the data on the socks are at home.

Finally, sorry for quality of photos, all were taken with my cell phone.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It was a hot and steamy morning...

On Saturday, I finished the knitting portion of Aquafina! Yay! Celebration time! However, since then, the only think I've done with it is wash it. It still isn't seamed up and I haven't weaved in any of the ends. I think I'm going to get started with that, tonight. I hate finishing!

In the meantime, I've started a new project with some stash yarn. Over the weekend, I purchased the new Knitscene, and overall, I'm pretty pleased with it, especially compared to the other knitting magazines that have come out recently. Anyway, this pattern immediately caught my eye as being something that is both elegant and very wearable. One of things about choosing a pattern for me is that if I choose something to costumey and showy, I'll feel like a poser if I wear it. Anyway, I present Camisa, my latest project: The pattern is designed to be knit flat, but it doesn't make much sense to me to do it that way, so I'm going to knit it in the round. The first thing you do is knit the center panel in basketweave stitch, so that's where I'm at now. I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Spryte. Here's a poorly lit close-up of the pattern where you can't see the stitch at all. Awesome, huh? After I finish with this part, I seam it up and then pick up stitches along the top of it and along the bottom to knit the rest. It seems fairly simple. I'm glad to find a use for this yarn because I bought it to make another pattern, but the color turned out all wrong.

Speaking of that pattern, the designer of the Prosperous Plum Tank has finished upsizing the pattern and it is now available in a variety of sizes for your knitting pleasure - saves me a pile of work. I'll get started on that soon, since I need done by the middle of August.

I don't think I knit a single stitch yesterday. I was pretty much busy from morning until night. Last night I took a yoga class over at Ginseng in South Park and it was wonderful. Even though it was fairly strenuous, my body felt amazing afterwards. Next week, the class is canceled because of the 4th of July, which totally sucks. The teacher is doing a free yoga class in Balboa Park that same week, though, so I'll probably take that. Doing yoga outside sounds fun, as long as it isn't as hot and miserable and it has been the last few days. It's so steamy and sticky that the thought of knitting just seems horrible. It helped me contort my body into yoga poses yesterday though. I'll probably feel the pain tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summer Reading Project

Book 3, Catch as Cat Can, Rita May Brown. This is a cute murder mystery book (I know, who would have thought that a murder mystery could be cute?) What makes it cute is that several of the characters are animals, there are 2 cats and a dog who play as important of a role as the human characters do. I had never read any of the other books involving these characters, but did enjoy the book. It was a nice light read, perfect for the summer. There was just enough mystery and intrigue to keep you guessing without being to intense. B+

Book 4, A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L'Engle. I last read this book as a child, but decided some time ago that I wanted to re-read it. Last week Christine did a review on A Wind in the Door by L'Engle which made my interest in A Wrinkle in Time grow. A Wrinkle in Time is basically a sci-fi story of 3 children who travel through space to rescue the father of 2 of them from an planet swallowed by evil. As a child I did not really notice or care about the religious references, they still don't weigh heavily on me, but I did notice them more. As an adult, I also now wonder whether Camazotz a planet which a dark force controls, and on which every human acts is alike is a reference to communism. The book was written in the '60s and I believe that the type of sameness written about was part of the anti-communist propaganda, though, I was not a history major so I could be wrong. With all of this I still enjoyed the book, which was also a nice light read. B.

No knitting news. I barely knit this weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2006

J's Not the Only One With Lumps of Knitting

I have a lump of my own. Felting is almost as bad as lace when it comes to progress shots. Everytime I've knit something that is going to be felted, I have serious doubts that it will actually take the shape that it's supposed to. But since felting is akin to magic, it always does. Machine felting creates the structured edges that the knitted pieces just can't maintain.

Someday, my lump of knitting is going to look like this:
but until then, I guess I'm just going to have to have faith.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


My knitting is still not at all photo worthy. I am on the lapel section of the VK Twisted Float Shrug, which, because it is knit in the round, currently looks like a lump of knit material. K had wanted to see my colors together, so I am sharing two pictures of the lump of material. On the left is the full lump, WS showing. On the right is an attempt at a close up of the RS with the twisted floats showing. The version that appeared on the cover of VK was very, umn, active, and while I loved it, I wanted something a bit softer and more subtle for my twisted float. I think that I have achieved that.

Because one lumpy project is not enough I am also giving you a shot of my lump of brown lace. Progress has slowed down on it, but hasn't stopped entirely. I have turned the heel on my second pomatomus sock, but I am not sharing a photo because I already showed the first sock. I have not knit a stitch on WRS this week. I guess that may be it for my project updates. Hopefully I will have more impressive photos next week.

I rode my bike yesterday morning into work. My average speed was 13.8mph, so my speed may be improving. I expect to ride home from the office tomorrow.

On the Summer Reading Project, my next review is of Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwartz, 368 pages. This was an Oprah book selection, which I read for my book club. Drowning Ruth was an interesting portrait of one woman's relationships, her relationship with her sister, her brother-in-law and her especially her niece. At the heart of the story, set in the post WWI years, is the mystery of the death of the main character's sister one cold November night. This evening changed the course of the lives of Ruth (the sister's daughter), Amanda (the main character) and several other characters of less significance. It is not until near the end that you learn just what happened that evening. I ended up feeling sorry for Amanda and for Ruth, though at the same time I didn't really like Amanda that much, she was a hard, judgmental woman who controlled Ruth and who didn't really seem to have Ruth's best interest at heart, even though she thought that she did. I would definitely recommend this novel to others. B+.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blueberry Cap Sleeve Cardigan

Here's another FO that I finished on Saturday. It took a lot of effort to even make it wearable because it's one of those patterns where row gauge has a big effect on how it fits. My row gauge was somewhat off, so I had to do a little tweaking. Plus I ran out of buttons so I had to get creative.


Pattern: Caramel Cap Sleeve Cardigan from Spring 2004 IK
Yarn: Bamboo by Crystal Palace. Bamboo is a worsted weight 100% bamboo multi-plied yarn
Needles: Size 7 Addi Naturals circular needles
Overall thoughts: I liked the pattern overall. It didn't have any errors and it had some interesting shaping techniques. I'm assuming that mine didn't turn out well due to gauge issues. The yarn is not my favorite. It has a wonderful feel - like silk - except that it stretches out like crazy. It survived a trip in the washing machine quite well, though and it even spent some time in the dryer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Only One Photo Today

Thank you to everyone who offered kind words and thoughts to me this weekend. I do appreciate it. I am doing better now than before.

This weekend was a busy one though I don't have any photo worthy progress to show (in large part because my camera card was not in the camera when I tried to take photos). I did manage to finish my Aunt's baby's blanket, make some progress on my brown lump of lace and on my VK shrug (a multi colored lump of fabric). I have made no progress on my WRS.

The photo on the left is me in my finished Calla, which I hadn't been able to post before.

I signed up for the Summer Reading Program last week. Here is my first report.

Still Life With Crows, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, 480 pages. This novel by these two writers focuses on returning character, FBI Special Agent Pendergast. Agent Pendergast is not your typical FBI Agent, for one thing he is amazingly wealthy, more importantly, however, he has the autonomy to choose which cases he works on. Pendergast always chooses cases with a supernatural flavor to them. In this novel Agent Pendergast, who is on vacation, travels to Kansas to investigate a bizarre murder where the victim is arranged in a tableau surrounded by crows staked with Native American arrows from the 1800's. The novel continues with the details of the investigation and, of course, at the end the murderer is discovered. I will admit that I didn't pick up on the identity of the murderer until close to the end, but I did figure it out before it was revealed. While not a great work of modern fiction, this was an enjoyable, and somewhat suspenseful read. B.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yarn Crawl

Today was an expensive day. I didn't really intend for it to be that way. After all, I have SO much yarn already and I was only going to the Encinitas yarn stores. I'm not even looking for winter yarn right now, so I wouldn't be tempted, right? Wrong.

First of all, I heard that Common Threads now carries Claudia's Handpainted Yarn, so I had to, at the very least, check that out. I wasn't all that fond of most of the colors that they had, but I was completely entranced with this one. This yarn will make the most lucious socks, remiscent of sweet, succulent berries. It's very soft. Even though it's probably just going to sit around until the weather cools down, I knew this yarn is hard to find, so I grabbed it.

Well, you know how it's also hard to find certain colors of Lamb's Pride when you really need them, right? Like you go to the yarn store looking for a color you saw last week, but now it's gone. A common tale, I'm sure. So, I HAD to buy yarn that I've been looking at to make the French Market Bag. If I waited, someone might snatch it up, like the did with the colors I'd been eyeing at the Grove. So, that's what I did. In fact, I found even better colors. I'm going to cast on for this tonight and it will make excellent mindless knitting.

After lingering at Common Threads for a while, we made our way down to the Black Sheep to look at their goodies. I don't usually find much there, not because they don't have nice yarn, but for some reason, they don't usually have anything I want to spend my money on. But for some reason, this colorway of Silk Garden jumped into my arms. I think it was the bit of seafoam green that made it irresistable. I have a scarf in mind for this yarn, but again, it will have to wait until fall. Alas, this was mostly a stash-enhancing trip.

I also got to give my neice her halter, which was WAY bigger on her than I thought. Hopefully, it won't fit her in like December, because that would be kind of useless. Although, this is San Diego, so maybe it wouldn't be too bad.

Wanna See the Cutest Thing Ever?

It's my latest FO: a halter job for my neice, who is turning 1 in a couple of months. Yes, yes, I know. Even though I tsk, tsk as I walk by the racks of slutty, skanky club clothes that stores carry for toddlers, I have made my precious, darling neice a halter top to encourage her to take up a career as a Hooter's waitress, or perhaps a pole dancer. But I just couldn't help myself, this pattern is just so darn cute! So, here it is:


Pattern: Katja from Spring 2006 issue of knitty (one of the surprises). Even though my neice is only 10 months, I made the 2 yr. size based upon her measurements.

Needles: I used Size 7 Inox circular needles - the grey ones. I got gauge on Addi Naturals but promptly misplaced them, so I subbed in these. Therefore, it came out two inches too big. Good thing babies grow like weeds! The yarn was seriously dragging on the Naturals, so these worked out a lot better.

Yarn: Classic Elite Flash in Hot Tropic (2 skeins plus a tiny bit of a third to bind off). This is a triple-ply mercerized cotton yarn with purple, hot pink and orange strands. Very nice stuff. I highly recommend working with this yarn, particularly for children's garments.

Date Started: June 15, 2006

Date Completed: June 18, 2006

Changes/Alterations: This pattern is written flat, but I converted it to be knitted in the round, which caused very few problems, except one caused my mental midgetry. Hey, sometimes when you're chatting at Rebecca's and it says to purl three rows, you do it! Never mind that it means then to do garter stitch instead. In the round, these things make a difference! I like to think I was intentially changing the pattern to make it my own.

Overall thoughts: This is a great pattern (definitely do it in the round, though) and it turned out really cute. I can't wait to see it on her.

I actually finished a sweater for me yesterday as well that I wore to Rebecca's - my Blueberry Cap Sleeve Top. I thought about taking pictures in the morning, but my hair was a mess and by the time I'd fixed it, I was already late so I thought I'd take them later, but as Classic Elite Bamboo is want to do, it grew about 4 inches in width, at least, throughout the day and looked like a tent dress by evening. Hopefully a trip through the washer and dryer should return it to its original shape.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Tribute

When I came into this world my mother wanted to name me Chris. My father refused, claiming that Chris was a boy’s name. When my brother graced this planet with his presence, my mother wanted to name him Chris. Again my father vetoed her choice, Chris, you see, was a girls name.

Years later, when I was in 6th grade, my dad came home from work with a teeny tiny kitten. Either my brother or I (I can’t remember which) asked what her name was and my father declared that her name was Chris.

Chris was the runt of her litter and was oh so small. Smaller than most other kittens, and she remained small all her long life. Chris was more of a girl’s cat. From the start my mother and I were her humans, my father, and my brother (still not 10) weren’t important to her. I can remember playing with Chris in the kitchen, sitting Indian style and trying to keep her penned in the space between where my legs crossed.

Chris’s opinion of me changed when we got a Siberian husky puppy, Czar. I was the one who walked the dog, and the dog was the “enemy” so therefore I was allied with the enemy, and we all know that the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

As a kitten and a young cat, Chris was both an indoor and outdoor cat. I remember one horrible night, she couldn’t have even been a year old, when she went out and did not come home. I couldn’t sleep, I was sure that she was dead, school the next day was a nightmare, I couldn’t concentrate because my cat had disappeared. I imagine you can already tell that Chris did, in fact, come home. Where she was that night, and what she did, she never would tell.

Chris was, at least on one occasion, a successful huntress. She proudly brought a bird home as a gift for my mother. Chris hunted in doors as well. Inside our house her favorite game was “attack feet!” She didn’t attack my mother’s feet, or my father’s, or even my brother’s, but anytime I (the traitor) went up the stairs barefoot she was after my ankles and toes like a flash. Let me tell you, Chris had very sharp teeth. Attack Feet was not a game that I enjoyed.

One night, my mother swore that she woke up and in the middle of the night and caught Chris using the toilet. Chris didn’t flush the toilet, but according to my mother, she peed into the toilet. I knew she was a smart cat.

Chris liked buttered popcorn, for that matter, she liked butter, and if it was left unattended, she would lick the stick. Chris also liked anise pizelles, which had to be watched to prevent her eating them. Chris adored turkey and shrimp, and would beg at the table for either of them.

Chris never did get over Czar coming into our home. Any time Czar came near Chris, she would take one small paw and slap Czar repeatedly in the nose. Usually, there was a very good reason for this, you see, if Czar was coming near Chris it was usually to provoke or attack her (though probably more in a “let’s play” way then a “you are dinner!” way). As Czar became a harmless, old lady, who no longer had any interest in playing with Chris, Chris would still reach out and slap Czar’s nose whenever Czar was within reach, even if Czar was merely passing Chris by to get one of us.

I moved out of my parent’s home over 10 years ago, and only saw Chris, and Czar, at the holidays. Czar still adored me and was always happy to see me, Chris still held a grudge and didn’t seem to care if I came or went. I, on the other hand, always wanted to try to hold Chris and make her sit on my lap (any cat owner out there knows how successful that is).

Czar was put down years ago, but Chris was still strong then. Chris finally had her dearest wish, she was the only pet. Now she could be treated in the manner that she always knew she deserved. Now, she, not that dog, could get some ice cream off the empty box. Now she could have her glass in the family room with ice in it so that she didn’t have to drink out of a water bowl like an animal. She hadn’t spent much time outdoors or gone far when she did go out for years, but now she ruled the house, inside and out. The world was her oyster.

I knew that Chris was getting older, after all we had her since I was in 6th grade, and Czar died a couple years after I graduated from law school, but somehow it didn’t seem possible, in the distance from Boston to PA, that she was really not the young spry kitten that I knew when I moved out from my parent’s house so many years before. This past Christmas, however, when I went home, it was real. Vibrant, strong Chris was impossibly tiny. She weighed only a little over 6lbs. She was frail, and didn’t move around much. Her fur was ungroomed, she had stopped doing that some time ago, and she wouldn’t let my mother brush her either. She could then still go down into the basement to use her litter box, but she really didn’t go upstairs. And, there was the night of the seizure. That was awful, after the seizure was over she walked in a circle for what felt like eternity. She did recover from the seizure and she was fine when I left PA. Within a few months, however, my mother reported that Chris stopped using her litter box in the basement and was instead going into the powder room and using the powder room floor for her bathroom. Finally, my parent’s got the hint and moved her litter box into the powder room (got to give her credit for her sharp intelligence). Chris continued to play kitty alarm clock shouting from the first floor up to my parents on the second floor if they were late getting up, after all, she was hungry.

Yesterday morning my parents had to put her down. She was having trouble walking across the kitchen floor. She couldn’t get comfortable sitting on my parent’s lap. As often as not, she was missing the litter box. She was throwing up often, but she was eating. Her thyroid (she had a thyroid problem) and her kidney functions were both under control, but she still was loosing weight. She was down to only 6lbs. The vet thought there might be some other underlying problem, possibly even cancer. She was 20 ½ years old. My parents, especially my mother, struggled with the decision. The vet felt they made the right decision. Now, Chris is gone.

Chris is gone. No happy knitting thoughts from me right now. No attempt to do an extreme knitting shot for the amazing lace. Chris is gone and the tears well up in my eyes is waves. I don’t need to cry in public, or talk about this in public, but this is my memorial to the pet who was part of my life for almost 2/3rds of it, really she was more than just a pet. Now I just want to force cuddle Isis and to hope that she lives as long as Chris did.

Good bye my Chrissy cat.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Busy, Busy

For someone who'd planned on taking the summer off, knitting the days away and taking long walks in the sunshine, life isn't going exactly according to plan. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. I'm very flattered that the professors in my department have seen it fit to offer me several different job opportunities. I have spent most of this week training for the CFD job that I mentioned in my previous post. I've been trying to ftp all of the knowledge that my predecessor amassed in a year and half into around 4 days of training. Let me just tell you, it hasn't worked. CFD is complicated enough for someone with a PhD, i.e. someone who actually knows what they're doing. For me, it's a complete mystery. But I'm determined to conquer it. After all, a professor at UCSD once told me that if I could become an expert at it, I could "write my own ticket". Her words not mine. A ticket to where, I wonder.

But enough work crap, there's been knitting!!! First of all, I have decided to revisit my plans to make Katja for my neice. At the Knit Salon tonight, while looking for the yarn the pattern actually calls for (2nd Time Cotton), I stumbled upon this amazing yarn called Classic Elite Flash, which is basically three plies of mercerized cotton in purple, pink and orange all spun together. The effect is really great, especially for this top which I feel should be cheerful, bright and summery. So, for $3.80 per ball (yep, you heard it right), I bought enough to make what should be a very quick project. It knits up really well and the fabric is very sturdy and firm. I like that, personally. The colors are great, too.

Also, I have 4 inches of ribbing done on Aquafina. The ribbing has gone much quicker than I anticipated, so I don't see why this won't be completely done, blocked and all, by the end of the weekend. Yay! Only two more inches to go! I can't wait!
By the way, J, and others who've had this problem, I think I figured out how to force blogger to post more than two photos. Save your post as a draft and then open it up and try again. It seemed to do the trick for me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Is Pomatomus a Tropical Fish?

I have been absolutely infatuated with the sock I started on Saturday. The yarn colorway is called "Tropical Fish" but as Christine noted last night, it looks like a parrot. There are so many bright, vibrant colors in it. Ordinarily, when I am drawn to this type of yarn the attraction ends while I knit it and discover how busy and, well, fugly it turns out. This time that hasn't happened.

It also has displayed some, uhm, interesting, tendencies. On Saturday while I was working on it I discovered that it looked like a self-striping yarn. If you followed the stripes carefully you would find that the "stripes" of green surrounding yellow, and red/purple/blue together, actually spiral down to the foot. I was intrigued and mesmerized by this and the striping kept me going.

When I got down to the foot however, the yarn behavior changed. Instead of getting the spiral/stripe effect the yarn started to pool on me. I am not generally opposed to pooling, but I would prefer that the foot and the leg be consistent. There was a 4 stitch difference between the foot and the leg, I would not have expected these 4 stitches to make much difference, but apparently 4 stitches mean the world.

I enjoyed this sock but now have a bit of sss, yes I did cast on for the second sock, and I started the ribbed cuff. This is my traveling project so it will hopefully eventually get done, but I don't feel the compulsion of the sock anymore. My VK twisted float shrug is making progress, although I am not posting a photo because it is just a shrug lump right now (similar to my brown lump of lace, but more colorful and bulkier). Apparetly Blogger has a 2 photo max, I can't get any more uploaded today.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Baa Baa Black Sheep

On Saturday I went on an adventure to Vermont to visit a sheep farm. Allison, from Circles, organized a day trip to visit the Mostly Merino farm on the Rudyard Kipling Estate near Putney, VT. The trip began at Circles where we all met and chose our yarn for a trip knit-along, we each chose different yarn and different patterns, with the choses being either socks or a simple shawl. I chose some hand painted Blackberry Ridge sock yarn in the "Tropical Fish" colorway for my yarn and Pomatomus from Knitty for my pattern.

The farm was beautiful, peaceful and bucolic. We got to see the guard llama, and pet the sheep. There where black merino sheep and white merino sheep. We learned that 2 black merinos can have white lambs. We also got to see the farm owner's very diligent dog, Kip, trying to herd anything, or anyone, on legs, including sheep that were in the pen, cats walking around the home, and people trying to leave the yarn room. We had lunch at the home of the farm owner, Margaret, which was wonderful, then we got to go into the yarn room where there were boxes and baskets, and cubby holes of the Mostly Merino yarn. We saw the sweaters that Margaret sells in kits, and many of use became attached to some of her yarn.

For myself, I did not become emotionally attached to any kit, but one of the people on the trip asked about a pattern in Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop book, the Cabled Riding Jacket, which calls for Margaret's yarn. After seeing the jacket I entered dangerous territory. The Jacket is all over cables and very tailored. I can completely see myself in the jacket, I even found a colorway of the yarn that I think would be perfect for me. The problem is that I haven't really stopped my yarn diet (it is almost constantly on) and the pattern required 13 skeins of yarn that cost $13/skein, which isn't in the budget at this time. I hemmed and hawed and thought about the credit card sitting in my purse. I stroked and pet the yarn, and contemplated an unwise purchase. Then I did the right thing, I set the yarn back where I found it and bravely left the yarn room to return to my Pomatomus sock. I was good and bought no yarn, but I know how to get some in the future, and we all know that at some point, probably this year, that Jacket will be started by me using the Mostly Merino yarn.

Despite the rain, the trip to Vermont was perfect and I do want to go back there again. The settng would be absolutely wonderful for a weekend knitting retreat. I have more photos but blogger won't let me post any more.

Non-knitting related news, I started training last night to bike a century in October. A century, if you don't already know, is a 100 mile bike ride, any 100 mile bike ride. The one I plan on doing is the NYC MS ride. I did the 64 mile version last year because I did not train hard enough to do the century. After finishing I immediately decided to do the longer ride this year. I planned on starting my training in April, but due to certain life events, the training had to be post-poned. I rode a little over 12 miles (from work to home) and had an average speed of 13.6mph, not my best time, but not my worse either, so I am please with my initial ride. I may post more on my training progress, which you are free to ignore, I just want to keep a record.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Aquafina getting close!

When I started Aquafina, I knew it would be a test of my patience because doing an entire sweater on size 3 needles would be a challenge for someone like me, who likes instant gratification. Unless I put them down forever and never touch them again (which happens more often that I care to admit), I usually can finish projects relatively quickly, which satisfies my impatience. But I just had to have this sweater and it just takes a long time to make. I was really afraid that I would simply get bored with it and let it sit in my growing pile of UFO's, never to see the light of day. However, yesterday, I put the whole thing on one circular needle and joined it to make the ribbing! Wouldn't you know it I made one mistake, the only mistake so far, on the last row of lace! I couldn't find it for the life of me, so I just k2tog and got on with the ribbing. I've only done two rounds but we're getting there. Only 6 inches of ribbing, then a smidge of seaming, and voila! A finished summery top. One of my favorites I think. Isn't that always the way with things that take hard work?

In my attempt to continue my fair isle training, I also purchased some yarn to make the Christmas Rose bag from Handknit Holidays (thanks for the idea, Kris!). I really like the colors. The pattern calls for 16" circular needles, but since I hate those, I'm considering just doing it on double points. I hate those, too, but they're much better than the wrist killing 16"'ers. Now that I think I've settled the needle issue, I'm ready to begin this project. It seems like a really doable, inexpensive and pretty first fair isle project.

I'm off to yet another day of training at my new job. I don't remember if I posted about this or not, but I've taken a new job doing Computational Fluid Dynamics for a professor at SDSU. I'm learning everything in a week (we hope), so I'm a little nervous but hopefully, it will give me a good Master's topic AND help me get a job. The guy who had the job before got a job at NASA, so we'll see!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Quick and Dirty Post

I've spent my morning actually knitting instead of posting so this post will be quick. I'm working on my IK Caramel (or in my case Blueberry) Cap Sleeve Top. A couple of days ago, I finished the knitting, and between last night and this morning, I did a lot of the finishing. I had to seam the sleeves and the sides and then do a round of single crochet around the whole thing. That took quite a while. I've still got to weave in the ends, make buttonholes and sew on between 10 and 12 buttons. Yuck! Anyway, here it is:

Sorry that the photo is so blurry but when I use my flash with this yarn, it reflects off of the yarn because it's so shiny. It fits a little weird because the neckline is so wide, but I think I just need to make an adjustment or two and it will work out fine. As I mentioned before, it's very heavy, though.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned a bunch of yarn to elann that I decided I didn't like, so I had a decent credit on my account that I've been itching to spend. Well, on Tuesday, they introduced a 100% linen yarn (Linus) that comes in sort of so so colors, but I liked the white enough, so I bought enough to make the Slit Front Tank from IK. It's a free pattern available on their website. I've wanted to make this for quite some time, but haven't found the right yarn. Well, here it is - the right yarn! It's much softer than a lot of linen yarns that I've felt, so we'll see how it goes.

I've taken on a new job this week. So, in addition to working my regular internship and grading papers for two classes, I'm also doing research 15 hours per week for a professor. That should keep me occupied this summer, huh?

Who's planning on being at Rebecca's tomorrow? I know I am.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


When last I wrote about my partnership with the WRS I described the difficult time we were having due to my wandering eye and my philandering fingers. Since that time there has been a new development. On Saturday, Mr. Chart decided he had enough of my cheating ways and left me. I immediately hired Lefteria Handious (a/k/a Leftie) to find Mr. Chart. After several minutes of searching Leftie found Mr. Chart behind my bookshelf. After returning Mr. Chart to me I knit one row and then tried to teach Mr. Chart a lesson by working on a summer tank top for the rest of my knitting time. Mr. Chart remained in place up to last night. After some considerable trouble with one of my flings, I decided to work another row of WRS. Mr. Chart was duly helpful with this and did just what I wanted him to do, however, when the row was finished and I put WRS and Mr. Chart back in the pile of UFO beside my sofa I heard the noise of paper encased in plastic hitting hard wood floors. He did it again! Mr. Chart tried to leave me fo a second time in one week! Leftie was immediately hired again to track my fleeing partner. Leftie conducted a preliminary search and could not locate Mr. Chart, so Leftie brought in her sister, Rightia Handious ("Rightie"). Rightie insisted on searching behind the bookcase, even though Leftie found nothing. Between Rightie and Leftie the bookshelf was moved and Mr. Chart was discovered over 1/2 behind the bookshelf, further than he had made it before. Mr. Chart was again brought home to me, but what Mr. Chart seems to forget is that he is, in fact, only a working clone of the original pattern which is safely tucked away on the very bookshelf that he was hiding behind.

I now have 21 pattern rows done on WRS and have started the third motif of the center panel. I have a quarter on the shawl to give you a sense of the size of the piece. You may be wondering if my experiences with Mr. Chart trying to run away have stopped my multiple affairs, well wonder no more...


I finished Calla on Tuesday night. My modification of knitting the entire piece in the round instead of as 2 separate pieces worked fine. I did find the pattern boring after awhile, which might have been a result of the change. Pattern vitals: yarn used--Classic Elite Classic Silk, 4 skeins; needles used--24" addi turbos, US size 5; start date--May 31, 2006; end date--June 6, 2006. Problems: I think that my knitting looks sloppy, and I accidentally screwed up the center cable, so I decided to make that a "design feature" by making the same mistake at another repeat.

Since I was moving quickly on summer projects, and since I am trying to limit my yarn spending (gasp!) I pulled out my Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted and started the Twisted Float Shrug from Fall, 2005 VK. I started on Tuesday and got to the float part, which I tried to do using the two handed Fair Isle method, unfortunately my floats weren't twisted. I read the pattern, which talked about the yarn twisting and being careful not to untwist it, and then it untwisting in the following float row. I read and re-read the pattern. I tried dropping the yarn and doing what the pattern told you to do which ended up with the yarn all wrapped around itself, which I was continuously undoing. I tried to get the women at my s'nb to help me interpret the language, but there was no enlightenment there. I tore out and re-started, again and again, the pattern before leaving s'nb. I was frustrated but determined to figure it out. I went home and had a glass of red wine, and looked again at the pattern (I was finally back up to the float section) when finally, like a bolt of lightening, I realized the twists the pattern warned again untwisting weren't the floats, but the yarn going from my project to the cakes of yarn. The twists I was supposed to be protecting were the very twists that annoyed me before! After I realized that I was able to make some real progress on the project.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Weekend Full of Knitting

On Saturday, I drove up to Orange County, Laguna Hills actually, to go to the Yarn Lady's infamous twice-yearly bag sale. I didn't know what to expect, but apparently, I had expectations because I was a little disappointed in the sale. But that's not to say I didn't have a really great day with Disentangled and Kris. Basically, instead of having yarns that they actually carry in their shop, they had bags and bags of brands they don't actually carry. It's as if they have a deal with a yarn distributor to get rid of discontinued yarns. But you can't quibble with yarn at 50% off, can you?

As planned, we left San Diego promptly at 6:30 a.m. and arrived at the Yarn Lady about 8 minutes before 8 a.m., and although we thought we got a jump on everyone, there were dozens of people already searching through the bins. Not to be outdone, we grabbed our Ikea bags and jumped in, too. Within 10 minutes of sifting, I had completely filled my bag with maybes. The three of us sat down to do some serious soul searching about which fish had to be thrown back. Basically, we each had at least $1000 worth of yarn in our bags. It's easy to get caught up in the frenzy and spend too much. The original prices of most of the yarn were very high, so the sale prices weren't that great, either. Throwing back had to be done. We all had hard decisions, and we each at one point or another coveted each other's yarn, but I think we all came away happy. We searched through those bins for around three hours, hoping someone else would throw back this or that that we were looking for. By the end of the day, I was dog tired and a little sore from bending over the bins.

Here's my take:

2 bags of Valeria de Roma Topacio in a light and dark blue, possible for the Ribby Cardi
1 bag of Anny Blatt mercerized cotton in a light turquoise color, probably to make another Soleil. I really like that pattern and my first one turned out all wrong.
1 bag of Baruffa Aerobic, in pink. This is a 100% extra fine merino yarn. I may use it to make the Vintage Pink Cardigan.

On Sunday, I took a Two Handed Fair Isle class from Knitting Guru Dave Kraft over at the Grove. It was really a lot of fun and I learned a ton. I couldn't believe I was actually doing it! I figured I'd have a lot of trouble with it since my Continental knitting skills aren't that great. But they were good enough I guess because I made a swatch:

Now I'm really excited to make Eunny's vest. I ordered my shade cards for Jo Sharp Dk Wool from ozeyarn. Hopefully, they'll make it here by Saturday so I can bring them to Rebecca's for show and tell. I still have no idea what colors I'm going to do. In the meantime though, I want to do a small fair isle project to get used to doing it and to improve my skills before I tackle a garment. Any ideas?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Finally A Photo

I don't know how long I've been saying I'd post photos of my Fitted Tank, but today, I finally got around to taking some. In fact, I finally, after two years, got around to figuring out how to work the timer on my camera. So, there will probably be many more photos of me actually wearing my knits in the future. So, without further ado, here it is:

It looks kind of weird in the front because I pulled it down right before the camera took the picture and cotton, having no memory at all, got amnesia and didn't return to its upright and locked position. Oh well, c'est la vie. You get the idea, right?

I've been making more progress on my cap sleeved top (I'm almost done with the left front) and Orangina (probably about 7 or 8 inches of the front) but my camera is out of batteries, so you'll be spared even more WIP photos. Orangina (which someone who knit it in a similar color nicknamed Aquafina - me likey), is a test of my fortitude, stamina and patience, three qualities I'm not known for. It will all be worth it in the end, I'm sure.

For those Rebecca's Saturday knitters out there, I will not be attending on Saturday. In fact, the crazier among us are driving up to the O.C. to go to the Yarn Lady's annual bag sale. We're leaving at 6:30 in the morning...on a Saturday. That's right folks, we've completely lost our marbles, the elevator doesn't go to the top floor, we're one chicken nugget short of a Happy Meal... Well, you get the idea. For those of you out there equally mentally challenged, there's still a seat in the car. Anybody in?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Mind Races, but Goes Nowhere

Do you know that feeling. Thoughts swirling, moving, getting caught, rushing past, but not moving on? That is where my mind is now. Thoughts about my job and the work that I need to do are roaming freely in my head. Thoughts about my attitude towards life, and how my work has effected those attitudes are bumping up against the worries I carry around about my efficacy as an attorney. The feeling that my body doesn't look the way I want it to runs free. All of this causes some delays in my performance at work. Shit happens though and life goes on. There really isn't time for self-indulgence in roaming thoughts, is there?

Before I return to the world of deadlines and drafting, I do have some knitting content to share. First I bought buttons for my Corset. I carefully sewed the 20 buttons on and tried on the top, at which time I discovered that my button holes were too large, my buttons too small, or that negative ease does not go well with buttons, because the top didn't stay closed. I promptly pulled out a crochet hook and crocheted the piece closed. Buttons still pop open, but at least when they do, the top stays closed. I think I will sew up the other side of the button band and see if that keeps the buttons closed. (sorry that the photo wasn't great, I was on the phone with K and trying to make sure that the camera, balanced on my stereo would get me in the shot)

The next bit of knitting content is that I chose my next project. I am going to do Calla from MagKnits. I am going to use Classic Silk again (guess if I liked the yarn). I am modifying the Calla pattern to knit it in the round instead of 2 separate pieces, let's see if I will end up regretting that decision further on. I don't think this photo does justice to the blue I am using, which I think is darker and more of a purplish color. I guess the yarn is sort of a periwinkle. Unfortunately I am also a bad judge because the monitor I am using is so bad at showing true colors. There must be some way to correct monitor color, right?