Monday, July 31, 2006

WIP's and Deadlines

In August, my one-year old neice is being christened. A few months ago, my mom and I picked out an adorable white dress for her to wear. Nice clean lines, empire waist, white bow. Adorable. I really wanted to knit a sweater to go with it and Reid fit the bill perfectly. However, when I read various blogs and message boards, it seemed that there were a lot of sizing issues with the pattern. As written, the sweater would turn out about 26" around (even though the schematics claim that it will be 22"), when she is only 20". Rather than dealing with changing gauge or rewriting the pattern, I just continued to look around for an alternative. After months of searching, though, no pattern proved to be as perfect for the occasion. I was at Knitting in La Jolla last week getting ready to purchase a Debbie Bliss book to make an alternate pattern when, at the last minute, I decided to try making Reid with a finer yarn and a smaller needle. So, I bought 3 balls of Rowan 4-ply cotton in white and basically put myself in a time crunch. I have roughly 2 1/2 weeks to make this fingering weight lace sweater - it has to be done by August 19th, so I'll be posting periodic updates to keep myself honest about it. I have to be vigilant about working on it every day and not letting it fall by the wayside. I'm very motivated though - she's going to look SOOO cute in it. The photo is of the back, which only has one repeat left to go. It's turning out to be about 23 or 24 inches around, still too large, but I guess she'll just grow into it.

A couple of weeks ago, I also decided that I wanted to make the Ribby Shell by Chicknits, and for some reason, I could only see it knit up in espresso colored yarn. I couldn't shake it for some reason. After a thorough search on the Internet, I realized that summer yarns don't often come in shades that are that rich. I went to the Grove to look for yarn, and they had some that is just perfect! It's Kona Bay Cotton by a company called Koma Bay Knitting. I have never seen their yarn anywhere else, even on the Internet, so I snatched up the Espresso and a gorgeously vibrant magenta, project unassigned at this point. I cast on for the Ribby Shell on Saturday, a little gunshy after by Soleil moebius experience, since this is knit in the round, but it didn't get twisted. The yarn is simply the most amazing cotton yarn I've ever used. It's 100% pima cotton, and the drape, feel and look is more like cashmere than cotton. It's incredibly soft and light knitted up and it's going to be such a pleasure to wear. Since it feels more like a wool yarn, my hands don't start hurting, either, like they sometimes do with cotton. I wish more shops carried this yarn. The price is right, too, - $6.25 per skein.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

So, how big is that stash?

Blog Contest Results

First off, I'd like to thank everyone for participating in my little contest - it was fun seeing how crazy everyone thinks I am. :) However, I'm sad to report that there was no winner. A couple of you were very close, but no one got the exact number, which is 15. Here's a list:

Somewhat Cowl (Austermann yarn purchased on elann)
Arisaig (Elann Baby Alpaca Silk)
Kureyon cardigan
Fair Isle Rib Zip Jacket from Spring 2006 IK (DB Alpaca Silk)
Retro Prep Pullover from Fall 2002 IK (Rowanspun DK)
Hudson (Noro Big Kureyon)
Audrey from Rowan 35 (Calmer)
Twisted Float Shrug from Fall 2005 VK (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted)
Rosita from Jaeger
Martina Eyelet Cable Pullover (Filatura Zara Plus)
Butterfly from Rowan 37 (Anny Blatt Mohair)
Picovoli (Calmer)
Ribby Shell (Kona Cotton)
Clapotis (Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb)
Hedera (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock)

I have other yarn for projects as yet unassigned. But these are projects that definitely have yarn assigned to them. This should keep be busy this fall and winter, wouldn't you say?

New FO

After my debacle last weekend with Soleil and the French Market Bag, I immediately cast on for the Front Slit Tank from IK, using some Tahki Willow that I had purchased at the Grove's 25% off sale a couple of weeks ago. I knitted feverishly on it, remaining completely loyal to it until it was finished. I was quite obsessive about it, but I needed a successful knit so I could stop feeling so bad about Soleil. I didn't take a photo of me wearing it, yet, but it looks OK on me. The armholes don't fit quite right, but the body part fits well.

Pattern Stats:

Pattern: Front Slit Tank available for free on IK's website.
Yarn: Tahki Willow, a cotton/linen blend yarn, 6 balls plus a few yards from the 7th.
Needles: Susan Bates aluminum circular needles, 24" cord, size 9
Date started: 7/23/06
Date completed: 7/28/06
Modifications: I added quite a bit of waist shaping, 4 inches to be exact. I also used 3 needle bind-off on the shoulders. I should have modified the armhole shaping, but since I didn't realize this was going to be a consisten problem, I didn't. I've had this problem with tank tops before.
Overall thoughts: This would make a great first sweater for someone. The instructions are very clear - the armhole shaping is written out row-by-row. I enjoying making it. It moved very quicly and resulting in a flattering, stylish top. I wore it all day yesterday, so by now, it's all stretched out and needs a good washing before I can take photos in it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Forgive me Father...

I have a confession to make. Despite having a garage full of Cotton-Ease, some more. 20 skeins in fact. Well, I had to make the minimum $40 order for the place I was buying it!!! Don't look at me like that! You know I use it. Admit it. I make things with it all the time. It's not like it sits out there and goes to waste. Besides, I bought a color I didn't have any of - Bubble Gum. Anyway, it was $1.99 per skein - how could I resist that? That's right, I couldn't.

OK, now that I'm done justifying that purchase, let's move on, shall we?

So, my Fall Interweave came in the mail yesterday, much to my shock and surprise. I'd say I was very pleased with it overall. There's one absolute "must knit" for which I fully intend to buy the suggested yarn (Rowan Cashsoft DK) and knit this fall. It's the Gatsby Girl pullover designed by Jodi Green, of Mariah fame. The other projects can wait, I think.

Flipping through the magazine, planning out fall projects and so forth got me thinking, what will I knit once the weather gets cooler (which won't be soon enough for me)? I seem to remember that I have a few sweaters' worth of yarn stashed away. I began to make a list and it turns out - I have a lot of projects' worth of yarn stashed away.

So this brings me to our first blog contest. There's a skein of Vesper sockyarn (Crew colorway) for the first person to guess the exact number of projects for which I have all of the yarn I need to make them. This doesn't include yarn I've bought with no particular project in mind, or the yarn I've thought fleetingly about assigning to this or that project. I'm talking projects where the yarn has been firmly committed to a project. This also doesn't include Cotton-Ease because I don't even know how much of that I have (hmm, blog contest #2?) You have to get the exact number because, heck, a skein of Vesper sock yarn isn't that easy to come by. If no one gets it, there'll be other contests in the near future. I just thought this was so funny, and ridiculously sad, that I'd put it in the form of a contest. Good luck! Voting ends Friday night at midnight PDT. I'll post the results on Sunday.

2 AM

In the highly unlikely even that you are on my jury, go away, I don't want you reading today, come back again some other day.

2 a.m. is the time. The day is Thursday. My cat has not had her dinner. Why am I being so cruel? Well that would be because I have not been home since 6:30 this morning. My eyes are dry and cloudy. I am tired and want to sleep, desparately. Fortunately, last night I did get a good nights sleep, and the night before was also a relatively early night. My body craves sleep.

I finished Baudelaire a couple of days ago though. I am to tired to deal with taking a picture or uploading any photos to blogger. I have also started a brand new sock with some Fleece Artist Merino that I am very excited about. The yarn came from Circles. Sorry, to sleepy to do links today either.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beware the Knitting Gods!

Once upon a time, there lived a knitter who had knitted many things. Some turned out well and some didn't. In fact, over the two and half years that she had been knitting, many of her finished objects had turned out rather wonky. Some were too big, some were too small, some were just right. Then, one day, she had two finished objects in a row that turned out really well, here and here. They turned out to be the right size for the intended recipient, had only a few easy to conceal mistakes, and looked good. In all, they were well-executed. This pleased the knitter, for she already had a closet full of less than functional knitwear. Rather than humble herself before the knitting gods (she wasn't exactly sure they existed anyway), she soldiered on and cast on for Soleil.

She had made a previous attempt to knit Soleil and it had been one of her wonkier knits. It was too small, too short and made with a yarn that faded when washed and didn't show the lace detail very well. It was, in short, unwearable. However, the knitter felt that she had learned a lot since she had first tried Soleil one year ago. Again, the knitter eschewed the knitting gods, cast on and began knitting, making amazing progress in just two days.

At the same time, she decided it was time to felt her French Market Bag, which had been languishing for about a week.

The knitting gods sat in their demonic circle on the uncharted Isle of Fair, and set about laughing and snorting as they thought about the knitter's arrogance. Who was she, they chortled, to think she could have three, even four, successful projects in a row? The gumption of such a knitter!

Sneering, they cast their evil spell and, knit one, purl two, the curse took hold. First, her lovely Soleil, which just the afternoon before had been a vision of loveliness, twisted itself into a moebius disaster. It would have to be completely ripped out and begun again! At the same moment, her French Market Bag slid out of the pillowcase it had been secured in and proceeded to suck the fuzz from the towels with which it was being washed.

Ha!, exclaimed the knitting gods, as they slithered to and fro. That will show her! And so it did. From then on, the knitter would have faith in the knitting gods and bow before them, basking in her humility.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Summer in the City

Yesterday, despite the 100-plus temperatures and oppressive humidity (is this San Diego or Miami?), Disentangled and I managed to sweat our way through a Saturday knitting get-together. We nixed our usual gathering place, Rebecca's, because the the heat somehow gets trapped in there and the air is unable to move around and provide relief. As an alternative, we tried the Urban Grind in Hillcrest. Apparently, no coffee house in San Diego has air conditioning, except Starbucks, but I mean, c'mon. There's an unwritten rule in this town that you DON'T go to Starbucks, at least not in the city, because there are so many independent coffee houses. I almost never do because there is such a great variety. But I was almost desperate enough yesterday to violate the rule. Truly, though, the atmosphere wouldn't have been great even if the air was chilly. Anyway, the Urban Grind, although lovely, won't do as a permanent summer replacement for Rebecca's. I don't know if there will be a get-together next week because I don't know if anybody plans to show up, but the next time we have one, I was thinking we could try Influx in Golden Hill. I doubt they have air conditioning, but I have heard tales of cupcakes.

As far as projects go, I started Soleil with some Elann Sonata. I got through the lacey portion, but after a while, it made my forearms ache. The yarn is quite stiff, so I'm assuming that's the reason. Apparently, I'm going to have to take frequent breaks from that one.

After a while, I switched over to halfdome, which proved much easier on my hands. I have to say, though, that the combination of wool and cashmere made my hands really hot! I was really afraid I was going to run out of yarn, but I managed to finish it when I got home and tada: Don't you just love the look on his face? Of course, wearing a wool hat when it's miserably hot probably wouldn't make me smile, either. Depsite his sour mug (he wanted to look "cool" for the photo) he was actually very pleased with his hat. Here's a shot of the raglan decreases:

Project stats:

Pattern: halfdome from the Summer 2006 issue of knitty
Size: Adult
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (don't have the color information)
Needles: Addi Turbo circular, Size 3 (24" cord) and Size 5 (32" cord)
Date started: 7/20/06
Date completed: 7/22/06
Overall thoughts: This is a great pattern that fit Joe's head really well. I love the way the decreases look. However, I have one big complaint. Why isn't this pattern written to be knit in the round? I thought there must be reason it's knit flat, but there wasn't one that I could determine. In fact, since the bottom of the hat rolls, part of the seam is visible. I definitely plan on making this again, with this yarn (because it turned out sooo soft) but I will definitely knit it in the round.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Blissful Day of Rest

It is Saturday, I am not working, life is good. The day began with my meeting Emily and Christine at our local coffee shop where we spent a couple of hours with lattes and our knitting. It was wonderful, so relaxing. I managed to finish my gusset increases on Baudelaire and to convince them to join me on a trip to Windsor Button, a Boston LYS, I wanted, no, needed to find more sock yarn. I also plan on going to Circles tonight and am hoping that they will have some good sock yarn there, but in the meantime, I wanted some Cherry Tree Hill yarn (or is it Cherry Hill Tree?). Unfortunately, I am in a mood today, and none of the colors were right, so I left with no yarn. After Windsor we journeyed to Borders where I bought Mrs. Kimble, which is my book club read for August, then we went to a new sandwich place on Hanover Street, where I had a delicious portabella mushroom sandwich (good call Christine!). It is not yet 2pm and I still have time to watch something from Netflix and to go to Circles as planned. While this isn't a thrilling day, it is almost perfect nonetheless.

Earlier this week I began work on a tank or short sleeved top that I am designing for myself. I haven't gotten very far but I am already worried about it. I decided that my body shaping isn't quite what designers have in mind. Like many other knitters, when I make a pattern for the correct bust size, I often end up with too much space around the waist and less frequently, around the hips. In an attempt to be able to modify patterns in the future I decided to make a simple top with short row bust shaping and with waist decreases that match my measurements. At least this is the concept, I am not sure that this will be the reality. The waist shaping looks very extreme to me, so I could end up with the least flattering top in the world when I am done. If so, oh well, lesson learned, the top can always be frogged.

You probably won't hear from me for the rest of the week, I am second chairing a jury trial that is beginning on Tuesday, so I am afraid I will be quite busy and very tired by the end. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend and has a great week!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sugar n Spice and Everything Nice

Yesterday morning, I got a wild hair up my ass to make a sweater for Savannah. I was sitting at the computer chatting with J, as I do most mornings, and I saw the pattern that Cora had generously let me borrow and I figured, there's no time like the present to make it. I had recently traded some Pistachio Cotton-Ease for some Blueberry with someone on the Cotton-Ease message board and I had a wad of Ice Blue that was leftover from my Under the Hoodie. I thought those two would make a lovely striped pattern. I also knew that I was going to be taking the little cutie for a walk today, so I had about 30 hours of knitting time. Could I do it? I gave it a shot. As of 5 p.m. yesterday, I only had the hem done, and I didn't think I could do it. But, guess what, I did!!!!!

And unlike some of my other "creations", see previous posts of Prosperous Plum Tank, it actually came out really great and fits her beautifully.

Pattern: Minnowknits Sugar & Spice, designed by Jil Eaton

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, Ice Blue and Blueberry, one skein each

Size: 1 year

Needles: Addi Turbo - size 8, 16" circular

Date started: 7/19/06

Date completed: 7/20/06

So, here are some "action" shots of my adorable neice, now 11 months old and walking, wearing her new sweater. The number of photos is gratuitous, but you gotta do it for the grandparents, right?

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Book 5. The City of Falling Angels, John Berendt, audiobook approximately 13 hours. This is John Berendt's follow up to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Mr. Berendt traveled to Venice where he lived for some time shortly after the Venetian opera house, the Fenice, had burned. If you liked Midnight, you will probably enjoy this book as well, both non-fiction works are told in the same manner, vignettes of "local" citizen's lives (in The City, the "locals" are largely ex-pats) with a shocking crime serving as the thread that ties the book together. Like Midnight, The City is also a non-fiction work, filled with colorful characters that most people would never know. While I enjoyed Midnight better, The City of Falling Angels was an interesting peak into ex-pat Venice.

Book 6. Tea Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire, Roy Moxham 252 pages (plus appendix). A fascinating book detailing the history of the British relationship with Tea, as drinkers, importers, and growers. Personally, I prefer drinking tea to coffee, but after reading this book, I feel guilty about drinking tea. The tea growers/plantation workers have been horribly abused throughout out history and have been working for next to no money. I think I am going to have to find some "fair trade" tea from now one. I had no idea that the British were so evil with their tea empire, but they were. I had heard of the Opium Wars before, but never really learned much about them, so I was stunned to learn that the crux of the war was that the British wanted to make sure that the Chinese couldn't keep opium exports out of China.

On the sock front I finished Widdershin 1. I changed my needle size for the leg due to sizing concerns and I think that the larger needles and changed striping have actually made the pattern more noticeable, so the second sock will probably be upsized from this one, though I probably won't use a size 3 needle like I used on this leg. I started in on a mate for my Baudelaire sock too, though I only started late last night, so it isn't picture worthy yet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Robin's Egg Blue Tank Photos

On Monday, I finally got around to taking pictures of my finished Prosperous Plum Tank. The photos I have are of me wearing nothing underneath, but with the way this thing fits, there's no way I can wear it like that. So, after I was done with the photo shoot, I put a white tank underneath and wore it more like a vest. That seemed to work out well and made the sweater much more wearable. That way, when it stretches out, it doesn't look quite so bad. Without further ado, here's the front, complete with blog-friendly headless photo:
Here's a photo of the back:

Pattern: Prosperous Plum Tank designed by Joanna Cohen of knitpicking

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Robin's Egg Blue, about 3 skeins.

Size: 40" bust

Needles: Size 7 Susan Bates Quicksilver circulars, Size 7

Modifications: On the straps, I started doing triple decreases toward the top so the straps wouldn't be several inches too long. They're still about an inch too long, though.

Overall thoughts: This is a really beautiful pattern. The design was very well thought out, better than most knitty or magazine patterns, but the upsizing left something to be desired. My gauge was on and I followed the pattern, but the finished product came out 3 inches larger than the pattern specs. When I did the math, I realized that this is an error in the pattern. So, although the designer recommends 4 inches of negative ease, this may be because the finished product comes out so much larger than intended. Knitter beware!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Sock Obsession

It started innocently enough with some sock yarn for the Circles knit along in connection with the Mostly Merino trip. One pair of Pomatomus later I thought socks were out of my system. After all, I don't really like making socks, as proof I can show you the cabled sock that I created myself that has already moved past the gusset decrease on the second sock, yet has been stalled, incomplete, for months. Clearly, I don't like making socks. But then something happened...

I tried Magic Loop in a toe up sock for Lissy from my Wed. night, North End s'nb, and an obsession began. I wrote before that the first of Lissy's socks are done, I don't want to start the second until I make sure the first fits, so I started, and finished a Baudelaire sock. After finishing that I decided to start a different sock. My current theory is that if I do a bunch of different first socks, then when I get around to doing the second sock it will be like a brand new sock. This recent sock is done using Vesper sock yarn (Knit and Tonic colorway) and one of the stitch patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks. I decided to use the toe up method and so I adjusted the recipe accordingly and I gave it a short row heel.

With that sock done I turned to Widdershins and started another new sock. I used some Knitpicks Sock Garden (I forget the name of the colorway) and again used the Magic Loop method. I have already turned the heel and have started the leg. I am concerned that this sock will be too small, but so far I can still wear it. I never did a gauge swatch so I don't know if I have gauge. Basically this is sock number 4 in approximately 2 weeks, and I don't have a pair of socks yet. Thing is I don't care that I don't have a pair yet, it isn't as if I can wear them now anyway.

Finally, I started something else new last night. I am not going to say what it is, because it could be awful. All I will say is that it isn't a sock.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Fabulous Felting FO's and Friends

I did end up finishing the Prosperous Plum Tank on Saturday morning and wore it out to go knitting with my fellow San Diego knitters, Krys and Disentangled, in Balboa Park. It was really, really hot on Saturday, so everybody was at the park attempting to cool off. Most people in San Diego don't have air conditioning, so this summer has been particularly difficult. We managed to find a shady spot under a big tree and had a wonderful afternoon. Throughout the day, though, my tank expanded and expanded, showing more and more of my cleavage and underarms so basically, I felt naked. Before leaving for dinner at Tartine, an adorable French bistro in Coronado, I had to change out of it so I didn't flash anybody. I threw it in the washing machine and dryer last night, so I'll take photos sometime today and post them on Wednesday.

It seems like all I've been doing lately is starting new projects, so I decided to go ahead and finish one up - one that's been around since the end of June. I finished the knitting portion of my French Market Bag - here's a before photo:

I'm not sure when I'll get around to felting it, but probably sometime this week. I intend to use it as a knitting bag.

I also took a little field trip up to Encinitas yesterday to pick up some yarn for hubby projects, halfdome and a pair of socks. Here's what I got for halfdome. Do you think it's masculine enough?
This is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Mineshaft, which seemed like a perfect color for man's socks: I'm about 5 minutes from finishing Fetching, so I'm going to go do that before I leave to go to the North Pole, aka my office. Ho, ho, ho.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I thought I'd be totally done with my Prosperous Plum Tank by today, but I ran into some trouble with it, so now I'm not as motivated to finish it as quickly.

From the beginning, I felt that my gauge was loose and that the top was too big, but since I didn't want to start over, I just ignored it. As soon as I was able to, I started trying the top on, and I was able to comfortably get it on over my clothes, which isn't a good sign because I had intended for it to be rather snug. I couldn't properly tell until the straps were done, so once I had one set done, I tried it on and it was definitely bigger than I intended (although I wouldn't call it too big). So, I decided it was time to check everything. But, strangely enough, everything was checking out OK. My gauge was fine, even a little tighter than the pattern called for. When I did the math of the pattern, I realized the error. At the widest point of the bust, I had 204 stitches on my needle, and at a gauge of 19 sts/4 in, the finished measurement is 3 inches larger than the pattern specs. So, it's an error in the pattern, not with my knitting. It still fits (I have one inch of ease instead of 2 inches of negative ease), but the gauge is still bothering me. Personally, I wouldn't knit Cotton Fleece on a size 8 needle. I think it looks best on a 6 or 7. This is going to stretch out like crazy and not hang that well, so although I think it's a cute pattern, I should have just knit the whole thing on a size 7 needle and everything would have turned out OK. Anyway, here's a photo of the front, which is basically done. I have to reknit the top of the front straps to do the decreases a little faster because they're too long.
Here's a photo of the back, which is complete except for one strap. Once I fix the front ones, I can graft them together, do a round of crochet around the edges and I'm done. Hopefully it won't look too god awful on me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fetching, Part One

One of my Fetching fingerless gloves is done, as you can see. I think this photo really shows the gradations of color, even though they are subtle. I thought it was really cool the way the fushia tones seemed to come up over the cabled portions and the redder tone dominated the straight ribbing part of the glove. I don't know if this is how the second one will work out or not. I'm really pleased with this pattern so far.

I've made quite a bit of progress on the Prosperous Plum Tank. In fact, I cast of the stitches for the back, so now I'm just working on the front. I figure I should have that done fairly soon, so I didn't take any pictures for today. Maybe by Friday I'll have a completed top to show you.

So far, I'm keeping up with my exercise goals. I went to the gym on Monday and yoga last night. Today's an off day and then tomorrow, it's back to the gym. I bought a really cute dress at Nordstrom to wear during the wedding festivities in the Hampton's, but it sure would look a little better if I lost 5 pounds. So, that's what I'm trying to do with the exercise. That might mean I have to forego a scone at Rebecca's on Saturday - well, one little scone won't hurt, right?I've heard it's going to be hot as hell this weekend, so actually, Rebecca's might be a bad choice. Does anybody have any other suggestions? I will try to see if we can use my parents' place, but my mom had a bad oyster a couple of days ago and is still on the mend. Since my place is air conditioned, it's a possibility as well. Let me know!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Imagine this, it is night, you and your spouse are heading towards the airport. Perhaps you are going on vacation, perhaps you are picking up a relative who is flying in to visit you, it is even possible that you live in East Boston and are just going home. You and your spouse are minding your own business going through one of the multi-billion dollar Big Dig connector tunnels when you hear a loud noise (I assume there was noise) and your car is crushed, mostly on the passenger side, but completely totaled. You craw through your windshield and discover that a 40ft section of the concrete ceiling in the tunnel fell from the roof and onto your car, killing the passenger, your spouse. This happened here in Boston last night. The ceiling section that fell weighed about 3 tons. I don't know what the car was doing in the tunnel, but it really is not relevant, the tunnel was supposedly safe, I don't know how long the tunnel has been in service, but I have to guess that it was less than 5 years. The Big Dig has cost us billions of dollars, and by "us" I don't just mean the MA tax payers, the Federal Government contributed to the cost too. Since it has opened the tunnels have been plagued with problems. First it was leaks shutting the tunnels down, the leaks, apparently, were caused by an improper mixture of the cement. The leaks were basically fixed, but remain an ongoing issue. Now, the ceiling is literally falling, supposedly because the iron tie holding the concrete in place couldn't stand the pressure. I am not an engineer, but shouldn't there be some way of testing the strength of the rod? I feel like top dollar was paid for a job that was done completely on the cheap. How can anyone drive through the tunnels and feel safe?

In knitting news, I finished the first of Lissy's socks and finished the first Baudelaire sock. I am very happy with the sock, which moved very quickly. It is toe up, with gussets and a heel flap. I used Regia Silk yarn, which is a silk, merino, polyamide blend yarn, and which was very soft to work with. I also used the magic loop method to knit this. I haven't done the second sock yet.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I am writing to you from the cool confines of my newly air-conditioned condo. It's SO wonderful! The only problem is that it makes you not want to leave home for any reason. Regardless, the promise of knitting and good company will always get me to brave the elements. On Saturday, I ventured out to Rebecca's to do a little KIP. I decided it was about time I got started on the tank I'm wearing to my cousin's wedding, since the event is only just over a month away. I've been working on it almost exclusively since I cast on because I really like the pattern. It's good TV knitting even though it's interesting. The pattern is a 24 row repeat lace/cable pattern and the design is different on the front than on the back. I took photos of both to show you. The yarn is Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece in Robin's Egg Blue, a discontinued color. I'm up to the waist increases, so it shouldn't be too terribly long until this is an FO. I'm sure it will be as fun to wear as it is to knit.

I also started yet another project, Fetching from the new Knitty. Although I had planned to do it in the yarn called for in the pattern, I thought the subtle variegation of SWTC Karaoke would be a nice touch. It is softer than Noro, so it should be good for "next to the skin" wearing. I've tried to show the gradations of color in the photo, but I don't think I was very successful. It's very subtle, even in person.

I'm using the Wild Cherry colorway for this pattern. No, your eyes aren't deceiving you - I'm doing them using the magic loop technique. I think I finally get it now - yay!

My goal for this week is to exercise regularly. I'll be going to my yoga class on Tuesday night, but I'm going to try to get to the gym tomorrow and Thursday morning. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Even though I had a day off this week, it still feels like a long week for some reason. I'm oh so glad it's the weekend tomorrow. Today, I'm getting air conditioning and I'm really excited! For reasons I don't understand, my condo traps heat like you can't believe. Even when it's quite chilly out, my place is a balmy 80 degrees. You can only imagine what it's like inside when it's over 90 degrees outside! So, today, my troubles are over.

I have been doing quite a bit of knitting lately, although I've sort of let my summer knitting slide in favor of sock knitting. As I mentioned, I finished a pair of socks:

Pattern: I used the Sensational Knitted Socks book and chose a stitch pattern from the 5-stitch pattern section. I did the toe-up version.

Yarn: Handspun from my SP-7, Mama E, in a colorway that she designed for me - awesome! This yarn is incredible. It's not superwash, which may result in a felting accident at some point, but it knits up so nice! Pretty much every other sock yarn that I've used has had pooling issues, but not this one. It's truly amazing - go check out her site!

Needles: Size 2 Inox dpn's (the grey ones)

Modifications: Since this is a sort of design your own pattern anyway, I guess you could say I didn't make any modificatoins. I just followed the "recipe".

Overall thoughts: I really like the Sensational Knitted Socks book and the toe-up sock is definitely an ingenious idea. I like the way these came out - they actually fit! It's way too hot to wear them now, though.

Here's a close-up of the yarn and the stitch pattern:

I also got started on Pomatomus and it went smoothly for the first repeat. Something's wrong, though as I start the second one and I haven't had time to sit down and figure out exactly what it wrong. I'm sort of taking an "organic" approach to knitting this project - figuring out what the pattern is doing knitting based upon that instead of counting. It may have bit me in the ass.

Finally, I bought some gorgeous Japanese laceweight yarn yesterday at the Grove. It's so incredibly soft and the color is very vibrant. It will make a delicious shawl, as soon as I get off my duff and make one. I'm thinking of this one (thanks Cora!). I'm excited to get started. Maybe this weekend!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What a Surprise, It is Raining Again

As a child I remember sitting inside on rainy days chanting/singing "Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day" this song has returned frequently to my head this spring as the rain has fallen on so many days. I haven't sung it though, after all, I am kind of sick of rain and hoping that it won't come again until a ton of other days have past.

At least the weather held out for the weekend. My 4th was uneventful, so the rain that fell in the afternoon didn't bother me at all. I discovered this weekend that there are apparently dogs trained to save people and boats in the water. I went to a lovely potluck roof party on the 3rd on fellow N.End knitter, Lissy's, roof. By the way, Lissy makes kick but guacamole. I went for a 22 mile bike ride with an average speed of about 14mph.

I even did some knitting. One item that I am mostly finished I am not posting fully yet, since it was going to be a small N.End knitalong, and we don't have a button yet. That item took up most of my weekend knitting time. I also started a sock for Lissy, but I tore it out. I started again, and tore again. Finally, I changed my mind about the pattern (again) and started a new sock. Now I am doing a toe up magic loop sock. I have never tried magic loop before and I have never finished a toe up sock. Should be interesting. Like K I feel that the sock is progressing in the wrong direction off the needles, but I am plugging along nonetheless. Perhaps Wenders can take a look some time and tell me what I am doing wrong. The picture of the sock is showing just the sole, Lissy doesn't need to see the pattern yet, do you?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Knitty: A Review

Again, I find myself at work, cameraless and photoless on my posting day. I did finish my socks yesterday (photos soon) and got started on Pomatomus. I tried doing the magic loop thing, but I couldn't get past the notion that for some reason, I was knitting upside down. I was obviously doing something wrong, but I tried it three times and couldn't get past it. So, I cast on using dpn's. Alas, the magic loop method will have to wait until my next project. The yarn that I'm using is an absolutely gorgeous color of Koigu, so I'm looking forward to watching the pattern develop.

As you may have noticed, the new knitty came out this morning. I was really looking forward to some interesting, sexy tanks and t's, but even so, I'm pleased with this issue. I'm not normally a knitting accessory person, but I do love socks. My husband loves hats, and I've been looking for a good wristwarmer/fingerless gloves pattern for an office with an overzealous A/C, so this issue pleased me.

My favorite pattern is Fetching, a pair of fingerless gloves with a simple, yet elegant design, knit up in the wonderfully cuddly Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. These are exactly what I've been looking for in terms of something to wear in the office. As soon as I can pick up some yarn (does anyone remember if Knitting in La Jolla carries this yarn?), then I will cast on and get started.

This men's hat pattern is the type of hat that my husband has been requesting for ages. He shaves his head and frequently needs a hat, even in the summer. I've knit him several that he wears daily (unlike the vest I made him that cost a fortune to make and took me forever) so I fully intend on making him this hat. Conveniently knit in the same yarn as the gloves, I shall pick this up soon as well and get started.

As for socks, there are two designs that caught my eye this time. I'm intrigued by Widdershins because it is a type of toe-up technique that I have never tried before and I really like the cabled design. I also think Baudelaire is a lovely design and is definitely on my "to knit" list.

So, that's my two cents on the new knitty. Guess it's time for another trip to the yarn store!

Monday, July 03, 2006

High Falutin' Technology

I'm still amazed my modern technology. When I fly across the country, I still find it staggering that I can wake up in California and go to sleep in Boston on the same day. I'm even more amazed by modern communication. Since I neglected to take pictures of anything bloggable this weekend, I thought I was out of luck for a post today. Then I remembered my picture phone. I wasn't sure how it would work out, but I decided to take a picture of the WIP I brought with me to work and see if I could email it to myself. I think it worked out OK. This is pretty much what I have been working on exclusively for the past few days. You may remember that I started this pair of socks back before school got out, but then I made a mistake on it and put it in the "to be frogged pile". This pile can more closely be described as a knitting blackhole where wonky WIP's go to die - a knitting graveyard if you will. I hate frogging and reknitting more than I hate blocking and seaming. But I made a stand - I said I couldn't start another pair of socks until I finished one of the three pairs that I have in progress. That provided enough motivation to finish the first sock and get to work on the second one. It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. I'm doing this so I can start Pomatomus with some Koigu I have in my stash. Krys has inspired me with the beauty of hers.

This weekend, I got to spend some quality time with my fellow San Diego knitters and bloggers at a movie night hosted by Cora and her two adorable kitties, Jeb and Sherlock. Naturally, all shoes and knitting bags had to be investigated thoroughly. They're worse than the TSA! I guess my knitting bag was satisfactory and I guess it also made a nice catbed.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Amazing Lace, Challenge 3

Remarkably BAD Poetry

It has been awhile since I wrote about WRS, my significant other knitting project. That is mainly because WRS and I haven't spent any time together in over a week. I have been busy and WRS seemed okay on his own.

This morning started normally enough, Isis, my cat, meowed and begged for her breakfast at 7 a.m. (she doesn't get the concept of Saturday) and I got up and fed her. Since it was a Saturday and I wanted to be in bed still I almost missed the site that greeted me when I came into the kitchen:
WRS, my humble, quiet WRS was writing poetry on my laptop! My head is still spinning. See what happens when you neglect your lace, it gets all emotional on you! The worst part of all, can you read that poem?! It is AWFUL! Obviously WRS won't be supporting me with his writing anytime soon.

The question that must be on all of your minds, seeing my WRS's desperate plea for attention, was I moved to work on him and to make great strides of progress? Umn, not really, though I expect I will do some work on him today, but before then I have socks to start, and another lace project to work on, so basically my extra-WRS affairs continue unabated.