Monday, March 31, 2008

Grey Day

What an ugly day today. It's all grey and nasty. It's April to f^*#s sake! Get warm already! And sunny while you're at it too! (grump)
Anyway, sorry for the lack of posting everybody. I've been hella busy at work. Well, not really, while actually at work I've been hella bored, but I've been here an awful lot lately. We had tech this weekend for The Bluest Eye - the play version of Toni Morrison's novel. The play is really good, but one can only sit in the dark for so long before one starts to "lose it". Thankfully I had my knitting.
I started a sweater on Wednesday during tech. I'm calling this one Zippery, well, since it has a zipper. Original, I know. It's great tech knitting since it is Stockinette, simple shaping wise, and warm. It is always cold in the theatre during tech. Why we need the air conditioning on in March, I don't know, but... whatever. The sweater kept we warm whilst knitting - bonus!
SO I knit merrily along during the three days of tech. Then I knit merrily along during a movie this weekend. (I obviously did not have ENOUGH dark sitting, and needed to do it for fun as well.) And then again yesterday at the coffee shop.
All that knitting brought me to:

Nearly a sweater! I am almost finished with sleeve 1. One more sleeve, a drawstring casing, and a zipper, and I have a new sweater! Zippy is being made from Cascade Ecological Wool. I must say, I LOVE this yarn. It is really nice to work with. The color is kind of amazing too. If it wasn't so damn grey out, I could get a better picture, but you'll have to just trust me on it. I think in most lights, the yarn looks dark grey, but then every once in a while, it takes on a brownish quality. It's the perfect "go with everything" color! I also should extol my love of the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns. They are always well written and produce such easy to wear garments. Listen to me getting all gooey.
Maybe I can finish it by Wednesday! Sweater in a week! Maybe, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. We all know how much I like finishing. (Glances at the bag on her desk patiently awaiting a lining, all the while mocking her...)
Since I know you are going to ask, DH and I went to see Pink Floyd's, "The Wall". It was playing at the Criterion on Saturday night. I'd never seen it, and DH is A huge PF fan. It was... weird. Weird in a artistic trippy way. I should pause here to mention that I can not imagine going to see this film in a "altered" state. It was crazy enough as is, under the influence I would have been a paranoid wreck. The 10 foot tall singing asshole would have done it.
Finally, a shout out to my Mad Kitchna Skills:


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Electric Necktie

I finished my third circular blanket, and the 8th lace project for the year today! Wee!

Name: Electric Necktie
Pattern: Swirl Leaf Doily from
Yarn: Farmhouse Silk Blend in Balsam Fir
Needles: Knit Picks Options in size 8
Notes: I knit this as written, on larger needles, and with larger yarn, with the exception of the edging. I couldn't make heads or tails of the directions. So, I did the crochet cast off from the Pate blanket.

I used less than two skeins of yarn, and got a 4ft blanket. I really like the swirl part of this one. The geometric quality is very appealing to me. The only change I'd make to this pattern would be to change the purls to knits. Only about 12 rows use purls, but I don't feel, at least at this scale and with this yarn, that the purls really add to the pattern. They don't detract, but I don't know that they are worth doing for no impact. It's even hard to tell where they are.

Can you see them? I can, but like I said, they don't do too much. Well, they do pull the little wedges between the swirls in a little bit. I'm not sure that is a desired effect, but it is an effect, none the less.
Overall, I really like this project. It will be a nice gift!

oh, and since you read this far, I'll explain the name. I'm nice that way. I googled "swirl leaf". a website for a band named "Electric necktie" came up. I laughed. The blanket got the name. See, not much thought this time.

I guess I can write a story too...



"I'm totally stoked about the concert on Thursday."

"Dude, me too. Are you, like sitting on the lawn, or in the seats?"

"Dude, the LAAWN. The seats are so lame. Besides, I'm one with nature when I'm on the grass."

"Totally. I'm bringing a blanket and everything."

"Awesome. I'll bring the electric necktie."


This story brought to you by the committee to make "electric necktie" another name for marijuana.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm almost finished with the next project..... "Binding off is sooo much fun," she said sarcastically.

Blocking and details tomorrow!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Rocked!

I knew I rocked before, but just in case I was temporarily dissuaded from believing it, I proved it yet again on Saturday night. It all started.....

By a bunch of SnBers gathering at Anphoe's house for a little pot luck/knitting party. We chatted, and knitted. Pretty normal. We also looked at wedding albums. Girls can't resist wedding albums, that's just how it is. Finally, Jennsquared, WifeMomKnitter, Anphoe and myself were all starting to get hungry. It was Dumpling time!

WifeMomKnitter and I were kinda slow at the dumpling making. The other two are pros, and put us to shame. We made both Pork and tofu dumplings, eaten with special yummy sauce. Too good. I ate way too many.

One of Anphoe's cats, "Cookie", decided that we were boring while we ate. She wanted to play with our string like she had been doing before we started making dinner. Cookie decided that if she couldn't play with Jennsquared's project she would use it as a bed. Aww.

After eating all that yummy-ness, I wanted to nap. Instead we all moved to the living room for more knitting. I spied Guitar Hero III. Anphoe asked if I wanted to play. Hell YEAH! This is how I confirmed I totally rock. The screen kept telling me so. I even beat Slash from Guns- N -Roses in a guitar battle. Sweet.

Then Jennsquared and I played wii boxing and bowling. Also very fun. I see why people have wii parties. I want one bad now.

Needless to say, I didn't get much knitting done. sigh.

But, I totally ROCK!

Anphoe posted pictures and video of the wii fun on her blog:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Muffy, Can You Pass the Pate?

"Why certainly, Biff."

In my mind Muffy and Biff live in a very big house and eat mostly gross things, just because they can afford to. Muffy probably wears real pearls and cashmere everyday, and doesn't even know what a washing machine is, let alone if she has one. Maria does all that for her and Biff. Little does Muffy know, Biff and Maria have "a thing" going, but that's ok, because Muffy has been seeing Lowell, Biff's best friend. It all comes out at the dinner party Muffy and Biff are throwing, for the clients of their investment firm, in a loud wine fuelled argument. The country club will talk about this for months!

This Public Service Message is brought to you by the "Pate is Gross (but it makes a good name for a blanket) Council".

Yes my friends, Lace2K project #7 is complete! I am now 7/14 lace projects for the year. The goal is to have the "majority" of your projects contain lace. The next blanket will be the one that puts me over the "majority" line - at least for now!

Name: Pate
Pattern: "Plastic Doily" by Mary Schiffman
Yarn: Farmhouse Summer Spun, unknown colorway - 2 skeins (and a little)
Needles: size 8 Knit Picks Options
Notes: Another fast Circular blanket made form a doily pattern. This one went a little over the two skeins line. I'm glad I had a third, or else this would be a post of swear words. This one came out to 4'8", so I had to do some origami to block it.

It's kind of hard to block lace this way, but since it's a blanket, I think it will be ok. I've been consciously trying to do a bit of stash busting as I knit up these gift projects, and am feeling very smug and successful about it. Maybe all of my worsted weight leftovers will get turned into blankets.

This blanket features a crochet cast off. I'm out of crochet practice. It took a l o n g time. It probably didn't help that I talked all night during SnB, instead of crocheting. In the end, it all came out fine, but I could have had it done in two hours if I hadn't been running my yapper so much.

I have to admit, I got a little bored with Socrates towards the end, but this pattern keeps changing motifs right up to the cast off- never got bored with the sameness. As a matter of fact, I frogged a couple times because I wasn't paying close enough attention. You'd think after the first time you tinked 400 stitches you'd be more careful. HA! I laugh at your careful! I refused to learn my lesson and had to frog 600 (!) stitches near the end when I didn't bother to read my pattern. Evidently reading the pattern is an integral part of successful lace knitting. Who knew?
Overall I think this was a very successful project, given a fun name in honor of the original pattern. At the very least, the blanket is warm, soft, and just the right size for a lap. Nice.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chopped Liver

Pate sounds much more gross when you call it what it is. Why, then, did I choose to name my newest lace project "Pate"? Very simple. In a Costumechick kind of way.

This blanket is based on another doily pattern that I found in the book, "The Lacy Knitting of Mary Schiffman". The book is very cute, and appears to be a printed form of a woman's knitting diary. She wrote down lace patterns - especially unusual ones - and made swatches of the patterns. She figured out patters from old pieces of lace and old texts and preserved them for the next generation. In the book you get all her little observances about the patterns as well as notes about where she found the lace she was copying. The doily pattern I am following was from a 5 and Dime store.

In the store she came across plastic doilies. The doilies had been pressed using real lace pieces, and were so well pressed that she could copy the lace from the plastic. She bought one and copied it that night. In her writing she notes that the plastic doily "felt like raw liver" and that it and a Japanese Christmas card were all she ever bought there. In the book the doily is named "plastic doily". I couldn't call a blanket "plastic doily", so I had to come up with a better moniker. "Raw Liver" wasn't making the cut either. SO, I settled on "Pate". It pays homage to the original, but in a "fancy" kind of way. **

I'm moving along quite quickly on this one as well. The last 15, or so, rows get really long. I have 7 pattern rows of *k2tog, yo* to slog through right now. Not my kind of lace fun, but after I finish it I have more patterning to look forward to. Only 15 more pattern rows left! Sweet!

The green Summer Spun is hard to photograph. It either comes out grey looking, or really dark. I'll have to hope for a Sunny Day to take pics of the FO on this one...

**For what it's worth, I don't eat pate, or condone the practice of force feeding geese to make it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Socratic Theory

Dear readers, I finished up the knitting on Socrates in Saturday, and blocked him today. I really think the outcome of this blanket is wonderful, and will make a great gift. I am overwhelmingly pleased.

This is him before blocking:

And After:

Name: Socrates

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Doily, with modifications into the 'Hemlock Ring Blanket" by Jarad Flood

Yarn: Farmhouse Summer Spun in Lemon, 2 skeins

Needles: Knit Picks Interchangeable size 8

Notes: I followed Mr. Flood's modifications to a T. Even stopped where he stopped. (I never just follow anything! I must have been sick!)I used about 1.75 skeins of yarn. I would have gone one more repeat, but I wasn't sure about how much yarn the edging would take. I'm glad I stopped where I did, as my blanket barely fit on the table to block it as it was, and the edging ate yarn like crazy. In total, the blanket came out to 4.25 feet across. I could have gotten another 1/4 foot out of it if I had blocked harder, but like I said, I was out of table.

I named my blanket Socrates after the ancient philosopher because he was executed by hemlock poison for his writings and speeches on morality, education, and social issues. From him we get Socratic theory - which is basically how we debate. The intended recipient will need this blanket to keep warm, and hopefully the thinker this gift is named after will inspire her to great things in life.

Tomorrow, a peek at my next project. I'm calling it "Pate".

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A is for apples

Here is what you do. Use the 1st letter of your middle name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names,things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you took this from had the same 1st initial.
You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
1. Middle name letter: M
2. Famous artist/band/musician: Metallica!!
3. 4-letter word: Mean
4. U.S state: Massachusetts
5. Boy name: Melvin
6. Girl name: Miriam
7. Animal: Monkey
8. Something in the kitchen: Measuring Cup
9. Reason for being late? Marked disregard for alarm clock etiquette
10. Body Part? Metatarsal
11. Drink? Margarita
12. Something you shout: Mother Fucker!
13. Something you eat? Macaroni
14. A movie you've seen? Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I tag Anphoe, Jennsquared and Ann. Have at it, then tag three more!

Friday, March 14, 2008

6 out of 13

So I don't know if you noticed my sidebar and the 2Klace button. Basically, I'm in a year long lace knitting KAL. I love me my lace! But, I did some totaling, and to my dismay, I am sorely under par with my lace! I have only knit 6 lace projects out of 13 projects so far this year. I'm not just counting FOs, I'm also counting WIPs. Boo on me! I think I'm going to redouble my efforts to knit more lace projects - or projects utilizing lace - which ever way you want to look at it!

I hope to finish up Socrates this weekend. I have 11 rows left. 11 very LONG rows. It's good tv and movie knitting though! Maybe DH and I can go to a movie and I can work through the last billionty stitches. Then, just to cause myself more grief, I'm going to cast on another circular blanket. I have both the "modern book of lace knitting" and the "second Modern book of lace knitting". They are chock full of patterns waiting to become blankets. I can see making 6 of these until I am too bored to continue. As long as there are doily patterns in the world, blankets will follow. (until I'm bored) (Which might be sooner than 6) (I make no promises)

Did you see this yet?



Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm sick.

I don't like being sick. Stuffy head- whatever. I have allergies. A stuffy head is par for the course. But coughing- yuck. Sore throat - double yuck. I think I'm on the down swing of the cold now, as my fever is gone. I was a tad feverish yesterday and spent the day resting and medicating to the gills. And as my Grandma always said, "No fever, not contagious". Therefore, I will be at SnB tonight, barring a relapse. I don't know that I'll stay the whole time, but I'll give it the ole' college try.

In my Robitussin and Zicam induced haze I started a new project. I know I have four other projects yet to be finished, but none of them were appealing. Now, I must point out that I feel I have proven without a doubt that I am partially insane, by the choice of my latest project. Why? Well because it involves lace, new techniques, and reading a lace pattern in written out form - as opposed to charted. Under normal circumstances, this is no big deal. I knit lace a lot, I read patterns a lot, and a new technique - pasha! I laugh at new techniques! But in a fog o' cold medicine, this can be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, disaster was averted. At least, it looks good to me now. Maybe when I de-fog in a few days I'll think differently.

Anyway, the new project:

It's a blob. Eventually the blog will be the Hemlock Ring Blanket of Jarad Flood fame. I'm calling mine Socrates. Socrates was executed by Hemlock poison for his outspoken stance against the state and the status quo. He disagreed with the "might makes right" attitude of the government, and argued often about moral and social subjects. The person I am making this for is quite similar to Socrates in that way. Well, not the executed part, but the outspoken about social and moral issues; and about military might. I'll post more about my thoughts on this on my Ravelry entry about his project, as the recipient sometimes reads my blog. (whoo hoo! got ya'll guessing now, don't I!)
The yarn is Farmhouse Summer Spun in Lemon. I like working with happy yarn when I'm sick. It makes me feel better faster. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Let's have a Parade!

It's funny how you think of yourself in terms of "heritage", especially as Americans. DH and I wen to the Tenement Museum in NYC a couple years ago. (It was very cool, and I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in a different type of museum.) At the Tenement Museum you walk through a tenement house and learn the history of the building and of real people who lived there as immigrants from the 1850's until the 1930's when the building was closed. Each floor was stripped back to reveal a different era, the top floor being the most recent. It is an amazing piece of first hand connection with history. At the end of the tour we were asked to participate in a discussion of heritage. we went around the table and introduced ourselves, and stated where we were from and our heritage. Interestingly, all the Americans said something along the lines of, "Hi, I'm Costumechick. I live in Connecticut, am originally from Pennsylvania, and am of German background." The European people just said, "I'm Pierre. I'm from France." It came out in the discussion the Europeans find it really odd that Americans still identify themselves by where their families emigrated from. This got me thinking. Why do I do that? My family has been in the US since the 1600's. I have no right to call myself anything but American.
That being said, DH is big into genealogy. He didn't know much of anything about his family, and about 4 years ago really started to research it. He'd always thought his heritage was Scottish. Nope. He's English - mostly. I thought I was all German. Well, mostly, but I could be 1/2 French too - depending on the source you look at. I also found out I was 1/64 Irish. I had no idea. But do I say "I'm 1/64th Irish" when people ask? No - except for on St. Patrick's Day!!! Like millions of other Americans, I'm not any one thing, but for a few days a year, I'll be Irish through and through!
At the Parade I was!
Like I said, I only drank to Guinnesses...Guinness'....Guinnessi(?) at the parade. It was too cold. In hindsight, Irish coffee would have been a markedly better choice.

Heres the group I was with. Theatre people will brave any temperature to act like idiots and drink.

This is Mark. He is a carpenter. I call him Loud Mark, or Loud carpenter. He is loud. Always.

This year he had on a kilt made of polar fleece, and a beer hat made from a hard hat. He hugged everyone dressed even remotely as a mascot.

I took a picture of DH's favorite part... the marching storm troopers.

Finally, if you have ever seen the sight you will know what I am about to talk about. If not, go have a look. then come back. we'll wait.....

ok. Ready? Alice and I spent the parade watching for H2's and giving them the H2 salute. Here is an excerpt.

By the third one others in the crowd were helping.

Then I went home and thawed out.

On Monday I plan on honoring my 1/64th by having some corned beef. yum. I might even cast on something green to work on.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ahh daylight savings, messing with your inner clock since 1907

For some reason, daylight savings doesn't really effect me on the "day of". It's just like getting up an hour early. It's the next day, and the next day is always, unfortunately, Monday. So I spend all day Monday yawning and wondering why I so stinking tired. It probably doesn't help that I went to the New Haven St. Patrick's Day Parade Yesterday either.

Speaking of the parade, it was FREEZING. OMG. We were outside from 11:30 am until 3pm. I wore my knee highs, and my cactus sweater, and a scarf, and the official ugly hat, and all the other appropriate garments, but I was still cold. I think I've just regained feeling in my toes. Tomorrow some pictures of the fun, but today, some pictures of a finished object!

Name: Rainbow Twisted Tweeds

Pattern: Twisted Tweed Socks, modified

Yarn: JL Yarn Vinca

Needles: Knit Picks Classic Circulars, size 0, 1, and 2

Notes: As per my usual MO, I modified the basic pattern a bunch. I did these toe up on 60 st. The toes and heels were in size 0, the foot and first four leg repeats were on size 1's. I switched to size 2's for the last 6 repeats on the legs.

This is a fun pattern to knit. The stitch is much more simple than it looks, and would look great in a lot of yarns. The only note I would make is that it is not as stretchy as other stitches. The slipped stitched make a really firm fabric, without much give at all. Just saying.

Also, if you notice, the socks are wildly different. The yarn is the same color way and dye lot, but the socks are totally different. This doesn't bother me at all, but some people I know would have a fit if they knit this. I don't think it was miss-label either, as the colors in the individual plies are the same in both socks, and on ball #2, the color was just about to change to the color on the cuff of sock 1. I'd hesitate to say that it definitely wasn't a mistake, as it kind of appears to be, but I still like the socks.

At the parade yesterday I was knitting these on and off as we waited for it to start. The "Marriage Equality" people came around with petitions to sign. I signed one, and the girl commented on my gay pride socks. I guess they are! That makes them even more special to me!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

how do you know you made the ugliest hat ever?

The people at work have to try to find a nice way to tell you that it looks like barf. Literally.

That's ok though. It is supposed to look like barf.

Last night I got to thinking. (this is usually a bad sign, and one should run away from me when it starts to happen) I don't have any green outerwear to wear to the St. Patrick's Day parade. I have my fabulous knee socks, but no coat or hat or scarf. I look terrible in green, so I don't own much of it. Well, not much that goes on my upper body, anyway. I decided that I need to make a Parade hat.

The reasoning behind the hat was two fold. 1. I wanted a green hat. 2. I wanted to try something stitch-wise to see if it would work. The hat accomplished both things, therefore it is a success! (even if it looks suspiciously like barf)

How about some pictures?

Ahh. See?

Name: "Why the Hell is it SO COLD During the St. Patrick's Day Parade Official Drinking Hat"

Pattern: my own. would YOU buy this thing?

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Grass and Pumpkin

Needles: random 10.5 that were already out

Notes: Winged it. Double stranded it. made a puffball.

I know, before ya'll start in on me, I shouldn't have the orange and green together. I used the colors as an homage to the flag - not to the Protestant/Catholic thing. For what it's worth, I think you're both crazy. (I kid. love you all.) Also, orange and green are the two colors I look the WORST in, so super fitting for my ugly hat I think. And it has the added benefit of hiding all puke stains that it may come in contact with it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

You want to go Skiing, ya?

I do! I finished them, and blocked them! You gotta see this!

Pattern: Norwegian Stockings to Knit by Terri Shea

Yarn: Dalegarn Baby Ull

Needles: KP fixed circulars in size 2 and 1

Mods: I only knit the leg to 13.5" instead of 17", and changed to size 1 needles after the calf decreases for my itty bitty feet. I also made the foot short. (see note above about itty bitty feet).

Overall, I am very pleased! They were a lot of fun to knit, but not a good take along project. I never did memorize the chart. And, as it always does, the color work totally evened out and looks gorgeous after blocking.

I plan to have their first day out on Sunday. The ST. Patty's parade should be a good test. Lots of standing, it will be cold, and I'll get irritated if they don't stay up. And they're green! Perfect!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

I totally lied

well, not really. I did finish the socks. I just forgot to bring them to work to block them. (ducks)

I know! How could I forget?! It's Monday, damn it. That's how.

SO instead, you'll have to wait *one* more day. I'll placate you with a picture of my current "take along" project, "Rainbow Twisted Tweeds".

Fun! This is the yarn I got last week on Etsy from Julia's Yarn. It was uber cheap - as far as yarn goes - and I'm really enjoying working with it.

Also, I finally blocked the via diagonal bag! yes, this was a Christmas gift. Now it will be a surprise Easter gift. (assuming I sew the lining in sometime in the next few weeks) sigh.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

blocking my knee highs!

Please stay tuned, preferably, with baited breath, until then...