Friday, August 29, 2008

The Story of Woe*

Yesterday, in "As Costumechick's World Gyrates" we learned that the yarn ran out while Costumechick was knitting her Fluffy Blue Raspberry Mittens. (Duh DUh DUUUUH) What intrigue has happened since? We'll find out today on, "As Costumechick's World Gyrates!!"

(Insert commercial for random feminine product, or pharmaceutical)

Yes. I, Costumechick, did go to WEBS yesterday. On the way there, since Dee was driving, I knit on my mitten. I figured I'd knit until I ran out of yarn. I did, with about 3 miles to go before the exit. Wonderful planning, if I had been trying.

But, and there is always a but, I used every last thrum I had with me to get to this point. (facepalm) "No problem," I thought. I'll just cast on for my next project on my way home.

This is where I rummage around in the car for my pattern.
and rummage...
and rummage...
It is now starting to dawn on me that I don't have my magazine with me. I left the stupid thing at work. (grrrrr.) "It's ok," I think, "I'm going to the biggest yarn store ever! I'll just peek at a copy in the store, and see how much I need to cast on."

In the store we go. I got a bit distracted by the yarn fumes at this point, so my story has some holes. Things were picked up that I didn't go to the store for, and other things might have been placed in my basket. I may have made out with some cashmere/bison/silk blend in the bcak room - I can't be sure. What I am sure of is that I got my teal Lopi (yay!)

and that I did not find a copy of the Fall 2006 Vogue that has my pattern in it. (boo.) Woe and shit and Hell. Now what do I do? I have the yarn to work on the mittens but no stinking thrums, the yarn to work on a sweater, but no fucking pattern!
At this point I stumble about WEBS, a little heady from the lusty moment with the cashmere/bison/silk yarn, a little hungry, and a little aimless, seeing as I am project less in a giant yarn store. So I did what any self respecting knitter would do. I bought more yarn.

This is brown Berkshire by Valley Yarns. I am making DH a pair of mittens too. I had planned to make him a pair, but not until I had the other four pairs left on my list completed. But, my cuff needles were free, and I knew I could cast them on in the car, so his mittens of brownness got bumped up in the list.
Does the Story of Woe end there? Of course not. On the way back to the Haven, we got stuck in the Worst Traffic Ever. I managed to finish the entire cuff, even knitting slow. Then I was stuck in no-mans-land again. I bought a magazine at WEBS for just this purpose though, thankfully. I cannot handle traffic. I really can't handle it if I don't have something to do. I just get more and more rage-y. It is not a pretty site. That means, for those of you counting, I now have one pair of thumb less teal mittens, one of which is missing the top; one brown cuff of a mitten; and one skein of gorgeous purple alpaca that I can't cast on because I forgot my pattern; all sitting in my lap, staring at me. It was like being Sisyphus, with yarn instead of a rock.
Then, just for the cherry, on the icing, on the cake of the day, I forgot any sort of writing device, what so ever for SnB. (wow. I am random metaphor girl today.) No big deal in the grand scheme of things, but irritating none the less. Like sand in your swim suit.
But, I did get a decent amount into my sweater project:

This purpley alpaca goodness if for my Mom. My Mom is so tiny. I wish I could knit stuff this small for me. I could get a lot more done. Of course, it is on size 3 needles, so.... you'll be seeing a lot of purple Stockinette.
For a long time.
I'll do my best to make it interesting. Maybe the sweater pieces will go on adventures? Maybe I will see if I can come up with more challenges, a'la pencils and soup cans? Stay tuned till next time on "As Costumechick's World Gyrates".

*All right, fess up. I know some of you know what this literature reference I am lampooning. Then, after you fess up, I will know who is really dirty! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Well Shit.

I was working away on the second hand of my newest mittens when this happened:

"That is not much yarn", I thought.
How much mitten do I have to go?

Yeah. and two thumbs. I need more yarn. Damn. Now I have to go to WEBS.
Hey, DH told me too, so I am not totally to blame.
SO, in order to relieve my anxiety and sadness, and to ensure something to do at SnB tonight, I swatched for my next big project last night.

mmmmmmm.....alpaca.... droool....
It feels so heavenly after the lopi I have been working with. I might be tempted to not finish the mittens!
(I won't. But I'll be tempted.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mom's Mommes Lysedug

I promised a real post when I got back, and I refuse to disappoint! So with out further ado, presenting the Ravelympics Gold Medal Winner, Mom's Mommes Lysedug!

Pattern: Mommes Lysedug, a vintage pattern
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Autumn Spun in Burgundy, 2.5 skeins
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeables, size US10
Notes: This was my second circular afghan for the Ravelympics Afghan Marathon Event, and it tested my limits - that's for sure. The knitting itself was not hard, but the lack of charts on the pattern was... well let's leave it at frustrating.

I ended up binding off early. The blanket measures 70" across, and I still had 12 rows to go. I decided to end it there. I like the finished look, so there you go. The pattern called for a "loose bind off". I chose to do the crochet bind off that has kind of become my "blanket bind off". I like the way it looks, what can I say?

I am slowly making my way though the stash of farmhouse yarns. I need to start making larger projects if I am actually going to make a dent in it. The really sad part is that most of it isn't even in Ravelry. (hides head in shame) I need to do another stash update. Maybe I will have a day off sometime that I can get that done. Maybe....

Overall, I am pleased with my Mom's Mommes Lysedug. It is a nice size, and a pleasing pattern, if I do say so myself. (grin) I think this will be a lovely Holiday present, and it crosses #13 off the Summer Knitting Goals List! (and for those counting, that leaves 4 pair of mittens and a sweater left on the list. Not too shabby!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

if it isn't lace... must be mittens!
I started a new project. Yes, it's another pair of thrummed mittens. I am getting a little predictable, I think.

Our trip went pretty well. We had the interment service on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, and the funeral director said some very lovely words. The moment was very low key, and quiet, but, perfectly suited to the person we were remembering.
The rest of the time was spent taking some of DH's stuff from the house, and throwing a hell of a lot of stuff away. We also fixed some small things around the house, and...well, we just generally spent a lot of time filthy dirty. (and not in the good way, either.)
On the upside, I am not in jail. I did not commit assault, murder, or manslaughter, so I am ahead of the game, as far as I can tell. Oh, and we got to eat at a few favorite restaurants in the area.
Today, on the way home, we needed a "car break", and just happened to be on Rt 91S. So, I called up SitnKnit. I've not been to the new store in Bloomfield. So, a little GPS foo, and away we went. I wanted to "just look around".
I looked around so much, I somehow looked the whole way to the car with the following items:

Yes, lace and sock yarn. (predictable, I know) Harmony lace yarn, Noro Silk Garden Sock, and Shibui Sock somehow all came home with me. I really need to learn how to knit in my sleep.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


That was me, squeeking in, just under the line, with a finish in my afghan marathon final. I plan to do a proper post on Tuesday, I just thought I'd wave my arms around and tell the world. I'm nothing if I'm not subtle, you know.

Yay! Go me, and my oOld Ravelympics medal!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

olympic update

I am on to my Main event, Afghan Marathon #2, and it is going ok. I am a little over half way though, and feeling the pressure. I have a lot to do this week in terms of social schedule, and family stuff, so I have to use my knitting time wisely. That means knitting on breaks and lunch (and other assorted moments) at work. I am just pounding this blanket out - even though it is uncharted, and we all know how I feel about uncharted lace.
I was really getting in my rhythm today. I was fighting past the 35 st long lace repeats. I was charting as I went to see the pattern easier. I was about to break the page 3 barrier when....
It was like my shoe falling off mid marathon. I fixed it. but putting 100 lace sts back on the needle, in a complicated lace pattern, in dark yarn, was just not cool.

Must keep knitting. Play through the pain. Break through the wall.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ravelympics fever!

I am half way through my Ravelympics event, having completed the first Afghan in my two part Afghan Marathon. Whew. It was not easy either!

Name: Vangie's Blanket
Pattern: Oma'a Lace by Judy Gibson
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Autumn Spun in Burgundy, 2 skeins
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony, size 10
Notes: This blanket is based on a circular Shawl pattern that I found on Ravelry. It is really easy - mostly feather and fan- a trait highly desirable in Olympic knitting. Not because it is fast, but because it is tv watching knitting. As to my usual form, I had to keep tinking back. I always mess up the uber-easy patterns. The hard stuff is a piece of cake, but give me feather and fan, and I rip and rip and rip and rip.....

I like that this blanket isn't fussy. It's straight forward, but yet somehow a little elegant. I didn't do all the repeats of F & F called for in the pattern. I would have a carpet instead of a blanket. I stopped after section 4. (The pattern goes to section 9.) Since originally this pattern was a shawl, this makes sense, but was going to be way bigger than I wanted. I knew from all of my training in circular blankets, that I wanted to use about 2 skeins of Farmhouse Autumn spun to get a good size blanket. Usually, this comes out to around 100 rows. I ended with 92.

The blanket is about 5 feet in diameter, perfect for a lap blanket, and the Farmhouse Yarns Autumn Spun is super cozy, since it is wool, silk, and cotton. A little really goes a long way towards staying warm.

I really like this blanket, and while it is not the most intricate one I've done, I love the color, and I'm sure the recipient, Vangie, will too. With that, I get to cross off another Summer Knitting Goal, and half a Ravelympic goal. Now, I have to stretch and get ready for my second Ravelympics Marathon!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Evad, everybody...

So I sent Evad the quesstionarrie that is bouncing about the knit blogs now. let's see what he has to say...

1)What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
That it provides you with a creative outlet and provides hours and hours of quiet time.
2)What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
I don't really have one...maybe that it detracts from you paying attention to me and my needs, which we all know are most important
3)What is something I have knitted, that you recall is good?
Almost everthing has been fantastic, I can remember the bad ones better
4)Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
I can't have an opinion on that, considering my hobbys ($40 for thirty plastic space men you have to put together yourself)
5)Do you have a stash of any kind?
6)HAve I ever embarrased you, knitting in public?
Not since the very early days, before I was enlightened
7) Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
Brown Sheep I think, though you say Noro alot, is that a type of yarn?
8) Can you name another blog?
Not a kniting blog.
9)Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?
Not as long as you stop at my geek stores where ever we go.
10) Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
Those were those little plastic watches from the eighties, right? Just kidding, of course i blah blah blah, I am in theatre.
11) Do you read Costumechick and her Mind Control Powers?(my blog)
Every time I think about it
12) If I didn't knit, what would be different?
I'd have a vagina, no just kidding. There would be hundreds of half finished knit projects all over the condo.
13) Anything you would like to add? won't take me alive...don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes...what did I just drink...OH wait those are famous last words, so no there is nothing I would like to add other than that my wife is the most talented knitter I know, I will gladley support her hobby and never complain about the mountains of yarn, she's also a great cook and a fantastic $*%@!*# (last word edited for lewdness.)

Yes, dear readers. That is who I am married to. At least he likes my knitting!

Monday, August 11, 2008

off to a good start

I am an Olympics junkie. I really am. I love them. It really doesn't matter what sport is on tv, I am watching it. Now. I am really not a sporty girl. (Like, at all.) I played my fair share of sports in High School, and I try to maintain a basic fitness routine involving the elliptical machine and weight machines, but, athletic, I am not. In fact, if you were to think of an adjective that describes me, athletic would not be in the top ten of most people's list. That is OK though, because for 2 weeks every two years I get to be at the biggest athletic competition in the world. I get totally sucked into the "behind the scenes" stories, and the rivalry drama. Sometimes the action is so tense, and the competition so close, that I can't help but to scream at the TV! (Did you see the swimming final last night for the Men's 400 Meter Freestyle? Holy Hell. That was good. Not to mention, Phelps is a cutie.)
And, I do it all while knitting. Now, I'd be knitting anyway, but just to add some pressure to the Olympics, I've joined the "Ravelymipcs" as a Ravelete in the Afghan Marathon. Running I don't do, but knitting two entire Afghans in two weeks? Count me in. Last Friday I cast on for the first part of my event. I feel like the first one is the Qualifier, since it is the easier of the two. My qualifier is about half finished, and moving ahead nicely. I feel I am keeping a good pace, not too fast - don't want to burn myself out - and not to slow - don't want to fall behind. I am nearing a rough section of the event though, since I have to actually work, and cannot just knit all day like I did this past weekend. Don't worry though, I have a good downhill section to look forward to, and should pick up speed then!

Back to the grind! Good luck to the other Raveletes! (and to the actual Olympians. You know the ones that are athletic. Not me.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Downey Blueberries

How long can I keep the "Hairy Balls" joke going? Hopefully for at least four more pairs of mittens!
I cast off yesterday for the third pair of thrummed mittens - #8 on the Summer Knitting Goals list. Only four more left to go, and still enjoying knitting them. Win, win, I think.

Name: Downy Blueberries
Pattern: Fleece-Stuffed Mittens from Favorite Mittens, by Robin Hansen
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Worsted in Blue Magic
Needles: Vintage DPNs in size 4 and 5
Notes: None really. They are the same as the last two pairs. This pattern works up so quickly, it's hard to believe they are done! I must say, I love that about them!

Today, I switch over to Ravelympic knitting. Wish me luck in my Afghan Marathon!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Davey's Ribby Sockies

My Brother, the middle one, is the coldest man on earth. My Paternal Grandpa used to hold the title, but after his passing, the crown went to Bro#1. Grandpa M wore long johns all year long, and multiple pairs starting in October. (and no, we didn't live in a particularly cold place either.) Bro#1 isn't quite as cold as Grandpa was, but he is a close second. It could have something to do with the fact that he is over six feet tall and weighs 130 lbs. Anyway, I decided he needed some warm socks to get him through the winter. He wears steel toe work boots for his job, and anyone who wears them knows how cold they are in the winter!

Name: Davie's Ribby Sockies
Pattern: Retro Rib Socks, from Interweave Knits
Yarn: Zitron Trekking XXL #71
Needles: Knitpicks classic circs in size 1
Notes: Bro#1 really doesn't like long socks. He wears those little short ones that slide down in your shoes most of the time. But, I expect, he will appreciate a slightly longer wool sock for the cold, February days outside, at work. I did make the socks two inches shorter than the pattern calls for, just so they weren't "long" socks. I also knit the "women's" size for the most part, as he is rail thin. No baggy socks!

I extended the heel flap to match the directions on the "men's" size. I was afraid the gusset would be too short for a guy, otherwise. I also knit the foot - forever -. Not really, but compaired to my little feet, it was a lifetime.

The pattern was really simple, once you get the set up going. The first few rounds are not completely mindless, but not hard either. All in all, a very good "boy socks". Not too patterned, not too boring for the knitter.

I like the trekking too. The subtle stripes give the socks just a little extra kick, with out me needing to do anything else. (I like that) Trekking also wears well, a bonus in boot socks for a 25yr old, I think.

With that, #17 bites the proverbial dust. Another Summer Knitting Goal complete!

Soup can I?

Yes I can.

Yes. I. Can.

That is all.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Showered with Knitting

I had a really great weekend.
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is over - woo! I can have knitting time again!
2. I went yarn shopping! Woot!
3. I went to Jenn's Shower. Yum and woot!
4. Hung with the "bitches"! Double woot!
1. I love designing costumes for shows, I really do. But by the time tech is over, all you want to do is forget the blasted show ever existed. This is especially true of musicals. Freakin' songs in your head! By the time I go to closing night to help strike, all I want to do is take an icepick to my ear in an attempt to remove the blasted repetitive droning of the musical de'jour.
The show was fine, the kids did great, but damn am I happy to not look at Oompah Loopahs every night anymore.
2.Yarn shopping! DH and I went "a-geeking" on Saturday. (It is similar to a-wassailing, with less booze, and no sleigh) We drove out to New London to do some DH style geeking, and went to Saybrook Yarn just for yours truly. I actually was after yarn for a specific project, so it wasn't even impulse buying! I got 8 skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in color #6283 for a sweater for my Mom. After the Olympics, this will be the last "big" knitting project on the Summer Knitting Goals list. I wanted to be prepared to start. You know, just in case I managed to get two blankets finished in 14 days. (Go ahead and laugh. I am.)

Then on the way home from the eastern end of our oh-so-big state, I remembered the new yarn shop in Branford! I had zero idea of where it might be, but that didn't deter me one bit. It never has. Turns out the Yarn basket is on RT1 - super easy to find. The store is way cute, albeit a little bare at this point. I was there about 28hrs after they opened. They were still doing inventory! The reports have been coming in from other CT SnBers, so I'll give you the short version. Easy to get around, nice layout, prices easy to find, decent selection. Yarns to note, Brown Sheep, Noro, Plymouth, Berroco - I didn't right anything down, so this is just off the top of my head. I ended up buying two skeins of Noro for the ever growing collection waiting to become a big, crazy blanket for my couch.

Not too bad!
3. Sunday - The Shower. Jenn, one of "the bitches", had her wedding shower at Leon's, in New Haven CT. Lots of us made an appearance, and ate ourselves stupid. No of course, we also knit! (and ate, and knit, and ate, and opened gifts, and ate.) I kid you not. I ate enough food for three days. I'm still kinda full.

All the bitches got together for a group picture towards the end. Aww. Aren't we cute? The bride-to-be is the one holding the bow-bouquet. Which is rather fabulous, if i do say so myself. (seeing as I am the one who made it.) [insert cheesy grin here.]
We didn't play any "shower games", so the bitches made their own fun. We talked about racy things, knitting, racy things, knitting, the food, dates, the food, racy things, well... you get the picture. The big, long lasting conversation involves pencils. Yes, regulation #2 pencils.
The back story: One of the Bitches, who I will not name, went out with a guy that said if you can hold more than one pencil under your breast, you are "past your prime". Now, this was news to all of us. We are sexy ladies, so not "past our prime". And, I could hold a single pencil under my boob when I was 10, so was I "past my prime" by 12, when I had B cups? Surely not. So, of course, we decided a little field work was in order to determine the validity of this claim. The lot of us had varying success with boob/pencil manipulation, but we all participated with the same rules. #2 pencils, under the boob, with out bra, and had to be able to let go of the pencil. We weren't sure if the original idiotic statement required that the pencils be flat to the body, or could be scrunched up, so we discussed both options. Ultimately, we just wanted to see how many pencils our naked boobies could entrap next to our body.
So, in the privacy of our own homes, we undertook the "past our prime" challenge. I will let the others post their success, or lack of success, if they want to. I am going to proudly display my booby-pencil-holding prowess number here. For all to see and be in awe of.
16. I can hold 16 regulation #2 pencils under a single, giant, costumechick boob. (and trust me, they ain't saggy neither. Just big)
And, no. No pictures.
I had a great day hanging with the bitches, talking about dirty things, that we maybe shouldn't have in the presence of the parents and soon-to-be in laws, and generally having a great time. All in all, a fine weekend, topped off by an awesome dare.
Maybe a little actual knitting next time...

Friday, August 01, 2008


The other day, I sat at work, not really working. (Hey, it’s summer. Whatever.) I noticed a little blue and green thing staring at me.
“stop looking at me.”
“no,” it said.
“I don’t care. Keep looking,” I said, “I’ll just ignore you.”
“Fine. I’ll just sit here, unfinished, and take up space.”
“I just worked on you! “
“Like hell you did! That was in May!”
“No way. Shut up, and go sit under that pile of resumes.”
“Nope. Not going to. I’ll gonna just sit and stare at you.”
“You are not next on the list, “I said.
“You’re not going in order!”
“I don’t have time right now.”
“Oh. LSG is more important than me. I see.”
I looked at the spot where the voice was coming from. Honestly, the blasted blob has been on my desk for so long, it has started to look like it might be part of the normal desk crap. You know- stapler, hole punch, tape, coffee mug, planner, half finished knitting project. It finally got to me. I had to finish it.
“damn you,” I said, “Now I have to sew.”
Sew I did. And sew, and sew and sew. Finally, Via diagonal came out!

Name: Diagonale
Pattern: Via Diagonale, from
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns, Single ply worsted in avacodo, and Andy's Merino in Turgoise
Needles: Knit Picks Options, size 6
Notes: Umm. I started this so long ago, I hardly remember anything about it. It doesn’t help that I was on painkillers when I cast on for it. The first 6” were kind of created in a haze. I do remember that it was not easy knitting. Knitting with really thick yarn, on little needles is torture on the hands. I would describe it as “Bullet proof”.

Still, it wasn’t quite as stiff as I would have liked, so I lined it with plastic canvas before I lined it with fabric. The plastic canvas really made a difference. The lining fabric is a silk left over from a show, two seasons ago. It matched so well, I couldn’t resist. I found the handle at Joann’s. The handle selection at Joann’s has really increased recently – and in a very good way.

The slip stitch pattern is very easy to do. I recommend it for someone wanting to learn to do color work, but not ready to try Fair Isle. You still have to work with two colors, but you don’t have to hold two colors in your hands, at once.

Over all, I like the bag. Right now, I’m kind of over it. I have been looking at it for 9 months, after all. I’m ready to not see it all the time. I’m going to put it away until October, when I gift it, then I will probably love it! Vangie loves bright colors, so she should be thrilled, too!
I'm thrilled just to have #2 on the Summer knitting goals list completed.