Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm just tired and bored with myself

(with apologies to Bruce Springsteen)

but I am. I haven't posted in forever, and basically, it's because I feel so boring. I feel like I'm not doing anything these days, which is strange because December is the month I'm usually the busiest. Rose has had a cold, a much worse one than usual (although no fever, thank goodness). She's just been miserable and we haven't left the house for two days. Maybe that's my problem -- I need some fresh air. You'd think this would leave me plenty of time for knitting, with no outings, but I just... I just don't feel like knitting.


But I found this earlier this morning, and thought you'd like it, too.



Saturday, November 18, 2006

Muff follow-up

Dear Rachel,

Just a quick pic of me getting ready to head out for our carolling gig, wearing the muff.

(I'm not sure what Rose is doing in this picture.) It kept my hands so nice and warm! I'm going to end up making three more for other members of our group. That's real holly clipped from the bush in our front yard. Pretty, huh?



Friday, November 17, 2006

28-Hour Knit

Dear Rachel,

Remember I had mentioned briefly once that I might forgo my usual disinclination for novelty yarns and make a muff out of Fun Fur for carolling? Well, several weeks ago I bought a skein of black Paton's Merino and a skein of black Fun Fur on a trip to the dime store. Yes, we actually still have a dime store around here.

I put the yarn away, being engrossed in other projects, and didn't think about it until yesterday. Then I thought, how long could it take to make a tube of worsted weight yarn doubled with some Fun Fur?

Answer: 28 hours (including time for sleeping, eating, working, etc.). Seriously. I started this during Sesame Street yesterday -- about 10 am -- and finished it today before 2 pm. Don't worry, it's not furry inside, there's a lining of just wool. See here for how it's constructed.

And here's the best part: our first carolling gig is tonight. So I'll get to look cute in my new fur muff and have toasty little hands. I'll try to get some pictures.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Back to the Log Cabin

Dear Rachel,

I still haven't recovered from yesterday's excitement. Neither has Dermie. He has very strong feelings for natural fibers, you see. He felt the yarn was meant for him. I haven't been able to convince him otherwise, yet.

Thank you for loaning me your #5 Options. As you can see, the blanket is fitting much better on this circular. This is six stripes on each side (almost). I'm aiming for nine on each side, although if I run out of yarn or patience before then, I reserve the right to end it all early.

I am really enjoying working with the Options needles. The cable has zero memory, the tips are solid, slippery, and really sharp. I picked up all those pink stitches with no hassle. The needle went right through and pulled back the the yarn first time, nearly every time. Not so with the Addi Turbos I had been using. I was almost to the point of dreading picking up all those stitches (with each edge getting longer and longer) because the yarn kept slipping off the needle before I could pull it through the stitch, and it was taking forever to get started on a new color. I'm telling you, I breezed through the pink. I like how sharp they are, too, although I may have to alter my knitting style slightly because of it. When I use circulars, and the stitches get bunched up on the left-hand needle, I usually take my right index finger, put it to the tip of the left needle, and use my left fingers to slide the stitches down onto the cable. Well, with Options, it's not very comfortable to do this. I'm experimenting with alternatives.

I like the Options so much, I probably will own a set by spring. An interchangeable set just makes so much sense, and the quality is good. Thanks for letting me try yours.

One last thing, just for fun, and just because I want to see if I can manage to put it up:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yarn from Peg (or, Thank you, Peg -- part II)

Dear Rachel,

Here's to hoping that Blogger feels like letting me upload some pictures... Okay, ready? Here we go:

Hooray! I'd better write fast before it decides it doesn't want me to show any more pictures. This is Lang Jawoll Superwash and a ball of softer-than-butter Grignasco Merino Gold, neither of which I've ever seen or felt in person. Yes, Peg, I'm definitely going to make Rose a pair of socks from the Jawoll. I've heard a lot about it and I'm really looking forward to knitting with it.

Here are four balls of Sari cotton yarn. This will become a spring and summer top for Rose. It is so soft and light, and the blue will really set off the blue of Rose's eyes. Beautiful!

And, finally, this gem:
This is handspun, handdyed laceweight yarn. It's a blend of mohair, wool, and nylon, locally produced near where Peg lives. This photo comes close, but doesn't quite capture the blend of rust and gold and midnight blue and rich violet that blend throughout the skein. It's very striking. I'm thinking a lace scarf or a shoulder shawl. I have to find a fitting pattern.

This exchange has been such a treat! I keep peeking at my sendee's blog, but I'm sure my parcel won't arrive there until the end of next week at the earliest. I'm having an awful lot of fun with this. Thanks, Ms. Knitingale, for starting it, and thank you, Peg, for such a lovely and thoughtful care package!



Thank you, Peg!

Dear Rachel,

I received a package today! Peg from British Colombia sent it, all full of some wonderful stuff -- so without further ado: the pictures!

There was mineral bath and milled soap with the scent "Tea & Oranges." It smells fantastic.

This box is labelled, "Hot chocolate."

Goodness. Speaking of smells, if I could digitize what this chocolate smells like and send it as a file, you'd drop dead. It's just wrong how crazy good this chocolate smells. I can't wait to taste it.

Here is a package of postcards with New Yorker cartoons that feature cats. Tee hee.
And Peg also sent a board book edition of The Velveteen Rabbit and a funny little dog for Rose. Here she is smiling and saying "Thank you!"

Okay, now apparently Blogger does not want me to upload any more pictures. I do have more, and they're all of yarn, which I know is what everyone (well, everyone who thinks like me) wants to see. This is what I'll do. I'll end this post, then start another one tonight after Rose is in bed. She's been a good girl this whole time, playing with cans and boxes out of the pantry, so I'm going to play with my baby. By tomorrow, there will be another entry with pictures of yarn.



Thursday, November 9, 2006

Not dry yet

Dear Rachel,

The GRR is not dry yet. After I washed and pressed it in a towel, I took it upstairs to the guest room, where I keep my blocking board. I spread it out and checked it the next morning, and the next afternoon, and before bed. Wet, wet, and really damp. This morning I remembered (It's been so long since I've blocked anything) that I used to turn on the ceiling fan in that room to kind of move the process along. So I turned on the fan, then put the sweater on a drying rack to help it even more. It's much closer to dry tonight. I might even wear it tomorrow. But for now:

A close-up of the raglan decrease and I-cord neckline.

The neckline is so dimensional, I mean, it's got such a great shape. I'm so glad you talked me into it.

This season's Interweave Knits is pretty good. There were three projects that I really liked and can actually see myself knitting (and wearing) sooner or later: A Cardigan for Arwen, Nantucket Jacket -- that's the cover design -- and Tweed Beret. Go here, then scroll down. Notice that Arwen calls for Debble Bliss Cashmerino Aran... sigh, drool. I would make it longer, though, probably a couple of pattern repeats. I don't like this current trend of sweaters being shorter than the shirts underneath them. Although it's better than the shirts being too short to cover up one's middle.

Well, I've bought the last of the goodies for my exchange pal, some Sander's chocolates. A Detroit original! I'm going to see if I can find a box for all this stuff and get it posted tomorrow. Have a lovely weekend!



Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Dear Rachel,

Finally, my first finished object since February (damn tendinitis!) ... the green ribbed raglan.

The neckline ended up a little higher and smaller than I envisioned it, but I'm perfectly happy with it. This picture was taken pre-blocking. I had to put it on the instant I wove in the ends. After it dries, I'll take more pictures of the details -- the raglan decreases and the I-cord neckline (which, did I mention, I love?).

It's raining cats and dogs today, and the latest issue of Interweave Knits showed up in my mailbox just now. Thank goodness we have a bit of an overhang around our porch, because otherwise it would be a sodden mass of newsprint. As it is, the pages are a little wrinkled with dampness, which really bugs me, because I like to keep these. I think I'll go make something hot to drink and leaf through my lovely wrinkled magazine until Rose wakes up.



Monday, November 6, 2006

I-cord bind-off

Dear Rachel,

I have to admit, I was a little uncertain about the I-cord bind-off.
But you know what? I love how it looks! (Yes, these are crappy pictures taken on top of my washing machine. So sue me.)

This was just some scrap yarn so I could practice how to do it. You know what? It's not hard at all -- just tedious as hell, as I expected. However, since it looks so gorgeous, I think I can deal with it. The GRR is all decreased and ready for bind-off. Now I know I can do it. Get ready for some lovely green raglany pictures tomorrow!



Thursday, November 2, 2006

Visit Cuba

Dear Rachel,

Here's our pretty little ladybug. She did not want to stand still. She was so excited about dressing up and going to see all the family, she was just dancing.

We had a nice evening, though most of it was spent in the car -- driving to Nana's, to Gramma and Grampa's, to Aunt Denise's, etc. We did walk up and down our block to visit all the neighbors after our family visits were over.

I put the GRR on some scrap yarn and tried it on. I have about another 4 or 5 inches to go before binding off, but it's been going so fast the last couple of days, I bet I'll be able to wear it for Thanksgiving. Maybe sooner.

I'm going to leave you with this picture that Andy took at a Red Robin where we had a little snack after Friday's show.

Isn't that hilarious? Visit Cuba, indeed.



Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Happy Halloween!


I'm having some trouble getting the picture links to work, but they are coming soon...

T-or-T'ing went very well - we covered 6 or 7 blocks with some of our neighbors and their little ones. We met some nice people, including a neighbor in full Scots regalia playing the bagpipes to attract trick-or-treaters! We had a nice impromtu concert right there on the street, and Lena was entranced.

Lena the Lion was a hit all around, though I chose to hurry past one house where the owners were trying to bring all the gore and fear of a horror movie to full-size life right in their front yard. you care that tiny children are forced to hear moans and screams and look at bloody, severed body parts, life-size figures wielding chain saws and human heads, etc? I know Halloween is about saluting the dark side, but geez! Put the gory stuff in the back yard where people can choose to see it if they want, not out front where toddlers are going by! Am I right people?

I heard Rose was a little Ladybug - pictures, please!