Saturday, April 30, 2005


Last night, I was sitting around minding my own business, waiting to get ready to go to a friend's dissertation defense party, when all of a sudden I turned my head to the right and it wouldn't turn back: trying to move my head even a little to the left resulted in whimpering and tears. I'm blaming a combination of dissertation-revision stress, horrible typing posture, and too much cotton knitting.

So instead of going to the party, I stayed home, and instead of working or knitting (my usual thrilling Friday night activities these days), I stuck on a Thermocare heat patch, popped about 18 Advils, got out my beading box and made these

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while watching
The Iron Giant (soooooo charming by the way; why haven't I seen it before now?).

Some of them might go to my Secret Stitch Marker Pal, but I'm not sure yet--I might wait to find out who I have so that I can blogstalk her and make some that are personalized somehow.

This one, though, is staying with me (in fact, it's already at work on Via):

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The pink! The green! The cloisonne! I'm such a preppy dork.

Anyway, my neck is mostly better now--i.e. I can turn my head both ways--but I think that I am definitely going to have to splurge on a massage after this dissertation nightmare is over.

(Id: "Wait, isn't that money you could spend on yarn?"
Ego: "Yeah, but what good is yarn if you CAN'T TURN YOUR HEAD?"
Superego: "Hi. You're MOVING in three months. Ever heard of a savings account?"

I cannot WAIT to have a real job with real money.)

(PS Bear with me while I audition some new font choices for the blog...)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Arts & Crafts

From Naive Knitting today:

Let’s say for the sake of argument craft is the plain girl who developed her personality, whereas art is the willowy blonde who has always been popular.

Indeed. It is no wonder that I gravitate toward craft. I really love Martha's blog, but today was the first time I posted to it. Does that ever happen to anyone else--that you're so intimidated by how cool a person's blog is that you're embarrassed to post because all of your posts will just be 6th-grade gushings, all "OMG!!!! I, like, TOTALLY LOVE your cool thing!" and unironic enthusiasm just isn't cool? I'm trying to get over that.

Which is not to say that the blogs that I do regularly post on are in any way uncool--they're just not intimidating. So y'all should be proud of yourselves for being both cool and unintimidating.

Via Take 4 is getting quite diagonale, as you can see:

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Sadly, my hands (and forearms) are getting slightly hurty. Luckily, Marc gave me that charming little sea urchin of a stress ball before he left for LA, so I have been taking some of the pain out on it:

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That said, I really like the sheen of the Reynolds Saucy (I also just like saying Reynolds Saucaaaay), and although I am feeling the stress in my hands, it's much less so than with my last sustained cotton project, a baby blanket made with the late lamented Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. It just so happens that I might have been doing a little virtual window shopping today, and Saucaaaay is part of the WEBS anniversary sale, for a mere $3.19 per 185-yard ball, and is available in a gazillion colors. If you are going to be doing any cotton knitting for summer (or perhaps jumping on the Via wagon) I highly recommend it.

And speaking of that virtual window shopping trip, is anyone else made very happy by the fact that one of the new KnitPicks cottons is in a color called Nap?

I don't know if I'm crazy about the yarn, but I do heart a good nap.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Counting? Kind of like math.

I've been digging using the stitch markers on Via Diagonale (Take 4). They're super-helpful, because you know right away--well, at least every 24 stitches--if you made a mistake. Which I like. Because then I don't really have to count. I'm bad at counting (as has been established). And anything that lets me knit and watch TV simultaneously has to be a good thing.

I got so excited about my stitch markers, in fact, that I hopped on over to Cara's blog and signed up for her Stitch Marker Swap:

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There's still a few days to sign up, so go do it! Maybe I will make you something pretty out of these:

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If you're lucky, that is.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hey Ashley, it's not 1985.

You wouldn't know it from this little neon extravaganza, though, would you?

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Oh, Via Diagonale. You look so stylish, and yet you are clearly trying to kill me. Here's the story.

Via Attempt #1: Cast on, knit one round, discover that I have twisted my join. Twisted my join? Who does that anymore? That's so first-six-months-of-knitting. Yet I managed it. Blame backward loop cast-on, cuss, and rip.

Via Attempt #2: Cast on, knit three rounds no problem, on the fourth round, make a pattern mistake, track down the error, rip the fourth row, reknit the fourth row, discover that I have cast on 196 stitches instead of 192. Not a recoverable-from mistake, thanks to pattern complexity. Blame math as a concept, cuss, and rip.

Via Attempt #3: Cast on, check for twisted join, count cast-on stitches 3 times, place markers every 24 stitches to minimize possibility of pattern error (worked like a charm, that), successfully knit 1.5 pattern repeats. Decide I fervently hate both yarn (turns out that Cascade Superwash looks and feels like acrylic) and yarn colors (what was I thinking? That I wanted to burn my advisor's retinas out? [Although now that I think of it...]). Cuss, loudly. Pace. Watch 2 episodes of M*A*S*H, one of which features knitting. Cuss more, drive 40 minutes to yarn store to exchange the one unused ball of Cascade. Drive 40 minutes home. Rip.

Start all over again:

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Much more pleasing, I think, and even more so is the name of the yarn I'm using:

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Saucy indeed, my friends, in Concord Grape and Celery. That's 183 yds of 100% mercerized cotton for less than five bucks, and it's actually a pleasure to work with so far. The good news is that after all of this I have the pattern down cold, so hopefully I'll be able to plow right through this one. Hopefully.

By the way, if you have ever wondered what you should do with your roses, Bailey would like you to know that they are excellent for snacking on.

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Of course, Bailey also snacks on cat poo, so I wouldn't take her word for anything.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Free Time=Yarn

All this free time . . . what is a girl to do?

Oh, right:

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That's to make Via Diagonale as a thank-you present for my advisor. I went with Cascade Superwash instead of cotton, because it's going to have to be a pretty quick knit, and I didn't want to deal with hurty hands. Luckily M is in LA for 10 days so I should be able to get in plenty of uninterrupted knitting time before he gets back. (Oooh, did I say luckily? I meant, um, sadly. Hi honey! Miss you! Toodles!)

So I went to the yarn shop with a purpose--that being the above yarn--but then while I was there I was overcome with a fit of self-indulgence and also got this:

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Hmm, a little Mango Moon Recycled Sari Yarn. What? It was by the register. Also, it is a Good Deed to buy this yarn, because it supports charity. Which I am such a self-deluder about, by the way, like, Hey, your yarn supports a hard-working women's co-operative in Nepal? Here--have a zillion of the American dollars. It's for charity! And nothing at all to do with my selfish American consumerism!

Anyhoo, I think I am going to make a summery little bag out of that.

Meanwhile, y'all should truck over to see Anna's amazing creation, Sally. It is allegedly her first design, but I think she has been practicing in secret or something because you would swear that it was out of a Rowan mag. The i-cord! The ruffles! The matching stripes! I'm in awe.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Dissertation Sock the First

Since knitting was the only thing keeping me moderately sane and normal this past week (ok, and snacks too. Sweet, delicious snacks), I tried to make time every day to work on my sock. (Frieda went on hold briefly, since I cannot handle Thinking Important Thoughts and doing math at the same time.) The result? One finished sock:

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Now, this one looks a little short to me too, although it is definitely longer than the Big Blue Blobs. Here it is on:

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Notice that I didn't sew in the end. I'm trying to decide: should it be longer? This is one skein's worth of Koigu, and I actually have three from this dyelot. I was planning to use one for each sock, and save the third for something else, like maybe the little faux-cabled bag from Last Minute Knitted Gifts that makes a handy and inexpensive present.

(Hi, Last Minute Knitted Gifts? Hi, it's Ashley. Listen, I totally love you and want to make everything in you, but are you on CRACK with your timelines for these projects? Who did you get to knit your test projects for you, magic elves who knit at the speed of light? I gave up on your estimates when the "two-to-four hour" wristwarmers took me an entire day of my life to knit, like, seriously, 9 hours, although I had to finish them because I had promised them to M for the next day. Anyhoo, just wanted to say that you are insane. Love you though! Totally love you!)

Right. Socks. Anyway, what do the peeps think? Do they need to be longer? Or am I just being a spaz? It's not unlikely that I am.

Finally, an interesting thing. Look at the 2x2 ribbing at the top vs the pattern stich:

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See that? It's pooling. The slip stitch in the pattern must have made it less noticeable in the sock overall, which I am glad of because I am not crazy about the pooling. Not crazy at all. But for those who like that sort of thing, Alison over at The Blue Blog is hosting a knitalong that is actually designed to encourage pooling. Takes all kinds, I suppose.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Dissertations make you fat.

Here's a gripping little montage of the culinary delights I've felt justified in consuming this week:

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Delicious times, but they are behind me now.

For those of you who asked, you can find a synopsis of my dissertation here. But if you click on that link, don't blame me if, within five minutes, you are so freaking bored that you want to dig your own eyes out with a spoon. I'm warning you.

Actual Knitting Content to resume shortly.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Irony, or, A Maths Lesson

My SAT scores should explain to you quite clearly why I am currently finishing up a dissertation on 19th-century novels. My embarrasingly low total score was 1170, out of which 690 points were on the English side of the column. Which means, according to my calculator (no, seriously) that I earned 480 points in math. And keep in mind, they give you 200 points just for showing up, so really, I only earned 280. Say it with me: math is hard. And I am bad at it.

That is why it is totally ironic (not Alanis Morisette ironic, but really, actually ironic) that I like to knit. Because knitting makes me do math.

Now, I do not blame knitting per se for its mathiness. Instead, I blame pattern designers, for thinking that an XL chest measurement is 38", and also myself, for being freakishly tall. So until someone writes a knitting book entitled Knitting for the Amply Bosomed and Freakishly Tall, I have to do a lot of figuring to get patterns to fit. For example, here is how my Frieda Sweater pattern looks:

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See all that scrawl in the margins? That is the result of math. And not easy math either, like adding. No, this math is about fractions and percentages and things. Like, if I have to add x number of stitches to the body length, and I want to add them all before I hit the armscye shaping but I want to distribute them evenly over the three sections of the body under that, how many do I add in each section? People, that is practically calculus if you are challenged in the brains like I am.

Still, I persevere. But if this sweater comes out all jacked up, I am not blaming myself. I am blaming math.

OK, friends--I am going radio-silent for a few days. My dissertation is due on Friday, and sadly, you can't knit a dissertation. Unless you are in some super-cool MFA program. Which I'm not.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Socks! Now With 100% Less Boringness!

As I said, I do think I will be very happy to have those Merino Style socks in the depths of a Michigan winter. I am a girl of Very Cold Feet, and spend quite a bit of time even in the Texas winter trying to convince either dog or boy to sit on my feet to keep them warm for me (ususally without much success). Yet, despite their practicality, I felt pouty about my Big Blue Blobs, as they shall henceforth be known. They had no zip, no wheeee! In short, they did not measure up to all the gorgeous Sockapalooza socks I was seeing on everyone's blogs. All those socks gave me some serious sock envy, and the Blobs just weren't filling the void. I think these'll do though:

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Look! Zip and wheeee! That's Koigu KPPPM in colorway p201. I'm using the stitch pattern from these socks (adapted to work toe-up), and it's just tangy enough to keep me on my toes (ha! toes!). The fun part: it looks sort of like you cabled, but without the bother of cabling. Good times. The pattern has an 8-row repeat, which is turning out to be a good size for reward knitting--I do X amount of work on the diss, I get to knit a repeat. (X, of course, being highly variable and contingent on whether there is, say, a fascinating Nova episode about the Seychelles Islands on TV.)

I'm knitting these on #1s, and holy crap. Why did I buy the needles? Why not just use those wooden skewers I have sitting around in my kitchen drawer doing nothing useful with themselves? I never really got it before when people talked about breaking their dpns while knitting, but boy, do I get it now. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't, because I can't bear working with metal dpns and there are no plastic ones to be had around here. (Yes, yes, the internets. Too slow! Must have instant gratification!)

Want another sock shot? One with evidence of the sprungness of Spring here in the ATX? Sure you do:

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Please take a moment, by the way, to note how tastefully coordinated my stitch marker and my yarn are. Mmmmm, anal-retentiveness. It sure can be purty.

Friday, April 15, 2005

One Sock Two Socks Done Socks Blue Socks

The Merino Style Socks are finished! My very first pair of socks.

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Do I even need to tell you how unamused Bailey was by this? And yet I found it endlessly funny, especially since when this was taken she was growling fiercely at a cat outside. Poor Bailey. It's hard to be fierce when you're a dog wearing socks.

So these socks, they are....warm. Sturdy. Serviceable. In short, they are quite boring--a 5x2 rib in a relentlessly solid color. My next socks, however, will not be boring. How do I know? Because they will be made of this:

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

The First Bailiversary: An Open Letter

Dear Bailey-

In honor of you becoming my dog one year ago today, I hereby solemnly and publicly promise that I will never knit this:

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and make you wear it, even though I really, really, really, really, really, really want to.


Cake and stuff

Today I made a cake!

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It was inspired by Mariko's recent post about a recipe for cake with pudding mixed in. My friend's mom had this recipe too (it appears to have been quite the cake in the 70s), but made with vanilla pud and chocolate chips instead of pistachio. Yum. This cake also gave me a chance to test out my new fancy silicone bundt pan, which, I am here to tell you, totally works--that cake slid right out with nary a stick. Anyhoo, there's plenty of cake left over, so Laurie, any time you want to hit the ATX, there'll be cake a-waitin'. Y'all come down!

Also made today:

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Hmm, what's this? Well, it was originally supposed to be this:

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but after much debate about whether the side-to-side knit would be a) flattering, b) simple to alter for length, and c) too much boring stockinette, it is instead going to be this:

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That being the unfortunately named Freida from Debbie Bliss's Alpaca Silk book. (Do you really want the name of your sweater to say "Unibrow!" quite so loudly? I thought not.) I already feel challenged by the cables but I think it'll be a good learning experience. The yarn is the actual Alpaca Silk in Color #12, which is a nice plummy berry. Y'all, this yarn is to die for. It is like knitting with yarn made from the fur inside the very tip of a puppy's ear. I want to fill an entire bathtub with this yarn and curl up inside forever and ever, that is how much I love it.

Sadly, it seems not to be so fond of friction, which I noticed when I pulled out my first swatch on #8s (gigantor row gauge) and re-knit on #7s (perfect!)--there was lots of fuzzing. So although I was very tempted I did not bust out the new ball winder--instead I'm knitting right from the (very loose) dumpling-ball that it came in. No problems so far.

You might notice up there that there are two ends sticking out of the bottom. This is because I'm being an extra-good girl and switching up yarn from two different dye lots every two rows. I ordered a bunch of the yarn from Wool Needlework up in Canadia because it was butt-cheap (by Alpaca Silk standards) but then I panicked and thought maybe I wouldn't have enough and went and bought 3 more skeins at my LYS because I was too impatient to wait for another shipment from Canadia. I don't think there's a real color difference, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry. Also I'm doing it on the back of the sweater, because as Ma Ingalls always said, what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over.

You might be asking yourselves, should a girl who is supposed to be finishing her dissertation be baking a cake and starting a sweater? And in return I ask you, who can work when the space under her desk is full up of dog?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Oh Glorious Day

Yes, yes, I know I'm posting twice in one day but it is because I am SO EXCITED.

A quiz:

What turns this:

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into this:

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in under an hour?

Yes, mes amis, it is my new most bestest friend ever, the ball winder.

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JoAnn's was having one of those 50% off sales, so this little baby only cost me $25--which is by far the best price I've ever seen for a ball winder, even on ebay. It's totally delightful and easy to use, and has enjoyable Japanglish instructions ("Thrust it in over a boss positioned at the reverse side of the base until clicking"). If you don't have a ball winder, I would so highly recommend picking one up, especially if you are a cheapskate like me and can find a 50% off coupon at JoAnn's. I know, I know, you can use your mixer and spend no dollars--but where's the Japanglish in that?

Now all I need to be a perfectly happy woman is a swift.

That yarn up there, by the way, is HandPaintedYarns bulky merino in Rhodesian. I was afraid it would be some godawful gold color but instead it is a yummy burnt orange, like caramelized carrots. I am so looking forward to knitting with it, vinegar stench and all.


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Exposed to radiation as a small pup, Bailzilla developed the twin powers of Death-Ray Eyes and Complete Spazzosity. Here, M faces the full force of her wrath. (Don't worry, he lived. This time.)

*No relation to Crazy Aunt Purl's dear departed [zilla].

Monday, April 11, 2005

Knitting: A Useful Art

So I was reading my New Yorker last night before I fell asleep (you know, like you do) and I came across an article on this amzingly crazy lady, Mrs. Mortimer, who wrote children's books in the mid-19th century. These books appear to have been totally awesome. (Sample from Reading Without Tears [1857]: "What is the matter with that little boy? He has taken poison. He saw a cup of poison on the shelf. He said 'This seems sweet stuff.' So he drank it. . . Can the doctor cure him? Will the poison destroy him? He must die.") I totally have to snag a copy of this book to read to any nieces and nephews I might have in the future.

Anyway, Mrs. Mortimer also wrote a series of books that described foreigners for the poor little innocents of Britain. Here is what she had to say about German women:
The ladies are very industrious, and wherever they go they take their knitting. They are as fond of their knitting-needles as the gentlemen are of their pipes. The number of stockings they make would surprise you. How much better to knit than to smoke! . . . But they are not fond of reading useful books. When they read, it is novels about people who have never lived. It would be better to read nothing than to read such books.
Well, damn. I wish somebody had told me this before I started my dissertation. I could have been using my time much more productively. "Hey, Ashley, did you finish that chapter yet?" "Ooooooh, sorry, I decided it would be better to read nothing than to read novels--but the number of stockings I make would surprise you."


I got a thank-you note from my mom today for Bella. It said, in part,

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Awww. See, and this is why you should knit for knitters--because they know that it is extra-special.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Only in Austin

I took this from my car yesterday on my way to a wedding.

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Those are plastic lawn flamingos, lest you be confused. I was endlessly amused by them.

At this wedding, but the way, the buffet dinner consisted of deviled eggs, potato salad, fried chicken, biscuits, and various pickled vegetables. It could not have been more delicious, and I highly recommend it as a menu for any of you who might be planning a wedding. Or dinner.

One down, one to go.

Yesterday I finished a draft of my introduction and got it out to my dissertation reading group, so this morning, after the dog park, I decided to reward myself by settling in with The Philadelphia Story* and my sock. I frogged the heel, reknit it with wrapped short rows, and then just kept knitting until I could knit no more. Here's the result:

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Please excuse the corpse-like whiteness of my skin.

While I'm generally happy with the way the foot of the sock fits, I'm a little sad about their length: they are really, really short. Personally, I am of the mind that if a sock is going to have a leg at all, and not just be a footie, the leg should be as long as the foot for proportionality's sake. Clearly, these are not that long:

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If I had Photoshop I would draw a little eye and mouth and blowhole on the toe, and it would look like a charming blue whale. I don't though, so I will just have to be vaguely discontent with the leg length. I suppose if I really cared I could order a third skein of the Merino Style from KnitPicks and divide it between the two socks, but meh. That seems hard. I also think that, while I will be very glad of the warm bulkiness of these socks in a Michigan winter, they might be a little much under shoes. If I'm just messing around in them as house socks, I don't really care how tall they are.

For those of you keeping track, I am still plugging away at the Happy Dance Scarf as well. Here's proof:

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See how long it's gotten? See?

*Don't get me started on this movie. Every time I watch it I waver: do the charm and adorableness of Jimmy Stewart and the wacky sister make up for that fact that we're supposed to be excited when Katharine Hepburn forgives her philandering father (after he tells her that his affair is her fault, because she's a bitch) and reunites with her alcoholic, abusive husband? This time, my answer is a solid no: This movie is an anti-feminist nightmare (which, yes, I know that the point was to render Katherine Hepburn's acidity more palatable to the American film-going public, and that just makes it worse), and that cannot be ok, no matter how many times Jimmy Stewart says "hello, you." (But oh, that "hello, you.")

Friday, April 08, 2005

Short Row Angst

Well, when I said that the toe-up socks were instant-gratification knitting, I forgot three important details. One, I am a slow knitter. Two, my feet (while not disproportionate to my height) are kind of ginormous. And three, I am supposed to be writing the introduction to my dissertation. Nonetheless, assisted by a rerun of Without a Trace and a couple epiodes of Jeopardy, I made it to the heel. Now, I had decided to view these socks as a short-row sampler: I would try all three short-row techniques (yarnover, wrapped, and Japanese) as explained by Nona and see if I could get them all to look nice. Here's the toe, with the wrapped short row that you might remember from such places as Pasha's tummy:

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Hmm, lovely. A bit lumpy, perhaps, but perfectly acceptable.

Now, here is the heel, done with my former nemesis, the yarn-over short row:

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DAMMIT! Even with all of Nona's sage advice on changing the stitch mount, there are still GIANT HOLES! Gah. Yarn-over short row, you are my nemesis still.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Socks: Take Two

I took a little Alias break from writing today and, inspired by Nona's short row demos and Shelby's fancy new socks, and guilt-ridden at the thought of the Baby Poo Socks being consigned to the Permanent UFO bag, I decided to cast on for a new pair of socks, one that I will actually finish, like, and wear. So far so good:

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I decided to go toe-up (New! With More Instant Gratification!), but the instructions for the provisional cast-on in Simple Socks almost reduced me to tears (I think this was a product more of chapter-writing than the diagrams, but the diagrams weren't so hot either). So I trotted off to my friendly internet and snagged Wendy's toe-up sock pattern, which starts with a crochet cast-on. Yay! It worked. (Obviously--it's Wendy's pattern. But never overestimate my skills when it comes to anything involving crochet.)

Anyhoo, the yarn is KnitPicks Merino Style in Storm, a nice solid teal. So far....hmm. When I read the Knitter's Review writeup of these yarns, I thought I detected a little bit of hesitation, and I know why now. Overall the yarn is nice enough--it's warm and soft, and it seems like it will wear well. Obviously, you can't beat it for the price, and that's really the bottom line--if I needed a sweater's worth of DK yarn I would certainly buy this. But the plies are really loose, and it's super-easy to snag them, even with relatively dull bamboo needles. And next to my favorite merinos--Karabella's Aurora 8 and Koigu--this yarn just doesn't have the bounce, the sheen, the crispness, and the overall niceness to knit with that those yarns have. So, buy it for practicality (I plan to), but I would suggest that if you have a really special project, spring for a more expensive yarn.

Meanwhile, I just turned around and caught Bailey sound asleep with her tongue sticking out. This would be cuter if she didn't look a little bit, well, dead:

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PS: Nerds of the World Unite! Who can pick out the books on the shelf behind my foot? Winner gets a slightly used ball of sock yarn in pink, green and baby-poo brown.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


So, this morning I popped the Buttonhole Bag in the washer with a pair of jeans. A couple of wash cycles and a trip through the dryer later, I have this:

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Preptastic, don't you think? The colors, in retrospect, are actually a little stronger than I wanted (they're Cascade 220 in Flamingo and Highland). Still, I like the watermelon-y effect, and I like that it's shaped a little like my old Bermuda bag, which I kind of desperately wish I still had.

This actually is not my first foray into buttonhole territory. I made this for my sister as a little Easter treat:

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That one was Lamb's Pride Bulky in Limeade and Lemon Drop, and it looked like nothing so much as a giant ear of corn before it was felted. Hmm--what is up with the fruit/vegetable buttonhole bags?

I know lots of people are making/have made these already, but if you haven't yet, or you haven't felted before, here are a few notes.

-For both bags, I held the yarns doubled on 24" size 15 circs.

-I made the handle of my Cascade bag bigger, binding off 15 stitches instead of 10. I recommend this, especially if you have bigger hands. It makes for floppier handles, but you can actually fit your hand through them, which is a definite plus with handbags.

-For the Lamb's Pride Bag, I followed the patern pretty exactly. I played around with it a bit on the Cascade bag, though, and liked the results. I increased one more time on the bottom, so it was a bit wider and longer (11 stitches wide rather than 8, and 10 increase rows). I also added more rows between the increases and decreases for the body of the bag, going maybe 15 rows rather than 10. And finally, I only decreased twice at the top, rather than three times, and I did one increase below the handle and one above. I like how this makes the top go in a bit less sharply.

Based on this project, I have to say I like the Cascade much more than the Lamb's Pride.

First, Lamb's Pride, when wet, stinks like death. Cascade doesn't smell great--I mean, it's wet wool, after all--but it's a huge improvement.

Second, smell aside, Cascade's a worsted weight yarn, rather than a bulky, and it's plied, which I don't think the Lamb's Pride is (I'm too lazy to go check right now). These two things added up to a less fuzzy, slightly thinner bag, which I preferred. It's not like any felted bag is going to be particularly smooth and tailored, but I liked that I didn't have to shave the Cascade afterwards.

Finally, I had lots of Cascade left over: I have 55g of each green skein left over, and about 60g of the pink (skeins originally being 100g). This means that you can easily get two bags out of three skeins--although obviously your mileage will vary based on how much you use of main vs. accent color. By contrast, I have only 20g of each green Lamb's Pride skein left (out of 113g) and 20g of the yellow. And the Cascade is cheaper!

No question here: Cascade's the winner for me. Plus, if I keep making bags (and Pashas) I'll have tons of leftovers to make a giant stripey French Market Bag! Yay!

By the way, if you are in need of a giggle, head over to Wendy's--she's running a contest to see who had the most egregious 1980's fashion. I thought mine was pretty bad but then I read about the blue tinsel wig...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Knitting and Sports...

...a happy combo.

Last night during the Red Sox-Yankees (dammit, Red Sox! They're not your daddy anymore!) season opener, I frogged the Happy Dance scarf. Then I cast on again, with a lot fewer stitches, as I would like to be done with the thing sometime in the next ten years, and presto:

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Less pooling, more striping! Just what I was hoping for. I'm still on the fence a little about the colors, but I definitely like it better now.

Then tonight, during the NCAA finals, I whipped out a famous Mason-Dixon Buttonhole Bag. Here it is in all its pre-felting floppiness, with a Silly Putty Egg for scale:

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I made it taller than the original pattern, but it will be smaller overall since I made it with Cascade instead of the recommended Lamb's Pride Bulky. Patternworks assures me that the Cascade "felts like a dream," so I will look forward to seeing the results tomorrow.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Parker Stevenson Can't Lose

This afternoon I gave Pasha to my friend Alex during her dissertation defense dry run. She was very pleased and renamed him Parker Stevenson, which I think is just dandy. Parker Stevenson had an excellent time dressing up like a rock star and drinking a Diet Coke:

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Afterwards I made a quick Target run, where I saw their new line of learn to knit kits. Whatever--the patterns are a little tragic and the yarns are cheapy-cheap, but I'm all for people learning how to knit, so more power to them, except for this one:

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Let's leave to the side for a second the issue that it is incredibly dangerous for dogs to eat string (it can wrap around their intestines and kill them) and focus on the main problem here: Do you really want to teach your dog that it is right and good and fun to chew on knitted things? I have enough problems getting Bailey not to eat my needles.

P.S. Ashley to Time Change: You Suck.
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