Friday, July 22, 2005

Where have I been?

Well, a little bit here:

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But mostly here:

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Packing is a bitch. But, as you might notice, at least I have the happiness of packing in boxes that were once full of delicious yarn. I happened to show up at my LYS on recycling day, and snagged the giant pile of boxes they had sitting out from the fall shipments. I hope they have more when I go back because I have A LOT of stuff, as it turns out.

Case in point:

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Yikes. Of course, organizing the stash is more pleasant than packing the stash, but it's all relative. It was kind of frightening to see how many projects I have in the pipeline because, yes, honestly, almost all of that yarn has a specific project attached to it, but apparently I have not had the gumption to knit any of them. Which means I better hurry up and finish my Sockpal Socks and my Secret Gift Project so that I can get some sweater-knitting underway.

To that end, after I sorted everything by weight and fiber, I left out the yarn that will be accompanying me to Michigan in the car:

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Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed for SGP
Lorna's for Sockpal Sock #2
Koigu for Broadripple #2
Handpainted Yarn Bulky Merino in Rhodesian for Honey, from the Rowan Ribbon Twist collection. I.E. Winter Sweater #1. Should be a pretty quick knit, what with the size 17 needles and all. 17s! Ha!

I know I'm behind on answering emails and comments--I'll be back up to speed soon!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Things I Will Miss In Austin (Part 2), and a Finished Sock

3. Bailey's Dog Parks

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Austin has 13 leash-free parks, many of which incorporate creeks and lakes--just the thing for those 120-degree days. Our favorite is Redbud Island (pictured above), which is great because the dogs have the run of the whole entire island--play field, woody middle, and lots of mud (and ducks to chase) on the edges. As I've learned, Grand Rapids does have a dog park (and it even has its own blog), but it's only a fenced-off portion of a city park, and I'm afraid it just won't be the same.

4. Redbud Trees

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Austin is covered with these in the spring (or the two brief weeks that pass for spring around here) and they make me so happy. I love a flowering tree. I know that there are actually plenty of equivalents in the north, so I won't feel totally deprived, but I will miss the redbuds.


Sockapal-2-za sock #1 is finished!

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Sorry the pic is so dark--it showed the cable better than the shot with truer color. I'm going to have to figure out how to block these before I send them out; when they're not filled with diet coke cans (the leg is exactly 2 cans tall, although they'll be shorter once they're stretched around something wider than a diet coke can, e.g. a leg), they look like a crumpled mess, since the braid section pulls in so much. Has anyone used those plastic sock blockers? Are they adjustable for size?

Off to pack 4 boxes, and then I can start toe #2 as a reward. Packing. Bah.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Genius Dog

For a graduation present, a bunch of my dear sweet friends gave me a month's worth of tuition to Bailey's dog school, which I was going to drop out of due to upcoming moving expenses. Well, their investment totally paid off. On Saturday, Bailey passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen test, and last night she passed her dog school exam to officially graduate from the Humaner Trainer Canine Academy (I know, I know--not only am I dorky enough to send my dog to school, I am dorky enough to blog about it. You knew that though.)

Anyway she did so well last night that she was allowed to bring home Purple Squeaky Man.

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Purple Squeaky Man was Bailey's absolute nemesis during focus exercises--squeak that thing near her and she'll break a stay every time. But not last night! No siree. Now she is carrying Man around with her constantly, and, shockingly, has not eviscerated him yet. Perhaps she is turning over a new leaf? Or perhaps she just loves Man.

The cables on the Sockapal2za socks are coming along--the Lorna's is showing them nicely, see?

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I think I might be done with this one by the end of the week. I had a breakthrough yesterday where I realized I didn't need the chart any more--that was satisfying, since it lets me go faster. But unfortunately, since the stitches are so small and fiddly, I do need a cable needle, which is slowing things down a bit. And what, you might ask, am I using for a cable needle on those tiny stitches? Well, they don't call it toothpick knitting for nothing.

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Monday, July 11, 2005


After surveying my vast sock wasteland (count: 1 finished Broadripple, 1.5 finished Red Sox Sox, .25 finished Earth Day Socks) over the weekend, I have realized that my compulsive sock startitis is going to have to take a backseat to my two deadline knitting projects: the Sockapal-2-za socks and a secret gift project, both of which should be finished by the beginning of September. Which, yes, that's a long way away, but here's the thing: I am a slooooow knitter. Dogged, but slow, especially when things involve cables and math and counting. So, to be on the safe side, I am temporarily setting aside all me-related sock projects and have gotten a move on the deadline projects. (Plus my hands hurt from all those tee-tiny needles.)

First, a periwinkle Lorna's foot:

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I'm ready to start the cables up the sides, and will probably do so during Rockstar: INXS tonight. (Yay summer reality crap!)

And then the secret gift project. You won't see too much more of it than this until I actually get it to the recipient, but if you are in possession of the Spring 2005 IK, you can see the pattern on page 52.

I'm using Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Granary. This shot is pretty representative of color:

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but you can see the pattern better here:

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So, two good-faith starts; I'm envisioning devoing alternating knitting days to them so that neither project feels neglected. And also to give my hands a break--let me tell you, Addi 6s feel like heaven after the 0s I'm using for the socks.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Why, it's a finished Broadripple!

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Doesn't it fit me well?

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Good thing it does, because it doesn't fit my pal. Whoops. I had a moment of clarity wherein I realized that I think of my foot-length measurement the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts way, i.e. from the tip of the longest toe to the ankle bone (since that is where you stop knitting the foot and start making the heel). The Sockapal-2-za measurement, however, encompasses the whole length of the foot. So my pal's feet are actually the same length as my foot from toe to anklebone. The circumference is the same though--I'm not totally crazy.

So, the cabled periwinkle Lorna's it is. Actually, I kind of like having fate (or stupid maths) make this decision for me, since now I don't have to.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Things I Will Miss in Austin (Part 1)

Since I'm leaving here soon, I thought I should record some things that I will miss most when I am in Michigan (less than a month now!). Perhaps a weekly Thursday installment?

First, the #0 breakfast taco at Mi Madre's, aka Nature's Most Perfect Food:

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I don't know where they get their bacon from, but my best guess is Heaven.

Also, the Michelada at El Chile:

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If you aren't familiar, the michelada is a mixture of beer and lime juice, seasoned with chili rub. It is delicious, and at El Chile it comes in what is referred to as a "schooner." I will say only that I need two hands to lift the schooner safely.

You might have observed that the michelada is hanging out with my Dani's Earth Day Yarn sock. The Broadripples are coming along as well, but the Earth Days are better traveling companions since they are straight stockinette and require nothing in the way of maths. (Yes, I consider counting math. That is how I am.) I am currently carrying them around in a pencil case that I found at Borders and am completely enamored of:

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It's the perfect size for 7" DPNs, and in case you didn't notice, it features a warthog wearing a dinner napkin:

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Tres charmant!

(I'm focusing on charming and delicious things here as a means of forgetting what happened in London this AM. But in truth I have been sick and sad all day because of it. And listening to Bush pontificate about "bringing the culprits to justice" makes me feel nauseated and miserable--almost as miserable as the attacks themselves. These are not good times.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sock Whore! Sock Whore!

A couple of weeks ago, Dani was auctioning off some of her beautiful hand-dyed sock yarn to benefit the Preemie Project, and I ended up as the high bidder. Which was awesome, because even though Dani posted the kool-aid formula for the yarn, let's face it: I'm way too lazy to do it myself, especially when somebody else has already done it for me. (And it helps charity, people. Charity!) Plus it was totally worth it because the yarn is so pretty. See?

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I swear I only meant to wind it into two balls and put it in a ziploc so it could travel to Michigan safely, but I accidentally might have made a toe.

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Because clearly, two pairs of socks going at once are not sufficient.

Weekend Stuff

Texas. The Fourth of July. 1 zillion degrees outside. What are a very bored girl and boy to do with their day off?

Why, go ice skating, of course!

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This was my genius idea, except that it turned out to be less than genius, because ice skating is HARD and makes you hot and sweaty, and even though you are standing on a giant ice cube, it is a giant ice cube in the middle of a mall, and it's still like 70 degrees in there. Afterwards we had to eat very big Blizzards to cool off.

I also worked in some knitting time this weekend. Having sat down with my sock pal's info and translated her measurements (centimetres) into American, I realized that, lo and behold, we have the same size feet! I don't know whether this is an astonishing coincidence, or a work of mad genius on Alison's part, but it is important information, because it helps me resolve my sock dilemma: I can make BOTH pairs, send my pal the pair that comes out better, and keep the other for myself! I started with the Koigu Broadripples:

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I really like this pattern for this particular colorway, which I think of as very under-the-sea. I'm ready to work the heel, as soon as I rip and redo about six rows. (I tried to be all showoffy and knit in the dark as Marc and I plowed through Season 1 of Six Feet Under on DVD. Note to self: Don't do that anymore.)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Thanks Secret Pal!

Bailey and I came home from the dog park this morning to find a very exciting Secret Pal Package waiting for us! (I say "us" not (just) because I'm a crazy dog lady but because there were presents for Bailey too).

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Look at that! Beautiful Mango Moon sari yarn, pretty cotton yarn in a tweedy teal (perfect for socks!, a set of homemade stitch markers, a cool card with a knitted border that will be very handy as a bookmark (pal, you're going to have to tell me how to do that!), and that puffy blue thing in front, which actually turns into a whole entire tank top!

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And there was also salt water taffy, one of my faves, and something you don't really get in landlocked Austin, and best of all as far as Bailey is concerned, GREENIES! Bailey loves a greenie, but, since they cost an arm and a leg, is normally only allowed to have them after she eats gross stuff like cat poo because I cling to the belief that they actually clean her mouth out. Because they're toothbrushes, see?

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That was a freebie, by the way--no cat poo was consumed before the eating of that greenie.

Thanks Secret Pal! I can't wait to figure out what I'm going to make with the yarns...
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