Monday, November 28, 2005

Knits in action

Remember how I said that I would get some better shots of Rogue over Thanksgiving, since my FO pics were so crappy? Well, I did my best. I said to my sister Courtney, aka Courker, "I need you to model your sweater so that I can take good pictures of all the cables." Here's the first attempt:

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"No, no," I said, "be normal. This is for the Internets." Silly me. I forgot the Cardinal Rule of Courkerdom: Never be normal.

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That's the best I could do. At least the color is fairly true in these.

Later, all the knits got in on the action.

Rogue helped Courker clean us all out at poker, even though she had to use sugar packets as chips.

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Hourglass got its groove on in a heated Dance Dance Revolution competition with my brother-in-law while we waited in line for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Tip: Don't play DDR in an overcrowded theater lobby while wearing a wool sweater and Uggs, especially if you are prone to overheating.)

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And many, many assorted knits showed up for the traditional family Christmas picture.

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Five people, six knits (and an uncooperative dog). Not half bad.

Monday, November 21, 2005


I did it again. (Apologies for the sucky no-natural-light photography.)

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The Shedir, she is in wool this time. And I still heart it just as much if not more. This will probably be passed on to my mom, as it is a titch big for me, but you know I'll make another one for myself.

Pattern: Shedir, by Jenna Wilson, from the Knitty Surprise, Fall '04
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Aran (creamy white, rather than the yellow of the photo), less than one skein. Splitty as hell, but what do you want for 223 yards of 100% merino for $5.49 at the Meijer?
Needles: Size 3 bamboo circs and dpns
Mods: Knit 20 brim rounds, plus a turning row. Note to self: don't knit the turning row. It makes it impossible to turn the brim up farther if, say, your hat is slightly too big.

I also re-knit my Silk Garden mitts, which, as it turned out, were absolutely too big. I reknit them on 7s instead of 8s and took out 4 stitches. Then I got craaaaaazy and improvised some thumbs:

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(When I put out my hand to take a picture of the mitt, Bailey gave me five. Awww.) I haven't woven in the ends yet because I'm not sure if they look very good, but in the end I probably won't care very much, since they add some cozy warmth, which I am so down with these days.

I'm off for Thanksgiving with the fam tomorrow and likely won't post again until next week. Happy leftovers, everybody!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

SnowWatch 2005: It Begins

And here we go. Someone wake me when it's May.

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The winner of the SnowWatch Contest is Olga! She guessed November 13--closest without going over. (Right? Nobody guessed later, did they?) Olga, email me your address. I have some yarn that wants to go home to Austin!

Update, 10:20 pm. Still snowing. Probably going to snow all night. Hmm. Perhaps you would like to see Bailey try to figure out whether she should play with snow or fight it? Of course you would.

(Thanks, Amanda, for the info on the video upload!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

OH CRAP, or, Mom Always Said, Don't Run Around on the Slightly Splintery Hardwoods Playing Soccer With the Dog in Your Favorite Koigu Socks

(please excuse the dog hair)

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Anybody know what exactly you're supposed to do with one of those darning egg thingies?

No love for the haters.

There was some major dog-hating going on in knitblogland today. It made Bailey anxious.

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Then again, maybe it was the humiliation of outerwear.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A very knitful weekend

I am newly obsessed with Noro. I resisted for so long--like I don't have enough yarn obsessions?--but then my mom picked out the Kureyon, and what could I do? I had her scarf almost finished Friday night, but realized that I wanted it a bit longer than it was going to be with only 3 skeins, so I decided to take a trip to the yarn store for another skein on Saturday morning. Then (because you need to know all about my Friday night) I watched a fascinating documentary on WWII carrier pigeons on Animal Planet, which was completely enrossing, except for when the narrator would refer to The Pigeons of War, which made me giggle and not take the whole thing as seriously as I could have. Anyhoo, as I was watching The Pigeons of War, I realized that I would have a lot of yarn left over from a fourth skein so I decided to make my mom some matching handwarmers to go with her scarf. And so I did!

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These are Ann Budd's fingerless mitts from Weekend Knitting. To make sure that I would have enough yarn for them, I knitted them first, and then finished the scarf (which ended up being the perfect length) with the fourth skein.

All well and good. But by then I was obsessed with Noro, and a little jealous of my mom's handwarmers. So, like any normal person, I went back to the yarn store and emerged with a skein of Silk Garden. Voila, the Hand/Wrist Warmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts:

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So soft and warm and shiny. I actually need these desperately because my office is not unlike the arctic tundra--yet I need to type and write there. Fingerless gloves to the rescue!

What I found fascinating about the Silk Garden is that, unlike the Kureyon, there were no color repeats at all.

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The skein started and ended with purple, so apparently each skein is roughly one repeat long. I kind of dig it, although if you had asked me beforehand I'd have said that I wouldn't.


Kureyon Scarf and Mitts
Stacey's My So-Called Scarf and Ann Budd's Fingerless Mitts from Weekend Knitting.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, Color 150, pretty much every last scrap of 4 skeins.
Needles: Random plastic 11s (scarf) and beautiful ebony Lantern Moon 9s (mitts).
Mods: None for scarf; mitts lengthened from 28 to 35 stitches.
Started: Wednesday, November 9
Finished: Saturday, November 12

Silk Garden Mitts
Pattern: Hand/Wrist Warmers from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Jolle Hoverson (women's version).
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, Color 82, 1 skein.
Needles: Bamboo Size 8 DPNs.
Mods: Knit upside down. I used the cast-on edge as the top, knit the first 32 rows, divided for thumb, then kept going in pattern until I had used up all the yarn. The equivalent of knitting a sock toe-up instead of top-down, really.
Notes: Don't forget to check errata.
Started:Saturday, November 12
Finished: Saturday, November 12

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The good kind of self-striping

My parents have been in town for the last few days, which has been nice but tiring, in the way that parental visits can be, especially when you have to fit in your own work after they go to bed. But many good things arose from the visit, not the least of which was I finally confessed to my mom that I found myself completely unable to knit her socks from yarn that was as aesthetically displeasing to me as the yarn she had picked out was. To which she said that she really hadn't wanted socks at all, and that she would rather have a scarf, and could I knit her a scarf out of the sock yarn? To which I said no, because it would still be black with neon pink, green, and yellow stripes, but that I was happy to take her to the yarn store to pick out another yarn for her scarf, and the much more aesthetic result was a few skeins of Kureyon, which I am happily working up into a My So-Called Scarf:

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The pattern is easy and pretty--I really like it. But mostly I love this particular shade of Kureyon (Color 150). Here's my favorite bit so far, where it shades from greyish-brown to turquoise, by way of a kind of verdigris.

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So pretty. This will be my go-to if I ever get around to a Lady Eleanor, I think.


I've been remiss in not blogging about the yarn I got from Kat as part of Katie's Sock Scrap Swap:

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There's Blackberry Ridge (the turquoise), Wildfoote (the small ones in front) and Running Wild (the variegated). Thanks, Kat and Katie, for the chance to try some new yarns!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Rogue, Completed

Now that my sister has opened Rogue and pronounced it "a perfect fit" (she also said, "I kind of feel like a Star Wars character with the hood up!"--I'm not sure it that's good or bad), I can show you the worst FO pic ever.

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I had it all wrapped up and was about to put tape on the package when I realized I hadn't taken of a picture of it assembled. I only had about 5 minutes before I had to leave the house, so I just dropped it on the floor, pointed, and clicked. Nothing artistic to see here.* I'll do a better job at Thanksgiving, when I can actually get a picture of my sister wearing it.

Pattern: Rogue, by Jenna Wilson
Yarn: Bartlett Rangeley 2-Ply, in Blackberry, 6 skeins. Purchased from the online shop formerly known as Knitpixie. (Shut up, Knitpicks.) I loved the sheepy, lanolin-y goodness of this yarn, and have already bought more for MY Rogue. The color was all but impossible to photograph--here it's too blue; in other shots it's too pink--but suffice it to say I made blackberry cobbler more than once when I was knitting this sweater because the color was so delicious-looking.
Needles: Addi Turbos, size 7, 32"
Mods:Added length to both sleeves and body--although not enough on th body, as it turned out. You might notice above that I left the bottom ribbing down rather than hemming it up--I was convinced, even after I added 2 cable repeats to the body, that it would be too short, and as it turns out I would have been right. When I make mine I will add 4 cable repeats; possibly even 5.
Started: Tuesday, September 14
Finished: Saturday, October 15
Recipient: Courtney, for her 28th birthday.

*Except possibly the charming gift tag I made.
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Saturday, November 05, 2005


Olga (my only real-life blog friend!) tagged me with Carolyn’s meme. Aren’t you so proud of your little meme, Carolyn? It’s been all over the blogosphere!

1. What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?

Um um um. I’m in love with everything lately. I’ve gotta go with Calmer, I think—I just binged on eBay and picked up a bunch half-price, so expect to see more Shedirs in the future. But I also truly, madly, deeply love Koigu—it is just pure pleasure on the hands.

2. Favorite needles?

Ask me this a month ago and I would have said all bamboo, all the time. But my dad’s vest, Rogue, and Hourglass were all knit on Addis. I think I’m converted.

3. What's the worst thing you ever knit?

Oh, easy. The infamous To Dye For, still sitting in the UFO pile like a nasty gorilla pelt. Anybody want some free mohair?

4. Favorite knit pattern? The most fun to knit?

Well, the fact that I’ve already started a second Hourglass argues for that, but I think the most fun to knit has been Shedir. Advantages: small size & low cost combined with enough technical difficulty to make the knitter feel accomplished, without wanting to tear her hair out.

5. Most valuable knitting technique?

I forget whose blog I saw this answer on, but I totally agree: the ability to fix things. I.e. knowing when a stitch is wonky, and being able to diagnose why it is; seeing a flub in your cabling 4 rows back and being able to drop down and fix it, etc.

6. Best knit book or magazine?

Mag: Interweave Knits (me and everybody in blogland)
Book: I’ve yet to make anything from Last Minute Knitted Gifts that hasn’t been a smash hit.

7. Favorite knitalong?

Sockapal2za, for sure, and I would say that even if it weren’t the only KAL I’ve ever participated it.

8. Favorite knitblogs?

Wendy’s was the first blog I ever read, and although we have very different tastes in sweaters, I keep reading for the sheer awe of seeing someone bang out an intricate Aran in less time than it takes me to make a sock. The gals at Mason-Dixon are not only great knitters but great writers—I can’t wait for the book. Anna is such an inspired designer and a bastion of excellent taste, and I always learn something new over at Nona’s. Finally, Eunny is a new fave, and Franklin’s Man vs. Sweater is an instant classic.

9. Favorite knitwear designer?

To look at? Rowan (yes, they’re a company, not a designer, but their aesthetic is pretty unified), although they do get some doozies in on occasion. I have never knitted a Rowan pattern, however, so I can’t say for sure. Jenna Wilson’s patterns have been the best-written I’ve ever worked with, and there are a lot of better-known designers out there who could take a lesson, is all I’m saying (yeah, I’m looking at you, Debbie Bliss).

10. The knit item that you wear the most?

The knit item that I wear most often was actually not knitted by me, but by my sister, who bravely, after having just learned to knit, made each of her bridesmaids (all 8 of us) a scarf as a thank-you gift, and personalized all of them by picking yarns that reminded her of the recipient. Here’s mine.

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Gray and nubbly, it is my constant winter companion. Thanks, Courker! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

UFOs On Parade

I've had a little case of knitting ADD since finishing Hourglass. There's been a lot to do at work lately, and my free time has been somewhat limited, which has made it hard for me to commit to much of anything. There's lots of things I should be doing, but although I've picked all of them up, I haven't really been feeling any of them.

I could finish up The World's Worst Mittens,

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which I began last Thanksgiving. Don't think they're The World's Worst Mittens?

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What about now? Those are headed for the frog pond, I think.

Instead, I could pick up my poor neglected Ruffles,

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which I would like to finish before spiral scarves are no longer trendy, but I've had to screen a lot of movies for my classes lately, and knitting in the dark isn't conducive to short rows.

On the Dutiful Daughter front, I really should get back to work on my dad's birthday vest,

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which has been frogged back to the armhole shaping, and now needs to be re-knit with 2 extra inches.

But first, I should get going on the socks I promised my mom for Mother's Day. Unfortunately I let her pick out her own yarn

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and it kind of makes me want to die.

So instead, je vous presente:

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H2. Hourglass the Second. In Elann's Peruvian Collection Baby Cashmere, held doubled. This time, with the folded-over hems.

Joelle Hoverson, you have created a monster.
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