Saturday, January 28, 2006

Isn't it enough that I can't buy pants?

So, basically, if you are a person who does not have freakishly long legs? You will be able to make a pair of knee socks out of two skeins of Lorna's Shepherd Sport.

Me, on the other hand? I have made a fattest-part-of-my-calf sock.

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Sigh. But seriously, if it is less than 22 inches from the floor to your kneecap, you should start some of these right away, because they are super warm and cozy. I've been flat out with the flu for the past few days, but I've been plugging away at these, because I am so convinced that wearing them will cure me of all sickness--that is how cozy they are.

While I keep going on the other one, a meme from Elizabeth:

4 jobs you have had in your life

Book buyer
General lackey for a labor union's PAC
Admin assistant for The McLauglin Group (Ok, that was a temp job and I was only there for a week and a half, but it was HI-larious)

4 movies you could watch over and over

Bull Durham
Say Anything
The English Patient (but only when I need cathartic weeping)

4 places you have lived

Washington, DC
South Bend, IN
Austin, TX

4 TV shows you love to watch

What Not to Wear
24 (a new addiction)
(N.B. I am kind of a dork)

4 places you have been on vacation

Eagles Mere, PA
Prince Edward Island. (worst. vacation. ever.)

4 websites you visit daily
I Blame the Patriarchy
The Vine
Go Fug Yourself
Cute Overload

4 of your favorite foods

Breakfast tacos from Mi Madre's
Kraft mac & cheese
anything with goat cheese, pretty much

4 places you would rather be right now

London (just to shake things up a bit)

4 bloggers you are tagging

Has anyone not done this? If not, you're tagged.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The bullet I thought I could dodge.

Dear Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, Colorway Black Pearl,

I thought we could work things out. I swatched with you so dilligently, trying to find a pattern that would make us both happy: I'd get your pretty colors and insane softness, you'd get to display those colors in stripes, rather than big, ugly pools that would make me hate you and wish you'd never been born. And for a time, I thought we'd figured it out. You, me, the size two needles, the tuck-and-rib pattern from the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary--we had chemistry. It was beautiful.

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But then. Oh, then. I had to go and switch things up. I was just looking for a little variety, a little novelty in our relationship. I mean, I know we'd only been together for a couple of days at that point, but it was time to try something new and exciting, something that would help us move forward together even faster. It was time for size three needles.

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Why? Did it really make that much of a difference to you? It was such a small change, such a little thing. And yet it totally changed our relationship. It was, as they say, a rough patch. Frankly, I wasn't sure we were going to make it. But we'd come that far together, and I guess I thought I owed it to both of us to keep going. After all, relationships are about compromise, right?

I've gotta say, though, I'm glad you came back to your senses when I threw in some calf increases.

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Because really, there's only so much I can give.



Dear knitting socks with sport-weight wool as opposed to fingering,

I love you. Will you marry me?

Love, Ashley


Dear Bailey,

I'm not at all sorry that I put my super extra long sock on your snoot to try to make you look like an elephant for my blog.

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I'm only sorry that you couldn't hold still for one goddamn second while I took a picture.

But if you could please not eat me in my sleep, I'd appreciate it.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Who can wait for natural light?

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Pattern: Broadripple, by Rob Matyska. There used to be a Koigu adaptation on the Threadbear website, but I can’t find it there anymore. Essentially, you cast on 72 stitches instead of 56 and distribute the extras evenly.

Yarn: Koigu 411, 2 skeins. Although you can’t really see it in the photo, the 2 socks, although ostensibly from the same dyelot, are pretty different in color. Go figure.

Needles: Clover Bamboo Size 1s, my standard for Koigu socks. Bound off with Bryspun 3s.

Notes: When I first saw the Jaywalkers (do I even need to link?), I (like Olga) thought, hey! Those are just like Broadripples! Well, they’re similar, but I think, in the end, Broadripples have a big advantage. Word on the blog street is that the Jaywalkers don’t have a lot of give to them. The Broadripples have that straight section between the chevron bits, which has a more give than the slanted stitches, and if you really wanted to up the stretch quotient, you could even rib that part. They don’t look as cool as the Jaywalkers, maybe, but they have more fit options, which is what you want in a sock.

Begun: July 2005
Finished: January 22, 2006, during the Steelers’ AFC Championship victory. Which rocks because I heart Jerome Bettis.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Entrelac and a Meme

Several people have commented or mentioned in email that entrelac looks hard. Well, as I or anyone who's knitted Lady E or a Market Squares bag or Danica can tell you, it's actually easy as pie. What it is, at least for me, is really hard to visualize, just from looking at the patterns, which are all "tier 2" and "side triangle" and "huh?" So. Here's what entrelac looks like.

Essentially, you're making short rows without the wraps, so that little sections of your knitting can grow up independently of each other. Once you've got the set-up row done (just follow the pattern; it won't seem like it makes sense, but it does in the end) you'll start building some little blocks, which, again, exist separately of one another, like crenellations, as long as we're being medieval about it:

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To build the next tier, you'll be picking up stitches between those crenellations, along the top of the block below:

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Then you SSK (or p2tog on the WS) to join this new block to the next crenellation.

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Then you can either turn your work and purl back over the new stitches, or if you are smart you will learn to knit backwards, which I did not until about 40 inches in, because I am dumb. I'm smart now though.

Then, knit back over the new stitches, slipping the first stitch, SSK, and repeat. Gradually, the new block will incorporate the stitches from its neighbor:

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Once you've got that block done, just move to the next. See? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Olga tagged me for a meme, so here goes:

The Quirk Meme: Things You May Not Need to Know About Me:

1. I have the ashes of my before-Bailey dog, Snickers, in a can inside of a shoebox in my closet.

2. I am seriously addicted to Diet Coke. I'm a four-can-a-day drinker.

3. I'm actually a pretty good cook, and can make perfectly yummy food (like the lovely chicken piccatta I made last night), but I have a serious soft spot for incredibly disgusting white trash food like Hamburger Helper, or my favorite-heh-casserole: spaghetti with canned turkey gravy and french cut (because then it's fancy) green beans. Or this awesome white-trash version of pain au chocolat: Nutella rolled up in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Admit it: you want to go make them right now.

4. I hate feet. Like, skin-crawling, stomach-turning hate. Please, internets: stop showing me pictures of half-knitted socks with people's feet sticking out of them.

5. I always get a milk (wine, juice, coffee...) mustache. I think my mouth might be shaped funny.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Welcome Back IK!

The IK Spring Preview is up, and I can see about 6 patterns that I LOVE. (As opposed to the Winter IK, in which there were about 6 patterns that I would rather put my eyes out than wear, and the rest of which were meh at best.)

But oh, IK. Really?

A knitted fanny pack?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Find Me a RenFaire, Stat!

As Cordelia and Elizabeth guessed, the mysterious piece of entrelac from my last post is indeed Lady Eleanor. Six-and-three-quarters balls of Noro Silk Garden in, she is a respectable 43 inches--just over halfway to go:

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(Look! The sun was out! It's an MLK Day miracle!)

The Silk Garden has a little bit of a saga behind it; I became quite obsessed with the colorway I knit my wristwarmers with, so when I saw 10 balls of it on Ebay for half price, I couldn't resist. Yay! Except, boo. Because I got the number wrong: I liked 86, and I accidentally got 82, which, although it has similar colors--blue, green, purple, berry, brown, grey--is quite a bit less vibrant:

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In the end, I decided that a more muted colorway was probably fine for Lady E, since she is a piece with quite a bit of inherent drama, but, as a compromise, I got 3 balls of 86, thanks to the lovely gift certificate to my local that Santa brought me, and am adding it here and there for a pop of color:

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So. There's that. But now she's too big for bus knitting, and, since one of my New Year's resolutions is to take the bus to school instead of driving, I had to start a second project.

Remember this? After 6 mateless months, it's finally getting a friend.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Can't talk now...

...knitting obsessively.

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(ow my hands)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Holiday Knitting

What else did I knit over break?

A majority of my knitting time was spent on my Dad's Secret Gift Vest--he asked for it to be made about two inches longer, so I ripped back to the armholes and added in a repeat and a half of the cable pattern. Et voila:

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(My dad: "Are you going to put that on the internet?"
Bailey: "Iloveyouiloveyoupleasepayattentiontomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!")

It was a pain to redo, but he wore it like 8 times after I finished it, so I'm glad I put the work in. I also renewed my obsessive love of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed--I must make myself something out of it.

I also knit but did not photograph a final minisweater, with a Texas Longhorn on it (although it kind of maybe looked more like a reindeer) and, as very last-minute Christmas gift, a pair of LMKG armwarmers in the leftover Rio de la Plata from my sister's hat.

Then I spent many hours on these:

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Which are really these:

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I just liked that closeup. Both of these hats were attempts to knit myself something that I loved as much as my sister's hat. I totally failed. The striped one--cute, but not for me. Plus it doesn't fit; I think I might send it to Dulaan or something. It's knit, incidentally, out of some totally sketchy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino knockoff I picked up at my parents' local craft store, AC Moore:

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We don't have AC Moore here, but I wish we did, because I would Live the Fantasy ALL THE TIME. OMG so soft. I like calling acrylic microfiber, don't you? It makes it sound so much classier.

The maroon hat I actually have been wearing quite a bit, but I've decided it needs a makeover. First of all, it's a bit airy: it's Lorna's Shepherd Worsted (in Manzanita) which I love love love--so soft and cuddly--but I knit it on 7s, and I think it really wants to be on 6s or maybe even 5s. And second, the teeny tiny stripe in it is the last scraps of the Manos from my sister's hat and scarf and I want MORE.

So I got more.

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Bwahahahaha. Soon my hat too will be insanely cute.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I had a long and witty post about where I'd been (Pennsylvania) and why I hadn't been blogging (dial-up. Hate you dial-up! Hate you so much!) and then Blogger ate it. Hate you Blogger!

Here's what was important:

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The Hawk Will Never Die, last seen with one sleeve left to go, was completed, with much ripping and reknitting of the above-the-armpits stuff, on the 23rd--two whole days before Christmas!

Unfortunately, I'm not super excited about the finished product. I really wish I had used a worsted-weight yarn, rather than a bulky, not least because when I was doing the raglan decreases, I ended up having to K3 (or SSSK, depending) to get the appropriate combination of length and width, and it looks lumpy:

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Blech. Problem two, it's hella hot. Nevertheless, the Pinto Bean (my BIL) seemed really excited about it, and put it on right away, as did my sister with my much-coveted hat and scarf set. Aren't they cute?

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Sadly, this is not yet quite an FO, since it binds a little in the pits--I'm going to rip the top back again and do some adjusting--but it's near enough for an FO Roundup.

The Hawk Will Never Die
Pattern: My own. (although next time? Just get a freakin' pattern.)
Yarn: Lambs Pride Bulky; 4 skeins Medieval Red, 5 skeins Creme
Needles: 10.5: Brittany DPNs for sleeves and collar; random plastic circs for body
Started: December 6, 2005
Finished: December 23, 2005
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