Saturday, July 30, 2005  

I'm Not Ready For August

August is the month when classes start up again... and this very well may be the last "summer vacation" I get, so I'm extra-sad to see it coming to an end. But at least I can console myself with all the sweaters I (hopefully) will have ready for fall! The latest in the "almost finished" category is Brownie, a.k.a. "the teddy bear sweater" -

All the pieces are knit, and the collar is done. Next step is the i-cord facings for the zipper, and then seaming the sleeves. She'll need a good block - the collar wants to curl a bit in the back... and then she'll be ready for a zipper. And then there'll be no putting off Mariah... and then all 3 zipper-needing sweaters will be ready for a trip to the fabric store. :)

But I've had to cast on for a pair of socks - from last winter's interweave (I think...) - yarn from stash. These were originally going to be for my sister-in-law, but the yarn is a bit on the thin side, so the socks are coming out correspondingly smaller than I intended, and I'm not sure if they'll fit her anymore... so they're going to be for my friend, who has the good fortune to have slightly smaller feet than me, so I know they'll fit. I like this pattern, though, so I may buy some koigu to make a pair for my sister-in-law. And I'm actually trying to do the pattern AS WRITTEN, which means top-down - although since the heel is done with short-rows, it's not too bad. I stilll refuse to do heel-flap socks!

And why did I have to start a new pair of socks? Well, it's awfully hard to seam a sweater here:

I FINALLY made it to the beach - just for the day on Friday. It was SO nice, even if it did rain on us for a few hours in the morning! I really want to make it back at least one more time this summer, and I'd like to spend a weekend there maybe in early september. That's definitely something I miss about Santa Cruz... I loved being able to go to the beach pretty much whenever I wanted!

Well, I need to go pick up Grandma and take her to lunch - the parents are on vacation, and I get weekly lunch dates with Grandma. :) I wish she lived a little closer, though, because I'd love to take her over to the shop - she used to knit, and I'm sure she'd get a kick out of all the amazing new yarns. Plus, she's 92, amazingly cute, and just having a great time.

Speaking of having a great time, here's what you would have seen at the shop on Wednesday - he was waiting for Mommy Kristine to come back from the online store!


Monday, July 25, 2005  

Lots of Progress

I'm finally finished with the 30 cover letters... so now I'm plugging through editing a paper my professor is submitting for publication. If all goes well, I'll be a footnote!! Unfortunately, I have to take occassional "refresher" breaks from editing, or I start to let things slip by because I'm too unmotivated to really go over them properly. So I have another section of the paper to edit tonight, and then sections for tomorrow morning and Wednesday morning. (Assuming, of course, that I manage to get out of bed ontime - unlike this morning!)

But the good thing is that the breaks from editing have given me plenty of time to knit! I got together with my bestest friends (since we were 5!) this weekend, so I decided to get off my @$$ and knit up the Hermione hat I've been planning on making for her birthday (which is in August). So I cast on on Friday at the shop, and finished on Saturday evening!

I used Debbie Bliss' cashmerino aran, and the hat is SO comfy and soft! Plus, knitting it gave me hope that perhaps, someday, it will again be cold enough for hats. Currently, it's approximately 185 billion degrees outside, and even going outside to grab the mail made me want to run inside and sit in front of the A/C vent. {sigh}

I've also started Brownie - the drop stitch cardigan from the last Interweave- I've already finished both fronts! It is really nice to cast on 32 sts for an entire left front, and be done knitting it in an evening... and the design actually WORKS with the bulky yarn, so I can actually see this becoming something I love to throw on when it gets chilly. (Note that I refuse to give in to that little voice that suggests that, given the current unbelievable heat, we should all just give up on "chilly.")

The current knitting plan is to finish Brownie, finish Mariah, grab Pines II, and take all 3 for zippering. Then, I finish Trinity I finish and block my dad's vest, and start on some Christmas socks. And then, if I'm really really good, I get to start playing with some of the MDS&W yarn! But by then, I'll be back in school, and my time will no longer be my own, and I may be back to the "finish 1 project a semester" schedule. {sigh} (But at least it'll start getting cool enough to actually WEAR some of my sweaters, right?)


Tuesday, July 19, 2005  

Delayed Post

I meant to write this post yesterday, or even the day before. Alas, it was not to be, so I'm writing it today. Really, I should be writing cover letters for the 30 law firm interviews I hope to be getting, but I *HATE* writing cover letters. Especially since most of them will never be read. But if I'm going to do the Fall Interview Program this year, I may as well make the effort to do it right. {sigh}

So to disctract myself from the monotony that is the cover-letter-writing process, I'm posting a picture of the super-yummy strawberries I bought last week, and the Ghiradelli's hot chocolate mix that we dipped them in before eating them. It was SO good - just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness, without overpowering the strawberries like melted chocolate sometimes does. Plus, there's much less mess with the powdered cocoa. :)

I've also been knitting up a storm (due, no doubt, to my procrastinating with the whole cover-letter thing)... so much so, that I've now finished BOTH Trinity sleeves! This is actually a picture of the first sleeve, but I won't bother taking a picture of the second, because (you guessed it!) they're the same. :) Now I need to put in the turtleneck collar, wash all the pieces, and have a seaming party. I'll try to finish the collar this week, since I'll have access to the parent's washing machine next weekend.

Here's a close-up of the cable pattern on the sleeves (since you can't see anything in the first photo!)

I've also started a new project, but I'm too lazy to go find the camera and take more pics. So I'll distract you by showing you a pic of Cricket doing her "sea otter" impression:


Monday, July 18, 2005  


My DSL is FINALLY connected. I think it ACTUALLY should have been connected last week, but the people at Verizon insisted I had to wait until today. My wireless card is still acting strange, but I'm connecting wirelessly, so I'll wait until next time I head to campus and have the tech guys there make sure it'll connect with the school network ok.

In the meantime, it works. Just in time, too, because I really need to work on the Fall Interview Program for school. I'm shooting for 20-25 bids before I'm done (which hopefully will equal 10-15 interviews). Tonight I plan to upload my resume, and enter in the "for sure" bids... and then take stock. Hopefully I'll finish up with all my bid selections tomorrow. :)

But in more exciting news, I got my second secret pal present this weekend!!!!

From the top right corner counterclockwise:
  • I haven't tried the tea yet (sweet pear and honey) because it's approximately 2 billion degrees outside, with 99.9999999% humidity. (but don't worry - the 'heat advisory' is due to expire at 8 pm - TOMORROW. OUCH!). But the tea smells fabulous, and the packaging (a small paint can) is brilliant.
  • Then there's the list of really yummy sounding recipes. Unfortunately, all seem to require turning on the oven, or stove, or some such other heating-of-food device, and (see above). :)
  • Next up is a great mix cd - it's heading to my car as we speak. Unfortunately, as my secret pal realized AFTER she'd mailed the package, the cd also says her name and blog address. Since otherwise there'd be no surprises at the "reveal," I'm not letting myself visit her blog yet. It's taking a lot of self-control! :)
  • Then there's the beautiful card....
  • And here's where it got dangerous. In the two plastic containers were espresso brownies and cookies with daim bar bits and walnuts. Since I don't like coffee, my boyfriend valiently stepped in to rescue me from the dangerous espresso brownies. He mumbled something about "wow, yummy," but it was hard to understand because he was stuffing his face with the brownies. The cookies looked especially volatile, so I went ahead and ate them all in one sitting - I didn't want to give them time to plot. They were SO good. But the highlight was to be found in the ziplock baggie - SOUR CHERRY PECAN BISCOTTI. They didn't stand a chance, and were so amazingly yummy that I need to beg my secret pal for the recipe, because I could happily survive on sour cherry pecan biscotti to the exclusion of (almost) every other food. In fact, I really wish I hadn't eaten them all, because then I could eat some now. ;)

And there was more excitement this weekend - I finished Lacy!!! The sleeves ended up too long, but they look fine rolled, and I'm hoping I can block the lace pattern OUT, which should help to shorten the sleeves a bit.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the design, except for the sleeve length. And, as an added bonus, the sleeve cap shaping all worked out perfectly - despite the fact that the body's gauge was different from the sleeve gauge.

But I'm not the only one knitting around here... a certain someone is making great progress on his very own, custom-designed mittens! The irregulars were extremely impressed - his first real project, and on dpn's with increases, decreases, and ribbing!

Since I found myself without a project (and after doing all the finishing on Lacy, I couldn't bear the idea of working on neckbands, or armbands, or all the other details I need to work on to finish my dad's vest, or Mariah (who I'm still not speaking with), so I dragged out a REALLY old project and sized it up.

Remember Trinity? That I last worked on in OCTOBER????? I finished both the front and back, but refused to swim out to sleeve island. Well, last weekend, I dove in, and am cruising along on the first sleeve. When you've already knit the front and back, there's a lot of satisfaction to getting so much done on a project - I'll be finished in no time! :)

Cricket, while impressed with the huge cone of yarn that I'm using to knit Trinity, has decided that, despite the air conditioning, it's just too hot to move.


Thursday, July 14, 2005  

Yarn is Squishy

Or so says Holly, while trying desperately to fit even more amazing yarns into the "wall of Noro" at the shop. Apparently, knitters (and yarn store employees) refuse to allow the laws of physics to stop us from fitting even MORE yarn into a space that is drastically too small. That must be why I can keep finding places to store yarn in the apartment...

But I haven't been watching Holly battle the Noro all the time... I've actually been doing a bit of designing! Last weekend, I pulled out this (vintage 1960s - issued by the California Department of Transportation!)

And FINALLY, after much math, a beer, and some swearing, came up with this:

That I've now used to knit this:

The front and back are plain stockinette with a rolled hem, and the yarn is the organic cotton from Elann. This is my first attempt at designing set-in sleeves, so I'm crossing my fingers that all the curves will work out, especially since the gauge on the sleeves is different from the gauge on the body. It may get really interesting once I put them all together! And for next time, I ordered a set of these curves so I can have more options - they were only $4 or so at Office Depot.

I've also lined up my next project - out of stash yarn! I finally got my copy of Interweave, and I'm going to use this:

To knit this! The yarn is so unbelievably soft - I think this will be a super soft and cuddly sweater. Of course, since it's well over 90 outside, I probably won't be wearing this too much over the next few months -

And finally, Cricket would like you all to know that yes, she really did mean to fall off the windowsill mere seconds after this picture was taken. It was obviously all part of her plan.


Sunday, July 10, 2005  

Beautiful Weekend

It's amazingly beautiful outside, and I'm stuck at my desk attempting to be productive. {sigh}. But I'm supposed to be working 20 hours a week for my professor, and last week I spent almost 30 hours at either the regular or online store, so I wasn't as productive as I should have been. And now I get to make up for it!

Speaking of the online store, we're getting the fall yarns in too - luckily, I don't have to unpack them. The lovely, talented, and WAY too busy Kristine said to wait until she got back to unpack anything. No arguments here - there are 30 of those huge boxes stacked up!

Of course, one downside to spending so much time surrounded by all the yummy knitting yarns and books is that I find myself wanting to buy things. Meet the newest (and most coveted) addition to the amazon wishlist:

This book, which I snagged from Kristine's in-shop library, passed the 3+ projects test - there are at LEAST 3 patterns in it that I really really want to knit for myself (plus an amazing guy's Aran, and several adorable kids' patterns.)

First, I want to knit this:

And I REALLY want to knit this:

And I almost bought the yarn to knit this!

Of course, no yarn or book purchasing will happen if the whole WORK thing doesn't get going. The "work on your own schedule" is fantastic, and I really love the freedom - but I don't love it when I'm bad about putting in the time, and find myself with an entire weekend of work that I've neglected.

Something that was NOT neglected was poor little Scannie, who had to suffer through almost an entire week without her Mommy. Luckily, I was occassionally able to bring over reinforcements, so that she could get double the snuggles... I don't think she suffered TOO much (despite what she would say when I would come over!)

And to prove that there's a good side to almost everything, Cricket would like to demonstrate the best way to utilize a desk. She notes that laptops allow for more room, and that the important papers should be stacked neatly on one side (that way she won't have to stretch out too much to cover all of them!)


Friday, July 08, 2005  

Two FO's and A Dilema

First, thanks to my secret pal giving me a gentle shove in the "try felting, it's fun" direction, I finished knitting up my Sophie bag last night - it's all ready for a bath. Not that I have any idea when I'll get to my parents to try felting out... and I have to pick up a zippered pillow case since I don't want to ruin the parents' washer. Snoopie is hanging out for scale...

I changed the pattern slightly - I didn't do quite as much shaping, so hopefully it'll be a little wider up top, and not so tapered on the sides. Consequently, though, I had more stitches to deal with for the handles (9 instead of 6), so instead of twisting the i-cords, I made 3 and braided them. I hope it felts ok! Otherwise, I pretty much followed the pattern. If this turns out well, I have my eye on the new messenger bag in the latest knitty - I'll need more Cascade for the project, but I still have 1 skein of the grey left, so maybe I could find some coordinating colors. But one felting project at a time, eh?

After I finished Sophie, I still had almost an hour of movie left... so I forced myself to finish Trellis!

Yarn: 1824 Cotton (discontinued), Cotton Ease (discontinued)

Notes: Other than the obvious changes, I pretty much followed the pattern. The obvious changes? The color, for one - as well as some editing of the cable patterns. I don't really like twisted stitch mock cables, so I subbed regular cables, and I made sure all the cables crossed each other in mirror images for symmetry. I also added a single crochet edging which, despite my whining at late night, really wasn't too bad to do. I like the way the thicker 1824 cotton makes the collar edge ruffle a little bit! Overall, I thought this was an excellent pattern, which I would definitely make again. It would be an especially good project for someone learning finishing techniques - for such a small sweater, there are a lot of details!

Of course, with two projects now off the needles, I had to figure out what I wanted to knit next. (Un)fortunately, all of the patterns I'm thinking of doing don't actually exist - except as vague ideas in my head. So I guess I'll start working on a lacy-sleeved top in the organic cotton - since I don't know what I want to do with the shoulders and neck shaping yet, I figure I'll do all the pieces to the underarm, and then decide.

First step in the design process (after the swatching, of course) is the measuring of a sweater that fits - so I whipped out a black v-neck I knit a couple of years ago from the closet and grabbed the measuring tape. Silly me! I mean I grabbed the CAT BED and the CAT TOY. {sigh}


Wednesday, July 06, 2005  

More Presents!

I got my first secret pal present yesterday!!!! There's two skeins of cascade 220 in a FABULOUS mottled grey color, and a suggestion that I make a felted bag - she kindly included the "buttonhole bag" pattern. I'm thinking I may make a Sophie bag from Magknits instead - I've been eyeing the bag at the shop, and this is the perfect opportunity to give felting a try! I'll probably have to actually felt it over at my parents' house, though, since the coin operated machines are probably not the best choice for my first felting attempt.

Oh, and the candy? Um, I picked up the package on my way to fill orders at the online store, and I couldn't just leave it in the car to melt, right? So really, I HAD to eat it right then...

But before I can start playing with my felted bag adventure, I need to finish up the last bits on Trellis - I have 1 sleeve seam to sew, the collar to finish and attach, the buttons to sew on, and some crochet edging in the dark pink to add in. I may have a chance to finish it tonight at late night, but since I'm technically working, I may be helping Holly. But I should finish it sometime this week!

Cricket wants me to stop spending so much time at the shop (online and regular!) and start spending more time researching at my desk. She'll get her wish this weekend - I'm having DSL installed tomorrow, so I'll finally have reliable internet at home!


Saturday, July 02, 2005  


My friend Kati gave me a gift certificate to Amazon for my birthday, so I just HAD to buy new knitting books, right? I got these beauties:

I like most of the patterns in the sock book (and plan on making Kati a birthday pair from it once I find out her shoe size...), and the 1000 sweaters book is great for inspiration. Unfortunately, all of their patterns are written for DK weight yarn, and I have a fairly healthy stash of worsted, but I'm sure I'll be able to re-work the patterns as necessary. At the very least, the book gives tons of inspiration for designs! :)

I also used up my $50 credit at elann and bought some of the organic cotton before it sold out again for the year - I have 15 skeins (making my total $4.95!!), and I have no idea what I'll do with it. Just from the first few handlings, I don't like it quite as much as the Blue Sky Organic Cotton we sell at Knit Happens (SO SOFT!!), but I'm thinking a nice comfy hoodie or something similar would be really great.

Of course, I still have a couple of "clean-up" projects before I can start ANYTHING new - first, I have to finish the re-knit of Mariah's front, and take her and Pines to get zippers. Then, I have to finish the neck and arm bands for my dad's vest, as well as ends, tidying, and BLOCKING. Lots and lots of BLOCKING. And THEN I'll be allowed to start playing with my new yarn, or my sheep and wool yarn, or the stash yarn...

Until then, I'm distracting myself with the cute-ness of Trellis - since my gauge is a little off, I think I'm going to add in a section of seed stitch in the dark pink up each side seam to the armholes. I'm going to start the sleeves tonight while I snuggle with Scannie. This sweater is SO cute - I think it will definitely become a staple in the "baby gift" rotation!


patterns for sale:

ireland cardigan

yarn for sale:


email me:


Hand-Dyed Yarns



October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010


Alpine Lace
Astrakan Cardigan
Baby Gifts
Dad's Vest
Denim Skirt
Elizabeth I
Gathering Intentions
Grandma's Blanket
Henry VIII
Ireland Cardigan
Ireland Scarf
Lily of the Valley
Linen Towels
Monarch of the Glen

Print o' the Wave
R's Scarf
Rogue Cardi
Sheep and Wool
Sheepie Blanket
Silk Shrug
Tangled Yoke
Tilted Duster
Union Square Market Pullover
Wild Apple
Yarn for Sale