Tuesday, November 28, 2006  

Things that Should Be Easy

So my "new to me" cell phone arrived in the mail, as promised, yesterday. I promptly called the 888 number to activate it. Everything was going smoothly until we got to the part where I actually program my phone to know its own number - you enter ##123123#. Or at least that's what they told me... it didn't work. So they transferred me to tech support... after 1 hour and 45 minutes on hold (thankfully I can multi-task) - I hung up and went to work out because I couldn't take it anymore.

So this morning, after class, I headed over to the Spr*nt store near my school to have THEM activate the stupid phone. Only to discover that, since LAST WEEK, they had closed the store - signs removed, windows painted over, and no little helpful "we've closed, visit our other locations" to let me know where to go.


So I called customer service AGAIN, and spoke with someone who may possibly have more intelligence than a piece of dryer lint, and she suggested entering ##123123OK. Which, of course, worked perfectly.

End result? I finally have a functional cell phone, and, as a bonus, I have a renewed determination to drop Spr*nt as soon as my contract is up.


Sunday, November 26, 2006  

I Should Be Studying...

But heck, blogging doesn't REALLY count as goofing off, right? Anyway, I'm skipping class tomorrow to finish up my outlining, so, ummm, somehow that counts as being a responsible student. Or something like that.

Much excitement chez-moi the last few days - thanks to my cell phone, gravity, and the hard, unyielding concrete sidewalk. The phone - it is dead. Poor thing... but thanks to ebay, I should have a replacement in my mailbox tomorrow, and will soon be back in touch with the outside world. I would have just gotten a new phone, but I'm planning on switching carriers in February, so I went with "cheap that will will last me 3 months." All things considered it hasn't been too much of an inconvenience - I've just been sitting in front of my computer outlining, with small breaks to eat some turkey and go on some puppy walks, so I've been able to live without the cell phone tolerably well.

I've been knitting off-and-on on the cabled shrug I'm making for my friend Jen by request for those "chilly Albuquerque nights." The yarn is some blue faced leicester that I dyed in lightly variegated dark greens. The yarn was billed as a DK, but after a soak, it blossomed into more of a light worsted - very pleasant to work with. The pattern is my own, and one that I hope to write up and offer to the internets as a freebee if I can ever get it done!

And yes, that IS our Christmas tree serving as a background... once my roommate comes home, we'll get it decorated. I also bought some white pine garland - tree+garland = $35... and it makes the house smell so yummy!

Ok, that's about all the even moderately interesting content I've got, so I think it's time for the parade of cute pet pictures. Because, you know, they're so abused....

Making its debut in the 2006 Winter Olympics is this year's knuckle-biting sport of SYNCHRONIZED SUNNY SPOT. Here, you see the world-champion Abby/Cricket team demonstrating a mirror-image half-moon layout. Fantastic form.

And when the team isn't hard at work competing, Abby moonlights as a couch pillow...

Right - off to study some more. And then off to pie night --- mmmmmmm, Smithwicks and Guinness-Beef-Stew in puff pastry. SO GOOD.

And I still have some hand-dyed yarns and some destashing yarns left for sale!

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Friday, November 17, 2006  

Hand-Dyeing Fun

I re-wound all of the hand-dyed sock yarn that I did on Wednesday, and I'm really REALLY happy with how it turned out! I did 5 different colors -


Tropical Vacation

Purple Haze

Autumn Evergreens

Shades of Autumn

The yarn is 100% blue faced leicester, and it's superwash. I haven't knit with it yet, but it is SO soft and really shiny - it almost looks like it has some tencel mixed in or something. It bloomed a lot in the dye baths - when I first felt it, I thought I had made a HUGE mistake - it felt somewhat like twine. But a quick dunk and rinse turned it into something completely different.

I've put 3 of the skeins up for sale here (the next post), but the bottom 2 - the "autumn evergreens" and the "shades of autumn" have already been claimed - S wants socks out of the former, and my roommate wants a skinny scarf out of the latter.

I think my favorite colorway is the "Tropical Vacation" - I love the way the blues and greens blend together. I have to resist the urge to bust out the dyepots again today - I have so much other stuff to do, and anyway - my new dye colors haven't arrived yet!



Thursday, November 16, 2006  

Socks and Yarn

I just couldn't deal with life yesterday, so I stayed home. I've been relatively healthy this semester (knock on wood!), so I haven't missed any classes with colds or anything, so I figured I'd take a mental health day. On the agenda? Finish up some socks and dye some yarn.

First up were S's "boy socks" - I dyed this camo yarn, and I really love how it knit up. And S was so excited to be getting a new pair of socks -

In this picture, you can see a curious phenomenon. See, I split the 440 yards of sock yarn into 2 equal balls. I finished the first sock, and had leftovers of the first ball, so I started on the second, figuring that it would only last me a few inches before I had to get the other half of the yarn. What you see below is how far the yarn stretched - and I wasn't even done yet!!!! How is it that when you have no more yarn, that little bit you have left lasts about 2 inches, whereas if you have an ample supply, you never run out? Is this a slight variation on the "knitting black hole"?

But anyway, all done. I love them, S loves them, and the K2P2 ribbing was EXACTLY what my poor little brain needed (Chaos - you're a genius!) I'm definitely going to try to recreate this colorway. I tried yesterday, but, well, not so successful.

I also finally wove in the ends of my "copper socks" - knit out of the socks that rock yarn I overdyed. I still haven't decided if these are for me, or for a gift.

And finally - yarn dyeing goodness.

Top Row (l-r) - worsted handpaint for hot water bottle cover, 800 yards dk blue faced leicester for a shrug for a gift.
Middle Row - blue faced leicester superwash sock yarn - two shades of autumn and variegated reds.
Bottom Row - more handpainted blue faced leicester superwash sock yarn.

I'm planning on selling some of the handpainted sock yarns. Lord knows that I do not need all of this yarn, but dyeing is so unbelievably addictive that I CAN'T STOP. And the blue faced leicester is AMAZING. So as soon as I decide which of the skeins I want to keep, I'll put the rest up for sale. And speaking of, I added some more commercial sock yarns to my destashing page - link in the sidebar. I'm in a big "de-clutter" mood recently, and since I just got the bill for all of the undyed blue faced leicester yarn AND the new dye colors I, ummmm, "had" to buy, I figured that all of this yummy yarn deserves to go to a better place than my stash drawer. I'm even going so far as to take all of the "for sale" yarn and put it in its own little box so that I can't be tempted to keep it all.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006  

Next Project Angst

I know - I know - the serious dilemmas I face in my life - but I don't know what to knit next! This weekend, I'm concentrating on finishing up my last two UFOs - the Gathering Intentions cabled sweater (finish seaming, weave in ends, do something with the collar, and block the whole thing) and the Silk Shrug (finish seaming, finish edging, weave in ends). I'm still plugging away on the cabled socks, but honestly, even though I love the way they LOOK, I'm really not loving the whole knitting on them thing. But I'll definitely keep going, and finish the first one before I make a decision on the second. I'm having a ton of trouble making the cuff large enough so that I can get it onto my foot, but not too large so that it looks ridiculous around my somewhat-small ankles. I'm giving my latest attempt a few more rounds before I try it on again.

So what next? I just ordered a bunch of DK weight undyed blue-faced leicester, and plan on making this shrug from Interweave (free pattern). I'm thinking shades of green for the dye-job. And it's not for me - it was specifically requested by one of my bestest friends for those chilly New Mexico evenings.

But after that? I think part of the problem is that the next few "big" projects I've got bouncing around in my head will require some significant design input, and, frankly, I just don't have the brain-power right now. So perhaps I'll dye up some more of the dk yarn and knit a cardigan similar to this one (knit out of koigu)? I like the idea of a nice, basic, boring project to see me through the next few months. But we'll see.

And yes, part of my reluctance to start any of my "big design projects" is that both of them will probably use some of my cormo stash. And, frankly, I'm not sure if I'm ready for that step yet - knitting up my cormo before I can buy more? Pass the paper bag, I think I may hyperventilate...



Tuesday, November 07, 2006  

Thoughts on Cables

Since publishing my first pattern (for the Ireland Cardigan), I've realized that I've made some inadvertent mistakes in the charts... but then I've thought about whether they really are mistakes? Basically, I like symmetry. I like cables to mirror-image each other. So much so that in other patterns, I'll switch the direction of a cable if the pattern wasn't written for mirror-imaged cables. But in my own pattern, when I was writing it up, I didn't switch the cable direction on the sleeves - I kept the 2 side cables crossing the same direction. I figured it would be less confusing. Likewise, on the center cable on the sleeve (that repeats on the fronts), I kept the center cable crossing the same direction each time. However, when I knit my sweater, I alternated the crosses because it seemed more "symmetrical."

So I guess my impression is that if people really care about mirror-image vs. identical cable directions, they'll change the pattern. But is that just me? Am I just a freak for changing the "called for" cable directions so they'll be symmetrical?

Yeah. On a day when millions of Americans are voting to decide the direction of this country, when I have a pile of law school reading that threatens to smother me, and I still haven't managed to get the latest issue of my journal to press, I'm thinking about whether cables should mirror-image each other. Perhaps I have a problem...


Sunday, November 05, 2006  

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

I've been feeling recently that I'm working like crazy, and still only barely managing to stay caught up. School is insane, and finals are just around the corner - and the journal is a huge time-suck. I'm managing to have some (probably too much) 'relaxing' time, but it's definitely at the expense of future insanity. Oh well - such is life. And all things considered, my life is fantastic, so I should probably quit my whining.

So onto the knitting - yesterday, Erin and Carolina and I broke out the dyes and got busy. Our attempts at handpainting were SO much better than our first attempts a few months ago ... I dyed three different colorways of sock yarn. This one is my favorite:

And in this one, I successfully dyed "tone on tone" with different shades of rosy pinks/reds...

And this is my "boy yarn" for S. He's very excited at all of the browns and greens...

And yesterday, a group of Irregulars headed on a "Stitches Field Trip." Like Carolina, I was, overall, disappointed with the vendors as I would have liked to have seen more small, independent vendors rather than so many yarn stores. However, I did find a few cute things, including the adorable "lambscape" in the bottom corner -

And I also bought a new knitting bag from this etsy seller, and I love it - the chicken is SO happy. And yes, I bought a tape measure to match, but technically the tape measure is for S since he likes chickens so much, so it's not really THAT bad, is it? Wait, don't answer that.

And I have been knitting here and there - currently I'm working on Eunny's Chuck's Cabled Socks. I've had to start these socks approximately 2 billion times before I finally got everything correct, but now I'm loving them...

And finally, in a nice segue between the knitting content and the cute pet content, here's where Cricket hung out yesterday while we all dyed yarn (well, when she wasn't trying to eat Erin's roving) -

Okay, and now to the cute animal pictures.

The Great Wuss-Out of 2006

The weekend before Halloween, S and I tried to squeeze one last camping trip in before it got too cold. We set up camp, had a lovely hike run to Elkwallow for lunch and then back - about 4 miles round trip. We saw the beautiful fall foliage. We commented that it was starting to get a little windy, so we went into the tent to give someone a chance to take a nap (she won't sleep outside of the tent - too exciting!) It was starting to get pretty cold, so we snuggled her all up...

After a nice nap, Abby woke up and decided it was time for tummy rubs...

"I'm cute! Rub my tummy!"

After another walk, we decided we'd better go ahead and cook dinner before it got dark. It was so windy that our food was literally being blown off of our plates, so we ended up sitting in the back of my car to eat. At which point we realized that it was SNOWING. With winds of 40-50 mph. So, mostly because I made grumpy noises, we bundled everything back into the car and came home, had hot chocolate, and took a nice hot bath.


Thanks to the lovely folks at Trader Joe's, we got one of the biggest pumpkins I've ever carved - it was almost 2 inches thick! Luckily, we figured out what we could do with all of the extra pumpkin pieces... she also really likes squash.

And on Halloween Night, we took Abby to the doggy halloween happy hour in Old Town. She went in her bumblebee costume, and even though everyone thought she was adorable, she didn't really love the whole costume thing. In fact, she hated it - see the look of death she's giving me??

Ok - time to watch football and eat the homemade dried cherry biscotti I just made (verdict - good, but not GREAT. I'll have to keep experimenting.)

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Thursday, November 02, 2006  

Wooo Hoooo!

So tomorrow I'm going on a "yarn field trip" to Stitches - final details being worked out, but I'm totally looking forward to partnering with Erin for another yarn orgy shopping event. After all, MDS&W was a blast...

And I have lots of pictures. I'm going to attempt to sit down at home tonight and actually upload photos and everything, but right now I'm trying to get through the last 2 hours of my law school week. A week, I might add, that started with carbon monoxide poisoning thanks to my law review office. So it's been one of those...

Right. Back to class. Or perhaps perusing the vendor list for stitches...


patterns for sale:

ireland cardigan

yarn for sale:


email me:


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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