Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Poor, poor stash!

I opened a bag with the pieces of my alpaca wrappy sweater and a worm fell out on me! Two cones of yarn are freezing whatever insect larvae may or may not be in them... the rest of the stash is freezing in the garage, mixed in with some freaky moth-killing objects that smell like urinal cakes (or so my husband claims). I'm not sure what a "urinal cake" is, but if it smells anything like those moth-objects, I'm not getting it anywhere near my mouth.

Kitty will attack birds on the screen, so perhaps he'll take care of whatever moths we have around here. (Watch The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill with your cat today!)

I haven't actually seen any moths and my stash was all bagged, so this may not end up being a major issue.

There are only a few things out for knitting. I finished some socks, which ran me right out of worsted-weight sock yarn. I just had to order more Artyarns supermerino and a little bit of something new to try.

Pattern: Toe up socks using magic cast-on and short-row heel on 48 stitches
Yarn: 1 skien of Artyarn Supermerino per sock, a truly super boot sock yarn in colour 125
Needles: Size 3 Crystal Palace DPNs

After a truly dangerous bout of second-thumb syndrome, I finished up a pair of mittens for my SIL. To make them extra snuggly, I added a ktbl lining to the cuff (one mitten is turned back so you can see the dark blue lining).

Frankly, I'm not sure I'd use this yarn for mittens again. Sure, it's soft (though processed-feeling). Unfortunately, it doesn't stick together like the Finullgarn in my beloved Frostrosen mittens, so I don't believe these will end up being really warm. Since the entire point of mittens is to be warm, I'm going to send these off to my SIL with an offer to knit her something else as well. I love the pattern, and the mittens are cool... unfortunately, the mittens may well be too cool for Canadian winters.

Pattern: Latvian Mittens chart 69 with extra ktbl cuff liner
Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull

Monday, January 29, 2007

Long time no... type

I'm sorry about the long hiatus since the last real post. It's been an interesting few weeks. First, my friend and his girlfriend came to visit. More importantly for kitty, their luggage came to visit.

Then I went to the doctor a few times. I'm doing fine, but the cardiologist did find a few heart defects. If they're the kind of defects that take over 25 years to find, then they're not really the important kind. This did, however, coincide with an attack of the intestinal flu that's been going around Boston (either that or a lot of us have been eating the same tainted food, since I just thought I had food poisoning) and then the death cold that put me down for the last week. If I passed either on to anyone else, I apologize profusely. I haven't been knitting in favour of lying down and groaning occasionally, but I did finish up a few things for my inlaws.

Ah, blocking lace. I just love this Prime Alpaca. Frankly, I think everyone loves the Prime Alpaca. I'd never knitted anything in "feather and fan" so I made this little scrap of lace for my MIL.

I swear, blocking lace has got to be the most fun finishing technique of all time, bar sewing mattress stitch seams.

There it is: a soft little warm hug for my MIL. I really hope she likes it.

Yarn: Prime Alpaca in Mist Grey
Needles: Size 6 Denise
Pattern: Two repeats of feather and fan. Repeat until scarf-sized.

I also made a (much bigger) scarf for my FIL. I hope this will successfully replace his worn out golfing scarf! He likes bright colours, so what could be nicer than Noro in entrelac? (If someone knows of something he'd like better, perhaps I could him something else... knitting for other people is a bit of a shot in the dark for me.)

Yarn: 4 skiens of Noro Kureyon in colour 164
Needles: Size 8 Denise

So fly off, my little scarfies. I hope they'll be loved. Otherwise I think I might go kidnap them back (and replace them with something the recipients like better), because I certainly like them.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quick update

I'll have some finished presents for my inlaws soon (gotta keep them warm up there in Canada!), but in the meantime, here's a short list of things I learned this week:

  1. The inside of my heart looks really cool on a screen.
  2. Tiny bubbles inside my heart look really cool on a screen.
  3. Tiny bubbles don't feel so small when you have tiny veins.
  4. Cardiologists have the strongest adhesive known to humankind and apply it wherever possible.

In a blatant attempt to distract you from my lack of pictures, go and look at kitten fluff and contemplate spinning it into yarn.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New scarf and renewed desire

I finished a scarf! It's just in time for the freaking wind of the arctic that's decended on Boston. My husband says it's not so cold. My husband's been working from home and not walking to work at 8:30am. My husband is full of it.

I wandered into Poor Little Rich Girl today while killing time after work. This vintage/consignment clothing store has an interesting (in a nice way) selection, including this lovely suit for $40 in my late grandmother's favorite colour.

I almost bought it, until I rememberd that I could knit my own with bust darts and waist shaping. I am way too excited about this. Given how badly hemp turned out for my poor fingers, I think some Euroflax is in my future.

Our houseguests are amusing kitty to keep him off my yarn, since he was all annoyed that we cleaned the house. Yes, we took the crap off of the floor and put it in... containers on the floor. It's a good thing kitty hasn't figured out the door handles, or he might try to smother us in our sleep. Instead he'll watch and wait...

I don't know about you, but I'm scared.

Yarn: Fleece Artist Baby Alpaca, a wonderful gift from my parents-in-law, in a burgundy colourway
Needles: Denise in #8 or #9
Pattern: Garter stitch on the bias, slipped stitch edging

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Officially sponsored elevator

Attention! Private elevator for the sole use of St. Joseph! All others will be fined... one SOUL! insert evil cackle here

As only one person guessed what the strange beverage was, she wins a yarny prize! May LittleLixie be further touched by His Noodly Appendage. As it turns out, she guessed something that I haven't even heard of, so I'm pretty sure she wasn't right. That drink was actually OJ, with sour cherry juice put into the bottom one straw-ful at a time. No, I have no idea why. My sister claims that cream cheese spread on graham crackers tastes like Oreos, so I suppose it could be worse. Lixie, email me your address and I'll send something fun off to you.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Unseasonable photographs of handknits

Apparently it was unseasonably warm yesterday. Every time I say to a Bostonian that the weather seems unseasonable, they rush to assure me that it's normal for Boston. It doesn't matter what the weather is; I think they'd claim this if it were literally raining cats and dogs. My coworkers are starting to admit that highs of up to 70 degrees are perhaps a trifle unusual in January, given that we are not, in fact, in California.

My husband and I missed the lovely weather entirely, though, as we're both sick. He has a cold. I seem to have picked up a bit of food poisoning (or rather, I have no other explanation for the force and duration of my symptoms). Probably because I'm a vegetarian, I haven't had food poisoning since... well, over 10 years ago, when I wasn't a vegetarian. I think I'll stick to the "no food poisoning" plan in future. Kitty's not allowed outside, but he got as close as feline-ly possible when we opened the windows.

I traded off moaning and staring at my abdomen to see if some alien was making an appearance with knitting various things, so I finally finished my RFC-making socks. Here's the best shot I got of kitty modelling them.

I've given up on that for the time being, as kitty doesn't seem to be as pliable as Krista's dog, so here's a shot of my new socks investigating their new home. If you're looking for manly sock patterns and colours, my husband thoroughly approves of these. I think this means something coming from him, considering that he owns no non-black socks.

Yes, my ankles are small, but part of the giant boot effect is the fact that these are several sizes too big and require giant socks. (My new Bearfoot socks, while thicker than Lorna's Laces, are not thick enough for these boots.) Now I just need to figure out what makes good, thick socks. The Artyarns Supermerino I've used for thick socks in the past is great stuff, but not quite as thick as I need, even knitted on size 3 needles. I can wear any colour socks, since they sit inside my boots, but I really could use some more thick wool socks.

Pattern: Ringwood stitch pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks applied to one of my stock sock "patterns"
Yarn: Mountain Colours Bearfoot in the Red Tailed Hawk colourway
Needles: Size 1 Comfort Zone bendy plastic DPNs

Friday, January 05, 2007

Progress in toyland

I haven't finished anything new (or rather, I haven't finished anything new that is dry yet), so I wanted to show you all my new toy. My friend got me something that's been lurking on my wish list for a long time: what Claudia calls a drug dealer's scale. I don't think any drug dealer worth his or her snuff (so to speak) would be using a scale that's accurate only to 1/10 of a gram, but yarn does have a certain crack-like quality. I've been wringing my hands yet again, worrying that I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish my current pair of RFC-reading socks. It's a little close this time, but I'll make it. (Four plastic needles weigh only 3.4g.)

I think this calls for a spree of stash-using, mixed yarn socks, once I finish these and the next two pairs waiting for me. What can I say: I owe my mom some nicer socks than the last ones. She was the recipient of the first thing I ever knit. Let's just say that my socks are nicer after a year of practice.

Here's a preview of my tailored cables sweater. It's grown, but it's still in the "wet" pile. I'm trying to write the shoulder shaping by hand, which should be an interesting exercise in applied mathematics. Thank heaven for bust darts, where the math is much more simple!

And just for kicks, this is my husband's favorite drink. A yarn prize to anyone who correctly identifies it!