Friday, April 28, 2006

Bilateral symmetry you are my nemisis!

Damn humans with their two feet. I have a severe case of PMSSS (for the uninitiated, that stands for Pre-Mature Second Sock Syndrome) and as such I have a question for all of you:

Once you finish turning the heel of a sock do you suddenly knit in slow motion?

I seem to.

I did up the top of that sock in no time flat. The heel took some time because I had to rip it out to get the reinforcing thread right but still, it was fairly quick. Then I picked up my gusset stitches and started the decreases. That was Wednesday. Today is Friday and I've gotten through the decreases but not much further. I'm treading against the tide trying to do the foot of this thing and going nowhere.

And there's another whole sock to do!

Now I remember why I don't knit socks much. I'm bad at finishing one thing let alone one two-part thing!

Damn your two footedness human kind! Damn it!

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How'd I get on this bandwagon?

Yeah, it is what you think it is (Notice the unintentional diffused glow that alerted me to clean the camera lens, makes it look almost other worldly, eh?). It's a Jaywalker. I don't know what compelled me to do it but suddenly I looked down and I had an inch of ribbing on my size 1US DPNs. I swear I don't even remember winding that skein of All Things Heather (gift from the lovely Keohinani) into a ball but there was that inch of ribbing and it was time to start that pattern stitch. I've picked up and put down the DPNs quite a few time since I found that ribbing in my hand and I'm always astonished at how quickly it seems to be going.

Until I got to the heel.

Now, I've made socks before and I have never understood why some people don't get turning a heel. To me it seems intuitive. I've never had any heel turning trouble to talk tabout (the alliteration is out of control!). The trouble I had with this particular sock was with the reinforcing thread. I couldn't seem to choose one. They all looked crappy. I'm not sure I'm happy with the one I ultimately chose but I do know that I'm not ripping that damned heel out again.

Also, purling across a sliped stitch heel pisses me off. I don't like it.

I am pretty proud of how neatly the stitches look where I picked up around the gussets. Usually I get one perfect side and one that pulls but this time it's looking pretty sweet.

All in all I'm pretty happy with this pattern. Hopefully I'll be able to finish this sock and it's mate for my MIL for Mothers' Day and then I'll go back and finish Crumbs. I'm not stalling on it so much as I just can't find the beads and I have to string more. That's a "GRR!" for another post though.

(The color is more accurate in the first picture)

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Monday, April 24, 2006

The OoS make a classroom appearance

A quick aside about the picture: I searched and searched and couldn't find a pic of Edina for some reason. I know I have several I just can freaking find them. Instead of a recent picture I offer up to you this picture of us at a high school formal. Oddly the nicknames I've chosen to obscure the identities of those therein are mostly actual nicknames from high school. In fact four of them. You can guess if you want.

My good freind Edina*, lover of all things kitchy, decided to do her informative speech in her Speech Class on knitting. This was mostly so she could spend her spring break sitting around my house learning to knit so she can eventually make purses. Edina loves purses. LOVES them. If she were stranded on a desert island and could only have one thing, she'd totally take her purse. At least she'd have about 12 lighters in it... I'm getting off the subject.

Anyway, Edina decided to do her speech on knitting. She's going to discuss a bit of the history, a breif how to, and dispell some common misconceptions. She intends to do all of this while wearing the Overalls of Shame.

She explained to me that in order to punch up a speech she thought others might find dull she needed something to grab their attention so we called up my cousin and got the okay to take the OoS on an outing. This will be video taped. Which brings me to my big question:

Does anyone know how turn a VHS clip into something I can puit on my computer to share with the lot of you? Because this just seems too good to pass up.

*Name has been changed to reflect the true character of the subject.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Once upon a time, I thought I could do anything...

Anyone remember last year when I decided to make my own shoes? I've got the itch to try again. Actually I also have the itch to get a new tattoo but that's another post. I've been working it out in my head and I even pulled out the leather the other day. Then yesterday I found a website for a place to go learn to make shoes for real. Yeah, I'm TOTALLY stoked about it. I've already got a freind of mine roped in to going with me and helping me acheive my dreams of cobblery. The only thing is, it's in Washington AND it's pretty expensive. Alas, it shall be awhile before I can attend. Sigh. But I'm definately going to do it, and it's going to be (dare I quote Barney?) Legendary. Yes, with a capital "l".

In the mean time, I'm working on Crumbs (you may call it Crumpets but I no longer do) and thinking of starting some Jaywalkers for my MIL. I'd like to give them to her for Mother's Day but I don't think that's going to happen. Likely I'll just make them when I get a bit more stuff off the needles and give them to her for Christmas.

As a quick aside, about The Dalai Lama's book: I think I'm going to have to read it more than once.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Making peace

Crumpets is slow going as you can see. I'll be giving pattern notes for this thing when I finish it since it was very poorly written. On the bright side you can see my very first pair of Addi Turbos in that picture and I am LOVING them. They make me dread the rows of cabling because I don't want to touch the cable needle when I could be touching those slick shiny new Addis. The cable needle you see in the pic isn't the one I'm using, the one I like up and dissapeared, likely forever lost in the chair I do my knitting in. I've been using a cable hook actually and I don't love it to say the least. I wish I could do the cab;es without a cable needle but this is definately not a project where that is possible.

I can also tell you that there's no danger of me becoming a cotton junkie anytime soon. My poor fingers are suffering from the stuff. But the beads. I love the beads. Beaded knitting my just be my new thing. It's so much fun! I can't wait for the bead rows. I love how they look! Well, I'd love them more if they were the clear purple beads I wanted instead of the dark metallic beads I'm using. Let me tell you it was not fun to dig through the bag of multicolor beads looking for the purplest ones but I think it was worth the effort for them to match a bit better. You can see that some of the beads are still blue or green but they've got purple over at least half of them because they tricked me into thinking they were purple long enough to get into the project. Which reminds me...

A few pattern notes for those who wish to make Crumpets:
1) Prestring the beads before you cast on.
2) An example of the Picot Cast On can be found here: Knitty pattern for Miss Dashwood.
3) You will need WAY more beads than the pattern calls for. I'm not sure just how many but I wish I had stung on at least an additional 25%.
4) Slip all stitches knitwise unless other wise instructed. This may be intuitive to you but it sure as heck wasn't to me. I always slip my stitches purlwise so they don't twist. In this pattern you want that twist.
5) Just because you swatched doesn't mean you'll get the right size. Just remember that the pattern stitch for the top is a multiple of six so after you've seen how crazily huge it is, rip out and guess at how many stitches you'll actually need using a multiple of six. Sorry, I haven't come up with a better way just yet. Once I've finished I'll be sure to share the actual pattern gague for the top section.

I'm sure there will be more and I'll put all of this in my pattern review when I finish the thing.

Oh! I almost forgot, I'm actually reading a book! I know this may not seem like a monumentous event to most people but when you have two small children, it's very difficult to read anything that is longer than you can read in the can. I'm reading a book by the Dalai Lama because that guy fascinates me and also because I'm an angry, angry person and hopefully this will help.

Okay, I have to go, I can hear Darth talking about jumping off his bunk bed, he's four, that won't go well.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Best. Day. (For mail.) Ever.

(Click the images for larger views)
I got TWO packages in the mail this morning! One came all the way from the UK, sent by my lovely SP, Glittrgirl. The other came from the oposite direction, sent by the wonderful Keohinani.

Over there to the left you can see my package from Glittrgirl which included a cute green bag (linen?), two balls of Noro Aurora in color 6, some Earl Grey tea, a bar of delicious soap that I MUST HAVE MORE OF! Ahem, a cute stuffed bunny (Lola has made off with it already) that she knitted, a box of Lindor truffles, A felted pincushion, a blank journal, some english candies, a ball of Curious Yarns sock yarn in Gothic, and a couple of stitch markers! Oh the last few things were in the green purse so I tool a second pic to show those. So many goodies! Oh, and the card says, "Honey, you gotta sin to be saved!" I love it! That's going to get used in a project eventually I think...

As for the box from Keohinani, I knew she was sending me some of her handspun but what I didn't know is that she saw it was my birthday and sent some extra goodies along. First off, she's so dang sweet she sent me a box of presents and she thanked me! I can't wait to get to her incredibly soft handspun. It's going to be the first thing I grab when the birthday knitting for Miss Beans is done. It's bright and soft and I can't wait! Anyway, she also sent along a bit of her handspun that isn't dyed and I may just hit that with some kool-aid, I haven't decided yet. Then there were the extras, 440yards of self striping sock yarn from All Things Heather (jaywalkers?), a little purple journal, some soap from the Body Shop (do I smell?), and a box of some crazy Japanese... candy? I don't know, I didn't open it yet. She calls it a party in a box. I call it my lucky day.

Hooray for me! I feel so special!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's my birthday.

Yep. I'm 26 today. Yawn. This is one of the more boring birthdays I can recall. Nothing going on. Not going out to celebrate. Nothing exciting happening. Just me, home with the kids like any other day. Oh wait, it is laundry day. Yippeeeeee!


Monday, April 10, 2006

At tea parties in Hell they serve...

CRUMPETS! This pattern is the bane of my existance!

I swatched. I really did. If my new digital camera were here I'd show you the swatch. The perfect sized swatch that I did. And I'll be damned if several inches into the thing I didn't realize that not only had I twisted my cast on for the first time EVER but it was a lso a good SIX inches bigger around than the size I was knitting was supposed to be.

Before I even got to that point, the tearing-it-out-while-screaming-obcenities-and-shaking-my-
fist-at-the-sky point. I had issues with this pattern. It calls for a picot cast on but omits the two sentence directions for said cast on. They do include two pages of pictures of some kid wearing the finished item which, however cute, are not helpful to ANYTHING having to dowith this pattern. There's a detail of the pattern stitch given but no detail of it with the beadwork. Speaking of the beadwork, they don't mention anything about prestrining the beads until you're supposed to start slipping them into place. I just think that in a four page pattern that prints in a 12 point font and includes two pages of pictures, a few sentences to say, "Hey prestring the beads and to do a picot cast on you cast on five stitches, bind off two, and repeat until you have the right number of stitches for your size," might have been nice.

I'm not sure what my gague problem is yet but I'm going to go get some new needles tomorrow. I'll get a pair in the same size I was using but with a shorter cable as I may have ben stretching it, and another pair in a size smaller in case that doesn't solve the problem. If I end up knitting this thing on needles a size smaller AND have to knit the smallest size in order to get it to come out at the medium size I will not be a happy camper especially since, as I may have mentioned, I SWATCHED!

Damn that adorable pattern!


As I mentioned, I'm getting a new digital camera. Red Todd Kidd and I (as predicted) are giving it to each other for our birthdays. It should actually arrive on my birthday (Wednesday). I'm actually typing this on one of RTK's b-day gifts: a snazzy light-up keyboard. It's still pretty stiff so forgive my typos.

I got some birthday gifts of my own this weekend. A couple of new westerns for the ol' movie collection. That's the current genre I'm into. I'm going to be running a Western themed RPG here pretty soon (my other nerdy hobby) so I've been watching insane amounts of westerns. I have decided that Clint Eastwood is about the coolest guy ever. Anyway. I've also decided that since I never read anymore, I'm going to switch out the "What I'm reading" thingy on the sidebar to a "Movie(s) of the Week" thingy. I promise someday I'll read again. I just can't do it when Lola Beans eats my books. Seriously, she's eaten more than one.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Bleach, camera, and Kates galore

Bleaching the KP yarn didn't do anything to it. It wasa bit lighter but not enough to justify the effort. I have given up on it and will put it in the box of shamefully unfinished things.

I'm getting a new camera! Yes , Red Todd Kid already ordered it and it should be here next week. Or this week. It will get here sometime. I'm totally stoked because the new camera will have a way shorter lag time so I can actually take pictures of my kids doing cute stuff intead of three seconds after they did some cute stuff. I'm also excited because then I can show you all pictures of my latest endevour.

I've been working on another Kate and it's definately NOT a cat. It's not even mammalian. Of course, it's not so out there as an alien but it's different, for sure. I think I may write up a whole section of Kate mods for you guys. I have some other ideas dancing in my brain. Not as cool as the Star Wars Kates (yoda here, Leia here) but I think mine are pretty cool.