Friday, April 24, 2009


Remember my last letter to me, where I said not to buy any more variegated yarn, because I don't like it?


Guess what I just bought.


Here's the tale: I went out to find some sock yarn for my mama's Mother's Day gift. I was hoping for something solid, so I could get all pattern-y, but alas, there were no solid colors that were really jumping out at me--ok, there were a few, but they were all greens and blues, close to the colors of socks I've already made for the mama.

Sigh. So I ended up with some Malabrigo in a sort of purple-y something, which is quite lovely, but I don't know if it should be socks, I usually feel a bit better with some nylon in socks, and some Dream In Color Smooshy in Butter Peeps, which is maybe the greatest name for a colorway ever, and is also gorgeous.

And they're both pretty much variegated. Hopefully I will not hate them. I'm thinking I'll make up the Butter Peeps for Mother's Day: the colors are bright and springy, and it's all pale enough that it won't obscure a pattern.

But sigh. I totally don't listen to myself. Ever. There was some Collinette I really liked, which I could just have made plain socks out of, but I'm all paranoid about the yardage in Jitterbug now, and I didn't want to buy two of the same thing . . . anyway. I do like what I bought. And the store, Bloomin' Yarns, is freakin' adorable and has lots of good stuff. It's a good thing it's not particularly accessible by public transportation, or I would be there all the time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I have a problem.

The first step to recovery is admitting it, right?


See, I'm kind of addicted to this lace knitting thing. Like, I kind of want Heirloom Knitting enough to (almost) commit homicide. This isn't good, my friends.

Then again, it's probably a little less excruciating on the pocketbook than my mad passion for Aran sweaters, since you can get perfectly decent lace yarn for under $20, and it keeps you occupied for a good long while.

The funny thing is that I'm still feeling like this today, because yesterday had at least two, maybe three, Epic Lace Disasters. I couldn't count to save my life, and it didn't matter if I was watching a hockey game or not. And then, when I finally went to bed all discouraged, just before I fell asleep I thought, "You idiot! The reason you have that extra stitch is because you're supposed to knit THREE together there, not TWO." At least it'll be easy to fix today, right? And the mangle will hopefully even out a bit in blocking. And we won the hockey game, so I guess it all turned out ok in the end.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Epic Yarn Adventure

It was not so much an epic adventure in the sense that I came home with vast amounts of yarn, it was just epic time-wise. I headed off to the yarn store this late morning, looking for some sock yarn for Mother's Day, and to scope out this particular store's selection of laceweight for the Epic 60th Birthday Present. I wasn't expecting much on the lace end of things, but lo and behold, none of the sock yarn was what I wanted, but they had some Skacel merino that was quite possible. Affordable laceweight in red? Yes, please.

Being clever, or so I thought, when the owner asked me if I'd like it swifted, I said yes, thanks, and wandered off to run some other errands while she wound it up. She said it would take about 20 minutes, so after some tea-shopping, I turned up maybe half an hour later, and my poor yarn was not even half-done. Turns out it was epically knotty and difficult and just plain cranky, and it took AN HOUR to ball. Holy crap. So I had a nice chat with the owner, poor thing, she was just mortified. But I wasn't in a hurry, so really, it was ok. It was kind of funny, honestly. Typical of me to pick the snarled skein. I knew I should have gone with the lavender!

Anyway, here is the resulting yarn cake. Admire it. It was hard-won.

And here's a photo of good ol' Mr Shawl. I'm starting to freak out just a smidge wondering if the whole thing is going to fit on these straight needles. I have a size 2 (I think) circular needle, but it's got a metal cord which is kind of rough, and it scares me. Cross your fingers and think economical thoughts! Tell my shawl this is no economy to outgrow the needles I already have!


I am now on the third of I can't remember how many charts for the Aeolian shawl. Whee! Only miles and miles left to go. :) Just remember that no matter how much I may bitch about the epic nature of this project, I totally love it, and may be addicted to knitting lace.

Anyway, last night I did my first nupps (they're so cute! I was afraid I'd hate the way they look, since I'm not always convinced of bobble-y things, but they're pretty adorable,) and I have to say that from the things you read about them, people seem to think they're the devil incarnate. Sure, they can be a bit of a pain in the rear if they're too tight, but if you know that going in, you're all set. They're just another variation of a bobble, as far as I'm concerned. And purling nine together makes a pleasant change when you're going down those endless purl rows.

Hmm, maybe the trick to my fearless knitting is that I somehow manage to read all the hype before I do a thing, and then I'm completely unimpressed when I try it and it's easy. This is good with knitting, but not so good with, say Harry Potter or Twilight. :)

(By the way, if you haven't read Nation, by Terry Pratchett, you really should. It's all kinds of glorious. Bring your Kleenex and prepare to giggle.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I have just realized that there will be a large empty bed around here this week, so if--and this is a huge if--IF I can finish my Aeolian Shawl before Friday, then I can block it without having to beg for space.

Thank God lace dries quickly, right?

Oh man, now I have to knit like the wind, and even though I'm not using the beads, this shawl is still not the speediest thing in the world. Pretty, though. Very pretty. I could get addicted to knitting large lacy things, which I believe would then mean I'd have to get myself and everyone I know addicted to wearing them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

i might be the world's slowest purler.

Right. So during my mad procrastination of fitting the straps on my linen tank (but it's starting to get warmish, so maybe soon!) I have started an Aeolian Shawl. I kind of love Knitty for providing such a glorious shawl pattern for free, because, really, I'm too broke to go about purchasing any patterns, even the super gorgeous ones.

To contribute to the shoestring-budget-ness of this project, I'm using some blue cashmere that I unraveled from a sweater this winter. So basically, free yarn! Or yarn that can't have cost more than $5 at the thrift store, and I wore the sweater several times. This yarn has been around. It's also turning quite nicely from an old-man sweater to a very feminine shawl. And I do believe there is plenty of it.

For any of you who might be making this shawl, I'm on the eleventh (of twelve) Yucca repeat. That's right, I'm doing the full-size shawl. And lord, the purling is killing me. I'm kind of an awkward purler to begin with, so epic rows of a couple hundred stitches are really not cute. I know I could solve this problem by busting with some combination knitting, but so far have not been that motivated. Would the quicker purling be rendered useless by suddenly awkward knit stitches? I don't know. I'll get around to it sometime.

Anyway, here it is, not really looking like much more than a blob yet. Hopefully better pictures to come soon!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Note To Self.

Dear Self:

Please don't buy any more variegated yarn. You never like how it knits up. You can buy self-striping, you can buy semi-solid, and by all that's holy, yes, you may buy heathers.




Tuesday, April 7, 2009

a tale of sock doom.

I think I promised this to you yesterday, didn't I? I'm sure we've all felt this way. Prepare for wrath and bad language.

Ok. This probably shouldn't make me homicidally angry, but it does. Every time. So I'll be knitting a sock, right? One sock, because I don't knit two at a time. And someone will say, "What are you knitting?" and I'll say, "A sock," because that is WHAT I AM DOING RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT. I am knitting a fucking sock. And then the annoying person will say, "Just one?" And then I want to stab them in the eye with my knitting needle. I'm not sure why I think it's such a fucking stupid thing to say, or why it pisses me off so much, but it does.

I should probably start telling them that yes, I am just making one sock, and it's for my grandpa who is an amputee. JUST TO MAKE THEM FEEL BAD.

And that, my friends, is how I feel about people who ask idiot questions when I am knitting.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a new endeavor

So guess what, today I'm learning how to knit socks toe-up.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I can see where it might be nice if you're a person who does Magic Loop (I've tried it but I don't like it) or two circulars (I can't afford to buy two circulars of the same size, sorry, not when there are so many sizes of needle I don't have) but getting a sock started toe-up on double points is a bit of a pain in the rear. Before today, I've never felt that knitting on four needles is like wrestling a porcupine, but getting that toe started was a bit of a battle.

I can see where this would be a useful way to start if you were going to design something on the fly: I think it would be much easier to get the pattern set on the instep/foot and then apply it to the cuff than the other way around. I always get into trouble when I try to improvise the other way around.

I'm also worried that I will get all the fun bits done first, and lose interest in the cuff. (We all know about my slightly twisted and unhealthy love for heels. I could turn heels all day and not get bored. Such good times.) I'm a little sad that I'm done with the toe already, but it does look nice and neat hanging there.

And, ooh, I just thought of this, it'll LOOK like a sock, so maybe toe-up cuts down on people asking "What are you knitting?"

(Did I tell y'all that I nearly stabbed someone in the eye this summer for making a stupid comment when asking what I was knitting? I'll share that story tomorrow.)

But yeah. Back to my wee toe-up sock, though I'm out of episodes of Friday Night Lights to keep me company, which is a total bummer. That show's like crack, especially if you've lived in a small town in Texas.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Knitting straps for my top is A) slower and B) much more boring than I thought it would be. I think I just hate having to turn the work about once a minute or so, since we're dealing with an 18-stitch long strip. In sport weight. On size 4 needles. It's really not v. big.

Anyway, I think I've got the first one nearly done, but am no longer in Texas, and here at home I don't have a convenient mirror for trying on, which is a pain in my ass. (Oh, the whining we get this morning! The horror!) And I do need to try on right about now, to see how close I am to Long Enough. Then I have to figure out where on the back to attach it. Luckily I will be able to snag my mom to help with this. As she is an excellent seamstress who has been frustrated by my narrow shoulders for years, I figure she's just the woman for the job. (As long as she doesn't give TOO many opinions. I'm pretty sure there's really nothing for her to give opinions on, but you never know.)

And hey, if it's warm on Easter, then I could bust out the tank top! Or wear it under something, I guess. It's real pretty.