Monday, September 25, 2006

The end is near

I spent most of the day today at Michael's office, copying DVDs of legal depositions to the server so they could be encoded to mpeg files and then synchronized to the text. Wahoo. This task, while not requiring much in the way of gray matter, does require a certain amount of patience and fortitude, especially since most of the DVDs had been burned onto crappy media, which meant I had to run a lot of them through a second program. This work requires bursts of concentration followed by 10 or 15 minutes of nothing to do while the files move across the ether. Unless you're a knitter, in which case you always have something to do.

Here's what I did between swapping disks :

This is square 19 of 20 for the Afghan of Motherly Love aka A Taste of Aran Afghan by Janet Szabo, Aran designer extraordinaire.

Here are the other 18 squares, each different in pattern, in one of three washable Plymouth Encore colors, which will be sewn together (some time in the next couple months) and then presented to Nina as a birthday or Solstice gift.

In my continuing pursuit of knitting tiny socks, here's this past weekend's edition of cute knittiness made from leftover sock yarn.

Cotton will do anything I want, including modeling socks for infants.
The second sock is halfway home, having been cast on at the Sunday Synchronized Skating Session.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Water socks

The second sock of this pair was started while I was in the Eau Claire Harlot booksigning line on September 10 and then mostly worked on while sitting on benches sweating my butt off at Nina's swim meets (four since I began the sock) or freezing my butt off at Sophia's ice skating lessons (two private lessons and one Synchro team ... lesson? class? I'm not sure what to call those).

I think this is Meilenweit. Hold on while I Google. I can't ever seem to keep track of my labels. No luck. This is a mystery colorway. Anybody have an idea? Here's a close up:

Meanwhile, Samus is drying in the laundry room. In pursuit of continuing to set a bad example for the children, I left Samus on the living room floor for...let's just say it was a while. I hadn't ripped out the ribbon on the left front of the cardi. I kept intending to, but somehow I just didn't get to it. So the dog took things into his paws (and bladder) and peed on it. Which got the cardi off the living room floor and into the kitchen sink so fast if you'd blinked you would have missed it. Doesn't appear the stain is actually out, though, which is somewhat upsetting. I'll have to finish that damn ribbon and zipper and then take it to the dry cleaner. Unless someone has a tip for getting dog urine out of wool.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cuteness Redux

In a frenzy of knitting for the sake of achieving adorableness, I made a hat and a pair of socks for Sophia's science teacher, whose wife recently had a baby. Greer, these are for you. You're going to need these for your first Minnesota winter.

There is another sock, but I haven't yet knit the I-cord tie. I'll do that at tonight's swim meet. Two hours of watching other kids swim while I wait for Nina's minute in the water.

Yarn: Wendy Velvet Touch in pink and Wendy Jazz in white
Needles: Knit Picks US 7/4.5 mm options needle. (I think I used the 24" cable). Magic Loop technique.
Pattern: My own

And here's another hat -- to go with last week's sock.

Yarn: Stahl yarn from my stash. Has to be around 10 years old.

Needles: US 2/2.75 mm Inox dpns for the socks; Knit Picks Options circ US 8/5.0 mm for the hat, with yarn doubled.

Pattern: My own.

Second sock will be cast on at the swim meet. Unfortunately, I'll have to use the dpns again, as I did the first sock the day before the Options needles arrived, and the size 2 needles are 2.5 mm. I'm becoming a fan of the Magic Loop. The next thing you know, I'll be knitting toe up!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What I didn't do today

I didn't clear off the island. Again. Which continues my record of setting a bad example for the children. I believe this is day 4224.

I didn't take Cotton for a walk. Again. He's very, very sad. He's so distraught, he hasn't finished his breakfast and it's 2:45pm.

I didn't ScotchGard the recently-reupholstered kitchen chairs. Again. I have a dog and two kids. This fabric was ridiculously expensive. Clearly, there is something wrong with me.

So what have I been doing today?


Could you just die? My daughters' teachers are having babies left and right, so it was imperative that I sit down and knit a sock. Today. Immediately. I was at knitting group yesterday and Shelly was there with her cutie-pie who was wearing some tie-on socks, which I insisted Shelly remove from her baby's feet so that I could inspect them. Hers were short row toe and heel knit toe-up. Mine are heel flap and Kitchenered toe knit cuff down.

It's taking every bit of will power for me not to go sit down and knit the other sock RIGHT NOW.

Because I have things to do. Like knit something else.

Master Knitting, ad nauseum

Nothing's really new here. I'm trying to find a new cable pattern for Swatch 15. I was messing around with one yesterday at knitting group while I wasn't examining baby socks, discussing Oprah's show about bras, birth control, daughters named Sophia (there are three of us who have one), and pawing through the bag of sock yarn Shelly brought because she's some sort of crack yarn dealer. The yarn was free. This time. It's only a matter of weeks before she brings yarn, we put our hands on it and then she decides to charge us a small handling fee. It'll only escalate from there. I came home with three pairs worth of sock yarn. I made Meleah take the box of solid yarn far, far away. Because I can quit any time I want. Really. It's just that the colors were, uh, giving me a headache. Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


This sweater took me a week and a half to knit. It's taken me a month to get the thing blocked, sewn together, and prepped for the zipper, which I was about to do Monday when I noticed this:

I think it's because the side on the right was pinned and sewn on my lap while I watched the Harlot and then later stood in line to get my books signed. Might have helped to have laid it out on the floor and made sure the two sides matched before I sewed it it by HAND, huh?

I mean, look at the ribbon on the right:

It's all puckered. Sigh. Yes, I realize the ribbon on the left is also a bit puckered, but none of that would matter if the puckering matched..

Next step:

Master Knitting swatches, part 3

Today, class, we are going to look at the -- I can't remember. The lace swatches? The cables? Excuse me while I go check...

It's both -- lace and cables

Swatch 10

Swatch 11

Swatch 12

Swatch 13, two versions

Version 1, on the left is too flat, I think. Version 2, on the right, has a nice looking cable, but the plain knitting is too loose and sloppy.

Swatch 14

The original one, in the center, has to be replaced, because I re-did Swatches 1, 2 and 3 in white, which means I have to re-do Swatch 14. Of the two white swatches, the one to the far left has too loose a cast on, so I'll probably go with the one on the far right.

Swatch 15
More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gypsy Girl rpm

I wore these socks to meet the Harlot. Several people asked me what the yarn was, but all I could remember was that they were hand painted by a mother/daughter pair. So I looked it up in my bookmarks and passed on the info. Next thing I knew, someone on a sock knitting group was asking about Gypsy Girl yarn and wanted to see what it looked like.

I made these socks using the rpm pattern in this summer's Knitty.

Swatcha doin'?

I am determined to complete the Slave Master Knitting Level 1 program. This week.

Here are more swatches


Swatch 4

Swatch 5

Swatch 6

Swatch 7

Swatch 8

Swatch 9

Coming up next: eyelets, cables, and color work. Oh, the excitement!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Obsession is Normal

So says the Yarn Harlot, who was in Eau Claire, Wisconsin yesterday. Here's me with the Harlot and the stash weasel, who was much smaller in person than I thought (the weasel, not the Harlot)

Finished sewing the ribbon inside the edges of the Samus while in Eau Claire, but still have to do the zipper. I'll get to that in the next day or two. In the meantime, I'm obsessed. With my Master Knitting Level 1 submission.

When I compare some of my recent swatches with my earlier ones, I can see how I've improved. When I compare other swatches, I can see how I used to be pretty good and now I totally suck. How did that happen?

Here are the current contenders:

Swatch 1

Swatch 2

on the left, reasonably even tension; on the right, gawdawful rowing out

Ribbing is pretty good on both, except for the last knit stitch on the left. It's driving me crazy. I can't fix it no matter what. I try purling Norwegian, Continental, Continental twisted (or whatever it is when you wrap the wrong way around the needle), my "English" method of throwing, which I'm told would be Scottish if I used long, pointy needles and a sheath instead of regular straight needles and the junction of my hip and thigh. I can't decide if I'm being too picky or not, because otherwise, my k1p1 ribbing is pretty damn good. She said, humbly.

This swatch has driven me nearly insane. You'd think after 20 years, I could knit plain stockinette, but apparently, I can't.

Swatch 3

Swatch 4-16... tomorrow