May 2006 Archives



Remember the GIR I made? Well, he's settling in with little Finnian who was born at 1:13 AM on May 9th.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, babies make one's knitting look better. There's really no arguing that one.
And just in case you haven't gotten enough of handsome little Finn, here's another great shot.

I hope you'll all join me in wishing Finn and his parents (first timers in the baby making department) great health and happiness. He's already got the looks so no need to worry about that.

I love long weekends


Given my druthers, I'd gladly work 3 - 13 hour days a week to have 4 day weekends. Alas, that probably isn't going to happen for me so I'll just have to enjoy the long weekends bestowed upon us by federal holidays.

Leo's sweater is nearing the finish line. All the big pieces are done and assembled. It's still damp here and in need of some final blocking. The wash was just to get all the commuter grime off of it, but I'll do a proper steam block when it's dry. It'd probably be better to wet block it, since it's already wet and all, but I'm a strange girl.

This is the back view. The front is largely the same but the neck is a little lower.

While I'm waiting for the sweater to dry so I can start the neck, I've been knitting some socks. I'm one of those people who is more than happy to knit on DPNs. I have absolutely no aversion to them and find that socks zip along just merrily on them. However, I have some concern that I may not be able to take metal DPNs on the plane with me to India (nationally, it's not a problem, but internationally, there may be some issues). So I'm attempting the socks on two circulars method.

I have to admit, I don't care for it. To me, this method is slow and clumsy. I've improved the process for myself by clipping the two socks together, which resolves some of the issues I had with the socks constantly migrating away from each other and increasing the time it takes to go from knitting one sock to the other.

Even though I really do not like this method, now, I feel obligated to try to knit a whole pair in this manner. It may simply be a matter of acclimating to the technique. Even so, I'm not sure why this method is so popular amongst the DPN averse. In truth, the circulars simply act as two very long DPNs, so I'd think anyone who could master this technique, could certainly master the use of DPNs.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox here. It's true that there are merits to being able to knit two socks at once, and the circulars fold up more compactly than DPNs, so I still feel this endeavor is worthwhile.

I'm not sure what the yarn is, I've long lost the label. It looks a lot like Opal but it's not, it's some other, less known, self striping sock yarn.

You may have noticed that the underside is slightly different than the top, at least down at the toes. This is because I worked a short row toe, so I started from the ball of the foot, working flat to the toe then back down to the top of the foot before joining in the round. Personally, I prefer the idea of a bright red toe, so that's going to be the top.

Breaking up and moving out


I think it's been 5 years now, maybe 4, my memory is not so good, but it is time. We've had a good run, going many fun places together, but let's be honest, we're both more worn than when we met and my needs are simply greater than you can accommodate.

This is the conversation I had with my old Klimt purse.

You know, I still really love the design and its small size always kept me from carrying too much stuff, but it could never quite accommodate my cell phone, wallet AND the digital camera, along with things like keys and such that are purse mainstays. I think, if the image weren't fading, I'd carry this purse forever. It was a gift from my mom, several years ago, and it's gone with me just about everywhere. I am not a purse floozy. Occasionally I'll carry something different when I'm going out for an evening, but in general, I'm a one purse kind of girl.

But yesterday, a package arrived from my mom. She has graced me with a brand new Klimt purse, which is bigger and even more lovely than the last.

Gorgeous, no? It's a deep chocolate brown and nearly twice as big as my old purse. They are both Icon purses and I can say, with some authority, that they are very well made. Despite the fact that I have carried my old purse for years and stuffed it full on many occasions, it only showed wear at corners, the main image is still perfect, and the lining has never so much as considered ripping. The new purse has a lovely assortment of pockets and pouches and even came with this matching key chain.

It has taken me all of 5 minutes to move everything out of the old purse into the new one and it feels like moving from a studio apartment into a 3 bedroom house; there's just so much extra space. Yay!

In crafty news, the sleeves on Leo's sweater are nearly done with only about 30 more rows left, I hope to have pictures soon. For now, here's a peek at some of that pink roving that Lynn sent me, which I've been spinning on my Kundert spindle.

Because he's worth every stitch


Since my post on Friday, I've done about 80 rows on Leo's sleeves. I am finally at the sleeve cap, which means no more increases. Not a moment too soon, I say. There were a few moments when I mentally psyched myself out and I wasn't sure I'd ever see the end of them.

There is actually a likely possibility that the sleeves are a little bit long. Personally, I'd rather have to shorten a ribbed sleeve than have to lengthen one. Ribbing is unidirectional. If you pickup and knit from the other direction, all stitches will be half a stitch offset from the point you picked them up. This means that lengthening a ribbed sleeve is best done by knitting a new cuff and grafting, in ribbing, to the base of the sleeve. I'm very comfortable with grafting in stockinette but ribbing is a whole other beast.

But you know, it's easy to find motivation when knitting for Leo. It's not all about eating dog cookies at our place. On Friday, Leo treated me to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant.

He said he loved me so much, even the stains he leaves on his placemat are heart shaped.

After dinner, we made an attempt to go out and tear up the town, but having both gotten up around 6 am, we were pretty beat by 11pm and the bars still all seemed empty. Leo did take this cool picture of us reflected off the mirror behind the bar.

You can see his camera peaking through the bottles, if you look carefully.

It ended up being an early night, and a quiet weekend. On Saturday, I knit sleeves while I watched Memoirs of Geisha. It may not be as good as the book, but it's been quite a few years since I read the book and the cinematography alone was captivating enough to hold my interest. There were a few things I remembered well enough to feel like I could pick apart the movie a bit, but it never stopped me from enjoying it.

One lane my foot


I grew up in NH and stayed in New England until Leo and I moved to California about 5.5 years ago. Some people are forever nostalgic for where they grew up, I am not. For all the natural and not so natural (smog, shootings and Anna Nicole) disasters we face in California, I wouldn't go back to the harsh winters and constant cloud of biting bugs in the summer, for all the tea in China.

I do, however, have some loved ones in the area, such as my parents, some aunts and cousins, and my dear friends Janet and Bill. Janet and Bill live in the boonies of a rather boonie-ful state. Their roads are paved with dirt and postal delivery to their area is only reliable in its unreliability.

They find humor in every nook and cranny of life and even the recent storms of the area have had no ill effect on their sense of irony. Case in point, a picture Bill took with the caption "Promises Promises"

You gotta love it.

Pleading Patients Overlooked


I can't quite decide what my the PPO portion of my medical insurance is referring to. I thought it was shorthand for "the world is your medical oyster" but I'm finding myself a tad frustrated today. The short story is that I need to get some inoculations so I can take a business trip to India in July, which is a very cool opportunity but is involving a lot of effort I hadn't originally considered. I think I've sorted most of the confusion out in what appears to be the first instance of my insurance company being more helpful than the doctor's office. Who knew? Anyway, I have two sore upper arms and a yellow card detailing my immunities to some rather icky viruses. There was also a bit of time to knit on Leo's sleeves.

I will still need some boosters and a tetanus shot, as well as a few prescriptions, but I've got the stuff that needed a lot of lead time out of the way.

Working on Leo's sweater, I've given myself little leeway to do much else. Obviously, I knit Gir but there really hasn't been much else. I occasionally pick up my spindle which has some lovely alpaca on it.

It's not that I'm not enjoying spinning it, it's just that I really want to crank through Leo's sweater and I cannot spin and knit at the same time. But, imagine if I could...oh my own vision of Valhalla.

Knitting miles of ribbing does give me ample time to consider what comes next. I'll definitely be working on the clown hat, but what should I do in India. July = monsoon season in the area. Temperatures, apparently, can average around 120 degrees though I'm told it's quite a bit cooler where we'll be. Even so, I'm thinking small, portable, and able to be worked on mindlessly. All signs point to socks. I'm not a huge sock knitter, but I am feeling that 2 socks on 2 circs will prevent second sock syndrome AND be more likely to survive a trip through security and customs without a lot of explanation. I like working on DPNs, but having a preference for metal to wood means that's probably a bad idea.

So last night I ripped out a partially knit, now abandoned project that was started with some Socks that Rock in colorway, Carbon. It needed a bath and hanging to get the kinky bits out but now looks as good as new.

I also have some solid shades of koigu around and plenty of self patterning sock yarn, all of which will only take up a small amount of space in my luggage but which should easily entertain me for my 24 hour long commutes to and from India as well as the small amount of down time I'll have during the trip.

Passed down pattern


My mother and my paternal grandmother both knit. My grandmother has since passed away, but I'm still able to share my love of knitting with my mom. Recently, she dug out a little relic of my childhood, a hat she had knit when Matt and I were kids.

It is based on a pattern my grandmother had knitted for one of my older cousins whose origins are now lost.

I'd love to adapt this pattern, myself, and offer it up for all of you out there, but I'm a bit concerned that it may be based on a copyright protected design. My mom isn't sure whether this is an original design of my grandmother's or something she worked from a pattern.

It's a fool's errand to try to prove a negative, (i.e. how would I prove that there was never a pattern like this before?) and I suspect that more than one person has ever designed a hat with a clown face theme, but if anyone recalls a pattern from the 70s or earlier, that looked strikingly like this, I'd love to know. If not, I'd like to adapt this into a free a pattern, with some minor modifications.

Modifications? Yes, I know, I can never leave well enough alone, but I think I could design this so the ears are knit along with the hat, and I think it'd be good to make it in a lighter gauge since most of my friends of baby making age, live in warmer climates.

My mom also brought me a big bag of cashmere roving (oh la la) in a gorgeous dusty grey brown shade, but I haven't been able to get a good picture of it. All this on Mother's Day weekend, no less.

Le Ann commented in my last post, that she felt my credentials as a woman, exceeded hers, ostensibly because I was working on a sweater for Leo that contains miles of ribbing. Well, this story will either solidify her assertion or, more likely, make her wish to retract her comment.

The evening was like any other; Leo sat at the computer, while I sat 10 feet away, knitting and watching tv. There was a crinkle of a potato chip bag, then several satisfying munches. The conversation was light between us; events of the day and whatnot, so there was no need for constant eye contact. And then I saw it. Panda, tail a wagging, was heading towards a prize. Leo had dropped the largest chip he could find in the bag. Seeing that I had caught him in the act, he prodded Panda on. "Go on, Panda, get the chip." I countered, "Leave it! Don't you eat that chip." The challenge began.

She licked it, but backed away. I swooped in to pick up the offending chip and toss it. With a self-righteous tone I said, "I'll give her a proper doggy cookie." I pull out the bag of Tiny Tots

They smell a little bit like beef jerky and they are fairly soft, almost malleable. Panda finds them delightful. Leo scoffs "Those suck!"
"Oh do they?" I reply, "How would you know, have you ever tried one."
If this were a wild west showdown movie, music would have started playing. Our eyes locked and two very stubborn people sized up the situation. Still holding the bag of treats, Panda placated, I pulled one of the treats out and placed it in front of Leo.

There was a fleeting moment in which his gaze wavered and a look of doubt crossed his face. Then, like a cobra striking, his hand darted out, snatched the treat, and he bit off half, all the while, his eyes never leaving mine. His face was smug while he chewed once, twice, three times and then there was realization. Slowly, his eyes widened and panic set in. Half a cookie still clutched in his hands and most of the other half sloshing between his teeth, he gasp and let out a meek "It's awful!"

He leaped up from his chair and ran to the nearby kitchen sink, spitting and splashing water into his mouth at the same time, I tried to hold back laughter but cannot. He cries "It's stuck in my teeth!" He runs to the bathroom and brushes his teeth for what feels like minutes. I'm laughing so hard, I'm having a bit of trouble holding myself steady, Panda just looks on bemused. I hear a pained “It’s like puke mixed in play-doh!” and it’s all I can do to keep from keeling over from asphyxiation.

This is a moment, not unlike many between Leo and me. We are two very stubborn people and the result is usually that one person eats crow, or in this case, something far worse.

Not two nights later, I was enjoying dinner with my brother and mother. I had an experience that would make any Freudian psychologist dance with glee. Some of you may remember this post from December 2004. Well, my little brother has exceeded his previous goal, and/or, sunk to even deeper depths.

click image for Quicktime movie

Does it bother me that my brother and boyfriend are both willing to put themselves through undue suffering to prove, who knows what? No more so than it bothers me that, politically, they are so similar they could live in the same bomb shelter together, nor that they have the same sardonic sense of humor. I’m sure it should trouble me that their personalities are so similar but I’m resigned to it. Hey, look how much amusement I get out of life. Why change a thing?

You know, I'm not completely burned out on knitting navy blue ribbing, but I'm pretty sure that having to start another sleeve from scratch would be a challenging endeavor. I think that knitting them both at once is a good choice. It's a bit of a bummer knitting all those stitches in a row and knowing I have many increases ahead of me, but in the few minutes I'm finding to knit each day, I can usually zone out and enjoy myself. My mind definitely starts wandering, yearning for future projects, but there's also that side of the project that's all about doing something special for Leo. I know, so sappy.

So those are the two sleeves, almost a third of the way to the sleeve cap. They are perched upon the blocked back piece, for scale.

Having folks take my quiz has been really fun, by the way. It's interesting to see how folks imagine my life to be. For those who didn't score so high, don't feel bad, it's not like most of that stuff comes up in day to day blogging.

New meme


Take my quiz*, then make your own. You can have as many or few questions as you like. If you have a better quiz utility, use it.

No tagging, just take the meme if you want it. If you decide to do a quiz yourself, drop a comment here so I know.

*Idea stolen from my brother.

2 out of 4 ain't bad


That's 2 out of the 4 big pieces for the Leo sweater, of course.

And this is not a sleeve:

It's the back of the sweater. Leo is not a super skinny man, it just needs some blocking.

Yah, I know that most people block at the END of the process, but I bet most of those people don't have a cool new blocking board and blocking wires. Actually, that's only gravy for me. I like to do my finishing as I go. It keeps me motivated.

Quite a few folks have asked me if I'll be using my machine to knit this piece. In this case, it won't be possible. My machine has no ribber, and the manual task of dropping the stitches that should be purled and using a latch hook to rework them, is tedious and makes my back ache. I'm sure I'll machine knit Leo a sweater in the future, but this piece is all hand knit.

I'm back working in Orange County this week, which means no bus, and lunch at my desk, so progress is slow on the sleeves. Knitting Gir was a nice little instant gratification project, but I'm hoping to crank through as much of the sleeves as possible over the next couple weeks.



A friend of mine is due, any day now, to have a baby. She has a great affinity for Invader Zim and a really quirky sense of humor. She doesn't seem like someone who'd be likely to be content with run of the mill toys and garments for babies. I decided I had to come up with something that no one else would be able to get her.

So I found some green Calmer, and some left over black cotton yarn. I picked up a little bit of felt and I went to town.

Thus was born a little Gir.

And for scale, here he is in front of some knitting needles.

I know he's not a perfect match but I have to admit to being happy with him nonetheless. He'll be popped in the mail tomorrow to go to his new home.



I just found out that my shawl has made it into round two of the Spindlicity Shawl Contest

She's getting a quick blocking with the help of some of my returned tax dollars.

Yup, I got myself a set of blocking wires and a blocking board.

So far, I'm very very happy. It definitely makes it much easier to block correctly. I'll admit that while I always block, I'm rarely happy with the results. I think it may be laziness, it's easy to dismiss these finishing details as secondary to the project, but, in truth, a good blocking and seaming job can make a piece look very professional. A poor job will always give your piece away as having been handmade. These will be great for blocking out Leo’s sweater. I’ll have pictures of that progress up soon.

I'm going to coin a term today


Warning! Politician banter ahead. You definitely don't have to agree with me, but please play nice.

So anyway, my brother, his girlfriend and I met up for dinner and we were waxing politically, as we are wont to do. I asked the question, "Hey, you know that whole Sodom and Gomorrah thing? Why did we get "Sodomy" but not "Gomorry"? And that's when it occurred to me. We need this word.

Click the image, or get the full definition after the bump.

In the mean time, I say we all start using the word. No, it isn't just a liberal thing, apply liberally (or conservatively, or even judiciously) as needed. Got an out of control school board? Is your mother really irking you? Did a crappy driver cut you off and then drive 10 miles under the speed limit? This word is free for any of the many uses you might find.

Crazy week ahead

| 1 Comment

Blogging may be sparse over then next few days. I've been asked to work out of the Orange County office for the week, to oversee part of a project we've been working on for a few months. This effectively doubles my commute, which, when added to 10 hour days, means that I'll have time to do little more than wake up, drive, work, drive, go to sleep. Fun! I don't mind so much except that I can't take public transportation so my knitting time is almost nil. Thank god for lunch breaks.

In the mean time, take a look at the beautiful silk yarn I spun up from the care package that Lynn sent me.

It's about a light sport weight and was spun up on my 0.9 ounce Golding.

« April 2006 | Main Index | Archives | June 2006 »

Share this page

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2006 is the previous archive.

June 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

August 2016

  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Find Me Here

  • rss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • flickr
  • goodreads
  • google
  • linkedin
  • pinterest
  • ravelry
  • youtube

Featured Patterns