Friday, December 22, 2006

Post 43

Finally made it to the boyhood home of Bill Clinton. yesterday was the worst day of travel I have ever had. My flight was of course delayed a little becasue of Denver and the weather, but then I did something stupid at the moment, but good in the long run. The flight was overweight and they asked for volunteers, and well, I sold my soul for the rock bottom price of $250 in airline vouchers. For this I was given the joy of a hunger headache because I never knew when the next flight was going to take off and instead of getting into Little Rock at 12 noon (or really 2:30 as my original was supposed) I got in at 5:00. I ended up getting dinner at Arby's instead of the Clinton Library as planned, and I missed the yarn store too :(. oh well, I'm here, the weather is nice, everything smells so good, and if I can't sleep well, my aunt the nurse gives me little mystery pills that put me right out, yea! The only project I ended up brign was the triangular scarf, and let me tell you, casting on 375 stitches with a massive hunger headache doesn't work well, so now I have to pull it out and start over. I'm hoping to have some time tomorrow to get in a back massage, I took in the water once (Hot Springs is famous for that) but it totally creeped me out. I just opened my gifts, the highlights were a garlic roaster and gift certificate to Knitpicks!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Post 42

Um, Snickerdoodles....
Real quick today, got lots to do. Worked a little late at work to make up for the two missing hours wasted by going to Big Bowl for a holiday lunch with our CFO, very generous of him, but after the holidays would have been nice. Had just to get a mani and pedi (grandma's one of those southern ladies who likes everyone to look good, hair, make-up, nails), caught the last hour of Stitch N Bitch but didn't knit due to nails, ran to TJ Maxx (they have the best cheap silver) to get the aunt a gift after she told me of the CD's she just bought, one of which was supposed to be a gift, and then I baked snickerdoodles. Still no idea which sock pattern to use on the STR tencel blend yarn, I'll figure that one out tomorrow while I pack.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Post 41

Thank-you secret pal you saved my ass. X-mas aka Festivus for the rest of us is a week away and I've been a busy bee all of a sudden. I'm not busy knitting gifts for family, but paid commisions. Had this lady contact my Knit Pimp, aka Karen, who had a bag of Colinette Point 5 that her mother bought 20 years earlier in Wales. This stuff was pretty, for the 8 year old daughter she had, mostly white with bright splotches of color. Crazy Colinette lady as I call her first wanted a sweater for her daughter, but after a long discussion about knitting sweaters for people who don't wear sweaters we choose a hat scarf combo. I wish I had the time to take a picture, but I only had the time tonight to drop it off. I could have taken an awesome picture with the new digi camera that my roommate bought me, yea! No longer will I use a camera with a rubber band holding the battery door closed. So back to the secret pal gift. I was sent two skeins of natural Cascade 220 (because of my love of Kool Aid dye), some really very pretty evil eye stitch markers (to keep evil spirits of jealous knitters away) and some yummy dark chocolate. I love the way the really dark chocolate breaks with a crisp snap...Well, I'm co-teaching a dye-to knit class next January at Lill Studios and need to come up with some samples of yarn for the dye teacher. As much as I love Knitpicks (which is were we will be getting the yarn), I wasn't in the mood to shop right now for it and have to pay shipping (I'm hoping for a gift card to the website so I can finally buy the multi-colored fair isle sweater featured inside) so it was perfect timing that two natural colored skeins showed up literally on my doorstep! I finally got my act together and made cookies, two batches, chocolate and mint chip, ummm. I go to my grandmothers house in Arkansas for the holidays and we always have chocolate chip cookies to eat, this year I thought I would save her the trouble and make them for her, sure hope I can carry them aboard the plan. Let me say for the record, I love the cookie scooper, it makes perfect cookies with no mess, add that to my Kitcheaid mixer and I'm in bakers heaven. Now a response to an earlier comment, Le Crueset rocks! Yes it's an investment, but take a look at the pots you see on Martha, Julia Child and Charlie Trotter use, if it's bright enamel it's Le Crueset. I no longer use Teflon, scares the shit out of me, enameled pots are like a precurser to teflon, nothing sticks to it and it cleans off easily. Now that I'm making a list of things to pack I have to choose knitting projects. I'm definately bring the Nancy Bush shawl from Scarf Style, but I need socks and I think it's time to break out and ball up the skein of Socks that Rock with 50% tencel that I've been hording since Stitches, but what pattern to use? Oh that's Bella taking her picture with Santa for charity at Petsmart.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Chicago recieved it's snow on the first of the month and it has been taking it's time melting every since. Because I haven't been feeling myself I've been trying extra hard to get into the holiday spirit. This is the first year I did any type of external decoration on the house. In the past I've not done anything because I just rent, but I couldn't help myself, I love the look of real greenery hanging from a wrought iron fence, very Charles Dickens of my, it looks even pretty with the snow.(it has little white lights too!) I hit the jackpot tonight at TJ Max. I go there every once in awhile, generally I don't find anything in the clothes I like, but they have a great silver jewelry and housewares selection. I'm going to sound like a 14 year when I say that I've been saving my babysitting money, but I finally used it to buy a huge lime green Le Crueset enameled pot for more than half the retail price, now I can roast with out having to buy those disposable aluminum pans, yea me! I was saving a little money on the side just in case I couldn't fix my iPod, it was ailing something bad last week, but I got it figured out so it's all good right now. I love to cook and I think this weekend is cookie time. I picked up some awesome copper cookie cutters at Sur La Table with the desire to practice my cookie decoration skills, I'll keep you posted. Slowly getting back into the knitting zone, I really need to work on this commision stuff that I'm using vintage Colinette yarn for, it's not easy making mittens for a 7 year old with thick-to-thin yarn, I'm up for a challenge I think.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Apologies

When I switched my blogs awhile ago I made it a point to try not to bitch and moan and all that crap and just knit, this has left me to blog less and less. Well, I've not been myself the last couple of months and just last week I had an epiphany, it's my meds. I'm experiencing some wicked side effects from a medication I started to take again, I was off during a brief period in the summer between jobs, and when I took it before I didn't experience anything out of the norm. So I will start up with a new prescription next week and hopefully everything will be back to normal. Oh and on the knitting front, not too much, doing some commision stuff, nothing fancing, gloves and scarfs. I've not been inspired lately, which I hope is also a side effect that will go away.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Post 40

Blahs, lots of blahs. Haven't been feeling chirpy this month, I like the spirit of the holidays, I can get all into it, and the the truth of the holidays hit and then I feel blah. I did have a nice 4 day weekend, spent turkey with a neighbor. FYI-nice neighbor had sister over who can't make a pumpkin pie to save her life and didn't know you are to cook the cranberries long enough to pop and turn into yummy mush, but I ate it anyway, good me. I didn't get much knitting done, but I did spin. I need to practice my spinning. I almost made my way through the LOTR trilogy, next time I should netflix the extended version. I got some festivus shopping done, almost finished! next are the cookies. I would have written this weekend but F.I.M.S was down, I have some cool pictures to post. I did alot of reminiscing, I tried to e-mail an old friend only to find that the e-mail is no longer valid, so if you're out there, give me a call.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Post 40

I love it when you write a letter or comment to a corporation big or small and they respond back, with no answer, just a go away generic response.
What I wrote to Interweave Press:
I am writing in regards to the Interweave Knits Holiday

issue that you just released. I want my money back. Many of my knitters friends, me included, feel that you should have put a disclaimer on the cover that a majority of the patterns are recycled from earlier issues and from your books. $7.99 is alot to spend on a magazine that in parts I already own. Most knitters buy their magazines and then archive them, they don't throw them away. I bought the holiday issue because I saw the felted pear in person and thought it was great. When I buy my magazines, I choose to purchase them at the yarn stores to support them, I don't look at it right away, I like to wait until I can get home and get comfortable and
them relax while reading it. I am very upset by this. Sincerely, XXXXX, Knitter and Knit Instructor

What they wrote back:

Thank you for taking the time to write us with your comments. We intended for the Gifts issue to be an opportunity for some of our readers who are not subscribers or who have not been subscribing for a long time to purchase some of our most popular patterns, many of which are from sold-out back issues. We are currently planning a Gifts issue for next year that is full of brand new patterns.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

Katie Himmelberg

Assistant Editor

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Post 39

If you don't vote, you don't get to bitch. Once again I voted in the boys locker room at my local field house, litterly around the corner from me. Wow, Chicago is getting techy, we had 8 regular voting machines, no chads here, they use a marker, and one high tech digital one. It was fun, it's over, and for the record, if you don't already know which way I vote, then you're not too smart. I did go for the minimum wage increase, ban on semi-auto assault rifles, and the removal of national guard from Iraq.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Post 38

I am getting ballsy now. When things upset me, I am speaking up, case in point, my yearly x-mas airplane ticket. When I was looking around, I saw a great deal on an airline I always fly, and it was the lowest of them anyway. Well, it took a week for me to get ok'd by work and then when I went to purchase, it went up 25 dollars. Well, no big deal, I expected it to go up slowly as the season gets closer. Whoa, but then, the next day, it goes back down, WTF! Seriously, it feels like they were tracking my usage and when iI went to buy the jacked up the price. As of this day it is still at the original price, and I wrote a letter. Sure it's only 25 dollars, but the public has been taught, get your tickets early, the prices go up. I let you know what happens. So this leads me into my rant about the Interweave Knits holiday issue, DON'T BUY IT!

Chances are you've been knitting for awhile and have bought their magazine more than once and maybe even a book or two of theirs. This issue is made of mostly recycled projects. I don't know a knitter out there who doesn't keep all of their magazines in one way or another. I wrote them and told them I wanted my money back, that they should have written a disclaimer that the projects where not all new. I was talking to some people at the Dulaan Project last night that felt the same way I did. So we'll see what the respond back saying.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Post 37

The Dulaan knit-in went very well. Franklin was an amazing host, the building/house was fantastic, the room I was knitting in had a great view and lovely knitters to chat with. I shouldn't be amazed at the generosity of the knitting community, wow, people gave so much to the raffle drawing, I even won. Well, my name was drawn and I recieved lovely yarn, but this guy's name was drawn after me and won very pretty hand-dyed green sock yarn, we liked each other's yarn, so we switched. The green sock yarn is a bit brighter and crayola than I normally like, but just the right lacey pattern will make it work.
I've got a bit of a headache now, so I'm going out to hunt for food, I really need to go to the grociery store, maybe alittle Baileys will help. Yum. Oh, and Yarmando, Franklin is mine, he did like your socks though.Franklin is so cute, and very petite, you could just put him in your pocket and take him home with you.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Post 36

Lots to catch up on, I haven't been blogging for awhile. So lets start with the obvious, I AM DEAD, yes, finally my death arrived In a white envelope that beat the odds and actually made it successfully into my mailbox. Yarnmando, if I didn't already have a crush on Franklin....It's been fun emailing people playing this very annoying game. Don, the Yarnmando (really its Yarmando but I like this way better), was so sweet, he upgraded the original yarn the socks were started with to Mountain Colors' Bearfoot(not quite the cashmere I requested, but still very nice and color appropriate to the seasons), they fit perfectly and are going to be great with my red clogs (the red suede clogs have stretched with years of use and water damaged and required thick squishy socks for a proper fit) and will be revealed tomorrow at the Dulaan Knit-In. After this post I will make my death known on the Sock War website. So now that I am officially out of the game, time for a little constructive criticism. I never got my victims e-mail or the pattern as promised, I had to dig around myself to figure it out. If you are going to be on vacation during the playing of the game, don't play. If you die, PROMPTLY send on the socks you were knitting, help the next person on. Yes it sucked to send mail to another country, but it added a nice twist. I think the Sock War website could have been set up better, I would like to see all the contestants names in order and when declared dead, make them red. I only got two deaths under my belt, I would have had more if the postal system in Chicago didn't suck, and if my victims socks didn't languish in unknown homes because of the lack of communication. So that's it. Would I play again, hell yea.
So what do you think this is made out of? It's from a little pattern I picked up at a Qiviut both at Stitches, I couldn't afford the $70/oz for the yarn, but got the pattern for free. A little clue, what color is it? Not brown, not quite beige, did you guess Camel?
Yup, double stranded camel knitted together made this lovely lace cap, it really bloomed after I wash the oil out of it. I really liked the pattern, the way the k2tog/YO and YO/SSk alternated made a great wave, an interesting technique I will have to explore later and work up some of my own designs. On the SP9 homefront, I choose to ship out one big box a month and have the first one done for my person, but the person who has me has chosen to tease me. While waiting for the Socks of Doom to come I received a package of sock yarn, was it a joke? How evil I think, and kinda funny at the same time. It turns out my spoiler has the same taste as me and bought the same yarn I sent my person, lovely autumn colors, the next time I see Beth, the Owner of Lorna's Laces I'll have to tell her the story. Sock Yarn Everywhere! I have also received a couple of funny and cute Hallmark e-mails, the first one was a Saturday Morning Post picture of a dog trying on a half knitted sweater, still on DPN's, dejavu, I've done that very thing. So now a cool thing. Well, if you didn't know now I work for the world's best coffee company, and no, I'm not stupid, it's not Starbucks, duh. Have you ever tasted coffee that cost $30/half pound, I have, and hot damn as they would say in Texas, I've never had coffee like that before, yummy. So anyway we donated some coffee to a customer of ours because they were donated their services to a charity TV show, which has come here. Extreme Home-Maker is doing a house less than 3 miles from where I work and they love our coffee, so we are supplying them with some delicious organic liquid black gold. I volunteered to get up at 6 in the morning to drop off a big batch on Thursday and shmoozed my way to a free t-shirt, yea for me. Unfortunately I did not get to see Ty, not yet.... So tomorrow is the Dulaan project, I volunteered to bring the coffee, not really to be generous, yea well a little, I just really want to meet Franklin, I totally dig his blog.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Post 35

Another death, but not mine, two down, now who's next? I made a list of the sock warriors before and after me and have an idea on who is dead and who is not. I sent and e-mail out to the people after me informing of my second kill to figure out where everyone is at, let's hope this works, I'll be bummed if not. At this point I don't care about winning, or even getting to the end, I made a pair of socks, now where are mine???

Monday, October 16, 2006

Post 35

FINALLy, those damn Sock War socks are done. I ran of time on saturday to mail them, got my haircut, so out they went today. If the mail goddess is with me they might actually make it to the Netherlands in the 4-7 time frame they promised, I sent them cheap. I can only hope that the postal system is better there than here, I've been waiting 12 days for my Hyacinth flower bulbs I ordered on ebay. I guess if I never get them I can figure out next spring which neighbor swiped them, for all I know landlord has them upstairs on his counter, idiot.
I had a pretty lazy weekend. Roommate is gone until wednesday so was able to lazy away the whole weekend and just knit knit knit! I made a pair of Mrs. Beeton's wristlest, but with mine I added a hand covering. Boy are they warm, and the double row of lacy made a nice cushion when typing on the computer at work. I was able to stash dive for the mohair, Rowan Kidsilk, and instead of the MC yarn in the pattern I used Rowan Tapestry. Fast, easy-peasy. Now I'm down to two projects, the hemp socks and the Candle Flame Scarf. Secret Pal 9 is off and running, I can't say what I'm doing for my person, but it's way cool. Sock Wars is at a stalemate right now, trying to figure where I stand and who is dead is a royal pain. I have two dead under my belt and I'm still alive. I wouldn't mind dying though, it's getting cold in my office and warm thick socks whould be nice, no not really, I want to win.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Secret Pal 9

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a zipper pouch for my crochet hooks, a box I painted for some of my needles and plastic brush tubes for my double points.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting for 12 years, I learned when I was young from my mother and had abasic refresher from a college teacher and then I took knitwear design in art school. I would consider myself advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No. I like to buy my books at a great used bookstore in the neighborhood or from LYS's or knitting websites.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
For bath I like magnolia or rose, but right now is the season for spices.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I love dark chocolate, the darker the better, the more foreign the better. My current addiction is Vosges Naga Bar. Ummmmm curry and chocolate...

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I knit, crochet, spin, dye, sew, embroidery, bead work, needlepoint....lots of everything.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like a little bit of everything from Miles Davis to David Gray to Hildehard Von Bingen.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I have a new fascination with green, I never liked it before, but now, wow. It's not so much the color but the hue, I hate pastels.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a siamese cat and an italian greyhound. I also have a roommate and she has a cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Not ponches, never, don't want to look fatter. I love scarves, hats and mittens especially finger-less gloves, it's cold in my office.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I am always doing socks but right now I'm getting into lace.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A pair of socks for Sock Wars, a pair of socks for myself and a lace stole.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Um sometimes, I'm a bit of a critic, but I like it when people handmake things.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Both. I prefer bamboo, never metal unless they're addi's.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yea, both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
It was 4+years, but I just frogged it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Does Festivus count? I love thanksgiving, all the spirit of x-mas with out the pressure and build up.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Dud, yarn! I was collecting thimbles but that was years ago.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have a single magazine subscription, I enjoy going to the bookstores or LYS for them. I would love to collect some Zimmerman books and lace books.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Not really, I think I have a good grasp on things, if not I'm really good at figuring it out.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, size 8.5, with thick ankles.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Post 34

I love the fact that I have a real computer at work. Unlike my previous employment, I can now check my e-mail and listen to itunes. I've been catching up on back episodes of Cast On. When knitting podcast first blew onto the scene I enjoyed Knit Cast, but wasn't so sure about Cast On, but now I love it. It's like discovering a new author and then finding out that they've already written dozens of books, all the better! So I'm slowly making my way thru the old episodes, I'm finding it very inspirational. I've done it, I frogged the Evil Rowan Sweater! It's been sitting around for ever now, I started it years ago, never like the way they wrote it, and almost finished the last piece. I find that I no longer love the pattern, it's nice, but it's no longer love. The yarn is really lovely and I can't wait to find the perfect next thing for it, maybe the Rogue Cardigan?? Other news, I made the Ribbi Cardi last year but I never bought the zipper. I used to like the colors, pumpkin orange for the body and Burgundy for the sleeves, but eh, no more. So I will take my fondness for Kool Aid dying and try dying the whole garment, plum should be nice, I then imagine a little embroidery....I will be much happier, especially since I'm working in more of a jeans and sweaters place than a hose and heels. On the Sock Wars front, my victims, victims socks are not going so well. They will be finished tonight or tomorrow and will be mailed to the Netherlands as promised but the yarn sucks, am not inspired, oh and ran out...on the foot of the second sock. If I knew this before I would done it differently and more creatively, but since I didn't buy the yarn what can I do. I want to have at least two victims under my belt before I'm dead. It just so happens that the yarn choice was actually two different yarns knitted together and that one of them is a white angora blend, which luckily enough, if you can believe it I can match. This must mean the stash has finally redeemed itself. I bought a sweater at the Salvation Army and am frogging it for the yarn and it's a match. I can't match the other yarn that was knitted with it, so the foot will be white, but don't blame me. At least it's angora and not acrylic!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Post 33

I am so about to quit this Sock War shit. My package is lost! I am so pissed. Do I reknit a whole other pair of socks for my victims' victim, or go postal on the postal system, the latter I think. Wait until tomorrow, and it was overnight too!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Post 32

So, earlier this year I went on a tour/buying visit to Lorna's Laces and came away with some good deals. I bought this skein with the idea to make a dog sweater for Bella. Well, funky fall weather has come to Chicago, one week it's warm, the next cool, and right now a BIG thunder/Tornado storm. With the soon to permently cold approaching I thought it would be nice to get started on the promised dog sweater, it will be the first I knitted for her, not one she inherited from Mona. After a second look I no longer like the color of the yarn, so I thought, Kool Aid! I love kool aid dying, its so easy, and talk about instant gratification. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, superwash bulky.


I couldn't tell you what colors/flavors I used, I just bought a bunch of packets and played with it. I turns out some yarn takes to the dye better than others, and this one did beautifully. The color's not quite solid, but has this unusual multi-layered color thing happening, it kinda looks like plied Manos. It took to the dye so well that after the initial nooking in the microwave, I could just dip it in a bowl with really hot water and the color would slowly go from the water to the yarn. This is it all balled up, getting alot of attention from the Piewacket.

Just enough to do a fast sweater with no thrills, no turtle neck collar and no sleeves, its a quicky dog sweater.

I love this method so much, and overdying already purchased dyed yarn opens up the possibilites. I've seen several little articles about Kool Aid dying, but I think a really indepth book with techniques and extensive color wheel would be great....I wonder

Monday, October 02, 2006

Post 31

Look at my first video! Yea I know it's sideways, but I'm learning.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Post 30

I shall not post about Sock Wars right now. I am still alive that's for sure, my assassin's assassin's assassin has me now, and if they are as clever as I am and can figure out blog addresses of those playing, they would be able to find my blog and find out where I'm at.
Saw this on Yarn is My Metier's blog, effing cute!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Post 29

Quick note before FIMS goes down AGAIN! In the Sock War sagas, I have killed my first victim! The socks were sent off, victim contacted and she is promptly sending me the socks she was working on. I just thought of something, any participant in Sock Wars that is not eliminated in the first wave should watch out for some crazy scoks. I don't know about the skill of my victim, apparently she had just turned her first heel when she got my assassination e-mail, what if she's a crappy or newby knitter? Her victim, soon to me mine will get mismatched skilled socks, ugh! I figured out that my assasin? has a blog (that is just like her e-mail name and she usses blogger), to scoop out her potential as a knitting assasin, I think she's a newbie=slow, and she talked about how much she works=slow. So as long as her killer is slow, and she is slow, and the mail delivering my next vicims sock are fast....agh! my head hurts, I feel like I need a PhD in time-theory or something to figure it all out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Post 28

I'm feeling much better now. For the last couple of weeks I had the major isolation blues, I tend to get them this time of year and usually enjoy it, it just takes some time to get used to the upcoming weather. It helps that I'm assimilating nicely into a totally normal work enviroment. After a lot of restrospecting I realized my last job really fucked me up in the head, I always knew that but you get a different perspective on it when you work with normal people. So a little recap of the last couple of weeks. Linda had a dye party at her house which has an awesome basement setup for it. I took the greenish yarn I bought at Stitches and decided to play with the color, I was not worried about messing it up, I was going to embrace whatever happened and go with it. I had 20 skeins of Valley Farms yarn, 50/50 wool/alpaca, original color, willow green, 50 grms each for a total of 1000grams. I used 8 tsps of cyan, 8 tsps of yellow and 1/2 tsp of black.
The soaking and original color.
Just in the pot.

Getting alittle color.
Cooking away.
Drying time.
Overall I'm very happy, 15 of the 5 are very uniform in they way they took the color, 5 have mysterious darker patches here and there. I just need to find the perfect pattern, I was hoping to find a heavy detailed cabled cardigan with awesome buttons, wood or leather perhaps. Last week after my first knit class I was a little stressed so I decided to cool-aide dye some lace weight yarn I got from Knitpicks but it arrived too late for the dye party. I totaly cool-aid dying above all others. It has the most instant gratification of all the dye methods. Last weekend was the Celtic Festival in Grant Park. It was nice but it never seems to get any bigger unlike all the other fesivals they have. I had my fill of curry fries and Guinness, shopped around downtown, checked out the local renegad art fest and an unexpected Turkish Festival in Daley Plaza which is where this picture of a woman rug weaving comes from, but blogger sucks right now and won't allow me to post. Blah.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Too Much

Classes started up again today at the art studio place. I have to admit, I was surprised that the beginning knit class is going this session, an art studio is a little odd of a place to learn to knit when there are at least 8 yarn stores that offer classes within 10 miles. At least the pay is good. Also, note to self, add a cap on the number of students, 9 at once is pushing it, as is 3 hours! Ugh. But the pay is good, right?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Chicago Thing

There's a sad sort of clanking
From the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too.
And up in the corporate office an absurd little bird
Is popping up to say fuck-you!
Fuck-you! Fuck-you!
Regretfully they tell us

But firmly they compel us
To say goodbye to you.

So long
I hate for you to go and leave this pretty sight

So long
Adeiu Adeiu
To yieu and yieu and yieu

So long
Marshall Fields!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ode to the Knitters Anon...

I little poem I made with a poetry generator I found. I'm too lazy and it's been to long since I was in school, and dammit I don't feel like trying to be clever right now. I figured what the hell, my friend Cookster her her blog buddy were having a knit poetry contest and I had nothing else to write about tonight, so howsabout a little ass kissing. So there.

Ode to a Knitters Anon...

knitters anonymous The store
sale with better go over the
random winner. 08/31 time
for beginners than combed. I put
them some seaming and I went up seating at
7:08 31 2006 January
2004 May 2005
2004 May 2005 September 2006 issue with sock
yarn 2. 2006 Knitalongs
VINTAGE PATTERNS Recent Entries 6 7 Looking
for the most obnoxious post this
K and
front. unveiled:
Unfortunately, Fleece Artist appear to right, earliest
to explain to the left
side of KPPPM in sock
yarn whoredom Leslie Continuing adventures in sock
yarn whoredom Liz //> Archives
10, 11 So going to
done ...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Problem Solving

This is absolutely not knitting related. Funny little thing about making pizza dough, if you've ever made you have to let it rise right? In a warm spot, yea, well when the A/C is going and it's the end of summer I was stumped, for a minute, then I realize the solution was my cat. Cat? yea, she likes to sit on my laptop, which is usually kept on for most of the time. Solution, remove the cat and replace with one bowl of pizza dough. It worked.

Monday, September 04, 2006


No I have not forgotten you, well I have been enjoying my PAID three day weekend, but before that my buddy FIMS, aka Free Internet Mystery Source, was all wonky for awhile there, I minor inconvenience given the nature of the service. When Fims went down I was actually in the middle of a posting, but that got deleted, so don't expect too much this time, but alot of two-week recaps. I had a great weekend, came across some sock yarn where I least expected that holds promise in my search for the perfect sock yarn for vertically challenged legs, aka fat leg syndrome, I have a hard time keeping my socks up! The two balls have been stuffed in my now overflowing yarn stash holder, I beleive the brand is Regia, called stretch. I signed up for Secret Pal 9, so this should fun, it starts in a couple of weeks, I did it last year and had to be saved by an angel when my SP crapped out on me.%$^@*. Decided to take a nice slow day today and made pizza, well not just pizza, homemade pizza, I don't mean frozen and I don't mean from a box. I made homemade dough, with YEAST, my nieghbor and a friend gave me home grown tomatoes and with the parsley and basil from my garden I made pizza sauce that was so effing good. I mean really fucking good. I am so proud of myself, I used the dough hook on my stand mixer, and processed the tomotoes, strand them and reduced them......yum. I placed an order with KnitPicks getting ready for Linda's dye party saturday. Picked up some superwash sock yarn and lacewwight for dying, a lace book, baby booty book and dye. While Linda is all generous and all and already procured the dye, I bought abunch of yarn at Stitches that the color no longer appeals to me. The green is a little weird, the hue is off and looks like crap, so I got a little bottle of emerald green procion dye, mix that with a touch of black and we'll see. Pictures will be posted tp show the results of the experiment. The best thing of all is that my labels came in! A few weeks ago I ordered real labels from NameMaker. I've always wanted labels for the stuff I make, but alwasy hated that printed kind you see in cheesy craft stores. So I splurged alittle and found a place that will actually weave your name in the label, I picked a cream cotton background with black font. The top line say Handmade By and the bottom in a larger cursive font my name. So nice, professional. Oh, I finally got my camel, oooooooh camel, imagine that in a lower pitch than ooooooooh cashmere. A future project is a camel lace skull cap, pattern found at a qiviut booth at stitches, but I wasn't willing to pay 70 bucks for the yarn, a little rich for my blood. Pictures and whatever I forgot to be posted later.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Contest Mode/Free Stuff

I've been reading alot of blogs lately that have contests in them, and well, I love free stuff. I won't tell you which ones I've entered, I don't want to lessen my chances of winning, I don't expect to win, but the smallest chance to win free yarn....yum. Well the following picures is for a contest, it's from one of my favorite blogs to read,, if you have a cat, you'd understand too.
Now why do I deserve to win.....are listening, well the contest is in honor of the release of the movie "Snakes on a Plane", so I'm supposed to find a picure of an animal "in" something, hence the cat pic. But, besides that, take a look at the cd for the movie, my cousins band, yes the kid whose ass I wiped when he was 4, has a song on it, yea! That would be The Academy Is if you haven't read my blog for awhile. Will I see a free copy, no, did I get tickets to his House of Blues show, no, my uncle, his father said he could get me tickets to their show at the place formly known as the Tweeter Center, hell no, drive out to Tinley Park, ick. Well, pick me contest thrower! On the knitting front, I'm starting to recover from my Stitches/yarn overdose. I really need to finish the socks so I can start a new project, I'm past the ankle on number two. Also, the place where I bought the cashmere promised me some free camel for changing the price on me, well I hadn't recieved it yet so I e-mailed them. The owners assistant forgot before she went on vacation, so he's going to send me an 'extra big' one, yea. See, I love free stuff.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stitches Damage

Yea, um, making a list is useless, I got everything on it, plus more. Met up with Rachel and her mum and headed over to Stitches Midwest. While perusing the aisles I came across, many familiar knitting friends, Linda, Adrian and friend, Hugo and Michael I saw at the STR booth, and chitchatted with Bonne Marie and her posse. It was a good trip, didn't get overly excited this year. Instead of making the usual couple of rounds before buying, I went directly to the STR booth, I wanted that bumper sticker and something before they ran out, it was a good idea too. I prefer a lightweight finer sock yarn, but they were almost out, while I did buy some lightweight, I later came back and exchanged it for a medium weight, yea a little thicker, but I liked the color choices better. I ended up getting from Blue Moon Fiber arts one skein of medium weight superwash in the Pixie Park color way and one skein of the merino/tencel in Blue Brick Wall. The Pixie color is a little bright from me, but I have learn that with their yarns and the way its dyed, it often looks alot different knitted. Next on my list was some Inox circs for the Sarcelle lace pattern, which proved difficult. Everywhere I saw where Addi's, I love Addi's, but Inox is better for lace, but whoa, they were bought out and have a new name, Prym, and are made in Mexico. I compared them to an older pair when the company was Inox and made in Germany, they look mostly the same except the finish is different, more aluminum looking, we'll see, I thought Germany was the epicenter of knitting, hum. My mantra on this trip was, only if it's different which is why I like Dzined yarns and their booth. The make great hemp/wool yarns in great color ways that have a nice hippie feel. I've bought their stuff before at some yarn convention in Ohio a couple of years ago, I really like, it's rustic-y. So from them I bought obe skein of 50/50 wool/hemp in sport weight, great for socks, and also 4 oz of "textile grade" (versus what, smoking grade?) hemp sliver, I've never spun hemp and it shpuld be fun now that the winder is up and working. Rachael called me over to the WEBS booth to help her choose between two great deals and while I wasn't going to buy sweater knitting yarn, I've been wanting a celeryish green sweater for awhile, its a color I'm now wanting to explore. WEBS had a great deal on 50/50 Alpaca/wool in said color and if you bought 60 dollars of more you got another 20% off, so how could I pass that up? I bought 20 skeins with a grand total of 2200 yards total, I'm thinking an Irish sweater with cable and bobble and all kinds of stuff, down the road. Oh and a bottle of lavendar Eucalan wash, good for the spinning. I was almost home free when I saw the most beautiful color tencel/merino lace weight in a color that kinda looks like the inside of a hot house tomotoe right when you cut it, it kind of shimmers too. It also reminds me of art school when I would mix my own dyes for silk, I would get this color when mixing purple and yellow, it's wierd but I've always loved it. That's it. Pictures to be posted later as Blogger sucks right now.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Computer and a Credit Card

I love the modern age, you could be the best of hermits, never leave your house and still fulfill all your fiber needs. Several weeks ago I bit the bullet and just went ahead and ordered the WoolLee Winder. I didn't realize that it would take almost a month to get it, it would have been nice to use it during my freedom from work, but alas, I join the work stiffs on Monday. Well it's here and I can't wait to play with it, I hope it works as well as I think it will. When it comes to spinning, I can get on quite a roll but have to stop so often to move the hook down the bobbin, at takes up time and messes up my evenness (sp?), but the new winder will take care of that. Plus, I like the idea of it winding even, no lumps, no bumps, nice and smooth. I bought cashmere at The Fold that I look forward to playing with.

I finally got my cashmere from the UK! 150 grams of laceweight, 2250 yards approximately for 20 plus 5 for shipping, what a deal! I actually paid 29, but a couple of days after I bought mine, it was put on summer sale for 20, so I wrote the company and they offered me a free cone of something else component, so I picked a cone of 4-ply camel, I haven't gotten it yet, but I expect it within the week and will post. I've never worked with camel, I look forward to it. So the cashmere is this pretty chocolate brown 2-ply with a single thread of silvery lurex, it adds a nice subtle sparkle. I've never bought brown yarn before, all my coats, shoes and accessories are black, so this a change for me, I also thought it would look nice with my hair color. I picked the laceweight to do the Sarcelle shawl pattern that has yet to be published, a friend of a friend designed it and it is the coolest looking knit pattern, I can't explain it, but it was love at first sight. I did a sample of the cashmere, 4x4, co 40 sts, on 1US bamboo dpn's, washed it and threw it in the dryer with some towels, it bloomed nicely, not as much as I was hoping, but I think that's because of the lurex. So very soft!
Saw at a friends house this really cool vintage stitch dictionary which is where I found the pebble stitch for the socks I'm working on. I liked it so much that I found one on eBay and won it for $11 with shipping. It's in great shape, has a nifty section on stitch terms in five languages, it's very inspiring. My friend Valerie has been designing some great scarves by combing several stitch patterns which I liked and I realized that I didn't really have any great stitch pattern books to work from, it is a great addition to my library. Since I've been playing around with crochet I've been looking at the books at the crafts and have not been to happy. It seems that all the really good stuff can only be found in vintage pattern books, it's like the publishers have dumbed down the patterns, made them simple and fugly. I don't see my house covered with doilies by any means, I just thought a nice border around a pillow might add a touch a femininity to things. Oh, that's Bella modeling next to the cashmere, such a good dog.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Master of the Short Rows

1/2 of a pair of socks done! Yea. A couple of tips when photography said sock, clean your floors first, you don't want cat hair all over it and have a model with a slimmer leg model it, or at least get it from a slimmer angle. I tried a couple of things with this sock to combat my falling-sock syndrome, i.e. the socks I make always fall done on me because I have a fat calves. The pattern repeat is kind of interesting, it very slows rotates the beginning of each row by one stitch every three rows so that helps with the stretch and leg gripping. I thought I would try a gusset clock along the back if I wanted to go really high on my leg because I would definitely need to add stitches, that didn't seem to look right and the pebble pattern seemed to take the stretch nicely. I ended up doing 1.5 inches of a 1x1 rib at the top with matching elastic knitted in. So far as I write this the sock hasn't fallen down yet...I really enjoyed the toe method I used and I am master of the short rows! Tonight I shall forgo cleaning of the kitchen and cast on for the second sock.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Effing Hot

I feel like I'm melting! I am so glad I have air-conditioning, it just sucks that I don't in my car. My secret scooter fund is back up, I'm about a quarter the way there. On to the good stuff now. I've been busy while enjoying the AC, I started work on my first toe-up sock last week and have discovered a couple of things. Toe up is great, (though is still is tricky taking trying on wiht four needles hanging out) of the two toe-methods I'm tried I like the easy toe over the short row toe, I couldn't choose what stitch pattern to use, but I found one I liked in the Mon Tricot Stitch Dictionay book, the Pebble Stitch (I did modify it abit).

I also solved my needle storage issue. The straight needles look great sticking out of my round Waterford vase from the Marshall Field X-mas tree, visual had a sale and I got it for 10 bucks I think, perks from the old job were great. My problem was my double points. A couple of years ago I got this nifty box from the container store, painted it all pretty and have been using that for awhile, but I've out grown it. I came across a brush storage tubes at the local art store, and its perfect, now I don't lose my needles.

Back to my old sock needle problem. The current socks are made with Shepards Sock on size US1, I have a couple of skeins of STR that I've been playing with,with US 1's and 2's, which are just not right for it. The other day while cooling off at JoAnne's I found my self in the knitting section surrounded my nasty acrylic, when I saw the light! DPN's in a US1.5, 2.5mm for you Euro's, how cool is that! I would never buy metal's but now that I know they really are out there, I looked around and found this great company Colonial needles and ordered a set online monday, and got them today! How fab, my first rosewood needles.

Now that I'm back in sock mode I signed up for Sock Wars, should be fun, I need to start looking around for the perfect sock yarn, maybe some of the cashmere I recycled from a sweater, that would be a great surprise for some lucky person.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Yarn Harlot and More..

So the Yarn Harlot was in town on Monday, and boy did I have a headache, but got lots done all the same! My friend Mary from my old job came into the city to hang out, we did Armitage Avenue (which means shopping), finally ordered my bag from 1154 Lill Studio, which I've wanted forever and I'm happy to say I used my babysitting money for. Picked up some cool silver earrings for 36 dollars that were originally 135, got some moisturizer from Kiehl's, chocolate from Vosges and lunch at Minnies. It was really hot out, I was wearing a black shirt and had that nasty headache until late in the evening. I picked up Rachael and went to the Yarn Harlot signing in Beverly, which is just south of the city. Due to the enormous highway construction project I opted to drive down Western Ave, all the way there, with no air conditioning, which did not help my headache. So the event was nice, the signing nice, though the yarn store was a bit small and limited for my taste, I would not drive out of my way to go there.

The butterfly sweater is offically done, button sewn on and all, all I need now is to photograph it. I used to have a passion of Noro silk garden, but after knitting this sweater, I would have to say, it's a little itchy, something I never noticed before, uh. So I've got a couple of projects going now. Last year I went against my better judgement and bought a bunch of Lions Brand Glitterspun, but I love it!! Everyone makes fun of me, it's a black yarn with little bits of black sparkle in it, it looks sophisticated and basically I could not find that look in any other yarn at the time, plus it was on sale for the big Joanne's move. It took me forever to find a project but I've settled for this design from Knitty whose name escapes me, but it's a very simple 1x1 rib with scoop neck and buckle detail, easily dress up or down. Still working on a doilie for my nightstand but had two problems witht he one I'm almost finished with. 1. the color is too dark and 2. there are errors in the pattern. I'm still going to finish it since I put alot into it, thank goodness it's almost at the end and there's a good pic of it to work from and get past the typos. I started another one in a lighter blue that's more suited to the room decor, and a different pattern.

Been missing sock knitting for awhile so I thought I would start up again. I frogged what I had done with the STR yarn and put it away, I haven't found the right needles for it and I picked up a skein of Lornas Laces Shepard Sock that I got at her tour/sale. It's a little finer than STR and a size 1 needle is perfect for it, I'm using it n my first pair of toe-ups and I'm working from the Sensational Socks Book. I choose a 12 stitch lace repeat for the top of the foot and decided to try the princess style sole, which means instead of knitting, I purl the outside, it's supposed to be more comfortable.

Also I was perusing the Craigslist site and typed in knitting, guess what I found! Some very generous woman in the East Village area had a big ole box of crochet thread to get rid of, for free! So I ran over there and got it. Since my crochet skills are been greased I figure why not, I could aways use it to show my friends how to crochet, on second thought, they should use their own yarn and big needles, don't want to waste my precious...Which is going to require a dedicated drawer in my organizer...

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's Not All Me

Second post of the day, told you I forgot some stuff. So I've cleaned and re-organized the kitchen a bit and found a good home for my standmixer. Those are not all my appliances, the crockpot and one of the grills are my roommates. I am my fathers daughter, I like gadgets. I remember once when I was a kid, I bought my dad a plaque for fathers day that said "He who dies with the most toys wins", well he won, and I inherited the desire. Also, I have a habit of buying items at stores that are bridal registry returns, the Cappucino maker makes it the second one, it had a gift receipt inside, congrats to Ann Bryant, but why didn't you keep it, it is so cool!

Also, I decided the perfect use of my crochet fascinatin right now, a blue peacock looking doilie to match my room. The new bedroom decor is blue and brown, but not so stuffy as what you would seen on Pottery Barn. I figured I could put the doilie on my pedestal night stand with a round piece of glass over it. The contrast of blue against the brown wood would be nice and the glass would protect the wood.

I just realized that now my pets, and especially my cat matches my new room colors. I now if I leave my bedroom door open and I can't find Piewacket, she's under my covers.

And finally a picture of the cashmere yarns samples from the UK/ebay thing.

Before I Forget...

I have realized a very important thing, if I don't continuously blog, many days will go by, I'll think, I should write about that, then I forget. So many things have been going on. I've all but finished the Noro Butterfly sweater, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I followed the recommendations of a couple of friends who have made it too, but even with the shortened sleeves, they are a little too long. I will not rip them out, it actually looks ok to have the cuff folded back, it also helps keep the points of the edge from curling. So really I'll I have to do is sew the button on and I think I'll tack down the collar at the points to keep it from rolling up and help keep it in place. Overall, I am very happy with it and can't wait till its cold enough to wear. I'm at a bit of an empass, I have some Socks that Rock yarn that I tried the Jaywalker pattern with, it wasn't working for me because me needle size was too small and coming out all stiff, I usually use a 0 or 1's for sock knitting. I tried size 2's and while they are better, I think they're just a little too loose, but would be ok on cables or lace socks, so what's the reall problem? US 1's are 2.5 mm and 2's are 3.0 mm, do I try to find 2.75mm dpn sock needles, or look at the two circular method? Aghh! Well, I finally did it, with my special money stash (babysitting money, I overpaid my dentist and other sources) I got it, the Kitchenaid Mixer, I've only been lusting after one for 5-6 years, I had to drive all the way out to Downers Grove to get it in the Caviar finish, but you gotta love Bed Bath and Beyond for thar big blue 20% coupon, what a deal, and there still was another 20 rebate coupon by the display! Yay!

I also finally got this really stovetop cappuchino maker that I've wanted forever, I like my french press, but a good cappuchino of cafe latte... not as expensive as a big cappuchino maker and alot cooler looking, all funky italian euro.

My friend Linda is on her way to India for a week of business, can't wait to see what she'll get me, she owes me some money for some perfume I got her at the store before I left, so I put an order in for a Charka! Preferably a working one, it would make a nice addition to my collection. When she gets back she's going to help me maker a red worm compost container. I read this really interesting article in the newspaper about special containers that people use to old red worms, all you do is feed them leftover food and you get great fertilizer and composte for the garden, and make less trash!
I'm trying to remember if I missed anything. Oh Yea, Adios to my friend Nancy, she's going of the grad school in NC. We had dinner the other night, I will miss my chicken finger friend, she's the only other person who understands my fondness for chicken and pickyness for weird food. I have some pictures to post, but can't find my camera under the piles of stuff, I am doing a major cleaning of my house and stuff and trying to purge, haha.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What Do We Think About This?

Yarn Snob, your IQ score is 117

Your overall intelligence quotient is the result of a scientifically-tested formula based on how many questions you answered correctly. But it's only part of what we learned about you from your answers on the test. We also determined the way you process information.

The way you think about things makes you a Concrete Thinker. This means your intelligence is grounded in a clear understanding of what is happening around you. In situations where others are confused, things are crystal clear to you. In addition, you have the unusual combination of strong verbal and numerical skills. You are able to solve equations and then use your verbal skills to explain those solutions to others.

How did we determine that your thinking style is that of a Concrete Thinker? When we examined your test results further, we analyzed how you scored on 8 dimensions of intelligence: spatial, organizational, abstract reasoning, logical, mechanical, verbal, visual and numerical. The 3 dimensions you scored highest on combine to make you a Concrete Thinker. Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Garden Creature

I was checking out how the garden faired with the rain yesterday, and look what I found hanging out with my basil plants, a Praying Mantis! Hey Linda, is this good or bad?