Saturday, March 31, 2007

green gable: 1 trixie: 0

i cast on green gable last night while watching borat. bad idea.

the movie was painfully funny but you gotta wonder how they did not get their asses sued off. and i read somewhere that they did not have any permits. at all. and that two crew members were tossed in jail and ate a piece of paper with the day's shooting locations or something wacky like that.

anyway, casting on took forever. the backward loop method is just a pain but will look nice as the neckline. the first row was hard to knit because of the backward loop and kinda splitty yarn. making sure it wasn't twisted took massive amounts of time. about a third of borat has subtitles so i was watching the tv more than my hands. i finally got the markers in place, did the first row of lace, kept knitting and couldn't figure out why i had like three bars on the needle. sometimes my stitches are a bit sloppy when knitting in front of the tv but three bars in a row? weird. i corrected them and knit a couple more stitches and then realized that i am an idiot.

those bars? yeah, the YOs for the lace pattern. idiot*. i tinked back but wasn't sure if i picked up the YOs correctly. i knit a round, started the next round, realized that i forgot the increases, tinked back, added the increases, knit the lace pattern and realized yeah no, i didn't pick them up correctly. i just frogged it.

the wee one is down for a nap. i think i'll pop in a movie (that i've seen before) and start again.

* this is my first lace project if that counts for anything.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

my left eyebrow

has had enough of this cruel world. my left eyebrow is developing a bald spot.

i would love to know why this is happening. my eyebrow care has been sadly lacking since i had the wee monkey. no time to nip out for a quick eyebrow wax. i've plucked the odd unruly hair from both brows but i've largely been letting them roam free. except i've been noticing that my left eyebrow seems to be disappearing altogether. so weird.

i barely have eyebrows as it is. when i run my fingers over the brow, it feels like there is hair there but it has become so white blond that i can't see it. there's certainly less hair than the right brow.

spontaneous, localized alopecia? i'll have to google it...
ps. still no knitting. sigh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

hard core

a few weekends ago, the boy and i were visiting with his brother and wife. my sister in law is beautiful knitter; she loves cables and they love her. when we visit i like to paw through her knitting books. i've been on a bit of an elizabeth zimmerman kick lately and so pulled "knitting around" off the shelf and started flipping through it. my sister in law dug around the tv and pulled out a video and handed it to me: wool gathering #39 an aran coat.

ez and her daughter had a public television series (in the 80s i think) and in this episode they are recreating an aran coat that ez had knit years earlier.

i felt a bit like a hard core knit geek sitting there watching a video of two women knitting but it was so interesting. i'd never seen anyone create a pattern from scratch before (even though they were basing it on an existing sweater) and it was amazing to watch them with their pad of paper, calculator, and original sweater. they made it look so easy.

and watching their fingers fly in the continental style really makes me anxious to give it a go and give up english style knitting. the next little project i start, i'm going continental!

the video even had a shot of ez knitting on the back of her husband's motorcycle as he zipped along.

the best part of the video was watching the two women cut the steeks. steeking has always scared me silly. the idea of taking a pair of scissors to a sweater and willfully cutting a hole just seems so wrong. what if you make a mistake? but i'd only ever read about it; i'd never seen it action. watching ez and meg do it gave me great confidence that i too could someday cut up a sweater on purpose.

on the knitting front, i haven't had any time to knit in days. we had company this past weekend which meant cleaning and cooking and hosting. maybe i'll have time today...

Friday, March 23, 2007


no time to post. too busy outside. in the sun. yea!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

the three Rs

one of the things the boy brought into our relationship (besides boxes and boxes of paper) was a beautiful hand knit aran sweater. he picked it up in kensington in the early 90s and had been faithfully wearing holes into it ever since. he was wearing the sweater the day we met.

during our university years, we both wore the hell out of that sweater. being students and fans of big, stompy black boots, a deconstructed sweater fit right in with our aesthetic. for nearly a decade the sweater has languished at the back of the closet. i couldn't bring myself to throw it out and it really wasn't fit for wearing any more.

instead, i'm gonna frog it. i'll make new skeins and i'll give it a good wash. and someday i'll use it to make something pretty. reduce, reuse, recycle.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

success. sortof.

the wee monkey and i just trudged through the rain to LYS.

a quick aside: stores, please make your aisles wide enough that a person can maneuver a stroller through them. thank you.

i pawed through the sale corner for more of the rowan cotton. they had one ball. it is in my dye lot though. so i bought it. am i insane enough to think that i could fit into a medium of the green gables?
maybe. i am still breastfeeding which is giving the girls some added girth. and i started a diet of sorts on sunday. i am tired of my clothes not fitting. and the muffin top icks me out something fierce. time to shed some extra weight. i'll be hitting the gym soon too. yea! me! basically i've cut out the crap, am trying to add more protein to my meals (this is harder than i thought), i'm snacking healthy (i just had a small bowl of no fat yogurt with a handful of cereal, a sprinkle of almonds, and a dash of cinnamon. all i need is some bee balm and some wheat germ and you could call me hedda), and eating more veggies. so it is not a diet-diet. merely a wake up call to the cookies and cheese currently filling out my jeans.

anyway, the bare minimum is 10 lbs, the ideal is 20 lbs (according to the BMI so don't wig on me) and i'd like to be close to that by july when i return to work. the kid will be weaned by then (i dearly hope!), so fitting into a medium green gable is not crazy talk. look at the lengths i will go to use up some stash yarn! this is commitment. wait. how long does yarn have to be in the stash before it is considered stash yarn?

ms. hedda, they had 7 balls of a lovely green (close to the color in the pattern but with a titch more blue) at the store. it is $4.15 a ball. i could pick it up and send it to you...

oh, and if this whole thing turns into a debacle, here's the backup plan:

Monday, March 19, 2007

green gables KAL

ms. hedda and i are doing a green gables KAL. i'm so excited! i love that sweater.

here's where i am:

swatching with some rowan all seasons cotton. i bought the cotton for a song, furthing justifying the purchase by intending to knit a sweater for baby j. but really, i bought the yarn because it was so cheap and i had been eyeing it up for a while. i checked the shade card for it on yarn index and the color is called "pansy". not exactly masculine...

this is all to make me feel less guilty about absconding with the yarn for my own purposes.

here's more knit math fun. the rowan yarn calls for 4.5 to 5.5 mm to get 16-18 st / 4 inches.

the green gables pattern calls for 4 mm to get 20 st / 4 inches.

according to my measurements, i'd be a medium but everything i've read about green gables (thanks to the official KAL), indicates that this sweater fits small unless you yourself are very small and trim. i am neither, being busty and curvy. so i should probably make a large.

except that the pattern calls for 4 skeins brown sheep cotton for a large. the cotton fleece is 215 yards/100g ball. that's 860 y/400g.

i have six skeins of the rowan all seasons cotton 98 yards/50 g ball. that's 558 yards/300 g.

but what if i made the medium? that's 645 yards/300 g. still not enough yarn. i could go back to LYS and see if they have two more skeins of the pansy colors (i think they do maybe) in the same dye lots (can lightening strike twice?). if i made the medium, since i am so far off gauge with the rowan yarn, the sweater would actually fit bigger... right? i need to do more math and i need to swatch with different needle sizes...

here's what i love about knitting. and maybe this makes me a process knitter. if it doesn't fit i can rip it out and i can try again. i love that. there's nothing permanent about it, really. this knowledge makes me rash. i make decisions on wonky math that i would never in a million years make otherwise. because in the end the worst thing that could happen is that it is too small and i have to knit it again. i don't see it as wasted time at all. i knit in front of the tv so my time is being wasted anyway. i knit so i feel like less of time waster in front of the tv. it all works out very well for me.

i do wish the pattern has some more measurements included in it though. it'd be nice to have a bit more to go on.


first one of the year and i wont be ripping out. yea! it only took until march!

simple hat from debbie bliss's baby knits for beginners; a book i bought years before i had a child or was even thinking of a child. (i bought it for the pictures. debbie bliss's stylists and photographers do amazing jobs making the patterns look so appealing.)

i've cranked out this hat for all of the babies that have arrived in the meantime. my next door neighbour just became a grandmother so this hat is off to keep little logan warm.

yarn: debbie bliss baby cashmerino, slate blue
needles: 3.5 mm
started: monday march 12
finished: friday march 16
modified to knit in the round

in unknitting news: i got a $100 speeding ticket on saturday. natch. if it had been 60 seconds later, i wouldn't have been speeding at all. we were driving back roads to london and approaching a "town" of about 6 houses that has a 60km speed limit. hardly anyone ever slows down but i do because the houses are close to the road. sigh.

Friday, March 16, 2007

wind it up

that atrocious gwen staffani song has been in my head since wednesday. that woman has some serious balls to rape the sound of music that way. now you can have it stuck in your head too! sorry about that.

why do i have wind it up on the brain? tuesday night was the guild meeting. (those guild meetings are a topic for another day. remind me.) i happily took possession of the swift and ball winder and headed home. first thing on wednesday morning, still in my pjs, i set it up and got winding.

and oh! the fun! and the speed! it took about four minutes to wind 250 yards of the kyoto cotton. and two minutes for hourglass noro. i went a little nuts. i dug out every poorly wound ball of yarn in my stash and went about setting it right. i wound 20 balls on wool on wednesday. 20! i did have them all lined up on my dining room table but started to worry about nefarious acts committed by microscopic bugs and so packaged everything up in ziplocks.

i am so excited! and i have to admit, if spinning is half as fun as winding balls i fear i might develop a new hobby.

a big shout out to bethy for talking up how much i need my own swift and winder in front of the boy.

Monday, March 12, 2007

slouch much?

i am having serious cravings for a slouchy hat. and wendy has created a pattern (pdf).

i look good in hats but i don't think i could pull off le slouch. and yet i still want one. i have some gray classic merino in the stash...

since i am in the middle of a seed stitch marathon i don't think it is wise to embark on another seed stitch pattern. i am already in a fragile state. more mossy goodness could put me over the edge. besides i have babies to knit for.

maybe i only want a slouch hat because my whole life seems to be in slouch mode. i've been wearing the same t shirt, sweater, and jeans for months. meh. the time change has me dragging today.

but i have to say the afternoon/evening after the time change was fun. ms. hedda and mcpie came to visit us! we had a great time hanging out and catching up. it is a pity that our nation's capital is not three hours closer...

Friday, March 9, 2007

nothing to do with anything

i never really liked barbies as a kid. they didn't do anything and they were so stiff. i was constantly losing her shoes and the "diamond" ring and that bugged me. i remember owning three barbies: barbie, ken, and skipper (who, when you rotated her arm forward grew breasts and when you rotated it back became flat. really.)

i also had a carrying case. it had two spots where you could put your barbies and then two areas for their wardrobes. it looked like this (only not so gross). i am not sure about the cover; i think mine was just plain but maybe i've just blocked it out.

my outstanding memory of that case is its smell. the thing reeked of plastic. throat-clogging plastic. i didn't like playing with it because of the smell.

about 7 years ago (yipes! 7 years. oh my.) i started a new job and on the first day was handed a training guide in a plastic binder along with the 8 or 9 other new hires. i sat in a room reeking of plastic for a week, thinking of barbie dolls and strawberry shortcake and rainbow brite and learned nothing about video networking.

last night i put up a new shower curtain liner. and now my bathroom smells like a barbie carrying case.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

possibly the start of something

ms. hedda sent me the most fab tshirt for my birthday. truthfully, i've barely worn anything else since it arrived in the mail. (who doesn't love to get packages in the mail?)

anyway, one of the knit blogs that i peruse had a link to this site (click Shop). oh my god. i want almost all of those shirts. and the ssk car magnet. seriously, a knitting mud flap girl! tee hee! i think my fave is the clever one.

my first (and last?) sock

i admit that sock knitting has never really appealed to me. seems like a whole lotta work for something that likely requires hand washing. of course, i've never had a pair of hand knit socks so i obviously don't know the allure and charm that is hand knit sock love. i could be totally wrong. (that is not strictly true. apparently i got a pair for christmas two years ago but that is a story for another day.)

swept up in the hoopla of the yarn harlot coming to make us laugh, i thought it fitting that i make a pair of socks. that and a washing machine beefcake calendar but again, another story, another day. i had some koigu kicking around. i googled koigu sock pattern and i got to work.

turning the heel was easy, shaping was going fine, the sock progressed. then i met stephanie and got to hold the sock. i realized that her sock is what hand knit socks are supposed to feel like. you could feel the love knit into every stitch. stephanie's sock would hug and caress your feet all day. you'd look forward to slipping into a pair and wriggling your toes in glee.

i finished my sock for two reasons 1) to say that i did it and 2) to prove that they sucked ass. all baggy and meh. i also grew to hate the colorway and wondered if i left my brain at home the day i bought it. seriously. ugly.

all in all, i have yet to succumb to sock knitting.

Friday, March 2, 2007

quest for a moebius

you could either call me determined or stupid, but i am still trying to make a moebius that i will wear. my boy gave me a gift certificate to the LYS for christmas and i knew exactly what to spend it on. gorgeous gorgeous manos del uruguay yarn for a moebius. i wanted to make one that sits rather snugly around the shoulders and arms, across the chest and is about 6-8 inches wide.

(originally i was going to knit my so called scarf but watching 24 while knitting, still being a bit sleep deprived, having only a few minutes at a time to knit, and general ADD caused me to constantly have the wrong number of stitches on my needles. plus, i didn't like that the reverse of the scarf is merely purl stitches. kinda ruined it for me)

using cat bhordi's crazy cast on method, i began the moebius. for reasons i cannot fathom, i am utterly incapable of counting how many stitches i've cast on and so continue until i look like i have enough. ha. and then i knit and knit and knit and knit and finally cast off. only to find the moebius hangs down to my bellybutton and is 3 inches wide. not exactly the look i was going for.

sigh. my neighbour, and fellow guild member, is the one who suggested i use the manos for the moebius. she coached a friend along and they took notes apparently. i need to track down those notes.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

wind not?

another lesson in winding: what not to do and why.
natch, that fischer price stacking ring post has its limits.