29 November 2007


This is one I'm proud of.

Pattern: Kiri Shawl

Yarn: Custom-dyed silk from Jill at Looped Back

Needles: Sz. 3 Knitpicks

Recipient: Donna

Time: August - November, 2007

Notes: I feel like I've entered the grown-up world now. It's not the most challenging lace pattern ever, nor was my take on it original or all that creative, but this one feels good.

A colleague asked me to knit a shawl to complete her mother-of-the-bride ensemble and I was happy to oblige. Jill looked at the beaded top once and nailed the color perfectly. The beads I happen to run across at JoAnn's were exactly the color of the decorations. I was even able to finish it with time to spare. Sometimes things just work.

I wish I had the opportunity to take this one out for a real photoshoot outside during our beautiful fall but for now, indoor pics will have to do until I can get a copy of something from the wedding.

And just because I'm selfish, I've got to say that one of the best parts of this project is that I have enough leftover yarn to make a little somethin' somethin' for myself.

25 November 2007

Two Little Sweaters for Two Little Boys

Pattern: LMKG Placket Neck Sweater

Yarn: Wool-Ease, 1980’s Vintage, 1 humungo skein for both sweaters

Needles: Sz. 7 Addis

Notions: Simple buttons from the stash.

Dates: September – November 2007

Recipients: Drew and Jalen, the cutest nephews in the world

Notes: What to say about this pattern that hasn’t been said? It’s a goodie, although I do wish it was in worsted weight so I wouldn’t have had to do any thinking. I used the stitch numbers for the smallest size for Jalen and the second-smallest for Drew but increased a size or two on the length measurements. I’m not sure they’ll fit, but I have more yarn and can always re-do if I need to.

The yarn wasn’t so bad to work with, although not a joy either. I like the tweed look with the primary colors and I’m sure my SIL will appreciate the easy-care factor of the acrylic. Seems just cruel to give a busy mom hand-wash items unless they’re requested. I’m not sure if Wool-Ease still makes the tweed as this came from a sewing/vacuum store-closing auction. I can see why the store didn’t make it considering some of their yarn is older than I am.
Anyway, I hereby promise to not be one to dress the boys in matching clothes the rest of their lives. I think I'm still trying to recover from the matching cowgirl dress episode from childhood. However, while the guys are little, I'm doing my part to create adorable, embarrassing pictures to be trotted out as often as possible.

18 November 2007


More like NaNotSoMuch. Oh well, I honestly didn’t have too much faith in my daily posting abilities, but so long as it gets me posting more often, it’s worth it to stick to it.

I actually wanted the post the day after I wrote that miserly gripe about the $12 pattern. I really do support the work of designers and don’t mind paying for their intellectual and artistic labor. I don’t expect everything to be a Knitty free pattern and if the bag pattern contains a large stencil, I imagine the printing costs are rather exorbitant. I do think some of the simpler Noni patterns are a bit over-priced, but again, for the large Medallion pattern, I absolutely agree that $8 is fair. My personal knitting choices at the moment, however, are ruled by my desire to knit from the stash… both yarn AND patterns so I’m hesitating to purchase any new tools, gadgets or books as well as no new yarn. I still may pick up the Noni pattern if I can find it locally but for now, I’m going to be content with trying things that I don’t have to bust out the wallet for. And we all know that there’s plenty in my crafty stash to keep me busy for a long, long, long time.

I also wanted to post to have a chuckle at the cosmic irony of having my fugly declaration followed up by the first sweater pattern that I’ve seen lately that I’m really, really dying to knit. I’ve been obsessing about Oblique since it was posted and I’m hoping that I can find something in said stash that will work. I’ve seen some versions on Ravelry using worsted wt. and I’m waiting to see how that turns out. I don’t want to do a lot of complicated re-sizing so I’m hopeful that the lace factor makes up for the lighter yarn. I’m hoping to try some swatching with Lamb’s Pride to see if the mohair content gives the wool a little bulkier feel with a bit of a halo. I used this yarn last year on Lara and it’s such a dense, warm sweater that I can only wear it once it gets really cold around here (which it does… often). Even then, I generally have to take it off when I’m sitting at my desk.

So… anyway, I have three FOs to show so maybe just maybe I can keep up the posting this week. But first, I want to show what’s on the needles because I’m having major project love. Although we’ve been weather-blessed of yet and still are snow-free, it’s been chilly and blustery. I’ve enjoyed busting out the scarf collection but am wanting something a little more… substantial. My Clapotis is earning its keep but a girl’s gotta have variety.

Enter Lady Eleanor…

Oh my, my, my… if you haven’t done a Lady Eleanor, get thee to some Silk Garden stat. The entrelac is completely addictive and fast, but consider yourself warned you that you’ll stay up past your bedtime just so you can polish off the first skein… and then you’ll start the second skein just to finish the tier… and then you’ll have to force yourself to put down the needles and go to sleep like a good girl who has to get up early the next morning and work. And then of course you’ll really want to go sit and knit rather than work, but be strong, o fair knitter, and stay at the computer… at least until noon.

I know this one has had a steady internet following since Scarf Style was published, but it really didn’t take off like Clapotis. I suppose the limited yarn adaptability makes it less appealing and I guess its style is not as universal, but personally, I’m finding this the perfect project. So far, the process is wonderful, the yarn is a pleasure to work with and I can’t wait for the product. We’ll see if this love holds up in about 10 skeins.

06 November 2007

Future Felting

I got the new Interweave yesterday. Gotta say, overall I'm pretty meh on it. Veronik Avery may be the darling of the knitting world at the moment, but that cat head sweater is just darn fugly. I honestly don't like the overall look and feel of the magazine. It seems less "timeless" and "classic" and more fitted sweaters with weird construction that were they published in Knitter's or one of the less hip 'zines, they'd be ripped right out of the blogosphere. I just don't see many that are very knit-able for most people. I thought the fall issue was great, but I didn't see much in this one to make me even check sizes and yarns for possibilities.

Well, except for a project that was in an ad. Did you see the lace bag from Tink Knits.com? It's called the Barcelona Bag and its designer did the amazing carpet bag with intarsia and embroidery a few years ago, the one that I've been dying to make as soon as I felt I could justify a big yarn splurge.

It was the first website I visited this morning, all ready to bust out the credit card for the pattern, planning to work it in the same blue/black combo in the ad. But wait, spray paint? Huh?

I guess it works since it's from a designer who knows what she's doing, but I don't know. I'm guessing you don't use regular ol' hardware store spray paint. And do you think that the pattern comes with the lace or would it be up to you to find a suitable piece to use as a stencil? I'm going to try Ravelry to see if anyone else has thought about this one. It's a $12 pattern so I'm not so sure I'll go for it. Seems like too much for my current budget considering how many other things I need to knit at the moment.

Since I'm in the mood for doing some colorwork and would like another big felted bag, I'm going to look around locally for the Noni pattern for the Medallion bag or order it this weekend. It'll fit the bill and I won't have to take my knitting to the back yard for ventillation or worry about getting carried away and tagging my living room floor.

Granted, I'm not starting anything until the shawl is blogged and there are two nephew sweaters in the mail.

05 November 2007


Tonight could mark the transition between fall and winter as we're due for our first dusting of the dreaded white stuff tomorrow.

Fitting that I spent part of my rainy afternoon binding off and blocking. I love the transformation of blocking lace but this one can't happen fast enough.

I just want to play with the finish product!

04 November 2007


Binding off just when I was I ready to give up ... finally.

Drying petals that did give up ... unfortunately.

Writing posts just because I don't want to give up on NaBloPoMo on the 4th ... pathetically.

03 November 2007

What I Want, What I Really, Really Want…

The academic job hunting process is daunting, exhausting, expensive and just downright depressing. I suppose any job hunt is, really, but in talking with friends and family, it seems like academics are quite talented at finding new and improved ways to make things unnecessarily complicated and stinky.

But… I’ve got to keep printing address labels and licking envelopes so I’ve been coming up with new daily strategies for motivation. Probably the best motivation is the daydreams about what I might be able to do were I to get one of these magical j-o-b-s. The reality is that if I get one of these j-o-b-s, I’ll be chained to a desk working on either my publications that need to be revised or exams that need to be graded, but oh the daydreams I’ve got lined up.

I’ve got places that I want to go and things that I want to do, but the easiest things to put in a list are, well, the things that I want in my new and improved post-graduation life.

1. Stainless steel sink with a garbage disposal.

2. Nice back porch furniture, not necessarily fancy, just comfy and preferably without rust and broken springs that make sitting for too long an exercise in living on the edge. Of course, this furniture will be sitting on a great back porch attached to a cute little house.

3. A new office chair… I’m not sure if my chair is contributing to my physical demise or giving me really strong gluts. I know it’s doing a number on my lower back, as my trainer and multiple ice-pack a day habit will attest, but since it doesn’t stay raised at the full height for more than an hour, it’s also helping my daily squat count as I have to stand up and pull on the lever every few minutes.

4. A new mattress. Potential contribution to back pain #2? Guess it’s a good thing I’ll be exhausted until June so I won’t notice how mushed and smushed my current mattress is getting.

5. Huh… so I kept this open for hours, ready to add my fifth object of desire and I actually can’t come up with something. I guess that’s a good thing since it’s not like I’m applying for jobs that will make me millions but strange that I don’t have more material wants. Maybe some new clothes? A new camera? Good thing I’ll have awhile before I need to do any shopping!

Just realized that two of my top desires are for sitting devices. Good grief, that’s pathetic. Can you tell what I’ve been doing with my time?

02 November 2007

Old Boots

With the return of the morning frost-scraping ritual comes the semi-annual closet switcharoo. Corduroys and heavy sweaters are emerging for another year of duty, some a little rusty and bedragled.

The past few years I've been trying to minimize my shopping, only splurging for the essentials while trying to wear out the gems in my over-stuffed dresser drawers. It's somewhat sad to say that I've had to go through several years of restraint to even start to see the effects.

Today I pulled out two pairs of black boots that should never have been stored in the first place, heels worn down and toes scuffed beyond the repair of polish. I really debated if they should be cleaned up, made to suffer through one more winter, just a few more snowstorms. I'm not sure what lessons my depression-era grandmother gave me or how she got them to stick so well, but I pretty much have to be able to see through clothes before I feel justified in getting rid of them. And honestly, even then I prefer to have a hole or two just for safe measure.

Were they nice boots, I would've had them repaired, but one was an $8 pair I scored on a Target clearance rack years ago and the other came from a discount shoe store that sold mismatched pairs so long as the size was only off by a little bit. Yet, I still debated most of the afternoon while I caught up on laundry and gradually mixed the winter gear in with my year-long standards. The kicker was that once I did finally choose to give them up, I realized that they were so bad I don't think Goodwill would even want them.

The whole experience got me thinking about where we draw the line between hoarding and just being a packrat and how our definitions of rational behaviors change over time and in different cultural and economic settings. I'm fortunate to have several other pairs of black boots still waiting in the closet and so by our standards I was being irrational by holding onto boots that looked bad and were quite worn down. Yet, in other circumstances, it would've been irrational to toss them because they weren't entirely useless.

Anyway, I guess I'm probably a little off that I'm so interested in how we react to our own "stuff." But I doubt my obsession will be as easy to toss as my old boots.

01 November 2007


Well, let's try this again. I signed up last year and pretty much flaked. Kinda like how I flaked tonight on the meeting I'm supposed to be at this very moment.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I roll...

But you've got to be optimistic so I'm giving it another shot. One month... a post a day...

I thought about trying the novel in a month challenge but realized that if I struggle getting a sentence on the blog, I might really struggle with an average of 1600+ words a day. And you know, I am supposed to be spending my words on my dissertation rather than my memoir or a feeble attempt at the Great American Novel(la).

So, who knows what little juicy tidbits I'll invent to have something to write about, but at least I've taken the first step and thrown up a post to kick this off.

Happy November!