Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Knitting = Danger?

I've posted before that I have vivid and realistic dreams. Last night, I had a dream that ended with Jason Isaacs (the bad guy in the Patriot, Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter moves) trying to assault me. With antique knitting needles.

Now, I know I'm stressed. But, come on! I know that some people theorize that dreams are only a person processing and working through things, but I can't really be that stressed out about my knitting!

So, while I've been writing this post, I've been processing what the dream could mean, symbolically. So here you go:

Jason Isaacs = knitting

Knitting = fun, then overwhelming, then stressful, then dangerous (?)

Weird, huh?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


As promised, here are some long-promised FO-tos! Here is the completed Print of the Wave:

Here's the Print of the Wave over the dress I wore:

My Dreams in Color shrug on the blocking board:

The yarn I've spun up for my Peacock Plumes shawl:

And the beginnings of my Ribby Cardi:

(The sleeve yarn is on the left, the body yarn is on the right. Also out of Le Stash)

In other news, I've been playing on Ravelry (my username is cuteknitter), which is wicked fun. Come play!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pattern Gnomes!

During our move, things that I have deemed necessary (i.e.: camera battery charger, iPod sync cable, loose WIP patterns) got shuffled. We moved mid-July, and here I was, mid-September, about to lose my mind.

After finishing the Dream in Color shrug, I wanted to cast on a Ribbi Cardi out of (yet more) Tess overdyed yarn. I knew where the yarn was, but all of the loose patterns that I've purchased in the last year were in one place (ahem, not in a binder), and all AWOL. I have been hunting for the box that has been hiding these treasures for about two weeks, and * may * have dissolved into a fit of exhausted tears after an all-afternoon (and all-evening) hunt proved fruitless.

(I may have accused Pattern Gnomes of stealing my loose patterns for profit.)

So, what does a girl do? She calls on Andrew. I asked him to help me hunt through the handful of remaining boxes, and he did. In the process of hunting, I found my favorite commuter mug, my iPod accessories box, and my camera accessories. Joy! Rapture! (There also may have been some squealing.)

I ended up in my office, and there they were, buried under a couple of "desk" boxes. (My desk is still at the old place, being staged.) I did a dance, emptied two huge boxes, and pulled my Ribbi Cardi pattern out to be swatched and cast on in the very near future.

(The Ribbi Cardi is getting cast on after I'm done plying the yarn for my Peacock Plumes shawl. That should be by Wednesday or Thursday, for anyone playing the home game.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So full of virtue, I could spew…

Purlescence finally got in the Dream in Color yarns and patters. I was there, doing my normal knitting thing, and there were the boxes and boxes of "Classy", one color more beautiful than the next.

If you're a regular reader, or you know me personally, you'll know that I have a lot of yarn. You'll also know that the last statement is a drastic understatement. Since the old place hasn't sold yet, new stuff is not really an option- we're using some of the "money" (it'll come out of quotes once it's real and actual money has materialized) to re-do the kitchen in the new place and put in some decent storage in the garage.

So, I bought the pattern for the AWESOME lace shrug, went home, dug through the stash, and emerged with THE PERFECT yarn for the project. Then, to double my virtue (and double my fun, if you will), I cast it on Thursday night and completed the knitting this afternoon.

That's right. Start to finish, the shrug took three days to knit. (It's waiting to be blocked, I'll post pictures once that's done.) That would be three days of red hands, caused by bleeding yarn.

Now, I hate to sound like Lady Macbeth, but seriously, getting red dye out of your nails is darn near impossible. I'm looking forward to seeing how much dye comes off in the pre-blocking soak.

The shrug itself is terribly addictive to knit- I haven't knit anything in worsted weight in months, and watching a piece grow so quickly is… addictive.

So, in summary: one FO out of the stash in one weekend. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sam is Home!

After being overseas all summer, Sam came home last night. I have to admit, I've been so absorbed in my own life (moving, prepping the other house for sale, desperately grasping to the remaining strands of my sanity), that it really doesn't feel like he's been gone all summer.

So, about two weeks ago, he started planning his return home. He asked me to remind my father to re-start his car insurance and told me that he was craving a Ruben sandwich. You can't get a Reuben in Tehran.

So, every subsequent phone call after that ended with "Don't forget to bring me a Ruben when you get me from the airport." There was also a 5 AM phone call in the morning to give me flight details- and remind me to bring the Ruben. And a text message, in the event that I was too asleep to remember.

I worked from home, since his flight was due in around 2 PM. Delayed. Delayed. Delayed. By 5:00 PM, it was due to land at 7:30 PM. I rolled into the airport at EXACTLY 7:30, parked, and waited in the receiving lounge with my eyes glued to the status monitor.

While I am generally a pleasant person, when I am alone in public places I am accosted by perverts and lunatics. It's as if I have a sign on my forehead or something.

(I had an ex-boyfriend tell me it was my own fault for being polite and making eye contact and smiling. It's, evidently, a welcome sign for both the perverts and the lunatics.)

I was prepared this time. As I was leaving my car, I put in my visible headphones and began a Podcast. As soon as I found a place to stand and wait, I pulled my sock out of my purse and began knitting.

Now, I've normally found that the following equation is true:

Knitting in public + alone = Approachable

But last night, it was this:

Knitting in public + alone + headphones = Interesting from a distance.

I am theorizing that this is also true, and will report once I have conclusive empirical evidence:

Knitting in public + alone + headphones + random laughter/mumbling = Crazy knitting lady.

I am calling this the "Golden Rule of Knitting in Public". I have found the system to control being approached based on how I am feeling.

In my peripheral vision, I could see people pointing at my knitting, and in the direct line of my sight, I could see people pointing at my knitting. While I waited (almost 40 minutes) for Sam to get off of the plane and get through customs, I got about three inches (ahem, on size 0's) knit on the cuff of my sock. Not bad for a night's work.

The drive back was nice, Sam and I got to just chit-chat, which I missed. The conversation moved towards politics, as it always has a tendency to with Sam, but it was nice to just be silly (and a little philosophical) with him.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ah... The Sweet Smell of Wet Wool

So, Lily of the Valley (which has been finished for a week and a half) is now on the blocking board. Is there anything as pleasant as the smell of wet wool? Mmmm.... (I know, I'm a total weirdo.) I also finished my Guenevere (from Shawl Style) this last weekend. It looks like a crumpled wad of yuck now, but it will be much improved with blocking. Pictures will be posted then. This makes a total of 4 lace shawls this summer. (Summer is over on the 21st of this month.) Wendy is doing her "Summer of Socks"; mine ended up being the "Summer of Shawls". I've cast on two more lace shawls, and I am still obsessed. One of the lace shawls is a semi- original, the other is from one of the little Vogue Knitting books. I'm still spinning- just nothing interesting. I'm not about to post pictures of white roving, or white singles. Once they're dyed, then I'll post pictures. Speaking of dyeing, the Minions are doing a dyeing day at the end of the month, so Cynthia, Colleen and I all went up to Carolina Homespun on Friday. I bought the necessities- and found the PERFECT roving for my Peacock Plumes shawl:

I know it's a giant picture, but you can really see the depth of the color. FINALLY! I've found something that feels "just right" for this shawl!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"It Do Shimmah So..."

I haven't paid much attention to Lancelot, my Schacht, since the pre-moving madness, but I had begun spinning some undyed tussah silk.

I felt a certain sense of urgency to finish it, since there is other stuff I want to spin, and I am planning on dyeing it.

I'll be honest; I don't really like spinning silk. Silk blends, yes. Silk-silk? Not so much. I also don't really care for spinning "natural" colored roving.

But, I'm nothing if not goal-oriented, so I plowed through the last of the spinning and the plying, and skeined up the silk, and...


I'm * almost * feeling a twinge of doubt about dyeing it, but I know that the dye won't compromise the shimmer, and the lovely, warm, honey tones will come through whatever color I decide to make it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Peacocks, Part Deux

The peacock yarn has been spun, plied, and set. It is a lovely laceweight (equivalent to Zephyr), and the most appetizing color of anti-freeze green. Needless to say, I love it.


At the Monterey Wool Auction, I ran into Sheri (of Morro Fleece Works), and she asked me how I liked the feathers. They were, apparently, a cool experiment. I told her the truth.

"Well, I thought 'peacock feathers' was spinning slang for something. I was a little surprised that it was actual feathers!" I said.

Sheri let me know that if she ever sent me anything that did not meet expectations, to ship it right back to her, and I replied with, "Oh, I love the roving! I'm just a boring spinner."

At this point, Colleen walks up behind me and says, "Oh, you mean the Peacock Pubes?" Not realizing that the woman I was talking to was the one who I bought it from.

I may have turned all shades of red, and sputtered, "It just came out! We were punchy!"

Sheri was a terrific sport about it, and laughed, which was a relief. I let her know that Colleen was using the second bump as-is, pubey feathers and all, but mine was destined for lace, and the feathers weren't in that plan.

So, for your viewing pleasure, set and dried in my beautiful backyard:

Monday, September 3, 2007

FO, Foo!

That's right! Another FO!

[Lily of the Valley, from Lace Style. Knit in Malabrigo Laceweight.]

I know, you're shocked. Another lace stole! This shawl is awesome.

I added a small detail to the border- a bead at each peak of the edging.

It needs blocking and the ends woven in, and ba-da-bing! It's totally done.