Sunday, January 29, 2006

An Almost F.O.

Here is the orange-and-blue baby sweater, all seamed and edged, just needing buttons and blocking.

o&b baby sweater

I realize this picture doesn't look a whole lot different than the last (except that it was taken on the living room area rug, rather than the ugly wall-to-wall carpet), but look closely - not only is it now all one piece, but there's also a little orange border along the front(s) and the neckline. I'm really pleased with it, but I'm not sure what to do about buttons. I'm thinking just plain round orange buttons. There's not a good place here in S.A. to buy buttons, and for some reason I can't get excited about buying buttons online. I guess I'll go with whatever I can find at the fabric store. But if any of you out in my vast audience have other ideas - about either the type of button or where to buy them - let me know.....

(Did I explain that it's orange and blue because those are the University of Illinois' colors? Even though neither Heather nor her husband went to the UofI, pretty much everyone from central Illinois is a fan by default.)

I've got about half of one leg done on the Blu jeans. It's true, the dark blue Rowan Denim rubs off on your hands, just like brand new dark blue jeans can turn your legs blue. I'm still not loving the yarns, but I'm getting more excited about seeing how they turn out!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Look to the right.....

I've moved the "Things to Join" to below my favorite blogs. I need to work on the buttons; there's too much variation in size. You might notice that there's a new San Antonio blog - Knotty Purls. Go visit her! And I've added some non-San Antonio knitting blogs. I have dozens on my Bloglines, and I'll be adding more, but the ones listed are my favorites.

So if you're thinking that I'm avoiding knitting content, you're right. I've started the baby jeans and they're going fine, but, so far, I don't really enjoy knitting with the denim yarn. (Don't tell Kay, the Denim Queen!) I'm sure I'll get used to it, and they'll be adorable when they're all finished, but I'm missing the feel of wool and/or mohair. Maybe I can alternate between the jeans and my Brooks Farm scarf.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Some Progress

I've finished most of the knitting on the orange and blue baby sweater. All that's left is the seaming and a little bit of orange edging on the front edges and the neckline. And buttons. I still have to find buttons. I'm thinking orange, but they would have to be the right shade.

o&b sweater

As soon as I'm finished here, I'll cast on for the baby Blu jeans.

Chevron scarf In other knitting news, my favorite current WIP is a version of the Chevron Scarf from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. I'm making it wider - I cast on 72 stitched rather than 48 - and I'm doing it in one gorgeous yarn, instead of two. I'm using my other Brooks Farm Duet yarn that I got at Kid'n'Ewe.

The colors are fairly true, at least on my monitor. That fuzzy white blob is Simon's paw. He always wants to help, so this time, instead of tossing him (repeatedly) off the dining room table, I let him stay. I thought maybe I could get a cute shot like Wendy always has. Alas, Simon is not nearly as well behaved as Lucy! The photo below is representative of his normal behavior around loose needles. Luckily, he's usually happy to settle down in my lap while I'm actually knitting with said needles.
Simon and the Chevron Scarf

Monday, January 23, 2006

No Real Knitting Content

I'm still plugging away on the sleeves of the orange and blue baby sweater. I will finish them tonight. Yes, I will!!! Then all that's left is the seaming up. Oh, and an edging.

In the meantime... I am oddly attracted to silly online quizzes, so this is probably not the last one you'll see here. I particularly like the ones that make me look smart. As a Rhetoric major, I absolutely had to take this one!

Edit: I edited the 'cut and paste' score below - probably against the rules, but it was wider than my blog!

True English Nerd

You scored 86 erudition!

Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 83% on erudition
Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Miscellaneous Knitting News

I've finished the fronts and back of the orange and blue baby sweater, and have begun both sleeves. I'm knitting them at the same time, so I won't have to count row or measure, and therefore obsess about a 1/8 inch difference. The first inch and a half of each sleeve (the cuff area) will be solid orange, then the dark blue-light blue-dark blue-orange sequence will begin again.

If you're taking part in the Harlot's Knitting Olympics, Jen of JenLa has designed some great 'team' buttons for you to steal for your blog. I felt so lame saying I was going to just knit a pair of socks, but I must not be the only one, since there's a USA Sock Team (see? there's a button over there on the right!).

Tomorrow afternoon is the every-other-Sunday meeting of our Stitch'n'Bitch StitchingSA group. If you're in San Antonio, we'll be meeting at the Candlelight Coffee House on St. Mary's at 4:00.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Long-Awaited WIP

I have many works-in-progress, but this one is the most pressing. This is an orange and blue garter stitch cardigan for my cousin Heather's baby boy, due in March. In addition to the sweater, I'm going to knit a pair of the adorable baby jeans from the last Knitty. The sweater pattern is from Melanie Falick's Knitting for Baby. In fact, it's the sweater on the cover. This is the back, the right front, and most of the left front. However, I'll soon be frogging the last 20 rows of the left front. Why?

oops Well, partly because they were knit after midnight last night, and they look like it. But mostly because of the double ridge of dark blue that the big white arrow is pointing at. I actually just noticed this as I was taking the pictures. Probably just as well - it means I have to frog the crappy after-midnight knitting.

And, finally -- I wondered how long it would be before I felt compelled to make a political comment. Apparently, it was 10 days, because this just kills me! What part of "this law was already struck down by the Supreme Court" does this administration not understand? To a librarian, the idea that the government wants to know what sort of information anyone is seeking is absolutely appalling. Just because you google for "how to make napalm" doesn't mean you're cooking some up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My First Meme

Susan tagged me. I'm glad that only about 3 people (including Susan) read my blog, since you're about to discover that I'm very, very odd....

4 jobs you have had:
Medical librarian
Substitute grade school music teacher
Preschool teacher
Army Education Center receptionist

4 movies you could watch over and over:
It Happened One Night
Lost in Translation
Animal House
(see? I warned you....)

4 TV shows you love to watch:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rockford Files reruns

4 places you have been on vacation:
Oxford, England
Swiss Alps
New Orleans

4 websites you visit daily
ESPN's College Hoops page
UTHSCSA Library (my work)
PubMed (also work-related)

4 of your favorite foods
Gai Pad Gra Pow (Thai Chicken with Basil)
Peanut M&Ms
My own (or my mom's) chili
Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

4 places you would rather be right now
I'm pretty happy where I am right now - in my comfy chair with a kitty on my lap. But it would be nice if my comfy chair were somewhere in the Midwest.

4 bloggers you are tagging
I only know a few other bloggers (that I know of) and one is Susan, who tagged me. And only three people read my blog! But here goes:
Eunny (my most favorite blog, although she doesn't know I exist!)
Theresa (another favorite)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Okay, I'm in....

I was planning on knitting another pair of socks anyway, as part of 200Sox, but now I have a deadline! I'm signing on to the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. The rules are easy - cast on during the Winter Olympics' opening ceremonies on Feb. 10 and bind off during the closing ceremonies on Feb. 26. Swatching is considered 'training,' so you can do that in advance. And you're supposed to choose a project that will be a challenge but not impossible. So I've chosen the Crusoe socks from Knitty. They'll be my second pair of socks, they're on teeny-weeny size 1 needles, knit on four needles (rather than the five I used for my first pair), and, as the World's Slowest Knitter, finishing anything in 16 days will be a challenge!


I have to admit that, although I knew about blogs and read a few news/politics blogs frequently, I didn't know about knitting blogs until last spring. Once I discovered them, I was hooked. And the first follow-the-crowd pattern I saw was Clapotis. I was completely enchanted and had to make one of my own. Since I couldn't afford Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb, I used Southwest Trading's Bamboo in azu, which I ordered from what was then KnitPixie.

ClapotisI loved the pattern--not too hard, but not totally mindless, either--and I adored the yarn, but I wasn't thrilled with the two together. I might have been happier if I had used needles a size smaller, since the resultant fabric just seemed to loose or something. (I think I used US8's, but they might have been US9's.) Knitting with Bamboo was great. It's cool to the touch and easy to work with: the perfect yarn for San Antonio summers! But my next Clapotis will be knit out of some gorgeous Brooks Farm Duet that I bought last November at Kid'n'Ewe in Boerne.

You won't find the gorgeous melange of reds that I bought on the Brooks Farm website, although it's similar to the Cinnamon colorway. The colors they sell at shows are unique, so you have to buy enough of it! Here's my attempt to photograph this beautiful (I've used gorgeous too many times already!) mohair/wool blend. The colors are deeper and not as pink--not that there's anything wrong with pink, of course!

Brooks Farm Duet

Next up: My many WIPs.

Friday, January 13, 2006

A Non-Knitting, Kitty Post

I should probably start a list of Works in Progress in the sidebar, because I've got plenty of them! Tonight, though, all I've got are kitty pictures.

This was the first picture I took with my digital camera, about a year and a half ago. It was an appropriate first photo, since Simon is usually on my lap. Oh, and if you look behind him, that white rectangular object is my iBook, which is also frequently on my lap.

Simon is really my sister's cat. She and I lived together for several years, along with her cats, Simon and Schuster (funny, huh? and I'm the librarian in the family!) and my cats, Charlotte and Aggie. Aggie died in October 2001, from an inoperable tumor on her jaw. She was 13. Charlotte died almost exactly a year later, at age 18, of the old-cat nemesis, kidney disease. She was an incredibly nice cat - a lap-sitter, but not annoying about it. And she had been with me through a lot. Like Simon, Charlotte was a tuxedo cat. Someday I should scan some pictures of them....

I didn't plan on getting another cat right away, but a friend of mine had been feeding this cute little tortoise kitty with one tan paw. We managed to catch her, and she came to live with my sister and me (and Simon and Schuster) about a month after Charlotte passed. I named her Harley, short for Harlequin, because she sort of looks like she has a mask on.
Sorry for the scary eyes - she's really not possessed!

As you can see, she's not so little anymore! Like many cats who grew up outside, half-wild, she's still kind of skittish. But she likes to sit on the chair back behind me while I knit and 'groom' my hair. And for some reason, she always follows me into the bathroom, to be petted. Maybe someday she'll be a lap-sitter.

When she first came to live here, Harley wasn't spayed. Before I got her to the vet, she went into heat. Boy, did she like Simon! Of course, being long-neutered, Simon had only a vague idea about what was going on. It was hilarious! As soon as possible, Harley was spayed. She's still in love with Simon, although now she doesn't know why, either.

My sister got married a couple years ago, and when she moved out, Schuster went with her. Simon stayed, though, because Harley and I are so fond of him. And Schuster, who never liked any of the other cats except Simon, whom she tolerated, is very, very happy to be an only cat.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Socks, Past and Future

I've added the 200Sox button over there on the right. This means that I'll have a great reason to knit my second pair of socks (as if that Koigu I bought last weekend wasn't enough reason!).

I knit my first pair of socks after Thanksgiving, with help from my friend Dale. We worked on socks during breaks at a conference we were both working at. I had actually attempted socks once before, without success. This time, though - I loved it! My socks are a little on the baggy side, but they're incredibly warm and cozy, since they're made from Cleckheaton Country 8 ply, in an attractive shade of lavender.

It occurs to me that, from the last few days' pictures, you might think that purple is my favorite color. I like purple, but pink (any shade) is definitely my favorite, followed closely by red. But I seem to knit in purple.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another FO and New Shoes

At the same time I was beginning the World's Most Boring Scarf, I finished this cute little scarf from Knitty. It was fast, it was fun, and I was so happy with it that I gave it away!


Pattern: Flora
Yarn: Scarf: Rowan Wool Cotton in French Navy (doubled) and Crystal Palace Yarns Kid Merino in Violets; Flower: 1 strand each of the French Navy Wool Cotton, Violets Kid Merino, and Cascade Indulgence in the evocative name '521' (somewhere between dark lavender and light eggplant)
Yardage: less than one skein of each
Needles: US9 straights

I loved all the yarn, but especially the Cascade Indulgence. Alpaca and angora - what's not to love???

And on a totally unrelated note -- new shoes! They're Diesel Moslettes and I love the colors! In addition to the dusty coral and lavender you can see in the picture, the back of the heel is flourescent orange.

Monday, January 09, 2006

FO: The World's Most Boring Scarf

self-patterning scarf

My most recent FO was a scarf for my brother for Christmas. It actually wasn't finished until December 31, but that was before he left to go home, so it still counts. It's really attractive, the Bro liked it, and it should be warm -- he lives in Illinois, where they have winter -- but it was stockinette in the round, around and around and around. It was perfect mindless knitting and the self-patterning sock yarn was pretty cool, but I was really glad to be done with it!

Pattern: His Striped Scarf from Not Just Socks by Sandi Rosner
Yarn: Schoeller Stahl Fortissima Colori Socka Color (color number 9095)
Yardage: 4 50g skeins (including what was used for the fringe)
Yarn Source:
Needles: US3 Addi Turbos

manly fringe I didn't make it as long as the pattern called for. Including the fringe it was about 46 inches long I think -- just long enough for Bro to wrap around his neck and tuck into his coat. It's finished off with 'manly fringe,' which I probably would have trimmed a little shorter, if I hadn't been so happy to be finished with it.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

So.... I have a blog......

A friend said to me yesterday, "You're taking pictures of your knitting. You need a blog." So - here it is - my knitting blog.

My grandma taught me to knit when I was a kid. She also taught me to crochet, and that seemed to stick. Over the years, I crocheted, I cross-stitched, I quilted a little, I tatted (tatting! boy, that's NOT relaxing!), I scrapbooked, I stamped. Somewhere between tatting and scrapbooking, my sister and I took some knitting classes, and I realized that, even though my brain didn't really remember how to knit, my hands did. Grandma just never taught me to cast on.

So I've been knitting again for almost exactly two years, and I've done a lot in the last year. It would, of course, help if I weren't the world's slowest knitter, but I really enjoy it anyway. So, now I have a knitting blog - kind of like a "knitting permanent record," I guess.

Welcome to my knitting world! Now I just have to figure out how to add those pictures...