Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Miscellaneous Mostly Non-Knitting Stuff

  • Since not quite finishing my socks, I've gone back to working on the baby jeans. So far, there's about a quarter of a leg (the second one) done. It doesn't look like much, though, so no picture.
  • If you took part in the Knitting Olympics, did you see the certificate you can print out for yourself? It's available even for those of us who didn't finish.
  • My sister Linda, friend Jody, and I went to see the movie Ballets Russes tonight. If you ever went through a 'ballerina' phase, and especially, I would guess, if you read ballerina biographies during that phase, you'll really enjoy this movie. It's a documentary featuring dancers who performed in the competing Ballets Russes in the 1930s through 1960s. These dancers are in their 70s and 80s now, and are absolutely charming.
  • Yes, I missed Stich'n'Bitch Tuesday night knitting group to see the movie. Even more surprising, I also missed watching my boys from Illinois beat Minnesota on ESPN.
  • And to distract you from this really lame post, a gratuitous kitty shot:
Harley says, "That camera really scares me!"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

New Toy!

This picture is really a mess - you don't notice how much crap is in the background when you're looking at the little screen on the camera, do you? So, focus on my new swift (bought on eBay), connected to my not-so-new ball winder. It's currently working on a skein of Brooks Farm Duet, although it needs a bit of assistance from me... but it's so much easier than holding the skein in my lap!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Tale of Two Socks

They're like Mama and Papa socks, aren't they? Or maybe little sister/big sister! If you've missed the ongoing tale about why these socks are different sizes, go here -- I don't want to explain it all again! I'm going to knit about another half-inch on the right sock, then declare my Olympic event finished, but without a medal. I'm going to wait and let Mom try on both next month, then I'll finish two of the same (correct) size. I'm sure the smaller sock will be too small, but I'm afraid the larger may be baggy around the ankle. I envision frogging them both, and reknitting them on size 2s!

The funny thing is, no matter how hard it was knitting these on teeny size 1s, I think the smaller sock is much prettier, although there is less pooling on the size 3 needle sock. But - I like the pooling!

Harley was laying on the floor in front of the TV this evening, being cute. Luckily, my camera was right next to my chair, and I was able to take several cute pictures. Here's my favorite, in spite of the glowing eyes!

Stretchy Harley

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Books Meme

This meme has been posted on several blogs in the last couple days; I stole it from Deb. I kind of impressed myself with the number of these I had read, although quite a few are from my English-major days (technically, I was a Rhetoric major -- an English major concentrating on writing skills. Still - lots of reading involved!)

Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place (parentheses) around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown.
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to copy it. And no criticism for not having read Lord of the Rings. I made it through The Hobbit, but just wasn't interested enough to get through (or even watch) LOTR. Many of my friends feel like this is some sort of sacrilege, of course.

Pretty Stuff!

I've had non-yarn stash enhancement today. In fact, I would say my knitting book stash is bigger, in relative terms, than my yarn stash.

Despite the issues I've had with my Olympic socks, I like knitting them - so useful, so pretty, so quick (when things go right, that is). So I ordered Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks from Amazon. And because that wasn't enough for free shipping, I also ordered the First Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel. I was inspired by Grumperina's Azalea. I love this book, though. The photos, showing lace doilies and antimacassars, remind me of my Grandma's house. And lace curtains! I've been thinking I need sheers in the living room, since they're building houses in the previously-empty lot behind me. I wonder how long it would take me to knit them? (Don't answer that!)

And then, since I was still about a dollar short of free shipping, I added the John Legend CD. I don't really buy much current music, and what I do, I generally download one song at a time from iTunes. But I really like John Legend, so I bought the CD. Besides, maybe it will change those suggestions that Amazon makes - right now, it's mostly knitting books!

And the Green & Black's? That's not from Amazon - I picked it up at Target, but it's so special, I thought you'd want to see it!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Second Sock Success

So, to continue the saga of the socks --- yesterday after I realized that I was knitting with Koigu Kersti, not Koigu KPPM, which explained the extremely dense, even stiff, fabric that I was producing with my size 1 needles, I cast on for the second sock. I started with size 2s, but quickly switched to size 3s. This afternoon, I turned the heel and worked the gusset. Compared to the first sock, this one just flew! And, yes, I have today off and had planned on devoting it to knitting, but still.... It was so much easier knitting this yarn with size 3s, and the decreases were a breeze. With size 1s, I fought for each decrease. The funny thing is that I really like the look of the first sock better - the stitch definition is beautiful on it. That probably has something to do with the fact that the knitted fabric is more like a board than actual fabric!

Here, Simon models the second sock. He's actually thinking, "Silly lady! If you keep disturbing my naps on the Illini-orange blanket, I won't be able to wake you up repeatedly during the night!"

Simon and the sock

Harley from the backI tried to get Harley to model it for me, but she wouldn't sit still to do it. Wouldn't this kitty backside be perfect for the job?

She would be so embarrassed that I was showing y'all such an unflattering photo, so here's another one, taken from a more attractive angle.Harley

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dumb Moves

Sigh..... see my post over at the Team DPN blog about why my second sock is being knit on larger needles. Pictures later tonight....

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Turned Heel and a Turning Swift

(Sorry about the blurry picture. My camera wanted to focus on the computer in the background and I was too lazy to get out of the bottom-shaped nest of my knitting chair.)

So the heel is turned, although not without some problems. In fact, I had to rip back twice - once when I dropped two stitches, one of which had been a slip-slip-knit the row before, and once when I realized my heel wasn't centered.

The dropped stitches were definitely my fault, and all the more annoying because I couldn't figure out how to put them back together again. I don't think the centering of the heel was my fault, although I can't believe that a pattern that's been up on Knitty for three years would have a mistake in it. Maybe everyone else who knitted Crusoe was a more experienced sock-knitter than me and just charged through the heel without paying much attention to the pattern. Oh, well......

Other knitting news: I finally realized that I would never be able to convince Simon to hold a skein around his paws while I wound it, so I ordered a swift from eBay. Although my brother buys everything from eBay (well, from eBay or WalMart), I had never bought anything before. I took part in a swift auction earlier in the week, but I got outbid at the last minute. Silly job - kept me from monitoring my auction! This time, the bid was at $36 (a good deal) from Tuesday until about 5:00 this evening. Then, just before the auction was about to close, bidding suddenly started up again, and I ended up paying $51.50. Kind of annoying, since sometime this afternoon, the seller put up more swifts with a 'buy it now' price of $49.99! Another oh, well..... I really need a swift and I really wanted a wooden one that I could screw on to my coffee table edge. I found a beautiful handmade table top model, but was afraid my wild ball-winding might pull it off the table!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

No Knitting Photo

I was sure I would turn the hell heel on my sock tonight, but, noooo....... For one thing, watching figure skating is distracting from the knitting! (Yes, blame the TV!!!) I did decide that these socks are definitely for Mom. They'll fit her better and she'll love the colors as much as I do. I had to call her and have her measure her foot, so that took some more time from knitting. (Yes, blame the phone, too!!!)

Tomorrow night, I swear I'll turn the heel and take a picture of it. I wanted to be done with the first sock tomorrow night, but that won't happen. However, this is a 3-day weekend for me, so I ought to be able to get caught up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Things They Don't Tell You About Blogging

I started my blog because it seemed like a good way to keep track of my knitting and because I enjoyed reading other knitblogs so much. What I didn't realize was how many 'peripherals' there were. Like - all those buttons over there! Like - things to join (that have buttons)! And, like - adopting virtual pets. Scroll all the way down to see Charlotte, the virtual kitten. Click on MORE to find a kitty toy, too.

I really did have a cat named Charlotte, from 1985 to 2002. Like Simon, she was a tuxedo cat, which wasn't an option with the virtual pets. She was such a great cat - affectionate but well-behaved. And I don't remember any bad habits, although she must have had one or two. But no excessive litter kicking, no waking me up at 4:00 a.m. to be fed, no using the couch as a scratching post, no running out the front door whenever it opened. She was a stray, coming to me when she was about 8 months old. She lived a long and happy life. During the last few years, she was one of 4 cats in the house. She knew she was the alpha cat, but she never took advantage of that, although she mostly just ignored my sister's cat Schuster. Someday I'll scan a picture for y'all.

And, oh, yeah, Olympic knitting continues.....

Monday, February 13, 2006


So there has been a little more sock progress. I'm really happy with it, although I'm not sure it will fit my German farmgirl ankles. Of course, my first pair of socks looked small on the needles, too, and they're too big. I'll wait until I turn the heel, then slip them on. If the ankle is too tight, I'll just call Mom and have her measure her foot. They'll fit her - I inherited these ankles from Dad's family, not from Mom.

I really like the yarn, even though I guess it's pooling a bit. But isn't it pretty? I'm not really liking the plastic needles, although I'm not switching needles in mid-project!

I'm in the midst of joining the Librarian Knitters ring - the button's over there, but I'm not official yet. Although I said this blog isn't about work, it's interesting that today, the day after I joined the Librarian Knitters, I feel like posting something work-related. It's sad news, though.

I work at an academic health sciences center - we have medical, dental, nursing, and allied health schools, and a graduate school of biomedical sciences. We're a young institution, founded as a medical school in 1965. The library has only had three directors. The first director, Dr. David Kronick, retired just months before I joined the staff in November 1984. After his retirement, he and his wife continued to visit the library frequently, and he continued doing his research on the history of scientific serials. He was quite prolific in the field, writing several books and over 30 articles.

Dr. Kronick passed away yesterday. He was 88, but until a few months ago, he still came to the library regularly to do research. I only knew him in his retirement, and he was very mellow and happy - apparently not the way he always was as director! I guess he had reached a point where he was more content to use the library, not to run it, although he was always interested in what we were doing and changes we were making. We'll miss you, Dr. Kronick.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Olympic Knitting and More

There has been some Olympic sock knitting done, and I'm pretty happy with it so far.


The Koigu is actually more purple than the photo looks, at least on my monitor. Also, if you could see the TV screen behind the sock, you'd see that I'm currently not knitting to the Olympics, but to Big 10 basketball. My boys from Illinois (note: that only rhymes in your mind, not when you say it aloud. Twenty-plus years in Texas and I'm still appalled every time I hear someone pronounce that silent s!) are being beaten pretty soundly by Ohio State, which is appalling..... but the game's not over yet.

Last night I went to a crop (yes, I scrapbook, too) and worked on valentines for my co-workers, then did a little sock-knitting. Here's what my friends at work will get on Tuesday:


buttonsAnd finally - remember the orange and blue baby sweater? I finally found orange buttons. Even though the larger ones are more what I had in mind, I think I'll use the smaller ones, because the color is so much better. What do you think?

BTW, I've switched to Haloscan comments, so let me know if you see anything weird going on.

Friday, February 10, 2006

And the games begin....

Due to big goings-on at work today, and subsequent happy hour, I didn't cast on for the Knitting Olympics (do I need to link???) until after 8:00, but did manage to get through the first 12 rounds of one sock - the rolled cuff portion. Maybe there will be something interesting to see tomorrow, although before I do that, I need to charge my camera batteries.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Knitter Down!

Having just recovered from equipment failure, I have now injured one of my knitting fingers. I'll just have to suck it up and carry on for Team DPN and the USA Sock Team.

Last night after work, I raced to the Yarn Barn (the only place in SA where you know you'll be able to find DPNs) to get another set of size 1 DPNs to replace my broken set. I even called to make sure they would be open, and Bobbie said she'd stay open for me, if necessary. I got there in spite of rush-hour traffics and bought a set of plastic size 1s. Although I love the look and feel of bamboo DPNs, when they're the size of long toothpicks, they break so easily. The plastics don't seem as pointy, but I don't think they'll break.

Then, earlier this evening, while taking a pan of cookies out of the oven, I burned my left index finger. It's down near the knuckle (the one by my hand) so I don't think it will interfere seriously, but it's already blistered.

In true Olympic spirit, though, I'll work though this and carry on. After all, I have this luscious Koigu to convert into socks in 16 days!


Monday, February 06, 2006

When Worlds Collide...

I had this post all written in my mind, and when I got home, Blogger was down. AAARGH!!! But now it's back, so.....

This evening I had one of those experiences where one part of my world collided with a previously unrelated part. Now, some parts of my world meet and mingle with fair regularity. For example, the librarian world and the knitting world overlap frequently. But tonight, two hobbies - genealogy and knitting - came together.

I have to admit that I caused this collision. A couple weeks ago, I received a postcard announcing a meeting of the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library's Texana/Genealogy Collection. (I belong to the Friends because of my interest in genealogy.) The meeting included a presentation by Bobbie Kallison Ravicz. Bobbie's family, the Kallisons, are well-known in San Antonio for their western wear store (and previously, a feed store), their ranch, and the fact that Bobbie's father, Perry, hosted a local radio program from 1936-1981. That's 45 years on the radio, folks! Her father's show covered a little of everything, from politics and news to obituaries to ranching to bringing people who had something to sell together with people who needed to buy.

Bobbie is also known as the owner of San Antonio's only LYS, the Yarn Barn. Now, many of us whine about the Yarn Barn - why is it so dark and seemingly disorganized? why do they still hand-write sales slips? and what's with all the needlepoint stuff? But you don't hear people whining about Bobbie herself. In fact, we all hope that Bobbie will be working when we get to the Yarn Barn. She's sweet, knowledgeable, and welcoming.

So, since I'm fond of Bobbie, I made my way downtown to the Public Library after work to hear her talk. She was surprised to see me (her worlds colliding, too), but came to chat with me before her presentation. She said she was nervous, so we talked a little about knitting - she commisserated with me over the fact that the Rowan Denim turns my fingers blue and she made sure I was using a pattern that took Denim's shrinkage into account. I think she relaxed a little. And once she began talking about her father, whose pictures and records she has donated to the SAPL archives, she obviously forgot that there were 50 or so people listening and just told us all about him. We heard a tape of his radio show made the morning of the 1960 presidential election, when he interviewed his friend (and vice-presidential candidate) LBJ. She talked about finding the love letters her father had written to her mother in 1930, and how he seemed to be a totally different person from the South Texas good ole boy she knew. She talked about their ranch, their store, and about his life in San Antonio when it was still a dusty ranch town, not a tourist destination.

I'm so glad I went. When I took knitting lessons at the Yarn Barn, Bobbie occasionally talked about her parents - it was so nice to learn more about them.

Semi-knitting content: While waiting for Blogger to come back, I decided to do a little Olympic training. I hadn't planned to, since I'm one of those people who usually 'swatches' by just knitting the pattern. If after 4 inches or so, it's not right, I frog and start over. But I actually swatched with my Koigu and size 1 needles tonight. I'm on gauge and I love the yarn, but I discovered a problem with my equipment - one of my needles has a big snag on one tip. Guess I'll need to get to Yarn Barn before Friday to replace it!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Word Cloud

So, have y'all created a word cloud?

Not to change the subject, but - what year is it, anyway? Steve Martin is hosting SNL and the musical guest is Prince? Not that I'm complaining.....

Friday, February 03, 2006


This has been such a week, and not in a good way. There has been very little knitting going on, although I have made some progress on the baby jeans. So far, not much to see, though. So, as a distraction, look at this:

pink cables

What is it? It's my oldest WIP, a cabled pink mohair shawl from the Winter 2002 issue of Knitter's. I began it around Thanksgiving 2004 and, although I really like it (in spite of someone comparing the color to pepto-bismol), it's got to be quite chilly for me to work on it. I tend to be cold by nature, but this has been a warm South Texas winter, so I haven't made much progress. I'll finish it eventually, since it combines three of my favorite things - pink, cables, and mohair!

Despite my lack of knitting this week, I've still managed to read blogs,and I joined Team DPN for the Knitting Olympics. I'm not sure why I've become such a joiner - it must be the buttons!

And finally - I had much help with this post. Simon has been laying between me and the iBook and has twice managed to delete all or part of this post!