Saturday, October 28, 2006

You say potato.....

(Actually, this post should be called something like "Random," except that I just had one of those!)

Okay, so I know it's Rhinebeck, not Rheinbeck. But you know that river in Germany? We English-speakers spell in "Rhine," but the Germans spell in "Rhein." I guess it was those 3 years I spent in Germany....

Today's big news is that our new LYS, Yarnivore, opened today. It's not quite ready for primetime -- in fact, after selecting my purchases, I spent about an hour helping put things in order. I think if stop in over the next few days, you might be put to work, too. But it's so, so cool that we finally have a second yarn store in San Antonio, and frankly, playing with the yarn was a lot of fun!

cashmerino and graceToday's purchases were two skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a lovely cranberry color (300610, to be exact), and two skeins of Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool in a pale rose (color# 30). I want to knit myself another pair of less bulky Fetchings, and couldn't decide which I liked better for them. Now I'm thinking I may make a pair out of each, as Christmas presents for the two women at work who tend to be as cold - or colder - than me. The Grace will knit up smaller than the Cashmerino Aran (which is the suggested yarn), but that's okay - the person I have in mind is a small woman. In the last 48 hours, I've gone from two Christmas projects to five, but the three I've added are quick knits, I hope!

Oh – and one more bit of randomness: Yay, Cards!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


  • Did I mention that we ate at a really good restaurant in College Station? It was called Cafe Eccell. And it was Sunday night, when most of the wine is half-price!

  • And, no, librarians at conferences don't walk around going SHHHHH! In fact, we attempt not to shush at all -- too stereotypical. My library's not at all quiet, except for the top floor, which is the designated quiet floor. If people really are being overtly loud for no good reason, I'm more likely to tell them to shut up, or, on a polite day, "keep it down."

  • I'm thinking of using that cursed Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Lucky Stripe to make a pair of fingerless gloves, probably a variation of Fetching. The gauge is wrong, but I'm sure I can modify it.

  • I fell out of my clogs yesterday and really banged up my left leg from knee to lower shin. If the bruises develop into something interesting (you know - purple/blue/green/yellow), I'll take a picture.

And now for true randomness: 48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Janna

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, although Mom says she read my name in a book.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Cara made me laugh when she said, “Must have been watching a TV show - but that kind of crying almost doesn't count because it happens so frequently. Like peeing.” Because I am exactly like that – a frequent, even daily, cryer. Most of my co-workers would be surprised to hear that, except the ones who have been to the movies with me. I cry at almost every movie I go to!

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes. I have about 5 different handwriting “personalities,” and some are very nice!

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? I guess deli turkey – honey roast or something like that.


7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I guess you’re reading it. I also keep all my emails to a couple really close friends, to keep track of my life.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, despite frequent bouts of strep throat as a child.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I wish I could say yes, but, really, probably not.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Special K. And I love oatmeal.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Very few of my shoes tie, but usually not.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Actually, I am.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I’m not much of an ice cream eater – I’m somewhat lactose intolerant. However, I recently tried Dreyer’s Slow Churned in French Silk. Yum!!!

14. SHOE SIZE? 9, which used to be big, but seems pretty average now.

15. RED OR PINK? My two favorite colors, but if I had to choose one, I guess pink.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I am a champion procrastinator. On the flip side, I really do work well under pressure!

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I guess my Mom, even though I just saw her a couple weeks ago, and will see her again at Thanksgiving.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? If “send back” means “post on their blog” – why not?

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Pink plaid flannel pajama bottoms, a maroon T-shirt that says “Get marooned. SCC/MLA 2006” (see previous post), and no shoes.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Dan-Dan Noodles from Pei-Wei



23. FAVORITE SMELL? Anything vanilla. I especially like vanilla/spice combinations.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A guy from Time-Warner asking me about the quality of cable service. And entering me in a contest for a $20 Visa gift card. (Woo-hoo!)

25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? You’re supposed to say eyes, right? But I’ve got to say it really is mouth/lips/teeth.

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? This has been all over the knitblogworld – I’m not sure who I stole it from – but if I read their blog, I must like them!

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Coke. A non-fat latte with one pump vanilla and one pump hazelnut. Bourbon. (Not necessarily all at the same time.)

28. FAVORITE SPORT? Definitely college basketball

29. EYE COLOR? Green

30. HAT SIZE? I think the last time I knew my hat size was in high school, for that hideous hat they made us wear for marching band. I do know it’s larger than average.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Used to. I had lasik surgery a few years ago, which was a great investment.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Are peanut M&Ms considered food? On the healthier side, I love spinach salad with apple, walnuts, stilton cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette.

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Definitely happy endings.

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Since I live in South Texas and tend to be cold, I guess summer. But really, it would be Fall in the Midwest.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? I would say it would depend on who was doing the hugging/kissing. Both are nice.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? I like almost anything chocolate, but I also love lemon meringue pie. And a good bread pudding.

38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I guess one of my SA knitting friends.

39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I’m not sure anyone will respond, so it’s hard to say who won’t!

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which is kind of weird – I usually read murder mysteries! However, I just bought the new Elizabeth George, What Came Before He Shot Her, this evening, so Abe may be set aside for a while.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? No mouse pad right now – I’m using my lap top on my lap. However, the mouse pad on my computer table is a picture of me standing next to my then-new red Saturn Vue (taken and made for me by the local Saturn dealership).

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Lost and Letterman.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The sound of a room full of people laughing and talking. It always makes me happy.

44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Hmmmm…… I guess the Stones, although I like the Beatles, too.


46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I am EXTREMELY patient when helping people find information. It’s part of being a reference librarian. Unfortunately, this talent doesn’t always extend itself to dealing with co-workers.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Champaign, Illinois

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I’ve seen it everywhere!

So – now it’s your turn…

Aggieland, not Rheinbeck

While most of the rest of the knitblogworld was at Rheinbeck, I was in College Station, Texas. College Station is the home of Texas A&M, the Aggies, and is probably the ultimate college town. College Station and its sister city, Bryan, sort of remind me of Champaign-Urbana. In both cases, there's nothing except the university -- although the obsession is a little more cultish in College Station. Nevertheless, I love a college town!

I was in College Station for the annual meeting of SCC/MLA, a.k.a. 200 of my closest friends. SCC consists of health sciences librarians from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, and we are a smart, fun group. SCC is a great little conference -- large enough that we have some really good presentations, but small enough that it's easy to get to know people. (Okay -- the fact that I just finished my past-president year probably makes me a little prejudiced…)

black purl marietta

I made nice progress on my ruffle-topped sock (it's actually the Marietta Rib Sock with Scalloped Turn-Over Top, from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet). My switch to the LLSS Black Purl seems to have gotten me over my sock-knitting issues.

As you may have noticed, knitting is fairly common among librarians. One day, over lunch (literally, an hour between two committee meetings), two other knitters, Greg and Steve, and I made a quick visit to the Hook and Needle, Bryan/College Station’s LYS. (I can’t believe I didn’t think to take any pictures!) It's a small, new shop, but with a nice selection, including some fleece and spinning supplies. The owner was extremely gracious, and had little gifties for us. I also managed to acquire two skeins of dark teal Lang Jawoll and a much needed crochet hook. I must own 30, but I managed to get to College Station without one.

Jawoll and giftie

It’s hard to see, but the giftie was a purse-sized note pad, a pen, and a pretty little stitch marker tied with a pink ribbon. Isn’t that a nice idea?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And so begins another sock....

In our last episode, the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Lucky Stripe was sent to time-out (a.k.a. the top drawer of the stash dresser). I still was really in a sock-knitting mood, so I pulled out another pair of Shepherd Sock skeins, this time in Black Purl, an amazing combination of purples and black. In what may have been an unwise decision, I pulled out the pattern for Marietta Socks with Scalloped Turn-Over top from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet. You may remember that the Lucky Stripe was briefly used for this pattern, but was way too big. Of course, the reason it was too big was that my swatch lied! So, this time, I'm assuming that I'm getting right at 7 stitches to an inch (which is what I was getting when I frogged Lucky Stripe). I've finished the scalloped turn-over top which may or may not be obvious in this blurry photo that is simultaneously over- and under-exposed.

Marietta sock

So far, I like it! Next up -- ribbing! I leave tomorrow for a conference, and I think this will be good conference knitting.

Speaking of going places -- my sister just returned from a visit at Mom's in central Illinois. While she was there, they visited an orchard, which is something you do in the fall when you live in a place that has fall. She brought this back for me:

apple butter

Can you see the ingredients list on the label? It says: Ingredients: apples, sugar, spices. YUM!!!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


My feet are big, but not this big.

the last sock photo

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, this is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Lucky Stripe. I love this yarn, but it apparently hates me. I'm not sure whether this is the 4th or 5th sock attempted. For now, the yarn is going into time-out.

It might be a little bit my fault. The gauge for Lorna's Laces is 7 stitches per inch. When I swatched (yes, I did!) and then when I began the toe, I was getting very close to 10 stitches/inch. Now I'm at about 7 1/4. It may still be my transition to continental. If you look closely, you can see that the stitches look pretty wonky, too. I don't know. But for now, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just pulling out my favorite US1 rosewood needles, frogging this thing, and tucking the yarn back into the stash.

I've got at least 6 more skeins of Lorna's Laces in the stash -- including 4 bought just yesterday at Yarn Barn -- so I hope the rest of it is better behaved!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Sky

I've been really bad about Saturday Sky. I should have taken a Saturday Sky picture last weekend, when I was in Nashville. Oh, well -- here's the sky this morning around 10:30, in San Antonio. It's rainy and cool (which is all relative - the last couple days the highs have been in the 70s, which is cool compared to the 90s we've been having!) The tree on the right is in my front yard; the others are across the street. Unlike my backyard, which is a barren wasteland, I've got a beautiful native oak tree in the middle of my front yard.

Saturday Sky 10/14/06

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Did you know that I knit?

Yes, I do! And there is actual knitting content here today.

This is the latest sock from my Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Lucky Stripe. This is at least the fourth sock I've started from this yarn. They've all been frogged. I've decided to do something simple, so this is footlet #1 of Nona's toe-up spiral socks, although I started off with the magic cast-on (a version of the figure 8 cast-on) from the Spring '06 Knitty.

lorna's laces sock
It looks big,
but I'm pretty sure that's just an optical illusion.

And this is a blurry photo of the beginning of the Flared Lace Smoke Ring. I'm on the fourth row. I've also frogged this several times, too, but I think it's working now.

lace smoke ring

There was a shocking occurence at last night's SnB. Susan even has a picture!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lack of Progress

Apparently finishing Seraphim shut down my knitting mojo, or something. Since then, I've begun, frogged, and begun again the Flared Lace Smoke Ring. I've been planning on making it ever since I saw it on Eunny's blog last winter. At that time, I hadn't done anything even resembling lace but I knew I wanted it before this winter. (No, I probably won't need it here in San Antonio, but I'm always in Illinois for 10 days or so around Thanksgiving.) I even bought the exact yarn she used -- DROPS Alpaca in a kind of raspberry. The first time I began it, I was using needles that were just not pointy enough, so Tuesday I spent my lunch hour dashing to Yarn Barn (look! a web site!) to buy Crystal Palace 16" circs in both US6 and US7. I'm using the 7s, and I think it's going to be okay, although I've only done a couple rounds.

And remember the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Lucky Stripe that I bought on my trip to OKC? I started two or three different patterns (check out my posts from June and July and you'll see them) and was working on one during the Yarn Harlot's visit and she even held it! (Oh -- did you see that she and Joe got married for real?) However, I hated the short row heel. I've made one pair of socks with short row heels. I like the look, but hate the doing. And frankly, this one didn't look so great, either. So I frogged and started the Marietta Rib Scoks with the Scalloped Turn-Over Top from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet. I'm not positive about them - I may need to go down a needle size - but I'm going to wait until I get down the leg a bit before deciding. I wonder how many froggings a skein of yarn will survive?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

More Seraphim

I had to add these -- Seraphim is blocking in one of Harley's favorite places, and she finally came to investigate (and, yes, I've noticed that one side seem to be curved):

Harley and Seraphim Harley and Seraphim
Harley and Seraphim

FO: Seraphim

I finished binding off Seraphim this afternoon at Sunday knitting at Candlelight. Here she is unblocked, hanging on the sideboard (my grandma's sideboard, and my favorite piece of furniture), with help from the ever-cooperative cakestand collection.

Seraphim and the Sideboard

And here she is after her Eucalan bath, blocking on a quilt on the living room floor, with help from the ever-UNcooperative Simon. I've got the ceiling fan going (on medium, because on high it shakes and blows leaves off the ficus tree), so it should be dry by bedtime.

Simon and Seraphim

The color is closer in this picture, although it's actually somewhere between the two pictures. I'm probably not blocking her tightly enough, but the pattern is definitely clearer now, and -- look! -- points! I used the blocking wires that I bought from KnitPicks, and it was really easy. And earlier today, Grumperina had a post about using her Knitpicks blocking wires, and that made me much more confident.

Pattern: Seraphim, by the amazingly talented Miriam
Yarn: Elann's Peruvian Collection Baby Silk (80% baby alpaca, 20% silk) in color 2010 (raspberry). I used 9 25g skeins, and broke into the 10th for about the last half of the bind-off. At $2.50 per skein, this yarn is a real bargain. I love it and will definitely use it again. (Unfortunately, the current color selection isn't so great.)
Modifications: None on purpose. However, about 20 rows in, in the plain stockinette section at the top, I accidentally did 4 rows in reverse stockinette. I was knitting at a conference and was apparently paying too much attention to the speaker! And now that I look at it, I think I've blocked it wrong -- I think the points are supposed to be on the "spines." I guess if I don't like the way it looks when it's dry, I'll just soak it again and reblock.