Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh, Lifeline!?!

I like knitting lace. That's probably obvious. But I also like lifelines. I usually put one in about every ten rows. But for some reason, that hasn't seemed necessary with Honeybee. I was about 110 rows in when I realized I hadn't put one in at all! I immediately corrected that.... and immediately forgot about it again. At row 217 (well into the second section, the Bee Swarm), I realized that a stitch had dropped down several rows, during which little trip it had separated into it's previously "K2tog" two stitches. Well, I got out my handy crochet hook, and worked it back together and up. I'm not absolutely sure I got it back perfectly, but it's close enough that, in Honeybee's current unblocked state, I cant't find it again.

And I tried to photograph all this, but really, the whole thing pretty much resembles, in Rabbitch's words, boiled ass, so it was really hard to even see the dropped stitches!

I'm trying to decide whether I should move that lifeline.....

In other news -- the first winter storm of the season is supposed to be heading this way. Since I had planned on staying in tomorrow to put up Christmas decorations, make bourbon balls, and maybe cook up some Italian Beef in the crockpot, this shouldn't affect my plans. Unless.... they're predicting more ice than snow here and the last ice storm caused massive power outages. I'm thinking positive thoughts!

Actually, if this storm doesn't appear, I may have to go out tomorrow and invest in a space heater. My downstairs living room is pretty chilly. I've had a couple people recommend EdenPure heaters, and they do sound amazing, but they're a little more (okay, quite a bit more) than I had planned on spending. And even the smaller one claims to heat 300 square feet, which seems like a bit of overkill. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I love Christmas!

It's always popular to be cynical about Christmas, to bemoan the commerciality of it all, but I love Christmas. Although I don't want to sound judgmental, I think Christmas is only as commercial as you make it and that it's important to focus on the real reason for Christmas. It's a religious holiday, and many of the traditions -- including gift-giving -- stem from those religious roots. Remember the Three Kings?

I've never felt pressured to buy expensive gifts for people or anything like that. I am a big gift-giver, but the majority of my gifts are baked goods or homemade fudge (or bourbon balls!). I love decorating my tree and my house, and making Christmas cards. I'm always sorry when January comes and I have to put it all away.

So, anyway, I liked this little quiz, although my house is decorated with more than a few special items!

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about celebration. You enjoy all the fun and fellowship that the holidays bring.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Close Up

Since I am one of the world's slowest knitters, Honeybee is slow-going. But it is going and by the end of the weekend, I hope to have some significant progress to show you. In the meantime....

Jenkins needles

These are the Jenkins Woodworking Bolivian rosewood needles (US size 5) that I ordered especially for this project. Are they gorgeous? And so pointy!

stitch marker

This is one of a set of 21 stitch markers I picked up at Needleworks. I have no idea who made them -- they were just on the accessories rack with all the Clover stuff, although I don't think they're Clover (but did I save the package???). I believe the entire set cost $12. Twenty look like this one, and one has a little pearl instead of the pink/purple "jewel."


And this is the Beehive section of Honeybee, up close. I've got half of one repeat (10 more rows) to go before I move onto the Bee Swarm section.


Harley's good at helping.....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I almost forgot to post tonight! The end is so near.....

I had planned on posting this on the last day of NoBloBlahNaNeeMo, but I think I'll do it tonight instead.

What has posting every day taught me? Well, first of all, it's hard to do! And I really don't have enough to say to post every single day. I have a little list of things I thought I might post about, and I didn't use most of them. I really need to be at least semi-inspired to post. I also don't like to be told what to do (even by myself!), and this daily blogging has sometimes felt pretty obligatory.

On the other hand, I do think I'll survive the month, and I think I'll be a more regular blogger in the future. I had gotten pretty lax and was posting maybe every 5 days. Beginning December 1, I'll try to post 3 times a week. Hopefully, I'll have enough knitting to keep y'all interested that often. I'm also going to try to be better about replying to comments.

Thanks to those of you who kept reading even the boring stuff, and especially to Chris, who, I think, commented on every single post! I know she reads lots of blogs -- she's probably been busier trying to keep up with comments than she would have been posting every day!

Monday, November 26, 2007

More on the Ear Flap Hat

I know, I know -- y'all are thinking "why is she obsessing over ear flap hats, when she has to finish the Honeybee Stole and she mentioned something about a pink hat for her niece?" Well, of COURSE I'm obsessed with something else, since I have deadline knitting to do!

Thanks for the suggestions. When I pulled out Last-Minute Knitted Gifts to look at the hat Mary suggested, I also pulled out Weekend Knitting, where I found the hat that I think I vaguely remembered, the Almost-Famous Luggy Bonnet (Ravelry info here). I love the heart motif and all the little stripes and even the crochet edging, but, weirdly, it's knit flat! So -- I'm going to use the motif and stripes and apply them to one of the other patterns. And I think I'm going to try to use Cascade 220 from my stash, which, of course, isn't quite the right gauge.

But I cannot do this yet! Must work on Honeybee.....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ear Flap Hats

I have a sudden, unreasonable urge to make a multi-colored (Fair Isle?) ear flap hat -- for myself! Apparently, last Wednesday's snow affected my psyche, since I've always though ear flap hats were pretty dorky!

Has anyone seen a good pattern? I've looked at these from IK, and like the first one best, although I'd have to use girlier colors.

Any other suggestions?

Good stuff!

As I mentioned yesterday, I visited two yarn shops on Saturday. My plan was to buy only things I couldn't easily get at my local yarn shops.

I had been to Needleworks in Champaign before, and was very impressed with their selection and the friendliness of the staff. They were really busy this time, which is a good thing! I concentrated on sock yarn this visit.

Shibui Sock yarn (7498)

Shibui Sock Yarn (Superwash Merino) in lovely shades of olive green named 7498

Claudia Hand Painted Fingering Weight (Butter Pecan)

Claudia Hand Painted Fingering Weight (Superwash Merino) in Butter Pecan

I also picked up a couple more row counters, some Knit Klips, a bag of Clover needle coils (which I love for holding circs together when they're in my bag), and a little bottle of Soak in the Flora scent. Yarn Barn in San Antonio had a great accessories wall, which I didn't appreciate until I moved!

After meeting my cousin for lunch and a trip to Hobby Lobby, where we looked at garland and mirrors and boxes, I went to Klose Knit in Urbana. Klose Knit reminded me of Hill Country Weavers in Austin, mostly, I guess, because it's located in an old house, although it's much smaller than HCW. They have a nice selection of yarns, ranging from fairly standard (Rowan) to less common. I went for a couple skeins of the less common.

Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky (1018)

Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky (50% alpaca, 50% wool) in pale pink (1018)
This is going to be a hat, probably for my niece.

Mango Moon Viscoe (Venus)

Mango Moon 100% Viscose in Venus
This is gorgeous (and was on sale for 30% off!) but I have not idea what I'll do with it.

I also bought a set of size 1 ChiaoGoo needles and the Holiday Gifts issue of IK, which seems to be sold out everywhere else.

I'll definitely visit both of these yarn shops again!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Drive-by Post

Apparently, my day was too exciting, because I'm exhausted! I went to Champaign today, where I had lunch with my cousin, went with him to Hobby Lobby, where I gave advice on home decor, and then went to two yarnshops. I bought pretty stuff at each stop -- details tomorrow....

(And, Helen - I promise, next time I'm in C-U, I'll let you know!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Festival of Trees

This afternoon, we went to the Festival of Trees, where we saw

Pretty trees
Festival of Trees 2007

Scary trees
Festival of Trees 2007

Trees decorated in pink
Festival of Trees 2007

Trees attired in dresses
Festival of Trees 2007

Trees sprouting fountains of decorations from the top
Festival of Trees 2007

Orange and blue Illini trees
Festival of Trees 2007

Trees wearing rubber duckies
Festival of Trees 2007

And men in kilts!
Festival of Trees 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

My dad was one of 9 kids. When I was a kid, the whole family -- 18 aunts/uncles, 29 cousins, and ever increasing numbers of cousins' spouses and kids -- would gather in an uncle's basement for Thanksgiving. Nowadays, we're much more far-flung, and many fewer attend. It seems every year, though, someone we haven't seen in a while reappears, but that's okay -- it makes us realize we're all family and no matter what, we'll always be there for each other.

I hope y'all got to spend today with people you love.

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We got our first snow today, six months and one day after I moved to Iowa. I'm glad I got those mittens finished!

snowy backyard

This is my backyard, well-lit by the parking lot lights across the street. The reflections are on the little lake, which isn't frozen yet.

And here's my Texas car, probably wondering what happened to the nice cozy garage it used to live in!

snowy car

I suspect that my Minnesota friends will be more excited about this than I am....

* My grandmother was 100% German -- her mother had come to America as a teenager, as had both of her father's parents. However, her parents were determined that their children would not be "foreign," so German wasn't spoken at home. As a result, Grandma only knew a few words, and the two I remember learning from her were kartoffel (potato) and schnee (snow). Both of these words came in handy when I lived in Germany!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oooh! Pretty!!!!

The mailman brought pretty things both yesterday and today.

Yesterday, he brought DPN holders from 3 Owls Knitting, on Etsy. These are the kind of holders that have two end caps, connected by a stretchy plastic cord. I've bought these from her before and love them -- she'll customize them for the length of DPNs you prefer. (Apparently, not everyone uses 6 inch DPNs. Who knew???)

Magic Number DPN holder

The little 1 bead tells me these are US 1 needles. The other holder is for size 2s.

Oh, yeah -- that is a new sock hanging from the DPNs. It's Charlene Schurch's Baby Cable Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. (Here's the Ravelry pattern link.) You may recognize the Hand Jive Nature's Palette Fingering Weight in Indian Paintbrush. I can't let myself be distracted by it, though -- must work on Honeybee!!!

And today, the mailman brought the yarn my co-worker and I ordered from Elann. I was impressed -- I ordered it last Thursday night! Here's mine:

Baby Silk

Two skeins each of three different colors of Peruvian Baby Silk. Two of them will be used for the Endpaper Mitts. The pink and green are about right in the picture. The dark yarn is a deep greenish brown. I knew I wanted the light green for the mitts, but I couldn't decide if the second color should be light or dark, so I ordered one of each. I'm leaning towards the pink, mostly because it's just so pink!

Oh -- and, wow! This is the only electronic reading device that I've ever even considered buying....

Monday, November 19, 2007

NaBloPoMo Meme

Amy tagged my for this NaBloPoMo meme, which means one less day that I have to think of something original to say.

The rules:
  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people participating in NaBloPoMo at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
Now, I've done some variation of this meme before, so I'm pretty sure that, if you have a good memory, you'll see some of the same weirdnesses as before.

1. Chopping onions makes my eyes water so badly that I can’t see at all. Even just peeling and roughly chopping one into small enough chunks to throw into the food processor makes me go blind from the tears. Although I’ve always been sensitive to onions, it’s gotten worse in the last few years.

2. I can’t go down (or up) a flight of stairs without imagining myself falling. This is particularly annoying now that I live in a 3-story townhouse.

3. This is my favorite “big kitchen spoon.” It was my favorite before it broke, and continues to be. (Ask my sister if you don’t believe me!)
My favorite spoon

4. Although I really like a skim latte with half the usual amount of hazelnut syrup, I drink regular coffee black. Even if it's bad coffee.

5. Corn field mazes terrify me. When I was a little kid, I was repeatedly warned about walking into fields with corn above my head – little children could be permanently lost in a corn field.

6. I enjoy doing laundry.

7. Although my parents both loved fresh tomatoes and ate them at every chance (Dad put sugar on his), I don’t like them. I like them chopped up really finely in salsa, and in sauce, and in ketchup – I just don’t like big hunks or slices of raw tomato. It's mostly a texture thing, with a bit of acid sensitivity thrown in. And neither do my sister or brother.

I think Amy tagged all of the NaMoSoToBloFo-whatever members, I know, so, if you need blog fodder, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Look! Knitting!

10 rows of Beehive section

That's the first 5 repeats (100 rows total) of the Beehive Section of the Honeybee Stole. There's another 5 repeats of this, then 58 rows of the Bee Swarm Section and 66 rows of the Bee and Honeycomb Section (a.k.a. the Scary Section). Then it's finished off with a 16 row edging. Then, turn it around, remove the provisional cast-on, and do it all over again.

Will I get it done by Christmas? Ummmm....... maybe.....

On Tuesday, it will be 6 months since I arrived in Iowa City. Because my ca. 1984 fridge's freezer has a dire warning printed on the inside of the door about what will happen if you don't defrost at least every 6 months, I got that done today. I actually began the prep at least a week ago, by beginning to use up as much stuff as possible from the freezer. Here's it is, frost-free:


As you can see, there's not too much perishable there. That round, bucket-like object next to the ice bucket is the container for my ice-cream maker, ready in case I have a sudden urge. And the two ziplocs behind the orange mug (again, ready in case I have a sudden urge) contain shrimp frozen in water. I was most worried about them, but I put everything in an ice chest and put it on the balcony, where it was maybe 40 degrees. The shrimp was frozen solid three hours later when I reloaded the freezer! I have vowed, though, not to wait 6 months again.....

I did discover a handy implement in ice removal:


It's Pampered Chef's Handy Scraper. It worked great for dislodging ice and picking up said ice from the floor of the freezer.

Tomorrow -- soup!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Two Objects were Finished today. First, thanks to my brother, the previously-discussed programmable thermostat was installed. He apparently tired of my incessant questions about installing it -- I really can do things like this myself, but I worried a lot about doing something that would cause my heat not to work at all -- so he drove over this weekend to take care of it for me.


I have to do a little touch-up painting, since the new thermostat isn't the same size as the old one, but I actually have a can of (matching) wall paint, so I'll get to that tomorrow.

The other finished object is the second Bus Stop Mitten.

Bus Stop Mittens

When I went back to the thumb of the second mitten, I realized that I had screwed up the gusset increases. This part of the mitten was done while I was listening to some speakers Thursday afternoon, and apparently I wasn't paying enough attention to the mitten! I didn't twist the M1 increases. Not a single one. So I have rather attractive little holes up the sides of the thumb. Attractive, but not warm. So I sort of whip stitched them shut from the inside. Not so pretty, but fine for now. I have enough yarn that I could make a third mitten, if I decide I can't stand it.

Now I have to concentrate on the Honeybee Stole. I counted today, and realized that this section (20 repeats of 10 rows, done twice since this stole is knitted from the center to the end) is much longer than the other sections. That's good -- this section is interesting but not difficult. The other sections look much more interesting.... and maybe difficult....

So tonight I'll work on the Honeybee while I watch this weekend's Netflix -- Easy Rider and The Queen (yes, I do have eclectic taste!).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Frog Pond

Remember this?

I (heart) Gansey sock

It's the I (heart) Gansey sock, from the Six Sox Knitalong, in Hand Jive Knits Nature's Palette Fingering weight yarn in Indian Paintbrush, a gorgeous pinky red. I love this yarn. I love this pattern. However....

former I (heart) Gansey Sock

This project was hanging over my head. The pattern is fairly complex and I can only deal with one complex project at a time. Right now, that would be the Honeybee Stole. I wanted to knit socks, with this yarn, but I can't deal with the pattern right now. I don't know what I'll do with it, but it will be socks.

The second Bus Stop mitten is about half done. I worked on it tonight while my brother and I waited for our meal at Steak'n'Shake (really, one of the reasons I moved back to the Midwest). However, I managed to leave the restaurant without it. When I went back to to look for it -- after driving all the way home and back, of course -- the manager told me that they were going to see if they could learn to knit, so they could finish it! I got the feeling that bags of yarn are not frequently found at Steak'n'Shake.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yarny and Soupy Goodness

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to introduce a knitting co-worker to Elann (site not working at the moment). She was looking for alpaca, and, when Elann's selection is good, it's definitely the place to go! She succumbed, and I decided to order some Baby Silk to use for my Endpaper Mitts. But now I can't get into Elann! Oh, no! What if our colors are gone?!?!?

When not knitting lately, I seem to be eating grilled cheese and/or soup (what? that's not an inspired segue?) Yesterday for lunch I ran to the EMRB Cafe', where they have great grilled cheese. You get to choose your bread (whole wheat, of course) and cheese (1 slice provolone, 1 slice cheddar). Yum! And today I lunched with co-workers at The Summit where I had grilled cheese (cheddar) and a great creamy tomato/mushroom/spinach soup.

Tonight I made potato soup from a bag (I don't remember the brand name -- you just mix it into boiling water and let it simmer for 15 minutes). I fancied it up by throwing in some frozen corn to cook with it and, at the end, some diced up bacon (already fried, of course). Really yummy and really easy!

To make up for the lack of pictures (and knitting), here's one of my favorite soup recipes. It's not as easy as soup-from-a-bag, but it's not too much more trouble! It's best to make it one evening after work, to eat the next day.

Pasta e Fagioli
1 c dried white or red kidney, pinto, cranberry, or cannellini beans (I've also used the bagged "soup mix" beans)
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 T fresh sage (or about a teaspoon of dried sage)
pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, pepper
4 cups broth (3 13¾ oz cans) -- I usually use low sodium chicken, although veggie is also good)
1 or 2 carrots, julienned (optional, but yummy and pretty)
3/4 c dried small shell pasta
grated parmesan

Rinse beans, then soak in water to cover for about three hours.

Drain, then place in saucepan with water to cover by about two inches. Bring to boil, boil for 2 min, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until skins begin to crack and beans are tender (45-60 min). Drain.

In the meantime, in soup pot over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft (10 min). Add tomatoes, sage, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Simmer 20 min. Add beans and stock (and carrots if desired) and simmer for 30 min more. Add pasta and simmer until tender, 12-15 min.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

38 Answers

I stole this meme from Helen. I promise there will be knitting content soon!

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? My brother. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I’m sure he made me laugh!

2. What were you doing at 0800? Putting on my coat to head out the door to catch my bus.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Reading blogs

4. What happened to you in 2006? I realized I needed a new job…

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Silly kitty!

6. How many beverages did you have today? Lots of caffeine – two cups of coffee and two Diet Cokes.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Beige-ish

8. What was the last thing you paid for? Lunch (grilled provolone-and-cheddar on whole wheat, Sunchips, one of the Diet Cokes).

9. Where were you last night? At home, doing laundry.

10. What color is your front door? Very ordinary white.

11. Where do you keep your change? In my wallet. I spend my change.

12. What’s the weather like today? About 50 and very windy.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Coffee (with chocolate sauce)

14. What excites you? Rooms full of yarn!

15. Do you want to cut your hair? No. I’m actually trying to decide if I want to grow it out.

16. Are you over the age of 25? Times two!

17. Do you talk a lot? Yes (although probably not as much as the 20 year olds this quiz is aimed at!)

18. Do you watch the O.C.? No

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Several. In fact, I was in two committee meetings with one (the same one) today. And my ex-husband is Stephen – does that count?

20. Do you make up your own words? Oh, yeah. This is practically a genetic trait in my family.

21. Are you a jealous person? Not really.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Adam

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kathy

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? My brother.

25. What does the last text message you received say? It was an update from my friend who is moving to Denver.

26. Do you chew on your straw? No. In fact, I don’t use straws very often.

27. Do you have curly hair? No, but I wish I did!

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Probably to work.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? I’m not going to answer this one…

30. What was the last thing you ate? Potato soup.

31. Will you get married in the future? Maybe….

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? Oh, this is hard, because I went to the movies and saw Michael Clayton and I watched Lost in Translation on DVD. Lost in Translation is maybe my all-time favorite movie, but Michael Clayton was also really good.

33. Is there anyone you like right now? I’m a friendly person, and like lots of people.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Last night.

35. Are you currently depressed? No.

36. Did you cry today? Yes, when I read this post.

37. Why did you answer and post this? Because finding something interesting to post everyday is HARD!!!!

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. If you want to do this – consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This is weird....

I saved a draft on November 1. I finished it tonight and tried to post it. After several attempts, it was posted with a November 1 dates. So, if you want to see tonight's post, go here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Obsession

First it was cables, then it was lace, and now it's colorwork. Working with yarn in each hand is so much fun, even if my right-hand tension is all wonky!

one finished Bus Stop Mitten

Don't get me wrong -- I still love cables and lace, but for some reason colorwork has always intimidated me. And, in fact, I don't know what made me decide to even attempt that mitten. But I'm glad I did!

So, next in the queue (after I've finished the mate to the above AND after I've made significant progress on the Honeybee Stole) will be Eunny's Endpaper Mitts. And I also want to make her Anemoi Mittens. I haven't thought about colors for the mitts yet -- I'm hoping to find something appropriate in the sockyarn stash -- but I'm thinking orange and blue for the Anemois. I'm quite taken with the idea of bright Illini colors with that elegant stitch pattern!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Harley's Project

Some cats seem to be fairly dexterous with their "hands," to the extent that you wonder if maybe they could knit, if they just had thumbs. Simon and Charlotte were both like this. Harley, though, doesn't have this talent. However, she has recently discovered that she can open the accordion door into the laundry room

Harley opening the door

It takes her so long, though, I always want to help! Note that in the picture above she's gotten the door open; all it would take would be one good pull...

What? You think I'm almost done with this project?

I was more successful in finishing my project. Or maybe half-finishing it, since I just have one mitten completed.

one finished Bus Stop Mitten

I'm thrilled with it! (In the picture, my hand is bent back -- that's what's causing the bagginess above the wrist.) When I have it off, you can see the the stranded pattern pulls in, but, on my hand, it looks fine. Part of the beauty is the way the Poems yarn very slowly moved from pink to lavender, but I think my little bit of colorwork is nice, too.

I'll cast on for the second one tonight, but first I need to work on Honeybee.

And now I'll step up on my soapbox for a moment:
Twig mentioned how some Ravelry forum posters get ugly when talking about designers and publications. Like her, I think this is really unnecessary and wonder why people do it. Are they really this unpleasant in real life? Or are they naive enough to think that they're anonymous or that no one will see their post? If that's how you feel, check out the comments on this post of mine from just a few days ago. A Google search led this guy to my account of how I got the mini-CD out of my iBook. I'm happy I could help him, but this experience really reminded me that even my little blog isn't invisible and even non-knitters might find it. Remember -- don't post anything you wouldn't want to appear on the front page of your favorite newspaper!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oskee Wow Wow!*

If you don't care about football, skip down to the picture of my hand....

I'm not much of a football fan. My high school didn't have a football team, although our basketball team was good. I went to the University of Illinois during the 1970s, when the football team there wasn't very good. I went to a lot of football games, but they were social events -- I sat with a group of about 30 friends and rarely knew what was happening on the field.

So, I don't take it personally when the football team isn't so great, although it's nice when they do well. This has been a good year -- the Illini have won more games this year than in the three previous seasons combined. It didn't upset me at all when they lost to Iowa a few weeks ago.

But this afternoon -- well, this afternoon they BEAT the number 1 ranked team in the country (and perpetual Big Ten powerhouse) Ohio State! The fact that this win also messed the post-season plans of tOSU -- they insist on being called THE Ohio State University -- makes it all the more sweet. I'm wearing my orange and blue tonight!

Since the score was 7-7 within the first two minutes of the game, I decided that it wasn't the time to work on the Honeybee Stole (although I did work on it a bit last night). Instead, I cast on for these:

Bus Stop Mitt

I'm calling these the Bus Stop Mittens, because the pattern is based on the Subway Mittens in the Winter 2007 IK. I'm making a fair number of changes to the pattern. The big adventure thus far was the corrugated rib cuff, which went very nicely. It was the first time I ever actually held yarn in both hands while knitting, and now I'm excited to do more. I'm thinking about the Kilm Gloves, also in the Winter IK, although perhaps it would be smarter to begin with something with fewer colors and fewer fingers. Maybe Eunny's Endpaper Mitts. Suggestions?

*Oskee Wow Wow is a turn-of-the-20th-century phrase/cheer found in both Illinois fight songs.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Done and done!

I'm chugging right through the WIPs. I'm ignoring the Honeybee Stole -- I think I'm coming down with a cold or something, and Honeybee demands all my attention.

So here's Calorimetry. Well -- half of her. There's been lots written about the sizing issues with this pattern. It's not too long for me, but it's pretty wide. However, it will definitely keep my head warm (once I find a button and sew it on, that is).

Half a Calorimetry

I almost called this post "Knots." Here are just some of the knots I cut out of my skein of Poems yarn I used for Calorimetry. I really like the yarn -- it's squooshy, with a thick and thin texture. But the skein was FULL of knots! Luckily, it spit splices quite nicely....


And here's a whole pair of Serpentine Mitts. It's hard to take a picture of both of your hands...

finished Serpentine Mitts

These are knit from J. Knits Superwash Me Sock Yarn in the colorway called Los Angeles. It's really a nice yarn. I have quite a bit left over from the skein. Maybe I'll make Harley a hat.....

Try to put a hat on me, and I will smite you with my laser eyes!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Let 'er rip!

Last night, I was whipping along through Calorimetry - I was around 1/3 done with it. I know other people can knit one of these in an evening, but I am a slow, easily distracted knitter, so I was happy with 1/3!

The one thing I wasn't happy with was the number of knots in the yarn. I had found 5 in the first 1/3 of the skein! I cut three of them out and spit-spliced the yarn. I left the other two, figuring I would poke them through to the back side when I was done.

Then I dropped a stitch marker that was marking where the short rows began. No big deal -- I compared the markerless end to the other one, to locate the place where the marker should go. That's when I noticed that I had really messed up the short rows on the other end. Instead of slipping one and knitting three, I had occasionally slipped one and knit two. Great. I spent a few minutes wondered how to fix this. Then I thought about those knots and how I was pretty sure that poking them to the back side probably wasn't a great idea. And I began to rip. I ripped the whole thing out, and cast back on. Then I went to bed. Somewhere along the line, I realized I should have taken some pictures, but, no.....

Speaking of casting on for things that I don't have time to knit - have you seen the Knitty surprises? I love Juno Regina, by the amazing Mim. It's definitely in my queue -- after I finish Hidcote, that is, also by Mim. I also really like the over-sized sweater, Oblique. Of course, I need to finish Arwen first, but I can imagine making Oblique (which isn't true of most sweaters!).

And finally -- thanks to Amy for pointing out that Starbucks is now offering the seasonal Cranberry Bliss Bars. Yum!!!! (Interestingly, Starbucks doesn't have a picture of Cranberry Bliss Bars on their website, but if you Google for it, you get lots of recipes. Maybe I need to make my own....)

Sorry for being so parenthetical and elliptical tonight!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Too Many (blurry) WIPs

Warning: Blurry pictures tonight!

Y'all know that I hope to have the Honeybee Stole done by Christmas.

A little more Honeybee Stole

That's the first 37 rows -- not a whole lot more than last time you saw it. There are 200 rows in this section. And 200 more at the other end. And a whole lot more in between. I should be knitting right now.

So, what did I do this evening? Due to the bad influence of Bezzie, I cast on for a Calorimetry. I'm using Poems by Wisdom Yarns (color number 549), a yarn I had never seen before I bought it at Nanncy's in Springfield, IL.


The color is bad -- it's actually pink and purple (surprise!). Really, though, my ears got cold this morning, but it's not quite cold enough for the "Nanook of the North" look. I have several more skeins of this -- I'm thinking mittens, too.

And if that weren't enough, I'm still working on Mim's Serpentine Mitts

Serpentine Mitts

and the plain vanilla, stockinette Illini socks.

Illini socks

These were supposed to be bus knitting, but the bus ride is bumpy and crowded and, in the evening, dark, none of which is conducive to my knitting.

I've also got the Gansey socks on the needles, but it's gone into hibernation for now.

Gansey sock

Apparently, I am not knit-monogamous.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

TA DA!!!


Look! It's a mini-CD, no longer trapped in my iBook! I have no idea what's on it, but I'll bet it's not important.

My brother dug around on some message boards and found two messages suggesting the use of cardstock to retrieve mini-CDs from full-size slot-loading drives. One said that you could slide a card in the drive and trip the eject mechanism, while another said to fold the card and use it to snag the CD and pull it out.

So, I ripped a reply card out of the latest IK, folded it in half, and slid it into the drive. I inserted it and pulled it out four or five times before I heard a click and out popped the CD! Hurray!

Speaking of the latest IK, what do you think? There are a number patterns I like. I think my favorites are the Henley Perfected (which I really like!) and the Refined Aran Jacket. The Brushed Lace Cardigan also appeals to me -- I think it's the feather and fan detail. Not that I can actually imagine myself making any of those. Luckily, I also like the Celtic Tote, and I can see myself making it. And I think the Subway Mittens (no bonus photos, so scroll way down) and Kilim Gloves would come in handy (ha! no pun intended!) and the gloves might be a nice attempt at more complex colorwork.