Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Which I Reveal My True Nature as a Project Sl*t

Lolly, it's all your fault. She posted a little preview of this book, which I had heard and then forgotten about. After seeing a little glimpse, I had to have it. Yesterday, off to the bookstore I went. Hey, I'm there so J can play with the train set, right?

This book is gorgeous. I haven't read through it closely, only flipped through and drooled at the pages, exactly like a teenage boy with a girlie magazine. (For shame!) Just as some such periodicals are reputed to contain some serious writing/journalism, Ms. Gaughan has included some actual scientific content in this book -- she explains the different natural structures, such as fractals (!!) and phyllotaxis (!!), and how they inspired her designing. I really swear I will read that stuff. Really.

But, the patterns. Literally, turning the pages of the book results in involuntary gasping. The projects are just so beautiful. So beautiful, that upon seeing one of them, I absolutely had to check my stash for appropriate yarn and start swatching. (Audrey Who?) The yarn I had in mind wouldn't work, so naturally, because I am a Bad Girl, I had to go to Knit Picks and find something that would. And because I am fortunate enough to live in the same state with the Knit Picks distribution center, I received my yarn today. That's right -- I ordered it yesterday afternoon and I cast on today. No chance for that project lust to cool.

Another note on the 80s nostalgia songs... The versions of the songs that I have: Save It For Later by the English Beat, Something About You by Level 42, Da Da Da by Trio, Blue Monday by New Order, and Bring on the Dancing Horses by Echo and the Bunnymen. One thing I learned from doing this -- there apparently was a period in the mid to late 1990s in which I was under a rock from a popular music perspective. (Hmm, what was I doing then? Oh yes, law school.) So, for example, the fact that someone had covered Blue Monday was news to me. Sorry, Erin, but no one will ever do Blue Monday like New Order. And who's this Harvey Danger? I feel old.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Winner, and Betrayed By My Knitting

We have a winner of the Vesper sock yarn in AquaMelon. It's ... Jenn from Knit n' Lit! Jenn, I hope you don't mind, it's already wound. Now that I have that ball winder and swift, I couldn't resist. Drop me an email, OK?

I came to the sad conclusion over the weekend that I will need to start both the top-down raglan and Audrey over again. ("Starting over" sounds so much less demoralizing than "ripping out.") The former was looking too big, and the latter a bit too small. I think that I will set aside the Katia Diana sweater for awhile, because I was hoping for a summery type sweater, and that yarn will be too warm. Back to Audrey, and this time I think I will knit the body in the round to the armholes.

In the meantime, I really was feeling the need for some comfort food knitting. Then I read Stephanie's post about the Irish Hiking Scarf, and that sounded like just the ticket. So I cast on, but I changed it a little to incorporate the double-knitting slip-stitch edge from the Backyard Leaves scarf. And I started that second Pansy Jaywalker. I'm sure you all are waiting with bated breath to see if it pools like the other one did. I am!

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Sockapaloooza Socks, finished April 23, 2006
Pattern: My own, based on Small Eyelet Diamonds from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, 2 skeins with a little of each left over, in the Seaside colorway
Needles: Two nasty little 2.25 mm circulars by an unknown manufacturer (maybe Susan Bates, possibly Inox) with the worst joins in history
Gauge: About 8 sts/inch
Dimensions: 10.25 long foot, 8 inch circumference (allowing for negative ease); from the ankle to the top of the rolled cuff is about 5.75 in.
Other details: Knit toe up, using a Turkish cast-on. Cuff is rolled stockinette, with a sewn bind-off -- the only plain bind-off I will ever use for toe-up socks. It is beautifully elastic. I allowed for a whole inch of negative ease in the circumference. My sockpal said that her foot is 9 inches around -- the same as mine -- and these socks fit me in the width, so I think it will be OK. I just know that my handknit socks have a tendency to grow with wear, and I hate droopy socks. My pal said that most of her socks are for cold weather wear, so I wanted to make something that felt spring-summery. With the colorway, the lace and the casual rolled cuff, I hope I hit the mark!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Project Orange and Yellow

The Sockapaloooza socks are tantalizingly close to being done ... I've been tiring a bit of socks ... I've been in the mood to knit a sweater ... I've been wanting to take advantage of owning Knitting from the Top ... I've had this in the stash for dog's years ... I can knit this while watching movies with subtitles ... I need to do something yellow or orange before April is over ... all excuses (reasons?) for starting this, in spite of having Audrey on the needles as well:

The actual color of this yarn (Katia Diana, if you're wondering) is darker -- somewhere between cantaloupe, terra cotta and coral.

I sent my postcard off to Dee on Tuesday ... and got this lovely one from her yesterday!

Just a reminder: put your guesses in for the 80s nostalgia songs ... I will draw the winner AT RANDOM from the correct guesses! In other words, don't be deterred by the fact that others have named the songs. To make it easier ... I will include all guesses that correctly name the song titles -- the artists do not have to be correct. Apparently, some of these songs have been covered by numerous bands and there is no way for you to know which version is on my iPod!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Laura and the Excellent, Wonderful, Super Terrific, Very Good Day

It started out with seeing this in the newspaper...

Both of the videos that I wanted were at the library, where I checked them out for free.

The cashier at the grocery store thought about carding me. (You don't look older than 30!)

It was also a good day for iced tea...

...and 80s nostalgia music... Sooner or later, your legs give way and hit the ground ... Making mistakes is a part of life's imperfections, born of the years, is it so wrong to be human after all ... What you will and what you won't, what you do and what you don't, what you can and what you can't ... How does it feel, to treat me like you do, When you've laid your hands upon me, and told me who you are ... Shiver and say the words of every lie you've heard, first I'm gonna make it, then I'm gonna break it till it falls apart, hating all the faking, and shaking while I'm breaking your brittle heart...

and driveway art...

... and getting out the flip flops.

Could the fact that I wore my favorite blouse have anything to do with it?

I want to share the happiness! There are five songs in the 80s nostalgia paragraph. Identify the names of the songs and the artists and leave your guess in the comments by midnight on Sunday, April 23. I will give a skein of Vesper sock yarn in AquaMelon to one person chosen at random from the correct guesses!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Just a quick call for assistance ... Have any of you knit Audrey? Or worked shaping in 2x2 rib? I finished the decreases on the front for the waist shaping (just as they were written in the pattern), and I've just started the increases for the bust. But I am a little confused about how to do the increases in 2x2 rib. If I follow the pattern exactly, I think I'm going to end up with a column of about 6 or so purl stitches on the right side.

Thanks! Leave a comment or email me if you have words of wisdom.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Believe It or Not, A Little Sick of Socks

So instead, I've been working on this. It's Audrey. It looks a little small on the needles -- I'm making the second smallest size -- but stretched I think it will fit just right. One doesn't want this sweater to sag. Can't say enough nice things about Cathay! It's really lovely. Lately, I've been having this late night nervous insomnia thing. Working a little K2, P2 rib in cotton-silk-microfiber will put your mind at rest, though.

About the Mystery yarn ... I've said it before, Jessie is a genious. Anna asked if the yarn is as soft as it looks. Indeed it is. Jessie's sock yarn is so beautifully dyed, and it has nice springiness, as Christine pointed out in an email. I can't wait to see this yarn in person, and methinks it may become a pair of Badcauls.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mystery Solved

I've been a bad, bad girl,
I've been reckless in enhancing my stash.
And it's a sad, sad world,
When a girl will buy some yarn
Just because she can...

*Click on the title of the post for more info about this beautiful yarn.

Friday, April 07, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering

1. Yes, this is the only sock (note singular) that I have finished since March 1. (Sad.)
2. Yes, it is hard to photograph the sole of your own foot.
3. That is pooling.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

News from the Seaside

I am pleased to report that the sock pal knitting is improving. Both reducing the needle size and the number of stitches were necessary, but I believe the size is now correct. I'm enjoying the eyelet diamonds pattern, too -- there's just enough going on.

Words don't adequately express how delicious the Lorna's Laces is. This is my first time knitting with it, and it is such a pleasure. Soft, and with such lovely color changes. This colorway, Seaside, calls to mind the most gorgeous beaches, the sort with gnarly pine trees clinging to rocky shores.* It's nice that the yarn is so wonderful, because these needles, my only 2.25 mm circulars, were clearly forged of Satanium in the fiery furnaces of hell.

The Adamas shawl was going well for awhile, and then suddenly extra stitches began mysteriously appearing on my needles. Gnomes? Anyhow, last night, in a fit of pique, I ripped the whole thing. I contemplated starting an affair of my own with Kiri, and then I repented. I'll go back to Adamas when I've made more progress on these sock pal socks.

* As opposed to the sort with gnarly college boys clinging to their Rolling Rocks.