Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Because you asked...

Pacey actually told me where he got his shoes, though it took him a while to recall the name of the store. That either means that he had someone else go out and shop for him, or he was under the influence at the time he purchased them. Okay, I guess it could be a host of other things as well. Then he went on and on about how they weren't exactly what he'd thought they'd be yada yada yada. It was somewhere in this diatribe that I realized, Pacey isn't really a climber. I probably could have told you that before meeting him, but this just confirmed it.

I also wanted to give a shout out to all of the lovely ladies I met on Sunday at Lauren's SoCal KnitBloggers KnitOut. I named that of course because I like for things to have names. It fits into nice categories that way. I thought it was way cool that a girl from New Haven, CT could bring all of us local bloggers together when we usually wouldn't. Thanks Lauren!

I got to meet up with Jillian again, which makes me happy because she's just such a great sounding board. Wendy was in attendance and I felt bad because I hadn't been keeping up with my blogreading to realize that Girlfriend had been sick for almost a week. I was psyched that she could make it anyway! The post I'm linking to discusses the 6 types of knitter. What type are you? For lack of a better category, I think I'm a garment knitter...

I didn't get the nerve up to talk to Marnie and Julia though I stalk their blogs on an almost daily basis. I keep hoping that Marnie's test knitters will finish their work soon so I can buy the Deciduous pattern!

New people I met: Kathy whose blog you must check out because you'll be wishing that the internet could bring you food, MJ who's also a rock climbing knitter, Kris who was wearing a beautiful FO and as far as I can tell scores jealousy points from me for being all-around crafty (check her post and you'll get a glimpse of my unobstructed face!), Allison whom I was happy enough to have a sweater deconstruction conversation over her store-bought sweater (I WILL be making a larger than required gauge stockinette fuzzy sweater just like the one she was wearing!), Lori who gave me a lesson on Canadian geography, and so many more that I just can't list everyone here!

And really, next time: projects for 2006!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Panic time!

Okay, less than a week until Christmas, and FREAKING A I'M NOT DONE KNITTING!

It's not off my chest yet. Is this Christmas knitting ever going to be over?!?!

I watched 8 episodes of Desperate Housewives hoping to get some serious knitting done and went to a Knit Out with many fellow SoCal (and even a knitter from 3000 miles away!) knitbloggers yesterday (bloglines is down, so I can't tell you who right now) and managed to only finish the upper right and half of the upper left of my grandmother's hoodie. EEK! I blame it all on the discovery of this game.

*deep breath*

I've decided that even if I don't finish by Christmas, it's okay. The sari silk Unbiased redux (which I'm slowly starting to think should be scrapped in favor of just doing it in Kureyon instead) is a bonus gift for my SIL and I think my Grandmother would get a real kick out of opening a box with her in progress hoodie with the needles still in.

In case anyone was wondering where I've disappeared to, I had a cross-continental work trip last week, another work trip to somewhere where it's really cold right now, and then I get to finally go home for the holidays this Saturday. So I'm sorry I've been so MIA, but as you can see, it's the same panic as ever.

The good news is, the slow death of my blog due to lack of pictures and not posting enough (stupid deadlines!) is coming to a close after this Saturday. Maybe this won't cure the latter, but at least I'll have access to a camera again! Yay!

Also, I finally got to see the pictures from my brother's wedding. There's a great picture I MUST share. It'll have to wait until I get the DVD from my brother this weekend. See this post for clues.

On a random other note, I've decided that starting my blog has somehow increased my chances of celebrity spotting. Really, I mean it! Back in July when my best friend from college came out to visit me, she was shocked, SHOCKED that living in LA for almost a year, I still hadn't managed a single celebrity spotting. She on the other hand, had even managed a Lindsay Lohan run in living in New Orleans. Not long afterwards, there was the You Knit Too Much incident at Long's. Then there was the anniversary edition. Now this. Pacey Witter at my gym. Okay that's not his real name, but that's the only name I'll ever know him by. Yes, I'll admit it. I watched Dawson's Creek. Can't help it. It was the OC of its time. What did I manage to do this time? Well, in true spaz fashion, I managed to blurt out, "Dude, where'd you get your shoes?"

Okay, so I'm sorry for the randomness of my post today, but I really truly feel all over the place, literally! If I don't manage to post this week, I hope everybody who celebrates it has a very Merry Christmas and Happy Channukah!

Next post: my list of projects for 2006!

Friday, December 09, 2005

The scanner is my friend

Being a blogger without a camera sucks. But the scanner is my friend. I haven't been able to show off my recent Christmas related FO's becuase they just haven't fit on the scanner! I finished my grandfather's Hoodie Boogie Rock and cast on for the last of the trio on Wednesday. I also cast on Wednesday for Unbiased Redux. I wasn't going to show it because I don't think you can make out much from the scan, but oh well, you twisted my arm.

See? Can't tell a bit from that, right? It's not everything I hope it to be, but I think it might be too early to tell just yet. I've decided that this would be perfect for a felted Kureyon version too. Just have to finish this first, and then I can experiment!

On the DF knitting front, he finished the knitting on our friend DL's (those are his initials) Bones hat. It just needs a bit of seaming for the hem and the back where DF had to work back and forth. Not a bad attempt at intarsia, huh? Actually, it's stranded, so it's more Fair Isle, I guess. Anyway, project number 5 under his belt now, and 3 (including this one) without a pattern! I wonder, is this a man trait to just fly by the seat of your pants and knit with an idea of what you want but no directions? He's not bad, huh?

In non-knitting news, I managed to send off a secret santa package today! I'm notoriously bad about sending gifts that I already have to their intended recipients, so this is amazing for me. Which reminds me of a story my cousin told me earlier this week about his adventures in Christmas shopping.

So he went into a dollar store to pick up some stuff for our family's secret santa exchange. Only it's not secret since we all know who drew who. I guess that's more of a gift exchange. Anyway. When he walks into the store:

Clerk: You're back!
Cousin: Um, no, not exactly.
Clerk: Yes you are, you're the guy who likes to collect the Chinese figurines!
Cousin: Um, no!! What kind of pansy do you take me for exactly?
Clerk: Sorry about that, let me ring you up.
Clerk: Um... yeah. Do you need a bag for your items? *holding up the girls' opaque tights*

So what would you think if you were a 19 year old boy and you open up your Christmas present only to find: one pair girls' tights, a block of chalk, and leather work gloves? Looking to get him arrested, is what I think!

Actually, it's all for climbing. You cut up the tights and fill it with chalk so your hands don't get sweaty, and the work gloves are to help manage the rope if you so desire. I guess you could probably use trouser socks, but I think the tights might be cheaper.

On the wedding front, still nothing has been decided. A new wrench was thrown into the mix this week: we found out that DF's grandfather's cancer hasn't gone away, it's spread to distant organs. We're thinking about whether it would increase the chances of him attending if we move the date up from the fall. I don't know.

BTW, has anyone else noticed some strange behavior of Bloglines and people's blogs who are hosted on blogger? I haven't seen blogs light up in bold for the past couple of days, but if I click on the feed, there are unread posts in it. Did I do something weird?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I absolutely love the word Haul. As in stuff I got. Or as in what I have to do in order to get the stuff I got home. I just love that I no longer look at blog posts weird when they say that they just LOVE all of the jumpers in the new Knitty. I don't immediately wonder if some sort of catastrophe in the knitting word was being reported on Amy's blog resulting in many pictures of people needing to be step back from that ledge (my friend). Speaking of the new Knitty, I have to say that I think I'm in the minority about not being uber-thrilled with the issue. Yes, it's a great stashbusting issue full of toys and quick gift ideas, but the only project that made me want to cast on right away was... well Tempting II but, that was really only because I was planning on casting on for Tempting anyway.

Oh yeah, the HAUL. It all started (or should I say continued since I made it public that I could actually line up my yarn end on end and make it anywhere in the country - if of course I only needed to get to a plane at LAX) over Thanksgiving with the early Christmas swag. My future in-laws were nice enough to grace me with (because I love making lists):

1. Odd Ball Knitting by Barbara Albright: The OBK book is nice because it gives you ideas for small items and while it makes liberal use of stripes, they're nice enough to tell you just how many YARDS of yarn you'll need instead of balls. I often wonder if it wouldn't be better practice to state yarn requirements in yards anyway leaving the reader to round up to the nearest ball and add more if they want the extra insurance. Nothing earth shattering, but a good addition to the library I think.

2. The Knitters Bible by Claire Compton: The Knitters Bible is handy for a few ideas on stitch patterns as well as a quick reference for various techniques. It's a whole lot more convenient than looking it up on the web, that's for sure.

3. Knitting Magazine (UK) - November 2005: Knitting Magazine from the UK is probably not a magazine I'd subscribe to. Browsing through it, it seemed to lean a bit more towards the Family Circle kind of fashion rather than Interweave fashion. This particular issue is all about the super-chunky yarn, and well, let's face it, Miss McSpazzitron would be swallowed alive if she ever attempted to wear a FUN FUR floor length coat. And then sent straight to hell for wearing the fun fur.

4. Pattern A Day Desk Calendar

5. Addi Turbos! Sizes 2, 3, and 4 in 24" cords

I haven't had much of a chance to look through the calendar or use the Addis yet, but I'm really looking forward to the latter! I've had my eye on the Union Square Market Pullover sweater from the Fall IK for quite some time, but didn't have the needles to do it. Yes, I know, I must be crazy for wanting to do an entire sweater in FINGERING weight yarn, but Eunny's and Stephanie's sweaters are SO beautiful, I can't help but covet.

And then there was more...

I went to the Yarn Lady Bag Sale on Saturday with Teresa and Sara from the Santa Monica Stitch n Bitch. Let's just take a moment to savor the idea of entire bags of yarn for 50% off!!!

And my stash screamed in unison at the idea of trying to shove more sardines into that can.

I think I behaved relatively well. I mean, I only came home with 20% more balls of yarn than I left at home. I picked up some GGH Goa in Spruce and Salmon and the following from a manufacturer that I'm not familiar with, Fare Baruffa:

Gorgeous tweedy stuff. The Settembre is a superwash DK weight yarn and it's actually this magical iridescent navy wrapped in a strand of tobacco brown. A touch rougher than Cascade 220 in the ball, but I'm hoping that it won't be scratchy once knit up. The Aerobic is a superfine merino sport weight yarn. The picture (like that for Settembre) belies the true color of the yarn, more like a heathered plum color.

As if that weren't enough, Wendy was so kind as to send me the Freestyler's Raw as F**k CD since I had asked her what the music was in her hard to forget happy dance music video. It's not what I usually listen to, but it just caught my ear for some reason (maybe it was the crazy lady and her daughter in the video). To illustrate just how cool we already know Wendy is, she even knows the DJ on the CD. Thanks Wendy for sending the CD!

The apartment is bursting at the seams. Amazing that there's any space left for me to actually knit in. The weekend was a slow knitting weekend, but DF is almost done with the Bones hat and I have 20 rows of the hood on Hoodie Boogie Rock 2 left. Oh yeah, and the idea for Unbiased Redux is refining itself more and more as I find myself thinking in the shower. I keep having these daydreams that I'll write up the pattern and somehow everyone on blogland will find the FO picture and it will become the next Clapotis. Uh-huh. Keep dreaming.

I leave not-quite-a-progress-report Tuesday is Knitalong day post today with the following question: Does anybody else have strange places where they like to do their creative thinking?

I hate haloscan

As I stalk myself to see if there are any comments that I need to respond to (I do read all your comments and am very appreciative you take the time to do so!) I note that the haloscan commenting link doesn't always work. It seems to have done this intermittently over the last few weeks. Has anybody else noticed this?

Friday, December 02, 2005

That's going on your permanent record...

I'll admit it. I was an angel throughout school. The mere threat of, "Be quiet, or you're going to sit in the corner!" was more than enough to get me to sit politely for 12 years of schooling. But as time wore on, and the repetitive threats of "Mister, you'd better not act up again in my classroom or that'll go on your permanent record!" came again and again (directed at my classmates, of course!) I did wonder where this permanent record was kept. Perhaps at the FBI? I mean, who else would be able to track you down when you're 38 and remind you that you once disrupted class by falling off an airconditioner and had to ask the teacher to let you go home to change so you wouldn't have to flash your underpants to the rest of the school through that now present gaping hole in the butt of your skirt? Umm, no, that never happened to anybody I knew.

Misdemeanors on my permanent record aside, I didn't really ever believe that I'd need to know anything they taught me in high school anyway. Sheer fear is what drove me at the time to do my homework. I mean, what would I do if I didn't get a perfect score on my tests?

Except that sometimes, those teachers were right. You might just need to prove that a right triangle has the dimensions of a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Like today for example.

So if you've been following along, yesterday I showed a horrible attempt at a swatch to fix my unbiased bag's tendency to dump it's contents out of the too shallow middle. It looked something like this. Eek I say. But there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with the construction, I think. The original just looked like the diagonal edge was too stretched out to make those perfect little squares that make my heart soar. (yes, I get turned on when things all fall neatly within straight lines at right angles to each other. sue me.)

*thinking all morning*


It's a triangle, stupid! The diagonal edge has to be LONGER than the sides, so unless you're expecting your gauge to magically change by a factor of 0.7 when you change the direction of your knitting from diagonal to horizontal, there's some adjusting to be made, dumb a$$.

Second try:

This time, I fudged my stitch count on the short rows to get 0.7 times the number of stitches along the diagonal by just K2tog here and there when I knit the stitches from the diagonal. Looks, better, no? Okay, still not a square, but rectangular I can live with. And at least now I don't have to worry about the FBI coming to my house to question my geometry grade from my permanent record.

Big mahalo goes out to Keohinani! She was kind enough to obssess over my design dilemma and send me 4 bmp of diagrams of her ideas. I think she fixed my problem of having to seam the piece together, and now that I have the target stitch count for bag, this is looking like a real possibility! Now the only question is, do I add a gusset or just make it a flat bag?

In other news, I've been having recurring You Knit Too Much dreams. For the past two nights, I've been fantasizing about going to my computer, going to my Knitty bookmark, and hitting reload, reload, reload.. until the winter 2005 issue magically appeared. Yes, that was really ONLY in my dreams. *ahem*

And, it's looking like the Christmas mad dash to finish may come in under the wire. Perhaps even with a day or so to spare! I'm 80% done with Hoodie Boogie Rock 2 and designs for Unbiased Redux are coming along for my ghost knitter, who incidentally is 75% done with the Bones hat for our friend DL. Thanks again DF!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Help please?

Ok, so after my rant about how much I didn't like the unbiased pattern, I thought, well heck, I just need to fill in that little bit of space in the middle of the bag where things are likely to fall out. Here's what I'm thinking is the key: shortrows! Here's a sketch (sorry for the poor handwriting) of what I had in mind. Think of a handbag with a flap closure:

So I swatched to see if I could figure out how to get this to work. My discovery? Stitches are little buggers! Why can't they be perfect little squares so that your row guage matches your stitch gauge? Here's my deformed mess:

Clearly, I have far too many rows to stitches along that diagonal to make a perfect little square that I was hoping for. Does anyone have any suggestions to fix this problem? I was thinking of alternating between knitting one more stitch and two more stitches on each subsequent short row, but am afraid that I'll get an even weirder looking swatch.

So back to the drawing board. I think I may just want to finish the square all on the bias by decreasing on either end and sewing all 4 squares together as planned and just knit the flap in the same way. The only difference to the original plan would be that the back view would just look like two squares knit on the bias instead of the neat V panel in the middle with the horizontal garter stitch. I think I can live with that, but what do y'all think?