Saturday, December 30, 2006

A New Leaf To Turn

Quickly: Mom's doing good. Her incision got infected and after draining a good cup and a half or so, they put in a Jackson-Pratt drain which I have the honor of emptying nightly and then measuring every 24 hours or so. I'm happy to report that we're not getting much anymore.

You know, 2006 was busy. It was full of tearing up roots, leaving people behind, changing scenery, settling down, re-establishing old contacts, realizing that the University/Singles ward is full of MARRIED PEOPLE (seriously, all the ones who aren't married are ten years younger than me and unattractive anyways) and realizing that ultimately everything happens for a reason. It's not always immediately apparent, particularly if you don't take a moment to step back and look at the big picture.

Fer instance, it hurt to move but if I hadn't, mom would be going through this cancer with only dad and with as much as we lean on each other to help mom, I know he'd be hurting to have to do this alone. Stuff like that where it may seem like crap but then you judge yourself by your own mental, emotional, spiritual yardstick and realize that these trials have made you stronger.

2006, you've been a trip. 2007, you've got big shoes to fill.

So! Who wants some knitting content? Ohhh, settle down, I've got a little something.

WIP: The Nantucket Jacket almost has a back now. Hey, I may be slow but I'm steady! And don't be telling me about now 'but Kit, that 'back' is only a paragraph long!' because I don't want to hear it.

And the Mountain Peak Shawl...almost done with Chart B. Chart C and Edging will be all that's left. But I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't have done an extra repeat or two of Chart A. Oh well.

FOs: Yeaaah, here's the money. I have two hats because hats are what's in around here. Mom's already ordering turbans (I'm thinking that a turban is a dang WEIRD thing to wear out here in the Midwest but hey, mom thinks they're pretty so whatev on my opinion) so I'm making hats to supplement for the colder days.

Recipe: Knitty's Coronet
Hardware: I cant recall. #8 US DPNs and Circ, I think.
Software: Band - 4 ply merino bought at the Ren Fest last year. Hat: Manos del Hands of Fate Uruguay.

This was a lovely pattern and I wouldn't mind knitting it again. I used the merino not only for the band but for the part of the hat under the band so that it wouldn't chafe the forehead so much. For some reason, Manos *snicker* is not quite so soft. Then again, Merino is liek buttah in terms of wool. Alpaca is the only thing softer.

Recipe: Susan's No-Gauge Hat (as featured in her Nov. 2005 archive).
Hardware: size #8s DPNs and circ.
Software: 1 skein of's Colonia 140. I got it in their Odds'n'Ends so I'm not sure if there will ever be more. Avellanas is the closest in color-scheme.

This was quite a simple pattern. One increases after the first and before the last stitch on every DPN (if using 3, of course) until it's the right size. I suppose I underestimated the gauge, it's not quite a snug hat but it is cozy. The ribbing is K2 P2 alternating with rows of just knit and then switching to just K2P2 ribbing for the flipped up edge of the brim and the suggested i-cord bind-off while watching MST3K:Space Mutiny ("Big McLargeHuge!" "Slab Bulkhead!")

And there will be more hats and next year, after mom's recovered and doesn't need twenty brazillian hats (*snerk*), I'll donate these to, oh, I don't know. I'm sure I'll find a few bald heads that will appreciate the fine, handcrafted touch of wool.

Lastly, my knitting 'goals' for 2007, since I need someone to poke me when I slag off.

  • Buy no new yarn until birthday*.

  • Use up all sock yarn by birthday.

  • Finish sweater by February.

  • Blog more often (M/W/F).

  • Design a lace scarf.

  • Design an Aran scarf.

I know a lot of people are going on 'yarn diets' this year. Good luck 'n stuff. I'm not so much going on a yarn diet as I'm going on a pre-meditated yarn-only restriction. No more ferret-shock, no more socks that get hidden by jeans and covered by shoes. Not till *June 23 anyways. ;)

Well, good night all, Happy New Year, may it bring new hope.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Only good news here!

Mom's surgery went well. They got rid of tumor and the lymph nodes that they checked were clear. It only took an hour, actually, to do it all and she wore her cozy socks that I made her for Christmas during the procedure. Things are looking up and instead of socks, I really ought to make her hats as the chemotherapy is going to make her lose her hair and she'll need something fashionable and warm until it grows back. She's already ordered eyebrow stencils (she's more concerned about losing her eyebrows than her hair).

Anyways, we've all been taking care of her, including buying her Breast Cancer M&Ms and though she has little appetite, she appreciates the pink and dark-pink gems of chocolate goodness.

As for me, well, knitting keeps the anxiety focused in a positive manner and my fingers have been flying.

If you haven't guessed it now, you've not peeked into the latest Interweave Knits issue. This is the Nantucket Jacket featured on the Winter 2006 IK and it's knitting up marvelously. I work on it while Dad and I watch LOST (we're on Season 2, Disk 2). Man, that show is crack. Or like chips, you can't watch just one show. Dad and I have the same favorite characters: Locke, the paraplegic turned Indiana Jones and Hurley, the fat kid with the best sense of humor. Yeah yeah, Sawyer's hot and if they'd bothered putting a Gambit into X-Men 3, I would hope they'd cast him but eh, he doesn't make my little heart pound.

And for my sit-by-the-computer knitting, there's the Mountain Peaks Shawl. She's kind of going in fits and starts. Thank goodness I invested in bamboo needles and a life line because I seem to be all thumbs and distraction sometimes. But I'm enjoying the lace. I was itching for it, you know. Just anxious to knit lace. And after this, I'll probably make Eunny's Print O' The Wave Stole. It looks so pretty!

I've said it before but despite knowing quite well that I will not be able to find a reason to wear any of my creations in public except perhaps at a wedding, it hasn't stopped me from knitting it. The magic of Lace, eh?

Finally, I have a job! I interviewed yesterday and not three hours later, they called, telling me I had the job! It's part time, LPN on the health care level of a retirement 'manor', 6am to 2pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternate weekends, about 48 hours a payperiod (two weeks). I'm so excited! And what a quick response! Exclamation mark! I start next week since they need someone for New Year's Eve weekend. Heh, nooo problem. This will be a nice change from the mental hospital. No crazy killers, just old people with possible incontinence problems. Well, okay, that doesn't sound much better but oh well! New experiences await!

Anyways, happy solstice all! And because we must be politically correct, I offer up the lyrics to the song Merry Christmas if that's okay sung by Mike Nelson and the bots.

[On the Satellite:]

MIKE: Hi folks. Welcome back to the satellite. As a special treat Crow, Tom and I have written and are going to perform an original Christmas carol.

CROW: Mike, it's not just for Christmas. It's for holidays of all faiths.

TOM: Yeah, & don't call it a carol because Carol is a woman's name and we want this song to be all-inclusive.

MIKE: Right. Why don't you hit it Cambot.

Let us all now sing
Our praises to the Lord today
Although you may not share
Our belief system
Which is perfectly O.K.

CROW: Maybe you worship an abstract being
That is kind of vague.
Or maybe you just
Worship a guy
Who's name is Greg.

TOM: Perhaps your religion doesn't
Include a time called Lent,
But whatever your religion
Is, we support you one hundred percent.

MIKE: So sit around the fire
And have a chestnut roast,
Or raise a glass in toast
To "Happy Days" Donny Most.

TOM: But if you prefer to eat
Indian food on Christmas day
I can only shrug my shoulders
And say "Namaste"

[spoken] Namaste!

CROW: Personally I prefer,
Turkey, gravy and salad
But lets never forget
All cultures are valid.

MIKE: So let's have peace on earth
And cut out all the bull.
Let's have a holiday season
That's multi-cultural.

CROW: If there's one point
We'd like to make
With this festive holiday song,

TOM: It's that Christmas comes just once a year
So for a few days
For crying out loud

ALL: Can't we all just get along?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spillin' the beans

You know, I feel like it isn't quite fair to be so very mysterious about this 'family trauma' so let me just lay it out straight. Mom's got breast cancer. She had a Pap Smear in August and her gynecologist didn't find anything then but she went for her mammogram only two weeks ago and they found a lump. And not just a little lump, this thing is an inch or so large. Anyways, biopsy shows it to be malignant but her lymph nodes, so far, are clear. We're all riding on prayers and hopes and candles and good wishes and caring thoughts, so any you wish to share will be highly appreciated.

Anyways, we're feeling optimistic. I guess we're so used to health crises, what with my bum kidneys and all, that we're just soldiering on. Faith and hope really help at times like these.

In the meantime, I've been knitting here and there. Want to see what sweater I decided on?

Can you guess at all? I'll try to get better pictures but it's been so gloomy out here!

Then there's a few other projects that I'm working on. But, y'know, there's just some sort of knitting malaise getting to me. Nothing thrills me, nothing stirs me. Of course, I have mentioned this before and I wonder if it's not the fact that I'm, well, still unemployed. Kind of like adding salt to things to bring out their flavor, work brings out an appreciation for not-working. Being unemployed causes me to feel a bit, well, meaningless. But things may turn around soon. I applied for a job at a retirement 'Manor' just today and I have an interview scheduled for Monday afternoon. Hopefully this will go through, who knows! And then I'll have my knitting mojo back, yes!

That's all I got for now. A pre-emptive thank-you to all well-wishers. Whether you pray or just send good vibes, what matters is that you care and I can hardly express how much I really appreciate it.

P.S. To Marianne - yep, I live here and love the Yarn Barn (though I like KC a bit better when I can get out there)! If you ever get out here again, give me a poke, I'll show you where to get the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What a difference a day makes

We've had some family trauma going on. It's not something I want to share with the world, so I won't share it here. We're soldiering on, familiar with tragedy and illness. We could use prayers, thoughts, crossed fingers, lit candles, and good woolly thoughts, whatever you want to send our way, though!

There are a few fun things I want to share, though!

1. A New Haircut!

Beauty schools are really nice, aren't they? That cut cost me $5 and about 45 minutes. The girl was awesome and had the best name; Stevie Jo.

2. A New Project!

Hmm, what could it be? It's 18 st, 24 rows, knit on 7s, and measures 4" x 4". That's also the first time I've used my blocking wires. They're maaagnificent.

3. Showing my geekery

And that's it for now. By the way, I do like how Blogger Beta allows me to add tags now. Very handy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

For one brief shining moment

...I had my knitting mojo back. It was the lace. I was suffering lace withdrawals. Which is absurd because lace is not very fashionable in public (my stole doubles as a cozy scarf but even that is hard to pass off when the wind blows) but my fingers want to knit it. So I picked up some of my Lace Merino in a purple color and started the Mountain Lace Shawl as once before. Everything was going smoothly and then...I dropped a stitch. And so I try to save it but it was a k2tog which is hard enough to fix without going mad. But trying to save it caused more and more stitches to fall. At least last time the yarn felted to itself and dropped stitches were not an issue. This time, well, I'm thinking of going to the Yarn Barn and seeing what I can find in *gulp* wooden circs. Anyways, frogged it. Frogged it bitterly.

And then I thought to my unfinished Rogue. Y'know, once-upon-a-time I had this odd belief that I was supposed to fit my clothes. If they did not fit, I was the one who had to lose the weight. Going up a size was not an option. And sometimes...that still haunts me. Which is why I knit the Rogue in the Medium size (bust = 38.5"). I am NOT a Medium. I aspire to be but I'm not right now. So it also saw the frog pond.

And...that has killed my mojo. Or at least severely injured it and now it lies gasping with a remaining hitpoint of ONE. Argh!

Anyways, I'm trying to regroup, assess my options. I have 8 skeins of the most lovely eggplant color of Cascade 220. I am considering several options:

Basically, I'm looking for something that has pretty texture, is form fitting (short-rows or simple decreases/increases along the waist would work) and no hood. I'm done with hoods and Rogue and bad mojo(jojo).

At least I finished some fingerless mitts made out of scrap yarn. For the win!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's finally here.

I got caught in the rain going from a visit-teachee's home to my visit-teaching-partner's car. Absolutely drenched; my hair curled, my sweater was damp and I did not feel terribly cold. It was a balmy 70 degrees outside with the sun down, very comfortable.

Today it was overcast, no surprise there but what did surprise me was that by about noon, I heard the distinct tapping of what else, hail. Daisy and I went outside for a walk and I ended up walking like a little old lady, hunched against the wind and taking small, careful steps on the slippery, frozen hail.

I have then decided I needed some mittens. This while I'm knitting me up two different socks. And an alpaca scarf.

It's a manifestation of the fact that I have been very weary of knitting. The yarn desire is still there and all. Maybe it's the fact that I want so much. Maybe I haven't found a project that has captured me like the stole. I loved that stole. I loved the color and the lightness of the yarn. And now I'm dreaming of another Mountain Peaks. One to replace the one that soared out the window of my Honda Civic when moving back to Kansas. It's somewhere out in the desert, being its own really terrific story. I need me some lace. I need to find me my lace-knitting circ.

But in the meantime, my Thanksgiving was marvelous. I stayed with my sweet and quite pregnang sister and her darling family. Her babies are my babies, such sweet kids. I visited my friends and had an awesome time watching X-men with Riff Trax. If you are a MST3K fan and miss them, go for this. Trust me, MST3K lives on through Mike Nelson! I'm curious to watch The Grudge with RiffTrax now. Not curious enough to actually do it though, The Grudge had me staring at the hole in the wall of my room at my uncle's in suspicion. Brr. But I definitely want to see xXx with it, ha! I hope they do Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, too, following the fine arse work of Vin Diesel.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my grandparents, which was marvelous. I had, I believe, a little bit of everything. Except for the pies. Too many!

And the next day I went through five hours of dental work, whee. It was a root canal into dead tooth...long story. Sadly, I couldn't knit through it. It would have helped. Ah well.

All in all, fine holidays. Not everyone seems to have had them and I'm sorry. I do hope Christmas makes things better but of all holidays, I do believe that Thanksgiving is my favorite. It's the underdog of holidays and it doesn't focus on anything but hard work and family and friends. It's being grateful that you're alive, that there are good things in your life and that there are challenges to make you strong to better appreciate the good things.

Thanks Christina, for letting us stay. Thanks to all of you who visit and subscribe to my little blog. Thanks to everyone who comments and those who just lurk. You are all special to me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sheep Are Roadkill On Route K-10

The title of this blog is a shout-out to AFI. It's not a band I would normally come to really feel much fondness for, but it's kind of lead me back to an old friend and reconciling differences. But we won't go into that. Let me take you, instead, to Kansas City.

I knew of one (1) yarn store in Kansas City before I moved to Utah. It was a small shop in an almost impossible to find spot (I found it once and never again) and it carried beads, eyelash yarn, some stuff I couldn't quite remember and that was about it. Then I moved. Then I moved back.

I figured in the past two years I had been gone, there might be maybe one more yarn store (other than the one in Olathe which I do not consider to be Kansas City...yet). And I was going to meet Karina and Alex--a guy friend from California that I've known for years through LiveJournal but never met in person before--for sushi. Well, I figured I would see what Kansas City had now.

Who sneezed on the map? (You might have to zoom out, when I first looked, it showed me one of yarn store and really, there's far more than that).

Well, I decided that the closest one to Sushi Gin was Yarn Shop And More. For you Mason Dixon Knitting fans, you might recognize this one. And, well, it was adorable. And upon walking in, I was cheerily greeted with a "Hello! If you need anything, let us know!" before my eyes even adjusted to walking in.

Let's just say that it was SO REFRESHING to walk into a store where I felt welcome. I don't get that reception over at the Yarn Barn. I felt completely at ease walking around, snapping fuzzy, poorly-lit pictures (laaame) and walking in a miasma of silence (I scared the proprietress, she thought she was alone when I walked up to ask if I could take pictures). I do believe my favorite thing second to the really nice shopkeeps was this:

Yarn organized by shade and color instead of manufacturer. And lots of skeins of it, too. I was blown away. So much fun! I want to go yarn discovering again. I guess it's time to close my eyes and jab at the Google map again.

Anyways, I think I should show off a little from some of my walks since I really have a lot of pictures that I've taken lately.

Can you tell I adore autumn?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Still no knitting here.

After a bit of work, experimentation, screwing up, screwing around, and finally getting the hang of it, I made me some yarn. It's not plyed yet (I'm gonna go for that Navajo ply, this yarn needs to be 3-ply) but hey, I'm just not feeling altogether humble about my work. This was hard!

Fiber: Bonker's Merino/Tencel in Dragonfly. Very soft!
Spindle: Journey Wheel's Featherweight spindle in Cherry with a Birch shaft. I looove this spindle. It just keeps spinning and spinning and I can spin so nice and fine on it!
Time: A very, very...VERY long time. But less than a year, I think.
Weight: Er...well, it changes thick and thin but no thicker than about fingering and no thinner than the occasional cobweb before it snapped because I was an idiot.

I have to say, I mostly taught myself. I spin while watching MST3K on Shoutcast (on WinAmp!) and though it's not at all mindless work, it is rather simple work and I enjoy it. I encourage anyone who wants to give spinning a try to pick up a spindle, some wool, and give it a whirl (har har)!

I can't say what this may become but it's soft and silky and pretty and may end up in a hat or scarf as embellishment. And I will definitely spin with Bonkers stuff again, it's high quality and not tricky at all to work with in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Alright, yes, this is a knitting blog. And if that's all you want, please scroll down, I just thought I should flash my political colors for a second.

I wish I were articulate. For all my writing, I really don't have the patience to sort myself into words. But there are a few authors who published articles concerning the US and Bush's War On Terror that have really struck me.

Orson Scott Card wrote about The Only Issue This Election Day. He says a lot about our current president and I have to say that I agree. I am for the war. Not because I'm a war-monger, I HATE war. But I know that like the body's reaction to infection - fever, malaise, nausea/vomiting, and all the other unpleasant stuff - you have to endure the unpleasant to recover.

And then an opinion article Seeing The Unseen concerning disproving myths that are brought up on bumper stickers. It's amusing and thought provoking.

I suppose my stance is not one that is considered popular to a lot of people I know and love. I am sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I am not sorry that I believe what I do. I hold to truth and hope and I believe that everything works out with patience, endurance, and tenacity.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Ohhh...I don't feel so good. It feels like I'm gonna...I'm gonna...

HORRRFFFF!!! GAG...COUGH...cough...huff...

I feel better. Oof, it's all over my desk. Man. I guess sometimes yarn takes almost a violent exception to being knit up into a stupid-looking hat Now, it wasn't exactly the pattern's fault. Nor was it the yarn. It was the combination of the two that provided for a violent (urp) reaction.

But, y'know, that's about all the knitting that has been going on around here. Knitting and frogging (or ripping it out) then knitting again, frogging again, trying to ignore the clash of knitting vs. writing muses who are struggling for supremacy. After all, National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow and I have all the intention in the world to write the next bestseller. *snerk*

We'll see what November holds for us. October was good, it was very good. But I'm ready for November.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My thoughts behind the Sweater Curse

She had worked seven long months on that sweater in secret. She had stolen articles of clothing, she had frogged, she had cried bitter, passionate tears (though not while knitting the blasted thing in case it felted), sweated, lost sleep, drank too much coffee and admired it once done. It was her albatross. It was her Lover's Sweater. He had accepted that sweater with hesitant grace and he wore it on their next date and the one after that. And then...then it was over. He left her an email explaining that he didn't really 'feel' the love and that he was sorry that it couldn't work but assured her that she would find a better man who deserved her better and that was it. And he didn't even bother giving that sweater back! For all she knew, it was lining the bottom of his dog's carrier! Oh why had she not listened to her knitting group? Why did she not believe in The Sweater Curse?

Most cultures are endowed with a certain bit of mythology. But I would never dream that knitting would have one until I heard of the Sweater Curse, whispered like one would talk about some neighbor who had come down with the plague or lice. A Sweater Curse? But then I heard the stories, not unlike the one that I pulled out of my...nose. But I have to wonder, what's the truth behind the Sweater Curse?

I have a few theories. The one that makes the most sense is the Aunt Myrtle theory aka the Repressed Childhood theory. Here's how I think it goes: So you've found yourself a new beau. He's smart, he's sensitive, and he thinks it's really cute that you knit. Or, at least, he's never objected to when you whipped out your half-finished sock when you were both waiting in line to pay for that frozen pizza (so romantic!) or when you were both snuggling (please say that you didn't, I have a strong opinion on how snuggling is far more enjoyable than yarn pushing. Perhaps this makes me a heretic) while watching anything but football or a chick flick (which ends up being unexpectedly gorey and stupid on the SciFi Channel). He may have even requested a skull cap which you merrily knit up for him in a fortnight.

Fine, awesome, he seems to be alright with your knitting here and there. But then again, the magic is in the air, he can accept your knitting like you can accept his odd habit of eating a whole orange, rind and all. And you think that he is a wonderful man and worthy of--dun dun Dun--a sweater! You work hard and have it done right in time for his birthday or Christmas or Samhain. And as he unwraps the paper and pulls out the physical manifestation of all your hard work, love, and devotion, he's taken back to that one day when he was five and Aunt Myrtle made him that awful thing of browns and oranges and puce that was three sizes too small that his mother made him wear every single time this colorblind, deviant old aunt visited, which somehow suddenly seemed to increase exponentially! And your love looks up at you and tries to hide the aghast feeling that mysteriously, you've turned into Aunt Myrtle! It doesn't matter that the sweater is beautiful, just his size, and in all his favorite colors. No, now he's feeling the noose of Obligation tighten around his neck like a Fun Fur scarf. There is foreboding that feels as bad as the beginning of The Grudge. He knows that you'll be hurt and upset if you don't see him wearing that sweater. And he doesn't know if he can take that kind of pressure!

So...he leaves. And he takes the sweater with him because he doesn't REALLY want to hurt your feelings and figures that it would be a swift and brutal blow to just give it back.

Now, I act like I know aaalll about it. Trust me, I don't. I haven't had a boyfriend for over 7 years. And if I did knit for that one, I'd feel even stupider about the relationship than I already do.

So, perhaps you should save that sweater for after marriage and a child or two. Then he's already snared and if he leaves, he's gotta pay child support and really, he'd feel pretty dang stupid to divorce on grounds of a sweater, though heaven knows divorces have happened for sillier reasons. For now, divulge your love in humble scarves and hats. It'll be easier on your pocketbook, yarn stash, and heart.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My History of the Knit (because I'm not at Rhinebeck, boo)

It was the loudest bit of muppet pelt I had ever seen lying around her neck. But it was also the dead of winter in more ways than one and returning to a new semester of sitting in a halogen-lit classroom was not a promising start. The scarf, however, was. Somehow over winter break, my nursing class president had found a little time to knit herself up a Crystal Palace eyelash-yarn scarf. As opposed to the 'Fun Fur' garbage you can find at any Walmart today, this stuff was soft, had a beautiful sheen, and I wanted one.

I begged her to tell me where she found the yarn. "Oh, I went to the Yarn Barn to get it." and that cinched it. I had little money but that afternoon I shelled out cash for a pair of size 17 bamboo needles and a skein of amethyst shaded novelty yarn heaven.

It didn't go very well. I could barely remember how to cast on from when I had learned in sixth grade after school, my little sister not too far. I had liked it then, enough to raid my mother's knitting needles for some circulars and find and lose the matching sibling of almost all her straights. But my memory was rusty, the yarn was terribly slippery, and the bamboo needles were about as elegant as a pair of broom handles. I had enough. But instead of giving up, I went to my resource, the one place that knew nearly every answer to every question I had. Admittedly, I didn't do this until after I was pinned as an LPN, which is probably a blessing because there were one or two of the three professors that I had who would have been graciously greeted on-stage with a size 2 DPN in the eye if I had the option. As it was, they got a cold-fish handshake and a silent "may our paths never cross again, foul nemesis" instead. Except for Ginny, the pumpkin-headed fireball with a marvelous sense of humor. I love Ginny and her wise words still accompany me into almost all situations in life.

After the fiasco with the Crystal Palace yarn (that is still sitting in my stash to this very day), I turned to what I figured was 'better' stuff. Which meant Lion Bran Homespun. I embarassed myself unwittingly by asking for it at the Yarn Barn. The dears gave me a blank look and said that they didn't even know what that was, let alone carry it. That should've been a hint. I finally found some at Hobby Lobby, made some scarves, even made a friend a stole out of some and then I found a group of online friends with a sharp edge to their humor and a decent head on their shoulders.

I also moved to Utah then where my aunt kept the thermostat at a chilling 70 degrees no matter the weather. My first Rogue was born through the late summer months as I shivered at my desk and pursued my RN. It was made out of Cascade 220. I've since sold or given away all my acrylic save for a ball of blue Red Heart that I keep for stitch-holding.

I've followed a lot of fads since then, and I've realized that though nothing is impossible when it comes to knitting, to life, there is always something left to learn. This following year, as I my 3rd year as an official knitstress, I hope to tackle intarsia and fair isle. I also want to try Continental knitting, though I've gotten really fast with the English (I once got a giggle out of people when they asked me what kind of knitting I do and I replied that I was a 'tosser'. There's a double meaning in that, so to speak). I don't knit everywhere I go but I do always have a project with me, just in case I end up stuck in a line somewhere, waiting for someone (Godot? I bet that book would be far more interesting if the characters in it took up knitting--not that I've actually read it).

And finally I have learned that as much as I want to do, as much yarn as I want to (and do, sometimes) buy, the limit lies in my speed and in my skill. Too bad, I did want to make a few more hats for myself this year.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It disappeared! Where did it go? They're sorcerors!!!

(Name the quote and get a pat on the back!)

I wrote out a little something yesterday and then all hell broke loose. So I'll attempt this again and hit ctrl-a, ctrl-c so that if it does fall into the annals of internetdom, at least I can just paste and try again.

Dear Bloglandia,

I've not been utterly absent. Several things have been keeping me busy such as studying, playing Gwenog Jones and Fenrir Greyback on a delightful Harry Potter Roleplay over on, spinning, knitting, swimming, sleeping, eating, breathing, voiding, indulging in a 10-day trial of World of Warcrack *ahem*, you know, life. Life gets in the way like an old geezer driving 30 on a one lane highway where the speed limit is 70. And all you can do is pop in some soothing Enya and hope that she and the scenery can keep you from having an aneurysm.

Anyways, for starters, I found a fun little survey over on JenLa's blog. A little bit more that you may or may not know about me (I'll spare you the 48-question survey going around, heaven only knows you don't need to know THAT much about me).

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?
I'm sure I've already blogged about this. It's a particular desk in front of a computer with everything in arm's reach. And not just knitting! Obviously.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
Goodness, I don't know what would happen but I'm hoping I would still have the use of my hands and it would be some sort of alter-Midas touch where everything knitting I touch turns into chocolate which would be wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. But I think what I would do is go into online gaming again. I was on Final Fantasy XI for a little but that got so terribly dull very quickly (I knitted my first Rogue in between waiting for parties to get together just so I could NOT level up yet another day). But just recently, my dearest friend Briana sent me an offer for a free 10 day trial on World of Warcraft. So, figuring that my evenings, at least, are free from too much interference, I have decided to give it a try.

And so, allow me to introduce the Night Elf Malackar. He's as sharp as a bag of bricks, fond of harrassing Briana's character, Wynne, sitting in bodies of water as if they were hot tubs, and chasing after 'HORSEYS' otherwise known as the delicate and fiery horses that the human warlock characters can ride if at a high enough level. Funny how sometimes these characters just communicate what and who they are to you. Anyways, I won't actually subscribe to World of Warcraft until I have a job and a bit more time but for now it's pretty fun to play with Briana as she shows me around.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
Venice, Italy before it turns into another Atlanta. After all, what's cooler than a city where the streets need to be navigated by canoe or gondolla? And, of course, it's Italy. I have a special little spot in my heart for Italy since my family and I used to spend summers there when we lived in Germany, camping at the military base and going to the beach almost every day.

For those who thought I'd say's cold there now. I'll wait for the spring before going and go during the cherry blossom festival, if I can avoid the drunken masses.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do “when you grew up?” Are you doing it?
It seems that I knew I would always be a nurse somehow. I've always wanted to be one.

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I adore Bluebell's Homemade Vanilla. If my sister's reading, she'll understand what I mean when I say it tastes like the dutch Fla. It's a very rich, smooth vanilla and if you wanted to, I suppose you could dress it up with syrups and fruits and nuts and whipped cream but I like it straight. It's good just as it is.

:::ctrl-a, ctrl-c...just in case, y'know:::

So, anyways, I thought I should mention that I have also been knitting. Honestly I have, I promise. Don't believe me? Take a look:

I'm sure you recognize the pattern as being the same as the Swedish Fish socks. It's knit with Gedifra's Sportivo sock yarn that I bought on sale over at WEBS. I love it, it's very squishy and there is a sock-ton of yarn. I'm getting tired of knitting this (shh! don't tell it so!) and the idea of having to knit its mate is giving me grey hairs. So I may have to knit me some Christmas presents once this guy is done just so I don't end up doing something drastic like chewing on my aluminum DPNs.

And that's about it for now. Everyone have a lovely week, I'm going to go...kill spiders and goblins and things now.

ctrl-a, ctrl-c, take THAT, Blogspot!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finished! Monster socks & Sockapalooza Questionare

*I have no clue what yarn this was. I received it in a swap without a ball band.
*I knit them using the toe-up method because I wanted to use the whole ball.
*I knitted them on size 1 Susan Bates DPNs.
*They were 66 stitches around until I hit the ribbing where I went up to 72 stitches and then halfway up increased another 4 stitches.
*The socks come up to just under my knee but they do not stay up. Elastic is considered or just to wear them slack around my ankles like all the cool japanese kids do.
*Oh yes, and they took about a month or so to casually knit up whenever I felt like doing straight stockinette whilst studying or watching the telly or something.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started socks while I lived in Utah (so about two years ago). I taught myself though really it was just carefully following a pattern. I had to learn THAT after checking out all sorts of sock-knitting books over in Borders and pouring over Google. Y'know, sometimes mental blocks are really quite funny.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
My first 'pair', if you can call them that, was made from one skein of KnitPicks Garden colors in Zinnia. I made one cuff down and with the remainder, squeezed out a toe-up. The toe-up fits so much more snugly but I have not worn them since I tried them on. They're just an experimental set.

What would you have done differently?
I wouldn't have wasted all that time fussing over how to turn a heel. All patterns give pretty decent instructions about such things. Of course, sometimes I just need an excuse to visit Borders.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
So far, I'm in most love with Moutain Colors Bearfoot. So soft! However, the skeins I owned turned into a scarf. And a lovely thing it is, too. I've yet to make actual socks out of the stuff.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I use DPNs. They do not frighten me and they impress everyone else. I have never tried two circulars or the Magic Loop method but that's due to the fact that I find those methods to seem awfully fiddly to me.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Short row heels are more snug to me and actually hug the heel and make them stay on better in my opinion.

How many pairs have you made?
Not enough, I still have sock yarn left!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Finished! The Baltic Sea Stole

This would be the very first stole I had ever finished. It is not the first lace object I have ever made, but it is the only lace object (other than socks) that survived the mass migration from Utah to Kansas.

  • Pattern published by Fiber Trends and available at your local yarn store.

  • Started February 09 and finished September 14.

  • Yarn used was KnitPicks' Shadow in the colorway of Vineyard. 3 skeins were used.

  • Needles used were size 4 Addis.

  • Modifications: I added two repeats of column to the stole to make this a little wider and added extra repeats of the pattern to use up all of the skein.

Before blocking | Post blocking

The pattern is very easy to follow and the laceweight yarn was so soft that it made the lengthy process of knitting the whole thing very pleasant. I especially enjoy the very subtle variagations of color within the yarn itself that gives the stole the appearance of flecked shadows. The entire length of the stole is approximately six feet after blocking and drapes beautifully across my shoulders.

Wingspan | Length

In future, I will block this using actual blocking wires, the pins made for a very ragged and sloppy edge. This is the perfect project for someone who is a beginner to lace. The stitches used were knit, purl, yarn-overs (on both sides), p2tog, k2tog, and ssk. Nothing too complex. I do suggest that a pattern marking system of some sort be used. I used a magnet board such as those you can get at any local craft store or Walmart for about $5.

It looks better on Zoe

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's just a show, I should breathe and just relax.

Revenge of the Rogue did not tesser like it did the week before and I grew frustrated with her. So she's in time out while I celebrate Socks!

This week is the week I wrap up the Monster Socks:

I'm nearly done. After all, ribbing flies almost as fast as stockinette and it moves along the study time. And now for the fun artsy pictures:

I'm sure that those of you who have been following this blog since January might happen to recognize this yarn. I had attempted to start something then but ended up frogging it out. Clearly this yarn calls for a straight-up stockinette attempt and as you can see, one of them flashes pretty badly.

And for added content, here are the top ten knitterly things you may not know about me.

1. I long to design something, anything, but I can't actually come up with anything, not that this stops me from staring at people's knits and charting up their lacey parts.

2. I always have a project on me, even if I might not have it out. I never know when I might end up in some line at Walmart (or waiting for long-winded parents to finish talking with a guy they've professed extreme dislike for beforehand and then profess how much they like him after. Inconsistency!).

3. I have had dreams where I've knitted.

4. I am not attracted to men that knit. Not that I'm unattracted, but I don't find them any more droolworthy than women who knit. And no, I do not believe that men invented knitting. I believe that men more than likely used knitting in a commerce setting and that women had been doing it for a little longer.

5. I want to go fiber anorexic. Just knit it all up till it's gone. I think I have about a year or so to do that.

6. Which means I'll end up with about ten socks at the end and perhaps some felted bags.

7. I've never actually felted anything (on purpose) before. I'm about ready to fix that.

8. Before I started knitting, I crocheted and did counted cross-stitch. I learned to crochet just from watching my grandma, actually. And my mom and oma taught me to do counted cross-stitch.

9. I love lace knitting but I really don't get the appeal of triangular shawls. And I don't think they're coming back any time soon at all. It's stoles all the way for me, baby!

10. Other than a hat and scarf for my niece, I've never done knitting for children. They just grow too fast!

By the way, Katydid Knits has helped me with the blog layout. It's so awesome of her to help me out. Now I need to make it 'pretty'. I have a good idea of how to do it.

And I think I should give a shout out to another awesome knit-blogger. Ms. Knitingale is a marvelous nurse who knits. She's sharp and clever and incredibly interesting. I just can't help but really admire anyone who is a nurse, particularly one going through school. Talk about trial by fire!

Have a good week all!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Creation station

My little sis said I need to post more often. Okay okay, you twisted my arm. Tsk, such abuse. ;)

I don't like to lounge when I knit. Couch? No thank you. Recliner? Ugh. Bed? Ow. No, I prefer a nice chair with good support where I can sit up and multitask. I like having things where I can see them rather than falling or slipping away from me. And so, upon the prompting of Crazy Aunt Purl, here is My Knitting Spot:

I think my favorite thing on that desk other than the computer is the ballwinder. I believe I've mentioned it before. I bought it off of eBay for $15 and it came with a piece missing. And that piece would be the cone. I didn't know those things came off and certainly couldn't find any sort of place that sold parts of their ballwinder so I could replace mine. So I did the next best thing. I cut up a toilet paper roll, glued it together, and then hot-glued it to the base. It took a few times to actually make it so that it stayed and initially I tried taping it down. The tape laughed at me, by the way. Cheeky thing.

Anyways, it occasionally needs re-glueing but it still makes beautiful skeins of yarn.

Also, you can see my kissy dragon mug. You drink through his mouth like a straw, I love him. Also, there's the stockinette sock sitting up there. You know, I really like this desk.

Also, you can catch a glimpse of the Baltic Sea Stole hanging out on my chair. I've been embarassed to post about it because when I blocked it, I didn't have enough pins. I've since gotten some lovely blocking wires so I can fix the edges properly but I've been feeling under the weather and don't really want to be all innovative and figure out how to best block the silly thing. Obviously another bath and wet-block is out of the question, it'd be messy putting all the wires in after it was all wet. But I'll figure that out after I get over...

Shingles! Yes, darlings, I went to the kidney doctors today. I've had this patch behind my left armpit (behind, not in) that has been itching and I was sure it must have been a case of the chiggers. So I showed it to the doctor. He glanced at it and said "No, that's not chiggers, I think it might be shingles. Hold on, I'll get someone else to give you a second opinion." So he pulled in the nurse who looked at it and immediately said "Shingles". Well, last time I had shingles, I was 11 and they put me in isolation in a room no bigger than a bathroom. No call light, no interaction, bars on the window, my only interaction with people outside my family was a kid who had an adjacent room and had a window that looked into my room. We both had stuffed animals and we'd put interact by putting up plays between them. That was entertainment. Whee. But my shingles were worse then with the open sores. This is just a rash and I'm on acyclovir, it'll clear up within a week.

And so until I feel like going out and buying a few spritz bottles and pinning the BSS onto the carpet in the basement, I'll just be slowly working on Rogue. Pictures forthcoming, of course.

By the way, anyone interested in some yarn? I don't remember what I was going to do with it and I'm not crazy about the color either.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

So, it's been a week.

Here was one of my favorite parts of yesterday.

Paying homage to my ancestors, the Scots, is Tartanic! This guy was awesome and because I was so effin' perky at 10:30 am, listening to blasting pipe music, he gave me a hug. Sadly, he could not come home with me. Nor could this guy:

This was taken at the end of the Festival during the Gypsy Revelry where I barely had energy left to clap along to the music and he's bouncing all over the place with all sorts of ladies. He was so cute that I wanted to collect a hug from him, too. And take him home. I mean, look at that hair. Not every guy can get away with hair that nice! Also, it was really hard to get a picture of him because he was flying all over the courtyard with all sorts of ladies. Mmmph!

So, anyways, how's the knitting been for you guys. Pretty good? Let me tell you, over in my little tiny room, the knitting has been FLYING. Don't believe me? Take a look:

I cast that puppy on Saturday night, as in not last Saturday but the Saturday before. That's a full 7 days of crazy knitting! And I'm astonished, I tend to not be that quick with knitting. But because all I do is sit and study and my hands just don't like to sit still, I knit. And I knit like a crazy person. Phew. I'm on the front part of the neck of Rogue. I'm hoping to have it finished before Socktoberfest because then I will only concentrate on socks and I want a nice warm sweater before November.

And now onto some more fun stuff. I'm sure a lot of people have heard of the people I'm going to link, but because they are awesome and deserve a little light from this little firefly, I'll post them up here anyways. And Scout said five, so I'll try to limit it to that.

First up, A Waste Of Valuable Server Space which it most certainly is NOT. Her pictures are lovely, she's succinct and interesting and most of all, um, that is all. But seeing as how I'm an opinionated person (no really, I am) and know my own mind, I do know that this is a person well worth a peek. And I found her through person #2:

Katydid Knits. For one, I'm in love with her layout and want to figure out how she got two bars on her page because one sidebar really limits me to content and I want one devoted JUST to all the people I subscribe to on Bloglines. I just noticed her countdown ticker. Hahaha, brilliant, what a way to get the heart racing, no? Hurry hurry or your cousin's wife's aunt's dog may not get that sweatervest it never wanted! *snerk* Anyways, Katy is totally cute and fun and I always browse her extensive list of links when I get bored and want a new knitblogger to stalk. However, her list is not how I met...

Celtic Memory Yarns aka Jo who lives over in Ireland and is absolutely amazing. I met her either through her comments on Yarn Harlot's blog or maybe Scout's blog. Either way, I read a little of her archive and felt that this lady is someone I would really like to get to know. She's a craftswoman not only with yarns but with words and imagery. It's like being one step closer to my dream of visiting the Isles. She has a gentle way about her that I really enjoy and I encourage all to visit her.

Next is Chef Messy, one of the few Utah bloggers that I don't believe I ever met in person but who is just really friendly and has actually commented on my blog once or twice. She's gorgeous and she's passed it onto her boy. She also occasionally posts wonderful recipes and has lovely pictures that she posts frequently.

And last of five though hardly least, The knitty professor, a Utah knitblogger that I HAVE met and who I really do like. Not that I didn't like all the Utah knitbloggers that I met. I just figured I should point her out. She has made the most adorable little donkey jacket and I can't wait until she gets around to posting it.

Well, that was fun! I may do a spotlight on all sorts of new knitting blogs that I find. New as in, I never read them before, not new as in just-come-on-the-scene. Though that may happen.

Anyways, have an awesome week, I will be here, studying, knitting, and breathing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What's on Kit's Needles?

Socks. The end, thank you everyone, have a nice day!

Ha, just kidding. You wanna see, right?

So first off, the No-Thought-Process-Involved socks. Aka the Monster socks because I've been watching lots of Monster and since it's Japanese with subtitles, I need something to knit that doesn't require me to tear myself away from a crazy bipolar homicidal orphan Russian guy and the hot doctor hunting him down. I can't do that!

They're toe up because I have little feet and a lot of yarn and I just wanted to see how far this yarn could go. Sock one? Stops JUST under my knee. Oh yeah, knee-socks, baby. Love that.

And then project #2: Hedera for mum. Yes, I have been working on them forever, thank you for caring enough to remember!

Yup, one sock down, one to go. Oh, and that basket looks a little odd without a whole load of purple lurking in it. Because...I finished the Baltic Sea Stole! But I'll post about that later.

By the way:

Looks like autumn's finally starting to touch Kansas. That is a Red Dwarf bush, by the way, or at least I think that's what it's called. They turn brilliantly scarlet in the autumn, I love it.

Also, I was downtown today, hitting Hobbs real quick before Borders. I love ivy and people seem to feel the same way about it as I do. Let it grow.


Sorry about the awkward angle in that second photo, I wasn't thinking about composition so much as 'Look at the brilliant curly ivy, woa!'. ;)

So, everyone have a good weekend! I'm going to the Ren Fest and enjoying myself. I deserve it because I PASSED MY NURSING CONCEPTS 3 EXAM!!! I have one last Concepts exam to pass (6) and then it's the clinicals and the NCLEX, which means nothing to the non-nursy sort but hey, just dance with me. It is a very big victory.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember, remember

We all deal with pain in many different ways. Some of us think it appropriate to lay the blame on the people in charge. But I believe that there wasn't ever and never would be a president who could have dealt with this crisis in any way to make ANYone happy.

You know, I hadn't even started knitting when this happened. I just remember posting on my livejournal about this, my mother calling everyone she knew even if no one we knew lived in the region. It was horrific. But the more poignant memory was a year later. I was in LPN school, in clinicals, at a retirement home. Ginny, my professor, gathered us all into the meeting room where we had a silent moment and she played a song on a CD player for us. I can't remember what song, I just remember weeping.

I don't thing the world has ever been in a darker place than it is now. We have come together in crisis but the aftermath has left us bitter, angry, hateful. And I can't see how being angry helps. There is nothing to be done with it. Anger does not change things for the better. Anger does not solve our problems. It does not help us hope, it does not help us love. Anger destroys.

All we can do to truly combat this anger, this pain is to hope and to love. I hope today is spent in quiet contemplation of how we might turn this dark world around and back into light. Pray, meditate, light candles, listen to gentle music, and definitely find someone to give your love to today. There will be more troubles, but if we can hold firm and refuse to abandon hope and love, then those troubles will break like ocean waves on stone cliffs.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Renaissance Festival!

I haven't had the chance to make a lot of new friends here yet and the old ones haven't had the time to get back to me yet, at least the ones I don't see at church. Laura was very happy to see me, however, and though Karina and I were estranged, that didn't stop us from going to see an AFI concert and still hanging out every so often. I still feel very cautious around her, old wounds heal slow, but I'm able to laugh around her, something I didn't think would ever happen. Good times, my friends.

Speaking of good times, Karina, Laura, and I went to the Renaissance Festival yesterday! It was the Piratical weekend and we were hoofing it for a good four hours or so, wandering around taking pictures of people, interesting things that caught our eye (like the above pirate sign), elephants, and so on. Laura was even offered a marriage... the dung shoveller! So romantic! As usual, I gave my regards to George and that poor dragon who looks very affronted at finding a human on his back giving him a most unwelcome tickle with his spear:

And I bought a little fiber to spin. I didn't take a picture because I was a silly muffin-head and just didn't. It's merino-tencel though and kind of a muted rainbow-color.

Today I went for a little ride. It was quiet out on the roads so I was able to safely take photos from my car (yes, I stopped my car to take pictures, I'm not daft):

Nope, not autumn yet, though man it FEELS like it. Yummy weather hanging just under 80 degrees out here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

M is for... (part dieux)

Making one!

This is an increase that is nigh invisible. Most increases tend to give you unsightly holes that practically scream "HEY, THIS PERSON INCREASED RIGHT HERE!". Not very classy in my opinion. So here's my first-ish tutorial on how to make a subtle increase.

P.S. Yes, this is rudimentary. Yes, this is about as easy as sitting up in bed. But I still call it 'clever' so if a twisted knit increase stitch is boring enough to make you gnaw on the antenna tip of your cellphone, I advise you to just look away.

Step One

Pick out the horizontal yarn between two stitches (psst, it's the top one and in the picture, it's the dark chocolate brown strand).

Step Two

Pick up the horizontal yarn with your right needle.

Step Three

Transfer the new loop to your left needle by slipping the left needle in front of the loop the right needle is holding and slide that loop off the right needle.

Step Four

If you squint, you can sort of tell that the loop is sitting on the left needle, ready for knitting! But don't knit just yet, you gotta do it the 'special' way.

Step Five

Now, if you knit like your girlfriends showed you, you would knit by passing the right needle in front of the loop and knitting through. BUT DON'T DO THAT HERE!!! Srsly. Stick that right needle right behind that front 'leg' of the loop...

Step Six

...and knit on through.

And there you have it. An extra stitch that is twisted and will hide like a cuckoo in a wren's nest. And the beauty is, the only way to really tell is when looking at a column and alluvasudden, that column disappears! Oh no! Where did it go? Magic. Bwahahaha!

And now back to life as we all know it and I get on with studying and expanding my application to roleplay as Fenrir Greyback on a Harry Potter Roleplay game. I'm so excited, eee!!!*

* yes, it's unusual for a nurse to be roleplaying, but I strongly believe that most balanced intellectuals also have a highly playful and imaginative side so that things even out. Besides, I have to wait for my license to transfer from Utah to Kansas, duh. Administrative paperwork, you know how long THAT takes.