Friday, April 25, 2008

Why Knitting is Better Than a Broken Washing Machine

You know how when you come home from a long day to find that your ancient-of-ancients came-with-the-house-but-no-manual-7-years-ago washing machine has spewed water all over the floor for the second time in as many weeks, and since your husband of 17 years has decided to split, you grab your handy-dandy copy of Any Idiot Can Fix a Major Home Appliance With No Prior Experience Whatsoever - For Dummies, only to find that not one single reference work on the planet internet can tell you how to remove the top of your particular washing machine* to get at the part you have oh-so cleverly self diagnosed**, so you have to call him anyway and it makes you feel like a big, helpless girly girl-baby?

Yeah, that's frustrating.

Anyway, at least we have knitting! Here are, at long long last, Anne's Lacy Diamante Socks:


I'm calling them Anne's because they were supposed to be my project for the long-finished Anne of Green Gables Knit & Read Along. Remember how Anne thought diamonds were purple? Right.

The yarn: Bare by KnitPicks, dyed by Celena, received in a swap. Most excellent dye job, Celena!
The original pattern: Diamante by Deb Barnhill via Knitty.
Modifications: Used a figure-8 cast on. Did yarn-overs instead of make1s for a lacier look. I like that they are just a little lacy.

The other major modification (I'm still geekin' out about it! - Syndrome) was knitting them with 5 dpns instead of two circulars. Experience-free as I am, even I can see where 2 circs would be easier for this pattern, but it worked out.

And since these took me so long (which is in NO WAY the fault of the designer - they knit up pretty quickly when I actually worked on them), I have decided to try something new:

Yikes! But then, maybe I'm just being a big girly girl-baby.

* Speed Queen AA4410W, unknown vintage. I'd guess 1980s.
** Probably a blocked drain. (I was wrong.)
*** Have you noticed an upswing in the amount of footnotes in blogs lately? No? Ok, just me then.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Validation... I needs it.


Your creative fluency score is: 1637.

Click Here to participate in the "Uses of Objects" study that generated my score above. It's fun! Plus you can win stuff.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's Bad When You Forget Your Own...

Happy Belated Blogiversary to...


4/18/07 - first post.

Random Last-Minute Belated Blogiversary/Earth Day Contest - Leave a comment on THIS POST including...

1. One change you have made in the past year to tread a little lighter on the Earth
2. Your favorite color(s)

by April 30 to win an "Organic Nettie Kit" (enough organic cotton yarn to make a Nettie bag). Open to US and Canadian residents. (I just don't trust the mails any farther than that!) Winner will be chosen at random on May 1.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

As I Emerge From My Chocolate-Induced Coma...

... I realize I have a TON to share with you!

First of all, feralmama received her scarf! Here's a photo of me wearing it (so glam)...
25th scarf 2

And a detail shot (please ignore my chins)...
25th scarf3

Yarn: Cotton Fine by Brown Sheep in Barn Red, Salmon Berry Red (discontinued?) and Tea Rose - held doubled
Pattern-ish: Anniversary Scarf by Nicky Epstein for Vogue Knitting. Of course, I didn't follow the pattern exactly; I think it is designed to be more of a necklace? I wasn't crystal clear on the directions, so I did my own thing as usual. The flowers and the main scarfy part are wicked easy, basically garter stitch and yarn overs, and very fast, so try it!

Next, we present the Yarn Harlot!

I'm the one on the left. (If my hair was up to its usual misdeeds, we would look more alike.)

In our very own Ann Arbor last Friday. She is wicked smart and hilarious. Go see her. (And buy her books).

Unfortunately, I arrived a mere hour and 25 minutes early, which landed me in the upstairs overflow room. I actually considered not staying (let's repeat that: I actually considered not staying, yikes), but I remembered she would still sign my book afterward, so I stayed, and of course I am so glad I did. Her speech/talk/presentation/convo was amazing; now I know what to call it when I get so carried away knitting that I forget what pattern row I am on - theta state.

Here's some photos of the overflow room:

If you look on the large size at the far right corner in the way back - that's Joe in the kilt, who Stephanie blogged about. Very nice kilt hose and sweater.

Smile, you're being blogged!

View from my seat - better than it looks.

I met a very nice knitter named Christine, of whom I completely failed to take a picture with my camera, although I hope she is happy with the ones I took with hers.

So, theta state - big revelation to me. Yes, this actually happened on the &*^$# Lacy Diamante socks last night. You would think, after knitting an entire other sock and 3/4 in this pattern, after knitting the 12-stitch, 12-row repeat 42 36 15 1/2 78 93-1/2 times (yes I counted) i would have it PERMANENTLY ETCHED ON MY BRAIN. But, no. Last night I finished a plain row and had zero clue what pattern line I was on. In fact, I knit an entire wrong line & its companion plain row based on where I thought I was, only to tink back 144 stitches this afternoon to fix it. One more repeat, then it's the ribbing and DONE. Maybe by tomorrow... nice thought.

And... (drumroll) I got my MMRAL&SE box from Bassett Knitter! She totally spoiled me...

We have a Clapotis (now I don't have to knit one myself - woo!), Vogue Knitting Ponchos book, a *little bit* of chocolate, a cute card with a picture from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Kid Knits (one of the first knitting books I ever bought), leftover project yarn, TWO SKEINS OF LOUET EUROFLAX OH MY GOODNESS I CAN NOW DIE HAPPY, a selection of teas, a packet of Cosmos seeds and some dried pansy "real flower confetti."

The chocolate fumes alone were enough to induce a coma. (Servings: 1.)

It amazes me how someone I have never met knows me so well. Do I really mention chocolate all that much on here? Did she know I drink tea but not coffee unless absolutely necessary? Did she know cosmos are some of my favorite flowers?

Amazing. Knitters rule.


My Sticker

Crazy Aunt Purl has a hilarious post today about bumper stickers. Read the comments, but you might want to put down your beverage first.

Here's mine, although it is not on my bumper but inside my computer desk:


I guess I'm angry but cowardly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bee My Honey

This beautiful, hard-working little girl was buzzing around the yard on Tuesday.


Love that macro setting! Look at the large version - you can see the individual pollen grains.



The fly in the background was hanging out on that same crocus the whole time. I think he was still trying to thaw out from the cold, although it was around 70F on Tuesday. The large version is pretty awesome for the fly detail.

This was actually my first photo of the bee. Isn't that the cutest little bee butt ever?

And the beauty shot...


How doth the little busy Bee
Improve each shining Hour,
And gather Honey all the day
From every opening Flower!

-- Isaac Watts

Saturday, April 5, 2008

FOto Saturday - April 5, 2008

"FOto Saturday?" Yeah, yeah, I know. Do you want to see pictures or not?

Earth Hour 2008
An hour spent technology free led to getting these done:

Candy Sox

Candy Stripe Socks a.k.a. Candy Socks a.k.a. Candy Sox - either way, they're done! My daughter put them on and said, "They fit right now." Thankfully, I have some of this yarn left over and knit them top down, so if they are too small next year, I can (ideally) unravel them from the toes back and add some length. We'll see if that actually happens. Anyway, yarn is Moda Dea Sassy Stripes in #6946 "Crush." Size 2 (US) dpns. Basic top down instructions from Knitting Rules. These turned out ok, maybe a little ladder-y. The only thing I am really disappointed about is that they could have matched. I was afraid of running out of yarn, so I didn't try to match them and it turned out the pattern was only about 1/2 inch off. Bummer. What's our motto for this year? Say it with me now:

Fearless Knitting.

Hey, I'm trying!

My MMR&SE swap scarf is winging its way to Manitoba as we speak, so no photos until it's safely in Feralmama's hands. I already outed myself as her "secret" swap knitter, so no harm done there. But she really should be the first to see it, dontcha think?

I cast on for another Vogue Knitting scarf from their 25th anniversary issue, the Flounce Scarf by Laura Bryant using Lion Brand Incredible in Purple Party. I'm not sure if I love it, tho. I'm guessing the yarn they used in the original may have had a little more "body" to it - mine looks a tad droopy. But nice colors!

The Diamante Socks are still stalled at the second sock's wrap & turn, but since they are the ONLY socks I have OTN, I think I may be remastering (ha!) the W&T this evening.

Baby's J's quilt is machine quilted, just needs the binding to be made and attached.

The next big project is my Green Tomato. Remember, fearless!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First Daffodils

The blog First Daffodils 2008 features photos of daffodils from all over the Northern Hemisphere. Lots of pretty pictures, and they liked mine, too!