Fending off temptation

ugh, This post was originally started this afternoon, but apparently my computer had other plans. Crashing was one of them, ceasing to work was the other. I'm on the boy's computer now while he tries to save all my documents on mine. I hate to think of all the images I've lost along with all the patterns I had in there. At least I was able to save my thesis paper and images, though I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with them now.
Enough about that, though I will give you a PSA: Backup your computer!

On to knitting. It was tough to not immediately start on a new project with all the new stash yarn, but I was strong and stuck to my "finishing things" mantra. Funny thing is, I haven't been knitting that much. The last time I touched this sock was on Saturday night when I got to the heel. Can I just say how much I like not having to pickup a bunch of stitches? I actually restarted the sock on Friday morning on the way to Stitches to get a better toe then worked on the foot on the way home and some on Saturday. The heel was done twice, but I'm still not completely happy with it. One side is perfect, but the other side leaves something to be desired. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not using long enough needles and that side stretched or because of the way I purled together the stitches with their wrap. When I pick it up again I need to decide what to do with the leg; do I keep the lace exactly where it is or do I somehow spread it around the whole leg?

What have I been working on then? The NSS Cardie is moving along, though for a while there I thought I was never going to split the sleeves. The rows just kept going and going. It's a little faster now, but surprisingly not by that much. I think what's keeping me from picking this up all the time is the yarn. This yarn gets really rough and starts drying and scratching my hands. For some reason I keep finding plant matter in it (last I checked Noro had conquered the "plants in yarns" game) or what I think is plant or cactus or something really rough. I love the color (#09), love the pattern, hate the yarn. Silky Wool is a definite "never again" for me.

I still will try to make it this week's exclusive project, it's finally starting to feel like fall here and I would love to have a new cardigan by this weekend to wear in these cool nights. This is definitely a lofty goal I'm sure I won't meet, since once the body is done I have to: knit the sleeves, pick up the button and neck bands, and somehow knit instead of crochet some ruffles. So, I'm not making any promises...


Stitches Report

I'm back and ooh so tired. I think I have a yarnover. I must nap right now, I don't know how I'm ever going to get to the gym tonight. I don't know how people stay at Stitches all weekend, one day was enough for me. But enough of that, you want to hear about Stitches right?

My plan of attack was to stick to my shopping/project list and to try to find yarns that I couldn't normally get at my lys any old day (otherwise, why would I go to A.C. and pay a cover charge right?). I had my map in one hand and credit card in the other, I forged ahead. In the back of my mind I had this game called spot the pattern. I figured I would be swimming in "famous" patterns, but a las I only saw one...the clapotis. Pretty, but boring. I wanted to see something, wacky, something fun furrish, or at least something I've been wanting to knit but never seen before. Not many people wore their knitting with pride, it must have been the heat. I shouldn't judge, you couldn't even tell I was a knitter with my big "felicity" bookbag for my future yarn purchases and walking alone in the convention center (alas, I have no knitting posse). I did recognize a group of bloggers, but since I've never "spoken" to them I never said hello (though I remember telling them how much yardage was in a skein of sock yarn we all wanted to buy). Actually, I'm pretty much an idiot when it comes to recognizing people and talking to them. I was talking to Lily Chin, holding her pattern I was about to buy, without knowing I was talking to Lily Chin! But somehow I can recognize a blogger, go figure (hint, she has knitted a lacey top and she has knit nights "with the girls" can you guess who I saw?). I did get to meet Jody, how did I recognize her? To be honest, I recognized the sleeve first. She's as nice in person as she seems in her blog. She gets the Knit Fix Seal of Approval. I also go to meet Joan McGowan-Michael (White Lies Designs) and see the actual sweaters knit up. They are even better in person and she's really nice, so go buy a pattern or kit from her!

So since I'm about to pass out and I think I should take a power nap before the boy comes home, without further ado here are my yarn purchases.

The picture is a little dark, but I thought the one with the flash washed it out a bit too much. boohoo! Let's start from the pattern clockwise.

A Lily Chin sock and wristlet pattern. Did I tell you that I was standing next to all her "Lily Chin Collection" yarn while I was talking to her?

Next to that we have three skeins of Bartlett yarn in purple for a future UO Shrug. I've been wanting to try this yarn out to knit up a Rogue and for some reason I like buying things from Maine. Since I didn't have the Rogue requirements right in front of me I stuck to three skeins. (But they were only 4 dollars each!)

The dark purple skein between the Bartlett is some Just Our Yarn wool and camel. Yes, wool and camel! These are going to be socks, camel socks.

That huge cone? From the Webs booth. Who knows how many thousands of yards of wooley goodness are in there. I dont remember the name, but I think it's Brora Softspun. 100% wool from scotland (and j.crew) that will become the Phildar cardie vest thing.

Four skeins of pink Malabrigo for a Hot Lava, bought at Webs with a discount. Oh so soft, why would you ever buy Manos?

Two skeins of Hand Jives Nature Palette in Mallard for Anna's socks (the reason I learned toe-up magic loop socks). I got to chat with Darlene for a few minutes and she's so freaking nice. I wanted to buy more, I suggest you do as well.

one skein of Tess Designer Yarn super socks yarn in a purpley/red. (another Maine person!)

Three (and a tiny bit more) skeins of Habu Mohair silk for my Eternity Shawl that apparently puzzled everyone. I'm making the pattern up and I will share, don't worry!

Three skeins of Berroco Foliage to make extra chunky socks for the future FIL.

Going to Stitches, having some fun... priceless. Addition to my yarn stash... about $178 give or take a few cents or two.


On the fall lineup...

I have my ticket printed, my bag ready, and I think I know what train I have to take. Now I just need my shopping list and I'm ready for Stitches East! Aahhh, Atlantic City, the Vegas of the East where nothing really happens so you don't have to worry too much when you get home. Except when you are going to buy yarn that is. I've heard Stitches can be a seedy place, yarn dealers tempting you in every corner and yarn ho's running amock. I'm going to be strong, I'm going to be prepared, I will!

I have a plan and I hope to stick with it. You see that little collage up there? You are looking at most of my fall projects (oh you know there are more!). I only want to buy yarn for projects, no more random skeins I tell you. Let's see what this brilliant plan is, shall we? The now infamous U.O. Shrug, I thought I had yarn in my stash for this, but apparently everyone is using over 600 yds of worsted yarn oops. The ever-popular Hot Lava, I finally know of the magic loop's powers so I'm looking for some creamy white or pink worsted wool for this little number. Next up is Stef's new Bulky-Mini-Cardy. I love knitting from the top down and I can't pass up a quick knit. The yarn I was going to use for the UO Shrug is destined as the contrasting color, but I need 300 yds for the main body. I see it in pink of course. In the middle is the Eternity Shawl, I feel as if I've been talking about this for an eternity. Let's finally knit this shall we? I'm thinking some Habu mohair (why should Rowan get all my business) in a teal or turquoise. The last little number is a pattern from Phildar that Sylvie translated for me. I'm not sure how this will look on me, but I think it's sooo cute. I don't remember how much yarn I need for this, but it was somwhere in the 1k yds range. I'll be at the School Products or Webs booth looking at cones for this one. The original yarn used is acrylic. but please I'm going for some wool.

Sounds like I have a handle on this right? I see a loophole though that may become my failure. Gift knitting! Pretty yarn always has the possibility of becoming something grand until it perishes in your stash with no direction at all. I think I have enough in the stash for a few gifts I want to knit up, but there are the socks I want to knit for Tom's dad, a mini cardy for my mom, possibly an eternity shawl for a cousin, and something as yet undetermined for my brother. oh yeah, and I want to check out some nature's palette sock yarn.

I'll be meeting Jody there, so hopefully we can be good influences on each other (hah!). So let's play another game. Guess how much I spend tomorrow, the person that's closest wins a prize from my stash. This should be interesting. Diana won the last contest, so watch her site for what her prize was.

ps. the above project list does not include future winter knitting, including a couple of Rowan sweaters and future Glampyre patterns.

pps. I have another stash sale, this time a grab bag! My sponsor suggested I needed to do this. Yes, I have a sponsor and no, she didn't even know she was my sponsor.


Name that pattern

The rumors are true, magic loop socks seem to grow quicker than knitting with dpns. Would I lie to you?

This was the state of the sock this morning (sorry for the blue cast), but I'm going to have to rip out a couple of rows because I kept futzing around until I didn't like it anymore (ie I made a mistake). These knit up fast so no worries there. I'll be jumping back to my other projects in the meantime...the more I finish, the more I can buy at Stitches right? Just kidding!

Hey! Do you like prizes? How about some free s.e.x. without the x? Here's your chance to get a prize for your stash...does this pattern look familiar? The first person to name the pattern gets a prize from me. No joke!


News update: Yahaira gets some balls

and realizes she didn't need them.

Witnesses say she did a figure-8 through a magic loop and got jiggy with it.
News at 11...or more likely tomorrow since some of us have to watch Nip/Tuck, then shower, and get to sleep.


Look who's blocking

I fought an inner struggle today, laziness with a touch of boredom (or is it the other way around) prevailed. The River Stole est fini (except for blocking) and it didn't come a moment too soon. I was actually thinking of going beyond the 12 repeats and making it a nice, long stole (and that would be one less random skein in my stash), but my wrist and shoulder have been hurting lately so now we all get an FO.

Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Candy Girl (606)
Pattern: River Stole, Rowan #38
Needles: Clover Ivory straights US 10.5
Date Started: 09.02.05
Date Finished: 09.19.05

I think my hands hurt because I knit with my pinky out anytime I picked up the stole, that's how fancy it is! Which worries me since, well, I don't really think I'm that fancy. Cultured maybe, but fancy? This stole requires a total different life; one filled with "dining out", going to the theater or opera, visiting your friends at the museum, fancy clothes, and an Ethan Allen home. Mine is more grabbing something to eat, going to the gym, spending a lot of nights with my "tv friends", and an Ikea home. Troublesome since I was thinking of knitting up a Birch Shawl. A shawl would complicate my life even more, forcing me to go out to "tie and jacket required" restaurants exclusively, ordering a new fall "wardrobe", and donating a lot of money to the "museum friends circle". Do I change for my knitting or does the knitting change for me? Perhaps a "river scarf" is more fitting.

Yeah, a scarf is more my cup of tea. Once it's blocked it will be perfect scarf length and can be worn non-chalantly at my local watering hole (who says that anyway?). The question is, how do I sneak in a shawl into my life?


Almost Finished

My relationship with Candy Girl are coming to a close. We had some good times and some not so bad. We laughed together and then we ignored each other. But through it all she's still my friend. She's even taught me a few things:

hot pink makes me smile
hot pink and silk make me outright giddy
I'm very much like a tootsie pop: how many repeats (within a row) does it take for me to loose count? one, two, three! It's three!
eventually lace can become tv knitting
drinking wine while knitting creates very big yarn overs, who knew!

In these pictures I was somewhere in the 10th repeat, but after going to the gym. having dinner, and knitting while watching Crash I am in the middle of the 12th. I didn't meet my goal of finishing by this weekend, but I sure came close.

Here's an artsy/moment of zen/color accurate picture to tide you over until I have an actual FO.


Newton's Apple

I didn't think this day would sneak up on me so easily or so quickly. I knew it was going to happen, there was no denying that, it happens to most of us. I've become my mother. There I said it. How do I know? How am I so sure? The first clue was the stashing. It starts innocently enough, you like a magazine so you buy an issue or two before you commit and subscribe. That title is joined by one or two more, then one day you realize you have a whole display table of six different subscriptions, back issues and all. Would you like to look up something in the November 2004 Vogue? Are you sure, because I can whip it out for you. I have food, wine, fashion, and science magazines coming out the wazoo. It wouldn't be so bad if I got rid of the old issues, but nope, they are neatly stacked in chronological order. My mom's magazine of choice was Vanidades (think Cosmo in Spanish for an older audience); she would stash them away in her night table. If she thought she missed an issue, then she would send me off to search the greater Miami area.

You might be asking yourself, "why the sudden enlightenment? you admit you have a yarn stash problem, wasn't that a clue?" Apparently it wasn't a big enough one. When boxes of shoes fall on your head as you scream in pain, something just hits you. We have a problem here; my closet is never this messy. Look at the color coordination and all the shoes still in their boxes neatly stacked. Go figure that the night I'm rushing to dinner I grab the one box that lacked balance. This is not a good thing to do in front of the boyfriend, the one that starts to wonder what else I'm hiding. I don't think you get the magnitude of the problem with this picture, the shoe boxes are arranged four boxes high and at least that many across. If my mother were here, she would tell you how she solved this problem. Buy clear, plastic shoe boxes for storage and easy access. The woman has at least eight stacks (I believe it's more) that go five boxes high. Of course this doesn't include "everyday shoes". Those need even easier access. I present to you exhibit B:

The stash of shoes that live under my dresser. My mom keeps her's somewhere near the bed, but I find my spot to be very strategic. It makes things easier when I have to vacuum, here's a whole section I can skip. I don't "need" so many shoes, but I have a thing for Pumas and, I admit it, I'm a mood dresser. I need a lot of options while getting dressed, who knows what my feet will want to sink into. Would you like to see what lives atop my dresser?

Makeup that I use, makeup that I don't use, makeup that I'm allergic to, makeup that most likely has gone bad. Each one of those bags is full of makeup, but it isn't "everyday makeup" (do you see a theme here?) so they hide in the bags that hide in drawers. My mom one-ups me here as well, along with makeup on the dresser, she has some in baskets in my father's night table, and one of those huge train cases in her closet. The woman knows how to hide a stash.
I should need to get rid of some of this. Why do I still have the "oh, everything is blurry, wait, why do my eyes burn?" mascara? I don't want to hurt it's feelings that's why! But this weekend has been proclaimed "to hell with inanimate object's feelings fest". Nothing will be spared. No puppy eyes from the shoes that give me blisters or the lipstick that is too sticky. I'll even go through my magazines, my fabric, my books, and who knows what else I may find. I can't live with useless things anymore. Too bad for the boyfriend, he will be forced to go through all his stashes as well. If you want to hear about how he's becoming his mother as well, then hopefully we can get him to start his own blog.

What about my famous yarn stash? I am making some sort of progress. No more random skeins I say (unless it's sock yarn!). I took a good, hard look at the stash and took out anything that either I have no clue what I'll use for or just simply have no use for and took them out of there. I even took some Koigu out of the stash and back to the store yesterday (did I mention I have a receipt stash?) and exchanged it for some yarn I could actually use (go figure). Bye-bye Koigu, we will meet again, hellooo Silky Wool. Are you surprised it's not pink? I quickly cast on a top-down mini cardie from the lovely Wendy. My hands are confused about the yarn though. They say, "my, how soft you are!" then they turn on it and ask "umm, has someone been lotioning you up? Because I have to break it to you, I hate lotion. I hate it so much, especially when it gets between my fingers, that I used to make my mom put lotion on my legs (that's another post entirely)". We'll see what my hands decide.


Must be the bangs

No real news on River to share with you. I was down the shore for the weekend and just knit a little here or there but to be honest the pattern is kinda boring me. I think that I'm going to plug away at it all this week so I can be done with it (what are the chances of this happening?!). I've been secretly working on another Tubular Camisole with some stash yarn. I wanted to try it again with a lighter yarn and maybe a slouchier fit before summer completely fades away. Isn't it funky? It's Noro Sumire, a now discontinued cotton and silk blend. I can't find any information on it online, but I promise I'm not lying. It's nice and soft and even kinda fun to work with.

The silk and cotton are spun together until you get to breaks where the silk is basically bursting from the cotton giving the yarn a thick and thin quality. Sumire could quite possibly be the mullet of yarns; all business over here, party over there. This yarn is so funky in fact that I managed to pick up two (two! one each way) boys on the train last week while knitting this. I wasn't even trying since I'm not looking. They just started talking to me asking about what I was making and one even telling me how they used to crochet as a kid. Ladies and gents, if you are looking for a date forget bars instead take a knitting project on public transportation and they'll be flocking to you.

Thanks everybody for your comments, it definately made me feel better and I'm loving the bangs. It's funny to think of all the pictures I brought with me to get my cut, I'll have to make a collage out of them to show all of you. Now that I'm back home I'll get back to all of you through email.


Trip news and even a cut

Why am I posting a pic of myself while not modeling any knitting? Because this is as close to bangs I have been since I was in sixth grade. Back then I was sporting the big, hairsprayed wave, (oh you know you were too!) and I accept partial blame to that hole in the ozone layer (sorry Australia!). I must admit my style has improved since then, no hairspray, no banana clips, no leggings, and no scrunchies. At least I never wore those dreaded z.cavariccis, do I get any points for that? I'll have to live with my fake bangs for a while before I decide if I want to go shorter or "real" next time. I really like them as is, what a difference bringing pics from the internet does. Usually I just mumble something and make my stylist look through books with me or make up something as she goes (I'm very trusting).

Is this why I'm really posting? nah, I have some exciting news, well exciting to me at least. Can't you tell I'm excited in this pic? (yep, I'm lame, did it really take you this long to realize this?) Remember when I asked for vacation advice? Well, the bf is being sent away for work for a couple of weeks (sniff!sniff!) and we decided, like the geniuses that we are, to tack on our vacation at the end of his trip. The poor boy has to be in China for two weeks by himself and I get to meet him in Tokyo for a week! I was going to go to China (near Shanghai) as well, but his boss didn't think that was such a great idea (who does he think he is anyway?). I'm going to be all by my lonesome till I fly to Japan by myself. : ( I guess the boy is going to have to get over his whole not-wanting-to-fly thing now isn't he? hah!

I'll mostly be bringing back some craft/knitting books I've been drooling over but have never seen in person. Is there any yarny goodness I should also be in the lookout for? I have a small list of yarn stores already (we thought we were going to go earlier in the summer) so what "normal" touristy things should we do? The boy wants to see Mt. Fuji and I just want to walk around and look in all the cool stores. We know we are going to eat a lot and go to the arcades, but now I have to start researching our daily activities. Any suggestions are appreciated.

umm, I guess I should make this post somewhat knitting related. The new Knitty is up (as if you didn't know) and it's quite good! I think it's their most consistent one to date. I'm slowly plugging away on my River Stole and I started another camisole as well. I'll try to post pics of it on another post.



What does this detail-filled picture tell you?! Yes, lace looks like crap as you knit it, but more importantly, that I cast on for my River Stole.

Remember all those knitting plans I had last week? Well, this is as far as I got this weekend (there is just no lace knitting at the movies, glacial ice or not). I actually had to stop on Saturday night because I was too tipsy to figure out the pattern after coming home from a party. This is what things look like towards the end of the first repeat, exciting no?

I really like these Clover Ivory needles I'm using. They are both quick and slow enough to handle the KSH, my only gripe is that I wish they had pointier tips. I'm assuming their size has something to do with this. Other than that, it has been smooth sailing (apart for the being drunk thing). I can't decide though if I like working from the chart or from the written pattern, I keep going back and forth but more and more relying on the book.

Caribbean Socks

Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Fingering Merino in Caribbean Blues
Needles: US2 (2.75mm) Clover DPNs
Pattern: Summer Socks
Date Started: 8.24.05
Date Finished: 9.05.05

Socks are like sisters, sometimes one of them is prettier or smarter, always knows the right things to say and do while the other is more comfortable in the shadows, tugging at her ill-fitting clothes. Can you tell which is which in the pic above?

I finally started the second sock on Sunday when the BF dragged me to see March of the Penguins, I figured all the ice would be enough light to knit by. (If you want to feel like you are back in elementary or middle school, then go see this movie) I finished the rest of the sock on our way home. Ah, the second sock! I managed to remember to decrease on both sides of the short rows (what a concenpt), picking up stitches was much faster, and my kitchenering was so much neater. I still hate the cable caston and I don't get how I'm supposed to get down to eight stitches total before grafting (I made it down to 24 before grafting). I also included one last round knit only on needle 1 to get the yarn away from the middle so I could graft (again, didn't know how else I was supposed to do this). Overall, I like sock knitting and who knew it was so easy. My next ones will be toe up and perhaps involve some magic looping; you can't say I never like a challenge.

60 second March of the Penguins:
Penguins walk, they have sex. Penguins walk, they eat. Penguins walk, they die. Penguins walk some more. New penguins are born.


Quick fix

Pattern: Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers SNBN
Yarn: Diakeito Diamusee in #40 (1 skein)
Needles: US 7 DPN's
Date Started: 8.31.o5
Date Finished: 8.02.05

Though yesterday was the official kickoff for the
River Stole, I really didn't want to start it until I finished these babies up. These were pretty easy and quick to knit up and it only took one skein (since I didn't care if they matched up or not). I only wish that book publishers weren't so cheap when it comes to printing charts. Would it have been that hard to also print up the left armwarmer one? I really like the Diakeito, it's really soft and the colors stripe in a nice, soft way.

I can definately see myself wearing these come fall, especially since I hate wearing gloves when I drive but hate having to grip a cold steering wheel while waiting for the heater to kick up.

Did you notice that bright yarn up above? I finally broke down and got some Vesper Sock Yarn in Aqua Melon. They are destined to be some funky, yet simple socks for yours truly. I was hoping for a colorway with pink and brown, but no such luck. Just pink and lime, blue and orange, and the "knit and tonic" one, which is pretty but I would feel a little weird knitting something up in someone else's blog colors. There's something groupish about that.

Tonight the boy and I will be driving up to his parent's house for the loooong weekend. I'll be taking the beginnings of River and the yarn for the second caribbean sock. I'll try to blog while we are up there, but I always go up with such plans and somehow I never get to do any of them. Wish me luck!



Hurricane Andrew hit weeks before I was about to start seventh grade. I remember my family sitting on the floor of my parents' room with their mattress protecting us from the window. We listened to my little white boombox to find out what was going on outside and maybe just to hear another voice that perhaps could soothe us. My dog was so scared that she decided to hide in the closet. As the eye of the hurricane passed, it sounded as if a loud train was riding through our neighborhood. That was the longest night of my life. We didn't have water or electricity for days, but we were one of the lucky ones. Unlike all our other neighbors, nothing serious happened to our house. Our one neighbor had their roof fly off, we didn't have too much food but we helped them out as much as we could. I can't help thinking that if the hurricane had gone a couple of miles north (the center of the eye went directly over our house instead of the more dangerous wall) things could have been much worse, very much like what I have been watching on TV and reading about.

I'm sure you know about the craftrevolution sale, so if you can go buy something to help out the relief fund. Donate to the Red Cross or the fund of your choice. I'm currently looking for a charity that will accept clothes and food so that I can send a few boxes down. If I find one, then I'll let you know. I could have easily been homeless years ago, but instead all I got was an extra week or two of summer vacation.