Surprise Recruitment

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yesterday a business associate (and previous co-worker and office mate) and I were talking regarding a new client and as we finished up the "work" stuff she exclaimed, "Hey, you knit!" and proceeded to ask if I could help her with her first project. Could I?? Whoa, how fun! So she brought her knitting over last night. Her mother-in-law is actually teaching her to knit and had given her homework: she was to finish 8 more rows on a baby blanket she's making for her up and coming babe. The problem: a hole. It was an easy fix, a dropped stitch which she had carefully marked with a paper clip, and once fixed we settled on the couch to knit and talk.

We talked and caught up and laughed and had fun. I realized she had learned to increase unintentionally which was causing some wacked out stitches to show up (knitting an M1 in the front of the stitch instead of the back). It seems whenever she couldn't decide whether a stitch had been dropped or not she would just pick up and knit whatever was hanging there.* I was just cracking up! And she wondered why she kept having extra stitches at the end of a row! Too funny. So I taught her to decrease and tried to help the best I could. New knitters confuse me because I second guess the advice I'm giving. She kept saying what a pro I was and an expert and just giving me a lot of guff - this in between her cursing at her knitting, calling it a wanker and exclaiming "pisser!" when she messed something up. I've missed that (she left our office about a year and a half ago for a new job but we still work together for one project.)

Anyway, expert schmexpert. We fixed all of her mistakes but I realized belatedly that I had really screwed up my own knitting! I forgot to start the cables on the back of the sock after the heel so I tried picking up that row but got frustrated so I pulled my needles out. Yes, I pulled my needles out, thinking if I had them out of the way it would be easier to pick up the row. Uh-huh. But I was still frustrated so I frogged back. *groans* Frogged back to the row, on Size 0 needles, thinking I could pick them back up without dropping stitches 1 or 2 or 3 rows lower. Fuck, I am an idiot. The sock declined to be photographed in it's current mangled state.

Expert. Pshaw.

*It does not help that she's using some sort of soft, fluffy, boucle-type yarn for the blanket. Her first project, did I mention that? *I* can't even tell which are knits and purls!

What are you listening to?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is too fun. Susan posted one and I saw through her link that Beth has as well. I love it. And you guys have great taste! Or maybe I just have great taste in picking knitblogs to read. ;)

So what's everyone else listening to?

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

Note: the MXPX is Kurt's and we've been listening to it at suppertime for a couple days. Not that there's anything wrong with listening to MXPX.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Hi. Meet my semi-new nostepinne.

Way back when I saw someone post, on the Live Journal Punk Knitters group, a picture of a beer bottle she had used as a nostepinne. This was around the time I was contemplating purchasing a ball winder but didn't want to shell out for a swift as well. Then I got a bottle of wine for Christmas. Genious. I'm sure the real thing is even better, like that time I made my own DPNs, but for now I'm really lovin' on the nostewine. I also love how you can see the progression in this picture. Bottom left is the first ball I wound, then the bottom right pink, top pink, red in the middle and finally the grey on the top left. The one actually on the bottle was done yesterday - it was one the cats got into last weekend. I left it there because I just like the way it looks.

The nostewine and yarn is sitting atop a pile of paint cards. I finally chose a color for my living room (Yellow Rose) and my landlord is supposed to drop it off this week. Just one of the projects I hope to complete this summer.

Me and the Sock

Friday, April 21, 2006

Uh-huh, that sock and I are not really on speaking terms right now. It's about 99.8% completed, just needs to be bound off. See?

I did start the bind off THREE different times the other night... and tinked my way back. The problem is that my favorite top of the sock bind off is the tubular, or invisible, cast-off that I've sung praises about before. The ensueing problem then is that I don't have a simple 2x2 or 1x1 rib going on here, there are those stupid four stitch cables in the way. When I made the cable socks before, I'm sure I had a way I worked around this but for the life of me I can't figure it out now. So the sock and I are "on a break". And it's not cheating if you're on a break, right? So I started the second sock.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd throw something out there. For those of you who knit toe-up socks, how do you decide the sock is done? Do you compare it to another pair of socks or follow a pattern or something? What I've been doing, and what works quite well for me so far, is to knit until the foot of the sock and the leg of the sock are (about) the same length, when the sock is folded in half.

Toe-up socks really like to fold up this way so I use that to my advantage. I originally thought the "knit until you run out of yarn" school was so cool. I wanted to be just like that! But, as I learned with my knee-highs, there is a LOT of yarn in those little balls and the increases over the calf are a pain in the ass! So I just have all these little balls of extra yarn, like the flattened one in the above picture, hanging out in my yarn box.

Man, I really say "So" alot, don't I?

Have a great weekend! We're going out to my dad's farm tomorrow morning to see his little tiny baby chicks and ducks and we're (I'm) so excited we (I) can hardly wait. I don't think I'll be this excited when it comes to butchering them but it's going to make for a great start to the weekend this weekend. :)

Yarn is Invisible

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

So here I am at home. Doing laundry, cleaning the house, listening to the guy outside tearing apart and building new fascia boards on my house. It's been kind of a nice morning, despite the sneezing and allergies because I ran out of Flonase over the weekend and haven't made it to the drugstore yet. I could go now except that Workman is blocking me in the driveway and I'd rather not disturb him. My landlord and I have been waiting for him to come get this job done for at least a year.

The weekend didn't start off so great though. I've been spending quite a bit of time away from home this last week helping my friend with her house and such and my cats were getting a little lonely. So when I came home Friday night at like 11:30 pm, I decided to let them come in my room and sleep with me for once (I'm allergic so usually my room is Off Limits). I did a thorough check to make sure all yarn and kid projects that cats love were out of sight and paw and went to bed. It was a cozy night and in the morning when they invariably woke me with their mewing for breakfast, I stumbled to the kitchen and fed them and went back to bed - with the door closed this time. When I next resurfaced, this is what I found:

It could have been worse. It could have been much worse. One ball they got from my bedroom. It had been sitting directly on my bedside table. I'm telling you, yarn is invisible in it's natural habitat. The other two they somehow finagled out of the closed, zippered backpack I keep my current projects in. Damn them! I just finished unraveling the last tangled ball this morning.

In spite of the yarn mess, there was knitting this weekend. Quite a bit actually. I started a new Rib and Cable sock on US 1s, completed the toe, and realized it was going to be way too big. So I put the other one on and walked around my Dad's house for awhile and I realized it isn't Too Too small. Just a Little small. Actually quite perfect. So I knit away on that through all the holiday visiting. It shall be finished soon with pictures forthcoming.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Anyone else have to work both Friday and Monday this weekend? No holiday day? It bites. Well, I shouldn't complain too much since we'll most likely get to leave early and I'm taking part of Tuesday morning off (to do laundray that I won't get done on Sunday. Woo.)

I've worked on the glove. I've actually gotten much farther than the picture shows but haven't taken another picture. I tried my first idea for the flap but, once again, my introspective engineering skills are sub par. I'll try to explain: when I got to the part where normally you would just mark a row for picking up the flap stitches later I put them on a stitch holder (yarn scrap) and cast on new stitches for the rest of the hand instead. After a few rows, I tacked (ack! tacking!) the cast on edge down for a nice flat seam. Once finished with the fingers (should not have done all of the fingers) I picked up the stitches I left off and began the flap. Uh-huh, it pretty much just looks like I picked up stitches along the back of the glove for the flap. Not the invisible look I was going for.

But it's not all bad news. The process I've detailed here is actually VERY simplified. To write it down in pattern form would probably give me an aneurysm. So now I can take what I've learned, apply it to the left glove, and come up with something easier, prettier, and better. The good news is, the cable is beautiful on the glove - though I might get rid of the P2, K2, P2 alongside it and shorten it to a P2.

Haven't touched the sock.

But I did come across this gorgeous, but filthy, handmade artifact in my best friends new house last night (the house is full of junk that is now theirs). It reminds me of the Harlot's Tink's sweaters.

And here is a pretty, pretty rainbow we saw while out at her house.

The whole night, from the drive out, the storm (which was brief), the house, the ride home under the full moon, made me want to live in the country. Now. Unfortunately, I don't see it as feasible at this point in my lifey-life. *sigh* So I'll have to content myself with hanging out at my Dad's farm this weekend.

Have a great one!

What happened on YOUR birthday?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

From ellie at deceptively packaged: Do a Wikipediasearch of your birthdate, minus the year; list three interesting events, three people who were born, and three people who died on that day.

1295 BC - The coronation of Ramses II, on whose face the sun's rays fall each year in Abu Simbel temple.

1889 - President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states. (Yes, I am biased because I live here therefore ND is the only state I linked.)

1956 - Elvis Presley enters the music charts for the first time, with "Heartbreak Hotel".

(Oh but there's this one too that made me laugh: 2006 - At least six men stage Britain's biggest ever robbery, stealing £53m (about $92.5 million or €78 million) from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.)

1732 (N.S.) - George Washington, first President of the United States (d. 1799)

1932 - Ted Kennedy, U.S. senator from Massachusetts

1975 - Drew Barrymore, American actress

1680 - Catherine Monvoisin, French sorceress (burned in public! holy shit! on my birthday. yeesh.)

1987 - Andy Warhol, American artist, director, and writer (b. 1928)

2002 - Chuck Jones, American animator (b. 1912)

Mittens in warm weather

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Several knitting related things happened in the past week while I was on "sabbatical". First off, I couldn't not knit. Isn't that terrible? But I did take a break from the Tiny Needles of Doom. While on break, I actually measured my gauge because the sock is a tad bit tight - not horribly so but, you know, a little bit.
Uh yeah, gauge is off. I'm getting 8.5 sts to the inch (8.5!!). Which, you know, isn't the end of the world. I'm not sure I mentioned it, but I did a KnitSwap with a CheekyMama for some Clover DPN's in sizes 1 and 3 (I gave her my new Crystal Palace's in the same sizes because I hated them). So I might just start the second sock on US 1s and see what my gauge is and how it fits. Knitting on 1s would be slightly better than on 0s and I can do it all under the guise that my gauge was off. Hah. (Also, sorry for the terrible picture. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a picture of BROWN socks.)

One more note on the swap though - CheekyMama seemed to think she needed to apologize for getting my needles out a little later than I sent hers (she really didn't, it was fine) so she sent me some handmade stitch markers. They're so pretty! I haven't taken a picture yet but I will. I've always wanted a set but haven't yet purchased any so it was really fun to get a surprise set in the mail. Thank you!

So I said I couldn't not knit but that I haven't been knitting on the miniature socks (more gauge humor, building my case here). Maybe you've guessed by the entry title that I've started my fingerless gloves. I was right in my assumptions that Knitpicks Wool of the Andes is a thinner yarn than what I used for Kurt's gloves and that it would knit up to a perfect size for my hands. So far, so good. Here you see the glove trying to drive my car. (And yes, it's too warm to wear a coat and yet I continue to knit wool gloves. I'm preparing for next year! Early!)
I've had a couple different ideas of how to continue the cable onto the mitten flap without it being interrupted (by picking up stitches for the flap). I'm not sure which idea I'll go with yet but I'll be deciding soon. Hopefully it'll work! I'm excited to try.

Wow, you'd think it was all knitting all the time around here. In reality, I also got to 1) go to a rock show my friends put on while in town on tour, 2) watch the river rise past major flood stage and be protected by a new almost-completed flood wall, and 3) buy a bridesmaid dress for my best friend's wedding. Oh, and knit with a friend on Sunday. All in all, a great week despite the wrist aches.

Knitting Sabbatical

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I haven't knit since Saturday. The US 0s are doing a number on my poor wrist. It's not knitting with tiny bamboo needles that's the problem technically. It's that I am so careful and hold my knitting weird when I'm knitting on them because I'm scared I'll ruin them - bending them into shapes reminiscent of a U-bend or, worse yet, snapping them in half. When I try them (okay, it) on, it feels great! I love that I can't really feel all the little purl bumps because they're so small but it's definitely not worth this uncomfortableness or possible permanent wrist damage. I figure I'll sloooooowly finish up this pair and then go back to knitting socks on size 2's. Not sure if I'll try 1's.

Anyway, that's all. I haven't been able to do any more figuring out of my html and web stuff either because mousing is weird and uncomfortable. My wrist doesn't even really hurt, it just feels weird and tingles sometimes and I know that's not a good sign.

So yeah, not alot of knitting this week. Hopefully next week! I have to check on my winter set's yarn and see how much I need to order to complete the hat and mittens (since I used two balls of it on my sweater).


Monday, April 03, 2006

In a miracle of miracles, I now have the scarf pattern available for download by clicking on the link in the last post. For all the fucking around I've done with my "personal web space" in the last three years, I'm not really sure what I did differently tonight to make it work. If this continues, I may even move my site. Whoa.

...but don't hold your breath, of course, and I won't hold mine.

My first...

Though technically not my first pattern, this is my first pattern I've made available on my site. If you should happen to use it, please let me know of any mistakes and whether it's well-written or not. I've read through it several times and made some changes but since I've already made the scarf it's more difficult to see these things. The second picture on the bottom of the pattern is crappy, I know. It was really overcast yesterday and difficult to get a good picture of the cable pattern. But it's here! And I hope people like it! And I hope to include a bonnet type hat and fingerless mitts to go with it!

To upload the pattern for the Elegant Cabled Scarf, click here.

In other news, I've decided to continue with the brown Knitpicks socks on US 0s. After knitting more of the foot it became apparent that they really DO fit and the sagginess was simply an illusion. I haven't taken a picture yet but last night I turned the heel and started cabling in earnest: from three cables on the foot to six around the ankle. How did I become so obsessed with cables?