Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Anyone? Anyone?

Had a very nice day off today, and I'm anticipating another nice day off tomorrow. Next week will be kind of crazy to make up for it

So, since next week may not be very relaxing, I fully vegged out today... I lounged around and watched TV, and then I made a very nice dinner (stuffed peppers and spicy potatoes) and pigged out before Project Runway. (And why, exactly, is Vincent still there, with his dullsville design for this challenge?) No, not exactly a Ferris Bueller-type day off, with singing on parade floats and crashing Ferraris and impersonating the Sausage King of Chicago, but it worked for me. ;)

The weirdest part of today was that I didn't touch any of my knitting projects. However, I have a tendency to knit in waves. Since I've recently finished a couple of projects, I probably just need a day or two without knitting to recharge.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Dinner last night turned into dinner followed by coffee and knitting and talking about strip clubs. Good times. :) I had fun (and a good bit of food), although I was my usual painfully quiet self... Any time I get around a group of people, I generally feel like I don't have much to add to the conversation. I need to work on that, because I have this nagging feeling that people see it as me being bored or irritated. Note to self: you're not as boring as you think you are, and people aren't going to be annoyed if you pipe up more often.

Anyway, Mango Grove/Mirchi Wok in Columbia? Such good food. I definitely need to get back there.

So, I got home from dinner and saw some kind of creature on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. At first I thought it was a really fat worm, but it was moving too quickly to be a worm. Then I thought maybe it was a long caterpillar, even though it's a bit late in the year for most caterpillars. Once I had gotten close enough, I could see what it was: a 3" long millipede! I've never seen anything like it outside of an invertebrate exhibit at the zoo. Of course, by the time I got back outside with my camera, it had disappeared into the grass. Still, pretty neat (if a little creepy).

Knitting update coming just as soon as I've made any noticeable progress on anything. :)

Monday, August 28, 2006

New projects

Yay for 24! Yay for The Office! I thought the Emmys were pretty enjoyable, although you can count me among the legions who feel that Gregory Itzin, Jean Smart, and Steve Carell were robbed. I was particularly happy to see Carlos Bernard up with the 24 posse at the end (I love him).

With 2 projects recently finished, I've started 2 new projects to take up the empty spots in the queue. First off, I frogged the crocheted bag that I was doing in the allhemp3. I don't really know what I was thinking, making a crocheted bag when I don't enjoy crochet all that much. So, I'm using the hemp yarn to do an Itsy Bitsy bag from Knitty.

Itsy Bitsy mesh bag

The yarn isn't easy to work with (rough texture, no elasticity), but I'm getting used to it. It shows off the stitch pattern really nicely, and I know this will be a durable bag when it's done. I've also started an Icarus shawl in the blue Misti alpaca laceweight... yes, actual lace. Not a whole lot done on that so far, but it's going well.

I got together with some folks at All About Yarn yesterday, followed by knitting time in a coffee shop and then more knitting time outside after the coffee shop closed. Lolly has a picture of all of us up, which I'm hoping she won't mind me linking to. :) I was very restrained at AAY; the only thing I bought was the latest Vogue Knitting. I fondled the Manos and Wool in the Woods, but didn't buy any. Manos has some new colors, one of which is a variegated purple and lavender that I absolutely love. I know I'll be buying some once I have a project in mind (i.e. "something that's not a felted bag").

I've started considering Christmas knitting, and I'm particularly thinking about a lap blanket or afghan for my grandmother. Although I picked up knitting on my own, I'm pretty sure I inherited the knitting gene from her. She used to knit, and she always notices if I'm wearing something that I made (she liked my Clapotis quite a bit). Her room isn't that big, so I can't make anything HUGE... a smallish afghan or a lap blanket would be just about right.

Going out for Indian food tonight, yay!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bias Corset

Bias Corset

Bias Corset, Interweave Knits summer 2006
Started July 28, 2006; finished August 24, 2006
Yarn: Knitpicks Dye-Your-Own fingering weight
Needles: US 3
Changes to pattern: I didn't switch to another yarn for the I-cord bindoff and straps.

The eyelet rows that cut across the chest? Well, they hit a bit too close to *exactly* the wrong spot, so I won't be wearing this without something else under it or over it. However, I liked working on this, enough so that I finished it in under a month. For me, that's record time, especially for something using sock yarn. And yay for my dyed yarn not doing much weird pooling!

To anyone thinking about making this: the pattern says that there is only 1" of ease. Considering that the entire back is k2p2 ribbing, there is considerably more than 1" of ease. I made a size 3" smaller than I am, and there's still plenty of give.

Happy dance!

The past few days have been quite good... here's why:

1. Package from my Secret Pal!!
Goodies from my secret pal!

This was 2 packages combined into one mega-package, and WOW I've been spoiled. From the top, mostly clockwise, there's a copy of Knit Wit and a spool of the yarn needed to make the "Corral Belt", a nifty card featuring Elvis, a White Barn Candle Company sweet pea candle (Did you know that I have this exact same candle in cucumber melon and vanilla? They make a nice set), strawberry Fruit Leather (gone now), Chocolate Traveler milk chocolate wedges (half gone... someone lives near a Trader Joe's, methinks), 2 skeins of Regia Crazy Color, a fuzz remover and knit fixer set, some Tony the Tiger post-its, a set of knitter notecards, Clover DPNs, and a skein of Andes wool that is begging to be something felted.

Yarn closeups:
Regia Crazy Color
Andes wool yarn

Notecards and post-its:
Knitting notecards
Tony the Tiger post-its

Thanks SP!! Still not much clue who you are... I know you said one of the snacks was a clue, but you may be giving me too much credit for being brainy and deductive. :)

2. Finished my Bias Corset (which is getting its own post).

3. Tempting has been getting a bunch of compliments, perhaps my favorite being that it makes me look 'busty'. When you're built like me and someone says you look busty, it's a good day.

4. Nice evening spent with a spinning group I just joined. I was definitely the low-tech end of things, as I was there with my trusty drop spindle. No wheel for me at the moment. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll want a wheel if I try one, so I'm putting off trying one for as long as possible. I digress. Fun night, and I got a nice amount of spinning done. :)

5. There was a kid with light-up shoes in the library, which I love.

6. New cookbooks! (which will be getting all kinds of love on the other blog, most likely starting tomorrow).

7. And some particularly happy news for me: My computer has started working properly again. For the last 4 months or so, it's been taking a full 10 minutes to start up. Suddenly, it's back to normal. Yes!! This made me squee quite a bit...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Customer "support" from Blogger

Ok, I mentioned that I have to share the e-mail I received from Blogger support... here goes:
Hi there,

This is an automated update from Blogger Support. We are currently focusing all of our efforts on Blogger in beta, and are unable to provide personal responses to other issues. However, we do have some other resources to help you out.

In the Blogger Help Group, experienced users can answer your questions, or you may find that your question has already been asked and answered in the archives. We also have a Blogger employee monitoring the group to provide assistance. You can visit the help group here:

Note that widespread operational problems, if they occur, will be addressed on our Status page to keep you updated:

If you're interested in learning more about Blogger in beta, please see Blogger Help:

Thanks for your understanding, and thanks for using Blogger.

Blogger Support

That's a direct cut-and-paste. An automated response to say "We won't help you, we're far too busy working on other things." This goes for every single one of their existing users. Whatever support problems people have are no longer Blogger's concern. How's that for the most awesome customer support ever?

Here's a thought: why not spend some time debugging the existing service first, and THEN dump the beta feature upgrades in?

Ok, that's my mini-rant. Back to I-cording.

Are there knitting gnomes?

If not, I officially have no explanation for how I'm binding off my Bias Corset when 2 days ago I was only about halfway done.

(Regarding the pattern, I'm not sure how 3/4" of fabric somehow takes it from an A cup to a D cup. Especially 3/4" of fabric measured vertically at the neckline. Shouldn't "cup shaping" happen nearer to the cups? )

Anyway, my strangely almost-finished project. I'd blame last night's Knit Night, but I didn't get much done there... we were talking about weird people, stalkers, and Project Runway. It was fun. :)

So, I got home and pulled out the Bias Corset to work on while I watched Prison Break (which I'd recorded while I was out). I checked the pattern, and all I had left was to do 2 more rounds, bind off, and make the straps. I don't know how it happened. For me, the possibility of 2 FOs in about a week is just nutty. I blame gnomes.

This is my first I-cord bindoff ever... kinda nifty. I like it.

(And a big "I don't know what's happening either" to any folks who subscribe to my site feed. I know this post isn't displaying correctly, and depending on the reader, apparently SEVERAL posts are being cut off in the middle. It started doing this randomly, and is definitely not something that I set it up to do. Since it's apparently happening in several different readers, I blame Blogger. They're so busy working on the coming "Blogger Beta" upgrades that they're completely ignoring the existing non-beta service. I MUST share the email I got from their support people... it deserves its own post, really.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tempting II, done

Yes, it's a warm weather garment that I finished before the warm weather was done for the year! Exciting stuff!

I made some changes, at least one of which is really obvious if you're familiar with this pattern. First off, the original pattern is a fairly low scoopneck, which isn't a look that I feel all that comfortable with. I added some extra decreases to bring the neckline up higher, and I'm very happy with where the neckline ended up. I did a slipstitch edge around the neckband (because I love slipstitch edges and will work them in as often as possible).

The really obvious change is the fact that there's a knot on the neckband instead of a buckle. Nothing against buckles, but I was never excited about that aspect of the sweater, so I decided not to do it. Instead of binding off when I got to the end of the band, I knitted a couple more inches, folded that over and tacked it down to make a loop, and then pulled the front part of the neckband through.

Tempting II, from (size: 30")
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus, hot pink (3 balls)
Needles: Size 7 for body, size 6 for neckband
Started July 14, 2006; Finished August 16, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Neckband issues

Got together with some of the Knit Nite ladies this evening, which was lots of fun. Tempting stayed home, as it's at a less-than-portable stage (more on that in a sec), so the Bias Corset put in a public appearance.

So, Tempting... apparently, I should trust my knitting instincts a bit more. I had changed the pattern for the neckband ever so slightly, but kept the same ratio of picking up one stitch from the neck to knit together with a stitch on the band on every RS row. And as I was working my way around, I vaguely thought the neck opening looked too wide... but I kept working. I finished, tried it on, and EEEK NO.

Even though I had used a needle one size down for the band, it was lining up with the rest of the sweater in such a way that the neckline was stretched out to its maximum width. I'd either have to wear it as a cowl (which would look weird since it's not designed to be a cowl), or off the shoulder (too "Flashdance"). Thankfully, the band frogged with minimal difficulty, and I think I have the ratio of picked up stitches per row figured out better. So, a bit of a setback, but I'm already almost back to where I was before. We'll see if it works better this time.

Note to self: Considering my usual sizing issues, if something looks too big, it probably is.

I have found something to do with the newly-acquired skein of Lorna's Laces -- the Dream Swatch headband from the Garter Belt. This will be slowgoing, as I seem to have a slight sensitivity to the wool and I can't work with it for extended periods of time. My wool problems are weird. Manos gives me no trouble, but Lorna's Laces makes me itchy? Thanks, histamine response. Maybe if I take some Benadryl before knitting with it... I might end up in a Benadryl coma-nap, but I wouldn't be itchy. Pick your battles, right?


Finally, if you're a fan of The Office on NBC, I'd like to direct you to set aside a chunk of time and head over to Television Without Pity, and more specifically, to Jacob's Tubey's Kids recap of "The Dundies" and "Casino Night". For anyone playing along at home, Jacob is responsible for the TWOP recap of the A Wrinkle in Time tv movie. The book is good. The movie was mindbendingly horrible, and two years later, the recap still holds the title of The Most Hysterical Thing I've Ever Read On The Internet. I was in tears the first time I read it. However, when Jacob is an honest fan of something (as with Serenity, and The Office), he gets into all sorts of insightful character analysis stuff. The recaps of Serenity and these two Office episodes both gave me a bit of a lump in the throat (shut up). No, not exactly the usual TWOP fare.

But lest you think it's probably not funny at the same time, I offer this:
'[...]Needless to say Michael's not what you'd call "rapping" in "time" to the music. It's eerily like what would happen if Bob Dylan worked at Taco Bell post-lobotomy, music video by Crispin Glover.'


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Guess who got yarn...

I got home yesterday after a painfully slow day at work to find a package smushed into my mailbox. A package full of yarn from Little Knits! I had been wondering where it was, since I never got a shipping notice... turns out that it took them a few days longer than normal to ship it, but they upgraded my shipping for free to make up for it. Bonus!

New yarn!

That's one skein of Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock in "Desert Flower", and 2 skeins each of Misti Alpaca Laceweight in Denim Lace and Maize.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Misti Alpaca Misti Alpaca

What to do with one skein of sock yarn? No idea. It was pretty, and they only had the one skein (which is why it was 30% off). I'm sure I'll find something to do with it. And as for the alpaca, I've decided that it's time to try my hand at real lace using laceweight yarn.

Tempting II is nearing completion... I'm at the "attaching the neckband" part, which is the home stretch. After that, it's just weaving in ends and finding a buckle. Woohoo!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

So fantastic...

There's a contest running to see who had the toughest commute over the old Wilson Bridge. The prize for the winner? Getting to trigger detonation of the old span.

That's right: You get to BLOW UP THE BRIDGE.

This is the most singularly awesome contest prize I've ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cutest thing EVER

I was at work today, and this absolutely adorable little 5-year-old boy came up to me with a FLOWER. It made my day, honestly. Then, he disappeared into the children's section for a few minutes, and came back over with a little piece of paper. He handed it to me and whispered, "I drew this for you."

*keels over from cuteness*

It was so sweet... you better believe that kid got a sticker. :)

(And I loved the fact that he WHISPERED the entire time he was there. Somebody taught him excellent library etiquette.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Best. Poem. Ever.

As a proud Jersey girl, I would like to post a link to "Atlantic City", a poem by Henry Cuyler Bunner. Let's just say that Mr. Bunner didn't care for AC: "Never till then did I know what was meant by the word god-forsaken". This poem made me laugh so incredibly hard; Atlantic City isn't exactly a beautiful place, and it apparently was pretty bad even 100 years ago.

I've attached the sleeves to Tempting, and am 2" into the yoke. It's funny; maybe it's just that people at work think I'm crazy for knitting while it's 100 degrees out, but this is the first project that a bunch of people there have commented on. I'm hoping to have the whole thing done by the end of the week... we'll see how that works out. At the very least, I know I'll have it done before winter sets in.

Finally, I went ahead and started another blog for my cooking experiments. I feel bad for posting about cooking on my knitting blog, so I opt not to post about most of my kitchen adventures. So now I have a whole other blog where I can drone on about bread or whatever and act like I know what I'm doing. I'm calling it In A Tiny Kitchen... if you're familiar with my kitchen, you know why. :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Finally: A list of links!

All righty, I did a pretty major update over in the sidebar, and have finally posted my entire obnoxious links list. The list was LONG, so it's in a nifty expandable javascript menu (little known fact: I was a compsci minor. Every so often, it comes in handy). It looks like the menu works without incident in both Firefox and IE, but if there are any huge problems, leave a comment here and let me know.

(I do know that the LibraryThing widget looks weird in IE... not much I can do about that, unfortunately, because they generate the widget code.)

Some neutrals for PS

It's August, which means it's the neutrals month for Project Spectrum. I usually opt for brightly colored yarns instead of neutrals... For that reason, there aren't a ton of neutrals in my stash, but I did dig out these:

Stash neutrals
(If you're dying to know what everything there is, click through to the Flickr page)

Beaded bracelets
Beaded bracelets (not made by me)

I finished the main body of Tempting last night, yay! And progress on the Bias Corset is going nicely, considering that I'm working on size 3 needles. I had it in NJ with me last weekend, and got about 5" done while watching various things on TV. My mom (with no prompting) made a comment that she really liked the colors in the yarn I was using... which is yarn that I dyed. She was duly impressed. :)