Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Originally uploaded by 2chacha.
I've been saving the skull in all its AA-battery illuminated glory for my official Halloween post. I got this at Target, and I absolutely have to go back to see what's been marked down. There were other figures in this line, although the skull was my favorite.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some spinning

Thanks to everyone who commented on the socks! I was very happy to get them finished before the end of Socktober, and I even wore them to work yesterday. Speaking of which, I have three words to describe work yesterday: Library. Haunted. House. It was pirate themed, and performed by a local costuming group. Lots of fun, but some of the kids got a little (or a LOT) overexcited, and came back into the library screaming their heads off.

No big knitting progress to speak of. However, I had some handspun that I pulled off my drop spindle and wound into a mini-skein. This is SWTC Karaoke fiber, and I was basically playing around with it to see how it spun. The resulting yarn is about DK weight.

Karaoke handspun

Up next: knitting a swatch with this, and testing out some of the navy blue corriedale I got a few weeks ago.

I'm looking forward to Stitches, taking place in Baltimore -- my backyard! I'm not taking any classes, but I think I'll be marketplace-bound on Saturday and maybe Sunday.

Also looking forward to seeing Firefly folks popping up on CSI and Lost... that makes me happy. :) And it'll be cold enough for me to start wearing my Jayne hat soon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Petticoat Socks

I have finally -- FINALLY -- finished the Petticoat Socks!

Petticoat Socks

Turns out, projects get finished when you work on them, opposed to letting them sit untouched in your project basket for days and weeks at a time. As of 3 days ago, I was still on the leg section of Sock 2, with 3 lace repeats to go before I could start the heel flap. Worked on it Wednesday and yesterday, and this morning, I finished off the toe decreases and Kitchener stitched the toe closed. And then my camera announced that the battery was almost dead, so I had to wait a couple of hours before I could upload pictures.

Petticoat Socks

This was my first "official" pair of socks. I have a pair of Lion Brand Homespun slipper socks, but since there is no way I could ever wear them with shoes, I don't count them.

Although I took a long time to finish them, these were fun. Learned how to do a picot edge, learned that I will never again do socks one at a time...

As for overdyeing them, everyone I've talked to has said that they like the striping, so I'm going to hold off to see if they grow on me. I can always dye them later if I still want to, but I can't un-dye them. I feel like I can't really see the lace pattern; the pictures in the book look really detailed and delicate compared to mine, which look like striped socks with some yarnovers.

Pattern: Petticoat Socks from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette, overdyed with grape Koolaid
Needles: US 2
Done top down, with a heel flap (because I like Kitchener stitch and picking up stitches... because I'm weird)

Yay, Socktoberfest!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I want one.

I don't know that I have the wiring skills needed to make one, and I have nowhere to display pumpkins here... it makes me so happy, though. How can you look at it and not laugh? It's so awesome.


SKB is coming along. I love fantastically easy lace like the lace on the waist section: a 7-stitch repeat that's just a mirrored set of yarnovers and decreases. I've been working on the lace while watching Mythbusters repeats today. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

In-progress pics

Blogger is being persnickety today, so I'm trying to make this quick in case it stops working again and I end up having to retype everything.

Simple Knitted Bodice without flash (color is wrong, but fuzziness is more visible):
Simple Knitted Bodice

With flash (color is correct, but yarn looks weird and shiny):
Simple Knitted Bodice

Beaded purl ridges
Simple Knitted Bodice - Beaded Purl Ridges

Getting the beads on to the yarn was an adventure, and not a fun adventure like Goonies... I'm using 6/0 E beads on worsted weight yarn. They fit, but it's a pretty tight fit, and I had to fight with a lot of the beads to get them on. I got about 500 beads strung (and if you've worked with beads, you know that's not an exaggeration), and then went about spacing them out along the length of the skein... and discovered a knot in the yarn about 15 yards in. A knot that I couldn't get the beads to go past. So, I had to cut the yarn and RESTRING all of the beads on the other side of the knot. I'm just glad that the beads look good with the yarn; I feel like it was worth the expletives.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some yarn porn

To make up for my last really-long-and-completely-devoid-of-pictures post...

Cascade Fixation. I have 10 balls of this, because it's on sale at Little Knits. There are only 2 colors available (this color, and an orange-yellow-pink combo that I came close to buying as well), but if you like either color, full bags are $29.75 + shipping...
Cascade Fixation

Some Lorna's Laces, Miata colorway, maybe?
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

Classic Elite Star
Classic Elite

Rowan Cotton Braid
Rowan Cotton Braid

Rowan All Seasons Cotton
Rowan All Seasons Cotton

Mystery green cotton
Green mystery cotton

Last night, I put my Simple Knitted Bodice on to waste yarn so I could try it on to make sure the fit is ok. Wow, it takes a little while to transfer 250 stitches on to waste yarn and then back on to needles... however, it looks like everything is where it should be, so we're on to the main body knitting. Another couple of rows before the fronts get joined, and then it'll be bead stringing time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

News! Real news!

So, first, the giant happy news: I've been promoted to full-time! I can't accurately convey how thrilled I am about this without using a glut of exclamation points, and then my blog would look all OMG LOL!!11!!!!!! I got off the phone with HR Thursday morning and had a total happy fit, complete with jumping around and making high-pitched noises. I've been working part-time since January, and I don't think I need to tell anyone that part-time work doesn't cover the bills. Full-time work will make life a lot easier, and I feel like a fairly huge weight has been lifted... Hey, I'll have money for Stitches! :)

After getting this phone call, I then had to work Thursday afternoon and evening, 2 shifts at 2 different branches... which I won't have to do any more as a full-time employee, yay! They do schedule an hour between shifts for travel time and dinner, so I got to my evening branch and had about half an hour to eat. For some reason, I also had two cups of coffee. I don't know if it was the caffeine just knocking me for a loop or what, but I spent most of my shift jittery, light-headed, woozy, and generally feeling very VERY weird. I got home around 9:30 and went straight to bed. I almost never go to bed before midnight, so... no, I was not feeling well AT ALL. I know caffeine is bad for me, and doubly so because of my panic attacks. It's probably for the best if I go back to my "only have coffee at knitting group" rule, and stay away from it other than that.

Whatever was going on, illness-wise, it was mostly gone on Friday, so I was ok to go to work and then to Erin's birthday party, which involved much wine, much food (Cheryl put together a FANTASTIC spread -- thanks, Cheryl!), much yarn... we had lots of fun! And we had a yarn swap, and I'm pretty sure I ended up with more than I brought. Also on Friday, a bag of Cascade Fixation that I ordered from Little Knits showed up, so I think I have enough yarn to last me until Stitches. Probably. :)

I spent the weekend up in NJ, and my brother was actually visiting at the same time. I saw him for about 6 hours on Saturday before he had to catch a train back to NYC. Spent Sunday afternoon at a brunch at my grandmother's retirement complex (there were cream puffs, so I was happy). For dinner, my dad and I went to pick up stuff from Boston Market, where we waited at least 30 minutes to just start placing our order. Too few employees who weren't exactly rushing to fill people's orders + a couple of high maintenance customers with complicated orders = a line 45 minutes long by the time we finally got out of there. You better believe we had wine with dinner: a lovely bottle of chambourcin from Fiore that I brought up with me.

I managed to get back from NJ today in time to go grab some Indian food before Knit Night... yum. Although I love Indian food, this actually was the first time I've ever had tandoori chicken (I tend to go for curries instead). I want to try to make naan, but I'm not sure how close I can get in a home kitchen without a tandoor oven. I'll have to try it out anyway, because I could live on the stuff. Well, except that I don't want to get scurvy.

At Knit Night, I finished another square on the Manos mitered square bag (I'll finish this bag someday, honest)... the Simple Knitted Bodice is at the point where I need to put it on waste yarn to see how it fits, so I couldn't have worked on it even if I had brought it with me. I had my sock with me, but didn't work on it. Worst. Socktoberfest participant. Ever. ;)

Anyway, that's the past few days. SO HAPPY about the job situation that everything else is just gravy. :D

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Bloglines folks, I have no idea. I had Bloglines ping my feed, and it seems to have reset...

My Bloglines subscribers were treated to a crossed feed this morning. Instead of my knitting blog, they got a bunch of new entries from "Everything Sports". Rest assured, I have not started a sports blog.

Thanks, Erin, for the heads-up!

Monday, October 09, 2006

New roving!

So, I did indeed go down to Springwater in Alexandria to pick up a couple more skeins of the Misti Alpaca that I'm using for my Simple Knitted Bodice. I also got 6.2 oz of Corriedale roving in a gorgeous dark navy blue:

Corriedale roving

I know: a subtle color of roving, for once. Not bright and neon. Not 5 colors that don't really go together.

Since it was a gorgeous day here in the MD/VA area (70 degrees and sunny), Alexandria was a mob scene. The apparent thought process of the Old Town pedestrians yesterday was, "Oh, a car is trying to turn? Well, I have a 'Walk' sign, and I will be taking my sweet time crossing the street. I will probably even give snotty looks to drivers while they wait for me to slowly amble my way across the street. I don't care that they have a line of traffic backed up behind them and can't move because of me being in the way. La la la." Nobody could turn because of the pedestrians who wouldn't move. I know when I see a car waiting for me to cross the street, I hustle a bit... but that's the way I roll. So, the roads were crowded, the sidewalks were crowded, and walking around there wasn't going to be a leisurely or fun activity. I decided to come home. Since I definitely wanted to do something outdoors, I went over to the airport trail and wandered around for a while. Some of the trees are starting to change colors, but things are still mostly green.

Some kind of thistle

Changing leaves

Bike path

The rest of this is going to be about my geeky reading habits... consider yourself warned. :)

I don't know how a new Terry Pratchett book snuck by me, but there's apparently a new book in his Tiffany Aching series, Wintersmith. *waits patiently for the library to get copies in*

Over the summer, I was reading a lot of non-fiction (A Short History of Nearly Everything and A Walk in the Woods, both by Bill Bryson, and Decoding the Universe by Charles Seife, for starters) but now, I'm on a "whatever interesting-looking sci-fi/fantasy books cross my path" kick. Just finished the Dies the Fire alternate history trilogy by S.M. Stirling and The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick, and Saturday, I grabbed a copy of Celtika by Robert Holdstock. Liked Dies the Fire, could have done without The Necessary Beggar (very overwrought, everybody's depressed and anguished... I read an online review that compared it to a Lifetime movie, which I can't exactly disagree with.) Celtika could be interesting... Merlin + Finnish mythology + Jason and the Argonauts. I love Arthurian legend and I love ancient mythology, so I'm hopeful.

I also have 3 other sf/f books waiting in my mailbox at the main area branch, and a copy of Beyond Reason: 8 Great Problems That Reveal the Limits of Science by A.K. Dewdney sitting on my to-be-read shelf (plus about 20 cookbooks/knitting books/other how-to books)... so it's actually ok that I have to wait a little while for the library to get copies of Wintersmith.

You know, I stayed far away from fantasy reading for years, probably because I knew I'd go nuts with it. Having an obsessive personality is fun. :) We're all so very lucky I didn't blog during the height of my Buffy addiction.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Oh, Battlestar Galactica, how I've missed you. Frak me, what an awesome show. ;)

I had to laugh when they showed the "This season on BSG" preview, and there's one of the characters who was supposed to have been executed at the end of tonight's premiere, walking around and doing just fine... Sci-Fi has been taking lessons from the Fox promo monkeys.

I tried to knit during it, but I didn't get much done. Probably just as well. I've had wine. :D

The little that I did get done brought me closer to being finished with the yoke increases on my Simple Knitted Bodice. I'm on my last repeat before joining. My only real concern is that I might run out of yarn, but everything I have is labeled as dye lot "1", so it's apparently not a yarn that has many dye lots. I'm hoping that I'll be able to grab a couple more skeins, maybe on Sunday (I got the yarn at Springwater in Alexandria, and going there isn't exactly something I can do spur-of-the-moment). I can think of worse ways to spend a Sunday than doing some browsing in Alexandria, especially since I haven't really gotten a chance to do that the other times I've gone there.

I can't go yarn shopping tomorrow, because I'm working all day. If anyone wants to come to work with me, I could totally smuggle someone in my knitting bag... ok, a very small someone. And the purse lockers probably aren't the most comfortable place to hang out. Aaaaand that's it, no more wine for me tonight. Although I haven't reached "drunk" (as evidenced by the fact that I can still type), I do have powerfully bad judgment when I get too much alcohol in my system. Right now, I think I'm at a nice level of "acceptably tipsy, yet not too stupid"... Good night, folks. *hugs* :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Evil little nuggets of caffeine

So, I slept through tonight's Baltimore SnB, after having spent the last few days on an all-hours cleaning spree. This was inspired by two magic words: "apartment inspection". If I had known that the inspection would be a guy flipping a couple of lights on and off, I might not have gone so nuts. Anyway, my cleaning spree had been fueled by Trader Joe's chocolate covered espresso beans, and I finally crashed this afternoon... and slept right through the SnB. At least I got to Knit Night last night. If I had slept through that, I would have been cranky. I got a bit done there on my second Petticoat Sock. It's lace, but easy-to-remember lace, so there haven't been any distracted mishaps on it yet. I have 8 leg repeats done, with another 5 to go before starting the heel.

The good news is, post-cleaning, my apartment looks quite nice. I'll see if I feel like rearranging the furniture tomorrow... It's been a long time coming, considering that I've had my current configuration for well over a year. I even have a floor plan drawn out, so I know ahead of time where everything is going. :)

There are so many TV happenings that I am excited about this week. Lost, the Project Runway reunion show, Battlestar Galactica... yay! Makes up nicely for my Fox shows being gone during the playoffs. I may end up watching some of the playoffs anyway, but not as much as I would have if the Phillies had gotten their wild card spot. *sigh* They were close this year.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Crafty Bastards!

So, how could one NOT go to something called the Crafty Bastards arts and crafts fair? I went with Sarah and Kirby, and we had fun. None of us got anything at Crafty Bastards... we didn't get there right at the start, and some of the booths were already pretty picked over. A lot of the vendors were just selling t-shirts or tote bags with their designs, and it wasn't as much handmade craft stuff as I was expecting (Oh, Craftsman's Christmas Classic in Richmond, you spoiled me). We wandered around for a while, then headed out of the festival and got the hugest slices of pizza I have ever seen. They gave us two plates to hold each slice, and the slices didn't even entirely fit on those.

After Crafty Bastards, I think we all needed to go buy something, so we went over to Stitch DC.

Stitch DC

Some RYC Luxury Cotton DK came home with me:
RYC Luxury Cotton DK

Not a color I usually go for, but I really liked this. It's a very champagne-y beige with a nice sheen to it.

And, in honor of Socktoberfest kicking off, I picked up my neglected second Petticoat Sock today and finished a lace repeat. :)