Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Big update after holiday weekend!

I had a great weekend. We had dinner with my parents (who are travelling to Israel tomorrow), had meals with several friends, watched videos, took a nice long hike down by the river mouth. I worked on Grasslimb — it was so beautiful outside I put a picnic blanket down under the pine tree and read submissions outside. I did some gardening (raking, weeding, cutting flowers). I read a fun book (Bust, by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr). I read knitting magazines. I even cooked dinner on Sunday (sauteed beet, turnip and spinach greens with tofu on pasta). And I knitted.

These are a million shots of my completed Rib & Cable Fingerless Mitts from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits. I love, love, love them.

Some of the reasons: Fabulous Sundara yarn (sport merino in Galaxy) with Rowan Cashsoft trim. Colors came out just the way I'd imagined them. Beautiful rib and cable pattern. Easy and fast knit — so satisfying. Warm. Soft. Comfy.

Even in this lovely warm weather, I don't want to take them off!

One of them is blocked in these photos, the other isn't. There's a slight difference in the sharpness of the cable. The yarn softens in the wash/block process, mmmm.

Pattern changes: I inadvertently made the thumb gusset shorter (7 rows instead of 14) in the first glove, and had to backwards-engineer my error so I could make it in the second one, too (they fit fine). Made two extra stitches when I picked up for the thumb, because I have fat thumbs. Made the thumbs and overall length shorter, because I have short hands. My guesses were good ones. They fit perfectly.

Here is my progress on Mariner. The picture came out too blue — yarn color is more magenta. This is the bottom of the front; I've just split off for the pocket (that's the hole, it'll be sewn up later). I'm on gauge, this SHOULD fit, but I can't figure out how a medium can ever fit me. If it turns out too small, though, it'd be easy to make side panels that look like they belong on it, so I'm not too worried. And I have tons of yarn, because I bought this yarn on eBay and it came in a bag of 20 balls. Even for size L, I'd only need 14.

Here are the completed last two pair of CIC socks. They're on their way in the USPS. I love them much more, now. And, they are very very soft:

Can't go without sock-knitting so I've cast on for some socks for Rob. I'm going to mess around with a couple of patterns in the Nancy Bush Vintage Socks book. This will also be my socks for the Trek-along.

And here's where I am on the baby sweater. Nearly ready to do the bottom rib! I might try a little short-row shaping on the shoulders just for practice, though technically I should have started that sooner given that it's for a baby, not a linebacker:

Do I have sore hands?
Well.. yes.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

In which Lene changes my attitude

In the comments, Lene writes

Those socks remind me of my childhood. Then my mom used to knit socks out of left our yarns from other projects. And the socks would have stripes like yours. I don't think she ever shopped for sock yarn...

And suddenly my perspective shifted.

While I was knitting the last pair of CIC socks, I was laden with guilt. Here I am, a relatively wealthy American, who could perfectly well afford to go out and buy new yarn for socks for these little kids, but I was using scraps. What kind of respect did that show for these kids, who have every right to a nice pair of socks?

So guilt, guilt riding me every row, every guilty color change, until I was angry at the socks and myself, disappointed in my lack of generosity.

Then Lene commented. And I had a good long think.

But would it really respect children who have nothing best to waste the ends of yarn left over from other projects? Is it really the right attitude that buying something new and throwing out the old, still soft, still knittable, still lovely yarn is the appropriate way to gift the world? Is it giving if I am guilt-laden with every stitch?

I finished these socks with love, with careful Kitchener stitches, a warm wash. As I spread them out to block, I was able to think: These socks will warm a small child and they will be so very soft. My fingers have clothed them. My love goes from these fingers to that child's toes, and that's how I want it to be.

I'm not saying I'm entirely free of guilt. But my perspective has definitely angled upward.

And thank you, Lene.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The OTHER Secret Pal swap

Okay.. so. This is for my OTHER Secret Pal, not SP8. It's all very confusing, but I signed up for two because I really like buying people stuff, and I'm a shopaholic at the moment. I hope that is okay!!

To fill this form out, I answered one question with "About six months" and then, to keep the font right, I pasted that answer in to all the questions. I was really tempted to leave them that way. "What is the one thing in your knitting bag that you can't live without? About 6 months. My current color obsession is: About 6 months."

But I didn't.

1. My favorite yarn to knit with is:
Sundara DK and sock yarn, Regia Silk, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino . I particularly like DK weight yarns.

2. I really do not enjoy knitting with:
Elephants. They don't bend well around the needles.
Snarky remarks.
Eyelash yarn and much bulky yarn (except cool handspun).
Bamboo needles.
Large needles.

3. If I had a choice, I would banish this yarn from my LYS:
Oh, nothing — I do believe it takes all kinds. But I don't really need to spend much time in the novelty yarn section unless I'm trolling for trim.

4. If I could knit only one more project for the rest of my life, it would be:
A mind-bogglingly intricate Aran sweater. With tons of great cables and kooky elaborate stitches.

For the elephant. Cuz, ya know, I'm hoping to live a long time.

5. My favorite flower is:

Not really. I just felt like saying watermelon for some reason.

Gardenia, tuberose, jasmine and tea rose are all right up there.

6. My current color obsession is:
Green. Also black.

7. My other interests are:
Knitting hippopotami.
Seriously? Ethnobotany. Pharmacology. Music (I sing, play piano, write songs). Writing (I most write crime stories and some poetry). Editing Grasslimb, my literary magazine. Throwing parties! Having house guests. Crochet. Making jewelry. Glasswork. Reading (esp. noir detective novels). Weightlifting. Eating (sadly, more than weightlifting).

8. Something I wish I knew more about is:
Knitting sweaters, esp. gansey.

9. A knitting technique I want to learn is:
Entrelac. Also lace.

10. My favorite needles to knit with are:
My Inoxes — US #0, 1 and 2 DPNs and US #5 and 6 circs.

11. Do you knit socks?
Almost incessantly.

12. Please provide your foot measurements:
  • length (longest toe to heel): ~10". (shoe size 9)
  • instep circumference: ~9" (that is, it's a 9C).
  • ankle circumference: ~9" just above anklebone.
I like quarter- to mid-calf socks, if it matters

13. What was your favorite childhood movie?
I don't remember; we didn't go to many. I do remember screaming in terror at 101 Dalmations.

14. What is one thing in your knitting bag that you can't live without?
A metal ruler. I'm constantly checking gauge.

15. What is lacking in your notions bag that you really, really want? (Cable needle, Kacha Kacha, Chibi, etc.)
Hmm... a more cool row counter than the little barrel ones. Ideally one that I could hang from my (circular) needles, more easily and gracefully than putting yarn through my barrel ones.

16. What is currently on the needles at your house?
A tunic, fingerless mitt, scarf and bathmat — see WIPs on the sidebar.

17. If you could do nothing but knit all day, every day, for the next month (and get paid for it!), what would you knit?
Either socks, or a complex Aran or gansey sweater.

18. Least favorite color(s):
Orange. But, you'd be surprised; sometimes I do like it. Not for me to wear, though.

19. Favorite genre of music? Or any way you want to answer that question...basically it's the what kind of music do you like question.
I suppose "alternative". I like post-punk, electronica, world music and folk quite a bit.

20. Favorite candy or sweet: Hmm. Gummi grapefruit, maybe.

21. What is the most challenging thing you have ever knit?
So far, just socks, and they were pretty easy. I haven't done that much yet though!

22. How long have you been knitting? About 6 months.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mariner launches!

After (literally) six swatches, I have cast on! I think I may may may have gauge. And I reemphasize may. It kept seeming like no matter what needle size I used on the Schoeller Esslinger Palma cotton yarn (lots of sheen, smooth as silk), I got the same darn gauge. Too tight. But hopefully I'm okay now. Gotta think loose thoughts. Hmm, that sounds more like something you do for your bowels :-/

What I'm knitting? Mariner from Irresistible Knits by Kristen Cowan. The book was 99 cents — count 'em! — at the UCSD bookstore. Ridiculous. I want to knit half the book. However, I've already found a bunch of obvious pattern errors (doesn't match the picture if I knit it as specified, so I'm making changes). I'm a novice, so hope I'm correcting correctly! It's a long, slightly bell-sleeved tunic which I'd like to wear with jeans. Another worry (besides gauge and pattern corrections) is that I seem to be knitting it in a medium. Well, they say that's 44" chest size. I measured (not hand-)knit tunics that I own and they were all 44" in the bust. And I'm 43" and if I wear it as a top, I don't want much ease. My butt is also 43". And I did the stitch math, and at the right gauge, it's 44". Really. So it should fit, it should.

Nervous Nellie, me. I'll be checking my gauge every five minutes or so. But I've never knit an adult-sized sweater before! (And. Yeh. I'm still not quite done with the baby sweater.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The universe definitely knew I was feeling down. It made my gardenia bloom.

The gardenias had both been eaten down to sticks by some sort of critter (deer?) last winter, so I wasn't sure what would happen. The plants looked so pitiful. But this morning, lovely smells wafted towards me when I went out the back door. Woohoo!

I cut the gardenias, brought them inside, and noticed that the roses on my dining room table had opened. They just glowed. I had to take a flash picture to really get the effect. They smell good, too.

Perhaps they know it's Colleen's birthday!

Last night I finished the drudgery (because I don't like them — otherwise, it's pleasant knitting) of the last pair of CIC socks. I wove in almost all the ends, too. So it's just Kitchenering and weaving in the last six ends, now.
Here's proof. I'll do the last bits tonight, honest.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


you just can't imagine how cute I look in my nightshirt and legwarmers.

Hmm, okay, guess I really AM a child of the '80s (despite being born two decades previous) if I think I look cute in legwarmers.



I've been very stressed out this past week (mostly work-related), and unfortunately for my pocketbook, I am one of those people who de-stresses by buying lots of junk they don't need! However, this time it's Secret Pal 8 time, and so yesterday I went and bought goodies at the UCSD bookstore for my Secret Pal-ee. This is actually stuff for her third package — I mailed her second one this morning. I'd tell you what I got, but she could be doing searches on the blogs to see if she can figure me out. I suspect she's the Sherlock type.

Then today I had to kill 15 minutes between appointments and was, conveniently, next to the LYS. I'm not terribly fond of this store — it's small, it has a lot of acrylic blends (and they do things like post felting patterns right next to the acrylic blends — wow, useful) and novelty yarns and very little 'real' yarn. But they have a good backstock of old knitting magazines, so I picked up a few (I like reading patterns in the bathtub when I'm too tired even for my 1950s hard-boiled detective novels. Lately that's too often!). I also got some sock yarn for my Secret Pal-ee, and one tiny ball of sale wool for me.

Capped it off by buying a bit more wool from a fellow blogger who's destashing. It's kind of a greyish green sport weight, and she doesn't like that color. I happen to love that color (and I love DK/sport)! I love grey, black and white and I love green, and these "greenish neutrals" are favorites of mine. I'm not sure if I want to make a vest out of it, add another color and make a short-sleeved mock turtleneck (I live in this style of shirt), or just make legwarmers out of it. I know, I know, you're thinking "child of the '80s". But the truth is I get night-time charlie horses from time to time, and I can always tell when I'm going to, and on those nights, I wear legwarmers to bed and it stops 'em. And the only legwarmers I own are some shabby grey acrylic ones from the 1980s. Really. So I could use at least one more pair (probably several, but I'm trying really hard not to spend ALL my money right now).

I'm going to make some of these fingerless mitts for Aime. She requested black, and I'm thinking of trimming them with that hot rainbow bamboo I bought in Santa Barbara.. that should look truly awesome.

I love my fingerless mitt and I can't take it off. I guess I better make the next one, and take some pictures for y'all.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lots of blithering!

So, as I mentioned, I cast on last night for these lovely rib-and-cable mitts from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits:

I was inspired by falling in love with Sundara Yarn in Galaxy Sport. I bought 100g with no idea in mind, then saw this pattern, which called for a DK weight. Perfect! But I needed just the perfect contrasting color. My mind's eye told me a pale candlelight yellow would be ideal, but I had to find it. Finally dug it up — Rowan Classic Cashsoft Baby DK.

I knit the right cuff last night while watching A Clear and Present Danger on DVD. Here's the front (palm) side of the cuff:

Here's the back, so you can see the cable, and how the yarn color is varied, from white through turquoise to purply-indigo:

And here, a slightly blurry picture of it on:

I also finished the next-to-last CIC sock, with the exception of Kitchenering and weaving in ends. I hate it:

I hope some kid thinks it's nice that it has all these colors. It makes me kind of sad, though.

Here's a Saturday picture of the baby cardigan. It's a bit further along now (~2" longer). Unfortunately I found out my friend is visiting San Diego not next weekend, but right now. Oops. So she'll definitely be coming over before I finish it. I'll just have to mail it to her. That's okay. Though I'm not enjoying working with the yarn, it's knitting up very soft and pretty.

Gotta pick out some good buttons!

I got some Sundara sock yarn in the mail on Saturday. I have two skeins each of Grasshopper, "Somewhat Solid" Greens, and Mixed Berry. The Mixed Berry (a mix of cranberry, raspberry, blues and purples) is either going to be a gift for my Secret Pal-ee, or a pair of socks for her. I need to think about it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Marvelous soap, yummy veggies, and itchy fingers

I bought some soaps from Alchemic Dragon for my Secret Pal-ee and for my friend Kat, and they arrived on Friday. Wow. They smell good. My favorite scent so far is the Dragon's Blood (it smells similar to the resin incense with that name). Should have ordered myself some! Not that I have a shortage of soap, but you know me and soap. Addict!!

I slacked off on my weekly hike and we went to the Farmer's Market this morning with Carl & Elinor and Jopsy. I got all kinds of irresistible vegetables and fruit. We had some strawberries at lunch, and for dinner I'm doing roasted vegetables in the oven (yes, I do sometimes cook, but admittedly not often). Veggies I'm roasting include baby purple potatoes, baby beets, baby patty-pan squash in yellow and green (these are the ones that look like flying saucers), and some chunks of what turned out to be radish. I was hoping they were turnips, but I find it hard to tell the difference before cutting between giant radishes and small turnips. I think they will be edible cooked — after all you can cook daikon — but we'll find out soon enough. I threw in a couple of cans of garbanzo beans and tossed it all in olive oil, ground coriander, white pepper and Murray River salt. I normally use rosemary but oops! was all out, so we'll see how this tastes. I'll throw in some veggie sausages towards the end (it has to cook, covered at 475, about an hour normally). We're pretty much vegetarian at home (occasionally I buy lox for bagels).

I've been knitting away at the baby cardigan and the CIC socks (last pair), but neither one is pleasing me much. The cardigan is acrylic and the fiber kind of bores me, and doesn't smell good like natural fibers. The socks.. well, I ran out of Sundara yarn is really what happened. As I only recently discovered there was more to life than acrylic yarn, I don't have much of a wool (CIC socks must be wool) yarn stash yet except sock yarn, so I had to resort first to scraps, then to some Patons Classic Wool (that I had planned to use for felting) to finish them. They have a number of different colors and kinds of wool. So they are pretty scrappy-looking. I hope some child thinks they are cute, rather than horrific.

...And so I had itchy fingers. I need to cast on for Rob's socks, as I promised him they'd be the next pair of socks, but that takes some thought and quiet, so instead I cast on for the Rib and Cable Mitts from Interweave Knits. I'll show you tomorrow! They are fun so far, and should be a fast knit; I calculate the pair of fingerless mitts will take about as long as one adult sock.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ooh! I have a secret pal!

And she reads my blog posts and everything. Woo!

Plus, I am a secret pal. I'm all stoked about this and shopping crazedly. Just another excuse to shop, I guess.

Ms. Secret Pal — thanks for being my Pal!!! Yep, I do know about those hyperbolic planes. Don't know quite what I'd do with one if I made it, however. And I have NO idea what to do with the alpaca. I don't make lace yet, and I'm a little unsure if the alpaca will work for this or not. It's fairly stiff (I think it's probably mainly used in weaving?), but maybe it would be softer as lace, or after washing. I was thinking of using the gold as a carry-along with some laceweight wool in forest green that I already have, and making socks (I think the two together would be close to sockweight). But I would not likely wear them, as I don't really wear warm colors like this gold, so it would be better to make something ornamental, or for someone else. I welcome ideas!!!

Socky goodness.

I did finish Colleen's Sixth Sense socks on Sunday (say that ten times fast!) She hasn't tried them on yet, so I hope they're right. They are definitely fraternal — though they look fairly similar at a distance, I did knit them from separate hanks, they didn't start at exactly the same point, and one pair is every so slightly greener/bluer than the other. But I think that's okay.

In other news...
I went to see one of my favorite bands, Over the Rhine, last night at one of my favorite venues, the Belly Up Tavern. They were fabulous and I got to stand right in front of the stage. They were in great form. The Rhinelanders were friendly as always, so even though I went by myself I had lots of nice people to talk to. Turns out a number of OtR fans are also a-ha fans — I guess us "obscure '80s groups" types have to stand together..

(Seriously, if you haven't heard a-ha since "Take on Me", go out and get Analogue, their newest CD. It is truly fantastic.)

On knitting subjects, I got some more new Inox needles from Two Swans Yarn. Their packages tend to arrive before I remember that I've ordered anything, and always with a friendly personal note. Yay, needles.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hah! You wish you were me.


Because this is about 750 grams of hand-spun, hand-dyed approximately laceweight baby alpaca from Peru. Given to me by my friends Greg and Pat, who just got back from a trip down the Amazon.


Though, I must say that my US #0 needles are far too huge for it. I'll have to break out the 000s. Or make some lace.

Monday, May 15, 2006


I like math. I know this horrifies many knitters, but there you are: my graduate work was highly dependent on an understanding of basic matrix math and Fourier transforms, I took six quarters of college math (and should have taken more), and I just like it. It's beautiful. This despite the fact that I'm mediocre at it. What can I say? I like the way I know it should be.

So I'm thrilled by the mathematics of knitting. I'm starting to fiddle with pattern design and it's mostly because of the geometry, not because of the appearance. I want to work out the perfect way to shape a sweater over my high, bony shoulders. To calculate the relationship between swatch shrinkage and where and how much I should increase the length of my cotton knits (as cotton has an annoying tendency to grow in width and shrink in length). To understand a raglan.

In pursuit of this last, I'm knitting a little baby sweater. Many of my friends have had babies in the past year, others are still expecting. One of my friends, Georgina, had a baby in January and is about to come down to San Diego to visit. Can I finish the little raglan cardigan by the time she arrives? Perhaps! But if nothing else, I'm mesmerized by its geometry.

Friday, May 12, 2006

More CIC socks...

I managed to make this pair inside 24 hours. I realize they're kind of ugly (so I used a small picture, click if you want to see it big), but the Jo Sharp wool/silk/cashmere softened up amazingly in washing/blocking, and feels like a little slice of heaven on earth. So, hopefully that will make some child happy despite the garish green heels and toes (which will, in all likelihood, last forever. They're thick and should wear like iron. But they, too, are soft!).

Mm, socky goodness.

Lene asked if I crochet socks...

Lene asked me if I have crocheted socks. I have made a couple of attempts. I've never been entirely happy with them. Here's some evidence as to why:

There are several things wrong with these socks. The primary one is that they are made of acrylic (I didn't discover wool yarn until I started knitting, because I thought that Michael's and Beverly's (craft stores) were the only stores where you could buy yarn. Oh, and Wal-Mart, but I don't want to shop there).

But you'll also note the square heel. This could have been fixed — it's a pattern problem, crochet is very good at making three-dimensional shapes — but I was following the pattern strictly at the time.

The cuff is an issue as well. Crochet is good at making stretchy horizontal ribbing, but not so much vertical ribbing. This is "fake" ribbing — it doesn't really stretch at all. One could do the cuffs horizontally, then seam into a tube, then pick up for the feet; if I were doing it again, I would do it this way.

Finally, though this is made with fingering-weight yarn, the sock is several times as thick as a knitted sock. This is simply the nature of crochet. I love crochet, think it kicks knitting's ass for several applications, and I believe it's easier to learn and more forgiving than knitting (admittedly, I'm biased because I've crocheted so long!), but I don't think it applies well to socks. These do better as slippers, really.

You could use crochet for some *gorgeous* lacy trims on top edges of socks.. picot has nothing on crocheted edgings, trust me. Maybe I'll try that sometime and show y'all.

On the other hand this pattern had a pretty shell motif (click to enlarge and see), and I thought that was pretty.

Lene, by the way, writes like petals on silk and you should read her blog.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I am an addict!!

Just signed up for Sundara's new "Petals" sock-o'-the-month club. Well, it's every two months, but still.. you get two skeins of sock yarn every two months, enough to make a pair of socks, plus a pattern designed to make the most of the yarn. It's not cheap; this is not a way to save money on sock yarn -- rather, you get exclusive color combos that won't be generally available, and you get the patterns, and you get to feel all exclusive. Much more importantly, you get more excuses to make socks with that lovely Sundara yarn.

In other sock knitting news, I'm about 2/3 way through the first sock of my third pair for Children in Common. I'd be further along but I've got shooting pains all over my hands. Given that I now know I have both carpal tunnel and nerve damage from the car accident a few years back, I am knitting for shorter spurts and taking long breaks. Knitting at all is good for these conditions; knitting too much makes them worse. I'm trying to be good!

No pictures today, sorry.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Not perfect, but...

...definitely better! This actually looks vaguely like a Kitchenered toe is meant to. Why, some of the stitches even look like stitches!

What's this? Take a guess, g'wan!

Okay, right. It's a furniture leg.

But it is also my new, improvised, $2.49 darning egg ;-) And it works like a .. thing that works good!

Redid the first toe (featured below), and finished the second sock. Woohoo!

Two pairs of socks (so far) for Children in Common!

Of course I cast on for a third pair, this time in some maroon-with-green-speckles Jo Sharp wool/silk/cashmere that I bought off the infamous sale shelf at BB's. There's not enough for a full pair, so I'll do the toes and heels in that accidental ball of Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky (how is that NOT a contradiction in terms? I ask you!) in the weird shade of green. It actually matches the speckles in the Jo Sharp. cooooool.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Oh yeah and...

I meant to say earlier that Rosminah's house is very beautiful, and she has great taste and lots of beautiful things.

I took a couple pictures.

Check out...
This lovely jar of preserved lemons:

Fresh flowers and antique botanical drawings:

Also, she makes awesome homemade limoncello.

Also, I finished that washcloth I was making and got to use it at her house!

Secret Pal 8 Quiz Answers

This is probably going to be boring to most of you, who, sadly, are not my Secret Pal... but here goes. I'll try to make it as spicy as possible!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Everyone is probably pretty aware by now that my fave yarns are Sundara's! I also adore Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Cashmerino Baby. I am not super-fond of bulky yarn (though I'm using bulky cotton for a bathmat I'm working on!), and I dislike most novelty yarn. I love sock yarn. Lorna's Laces is great. Wasn't so thrilled with the Fortissima Socka Colori.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I'm so glad you asked. Here, I'll show you!

Here are my straights. Some are in that cool plastic needle holder, and my Denise's that my sister gave me (THANKS SIS) are in their case, but most of them are rolling around on bottom because they don't fit. And what you don't see here is all the bamboo needles that I probably shouldn't have bought, that I bought because I was a beginner and I heard that's what beginners should use. But, turns out they are too slow for me. So.. I'll probably give them to someone who likes bamboo needles.

Here is my (not so) little box of accessories, including a full crochet hook case (the only empty slots are for ones I'm currently using, and I have a bunch that won't fit in here):

Here's my nifty home-made display for my circs (hanging from a wire hanger in my overstuffed garage -- you can see some stash in there! but that ain't all of it!). I'm really happy with it. The slots are all labelled and I can find stuff.

Obviously, I need more long needle holders... and more space for crochet hooks. and, ya know, to clean my garage... :-)

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have only been knitting for four months, but I'm cocky enough to consider myself already intermediate in many ways ;-) I'm an expert crocheter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I do. And here it is. I do use the 'priority' tags.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Mm, scents. While I'm allergic to bubble bath, when choosing soap, bath oil, candles etc I tend to go for:

  • gardenia
  • tuberose
  • jasmine
  • grapefruit (pamplemousse!)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have a terrible sweet tooth. I'm also allergic to milk proteins, but I like dark chocolate with soft fillings (when it has no milk or butter ingredients), gummi strawberries and grapefruit and the like, and many other candies.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don't spin! I crochet, occasionally make soap or candles, and love doing "craft kits". I've done glass work (Pyrex) and ceramics. I do beadweaving and some bead stringing and enjoy making jewelry.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

You can see my favorite groups in my profile... and yup, I can play MP3s. I have somewhat eclectic tastes, including folk, punk, world, alternative and electronica...

9. What's your favorite color? Or — do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I don' like orange much.
I tend to wear neutrals (black/brown/khaki/white), with some dark greens, blues and magentas.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married to my long-time love Rob.
We have un gato (Laila)
and a cockatiel (Crotchet).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Well,... No. Sorry, but it's SoCal and just not too much opportunity. Well, I might wear a poncho, but I think people might laugh. Maybe at home. In bed. Yeah, that's the ticket. And don't tell Crys.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Right now, socks! But, ya know, I'm just getting started. Baby things, too.

13. What are you knitting right now?
CIC socks. Plus all the things at right in the WIP section.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Well.. Inox DPNs :-) but circulars are my second choice. I like the fastest possible needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?


17. How did you learn to knit?

From a combination of the Knitting for Dummies book and various great online articles, plus some consultation of my grandma!

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

That's not funny.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

Purim and New Year's are right up there!

20. Is there anything that you collect?

barnacles...? dust?

Um. I have a lot of Modesty Blaise comics and books, but that's not really an active hot interest. I own a lot of junque, but I'm not sure it qualifies as a real collection.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I'm desperate for...

  • Wendy's new book
  • Nancy Bush's other books (I have Knitting Vintage Socks and love it)
  • Charlotte Schurch's book
I read Interweave Knits from time to time because my friend Sandi is the managing editor :-) but, nothing else yet.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Pretty much everything, starting with proper Kitchener...

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes. Size 9C shoe. 9" around instep; 10" long; ankles 9" (measured above anklebone, not on it)

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

April 9.


I was in Santa Barbara for a CENIC HPR-TAC meeting. Trust me, you don't want to click on that link if you are a knitter, because it will bore you senseless. In my other life (ya know, between knitting and singing and other important things like that) I am a computer network services manager type person.

But while I was in SB, I got to see Rosminah, which was cool because it's been a while! I was recovering from food poisoning and she was coming off a cleansing fast (note: Rosminah, you are a nutcake. Give up FOOD? For TEN DAYS?), so we went out for Japanese soba noodle soup (for me) and miso and California rolls (for her). Quite nice.

Also I finished knitting the socks for Children in Common:

Before blocking

Crappy job on Kitchener stitch -- I still can't do it -- had to end up darning it shut later

Blocking. Ah, beautiful Sundara yarn!

The lighting sucks on that last shot, as it was nighttime in the bathroom so I had to use flash, but man, check out that lovely "somewhat solid" yarn. It makes me all happy.

Of course, I cast on for the purple CIC socks right away. Can't leave the needles bare and all that.

er... stash enhancement.

Did you hear me? Maybe I should talk louder. I said ** STASH ENHANCEMENT!!! **

Wait... maybe not.

Maybe what I said was: ** BANK ACCOUNT SHRINKAGE!!!! **

Do not
, I repeat, do not go to BB's Knits in Santa Barbara.
They have a sale wall.

That's lots of olive and multi-olive yarn for a cardigan (!!! 100% merino for like $3.80/ball!!!), some amazing hot rainbow bamboo (!! yes 100% bamboo) yarn to trim a black T (I don't have the black yet), purple speckled yarn and maroon heather yarn for for Children in Common socks, some rainbowy novelty yarn (! I know, I was shocked too, but it's pretty smooth for novelty yarn) to trim somethin' or other, some beautiful blue-multi handspun-style yarn that I might try to make into a hood, and a ball of light green which I didn't mean to buy (seriously) and must have fallen into my bag :-( It's ugly. I will figure out something to do with it. At least it was only $4.50. {sigh}.

Oh, man. Sale walls. Bad bad bad.

I also got Stephanie's new book, which I started reading the minute I got home. It was all I could do not to stay up all night and finish it. It is hilarious. But probably only to knitters...

(Sigh. Now I need to read her other books! More bank account shrinkage.)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Last night was fun!

Last night I got together with Colleen and Christine to do a little knitting and crochet! We had fun, even though I was getting over food poisoning (NOT the Greek food! Some too-old mussels). I didn't take any pictures, but I measured the Sixth Sense socks against Colleen's feet and made them longer, and I'm about to start the toes. I'm so glad her feet are narrow enough for them! And that she likes them! Yay, the socks will have a home.

Then I looked at that lovely cake of Sundara worsted merino, and just had to cast on for Sixth Sense CIC (Children in Common) socks.

I think these are going to be gorgeous — in a couple of days I'll probably have an "after" shot for ya.

Oh yeah, people keep asking me about this. It's Tunisian crochet in honeycomb stitch, with cotton yarn, and it makes a dandy facecloth. Great for exfoliating. I've made a few, but I keep needing more.

Stash enhancement, or more fun with my swift!

This weekend I received a lovely packet of yarn from Sundara Yarn:

You're seeing sock yarn in Citrine and "37", and worsted merino in the new "somewhat solid" "Periwinkle over lilac".

I got another package from KnitPicks containing some laceweight Shadow in "Lost Lake" and some of their color-your-own sock yarn. I'm planning to try to knit fine-gauge socks using 000 needles with the Lost Lake (we'll see how that goes!) and to try dyeing the dyeable yarn with Kool-Aid!

Anyway, I got out my handy-dandy swift and baller.

This is a hank of Sundara sport merino in Galaxy (that I already had)...

being made into cake.
And these are the finished cakes of Sundara yarn. Yummy!