Friday, November 28, 2008

Photos that are unrelated to Thanksgiving.

I just thought that was too funny, and can't imagine a good slogan for them. "If you need someone to Arse it up..." and that manner of thing.
While I was at it with the uploading today, I took a bunch of knitting pictures as well, because I needed to. I was tired of seeing blank spots on my Ravelry.
Here's the baby sweater, laid out in pieces, waiting for me to muster the conviction to sew it up:
And here's one of the socks for Rachel, the other one still needing to be grafted at the toe:
FINALLY, I've taken a picture of the post-fulling version of Market Squares:
Here's a man-sized hat:
Most exciting of all, part of our tree believes it to be autumn now! It's turned a brilliant shade of red on one side (the rest is still green).

I confess, I'm pretty glad Thanksgiving is over. We had a full 16 humans in this house yesterday, and while I love each and every one of them, everybody at once is overwhelming to my poor senses. Timothy spent the whole day hiding under a bed and Banzai spent most of it hiding behind a plant in a bedroom that was free of traffic. I hung out with him for a long time, because I really have feline instincts about crowds. The food was good though, and the meat-eaters feasted on a free-range organic turkey that we're saying died laughing. From what I've heard, it was delicious. And well, it should be! It was healthy and free of antibiotics, not to mention all the adrenaline that can be found in ill-treated turkeys. And it had a special bonus flavor: Good karma. Rock on. If you're gonna eat animals, you gotta do it right (though I'm still dreaming of a vegetarian holiday one of these years).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oddly lacking in case of Mondays

I've been in a pretty swell mood today, and haven't had any trouble staying awake, which is strange, because I had tons of trouble falling asleep last night. I ended up being awake until about 3, and then getting up at 7. That's just ridiculous. It sucked too, because I was lying in bed with my eyes closed and they felt gritty and gluey like eyes do when you're sleepy, but my mind was just refusing to cooperate. And it wasn't that there was anything bothering me or consuming my thoughts. It's just that my brain wasn't ready for bed yet.

I've knit a new hat. I started it last week sometime and finished it today. I'm pleased with the stretchiness of the tubular cast-on and the swirls of the decreases and the softness of the yarn. I hope it goes to a good home.
I also want to show off a use for my cellphone that takes full advantage of its skinny shape:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Resolved: No more woollergies.

Wow, it's been a long time.

I guess it's regularly a long time between posts, actually. But this time I have a really good excuse: I'm employed. It's temporary, and it won't last much longer, but I've been here since July and that's adding up to a decent amount of yarn money. My Banzai is trying to make sure that a lot gets spent on him as well, by having been diagnosed as having anxiety issues. He's on fluoxetine now, which thank goodness is a generic drug, but still. That's fifteen dollars a month for my cat to take Prozac.

Meanwhile, lately I've enjoyed torturing myself by looking at all the pictures of projects that people have made from Noro Kureyon, the yarn I'll probably never be able to use because I'm allergic to wool. Siiiiiiiiiigh.
It started when I saw this scarf on Knitty and said, "I must have it." Except that yarn with Noro-like color patterns doesn't occur in vegan varieties. There are self-striping cotton yarns, sure, but they always wind up with nasty and obvious spots of The Dark Color in the part that is supposed to be The Light Color, and the colors don't transition into each other, it's just a blunt (and sloppy) switch.

With this in mind, I've decided to quit being allergic to wool.
It won't be easy, and it may not be possible. But the other day I wore a pair of socks all day that have some wool in them (not too much) and they didn't make my feet itch much, so I figure that's a start, amirite?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Missed it by that much.

I saw Get Smart on Saturday, and loved it.
Anyway, before the movie I cast on a scarf I could work on without looking-- a lot of stitches for a knit-sideways garter stitch fluffy purple affair. Mindless knitting. When the movie ended I started casting off with what I assumed was just the right amount left. I thought to myself, "My, what a clever knitter you are" and patted myself on the back until I ran out of yarn about, oh, ten stitches from the end? And that's what the picture shows. The sad remainder of live stitches. You can't see it but the tail is only about 3" long.

But wait!
I AM such a clever knitter! I fixed it. Tomorrow maybe I'll tell how.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A dream of gloves

Knitting shows up in my dreams. Sometimes in a dream I will be wearing a project I'm working on in my awake life, and I like those dreams because they make me feel like it's gonna be just great.
Last night, however, I had a strange one. In my dream, I was wondering whether to frog something that I had knitting back in the days of wrapping my yarn the wrong way so that all my knit stitches were twisted. This item was never knitted by me while awake, and that's what makes it rather strange.
It was a pair of gloves, using very fine yarn--laceweight, or maybe a crochet thread. I remembered having used size 0 DPNs for it, and the gloves were done in a self-patterning yarn.
It wasn't just stripes or anything like that, though. it was yarn that gave itself a skull and a couple of... cats? Or some kind of adorable little characters, that looked like they were screaming. And I had gone back and duplicate stitched over that (in the same pattern) to give it more definition or something. So these were some unusual and labor-intensive gloves, and here I was thinking about ripping them out!
If I recall, the hand part was white (to better show the design) and the ringers and cuffs were striped in cool colors, like the chevron socks I'm working on now.
I have no doubt parts of this were from the fact that in my working on said chevron socks, I came to a knot in the yarn. I cut it, joined the yarn like nothing was happening, and realized a couple inches later that the yarn hadn't even been knotted in a place where the stripe pattern would continue. So I ripped back and joined the yarn anew at a place where the sequence would continue appropriately.
What a hassle. But it looks SO GREAT now and I'm awfully proud of myself for being so clever.
Back to the dream, though. I guess I totally have to make those gloves now, and knit them right so the stitches don't twist.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Juke Sock


Last month everyone in the family got new cellphones and switched carriers. I picked out this adorable little combination phone/mp3 player, the Samsung Juke, and immediately had to begin knitting it something to wear so it'd stay shiny and safe.
I like to use fun details like the Turkish cast-on to give me a nice start and very little finishing, and the i-cord bind off to make the edge look clean.
Without further ado,

The Juke Sock.
yarn: sport weight
needles: US size 1,16 in circulars, x2

Turkish CO 16 st (8 wraps)
increase (kfb) at 2nd and 2nds to last st each needle until there are 16 sts each needle (32 total)
knit 1 round.
Begin cable pattern:
Round 1: (p4, k8, p4) twice
Round 2: k4, c4f,c4b, k8, c4b, c4f, k4
Round 3: rep. rd 1
Round 4: knit.
Repeat these four rows 12 times
Work i-cord bind off:
co. 3 stitches using backwards-loop caston.
1. knit 2, k2tog through back loop.
2. slip 3 stitches back to left needle.
Repeat 1 and 2 until you've come to the start, then kitchener the ends of the i-cord together.

Of course, this pattern can be easily adapted for like... anything. Just increase at the beginning until you've got the circumference you like, put in more garter stitch between the cables, and knit until it's whatever length seems right to you. Eeeeasy.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

on aspartame

A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to give up Diet Coke, when I learned that Aspartame, the sweetener therein, is linked (anecdotally) to elevated liver enzymes, which I have (or had at the time).
Quitting it hasn't been as hard as I expected, with the addictive properties I believed the drink to have. The only side effect I've noticed is that there is no longer any brightness in my life. I have nothing to look forward to, and to reward myself with.
Ah, well.
Who needs happiness anyway?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Pattern! Tiny Scarf.

This little scarf won't keep your neck very warm, but it's pretty and the yarn (which I'm pretty sure is bamboo) is soft and smooth against a sensitive neck. It'll look lovely with a little brooch to close it, don't you think?

And because I'm always taking and never giving when it comes to content online, I've written it up like a real live pattern.

Tiny scarf that's really way too easy

CO 24 stitches using the crochet-hook cast-on.
Knit 3 rows, and always slip the last stitch of the row purl-wise with yarn in front.
Begin Pattern:
Row 1: K3, (k2tog) thrice, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) thrice, k2, slip 1 purlwise wyif.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3, 4: Knit.
Work those four rows until you get sick of them or the scarf is the length you like (Mine will just go around my neck twice with a little stretching), then knit 3 rows (slipping last st), and bind off.

Some things I've been working on are: wip_sunburst
Pacman on acid. This is the Sunburst Sling Bag from Just One More Row, size medium, and

Rachel Calado's Fern Clog Socks
(click here for non-Ravelry link). They're lovely in this yarn--Kertzer's "On Your Toes Bamboo", which is 75% bamboo and 25% nylon. I'm completely done with this first sock and have yet to cast on the second, but I totally WILL. I swear.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Log Cabin

It is done. I had finished the knitting and bound off but there were still just a few ends to weave in (I did most as I went) and some ends to trim, and for some reason that was enough to make must just set it aside for a couple weeks.

In this blanket, I'm particularly proud of my picking up stitches, as I got my bumps all lined up.


It's worked in Caron Simply Soft on size 7 needles, and following the instructions for "How to Log Cabin" in Mason-Dixon Knitting. I've got on my ravelry here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Between each brilliant shine

Yesterday Rachel and I were on our way out to run some errands and saw that someone was already using my car!


But we agreed that lizards are generally safer when NOT on my car, so relocated our new friend.
Since it's spring, there is so damn much life everywhere. Our sago (I totally would have thought it was "seigo" from how my mom pronounces it) has these new fronds that look like they came from outer space. Maybe they did. I don't have a hard time at all believing this plant grew when dinosaurs roamed about just exactly the way it does these days.


For a while, I had difficulty reconciling a despairing attitude on my part with the greenness all around. I would see these instances of life, but just behind them lurked Death. It must be the season for roadkill, and for tiny eggs knocked from their nests, inhabitants dying before they ever knew life. A cat who looked like my dear late Kitty had been hit by a car and I felt all my old scars reopening, not healed as well as I'd thought. I was pretty sure I was losing my mind, as these weren't only emotional scars--one morning upon arriving to work I noticed my wrist was bleeding. Oh, of all the days to not have band-aids in my bag!

The conclusion I've drawn from all this, the only LOGICAL conclusion, is that work is bad for me. I'll have to do something ELSE with my life.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

potent ninja

First, the tree:
And also, an absurdly beautiful day. I took a walk to get some vitamin D, and found this flower growing by the driveway:
I don't know what kind it is, but I like it.
Progress on my LogCabin blanket has been embarrassingly slow. I knit maybe three rows today. But, since I've run out of one of the colors, I'll be done very soon.

Tomorrow I'll be sitting at a table at church, hoping against hope that I can generate some interest in my knitting group. Oh yeah! That's the whole reason I got on the computer now instead of going to bed. I'm easily distracted.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Spirit of Some Friendly Imp

Hooray for noticeable growth on our tree.
During work hours I've been having trouble staying awake. I find myself sort of nodding off and hallucinating at different times, and reading things in my visions which are completely unrelated to the papers I'm reading in real life. Today I read something about Egyptian Cotton, and a phrase involving "paranormal purple papers". Today's title comes from yesterday's hallucination. It's entertaining! But I've got to find a way to stay awake.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shoots & Leaves





Work exhausts me. I can't believe I'm still up at almost 11pm when I know full well tomorrow will arrive too early yet AGAIN.

It's ironic, really. The way that they keep the building air-conditioned to a temperature between "arctic" and "absolute zero" means that this would be a great time to have more warm hand-knits, and yet the fact that I am working this job means I have no time for knitting. I've been squeezing in a few minutes each night to make a little progress on my Log Cabin blanket (no pic now), but that's all. Sigh.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Today's tree picture looks like crap. I thought for sure I had the macro setting on, but it sure doesn't look like it, does it? I'm not even going to upload this one to Flickr. What a drag.

THIS SUNDAY I'm going to be kinda recruiting for my church knitting group. That's great. But I don't know how I'll even LAST till then. I got home from work today and just felt exhausted in every way. And there are four more days of this to go, plus they're talking about possibly having work on Saturday, ick, but it's only optional. However, I have to be at church after all three services, and it looks as though we'll be having company this weekend. The whole thing makes me want to take a Very Long Nap (like until June).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Grow, little tree, grow.

The tree stretches out to soak up all the sunlight it can. It would be awesome if I could photosynthesize too. Of course, I already don't spend enough time outdoors. Perhaps I need to go for a walk?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

it's nice having a camera

The Chinese Pistache in the front yard has been growing a lot and I thought it would be fun to take a photo every day and see its progress. I've focused on one particular branch. Yesterday:


In knitting news, I've finally gotten a pic of my Picovoli in its finished state. Not a GREAT picture, taken in the computer room with indoor light and stuff, but whatever.


And one final thing, a treat. Banzai went into the closet in the computer room (the only walk-in closet upstairs, and ironically the one that is NOT attached to somebody's bedroom) and seemed to be pursuing something. I watched him put a paw in the wire drawer where some of my fabric is stored, and then proceed to put the rest of himself in too.


Monday, March 24, 2008


open mouth tim

I love pictures of cats yawning or otherwise engaged in having their mouths open. This is Timmy, on Rachel's bed.
I made myself a shirt, Picovoli, but I haven't taken any pictures of it since I finished it. I do have one from when I was working on it and hadn't decided how much longer to make it:
picovoli in progress front
I like it, and it fits well. I used size 5 needles and four skeins of Lion Brand Microspun for it, which feels really nice but tends toward splittiness while knitting. It's also 100% acrylic, so it's not the BEST for garments, but whatever. It reduced my stash.
This is a top I may well make again.
Rachel and I both have gotten new assignments at Pearson (used to be Harcourt), so that's good. It's not a job I've been pining after or anything, but it'll be money, and we'll be working together (ish). We start Wednesday--THIS Wednesday--so that makes me wonder whether they were, you know, planning to get some scorers? Was it a case of divine Providence for them that we called? What a mystery!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh noes.

I. Am. Terrified. My church is big on --nay, obsessed with--small groups. I support the general idea of getting people connected to one another, because in my brain I know how much we need other people. In practice, however, I like to hide away from humans. I feel like I've failed if I get stuck having to talk to people other than my cats. I usually wear non-descript clothing to avoid drawing attention to myself. My result from the little character-creation personality test at the start of "Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines" gave me Nosferatu. They talk about what a horrible curse that is, what with the hideously disfigured visage and all, but to me, high stealth + the obfuscate discipline? Dream come true.
Anyway, at my church, in addition to the home groups or whatever they're called where people get together every week to talk about stuff, there are "activity groups" which involve getting together to do stuff. There is a "sportsmen" group which involves murdering animals, and a scrapbooking group, which appeals to me about as much. Scrapbooking is, in my opinion, the most useless craft. I thought to myself, "Oh, if only there were a knitting group, I might actually go to that." I made the mistake of thinking this out loud, and one thing led to another.
And so it has come to pass that I will be starting a knitting group with my church. Probably not meeting at my church, and most definitely not meeting at my house, because I think neutral locations are best. I want people to be able to wander away if they think it sucks. It wouldn't hurt my feelings. I guess the point is, I don't want to do this at all. But I kinda know it'll be good in the long run? Ugh.
And double ugh.

In other news entirely, I've gotten very nearly to the end of Picovoli (here for anyone not on Ravelry). I had to start twice but, on the second time it's going great. I fought against this idea of negative ease, but it's gonna be okay, I think. I'm using Microspun in red because I have it. If I love it as much as I suspect I might, I'll probably end up making it again in different (better) yarn. Microspun, being acrylic, isn't ideal for the hot weather we can count on for half the year here. I've got some other things I've been working on, and I still haven't fulled my Market Squares bag... but I HAVE been knitting and AM still alive (yay?).


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's been really hard lately to do much of anything.
My Cutie, best friend of almost 20 years, has gone. He isn't suffering anymore, and for that I am glad, but I am utterly distraught. He was the most gentle and loving cat in the world, and he admirably tolerated such things as my childhood, a mother who chewed off his whiskers, and having to get shots in his eyes. There were many times when we thought the end was close, but he pulled through and outlived any of our expectations.

I think it was about three years ago that Rachel was home alone with him (Mom and Dad were visiting family, and I was in Austin taking a summer class), when he took a very bad turn and she took him to the vet to be told that he had a tumor, and wouldn't last long, so she should take him home and spoil him. At his age, he had little chance of surviving cancer treatment and even if he did, his quality of life would greatly decrease. It wasn't worth it. So we spoiled him, and he stuck around for it longer than we thought he would. Every day with him was a gift.

I've finished the knitting on my Market Squares bag, and that seems like such a worthless accomplishment.
But I think it's good, in my grieving, to keep on doing productive things instead of hiding under my covers all day and wishing I were dead too, so I'm trying.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bummer and WIP

I finally got my Winter issue of Interweave Knits...

So I wrote them an e-mail as per the instructions on the website. They must be sick of hearing from me about this damned issue. Oh well! It's not really my problem!

At least the Market Squares Bag, which I started yesterday, is progressing nicely.
wip market squares
Banzai is inspecting my work. It's his job. I love the colors I've got, and I'm doing the tiers in a different color sequence because the final color (an off-white not seen in this photo) wasn't added to the project until after I'd started on that beige there and the two next to eachother lacked contrast and that just wouldn't work. And don't worry, according to somebody on Ravelry (I forget who), even the off-white color of this yarn felts. Huzzah.
This is such a learning project for me. Hem, entrelac, felting. And I'm finding that wool is really a pleasant yarn to work with.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Some knitting, but mostly cats


I finished another string bag and it has already been put to that most noble purpose of carrying a yarn store purchase, since we ate lunch at India Oven today and were so close that we had to go to Yarnivore. I spent $40. I am weak. But from that I should get a bag, some socks, and some playing, so it's not TOO bad, right...?


Cutie, now 19.5 years old, has been climbing the stairs mom made him to get up onto her bed to enjoy the sun that comes through the window and warms it. I love pictures of Cutie sleeping. He looks so peaceful and his back paws are crossed.

This cat below lives in our neighborhood and likes to hang around our yard. I guess she's probably about a year old or so.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

string bags

I've been knitting some shopping bags lately, for my own personal use, and of stash I've had lying around. The blue/green/yellow one has gone to my mom, though, when she commented that shopping bags were "really a good idea". These are both of my own design, and very simple. The ecru-colored one is some twine I picked up at the UT co-op, and is done in crochet only. The colorful one, with knitted body and crochet top and bottom, is Sugar'n Cream in "Summer Splash" that I bought a ton of way back when I started to knit because the colors so charmed me. I still feel just as fond of it because it's so cheery.
new mesh bag
Every time I take a step, I feel like it's not enough. So I'm trying to remember that no matter how small, a step is a step. And I think that maybe the next step is to try and get everyone I know to use reusable shopping bags. I figure that, with any luck, I could even sell them at like $5 each? I don't know.