rope. tree. fan. spear. snake. wall.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I sent off Box #1 to my downstream Secret Pal! I sure hope she likes it! Can't tell you what's in there, though, as she might find me that way. By the time I can tell you, I will have forgotten. Yeah, that's how I roll.

One of the requirements for the Secret Pal swaps is that you have to post to your blog at least four times a month, and at least one fiber-related post a month. That is about the last rule I thought I'd have a problem with. Putting nice stuff together for my downstream pal, maybe. Forgetting where I put it all, probably. Forgetting to mail it off in time, almost certainly. But y'all know that I'm not usually at a loss for words. I just don't feel any real urge to talk about stuff lately.

I'm going to put it down to end-of-summer doldrums. We have had zero routine for longer than I can remember (I can remember back about ten days), and so I feel like I have all the time in the world, and everything can be done Later. You know I still haven't posted the pattern for the Ruby sweater? That went through like 13 drafts before I got it right, you'd think the Knitting World would like to have this information, instead of repeating my mistakes.

Well, I'll get to it.


Going to Corsica with me: The Seagrass Socks, which I don't want to say too much about because I think I might submit them to Knitty or somewhere; The Billy Reid socks, which are too simple to require a pattern; and a hat for Kelly's daughter Aurora. This time the right size, and perhaps even without mistakes! Whoa, look at me, talking all crazy.

See you on the 9th!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Still here. Still knitting. Lots of second-guessing, lately... I'm having grave doubts about my ability to be a good Secret Pal. My downstream pal just seems so... self-sufficient, I can't think of anything she'd want that she doesn't have. I can't say more, she might stumble across my blog and recognize herself, but ack.

I put most of my projects in hibernation because they bored me. The Seagrass socks are almost to the point where they were when I frogged them back to the toe.

Ho-hum. When I have something to blog about, I will. Pinky swear.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

the Wollmeise

Yippee! Okay, so remember the Wollmeise yarn that Pooh was so excited about? Yeah, well, MsB from Bockstark Knits told me that Claudia, the Wollmeise herself, was bringing some yarn down to be photographed, and if she and Elemmaciltur and I could bring ours in, then Claudia wouldn't have to carry so much. I said okay, but it turned out to be unnecessary, because Claudia brought pretty much all her colors with her, but that explains why I still haven't opened any of it. And while resisting was very difficult, it's actually very much for the best, partly because of general virtuousness - I really do have to clear out some of these six projects before I start something new (well, then you shouldn't have frogged the Seagrass Socks should you? - shush, they were imperfect. I had no choice). But also because I still have all this perfect new yarn to look forward to! Yay!

So my Useful was going to be bringing yarn, and once that was unnecessary, they didn't really need me for the project at all, but do you think I was going to mention that to them!? Hell no! So I went! And I got to hold and fondle and smell and rub my face in almost all the shades of almost all the colors and seriously, I may never buy any other kind of yarn again. Well okay, Sabi from Sheepaints is going to have new yarn in about 20 minutes and if she has enough purple silk for a shawl for a certain MIL then I will, but after that? Or if Claudia starts dyeing silk? I will look no further for quite some time, because her colorways are teh yummy. Even the ones you don't like at first, it'll turn out you were looking at the light version and when you see the dark you'll be all YEARN! Or vice-versa.

Also, Claudia's really, really nice and entertaining and fun and cool. But don't stalk her, she hates that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What would you do?

I have 6 projects on the needles - SIX! Today I thought I'd try to devote at least half an hour to each one, and I did, and I'm not feeling sanguine about my progress on any of them. Fortunately (!) I can't start on any of the Wollmeise until after this weekend because I've signed it up for a photo shoot, but even without that I have six projects on the needles! Should I continue to try to do one or two rows per project per day, or should I just pick one, barrel through, get it done and move on to the next? Hmm...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pooh is very excited

New WollmeiseSo am I, to tell the truth. Eleven skeins of Wollmeise sock yarn arrived on Friday while I was in Munich. I spent today trying (and failing) to get decent photos of them, and I'm a little bummed about that, not least because I can't shake the feeling that I can (and really should) do better, so I should try again tomorrow, so I can't open any of it to fondle or re-hank or cast-on, even though the yearning is intense. But certain other people on Ravelry have such fantastic photos of Wollmeise on their stash pages and I realize I'm setting my standards unfairly high, but still. I can't put crappy photos up there when everybody else is all fabulous.

seagrass ToesHowever, I am making significant progress on the Seagrass Socks as well, and still loving the pattern so much I think I might submit it to Knitty if I can get a good photo. (This is not a good photo, because it doesn't really show the stitches very well.) So I suppose I can busy myself with that for the rest of today, and try to take some more pictures tomorrow. But really, I don't think I can be all that photographically-challenged. I think that our crappy grocery-store camera may just bear the itsiest bit of the responsibility here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

SP11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Merino is probably my favorite. Or alpaca. Ooo! Washable stuff! I don't mind air-drying, but I really do like things I can toss in the washing machine.

I'm okay with the 25% nylon in sock wool to make it sturdy, but other than that I'm not real keen on synthetics. I don't have any allergies that I know of, but I don't like itchy or rough stuff, and chenille and bouclé, in my experience, are more trouble than they're worth. Oh dear, am I being too picky?

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Heh. When we moved into this house, I put the Good Silverware in the drawer, and the little linen holder-thingy that it came in now holds my needles. I'll put up a photo at some point. It's not really the best solution, but with some refinement I think it could be really great. I keep thinking I'll get out my sewing machine and make a needle case - I even have a pair of old jeans set aside for the purpose - but I'm not getting around to it.

My mom had this cool thing she got from the hospital where she worked, to keep her crochet hooks in. I think it used to hold a giant syringe, or something, but it was awesome. I let it go when she died, which was so stupid, but I really wasn't thinking clearly, and I had to make a lot of decisions under huge pressure and very little time.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
My mom taught me to crochet when I was 7, so that's 29 years. When I was 23, newly married, pregnant, bored, foreign and poor, I had masses of spare time and I taught myself to knit. So that's been 13 years, and I tend to push myself, to choose a project specifically so I can learn a new skill. Therefore, I would call myself advanced: there are quite a few things I haven't done yet, but I can't imagine that I won't be able to do them when I get around to trying.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yeah, but I'm not very good at keeping it updated.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Florals. Lilac, orchid and rose, in that order.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh yes, too much of one. Chocolate and mint are my favorite flavors. Especially together.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't really do things other than knit or crochet on any regular basis, I tend to pick up something for awhile and then completely forget about it. I like to sew, but I don't have a place to do it right now. I'd like to get into beading, but I haven't yet. I think I would only start spinning (or dyeing) if I wanted something specific and couldn't find it anywhere, and with the fiberarts taking off, and the internet facilitating international exchange, I don't see that happening. But, you know, never say never.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Yes, I can play mp3s. I have a hard time answering the "what kind of music" question because I can't really rule out any genres. Anything you love enough to want to share with me, I will probably like.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Green. Then purples, grays, blues, turquoise, teal, then maroons and magentas and lovely deep reds. Not as keen on yellow, orange, brown, or the whole beige-khaki-olive continuum. I do like black.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married, two sons (age 6 and 12), one lunatic cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes, and absolutely not. Not a poncho person.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
At the moment, socks and hats. Also anything for babies, because I like things that knit up quick.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A teal cabled cardigan for myself, a baby sweater for an as-yet-unknown baby, socks that I'm designing myself, and a helmet liner for a soldiers' charity.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Absolutely! The very best kind!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular. Bamboo. I also have a set of plastic interchangeables that my grandma bought me about eleven years ago. It would never have occurred to me to use plastic needles, but I quite like these, and I always have at least one project on them. Maybe because my grandma bought them for me.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I don't mind winding my yarn up by hand.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Uh. Good question. Two, maybe three years? A certain son decided he didn't want it after all.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Ooo, tough choice. I guess Christmas, because it's so sparkly, especially here in Bavaria.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Nothing leaps to mind. My husband would say "junk," but I would shush him.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Oh, so many things! So much beautiful stuff is available in the States, and I'm afraid to order it because I suspect that German customs officials like to help themselves.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm just about to go on a lace jag, I can feel it. Felting is really piquing my interest lately too. I'd also like to try the Swedish tvåändsstickning someday. Also, those Norwegian sweaters. I have all the knitting skills I need, but the fancy cuffs and neck-stuff, ooo. Mitered corners. And not exactly a knitting technique, but writing patterns would be a good thing to know. It's a lot harder than it looks.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yep! Love socks. Measurements, um, hang on lemme grab the measuring tape... 9 1/2 inches long, 8 1/4 inches around the ball of the foot.

23. When is your birthday?
October 21st.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yup! I'm alala on Ravelry too.

behold, a swatch

Seagrass SwatchOkay, today I did nothing else, but at least I got one thing done that I like. If you click the image, you'll get to my flickr page, and you can look at the swatch a little more up-close, and yes, the depth-of-field is minimal because I used the scanner again. But I have a stitch! And I'm happy with it! It has a slight bias, but I think if I change direction every inch or so it won't create too much of a problem.

So. Cast on now, or wait and consult with Elemm on Friday? EeeeeeI think I'll wait. Because so much of my knitting has been neglected for the last few days.

But yay! Love this yarn, love my swatch.

why do I do this to myself?

Designing is for people who learn from their mistakes. Not people with the goldfish attention span. Urgh, it looks so! good! on the back side of the swatch, but not on the front, and re-creating what I did in reverse is proving to be... more challenging than you would think. I write everything down, but I still make the same mistakes over and over again... or do I? I say "meh. That didn't work, okay, try this," and then this looks exactly like that, so I don't know if I did the same thing or did something different, to no avail. And I've been so nose-down in this project that not only have I not knit anything else, I haven't even blocked the two hats I finished last weekend, or photographed the Half Shedir yet. And now I've only stopped because there's nothing for it but to start over, which means the whole day was wasted. I suck!

The yarn is Sheepaints sock yarn, in the Seagrass colorway. The mission is a ribbed sock that suggests sea grass. We'll see if tomorrow brings any positive change.

In other news, I joined Lime & Violet's Chore Wars group. This'll be fun.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

celebrity squee!

I met the Knitters Uncensored crew tonight! Well, I've known Elemm for awhile, but I met the other two-thirds of their merry band of players, and then I spent the whole evening talking about myself. Egad, I am the queen of inappropriate. But it's only because they're so good at asking questions, and I had a really good time knitting and watching rock-climbing videos. But next time, the pizza's on me. Um, figuratively. Not really on me, I just meant I'd pay for it.