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

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tagged by Tini

And answering very belatedly, sorry.

Here are the rules:
*Go to your sixth picture folder and pick your sixth picture.*Pray you remember the details.*Tag five others.

And here is the picture: My firstborn, Ignatz (not his real name), in the passport photo we had made of him when he was five. He's on his third U.S. passport now, and due for a fourth next year. Wow.

And to tag, hmmm...
  1. Elemmaciltur
  2. Kelly
  3. Amy
  4. Vicki
  5. Projektleiterin
Thanks Tini!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spiderman Socks

Spiderman Socks with Fufu
I think they're kinda short, but we were watching Galileo after dinner tonight and I had the Sniglet try them on, just because he was handy, and he said "Oh cool, they're done!" I said "Are you sure? How long do you want them?" and he said "Oh, one or two years."Spiderman Socks, done


Right, well, after we cleared that up he said they're long enough now, and I should cast off. So I did. And now they're done. Yay.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

small new project

Some socks for the Sniglet. The yarn is one of the Wollmeise's Versuchskaninchen (guinea-pig) colorways, probably an early version of Emil. But since I have a lot of Versuchskaninchens, I name them for myself, just so I know which one I'm talking about. I call this one Spiderman.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

loot! woot!

Thanksgiving is not a holiday here (of course), so the cute postman was able to deliver a perfectly-timed package from Amy! Perfectly timed in several ways: the chocolate turkeys she sent for the boys arrived (and were consumed) right on Thanksgiving Day, how super is that?persiacotedazure

Also, Elemmaciltur just mentioned on Facebook that he was looking forward to the next shipment of the Wollmeise Sock Club. If you'll recall, I was on vacation during sign-ups, and so missed out completely, but I wasn't too sad when the first shipment went out because I'd been the test-knitter for the I mog di pattern. Well, now the next one's en route (you can see it if you ALERT ALERT ALERT THIS IS A SPOILER DO NOT CLICK THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED AHOY THERE YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED click on this link) and I was going to be all mopey about it, but now I have Malabrigo Sock Yarn so I am just about coping.

fab stuffAnd thirdly, what with one thing and another, I'm down to three wips: don't have the yarn for this project, don't have the attention span for that one, the test-knit's on hiatus because the designer is busy with other things right now, and crucially: I can't start this sweater because my big-enough project bags are all (both) in use. Well, now I have another big-enough project bag! I actually turned it inside-out so you can see the lovely green fabric on the inside - the outside is the same purple as the clutch. I don't recall telling Amy that green and purple are my favorite colors, but she seems to have figured it out, possibly because they're hers too. And the thing with the stars (stars!) is a sock-sized project bag, also very wonderful. And chocolate for me and DrBob, she says... yeah, like he's going to get any. Heh. And see the Eric Carle card? I love that!

Oh, and she also sent corn meal so I can make corn bread, which is one of those things that I love beyond reason and can't get here in Sausageland, and also some "toaster pastries," i.e. Pop-Tarts but more upmarket with the organic and the recycled packaging and such. Those didn't make it into the photo, but they are happily ensconced in my kitchen.

So yay. I am thankful for blogging and Ravelry and distant friends.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Yes, LOVE my new needles! I ordered them, and they came while I was busy having this weekend which was admittedly hellish, but eventually I opened the box and pet the yarn and swooned over my pointy-stripy fabulous new needles.

Actually, one of the reasons I bought the set - well, not really a reason, but a positive aspect, something that made it seem like even more of a good idea - was that I have a wip which wants 3.0mm needles, and my collection is distressingly week on 3.0s. And I think I thought the set had those, but no, it starts at 3.5. So I'm going to have to send them back.

HAAAGH! Just kidding! Of course I'm not going to send them back. I am going to hug them and squeeze them and call them George. They are pretty and pointy and quiet and wonderful and I might just ask to be buried with them.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Mail

Very late, um, two nights ago I think, I happened across this site and clickety-click, ordered some stuff.

Dear Alala Lalaa,

thanks for shipping with us! Your items will be shipped within 1-2 business days after receiving your payment.

You ordered following products:
ProductArticle Nr. Singleprice
Options Harmony Wood Needle Set LargeShipping time: sofort lieferbar kpck-00655,00 EUR
55,00 EUR
Wool of the Andes
Shipping time: sofort lieferbar

Knitpicks colour:Hollyberry

2,36 EUR
25,96 EUR
Sub-Total: 80,96 EUR

Free Shipping (Free Shipping minimum order: 75,00 EUR): 0,00 EUR

incl. UST 19%: 12,93 EUR

Total: 80,96 EUR

I already have a set of interchangeables, though I can't remember what company made them. Um, they're gray plastic, does that ring a bell anyone? And they were a gift from my much-loved, last living grandmother, so I didn't feel I could replace them. Besides, I never thought I'd say this, but I actually like these plastic needles. They are bendy and quiet. But I'm not replacing them, I will continue to use them. My knitting habits can support multiple knitting needles, right? (Eight! Eight wips at the moment! And that's not even counting the ones in hibernation.)

Also, I'm kind of not supposed to be acquiring Stuff right now, you know, what with being about to move into a house that will probably be smaller than our current one (and yet cost more than twice as much, go figure - I guess it really is all about location). But the Oompas gave me birthday money, as they do every year, and I usually wind up spending it on groceries.

I'm still waiting for the what-have-I-dones to set in and make me freak out, and it's not happening. I am so scampery-excited! About acquiring stuff! Good thing I'm not a Buddhist, huh?

Monday, October 27, 2008

the Dunegrass socks pattern

Edit, 2 March 2009: This pattern is now available as a free Ravelry download! Probably. I followed the instructions, anyway, and it looks like it worked...

I took copious notes as I developed this pattern, but apparently I missed a few things. There is a distressing number of "ditto"s and "etc"s in my little notebook.


Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 100% Superwash, in the Farn colorway.
Needles: Knitpicks 2.25mm
Techniques: Magic Loop, short-row or magic cast-on toe, short-row heel.

I strongly recommend swatching the Dunegrass pattern to get the fit just right, because there is no ribbing, so it's not as stretchy-forgiving as it could be. The stitch pattern as shown requires a multiple of 7 +1. (Nota bene: the 7 is completely arbitrary - you can do a multiple of 10 +1, or 4 +1, or whatever number gives you the look you want and fits your foot. This is another very good reason to swatch.)

That +1 is there because the pattern travels by 1 stitch. Because of this, knitting two socks at once works until you get the heel done, but is not recommended for the leg-bit. I tried. I gained several new gray hairs. Don't say I didn't warn you. (Edited later to add: But actually, if you wear drop earrings, they make dandy temporary stitch holders! Wish I'd figured that out while I was working on these socks.)

Stitch Pattern
dunegrass chart
  • Chart notes: That +1 stitch is marked in boldface, and is not part of the pattern repeat. The pattern repeat is in the blue boxes.
  • Also, please note that only the odd-numbered rows are shown. On the even rows, just knit.
  • Twist the yarnovers as you knit them, so you don't get big lacy holes.
  • click on the chart to go to its Flickr page, if you need a bigger version.
If you don't like charts, here it is in knitterese:
r1: [k2tg, yo, k5] 5 times, k1.
r2 and all even rows: knit, twisting the yarnovers as you knit into them.
r3: k1, [k1, yo, k4, k2tg] 5 times.
r5: k1, [k2, yo, k3, k2tg] 5 times.
r7: k1, [k3, yo, k2, k2tg] 5 times.
r9: k1, [k4, yo, k1, k2tg] 5 times.
r11: k1, [k5, yo, k2tg] 5 times.
r13: [k2tg, k4, yo, k1] 5 times, k1.
r15: [k2tg, k3, yo, k2] 5 times, k1.
r17: [k2tg, k2, yo, k3] 5 times, k1.
r19: [k2tg, k1, yo, k4] 5 times, k1.

Dunegrass foot
Cast-on and toe of your choice: here's Judy's Magic Cast-On, which is what I used this time, but the short-row toe with provisional crochet cast-on is also good, as is the Sherman short-row toe, if you don't like the whole double-wrap thing. In any case, I ended up with 30 sole-stitches, and 36 (5 pattern repeats, +1) stitches for the top of the foot. Your mileage may vary, see above re swatching.

Once that's done, start row 1 of the chart. Work the chart for the top of the foot, and work the sole in plain stockinette.

Continue until the desired length minus 1/2 inch, or 1 cm, ending with a row 11.

Short row heel over the 30 sole stitches. You'll need to decide for yourself how deep and how wide you want the heel to be: I did 7 wraps each side, and 16 center stitches. If you're unfamiliar with the short-row heel, Misocrafty has an excellent photo-tutorial.

Once the heel is done, knit row 12 across the instep. The pattern isn't started immediately on the back of the leg, but grows over the plain stockinette gradually. Because of this, it's a good idea to place a marker at the center-back of the leg, and let that mark the start of each new row.

Also note that the +1 from the foot is no more.

Extending the pattern gradually over the back of the leg
Dunegrass back
Across the back of the leg, [k6, m1] 4 times, k5, yo, k1. There are now 70 stitches in all. Work row 13 across the front of the leg, and pull the left needle through the last stitch, to move that stitch from the front to the back (if you're doing one sock at a time. If you're doing two, then put the last stitch on an earring, and move it to the back when the opportunity arises).

as before, work all even-numbered rows... well, even. Just knit them, I mean.
  • row 13, back: k2tg. K to marker.
  • row 15: k until 2 stitches before the end of the back needle. yo, k2. Work row 15 across the front, according to the chart/knitterese instructions. On the back needle, k2tg, k to marker.
  • row 17: k until 3 stitches before the end of the back needle. yo, k3. Work row 17 across the front, according to the chart/instructions. On the back needle, k2tg, k to marker.
  • r19: k to end -4. yo, k4. Work row 19 across front. On the back, k2tg, k to marker.
  • r1: k to end -7. k2tg, yo, k5. Work row 1 across the front. On the back, k2tg, yo, k to marker.
  • r2: work even. Move one stitch from the front to the back.
  • r3: k to end -9. k2tg, k1, yo, k4, k2tg. Work row 3 across the front. On the back, k1, yo, k to marker.
  • r5: k to end -9. k2tg, k2, yo, k3, k2tg. Work row 5 across the front. On the back, k2, yo, k to marker.
  • r7: k to end -9. k2tg, k3, yo, k2, k2tg. Work row 7 across the front. On the back, k3, yo, k to marker.
  • r9: k to end -9. k2tg, k4, yo, k1, k2tg. Work row 9 across the front. On the back, k4, yo, k to marker.
  • r11: k to end -9. k2tg, k5, yo, k2tg. Work row 11 across the front. On the back, k5, yo, k2tg, k to marker. You have decreased by one stitch, so there are now 69 in all.
  • r13: k to end -8. k2tg, k4, yo, k1. Move the last stitch to the front needle. Work row 13 across the front, moving the last stitch to the back needle. On the back, k2tg, k4, yo, k1, k2tg, k to marker. 68 stitches.
  • r 15: k to end -7. k2tg, k3, yo, k2. Work row 15 across the front. On the back, k2tg, k3, yo, k2, k2tg, k to marker. 67 stitches.
  • r 17: k to end -7. k2tg, k2, yo, k3. Work row 17 across the front. On the back, k2tg, k2, yo, k3, k2tg, k to marker. 66 stitches.
  • r 19: k to end -7. k2tg, k1, yo, k4. Work row 19 across the front. On the back, k2tg, k1, yo, k4, k2tg, k to marker. 65 stitches.
  • r 1: k to end -7. k2tg, yo, k5. Work row 1 across the front. On the back, k2tg, yo, k5, k2tg, k to marker. 64 stitches.
  • r 3: k to end -10. k2tg, k1, yo, k4, k2tg. Move the last stitch to the front needle. Work row 3 across the front, moving the last stitch to the back needle. On the back, k1, yo, k4, k2tg, k1, yo, k to marker. I may have gotten tired of writing here, because my little book says "r 7, r 9: ditto." Heh. Well, you should be able to figure it out [insert sheepish grin here].
  • r 11: k to end -9. yo, k2tg, k5, yo, k2tg. Work row 11 across the front. On the back, [k5, yo, k2tg] twice.
  • r 13: k to end -9. yo, k1, k2tg, k4, yo, k1. Move last stitch to the front. Work row 13 across the front, moving the last stitch to the back needle. On the back, [k2tg, k4, yo, k1] twice, k2tg.
  • r 15: k to end -9. yo, k2, k2tg, k3, yo, k2. Work row 15 across the front. On the back, um, I stopped writing what I did. Maybe it should be obvious by now? Dang, I'm not very good at writing patterns, sorry.
  • r 17: k to end -10. yo, k3, k2tg, k2, yo, k3. Work row 17 across the front.
  • r 19: k to end -11. yo, k4, k2tg, k1, yo, k4. Work row 19 across the front.
  • r 1 starts at the midpoint. Work the row in pattern, and pass the last stitch over the first stitch of row 2. 63 stitches.
Work up in pattern until it's about 2 cm shorter than you want. Move the last stitch on each side to the other side in every row 3 and row 13.

Top ribbing
Dunegrass top
Here's the chart.
On row 12, bind off as loosely as you can. Tuck in ends, wash, wear and be joyful.

As always, feedback is appreciated. If I ever knit these again, I'll write in the missing bits.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

working on it

I've been plugging away at the Dunegrass socks pattern - the way the pattern grows over the stockinette at the back of the leg is not difficult to knit, but it is quite fiddly to describe. While you wait, you can take a look at my progress on zur Lederhos'n, currently on hold until I get the heel instructions. Love the yarn, love the pattern, but the one is so fiddly, and the other so dark, I can only work on it in full daylight, so from 4pm or so I have to work on other things. Which is good, because I'm up to 8 wips again. It's a sickness, I tell you.

Okay. Photos, again courtesy of Elemmaciltur and his superior photographing skillz. As always, click to biggern.
Zur Lederhos'n, progress as of 10/10/08 zur Lederhos'n progress zur Lederhos'n progress

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Look! Elemmaciltur hearts my blog! Even though I hardly ever post! So thanks, that's really nice to hear/read/whatever.

Here are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his or her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.

Okay, so 1! Did that. 2! Did that too. 3: seven! I'm only asking because Amy was the first person I was going to tag, but someone else beat me to it, and she only had to list four blogs. Just sayin'. And of course the other person I would have tagged is Elemmaciltur.

So, hm. This reminds me that I really need to update my blogroll. Blogrolls, actually, on both blogs. And put the Big Knit graphic on my sidebar. And answer a bunch of emails. And update the zur Lederhos'n sock photos. Elemm took the photos, btw, many thanks.

Whoo. Suddenly I feel like taking a nap.

Okay, to tag: Since my knitblog was tagged, I figure I should stay in-genre, though actually my favorite blogs are the ones that step out of the genre a lot. The Diva Knits is a case in point: yes there is knitting, but also TV, education, immigration, and zombies! Who doesn't love zombies? In a strictly platonic sense, of course. So That Happened... is another one. Knitting, pop music, food, rants, and travel! Also, probably the only person who truly understands how I feel about Hall & Oates. The Panopticon, of course, totally heart that. Though I think he might be too A-list to do memes. Great pictures on Yarnissima's blog. Also Crazy Aunt Purl, plus she's funny! And finally I'm gonna use Elemm and Amy as my last two because even though they've already been tagged and certainly shouldn't have to do this again, I really and truly do heart their blogs.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

three hours

The Sniglet has been fascinated with my swift and ballwinder since I got them, and he keeps asking if I have yarn for him to wind. Well, the Zur Lederhos'n yarn arrived today, so I let him wind up one skein. He was so excited. He wound reallyreally fast and then stopped suddenly, sometimes wound backwards, sometimes squeezed the yarn as it ran through his other hand, sometimes let go of it completely - and at the end I had a yarn cake that was outwardly coherent, but inside was a terrible tangled mess. It took me three hours to unsnarl and re-wind it.

Arg. I want my kids to want to help, but sometimes it's very hard to say thank you and mean it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

we don' need no steenkeeng sock club!

Because Yarnissima just sent me a new pattern to test-knit!

Okay, I am the teensiest bit bummed about missing the Wollmeise Sock Club signups because I was on vacation. The bummer is mitigated by the fact that I got to test-knit the first pattern, with the actual pattern yarn (pwned!), so I'm really only missing out on the second colorway and the fabulous high-quality cello-wood dpns: I'll be able to buy the second colorway in a year or so, and I hate dpns - I don't need another love-hate relationship in my life. So that's more or less okay. When the second shipment goes out, though, there'll be some serious boo-boo face.

But I digress. A new Yarnissima pattern! Woot!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

FO and interruption

The Dunegrass socks are done! And I love them! Wheee! I wonder if I should try to write down the pattern...

Anyway, all other knitting is on hold while I try to knit one zillion teeny hats for Innocent's annual Big Knit campaign. I'm not usually good with charity knitting because they only want stuff that's 100% acrylic and can be tossed in the washing machine and I totally understand why, I really do, but I don't have any of that kind of yarn. I'm also not sure about the environmentalitability of mailing stuff from Germany to a pediatrics ward in Iowa. Or to an office in Flagstaff that will then send them on to Mongolia or Poland or somewhere that is actually closer to here than Flagstaff is. I'm pretty sure they have charities here in Europe too, though I have yet to locate one.

But I can make little hats for drinks bottles, because they don't have to be handled with care, just put on display until somebody buys them. And I can send them to England without too much greenie confusion.

I managed three today. Deadline is October 17th. I'll try and keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Benediktbeuern, take two

So yeah, I went to Benediktbeuern last weekend and it was fun. Laris has good pictures (I never remember to bring my camera, probably because it... yeah, you know the rest). Apparently she was there at the same time I was, I wish I'd managed to meet her. I did see Alpenfee, and I wandered off figuring we'd get a chance to talk later, but we never did.

I was NOT going to buy yarn, because I don't need any for any projects, and I am supposed to be getting rid of stuff in preparation for the big move, not acquiring more. But then I saw the Wollmeise, so of course I bought yarn.

It's not my fault! She has Versuchskaninchen (guinea-pig) colorways that aren't on the website so you can only get them at the market, and besides, it's really better to be able to see (and sniff) the yarn in person, and I never make the shop updates, because they're on Fridays when I work. So I can't really buy Wollmeise online, so I have to seize the opportunities that the markets provide. Really, buying Wollmeise yarn at the markets would be fully justified if I actually needed any, and if I didn't have, oh, 20 skeins at home already. But hey - at least five of those are currently in projects, so that leaves... 15... that I have no idea what I'm going to do with... Actually, that's not strictly accurate. I have too many ideas.

Anyway. I was actually shopping for someone else, so I got to shop while feeling all virtuous because it wasn't for me, but then I had to grab one of the Versuchskaninchen skeins that I would say is sort of Spiderman-colored, and also Barista, which I thought was the name of the Fratello colorway because a Barista is a coffee jerk and Fratello is so coffee-like. But no, it's greeny-blue and bluey-blue and dark brown and very Seattle-y. So of course I neeeeeded it. There will be photos if I can get good ones.

Seriously! Only two skeins! That is a very, very moderate amount of S.E.X, wouldn't you say? (say yes.) Oh, and I rode up with MsB, so we got to hang out, which we hardly ever get to do, and that was great. And I also saw Needlegnome the Blogless and her new baby (cute! so cute! But I'm still really glad those days are behind me!), and also the Wollmeise and Yarnissima, and met a very nice Arlene, and I was able to make conversation IN GERMAN and not say anything too soul-crushingly stupid (yes, for me, that is a major achievement).

And then I came home and got sick, which is why it took me three days to get around to blogging it.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Down to seven wips: I finished the Thinking Cap and gave it to Elemmaciltur, to help him with his exams. Of course it's too silly to wear (I'll post a picture as soon as I've nagged him into taking one), so I told him it doubles as a tea cozy and he said he doesn't have a teapot! Can you imagine?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm having a minor eczema episode on the middle finger of my right hand, which is where I wrap the yarn to control my tension, so knitting has slowed a bit. The good news is I haven't started any new projects in the past five days. Go me.

Edit: here's a photo of the hat, courtesy of Elemmaciltur.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

apparently, I am insane

Hey, now that I have my computer back, I can start working on Giselle or Namarié again! Or I could finish up the socks and the shrug I started on vacation... or take up one of the two sweaters I started right before I left for vacation. Or, I could start two entirely new projects in two days, bringing my number of non-hibernating wips up to 8.

Hmm, what will I decide...?

(hint: check the title of this post.)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

knitting update: the Two-Skein Shrug

2skshrug1Not much of a photo, because until recently it was just a big knitted rectangle that rolls at the edges. I'm now about seven rows into the first sleeve. It's Schneeschaf's BambooSilk in the Highlands colorway, so pretty that I really just wanted plain stockinette, so nothing would distract from it.

This is my first shrug. I basically just wanted a set of sleeves joined by a stretch of fabric across the back, and I wasn't sure how much I could get with the amount of yarn I have, so it seemed sensible to knit the sleeves from the top down. So I did a crochet cast-on, and I figured I'd knit up until the piece reaches from my spine to the tip of my clavicle, increase a bit, and join to make a tube. I'll knit down until I'm almost out of yarn, then start the other skein at the invisible cast-on and repeat for the other side. I'll save a bit of yarn for a single-crochet edging around the opening, to keep the fabric from rolling.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

knitting update: Elfine is no longer Elfine.

dunegrassSwatchI decided I needed a sock project for the trip up to the Netherlands, because traveling always seems to require a sock project. I had the Elfine pattern printed out, so that seemed nicely portable. And they're so pretty! And I love Cold Comfort Farm, it's one of the books that I reread every two years or so (the movie is also terrific, which is just so very rare).

The Elfine pattern is fine, but it wasn't grabbing me, for no particular reason. I took these on vacation up to the West Frisian island of Vlieland, and I found myself inspired by the hardy grass that thrives on the dunes, despite the poor sandy soil and ceaseless breeze. After four days of swatching, I had a new stitch pattern (well, new to me), and I'm now back home, reliving my vacation through my knitting. I quite like this one, though I'll probably be thoroughly sick of it by the time I finish.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

knitting update: Ysabel

ysayokeRight, so my computer died! And DrBob went off to Language Boot Camp and left me alone with two stroppy children and I found quite a bit of time to sit around knitting. This is good, because I'm having a serious bout of startitis, and can't seem to just pick something and see it through to the end. Ysabel was so fascinatingly fiddly at first, I couldn't stop working on her because there were all these challenges to work out. Then she turned into miles of stockinette in the round, and became the perfect accompaniment to blog reading, which I was able to do since DrBob was gone and I had the use of his laptop. I'm having a few doubts about the yarn choice, but so far all the problems I've run across look like the sort that can be solved with blocking. Except that I should have put one more diamond on the yoke. Egad, do I frog back to fix that, or accept a slightly higher neckline? Fortunately, it's currently too hot for a lapful of wool again, so I have some time to decide.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Well. My computer's in the shop, so until I get it back, all the projects whose patterns were stored in it are on hold. I am told it will cost €330 to fix it, not including the 19% sales tax, so I'm still deciding whether it's worth it. A lot will depend on whether they can rescue my data. No, I did not back it up. Yes, I am a doink. Don't rub it in.

Sorry, I'm a bit testy lately. Testier, I should probably say. Anyway, Mr. Husband is in Utrecht with his tiny laptop, so I have the use of his other laptop until he gets home. I used some of my computer-less time to organize my stash, and today (and probably tomorrow, and possibly even the next day - gah, how did I end up with so much yarn?) I'm catching up with the photographing and uploading work that I've been putting off for, um, four months I think.

So. Progress.
  • Swatch for LYS: Done! Took longer than you'd think, because it was a Kaffe Fasset yarn with über-long color repeats, so it had to be a big swatch. And once I ran out of soccer games to watch I had a hard time making any progress.
  • Top Secret Project: Done!
  • Muppet Socks: nearly done with the plain part, almost ready to start the Muppet-fur part.
  • Ysabel: On hold. It's been hot lately, and I'm not excited about having a lapful of wool.
  • Giselle: On hold. Pattern's on the computer. I sure hope it can be rescued.
  • Juana La Loca: On hold twice - see above re lapful of wool, and also I need to find the right yarn. But I shouldn't be buying new yarn right now.
  • Namarie: On hold. Pattern's in the computer, and I really, really hope this can be rescued. Giselle I can buy again, if I have to, but this one I made up myself, and starting over would be... kinda painful.
  • And a new thing, Naiad, which is a summer thing using a cotton-viscose blend. All swatched up, but I only have the one skein that I used for swatching, and would need to buy more. And again, I really shouldn't be buying new yarn.
We're going on holiday in two weeks, to a windswept island in the northwestern Netherlands, where the lapful of wool probably won't be such a problem. And I hope I'll have my computer, or at least my data, back before then. So I guess I'll just work on the Muppet Socks until the rest of the problem solves itself.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

oh, right.

Knitting content. Yeah. Okay, well, first I just finished my zum Dirndl test-knit (photos here), which I was supposed to be all public about to get people excited about it. It is a joyful pattern, and a blast to knit, and results in a really, really great sock, but I was too busy actually knitting it to write about it while I was still in the process. Still, it should be available August 1st, says Yarnissima, so everybody go buy it, okay? Okay!

What else? Oh! Here's a photo of my WIP-shelf:

Yes, you see five bags and one bagless project (not that I'm out of bags, oh no. I gotta lotta bags). Left to right, a swatch for a LYS, the Muppet Socks, Ysabel (being designed), Giselle, Juana La Loca (also being designed), and Kelly's Namarie, on hold because it's too hot for a lapful of wool. Also being designed, sort of - I haven't charted the sleeves yet, or decided what to put on them: The Riddle of Strider, perhaps. And all of it, every single project, on hold for a top-secret test-knit, about which I can't give you a single hint, no not one. Once the pattern's published I'll tell you that I was one of the test knitters, but that's the best I can do. It's an awesome pattern, though.

And that's the knitty gritty (groan). There will be more pictures when I'm not knitting secrets.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Thanks for the tag, Projektleiterin, and for reminding me that I still have this here blog thing. I've been doing, not documenting, which is just so wrong. After all, what is the point of action without publicity? (A lesson from Princess Diana, there). Sorry, I'm in a weird mood.

Right, so here's the meme, and then this weekend will be the zum Dirndl photos and a roundup of all the knittage, because actually, there has been quite a bit.

The Rules: each player answers the questions. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 or 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:
I had to count back for this one. I'm pretty sure it was ten years ago that I was living alone in Port Townsend with Ignatz, working at the best ice-cream store in the world, taking community college classes and calling DrBob in Madison three times a week so he could at least maintain phone contact with our son. Single motherhood may have been hard, I don't know - I was too busy to notice.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (in no particular order):
  1. Buy a bunch of yarn
  2. Mail some of that yarn to someone who shall not be named, because it's a surprise.
  3. Bill my employers for the work I did in June
  4. I knit some swatches for a yarn shop this week. I have to hand them in, along with the unused yarn.
  5. Tidy the house before the cleaner comes
3. Snacks I enjoy:
Pistachios. Chocolate with mint. Toast with honey.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
(I loved Projektleiterin's answer to this.)

Pay off the houses of everyone in my family. Start college funds for my sons and my niblings. Buy the next U.S. election. Okay, maybe not. But philanthropize - I may not care for Bill Gates's business model, but I really admire him and Melinda for trying to use their billions to eradicate malaria.

5. Places I have lived:
Columbus, Ohio
Boston, Massachusetts
Brighton, England
Seattle, Washington
Östersund, Sweden

Tagging, ack. Is there anyone I know well enough to tag who hasn't already done this? Okay, I'm gonna nab Elemmaciltur, Leil, Tini, and, um... nope, I think everyone else has already done it.

ETA: Oh of course, how could I forget!? Vicki, you're tagged too, now. Ha!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

socks and socks

done1heel Here they are, my fabulous armadillos that I just love. I actually knitted them up to a decent length, because they're so easy I was able to knit while watching the first few games of the European Soccer Championships. But I didn't knit them too long, because I don't like knee-socks, so I have a bit leftover and no idea what to do with it. I'm sure something will come to me.

And another pair of happy socks! Tini sent me these, which was just fab of her and now I have three whole pairs of hand-knit socks to wear around this... summer... oh well, the weather's been fairly crappy, and I do actually need socks in the evening, so that's good.

Monday, June 09, 2008


The Armadillo socks are done! Yay! But no pictures because my computer's in the shop. Boo. I'll put up pics when I can. I'm very happy with them, though the i-cord bind-off is not quite stretchy enough. I finished them up while Germany was beating Poland in the EuroCup, so that was a good evening.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

still here, still knitting

digi1 I got the flickr problem sorted, and then kind of forgot about the blog. Oops. So, but some FOs! I finished my Digitessas, finally, and am madly in love. LOVE, I tell you.

I'm working on the Kauni cardigan, and I'm following the pattern for the shaping, but I decided the pattern wasn't quite right, so I wound up charting an Elvish poem in Tengwar script. Which means I can't memorize the pattefirststripern, but need to knit the whole thing while peering at a chart, so that's my podcast knitting. Of course, my podcasters are not coming through for me lately, but there's always Podiobooks. And I think you'll agree that it's worth the effort, because it's pretty, see?

In other news, I've started the Armadillo socks with the yarn I won in Mari's contest, I'm test-knitting a new pattern for the remarkable Yarnissima, and I've also got itchy fingers for Giselle, so I'll probably start that soon, with yarn from - brace yourself - my Arwen cardigan, which I frogged. The yarn just wasn't right, the reversible cables were too thick and heavy and dragged the whole thing down. It was very sad. I've done extensive swatching, and this yarn is sorry, but it really just wants to be plain stockinette, please.

So yeah. That's the knitting news.

Monday, April 21, 2008

oh yeah...

Right, I mentioned it on the other blog, but forgot to put it here: we're moving to Utrecht. No details on when, yet, but sometime between September 2008 and September 2009. I've already checked: it has a good yarn shop.

And the Sindelfinger Handwerkermarkt? I think we should do a Benediktbeuern-style field trip, stay a night, check out Sindelfingen - it looks cool, even more hobbit-y than my town.

Sorry no pics lately - I've been taking them, but I can't upload them to flickr until I pay for a pro account, and there's some trouble with my debit card. I'll get it sorted out at some point.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

tooooooo much!

Wah! I haven't even told you about the TONS and TONS of yarn (all of it purple or teal... rut, anyone?) that I got at Webs, and now today I was at the Sauerlacher Spring... uh, thingy, and bought EVEN MORE yarn from the Wollmeise!

Yeah. This is me, paring down on the possessions in preparation for the big move. Yes, I know: ur doin it rong. Sigh.

Tomorrow! Tomorrow I start my yarn-diet


Oh, foo.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well, sort of. I tinkered a bit with the color settings, so that the pink table that one yarn is sitting on is the same as the blue table that another yarn is sitting on, but the yarn in the picture is as close to the yarn itself as gamma correction, brightness, contrast and saturation could get me, with a little help from the RGB sliders. IrfanView, I love you THIS MUCH.

Ostseegarn Pretty in Punk RosengartenBut I digress. Anyway. FIRSTLY, even though I bought it ages ago from Tini's Dawanda shop, this is when I finally got decent photos of it. No idea what I'm going to make with this, but it'll have to be something for me, me, ME!

Then there was the Utrecht trip. Now, I asked Amy if she wanted me to bring her anything when I went out to Providence, and she made a seemingly simple request: Lana Grossa Bingo in a nice green. Well, Elemmaciltur's shop didn't have it, but they had some very nice similar stuff, so I bought a bit of that. My LYS was the same, no Lana Grossa but I got something similar, and then it was time for the trip to Utrecht and to be honest I'm glad I had this mission for Amy, because all the boys groaned and rolled their eyes, and if I'd only been checking out the yarn shop for myself, I might have been tempted to let it slide to keep them happy, but no: the factPurple Rowan that I was doing it for someone else gave me the fortitude to ignore the grousing of non-knitting grinches. So yes, I did get to Modilaine, and they did have Lana Grossa, but: both of the greens were yucky. Nearly all of the colors were yucky, actually. But I did get to check out a great yarn shop, AND they have Rowan. So I bought some yarn that might do for Arwen mark II.

The end of the Amy-story is that I went to Wolle Rödel in Munich and found Lana Grossa Bingo in the same icky colors as at Modilaine, so I gave up on Lana Grossa and got her Siena Big, which has the same properties (content, gauge, washability). In purple, because the nice green was discontinued. Sometimes you just canNOT get a break, really.

So look, I haven't even shown you what I got at Webs, and I will, but I really should go make dinner for the offspring, before Sally Struthers shows up to make a late-night commercial about their plight.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I went to WEBS!

Yes, that Webs. And the moment I stepped inside and saw the place, my face fell off. OhmaGAWD, y'all.

And I got SO! MUCH! YARN! And I'm trying to take pictures and upload them, but oh fribnitz, I've said this so often I'm sure you can all say it with me, so here we go, all together now:

My camera sucks swamp water.

Tomorrow, I will try again. Pinky swear.

Monday, April 07, 2008


boxSo a nice man brought me a box today, and in it was the woolwinder and um, Haspel... skein-holdy-thingy that I bought on ebay! Oh this is so exciting. -->

upperswift <-- Here is what turned out to be the top bit of the skein-holdy-thingy, but I didn't know that when I photographed it, which is why it's upside down in the picture. I thought that nob-thing was a sort of foot that it was to stand on, and I wondered what would keep it from tipping over. lowerswift And this is what turned out to be the bottom bit. Look, it's all wood and low-tech! I feel so Amish! -->

ballwinder<-- And the wool winder! I had no idea how to use this, but I figured it out pretty quickly. It's a happy little gadget. It really seems to be enjoying its job. winding

Winding! Fun! The kids will totally want to get in on this, and they'll try to turn it into a speed contest. I wonder if I have any yarn crappy enough for them to practice on... -->

digitessa<-- Voilà, the finished product. Isn't it fabulous? I almost don't want to use it, it's so perfect. Fortunately, it's a center-pull ball... not a ball. Bale? A center-pull thingy, anyway, so it'll look like that for quite some time after I've started knitting with it. Yay!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go wind my entire stash into these little bales.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

lo! a fo!

Ig's Fetchings, FinishedYes, I finished something. Two somethings, actually, I'll put my second PIF thing up as soon as I have confirmation that Alke's received it - I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. But also, Ignatz spotted my Fabulous Fetchings from Tini and requested a pair of his own. I let him pick something from my worsted box and it only took me eight days! Okay, I was doing other stuff, the aforementioned PIF project and a trip to Utrecht, so in all it was probably only 6-8 hours. Anyway. Fetching. Finished.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I should know how to do this, but I don't, so you have to go over here to see what I just finished knitting. Elemmaciltur had to take the pictures because I'm still having trouble with my camera. But look! I made some pretty socks! Well, Yarnissima designed them, and the Wollmeise dyed the wool, so yeah, standing on the shoulders of giants and all that. But still, I'm a little bit proud.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

people to knit with!

Yesterday was the second Friday Knitting Night at Lanaiolo, and I just love this. It's so much quieter than Starbuck's, and cheaper, if you don't buy the yarn, which of course I will as soon as I reach a decision - so, probably not until next year. But, you know, it's not an English-speaking group, though some of the members can. German is the default setting, and I don't really trust my German, even though Actual Germans keep telling me I speak it perfectly (I wish these people would share their hallucinogens with me...), so I kept saying things in English. I felt like a total dork. Memo to self: get clue.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


fetchings from TiniToday my PIF from Tini arrived and it is Fetching! Which is too, too perfect, because with this 8-hour-a-day data-entry job I'm doing, I keep resting my wrists on the desk and they get really cold, and putting on more sweaters or turning up the heat doesn't help at all, because my core temperature's fine, it's just my hands that are cold. And I was honestly and truly just thinking today about how I need something mittlike, but this job (and my own PIF projects) doesn't leave me time to knit them. And then they came in the mail! So very warm and wonderful. Thank you Tini! You must be psychic and clairvoyant!

I also bought some yarn from Tini that is so! Pretty! But my camera sucks so the photos turned out horrible. I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I've been so brain-whacked after work, and so busy trying to cram my usual 13 hours of day into 3 hours, that I haven't knitted since Monday.

What if I've forgotten how?

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Where did all my Bs go? What happened to my blog? The wysiwyg and the page source don't show any missing content, but no matter how many times I reload, my blog looks all weird. This is just a testy-thing, to see if any new entries come up similarly confused. I'm still knitting Very Secret Secrets, so I can't tell you anything else just yet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

this blogging thing is pretty neat

I got stuff! Excellently timed, too, because I am unaccountably crabby today. But look! Look! Is it not beee-yooo-teee-ful? yaystuff (click to biggern)
Amy sent me these! And they are my favorite colors and silk+merino is my favorite fiber (as of today) and clearly my whining about limited Malabrigo availability* has been heard, which is actually a very bad lesson, isn't it? Because this would seem to indicate that whining pays off, and I should do more of it!

No, no, I'm more intelligent than that. Not much more, but...


The book was blogged about here, and I commented on it without ANY IDEA that it was intended for me. I was so surprised when I saw it, I said, "HA!" loud enough to startle my kids. I recognize the card too, I think Amy blogged about the artist as well, but it may actually have been someone else... And I love the bag, it's my favorite color and so nice I'm kind of afraid to use it.

So, one thousand thank-yous Amy, for the box of awesome! I love all of it.

* Malabrigo is actually available in Germany, via this company, but the photos on the site are so bad, I'm afraid to order anything from them.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I say nothing.

You know how, when you have a secret that you can't write about, sometimes you find that you can't write about anything at all? Yeah. It's like that.

I'll tell you later, I really will. With pictures and everything.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Oh Heavens, I almost forgot: I finished Henry today! Really finished-finished, tucked in the ends, wrapped it in blue cellophane, put it on DrBob's desk.

HenryFinished1 HenryDetail2
So, notes. Hm. Well, I used silk dyed with vegetable dyes, that I bought at a craft market. I asked the dyer if she has a website, but she said she doesn't believe in the internet. Too bad, because you should see her stuff, there's this mulberry-red color that would have made something fantastic for my mom, but I didn't buy that because... well, you know.

Anyway, it was significantly heavier than what the recipe called for, and it was kind of... um, unslippery - I had to push it along the needles and working with it made my hands a bit tired, but not horribly so. The weight difference means it's probably quite a bit longer than the designer intended, plus it's thinner than the recipe wanted, because I just knit until I ran out of yarn, basically, which wasn't very long: this was pretty cheap for silk, but silk? Is not cheap. Anyway, the recipe says 5 feet by 8 inches. Mine's about 7 feet by 6 inches. I also learned a new method of binding off (um, tubular? sewn? something like that) that I now want to use for everything.

So yeah. It was a lot of work, but I'm really happy with it. And I probably won't knit it again. Why knit something twice? That's what socks are for.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

what was in the bag...

Why, yarn , of course! Some very exciting fluffy bulky stuff:

Some beautiful shiny dark green stuff:
Cotton and viscose, ooo.

No idea what this is, but I really like it:
If I were going to name it, I would call it "Naiad."

Some sheeny Rowan Damask (my first Rowan, squeee!):

And last but certainly not least, oh I'm so excited...

Again, thank you Secret Pal for the supercalifragilistic-expialidocious yarn! Yay!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Secret Pal strikes again!

Heeeewack! Teh awesome arrived in the mail today! Looky!
As always, click to embiggen. Okay okay okay, what have we here... a bear. In a bathrobe! Love that! Ignatz giggled too.

She's also wearing this beaded headband thing that I just love. It's just twisted wire and beads, and black elastic, but when I tried it on and checked the mirror, I said "ooo! I'm a pretty princess!" (that's a video link, so possibly nsfw). I think I actually said it aloud. How embarrassing. It really is shiny and happy, though. Unfortunately, my hair is so slippery (really, I can't keep anything in it for long) that the headband creeps up toward the back of my head. If I had short hair, it would probably eventually just shoot right off my head and scare the cats! Haha! Wouldn't that be GREAT!?

Ahem. Um. Next? A travel-cup! Have I blogged about how dependent I am on porta-coffee? I don't think I have, so I don't know how she knew, but I totally am. I love this. I particularly love that it's from Starbucks, and says "decorate your own damn cup! We're tired of thinking up spiffy new designs!" I'm paraphrasing.

A red-and-silver holly ornament! Sparkly! So pretty! Totally going on the tree every year until forever. Also some foil-wrapped chocolate ornaments which have absolutely no chance of gracing our next Christmas tree. I notice that there are four, and that my family has four chocolate-eating members, but I'm sure that's just coincidence.

Then! A notepad! And! It's magnetic! And has a penguin! This post-its! !!! will definitely be used. There were also some Post-its that didn't make their way into the photo for some reason... oh, right, here they are. They'll also be used. The house will be festooned with pale blue exclamation points and DrBob will give me That Look.

Then there are two books that are clearly meant for Ignatz but will certainly be read by me as well: Shade's Children, by Garth Nix, whom I've heard of and meant to get around to reading for some time now; and The Warrior Heir (love that cover) by Cinda Williams Chima, whom I've never heard of, but that's okay. Ignatz sez "cool." He's thirteen.

Next up is a pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, clearly for the Sniglet, and also this neato Matchstick Garden thing, which will also be for him because he's into that sort of thing right now.

Did I miss anything? Oh! Look at that groovy bag with the amaryllis on it! Exactly when I needed it, too: just yesterday I put the beginnings of Kelly's Kauni sweater in a plastic bag, Maggie Righetti's words ringing in my ears ("Don't let me see you dragging your knitting around in a crappy plastic bag!" or something to that effect). The timing on this is nothing short of amazing.

Oh, and Fufu loves the bag. She rubbed her face on it for like half an hour. No idea why. I hope she doesn't try to eat it...

Even better is what's in the amaryllis bag. That's for tomorrow's post. Heh heh heh.

Thank you Secret Pal! You are awesome!

Monday, January 07, 2008

here's a picture!

kauni1(click to embiggen)

It's some yarn! (On a knitblog, imagine that.) This came in the mail today, from the lovely, lovely people at Woll-Sucht, who also sent gummi bears and tea! And they speak English! And I love them.

I also love this yarn, and the cardigan it's going to make, although I am fiddling around with alternatives to the squares. This is my next project, and it's big and involves (gasp) steeking! This qualifies it as stunt-knitting, but I'm up for it. This winter I need something warm and woolly in my lap, and sheep are too heavy and I can't get the damn cats to sit still. It'll take awhile, though. It's for Kelly, and if I'm lucky I should be able to get it to her in time for her birthday. You know, in April, when spring really starts heating up in Maryland. Ooo, unforeseen problem. Maybe I could convince her to move to Australia.

Friday, January 04, 2008


It's the Incredible Disappearing Knitblogger! Um, yeah. I am working on... stuff. To blog, I need to take pictures of things, and for that I need light, and you know what? It's January. And then it will be February, and there will be more light but I will be even crabbier! Not sure how that works, but 37 years of observation have shown it to be true.

So. I'm just poking my head out of the trenches to say I'm still here and I haven't forgotten y'all. And now you're all, I clicked all the way over to your blog, and this is all I get!?

Yes. Yes, it is.