Yeah yeah… Monday, Nov 28 2005 

So I ‘ve been kind of lax about updating. Incidently, ‘laxity’ was on the GRE test that I took on Monday. The GRE was pretty much occupying all my knitting/blogging time, but I kicked it’s ass, so it was worth putting the needles down for a bit to study. I am even more concerned than I was about the validity of standardized tests–the math score I got was just way to good =)

Someone else was being a brainiac! After much begging, Eric allowed me to teach him the knit stitch! I didn’t make a big deal about it at first, I just kind of slid the needles into his hands. The dang Boy Scout was a natural. Cut to the next day. I’m late for work, I rush out the door with a slam. He figures “she’s mad!” and shows up 9 hours later to pick me up, wearing an odd expression. His arms jut towards me and he reveals…

A TEENY SWATCH! He thought it might diminish my possible anger (which didn’t exist). I’m stunned. It looks great! It’s Berroco Pleasure on Crystalite needles, btw (Pleasure is 66% angora, get some before Webs is all out, it’s HEAVENLY). I note his even tension, and point out that his stitches are slightly twisted, not a problem I assure him. After the intial thrill wore off, I noticed something. This is stockinette–and I never taught him to purl! I immediately suspected foulplay, and gave him the hairy eye to see if he took it to the knitting store in Amherst, or maybe some random crafter. It’d be a good joke. He swore up and down that he didn’t, so I sat him down and said “show me what you’re doing”. He slowly knit a row (cutely dropping the yarn between each stitch, and using exaggerated torque to move the needles) and when he got to the end of it, he proceeded to KNIT BACKWARDS.

This is something I haven’t yet bothered to learn. The boy (who is an engineer, so maybe this shouldn’t surprise me) taught himself to do this. He said that when he picked it up again, he turned the work and the first row looked “wrong”. Of course, he was seeing garter stitch, which he percieved as a mistake. So he deduced that he shouldn’t be flipping the work, and just improvised a way to knit backwards. All together now, ‘AWWWWW’!

In other news, I have increased my stash a bit. Besides random skeins of soft and pretty yarns that usually find their way home with me, I’ve purchased supplies for projects that I really shouldn’t touch until 2006.

Rowan 4Ply in Rumtoft (a deep brown that doesn’t photograph well) and lots of ginger colored beads to match the orange and red tweed flecks for Joy from Vintage Style:

A discontinued color of Noro for a Butterfly. It was on SALE at Webs (6.00 a skein, and note the past tense, it’s back to normal price now) and I traded some old stash to get it. I am sort of ashamed about my Noro addiction, but only sort of. This color (#115) has a bit of everything in it (without being horrid) and is perfect since I can never pick a favorite color.

Still not done with the Weasel =/ I’m not a total Fred or Fleur fan now, I just haven’t finished my R.

Second to lastly, I have a secret, but it’s no where near as good as Cari’s!

Lastly, I’ve been enchanted by Rosa Pomar, please check out her site. She dresses her toddler in Noro, what’s not to love!?!



My favorite Scorpio. Tuesday, Nov 22 2005 

Happy Birthday David Bays!

A few years ago David and I would hang out until the wee small hours, and he would walk me back to my dormitory in brisk darkness. He never looked warm enough, and I would worry, which he always tells me I shouldn’t. One day I told him to wait while I ran up to my room on the 7th floor to fetch him a hat. I tried to throw it down from a balcony in a Juliet-esque manner, but the thing landed on another balcony on the way down! It was a cheap grey Wal-Mart hat that I wore for rowing, but it would’ve kept his brain warm on the walk home.

It is a hilarious memory, but this year I’ve knit him a replacement. It’s a Seaman’s Cap, which probably would make Dave giggle, and it’s made out of Karabella Aurora 8. What a perfect man yarn! Super-soft and washable too, and this color doesn’t offend. I should mention that Dave requested an ‘detachable optional pom-pom, in case I’m feeling pompous’. Hilarious, kind and now well-hatted, David is tops with me.


Sigh! Friday, Nov 18 2005 

Just got back from Ipswich. Went to visit mon ami Bonnie to see Harry Potter 4! I loved it, I thought it excluded some of the most cumbersome parts of the book (Rita Skeeter in particular) and it was very hilarious. Everyone is looking so grown up, Bonnie and I kept muttering ‘hubba hubba’ and cracking up.

Sadly, did NOT finish my Weasley, but I have a really good story!After my first botched intarsia attempt, I settled on top-down with a little duplicate stitch. I probably won’t finish by tomorrow, because I was totally playing with my new drop spindle! Look at my teensy hairball! It’s so overspun in some areas and basically still roving in others, but it’s SO cool to do.

Anyhow, I knit during the movie and I’m really close to being done now. I had planned tiny cap sleeves because of my dearth of yarn. It’s a discontinued color, and I bought it over a year ago in Amherst. Bonnie and I drive by this tiny shop called Loom and Shuttle (oddly, they didn’t sell any weaving supplies) and what do I find hanging out in a sale basket? ONE BALL OF MY WEASLEY YARN, in the same dyelot no less! Can you believe that!? I think I’ll be able to squeeze out 3/4 length sleeves now.

I started these for Eric, they have fingertip-less gloves under that mitten flap, and I have to redo the thumb, it was much too large. The yarn is Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky and the pattern is from the new Lopi book.

AmyLovie tagged me!

What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?

I love Noro Kureyon. It feels homespun and the colors are absolutely mesmerizing. I don’t find it scratchy, and the color changes mark your progress, which is great motivation. Plus, it’s from Japan! It makes you sing “It’s a Small World After All” while you knit. I love most Noro yarns.

Your favorite needles?
Addi Turbos for almost everything, but I like my Susan Bates Crystallites too. They’re fun, light and have a very pointed tip. And a Denise kit is a very handy thing to have around.

The worst thing you ever knit?
I haven’t enjoyed the beastly big knits for work. They’re supposed to be simple so that even inexperienced customers will be compelled to knit them. That means they’re usually not challenging. And knitting under a deadline isn’t very fun, I’m not good with deadlines =/

Your most favorite knit pattern (maybe you don’t like wearing it, but it was the most fun to knit)?

Stefanie Japel’s Minisweater really showed me what could done from the top-down. From there I was drawn to classic top-down gurus Zimmermann and Walker and now that I’m starting to design, it’s the design vocabulary I use most. Oh, and I used all the green yarn I own and it looks like a dino. I like dinos.

Most valuable knitting technique?

Confidence and sense of humor. When I’m helping beginners they often say “I’m so dumb!” or “I am doing it wrong”. I tell them that as long as it doesn’t unravel, it’s okay! Sure, there are correct ways to do things, but if you would be happier improvising a method for doing something, I say go for it. Knitting shouldn’t confine creativity, it should set it loose.

Best knitting book or magazine?
Amy said: “I’m a big fan of free patterns a la Knitty, Spun, MagKnits, and the new Anti-Craft” and I agree. It’s exciting to support emerging designers. I am a huge fan of as well. I love the aesthetic of Interweave and I used to love Rebecca when it was ‘auf Deutsch’. As for books, I think Maggie Righetti is hysterical and invaluable. And of course I love EZ.

Your favorite knit-a-long?
None yet really, I do lurk on a few though. It’s nice to have a little peer pressure, and show and tell is always fun. But again, not good with deadlines!

Your favorite knitwear designer?
Stefanie Japel, many of the Rowan designers (Louisa Harding, Kim Hargreaves, etc.), Teva Durham and a lot of the Craftsters! And Elizabeth Zimmermann, who a knitting philosopher in my opinion.

The knitwear item you wear the most (how about a picture of it)?
My fake Klaralund. My eyes look so wacky when I resize images.

I tag Spark and Huelo, my two co-workers/bloggers.

Time to finish up my Weasley once and for all!


P.S. Sorry about the bad pictures, it’s dark here around 5:00 p.m. now so I can’t get any nice natural light most of the time.

I FINISHED THE BEAST. Saturday, Nov 12 2005 

This thing made me it’s bitch. I should be excited about the store credit that I’ll spend in about 4 seconds, but I’m most excited about not having to knit this anymore!! It was so much stockinette, and the yarn was not meant to be knit on size 7 needles. It’s a really nice yarn, but it’s not bulky, not worsted, barely heavy worsted…it was hard to find a pattern for it.

Pattern: Yankee Knitter #8 Mock Cable Pullover or Cardigan
Yarn: Cascade Eco + in 3479

Anyhow, this thing hasn’t been blocked, but that didn’t stop Eric from using it to do his best Cobain impression.

As if that weren’t funny enough, here’s the little lady doing some mending:

I’m not modeling today because I haven’t showered, too busy finishing THE BEAST. I might take a little break so my hands can recover, but I’m really looking forward to having more time for Christmas gift and maybe a little something to keep me warm…like the Twinkle tube I haven’t touched for weeks.

Over and out,


P.S. We had a flurry of Rowan this week at Webs, it was there, then it wasn’t. It absolutely disappeared! I was happy about that because the prices were totally awesome and because I was asked for opinions during the buying process. I think I picked some winners (Cork and 4-ply) judging by the whiplash we all have from watching it fly off the shelves!

Ben Lee! Wednesday, Nov 9 2005 

I guess this isn’t really knitting related, but this is my most used online space to share things. I saw my favorite person tonight, Ben Lee!

Last time I saw Ben I gave him a wombat that I knitted him that day. It looked like this but without ears (this one belongs to Amy_Ruth from Craftster):

I was so wrapped up in the performance that night that I had to abandon the knitting!

I have written a lot about how I feel about a Ben Lee performance, you can read it here and here if you wish. Tonight was a little bit calmer than last, people gathered on the floor and he likened us to a kindergarten class. New Buffalo opened, and she was amaaaaaazing. She was a stately blond with a really, really beautiful voice and a lace dress that made me wonder where her and Lara (one of Ben’s Soldiers of Bliss/backup band) get these great clothes.

I saw Ben walking in Northampton before the show and I couldn’t help myself from yelping hello. Later he walked over on some tables (mid-song!) and bent down to ask me how I was doing. Close range Ben Lee, the smile just doesn’t get any larger!

End of non-knitting gushing!


20 points for Gryffindor! Thursday, Nov 3 2005 

So I had a day off and decided to be good and nerdy. I ended up listening to a first-rate podcast about the Harry Potter series. It is produced by a theologian and contains a lot of great theorizing about the parallels between the books and other classic tales of heroism (the Bible, Star Wars, the Matrix, Greek mythology, etc.).

After about 7 ‘episodes’, I was in a Hogwarts tizzy, and I went over to Mugglenet to look at studio stills. I’m in Alison’s Weasley-along, but haven’t made any progress on mine…in fact, I frogged the entire front after learning that my intarsia method wasn’t the brightest idea in the world. I cut the yarn at each color change and didn’t carry it up to the next row. The lead to many, many ends, and pretty loose edges on my ‘R’. I wasn’t happy with it. My back up plan is that I’m going to knit it top down, probably in an all-night frenzy before the film opens. Since I lost some yarn in the frogging process (weep!) I have even less of what was already a small stash of a discontinued color. So this will be an interpretation of a Weasley…it’s going to be a saucy Weasley. As for the letter, the Sorting Hat says…”DUPLICATE STITCH!!”

This picture makes me want to knit up one of Alison’s HiP scarves:

I saw this extremely exciting blanket that I think knitters are going to go ga-ga for. Look closely–those are all SWATCHES!! Thank heavens for my ever-growing scrap pile.

The last thing that caught my eye was this picture of Hermione in her ball gown. It’s tres pretty, and I might have to interpret it in a knittish way…

I’m off to Sleeve Island, with a possible stop at Noro Beach.


Ren and Stimpy… Tuesday, Nov 1 2005 

…used to say ‘Happy Hallo-WEEEE-een’ in the funniest sing-song voice, and I wish I knew how to post and audio clip of it here, because it’s side-splitting.

EDIT: I am borrowing Sarah’s Halloween pictures because they are < mine. Visit her blog for more Halloweenie goodness.

My costume kind of counts as knitting content!

I was Little Miss Perfect, from the Lexie Barnes bag! After working in the heels became unbearable, I put on my Skully (as did my co-worker) and my favorite shoes:

and became my favorite Lexie print, Hermosa.

Speaking of my co-worker, she posted a link to a very awesome looking new website. In the interest of promoting this new, more twisted Knitty, I’m posting the link as well. It’s your Halloween treat! The Curse Your Boyfriend sweater and these insanely clever armwarmers have officially been added to my to-knit queue, which is just a teensy bit backed up.

Speaking of overwhelmingly large objects, my stash confronted me last night. And it didn’t greet me with a hug. It punched me square in the jaw. I have yarn in every room, and a lot of it. Boyfriend said the intervention is just around the corner…

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