And the winner of NoSoNaFiSweMo is… Monday, Dec 3 2007 

Dharma! I’m going to have fun putting together a custom prize package for her, she is a fellow graduate student and used to live in Northampton. She correctly guessed the # and name of the sweaters that I would finish by my deadline (which I unscrupulously extended to include this weekend)!! Until the weather clears up and the sweaters dry, the promised runway show is on hold. You’ll have to be content with this, the remnants of the FOs:


Clockwise from the top these represent the Hudson Hoodie (which ended up hoodless), T-Storms, Blood Orange cardigan and the Tilted Duster. Technically I also finished Thermal…and by finished I mean chucked it into the wastebasket! That pattern is too cute to knit in such a droopy, pill-tastic yarn.

I learned a lot from this endeavor! I learned that, like Grumperina, I don’t think I’m a sweater knitter! It could be the deadline that was making it unpleasant but as I worked on these long abandoned projects I realized that I almost never wear the sweaters I’ve knit. I actually sort of hate them. There are always little flaws that bug me. I’m not a fashionista or even all that well put together but I’m insanely particular about fabrics and the way things fit. If an outfit is itching, sagging, riding up or doing anything weird it will ruin my day. Most of my hand-knit sweaters are imperfect, and I’m fine with that but I don’t know how sensible it is to keep making things I’m not going to wear.

Of course, last I checked I had enough stashed yarn to make…50 sweaters. It sounds crazy and inflated but it’s true and probably a low ball estimate as well. UGH. My plan of attack for the time being is to finish Treeline, Enid and Forecast. Then I want to emulate Siri and knit up my equally insane sock yarn stash. Socks get worn.

So do hats! Jenny and Nicole were reading my mind last week with their excellent episode on my absolute favorite thing to knit. Gudrun was as well, check out her adorable Unst. Julie at Team Knit has got me plotting a Brownie’s beanie redux! Hat love never dies around here.

Spinning is also kicking lots of ass. Jenna stopped by on Saturday with her wheel and it quickly turned into a night of spinning Q&A, chocolate munching and raspberry wine swigging (it was made by a Webs co-worker). Somehow, we ended up wearing a batt and a flyer.

Jenna wearing a flyer

I’m not as drunk as I look, I promise.

Cirilia wearing a batt

The same Cormo I spun and plied on the drop spindle was given the same treatment on the wheel:

First wheelspun

I like!

First wheelplied

I’m currently waiting for two packages from Spunky Eclectic, a lazy Kate and some assorted stuff to try (I’m especially excited about this, which I purchased in Night Flower). Hot damn, it’s fun to buy fiber. Speaking of Amy, I finished the Girl Power shawl. And two dog sweaters. Wow, it was a busy November.

Finished object runway show in the very near future,



Venti! Sunday, Oct 7 2007 

The other day I finally had a tattoo touched up that I’d been meaning to fix for…oh…12 years now. Yes, that means I was 13 when I got this tattoo, my first. I was living in Germany and went with my mother to get it (long, sordid story). This is really the only picture I could find, it’s a tiny lavender rose (barely visible):

Anyhow, it’s better now! I love the three yellow pistils…stamen? Plant sex organs. I pretty much let the artist do his thing. It’s slightly more open now (appropriate, I’m older, more in bloom) and has more thorns (also appropriate!). I asked for what I thought was an impossible color (light burgundy) but he pulled it off very well and updated the green, which was a very dated shade of jade. I was very impressed with the work (Timmy at Holeshot in Amherst).

In case you think I haven’t been knitting…you’re wrong. I’m still ignoring my Blood Orange cardigan (the yarn really resembles the flesh of a deliciously strange blood orange) but I’ve been churning out small projects here and there. I have three baby sweaters on the needles and a half finished Tilted Duster (all it needs is the skirt, a collar and buttons). BTW, Norah Gaughan is about to unveil a pretty bitchin’ FO/WIP, keep your eyes peeled!

The color isn’t anywhere online (a seller on eBay calls it “Abusar” but that isn’t it’s given name) and it reminds me of the main color of Reynolds Whiskey in Enid…my poor, ignored Enid. Maybe I can take that to Baltimore and finish the yoke in my hotel room? Working at Stitches always gives me a knit fit (like a nic fit…). It’s puckering ever so slightly, some of the floats span 5+ stitches so I’ve been ‘catching’ them as I go in using directions from Montse Stanley’s Handbook. I think it will block flat.

I finished Foliage, my first top-down hat. I’m blocking it on a dinner plate so it’ll be more snood-ish. I love snoods! I double stranded Malabrigo Worsted in Bobby Blue. It reminds me of a vintage bathing cap and was a fun knit. I used twisted ribbing and bound-off purlwise, other than that no mods. Clearer pictures at Ravelry.

I made a few adorable and goofy coffee cardigans. These are wicked fun and I actually have been using it, it makes baristas smile. This is knit with Valley Yarns Superwash (LOVE how it looks knit at this tight gauge) and features three corozo nut buttons from the Creative Needle in Amherst, which happens to be owned by the mother-in-law of a professor in my department. I love corozo nut buttons almost as much as I love shell buttons. And Moving Mud buttons. And horn buttons. And…oh, I’m a button whore, are you surprised??

I just purchased a kit to make this Greek Deli version by Jennifer Reichert, it’s hysterical! This embroidered grocery purse of hers is 2 parts hysterical, 8 parts amazing.

Brain food, mmmm….I don’t eat much fruit but I loves my vegetables (this site makes me drool). I have many ways of preparing them so that they taste very, very decadent. This was today’s lunch, an old favorite (recipe here):

My next treat is butternut squash roasted with maple syrup and cracked peppercorn (something about the hot/sweet combination is very soothing). I do a mashed cauliflower with cream and asiago that would make you disown potatoes forever.

Meet Irma the Owl, a friend who is staring sternly down from her perch. I met her at Starbucks where she was deeply discounted and deeply adorable. She looks like an Irma, and when I looked up that name I learned that it is an Old High German/Hoch Deutsch word for…word! Perfect patron (stuffed) saint for a communication scholar, no?

Speaking of that. I have a 12-page paper to write. Probably why I suddenly felt the urge to blog. I’m going to try to link the practice of blogging to early 20th-century language theories (using some key works from Saussure, Nietzsche, Boas, Sapir, Malinowski, Jakobson, and Bakhtin…among others).


P.S. FYI, funniest Fug I’ve seen in awhile.

Reduced. Thursday, Apr 5 2007 

My time for knitting is at an all time low. Graduate school has gotten much better but that means that I’m working much, much harder. I felt pretty much gobsmacked for most of my last semester, for a number of reasons, but mainly because I felt so behind in so many ways. The body of theoretical knowledge I was expected to be conversant in was just vast and the tactics of being a graduate student don’t reveal themselves easily. Anyhow, I’m finally in my element doing work on consumer culture and though I’m pretty much working (reading, writing, grading, holding office hours or attending lecture) around the clock I’m happy. It probably has something to do with the massive amount of online shopping I do during my breaks! Mostly, I window shop and make carts that I abandon, but I have made a jusssst a few sock yarn purchases.

Since so many of them come in 100g hanks I started to worry about running out. I followed the lead of a very inspiring fellow scholar and got scientific. I bought a little scale! My finished Jaywalker weighed in a 52g.

I put my OTHER set of Knitpicks DPNs and a duplicate “stitch marker” onto the scale to set my tare for the other sock in progress. Why do I have a stand-in set of needles? I love the Knitpicks needles so much that I bought a second set of all the sizes I’ll use for socks. Those suckers get lost, and with all the sock yarn I’m buying I didn’t want to risk not having a full set at any given moment. The needles are just as pointy as Inox needles but they have a much smoother finish. I’ve always felt that the Inox needles were almost gritty. To borrow from Grumperina, Blunti Stumpos had a much faster finish until I met the Knitpicks needles. Because the points are so sharp I’ve started to break my habit of tapping/pushing the top of the needle to move stitches forward! I win. Anyhow, the metal parts of my sock in progress weighed 17g:

I hit tare to bring it to zero:

And then plopped my second sock and alarmingly teeny ball of yarn onto the scale. Guess what? I’m fine! I would have never been able to ‘eyeball’ this on my own. I highly recommend this for nervous knitters.

Oh, and did I mention? I’m finally at the fun part of Enid! Sleeve island wasn’t so bad, but I did have a slight mishap. I’m knitting the body is knit on size 3 Addis. Everyone at the Knitalong was complaining that the sleeves were coming out far too large, they were changing stitch counts and all sorts of mess…I decided to be lazy and just drop my needle size! I ended up magic looping with Inox, 2.5mm, that size that is basically 1.5 US. It was perfect until I fell in love with the Knitpicks needles and switched to those. I wish I had a picture to show you how dramatic the difference was. They were the same exact size so I’m guessing the texture alone changed my gauge and the appearance of the stitches, too. I knit almost a whole sleeve figuring the difference wouldn’t be noticeable after blocking but Eric convinced me to rip it out and start again with the Inox. I’m glad I did, it was hilariously ‘before and after’ looking and even non-knitters would’ve spotted the weird demarcation.

Wow–that was a ton of actual knitting content! Who knew I had it in me?! I promise the next post will be a return to the tangential…we’ll be talking diets and Montreal! See you soon.