November 18th, 2007

The Shawl.

Posted at 12:11 pm | Link | 3 comments | Leave a comment
I have finished the shawl!

I sort of made up the crocheted edging based on the chart I had, and it looked all right so I just kept going until I was done.

It's not blocked yet, so it looks like a puckered rag at the moment.

pre-blocked shawl

I don't really have a place to block it yet (or an old sheet on which to mark out a big circle), but I'm so looking forward to having the shawl really finished, all blocked out and pretty!


November 9th, 2007

Son of Stitch N' Bitch!

Posted at 09:21 am | Link | 3 comments | Leave a comment
Yesterday at work, three male co-workers alerted me to the existence of Son of Stitch N' Bitch; two were excited by a pattern for a disemboweled teddy bear, whilst the other was very into the Lucha Libre balaclavas.

I find it disturbing that [non-knitting] boys at work knew about a new knitting book before I did.

"Something," I said to the Boy, "is not right about this." He agreed, and then reminded me about how much he liked the Lucha Libre masks.

He is, I think, hinting.


* * *

In other news, I am--and you might want to brace yourselves for this news--still working on the Feather & Fan Shawl.

I have six more rows to knit, and then a long and convoluted crocheted edging/bind-off to do. Since I have misplaced the pattern book, this crocheted edging will be an adventure.

Anyway, my knitting-related goal is to FINISH the Feather & Fan Shawl of Doom by the end of this month, and then move on to something fun to work on during the traditionally uber-stressful month of December.

A Lucha Libre balaclava, perhaps?

October 16th, 2007

Finished Project!

Posted at 09:11 pm | Link | 6 comments | Leave a comment


[Click for bigsize.]

It's a baby jacket (the Duffle Coat from Debbie Bliss's Essential Baby) for a friends new baby, Natalie.

The only thing is, the jacket is supposed to be for a 9- to 12-month-old, but it's kind of large. It sort of grew after I washed it.

Oh well. It will fit little Natalie at some point in the future.

September 12th, 2007

Knitting-themed Wednesday.

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Knitting group was tonight, and it was really good to see everyone and sit around. I was really tired as I left work, but yet again I found it was totally worth it to steer myself toward knitting group instead of giving in and going home to bed early.

I bought Crazy Aunt Purl's book today, and I'm reading it now.

Or, I *was* reading it, and then I had to stop and have a Break for Crying. Laurie's chapter about her parents realising she's not ok and coming to look after her made me think of all the awfulness of my few-years-ago life, and how I so wanted to lean on my parents but they just didn't have the substance anymore.

I remember being broken over James, absolutely desolate and terrified at how much it hurt, thinking it would be all right to curl up with my head in Mom's lap and just cry. She was already very ill from the Alzheimer's, but I thought, She's still my Mom, This is still ok. So I curled up and cried, and she put her hand on my head the way she used to when I was little, and I was comforted until I picked my head up again and saw that she was really, really upset. She didn't understand what was wrong with me--even though I'd told her again and again--and she wanted to make it better but she didn't know how, and I think it scared her.

So, after that, I had to just keep it in as much as I could, and lean on myself. It took me a long time to get through the awfulness of losing what seemed like my whole life--future with chosen mate, home in most-beloved country, academic career, and my mother--and I didn't really do a stellar job of it... you know, it's not the sort of empowering story you'd make a movie out of.

Still, I did it; I lived through it. Sometimes I get weepy because I wish my Dad had been there for me the way Crazy Aunt Purl's was, etc., but whatever. She had awfulness to live through too, and I'm so glad for her. It makes me smile.

End of slightly-overshare-y post.

P.S. I am knitting a jacket for a friend's baby. See that? It's KNITTING CONTENT. I am so to-the-point.

September 8th, 2007

Knitting Group + Cardigan's

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My knitting is still about a) socks, and b) still not being finished with the Feather and Fan Shawl.

Still, two happy knitting-related things happened this week.

  • Knitting group switched days, and more people went this week. Including me! Huzzah!

  • A new knitting shop, Cardigan's, opened down the street from my work. Cardigan's had their Grand Opening yesterday, and I had just enough time to run over there at lunch and have a look around. There isn't much there right now, but it looks like it might be nice when they get it all sorted out. Yay!

That is all.

June 12th, 2007

Still... knitting... SHAWL.

Posted at 09:21 am | Link | 1 comment | Leave a comment
Ok, it's JUNE and I am STILL WORKING on the Feather & Fan Shawl. I have worked on very little else, knitting-wise, THIS YEAR.

I am not joking! I worked on a sock for a couple of days, and started a washcloth, and recently I have been working on a made-up-pattern accidental blanket made out of Araucania Nature Cotton (I couldn't help it; everything at Knit & Pearl looks so pretty, I was seduced!), but otherwise it's just been the shawl.

The chart tells me I'm on Round 185 (out of, as I have mentioned before, 189 rounds plus an endless crochet bind-off), so I don't have too much more to do.

I am going to finish this! I am determined!

January 17th, 2007

Shawl. Progress.

Posted at 08:29 am | Link | 7 comments | Leave a comment
The shawl is up to 888 stitches per round, and each round is taking... well, longer than is quite fair, really.

Just finished pattern round 135 (out of 189, but the rounds left to be done are all bigger than the rounds I've finished, so I don't think I'm even halfway done yet).

January 2nd, 2007


Posted at 08:21 pm | Link | 1 comment | Leave a comment
The Feather and Fan Shawl is now up to 744 stitches per round. I have begun to brace myself, or gird my loins, or whatever (what is girding? Why does one do it to one's loins? Is it, maybe, some sort of pre-battle ritualistic cleansing procedure? I do not know, and I am not entirely sure I want to.) for the long, grueling remainder of this shawl's knitting.

Next round, I shall time how long it takes to knit at my usual, slow, distracted-by-other-things rate, just to see what I'm going to be in for later on.

Next shawl I knit, by the way? I'm going to rinse the yarn before I ball it up and start knitting, because the vinegar left in's yarn makes my hands sting a bit.

Still, I'm a happy knitter, enjoying my shawl which may or may not be finished sometime this year.

December 27th, 2006

The hiatus, it is ended!

Posted at 06:30 pm | Link | 1 comment | Leave a comment
Hello again! It's been forever since I posted here, I know, but I am doing Important Knitting again, so I have returned. With photos for your viewing enjoyment, too!

See, I'm working on the Feather and Fan Shawl from A Gathering of Lace, by Meg Swansen. Oh my goodness, this shawl is indeed lacy. And fiddly, but I persevere. One day, I too will be able to post a photo of my finished shawl, just like Tellen did this weekend.

You start knitting this shawl in the middle--or, if you're me, you ask Chauntel to start it for you, after about six failed attempts at starting it yourself--and then the number of stitches increases and increases as you work outwards. So, the beginning goes really fast, even if you don't get a more proficient friend to help, but by the end? Well, the last few rounds have 1300 stitches each. It's definitely going to be endurance knitting, but I think the end result will absolutely be worth it. I already sit around squeezing the little bit of shawl I've done, because it's so lovely and sproingy and soft.

Here's what it looks like while I'm knitting it...

Click for bigsize.

The color's a bit off in the photo, but I'm pretending I did that on purpose because it allows you to see the color variation in the yarn.

Oh, the yarn is laceweight merino from, in their Sealing Wax colorway.

Now, here's the shawl sort of spread out so you can see the pattern a little bit...

Click for bigsize.

It's still really small (the white background is a pillowcase), but I can tell the rounds are getting longer--I can't finish one during a ten-minute break at work anymore, and every time I get to the halfway-point stitch marker I think, 'What!? I'm only halfway through? But I have been knitting FOR EVER OH MY GOD.'

Oh well. I'm going to try to convince myself it's a Zen exercise. Actually, I am really enjoying this project; it's just a bit daunting to think about how much time it's going to take.

So, yeah. That's my knitting life, for now. ~g~

November 12th, 2006

Lizard Ridge, Bitches!

Posted at 10:57 pm | Link | 3 comments | Leave a comment
Ok, I know it's been about a hundred years (or, you know, six months? I think?) since I posted here, but things have been busy, and I've been lazy about uploading photos to my computer. I may or may not have lost my camera cord again, and then found it today right in the place it is supposed to be. I will never tell.

I've been working on the Lizard Ridge afghan pattern from Knitty for the past couple of months, and I cannot even tell you how much I love this pattern. If the yarn (Noro Kureyon in a whole heap of random colorways) were soft, it would be the perfect pattern, as far as blankets go.

See, I did 'Version 1,' which is knitted in squares; they take less than one skein of Kureyon each, and you can either carefully plan out your yarn purchase so all the colorways will blend and match, or you can just buy a few skeins one day, and then a few in other colors a couple of weeks later, etc., like I did. Oh, and as you know, I love patterns that let you knit things in PIECES, because I like portability and the sense of achievement you get after each piece is finished. Plus, by the time you're bored with one piece, it's time to start another one.

Yesterday, Chaun invited me over to join her and Tracy for a day of afghan-square-arranging, spinning, and then dinner; it was a really good afternoon/evening, I have to say. Just exactly what I needed, plus Chaun's daughter is the coolest girl in the universe and she talked to me about books, which was totally great.

Here's what Tracy and Chaun did for me, because I was, um, maybe possibly having a tiny bit of trouble deciding how to arrange the seriously multi-colored Lizard Ridge squares...

Tracy with Lizard Ridge squares and Chaun's
gorgeous new spinning wheel.

Chaun and I escaped the camera.

...yeah. They have eyes for color, those girls.

Now I just have to sew the stupid thing together and crochet a border around it. After that, I'm starting on a shawl. Tracy, who's doing the same shawl, and I are going to have a race to see who can finish first. It's going to be the event of the year in the Santa Barbara knitting scene. I expect dodgy bookies are already setting odds and taking bets.

June 7th, 2006


Posted at 09:51 pm | Link | 7 comments | Leave a comment
Last night I was re-reading The Glass Lake, by Maeve Binchy, and I noticed this:

     Like those fishermen over in the West of Ireland who went out in frail boats to fish in the roaring Atlantic, and they all wore different kinds of jumpers so they would know whose family it was when a body was found. Each family had its own stitch. Complicated and perverse, Dr. Kelly thought. Why hadn't they taught the young fishermen to swim?

Yeah, um... suddenly I have absolutely no interest left in knitting Aran sweaters. Just, ick.

I don't actually know if it's true or not; I thought I'd make a fuss on LJ before I bother looking anything up on Google.

May 30th, 2006

A Dearth of Knitting.

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Haven't been knitting much lately. A few stitches on a sock every so often, but other than that I'm just not fussed with knitting right now. Not quite sure why; maybe the frenzy of the Sockapal3za sock exchange, or maybe general life- and Mom-related stress.

Whatever it is, I'm sure I'll get back to knitting sometime soon. Just not, you know, today.

I *am* trying to crochet a washcloth, though. I think I am crocheting it in half-double crochet stitches, but actually I have no idea. I may be making up a stitch, and yes, I am so blase about the yarn-involving arts right now that I just can't be bothered to look anything up.

I do have a hankering to learn how to sew, though. I tried hand-sewing a small, purposeless bag the other night, but I got all the seams wonky so they weren't parallel, and it was just a mess.

Erin, whose new-ish blog Inner Non Sequiturs really needs to go on my sidebar (will fix that after I post this), also expressed an interest in sewing/quilting, so maybe we can encourage each other. She will make beautiful quilts and lovely clothes; I will make wonky quilts and ill-fitting items that scream 'homemade!' but I don't think I'll mind that; I will be at peace with my wonky sewing ability.

Right! Back I go to my mystery-crochet washcloth...

May 4th, 2006

Oh My Goodness!

Posted at 03:32 pm | Link | 1 comment | Leave a comment
My Sockapal3za socks arrived just now! They are GREAT! I refuse to take them off.

[Click for biggersize.]

Um, the postcard says 'Sheboygan.' I was possibly a little bit too excited to arrange my photo-composition properly. I cannot tell you how pleased I am that my socks come from Sheboygan, because I have never been there, and it's such a great name.

Happy socks!

(I do not usually wear my pants rolled up that high, by the way. Just thought I would mention that.)

These beautimous socks were knitted for me by Roberta, who also wrote me the sweetest postcard and sent me lovely cheerful pressies.


Thank you so much, Roberta! They're perfect.

April 26th, 2006


Posted at 03:05 pm | Link | 0 comments | Leave a comment
On Monday, I packed up my sockpal's socks and a couple of random gifty things...

...took the box to the post office, and sent it away! ~dances~

I'm very pleased, because I've been really bad about sending letters and packages for the last couple of years, and one of my goals this year is to get better about that sort of thing. Yay! I had a lovely time doing this sock exchange, so I hope there'll be another one sometime soon... or maybe I'll even try Secret Pal 8, hmm.

To be honest, though, mostly this post is about me being pleased with myself over sending a parcel. I am feeling super-accomplished about it. ~preens~ It's kind of nice, learning to be reliable again... yet another baby step towards functionality.

If 'functionality' is a word.

P.S. Most of the Sockapal3za people don't need to send their socks until May 2nd, but my sockpal's socks have a long way to travel so they got sent out early.

April 16th, 2006

Toe of Doom!

Posted at 02:19 pm | Link | 2 comments | Leave a comment
Um, remember how I was done with my Sockapal3za socks? Well, yesterday I had another look at them, and I couldn't ignore how very much they are not the same length...


And ok, I knew this already. I did some vigorous wet-blocking, with many, many pins to try to get the small sock to grow. Then I took the socks to show my knitting group, and although the general consensus was a generous 'everyone has one foot bigger than the other,' I was uneasy. I mean, what if my sockpal does have unmatching feet like the rest of us, but my larger sock fits her smaller foot?

Anyway, yesterday I decided I have to re-knit the toe of the smaller sock. And this afternoon, right after I totally promised myself I would do nothing but de-clutter my bedroom, I found myself staring at this...

Oh well. Back to work!