Monday, April 30, 2007

Fiendish Find of the Week

One of the things I love about reading other people's blogs is the inspiration it provides. The photos of the yarns (and fabrics, buttons, stamps, etc., etc.) you're using, the patterns you're making and the creative process you use going from raw materials to finished objects delight, thrill and spur me on a daily basis. I'm inquisitive, especially when it comes to being crafty, and I figure that lots of you, are, too. Thus, I'd like to incorporate a Fiendish Find post each week. It'll highlight some of the fun people, websites and materials I've discovered, and hopefully it'll contain stuff you'd like to find out about, too.

This week I have two similar colored skeins of yarn that have recently found their way into my stash. The first comes courtesy of Patty. Last Thursday we were discussing yarn, and she told me of this great colorway she had recently ordered from Gardiner Yarn Works. Well. Knowing her judgment to be good, I popped over to take a look. And lo, would you know that I was smitten, too, for these colors are so my colors.

This is the Gardiner Yarn Works colorway in custom dyed Mama E's C*eye*ber Fiber Sock. The yarn comes as part of a kit, which includes a choice of two available patterns. I ordered it with the Autumn in Oregon sock pattern, and the yarn and pattern came bundled in a sturdy plastic bag that is large enough to double as a project bag as you make your socks. I placed my order on the 27th (via PayPal), and it arrived today. Smokin' fast delivery + excellent customer service = 100% happy.

Another recent addition to the stash is this skein of sKNITches Syncopation self-striping sock yarn in the Dayspa colorway. I ordered this a few months ago from the Loopy Ewe. You may also order from the sKNITches website, but I have yet to visit and find anything in stock. Maybe knowing a little Enochian magic may help you hunt down a skein or two? Dunno, but the yarn is cushy and the dye job beautiful, making the effort of finding some definitely worthwhile. Plus, self striping is fun.

That's it for this time. Craft on!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Would You LIke Fries with That?

Central Park Hoodie update: Both front sides and the back are knit. I'm 3" into the sleeve ribbing (I'm knitting both at once), and it's tough going. The Black Water Abbey has given me a yarn burn on my index finger where I hold it for tension.


But I am not without *ahem* resources. Marie Marie - click here. And I'm back to it.

Project Spectrum Sunday

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Little Friendly Competition

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for an announcement:

Knitdevil has been sucked into an all-consuming vortex of furious knitting, and can't come to the computer right now. She cautions that if you're the betting sort, she's a long shot, but drinks are on her if she wins.

Right now she reports she's halfway finished with the right front, and hopes to begin her first sleeve this weekend. Further details will be published as we receive them.

Thank you,
The KD Staff

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Whole Lot of the Same

Chalk up another thoroughly pedestrian week for yours truly. I'm beginning to think I should get a fetish website (Mistress Madge's School for Naughty Boys) up and running on the side, so at least I'd have some interesting stories for ya.

I've picked up my sister's Flower Basket again. I'm lingering over this project because the Koigu is such a joy to knit. (I prolong reading books I really enjoy, too. First did this with Watership Down when I was a young sprout, and continue to this day. Just don't want them to end.) I'm on the second repeat, and enjoying knitting this pattern as much the second time as I did the first.

Did I mention that the socklet is ready for its toe?

It also fits my foot. (I was aiming for kid size, hence the -let in its name. Just more proof that math and I shall never ever be more than acquaintances.) Which is totally cool. Because it fits. My foot. Yeah.

Not a lot of CPH action. Still plugging away on the right front. Yesterday I discovered a honkin' hole by one of my cable turns and had to rip back ten rows to fix it. So far I've ripped back more on this sweater than any other project I've ever made. Kinda weird considering how easy the pattern is.

What else have I been doing? Well, I went to the Black Sheep Knittery sale again (I know, I know, it's become a joke) with Annette, who hadn't been before. We had lots of fun poking around, and I broke my I'vealreadybeenthreetimesanddon'tneedtobuyanymoreyarn fast for some smokin' Alchemy Bamboo in Scarlett's Dark Secret. This was one of those covetous yarn purchases that makes no sense on any level except a deeply, darkly venal one. Marvelous. I also picked up three balls of Noro Kureyon in shade 51, a greys/chocolate/burgundy mix, which shall someday probably become a felted bag.

I've read an exceedingly clever book titled Good Omens. Written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, it's about good, evil and everything in between. Thank you, Marie, for lending me your copy. I also blazed through No Dominion, Charlie Huston's second Joe Pitt vampire novel. Much better than the first in the series, it's also a novel about good and evil, though definitely on the darker side. Next up is What's So Funny?, the latest crime caper by Donald E. Westlake featuring his hapless thief Dortmunder.

See? Pedestrian. But good. Because guess what the mailman just left me? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hey Zeus

Today's post is going to be one of those hodge podge ones where trying to find continuity between anything is just silly. So please bear with me.

Most important news first: Mary's a winner! Her guess of "zero" dollars spent at Black Sheep Knittery was the closest to the $10.79 I spent there last weekend. Congrats, Mary! And thanks to all who played.

Kinda amazing that I got out of there spending that little, no? Well, it was the third time I'd been to the sale, but even brain just froze when faced with the beautiful yarn, and all I walked away with with a copy of Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet.

* * *

I've finished the Central Park Hoodie's back and left side, and have begun working on the right. For a couple of weeks serious boredom with it hit, but that's passed, and I'm once again happily knitting away. Only slowly. Very, very slowly. I have no idea what's up, but I'm in the running for the world's biggest knitting slacker award. Luckily other people aren't having this problem - go check out Carson's gorgeously scarlet Ultra Raglan. Which she knit in 11 days. That grrl has it going on.

* * *

More inspiration: On May 1st Sivia Harding's Yahoo group, SiviaHardingKnits, begins a KAL for her Gothic Leaf Stole. I've had this simple shawl on my to-do list for over a year, and am very tempted to finally knit the darn thing. Anyone want to join me? This photo shows the pattern made using Euroflax sport weight linen, and I adore how it looks. Totally blows away the Knit Picks Gloss (in Pumpkin, no less - what am I thinking?! a pumpkin orange shawl? crikey, that's a crazy idea) I was up until this moment contemplating using. Hmm. Best revisit my stash and/or hunt down some Euroflax pronto.

* * *

Finally, for the crocheters amongst us, what do you think of the spring Interweave Crochet? This issue is the first helmed by Kim Werker, editor of the Crochet Me e-mag and author of several crochet books (including Crochet Me, being published by IK this fall). IK announced Werker's editorship right before they announced Eunny Jang's. I find it interesting that IK is recruiting its staff from the blogosphere.

I'm anxiously awaiting publication of Teva Durham's Loop-d-loop Crochet. Can't wait to see what this visionary designer does with granny squares - check out that coat? poncho? on the cover!

* * *

Okay, I've babbled at you enough. Better go knit something before I forget how. Stay cool.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Project Spectrum Sunday

Hanging with WeHo

Yesterday Marie, Jillian and I blew the 'burbs and headed into LA to knit with Ellen, MJ and the rest of the Saturday West Hollywood SnB knitteristas.

Couldn't ask for nicer people with whom to stitch. Here's Ellen in welcome mode.

Look at all these smiling, friendly faces!

There was yummy food...

...and even a little bit of knitting. (I managed to knit six rows of my CPH.) But mostly there was visiting.

Here are Marie and Zoe (sadly blogless). We met Zoe a few weeks ago at La's ASKnitters get-together, and it was great fun to see her again so soon.

After the group broke up, we shopped a bit at the Farmer's Market, and then...we headed to Black Sheep Knittery. Their sale is still going on, and since we were nearby we couldn't resist. While there we ran into Ellen and MJ again! Even caught a glimpse of Ellen's fabulous crochetmobile.

The WeHo SnB meets weekly on Thursday nights at 7 pm, and once a month - on the second Saturday from 10-noon - at the Farmers Market.

Oh, and for those wondering how much I spent at Black Sheep (and weren't there yesterday), leave your guess in the comments by 9 pm PST Tuesday the 17th. Then there will be a rigorous tallying of answers, and I'll send the person whose guess is the closest a goodie.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Those Were the Days

Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes! They've made my week.

Which has been another one light on knitting. Spring fever wanes, but a slew of new distractions have popped up. Barbara and I did manage to get the heel turned and the gusset started on one of the socklets. At the moment I'm using 6 (!) 5" dpns on the thing, in an attempt to get it back down to a manageable number of stitches to finish off the foot and toe. I feel a frisson of delight each time I look at it. Close. Victory is so close.

I'm also nearly finished with the left side of the CPH, but it looks exactly like what I've shown before photo-wise, and I'll spare you the redundancy. And that's it.

The iPod obsession continues. I've begun importing our CDs into our computer, and am up to C (Nick Cave). Aside: Have you seen him lately? A handlebar mustache that would make any biker proud graces his upper lip, with thinning hair above. And his latest project, Grinderman, harkens back to his earlier, wilder days. Nostalgia personified.

Get out your scarlet lipstick and your pearl inlaid .22s: Tonight begins the 8th Annual Festival of Film Noir at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. From now until May 2nd feast your fill of detectives, dames and the doomed souls who haunt the mean streets of 1940s and 50s Hollywood and New York. Delicious!

Speaking of New York noir, I just finished reading Charlie Huston's hardboiled vampire tale, Already Dead. Huston has done a great job of recreating the noir antihero as vampire detective. And though eventually the forced hipster tone grated and the plot disappointingly devolved into sordid Andrew Vachss territory with a mad scientist/zombie overlay, I did enjoy the premise. My favorite moments? The top hat wearing biker vamp gang rescue, and the constant squabbling of the passive aggressive hypocritical hippy vamp leader and his motley band of minions.

And the new/old goodies just keep coming: issue 2 of Buffy Season 8 just hit my doorstep. I'm off to listen to The Lyre of Orpheus and give it a read. Hope everyone's distractions - knitting and other - are proving as fun as mine.

Monday, April 09, 2007


There's been not a whit of knitting done in almost a week. Instead, there's been a wedding (Tom's niece), a birthday (mine) and a whole lot of spring fever keeping me occupied. The wedding was lovely, my birthday mellow and the spring fever relentless. I can't seem to focus on anything for more than two seconds, and am spending inordinate amounts of time sitting in the sun petting the cats and watching the bees bliss out on the sage blossoms.

Then, adding to my knitter's ADD, Tom's birthday present to me was this shiny new toy. I love it to death. And, in between garden bouts with the cats and the bees, I'm uploading (downloading? I'm so low-fi I can't even be computer nerdy with the lingo.) my tunes into it. Also, DVDs. I'm psyched; now I can take Sam and Dean with me wherever I go. (Someday I'll stop with the Supernatural babble, but that day hasn't come yet.)

Socklet update: Tomorrow we revisit turning the heel on socklet #2. Yee haw. Barbara is the bestest teacher in the world, and has been totally generous with her time and knowledge. Also her yarn. For inspiration she's given me this great tiger-striped Esprit sock yarn.

A shout out to Carson, too, for her knitty heel turnin' advice. Thanks, chica!

That's it for lawn chair beckons.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Can you dig it? Thanks to Barbara's bad self, yesterday I turned the heel on the socklet. Momentous, folks, momentous. Also confusing. I think my main problem with sock heels is that I don't really know how to do short rows. I never know when to wrap, or turn, or wrap again, or slip, or whatever. It's a concern which I shall rectify in the next couple of days by watching my Lucy Neatby DVD. And as soon as I get short rows down, I'll be unstoppable. Because have you seen these? I need to make a similar pair. (mine will have wider stripes)

Knitting has been reined in over the last few days. The weather has been gorgeous, and I've been gardening instead. (note the dirt under my thumbnail in the sock photo above - oops)

In addition to the socklets, I've worked a bit on my Central Park Hoodie. The back is done, and I've begun the left side. I started out working both sides at once, but the yarn is so grabby the two strands became horribly tangled and almost felted together as I knit with them. So, a little bit of rip, another cast on, and I'm merrily on my way. To stave off imminent boredom, I've given myself two months to finish this project. Since it's green, it's my main project for this round of Project Spectrum colors (green, yellow, pink), which ends in May. Other tentative Project Spectrum knits include Pick Up Sticks' Triangle purse in pink (and red), and maybe a scarf or two. Dunno, I might even be knitting another pair of socks!

Sunday, April 01, 2007