Wednesday, April 30, 2008


~ Project #5 - Wednesday ~

Today's cast on was an afterthought. This afternoon the mail person brought me some much anticipated yarn - more on that later - and I spent today's knitting time swatching for my next sweater. Realizing the day's almost over, I grabbed a ball of Malabrigo - my first! - and cast on the first three rows of Foliage. I'm sure this will be a lovely knit, but right now I just want to get back to my sweater swatching. I've even prayed to Swatchi, the goddess of gauge, in hopes that she smiles upon my efforts. If she does, project #6 is in the bag!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reckless Casting On Continues

~ Project #3 - Monday ~
This one really was spontaneous. Yesterday afternoon Mary gifts me with Boing, five minutes later I grab my hank of coveted Sweet Georgia Handpainted Lace in Fondant and cast on. And immediately realize that this project is a problem child. The pattern is easy, but sadistic as it employs p2tog tbl stitches. On size 3 needles in lace weight that's a total bitch. The yarn is fun - if any pattern calls for this wacky colorway, Boing is it - but the merino is grabby and already beginning to fuzz. Erm. We'll see how this one goes; it may be destined for the frog pond.

~ Project #4 - Tuesday ~
Today's project is one I've been meaning to do for a while. I'm making my Mom a pair of One Skein's Cable Footies , using Dream in Color's Classy in Lipstick Lava. It's my first time knitting with DIC, and I'm lovin' the little I've knit.

This exercise is fun. It's getting me outside my knitting comfort zone in a good way. It's giving me practice in fitting patterns with stash yarn, something I often have trouble doing. It's using up said stash yarn, which helps with my Mission: Possible 2008 goals. It's shown me that I like a little silk in my lace yarn, and that an order to Sarah's Yarns for some Zephyr might be in order. It's prompting me to start some I-really-should-knit-that-project projects that have been lingering too long on my to-do list. Huh. Who knew it would be so introspective. Well, knitting's like that sometimes.

Monday, April 28, 2008


A few weeks ago Mary and I were kicking around the idea of a KAL where you cast on whatever your little heart desires. No fuss, no muss, no talk of finishing, just reckless casting on...the knitting equivalent of Boogie Nights. We were half joking, but on Saturday last I decided Why the hell not? So I'm casting on a project a day this week!

~ Project #1 - Saturday ~
First up is a reversible scarf pattern from Lori Lawson (Rav profile here) using some of her delish hand painted angora/merino yarn. It cranked on US 10s, and within 24 hours I had bound off.

Pattern: Reverse Cable Scarf by Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio
Yarn: Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio Angora/Merino in Golden Eye - 2 skeins
Needles: Clover 9" US 10 straights
Mods: None
Rating: Ed Wood would approve
Ravelry link here

See the little spots of emerald amidst the olive and gold?

Wham, bam, what a satisfying knit. The yarn? Gorgeous. Angora. Which happens to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Sure, I was snorting fuzz as I knit, but what a high. At the larger gauge the scarf drapes nicely, and the yarn is shown off to advantage. I could make ten of these, but onto...

~ Project #2 - Sunday ~
This one is Wendy's fault. She says Knit with cashmere. I say Okay. (Yeah, I'm easy. And yeah, Wendy knows her shit when it comes to knitting with the good stuff.) Yesterday I cast on Flutter using Posh Yarn's Camilla in Chocolate. Camilla is a two-ply lace weight cashmere I bought on sale from Pick Up Sticks last summer. The dye job? Inferior - half is rich cordovan and chocolate, half is lackluster shades of brown and tan, and the resultant pooling is all sorts of random craptastic - but I just can't stop knitting long enough to start over with another yarn. Because, well, cashmere. 'Tis yummy. And I can always overdye when I'm done, right?

The pooling, it be fugly

Today's project is still TBD, so tune in tomorrow to see what rooting around in the stash scares up. Wow, isn't this exciting?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It Fits! It Fits!

Check it out. Tom has a Cobblestone. Just need to kitchener the armpits and sew in the ends. Tom loves how it fits, and my fears of creating my first man dress have been assuaged. (Well, mostly. Hopefully it won't double in size when I wash it. Cross your fingers, will ya? Thanks.)

More details later. Now I dance the man sweater victory dance!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Girl Is Crafty

The girl is crafty like ice is cold!
~Beastie Boys

A little while ago Cher blogged here about the Pay It Forward handmade gift exchange project that's going around blogland. I thought it sounded cool. So I signed up, and she sent me the most bitchin' package.

She combined it with my birthday, and my loot includes a hand knit skull washcloth and a cabled wrist warmer in green (one of my favorite colors!); a mix CD; and a skull pendant from Imogen.

The wrist warmer is actually this pattern for a coffee cup cozy, but I'm wearin' it instead. (Ravelry pattern link here.)

I'd also like to spread the DIY love - and hope you will, too - so here's the official scoop:

I will send a lovely handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment here requesting to join this PIF (Pay It Forward) exchange. I'm not sure what that gift will be yet- it will be a surprise! The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Once you sign up, I'll email you to let you know that you are one of the three. Then copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.

Thanks, Cher, for my wicked cool goodies!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What's My Line?

First Debi did it. Then La. Then Shannon. I so want to hang with the cool kids, I'm doing it, too.

Movie Meme

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t. If you do, a big thug named Guido will pay you a call. Naw, not really, but I'll be sad that you're a cheater.

1. Workers of the world, unite!
2. The numbers all go to eleven. ~ This Is Spinal Tap ~ Carrie
3. And it exploded. ~ Galaxy Quest ~ Debi
4. Hey, nice marmot. ~ The Big Lebowksi ~ Andria (nice triple play, grrl)
5. You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days? ~ Repo Man ~ Cher
6. We're on a mission from God. ~ Blues Brothers ~ Andria
7. Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?
8. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado...Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. ~ Glengarry GlenRoss ~ Andria
9. You're not gonna fuckin' kill me, are you?
10. I am big. It's the pictures that got small. ~ Sunset Boulevard ~ Lisa

Monday, April 14, 2008

Birthday Fun

This past Saturday Ellen, Jillian, Linda, Marie, Melise, MJ, Patty, and Wendy helped me celebrate my birthday in grand fashion. As usual my photo taking was sporadic and random, but Ellen has a great slide show of the day here. (The cupcake and oilcloth bag photos seen here are hers, too.)

We met at Gilbert's El Indio for lunch, and then hit the Oaxacan folk art store Artesanias Oaxaquenas to check out their oilcloth bags.

After that we went on a mini yarn crawl to Yarns Unlimited and Wild Fiber in Santa Monica. There were cupcakes. And presents. There were funny waiters who showed us their chest hair and asked for our dollars. There was plenty of yarn ogling and fondling. Someone was heard to say, "Forget merino. Go for cashmere."

Patty at the Wall of Koigu in Wild Fiber

There was even a vintage hearse sighting.

It was 90 degrees in Santa Monica, and no one passed out from heat exhaustion.

Probably the only thing that could have better was if we'd had yarn boys to carry our bags and feed us grapes; with this thought in mind I'm already brainstorming for next year.

Thanks for celebrating with me, ladies!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Long Time Coming

Pattern: Gothic Leaf Stole by Sivia Harding
Yarn: Euroflax Sportweight Linen in Eggplant - 4 skeins
Needles: US 4 29" Bryspun circs
Finished Dimensions: 15" by 85"
Mods: Cast on 89 stitches instead of 105 for one less repeat; didn't graft but knit straight
Rating: The planets aligned
Ravelry link here.

My Mom was in town visiting us for the past week. While she was here - she left this morning - I finally gave her her Gothic Leaf. Truth be told, it was kinda hard to do. Because, well, the finished project was just so darn lovely, and I was feeling rather...possessive about it.

I'm 90% a process knitter, and I knit for others almost always. When I give things away, they're gone. I hope people like the things I make for them, and am always pleased to hear back when they do. (And if they don't, well, I hope they donate them to a thrift shop so someone else may use it, but I never stress over it. It's probably the most Zen I ever am.) And my Mom is the best recipient for which a gal could ask. She's not a knitter, but she loves handknits. And she's one of the few people who likes and wears shawls, which is great when I'm channeling the lace.

But. After her Gothic Leaf was washed and blocked, the linen seduced me. Supple, with a little shine, the stitches glowed. When I would hold the shawl up, the drape was righteous. The shawl has been finished for two months, but somehow I never could get around to wrapping it up and mailing it. It lived instead on the top of my stash bins, in a little plastic bag, and I found myself taking it out and stroking it regularly. But when Mom arrived I did the right thing and handed it over. And boy, am I glad I did now. It's perfect for her, don't you think?

Gothic Leaf is pure comfort knitting. Very simple lace, it doesn't even employ psso's (only k2tog's and ssk's). The pattern is easily memorized, and varied enough not to make you want to stick your head in the oven after the zillionth row. I started out using lifelines, but abandoned them early on. The original pattern is grafted, but per Sivia's instructions for knitting it in linen, I knit mine straight. I also left out one repeat in the row, to make it smaller for my Mom's petite frame.

Gothic Leaf is the third pattern of Sivia's I've knit, and the second I've finished. (Hanging Garden languishes somewhere.) So it was with joy in my heart that I received my first Year of Lace kit a few weeks ago, as Sivia has written the pattern for it, too. (What? I didn't tell you I'd signed up for this club? Huh. I wonder how it slipped my mind.)

The pattern is called Phoenix Rising, and is a triangular shawl. I'd cast on, but the accompanying skein of Claudia's Silk Lace has 5 (!) knots in it. Not good. The gals at Make 1 have been very proactive - I guess there are several of us that received sub par skeins - and I'm hoping to receive a replacement skein soon.

In the meantime, I'm chugging along on Cobblestone. I'm roughly 5" up the yoke. I do have a question for those of you who've made this sweater: How did you do the short rows in garter stitch? My knit ones are fine, but my purl ones make huge, honkin' holes. I've picked up the wrap on the next row (which is a knit row), but that doesn't make any difference. Sorry, I don't have photos, but any advice is appreciated.

This weekend is busy. Tomorrow is a birthday shindig featuring yarn and knitting for yours truly. (Turning 44 has its perks.) And tomorrow night my BFF Laura is having an art opening. She painted my bitchin' Knitdevil you see on the sidebar. If you're in the Los Angeles area and have a thing for luchadores, check her paintings out at the Bike Oven.

Happy weekend!