Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

Vacation was awesome. Remarkably knit-free, but awesome. The first three days were spent visiting with old friends of mine, Duane and Cindy.

I've known them since my senior year of high school (1981-82). They're the co-owners of Wax Trax Records (aka the best record store in the world)) and mighty fine hosts. Tom had never been to Colorado before this, so we geared our activities around showing him some of the sights.

Highlights include Red Rocks and nearby biker town Morrison...

...contemporary art at the recently remodeled Denver Art Museum and walking around downtown...

Denver Public Library as seen from the Denver Art Museum

...hitting Colfax Avenue for lunch at Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner...

...and a stop at the Tattered Cover before heading to...

...Wax Trax, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in November.

The second half of our trip was spent in Boulder and Estes Park. We lolled around the lovely Bradley Boulder Inn...

...ambled around Pearl Street and the CU campus...

... and spent our last day on a mountain drive that culminated in Estes Park.

Boulder Falls

For you pop culture junkies, Estes Park is the home of the Stanley Hotel, which was Stephen King's inspiration for The Shining. We've run around saying "redrum" ever since.

Wonderfully atmospheric shot of the Stanley Hotel

We had such a great time we debated about coming home, but sanity prevailed, and we got on our plane, jiggity jig. Next up, a succinct report on a couple of Denver area LYS, which is all I was able to see since I was 1) surrounded by non-knitters, and 2) busy doing other stuff. Which might have involved pie. Imagine that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Whew. Thanks for letting me vent yesterday. I feel much better. My mood probably has a lot to do with the fact that Tom and I are off on a week's vacation this coming Saturday. We'll be in Colorado, visiting with friends in Denver and hanging in Boulder, home of my alma mater. (Go Buffs!) I won't be online much after this post, so I'll catch up with everyone when I return.

Pattern: Foliage by Emilee Mooney - version 2 for worsted weight yarn
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Moss - 1/2 skein
Needles: Addi Turbo 16" US 5 and 7; Clover bamboo dpns US 7
Mods: To cast on I crocheted a four-loop chain, joined it, picked up the first four knit stitches, and began on Row 2 (kf&b four times) of the pattern.
Rating: * * *

My Reckless Cast On #5 took about a second to knit. That is, after the hour or so I tried to figure out how to do a pleasing-to-the-eye cast on. Okay, maybe I exaggerate, but I did fiddle with the cast on for a while. As per usual, my knitting group came to the rescue - thanks, Marie, for the suggestion - and once that was done, this lace hat quickly finished itself. I love that you start at the crown and work down, that the lace pattern is nice and rustic looking in the Malabrigo, that this is such a quick knit. I'm not a fan of single-ply yarn, and as I knitted, was afraid that if I looked at it the Malabrigo would felt. (Someday I'll buy you all a mai tai, and you can explain the Cult of Malabrigo to me.) However, once knit up, it looked good enough to gift to Beth, whose head you see in the photos. So I did.

Have to dash. There's travel knitting to pick out. Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Make Bacon, Not War

Disclaimer: This post is rant heavy. It was written tongue in cheek, but it's still ranty.

"What's in the box?" ~ Brad Pitt in Se7en

Late last year I saw that Woolgirl was hosting a Seven Deadly Sins yarn club called the Seven Deadly S(p)ins. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride? Sign me up. The first shipment was Gluttony, and was kinda twee, but I stayed open minded as I gleefully anticipated what was to come. And then the second shipment, Wrath, arrived Monday. Wrath, people. Gonna be good. I pictured a box full of dark blood red yarn, a copy of Medea, some dark chocolate, maybe a pattern for a voodoo doll and a bottle of arsenic...you get the idea. I might have been slavering on the box as I opened it.

To this:

WTF? My head almost exploded. For some reason we weren't getting Wrath. Oh no. The theme instead was "spun" into its opposite: Peace. What the fuck? I feel so cheated I'm ranting about it three days later like some crazy person on the Hip Knits Ravelry thread.

Now, I respect the care that was given to this package, which cost me $39.25 by the way. The bath theme with its sheep washcloth pattern, soap, bath salts and chamomile teabags swag is...nice. The measly 150 yards of blue DK cotton yarn, not so much. The Lily's Sugar n Cream equivalent? Approximately $2. The club runners do address this in their accompanying letter by saying "Please note that this month's shipment is a tad 'light' on yarn, but please no 'wrathful' thoughts about this, as our upcoming shipments will have more than enough yarn to make up for this lighter and more peaceful package." So, they, uh, know they're shorting us? Yup.

More head almost exploding. I had to take two Extra Strength Tylenol and go furiously knit on Flutter. It didn't help, and I actually posted my dismay - like some crazy person - on the Ravelry SDS club board. It didn't help, so here I am ranting to you.

If I wanted fluffy bunnies and sparkly unicorns I would've joined the FBSU yarn club. But I didn't. And I hate to be condescended to/bait and switched; it makes me cranky, and not in the mood to knit a frickin' $40 sheep washcloth or soak in bubbles contemplating world peace. No, instead it makes me want to use my yarn to...make the above mentioned voodoo doll. Hmm, I wonder if there's a pattern on...aah, the Anti Craft. Bad Juju. Lovely.

And, while on the Anti Craft site, I discovered the new issue was up. It's dedicated to bacon. The entire thing. Bacon. The first pattern is even called Bacon of Hate - read about its wonderful raison d'etre here - and is the perfect little receptacle for my wrath. Uh, I mean peace. Lovely. That Zabet, she'd do the Seven Deadlies right.

Oh, and if you're wondering, I can hardly wait until I get my Pine Sol and mop duster pattern with accompanying tract on good housecleaning for Sloth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good Stuff

1. Bright, Sunshiny Day

Anita says I make her day. Thanks, Anita! Hers is one of the first blogs I started reading way back when, and I'm continually awed by her wicked sock knitting skills. And her way with Rowan yarn. She and I have done a couple of swaps, and her heart is B.I.G.

As for passing along this sweet sentiment, I love all of you. Doesn't that sound L.A.? Yeah, well, I do. But, after thinking about it for a few days, I want to give a shout out to a few special grrls:

- Founder of my knitting group and maker of a mean lemon bar. Her urging me to do so is the reason I started this blog, and her untiring enthusiasm for all things yarn-related keeps me inspired and knittin' alongside her.

Marie - Co-founder of my knitting group and a fellow tweed lover. She shares her knowledge selflessly and never laughs at my moments of knitting idiocy. (It's embarrassing how long it took me to figure out a workable cast on for Foliage, but her suggestion saved the hat.) She likes Neil Gaiman. 'Nuff said.

Ellen - Sometimes I think we were separated at birth. Except she's way hipper than I. I'm still not sure about this acrylic she keeps telling me about, though; sounds a little newfangled to me.

Laura - For some reason, she puts up with me even though I sometimes leave her totally random blog comments. And break her wine glasses. We share a geeky love of Captain Tightpants...maybe that has something to do with it??

Meredith - Her blog - like her - is honest, positive, and laugh out loud amusing, and while we may live far away from each other, I'd totally take her to my favorite tiki bar if she came to visit.

Melanie - She's feisty, funny, and strong. I can't wait to get the first installment of her Punk Rock Sock Club; as I told her, I've almost gnawed off my fingers in anticipation.

Wendy - We bought $5 postcards together. Isn't that insane? If we were in high school together we'd be hell on wheels: Smoking in the girl's room, riding with boys in Camaros, drinking blueberry daiquiris under pool tables while listening to AC/DC...so it's a good thing we met now. She has the best taste in stash I've ever run across. And yes, I'm talking about yarn.

Ladies, you make my day!

2) I Need Some New Projects

Bye, bye Boing!

The Reckless Cast On was a success. Of my seven projects, I've completed three (Reverse Cable Scarf, Foliage, and Rick Rack), frogged one (Boing), and am still plugging away on the remaining three (Flutter, Cable Footies, and Neck Down Cardi). Details to come on the FOs.

3) Or Maybe I Don't

My knitting group is running a Spring Cleaning KAL until 6/20. We're finishing our UFOs, and some people are making good headway. My project is my Lenores. I've knit an inch on them.

4. A Great Argument for (Hand) Knits

Friday, May 02, 2008

On the Seventh Day...

~ Project #7 - Friday ~

...I cast on my final reckless cast on. I always like to have an easy felted bag on the needles. They're great group knitting, and oh so practical when they're done.

Thanks to Ravelry I discovered this cute pattern, Rick Rack, and decided it would do as the perfect spring bag to make. (though for some reason I keep wanting to call it Riff Raff) I'm knitting it in my fave girly grrl combo - hot pink and red - out of some Patons Classic Wool I scored super cheap last fall.

And so, gentle reader, our madcap week of casting on high jinx comes to a close. Though I do have a postscript: When I told Tom what I was doing he was quiet for a second and then asked, "So, since you're doing one a day, will you continue knitting that project on the same day from now on?" My first thought was Wow, even I'm not that OCD. My second? Hey, that's a pretty good idea.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Swatchi Smiled

~Project #6 - Thursday ~

And I cheated. I actually cast on Knitting Pure and Simple's pattern #241 last night around 11 pm. In true reckless style I haven't washed my gauge swatch, so I could be frakked. I have a good feeling about this, though, and am choosing to think not. (If you're missing your rosy colored glasses, let me know.)

The yarn in use is Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece. Another first for me; partner-in-crime Mary and I scored some at the current Little Knits' sale. The colorway is Black Forest, a dark, dark green in sunlight that assumes a blackish tint in shade. It's knitting like a dream, and I envision myself wearing this cardi non-stop when it's finished.

Happy May Day! Hope you're all boinking, er knitting, your little hearts out.