29 December 2007

on ice

frozen assetsi decided that my sock yarn needed some special treatment. my apartment has been continuosly giving me the finger in 2007 (poor heating, CO leaking oven, wildlife in the ceiling AND in my closets) and i have a fear that i will have some sort of pest invasion that would munch on my beautiful sock yarns.

my sock yarns are the best yarns in my stash, so they get first dibs on the freezer. cottons and odd-ball skeins have to continue living under the bed. 3 skeins of Noro squeezed into the freezer because i don't have the same level of access to Noro because we don't carry it at the shop. gotta keep it safe until i start my Lizard Ridge.

yarns pictured...

top shelf (left to right)
3 skeins Noro Kureyon, The Alpaca Co. Paca Peds, 2 skeins Knit One Crochet Too Soxx Appeal, 1 skein ShiBuiKnits Sock (top), 1 skein Plymouth Happy Feet.

bottom shelf (left to right)
2 skeins Mountain Colors Bearfoot, 1 skein Cherry Tree Hill Super Sock DK, 1 skein Dream in Color Classy, RubySapphire Ruby Sock, White Willow merino sock (top), Skein Queen superwash wool, Jules Fiber Jewels, Thank Ewe.

oh! oh!
the ShiBui in the top right corner is what i am knitting my current pair of sock out of. obviously the second skein is not in the freezer because i am using it. yum.

holiday finishing time

herringbone scarfi used part of my holiday time to finish some projects. i brought more with me than i could ever get around to, but i am not disappointed by my progress.

first up...

Herringbone Scarf
designed by Allison Belvins
available at Tangle

knit in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick&Quick (1 skein "lemongrass" 75% acrylic, 25% wool) on size US 19 needles.

started: december 19, 2007
finished december 22, 2007

i really don't like knitting with huge needles, but sometimes i cam abandon process knitting in favour of project knitting. i wanted the scarf, and i had yarn in my stash, so i sucked it up and knit on the broomstick needles.

i like the results for the most part, but were i to do it again, i think i would try to do some sort of edge stitch to make the selvage edges look nicer.

mini sockmy second finished project of the holiday was the education of my mum on sock knitting. we knit mini socks together so she could knit a complete sock before starting a full sized pair.

i did mine in some scrap koigu, and hers is some scrap trekking. i wish i had taken some pictures of hers!

i think my mum now wishes i hadn't been the one teaching her. i am a task master, man. now she can feel sorry for all the students i had when i was teaching in grad school. at any rate, i hope she learned a lot!

i am starting to have a lovely little collection of these mini socks, so i need to work on an idea for displaying them. i am considering rigging up a little clothes line for them. we'll see.

let's all say it again... together!

kitty = huge geek

hand basket socksspeaking of socks.... i finished a pair that had been languishing on the back burner since june.

Hand Basket Socks
designed by kittything
free pattern in the sidebar

knit in Rowan Calmer (2 skeins "onyx" 75% cotton, 25% microfibre) purchased at K+S=B on size US 4 and US 5 bamboo double points.

started: june 2007
finished: december 26, 2007

i first put these aside to a knit a larger pair in the same pattern. then they were put aside to knit holiday gifts. i decided to discipline myself and make sure they were completed before we rung in 2008. under the wire, but i made it!

i have not worn them yet, but i will probably report back once i do. my friend Miss Mar has a pair of Calmer socks, and she likes hers. i hope i have similar good luck with this yarn.

yes, that is Baby Panda. he never got to model those socks, so i let him in on the final portrait. isn't he a sweetheart?

coming soon!
my latest project!
and the gifts i knit for my mum and could not post here!

28 December 2007

too much to share

i have so much to share after my holiday trip to ohio that i cannot put it all into one post. well, i could, but it would be very long and tedious to download for some folks because this kitty likes to take pictures to share with the audience at home. this blog being primarily about yarny arts, i will start with the serious stash enhancement this holiday season brought to me.

i am well fortified against boredom during my upcoming yarn diet thanks to my generous friends and family! thanks, guys!

spring tickle
first we have a skein of Dream in Color Classy in the "Spring Tickle" colorway. (yes, i know i am obsessed with this green) this baby came from my pal madhatternalice by way of a gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. smart man that guy.

i saw this over on wendy's blog, and i decided i needed to give it a try. it is labeled as worsted, but she has been able to knit it to a sport gauge for socks. on the hank, the yarn looks like a light worsted. very similar in thickness to our next friend....

fall foliagethis is a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Super Sock DK in the Fall Foliage colorway, also from my gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. i bet you are noticing that i have ordered a lot of heavy weight sock yarns. well, yes. i currently have yarn for 11 pair of socks i will be knitting in 2008, and only 3 of those are not fingering weight.

i need something to change it up! a little instant gratification can be good for the knitter's soul.

happy feetthis came from my dad. it is a skein of Plymouth Happy Feet i picked up at work when i bought his presents to my mum for him. call it a "finder's fee". only one skein because i am going to knit it up into the Purl Beret, not socks.

i am interested to see how this stuff is. it is very inexpensive (retails between $6-$7) and the colors are fun. i may have a new cheap sock yarn crack!

from santa in my stocking via my mum. this is a skein of RubySapphire Ruby Sock in the "Tamber" colorway. hand painted delight! it is wondrously soft and the color is one of my obvious favourites--pink and green combo. yum.

my mum and i went to her two LYS, and while out she bought me three skeins of Noro Kureyon. we don't carry Noro at the shop, so this is a little treat. i am going to use it in the Lizard Ridge afghan. i have a goal to knit one up for myself by the time i turn 30. gives me a couple of years to buy and knit all that yarn into squares.

booksfrom both of my parents--knitting books! we like to give each other books in my family. i got one for each of my parents this year, and they went a little crazy making sure my shelf got fuller too! i am very excited. i flip through them when i can't sleep. you know, the way people flip through the j crew catalogue.

kitty = big geek.

finally, a little gift to me from me. this is a skein of The Alpaca Yarn Co.'s Paca Peds in the "Harvest Time" colorway. my mum also got herself a skein of this yarn in their "Fireside" colorway. it was hard not to get that one for myself too, but i can live vicariously through her!

up next... the knitting i did while i was away! wheeee!

21 December 2007

happy! happy! merry! merry!

i'm off to the buckeye state. chances are good that there will be some form of an update while i am away, but it won't be the whole yule log you are used to... complete with pictures and all that wonderful stuff.

then again, maybe there won't.

to those who are traveling--please be safe! the same goes to all of you who will be partying a little more heartily for the holiday. see you in a week!

19 December 2007

warm fuzzies + 200!

happy 200th post! and this one is a good one, too. i have no new knitting content, just an update on some old content. today i got this email....

Well ladies, today I delivered a total of 39 scarves and hats to my friend Andie who runs Rainbow Place a shelter for homeless women in Rockville. The original request was for 30 so well done us! They will be in gift bags for the women who will be there on Christmas along with a sweatsuit, a bottle of perfume and a bottle of lotion.

Thank you all so much for helping me with this project! I received more of a response than I had expected. I will definitely do this again next year!

Happy Holidays!


this made my day.
i included 6 handmade hats and 3 handmade scarves as my part of our donation. happy holidays!


citric scarfthose who were alive and able to have a proper appreciation of the 1980s will notice straightaway that my latest project is the color of Slimer.

hot, huh?

Cross-Stitch Scarf
designed by Margaret Halas
published in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

knit in Manos del Uruguay (1 skein "Citric" 100% kettle dyed wool) from my stash on size US 10 1/2 bamboo needles.

started: december 16, 2007
finished: december 19, 2007

i love this yarn. i love this pattern. i can't wait to knit with manos again or to knit this scarf again in a variegated color as pictured in the book!

the pattern is very very simple, and the results (especially in a variegated yarn) look like you did a lot more work than you actually did. i made one slight modification to the pattern because the simplicity had one drawback.

cross stitch kittythis stitch is in the stockinette family, so the ends curl a bit where you cast on or bind off. to stop it, i worked one row of single crochet and one row of reverse single crochet (crab stitch to knitters) on each end. it helped a lot.

it is in the sink soaking for a good blocking right now. i think a thick and thin yarn like manos needs a good blocking to have nice selvage edges. i can't wait for this to dry so i can wear it!

ooh. and look! a rare kittything without her glasses photo. collect them all!

17 December 2007

knitter's beer cozy

knitters beer cozyno. not a knitted beer cozy. thank god. and really it is a diet coke cozy in the photo, but you get the point.

fun with center pull yarn balls!

one more time...

with feeling.

i was tagged for the 8 Random Things Meme back on november 24th. i am a slacker. because this is the 2nd time i have been tagged for the same one, i am not going to tag other people, but i will link back to Donna who tagged me.

i apologize if any of these are repeats from before. i'm not up for digging to find my old post.

1. i am currently obsessed with shortbread cookies. in the past, i hated these things, deeming them "not real cookies" because they are not particularly sweet compared to say... chocolate chip. now i am in love, and i am very judgmental. for heaven's sake, shortbread should only have 4 ingredients. none of them should be corn syrup.

2. i don't like fancy coffee. in the last year i have learned how to order fancy coffee for my co-workers, but i stick to my plain jane small coffee with a bit of skim. i have learned because of this that people often insist upon treating me. compared to a $5 "venti" sugar bomb, my $1.65 coffee is cheapcheapcheap.

3. my fingernails grow stupidly. my mother tells me it is because i bit them as a child. hers do the exact same things, however, so i think it is an inherited "genetic defect". we joke about which "defects" i have inherited. from her: loss of keys, loss of glasses, fingernails, wacky laugh... there are others, but because they are jokes, i only remember them when my she says "oops. that must be another genetic defect you inherited from me. sorry."

4. verbosity is a genetic defect i inherited from my father. i hear it makes me a good story teller, but sometimes it gets out of hand.

5. i hate to wash silverware. just loathe it. no reasonable explanation.

6. i love to read signs. clever, stupid, silly, generally amusing, misspelled, you name it--i'm reading it. i like to read them out loud, and people tend to think it is strange. i dated a guy for awhile who shared this passion for sign reading. too bad we otherwise disliked each other.

7. before i became a costume designer, i used to sew all of the the time. now because i strongly associate sewing with work, i rarely do it just for fun. my typical personal output is one or two gifts per year plus one item for myself.

8. i am perfectly happy to sit and work on something in silence. sometimes i will lay on my floor in silence just to not be doing anything. it is sort of like meditation without a mantra. ha.

there it is. enjoy.

downhill slide.

fetchingthe last few weeks have been very busy for me, and now i feel like i am speeding toward my small relief--a break to go see my family. i hate that when your are self-employed, freelance artist you need an excuse like a holiday to justify not being reachable 24/7. like going out of town might be a crime or something.

checked an item off my "to do before leaving" list.

i finished the pair of Fetching i promised my pal Heather. she saw some i knit for a mutual friend and asked me how much she would have to pay me to knit her a pair.

knitting is one of my hobbies. i don't want to start equating it too directly with income. so i just told her she would have to buy the yarn, then i would knit them for her. i hope our mutual friend isn't irritated by this.... her were an outright gift, and i hope making a pair for Heather doesn't detract from my original intention.

no big project recap. i knit these the first time in june, and you can read all about it here. i did make two small changes that are worth mentioning.

first, i knit the cuff and the thumb on a smaller needle than the hand to keep them nice and snug. i also finished these off with a more traditional bind off. the picot bind off called for in the pattern curls backwards after a few wearings.

so, fast and fun. i'll drop them off to her on thursday when i head back to the old alma mater to pull costumes.

15 December 2007

i utterly lack self-control

i managed to really get my in-progress numbers down, and then i run off and cast on for another project. i guess it could be worse.... coke.... heroin... pornography.

i'm hooked on projects.

here's this week's progress.
not very much because i have been in tech, and i have been unwinding by filing my finished projects on ravelry rather than messing up new things by crafting when too sleepy.

i did finish that thumb on the first fetching. i didn't cast on the the 2nd one yet because i am using the same fetching cuff needles on the cuff of my 2nd hand basket sock. i just freed them up, so i will be able to cast it on this weekend.

hand basket
speaking of the hand basket sock... i am beyond the cuff and i have worked the first section of the pattern stitch. if i don't get these done this week they are coming along to ohio. i hope to get them done, however, because i want to take my ShiBuiKnits yarn along and knit a new sock.

cross stitch scarf
this is the new culprit. i cast on for the Cross-Stitch Scarf from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. it looks a lot harder than it is. i'm enjoying it, and i think it will be a fun little project--even though i'm not a big scarf knitter.

coming up... which projects will go on holiday with me! time to plan my trip!

13 December 2007

quilts ahoy!

quilters quilt

so the show i have been up to my ears designing is Quilters, and when there are quilters about, you better believe there are quilts. here is the quilt that i designed with the set designer.

it was built by the lovely and talented Miss Mar and her assistant Katherine. these women rock. each of the 16 smaller pieces are removable (the big full quilt is revealed at the end of the show) and each is stunning.

go to her blog post on the project to see the full details because i have got to get to bed, kids. oh, and do click through to the post because she included a bonus of a truly lovely picture of her Hanukkah candles.

blogger's spell checker has given me three ways to spell the holiday.... jerks. off confusing us heathens for sport.

11 December 2007

4 things

1. my current show is a little stressful for a variety of reasons. not the least of which could be that i am heading into day 13 of Tech-o-Rama 2007. um. and i keep forgetting to eat.

2. i officially struck the citrine skirt from my languishing list. i looked at it on ravelry and other parts of the WWW, and it looks like butt crocheted up. i'm not going to take that gamble. instead the 9 unused balls of yarn will go into the stash until i decide their fate.

3. i cast on and began knitting the second hand basket sock for myself. it was abandoned in june when i moved on to the other pair (in the correct size) for my then-boyfriend. i keep admiring the finished big-foot pair that sadly live in a drawer rarely seeing the light of day.... and now i will finish the pair that fits me.

4. pasha is done. he has eyes thanks to Miss Mar who gave me the best button eyes ever. thanks, pretty lady! you rock my hand knit socks!

10 December 2007

long time no knit

bambinai have been a busy girl, but even though i have been busy, i have had my trusty knitting with me for those spare moments when i can sneak some rows. here are the things i finished in the last two weeks while teching and dress rehearsing my latest show.

first up....

designed by the fine folks at Colinette.
pattern free with yarn purchase.

knit in Colinette Tagliatelli (remenants from 3 skeins #139 "Neptune", #48 "Florentina", and #100 "Gauguin" 90% merino wool, 10% nylon) from my stash on size US 10.5 crystal palace bamboo needles.

started: november 30, 2007
finished: december 6, 2007

this was a fun little baby sweater that knit up in no time at all. i finished it in 2 or 3 days and was lazy about sewing up the seams until thursday. i was dreading it because i was worried the yarn would not mattress stitch well, but once i started, i disciovered that this is an incredibly forgiving yarn to seam. it turned out very well.

to answer the most frequent question on everyone's lips.... there is no intended recipient. yet. i just knit it to knit it. that is the thing with baby items. you can knit them and they won't go out of style and they fit as long as you give them at the right time.

i also don't know if i have friends who are funky enough for this yarn that intend to have a baby any time soon. handpainted merino ribbon yarn is pretty... out there.

there is still some yarn left, and i plan to knit a little hat to go with the sweater. nice not to have a deadline!

urchinsecond project is a beret that i have been eyeing since the fall issue of knitty.com came out.

by Ysolda Teague
published on knitty.com

size large knit in Colinette Zanziba (1 skein #72 "Tapis" 51% wool, 48% viscose, 1% nylon) purchased at K+S=B on size US 10.5 crystal palace bamboo needles.

started: december 7, 2007
finished: december 8, 2007

i wanted to knit this since i saw it, but i wasn't sold until i found the right yarn. i really love the grey and pinks of this hand painted blend, and when we put it on sale at work, i couldn't say 'no'.

urchinthe viscose gives the yarn a slight sheen, and after i blocked it, it became nice and drapey. i was a little worried about this when i finished.

i knit the size large because i wanted the top to be fuller, not really because my head is all that large. i just knew from looking at the pictures of other versions on ravelry that i didn't want the top of the hat too look anemic. it needed to really look like a beret to work.

when i finished it was a little stiff and springy at the same time... and not very beret-like on my head. i crossed my fingers and wet blocked the hat over a dinner plate. ta-da! it really seemed to work.

i like it. i'm sure you'll get a long haul report in the spring. we'll see how it holds up.

penguin finally we have a new pasha the penguin. he is 99% finished. i just can't find my buttons for the eyes. i put them away in the spring, and i did a great job at that. yes. i put them away so well that i can't find them again.

i'll pick some up tomorrow when i am out and about for work.

ps- show is open. go see Antigone. great cast! i am especially fond of Antigone herself.
pps- my peguin is in line with the story of antigone's family. he doesn't have eyes! wheeee!

05 December 2007

snow kitty

it started to snow harder, so i decided i needed to take a walk and snap a few pictures of the neighborhood all in white.

bridge 1

i live beside several foot paths that criss cross a creek. there are foot bridges that i like very much. here is the one closest to my house.

snowy avenue

the bridge leads to a avenue of trees. this little stroll is pretty in all seasons, but it can be rather difficult to photograph in the summer unless it is an exceptionally sunny day because the leaves block out the sunlight.

bridge 2

this is the second foot bridge near my house. i think this one is a little prettier than the first. maybe because there isn't a sign attached to it telling you it is a $1000 fine for dumping.

snow bamboo

we have a lot of bamboo in my neighborhood, and i think it looks extra lovely covered in snow.


first, i must say that there is no accounting for taste when it comes to lawn ornamentation. second, these guys probably wish they could fly south for the winter.


while i was out in the natural light i decided to take a picture of the first (nearly complete) fetching. pretty color! i just need to do the thumb and weave in the ends on this one. pardon the awkwardly crapped photo. i was getting pretty cold by the time i snapped this one.

snow kitty

and finally we have a snow kitty. it is coming down pretty hard out there. i was snow covered after only a 15-20 minute stroll. you can tell i come from the land of snow--we know how to bundle up! brrrr!

shiver me ti.... just shiver.

1st snowi woke up today and what did i behold out my window? snow. that's right. winter has officially arrived in the greater DC metro area. that means my job just got a lot harder.

i grew up in the midwest where we drive to work in a level 3 snow emergency. out here they cancel schools when they have a half inch. and i know all the arguments--"we just don't have the equipment to handle all that snow!"

no, really folks....
when there is less than an inch here are the items you need: ice melt, broom, shovel (maybe). does not require snow plows or the national guard.

i know i sound like a cranky old grandma, but i have to go out into the mad hatter's convention of it all to shop my show today. snow + the mall. let me tell you how happy i am that i am still at home with my coffee.

in knitting news, i have both the pasha and the fetching going right now. pasha is coming right along, but i cannot take him on the go with me because i need to focus a bit to do short rows. i did half of the first fetching in dress rehearsal last night. now i am at the point of 5 more rows + thumb and i can cast on the second one.

country cowboy
i am knitting the fetching for my pal heather, and she picked out the yarn. girlfriend has good taste in the quality fibers department. it is a Lane Borgosesia yarn called Merino Otto Shadow and it knits like a dream. it is very similar to Karabella's Aurora 8 or Berroco's Pure Merino in feel. but the colors are "shadow" dyed. click the link to view the full color card. it is neat stuff.

heather's color is pictured at right. it knit up rather prettily. my only complaint is the names they give these colors. while i call heather's choice "Little Mermaid Green" those Trendsetter folks call it "Country Cowboy".

1. silly.
2. is there any other kind of cowboy?
3. the names of the other colorways sound like names of wild west themed romance novels.

left field:
i have noticed a trend on my blog lately. i am a total grump. or i am being snarky. i need to do something about that because i'm actually a pretty happy person in life. i'm not sure if i will be able to add that to my already daunting new years resolutions (yarn diet and taking a hard look at my finances).

we shall see.
okay. going to take a walk in the winter wonderland before i go out into the hellish part of snow season. then--more coffee!

03 December 2007

oh, bother

raincloudlook! new and improved kittything! with spaces!

yes, that is correct. i have a working keyboard. a friend hooked me up because he couldn't stand 1. me whining about it. or 2. reading any of my electronic communications. the typos are hard enough to work through.

it has been one of those weeks... for a a while now. let us have a list.

1. this weekend my keyboard mysteriously broke without consulting me or giving visible signs of its distress.
2. whilst washing my face saturday night, i accidentally ripped out my nose stud. nice. work. genius. you paid someone to put metal in your face, the least you could do is remember it is there. (to be fair, it is so natural i just forget about it.)
3. i lost said nose stud for about 36 hours.
4. i burnt the heck out of my elbow sunday. yes.... my elbow. don't ask.
5. friday i was unceremoniously screamed at by a store owner for attempting to use my credit card for a $4.99 transaction (he later told me there was a $5 min.) and when i corrected the problem by just buying another diet coke (transaction now $5.67) he got even more angry!
6. i'm really poor. i hate waiting for the freelance gig paychecks to come in. they always seem to be 3 days after you want them.

all this leads me to my favourite song.

I'm just a little black rain cloud
hovering under the honey tree,
Only a little black rain cloud,
pay no attention to little me.

Everyone knows that a rain cloud
never eats honey, no, not a nip.
I'm just floating around over the ground,
wondering where I will drip.

thanks, poohbear.
i'm right there with ya buddy.

lest i seem all frowns and rain drops, let's do a good list.

1. my show is going very well. i like the cast, and i am having a good time with the director.
2. new keyboard.
3. while at the above mentioned show's tech i got a lot of knitting done. i have a baby sweater i just need to sew up! 90% knit at the theatre! go me.
4. i finished the first sleeve of my gathered pullover. i love the Ultra Alpaca. the color ("pea soup mix"!!) rocks.
5. i made a fantastic dinner tonight entirely unplanned and comprised of things found willy-nilly in my kitchen. it even had three different foods rather than a single all purpose dish!

to elaborate....

i made baked sweet potatoes, corn bread, and an awesome "throw in" soup. it was made from veggie broth, red bell peppers, collard greens, butternut squash stuffed ravioli, lots of fresh garlic, and assorted herbs. it rocked.

i wish i had taken a picture of the soup because the color was lovely. oh, and knitting pictures soon!

image from Discovery Education. you rock the schoolhouse!

02 December 2007







28 November 2007

in the continuing saga of home repair and improvement

remember the squirrel in my apartment?

i have been told his name is "chippy". well, chippy & friends still have a way in and out of my closet and they have been taking advantage of that. hopefully that will stop today because the landlords have ponied up the bucks to have the gutters and fascia replaced on the house.

well, almost.

the contractors were supposed to be here at 8am. they didn't arrive until 11:15. now i am concerned about the way they swing a ladder. my windows may not be so safe in this adventure...

and i was the naive one who thought all of my problems from the last apartment would be solved by living on the top floor. nope. new problems. mostly related to ladders and squirrels.

major knitting questions....
do i start another pasha? or another pair of fetching? i promised one of each to friends. due date is after the holiday, but i am considering getting started now so 2008 can be the year of the sock right from the get-go.

gathered pullover is coming along. well, the first sleeve is. it is the perfect mindless knitting for sitting in a design run or rehearsal.

the end

loop scarfit is official. i have knit (or crocheted) all of the gifts i set out to complete this holiday season. i have even put handmade care instruction tags on all of them. and it is before december 1st!
sometimes (and this is one of those times) i get to say.... i am just that good.

details on the last official gifty.

Garter Stitch Loop-Through Scarf
designed by Marci Richardson
published in 101 Designer On-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant

knit in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (2 skeins #08... i call it "butterscotch" 80% alpaca 20% silk) from my stash on size US 7 bamboo needles.

started: november 23, 2007
finished: november 25, 2007

i made some pretty major adjustments to the numbers on this pattern because it is written for sportweight yarn, and when i was working with sport weight yarn, i was knitting it on a size US 4.

i am very pleased with how the heavier weight piece turned out. the stitches have much better definition than they had in the 100% alpaca yarn i was using. i'll save it for a lacy hat i want to make from the same book. my stash will not go to waste.

i also think this color will be really great on the girlfriend i knit it for. since i can't wear the color, i need to find someone who can! the yarn is too yummy! and the great thing is that i still have 3 skeins of this stuff for a little gifty i plan to make for someone else on their birthday next year.

maybe i will succeed with my upcoming yarn diet.

26 November 2007

deck the halls

sunday night i put the tree up. i didn't do it last year, so i had to use my brain about where everything was put away two years ago. it went better than expected considering, and it was very fast because my friend madhatternalice helped me.

in fact, i think he was more excited about the tree than i was. i guess it is understandable. i grew up decorating a tree for the holiday and he didn't. and really, which is more exciting? the Maccabees? or bubble lights?

i may go to hell for that one. i'll redeem myself with a list....

Things I Learned Decorating a Tree With a Man

1. the concept of shaping an artificial tree to look more natural is entirely absurd if you think about it too much.
2. it seems like all men try to tie up the tree by stringing lights too tight.
3. if you have more than 10 Gone With the Wind ornaments, be prepared to be mocked.
4. the right cute ornament can melt anyone's heart. got penguins? how about a plastic canvas panda bear?
5. pink tinsel mini trees are not for everyone. but they are for me! (sorry i don't have a picture of it.)

tree is up! it was educational and fun.
we were also supposed to watch Six Feet Under, but that didn't happen. only down side to the night. boo.

now that the tree is ready, i want to wrap all of my presents so that i can put them underneath and make it even prettier! i still need to finish my care tags for the knit things. but when i am done with them, the wrapping can begin!

i finished the garter loop through scarf yesterday. post about that soon!

25 November 2007

the royal treatment

scarfon friday i finished my latest store model. this one was fun to knit. i love the fiber... i got to make up a pattern... and grey is one of my favourite colors to knit.

enough nonsense....

here are the details!

Staggered Rib Scarf
designed by kittything
pattern available as a free download.

knit in Plymouth Royal Llama Silk (3 skeins #1002 "agate" 60% fine llama, 40% silk) purchased at K+S=B on size US 7 bamboo needles [a present from donna!]

started: november 5th (ish?), 2007
finished november 23, 2007

scarf on kittyi sorta lied about the start date. maybe. i started the scarf over in several different designs. this was the fourth version. because it is a store model you have many things to consider when picking a pattern.

1. we wanted something i made up so we could give it away free with purchase of yarn at the shop.
2. the yarn should be the focus as much (if not more) than the stitch pattern.
3. we specifically wanted to knit something that would be appealing to both male knitters and women knitting for men.
4. it can't be too difficult or people won't feel confident that they can complete it.

fortunately the stars aligned on this project. men like things that are simple. simple = easy to knit. and finally, this yarn's texture is so eye catching that it swallowed any more complicated designs i attempted.

i am a sock knitter, and i will admit that i was inspired in this deign by the Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. simple. elegant. unisex.

and who doesn't like some silk and delicious llama?

in alpaca news!
i am frogging my first attempt at the garter loop through scarf. the hot pink sportweight alpaca is simply not cutting it. it looks too limp and smooshy. the stitch definition also leaves something to be desired.

so i reworked the numbers last night and cast on for a worsted weight version out of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk i had in my stash. the silk really helps the alpaca have some body. stitches look good, and this thing is so much faster to knit on US 7 than a US 4! i have more than made up for the lost frogging time. woo!

i may get it finished up tomorrow! we shall see. the holiday tree is supposed to go up tomorrow.

ps- in the photo of me modeling the scarf.... the little skull pin? yeah, his "crossbones" are made of crochet hooks. he was a present. i have the coolest friends!

22 November 2007


happy thanksgiving to all the other folks in the good old USA. to everyone else--hi! hear about our holiday! i had a low(ish) key holiday and a few adventures. more will come with the weekend. i think we need a bulleted list.
  • my apartment is incredibly clean. i get to feel superior about this until january 1st when i realize i need to take down the holiday decor.
  • i forgot to clean the blades on the kitchen fan, and i have decided that this will not dampen my sense of superiority over those who partied and visited all day. ha.
  • my cousins called me. it was jess's number, so when her husband was on the other end of the line gobbling madly at me... well, needless to say it gave me a bit of a start. and a laugh.
  • i lost my wallet. this caused me to call my mother... swearing and spitting. i was a regular pirate. without the eye patch. or rum.
  • the nice vietnamese family that runs the beer/wine store found it and they kept it for me until my dumb ass figured out i lost it and came back. i am glad i drink and have a regular place where i buy my libations.
  • i had dinner with one of my bestest friends who was also unable to make it home to the family. she and i have been pals for 17 years. that is right up there with family.
  • we went to La Tasca downtown for tapas, which were bountiful. the highlight was a fried eggplant with amazing garlic cheese dip. we also had a pitcher of sangria and dessert.
  • i work tomorrow. at the store. on black friday. boo. hisssss!
  • holiday tree goes up this weekend! i'll post pictures.
for those of you that are traveling over the next few days, please be safe!

21 November 2007


so i thought the little skull ring i posted about a few days ago was cool....

(and it still is!)

and then the same jeweler posted The Big Skull Ring. you need to click the picture of the person wearing it to really "get" the scale. they say they make it any size.... i think they don't mean for 5.5, however.

but i can dream.

i can also dream of one day being as awesome as wendy. not only does she have an adorable cat, knits like a genius, and is a good knitwear designer to boot.... now she is freaking making challah! and that makes me want to cry a little.

i have an extreme weakness for challah.
and it makes no sense! i didn't grow up with it. no one in my family makes it (that i can recall) and i honestly cannot say when i first had it, but boy hoo! i was hooked.

i can eat an entire loaf.

by myself.

in one sitting.

and if it has been around for a day or so and gets turned into french toast, hold on to your hat. i will eat the french toast until i am full. and then i will have one more piece. and if it is a small "one more" piece, i might have to go back again. then i feel sick, but i don't mind because it is that freaking good.

cable girl

cables on meyesterday after working at the shop i didn't have a lot of energy for other work, so i mostly just tried to get my life organized better to make this holiday week productive.

and when i couldn't do that anymore, i knit this little darling up. look at that picture.... it is obvious i could not do more work. even my hair looks tired. (don't mock.)

i know, i know. the project looks very familiar because i have made one before. this summer, actually. well. i had the yarn i thought would be perfect. and it is fun to knit up. the cabled neck tube is extremely satisfying.

i also like to call it the "loss-proof" scarf. the cynics of the world may also choose to call it the "knitted neck brace", but those people don't get handmade gifts.

cabled necktubeCherry Garcia Cabled Neck Tube
designed by Adrian Bizilia
published on www.HelloYarn.com

knit in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande (1 ball #403 dark grey, 100% baby alpaca) on 10" size US 10 double point needle.

started: november 20, 2007
finished: november 20, 2007

i love this yarn. it probably lands on my list of all time, top 5, stranded on a desolate island and this is all i get to knit with yarns. i should put some more thought into what that list would be.

or maybe i should just watch High Fidelity again and stop making lists.

20 November 2007

ennui bunny gets a friend

several months ago a little friend came to live with me, and his big floppy pink ears and glassy little eyes have been making me smile ever since. i was thinking he looked a little sadder as the months passed--like he may be suffering from bunny ennui.

we had a little chat.
i offered him a pal, but there is a condition... we have to let the pal go make someone else happy after he perked us up a bit. bunny agreed.

at first he was skeptical, wondering if i meant to keep my word and where on earth i would find him a friend.

but then.... !!!!!

oh, hi! you looking for me?

hurry off you two, the holidays are almost here and your new friend has an important date!

the new bunny is for my nephew, and the photo series is for hannah. she is having a contest, and while i don't expect to win, i hope the bunnies make her smile because she is a genius when it comes to making little crocheted friends!

so i won't do a full project run down on the green bunny.
he is exactly the same as ennui bunny with two minor exceptions. he is made entirely out of Berroco Touche (the pink yarn was Tahki Cotton Classic) and because he is going to live with my nephew soon, he has embroidered eyes instead of boot button eyes. i love how little details entirely change the personality of a stuffed friend.

one gift to go....

down with the d-to-the-k

son of stitch and bitchi saw the cover of this book and i knew i had to have it. i have two great graphic obsessions: skulls and argyle. look at the model in the foreground! i was ready to swoon. then i noticed that he was pretty attractive as well....

we will discuss the books before the knitting.

i think the book is just great. when it comes to a book with patterns, i have a formula to determine if i can buy it. a loose leaf pattern costs (on average) $5. so i look through the book and determine if there is one pattern for every $5 i spend that i will knit.

let me say that this book has well over the required 3 patterns to let me buy it. the accessories are fantastic. hats, scarves, socks. wow. (the lucky socks are one of my favs). the sweaters are 6 of 1, half dozen of the other. it is all about personal taste. i can say that i looked through the sweaters and said "i know a guy would would wear each of these". they aren't all geared toward the same man... but you don't get bogged down in heavy colorwork or the absurd numbers of cables that most handknit men's sweaters strive for.

all this being said, there are a few big fat duds. like the stripper pole scarf... it is an illusion knit scarf and the image in the illusion knitting is a woman on a stripper pole. i would need to be seriously compelled were that to ever be cast on to my needles. as far as i am concerned, neither love nor money would compel me.

the beer bottle pillows are pretty lame as well. i wouldn't knit them for a man because they are a sizable enough project that you would need to be serious about him before casting on. and if you are that serious, there is a possibility that the pillow could end up on your couch one day soon. this is not a good thing.

lest you think i have gone over to the other side and lost my taste for kitsch, i will say the knitted lucha libre ski masks are pretty cool. i think this comes from my midwestern upbringing. if it is cold enough that you actually have to wear a ski mask, it should be amusing.

back to the cover.
i covet the double-knit argyle scarf. as i mentioned, i love argyle, and i really want to learn to double-knit. double-knitting is not hard in theory, nor is it easy in practice. go here and scroll down to see a video of it being done.

(warning: for all my non-knitters... you are about to enter a scary knitting zone.)

i swatched the scarf last night, or at least i tried. woo, baby! finding the best way to hold your yarns is tricky tricky. i thought i should try the two handed method knitting one color english and one continental (i am a continental knitter... to a fault.) but that made a mess. i tried to do both continental coming off my index finger with plucking one color and wrapping the other. no-go, but better.

so now i am trying to do a more standard continental with both yarns in my left hand but the knit yarn plucked from my index finger and purl yarn plucked from my middle finger. this is very tricky for me because i usually feed my stitches up the needle with my middle finger, and ring finger was in an unfortunate accident in my misguided crafting youth that has sapped his strength to the point that he can't manage that job alone.

(end knitter's jargon)

the challenges continue.
if i ever learn how to hold my yarn, i promise i won't bitch too much about the fact that the scarf will probably take me a whole year to finish. as it stands right now, i may well do better to begin tackling intarsia so i can make myself some real argyle socks.

on the opposite end of the timeconsuming spectrum, i am almost done with my final crochet project of the 2007 holidays.

19 November 2007


supersquirrelthere is a squirrel in my apartment. he is very confused about what i am doing in this dwelling.

the feeling is mutual.


grandma kitty

i know just enough about technology to have a lot of fun with it. as opposed to the things i know just enough about to be dangerous. like repairing my own car.

i knew technorati existed. i never really dug into what it is or noticed that my blog has its own page. freaking weird, man. i don't have time to see everything on the internet! i have things to knit and crochet!

speaking of... two other things.

1. i don't like the keyword tags that technorati filtered to the top for my blog. they make me feel shallow. i mean... when was the last time i tagged something "parties"? hell, when was the last time i went to a party?

2. knit.1 magazine. high on patterns. low on content. i know i am way behind the curve because it came out in september, but what is up with the interview of Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott?

i have nothing against them. go. be happy.

i do have something against reading a fluff article about what cool knitters they are to only discover in said article that they each only know the knit stitch. tori cannot cast on or bind off for herself... and she has been "knitting" for 4 years!

tori says...
One day I decided I wanted a hobby, something to do instead of vegging out in front of the TV. I wanted to be productive and creative. I had already tried painting and that didn't work, so I drove to a store and sat inside with the ladies for six hours while they taught me to knit.

maybe i am also down on this article because Vickie Howell did the interview, and her taste (in this one woman's opinion) leaves much to be desired.

but now that i have said something mean about her taste, i do discover that her blog can be a source of useful and interesting information. like the fact that Will Forte knits.

18 November 2007

chet baker and me

i love skull-a-day.

i hate skull-a-day.

it is a website devoted to one person's year long quest to make a skull image every day. you know, in the name of art. every week they do something called "Braincase" which is a round up of skully things readers have spotted.

braincase always has something i want. like deliriously expensive skull chocolates. or the fantastic ring you see above.

see, i thought i was safe because i won't buy expensive chocolates for myself and the ring only comes in a size 7. (i wear the much smaller 5 1/2) but nooooo.

the metal artists who make that ring have another very cool ring that comes custom sized. and earrings that are no size at all. it is a good thing i don't wear enough earrings to justify it. but the ring. oh the temptation! i cannot be tempted. not the same day i had a serious discussion of my finances. sigh! maybe Santa will bring me some skulls.

i fall in love too easily.

cables a-go-go

log cabin socksi met my needlework goal for the weekend. i was either going to finish my log cabin socks or knit the entire first ball of the Blue Sky Alpaca into the garter loop scarf.


these babies are soaking in my sink right now so i can block them. i should try knitting my socks two at a time on circulars. i try on the first sock i knit in a pair so many times that it always ends up stretched out compared to the second sock. i should also lay down the law and not let other people try the first one on. this happens more often than i like.


Log Cabin Socks
designed by Anne Woodbury
published in Handknit Holidays

men's size knit in Plymouth Encore (2 balls #045 olive green, 25% wool, 75% acrylic) purchased at K+S=B on size 5 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNs.

started: september 20, 2007
finished: november: 18, 2007

it looks like these socks took a long time to finish, but in fact they were very quick. i didn't touch them for the entire month of october... well... beyond picking up the casted on needles and moving them around my apartment hoping i would be moved to work on the 2nd sock.

i'm not a particularly fast or focused sock knitter so these took about a total of 6-8 days worth of knitting time. i will say... big needle socks are so fast! (compared to my usual socks) big man foot socks are not so fast. i bet in my size i could finish a pair of these in a weekend.

as a sock knitter i must learn to discipline myself to write down what i did on the first sock. i worked this pattern almost entirely as written until i got to the toe. i continued the cable pattern into the toe because it looked less bulbous than the plain toe.

somehow i have fraternal toes!
i thought i knit them exactly the same, but they look slightly different. maybe it is the stretched out 1st sock and not the knitting of the 2nd that looks funny. i dunno.

at any rate, i am starting to be less embarrassed by my Work In Progress count. two holiday gifts to go! it looks more and more like someone else may get to slide onto the last minute list.

unless i get selfish and knit my sweater instead. ooooh. sweater.

17 November 2007

coy? who, me?

manos ballit is official. the Manos del Uruguay project is finished. too bad the recipient is one of my close girlfriends and a blog reader. no pictures for you until december. oh, the suspense!

i can say that the little ball at left is all i have left. isn't Bramble a pretty color? yum. and the wool was fun to knit with.

so that brings the completed gift count to 11. i have 2 active gift projects on the needles, and i need to start one last crochet project. we will see if anyone else sneaks on the last minute list.

on thursday i went to lunch and christmas shopping with my galpal A. she and i hadn't had big kid one on one time in awhile. her hubby was at work, the little one was in daycare, and she didn't have class. it was great. we ate. we shopped. we laughed.

i scored both my father's birthday gift and his "purchased" holiday gift. once i finish his 2nd knitted gift (the log cabin socks) i should be done with him. stocking excluded, but i always do the stocking gift last minute. he can be hard to buy for.

i don't do last minute. he pushes me to it sometimes, but i love him anyway.

i need an idea for my grandmother. past winners: cotton night gowns, handmade scarf, crocheted dishcloths, frozen beer mugs. i need some new suggestions.

throw a dog a bone!

ps- the completion of this project puts me at 51 finished objects for 2007.