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