Several things kept me home today, and one of them was the simple fact that I needed to get Anouk in the mail. I found the buttons last night at Yarn Central. Some knitters feel that finding the buttons is the most difficult part, but for me, it was the easiest part of the project.
My stash is small, but it is growing. At the moment, I have more yarn than I could knit in a year, so I was hard-pressed to justify any CTSW purchases. And you know there would have been CTSW purchases. Without question.
While I'm talking about buying and not buying yarn, today was the final day of business for a local yarn store, Yarn Swift!. I was not exactly a regular, but I did stop by and chat with the owner now and then. I popped by to wish Kay and her daughter well and to have a glass of champange. Slightly buzzed from two glasses of champagne, I relied on Joe to guide me -- and a rather large bag that I'd somehow clutched onto during my brief visit -- to the car.
If you are wondering how I've justified buying yarn at a store after forgoing a yarn festival, then I know you are not a knitter. But I will tell you: I've moved many times in my life, and buying this bit of yarn this was my way of helping lessen the task of packing and storing the yarn.
Another compelling reason to stay close to home is the state of my home. Since starting Apartment Therapy, my living quarters are looking worse than they did before I started. It's that Storm Before the Calm, when all is unearthed and scattered. Yesterday, I made the mistake of asking the designer/author of Apartment Therapy for some suggestions on the organization of my living room, which is also serving as the "holding pen" for much of what has been pruned from other rooms, and one or two commentors felt compelled to leave snarky answers. However, the regulars at the Apartment Therapy Book Blog are a protective bunch, and I was vindicated in short order.
I think it rather bizarre that complete strangers find it acceptable to leave snarky, and in some instances menacing, comments. Alas, it all ties in with the simultaneous diminising of manners and an escalating sense of entitlement that prevails in this country.
The most compelling reason, however, to miss the CTSW?
28 April 2006
I Don't Do Baby Talk
My obvious discomfort on the goo-goo-ga-ga front sparked a conversation that resulted in an oft-quoted and legendary line.
Basically, I do not support encouraging linguistic errors such as pissgettis (vs. spaghetti) and the like. (Before you jump all over my poo-poo, I'm not suggesting that the child be corrected, but rather that adults not embrace the mispronunciations of a young and unformed soft palette into the family lexicon. I am only asking that adults pronounce words properly, use good grammar, and avoid slang around children.) The subject was bandied about, and after some time, I tired of the debate. I promptly shut it down with a rather cold and flat pronouncement: "I don't do baby talk."
Thus, was born one of my lexical legacies.
And while I still don't do baby talk, it also appears that I barely do baby gifts. Roughly ten months after the initial cast on, I pronounce Anouk finished. I've procrastinated to the point where the baby that is receiving it wasn't even a swimmer in her father when I started this. A different cousin with a different baby gains from a different cousin with a different baby's loss.
She is finished sans bouton and pockets, but this madness has gone on long enough.
Two months late? Check.
No decorative pockets? Check.
Shitty finishing on the neck edge? Check.
Finished in spite of all of the above? Check and double check!
Henceforth, I'll be sending apology notes and condoms with my belated baby gifts.
26 April 2006
In a world where manners and privacy have disintegrated to the point that even the corner stall in the Women's Room has become an ad hoc public telephone, I find it rather disconcerting that knitting in public is met with the hairy eyeball.
Heaven forbid I whip out my sticks during the departmental meeting, lest my colleagues -- none of whom have silenced their mobile phones -- think me rude.
There is one divisional director on campus whom not only knits during meetings she is attending, but she knits during the meetings that she leads! Clearly, my long-term career goal is to join her staff. I await the day when I can knit in a meeting with fear of reproach.
For the past two nights, I've left my knitting at work in order to force myself to attend to my home. In the name of the Apartment Therapy 8-Step Cure, I have been clearing, cleaning, and shopping for undergarments. While the latter admittedly stretches the definition of "attending to my home", know that attempt to I throw out (donate, trash, etc. ) one article of clothing for each new item of clothing I bring in.
Sometimes, I have to do this in the spirit of the law, rather than to the letter of the law. For instance, if there's no piece of clothing that I feel I can toss at the moment, I will opt for cosmetics, a kitchen gadget, or a bottle of old vitamins.
In order to keep myself focused, I often force myself to look at this. Scared straight!
I am being more judicious about what I purchase henceforth because I have so many usable, but unused, items around the house. My hoarding is more out of financial guilt than emotional attachment. Throwing out functional goods feels as if I am throwing money away, but I have been holding onto bits and bobs for that yard sale that I will have "one day" -- probably the same day that I will cleaning behind the stove and refrigerator.
24 April 2006
All Washed Up
Saturday, I worked a local cosmetics trend show, and it was like an unleashing of murderous Huns. It reminded me of the latest incarnation of the original (British) version of What Not to Wear wherein the hosts are besieged by a calamitous throng of women desperate for a makeover. Like packs of wolves, they trolled from counter to counter in search of free 10-day trials of foundation, free gumballs, and other small treasures which will be forgotten by mid-week, acting as a mini-microcosmic landfill in the cosmetic bags of Poughkeepsie.
Perhaps it was some universal balance that required me to step out from behind the retail counter and experience life on the other side. Perhaps that explains how I ended up in JoAnn Fabrics, with two balls of Peaches 'n' Cream (or is it Sugar 'n' Cream?) cotton in my hands. In spite of all of the other knitting, reading, cleaning, or ersting that I could have done Saturday evening, I opted to cast on for a MDK
The washrag proves three things.
- MDK are agents of evil
- I have no understanding of space-dyed yarns
- I lack a good "color eye"
It is also a good excuse to buy more yarn. I cannot be defeated by a washrag. I cannot!
Just when I thought I had an "out" with Anouk (the missing needle), Lukas found the wayward stick under the couch. I finished the bodice and quickly remembered that I disliked the bind offs around the neck for the tabs. It was then that I also remembered the confusion in the pattern regarding the left and right front and back shoulder straps. It looks as if I will be re-working my shoulder straps in the very near future.
Is this my punishment for not heeding Nancy's message (in the comments) from the Norse gods that my Anouk was cursed and was to be abandoned? Actually, I suppose it is my punishment for abandoning a project for so long that I forgot about the pattern issues. Perhaps this is a good excuse to buy more yarn and more patterns? Frankly, what isn't?
22 April 2006
The devil made me do it. Well, the devil and the fact that I seemed to have left one of my rosewood needles at work. Due to a coding error on my key/ID card, not to mention my inability to follow-up in timely manner, I was unable to gain access to my office after hours. I had already attempted a needle switch with Anouk, and the result was a change in gauge.
There was still the Blue Baby Project #2 that needed attention, but I was interested in knitting, not seaming. I suppose I could have given some attention to Green Gable, but Anouk has sort of put me off of the color orange at the moment.
I had no choice but to swatch and cast on for something new. Something silly and frivolous. Something from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I know that I gave the book a rather lukewarm reception earlier, and I'm still on the fence. However, I had a free book coming to me from a book club, and MSD was the most interesting one that came closest to the maximum dollar value of the book I can request free.
I love the idea of making something for my home, and I think it will be a lovely addition. Provided that ole devil doesn't come along and snatch away my attention...
21 April 2006
The Case Of The Mysterious Sock
- Quick knit. Portable. Luxury. Comfort.
- Second Sock Syndrome. Sock Black Hole in most dryers.
I was fast approaching the point of turning the heel on my Well-Heeled Heelless Sleeping Socks, and I could feel a small surge of concern that I would have to figure out how to go about picking up stitches and working gusset decreases without the guidance of my pattern. When you opt to knit what the designer designated as heelless socks, it's no wonder that you get no sort of instruction for a heel flap, turning the heel, or picking up stitches for the gusset. Why would a designer bother with such things as there's not meant to be a heel!
Faced with the task of mathematics and schematics to sort out these problems whilst maintaining a pattern stitch across the instep, I noticed a tick in my eye -- which kept time nicely with the pounding in my head and the thumping in my chest -- so I did what any math sissy would do. I put the sock aside in order to concentrate on a neglected project.
What I did not realize is that there is a very large and serious Sock Black Hole in the universe. Naively, I assumed that this black hole was feed solely (no pun intended) through the dryers throughout the world. Given the rise in the cost of utilities, perhaps more of us are opting for line drying our socks because the Sock Black Hole has taken to snatching innocent, half-finished socks from the home. In this case, my living room. Or one room in a very small apartment. Seriously, I do not know how else -- other than powerful forces beyond nature -- to explain the disappearance of the Only a Heel flap Well-Heeled Heelless Sleeping Sock.
20 April 2006
Hitting A Snag
Sadly, I am not one of those people. I am a procrastinator. I am one who allows projects to languigh once the bloom of youth has passed. I cannot say what it is drives me to complete one project whilst abandoning another. If I knew the answer to that, I think it would be a great pearl of wisdom to apply across the board in my life. As it stands, I can only continue to stuff one project into the bottom of a basket and then cast on for something shiney and new.
Anouk. A lovely pattern. So full of promise when I started this for my cousin's baby some time ago. A review of my order history at kpixie indicates that "some time ago" can be narrowed down to mid-June 2006.
Thankfully, another cousin just had a baby girl, so the fact that I have the back of Anouk finished made for what I thought would be a fast project. Once I finally picked up the needles, that is. And when I did, I discovered that keeping a project with the needles in wasn't a bad idea in general, but keeping said project next to the armoire and catching the needles in the armoire door on a regular basis is a bad idea in specific.
Alas, my attempt to make the process of knitting Anouk a bit easier by switching needles was thwarted when I discovered how wildly my gauge had changed. An 80-year old with cataracts could have seen the difference -- from a distance of 2 yards.
19 April 2006
Style and Apartment Therapy
About a month ago, I enlisted Moya (of the amazing shopping abilities) to help in this endeavour and serve as my Trinny and Suzanna, my Stacey and Clinton. With the aid of a digital camera and email, we were able to thwart the 70 miles that lie between us.
Basically, I photographed pieces and outfits and sent them to her for her opinion and some constructive criticism. Very constructive. Perhaps too constructive. She's a Cancer, so she'd never dream of telling me, "Throw that tacky piece of shit out; it makes you look like a fat cow!". I suppose I am thankful for her sensitivity, although I suspect that a bit of harsh truth may have served me well when my ass was growing by leaps and bounds.
Aging and weight gain make for tricky bed fellows when attempting to define one's personal style. I love alternative and gothic looks, but that gets a bit sad looking on a nearly 40-year old woman -- unless you are Siouxsie Sioux.
Similarly, I have been attracted to vintage fashions since my early teens, however, wearing head-to-toe vintage is difficult -- unless you are fully committed to a particular era and wear it almost exclusively.
For those of us who are not trendy youth, cult celebrities, or rock stars, certain fashions and styles look ridiculous once you pass a certain age -- no matter how diligent you are about anti-wrinkle creams, low-carb dieting, and Cardio Strip-tease.
This week, thanks to taking on the challenge of the Apartment Therapy 8 Step Cure, I discovered that my home style is as eclectic as my personal style. How do you get cross-cultural and cross-chronological themes to marry into a visually conhesive and appealing style?
Not only am I scrutinizing my store-bought clothing and my apartment, I am also setting my sights on my handknits, which is infinately more difficult. Not only is there the monetary investment of the yarn, there's the investment of my time and emotions in each piece.
Mind you, it's not that the pattern is bad, but maybe it's just not right for my shape. Or, maybe I made the wrong size or used the wrong color. Quite simply, if I'm sporting 20 extra pounds, should I be reaching for an oatmeal-colored, bulky, cabled vest?
Yes. Provided that the reach is followed by a pitch into the trash.
17 April 2006
My little routine was disrupted earlier in the month by a trip, and it took me two weeks get myself motivated to get back into the groove. I am determined this time, and I know that once I re-settle into the routine of working out, it will flow much better. Nothing, however, changes the sad fact that I feel like a pack mule. Working out means an extra bag. I despise lugging and juggling.
I do not understand how I once managed to spend two weeks abroad (for both business and pleasure) in France with nothing more than a small carry-on and a 20" roller cart but cannot escape my house for work without needing to employ a Sherpa.
Somehow, I cannot fit my life into less than three bags. Oversized handbag. Gym bag. Knitting bag. I'm fairly certain that I am the first bag lady with food, shelter, and clothing firmly intact. How on earth do I streamline and consolidate this madness?
14 April 2006
The Case For Cloning
But genetics...that is the answer, my friends. Need more hands to help around the house or for producing more projects? Cloning! Wish you could stay at home to knit but send "another you" to work or school? Cloning! Need more eyes to mind your children whilst making dinner and online bill paying? Cloning!
If anyone needes to clone their eyes, tis I. Because of the recent flurry of activity with relation to knit swaps, Borders Rewards, and book swaps, I have a collection of reading materials that is likely to outlast the Occupation of Iraq.
Sitting in my office (work) is a copy of Knitting Rules!, Pattern Recognition, and a few months of Self and In Style magazines. By the time I read them, I'll be a year behind the trend, which, now that I think of it, puts me a year ahead of trend in Dutchess County.
I keep reading material handy in the unlikely event that Sharyn would opt to lunch with her husband instead of me. More likely is that she'll be wrangled into running a slide projector for an Art History class, and I wouldn't want to look as if I am eager for a lunch partner other than Sharyn. Sitting alone and knitting is an invitation. Strangers will approach and engage you in small talk about what you are making, etc. Generally, I welcome this, but not when I have one hour to walk to/from the campus dining center, select something moderately edible, scarf it down, and then set about knitting and/or reading. My lunch hour is sacred, and I'd rather not fritter it away on idle chit-chat with strangers.
Again, this is a perfect example that argues in favoring of cloning. I (the real me) could hide away, knitting or reading as I wished, whilst I (the cloned me) could spend the lunch break flitting around like a social butterfly. We need to put moral and political differences aside and agree that this cloning idea is tantamount to finding a stash of Addi Turbos for $5.00 at a yard sale.
13 April 2006
Am, Am Not
I am not a sock knitters, but I have a sock yarn stash of 2 differnt hanks s of Socks That Rock, 4 balls of Cascade Fixation, 6 hanks of Koigu KPPPM, and 1 ball of an unreleased Opal colorway. If nothing else, my small stash indicates that I possess a latent good taste in sock yarns.
Yes, I have a rare Opal sock yarn, which would make sense if I were a sock knitter. The fact that I magically lucked into it -- direct from Germany -- is a sure sign of either an unfulfilled calling to be a sock knitter or an inability to really live with less.
Since sock yarn can be used for other garments, perhaps it's not so strange that I would choose to procure some fine fingering weight merinos in lovely colors. But there's no denying that buying Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush when you do not knit, nor for frequently wear that matter, socks...Well, that is definately a sign that something is misfiring in the little grey cells.
More confounding than my ownership of sock yarn and a sock knitting book is the speed with which sock yarn -- or any yarn in a hank -- can tangle itself if it manages to wiggle itself off of a doorknob during a seemingly successful bout of hand winding. Should there be some sort of 5-second rule that applies to yarn? If it works for candy, why not yarn. It just seems a universal injustice -- if not a devious defiance of all that is natural and orderly in the universe -- to have yarn tangle so quickly and so vehemently.
Speaking of tangles, I've hit a small snag with Green Gable. I like to knit in or weave in ends as I go, but I'd noticed that I'd done a rather sloppy job of weaving in where I'd joined a new ball of yarn -- in the center front of the pullover.
I was a little overzealous. I pulled out some of the stitches, leaving a hole. Front and center. I know it can be salvaged, but I do not have the mental energy to sort it out. I will too busy sorting out how to add a heel (and subsequent gusset and gusset decreases) to the the Heeless Sleeping Sock. This should have me seething more than devoting an hour of my life to untangling knotted yarn.
If the heel doesn't get me, I know the decreases for the gusset will. Even though I know it's all math and figuring from other sock patterns, I might have had the good sense to try my first socks in standard sock yarn on a more simple pattern. Normally, I love a challenge that I'm fairly certain that I can sort out, but I'm just a tad worried.
I repeatedly typed hell instead of heel .
12 April 2006
Straight Up Into The Tweeds
Fashion is a tricky animal. I've already elaborated on the fashion gap that exists at the local mall wherein one is hard pressed to find interesting, quality clothing that rides the gulf between dumpy hausfrau and teenaged prositute. Adding to the trickiness is my fulller shape and leaner wallet.
While I appreciate the fact that a few tattoos or the lack of stockings is not cause for reproach, I do wish that the general American approach to clothing was a bit more elevated. The standard complaint of my grandmother was that no one dresses for dinner out anymore. I feel that they barely manage to dress at all, much less for dinner. Flip-flops, torn jeans, greasy hair. When did wearing one's sleepwear to the grocery store or the deli become de rigeur?
Last evening I indulged myself in an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot and my umpteenth viewing of Gosford Park. I am a sucker for period costume, and these two are fine examples of getting the sartorial details of the period just so. The tweeds, the satins, the silk, the handmade lace...It's all so divine and exquisite. It's how I feel when I pour through Rowan's Vintage Style and A Yorkshire Fable.
Naturally, I wouldn't want to be confined to one particular style because the beauty of modern fashion is being able to pull from various Fashion Eras to create a unique and wearable style of your own. But how does one be a eco-friendly fashion horse?
11 April 2006
Lost At Sea
After a five-year waiting period, a friend delivered her second child three weeks ago. I'd knitted up, but failed to mail, the gift. Part of me sensed that the first child, nearing six years, might be old enough to feel both excitemennt and anxiety since the arrival of her brother. I thought it might be nice gesture to send a gift for the first child as well.
This seemingly innocent idea capapulted me into the most strange and terrifying territory for a childless woman. No, not the children's birthday party, although I can imagine the nightmare of being surrounded by 20 cake-smeared children and a clown or two. I'm talking about a landscape so foreign, so confounding and so bewildering that I would rather navigate the Tokyo subway system solo -- The Children's Clothing Department.
Even with a few baby knits under my belt, not much has been demystified for me. I can understand the very obvious sizing of, say, 18-24 months, but that is where it ends. 2T, 6...what does it all mean? No doubt, it is very clear to those amongst you who have birthed and raised childen. Take pity on me. I never babysat as a teenager. Our neighborhood was mostly elderly Italian ladies missing their windowsills and gossiping across a narrow alley.
I'm able to glean that the sizing is relative to age, but let's be frank about two things:
1) Not every baby is the same size at 6 months -- even I know that.
2) Having almost no experience with babies or children under the age of 14, I couldn't even begin to hazard a guess about the size and shape of the little creatures.
My desire to knit a cute top for Big Sister was unwittingly thwarted by her mother, my friend who refused to answer such simple questions as What is E's chest size?. Maybe my friend was concerned about the nature of such a line of questioning. I suspect any sane mother would be.
Paralyzed by the fear of knitting something useless -- which I have done more than enough for myself, thank you -- for the little girl, I knew I'd hit payola when I spied Crazy Aunt Purl's Easy Knitted Felted Bracelet Bag. It was such a hit that Theresa, Sharyn, and I cast on at our Thursday knitting circle, and finished the bag that evening.
Never mind that it took me a full month to come around to felting and sewing on the bracelets. It's a process. And it takes time.
10 April 2006
Out of The Point, Knitty City, and Downtown Yarns, only Downtown Yarns carried Goa. I nixed the greens, simply because I'm trying to break free from the bonds of green, which left me to choose between Cream and Charcoal. Cream is too neutral, and Charcoal seemed the wrong choice color for a sleeveless summery number. Charcoal Twist? Sounds like the twitching one might do in order to escape sparkings from dousing charcoal nuggets with lighter fluid.
Due to the overwhelming buzz, I bought a copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting, and I must say that I felt as Dorothy Parker must have felt when reviewing books. The use of rilly and eggactly, which made me want to gouge my eyes out in spite of the lovely photography. Besides, how many patterns for a log cabin blanket do I need?
And while I'm on this mean streak, I have to say that the latest issue of Knitty left me underwhelmed. In the spirit of optimism, I plan to give myself a bit of time and space away from both MDK and Knitty before going back to (hopefully) discover that I cannot live without either.
Maybe it's just the bitterness speaking. Why is my beloved Goa so hard to find? Isn't anyone else charmed by the combination of bulky and spronginess? Isn't anyone else amazed by the lightness of such a hefty yarn? Maybe I'm not hip to the options. I don't like heavy cottons. I don't like stiff and inelastic yarns. I will avoid "carrying doubled throughout" like the plague.
I'm going to drown my sorrows in caffiene and search the cyber corners of the globe for Goa. Wish me luck on my trip.
08 April 2006
Olive Twister, Auntie Em
I knew it. I knew that there would be some sort of hell to pay for the hefty taunt of switching out my needles on Green Gable and casting on for a "quick knit" in the same night.
Last night, the sky over Northern Dutchess County opened up and let loose a crazy fury. Small potatoes compared to the fury let loose at Yarn Central's First Friday Knitting Circle when I realized that my two selected shades of GGH Goa were not going to work together for
Strange how two colors can look fine together side-by-side when in their natural state (ball, hank, skein), but how that changes when you start the processing of knitting them up together. It all changes. And that, my friends, is how I came to realize the sad truth: that these six balls of Goa were not going to make me a garment, and this failure had nothing to do with my first suspision that yardage could be an issue. Nope, yardage never even had the chance to cause me worry and panic. The subtle art of Color Theroy -- and it's subset, Color Combining -- stopped me dead in my tracks.
Sitting in a yarn store during a knitting circle and not knitting is not entirely new territory for me. We've all lost our knitting mojo at some point but we continue to show up for the company and the hope that the desire will return -- hard and fast -- and we need to be in a position to fulfill it immediately. To sit in a yarn store during a knitting circle and not knitting because you can't find anything to knit? Well, that is a different matter entirely. That is depressing. That is like having a closet filled with clothing but stating that you have nothing to wear.
It gets a girl down. But, I'm not worried. I know that it's only a matter of time before there's a new sparkle in my eye.
07 April 2006
The designers are sent out to photograph Manhattan, to find inspiration for their next desing. Kara Janx was inspired by all of the harsh signs in NYC: "Danger", "Keep Out", etc.
Well, I think I need this dress, if only to alert my friends, co-workers, and innocent by-standers that I'm potentially a walking pox. In one evening, I displayed such brazeness in the face of the mighty knitting gods and goddesses that nothing and no one can be safe from the fallout.
Last night, I made a brazen -- and punishable by wayward tension -- decision. Then I acted on it. I released Green Gable (and msyelf) from the hellish torture of the Denise Needle cords by switching to a 29" Inox circular. Not only did I go in for a needle exchange, but I went so far as to cast on for another project.
Only my yarn selection looks more like the cherry stem, rather than the cherry itself. I'm using two shades of GGH Goa: four in a light olive, aquired on sale before I realized that 264 yards of yarn might not be enough to cover much more of my body than my cherries; and 2 in a darker olive/khaki acquired on credit at Yarn Central last night.
Maybe I'll call mine Olive Twist. Or Oliver Twist. Or Olive Oyl.
The plan is simple, which means that it's certain to go awry. The yoke and the bottom ribbing will be knit in the darker shade, and the body will be knit in the lighter shade. Let's all watch and wait for me to realize that 396 yards of yarn still isn't going to cover me, in spite of my plan to knit the body with less length. I do have one very light green shade on hold should I need to throw in a random stripe just to buy me proper coverage.
I'm not entirely sure how I re-discovered this little number from Knitty Spring 2003*, but I must have come across it whilst snooping through knitting blogs. Now, I'm certainly not claiming that I'm a knitting monogamist. Nor I am claiming that I'm the first knitter to play the project dalliance game, but why on earth would I abandon a great project -- made even more great by using needles with less "grip" -- for a little something on the side. Hell, Cherry Twist doesn't even qualify for as "a little something". This is a rather big something. This is a more significant affair of the needles.
Not only am I a cheating partner, I'm a lousy mother. The baby knits? One still awaits seaming, while the other awaits a gift for older sister. Please don't alert Child Services.
* I figured it out. I was inspired by Anne Marie's Blueberry Twist!
06 April 2006
As a child, I was mesmerized by the life of The Jetsons: the open, airy quality of their living quarters (hmmmm...was it an organic space in harmony with nature?), the robot maid ("they" need to get on this one; Roomba isn't cutting it), and the ease of transformational services (love the notion of trying out hairstyles pre-cut).
Knitting-wise, I'm attracted to the good space-age gadgets. I haven't given into the Sweater 2.0 just yet, but I have felt the pull of generating computerized patterns for quite some time. More than anything, a gadget has to be practical, and what could be more practical than interchangeable needles? Nothing comes to mind. At least nothing knitting related.
Alyssa bought me a set of Denise Needles a few years ago, and I used them religiously when I travelled more frequently. The idea of having nearly every needle size in a book made me delirious. And what of those patterns requiring more than one needle for the ribbing and the body? No problem! It's all a matter of swapping out the ends.
I love my Denise Needles, but I'm not so enamoured with the way my Rowan Handknit Cotton and the Denise Needles are interacting. They are not playing nice, which is making for a less-than-pleasant Green Gable experience. Maybe the connectors are too rubbery and grippy for the 100% cotton? Maybe I'm not using a long enough cable, but something has to give!
Needless to say, I've hit a bump on the Green Gable motorway. I'm in the process of consulting my horoscope, a tarot deck, the Magic 8 Ball, and Runes to determine if I can switch to a different needle without bringing on a two-week blizzard in
The Kitty Pi bed is complete, and I'm giving it to my boss with felting instructions. I know it seems rather cheap-ass to knit something for someone and present it to them half complete, but I have a good excuse: our slumlandlord doesn't provide hot water to the laundry room. Besides, I'm throwing in some catnip -- gratis.
I used a total of seven skeins of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes -- six Mist (charcoal) and one Coal (black). Honestly, I don't think there was close to 110 yards of yarn in the Coal. I knitted five rounds and and one round of binding off, and I used almost the entire skein. Short-changed?
A short time ago, I'd whipped up the ChicKnits H2O hat, but I'm one of those annoying girls who like to have sets. Now, my scarves and hats don't have to be 100% matchy-matchy, but I do like some common uniting element amongst my outerwear and outerwear accessories. Inspired by the Stop Work Ordinance issued on Green Gable and the quick knit scarf at Scarfomatic -- who is also in home improvement mode, it seems -- I knew I had to have a Point 5 Scarf to match the hat.
I selected the Y2Knit Scarf over the ChicKnits Point 5 SuperBulky Scarf simply because I feared that all of that garter stitch would make me kooky. It didn't take me long to realize that the scarf was coming out a bit more open and airy than I happen to like my scarves. In spite of the fact that Green Gable seems to be choking the life out of my Denise Needles, apparently, I am a bit of a loose knitter. I've heard worse.
The jury is still out on the switch to metal needles on Green Gable. Watch the skies for further updates.
05 April 2006
Little White Lies
In the spirit of complete honesty, I must admit that a good deal of time -- that could be used more wisely -- playing voyeur. Reading blogs, reading the archives of newly discovered blogs, and just generally skulking around the internet. If a knit blogger provides a link to something of interest that they've found, I'll typically check it out. For instance, I regularly check Wardrobe Remix since Jessica mentioned on her blog.
Pulling it all together into a cohesive and coherent post is difficult. I have ideas and arguments about knitting, sewing, organizing, and sustainability floating around in my head. Rather grandiose topics, but somehow there's a link. I just haven't worked it out yet.
A book which inspired me greatly is, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. I gave it to a friend who was selling her house, and I feel as if I've fallen into utter disaray without that book in my life. I know there's nothing I can do about our living situation at present, but I dream of living in a home that is more organic, more in tune with nature. Not just the cleaning products that I use, but the physical structure itself.
How do I live a life that is more observant of the earth if I must have a car and live in an apartment? Cleaning products and the food I eat is a start, but what about clothing? Do I stop shopping for new clothing and make all of my own from recycled and reclaimed clothing? Do I cut my existing wardrobe in half? Do I purge all clothing that requires drycleaning?
As much as I'd like to be a completely noble icon of recycling and sustainability, I'm not about to start growing and spinning flax and hemp to make my own clothing. Nor will I limit myself to one bra or two pairs of shoes.
I just want to be a more moderate consumers, as well as a more thoughtful one when I do fork over my cash.
Edited to add: Leave it to Jessica! Yesterday, she posted about something that I feel is very related to the ideas behind my post. The Apartment Therapy Group Cure may well be a step in this path that I am tip-toeing down.
04 April 2006
After working a full day at my real job, I picked up some evening hours at a cosmetics counter. I was called at mid-day to see if I could cover a shift because someone had called in sick. Extra money means extra yarn. At any rate, it was crappy and rainy when I left the department store, but just imagine my delight when I discovered this on my desk at home.
I'd been warned that my booty swap package was on it's way. My Pirate Pal was super generous. Pirates of the Carribean treats, Angora yarn, a book about female pirates (appropirately titled "Booty"), and a skull covered bag in which to carry my daily booty.
I'm using the bag today, and it's holding my wallet and small collection of various Moleskin products rather well. Aye, methinks that I'll be the envy of the campus. I thought about wearing the eye patch -- just to see the look on my boss's face, but I was a little out of sorts this morning. Our bathroom is (FINALLY) being remodelled, so the apartment is (more) in shambles (than normal).
Here's a high seas nod to my Pirate spoiler, Jenn! Thank you, matey!
03 April 2006
Reading Your Eats
I like to read all manner of things, but one of my strange weaknesses, nay my guilty pleasure, is reading diet books. Naturally, you might assume that this is a direct result of the weight I've gained in my two sluggish years of suburban living, but you'd be wrong. I read them when I was at my fitness peak.
Of course, I know that limiting fats, controlling portion size, and exercising are the keys to successful weight loss, but I am a sucker for "the new answer". My favorite category of diet books are those that offer what I call a "A Lifestyle of Geography":
The Scarsdale Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, The French Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Okinawa Program, French Women Don't Get Fat, Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat (take that, Frenchies!), The Hamptons Diet, The Sonoma Diet... who wouldn't want to have the life offered in any of these places?
I have resumed work on The Kitty Pi bed, and work continues on Green Gable, although I'm experiencing "needle issues". The rubber cord of my Denise Needles isn't playing nice with the Rowan Handknit Cotton that I'm using. I shudder to think of the diaster that will befall me should I switch to a different needle at this point. It's tempting, as it will make the process of knitting easier, but we know what comes of tauting the Knitting Goddess, don't we?