Archive for January, 2006

Home Sweet Roll

Today’s post brought to you by My Sister Laura (the library-school student and the only one of us three girls who can operate a sewing machine. Mom likes you best for that very reason, you know.). She’s responsible for the glory you see here.

(Ziggy presides over the picture-taking)
It’s a needle case for my straight needles! They have an actual home now! (I was keeping them in my notions bag which, while sufficient to hold my crochet hooks and notions, was inadequate for holding needles. As you may have guessed.)

This red tie you see here is from an old pair of pajama pants that I loved and that died (or, more accurately, I grew past–in every sense of the word). Hooray for the bit that lives on!

Here is the case in its unrolled state. I love that there are so many different fabrics in this case… more to look at!

My needles have found their way into the specially-sized pockets already. Now that they have such a posh new home, they’re getting a little uppity–“Take us somewhere nice!” “Don’t you have a knitterly meeting tonight, the sole purpose of which is to show us off? Yes, you do. Show us to other knitters! Do it! Now!”

Resting comfortably after the energy-sapping boss-KathyMarie-around-fest.

Hooray for Laura! Thank you!!
(and Hooray for My Mom&Dad, who gave us a new digital camera! Thank you so much!!)

The pattern is found in Stitch-n-Bitch by Debbie Stoller. It is the Roll-Your-Own needle case in the back of the book.

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Spam egg sausage and spam!

This is what happens when spam goes bad. Or good. Or something.

I’ve been spammed by the following alleged people:
Vowel J. Causeway
Positron E. Senate
Quixotic U. Alton
Fruition M. Consisting
…and my personal favorite… Ewe D. Scalawag

You can’t make this stuff up.
I didn’t make this stuff up.

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When I was younger and my Mom was explaining to me the concept of the “golden birthday” (when your age is the same number as your birthdate), I never thought I’d ever ever be old enough to hit my golden birthday. Twenty-six was so freaking old. It was beyond any age I had ever heard. My grandma was probably twenty-six, at least!

Man, it’s only 8:45am and already I’ve had a super-awesome day. I got a wake-up hug from the Beloved, my Mom called early to nearly sing to me (as is tradition in our family), and I just got an email from my friend in the Navy, who–amazingly–remembered my birthday. And the sun is out and it’s a fantabulous day!


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(Parenthetically Speaking)

So, I’m sitting here at work repairing DVDs (oh, the joys of widely-used audiovisual materials!), getting way high from the fumes (all the scratch-repair products are petroleum-based and toxic! Hooray!), and reading the emails flying back and forth among my family members. My family now numbers seven (we were five, but now there are boys) and when we try to organize for family events like birthdays, it gets a little bit insane.

(I just noticed that there are three parenthetical comments in that two-sentence paragraph. I seem to have a lot to say but can’t make it happen linearly. I defy the accepted forms of space, time and grammatical construction! I create my own ways! I cannot be bound! Mwahahahha!)

Yes. Anyway. My family. Was I saying anything important there? Oh yes: I am looking forward to seeing my weird and wonderful family this Saturday to celebrate my and Laura’s birthdays. Yes. Plus, seeing my Dad and Nick crack jokes and be silly in emails warms my little heart.

I just realized that I have three nights of awesome birthday plans staring me in the face: tomorrow (my birthday) I have a date with Nick; Friday we have dinner plans with friends at my favorite Indian restaurant in Rockford; Saturday dinner with my family (and possible climbing at the gym during the day!) (see how I love the parentheses? See?)

(These are the subject-change parentheses!)

Heather and Anna have written about Monday’s Sit-n-Stitch and how it was all kinds of fun. I was needing some non-work venting time after my amazingly shitty day and I got some, but I also got someone asking me questions about why the Library is inefficient in some areas. Great question to ask me that day, dude. Are we playing the “Raise Kathy’s Blood Pressure to Soaring Heights!” game? How sweet of you to think to ask me and not, say, THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE. (And of course that night I had a horrible nightmare in which I was closing the Library building and trying to get the patrons out, but no one would leave! And people kept making faces at me and acting like I wasn’t in charge. And my supervisor (a truly lovely woman) told me that this was the last thing I had to finish before I became a Librarian, and I couldn’t do it!) I hate dreams like that!

Anyway, I did make some progress on the wrist-warmer/handwarmer/whatever the hell these things are called:

I bound off the thumb gusset stitches. Progress! I have since cast on to make the palm part of it, but I think I screwed up somehow (really, Keyes? How astonishingly unlike you!) (Shut up.). The pattern says to cast on 3 sts “using the backward loop method.” Holy hell, people, I could not find a “backward loop method” of casting on anywhere. Not in Donna Kooler’s, not in Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook (which surprised the heck out of me–that book has twenty pages of cast on methods). Does anyone have any suggestions on alternate names for this elusive “backward loop method” cast-on?

I did cast on using the half-hitch (I think?) cast-on, but the stitches got a little stretchy. It’s not a huge deal, because these mitts are mine and what the heck do I care about a loose cast-on? But I do want to learn what the heck a backward loop cast-on looks like. Any suggestions?

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Brain spasms

Today is all about the tiny soundbite (typebite?) of information. It seems I lose all capacity for coherence and prolonged attention span when I get my period. (Yes, that’s right. I just told the internets that I have my period. My mom is going to be so scandalized–her eyebrows are going to just disappear into her hair.) I want to talk about lots of stuff, but then I can’t sit still long enough to do it. The brain just doesn’t want to –hey, was that a squirrel!?

Faster, Higher, Stronger, Knitty-er

This is just sweeping through blog-land like the wildfire. I joined the Knitting Olympics, which I’m sure I need not describe as it’s possibly the most popular topic in the wool-based world just now.

I’m going to be making my first in-the-round project, a hat, in 16 days. Small beans to some, but the whole point is to take on a challenge at whatever level you find yourself. I find myself at the new-to-3D level. The awesome thing is, I have yarn for this already in my stash (pictures later), so I can count this toward stashbusting. Don’t you love multi-tasking? Now all I need is dpns and lots of wine. Oh, and possibly a pattern. Or I could just frankenstein one from this book and give myself fits. Which will make me cry the most?

The Lloyd Scarf is Finished!! Mostly!!
Holy hell, I didn’t think it was possible. But it is. (and the weather was nice enough to oblige with a pretty backdrop) (click to bigginate)

Okay, I still have ends to weave in (my least favorite part of stripes), but the knitting part is done. And I have mastered the crap out of 2×2 rib. Only, the binding off went a little loose. Not so loose that I ripped it back (are you nuts? This is already almost a month late!), but I had heard that most knitters bind off too tightly, so I took pains (pains, I say!) to make sure it was loose enough. Alas, too loose! Sigh. Putting that in the “lesson learned” pile and moving on.

Progress, Obstacle, Progress, Obstacle, Wine
So, the first wristie–now with increases!–is coming along beautifully. As you can see.

I had stopped in the middle of a row, (which I hate doing and did because I was meeting a friend who (whom?) I haven’t seen in a hundred years and who was leaving the very next day for a YEAR-LONG TRIP TO AFRICA and so of course when she got to the table I jumped up and hugged her and we talked knitting–she knits! I love her!–but I didn’t knit and instead we talked for hours and that’s the story of stopping in the middle of a row) and last night started up again and knit three rows while Heather struggled with dpns and Lamb’s Pride Bulky.

At the end of the third row I thought I saw a mistake. Back at the place where I had stopped in the middle of a row for two days. I swore, sighed dramatically, and proceeded to rip back three rows of perfectly good knitting. For no reason at all, as it turns out. There was nothing wrong with the knitting. Just the stupid knitter. Pass the Merlot.

The Day The Weather Came In
This has nothing to do with knitting, but everything to do with… weather. It was 50 degrees on Thursday last, and then Friday came and snowed us in. I think we got at least 7 inches of snow. Here’s the aftermath on Saturday.

It sucked to drive home in on Friday night (so I heard), but it was lovely and calm on Saturday morning. Ah, the peace that is walking to work.

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Happy Birthday Laura!

Today Laura turns 23 and triumphs over being 22. Well done! (Here you see the girls in our natural habitat… the tree farm. Laura on the left, me, Maribeth)

Laura is a great actress, a driven student, supremely organized, and a funny funny girl. (Woman! Sorry!) She’s one of my bridesmaids this summer, and will also be coordinating every single thing that happens on my wedding day, for which I thank her because I tend to crumble in the midst of stress.

Laura rocks at making jelly, pies, cookies, and cakes. She has been known to spend hours digging up recipes that could be made vegan, because she loves me and Nick.

Laura knows what’s up when it comes to books and movies, and always has the latest good-movie tip for her eldest sister who has no TV and is sadly out of the media loop.

Laura is making me The Afghan of Doom for a 23rd birthday 24th birthday 25th birthday wedding present (shh! I’m not supposed to know!) using worsted-weight chenille, an H hook, and the double crochet stitch. And nothing else except her determination to keep me warm.

Laura is an amazing human being, and I’m so freaking lucky that she’s my sister.

Pineapple eggs, sweetie.

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Mother Nature has a messed-up sense of humor. Yesterday it was beautiful… sunny, warm (darn close to 50 degrees, according to “they say”), did I mention sunny? It’s been gloomy for days and days here, and yesterday was such a nice break from the dreary mucky muck. So nice. Of course it wasn’t going to last.

Today the weather is bastardous. It is either snowing or raining, or possibly both. First it was rain, then it was snow, then it was snrain (a more descriptive word, I feel, than “sleet”), and now it’s snow. Bastard weather!

Ah well. This just makes me appreciate these pictures from yesterday more. Because yesterday’s light was lovely and made for some great shots of new knitting. [interruption for bastardous weather update: it’s either raining again or snowing with more aggression.]

(This picture not taken in the pretty light. This picture is old and is used only to advance the story. Click to bigginate)

This is what I bought 3 months ago (or more) for to make the wristies/fingerless mitts. The yarn is Knit Picks‘ yummy Sock Garden in Zinnia, the pattern is free from their site and is a 2-needle pattern (happily, because I haven’t even tried dpns or circulars). I procrastinated (as is my nature) on starting these, using my lack of size-3 straight needles as an excuse. Then for Christmas, my wonderful mother [who is being an absolute treasure about this whole wedding deal, by the way… very helpful but at the same time being very hands-off] gave me a whack of straight needles (Clover bamboo ones!) in sizes 0 – 4. Because she loves me and understands the crafty nature (she quilts. Sews too, but only under duress). [Bastardous weather update: snowing fluffy flakes again, like it’s all innocent and sweet. Liar!]

(My work basket next to the couch! I love it! Love it! Again, click to bigginate)

Here is the first wristie in its infancy, perched atop the Lloyd Scarf (don’t ask, it’s getting finished today, dammit!).

Here is the wristie just before beginning to shape the thumb gusset, now perched atop Ziggy, my finger plant. My (mom’s) camera is just tempermental enough to get the plant in focus, but not the knitting. Of course. But the red/orange/yellow wristie looks so nice against the green, so I’ll let it slide.

And now the snrain is coming in sideways. Off to finish the Lloyd Scarf and do mad amounts of housework. Or not.

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