Archive for November, 2007

When worlds collide

I was cleaning out one of my pattern binders today and in one of the back pockets I caught a glimpse of the following, in my handwriting:

Cast on how many?

What!? Did I design a heavily cabled Aran sweater for a barrel-chested man out of cobweb-weight wool using size 0000 needles? Did I envision a house cozy for my parents’ home? Am I suddenly blessed with an artistic bent toward huge knitted installation pieces?

None of the above (though I would like to see that cobweb-weight Aran… made by someone else).

ah, that's it

It’s just that I bought something and wrote down the confirmation number. Of course.

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ISO my 4.5mm dpns

I can’t find my bamboo 4.5mm (US 7) dpns, which I had not 2 weeks ago, in my knitting corner.

My apartment isn’t that big. Where are they?

They’re not in the chair cushions.
They’re not under the futon/couch.
They’re not in either of my two current knitting bags.
They’re not in my dpn jar.
They’re not in any project.
They’re not in with the chopsticks.
They’re not in the notions bag.

If you see them, will you send them home to me? I need them for a Christmas present project.

Thanksgiving day, spent with NinjaHusband’s family, was lots of fun. I won at Take-Away Bingo without even playing, thanks to my mother-in-law (thank you!!). Today we’re headed up to my parents’ house to help prepare for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving celebration with that part of the family. So I should quit blogging right now and get ready to go.

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Looks like caramel


I am thankful for many things this year, including friends, NinjaHusband, family (except for that one evil cousin), and whatever kicked me in the ass to start doula training.

I hope everyone’s holiday is safe / fun / happy / quiet / loud / boisterous / calm / lasts forever / is over quickly. Whatever you want, I hope you get it. Cheers, guys!

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So the other night I was sitting at home knitting on [unspecified Christmas gift] and watching Grey’s Anatomy on DVD as well. Big mistake. I can’t help weeping at every episode as it is (what the hell is going on with me?), but combine intense medical drama and first-time fair isle in cotton and I had a minor major disaster.

It got fixed and I figured it might be helpful to someone down the road. Or it might provide comic relief, who knows. I just took these pretty decent pictures of the process and wanted to talk about them.

The Beginning - Mistake
Oh noes!
The first stitch on the left needle is not supposed to be white. It is supposed to be blue.

Hooking my way to victory
I’m a hooker at heart
Slip the bad stitch off the 5.0mm needle and onto a 3.0mm crochet hook. You do have one of those in your bag, right? Right? (It doesn’t have to be a 3.0mm hook. It can be bigger. I don’t recommend smaller. You can also use a bent paper clip if you want to go all MacGuyver on your fair isle. The choice is yours.)

Drop it
Drop it like it’s hot
Drop the stitch off the crochet hook. Now it’s pointing downwards and is waiting patiently for your next step. That’s what I love about this cotton — it just clings to itself like crazy and doesn’t easily slip out of its loops. Well done, cotton.

Drop it farther
Now pull the “this row” stitch out of the “last row” stitch. It’s okay, it won’t go anywhere. Just pull on the yarn and “this row’s” stitch will come out, but “last row’s” stitch won’t. If you use the same yarn as me. Which I’ll tell you about on December 26th.

Bring back the hook
Bring it back
Use the crochet hook (you still have it close by, right?) to slip through the “this row” stitch, pass behind the work to the blue float (which you hope is loose enough to accommodate this change in the agenda), snag it and pull it through the “this row” white stitch…

The End!
… And put the blue loop on the left hand needle. Now you are back on pattern. Consider not watching intense drama while knitting fair isle. Have a drink.

And that’s the non-exhaustive colorwork repair seminar. Any questions?

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… my week has been less than stellar.

1. Migraine. During my second childbirth education class.

2. Less-than-legal midwife at a friend’s birth. Now, I’m not a fan of the Illinois state law that says breech births and twins cannot be delivered at home, but it makes lots of sense to abide by the law, right? This woman didn’t think so, and was telling me stories of times she has asked some of her clients to “not say anything” about her helping them. Great practice, just splendid. My friend had her baby after I had to leave for my paying job, and I hear that everything went well, but holy crap.

I used to work with a midwife who is also a nurse (a Certified Nurse-Midwife), and I thought she was way too medical for my taste. At this birth, I felt a little bit at sea without the “medical”-ness of my original midwife. I missed the protocol and the every-half-hour checks.

3. Depression and its sneaky nature. Just when I’ve figured out that I’ve been a little down or blue or depressed or whatever and have started to feel better, November goes and happens and the grey skies kick the shit out of my good mood. Thank you, fate or karma or irony or whatever.

4. Damn yarn and its damn non-compliance with its own damn tags. I bought a skein of Manos worsted at my LYS about a week ago, and only now balled it up and instead of the 100grams listed on the tag, I have 70grams. THIRTY FREAKING GRAMS are missing, and I’m a little bit pissed about it. See?


Well, not see my fury, but see the weight of the yarn? Each ball is 35 grams, which means about 1/3 of my yarn is missing. AWESOME.

5. There is a new person at… a place I frequent, and she’s annoying as hell. She took a knitting class from me, and now that we … frequent the same place during the week, she constantly asks for my help on knitting patterns. I feel like she … started frequenting the place that I frequent solely for the purpose of getting free knitting help. “Hey, if I bring in a pattern, will you tell me where I’m going wrong?” Only say it in a nasally, loud, bastard voice.

Grumble, grumble.

My weekend should be looking up, though. My youngest sister is coming into town and will be staying over two nights (I think), then NinjaHusband and I go into some suburb on Sunday to start his tattoo. So things can only get better, right?

I hope so. I want to stop saying “bastard” and “goddamn” in my head so much.

ETA: I called the yarn store this morning before I went to work and left a message telling them that the hank was light. The owner called me back half an hour before they opened and told me she had weighed all the skeins in that colorway and two of them came out at about 70 grams. She’s holding one of those for me to claim, free of charge. My day is looking up!

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Yes, I know it’s Friday. My self-control does not extend to getting blog posts out on time.

In my resolve to knit only Christmas gifts until Christmas (which isn’t that hard… I’m only knitting gifts for four five people this year and most of them aren’t even big gifts), with the exception of the purple socks, I’ve been getting a little stir-crazy.

I know, everyone’s astonished.

Every time I hit the blogs or the new IK or The Rav (I am keeping that) I see 47 new patterns I want to make, for me. Pullovers, cardigans, jackets, mittens, another hat & scarf set (because I need one more?) … I want to make wintery stuff for me now. Last year I bailed on knitting Christmas gifts for several reasons, but didn’t knit myself anything (or did I?). I didn’t feel as confident in my knitting then as I do now. Now I feel like I can take on the entire gamut of knitting! Bring on the seamed lace! Bring on intricate cables! Colorwork? YES!

Instead, of course, I’ve decided to knit Christmas gifts and put my stuff on hold. The fates laugh at me.

A look at the progress I’m making:

The Cotton Fair Isle Project (which shall not be named): I mentioned that it was a bit tight. It was also a bit small. I ripped it out, weeping, and started again. Now I’m working over more stitches and larger needles, and it feels much better so far. At round #5.

Cotton Fair Isle, take two

The Blue Malabrigo Project: Still working on the first piece. 2×2 ribbing is maddening, and I seem to have fallen into the black hole of knitting in which I knit and knit and knit for a hundred years and get 1/4 of an inch of fabric to show for it, despite the fact that I’m using worsted weight yarn and 5.5mm needles. This is the project that makes me want to abandon gift knitting in favor of something for me, but I’m staying strong.


The Unstarted Project: Is not yet started. I justify this with the project’s bulky yarn (Oh, it’ll go so fast!) and large needles. I could start this on December 21st and be fine. I won’t, but I could. It’ll use Catalina Yarns Painted Lady, in what is possibly the “Romance” colorway.

The Newly-Added Unstarted Project: Is also not yet started, but is something I’ll be able to fully blog about when I do start. A friend of mine, who doesn’t read this blog, is going to share Christmas eve & morning with my family because she can’t make it to Michigan where her family lives now. I’m going to knit her up something (quick) fabulious and lime green (her favorite color) and I can show you every detail of the whole project. (Thank gourd, because this blog was going to be very monotonous.)

This doesn’t count as non-self-control casting on, because it’s a gift. That I have to finish by Christmas eve. Never mind that it’s new and fun and exciting, dammit.

The Purple Socks: Are in the same place they were the last time I talked about them. I’m still on the fence about staying with top-down or going toe-up. I have heard all the arguments and I’m in recess so I can make my decision.

Projects of Non-Knitting Origin:

Cleaning the Apartment: We cleaned last night, in preparation for a possible visit by friends. And also because the place was a wreck. It’s better now, though.

Clean! It looks nice

Even with the cleaning and rearranging of stuff into denser piles, we have officially run out of room and I’m going to have to start sleeping on the balcony. We need a basement, which often come attached to houses. We are looking.

The Doula Project: I had my first childbirth education class (a requirement) this past Wednesday and it was awesome. I’m the only non-pregnant woman (aside from the instructor) in the class of 4 pregnant couples, so I felt a little out of place at first, but I’m totally excited about learning more about birth.

And last night I completed my registration for the workshop in January, which was, in addition to my basic information, an essay about myself and my interest in birth. (I was a Psych major in college, and my writing style tended toward the clinical and terse by the end of my degree… I hope that’s not off-putting.) And as I was writing out the (somewhat large) check to add to the registration, I turned to NinjaHusband and said, “Holy balls, dude, I’m actually doing it.”

Holy balls, indeed.

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From our Netflix viewing:
The fisheye lens…


… is wildly overused in skateboard videos.

From the “DST is Crap” file:
Somehow, the gaining of an hour made me more tired and out of it. Plus it confused everyone in town, including the all-knowing Reference Librarian, who insisted that the end of Daylight Savings Time had already happened. Yes.

From the knitting basket:

It's maybe a little small

You can only see the insides

I’m rocking the heck out of the Fair Isle, sort of. I’ve figured it out (with the help of Heather and Anna, thank you), I like it (even in cotton, though I’m looking forward to working with wool), and it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Except for keeping the floats loose, making sure my gauge isn’t too tight, and keeping my fingers from cramping up, all of which I’m failing at. I think the … um, gift … is too tight and despite the fact that I’m halfway through the Fair Isle part, I may have to rip it all out and start over with a larger needle.

I have to lie down for a bit while I think about that.

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