a knitter navigates through life

Saturday, December 29, 2007

so close!

I am so close to completion of the Lizard Ridge I can almost taste it. And I'm pleased to report that the blanket's still being in pieces has deterred me not at all from sleeping with it on my bed every night, and that it is snuggly warm. The kitties have tested it thoroughly.

Alex in a rare moment of levity
Jaymie's testing it out

Thanks for the nice warm blankie you made for us, Auntie Kim.

Monday, December 17, 2007

lizard ridge update, in which there is cursing

For those of you who have been wondering what is adorning my walls now that the Lizard Ridge squares are done (oh, shut up. You know you've been wondering), here 'tis.

The very cool copper spider web sculpture, three swatches, and a Monkey sock waiting for a buddy. (The sock is down now. In fact, they're on my feet.)

The Seaming of the Lizard Ridge continues apace, but disaster struck last night when I proved, once again, that I am not as smart as my Mommy thinks I am.

I'm getting (dare I say it) pretty good at this seaming thing, and I had just finished a really beautiful one, just perfect really, with everything lined up exactly right and no wonkiness or fudging necessary. I sighed, admired my seam's perfection, and picked up the next square . . . which didn't fit right. The bottom and top wouldn't match up. Which, upon closer examination of the squares bound together by my beautiful seam, revealed that I had sewed the bottom to the top instead of the top to the bottom. Damn. Damn damn damn damn damn. Dammit. I did the only thing possible under the circumstances. I ripped the whole damn thing out, stitch by stupid stitch (on the plus side, these seams are really sturdy). I put the whole thing away and spent the rest of the night sulking, eating chocolate, and knitting socks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Put your money where your mouth is . . .

One of my dear friends, the Mad Crocheter, made a disparaging comment about knitted lace recently, and being that I love lace knitting, I took the comment a little more personally than was perhaps necessary. So to refute her and defend the honor of lace everywhere, I present to you some of my own lace knitting.

This is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty. It's one of the first projects I ever did, and I would highly recommend it. I see lace knitting the same way I see baking. In baking, you follow the directions, and suddenly, like magic, you have cookies! And everyone thinks you're brilliant, when really, all you did was follow the directions. Lace is the same. All you do is follow the directions and boom! Lace. It's fantastic.
Here's a closer view. I was a baby knitter and did not realize that one should not do lace out of nubbly cotton, but it turned out better than could reasonably be expected. The Knitting Goddess smiling on my ignorance, I suppose.

And here we have one of my very favorite knits, the Convertible shawl from Knitty, made with Plymouth Royal Bamboo. It turned out so wonderful, with great stitch definition and fantastic drape, substantial but not too hot on the skin for Georgia summers.

So the take-home message is this: do not be afraid of lace. Lace is your friend and wants to love you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monkey! Monkey!!!

At last! Completed Monkey socks!
To recap:
Pattern: Monkey, by Cookie A. free from Knitty.com
Yarn: Artyarns Ultramerino 4, colorway 106

Monkey attack!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

not dead! but still not king.

Lest you were worried about my untimely demise, fear not! I am alive and well, although severely slacking in the blogging department. Real Life has been interfering way more than I find acceptable. Ideally, I would prefer that Real Life interfere not at all, but sadly, this is not always possible. But while I've been shamefully neglecting the blog, I have not been neglecting the knitting, or the Lizard Ridge. Behold! Seaming!

I've sewed up all the squares into pairs, and now I'm going to sew the pairs into groups of four, etc. I like this method. Visible progress = good.

Completely unsubtle segue:
Here's a close-up of the tulip painting on our living-room wall.

More spoils from craft fairs pillaged from Scott Antique Market, where I also found these.

Why yes, that is a vintage set of knitting needles in a very snazzy case, which I got for TEN DOLLARS. Oh, muggles. Bless you and your ignorance of the value of vintage knitting needle sets.

(Thanks to the Mad Crocheter for the "still not king" reference.)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

crocheters, and the knitters who love them

I have a confession to make. I was once prejudiced against crochet. Growing up, I had a nice grandmother who knit (and I really appreciate those sweaters now), and a mean grandmother who crocheted. In addition to being afraid of her, I also had to suffer through stiff ugly acrylic afghans and potholders that linger in our house to this very day. And they will keep lingering. Forever. Because acrylic will not die. So for a long time, I dismissed crochet outright. Didn't like it, didn't want to do it, thought it was ugly. End of story. (I am nothing if not adamant in my opinions, however wrong they may turn out to be.)
Enter: The Mad Crocheter. She completely dissolved all my usual objections to crochet with her lovely yarn choices, fearless creativity, and gorgeous results. She made the cutest summer top , all lavender and girly with a really cute edging that blew me away. It was the first time I had ever envied a crocheter. And then she showed me a book on crocheting Aran sweaters that floored me. You can cable in crochet? Who knew?
Through some massive stroke of good luck, she decided to give me this:

A super-freaking-cool hat made from Cascade Autunno. It's so warm and soft and I just love it. Note the cute picot-esque edging. Here it is on.

Note the glamorous 99 cent shower curtain in the background. My apartment unfortunately doesn't have any good spots for photographing one's own head, so that was as good as I could get.
This hat has hardly left my head since she gave it to me, since I was felled with a massive head cold that very evening, along with menstrual cramps (woo-hoo!). There's something about wearing something that someone made for you that makes you feel loved even when you feel like total crap.
So hop over to her website and give her a shout-out. She's new to this blogging thing and off to a roaring start. And she may just change your mind about crochet. Because remember, it's not whether we use two pointy sticks or one hook that matters, it's that we all need new ideas to hide stash from our loved ones.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

why blogging can be challenging: a photo essay

Mmmm. This is a nice, comfy spot.

What? No, you can't use the keyboard. This is my spot.

Ok, well maybe if you rub my ear. Oh, yeah.

No, no, not that ear.

Oh, yeah. Chin is good, too.

See? Now isn't that so much better than blogging?

What can I say? He's a poor neglected, unloved little kitty. My heart bleeds for him and his sufferings.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

will to live . . . returning!

And thank god, because for a few days there, I was my very own cadre of dwarves: Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy, Achy, Phlegmy, and Irritable. Because what's more fun that getting sick? Getting sick WHILE starting your period! Fun! It was the really passive-aggressive type of sick, too, where the thermometer never registered above 99.4. If I feel this crappy, dangit, I should have an actual fever. But, hallelujah, the illness seems to be receding, I think I'm going to live, and I feel well enough to be happy about it.

In other news, the weather turned abruptly cold and crappy the day after Thanksgiving ("the forecast for today: cold and crappy, becoming extremely crappy in the afternoon. Tomorrow: continuing crappiness with a chance of wet and crappy in the evening.") And this is the state my socks are in.

Must knit faster.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

post-Thanksgiving adventure: with socks!

On Friday, my mom, dad, grandfather and I went to Dahlonega, to see the sights, which included the beautiful Amicolola Falls. RPM sock #2 came along (because of course, riding in car time = knitting time). Last time you saw the RPM sock, it looked like this.

Just a wee little baby. Now it's grown much bigger, and ready for its first big trip on its own. Here it is at the base of Amicolola falls.

And by "base", I mean the point at which our party realized that we were all desperately out of shape and our butt muscles were too sore to continue climbing. It was embarrassing. Moving on.

Here is the sock courageously looking out over the summit of the falls. (You could drive there. Shut up.) The sock enjoyed the view.
In celebration of its first big adventure, the sock got a heel that very night. It's very proud of itself.

Look! Sock #1 has a buddy!

Big shout-out to the Yarn Harlot for getting this whole "socks in the wild" thing started.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


At long last, we have a lay-out!

This is what I did all Thanksgiving day. I lay all the squares on the floor and frowned and squinted and got up and moved them around and sat back down and frowned and squinted and moved them back and changed my mind, all day. I had to do this in the same room as everyone watching football, so whenever they got up, they had to move around the knitting that had taken over the floor. They were thrilled about this.

Alex approves.

So please! Comments, suggestions, derogatory remarks? Speak now or forever . . . you know the drill.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Working as I do with people from other countries makes me think a lot. (OK, most things make me think a lot. My little hamster-brain is very busy, running on its little wheel. But anyway.)
Now, you can say what you will about American culture. I'll be the first to agree that there are many things that are not the best about it, things I am not necessarily proud of. But how cool is it that we have an entire national holiday devoted to thankfulness and gratitude and being happy with what we have? I think it speaks very well for our culture and I'm proud of that.
I have so much to be thankful for. And because I like lists so much, these things are, in no particular order:
  • My family. My family rocks. It's so cool to me that as I've become an adult (more or less), my parents have become my friends, and I'm profoundly grateful for that. I'm also thankful for the close friendship my sister and I share, now that we no longer have to share a bathroom. (I tell ya, dual sinks would have eliminated so much adolescent fighting.) I'm also thankful for my extended family, who are an awesome bunch of people and I wish I got to see them more often. And I'm grateful I get to spend Thanksgiving with my Grandfather, who is a fantastic guy who raised my mother to take no crap, who in turn raised her daughters to be independent and strong-minded.
  • The Best Roommate Ever, my best friend. What on earth did I do before I had her?
  • The Rottenest Fuzzballs Ever. They are precious, they are adorable, they are always getting into trouble, but they're so cute about it. And sometimes, if they are in a very good mood, they'll let me kiss their little noses. They don't like it, but they'll let me.
  • A job that I enjoy (well, more often than not) that makes me feel like I'm making the world a little better. Also, some great coworkers, including, but not limited to Sara (the Sweetest Coworker Ever), Kirk, Nikki, The Guys (you know who you are), Ammy, and Oscar.
  • My knitting buds!!! Some of the absolute coolest people I've ever met, a group that really understands me, that I can be myself around. As a dorky, social awkward kid for most of my life, that means a lot to me. You guys rock.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2007

fun with coworkers

I had the following exchange with Oscar this morning:

Me: Oscar, stop being so grouchy!

Oscar: I'm not being grouchy, goddammit!

Right. Sorry. My mistake.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

must maintain control of the sock yarn . . .

I recently realized that between Cat Bordhi, Cookie A., and the woman who dyes Toasty sock yarn, I may never knit anything but socks again. In fact, Toasty is so achingly beautiful, it's everything I can do not to spend all my rent money on sock yarn. To delay the inevitable yarn store falling-down, I'm taking the Yarn Harlot's advice and spending time with the sock yarn already in my queue.

Look how pretty we are!

Knit with us!

I must remember: I am a knitter of excellent taste. I have beautiful sock yarn with brilliant plans to knit it into gorgeous socks. I cannot do this if I buy a pallet-load of new sock yarn.

Wish me luck.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My Ravelry t-shirt finally came the other day. (GottaKnit has been flaunting hers all over town for a week, the hussy.) I gleefully ripped open the yummy plastic packaging, lay the shirt on the bed, and turned around to shove the packaging waaay down in the trash so a certain orange-and-white furry monster wouldn't find it and eat it and cost his mommy a thousand dollars in emergency surgery. I swear to you, my back was turned for a second, and when I turned back, this is what I saw.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

the great apple juice deluge of 2007

Today, just as I was sitting down to blog, I thought to myself, "I am thirsty. I will get a cool and refreshing glass of apple juice to drink while I blog." I got the juice, and with no pause or delay, immediately knocked it over, spilling the entire thing INTO my keyboard. You have never heard such heartfelt swearing. This was passionate, from the diaphragm. I immediately called my dad, who does Something With Computers, and screamed, "Dad!!! Apple juice!!! Keyboard!!! GAAAAGH!" He, very calmly, replied, "Hmm. OK. Well . . . " I screamed, "WHAT??? I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! SPEAK UP!!!" to which he replied, "That's because I haven't said anything yet." Oh. Right. Sorry, Daddy. Apparently, when one spills six ounces of sticky liquid into a keyboard, you're just supposed to rinse it out and let it dry thoroughly, and it'll be fine. That's right. Just stick it under running water and rinse really good (unplugged, of course), and let it dry for a good long time. That's what he said, and that's what I did. And it seems to have worked. Who'da thunk?
While I was waiting for my keyboard to dry, I thought I'd pass the time by checking out the knit blogs. I booted up my computer, and got an error message that went something like this: "Cannot detect keyboard or no keyboard attached. Press F1 to do A, press Del to do B." Ummm. Hmmm. How can I . . . if I have no . . . ? Must be one of them Catch-22 thingies.

Tonight, I head to Knitch to knit chickens! I've never knit a chicken before, and tonight is the last night I'll be able to say that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Tonight was an evening of kipping and margaritas and causing everyone to wonder who the crazy loud swearing ladies were, and why the heck they were all knitting. (Kipping = Knitting In Public, for those not up on the cool hip knitta slang.)

The RPM socks in the wild.

Monday, November 12, 2007

can I get another HEEL YEAH!

Warning: I think the whole "heel yeah!" joke is very very funny. It is entirely likely I will keep using it every. single. time. I turn a heel. This could be a lot of times. If you find it annoying - well, um, actually I can't help you. How about you just go check out people who are funnier than I? Anyway, for those of you who are still here, check out my sock heel!

Monkey sock redux on larger needles was wildly successful and cured the Horrible Pooling of Yuckiness. I would have taken a progress shot before I got to the heel but, um, well, I have no excuse. I suck. It's a problem. I also started the second RPM sock, which I will show you tomorrow. Tonight, we drown Megan's sorrows with margaritas and tequila!

Friday, November 9, 2007

FO real this time!

Get it? Ha! I crack me up. (And as I reread that line, I realize that I am, right now, before your very eyes, turning into my dad.)

Ta da! The Windy City scarf, from Stitch and Bitch (by Debbie Stoller), made with Kerry's fabulous handspun, finally finished and perfect in every way.

And it keeps my neck snuggly warm. A word of advice, though. If you should want to make a cute little keyhole scarf out of one skein of unique handspun yarn which you cannot get more of because more does not exist anywhere in the world, knit only until you have a square and then immediately start the keyhole. Do not delay putting in the keyhole until you've knit and knit and knit, or you will get this.

Several people told me they didn't think it looked bad, but that is only because this photo does not show my face, which is rapidly turning blue due to the STUPID SCARF CUTTING OFF ALL OXYGEN TO MY HEAD. Stupid scarf.
And then I said to myself, "Self," I said, "I am a reasonably smart knitter. Or if not, then I am a really type A persistent-type knitter. I have fixed screw-ups before. I once dropped a stitch in a lace pattern and managed, using only my wits, determination, a crochet hook and a really bright light, to pick the stitch back up after only two solid evenings of staring at it. I can fix this."
So. I started by unraveling the end I had just bound off, thinking I would pick up stitches from the other end and knit down using that yarn. But no. That won't work, because the scarf is in 1x1 rib, and picking up and knitting in the other direction only works with stockinette and garter stitch.
OK, new plan. I would unravel from the cast-on end and use that yarn to lengthen the cast-off end. Except. Trying to unravel 1x1 rib from the cast-on end requires one to pick out every. freaking. stitch. Individually. This is only slightly less painful than plucking out all of your nose hair with tweezers, and slightly less fun.
OK, new plan. I can do this. I'm tenacious. I will cut the yarn at the cast-on end, where I would like the scarf to start, unravel enough yarn to cast off those live stitches, and then use the yarn gained to add to the cast-off end. I cut the yarn, painstakingly unraveled each. individual. stitch, and cast off-
Only to run out of yarn half-way through the cast-off.
At which point I yelled, "@#$%*& it!" ripped the whole thing out, and started over. ( @#$%*& being a word that my mommy doesn't want to think that I know.)
Fortunately it is a quick knit, so it only took a few days to redo, but please, learn from my mistakes. Only you can prevent scarf strangulation.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

the healing power of love

Ok, that was a cheeseball title, but there is a non-cheesy point to this post. The Best Roommate Ever is feeling very crappy. She has some sort of monster snot-producing head-cold-of-death-and-coughing thing going on, and she feels miserable. Last night Alex and I made our best efforts to heal her

Alex used the Power of Snuggling and Purring, and I used the Power of Wool. If you'll notice her feet, she is wearing blue Fuzzy Feet, which were going to be a Christmas present, but I figured she needed them more now. She may feel like crap, but at least her feet will be snuggly warm. Send healthy thoughts her way; I know she'd appreciate it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

warm fuzzies

In light of the chilly weather (shut up! Fifty degrees is so chilly!), I'm getting out all of my warm fuzzy things. The Best Roommate Ever and I are trying to hold off turning on our heat as long as possible, because we are very very cheap and also broke. I love pulling out the warm fuzzy things that I haven't seen for six or eight months. It's like getting new clothes. Or maybe I just have a short memory.

A pair of armwarmers I designed myself. They're made in a 1x1 rib from SWTC Karaoke in two self-striping colorways, with two strands held together so that the colorways shift around each other. If that makes any sense. Much like the Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts; in fact, that's where I got the idea. (I think the colors are 278 Mermaid Mix and 280 Wild Cherry.)

Another pair of armwarmers, Fetching, this time, from Knitty. I have poor circulation, so my hands and feet are always cold; hence, many armwarmers.
Then we have one of my favorites: Fuzzy Feet! Sing it with me! "Fuzzy feet! I got those fuzzy feet!" Much like happy feet, although not quite so active. This was the very first sock pattern I ever made and I would totally recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to make socks. Very easy to follow, the gauge is huge so they go so fast, and if you screw up, who cares? As long as they're vaguely sock-like, once they're felted, no one will ever know.



Fuzzy feet make feet warm. Happy autumn!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Finished object!

I finished this tonight at Knitch.

It's the Windy City scarf from Stitch and Bitch by Debbie Stoller.

Here it is on.

Well, then. Crap.