a knitter navigates through life

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

heel, yeah!

RPM sock, with heel. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Giant bugs attack Metropolis!

On Thursday, my friend, her adorable daughter, and I went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden to see the giant bug exhibit. We're both huge bio-dorks, so this sort of thing is right up our alley. As soon as we walked in the entrance, we were greeted by this:

And from the side:

An enormous praying mantis lurked around a corner.

Here we have the enormous praying mantis about to eat my friend's daughter.

She seems quite cheerful for someone in such mortal peril.

And here is the point at which my camera made the Angry Noise of Death and told me that my batteries needed to be recharged. Some idiot had forgotten to bring the car charger and charge the batteries on the drive over. That idiot might have been me. So rest assured that the rest of the gardens were just as spectacular and populated with gigantic bug sculptures, and that it was fantastic. I'm hoping to be able to get back out there and take more pictures. Until then, remember kids: Always charge your camera batteries. And go to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It's really cool.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


This is sort of like one of those obnoxious word problems from high school algebra: If a knitter, traveling at thirty-five mph from Boston has just finished thirty Lizard Ridge squares and has gone a little stir-crazy from the sameness of it all, how many new projects can she cast on in a 48-hour period? Bonus: how many of them will be socks?
Here we have the magic of transformation:

Take one crappy, heavily pooling Monkey sock cuff, apply heavy frogging, and voila!

You have sock yarn! I love sock yarn. I do not like crappy socks with bad pooling that, it turns out, are too tight to go over my heel. (A huge shout-out to Thursday Night Kerry for untangling the Giant Knot I made. I owe you my firstborn.)
Likewise, take one shawl that was cute in concept, but in real life was not actually big enough to wrap around one's shoulders, thus 1) entirely negating its usefulness as a shawl, and 2) making me look like a cross between a hippy and a Russian peasant girl, which is not at all flattering.

Heavy frogging transforms it from a crappy shawl to . . . .

Sock yarn?! I love sock yarn! (Big thanks to the Yarn Sprite for assisting with the frogging. You're the best, and also the cutest.)
In the news of Actual Progress, we have the RPM socks, which previously looked like this

And now look like this

Here it is on. Yes, I know the picture is lousy; do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your own foot from the side?

I am so close to the heel, I can taste it! And my foot is not normally that funny-looking. At least I hope it's not.
We also have swatching for another sock.

I'm hoping this will become Hedera, from Cookie A.
And last, we have one of my favorites

Kerry's handspun

Which is going to be a squishy, squooshy keyhole scarf. Go check out her Etsy shop.

As for me, I have a sock heel to turn.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

fun with craft fairs, part 3

In which our heroine finds herself at the East Atlanta Strut.

I am so glad I got conned into going to this craft fair. The only reason I went is because the lovely girl behind Gub was at the Grant Park festival. I admired her seriously cool bags, but she didn't have any in my favorite fabric that was also a style that would work for me. (I'm a knitter. I have needs.) She was so very sweet and offered to make one for me (with a zipper!) and I could pick it up at the East Atlanta Strut. So off I go, skipping merrily, to one of the neatest neighborhood festivals I've ever been to. It was so friendly, with such a neighborhood-y atmosphere. Plus, every single person there brought their dog, so I got to meet plenty of cute puppies. And I got my special custom-made bag (I feel so classy and haute-couture saying that: custom made just for me.)

I absolutely love it. It's pretty much a year-round kind of pattern, and it holds so much stuff. (I used to travel so light. Oh, sock knitting, how you have changed things.)

And then I ran into a very cool guy who remembered me from the Grant Park festival. (Probably because I was wearing my super-cool work uniform with the giant logo over the left boob.) He has a truck entirely covered in bottle caps (with a sign posted in the window that says something like: 1) 10 months 2) caulk 3) about 10,000 4) it was cheaper than therapy. It cracked me up.) He paints these beautiful watercolor-esque paintings on old boards. I had admired them at the Grant Park festival, but all I saw were the large ones, which were beyond my I-work-for-a-nonprofit budget. That day, these little ones caught my eye and somehow found their way home with me.

The one on the left says "and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more difficult than the risk it took to blossom." I'm going to get that tattooed on my forehead. The one on the right says "anything is possible." They look so nice flanking my computer.

Note the helpful cat. He had to be moved to make typing possible. His life is so hard.
Tomorrow: more knitting! Or, when one has just finished a blanket, how many socks is it possible to cast on in a 48 hour period?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

it's the little things, really

There's nothing quite as gleefully satisfying as baffling a telemarketer by answering the phone with, "Joe's House of Pies! Our specialties today are apple, cherry and lemon meringue! How can I help you?" and hearing a three-second bewildered silence, and a click.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

can we have cooler weather now, please?

Autumn has officially fallen, according to the tree outside my back door.

And the Lizard Ridge blanket is residing on my dresser, 1) being decorative, and 2) glaring at me balefully.

Sew me up, dangit!

I'm still experimenting with the layout.

I'd really like to take a few black and white pictures to make sure the progression of color values is even, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do it on my computer or with my camera. I combed the manual this morning and found zip.

Combing the manual! Ha! Get it? I crack me up.

If anyone has the foggiest clue of how to do this, I will write songs and poems about you in exchange for your assistance.

In the meantime, I'm working on a pair of Monkey socks

Notice the alarming amount of pooling? I am not so much pleased.

and a pair of RPM socks. I used Judy's Magic Cast-On for Toe-Up Socks, and I really like it. Plus, I feel all spiffy and knitterly that I learned a new technique.

If you need me, I'll be doing my cold weather dance, in hopes of getting some actual fall-type weather. It's dang hard to get motivated to seam up a queen-sized wool blanket with lows in the upper 60's.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I almost don't believe it.

But here it is.

Lizard Ridge square #30.
And here are some views of my room.

I thought when I'd gotten to this point, I'd be shouting for joy and running through the streets nekkid and hugging strangers. But mostly I just feel quietly stunned, kind of like at my high school graduation. I can't believe that I've ACTUALLY FINISHED. Well, with the knitting part. For those of you who are going to, oh-so-helpfully, point out that I still have all the sewing-up to do, I have this to say: "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fun with Craft Fairs, Part 2

In which we find our heroine at the Yellow Daisy Festival. My family and I have been going to the Yellow Daisy Festival for, good lord, almost 20 years now, since I was a wee little sprout. It's huge and so very cool, filled with crafters and cool stuff and cool people and yummy food. The first item to catch my eye was this:

An amazing purse made out of ties by a step-mother/step-daughter team. Here's the back.

It was really the zebra that caught my eye first. It's such pretty colors and it's the perfect size for a sock bag. (Yes, I base my bag selection on my knitting needs. What? Doesn't everyone do that?) I can't help thinking what butt-ugly ties these must have been, but as a bag it's beautiful. Go check out their their other stuff at their Etsy site (funkyquail.etsy.com). They have cool bags and a bunch of shirts for knitters. Truly cool people.

Item #2 came in the form of a cool free-form melted glass wall hanging thingie. I am a HUGE sucker for art glass of any kind, really, and this is right up my alley.

It was hand-made by a woman in Florida who arranges the glass and then fires it in a kiln, melting the pieces together. She also had more structured pieces, like bowls make of squares of glass, that were seriously cool.

It's so fluid and sparkly. It looks fantastic hanging in my bathroom.

In other news, Lizard Ridge squares #28 and 29 are done done done.

Square 29 (on the right) was made from my ball of Franken-Kureyon (see yesterday's post). I cast on for Square #30 last night and announced, "This is my very last cast-on." The Best Roommate Ever eyed me warily, perhaps expecting tears of nostalgia or something. I said, "And THANK GOD." I'm so close I can taste it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Great Spit-Splicing Marathon of 2007

Yesterday, in the sanctuary of The Greatest Yarn Store Ever, I began the Great Spit-Splicing Marathon of 2007. I was going to attempt this at home, but The Greatest Yarn Store Ever two distinct advantages: 1) It has a ball-winder, and 2) it is helpful-kitty-free. After a grueling hour of spit-splicing, I managed to turn this

into this.

It is my very own ball of Franken-Kureyon. The fancy gram scale at work tells me I should have enough for my last two Lizard Ridge squares. (1 square = 38.5g. Scrap yarn = 94g. My math skills tell me this should be plenty. My reality skills are a little less certain.) More pictures as the squares progress.

PS: No, I did not actually use spit. I used a glass of water like a civilized person. I didn't feel like horking up multi-colored hairballs; I figured I'd leave that to the cats.

PPS: My right shoulder is really sore today. How embarrassing, on a scale of one to ten, would it be to sustain an Extreme Spit-Splicing injury and have to explain that to the nice medical professionals?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lizard Ridge #27

Number 27 is done!

Number 28 is almost done; I hope to finish it at Knitch tonight. In other news, Needlenook has some achingly beautiful laceweight Malabrigo in the most luscious colors. Must not lose focus. I wandered into the Kureyon section there today, and realized I didn't need to buy anymore . It was the weirdest feeling. I've been in a constant state of Kureyon acquisition for a year now. Lizard Ridge, ho!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

he's helping

As I've been doing all these squares, I've usually had a little bit of extra from each ball. I've saved these leftovers for no real reason (as the Yarn Harlot says, "Yarn good. Me keep yarn.") Or so I thought, until I realized I had an awful lot of leftovers. It turns out, as the fancy gram scale at work tells me, that I have enough, with Jana's generous contribution, for the last two squares. Sweet. I laid them all out yesterday to put them together into some sort of cohesive ball with non-ugly color progressions. (Purple should not come after orange.)


is what I was trying to do.

This is what actually happened.

Alex did not find the game as amusing as Jaymie.