Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Some "Not Pink"

But first, some Pink:

Yes, finally wove in the rest of those ends. The morning of the baby shower, would you believe it? (Of course you would.)

Decided to go with a crochet edging (simple) and no lining on the back (even simpler).

So, that (along with the other stuff I've shown you before) was the pink.

I said before that the big non-pink thing was just not going to be ready.

The universe confirmed that it wasn't "just me" and my slow knitting pace -- I was also unable to (quickly) find the right zipper.

So that whole thing might be on hold for a while again.

"Plan B" was shoes and a hat. That went really quickly, despite the small gauge I ultimately settled on. Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to do anything with a small gauge, but that Rowan 4-ply cotton was right there. Took far less than one ball of each shade.

Shoes are "Stripey Shoes" from 50 Baby Booties to Knit.

Let me tell you that people are way more impressed by knitted baby shoes than you'd think, given the amount of time it takes to make them.

The only part that took much more than an instant was the bit in the middle -- you know, the really important part of any knitting project (absolutely can't be skipped!) when you refuse to weave in the ends and sew the seams.

That part took me days.

(I feel it is very important to not skimp on this step. Never skimp on procrastination or on frosting.)

The hat was just made up: Cast-on some stitches, went round and round, decreased at what seemed like an appropriate time, ended with an I-cord. Knotted the I-cord. Decided it needed something more, so added a do-hickey from Knitted Flowers. (If it is important to anyone, I can probably scare up the wherewithal to actually write "how to make this hat" out in pattern form.)

Never did I-cord before.

I like it.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Slip Up? Make Up! (Yarn Giveaway)

So, if there were any bets out there regarding when I would slip up on that yarn resolution, whoever picked yesterday would be our winner.

Webs got me again, with an evil sale on Tahki Cotton Classic. I even recalled my resolution before I ordered it, but I could not be stopped. (I'm invincible!)

Do I even need any more Cotton Classic?


I just wanted it. (I still want it.)

And I am finding it hard to regret my order of 30 skeins. (Though evil, it is a great sale.)

Because, you know, someday I might actually want to make a Psychedelic Squares Afghan.

And as we all know, when that time comes, there will be no yarn left for purchase (not for blood or money) anywhere on the planet.

(You see how I got into this mess with the stash. I can justify any and all yarn purchases with that old "I'll need it during the post-apocalypse" line.)

Anyway, generally when I break a resolution (like that one about eating healthier, or the really short-lived one about never again imbibing alcohol, the one about meditating every day . . . ), I pretty quickly come to one of two conclusions:

a.) that the resolution was a mistake, that I was trying to be someone other than who I am, and that I should just stop that because it will never make me happy, or

b.) that the resolution was not a mistake, and that I should keep the goal in my mind (which, of course, I ultimately do not) but that probably "never" or "every day" is a *bit* excessive, and I should just chill!

Either way, I forgive myself, move on, and ultimately just forget about the whole thing.

It is interesting to me that this time -- while I cannot regret the purchase of the Cotton Classic (yet) -- I'm having a hard time "forgetting about the whole thing."

Maybe because the resolution involved doing something for others rather than just for myself?

Seems a little unlikely, because I am just not that nice.

Anyway, so I want to keep on keeping on with this resolution.

It is oddly important to me.

To keep doing this thing, I need to move on from this lapse.

And to do that, I need to do something to make up for it.

The easy way to make up for it would be to give up the Cotton Classic.

(That's not happening.)

Alternatively, I could make up for it by giving up other yarn -- in the amount of the Cotton Classic times four.

That I can do.

(I do have, er, quite a lot of yarn, much of it acquired in the same manner as the Cotton Classic: Online / Great Sale / Intense Greed / Vague notion that I'll *need* it someday.)


If you want some, drop me a line (anonyknitsATyahooDOTcom).

Let me know if you have a preference (or, for that matter, if there is yarn you just do not want), and give me your name / address.

I apologize for asking for this in advance (I promise not to use your contact information for anything other than sending you yarn), but I want to be able to do all the shipping in one go, without waiting for all the "winners" to get back to me re their direction.

I'll ship it to you gratis, to anywhere in the world. (All part of the penance.)

I'll keep this offer open for a week(ish). If there are more takers than yarn, I will pick by some random means to whom the yarn should go. If there is more yarn than takers, then I'll send the remainders to a local charity thrift organization.

Also, recall that I have cats. (They're not allowed in the yarn, but you know how that goes.) So if you have allergies, etc., fair warning.

The yarns: Sonata, 4 separate lots.100% cotton.

LOT A.15 skeins grey/gold/brown variegated (colour #9789), plus 2 skeins dark grey (colour #8972, not shown).

LOT B.15 skeins blues/tans variegated (colour # 9747), plus 2 skeins blue (colour #2499, not shown).

LOT C.15 skeins (less the yardage for a small swatch) rose/brown/greenishbrown/cream variegated (colour #9776), plus 2 skeins greenishbrown (colour #5310, not shown).

LOT D.15 skeins lavender/brown variegated (colour #9712).

Schachenmayer Crazy Cotton, 2 separate lots.100% cotton, self-striping. 50 g. 26 sts / 10 cm.

LOT E.10 skeins green/tan/cream (colour #80).

LOT F.10 skeins (less the amount for a large swatch) rainbowy colours (colour #89).

Lot G. Canapone, Green, 5 skeins less the yarn used in one swatch. 100% Hemp. 50 g / 156 m / 180 y. 24 st / 10 cm.

Lot H. Canapone, Orangey-Red, 7 skeins.

Lot I. Canapone, sort of a dark Rose, 7 skeins.

Lot J. JoJoland Melody, Mostly Pink / Light Red, 10 skeins.100% wool, ombre/self-striping. 7-8 sts / inch.

Lot K. Schaefer Anne, 1 skein. Handpainted Merino/Mohair/Nylon blend. 4 oz / 560 yards. 7-8 sts / inch.

Lot L. Opal, 1 skein.Rodeo, colour #1151.

Lot M. Meilienweit Cotton Spirit, 1 skein.Self-striping, browns.

Lot N. Meilienweit Megaboots Stretch, 1 skein.Variegated, reds.

If I have the maths right, that's 119 skeins, less some yardage for swatches.

So to top it off (30 times 4 = 120), Dishrag Cotton, not shown. I have way too much, even for me. If you'd like some, let me know.


Monday, January 22, 2007

No Way, No How

The Dale Hoodie is not going to be ready by Sunday.

I am just very slow with the stranded knitting. Everytime I try to speed up, my gauge tightens up horribly. So it is slow, slow, slow going. (The US 1.5 needles aren't helping me set any speed records, either.)

I'm fairly certain I could have knit 3 "Baby Surprise" jackets by now.

It goes so slowly that it is more than a little mind-numbing, to tell you the truth. (I think I've figured out why I stopped working on this in the first place.)

Probably I could still make it if I was going to knit all day and night.

But, a.) gotta earn a living. (Darn!)

And, b.) sleep. (Which I rather like.)

So, I have implemented Plan B: Shoes and Hat.

Even if this "Plan B" were at 20 st / 10 cm (which, I say, it is NOT), it would still go faster than the Dale.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Race Against Time / Pink Rant / New Mantra

This entry is a bit of a mish-mash, but it really is all connected (sort of), even if not by a single, unifying theme.


You may recall (although why would you) that months and months ago, I started THIS. (Zippered hoodie from Dale of Norway baby book #162.)

I was really excited about it, but I had plenty of time (Baby X was barely conceived), and then other awesome things distracted me, and with this and that and all the rest, hey, what do you know, Mommy X's baby-shower-party-whatever-thing is ON THE FRICKING 28th OF JANUARY????

Baby isn't actually due 'til sometime in early March.

And the jacket is the 9 month size, on the theory that it will start to fit sometime next winter when a baby might actually want a wool jacket w/ hood.

So if I don't have it ready in time for the shower, it isn't like the whole thing becomes a lost cause.

And I have other things already done (or just about done), so I do have a shower gift.

But I really don't want anyone to explode from an excess of pink. (Both of those projects are also for Baby X.)

How did this kid end up with so much pink (*extremely* pink) knitting?

It isn't as though I really like pink for babies that much.

Probably this has nothing to do with the color itself, but with the funny idea out there that only girls should wear it.

You know the one.

That choke-hold notion that now-a-days baby girls can and should wear anything (including the old "no-nos" of blue, trucks, footballs, etc.), but that boys absolutely must not (particularly not hearts, flowers, or -- and especially -- PINK).

As if not being allowed to wear blue would stunt our little girls, but that dressing our boys in pink would -- I don't know -- turn them gay or something. (Heavens forfend!)

Anyway, so the whole pink thing pisses me off mightily, and as one really shouldn't make baby clothes when angry (bad vibes, doncha know), I generally avoid the pink, pretending to myself and the world that I "really don't like pink for babies that much."

Most of the to-be-parents around me seem to have the same thing going on in their heads.

Because almost everyone I've knitted for (whether it is for a boy or a girl) says "Oh, that's so great! But NO PINK," or "we don't like pink," or "NOT pink," or "anything but pink," "gender-neutral, please," "blue is nice," blah, blah, blah.

Often this is accompanied by a defensive explanation as to why "no pink."

Sometimes it is because "we don't and won't gender discriminate in any other way, but pink for boys is just a little too much." Often it is "we won't gender discriminate at all, and since we wouldn't dress a boy in pink, we won't dress our daughter in it either." I've also heard "*we* don't gender discriminate, but other people do, and someone might mistake the child for a girl."

And it isn't as though some of these things aren't in my head, too.

I guess that what it comes down to is that pink, unlike any other color in the rainbow, stirs up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings for so many people (different uncomfortable feelings for different people).

And the bottom line is that many of the kids around here (not that there are that many) just don't wear pink. Not the boys; not the girls.

And, you know, really, why make trouble? The gift of hand knitted baby clothes is meant to be many things, but hardly ever is it meant as a critique on the gender politics of the parents. Because that would be a criticism, not a gift.

So generally, with all that, I don't knit the pink for the kids.

But over time, I think this must have lead to a very serious pink deficiency.

Because, I swear, as soon as I heard "we don't mind pink," I just to went to town.

And because I really didn't think about it too deeply, now I've got almost nothing but pink for this kid, which wasn't my intention.

So all this comes down to the simple principle that I think it would be nice to include the single "not pink" thing I'm working on for this kid in the shower gift.

But that is a lot of work between now and then:

What, maybe 1/3 done?

I'm fairly certain I can manage to finish the knitting.

And probably even the steeks and seams.

But that darn zipper.

Even assuming I can find the right one without doing a special order, I have never done a zipper before and I FEAR IT.

Instinct says to finish the knitting and steeks, then cower for another six months before tackling that last bit.

Not really a good choice.

So, new mantra: "Fear is the mind killer."


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

They Rock, Barely

Having finished the Handspun Socks and Prime Rib Scarf, I allowed myself to cast on some of my new Socks that Rock.

As you can see, I did a bit more than just casting on.

Colour = Bloodstone. Loved it in the skein. Not sure about in yet in sock form. In hindsight, I probably would have been happier with Kryptonite.

Ah, well.

At least I know that if I decide I don't want them, someone in my, er, household does. (They're too big for Mum.)

"Mine! All mine!"

Was doing plain ol' stockinette, so I thought I'd mix it up a little with a new-to-me cast-on.

Tubular cast-on, using no-waste method.

Also, what I think is an Eye of Partridge heel, but I'm really not too sure about that.

My favorite bit of the sock.

Finally, I heard some rumor that ladders wash out. Ladders wash out???!!! Usually I knit an extra stitch on each needle to avoid ladders. But, hey, if there's a chance that I don't have to bother with that . . . that deserves a test.

So, test ladders.

Verdict: Sock that Rock is really, really nice.

But beware!

If you are knitting for big feet -- and I don't consider mine all that huge, but I do have giganto heels -- do yourself a favor and get two skeins, okay? (Yeah, I know, expensive.) Or plan as a contingency contrasting ribbing, or heels, or toes.

I almost didn't make it. Literally had inches to spare.

I had, in fact, to dig through the trash and find that (still clean!) foot-long "scrap" leftover from the "tail" end of my cast-on. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had enough length to graft the toe.

Don't believe me?

Not even enough left over to do one of those eeeentsy mitered squares for my sock-yarn-leftovers masterpiece.

Which was just about enough to convince me to do contrasting toes, just so I could have the leftovers.

Because I had this fantasy that the blanket would reflect ALL of my post-"pre-blog" socks.

But on balance I think that ruining perfectly good toes (I don't have a proper contrasting yarn) just so I can have a perfect blanket is probably a bit too off, even for me.

Yet another fantasy bites the dust.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

duck . . . duck . . .

duck . . .

duck . . .

duck . . .

duck . . .


So that's 12 of 66 hats for Dulaan done, except for the washing, which I plan to do way later, en masse. Still unknown whether the scarf is for Dulaan or for the Doctor.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yet Another Silly Question

So, I've been thinking.

Is there a catalogue or index or whatever out there listing examples of hand-knitted (or crocheted, for that matter) objects in, er, "genre" fiction?

This is for a fermenting idea that may never happen and certainly isn't going to happen any time soon because it would require the purchase of a significant number of skeins of new yarn.

Anyway, I've looked. (Admittedly not too hard.) Didn't find one.

All I've come up with on my own are:

1.) Jayne's Hat
2.) The Doctor's Scarf*
3.) All that Harry Potter Knitting

[UPDATE: Hey, I think Thneeds also count, don't you?]

There has got to be more, but it really isn't coming to mind.

Completely unrelated, the Prime Rib scarf is just about done.

Only now I'm working on hats for Dulaan.

I find my lack of faith disturbing.


*Probably this should go without saying, but for the sake of absolute clarity, here I refer to the real Doctor. Not the pretend one I hang out with.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oldest WIP No Longer

These were cast on nearly a year ago -- sometime last February, I think. (Pre-blog, in any event.)

Maybe I should have a goal of finishing (or acknowledging the abandonment of) all knitting projects within a year of casting on?

Now my oldest WIP is Posy. I'm terrified that she'll have the same problem as Freya. I'm too scared (or lazy?) to pick her up and just measure.

Anyway, handspun socks for Dulaan:

Was so busy trying to avoid holes at the join of the second heel (these were knit flat, then seamed, then the toes and heels added) that I forgot to check what sort of heel I did on the first one.

So, totally different heels!

But I like them.

My desperate urge to cast on some Socks that Rock carried me through these, and most of the way through the grey and red "prime rib" scarf I haven't yet shown you -- also for Dulaan, unless the Doctor snags it.

Now that urge is passed.

Now I only have the urge to finish the prime rib scarf.

Rather, that is, than working on the knitting I *really* should be doing -- i.e., the things that actually have deadlines: V's scarf, the green Weasley, the Dale zippered hoodie.

Ah, well. Go with the flow.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Catch Up

Hey, how ya doing? Long time no blog.

Have answered the question of "Y." ("Because!"):

The increasing and decreasing method blocked out very nicely, but in the end wasn't really what I was looking for. Backstitching looks particularly crappy. But a chain stitch 'round the edge looks real nice.

Have figured out Great-Grand-Mum's afghan:

It was, indeed, double-crochet between the stitches in the row below. No chain stitches between.


There's another one of these around here somewhere . . . probably holding the camera. I have to say, I never really liked this pattern. Still don't love it. But WOW I was SO COLD! And Fetching is very, very fast.

And finally, yarn!:

Socks that Rock from Churchmouse, out on Bainbridge Island. Fantastic shop.

You have *no* idea how difficult it was to keep it under the resolved five skeins. I haven't ever seen Socks that Rock, at least not physically, in person. There was this one called "Kryptonite" that I just *had* to have. Only I had to have it slightly less than these other five. Five? Why did I choose five? So hard. But I did it. Nine days in, and I haven't broken the resolution yet.

And when am I ever going to get to knit these? NOW NOW NOW! No. (I am such trouble.) I'm telling myself that if I can finish those handspun socks (my oldest UFO) for Dulaan and one other project (knitter's choice), then I can cast on another pair of socks. Maybe by then, the urge will have passed?

In other news, Aran Knitting hasn't magically showed up. Working on the insurance angle now, although it isn't entirely clear that "theft off the porch, post-delivery" is covered. Am considering buying another copy, but maybe I should make some of those Dulaan Hats first, as a sort of a down-payment on the karma problem . . .

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Something is seriously wrong with mine, and I don't know what to do to fix it.

My holiday-gift-to-me, a copy of "Aran Knitting," was apparently stolen right off my front porch, close-to-immediately after our postman left it. (I am told it was insured, but I find it hard to care about that at the moment.)

This is the third package that's gone missing in a month.

Others in the neighborhood have also been victims. (Someone lost a laptop and their Christmas gifts, taken right out of their car as they were unpacking upon their return from visiting family.)

We've put a hold on our mail.

But I still feel so helpless.

I suppose I would feel worse if we had been burgled.

But it is hard to imagine.

Why couldn't they have taken another yarn shipment???

That, at least, could have been easily replaced.

Probably what upsets me most is that whoever took it will have absolutely no appreciation for what they have.

It will probably end up in some dumpster somewhere.

A copy of "Aran Knitting" rotting in some dumpster.

Lost to the world.

I could just cry.

Monday, January 01, 2007




it all started with a martini.

in it was one olive, one onion, and one maraschino cherry.

and everything followed from that.

held a baby. (didn't drop it!)

tossed pizza dough. (didn't drop it!)

there were some remote-contol airplanes in there somewhere, too.

but no knitting.


never any fun at all.