Sunday, October 30, 2005

Imaginary Friend

Alrighty then. So yesterday I want over to MLYS and made Janice (the owner) pose with all of her most recent projects. Most people over at Handmade Memories are into felting these days. The bowl is cute and the pattern is by Debbie, the knitting teacher. The big bag is a rather large version of the Mason Dixon Buttonhole Bag. Way coolio. These dishcloth's were from a dishcloth of the month class. I asked Janice to let me know when they were going to do a REALLY hard one. She told me I'd have to teach it (crap.) I got through about 2 pattern repeats on the Wyvern sock while I was there.

After I got home I did another pattern repeat and got to the part where you switch to the larger needles. I happened to have size 4 40'' circulars so I figured it was time to try the magic loop method. There is really nothing to it. Super simple, no extra flying needles. Done.

This morning my Mom was starting the Wyvern socks. I had her look up how to do the provisional CO online and watch the video 3 times then to call me back if she didn't get it. We spent like an hour and a half on the phone. First talking her through the provisional CO and then talking her through the short-row toe. I didn't think we'd get past the CO but with her excellent knitter's intuition, my excellent communication skills, and some online help we accomplished both tasks. Done and done.

This rasberry colored yarn is "crochet yarn", whatever that means. What I do know, is that it is not soft and it is much harder than the Patons Grace I am using on the taupe Wyverns. I started using it this morning when I was knitting with my mother because I had to knit to see what I was explaining to her. The people in the Starbuck's thought I was a crack smoker because they couldn't see the headset I was wearing and it just looked like I was talking to myself or my imaginary friend, about knitting. I must have looked like a total wack job.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sock It To Me

I've been knitting for almost a week on these Wyvern socks (singular, sock actually). You can see I've turned my first heel (that's right, I'm a Bad Ass Knitter). Although I must admit, the heel is the same as the toe (short-row toe/short-row heel) so once I made it past the toe the heel wasn't daunting at all. I have been knitting this sock on two circulars and I have to tell you, it is WAY better than knitting on double pointed needles. Maybe one of these days I'll learn the magic loop method although, I won't learn it for anything with a size two needle since I have two circular needles that size already.

I wish I had knitted more scarves. Here on the Redwood Coast it has been cold enough for over a month to wear scarves and sweaters. Seriously, there is just not enough time in my life to knit as much as I'd like. I can hardly wait for December 15 to come. 2 days after my birthday and it is the day of my last final. After that I can knit all I want!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Promised Pics

Okey dokey. Here are the pictures of my progress thus far on the Wyvern pattern. I am actually in the process of undoing a couple of rows because I can't seem to figure out the difference between even and odd rows (duh!). Anyways, I have high hopes for this project. You can see I made it through the short row toe with success. If you look closely you can see Lily Cat preening herself.
I love that about her. About once a week she does a serious deep cleaning of her coat. She always does daily maintenance, but like I say, about once a week she really goes for it. The end result is a super soft coat that I absolutely love to touch.

But I digress. The next picture is of a scarf (done in Lion Brand Fancy Fur)I started back when I was still crocheting (carpal tunnel doomed my career as a world renowned crochet artiste). The moral of this story is (1) don't even attempt to crochet with novelty yarn that is not only fluffy and confusing on its own, but also dark in color. I had the worst time trying to find the loop that I was supposed to be using. And (2) this type of yarn is practically impossible would require an act of god to frog it. It is very pretty and soft but make sure you know what you are doing before you use it. It isn't cheap as acrylics go.

Lupine and I spent about 1 1/2 hours at the park tonight. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Oh la.


Warm Tootsies

Started a sock. The Wyvern pattern from Marnie MacLean's site. I could have done two at the same time but as it is I'm doing a million things at once. The cool thing was, it wasn't all new. When I did the aviator cap I learned how to do short rows (the toe of the sock is short rows). And, it called for a provisional CO which I had taught myself when I was trying to find a stretchy CO method for the stupid Chenille Sweater. So really, the only new thing is that I am (1) making my first sock, and (2) knitting on 2 circulars instead of with double pointed needles! My Mom was right, it was really easy to do. I didn't even look at the tutorial for it once I got started!

Gotta get working on my homework ?'s. I'll post a pic of my progress tonight.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wear Underwear

This morning I woke up to take Q to work and I debated for awhile (about 3 seconds) about whether or not to put real clothes on, or just wear my PJ's and slippers. My Mom is from the "Put on clean underwear in case you get into an accident" school of thought. I always figured it was a silly rule.

Point is, Q and I stop at the gas station place where they rape my pocket book to fill up my tank. He gets back into the car and I try to turn over the engine when, to my great dismay and shock, darkness. Not even the slightest flicker of light from my stereo's LCD to show me that maybe I'd dreamt it all along. Great, so now I'm stuck in the middle of town, in my PJ's and it is no longer the early 7:15 am, it is going on 8am and there are more people out. Crap!

I called AAA and the nice tow truck dude, Kevin, looked under the hood, jiggled something and told me to try and turn the car on. Low and behold, she lives. Wheee! The car started. Just a loose cable. Kevin tightened it up for me. Thanks K, you are a peach. Good thing no one asked to see my underwear.

Next topic: Beanie with no name. (Maybe I could get some suggestions for a name for this beanie? Go ahead, make a comment, I dare you!)

Here is the final product. Knitting with bobbins is nothing to be afraid of. You just need to carry the yarn along. It is a pain when your project is finished because you have to weave in all those ends. There is Q modelling the beanie inside out so you could see all the ends that need to be woven in. This time I was able to be looser with my yarn when using both colors (yeah!). One neat thing I did (I think it's neat) is that when I did the decreases (ie. k2tog's) I used white so it made this cute spiral/star/flower thingy on top. Overall, a great hat.

I promise the pattern is coming soon. As much as I would love to type it out now, I have to do a take home midterm now for my Native American Studies class. Anyone want to write it for me? Didn't think so.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Latest

Went out last night. The Clam Beach Inn was our first stop. Our wacky bartender Jesse is pictured here. He is from Sacramento just like me. I played some pool and Q talked to some folks. They told him about the Moose Lodge up the road. Apparently it is some sort of cool place with cool people and that we were cool and should go hang out. To myself I'm thinking, "Aren't Moose Lodges places where old people hang out?" Anyways, those people leave and we stay at the Clam for awhile longer where I tried to exhibit what once were some amazing pool shooting skills. I seemed to have lost them somewhere.

The evening progresses and after a pow wow with Q, we decide to go check out the Moose Lodge. I don't know if I've ever seen a whiter place. I mean, not just white, but WT if you know what I mean. So, we walk up to the people who invited us and they had this totally shocked look on their faces, and proceeded to ignore us. Rachel, I don't know what your last name is, but you are a social MORON! And, should I ever see you around town, do not bother to waste your breath on me because I will ignore you just as I did when you said goodbye last night. Pathetic.

This is a new beanie I've been working on. The Diamond Lake Beanie is finished but I haven't taken a picture of it. I was disappointed because, while it looks really nice, I was too tight with the diamonds in the pattern so it doesn't look so good on. Anyways, I didn't want to make the same pattern twice so I am working on this one. Starts out like diamonds so I had to make sure I was much looser when working with the two yarns. I also added 6 stitches so if this one works I'll post the pattern.

To all small town folk who deign to snub their noses at me, make sure you sleep with one eye open.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fall Dolldrums

So, counseling is hard. I didn't want to go today. I cry every day or so now.

I get after myself all the time about school. Do I need to do more? Am I really just being lazy? I'm constantly freaking out about failing my classes in spite of the fact that I know point-wise I have an A in 3 of my classes and a B in one. I have made a habit of taking Fridays off. I feel like a slacker yet I also know that if I had more on my plate I'd go nuts. WHAT's my f-ing problem?!

So, that's my life in a nutshell. Everyday gets harder to leave the bed. I seem to eat more. I'm getting fatter. I guess I'm depressed.

On the upside, I took Lupine to the park the last two days. I don't have any money but I think I should try to go to yoga in spite of that.

I notice this is how life is, up and down. I hate it. I hate it right now anyways. I hope it passes soon. It seems that more and more I think about running away. Where? I have no idea.

The Eiffel Tower is my computer background. Paris would be nice.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Good Days

For the first time in quite some time, I had a great weekend. The alternate feeling that accompanies a good long weekend is ennui, which doesn't really do very much for my standings in my classes.

Thursday night I waited around for Q until about 7:15 pm. He didn't show up at the house so I took off to the local Indian Casino that has karaoke on Thursdays. I proceeded to get trashed and sing many songs. It was a good time but I had to leave my car and take the free shuttle home. The next morning Q and I went to pick up Ready. We had brekky at the casino and when we left I took pics of the beautiful flowers. Q doesn't look too bad either.
Friday night was Midnight Madness at Homemade Memories. I didn't get there until about 8:30 because Q and I went and tried out a Chinese food place in town. I started working on this beanie. I'm calling it the Diamond Lake Beanie because it has diamonds knit into it and we talked about Diamond Lake during midnight madness, so it seems appropriate. You can see my mess of bobbins. Bobbins are actually pretty easy to use if any of you have fear, don't. It just takes a little longer because you switch yarns every so often. I'll be posting the pattern for this hat soon.

I also finished the London Beanie. I made it too many stitches, as per usual. Q always reminds me how big his head is and I end up making the darn things too big. He actually has a normal head, I don't know why he thinks it is big. Moreover, I don't know why I buy into the huge head hype.
Here is Lily cat. I can't believe her eyes are WIDE open for this picture. The flash went off but the window shades were open and it was sunny out. That must have been it. Leon is in his favorite sleeping spot; on the clean towels.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Sometimes I feel as though my life is some sort of sick joke. This morning I get a great parking spot right outside of the Natural Resources building (where my very early 8am class is held). Then, I see someone parking in this very small spot behind me. My car alarm didn't go off so I figured they cleared it without touching Ready (that is the name of my car). Well, after class I go look and sure enough there is a HUGE scrape on the back bumper. Damn bitch! I saw her. I'll find her. I promise.

In knitting news...

In my last post I spoke of buckling down and finally getting some work done on the Chenille Sweater. I was happily knitting along and it was looking so pretty when I finished the second front side piece that I decided to sew up the shoulder seams and side seams to see how it fit. That is when I got really sad. I CO too tightly so can you guess what happened? Yes, it was too tight around the bottom edge. CRAP! So, I go to Jo-Ann's the next day to spend some $$ on yarn and make myself feel better when I ran into this woman who asked what sort of project I was up to. I shared my predicament with her and she told me this method of picking up the stitches a few rows in from the bottom and knitting a couple of rows then binding off. I thought that was a brilliant idea and began to feel much better. The trouble is (as you may already know if you have used the Lion Brand Chenille T & Q yarn), I couldn't see all of the stitches in the dark yarn.

Moral of the story? I frogged the whole damn thing. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I didn't give up. I had this great idea about taking my measurements and designing my own stinking sweater. So I measured myself, did a gauge swatch, and started anew. I cast on very loosely and wouldn't you know I ended up with an uneven cast on which was pretty good in most places and had some random BIG loops. Frogged it. Looked online for some "stretchy" CO methods. Tried to figure out tubular. Had to CO 2 more times before I got it right. But as I was making the tube, I found it wasn't really all that stretchy.

Let me just say this:

I cannot stand Lion Brand Thick & Quick Chenille yarn. Do not buy this yarn. It is the worst yarn EVER!

Okay, I feel better now. Not really.

I'm pretty spent so I'll keep it short on the "frogging the Kitty Bed" story. I bought the right yarn but it wasn't bulky so I frogged it. The End.

I'm working on a hat. Maybe it will work out. I'm worried it's going to be huge.

Woe is me.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Buckling Down

This past week, when my couselor pointed it out, I came to the sickening realization that I am not taking care of myself emotionally. I am focusing on what is wrong with someone else and ways to fix them when I really need to worry about me and what I want and what I need. Man, it was ugly when I heard myself say,"I guess I really just don't want to be with him (my boyfriend)." Woe is me. Anyways, I have never really had to break up with anyone before. I would just make them break up with me. I hate the responsibility of it all. It will be tougher still because we live together. Wish me luck.

That being said, doggie, kitties and knitting have been my stress reducers and source of smiles this week. It never ceases to amaze me how much love they(doggie and kitties) have to give and how much joy I derive from them. Lupine and Lily are very comfortable on the bed together. Leon doesn't trust Lupine as much. Speaking of which, I'm not sure how long it was after I got Lupine that I realized I had named all three of my animals with names starting in "L". I'm wacky, what can I say. Anyways, Lupine is not normally invited onto the bed. The one major exception is when there are fireworks/lightening. It was homecoming weekend here and so there were fireworks at the football game.

So as I mentioned, knitting has been a fundamental part of my stress relief. I have been hanging out over at Handmade Memories to escape my home environment. I got quite a bit of knitting completed on the Kitty Bed from WendyKnits. I'm doing it with the Noro yarn the pattern calls for. The yarns to the right of the Noro are Cascade 220 for a HUMONGOUS felted bag for me! I think I am going to use a variation (bigger) of the Buttonhole Bag (see sidebar "Completed Projects"). However, since I am trying to buckle down, I am not starting any new projects until I finish the Chenille Sweater (sidebar "On The Needles"). I must finish that one since it has been dragging on since July. In my defense, in July, I was in New Mexico HELL, trying to knit a very warm sweater. The memory of trying to knit in 100 degree weather stays with me to this day. I think I'm permanently scarred.

Stay tuned:

Will I find a new place to live or will my bf be able to woo me out of my decision?
Will I finish the Chenille sweater or will I cheat and start on my Really Big Bag?
Will I adopt an animal this week and give it a name starting in the letter "L"?

Find out.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Stitch & Bitch On The North Coast

Yesterday was my first time at the Stitch & Bitch here at my local yarn shop, Handmade Memories. This is the owner Janice. She was starting on a London Beenie with some new yarn she had just gotten into the store (I don't remember what kind of yarn, just some kinda yarn.)

I was working on Buttonhole Bag 2. It has like a bazzillion mistakes beautiful embellishments that make it a one of a kind work of art. What turned out to be kind of cool about one of the embellishments is that, due to the flipping inside out so that the bottom has purls around the bottom, the bag seems to sit better, even unfelted. I think when I make this bag again I will purl for all of the increase rows so that it sits better. The other cool thing is, if you check out the picture of me in the shop you'll see a cooler than skein skein in front of me. Well, that is because Janice has one of those cool roll-your-hank-of-yarn-spinner-thingies that only takes like 2 minutes. I was glad I had the foresight to bring all three of my hanks of yarn; they are all ready for knitting.

This is a finished picture of the second buttonhole bag all finished, minus felting.

Becky was working on a dishcloth while her mom (I so wish I could remember her name, maybe Fran) was working on the mate to the sock you see on Becky's foot. The pair got finished about a half an hour before the S & B finished; here you can see the socks on Becky's mom's feet.

There were two other nice women at the S & B, Colleen and Teri. This picture on the right is of Teri. She made the little faux pot you see on the table there. It is some technique (not knitting) that uses wool to make stuff and things. She went to the Fiber Fair in Redway this past weekend and took a little seminar on the technique. When I figure out the name of the technique, I'll let you know.

Overall, the S & B was good fun, and I got some knitting done. The only bad part is that since it is a social thing, I get a little carried away with embellishments in my project. See you at next months S & B!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The weather has turned decidedly cold and I no longer want to leave the house. I want to be at home, propped up against all the pillows with my kitty cats around and knitting in hand. I have this problem where all I want to do is knit. Not a problem? Ha!

I am trying to get a job as a bus driver at school. I have had the physical and the next step in the process is to go and take the written DMV test. I cannot take the test until I study the booklet. I can't study the book because I am knitting. Eventually the yarn will run out and I will have to go take the test, so I can start driving, to earn money for more yarn. Oh so lame-o.

Enough wallowing. In other news...

I have started a new sweater. It's a ribbed raglan made out of Bernat Boucle with Bernat Boa trim. The boa is a pain in the ass. I almost wish I had bought circular needles so I could knit the darn thing on the round. I'm in the beginning stages of having an aversion to this project because it reminds me of those slutty garter belts/can can girl attire/etc. Let's see, is there anything else about this sweater I can complain about.... Oh, it is almost (not really) motivating me to lose massive amounts of weight so that I won't have to knit so many damn stitches to finish the darn thing. I may have it done in time for Fall/Winter 2006.

In this vein, I have a new rule for all patterns I take on from here until the end of time:

I will not knit any pattern calling for a needle smaller than U.S. size 8.

I'm almost finished with the Buttonhole Bag #2. I have yarn for one or two more but my Mother sent me an email with the link to this cute cat bed. I think I may use the yarn for that. Although, since I am going to the Stitch & Bitch tonight at Handmade Memories I will probably just buy more yarn (note to self: I will read the DMV booklet this week!).

Note to anyone trying this bag for the second time (not the first time because the first time people tend to pay very close atteniton to what they are doing):

Notice how the bag has a garter stitch bottom and then immediately following that is knitting on the round for about 6 rows. Then, suspiciously, it turns to purl every row. Well, everyone know's purling is harder than knitting so why the constant purl you ask? I freaking turned the darn thing around when I was increasing! SHIT. Do not let this happen to you. The only reason I continued without fixing it is because I'm going to flip it inside out and it'll be felted (and I'm going to gift it away).