Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yarn Pr0n!

If I haven't finished anything lately, and I'm too tired to say anything witty, then I bring you an evening of yarn Pr0n. I've been saving this one.This is my skien of yarn from Zen Strings. It's their Bambewe fingering weight yarn in the Strawberry Fields Forever colorway. Of course, it has some bamboo content. (I know, I know. It's bloody rayon. But it's a rayon that makes my feet happy, dry, and smelling like pansies.) It's also shiny. OOOOH. You know, women and shiny things.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I could not resist - Semetic and cat humor


Picture of Rosie

You decide to become a Jew when you see Satan Claws come down the chimney.

Link for this page:


Picture of Salome

'Heeere's SALOME!'

Changing focus

I've knitted a lot of socks lately, and I have purchased a great deal of sock yarn. I do indeed love hand knitted socks, now that I've made them. I have small, narrow feet with monkey toes (as you've seen). Most store bought socks bunch, twist, and otherwise misbehave on my feet. Furthermore, my feet are cold and clammy most of the time. (yes, I know you always wanted to know that). Knitting my own socks out of carefully selected fibers is solving those problems, and I am learning the joy that socks can bring for the first time in my life. If you're a knitter and haven't tried it, I think you should.

I didn't take part in the Summer of Socks, as some of my knitting buddies have. But I'm getting burned out on them. So I picked up my Green Tree Raglan the other day. It's coming along.

I'm changing career focus lately as well. My job as grant writer was a very satisfying one, but if you know Chicago politics, working for the town I did was nuts. But I did some good. I got at least $250,000 for the town and its residents in less than one year. One very stressful year. It really was like working as a director of development at another organization for at least twice as long. Unfortunately, the long hours and chaos wrecked my health. I'm recovering now.

Work at the gigantic corporate entity is wrapping up shortly. Technically, I am not even an employee there, so I don't know if I can get unemployment when the work is done. However, I'm buoyed by the fact that I've made a lot of money, that the work is low stress, and that headhunters are hunting my head right now. Aggressively. I have decided to return to corporate work in the short term. I will go back to nonprofit work soon enough. After all, that is what my master's degree will be in.

Ok, all of you. You've been found out. You know who you are, and you are all "Gentleman." This post is for you, because I know that all of you are reading this to find out what I'm up to. Keep it up, if you want. Especially if you want to knit.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The 100 stitch sock

Well, it's only the 96 stitch sock, but I don't think the missing four stitches matter. This is the beginning of the Bayerische socks. The yarn is SockPixie. It's a challenging patter, and I only get about 1 row done at a time before I have to put it down. The upside is that I'm learning to cable without a cable needle. I hope this doesn't end up in jail too much.

Guess what else. Guess. The Green Tea Raglan is motoring along again. I suddenly seized it from its home last night and started work on the front.
It would be nice if I got that done in time for vacation. I'm leaving in less than two weeks!

Gah! Camera malfunction! I guess you'll not see the pictures of the Bribery sock and the Firefly sock for now. Speaking of camera, check out my new link on the bar to the right. It's the photography web site of my sister Peggy. There's even a photo my my beautiful sister Eileen in there.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New news

1. One of E's Bribery socks is done. See? 2. My weekend with E and his folks went well. We seem to have gotten off on the right foot.
3. I have to send a congratulations to E. The Amazing E got a big work promotion on Friday. Congratulations, E.
4. E was unfortunately not able to enjoy much of his glory the last few days. He's sick. I was sorry to leave him that way.

That is all.


Bah. Blah. Blekh.

Dulles Airport is my gate to Purgatory. I'm sitting here... bored... this is so dull. And I'm tired. And I'm leaving DC in a little less than an hour. I am happy in DC. Dulles takes me away.

At home are my cats. I hope they're ok. And I'm quite certain that my Zen Strings order will be waiting for me when I get there. But here in DC is the Amazing E. We'll see each other in just a few weeks. September 8, to be exact. (How many days is that?) And it will be in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport on the way to Hawaii.

I always bring a lot of knitting with me on these trips, and I never do a whole lot of it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Gambler

Well, here it is. The Link to the Cherry Tree Hill Orphans Sale. It's $30 for a pound of yarn. Some of it's really nice. For example, one time I got three skeins of their possum worsted once (among other things). Now, Now. Don't let the name fool you. It's nice stuff and made a lovely hat and some mitts. I also have received fun fur, bulky potluck crap, and 8 ounces of crazy mohair loopiness.

I don't gamble or buy lottery tickets. This is my twice a year gambling fix.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend update

You guessed it. Once again I am in the very important government city with the Amazing E. I am pleased to report several developments.

First, the first Bribery sock is finished. No camera is available to me now, so I cannot post a picture. It is very lovely and precious to me. There is a small ball of yarn left over. What will I ever do with the little balls of sock yarn? They take up space, you know.

Also, you didn't know about the firefly sock. I cast on a fast stress relief sock last week, and it's down to the beginning of the heel flap. All the other projects on the needles right now are pretty complicated, so I needed something quick and easy to work on when I am feeling braindead or on an airplane. It's made of the Trekking ProNatura and has little "firefly" twists in it. You'll see.

I have done about 10 rows of the Bayerische socks. Those are slow going. The yarn is thin, they are finely detailed, and they are on size 0's.

One last update. This weekend was all about meeting the Amazing E's Mom-E and Dad-E. Yes, it was meet the parents weekend. They are lovely people, and I liked them. I know they read this blog, so "hi!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dun, du-dun dun

For the record, I have finished HP7.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


That's me. I'm so promiscuous with my knitting. It's a shame. I wonder how my knitting pals put up with me. Just look at my shame.

I cast something else on today. You see the pink thing in the corner? That's it. This means that I have four pairs of socks in progress. The first of E's Bribery socks is almost done. I expect I'll close up the toe tonight. I'm going to rip out what I did on the SNBWB socks because I have a way better idea for them. The Entrelac socks are still on vacation until I figure out how to do the half-blocks I need to do to start the heels. And now there is the Bayerische sock in the Peachy-pink SockPixie yarn.

And my Green Tea Raglan still sits untouched on my coffee table.

Woe is me. Woe are my knits.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Once again, the orphan yarn sale!

Wooo! Did ya check out that pasty leg in the last post? Positively glowing.

Cherry Tree Hill is having their twice annual big ole sale, including the Bag o' Crap Orphans by the Bag Sale. They sent out the email today.

I've purchased the bag o'crap before. The first time, I got lovely and weird stuff. The last time, I got pure crap. So this time around, I am cautious. But I will throw caution to the wind and spend the $30 again I think. What about you? Will you buy the mystery yarn? Look over there, I have a poll. Let's see if it works.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Laying about

Today has been a much needed day of laying about the house. It's been weeks, or perhaps months since I had a day of guiltless laying about my house. Yesterday also involved a great deal of laying about the house. Usually, I at least have a little urgency to do something productive on a Sunday, whether it's housework or homework. But this week I decided to let the housework go, and thanks to misreading my class syllabus I am a week ahead on assignments. So today I lay about and knitted.

When I posted this morning, I had just turned the heel on this sock. I cannot stop working on it. After all, it is made of my preciousss...
This picture is was not easy to take. One, it ain't easy to get snaps of your own feet. I'm afraid that I still haven't figured how to get a good picture of the spiral pattern on this sock. But they are coming out nicely. I'm getting about 9.25 stitches to the inch on my size 1.5's. It's a tight gauge, but Koigu blooms and stretches a lot in blocking, so I want them to be tight now. And they're so soft and warm. They'll be even nicer after they're washed. The second difficult thing about this picture is my camera. I can't get more than one picture out of it before the batteries die and I have to plug it back in. That's what the problem has been. Crappy (non) rechargeable batteries.

Oh, and in my laying about I never got to work on the Green Tea Raglan. I kept getting distracted by the precious. So soft....So beautiful....

Speaking of laying about...there one one lady not laying about this weekend. It's Aleta of Froebe Fibers fame. She did the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk this weekend. Great job Aleta! You've done a fantastic job of moving us toward the cure.


You've never seen E's Bribery Socks! Here's my progress on the first one.
The SockPixie Cornucopia calls for a short row heel. Personally, I don't like short row heels and this might be the last one I do. It's a spiral sock pattern, and the pattern is showing up well when the sock is stretched. And boy this sock can stretch! It's made of Koigu, after all. But it is a very slow knit.

My other projects are still be neglected due to my sock knitting passions. I did actually take out the stash box that holds my Green Tea Raglan. I fully intend to knuckle down and work on it this week. To prove my intentions, I have placed the box on my coffee table. It's the box with the blue knitting. The other box is my sock yarn collection. It overfloweth, and is getting bigger. Yesterday I checked my Paypal account and discovered a small balance there. So I went online yarn shopping. I purchased a hank of a superwash merino/bamboo blend from Zen String. You know I'll do anything for bamboo sock yarn, and they offer free shipping.

Lastly, thanks to the Amazing E, I may have a use for my Loopy Mohair Craziness that came in the January Bag of Crap from the Cherry Tree Hill sale. Look:

He suggested a pillow cover. I think it works! Extra points.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Magic numbers

I feel stuck in a bad horror movie, where I'm beginning to see that certain numbers with magical and transient properties have undue relevance on my daily life.

For example, I was knitting on the Precious Socks last night (Incidentally, I am considering renaming these socks E's Bribery Socks, as the yarn was acquired while the Amazing E was trying to influence me to move to DC. Although I admit that yarn, especially Koigu yarn, is a powerful motivating factor, it is not the bribe which will produce the desired result.) when I discovered that the number of stitches on my needles kept changing. There were supposed to be a constant 64 stitches with an 8 stitch repeat that shifted one stitch to the left every other round. Somehow I could not keep the total number of stitches constant on my needles. The number kept shifting, and I could not seem to get it through my brain that I also had to shift everything left on my own, but instead was relying on magic in the yarn to do it for me.

Another magical number gets me in an out of the building where I work to earn money for yarn. I have a crappy contractor's badge that allows me entry and egress from the corporate headquarters of the gigantic corporate entity. There is a bar code on it that must be scanned by a great eye that emits a read light. I have to wave the badge over the great eye a number of times, and then it will let me come to work or leave work. I do not see a constant method to the waving, nor a number of times it has to be done to produced the desired results. It must be magic.

Wow. Goofy, goofy thinking. I must be tired. I would like to go home and knit something easy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Scenic lookout

Yes, I missed SNB again. With the new job, I hope to reform soon. I was knitting in DC and thinking of all of you. Well, some of the time. ;)

During my 4 1/2 days in DC, I worked on some socks. The Cornucopia socks in Koigu KPPPM progressed by about 2". And I worked on your socks.
See. I told you I thought of you. Methinks I like purple socks.

This photo was taken at a "Scenic Lookout" near Frederick, Maryland. I passed through here this morning on my drive from DC to Chicago. (For the record, it is an 11 hour drive.) This is the site of the Battle of Monocacy. It was "The Battle that Saved Washington," even if it was a Confederate victory. I have to say that I really like Maryland and the DC area in general. It really appeals to the historian and archaeologist that still lurks inside of me.

Monday, August 06, 2007


I've just finished up work for today. This is a beautiful thing. I sat and accomplished what I was supposed to without strange interruptions having to do with terror of bulldozers or screaming bosses. It is also a beautiful thing because I feel able to eat after eight hours of work. Lastly, the Amazing E is due back in one hour. Yes, remote working has its advantages.

Presently I am watching a Star Trek: Voyager rerun on Spike TV, and working on the Precious Socks. The selection of the Cornucopia pattern is probably throwing a bit too much complexity into the whole shebang, as the yarn is dark purple, blue, brown, and magenta. The stitch pattern in showing up certainly, but not well. Dark colors. Oh well. They will be nice, and they will be precious to me... Ehem. I am 3" into the sock. Tonight I will try to post a photo.

I made two possible lapses in judgement this weekend. The first was the selection of a movie to watch with E. We watched Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Oy. I have known since I met him that E does a eerily accurate voice impression of Gollum. In the past, I've heard him whisper a line or two of if when I talked about my Koigu yarn to him. And I forbade him to every use the voice around me again. He did not comply. After hearing it is it's full glory (or repulsiveness as the case may be) I'm quite certain that he must have spent a great deal of time and effort perfecting this voice. At least I hope he did, because the possibility of E having a natural ability for it is too much for me to bear. At any rate, we watched this movie whilst I knitted with Koigu yarn and was subjected to him speaking about the yarn in his Gollum voice, turning all of Gollum's lines about his precious into comments about my precious. I believe I had nightmares that night.

That first lapse in judgement was a pretty serious one. The other was not so bad. I introduced the Amazing E to Lush goods. You see, he actually was introduced to this company's products at my home two weeks ago and expressed satisfaction. So I brought with me this weekend some soap and other things. I think I've created a monster.

Oh, and thanks to not working in the far northern reaches, I may actually end up knitting socks on Wednesday in Tinley Park. Shocking.

Friday, August 03, 2007


As you know, I'm done, done, done with the very shitty government job. For the record, I left because of stress and poor behavior on the part of certain people there. The municipality I worked for has some real bad problems. Like existential problems. And it leads to a lot of stress in the workplace, which in turn leads to some really crumby behavior being tolerated. Well, it's tolerated by some. Not by me.

I've moved on to a consulting job at a giant corporate entity. Like one of the huge and hated ones, but then again, I survived working a year for big tobacco. So I should survive this well. My job is to rework several hundred pages of highly technical information. The best news is that I can work remotely the vast majority of the time. Aaaannd that allows me to see a bit more of the Amazing E. In fact, I am in DC with him now preparing the Shabbat dinner. I'm planning on being here for the better part of a week, so I brought some of my stash and my current projects. Note to self: Damn, I need to update that OTN list....

Current projects include the Entrelac socks, Precious socks, SNBWB socks, the Oriel Lace Blouse, and finally the Green Tea Raglan.
  • Entrelac socks have been relegated to a very long term project. They are not in jail, but they are on holiday. They need rest. Or perhaps I need rest. They are not an easy knit.
  • Those two skeins of Koigu E lead me two last week are being turned into Sock Pixie's Cornucopia socks. I've got the cuff of the first one squared away. I'm doing them on the remaining 4 of my favorite Knitpicks needles. I placed an order for a new set the other day, along with a set of size 0's for an upcoming project, and a copy of Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 2: Cables. (In case you don't know, Knitpicks is having a fine summer book sale now. Check it out.)
  • SNBWB socks ran into a snag. Near the end of the first pattern repeat, I did something really weird with the yarn. I can't even begin to describe what happened. At the same time, I noticed a big mistake with the cable I intended to put on the edge. I'm going to have to rip out about an inch of progress. So that sucker's in jail. I'm quite amazed. Nothing but the Crapotee has been in jail for a long time.
  • The Oriel Lace Blouse sleeves are coming along slowly. Painfully slowly. This project as well as the Green Tea Raglan have been neglected lately in favor of a flurry of passion for sock knitting. I'm certain my infatuation will soon subside and I will give these worthy projects the attention they deserve.
Some of you have been asking questions. I have answers.

In reference to my recent purchase of Sock Pixie yarn, Nadia asked:

Very pretty color. Do you have a pattern in mind yet?

Yes, Eunny Jang has a beautiful free pattern on her blog for some fancy cabled socks that I think this yarn is perfect for. They're called Bayeriche socks. I love them, and they are what I bought the size 0's for.
Knifty Red asked about the Panda Cotton yarn:

Awesome socks!! I think I have the same yarn in my they keep your feet cooler because of the cotton?

I wore them yesterday for the first time. The combination of cotton and bamboo makes them fantastic summer socks. My feet were cool, dry, and fresh after a day at work followed by an 11 hour drive to DC. I will definitely buy that yarn again.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sock Pixie yarn

Here it is. I find it to be very nice, but I haven't knit with it. It's soft, springy, and has a tight twist. Sort of like the precious.

New socks

As I have today off between jobs, there's been time to finish the Panda Cotton socks. This yarn is awesome. It's squishy and elastic and knits up fast. These are just stockinette ankles socks knitted top down.

I forgot to tell you about the one tragedy from my weekend with Amazing E. I lost one of my favorite needles at the airport. I knit socks on Knitpicks needles. I've been using their size "1's" to knit just about every sock in my year long sock knitting career. And I lost one. I had to finish the second of these socks on four needles.

So now I have to replace my favorite sock needles fast. You know, before withdrawal sets in. Through a miracle of cosmic coincidences, I will be able to replace them correctly. Did you know that Knitpicks sells two sizes of size 1's? I did not. But the Yarn Harlot did, and she posted about her favorite needles not long ago. Apparently, they have 2.25mm and 2.5mm size 1's. It's a good thing she posted, because I might have ordered the wrong ones. So I emailed Knitpicks over the weekend. I know I've criticised their customer service before, but this time they came through. They looked up my order from a year ago and told me that I own the 2.5mm needles. I can't believe they had the record still! I would have had to find someone with a micrometer to measure the remaining needles for me. Hooray! I'll be ordering the new needle set today.

Moving on, I have started the SNBWB socks. I'm about half way through the first pattern repeat. I'll start posting pictures when there's more to show, and I'll post the pattern when it's done.

For the record, I am doing the sock with the Magic Loop method. Cast on 12 stitches on each needle using a figure 8 cast on. Increase one stitch by knitting into the front and back of the second stitch from the beginning and end of each needle on every other row until there are 30 stitches on each needle.