Thursday, August 31, 2006


I could cry.

Or kill someone.

I went to the fair this evening to check out the General Entries Display and see my sweater. I was only expecting to see Zoe's cardigan, as I thought I had read that they only display 1-3rd place. As I was scanning the items, I noticed a 4th place ribbon on one of the items. So I kept looking, trying to find my Zigzag.

I found it.

Oh, how I wish they had put it in storage instead of on "display." They hung it. Not on a hanger, which would be kind of okay. They hung it on an unpadded, wooden T that spans all of about 10" leaving the squared-off wooden ends of the T to dig into the fabric encouraged by the weight of the sweater. The sweater itself looks like some piece of shit dishrag flung over the T to dry. (I have nothing against dishrags, mind you...) I really don't mind them making my work look like crap, really. I'm just so scared that the way they displayed it has done irreparable damage to the fabric. I don't know if I can block that kind of stretching and stress out. That sweater was a piece of art; and now, because I decided to share it and enter it into the fair, it's going to be garbage? I don't know how to handle that. Of course, the fair assumes no responsibility for damage done while in their possession.

I am just so sad.

And angry.

I feel violated.

In the Clear Light of Day

What a difference natural light makes! Here are some better photos of the FBS (am I the only one who hears the old FDS jingle in my head when they see it abbreviated that way? FDS Wo-mannnnn!) I think these show off the colorplay a lot better than last night's efforts, what do you think?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Overhaulin' or: I'm a Stranger Here Myself

So I decided it was time for a new look for the blog. The Polka Dots were driving me a bit batty, so we'll see how a cleaner template works out. I am not a genius at HTML, so it's been slow going, but there are more changes to come. Most notably, I plan to archive details on FO's that have previously just been pictured with no details. We'll see when I actually get to that!

The lace is blocked:

And Sockie #1 is almost done!

Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Mist (thanks, Chrissy!) and Sunshine. One skein each.
Needles: Size 7 Denises
Modifications: None, really, except that I used two colors throughout. I really like the effect this gives to the piece overall (not that you can tell with the fabumbulous lighting in the photos, sorry!) This was my first time knitting alpaca, and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I used this project as a "treat" after finishing the second (of now three) cotton cardigan for the girls. Mercerized cotton is hard on my hands, so this was a nice, relaxing, soothing knit! And, yes, I know I shouldn't take photos in a cave, but the flash was really messing with the colors and I'll take some better pics tomorrow. I promise!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What Do You Get...

When you let the DH pick out his very own yarn for a pair of socks?

You get a pair of socks you have to physically pry off the man's feet in order to weave the ends in. He loves them. (You also get a Brownie Point for SAM2 ;-D)

What do you get when, on a whim, you decide to enter some random stuff in the Colorado State Fair?

You get Second Place, Fourth Place, and an Also-Ran. I haven't been out to see what else was submitted and placed. The DH was at the Fair for the annual Legislative BBQ and told me all he saw was, "A bunch of Grandma stuff. And Zoe's sweater. This isn't the venue for you." Well, he's not biased in the least, is he?

What do you get when you decide you need a little pick-me-up?

You get this soaking wet. (And you get pictures later...)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Knitting for Twins

Is like shoveling the walk while it's still snowing.* I finished Ilsa's orange sweater. There's major striping.

She loves it, of course.

I get the feeling that I am raising some future knitters, as, once the last stitch was knit, Ilsa kept pestering me to weave in the ends because she wanted to help me block it. "When we gonna bock my sweater?"

Zoe, who outgrew her sweater about 20 minutes after it dried, has selected yarn for its replacement. She keeps telling my mom on the phone, "I outgrew my blue sweater. My green sweater is still yarn." How's that for motivation?

The lace is finished. I'm holding off on blocking it, though. Blocking lace just does something to lift one's spirits, and I think I may be in need of some lifting once the Fair posts results.

On a lighter note, I got some prize yarn from SAM1:

Do you see the HOT ORANGE hiding in there? Ilsa is in absolute love. Little sockies, here we come! Should be enough for two pair. Luckily, their feet don't grow as fast as the rest of them!

*Paraphrased from the late great Irma Bombeck.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Identity Crisis

Something strange is happening. And I don't mean the fact that they FINALLY finished the siding on the house (remember when that started?) yesterday. Something strange is happening with my knitting.

At first, I thought that this was all that was amiss:

Yup, that's Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk. I ask you, what on Earth am I doing with that in my stash? Well, there was a little matter of a sale a couple months back, but still... The fact that I have earmarked it to become Essential Indulgence from IK is rather disconcerting (or may be) to some.

You see, I am, above all else, a yarn subber. And not just any old yarn subber, I am, for the most part, a cheapy ghetto yarn subber. This is something that I am well aware of, and I defy anyone to make me feel ashamed of that. It's one part necessity and one part imagining Timm Gunn over my shoulder admonishing me to, "make it work." It usually does.

But here I sit, poised on the edge of really unfamiliar territory. You see, (with the exception of some sample knitting I've done) I have never knit anything with the yarn called for in the pattern. Ever. One may remember the Red Heart Josephine. There was also a W tank made of Sugar and Cream (we won't delve too far into that), and the project that got me back into knitting, a Clapotis knit from Red Heart Lustersheen (in my defense, I couldn't at the time imagine anyone producing a worsted weight 50/50 silk-wool yarn.) I swatched, I got gauge, and it is wonderfully drapey and enjoyed tremendously by the recipient, my lovely mom. I've been guilty of scoffing at those who knit everything in the yarn called for and the color modeled. Now I'm looking at doing just that. Who am I, really? But one incident does not a crisis make, so I present you with Item B:

The "magico" continues. I actually wasted this much yarn:

to get the stripes on the DH's new socks to match. Big deal, right? Well, for me it is a HUGE deal. Let me show you my first ever handknit sock:

My mom sent me the yarn and the pattern and I happily knit away and ran out of yarn on the gusset of the second sock. There was no more of this yarn at the LYS my mom had bought it at, so she found as close a match as she could, and I frogged the first sock back so I could poach the yarn and just give them quasi-contrasting toes. To this day, no matter what, I am permanently convinced that I will run out of yarn while knitting socks if I don't use every last inch judiciously. Therefore, it hurt my heart a little to wind off that much just to make the stripes match (something I've never really cared about in the past, to tell the truth).

So, that's the corner I seem to be turning. Who knows if the leg ahead will be peppered with beauty, fraught with danger, or if it will all turn out to be the apex of a U turn? I'm looking forward to finding out.

Oh, and I dropped off my Fair entries today. That was far more queasy-making than I thought it would be. Judging is Sunday AM. It's out of my hands...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Just realized as I was logging in that this is my 100th post. (Why does that make me feel some kind of pressure to make it an extra good one?) Expectations be damned and full speed ahead! Yesterday, I spent some time with Zigzag, a tapestry needle and scissors, and ended up with this:

That's all the ends trimmed after being diligently woven in; so that's one monkey off my back!

I also finished sock #1 for the DH. The yarn is Meilenweit Magico; and I must admit I was failing to see where the "magico" was revealing itself until...

Yes, let's take a closer look at that.

In a yarn that in the skein appeared to be yellow green and turquoise, there is a tiny stripe of wine that matches the DH's sweater in progress almost exactly. Truly magic; I'm sorry I doubted you, Meilenweit Magico!

I finished knitting my felted clogs.

I did not finish weaving ends on said clogs, nor did I felt them. Just wanted to share how ginormous they are pre-felting. (For reference, I wear an 8 1/2 to 9 shoe.)

I swatched for the Union Square Market Pullover in this:

Not only is this a) not alpaca, but it is also b) a super-cheap yarn sub yet again! (I think I spent under $15 for the yarn) I think, however, that it will do just dandy!

I swatched using the new Knitpicks needles. I think I like them. I know I like the cord, and the needles are nice and pointy and slick. I've never even touched an Addi Turbo, so I can't pretend to make comparisons there, but they are great for the price and that's my cheap-o 2 cents!

Speaking of things I've never had, I got my first ever set of fancy beaded stitch markers for my (very limited) participation in the Mock Croc Sock a Long! Thanks, Amanda!

Just to make this more scattered, I'll leave you with this:

Anyone care to hazard a guess? What is this growing up to be?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Well, Now I've Gone and Done It!

Inspired by Katrina and her daughter, I entered some stuff into the Colorado State Fair. Filed the paperwork this morning, and the goods must be surrendered by next Thursday at 6:00. Up for consideration, I offered Kiri, Zoe's Tater's Cotton Cardi, and Zigzag. They each need a little attention before going under prying eyes for judgment, Zigzag needs the most help, as I have yet to weave the ends in.

The DH took this photo with me cleverly concealing most loose ends and looking quite tall. He claims he shot me from below on purpose, "like Prince." Whatever. It is currently on a bit of a time-out however, as setting the sleeves in was quite a trial. The first sleeve went in with little to no complaint, but that second sleeve. Let's just say that matching up where lines of texture meet the body to the previous sleeves points proved to be quite a challenge. Considering I've technically knit this sweater twice and that the sleeves were knit in the round, eliminating the possibility of me knitting both at the same time, on this sweater, love is the second sleeve. Truly. If I didn't love this sweater, there is NO WAY I would have taken the time to set in that second sleeve THREE TIMES!!!

In other knitting, I have been staggering along on several projects. I finished another pair of Super Secret Socks in a colorway that I love to pieces and was not able to photograph with any accuracy.
These, of course, are the soles of the socks, forbidding you to see the really cool stitch pattern on the legs. I've said before, I like me some texture, and so far, I must say, Chrissy's designs sure do deliver! These last two pair have been for the Hipknits Sock Club, but I hope they become available for individual purchase some day! (Shameless plug, or honest truth? A little from column A, but mostly column B! These are really cool socks, people!)

Work continues on the Cambridge Jacket from Summer '06 IK. This one's for the DH. I think he'll actually wear it, since it's a zippered cardigan, and I've agreed to put on some elbow patches for him. Sigh. They don't call him "The Professor" for nothing. The elbow patch plan has me wondering, however, if I shouldn't knit the sleeves in the round instead of flat so that I'm not placing the patches over a seam? Any opinions? (Okay, I know you all have opinions; any you'd care to share?)

I finished the back of my Krista Tee and should really cast on for the front, but that Fair deadline's a-loomin' and I have to reblock Kiri among other things, so we'll see if I get around to it!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Wild and Wooly.....Worsted?

About a year ago, I was wandering the "yarn aisle" in our local craft store, which is the only game in town, and rather slim pickin's. There were two other ladies in said aisle who happened to be within earshot when one turned to the other and said, "What's a Worsted, anyway?" Her companion replied that she had no idea.

Now, I try to believe that I'm not nosy, or the type to listen in on others' conversations, but I like to help whenever possible (it's the teacher in me, I guess), so I stepped up with a brief explanation that worsted yarn will knit up at about 4-5 stitches per inch, blah blah blabbity blah. There. I had answered their question and now they would no longer need wonder.

As I walked away, I heard the first woman say to the other, "Huh. I always thought a Worsted was some kind of animal."

Almost made me wish I'd kept my big mouth shut, just so that the myth of the Great American Worsted could have lived on in this woman's mind.

The Worsted, a North American fleece-bearing animal, is much prized for its ability to produce fleece of varying fiber contents, ranging from acrylic to 100% "wool", depending largely on diet.

Imagine. I have. I think that the Worsted might look something like this:

In fact, that's what my daughters, the DH and I call him when reading Where the Wild Things Are. The Worsted. Why him specifically? Well, because he always looks a little...

Sheepish. (Apologies to the guards of the Punitentiary.)

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