Tuesday, January 23, 2007
In case you missed this really important headline, here's this morning's Breaking News from cnndotcom:
"The musical 'Dr3amgirls' led today's Ac@demy Aw@rds contenders with eight nominations, but was shut out in the best picture category for which it had been considered a potential front-runner."
Stunning. I mean. 8 nominations - but no best pic? I knew it - there is no god. I'm completely shattered.
Even so, I'm not quite as shattered as I was when I read this truly Breaking News-worthy breaking news from Nov 7, 2006. It's possible you fellow Americans might have missed this one because you stepped away from your desk to perform more pressing matters, like to refill your cup of coffee. Or to pee. Or to vote.
"Br!tney Sp3ars files for divorce from her husband...citing irreconcilable differences."
I caught it though. As soon as it happens, I know about it. Thank you cnn.
Here's my own very exciting breaking news: Hatred for knitting by hand convinces handknitter to buy knitting machine.
Slow, torturous progress on my Kooch. I've decided it needs to be a given a more flattering name and will now call it My Albatross.
Waaaah you guys waaah. Finishing this is going to be a huge struggle. I want the coat a million times more than I want to knit it. After knitting with fingering weight yarn for so long, the chunky is doing a number on my hands, not to mention the return of Reynaud's on my ring and pinky fingers making chunky knitting that much more unpleasant. I've been fantasizing about a knitting machine more and more. If I had a knitting machine I'd use it in a heartbeat. If I had a knitting machine I'd have a sweater coat in another heartbeat. No more languishing as a WiP for a year...the whole thing would finally be done.
If I get one though would that be like going over to the knitting darkside? My mom has one and I always poo-poo it. Because isn't the fun of knitting doing the actual knitting? The yarn, the color of the yarn, the feel of the yarn through your fingers, the clicking of needles, the mechanics of it all motivate us more than whatever the outcome will be.
But not in this case! Stockinette stitch to infinity, scratchy yarn, chunky needles...Kooch is officially Not Fun to Knit. I have no tactile motivation; I just really really want to wear it.
This is where the practicality of hand knitting comes into play - as in, it's just not there! So to machine-knit or not to machine-knit...that is the question...
Filed Under: General Knitting | Rowan | Kooch | WTF
Monday, January 22, 2007
American football, that is. Even though it actually involves more hands than feet.
First, grab yourself an ice-cold Bud and find a comfortable place in front of the television.
Then, help yourself to a plate of Buffalo chicken wings. Celery and blue cheese dressing on the side are mandatory.
Still hungry? How about some savory Green Chile Stew?
And for dessert...
Dottie gets an eyefull of T0m Brady,
America's version of David B3ckham.
The bad news: he lost the game.
The good news: he's newly SINGLE.
Too bad you'll have to wait til next year to see more!
PS I actually hate watching football during the regular season. Couldn't care less. Also, that green chile stew I made was REALLY REALLY GOOD. Get the recipe here.
Filed Under: Cat in the Kitchen | Postcards from Dottie
Friday, January 19, 2007
My last sock for this week, anyway.
Pattern: Child's First Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in poppy; just over 1 skein.
Needles: US1 dpns
I cannot believe how quickly these finished. 5 days of off-and-on knitting! I speak in the passive tense only because I hestitate to say that *I* finished these quickly. I mean did I? Or should credit be given to the Unseen Voodoo Sock Fairy living under my seat?
Do you see? Do you see the mirror-imaged shells? For the second sock I read the pattern chart from left to right, instead of right to left, and changed all left-leaning decreases to right-leaning decreases.
But what charts, you ask? Because there were no charts in the instructions. WHY that is I will never understand. I drew out the chart myself because trying to read them as text made my eyes go numb. I will never ever understand why people insist on writing out patterns in text when a simple chart is so much clearer and more efficient, and less prone to mistakes.
Like, why write out sl1, k1, psso - which at first glance appears to be 3 whole stitches to work - only to have a time lag as your brain realizes, Oh wait that's a decrease, when you can just have one lowly symbol to represent it? All that's needed to comprehend is a quick glance. No mental translation necessary!
ANYway, the socks are not for me. It turns out I wasn't done with my Christmas knitting afterall, even though I kind of sort of gloated that I had. I know! Christmas is now way over! But because I was traveling over Xmas with my family, I didn't get a chance to give out the presents to the inlaws, and I also ended up shuffling the original line-up by giving some stuff to my immediate family that was intended for the inlaws.
At the end of the day I had the Pomatomus anklets to give to my SIL...but the more I looked at them the more I disliked them. I knit these things back in the summer when anklets seemed like a good idea. But who wants to wear anklets in the middle of winter? What's the point? One of the best parts about wearing handknit socks is pulling them up over your legs. Mmmm...scrumptious, warm socks all over. I thought it was a waste of a good pattern and good yarn, and that it wasn't good enough to be gifted.
So I tossed those silly anklets out, and with a few weeks extra buffer I was able to start something new. I definitely feel good about gifting these.
OK no more knitting socks for awhile. I mean it.
Filed Under: Completed Projects | Socks | Child's First
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Child's First socks in Lorna's Laces, courtesy of The Wool Palace. So NO I did not buy the yarn this year.
Just started these yesterday.
WHY OH WHY is it so impossible to not knit a sock for just a coupla days?? What devilry have you done to me Socks, what devilry have you done?
Please help me.
Filed Under: Socks | Child's First
Monday, January 15, 2007
Lemon custard cakes from Everyday Food. My favorite dessert to make.
Filed Under: Cat in the Kitchen | Life
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Some of you recognized in my last post that I finally picked up Kooch again after more than a year's hiatus. I can't explain why the motivation to finish this piece has been so lacking, especially when I so absolutely love the pattern. Every now and then I'd spot a sweater coat (or 'coat sweater?') not unlike Kooch on the racks of some high-brow boutique on Newbury St. And then I'd look at the price tag. And then I'd choke on my own tongue, and then I'd yell to myself GIRL YOU CAN MAKE THIS JUST FINISH THAT KOOCH ONCE AND FOR ALL WOULD YOU PLEASE?!
(God what a horrible name! A whole year and I still can't get used to calling it that without feeling dirty)
So I had finished the back some time in November 2005. I started the left front panel last week. It was half-way done when I superimposed it on top of the back panel to check measurements, and. Well. As you can see in the photo the hem width is off by a whole mile. The gauge differential between the hem of the back and the hem of the front is a whole 2 stitches per 4 inches. La. Fun.
I am 10000% positive that I used the same needles. As a rule I always go down a needle size than what is called for in the pattern, so in this case I knit in a size 8, and I used Susan Bates aluminums of which I own only one pair. So is it possible between last year and now, I am knitting what, 50% more tightly, without having changed my knitting mechanics? Seems funky. I can't account for it. Other than I did mistakenly switch needles. But I'm so sure I didn't. Did I? Must have. But.
Anyway, this is all really more confusing than it is horrible. I wanted to redo the back anyway to get rid of the vents - don't like the vents - and make it shorter in length. With the rows and rows of stockinette, I'm also using Kooch as an opportunity to learn how to knit differently. More on that later! It's very exciting.
So with any luck, I'll have my own $1400 sweater coat to wear by the time winter gets here. If it ever does. I'm not a huge fan of cold, but this mild New England winter is kinda freaking me out...
Filed Under: Rowan | Kooch
Monday, January 08, 2007
This is a well-fed red chest.
Yarn is literally bursting out of the red red drawers that once you manage to wrestle a drawer open, the yarns are like RAAAAAAR IMAGONNAEATCHOO!!! I have more laying around in other cubby holes around the house, and probably still more in bags lurking in some corner of some closet that I've totally forgotten about.
Sometime between Saturday and Sunday, the yarn stash became unacceptable. I toss and turn at night thinking of my treatment of those poor yarns that are constantly being one-upped with newer, more exciting purchases. Sitting there, unloved, depreciating with every second. The madness! It must stop!
So I have deemed 2007 as The Year I Buy 100% No Yarn Ever At All I Mean It. There's that knit-from-your-stash-along going on that has some exceptions built in - sock yarn is ok, new yarns for a knitted gift is ok, etc. But because I am a SUPERHERO with amazing SUPERPOWERS, I can tell the world with full assurance that there will be NO EXCEPTIONS for me. Absolutely no more purchasing yarn in 2007. None. I won't even accept yarn for free.
The path to stash freedom is clear. I am George W Bush. I am Condi Rice. I am possibly very, very stupid. But nothing will shake this resolve. Do you see my hand? How it doesn't quiver, not even in the slightest? I don't even blink! It is because I am strong! I am determined!
(I am going to fail!)
But look, I've already made progress. I picked up a little something-something that has been in the WiP state for over a year. It's about time!
Hi. Remember me?
I can't wait until it's finished, so - yay! -I can move onto the other yummy yarns in my stash!
So this new year will be a good year, full of new socks and sweaters. But no yarn.
I mean it.
Filed Under: General Knitting | Yarn Stash
Monday, January 08, 2007
Pattern: Aran Braid Socks
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Purple Rain, 1 skein
Needles: US2 dpns
These puppies had places to go, things to do, people to see. They practically flew across the needles and knitted themselves.
Before I knew it I was at the heel. Then I was at the toe. Then they were on Duck's feet. And then, lo and behold, he was dancing the jig!
You can't tell from the photo, but that's two left feet you're seeing there. It takes a lot for the poor little feller to dance, it takes a lot. But thanks to a pair of purpley new handknit socks his feet are as light and fancy as Fred Astaire's! Lalalala! I'm singin in the rain! Maybe.
How I love to work with CTH Supersock. It's vibrant on the eyes, soft to the touch, light on the wallet, and generous on the yardage. I need to start knitting toe-up again so I can gauge my progress and use the yarn to its fullest - I have quite a bit leftover. I could have knitted another 2 inches on both legs and had enough to spare.
And I love the heels. I'll probably be knitting heels this way from now on.
And so, my quota for knitting for Duck is now complete. I can resume knitting for self for another 2 years. No more guilt! Yes more sweaters!
Filed Under: Socks | Aran Braid Socks
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Knitting wise, the biggest surprise of 2006 has been my unbridled love of knitting socks, which as I've mentioned a million times, began as something like unbridled hatred.
I love the yarns, love the little needles, love the portability.
And oh how I love to wear them!!!
I cycle through these four pairs throughout the week, possibly throughout two weeks. Maybe even throughout the month. I wear each pair maybe three, four, five times before I wash them, lately in Soak Wash. My head is still trying to wrap itself around the no-rinse concept.
(Today I'm wearing my own Zephyr socks. They're currently the cleanest pair. Which means I've worn them only twice since the last wash.)
Despite the frequent wear these socks - made with CTH, Koigu, Sundara Yarn and Regia, left to right respectively - are holding up extremely extremely well. Especially the Koigu and Regia. Minimal pilling, still-vibrant colors.
I don't do any rough-housing like go running in them of course, and only once in awhile will wear them out of the house with "real" shoes. But while working at home - just about everyday - I do have them on morning to night, with slippers, and often straight to bed where I will kick them off unceremoniously in my sleep, and there they will lay crumpled under the sheets until the next morning. Or the next. Frankly I'm quite surprised and very impressed that they've held up as well as they have.
Is it gross to wear socks over and over before washing them? My feet don't' get terribly sweaty ;). Not even wool can defrost these icy brittle toes. Need more for 2007!
Damn. When am I ever going to knit a sweater again?
Filed Under: Socks