Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I hate being afraid. I especially hate being afraid of someone who I shouldn't have to even worry about. Whatever.

In other news, I brought a spindle along to work today, in case my wait for the afternoon bus was as long as yesterday's (an hour). Thankfully, I only had to wait about 15 minutes. When I got home, I thought DP was asleep, so I whipped up a pizza crust before I got in the shower. Next thing I know, he came walking upstairs :) So, I had a pizza for dinner and he made himself tacos...that way, we both got what we were craving.

I really need to decide what socks I want to knit for my next pair. I like to keep some on the needles, just in case.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A bit of this and that

I decided yesterday to crochet some fingerless mitts for DP. I was knitting him some out of the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Mineshaft, and no matter what gauge I used, he didn't like the fabric. I used this pattern, which I can't recommend enough. The only change I made was to use foundation sc for the foundation chain stitches. I love how they turned out, and I may use this as the go-to mitts pattern:

crochet mitts 2

I whipped up a batch of soft pretzels for supper yesterday - so delicious.

We're going to have Easter at our house this year. My niece's birthday is April 15 and my sister doesn't want to have two different celebrations, so we're going to have a birthday cake for Easter dessert and everyone over to our house. I called my mom to tell her it was on, and she said, "What should I bring?" I asked her what she wanted to have - turkey or ham - and she said ham. So I said, "then bring a ham." :) She thought it was hilarious, AND she'll bring the ham. Sweet.

I finally got Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn - I bought it and two other books with an AMEX gift card and have been waiting for them to come since December 31. I've been looking forward to this book because of the multitude of handpainted yarns in my stash; I'd like to use their colors to an advantage. I was a bit surprised that there were no entrelac socks in the book because entrelac is a sure-fire way to avoid pooling. The patterns are divided into nearly solids, muted multis and wild multis, with patterns geared towards each type. Some are extremely crazy and labor intensive, like Spread Spectrum (ravelry link), a sideways intarsia. Some use standard techniques in a different way, like the Chevvy socks (ravelry link), which used short rows at the beginning of the sock to set up a deep chevron. I'm planning to make my next pair of socks a pattern from this book, and right now Color Collision is at the front of the running. I want to start out in the shallow end of the pool.

Overall, I'm glad I got the book, but I'm also glad that I basically got it for free, thanks to the gift card.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My office flooded last night...so much for the nice rain :) I pretty much spent all of today extracting water from the carpet.

To combat the extreme bummer of a day, I'm making a homemade pizza and drinking a bottle of wine. DP and I are trying to perfect our crusts. For a while I was using a lot of whole wheat and flax, with a bit of oats to give fragility. We found by accident that the best crusts have a good helping of semolina flour. For this crust, I'm using Greek olive oil; it has a different taste than the whole foods organic olive oil...more olive-y. I'm currently waiting for the crust to rise, browning the sausage and drinking a glass of zinfandel. A good antidote to the day.

I'm spinning the Spincerely pretty thin so that I can get a good sock-weight 3-ply. My 3-plies usually end up a bit heavier than true fingering weight. It's beautiful spinning.

I'm not sure what the spinning kick is all about, but I've been thinking about spinning all the time. I used to bring a spindle everywhere, but it's been so cold that I've just been bringing my knitting. I might have to stash a small spindle to combat this itch.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It is raining crazily! I love just sitting in the living room, listening to the rain fall.

I think I'm going to start spinning the spincerely merino/tencel...frankly, it's practically screaming "spin me!", and I don't know how much longer I'd be able to hold out. I really want to do a 3 ply for socks, but we'll see if my spinning is up to the challenge.

I also ordered some angora from Fluffington Farms on Etsy, because the staple length was 3 to 4 inches. The staple length of the stuff I have is about 1 inch, plus it's matted together, and I'd really like to spin some angora without having to fight it the whole way. I hope to spin this new stuff as a fine singles, then ply it with something else and dye the whole works. My combo batts experiment from a few weeks ago was so fun that I'm psyched to try combining fibers in other ways too.

Monday, March 23, 2009


My BFF came to town yesterday, and we went out to lunch (with her husband, baby boy, step-daughter and step-daughter's friend in tow). Why does this make me ache? Because their car was full and DP didn't want to go, so I ran to the restaurant to meet them there - about a mile away. I don't run - asthma, allergies and hating running being the reasons. Yargh...my legs are so sore today!

I may be going in a different direction with the sock monkey. I have a scheme that I will try to implement this evening, and I'll let you know how it turns out.

My spinning scheme did not turn out. The sample I plied together (2 green and one yellow) looked gimmicky and lame. So, my plan is to make the green a two ply and do something with the yellow. Maybe baby socks, maybe that hat.

If only I could be knitting...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Busy, busy

It's been a bit crazy around here - work has been so ridiculous that I didn't have time to post, and yesterday was taken up with basketball :) The end of that Gonzaga/Texas game was ridiculous. Today I'll be able to watch more basketball while I fold the laundry and spin. That's the life!

I got the merino tencel in the mail - so pretty and soft!

spincerely merino tencel

spincerely merino tencel closeup

I can't wait to get it on the wheel. She also sent along a little sample of BFL:

spincerely blue faced leicester

Extremely spinnable. I went back to her shop, but there was none of it in stock.

Here's a monkey pic:

monkey head

He's going pretty slowly, but he's further along than this.

I finished spinning up the falkland from the fairy tale swap:

tea and wool

I'm thinking of a three ply - two falkland and one of the big yellow taxi from Crown Mountain Farms. I'll sample first, and pass it by DP's discerning eye.

I finally got around to uploading the pretzel picture:

pretzel closeup

It's the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, one of the best food blogs ever. The pretzels were made and promptly consumed - no leftovers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cocktails, anyone?

I just tried this cocktail; verdict - fabulous! My version is below:

Adapted from Puck Fair
1 ounce Jameson Irish whiskey
1/2 ounce pomegranate liqueur
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 whole egg.

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake very vigorously, for at least 10 seconds, to emulsify the egg. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

On the knitting front, I decided to work more on the Holi socks, because I can actually see the progress (as opposed to the monkey, which I can knit on all night and seem to go nowhere at all). I need to knock down at least one project!

My mother in law has asked for some Spokane Owls socks (Spokane, MO, that is). Their colors are maroon and gold, but the gold is really more of a yellow. Well, I just realized that the Spincerely merino tencel I bought is the perfect yellow, and the mohair/wool that I spun up is the perfect maroon. So...I might just have to use both for some socks for her. She has pretty small feet, so I should still have enough left to make some kind of socks for myself, even if they're only anklets.

I need to figure out what I'm having for supper - I'm really hungry, but I don't really want to make something and have to wash the dishes. I've got to figure out a one-pot meal that's filling. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I have become the very thing I most abhorred

I'm in the process of setting up an iMac computer lab.

Right now I'm just doing the updates (bandwidth hogs) and setting up the student accounts. I have to figure out how to configure the parental controls to keep the kids from looking at naughty sites, and it's not going well. I bought these because Leopard is supposed to have good parental controls, but they did not pass the naughty word lookup test. Fie.

I spent a lot of last night working on the sock monkey, and I feel like I got nowhere. My elbow hurts like a ----; bad enough that I trouble putting together a mailing today at work. The solution? Ibuprofen, it seems :)

Did anyone try to get the phat fiber box this weekend? I was actually able to see the boxes, so that was an improvement. I ended up buying some merino/tencel roving as a consolation. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What can I say?

I'm a follower. I just saw the Cisco hat on Brooklyn Tweed's blog, and I queued it up. So what if I haven't finished any of my projects, I can't knit without copious amounts of ibuprofen, and I have no time to do anything new - I have to make that hat for my niece. Maybe for both of my nieces, and possibly for my bff's son. It's just so dang cute.

I'm stuck on the horns of a dilemma - there's a fancy event at work on Sunday that I really ought to go to. I do NOT want to go. There are various reasons why, but one main one is that DP would have to drive me there and pick me up, because he's not going. That would mean that I'd be gone from 5 to 10 on Sunday night. Blech. I just don't want anyone to think I'm making a political statement by not going...I just don't want to have to go out on Sunday night.

Let's get back to more enjoyable things: wips. Currently I have the Hobbiton socks, DP's Holi socks, the sock monkey and my Juno cardigan in progress. I'm thinking of ripping the Hobbiton socks because they screwed up my arms with their accursed cabling, and they don't deserve to live. They'll likely be reincarnated as socks that look cabled, because I like the trails from the hobbit holes in the pattern, but I'll never make a second sock, so the first should probably be destroyed. The yarn is nice, but very splitty, and it doesn't feel like a sportweight to me. Maybe I've just been lying to myself all these years, and sport is actually another name for fingering!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Moving right along

My monkey is coming along nicely. The next thing to think about will be exactly how to make his legs, and if I should give him feet. I think I will - it'll look better than just two long tubes.

I plied some of the Icelandic with the silk cashmere, but I didn't really like the feel of it. I'm not sure where to go to with it - laceweight? I may try to card the bamboo, bison and cashmere together today, depending on how static-y it is.

We'll be going over to my sister's in a couple of hours to help her paint her bedroom. My brother in law is on a trip with his brothers, so our plan is to give the bedroom a makeover so that he's surprised when he gets back :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Plodding along

I decided to work on the monkey last night; I finished his head and started down the neck. Of course, I then realized that his muzzle was too big, so I had to rip everything out and do it over. I'm now again finished with the muzzle, and starting on the neck. I'm really enjoying the colors I picked, and DP has given them his seal of approval.

Strangely, my arms don't feel any worse than they did before last night's marathon, so I guess bulldogging it worked! If I can just finish his body this weekend, I'll be happy.

I need to decide how I'm going to spin the Icelandic. It's a combo of the tog and thel, so it can be a bit rough. Though I'd love to make my own bohus-esque yarn, I don't really want to card it with my angora. I'd just mess up the nice preparation, and who knows what I'd end up with! I may do one ply of the icelandic and one of the silk/cashmere blend and see how it washes and works up. I spindle spun some of the icelandic and I have a partial bobbin of the silk/cashmere singles leftover from a weaving project, so I could theoretically just ply them when I get home today. Hmmm...maybe I'll do just that.

In other news, I'm a horrible friend. I forgot a co-worker's birthday yesterday; she's just a couple of years older than me, and the first "young" person I ever worked with. She said she didn't mind, but I feel like a complete loser. Argh.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bulldog it

My mom, who works for a software company, gets a lot of junk from other software companies. This junk (hats, shirts, pens) usually has the donor's logo on it. One such company was Bulldog IT - which my husband and sister decided should be their new phrase to shout at sporting events :) It's now entered the family lexicon, and we use it for situations that call for slogging through something. Too tired to finish coding that program? Too bad - bulldog it! Don't feel like mowing the lawn? Bulldog it!

I've decided that's how I feel about my knitting. Arms too sore to knit? Who cares! Figure out how to knit without pain and just bulldog it. I really want to finish my cardigan, DP's socks and sil's sock monkey so that I can start a spring shawl. I absolutely will not start the shawl until at least one of those projects is done. They all use different sized needles, so I just need to see which kind my arms can take and go with it. I want to finish something. I guess I got spoiled by my Christmas knitting/crafting, when I was finishing projects left and right.

I realize that some people might think this is unhealthy, and that I shouldn't knit if knitting causes injuries. However, I have to go to work, carry my purse, move furniture, cook and wash dishes, so I might as well do something I want to do also.

Finishing the sock monkey is now even more important to me, since I found out that my sil was having some severe ppd last week. I can't go to her, since she's in MO, but I can show her I'm thinking about her. If only I could leave work early, go home and knit...hmmm.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our phone is dead

But our internet is alive. What the heck?! I'm hoping that it's something the phone company will be able to fix, and that they'll fix it when DP is home :)

I tried to swatch for the leavened raglan yesterday, but my left shoulder started to ache. I had this problem last year...or the year before...it's due to stress. I guess I carry stress in my shoulders, and when things get too crazy, they hurt terribly. Yesterday I got really upset right before going home. Would you ever go to a restaurant, order a meal, eat it, and then when the bill came say that the meal - while delicious and just what you wanted - shouldn't have cost that much and you wouldn't pay for it? That's pretty much what happened yesterday at 5:45. I don't care if you don't think that you should be charged for it...you ordered it and ate it!

I did manage to get a little bit of the sock monkey for my niece done. I'm working top down, and I got to about his eyes. I'm using cascade 220 in vashon, pumpkin spice and natural. I figure that I'll make him up and stuff him with old socks - clean, of course :) Then he'll be doubly a sock monkey. The eyes I'll embroider on, because I'm pretty sure anything else would get pulled off. I'm not sure about his tail (color-wise) or his hands and feet. I'll have to look at some other monkeys to compare. This fellow (along with Mr. Foster) has been my inspiration through the whole thing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Sorry for the radio silence, but I've been fighting some stomach bug and haven't had the will to post.

I've been spinning - I spun up the mohair/wool into a 3-ply heavy fingering weight for some socks.

mohair wool singles 3 ply

(That's the singles on the left and the plied on the right.)

I haven't done much knitting...my arm is still bothering me, and I can only do a few rows at a time.

I've decided to go with the Leavened Raglan for my mom's sweater. It will involve some finessing with gauge, but it seems to be what she wants. If only I could swatch! It's so frustrating not to be able to finish the projects on my needles or start anything new.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some pics

I took some pictures of my stuff from Sheep in the City...they're not the best, but I wanted to get the pictures so I could start working with the fiber!

The mohair/wool (amazingly silky):

mohair wool

The icelandic (much less silky...not sure exactly what to make of it):


The bamboo (I'm not generally a pastels person, but this is loverly):


The sock yarn (hoping I have enough for a man with LARGE feet):

paca peds

I haven't done any knitting in days. Every time I try, my arm starts hurting bad (in fact, as soon as I typed that sentence, it started hurting again). I'm going to have to do something tonight, or go stir crazy. Maybe some spinning, or carding.

I was also pretty sick last night and this morning...some kind of stomach bug. People at work told me to go home, but there was so much to do that I had to stay. I just didn't eat or drink at work, so I was mostly okay after about 9. Blech.

Well, off to my drumcarder :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hot Sheep in the City

The Sheep in the City meetup was fun! There was a sheep to scarf competition, with the Madison spinners guild dressed in knitted chain mail and the Oak Creek guild dressed as Vikings (they even combed the wool rather than carding it). Once I get home, I can take some pictures of what I bought. I had a budget of $100 and ended up with $30 left over.

Fiberwise: I bought some amazing wine-colored mohair/wool roving, ostensibly to spin yarn for socks. I also bought some Icelandic roving, since I've never spun it before - shocking, I know :) I also got 4oz of bamboo, dyed in pearly sort of pinks and blues, to combine with the bison and cashmere that I already have. Yes, I read about Louet's Mooi and wanted to make my own version. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I ended up with a spindle (I'm not sure how many ounces) and a fun hairstick with dangling beads. I almost bought a sweet spider pendant, but I realized that spending $120 on a piece of jewelry would not look good in my budget.

My uncle's birthday party was fine - I don't like groups of people, so it's always tiring to go to parties, but my brother came along with, so it wasn't too bad. My uncle is pretty much the sweetest guy you'd ever want to meet.

The opera was...interesting. I told my mom at the first intermission that I wanted to stay, not because I liked it, but because I wanted to see what they would do next with the staging. Even though the name of the opera was Semele, the real star of the show was Juno. And, she was really the only one who could sing!

We got back home on Sunday afternoon to find that DP's sister had had the baby! 6lbs, 5oz, a full head of dark hair. My sil only was in labor for 3 hours, with 45 minutes of pushing. I'm happy for her - after 13 years of trying to get pregnant, she deserved a break. The only problem is that now I have to start that sock monkey tonight instead of spinning!