Saturday, September 29, 2007

Down to the Wire

Autumn is really the best of the seasons;
and I'm not sure that old age isn't the best part of life.
But of course, like autumn, it doesn't last.
-C.S. Lewis

Almost the last day of the month. UFO Resurrection for September is down to the wire.

A baby sweater only needs 4 buttons sewn on.

The Backyard Leaves Scarf is not far behind.Which will it be?

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Mystery Revealed

A bumper of good liquor will end a contest
quicker than justice, judge, or vicar.
-Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I didn't mean to be so mysterious . . . I did, in fact, have a project in mind for those random leftover sock yarn pieces. The ones that I most want to use are not the solid color ones (and I was surprised at how many of my scraps are solid colors), or even the varigated ones. It's the self-striping ones. What to do with a small ball of self-striping sock yarn?

As much as I admire the impressive sock yarn blankets out there, self-striping isn't for miters in my opinion, or even log cabins. It's for socks.So I'm making a sock of leftovers. I have enough of the blue to make the cuff and toe, and a blue-white mix to make the heels. I'm hoping that will tie it all together enough to then me to stripe my self-striping yarns in sections of 8 rows. So far it's looking good, what do you think?

And it's just in time - I won another contest! More sock yarn, this time from Karen. I love Trekking. And I'll have so little guilt left after knitting up all those scraps.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Mystery of Sock Yarn

You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself.

I got lucky and got new sock yarn in the mail. Hooray for contests! (This one from Lynne at Yarnivorous.)
So why am I so compelled to turn all these sock yarn scraps into something?It must be a personality thing . . .

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Sky

When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.
-Gautauma Siddharta

Most days are beautiful in San Diego.
Today is more so than most.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Falling into Fall

I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility.
Spring shall plant and autumn garner to the end of time.
-Robert Browning.

I haven't had very much time to knit lately, but when I have I've been enjoying it particularly much. Two projects without deadlines, two projects perfect for cool fall nights.

The denim aran. Content to take my time with this.And then, distraction. Frost Flowers and Leaves. I had an epiphany. It was clearly meant to be gold. This is a swatch for another project, until the yarn found it's destiny. It's a laceweight thick-and-thin silk/wool blend. I got an enormous cone at the Webs tent sale. And now I know what to do with it.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Who Is Jay?

Who is Jay? And why are you walking like him?
- a bad middle-school joke from back in the day

I realized I'd been neglectfull. Not just of Jay here, but actually of all socks and sock knitting recently. And that is about to change.

We'll start with Jay.

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina
Yarn: Regia (Africa Color? something) that I bought in Germany
Needles: US 1 Brittany Birch dpns
Notes: I used the bigger size for the leg and the smaller size for the foot. To do this I decreased in each section one extra time and got rid of a bunch of stitches in the heel flap.
Best Thing About This Project: Gosh, they're cute!

As I said, I've been very neglectful of all of these socks, socks-in-progress (none of which have appeared here yet), and even in keeping us all updated about the status of my sock box. That 106 pairs over there on the right? That's way old news. I'll do a count soon and let you know. Because Abigail's sock circle is super-inspiring.


Friday, September 14, 2007

A Gift Well Received

The only joy in the world is to begin.
-Cesare Pavese

This is the best kind of thank you note. You can see the project details here. You can congratulate the happy recipient here.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

All Tangled Up

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.

Have you ever wondered what your UFOs are doing behind your back? Now I've discovered their dirty little secret.

Yup, creating a huge tangled mess for us to deal with. Let's just say that denim yarn is not the easiest thing ever to unwind.

The upshot? I've starting paying attention again to my Shaped Denim Aran from Debbie Bliss' Celtic Knits. It must be something about fall, since it was right around this time last year that I started it in the first place. It'd be nice to wear in the next couple o' months, but it's a lot of cabling in a stiff cotton yarn. We shall see. I'm certainly not optimistic enough about it to make it my UFO for this month's UFO Resurrection - that honor goes to my Backyard Leaves Scarf.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Baby Kimono: A Deep, Soul-Searching Experience

Once I put the kimono on, it was a whole different ballgame.
-Lucy Liu

The One-Piece Baby Kimono Pattern:
A Deep, Soul-Searching Experience
Pattern: The One-Piece Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in pink (2 1/2 balls)
Needles: US 6 Inox straights
Notes: see extended discussion below; but no mods
Best Thing About This Project: Stash-busting!

I love Mason-Dixon Knitting. I really do. The photograph. The fun irreverence of the text. The great graphic design. The delight of the projects. And, of course, the ballband dishcloth. So I thought the one-piece baby kimono would be a shoo-in for me. Dishcloth cotton (I am the dishcloth queen, after all . . .). Fun cute baby-ness. Endless variation. All that jazz.

And then I knit it. The knitting was actually OK. Bernat Handicrafter cotton that I picked up in 2 big bags at a sale at Michael's years ago ($5 for 10 balls - hard to beat) - much softer than I expected. And garter stitch is just sometimes something that soothes the soul.

But the end result? I don't have a baby to model it on (and - for clarification - all the baby knits are for the babies of friends), but those sleeves look awfully narrow, and the stair-step bind-off kind of uneven. There's also - if you look on Ravelry - a big difference in these in how much kimono there is below the increasing on the cross-over fronts. Clearly, row gauge strikes again, but I think I might have liked a longer kimono. And because you do the fronts last and it has to match the back, there's no way to adjust for that without starting almost over. My favorite part is probably the button.

Now let's hope of one those friends of mine is expecting a girl . . .

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Saturday, September 08, 2007


I'm the perfect example of the grumpy old man. I'm really good at it.
-Ned Beatty

There's only one way to describe my week - it's been very harrumph. That delightful husband o' mine had to leave for his 6 months of training in Pensacola, which is - you will note - not here. Harrumph. Work has been ridiculous, to the extent that when Friday was only a 12 hour day I really truely felt like I was leaving really early. Harrumph. And I've had almost no inspiration to knit or blog. Harrumph.

So today - because I'm really not a grumpy person and this is really not a grumpy blog - I'm making a list of the positive things.
  1. My husband is driving cross-country with my dad. Hee hee hee.
  2. The heat wave finally broke and it's lovely out today.
  3. I can watch as much Grey's Anatomy as I want.
  4. The Backyard Leaves scarf from Scarf Style. I started it a while ago, but now it's become the perfect not-quite-knitting. A scarf takes such minimal commitment to pick up and put down, and this one is just interesting enough. I'm making it in Merino Style, and it's lovely.
  5. Not to mention the cuteness of the project bag I'm using. This used to be part of an LL Bean gift package that included pancake mix and blueberry syrup. Now it holds yarn - a good trade, no?
  6. Christmas is coming. Not only does my husband get to come home, but he's been dropping lots of not-so-subtle hints about the sweaters he wants. How long does it take to make a tall man's sweater? Hmmmm . . . .

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Half Monty

There are several projects I have never ended up doing,
for various reasons, but I still find myself researching them.
- Will Wright

All over blogland I've seen people updating their WIP lists, getting back into gear for the new school year, and giving us the state of the knitting. Somehow, I just can't seem to get that all together this week and find all of my projects simultaneously to photograph. But something is better than nothing, so I'll give you a brief, partial project roundup.

Started months ago, the Long Paisley Shawl:
Started months ago, and recently just worked on again, the Backyard Leaves Scarf:Did I ever even mention this? Inspired by Kristen's, I just had to start a Prosperous Plum Tank. A pair of mini-socks. I wear these with my clogs to work when I'm wearing scrubs. Here's some leftover Lorna's Laces and Artyarns Ultramerino.
And Lizard Ridge in process. But I saw an amazing one the other day, and now I'm rethinking the entire project.

So that's part of the gang. Which part, you ask? I have no idea. But one of these days I'll get around to taking stock myself. It's important to at least glance about before starting that Christmas knitting . . .

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