Friday, April 28, 2006

No knitting

Woo hoo! I got my paintings submitted to the student honors show today, which is why there has been no knitting and no blogging for the past couple of days. I finally finished a painting this semester, and it's all framed and submitted. I feel much better now that I've finished one. I think the other two may be finished soon now that I'm all high from finishing this one.

I also built some crappy box frames (well, one crappy one, one good one) for my paintings from last semester. My Dad was always paranoid whenever I got near power tools, so it seemed like a really big deal to ever build things myself. This was really easy, not a big deal, and I didn't have to feel like I was doing it wrong or like I was an accident waiting to happen. In my Dad's defense, I was spacey and impulsive, so I can see why he was paranoid. He always encouraged us to build things ourselves, but it turned into a big production every time. I just never got beyond that to the point where I would just do things and feel confident in my abilities. Growing up is cool!

So that's it. I'm hoping to finish a sock this weekend. There will be knitting content again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I love podcasts. I love them! I listen to them all the time, and they're *almost* always about KNITTING!

It all started with KnitCast with Marie Irshad. She interviews all sorts of knitwear designers, bloggers, yarn shop owners, and artists who use knitting in their work, and while I would likely listen to this woman read the phonebook (can't help but love the rich accent), she's a good interviewer and puts out an interesting podcast. I was especially excited to hear her interview with Kate Gilbert because Clapotis was the first pattern I found that really made me want to knit and knit well. And I'm a giant goober.

On the KnitCast 1st birthday episode I heard Brenda Dayne, the host of Cast-On, who has to be the most charismatic podcaster out there. I immediately listened to all the episodes Itunes offered. Her podcast always includes an essay, and she's an excellent writer. And she's funny! Again, this is someone who I'd probably listen to reading tax laws or something; she has a melodious voice and is fantastic to listen to, plus she played a song by DaVinci's Notebook in Episode 9.

Brenda always plays promos for other fiber-related podcasts, and through her I've found several others. The one I like that surprised me most, because I've always been more hippie than punk, is The Mosh Knit. This show cracks me up! Maybe it's that the host, Brooklynne Michelle, reminds me of friends or maybe it's that she says things that run through my head. Maybe it's the casualness of her show; you can hear her typing away on the computer looking things up as she talks about them. I feel like I'm hanging out a friend's apartment shooting the shit when I listen to this one. She spotlights different websites than other podcasts, too, which rocks. That and she played Lesley Gore on her punk show! How fantastic is that?

It's a Purl, man! is another podcast I found through Cast-On. This one's hosted by Guido "2 Skeins" Stein and he plays great music. I think his 4th show is the last one I've listened to- the 5th and the Yarn Harlot special have been loaded onto the iPod for tomorrow- and I was really impressed with that show. He interviewed a bunch of different people about that God Damn Project that makes you go insane, and I really enjoyed hearing the stories. I'm looking forward to what Guido has coming up next.

The newest one I've listened to is called CraftLit, and it's by Heather Ordover, who happens to live in New York state, too. She's only got one show out, but she's got the LibriVox recording of Pride and Prejuidice included in her show. It's not the most fantastic reading or anything, but I dearly love recorded books, and having a little knitting talk included with my "reading" is cool. This podcast shows lots of promise.

Brenda Dayne took a sabbatical of sorts, and had guest hosts cover her podcast for the weeks she was off. Dave of Chub Creek and Sage Tyrtle of Quirky Nomads normally host their own, non-knitting podcasts, and they were so engaging on Cast-On that I've now become a big fan of both of their podcasts as well. They both host well-produced and incredibly funny podcasts.

That's what I listen to when I knit and when I paint. Speaking of my knitting, check it out!

It's a heel flap WITH a turned heel.

Is this sock soaring or what? I think I made some mistakes, but I DON'T CARE! It was so cool watching this heel take shape. I think I've been converted and now I understand why people are such sock knitting junkies! I love it!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

She's like a rainbow...

I was recently asked what my favorite color is. I realized that I don't think I can choose anymore. Well, unless a 5-year-old asked me, because they don't respond well to vague answers.

As a young child, I loved red. All the princesses in my coloring books were scribbled red. I didn't have time to color anything else, apparently, so there were books full of scribbled-red Cinderellas and Snow Whites with not a hint of another color anywhere.

At some point, I transitioned into loving the color blue. Anything blue. It matched my eyes. My bedroom growing up was blue. My favorite subject in school always got the blue folder. My quilt in my college dorm room was blue. And most of my clothes have been blue.

I've developed infatuations with other colors as well. I'm totally loving a brilliant lime green with turquoise and a bright true blue in my living room. My bedding is the most luxurious wine color. And I have a thing for brick red dishes.

But now that I'm finally studying art, I can begin to see why I loved to look at catalogs for the stacks of possible colors of sweaters, bathing suits and chinos. Sometimes I love a certain color for the way it looks next to another color. Sometimes I love a color for barely being there, and I'll love another for being so totally saturated I can taste it.

Now that I paint, I've noticed the seemingly infinite continuum between each primary color, the tints and shades of each step along the way. How can I possibly see one color and say it's my favorite? Today I adored the purplish flesh tone for a small section of shadow under the nose in the portrait I'm painting. It's not even a "color" in the standard sense of the word. I'm quite certain they don't make any yarn in that color.

On another knit blog I read once, the author (I think it was Cari) was talking about how knitting changed how she felt about color and how she looked at color. I think for me, knitting anchors me in colors: colors with names; colors that other people understand; colors that can be reproduced. Even with the thousands of colors of yarn, they still come in actual colors- pink, teal, black, beige. I think I might disappear in all the possibilities of color if left to my palette and my oils.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Today one of my college roommates is getting married back home in Minnesota. I wish I were there! Our other roommates will be, as will Erin's whole family, of course. I went to a small Catholic liberal arts college... well, University... well, actually 2; one where the men lived, one where the women lived. Trust me, it didn't keep any of the usual shenanigans from happening. We just had to be more creative. Anyway, many students were part of a long family tradition of attendance at St. John's and St. Ben's, like my husband, whose great-grandfather's farm eventually became part of the University. Erin's brother and sister both went there, so I got to know her whole family, which isn't as typical of college friendships as it is of high school friendships.

I remember senior year of college, my roommate Emily and I were discussing marriage. I had recently started dating a man I knew I was going to marry (and did!) and we were speculating who Emily, Erin and Sarah would all end up with. We decided that once some guy finally figured out how awesome Erin was, beyond her ability to drink them under the table without batting an eye, he'd snap her up and not let go! She just had to find a guy who could see beyond the fabulous drinking buddy she could be. I got married a couple of years later, and moved to upstate NY for some unnecessary and uncompleted graduate work, Sarah did a masters in NYC, Erin did a masters in England, and Emily went to DC, Boston, Berkeley, Singapore, Hong Kong... I *think* that's it (and got several degrees to rule the world). So we haven't all been together much.

Emily and I got together for Thanksgiving a few years ago and we'd both just gotten the email from Erin about how she'd met a "not-stupid boy." This boy was so not stupid that when he went to pick up the engagement ring (Erin was waiting in the car), he couldn't even wait before he left the parking lot to propose. It was just like we said back in college. Neither Emily nor I have met Ben- until Emily does this weekend.

I'm so sad I can't be there. I went to my sister's final show of college (she's a dancer) in Oklahoma in March, and I'm (of course) going to my other sister's wedding in Minnesota in July. I just didn't have the funds for a plane ticket or the time to make an 18-hour-drive one-way even feasible. My comfort is that we hope to move back to the Twin Cities in the next year or so, so I can catch up with Erin and husband then. I'm sure it's going to be a fabulous party- Erin's family never throws a dull one! I wish I could be there, partly because she was at mine and ushed well. Oh yeah, Emily and Erin ushed- Emily refused to wear a slip and said she used her panty-lines to guide everyone to their seats. I'd love to witness all the love at this wedding.

Congratulations Erin! I wish I could be there! All my love!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Man, I knit like the wind this past weekend! I made so much progress on my sweater! That thing is just flying off the needles.

Man, I just told the biggest lie!

I knitted on Tempting all weekend, and it seems never to get any longer. I guess that's the danger of 2x2 rib in the round for 14 inches. I could've sworn I was at least half way there; never mind that I can bloody well see that it's not even close to being half of the length of my torso (blocking makes it longer, right? Much, much longer). I was so sad when I pulled out the tape measure and it was *almost* 5 inches long. Almost. Sigh.

The problem is I'm bored with it. I want to finish it, I want to wear it, I just don't want to knit it right now. I don't like to have lots of projects going at once, because I LOVE to finish things. I have 3 paintings going in my class right now and it's driving my crazy that none of them are done. At home, I've got a 5 inch long sweater, a 2 inch long sock and a scarf for my sleepy-voiced husband that I started in July, all on the needles. No sir, I don't like it.

In other news, I bought some delicious Art Yarns Ultramerino 6 in 123 at Knit Happens in Alexandria. If you ever get the chance, you have to go to Knit Happens! I pawed through all my favorite yarns- in fact, I was told as I walked in to fondle to my heart's content! I almost got all misty at the invitation. I plan on using that fabulous yarn (and the Addis I bought... I have a problem!) for a Clapotis to go with the dress for my sister's wedding.

Must go finish some project so I can cast on with the lovely new yarn on the lovely new needles.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekend in DC

This message would have been more useful on Friday rather than Monday, but I've been in D.C. for the weekend. It was great fun and I got to go to knit happens in Alexandria on Saturday! I'll have pictures of my purchases when I get back home!

Off to spend 7 hours in the car!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More Issues

So I finally got the pictures into the post I started last night. And I published it. And it says it was posted last night, even though I wrote something today about not being able to post pictures IN REFERENCE TO THAT POST that wasn't published yet! I'm so confused.


I'd really like to be posting much more interesting and illustrated missives, but I'm having issues with Blogger. It's not cooperating with me and it won't post my pictures. If anyone else has had these problems and has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

In the meantime, please follow the new Knitting Kitty webring link in the sidebar. It should provide hours of entertainment with much more interesting, picture-filled blogs. I like the real cat picture- it reminds me of my Kouros. And if you don't believe me, you have to check earlier posts becuase Blogger won't let me post a stupid picture!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Knitting History Part 1

Some people show you newly finished projects. Some people write well thought out essays and amusing muses on knitting, yarn, life, etc. I love reading those blogs.

I, however, show pictures of my cat to buy time to make progress on my knitting. And I post pictures of things I finished a year ago.

Here is my very first completed project. I did another one for my second completed project, which was a lighter pink, but I don't seem to have a picture of it, other than on my husband.

The pattern is a freebie on the Lion Brand Website. The yarn is Encore Chunky. It was the right weight, but I think the ponchos would have been cuter in the original Lion Brand Color Waves yarn. The only LB carrier in town was Walmart, and I just couldn't bring myself to buy anything from Walmart. So I went to my local yarn shop and bought something I could feel better about, but they didn't have any machine washable variegated yarn. They turned out just a little too pink for my taste.

I made them for my nieces, who were 4 and 6 at the time and VERY into pink. I had wanted to get them done for Easter, because it's usually still cool enough in half the country for ponchos at Easter. Instead, the girls got them for their birthdays in June. My sister-in-law said it was 90 degrees and they were wearing ponchos.

And hey, see this?

Oh yeah, it's a sock, and it's soaring. And that's Kouros, and he's napping.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

FO? Ha!

I realize that I've never posted a finished object before. Well, it's not going to happen today, either. But here's a picture of my cat-

I love a glossy black cat in the sun, don't you?

In other news, a few more inches on Tempting, and I did about 2 rows on my socks that soar!

Hmmm. I tend to like blogs with pictures. Maybe I'll do a retrospective FO series this week. But now, I must go make some yummy Thai supper!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spring 06 Knitty

So, I've been through the whole issue, and I think my favorite pattern is Mesilla by Stefanie Japel. It's the cover shot, and it's all brightly colored and springy and wonderful! Can't wait!


Gather round, for I have news. Brothers and sisters, I want to testify! I want to sing it from the mountains! I have found ADDIS! And now, my life is complete. Every evening, I turn my troubles over to the Addis, and my soul is at ease.

Damn those are good needles!

I finally found them at a lovely little shop in Ithaca, NY called Knitting Etc.. The woman who was working (I'm sorry I didn't catch her name!) had been to see the Yarn Harlot in Skaneateles on Friday, and was sharing stories from her evening. I wish I had known! I only live about 45 minutes from Skaneateles. But I digress. They had the Schaefer Yarn that I fell in love with on Thursday, they had some delicious silk from Art Yarns, and they had ADDIS!

I also picked up Socks that Soar! I've seen so many socks online knitted on 2 circs and I have to admit I was smitten with the idea, so when I saw the book and they had the addis, I knew it was meant to be. I picked up some Lion Brand sock yarn on sale to try the process out. I know, I desserve better yarn, but considering I invested in 3 Addi turbos in one weekend, I need to make choices.

Oh, did you notice that the bag on the right is empty? That's because it moved, lightning fast, into Tempting!

Woah! I tried to link to the Tempting pattern on Knitty and I noticed the new issue is up! Woo hoo! Um, so yeah, making mad progress on the 4th try of this sweater, my camera decided the yarn should be a garish purple rather than the pleasing wine color it actually is, I love Addis, and now I have to go look at the new Knitty! Yay!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Can't talk... shopping

Going to yarn shops today! Two in Ithaca, NY, that I've never been to before. Can't wait! Hopefully I'll have pictures of my spoils tomorrow!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yarn shops.... aaaaaaaah.

I've made progress on my sweater, but considering I've only caught up to the last frog point, I'll skip any photo documentation. I brought my knitting to my painting class yesterday since I knew I would be prepping a drawing and must wait for spray fixative and shellac to dry. My teacher looked thrilled and said, "I didn't know you were a knitter!" and pulled out her current project to show me what she was working on. I love how yarn brings people together, don't you?

After class, I had to pick up a book for my husband in downtown Canandaigua (the chosen spot) and got to go check out the yarn shop. Well, it's a needle craft shop, but I got to play with yarn! YAAAAAAAAAAARN! I'm looking for yarn to make a Clapotis for my sister's wedding this summer, and while I didn't find yarn yesterday, I did see a scarf made from the most wonderful silk by Schaefer Yarn Company. It's a Finger Lakes company, they have a nice selection of handpainted yarns, and they've named all their colorways after memorable women (i.e. Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, Indira Gandhi). I was so excited by the way this scarf looked and felt that I couldn't think of anything else for my whole drive home. My sleepy-voiced husband sent me to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things, and I was so busy thinking about this silk yarn that I forgot my sunglasses and had to wear the Ray Charles glasses left over from Carl's lasik procedure to see the road.

In the grocery store, I made a bee line for the magazines and pawed through the spring/summer Vogue Knitting (I recently subscribed and now I have to WAIT! Yuck). Only after I was done did I think about maybe buying what I went there to get in the first place. The friends who were coming for dinner were already there when I got back. Oops. You understand, though, right? I had a crush on some yarn, and I was moving around in a silken fog.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Maybe this is why I have no progress to show...

Because I'm busy doing this stuff, instead.

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.
Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.
While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.
Your warm personality nicely counteracts any strange habits you may have.

Monday, April 03, 2006

All work and no knitting makes Jack a dull boy

I went to a doctor appointment, I painted, I cooked, I did laundry, and I fed the cat.

I'm going to sit down and knit now. Maybe tomorrow I'll have something to show for myself.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


This is how Kouros decided to help me on my last post-

Ribbit, ribbit...

Frogged Tempting again.

I awoke this morning thinking it would be a blissful day of frolicking in the sun and making progress on this project. And it was. I was happily knitting away and listening to Cast-On; the sunlight was streaming through the windows. Later, I was trying to pick up around the house and I discovered the pattern under a stack of papers. For some reason, by the third time I cast on for this silly sweater I had stopped looking at the pattern. Looking at it again, I realized that I had cast on 20 fewer stitches than I was supposed to have done. Twenty fewer stitches meant I was knitting a garment smaller than the smallest size written.


So I went to the store and bought chips, salsa, lime Coca-colas and a bar of dark chocolate. My sleepy-voiced husband and I nearly finished the jar of salsa and I worked up the courage to cast on once again. That done, I'm off to clean some more. Then I'll come back, check the number of stitches once again, double and triple check for twists, and I will knit for the rest of the evening. If I screw up again, though, I think I'm going to have to put this project aside for a good long time and start something new.

By the way, Fantastic Boss once again had a fantastic dessert party.

I didn't have my buffet strategy down when I got there, so I got full too quickly. I'm hoping he brings left-overs in on Monday.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day 2 - Knitting, anyone?

I want to get to the knitting already, but there's a busy day in my future.
1. Have to water at work (my Boss is fantastic, and the last thing I want to do is kill his plants)
2. Have to paint for my class (30 miles away)
3. Have to get some cleaning done in this sty of an apartment (unfortunately, I'm right here in the middle of it)
4. Have to go to the afore mentioned fantastic Boss's dessert party (50 or so miles away)

So I'll just share the current project. It's a Knitty pattern by Jenna Adorno called Tempting. Simple sweater knitted in the round, and it's the first time I've tried a sweater. I've started it for the 3rd time now, and I think this one will be ok. The first time I started it, it twisted all to hell.

Rip out, cast on again, take 2. I was very careful about the twists this time. I got about an inch in, and after a particularly difficult day in the painting studio, I came home for some comfort knitting. That's when I noticed the single twist. That one twist! How did it get there?

Poor picture, but you get the point.

Fortunately, I had just discovered Dogs Steal Yarn, and Cari had ripped a total of about 2 feet of knitting in what I was reading, so I felt a little better about having a go at take 3. When I got to the couch to start over again, the yarn looked like this:

Because of this:

Yes, this is our boy, Kouros. He's been known to bite through ribbon, string and the straps of a couple of my tank tops (grrrrr), and this fine wool was no match for the mighty jaws of my cat. I took it as a sign from above that I needed to just get over it and start again.

So, take 3. This is how my sweater looks as of this morning:

I have to be careful, though...