Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A short one

This will be short, since I'm very busy in lab and I'm leaving for Chicago tomorrow. I'm going for the weekend, which seemed like a good idea a couple of months ago when I bought the tickets, but now I'm really stressed with school stuff and thinking this trip might be ill-advised. But I get to see the King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum. We'll see.
Monday Dave and I went hiking here:
This is Boulder Falls, on the eastern fringes of the North Cascades. It was a nice hike - the waterfall is only about 1.25 miles in, and there is another, slightly smaller waterfall another mile or so past it. The hike is about 9 miles total, and although the part past the falls was nice I'm not sure it was worthwhile. It was pretty flat but very muddy as it's been raining cats and dogs here lately.
I also got some yarn from Knit Picks that arrived on Saturday. Laceweight is going around in the Fiberphiles, so I had to get some too. I'm not sure what I'm going to make - probably a lace scarf or a rectangular shawl that I'll then bunch up and wear like a scarf...Here are the spoils:

Friday, May 26, 2006

Clapotis Update

It's been forever since I even mentioned my Clapotis, so here she is, after 4 repeats:

That is my desk at work, and the Clapotis is perched elegantly over Dave's laptop, which he is generously allowing me to use while I rewrite part of my thesis proposal and prepare my committee meeting talk (ah, graduate school). I'm also using his camera - this relationship is working out quite well in the technology sector! Anyway, I love, love, love this yarn, which I got on Ebay for next to nothing for how nice it is. I would love to make a sweater with it but I feel like it might not stand up well to abuse, since it seems to be single-ply merino. It's very soft and a little bit fuzzy. I'll see with the Clapotis if we have a piling situation and decide on a sweater accordingly.

I also tried to start my May Project Spectrum socks several times in the last couple of days, and failed miserably because I couldn't figure out the toe-up thing. However, Rachel came to my rescue and wrote me a hopefully clear short row toe pattern, which I will commence with this evening. You'll see the early goings soon... Of course, it's almost June so I'm a bit behind, but I've been busy and there were the Mother's Day socks (which had green in them!), but since blue is my second favorite color after green (and I'll be on vacation a bit) maybe I'll be more on top of a blue project. Lord knows I have plenty of blue yarn, and I'll be spending a lot of time on airplanes in June (know any good yarn shops in London? Let me know!), so there will be lots of knitting.

I've been keeping close tabs on the Knitters Tea Swap blog, and so many people have their packages...I'm getting antsy for mine, I'm so excited to get it after seeing all the other ones! My secret pal has been sending me cute email cards, including a lovely photo of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from near her house in SF. Yesterday I got a real card in the mail and I can't wait to get my first package! This is my first Secret Pal exchange so I'm pretty excited about it (can you tell?!?)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I present my late finished gift socks! I know I've been quite coy about these socks, but I was hoping to keep them a relative secret until they were gifted. I actually finished them on Friday night, but I didn't want to post them until they had a decent chance of making it to the recipient before she read about them on the blog first. These are a gift for my mom for Mother's Day (yes, I said they were late, and she was warned her present wouldn't be on time, so all is forgiven (I think)). I really like them, and I hope she does as well. They fit me like a glove and we have the same size feet, so they should be good for her as well. This is only my second pair of socks, and the first pair was for me. I'm not sure how I would go about knitting socks for someone who's foot I didn't have handy as a model...

Project: Mom's Mother's Day socks

Pattern: Based on Conway from Knitting on the Road, but I gave up on the mock cabled ribbing after about an inch because it was SO slow and I was in a hurry

Yarn: Socks that Rock, lightweight, in Rolling Stone. I had a lot left over.

Needles: Brittany size 1 DPNs. There were issues. These socks required the sacrifice of 2 needles, one with a broken tip and the other split down the middle. Apparently I was stressed.

Time knitting: 3 weeks? Something like that...

In other news, my Project: Colorswap pal, Thia, recieved her package on Friday and enjoyed what I sent, and my Knitters Tea Swap pal, Maryellen, also enjoyed her package. I'm really glad everyone liked their stuff!
I was so excited yesterday night when I got home and saw I had a package, since I'm eagerly awaiting my tea swap and dye swap packages. The office was closed so I had to wait until this morning to get my box, and I was SO disappointed to encounter my new running shoes (which I apparently forgot I ordered) instead of fun knitting goodies! Hopefully I'll get a package soon - the anticipation is killing me!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yarn Labels!

Check out my snazzy new yarn labels! I think they look great, and the yarn looks pretty professional. I'm debating whether I should try to sell some (although everyone seems to be selling handdyed yarn nowadays). Thoughts?

My labels are all going to be unique, with a photo that matches the yarn and its name. The one on the right, Pacific Sunset, went off in the mail today. I really hope the recipient likes it - I dyed just for her in her favorite colors, so we'll see. Fingers crossed. I want to dye myself a skein of that stuff, it's so pretty...

The sock is in the home stretch. Probably an inch to go before the toe shaping. They will be done this weekend and in the mail on Monday. I'll have to come up with a nifty sock label now!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Casualties of War

So, I'm knitting away on those now extremely late almost finished gift socks a couple of days ago, when this happens:

The snapped tip happened first, and the 'split down the middle' incident happened just a couple of rows later, and may have even involved the new needle I had hunted down (thank goodness I had another identical set, or these never would've been finished!). I noticed the split while sliding my stitches to the end of the needle to knit them, and they just weren't coming, and I was confused, and low and beyond, broken needle. And let me tell you, it was not easy knitting the stitches off that needle with it being broken, but I perservered. I'm very frustrated by this. Sure, I had an extra set of these little bastards (for those who want to boycott the snappy things, they're Brittany, size 1), but surely needles shouldn't be falling apart on only their second sock? Yes, you read that correctly - this is the second sock, not even the second pair, with these needles. For $7 I expect them to last longer. It's not like my stitches are crazy tight, or that I'm bending the needles in some bizarre fashion. They should last longer. That is all...

I sent off my Project Colorswap package yesterday, and I hope my pal enjoys it! I've also printed out some nifty labels for my handdyed yarn, so that will be going out soon as well, probably early next week, some to my dye swap partner and some to my Knitters Tea Swap buddy...

Oh, and I'll finish the socks. I promise. I'm cruising down the foot and the recipient is blessed with small feet so they should be done quickly, assuming my needles remain intact for the duration. And then maybe I'll knit something green for my May Project Spectrum project. It's ironic that I haven't knit anything green, since I have a lot of green yarn and it's one of my favorite colors. I guess I was consumed with those damn socks...

Monday, May 15, 2006

First Hike of the Season

The first hike was a bit late in coming this year, but yesterday I went hiking up this:

This is Mount Si, the closest big thing to Seattle (only 31 miles away, which means lots of unprepared, inappropriately dressed hikers). I went by myself since Dave was off doing a bike race all weekend, and it was a good thing, since I was moving too fast to have a conversation! Or maybe I'm just too out of shape to move that fast and be able to breathe enough to talk...

Hike Stats: Mount Si (5/13/06)

Distance: 4 miles up, 4 miles down (go figure)

Elevation gained: ~3600 ft

Time up: 1:30

Time down: 1:20

Time at the top: 45 minutes

View: Priceless

That, for the non-Pacific Northwesterners, is Mount Rainier, looking resplendent in her winter coat. I have to say, this hike is going to cause me problems for the rest of the hiking season, because I did it so quickly. I have to admit this is my third journey up Mt. Si, because it's close to town and the max. elevation is fairly low, so there isn't a snow issue, which keeps us from some of the other nice mountains until July. So, I've done this before, and I know how long it takes, and it's usually much longer, and I've never done it under 2 hours up. Yesterday I blazed up this thing, and now I'll be competing with myself all summer to not go slower up whatever else I happen to be hiking on. All of our mountains out here are similar to this one, in the 8 miles roundtrip, 3000-4500 ft of elevation gain, and now I'm going to be disappointed in myself if I go slower. Or I will bring Dave, and blame him if we're slower. Yes, that will be the ticket. This was a pretty tough hike, and my legs are feeling it today, but that is what I get for a winter of moderate inactivity...there wasn't a lot of wildlife spotted, except for two snakes (one garter, one black) that slithered across the trail in front of me on my way down and almost gave me a heart attack. I'm not scared of snakes but I'm never really expecting to see them so they always make me jump.

Since I was by myself, there was plenty of time for contemplation on the nature of hiking up things. I'm into hiking up stuff - give me a mountain that doesn't require crampons and an ice axe and I'm there, hoofing it to the top, where I turn into a summit sitter. I get up there, eat my sandwich (always PB&J) and other assorted snacks (apple, granola bar, chocolate), sit around, talk to whoever else is there, etc., until I get cold (funny how it's always cold and windy on the top of mountains) or decide I really must get moving before the wildlife runs off with my car. This is all to avoid having to hike down the mountain. As much as I like hiking uphill, I despise hiking down. For me, the downhill is the irritating part between the summit and the parking lot.I realize this is the opposite of what most sane people think, but I have my reasons. First off, hiking uphill is where the exercise is. Sure, you're still hiking on the way down, and it's not easy, but when it comes to sheer calorie-burning and muscle toning, uphill is the way to go. Secondly, hiking downhill is really hard on the body. Tough on the muscles and jarring on the joints. I'm young but my knees already don't like that much stress. Lastly, and this is probably kind of unique to me, I'm a klutz. I trip a lot. On rocks, roots, loose gravel, etc. I do this going uphill and downhill, but it's more difficult to recover from without incident when you've got gravity on your side. It's pretty hard to hurt yourself falling up a hill, but you can certainly fall pretty good on the way down. Because I'm a klutz I've developed pretty good reflexes, so I recover well, but still...So, there you go, Emily's dissertation on hiking.

Now the knitting: I dyed some yarn on Saturday. Here is one of the skeins, which is for a swap. I won't say which one, since it's a secret :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Birthday wrap-up

Thanks to all who left birthday wishes (or told me them in person)! I had a really nice birthday. Stephanie from my lab made me this hilarious cake:

I like this bottom picture, with the cake looking particularly was a banana cake, with sugar/butter icing, and it was delicious. The ears were the first part to go, and I took the face home. It's a bit disconcerting having a pink monkey face staring at you in the kitchen, but the cake is good so it won't last long!

Rachel and I hit up the Weaving Works sale, and while there wasn't much good on clearance, it was my birthday so I bought some yarn anyway.

We have here some SWTC Bamboo, Rowan Felted Tweed (for Salina), Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran (for Demi), and some Svale that was very on-sale with an undetermined purpose (maybe this?). The cone in the back is Gems Superwash merino, which will get skeined and dyed this weekend for my dye-swap pal and my knitters tea swap pal, who is big on bright sock yarn. I don't remember what the teal/burgundy skein is in the front, but I've been coveting it for a long time. It will become a hat and serve as dyeing inspiration. I got some yarn to send my May colorswap pal (package in the mail early next week!), and I also bought some pink and purple dyes. If you're thinking, Emily, you don't have enough yarn there for anything garmenty, you would be correct. Rest assured there is more where this came from!

I also received the rest of my presents from Dave - two books, American Vertigo and The Undomestic Goddess, both of which I've been wanting. And I got a package from my parents, with a lovely beaded necklace/earrings set (that I'm wearing today and that has received many compliments), a silver/leather necklace, and a cute going-out type tortiseshell purse. I'll try to get photos of these since my descriptions aren't very good...thank you!

I went out to dinner with some friends to the Cheesecake Factory, where I haven't been in ages, and got the bistro shrimp pasta as always. No cheesecake, as the dinner was huge and I'd already been eating the monkey cake. Then some of us went and played pool, which was fun even though I thoroughly suck at pool. However, like bowling, I've come to terms with being incompetent at pool, so I enjoy it regardless of losing every game.

Tomorrow perhaps there will be knitting content, instead of just yarn and eating. I promise I am working on that sock...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

It's my birthday! I feel old, but least I look like I'm 16. In fact, I still get carded at movies fairly frequently, usually by people who are probably 10 years younger than I am. Bars I can understand, since I do look pretty young. But movies? Do I really not look over 17? I'm a third-year graduate student! Surely I can see Thank You for Smoking? Anyway...
Dave has been parceling out gifts for me. This is what I have so far:

Frankly, this would be enough presents, but apparently there is more on the way :) What we have here is a soy candle (ginger), an extra creamy milk chocolate bar (which is already half gone), and an Acorn Street gift card. I think that last thing was a result of the returned niddy-noddy (see last week), but I'm pretty excited about it. God knows I can always use more yarn...Speaking of more yarn, the Weaving Works Mother's Day sale starts today. I'm heading up there after work, and dragging my friend Rachel (aka the enabler-extraordinaire). I've got some stuff to buy for assorted swaps, and of course some things on the list for myself. I'll post the spoils tomorrow!

I also got this in the mail a couple of days ago, as a teaser from my Knitters Tea Swap pal:

Sorry that the photo is so dark, but you can see the great tea-themed card she sent, complete with tea kettle sticker on the envelope! My swap pal is relatively local (she's in Portland, I'm in Seattle; we Pacific Northwesters flock together), but she is crafty and there were no clues to her identity...I am eagerly awaiting a package disclosing her identity - this is my first secret swap-type thing, so it's pretty exciting!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Spinning and Spring

Right now you're thinking, spinning? I thought Emily wasn't so into the spinning?!? Well, you would be right. Last night I broke out the drop spindle and attempted to spin again. I realized quite quickly that I had forgotten what the hell I was doing, and in only a few short weeks! So, I dropped that spindle (ha) and worked on the second gift sock instead. I managed to get past the evil cabling part so it should be pretty fast, smooth sailing from here on out. I forget where I saw this, but I was browsing around someone's blog and discovered that she had made these socks (Conway, from Knitting on the Road) for her Sockapaloooza pal. That's insane. You couldn't pay me to make those socks with the cabling all the way down. No way, no how. But I digress. What I meant to show you was this:

You already know this isn't my handspun (since I've just disclosed that I can't remember how to even hold the spindle), but I wanted to show it off anyway. This is Rachel's first attempt at sockweight yarn, made with the roving I got her for her birthday last month. Isn't it beautiful? She's become a spinning pro! Well done, Rachel...

I also needed to show off these little harbringers of spring:

Aren't they adorable? I love baby geese. Nevermind that they grow up to be adult geese that s#$& all over and honk while walking in front of me when I'm biking to work such that I have to swerve out of their way aren't quite as cute. I took these pictures yesterday on my way to work. Made my morning, seeing all the little ones running around and poking at the grass.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Stumbled upon this questionnaire for the Dye-O-Rama yarn swap, and decided to fill it out. I'm thinking this might be getting repetitive, seeing as I just filled out one of these for SP8 a couple of days ago! So, if you're bored, forgive me :) Here we go:

Specific to this swap:
Your favorite colors? Blue, teal, turquoise, purple, green
Preferred yarn weight (Fingering, Sport, DK, maybe even Worsted)? For socks, fingering, since it's much easier to find patterns
Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? For hand-dyed, multicolored. It's so much fun to work with, although it can be difficult to find a pattern that doesn't compete with the yarn...
If your buddy is able to do so, would you like a variegated, self-striping, or self-patterning yarn? Variegated or self-striping.
Would you be interested in a wool blend sock yarn (nylon, tencel, silk, acrylic, alpaca, etc.)? Sure, as long as it will knit up into a sturdy sock. I'd prefer superwash if possible (I'm not on top of it enough to remember which socks shouldn't go in the wash)
Imagine the perfect colorway. What would you name it? No idea. I'm never good at naming the yarn I dye...
What was the biggest appeal to you for joining this dye-along? The excuse to dye some yarn for someone else, as well as meet new people (and of course, get some cool yarn in return)

General yarn/fiber questions:
Have you dyed yarn/fiber before?
Yes, but it's a recent phenomenon.
If so, what’s your favorite dye and method? So far I've tried Kool-aid (not intense enough, and smells like Kool-aid) and handpainting with Jacquard acid dyes, which is definitely a better method for me.
Do you spin? Kind of. I mean to spin. But I'm not that into it. Yet.
Have you knit socks before? Yes
Do you use sock yarn for just socks or in other patterns too? Just for socks. But I could see making armwarmers or a lace scarf with it.
What are some of your favorite yarns? I love Manos. Show me Manos and I am a happy camper. Any color. Any variegation. I also like Socks that Rock, and almost anything soft and tweedy. I have a soft spot for tweed. Especially if it's made by Rowan. I covet Rowan yarns. Blue Sky Alpaca alpaca and organic cotton are pretty sweet as well...
What yarn do you totally covet? Right, see above (I should've read ahead). I'd also like to try something with Colinette yarns, but they're so expensive.
Favorite patterns? Where to begin...I love cables in all forms. On hats, on sweaters, on scarves, etc. There are a bunch of cabled sweaters on my to-do list. I just finished a Lady Eleanor in March and I loved that pattern, and definitely want to make it again someday.
Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? I would love to knit an aran afghan, made up of many squares of different aran patterns. In something luxurious and impractical, like an alpaca/silk blend...
Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? I prefer bamboo straight needles, because I like to prop them on my stomach when I knit (yes, this is ridiculous). I do the same thing with DPNs, which can result in many small puncture wounds on my abdomen if I'm not careful...I will use circular needles when necessary and love them for knitting in the round (except for small things, when it's DPNs or bust). Still use bamboo for circulars, although I have some metal ones and I will admit they might be faster...
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Although this is boring, I think I would be something like Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride. Sturdy and durable, yet coming in many pretty colors and adaptable to many situations.

Nothing to do with knitting/yarn/fiber in any way but seemed kinda fun:
Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
Lemonheads. And milk chocolate (although I'd advise against eating these together). I prefer my chocolate unaltered by additions such as mint/nuts/caramel/etc.
What’s your favorite animal? Penguins. I was SO overjoyed with March of the Penguins...
Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? I have an orange tabby named Oliver, who is about to celebrate his 1st birthday. Does having a boyfriend count as a pet? I have one of those too...
If you were a color what color would you be? Green
Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s) Seriously? This IS random. Hummm. I love a good rumpled white oxford shirt, sleeves rolled up, and partially unbuttoned (mind out of the gutter, nothing racy intended), with a t-shirt underneath. Not so much on myself, but any attractive man in this ensemble will catch my attention every time.
What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? I love mountains. Preferably snow-covered. I'm also keen on seastacks, the big rocks out in the ocean that we have so many of in the Pacific Northwest.
Do you have a wishlist? Yes, on amazon. You can search for me if you'd like...
Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? This is going to be so fun! I'm planning on dyeing my pal's yarn this weekend, so it should be arriving fairly soon...

Monday, May 08, 2006

One down...

So, I decided, oh, about 10 days ago, that I was going to knit some socks as a gift. For an occasion that isn't very far away. And I made a valiant effort (I'm still making it, but at this point I realize it's in vain and there is no way in hell I'll be done on time. By the date, yes, but through the mail, no). Although the recipient may well read the blog, I wanted to post about this anyway, since I haven't been showing off much knitting lately, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I was slacking...
That is obviously my foot modeling the sock, but conveniently the recipient has the same size feet as me (very small, good for speed-knitting). These are the Conway socks from Knitting on the Road, but without the fake cables, which I did for about an inch and got fed up with (they were really slowing me down, and as I mentioned earlier, I'm in a hurry), so these are just ribbed. The yarn is Socks that Rock (Rolling Stone colorway), and it's great. I love knitting with it (good thing, since I have a yarn shops worth in my closet). I'm hard at work on the second sock, just getting to the point where I have to do the cabling to make them match. The yarn pooled a bit on the leg but I really like the way it looks on the foot. Hopefully the second sock will do the same thing - if they don't match it'll make me crazy...
I also bought some lining fabric for the tweed messenger bag I finished a few weeks back. It's not exactly what I wanted, but I like it and I think it'll work well. Now I just need to sew it in...that should take the better part of a year at the rate I worked on the rest of the bag...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Secret Pal 8 questionnaire

Here is my official entry into the world of Secret Pal swaps. This is actually one of the reasons I started my own knitting blog, since I had so much fun reading and seeing what other people got in swaps like these!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? My favorite yarns are natural fibers, especially wool. I also love alpaca/llama/angora/etc, and I have some of each in the stash, but I haven’t knit much with them yet. I’m not keen on acrylic. If I want something I can wash I’ll use superwash merino over acrylic any day.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? My needles live in their original packages in a drawer in my living room. It’s getting messy in there but I don’t have a good case for them, despite lots of looking. Haven’t found just the right thing…
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I’ve been knitting for about 2.5 years, and would consider myself intermediate.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, if you search for me you should be able to find it. I love books, and reading, although the knitting has been cutting into the old reading time…
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.). I like vanilla, mint, lemongrass, and things like that. I really don’t like lavender or anything musky or incense-like
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes! Milk chocolate, preferably with nothing in it - the plainer the better.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I make paper, and occasionally I do some needlepoint. I just started spinning on a drop-spindle and although I enjoy it I’m pretty bad and I’m not sure how into I’m going to get, although all my friends are hooked and I’ll probably decide to really get into spinning to keep up with them!
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD). I listen to mostly British rock/alternative/techno, and some US stuff in the same vein. However, I’m always open to new thigns, so I’ll listen to almost anything except jazz. I can play Mp3s everywhere I go…
9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? Teal and turquoise are my favorites at the moment, as well as other jewel tones (green/blue/dark purple). I’m not big on yellow or orange. Red is okay. Pink, not so much. On the whole I prefer cool tones since they go better with my skin and hair.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I live with my boyfriend and a lovely orange tabby cat named Oliver. If you hunt around on the blog you can find photos of both of them.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves yes, hats yes, but it depends on the shape, mittens yes, and ponchos, most definitely not my thing.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Hum…I’ve knit a lot of hats, and a lot of scarves, since it took me awhile to get past that phase of knitting. I also like knitting armwarmers, since they’re like the beginning of a sock but with big needles. I’m trying to finish my first sweater and have many more planned, but I’m not positive that’s my favorite yet. I’m also currently in a sock phase. Yes, I realize I haven’t answered the question! Really I like to knit things I can see myself or someone I know using. So, I guess that means I’ll knit anything but ponchos and tea cozies…
13. What are you knitting right now? Right now I’m on the second sleeve of my first sweater. My other big project at the moment is a clapotis, but I’m also knitting two pairs of socks, and planning to start a knitted teddy bear for a friend’s impending baby.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, but my taste is pretty modern.
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Straight bamboo. I will knit as many stiches as possible on a straight needle to avoid knitting back and forth on circular needles. For circular needles I can do bamboo or aluminum. I have some of both and I do agree the metal needles are faster, but I like the feel of the bamboo better. I’m not keen on metal straights – too slippery. For DPNs I prefer bamboo since they’re slightly flexible yet grab the yarn enough that it doesn’t slide off the ends.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I just got a nostepinne from my Project Colorwap pal, but I don’t have a swift.
17. How did you learn to knit? A combination of an aunt, a cousin, and my mother, as well as my Seattle knitting crew, the Fiberphiles. A special shout-out goes to my friend Rachel, who taught me how to purl and saved me from endless garter stitch scarves. She also taught me the wonders of increasing and decreasing, and convinced me that I could indeed move on from scarves to garments, and for this I thank her.
18. How old is your oldest UFO? I’ve been making a pink shrug from Rowan 37 since last August, but it’s a disaster so I think I’m going to frog it (does that make it not count?). Otherwise I don’t have many old UFOs. I had a Lenten vow that I wouldn’t cast on anything new, which meant I had to finish a bunch of old projects just to keep knitting, and that really cleared out the knitting baskets…
19. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween.
20. Is there anything that you collect? Does yarn count? I certainly have plenty of that (and always want more!).
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I don’t have any subscriptions. From looking at all the magazines Interweave has been my favorite lately. I also loved almost everything in Rowan 37, but haven’t seen much I liked in the two issues since then so I’m not sure what to think about them now. I can’t really think of anything I want desperately. I have a pattern that calls for a 12” size 11 circular, so I’d love to have one of those, but I’m not sure they exist outside the designer’s imagination, since I can’t find one even with intense Internet searching…
22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? At some point I should really learn fair-isle. First I should learn to knit continental so I can get two yarns going at once…
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am a sock knitter (newly converted by the loveliness of Socks that Rock and all the beautiful socks knit in the blogosphere). I wear a 6.5 (little feet=less yarn=lots of fun leftovers!).
24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 5/11/79

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A wonderful surprise!

I got home yesterday, all in a rush after a busy day, and found a package slip on my mailbox. Our office closes at 6:00, and this was about 6:15, so I was lucky someone was still there to get my box for me. I was very confused, since I wasn't really expecting anything (although it is my birthday next week, so early present?), and the lack of return address on the box confused me even more. By the time I got upstairs with the mystery box, I was so intrigued I could hardly stand it (this is true - I get really excited about packages, even when I do know what they are). Inside the box I found this:
This excellent assortment is from Thia, my May Project: Colorswap pal! She went all out, having read my post for a couple weeks ago where I was all tangled in handdyed yarn I was attempting (for the 3rd time) to reskein. So, she sent me a niddy-noddy (1.5 meter), a nostepinne, and some leaf green dye (in keeping with May=green). Thia, thank you SO much, I'm very happy with my package, you should've heard me gushing about it! I promise your box will be on its way soon! Here is the niddy-noddy in use, with the same yarn as I was messing with before: And the lovely skein I made with it (finally a reasonable size):

The more times I reskein look at this yarn the more I like it. However, I now hope to not deal with it again until it gets made into a ball and used for some garishly bright socks! The colors in the previous photo are more true to reality...

There is some added humor to this story. Dave came home after me, having gone to the gym and then shopping for my birthday present. As soon as he walked in the door, I pounced on him and gushed about my package. At which point he said, all crestfallen, "I guess I'll have to think of something else for your birthday." He had gone to Acorn Street (man in a knitting shop!) and gotten the same exact niddy-noddy! What are the chances? I'm pretty sure he was trying to get out of ever having to help with the yarn untangling chaos again, and to prevent my father from having to make a niddy-noddy, so it was a good idea. Now he's taking it back and coming up with another idea. Thanks again Thia, you were spot-on with what to send - it's perfect and will get lots of use!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Showing it in stages...

I've decided that the best way to deal with the Fiber Fest haul is in pieces, so as to not overwhelm the readers, and so I can come to terms with it myself. Yesterday you saw the teal haul. Today there will be disclosure of the new Socks that Rock stash. Yes, I went a bit overboard, but as far as I know you can only get this stuff in one shop in Seattle, and I'm not going there, so I had to stock up, right? And I really wanted some solid colored sock yarn. More on that below the photo.

The purple skein on the left is not sock yarn, but Seduction, and will be used for a scarf, and would've been exceedingly expensive for me if it hadn't been on sale. I'm envisioning a lacey scarf. Then there are six skeins of STR, mostly solid colors except for the second one from the left, which apparently jumped into my arms as I was paying because looking at it now I'm not so sure about it. Don't get me wrong (or attempt to take it from me), I like it, but I was really trying for solid colors. Well, and that blue skein, which I loved. Although it's not one color it's close enough and fits what I was going for with this mass purchase. The thing is, I love varigated/stripey/splochy yarns. They call to me from the internet, they call to me from the LYS, they call to me from the dye pot in the kitchen (you get the idea), but then I really don't know what to do with them. Most of them are sock yarns, and I love funky bright socks, so you wouldn't think this would be a problem. However, all the sock patterns I'm drawn to are either lacy or complicated, and I don't want my yarn to be competing with my pattern, so I'm left with all this beautiful yarn and beautiful patterns that don't complement each other at all (in my mind). Hence all the solid colored STR.

It's just occured to me that this, plus yesterday's teal fiber and mohair, was actually all I bought last weekend, which is pretty good. Well, and some short DPNs, but they don't really need to be photographed - we all know what DPNs look like (I hope).

The astute may notice there isn't any evidence of knitting on the blog lately, just yarn. This is because there hasn't really BEEN much knitting. I'm working on two pairs of socks, so I suppose they could have a photo shoot, but I'm not happy with one of them and the other is just ribbing at this point. Come to that, they're both ribbing, but at least one is fancy (badly pooling) colors. I'll try to get on that and post something about them tomorrow, since this is meant to be a knitting blog, and not just a "wow, Emily has a lot of pretty yarn but doesn't use it" blog...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tea Swap

I forgot to mention that I'm part of this: I'm pretty excited about it - I love tea, and drink probably 3 cups a day (big ones, we're talking 16-20 oz). The idea is we swap yarn, tea, and a snack. Excellent idea, eh?

(I would put the button in my sidebar, but I haven't the foggiest idea how to do that. I've googled it, I've help desked it, and I still don't know. I know it involves putting the code for the button in the right place on the template, but for me, finding this 'right place' is the problem...if anyone can enlighten me on this it would be most appreciated!)

Fiber Fest Teaser

A cohort of the Fiberphiles took the long drive down to the creatively-named strip of hotels town that is Sea-Tac for the Seattle Fiber Arts Festival (or something like that) yesterday. There were purchases. There will be more photographic evidence. But for now I leave you with my embracing of all things teal... If you're interested, that large mass is 8 oz of Corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms, the thing in the middle is some old Socks that Rock that weaseled into the photo, and the lovely object on the right is 1600 yards of exquisitely soft 100% kid mohair from Wagtail Yarns. More about the haul later...