Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I'm packed. I'm ready. I'm stressed. Somehow I am taking TOO MUCH stuff home with me. I'm pretty sure I never take two suitcases home with me, but this year I am. The big one will be checked, and the small one will be carried on along with my purse. This will also be checked:

The fish, not the cat. Assuming of course that Oliver hasn't gotten into the box and stolen the salmon before we head to the airport...In the box is 2 pounds of wild King salmon and 3.5 pounds of Dungeness crab, fresh off the boat. Packed to stay frozen for 36 hours. We'll see about that. The fish was requested by my mother and her friend Marlene, who both visited me last August. They took some fish home and have been raving about it ever since, so I'm taking a shipment to them. This is why I'm carrying on a suitcase - normally I would just check both but I have to check the fish - there is no way in hell I'm trekking around O'Hare for 3.5 hours with a box of frozen fish. Speaking of O'Hare...I have to be there for 3.5 hours. This isn't horrible, but when I bought my tickets (from Travelocity), I was supposed to have an 1.5 hour layover before flying onto Cleveland, arriving there around 8:30, at a decent hour for my parents to pick me up and drive home to PA while still getting a good nights sleep for work on Friday. Two weeks post-purchase I got an email that my flight had been changed, and I now arrive at 10:30. Same flight, later arrival. I'm irritated. That's 2 HOURS. Not 10 minutes, not 1 hour, but 2 hours! What if I had to be somewhere at 9:00? Eh...and my poor Dad will be up really late retrieving me :( But I will have a lot of knitting time, right? There is always a positive!

Speaking of the knitting, I am bringing lots of it. I acquired some grey and medium blue Cascade 220 for more felted clogs, so that is coming, and my grandmother's second sock. That is the plane knitting. In the (non-checked, just in case) suitcase is the so-close-to-being-done So-Called Scarf and several skeins of armwarmer yarn, in the hopes that I can knit a few pairs whilst at home for my mother to sell at school. We'll see.

Oh, look what Dave got me for Christmas! An iPod Femto!

Really it's an iPod Shuffle, but iPod Femto (10E-15) sounds much cooler, no? I'm SO excited about this, it was one of the things I really really really really wanted for Christmas! Sadly I can't play with it since all my music is on my laptop at work, but I'll be getting it going first thing after Christmas break! Thank you Dave, I love it!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Wow, I have been busy! The Christmas rush is upon me, and I am not ready. I'm leaving to go home on Thursday, and I'll be in PA for 9 days, which will be great (aside from the lack of high-speed internet). I am kind of sort of almost done with the Christmas knitting. By that I mean that all of it is done aside from the second one of these, my grandmother's Embossed Leaves socks. It took me longer than was strictly necessary to knit the first one, so I'm more than a bit concerned about finishing the second one by Monday. I am done with the rest of the Christmas knitting. Well, I think I am. I'm thinking about making someone else a pair of felted clogs, which of course I don't have the yarn for, but we'll see. I might go get some yarn for those tomorrow - I know they could be done in time and would be appreciated. They would make for good plane knitting, which there will be a lot of, since I have a long flight and a long layover at O'Hare. Jennifer is setting me up with a quart-sized Ziploc bag (thank you very much!) so I can bring my lipgloss and hand lotion on the plane (tell me how ridiculous this is. No, don't, I don't want to get into it again). I'm thinking about the plane knitting, and I'll try to figure it out and post about it and whatever other knitting I intend to take home to work on to keep you all occupied when I don't post for 9 days.
Dave got to choose one of his gifts to open a day early, and he chose the box containing these:

Wasn't it so sweet of me to knit him a ridiculous hat? Actually I made two!
Man, my eyebrows look unruly. And I wonder what my mother is going to think of my goth trendy black nail polish. Anyway, you probably guessed this, but these aren't hats, they are actually unfelted felted slippers. I was going to felt then pregifting, but decided that it would be way more fun to see Dave's expression when he unwrapped them and tried to figure out what they were. And it was worth it. For anyone who is curious, I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes for these (and the other pair I made, which are yet to be gifted), and will post a full project report on them after we felt them.

Right, I'm off. It's late, but I need to make some serious headway into the second sock for my grandmother if I have any hope of finishing! I'm knitting them on the super sharp/pointy metal Knit Picks DPNs, but I'm thinking about moving them to wooden needles for my flight. Even though you are allowed to bring knitting needles, even metal, these babies are sharp and do look a bit dangerous, so I don't want to take any chances. I can use the wooden ones and check the metal and switch when I get home. I can't see my gauge doing anything dramatic during the transition. I think I started the first sock on wood needles and switched without incident so I am not concerned. I am annoyed I can't bring my Nalgene on the plane. Eh.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Exhibit A:

This evening I was merrily plugging along on my grandmother's socks when, bam, there was some nausea and then an acute attack of yarn vomit on my lap. See the ball on the left above the sock? That came from inside the wound ball on the right. And it got worse. I tried to rewind it, from the outside of the original ball, and I was making good progress until the ball popped off the winder (bottom center), while making a mess on the winder (center right). It took me almost 45 minutes and several snips with the scissors to sort this mess out...I'm going to knit the rest of the sock from the outside of the new ball. This, my friends, is why I don't like center pull balls. Vomit is always a risk, and vomit is NEVER pleasant!

We had a lovely time at Rachel's on Friday night, and saw many well-decorated vessels. I didn't get any knitting done because a) it was dark, and b) I was unsure about the needle size on the woven scarf. Jennifer wisely suggested going up a few sizes, and on her recommendation I reswatched on size 13s (not big enough) and finally settled on size 15s. From 10.5s. That's huge. But the progress? SO much faster, and for a Christmas project, speed is of the essence! Oh, and the fabric is nicer too, and you can actually see the stitch pattern. Photos soon. It was nice to be somewhere in the Christmas spirit, as Rachel and Paul (I'm guessing mostly Rachel) had put up loads of lights and a lovely tree. Chez Emily and Dave we're more in the how-much-random-stuff-can-we-leave-in-the-living-room-to-step-over/on/around spirit these days. We haven't put up any decorations, and we probably won't bother. When we moved in together we threw out my ugly fake tree, after determining that we didn't really have a place to store it and that the cat couldn't be trusted with it anyway. Last year he removed most of the lights and several of the branches, and forced us to hang all the ornaments on the top 2 feet of the tree, which looked, as you might imagine, utterly ridiculous. Although he is older now, he's still insane, so it's best not to take any chances. So, it was nice to be somewhere festive - thanks again Rachel!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Short attention span...

I couldn't help myself:

Now I know I still have Christmas presents to knit/sweaters to finish/other WiPs, so I shouldn't be casting on anything new, but I couldn't resist this. Plus, it's going to be a Christmas present, so I had to start it now, right? I was going to knit 6 presents, 4 of which are already finished, with the 5th very close to completion. That left me with just my grandmother's socks, which are quite an undertaking and really no good for lunchtime/party/Columbo knitting (I love Columbo. I remember watching it with my grandmother when I was growing up, and I've recently rediscovered it. I'm VERY excited to have discovered that the first few seasons are on DVD. Thank you Netflix!). This scarf will be a gift for someone who I wasn't going to knit anything for, having done so several times in the past, but I really had no other ideas and this great 'woven' scarf pattern from Knit Scarves popped into my head. I really wanted to get the Colinette Prism the pattern calls for but they only had one skein of the color I wanted at Weaving Works, so I got this instead (don't ask what it is, the ball bands are at home. I'll get back to you.). The pattern is very simple - the woven look comes from slipping every other stitch on both sides, and it's super easy. The yarn I got, while having the same structure as Prism, is a bit more multicolored per strand, as opposed to changing colors as the strand moves vertically. I guess what I mean there is that the yarn is several thick/thin plies, and they're all different colors, so the pattern is getting a bit lost, but I like it anyway. Here's a close-up where you can see what I mean about the plies and a bit of the pattern:
The fabric is pretty thick, and I keep debating about whether larger needles would be advised. I'm going to consult with the Fiberphiles before getting too far along. Tonight we're all heading out on Rachel's boat (she lives on a boat - how cool is that?) for a nighttime cruise to see the Parade of Boats. I'm sure there is a snappier name for this parade (ah, Christmas Boat Parade), but essentially it is a parade of boats lit up and decorated for Christmas that cruise around the lakes in Seattle. I hope to get some good photos to share with you all!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Catchin' Up

Well, once again it's been awhile, and although I compose posts in my head every few hours, they never seem to make it that final step onto the internets. I have a finished object for you, which was actually finished weeks ago and was awaiting its photo shoot. I present a finished Multidirectional Scarf, which is a Christmas present for an undisclosed recipient.

Project Stats: Multidirectional Scarf
Pattern: From here.
Yarn: 3.25 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, colorway 206. The colors are a bit more accurate in the photos in this post.
Needles: Clover bamboo, size 8 straights
Time to knit: I don't really remember. Not that long, by my standards. Less than a month, surely.
Modifications: None. The pattern was very clear and well-written.
Impressions: I needed more yarn than expected/called for, but that might have been my fault for erring on the small side with the needles on top of being a tight knitter. I'm not overly thrilled with this colorway, which turned out to have much more black and brown than advertised. This is what happens when you get the yarn from Ebay, especially if it's Noro, as I'm discussed previously. This was one of those projects that seems to be taking forever to get anywhere, and then you look at it and realize it's 4 feet long. The whole scarf is short-rows, hence the multidirectional triangles, but it's super easy once you get going. I'd recommend it as a good project for any sort of self-striping yarn. As for the yarn, I do like Silk Garden. It's softer than Kureyon and thus better (I'd say) for close-to-the-body knits, like scarfs. We'll see how the recipient feels about that...

I've also made significant progress on my grandmother's Christmas socks, which I realize I haven't shown at all. These are the Embossed Leave socks from Interweave Knits, Winter 2005, knit with Socks that Rock mediumweight in Beryl. I'm in the middle of the gusset decreases and then I'll just be cruising down the foot. It took me awhile to really get going on these because I had some trouble adjusting to the super heavy sharp Knit Picks DPNs. I've discovered that I have to be wearing something thick, like a fleece sweatshirt to knit with these babies. I prop my working needle (right hand) on my stomach when I knit, so if I wear anything thin I get little poke marks all over myself, which is both uncomfortable and unattractive. Plus these needles are heavy. I had read that on several people's blogs, so I was expecting it (especially compared to my standard short (5") birch DPNs), but it still took some getting used to. I've tried this sock on, and I think it should fit. It's a bit larger than ideal perhaps, but going down a needle size would've been murder on the hands and I suspect it'll be just fine.