31 January 2007

I am a machine.

Flow Motion socks?


Robb's Superman socks?


Molly's baby sweater?

Just need to sew on the buttons. Which I have to find. They're in a box. Just not one of the four more that I unpacked this morning.

I love days off.

Next up?

Jaywalkers in Koigu that I started back when I was still working at the hospital.

This is just...it's making me nervous, just a little. What happens if I actually empty the basket of UFOs?


30 January 2007

What a pleasant change!

Don't get me wrong, I still hear the siren call of the New Yarns in the bedroom, especially now that all the sock yarn has its own little shelf (going in there is like a box of jewels, I tell ya) but when I hear the song, it's easy to say "Not now. I'm finishing this thing here."

I've got a case of finishitis. How'd that happen? No, wait, don't answer. You'll break the magic.

Did got to Best Buy today, and told the camera salesman what I wanted. You know what he wanted me to buy -- and he didn't even hesitate, it was like he psychically knew -- he wanted me to buy Grumperina's camera. Okay, not hers exactly, but that model Canon Powershot. And he demo'd it, and god, was it beautiful.

And then I took a deep breath, and told him how much I wanted to spend, as that Powershot camera is $400.

And he looked me straight in the eye, and said "I do not have a camera here that costs $200 and has even a decent macro function."

We compromised. Another Canon camera (he rolled his eyes, and said that the one I got was only HALF as good as the $400 one, which I pointed out was still significantly better than the one I have). Of course they didn't have it in stock, so it will be here in 3-5 days.

There's part of me that has goods-envy. The fancy one was sooooo pretty and sooooo good...but let's put this in perspective. I had $200 to spend. I already dropped another $130 out of my yarn budget, just by believing him that the other cameras wouldn't work (and I try to come from a basis of trusting sales guys, since I can return something if the sales guy blatantly lied about its working status, which doesn't help him out at all). How could I justify another $100 -- another 5 skeins of Socks That Rock or Sock!Merino? I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Though if they'd had that camera in stock, I just might have. Eaten bagels for lunch for two weeks to make up for it. And I've made up my mind that if the camera I *did* get doesn't perform to expectations, I will return it, and get the fancy-one, prices be damned.

For now, I'm going to curl up with another disk of House (my newest addiction) and get to work on the Flow Motion socks I abandoned sometime last August.

While wearing the completed Marble Arches socks.

I'm liking this trend. Wish me strength!

And don't tell Robb about the Trekking XXL and Austermann Step that lept into the car while I was picking up the new part for my spinning wheel. Thanks for that.

If I break this startitis rule, it'll be for them.


Socks Rock.

Last night, I needed a shawl break. So, ta-da, Marble Arches in Socks That Rock Pink Granite.

What, you can't see them?


As soon as J wakes up, I'm going camera shopping.

I hope that you will see results. Haha. :)

28 January 2007

I had a plan.

The plan was to show off lovely pictures of Scheherazade. The first half is done, complete with its knit-on edging. It looks extremely lovely. The provisional cast on behaved itself, and I picked up my stitches and did the first ten rows in the other direction. This was all supposed to happen by something like February 10th, so I'm seriously ahead of schedule. This has me very pleased with myself, and I was wanting to preen.



My camera has failed me. :(

Also, my packing.

You see, I use rechargeable batteries for the camera, duh, right? But the rechargeable batteries haven't been packed. And the camera is too tired to take pictures that don't look like a red smear against a khaki background. Sigh. This has been a problem with the camera which, to be fair, I got for free (or in trade, as soon as I find a good yarn to use for B's belt), since the beginning. Maybe it's time to pay for an upgrade. Now that I know that I love all this, ya know, picture taking and such.

Jeremy (i.e. the new housemate) needs to go to Best Buy on Tuesday. I think I'm going to take Scheherazade and a pair of socks along with me and price cameras.

Any suggestions from out there? My biggest concerns are capturing details and color, obviously, but I don't think I can swing more than $150.

25 January 2007

The new pad

Alison asked for pictures.

This is the combo office/computer/living area. Covered in stuff. That's the dining area in back.

This is the bedroom, covered in stuff.

This is the kitchen, covered in stuff. The kitchen is actually why I had to have the apartment; you don't get kitchens like this in apartments in Vermont. You barely get them in houses in Vermont.

I'm still in unpacking throes. The trouble is that the stuff that's left is exactly that. Stuff.

I don't know where it all came from, and I've no idea where to put it.

I'll keep you posted.

Finally, a blurry Scheherazade. It's about 60 rows from the completion of the first side; then I work the edging over there, I think, and then the reverse side. So I'm definitely 1/4 done, and maybe 1/3?

Now my dinner is ready, and it is time to eat. :)

23 January 2007

Internet Access is Mine!!


And suchlike.

I know, I know, it's very exciting. I'm a happy, happy camper.

You know, all last week, I had a million and one things to tell you. Now, can I think of a single thing?

I'm over 200 rows into side 1 of Scheherazade, which means I'm doing very well on my goal of having the shawl done by March 19th. I need to do a minimum of 15 rows a day to get it all done, and I'm well ahead of schedule.

It's pretty. If there were light in my apartment, I'd hook up the digital camera and take a picture.


I've also been working on the Marble Arches socks -- the second to last kit I've received from Socks That Rock -- now and then. I'm almost done the leg on sock #2. Very pretty.

Also, a picture tomorrow.

Things I'm proud of from last week.

I was kinder than I thought I could be to my brother's girlfriend, Eliza. Eliza and I have not gotten along in the past. I have -- I hate to admit it -- harboured a grudge because on her first visit to my apartment, she left the front door open through sheer neglect, and my strictly indoors cats escaped into the outside. It was five hours before Keelie came home, and I never thought I'd see her again. When Chris told me that Eliza would be helping us move, I was seriously grouchy about the prospect, but I decided to be brave and not fuss. I could put up with her for an afternoon, it would be fine.

When she showed up, she was helpful and cheerful, and eager. I realized how much I had let that one stupid mistake bias me against her, and I had to take a deep breath and -- with a little help from above -- forgive her. A little bit. And she found the purple scarf I'd knit out of some crazy fun-yarn last year and then realized I couldn't stand -- when she fell over how much she loved it, I said it was hers. Her gratitude was repayment for my forgiveness.

Another thing I'm proud of.

There's a gigantic plastic container of the yarn I don't love. It's in the basement, and it's going to go to a better home, where someone will adore it in a way that I cannot. It's pretty and lovely and gorgeous -- but I'll never knit it. And there's so much I do want to knit -- why do I need to be selfish and keep what I won't?

But a picture of my pretty sock yarns should show up here tomorrow as well. It's like peeking in a jewelry box, at least to me.

I love having my own internet connection. I'm such an addict. Robb is hella grouchy because WoW is not so stable just now, but I'm just glad to have my email back, and my ability to talk to my friends. Hi everybody!

I missed you all very much. :)

20 January 2007

A quick note

to say I survived the removal of my wisdom teeth and the moving (although the unpacking is still in question). There will be pictures as soon as I have real internet access, and not just stolen internet access from my brother.

Until then, I am well, the yarn and patterns are unpacked, life is pretty darned good.

But please say a prayer -- the last of my grandmothers has had issues for several years with CHF, and is in the hospital with fluid retention. She's in good shape, they're adjusting her meds -- but all the same. Prayers are good.

Much love, and I'll be back soon.

15 January 2007

Moving Day! And first FO of 2007

Up at 4am to finish packing. Can we say UGH? I knew we could.

But I'm much more cheerful than I've been for a few days. I had a terrible crying jag last night that kind of freaked Robb out, but once I managed to sputter out that I was tired, and stressed, and could I have a hug please, it was all good. He petted me and snuggled me and generally calmed me down some. Have I mentioned that he's a good'un? Yeah.

So, in the moments of non-packing-panic, these got done.

First FO of 2007, and one hopes it will not be the last, haha. These are Rolling Thunder socks by Miss Sivia Harding, yarn is Lisa Souza's Sock!Merino in Miss Violet's Pink Ribbon, and the beads are I-forget-which-and-I-packed-the-tube from Earth Faire.

Wow, that was a lot of links.

I love the hemmed cuff on these pretties, and I even love the way they kind of turned into a little bit of a slouch sock; I like the extra texture up at top. I made these socks a little extra loose because Aunt Diane is having tons of problems with her feet right now -- all chemo related, somehow -- and the last thing I want to give her is something that pinches or pulls or just doesn't feel good. That won't help.

Note to self, though: Don't try to be smarter than Sivia. On the first sock, I was a good little monkey, and I used a provisional cast on, and I hooked up all my loops for a disgustingly neat little edge. On the second sock, I got cocky. I don't remember what demon possessed me (perhaps the one where I'd put away my crochet hooks, and that's the only provisional cast on I know?) but I just cast on normally, figuring it would all work out.

Well, it did, but the hemmed edge on the second sock is noticeably bulkier to me. Probably ONLY to me, but still.

I love them anyway.

Oh, and one final thing I wanted to share with you.

This is a 1996 Ford Taurus that I've been driving, on and off, since my college days. It belongs to my father, and has caused more fights than I'm really happy admitting to. They usually come down to the fact that, although he always gives the car to me and makes me put the title and insurance in my name, he expects the car back -- and if it's not actually MINE I'm not really willing to put much into it in terms of money. So when it needs a big repair -- a more than $500 repair, as old fords with a lot of mileage tend to do -- I called up my father, and we fought over it. It's been a serious bone of contention for a lot of years.

This year, Robb came into some money, and after a lot of talking, we decided to work some seriously alchemy.

$5k down and a $10 K loan turned that into this:

A 2007 Ford Focus that belongs solely to us. No one to argue about it, the titles in our name, the loan is in our name. The warranty is in our name. Did I mention the loan? But it's ours, it has about 170 miles on it since we picked it up last week, and all but 3 of them were put there by us. I cannot explain to you how completely and utterly sexy this is to me; I think you just have to understand.

Do you know how much yarn you can fit in a hatchback? I'm just sayin'.

We move today. So far, the storm that is threatening to smoosh us under ice and snow has failed to appear; cross your fingers for me, 'kay? I should be online tonight to update you on the fantastically fun moving process.

13 January 2007

It took me ten minutes to find my camera.

But that's okay with me. Because I am calmer now.

The secret to calmness?

I made my mother go back to her house, where she can obsessively clean and talk to herself just quietly enough that I have to yell out every five minutes -- "What?" -- but I have to yell quietly enough so as not to wake up Robb, who is valiantly trying to sleep the day away in the next room. I also do not have to listen to her make gently (and not so gently) cutting remarks about the fact that he hasn't packed (I asked him not to), hasn't taken the cans to the redemption center (he'll do it before we move, and then I really do not care after that), hasn't, generally, lived up to her expectations of her ideal mate. Since her husband doesn't either, I sometimes manage to remember to take all of her huffiness and motherly concern with a grain of salt. Sometimes, the walls are a little thin, you know?

So when Mom announced that the kitchen was clean and packed, and what could she move on to next, I said, "Really, I think that's the biggest thing you can help me with." She started to protest, and I said, as lovingly as I could, "I think everything else is really fiddly stuff, small things that I'm sorting through as I go, and I think we'd just drive each other crazy with the rest of it. I'll get it done over the next few days, but right now, I need to have the rest of my day off."

Two reasons I love my mother. First, because she came over and cleaned and packed my entire kitchen. Second, because she understood when I said I was done.

So, some things I want to show you!

This is my apartment.

See how everything's in boxes? Yeah. Most of the yarn is in there. I rather purposefully did not label the boxes that contain knitting books. I thought about it, and decided against it. Decided it was unwise. If I want to get packing done, anyway.

The cats are...unhappy about this packing thing.

Jilly has this to say:

Clearly, it came to her in a kittyflash that if she just stayed on top of the duffle bag, then we would be unable to move the bag, and therefore, we would put the apparently mean smelling boxes (she keeps trying to attack them) away, and then this nonsense would stop.

Actually, the funniest thing about this picture is that Robb took it, and then told me about it later. "Jilly was on the dufflebag, it was so funny," he said. "I took a picture because, you know, I thought you might want to blog about it." All nonchalant. It was really, really funny. I suddenly remembered this post from early-vintage Yarn Harlot when she was talking about her family suddenly starting to discuss whether or not something was "blogworthy".

Oh, and remember how I said that my LYS was having a sale on Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck?

Well, I stayed within my limit.

I only got three skeins.

I suppose I could have not gotten one of the purple ones and stayed a little truer to my New Year's Resolution-of-sorts, but I do love them, and love them all -- just in very different ways. The top two are begging to have beads, and the bottom one wants to be something more all-over patterned. I think.

We'll see, after I move.

Also, thanks to Karin and Alison...the caring evident in both of your messages helped remind me that I don't have to panic, and that I could, in fact, send my mother home, curl up in my popasan (or however you spell that), and then go back to bed for another two or three hours. It helped much much more than you know.

Much love to all.

12 January 2007


Half of my house is packed. Of course, everything I could possibly need, want, or desire, is in the packed half. I am resisting the urge to go tearing through every packed box looking for the pizza cutter. Neither Robb nor I give a crap if the pepperoni is a little "torn."

I am completely and utterly exhausted.

The second Rolling Thunder sock is to the heel. I thought about starting the heel flap, but the idea made me even more tired, if that's possible.

It sounds like my downstairs neighbors are beating the ever loving crap out of each other. I am very sick of them, and glad to be moving. Or rather, I will be glad, once I have moved. Until then, I am suspicious of this entire process.

I have an adorable picture of one of the cats that I want to show you, but i'm too tired to walk to the living room, where the camera is, and upload the picture.

But there should be very little break in connectivity, as the new modem and router arrived today, so we should be able to get set up on Monday. One of the benefits of cell phones; one less thing to change.

It is 8 o'clock. Even though it means I'll wake up at 3, I think I'm going to go curl up with a good book (i.e. fall asleep in the next four and a half minutes.)

Oh! And the yarn store just got in a shipment of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock potluck. I think I can afford two or three skeins. I'm going to see if I can manage to sneak off tomorrow. Wish me luck! Don't talk to me about stash expansion, I don't care, muh-wah-haha!

10 January 2007

This is not acceptable.

Dear God or Goddess,

I know we do not talk as often as some of the documents that claim to be passed down to us puny humans by your glorious self(ves) suggest you would prefer. My favorite suggestion from that item most commonly called The Good Book is that you help those who help themselves. As such, I tend to feel more a sense of communion with you, rather than a give-and-take, especially since if I talk to the wrong people about the ways that I feel you are present in my life, they suggest that I should take a little walk down to the state mental health hospital.


I hope that will not affect your appreciation of my current complaint.

This is not acceptable. This, this "stomach flu" is not okay with me. I have already been sick with this "flu" that is probably caused mostly by my sore wisdom teeth for an ENTIRE TWO MONTHS, so now that I am finally well, causing me to spend ten minutes of every hour on the can is not okay.

I am playing hookie from work today in the interest of getting better, and fast. I expect your complete compliance with this plan, because I have WAY TOO MUCH TO DO to be sick right now.

Also, if you could cease my mother's suggestions that this is your way of "telling me to slow down," I would really appreciate that. I don't see you waving your hands and performing a packing miracle, and let's face it, we keep Robb around for the heavy lifting, not his spacial sense. So.

No more upset tummy, please. Thank you.

Finished knitting the matinee coat last night while waiting for pulls in Molten Core (if you don't understand that, feel free to accept that I am a video game geek as well as a knitting geek, and then go hmm-hmm-hm-hm over the words that mean nothing). I've lost-or-packed the buttons for the sweater, though. Sigh.

All I want to do is curl up and go back to bed. I am going to try and be strong. Sending of mental strength appreciated.

09 January 2007


I haven't died. I am, however, starting to believe that the amount of stuff I have to get done in the next week does reflect some kind of suicidal desire or something.

By Friday, I'm supposed to have packed all my books. My mother is planning on coming over on Friday and Saturday to help pack, well, everything else. Sunday, after work, I have to make goulash for the ten or so people who are going to assembly-line-move us into our new apartment on Monday.

Monday, I work 6-3, and then we move. We move until it's done.

Tuesday, at 9am, I get my wisdom teeth pulled. Ouchies. They're gassing me, due to my gag reflex. I'm pretty nervous, not so much about the teeth, but the gas. Lots of people are enjoying telling me horror stories about this sort of thing.

I am allowed Wednesday to recover.

Thursday, I have to be well enough to go back and clean the old apartment top to bottom. This is non-negotiable, as it's probably the only way I even have a fighting chance of getting my security deposit back. We gave him 29 days notice instead of 30, and so he's being a jerkoff, and since he couldn't screw us into staying in the apartment by giving us a bad reference, he's trying to steal my security deposit. Grr. I hate slum landlords.

In order to get all of this done, I know what I have to do.

I have to pack the yarn.

All of it.

Every single thread.

I will allow myself to have two projects -- one complicated and one simple -- that can be just thrown into my purse and moved right along with me. Actually, I have two projects in my purse already -- Superman socks and the matinee sweater I'm still recovering from -- so probably just one more left out.

This one.

This is a crappy picture of Scheherazade, the shawl with a deadline. Yup, I have to wear it in Vegas in March. Late March, though, so I have plenty of time, but expect it to be all you see after I move.

This is Angel Pearls, sans beads, in worsted weight yarn. I stuck my fingers in the picture, just for the perspective on how much wider this is than the fingering weight yarn I used for the other one(s) I made; it's the bamboo Karin sent, and I adore it. It's a little rough on the fingers, but it has that linen feel, like it'll soften up the more I wear it. This looks like me a scarf to throw on with a black teeshirt and jeans to fancy up a summer day. I love it.

Into the box it goes.

If I get a little scarce this next week, forgive me. I promise to be back.


06 January 2007

Knitters are the best people.

Karin heard it was my birthday.

She wanted to send me a present.

She said it was a book.

Here's what arrived in the mail today.



Oh my goodness, what luscious beauty. Wow. I don't know what I did to deserve this, but I should keep doing it, because this made my day.

And it needed to be made. Went over to Mom's today to do laundry. Turns out that my aunt did not get chosen for the trial, and she's made the decision that if (when) the cancer resurfaces, she's not going to do any more chemo. Which will make the end pretty inevitable. Although I'm not surprised by this, I feel like I'm already grieving.

I can't knit her socks today. I just can't do it. I'm going to pack for a little bit -- we're moving to a new apartment in ten days or thereabouts -- and then I'm going to take the gorgeous purple Bamboo that Karin sent me, and find some size 8s or so, and start an Angel Pearls scarf for me. No beads, because I don't have any big enough for worsted weight yarn (although I'm going to check Earthfaire and see if she has anything that might work for a tassel), but I need some pretty yarn flowing through my fingers in a pattern that I know well enough to be soothed by it.

Tomorrow, I'll knit socks. I promise.

I love you all; just want to make sure you all know.

03 January 2007

Sock Repair 2007

Sorry, sorry...I've been distracted by personal drama. Short version: I hate skeezy landlords, and I hope to be moving in two weeks. I'll keep you posted.

Normally, I subscribe to the Yarn Harlot's version of darning socks, which is to say that you walk over to the trash can, hold the offending sock high over it, call out "Darn!" for all to hear, and drop the sock into the trash. But my very first pair of Socks That Rock socks? One of the first items that I blogged about? The ones I dug into my grandmother's button jar to find buttons for? These had to be saved.

I'm not sure how they snagged where they did; they broke a thread on the right sock, on the outside of the foot, just after the gusset line. My theory is I did a crap job picking up a stitch or something. Anyway, the stitch just snapped. Luckily, I saw it before it did much more than just be one little loose loop. If it had run much more, and had run into the gusset, I might have given up the sock for lost.

So, the first step of repairing my sock was to capture the loose stitch. Now, a quick side note -- I'd seen the loose stitch back before Christmas, and only got around to repairing it on New Years. To keep it tame in the meantime, I stuck a sewing needle into the stitch and wrapped the sock around the needle. No further distress was caused. If you don't poke at knitting, it generally won't unravel, at least not wool.

So, I had the loose stitch trapped, and I grabbed two dpns, of smaller size than I'd used to knit the sock, and I threaded the needles through stitches on either size of the broken one.
I went about an inch to either side of the break, so that I'd have enough yarn to work the ends back in somewhere.

Now, the next part was the part where I wished there was stronger liquor in the house than Sprite. I took the broken thread, and I unwove it from the stitches that were already secured on the needles, in both directions. This resulted in a gaping hole in my sock, and a gasping hole in my face. This was the point of no return. I could have figured out a way to sew that first little hole shut, but now, grafting was the only thing that would save me.

It's also worth noting that, since these socks have seen a fair amount of wear, the bottoms are a little felted, which made unthreading those stitches a bit of a trick. Patience, and a little bit of cursing, helped. And no, I don't think it's bad that they've felted some. My feet sweat and then rub fibers together. I can't be mad at wool for doing what it's designed to do, and also, it gets rid of the purl ridges on the foot of the sock and makes them cozier. No worries.

Anyway, witness the gaping hole.

Once I hit the point of no return, and was done fish-breathing, I was calm. I had no choice but to utilize my skills and fix the socks. A blissful calm decended.

Grafting this hole is the same as grafting a toe. Kitchener stitch. If you don't know it, you should learn it. Seriously. I know toe up socks can avoid it, but toe up socks don't fit my toes. And there are so many other applications of kitchenering than toes -- armpits can be so unsightly when you're doing a raglan, and this technique makes me unashamed to raise my arm!

There are awesome videos to teach you to kitchener on the web; I really recommend learning, even if you do toe up socks. You'll thank yourself.

Here's a couple of stitches grafted -- you can see I'm really not worrying about the tension of the stitches yet.

All the stitches are once again secured. Tension is seriously wonky.

So I took a yarn needle and just tugged each leg of each stitch, from the center out, moving the excess yarn to the outside of the grafted area. After two series of tugs, it looked like this: Nice and flat. I even accidentally chose the right colored yarn fro the area of the break, go figure!

My repaired and once again wearable sock. Ends just got woven into the rest of the sock in the same manner that I weave in ends when I've joined yarn mid-sock.

It's pretty obvious to me where the repair area is, if just because the yarn there looks NEWER, and I didn't quite get the bury right on the left side of the graft. But this is the first time I've actually tried to repair my socks, and I have socks I can still wear, so really, I'm not going to complain.

Yippee skippee and all of that.

Oh, and I have my first FO of the New Year; I finished the worsted Lorna's Laces socks for my brother than were meant to be a Christmas present. Oops. :) But I'm not making a big deal out of it, because all I had to do to FO them was four more rounds of decreases and graft the toe.

But still!

I'll take a picture tomorrow, if I remember, and I'll also show you Scheherazade.