28 February 2007

FO sighted! Lace & Ribs tanktop complete!

Kalen at the LYS pronounced me a "knitting machine." I stated that no, in fact, I just have no life.

The Lace & Ribs tank is done.

Yes, I'm wearing a black bra, it's the only one that's clean, and I wanted to test the see-through value (pretty darn good, really). Like my new hair? I'm in love.

New hair (oh, and the tank) from the back.

For those of you (B) who will go nuts (B) wondering, the tattoo on my back is the only one of my tattoos (I have three) that I'm not crazy about. The theory was that this set of characters means "woman" when it, in fact, seems to just kind of be the set of characters that indicates feminine, and therefore doesn't really mean anything. When Robb makes me legit, I'm going to add the character that will make it mean wife, and I'll like it better.

Almost no mods on this tank -- yet. I'm debating on doing a little bit of creative sewing to take the sides in just a little, or else trying to thread a tie through just under the bust to make the slight ripple where the lace pulls in to stockinette look intentional. Not sure yet which will happen.

This is the Seduction that Tammy sent me. I'm only keeping my hands off of it by sheer intensity of will, and the desire to savor the luxury for a little while. But I'm going to knit Renee's scarf (more on that later) and then...Seduction, I will be yours!

Take care.

27 February 2007

I wonder if my LYS hates me yet

for realizing that they have an email address.

But I figure this is good for them. This way, I can bother them by email and they can answer me at their convenience.

So, today was the best day EVER. Well, since my birthday, anyway.

I got a completely adorable haircut (you'll see it tomorrow when I FO report my Lace & Ribs Tank top).

My ex-landlord actually coughed up my security deposit.

Tammy sent me two completely exquisite skeins of Socks That Rock Seduction. I'm not posting a picture now because I can't get an indoors picture that even starts to do them justice.

Robb and I had an absolutely fantastic afternoon spending some of the former security deposit.

I did completely something from the UFO basket (in that I frogged the Jaywalkers I'm just never going to finish).

And I cast on my first project in Fleece Artist.

Wow all around.

I love fantastic days.

Mmm days off.

First of all, to all the emails that I got which pretty much started with !!!, no, I'm not trying to get pregnant, not yet. But yeah, the pills were making me insane, and not in that fun way! Panic attacks, fits of depression that seemed causeless...no good.

Baby hats in a couple of years. Not just yet.

Still at work on the lace and rib tank, see?

The bodice front is done, and I just need to do the straps, and then the back. Since we're theoretically getting another dusting of snow this weekend, this should be done WELL in time for spring. :)

I also have developed a strategy for cleaning out the UFO box without getting depressed about all the things I haven't finished in the last two years. Here's the plan.

Knit something new and exciting and cool (for preference with stash yarn, but this can be bent if there honestly isn't something in the stash that suits, I LOVE the finished article, and I really really want that sweater (because I have yarn for every pair of socks imaginable under GOD)), like the Lace And Ribs tanktop.

Finish something out of the UFO box. Frogging counts as finishing.

Knit something new and cool.

Finish something.

New and cool.

Old and classic.

I think this will keep my KADD (Knitting Attention Deficit Disorder) in check by tempting me to finish older things so that newer things can join me in the knitting sphere. I know this will make me take longer to catch up on the UFO box, but I'm okay with that, if I can do it without going bonkers.

Also, I'm going to start trying to go back to one object on the needles at a time. This may change when I can actually walk to work without mittens on, because I'm pretty sure that I could knit plain socks while walking, and that would help out with my whole step-father wants a million socks situation, but in-house knitting should be limited to one article at a time. Possible exceptions are that it is easier to go visiting or driving with a sock, and sweaters and waiting rooms don't go together well for me. But there's always sock yarn around here, so it's not really a huge thing.

Thoughts? Comments?

Oh, and for my last parlor trick -- I taught myself to knit backwards today! The straps of this tank are knit in stockinette for 11" on 9 stitches. I'm getting about 6 rows to the inch. That means turning this beastly heavy cottonly thing a million times and getting all the yarn (the yarn is still attached for strap #2) tangled up...

And then I decided to go find a pic and learn to knit backwards. And I did, wahoo! It's actually a lot easier than I thought. Random question though, every site I looked at informed me that my stitches would be turned on the right to left row, but they're not. Am I doing something different? Maybe I'll take pics tonight and post.

Um...that is all, I guess. :)

25 February 2007

You know those days...

...when people shock you with their love and understanding? When you head home expecting a huge fight and instead get love and cuddles and "I trust you?"

I love those days.

The short version of the story is that the birth control pills go into the trash, and I get to have my own personality back. No, I'm not going to start knitting tons of baby hats just yet...but my faith has been multiplied by the response to my dilemma. Yay.

I know, I know, you're here for the knitting.

Scheherazade is done. I haven't blocked it yet (how the heck do you block mohair and silk? Thoughts? This thing is longer than I am tall!), but I took it outside to get a picture. Thanks to Cameraman Robb for his help, I can't afford a tripod yet (having spent my raise on yarn).

This one is his favorite picture, so I'm putting it up. We'll just be clear that I don't think it's a flattering picture of me, or the shawl...

I much prefer this one:

But then, I've been known to read Jane Austen for fun. Just sayin'.

I'll have to make Robb sleep on the couch one afternoon and block this sucker on the bed.

And then, the item that has completely distracted me from all living things for three days now:

This is the Ribs and Lace Tank from the newest IK, and I'm knitting it out of RYC Classic Silk Aran on my brand-y new Denise Interchangeable set. If you look closely at the top, you can see one of the cables pressed into service as a stitch holder. I'll tell you how impressed I am with these needles tomorrow; today, let's just love the tanktop.




It's so pretty. And I love it. And it's pretty. And stuff.

And the world is good to me today.

24 February 2007


I finished the shawl, and I'm almost done a tanktop out of Rowan Natural Silk Aran from the newest IK, and I've figured out more about the how and the why of my crazy pile of UFOs, and I have pictures to show.

But not right now.

Now, I want to tell a story.

I've talked about knitting socks for my stepfather (we'll just call him "Al," shall we? It's shorter to type) before. He is one of my favorite sock recipients, because he adores his socks. The ones I made him out of Lisa Souza's Merino were very well received at Christmas time; he put them right on, and is wearing them hard.

Mom was over yesterday, and we were talking about this and that, and she told me a great story that I just have to share.

A few nights ago, I guess they were trying to sleep, and Al was tossing and turning all over the place. My mother, a light sleeper, got pretty annoyed, until she finally looked at him and asked what the heck was wrong with him. He made some sort of huffy noise, and then gasped. "I know just what I need," he declared.

Mom confessed to a certain fear at this point. She thought...well, she just wanted to go to sleep, let's leave it there, and I won't have to make the same face I did when she told me the story originally! She said "o...okay..."

And he hopped up out of bed and went over to his slippers. "I need K's socks," he declared, and put his socks on, crawled back into bed, and promptly fell asleep.

This made me into such a dribbling dork of love that I gave Mom the socks I'd already been saving up towards next Christmas.

I have some Wild Things that is intended for socks for him. I guess I better pick out one or two more colors.


22 February 2007

More vicarious S-E-X

There aren't enough words to describe how much I love shopping at The Loopy Ewe. Sheri is awesome, her shipping is astonishingly fast, and the packages are so beautiful. I'm talking even before I get to the yarny center -- I'm talking about the tissue paper, the handwritten notes, the little sample cards.

And then you open up the package, and you find THIS.

Okay, I mean, I know I paid for all of this. But I have the short term memory of a fish ("Oh, look, a rock!...Oh, look, a rock!...Oh, look, a rock!"), so by the time the yarn arrives (even though I ordered these on Tuesday and they arrived today), I've forgotten that I spent money on them, and part of my brain just thinks that Sheri is my bestest pal in the whole wide world, sending me goodies.

And what goodies. The lighting in here sucks after dark (and before dark, but whatev), so you'll have to trust me that the Regia Silk is a deep, charcoaly blue, that the Regia Bamboo is one of the prettiest rainbow multicolors I've ever seen, and that the Yarn Pirate Quicksilver is just beyond compare. It doesn't really have that blue streak, I don't know where my camera found that. But. Wow.

I think the two Regia yarns are going to make the Entrelac Socks in the newest IK. Yes, I know their guages are likely to be differnet, and may make me insane. I don't care. If I can make it work, they will be exquisite. And if they don't work, well, I'll learn something else. :)

It's 10pm, and my brain feels like mush, so I'm going to be silly for a little bit and then collapse.

Oh, and for those of you who maybe haven't heard?


20 February 2007

So close...

and yet, so far...
But the body of the stole is done, just the second edging to do now. About a hundred rows, I did five.

And now, I'm so tired that not even the mental promise of casting on the Storyteller Socks in the Fleece Artist Renaissance will keep me away. I'm going to go read 5 pages of Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix and then fall dead asleep. Even if it is 8pm. I don't work until 11am tomorrow (woot!) so I am just going to sleep in until I wake up/I wake up because Robb comes home at 6am. Or 7am. I really don't remember.

Either way, I'm going to sleep.

miss ewe knits: a yarn intention

Yay for you! Pretty pretty things, and I'm glad you seem to be okay and not hurt.

19 February 2007

No such luck...

Twenty rows to go on the body of Scheherazade, and I'm way, way too tired to stay up and finish them. So sorry...tomorrow.

Spent an hour or so today cleaning; I haven't lifted a finger around here in two weeks, and you can tell. Robb and I got into a rather spectacular argument when I suggested (in seriousness) hiring a maid, because clearly neither of us was going to clean anything. It wasn't my goal, but I think he may actually start pitching in a bit around here; I pushed his miser button. If that's what it takes to not be the only one cleaning, I'm a-okay with that.

Also, the word on the street was that the Yarn Pirate order arrived at the Loopy Ewe...how could I not have ...well, the picture is gone now, so you'll just have to wait until Sheri ships me the yarn, and I can show you the moonstoney silvery goodness. (Tammy, are you taking notes? :p Purples, blues, silvers, jewel tones...I have a *thing* against green, but am slowly learning to accept emerald as another beast all togther)

I am so good by the way; the Fleece Artist is sitting on the shelf next to my computer where I can pet it when I want to, but it's still all skeined up. It hasn't even been near the swift. I am so strong. You have no idea.

I'll show off Scheherazade tomorrow. Probably. Assuming that I'm not just dead of exhaustion. Oh, and I survive the interview for the job I already have (sigh). I've been an interim manager since Thanksgiving...in the next few days, I should know whether or not I get to keep the crazy schedule and the 35K a year, or go back to a schedule that's just as crazy, but only get paid $12 an hour. We'll see what happens. And no, I probably won't know tomorrow. (!!!).

Wish me luck!

18 February 2007

Don't say it too loud...

...but I think I might have enough sock yarn for a little bit.

Now, before you think I've gone totally mad, let me put in a couple of provisos. I'm still dying to get my hands on some Regia Silk, and the Regia Bamboo is still tempting -- although a quick grope of the sample that Amazing Sheri included in with my pretty sock yarns leads me to believe that I might have some of the same troubles that I do with cotton socks, but that's neither here nor there -- and I heard that Sheri would be getting in a box of goodies from the Yarn Pirate and that makes me kind of drooly. I'm sure I will wake up and *need* more yarn like I *need* air.

But currently in my house are samples of all the sock yarns that I particularly wanted to try -- many of them courtesy of Karin, so I think I can spend some time now just getting down to the business of knitting socks.

As for those of you who want to see my new red hair...I'm incredibly camera shy, so Robb has been given the camera and told to take a picture of me where I don't look like a dweeb (since I'm currently wearing a purple sweatshirt and pink pajama bottoms with frogs on them that say "My Prince" this is more difficult than you might imagine, but I get sick of work clothes, and change into comfy clothes as soon as I get home) and I promise to post it. So now you can bug him, nah. :)

Karin, grats on the camera! I can't wait for pictures!

Alison, Grammy whooping me at Uno was fantastic. We played eight games, and she won 5, Erin and I two each, and Chris just one. The look she gave me when I dropped a Wild Draw 4 on her was priceless. I wish I could have gotten some pictures that afternoon, but it would have just been too intrusive, so I just took them as carefully as I could with my brain, and that will be enough to be going on with. And, since you're going to Stitches West, if the Blue Moon Fiber Arts people are there, and they happen to have some of that Seduction yarn -- the Merino/Tencel blend -- I would be more than happy to reimburse you for the yarn and the shipping of it to me. Just sayin'. :)

Oh. And I just realized that Rhinebeck is only 4 hours from me.

Ohmigod. :)

I'm going to go and work on Scheherazade now. I have about 50 rows on the body to go. If I finish them, I'm going to allow myself to ball up the FA Renaissance. I don't think I have any spare sock needles anyway, so balling should be safe.

Go ahead, laugh. I don't mind.

17 February 2007

Survived the trip

with mental health to spare.

I'm sorry to those I panicked with regards to my comment about Grammy's funeral. She hasn't died; according to the docs, she probably has three to six months with us still. No, what I was trying to convey, I guess, was the sudden realization that she was going to die. It just clubbed me upside the head all of a sudden. That I was knitting these delicate, lacy, somber-toned socks, and that part of what I was doing with them was accepting my grandmother's mortality. Sorry that I got so dulcet-toned about it. No, Grammy will be kicking my butt at Uno for a little while longer.

So Erin (my sister), Chris (the middle of my three brothers), and I drove down to Grammy's today. This is the grandmother who I only met for the first time a couple of months ago, she'd never known I was alive before. One of the joys of being an adopted kid, I guess, slowly meeting my biological family. We had a fantastic day. Erin and Grammy and I sat around for hours, knitting on our various projects (afghan for Grammy, Traveller's Stockings for me, a fair isle sweater for Erin) while Chris played Tetris on his cell phone and tried not to be too bored with our knitting chatter. I don't know why, exactly, today was so good, but it was...it was everything I'd hope for, and more.

Knitting pictures:

One Traveller's Stocking (Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road) done in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Blue Jeans. I would have started sock number 2 but didn't have the necessary attention span to work the upper edge, so instead I continued on:

Conwy, from Lisa Souza's Sock!Merino in Black Purple, the delicate socks that spawned my depression and strange mood the other day.

Finally, a pretty little box was waiting for me when I got home, and when I saw that the return address was from The Loopy Ewe, I plotzed for joy. Inside, you know what there was??

Yarn Pirate, 50/50 merino tencel blend in Viola, and Merino Socks by Fleece Artist in Renaissance (in the middle) and Amethyst (on the end).

I'm so crazy happy about these new bits of yarn that I was poinging around for a little bit while Erin and Chris had quiet giggles. I can't really say I blame them.

Now, I'm off to go and get some sleep. Take care, and send a prayer to my grammy, if you have the chance.

16 February 2007

Nothing to report, Capt'n!

Spent most of today fighting with Robb (don't panic, resolution has been reached, and I think we're better off for it, it's just the couple of hours in the middle really sucked), reading Harry Potter, and dying my hair red. Naturally, I'm a not-blonde. You know, that fun, dishwater shade that isn't blonde, isn't grey, isn't brown? It's something like ash. I hate it. It's mousy and awful and I hate it. When I was born, my hair was bright red, like my biological father's. In times of stress, I go back to it. I'll remember to maintain it for about two years, then get bored with the fuss and ignore it until the ash grows back out to around my ears, and then I look mousy and tired and boring, and I can't take it anymore, and I go back to red.

I hope my hair goes either steel grey or crystal white. Either one will be fine with me, and I kind of look forward to it. Better than ash.

Anyway, in the midst of that, I knit another ten rows or so on Scheherazade (yes, Lynne, that's the shawl for the wedding), and turned the heel on Conwy. I haven't decided yet if Conwy or the Traveling sock will make the trip down to South Royalton. It'll depend on how I feel at 8am.

I have that shaky sense that comes from emotional release. My insides are quivery, but I know it's going to be good.


15 February 2007

I love snow.

Okay, B, sorry about the further snow porn. I can't help myself. Because you know what? Half the people I work with, and most of my friends think I'm insane but seeing this?

Which was, until about two hours ago, my car? You know what? It gets me a little bit hot and bothered. Not quite as squeemish as knowing that two skeins of this are on their way to me, but yeah.

Pics like this?

They make me feel all...well. I shouldn't go visit Grammy in this mood, that's all I'm sayin'.

Alison -- I threw a snowball for you.

I also really confused the down-the-street-neighbors. It was so fun on multiple levels.

Okay, okay, knitting and life, knitting and life.

Yesterday being Valentine's Day, Robb and I sat down for the obligatory cuddle-and-a-movie. Neither of our hearts was in it, though; he was stressed because he was blatantly ignoring the fact that his phone rang twice from his boss trying to call him in to work (I'd've killed him for trying to walk out the door, so he felt better just ignoring the phone, got a hard time for it today, but hell, it was Valentine's Day) and I was just fidgety. Couldn't sit still, but couldn't figure out what I wanted to do when I started to move. Fidget. Fidget, fidget. Eventually, we had the sense to call off the movie before we annoyed each other to hell and gone; we'll have Valentine's Day next week. He went off to bury his head in World of Warcraft until he stopped being mad at his boss, and I poked at Nancy Bush's sock books, looking for inspiration.

Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road + Lisa Souza's Sock! Merino Black Purple =

Want to get closer?

I'm really just showing off what my camera can do now.

Anyway, these socks called out to me. The pattern is simple enough to execute that I'm watching X-Files season 8 (I bailed on the show after Mulder "disappeared," I've only recently gained interest in watching the last couple of seasons again without any major kerfluffles. The Sock! Merino is finer than plain Sock!, which is making these socks lacy and delicate and every so soft and ladylike. And mournful and full of grief.

And then I realized. I'm knitting the socks that I'll wear to my last grandmother's funeral. It made me ache all inside to realize it, but it felt...right, somehow as well. It added to the peace, and so I kept at it.

I've been reading Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking, an exquisite book about the year after Joan's husband died of a sudden heart attack, and it's so gorgeous and wonderous. And I thought to myself, she would approve of this moment. I don't know if she'd get the sock knitting, but I think she'd understand the grief of that moment -- and perhaps the peace that followed it? Who knows.

I've also had an interesting realization about myself as a knitter.

I'm not a sweater knitter.

Most of the half-finished projects around here, the really half finished ones, the ones I know I'll have to force myself to pick up and finish? Sweaters.

The ones I stare at in magazines but never settle on a yarn that will really work?


The ones I daydream about creating but never really care enough to put pen to paper?


You know what I do play with and knit and experiment? Socks. All the time, socks. Since I gave in to the magic of socks, I love them more than anything. Socks socks socks. I could knit nothing but socks all the rest of my life, and I think I'd be happy.

And my second favorite thing to knit? Rapidly becoming shawls, and the lacier the better. My heart almost stopped when I saw this, and when Melanie replied to my comment and said that it was knit out of only two skeins of KP alpaca...my heart just about fell. I could knit that shawl out of my Mulberry. Oh. My. God.

I plotzed. I completely plotzed.

So, I'm a shawl and socks knitter. I think I might cross the line for Alice Starmore, or a really extraordinary Dale, but mostly, I think I'm a shawl and socks knitter.

And I'm okay.

Now, Xfiles, then dinner, then more Xfiles. And socks all around.

14 February 2007

Snow Falling on Pitkin, and other photos

This is the scene, outside my front door.

At least in theory, my car is underneath all of that.

My favorite new toy.

Saturday, my middle brother, and possibly my youngest brother, along with my sister, will be driving down to see Grammy. I started these socks last year, before the snow fell, when I met her for the first time. I worked on them a little bit more after that first meeting, but they got pushed aside to work on Christmas presents. Here is their last known sighting.
Since my sister is even more OCD than I am, I expect she'll be driving down to Grammy's; I'll dig these out of my working basket and bring them along with me.

I feel calmer and more at peace than I have in weeks. Who knew that two feet of snow was what I needed?

Cheering up

First, go read this. I'll wait.

I can't say how much I agree.

Other than that, I'm home from work an hour and a half early because it's snowing buckets outside. I'm scared to take my camera into the snow, but as soon as it lightens up, I'll take a picture of my street.

It's completely gorgeous out there.

I love today.

The best moment of today; a very good friend asked me if he could borrow $10 because he needed to buy a couple of days worth of medicine until payday on Friday. Not only could I say yes, I could make an excuse to go to the ATM that only dispenses $20s, and I could also tell him that, given my druthers, I'd rather be paid back with a painting than a bill with some dudes' face on it.

That made today a very good day.

More later if it's justified.

13 February 2007

Perhaps it's in the air...

...but has it really been that long since I posted? Yeesh. It's been a long few days...I've been ill, and this head cold is taking a lesson from the cold front outside, and it will not go. Grr. We're supposed to get up to 18 inches of snow between tonight and tomorrow. I'm sleepy and grouchy. So I've been trying to stay a little bit more inside my own head, I guess, which is never actually good for me.

I finished the hat, and my friends had their baby today; Owen Sebastian, I didn't talk to the new dad, so I've no idea of his weight or suchlike. He'll be in on Thursday, so I'll give it to him then. I'm pretty positive he'll enjoy it.

Finished slippers for Grammy out of Manos...just need to felt them. I'm inventing a sort of pattern for some handwarmers, but they're not working out at ALL how I'd like, so I'm debating whether I'll give them, or see how she likes the slippers and probe the deeper question of hand warmth when we go down and visit this weekend. I hope we can go visit this weekend. Most of the time, Robb and I only having the one car makes me feel very green and peaceful and such, but other times, it makes me very, very grouchy. He's going to try and switch shifts with one of the guys at work, and then it will all be easy, but if it doesn't work, I'll figure something out.

I'm sorry for the stream-of-consciousness entry without pictures here...the things I've finished look boring, and I'm just ...tired. I'll be better tomorrow, when buried under snow.

Much love.

09 February 2007

I really don't know how this happened.

I went to the yarn store. I went to get this:

To make a hat for my friend's baby (due in March, but possibly born as soon as next week). I thought this would be simple.

So how did this stuff leap into my bag? I really don't know.

Two skeins of Jawoll color, number ... well, I'm never sure, but I *think* it's 567/80? Or 82.0134. Either way it's shades of blue and silver plyed with black. This will be socks for Robb or me, not sure yet. Then, a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Spring Frost and a Potluck skein of Earth.

How did this happen? I really don't understand. They must love me very much in order to come home with me. It's like kittens and puppies. I'm sure of it.

Here's the hat in progress. It's pretty adorable...it's the Rainbow hat from the Itty-bitty Hat book, but I only like five colors. The pile of stuff in the upper corner of the pic is the curly tassle for the top of the hat. The green and white blop is the failed vertical stripe hat.

So far, I'm not a gigantic fan of this book. I don't know what it is about the directions, but they're making me crazy. I got three strips into the vertical stipe hat, but the preposterous suggestion that one take all these different strips that have all these different gauges and pick up stitches from the edges...well, let's just say that if I were Grumperina and amazing and brilliant and had infinite patience, I could probably make it work. Another time, I'll knit the hat with wool -- not cotton -- and knit all the strips individually, and then block them, and then seam them together properly. No offense to Drew and Laura...but they're coworker friends, not hanging-out friends, you know?

So it's the Rainbow medley hat. With the curlies on top.

But here's the thing I'm most excited about.

I plan to put it to use tomorrow, but the reasons aren't so happy. My grammy -- my last biological grandparent -- was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It's aggressive, and it's not worth treating. She already has CHF, so in some ways this is good...now she knows how the end will come, and has some idea of when.

She's getting Malabrigo felted slippers. I'm going to the yarn store tomorrow. I thought I might make matching handwarmers -- just a k2p2 pattern. Any other suggestions for a lady who is prone to swelling in her ankles and feet?

08 February 2007

That was a record!

I think I set some kind of personal record yesterday, with the number of comments left in the shortest period of time. Go me!

So I have all sorts of things today to distract you from the fact that it's boring as heck to watch someone knitting a shawl. The final product is lovely, but the process of getting there is as interesting as watching paint dry.

First, people asked questions.

Karin asked what camera I got.

This one. It's about $100 more than I originally meant to spend, but it's AMAZING. The macro mode is gorgeous, so far all the functions I generally want to access -- macro mode on and off, flash on and off, switching the camera from photo mode to download mode -- are all easy to find and poke. There's also a fully manual mode that I want to play with more when the weather is better. I've always wanted to take pictures...I wonder if Ansel Adams' books are just as good for digital cameras.

Madge asked what the Lisa Souza colorways are: in order, we have Gendarme in Sock!, Mulberry and then Black Purple in Sock!Merino, and Wild Things in ... hm, the worsted weight merino, I think. The superwash one. This makes awesome socks for my step-father, and makes my mother's life earlier -- two birds, one stone.

Finally, Artemis, a good friend of mine who has taken up spinning, asked me: In the meanwhile, I'd love to get a dialogue going about yarn. What is your favorite kind of yarn? Ply number? Fiber? Would you or other knitters actually spend 50 bucks on a skein of yarn, and what do you look for?

Here's what I think: my favorite kind(s) of yarn are NOT the sort of Art Yarns that some people go nuts over. Karin sent me some gorgeous fluff, and B sent me some lovely handspun, and I treasure each of them, and will make myself goofy scarves for when I'm in the right mood for them -- but when I'm looking for yarn for knitting BIG projects these days, I'm knitting a shawl, a sweater, or socks. That means I want consistent, strong yarn, mostly natural fibers (I'm a big fan of wool, alpaca, and silk, especially combinations of these) and I'm GENERALLY looking for DK weight or lighter. Ply number? Completely depends. I'm more interested in twist, really; for a cabled sweater, I want a harder twist, so that the yarn is stiffer and stands out more -- for lace, I like more drape and ease of motion.

Will I spend $50 on a skein of yarn? That's a huge depends. For a 1200yd skein of hand-dyed laceweight? Probably. For a 200yd skein of fluffy sillyness? Not so much. It would depend on color, on hand, on how much I loved it. I would only buy in online if I had a pretty good idea of the seller -- i.e. Lisa Souza's alpaca silk, yeah, okay. Josephine-Shmoe's etsy site? Less likely.

What say you, ladies? Poke your mice over to Artemis' LJ and let her know.

Now, pictures:

I got LOTS of pictures of Jilly's backside before she held still long enough to get this pretty one.
Keelie doesn't like the flash, but her fur is too dark for her to be very visible without it.

I needed a shawl pin for the shawl for the wedding; everyone knows that when you need a shawl pin, you go to Romi. Here's what I picked out.

I have this thing about dragonflies (i.e. I love them, and they make me feel happy and peaceful and remind me of a good time in my life), so this pin with its hematite beads was just perfect.

Superman socks. The fascinating thing about these is that I actually managed to wrest them off of Robb's feet long enough to take the picture.

Marble Arches socks in Pink Granite by Socks That Rock.

And, finally, my new knitting book.

One of the guys at the store has his first son due -- well, due in March, but possibly born as early as next Friday. His wife has had a very tough pregnancy, and they're considering inducing her in order to keep her sane and healthy. A month early in this world is practically nothing, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but since this guy was friends with Robb back in high school, I'm going to make them a hat or maybe two.

Plus, it was a good opportunity to bring the book home without freaking Robb out TOO much. The look on his face was HIGHLY entertaining. I'm just sayin.

More shawl now. Hat(s) tomorrow.

07 February 2007

So, here's how my day has gone.

Oh my god.

I know this day is going to make me sound like a zenophobe, but criminey.


So, I played hookie from work today because my throat hurt and I had a fever and wah. I crashed on the couch, and slept through Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, and woke up feeling better. So I got out my receipt and my phone, and called Best Buy.

I called the number on the receipt.

I got a horrible phone connection, to someone who...well, the conversation went like this.

Me: Hello, my name is Kristine, and I bought a camera a week ago. It wasn't in the store, and they promised to ship it to me within 3 to 5 days. It's now been 7 days, and I'd like to know where my camera is.

Customer Service Representative: Okay, now, let me ask you. Do you want to check your order status, or do you need me to get your receipt details for you?

Me: I'd like to know what's going on with my order.

CSR: (long pause) Okay, do you need me to check your order status, or get your receipt details for you?

*this is when my irritation started to build. To be fair, this woman's English was better than my speaking of her native language, but. I suddenly started to feel a very real rage about outsourcing.*

Me: I'd like my order status please.

(lots of clicking)

CSR: Okay, so we don't have a tracking number for your order yet, I recommend that you call back tomorrow, and maybe we'll know what's going on by then.

(Robb says he could hear the rage in the air at this point in time.)

Me: (as calmly as possible) that is completely unacceptable, because I was supposed to receive this camera two days ago, and I need to know what's going on.

CSR: I'm sorry, but I can't see what is going on from here, I recommend that you call back tomorrow.

Me: I need to speak to your supervisor, please.

CSR: You have to call this other number.

Repeat this conversation eight more times, as I call the BestBuy.com number (they can't help me because I didn't purchase the camera online), the store I bought the camera at (I got transfered from the computer department to the camera department to the customer service department to the geek squad), who then told me I had to call that first number, because there wasn't anything they could do for me.

Now, I have to tell you. I imagine that "normies" get frustrated in this sort of circumstance, but if you are making your life in retail, this is so much worse. I know how little it takes to give good customer service, and it makes me so completely infuriated when people just don't.

So, I called that first number again, and when they couldn't tell me anything, when their idea of good service was to email the warehouse, I cancelled the order.

Robb was all sad. He said, "We're never going to Best Buy ever again?" I said "We'll go to Best Buy, but I'll never trust them to order anything for me again."

So I went back to the good old internet, browsed around, found out my local Circuit City has the same camera for the same price.

And I decided I was well enough to drive.

The yarn I got from Lisa Souza.


The leg detail on Winter's Eve

I am completely in love with this camera.

Welcome back to a picture-filled Lilac Knitting.

06 February 2007

This is not acceptable.

It's not here yet.

I am far too aggravated to be calm or rational or tell you about knitting.

Tomorrow, Best Buy gets a piece of my mind.

05 February 2007

Not fair.

It is not fair that I don't have a camera right this very minute.

If I had a camera, I could show you the gorgeous needles that B sent me -- not from the beach, as requested, but from a building very near the beach, so I agree, it counts. I could show you the handspun merino yarn in "Brambleberry" that came from the very same hut.

I could show you Lisa Souza yarn. I could show you Superwash Merino in Wild Things and Sock! Merino in Mulberry and Black Purple, and Sock in Gendarme.

I could show you a nearly done sock -- only "nearly" done because I finally got back into my Scheherazade grove.

I could show you Scheherazade, for pities' sake.

I want my camera.

Now, please.

Thank you.

02 February 2007

Silent Poetry

The Second Annual Silent Poetry Reading.

I would type out Stephen Dunn's "Manifesto of the Selfish" if I could easily find it, but my books are still scattered on the shelves, all in disarray, so I will fall back on something I know I can find online:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e e cummings

I always turn to cummings when I want to tell someone I love them, or that they are worth the world to me. He's good for that.

In other news:

Working the heel flap on Sivia's Winter's Eve socks.

Enthused about picking up Scheherazade again.

I have to actually interview for my job.

I also need to complete a gigantic merch project by Tuesday.

I am exhausted.

Still no camera. :(

More tomorrow.

01 February 2007

Rewards are good for the soul.

I want a camera right now sooo badly. Maybe it'll be here tomorrow. It could be here tomorrow. It should be here by Monday. But maybe tomorrow. That would be supernice.

Last night, as a reward for finishing 3.75 projects in two days, I decided I was allowed to cast on a project I've been drooling over since it came in the mail. The last Blue Moon Fiber Arts pattern of the year, the Sivia Harding socks in the red Mustang Sally. Let's see if I can find some links to the prettiness.

Here's the socks as done by Mamaliz: Pretty socks!

Earth Faire seems to be out of the exact beads I'm using right now, but they're 8/0 beads in this color.

Gorgeous. These are going to be so incredibly lovely.

Sidenote. Getting these beads on was total hell. I had to use the dental floss threader, so that I could occasionally thread it through my fingers and yank the bead onto the yarn. Once I was up and running, the beads moved smoothly along the yarn, but getting them there? Oy.

I'll get one sock done, get halfway through finishing the shawl, finish the second sock, finish the shawl. I think it'll be good. :)

There will be pictures again, soon. I promise.