Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Whee, moving week is upon us! The computer is being disconnected this afternoon, so don't expect to hear from me until at least thursday (Sorry Nitty!). My yarn and fiber stash is now lovingly encased in three very large boxes, and three giant trashbags when we ran out of boxes. The roomie called Utilities and told them to shut off the power, just a day earlier than Sweetie and I had expected, so for us, we have to be done with all cleaning and vacuuming and taking of showers tomorrow evening at the latest - fun!

Of course I'm really excited, though. I get a whole new place to cover with my stuff, and fewer people's stuff to compete with :) Bookshelves in the living room! Spinning wheel next to the couch! Litter box not in my closet! It's going to be a good week.

In pre-wedding news, I finally have a dress, and shoes to be borrowed from my sister to go with it. Still need to run it by the bride, but the only dress that fit and wasn't $300 was both black AND white, so I've got to see if that's going to be okay. Sadly, it won't go with Frost Flowers at all, so I've got 10 days after the move to get Claptois knitted up out of some Fiber Artist kid mohair in Midnight that I picked up at Yarntopia (which IS as good as it sounds!)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Holy Crap!

Got off work, went to World Market, sat and knit while Sweetie and roomie talked pretentiously about wine (pretentious on purpose). Join of the weed wacker cord to the knitting needle broke, lost maybe three inches of stitches for a row or two. Was able to stop further unraveling, thank god I have a lifeline in. Fixable, as soon as I get my new cord in!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Now I See Why Sleep Is Important

I got up today at 6 in the morning, for perhaps the first time in two years. I've had the luxury of a well-paying 9 to 5 job all that time, and I sure as hell wasn't going to schedule classes any earlier (I think I've had one 8 a.m. class in my college history, and it didn't go well). Since the busses are running hourly if at all inbetween the fall and first summer session, Sweetie and I and one of our good friends are all walking up to work together. It's a good hour's amble, plus home again, so I'm hoping to walk off a little of my excess tummy, and in the process get all that good anti-depression excersize mojo. I just have to learn once and for all that if I'm going to be getting up before the sun (literally!), I need to go to sleep at ten, instead of my usual 1 a.m. Luckily I've got the Fellowship of the Ring audiobook to fall asleep to - it's like having Ian McKellen reading you a bedtime story!

In knitting news, I'm working on the third repeat of Frost Flowers chart B, and I'm on my sixth ball of yarn. I did some fancy math (mostly addition), and some fancy graphics to show off my fancy math (squares), and this is what I came up with:

As you can see, it is very swanky indeed. [Update: The top numbers give the stitches per side/per round, and the bottom one the percentage (based on stitches) finished in that repeat. Told you it was swanky!] Also, since the 12" DPNs I made were actually size 5 and incredibly unwieldy, I tried another approach for the cord. Since I now had an extra 24" circ, I cut it in half, picked up some weed whacker cord, heated it up and stuck the ends together, making one really fantastic HUGE circular needle. I think it's somewhere between 72 and 80 inches, but it's holding all the stitches comfortably, and it seems to actually take a little of the strain off my wrists when I'm walking with it. Weird, huh?

Also, I made a needle case :) It's fabric stash from when I used to sew, orange and gold sari silk on the inside and suede paisly-ish on the outside. It's just the right size for my assorted sock needles, stitch markers, extra sissors and whatnot, and the lady at the LYS says if I figure out how to use bias tape to make the edges not suck so hard, she'll stock them :) I don't forsee that happening until after the move, but it's encouraging. And now, it is time to go get a sandwich and a glass of milk, and start heading out the door!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Meat Overdose?

So this week was Sweetie's birthday, and we celebrated today because nobody (most notably Sweetie) had to work in the morning. Hastur, K-the-Knitter and I went to the University's meat shop (agricultural schools have butchering classes, see) to see what they had that we could grill up for dinner. For a tidy $4.65, Sweetie was treated to steaks the size of his head. The entire extended company of guests (7 people, ourselves included) was filled to the gills with meat for about $40, and we could have fed two more. And while I did stop and think of how incredibly lucky we are to be living in a place where fire is the optional cooking method, where food and clean water is cheap and plentiful, most of the night I was just fighting off the post-steak fullness + warmth = sleep phenomena which is my usual plan of action. Seriously, you fill be up with anything and give me a warm comforter to snuggle in, and I'm out all night. I don't expect to be hungry again until tuesday.

In knitting news, the LYS didn't have a bamboo size 4 circ in stock in anything longer than a 24" cord, so she's ordering me one. 36" or longer, it's all good at that point, I just needs me a needle that can hold all of these stitches! Since it'll be a week until the new stuff's in, I picked up another 24" one, and tried to work it on both, like you do with socks if for some baffling reason you're not DPN-friendly (seriously, I know some folks just aren't, and while I can respect that, I don't understand it at all). That... that didn't work well. So I got some 12" dowels and made DPNs of them, a set of five 12" size 4 DPNs. You'd think that four 12" dowels (48" total) would be able to hold the same amount of stitches as were being held on a 24" cord with less crowding - you'd think that, but evidently you'd be wrong. God I hope the new needles comes in soon.

In other news, I got a new job :) I start on monday. Oddly, the strongest points of the interview seemed to be around knitting and working at Pizza Hut, and my almost two years of secretarial work since then didn't come up at all.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Silk and Cashmere

So, I've got in my posession three large hanks of laceweight silk noil yarn, a wonderfully soft (in the way that cotton is soft, almost), wonderfully organic, textured yarn. This is a yarn with personality. This is a yarn that wants to be made into a more meaty shawl - something more earthy, slightly rustic, where the sheer overwhelming awesomeness of this yarn will work with the pattern, instead of competing. I had thought to use it for Frost Flowers, but I got impatient and cast on with the Baby Silk while this was waiting in the mail, and, well, you know how that turned out. But something as sumptuous as Frost Flowers, something that would benefit from maybe being a little chunky, that's what I want to knit with this. Not now, of course - now is Frost Flowers time. But soon. Maybe after the weddings, during the family trip that I may just be able to go to? Maybe in the time I'll sit around the house missing my Sweetie, if I can't attend? Regardless, soon. So I needs me a chunky earthy meaty pattern to take up space in my imagination.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Frost Flowers Baby Silk Shawl

So, I've been working on the Frost Flowers shawl from A Gathering of Lace and it's turning out lovely - everything I could have dreamed it would be. I started out with 22 balls of Elann's baby silk in Oxblood (inspired by Eunny's lovely red shawl, but much less pricey than pure hand-dyed laceweight silk, lovely as it may be), and I'm just now finishing the first repeat of the second chart, and my third ball. I think I've decided that I want this shawl to be a wower - I want folks to whistle in appreciation as I walk by in this sucker, so it MUST be at least a six foot square. The original pattern, of course, calls for laceweight yarn and sixe 6 needles to produce a six foot square, and I'm doing fingering weight on 4s, so I'm fairly certain that more repeats of the second chart will be in order to get this puppy the size I want. I'm terribly free today at work, so I'll be putting in a lifeline and dryblocking it on the floor right quick. I've been marking where, row-wise, my balls have been ending, and it looks like I'm getting about 5-6 thousand stitches per ball (I'm pretty sure my first ball was short, but let's say 5000 to be safe). So once I block it and measure from the last lifeline to the new one, which is the entirity of chart B, and measure the current width, I'll know how many repeats (assuming the third chart takes the same amount of width as the second one, it's comparable on number of rows) of the second chart I want to add to get my width, and I can calculate how many stitches there'll be in each progressive chart repeat (including adding the extra pattern repeat on the final chart for each chart B I add), and figure out how much I can get out of the balls I'll have. Hopefully, this will let me maxamize the amount of this yarn that I can fit into this shawl - who cares if it's monstrously huge! It's a shawl! There's only one very small step from shawl to blanket.


Wow. So I've got more done that I'd thought! The first chart and first repeat of the second constitute a good chunk of this shawl. I'm still going t measure it and see how big it'll be at the end, but right now, of the seven repeats included in the pattern, this is what I've got done:

Impressive, no?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Note to Self:

Payday is thursday. Finals end on wednesday. Fiber is a good way to reward yourself for a successfull semester. There places have things you want.

Copper Moose's Shetland on Ebay whose sample I've already spun, and I love it!
Weaverlady, a small scale kind of place that has good prices on BFL, falkland and shetland.

Remember, you can always sell textbooks for wool!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Orenburg Experiment

Okay, so I've been (obviously) thinking of spinning up some laceweight for a shawl, most probably of the Orenburg or Shetland variety. I had been doing all my spinning of the crimson grease wool on my homemade handspindles (.2 oz each, got to love those featherweights), and today I got the hankering to start up on the wheel again. I haven't played with Babe in a while (really must think of a better name - you know, I've actually been considering Krishna, and I had all these ideas to decorate him with lunchbox Krishna art and whatnot - think I'll leave him plain for the time being. I wouldn't want to get his treadles all sticky with varnish anyway.) and it was good to get back in the habit. I started spinning up some of that grey Brown Sheep mill-end wool I'd gotten a while back, and it's really turning out lovely. I can't decide if I'd want to dye it or leave it a lovely grey - plus I'm coming to terms with laceweight yarns that are closer to actual laceweight. Right now my singles are probably between 30-50 wpi, dunno what it'll end up like plied, but regardless I'll try and find a pattern where they'll turn out good. I'm thinking maybe peacock feathers? Maybe the Snowdrift Shawl from Yarnharlot? Anyway, I'll think of something. My shawls are getting progressively smaller as I go, from the DK weight stole for K., to the alpaca/silk fingering weight for me, to this one I'm spinning. I'll get good on that hampster floss yet.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shawl Pattern Wishlist

So, there are a lot of shawls (and other things) that I've been looking at recently, that I would like to buy the patterns for. I list them here, so that I can find them easily and drool over them. And when I have a job again, I will celebrate by blowing $50 on patterns. And it shall be good.

Blackberry Ridge has many of these. If I blow my cash there, I can save on shipping :)

Spider Queen **
Flirty Ruffles (fiddlesticks!)
Tina Shawl
Garden Shawl **
The Obligatory Peacock Feathers
Poinsetta Shawl **
Song Of Hiawatha
Faroese Flower (oddly, the only Faroese I've liked so far)
Legends of the Shetland Seas (really iffy on this one)
Summer in Kansas

Then, of course, there are things like the baby squid hat. Who doesn't love that?


Monday, May 01, 2006


Oh man! A yarn shop just opened up right down the street from my dad's house! It sounds pretty swanky (or more swanky than my current LYS, anyways), and they carry Fleece Artist yarns and Rowan magazines! I am SO visiting home more often!


Say What Now?

Okay, so today at lunch we passed a bunch of people handing out frisbees with "Abortion Survivor!" printed on them. That's right, Abortion. Survivor. Now, I don't really understand how something that I didn't experience I can have been said to survive - by their logic, any child who is not aborted is counted as an abortion survivor, regardless of whether or not the mother tried to get an abortion, or even seriously considered it as an option. By this logic, I am also a heart attack survivor, a breast cancer survivor, a fucking holocaust survivor and a veteran of every war that's ever been fought. Grah. Does my family have a lower than normal bullshit tolerance, or are people just that goddamn stupid?

I guess what really bugs me is that if I could go back and advise my mom when she first got pregnant with me and my sister, I would have said that she should have had an abortion. She was a 16 year old girl who'd run away from home after being raped, and was now knocked up by a 27 year old man. Hell yes she should have gotten an abortion! Then maybe she'd have been able to go to college then, instead of just starting classes now, and she wouldn't have had such a supremely shitty life. I love my mom, and I want her to be happy, and to be completely honest I'm sure my siblings and I could have waited ten years or so to have been born with no problem. So to all those folks who keep saying, "Yes, but you wouldn't have wanted YOUR mom to get an abortion, would you?" (as if that's some kind of a good argument), I deliver a ringing "Fuck you!" And you can keep your goddamn frisbee.