Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Year, New Project

I got a great deal on some chenile, so I'm doubling it up and knitting
a SUPER chunky throw blanket. [Side Note: It's going to look a LOT
like a product from, um, "Ceramics Farmhouse" shall we say. I'll post
a pattern when I've worked it all out.]
Also, Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spring ... um, springs eternal?

Well, at least the flowers are fooled by the central heating :-)

Bonus: no crap accumulating on the dining room table (yet)!

Friday, December 26, 2008

...I thought you would be shinnier

I received Free Range Knitter as a Christmas gift and I must say, I thought it would be bigger.  You know, like "coffee table" books are.  With glossy pages.  I'm not sure why I thought this and I am certainly not disappointed with the little gem of knitting humor and life lessons that showed up in snowman paper under the tree.  I'm zipping right through it and enjoying every page!

Knitting philosophy has never been done better.  It also really makes me think about things I probably wouldn't have thought to think about before.  Yeah, deep, I know.

There is a particular chapter where she talks about being a young, yarn-poor knitter that I can really relate to (gee, I wonder why?).  I must say though, yarn really has come a looong way since the plastic crap she describes and some acrylic these days is pretty darn good.  It's not wool, or alpaca, but it's being the best it can be.
[Side Note: Thank the yarn-gods for the advent of internet yarn stores that email sale info and coupons!  That's how I got the Noro cashmere blend for my striped scarf for <$15!]

I get to have occasional tastes of the "good life" but I can manage within my means too.  As a matter of fact, the Practice Sweater (of Summer 08 fame) has turned into my go-to sweater for around the house.  It cost me about $8.00 in yarn to make and it is holding up remarkably well (with a little fuzzing that I don't mind at all).  

One day, money will be less scarce and I'll have more knitting freedom, but I think the knitting joy will stay the same :-)  Thanks Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for a thoughtful, philosophical knitting book that is most deserving of great big glossy pages and a position of prominence on the coffee table!

P.S. Thanks for the book mom!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eggnog, not from a carton

I've never liked the mass produced eggnog that appears on store shelves this time of year, so I make my own. You can leave out the bourbon if it doesn't suit your tastes (or you might prefer rum, or cognac instead, and that's ok too!).

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk
3 ounces bourbon (or more, depending on how “festive” you like it)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*

In a double boiler over medium heat, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved and the mixture is warmed through.

Combine the milk, heavy cream, half-and-half, vanilla, and nutmeg and cook (stirring frequently) until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture. Enjoy within a few days and be sure to store it in the fridge, covered.

* And if you're looking for something to do with the 4 extra egg whites, you can always make macaroons!
[Side Note: It's delicious, but not exactly low fat. Eh, it's the holidays, might as well live a little. It's got a whole lot of protein!]

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here comes the ice age...

It was a "snow-day" in Las Vegas yesterday. The snow came down heavily on Monday and again Wednesday, but it never stuck around for accumulation to happen. They closed the schools anyways, thereby triggering a bright sunny day with no snow! Good job CCSD. This is the only snow-day I've ever seen in Las Vegas and it didn't even pan out. I'm not complaining though, snow and I aren't exactly compatible (you know, in the "I really really hate it" sort of way).

In other news, the blog managed to fix itself. Really. I didn't touch a single thing and all of a sudden it loads again. Story of my life.

I have been up to so much knitting: The Never-ending Afghan has eaten two more yarn cakes, I've jumped on the Noro-stripe-scarf bandwagon, I invented (not designed) a sock pattern for the Draco yarn (with no green), and I've begun and ripped a worsted weight slipper-sock for my brother twice (they aren't a Christmas gift, so I'm not in a hurry). [Side Note: Don't feel bad for him though, I made him a chunky ribbed hat for a quick & easy gift!]

These could all be blog posts on their own so consider this a glimpse into the future.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I broke the blog apparently

Well, I can't access the blog page from Firefox.  I assume that I have done something to trigger this, but I don't know what.  The page loads partially, then everything grinds to a halt.  I'll struggle through on Safari until this 1) gets fixed or 2) resolves itself.  [Side Note: Since I'm not actively doing anything to fix this, my money is on option 2.]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I do when I forget to blog for a while ...

I walk around and take pictures of random things. That's what I do.
Clearly there is a non-muggle among us at the office, and they are well versed in the yarn arts.
There's no way to judge the scale, but trust me, some of these pieces are quite large.
And why do snowmen need brooms? I'm not totally sure, but I don't think snow is something that can be swept. Correct me if I'm wrong.

My favorite ones have fringe on their scarves!
[Side Note: I wonder if whoever made these is on ravelry...]

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you get for yourself

There's just something so inherently satisfying about winding yarn
into neat little cakes! As you can see, I got myself a Royal yarn
ball winder as a birthday gift to myself. The best part is that it
was half off [Side Note: If you sign up for email updates, the craft
stores will flood your inbox with coupons. Sometimes 2 or 3 a day.
Sometimes it is annoying. Every now and again, though, it comes in
handy.]. The only downside is that I'm running out of yarn to wind.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

I have been tagged for the disclosure of 7 random facts about myself by the lovely SusanB-knits.
[Side Note: I've added your blog to my reader and blog-roll! Love it!]

Now for the scoop:
1. I am perhaps a little competitive when it comes to arts&crafts projects. I don't get very many creative outlets in my chosen field(s) of study, so I tend to over-compensate when given the chance. Like by bringing fondant to a sorority gingerbread decorating contest and creating historically accurate representations of the founding sisters. Um, yeah, I won though!

2. I cannot carry a tune in a basket! I have no musical inclinations. None. So, in 5th grade when all the other girls in my class were in "Honor Choir" I didn't even try out. I never had to go to school early to 'practice' and I got to have extra recess with the boys (who were way more fun anyway!) when they would 'practice' some more before a big 'concert'.

3. Number 2 (above) is not going to stop me from getting Guitar Hero World Tour complete with drums and karaoke mic. I apologize to the neighborhood dogs in advance.

4. I dream in color. I had no idea that this was a somewhat rare occurrence for people, but I always have.

5. I like my tea with milk and sugar. Coffee ... eh, not so much. Diet Coke, right out of the can.

6. I'm allergic to more than my fair share of things. Wool too, a little bit. That's why Cortisone 10 is in the stashket with the WIPs. *itch* *itch* *itch*

7. The laboratory on Dexter's Laboratory is my dream lab. Is it weird to have a dream lab? How about an imaginary house on the cape?

I don't know all that many of you out there in blogland (not well enough to reach out and tag), so forgive me for breaking the chain! But if you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged! You're it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why am I so absent?

It has been far too long since I've sat down and blogged about anything. We had a great Thanksgiving here, including the best, most moist turkey we have ever made [Side Note: I will brine everything from now on. If it stays still long enough, it will get brined. Seriously.], and pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie!

That doesn't mean that there haven't been bloggable things going on, far from it. I just haven't. Oops!
Let's get back on track then shall we?

This tiny knitted tube is made on US 1 dpns, from a yarn sample that was sent out with a yarn purchase I made. It was a Halloween colorway, something like "very scary" but I lost the little card that came with it. While it looks purposeless from this angle, I assure you, it is a highly functional little knit-ring!I made it for the purpose of holding onto my cable needle when I'm doing cable work. Instead of putting the cable needle in my mouth. Which is unsanitary, blech! And I needed that cable needle to make myself a Koolhaas hat! I have had the pattern in my ravelry queue for a long time and I'm so glad that I finally got around to it. I really really tried to learn to cable without a cable needle for this project, but it just wasn't happening. Notice also the vase with decorative pebbles where my needles supposedly reside, ha! The needles have migrated all over the house by now, oops.

The hat is too big for me, but that won't stop me from folding up the brim and wearing it anyway! This was one fun and challenging pattern to knit, so I expect that I will make 3 or 4 more before it's out of my system. Perhaps one of them will end up being the right size?Also, a bookmark! Made on US 1, 16 sts, 1x1 rib out of HP Opal Dumbledore remnant.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey,What Ever Happened To ...

Wondering what ever happened to the finished pictures of the Wee Wizard Wrobe?
It's completely finished, but I still don't have anyone to try it on. I thought of asking the neighbors, but they are not HP people in the least. And without context the sweater just doesn't make sense.

Anyone out there in blog land know someone who would appreciate a middle sized Harry Potter themed baby sweater? Oh well, it was worth a try.

The pictures aren't so good. They came from my iPhone camera and I maybe used too much extra lighting too. Black yarn is proving quite difficult to photograph.

[Side Note: This is my 100th blog post! Yay me! And here's to the next 100! *clink*]

Friday, November 14, 2008


Well, I'm 24 years old now. That's officially and inextricably "grown-up" territory. But at least it comes with cake! Yesterday was my birthday, but no blogging occurred, so I'll make up for it today with a tempting picture of cake.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dumbledore Socks are finished

I finished the second sock tonight and here they are, taking a soak in
the bathroom sink. The stripe pattern matched up with an exactness
that will continue to amaze me for a long time :-)

These were made from the Opal HP Dumbledore colorway using the
Quidditch sock pattern by Lauren Kent, but I stopped and bound off
before the calf increases (the pattern = knee socks, which are nifty
but I didn't think I'd have enough yarn).

[Side Note: The colors are great, but they just don't represent
Dumbledore to me for some reason. I love these socks despite that

Friday, November 7, 2008

Shopping days? More like knitting days.

Well, there are 47 knitting days until Christmas (or insert your holiday here). I haven't done much gift-knitting in the past because typically gifts are something that the recipient should appreciate :-D But the ol' knitting skills have improved a lot over the last year so I'm thinking of knitting a few gifts this year. Simple things, like a hat or scarf. Maybe a few of those bookmark scarves. They were quick and easy, but still novel (they also give me an excuse to buy books for people, even when they might rather have video games or iTunes *cough* brother *cough*).

My mom is the proud owner of a pair of maroon mittens from last year. They certainly took me a long time to make, but looking back on them I'm so proud that I did! Even though they are super thick and perhaps better suited to the frozen tundra of Siberia. Her hands are always cold though.

So this year, I'm coming up with a few knitted items for select family members and friends who might enjoy a hat, scarf, or bookmark. I'm not the world's fastest knitter, but I do work well under deadlines. Let the holiday knitting begin!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ICHC Loose Thread

One loose thread and it all comes apart! This could be a deep metaphor, but really it's just a funny cat picture :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Best Weekend Ever!

Weekends like the one I just had make me wish I was a "journal" type person. You know, the type to write down all of the wonderful details so that they can be recalled and relived. But who are we kidding, I can barely blog on a consistent basis! Also, I can't 'misplace' the blog, haha!

I went back to my Alma Mater USC for homecoming and got to see all (most) of my favorite friends and sisters and revel in the LA-ness of the city. Campus, the Coliseum, The Grove and Farmer's Market, everything a little different but still very much the same. Sigh (of contentment)! I'm sure that I walked around grinning like a tourist/fool for 2 straight days, so lost in my own reminiscing. Also, it's unbelievably wonderful to have friends who appreciate your dorky accomplishments :-)

For anyone who remembers, the sweater I intended to finish for homecoming did not get done. As a matter of fact, I realized that the sleeve I had already finished was too short and ripped it back out. I also decided that knitting it in the round would be much better. So, I have less of it done than before, but this is ok with me, because it was waaay too warm for a sweater anyway. Pause and think about that for a moment: waaay too warm for a sweater, in November. I'm going to enjoy this 'global warming' thing :-D [Side Note: Yes, I do understand the "science" of this phenomena. Yes, I'm determined to enjoy it, because the next thing coming down the climatological pike is an Ice Age. Not that any of us will be around to see it.]

I also thought I could pop into a LYS while I was there, but nothing opens before noon on Sundays and by then I was already enjoying a smoked salmon, scrambled egg white, cream cheese and caper crepe with more of my favorite people. Then I had to drive back home and get ready for the week to start.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New and 'Improovd'

Because everyone loves the prize inside!

Also, "It seemed like a good idea at the time ..." says mauling victim, film at eleven.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tomorrow, I seam

I (finally) finished the second sleeve of the Wee Wizard robe. Tomorrow I'm going to seam everything up and have myself a finished object, yay! A little 'blocking' and weaving of ends and I'll add some much needed final measurements to the pattern.

I wonder if it bothers people when I update the pattern, just for aesthetics reasons. There aren't dire changes like "oops, I forgot to tell you to do something vitally important" but when I noticed that the indents were wrong, I fixed it. And when I had some finished measurements, I added them. I hope I'm not aggravating people. I'll just do one final update with all of the pictures, pretty text boxes, and other fancy inclusions and call it the Rich Format, and re-name the original "Plain Text". That way people can look at the fancy one, but print the simple one and save ink. There, justification :-D

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dumbledore Socks!

I've been a little gun-shy with the HP yarn, not wanting to 'waste' it
on something unworthy. So to work out the excitement/nerves I'm
making myself a pair of toe-up Dumbledore socks. There's nothing more
'worthy' than socks where TLG Dumbledore is concerned :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I can't seem to take a good picture.

No, not of myself. I'm somewhat photogenic really. Even my driver's license photo looks good! I'm talking about how I can't point my camera at something and capture a decent likeness on film. The camera is average across the board, so it has to be User Error, a.k.a. I'm the problem.

[Side Note: In an example of irony-and-coincidence that makes me laugh, I saw a license plate the other day that read 'vampyr1' so I decided to take a picture (for one of those aforementioned college friends), but guess what, the plate doesn't show up at all! Oooooh! Though, it could be because I took the photo while moving, in traffic, with my phone. I followed this guy quite a bit out of my way trying to get a picture, and I think I started to creep him out. Oops!]

I located and read the entire book that came with the camera and fiddled with my settings. They are all in order now, but still no quality pictures. Now that traditional research has failed me, I'll have to turn to the internet:

Dear Google,
how to take digital pictures that look great with the average camera I already have, free, no new equipment.
No, I'm not "feeling lucky".

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Test knitting on a wee scale

The prototype Wee Wizard Wrobe is zipping along. All I have left to knit is about half of the second sleeve. I'll probably finish it tonight during Trueblood. [Edit: Nope, did not finish it.]
[Side Note: I had no intention of adding another show to my TV viewing schedule. I'm two weeks behind on my DVR. But it reminds me of some of my best college friends. I'm sentimental about a sexually violent vampire show? Great.]
I did all of the seaming on Saturday in the daylight (see The Great Seam-As-I-Go Edict) because it is very difficult to see anything on black yarn. I guess that's a blessing too because I can't see any mistakes either :-) The neck area seems like it might be a little tight, based on the head of a Brand Name Patch doll (whose name is Charlie, very creative of those Patch people huh). I'll have to give it a little stretching when I "block" it. I know it's acrylic, but the preliminary blocking I did on the hood helped the stitches even themselves out and made everything lie flatter.

Speaking of the college friends, I'm eagerly anticipating homecoming in a few weeks here! Let's hope that all of this stomach virus plague nonsense dies down at USC before I get there. The hazmat suit just takes up too much room in my suitcase.

[Side Rant: USC did NOT run up the score against Washington. Mark Sanchez left at the half. There weren't ANY forward passes thrown after the half. We ran the ball using only 2 plays the rest of the game (left and right). Every Tom, Dick, and RUDY made it into the game. And yet, if the end-zone had been moved up to the 50 yard line, Washington still wouldn't have scored.
What more could we do? Play blindfolded? Take a knee? I think that would have been insulting. I'm finished now.]

Also, I'm still looking for an interesting pattern that will allow me to combine the Tonks and Lupin skeins of HP Opal in an 'individual and autonomous, yet matchy-matchy' sort of way. I'm open to suggestions!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's a Pullover Sweater for the Wee Wizard

(and the Potter-fan parent who will be amused to no end, probably more so than the recipient)!!!
Wee Wizard Wrobe
(You can click on the title to DOWNLOAD a PDF of the pattern.)
SIZES: [Small/Knut] {Medium/Sickle} Large/Galleon
NEEDLES: US 6 / 4.0 mm (plus an extra for three needle bind-off)
YARN: [2]{3}|3| 85g / 3 oz. balls of Bernat Satin Sport in Black. This yarn is a slippery sport weight acrylic, making it easy to care for and not scratchy at all. Also, any little ones with wool issues will appreciate it.

Cast on [52] {60} 72 sts using the long tail cast-on method. The leftover tail will be used to sew the hood onto the body of the sweater.
Row 1: Purl all sts.
Row 2: Knit all sts.
Row 3: Purl all sts.
Row 4: Knit all sts.
Row 5: Purl all sts.
Row 6: K7,
[K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K2, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K3] ending with K7. [64] sts.
{K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4} ending with K7. {72} sts.
K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5 M1, K8, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5, M1, K5 ending with K7. 84 sts
Row 7: Purl across. PM in the center of the row.
Row 8: K7, M1, Knit to 1 stitch before center marker M1, K1, Slip Marker, K1, M1, Knit to last 7 stitches, M1, K7.
Row 9: Purl all sts, and be sure to slip center marker.
Repeat rows 8 and 9 three additional times [80] {88} 100 sts.
Row 16: K to 1 stitch before center marker, M1, K1, Slip Marker, K1, M1, K to end. [82] {90} 102 sts.
Row 17: Purl all sts, and be sure to slip center marker.
Repeat rows 16 and 17 until there are [108] {116} 128 sts.
Divide evenly between 2 needles with right sides facing and perform 3 needle bind off.

Cast on [54] {64} 74 sts and work in stockinette stitch for [6”] {8”} 10” ending with a WS row. When measuring, be sure to flatten out the rolled edge created by stockinette stitch.
Shaping Armholes: Bind off 6 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows [42] {52} 62 sts. ***
Continue without shaping until the armhole measures [4.5”] {5.5”} 6.5”, ending with a WS row.
Shoulder Shaping: Bind off 7 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows, [28] {38} 48 sts.
Bind off 8 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows, [12] {22} 32 sts.
Bind off the remaining [12] {22} 32 sts.

FRONT: (If you’re adding something fancy, like an intarsia House crest, this is the place to do it.)
Work as given for back to ***
Continue without shaping armholes for [2.5”] {3”} 4” ending with a WS row.
Neck Shaping: K [20] {25} 30 sts, turn and leave remaining [34] {39} 34 sts on a stitch holder.
Working on these [20] {25} 30 sts only, continue as follows:
Next Row: Purl all sts.
Work 2 rows, decreasing one stitch at the neck edge in every row. [18] {23} 28 sts.
Work 5 rows, decreasing one stitch at the neck edge in rows 1, 3, 5. [15] {20} 26 sts.
Continue without shaping until armhole measures [4.5”] {5.5”} 6.5”, ending with a WS row.
Shoulder Shaping: Bind off 7 sts, knit to the end. [8] {13} 17 sts.
Next Row: Purl all sts.
Bind off 8 sts, knit to end. [0] {5} 9 sts.
Bind off remaining [0] {5} 9 sts.
Neck Shaping: With RS facing, join yarn and work remaining [34] {39} 34 sts.
Bind off 2 sts and continue to the end of the row [20] {25} 30 sts.
Reverse all shaping and complete to match the other side of the neck.

Cast on [35] {40} 45 sts and work in stockinette stitch for 2”.
Increase 1 stitch at each end of every following [4th] {5th} |5th| row to [55] {60} 65 sts.
Continue in stockinette stitch until sleeve measures [8”] {11”} 14", ending with a WS row.
Bind off.

Block and press as directed on the yarn label, but don’t block out the natural stockinette curl on the bottom of the sleeves, bottom of the sweater, or on the hood.
Join shoulder seams. Seam up the sides of the body and the sleeves. Sew in the sleeves, being sure to match up the seam with the bound-off stitches at the bottom of the armhole. Join the hood to the body, beginning by pinning the hood at the center of the center of the back and seaming from one side of the front to the other. Weave in ends.
Just like magic*, a sweater has appeared!

* magic ... and a bunch of knitting, seaming, and weaving of ends ;-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm 'designing' a 'pattern', oooh fancy.

Wee Wizard Wrobe in progress!Actually, it is more of a wee pull-over with a nifty hood.
This is the first real pattern that I am designing, so I wanted to make sure that it would be something small, quick to knit, and inexpensive to test knit. When you add that all up it equals baby pattern. Trust me, I speak math.

I don't have kids [Side Note: Did you just hear the world sigh in relief? Yeah, so did I.] so I don't have anyone to try on my Wee Wizard Wrobe when it is complete. Maybe the neighbors would be willing to trade: baby sweater for picture of baby in sweater?

It's going to come in three sizes; small, medium, and large (or Knut, Sickle, and Galleon, if you prefer). But since I don't have a frame of reference for what sizes = which months of development (See: no kids, above) there will just be measurements. Kids come in all sizes, just like regular people, so enough with the population averages being used to size garments! Enough!

As soon as I get all of the pieces made and seamed up I'll get everything compiled into a pattern for the blog! This should be within the next few days (in time for Halloween? Well, only if you're a reasonably quick knitter). Also, I'm getting the hang of all the design posting stuff on ravelry (finally). So, this design will appear there in glorious PDF fashion as well. [Side Note: I can make pdf files now too! And contrary to what Adobe would have you believe, you can do it for free. Yes, free! Google around about it, there are many helpful programs out there.]

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not so easy afterall.

Thumbs help. So does not drooling on the yarn. Or rolling in it. Doesn't mean I don't do it too, but it's easier if you dont.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Welcome Dolores Van Hoofen and fellow Fibertarians!

Franklin, of Panopticon fame, has decided to send Fibertarian Party Candidate Dolores Van Hoofen on a cross-country campaign tour and I have been trying to track her down for some photo opportunities all week. Unfortunately, I live in Las Vegas, NV and Dolores has been busy.

Luckily for her, many new establishments have sprung up since the last time, and she has yet to be banned from them. That's not to say that casino security doesn't keep a close eye on her though. As well they should.

As a matter of fact, I haven't seen Dolores since I dropped her off at Bellagio days and days ago. And by "dropped off" I mean that I chauffeured her around for an hour before she decided to hop out, in traffic, to do some shopping and has been busy ever since. I did get a photo as she leaned on the driver's side window to tell me not to wait up.

Dolores Van Hoofen is my kind of candidate!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I do not concede.

This is the Draco colorway of the Opal Harry Potter series of yarn. I borrowed the pictures from Webs and Opal to illustrate a point [Side Note: Webs may still have some in stock in all the colors, hurry! I'll be here when you get back.] I know that you can see green in it. I can see it too. But my skein doesn't have any of this green in it. Mine has many shades of blue, and NAVY where the green should be. I'm going to unravel the whole damn thing when I get home and there had better be green in it. Otherwise, I have to learn German in order to pen a linguistically and gramatically correct crazy-person letter to Opal asking them Wo ist das Grün in meinen Dracosockenwollen? Hey, that wasn't so difficult. Or I could buy a solid green skein and intersperse its slytherin-y goodness as I desire. But I prefer the crazy-German-letter-writing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Putting all my yarn in one basket

Normally that would be a bad thing (Ex. the eggs-in-one-basket metaphor), but this was a productive type of cleaning that prevents such tragedies as Yarn Loss.

[Side Note: Eggs in baskets? Ok. My eggs have always come in cartons. Also, I don't think I've ever seen a real live chicken in person before. I am a city girl. Which is a little ironic because I really really enjoy the outdoors and LOVE Man vs. Wild type stuff. Yet, I've never been camping. My parents weren't big on that sort of stuff. They worked hard to put a roof over our heads and food in the kitchen (and braces on our teeth) and probably didn't seen any reason to pack it all up, schlep it up into the wilderness, and 'rough it'. Plus, I had a very poor sense of direction and a tendency to wander, right from the beginning. It's ok, we enjoyed other outside activities, like parks, beaches, and our yard.]

My, that was a lengthy bracket. Where was I ... oh yes, I got all the yarn together and in a basket. I looks like I had more than I thought, since it filled a rather large basket all the way up to the top. The 8 skeins of HP Opal really fleshed it out too.

Speaking of the HP yarn, it's making me a little (more?) crazy as I try to figure out what the designer (yarn painter?) had in mind. I'm looking for their motives and inspiration. Yup, crazy. But the Lupin yarn has sections of greys (his werewolf-ness) and sections with red and gold alternating bits (his Gryffindor-ness) and pink (for Tonks!) . See how nicely it fits! What I can't understand is why the Draco yarn is just shades of blue and grey. It looks almost like denim. I'm not one to criticize someone else's artistic vision, but I need some green! There should be a nice slytherin-y green. Just saying. Grün Opal, grün!

I should take some WIP pictures. I'm making some Draco footie socks (with a surprise!) and a great big coil of white cotton i-cord that will become a drain-board mat thingy for by the sink. I just ripped back my Lupin/Tonks Scarf too. It wasn't turning out the way I wanted, just alternating the colors when I felt like it. There was no autonomy between the two skeins. And besides, it looked like Crayons-in-a-blender. Not good. I'm going to have to ponder my options for a little while on this one. Excuse me while I ponder.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Up to nothing

There's not much going on here, so this will be very short. My Harry Potter Opal yarn is winging it's way to my house as I type. There isn't anything interesting on the needles at the moment. But there will be! Verrry soon. Excuse me while I go watch the front door for signs of the mail person.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Dark Mark: a knitting chart

This is the little surprise freebie I've been working on! It's a *NEW AND IMPROVED * knitting chart for the Dark Mark (of Harry Potter fame ... but if you didn't know that, you may not care about the chart anyways).

Please click on the photo to make the photo bigger.
Please click RIGHT HERE to Download the .pdf File

I absolutely LOVED the chart by Storm Moon Knits! So, I went with the "imitation is the most sincere form of flattery" approach and made up one of my own. It's pretty different though, as far as two charts of the same subject are able to be. [Side Note: If you are, in fact, Lindsay Henricks of Storm Moon Knits fame and you don't like me doing this, let me know! Also, holy crap! People actually read this thing?]

While the original is, I believe, much more true to the book representation, my version is more closely modeled after the movie representation. Perhaps I am just splitting hairs.

I have something planned for this little chart, but I'm going to see how it turns out before I go and blog it to death. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

email full of excitement today!

An innocuous blog post from Simply Socks pinged in my blog reader today at work. I was unable to focus from that time on. It read (just the black words, the red ones are my additions):

"But for those of you who have been waiting on the Harry Potter sock yarn from Opal," ME ME ME!!! "I've been told that Simply Socks order has shipped!" *faints* "I'll put the yarn on the website as soon as it arrives (and I'll do a quick post on the blog), and I'll also ship out the preorders." Haha, suckers, that's me too! But don't fret if you didn't pre-order: "This could all happen as soon as Friday or mid weekend- it all depends on UPS. I don't have more details, but will post here as soon as I do. I won't be able to send out individual e-mail updates." Get your mouse-clicking fingers in shape for this one: "I do expect the yarn to go quickly b/c of the flood at Opal us yarn stores are only getting about 40% of what we ordered, but I do have A LOT more on order from Opal's second shipment, which will come in about a month."

[Side, um, Post Script?: I'm working on a really nifty chart that will culminate in a terrific (and free) surprise for the blog. Because I'm awesome (and humble?), and maybe someone, someday will actually want it.]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hey, I can blog with photos too.

So, the camera was located under my nightstand. Of all the places it could have been, why there? Oh well, I found it. I also dug out the book it came with to see if I could "adjust" the settings. I think I should have read the booklet a long, long time ago. It would have prevented much camera related angst. [Note to self: Read the instructions. Really.]Now there will be an inundation of photos. This set is documented proof of the Golden Snitch ornaments I constructed (courtesy of Charmed Knits, once again). They don't have a hanging string yet, but I'm not in any rush.
Haha, don't they look like they'd rather be out in the yard, zooming around in the air?
I really like the 3-toned effect (though knitting with yarn that thick was a real challenge), and the colors aren't quite as true as they could be. But hey, this is as good as it gets without professional photography knowledge.Here's a little sample of the three colors together, though the 'white' is actually butter yellow, the 'uber-golden' color is really goldenrod, and the 'brown' is much brassier in real life.

As you can see, my Sophie bag is complete! It felted marvelously and is super thick. I'm enamored with the charcoal gray color as well as the small-ish size of the bag. It's going to be very useful and get a lot of wear, I can tell already! Joy!
I put a fabric-covered piece of cardboard in the bottom for stability and it's just perfect! I might stitch the straps together to help them stay more balanced in their twistiness, because the twists have a tendency to congregate to one side of the bag or the other. I would make this project again in a heartbeat! Love (1)!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Sophie Bag

Knitting round after round.
Loving the yarn for it's fluffiness + sturdiness.
Hoping it will felt. It is mostly merino after all, but I have my doubts.
Wondering just how long the handles/straps are going to need to be.
No sign of the camera yet. I may have to resort to using my phone again. Sigh.
That is all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Where have the pictures gone?

The pictures will be back soon, because I will find that darn camera. For now, how about a quick update? I went to the USC vs. Ohio State *cough* overrated-every-year *cough* and watched my Trojans dispatch them with ease. [Side Note: So that's how the SEC feels every year. Pretty nice!]

It was wonderful to have a little weekend vacation, but now I'm sicker than ever and have been without a voice since Saturday. Joy. [Quote my brother "I think I like you better this way."]
I will say that Ohio State has the nicest fans I've ever sat next to (even when I was obnoxiously dancing in aisles and giving high fives over 3 rows of people). All in all, I imagine Ohio must be a great place to live with all these happy, polite, friendly people around. [Side Story: One of the fellows I sat by informed me that Buckeyes are poisonous, which I'm not sure about, so I'll google it sometime when I'm bored.]

I got to see a few of the LA people I love, but it makes me miss my adopted home city and my Trojan family that much more. To be honest, I'm not that attached to Las Vegas and would gladly be back in Los Angeles forever, but alas that's not going to happen any time soon.

In other news, I got my replacement DPNs from Webs today, so now I have 9. Huh. I guess that enables me to knit a pair of socks at the same time now.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I have a cold. Again. And it's making me miserable. Again.

On the upside, it means plenty of couch time for knitting. On the downside, it means I'll have to Lysol any Finished Objects. And the couch.

I knit up a couple golden snitch ball ornaments (out of Charmed Knits. Yes, I realize that this is becoming an obsession. No, I don't mind.) I held together three golden shades of scrap acrylic; light yellow, goldenrod, and a brassy brown that would look gold if it were really shiny. It's a beautiful effect I think. [Side Note: 3 x worsted weight is GIGANTOR! And really hard to knit with. Thankfully I'm out of scraps.]

And I got my box of yarn and stuff from webs today, so I immediately cast on for a footie sock version of my Patriot Socks to use up the leftover yarn. [Side Note: One of the new needles was broken when it arrived :-( the little plastic tip on the end had broken off, but I've made do with just 4 dpns.] I don't know if there's anything webs can do about things damaged in shipping, but it can't hurt to email them, right?

And I'm using one of the Karabella balls to make a sweet little felted purse based on the popular MagKnits Sophie pattern. Mine will be much smaller than the pattern suggests, because I just don't need that much space. If it's too big I probably won't use it. As a matter of fact I could get by with just my wallet, cell phone, and keys. But I love this pattern and the results it has produced (ala ravelry).

Well, the cough medicine just kicked in so I guess that's it for zzzZZZzzz

Monday, September 8, 2008

Too bad I don't have anything interresting to say

Well, the knitting projects have ground to a halt. Grad school nonsense stuff has taken up all of my free time and drained me of any productive energy. Plus, I'm waiting on yarn. I'm waiting on yarn to finish my Quidditch/Rugby sweater. I'm waiting on my Harry Potter Opal Sock Yarn that I have lusted after for so long. I'm waiting for this Karabella fluff to decide what it wants to be.

I guess this is just a natural lull in knitting. It's still 110 degrees when I go to get in my Jeep, forgive me if I don't feel the urgency to knit warm things. Once 'fall' kicks in I'll get back into the groove. [Side Note: Las Vegas doesn't have 'fall' per se, but we have a brief period of 'less hot' followed by many blustery months of chilly and windy directly followed by Easter (when it rains) and then 'hot' again. Once every 5 years or so it will snow here. That is when all hell breaks loose on the roads.]

Oh, I tacked a set of US 1 dpns onto my Webs order, the Pony plasticky kind that I like so much. If I'm going to commit to this sock thing I'm going to need the cavalry (a.k.a. properly sized knitting needles.

I don't know if I want to make all of the HPO yarn into socks, but I had to have a smaller set to get gauge etc. I thought it would be quite poetic to turn the Lupin and Tonks skeins into an object together. Perhaps a simple scarf? I'd like to know why there isn't a Dobby colorway though. Nobody loved socks like Dobby!

Oh well, I've rambled on long enough. I'll try and get it together around here so there can be some quality posts.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Results and Conclusions

I can't find my camera, but I know it's around here somewhere. Frustrating isn't it? I nabbed this picture off of Ravelry for illustration purposes.

Anyways, as you can probably tell I purchased some lovely Karabella Souffle (Four balls for less than $20!) in my little experiment. That's 200 grams and 400+ yards. The color caught my eye because it's a beautiful smoky grey, and then I touched it. I didn't want to put it down, so I figured that was a pretty good litmus test for yarn love.

I haven't the slightest idea what to do with this, but I love it. According to the people at Gail Knits that's all that really matters anyway :-) [Side Note: There's a name for people like this, they are called enablers. Yay enablers!]

The real beauty of research like this is that you find out all sorts of things you weren't even seeking. Like the fact that a two-at-once-sock-class is being taught less than a mile from your home. [Note to self: Remember to look into that.] I also discovered that this is how a "stash" starts. The other knitters at Gail's informed me of this with all-knowing nods. Up to now I am pretty much stashless and buy yarn for immediate consumption, but when I am complaining in 5 years from now about having a stash that might be visible from space I can definitively point to where it all began. Right here. Must tread carefully around tempting fibers. Must retain will power and closet space.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Well, so much for a WIP weekend. I ran out of the yellow "Butternut" color for my Rugby/Quidditch sweater midway up the second sleeve. I probably won't have enough of the red "cranberry" either though, so now I've got to track down my dye lot. Groan. Let's hope Webs can help me! [Side Note: I don't know how I ran out of yarn though. I ordered what the pattern told me to. I'm consistently getting gauge. Why must the knitting gods smite me so? Why!?]

Also, I've discovered that the crochet gods might be trying to tell me something too. But since it involved stepping on a crochet hook, I don't think it's anything nice or constructive. It didn't go through the skin or anything, but I have a G-hook sized bruise now. Must tidy up room.

P.S. I will report on my Experiment in Yarn soon, but not in this post because it's late and I haven't taken pictures.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

An experiment in yarn

After last weekend's frantic knit-sprint to the finish of the ravelympics I'm in the mood for some WIP work this weekend. I really need to churn out the second sleeve for my Quidditch/Rugby sweater before I forget what I did with the first one. It helps that I wrote down everything from the first sleeve, but only in a such a way that I'm left puzzling a tally on a post-it and wondering why I thought this would be helpful. Sigh.

Now for the good news: my LYS [Side Note: Local Yarn Store, Gail Knits] is having a big sale this weekend and I'm ready for some experimentation. All the yarn in the sale bins is 50% off, so I think I'm going to take $20 and see what I can come up with. I'm sure there will be plenty of other things to tempt me too! However, for experiment purposes, I'm going to see just how far twenty bucks goes these days, literally. You know, in grams and yards. Expect a report on my findings :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There's no avoiding it any longer

I knew I was going to have to get back to it eventually. Yes, the monster afghan that will take an eternity to finish. I'm making it my downstairs/couch project and not starting other new things until it's done. Maybe.

It's the Embossed Diamonds pattern from Spin Dye Knit [Side Note: I probably mentioned this before, but it has been in hibernation so long that I've forgotten.] Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the finished product, it's just the dimensions that are getting to me. Perhaps making it, oh, twice as wide as the pattern called for was overly ambitions. Perhaps.