Friday, April 28, 2006

One More Cookie

For those of you looking for help with Reid sizing issues, I'll be getting to that by next week and I will send all updates to Knitty to fix on the site. I apologize for the problems and will do my best to correct it soon.


I am sorry for the lack of updating. Some of you may know that my father passed away on Monday morning, April 17. My brother spoke at the service on April 20th, and has posted the entirety of his eulogy on his blog. I highly recommend that you read it. He has a way with words.

I spent the 17th through the 27th with my family and took a respite from the blog. I did a lot of different things, although not a lot of knitting. Over the next week or so I'll talk about some of it. I must confess that the yarn diet was broken through a couple of trips to Sew Krazy in downtown Wooster. I'll have some good things to show you, too.

I've decided that for now, each time I post I want to leave a memory of my dad, both as a way for me to continue grieving, and for you to get to know how crazy and unique he was.

Once when we were younger (I might have been in fifth or sixth grade), we were having cookies for dessert one night after dinner. Mom had said we'd had enough, but Dad let both my brother and I have one more cookie each. Then he stood next to the table and said that he thought it was really sad that all we'd ever remember about him was that he was the mean one. He figured we'd just remember when he yelled at us and when he spanked us and when he got frustrated with all the noise we made. He thought for sure we'd never remember all the times when he gave us the extra cookie. But I remember, Dad. And thanks.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Shameless Cop-Out

It's not my fault. If your head was as full of gunk as mine is, you'd look for ideas to steal, too.

I found this idea over at
January One, and I liked it.

Go to (my brother's favorite site) and search for your birthday, sans year. Post three interesting events, three folks who were born on that day, and three folks that died on that day.

You know you want to.

Interesting Events:
1. 1789 - George Washington proclaims the first Thanksgiving Day.
2. 1960 - The Andy Griffith Show debuts.
3. 1995 - O. J. Simpson found not guilty of murder.

(He's free! Like a bird! Like the wind! Through the trees!)
(Bonus points* if you know who I'm misquoting in the previous parenthesis.)

Famous Folks' Birthdays:
1. 1873 - Emily Post, American etiquette advisor (d. 1960)
2. 1954 - Al Sharpton, American minister and politician
3. 1976 - Seann William Scott, American actor

(More bonus points** if you know why SWS's b-day is significant.)

Famous Folks' Deathdays:
1. 1226 - Saint Francis of Assisi (b. 1181)
2. 1656 - Myles Standish, English-born soldier
3. 2003 - William Steig, American cartoonist and children's author (b. 1907)


Are you here looking for knitting stuff? Well, too bad. Maybe I'll have something for you next week. I've been knitting, but it's been a wicked busy week this week, plus, as previously mentioned, my head is full of gunk. So the knitting is sporadic. I'm sure I'll have stuff to show you next week. I'm just sure of it. Maybe.

*If you earn these bonus points, take them out back and plant them. Soon, you'll have a bonus point tree.
**If you earn these bonus points, don't plant them too close to the other bonus points, or their roots will get tangled and neither bonus point tree will be able to get enough water, and they'll both die, and you'll come back here and blame me when it was your own stinking fault to begin with. Sheesh. Whiners.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To Betsy and the Others

Dear Betsy,
I really hope you come across this post, because my email won't let me reply to the one you sent me! There's no email listed in the To: box when I hit reply. This makes me super sad!

Anyway, you asked about the gauge for the sweater, and how the schematic measurements don't make sense with the finished measurements. I will tell you that I was surprised at this, as well, but it actually turns out the way it's listed. I had my sister-in-law's mother measure Maggie's sweater for me, and the two fronts together are not as wide as the back is. So as crazy as it sounds, the measurements listed are actually correct. I hope this makes sense, and I hope (again!) that you find this message. If you do, please try emailing me again and make sure you leave your email address in the message! Thank you!

Dear Dorothy,
I am so impressed that swift-hood has been impressed upon your significant other as a "marital duty". Best of luck with the lace knitting. I think this sweater is a great lace piece because it doesn't require as much perseverance as a shawl. I wish you the best of luck! (And thanks for agreeing with me about my niece's cute factor!)

Dear "Keen-Eye" Joy,
You got it. The yarn featured on the swift in the two top photos (see previous post) is indeed one of the Socks That Rock colorways. Seal Rock, to be precise. You have an amazing eye for detail.

And please stop the fretting and the tapping of the toes. All of this yarn is yarn that I had purchased BEFORE the yarn fast. I just hadn't had a chance to wind it before now. I will let you know when the fast has lifted so that you can again worry about the amount of yarn in my possession. Silly girl.

Dear quikeye,
What in the world are you doing leaving comments on other people's blogs? In fact, what are you doing reading other people's blogs, or looking at the spring issue of Knitty? It looks to me like you have enough sock knitting to do to take up three or four lifetimes! Holy cow! And you've got my favorite Lorna's Laces colorway going as well: Seaside. Good luck with all of that! I can't wait for the Summer Knitty either. Everybody needs a few more great sock patterns! Well, except maybe for you!

Oh, and thanks for the super nice comments about the sweater. Maybe some day you'll come across a little girl who really needs one.

(Hey everybody else, if you've ever wanted to see a blue womb, click on Quikeye's link for a special treat!)

Dear alltangledup,
Thanks so much for the kind comments about the sweater! I think you hit the nail right on the head with your description of my niece. She IS "distractingly gorgeous"!! Her little brother is on his way to the same gorgeousness. Go check out my sister-in-law's blog for even more pictures. Thanks!

Dear Ragnar,
I am so very fortunate. You see, my fiancee is the owner of a small swift rental business. He didn't have any clients this past weekend and was able to rent out his one available swift to me. If you're ever passing through the southwestern portion of Ohio, maybe I can hook you up. Thanks for your interest!

(Dudes! Ragnar is a pirate! That's wicked cool. And she made some amazing skull socks. Click her link to check them out!)

Dear Piper,
You amaze me. I knew that the spring Knitty would be up on Monday morning, but you got to it and had already emailed me about the errors before I'd even seen it! Thank you so much for checking those out, and rest assured that they've already been fixed on the Knitty website. A few others have emailed me about the same thing and I am continually amazed by all of the keen eyes of those who really check out these patterns! I'm also REALLY impressed that you're so far along on the pattern alredy. I can't wait to see the finished sweater!

Just amazing. Thank you!

Dear Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for the sweet comments about the sweater. I hope you're successful with it since it's your first sweater pattern! If you need any help as you go about it, I hope you'll comment here or email me and I'll help as much as I can. I'm so jealous of you... I wish I had learned to knit in high school! Good luck and thanks again!

Dear Brenda,
I'm sorry about the frustration you had with your swift. It is a good thing that your wandering swift bought you an ordinary, traditional, non-wandering swift for Christmas so that you don't have to worry about its location. You are blessed. Hehe.
P.S. I can't wait to see you this weekend!! w00t!

Monday, April 10, 2006

And Carry a Big Swift

From Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: swift
Function: noun
1 : any of several lizards (especially of the genus Sceloporus) that run swiftly
2 : a reel for winding yarn or thread
3 : any of numerous small plainly colored birds (family Apodidae) that are related to the hummingbirds but superficially much resemble swallows

I bought a ball winder back in February in celebration of the Knitting Olympics, and now all I need to make my ball winding activities complete is a swift. Since I don't currently have the financial capability to buy one, I decided to rent one this weekend.

I had plenty of yarn to wind (perhaps that's the cause of the above-mentioned financial issue), so I was happy to have the in-home winding opportunity, as opposed to taking the yarn to the shop to wind it.

Here's the rented swift, at ease...

...and at full extension. (Despite the tongue, I think he enjoyed his swift-ness this weekend. Don't tell him I told you so, or I'll get in BIG trouble!)

The rented swift even came with a free accessory.

We wound all of this (top row, l to r: KnitPicks Shadow in Jewel, Oregon Coast, and Redwood Forest, and Claudia's Handpainted in JustPlum; middle row, l to r: KnitPicks Shadow in Campfire and Vineyard, King Tut Mercerized Cotton in green, and Claudia's Handpainted in Chocolate Cherry; bottom row l to r: KnitPicks Shadow in Lost Lake and Grape Jelly, about 1/4 of a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in navy, and the other skein of the King Tut green cotton).

And this. Both Socks That Rock. The one at the left is Seal Rock (for me) and the one on the right is Carbon Dating (for swifty Anthony).

I think I only have two more skeins that need to be wound, but the rental period was up and I had to return the swift. It was a fun day, though, with much less untangling than if I'd tried to wind it all without him. And who could ask for a cuter swift? Seriously.


Oh, and maybe you already know this, but the new
Knitty is up. And my niece is featured in my pattern. Seriously, it wouldn't be so easy if she weren't so darn cute. Enjoy!

Friday, April 7, 2006

A Little Scary

This is the simplest personality test I've ever taken, and it's a little scary how accurate the results are. All you have to do is click on 8 different colors in the order of how they make you feel, twice. Here are my results. What do you think?

Drunken Monkey's Existing Situation
Acts in an orderly, methodical, and self-contained manner. Needs the sympathetic understanding of someone who will give her recognition and approval.

Drunken Monkey's Stress Sources
Unfulfilled expectations have led to uncertainly and an apprehensive watchfulness. Badly needs to feel secure and protected against further disappointment, being passed over, or losing standing and prestige. Doubtful that things will be any better in the future, but inclined nevertheless to make exaggerated demands or reject compromise.

Drunken Monkey's Restrained Characteristics
Willing to become emotionally involved as she feels rather isolated and alone. Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense, though she tries to avoid open conflict.
Circumstances are restrictive and hampering, forcing her to forgo all joys and pleasures for the time being.

Drunken Monkey's Desired Objective
Seeks freedom from problems and a secure state of physical ease in which to relax and recover.

Drunken Monkey's Actual Problem
Disappointment and the fear that there is no point in formulating fresh goals have led to anxiety, and she is distressed by the lack of any close and understanding relationship or adequate appreciation. She attempts to escape from this into a stable and secure environment in which she can relax and feel more contented.

Drunken Monkey's Actual Problem #2
The fear that she might be prevented from achieving the things she wants increases her need for security and freedom from conflict. Is therefore seeking stability and an environment in which she can relax.

Wanna try it? You know you do.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

By Jove

I think I've got it. Look:

It fits! As I told you before, I added an extra 8 stitches to the cast on (which averages out to two stitches per needle, and one extra stitch between all the kfbs and dds). I kept the same needle size (US1) because I really like the result of the tight knit. I think this time it's gonna work. Now let's watch Brooke run out of yarn at the end of the second sock.

Oh yeah, I have to start the second sock to finish it! And I have to finish the first sock before I start the second one! It'll never happen.

I think when I make Anthony's socks, I'm going to make them toe-up, and I'm going to try the two socks on two circular needles technique. Watch out! She's crazy!

Here's the coolest part of socks, though: Picking up gusset stitches. Ever since I started using REAL sock patterns where they have you slip the first stitch of every row of the heel flap, this has been my favorite part (other than the actual finishing). Check it out.

The outside view.

The inside view.



I'm still thinking about the yarn diet thing and the projects that need to be finished or started or whatever before I'm allowed to buy more yarn. I liked some of Joy's suggestions, but I'm starting to remember that when I force myself to stick to a list, I'm more likely to want to start things that aren't on the list, or buy yarn that has no purpose other than to look pretty.

So I think for now I'll just say I'm on a yarn diet for an as-yet-determined time period, with two exceptions: yarn for Mags' b-day sweater, and I'll give myself a small budget at the Great Lakes Fiber thingie at the end of May. I'll probably try to stick to the diet until October, but we'll see how things go. I have so many things started and unfinished; I need to sort some of that out.

I'm still taking comments about it if you have any.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Brooke The Higgins Day

Occasionally, a person's faith in humanity can be restored. Today provides a good example. This morning, a few of my coworkers celebrated my return from Wooster by presenting me with gifts galore: gorgeous flowers (seen above), a dinosaur book, plastic dinosaurs, an Oprah magazine, and... groceries!!

They also declared today Brooke The Higgins Day and we all went out for Mexican for lunch. (Here you can see a few of the plastic dinosaurs gathered at the salsa hole.) I'm a little overwhelmed. This was super nice of them, and I know my stammered thank yous will never be enough. So here's a public "Thank You!" to everyone involved. You are wonderful people.

Another "Thank You!" to everyone who has kept my parents in their thoughts and prayers. This is a rough time with a fraction of a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel. As of Monday evening when I left Wooster, my dad was still in the hospital. I'm hoping they'll be able to move him to the nursing home soon, if not for rehab, then at least so Mom won't have to drive so far to visit him. Thanks again for your thoughts. I made sure to pass along all of the kind words you left in the comments.

Hospital visiting makes for some good knitting time, however, and I made some progress on a few different projects. I'll have to show you pictures later in the week, as I haven't taken any updated photos of the projects I worked on.

I finished the striped part of the
baby hat, picked up the stitches at the brim, and have worked a couple of inches in the blue.

I worked another half a repeat or so of my
Pomatomos socks. I love the pattern, as I've told you constantly since I started it, but it's coming along very slowly. This is not a fast knit, at least not for me.

I worked quite diligently on my
entrelac market bag. I completed the next row of orange squares, and I'm a little over halfway done with the next row of blue squares. The squares are getting smaller every round now! I told my mom I absolutely love this bag and I love knitting it, but it's really difficult to finish more than three or four squares in one sitting unless I'm changing colors and starting a new row of squares.

The last project I worked on in Wooster is a new
Jaywalker sock using my first Socks That Rock acquisition. I cast on for it late in the week, and I'm almost ready to turn the heel. They will be ankle socks, since they're for me, and I only have one skein of this Red Rock Canyon colorway. I added 8 stitches to the larger cast-on (two stitches per repeat, 92 total) and I'm hoping that will help me avoid my previous Jaywalker disaster. Some may say I'm being selfish by making a sock for myself first, since I also bought a skein for socks for Anthony. In my defense, I'm experimenting with mine so that I know how long the cuffs can be for Anthony's socks. See how giving and sacrificial I am? Hehe. Pictures after I turn the heel, IF it fits.

(Oh! And I got to talk to my favorite niece on the phone Monday night before I came back home, and I got to hear first hand how much she loves her
stripy socks!)