Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Project

Hmm, that bag is moving along very nicely, I think I'll start something new.

Oh! I have an idea... what about that little catnip mouse kit I got at TNNA?

That does sound fun. Let's see, I'll have to find it.

Here's the bag it was in...

And I found the box...

Ooh, here are the directions, gonna need those...

The bag of catnip: the essential ingredient.

Last but not least, the yarn! I'm all set.

I think I'll post this now so I can get started! I just know the cats will really enjoy this catnip mouse!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Do Not Like Plain Stockinette

I do not like plain stockinette
I really don't and won't knit it

I've said it once, I've said it twice
Plain stockinette is just not nice

I would not like to knit it here
I would not knit it anywhere

I would not knit it for a goat
I would not knit it on a boat

You like to do it, this I see
But I will not, it's not for me

I would not like to knit a square
I would not knit one on a dare

I would not knit a simple box
I will not knit your plain old socks

I would not, could not knit a bag
It's such a bore, it's such a drag

I do not like plain stockinette!
I really don't and won't knit it!

"Try it! Try it!" so you say
"Try it and you may," you say

Fine. I'll try this felted bag
I can't believe you're such a nag

I cast on and then start to knit
Oh well, I guess I'll knit a bit

Wait, this bag is pretty neat
To finish will be quite a feat

This pattern just goes on and on
I've knit two balls of Kureyon

And half a skein of black Lamb's Pride
This stockinette is on my side!

'Round and 'round and 'round and 'round
And 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round

I love I love this stockinette!
I do love it! I will knit it!

Knit round and round all day and night
Until this bag is outta sight!


pattern: Felted Striped Tote from One Skein
yarn: black Lamb's Pride worsted, Noro Kureyon in Black/White colorway
needles: US 10.5 29" circular

Monday, August 28, 2006

They Just Keep Getting Bigger

Lest you think that all I've been good for this summer is neglecting socks, I want to present you with a super-secret object (outfit, even), that was completed about two weeks ago. Why did I keep said project from my most faithful blog readers? It was a surprise birthday present for my most precious niece, Maggie. (For evidence of said preciousness, go watch her feed her brother. Then come back. I'll wait.)

I've told the story many times about how I learned to knit and how the timing corresponded quite well with finding out that I was about to become an aunt. Talk about inspiration. Since then I've prided myself on providing my niece with a birthday sweater to mark each year of her life.

The first sweater I made for Maggie was a celebration of her birth day, and was sized for her at three months old. Her mom chose the Rosebud Cardigan from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, a sweet raglan cardigan that was my very first sweater ever. I made it with a light gold-ish colored mercerized cotton... I don't even remember what the brand was. I'm pretty sure I got it from Patternworks. (Sorry about the lack of photo quality... this is a picture of a picture, and it's actually the best one I had.)

For Maggie's first birthday, I pieced together a design by looking at the patterns I had and combining my favorite elements. I might dare to call this my first actual original pattern. I used the now-discontinued Lily Sugar Babies (100% cotton) in a pale pink with white accents. You can barely see in this picture the big white M on the front of the sweater and the double white stripes on all the cuffs, around the arms, and around the hood.

Maggie's second birthday sweater has made its way around the world on and can also be seen in the sidebar of this blog. It's another original pattern and I used Paton's Grace mercerized cotton to make it. (Mercerized cotton and other cottons make great baby sweaters. Soft and super easy to clean, I'll likely be using them for a while.)

The third birthday sweater was the Accordion pattern from Knitty. I made it with KnitPicks Shine (more cotton) in green, pink and cream. This was my first attempt at putting a zipper in a knitted object, and it turned out okay, even though it was a little uneven at the bottom. The only original thing about this one was the color choice.

This year, however, I went back to the drawing board and came up with another original design. I'm hoping for some modeled pictures soon, since the hanger I took pictures on is awfully wide and made the shoulders seem awfully wide, too. I started with Flash from Cascade Elite Yarns in the Thistle shade and size 5 needles. I know this will shock you, but it's 100% mercerized cotton. I was more interested in stitch pattern than color pattern this year, and this is what I came up with:

(Click the picture for a bigger version, as always.) I worked the cardigan in one piece up to the armpits, then worked the front right, front left, and back seperately. The sleeves were last. By the time I had just a couple inches left to go on the second sleeve, I finally understood why everyone has an aunt who makes one sleeve longer than the other. More on this later.

This sweater has one little daisy embroidered on the left chest. When I was first thinking of the pattern, I thought about embroidering daisies in random diamonds all over the sweater, but by the time it was nearing completion, I realized that the lattice-work pattern made it busy enough that all those daisies would just overwhelm it. I think the one daisy turned out nicely though.

My daisy inspiration came from these silver clasps that I found on the internet. They look so classy and I like them a lot more than I would have liked buttons on this sweater. I bought five clasps, and my mom helped me figure out how many would actually work best. We tried two, three, four, and all five, and we just liked the four best. Who knows if they'll be clasped much anyway.

I found two little white t-shirts (one short sleeved and one long sleeved) to go under the sweater and little iron-on daisies to match. Hopefully all of these elements will go together in both fit and style, and not just on the hanger and in my brain.

The last, and maybe one of my favorite things about the whole ensemble, is the jeans. My friend Leslie took me shopping at the Gap Outlet in Northern Kentucky back in June and I found these really cute jeans. Most of the kids' jeans there were missing their buttons or snaps in front, and that was pretty discouraging. These jeans had a little pink ribbon bow in place of a button and fly, with just enough elastic in back to make them work. So I took the jeans home, and just before I sent them to Washington, I replaced the pink ribbon bow with a thistle ribbon bow, and I was pretty proud of myself. I thought it turned out really cute. My only fear is that the jeans are too long for Maggie.

As for the sleeves... everyone has either had an aunt or a grandma who makes them a sweater with one sleeve longer than the other. And if you didn't have that aunt or grandma, then you know someone who did, or you've heard the joke somewhere. I've discovered why. By the time you get to the end of the second sleeve, you just want the sweater to be finished. No wonder I haven't made adult-sized sweaters. The sleeves would kill me!

I thought I had these sleeves licked. I knitted them in the round (after plotting a careful graph for the stitch pattern and increases), knowing that the under-arm sleeve seam is the absolute worst to sew. But even though I knitted on exactly the same size needles and exactly the same number of rows/diamonds/stitches, one sleeve STILL ended up being a little longer than the other. Then after I washed the sweater, the length issue became even more prominent. I'm hoping no one in Washington will notice (don't read this part, Marysville-ites!), and after I threw the sweater in the dryer it didn't seem quite as bad. I think that next time I make sleeves I'll try the two-sleeves-at-a-time-on-two-circular-needles technique.

Fortunately, my next birthday sweater isn't due until the end of November, when Calvin gets his second first birthday sweater. (
He got his first one back in June because of size issues. I'm afraid he won't fit in it once it gets cold, and that's why he gets a second one. Sometimes the youngest needs to be spoiled, too, right?)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You Must Be Kidding

Seriously. All that fuss yesterday and still I forgot a pair. Well, a SWP anyway. The most important SWP according to at least one person. Sorry about that.


I just finished applying to my dream job. I put it off for about a week (but the position is still open, don't worry). I'm not telling anyone what job it is, but it's my dream job. All my needles are crossed.

Also in job news, the temp agency called today (two days after I re-registered, why did I wait so long?) and might have something for me. This is Very Good News(TM).


I've been tagged. You know those emails that get passed around asking how many kitties you have and what's your favorite flavor of ice cream and how many pair of novelty socks you have in your sock drawer? I don't typically answer them. However, Joy publicly tagged me... the least I can do is respond, right? So here goes:

5 Things in my Freezer
1. half a loaf of mom's homemade bread
2. one Totino's cardboard pizza: combination style
3. innovative, Spanish-speaking popsicles
4. two packages of frozen chicken breasts
5. cat hair

5 Things in my Closet
1. skeletons!
2. suitcases
3. wrapping paper and gift boxes
4. Chuck Taylors
5. cat hair

5 Things in my Car
1. it's not a car, it's a truck
2. music CDs in a Victoria's Secret bag
3. old library books on tape
4. a little rubber dinosaur from Wendy
5. cat hair

5 Things in my Purse
1. a keychain monkey
2. a new tube of Burt's Bees lip gloss
3. a Graeter's gift card
4. my digital camera
5. cat hair

5 Things in my Diaper Bag
1. it's a nappy bag, not a diaper bag
2. i actually have two of them, but no kids
3. i made both of them myself
4. both nappy bags are folded inside a third bag
5. cat hair

I'm gonna continue the tag, but if you don't wanna, you don't hafta.
It's all you:
Morgan, Kimmie, Trek, and Leone

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Oh, The Shame!

In order to thank you for your patience between posts, I present to you a game. It's just like in the Sunday funny papers. All you have to do is spot the differences between the following two pictures:

Did you find all of the differences?

A funny thing happens when you don't keep a close eye on your yarn... it starts forming support groups. That group in the top picture has started meeting every other Tuesday morning for coffee in the smaller white wicker basket for SWP, "Socks Without Partners". They get all hush hush whenever I come near. I can only imagine what they are saying.

Occasionally they share their leftover donuts.

The Yarn Harlot has the audacity to joke about such a thing. SSS, or Second Sock Syndrome, happens often. The first sock is finished, and the pattern has lost the allure to the knitter, and therefore the second sock is put off indefinitely. At least I've started the mate for each pair, but I still think something that causes single socks to start support groups should be taken more seriously.

Then there's this group:

Bonus points if you can tell me why I can never find any sock needles when I need them.

(Are you kidding me? Why in this world would I need sock needles? Do I not have enough socks to keep me entertained? What is my problem?)

This is not the way a sock instructor and sock club president should act. Where is the love for the socks? You'd think I could finish a pair now and then. Those red, white and blue socks were started LAST YEAR, for pete's sake. It's not like the second one is ridiculously far from being finished. And that teal, green and white pair don't need that much help, either.

Sock knitters, stay away from me. I hope this isn't contagious, but I want you to stay safe.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Crohn's Medicine

It's been a while since I've posted memories of my dad, and since I've had a number of them recently, I thought I'd give them their own post.

One of the ailments my dad suffered from was Crohn's Disease. (Don't click the link if it's lunchtime.) He once read an article about a guy who claimed eating two coconut macaroons a day helped his Crohn's. My dad, being the logical guy that he was, concluded that if coconut macaroons helped, then surely Mounds candy bars would do the same. Often after church, when stopping to pick up a newspaper, he'd grab a Mounds bar or two, claiming he needed to keep up with his Crohn's medicine. Lucky for Mom and I, he'd regularly share, being concerned for our preventative care.

Tonight I was in desperate need of some chocolate, and a package of miniature Mounds bars called out to me. I guess I just needed some Crohn's medicine.

I found a
short article online that addresses this coconut theory. My favorite paragraph reads:

At the current time, the theory of coconut macaroons helping Crohn's disease is just a theory. It is what I call a "well, why not" theory. This means, if you have Crohn's disease, you are allowed to try regular food and you like macaroons, why not eat two. If it helps, good for you. Just don't announce you have found the cure, as some individuals may abandon necessary medications for a cookie.


I'm a total sucker for product placement. Once, when Brenda and I were watching TV together, a commercial came on for Fruity Pebbles, and we couldn't rest until we had some.

Recently there's been a commercial on TV for a Lifetime Original Movie, and for about two seconds during the commercial, it shows a lady drinking a bloody mary. Ever since the first time I saw the commercial, I've been craving tomato juice. I don't want or need the vodka, just the tomato juice.

My dad loved tomato juice. He'd drink it straight, or have Mom heat it up and mix it with some cooked pasta. It was almost as regular of a staple around the house as peanut butter. Isn't it funny how something as simple as tomato juice reminds me of my dad?

Anyway, I picked some up at the store during my chocolate run. It should be cold by now.

(I also bought some grapefruit juice. My mom always bought the kind with Donald Duck on the can, but I couldn't find that kind at the store. I probably wouldn't ever have tried grapefruit juice if it wasn't for my dad, either.)


I don't know if it's my ears or if it's my TV, but something's been going crazy lately. I keep turning my TV volume up and up so I can hear the stupid thing. And then, as you well know, during the commercials it's about six times louder, so I have to turn it down again. Sometimes it amazes me how loud I actually have it.

When I was a kid, some kids on the street next to ours introduced my brother and me to an older lady named Mrs. Ford on their street. She was an extremely interesting woman with a jungle in her living room and a number of amazing stories to tell.

I remember very distinctly sitting in the family room of our house watching TV with my brother one night when Dad walked in and yelled for us to turn the TV down. "Mrs. Ford doesn't need to hear it!" was one of the phrases he used. Every time I turn my TV down lately, I hear those words. It's kind of funny, now.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Long Overdue

A while back, I had a contest to see who wanted to win some Trekking sock yarn. I posted about the grand prize winner, and about two of the runner up winners. I put off posting about the other two runner up winners for a number of reasons, but it's finally that time.

The first entry I actually received came from my friend
Joy, and it was a very tempting entry, indeed. Here it is in its entirety:

Scott is monotone
Trekking socks make perfect bribe
Joy can go to show

Joy is referring to her husband Scott, who would likely have enjoyed a pair of shades of gray socks, which may also have made it easier to convince him that Joy could come to the
Woolgathering with me in September.

Joy's prize turns out to be two balls of Cascade Fixation, which are this lovely khaki color, which also might make good socks for Scott, which also might help convince him that Joy should come to the Woolgathering with me in September.

The final entry that I need to mention was submitted by another good friend,
Brenda. Brenda's entry was quite involved, and I'd like to share it with you here. (Brenda also mentioned that she feared embarrassment if I posted her entry here, but I think she'll get over it. She's like that. Hehe.)

The Things We Do For Socks

A Short Rhyming Story by Brenda B.

Pictures by James B.

While browsing her patterns one hot summer day
Brenda found a sock pattern, made just the right way

From warm woolen yarn with ingenious shaping
They seemed perfect for cold nights she soon would be facing.

She had the right needles and stitch marks and things
If she could just find the right yarn, then she would be king

She dug through her stash, through skein after skein
But none were quite right, all were too plain

A search through the phone book showed no shops around
Only Kimea’s Quilts and Fabrics Abound

A web search suggested a four hour drive
And that news nearly brought tears to her eyes

“What shall I do?” she wondered, alarmed
When she spied a blog contest for trekking sock yarn

So she sat down and worked night after night
Writing down reasons she hoped were just right

For with that yarn she’d knit well past her knees
And know that in winter she wouldn’t feel a breeze.


Heartwarming and beautiful, no? For her amazing efforts, Brenda received a very soft pink wool blend (from my TNNA trip) and some crazy red fancy yarn (also from TNNA).

She also got this baby bolero from the One Skein book, made with 100% organic cotton. Before anybody complains that she got extra prizes, please remember that she is pregnant during a ridiculously hot summer and needs extra prizes to keep her from being cranky. I'm not sure if it's working.


Lastly, and because it's been a while, a gratuitous cutie kitty picture. (At least she's not trying to steal my Fritos anymore!)

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

A Little RDA to Make My Day

So if you've known me for any length of time, you're likely well aware that I have a certain thing for Richard Dean Anderson, AKA MacGyver, AKA Jack O'Neill (two l's) on Stargate SG-1. I've seen nearly every episode of Stargate SG-1 thanks mostly to Brenda, who owns all the seasons on DVD. I'm well on my way to seeing every episode of MacGyver, too, since my mom has been so generous as to provide me with those seasons on DVD. I'm a disk and a half away from finishing season 6, and season 7 (the final season! oh no!) doesn't come out until the end of October.

All of that to say this: a couple weeks ago I was innocently watching my MacGyver season 5, disk 4, and who should I see but Christopher Judge, who plays Teal'c on Stargate SG-1 with my RDA. I called Brenda immediately to tell her about it, also telling her it was her random call of the day. I wished desperately I could send her the DVD so she could see for herself, but then I had a better idea. I'd pause the episode and take some pictures with my digicam. Check it out (click on any picture to make it bigger):

I understand how nerdy this makes me, but I don't mind. I think it's cool.

I've been trying for a couple of days to upload pictures of the two characters on Stargate to show you the comparison, but I'm having trouble uploading more pictures. I may have to follow the way of my brother and switch templates and/or locations, whatever, in order to avoid all of these problems with pictures.