Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks to autopost, I am not immune to posting on a national holiday. If all went well, I spent 12 hours yesterday driving and knitting my way from Michigan to upstate New York. In an ideal world, the girls slept most of the way (we were supposed to hit the road at 4 am - wonder if that really happened?) and we arrived in time for a delicious family dinner.

A wee bit o' knitting content: On the drive, I took 2 projects - can you guess? Yes, the slothful knitter took the Helleborus scarf and the Monkeys. I doubt I finished either of the on the drive!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm dreaming of... recycled plastic yarn?

Apparently my subconscious is a bit worried that I will run out of projects on the Thanksgiving drive. Last night, I had a long and involved dream about... yarn. Not any yarn, but a recycled yarn made from plastic soda bottles. And yes, I do own a ball of such a beast, procured at Rhinebeck a few years back. I've always intended to make dish clothes, but never gotten around to it. In the dream, I was done with the Helleborus scarf, done with the Monkeys and done with Thanksgiving dinner. I'd wisely packed an extra ball of yarn, my set of KnitPicks Options and whoosh! found myself ready to cast-on for that perfect dish cloth or scrubbie or soap sock. Except, no pattern. And apparently, no brain. I was unable to knit even the simplest seed or garter stitch cloth. I frantically cast about for something - anything - to knit and in disgust, I jammed the yarn and needles into a tote and groused the whole way home.

And then I woke up and decided I should think about taking along an additional ball of yarn. And a pattern. Just in case.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crazy Monkey Business

It's about time to cast-on for the 2nd Monkey sock. If I'm honest, it's long past time. Ahem. This post isn't really about the Monkey, but about the Yarn - that Crazy Zauberball.

Item the first:
These socks have absolutely no hope of turning out identical. Fraternal it will be. Heck, judging by the striping, I'll be happy if they're mistaken for first cousins.

Item the second:
I daresay about a third of the price of a ball of Zauberball goes directly to the winding procedure. It's very intricate - and for good reason. Brenda Dayne of Cast-On made reference to this in a not too distant podcast. Take a look at the Jenni-wound center-pull ball:


Would you purchase that? Not likely, right? So fancy winding to get:

And you have a Crazy Yarn with mass appeal.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ten things

If you want knitting content, visit Tuesday's post and add a few inches to the scarf. What can I say? The days leading into Thanksgiving are always busy for me - mostly because work picks up in anticipation of year-end deadlines. (Also, I pulled or tore a muscle in my abdomen, so I'm not quite working at full capacity.) So today I offer up the following diversion, inspired by Claudia via Carole.

Ten things I wish I knew how to do – and the likelihood of actually learning/doing
  1. Sew a complete garment for one of my girls that looks professional in every way. Pretty high probability- I love to sew and smaller people mean faster projects (in general).
  2. Code an awesome website. Probable. I'll need a good website professionally at some point - don't want to look like a fool to the funding agencies, eh?
  3. Knit a pair of Anemoi mittens (aside: in my head, I call these anemone mittens). This requires learning stranded colorwork. Probably. As soon as I finish the rest of my queue, that is!
  4. Raise confident, intelligent, compassionate daughters. This is not a cop-out! Every day, I try to better myself as a parent – how can I modify my behaviors to improve the environment in which they grow. Unknown, but I do hope this is highly likely. Only time will tell.
  5. Write a novel (or novella) that I am not embarrassed to show friends (requires having an idea worthy of a novel). Rather unlikely, but you never know when inspiration will strike.
  6. Have a house (or at least the downstairs) that does not look like the decorator was three-years old. Very unlikely.
  7. Visit Alaska. Definitely - headed there this summer.
  8. Walk part (all?) of the Kerry Way. Possible.
  9. Draw. Incredibly unlikely. It is why I never finished my art minor - couldn't handle the drawing requirement!
  10. Write an advice column. Incredibly unlikely. But I do read a bunch - from Auntie BubboPants on Ravelry to the traditional Dear Abby to the new traditional Dear Prudence to Savage Love. Working in a world where egos are larger than the suburbans the people drive, it's my little indulgence.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Wow, the rate of progress around these parts is astounding.

1. Up first, the Helleborus scarf. Powered through the first ball of Malabrigo (mmm) and into the second. Boring picture, true, but it's so fun to knit. Got about 18 inches out of the first ball, so I expect a scarf well over 60 inches. Woot!
Photo 10

2. Second (and final for today) a finished monkey sock. Haven't cast-on for the second sock. Soon!
Photo 12

Most importantly, Happy Birthday, Eric!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Project update

1. Monkey socks. Status: cruising along. These are just barely too small for me which means, I think, they'll fit my sister-in-law perfectly. In a perfect world, these would be done in time to mail to her before she heads in for surgery. In reality, they'll probably get done on the drive to NY for Thanksgiving, which means they'll arrive for the latter half of her recovery.

2. Helleborus (aka Green Scarf). Status: currently stalled but ammunition has been acquired. Last week, I ordered 2 additional skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino from Webs. It arrived today. See?

How I go about merging the 2 dye lots remains up in the air. In most lights, the 4 balls match pretty well. In the picture above, it appears that the skein on the right is a touch darker. Hmm. I think I'll wait until I'm home with sunlight, take them outside and check. But if I had to guess, I'd say I'm just going to knit normally, and ignore the dye lots.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The other other fiber craft

Over the weekend, my oldest daughter celebrated her third birthday. It was her first party and we were determined to do it right - plan and execute a party that made her feel special. To that end, I crafted 3 projects - two with fiber and one with food coloring.

1. A special girl deserves a special hat - a crown in this case. I used a tutorial from Juicy Bits and felt from Purl Soho.


2. A rainbow themed birthday party requires colorful garland - or, in this case bunting, made from a tutorial by Sweet Jessie at Sew, Mama, Sew!


3. And a rainbow cake, inspired by mckmama.

The day was a success, judging by the smile on the birthday girl's face.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I'm trying to find a posting schedule that works with my life. The Tuesday/Thursday posting scheme seems, in theory, suitable. This week is a bit of an anomaly - Eric is out of town on business (the first time in over 2 years) and so I'm playing the single parent for a few days (tip of the hat to all single parents out there. It's tough!). Which is long-winded way to say sorry for the insubstantial post and lack of pictures. I can offer 2 project updates:
1. The Monkey Socks continue to grow. I am ready to turn the heal and charge into the toe on the first sock.
2. I caved and ordered 2 additional skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino. I'm toying with Teresa's idea of working in the 2nd dye-lot for the center of the scarf. It will depend on how poorly the 2 dye-lots match.

Fingers crossed for some knitting relief this weekend - although with a toddler birthday party to throw on Sunday, I suspect not!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monkey and me

I’ve long resisted the charms of the ubiquitous monkey socks. As of this writing, there are 10,442 monkey projects. Every day, it is added to at least 3 people’s queue. It is, in short the most popular sock pattern on Raverly. I never saw the appeal of Monkeys, although I admired many monkeys around the web.

Enter Crazy Zauberball, colorway, well, crazy.

I toyed with Wendy Johnson’s toe-up mock cable socks. The cable was lost with the striping. So I retreated to a simple 2 x 2 rib. Ugh – too simple and deadly boring.

And then in a fit of random clicking around Ravelry, I chanced upon a Monkey. I tilted my head. I squinted. And with a quick nod, I knew that I was going to down the kool aid and attempt to knit a little monkey business.

Knitting at work is a no-no, and I am not knitting at work. But, PhotoBooth clearly shows the crazy rainbow that is my first pair of monkeys.

You can also see my current favorite scarf, the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronique Avery.