Thursday, December 29, 2005

And what have we learned?

These are the results of yesterday's knitting adventures.


As you can see, there are several lessons to be learned here:

1) Do NOT swatch in the dark. You will not care about dropped stitches...leading to oddly shaped "squares" which are fairly useless as gauge swatches.

2) If doing duplicate stitch, do not attempt said activity in the pleasantly dim atmosphere of a coffeehouse. Doing so may lead to crooked stormtrooper heads - possibly a result of a misalignment in the Force?

3) Uncommon Grounds really does have wonderful sweets. (Well, you can't see that from the photo, but you'll just have to take my word on it.) However, eating a nanaimo bar with one's fingers is not a good idea when handling knitted goods, as chocolate and wool tend to have a difficult relationship. I hear that they're seeking counselling, though.

4) A embroidery hoop might help when doing detailed work so that one can see what one is doing. Of course, blocking the scarf first so that the stitches are better defined might also be part of the solution.

5) I can be such a royal dumbass sometimes.

And now I'm going to take a page out of Morgan's book:

Tune of the moment: Hammer - Die Fantastischen Vier

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Right. Errr, sorry about the geek-gasm last night...

So, all apologies to the lovely ladies of SnB for the total geekgasm that Lynne and I were having last night. But y'see - geek gamer girls are a rarity. And geek gamer girls who both like anime? And who are willing to have discussions about said hobbies in public? Well, that's like having the stars and planets align in one of those rare constellations which then opens a gate to another dimension. In other words - it doesn't happen often. And when it does...hoo boy, stand back Nelly. So, KnitJo, I'm so sorry about us squishing you into the corner and mercilessly beating you about the head with our discussions about sucking RAM and L33tsp34k. Hee.

In knitting related talkie-talky...y'know those other dimensions that I was just talking about? Well, the stormtrooper scarf appears to have mysteriously opened a rift in the space-time continuum. I knit, and knit, and knit. And yet, the blasted thing remains at 47 inches. (Maybe I'm not seeing the weird other-dimension effect because I'm knitting in the dark.) Meh. I'm not sure if I'm going to make the Christmas deadline, but that's ok. I'm finally relaxed and enjoying the holiday season. That might have something to do with the mugs of mulled wine being repeatedly pressed into my hand, but hey - what the heck. 'Tis the season, eh?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

and Triumph!

Missed SnB last night because Mr. Ninja HANDED IN HIS Ph.D. THESIS! This is big, people. So, we stayed in and celebrated in style. And since drunken knitting tends not to go so well for me...I worked on something else last night after we were done.


It's not easy making presents for your Mom at the best of times. And since my Mom is the ultimate knitter (she used to be a LYS owner), I know that there's no way that I can knit her anything that even comes close to her exquisite craftsmanship. So, instead, I made my mom a knitting accessory this year. It's a lined bag for her wool - there's a grommet in the top left corner which the yarn is threaded through - so her current project will be well protected. The side pocket holds a yarn cutter pendant and there's plenty of room for cable needles and other such fripperies. I'm still debating whether or not to make a handle on one side so that she can hang the bag on the handle of her purse or her wrist...I guess I'll just wrap it up and ask her when she opens the present.

Speaking of presents - the stormtrooper scarf continues. Onto the second skein of Malabrigo...and just so you know, winding a skein in the dark DOES NOT work at all. I got so frustrated and angry and upset and flustered (not to mention livid) that I called Lucy at Tradewind Knits this morning and bought myself this:



After the first two skeins, I was just about ready to burst into tears of sheer joy. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Disaster!

Not for me...the stormtrooper scarf is pacing along nicely, especially now that I've learned how to knit in the dark. (Count 'em: 3 nights putting Mr. Munchkin to sleep while knitting, and 4 dropped stitches in total. I've even gotten so good that I can pick up dropped stitches in the dark now.) But for Tangled Skeins, my LYS.

Last night, they had a break-in and some complete arsehole took all of the cash. Additionally, apparently there was some maniac on Portland Street last night wielding a shotgun...and the street was barricaded. Double yikes, especially considering that I had popped into the bank just down the street from TS around 6 pm last night, accompanied by Mr. Munchkin. While I can take care of myself in most situations...I am terrified of the prospect of someone hurting my son. So. Sheryl mentioned that she's thinking of moving locations, and I am immeasurably saddened by the prospect. I love the fact that I can walk to TS...but I do understand that the store is on the lonely end of Portland, making it a more vulnerable target. I hope that the landlord decides to install a security system at the very least...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Feeling like Scrooge...

Oh, not because I'm not into the season cheer and all that fluff. Quite the opposite. I've been listening to Frank Sinatra and the boys croon Christmas carols for the past week on my iPod. But, I'm feeling like Scrooge, because I'm being haunted. By this:


This, my friends, is Mr. Munchkin's Advent Calendar. Filled with yummy chocolate (which I have not taken a single bite of) and slowly counting down the number of knitting days that I have left to finish this:


That's Mr. Ninja's soon-to-be Star Wars scarf. That's the black Malabrigo that I made a fool of myself for...before I cast on the scarf, I asked Mr. Ninja what kind of scarf he'd like. Well, the dear man decided that he really really liked scarves that were knit in the round. IN THE ROUND. So, I deduced that I was going to need a heck of a lot more yarn than the two skeins I had allotted to this project.

So, I called Tangled Skeins in a bit of a panic at 10 am the next morning. Lovely Jak answered and salvaged the day by finding me five more skeins of the precious Malabrigo hidden in the depths of the store. Which leads me to wonder what other wonders lay beneath TS...

But back to the scarf...I've finally resigned myself to knitting at least 3 feet of stockinette stitch in the round now. But I'm just itching to get to the decorative part. I'm planning on doing the stormtrooper head and an AT-AT from this fairisle design in duplicate stitch. I could have done it in Intarsia...but have you *seen* the Advent calendar? Yoiks.

And I'd like to introduce you all to the newest member of our household. Penguin is done. And it seems that Mother Nature decided to welcome him in style. Observe.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ok, this is just gettting silly.

Let's play a game of I spy. I spy with my little eye...another stinkin' almost FO. This is driving me nuts. (The fact that I haven't slept had more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep EVERY night this week may have something to do with my aggressive attitude towards the innocent project in question.)


That would be a thumbless mitten, a cannibalized skein of bulky wool and the tuft of yarn destined to be the thumb of the mitten. What is it with my almost FOs running out of steam? But at least they're done now. Ends woven in neatly and everything! I'm quite proud of myself for that last bit...as it involved sharp, pointy objects. Which, under normal circumstances, I would never be allowed near in my current mental condition.

But I'm quite cheerful at the moment: Mr. Munchkin is obsessed with Pingu, so my next project is a Christmas gift for him, Pasha.

I nearly forgot - I got the prices for the co-op yarn from the seller:

Merino handpainted:
Up to
20 skeins $6.5 USD each skein.
Between 20 and 100 skeins $6 USD each skein.
More than 100 skeins $5.7 USD each skein.

Merino undyed:
Up to 20 skeins $5.5 USD each skein.
Between 20 and 100 skeins $5 USD each skein.
More than 100 skeins $4.7 USD each skein.


So, that's the base cost per skein...obviously, the cost of shipping would be tacked onto that. But it's still a pretty swanky deal.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Procrastination is perfectly legitimate...

Well, yesterday, I went to Chapters looking for this, but I came home with this instead:


It's just so darn pretty. Considering that I've been making up more and more of my own patterns, this book's a terrific resource for innovative stitch patterns and edging techniques. I mean, look at these pages:


I'm thinking of using the beaded loops for the ends of my first post-Christmas project - a scarf for myself out of some of the eBay merino.

SnB last night was a wonderful mental tonic... I've been needing some grown-up time for myself lately. But I will say - the barista at Uncommon Grounds has the perfect hands for male mitten modeling. Girls, if you need someone to model your Christmas knitting - he's your man. He even asked if I would knit him some mittens... a guy who serves up yummy coffee and admires knitted woolies? Let's just hope that some good knitter gets this guy and avoids the sweater curse.