crafts · knitting · Life

Even more yarn!

I got my WEBS order today, minus the Silky Wool (it went out of stock… boo!)  I did get a skein of malabrigo in verdeazul

It’s very soft, and the color is really lovely.  It will make a nice scarf, but the “homespun” quality of the yarn will probably keep me from using it for larger garments.

I got the wool for Marc’s scarf (Araucania Nature wool in brick)

It’s slightly more orange than it looks here, but I think it will work.  If not, I also got gray and blue (lapis) nature wool.


I have roughly 750 yds of these two… what to make?   It’s a light worsted weight, and slightly scratchy right now.

I’ll tell you a secret… I prewash my wool yarns.  I like to see how soft they’re going to get.  It’s not really so hard if they’re already in hanks.  Just untwist, wash (with some hair conditioner), and hang to dry.  It makes such a difference in terms of softness when knitting, plus that way there are no size changes after the garment is done, and any color running is (hopefully) done.

I’m off to work on my multidirectional scarf until I have to go to work.  I think I can finish it tonight!

crafts · knitting · Life · Star Trek

Stupid scarf!

Tonight we went to Rich O’s, which is a pub/pizza place with an amazing beer list.  Well, I don’t really like beer, but Marc was happy.  Unfortunately, it’s in Indiana, and I have a severe allergy to Indiana after living there for 4 years.  We were saying goodbye to a friend moving to San Francisco, so that was sad – but Marc shared a mushroom, olive, and anchovy pizza with me (my favorite!) so that was good.  Why yes, I do love anchovies.  It’s the salt.  I’m a salt fiend.

I came back and couldn’t sleep, so I watched “The Search for Spock,” which remains in my mind a pretty bad Trek movie, but hey, it’s still Trek.  While I was watching (it’s a long movie – lots of extended views of ships to slow movies, but nothing as bad as the first movie)  I worked on my multidirectional scarf

I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first ball of yarn, and it’s going much more quickly this time.  It’s about 4″ wide because I don’t like wide scarves, and because I want it to be long (it will be – I have 2 more balls of Silk Garden #82.)  I do wish that the colors popped more -it’s kind of subdued, which I liked at first but now I’m not sure.  It’s definitely going to need blocking, so hopefully I’ll like it better.  I can always gift it if I decide it’s not me.

I really want to finish so that I can start on Marc’s scarf.  I want to do “Interlocking Balloons” from Scarf Style.

He picked it out, and I picked out yarn in his requested color, red.  It’s araucania Nature Wool

The picture is obviously not mine.  I hope the pattern will look nice in the slightly variegated yarn, and I’m going to make a matching hat as well.

Either Leon or Dionne stole my yarn needle (actually my entire needle case) so I still haven’t weaved in the ends of Rusted root.  Soon, I promise.  I want to get started on another big project, possibly another Clapotis in Noro Kureyon 52

That is my picture, and aren’t the colors gorgeous?  I have eight skeins.  I know I’m crazy to do another Clapotis so soon, but I’ve been wearing the first one constantly and getting so many compliments, and I’d like one that matches more of my clothes.  I don’t find Kureyon to be too scratchy – well, it is scratchy, but I don’t mind.  I’m pretty tough.

I’m trying out having one big project and one small project going at a time.  That allows me to carry the small one and work on the big one at home.

I’m off all day tomorrow, because it’s church choir night.  I appreciate my church job, both because I like the people there, and because it allows me to make a living teaching.  Otherwise I would have to get some sort of soulless job which I would no doubt hate, and which I would quickly get fired from (there’s a history there.)

crafts · knitting · Life · Thrifting · Uncategorized

Supposedly we had a flood around here on Friday night, although I personally didn’t observe any crazy amounts of water.  Some of our friends got flooded basements, which is unusal since we live in the Highlands (get it?  High-lands, as in on a big giant hill and not supposed to flood.)

I was in Cincinnati, Marc’s hometown, visiting with his family.  I think Cincinnati is a very nice city, but for me it doesn’t hold a candle to Louisville.  Fortunately for me, Marc feels the same way.  He even moved back here after grad school in Wisconsin, rather than returning to his hometown.  Cincinnati is going to have an IKEA though, and I’m so jealous that I could die.  I see many “family visits” in my future.

Rusted root is nearly finished.  I’ve completed everything except the neck edging, and that should take less than an hour once I feel like finishing.  Pictures soon, I promise!  I tried it on, and I’m really pleased with it.  It fits perfectly, and my sleeves have retained their puffiness.  My only problem is a gap in the join at the bottom of the sleeve cuffs.  I’ll just sew it up when I weave in the ends, but I do wonder why it gapped so badly.

I restarted my Multidirectional scarf tonight for the third time.  I’m confused about how to SSK.  Some directions say to slip both purlwise, and the video on shows slipping one knit and one purl.  I’ve been doing that, but my seam was all bumpy, and I was unhappy.  I looked at the directions, and lo and behold I’m supposed to slip both as if to knit.  I tried that, and instantly the bumps went away.  So I ripped and restarted, because I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with it the way that it was.  I also made the scarf more narrow – 4 inches wide instead of 5, because I dislike wide scarves.  So it should at least be faster.  And I’ve now learned that frogging silk garden is no fun, because it sticks to itself – but it does soften up with handling.

I had a disappointing Goodwill trip today.  I got a few shirts and a purse, plus a few shirts for Marc, but it was really crowded and picked over.  I went to Barnes and Noble to cheer myself up, and looked at the new Tracey Ullman knitting book.  I love the projects in this book – I want to do all the sweaters, plus the bathmats and tablerunner.  I’m definitely asking for this book for Christmas.  It’s so pricey – 27 dollars.  No way would I get it for myself.  18 on Amazon isn’t bad, but I’ll have to wait til after we go to Santa Fe to buy anymore books.  I want  the new Romantic Knits  (retail 29.95!) as well, but I might get a few Rowan Magazines instead (many of the patterns are from Rowan books.)

I need to decide on my next big project, now that Rusted root is nearly done.  And I really want to make the “Peas in a pod” cardigan from the Tracey Ullman book.  I should make an Hourglass sweater, but alas I am easily tempted by pretty new things.

books · Life · Star Trek · Thrifting

I *heart* Goodwill

Obviously I must have some way to finance my yarn hobby. I achieve this by shopping for almost everything else at my local Goodwills and thrifts. I shop at Goodwill so often that the employees know Marc and I by name. I have managed to procure a very nice (and really huge) wardrobe for myself by rifling through the racks like a hawk and giving the evil eye to anyone who approaches my cart. I would save more money, however, if I could manage to avoid the temptation to buy the absurd. For instance:

Why yes, that book is titled “Psychic Discoveries behind the iron curtain”. And it’s every bit as awful as that title would suggest, being filled with overly long physical descriptions of “strapping, vodka loving Commie psychics” and how our government is foolishly unconcerned about the “Psychic Gap.” God I adore this sort of thing.


I must confess to being a big giagantic Star Trek fan. It’s entirely possible that I currently have “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” in the DVD player. It’s even possible that I may, at one time, have attended a convention. I’m not saying.
But even if you aren’t a fan, how awesome is this book? It’s teenage Worf, complete with a pretty unrealistic narrative voice and a little wispy moustache in the picture on the cover. And this one, unlike the psychic book, I actually finished. It wasn’t bad – a little rough in the characterization, and in randomly throwing in a meeting with Geordi that changes Worf’s life, but whatever. If I had had this book at 12 I would have been awfully happy.

When I haven’t been thrifting in awhile I start to actively worry about all the cool things I’m missing out on. What if there were a cookbook called “Making the most of meat” (no, I already have that one…) What if I could have added to my collection of souveneir piggy banks from unlikely places?  Someone else has my pig from the Leaning tower of Pisa, darnit!
I haven’t been this week. Hopefully this weekend will afford some opportunities.  Tomorrow we go to Cincy.  Perhaps thrifts there?  Or at least the giant store at the Gap company distribution center. I have more than once bought brand new Banana Republic leather coats there for 20 dollars.

crafts · knitting

Yarn is here!

I got my new yarn from Knitpicks summer sale!  I’m pretty happy with most of my selections.  I’m completely in love with the Green Apple shine worsted.

Green is my favorite color, and apple green is my favorite shade.  My kitchen is this color, along with easily half my wardrobe and everything else I buy that Marc doesn’t watch out for (my car is green, ok?)  Interestingly, green apple shine worsted is a different color from shine sport.  I’m making my rusted root from shine sport green apple, and they’re nowhere close.  Merino Style in aspargus is pretty close though.

This is to make the “Backyard leaves” scarf from Scarf Style.

Can you endure a few more pictures of yarn?

Clockwise from top left: Mainline in Blueberry, Shine sport in Aquamarine, Shine worsted in wave, and Shine sport in silver sage.

I like them all.  The Wave is my least favorite, but I’d imagine that come spring I’ll love it again.  The blueberry is for an hourglass sweater.  The silver sage is an interesting color… I only hope that it’s going to look good on me.   And the aquamarine will also be for next spring.

I love knitpicks, but we’re going to have a fight if they: A. don’t improve their shipping (a week in the sortation center? ) and B. don’t come up with better colors for some of their lines.  For instance, I love the mainline, but it doesn’t come in decent colors.  I only like the blueberry and the cocoa (dark brown.).  And the shine yarn is my favorite (of course) but I really wish that it came in some more subdued colors.

Ah well… I have more yarn coming (better get knitting!) and maybe I’ll develop a new favorite.  I possibly may have a wee problem with sales.  I look at it this way though – I do use up the yarn I buy pretty regularly, so at least I’m getting it on sale.  And I usually don’t buy without a purpose.  Even if I change my mind or don’t get to it for months, at least it has a purpose.  My only current purposeless yarn is some knitpicks WOTA that I bought way back when I started crocheting.  It’s pretty itchy, and it’s a drab sort of olive green, so who knows what I’m going to do with it.  And some old acrylics, but I really should get rid of them.

Only 5 more inches on my sweater before I can start the ribbing!  I’m starting to suspect that I should have made the XS.  I tried it on, and it fits ok but will not be formfitting.  I’m worried that blocking the lace panel is going to make it humungo.  Why is determining the size to make so shrouded in mystery?  Ah well… I think I’ll like it anyway.  It’s the magic of puff sleeves.  Green puff sleeves.  So happy.

cats · crafts · knitting

Darn you Knitpicks!

My package finally left the sortation center tonight after spending nearly an entire week there.  I suppose that means I’ll get it on Thursday, and then I’ll be able to offer up some yarn p0rny goodness.

Marc has been bugging me about knitting him a hat and scarf for the upcoming winter.  It’s my punishment for making him get rid of the Bengals hat he’s had since the 1980s.  I asked him what color he wanted, and he requested red.  I don’t have any red yarn in stash, because I fear it clashing with my hair, so I went onto WEBS and found that they had Araucania Nature Wool for less than 5 dollars a skein… mmm, my favorite wool, such pretty lightly variegated colors, and such amazing yardage!  I ordered two skeins in Brick for him – sort of a rust/red/brown mix.  Now I just need to decide on patterns for his presents.

The Nature wool isn’t discountable, but there is a free shipping code out right now, so I also got Nature wool is lapis blue and silvery grey (3 skeins each) for myself.  One of them will be an Ella shawl, and the other maybe the Clapotis I keep thinking about for my Mom.  I’m not sure yet.  In addition (I know, I know – had to get to $50!)  I got one skein of silky wool in teal, and a skein of malabrigo in verdeazul , both for scarves, and because I am a total sheep when it comes to trying things everyone is raving about.

I have been knitting – I’ll have to, if I ever want to use up this yarn!  Rusted root is 1/3-1/2 finished.

I’m nearly finished with the shaping decreases.  I may add an extra set, because I have unusual measurments, and I want it to be small enough.

No new pics of the multidirectional scarf, because I’ve only done maybe 6 rows since the last.  It’s my “carrying” project to work, and I haven’t had much downtime lately.

And, of course, the obligatory cute cat pic of the day.

You see, I do have two cats!  This is Dionne, hiding underneath my drycleaning.  She’s Marc’s baby, although she was my cat first, before I met him.  Ever since she’s been around him she’s totally forgotten about me to become a giant Daddy’s girl.  When we watch tv she’ll sit on the arm of the sofa next to him and await scratching.  It’s ok, since Leon is my baby, and he regards Marc with great suspicion. I suspect jealousy – when we were first dating he would literally wedge himself between us.

Crazy cat lady?  Not me!

Crochet · Cross stitch · knitting · Uncategorized

See? I do other crafts!

Well, make that I used to do other crafts, before knitting took over my life.  I am working on “Spring in my Garden”, although I will admit that it’s been a month since I worked on it.

I probably have 4 or 5 cross stitch WIPs, and lord only knows when I’ll finish them all.

This is Mouline Rogue, which is lovely but not even half finished.  What you see is easily two months work, and this is coming from someone who is a really fast sewer.  It’s stitched over one thread instead of two, so basically what would normally be 1 stitch becomes 4.

And finally… the crochet project that converted me to knitting… Ladylike lace gloves

I know it isn’t the best picture, but I think you can tell that it’s sort of floppy and loose, and the lace pattern isn’t clearly defined.  And I made the smallest size and got gague. (with Knitpicks palette in Bark… I have 7 balls of this stuff, any suggestions?)

Compare with the set of Voodoo armwarmers I just finished (hey, I have an obsession with fingerless gloves, ok?)

I love the way that the knitted fabric stretches to fit my (incredibly skinny) wrists.  I do still like crochet for some things, due to its sturdiness, but to be honest I’m now a total knitting convert.  I don’t have any crochet WIPs, and no plans for any.  Well, I might make an afghan… we have radiators for heat here, and I expect it to be chilly in the living room come december.   And knitting an afghan… no way.  Crocheting is so much faster.

I feel bad now, like I’m dissing my other hobbies.  I hope they understand – and I promise to eventually get around to finishing my lovely lady up there.  I have a goal of making the whole set (there is a pattern for every season) and hanging them all together.  And they aren’t too bad… I’ve finished designs that were much larger.

cats · crafts · knitting · Uncategorized

Rusted root progress!

Rusted root now officially has sleeves!

I’m about 45 repeats into the pattern, so now I’m at the part where I just measure for length.  I just started ball #3, and I have 7, so hopefully I should have just enough.  I haven’t had any real problems except for one stitch that went missing on one of the sleeves.  I saw what I thought was a dropped stitch, so I went to fix it and suddenly it disappeared.  I tugged all over the place, but nothing’s unraveling, so hopefully it was an illusion brought on by too much knitting tonight.

Also:  my cat is insane.  Lately he’s taken to sleeping on top of my shoes.

It’s cute, but I can’t imagine that it’s comfortable.  He has good taste in shoes though!  I got those shoes last week at the distribution center.  All their returned shoes go on the racks for 20 bucks a pair.  It’s the most awesome thing ever.

My hands are aching tonight.  Last night I made risotto, and I think the constant stirring did my wrists in a little bit.  When you combine that with the fact that I’m a pianist for a living, and my hobbies are embroidery and knitting, you have trouble.  I’ve been pretty lucky so far – minor tendonitis, which is normal in pianists, but nothing more major.

My knitpicks order taunts me.  Damn you, sortation center!  I want my mainline!    I realized after my order had shipped that I should have bought another skein of gloss in concord, because I want to make a long lace scarf.  If you haven’t tried gloss yet… mmm, it’s just the softest sock yarn.  I don’t even make socks, but I’m totally into it.
Tomorrow has been designated for me to find all my winter clothes/shoes and take my coats to the cleaners.  I’m scared to open the storage boxes, I have to tell you.


We went to Bardstown!

I’ve haven’t been teaching for several weeks, as we make the transition from Summer to Fall sessions. I start back up tonight with several new students, and then it’s back to the land of “working when everyone else is free”.

Marc and I were going to take a trip to Boston during my time off, but then we were invited to a wedding in Santa Fe in October (woo hoo!), so we decided to save our big trip for that. Instead we took a few days last week to visit Bardstown Kentucky. We live in Louisville, which is only 40 minutes or so from Bardstown, but it was nice to have a relaxing trip with no pressures. There’s actually a surprising amount to do for a small town. Usually I’m a city girl, but we made our own fun.

Yes, that’s right… we stayed in a jail for the first night. Our room (the “Library” room) was actually very nice and I enjoyed it, although there were a few rooms I peeked in that were a little too “jail-like” for my taste. One of the rooms in particular had giant old beams covering the ceiling, and the nickname “the upstairs dungeon” because it had been the punishment cell. You could not have paid me enough to stay there. The newest part of the jail is still set up as it was, and you can wander through it on your way to breakfast (which is in the courtyard where they used to do hangings.) Marc wandered back there, only to be startled in the dark by a mannequin set up in one of the old cells. Bardstown’s tourist attractions have quite an affinity for scary mannequins.

For instance, we went to the Civil War Museum, which was lame in exactly the way I thought it would be – lots of random uniforms and guns, and descriptions where “Fort Sumter” is misspelled as “Sumpter” over and over again. But then, in the middle of the museum, there was inexplicably this:

Why yes, that is indeed a mannequin holding a saw, cutting off another mannquin’s leg. I can’t even begin to express what a bad idea it is to give a dummy a saw. I’ve seen that movie, thanks.

We visited the Abbey of Gethsemani (where Thomas Merton lived), where Marc was able to buy cheese made by monks and a book about explaining Catholicism to Evangelicals.  As a side note, while I did attend a Catholic university, and I work for a catholic church, I’m not actually Catholic.  I grew up Southern Baptist and was then sort of generally apathetic for a very long time.  I’m going through RCIA this year though (the process of joining the church for adults.)  There are a few reasons for this, including my job, and Marc being Catholic, but most of all I think I’m fascinated by the history and the rituals.  I’m happy about it.

Back to the trip… We visited the Kentucky Railroad museum, which wasn’t terribly large or exciting, but I did get a picture of the sign from the station near where I live

My grandpa worked for L&N (Louisville – Nashville) railroad. I remember going to the museum with him, and him proudly pointing out the cars and engines he had worked on. And Marc loves trains (well, loves to build models of them out of Legos) so it was a good trip.  I actually wish we still rode trains.  I spent several months in Europe over the past few years, and there’s just something about travel by rail that I really miss.
The second night we stayed at another B&B, where we somehow managed to accidentally rent the entire guesthouse. It was awesome – we had two whole floors to ourselves!  And there was nice, elegant breakfast in the mansion in the morning.

So it was a pretty nice trip. I bought a green scarf at a thrift store, and they had coffee. What more do you need?

crafts · knitting · Uncategorized

Progress photos!

Here’s Rusted Root with 16 rounds completed.

This project is so much fun! I’m actually on round 26 now, and I just started my second ball of shine sport.

My multidirectional scarf is also making excellent progress

The colors are slightly less vibrant than they look here (Noro silk garden #82). It’s going to take all 3 balls to make it long enough I think, and even then I may end up gifting this scarf to my Mom. I’m kind of sad about the silk garden actually… the colors are so, so wonderful, but I really dislike the feel of it in my hands. I’m not sure that I’ll actually want to wear it around my neck.

And finally, my finished Clapotis, since I realized I hadn’t ever posted it here

Words cannot express my love for the Clapotis. It’s so perfect, and so wonderfully warm and soft! I adore rectangular shawls because of their ability to double as scarves.

Mad love. Now I really want to make the Lady Eleanor stole, but my silk garden hate makes me sad here… I can’t think of an even vaguely affordable alternative.