Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thank You Judy!

I got a package from my International Scarf Exchange Pal, Judy! (Sorry for the delayed post, Judy. Just think of it as creating suspense!). Here's my gorgeous new scarf:
It's a lovely dark green triangular scarf made with Elann alpaca. It even came with an extra ball of this yummy yarn! That's so thoughtful! But wait, there's much much more...There was this cool ladybug bag:
Plus all these amazing goodies:

That's handmade vanilla soap, folks! How incredibly lucky am I to have such a talented and generous pal? Thank you, Judy! Oh, oh and guess what? She loves BSG too! I tell you, those ISE hostesses are totally psychic :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Green Light

After a 5 hour install and a lot of furniture moving, the FIOS connection is up and running. I've had cable internet for a few years, and I was pretty happy with the 6Mb download speed. But holy crap, fiber blows that right out of the water, and it's cheaper too! So I have a new pet router (I'd show you a picture, but still no camera). It's pretty big as home/soho routers go. Maybe I'll get a chance to tinker with it.

I finished another long stripey scarf:
Yarn: Patons SWS (alternating strands of Natural Geranium and Natural Earth)
Needles: Boye aluminum straights, size 8
Pattern: Broken 2x2 rib (aka Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts)
Alterations: I made it narrower by a few repeats.

I really love the colors and silky feel of this yarn. It is pretty loosely spun, so splitting was a bit of a problem. Michaels sells it, and (though I don't think the the bricks and mortar Joanns carry it). On the whole, very nice, and I've heard it felts like crazy. Now there's an idea...must felt stuff!

Next post: some seriously spectacular scarfage (I'm stalling until I can post pictures - words just wouldn't do it justice!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Day Off

Verizon is coming to the house tomorrow to install fiber, so I'm taking the day off. I'm so looking forward to having a great day: no commute, lots of knitting time and, oh yeah, fiber optic internet by the end of the day! That's 15Mb down/2Mb up, assuming all goes well of course (this is Ma Bell's offspring, so what could possibly go wrong??)

I'm still working on the striped Paton's bag, plus I've got a bunch of holiday scarves to work on during the installation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More About Me

Since I can't resist opportunities to talk about myself, this is my response to YarnYenta's blog contest:
1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?
The right-hand window seat of the last row of the last car of the red line train to Glenmont. I look something like this, only much fatter:
I've found that I can prop my bag on my feet to keep it off the possibly gunky floor.
2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
If I could still use my hands, I'd probably start spinning in earnest (sadly not a practical train activity). If I couldn't use my hands, I guess I could read more.
3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
Venice - before it sinks.
4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
I wanted to be an astronomer. A year of high school trig got that out of my system. In college I studied medieval English lit, then switched to computer info science (I really wanted to be gainfully employed). Now I'm a secretary. The better question might be, "Have you grown up yet?!"
5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Rocky Road, preferably either Baskin & Robbins or Edys (aka Dreyers). I like the kind with whole mini marshmallows. Marshmallow ribbon just isn't the same.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Finished Things

Another skein of homespun, woohoo! Pardon the camera phone pic. My camera is still missing in action.

I've also finished knitting up the Shibori scarf. I'm having some trouble actually shibori-ing the darn thing because I can't find enough rubber bands to make the little bumps. Argh! Maybe a trip to staples is in order?

In non-knitting news, I'm now addicted to Battlestar Galactica. I'm curious to see how far they take the Iraqi insurgency-esque premise.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

In the Midst

I've been spinning some more. I'm trying to get a more even single. Not that uneven yarn looks bad to my eyes - I like the stuff I've made so far. It's just that I want to have a little more control while spinning, so it doesn't always feel like I'm fighting with either the wheel or the fiber or both!

Oh, oh, I finally finished a WIP! Behold the Amazingly Long Circular Sock Yarn Scarf, which has been part of my backpack knitting for who knows how long:
(Well, you would be beholding it right now except my brother swiped my camera when he came by last weekend. Take my word for it, the scarf is long and stripey looking.)
Size: 60" long
Yarn: Regia 4 fadig Brasil Color (2 balls)
Needles: 12" Addi Turbo circs in Size 3

Go ahead and laugh - that's about 900 yards of sock yarn! I started it after getting my hands on a copy of Not Just Socks. I clearly wasn't thinking, 'cuz that's a hell of a lot of knitting with thin yarn on small needles!

In other knitting news, I'm still plugging away at the Paton's Merino bag. I'm also at the tail end of the the Shibori scarf. I have to find some really tiny rubber bands to make the bumps before I felt it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


For my dear secret pal:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like Knitpicks and Debbie Bliss yarns (cashmerino aran is soooo soft). I also like Noro (the colors are just fabulous!). In general, I’m not a yarn snob. I do have issues with ribbon yarn. I like the way they look but it seems to take a lot of effort to keep them from getting all twisted. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have two Boye Needlemaster sets, which make up most of the needles I use. The rest are Addi Turbos and assorted metal and plastic straights. I have an Artbin Hook & Needle Folio which contain (most) of my non-needlemaster needles and notions. The really gigantic needles live in a tall decorative tin.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learned to knit about ten years ago, though I didn't really get into it until about two years ago. Now, of course, I'm practically obsessed!! I would consider myself an intermediate knitter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, I do have an Amazon list. It's full of non-knitting books, though, so that might not be terribly interesting to anyone else, but let me know if you want to see it.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

I'm kind of sensitive to fragrances. It's kind of hard to explain. For example, I like the smell of roses, but only when it's coming from a rose, and not from somewhere it shouldn't. Ditto for food smells too (*drool*). Lemons smell lovely to me, but lemon-scented cleaners make me gag.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Yes!!! Love love love chocolate! I like to bake and I get a lot of satisfaction sharing what I make. Not a fan of cherries, mint or marzipan, though, so I guess I'll never be a pastry chef (*sigh*). My favorite candies are Twix and Cadbury Fruit & Nut.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I've dabbled a little in decoupage and polymer clay. I’m a novice spinner.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like lots of different kinds of music. "Eclectic" might be the right word to describe my taste. I like some of what I think is classified as Modern Rock (Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, Radiohead, Coldplay), folkish/indie things (Patty Griffin, Ben Harper, Billy Bragg) and classical choral works (Rutter, Brahms). My computer does play MP3s and I love mixes.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I really love green, though since I really started knitting again, I've gained an appreciation for many different colors. They've kind of grown on me.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my parents and my aunt Dee, a Scottie dog and a nutty and long-lived cockatiel. The latter two shed periodically, but I love them all anyway.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves and hats, though not mittens or ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I do a lot of scarves, mostly because I'm impatient and they don't take too long. I also love knitting and felting bags.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Assorted scarves and baby things (for all the babies appearing out of nowhere).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, absolutely!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circular all the way! I find them to be really versatile. More importantly, they're compact and reduce the risk of injury (along with any possible lawsuits) while knitting on the subway. I used wooden needles once and didn’t like them (way too sloooooooow!). Of the needles I've knitted with, I much prefer aluminum to plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes to both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Hmmmmm, I recently went through the mound of UFOs and as far as I can tell, it’s the Knitty Baseball sweater I started in November of last year.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

The entire stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's is my favorite time of the year.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I have an embarrassingly large collection of turtle-ware: figurines, stickers, books, keychains, turtle-shaped things of mysterious origin and unknown function, etc. I may get around to documenting them some day.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Knitting Beyond the Edge and Inspired Cables. I subscribe to Interweave and Vogue Knitting.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I’d like to be a better finisher. I detest weaving in ends and seam kind of haphazardly. My seams ain’t pretty but they usually stay together.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I’ve knit one sock. Ever. Not a pair of socks, but one sock. And it was even a tube sock, with no fiddly heel to mess with and I still couldn’t finish it. I do love sock yarn, though, for baby things.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)