Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

Not all of these are knitting-related.

1. I will finish my cross-stitch UFO. It has been sitting there for 7 years, that's enough.

2. I will try Fair Isle knitting. This one is left over from last year. What can I say, I'm a coward when it comes to colorwork.

3. Start holiday gifts in time to actually finish.

4. Knit more socks.

5. Knit a lace garment that has shaping in the lace part, not just the stockinette section.

6. Learn to crochet properly. By that, I mean learn to crochet something other than a dishcloth.

7. Get in shape. Not moving makes my inflammatory arthritis worse. Also, I need to get in shape so I can

8. do the breast cancer walk. It's in May, so I better get cracking.

9. Stop being a coward when it comes to applying for jobs. I mean, why?

10. Eat healthy. Junk food makes the hormones unhappy. Unhappy hormones make me unhappy. It's not a good thing.

And here's one that needs to get done before the New Year: Finish at least one of my knitting UFOs! 2 of them need assembling. At least one of them should be finishable by tomorrow!

Happy New Year, and I'll post pictures of the new FO if I succeed with that last bit!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Egg Nog!

Today, I've been feeling well enough to make Egg Nog. The end product is most yummy and not Salmonella-inducing, as the eggs are cooked for a good 7 minutes or so. Also, milk can be substituted for the alcohol if kids are present -- or if you just don't drink alcohol.

Here's a picture of the ingredients:

Heat 3 cups of whole milk in a heavy saucepan until it's just barely boiling. In the meantime, whisk together 7 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl. The recipe says to then pour the milk into the eggs, but if you do that, you're likely to get scrambled eggs and milk, yuck.
So instead, I carefully whisk in milk by the 1/4 cup, pouring slowly with a cup measure and whisking vigorously all the while. The slow rise in temperature keeps things from curdling. No scrambled egg nog, yay!
After the first 3/4 cup or whole cup of milk whisked into the eggs, you can slowly pour in the rest of the milk -- while whisking!

Then, pour the milk/egg/sugar mixture back into the pot and cook on medium low until a thermometer registers 170 degrees (F, not Centigrade!). Pour custard-like mixture into a clean bowl. The recipe says to pour through a fine-meshed sieve, but I've never had to do that. It turns out perfectly smooth every time.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/4 cup cognac and 1/4 cup of bourbon or brandy. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of both kinds of liquor, for a total of 2/3 of a cup of booze. I like to taste something besides booze. And I don't want to end up under the table after just 1 glass of egg nog!

Here's what the end result looks like:


Let cool on the counter, then cover and refrigerate. It tastes even better the next day, after the booze has had some time to mellow.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas cold

My nose is stuffed up, my ears are stuffed up, and my voice went away. Guess who won't be singing in the choir for Christmas? I know it's the intent that counts, but I just don't see myself croaking out a festive tune.

The blanket is 3/8 done. My sister's sweater is still unseamed. Samantha's hem still needs hemming. But tomorrow, I'm going to get cracking.
Also coming up: pictures of me making egg nog. Yum, egg nog!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Blankie & Christmas Tree

Because this is a knitting blog, I'll start with the blankie. As you can see, there's no way it's getting done by Christmas. Like all lace, it looks awful on the needles, but I like the way it's coming out -- and I'm surprised by the softness of the new WoolEase Bulky. This year's WoolEase is so much softer than last year's. The advances in acrylic are amazing. It's no longer yucky!

Pattern info: Leaf Lace Throw by Fibertrends
Yarn: WoolEase Bulky in Fisherman (why did they call an off-white Fisherman? Who knows!)

And this week, we're doing Christmas decorations for blog stalking. Here's our Christmas tree in all its glory. Mr. Batty had to put up the angel because I tried, and she looked all crooked, like she'd consumed the entire bowl of egg nog all by herself.

Here's a closeup of some of my favorite ornaments. Yes, that's an orange bat ornament on the left. Did you honestly think I had no bat ornaments? Slightly to the right is the cup with the 2 mice cuddling -- it's the Christmas ornament the ladies' group at our last church gave us before we got married. To the right of that, not all that visible, is an ornament with two manatees. I love manatees, they look like big, snuggly cuddlecritters. Even though they're wet. It's the faces, they're the cutest.

And here's a closeup of my purple bat ornament. It has another bat that holds the bow together, some black fluff, and two black roses hanging off the ribbon.

Have a happy, batty Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Pagan holiday of choice/Festivus, everyone!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gargamel Feet

What does Gargamel wear when he goes smurf-hunting?

Fuzzy Feet!

These are Fuzzy Feet, knit in some color of Cascade 220 on US11 needles. They also have suede soles, but I'm not taking pictures of those because they're embarrassing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to attach a 2-part sole to medieval footwear? It's hard.

My sweetie likes his new slippers, they're warm and the soles make them non-slippery. He does, however, make smurf-hunting jokes. For a good reason, even the color is pretty darn accurate (if a little dark).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blog-stalking questionnaire

NAME: Batty
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We just put them under the tree, unless they get wrapped at the store. But we try to keep the environment happy, so we minimize our packaging material consumption as much as possible.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I like them both. White is more festive, colored is more joyful.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.
5. When do you put your decorations up? It takes me a while to take down the Halloween bats. Halloween stuff is all over the house, and this year, it's lingering. As soon as we manage to put it away, the Christmas stuff goes up.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? No fair excluding dessert! It's the best part of every meal!
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Baking cookies with my mother. I love cookies, I love my mother, and I love watching the snow. It was perfect.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember when I learned the truth, but I do remember one department store having a particularly good Santa. He told me I'd been good in general, but that there was a problem with the mess in my room. You know, with one shoe under the bed, the other in my closet. I was in awe. He had to be real. How else could he know about the shoes?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open them Christmas day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? We don't have too many ornaments yet, but we try to get a new one every year. My favorite is a cup with two mice hugging that says 'first Christmas' on it. The ladies from our church's evening group threw me a surprise bridal shower after choir practice one day, and they gave me this ornament. It was such a sweet gesture.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love to cuddle and watch the snow. Hate driving to work when it's coming down!
12. Can you ice skate? No. I've tried, but... no.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? We weren't big into gifts. But probably something Barbie.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Turning inward in expectation of something joyful. Our family doesn't go nuts over gifts, so there's no pushing, rushing, or desperately trying to meet deadlines (except for the blanket I'm knitting for my in-laws...). The religious background is extremely important to me, as is an opportunity to spend time with my family.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cheesecake! This year, I'm probably making pumpkin cheesecake instead of pumpkin pie.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We leave our decorations up until Orthodox Christmas in January. One of the benefits of being a 2 denomination household!
17. What tops your tree? An angel that is notoriously difficult to get onto the tree.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving. What a wonderful excuse to knit for people!
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? The first noel, though the lyrics crack me up every time. Which is bad, because I'm in the church choir.
20. Candy Canes...
Yuck! I don't like mint too much, and chocolate and mint is even worse.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Putting it all together

Tonight, I'm putting together my sister's birthday sweater. Pictures coming up!

Tomorrow, I'm frogging the mistake in the lace blanket for my father in law and his wife. Pictures of that, sad as it is, also coming up. 23 days till Christmas. About 10 days till it has to be mailed out. Am I insane?

Then, I'm going to finish that baby sweater. I swear, if I don't do it soon, the kid's going to be graduating college before it's done!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


My sister's birthday sweater is blocking upstairs. Her birthday was yesterday, so it's going to be late, but I really like the way it turned out. The yarn (Berroco Softwist) has a simmery strand spun into it, which really catches the light in the cable pattern. Unfortunately, it also makes the whole thing difficult to photograph.

Here's the whole sweater laid out to block:

And here's a closeup of the cable pattern:

It's very hard to photograph, and it looks much, much better in real life. But this is the best I can do with the lighting conditions and with my cheapo digital camera.

In other news: I have to redo some of the hems on Samantha. I thought I could live with the imperfection, but it's annoying me every time I look at it. Just blocking out the sweater took 2 hours, and I'm done with annoying stuff for today.

Instead of mucking about with hems, I'm starting the Christmas blanket for my in-laws. It's a lace pattern knit in bulky acrylic... I hope my hands survive this, and I hope it blocks at least a little!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day!

We've finished cooking and stuffing ourselves. The leftovers are in the fridge, and I am happily ensconced in my comfy chair. Now for some knitting, and life will be perfect.

One question, though: Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong with my pie crust? It turns out either way too crumbly to work (why? why? why?), or, if I add too much water to counteract the crumbliness, shell-like and not at all airy and flaky.
If you have the solution to my pie crust problem, please help. I'm baffled.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


My sweetie took me to see pumpkins. It was great! A huge field of pumpkins, all carved. We drove to Lookout Farms in Wellesley. There, we got on a little train-like thing they use to take people into the orchards, where...
Pumpkins. Everywhere! We were surrounded by them. They even hired some artists to do some of the carving.

See for yourselves!

It's really well done. Feels like a maze, looks like a maze, but there's really only one way to go.

There was actually water coming out of the top of the pumpkin pile! I didn't get a picture of the dragon with pumpkin eyes, but the landscaping was phenomenal. So worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I know, I know, Halloween is long over. But I never properly thanked my Spooky SP, the amazing AKKnitter, for the wonderful (and thoughtful!) goodies she sent me. This green package was Cthulhu-themed, complete with instructions for a dark ritual to summon the Great Old One. She was wonderful to send me a ritual that really worked...
As you can tell, because I didn't get eaten.

Here's me wearing the socks. See, they fit perfectly -- and I don't remember ever giving her my foot measurements! Methinks it's time to get out the tinfoil hat again.
On second thought, why don't I not. After all, getting comfy, warm socks in Cthulhu green is worth the loss of a little privacy.

This is an amazing package, right? Well, it wasn't the only one! Here is the OTHER package she sent. Look at these bat stitch markers! Aren't they the cutest? Complete with Jack Skellington row marker!

And check out this spooky haul. The cutest bat bags, beady candy cake-decorating thingies in bat shapes, and... BAT SPRINKLES! For cookies! Now I can battyfy my cookies, they'll taste twice as good.
There's yarn... I'd never actually knit with Noro Kureyon, so this will be a first. The colors are gorgeous. Then there are these vintage patterns. Some of them are really cute and pretty, others make you laugh out loud. What a great gift.
Then there's the Wool of Bat jar. It doesn't get any more perfect. And a little pumpkin carving kit, and candy corn candles.

I have been completely spoiled, and I apologize for the delay in showing off all this wonderful stuff. Thank you so much. It's obvious a lot of thought went into these packages, and I appreciate every little bit of it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dead batteries

Sigh. I still haven't posted pictures of my spooky SP's incredibly generous gifts. My husband took me to this amazing pumpkin event at a nearby farm, I took some pictures, but can't download them. The batteries in my camera are dead and I've been too broke to buy new ones!
Has anyone else ever had a negative balance on their account because they just really couldn't afford that last trip to the yarn store? Maybe I do have a problem.

On the bright side: Samanta is done, at least the knitting part. I was trying to put it together and then seam, but that didn't work because all the loose ends from the provisional CO made it impossible to see what's what. Now, I'm hemming first, then putting it together. If I'm really careful, everything should come out even.

The hem is flaring. I can't just pull elastic through it because the dress buttons up the front and fits like a cardi. The elastic would pull the halves apart.

It will block out. I know it will.
I know I'm probably kidding myself.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The NC experience

We're back from North Carolina. One of my college roommates got married over the weekend, and I was one of her bridesmaids -- the only one who isn't a member of the family, so that was a great honor. But between doing the bride's manicure/pedicure/make-up and getting everyone into their dresses and wrangling social situations, I didn't have much time to take pictures at the wedding.

The day before, though, hubby and I went to the Museum of Life and Science. It's so much fun! They have mist that forms a tornado, a water-filled ball that shows how the earth's atmosphere forms intricate patterns when it spins, a bunch of blocks you can use to build an arched bridge... I didn't want to leave!

Best of all, they had critters. There was a butterfly house with over 5000 butterflies, but I only got one to hold still long enough.

And, as a true knitter, I immediately zeroed in on the sheep. I was this close to asking the museum people what they do with the fleeces!

And here's a closeup of the yarny critters. Because us knitters can't get enough of looking at yarn-producing animals, right?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Spooky haul - long overdue!

My wonderful spooky SP sent me an amazing box of goodies, and I never got to blog about it until now! So, before I appear ungrateful, I better do it justice!

Bat garland. Purple. Sparkly. Need I say more? And an orange bat candle! Those are pencils with a variety of Halloween motifs and yes, bats! But that's not all. Candy! Mouth shaped, both green and fanged. Yum, fang lollipop! And loads of plastic bats, glow in the dark skulls, pumpkins, spooky Bart Simpson 'skin art' (grin!), it's great.
And look at the adorable stuffed kitty. I can't have a real kitty, but this is the next best thing. And a big, bright spider web, complete with spiders!
And... haven't I run out of ands yet? Well, no, since I haven't run out of stuff.

ROVING! Complete with orange Kool Aid for dying. I just got a spindle (which stariel helped pick out, since I know nothing about spinning). Can't wait to try this. Not that my first yarn will be perfect, but it'll be orange. Swoon!

Thank you so much, spooky SP! I'm still overwhelmed.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Yesterday, I had the best time. The knittyhead meetup was so much fun, everyone was so nice. We had a blast, and I hope we get to do this sort of thing again sometime soon. Only next time, I'm taking my camera.

In knitting news: I need to frog back the turbulence sweater because I messed up the shoulder bindoff. So I figured I'd knit the sleeves for Samantha. Well, I've ripped back over 20 rows, and I still haven't found the mistake. Why do I have one stitch too many? Seriously, if I don't find out soon, I'll just m1 and call it good. I mean, I was halfway done with this sleeve! Why, oh why?

OK, enough whining. Pictures of the bat package my spooky SP sent me coming up as soon as my camera works again. Also coming up: pictures of my WEBS haul! Purple and aqua yarn. Yum!

Monday, October 09, 2006

WIP roundup

I haven't been blogging much because I've been busy knitting. Here's a look at my works in progress.

First up: Samantha. After much finagling, I managed to get the neckline to come out right. If you want knit this pattern, do e-mail the designer. She has re-written the pattern, but not yet published the revised version. She's very, very helpful and a nice person.
So far, I've done the 3 needle bindoff on the shoulders and hemmed the neckline. It still looks a bit scruffy, but blocking should do wonders -- as should the addition of sleeves.
I love the lacy detailing in the front.

Here's a peek at Samantha from the back. I love the smocking. I hope the bottom seam doesn't flare too much even though I didn't go down a needle size. But I'll worry about that when I get to it.

Remember my sister's birthday sweater? The one I cast on on Monday? Here's the back. I've finished the armholes and am a 3/4 inch away from the back of the neck. The yarn is very shiny and I really like the way the half-twisted rib looks.

In other news: my knitty spooky SP package has arrived at the post office (am not expecting anything else). I will pick it up tomorrow. So excited, can't wait!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Friday knitting

Today, I'm tired. My commute took a good 1.5 hours, each way. The way back was particularly frustrating because an entire hour of that was spent making it the last 5 miles to my exit. On the bright side, I got to knit while waiting for traffic to move again.

When he got home, my sweetie took me out for dinner, and I had a pomegranate margarita. Yum! Really, really good. The salt rim makes it perfect. So now I'm home, ensconced in my comfy chair, and knitting my sister's birthday sweater. Try as I may, the cheapo bamboo needles with the cheapo cord just won't lie straight, which is why this picture sucks. But the color of the yarn came out exactly right. That's half-twisted rib at the bottom, and the stitches look much neater in real life.
The yarn is Berroco Softwist, and I'm loving the way the silky strand that's woven in throughout makes the yarn shimmer. It's going to be so pretty!

Also on the agenda for this weekend: finish the baby sweater. No, really, I have to. Or the baby will be starting school before I'm done!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oldest UFO

This week's assignment for the blog stalking group is my oldest UFO. As I've been cross-stitching a lot longer than I have been knitting, my oldest UFO is a cross-stitch design -- Celtic Christmas, from Lavender and Lace. It's missing a bit of its border and all the beads. There are loads of beads. I'll get around to finishing this eventually, but not quite yet.
Must contend with the Christmas knitting first.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Reverse spoilage!

I got the most wonderful surprise when I finally opened my mail today: a package from seiding, my downstream SP from knitty SP 7! She sent me a thank you gift that simply blows my mind. Look at the batty foamies! There are three bats in those, and they say batty! Yay!
Where in the world she found the chocolate batty, I'll never know. There are so few bat-shaped things around here, yet she managed to find loads!
And look at the pretty hand-knit pouch! It had tea and a beautiful bracelet in it. The baggie itself is made of shiny, slinky, dreamy yarn in blues. Isn't it gorgeous?

Here is a closeup of the bracelet. I haven't taken it off since I put it on a while ago. It even has a little ball of yarn with knitting needles in it. Forget about corporate etiquette, I'm wearing this to work tomorrow. Nothing says "young, up-and-coming professional" like a huge flowered knitting bag and a knitting bracelet!
Seriously, though, it's so tasteful! Knitty without being tacky. I'm going to wear this a lot.

And a huge thank-you to seiding. Sue, you've really made my day. Thank you so much for your kindness. You were so much fun to spoil. Now I know that you are an excellent spoiler as well!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Knitting, knitting, knitting

Yes, I'm knitting. I've been working on Samantha, and I'm almost done with the right front. Tomorrow, I get to start the left front. She's coming along fairly quickly now... and she's keeping my thoughts from straying to the pretty, shiny Berroco Softwist in Walnut.
It's for my sister's birthday sweater. My skin looks nasty and sallow when I hold it against my arm, but I held it next to a picture of my sister's face, and it made her look like she's glowing from the inside or something. Browns look great on her. I hope she likes the finished result!

But now, back to knitting Samantha. Pictures of my progress coming soon!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


So. What are you seeing? Well, one straight edge -- on the right. One not-so-straight edge on the left. I think I lost a stitch somewhere along the line, but even though I added it back in further up, the piece refused to get back to its original width. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my gauge evened out towards the upper half of the dish cloth.

But you know what? It was fun to crochet, and I'll make another one!

But first, I need to finish the baby sweater dress. Our friend is coming over on Sunday, there's no way it's getting done, but I need to get cracking. Because the owner of our LYS just called to let me know that the yarn for my sister's birthday sweater has arrived. Once I get my hands on that, I may not be able to do anything else for a while.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The C word

My hands don't hurt any more, but I haven't blogged. Why? Well, I've been too busy networking, job hunting, and crocheting. Yes, the dreaded C word.

I'm making a dishcloth.
It's a good 21 years overdue. They tried to teach me when I was in the third grade, but while I picked up knitting in no time, I could not figure out how to turn a long, skinny chain of stitches into a piece of fabric. Now, I've got it.
Yes, it's unimpressive. Yes, there are many better crocheters out there. But my one third of a single-crochet dishcloth makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tools and celebrities

I have been remiss on my blog stalking duties, but now I'm catching up with a vengeance!
This week's assignment has a "you and a celebrity" theme. The problem? I don't know anything about celebrities. Who's famous at the moment? No idea. I occasionally read In Touch on the train, it's entertaining, but I don't watch TV, so I have no clue who all those freaky rich people are.

But I do sleep with a "celebrity"! Yes, he's a cartoon character, but that doesn't make any difference to me. See? That's my hair in the picture!

No, these aren't just pictures I cut out of a magazine. You can tell by the feet. They're definitely mine!

And in the better-late-than-never department: Here are my knitting tools in their little see-through pouch, front, back, and out.

And these are my husband's tools. I don't go near them. Not because he's a chauvinist, or because I don't think women should go near "men's stuff" -- no, because I'm a klutz. I can use a hammer to put together a bookshelf, and I can drill my own holes into walls. But given a choice, I prefer to have someone else do work that can result in serious injury.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No knitting for a week!

Bad tendons.

The tendons in my left wrist hurt so badly, I can't pick up a book without or bend my wrist without making a face. Today is the first day I've been able to type without horrible pain, but I'll make sure not to overdo it.

And no knitting till at least Friday. Now that I'm unemployed and job hunting, I could have had so much knitting time. Sigh.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Last day

Today is the my last day at my job. I've enjoyed some aspects of it very much, some aspects of it a bit less, which I guess is normal. But I'm definitely going to miss the people. They haven't met Pesty yet, by the way! Since this is the last opportunity for the cuddly germ to visit all those neat books on contagious diseases, he's going on a trip to the cataloging basement.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hot water bottle cover

One of my co-workers asked me to knit her a hot water bottle cover. She's a librarian, a lawyer, a musician, and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. So of course I made her one!
She picked the yarn, Muench Tessin (43% superwash wool, 35% acrylic, 22% cotton). It was fun to knit with, though bulky yarn is always very hard on my fingers. The end result is worth it, though. It's the

cabled hot water bottle cover.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


This has got to be the best package ever. Really. I mean, look! My SP, Spazzy Pickles, sent me this pair of socks. Now, that in itself is amazing and worthy of admiration and unending gratitude. Because having socks knit for me is one of the ultimate luxuries in life, IMHO. Having lace socks knit for me... I'm in awe. I'm touched. I'm wearing the socks around the house.

I mean, look at that lace!

The detail... it's amazing! So pretty, so perfect. Spazzy Pickles, I adore you! I mean, look at how well they fit!

And from the side, because it's hard to take pictures of socks from the top:

This doubles as my "feet" post for the blog stalking. Because I want all the world to see my amazing new socks. So beautiful, so purple, so happy-making!

But that isn't all. I was just commenting on the cuteness of those stuffed microbes in a thread on knitty. Yesterday, way after the Pickle mailed out my package. The Pickle reads my mind, I swear, because today, I got my favorite disease: the PLAGUE!!! It's so cute, and I'm taking it to work so all the other catalogers on the Contagion project can see him. Here he is, my new friend Pesty:

Isn't he adorable? I love him, and David Herlihy's book on the black death was one of my favorite reads while I was preparing for my general exams in grad school. Here's a closeup of me cuddling Pesty, because he's so adorable.

I also got some things to facilitate spoilage, just look at this great-smelling moisturizer from Kiss My Face, one of my favorite organic/eco brands, and the scrubby gloves. And isn't this a cute little painted heart thingy? With stars on it. Now it lives on my bookshelf, right next to our Ars Magica books, because the stars remind me of pointy wizard hats.

And, last but not least, YARN! In red and purple, tempting, alluring, whispering in my ear suggestions of what it would like to be...

Ah, Spazzy Pickle, you have truly made my day. Heck, you've made my year. You are the bestest SP ever. I am not worthy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Birthday Haul

Yesterday, my husband gave me the credit card. The instructions were to either go to a spa or a yarn store. I thought about it really hard. A facial at a really good salon is 90+ bucks, and after a couple of weeks at the very latest, I'd just be my old pimply self. So what did I do?

Yes, I went to my friendly neighborhood LYS. I also went to Borders, which is the only book store of any size in our town. Here are some pictures of the haul:

These are: The latest issue of Vogue Knitting. I adore the black knee-highs with the flower embroidery! They're on my must knit list. Next, a back issue of IK that was half-price. I think it's summer of last year. I got a copy of Knit Fix, which is, not surprisingly, about fixing mistakes in one's knitting. Most of the stuff is obvious, and I'm not sure the book really is worth 20 bucks. But I've seen at least a couple of things I didn't know, and which will be worth knowing once I start my experiments with color work!
The Minnow Knits, Too book is full of the cutest, most adorable baby and toddler patterns. Our friends are having kids like you wouldn't believe, and these are not only pretty, but look like they're going to be fun to knit.
There are also Addi Turbos. 40" Addis in sizes 000, 0, and 1. Lace, here I come!

And yes, that's a crochet book. I've taken up the c-word. It's fun, so watch yer language!

Ahem. So, back to the most important thing, the one thing I haven't said anything about: the gorgeous, lustrous, shimmering skein of silky, shiny Cherry Tree Hill goodness. 400+ yards of it. There were other yarns that had a better yardage for the money, but I fell in love with this one. I don't know what it wants to be. Here's a closeup:

Gorgeous, isn't it? I love my sweetie, he gives me a credit card and tells me to buy yarn!

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm officially middle-aged!

Today, I'm turning 30. The big 3-0. And you know what? It's not a big deal. I don't feel any different than I did yesterday, though I have to admit that I feel a whole lot different than I did when I was 20.
Examples? More self-confidence, thicker skin. Criticism used to reduce me to tears. Now, I shrug it off with a smile and a professional "So what do you think we can do to solve this problem?"
Thank you, Mr. abusive grad school advisor!

I'm still a serial academic, but no longer desperately competitive. I guess I'm mellowing out. Instead of piling major upon major and pulling 16 hour days, I make sure I have time for knitting, baking, family. All the important things that make us happy rather than just successful.
I hope the personal growth continues, maybe without some of the major life crises we've had in the past 5 years or so.

And because this is a knitting blog, I should post a couple of pictures of the WIP I'm working on. Somehow, it seems especially appropriate to be working on something for my friend's baby. Lillian was born about a month ago. As I am entering a new phase in my life, she is beginning hers, and her parents are entering a new phase in theirs.

This is the back of Kate Gilbert's Samantha sweater dress. I'm making the 1 year old size because I haven't seen Lillian yet, and I don't know how big she is.
I have to admit that I got bored with stockinette stitch, but now, interesting things are happening. Note the slip stitch pattern towards the top. It's so pretty, and so much fun!
The bottom edge looks like a stocking stitch roll. It's not, it has YO's that will make a cute scallopy bottom when the seam is folded under (see closeup below).

Here's a closeup of the slip stitch pattern. The pattern between the two lines is actually a different slip stitch pattern, but I couldn't make it look less stockinette-like in this picture. It's quite different, though in a subtle way, and adds to the overall appeal of this otherwise simple piece.

I am particularly excited about the hem of this sweater dress. When it's folded over, it'll form little picot-y thingies. Here's what the edges of the sleeves and the bottom hem of the dress are going to look like when I'm done sewing up the seams:

Pretty, no? The provisional cast-on was a PITA, particularly because I did it with the same color yarn as the rest of the sweater. But this is so pretty, I'm sure the end result will be worth it!

OK, now I'm going for a nice long walk. Then, I'm headed for our friendly LYS! Hubby told me it was OK to hit the yarn store with his credit card! I love him, love him, love him!
Of course, I was planning a grand tour of Rhode Island yarn stores, but it turns out they are all closed on Mondays. Oh, well. Better for his finances, I suppose. And I'll find something I like anyway!

Birthday yarn, here I come!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Yawn... but productive

I'm sleepy, but the stitch markers for the knitty stitch marker swap are finally all done! I was hoping to mail them today, but didn't make it in time before the post office closed. Oh, well. They're going out on Monday.

I'm going to take a nap now.

This has got to be the most boring post ever. More when more interesting things happen!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lotus Blossom Tank

Well, here it is, the Lotus Blossom Tank. It curves in the front because my shoulders are too narrow. The seam on the left looks like crap because something got twisted in the process. The colors aren't really my cup of tea. It's actually not uneven in the front, though. It just looks uneven because I tugged on it before I put it on.
Other than that, this top actually looks kind of neat. The lace is very pretty, and the colors look interesting. I'll wear it, but it's not my usual style. Maybe with a cute jacket...

And here is my latest WIP, the Samantha baby sweater dress by Kate Gilbert. The part with the YO's is going to get folded under, and then there's going to be this cute picot-like edging on the bottom.
This is a surprise gift for a friend of ours who just recently had a baby. I haven't actually seen the child, so I hope it fits!