Saturday, June 27, 2009

Break from Work... with Knitting!

The big project is over. No more work over the weekend, so I have time to sit and knit -- now that I'm rested enough to do some knitting, that is. So what has happened since?

For one thing, Mr. Batty and I bought an X-Box. Merlin is convinced we bought it for him. Here he is, flopping on his new toy, eyes glowing as if he had somehow become part of the electronic console gaming experience. And he looks slightly demented, which should come as no surprise. He's a cat. Any questions?

I mentioned knitting, and I wasn't kidding. I finally finished one of the socks I cast on in May on my way to Cleveland. This is my first time using Tofutsies, and I have to say, I like it. Not the same amount of give as wool, of course, but the colors are pretty, the twisted stitch pattern works, and I'm not getting any major pooling.

And they are special. Look, my first tabi sock ever! Like a mitten for your feet. How cool is that? I was so intrigued by the construction, I couldn't stop knitting once I got to the toe.

The other pair of socks I've been working on are these. I had to use flash to get a good shot, so of course, you can't see the pattern. There's a cable running down each leg. The chart doesn't come with a legend, so I just twisted one to the left and the other to the right -- the cables on both legs are now facing each other.

See? There's a cable. I'm not trying to pull a fast one, I swear!

Pattern: Masonic Lodge (found it on rav)
Yarn: J. Knits Superwash Me - Sock, Color: Wheeling
Needles: US #0
Size: European 43
I love this yarn. This is the slightly heavier version, which is regular weight sock yarn. It also comes in a thinner version, but I liked this for a man sock.
The pattern instructions for knitting the heel are slightly off -- when you start the heel turn, it says to knit 21 stitches. If you do that, the math doesn't work out. Knit 20 stitches, and you'll end up with the same amount of stitches to the left and right of your short row. You can follow the pattern from there.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Weekend Work

I'm working this weekend, so there is going to be very little knitting. But once I'm done, the big project is over, and I have promised myself that I'll get to start a new major garment as a reward... just for me! It's going to be pretty, it's going to be fun, and it's going to be mine, mine, mine!

And the best part? It's going to be from stash. I have so much pretty yarn, but it's been languishing, waiting for my attention. So... only a couple more days. Stay tuned, Sunday afternoon, I'm going to pick my new knit!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Couch... and Recliners

We thought we'd thought of everything. We'd measured the width and the depth to make sure our new couch would fit through the door. But, alas, couches are 3-dimensional. When the delivery guy showed up, it went through the door alright... upright, at an angle, before getting stuck on the ceiling. Turns out our teeny-tiny hallway was too little, the couch about 10 inches too long, and therefore not going in. Ugh. We'd measured the door, but not the hallway ceiling.

After unscrewing the hallway light to get some extra room and still not making any headway, the delivery guys took the couch back, handed it over to a moving company, and the movers got it in... through the window. On the third floor. By hauling it up manually. Those guys were amazing!
Now, we have couches, and unlike the Yarn Harlot, we didn't have to saw off any bits of wall to get them into the room. I'm so glad that didn't happen, because I sure saw it coming!

I'm so happy with these couches. Click on the picture for a closeup, the pattern is really awesome! Kind of a 60's-looking thing, but done well. And excuse the table mess.

Morgana jumped on the couch within moments of delivery. New couch, must investigate!

Closeup of the corner of this couch... can you tell I love this couch? I mean, it's not red or black or purple, and we bought it anyway! Now it needs some bat pillows, and it'll be perfect.

We also got two recliners to go with the couches. All other chair-like things were enormous and wouldn't have fit into our living room. But these are awesome. They're comfortable, and you can sit there for hours while gaming, knitting, reading... covers just about every aspect of having fun at home.

Oh, and did I mention that the cats love 'em? I don't know if they used catnip instead of scotch guard, but Morgana pretty much hasn't left this chair since she first settled on it.

So after the chair saga, we got to relax a bit. We played console games, I got to wear my tacky, blinged-out flip-flops...

...and I made banana bread. It's from the Veganomicon, an dI have to say it's one of the best recipes I've ever tried! It came out moist and banana-y. And a bit lumpy, but that's because I was too impatient to mash the bananas all that carefully.

The Veganomicon is awesome. I finally know why my banana bread was turning out gummy and dry... who'd have thought that you have to treat it like an over-sized muffin, i.e. be really, really, REALLY careful not to overmix the batter?
Now, my banana bread is nummy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I've been on a yarn diet for a while now. Everything was going well, I hadn't bought any new yarn in a month or two, the money was beginning to accumulate in my bank account... and now this. Yarn. Lots of yarn. Some bought in person, admittedly to be knit into gifts for friends and family, but... there's the yarn I bought for the Nicky Epstein scarf from the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Knitting. All for myself, no excuses.

It may not look like much in the pictures, but I've seen it in person, and it's stunning. I've gotten my hands on two skeins of Tilli Thomas Disco Lights in American Beauty, a bright red with sequins. Sound tacky? Trust me, knit up, it isn't tacky at all. It's spectacular, and the perfect accessory for holiday parties or a night on the town. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Little Girl Socks

It's surprisingly gray and gloomy outside for June, so I've been in the mood to sit inside and knit. Part of it has to do with this cold I'm getting over, but part of it is just a strangely autumnal feeling that's entirely wrong for the season.

That said, I have finished a pair of happy pink girl socks. I loved knitting these, the pattern was easy to memorize and I love the yarn. Bamboo and Nylon, and it has a beautiful sheen to it.

The gory details:
Pattern: Rayne's Socks (ravelry link, sorry - it's where I found the pattern)
Yarn: On Your Toes Bamboo (love, love, love!)
Needles: US #0
Comments: Let me say again how much I loved working with this yarn. It didn't hurt my hands, and it's shiny and has great stitch definition. I'll definitely use it again. And the pattern is so pretty yet so easy to memorize... the perfect little girl socks. 4 pattern repeats for the shaft and 4 pattern repeats for the foot should fit a little girl with a 4-5" foot perfectly.

And here's the prerequisite cat shot. Merlin in a box, Morgana washing his head.

There was a time when they'd both fit in one box. Now... not so much.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday Fun

Today was such a fun day! After a week of working on various and sundry taxonomy conversions, pulling my hair out trying to manage a project, and dealing with office politics/workplace drama, I really needed this.

First, Mr. Batty and I went shoe shopping in Lexington. Driving in, I glimpsed a sign I could have sworn said YARN! on it in huge letters. I really thought that's what it said. After we were done buying new shoes for Mr. Batty, we went to investigate... turns out the sign says Wild and Woolly, and it's pretty much illegible from where we drove past it... I guess I'm developing a sixth sense -- Yarn Sense!

So we stopped by. And, as Mr. Batty says, you can't go into a new yarn store without buying something -- it's rude. My mother taught me to mind my manners, which explains this lovely dark blue/purple-ish skein of Malabrigo Sock.

And the skein of Madeline Tosh. Sock yarn is like cats, you can't have just one.

That's not mentioning the enormous bags of sock yarn already in residence, or the "stashlet" that has moved into our bedroom... ahem. Moving on, nothing to see here...
Hey, look, I'm changing the subject!

When I went grocery shopping this morning, I found these. They are Canadian heirloom tomatoes, and they come in red, yellowish/red, and greenish. They weren't on my shopping list, but they were so pretty, I couldn't resist. Mr. Batty says they look like silk purses, and I think he's right.

View from the top. Almost too pretty to eat, no?

But eat them we did. I made tomatoes alla Caprese, with fresh organic basil and fresh mozzarella, neither of which had been on the shopping list originally. The flavor of these tomatoes was unbelievable. I would serve these to guests at a dinner party, they were so good.

Now, I'm going to finish doing the laundry and read a bit. Maybe work on one of my secret knitting projects for a while. It's been a great, relaxing day.