Friday, September 28

YPF: Cash Iroha

Noro Cash Iroha, col. 80

Noro Cash Iroha, col. 80
I'm using this for the neckband on my Komon kimono.

Here's the back:
Twenty two inches of basically a 2-row pattern that includes a P3, pass 1st st over last 2. Purling has never bothered me, but that passing the first stitch over the last 2 is right up there with driving my kid to soccer practice during rush hour in 95-degree heat. At least, I have a dramatic piece in the making. As for Banditinho, I think we're in for the long haul.

Here's my Fortissima Colori, #4007, sock in progress aka SIP on a wine bottle. Straightforward sock, nothing fancy for Mr. Mary. This sock was a big hit at the Parents' Information Night at my kids' school. The father seated next to me leaned over and said, "Wow, that's nice. Uh, what is it?"
"It's a sock for my husband," I replied with a serene smile that barely concealed my pointy little teeth, thereby cementing my reputation as some kind of Luddite knitter, gift wrap sale hater and neighborhood crank.
Periodically during the meeting, I would pause and look up at the speaker whenever they said something relevant. The people around me would then pause from watching me knit and look up as well. I must improve on this technique to gain total mind control over members of the PTA. no more gift wrap more gift wrap more gift wrap sales

Later, this sock made it to a PTA committee chair meeting as I'm the Library Liaison, meaning I'm in charge of the volunteers who come in to help the kids and shelve books on a weekly basis. This time, I could clearly feel the power of the sock as the PTA president became more and more discomfited while I knitted more and more. no more gift wrap more gift wrap more gift wrap sales

Navajo churroI've been spinning up this black Navajo churro which is very grabby with a slightly rustic scent. Read: Eau de Ewe. I've got some in white as well thanks to the allergies of Miss Robincat. I'm imagining a felted bowl with Native American motifs or patterns.

I'm not sure if William Morris would have approved, but I love my new Jack Purcell sneakers.

Stay tuned for the latest from Tyvekistan!

Monday, September 24

Let's take a stroll through the garden and look for signs of fall since it's practically freezing outside with the thermometer reading 86 degrees F.

The guards have donned their formal uniforms for the occasion.

Thanks to an extremely rainy summer, there are crab spiders all over the place. (Gasteracantha cancriformis)

Plumbago, Meyer lemon, hibiscus. You silly plants, don't you know that summer's over?

I planted you from a packet of seeds I bought in Japan and I don't even know what you are. Domo origato for the long lasting blooms.

What's that ruckus? Oh dear, the flamingoes have run over to the fence to watch the construction next door. I have told them repeatedly to stop bugging the workers for scraps when the taco truck drives by.

And here we have a crab spider sucking the brains out of a fly.

And here we have a McMansion sucking the morning light out of my garden.

Friday, September 21

YPF: Habu

Habu wool stainless steel, silk.

My yarncave has become the location for a new reality show where my WIPs play survivor. I came across the Habu (attached to 8 inches of a cardigan back) yesterday and greeted it like a long lost friend. It is a long lost friend along with Sunrise Circle Jacket, a dark purple mohair jacket and a couple of summer tops languishing in a cabinet. Alas, one item got voted out of the cave:
Mork's Nightmare Sock from the Rerun Graveyard

This is a sock that I knitted FLAT. Just for the fun of it. Just to see if it could be done. I threw in the ruffle and the ruching just for grins. I seamed it up nicely and even crocheted the heel just to see what that would be like. There is a reason why you never see patterns for flat socks, crocheted heels or ruching on socks---they just don't work.

I couldn't bear the idea of just tossing it or frogging it. Sooo, it got stuffed and sewed up and tossed out of the cave and into the backyard. (Don't worry, Hilde, I've got plenty of yarn to make a proper pair.)

The backyard has become traumatized by the looming hulk of the McMansion next door.

There's nothing I can do about it, but fantasize about poison ivy, huge mirrors and voodoo dolls.

Monday, September 17

Blue Monday


I guess blue underpants are going to be the hot item next spring.

Friday, September 14

YPF: Mystical Creations

Mystical Creations cotton twist, "candyland"
Mystical Creations 10/2 tencel, "hisami"

I got a serger and look what happened:

McCall's M5390 skirt, retro cowgirl pin-up fabric from stash

Meet Texas State Trooper Starnes. He guards our front door and scares the bejabbers out of unsuspecting visitors and deliverymen. He's real polite, always saying 'yes ma'am' and 'no sir' when we have chats or offer him some iced tea. He's been steadily on the job for, oh I don't know, donkey's years and has some great stories. But when it comes to off-duty, well, Trooper Starnes has a little secret. Good thing we wear the same size.

adapted from Neue Mode J23310 skirt pattern, retro 60s print from stash

I made a simple sheath dress from this fabric a few years back. I had just enough yardage for a skirt that I zipped up with some lime green trim I found in the home decor section of Jo-Ann's. The fabric didn't drape as much as I wanted, so I rejiggered the seams to create the a-line. Now, where's my mojito?

Wednesday, September 12

Yarnifornication: FO WIP LYS DIY LOL

Horizontal Bat Stitch Scarf aka Pittsburg Special
Diakeito Diadomina, just over 2 skeins
Size 13 needles
I cast on as many stitches as I could cram onto my 36-inch circs and knitted up about 5.5 inches. Knitting a scarf horizontally is always the most fun when you bind off because you're never sure exactly how long the scarf will be. This particular stitch didn't stretch too much because of the slipped stitches but I still ended up with an 8-foot long woolly python. All I need to do is feed it, wrap it up and mail it to the worthy recipient.Here's the progress I've made so far on the Komon kimono in Noro. The pattern stitch is dead easy and makes such a nice fabric. I'm working on size 10 needles, so it's going pretty fast. I can't wait to see how the second skein of this colorway knits up. It's going to be bright, but I don't think we're looking at "Mary & the Amazing Technicolor Kimono" or a reject from "Maude."

Austin is getting not one, but two new yarn shops this month. This has all of us fiber-lovin' yarnos in a tizzy. We're practically running around the room squealing like a bunch of 3-year olds jacked up on Mountain Dew and Charleston Chews. Um, some of us are still running around the room. Anyway, there's nothing wrong with the 2 yarn shops that already exist; each has their loyal fans and their loyal nonfans. Me, I've been quite happy with both (with a hearty side helping of internet yarnpr0n), but my friends would say that's because I'm highly impervious to most anything when in the presence of wool, silk, cotton and cashmere.

So, Gauge opened up last weekend with a party that included wine, beer, a dj, some spinners and Vickie Howell. I wasn't there, but my sources say she's even cuter in real life. I bet every knitter in Austin trooped over there last weekend for a recon, including my SnB group. Thanks to late Sunday hours, we able to squeeze in a spur of the moment field trip. There's Miss Renee fondling Vickie Howell, er, her yarn I mean. Robin and Ana got involved in some kind of competition over who had more projects in their bag while I was perusing the latest arrivals from Debbie Bliss. Luckily, there's a nice big table in the back room where this sort of wackiness is encouraged. This shop is only 10 minutes from my house, so I'll be excited to see their full inventory. Alison and Karli, good luck!

The Knitting Nest is in the process of opening and her blog gives updates about when she'll be able to process credit card orders. This shop is in south Austin, probably a 20-30 minute drive for me depending on traffic. The pix on her blog look like it's going to be another fun space, so I'll be wandering over there pretty soon.

The real question is: Roving? Batts? Spindles? Will Austin area spinners finally find a place at the grown-up's table?

Speaking of batts, my drum carder was politely asked to leave the living room.

I'll take door number three, Monty.

Who needs a tub/shower in the guest room when you can create your own E-Z Klean Karding Station and Fun Factory?

Friday, September 7

YPF at long last

Go ahead, grab a cold one, and enjoy yourselves. It's back to school and back to YPF. Yee-haw!
Noro Silk Garden Lite, col. 2015
Yarn Place Graceful Lace Yarn, col.609246, 50 gms/903 yds

Diakeito Diadomina, col.305, and horizontal bat stitch scarf aka the Pittsburg Special

Recent additions to enhance my curriculum fabricae and a little something for the yarn to sip at happy hour.

My LYS had a one day sale on their new shipment of KFI yarns and that means Noro, bay-bee! I threw on my Katia Jamaica tank top(kind of like a press pass for knitters to wear something handknitted at the LYS) and was over there quicker than a duck on a June bug, only to find marauding girl gangs grabbing bags right, left, and center. There was one group that clearly met on a regular basis. You could just sense them sending messages telepathically like:

"Two o'clock, she's grabbing the Debbie Bliss and there's one bag left!"
"False alarm, she put it back. Hey, do you have this color? Do I need this color?"
"Who's that chick in the stripey tank? The top's cute, but check out her ass...has she got a doublewide or what?"
"OK, who's up for a Lizard Ridge?"
"Too hot. Nine o'clock, Doublewide's heading for the Silk Garden Lite. Let's go check out the colors in case we need to, ahem, grab them all."
"She can have it. I need more Kureyon to make Booga Bags for all my secret pals."
"Ooh, did you see what mine sent me this week? The cutest stitch markers from Entrelac. Hey, who's up for Tex-Mex?"

I managed to grab not only a bag of the Silk Garden Lite, but was able to pick all the skeins that started with the same colors. Veddy sneaky. I was ready to check out when I passed by the lace yarns and saw the Yarn Place display. Oh. My. It's 100% pure new wool, just soft enough, and there's enough yardage with 2 balls(1806 yds) to make any dang gossamer lace shawlski you could want. Oh, and the shopgal told me that the striping is very gradual. The other colors were more muted shades of light blue and beige.

I came home to see that the nice folks in the Amazon warehouse had gotten my order out. "Threadbared" is really funny and gives all of us former "You Knit What?" junkies a desperately needed fix of unspeakably ugly sweaters and snappy wisecracks. "Knit Kimono," is a marvel for all of us who are feeling rectangular. The front of the book is all about the history of kimonos with a handy template to design your own kimono. The patterns cover the various periods and styles, including the ubiquitous 'happi' coat that you see all over the souvenir markets in Tokyo. It may be me, but when I say "Knit Kimono" I also want to say "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman" (I know it's Chinese, but still) and "Zero Zero Seven."

Such linguistic silliness did not stop me from picking out the Komon pattern(it's on the cover), and start swatching. The pattern calls for Berrocco Glace. I know that yarn and I love that deep deep red, but I can't stand knitting with it. I looked around and the Silk Garden Lite jumped onto my needles working its way up to a size 10 for a nice comfy gauge. So, this kimono is either going to look like some kind of ethereal homage to all things Japanese or else it's "SayaNoro, Fugsan."

Can you point out the big difference in thse 2 pictures? They were taken no more than thirty minutes apart. I need a shot of Soak or something stronger.

Tuesday, September 4

Labor Day=DIY Day

Wow, guys look thinner when they raise their arms. Who knew?
We went to lunch on Sunday(Java Garden all-you-can-eat Indonesian buffet for $8)and, since my SnB group was taking a break, we had the brilliant idea of repainting the boys' truckstop, er, bathroom. Oh what fun! Let's go to Home Depot and have the boys pick out a color. I wasn't surprised when they chose opposite/complimentary colors; 'Aquatic Pool' and 'Mango Madness.' (my genes control 50% of their brains and anything to kill the 1950's pale piss yellow/dead mouse brown tile)

Now, Big Mama gets a turn and chooses a nice bright red called 'California Poppy' to make sure the other two paints get along. Oooh, let's go check out the doors and see the dog doors since Chuy is so huge...uh, I thought I saw a guy around here somewhere...he was just here a minute ago...stop that! can kiss your birthday goodbye...please stop touching everything...Stop. It. Now...where's the cashier?...Oh, can you grab a bag of rags and some WD-40?

Wow, what a flashback and lunch was so good. Anyway, here's the result:
La Vida Loca Bathroom and Lounge

Sure, it needs a few touch-ups, like some cinderblocks and wood for stadium seating in the bathtub but there are outlets for a margarita machine and a boom box on the vanity. I've got Mark Ronson and Pink Martini on my i-Pod, what'll be?

I did decide to keep the purple tranquility scarf for myself. My winter coat needs a new friend. So, I cast on lengthwise for a scarf using some Diakeito 'diadomina' in color 305 that I bought in Harvard Square a couple of years ago when the RED SOX won the World Series. I won't fuel any fires, but you Yankee fans are at least 7 games out, right? I'm using the 'horizontal bat stitch' from Mon Tricot 800 stitches which reads as follows:
multiple 3+1
Row 1: K.
Row 2: *K1, sl 2 purlwise,* k1.

This yarn is 40 gms, 122 yds. 50%wool/21%mohair/29%nylon and puppy soft(as opposed to kitten-in-a-teacup soft, y'know) with a slight glimmer from the nylon. It is a striping yarn with muted shades of grey, beige, rust, and burgundy with a touch of eggplant. Now, that should make Pittsburg happy!

Yes, Chuy the dog is not quite a year old and he's bigger than my 9-year old.

Saturday, September 1

Do Knitters Cheat if...

they buy this on sale, remove all 56 bobbles(edited from bobbins, believe me, they were bobbles) and dye it to look like this? And the knitter calculates that it would take about 10 skeins of something like Berroco glace, doublestranded, to make this top and would save at least $30 plus the potential doom of another WIP? You betcha, babycakes. I'm not so blatant as to tell people I actually knitted it myself. Now, that would be...really cheating.
Random Music
I downloaded this song because it keeps playing in my head. Now, I keep imagining that I'm in the Oslo airport with a raquetball raquet in my carry-on.
Colissimo Karma

I recently knitted this scarf as a thank you present for the nice lady in Pittsburg who called to let me know that she had the lost box that I shipped to myself from France in June. It's one of those long, drawn out stories involving repeated phone calls to an international courier service in the Bronx, veiled threats, and tracking numbers from 3 different couriers. It even became my Friday afternoon entertainment to call Jovanee at company X, hassle her, and then thank her warmly before hanging up.
It's a good thing I gave this a good soak before blocking. Sheesh, call the paramedics! The more I look at it, the more I think how good it would look with my winter coat. And I could always find something even warmer in the stash, something really practical for those Pennsylvania winters. Yeah, that's it, and I bet she doesn't even like purple.

Tranquility Stitch Jabot Scarf details:
Merino/silk handspun gifted to me by Angelina and I can't remember who actually made it.
Pattern: I cast on 3 times the number of stitches I wanted for the width of the scarf. I worked these stitches in tranquility stitch (Barbara Walker) for about 12 inches before decreasing down to the desired width. I then knitted up about 56 inches in stockinette stitch with a garter edge before increasing to final tranquility stitch edge.

Pear Chutney
A nice thing about having relatives with a ranch is that periodically they show up at your door with an 8 pound bag of hard pears and say, "We thought you might be able to do something with these..." Well, 12 jars later, I've got Christmas presents for friends and neighbors.

GGH Mystik, cotton/viscose

I have a thing for cotton/viscose blends. The warm weather friendliness of the yarn, the matte/shiny dressy casual feel and the rich colors. So, I spotted this at the yarn shop when I was on one of my periodic 'spot checks' to make sure they were keeping their inventory updated, their magazines/patterns selection current and their shelves in order. I saw the yarn and the yarn said to me in a low Barry White kind of growl, "Ooooh aaah baby, you gotta to snap me up, knit me up, ooooh aaah baby, Scandinavian colorwork, never going to give you up, oooh aaah baby, I know you need it girl, ooooh aaah."

What, you were expecting Harry Connick Jr.?