Mittwoch, November 29, 2006

what's going on here (or not)?

Sorry to leave you in the lurch, dear readers. My internet access is Mostly Dead, and when it does happen to be working, I have been Christmas shopping online instead of blogging.

Since I can't stay online long enough to upload pictures, do you want to look at someone else's pictures? Check out Cookie A's trip to Blue Moon Fiber Arts here.

I did some of my Christmas shopping here.

Stephanie aka the yarn harlot's devotion to Fleece Artist made me buy Seashore and Mahogany (scroll down a little) sock yarn from More Than Yarn. They sent me a free ball of Crystal Palace Squiggle. I don't know why, but it made me buy a second skein of Seashore sock yarn from them. I guess that's why.

Coming up in two weeks: another trip to Portland, hopefully with a stop at Knit Purl, where they actually carry Fleece Artist yarns. There will be pictures, if I have to load them one pixel at at time.

OK, maybe not if it's going to take that long. I have Christmas knitting to finish!

Samstag, November 11, 2006

Five Fallacies

While on a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas to attend my nephew's wedding (we were there for about 26 hours total), I came face-to-face with a number of deep-seated beliefs about myself that turn out not to be true. They are:

  • I think I can do Magic Loop on a 16" circular needle.

  • I think I can go on a trip and not go to any yarn shops.

  • I believe the travel times given by MapQuest

  • I think I can get out of a yarn shop without buying any yarn.

  • I think switching to bigger needles will change my gauge.

  • The yarn had finally come for the Christmas stockings for this nephew’s bride and for his sister’s husband, so I took that project. The first stocking was half done, and I thought I could easily finish it by the time we got to Vegas. Enter Fallacy #1:

  • I think I can do Magic Loop on a 16" circular needle.

  • Unfortunately, the 16" needle that worked so well for the stocking cuff did not work so well after I decreased 10 stitches for the leg shaping. Trying to force that short needle into a perverted version of Magic Loop resulted in the work becoming tighter and tighter, until it was as dense as cardboard. The sock circumference was small enough now that I didn’t think even an orange could be squeezed into it.

    Clearly I needed two needles, and probably in a size larger. My knitting has become a lot tighter since I knitted the original stockings six or eight years ago. I had gone up one needle size, but it didn’t seem to be enough.

    And now I came up against Fallacy #2:

  • I think I can go on a trip and not go to any yarn shops.

  • Because I want to save my credit cards for Christmas shopping, I am avoiding yarn stores right now. When I planned our trip to Las Vegas for my nephew’s wedding, I therefore didn’t research any yarn shops. Not only that, but we arrived near midnight. You can get something to eat in Vegas any time of the day or night, but yarn shops tend to open at more conservative hours.

    However, when I worked at The Needlepoint Joint a customer had told me about a good shop in Las Vegas:

    The next morning I found Gail Knits in the phone book, and checked at the concierge desk to see how far away it was. We had two hours before we needed to be at the wedding, but it was important to be on time. I had made us miss my niece’s wedding a year an a half ago because in a post-nuclear, hypothyroidic fog I had directed us to the wrong Mormon temple.* My brother only has two children, so this was my last chance to make good. We were at MGM Grand. Gail is at 9012 W Sahara. Was there time to go to Gail for needles?

    Enter Fallacy #3:

  • I believe the travel times given by MapQuest

  • The concierge looked up the address on MapQuest. MapQuest said it would take 16 minutes to get to Gail. It wouldn’t even be 10:00 a.m. by then, so we could stop and get something to eat on the way.

    Sixteen minutes into our trip we were just turning off The Strip onto Sahara. Half an hour later we were wolfing down McDonald’s for breakfast across the street from Gail’s. I was beginning to worry about making it all the way back across town by 11:30.

    “I’ll hurry,” I told Paul. “I’ll just grab the needles and come right out.” There was no comment from Paul as I crashed into Fallacy #4:

  • I think I can get out of a yarn shop without buying any yarn.

  • I did try. I glanced around only enough to notice that the needles were in the very back of the shop. I didn’t look at this

    or this

    or this

    I bought my needles and ran out of the store . . . OK, I’m lying. I stared long and hard at a $28 skein of ribbon yarn in the best red ever, but as I said, I’m saving my $$ for Christmas shopping. Sharman says Emerald needs sweaters, so I did some quick Christmas shopping:

    Colinette Cadenza in “Mist,” a 100% merino superwash that is soft!

    Despite stop-and-go traffic through a construction zone, we made it to the wedding on time. The Mormon temple bears little resemblance to the Little Chapel of Love. About the only concession they've made to the spirit of Las Vegas was installing a player organ that churned its way through hymns and children’s songs as the guests filed in. We looked around for Elvis, but he never showed.

    My mother and I frogged the Christmas stocking back to the spot where the decreases began, and by the time I got off the plane last night at 2:30 a.m. I was ready to start the heel. This is when I discovered Fallacy #5:

  • I think switching to bigger needles will change my gauge.

  • Check this out:

    I don’t think it’s an iota bigger than before it was frogged. Oh well. Maybe Conrad doesn’t like oranges.

    * I think Utah is the only place where there are enough Mormons that you can be in the right town but at the wrong Mormon temple.

    Samstag, November 04, 2006

    Calendars and Shopping

    Another dog-loving blogger, Deb, is celebrating her birthday month by collecting calendar pictures. Happy birthday, Deb! Here are my November calendar pages:

    People who see this first calendar say, "I can't believe you have that."

    This second one could be hazardous

    because it can lead to having an actual bloodhound. These are adorable, but they are a lot of work.

    In other news, I went up to the Needlepoint Joint today to teach a class. Of course I bought some stuff. Are you nuts? Randy made me buy Regia Bamboo sock yarn.

    When I was checking out he said, "Only one color?" I said, "I have a lot of sock yarn." You guessed it. I am dying right now because I didn't also get the purple colorway. Oh well. I'll be back, as they say.

    I also picked up the bag of Rowan Spray I had ordered last week in color 010 Orchard.

    I was thinking of knitting this into a poncho-ish thing to toss on when I take the dog out, but maybe it's too gorgeous for dog-walking attire. By the way, this was a special order but they have ordered it for the shop in case you live near Ogden, Utah and want some.

    There was another bag of Rowan, but I can't talk about it because it's a secret.

    Yes, I probably have been shopping more than I have been knitting lately. On Thursday after Piper's highland dance class, Laurel and I went with her kids to Unravelled Sheep in the strip mall at the corner of 700 E and 9400 S in Sandy. Thursday is the night they stay open late--too convenient that the Utah Pipe Band has moved it's practice night to Thursday, and their gathering spot is in Sandy.

    Much of what I bought went home with the kids. 7-year-old Quinn bought red and blue alpaca and size 8 needles to knit himself a scarf. 5-year-old Piper got black "and rainbow" ribbon yarn, which she has probably killed by now judging from its condition when I saw it yesterday. 3-year-old Owen took home his black, yellow, and turquoise sock yarn but I have his other purchases.

    This kid has good taste. He may see some of these yarns transformed under the Christmas tree.

    My own picks were a little less colorful. For myself I chose Stacy Charles Ritratto.

    In the spirit of Christmas knitting I got Rowan Tapestry

    mostly in shade 170 Country, but I also had to adopt an orphaned shade 173 Antique. I'm going to use this in the cover scarf from Holiday 2006 Vogue Knitting. I may rib the braided bits rather than knitting tubes. It looks awfully thick as is. I don't know, what do you think? If you were getting this scarf, would you want it this thick?

    I've been getting my pre-Christmas shivers lately by shopping for toys online. Today's pick: The N.S.E.C.T. Robotic Attack Insect. Be sure to watch the video.

    Kudos to Safari, the program that has eaten this blog page three times.

    Donnerstag, November 02, 2006

    While you were sleeping

    Or at least while my internet was sleeping . . .

    I finished the Pomatomus socks:

    Of course they didn't exactly match. One is skinnier, so has a longer toe section. Not frogging, nope. Mom won't care. In fact I don't think she'll notice.

    I started the Urban Bubble Scarf in Rooster Rock:

    This is the cutest yarn! Look at it in the ball:

    Doesn't it just look as if it were spun out of feathers? It sort of looks like a chicken! The reason is that it's what I would call tail-spun--instead of being a solid, hairy thread, little flags of mohair are caught at intervals and stream out like little, er, feathers:

    Extreme close-up

    Fun! Interesting!

    Since I was thinking about chickens, and having a discussion with Nancy about my inability to knit dishcloths, I tried a chicken dishcloth in Blue Moon Sock Candy Rhode Island Red:

    It would have been bigger, but I got sick of knitting straight garter stitch. See, I really can't knit a dishcloth. Of course it would have looked less like a chicken if it had been more dishcloth-sized. This will be a gift. I might knit more of them.

    My club kit from the Blue Moon club came:

    I'm mainly into Christmas knitting right now, though, and I want to keep the socks I knit from this yarn. So I'm not casting on immediately.

    And I got my first sample of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Earth (top) and Serengeti:

    I'm taking Paul's toe-up Trekking sock

    to work on between rehearsals this morning (9:00 a.m. harp duo; 10:30 a.m. Dido). He has such high arches that I frogged back an inch and a half so I could put in a 19-stitch gusset. I'll use a version of Cat Bordhi's heel from the fall Vogue to get rid of the extra stitches after the heel turn. It's half short-row heel and half regular, top-down heel. Then once I get the details right and don't have to keep making him try them on, I'll switch to his Christmas socks in Bearfoot.

    Hmmm. I get more done when the internet is down, don't I?
    No tickers