Archive for November, 2006

One more down…

A scarf for Trisha…

First, I have to explain some stuff about my extended family (this post’ll probably meander a bit). I’m one of the youngest of the cousins on my dad’s side of the family. At all the family gatherings, I always felt left out. The older kids were too old and the younger kids were way to young. I never really had anyone to talk to. It’s no wonder that my cousin Sean always associates me with having a my nose in a book (from the pre-knitting days).

My cousing Trisha and I, however, have a pretty special bond. It stems from a trip that I took my senior year of high school. We went to Ireland with my Grandfather.

Originally, I wasn’t supposed to go. It was supposed to be Trisha, my cousin Colleen and Grandad. Fortunately for me, Colleen had to back out. Grandad called my parents to see if I wanted to go. Since they thought it was a good opportunity (my grandfather was 79) and since I had plenty of money saved up, they agreed. A month later, we left.

Now, Trisha and I aren’t exactly two peas in a pod. She and her family are pretty religious. At this time in my life, I’d decided that religeon wasn’t for me (I just hadn’t told anyone yet). She’s 4 or 5 years older than me and at the time was working in Chicago. She listened to Josh Groban. I didn’t.

But got along splendidly! We searched for early (before 10) live Irish music together (for my grandfather), we shared some inside jokes at the expense of my grandfather’s driving skills (He frequently exclaimed “Damn clutch!” –oh and he lied to the rental company about his age so he would be able to drive…) and we ate some incredible yogurt (Sno Fruit Crumble. I tried finding a link, but I can’t. It saddens me to think that it is maybe no longer available. I kid you not, I had dreams about this stuff. It was so good!).

It was tons of fun and despite our differences, I really enjoy her company. It’s always so nice talking to her and she has such a great laugh. It’s also important to note that my grandfather made something like 7 or 8 trips to the emerald isle. We were priviledged to accompany him on his last. He died at 81. So, I thought I’d knit her something for christmas. It took me a while to decide on a design, etc, but I really like what I came up with.

The specs:

Pattern: I made it up. It’s 2X2X2rows of moss stitch over 22 stitches. Oh, and fringed.
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande in a dark blue
Needles: US 10
Size: Long enough.
Time: Knit in two vacation days

And since I was at home when I made, this, I took advantage of my mom’s stampin stash and made her a card to go with… And I made it all by myself! It was hard. I definetly like the fiber arts better than the paper arts.

The little (ok, well thick) string tied to the top is some extra yards of the yarn so that if the scarf needs repair someday… also, the inside of the card has care instructions.

One christmas gift down. Lots more to go. (can you guess where I am in the photo below? I’ll give you a hint – it’s in Ireland!)



I saw this over at Moth Heaven, who got it from Kathy and I really like it.



1. Yourself: student.
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): laughing.
3. Your hair: ugly.
4. Your mother: shrinking.
5. Your Father: buisness.
6. Your Favorite Item: internet.
7. Your dream last night: candy.
8. Your Favorite drink: tazo.
9. Your Dream Car: green.
10. The room you are in: small.
11. Your Ex: erh.
12. Your fear: failure.
13. What you want to be in 10 years? skilled
14. Who you hung out with last night? chef
15. What You’re Not? everything.
16. Muffins: bisuick
17. One of Your Wish List Items: Obama.
18. Time: night.
19. The Last Thing You Did: resume.
20. What You Are Wearing: pantless.
21. Your Favorite Weather: springy.
22. Your Favorite Book: Middlesex.
23. The Last Thing You Ate: gum.
24. Your Life: stressfull.
25. Your Mood: tired.
26. Your best friend: zen.
27. What are you thinking about right now? *censored*
28. Your car: parent’s.
29. What are you doing at the moment? tired.
30. Your summer: sucked.
31. Your relationship status: serious.
32. What is on your TV? cartoons.
33. What is the weather like? balmy.
34. When is the last time you laughed? today.

More spoils….

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my GRE scores.  That’s definetly the first “stressor” down.  Next up, applications.

Anyway, I got a package from my secret pal (a few days ago actually, I’m a bad receiver) and so I must of course brag about the InCrEdIbLe pal that I have! Since the digi is acting up, I don’t have any good photos of what I got, so you’ll have to make do with stolen photos and links.

My favorite was the Chick Chocolates! Have you ever tried this stuff? It’s to die for. Simply to die for!  She sent me the “Survivor” flavor – it’s rasberry flavored white chocolate dipped in dark chocolate.  I think I cried a little when I ate the last piece.  I cried a lot when I went to thier website and read that there wasn’t a place where I could get them in close distance to me.  I love this chocolate.  LOVE it!  Seriously.

My pal also figured that a girl who knits and likes tea so much must be in need of a mug about knitting.  And she was right!  She got the the “I’d rather be knitting mug” from Knitty!  I love it!  I told my boyfriend about it and he said “wow.  now you have that quintessential hobbby mug!”  and I told him that it was about time I did!  My pal also included this AmAzInG tea – it’s Pyramid Tea and it was so neat and scrumptius- I loved it!  Absoulted loved it!
Also, my pal sent me quite a few Take 5 candy bars – currently in my fridge – they’re so good when you eat them cold!!!

I love my pal!  she’s doing such a good job of spoiling me that I don’t know what to do with myself.  Her notes and packages have definetly been brightening up this college girl’s days.  Nothing is as much fun as getting a package the break up the boredom/stress/cold of college.  I’ll definetly be doing secret pal again in the future.

Thank you secret pal!!!

Dear yarn store workers…

I know, I know, it’s my fault. I didn’t wear a hand-knitted piece of clothing when I went into your shop, like one of my sweaters. I always try to do that, but this time, since I was on my way home from college for the holiday, I hadn’t planned to stop in. It was an impulse decision to stop in and I was unprepared. I should have known what would happen. You’d think a girl would finally start to expect it.

You have to understand, though. It’s just so insulting. I know you’re just trying to be helpful/friendly/conversational. But I get it time and time again. This time was particularly bad.

“So have you moved on from scarves yet?”

Why yes, thank you very much, I have indeed moved on from large rectangles. Please, tell every freaking shop worker in the country. I know that I look young, and yes, I’ve only been knitting for a little over 2 years. But I’m continually insulted by you suggesting that I’m a beginner knitter/don’t know anything. My age/youthfulness does not automatically mean that I’m still in beginnerdom.

Everytime that you assume I’m still on scarves (or something similar), I become seriously resentful and less likely to frequent your shop. It’s in your best interest to politely inquire about my skill level before you assume. Because you know what happens when you assume. I’ll give you a hint. It’s a clever play on the spelling of the word ass-u-me.

In this case, I probably went a bit overboard listing my knitting resume, you know -that I’ve knit 3 sweaters, 10 pairs of socks, done fair isle (both flat and in the round), lace (like the swallowtail shawl, above), felting, needle felting, acid dying, pattern writing and even worked for a whole summer IN a yarn store. I hope I didn’t make you feel stupid or silly.

But if I did- you kind of deserve it.

And while it may be easy to say this was an isolated incident, it really wasn’t. In my first trip to a yarn store, I was practically lectured about how chenile worms and that working with “Touch Me” might not be so great for a beginner…but then I told her about how I was going to felt it (a la the incredible Velvet Oblivion pattern from Knitty, see at right) and she shut up. Or the time that I bought some superwash wool and the shop owner tried to tell me that it wouldn’t be good for felting (felting and beginners often go hand in hand) – no freaking duh. Another time, a shop owner pointed me toward the simple acrylic blends and served anther customer. I overheard the shop owner tell that customer that the alpaca she was fondling would “grow.” The customer asked why and when the shop worker couldn’t answer, I proceeded to tell the customer about the fiber structure of Alpaca (versus wool).

One time, I was in a spinning shop and I bought a bag of miscellaneous fibers and colors for needle felting – and the shop owner told me (in a particlarly condescending manner) that was what it was for and it would be bad for spinning. Thanks for telling me what I already know. Really. Thanks for that. OOH – and I’ve also loved the suggestions that I buy the Stitch and Bitch books (all of which I own and moved past).

Please. Please. Please. Please. Give me the benefit of the doubt. Ask me what kind of things I knit before you assume. Do not assume that every young-looking person who walks into your shop is just learning. The same goes for men/boys as well.


Mini update…

So I took the GRE yesterday and what’s nice about that test is that you get the results (expect for the writing portion) as soon as you’re done!

I got a 580 on the math (quantitative) and a 560 on the verbal!

That’s 140 higher than what I was shooting for!

Also, I got a package from my secret pal…. It’s a mug for my tea that says “I’d rather be knitting” and some AmAzInG chocolate… I love the kind with the Raspberry in the middle – it’s sinfully good! Thank you Secret Pal! She also sent me a card wishing me good luck on the GRE – and I got it the night before I took the test – talk about perfect timing!

I’ll post some photos on Sunday of stuff I’ve been knitting and the Secret Pal spoils!

I’m off to celebrate my amazing test results!


Goin’ on leave for a bit…

Sorry – I know. But, I’ll be taking the GRE on Friday Morn (bright and early I might add) and I got some studying I want to get done. I’ll try and post something the following Sunday (between the test and then, I have a cousin’s wedding – hopefully this week I find time to shop for an outfit!).

In the meantime, you should know that my Secret Pal has spoiled me again (but sent the package to my parents, who I won’t see until Friday night), so I’ll have a reward to look forward to after the test.

I’ve started the mate to Vita and it’s looking quite well. I’m also working on a dishcloth for some mindless ness, but it’s in really ugly colors.

And I think that’s it for the time being.

Wish me luck!

A gentleman’s *large* winter sock

So, for my dad for Christmas, I’m knitting him a pair of socks. (That is not his foot above – it’s the boyfriend’s) I chose the pattern “Gentleman’s Winter Sock” from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

I changed the pattern to fit the yarn I’m using, (Dale Baby Ull) and so the heel is not the one in the book. It’s just a standard heel that I normally do (but with a stockinette stitch heel flap). Oh, but I used a thread of nylon sewing thread as I knitted the heel and the toe to re-inforce the 100% superwash wool.

The problem?

My dad’s feet are somewhere between a size 10 and 10 1/2 (he calls it something like size 10 1/4).

The foot that these socks are pictured on – those are size 12 feet (or something like that) which, according to this chart, is around 3/4 of an inch difference. AND -they felt a bit big when I put them on my boyfriend. You can see the looseness in the top photo. And, since these socks are superwash, I can’t say “oh, they’ll felt to fit,” like I did with my redwood forest socks.

The way I see it, I have these options (please vote by leaving a comment):

  1. Ignore the problem, pretend everything is fine, knit the second the same and present the pair on Christmas day like nothing is wrong.
  2. Take the sock home with me in 2 weeks, blindfold my dad and have him try on the sock and THEN consider the need to frog, before the second sock is started. (Keep in mind that this will definetly spoil some of the textural elements of the surprise.)
  3. Trace my dad’s feet and use that to judge if the sock should be re-knit. (He already knows he’s getting socks – that’s how come I know his shoe size.)
  4. Frog the sock (it CANNOT be converted to a present for the boyfriend), and knit him something else (suggestions?).

Background: The first thing I ever knit was a scarf for my dad. It was a giant, thick-yarned blanket of a scarf and I’m eager to show him how my mad skillz have improved. He’s asked for both socks and an Aran sweater. Since my dad is a rather large man (in stature), the Aran sweater is going to wait a few years. But I figure I should knit him something he wants.

Oh, the dilemna.

*disclaimer – YES, I swatched. That was how I was able to convert the pattern to my yarn and needle size. I just think that I was a bit off in my results. That’s all.

Quick and Dirty free patterns

Here’s the same scarf as below with some better lighting to show the colors better.

And another….

Also – I’m going to write up the eas-peasy patterns I do (mostly to get practice writing up patterns and designing pattern pages) and make them available to you – I’m going to call them the quick-and-dirty patterns because they’ll be super easy (good holiday/christmas gifts) – and the pattern will be less-checked than my other free patterns are.

I’m not claiming them to be rocket science – but if you’re a knitter who likes the comfort of a pattern telling you what to do – maybe this will be helpful.

The link to the above pattern can be found here—


You’ll need adobe acrobat to view it. You can get that here. It’s free.


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Raindrop Lace

Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs


November 2006

On my Ipod…Music and Audiobooks

Devil in White City heartlonely

Flickrize me!