A Good Yarn

Friday, September 29, 2006


I just wrote an entry. I was about to click the publish post button and decided to add one more thing and then the electricity went out and I lost the whole thing. I love electricity dearly, but damn!

Ok, it was a short post, but now it's going to be shorter. I'll just say that I saw a band last night at the Fine Line:

They're called Calexico and I really liked them! My friend Rebecca invited me to see them - I had never heard of them before. They play sort of a mix of music. Some of it has a Mexican flavor, some of it is just straight rock. They have a great energy and the musicians are great. They even play xylophone on some of the numbers, which I love!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Knitting Progress

I have been doing a bit of knitting, too. I made another mitred square for my blanket - blocked, but not sewn together yet:

Sorry it's so shadowy. I was too lazy to drag it outside. I also am making my way down the foot of the Lozenge sock:

I like the pooling more now that there's more sock. The huge expanses of gray don't look as overwhelming to me now that there are more of them, broken up by the blue and green. The sock looks very big to me, but I just tried it on and it still seems to fit just fine.

Most of my time has been spent on the Merging Colors Mitred Scarf. I believe I mentioned that I discovered that I had twisted the first row, but I didn't figure that out for quite a while. I ended up ripping the whole thing out and reknitting on a slightly longer needle. Whenever I rip something out, I am a bit obsessed about reknitting back to the original progress point as quickly as possible. So, I set aside all my other projects and just knit on the scarf for almost a week before I got back to where I had been. But, now I'm even further along and in fact coming closer to the end. I'm absolutely in love with this project still:

Although my camera focused on the grain of the wood underneath it, I think you can see the color gradations pretty well in the fuzzy closeup:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

PS Swap

Since the Project Colorswap didn't begin until April, Lynne decided to have the red/pink swap in September. My swap partner this month was Marisol and she sent me a fantastic box of goodies.

Oh, I didn't realize how bright the sun was when I took that picture! Well, at the top we have a box of tea and a pretty sheepy card. They are resting on top of a couple of felted bag patterns. That's because you can see she sent the perfect color of pink Cascade 220 and a really fun skein of Trendsetter's yarn called Fling. Next to the yarn is a tin of Apple Sours altoids. To the right is a cute heart-shaped box lined with red velvet and covered in shells. Inside the box are a couple of cute, hand-painted beads. Below the shell box is an absolutely darling little accessories bag. Inside of the bag were some toe separaters for doing pedicures, some fun nail polish with heart-shaped sequins in it and a tin of sparkly lip balm. Underneath everything you can see a lovely Asian-print drawstring bag. There was also a really nice bar of Lindt chocolate, one of my favorites. I wish I could say I already ate it, but in fact it was Miss Fiona who ate it - bad, bad doggy! (I know chocolate makes some dogs sick, but she seems to have no problems with it) She doesn't even have the decency to look sheepish about it:

Since that picture is so hard to see, let's take a closer look at the pretty bags:

That red bag is beautiful and a good size for a small project that's bigger than socks. And I am just in love with the little pink bag. I'm going to transfer some of my most essential knitting supplies into it. And let's looks at the pretty, pretty yarn:

I ADORE that color of pink! I love the idea of a cute little pink purse, but I'm also thinking about a cute girly hat with the Fling yarn. I'll have to think that one over. Thanks so much, Marisol! I just love everything you sent and I think I've found someone I share so much in common with!

I also have to thank Lynne for the great Project Colorswap! Every month has lived up to and sometimes go completely beyond any expectations you might have about a swap. It was fun getting to know a new set of knitting friends and shopping in a color pallette. I'll miss it!

I've been laying low over the last week or so, trying to just spend some time at home before the busy fall begins again. I did join a few of knitting pals to see a documentary about Shipbreakers in India - workers who tear about the huge ships when they are no longer able to continue in service. It's a really dangerous job, both for the workers and for the environment. Saturday I had a wonderful sushi lunch with Rebecca and we knit in the mall for a bit - great people watching in the mall! Those 80s fashions were in full display in the stores, too, Kate.

Sunday was of course football. I ended up staying up way too late on Saturday night, reading for my film class starting tonight. I got up too late to take the train on Sunday, so I had a nightmare trying to find a reasonable place to park and getting to the game. After waiting in line forever for the completely ineffective security search, my ticket didn't work, so they wouldn't let me into the game. I had to go to three different places before they finally figure out that the ticket lady at the first gate accidentally scanned my ticket twice, so it thought I was already inside and trying to re-use the ticket. SO ANNOYING!! So I missed most of the first quarter and then they went ahead and lost the game in the last few minutes. So disappointing! On a happier note, I was in the Hormel Row of Fame! For those of you who haven't been to Metrodome, every game there is a Hormel Row of Fame and accompanying theme song, and everyone in the row gets a free hot dog. I sing the song every time and act all bitter that I'm not in the row and after being a season ticket holder for 10 years and attending a handful of Twins games, it was finally my turn! Yay! Unfortunately, they do it halfway through the 4th quarter, so I'd already had a couple of beers and some nachos by then, so I wasn't really hungry. And they only put mustard and no ketchup on my dog, so I was getting a little sick from all the mustard and couldn't finish it. But I won something! Free, free, free, everybody wants something for free! We're also at the end of the row, so we were on the jumbotron for quite a while, so I'm famous too.

Last night I saw this movie:

All About My Mother directed by Pedro Almodovar. There's some sort of Almodovar film fest going on at the local arthouse theater, so a friend invited me along to see it. I had never seen it before and I'd say I liked it, but I didn't love it. I haven't seen a lot of Almodovar's work, but from my understanding this is pretty typical of it. There's a lot of real heart and the characters take it all very seriously, but then again it's like a soap opera and totally over the top. The sets and costumes are all very bright, primary colors and look fantastic. There are weird camera angles, like one shot where a character is writing in his journal and we see from the point of view of the paper. The characters are a strange bunch: a pregnant nun, two transgender prostitutes, two lesbian actresses who are in a very conflicted relationship, in part because one of them is addicted to heroin, and the main character a grieving mother who used to be an actress, then a nurse. Penelope Cruz plays the nun and I'm not usually a big fan of hers, but she did a wonderful job in this film and looked luminously beautiful. Perhaps acting in English is just too difficult for her. For the most part I really liked this film and was engaged in the story and in fact I wanted to know more about the characters after it was over. However, there were times when the melodrama just went a little bit too far and seemed too much like a Spanish soap opera and took me out of the film.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

80s Flashback

Warning: Another picture-heavy post here, and no knitting content again.

Kate is having a contest - Look Back and Cringe. We're supposed to post why we don't want the 80s fashion to come back. Here's the problem, though. I love the 80s! I graduated from high school in '86, so the '80s are the "glory days" for me - I was in junior high in '80 and I graduated from college in December of '89. I was young and full of promise. This summer was my 20 year reunion and one of my best friends from high school also passed away this summer, so I've been looking at these old pictures lately, so I'll play along - here are a few of my favorite outfits from the '80s.

This is from '84. A crazy bold graphic - this was actually a suit. Since it's black and white striped, I sort of look like a prisoner, but I loved it. I sometimes wore the hat with it too. I loved hats. It's kind of hard to tell in this picture, but this is a black hat with a little netted veil-type thing on it.

I'm in the bleachers at school, so I think it's fall football season - I'm not sure if it's '84 or '85. Look at that big hair! I used to dry it upside down, then set it on hot rollers. I loved the shaker-knit sweaters and this was my favorite. I got it at Limited, my favorite store those days. I usually wore them over a button-down shirt, as you see here. I'd like to mock and ridicule those big, thick eyebrows, but I'm so bad at getting my brows waxed regularly, that I still have big thick eyebrows half the time, even though I prefer the more shaped brows favored these days.

This is summer of '85. I went to Debate Camp in Wisconsin and this is my boyfriend from there, Bobby. This is one of my favorite outfits. The big shirt with two belts of different colors looped around it loosely. The majority of pictures of me from the '80s, I'm wearing pearls. If I remember correctly, that white skirt actually has shoulder straps - kind of like bib overalls, but without the bibs. I'm obviously wearing that under the big red shirt in this look, though.

Here's another one of me and Bobby. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm wearing blue jeans that have a pinstripe in them. They are very high-waisted and pleated. Another look I'm not planning on revisiting. I do like my hair like this, though, and it was easy. No blow-drying and no curling. I just had a perm and I'd part it on the side and put some gel in. My hair is actually fairly similar now. As soon as perms came back in, my hairdresser let me know, as she had a hard time getting me to stop perming my hair. When you've got a big round face like I do, big hair is good. In these two pictures you can also see the uniform that Bobby wore - OP (Ocean Pacific) shorts and a polo shirt. I remember one time I was teasing him that he bought them in 6-packs because he wore that combo pretty much every day.

This was Christmas of '85. I had to post this one because of the typewriter. I was SO excited to have a little electric portable typewriter instead of the gigantic selectric that was more common those days. I NEVER would have imagined this whole blogosphere thing. You can see a couple of my fashion staples in this one too. I'm wearing another shaker-knit sweater. This time over a high-necked blouse, another favorite. You can see the pearl earrings, and I'm also wearing a pearl necklace. And of course, those gigantic red glasses. Why in the heck did I like those huge glasses? That's one fashion I'm glad is out.

Another one around Christmas of '85. I worked at an ice cream store and this was our holiday party. One of my best friends, Lori, is wearing quite the outfit, too. I didn't wear turtlenecks, but I was often wearing those stirrup pants and big tunic sweaters. This time I'm sporting the shaker sweater with another button down and a tie - I loved the menswear look. Big hair and big glasses, as usual. It was a party, so I was wearing an a-line skirt.

This is the next Christmas, the Christmas of '86. By that time I was in college and was wearing more conservative clothes. I was active in the College Republicans (yes, I was a Republican for a little while) and dressed like my idea of a future lawyer/Republican housewife, my alternative plans for the future. I held on to the pearls, as you can see. This is a more fitted red shirt, with a black skirt and a white sweater with black trim and gold buttons. I know I wore powder, but my face is so shiny! That's my dad with me.

This is another day during the same Christmas-time. This was another outfit I just absolutely loved. It's a Liz Claiborne sweater that is an angora-blend and a white angora-blend skirt. I loved the sweater dresses and skirts. This sweater had HUGE shoulder pads, which I loved. I have pretty big hips and they're dwarfed by my big shoulder pads. That's my brother with me. He's wearing MY David Bowie t-shirt and I swear that's the last time I ever saw it. He says he gave it back. I also recall getting gum on that sweater one time when I was drunk and semi-passed out and spilling coffee on that skirt another time I was drunk. Yeah, I was in college.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mini Golf

I decided to post this one separately because it's so picture-intense. If you're on dial up, sorry! Splatgirl recently posted about her trip to Big Stone Mini Golf, which reminded me that I'd been meaning to check it out last summer and never got a chance. Well, there's no time like the present and Red loves to play mini golf, so I decided a little trip was in order. This place is way, way, way out west and I live so far east I'm practically in Wisconsin, so it is like a little trip for me to get there. I haven't really been out that way before and let me say, I know why the professional athletes and other wealthy folks in this town live out there. The houses on those lakes are GORGEOUS! And the lakes are so beautiful. Wow. If I wasn't trying so hard to get there before sundown I would have stopped to take a few pictures. I thought about how great it would be to live out there on the lake with the beautiful people. But then again, I love being in the city (well, one of the cities) and having fairly quick access to all the activities I like to do. If you live out there, it's not so easy to jump in the car and see something at the arthouse theater. Anyway, on to the mini golf.

This is one cool place and was definitely worth the trip. Instead of your typical mini-golf structures, it's all different sculptures. Here are a few of our favorites:

Hole 1: Dead Tree Forest - The hole is at the end of all of those trees.

Hole 3: Windmill - Not your typical Dutch windmill, huh?

Hole 4: Arbor Viney - You can kind of see behind Red that there were a series of hills you had to get your ball over to get it through the Arbor path and to the putting green. There was a lot of beautiful vegetation like this around many of the holes.

Hole 7: Pumkin patch - Those pumpkins are stone sculptures.

Hole 12: Gently Down the Stream - Once you got your ball over the bridge into that water maze, it would float through the maze to a hole at the end where it would fall into a basket and then you're done. Red's favorite part of that was that you could reach into the basket and grab your ball again and play some more. There weren't many people there so I let him try a few holes again. His favorite was "Shoot The Rapids" where you had to get your ball up a little ramp, where it jumped over a little stream. He also floated his ball in that water maze a lot of times.

They also had a big stone table with a checkerboard on it and giant metal checkers. We played checkers for a while until it was pretty obvious that we were just going to be jumping each other with every move. They also had a pen of goats that we petted and fed:

They also sell locally grown food, so we bought some really tasty tomatoes and a pumpkin, really cheap. It was a fun outing!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Endless Motion

This week passed as fast as any ever. It was non-stop action for seven straight days. Happily, I can now take a breath and slow down a little bit. It's too much for one blog post, so as usual, I'm breaking it up. I did a few fun social things, I received an awesome Project Colorswap package and I've been working like crazy. I won't blog about the work part, but everything else is coming.

I also had to rip out the merging colors scarf because I discovered I had twisted the cast on. I tried everything I could think of to repair it, but there's no way that I know of to get rid of that twist 13 rows into a project. So now I'm obsessively trying to get back to the spot that I was before ripping. So sad. Thanks to everyone for their input on the socks. The majority of people said to just keep going, so I took that advice and did. I finished the heel and am kniting the foot now. It seems to fit pretty well and the bigger it gets, the less the pooling looks weird.

Anyway, I saw a couple of movies in the last week. First was this selection for my movie club:

Oh my gosh, I loved it! This could have so easily turned into a heap of crap, but the acting was spot on and made everything so perfect. I'm sure a lot of people have already seen this one, but in case you're not familiar, it's about a little girl named Olive who became the runner up in the Little Miss Sunshine contest when she is visiting her aunt in California. The winner is disqualified so Olive gets to go to the big pageant. Her family can't afford to fly there, so they all pile into their VW bus and drive to the California from New Mexico. Dad (Greg Kinnear) is a motivational speaker with big dreams, but little actual success. Mom (Toni Collette) is trying to hold the family together while being the primary breadwinner and caretaker. Olive has a brother who has taken a vow of silence until he reaches his goal of entering the Air Force Academy. Olive's grandfather (Alan Arkin) lives with the family and is Olive's talent coach. The family has recently taken in Olive's uncle (Steve Carell) after he tried to kill himself. Each of these characters could have been a wacky caricature, but the actors keep them from crossing that line and seem so real. There are so many moments of just reality within some pretty outlandish situations. It's the little details that really make this film special. It's really funny, but also sad and touching, too. I would definitely recommend it and hope to see a few Oscar nominations from it.

I also saw this film:

Loved this one too. It's a true story about a guy named Vince Papale who went to an open try out with the Philadelphia Eagles in the late 70s and ended up making the team. Vince was almost 30 years old and had played only one year of high school football, but he had enough talent to actually make the team and play for three years. Mark Wahlberg plays Vince and looks natural as a football player - and pretty damn hot as well. Vince was from a working class neighborhood in Philly, when the economy was pretty crappy. He was a substitute teacher who couldn't get a job because of budget cuts, so he tried out for the team at least in part because he had nothing else. His buddies are also hurting, one unemployed, one on-strike and one with a brother who hasn't been the same since he got back from Vietnam. All of this sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? And they didn't even talk about the high gas prices. The community really pulls together to root on their Eagles and especially their buddy, Vince. That's one thing about the film that I just loved - it shows how football isn't just about a game or something to do on a Sunday afternoon. It's something that brings people together, gives you something to look forward to and feel good about, even if everything else in your life is crap. It also shows how a father and son may have problems talking to each other, but they can also talk about the Eagles. That rang so true for my family. I barely ever have a conversation with my mom, my dad, my grandpa without talking about the Vikings. It's really a common bond that we share. This film also features Greg Kinnear playing the type of guy that his character in "Little Miss Sunshine" would like to be - Dick Vermeil. Vermeil took over the Eagles as a winning college coach who is expected to turn the team around. The open tryout was one of his ways to bring back interest in the team and try to get the fans excited again. Kinnear did another great job playing Vermeil, who is all about heart and attitude. He's one of my favorite coaches. He's known to cry at the drop of a hat, but I love that about him - he's just passionate about everything and isn't afraid to show it. His wife Carol is also shown in the movie as a real partner to him - giving him straight advice and keeping him real. From what I've heard, that's very true to life. She was present at practices often and the Vermeils always had the players over to their house for dinner - treating them like family, not just employees. He's also a hell of a coach and got to the Super Bowl with both the Eagles and the Rams. I'm sure some day there will be a movie about Kurt Warner and how Vermeil gave him a chance too, just like Vince Papale.

I also went to a play last week:

Love Tapes is about a woman who makes a videotape of herself for a lead singer in a metal band. I don't want to reveal too much of the plot, because part of the pleasure of this play is in seeing how things progress. It's a really fun show, though. It's described as an "unconventional, unexpected romance" and I'd agree with that description. I will warn you that there is nudity of both the main male and female characters. The play was co-written by Penn Gillette, which is why I wanted to see it. I thought it was really well-written and I would definitely recommend it. It is playing at the Hennepin Stages theater through 10/1.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knitting Update

Sorry about that long, long post yesterday. I should have broken it up into two posts, but I didn't realize how long it was until I published it. Anyway, here's the knitting update. I've made another mitred square for the blanket:

I've turned the heel on the Lozenge socks. I'm still wondering if I should just rip these out. They call for a plain stockinette stitch heel flap, which I've never used before. I thought I'd try it out and I'm not sure how it's going to work. It doesn't pull in at all like the traditional heel flap:

I was about ready to rip it out, but first I tried it on and it seems like it fits ok:

So now I'm unsure what to do again. I should probably stop ignoring that little voice telling me to rip it out and try a different pattern. But I'm still thinking I should just finish them up because they're ok.

On a happier note, I'm LOVING the merging colors scarf. I'm almost through the purples:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Warning: Long Post Ahead

I have so much to post about that I may just break this up into more than one post. Let's start with the thank you. I got a great package from my Secret Pal 8, and she revealed herself. My Secret Pal was Cindy, in Colorado. She was a great pal and I really enjoyed all of my goodies. This was the last one:

There are a lot of good Colorado stuff there, so it's like I've been on vacation again, without leaving home! From the top, there is a box of tea, some Knit Picks merino style yarn, a bottle of Colorado water, then coming around back to the right, a lovely handmade dishcloth, some beautiful handmade stitch markers, a tin of "Knitting Girl" mints, some lip balm, a candle, a yummy bar of soap and some Colorado trail mix. Good stuff, all! I know this seems kind of odd, but I'm really excited about the water! I drink bottled water all day long and I love trying local waters. It's chilling in the fridge as we speak and I think I'll bring it to work today. I'm touched by the handmade stuff and definitely will put them to good use. Here's a close up of the yarn:

I've never tried the Merino Style before and it's really nice. Very soft and cushy. I love the turquoise and brown color combo, too! Cindy also sent me a bunch of post cards over the last three months, which was super fun! Here's most of them:

It was a really fun Secret Pal exchange again. Thanks for being a great Pal, Cindy! I also had fun being a Secret Pal for Jena. It was fun getting to know Jena through her blog and pick out some goodies for her.

I spent the weekend at Scrapfest 2006. It was my first time attending and it was really fun, but crowded. I was sick on Friday, so my plan to get there early to check things out didn't work, but I sucked it up and went for my class. There was so much going on, I went on Saturday as well, even though I hadn't originally intended to do so. I also went on Sunday, so I spent almost the whole weekend papercrafting. There were booths of papercraft manufacturers with make and take projects. Here are the projects I made throughout the weekend:

As you can see, most of them were cards, but there were also some little booklets and tags also. Mostly it was set up to give you ideas on techniques and supplies and I did get a lot of good ideas. I was kind of burned out on cardmaking and beading after doing projects every month for Project Spectrum, but this reignited my excitement. I am definitely a knitter and usually just do the other crafty stuff every now and again. Scrapfest is an Archiver's event and they had several larger make and takes available. You just bought the supplies (at a good discount) and they supplied all the tools and stuff you needed and tables to sit and make the projects. I bought pretty much all of the Archiver's make and takes and will be using some of them as gifts:

At the top is a music box, which includes a set of cards inside the box. In the middle are two big clothespins which you use to display a photo and a box with a small accordian photo book inside. On the bottom is a frame. I also took a couple of classes, all of which were for scrapbooks:

At the top is an accordian book inside a tin. At the bottom is an accordian book with a beach/vacation theme and a regular book with a birthday theme. I was disappointed in the first class, because they just basically gave us the tin and papers and told us to make it however we wanted. The beach and birthday books are really, really cute though. They had actual layouts and were really cute. I wasn't able to finish the first or birthday books, so I'll have to finish those here at home. I finished the beach book, but I need to put pictures in it. The classes cost extra money, but you do get quite a bit of supplies and the instruction which makes it worth the cost. It was nice to take a break from standing in line to do the make and takes and sit and make a bigger project, too. Overall, I thought it was a fun event and I think I'd go back again.

I also took the kids to see a movie on Saturday night:

This was a pretty uneven movie. There were a few good laughs, but a lot of the jokes fell flat. Of course the storyline was pretty predictable. There were also parts that just felt sort of tacked on as part of a checklist or something and not really a cohesive whole. The kids liked it though.

I also had Book Club on Sunday, but I ended up not making it there. I was running late, due to the Scrapfest stuff. Then I spilled an entire large mocha down my front, so I decided to just skip book club. I can't tell you how many cups of coffee I've dumped. I'm just too stupid to handle those lids - they pop off all the time. I should just carry a real cup and immediatly dump my coffee into that. Anyway, I hadn't finished the book anyway, so perhaps I wasn't meant to attend this month. This is the book we read:

I really had a hard time reading this book. It's written by a journalist who traced the path of his food in four different meals: a fast food meal from food from big industrial food production, an industrial organic meal, a small organic meal and a meal that he hunted and gathered himself. I got about halfway through the book. The first part is about "big food" and in particular, our reliance on corn - in the form of corn syrup, filler product and feed for the animals we eat. I hadn't really thought about it in that way and found it interesting, but it was also hard for me to embrace the idea of corn as the root of evil in our society, growing up in South Dakota. It's pretty detailed and densely written, so I struggled to read it. It picked up more when he turned to the organic farming alternatives, but I don't think I'm going to finish it. I decided to start reading a light mystery, the Besty Devonshire mystery that Cindy sent me in a SP package.

This weekend was also the start of football. I missed most of the games since I was at Scrapfest, but I did watch the big Manning v. Manning match up and then last night we watched the Vikings on MNF and then the Raiders/Chargers game later. It was the start of Fantasy Football for me too. I decided this year to just play in one league - the league I'm in with my brother and my friend Michael's brother. It's been a relatively stable league for years and it's fun since we all kind of know each other. I'm the only woman in the league and I've won twice. I've been competitive most years, with the exception of the year I took Daunte Culpepper first and he had a miserable year. Well, and other problems, but that was a double whammy for me. Some of these guys hate losing to a girl, which is fun for me. Unfortunately I lost my game this week, to the league commish, Michael's brother. It was close - if Randy Moss would have played his normal MNF game I would have crushed, but unfortuantely the Raiders are terrible.

I also have been knitting, but this post is already WAY too long, so I'll save that for next time.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thank You!

OK, my camera seems to be working again - I'm sure it was user error. Anyway, here are the rest of the neutral, beachy goodies:

A lovely basket (I'm a sucker for baskets!) and some shells and starfish from the beach. SO COOL!!! Being a land-locked Minnesotan, I love this little bit of exotica. I'm dying for a vacation, too, so this is sort of like bringing a vacation to me. I was particularly taken with the starfish - so pretty and so cool. There's also a nice sea sponge in there.

She also included a deck of playing cards from Oregon, a lovely rose pin and a wonderful bar of spearmint soap that is 100% natural and vegan. It says that "enlivening mint essential oils can be useful in strengthening resolve during times of transition." Love it! Last night Greg, Michael and I went to a local sports bar to have dinner and watch the football game and we played some cards, so I already "Christened" them. Whenever I go on vacation, I either buy cards or a refrigerator magnet as small momento, so this truly was like vacation coming to me. Oh, that reminds me that she also sent a magnet, but I already put it up on my filing cabinet next to my desk, so no picture. Excellent package and just the right things for me - thanks again Deb!

I got another really nice package yesterday as well, but I'm going to wait to reveal that until next time.

I also started a new project. This is a kit I bought very recently and didn't even show you when I bought it. I couldn't wait to start it, so even though there are about a million things I want to knit right now, I had to cast on for this - it's a Mitred Merging Colors Scarf. I am just completely addicted to this too. It's made by knitting three strands of a fingering weight merino together - you change the combination of which three colors you knit together on a row to row basis so it really gradually changes color. It's so very, very cool and now I want to get every colorway. Since you're knitting from the outside in, you start by casting on almost 700 stitches. I've done a lot of stitch marker exchanges and have been mocked for having so many stitch markers, but they came in very handy in keeping track of how many stitches I had cast on:

That's a lot of markers, isn't it? Here's a closeup of some of them, with the very edge purple color of yarn:

As you can see, that's also a lot of stitches on the needle. I probably should have started with a longer needle and then switched to a shorter needle as I decreased. I finished that long cast on yesterday and started knitting and didn't get much done because I loved kniting it. I also stayed up way, way too late last night. I'm pretty sure I managed to avoid twisting the stitches when I joined. I'll post a picture of my progress another time.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Technical Difficulties

When I returned to work on Tuesday morning I found a lovely package on my desk! It was a package of goodies from Deb, my August Project Spectrum Swap partner. She sent me a package with the theme of the beach. Now I'd like to post a picture of all the stuff, but I seem to have had a malfunction with my camera. I took pictures of everything at the office, but when I plugged in the memory card, there were no pictures. I'm guessing I must have inserted the memory card incorrectly so it wasn't recording, or something. I did bring the yarn home, so I was able to re-take pictures of that this morning. Here's what she sent me:

Some great wool from SuDan Farm in Oregon. In case you can't read the label, it says:

Breed: Coopworth

This yarn is a gift to you from a sheep named: Milo

This wool has been grown, sheared and processed with respect for the animals, land and humans that are involved!

How cool is that? Love it! As if that wasn't enough she also sent a couple of favorites:

Love the Trekking XXL - the subtle color changes are so cool.

LOVE the Misti Alpaca. So soft and cuddly. I've gotta find a really good lace pattern for this.

As if that wasn't enough, she sent some other fun goodies which I will re-photograph and post later. Except the salt water taffy. That has already been consumed. I shared with my little red-headed friend and he squealed with delight and yelled "TAFFY!" Such a great joy to share with an appreciative friend. Thanks so much Deb for a great package, but I'm not done thanking you yet!

The technical difficulties didn't just affect the pictures of my package from Deb. I had photographed the yarn and my progress on the Lozenge socks when I discovered the pictures weren't recorded. So I went outside and took pictures of the yarn and socks again. Came back in and plugged in the memory card - STILL no pictures. What the hell?!! This was getting annoying. So I took everything outside AGAIN and took pictures AGAIN and looked at the photos on the camera to make sure they were actually there. Mission accomplished. However, the pictures of the socks didn't turn out because my camera focused on the tree in the background instead of the socks. Well, I wasn't going to drag them out and take pictures a 4th time, so here are unfocused pictures of my Lozenge socks:

As usual, I made the legs shorter than the pattern called for and so I've started the heel flap, which is in stockinette stitch with one mock seam stitch in the middle. Here's the gray side:

I really struggled with the decision as to whether or not to continue with these socks. Deepa brought her Lagoon socks to knitting last night and was knitting them in the other pattern from Vintage Socks that I was considering using. Her socks are not pooling at all and look lovely. But I am fascinated with seeing where the pooling and flashing and is going to travel to and every stitch is so fascinating to see if it will match the stitch below or transition to a new color. In the end, laziness won out and I continued on instead of ripping out. I will probably end up giving these socks away for charity anyway, so perhaps someone will love the crazy swirls of color.

For today's giveaway, I have some jewelry magazines:

Art Jewelry - November, 2005

Jewelry Crafts - December, 2005
Somehow I ended up with two copies of this magazine that I don't want, so there's more than one available.