Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Random things?

1. I met my husband, Poem-man, on nerve.com--my name was 'startleme' if you're checking historical artifacts. To be more 'proper' I should say we met on salon.com since that's the more 'polite' site and the site he actually used, but umm..yeah...I was serially dating on nerve.com. 1b. If you ever meet my parents, don't tell them that--they don't know how we met. Yeeha!

2. Poem-man's older son just finished his first year at my beloved alma mater. I didn't pressure him into it or anything--I am way low-man on the parenting totem pole--but I do think it's super cool that he goes there and likes it. I highly doubt there's anyone in my graduating class who has a 'child' in attendance there-I'm just not that old! Zoinks!

3. I have an unabashed love for canned meats: Spam, Corned Beef, and Vienna Sausage. No--really, I love to eat them. They are the manna of my childhood with parents-being-not-from-this-country-but-another-country-where-it's-really-hot-so-they-ate-canned-meat. Eek!

4. Though I am a classically-trained-since-childhood musician (piano, viola, and voice), I am best-known among those who knew me in my youth as a Barry Manilow fan. Yeah, yeah, everyone can love "Copacabana," but I know all the words to "When October Goes" and practically tell you the chord changes to "Weekend in New England." No, no, I'm not really a current fan. I haven't been to Las Vegas to see him and wouldn't pay the $$$ to do so, but I would I would be someone's guest in a heartbeat! And tell me, when will our eyes meet?

5. I grew up in Milwaukee. No one ever believes that. I don't know if it's that no one believes that anyone actually lives in Milwaukee other than Laverne and Shirley or that I don't seem to be very M'waukeean. I have lost the accent, if I ever had it. I don't drink beer like a native. I HATE the Packers--well, all sports, really. But I know I'm from Milwaukee because I still stop from time to time and think about where Lake Michigan is so that I know which direction is east, (which of course screws me up in Brooklyn) and I am incredibly polite in that midwest niceties way, so there ya go. ("There ya go being one of those Milwaukee phrases like "oh, fer cryin' out loud.")

6. I don't have hair on my arms. Not even a little bit. Now here's the kicker: I DON'T GROW HAIR on my LEGS at all. Yup. Never have shaved, depiliatoried, or what have you. Ya, ya, I know how lucky I am. One person did ask me if I was upset that I couldn't even try to make a personal political statement about body hair, beauty, and female gender. Of course that was at the aforementioned alma mater...Woo hoo!

7. I don't know what 'meme' means, or stands for, or whatever...

8. I won't turn off the lights before I go to bed. I make Poem-man do it. Even if I wake him up to do it he does it. (Isn't he a good man?) I don't know what I did before I got married. I hate turning out the lights before bed--I think I used to sleep a lot with the lights on.

Thanks to Annie for tagging me. I'm late to this whole blogging thing, but maybe Jane and Tawana wanna do this crazy thing!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Unfold your feathers!

I've been working on a secret "secret" project which I finished this week and maybe I'll blog about that later. In the meantime, I've cast on a lace project. I'm thinking that the allure of having these beauties in my stash ready to cast on may spur me on to finish this lace cardigan.

Can you see the peacock feathers in the lace or will you have to wait for the magic of blocking?

This lace seems to go both fast and slow. This is a eight-row pattern, but really it's a four-row pattern that repeats with the second four rows starting from a different point. Within the true four-row pattern only one row creates the lace--the other three are basically stockinette. Gotta love it! The nice tourist on the subway was amazed that I could knit lace without looking at what I was knitting and I was too uppity to do anything else but smile without mentioning that I was on a plain ole purl row. I'm not a nice girl...

What also adds to the slow-fast condundrum is that the directions have me knitting the fronts and the backs of the cardigan all at once with a split for armholes, etc. to happen later on. So it's a million stitches, but I'll have the whole body done together--like two socks at one time! On the other hand, this is 100% mercerized cotton--shiny, hardy, lovely, but COTTON. Not that much of a joy to knit.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fill 'er up!

I LOVE to shop for, consider, and dream about new purchases of any kind, especially yarn, but I don't really love to BUY anything. I can spend happy moments on-line scrolling through pictures and pictures of yarn of different sellers and happily toss things into my virtual cart and can still be satisfied when I end the experience by closing the window, items unpurchased, transaction unconsummated. (It seems sick somewhow, but I don't know why.)

I HATE buyer's remorse...hate it! One of the reasons I've limited myself to 10 yarns on my stash is so that I discipline myself to only buying something when I really REALLY REALLY have to have it. For example there's this coral knitpicks sock yarn sitting on my stash taking up a slot. I shouldn't have bought it, but there it is waiting to be given away, knitted, or something. I leave it there as a reminder that sometimes, you don't have to have something. You just don't!

So imagine my thrill when after a months of unconsummated shopping, I finally had spaces to fill and could buy to my heart's content. And oh, I love the new yarns on my stash. I could leave them there a long time for the love! I haven't even brought myself to turning into sock yarn cupcakes because I love these skeins so much the way they are.

This first skein is for socks for me. I don't know what pattern may yet be worthy. Any ideas?

This skein is for socks for Poem-man. He picked the yarn out himself (with a little urging from me). I just finished Monkey socks for me, and you know about his thing of Monkey see-Monkey do, so perhaps this yarn is simian-bound.
Details about the yarn are in my stash list over there in my sidebar. If you want to have a shopping experience of love, please go to woolgirl.com. I ordered these prettily packaged skeins late Sunday night and received in the mail on Wednesday.
Oh, the love...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Feet!

Yay! The best thing about watching Happy Feet is that I finished these socks while watching it. I mean, the movie was ok, but I finished kitchenering the toes as the credits were rolling. And it's just cold enough today (whatthehellit'sMay???) that putting on handknit 100% wool socks is a true happy feet experience. Yowza!

Pattern: Monkey Socks
Yarn: Claudia Hand Paint Fingering Wt "Walk in Woods"
Yarn enabler: Simply Socks Yarn Company
Time I spent knitting in between the two concerts I had this week: 6 days!

These were fast, so fast! After the endless pair of the socks of the recent month, I needed the feeling of finishing something fast and not because I'm in some sort of stalker-competitive race with Ms. Quick. (Ok, maybe I am, but she runs and would kick my ass in any race, so I have to pretend that at least I could knit faster...) The pattern is so easy to memorize and execute. I was also helped by the fact that there wasn't an endless supply of yarn and that these went cuff down. I had to stop when I got to the toes, not when I ran out of yarn. Whew.

The yarn feels very comfy and warm though I worry about the softness vs. durability factor with the socks. I plan in the future to knit socks in yarn that's blended with nylon, silk, tencel, seacell, teflon, or whatever it is that will keep future socks from going the way of my Pomatomous-Koigu socks, but that's a different (slightly bitter) post.

I wasn't that thrilled with the yarn colorway, but I do like how the colorway brings out the pattern and vice versa. This pattern doesn't make socks as clingy as the other ribbing and cable-based socks that I've recently finished, and I'm not fond of the way the heel fits and looks, but whatever. Hell--I finished 'em in a week, they'll be perfect to wear with jeans, I have more space in my 10-yarn stash, and I have cute new socks!

I encourage you to Monkey See-Monkey do!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monkey see Monkey do!

Dinner Scenario #1
Me: Do you want some Parmesan on your asparagus?
Poem-man: Are you going to have some?
Me: Yes.
Poem-man: Then me, too.
Me: Monkey see monkey do!

Dinner Scenario #2
Me: Do you want some mango sauce on your ice cream?
Poem-man: Are you going to have some?
Me: Yes.
Poem-man: Then me, too.
Me: Monkey see monkey do!

Dinner Scenario #3
Me: Do you want root canal?
Poem-man: Are you going to have some?
Me: Yes.
Poem-man: Then me, too.
Me: Monkey see monkey do!

"Monkey see monkey do" is one of poem-man's most endearing and annoying traits. So of course, I have to monkey see-monkey do, too.

She's doing it. And she's doing it. And she's doing it. So here I go: Monkey see Monkey do!

PS: Notice how I now have two (2!) places to fill on my stash list!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

So much yarn...

Yay--Another pair of socks finished! These took me forEVer.

1) I was knitting on size Zero Addis with lovely but skinny yarn.

2) I went toe-up, and it's part of my upbringing to use up what I've got--including the bazillion yards of yarn that came with this generous skein.

3. I got side-tracked by the stupid roses. See eariler disaster post.

4. I increased half a bazillion stitches for my um...voluptuous calves. And a shout out sarcastic ha ha to those who felt I should continue to go to my thighs, which would mean increasing 3 bazillion stitches. You and you know who you are!

Pattern: "Cable with Faggoting Center and Rib Socks" from Sensational Knitted Socks.

Yarn and Yarn enabler: Brooklyn Handspun Signature Sock Yarn in "Guava."

Time I spent knitting them when I could have finished three pairs of sportweight socks: 23 days!

Faggoting: a openwork stripe effect with connecting threads across the open area that create a ladder effect. Look inside the cable.
Don't make me say the word or explain it again. I'm too embarrassed.

Look--still yarn left after these king daddies went big for the calf increase and up 2/3 of my shins.

Friday, May 11, 2007


See...this is what happens. Sometimes knitting (especially for others) seems like a good idea. I conduct a high school choir and have 22 seniors graduating. Instead of getting them dorky carnation corsages to wear at our last concert, I figured I would knit them all corsages. That should be easy, right? The students are always asking me to knit something for them (as if...), so I figured these would be nice little tokens. I research flower patterns, and find some cute ideas.

Pattern: Flowers
The picture to the left shows them before felting.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Worsted and some left over alpaca yarn from over 6 years ago.
Yarn Enabler: Knit-a-way
Time it takes: About 17 minutes for each flower.

These are quick to knit, but sort of hard to form. I've picked the felted ones, but I don't have a washing machine, so I decide to hand-felt them in my sink. Not so bad, I can handle this.

But in the end. They aren't going to do AT ALL. Way too big, heavy, and they look like...well..lumps of felted wool, rather than the charming roses I had hoped for. And the alpaca ones didn't work out even a little bit, so I'd also have to do about 15 more roses in the next 3 days.

So no knitted corsages for the singers of the Class of 2007. Zut alors!

I'm not going to digress from my knitting plans and plan to return to regularly-scheduled knitting.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Got a problem with that?

So it's a $140 handmade scarf...

I love how people do research into stuff that I call 'duh.' But, on the other hand, maybe we don't have to explain so much anymore. Knitting: the new Mah-jongg (insert leisure activity of your choice)

Read this from the NYTimes. Comment later!


All good secrets bring joy when revelealed! My knitting group had a secret feet sock exchange that had all good thing: enough weeks to knit a pair of socks, a small group of skilled, enthusiastic knitters who (for the most part) knew each other, a beautiful day to reveal their work, and overjoyed recipients. All of us sat in anxiety hoping that our labor would be looked upon favorably by our giftees, which just shows how much we care about our knitting, creativity, and generosity. I think these socks also show how creative and colorful knitters we all are and how highly we think of everyone else's creativity and skill!

DETAILS! I WANT DETAILS! Well, I don't have details for all those delicious socks, but I can do two of the pairs.

My secret feet received:
Pattern: Pomatomous Socks

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Yarn in the colorway "Life's a Beach" (I love that!)

Yarn enabler: Simply Sock Yarn Company

Time I could have spent knitting in public: Two weeks.

This was my second go at Pomatomous, and I want to reassure everyone that these are not as difficult as they may seem. The pattern flows easily, though is a little fiddly when you get to the feet. It was a good knit with lovely, sqoooushy yarn.


Aren't these GREAT! My knitter extraordinaire gifted me with my very first Socks that Rock Socks! They're in the medium-weight yarn, and I love the colors-that red shooting through the colors is so so cool. I'm guessing that the colorway is Foofaraw, but I'm not sure. I think she said they're a pattern from Son of Sensational Socks (or whatever it's called). I begin to understand Socks that Rock obsession...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Return of the Blast from the Past

I have this gig singing in a church choir, and this year the only two women of child-bearing age in my section both had babies within a month of each other. All hormones, all the time! They are both wonderful women who have lovely baby girls that they are enjoying.

I did not join the baby-making frenzy of the altos of the choir, but instead chose to be in the knitted-item-for-baby frenzy!

Pattern: Five-hour baby sweater (I believe based on some Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern)
Yarn: Knit from one skein (only 215 yds!) of Malabrigo Worsted in Color #98 "Tuareg"
Yarn enabler: Stitch Therapy
Time I spent knitting them when I could have..: Who are we kidding? It's like three television shows worth of knitting if you're quick!

I loved this item above for both its construction (It's like 60 rows and voila: a sweater!) AND the yarn. It was quick to knit which was great because I started about 2 weeks before the delivery date, but was sad because I loved touching the yarn so much. Now some have said that it's not worth it to make an adult sweater out Malabrigo because it will pill like kah-ray-zee!, but I figured for a baby, what the heck. I love LOVE LOVE the hand of this yarn. Really I do. I do dream of knitting a bigger version --much MUCH bigger--for myself. It might not be stylish for an adult, but I won't care!