Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bite My Crank!
(betcha thought I wouldn't!)

Happy Hween! It's my favorite holiday during my favorite time of year and I currently feel like someone stuffed yarn up my nose. So congested. Yuck. So I will be spending my Halloween at home being a sick slug. I'm actually ok with being a slug today as the rest of the week is pretty crazy for me. On Thursday, I have to work three different shows... in one day... in two different theatres. Good fun! I am definitely not complaining - I am happy to have work!

So today is the end of
Socktoberfest. I did not complete my Socktoberfest goal which was to finish my damn pomatomus socks. I really should just frog them and move on. I do really like the first one I made. I just can't seem to get the second one done. But I did start and finish the Pistachio Chip socks during Socktoberfest. And I am in the home stretch with my Pembrokshire sock.
Pembrokeshire progress

I was having some issues with the instructions and got very confused when it came time to knit the heel. But I suddenly realized "um... Hello! You know how to do a heel!" So I just improvised. I decided to try an "
eye of the partridge" heel. I think I messed something up in the middle, but it's fairly imperceptible.
Eye of the partridge heel
I did make a bigger mistake in that I should have rearranged the stitches before starting the heel.
missed purl stitches
There should be two rows of purl stitches to the left of that cable. But, I am not going back to fix it! Besides... How pretty is that gusset!

I've decided that these are going to be for me. Mainly because they are not superwash. So, I'm thinking I may make a second pair for my sister in a darker, less girly color in superwash. I will be hunting for the perfect yarn at
Stitches this weekend. I may change my mind about the pattern and do something different, but I definitely want to do a lace patterned sock in a solid color. I have a few other items on my shopping list for Stitches. I would like to find a variegated sock yarn in black and greys. And I will be hunting for Handmaiden Seasilk, though I think it may end up being a little cost prohibitive. We shall see!

Yesterday, I decided to whip up another baby hat to take to Stitches with me. They will be collecting baby hats for
Caps to the Capital. I tried to get The Poodle to model it for me, but she was not cooperating. So thankfully, Patrick stepped in.
Baby pom-pom hat modeled by Patrick

Patrick modeling a baby hat

Much to Amie's complete disgust, this hat is 100% acrylic! (She apparently breaks out in a terrible rash at the very thought of acrylic.) The yellow is Caron's Simply Soft and the rainbow yarn is probably Red Heart, though I'm not really sure. I'm going to try to make at least one more baby hat before Saturday. I bought the Caron's specifically to make a baby lemon hat, so I think I shall stitch that up soon.

I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween! Here's a little Halloween fun for you.... I warn you, it's a little addictive!

Pumpkin Patch

My pumpkin is in the patch under "lightingchick" if you want to check it out! If you make one, let me know... I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pistachio Chip
Yarrow rib
finished sock

Yarrow Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Pistachio Chip from Mama E's C*Eye*Ber Fiber
Needles: Addi Turbo US2 40" circular
Knit magic loop/two at the same time
Started: October 13, 2006
Finished October 22, 2006

When I saw this colorway on Mama E's site, I knew I had to have it. Love love love it. (I'm a big fan of green.) These socks were a super quick knit. The Yarrow Rib pattern is simple but works well with a striped yarn. I made them pretty long in the leg. They are a little big on me, just a little, but I'm hoping they might tighten up a bit after a washing. And they are sooo comfortable! Perfect for this crazy cold fall weather!

My Addis were not lying dormant for very long. Yesterday on the subway to the zoo, I cast on for the Pembrokeshire Pathways Socks. I had originally started to knit these with the Pistachio Chip yarn, but I found that the colors competed with the pattern too much. I got some Knit Picks Palette in the yarn swap, so I used that to begin these socks. I'm really happy with them so far.
stitch detail

I just love the little baby cables!

tiny little cables

I haven't decided who these socks are for. Possibly for me, possibly for my sister for Xmas. Obviously, these are going to be some seriously 'girly' socks. I'm not really sure how my sister will feel about girly pink lacy socks. She's in her 50's, so I don't really think she does girly anymore! But I guess I will finish them before I make a decision. She may just love them.

I've been having serious issues with the calendar lately. I found out Friday evening that November is NEXT WEEK. I knew that I have to open a children's show on November 2, but I swear I thought November wasn't for another TWO weeks. How did this happen??? Where did October go?? Suddenly, I am extremely busy!

I have spent the last two months sitting on my ass doing nothing, and now suddenly I'm drowning in work. Work (read: money) is definitely a very good thing, but wow... I have to open four shows between now and Thanksgiving. Four and a half if you count the fact that I have to re-cue the lights for the children's show the weekend after Thanksgiving. I will be in tech for two solid weeks. We open a show at the Baltimore theatre the week before Thanksgiving, and then go immediately into tech for the Columbia show which opens on Thanksgiving day.

And tomorrow, I go into tech for a show at another theatre that I am helping out with as a favor to our lighting designer. She is leaving for Scotland on Thursday, so I am going in as her stunt double. She's hoping to have everything done before she leaves, so I will just be there in case they need to change anything before opening. Hopefully, nothing will change!

The one good thing about November occurring in a week.... STITCHES!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Extreme cuteness
XXXtreme cuteness

sleepy panda

I went back to the zoo today. Can you tell?

In the words of Mama E.... I am completely broken about that baby panda. I think I'm a little broken about the otters too.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Yeah, I didn't go either.

It's a beautiful fall day. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of yarn crazed knitters enjoying the fun and fiber at Rhinebeck today. Me? No such luck. I've been home all day being a total slug. I watched "Bring It On", ate way too much candy corn, played Scrabble online and knitted. Eventually, I will have to drag my sorry ass to work. I'm cranky and I'm cold. And I'm not in New York buying way too much yarn. Grrrrrr.

I am however, getting some quality Socktoberfest knitting time. I am almost done with a pair of socks that I started at Mama E's birthday party last week. I don't want to show them off until I am done with them, so I will just give you a little peek for now.
perfect heel

pistachio heel

That my friends, is what has to be the most perfect heel I have ever knitted. NO HOLES! It is a German heel from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I have become a big fan of the simple ribbed sock patterns from this book. This is my third pair from this book. The patterns work so well with variegated yarns. (Speaking of Nancy Bush, be sure to check out Lolly's interview with her!)

I am having serious issues with wanting to start new projects. I want a new scarf, I want to make the Pembrokeshire Pathways Socks (you'll have to look around the site for the pattern, for some reason, I can't get a direct link), I want to make more baby hats and a friend offered to trade me back massages for a knit hat (I already have a similar arrangement with a different friend. I made him an afghan for his mother for xmas several years ago and now I get back rubs whenever I want them - excellent deal.) (oh, and he's REALLY good at it!)

And none of this even takes into account the fact that I still have the Icarus Shawl to finish and the Pomatomus socks that I STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED!

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend of mine whom I had not seen in AGES. We had a really nice time catching up - she truly is one of my favorite people and I'm sad I don't get to see her more often. I got to see her daughter who is about 20 months old and SO cute. As a christening gift, I made her a crocheted sheep. I was thrilled to see the sheep yesterday - it is dirty and ratty looking, obviously very well loved. I couldn't have gotten a better compliment! I just emailed her asking for a picture of the baby with the sheep, so hopefully I will be able to show you someday.

Well, I'm going to go back to pouting about Rhinebeck. I hope you all have a great weekend whether you are at Rhinebeck or not!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stealth Knitting

I haven't been able to post about my knitting this week because I was making this:

Shedir hat

as a birthday gift for my friend Mama E:

Erin in her Shedir hat

It's Shedir from the special Fall 2004 Knitty issue. I had been wanting to try this pattern for a while - and who better to make it for than my friend Erin! Somewhere in the past few days, I have successfully lost the label for the yarn and so I can't remember what kind of yarn it is! But I can tell you that it is a cotton tweed. The hat was knit on US size 3 needles. And I made a few modifications. I twisted all of the knit stitches (knit through the back loop.) I really like how the twisted knit stitches make the cables pop. I didn't do all the pattern repeats - I think I did three instead of five. It just seemed like that hat would be way too big with all the repeats. (Gauge? What gauge??) I was having a really hard time with the "purl 2 together through the back loop" stitches, so I just gave up and purled two together. This turned out to be a really challenging knit for me. But it was definitely worth it! I'm happy with how it turned out, and Erin says she loves it!

I gave Erin her gift at her FABULOUS S&B Yarn Swap Birthday Party! I think it's safe to say that we all had a blast.

There were friends
Jolene, Amie and Jen
Jolene, Amie, and Jen

Hi Lolly!

Erin and Eunny and a pumpkin
Erin and Eunny

There was yarn cake (made by Amie - so cute and so yummy!)
yarn cake
yarn cake 2

There was knitting
Jen doing a little knittin

There was wine
the party's over

No really! There was wine! I swear!

And there was some serious YARN SWAPPING!
yarn swap

Check out that pile!

I was thinking "oh this is great! I'll be able to thin out my stash a bit!" Then of course, I came home with this:
My haul
I brought 10 skeins and came home with 10 skeins. So much for thinning...
If you click on the picture, I labeled what everything is.

Many thanks to CAm for having this great party and inviting us all to her gorgeous house. Great food, great fun!

And one last time....
Happy Birthday Erin! XOXOXOXO

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Acting On Impulses

So here's what I've been up to the past few days....


Knight in shining armor

No, that is not me under all that armor! Saturday, went to the Maryland renaissance Festival. A yearly tradition. Drank too much beer, ate too much food on sticks. More pics here.

Worked all day. A necessary evil.

Great Falls, Potomac River.  Maryland side.

Decided to head to Great Falls for the day. It's one of my absolute favorite places in the DC area. It was the perfect day for it. I went to the Maryland side, though I really love the Virginia side too. There are beautiful parks on both sides of the river, in both states - each with spectacular views. I walked along the C&O Canal and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery. I even brought some knitting! It was a really nice escape. More pictures here.


I woke up this morning and for some strange reason, my first thought was ZOO! So I hopped the Metro and headed into DC. How cute are those pandas??? That is Tai Shan, the new baby panda and his mom Mei Xiang. SOOO CUTE! I stood and watched them for over an hour. Endlessly entertaining. They are opening a new Asia exhibit at the zoo next week. The pandas will have a brand new habitat. I will definitely be going back! Way back, many many years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, (um... 1972 to be exact) I remember when the zoo was given Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling. My family lived in New York state back then, but my parents brought me here to DC just to see them. I was OBSESSED with them. I had panda toys and tee shirts and posters - all the cool panda swag. Well, after watching Tai Shan today, my love has been renewed! So damn cute!

I hadn't been to the zoo in forever. I couldn't believe how much it has changed. They have done a lot of great renovations and updates. I was really impressed. But I kept getting lost - it is a BIG zoo! I used to know my way around there, but so much has changed!

check those choppers!

I even got to watch this guy pick food out of a hippo's teeth! It was kind of funny. The guy kind of splashed his hand in the water, the hippo swam right up to the edge. The guy said "c'mon, open up!" and the hippo happily did so!

hungry hungry hippo
He's not nearly as cute as Tai Shan, but still... pretty cute!

More zoo pictures here!

and one more here....

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Mama E!!!!

Just wanted to wish my friend a very very happy birthday! Love you friend!
Go over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday too!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More obsessive knitting

There are babies in my life that I cannot knit for.

One of these babies has been on my mind quite a bit lately. (and just to be clear, no -I did not sneak out and give birth while you weren't paying attention - ever.) It occurred to me last night that there were plenty of other babies out there that I could knit for.
a trio of baby hats
top view of baby hats

In another spurt of insanity knitting, I made three baby hats in the past 24 hours. I made the yellow one last night when I got home from the Baltimore SnB. The blue one was created during my matinee this afternoon and the apple hat (my favorite) was born during my evening show.

The yellow hat is from a Kate Gilbert pattern that I don't remember purchasing, but was on my computer. In my typical way, I didn't read the directions and didn't realize that the hat was to be knit on 6 DPNS. I used 5 and so there are only 4 points on my star. But it came out ok anyways.
star hat
Pattern: Shining Star by Kate Gilbert
Needles: US6 DPNS bamboo... Clover, I think.
Yarn: um.... yeah... um...That right there is some Red Heart Super Saver. Aaacck! The dreaded acrylic!

Confession... see, back before I was a knitter, I was a crocheter. And when I was a crocheter, I got the brilliant idea to make a giant afghan that had pigs all over it it (for a friend with a pig fetish.) I bought way too much icky Red Heart, started the afghan, never finished it and even threw out the pieces of it that I had completed. Now the overflow of Red Heart is lingering in my "sub-stash." It's not even allowed to share space with the yummy wools I have in my real stash. I am blaming Amie for reintroducing icky Red Heart into my life. (See the black and pink blob in my last post for reference.)

I would like to take a moment to apologize to the baby who receives this hat. I'm sorry the yarn is scratchy and icky. Hopefully the fashion value and cuteness factors will override your discomfort. I can only hope that you outgrow it quickly.

Apple hat
Pattern: Becky's Preemie Fruit Orchard Hat
Needles: US 6 DPNS and a crochet hook
Yarn: Lionbrand Wool-ease and scraps of Cascade 220 (Wool-ease also from "sub-stash" and crocheting days.)

Again, I apparently did not use the correct number of DPNS. The pattern doesn't specify, but by the end of the pattern I got the impression I was supposed to be using 4. Of course I was actually using 5. So this hat is not really preemie sized. But it is definitely baby sized and super cute. I had left the pattern at home when I was making this. But I remembered that it said that the leaves were crocheted. I have no idea how I was supposed to make them, I just made them up myself. Wool-ease is not a bad yarn in my opinion. I have contemplated using it to make my first sweater someday.

2 baby hats
Blue hat
Pattern: a modification to the Fruit Orchard hat
Needles: US 6 DPNS
Yarn: Caron's Simply Soft

My modification is that I just made a longer icord at the top of the hat and tied it in a knot. And the incorrect number of DPNS were used again!

I am fan of Caron's Simply Soft. For an acrylic yarn, it knits up nicely and really is very soft. Perfect for baby.

All three hats will be donated. There is a charity knitting event happening in Columbia next weekend, I plan on dropping them off there. I figure this was a good place to channel my obsessiveness. And since they were ridiculously quick and easy knits, I may just have to make more.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I knit WHAT?

I can't even discuss it

Oh yeah... I made that! Give a girl two skeins of icky Red Heart acrylic and a few hours to kill and look what happens. It's ok if you need to avert your eyes. I understand.

On Saturday, I went to visit Amie who was demonstrating Knit Lite light up knitting needles at the AC Moore Yarn Event.
Amie at AC Moore's yarn event

Now, I don't know about you, but when I sit down at a table, and there are needles and yarn to play with - I start knitting. Nobody said it had to be pretty or functional! Amie on the other hand, did make a pretty and functional knitted item.
Amie's looong scarf

I especially like how she joined the two balls of yarn.
cool color join

We won't talk about my color changes or joins...
It's acrylic, sooo pretty.

Haaaa! I made you look at it twice!

While I was there, I won one of the hourly raffles they were having at the store. Did I win a new knitting bag? Nooooo. Did I win yarn? Nooooo. Did I win a set of light up knitting needles? nooooo.

I won a hat.
High fashion


Anyone see the resemblance?

Fortunately, there was a little girl running around who thought the Dino hat was sooo cool. So she became it's proud owner. I might add that she also thought my pink and black knit blob was pretty cool too. Ah, the fashion tastes of those crazy 7 year olds!

As to the light up knitting needles... they were pretty cool. I don't think it's something that I will ever need to own, but they might actually come in handy for knitting in the light booth during a show. My only complaint was that they were a little long. I had to do the traditional "stick the needle in your armpit" knitting that is so popular.

So, did ya know it's time for Socktoberfest? It's my first! I've got some thoughts about what I want to make. But I am not allowed to cast on new socks until I finish the ever lingering Pomatomus. I've been working on the second one forever. I don't know why this sock is vexing me so much. It hates me. There has been much ripping and re-knitting. I knit my Madder Rib socks in 6 Days. 2 socks... 6 days! But I can't finish this stupid Pomatamus. I finished the first one in APRIL. So that is my current, short term, Socktoberfest goal. Finish the damn Pomatomus!