round up

welcome home! First things first. This followed me home from Rhinebeck on Sunday. It already has a layer of dust because those 10 minutes I allocated myself on Sunday? That’s been it. I do want to write up a nice one page guide to your first night alone with your new HitchHiker because it has a few small quirks that newbies like me would like to have biting their nose. It fits nicely under my desk, even nicer if I remember to disconnect and put away the flyer. I’m in love and hope I have some time to get to know my new friend who purrs and /can/ be fluffy. I think it’s a great design and the craftsmanship is marvellous.

I do have some sad news to report though, and I wish I didn’t need to write it right away, but it seems I confused a few people who thought I actually brought home a kitten. How I wish. Anyway, my boss-client lost his cat two nights ago suddenly and it marks the third cat among the three of us (me, his partner, and now sadly him), this year. May tonight be a better night for our loved pets. His cat L and I would play a hide and seek game (mostly he hid, I wanted to find him). I’ll miss him greatly when I make site visits.

Onward to happier things!

I guess I owe a “write up” of Rhinebeck. Last year I went to my first fibre festival, in Maryland. I was overwhelmed but loved it. I went up to Rhinebeck that year expecting to understand a little of what was going on and make a few confident purchases. I was wrong. I was totally overwhelmed and frankly frightened by everyone. It was crowded, which never helps anything. This year we returned to Maryland and I felt much more confident and while it was quite busy, it didn’t feel overwhelming to me. I also felt that the vendors were laid out in a manner which allowed me to look at their products much easier.

This year I went up with one real goal in mind and that was to evaluate wheels with the very strong possibility of bringing one home. That almost didn’t happen. Maybe it’s the admission fee which well, adds up pretty quick to the cash I had onhand. Maybe it’s the smaller vendor spaces in the barns (or is it the narrower walkway). Maybe it’s this freakish October weather; no one saw my scarf, it was too darn hot. Despite having quite a bit more knowledge of both fibre and people than last year, I still felt incredibly overwhelmed. I went to the blogger meet up and only spoke really with the two people I had met before since I was so overwhelmed (and hot), Squid (and Squidette!!) and Jessica. The meet up was a bit scary to me because all the cool kids were there. I saw Stephanie and Ann/Kay walk by and Jessica and Casey and I about fell over. It was too much. Somehow the Squids and Jessica succeeded in unlatching me and I went and sat in the shade for a while to recooperate. I’m not good in crowds where I don’t really know anyone yet have to network and I see those that are there as better at everything than I (whether that is a valid assumption or not).

Anyway, despite the fact that Maryland does end up costing more (it’s further, hotel cost, etc) I think i prefer it and will think long and hard before I return to Rhinebeck next year.

So… PG went all decked out. I broke down and quick crocheted her some booties Saturday night and a AA battery case for me since I am sick of my spare set of batteries rolling around the bottom of my bag. This is the most wonderful ball of lavendersheep ever. It’s never ending. I got two pairs of decent length socks out of it, booties, and a small bag! I still have more left! Yvonne gives awesome yardage. :)

PG's Rhinebeck Scarf Booties for PG AA Battery Holder

Frogging first then prototyping!

As I mentioned a while ago I needed to frog R’s socks and start over because they were too loose both in gauge and overall size. I finally frogged it Sunday night and restarted. They don’t look that much different from ages ago, but I am about an inch in from the toes and it looks much nicer. I love the colours that R chose and Yvonne dyed so beautifully. The Cargo pants need to be frogged too. While I want to make them a little big so they will fit C (since he’s already a year!) they uhm er… right now could potentially fit ME and I really am not that small! I used to knit super tight so I didn’t really think about it too much. Plus it was always scrunched up on the needle and while I checked gauge every so often row wise, I neglected to check stitch wise. I was off by about ¾ of a stitch, and that equates to making it me-sized. Grrr.

I saved the best for last. Prototype polar bear cub hat My friend & coworker N who has a son about 9 months old told me about the cutest hat she saw in the store but she balked at the price and it wasn’t quite the colour she wanted. While talking with her on Monday, she asked if I “did hats”. I said yes and extracted some information from her. I went to PS Yarns (note the URL seems not to work anymore, I’ll have to remember to ask them what’s doing) and grabbed some Lion Wool-ease thick and quick. My goal was to prototype the design fast in a yarn that would show me the shaping easily. And thus the polar bear cub hat was born in about an hour. I still haven’t figured out the ears but she took this home today to check the sizing and the placement/size of the ear flaps (a request). I did some reconnaissance today at the shop where she saw the hat, and mine is going to be *so much better*. She couldn’t believe I did it that fast. I don’t know what size hook i used but it’s HUGE and I can crochet in circles with my eyes closed. I’m really excited about this. I’m going to make a froggy next. Any suggestions to a yarn to use? I refuse Berroco Plush and may have found a sucker er wonderful person to take my current stash off my hands. For this hat, I want it soft, fluffy, warm, and inexpensive but not super cheap.

socks and crochet (not together)

Last week I finished Seaside SocksSara‘s Seaside Socks. I love this pattern and love how it looks on my foot. They were knit 2-at a time toe-up with 2 3mm 12-inch Addi circs which means I modified Sara’s pattern, but still love her inspiration. The yarn is Paton’s Kroy in Krazy Stripes which I purchased at my favourite shop, PS Yarns.

I’m now knitting socks for my friend R. They are also being knit 2-at-a-time toe-up on my 3mm Addi’s and with some beautiful custom dyed lavendersheep Superwash Fingering in Jade Tiger. They are a few stitches too wide in the foot, so they will be ripped back a bit and reknit. Even with that reduction, they seem huge me after my own socks as R has a men’s size 9.5 foot! He’s requested a simple stockinette so they should zoom along. Any bets as to how long until I knit the two together?

v&j's afghan progress My friend V is getting married this weekend! I wish I could say I finished his gift, but while I’ve made progress (in the form of two balls knit) since this photo was taken almost two months ago, I am no where near complete. I’m slowly slogging along on it (when I remember to update my status there). Now that the weather should theoretically cool down, it will be easier to knit. I was stupid not to knit this last winter.

Siddur CaseMy poor daily siddur (prayer book) has been treated well, but the insides of my bag can be quite cruel. I’ve been meaning to make a cover or case for it for years. On Monday while picking up some more needles because swatches cheat and lie, I added a ball of Paton’s Grace in “lavender” which is various purples and a pretty almost robin’s egg blue. I started this on Monday and finished it while on the train home today. It is a very fast crochet. I’m just crocheting it in a simple single crochet. I also recently crocheted a thick dusty lilac kippah which I have no idea what I’ll do with. I only have one head and only wear these around the house (in public I tend toward fuller coverage). I have several of E’s cast off kippot as it is (since he doesn’t like crocheted ones).

one heel down, and crochet!

Ok. I haven’t had much Seaside sock progress 16 Sept 07knitting time with a 3-day yontif/shabbos combination and many MANY deadlines at work and uni. Tuesday (as in yesterday or in today since I’m drafting this at about 12:03am) I attended a really awesome round table discussion (which I hope to write about one of these days) so I did get some bonus knitting time in. The result? I’ve one heel down and one to go, sorry for the fuzzy late night photo. I love love love these socks. The pattern is wonderful and it keeps me awake and the colours are so very fun. I actually hope to finish these and include them in Summer of Socks ’07. Go ahead and start laughing hard with me. But I did just finish a draft of the paper. Two to edit and PDF then submit before noon. Somehow. Then I might get a short breather.. Maybe. Probably not.

I highly urge you to check out the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet I’ve not yet read through the entire issue but I fell in love. I believe that Kim Werker did a phenomenal job. I’m eager to see what the new schedule brings and see the crochet innovation. Crocheting will help me eat up the stash sooner! Go Crochet!!

knit, crochet: FO’s galore! (and plenty of UFO’s too)

Let’s see.. I finished the most amusing washcloth for my mum. I should have a picture of it somewhere but I don’t … what happens when you take one very tired knitter and ask her to replace your washcloth because you misplaced it? Oh and that knitter has a very big suprise for your mother’s day present? You get something highly amusing. I started off planning to make a semi-nubbly washcloth, got bored and switched to garterlac, but somewhere miscounted and instead of 3 triangles had 4 which made it larger, and I’m still not sure how I accomplished the corner I did. So what did I try to do to make it more square like and less (in mum’s words.. ‘pinafore?’) ? I added a popcornstitch-esque crochet border.

So what was mum’s gift? A nice small refurbished laptop with a wifi router installed in the house. :D very nice. All are happy I hope.

Other FO’s… Friday night moments erev shabbos I finished E’s crochet suede kippah. [photopress:suedekippah1.jpg,thumb,alignright] I think he likes it. I like it. I’d wear it. I still have to figure out how to weave the ends in neatly (i might just sew them down with black thread) and it needs some light blocking. Any and all advice on how to block suede is appreciated. I’m thinking of pinning it to my shaitel head thing and putting it in the humid bathroom while we shower and then leaving it to dry all day in the living room. The materials were about $15 … the time to complete was much faster than my normal kippot as the guage is HUGE in comparison (think 5.0mm vs i dunno 2 or so?) The question is, would anyone buy them? What should I charge if I wanted to try to sell them. Should I set up an Etsy shop and see? How should I price them? I am so bad at this. So far for the two commissioned hats I’m making I’m just charging for materials and rounding to include tax. I don’t feel that my knitting is at the level yet I should sell it. My single crochet circles? I’m much more practised in those and feel more comfortable showing those to the world. Yes, the material is new-to-me but the concepts are similar and it didn’t take me too long to figure out how I wanted to work with it.

[photopress:summersocks13may2007.jpg,thumb,alignleft]On the way out to see mum, we had barely even cleared Ocean Parkway and I finished my next set of anklets! yay! They look slightly different at the toe as the second one has a short-row toe which came out quite nice, except I twisted all the stitches on the reconnect. I don’t really care though .. I am very happy with these. I also have remembered the sewn bindoff and did it from memory in the car. If however you know what I’m doing with tapestry needles (or have all of mine) please let me know or return them. This is getting pathetic. I’m buying them almost every week! The yarn is Regia Cotton Tip & Top Color in #4075 purchased from knittycity a month or two ago. I used less than one ball for two anklets. I have 22g left from that ball. not really enough to do anything. Hmm.. These amazed me at how they flew off the needles. Which brings me to something I’ll just start to talk about here. Circs vs dpns. I prefer dpn’s greatly but when you drop one… if it’s on the subway it could be gone forever. if it’s in the car, just hope that the breaks aren’t slammed (they weren’t) and that the needle drops nicely through the seat so you can get it without distracting the driver too much. Dpns go much faster for me. Circs however are much more convenient for the subway.

So what has been on my back? Monkey[photopress:monkey1_13may2007.jpg,thumb,alignright] has. I have had this blue sock yarn that was originally destined to be a gift for someone close and it just went wrong and last week I frogged it. The yarn has been following me around begging to be knit into something. So after sewing off the anklet this morning I cast on for Monkey. The pattern is lots of fun and I’m enjoying myself greatly. I’m going to drop down a needle size for the remainder of the leg, ankle, and foot. It’s quite loose at the moment and while I have some muscle I’m worried about it. I cast on with 2’s which is what I was knitting the anklets with. I think I’ll also switch to circs while I’m at it so that they will travel someone easier in my bag and on the subway.

I showed mum the pathetic progress on her shawl. My goal for the week is to knit at least two repeats. That is all. I also want to make some progress on Icarus. I’m talking with Yvonne about my dream yarn for seraphim. I’m thinking something like her purple midnight but in a fingering weight. Those are my colours!!

Expect a major book post tomorrow, several knitting books and lots of other goodies. :)

knit: startitis .. and crochet too

Oy.. The startitis. I don’t have pictures of all the damage, but the progress meter [photopress:suedekippah29apr.jpg,thumb,alignright](currently on the left) is probably pretty accurate. I’ve started quite a few things since my last paper was turned in. You’ll get the full review of Simple Crochet by Erica Knight tomorrow, but I wish I had seen this years ago. This is what I *knew* crochet could do. And it inspired me to purchase some 2mm black suede cording at the bead store and start to crochet a kippah for my husband. Crochet (knit) kippot have more political/hashkafah connotations than I would like, and he only wishes to wear a black suede kippah, so perhaps now I’ll be able to give him something *I* made that he’ll actually wear. Sadly I ran out of ‘yarn’ before I was done. I elected not to go to the bead store today so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to finish. Is anyone else interested in things such as this?

What else.. When I spoke to mum this past week she was distraught as she had lost [photopress:mumwasha29apr.jpg,thumb,alignleft]the washcloth I made her. I think she’s actually been using it because she mentioned it almost every time I spoke to her. Which makes me think she hates it. Anyway, she requested a new one and as I doubt I’ll finish her [photopress:mumwashb29apr.jpg,thumb,alignright]lace for mother’s day, I need something to give her.. Shown are both sides as I have no idea which one she’ll use. I started off with some pattern from a pattern book, then got bored and have been making it up. Poor mum.. she always gets my bizarre creations. I hope I can finish the shawl for her.

Other things in progress are a jute inbox (in knit/crochet) for me and my sock is slowly making progress. I also leave you with some staged shots of some more yarn …

[photopress:blueankle29.jpg,thumb,pp_image] [photopress:jute29apr.jpg,thumb,pp_image] [photopress:frogtree29.jpg,thumb,pp_image] [photopress:loveit29apr.jpg,thumb,pp_image]

Lastly, tonight I went running for the first time in (uhm.. er.. almost 10 years). Those of you who knew me in high school may be shocked by that revelation. I did some running on and off over the years but I recently realized I need to be more dedicated and that biking doesn’t do it for me and my heart should thank me later for taking care of it now. I convinced E to ride his bike with me tonight. I am embarrassed to say it took me waay too many minutes to run 3K. I’ll try to justify it by I was running at night, with glasses, make that bifocals [i wore contacts throughout high school], on terrain I didn’t really know [the grass along the bike path on ocean parkway], and with more cars (and traffic lights) than I am used to. I used to run a 5K in that amount of time. I once ran a 3K in half that time (indoors to boot). [I was never fast.] *SIGH*. So for all of you who have been intimidated by me, thinking I was in shape. HAH! No. Some of you (I know you read this site) have run marathons. I have only dreamed of that. My farthest race was a 10k. The only thing going for me is that I still don’t drive. ;) Guess it’s time to renew my subscription to Runner’s World. I actually let it go a few years ago since I was getting too depressed. My goals are thus: I will run the same distance for the next two weeks on Sun, Tue, Thu. I will bike (indoors) for 20 minutes and do a weight work out on the alternate days. I will do crunches every day. After two weeks I will add another kilometer and another 10 minutes to the bike. I will get back in shape. My goal is a fall cross country 5k+ on a sunday. I’m not aware of any, so I’ll have to do some research. I’m toying with getting a heart monitor as I honestly care more about that than time or distance covered. Does anyone have one and have recommendations?

(this post has been edited for clarification.. in theory. 10:08p)