Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Asshatin' slightly OT

That's what we call "dicking around" here in my little coffee and fiber cloche in Jax...and it's what I did for most of work today. Found a blog at http://www.woolflowers.net that has a L...O...N...G...list of neighbor blogs, so I just started snurfing. Surprisingly my productivity numbers at work were better than they have been in a long time.

Found the drinking one courtesy of knotology's blog, and I'm cringing because I can't remember where the skywatcher one came from! I promise to give you the kudos you deserve as soon as I find you again.

In the meantime, bought the size 8s, will try to cast on SSS again tonight, and if not successful, am planning to rip out Cozy and use those needles to do the front and back of Tasha, because as it turns out, Cozy can't be right because I've been YOing incorrectly since I started knitting. Considering I've been knitting for more than a year now, that was quite the pissy revelation, lemme tell you!

Found a blog with a girl who was showing off Fair Isle in one entry and celebrating taking the SATs in another.....am I wrong to want to beat her to death with her spinning wheel?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday, Part 2

Yay! Had trouble uploading it earlier...

I've discovered I'm an honorary member...I say honorary because I'm still not planning to actually torture myself by participating in the Knitting Olympics. But since I like sheep, LOVE daffodils, think their flag is EXCELLENT, would like to visit Wales and am reasonably sure of its location, it would appear I'm eligible, even though I'm more a Mc than a Mac.

Seeing my pal Patches McSmacky's new couch has my wheels turning about recovering my loveseat, which has been brutalized by the cats on both sides and was never a great pattern to begin with. I'd buy the slipcover for the body, but I'd like to recover the seat cushions and 5 pillows myself. Might stall on lace tonight and do some measurements....

Got the White Buffalo in on Saturday! Frickin' gorgeous!!!

T-minus 40 minutes til knitting!

Lace--an exercise in patience

I really didn't expect to screw up this fast.

A bunch of us had the lovely and talented ruthee cast on our Super Spirals on Saturday. I'd like to know how the writer of this pattern manages to start a circular beginning on size 10 dpns without shoving a needle through her own eye in frustration. So ruthee gets me started, I knit a bit on Saturday afternoon, but when I take it out on Sunday and compare the hash marks I've made (to count rows) to the knitting, something doesn't feel right. I count stitches on one section and then another, and sure enough, there's a discrepancy. Crap. Because it's lace knitting, I can't quite tell yet what I've done wrong, there's no pattern in the knitting to speak of yet, to the untrained eye. So for grins, I count each section and in true Melanie fashion, the sections range from 9 to 14 stitches. WTF!!! After staring at it for quite a bit of time in bafflement as to how this could've happened and wondering what the hell I'm going to do, I decide to get 'em all back to even--I increase and decrease until I'm back to 10 stitches per section. Then I bury it deep in my bag and do a couple of rows of Tasha.

But I know this won't do. I'm frogging it tonight and buying size 8s. Just don't know if I'll be able to start the darn thing over again without help, which would mean waiting til KB on Thursday or begging ruthee for a smidgen of quality time after work between now and then. I know having the smaller needles will help a bit, but it's definitely going to be that exercise in patience mentioned above.

Tasha is a nice looking bag from Knitty, I just started her ribbed bottom this past weekend. I'm knitting the body in a double strand of Blue Mist Wool Ease, and as the yarn depletes I'll decide where to put the Heather Rose trim; probably at least in the strap and top cable on the body. I have plenty of both, so I think I'll do the whole body in the blue. I'm glad I started it; it's nice to have a new, easy project on the side for when the lace makes me want to stab something with my needles.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm a bad, bad, bad, bad, girl.........

If there was one New Year's resolution that the Knitting Bitches came up with for 2006, it was a fiber diet. A bunch of the gang had recently gone through their stashes and experienced a significant "holy crap, where'd all this yarn come from?!" moment. Not having that problem to a great extent yet, I chose not to deprive myself, also because our funds are so sparse that usually whether or not I should buy yarn isn't an issue. Plus we have the Knitalong about to start.

Then I was blog surfing yesterday for Wool-Ease ideas per usual (I'd love to dive into some of that and get it outta the stash), when I come upon Mind of Winter, curse her fuzzy little heart:
5 pucks of Seal Beige Heather for $22 (shipping included). What is it that makes women's brains glaze over at the sight of a good deal? Be it yarn, shoes, purses, we fall victim to the "i deserve this" mindset and whip out the debit card. I haven't even decided yet exactly what I'm doing with the first 5 pucks of White Buffalo that I have (4 turquoise, 1 slate), but my brain immediately rationalizes it--hey, more choices on what to make now! I need a support group.

KB is a support group, big time, they're the best friends I have in this yucky town, but since it perpetuates the addiction, I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and go on a fiber diet now too. It's for my own good. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Just because White Buffalo has gone out of business doesn't mean you're justified in lurking on eBay. There's a helluva lot of yarn out there. Next time I feel the need, and actually have the dough, to buy yarn, I'll put it in a fund for the trip to Kentucky this summer or the trip to Charlotte in October. There's plenty in the stash to knit in the meantime. Be a grownup.


On the upside, I think I'm going to knit Tasha from Knitty with my Blue Mist Wool-Ease, using my Rose Heather for the trim.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Couldn't resist...

Much as I would love to participate in the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics, there's a little thing called "knowing your own limitations." Starting any minute now, the Knitting Bitches of Jax are partaking in a Shawl Knitalong, pulling the pattern for the Super Spiral from "A Gathering of Lace" and driving ourselves insane over it. I've only played with lace up until now, so I know this is a project that's going to need some concentration from me. So I'll be a good little nutjob and confine my projects to light stuff besides the shawl for now (put Cozy away, tackle the occasional bootie...).

So the above button, courtesy of JenLa at http://knottygirls.com/jenlablog/index.php is my way of tipping my cap to the Olympians and wishing them the best. And who knows? Maybe I'll enjoy the occasional adult refreshment while working the lace. My knitting with a buzz on has thus far been perfect, and I've never been one to leave well enough alone. However, the horror stories I'm hearing from the crowd about just casting on this sucker will probably keep the knitting to a minimum during beer o'clock.


No knitting occurred at all this weekend. No A/C in my apartment. 80 degrees in January. I f*cking hate Florida. I'm ready to move to Canada now.

So I changed one or two things here. I like my papasan, but it doesn't really describe me. However, I've had a thing about lighthouses for some time now, so changing the whole title/URL to accommodate the design layout seemed like a neat idea.

Then there's my name. I'm a witch, and some witches choose to take pagan names. I chose one name when I initiated myself, but it didn't feel enough like me, didn't say enough about who I am. Truthfully, my first name (Brynja Beryl Akwesasne) was partly a link to my past; Akwesasne is Mohican for "land where the partridge drum." It was a reminder for me of a childhood home, Above All. We'd hear this basketball sound, and it wasn't Cyril; it was the partridge taking off in the woods. And while that place has been idealized in my head as a good memory, I wasn't comfortable having so much of my past in a name representing my present and future. So I changed it. Still love the name Brynja though...

I am Ember Grace Madrone. Ember because I love the idea of fire still strong enough to stay alive in ashes. Grace in honor of my Nanie; it's her maiden name. She's 94½. Madrone's reason is twofold. She's the heroine in one of my favorite books: Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing. And I love the idea of a tree encompasses more than one type/species. The Pacific Madrone is what's known as a broad-leaf evergreen tree, and when I read up on it, I'd never heard of such a thing—that a tree can be deciduous and coniferous at the same time (well, sort of). I like the multifacetedness of it, like to think it describes me in a way, with my wackiness and my lithium deficiency, and my cravings for knowledge.

I'm a solitary, so the ole name thing doesn't mean much outside of my head. I'm still plain old Melanie J. to the Jax crowd. But blogging allows you to let people in without truly letting them in, if you know what I mean. It's as personal as a journal entry, but as anonymous as you want it to be too. So since there was no knitting this weekend, I give you a little piece of me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Soft! Soft!

I got to pet KnitPicks Shadow in my color last night at KB: Jewels


Worked on 1 project last night! That's right folks, 1! Though I oughta be working on Cozy for the lace practice...

Need to buy needles, stitch markers, and katcha-katcha this weekend for the KAL.

20 minutes left to work...can't go by fast enough!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Logos abound

Okay...that sort of worked the way I wanted to...

Just trying out the old graphics options. I was adding links and redesigning the ole blog this morning, just for something to do, but even with the nifty lighthouse at top left, I know that graphics make all the difference (see Kimberli's blog for case in point). And since I don't have a digicam, a scanner, or a decent computer system at home, this'll have to do for now.

So please check out my links at the left at your leisure, there's some really interesting stuff. They're places I visit on a fairly regular basis. I'm giving myself til February to start wondering where the hell the $2,000 for the Avon Walk is coming from, so enjoy my nonpushiness while it lasts :)


It's been a week of false and true knitting starts, as the title would suggest. Waiting for the KAL to start has me at loose ends as to what to work on. We ordered the yarn and books this week and will get them next week. In the meantime there's 5,700 yards of Wool Ease staring me in the face, whispering "knit me..."

To be fair, a third of that's already allotted to Cozy from Knitty; I'm doing it in Heather Rose and the first 8 rows seemed to go ok, which usually means I'm doing something wrong. Then I started a slot scarf in the Wool Ease Thick & Quick, one of those scarves that has a slot for sliding one end through.

I tried to start a potato chip scarf twice with no luck; THAt was frustrating. It's supposed to be with LB Homespun on size 10 circulars. The pattern is something like K1, yo, * on 1 row, and then purl the next row. The first time I was purling the yarnovers and the tension got ridiculous. The 2nd time I dropped the yarnovers and realized that couldn't be right because you'd be keeping the same number of stitches, not doubling them as the pattern suggests. It got frogged again last night, until I can find different needles to work with.

So I started baby stuff in the interim. Given my knitting limitations still, I can't be worried too much about how everybody until the KB sun is going to be knitting baby blankets for Terra. Besides, I haven't tried one yet and I found a really pretty pattern. I also started a fresh baby hat and will do at least booties to match. Thought about trying the sweater in that pattern batch, but I don't have the right size needles for it, and I've got enough dough going toward knitting already this month. I ordered the book "A Gathering of Lace" and 4 skeins of Knit Picks Shadow for the Super Spiral Shawl we're doing for the KAL. Can't wait to get the book; I want to study up on the necessary stitches so that if I come across something when I'm knitting at home, I don't end up doing it wrong and frogging painfully come Thursdays.

Looking forward to KB tonight...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Scatty knitting

Can't decide on projects lately...thank goodness the KBers are doing it for me on one project. We're doing a shawl knitalong from one of the patterns in A Gathering of Lace...VERY pretty shawl, should be interesting. My other projects though, feel kind of hodge-podgy. Haven't touched Cozy. Pulled out Red Heart shawl UFO and been hitting 4 rows a night on it. Started a super easy scarf, one of those ones with the slot for putting one end through, with the Wool Ease Thick & Quick that Dana gave me. Frogged the alpaca. Needles were too small, it was bothering me. Thinking of starting something with that teal mohairy stuff that Teresa gave me a while back, just no idea what. Ought to start a baby blanket.

Definitely at loose ends this week.

And I forget, what does POT mean?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Buried in acrylic

I need to stop nagging ruthee about her non-blogging...i'm only managing once a week at present. Silly holidays got me behind.

Why do I choose projects with yarn that I hate? The White Buffalo was a delightful exception, but now I'm trying to plow through 3 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun for a shawl for my mom's birthday, and while I love the feel of Homespun and its wash-and-wear durability, I am SO friggin' sick of knitting on it. Could also be because for time-saving sake, I went with straight garter stitch--you can SO get away with that with Homespun--so I'm bored out of my skull.

And I'm completely (FINALLY, the Knitting Bitches would say) over working with yarns that are majority acrylic, or some other manmade, petroleum-based fur. Too stretchy, you work it too much and it squeaks, and did I mention too stretchy? I'm trying to start the Cozy pattern with the Heather Rose Wool Ease, and I can already see I'm going to be frogging it and looking for a better lace pattern. Cozy's easy enough to get the hang of, but it's an involved pattern and a real bitch to look at and tell if you're doing it right, for a beginner. I must be ornery today too, damn moon being in Aries, because I think I want to switch to the dark blue because it's winter (in normal states) and the Rose is irritating me, but I chose the Rose so that I'd actually be able to see the lace pattern once I got going...there's no pleasing me.

Encore's nice too, used that on the hat and booties, and I'm glad I have some more to play with for the baby blankets and whatnot. Starting in February, the KBers are doing a Shawl Knitalong, ordering yarn from Knit Picks and working off a common pattern from the book "A Gathering of Lace." It's a really beautiful, spiral patterned shawl, and I decided I'm going to go in on that. It'll be nice to create something pretty and have instant help along the way.

And off topic, I've officially started planning and training (well, in my way) for the Avon Walk! I got the 2006 handbook and T-shirt this week, have been watching what I eat, doing yoga in the evenings to get to know my body, and making lists to prepare. I won't start fundraising hardcore til at least February, because it feels kind of funny when I just got done begging for Autism, but I'm not scared about my money goal yet. Ask me again around August :)