Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sick girl and yarn shopping

I suppose it was inevitable that my all-powerful immune system would eventually succomb to all the kid germs I've been exposed to all summer. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and stuffed head.

CNITU may have been the culprit -- he and his family were visiting from Laguna this week, and he has a case of the sniffles. Didn't slow him down much -- we had some rousing games of Frisbee, trains, and Play-doh, and we went to the train museum on Thursday (he loves choo-choos).

We have all been trying to think of a name for CNITU2, the younger brother who will arrive in January. So far, my favorites are Oliver, Jeremy, and Miles.

Because a younger brother is imminent, I have been yarn shopping! Sis told me yellow was unacceptable, she's so tired of yellow from when CNITU was born (they didn't know the gender in advance.) So she wants CNITU2 to have an all-new, all-blue wardrobe. So I had a yarn crawl day last Saturday with M and Spinnity. Here's what we got at Creative Hands in San Carlos:

Debbie Bliss cashmerino in light blue for a onesie from Debbie's Baby Cashmerino book.

Crystal Palace Kid Merino (this comes in amazing colors!) with Filatura di Crosa Millefili Fine cotton to make baby hats/booties.

Creative Hands is a wonderful store -- lots of helpful staff and well-labeled containers with the cost and fiber content of everything. It is well-organized, everything is easy to find, and the prices are fairly competitive. Love it!

After Creative Hands we went to Fengari in Half Moon Bay. This place is the opposite in personality to CH, but just as good in its own way. If CH is a librarian, Fengari is a disorganized packrat. There are boxes and bags of yarn everywhere, spilling onto the floor and rolling down the aisles. It looks disastrous until you realize that the girl behind the counter knows where everything is! And they have things I've never seen anywhere else. Here's some Gedifra Serano I bought to trim the edges of the onesie:

I got some soft, fluffy GGH in a lovely aqua color -- maybe a scarf for me?

I couldn't resist this Peter Pan yarn. So soft, and they had a pullover made up in this color that was just adorable.

(Excuse the blurry photo!)

Just when I thought I was done, I noticed a shelf under the counter loaded with Mission Falls cotton! I have become an addict, and someone told me it was being discontinued, so I grabbed a ton in a bunch of different yummy sorbet-y colors.

Finally, to complete my yarn purchasing frenzy, I stopped by Vannessa's yesterday to but a gift for a friend, and they had some great stuff in the 50% off basket! I got her some nice Berocco Monet in lovely fall colors, and couldn't resist this Gedifra Golden Tweed. I'm already working on a seed stitch rib, it's a little too firm for a scarf but might be a purse? It's a really lovely, chunky, natural-looking yarn.

In other news, I gave Ethan his birthday hat. Here it is finished and on a bear.

It looks even cuter on Ethan. He looked like a miniature longshoreman. His mommy took some photos right away, and she promised to send them to me.

I also finished Luke's hat in time for his birthday next month. I really like how this one turned out. I made it to match Andrea's scarf, just cause I like the yarn combo.

So I have plenty of things to keep me occupied while I sip tea and sniffle.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Just found out that my friend Eryka's baby Ethan turns one tomorrow -- ta-da! Stockinette stripe hat recipient.

I had lunch yesterday with another friend whose adorable son Luke turns one next month. I cast on another hat last night -- I think after the success of the Mission Falls scarf, I will design him a Mission Falls hat in basket stitch.

At the San Mateo meet-up last night, I finished up the major knitting on the Vintage camisole -- I just have to block it, seam it, and do the funky edging and straps. This part looks tricky, so the project has graduated from a carry-in-the-tote-bag-to-the-park project to a finishing project.

I had a weird yarn dream last night, perhaps caused by hunting through my stash for hat inspiration last night. I was in Mervyn's, why Mervyn's I don't know, but there I was. And Mervyn's had great yarn, major brands, for cheap! They had Noro, they had Berocco, they had some of the beautiful green alpaca M brought to Meet-up last night. I kept on picking up skeins, thinking, okay, this is here, I'll just look at what else they have and come back for it. Then I'd go down another aisle and around a corner and see more great yarn. But when I came back for that perfect yarn, I couldn't find it anymore, the bin had moved or the aisle had changed direction. If I was able to grab an interesting skein, I had no basket to put it in. I took it up to the counter and left it there, just hoping it would stay until I returned. And of course, it was gone, or it rolled off the counter and down an aisle and I couldn't catch it.

A fascinating, realistic dream, with amazing colors and textures, both thrilling and endlessly frustrating. I am sure it's deeply symbolic, but the symbolism hardly matters when the content itself is so interesting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Knitting Adventuress!

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

That's me, according to the quiz I found on The Knitist's blog. Fun quiz with very good questions, I had to think before answering them. But I think the final result is something most people would agree with.

I am nearly done with the baby hat I'm doing for Continental Knitting practice! It's turning out quite cute, but man, I am encountering some challenges. First of all, I kept doing my SSK's backwards in Continental. I think I've figured it out now. Secondly, my double-points are annoyingly long and awkward and I'm at the point where I very nearly stab myself in the eye every time I attempt a decrease. I guess I would rather buy yarn than needles, so I always think I can survive with the dp's I already have, but I've been using them a lot more lately with wrist warmers and hats.

The stockinette stripe pattern for this hat does make for good Continental practice, though, and I'm enjoying alternating between this project and the camisole I'm knitting English-style. I worry a little about the Rowan tweed being a little itchy for a bald baby head -- the design was actually for a cashmere-cotton blend, but I had the Rowan lying around and I love the color.

Next question -- who will be the recipient? The hat is sized for a one-year-old, and I know a few of those. The main criteria is that the parents must own a camera and be gushingly appreciative.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Today was not a good day

First of all, I spent way too much time dealing with parents of Shakespeare campers who didn't think their kids had big enough parts. Granted, there were only two such parents, but two stage mothers is two too many in one day. One parent proved eventually to be rational, the other cannot be reasoned with.

I have been doing this long enough not to let the turkeys bring me down, but lest I attempt to have a good day in other ways, I found out this afternoon that a dear friend's father has suddenly had a coronary and isn't expected to last the week. This friend lost her mother to cancer about five years ago, and she has barely recovered. She's completely devastated now. I called a number of mutual friends and we are going to attempt to do something for her once she returns from hospital, funeral, etc. in New York.

We DID see a great movie tonight which cheered me up -- March of the Penguins. I urge you to waddle as fast as possible to the nearest cineplex and see it! It is just amazing, and will make all your troubles go away for an hour and a half while you worry about the survival of baby penguins.

In knitting-related news, I finished the Mission Falls scarf for Andrea, which was just a week-long project and therefore quite satisfying. Here it is, a bit fuzzy:

I really like the way the nubby texture of this yarn looks in basket stitch, and I have to congratulate myself on a good design choice. The design also incorporates some of the nice fuzzy nubbles I got at the Stash Swap. Here's a detail:

I knit this scarf on #9 needles, a little bigger than recommended for the Mission Falls, but I like the airy-ness of the stitch this way -- looks more like a basket. The fall colors look so nice together. I used almost two whole skeins of Mission Falls Cotton, so the scarf is quite long and wraps nicely around the neck and falls to the waist on both sides. Andrea lives in Pennsylvania for most of the year, so I figure she needs scarves for more than just a fashion accessory. Here's my easy pattern:

Cast on 15 stitches on #9 needles, holding cotton and novelty yarn together. Garter stitch (knit every row) for eight rows, then drop novelty yarn. Continue in basket stitch:

Row one: K3, P3, K3, P3, K3
Row two: P3, K3, P3, K3, P3

Repeat rows one and two, then:

Row five: P3, K3, P3, K3, P3
Row six: K3, P3, K3, P3, K3

Repeat rows five and six*, start over at row one and repeat to *. Continue in this 8-row pattern until you've made the scarf as long as you want it to be, then pick up the novelty yarn again and do eight more rows of garter stitch. Bind off.

I have a little over a skein of the Mission Falls left over, so I might try for a pair of wrist warmers to match. Don't think I have enough for a hat.

I've also updated the links on the post below to include photos of wrist warmers and my Rowan baby hat.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

FOs springing up all over

I was reading Spinnity's blog, and I like the way she numbers her FOs 2005.12, etc. This probably comes from her librarian training, but it's a good idea, certainly imparts a sense of accomplishment! I decided to make a list of all my FOs so far this year:

2005.1 Shawlapalooza for Sis (Love Prism shawl)
2005.2 Princess M Purse (Katja and Muench yarns)
2005.3 Crocheted dishcloth (never shown on this blog since it's embarassingly lopsided, but it was good practice.)
2005.4 Crocheted coaster (very small and easy but turned out well. I gave it to my DH, the only thing I've ever made for him!)
2005.5 Red wrist-warmers (from last-minute knitted gifts -- in Brown Sheep Prairie Silk
2005.6 CNITU's backpack (Muench and Karabella)
2005.7 Blue Cardy (Rowan 4-ply cotton)
2005.8 White Lies Nicole camisole
2005.9 Squiggle Choo-choo scarf (Crystal Palace)
2005.10 Green wrist-warmers (Karabella Aurora 8 in parsley, my new favorite green. A gift for my co-worker, photos coming soon)

Very, very close to FOs:
2005.11 Mission Falls basket stitch scarf for a friend's birthday
2005.12 White Lies Nicole panty

Next in line:
Dark pink Vintage Knits camisole in Rowan cotton glace
Ribbed baby hat in Rowan DK Tweed (Continental practice project)

If only I could photograph them as quickly as I knit them, I'd have a really interesting blog!