Tschuss!! Signing off until January.

Will post pics of knitting in the new year and of the trip.



Nothing too exciting here. I'm getting ready for my trip and have been
working on some knitting. Made my seventh or is it eight Flower Basket
Shawl? Need to count again. While I was not knitting the shawls I worked
on some socks, made some progress on the Non-Huxtable sweater, and crotched
few dozen little flower pins. I have made the discovery that socks are the
perfect project for when you really want to watch TV. You can plop yourself
in front of the TV and knit anything, but if it's too complicated such as
yarn over or ssk or ktog patterns you really don't get to "watch." Sock
knitting is pretty mindless, so it is perfect when you want to really watch

Nothing too exciting here. I'm getting ready for my trip and have been
working on some knitting. Made my seventh or is it eight Flower Basket
Shawl? Need to count again. While I was not knitting the shawls I worked
on some socks, made some progress on the Non-Huxtable sweater, and crotched
few dozen little flower pins. I have made the discovery that socks are the
perfect project for when you really want to watch TV. You can plop yourself
in front of the TV and knit anything, but if it's too complicated such as
yarn over or ssk or ktog patterns you really don't get to "watch." Sock
knitting is pretty mindless, so it is perfect when you want to really watch


Dear People at Phildar:

Thanks for updating the magazine page with your current issues. Would it be
possible to update the freebies page?

A Big Phildar Fan


It's been a while since I flown anywhere. The last time I was on a plane
was a pre-9/11 flight to Germany. I've read many conflicting information
about carry-on restrictions for knitting needles. I went href=http://www.tsa.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/Permitted_Prohibited_8_23_2004
.pdf>here and read that even though knitting needles are allowed
screeners have the discretion to not allow permitted items on the plane.
So, can I bring them or not? Should I take my chances and carry on my Addi


Life lesson #39: Don't obsess over things you cannot control. Fogettaboutit. It does no good. Focus energy elsewhere. If you cannot influence the outcome than you should not fixate about the outcome.


Five cough drops, two cups of tea, 64 ounces of water, and my voice still
sounds like a fog horn. I'm just glad not to be congested with icky phlegm.
It just dry, really dry. Need to go home and rest.

How to feel old and un-hip: visit the I Heart Rummage sale. Went last
weekend to check it out and I felt really old afterwards. Lot's of young
kids being creative, which is cool. One vendor made some totally cool bags,
coin purses and make-up bags from pleather. She had great decorative
stitching on the front. I was really tempted to get one but held back. I
did manage to get her card. Maybe next month. Every other vendor at the
sale was knitting, even if they weren't selling knitting crafts. Another
vendor felted these cell phone cozies in these great alien like shapes;
they were great. There were also felted rings, strange sounding, I know,
but they were really unique and creative.
In two weeks I will be here. The day after my plane lands I will be on my way to the
Weihnachtsmarkt. They will have 150 booths full of crafts, food and drinks in
the square. I can't wait. Can't wait to taste some Gluhwein, mulled wine.
It is going to be so fun to experience Christmas in Germany. It's been over
three years since I was in Bonn. Since then I haven't gone anywhere, except
to move across the country.

This trip is the reason I am imposing a ban of Christmas music and
Christmas-themed movies in my home. One, I do not want to overdose on the
Christmas before my trip. And two, I can't recall and good Christmas movie
with the exception of "A Christmas Story."


Too ill too blog... just enough strength to knit...


Pet peeve #1: People with no sense of other's personal space. For example,
you place some of you belonging a chair next to you at a nearly empty
table, and then these people ask you to move your belonging so that can
squish up next to you. Pick a seat, any other seat! Or when they come in,
place their stuff in your work space, take off their coat and hat, and look
around for a place to hang it without asking or getting the okay to do so.
Ask or just keep a socially accepted distance until I get to know you


The US dollar has sank even lower against the Euro!! It is now $1.35 to one Euro. I'll be lucky if we can buy train ticket from the airport to Bonn.

Again, I didn't make it over the bridge while I was in PDX to visit all the
cool shops. It's strange because we don't really do anything while we were
down there, and yet I didn't have anytime to go wander either. Yarn Market
reorganized, and it looks really nice. All the books and needles are in one
room, and they re-organized the yarn the other three rooms.

Multiple projects make for slow progress on finishing. I was only able to
finish one sock this past weekend. The man sweater is slowly knitting up.
Dang, the pattern is getting boring, and I still have to start the arms. I
also started Brier from Rowan 36, and have not touched it in a week. Plus,
I started another Flower Basket Shawl with fingering yarn that will
undoubtedly take a while to finish.

Martha's not so bad. I found this pattern on her website. I was able to find some Melton Wool while I wasin PDX, and felt it to get it thicker. Still was not as thick as the 1/8inch thickness she called for. Maybe I should have used wool coating. (I've searched high and low for 1/8 inch wool and cannot find any place that sells this stuff.) Normal copiers only enlarge to about 290%, so I had it
enlarged at Kinko's on the blue print copier, this baby will copy anything
at any size to about 400%. I made size 6.5, normally I would go for 7's,
and even the 6.5 were large after I finished. Also, she has this adorable pattern for baby slippers.


Gobble Gobble

It's PDX for the rest of the week. Maybe the last one. It all depends on where
the big bro' lands next summer. So, it will be a weekend of dominoes,
movies, gluttony, slothness, and fun with the little ones. Also, I will try
to take advantage of the no sales tax thing they've got going down there.
Need a new carry-on for December's trip (let the countdown begin!), get the
nephews their Christmas gifts since they will be on the other Coast this
year, and maybe check out some other yarn store besides Yarn Garden. I love
that place. Never had a bad experience with the staff as I have with the
various LYS here. They carry tons of pattern books, and the yarn selection
is great. For the longest time I've been meaning to go to Lint, but can't
never get myself over the bridge. I've only explored the eastside.

Stuffing or Turkey? This is the great debate. I vote stuffing. A really
good stuffing can be better than the bird itself. Because she's sticking to
her trusted recipe my sister in law is not willing to try brining, and it's
her house we are going to so I can't shove her aside and demand we brine the
bird. So, if I ever taste turkey that has been brined I might switch sides
in the stuffing vs. turkey debate. Apple sausage stuffing is so good
covered in some hot gravy. Or my mom's stuffing with ground pork and
shitake mushrooms, also a delicious choice. Makes my mouth water as I write

A parting shot of yarn.


For the first time ever, I have pain in my hands from knitting. Please,
please don't make it last too long. I don't want any chronic pain that I
have to manage. It's just too horrible to think about.


Why is there even a work week this week? Some one must have done a study on
the low worker productivity level during the week of Thanksgiving. Half of
America is already on vacation, and the other half is sitting in half empty
offices trying to figure out the what the heck is going on because the other
half is gone. Unless you work in the travel industry I'd say you are
watching the clock all day long. Just make the entire week a holiday.
Instead of the day after Thanksgiving sales there could be an entire week of
sales. There could be count down sales with the day after Thanksgiving
being the mother of all sales. Think how much of a boost the economy would
have if people had an entire week to go out and shop. Monday, Tuesday, and
especially Wednesday are really pointless, I say.
Wool/Mohair Shawl Redux

To date I have made six Flower Basket Shawls, and there are plans for more.
Since I have already worn one of them I will be keeping it for myself. I
made it from a thick wool/mohair yarn on size 10 needles, and not knowing
what yardage I needed to complete the project my plan was to knit until yarn
ran out. This plan of action did not give me that nice fringe-y edge. On
Saturday I decided to redo the edge, and what a bitch it was to frog mohair!
I frogged eleven rows, and had barely enough to complete the edge. Well
worth it. I like much better now.


I get the feeling that Phildar doesn't much care about their site. They
haven't updated the knitting magazines in a while. You can't access the
latest pattern from the winter Irlandais magazine. They haven't put up
their winter magazines. I know they're out there. Please Phildar people
update the web site soon.


Angry Rant

Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now.
Some people just don't know their boundaries. Get off your fucking power
trip, and stop trying to micro manage every detail. You don't fucking run
this department.


This is a blog about knitting, right?

The Man Sweater not to be mistaken with any Cosby Schweater.

They still make those, you know. Those hideous multi colored geometric patterned crewneck sweaters made famous by Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

You know I love all of you. Go and buy yourselves some books. Knitting books would be good, but you don't have to limit yourself. Enjoy! It expires Sunday.


Good news: your gums aren't diseased. You've done an excellent job taking care of your teeth and gums. Bad news: your bite may have shifted from nightly grinding, therefore causing gaps between your teeth, and you may need orthodontics, but your insurance doesn't cover adult orthodontics. Wonderful. Up to now I have always been admired for having naturally straight teeth. Never had to wear retainers, never went through the humiliation of being called metal mouth, never had much trouble at all, and only recently did I get my wisdom teeth (just the lower ones) removed. They weren't even protruding through the gums. The dentist was being cautious about taking them out because of the direction they were laying. When they were taken out I didn't even go under, just a local, and I didn't really need the codine. Just took them for the fun of having my own prescribed narcotics. Just kidding. Just say no. Drugs are bad.

As an adult I have to go through the hassle of getting my teeth straighten. Nothing worse than an adult with a mouth full of metal. Great, I get to pick food out of my teeth at work and in restuarants.

Darn Dollar

The dollar keeps falling against the Euro! One US dollar is worth only .77
Euros. This is not good at all for the trip. I won't have the spending
power, well, to spend. There goes the yarn buying frenzy, the chocolate
buying frenzy, the shoe buying frenzy, and general touristy conspicuous
consumption. Fooey!!

Did you know that it takes a looong time to get your returns processed at
Elann? They say it takes two to three weeks. Wow! And you know their
policy: no exchanges on return items. It's either buy yarn and pay now or
wait for exchange to be credited then buy yarn.


Secured a copy of the Winter Interweave this weekend. It was slightly
disappointing. The Fall issue was awesome. This issue isn't as enticing as
the last one. Too many accessories: mittens, hats, scarves, socks, ties,
and pulse warmers(?). A couple of the sweaters did not look appealing at
all. The only pattern I want to knit is the Tilted Jacket. Sideway
knitting sounds fun.

Public service announcement: Don't waste your time watching Kill Bill V.1 and V.2 if
you have not seen it and are considering. Stinks. Blows. Sucks. Just
plain bad. Still airing the house of the stench it left in the DVD player.


Fighting tempation

Yarn sale today at Pacific Fabrics. Actually, everything in the store was 25% off, and yarn was 15% off. It was hard to hold back, but I did it. I went away without any yarn. The reason being is that they price their yarn higher than the LYS I regularly visit. Not much of a discount. I did say that everything else was 25% off, didn't I? Books, needles, yada, yada... I got a copy of this. Yeah, it's cheaper on Amazon, but I didn't have to pay for shipping. Needles? They only carry Clover and Susan Bates. I hate those bamboo circulars.

Okay, the last one for awhile. I'm outta yarn. Waiting for my Elann credits to kick in before I can restock.

Wednesday Alpaca Shawl.


What's it worth to ya?

Here's my problem with these bargain hunters: frozen pizza and chicken nuggets. Yikes!! You're willing to feed this stuff to your family to save a few bucks. They did get it right about this being a hobby, because it takes time to hunt for deals. On the other hand you are loosing time to drive around looking for these deals. Two and a half hours a week to shop for groceries or every weekend driving around looking for $.49 jeans? Isn't that time better spent with your kids and husband. Finding a bargain can be fun, but somehow spending money on gas and all that energy to stockpile on tuna fish and
cereal doesn't seem all that worthwhile. Perhaps if they would give insight into the actual savings these people have made from their frugality. Do their kids have college savings? Are these people free of debt? How much do they save annually?


Shawl we take a look

Monday Alpaca Shawl:

Another Friday Alpaca Shawl:

From the looks of it everyone in the knitting blog world has made one, working on one, or will be making one. After five of these I know the pattern by heart. I can take this with me anywhere and not have to take along the chart. It's a wonder I don't dream about it.

Snark Attack!!!

The last few weeks I had been feeling particularly snarky. Of course it
peaked this week, but now I'm feeling bit more even and reasonable thanks to
Elann for sending me my huge box of yarn. It was the largest box of yarn I
have ever received. How can that not put a smile on a knitter's face. It's
Friday, and I can't wait to get home, watch a movie, and knit into the wee
hours. Yes, sad that I have no social life on a Friday night. Yummy,
there's barbeque chicken in the slow cooker today. Chicken and beer....

Some of things I was feeling snarky about:
-- Fucking election. What the fuck happened to the younger voters? Where were you?!! You've let those Fundamentalist take over!!
-- What is wrong with people that they want that idiot to run the country for another four ears?
-- What the hell is wrong with the party that they couldn't win this election, and they lost seats in Congress!!
-- If I don't ask about your friggin' kids it's most likely mean I don't give a shit!!
-- Lunch break implies that I don't want to discuss any topic related to work. Yes, it's called a break for a reason. Thanks. Next topic.
-- It's been less than a week since Halloween and there's already Holiday commercials. I can't look at another nondescript blonde child pretending to be wide-eyed, surprised, and delighted about the joy of the Holidays savings of 20% to 40% off before I've eaten my turkey dinner.
-- And many, many times I just wanted to say: FUCK OFF!


It's true that I haven't/can't design any knitting patterns, and should not judge too harshly on those who attempt it. Sheesh!!
I just saw on someone's site a sweater design they are selling that looks suspiciously like something J.Crew was selling many years ago. How do I know? Because I have that J. Crew sweater. It's just too similar to be coincidental. Shouldn't there be a footnote as to where the inspiration came from? Should one claim it as their own design? Okay, maybe J.Crew ripped it from someone else. People using each other's ideas is a common thing in the fashion industry. ABS comes to mind. He's got the gown made before the star has walked off the red carpet, but you know where idea came from. This appears different because someone is taking all the credit for the design.


Pknitty will be shrouded in black today because evil has prevailed.


Friday Alpaca Shawl.

The color is similar to Saturday Mohair, but you can see here that it's not. The pink towel distorts it.

I have been experimenting with needle size and yardage to see if I what I have will make a complete Flower Basket Shawl. So far this one is the closest. The current one are on needles of a smaller size. Looks like I will be able to fully complete the pattern this time. I'm also looking through Barbara Walker's book to get ideas for different patterns that would work for a shawl. The Flower Basket pattern is pretty basic, so I think a different yarn-over stitch would work as well.


Sucked in

I finally saw an episode of Lost. Ooh, it's good. It's my highly improbable drama of the week to replace Alias, which is not on until the next year. So much mystery unfolding so slowly, but still so captivating. Who are these people? What is this island they are on? What's with the dead people? Dominic Monaghan is great as Charlie. Aah, then there is Naveen Andrews.

Looks like there will be a Friday Alpaca shawl. I couldn't get it done last night. The book sucked me in for several hours. Too funny, I tell you. Also, The New Yorker has a great portrait/photo essay, "Democracy", by the late Richard Avedon. There's a portrait of a West Point cadet, and on his shiny buckle you can see the entire photography crew reflected on it. I found it mesmerizing.

Another trip down memory lane.

soy sauce dispenser and plate


I am expecting long lines at the polls next Tuesday. There better be long lines! No excuses for not going!! It will be one line I won't mind waiting in. I could bring my knitting or I could read this. Not since Naked have I laughed so hard. Where do they come up with this stuff? Fucking geniuses!

There may be a Thursday Alpaca shawl. Need to get off internet now.


Woo hoo!

Woo hoo! I cranked out another shawl last night. Ummm...alpaca. This bodes well for getting gifts done for Christmas. I'm always in danger getting bored of knitting the same thing over and over again. Good thing the alpaca is so nice and soft to work with. The cooler weather is also another good excuse to curl up on the couch and knit. This means lots of time with your friend and mine, the TV. I haven't seen the show, but the commercial for Big Fat Loser is really annoying. That inspirational-tear-jerker music is too much for reality TV.

I think I will name the shawls based on the day I bind off.

Saturday Mohair

Monday Alpaca



All I want is to go home, shower, get into my pjs, and knit. Four balls of
Aristocrat wool/mohair turned into a lovely shawl this weekend. I think
this will the Christmas gift this year. If I can churn out one a week I
should be good to go with the presents. As back up I have those Kureyon
mittens. The men will have to settle for store bought gifts unless they
prefer the shawl. I'd be more than happy to knit one for them.



The weather has been consistent all day: grey and wet! I feel like I'm
frozen in time. It looks the same at seven this morning as it does right
now. It is Friday, the day should not drag on this long. At least I have
Oprah to look forward to tonight. The cast of the new Bridget Jones movie
will be on. Colin Firth...enough said.

A third of the way done on the scarf I started thinking about the Flower
Basket Shawl, and decided to knit that instead. I'll see how it works with
the mohair before digging into my alpaca stash. So soft, that alpaca.

I'm getting really annoyed that the new Phildar freebie, pull col drape, is
not displaying correctly. Acrobat opens to blank screen.


I'm digging through the stash to get the creative juices flowing. Found some wool/mohair from Heirloom. I was thinking capelet, but don't think there is enough to finish. What to do? Barbara Walker to the rescue. I really need to get all her books! Mohair + a lovely new stitch pattern = scarf! Need to start on the Christmas gifts.

Is there enough time to make Hallowig?

I fucking love this. I'm thinking "Bite Me" in crewel stitches surrounded by a floral border.


in and out

I just read this about the
poncho. I have a feeling that a wave of backlash is here. Very
similar to the time I saw trucker hats at Old Navy. I had a sense of relief
because I knew this fashion item had tipped over the apex of cultural
saturation and was on its way out. However, I really like this. It's the next big thing, don't you know. ;-)

Move over skinny pants, make room for gaucho pants!


Aye, she's a bonnie lass.

The rows really do line up, I just need to pin more carefully.

Well, she's all done. Love it when projects don't require button holes/buttons. I can see this baby fuzzing up like crazy in a short amount of time. She left my carpet a lovely shade of pink. The vacuum cleaner was a full of red/pink lint. Oh, and now the weather is wet, wet, wet, so wearing her without any covering will give me a lovely wet dog smell! Still, I love this jacket. Makes me want to go hike the Highlands or sit by the fire and sing songs by the Corries, not to be mistaken for The Corrs. If you've ever been to Scotland and done the Haggis Tour you definitely know who the Corries are. After three days on the bus "Flower of Scotland" is burned forever into your mind. It's a requirement that you know every verse before they let you leave the tour!


more details

I did have to do some adjustments. One, I had to use needle size 15 to get close to the correct gauge. Two, I had to add more rows to the second horizontal main color block to get the body to correct length. Three, I had to increase a couple more sleeve stitches to make the upper arm a little wider. And finally, I had to do my
own creative increase in the collar because I couldn't make sense of the instructions in the pattern. Keeping all the yarn from being a tangled mess was not as difficult as you may think. Be sure to be consistent with your intarsia twist on both rows and it should detangle on its own after the second row. Run your fingers through and it will separate, no problem. Also, when turning to knit the next row remember to turn the opposite way after the end of the row so you don't continue to twist all the yarn together.

I really like this stitch pattern. So many things you could do with it: bags, pillows, scarves, and more. The pillows would be a fun project.


Back? Check. Right and left front? Check. Sleeves? Check. Collar? Check. Cuffs? Check. Yup, all the pieces are accounted for and ready for seaming. Turns out I had enough of the main color left to make the cuffs. The pattern calls for light blocking. You could go without blocking if you wanted. Takes forever to dry, even with the light blocking.

Honest to goodness the ends have been weaved. I am a little commitment phobe when it comes to snipping off the ends. I wait until all the pieces are in place, test out the fit, and then snip like I'm Edward Scissorhands.

If I'm not the world's best aunt then the world just isn't right...

click to see the inside

On a whim at the fabric store, while waiting in line to buy my giant safety pin for the tartan jacket, I see Halloween fabric for sale and decide to make the nephews trick or treat bags. All the other kids will have those plastic pumpkins to carry around, but my nephews will be rockin' with these bags.


to the core...

Knitting Purist
You appear to be a Knitting Purist.

You are an accomplished knitter producing beautiful pieces with a classic feel. You sometimes lament losing half of your local yarn shop to garish novelty yarns. Perhaps you consider fun fur scarves the bane of knitting society and prefer to steer new knitters towards the wooland cotton blends. Some might call you a bit of an elitist but you know that you've been doing this craft long enough to respect the history behind it and honor it with beautiful piece
that can last a lifetime.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

I really like that picture in picture function thing on Windows Media Player. It's perfect for watching Gilmore Girls while I blog.

My attempt at redoing the collar for the tartan jacket.



I finally hit the wall with the tartan jacket. It's been problem free up
'til now. It's the increase in the collar. How does one increase three
stitches in a two-stitch, two-row pattern (similar to the seed stitch
pattern) so that the stitch order does not get messed up? This is an
example of the stitch pattern in number format. The numbers represents a
different type of stitch.


How can you insert three stitches in the middle of the pattern and not mess
up the continuity? No, you can't add at the beginning or end of the rows.
I think I will have to do an even number increase more frequently so that I
end up with the same number of stitches and rows as the instructions indicate. I've got the Excel cranked up.


What's wrong with Kerry? He's looking a little haggard. It must be that Arizona sun: his face is has a leathery look to it. George, we're all watching your back tonight!!
I didn't have too many problems with the tartan jacket to make me want to pull my hair out. This thing knits up so quickly. Always a plus for me. First issue was quantity of skeins. I'm making the smallest size and may need one more MC (spice) skein to complete the collar and cuff-- it's a real close call. I still haven't use my second skein of teal, and may not need it. Second issue for me was gauge, I had to go up to size 15 because the 13s weren't cutting it. I should know better than to knit without first gauging!!! It gets me everytime. With the 15s I still had to knit loosely. Still I had some difficulty getting the rows to gauge as indicate in the pattern, but increasing the MC sections by a row or two did the trick.

With the sleeves I had to add a total of four increase stitches: that's two more on each side, which gave me more room in the upper arm. This must be the cause of the MC shortage. The additional stitches were helpful because without additional stitches to decrease the sleeve cap came out too short and did not fit the armhole. Instead of knitting 19 inches to the sleeve cap shaping I went for 18 inches, and still the sleeves seem really long.

Lastly, how to keep yourself from getting all tangled up. After having established the vertical color pattern for the intarsia knitting you'll want to avoid creating a hole between the between the two stitches by securing (twisting) the yarn as you knit; it takes two rows to get secure/twist the yarn. Being consistent will help keep the yarn from tangling up. At the end of one color and at the start of the next take the yarn of the next color from underneath the just knitting yarn to knit. For example, you establish the color pattern this way: MC, rust, MC, teal, MC, etc. Knit MC; take rust yarn from underneatch MC and knit rust; take MC yarn from underneath rust yarn and knit MC; do this to the end of the row. Turn the piece to knit the next row. Remember to note which direction you turn: On the next row do the same thing as the first row. It is important to take the next color from underneath, and knit to the end of the row. Turn your piece in the opposite direction, so if you did it clockwise turn back counter clockwise. Comb your fingers through the trail of yarn and the twisting is gone!!


Sleeves are done! More on the adjustmests I had to make later.

Wool + Dupont = Big fat hole in the heel.

I envy those who have hardwood floors.
Oh another day done. Don't you hate it when you talk about someone and it turns out they are right behind you. Knowing the whole time you were talking you should scope your surroundings on the off chance that the person might be around. Technically I wasn't talking behind this person's back. I relayed what the two of us discussed in very general terms, in a manner that illustrates what I have to deal with day to day. It wasn't them I was complaining about, but the situation I hear too often. I'm hoping that the noise level on the street was to loud for them to hear anything significant.


Protein and yarn

The past several days I've had this insatiable craving for protein! Friday night I made some yummy chicken sausage pizza using left of Trader Joe's Vodka Spaghetti sauce sans cheese, by the way, this is an excellent combinations. I picked at the sausage, and greedily snagged more sausage pieces to top off my slices. The next day I woke up craving eggs. As soon as I was conscious all I could think about was frying up some eggs over easy. That night I scarfed down some veggie and tofu stir fry, again, greedily taking a lot more tofu than veggies. Still not satisfied after the meal, I popped a chicken sausage into the microwave. Sunday morning I resisted having eggs again, so was left with only having coffee to read with the paper. The entire time all I wanted was a big juicy Red Mill Burger. I convinced my sweetie that we needed to go get some. We got the Phinney Ridge location at 11:30, a whole half hour before they opened. I was coaxed into strolling around the neighborhood until it opened. Good thing I gave in because we walked by Fiber Gallery, or is it Fiber Art Gallery? We perused the store for about ten minutes seeing what they offered in way of yarn. Lots of nice stuff: the usual Cascade, Brown Sheep supplies, and some other fancy stuff. They carried something called recycled silk from Tibet. The texture was like burlap, not smooth and sensual like silk at ll. The store is very spacious and bright, I like that. A good location with plenty of parking.

Okay, back to the meat (ha ha) of my story. We got back to the burger joint right at noon and alreay a line had formed. This queue extended out the front door: the burgers are that good. Hubby graciously volunteered to stand in line and do the ordering so I could snag one of the few in door tables. Twenty minutes later I had in front of me the Verde Burger, a grilled burger topped with roasted Anaheim peppers. I took my time to savor every bite because we try to limit our burger outings to once a month. It's taken us a while to go through the whole menu and I can recommend almost everything on the menu except for the veggie burger. Come on, it's a burger joint after all. Finally, I satisfied my weekend long craving. We went home and I took a long nap. Perfect weekend ending.


What a crock...

crockpot, that is. I just acquired a crockpot. It's all the rage these days. Well, at least in my neck of the woods. Bring back the seventies! This will save me lots of time during the week, which I can spend knitting. Throw in your ingredients, close the lid, turn it on, and go to work. What ingenuity! I want to test it out this weekend with a Beef Bourgogne recipe. I'm sure you've seen those "crockpot helpers" in stores, but really isn't the whole idea of crockpot cooking is that you leave it to slow cook for half the day? It sounds like an oxymoron to have a crockpot helper.


The tartan sleeve needs a little bit of tweaking. It calls for knitting up to 19 1/2 inches before the sleeve cap shaping. Last time I checked, only monkeys had arms that long! And the cap is too short, it will need to be altered to fit the armhole. I plan put more rows in between the decreases. This should elongate the sleeve cap to fit the armhole. Usually my patience would wear thin with having to make alterations to the sleeves, and to the body pieces that I haven't mentioned before, but the stitches are so large it's not all that inconvenient to frog and reknit.


What I did before I took knitting seriously.

I got to the point where I was experimenting with mixing my own glaze color. It's hard these days to keep up with two hobbies that are so time consuming. Throwing pottery, if you've never tried it, is very therapeutic. Focusing all your energy into centering the clay is a form of meditation. Mentally and physically you must toss everything out to concentrate solely on what is in front of you. On the other hand, pulling a handle can be quite embarrassing if you are doing it for the first time, or if your instructor is showing you how to do it...you just have to see to understand. I know, I know, I have a filthy mind.


The instructions for the sleeves of the tartan jacket says to make the two exactly the same. Normally this is fine, but the vertical part of the tartan pattern is intentionally off center. When worn it will look different, as noted in the directions. I'm thinking of knitting the sleeves so that it will look symmetrical when worn. Since their is only one vertical color on the sleeve and it's the same color I don't think it would look bad at all. Why did she do this? I'm not following. With the two front pieces I see why she would design the vertical color combination differently. Hmmm?


They will let any idiot manage people, but it takes a genius realize it. Ha ha.
Ich eine Fahrkarte wurde kaufen

I don't think that is the proper German grammar structure, but what do I know. I bought my ticket to Germany. Now I'll have to go no matter how my friend's employment situation shakes out. We've delayed the purchase all Summer and now I just bought it. She promises me that she will be there no matter what her situation. This is how it works: I hesitate on purchasing my ticket because she had a few potentials opportunities lined up, and as soon as I buy the ticket she gets an interview. After an initial call about a really good job right up her alley the potential employer promises to call back with answers to some of her questions. She waits for days and days and hear nothing from them but as soon as I confirm my flight, after waiting and waiting for her to hear something, she gets the call to interview later this week. I told her I should have bought the ticket earlier and way she wouldn't have had to wait so long to hear back! It'll be the Christmas Market in Bonn and New Year's celebration in Frankfurt!! Plus trips in between to visit her friends and family. Also, it's an opportunity to load up on giant size Milka bars, Ritter Sport, Kinder Surprise, and Haribo! Yeah, it's all about the candy.


The other night I was too tired to prepare a real meal so I broke out the insta-soup to fill my stomach. Usually I don't buy this stuff because it is load with sodium, but this one had less than 10% of the daily value. Plus, the packaging touted that it has only 5.5 grams of carbs. Not that I'm into the whole low carb thing.

And this is why it's only 5.5 grams...ain't nothin' there.

Ha! This is the "vegetable" packet.


Lookie, another piece done.


Good Weekend

Haven't been able to say that in a while. Usually the weekends are pissed away by my indolence and lack of motivation. However, this weekend I got out and I spent money (spending money on oneself is always fun!!) like a good little conspicuous consumer that I am, and I made tons of progress on the tartan jacket. Also, I came to the conclusion that the Vittadini Eyelet Sweater is a complete failure. I can't fit into the sleeves/armholes; the pattern design is not the typical raglan sleeve design making it a little bit complicated to piece together. The sweater will have to be frogged and reworked completely, or I can just give up, but like they say third time is a charm.



I spent more than several hours at the mall making myself feel better. Ponchos, ponchos, and more ponchos everywhere you look. You couldn't get away from them. And let's not forget about the capelets next to all those ponchos. Yes, it's been a while since I've been to the mall. At Nordstrom I saw this capelet that looks way too easy to make, so spending $88 for it is not justifiable! For my size I would say that it's 40" wide, knit in garter stitch for 10" or 12", then decrease every 3" or so inches, knit for another 2" or 3" and decrease at every 3" interval again, continue to knit an inch, and then do the rib knitting for 2" and cast off. Those mongo buttons are crotcheted, not sure if they are stuffed on the inside or not. I imagine ties, i-cords or satiny ribbons, would look just as nice.

The stairs regimen is going well, though I should be doing them more often during the week. My record is seven times up and down about 120 steps. Today I went up and down six times plus a few extra steps. I hate that dreaded feeling after work where you know you should go and exercise, but love that high you get after a good work out. It's a combination of exhaustion and euphoria. Exercise: good for what ails ya'.

Good news for some in the science world today. I suppose it's okay to have a bit of reflect glory even if the assocation is a very minor one. Hey, you can't rise to the top without a good foundation, and I consider myself part of that foundation. Good excuse to pop the champagne cork and throw a party.

*I take really shitty pictures. I only have myself to blame because my camera is very snazzy and has lots of fancy professional photog settings that I am not utilizing. Er, in other words, I don't know how to use my camera. The instruction manual is too dang thick to read through!


Letting off some steam

She's not mad, she's just letting off some steam. People have been waiting all week for this to happen. It's more like a sigh compared to two decades ago. I wasn't here when she blew her top. We missed it by six months. I think we were in Malaysia waiting to come here. My brother was here and he remembers that it was like a snow storm that covered the entire state. Schools were close; kids ran around outside as grey ashy flakes fell from the sky. They played in the stuff like it was snow.



Soon to be another great issue by IK. The Tilted Jacket by Norah Gaughan, how fabulous is
Your Thursday is my Friday. Aahh...


I am just giddy with joy about how the plaid/tartan jacket is knitting up. Not only are the colors rich and autumnal, but it's knitting up so quickly! I also learned a new knitting stitch. How cute would this tartan stitch pattern look on a bag? You could do a chic Chanel like plaid or a traditional Scottish style tartan.


Mad for plaid and just plain mad

Very productive night. Always feels good to accomplish something new. I was a little worried it would take me most of the night to figure out the stitch pattern, but this was pretty easy. It is also knitting up in a snap. My only challenge so far is keeping all the yarn organized and not to get it too tangled. I can't exactly snuggle up on the sofa and knit away with this. I sit in the middle of the living room in front of the yarn trails and knit away, always mindful to detangle after every two rows.

Look, see how pretty it's shaping up.

Oh what a tangled web I weave...


I about blew a gasket today when I opened the mail today. So many knitters write about the joy of getting mail, but my mail was something entirely different. They have been trying to build this @%$#-ing monorail system here for the last five years or more, I can't remember how long, and finally got enough votes to tax everyone last September. People living in the city would pay for this tax through vehicle registration fees. Sure, I understand that taxes are part of living in any community, but I don't want to spend over a billion, yes, billion with a big fat "B", to build a two lines system that doesn't even serve the most populated neighborhoods. The initiative was passed mere months before my tags expired, and the tax took effect right away, so I paid handsomely last year. This year my tags will cost me $284!!!

I understand the benefits public transportation can provide to people in the community. When I lived abroad my existence depended on public transportation: commuting to work, shopping, visiting friends, having a safe ride home when I was too inebriated. It's just that they should have built this thing years ago, and now the time has passed and it's just not feasible. In November I'm voting for the recall on the levy!


Happy Talk

I am trying to keep the negative, unhelpful, and depression inducing thoughts to a minimum this week. I've heard that if you smile often, there by flexing the muscles on your face, it will become second nature to have an up turn mouth. Thus the smile, whatever your mood, affects people around you who will in turn send positive vibes back to you. Good in theory. Let's put it to the test.

I've finished the Vittadini eyelet sweater, technically. The iron is warming up, and I am ready for some blocking. More importantly this means I can start another project. That plaid coat from IK is tempting. I was reading over the pattern last night and saw that it requires size 13! Sure, big needles means fewer cast on stitches, but 13? Those are huge. I only have 13s in Denise, and I've been trying to avoid use my Denise needle. Plastic. Enough said. Knitting with the Denise needles in that size is like knitting with two rolls of pennies.


Kureyon Mitten Kitten

I did a little re-organizing last weekend and found these mittens in the bottom of my basket.

Mittens are fun to make, so simple and quick. One of the first things I ever made were mittens. My first pair were made of white and purple Red Heart yarn knitted together for a nice chunky tweed-like effect. They were warm and toasty, and actually some what waterproof. This was important for playing in the snow at recess. Though the mittens kept me dry, the cuffs were too short and uneven so when I stretched my arms I exposed my wrist to the cold and snow.

These Kureyon mittens are knitted with size 6 needles. I have teeny tiny wrists, and if I remember correctly, I believe I casted on 36 stitches, and increased two stitches evenly after completing the cuff. Keep knitting for a couple of rows before doing the thumb gusset. Once you've increased the thumb hole to the size you want put the stitches on a holder and work the main piece to the top of the forefinger, and start the decrease. After the the decrease is just slightly above the middle finger, go a couple of more rows if you like roomy mittens, stop and graft the stitches. Half an inch from the top of the thumb is when you'll want to do the decrease.

To get the colorway to match you'll need two skeins. The best bet is to find two that start with the same color,and eyeball that both skeins contain the same color combination. These two skeins can yield two pairs of mittens, though I have small to medium hands.

I have to say that Fern is difficult to wear. The front opening is really wide making it very easy to slip off the shoulders. The wrap front is hard to keep tidy. You'll need a pin or something to keep the left, or inside, front in place or else it will fall and hang unattractively underneath the right front.


To do

- Must finish Vittadini eyelet sweater!
- Must frog and redo first sleeve!
- Must complete a project before starting another.
- Must not fixate on the negative.
- Must get out of rut.
- Must think happy thoughts.

If all good things come to an end? Do all bad things come to an end too? I hope so.



It's really starting to feel like Fall. We took a walk to Le Fournil to get some yummy french pastries and lattes for breakfast this morning. The overcast sky and cool weather made it feel like October. It's been a while since we strolled through the neighborhood. Our little 'hood is on the verge of major development, for better or worse. We noticed at least three notices for proposed land use signs. Yes, that's right, condos, condos, and can you believe, more condos. First, Starbucks lands in our vicinity. I think this was the last neighborhood in the city for them to take over. Then, a local restaurant was forced to relocate, that's right, to make room for condos. The Child Haven down the block is also moving out of the neighborhood after two decades. Give it two years and this place will be just like Fremont.

I don't understand why anyone would want to spend money to live under the freeway. There are two buildings that are literally right under the freeway. We walked by one of them and you couldn't hear anything but that droning freeway noise. I would go mad if I had to hear that noise everyday. Sure, they are built with soundproofing, but they also have decks. How enjoyable can that be?

For now we're content to be in our spot. No plans to leave yet. Not until they kick us out to turn the building into condos...


I've had such a crappy week. I meditate way too much on the negative. I think of myself as an introspective person, but I really focus too much on what others think of me. This drives me to the point of insanity and I get so depressed I can hardly function. It's so crazy; I fixate on the negative and it send me down a really terrible path of self loathing that I can't see the light.


Memory lane

This is the first sweater I ever made. This was back when I didn't bother to familiarize myself with swatching, proper yarn substitution, or learn what gauge meant. My requirement was that the shaping had to be simple, but the stitches had to be more than just stockinette and purl. I wanted easy, but not boring. The heart pattern on the pockets are duplicate stitches and lazy daisy stitches in the cable pattern. It came out way too large for me. It's still too large now.


Love reading about the London Tube. It takes me back to a time when I was free from worries about career, money, and "adult" resposibilities. I became part of the crowd riding down the escalator, stepping onto the train, grabbing onto the overhead rail, and watching people come and go at each stop. I will forever stand to the right and walk on the left when taking an escalator. In a crowd I will walk with the flow of traffic, otherwise you are just asking for disaster. Anything you want to do you could by Tube. One Spring day riding to work they forced everyone off and out of King's Cross because of a reported fire. Delay time was uncertain so you had to find alternate modes of transportation to get to your destination. Simple enough if aboveground wasn't so darn confusing. Tube lines are color coded anyone could decipher a best route in a minute, but London streets are like a maze, no parallel streets can be found, one merges into another and becomes another name, or simply becomes another name. I got scared. How was I going to get to work? What bus can I take? What side of the street should I catch the bus on, where do I get off? I circled around the station, and thank goodness, it was a false alarm and we were allowed back in the station to resume our journey. It was close, I was almost forced to use the bus.

Also must have

Originally uploaded by pknitty.

Must have!!

Originally uploaded by pknitty.


Does anyone remember the article in The New Yorker back in 2000 about this new thing called blogger? I remember thinking how cool it sounded to be able to send new information to your website without having to code everything and how convenient it was that your message could be posted instantly. Also, I remember that the article was in the Valentine issue and they played up the guy invents new form of communication to be in contact with his girl angle. Now four years later I split my computer time between look at yarn to buy and reading blogs. With the amount of blogs/journals/diaries out there I suspect a lot of people are doing the same.


I saw this and had to do it.

Respond to these movie stars' names with the title of the movie of theirs that you liked most. Also add one name to the end.

* Tom Hanks - Splash
* Jim Carrey - um, funny Jim or serious Jim? The Truman Show. I haven't seen Eternal Sunshine
* Tobey Maguire - Wonder Boys
* Mel Gibson - Makes movies that are too violent.
* Ben Affleck - Chasing Amy
* Nicole Kidman - There's just something I don't like about her, can't put my finger on it so I don't enjoy her movies.
* Liv Tyler - Lord of the Rings
* Harrison Ford - Regarding Henry
* Natalie Portman - Beautiful Girls
* Ewan McGregor - Trainspotting
* Edward Norton - Fight Club
* Angelina Jolie - I can't recall a good movie she's made only terrible ones: Beyond Borders, Original Sin, Life or Something Like It...
* John Cusack - Say Anythinh
* Renee Zellweger - Bridget Jones's Diary
* Johnny Depp - Ed Wood and Pirates of the Caribbean
* Sean Penn - ??
* Will Smith - Independence Day
* Meg Ryan - I'm having a hard time differentiating the characters and the movies she played during the '90s
* Catherine Zeta-Jones - Chicago
* Sandra Bullock - See Meg Ryan
* Gwyneth Paltrow - Sliding Doors
* Brad Pitt - Fight Club, he redeemed himself in my eyes with this movie. Before that it was tainted by performances in Meet Joe Black, A River Runs Throught It, and Seven Years in Tibet.
* Keanu Reeves - The first Matrix movie
* Cameron Diaz - Being John Malkovich
* Christina Ricci - The Opposite of Sex
* Drew Barrymore - Ever After. Sappy little chick flick, I know. It was fun.
* Kate Hudson - still waiting
* Marilyn Monroe - Can't recall
* Adam Sandler - Happy Gilmore
* Robin Williams - Aladdin
* Arnold Schwarzenegger - (left blank on purpose)
* Bruce Willis - The Whole Nine Yard
* Eddie Murphy - Trading Places
* Morgan Freeman - Nurse Betty
* Sigourney Weaver - Working Girls
* George Clooney - O Brother, Where Art Thou?
* Julia Stiles - 10 Things I Hate About You
* Jodie Foster - Bugsy Malone, no just kidding. Maybe Little Man Tate or Freaky Friday
* Sean Connery - Nothing stands out.
* Christian Slater - Heathers or the one where he's got the baboon heart.
* Julianne Moore - Magnolia
* Michael Pitt - Never heard of him
* Uma Thurman - Pulp Fiction
* Nicolas Cage- Adaptation
Uh oh...

Yup, not enough yarn to finish that lovely Adrianne Vittadini eyelet sweater. It's a little disappointing to put so much time and effort into knitting it only to come up short. The thing was that once I got to the armhole shaping where I started knitting the front and back in separately the stitches for stockinette and purl got wonky. The tension was visibly different, and many attempts at re-knitting did not fix the problem. I was going to live with it if I had enough yarn to finish, but not having to look at the inconsistent tension is sort of a relief. I frogged it, rewound it, amd "re-packaged" it. Now what can I knit with ten balls of cotton silk? There is this shell that is knit widthwise but I'm not too crazy about the shaping of the pattern.


I've got a new regiment. I am doing the stairs that go from Lakeview Boulevard up to 10th Ave. These stairs sort of connect Eastlake and Capitol Hill making it a long ass climb. Today I did two and a third climbs. Walking home my legs were like jelly. I was afraid that they would give out on the way down one of the steep side streets. Also treacherous is trying to cross Boylston where cars zoom by to merge onto I-5!


I'm feeling a bit doubtful about being able to complete the eyelet sweater. Take a look. I'm halfway through the fifth ball of yarn, out of ten, and it's only three-fourths done. The yarn was bought at a clearance sale; I took all that was left of this color. It's doubtful that there will be enough for the sleeves. Boo hoo...

So, I've been watching tidbits of the RNC, it's all I can stomach. Cheney, in my opinion, has perfected the sneer. He's got it down to a science, it is textbook. What a weasel.


She's all done. Fern has been put together and ready to wear. No buttons to sew, and no collar or button band to attach. Made in three, that's right, three easy pieces. I learn a new technique with the ruffled collar. It's done with a wrap and turn, similar to the short row method, and the ruffle-y bit at the very edge is made with a chain stitch. I'm still getting used to the purl stitch being the right side, it so different. It's so ingrained in me that purl side is the wrong side.

front/back combo.

We had fun poking around the new Central Library. It's big! Very modern. Very cool.

Do you have pink and purple foam rubber chairs at your library?

Look, a casualty of the library's labyrinth.

Phildar Gilet

Originally uploaded by pknitty.

Last couple of weeks Phildar Freebies were not working. You couldn't get the Acrobat pdf to open correctly, but it's okay now. Check it out. Here's the newest pattern that I really like. All that ribbing, wouldn't it be fun!

Karis is out. My mohair yarn is too bulky and not a good sub for Kid Silk Haze. I think I will be doing the Adrienne Vittadini Eyelet sweater.


Fern is so close to being done. Yay!

I'm considering the following for the next project:


Give me air!

The ventelation has gone beserk, the air in here is not circulating and it is stuffy! I'm reading this blog about the Tube and the climate in here is causing deja vu. Anyone who has experience summer in London will know what it's like to be packed into a carriage car, particularly on the Northen Line. Back when I had to take three separate lines to get to work it was always the trains on the Northen Line, I swear these were the same carriages people rode in during WWII, that made me feel like I was trapped in a coffin. The smell of sweaty business men lingered in the car, especially on the commute home. Oh, and then there was the soot. Tissue is a must. The air over the city in general is filthy. A friend of mine bought a Vespa to zip around the city and after a week of zipping aroung he developed a nasty ear infection. The cause? Breathing in the exhaust fumes while in traffic. It migrated through his nasal and ear passages.


One week, three LYS, four trips...

Call it lucky or call it bad timing(I decided this month to start living on a prescribed monthly budget); three local yarn stores had sales this week. The week started with Weaving Works and yesterday I read that two more were having sales that is ending today. The West Seattle one was by far the most extensive; discounting a lot of DB and Jo Sharp, and many other brands. So, I'm waaay over budget but have a full plate of knitting for the coming season.

Rainy weather + Olympic coverage on more channels than I can count = good weekend knitting. Made tons of progress on Rowan 36's Fern. Just need to complete the sleeves.

I do feel guilty for not being able to stick to the budget...