closing in

Wish I was here:


But I’m not. It’s a bit chilly and crisp in Portland right now. I’m not quite to the “brr” point, but that may be coming. I broke out a panta, woolly wrap, and campanula mitts tonight.  I even wore that short sweater-like garment I knit that ShiBuiKnits wants to buy the pattern for.  I have no idea how to refer to it without getting into trouble, so I’m just going to change the subject.

Yarn.  (that got your attention, didn’t it?)  Lots of it.  I’m trading Teresa 6 skeins of my handspun yarn for very luscious yarn I can’t justify buying right now – Silk Puff (I have plans), 3 skeins of Nature’s Palette for Scheherezade’s Slippers, and… well… more sock yarn that I haven’t chosen yet.  But I will.   I love bartering ^_^  I’ll post some yarn p0rn tomorrow, when I have sunlight and the IQ to work a camera*.

I’m also so nearly finished with Project #1.  I just need to reknit the button band, because I cannot count this evening.  It says in the pattern I wrote to PU & K a certain # of stitches.  I PU & K that # – 3.  Sooo… when I got to the buttonholes, they didn’t look quite right.  Oops.

To make up for this, I ripped it back, tried again and had to count the sts over 6 times.  I lost track after 6.  See?  I am not meant to finish this project tonight.

So I got out yarn and started planning my last/ ‘medium’ item for the Discworld Swap.  I’m not even going to swatch, because the Knitting G-ds are angry with me (can’t figure out why), so I guess it’s time to play on ravelry or something.  Or maybe I should just go to bed…

*No, I did not indulge in champagne tonight, I knew I was in trouble before I got to the Sip’n’Knit. 


The ShiBuiKnits Spocks pattern is done. Done, done, done. No more editing for me. I’ve sent it to the editor in RTF format and turned in both calf-high spocks and kneehigh spock #1. Sandy, at Knit Purl, commanded me to send the editor the pattern tonight. And I did. And it’s done.

“Done”. I love that word.

Wow, that’s a weight that’s been lifted.

Tonight’s Sip’n’Knit was as fantastic as ever. Leslie got overrun by knitters with questions (my former knitting-teacher-self rejoiced over this, you have no idea). We, the group, discussed everything under the sun. Somehow Latin and Greek kept coming up (bad me), but someone would mention that they didn’t know what a name or word meant and I had to translate it.

Well, we finally had to leave Knit Purl cuz it was, er, closing. So J and Opus and I went to Whole Foods, bought dessert (cranberry spice cake!!) and parked in the cafe section:

Dessert knitters

Only to be thrown out an hour later cuz they were closing. A good time was had by all, in any case. From there we went to our separate TriMet transits and home, I assume. So, here I sit after sending in the pattern and feeling almost accomplished.

It’s a nice feeling. I’m going to bask in it for the evening. Because tomorrow… well, tomorrow I have to start on Clara. Like, uh, knitting it. The pattern’s almost done, which means it’s time to start knitting it.

But, right now, that doesn’t matter. I’m going to work on something and bask in the word “done” ^_^

2 buttons shy

2 buttons. Ack. I finished knitting the children’s left kneehigh spock this evening, pressed it with steam, and proceeded to start sewing on the buttons. I need 14 buttons for one kneehigh. Why could I only find twelve? Did ShiBuiKnits give me 12 or 14? I can’t remember.

Oh, I hope I didn’t lose two of those buttons…

Well, at least kneehigh spock #1 is mostly finished*.

Does that mean I get to CO something for myself? No. I CO the right kneehigh spock (yes, I know I have no buttons for when I finish it) and went to work. I also spent the last hour re-editing the pattern. I’m going to have this bloody thing memorized soon.


At least tomorrow’s the Sip’n’Knit, and I can show off the “mostly finished” spock to the nice ShiBuiKnits people. It won’t make much difference because the pattern editor is out of town until next week, but eh. At least I haven’t been slacking.

This blog must be getting so boring. I’m sorry. I’ll design a free pattern or elope or something in a month or two to make things more interesting…

*Yes, “mostly finished” is like “mostly dead”


I was never so grateful to be woken than this morning. Even if it meant that I had to take a cold shower (thanks Dad and Emm for using all the hot water) and rush out of the house. Oh, wait, did I say rush? Even though I was woken at 10:03 am (exactly) it still took the ‘rents until NOON to leave for Eugene. I scrambled through morning prep only to sit in front of the TV with my knitting for over an hour. Woot.

I took a picture of the new kneehigh spocks, which are ever so much better now that I have The Knowledge, en route:

traveling KH spocks

Somewhere between Portland and Salem methinks – since I’m past the calf-shaping and nearly to the heel now AND I also managed to knit on my Discworld swap goodies as well (Dad is a really, really, really slow driver). We arrived in Eugene at 3 pm. Yes, 3 pm. Admittedly we stopped in Salem to get lunch, but… well, I have no explanations.

I was shocked to see the new state of the old house:

old house

Those horrible garden beds we spent two summers slaving over?

The Passionflower Vines o’ Destruction?
Gone. (And I bet the bees are pissed)

The Canoe?
Gone as well.

Along with: Mum’s saw-blades, various “artwork” and sculptures, the teak benches, all of the flowers in the house beds, and, well… everything. It was very surreal. Going In was weirder. The whole house had been repainted and recarpeted and re-I-don’t-know-what.

I helped Mum pack up her paintings, Dad move his cedar chest and the freezer, and Mum and I set out to defy Portland rushhour traffic. Which, strangely enough, we didn’t hit. At all. We got home less than 2 hours after departing from Eugene.


I realised today how much I miss the East Coast every fall as we drove down the I-5 corridor. That top photo tells it all. In Maryland right now it’s probably orange and red and yellow everywhere. Here? Green and grey. So dreary. I love Oregon summers, but the other seasons are lackluster.

Ohwell. I will see fall foliage once again. I’m trying to drag Mum out to Sauvie Island, which was covered in deciduous trees, in hopes of seeing something other than 50 shades of green and grey.

I know. I shouldn’t complain. In fact, right now I should be knitting – since I spent so much time today not knitting. What I need is a slave-driver with a drum, only instead of the chant being “stroke” or “row” every drum beat, it’d be “knit” (or “purl”).

Nah, doubt it’d help.

I think I just may have done it

This is what I have been looking at for the past 3 hours:


(yes the spinning stash is still in a box that is overflowing)

Because this morning as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling I had an epiphany. Out of the black abyss came the knowledge to decrease the knee-high spocks without affecting the buttonband. I immediately jumped up, got around, and began sketching a schematic so I wouldn’t forget.

I think I have it all worked out now. I just have to slightly tweak the calf-high spocks to match the knee-high numbers. Which can be done in an hour at some other time when my head isn’t throbbing from too much math, too-loud music next-door, and squinting at a computer screen.

But that doesn’t matter because the knee-high spock patterns are done. All I have to do is knit a pair of child-sized spocks and turn everything in, which’ll take another item off of the sidebar To-Do list.

And to distract us all from a sad lack of knitting progress photos (there has been progress, I swear), I have 2 portraits of the cutest baby ever:



the sweet and the bitter

I am brain-dead and exhausted and overfed in the worst best way. But, Mum’s shawl has finished blocking, so I can comfort myself with how lovely it looks. Bless Cat for modeling it for me:



Project Specs:

  • Cast on: Um, August 2006?
  • Blocked: September 2007 (don’t judge me)
  • Yarn: Knit Pick’s “Shadow” in Oregon Coast
  • Pattern: The Yarn Harlot’s “Snowdrop Shawl”
  • Recipient: Mum
  • Modifications: inserted the traditional Shetland lace pattern “Falling Leaves” and changed the border.

Aside from needing a model, I brought it to tonight’s Sip’n’Knit just to prove to the girls that I DO knit other things than socks. Not many other things, admittedly, but it DOES happen. Neider.

The bitter? Mum felted her spocks. (weep) I didn’t know that the wool in Panda Wool isn’t superwash, so I didn’t tell her to handwash them. They’re tiny now:


They shrank from 7.5 sts/ inch to 9.25 sts/ inch. It hurts to look at them. I don’t even know what to do with ’em now, either. And Mum’s already requesting a replacement pair. Normally I’d tell her tough luck, but I feel partially responsible for not investigating the Panda Wool more :(

We drowned our sorrows in chocolate at Pix. I tried the Amelie, which won the Patis France Chocolat Competition. I can’t even describe eating it. It was like reaching nirvana. I actually started having a physical nervous reaction from the overwhelming chocolate-ness of it all. Dear G-d.

Still, even the chocolate and the sympathy of The Girls wasn’t enough. I needed comfort food. Strange how my definition of comfort food is… broad. We went to a new restaurant, down the street from Knit/Purl, called Habibi. I love Lebanese food. Seriously, there isn’t enough hummus and tahini in the world for me. Opus loves Lebanese, so we decided to make a treat of it. We got traditional peach juice (fresh squeezed with rose water and lemon juice!), falafel mezza AND the largest bowl of panna cotta I have ever seen. The look on Opus’ face (and the couple next to us, too) was worthy of a snapshot:


The waiter joked that it was for the four of us to share.

The couple next to us stared at it and the lady replied, “I don’t think even we can help you finish that!”

It was really good though. The leftovers I brought home were snarfled up right quickly. And Opus’ panna cotta was so sweet and light it practically floated. Yum. I will definitely be hitting this place again.

Anyway. Other news? I changed the blog’s layout again. But I’m much happier with it now. Eventually I’ll get it to where I’m perfectly satisfied. Maybe. Hopefully, right?

Tomorrow night is Kol Nidre. Time to repent. I need to find something white to wear and pull out my tallis.

And Sunday is the Sheep-to-Shawl demonstration. I’ve borrowed a table loom from Opus’ mum (bless her), and she even gave me some wool warp. All I need to do is find the time to wind the warp and put half of it on – I’m thinking of leaving the other half off for the demo. We’ll see.

So much to do. Oy. Maybe Hashem will grant me some common sense in the new year. If I’m lucky ^_^

I am an idiot.

No.  Really.  I am.

I’m so stupid right now I need to go and knit a garter-stitch scarf or something.

The mistake I made with the knee-high spock pattern is so painfully embarrassing, and just plain painful, I can’t even look at it right now.  I’m going to have to rip the entire thing.


Do I even have any no-thinking-required projects on the needles now?  I don’t trust myself enough to CO a project.


Thank you, guys! Everyone’s support and congratulations have been really encouraging. Hopefully, I’ll do something great with this opportunity. Or, you know, at least not screw it up too badly :)

As promised, the obligatory spocks-blocking photo:


(the stitch markers are being used in place of buttons, which I haven’t been given yet)

And the next set, the child’s knee-high spocks, after being ripped twice:


I discovered several errors in the pattern. My fault, no one else’s, I admit that. I also admit that I shouldn’t try to write unconventional patterns at 2 am. But, thank goodness, after a couple of false starts I’m almost to the left spock’s heel.  These will be done by Thursday.  Even if I have to kidnap another knitter to do it.

It’s a good thing these won’t be in my size.  It’s a widely known fact that I love ShiBui sock yarn.  But this Peony might be the undoing of me.  It is soooo delicious.  I really hated working on the Peacock.  It just wasn’t my colour.  The Peony, however, is.  Yumyumyum.

Now all I have to hope for is that the fourth time is the charm when writing children’s knee-high patterns.  My math has been so wonky lately.  Since when does 24 + 20 = 52?  Man, I need an editor.  But I refuse to send the pattern to Kristin (the ShiBuiKnits pattern queen) until I’m not ashamed to attach my name to it…

Heh.  Might be a while.

Or not.  I’m quickly getting sick of socks that button up.

And so must you be.  Other topics?   I flooded the garage today when doing the laundry.  My first load was fine.  The second?  Something must have gotten knocked into the drainpipe between loads… or I have imps… cuz, whoa!  Hurricane flashbacks.  With detergent.

Which meant I had to empty out the eastern half of the garage, drag relatives out of bed for help, and expose our dirty laundry to the neighborhood while we aired out everything.

Maybe I should stick to the knitting.   Or playing with the blog’s template.  Notice the Latin?  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  Gotta do something between pattern edits.   Other than flooding the garage.

Maybe I need a keeper.

well, I do declare

The tacky Versailles fan was pulled out today, the heat and humidity had returned so oppressively. To further illustrate my point, the Versailles fan was purchased (funnily enough) at Versailles on a very hot, very un-A/C’d, very French day. It’s gilded plastic and printed fabric of Romantic-style ladies, trimmed with gold lace. Very few things in the world come tackier than this fan. Which is one of the reasons it survived the trip across Europe (buried in the depths of my luggage where not even the stoutest pick-pocket would venture), and why it still lives to emerge on unbearable days even now.

You can easily understand why I didn’t want to be seen in public with the Versailles fan, once we escaped Paris, so that makes my decision to actually carry it out in public here, in America, that much more illuminating.

Today was hot.

Thank goodness we have A/C. Alas, I couldn’t take the A/C unit with me on the bus or into downtown Portland, so I spent as much time as I could frantically working on ShiBui Pea-Spock #1 at home:


(the photo is blurry because I was in such a rush to finish. right.)

I ended ripping out the heel 2 times and tinking back this heel twice as well. No one can say I don’t take my knitting seriously, I guess. To keep my sanity from completely slipping away, periodic breaks were alloted. One couldn’t exactly call them “rewards” – seriously, who wants to clean or wash the dog? But, I managed to make it through the day without ripping my hair out.

Oh, and if you see me on the ASPCA’s Most Wanted List, it’s because Charlie’s howling could be heard in Idaho when we washed him this afternoon. From the noise he made you’d think we were using lye soap and a wire-brush, for goodness sake. And the resistance? Oy, don’t get me started.

Moving on.

I brought Miss Lizzy’s Spencer to tonight’s Sip ‘n’ Knit and snagged Teresa as my model:


It was a little big on her, but she totally worked it:


I’m still working on finishing the pattern, but at least now I have photos for it when I do finish. After everything else, anyway.

And can I honestly say I escaped Knit/Purl tonight without purchasing yarn?

No. My Habu organzine silk arrived a week or two ago and I finally remembered that while I was in the store tonight. W00T. Yarn p0rn will be shared tomorrow. This little lovely deserves a photo shoot all to itself.

Now I shall go forth and contemplate the nature of button bands and socks. An’ whe’er the twain weur e’er meant ta meet.

on confidence



(now named Chartres, which will make sense once the sock is completed)

has been sidelined by this

ShiBui Spocks wip

(the first adult ShiBui Spock in “peacock”)

I, in my youthful confidence and arrogance, proclaimed far and wide at Knit/ Purl on Saturday that I would have a ShiBui Spock knitted up by the following Thursday’s Sip ‘n’ Knit. And, look at that, today’s Wednesday.

In my defense, I wasn’t expecting to have to unload and move all of Mum’s paintings, clean the garage, clean the house, and keep Mum from living off of ice cream in the 5 days I’d given myself.

Which means that today I frantically wound the skein into a ball, checked and rechecked the pattern I spent hours editing yesterday, quickly swatched and cast on. As of right now I’m an inch away from the new and improved heel (see, I have been doing something other than cleaning or hiking at Forest Park).

If I actually manage to make my own idiotic deadline, I’ll… have three more Spocks to knit. I shouldn’t have told myself that. But you, yes YOU, need to give me your leg measurements so I can actually write a knee-high version of this pattern. Please.

Other news? I’ve finally pared down my Bloglines subscripts to the blogs that actually update more frequently than once every leap-year or less than 3 posts a day. Subsequently, I should be catching up with other people’s lives eventually. Sooo, if I respond to a post you made, oh, 3 years ago – don’t be too surprised. Last I checked I was done to 3-digits with a 1 in front. Maybe I’ll be caught up by the New Year. (Western, not Jewish)

And, just to prove that I am a spinner and that my wheel hasn’t been collecting dust, I show you this – 2 oz of lace-weight Chasing Rainbows merino/ cashmere in “Hyacinth” that is waiting patiently for it’s mate, 2 oz of Chasing Rainbows silk/ cashmere in “Hyacinth”:


(I swear it looks more vibrant in person)