27 October 2007

sox - toberfest

this post has been stewing a while. work and knitting and life have been taking up my time. which is rather a good thing. real life wins out over the computer anytime.

so..........how bout those red socks? while the playoffs were going on chuck said "wouldn't it be funny if it ended being the rockies against the red sox?" ie His team vs. My team. he totally jinxed them. and i don't think he's happy with the results. the first game i had to tease him, and of course a little today. i can't believe they sweeped the rockies. it was the perfect ending to the whole sox-toberfest (i couldn't resist the pun - sorry).

born and raised in MA i've always been a red sox and patriots fan. they always seemed to have this pattern though: do great during the season, get into playoffs, decide it's vacation time and crash and burn. so these last few years it's great to see the teams actually remembering to play during the postseason. and win. i love it. and with the pats 8-0 the superbowl's looking pretty good too. we're coming up against the colts though. i hope we whoop em. last year i banned payton manning's name, just because they said it every other second on espn.

in other good news. . . ah yes. the grand seaming event of last saturday. i was It. so i did what i could, and still have most of the squares to sew up. *sigh* at least the pressure's off. since then i've only done "fun" projects, but there's no school thurs and fri this week so i'll have my own private netflix seaming party then. and maybe get rid of the cobwebs in the house. the whole blanket project is turning into more of an ongoing thing, which is good because i still have squares (thankfully) trickling in. so given time we can do more.

the first fun thing i did was finish the woven stitch towel. yay!

the edges curl just a bit, but i can live with that.

last weekend i worked on chuck's neglected sweater until i couldn't stand it anymore. now i'm about 3 inches from the neck decreases. like a horror film, i knit but don't seem to get any closer. stake conference this weekend gave me plenty of time to work on it. for mostly being a church knitting project, it's coming along fairly well. i have a dream of it being done in time for our thanksgiving trip, but know it probably won't happen.

i finished the thuja. i tried the sewn bind off for the first time and *really* liked it. my first toe-up sock i had to go up like 3 needle sizes for it to be loose enough to fit over my foot. the sewn bind off is like grafting half a stitch so it's super easy. and flexible! i was very happy with it.
broadripple 2 got started and almost finished last week, mostly knitting at school during my prep period. that's the best thing about high school i think. it just needs an inch or two and it'll be done. no pics, cuz, hey, it looks just like the first one. and the stripes match up pretty good, maybe half a row off.

i finished reading scions of shannara. despite having no recollection of the story line, i apparently have read it before, since i came across a quote i copied from it. i definitely don't remember it being a trilogy. so, druid of shannara up next once i go to the library tuesday. yesterday i barely started heartlight but i'll tell you about that tomorrow (it's almost bedtime).

today i started the second moss grid towel. i noticed on the first one that the seed borders on the sides fold in pretty bad. it's not blocked yet (i figured i'd do both of them at the same time) so hopefully it'll go away. that'll be my home knitting, while the socks are my school knitting.

sadly, the job i have right now is math. which means the kids have questions and need help during class (yeah i actually have to, like, teach) so i don't knit. luckily it was a 5 day job. the checkbook likes gigs like that. it helps keep the kids in line too. they haven't been a problem at all though, and i was a little discomfited to learn i was popular friday. i started wednesday, but only had 3 of the 5 classes. friday i had all of them. they tell me i'm better than their normal teacher, which i take with a grain of salt. (have i mentioned lately i hate math?) but then friday, the new afternoon class asked some question, which they thought i would explain well, and said they'd been told i was a good teacher. what do you say to that? not being a real teacher and hating math? i guess if they tell it to their friends they mean it.

most of my pics were taken outside cuz the inside light sucks here. you know what's tricky about takings pics in AK? your breathe fogs up the lens and makes the pic blurry :( but still, here are some pics of the fjörgyn + buttons for you to enjoy. and for all of you out there (tanya) always asking why i'm not in the pics, i even got chuck to take some with me wearing it.

i think i like not blogging for a week, i feel like i've done so much!

19 October 2007

oh yeah

after that little practice storm, we're getting some real snow. the flakes are still a little too dandruffy for me, but i promise i won't whine about that all winter. we're getting a decent accumulation now, but it's hard to know exactly how much cuz it's just piling on top of what's left from last time. almost 6 in. i love snow, there's something magical about it. here's the view from my living room

it is starting to pile up a bit. i went to visit chuck at work for lunch, and a 5 min trip took 15 min. (the alaskan drivers don't help). tomorrow we can go sledding! that gets me all excited like a little kid every time. wanna hear about my two favorite sledding trips ever?

when i was a kid (8?10?less?) it been snowing, and my mom went out for the evening. she got home late - everyone was in bed but me. the snow had stopped, and the full moon was out, lighting up the snow with that blue sparkly halo. my mom had me wake everyone up and we went sledding at the park around the corner. we had so much fun, even though they didn't have really big hills. it had to have been around midnight, there was that late night hush, and no one was around. we got to make the first tracks in the snow, every kid's dream. i still smile, thinking about that.

the other time was when tanya and i woke up at like freaking 5 am (it might have been even earlier) to go sledding at canyon park (?i think?) in provo. people had been there before us, but the park was deserted then and it was that same suspended animation feeling of life at a distance. oh, except for there was this one guy walking his dog. who jumped on tanya when she went down the hill. hehehe. that still makes me laugh.

and then there was the time with my 2yr old nephew that he still remembers, and sliding down the hill in my mom's front yard with my 8 month old niece. she thought it was a blast. memories like that are why i love winter.
not to mention the loveliness of birch outlined by snow. everything looks like an ansel adams photo.

besides the snow, the title refers to the thuja sock i started. by wed night, i was exactly halfway throught the heel. whoo-hoo! what was i stressing for? i think it was overexcitement caused by getting yarn for 2 projects at the same time. i didn't get much knitting in yesterday (overseeing paper mache is not conducive to knitting or clean pants) but still

not bad huh? and here's the promised pic of the finished broadripple
i really like how it came out. if only the second sock would magically knit itself up now.....

and while i don't have a pic of fjörgyn (i thought i'd actually be in it - no heartattacks now - but i need chuck's help for that), i did take a pic of the buttons to tide you over that's my favorite style of viking art, the urnes style. i was glad to find something that went along with the overall design.

tonight we're going to a holiday bazaar on eielson, so i don't think i'll get much knitting done. tomorrow is the grand seaming event for the women's shelter project, so i'm trying to get a ouple more squares in. somehow i feel bad that i couldn't make a whole blanket myself, but i know there wasn't enough time and planning for it. luckily we have enough for 1 or 2 blankets with the bounty i got sunday. hopefully i won't be the only one seaming the up though.

the results of last week's knitting book spree are starting to come in also, and lure me temporarily away from knitting. although they can lay flat, so maybe i'll just have to read and knit at the same time . . . .

but for now, i've got to make dinner and start some chili for tomorrow. the flakes have gotten bigger just since i started this post. maybe they'll get the hang of things after all :D

edited to adjust pictures

16 October 2007

catch up

if you happen to get my feed (so sorry!) you might have noticed a flood of posts today. that's cuz they've been sitting around waiting for pictures and i decided to let them go without the pics. i still haven't taken the pics. once i do, i'll have a big pic post. how's that sound? for some reason it seems like a post isn't a post without pictures of some kind. if that's true, none of those count and you can't feel overwhelmed :)

sunday i was very encouraged to get some squares from people. *whew* i was worried i was the only one making them and there wouldn't be enough for even one blanket. looks like enough for one blanket at least, which is good. now i'll just have to hope that someone wants to help me seam them together saturday....

after finishing broadripple friday (i even grafted the toe and weaved in the ends! i'm such a good girl), i swatched all weekend for thuja. first a normal swatch to get the gauge i wanted, and then to test the stitch pattern. since the pattern is for worsted yarn and i'm using sock, it did look a bit different. i adapted the seed rib to have the same wide look as the original. and then i figured out all the math for the size and the repeats, and then i worked through 3 different toes. cuz, oh yeah, i'm knitting it toe up and with a short row heel. so basically it's a totally different sock, except the idea for the seed rib came from bobby whats-is-name (which i still give him credit for).

i ended up using a crocheted provisional cast on, because the other ones seemed to leave the stitches too loose. i hate having to go back to tighten stitches and stuff. after finishing the broadripple, there was still a decent amount of yarn left and i thought, darn i could have added a couple inches to the leg. so i figured going toe up will help me use up more yarn. those little bits of leftover yarn make me nuts. i don't want to throw them out, but usually can't find a practical use for them. argh.

so the thujas are on a roll, the pattern is easy and fast (so far - bet it'd be faster with worsted yarn). the socktoberfest is still moving along. today i got the yarn for the second mossgrid and woven towels, plus another set of US 1 dpns. goody goody. now i can cast on the second broadripple too. i figure if i work 3 days this week, i'll get the second broadripple and the thujas done.

for a special treat try this rosemary apple meatloaf. it's good stuff. very juicy with interesting flavors. i only used one apple, and some of the rosemary i grew this summer.
the other day i was leaving my web page while commenting somewhere (still diligently trying to delurk), and accidentally left out the "p" in blogspot, making it blogsot. hmmm....do you thin it's possible to get drunk on blogs? if i'm reading so many blogs i don't have time to post in my own, if i eagerly check every couple hours for new posts, would that be a blogsot? are you a blogsot?

15 October 2007

tempt me not. . . .

o thou evil purveyor of out of print knitting books and coins and steins

this weekend chuck discovered ebay. he knew of it, but hadn't really looked on it. i was looking for myrna stahman's shawls and scarves (prompted by something i no longer remember on ravelry) which i found. while i was there i looked up aran knitting, the horribly expensive out of print book, cuz i would love to have it, and look for it if i happen to remember it. it doesn't happen often. this weekend, there was actually two of them for sale. unfortunately, chuck had just gotten a bonus from work. oh, the temptation.

while i dithered over spending so much money on a book (i mean, it cost like 30 bucks when it came out, how did the paper get to be worth so much? supply and demand, man, it's all supply and demand), chuck asked what else they sell on ebay. hello. is he on drugs? they sell everything. so we looked up some ship's chronometers and beer steins, both of which chuck loves for some unclear reason. now, chuck is an auction man through and through. i think he picked it up in arkansas. of course he had to place some bids. and then he started looking at coins, which he collects (cuz they're an Investment and Will Be Worth Something Some Day).

so.....by today, chuck had won 2 steins and some mercury dimes (never heard of 'em before). and i ended up with both books. ebay is a dangerous place. i am both elated and ashamed of the aran knitting. the final cost was still less then $200 but more than $150. ajajaj. the worst part was i did a brother tom. let me explain.

at church a while back we had a dessert auction to help fund the youth group. chuck, as i said, is an auction man. he likes to bid even if he's not going to buy. he likes to bid people up and watch them fall on their faces. we were sitting with our home teacher, brother tom. after watching the fun chuck was having, he decided to join in. him and chuck went back and forth for a bit and suddenly chuck stopped bidding. tom was dumbfounded, and ended up with a german chocolate cake.

so back to ebay. since chuck spoils me so much, and knows how much i wanted this book, he said i could bid. the lowest price i've seen it for is $200 on amazon, and i wasn't sure if i wanted it that bad. saturday morning the auction was ending, and i thought, i'll just bid a little. i was automatically bid up a couple times, which made me curious. how high had the person set their limit? the highest i would go was $175. i bid up to that, and was still outbid. by then i was really curious, and thought to myself, i'll go just 5 more dollars and that's final. seriously. $180 for a book? it was a big stretch but i was expecting to be outbid again. oops. i wasn't. so i am now the ashamed proud owner of aran knitting. not quite the same as german chocolate cake, but it'll last longer.

from the evils of ebay, dear lord, preserve us

12 October 2007


so today i was a health teacher, and got to knit show a movie all day. i don't know about you but i have very vague memories of health class, involving a little about vitamins, this guy asking how to not get pregnant (which let everyone knew he was sleeping with his girlfriend) and the movie of the lady giving birth.

guess what movie i showed today?

the fetal development/birth one. i felt so sorry for those kids (grades 7 & 8 - at least i was in 10th when i had to see it). lucky for me, the desk was facing the class on the same side as the tv, so i didn't actually have to see it again. *whew* every class went exactly the same. a little reaction when they talk about conception and show the sperm squiggling around, and maybe a little about the developing baby. the movie goes through the development by week, and ends with a little bit on labor. then the voice stops talking, and you can hear, from the baby's perspective, the mom breathing harder in labor. i don't think the kids noticed. cuz all of a sudden the baby literally pops out (and i'm studiously not looking and remembering 10th grade) and across the classroom everyone shuts up and has the most grossed out expressions you can imagine.

it was great.

one of the kids said he thought they should wait till they're older to show it. but i told him i didn't think the age difference helps any, cuz i didn't even want to see it. after the movie, all the girls were saying "i'm never having kids." maybe that's why they show them that movie.

anyway, while they were being grossed out, i finished a broadripple sock. whoo-hoo! guess i'm not such a slow knitter. it was just barely past the toe when i started the day. i'll post a pic of it once i take it.

i even had time left over before school finished, so i went over my clessidra. i was hesitating over the ankle because it looked enormous. comparing it to the finished broadripple (which fit like a glove) it looked even worse. so i tried it on and measured and figured that it was probably an inch too wide. so i frogged back to where the side cables join, and i'll reduce them down to the one cable. that ought to fix it. they fit ok when i tried them on, but i didn't want any extra material rubbing my feet in shoes.

i'm excited now to cast on the other broadripple. this socktoberfest thing is fun!

11 October 2007

my ankles lost weight

yesterday i pulled out the broadripple sock to reacquaint myself with its problems. i swear the ankle was too tight. i swear, back in the spring, that there was something wrong with the fit in the ankle and heel. if it didn't have any problems why would i stop knitting? (problems and boredom are the only reasons i stop working on something) well, i tried it on and it fit perfectly. like it was tailored to me. like my math was fine, like my ankles weren't too fat. so the only conclusion i could come to was, either my ankles lost weight or my memory's wrong. ankles losing weight sounds way cooler.

so i'll be working on that sock this week while i mull over the clessidra gauge problem.

tonight, after hours with a needle, fjörgyn is absolutely, totally finished. yay!! i sewed a couple buttons on last night, and finished them off tonight. it looks good! once i get around to taking pics i'll post them. for thread i just used the yarn itself and wove it in really good, passed through the button twice. they seem sturdy enough, and that yarn practically felts on contact so i think they'll be ok. feels good to have everything done on it now, since it's all it's needed since springtime was buttons. now i can wear it and feel extra-cool cuz i made it myself! and give myself a pat on the back for finishing something!

at school today i got started on the broadripple again. knitting in school always brings an interesting amount of attention. surprisingly, no one says, man you must be a dork, you're knitting. a few kids either knit themselves or know someone that does, and say it's cool. a guy actually wanted to try knitting, but i didn't trust him. there was a girl who obviously wasn't sure what she thought of me knitting. they always ask what i'm knitting, and when i told her a sock, she asked "why would you knit socks?"

well, it was a duh moment for me. doesn't everyone know the benefits of knitted socks? i told her they were way more comfortable than store socks (a girl near her nodded enthusiastically, obviously she had personal experience with that), they're warm but not thick, sock knitting is fun, you can try out different patterns without making a huge sweater......about there i petered out. she still looked at me like i was nuts. *sigh* handmade socks rock! if only she knew.

09 October 2007


this weekend was great for snow, conference and knitting. it snowed for 3 days, but only worked its way up to real snowflakes yesterday (day 3). total accumulation was (maybe) 2 inches. back home in MA if it snowed for 3 days (o glorious blizzard) we'd have 4 feet or more. cuz we get real snowflakes there, not these dandruff flakes. *sigh*

clessidra got a lot of attention. i got to the bit in the pattern that says knit 4 inches to the top of the ankle, which should have been about 3 reps of the hourglass pattern. except i got through 1 rep, and tried it on. came exactly to the top of my ankle. hmmm. since i have big feet and long legs i didn't know what the heck was going on. until a rare thought struck me - what was my row gauge? yeah that. usually it doesn't matter. this time it did. so i knit less reps, and got through the heel - twice. the whole heel/ankle needs some fiddling to fit, just because of the gauge difference. augh. and here i though i'd be avoiding the math and fiddling with patterns.

so i'm still not sure if i'm satisfied, but by then i'd had enough of one project and needed to move on. i'll let it stew in the back of my brain until i figure out what i want to do. i figured 4+ hours of sock knitting was a good start to socktoberfest.

but - i finished the first moss grid towel!!hoo-ra!

started the other towel in a woven stitch pattern that chuck picked out. i'm liking it. too bad towels have to come in twos, cuz i'm not looking forward to the other moss grid one.

and the log cabin square is done (from mason-dixon knitting btw, forgot to mention that last time). i really like the technique. for this shelter project, somebody donated a huge bag of (horrible) acrylic yarn. there aren't very many colors in there to match, but i think i got a decent color combo for my log cabin square. but next time i think i'll plan out the color placement a little better, cuz i'm not sure about the green and yellow opposing each other. oh well.
the ill-fated knitting group met. it's living up to its name. i'm going to have to give it initials, just to avoid writing it out all the time. the IFKG. one person showed up thursday morning. she was reminding herself how to knit. it was fun, but only 1 other person to a meeting is not exactly encouraging. interestingly enough, none of the people wanting to learn came. hmmm....

my ravelry is slowly shaping up. i'm (sort of) doing good not spending too much time there. the hardest thing is getting pictures and specs of finished projects. a photo shoot in MA is already planned to get pics of gifted projects. ravelry has so much information gathered in one spot that it's easy to wander around and lose track of time.

a funny story to end with: i know i've become a mild sort of yarn snob, turning my nose up at acrylic. wool is queen or a cotton blend, although i'm still too poor to be a rowan or mohair addict (besides mohair is too furry for me i think). if i could afford it, i'd be a quviut junkie. but anyway. chuck has apparently been on enough LYS trips with me to become a mild snob himself, because when i got that bag of free yarn he said, "that's the yucky stuff isn't it?"

i was so proud of him.

larry curly and moe

so last friday i get a job at the high school, where i have to be at the ungodly hour of 7 am. the kids are ok, but it's the most boringest job ever, because they just have a chapter review assignment. that means i'm just crowd control, which isn't too hard in high school cuz they know if they don't cross the line i'll leave em alone to do almost whatever they want.

i finished reading the wishsong of shannara, started another book, and knit clessidra for a couple hours. i even visited the library and checked out some books (lucky for me all the school libraries are connected to the city library system - they have more paperbacks). after school, i have to stay for a half hour. once the kids leave, i check my cell phone to find a text from chuck

do you like parakeets?

for some reason, this gives me a bad feeling. especially since he sent it an hour and a half earlier. so i reply with, dunno. why?

while i wait for chuck's answer, i think about it some. birds look pretty, but anytime i've been to someone's house that has birds, they don't ever shut up (the birds, i mean) and they're kinda messy. so i don't think i'd want them for pets.

then chuck answers me: yes.

what the freak is that supposed to mean? why - yes. they don't really go together. he calls me up, and the long and the short of it is, some jamoke walked into the bank saying they had 3 parakeets they had to give away. and chuck took them. they're pretty. they're messy. and they're noisy. but not all the time, and chuck cleans up the mess. so it's ok.
chuck named them after the 3 stooges. cute huh. not quite as good as the last present he gave me. he was afraid that i would either a) kill him or b) kill the birds. i haven't done either yet. lucky for him, eh.
here from left to right you have curly, moe and larry. blame chuck for the blurry pics.

03 October 2007

socktoberfest kick off

the afternoon light was good for taking pictures, so here's to the beginning of socktoberfest! first is the half-finished clessidra. it's behaving itself very nicely.
then we have the two socks destined for oblivion in the knitting basket, were it not for the extra motivation of socktoberfest

hedera on the left, and broadripple on the right. take the hederas first. see how much bigger the sock on the left is? gauge problems. got in my head i was sposed to knit loose. go figure. and the sock on the right? that's the one with half the heel rows it should have. otherwise it was beautiful. i like the lace pattern a lot. simple, but pretty. next we have the broadripple. the pattern is well named, i like the waves of color. its actually not behaving too badly, i think the summer just caught up to it too soon.

since the light was so good, and there i was with the camera, i took some other shots. here's the square with the pattern for sara's tie, and a log cabin square i started last night. with the one person that showed up for the ill-fated knitting group. ojojoj. tomorrow morning is the other meeting. we can always hope i suppose. the one person learned to cable. that was fun. cables are cool cuz they look so fancy and complicated, but they're actually easy. watching someone else catch the excitement of cabling was fun.

and last of all is the headless scarecrow almost finished fjörgyn. just waiting for the buttons. maybe this weekend will be dedicated to finishing.

oh the weather outside is frightful, or mom, guess what?

we woke up this morning to this
isn't that great?!!!
i was catching up on blogs and looked out the window to see some tiny flakes bravely struggling down. that's flurries more than snow, but nobody west of the mississippi seems to know that word. saying it's snowing has a much more petrifying effect on people anyway.


insanely early as it is, i love the first snowfall of the year. i have never quite figured out the magic of little white works of art falling from the sky. as a kid, i would lay on bed next to the window and try and see up to where the snow started falling. i'm so going for a walk.

to entertain you while i'm doing that, check this out

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

not that i have hundreds of people checking my blog who don't comment - i'm not even sure my family looks at it. and they probably have no clue you can comment. but the idea was fun. plus i just like saying mofo.

02 October 2007

no candy today

yesterday (on ravelry) i learned that i don't keep very good track of when i start projects. at all. luckily, i've posted about some of them. and was pleasantly surprised to learn i finish projects fairly quickly. my brain moves so much faster than my hands that finished projects never seem to catch up with what i want to do. kind of like the books i want to read. not stopping to appreciate what i've made probably doesn't help. so a new goal: to stop for a few minutes and appreciate a project when i'm done with it before madly rushing on to the next.

tonight the ill-fated knitting group has a meeting. i'm sooo hopeful yet trying to be cynical, so if no one shows up i won't be disappointed. lots of people are learning, so we're making 6"x6" squares for practice and for the women's shelter blanket (i'm not dumb. i might be the only one making them otherwise. 2 birds with one stone man.). and the people who are learning cabling or lace or whatever, why they can make a square too to learn the technique. we have a thursday a.m. meeting planned too, so hopefully that one goes well too.

i've read about socktoberfest in loads of places, and this morning it hit me: duh. i'm working on a pair, have thuja barely started (i rolled the skein into a ball. that counts), and 2 pairs to rescue from the basket and finish. why not be part of the fest? so i'm putting a button up, and taking another not very bold tiptoe into the online knitting world. once you get to know me you'd never believe it, but i am shy. honest. so even though all these secret pals and swaps and knitalongs sound fun, it takes me a while to work up to joining.

my main goal for today is to not be a statistic. i will resist the lure of ravelry, my house will get cleaned, i will put my superdried out herbs away, my cluttered table will be cleared, the laundry will get folded and dinner will get made. and i might take a little, teeny tiny peek over in ravelry. just to see if the brownies changed anything on me while i slept. and maybe take a pic of my clessidra (and my languishing hedera and broadripple socks) to kick off the socktoberfest.

01 October 2007

fireballs or reese's or raspberry blowpops or nowandlaters or.....

i'm the kid in the candy store right now. got my ravelry invite today!! whoo-hoo! this morning we checked my number, and i was clocking in at 200-something. chuck was even checking it extra for me (hehehe). since i worked this morning we figured the invite would come while i was gone. i already told chuck he wasn't getting any dinner. and forget about fhe. he said that was ok, since i've been waiting so long - what a nice guy.

coming into ravelry, there's so many choices, so much to look at, so much to put in the database. after drooling at the screen shots, now that i'm inside, i'm not sure what to do first. fireballs are good, but what about the chocolate? oh, the choices. so if i don't post for a week, a month, a couple years, you'll know why. i got sucked into the vortex, or i'm trying to knit my way out and keep getting sucked back in.