Wednesday, May 31, 2006

SP7 Revisited

Eeeee!!!! I have another package from my SP7 pal. She says she forgot to mail it. I say she knew how much I like to spread out the fun. (My mom and I are both notorious for celebrating our birthdays for 2-3 weeks.)

Rainy sent me:

Some GORGEOUS raspberry merino for spinning (it's a much brighter color than it looks in the picture), a CD full of belly dance music (we're both dancers), and a cute postcard. Thanks, Rainy! The first box was spoilage enough, but you just don't know when to stop, do you? :)

In other knitting news, I haven't done much knitting. In fact, I haven't picked up needles or spindle in almost two weeks (gasp). Life is just getting in the way. Between working longer hours than I used to, getting some exercise or dancing in every day, and actually cooking dinner and doing some cleaning (double gasp), the clock keeps turning to 10:30 (or 11:30, or 12:30) by the time I put tomorrow's lunch in the fridge.

I don't know how I've made it this long without knitting. Have you ever accidentally missed a meal because you were so busy, and been completely fine (other than the stress of the business) until you realized it, at which point you became a grumpy, shaky mess? That's where I am, except that it makes me more sad and lonely for my yarn than grumpy. My husband has been asking me for days if something's bothering me, and I've been at a loss. I wonder if that was it...

My goal for this week (in addition to eating right, exercising, sleeping, and laundry) is to knit at least 10 minutes in bed each night.

That said, I do have a couple of squares for the Retro Throw done:

You might ask why I show three completed squares today, and four earlier in the month? Well, the first two were a bust. Sportweight yarn on size 10 needles makes a pretty wussy blanket, so I've been double-stranding.

And, in honor of my SP7 spoilee, Paula and her gorgeous nature photography, a double rainbow seen in North Cambridge a week and a half ago, over the scenic condo construction next door:

Finally, the chicken viking hat has been spotted in the wild:

(where "in the wild" = on the head of my sister's fiance Ryan)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

One-Skein SP Post

For my one-skein secret pal:

1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
Merino wool: I'm gentle and nice to be around, but also "lofty" and energetic, interested in everything (honestly, is there anything merino truly CAN'T do?) and I benefit from a little extra care. Plus, I firmly believe that good quality and workmanship (i.e., character and living your life) is more valuable than flash.

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
I use blue, red and pink most often. I like most jewel tones and pastels. At the moment, though, I'm obsessed with peach/salmon and robin's egg blue.

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?
I use variegated yarns ocassionally, and mostly for variegated-suitable projects: Clapotis, socks, etc.

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
I love soft wool and cotton. Alpaca is silky on the hands, but gives me the prickles when I wear it, so I don't use it very much. I don't mind a _little_ synthetic blended into a yarn, as long as you can't feel it. (Rowan Calmer is a good example)

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?
I generally go center-pull, but am flexible.

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?
Haven't used them, but would definitely be interested.

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year?
17 finished objects in 2005, plus 8 I didn't finish :
In 2006, I've completed ZigZag, made most of Snowflakes and Arrows, started Tubey, started and frogged and restarted Green Gables, and have a Retro Throw in progress.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year?
Oh, yes. I'm working on one right now, and have another on the schedule for August, not to mention holiday knitting...

9. What is your favorite one skein project?
Feline Dim Sum (Julie Falatko's and my own)

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?
A modest, but respectable stash: less than 10 sweater-quantity batches, four batches of sock yarn, 20-30 yarns in smaller quantities (mostly single balls I bought to play with). Most of it lives in boxes, bags, and drawers, all stuffed into a shirt-sized wardrobe.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?
No, but the best yarns usually need to age a little before I know what they want to be.

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer?
Yep. I knit slightly less (spending more time outside), and tend to knit summery garments.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
Yep, the MIT Stitch & Bitch

Monday, May 08, 2006


Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. It has been very nearly a month since my last post. Between traveling, dancing, and writing the document that wouldn't DIE, I've managed to get some knitting in, but not blogging.

So imagine my surprise when my nearly-month-old post received not just a comment, but a comment from, ahem, the Yarn Harlot herself.

Now, I am not the type to get star-struck. In fact, I once hitched a ride with Aiofe Clancy after a Cherish the Ladies concert (she and her husband saw me running after a shuttle bus I had just missed, took pity, and drove me all around Weston, Massachusetts for half an hour looking for a T station), and managed to hold up a very normal conversation and not jump up and down in the back seat.

So I was highly surprised:

a- to find myself tongue-tied during the book signing after Stephanie's talk in Cambridge in April. I had serious difficulty explaining that my name was not Crystal (who had lent me her yarn harlot book, which I kept for months, spilled diet coke on, and dipped in the bathtub, before I finally bought her a new copy, keeping the old one with her name in it for myself).

b- by how giggly-fan-like I got when she included the picture of Team MIT on her blog entry about that talk

c- that I literally DID jump up and down and run to tell my husband when she commiserated about steeking here yesterday.

So now that I've admitted to being a silly, giggly fan (for shame!), I'll take it the whole nine yards:
Steph, thanks for writing. There is just nothing like your work to make a knitter feel _understood_. I even made my husband read a few pieces from your first book, and, while I think he still doesn't get it, he does finally understand that not only am I the only one like this, but there are enough of us out there to demand our own genre of humor. And thanks also for making me (a former library employee) laugh hard enough to dip a book in the bathtub.

Now, on to some actual knitting content:

1- I haven't done a single thing on snowflakes and arrows. I was mad at it, and then it got really warm in Boston. I'm ready to make up, but I think I'll wait until early fall, when it'll be closer to wool-wearing season.

2- I started Green Gables in a baby pink Rowan Calmer. I ripped out Soul to harvest the yarn. I will always love Soul as my first cables project, but I don't think it would ever have been flattering, even if I did get it to fit (or figure out how to work short rows into a solid-cable project). I made this down to the under-bust (it's top-down) and ripped it out three times (once as written, once without the decreases, and then once with increases) before deciding to just make the next larger size. Haven't gotten around to that yet, though. At risk of repeating myself, I LOVE THIS YARN. It is essentially the summer equivalent of Aurora 8: soft, stretchy, and wonderful in every way. Doesn't come in as many colors as aurora 8, alas.

3- I started the Retro Throw as a graduation present for my sister the rapper.

I'm wondering if there might be an error in the pattern. It's a blanket knit with a sport-weight yarn on size 10 needles. (?!?!?) Not only did I not get anything even CLOSE to gauge, but when I knit up a square just for the heck of it, it used a LOT less yarn that the pattern said it should per square. Plus, it's really flimsy at that gauge. I've worked two squares double-stranded, and that gives a much nicer hand, but is still a slightly finer gauge, and appears to be taking slightly MORE yarn than the pattern predicts. I like it best this way, so I'm just going to do it, and will order more yarn if I run out. (Stripes are great for hiding dye lot differences!)

Good night for now. I'll leave you with an image to ponder:

My sister's graduation (this morning) closed with a somewhat corny, over-the-top rendition of New York, New York by one of the school's vocal groups. And the faculty of the Steinhardt School at NYU, joined by this year's distinguished alum award recipient, Judy Blume, did a kick line. It was awesome, it was hysterical, and I got it on video.

You heard it here first. :)