Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh baby...

Earlier today Flintknits noted that an internet cretin had found her blog by typing into Google something to do with '69' and left some scabrous remarks. She ended up deleting the post because of the creep-factor . She obviously didn't want that kind of attention. Several months ago Très chic Véronique observed that people who are referred to her blog are only ever done so by typing in 'Véronique' and that she rarely gets odd-ball referrals . I've had several hilarious Google searches done that have resulted in people being referred to my blog: apparently if you search for "large thighs ice skating" and "pathological hording", you get me. Both are so, well, apt.

Many bloggers are on a massive sock kick right now, and after receiving today's STR shipment I may not be far behind. Somehow this month's pattern is much more inspiring than last month's penis socks, so I am optimistic. But I am still riding the wave of baby knitting, and I don't plan on coming ashore anytime soon. Latest FO for a tiny tot: Baby's First Aran Sweater (from the Bloom leaflet) in Nashua Creative Focus. Now, I know you want one last look at the adorable little laddie on the cover, so here's the money shot to end all money shots:

And now for the sweater itself:

I am very pleased with this garment and am bursting with excitement to give it to my friend. She was the recipient of the last baby sweater, so I don't want her to be weirded out by another baby sweater so quickly--I'm trying not to appear all Jennifer Jason Leigh in 'Single White Female', so maybe I'll wait. But this friend is one of the top 5 people in my life right now, so I think we're beyond the whole 'is-she-stalking-me?' anxiety. I love the baby sweater thing because it affords you the experience of a whole microcosm of knitting. I'm so into it that I will be momentarily be casting on another sweater for a grad student who is having a baby in September. Is that weird?

When non-knitters receive our gifts they are so very grateful and at times stunned at our supposed generosity.
Most people are incredibly pleased and thrilled to receive a hand knit gift. Yet I can't help feeling that there is more than a little self-interest in there as well, as they are providing us with an excuse to exercise our craft. I mean, I'm knitting it for them, but for me as well. ( Must make frequent f.o. sacrifice at the blog altar, after all...). Thinking about this business of receiving hand knits, I'm curious. Has someone ever reacted in an unexpected way to a gift that you have knit?

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Perhaps if I weren't obliged to be making the largest size of the Green Gable, I would have completed the mind-numbing, endless stockinette of the body. But this is not the case. So, completion of this project eludes me. Damn you Tasty Cakes and your alluring cream center...

In other news, I recently found out that I am going to be a published photographer. Someone spotted my Stitch N Pitch picture from FLIKR and asked if he could use it for an upcoming book on knitting. The book idea sounds fantastic, I'm so excited to see it. You might be familiar with Larissa's excellent blog, she's one of the authors. What I thought was so funny was that my brother had left a snarky, sarcastic comment about the picture when I first posted it, something like "more pictures like this (lame, crappy) one...". So to him I say : in your face, douche bag!

Right now the DRMC and I are trying to plan our summer vacation. This is not an easy task, as one of us subscribes to a philosophy of fiscal responsibility and frugality à la the Depression era, whereas the other one believes that you're only in debt as much as the sum total of your minimum payments on your credit cards, à la 1980s. We are trying to come to an arrangement that we will both be satisfied with, and have recently discovered that we are both keen on visiting Iceland!! Me for the knitting and extreme blondness of the population (growing up a brunette-ssh!-in Minnesota has permanently damaged me) and him for the indie music scene and the possibility of eating fish at every meal. So keep your fingers crossed on that one.

If a Scandinavian idyll isn't in my future, at least I have these two fun things to look forward to:

-The Knitting Gnome swap. Ok, confession time: I love gnomes and if I could have one wish granted, it would be that gnomes were real. I convinced my kids for the first 6 years of their childhood that they were in fact real. We spent a lot of time in parks looking for them. In any case, we'll be hosting a gnome for one week this summer and I am excited. I can't want to embarrass my junior high tween thing with this one!

-The Superfluous Sock Yarn Swap. This swap requires participants to sign up via the Swap Bot. Have I ever mentioned how strongly attracted I am to anything with 'bot in the title? This was a no-brainer, plus Laura from Indieknits is such a complete doll. C'mon do it, you know you want to!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Off the rails...

Let's just say that travel by rail isn't what it used to be. Minty recently documented her Amtrak jaunt by posting impressionist images here. My train experience can be conveyed by the following list of people sitting within two rows of me on my return trip:
-elderly man, hocking, mouth breathing and clearing his throat every 3 minutes. I timed it. It was every three minutes.
-couple 'sharing' the headphones on an ipod which is blasting Jethro Tull and Nickleback (?!) at maximum volume throughout the train car. N.B. : I hate Jethro Tull, but not as much as I hate Nickleback with every fiber of my being.
-palooka on cell phone, drunk dialing and speaking very loudly about how he and his friend Matty "almost got shot last night."
-woman with glue gun and riveting stud and rhinestone kit, decorating Shelly Winters-meets-Buffy Saint Marie fringe t-shirt. Yes, riveting studs, on the train.
-mother threatening toddler by telling her that "the conductor would take her off the train at the next stop" unless she quit fussing. She sold it by making a fake phone call on her cell phone and pretending to talk to the conductor, who according to the mom, "was ready to leave her off the train". The child became understandably hysterical.

Did I mention that these people were all within two rows of me? At one point, upon seeing me knitting, the elderly man commented with disdain that "well, that's
one way to pass the time." Indeed.

So, unpleasant mass transit experiences aside, I had a great time in New York. The conference went well, and School Products was a sight to behold. I scored some massive amounts of Karabella Zodiac in order to make the Jat tank. I also picked up some Karabella Aurora Mélange to make some socks. Yes, I said socks. I am now back to socks on big needles as I need to feel that I can actually finish a pair of socks. Case in point: I cast this on while waiting in Penn Station, and after my railway ordeal, look where I am!

I went to the Point and knitted and chatted with the Spiders. They are a lovely and friendly group of knitting gals who are so much fun! I really enjoyed meeting them and appreciated their friendly welcome. See for yourselves:

A gorgeous bunch, no?

The tedium of the train ride afforded hours and hours of stockinette body action, which means that the end is in sight of a project that has been a long time coming. I made huge headway on the Green Gable and will be ready to show it off in my next post...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Getting spring where you can...

As a native Minnesotan, I have been raised to believe that people who complain about the weather are weak, moral degenerates who just need to toughen up and get over it. "After all, it could be worse!", Minnesotans love to say. Add to this Scandinavian pragmatism a steady dose of my mother's English stoic temperament and proclivity to never complaining about anything ever under any circumstances, and well, I don't look so good. Why? Because I would like to know where the flippin' spring has gone! I am sure it's right around the corner, but in the mean time I will look to my favorite colors, pink and green, for the sensation of springtime. The above-pictured fingerless gloves were finished in an evening and provided a timely distraction from the Baby's First Aran Sweater, which is high cognitive load knitting as you have to read a chart and all that, and the interminable stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off merry go round of the Green Gable. Both should be done by the end of the weekend, but I just needed a start and finish a project in one night, just to know that I still could actually finish something. The gloves were done one of my faves, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Somerset.
I should be able to get a lot of knitting done this weekend as I'm going to a conference in NY, and taking the train. There I hope to a. present my paper and wow the audience with my mad French teacher skillz b. visit School Products and experience the insanity for myself and c. maybe check out a Spider or two at The Point on Friday night. We'll see! But I am looking forward to this little jaunt, spring or no spring.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Krak addict!

It's that special time of year when it's all I can do to not shove Easter candy in my mouth hand over fist in a continuous, round the clock kind of way. But not all Easter candy. I have standards. Jelly beans and those foil eggs do nothing for me. Cadbury and Reese's eggs? Meh. Skittles are strictly bush league, and while Peeps are cute as the devil, at least I realize that they are probably fashioned out of some type of nuclear waste and/or petroleum, and therefore do not tempt me in the least. However, throw some Butter Krak eggs in the mix and now you're talking...

Today, while Tween Thing was working up a sweat doing Twister Dance moves and the DRMC was tearing out his hair whilst wading through our taxes, Kiddie Winkie and I went to our LYS and picked up something that she has been begging for since she first set eyes on it last August: Amaizing by SWTC. Now, we all know kids love a good gimmick (how else can you explain the current Webkinz insanity?), and so the idea of knitting with something other than wool was instantly appealing. She cast on for a headband in the store and told me that from now on, she's only ever knitting with corn! I must say that it is very sturdy and actually great for a tiny knitter type as it doesn't split in the least. I urge you to check it out.

Lest you think that I am somehow impervious to the whole gimmick thing, I managed to walk away some SWTC Bamboo. (Yeah, I'm not even pretending to be on a yarn diet anymore.) I would love to hear input from those of you that have used it and would also appreciate any pattern suggestions you might have...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Baby got Back...

As Fricknits and the Knitting Philistine both so astutely pointed out, I am not in fact suffering from baby-itis. Rather I am currently undergoing Baby-knittingitis. It's totally different and requires much less commitment!

I cast on for this sweater on Saturday night and have finished the back. It is flying off the needles, and I have even been working on the interminable stockinette of the Green Gable body as well as the Retro-Rib socks thrown in for good measure. So, if you're in the market for a satisfying knitting experience, look to the junior set for some instant gratification...

Also my pal Wondermike finally has a knitblog! Show him some special love and welcome him to our wacky world over at Socktopus...