Sunday, May 28, 2006


Just some pictures of a couple of my WIPs. I have spared you pictures of Mr. B's completely and utterly boring black stockinette socks, although, just so you know, I have finished #1 and just turned the heel of #2.

On to more interesting stuff. The heart leaf lace scarf/stole is coming along nicely. I like the delicate detail of this, and very pleased with my design, although not so convinced on my dye job - mostly because I have green hands after knitting a few rows. My advice in dyeing yarn is to rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse some more, then just when you think the water is running clear, rinse a few more times just to be sure. I made the error of being really worried about felting my lurverly wool, now I have to put up with green hands while I do this project - it will be rinse a few more times after knitting.

As for the jaywalker. I think this is the first time it has been photographed in natural light - and what a difference it makes! The top picture shows the sock in it's natural baggy state, the one below shows it being pulled down a little, I don't anticipate this 'give' being a problem. I love this yarn (cherry hill) and still love the jaywalker pattern.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Benevolent Leader huh?

Apparently I am a:

You can click the link to find out more. Here is some of what they wrote about me (just skip the itallic if not interested, it's a lot):

Your solid grounding in the practicalities of life, along with your self-assuredness and your willingness to appreciate new things make you a LEADER.

You're in touch with what is going on around you and adept at remaining down-to-earth and logical. Although you're detail-oriented, this doesn't mean that you lose the big picture. Never one to pass on an adventure, you're consistently seeking and finding new things, even in your immediate surroundings. Because of this eagerness to pursue new experiences, you've learned a lot; your attention to detail means that you gain a great deal from your adventures.

The intellectual curiosity that drives you leads you to seek out causes of and reasons behind things. You're not set on one way of doing things, and you often have the skills and persistence to find innovative ways of facing challenges. Your confidence gives you the potential to take your general awareness and channel it into leadership.

You are well-attuned to your talents, and can deal with most problems that you face.

You are a great person to interact with—understanding, giving, and trusting—in a word, BENEVOLENT

You don't mind being in social situations, as you feel comfortable enough with people to be yourself. Your caring nature goes beyond a basic concern: you take the time to understand the nuances of people's situations before passing any sort of judgment. You're a good listener, and even better at offering advice. You're concerned with others at both an individual and societal level—you sympathize with the plights of troubled groups, and you can care about people you've never met. Considering many different perspectives is something at which you excel, and you appreciate that quality in others.

Other people's feelings are important to you, and you're good at mediating disputes. Because of your understanding and patience, you tend to bring out the best in people.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

I have to say that I felt that this was a pretty accurate write up. But, considering the amount of questions I answered about how I feel about myself and how this was written up, there's a part of me that wonders if this is not just the Barnum effect. Maybe others have tried this? What do you think? Accurate? A little too nice? I would ask people that know me if they think this is like me, but I generally don't expect people I actually, physically *know*, to read my blog ;)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sock progress

Just wanted to post a picture of my jaywalker in progress, it's not exactly speeding along, but my knitting time has been reduced because of the new job :-( Which is going well, by the way, so far I think that I wasn't completely mad to change jobs. Anyway, back to the sock, it's looking baggy because I did a larger size thanks to the tight fit of my first pair of jaywalkers. I'm a little concerned that it is too loose, but also know that I can have it shorter to stretch it to fit - but I'm not sure. The tightness for me in the original pair was only in putting on the sock, but fine once on - what do you think? I think that I will knit some of my lace stole before I make my decision.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Well, I've returned from a pretty eventful trip to Boston. Actually, most of the time in Boston was quite tame, but getting there and my arrival was fully of craziness - and not the fun kind. However, all's well that ends well and I'm pleased to say that the trip did result in Mr. B's first sock being completed (well, the bit without the fun pattern). It has to have been one of the more boring things to knit (black stocking stitch) and I still have the second to do - there are no pictures as yet, I couldn't inflict such boring, boringness on any of you. However, it's what he wanted, and I did manage to learn short rows with yarn overs, which are not as hard as I made them. I will really appreciate knitting my lace stole/shawl in-between the knitting of the second sock.

I used my swift for the first time today, winding up some cherry hill superwash sock yarn (looking forward to getting a ball winder now). It was actually mill ends (spelled 'cheap'), so I ended up with one large and three tiny balls, please excuse the blurry picture, it's difficult to get a decent picture in the evening. I plan to knit my second pair of jaywalkers with it, there is plenty of green in the yarn *tips hat to project spectrum*. I will be knitting them toe-up this time - no chickening out.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Here I am.

Close-up of lace wrap pattern

Okay, I'm still here, alive and kicking. I've been enjoying my week off and don't have too much in the way of knitting to show for it (just over 2"). I was swatching for days (felt like forever) to find *just* the right pattern for my hand dyed lace yarn. And I think I have it, you can't see much of it now, and the pattern will not show it's true coolness until after blocked. But at least the color is great for project spectrum. More info about this pattern, and how I found it, another time.

Sock beginning

I have also cast on (a second time) for Mr. B's Breakout socks. I did already knit down to the pattern, but wasn't happy with knitting the pattern in the sock as I know I won't be able to do it all the way, and it was turning out to be really messy. So I will be embroidering the pattern on later with duplicate stitch.

I also managed to find my first gifto for my Secret Pal. I am really pleased with my choice, and only hope that my pal will be too. I guess I will need to find out when I'm supposed to be sending the gift. I also bought myself a gift - a swift umbrella. I'm so happy, it should be arriving today (better bloody do since I waited in all day for it - thanks again UPS!!!). We have our fundraiser for work tonight, so hoping that will be a success. Then myself and Mr. B. will be toodling off to Boston, MA for the weekend, plenty of geeky sock knitting to be done on the bus there.

Sunday, May 14, 2006



And I love them, although, like many others, I had trouble with the lack of stretch. Anyway, just so you have the stats:
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Garden in Zinnia - I believe this color is discontinued.
Needles: Pony Pearl US #1.
Pattern: Good old Jaywalkers

Right now I'm swatching for the green yarn I dyed. I've decided to make a lace scarf/shawl, but having trouble finding a stitch pattern that I *love* so far, I want something natural and flowing, possibly leaves, but there is a vine stitch that has potential.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

As time goes by

Just so you know, I'm not mad. I love the "before felting pictures", particularly the latest Catty one.

>Caution, none-knitting content below:

While I wish that my 'real' job was knitting or fiber related, it is not and I have have to pay the rent somehow. Some of you may recall that nearly a month ago I was offered a new position at work and now my time is coming up. While I'm super-lucky to get a week off in between jobs, Friday will be my last day in this job. I can't believe my last day in my job is coming up so soon. I have been going crazy trying to tie up loose ends - anyone who's ever done what I do will understand that it is just an impossible mission. However, I look back on the 4 years in this job with fondness at all the different things I have experienced, the amazing (and not so amazing) people I have met, and am amazed at the ability people have to cope in some really trying circumstances. I have been fortunate enough to touch peoples lives (and have theirs touch mine), I have seen parts of people's lives that others will never know. Worked alongside people from a plethora of cultures, religions, stories, abilities and personalities. I have knocked on the door and entered the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses. I supported 3 people through becoming US Citizens, while only holding a working visa myself. I've listened to rants about how great Dubya is, as well as how evil he is. I've seen way too much flesh (too many tales, that make me shudder). I've had people tell me their most intimate personal details. I've had heart-stopping moments. I've seen incredible joy and heartbreaking sadness. And, yet I've experienced so much more than that. I am grateful to each and every family that allowed me into their homes and trusted me to do what they needed me to do, I miss and will miss them all.

As I look back on the past 4 years with fondness, I also look forward to my future with trepidation and excitement. Along with my new position comes new responsibilities and new experiences. So much to learn and so many more wonderful, scary and different people to meet. I can't wait, but I am fearful. What if I don't get 'it'? What if all these new people hate me? What if I fail? I know that all these fears are natural, and I also know that this is not the "biggest mistake of my life". Wish me luck as I embark on a new journey at work.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


No more movies being made today to keep me entertained. But here is a picture of my dyed yarn (GREEN for May's Project Spectrum). I absolutely love it, I deliberately did not stir the yarn during the heating process so that I would get an a variegated color. I think my first ever attempt at dyeing was Fabulous Darrrhhhling, even if I do say so myself. Only one downer, and that is that for some reason I bought laceweight, not fingering weight as I thought it was all this time. I suspect that socks might be hard to make with this yarn (even doubled), unless anyone disagrees, feel free to pipe in here.

I also plied my silk/merino, and I'm pretty happy with it. It is a 2-ply and it is far from perfect, but then if I wanted that I would get store-bought yarn and give up spinning all together (and that is sure not to happen). I keep obsessing about bamboo and what it would be like to spin, but I think Mr. B. would have a heart attack if I got more fiber in the apartment without spinning and knitting at least one bag of what I have right now

Monday, May 08, 2006

A lot of fuss about nothing?

I'm coming home today and my street is signposted 'set'. Now that doesn't happen very often, but I see it in other parts of the city all the time. I don't pay much mind until I realize that I don't think I can get into my apartment building without actually being in the movie - yuck! Eventually I figure out the timing and dash in between "cut" and "action". I figured it was a CSI, Law and Order or some similar TV thing, but checking out the directors name (conveniently written on the chair) from my roof, I find that it's actually a movie. Now somehow this is more exciting than a boring old TV show, I realize that Tim Robbins and Bridget Moynahan are outside my apartment right now, filming. I think the blonde girl is Dakota Fanning - but I could be wrong, shouldn't she be taller than that by now? Anyway, that's my other-than-knitting excitement. I checked it out, the movies is called "Noise" and this is actually the first day of filming, wonder if they will be back again tomorrow?

See the tall blurry guy in the middle? That's Tim Robbins - honest!

On to the knitting excitement (it really doesn't get better than Tim Robbins standing outside my apartment - sorry). My dyes came today, so I can get started on dyeing that yarn (assuming I actually have vinegar). Also a cute bag I won on that auction site for $7.50 arrived. Today I had planned to try plying my silk/merino mix, but that dye is just calling my name! Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

SP8 Questionnaire

I just got my SP8 recipient, so it's time to start getting to know them. This post is for my Secret Pal (Hi Secret Pal), the answers to the SP8 Questionnaire - way more information about me than you ever need to read.

SP8 Questionnaire

Man-Made Rain?

You know I was surprised when I read this story about China making rain. Mr. B said that he'd heard this before, have I lived under a rock or something? Of course there is question about whether this is actually working, my question is what the hell kind of rain is coming out of the sky when they are shooting up silver iodine? I know little-to-nothing about chemistry, so I could be wrong in thinking that it could be bad.

As for knitting, I blocked the pullover (thanks Amber and Mud for your suggestions), stretching the bottom right out and now the frilliness is pretty much at a minimum now - who knows if it would stay that way after washing though. Unfortunately, I know no babies small enough to be models for the sweater, so no cute pics of a pullover-wearing-baby.

Jaywalker #1 is complete, and I LOVE it! The colors are so happy and the pattern looks fab. Following a most important rule of knitting two matching items, I cast on and started #2 right away. I also did quite a bit of spinning of the silk/merino, discovering that sweaty hands and loose fiber are quite an interesting combination. I ended up with a nubby single, although I'm still pretty happy with it.

As for Secret Pal 8, I've not heard anything yet about my secret pal, although I'm hoping I will over the weekend. My questionnaire is pretty much complete and I guess I will post it in all its boring glory once I know for sure I am and have a SP. No dye as yet (but the postman hasn't delivered yet), so I'm thinking no dyeing to happen this w/e, oh well, back to some spinning.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stuck in April

Still with the oranges... here are a couple of pictures for ya. The Child's Placket-neck Pullover, is almost done, see the little needle stitch holder by the armpit? That's what I need to finish, just a a little bit of grafting. While I love the color and the softness of this little cutie, the damn thing is all 'frilly' at the bottom, it's flared out. Which could be cute on a girl, but not so sure since the recipient is a little boy. I've no idea what I did wrong, if I should have cast on and knit the bottom edge in a smaller needle, or if it's the cotton yarn that's just stretched out. It also looks a little too short and I just don't know what to do about it. I don't know if I just need to restart, or re-knit the bottom slightly tighter for the seed st edging, a little extra body, then graft it on the bottom (after taking off the original bottom edge). Any ideas?

Also, not too much more in the way of sock, here it is, about halfway though the foot - looks good though doesn't it? I can see why the jaywalker pattern is so popular now, it's so easy to memorize and it's great seeing those zig-zags appear. Here's a close-up of the heel too, I'm proud as there are no holes in this sock.

Other news, I tried spinning the merino and the silk/merino (I couldn't wait any longer). While the wool is proving to be tricky because of the way it's been prepared, the silk/merino is a joy to work with, sooo soft and yummy. One day, when I get my lazy kate, I will get to ply all this yarn. Oooh! I ordered a little selection of dyes for fiber on that auction site, I hope it comes for the w/e, lots of fun for Mrs. B. and lots of mess for the apartment - won't Mr. neat freak B. be pleased? I plan to dye my sock yarn in a green for project spectrum. I also heard back from the Pony Pearl people about my broken sock needle, they emailed me back stating that they backed their products 100% and would send me a new set - YAY! So I will soon no longer have to juggle with the bodge-job super-glued sock needle.

Oh, and a little hello to my Secret Pal. I've not heard who my pal is yet, but I'm sure it won't be long before we are all assigned pals - Mr. B. thinks I'm completely mad, but I think it will be a fun summer being a SP to someone.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

%*&@^(^$*& Verizon

I have no idea what is going on with my internet, but I'm sure it's all down to Verizon. I think that my time is limited today, but wanted to post to say that I got my roving today (and this is a significant event in my life - why?). Admittedly, I was worried about this roving, I had no idea if the person I was buying from was truly genuine (not like me, I do a LOT of internet buying and am normally pretty careful - but the price was so good). Okay, so now I have a pound each of yummy Merino and, even more, yummy Merino/silk. Both natural color (yowser, spinning and dyeing yer own - getting a bit ambitious there Mrs. B. huh?). I REALLY wanted to try spinning some of it tonight, but promised I would finish (or at least almost finish) the kiddy pullover before spinning any - I finished work far too late tonight, so no chance today really (unless I didn't blog as I'm doing right now, but it's late and I'm sleepy. I have almost finished the pullover though, just grafting the pits and some blocking - pictures to follow, just not today. Now I realize that I won't get a chance tomorrow, thanks to dinner and drinks in the evening (shucks huh?). Okay gotta catch some ZZZzzzzzz's