YO! ZMK Knits!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


That's it. Simply yarn.

I was in a bit of a yuck mood last night, and not feeling terribly ambitious today either. Part weather, part possible cold coming on. Nothing like some yarn pr0n to cheer one up, right?


This is the latest offering from Mind's Eye Yarn's sock club. Isn't is gorgeous?


This is the sock-in-progress from the last sock club offering. It's a totally different mood. I love it.


This is more Mind's Eye Yarn, purchased last spring. I know not everybody likes yellow, but I adore this colorway.


This is a sport-weight hand-dyed yarn I bought on eBay a long time ago that I will probably use to make socks. Looking at it now, it may have been dyed with Kool-Aid.


Spirit Trail Fiberworks sock yarn, purchased at the NH Sheep and Wool fest last May.


Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids, purchased a few months ago from DiscountedYarn.


How did these silly looking furballs get in here???


a couple of new things

I made myself a new avatar, out of an Outer Limits bubble gum card ZMrK gave me depicting "Human Insects" (a/k/a the original Zanti Misfits).

I also added an Amazon wishlist to my sidebar, because, even though we just spent some time trying to organize the library, I always need books.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I've upgraded to the new blogger. Let's see how this works out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What do you do with an Unfnished Object?

Finish it!!!!


I finished this on Sunday, after my revelation that it was a WIP that had very little work left on it.

I also have a Secret Pal. And I AM a Secret Pal to someone else. What fun!!!


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Two Hours

I spent two hours today on Flickr, uploading photos from a trip we took in July to Friendly Farm. Thankfully I had knitting to work on while I was uploading. I need to download Flickr's uploading software. Does it work really well? I have thousands of photos on my computer, waiting to be uploaded. When I get a chance, I sit down and do some.

I've also been uploading photos as I take them.

Here are some other photosets to enjoy while it is blustery and cold out:

Puerto Rico - February 2006

New England Aquarium - December 2005

American Museum of Natural History - January 2007

Lizards and Snakes Alive! exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History - January 2007

Mount Auburn Cemetary - October 2006

Nature photos from 2006 (various locations)

WIP Roundup

Is anything as sobering as pulling out all of your works in progress and taking pictures to be published for all to see?

What about doing the above and knowing that there are even more works in progress, stuffed in drawers and in the dark recesses of your parents' house?

Let's not talk about that.

Here they are.

The Knitting Version:


Clockwise from top left:

Rock Star Scarf (from Knitty), started approximately July 2005. I had purchased the novelty yarn at JoAnn's and was dying to use it. I had no idea what Koiju was at the time (ya know, I still have never used it), and went to one of my LYSs, Mind's Eye Yarns, to find something that would work. I left with the beautiful pink hand-dyed sock yarn. I don't think I'll ever finish this. I think I may frog it and make some socks. I don't know what to do with the novelty yarn (which is cool, if not super 80s looking).

Felted purse from Pursenalities book. I *swear* I blogged about this as an almost-finished object, but I can't find the post. I had initially planned on making this for my sister, Nancy, for her birthday or Christmas, but it's not really her style, so I said fugetaboutit. It just needs *buttons* sewn on and the flap-thingie attached. I'll probably use it as a small-project knitting bag. The handles felted a little too short for it to be used as a purse.

Pair of socks, with the beautiful yarn from Lucy's sock club's 1st installment. I was trying to knit a certain lace pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, but can't figure out how to do a YOP1 properly, and ended up with too few stitches on the needles. I also put it aside to make the next project, which is a little more timely.

Scarf for my dad. I started this on Monday, January 8th, and am making okay progress with it. I'm using Valley Farms yarn in Classic Navy, which I got from Webs, and knitting the basketweave stitch scarf pattern from Stitch n Bitch Nation.

Lace Camisole, from Vintage Knits. I started this around 4th of July, 2006. I'm about 3/4 done, I think, but it takes forever. Also, I heard that book is chock full of errors, so now I'm scared.

WIP, the Sewing Version:


On the left are some t-shirt recons that I started from some of my t-shirts from New Orleans. My book is on my co-worker's desk, plus I won't be wearing it anytime soon.

On the right is a vintage dress that I started late last summer. I'm totally going to eff up that vintage pattern the longer I keep it pinned to the fabric. It take me forever to sew garments because I can't really do it while sitting on my ass watching T.V. Plus there is always the paranoia of it not fitting well, after all that work, and if you eff up a sewing project, that's it. You can't frog it and make something else.

Okay, that's my WIP roundup. I'm ashamed.

On another totally different note, did you know eyelashes look freaky if you macro on them?


Spinning Me Softly

I spun a bit this week:



Spinning is a challenge. Since I've only been at it less than a week, I'll cut myself some slack and say that, the more I practice, the better I'll get.

A couple of the problems I'm facing: loosening my death grip on the fiber, pulling small enough bits out to spin without fuzziness, and avoiding overtwisting of the fiber.

When I started knitting in November 2004, I had a death grip on my needles and knit so tightly that I once got sock yarn knotted on a pair of Addis so tightly I couldn't even slide it off and had to cut the yarn and frog it (a year later). I dropped stitches, I increased without knowing it, and I was scared shitless of cabling. I think I'll get over my problems with spinning, with time, experience, and knowledge.

Should I Add "Fiber Artist" to my Resume??

Here are some pictures of a really cute needle felted birdie that I made last Monday:


I had purchased the Backyard Birds kit from Black Sheep Designs at the NH Sheep and Wool Fest during the super-soaker weekend in May. Everyone in New Hampshire should remember that one; it was also Mothers' Day weekend and the weather really sucked ass. But the NH Sheep and Wool Fest was spectacular, and I cannot wait for this year's!!!

So, it took me awhile to needle felt. I really like it. It's pretty fast (at least, compared to knitting and sewing), and I only stuck myself lightly with the super-sharp felting needles a couple of times. There are three more birds in the kit, and I'll probably have leftovers to do my own little projects (whatever those may be).

I also took some time out to manhandle the cats:


I'm such a loving mama.

Monday, January 15, 2007

oh, by the way

We're going to see a Japanese Film called Linda Linda Linda today. I had never heard the title song today (by an 80s band called the Blue Hearts), but after hearing it in the trailer (which can be seen at the link I posted), I might have to pick something up.

I <8 Japanese punk.

Birthdays, Spinning and Secret Pals

My niece Kara and my Dad both celebrate birthdays this week, so there was a celebration at my parents' house yesterday as Kara and her boyfriend Art were up from VA. I, of course, forgot my camera, but Karmellah had hers with her so she got some photos.

After Christmas, I got the idea to make my dad a scarf for his birthday. I picked out a nice basketweave pattern from Stitch n Bitch Nation and ordered some Valley Yarns superwash merino in navy from Webs. I was hoping to get the yarn really fast, as Webs has a reputation for shipping out things fast, but with the huge sale they had going on they just couldn't ship it out lickety-split, so I got it last Monday. I figure, hey, it's a scarf, how long can it take? Well, it turns out the Yarn Harlot was right about scarves. She doesn't think they are a good beginner's project because they take so damn long (which is why my first scarf is pretty short). The Yarn Harlot thinks hats are a much better beginner's project, and I agree. Why not tackle knitting in the round, ribbing, and decreases right off the bat? Then you can move on to socks, which teach you almost everything you need to know about knitting, right there. But I digress. . .

As of Saturday night, I had finished one ball of the yarn and about 15 inches of basketweave stitch:


If I were to start this over again, I'd go down a needle size to 7. The gauge isn't as tight as I would like. It looks nice, but it could probably be a little tighter. This yarn is pretty nice to work with; it doesn't split much and it is completely non-fuzzy. It's kind of like cotton, but without the finger aching stiffness of cotton. It's pretty soft, and would probably be a good yarn for cables.


I just don't really like how my seed stitch edging looks a little holey. I don't know if a smaller needle size would make a difference, or if it is just sloppy knitting on my part. Or maybe it's just a knitter's tendency to see every single mistake in his/her own work.

I took a spinning lesson yesterday from Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns! She's a great teacher, and showed me what I need to do, what I need to correct, and gave me good advice on spinning. I just have to remember that my treadle is NOT a drum pedal, and I shouldn't play it as such, I need to pull hard and remember to treadle as I'm pulling on the fiber, and, if suddenly it's not working like it was, take a break, because I'm probably getting fatigued. She also said to expect some swearing and maybe crying. So, it's not that much different from knitting.

I also decided to join the current rounds of Secret Pals on the Knittyboard. For three months, I will assume a secret identity and communicate with the person I am assigned to spoil. I will periodically send that person presents based upon his/her likes. I'll also have a person assigned to *me*, whose real identity I won't know, who will have conversations with me and will stalk my blog/board posts, and send *me* presents based on my likes and dislikes. So, do I post links to all the online shops whose yarn I like? So I declare my love of sock yarn? Do I drop major hints about spinning fiber? Do I talk about Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea, Stash Ginger Lemon Tea, Dove Dark Chocolate and Hello Kitty? :-D

I also need to share what may be the Cutest Picture in the World. ZMrK did NOT put Zelia in his arms like this; she snuggled in there all by herself. She does this to me sometimes, under the covers, and makes bread on my stomach.


Snuggly cats are the best.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Latest in Kitty Fashions!!!!

The hat for cats!!!!!


That's the beautiful thing about acrylic. . . if you knit it at a tighter gauge, it can stand by itself.

Zelia sat there for much longer than I expected her to. It's either a testament of her undying love for me, or of that fact that she's getting older.

Let's have a closer look, just because. . .


Also, today is a couple of other knitbloggers' and knittyboard junkies' birthdays. I won't name them because I'm not certain if they'd like to be outed as birthday girls, but happy birthday, if you are reading this.

In other news, I have a spinning lesson tomorrow. . .

Sunday, January 07, 2007

First FO of 2007!!!!

Here are my socks, my socks, my first finished object of 2007!!!!


Side view:


Yarn: Skeintily Clad colorway "The Greener Side" (she currently has some available in her Etsy shop)

Needles: Size 3 and 2 Clover bamboo

Plain and simple pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks

Started: December 28, 2006
Finished: January 6, 2007

This yarn feels awesome. It's so soft that it reminds me of Malabrigo, which means that I'm certain it's going to pill like a mofo.

I've also been referring to these as my "green anole socks", because the colorway is a few shades of green, with some white and the tiniest bit of blue thrown in, much like a green anole. Around the house, I've also called them "Borden socks" because ZMrK had a green anole named Borden (and one named Lizzy, but Lizzy didn't live very long). The minute I saw this yarn at the Bazaar Bizaree, I know I had to have it.

What would I do differently next time? I'd probably buy two skeins and make them over-the-knee socks! (I have plenty left over from the one 270-yard skein, which should come in handy if and when I need to make repairs).

Did you see the little yarn cake in between my feet?


I just wound up the yarn that was the first of Lucy's sock club at Mind's Eye Yarns. This particular colorway won't be available to the general public for a while, but she also has an Etsy shop.

I think I'm going to try something fancy with this yarn.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fuzzy Feet Got Sole!!!

I had made some fuzzy feet back in May, and they were still a smidge too big for me. I decided to refelt them when I felted the cat bed. I then realized that I had worn out the soles a little bit, so what's a girl to do?

How about taking a thrift store sweater you had felted many moons ago and using said sweater to resole these fuzzy feet?



Side view:


I admit it's not the best sewing job, and the soles are a little warped, but they are SLIPPERS and nobody will see them except those I let inside my home (and um, whoever is looking at this blog, I guess. . . ) I sewed it all on by hand, which took a couple of hours. I did the first one while sitting on the floor (ugh), but decided that I could be social while sewing in the second one, so I went into the knittyboard chat room so I could chat while sewing (*waves to anyone who was in chat while I was sticking myself with needles*). So, now they fit better, are a little bit cushier on the bottom, and are warmer to boot! Not a bad deal, eh?

Since I have already mentioned the cat bed, I guess I should post the picture of Zelia using it the way it was intended:


Pretty cute, huh? Those little friggin' white socks KILL me. They just kill me with their cuteness.

Remember Solvie's near-death experience? Well, I think she's feeling better:


and the best picture EVER:


Timing is everything, folks.

Let's get a little bit closer:


Cats are hilarious.

This is how her eyes look when she plays:


Seriously, I didn't doctor that photo except to crop it. She got all crazy-eyed on me.

Well, my Flickr account hit a brick wall. I reached my 200 photo "free" limit, so my oldest photos are hidden. I can either delete photos, or upload to a "pro" account for $24.95 a year and have unlimited capacity to upload (rather than the 100MB a month the free account gets). I'd also be able to organize my photos more, which will help. What do y'all think? Does anyone out there have a pro account, and do you think it's worth the money? I really do like Flickr.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Solvie Says. . .