YO! ZMK Knits!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things You Don't See Every Day

I think I can safely say that you don't see FOs on my blog every day, so here are a couple:

Bamboo Baby Sweater from One-Skein Wonders:


It's not in bamboo, however -- it's in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I don't know if I feel the love for this yarn. It's splitty as hell, bleeds like a stuck pig, and it's heavy! But, I still have 1.5 skeins left over after making Hopeful, and this, so ZMrK will probably get a new hat sometime soon.

Also, my basketweave rib socks are done!


Gratuitous Ken shot:


I think I'll have FO #3 for August done soon, but it's a wash cloth so that's probably cheating.

Here are a few other things you don't see every day.




(We went on a whale watch last Sunday -- the full set of photos is here.)

Flower Hat Jellies (at the New England Aquarium):


Spotted salamanders (at Ponkapoag Pond/Blue Hills Reservation):



Spotted salamanders are really cool, and not terribly common to find. They're also fairly large, as sallies go. And we found this one about 10 miles from our house!

Let's close out with some yarn pr0n:

Laceweight Malabrigo in "Lettuce":


The latest offering from Mind's Eye Yarn's sock club:


Gratuitous Ken shots:


Ken and me holding hands:


He does that -- he'll put his paw in or on my hand. So cute!

Hopefully I'll have a new FO at the end of the weekend!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vogue Knitting Query

So, the 25th Anniversary Issue of Vogue Knitting is out.

I looked at it in the bookstore, decided there are no patterns I want to make in it, and I won't be buying it.

However. . . something did catch my eye. On the fourth or fifth "cover" (you know how there are several pages of "covers" to it), there is a model wearing some grey/silver/black sweater/dress and these boots. Would someone be willing to part with that cover? I have a friend who manages the John Fluevog store in Boston, and he wasn't aware that the shoes were in there, and I'm sure they would LOVE to see it.

*I also didn't check to see if there was a credit given to Fluevog for the boots. I didn't see any fashion credits -- are they typically in there?*

Oooh, I have questions and comments to answer.

Momma Monkey was the one who sent me the cat pendant! Thank you again, Momma Monkey!

Jo asked what kind of bug was in my post last week. Even though ZMrK answered in a comment, I don't know if she read it, so I'll answer it. Jo, I believe that's a katydid. In late August, they often make a clicking sound from the trees on hot nights. At least I think it's them.

Shiarah asks:

Is that the bamboo that was for sale by the bag? I have a bunch of it, but couldn't get it to bloom up when I washed it. Did you use super-hot water, by chance? Special soap? Voodoo? Or does it just like you better? :P

Yes, I bought it from the DiscountYarn place. I didn't use hot water, and I used Wool-Lite on it and hand-washed it. No Voodoo necessary, at least none that I know of. :)

I'm lovin' all the Ken love. I'll have to post new pics whenever I get them, won't I?

Here's another:


Thank you, everyone, for the anniversary congrats. We have a lovely, romantic night filled with take-out Thai food, cookies, bubble baths and cuddling. Not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22, 2003, 6:00 p.m.

Happy Anniversary, ZMrK!


I love you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

One WIP down. . . to the frog pond

I think I have to frog this:


This is one of the "risks" I took, and I took it with the understanding that it may not work out. It's not working out.

Two things are going on here that I don't like. One, I seem to have lost count in the pattern a couple of times, and ended up with an extra stitch (or not enough stitches) at the end of the row. Not that I added or decreased a stitch -- I just lost myself in the pattern (for example, the purl rows are something like P11, P2tog, and I think sometimes I've P10 or P12 instead. . . ). I let it go, but once I found myself “letting it go” about five times, I realized, “okay, you don’t just ‘let’ your mistakes go hoping nobody will notice or that it will look like a ‘design element’. This is beyond this – this is being sloppy and lazy!”. I don't know if y'all would use a lifeline in something like this -- I know people use lifelines for lace shawls all the time, and I think I understand what they are -- you thread a contrasting piece of yarn or thread through the live stitches, so when/if you have to frog back, you don't lose everything, right? Because tinking back lace is a big PITA. I also think I could avoid this by putting in stitch markers after each pattern repeat, which will help me keep count. I have to do that when casting on -- I put a stitch marker in every 20 stitches, so I don't have to go back and recount everything to make sure I've cast on the 56, 64, 72, or however many stitches I am casting on.

The second thing I don't like is that this garment has no shaping. It's just a straight up and down shell. Okay, I knew that when I started out, after all, it is a sixties pattern, but I thought maybe the openness of the lace would make it acceptable and I could get a tank top or camisole that matches to wear under it. Now that I've thought of that, do you know that I have not seen a single tank top or camisole that is jade? Not even Chadwick's, which has camis in almost every color imaginable, is carrying them in jade. There are too many clothes out there on the racks that require one to buy even more clothes in order to wear them (has anyone else noticed that trend? Or am I just paranoid in thinking that the fashion industry has gotten way pushier as to what is needed to put together a “look”? Don’t even get me started on how some fashion companies obviously get their inspiration from Craftster.) But, I digress.

So, there lies my reasoning behind the frogging-to-be. I hate frogging, as it makes me feel like such a failure. I think that even the best designers have to frog their designs a few times before they are successful. They just don’t blog about it, leaving us to think they are perfect. Or that’s what I tell myself.

I don’t think I am 100% “done” with this pattern, as I really like the basic stitch pattern here. I’m thinking of trying something with a solid stockinette top with the stitch pattern on the bottom. I just have to figure out how to shape it. I know there is a pattern out there that is similar; I just have to remember which one it is and find it. So, it won’t be an “original design”, but will be “inspired” by other patterns. You know, like the 2006 release of “The Wicker Man” was “inspired” by the original film, changing enough stuff in the movie that they really should have just given it a completely different title and not dragged the original down with it. But I digress (again).

I got used to the yarn – at first I thought the bamboo felt a bit stiff and icky, but after washing and blocking my swatch, I see how awesome it can be. Everyone says it blooms and drapes wonderfully, and they are right.


I also finished my basket weave rib sock.


I started the second one, and am now two and a half repeats into the leg of it, but I won’t bore you with a photo of that because it will look a lot like this. No need to take the same picture twice, is there?


(Yes, that is the same picture twice -- first with flash, then without. Because I am obsessed with Ken.)

I also got an RAK in the mail today.


I have no idea who sent me this polymer cat pendant from Etsy, but I love it! Thank you! I think I'll wear it tomorrow.

I also want to share a few photos of a pond that is at the far side of the Blue Hills Reservation. It's a gorgeous, peaceful place, and we took a long walk on Sunday to get out of the house and cheer ourselves up with some nature.

Isn't is beautiful?






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Monday, August 13, 2007

Thank you

Thank you to everyone for your comments and kind thoughts. I've tried to respond individually where possible, but blogger comments usually don't have emails.

Yesterday afternoon we took a long walk by Ponkapoag Pond, in the Randolph/Canton segment of the Blue Hills. I have a few photos that I need to put up. It's a really beautiful, peaceful place, are we were able to get some much-needed physical exercise.

I also finished my sock last night and cast on for the second one.

I don't know what we would do right now without Ken. He and I just spent some time together. I started brushing him, and he crawled up on my lap and purred. I think he may be one of the "comforting" cats, like Zelia was.

I don't have much more to say. The comments here and on the knittyboard brought tears to my eyes. The only IRL person I've mentioned this to was my mom -- I just don't feel like having a two-way conversation with someone at work about this right now. After Zelia died, word got around the office and lots of people came over to offer their condolences. I appreciate it, and it was really nice, but every time it happened I would start crying again. I really want to wait until the rawness gets scabbed over a little before telling people.

An old friend just IMd me and I told him. So much for not telling people. Well, online is better than in person, right?


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Solvie 1999 - 2007


The lymphoma won.


Solvie had been doing poorly the past week. She lost even more weight, so was probably about 4 lbs. She was still eating lots, and was trying to jump up in her usual places, but hadn't the strength to do so.

I don't feel like saying much more. I want to remember her how she was before lymphoma -- sweet, silly little blorange kitty.





Saturday, August 11, 2007

More WIP photos

First off, thanks to everyone for commenting on my little venting of the spleen there. It should be noted that my post wasn't in relation to anyone or any event in particular. I've just been noticing a trend there, and want to not be part of the trend. There's just too much negativity, and too much "i'm going to vent about every little annoyance that happens to me today". It's just been feeling less happy and more spleeny, and I don't want anyone else's spleen juice on my knitting.

Now that that is out of the way, on to the knitting.

Monday night:


Saturday morning:


Progress has been a little slow, but, I have started the toe decreases! That's got to be worth something, right? I should be done pretty soon. Maybe tonight.

I think about knitting and talk about knitting more than I actually knit, you know. The same goes for spinning. Oh, I really have to get my spin better. But that will take time. Right now, I like spinning, but I hate plying, so I must learn how to ply better.

How about some cute cat pictures? Ken approves of the felted cat bed:


Ken and Solvie approve of each other:


Ken approves of yarn:


I need to be careful of my yarn.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Jumping the Snark

Okay, that may officially be the worst post title ever.

I think I have outgrown a certain board. This board is like a friend that I'm fond of and want to be loyal to, but whenever we talk it is all about her drama, and that drama sucks the lifeblood out of me.

I think y'all know what I'm talking about.

I'm not leaving, but I'm going to be rare, I think. I need to take care of myself, and not feed the drama llama.

(not to mention, the "other" board that I have recently joined, is so slow that I don't know how much time I can spend there. It's possible that the most you hear from me lately is on my blog.)

That is all.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

WIP-ing it out!

Today I am going to show you what is on my needles. . .

First up, is a pair of socks, with two different progress photos.

Photo 1, taken Friday at about 6:00 p.m.:


Photos 2 and 3, taken Saturday at about 4:00 p.m.:



The yarn is the KnitPicks Bare that I dyed a few weeks ago. Remember when I hinted that I was going to try to design something? Well, it's not going to happen with this yarn. I tried to incorporate a lace pattern from a stitch dictionary, but that stitch on this yarn just looked like deep fried ass on a stick. So I put it aside and thought about it. Then ZMrK got me the Magic Loop book, and I got some 32" circular needles, and I started looking at patterns again. I saw the Basketweave Rib pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks and said, "Ah, yes! That's it!". I think I was right. It looks awesome, if I do say so myself. I just finished the cuff and am about to start the heel flap -- this pattern has a "princess sole", which is knit side inside, purl side outside. It's* supposed to feel smoother on your sole. We'll see.

The other WIP is a lace project. This is certainly a risk, as it is a vintage pattern with bamboo. I'm not 100% certain it is going to work but I'm having fun doing it.


I do have another WIP from July 2006. It's* the lace camisole from Vintage Knits. I'm really close to being done but I fucked up the front and am afraid to pick it up again. I've also read comments about the FO being kind of boxy, and I don't really need that. I really should just finish it already. Or frog it. I may move towards finishing it, but if it makes me look like a lavendar barrel it's* going to get frogged. I think I could find another use for 8 skeins of Rowan Cotton.

You know what is fun? Cat mouths. Cats have hiliarous mouths. Look at this picture of Solvie and Ken, eating side by side:


Solvie looks like she's smiling, and I caught Ken mid-lick. Yes, that is a piece of food on his tongue, not his tooth. Kinda gross. There's also a crumb of food next to his dish. He finished his food, and when Solvie walked away without finishing hers, he went at it. This morning, he didn't finish his food (which was Gerber Baby Food Chicken and Rice -- hey, he wasn't eating for a few days, and we were trying different things), and Solvie finished it for him. They seem to be getting along pretty well.

Ken also likes yarn:


We have a wooden back scratcher, that has a ribbon loop at one end so it can be hung up. Zelia loved that ribbon more than any other toy. At one point, we attached a length of yarn to the ribbon, and Zelia didn't like it so much. But Ken loves it! He likes yarn a little more than I am comfortable with. He also likes the cords on circular needles. I need to find a way to discourage this, and swinging around a piece of yarn for him to play with is probably not the best thing to do.

But what was it I said about cats' mouths being hilarious?


I have to share something. . . the internet is killing my brain. I just had the hardest time with the possessives and plurals in that sentence! I originally wrote it as "cat's mouth's". I'm also having trouble with "loose/lose", which is another common mistake I see on the internet. I am at the point where, if someone writes "I don't want to lose my place", I have to look at it to make sure it is correct, because so many people write "I don't want to loose my place" that the incorrect word is almost becoming the standard. I feel that's happened with the misused apostrophe. So many people -- and not just people, but businesses, in their ads -- are misusing apostophes (or apostrophe's, as they use it), that it seems to be the standard now. I think I may have to take some basic grammar classes again, and take them from a strict teacher like the ones I had in school. I realized that I have also forgotten my proper penmanship. I know that doesn't matter as much, but I did LEARN how to properly write the letters of the alphabet, but I have been writing in my own style (a mixture of writing and printing) for so long, that I have FORGOTTEN how to properly make an H, for example. This is beginning to trouble me. Please tell me I am not alone.

*Here's an exmaple: did I use the apostrophe correctly here? You use it before the s if you are writing "It is", but you do NOT use it in the possesive form of "its", right? Example: "It's funny that the cat has food on its tongue". Is that correct? Argh! Am I overthinking this? Where are the grammar police when you really want them to come around?

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