v. to knit or purl in a series...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My Weekend

The (not so, so I guess this means un-) abridged version.

The third best reason I have for moving to the East Coast is finding out about rice pilaf. Rice pilaf makes every one of Mike's family gatherings fantastic. I can always count on someone making pilaf, and they always leave some for me, because, as a vegetarian, what else am I going to eat? (If you say salad, I'll shove a carrot down your throat.)

I'm telling you about pilaf because that's where this story begins: with Thanksgiving. I had pilaf. Mike's brother M and SIL C brought the really good wine so I had both pilaf and really good wine. /Thanksgiving.

Next stop - a trip to shout out land. A big thank you shout out to Michelle, who actually responded to an SOS from me on Thanksgiving and is responsible for the non-wonky background image. Thank you, Michelle. I am so glad you're my blog-friend.

Moving on to Friday, here's what I did:

Which turned into this:

Bath time!

And then I added the clean yarn to this:

(Ignore the wood paneling, okay? Thanks.)

And ended up with this (with apologies to Keiko for not including her in the festivities, but she was in New Jersey and I needed instant gratification.):

Repeat 3 times and that takes care of Friday.

Mike and I ran some errands and did a little shopping on Saturday but it isn't terribly blogworthy, sorry.

Early Sunday morning Mike left for a business trip to Chicago and I did a bunch of stuff which resulted in this:

And finally, this:

Wendy and Keiko came over for dinner and we had a fabulous time. The lovely Jackie was conspicuously absent, so I won't talk too much about how much fun it was doing knit math with Wendy and listening to Keiko and Wendy discuss the merits of metric knitting patterns. No. I won't talk about those things. Or the fact that Wendy's Heart Scarf (from the Knitty Fall Surprise) was so beautiful that I had to buy some yarn tonight do start one of my own, though this yarn purchase may have *something* to do with needing some retail therapy, and the best therapy I could think of involved petting beautiful yarn. I also won't talk about learning how to do a three needle BO and getting the encouragement I needed to actually block and, ahem, finish, the Very, Very, Very, Bad, Bad, Sweater. Thanks again for coming over girls. It was a fine time.

I want to take a minute to thank everyone who responded to my Thanksgiving post. The thoughtful comments you left meant a great deal to me and reinforce the reasons why I am so thankful for all my blog-friends (and those blog friends who have become RL friends, and those RL friends who now have blogs, oh boy, am I thankful).

Now I only have one question for you: Is it Friday yet?

Happy Knitting all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I Like Lists, Too

1. Ha ha ha, you gals are very funny. No, the mystery WIP had nothing to do with baby items *gasp*: it was, predictably, Sophie 3:

2. Yes, that was my finished Freakin' Market Bag in the last photo. Would you like another?

I am seriously considering keeping this bag for myself.

3. The Christmas Knitting List, she is horrifying. I opened up my handy Christmas Knitting List spreadsheet (my Snow Goose Girlies aren't the only ones who have Fun With Spreadsheets), had a little moment, took a little moment, and let the list go. Okay, I'm lying. I didn't let the list go. I revised the list. I made it more, ahem, realistic. I decided that I probably wouldn't be able to knit two afghans that would need to be shipped to other coasts in time for Christmas. So this seemed the logical time to knit something for myself:

This skein of Rowan Kidsilk Haze practically begged to live at my house. It didn't feel it was getting the attention it deserved at the yarn shop. It felt it would only get the proper reverence at my house. I agreed.

4. Last week I dripped jelly on my keyboard at work. I am 30 years old and my keyboard is sticky with jelly. When I try to use the right arrow key, bad sticky jelly things happen.

5. The girls (see link above to the Snow Goose Girlies) are coming over for dinner on Monday night. That's just so freakin' cool I can hardly stand it.

6. Today I got to reveal my identity to the lovely lady I've been spoiling through the Knitter's Review Secret Pal program. Gracie, it's been a pleasure to pick out little gifties for you, and I hope you've had half as much fun as I have. You should check out Gracie's blog as she made a gorgeous stocking for her husband.

7. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and although it has been a difficult year for me and many of those I love, I still know that I have much to be thankful for. I could focus on the negative but it wouldn't change anything and it wouldn't get me anything. This year, I choose happiness because I am immensely grateful for the life I live and the opportunities I have. I have my health, a wonderful boyfriend, a stable job with an organization I am proud to work for, a family that, while dysfunctional, still loves each other and still knows how to be there for each other for the important things, friends that have taught me what friendship means through their stellar examples and unconditional love, a hobby that has introduced me, literally to amazing, intelligent women and virtually to other amazing, intelligent women. I feel blessed.

8. I am humbled, every day, by the small kindnesses I see happening around me.

9. I believe that happiness is a choice, and often it must be learned. Do we teach our children how to be happy, or do we teach them that they are owed happiness? The difference, as I see it, is that the former acknowledges that we must attain happiness for ourselves while the latter implies that others are responsible for making us happy. Perhaps if we felt we were owed less and responsible for more we would be more thankful for and content with what we have now.

I wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving. I think we've all earned it.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Yesterday Was...


Let me show you:

Jackie of The JKC Project and Wendy of The Bookish Girl at Snow Goose Yarns in E. Milton, Ma.

Keiko, in front of the Colinette/Noro wall, fondling some blue (surprising, no?) yarn

The four of us, examining some lovely scarves and ever-so-slowly inching towards the drawers filled with Rowan's Kidsilk Haze

This is what I brought home with me:

Which turned into this when spread out on my dining room table:

I have almost too much to say about yesterday morning and afternoon. I picked up Jackie from the train station yesterday morning at 10:15 and we went to A Lighter Fare in E. Milton. We had just gotten our coffee when Wendy arrived and Keiko arrived just a few minutes later. You might expect that a group of people who have either never met each other, or have only met once might experience some awkward pauses, but you know what? It never happened. We chatted all morning and afternoon as if we had known each other for years. All three women are smart, funny, and lovely and I was glad to be in their company.

After we had brunch (I LOVE brunch) we went across the hall to Snow Goose Yarns and I think we may all have gone a little crazy. It was great to be in a yarn shop with people who completely understood why I walked around the store cradling a skein of Noro Kochoron like a kitten, petting it and rubbing it against my neck.

Once the yarn frenzy was complete, we walked across the street to a Bruegger's Bagels, got some beverages and noshables and set to knitting. Two more hours passed in a blink of an eye and at 3:20pm we had to go our separate ways because Jackie was expected at Real Thanksgiving at 4:00pm.

The four of us spent five hours together and it felt like a minute. I can't wait to do it again.

When I got home yesterday, I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell Mike about the amazing time I had had. I burst in the door, and found a package from my SPIII Secret Pal waiting for me. Can you believe it? I spend a fabulous morning with three terrifically interesting people and I come home to presents?

That's three pieces of beautiful silk that my Secret Pal thought would be perfect for lining knit bags (I think she's spot on about that) and a bag of Dove chocolates. Um, why yes, the bag is open...I have no idea how that happened. Ahem.

Here's a close up of one of the pieces of fabric:


Last night Mike and I went on a date to see The Incredibles. I don't go to movies often because I get pretty cranky, but nothing was going to spoil either the movie or my date. Not the kids behind me who were definitely NOT using their indoor voices, or the teenage girls in front of me who kept answering their cell phones and walking in and out of the theatre. Nope. None of that bothered me. I was on a brunch eating, yarn shopping, new friend making, stash enhancing, present receiving, date having high, and NOTHING was going to ruin it.

And nothing did. It was a perfect day.

In the midst of all the love, I got a few knitty things accomplished:

Freakin' Market Bag blocking

Sophie 2 finished, but not yet felted

My next project - any guesses? :)

Today Mike and I are going up to New Hampshire to have an early Thanksgiving dinner with Mike's dad and step-mom, Mike's brother and sister and their spouses and kids. That's a good two hours of car knitting time to look forward to, so I should be picking up stitches on my newest project by the time we get home. Do you know what the project is yet*?

*Edited to add: No Jennifer, it's not a sock. Thanks for the guess!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Oh, It's Friday Already?

Or, It's About Freakin' Time

It hasn't been a bad week here at Tongue Tied Muse, really. In fact, aside from Mike having the nastiness this week, it's been a pretty good week. But you see I'm like a little kid and when I have something exciting to look forward to - I can be a *little* impatient. Shut up. I said little and I meant it. Why am I impatient? Well, because tomorrow I get to do something excellent: I'm meeting Jackie of The JKC Project for the first time in RL, and we're then meeting up with Her Bookishness and Keiko for brunch (get this, at a restaurant across the hall from a yarn shop) and then shopping at said yarn shop, and then a Kitchener Stitch demonstration by moi and hopefully a cable demonstration by Wendy, and then some knitting and, I'm certain, lots of great conversation. You understand now why I'm a little impatient?

Okay, first things second. I got a terrific gift from my KRII Secret Pal. I still haven't figured out how she got all the yarn she sent me into such a small box (I think maybe she's magic) but who boy, what a generous secret pal:

That's 3 balls of a gorgeous Himalayan recycled silk, one skein of Berocco Zen in a gorgeous white, a skein of yarn that *she recycled herself* from a silk thrift store sweater score, also white, also gorgeous, and then a skein of the most fascinating ribbon yarn by Gedifra called Clou. Also in the box (not pictured, sorry) was a copy of Annie Modesitt's "Confessions of a Knitting Heretic". Thank you Secret Pal, you really blew me away - it was a gorgeous little package full of lovely things.

I've got two FOs for this week, but um, I only took a picture of one because I completely forgot about the other until just now. I'll post a picture of the second FO later this weekend, but for now I give you:

Harlot Poncho for my Aunt. No, there will be no fringe. She is not a fringe kind of gal. The specs - the Harlot's poncho pattern, plus 5 skeins of Mission Falls 1824 wool in 027 Macaw. I really loved that stuff and can't wait to use it for something else. This picture was a real pain in the ass to take, and I still don't think I came close to capturing the depth and richness of the green, so maybe I'll take an action shot ala Froggy later and see if that helps. If nothing else, it'll be more interesting than a picture of my green poncho/brown towel/green carpet, no?

I also cast on for another Sophie bag. No, I don't have a problem. I can stop making felted bags any time. Just back off.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Stupid Blogger Ate My Post

Now, I'm not going to lie and say it was a brilliant post, because it wasn't, but it was a good post. It was full of "I'm feeling much, much better" energy and excitement. You never know how much you take feeling fine for granted until you get knocked on your a** for a week, y'know?

The gist of yesterday's post, was something like "Looky what I did!" and it included tales of clean laundry, full frigerators, sparkling (okay, that's probably a stretch) bathrooms, and these:

Booga 2 blocking. I felted this for a few minutes longer than my first Booga, so it is a little shorter and in dire need of a shave.

Sophie blocking. You may notice that Sophie is filled with notecards, yes, well, that's because I didn't have any other appropriately sized blocking materials for Sophie. I looked at her this morning, though, and she's no worse for the experience.

My Freakin' Market Bag, pre-washing machine love. You know this bag made me nuts, right? Yeah, well, thank goodness for the Kitchener stitch. I don't know why I like that stitch so much, but who boy, it's loads of fun. Once I got to the Kitchener stitch part of the program, I was in love with FMB again. Good times.

I wanted to share one more photo of the winter wonderland outside my house, so here you go:

It's lovely, but it's cold!

Happy Monday everyone, and happy knitting!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Baby, It's Cold Outside

View from my front porch

It is quite lovely, really.

What a wonderful weekend for hot chocolate (creme de menthe, anyone?) and snuggling with your sweetie.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Recovery Through Retail Therapy

Oh, did I mention that I received two lovely packages this week? Or that I did a *little* shopping? Hmm, I'm really surprised I forgot to tell you about that.

Do you remember that I won a certain contest hosted by the fabulous Amy Boogie? Well, when I arrived at work yesterday, my yarn and sheepy mug were waiting for me, along with a lovely little note from Ms. Boogie herself.

The picture below shows you both yarn (I could never describe how gorgeous this yarn is, but trust me, it's amazing, fabulous stuff) and mug (my own sheepy mug, I am the coolest girl in my house). Sharing the picture are my other purchases, the new Interweave Knits and "Stitch 'N Bitch Nation" - an under the weather girl requires ample reading material, no?

Doesn't that yarn remind you of summer?

Okay, it's a staged photo, but in real life, I carry that skein of yarn around, and in one day I've used my sheepy mug for two cups of coffee and two mugs of tea (interesting how a mug becomes a cup becomes a mug again, hmm?).

My other package was my spinning kit from Inspiration Yarns. This was my first online fiber purchase, and it was a great experience. In addition to offering this lovely beginner's spinning kit for a great price, she's got beautiful yarns in lovely colorways. If you'd like to support an independent businesswoman, or if you just want great customer service and great products, then you should really check her out.

I want to thank you for the comments to the FMB Upset. Ann suggested a new name for the French Market Bag - the Friggin' Market Bag. I LMAO when I read that and immediately rechristened the bag. Ann also wondered exactly how many stitches you have to have on the needles before it's officially frogging, LOL. Of course, now that I have The Yarn from Amy, I want to punish the FMB by ignoring it completely and making myself a rockin' pair of mittens or a hat or both.

And even though my lovely commenters hadn't been humiliated by their knitting, they were supportive and said that it could happen.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Cast On, Frog, Cast On Again, Hide Yarn, Blame Beer

Or, Fun With the French Market Bag

I have been in love with the French Market Bag for months now, but felt that I needed to get a few techniques under my needles before I tried it. I took stock a few weeks ago and realized I was comfy with the techniques needed: Knitting in the round? Check. Knitting on DPNs? Check. M1? Check. Kitchener Stitch? Check. Feeling quite confident, I purchased the yarn, Brown Sheep Co.'s Nature Spun in Victorian Rose, and Lamb's Pride Worsted in Deep Charcoal. You read that last sentence, right? Quite confident? Um, yes, well...

When I went to California two weeks ago, I took the FMB pattern and yarn with me, and while I was there, I bought a set (my first) of Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs. I felt pretty good (read smug) about this purchase and planned to start working on the FMB on the plane ride home to Boston.

I spent a couple of hours at SFO before my plane boarded, and I had two beers while I waited.

Once on board the plane, I pulled out my Crystal Palace DPNs, the pattern, the gorgeous pink yarn, and got ready to astound everyone on board the plane with both my style and mad knitting skills. Did I mention I had had two beers?

Two beers = Marked increase in knitting hubris.

I CO 8 stitches onto 1 DPN and then divided them onto 4 needles. Then I couldn't figure out where to start, or how to hold the needles. I understood why people hate DPNs. Those Crystal Palace needles are the slipperiest stupid things ever.

I frogged the whole thing. Um, yeah, that's right. All 8 stitches. But I tried again. I CO 8 stitches, divided, and then 2 needles slipped out and one of the flight attendants had to help me find a needle that had fallen onto the floor. I was starting to get a little embarrassed. And I was starting to doubt myself.

Let's just say that I frogged again, CO again, and then finally stuffed everything into my bag when I realized that the yarn was starting to fray and I was getting a little red in the face. I vowed not to talk about the FMB again.

Fast forward to last Sunday. I decide to give the FMB another go. In fact, I become convinced that it was a combination of beer, bad lighting, and small turbulent airplanes that caused my FMB upset. I pulled out the yarn, the needles, and got set to try again.

And had the exact same results: CO. Frog. CO. Frog. Get mad. Slap forehead. CO. Swear. Frog. Get red in the face. Shove everything in red plastic tote.

Then I start to think (yes, I said start). I realize that these Crystal Palace needles are pretty to look at, but way too slippery for me or this yarn or both. I need to let go of those needles. So, I start thinking about knitting the bottom of the bag in the same way that the bottom of the Booga and Sophie bags are knit. CO x stitches, knit y rows, pick up z stitches around the perimeter, begin knitting in the round. This is the point where I start to get really scared because figuring this out means doing knit math, and, well, jeez, wouldn't you be getting scared, too? No, Wendy, you don't count. I know you wouldn't be scared. I know you'd enjoy it.

The next logical step? Go back to the pattern, and start the knit math. Get a little pencil, make little notations on it, pretend you can figure it out. Put off doing all that by looking through the pattern one more time. And see, very clearly, that the instructions for the alternate knit the bag base flat version is on page 3 of the pattern. Next next step? Giggle maniacally, slap self, wish for beer, get circular needles, work on the following for three days, take picture and post this:

My (probably) 8th attempt at the FMB

The knit flat instructions were exactly what I was contemplating. CO 50 stitches, St st until piece is 12.5", pick up 50 stitches along each side, and there you go.

I will love this bag very, very much.

I've been home sick all week, and today I really started to get stir crazy. This means I am on the mend, and it also means that I started to feel guilty about not doing anything. So I made these:

Stitch markers!

The carpet in my spare bedroom where I took this picture is not really that strange blue color, I swear.

Well, my knitterly friends, I hope your week is going well. I am going to try and clean something and make dinner before Mike gets home. Stir crazy, I tell ya.

Monday, November 08, 2004

For Keiko

Keiko - these are just for you:

My dear friend Keiko reads my blog, but never comments. Today she commented for the first time and very kindly asked me to use a better photo of her than the one I linked to in the post below. As I like to keep my friends happy, I'm posting two photos from her wedding this past Spring. She was a gorgeous bride, and she's a beautiful person.

Daytime TV Is Strange

Or, yes, I am home sick today.

By yesterday, I was unable to deny that I had "something", so I stayed in my pajamas, knit and watched football all day. How, you ask, is that any different from any other Sunday is Pajama Day? In truth, it wasn't very different, except there was no beer involved, quite a lot of tissue, and lots of general ooginess.

Although I didn't have the cognitive powers to blog yesterday, I was a productive member of the knitting society.

Please say hello to Sophie (pre-felted, as I didn't have the energy to run up and down the stairs to our washing machine, either):

I found the Sophie pattern quite easy to follow and used the Kitchener stitch for the first time. I used the skein of Cascade 220 that my SP III Secret Pal sent me (thanks again, Secret Pal!).

And the little guy peaking out above Sophie? Well, that's the teddy bear finger puppet I mentioned on Thursday. Here he is again:
It isn't the best embroidery you'll ever see, but I think he's pretty cute.

I did go to the Circles Anniversary Potluck on Saturday, and it was great fun. When I arrived, my friends Keiko and Nao were there, and then a little later, Wendy, The Bookish Girl, arrived. This was the first time I had actually "met" Wendy, and she was just as charming and witty in person as you would expect*, and I was thrilled to meet her. I had to leave rather early, but I thoroughly enjoyed knitting and chatting with Wendy and the other women who were at the potluck. I can't wait until Circles turns two!

In addition to finishing Sophie and the Mr. Finger Puppet, I finished the I-cord for Booga 2, wove in the ends of the green drop-stitch scarf, and cast on for my French Market Bag. My list of Christmas gifts to knit is slowly getting shorter...

Okay, lovely folks, I am running out of steam, so I am going to sign off and go a-searching for something to watch on TV, although I may just end up watching one of my standard sick-girl favorites: Foul Play, The Fifth Element, The Big Lebowski, or Fight Club.

Do you have movies you like to watch when you are sick?

Have a great week, all, and happy knitting!

*And her real head is even cuter than the Curious George head in her blogger profile pic. ;)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Catching Up

I didn't post on Tuesday because as I started to see the election results trickle in, the hopefulness I had that Kerry would be elected was extinguished, and I knew that whatever I said wouldn't be thoughtful, it would just be bitter.

I didn't post yesterday because I didn't really know what to say.

Today I will just say this: I am very thankful for the 22nd Amendment.

I've done some fidgety knitting over the past few days. I made a teddy bear finger puppet (I'll post a pic once I get some black embroidery thread and finish the nose and mouth) and this morning I cast on for a Sophie bag. As I have always been a firm believer in the power of retail therapy, I went both Tuesday and today to A Good Yarn in Brookline Village and bought various DK weight yarns to make more finger puppets, plus a skein of Cascade 220 in a beautiful deep blue (psst Amie, no green!) to make a second Sophie bag.

Speaking of retail therapy - do you want to see what I bought today? See if you can resist.

There is some good election news: I won the grand prize in The Boogie Knits election! I get one of Amy's beautiful sheepy mugs *giggles* and Amy gave me a choice between some of her gorgeous handspun or her beautiful roving...I chose her handspun, because I am afraid I'd never do the roving justice. I'm already looking around my house trying to find the perfect place to put the handspun when it assured, it will be a place of honor. :) Amy's contest was brilliant, and I loved every single minute of it.

I must tell you that I am quite excited for the weekend. On Saturday, I am going with my friends Keiko and Nao to the one year anniversary celebration of Circles, one of my favorite LYS, and with any luck, I'll get to meet The Bookish Girl. How cool is that?

Okay - one more thing. If you read no other post-election blog entry, I'd ask that you read this one. I'm waiting for the America Show, too.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The WIPing Couch

At some point yesterday, I looked at the loveseat in my living room, and realized that it ha become home to all my WIPs. I don't know when I gave up on putting each WIP in its own little bag, but my organizing muscles have obviously atrophied.

See what I mean?

What you see is a drop stitch scarf I finished during The Spanking, a rose colored hat I CO today, a skein of fluffy green loveliness sent to me by my SPIII Secret Pal, a skein of cashmere blend yarn that will become a scarf for Mike (to replace the one he lost in Colorado last week), the remnants of the yarn for the drop stitch scarf, a skein of sock yarn (fyi - do not CO for your first sock, especially a child's size sock, when you've been enjoying Old Speckled Hen with your football games, it can only end in tragedy), and my aunt's Harlot poncho, for which I have run out of yarn. Sigh.

Maybe I should call it The Shame Couch.

I am really itching to begin work on some more difficult projects, but right now I am in serious Christmas gift knitting mode. This means that I have too many people to knit for and not enough time to make sweaters for me. So, there will be Booga Bags, hats, mittens, scarves, and maybe a French Market Bag or two, but no sweaters until after the new year.

I should show you the FO pic now so you will know that I do actually finish projects:

I apologize for the glare, and the yarn is really much greener than the picture shows. I am a fan of the drop stitch pattern.

Thank you for your wonderful comments about my G'pa story and my new hairdo. I've had a lot of G'pa stories on my mind lately, and I hope to share one with you now and then.

Have you read some of the great Halloween stories chronicled by our fellow knitbloggers? Here are a few of my favorite:

Amie, of RosebyAny, didn't get trick-or-treaters, but did confront her stash,

The Bookish Girl had a smashing Halloween/Housewarming party,

Amy, of The Boogie Knits, made two fabulous costumes,

but the scariest entry of all: Kay's entry on Mason-Dixon Knitting. I was sweating the whole time I read it.

I hope your Halloween was fun, and Happy November!

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