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September 2004

Posts from August 2004

The right decision

anniversary1I've been working on my Entrelac coat again (aka the Anniversary coat because the yarn was my gift last year) and I'm getting excited about it. I can see myself at the park with the kids on a cool Autumn day, playing in the leaves in my fancy cozy sweater. And I'm re-establishing my love-affair with Kureyon after a summer apart.

It's a bit fiddly knitting entrelac because you're only working on nine stitches at a time, and every block is started by picking up nine stitches. Needless to say my picking up abiliities are improving, but with the back piece measuring 25 inches across and getting long, it's a lot to keep turning around. Aside from that entrelac is easy stuff--this one is in garter stitch so you're either purling every row or knitting it (I gather you purl some blocks so they sit nicely against the previous ones) and that's it. So if you're wanting to give it a try, I would say go for it. Using kureyon it would make for a nifty scarf.

I'm really supposed to be preparing for my defense right now and I can't seem to get into it. I met with my advisor today to go over how the process would work and even though I wasn't at all nervous before, I'm even finer with it all now.

I do have to speak about my thesis for about 20 minutes at the beginning, and rather than summarizing it (for five people who have presumably read it) I want to come up with something more interesting to talk about. I will do a "where does it go from here" part, but I still need some sort of hook. I suppose my brain is working on it because it's all I can think about, however I would like to get inspired so I can get to it. I'm also waiting for my appraisal from the external examiner (need to sign some paperwork first) which I'm told is excellent (hooray), so maybe that'll get me going.

I've also decided to enter the new century and set up some slides on Powerpoint to wow the crowd. Since I study magazines, it would be good to have some visuals for the committee to see and to illustrate the results I came up with. I'm new with technology more sophisticated than overhead films, but since I blog and all that, I should have no problem with this stuff--and besides it looks so cool and professional with magazine covers flashing across my computer. Of course, academic types prize substance over style so I won't get carried away or anything.


Behold, lovely pinky/orange Charlotte's Web the Third:


She's really pretty. I can't wait to give it to Mom. I went up a needle size for this one and it blocked out to the correct size. My blue one is a tad smaller.

I did have a ton of trouble with the fringe, because I ran out of yarn. I had most of the fringe attached, so I had to remove each one and take out a strand (instead of 6 strands each now has five). And I still didn't have enough. Luckily I had a teeny ball of something similar in the stash so I used that too. That whole thing just confirmed that even though I love the look of fringe, it's not something I like to actually do as finishing work. And, I ran out because I used a partial ball for the first colour--this pattern really takes 5 full balls with almost nothing left over. You've been warned!

I spent the weekend dusting off my Anniversary jacket (that noro entrelac coat below). It was fun getting back into the kureyon and the pattern. I do want to finish this one. I still really love the zig zag coat, but Kureyon in 80 isn't right for it in my mind. And, I've pretty much decided that the Butterfly sweater is on my to-do list (that's the bottom one from the last post). I do need to knit up some things from the stash first, like Klaralund which I'm dying to start.

I need to get to work now. Did you notice the defense count down? It's getting close and I have to prepare. I'm feeling good about the whole thing right now--mostly I just want to get it over with.


I got some lovely mail today. A copy of Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Book Two to make Klaralund. It is a very lovely book with gorgeous pictures. It made me want to visit Sweden someday. I also took a real shine to another pattern in the book. It's a stunning coat in Kureyon.


The thing is I'm already working on this stunning coat in Kureyon. Remember this one? I HAD to have it.


I went through a bunch of stuff to get it (finding the discontinued colour with Theresa's help, bartering for the book, only to not get it and lose a ball of silk yarn for the trouble, then somehow letting it lie in the knitting bag untouched--I started it almost a year ago). I thought for a moment of ripping it and making the new one instead. I might even swatch to see if I like it.

They both have their charms. And, since I have about half the body done, I should just stick with it. Doesn't mean a girl can't have two kureyon coats in her wardrobe does it?

Or maybe three, because this one from the new Jane Ellison book is also fab. Yikes I think I have a Kureyon fixation.


Good news on the Charlotte front. She's blocking. I just need to do the fringe (I hate fringing). I'll save you from the obligatory blocking shot, mostly because a pink/orange shawl on an orange/red rug is practically invisible. I'll post some finished shots of it this weekend before it goes with my brother to Mom's house.

This and that

sophie1I spent most of my knitting time to (finally) finish the rolling armholes on my Onde tank. In a fit of frustration I took a rather hot iron to this mostly acrylic blend and pressed the hell out of them. Surprisingly, that worked. The armholes laid flat and I was able to pick up and knit RSS armhole edges. I love the tank now. Of course we're having a heat wave after weeks of cool weather, so it's too hot to wear.

And thanks to everyone who provided help with my tipsy cone problems. The paper towel holder is working the best right now because it's a big, tall heavy cone (I like the short fat ones much better). Here is the first bit of the back--a lot of unexciting stockinette stitch.

I also joined the Klaralund-along list on Yahoo and I'm getting anxious to get my book and give the pattern a good read. I'm getting better at doing that, especially after the big mess up with the Danielle tank. I've also heard there are some problems with the pattern, but the knitalong is on top of it all so it should be a fun knit.

The tipsy cone

sophieI chose not to crochet the edging on Charlotte, mostly because after I do that I'll want to block it, which means I'll have to clean up the living room to uncover the rug that's big enough to take her. So, I started a new project. It's Sophie from the Twilleys Denim Freedom book (yes I know the picture lacks, ahem, detail but I'll save my rant about poor photography in knitting patterns for another post). It has seed stitch edges and a nifty little stitch pattern that creates a vertical stripe on the front pieces (which you could see if the photo was better).

I'm using the medium denim yarn on cones from Elann which appears to be an exact substitution. It's a bit splitty to work with, but the washed swatch is lovely, so I'm happy enough to work with it. Except for the cone. I can't get it to stand straight. It's a tall narrow one, but I think it was wound too near the top so there's only a small circle for it to sit on at the bottom. The damned thing keeps falling over.

I know, I know, I could wind the yarn into balls, but well, I'm too lazy to do it, and the appeal of yarn on cones is the fact that there are almost no ends to weave in. We'll see how it goes next time I knit with it. Maybe it had too many Coronas last night. Oh wait, maybe that was me. I only had one, really.

The longest row

charlotte_for_momI'm finished knitting Charlotte's Web 3. Those last few rows of 400ish stitches sure were rough. I ran out of yarn with about 30 stitches left to cast off (shit) but used another colour which isn't noticible. By the time I finished last night I didn't feel like getting to the crochet edge and the fringe and the blocking. Bleh. I celebrated by having some Coronas, sushi and a couple of episodes of Family Guy. It sure is pretty though, Mom's going to love it.

Silly Rules! (well sorta)


So I went with impulsiveness (and all your encouragement) and said yes to red sheepy shoes. I pressed that "buy it now" option on ebay and was ready to go. But, now it seems the seller doesn't actually have the shoes in his possession ready to ship. According to the seller: "They are very new and have not arrived at his store". Thankfully I haven't paid yet (as I was awaiting a shipping quote).

I go cruising his feedback. He's been "selling" these shoes for a couple of months and there's pieces of negative feedback about them (he sells so much that it's buried way back like 20 pages or so). So I wrote to a couple of the buyers and asked how things have resolved. Sounds like no one has received these shoes yet. Thanks god I didn't pay right away. I will pay when he has the shoes in stock, not before. I'll risk the negative feedback on ebay. But, sigh, no sheepy shoes for me for now. Sigh.

I did get started on my article writing. It's actually quite hard taking a chunk of a larger work and turning it into a shorter essay. Much of the set-up/context is lost and I have to re-establish the argument, the "so what?" part of the paper. I found that women's magazines do not explicitly define health for their readers, but within the articles particular definitions of health were developed that reinforce and reflect dominant social ideas about health and femininity. Wow! Wait! That's the so what. I sat in my chair all day trying to figure out the "thesis statement" and nothing. Now, I'm just free writing and bam! there it is. Maybe *sorta* buying those shoes released some pent up intellectual wisdom. Ya, whatever, I should get back to writing.

But, not before I show off my latest finished scarf. It's about 5ft long and made with 3 skeins of Noro Implession yarn. I'm really pleased with it. And it was good Olympic knitting. Now I only have 18 rows left on Charlotte 3, I would like to get that done this weekend so I can start something new.

Confession time

When I'm feeling down or tired or bored or unmotivated I like to shop. This makes working at home alone fully wired up a bad thing. I'm not addicted or anything because most of the time I don't buy, I just endlessly browse. I chalk it up to yearning--I want something--so I go looking for it. Usually it's not something material that I crave though, it's companionship, motivation, tranquility or something like that, but I seem to go looking for it in the consumable world.

Right now, I chalk up my cyber-browsing to my inability to get started on turning my thesis into some publishable articles. I know I need to do this but I just can't get going. I've also been sole-parenting it for most of the last month because Craig is working really really long hours, so I'm tired too.

Except for the ottoman, I haven't been buying. That's the problem with my yearning, I don't really know what will fill the void, so I don't buy. However, I do have money in my paypal account and so I'm narrowing down my options for a little treat for myself. I'm hoping that will end the browsing and move things along. Like many a girl-shopper when I want a pick-me-up I go for shoes. However, not being a Sex in the City type, I go with birks (I prize comfort when it comes to my feet). So here's what's in the running. Practical, taupe clogs:


Or totally silly red shoes:


Should I be practical or silly? Can I wait for the silly shoes to arrive from Germany (the taupe ones are in North America).

Am I a total flake or what? All this confessing might have done it though. I'm digging out my thesis and getting started. Now. Really. But I still want some new birks.

Orange Ottoman RIP

This is my orange ottoman:


You may notice that despite it's retro-70's funky appearance, it's a wee bit worn out. Yes, that's glue gun goo and duct tape holding it together. You're not seeing the little trail of stuffing straw that falls out of it or the cracks on its naugahyde surface. This ottoman was a fixture at my Auntie Charlie's house since sometime in the seventies and I inherited it last year. I have a thing for orange so it was offered to me. It wasn't really a sentimental piece for me, it just appealed to my sense of kitsch.

Since it's falling apart, I've been looking for a replacement. While not as funky or historical, my new denim blue ottoman serves a greater purpose than elevating my tired puppies while I knit. It took this mess--I've pretty much taken over this love seat for knitting--and gives it a home:


Now of course I have yarn stored in many places in the house, but these are current WIPs. Look Ma, no clutter (well not here anyway).


I picked this up at Linen and Things and it also comes in black and what I would term pylon orange (which wasn't right for my "decor"). It comes with castors, but I'm not going to use them, mostly because I don't want my kids pushing each other down the stairs.

The big question is: In a couple of months will I have an ottoman full of yarn which has also spread back onto the love seat?

And, will my orange ottoman be out with the garbage this Friday?

Hooray for socks!

dads_socksContinuing with my mindless knitting preoccupation of late, I've started some socks for my Dad. He's recovering from surgery (and doing well) and he definitely needs some new socks to help him along. I would knit him something bigger and more spectactular, but like most of the men in my life, he isn't a sweater guy (they're too hot apparently).

I decided to deviate from Wendy's fab toe-up socks and try something from Lucy Neatby's great book. These are timberline toes with a tubular cast on (my first). I made a teeny mistake with the cast-on (just one stitch) but I found a way to hide it and you'll never tell anyway, right? Now it's metres of knitting on dpns and I'm happy since there are Olympics to watch and I'm beat most nights anyway.

The yarn is Regia Spirit Colour (5729) and it is a mish-mash of jaquard and varigation and stripes. I think it's manly enough and kinda neat. And Dad is one of my biggest fans so I know he'll like it.