February 2006 Archives

Almost Finished

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I never really understood the concept of finished until I took up knitting. I thought I knew what finished meant, being a reasonably intelligent person. Goodness gracious, I handed in plenty of "deliverables" in homework and project form which I called finished and done. As a knitter, finished takes on the full meaning originated in the Latin 'finis', meaning end. Finished - a fully completed garmet which can be worn requires seaming, blocking, and perhaps adding on some buttons or a zipper. Done is merely the past participle of do- meaning you've started it but it may not be at the end. Perhaps artists understand finished better than students do- As evidenced on Project Runway when the judges comment on how a dress can be worn, but that doesn't mean it is finished. I handed in homework and projects because they were due, even programmed to the requirements, but that doesn't mean I finished. They were merely done.

"Olympic Update" of the Cat Bordhi Cashmere Mobius


Yes, even though I've completed every row and seamed in the ends, I haven't blocked, hence I am not 100% done. Not yet finished. See?


It needs some blocking. The good news is that I'm in the home stretch.


Charlene is an old high-school friend and the one I blame for pulling me into the yarn scene. Yes, she's the one who took me into the modern yarn store and I still have that ball of fuzzy-I-know-better-now-but-so-soft yarn which resides in my stash. It lives in a container by itself, nestled among all her later cousins who usually reside in ziplock bags or are callously shoved in the yarn stash box(es).

Char's Christmas gifts theme this year included felted handbags and darn if she didn't find the perfect color and handle for mine:


(Plymouth Outback Wool which does a really cool stripeyziggy effect. And Char, what were those handles?)

She included a really cute trinket for Valentine's


and a little fleece sheep. A Blue fleece sheep of my very own- Thanks!


Bookcase Ladder


Yeah yeah, I know I said I'd MacGyver stuff and all I've really done this week is buy stuff. I ran by the other LYS today and bought a swift because I didn't see one I wanted at Stitches. Hey, if all the booths sell the same metal swift, I reserve the right to buy it from my local shop and utilize a $10 discount coupon. Also, I refuse to MacGyver my tea. My concession is getting it from Peet's so I get a free cup of Jasmine Downy Pearls with a tin of tea. No tea dust for freecia, please.

However, I saw this ladder bookcase on Make Magazine's Blog and thought it was brilliant!

Now me, I'm more of a stainless steel girl but time and again, I've seen some pretty nice bookcases made of stepstools and ladders. Throw some slices of plexiglass between two ladders and you have yourself a different style of bookcase.

Make's blog also has a lime-y new layout. Very yum! Loving the bigger pictures, too. Thanks pt and nat.zee!

Fortitude. Must RESIST

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You'd think after yarnpalooza at Stitches West that I'd be overdosed on yarn for another few days. With great fortitude, I only purchased a Skein of Socks That Rock (Only 1!), a bit of something I thought was too soft to pass up for Felicia (Go check out her gorgeous photos. I'll wait), and some Tess's. Well, one skein of the Tess's was for me, there was a small mountain of Tess's for the store1

And now, on to the reason I actually wanted to post.

Colorway yarn is trying to suck the quarters out of my piggy bank. They're sneaking in at night and taking my lucky money. Soon, they'll have a direct deposit hookup to my bank account or my credit card burned into their memory. They now take Special Orders for Handmaiden and Fleece Artist yarns (I know, how tragic). Three easy steps to happy stash enhancement.
1. Select a Colorway (with easy to compare thumbnails!)
2. Select a yarn (Like, oh say, Handmaiden Cashmere 4-ply
(100% cashmere, 170m/50g skein) for $32.95)
3. How many Skeins - Whoooooooaaaa, you could potentially get like 5 skeins of handpaint from the SAME dyelot.

= Yarn shipped to your door in 4-6 weeks

The part you're waiting for- Go. Drool. Buy. Stalk the Mailman/woman- The URL

If you need any incentive to buy a possibly unknown yarn to you- go:
- Yarn Harlot archives
- Fleece Artist
- Hand Maiden
- Canada. It is darn hard to see this in person while in the 'States. Should you have a stateside LYS that carries this and Socks that Rock, shoot me an e-mail and I'll go see if there are any airfare sales to that part of the country. Hello, remember my previous trips? Freecia will Travel and buy Yarn.

The voice of experience- Fleece Artist and Handmaiden already in my stash. I still have some of the sock yarn left over, too. Maybe some sockettes for me?

Grumperina may have a secret custom dyer but this is the next best thing.

1 If you didn't get to see the Windowpane Top in person, we might be doing it for the store, so let us know if you like the pattern.

In a tv binge last night, mostly fueled by Project Runway1 and Windsor Castle:A Royal Year2, I made some pretty decent progress in preparation for a weekend of neglect. Oh yes, I'm planning... for my procrastination. I know good athletes gain the lead and keep it, but this athlete has a bunch of work and Stitches West3 coming up. Combine that with a family visit and other items which should go out the door to their intended recipients, I prepped for my multitasking:


1 Santino drives me batty. I firmly believe that you can be talented but should also strive to be easy to work with.

2 Worth tivo or netflixing if you like to see what royal standards are.

3 I took a peek at the Socks that Rock and the other fabulous yarns they have. Please save some purple and rainbow-ish colors for me! Then come by the Full Thread Ahead booth for the Knitter's Review Bulletin Board and say hi to the asian girl - me!

On my way to Stitches Set Up

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I'm about to run out the door to Santa Clara Convention Center. This is my first time on the other side of Stitches West (the crazy yarn convention) and I'm looking forward to some mayhem :)

To give you my Olympic Progress, and because I'm a geek with Excel and Snag-It (awesome screen capture software), here's a bar graph. Hah, and you thought scientist Melissa didn't impart her chart love?


A bit more than 1/3 of the games over and I'm 1/3 done. Yay! I did change the yarn after opening ceremonies because I wasn't happy with how my alpaca was knitting up. I changed to Rowan Calmer and did a few rows, then decided I wanted to use smaller needles to cast on. Right now, I'm pretty happy with the project even though I didn't get to use the Alpaca I purchased from the same San Juan island Cat Bordhi lives on.

K, gotta jet to go stack boxes.

Ouch that's Cute

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My Own Space: Piripicchio Clothes Shaver

Isn't it just. It is a shame that it is so expensive! There's some mighty cute bags at this site, too. Plus, I've made a mid February resolution to get all MacGuyver and repurpose stuff I already have, since I decided that I really do have plenty of "stuff". The notable exception - I'm going to buy a swift. Winding yarn on the ball winder by yourself is much easier with a swift. There are times when an item performs it's intended functionality so well that you must give it kudos and there are times when my capitalistic hedonism buys into wily ad+marketing. Today, It (wily wily) purchased a $2 Lucky Mag and stuck stickers all over the pages. I will be saving it for lotion advice, outfit considerations, and the section of pages about awesome shopping in Tokyo. The Tokyo shopping spread was worth the $2 ;)

Handy Tripod

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There's a flexible pocket tripod and there's it must do yoga tripod.


This looks like a great little tool and the right size to match ultracompacts (I think the cam shown is a Canon SD-400, about same size as SD-550) and at 45g, it is lighter than most balls of yarn.

If you're thinking that I would like one of these for my birthday, then you'd be thinking the right thing :)

Out of my Ever Lovin Mind

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If you hadn't heard by now, there's the Knitting Olympics knitalong - a Challenging project which must be started on the first day of the Olympics and must be finished (and blocked) by the last day of the Olympics.

Me, well, I just figured with working Stitches West, School work, and hunting for work work, I'd be out of my mind to join 'cause whatever I do when I'm not sleeping or knitting seems to take up a lot of time.

Yet, today, as I made some vacations plans to take place after my last quarter of grad school (Software Engineering M.S. in 1.5 years, thankyouverymuch) I figured out that my winter is not quite over. In fact, despite a pair of half finished mittens, one vest (in progress) , and one sweater (no pattern for stashed yarn yet) all for other people, I could really use something nice for myself. So, today I joined the olympics. And of course, just like many others who joined, wondered if I was out of my ever lovin' mind. I was torn between wanting to tackle a challenge and actually being "life-efficient" by not adding a lower priority item. The lure of improving my skills and some Olympic March playing through my head tipped the scales.

My event wil be Cat Bordhi's Cashmere Moebius Cowl and even though I'm eyeing some stash, I still need to pick up one of Cat's Treasury of Knitting books and a 40" #10 needle. Finding a 40"-47" #10 needle without mailordering (event starts Friday!) will by a national qualifying event by itself. And while you may think a tiny cowl is not a challenge, well, the Harlot thinks it is

Clearly, I belong on this team :

Yeah, there was brief entertainment of a hat, maybe Odessa or Shedir [PDF], or possibly even a baby fair isle sweater (That'd be Team Reservation for 1 at the Looney Bin). In the end, I figured Olympians know their limits and train to surpass them in crunch times but don't count on the impossible to happen. With my schedule (my life may be boring, but it is busy) I think this challenge is just that. Not enough to drive me to enhancing drugs or too much lost sleep.

Still Geeky

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Cheryl, Davis, David, and I had dinner and checked out David's sweet new condo. He asked me if I was totally about the yarn these days and not the gadgets. Oh no Davy, I'm still much the geek, I just spend a lot of money on gadgets for knitting instead of high tech because *she whispers* I haven't seen anything that I really really want lately. Yes, there's the pretty new Apple Intel laptop, but I'd rather have a new Nikon D70 or Canon SD550 except I'm unhappy with the low light pictures the Canon takes and not so happy about the weight of the D70.

So, in lieu of actual gadgetry bling, I give you the coming 'round of Instant Message Bots:

MAKE: Blog: Make your own IMbot (like MAKEbot!)

I could definitely go for a customized one which did yarn calculations, showed me airfares, acted like a timer, and left messages for aim friends (notify them when they log on).

Focus on the Socks

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Please focus on the socks instead of my dry white skin. I'm wearing them over my Sunset over Water socks to help the socks fit a bit better. Oh why would I need to pad my feet? Well, these socks just walked out the door on my Dad's feet. Now everyone has a pair of wool socks except for my dog.

Fleece Artist Socks

The yarn and pattern come together in a Fleece Artist Kit and the only alteration I really made was the ribbing. See, my Dad doesn't really understand hand knit sock ease and rather than have him be astounded by a big fat sock, I figured I'd avoid skepticism and fit issues by doing a 2*2 rib. Confusion averted.

Fleece Artist Socks Side view

You might have noticed that the sock cuff seems rather short and you'd be entirely correct. He usually folds his socks down or wears black socks pulled up with white sneakers and white shorts. Yes, my dad can be a fashion disaster. Besides, that's 3 inches less I had to knit on each sock, so I made another knitter's executive decision.

Fleece Artist Sock Heel

The heel method was one I hadn't tried before. I think it came out rather nicely as long as he doesn't decide to wear them for a lot of walking. I'm not sure how the seams would rub. Grumperina's method of picking up stitches really worked out well for me. I looooove how they don't create that gap. Though, personally, pick-up and knit really sticks in my head as pick up one side of the loop, draw working yarn through as if to knit but don't actually knit it. Go through and pick up all the stitches then on the next round - knit through the back. This knitter suspects that doing so creates a row of very tight stitches, which is fine with her since she doesn't want holes to appear. This may be one of those spots of confusion I had as a beginner and I recall it only one way, even though that may not be the right way. Much like when I see S1, I ask myself - "knitwise, purlwise?".

I had little ladders at the decreases in the toes but I just picked up the excess with a crochet hook and chained it up. Then I kitchenered the new loops in with the existing stitches.

Evidently this entry was written under the influence of broken sentences and miserly commas. And entirely self-focused. Better use of the English language will now resume on this blog. Thanks for your patience. Also, the draft button will be used. Push to publish makes things a bit too fast sometimes. Feel free to heckle me about my writing because I'm trying to improve it and I appreciate the feedback.

Super Wow

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Business A) for Full Thread Ahead - The Hours are Changing. The Hours are Changing!

Based on our knitter's feedback, we're changing our hours to better accomodate your knitting needs. Starting with Monday, February 6th - We'll be open late Monday and Thursday nights until 9pm, Tues, Wed, and Fridays until 6pm, Sat 10-5pm, Sun 11-5pm.
Oh how large?
Wow- Do we have a party for you! Our Super Ball party is the perfect way to celebrate the biggest game of the year- Knit Style. Here’s a first look at our hourly specials (kept to the strict game schedule by our own in-house referees):

We’ll have hourly in-store specials and door prizes -

* 11am-1pm Equipment Check :
Every tool on our back wall,t-shirts and clogs on sale - 20% off
* 1-2pm Pregame: Get ready to knit, all of our knitting bags 20% off
* 2pm-3pm Warmup: Super Bulky & Bulky yarns 20% off
* 3pm-4pm Kickoff: all sock weight yarns 20%off
* Halftime Extravaganza -
when halftime starts so do we with everything 1/2 off. When it ends, so does our sale
* 5pm-6pm Second Half: Buy one, get 50% off the second of all yarns
* Postgame Saleabration: For the half hour after
the game, celebrate the win by taking the winner’s end of game score off your purchase (minimum 20% off, maximum 50% off)

Come “pass it into the endzone� by taking our preemie hat clinic and help us make hats and blankets for preemies for donation to Stitches from the Heart. Our how to clinics will run from 1pm until 3pm with open knit on these projects
until closing. Bring your own needles from size 3 to 8, we’ll provide the yarn.

Wowza. I've seen lots of sales and 50% off during halftime? 50%?!!! I gotta shut my mouth before something flies into it. I (says she who works there) might buy some stuff at that price...