Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And, I'm back...

Sorry for the long long absence. I haven't really been anywhere or done anything out of the ordinary. I'm not sure where the time went. It just when Whoosh! and now it's almost August. I can't believe it.

I can blame a couple of the weeks on my computer being dead. But now it's all better.

I have been working on Road to Golden (ravelink). (This is my swatch from the beginning of June... I'm using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes.)

Road to Golden

It's thisclose to being done, but there's an error in the stitch count for the yoke. And not just a few stitches off. Like a whole sleeve off.
I've knit and ripped twice already and over it.
First time I couldn't get my head through the opening. Not good.
Second time I could have been in Flashdance. Also not good.
It's on time out while I figure out a new plan of attack.

Oh, and fun news. I'm substitute teaching my first knitting class tomorrow evening. Wish me (um, and the new knitters) luck!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Drinking the Kool-Aid

First off, thank you all so much for your responses to my last post. I really feel like we have such a great community here in blog-land. There's so much love and positive energy - you're awesome!

Secondly, congrats to Rebecca who won the contest. I'll be sending you some goodies soon!

I entrusted my wonderful husband with the task of choosing the winner:
Contest Winner

In other news, I've recently been drinking the spinning Kool-Aid. My lovely mother got me a drop spindle class with Kristine of A Verb for Keeping Warm at Article Pract.

Spinning is really, really difficult to do correctly, but it's also fun. It might start to take away from my knitting time. And I might already be stalking more blogs of knitters who also spin.

It's amazing that in less than a week, I've turned a pile of wool like this
Drinking the KoolAid

into yarn like this.

My first handspun

It might not be smooth or pretty or evenly spun, but it's yarn. And I made it. How cool is that?
We have a second class meeting tomorrow where we'll learn how to ply and try spinning other fibers.

Earlier this week I fell down at and ordered some more fiber. Like I need another stash...

This could be bad.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Today, my 28th birthday, I'm trying to concentrate on what is good in my life. So often I get wrapped up in what I want and think I deserve instead of concentrating on the wonderful things already in my life that make me happy.

I have a family that loves me, a wonderful husband who takes great care of me, a job that keeps me well stocked in yarn, and a roof over my head. I really have very little to worry about.

And yet, I do. Constantly. About getting a new job, about paying the bills, about everything. I hate it, and I'm trying to be better. I'm working on appreciating the little things. I'm trying to not be grumpy. I'm trying to smile more.

In this light, I've decided on the theme for this year's birthday/blogiversary contest! Happiness.

Please leave a comment here, or send me an email (branderson2006ATgmailDOTcom) telling me what you're grateful for in life. What makes you happy?

Entries received before Friday May 16 at 11:59pm will be entered into a random drawing for some yummy yarn. Or, if you're not into that, we'll work something out.

Thanks for playing. Have a great day!

Go wish Nova and Rangsiwan a happy birthday too!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Can you believe?

My blogiversary almost slipped by me again... Two years. I can't believe it!

What a wonderful endeavor this has turned out to be.

Thanks to all of you who visit, read, comment and/or link to my little corner of the blogosphere. You're the best!

Stay tuned for the second annual birthday/blogiversary contest - coming on Monday!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kusha Kusha

Kusha Kusha scarf

I only have one word for this one: fabulous.

Kusha Kusha scarf

Kusha Kusha scarf

I really love how it turned out. It might have used a little more felting, but I think it still looks great.

Kusha Kusha scarf

Pattern: Kusha Kusha scarf. Available from Habu as a kit or from the Purl Bee.
Yarn: 1 cone Habu A-21 silk stainless, color 3. 1/2 cone Habu N-58 soft merino, color 18.
Needles: Size 8, 7, 4 and 3 circs.
Gauge: nah.
Start date: March 22, 2008
Finish date (felting & everything): April 28, 2008

Kusha Kusha scarf

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh, the possibilities

Don't you just hate it when you wake up on Monday morning, get ready and ride the train to work, only to find out that your office has been 'locked down' because of possible asbestos contamination? Yeah, me too.

What will I possibly do with a whole extra day? Goodness, I hope I can find something...

Also, thanks for the comments on the Phildar sweater. Reading my post now, I see I was a little too emphatic on the "omg this thing took forever" as opposed to the "omg I love it." It was a total PITA to finish, but I did finish it. And I really love it. The yarn is fabulous; the buttons are beautiful. It's pretty cute too. I think I'll wear it a lot!

Hope you have a gorgeous Monday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


So, it's March. What do you say to the first FO post of 2008 here at LK? I know, right? Crazy talk.

Phildar Asymmetrical Sweater

Phildar Asymmetrical Sweater

Phildar Asymmetrical Sweater

The Phildar Asymmetrical Sweater is finally finished. Alert the press.

Pattern: Asymmetrical Sweater from Phildar Tendances 456 Fall 2006 (Ravelink)
Yarn: RYC Silk Wool DK (13 or 14 skeins) (Ravelink)
Needles: US size 4 Inox circs and size 2 Addi Lace circs
Buttons: from Britex. I love that place.
Started: February 14, 2007
Finished: March 22, 2008

What I learned: ribbing sucks. No really. In a lot of ways. All ribbing = no waist shaping, and really it's the waist shaping that keeps me going when I'm knitting a sweater. It's something to look forward to. Something to pay attention to.

And really, the freakin ribbing is the only reason this sweater took more than a year to finish. Ok, so, imagine if you will. You're knitting along on the back, you pull out your measuring tape and think, "Wow, what great progress I'm making. I'm almost ready to start the armhole shaping." And then you streeeetch it out and pin it down and think, "Oh, I actually have about eleventy billion more centimeters to go before I start the armhole shaping. Awesome!" Because, logically, this thing loses height when you stretch out the width. Right? So eventually you start counting rows going, "Ok, so if a train leaves Philadelphia at approximately 3.4 rows per centimeter, and it's already traveled 29 centimeteres, how many rows until we get to New York?" Rangsiwan might not remember, since it was about six months ago, but she saw some of this algebra in action. She was sitting nicely knitting on her sock, and I was mumbling and cursing to myself and frantically working out math equations on the back of the pattern. Nice first impression.

Anyway, I also learned how to graft live stitches to a cast off edge. The button bands are grafted onto the edge of the sweater fronts, which was a bit mind-bending for a while. I can graft the toes of socks closed, but I just could not make it work in this case. Then Montse Stanley walked into my life and made it all better. For some reason the up/down description she uses (as opposed to the knit-/purl-wise directions I had been using) made so much more sense.

And, I guess since it's now officially spring, this little friend joined us momentarily during our photoshoot.
A little friend
So precious.

Right, so hopefully there will be more FOs around here soon.

*Holy Shit, About Damn Time Freakin' Finally Finished Object

Monday, March 03, 2008

Stitches West

Ok, I know I'm like WOW late with my Stitches West wrap-up post, but here goes anyway.

I got the goods.

Stitches goodies
Clicky for details.

This was my first Stitches. I took my mom and we had a fabulous time. But I have no pictures. Not camnesia per se, but memory card-nesia. Had the camera, just couldn't take pictures. Great job. I also forgot my knitting on Thursday. Dork. Here's proof we were really there.

We signed up for a class, so got to go to the market preview on Thursday. The market was definitely overwhelming. So much yarn! So shiny!

I had a plan of attack all lined up, my map with little stars and notes and highlighted names and a pocket full of cash with YARN written all over it. I made a total fool of myself and got Cookie A's autograph. I became an instant enabler and my mom went from "not going to buy anything" to spending almost as much money as I did.

I got plenty of what I had wanted (see above). But, not all. You'd think with a warehouse full of yarn, I could get anything my little heart desired. First off, I missed out on Norah Gaughan Vol. 2 and Malabrigo worsted in Azul Profundo, but most disappointing was the yarn for Venezia (ravelink). I wanted to knit it in two colors (like this one), but other than Black Water Abbey's fingering yarn (that only comes in natural sheep colors), I didn't see any appropriate fingering sweatery yarn. It was either superwash or too heavy or too light... Poo.

So, what's a girl to do with $100 left at the end of a yarny weekend? Order from KnitPicks of course. Palette saved the day, and now my Venezia is only costing $20. Nice.

The class I took was Design your Dream Sweater with Leslye Solomon on Sunday morning. I have thought about trying my hand at designing, but was always too freaked out by the math and the thought of making it fit together right. Like the armscye? First of all, what the heck is an armscye, and secondly how do I make it the right size? Eek. But Leslye had some really good tips and now I'm not so afraid. Now if people would just stop publishing patterns I like maybe I could convince myself to design my own. My mom took a class on log-cabin knitting, and has decided that she hates garter stitch.

Stitches was completely amazing. We had a lovely time!

Let the yarn diet commence!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Crisis averted

It has recently come to light that either I shouldn't be allowed to knit and watch movies at the same time, or that I'm just an idiot.

Saturday morning I had proudly reached arm-hole level on the Cambridge Jacket and asked the Man if it was long enough. I held it up to his back and yelled in anguish.

Exhibit 1:
Damn it!

Can you see it?

Exhibit 2:
Damn it!

Hi, I'm an idiot.

The sweater was promptly put on a "time out" until further notice. But, with some coaxing and encouragement from my LYSO, I fixed it on Sunday afternoon.

Exhibit 3:
I got myself to the correct stitches. And then triple checked to be sure I really was at the correct stitches. I dropped them off and pulled them out, and then crocheted them back up properly.

Exhibit 4:
Ta da! All fixed. What a relief.

Friday, January 11, 2008

And what comes dragging behind...

So, now that we've seen what I accomplished last year, let's take a look at what is still lingering...

In first place, the long-languishing Hex Coat:

hex coat

This is not a recent picture, but it's all I have at the moment. Started in June 2006! All the pieces are finished and seamed up. And I've knit three of the hexes. And I can't muster any more. I'm just not convinced that I'll ever wear it, but I can't bear to rip it, so I ignore it.

Any suggestions?

Coming in second, the U-Neck Vest from Fitted Knits:

Wad o' WIPs

Again, not the greatest picture. But see the green blob that isn't the Hex Coat? Yeah, that. I've had a bunch of Patons Canadiana (read 100% acrylic) in the stash for 5 years or so and figured I should do something with it. But I'm such a yarn snob these days, I just can't even handle it. So, it's going to get ripped and the yarn donated somewhere. Nice. Check one off the list.

Ok, third. Last seen here, the Phildar Asymmetrical Cardigan:

I like... blocking wires (39)

Once again, I'll apologize for the outdated photo. This was seamed up over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and is just waiting for the stupid buttonbands to be grafted on. I tried three times and couldn't make it look right, so it has been in a time out. Time to pick it up and finish it once and for all.

And fourth, the Gentleman's Dahlia Socks:

Gentleman's Dahlia

I finished the first one in September, and put it down for more interesting projects. But, I cast on for the second one this week and am carrying it around with me. Yay for transit knitting.

Ok, are you still here? Finally, we come to the Faux Russian Stole:

Faux Russian Stole

Knit out of my own KoolAid dyed Knit Picks yarn, this is still chugging along. There is a lot going on with the pattern, and is definitely not a lace chart that I would ever be able to memorize. But I haven't abandoned it, and still sit down and knit a few rows when I have a moment and a brain.

This week I cast on for the Cambridge Jacket for the Man, so there's that too... and my Ravelry queue.

I am hoping to do wrap up all of these WIPs shortly. There are a few deadline projects coming up which will hinder my progress, but I'm looking forward to having no "Hibernating" projects in my Ravelry profile. (More details about each project are available to Ravelry beta-testers here. Or you can just ask.)

Have a great weekend!!