Friday, September 30, 2005

Mule Kicker

Go Mules, Go ChiefsI've started a new scarf, this one commissioned by my boss as a present. No, I don't do commissions for anyone except bosses & very close friends. This one's for a former co-worker who is affiliated with both the Mules and the Chiefs, so of course it had to be red. She requested it be a big, fluffy, snuggly, get-lost-in-it kind of scarf. I chose Paton's Bohemian, a super-bulky chenille, in the colorway Cranberry Cafe.

Bohemian, like all chenille, is a PAIN IN THE PATOOTIE to work with. I tried a few different stitch patterns (Garter? Wavy? Mistake rib? they all looked like crap) until I finally settled on a basic 2x2 rib, which at least is knitting up quickly. But the twisty fuzzy yarn wants to fight me with every stitch. I've decided I don't particularly like this stuff, but I'm regarding it as a necessary challenge. If I can master chenille, I can knit anything.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Autumn Skies

Autumn has come to our corner of the Midwest. Summer's humidity is gone and the air is crisp, fresh, and cool. Today the rain has cleared off, the sun is warm (but not hot), and the sky is that deep blue that looks so unbelievable in travelogue pictures. Folks are starting to use their fireplaces & woodstoves in the evening & you can catch a whiff of sweet woodsmoke when driving through neighborhoods. Walking around campus, most of the oaks are still green, but every fifth or sixth tree has apparently decided to get the jump on its fellows and has started to turn a tentative gold-yellow-brown-red mix. In a few weeks we will have a riot of color, I am sure.

To a knitter, this can mean only one thing:

There's nothing like a denim jacket & a jaunty scarf to make you feel like your favorite season has arrived! :-D

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Dalmatian Glove

Call me CruellaWith too many random projects on the needles, there was nothing to do but... start another one. So I dug up some Sirdar Snuggly that I had gotten for a swap a while back, and cast on for gloves! It's an old discontinued color, white with black flecks, which knits up looking like a Dalmatian print. The first one's finished, which means I now have to struggle through Second Glove Syndrome. (It's closely related to Second Sock Syndrome.) But I've decided gloves are fun like socks are fun -- quick, a little bit fiddly but nothing overwhelming, and they impress the hell outta people who see you knitting them & assume you're some kind of Knitting Jedi Master. Shhhh, don't tell anyone just how simple they really are!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Gryffindor finished

Mom, quit making me model your projectsThe Gryffindor scarf is done. This is, of course, the Prisoner of Azkaban style scarf. Mindless knitting, really, but I enjoy that sometimes.

The model is pouting because of the terrible imposition of the photographer, who asked her to pose during a TV show. (What was I thinking? I should have done it during the commercial.)

4T&L Revealed

Domestic Overlord is the winner!

1. I once received a letter from then-President Nixon.
True. When I was in the third grade, a report on the evening news about Christmas trees prompted me to write a letter to the President about our artificial tree. I got back a brief form letter signed by the President, attached to a white paper about conservation & forestry standards which went waaaay over the average eight-year-old's head. Less than a year later, Nixon resigned in disgrace. Coincidence? You judge.

2. I used to train with a gold medalist in college.
True. My fencing coach was Francis Zold, the captain of the Hungarian team in '48. He came to the United States in the '50s and taught at USC and Pomona-Pitzer for the next three hundred years or so. Seriously, the guy was about 80 & still going strong while I was there. (He died in 2003 at the age of 99.) His accent was so thick that he was almost incomprehensible. "You very bee-yoo-tiful gurrrrl, but morrrre from eeeeps [hips]."

3. I officiated at my best friend’s wedding.
True. I was an ordained minister of the Temple of the Elder Gods (now defunct). I married my friends Miriam & Cliff in a lovely beachside ceremony in 1990. Since they are still happily wedded (for the most part), I can say that I have a 100% success rate on marriages I have performed.

4. I can still do a handstand.
False. Come on, guys, did you look at my picture? Actually, I could never do a handstand.

5. While visiting Italy, I wound up in the emergency room with a minor head injury, which took four stitches.
True. I became lightheaded half a block from the famous Trevi Fountain, fainted dead away, and bashed my head on a marble step. A truly terrifying taxi ride to the hospital was next. No one in the emergency room spoke English, and I didn't speak a word of Italian, so we made do on fractured French (one nurse spoke un peu de français). Let me tell you, Italian docs take big old Frankenstein stitches. I still have a scar on the back of my head, but it's covered by my hair.

Hey, this was fun! Thanks for playing & make sure you check out Domestic Overlord's lies. Since she's already done one round, the next one she comes up with should be a doozy.

Four Truths & A Lie

I jumped right into the "Four Truths and a Lie" blog game -- the newest craze sweeping the Knittyboard -- and lo and behold, I was tagged by Michelle on my very first try! One of these statements is a lie, so call me out in comments!

1. I once received a letter from then-President Nixon.
2. I used to train with a gold medalist in college.
3. I officiated at my best friend’s wedding.
4. I can still do a handstand.
5. While visiting Italy, I wound up in the emergency room with a minor head injury, which took four stitches.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Petticoat Junction

Corded petticoatI finished the corded petticoats for the costumes. I haven't starched them yet, so they are still kind of floppy, but this is what they look like. The "hoops" are actually formed by cotton rope sewn into welts. (I asked Mike to get me some rope at the hardware store a couple weeks ago, and that it had to be all-cotton but I pretty much didn't care about the diameter. He came home with three hanks of clothesline, which was the only all-cotton cording they had. So voilá, the clothes line petticoat.)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Food Riot

So, a couple of nights ago, I told Mike that the cats have figured out how to turn a doorknob & open a door. I heard a big "THUMP" and got up to discover an open linen closet, a favorite towel dragged down from a shelf, and a very guilty-looking cat. (She likes to make nests of the clean towels.) Mike told me I must have forgotten to close the closet door, yada yada.

Exhibit AWell. This afternoon, Mike comes home to discover an open pantry door, a bag of cat food dragged into the hallway & torn open, and two very stuffed cats. We had been cutting back on their food because one of them (Pyewacket) likes to bolt the entire bowl, and then goes off somewhere to barf it all back up, usually in our bedroom. I swear she's bulemic. So we started feeding them less, and they weren't looking really skinny or anything, so we figured they were getting enough. Maybe not. Today they staged a food riot in protest.

Exhibit BWe guess that one of the little boogers has figured out how to leap at the doorknob & swing from it, turning the latch. Notice how neatly they chewed open the corner of the bag, without scattering kibble all about the floor. At least they were polite about their thievery. But why did they drag the bag all they way to the kitchen linoleum? It was all they way at the back of the pantry, folks, which means they moved it about 10 feet to get it to the edge of the linoleum (the pantry being maybe 6 feet deep.) Some things we'll never be able to know...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Corset, mark 2

Same thing only biggerThings I have learned while making the corset for my costume:
1. How to alter princess seams to upsize. (The largest pattern size in Misses is still several sizes smaller than I require; I couldn't find a pattern in my size anywhere. Why don't they do costume patterns in plus sizes?!?!)
2. If you run out of Prussian tape, you can make do with grosgrain ribbon as long as it's not a stress point.
3. If you're too lazy to change, wearing jeans under your partial costume makes you look even bigger, which can be a bit scary if you're a widebody to begin with.
4. Forgetting sunscreen is always bad. (OK, I learned that at the pool yesterday.)

Corsets are surprisingly comfortable to wear, even at my size. I expected it to be a lot more constricted-feeling, but it's actually not bad at all -- except when I forget & start slouching a bit when I sit. Actually, it's virtually impossible to slouch while wearing one of these babies. It doesn't make me look small, exactly (nothing would), but it does look rather imposing, doesn't it? This from an era where "matronly" was more synonymous with distinguished than frumpy.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dress Finished (mostly)

A pretty belleI still need to take up the hem. And put the bows at the sleeves & the overskirt pleats. And make the corded petticoat to get more pouf in the skirts. But essentially, it's complete! Isn't it a great color on her? Her eyes go absolutely emerald when she wears this shade. (Not that I can get that to show in a picture; I always have to use the red-eye corrector, which just makes them look pinky-grey.)

Next will be my dress, which will be a lovely royal blue-purplish changeable taffeta, but a much plainer style, a single skirt with no flounces, a plain bodice, and short bell sleeves. With a little luck, I'll find a nice black lace to trim the neck & sleeves. :)

Actual Knitting Content

Nice ankles, BTW.I have been so wrapped up in my monster sewing project that I have been getting minimal knitting time. Nonetheless, I managed to finish a pair of socks for my husband. He didn't believe me when I told him my hand-knit socks were more comfortable than store-bought, so I had to prove it to him.