Sunday, April 30, 2006

Something else you may have already known about me

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 93% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly!
Way to go!

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 54% on Beginner
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You scored higher than 33% on Intermediate
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You scored higher than 61% on Advanced
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You scored higher than 57% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Victorian Lace Shawl

The Mystery Project can now be revealed to be a Victorian Lace Shawl, a birthday gift for my mother-in-law. This was my first foray into large-scale lace knitting, and it was actually a lot of fun! Yarn was Elann's Uros Aran in color Palm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Two Baby Sweaters

Ooh baby babyBefore anyone even has a chance to ask in comments: NO, I am not expecting. A friend of mine owns a shop in town that sells vintage & handmade baby clothes (christening gowns & the like) and she has asked me to knit a few baby sweaters for her shop on a consignment basis. So, here's the first two. The pink one is a simple yoke-neck cardigan; the white one is an adaptation of the Baby Albert sweater from the first Knitting Experience book. I re-scaled the pattern for a super-bulky yarn, and thus renamed it "Big Al". Note to self, don't do baby stuff in a super-bulky anymore. Too chunky.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sixth Sense Complete

Sixth Sense afootFinished the Sixth Sense socks this morning; they were mostly a fun pattern but I hate the round garter toe. When one has feet as shapeless as mine, one needs a tapered toe. I loved the wide rib, however, and plan to steal it for a sweater. :-)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kay's Famous No-Measure Sox Technique, or, how to get socks that fit

Jen, who sometimes mentions me on her blog but always forgets to link, recently blogged her finished 6th Sense sox and thanked me for showing my "no-measure" technique at the last Sip, Sit & Knit. The technique is embarrassingly easy, and stems from my reluctance to actually measure anything; I always measure stuff against parts of my hand. You know, first knuckle = 1", index finger = 3", that kind of stuff. Anyway, for cuff-down socks, I measure against my whole hand. I explained it to Mary & Jen like so:

I slip the unfinished foot over my hand like a weird glove, and lay the narrowest part of the short-row heel over the tips of my fingers. I smooth the knitting down over my hand (but DON'T STRETCH) and when the working edge reaches the first "bracelet" crease on my wrist, I start decreasing for the toe. Assuming I'm going to decrease about half the necessary width every other row, then the remaining width every row, this always gives me a perfect length for the foot.

Mary & Jen received this information with wide-eyed, open-mouthed agogness, and then both immediately started bowing & chanting, "We're not worthy". Aw shucks, girls, come on. This is just me being lazy. [blush]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More quiz fun

You Are Pocahantas!
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Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sixth Sense progress

Happy cherry soxAs promised, here's a progress shot of the Sixth Sense socks that I'm making with the cherry Kool-Aid yarn. The garter-stitch heel seems a little funky, but I'll trust the pattern & see how it comes out once it's afoot, so to speak.

This just in! A tragic development in the Sixth Sense Sox leaves a local knitter shaken but determined to finish!

While knitting away on the socks a little while ago, a big glob of yarn jumped out of one of my center-pull balls (as sometimes happens); I put it on the desk next to the ball & continued knitting. Sometime later, during a phone call (when I wasn't paying attention to the yarn), the glob fell off the desk and landed on the floor, where I apparently proceeded to RUN IT OVER with my office chair & get it all tangled up in one of the casters. O the humanity! Several minutes of patient untangling removed the yarn from the caster with no breakage, but now it is stained with a nasty black greasy goop that I am not at all sure is going to come out. So I'll have to cut anyway. sob

Well, onward and upward. We shall endeavor to persevere.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Goddess Gathering & Sixth Sense

I cast on the Sixth Sense socks for the Six Sox Knitalong on April 1st & am most of the way done with the leg. I'm going to take my progress pics at the heel, though. There are some seriously fast knitters in that knitalong! People were posting one-sock-done pictures practically as soon as the pattern was up. I'm slower, but I always knit socks two at a time, so I guess I have a built-in slowdown factor there; plus I am only knitting on those at work. (I have a different project or three for at home.)

You won't hear from me for a few days; Miriam & I are going to the Goddess Gathering women's retreat at Ozark Avalon this weekend -- Mike will be a single dad till Sunday evening. After the storms we had last night, looks like clear weather in the forecast, so we ought to be in for a pretty (but muddy) camping trip. Blessed Be! :-)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fools

I got Mike really good with an April Fool's prank... he was gone all morning on a bus trip, and when he came home in the afternoon we ran out to Lowe's to get a couple things. I waited till he was all settled into the passenger seat of the van & casually told him that one of the college boys across the street had peeled out of the driveway in his new Mustang & clipped the front driver-side fender. We'll have to get that fixed, dang it, but I can drive on it in the meantime, it's not bad. He got all upset. "Really? How bad was it? Let me take a look at it!" I let him get out of the car & walk around to the opposite side before I hung my head out of the window & sang out, "April fool!" He's hard to fool, so I love it when I can manage to pull him in like that, hook, line, and sinker.

Dye Another Day

Yesterday the Kool-Aid fit came upon me again, and I decided to try dyeing a couple of sock skeins with two colors to make a self-striping yarn. After a little more quality time with the niddy noddy, I chose a packet each of Berry Blue Twist and Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid.
Half green, half blueMy niddy makes a skein with about a 48" repeat, so I decided to just fold the skeins in half & dye each half separately. However, most of my large Pyrex ware is still packed up; I had to improvise. I mixed each packet of Kool-Aid in about 2 cups of warm water & divided that between two 16 oz. drinking glasses. I then jammed half of each skein into a glass. This doesn't make for a particularly even dye job -- the yarn really needs a little more room to float around in the dye bath -- but it was the best solution that I could come up with that didn't involve buying more casserole dishes. Between the two glasses, there was a little length of yarn that didn't go in the dye, but I decided it looked OK like that. I could have filled the glasses to the brim to lessen it, but I'll just call them 3-color socks instead.
Nuke 'emI then put it in the microwave & nuked them for three 2-minute rounds, stirring the yarn between each round. Yes, my kitchen is firmly stuck in the 50's.
How can you neglect me so?  I am standing here and no one is petting me!In the meantime Friday, being the love pig that she is, came and hung out in the kitchen in the hopes that someone would notice the cat meowing loudly on the counter and give her scratches.
WatercolorsAfter washing, rinsing, and rolling in a towel, the skeins are hung up to dry. They have a lovely water-color look. The unevenness of the dye job looks like intentional varegations; the colors ripple from light green, dark green, back to white, then light and dark blues. I'm going to knit these up in a waved-cable pattern to continue the water theme.