Monday, May 28, 2007

LOST: reward if found

LOST: One Knitter's Knitting Mojo.

I don't know why, but I'm so blecch with my knitting right now. I don't know if it was having my butt kicked by Jane, or maybe the fact that Jane was followed immediately by the stupid realization that I knit too much first sock to be able to knit a second sock, but I'm just not feeling it these days.

After all that, I knit a whole Sweet Georgia sock in less than 3 days (fast for me!), including my first short row heel, but nearly 3 weeks later I'm barely a few inches into that second sock, and just uninspired.

To inventory, here's what's currently on the needles:
I have a pretty green Swallowtail shawl on the go, that I TOTALLY don't feel like knitting on.
I have an EZ sweater on the go, that is grey, grey, grey stockinette for days and days and days.
I have a mohair shruggy-sweater on the go that is lovely, but totally useless for the season we're in, so I don't much feel like it either.
There's always Jane to finish ripping and re-knit. I'm not really feeling that one either.
Oh, and that Sea Wool debauchle. I'm still kind of hoping (in vain) that I will come across another skein of the same Fleece Artist so I don't have to rip anything else out.

I don't think Startitis is the answer, because I feel pretty lame for all the temporarily (?) abandoned projects listed above... and as much as I want a Cardigan for Arwen (and have gorgeous yarn for it!), I don't want to knit it right now if the gauge gods are going to be so cruel. I don't have any more ripping in me at the moment.

So it's clear that after a fairly knitterly and productive summer/fall/winter, that spring really can hang you up the most. Or, to quote a beloved blue friend, "I lost me cookie at the disco".

If anyone's seen my knitting mojo, could you please let me know? I miss it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

promotion for prizes

I like the look of some of them there prizes over at Wanietta's, and this sounds like a fun thing to watch so here goes:

On Sunday, May 27, the Toronto Spiders will take up the International Wool Challenge (Back to Back Competition) for the fourth consecutive year. This competition, involving teams around the world, requires that a sheep be shorn and the fleece spun, plied, and knitted into a sweater (according to a standard pattern) in one day.After two years at the Ontario Handspinning Seminar and a year at Toronto's Riverdale Farm, this year the Toronto Spiders will be at the Pickering Museum in Greenwood, as part of their Opening Day. The team is made up of Wannietta Prescod (the Fastest Knitter in North America in 2005 & 2006), Barbara Aikman, Julia Lee, Judy Pergau, Denise Powell, Karen Richens, and Lorraine Smith of Spinners Quarterly. Our shearer is Bob Comfort, and Joan Kass and Judy Findlay will be our timekeepers and educators. We look forward to having lots of interest and support from passers-by. Like all Back to Back Challenges, we will be raising money for cancer research.We will be attempting to beat our Canadian record time of 6 hours, 51 minutes, and 15 seconds, so hope to finish some time between 4 and 5 p.m.If you are in the neighbourhood, please do drop by and wave, say "Hey y'all", but don't expect us to stop what we're doing to chat with you until the sweater is done!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

calling all facebook knitters, and a giggle

I don't usually collide my knit-blog life and my real life, but this is a chance to do something good.

Remember MSF? Remember?
There's a facebook group for MSF. (now, personally I think facebook is a little evil. A time-sucking void, where private people put entirely too much personal information out into the world, but this is a good use of it...) The facebook group is trying to win $7000 from a radio station in Toronto, who is giving away the money to the "coolest" facebook group, based on "number of members, interaction, use of facebook tools, etc". So if you are on facebook, get on over to the group. Go. It's on til Thursday, noon. I already told them you were coming...
And here's a giggle for you, for reading the public service announcement:
Go to Google, click on maps. Search directions "from New York, New York, to Paris, France". If line 24 makes you giggle, pass it on.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

KTE packages arrived!

A big thank you to Patti, my KTE pal. I picked up 2 lovely packages from the post office on Tuesday...
The first contained Passionfruit Mango body butter and body spray, and a sweet little kit to grow my own sunflower! (I'm going to wait til the weather's a little nicer to start that)

And the second contained a lemonade kit (perfect for sitting and sipping on my balcony), some chocolate covered orange, key lime truffles (YUM!!! these are almost gone!), and some lovely sock yarn by Woolarina a seriously bright and sunshiney set of colours. I might use this for a baby surprise jacket...

Thank you, Patti!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

an instruction, a photo, and a meme

Hey... this may qualify as my first ever true Random Wednesday.

First... go wish Jen a happy birthday... she's new in blogdom.
(also, if you're feeling cheeky, ask her to blog the fug)

Second, courtesy of Karen, I give you... the Sheep Grand National.

This is the latest in my series of... ovine irony. Not exactly metafiction, but close. We're definitely exploring the juxtaposition between reality and relation, and... something possibly more clever than I have words for right now. (have I mentioned that I have had some rip-roarin' insomnia these last several days? SUCKY.) Included in the article is this line: "the sheep, who all came to the farm as orphans, carry knitted jockeys on their backs". Awwww.

And lastly, a meme. I mosly hate memes, but I found this one at Andrea's, and I like to see what people's knitting tastes are.
Mark with bold the things you have knit (or are knitting), with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
(may have done this once unintentionally – does that count?)
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn (does it count if the recycling comes from a whole whack of your own frogging?)
Slip stitch patterns

Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan (zippy hoodie)
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book (- yeah, right)
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca

Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting

Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch

Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items

Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

a package...

... arrived yesterday from my knitter's treat exchange pal... some magazines and a familiar mouse.

I love Mental Floss -- excellent reading for the Elliptical trainer at the gym! And I'm looking forward to peeping through the Knitter's magazine.

Thank you KTE pal!

Monday, May 07, 2007

ol' 55

I love Tom Waits.
But that number... not so much right now.

This is not the news we were hoping for. The weigh scale at my local grocery store indicated 55g, including the ziploc baggy I had it on. I have some doubts about the precision of this scale too (it told me that the ziploc baggy alone weighed 5g, and I DO NOT buy that), but I think it's clear that I do not have enough to make socks of a matching size.

Thanks for all the finger-crossing. Oh, and if you happen to get to LK before me this week, try not to buy my colour of Sea Wool... I really need it.

a video for distraction...

I still have to get out to the weigh scale, so for now watch this...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

there's always something...

I have half a FO to show you. It's my first Sea Wool sock, the Uptown Boot Sock pattern from this awesome book, and I love it. It's beautiful. The stitch pattern is lovely, the yarn is luminous. It feels nice on my foot. I love this sock.

What's the problem, I'm sure you're wondering. Wait, why are the needles still attached to the toe? Why haven't you expertly kitchener zipped the toe up yet? Wait a sec... that's an awfully small yarn cake sitting on that beautiful sock... what the... Just look at that yarn-eating, gluttonous sock.

I'm SO not sure I have enough for sock 2. I started with 115 grams. I have an imprecise kitchen scale that says I have around 55 grams in that yarn cake. For those of us who are not math experts, that's not half. It's close, but it's not half. But the scale is not all that accurate, so I'm still hoping for a little miracle.

Tomorrow I'm off to the grocery store self-serve check out, where I will surreptitiously weigh the little yarn cake that remains. If I don't have at least 57.5 grams, my plan is to pop in for a Lettuce Knit visit next weekend, hoping against hope to find a matching skein. It would be worth it. If they don't, I have contemplated picking out the cuff and making it a wee bit shorter. Gak. I don't really want to do that.
Send me good vibes for a nice fat yarn cake, will ya? It would be so much easier that way...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

the Well-Caffeinated Kate

My Coffee Swap Questionnaire...

1. Whole bean or ground? I have a grinder, but I usually buy espresso and flavoured coffees ground. My grinder doesn't really do espresso fine enough, and flavoured coffees kind of leave their signature on the grinder so the non-flavoured coffees are compromised. Bet you never realized how high-maintenance I could be over coffee!

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? I usually have herbal tea if I don't want caffeine, but I do keep a bit of decaf around for after dinner. Most of the time it's caffeine, and that's the point. I do, however, usually switch to decaf if I'm doing solos or auditions, because caffeine makes you twitch in a way that's not conducive to high-performance!

3. Regular or flavored? I know some coffee purists will disapprove, but I love flavoured coffee for plain old drip filtered. My flavours of choice are vanilla and/or hazelnut. Yum.

4. How do you drink your coffee? A good splash of cream (or whatever dairy is on hand) and a pinch of sugar. I often keep raw sugar around for coffee only.

5. Favorite coffee ever? Tough one. I'm a big fan of espresso based drinks like lattes. For brew coffee, my favourite bean may have been Timothy's Vanilla Hazelnut.

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I'm pretty fussy about my coffee. I am sensitive to overly acidic coffees, and I cannot drink a lot of the donut chain coffees for this reason. (I end up feeling ill almost immediately).

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Wafer-type cookies that kind of dissolve on your tongue go well with coffee (ie: Monaco cookies). Or a nice mocha coffee cake. Vanilla cupcakes. Sometimes just a nice piece of dark chocolate... I need a snack now.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I love a good dark roast. Something not overly acidic. Rich, bold flavour. Lots of body.

9. Yarn/fiber you love? Merino, cashmere, alpaca, silk, sock.

10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Acrylic. Fun fur. Novelty yarns of all ilks.

11. What's on your needles? Uptown Boot socks in Sea Wool. A cotton ruffle scarf (short rows, not novelty). An EZ sweater in Classic Merino. A Swallowtail shawl in Misti Alpaca. A boob-warmer sweater in mohair. (hmm... perhaps I should complete something)

12. Favorite colors? Bright and bold, but not neons. I love all greens. Blues, purples, burgundy. Also love pinks, reds, oranges, turquoise, not necessarily together. Less into earth-tones, but I can be swayed when they're lovely. Yellow and beige make me look jaundiced, which is not the look I generally go for. I think I have a bit of a grey problem (meaning, I always tend to choose it -- all three of the above mentioned sweaters are GREY).

13. Allergies? Strawberry, kiwi, raspberry, mango, guava, papaya, peaches, bee stings (please don't send me bee stings!). This will probably not be relevant.

14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? Umm... surprises. I love surprises. I also really like it when swap pals take an interest and really communicate, get to know each other a bit. It's much more fun that way. So far so good with my coffee pal!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Frolicking with the best of 'em

Three vaguely guilty-looking knitters, clutching their bags close.

The combined purchases of same three knitters.

Yes, the frolic was so much fun. Possibly more fun than a person should have in one day. Possibly more fun than I should have had merely because of knitting, knitters and yarn. But that's an existential topic I'm not prepared to approach.

I'm so glad I went. I started twitching when I first got there, and had fortunately arranged to meet Renee, who tried to calm me down, or at least kept me from vibrating myself right off the ground. High-tech knitters that we are, Andrea and I had also arranged to rendezvous with a little cell phone magic.

And oh, so many knitters. Stopped in to the Lettuce Knit booth to say hi to Megan and Laura, and especially to thank Laura for the online Jane help. She was sweet to say that it was less about a gauge problem, and possibly about a really small proportion for sleeves. When a knitter like that tells you it may not be your fault, you believe her (even if your gauge was a little wonky), and I felt a little better. Incidentally, Jane and I are still moping and not yet speaking. We just need a little time apart.

Saw so many of the Romni staff frolickng, it's hard to say -- it may have been a free-for-all down at the shop on Saturday... hmm...

Saw Stephanie and Rachel shopping for Denny and chatted for a bit - mostly twitchy, excited, enabling chatter. When your spiritual leader tells you to go forth and purchase yarn without shame, somehow you know it's right. Right before we parted ways, she directed us to the Qiviut, which I had never touched. The woman practically shoved my hand into the basket... but that stuff is SERIOUSLY expensive though lovely to touch. I resisted, but only because my wallet was flaming.

Tell me now, is it a bad sign when the nice man at the yarn checkout tilts your credit card this way and that, saying "I can hardly read the numbers on this card, they're so worn."

It was a good day.
(did anyone else notice that I didn't cop to what I actually bought??? That's what the group purchase pile was for -- I am guiltless.)