Monday, April 30, 2007

With A Twist

Remember the Pencil Roving I spun up a while ago? Well, I’ve been looking at it, and thinking about what to make with it, and deciding that it probably wasn’t strong enough as it was. And I didn’t want to ply it at the thickness I’d originally spun it to, because then it would be too thick.

So I re-spun it.

Pencil Roving 02

It’s thinner now, and has more twist to it. And so it’s stronger. Add to that the fact that I’m playing it back on itself, and it’s quite strong enough to knit into a sweater. (If I determine that I have enough of it for that. I’m just hoping for a small sweater, maybe a tank or cropped sweater.)

I was also able to learn a new technique while working on getting the yarn the way I wanted it. I’ve been reading SPIN TO KNIT by Shannon Okey, and various plying methods are described and demonstrated there. So, I tried my hand at Andean plying. (Pun very much intended, though also probably lost on those of you who don’t know how to Andean ply. Don’t be ashamed; up until this weekend, that was me, too. I’ll include a picture for demonstration. It’s a bit blurry. Sorry.)

Pencil Roving 03

It was a fun technique. However, I later tried it on a larger section of singles (yarn spun the first time, before plying) and that was a lot of yarn to hold on my wrist like that. It didn’t always want to come off in order to ply because of the sheer amount of bulk. (It also started to cut off the circulation in my fingers while I was getting it ready, but that’s another story.)

The result?

Pencil Roving 04

A very cute baby-skein of yarn that I can use to swatch with. (My sister called it a slug. Humph.)

It’s actually sitting on the book, open to the Andean plying page.

Speaking of sitting on the book…

Suzy Spins 02

Suzy learned how to spin this weekend. Though I don’t think she cared much for the lessons.

Suzy Spins 01
Mom. Let me sleep. See? My eyes are closed. Don’t poke me - I don’t care that you want your book back.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Fiver: Get up, stand up!

Get up, stand up!
1. Turn your head to the right — what do you see?

Office wall. At least it’s not a cube, since I’m at the front desk it’s the lobby (and has quite a bit more space than anyone except the execs at this point - we’re overflowing our office).

2. Stand-up — do you like how tall you are?
Yes. I do now.

3. Do you believe in heaven or hell?
Yes. Though perhaps not in quite the traditional sense.

4. What is your favorite piece of jewelry?
Probably a necklace that was a gift to me way back in jr. high. It’s a black stone point (not sure if it’s anything “official” like onyx, or if it’s just a black rock) with a pewter dragon sitting atop it. It’s on a long chain, and I just like it.

5. What is the last thing you took from someone else?
Change from the grocery store lady this morning when I bought pastries for the execs' breakfast meeting.

Suzy On Bed 01

Humph. You never let me play with your yarn. You never let me have any fun.

What do you mean, ‘what about the mouse toys?’ I’m allowed to play with those. Therefore they’re no fun.

Have a great weekend!

(FYI - Icarus has recovered from its trauma, and has now been fixed. Yay!)


Thursday, April 26, 2007

In Which Knits Have Minds Of Their Own

Have you (my knitter friends) ever found that your knitting projects take on lives of their own?

I have.

Today, for example, my Blood Diamond sock decided that it wanted to be photographed outside my work, so that it can become a traveling sock.

Blood Diamond Socks 08

It didn’t care that the photo would show the bruise on my thumb where I squished my finger a few weeks back while working on my bike. It didn’t care that the pictures taken by the camera on my phone need touching-up afterwards in order to truly resemble the things they are pictures of.

It had been reading about The Yarn Harlot’s traveling socks, and it wanted to be a traveling sock, too.

And then there’s cats. They also have minds of their own. And said little minds decide that yarn is cat toys, regardless of the fact that cat claws send poor laceweight yarn into mindless gibbering fright (which causes the knitter to mess up the pattern).

Suzy On Bed 02

But Mom, why are you playing with a ball of yarn if I can’t play too?


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Note To Self

Paperback Writer: Sub Ops

Just so that when I'm ready to submit stories again, I have the links all nice and fresh. If you are also an aspiring published author (or just need new markets) go check out the links she mentions.


Plotting Along

So, in efforts to jump-start my RS plot, I took a look at Beta links for Holly Lisle’s Create A Plot Clinic. (I would have mentioned the preview sale on here, but Holly asked that we not advertise it so that only those who had been encouraging her through the writing process were able to buy the book early in its raw, unedited form.)

And guess what? It works.

Now, I started with a general idea of what I wanted to do. And I started with characters and background, since this is a sequel. (Well, I didn’t start with the antagonists very fleshed out, and to be honest they’re still pretty vague, but still.)

I didn’t have much more than that. And now, after a few hours with the Create A Plot Clinic (which will probably be in Holly’s e-Store on May 1st), I have the start of a much more detailed plot and some good ideas on ways to get it even more detailed. Yay! Very nice to have this tool.

And this means that I just might be able to get my May goal of plotting, outlining, and starting to write RS by May 30th. And that is a very hopeful thing.

Suzy Profile

Mom, I can’t believe how long it’s been since you had a picture of me up here. Honestly.

In other news, I may not get much done on any of my WIPs that isn’t stolen time for the next few months. (Yeah, I really picked a great time to start my monthly writing goals back up again, didn’t I?)

Why, you ask?

Music Man Logo

Rehearsals started Monday. The show starts late June.

I must be insane.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Week 17 ~ Night Echoes

Week 17 ~ Apr 23-29

Night Echoes

by Holly Lisle
(romantic suspense, some paranormal)

This is the fourth of Holly's paranormal romantic suspense novels, and probably my second favorite of the two. (Last Girl Dancing is almost definitely the favorite. And they are not really related to each other, so do not have to be read in order.) It has a better (IMO) paranormal slant than the others, with a haunted house and a form of reincarnation as a large plot motivator. Very well done, however, and as real-feeling as some of the non-fiction things you read about haunted houses.

As to the romance angle, I like the way the reincarnation angle adds to the attraction factor. I tend to get sick of the romance stories that seem to have no explanation for why the hero ends up with the heroine. The ones where everything about the hero is manly and ruggedly handsome, and the heroine is ravishably gorgeous, and they have nothing in common. As a contrast, this plot has Holly's trademark dose of realistic characters, and the romance works really well for me.

And the writing? I love Holly's style. I think this is one of her best written books. (She only gets better with time.) So I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Go. Read. It. Great novel. Plus, the cover's pretty. Smile


Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! It’s a day late, but since I don’t usually post over the weekend, this is the best I can do.

Bee on Flowers

The Tofutsies sock decided that it wanted to be photographed outside for Earth Day, since there is “tofu” in its name. I have turned the heel on it, and tried it on M. (It mostly fits, but is a bit loose around the foot. I think this is largely because the yarn is not as elastic as the wool I’m used to working with.)

Tofutsies Socks 04

The second of the Blood Diamond socks, not to be outdone, decided to pose for an outdoor shot as well. It has not gotten very far yet, but is getting there. (And IT is elastic enough yarn that the fit is forgiving. But it is also warmer yarn, and so is more of a fall/winter sock here in Sunny California, rather than a spring/summer-weight sock like the Tofutsies.)

Blood Diamond Socks 07

However, Earth Day was a fun day. I didn’t really do anything Earth Day related, but I did go for a drive in the hills in a hybrid car with M, so it was nice. We had the windows down to let the spring air in, and just generally enjoyed ourselves.

I hope you all had a great weekend, too!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Crafty Quickie & Around The Blog

I had planned on doing the Friday Fiver today, but the questions they have all relate to the incident at Virginia Tech. And while I am greatly saddened by what happened and wish that it hadn't, I do not feel like speaking of it right now, nor right here.

And so I am not doing the Friday Fiver.

Which means I have no planned content.

But, I can't leave you with nothing! So, I'll give you a quick update of my craft projects, instead. If I'm feeling ambitious, I might also add in a tour of the blog-o-sphere.

  • Icarus: is progressing. I am down to the last few rows of Chart #1 before I get to move on to the more intricate and less repetitive Chart #2. I am very much looking forward to this.
  • M's Tofutsies socks: have reached the heel. By the time I am finished with my lunch break, they should have progressed past the heel and be pausing for a fitting (to make sure that I don't need to re-do the heel placement).
  • My Blood Diamond socks: are paused while I do the heel on M's first sock. Once the heel is safely turned on the Tofutsies, then I will pick back up with the second Blood Diamond.

Around The Blog ~*~ 4/20/07

Oh, what the hey. We'll do a quick look at the blog-o-sphere too. Why not?

Brigitte's Little Dudes have a new castle. Imbrium has a sock problem. The Harlot does audio, PBW is sick of punny vampires, and Romancing the Yarn is giving away sock yarn. Hanna does a book review. Kait doesn't wanna facebook. Fluffy Knitter Deb loves grits and kitty Tivo. And Mim is mad. The Molecular Knitter (from Davis, no less! Go Ags!) gets hooked. Eunny has Spring Socks. Wendy plays with words, Grumperina makes many coasters, and FyberDuck is low.


Thursday, April 19, 2007


Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.
- William Safire

I haven’t done a goals post in a long time. Way too long, given that without the accountability aspect I have been slowly letting the slacker in me take over. So, without further ado (and sadly without pictures today), here are my goals for the next month and a half (or so). We’ll see if I can get back to a monthly goals schedule after that…

    Writing Goals:

  1. Plot & outline RS.
  2. Finish crit of AD for Phoenix.
  3. Start writing RS - get a chapter done by May 31.
  4. Work up an estimated word count of RS based on outline.
  5. May 1-31: write final chapter for the Naked Project on the OWG.

Given how much of a slacker I’ve been lately, I don’t want to get too ambitious all at once.

    Knitting Goals:

  1. Finish M’s socks.
  2. Finish Blood Diamond socks.
  3. Finish Icarus.

Speaking of ambitious. Let’s see if I can get all that done…


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Belated Thanks

So, a while ago I mentioned that I won yarn. And then the yarn arrived. And I said nothing, because I was discovering allergies.

But. Thanks are long overdue, and will finally be mentioned.

The wonderful Barbara sent me not only the yarn I won, but a book too! Here is a picture of the lovely things:

RTY Yarn Drawing

I’m looking forward to both the book and the yarn. I’ve not knit with yarn like this before. It’s springier than I’m used to, and should be a lot of fun.

Anyway. Yay! And thanks, Barbara! Much belated though they are.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Thief

I bought my Suzy a mouse,
A toy with which to play.
I bought my Suzy a mouse,
Rum tum tiddle-um hey!

Mouse Play 01

My Suzy, she loved that mouse,
And looked happy to play all day.
My Suzy, she loved that mouse,
Rum tum tiddle-um hey!

Mouse Play 03

My Suzy, she drew a crowd,
Who watched her at her play.
My Suzy, she drew a crowd,
Rum tum tiddle-um hey!

Mouse Thief

The thief, he wanted a toy,
And stole the mouse away.
The thief, he wanted a toy,
Rum tum tiddle-um hey!

Mouse Stolen 02


Week 16 ~ Return of the Guardian-King

Week 16 ~ Apr 16-22

Return of the Guardian-King
by Karen Hancock
(fantasy, Christian allegorical)

This is the fourth and final book in the Legends of the Guardian-King series. Since it was the book-of-the-month for the CSFF Blog Tour, I picked it up even though I hadn’t read the rest of the series. As a result, I was a bit confused about people, places and events that happened previously in the series. For much of the early part of the book, it didn’t cause too much confusion, but by the last third, I felt like I was in quite a bit over my head. From what I can tell, the plot points that had been tentatively wrapped up in previous books were being firmly sewn up and drawn to a conclusion, but since I didn’t have a reference for them, I was a bit lost.

I was still able to enjoy the story, however. It was told well, with a good blend of action and description that kept my interest. The characters had depth to them and felt like real people. (As a side note of interest, I had more emotion invested in Trap and Carissa, the secondary couple, than Abramm and Maddie, the main characters. I suspect this is because of where I came into the story, but it could also be that I empathize more with the secondary characters than the main ones.)


Monday, April 16, 2007

CSFF Tour: Return of the Guardian-King

Well, I normally try to do a bigger write-up on the first day of the CSFF Blog Tour, but as I am still home recovering from an allergic reaction to a medication, I will be posting just the basics today. I have an actual review of the book itself, however, which will be posted (probably) tomorrow. Thouhts, prayers, and cookies for my continued recovery are appreciated. :)

This month’s CSFF Blog Tour focuses on Karen Hancock’s Return of the Guardian-King, the final book in the Legends of the Guardian-King series. The links in the previous sentence will take you to her website and the book’s page, or you can go here to see Karen’s blog.

Here is the list of my fellow blog tour participants. Hopefully one of them will have something more interesting to say today:

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Rebecca Grabill
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole (Me!)
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver


Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Fiver: Another Social Casualty

Friday Fiver: Another social casualty

1. What have you said lately that has gotten you into trouble?
I have no idea. And I have too much of a headache to try to figure it out.

2. When is the last time you censored yourself? I do it all the time. In fact, I did it this morning while commenting on a friend’s blog.

3. Describe your last date: Last Saturday, we went walking on the beach. Very romantic. Sorry, but I’m not sharing details. :)

4. Go to the closest window — what do you see?
Work’s parking lot.

5. What’s your favorite board game?
Does it have to be a board game? Okay - then probably (at the moment) the Order of the Stick board game. If it could have been any game, I would have said the Munchkin card game. Way much fun.

I had planned to post other things today. But I’m feeling icky, and so you’ll have to wait for Monday to get to see the other things. Sorry.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Week 15 ~ Lirael

Week 15 ~ Apr 9-15

Lirael (audio-book)

by Garth Nix (read by Tim Curry)
(fantasy, YA fiction)

*Please note that this is a review of the audio-book only. I am not critiquing the book version here.*

I’ve had Lirael recommended to me before, and I thought I’d try it. I also thought that, since I like YA books on audio, and since Tim Curry is a good actor, that the audio version of the book would be a good one to try. I was wrong.

I think that the book itself might interest me. There are some neat ideas in it, and I remember thinking that I could like the title character. The problem I had, and the reason I couldn’t finish even disc one of the audio book, was that Tim’s voice didn’t match the story for me. Listening to the narration parts was great. Wonderful. His voice is so expressive that he can tell a story well even if you can’t see his acting.

But. Then we got to the dialogue between young girls. And, unlike some of the male readers I’ve heard, Tim doesn’t do little girl voices well. Many times I had to back up the CD to try to hear what the characters said because I was too busy sniggering at the way they said them. I couldn’t take the title character seriously with the voice she was given. And so I gave up on the audio-book.

I will try the story again. But I will be reading it for myself, rather than listening to it.


Knit This

Since I have no actual content for you today, here is a knitting MEME and a kitty picture…

Mouse Play 1

(Though this is a knitting MEME, I plan to note the things I’ve done with crochet, as well. An asterisk before the name means I’ve done the thing in question with crochet, in addition to any markings that apply to the knitting.)

Mark with bold the things you have ever done, with italics, the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire(I don’ t think I would like this for a very long time, but I’d like to learn)
Shawl - it’s a WIP, but since it’s not finished I guess it’s still a “plan to do”
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting) - this includes mitered squares, no?
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn - Again, this is a WIP. The Tofutsies socks are a soy blend.
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
*Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes - do eyelets for threading i-cords count? I think so.
Knitting with alpaca - homespun alpaca, at that!
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
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 (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting - I think so. But what exactly counts?
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac - No idea what project yet. But it looks cool.
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
*Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves - They didn’t have fingertips, though. (Fingers, yes. But they stopped at each finger’s first knuckle.)
Knitting with linen - I have some flax to spin, too. So maybe even my own homespun linen.
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers - Since these DON’T have separate fingers, I’m not counting the ones I’ve already made. But there’s other patterns I want to try…
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 - I planned to spin yarn from my cat fun once, but gave up on that.
Hair accessories
Knitting in public - Absolutely!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Buried Eggs

Hanging Eggs

Easter 2007. On the beach. Absolutely lovely.

Beach 4

There was an egg hunt on Saturday morning. I didn’t have any kids with me (I don’t have any, and none of the kids with the group I was staying with had arrived yet) but it was still amusing. There were two sections for the egg hunt, 5 (years-old) and under, and 6-12. The 5 and under group had a circle marked out with about 2,000 eggs just dumped in the sand. The 6-12 circle had the same number of eggs, but these were buried in the sand. A few peeked out here and there, but mostly it looked like sand.

Beach 1

After five minutes, the egg hunt was over. Nearly all 4,000 eggs had been found.

It was insane.

The beach cleared out some after that, but there were still more people than we really wanted to share it with. We spent a leisurely afternoon doing not much of anything, but enjoying it, and then had a BBQ (oysters* and tri-tip and salmon) for dinner.

While the food cooked, we watched pelicans and seals (and/or sea lions; hard to tell them apart from a distance) and dolphins near the pier, eating anchovies. It was a very relaxing - and much needed - day.

Beach 3

*Believe it or not, this was the first time I had eaten oysters. They were actually pretty good, too - though I’ve been told that’s because they were cooked with lots and lots of garlic butter…


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Blow-up Bunnies!

…and chicks, and eggs…

Easter Blow-ups

They make everything inflatable now. It’s just downright silly.

I wonder if I’ll get any strange hits on searches, with that title? Or because of movie searches, since I have news about my Blood Diamond socks.

Blood Diamond Socks 05

Sock #1 has been cast-off. Yay! I made a comment to Mim about how I bought a pair of Chacos, too, and this is a big part of why: showing off the hand-knits. Must have something to wear with hand-knit socks, no? Yeah, I thought so too. (They’re also darn comfortable, but that’s another matter. We’re talking knitting now.)

I made the same oops I always make, though, and didn’t make a stretchy enough cast-off. It fits my foot, but it’s a good thing I was making it for me and not for someone else, because I’m not sure it would fit the other people I might have been deciding to gift it to. And it barely goes on. I’m thinking about undoing the bind off and re-doing it, though since I’ve already cut the yarn that would mean the silliness of adding more yarn just for the BO row. It might be well worth it, though. I’ll decide after knitting sock #2.

Blood Diamond Socks 06

I do like the finished sock. Though, this shot shows it a bit washed out. The color is really much more vibrant than that.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Weekday Woes

Well, it’s Monday. Back at work. Sigh.

I spent the weekend at the beach, and it was very, very nice. I think I got a bit of a tan on my face and arms. It was lovely, and I’ll post more about it when I get the photos back. (Yes, these are film photos. I know - very old-fashioned of me.)

Tofutsies Socks 02

While away for the weekend, though, I got a lot of knitting done. (Well, a lot when you consider that the usual state of affairs for beach weekends is laying around doing nothing.)

Day Two 5

But Mom, isn’t laying around doing nothing the usual state of affairs even when not at the beach?

I think they will be just the right size for M. Which is good, since I’ve now knit enough of the sock that frogging it would be painful. But I did try it on him (several inches before this picture) and it seemed good. Besides, it’s just stockinette stitch. (His request.) So it’s a bit more forgiving than some of the fancy patterns. It should stretch a bit, if needed.

Tofutsies Socks 03

Assuming I can get the sock back from Hedgie, that is.


Friday, April 6, 2007

Week 14 ~ Shore Lights

Week 14 ~ Apr 2-8

Shore Lights

by Barbara Bretton

I'll be honest. I'm not completely done with this book yet. (That's what comes of trying to read 3 books in a busy week.) But I know that I will like it, because I've read (or skimmed) most of it (and I will be reading the rest). It's a feel-good fiction story about an estranged mother-daughter pair, but it also touches on other relationships. The (divorced) daughter and her relationship with her own daughter. Her relationship with her extended family and the town she grew up in. Her relationship with a man who bid on the same item (online auction site, picture eBay without the copyrighted name) she did. The POV does shift a bit, and we get to see many people's take on the situation. Including the man, which lets us see his relationship with his own daughter and mother.

Looking at the description, you would think "oh, it's a romance." You would be wrong. It is not a romance in the sense that romance is taken today. It is not a "get the couple together already so you can write the sex scene" type of book. It has depth to it (and, in my pre-review skimming, I didn't find a sex scene between the main characters). It has substance. It has a love story to be told - several, in fact - but if focuses on the story, and not on getting the characters into bed.

I would highly recommend this book. It seems to be one that can cross genre-preferences, too, because normally I don't think I would have picked it up based on genre. (I read very little straight fiction. I like fantasy, of one kind or another. Sci-fi too.) I actually picked it up because of the author's group blog, Romancing the Yarn. I'll be slowly making my way through the other authors there, too. (Slowly only because of the genre preference thing.)



Go here. Read this. And LOVE the picture of the guy’s t-shirt as much as I do.


You’ll never look at ribbing the same way again…


Good Friday Fiver

Front Yard Flowers 2

Happy Easter, everyone.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Friday Fiver: Just like staring at the sun

1. Four years ago — where were you? I was working at the library, living where I am living now, and in a much worse place emotionally. Things have changed for the better, I’d say.

2. What bores you to tears? Having to watch some things (sports, bad comedy, some talent shows, etc.) without being able to knit or crochet. Things that draw enough of my attention that I have trouble working on story plots while watching them, yet not enough of my attention to keep me interested. But give me something to do with my hands (no, not like that! Get your mind out of the gutter!) and I’m happy.

3. Do you have rhythm? ‘Course. Plus, I got music and my man. Who could ask for anything more?

4. Who would you like to see today? M. And - oh! Yay! I get to! Right after work. I can’t wait.

5. Friday fill-in: Always thought that I’d have kids before my sister did . Guess I was wrong about that one. Oh well. This way I get to practice and be sure I really want to to it before I’m stuck.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Day Two 2

Oh, come on Mom. Show them some of the pictures of me NOT in my bed. How about the one where I’m playing with the mouse? What do you mean you have to develop the film first?

… What’s film?

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

So one of my readers asked about the yarn I am knitting Icarus with, and I thought I would repost my response to her here so that anyone else with the same question can see the answer without having to dig through the comments. I’m using KnitPicks Shadow in the Oregon Coast colorway. I love it. It’s nice to work with - though I think a silk or alpaca blend would be nicer - and the color is nicely heathered.

I would buy the yarn again. (Even though this particular yarn was a present, and so technically I wouldn’t be buying it *again*, I’d be buying it for the first time.) Good thing, since I also have 2 skeins in the Redwood Forest colorway. I think I like that color better, but since I plan to wear Icarus (if I ever get it finished… wah!) with dark clothing - just imagine it with jeans and a black turtleneck! - I decided to go with the lighter color for it. I don’t know what the Redwood Forest will be for yet. But I can’t bear to think of having two major lace projects on the needles at once, no matter how many other things I cast on for, and so I’m waiting on that yarn.

Have a good weekend, everyone! And have a happy Easter, or whatever other holiday you celebrate. I will be celebrating here:

Thanksgiving Beach


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Playing Footsie

I have two pairs of socks on the needles right now. This is rare for me… I have, in the past, not let myself start a second pair of socks until casting off the previous pair. It helps that I greatly prefer knitting socks on 2 circs, and have - until recently - only had 2 sock-size circular needles. So, until recently (say a couple of months ago when I bought a different size sock needles) the socks I had on the needles were safely monogamous. At least for other socks.

Blood Diamond Socks 03

I have reached the point in the Blood Diamond socks where I start wondering about a new pair of socks. I like knitting socks toe-up, and so no matter how fun the pattern, all of the real challenge is essentially over once I get past the turning of the heel.

(This does not count the challenge of squeezing a pair of socks out of a ball of yarn if the quantity of yarn is almost, but not quite, sufficient. We do not like this challenge. Therefore we will not mention it.)

As you can see from the above, I have passed the turning of the heel and done a pattern repeat and then some. It’s fun. It’s a great pattern. It’s going to be a nice pair of socks.

It’s still not enough to keep me from wanting a new, novel pair of socks.

In an attempt to distract myself, I concentrated on the pattern.

Blood Diamond Socks 04

You can see it better in this close-up than in the other shots. Look how nice it is! How fun! How it is subtle enough not to take away from the colorway, and yet distinct enough to still be obvious! (It is more obvious in person. The photo still doesn’t do it justice. I blame it on the flash.)

And yet look what I started on anyway…

Tofutsies Socks 01

A new sock.

This one is for M, and so it was hard to wait to cast on. It is being knit from Tofutsies yarn, which is spun from 50% superwash wool, 25% soy silk, 22.5% cotton, and 2.5% chitin. (Chitin, by the way, is made from crab and shrimp shells, and is somehow naturally antibacterial. Don’t ask me HOW they manage to turn crab shells into something spinable. And also don’t ask me how it manages to be SO SOFT with CRAB SHELLS spun into the yarn. But it is. I LOVE THIS YARN.)

The only problem I had with the Tofutsies was figuring out how to cast on. I prefer the Turkish cast-on, but the weave was too loose when I tried it. (Twice.) So I tried a cuff-down cast on. Didn’t like that either.

Wendy to the rescue!

I used her short-row toe method for the cast on, and will probably use her short-row heel also, just so it matches. Though I suppose I should ask M if he wants a heel flap. You never know.

I’m guessing that I’m going to be thanking Wendy for something else, one of these days, too.

Day Two 1

I suspect that Suzy would like a Kitty Pi bed, one of these days. Though that means that I will have to learn to felt…


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Goes With The Job Description...

It's funny, but while blogging I've noticed that my knitter-friends post more often than my writer-friends. (In general. This is not counting Actual Professionals like PBW and Holly Lisle.)

I guess writers write on the job, and so lose the interest in doing it for fun.

Makes me scared about the possibility of going into the tech writing field. I don't want to sap all of my creative writing desire out because I'm writing tech stuff for a living.


Project Polygamy

Day Two 4
Hi there! Mommy said I have to learn how to pose all cute for pictures…. how’s this?

Hope no one minds “baby brag book” style photos of Suzy for a while. Because I’m going to post these whether you like it or not. How could I resist?

I am awful when it comes to project monogamy. I now have three knitting projects on the needles (Icarus, the Blood Diamond socks, and some socks for M that I cast on today at lunch), one doily in my WIP bag that I forgot about until I went searching for a crochet hook (for a provisional cast-on for the new socks), and several stories. Plus scrapbooks, various articles of clothing, and a quilted square that will eventually be a potholder if I ever get it finished. Makes me tired just thinking about how much time I’ve put into each project - and how much MORE time each will require to be finished.

Ah well. It keeps me happy, right?


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bleeding Out

So during the D-Land trip, we spent some time shopping on Melrose. I had a blast, and bought a couple of cool shirts. I’ve only worn one of them so far, and when I went to wash it last weekend, this happened:

Dirty Water

Yuck. I hate improperly set dye. But I love the shirt. Le sigh.

And what I hate almost as much as icky unset dye?

Icarus Hole

Messing up.

I would hate it more, except that means I have to admit to being wrong, and so instead I pretend to laugh at it. Or I pretend that it’s okay, since I caught the mistake while it’s still easily fixable.

But the truth is, I then feel a huge need to go and fix my mistake. Luckily that means that I have gotten good enough at it that I can do it without (usually) creating more mistakes in the process. So this hole - an extra decrease where it didn’t belong - got fixed without making more trouble. See?

Icarus Hole Fixed

Well, I guess you can’t really see. You’ll have to take my word for it. Icarus is mended, and being knit again. Though I don’t have as much time to devote to it as I would like. Ah well. I’ll get it done, one of these days.


Monday, April 2, 2007

New Arrival

I have a new kitty! I’m calling her Suzy. She’s 8 months old, and was a rescue kitty. Her previous family abandoned her at a local cat rescue/feral cat care organization called Town Cats, and when my family saw her they knew she was what I needed. (I didn’t think I’d be able to get a cat, since I’m not living on my own. But if they say so, I’ not arguing!)

Day One 1

Getting cat pictures all by oneself is not the easiest thing with a friendly cat.

Day One 2

They tend to want to be pet, and not pose for pictures.

But, she eventually let me get one that sort-of shows her off. She’s a Lynx Point Siamese, though since she’s a rescue kitty we obviously don’t know details about her breeding. Not that I care. She’s the sweetest thing, and loves attention.

Day One 3

The minute she notices that there’s a person in the room with her, she starts purring. And rubbing. And asking for love and attention. It’s no hardship giving it to her, either. I spent enough time visiting with her this morning that I was almost late for work. But she’s worth it. She’s a love.

I have stash enhancement photos to post too (that’s yarn pics, for you non-knitters) as well as WIP shots. But those can wait for tomorrow or the next day, since kitty pictures are so much nicer.

Day One 4

Hope your weekend was a good as mine.