Sparkle Moxie

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

This Secret Pal is good. Today, after a miserable and frustrating day back at the old job, I got (insert joyous music here) the pattern book with the
Urban Aran in it. I was so excited that it actually elicited an out loud "Holy Crap!" as I opened it in front of my mail box.

Thank you so, so much, SP!

Reading over the pattern really makes me appreciate how talented brooklyn tweed is; some of the modifications he did are stumping me a little, but I hope that once I get going, I'll figure it out.

Thus begins the quest for a good yarn for this sweater!

And I've got the internship! Woot. It's going to be about twenty hours a week, doing a whole hodgepodge of stuff that may eventually lead to bigger things. I'm pretty excited, but the downside is that I don't think I'll have time to work at the yarn store (which sucks -- during my shitty day at work, all I could think was "They better not make me fill in at this office again, I've got another job offer!" (I work in a school attendance office, but today they put me in an office full of angry, rabid parents to fill in for I don't even know who, since there were able-bodied people who could have done what I was doing (namely, playing word games on Shockwave when I wasn't being assailed by aforementioned rabid parents))).


As we segueway from May to June, I thought I'd post this picture for Project Spectrum. It's one of my new baskets that I got to organize my craft wall. Geek that I am, I now have my yarns sorted by color. Its fanfuckingtastic, I tell you.

Now I'm off to measure and cut paper (I told you it was a hodgepodge).

One last time:

Thank you Secret Pal!!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Firstly, I tried to get a good picture, I promise. This is the first and least blurry picture out of five (seriously, the more still D and I tried to be, the more blurry the photo. I don't get it.).

This is the shawl twelve and a half repeats in. I think I said in my last post that it was going along swimmingly, but it seems as though the lifeguards have put out the yellow flags. For whatever reason, I keep ending up with not enough stitches by the time I get to the end of the row. So I frog til the end of the row (or close enough that I know I did the first few stitches correctly, even though that doesn't always work as one row I ripped out three times only to find that the problem was the first stitch -- I had knit three toghether instead of two). On the whole, I am enjoying this, and the yarn. Especially the yarn. I love pulling a length from the ball and watching it flutter down.

But I am pissed about my not being able to keep track of stitches. Bleh.

In other news, I have been offered an internship and a part-time position at Y2E. The internship is with a woman who does
wedding invitations. I've done assembly work for her for about two years now, and I go to talk with her about it tomorrow. I'm really exicted. And, depending on how that works out, I'll talk to Wendy to see if what little time I have left will be of help to her.

We've re-arranged the apartment and (several trips to Ikea later) I now have a craft wall. Oh the joy.

After all of that, the rest of the weekend was filled with seeing the new X-Men movie (twice, although both viewings were so horrible (one with talkers/kickers and another on the Very. First. Row. because D's brother couldn't get his act together and get to the theater on time) that we don't even count them), starting a pair of socks for myself out of that gorgeous Fleece Artist (my new favorite sock yarn), and watching Robot Chicken on dvd.

Oh, Robot Chicken. Both D and I are very much enamored by the dementedness, and we watched so much of it yesterday that both Mila Kunis and Danny Masterson were in my dreams last night, wherein the three of us were some kind of crime fighting team.

A demented one, of course.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sooo, the laptop has a virus that has decided to not let us on the internet the past few days. I have broken through. Don't you dare lose the connection before I post this post, laptop!

Some kook is on the telly trying to sell me a juicer. Looks like pondwater, but I suppose this is what I get for blogging at one in the morning.


These are Natalie's socks! And her huge rottweiler. I swear I had a picture that didn't make it look like she's all floaty (which I don't necessarily think is a negative), but Blogger kept putting it in sideways.


I'm really exicted about these socks, though. Made with one skein of
Knitpicks Memories and the Corded Rib pattern out of Sensational Knitted Socks. And I have a ton of yarn left over. Probably one and one third skeins. Granted, Natalie does have tiny feet, but still.

I have now made a pair of real socks!

And, yeah, those are the socks drying out on the dash of the car on the way over. Don't knock it til you've tried it, baby.

One fifteen makes me kind of loopy, apparently. I've just become terribly amused that Jack La Lane (he of the pond water juicer) is married to Elaine La Lane.

The stole is coming along quite nicely; on Saturday I had done one repeat and was totally not seeing how what I was knitting was going to turn into that beautiful shawl, so I went down to Yarntopia to see if they could either reaffirm me or point me in the right direction. As a testament to how nice these ladies are, hear ye this: I got there almost an hour after they closed, but Sheryl was still there, so she let me in to pester her. Thanks, Sheryl!

I was back today, because my head decided I needed more of the Fleece Artist sock yarn, to make a
Clapotis. And I am not going to say no to that. I got one more skein in the colorway Vintage to go with the one I have already, and a skein in Paris to make socks with.

Even though there's more I want to post, I'm a gonna go to bed. Theoretically, I'm going to the gym first thing in the morning.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One thing that anyone who reads this is bound to find out sooner rather than later is that I cannot stick to one project at a time. I get all ansty.

I have finished Elyse (she's at Yarns 2 Ewe, go check her out). And that is MattyJ's scarf not too long before I finished it. Once I meet up with him, I'll get a picture of him modeling it. D's scarf is coming along, and I started on a pair of socks for my sister out of Knitpicks Memories in the now discontinued colorway "Grandma" (let's hope she never finds out the name of that yarn).

So what do I go and do? I decide to tackle another project. Specifically, something lacy for my cousin who's graduating from college. I went back to Yarntopia to get more of the Handmaiden mohair, this time in blues, to make Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave Stole. So I look at the yarn, in all its blueberry glory, and I look at the pattern, so delicate and airy and visions appear in my head. Of her loving it. Of her one day wearing it at her wedding as her 'something blue.'

Delusions of Grandeur? What's that?

Now I know lace takes time, and I know it can look like senseless crap before its blocked, but let me tell you - I don't see it. I do not see how what I'm knitting is going to end up like that beautiful stole. And since I'm trying to do this on a deadline, it only makes it worse. I'm going to keep knitting, but....there may be tears.

Friday, May 12, 2006

How fun is it to get mail that's not a bill, junk, or stuff about your student loan?

Very very. (Which reminds me of an episode of one of my absolute favorite cartoons, Rocco's Modern Life, when he's on a home renovation gameshow (!), and in order to win a huge new kitchen, he must answer the question "How big is Really Really Big Man's kitchen?" to which Rocco tentatively answers "Really really?" Love it.)

Anyhoo, I got my first little package from my Secret Pal today! Woot! Thanks Secret Pal! I can't wait to try out these bath salts, they smell yu-mmy.

Today I started working on D's scarf again. I had decided in my head that while the two rows of plain stockinette among the seed stitch did stand out wonderfully, they looked like they should be cabled, or something. And I don't know that D's a terribly cable-y kind of guy (except for the Urban Aran, because like it or not, D would look hot in the Urban Aran (if I could find the damn pattern)). So I went hunting through my new book, and found this pattern.

Not too fancy pants, just a little bit of texture, and, I think, it masculinizes the silk. And fast. The pattern is worked over two rows, one of them just purling, and that's it.

I'm hoping to finish this up soon, so I can finish up MattyJ's now very late birthday scarf, and because (and I swear this should be some of the last purchasing for awhile, but even then I only went shopping because we got our tax return, and D and I have an agreement where we each get to spend $100 on ourselves and the rest on whatever important thing is going on at the thime) I went back to Yarntopia yesterday. I got two more skeins of that lovely merino from Uraguay to make some sort of cropped sweater/cardian thing, and more Handmaiden! A huge skein of mohair to make my first lace project.

And, finally, here's my project for Color, the Four Elements. I'm very pleased with the way it came out, and definitely want to try this again. I'm not very happy about the set up. From the begining I'd wanted to do soemthing like this, in particular because of Debbie New's Duet with a Theremin from Unexpeted Knitting. I love how the frame invited you to touch it. This however, stretches out "Air" way too much, and falls over at the first suggestion of a breeze. People have suggested I frame it, but then you can't touch it.

Something will have to be done.

And I lied. That wasn't the last thing. I submitted an entry for
Glampyre's new contest! I'm very excited about it, and even if she doesn't pick it, I still want to see it made, so it might be my first foray into designing.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Talk about having your socks fucking rocked. D and I drove up to Austin to go see Ok Go and the Lashes (She Wants Revenge also played, but to quote myself when I got so bored during the show that I texted my sister, they sucked yak ass). Waiting in the heat for over an hour was so worth it because this was one of the best shows I've ever seen.

This band is everything I think a great band should be. They are so fucking on top of things, and not just music-wise, but stylistically, too. Tim Nordwin and Andy Ross do little choreographed moves, and good god but I love their clothes. And at the end, they do the dance for A Million Ways. I got to talk to Mike from the Lashes, and he said that watching it every night was like the best night of his life every night.

And I've got to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the Lashes. They're great live (which is huge to me, so many great bands suck live), and honestly, how can you not love a band whose keyboardist has a sticker for Hall and Oates Maneater on his keyboard? The aforementioned Mike plays like a motherfuckingdrummingdemon, WHICH IS HOW YOU SHOULD PLAY! Play like you mean it, play like you love it, play like you'd never, ever get to again. He broke several of his sticks; one splinter even flew out into the crowd. I bought their new CD at the show, and am now looking for the first one.

So today, D and I walked around Congress. I went to Hill Country Weavers, and got some great Diakeito, which I have yet to find in Houston. We also went to Monkey...crap I can't remember the name of the store, but it does have monkey in it. Twice. Anywho, I got these Afro Kens! And if you were wondering, you should NOT stick one to your head as it will leave a perfect circle of a hickey on you forehead. I know because I've been staring at the perfect circle of a hickey on D's head all night.

The other big find was a copy of Barbara Abbey's
The Complete Book of Knitting. I am so excited to try some of these patterns. Woot.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

All this week I've had a problem. The prognosis? Yarn Store Wanderlust.

Now, please, bear in mind: I love my
LYS. No questions about it. The staff are always friendly, especially the owner who bends over backwards to help. But I was reading a review of the other yarn shops in the area and I got curious. And being that I am a girl who's only ever cheated on her homework in high school, I threw yarn store fidelity to the wind.

Nancy's Knits I just skipped, beacause that's where I used to go, and....ehh. Then I went to Nimble Fingers, where I got all of these magazines to the left for a dollar (yes, I realize that lots of stuff from Vogue is the stuff that
You Knit What? is made of, but I did find at least one pattern per magazine that I want to make) and the Erdal for 75% off. The shop is mostly needlepoint stuff, and the only things I found that Y2E doesn't carry was overpriced.

Next I went to
Mary Charles Yarn. Cute set up, and I may wind up going there for the odd thing or two I haven't really seen anywhere else, but I do have to say I was underwhelmed.

But, the big find was Yarntopia. At first I had dismissed it because it was all the way out in Katy, but I called up my friend Jennifer and we made the trek out there. They have so much neat stuff. I got that absolutely gorgeous sock yarn, and some of the cushiest merino wool I have ever, ever felt. No clue what its going to be, but it doesn't matter.

And may I say My husband has impeccable taste? He picked out Hand Maiden wool and silk blend that is fucking delicious. I did right marrying this guy. I started up a simple seed stitch scarf to show of the luster and texture with two columns of stockinette running up the middle. I think this will be my May Project Spectrum thing-a-thing.

So, the wanderlust has been sated, and I've decided that Y2E will still be my "home store," but Yarntopia is without question worth the trip every now and then.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Secret Pal Questionnaire -- Woot!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I pretty much like everything except acrylic and novelty stuff. I love alpaca and chunky cottons like Araucania; I got my first touch of Cascade 220 and Mission Falls and loved them, have to think of something to do with them; Knitpicks is completely awesome.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I keep my needles in a needle roll I made. But I think I might have to make/get something for my double pointed (which I am currently loving, I used to be so scared of them) and crochet hooks.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting about four years, I think, and I guess I'd have to say I'm an advanced intermediate. I've done lace (in small amounts, like for a purse), I just started making socks, so yeah, advanced intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Things like vanilla, lime, anything that comes from the kitchen.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Two words: Dark. Chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I sew a little, mostly by hand. I do ceramics, paint, and draw. I'd love to learn how to spin, but haven't yet.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Lately I've been listening to a lot of Ok Go (going to see them Monday night!), Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Gwen Stefani, and Garbage. And I have just re-discovered the Beastie Boys. I can play MP3s on my laptop, and I have an iPod.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like most colors, so long as they're really rich and saturated. I love pink, so long as its a bold, stong pink. And while I love yellow, I just can't pull it off.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married, have been for three and a half years, and we have Scooter, the bi-polar chihuahua, and three ferrets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Everything but ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Right now, I'd have to say socks. Socks and bags.

13. What are you knitting right now?
On the needles, I have a pair of socks, and the Elyse tote. And MattyJ's scarf. And I just got two skeins of Karaoke yesterday for the Mistake Rib scarf. The first step in addressing the problem is admitting you have one, wa-ha!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer bamboo, either straight or circular, but in particular, I love Skacel's bamboo circs.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I got them both for Christmas last year, and love them!

17. How did you learn to knit?
A good friend taught me.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
A scarf I started for D about a year ago (and I feel awful, I have the hardest time finishing stuff for him (although I did just make the Armchair Socks for him)).

19. What is your favorite holiday?

20. Is there anything that you collect?
There are things to collect besides yarn?

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I have Sensational Knitted Socks, and wouldn't mind another sock book, but other than that, I don't know. I probably do know, but just can't think of it right now. EDIT: I knew I knew and couldn't think of it -- upon seeing
Brooklyn Tweed's fanfrickingtastic Urban Aran, I have decided that D must have one. Only problem? I can't find the pattern booklet. Anyone who can is a saint in my book.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd eventually like to learn how to spin, but its not the biggest of priorities right now.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes to socks! My feet are: Shoe size 7, Circumference 8 1/2, and total foot length 9.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
June 29th!

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