Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What is wrong with me??

I have three projects currently on the needles: the Snowdrop Shawl, Rogue, and the start of what I am hoping will turn out to be Elfine socks in Spunky Eclectic's Super Sport in Green Gables. (The yarn is still unsure of what it wants to be - right now we're still on the toe, so the potential to be anything is still there. I'm actually stalling on the hippo socks because rumour mill has the next Project Spectrum - and thereby Sock Club yarn - colour is blue. I love blue, and feel it would be the best choice yet for that particular pattern.)Yet, something is missing. I was looking up a link for a friend and it hit me. Socks. I know, I have Elfine. I mean something else. A plain pair of stockinette socks. Something that I can work on during rehearsal breaks, waiting in line, during shows. Something I don't have to think about at all. Something I don't need to remember patterns for. Now, this is slightly unfair to Rogue, as Rogue is pretty easy (it's really mostly stockinette, the cables are actually pretty small) at this point as well, but Rogue, well, Rogue is big. Rogue does not fit in my purse. Elfine will, of course, but I need to have a pattern handy to read for Elfine. And Rogue. And Snowdrop. I need a zombie project. I do believe I will have to go on a stash raid and find something suitable for boring old socks. I will, however, settle in with Rogue and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire afterwards. I do have a design meeting in the morning (is EVERYONE doing Suessical right now? I know of at least three companies getting ready to put it up!) and I haven't finished reading the script yet - the rhymes really get to me after a while - but oh well. I'm just there to take notes, anyway =)

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I know, pics are far more interesting than just text. Finally I've had time to take and upload recent pics:

First up, Column Socks!
This is the best pic I can find of the foot pattern. Ribbing doesn't photograph particularly well, it seems.

Finished pics:

These are easily the best socks I've made so far. They are so comfortable and fit perfectly. The only problem is the 100% wool thing - they were too warm to wear down in SoCal! Today up in the Central Coast they are doing a fine job, though!

The start of the Snowdrop Shawl.

The yarn is actually more purple than it shows in the pic. I'm actually liking this now that I'm getting back in the habit of lace and fine yarns. I think it will be lovely if I ever get it finished.

And, of course, I have to make some introductions. Colleen, Rogue, Rogue, Colleen.

Colleen wants to make Rogue someday. She should start soon - if she can do those awesome socks and Flower Basket Shawls, cabling will be a piece of cake! It really does look a lot more complex than it is. It's just like lace - you have to take it slow and pay attention. With this, you also get the benefit (for now) of lots of stockinette to help ease it up, too. Not that I would ever encourage someone to knit a project. Not me. Never. (The brown piece is where the kangaroo pocket will start, btw. There is a matching piece on the other side.)

Friday, May 26, 2006


I'm going with the Yarn Harlot's Snowdrop Shawl for the KnitPicks Shadow in Jewels. Colleen was kind enough to send me the pattern for the Flower Basket Shawl, and I can't wait to work on that one, but I have the same yarn in a misty green shade called Lost Lake that I think would be a lovely colour choice. All these pics will be up later - hopefully before the end of the weekend. I'm not sure that lace is really my thing - I've gotten used to being able to watch television and read while knitting and I can't do that now. (Firefly is a great series, btw. I got them on DVD for Steve for his graduation and we've been watching the whole series nonstop for three days now.)

Btw, Amy Boogie has sent out the May sock yarns already! Can't wait - it might even be there waiting for me when I get home!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Column Socks are finished! Okay, they've been finished since Tuesday, but we have a very spotty connection here and I haven't been able to get on long enough to post. I'd post a pic, but still no way to get pics off the camera onto the comp. I love them - they are so soft and comfortable and warm! Unfortunately, I have no need for warm socks atm, since I am in SoCal and it has been around 80 degrees all week.

I'm frogging the KYOA Pi. It's just not working for me anymore. I have no desire to continue working on it, and I don't like what I have done on it so far. I'm rewinding the yarn and planning another shawl/stole for it. The front runners right now are Candle Flame Shawl, Kiri, Snowdrop Shawl and Cat's Paw Lace Shawl. I also like the Flower Basket, but have no access to the pattern right now. I'm probably going to start one of those today, as I am now officially out of any other knitting projects. No more yarn here for Rogue, and the socks are done. Much more knitting occurred than I expected.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

So I decided to go on with the Rogue, despite not having the proper needles for the kangaroo pocket in front. Instead, I marked where the stitches will need to be picked up for later and continued on. (The knitting police have not hunted me down yet! Don't tell them where I am, k?) I have gotten all of the way through the lower half of chart A (the side cabling) and am starting the repeats that add the body length. I have to say, I've been pleasantly surprised so far. I was a little nervous about the intricacy of the cabling - this would be only my second cable project, my first was a very pretty afghan I started but then frogged for other reasons - and have had no problems with it so far. Knock on wood. I have to recheck the chart legend every time, but better safe than sorry, no? I'm very happy with the yarn choice so far - the cables are really starting to pop. My one concern (which I have been assured will fix itself with wear and washing) is the looseness of the stitches when I have to switch back and forth between the stockinette and reverse stockinette. I've been knitting them as tightly as I can, and twisting the stitches, which does seem to help, but makes me a bit nervous. Anyway, I've gotten that far and am now out of yarn. I didn't bring another ball down with me - what WAS I thinking, I have no idea. So now back to the second sock. I can't wait to have this pair done and wearable! I've been surruptitiously checking out other potential Bearfoot suppliers. There are supposedly four shops (FOUR!) in Santa Barbara that are listed as carriers. I will probably head back home a day before Steve (I have to get all that cotton yarn from Cleo cleaned up from its sprawl across the living room floor before he sees it) and I might just have to make a stop in Santa Barbara along the way. Of course, I also still have the Spunky Eclectic yarn waiting for me at home, not to mention another shipment of it on the way. Ahh...sock yarn....

Oh...and should I be worried that my mother knows me so well that when she mentions "alpaca" she ends the sentence with "no, I don't know if they sell the fleece or make yarn out of it"? We found out right before they left that one of the wineries in the area also has some alpacas...

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Colleen, I promise, I was working on Rogue! I'm down in LA, hanging with Steve, have a whole week to knit, and got to where the kangaroo pocket starts...and realized I had forgotten to bring my straight US8 and the spare ball of yarn for the pocket. I'm wondering if I can just keep going with the body and add the pocket later, or I could run over to a nearby Michaels and get another set of 8s and yarn, neither of which I really need.

For now, I'm just working on the second Column sock. The Pi shawl has been completely neglected, which is a shame. If I want to have it near done by June, like I told Grandma, I should take some time to work on it.

There's been some debate lately over whether I should make a pair of socks for Steve. I explained the curse to him a long time ago, but any time I come down here and am working on socks in front of other people, he has to bring it up and tease me about it. I finally got him to confess that he would like a pair, the curse is rubbish (we've been together two and a half years now and I have knit him one thing already) but he is afraid that he would wear them out or tear them up if he wore them! So I might find some guy-colored non-wool sock yarn (pretty sure I have some stashed) and make some for him for Christmas or something.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Quickest sock ever...

First Column sock is done. I'm down in Fullerton with Steve for a week, and no camera, so no pics. It's mostly p2k3 ribbing except for the center front, which is where the pattern reverses and makes a larger column down the center front.

I think this is the fastest I've ever done a sock - started May 7 and, with a bit of frogging when I changed patterns, finished May 18. Let's see if I can get the second one.

Btw, congrats to Rob, who won the 2000 sock package over on Amie's Two Thousand Socks KAL!!! I can't wait to see how many we actually get knitted and counted this year!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A visit to the Frog Pond and other Touristy Sites

I've forgotten how exhausting playing tour-guide can be. While it has been a lot of fun having my parents out here to visit (they leave early tomorrow afternoon), I also feel like I have not slept in days. It's the questions, I think, rather than the schedule. I don't know what kind of pretty flower that is. I don't know why the cows are in this field and not that field. I don't know how long strawberry season lasts here. I don't know when the harvest season for the wineries is. This weekend was pretty tame, as I had shows for most of it. Sunday, my parents, Steve, and I headed south to a really truly amazing steakhouse. Really. Truly. Amazing. Yum. Have to save up so we can go again. Yesterday, we did some of the wine tour stuff. We hit three vineyards and ended up with five bottles of wine. We decided that since we had the wine, we would make dinner at my apartment. Making dinner requires having food at the apartment. Hence the time for the birthday present. I now have no excuse to not eat for the next year and a half (approximately). And not just eat. Eat well. Today was spent down in Solvang doing the touristy thing and then we made the rash decision to stop by one of the produce stands and get fresh strawberries for smoothies. Dad mentions that the perfect meal for the evening would be homemade bread and fresh strawberry jam. I should take this moment to point out that I was eleven years old before I realized that other people BOUGHT jams and jellies in the grocery store. I seriously and honestly cannot recall a time when there was a jam jar in our house that had any label on it besides Dad's handwriting dictating what kind of fruit and what year it was made. Ever. So I was NOT ABOUT to disagree with him there. After another grocery store run and a run to Target (I am very sick of shopping right now, btw), we have fresh bread, homemade jam, and wine for dinner. (Yes, I have extra jars of jam. No, I am not giving any of these out quite yet. It's too good.) And more questions.

Oh, and the Cleo halter is journeying to the frog pond as we speak. I was not ever going to wear it in the stiff double-stranded cotton state it was in, so why not use the perfectly good yarn for something else? No idea what, I just needed to frog something, and it poked its head up out of the WIP basket. I showed Mom a pic of Ene's Scarf, and she really liked it but "didn't know when she would use something like that". So now I'm not sure if I should make it for her or not. I pointed out that I use my Lady almost every day at work, and Dad said that she could use it for sitting on the porch in the mornings when it was cooler. She's thinking about it. I'm going to ask her for a real opinion tomorrow before she leaves, because I don't want to make it "for her" if she won't use it. (I'll make it for me, in that case!) Continuing work on the first Column sock. The heel turned with no problems whatsoever, reinforcing my belief in the cursed Jaywalker yarn. I found one of Nancy Bush's sock books in the bookstore the other day and was amused and yet slightly disappointed to see several sock patterns very similar to my Columns in there. I guess it's hard to be truly original in ribbing. I did, despite my mother's dubious looks, pick up a copy of The Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules! I love reading through it so far! Mom needs to read the first chapter about explaining knitting to non-knitters. She appreciates the fact that I knit and enjoy knitting (heck, she does cross-stitch, and there is absolutely no practical use for that, so she can't really complain), but she doesn't "get" why I think it is perfectly okay to carry a half-finished sock around with me "just in case". Parents!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Not about knitting...

Parents got in about five hours later than expected last night, but are here safe and sound. Apparently they spent the day exploring the beaches and restaurants up north, since I have two shows on Saturdays.

Steve is finishing up a gig and then driving up here tonight. He's anticipating getting in around four in the morning. I'd ALMOST rather him stay down there and sleep, but then there is no way he'd make it up here in time for the show. He's already seen it once, but we have had plans for about three months now to take my parents out to dinner at a restaurant we've been DYING to go to, and the only day he could possibly come up is tomorrow, and this is a very nice, last-minute gig. Send safe driving and staying-awake thoughts to him tonight, if you get a chance to read this.

One of our YPs broke his ankle hiking with friends this morning, so had to figure out how to cover his track (none of the YPs except Oliver are understudied, which I SAID was a bad idea from the beginning!) before the show this afternoon. It takes three people to cover his track. Only in theater. (If you're taking notes, this is why it is a BAD IDEA to understudy from within, btw.) At least he broke it somewhere other than at the theater - the insurance and paperwork would have been a nightmare!

Starting the heel on the Column sock. That's all that has gotten worked on lately because I can work on it during the show =P

Friday, May 12, 2006


So laundry is done. Kitchen and bathroom are cleaned. A few more rows of Rogue are done. Several more rows of the sock is done. The KYOA Pi is languishing. I just can't bring myself to work on it right now, even though I have enjoyed the project so far. My brain is going "Ack! Lace! I'll have to think about THAT!" and refuses. I keep trying to tell it that the Clues I've picked so far have been very simple lace patterns (in fact, this one is almost all stockinette), but it still refuses to listen to me. Somehow the cables for the Rogue are easier to process. Hell if I know why. I tried to take pics of the sock, but I can't get the colours right or the ribbing to show up enough to be of any interest whatsoever. There isn't really enough of the Rogue right now to take a pic of. I'm on row 11. I'll get to start the kangaroo pocket soon!

Got to jump in the shower. I got my hair chopped off again this afternoon. Still not sure if I like it or not. The whole "bangs" thing is new to me again.

Mom and Dad's flight was late, so I'm going to pick them up from the airport after the show tonight. Should be fun. My "birthday present" from my cast (kidding! the cast is really great) yesterday was to have one of my ensemble guys go out with a bum foot and one of the swings who was already in for another ensemble guy with a bum wrist went out with a bum arm. And they choose to tell me about all of this twenty minutes before we open the house. Sigh. At least photo call went smoothly.

Oh, and I got the most absolutely cutest birthday card from my boss. Kittens and yarn, can't miss! She also gave me a really great huge Minnie Mouse beach towel (she knows I'm getting back into swimming), my ASMs got me this huge balloon and another bag of Starbursts (can we see a pattern here? I LOVE Starbursts!) and my parents are going to "gift" me by stocking my kitchen with real food this week! And recipes, too! Yay!

k, really off to shower now!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


My accomplishments for today:
1. Not killing a specific crew member who has been whining all week and driving all of us crazy.

2. Four more rows of Clue #3c done on KYOA Pi.

3. Three more rows of Rogue done.

4. No idea how many rows of first sock done during the show. I'm going with a rib pattern that I'm sure ten billion people have done and copyrighted and posted somewhere on the internet, but I personally am calling it "Columns". Basically, for the foot, it is k2, [p2,k3] 3 times, [k3,p2] 3 times, k2 on the instep and stockinette sole. For the leg, I'm either going to repeat the foot twice and have the wide column up the front and back center of the leg (not wild about, but it's an idea) or I'll keep the front the same as the foot and do k2, [p2,k3] 2 times, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, [k3,p2] 2 times, k2 on the back. I would say I'm about a third of the way through the foot, and I'll probably work more on it before I go to sleep.

5. Four loads of laundry done (but as yet unfolded).

6. Car cleaned out of trash, old prompt books, and other things that really can live in the garage that I forget we have now.

7. One load of dishes done in the dishwasher (but as yet still not put away).

8. One pan of cookie-squares baked. Only one cookie bar was taste-tested and I didn't eat all the dough!

9. 700m (28 lengths) swim workout, plus a short water exercise workout for legs. (My shoulders and triceps are protesting - I just started swimming again after not really doing it as a workout in about six years.)

10. Listened to the Cubs win!

Not bad!

To do for tomorrow:
Work up the photo call list for tomorrow night (What a really delightful birthday present - a photo call! Yes, that IS sarcasm.)
Do the dishes from making cookies
Fold the laundry
Put dishes in the dishwasher away
Call Hitching Post and change reservations for Sunday from 5 people to 4 people (my brother isn't coming out with my parents - he has finals next week and can't miss)
Celebrate being 25 years old...wait, I can start doing that now! (Okay, so technically, I should wait until 5:10p but who wants to wait that long for a birthday??)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time Management

Okay, so what do you do when you have three projects you are equally enthused about, plus you have a show going, plus you have your parents coming out to visit for the first time ever this weekend (meaning, I really should clean up the apartment and clean out my car at some point - this is the first time they have visited me since I moved to California three years ago now)?? Oh, and you're trying to get back into a workout groove? And you want to play games online? And you're inherently procrastinitic (yes, I just made that word up)?

So much I want to do vs. what I need to get done!

Oh, instead of doing the fluted banister socks, which I still really like, but don't feel like doing cuff-down and the pattern isn't quite working for me with the colours, I'm thinking of doing some other rib variation. Possibly something more similar to the pattern of the Rainy Day scarf or Amy Boogie's 52 Toe Ups. Just playing. It's a bit...liberating to think "I don't HAVE to find someone else's pattern!" On the other hand, I'm not particularly creative. Oh, and the whole lace sock thing - can someone help me out? Would having YO holes (I'm sorry "eyelets") make your socks less warm? I love the Mata Hari socks over on Grumperina's blog, but the whole eyelet thing makes me cringe a bit.

Yes, I'm being rude by not linking to any of the people, patterns or sites I am mentioning right now. I had a brat mat this morning and I'm tired. I think the socks and I will go stretch out in bed now while I try to work out an interesting ribbing pattern.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Maybe she'll finally shut up now...

Because she's wearing her Jaywalkers! Finally! The second sock was finished Sunday night, after doing a show and driving four hours down to Fullerton to see the boy, only to discover that the call he was on that was supposed to end at nine was going until midnight. (I got my birthday present (May 11) that night, too - a rice cooker/food steamer, The Notebook on DVD, a bag of Starbursts and a rose!! Yay!! Can't wait to try out these new recipes!!! Yes, I'm strange, I do enjoy getting gifts that plug into kitchen outlets.) Anyway, you don't care about that, you want to see the socks.

Ta da! (Pay no attention to the whiteness of my legs. Why, yes, Colleen, that IS the start of the Rogue in the bag by my feet.) Okay, so there are still issues with the second one's heel. It is an afterthought, which is a nice technique, but I did have some problems with it. First and probably foremost, it's not such a great heel to use when you've already messed up and put a pattern on the sole of the sock, because then you have to deal with stitches that are in a pattern already. Next time, I will make sure that the sole is stockinette. Second, I hate and suck at picking up stitches. (Yes, I know, I just did a whole entrelac stole. I still hate picking up stitches.) Picking up the actual stitches from the sock was fine but no matter what number of stitches I pick up on the sides, it isn't right. I either have too few and get a hole, or too many and get this extra streak of knitting down the side of the heel. Will have to get better at that. I could see afterthought heels translating very easily to two socks at a time and doing both heels at the same time afterwards, so I do want to try this one again. Jaywalker socks were done in KnitPicks Dancing, Jig colourway. It's a decent yarn, a bit hard on the hands, but softens up after washing. I will use it again, as I like the colourways of it, and I have more in the stash already.

Started the Fluted Bannisters Sunday night, as well, and have the toe of the first one done. Bearfoot...my god, I love that yarn! So soft! Soft, I say! Particularly after the "sock yarn" mix of the Dancing, the 100% superwash wool is heaven on the hands. The Mountain Tango colourway is growing on me, too. I got it from a lady on KR who was destashing and even though I wasn't wild about the colour at the time, it was a good price and I had really wanted to try some of it. I'm ending up really liking it! Who knew?! I'm going to get these started and then get back to the poor KYOA Pi, who has been all but totally neglected this week and I am now officially a clue behind. I told my grandmother that I wanted to have it done by June (she knows I'm working on it, but doesn't know it is for her), so I'm not terribly behind yet, but it's going to start piling up fast!

As much as I hate to say it, Rogue can probably wait for a bit.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sock whore

I admit, my head gets totally turned by new patterns and yarn. And I don't knit socks all that quickly, as you've probably figured out, so WHY this happens, I have no idea. The latest pronounecements from the Mount:

1. Bearfoot shall not be used for hippo socks. It just wasn't striking me as the "right" colourway for that pattern. Bearfoot shall now become Fluted Banister socks. This pattern just seems to suit the colourway better, and I can't wait to get started on them! This will be my next sock project. I think I will, again, modify it to a toe-up.

2. My Spunky Eclectic yarn shall be used for hippo socks. That does strike me as a fun colourway for those. They will be worked on after the Bearfoot.

3. Jaywalkers have about seven more rows left of the pattern, then the cuff ribbing and the heel. SOOO close! (I'm honestly not dragging them out in order to get closer to the loot-getting numbers of the 2000 Socks KAL over at Amie's. I swear, I am not that intelligent!) I'm really liking this whole afterthought-heel thing so far. I might try it again. I'd really love to have these guys done by the end of the weekend.

I must now suffer upon myself a pilgrimage (sp??) to my LYS in search of another size 5 circular needle. The KYOA Pi is too big to ML, but not yet big enough to work completely circularly. *sigh* Rogue is coming along extremely well. I'm having the teeniest trouble with laddering along the beginning-of-row marker, for some reason, and had to redo the first cable row, but I think it's going to be okay.

Now my Cubbies just need to start winning again and I need another pair of hands and an extra set of eyes so I can do this Guild Wars mission and knit at the same time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Knitting and Gaming

Don't normally mix very well. Online gaming, that is. Mostly because you need both hands to play and to knit. You see, the new chapter of Guild Wars, called Factions, just came out this weekend and is hella cool. I love the graphics (seriously, I play the game to sight-see. It is truly a beautiful game), the design, the functionality, the THOUGHT that they put into this game. And, no monthly pay-to-play fee. Steve and I both bought the first chapter as soon as it came out (we each buy copies of games we like so we can play at the same time), and I've enjoyed it, but kind of dropped off playing because of knitting. I decided when the new chapter came out, I'd put it off, since I hadn't even come close to finishing the first one, but Steve got his copy of it and I got a chance to play it this weekend. I really love that game. Now I miss it. But I miss Rogue and Jaywalkers and KYOA Pi, too. So now I'm having this dilemma. Knit, or game? How to resolve this???

Oh, and look what was waiting at my front door when I got home last night:

I absolutely cannot wait to play with this sock yarn! I love the colors, and it is so soft! I don't really consider myself a yarn whore, but I was thisclose to using it for my next sock project. Then my Bearfoot started sulking quietly and I felt sorry for it and realized that I hadn't kept any of my promises to it (I've had it for about six months now and not touched it). So now the new yarn is balled up and resting comfortably (thanks to the new winder and swift), and the Bearfoot is near my elbow, patiently waiting for me to finish up the last couple inches and heel on Jay and finally, finally cast it on for something.

Oh, and I had this idea for another sweater yesterday...you SEE my problem?? So many patterns, so little time, and now another addiction is worming its way back in my head! Argghh!

Oh, and a random thought: The Last Five Years is a musical/opera (technically, there's no dialogue) everyone should see and a soundtrack everyone should have. It's short, sweet, and really makes you think about how relationships work. We did it here two years ago, and I have been in love with it ever since. I was listening to it on the way down to L.A. Sunday, and it's still in my head.

Gotta go sit through a production meeting and a check-in with my supervisor. Maybe one of these days she'll realize I'm not a student or intern anymore. Oh well. Knitting and playing later.