Monday, August 28, 2006


All done - the washing and drying didn't tear it apart, and it looks much better on the wrong side now than it did earlier today. I'll finish the card and pop it in the mail tomorrow with a nice bottle of wine, I think.

Project Specs:
Pattern: Chunky Diagonal Throw from Lion Brand Yarns
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in Florida Keys (green), Cobalt (blue), Covered Bridge (red), Sunshine State (yellow), and Deco (white)
Needles: US 10.5 for body, US 11 for border
Date started: July 17, 2006
Date completed: August 27, 2006
-I messed up the color assignments early on, so the order is not the same as the pattern's. If I was making this for myself - and I probably will at some point - I personally would do a more repetitive pattern instead of the random. I love the colors of this one, though.
-The Homespun is a good enough yarn for this. Again, and I said this with the Winter Night afghans, too, the fraying of the woven-in ends drives me batty. I'm not sure what else is possible to do to prevent it, though. I would love to try another chunky, machine wash yarn for this at some point in the future. Perhaps Wool-Ease Chunky or Thick-n-Quick if I can find enough colors I like.

The first of the cuff-down socks was finished yesterday, the second cast on, and I finished casting on for the April Fool's socks this afternoon as well. I'm doing those two at a time. I really like the fit of the heel and gusset (yeah yeah), but I really really hate the toe. It's very square. I have added an extra two stitches to the second sock, as well, because the first is justohsoslightlyever too tight. I can still wear it just fine, but it stretches just a bit more than I'd like.

Looking at these, and the ohmygod beautiful sock yarn from Spunky Eclectic that arrived in the mail yesterday, I have changed my mind about the Sock Wars, I think. It still sounds like a lot of fun, but I'm kind of over deadlines for the time being and I want absolutely no pressure to knit. Besides, I want to get some of these WIPs over on the sidebar crossed off, particularly Rogue and the Snowdrop Shawl. And I'd love to get cracking on the Pinwheel Sweater over at Elann.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lock 'n Load

Okay, I found out about this from the Knitters' Review Forums. It is hysterical, sounds like a blast, and I once I saw it, I had to do it. It just ties in too perfectly with my other hobbies.

I'm riding on the idea that I did, indeed finish the Column Socks in a week. Okay, so I worked on nothing else that whole week, but I'm not planning any Christmas knitting this year. (I take that back, I did promise a scarf to someone. Shouldn't take long, though.) If I get Rogue done soon, which I should, all I'll have on the needles are socks and the Snowdrop Shawl at that point in time. The shawl can take a bit more downtime if it wants. Becki's afghan is going to be finished today (once I stop typing and start laundry and go grocery shopping), so I won't have to worry about that. No other deadlines or anything I have to get done, so it could be possible that I won't be the first man down. Anyone else interested? Sign ups will close on Sept. 8! More info can be found at the Sock Wars Forum.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


What's a girl to do when she has three of four borders of an afghan (that was supposed to be done a week ago) knitted, half the foot of one sock left to work, another pair of socks on the needles, an week coming up, and evenings this week semi-free? Why, work on Rogue, of course. For some reason, it started hollering at me the other night, and I figured that since the hood had been dragging like crazy before and I had no problems putting it down, I should probably work on this while I actually felt like it. I think I'm about a third of the way through the hood now. I figured out how to pf/b to increase instead of the m1 bar, because I kept getting holes where I picked up the bar and the stitch underneath it stretched. I haven't started the sleeves yet like I was going to when I put the thing down, but they are going to be Twisted German CO (that stretchiness has won me over and I'm a big sleeve pusher-upper), and knit flat, both at once, on a circular needle. I'm okay with seaming the sleeves themselves, but am a bit anxious about setting the sleeves into the body. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, I guess.

I recently acquired several of the Harry Potter AudioBooks, and they have been great to listen to while knitting. (insert warning of nerdiness here)It's been really interesting for me, because I know the books so well (no, I can't say as I've memorized them - yet - but I have read them enough to know exactly what the next phrase will be most of the time), but the only audio experience I have had with them has been the movies, so hearing the same words in different voices and different readings has been fun. It's not quite as cool as holding the book in my hands and curling up to read it and see the words myself, but it is a very fun way to satisfy my HP and knitting cravings at the same time. I would highly recommend them. My only complaints so far have been that my laptop's speakers suck, and the reader reads Hermione's lines in a voice that makes me think of a whining, flaming fairy-boy during allergy season, not as a teenage girl (I'm listening to PoA (Prisoner of Azkaban, for the uninitiated) atm and will probably start GoF (Goblet of Fire) tonight.

Oh, and anyone want to tech my show for me next week? It's only an hour and a half long with six actors. And 30+ costumes (all of them quick changes, most of them in the last twenty minutes of the show). And a set that has to be destroyed at the end of Act I and be completely changed for Act II. Only 196 LQs so far, though, but we still have about half of Act II to paper tech. I'm anticipating about 300 light cues total. (To give you a range, Oliver! had 350+ LQs -skipping some numbers, my last cue # was 486, or thereabouts - and Anna had 87 w/o skipping any. 300 is pretty average for a musical and not bad at all.) Plus I think 80+ music cues, 20 or so sound cues, and an unknown number of deck/curtain cues. Calling the show isn't going to be the problem. It's going to be getting all of the technical elements to work together properly in the first place. That and the speed of the show. 400+ cues in 90m averages to about 4.5 cues a minute, so I may not be able to get much knitting done during this show. I'm looking forward to actually performing the show, I just don't want to go through the first day of tech for it =P

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


As promised, some highlights of the weekend. Five pics for the connection-speed impaired.

First up, we have this gorgeous creation:

This is the back of her dress. Photos do not do it justice. Those are all embroidered flowers, along with strings of sparkly clear beads. The groom's tux vest and the flower girl's dress matched the lavender of the flowers, while the matron of honor and bridesmaid's dresses and the best man and groomsman's tux vests matched the green of the stems. The train was several feet long, and as Becki is barely over five feet tall, we had a lot of fun getting her dressed. It took five people to hold the dress and train up so she could dive under it. But, it was worth it:
She was so beautiful and happy. It's wonderful to see her and John together. The ceremony was actually very short (despite my crying when I saw her being walked down the aisle by her daddy and then the minister skipping the prayer right before my verses so I didn't have time to compose myself again, oh well), and the reception was a lot of fun. She and John had decided that they wanted real food that people would actually eat, so the meal was hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled chicken, with corn and a fresh fruit mix. It was great. Their gift:
is still being worked on. I didn't have time today to work on it, as I had to babysit a new intern's first rehearsal this evening, but I should be able to work on it the rest of the week. Unless I can talk Cute Actor into going to see another show with me, of course...oh right, back to reality:
The Cloverleafs (Cloverleaves?) were finished on the flight home, as I said. They don't photograph particularly well at midnight. Or I just don't take very good pictures. Whichever. And, as the Yarn Harlot says, this is how long it takes to fly halfway from Chicago to Dallas, wait on a plane, fly from Dallas to Los Angeles, sprint through the airport (the distance to the gate you need is inversely porportional to the amount of time you have to get there in airports. Don't believe me? Try it next time your flight is delayed and you have less than five minutes to get to your connecting flight - the gate will be on the opposite end of the terminal, trust me!), fly from Los Angeles to Santa Maria, and sit through a four hour rehearsal for a show that isn't yours:
I'm still wondering about this whole heel flap and gusset thing. This is my first time with them. It seems strange to me, but I will grit my teeth and do it. Supposedly this traditional method doesn't have the slouchy problems that my beloved short row heels have, which will be nice. Again, though, there's this whole picking up stitches thing, and I keep reading things about knitters who misjudged how many stitches to pick up and ending up with holes in the heels. I don't want to be them. Oh, and the LL hasn't really been anything to write home about so far. It's nice, and the fabric being produced on the US 2's is probably my favorite sock fabric so far, but I can't say as I've been overly impressed with the yarn. I do love the color, though!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When Katie Comes Marching Home Again...

Finally home again! The wedding was absolutely beautiful (I'm totally jealous of the dress, oh my god, her dress! And I did cry, of course, but if that's all anyone remembers about the wedding, they have other issues), family and friends were great (gotta love it when an aunt runs a candy store and heaps chocolate on you before you leave), travelling was far less hassle than I had expected given recent events, and my Cloverleaf socks were completed. Pics of all will be available after the camera battery is recharged. I did not get the afghan finished to my level of gift-giving comfort before I left, so it is still here. Now that I have some extra time on it, I am going to re-seam it properly (the seams are pretty tight right now and I'm afraid the yarn will break) and put the actual pattern border on. I started another pair of socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport Black Purl on the flight from Chicago to Dallas yesterday (which was a bit of a surprise, as when I bought the ticket I don't recall any mention of there being a stop in Texas, but oh well, I still got home eventually). These are just plain stockinette socks, cuff-down, so I could figure out the cast on and heel and stuff. I used the Twisted German Cast On, and wow, I can't believe how stretchy it is! I'm also going to cast on another pair in Spunky Eclectic's Berry Pickin and make the April Fool's Socks (mostly I want to use that cast on again!). I meant those to be the very next pair of socks, but apparently I grabbed the wrong purple sock yarn in my packing haste and ended up with LL in my bag instead.

Congrats to Colleen for more fair ribbons for her very cute toys! And please check out Amie's blog for an opportunity to purchase a very cute pattern and help out a very sick little girl in the process. Having lost one of my own small cousins to neuroblastoma last year, this means a lot to me.

Alright, gotta get back to the whole working routine - luckily I should have students starting this week that I can dragoon into ASM'ing!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


The yay:
1. The Chunky Diagonal Throw strips are completed and seamed together. I ended up using some Simply Soft to seam them - the Homespun was just too much of a pain to work with for seaming, and almost impossible to hide unless I wanted to change colors every ten stitches or so. I'm not that good of a friend.

2. I have one more day of work and then I am GETTING OUT OF HERE for a weekend! I love travelling anywhere anytime anyway, but this is special. You have no idea how happy this makes me, just the thought of not having to worry about if I will run into him, or wondering what (if anything) I should say or do if I do run into him, is very liberating. And, of course, I can't wait to celebrate Becki's marriage. I can't believe my two best friends from high school are married now. One almost for a year already! I'm not really the girly type, but I'm actually really looking forward to going over to Beck's Saturday morning and helping her get ready and getting to the church early and all that fun pre-wedding stuff. I'm just reading some Bible verses, so hopefully I will do that well. My main fear is that I will cry, as I'm far more like my mother than I'd like to be sometimes. (She's a sentimental sap who cries at cotton and coffee commercials during the holidays.) I think it will be okay, though.

The ughs:
1. The blanket is knitted and seamed, and I now have one evening left to knit the border. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned before how much I hate picking up stitches. This is the reason why. I can't pick up stitches evenly for the life of me, which throws off the stitch count and thus my borders get wonky. Plus, the border in the pattern, which I like, is twelve rows wide, which isn't bad, but it's 100 increasing to 110 stitches on the top and bottom and 136 increasing to 146 stitches on either side. I may not get any sleep before the flight tomorrow night. I thought about maybe chickening out and doing something like an applied I-cord border, but I can't find any good directions on how to do it. Any suggestions? Maybe the crocheted border Amie suggested? I've never crocheted before, though, so not sure how well that would work.

2. I have four loads of laundry sitting on the floor in my bedroom that desperately need to be folded and put away. I hate folding laundry, and am half-tempted to leave it there, but Chrissy is coming over this weekend to check on Teddie for me, and she is a neat freak. I can't just close the bedroom door, because then Teddie can't get to his litter box, so I'm going to have to put it away tonight, as tomorrow will be spent working on the damn border. I'll have to wash the blanket when I get to my parents' Friday night, I guess. I hope everything turns out okay =P

3. I have meetings starting at 9:30a tomorrow. It is currently 2:00a. If I'm awake (this is hardly staying up late for me, but 9:30a is awfully early in the morning), I should at least be doing something productive, yes? Working on the border, or folding the laundry, or packing or cleaning or something. But no. I'm typing a post and chatting online instead. Ugh.

I might duck out of babysitting Much Ado dress tomorrow night so I can come here and get stuff done and attempt to get some sleep before travelling for fourteen hours.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Unreasonably hyper

I came home from rehearsal uncharacteristically hyper tonight. Not sure why. Maybe it is that we are finally finished with three rehearsals' worth of tap dancing (thank god this is not a huge cast show - the noise would probably drive me battier than I already am!). Maybe it's the cute actor and the fun chemistry the cast has. Maybe it's the fact that I actually have people to hang out with tomorrow and go down to Solvang with (okay, so I kinda rigged it that way in the hopes that cute actor would go, but I'm glad it's more people than that). Maybe it's the fact that I actually talked to Steve today and had no kind of emotional craziness after the fact. No anger or hurt or anything. No happiness, either, but whatever. Maybe it's the fact that I've had two exes randomly hit on me in the past 24 hours. Maybe it's just the fact that I finally (FINALLY) went in and got my hair cut and styled. Who knows? It's probably just the fact that I have a purring cat on my lap, yarn and needles in my hands, a bottle of brew, and these:

Three of the afghan strips are done, as well as the first two stripes of the final one. I'm really kicking arse on this pattern. It's so simple, but it looks so damn cool! I love it! I'm totally going to have to make one of these for me. Not going to use the Homespun again, though. I love the colors available in it, and I love the softness, but the fraying is getting to me. I've had to get a thing of Fray Check for the ends. I might use some fabric glue on it as well, after I wash it. But anyway, I'm all about machine washable for afghans, and I would need a chunky yarn. LB Homespun, Wool-Ease Chunky or Thick-n-Quick are the right gauge range, but lack a variety of available colors. Any suggestions? I'm realizing, looking at this, that I will actually have to seam these together soon, and am wondering if I should use one color of Homespun or if I should dig out some of the worsted weight acrylic I have stashed and use it to seam instead? Any thoughts?
Oh, and:

Teddie doesn't seem too impressed with the afghan strips. (Yes, that would be the Rogue project bag making an appearance in the background.) He thinks the ends are great for playing with, though, particularly when I am trying to fold the strips up and put them away. He really loves circular needles, too, but only bothers needles and yarn when I am actually using them. I guess non-moving stuff is beneath him.

Btw, I figured out my little knitting quirk/superstition. I will weave in all the ends as I go, including the bind off tail, but not the cast on tail. Those, for some reason, must stay unwoven until all the pieces are complete and ready for seaming. Hell if I know why, it just must be so.