Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a post-Christmas miracle!

Check it out:

Yes, the tangled yoke portion of the Tangled Yoke Cardigan is complete! After the painful process of unknitting an entire row was complete, this actually went rather smoothly. And screwing it up the first time was actually a blessing in disguise, because I moved on to other projects, namely the Shifting Sands Scarf, which forced me to learn cabling without a cable needle, which ultimately led to a much faster tangled yoke.

I wish this would be done in time to wear on New Year's Day, but as I've promised to host dinner for the family, my house is a disaster area, and I have no idea what I'm cooking, I sincerely doubt it.

In other news, I'm trying to clean out some yarn odds and ends and get rid of a few things I just don't think I'll use, so check out my destash page over on Rav. (Prices are posted, but I'm really flexible, so make an offer.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Warm Ewe Up Question #1

Why did you learn to knit?

Wow, that's a toughie . . . for some reason the idea of knitting always fascinated me, even though I have no knitting grandmas, or any other knitting relatives, for that matter. I really liked the idea of producing something useful and functional; my head was full of fantasies about whipping out gorgeous sweater after gorgeous sweater (oh, to be so young and naive!). So a couple years ago I mentioned to Santa that a "Learn to Knit" kit was on my wishlist, and once it turned up under the tree, the rest, as they say, is history.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Under the Knit-mas Tree . . .

Santa left a plethora of knitting goodness under the tree for me this year:

Let's see, we've got some sock blockers, Cat Bordhi's Sock Soar on Two Circular Needles, DPN tubes, Claudia Handpainted Yarns in Antique Jeans, some Kookaburra wash, a chart keeper, Berroco Sox in Leeds, and The Little Box of Socks. Plenty to keep me busy, that's for sure.

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday. After the pre-Christmas knitting rush, I'm taking a break for a couple days--especially since I caught a cold somewhere along the way--but the plan is to finish up some WIPs before starting some fresh projects in the new year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

in which i post actual pictures!

Hey, guess what? I actually knit stuff! Here's the current status of the projects that are on the needles:

Shifting Sands/Winter Sky scarf (pseudo-artsy photo; it's about 3/4 done):

Glovely (1 down, 2nd one on the needles):

Gansey Gloves:

The Gansey Gloves (11th hour gloves) are a Christmas gift for Dad that will hopefully actually be done by Christmas. I think I'm going to leave the fingertips open so he can wear them while working. I'm using a worsted weight yarn, but size 2 needles (as specified in the pattern), so they're working up pretty quickly, but they're not all that comfortable to knit.

I also FINALLY managed to get this baby pinned out:

If it's dry by Christmas Eve, then we're in business.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sock Surprises, 2009

I have honest to goodness made significant progress on several knitting projects. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating with my need to photograph said knitting; it's gray and depressing (just rain, no snow! booooo!) so I can't get any decent photos. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

In other news, the awesome and talented Knittymuggins (who is even more awesome than usual right now because it's snowing on her blog!) is always putting ideas in my head with her blog, and here's another great one: a Personal Sock Club. Basically you take some of your stashed sock yarn (don't be ridiculous, of course you have some!), match it up with some sock patterns, seal each pairing up in an unmarked bag, and pick one bag each month (or in my case, every other month, as I have no delusions about being able to knit a pair of socks a month) for a surprise sock knitting experience.

I've packaged up 2 unfinished sock projects (Pomatomus, who needs a match, and Windowpane Socks), along with these stashed yarns:

And matched them with these patterns:


Froot Loop



Here they are, all packaged up and waiting to be knit in '09!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

not so "Amazon" customer service . . . and a Merry Christmas to you too!

Certainly I should have some knitting to write about, and I do, but I’m dedicating this space to a rant today (tomorrow we will return to our regularly-scheduled list of excuses about why I’m not done my Christmas knitting). A rant against a former friend: Amazon.com.

Last year I did nearly all of my Christmas shopping on Amazon. I got fantastic deals. Nearly everything shipped for free. Everything shipped quickly and well in advance of Christmas. I even managed to get my hands on a Wii. No complaints.

This year J’s big Christmas gift is a Blu Ray player. I ordered one last week from Amazon. It arrived yesterday. SANS PACKAGING. Amazon, in its infinite wisdom, saw fit—two weeks before CHRISTMAS—to ship this expensive piece of electronic equipment in its original packaging, with a label slapped on the front. As if no one is buying super secret Christmas gifts on Amazon this time of year. I must be the only one. Not to mention that while a would-be thief could certainly skulk up to my house and snap up any boring brown box the mailman has left lying on my doorstep, it seems all the more likely if “Samsung Blu Ray player” is emblazoned across the front of a box featuring a large photo of said player.

Needless to say I was irate. IRATE. And quickly wrote a complaint to Amazon. And now, for your reading enjoyment, Amazon’s response:

Hello from Amazon.com.

I'm sorry to hear about the condition in which your order arrived.

Please note that, we make every attempt to package items securely to protect them during shipping, but sometimes such situations may occur.

We always appreciate customer input on how we can improve our store, and I've forwarded your message to our shipping department.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you with our packaging.

Also, thanks for letting us know your "Samsung BD-P1500 1080p Blu-ray Player" arrived.

I hope you enjoy your "Samsung BD-P1500 1080p Blu-ray Player".

Uh, does anyone else get the feeling they didn’t even READ the message I sent? I did not have a problem with the packaging—I had a problem with the absence of packaging. This isn’t an oversight—the packaging didn’t fall off because it was improperly secured. No, some (perhaps lazy) moron honestly thought it was ok to ship a naked potential Christmas gift to my home 2 weeks before Christmas. And apparently Amazon—continually touting itself as THE place to do your holiday shopping—doesn’t give a damn.

So, what’s my next step?

Incidentally, I told J I ordered the player for my mom to give to my dad. But I don’t think he believes me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Warm Ewe Up Swap questionnaire

Do you knit or crochet, or both? How long have you been at the craft?

Just knit, no crochet (and no real interest, except I love this bookmark every time I see it). I've been knitting for almost 2 years now

Do you spin?

Nope, haven't gotten there yet. Maybe someday. ;)

What yarns/fibers are your favorites?

Wool silk blends, wool/alpaca blends, really just about anything natural. Manos silk blend is my current favorite, and I'm itching to get my hands on some more malabrigo.

What yarns/fibers do you not like?

Acrylics and novelty yarns. Bamboo on its own is too flimsy, but I like it in a blend.

What yarns/fibers would you like to try but haven't?

Fearless Fibers looks yummy, I still haven't tried Noro, and Tofutsies is just so intriguing.

What are your favorite colors? Colors that you don't like?

I love blues and dark greens, reds, plums, etc. can't stand orange, or anything neon bright. I also only like variegateds for socks--they just don't work for me on anything else.

What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet?

Just about anything, it all depends on the mood. But I like to knit functional things, not so into knitting random "stuff," I stick to clothes and accessories.

What are you currently working on?

Christmas gifts! And a tangled yoke cardigan that's causing some trouble.

What is your favorite FO? (Please post a picture if you have one.)

Still my Lotus Blossom tank, since I don't seemed to have managed many FOs as of late; it might be my Hemlock Ring Blanket, if I ever block the thing.


Are there any techniques that you want to learn?

Socks on circs, steeking, maybe magic loop. I've dabbled in colorwork, but definitely need to improve my technique.

Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes, thankfully!

How do you store your needles/hooks?

They're a bit of a mess. I keep them all in a bag (or several bags, spread out around the house), but they're not exactly organized.

Do you collect anything?

Matryoshka, Beatles LPs . . . and yarn!

Do you like sweets?

Of course!

What are your favorite scents?

Christmas trees, fireplaces, baked goods, lilacs, fresh cut grass, clean laundry

Are you having a birthday during this swap?


Do you have any online wish lists? (Amazon, Loopy Ewe, etc.) Please include a link for your pal.

Loopy Ewe

What is your living situation (Are you married? Do you have kids, pets, or both?)

Married with 3 very spoiled cats

Are you allergic to anything?

No. well, maybe work ;)

Is there anything else that you would like your pal to know?

nope, that's pretty much it, although all questions are certainly welcome

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Warm Ewe Up

Want to give a big shout out (er--or something less 1996ish) to Raveler karenBK who was my spoiler for the Falling for Ewe swap! She was a fantastic spoiler, and I can't thank her enough for all of the awesome yarn and other goodies she sent my way!

Also, for anyone who was exceptionally jealous of all the autumn swapping fun, hurry over to the Warm Ewe Up winter swap and sign up for the next go 'round!