American Wool Series

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesdays are for Sharing

It's Wednesday again. Aren't you excited? Thrilled to your fingertips with anticipation? Sure you are. This Wednesday is a little redundant as I posted about this fabu yarn before. But now I've actually knit with some of it (a few inches of my Clapotis) in a beautiful colorway called 'sea pearl'. I keep fingering the little bit that's hanging off my needles and thinking I need more, MORE for myself. Just MORE in general. I love all of their colorways - a bit unusual since I'm more of a solid colored/texture type gal. Briar Rose has lots of pretty things including patterns, needles, and yarn of course. I love that they sell huge hanks of yarn. I just buried my face in it when it came in the mail.

Not quite on the knitting circuit is the instructables website where you can learn to make anything (really anything) from homemade infrared goggles to building an antique style crystal radio. Sometimes there are knitting and sewing posts but my amourousness for this website is that everything geeky can be made by following the tutorials. I love the DIY set.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chock full of Fun

Yes yes yes. Yep. Yeppers. Oui. Si. If I knew more I would continue but as I don't I'll have to get on with it. Comcast guy was here on Saturday so I have uberfast digital geekiness going on via the internet. Hee hee. I can't believe we waited this long. Anywho, at left is the beautiful new beast called the iMac. Gotta love it. She's telling me how I should knit up my new Briar Rose yarn into a Clapotis for mom. I agree. In fact that gorgeous 1000 yard skein is already looped up into two skeins and ready for action. That is, after I get the pattern printed out because I seem to have lost the copy I printed out at an earlier date. Bummer.
Not to be outdone is my darling Fifi. After three weeks of single project hardcore knitting she's finished! Just in the knick of time for the end of the kal. Sheesh. Here are the specs: 7 balls Elann Esprit in Peacock Green (at 2.49 a skein this was a far cry from the Rowan Calmer the pattern called for.) Knit up on #7 circular needles. Modifications: I worked the cable rows all the way down to where the plain ribbing starts. I moved said ribbing down to begin below my bust line and not at the nip-line. I personally don't want attention drawn to that area, especially on cool days. I worked the center cable and diagonal ribbing on the front only as I thought it would look rather strange running along my spine on the back. Finally, I increased the length of the sleeves and the body to create a regular t-shirt type sizing. She's super stretchy in case of weight fluctuations and cool enough for summer wear or layering this fall. Je t'aime, Fifi.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Fifi is complete. (Pic to come - I'm waiting for the comcast guy this weekend to upload a bunch of pics FAST!) I bound off the sleeves last night while watching some QaF and sipping a beer. No better way to finish a project, eh? I'm excited to move on to my poor, languishing undulating rib socks and ponder my next project. I did in fact order some wool from Briar Rose but not the one I posted about. I put others before myself and ordered some yarn (1000 yds for 50$!) to make the Mom a wrap for Christmas. She's had a a rough year, recently suffered a small stroke but is already recovered. She deserves something beyewtiful. I'm thinking Clapotis. I think I missed the band wagon on this one since it looks like all of the kal groups are from about two years ago. I guess I'm not in with the in crowd. :)

I'm going to end this post with an interesting quote from Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. The main character has a retrospective of her work about to go up and heads into the gallery to meet with the owners and talk about the show. She speaks about the art and how galleries are too reverent, blah blah blah. Here it is: "This gallery is not totally sterilized, there are touches of cutting edge: a heating pipe shows, one wall is black. I don't give a glance to what's still on the walls, I hate those neoexpressionist dirty greens and putrid oranges, post this, post that. Everything is post these days, as if we're all just a footnote to something earlier that was real enough to have a name of its own." I love that last bit, it reminds me of so many things these days. How music is post, proto, precursor. How fashion recycles itself, reinvents. Is there any original thought out there? Anyone? Anywhere? Holla back if ya here me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday's are for Sharing

I've decided to take an idea from other bloggers and have a theme day. So Wednesday's are for sharing, not to say strictly that I won't share cool stuff on other days but yep, Wednesday seems about right. The idea is to post about cool stuff I've found online (or otherwise) with y'all. I'm sure other knitters & crafters will have found these things too, but if you haven't, hey I guess I'm giving you a heads up for patterns, yarns, and other general craftiness. So we'll start it out with a pattern I'm totally drooling over cause it's got some sweet retro action going on. I haven't bought it yet but that's because I'm over my knit book budget for the month. The pattern is 'Flair' and you can find it here. She's got a good blog too, funny and witty. I love the sleeves on this and the slight 'swing' style (very Jackie O) as well as the overlapping fronts. I think it'd be gorgeous knit up in some Cascade 220 heathery-gray yarn. And because this is my first 'Wed. sharing' post here's another: Namaste knitting bags in faux leather. I love love love the everyday bag and am going to slap it at the top of my Christmas list this year. They come in other designs as well, but I really like the size of this one and the very handy division inside between knitting and purse stuff. Plus it comes in lots of purdy colors. Which one do I want? I'm waffling between black (goes with everything) and the rust color. Although I don't have a brown purse. See, waffle. At 69$ they're a bit pricy for a knitting bag but I can totally see myself using this all the time and not just for SnB night. Hells yes. So there it is. Wednesday's are for sharing - aren't you glad?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
I've had this yarn on my mind all day. I love that they have 4 hanks all together for one flat price. It makes me feel like I would get more for my money even if that's not the case. I'm really drooling over it and thinking about my stash and what I'm going to knit up after Fifi is done (sleeves only now) and I've progressed on my undulating rib socks. Hmm..stash leads me to think about that uber-site Ravelry and check my place in line. Hooray! Only 1634 people in front of me. It's progressed quite quickly from the 7k from the last check. If you haven't already get yerself on that list! Well, maybe not, as it looks like they're just about ready to switch over from Beta and let everyone in. It's going to be a Ravelry free for all. I can't wait.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Weekend Goes To

Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1

This weekend, unlike many others, seems to have passed at the same rate of time as my work week. I feel much was accomplished including relaxation. Not always the case. The mess that was the vinyl library has been organized and purged (mostly the man's stuff as my collection is pitifully small and well organized). The record player finally has a home besides the orange crate under the desk where you couldn't put your legs because of all the stereo equipment and I said goodbye to my ten year old stereo components. Au revoir! The organization that started with my knit stuff has started to spread to the rest of the house (thank goodness!) and the man has even pitched in. I think it all started with a new piece of technology (last year's model) we bought and finding homes for some no-longer-needed electronics. Besides all of this goodness I recently acquired a few new knitting books from Knitpicks summer sale (40% off): Knitting Lingerie Style, No Sheep for You, and Romantic Knits. Score on all counts, viva la weekend!

*The pic is a before shot - I'll post an after when it's all the way done.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
I promised a while ago to post about my sock progress for the Undulating rib socks. There really isn't much progress as I've been slogging away at Fifi full time. I do have a little done, the cuff and about 3/4 of an inch of pattern repeat. She's biding her time patiently. If you haven't knit with this yarn (pictured) it's very cool. It's made from corn fiber and elastic, good for those with wool allergies, and feels much much softer knit up than in the skein. Silky almost.
Another cool thing I've run into (webwise) are the textiles of Joel Dewberry. Very cool designs with beautiful color combinations. My online shopping fingers are itching to pet some of it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Petite Rant

There's a new Radio Shack commercial that I totally despise. Totally. Completely. Have you seen it? A couple gets into an argument about the guy's record collection (granted he has it all over their apartment) and she storms out. While she's gone the guy digitizes his vinyl and gets rid of it!!!! So when girly returns the place is clean and organized and uncluttered and she smiles with a dreamy look on her face. Disgusting. Blech. Retch. This is seriously an ongoing debate between myself and a friend of mine (digital v. vinyl) and I always argue that records are great both soundwise and because of the visual presence in the home. Records intrigue people, guests at my place have a tendency to gravitate towards the vinyl collection and flip through it. But they always want to hear something. I'm not saying that I'm anti-digital I have an iPod with duplicates of stuff that I have on vinyl for portability. But when it comes down to it I'm a vinyl whore for sure. I just can't get over this advertising monstrosity - real love does not mean digital love. Gross.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


A trip to IKEA and a day later I've got some rockin' craftinization. I hadn't realized how much I disliked the clutter on top of the dresser and how long it took me to search out my knitting goods from all of the hidey-holes. Now I've got all my (compared to some) small stash, knitting books, and accoutrements in one place. I also took the opportunity to pull some of my nicer texts, photography books, and pictures from their storage spots. Now I just lay in bed and stare at all the knitterly inspiration in front of me. How long will it be until my little addiction needs another shelf?Hmmm...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Nesting

I just spent about 40 minutes doing this. It's fun. It's Simpsons. I love it. I don't think it quite looks like me but it's the closest I could get. Go simpsonize yourself. Plus you can be totally narcissistic and order merch of yourself on shirts and mugs and such. I'd personally like to see family portraits done this way. Anyone else?

In other bloggerly news I know where all of the pregnant women go on Wednesday night to satisfy their nesting instincts. IKEA!! The hubby and I went last night and what do you know? I believe I counted about 20 prego women strolling with their man-types. I mean, I'm not in the family way myself but had the urge to do some crafty-organization. I'll post pics when I've got the whole shebang done. I'm excited about this. It may lead to an organization streak the likes of which our house has never seen. The man better watch out, there's trouble coming his way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sick Knitting

my city
Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
I've been feeling pretty crappy that past few days which ended up in my leaving work after three hours yesterday, running home, ditching the work clothes, and sleeping for about three hours. Naps were interrupted by short spurts of reading (trying to finish up the What is the What since it is due), watching the rest of the first season of Queer as Folk (it is due tomorrow) and knitting my Fifi. The book is still in progress, the Folk is finished, and the Fifi, well....the Fifi missed a cable about 6 rows back and I had to frog her a bit but she's back on the needles now. I decided that I would throw her on some scrap yarn and try her on for size while I had her off the needles, folks, this is going to be a long knit. I don't think it'll make the KAL deadline. My initial gauge was smaller since my yarn itself was smaller but I moved up the size of the needles and hit gauge that way. I just didn't think to move up a size as well. I think my solution is to continue on (she's not that much smaller) and work increases on every, or every other, row. I think this will work out just about right if I do about 4 inches like that. I wanted to move the line where the pattern changes (see Sexy Knitters Club KAL posts for examples) so that it wouldn't fall right across my nip-line, but a couple inches below. I also planning on making it a bit longer with longer sleeves. Cross your fingers as it's going to be a bumpy and long ride.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Au Courant

Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
Progress on my Fifi is sloooowwww. I got a few rows in a couple of times and then lost a marker and screwed up my increases so I frogged it - twice. Third times the charm so I'm plodding right along. This yarn is not as soft as the Cascade Fixation I used for some socks but maybe it will soften up after blocking. It is Elann Esprit in Peacock Green ( I think that's right.) and I also went up a needle size from the pattern to get gauge. The pattern says this has 4 inches of negative ease built in but I'm still wary of the sizing. But I'll forge ahead as always and continue LOVING cables and how easy they really are. Gorgeous! I also started a sock but will post when I'm a little farther in - tis the season for elastic blend yarns it seems.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Today's foray into the streets of Seattle yielded many yummy things. Sonic Boom gave it up with a reissue of Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited and a used Elvis record in that shockingly beautiful blue color. I had never seen this record before and the hubby snatched it up for me and it went in the 'I need this' pile asap. Some unreleased stuff and b-sides from 7 inches couldn't make a girl happier. Well, the only that that could make a girl happier is finding yarn on her doorstep. It's KnitPicks merino style in the color 'moss.' Gorgeous! It's waiting on the knit list to be made into the Puff Sleeve Feminine Cardi from Fitted Knits. That is, after I finish up my Fifi for the Sexy Knitters' Club KAL. This has been an interesting and enlightening knit. I'll post more about that specific project at a later date. Right now I'm going to put on my vinyl and roll around in my 100% merino yarn.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Shrug it Off

Originally uploaded by zombiegirl1
This is yet another project from Fitted Knits. Have I said I love this book? I think I finished it in about 2 weeks, the only thing holding me back was the ribbing which there is a lot of! Specs: 2 Skeins Cascade 220 Superwash in Heathered Green. Things I learned: 1) I love heathered yarn. 2) Superwash is very cool - CAUSE YOU CAN WASH IT! 3) Shrugs are not only for the stick thin - this one flatters and fits great.
I just want to wear it all the time, so sad that it is finally hot in Seattle. Oh well, I'll just wait till next week to wear it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Home-made Blocking Board

I finally decided to do a little blocking as I have two projects from Fitted Knits that, while wearable, need a little blocking love to tidy up stitches and keep edges from rolling up. Enter my skills as Macgyver's secret protege. I took my cutting board (the cardboard kind you get at any fabric store) and did NOT unfold it all the way so that it was about double thickness. I swathed that in a plastic garbage bag so that the dampness wouldn't affect the cardboard and then layed three layers of towels over the bag. Voila! Instant blocking board out of stuff I already own. I used straight pins to pin down my garment the way I like and set her out to dry. I figured the straight pins wouldn't do any terrible damage to the cardboard as it was protected by the towels. I'm sure that if you have something to block that is lighter weight you could use just one layer of towels and the bag along with pins. Just make sure they won't rust!
The finished project. Specs: Cap sleeve tee from Fitted Knits in Cascade Pima Tencel (Tealy-blue color). Things I've learned: 1)Really do try things on as you go! I could have made this a little shorter and possibly done some center back decreases for a little more shaping around my middle. 2) Wait to find a closure that you absolutely love. Mine is a really simple silver clasp. 3) Cotton blends are much easier to knit with than 100% cotton. 4) Block everything!