Saturday, October 28, 2006


So, in between ballband dishcloths and socks, I've been drooling over the linen handtowels in the Mason-Dixon book. When my mom asked if I would be interested in knitting something for a friend of hers in Scotland, I suggested a linen handtowel. Easy, right?

Well, first of all, my LYS doesn't carry linen yarn. So I ordered it online and it took a week or so to get here (I wasn't counting, it just felt like longer than Amazon). And it arrives looking lovely and linenny and I start rolling it into a center pull ball and...

OW. That is some stiff and scratchy stuff. I mean, REALLY stiff and scratchy. Plus when I knit up a ways

not only are my fingers chafed from the yarn rolling over them, and my wrists sore from the lack of give to the yarn, but it looks like... nothing. The stitches are so big and fat and loopy that you can hardly see the clever grid pattern. What's up, Kay and Ann? You put all those luscious linen garments and things in your book like linen yarn was something a person would actually want to work with. What's the deal? Oh, I read the bit about how it gets all drapey when it's washed (it better), but that doesn't make it any more pleasant now for the 10 remaining pattern repeats until I get this thing off the needles. Hmph.

End of grumpy linen post.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

dual outrages

Outrage #1: According to the Washington Post, in three Virginia jurisdictions (including my own), the electronic balloting machines were unable to cope with the bizarrely unwieldy (catch that sarcasm) candidate's name: James H. 'Jim' Webb. Oh, it's there on the voting page where you have to check it, but on the summary page (due to a change in font size, believe it or not) he will appear only as James H. 'Jim." I'm not kidding. George Allen will appear as George Allen, but Jim Webb will appear as James H. 'Jim.' Apparently we are supposed to be reassured by the fact that election officials promise to have the problem solved by the next election.

This is one of the closest senate races in the country, folks. Money is pouring in from across the country to fuel this race. And we can't get the guy's NAME right?! Puh-leeze.

Outrage #2: Michael J. Fox has recorded very moving TV spots to boost political candidates who support embryonic stem cell research. Rush Limbaugh, who clearly has no shame, accuses Fox of (and I am not making this up. He said it on his nationally broadcast radio show) faking his Parkinson's symptoms for sympathy and political gain. As a person with a family history of Parkinson's (and, while we're at it, as a basically decent human being) I hope Limbaugh gets his righteous butt crucified for this.

No knitting content today. Too busy being outraged.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

swatch post

Since many of my current projects are intended for holiday gifts, I feel I can't post pictures, which is very frustrating! Just for the sake of my own ego, here are a couple of pics which (I hope) only hint at what they are:

If you can guess what they are, good for you!

Here's something I can show you because I don't know to whom I'll give it yet, therefore I doubt that that person will look at the blog and know that it's for them. It is one and a bit of the UBBD (ubiquitous ball band dishcloth). I'm very happy with the colors.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

4 things meme

This whole meme thing is so self-indulgently delicious.

4 Jobs I've Held

1. receptionist at the Sierra Club national headquarters
2. adjunct professor of English
3. day care sub
4. cashier at a country general store (Dan & Whit's)

4 Movies I Never Get Tired of Watching

1. The Princess Bride
2. Local Hero
3. Philadelphia Story
4. Best In Show

4 Places I've Lived

1. Norwich VT
2. San Francisco CA
3. Madison WI
4. Washington DC

4 TV Shows I Like

1. American Experience
2. Mystery
3. Jeopardy
4. Masterpiece Theater

4 Places I've Vacationed

1. Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia
2. Costa Rica
3. Cinque Terre, Italy
4. Ireland

4 Websites I Visit Often

1. Washington Post
2. New York Times
3. Mason Dixon Knitting
4. Yarn Harlot

4 Special Treats for Me

1. a night in a hotel
2. cannolis
3. a hot bath
4. sitting by the fire in my pj's on a snowy day in Vermont with a mug of cocoa

1 Place I'd Rather Be Right Now

Actually, I'm pretty content right now. But I'd never mind being in Vermont.

I have finished a couple of objects but I can't show them to you because they're gifts for people who might look at the blog.

blog oversight

Did I mention that this

turned THIRTEEN last week?

5 Things I Totally Love About My Daughter the Movie Maven

1. She's funny. Witty funny, like sneaking in a clever reference to something that happened a month ago funny. Sarcastic funny. Sardonic funny. Really funny.

2. She's intense. The MM doesn't generally do things in a small way, be they projects, thoughts, feelings, actions. She's a deep thinker.

3. She loves dogs and classic movies. These are fabulous healthy things to love that will never desert her.

4. She cares about her friends. She's sensitive to their feelings and she keeps in touch. She likes them. They're not trophies.

5. I trust her. Not with candy in the house, but with pretty much everything else.

And no, you can't have her.

Friday, October 13, 2006

the promised spanky shiny pictures

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, dear Moooooom

Yes, today is my Mom's birthday. My brother is arriving there for a brief birthday visit and I know there's a meal at a new Italian place on the agenda. I made her a pair of gloves (my first!) out of some of the luscious and cheap Trekking sock yarn I bought at the Markt am Winterfeldplatz in Berlin this summer, but I forgot to take a picture of them. arg. I will ask my Dad for a pic for the blog.

Speaking of FO's and pics for the blog, I have many minor FO's to report, and I even took some pics this morning, but they won't transfer onto the computer. I'm trying not to associate this in any cause-and-effect way with the fact that my sweetie borrowed the camera last weekend (for the first time) for a cub scout camping trip... So now I will make an utterly boring pictureless list of finished objects, and when my sweetie figures out how to fix the camera there will be a lovely and not boring post with spanky shiny pictures. Imagine, please:

1. A set of two dishcloths, ubiquitous ballband design, in greens and purples. Meant for gifting.

2. Another set of two dishcloths, one ballband and one not, in beige and variegated mauves. Meant for gifting.

3. Yet another set of dishcloths, this time a trio with textured pears. For my SIL for Christmas.

4. One sock, plus one half of a sock for a different pair, both meant as Christmas gifts and therefore not likely to appear in photographic form on the blog.

And That Is All.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I've managed to get the buttons onto the blog, but have not managed to turn them into links. One step at a time, I guess. Meanwhile...

Socktoberfest! Here are my answers to Lolly's sock questions:

1. When did you start making socks? etc I made my first pair of socks last spring, which means that only now (since I live in Virginia) are there occasional opportunities to wear all the socks that I've knit so far! I went into my LYS (where, as it happens, a couple of knitters were sitting around making socks), asked for advice, and went home with a Fiberarts pattern (Hellen's Favorite Socks, I think it was called--I've since memorized it and given it to a young knitting friend, who is on her second pair of socks!) and some truly delicious koigu. Poof! A sock knitter is born.

2. What was your first pair? My first pair was made with the above pattern and yarn. Midway through the second sock, the Movie Maven laid claim to the pair, which I happily gave her. They were too big for her (possibly for me too), but before I could get them back one of them slipped into the black hole of the MM's room, whence it has yet to be recovered.

3. What would you have done differently? Smaller needles. I seem to be a loose knitter (ahem).

4. What yarns have you especially liked? I've really loved Lisa Souza's superwash merino hand-dyed. It's lovely to knit, lovely to wear, and the variegation is subtle and sophisticated. I love to knit with koigu kppppppp(whatever)m, but I really need something washable for my life, which does not include handwashing anything.

5. Do you like to crochet your socks? etc I don't know how to crochet. I've tried dpn's and two circulars, and seem to prefer dpn's, especially if they're wooden.

6. Which kind of heel do you prefer? Flap. I've only tried one pair of toe-up short-row socks, and I had problems. See blog entries involving the "bob sock."

7. How many pairs have you made? ummmm... seven, I believe. No, eight. And I've got two on the needles for Socktoberfest!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

the knitter in her natural habitat

Here is the knitter at the playground after school. It feels right to immortalize the moment, because this is the last autumn that I'll spend my afternoons this way, with a small collection of friends and a large collection of (mostly) boys, a blanket on the ground, a scattered array of (mostly organic) snacks. Penguin Boy is in fifth grade this year, so the end of elementary school is in sight. Where did it go?

The thing I'm knitting is a dishcloth. Or a washcloth, depending on who I end up giving it to for Christmas.

I leave you now with a boy and his Poodle. And please oh please, can somebody out there tell me how to put buttons on my blog?????