Knitting and a Movie

This is yet another knitting blog

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vintage Knitting Things

My aunt recently gave me my grandmother's knitting things:

Some cool old metal needles with cables that look like bass guitar strings and neat metal point protectors, and a hand written knitting pattern for what looks like a doll sweater (Toni?). I want to make this doll sweater, not that I have any dolls or know anyone that could use them (my niece's Baby Born doll is too big I think), but just because it was my grandmother's.

My grandmother chain smoked unfiltered Camels and had a bottle of sherry in the laundry cabinet. When I visited she made fried eggs and bacon, and no matter how poorly she was feeling she would always entertain people. She taught me to finger crochet, because I was too little to learn to knit, she said, and I finger crocheted chains that were long enough to go around the moon. She died of a heart attack when I was 8, her doctor husband had been out of the house and by the time he found her she was beyond rescuscitation. I still remember her vividly, with her marzipan covered cookies for special occasions and the way she would never say she was cooking lamb, only "a roast" (to try to spare my little kid feelings for cute animals, even though I would always know it was lamb anyway). So this was a pretty special gift, and I have to find somewhere to store these cool needles.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hot Yoga, Hot Refrigerator

I was originally going to do a nice knitting post last night but it was not possible because my whole free time last night was wasted with issues with my refrigerator.

This weekend I did some grocery shopping, bought things like milk and juice and yogurt and some bacon and eggs. Last night, I came home from work and took out the bacon (we were going to have a quick dinner because we had to go somewhere). The bacon was warm. Then I looked into the freezer and EVERYTHING was melted... anything like sauces or broth was liquid. Hmm. This fridge is like 6 years old. It may be something as simple as a "defrost timer" which takes a few minutes to replace and is a $20 or so part. So we will try that first. If not, we will need a new fridge. I. Am. Never. Buying. Another. American. Appliance.

Over the weekend I tried Bikram yoga, or "hot yoga". They keep the room really warm, not quite like a sauna but almost that warm. The heat is supposed to help you cleanse your body and stretch your muscles more. It sounded kind of intense and interesting. I'm still not sure what I thought about it. The heat was a little overwhelming, it made me kind of nauseous and dizzy a few times. The instructor says this is normal at first, and to make sure to have enough water. Then I managed to work out enough that all my muscles were sore. So. She said you really want to try a few times to decide what you think. I got a 10 day trial, so I will try to go back once or twice more and decide on this thing. Not sure it is for me though.

(Brief update, I realised I have a tiny "dorm" refrigerator in my basement, so we can have a few things kept cold besides just in the cooler. Yay!!)

And to put some sort-of knitting content, check out this link for an article on attack sheep guarding a British village

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Skulleigh socks pattern available

I wrote up the pattern for the little skull ankle socks I made if anyone is interested. It is in PDF form here.

The pattern uses (and hopefully explains) toe up socks, short row heels, intarsia in the round, and sewn bind-off.

The recipient loves her socks, she wore them last weekend to bed and around town.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Sweater Triage

OK, this time there HAS been a terrible accident:

Aftur was almost done. I just had to seam the underarms. No problem. It was late Wednesday night, I was tired, and I kitchenered on the wrong side. ICK. Don't ever do that. I admitted defeat, decided I WASN'T going to be able to wear it yesterday morning, and went to bed. Last night, I was still tired by the time I was working on it (it's been a long few weeks at work). To make things worse, the yarn had broken mid-kitchener and there was no way to tell which yarn was which. So... somehow I managed to start ripping out the knitting along with the kitchener seam.

For anyone who hasn't made a lopapeysa (in case there is someone like that reading this)... you knit the body up. Then the sleeves up. Then you join them all together in the round and knit the yoke. Well. I appear to be unwinding the sleeve from the top down. But from the point where it was joined with the body or something. It's all very confusing. It just keeps ripping and ripping and if you notice there is a whole lot of opening there... I only had 11 stitches on top and 11 stitches on bottom for the kitchener seam. And it doesn't rip like ripping out normal knitting... it almost goes back and forth (which is why I thought it was the seam still when I was blissfully unaware tearing apart my project).

Any ideas on how to make this thing go back together properly?

If I were more of a masochist (after this awful lopapeysa experience, I think I will wait until fall), I might make this new stex free pattern, it's really pretty.

Beth asked "What is Kambgarn?" It is an Icelandic combed wool yarn, it is quite soft. I haven't seen it Stateside.

Oh, and to continue the purple birthday extravaganza, look at the cool present I got from my sister-in-law in the mail. She apparently consulted with her very smart brother as to what sort of Lush products I like.

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Friday, March 16, 2007


One thing about having a birthday in mid-March is you never know what weather you are going to get. I have had years when it was a beautiful day, where I walked on the beach (I grew up near the water), and I had a year when I lived in Boston where there was a Nor'easter and feet of snow and all my birthday plans were cancelled. This year it looks like another one of those snowy ones. We were supposed to have snow last night, and it was delayed and here it is starting now, and my dinner plans tonight are probably cancelled.

Still, it could be a worse day, I got a very sweet card from Ingi and a knitting bag (that fits the Aftur lopapeysa) and Kate Bush's Aerial CD. And it's a very purple birthday:

(I had a trip to the dentist this morning and now my teeth are so nice and clean and they gave me a purple toothbrush)

(I got my lovely lace handwarmers from the mitten swap, in nice soft Kambgarn)

And a really nice birthday gift, Ingi (along with my work Christmas bonus which I hadn't spent) is getting me these Fluevog boots


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Ahead

The US changed when we do Daylight Savings Time this year, now it's 3 weeks earlier. So it's really weird to get up when it's dark, and see the (beautiful, today) sunrise when I am on the way to work. It is nice to have some light when I get home. It has coincided with really warm weather, so everything melts during the day but doesn't soak into the still-frozen ground, and then it freezes again in the morning. But there are definite signs that spring is on its way.

In the meantime, I finished a few things, some reading: The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski, which is an amazing book although some really horrible things happen in it, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, which I've been reading for like forever but since it was a big unwieldy hardcover I couldn't take it on plane trips or on the bus so it was hard to find time to read it... and I accidentally dropped it into the bath the other week :(

And this sock, for K. I had made her some Harry Potter socks many years ago out of Lamb's Pride Superwash which she had outgrown... so when she was cleaning out her drawer she had mentioned how she had liked these soft socks (which was news to me), so I designed some socks for her. She doesn't like socks that come up too high, so I made ankle socks.

I also finished the back for Lightning (the sweater I posted the other day) but I am still yet to photograph it and have the colours come out true. Maybe now that there is more light I will be able to later.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My computer is fixed!

My poor iBook has been lying in pieces this last week. The hard drive was dead, and I got a replacement, but in order to fix it you have to take the whole darn thing apart (and the original tutorial I found gave you the added step of taking off the bottom shield which was BS and I did NOT need to do), so it took a long time to accomplish. We were up until 1 or something Wednesday I think or maybe Tuesday taking it apart, and then the rest of the week were too tired to deal with putting it back together.

Well, today we finally got around to it. It's like having a new computer. The hard drive had been dying for a long time, so it would be spinning and hanging up and generally performing horribly. Also, when we were putting it together, Ingi managed to get the Airport (wireless) card put back in properly (it hadn't been properly seated so my wireless wasn't working), so now I finally have wireless!! Whee!!! (Of course, he will tease me mercilessly about this me being the computer professional/electrical engineer).

So I am very happy to be writing this blog on the now-fixed Mac over wireless and everything!

So here's what's left over.... 4 screws. Actually, it's 2, there were 2 that wouldn't fit back in (probably we put them back in the wrong place, so now I have to go get replacements)... so there are 2 screws that we never did figure out where they came from. But aren't there always supposed to be extra parts? ;)


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Local Bus

I've lived in several cities and taken city buses for commuting, but the "express bus" of the suburbs is a new phenomenon to me. For an extra dollar a ride (and the inconvenience of fewer scheduled buses), you get to be in a less crowded bus that makes fewer stops and goes directly on the highway into the city. The people on the bus are generally wearing Burberry scarves and carrying Coach bags and talking on expensive mobile phones and whatnot.

Things at work have been pretty crazy with the virus from H*%$ (I think it's this one) and I've ended up having to stay late a few days and went in late one day and so I've taken the local bus instead (I am lucky to live on the route of both buses). It's quite a different crowd. Usually there is at least one clinically insane person (usually a friendly one), like the guy who got up and sat down in about 20 different seats and had a Yu-Gi-Oh backpack. Or there was the nice Downs' Syndrome guy talking about the girls' basketball team. So it's much more entertaining, although slower and more crowded.

Anyway, I decided to use UFO Fimmtadagur to work on something I had put aside for awhile (maybe one of these days it will be sunny and I can take photos that actually are the right colour):