Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Monkey Pair

The Monkey socks are done:

Whoo-hoo! Unfortunately, I can't count them for the Summer of Socks, because I started them in May. However, I have cast on another pair of socks already. More on that later.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Step One

I know that I've mentioned to a few close friends and family members, as well as the vet, that we have decided to train Doozer to use the toilet. It's not so much that cleaning out the box is a hassle (it is, but I'll do it) as it is that Doozer is very clumsy in there--stepping in his business and tracking it into my bed. Doozer seems to be a very bright cat and is always very interested in all the goings-on in the toilet, so we figured he'd be a good candidate for this process. I've adapted it slightly, but I think it will still work.

Step one: wherein the toilet is filled with cat litter (and the cat is intrigued):

He declared that this was a fantastic idea:

Finished a Pair!

I finished my first pair of socks for the Summer of Socks yesterday.

Cute, huh? These are plain vanilla baby socks in Artyarns supermerino with a size 3 needle. I am particularly proud of these socks. See those heels? I turned them all by myself--without referring to a book or a pattern or any kind of instruction at all. None except what I could remember from my previous experience. And see those toes? I totally get the Kitchener stitch now. Awesome. Here they are in action:

Nothing beats wool socks in 90+°F weather.

I Just Can't Even

I was working on a really long off-topic post about this whole Dick Cheney thing, but I found it entirely too upsetting and decided to look at wool instead.

Have a great day, people!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Monkey Sock Parade

There are 435 Ravelry members working on the Monkey socks right now. 296 members have the Monkey socks in their queue. Check out all the Flickr photos of Monkey socks (there are more than 6,000). And mine are just about done (yay!).

Here is the second Monkey on Sunday, enjoying its morning coffee. I've now turned the heel and am working on the gusset. More photos later.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Master's Monday 2

In our defense, we would like to point out that we got our invitation to Ravelry this weekend.

Obviously, we would have done more of the third seed stitch swatch reknit, but Ravelry demanded I worship at the altar of its awesomeness consumed time which we would have otherwise been spent knitting. What were we supposed to do? More next week. We promise.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Ravelry is probably the best thing to happen to the knitting (and crochet) community since the invention of the blog. Talk about making the world bigger! Not only can you keep a notebook of your entire knitting (or crochet) life--including what's in your stash, what needles (or hooks) you have, what you're knitting right now, what you want to knit eventually, etc.--but you can also make connections with other knitters (or crocheters) out there in cyberspace. You can see what others are working on, what's in their stash, read their blogs, etc. Or, you can find a pattern, or see what yarns are popular, or find a knit-(or crochet)-along or local fiber festival.

This is huge, people. Ginormous, even. It's like joining your local guild/social knitting group, but members are all over the world. It's awesome. I can't even form a coherent thought about this because I am so blown away by how seriously amazing this is. I can't wait for it to be out of beta so everyone can join. I mean, wow.

In other knitting news, I will turn the 2nd Monkey's heel today

and finish my first sock for Summer of Socks.

I know, I know. It's kind of a cheat to knit a baby sock, but c'mon! Babies need socks, too!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Might Pee Myself

I got my invite to Ravelry today. Will blog later.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Extreme Knitting

Check out this lady in the UK. She is going for the world record in needle size, knitting with needles that are 4 metres long (that's a little over 13 feet long for you yanks).

Extreme knitting is an art that uses between 20 to 40 strands of wool in one stitch. The result can be seen very quickly and Ingrid can create a sofa throw in about 12 hours.

She also uses strands of recycled material tied together to create colourful rugs and is holding workshops to share her talent.

Sounds like fun, but not very portable! Also, I'm pretty sure this guy beats her for largest needle size (click on "work" and follow the links under "big projects". You'll see what I mean.).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer of Socks

Hooray! The Summer of Socks has begun! Last night, I was thinking that I would have to go out and get some sock yarn (darn) because the Monkeys do not count since I have been working on them for a while. So, I started rooting around in my stash to see what I had in the way of sock yarn and came up with this:

Not too bad, right? I've got some really nice stuff in there. See the Fleece Artist I practically forgot about? Shocking, I know. Now, what I DO need is a few extra sock needles because I only have the one and I am using it to knit the second Monkey. Which, by the way, is trudging along. I've done almost four of the pattern repeats on the leg. The pattern calls for six, so I'm a little more than halfway down the leg. Then it's a quick stockinette heel flap, a turn, and... Well, I have a ways to go. I have been itching to start a new sock, though, and now I know it's because of all that killer sock yarn in my stash.

Anyhow, I ordered the extra sock needles from Knit Picks last night. I do have a US 3, so I will have something to work on until my teeny tiny little teeny tiny needles arrive. Worsted weight socks=awesome. Ooh, I can't wait! It's going to be so much fun!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And now... continue our series on knitted biology, I give you:

Knitted DNA from Kimberly Chapman
"This is a knitted model of DNA, complete with GC/TA base pairs represented by orange-green bars with a pointed join and blue-yellow bars with a stepped join (because there weren't enough stitches to make a wave or curve), replicating the standard simplified DNA model. As you can see from the pictures, it also makes a good toy insofar as it holds its shape while squished or stretched, because it is stuffed firmly with cotton balls. It also can be balanced on its end with some effort."
Link via Boing Boing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Master's Monday

I have mentioned before that, along with 3 of my knitting friends (not one of them has a blog!), I am working on The Knitting Guild Association's Master Knitter program. I decided to borrow (again) from Marlene over at Wovenflame, and set aside Mondays to post about my progress. Hopefully, being accountable to the Blogosphere will help keep me moving this project along.

Candidates in the Master Knitting program knit up a series of swatches, a few specific kinds of projects, and prepare a research notebook, all of which is sent to be evaluated by a review committee. A pin is awarded upon successful completion of all three levels of the program. It is actually very interesting work and I am looking forward to improving my knitting skillz and to learning some new techniques--especially the Arrrgyle sock (sorry, my inner pirate got the best of me there. Aarrgh).

So far, I have knitted and blocked nine of the required sixteen swatches and have three I plan to reknit. Also, I have knitted the two lace swatches, but have not blocked them. Here are some swatches about to be blocked:

See the lace one? I decided not to do that one. Here they are, all blocked and behaving nicely:

So, there are 9 swatches blocked, tagged, and bagged, plus two to be blocked. That leaves 5 more to go, plus the project--a stripped hat. Also, I will need to answer the research questions and write the paper. I'm still feeling a little ambivalent about that, but I think I'll manage.

Finally, did I tell you my cat was cool?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The New Graffiti..., what else? Knitting. There is a group of knitters in Sweden tagging all sorts of stuff--utility poles, staircase rails, statues, etc.--with beautifully knit(and crochet)wear. Check out this mooring ring on a dock in Sweden.

There is another group in Houston Texas that likes to tag car antennas, among other things.

I'm not sure why, but I really like this idea. Anyone want to be on my crew? We could use some knitted graffiti around here!

Friday, June 15, 2007


I joined this sock club tonight. I can't wait to get my yarn booty.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My 50th post!

Special thanks to Wovenflame. Where are you on your knitting journey? Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with bison yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with bananafiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art (Isn’t it all art? :))
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Monday, June 11, 2007


I took the boys out to run some errands today. You know, hit the grocery store, the health food store, clean out the car, etc. While I was cleaning out the back of my car, look what I found:

A ball of pink and white variegated Sugar and Cream, purchased back in October (according to the receipt which was in the same bag).

I have a vague (extremely vague) recollection of purchasing this yarn and some of the other stuff listed on the receipt, but I have no clue why I decided to return it or how it ended up under a pile of crap so enormous that it was ultimately forgotten. I guess we'll never know, but at least I get a cute pink and white variegated dishcloth out of the deal.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Monkey Revealed

Sorry for the delay! Here is the first Monkey:

and a closeup:

with an extreme closeup of the heel flap:

I finished it last night while watching a pre-Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston in "Second Coming". A great show with a great story, right up to the end, wherein I was sorely disappointed. I'm fine with it, though, because CE is an amazing actor and a pleasure to watch.

Today I dragged the boys to the Faire and a fun time was had by all. Here is Pirate Isaac:

Here is Ezra:

I could not get him to wear a costume. Oh, well. Maybe for the next Faire.

Friday, June 08, 2007

It is Done

The Monkey is done. I totally f'd up the grafted toe--can't seem to get the hang of it--but I'm still happy with it. Peggy was right. The finished sock weighed 25 grams and the remaining ball of yarn weighed in at 70/65 grams. Pictures tomorrow, when we return from the Faire.

Toe Started

I started shaping the toe of the Monkey last night and will probably finish this sock at knitting group today. Yay! Then I will only need to knit one more. Great.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Stay of Execution

The Monkey is no longer on time out. I ripped back the two rows last night and will continue knitting on it today. I am still on the fence as to whether I will actually knit a pair of Monkeys, however. I really do like Peggy's suggestion--I'm going to check to see how much yarn is left and maybe I will have enough left over for a pair of Jaywalkers. We'll see.

It's not like I'm never going to be able to knit up the Jaywalkers--I have plenty of other yarn I could knit them in. Funny story... The other day I tripped while surfing the web (oops, my credit card slipped out and, oh my gosh, I typed in the number and clicked send) and I sort of purchased a little of this (arrived yesterday) and some of this (hasn't arrived yet, but, c'mon, it's on sale. What was I supposed to do?). Then there is this my sister gave to me for my birthday. Any of these yarns would make beautiful Jaywalkers. I just can't stop thinking about the Jaywalkers Peggy is doing. Seriously, I'm obsessed with them. They. Are. Gorgeous. Peggy, I'm sorry if I'm embarassing you.

It seems like there should be some sort of knitting commandment: "Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Blog Neighbor's Jaywalkers" but I just can't help it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Time Marches On

I realized today that my adorable little 10 week old kitten is now 15 weeks old and hence, no longer an adorable little kitten. Sadly, he is now a tween, a mini-cat.

He has reached the age where indoor cats must start learning manners. I find myself saying things like "No, you may not jump up on the table and shove your nose into Ezra's cereal bowl while he's eating," or "No, you may not piss on the towels or in the bathtub just because your litter box is not as pristine as you like," and "No, you may not run out the front door as soon as it opens." Then there's my personal favorite, "No, you may not wake me up at 4 am by biting my ankles."

Doozer spends most of his day by either napping or terror-assing around the house, by either sleeping peacefully or ambushing everyone who crosses his path. Currently, his favorite hiding place is under the dresser in the foyer. Yesterday, I was hamstrung. If he were a tiger and I were a gazelle, I would have been tiger food.

I have to say, I love this little kitty and we are so glad he is part of our family. He fits in so well that it feels like we have always had him. The hardest part so far is that he seems to like Isaac more than he likes me.

That's okay, though.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Shakespearean Dilemma

Everybody in the knitblogosphere seems to be working on either Monkeys or Jaywalkers. Chasing Bunny has got a picture of the Jaywalkers she is working on. She happens to be doing these socks in the same yarn and colorway that I am knitting my Monkeys in and now I am faced with a dilemma. My sock is on a time out (again) because I screwed up (again) one pattern repeat before starting the toe shaping and I need to rip back two rows. That's fine, I can do that. But Noodleknit's Jaywalkers are just. so. beautiful. I think I must have sock envy because I really really want to rip back the Monkeys entirely and knit the Jaywalkers. To Rip or not to Rip? That is the question.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Feeling an Itch

It's Faire season. My kids need Faire clothes. Faire clothes cannot be knitted, but they can be purchased. Is it wrong to spend $25 here when I could sew something myself for less? I can't decide.