30 March 2007


It was so close to being done, I just couldn't stop myself. I finished the first Endpaper mitt. Although I was feeling a little better, the knitting has set me back again. However, isn't it great? (Of course, I need to weave in the ends and block it but I think it looks pretty good.)

(Its pretty hard to take a picture of your right hand with your left hand when you are right-handed. Stuff like that must be really annoying for left-handed folks since the button is the "wrong" side.)

I learned the tubular cast on and cast off for this and I have to say that I am pretty please with how they look. I also practiced weaving in the ends as I went, using the Philosopher's Wool method (you should try the link in IE to see the video). Other than where I did the purl stitch for the phony seam, the floats are small and even. I totally want to start the second one but I know that in the end it will only make things worse so I must continue to avoid the knitting. Maybe I can crochet instead?

Also, have you seen this site? I've seen Cookie A.'s designs on Knitty (here, here, here, here, and here) but these are even better (I think). I am seriously tempted to buy the German Stocking (the Yarnharlot beat me to it), and the Rhiannon. Wouldn't it be cute to make the Rhiannon for my niece, Rhiannon? Too cheesy probably but still tempting...

27 March 2007


I finished the thumb on the Endpaper Mitts (pic to follow at some later date) and am almost done with the pattern repeats on the palm section. Although I'm excited to be in the home stretch, I can't knit. I don't know what I did but the ganglion cyst on my left hand is acting up. Its a problem I frequently had in college but it hasn't bothered me in years. My dad has the same condition and when I was little I used to ask why he had a big lump on the back of his hand and he would say that I bit him when I was little. He eventually had to have surgery to remove the cyst.

Even typing this hurts so holding needles is out of the question. For those who are not squeamish: when I curve my fingers as with typing or holding needles, I can feel the tendons slide over the ganglion cyst and it causes some pain. I'm not sure if the cyst is causing pressure on the tendon or vice versa. Some ibuprofen and rest should help, but it may be a few more days before any progress can happen. meh.

25 March 2007

The Book List

This one's been going around. I got it from Trillian.

Look at the list of (100) books below. Bold the ones you’ve read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. Movies don’t count.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) [saw the movie]
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) [saw the movie]
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) [saw the movie]
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) [saw the movie]
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible [various parts]
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares) [saw the movie]
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) [in French no less which is why I hardly remember it]
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) [saw the movie]
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) [saw the movie]
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Hmm, only 26 out of these 100. However, this seems like a strange mix of books to me. I swear I used to have my nose in a book all the time growing up and many of those are not on this list.

19 March 2007

Life update

Just a little FYI to let you guys know that the doggy daycare gig is over. I'm a little sad to not be spending time with the dogs but sometimes they were more than I could take. Friday was my last day. About an hour before closing, one of the dogs got my thigh while trying to get at the dog on my other side. The big welt kept me from getting too sad about my last day.

Why? Because I have a new job. Its a marketing/relationship building type of job in the financial consulting field. I'm working with a semi-virtual office so I will mostly work from home and commute to Orlando 1-2 times a week. My only real concern is that there is no base salary so if this doesn't pan out, it could be a real drag on our personal finances. Although, if this company does well, I'm getting in on the ground floor with potential for earnings more in line with what I was making before we moved here. (I have been warned that earnings will be slow at the beginning until I get a good feel for the process. This could mean a couple of years before I would earn my "ideal" income.) Its technically a new company but its essentially this one guy going from working solo to starting a firm with some other like-minded people. I also get a fancy title that starts with "Director".

Keep your fingers crossed for us. Of course, this means on slow days there might actually be some knitting progress which is what really counts, right?

18 March 2007

Moving on to the next one

I know that the Alpine Lace is languishing by the wayside, but I couldn't help myself. I had to start the Endpaper Mitts (by Eunny Jang).

I learned how to do a tubular cast on for this. It was difficult to understand at first because I couldn't get the video to work on my computer. However, once I got going it was pretty easy. I've already done 2 of the 3 repeats for Chart A and hope to start on the increases (Chart B) by tomorrow.

Progress to date:

In the wild, amongst the potted bougainvillea so you can see the colors a little better:

A close-up of the pattern:

I really liked the colors that were used in the original but did not actually set out to use such similar colors. I was trying to choose from among the many colors used in the Venezia sweater to test drive the wool (since I'd never used any Jamieson or shetland wool before) and to check out some of the colors used in the sweater. I wound up choosing two that looked like the ones in the original because it was hard to get a feel for what two colors would work well together from the little color snippets on the Two Swans order page. Although you can't tell in these pictures, the Yellow Ochre has these great flecks of color which give it sort of a tweedy effect on the cuff and really helps bring it together with the Peacock color. Also, I now have the color card so I can get more adventurous with color combinations if I do these again.

I'm pretty happy with how these are turning out and am looking forward to have a pair of mitts to model in the next week or so. Then maybe I'll go back to the lace...of course there was all that new sock yarn that I just bought...hehehe...

13 March 2007

Yarn Pr0n and FO

First, I present to you the finished pair of Fetching (OK, so they still need to be blocked, work with me):

and the view from the palm side:

Look mom, no gaping holes!

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty
Needles: size 3 dpns (I started out with metal needles, Susan Bates I think, but had to switch to bamboo for the last mitt because the metal hurt my hands)
Yarn: one skein of Merino Style from KnitPicks in color Strawberry (I had a few yards left over)
Gauge: unknown, I didn't bother checking and just re-did the first one when it looked way too stretched out
Modifications: I added 5 stitches (total cast on 50 stitches) to help make the mitt wider since it was way overstretched the first time around. I probably could have added another 5 stitches to help with the fact that I have wide hands but then it would have been too loose around my wrist. I also repeated the cable pattern from the bottom on the top mostly because following the pattern would not have reached my knuckles.

Yes, I have freakishly large hands. Luckily for my sister, her hands are only a little smaller than mine so these should fit her perfectly. I liked that the added cables at the top help to keep the mitts snug against my knuckles. Although a regular bind-off would have worked for this pattern, I used the super stretchy k2tbl bind-off. (I have no idea what that bind-off is called but it was the recommended bind-off in the Flower Basket shawl and it gives a nice finish as well.)

Also, it was such a pain to fuss with a cable needle and the dpns that I just decided to do without. It was difficult at first and continued to be a risky endeavor when I was going from one dpn to the next but nothing that couldn't be fixed quickly with a small crochet hook. All-in-all, it was still faster than using the cable needle.

I would definitely make these again. I still have that other skein of Merino Style in the same color so I may be making another pair soon, or at least a variation of these.

Now for what you really want to see, the yarn!

Here is the Opal, 6-ply sock yarn in solid colors from Little Knits:

I like this view better:

Check out the sheen in the sunshine which makes it look even prettier. (I hope that black doesn't fade because it is a nice deep color.)

Only one skein is destined for sock-dom, not sure about the rest. Again, I am hoping that I can get through Eunny's pattern without any major drama. I just couldn't resist the sale and this yarn could be used for so many machine-washable things.

11 March 2007

Some evidence of knitting

As I mentioned, I am re-doing the novelty scarf.

Its quite possible that now it is too narrow but I'll keep going for a while and wait to see how I feel about it. That is one of the Balene needles in the work. Again, the needles feel nice but are a little heavy compared to some of my other needles.

Here is the almost finished pair of Fetching gloves. I just undid the bindoff on the first glove and started knitting from it without frogging it all and re-winding into a ball. I should be done tonight. Of course, its isn't likely to get cold again here in FL so I might send these to my sister in MA--she's always cold and could probably get at least another month of wear out of these.

10 March 2007


OK, there has been some knitting going on here at the home front but I haven't taken any pictures to post. I'm afraid this will be text-only with pictures to follow at some later date.

First, I now understand the call of armwarmers/wristwarmers/fingerless gloves. They are so quick and satisfying. I was able to finish the first Fetching glove in a weekend. It looked a bit too stretched so when I cast on for the second glove, I added five stitches. I know, I should have checked my gauge but I figured by the time I finished a swatch, I could have made the glove. I already finished the second glove and have started re-doing the first one so that it is the same width. I'm up to the point where I knit with waste yarn for the thumb so should be done by tomorrow.

I was trying to keep my yarn buying to a minimum in 2007 but, um, I just couldn't resist. I bought the shade card and two skeins of Jamieson's Spindrift from Two Swans Yarn. (The service was good and quick. Karen, the owner, seems to have reasonable prices and a wide selection not to mention cool sales every month.) Why the shade card? Because I desperately want to make the Venezia pullover but am thinking I want to change the colors. With all the colors in the original, I wanted to be able to compare the original selection to what I think I want instead. I bought two skeins, in Yellow Ochre and Peacock, to make the Endpaper Mitts and simultaneously get a feel for the yarn. I want to see if the wool will soften enough to really be next-to-the-skin soft. (Let's ignore the fact that I will have little use for a wool sweater in Florida. I can always wear it when I go visiting up north.)

In case you can't tell, I am a big fan of Eunny Jang's designs. So when Little Knits kept sending updates on the sale on Opal sock yarn, I finally gave in and bought some of the solid colored 6-ply yarn. The plan is to make some Bayerische socks and use a couple of skeins in the black color to make a lacy (and machine washable) scarf for my older sister. I hope to have the yarn by next week.

Also motivated by a sale, I have started re-doing the scarf using the novelty yarn. Hubby pointed out some Balene 14" straights on sale at Tuesday Morning. Normally, I wouldn't have bought them because I rarely use straights. However, it was a set of five needles (sizes 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10) for about $6. I've also been on this kick to use as many different kinds of needles as possible to see how they differ and which I like best. I almost bought about $100 worth of needles from JK Needles the other night because I was so in awe of all the different materials and brands. Anyway, I was motivated to re-do the scarf using the new size 10 needles. After only about an hour of knitting, my left wrist hurt badly. I think that compared with my usual needle choice, the 14" straights were just too heavy and my poor little wrist couldn't take it. However, I like the way the Balenes feel. I would probably get their circular needles and dpns. The tips are very similar to the Bryspuns, a nice concave tip that really catches the yarn.

The Alpine Lace scarf has stalled out for now. I didn't finish it in time for my friend's wedding so the frenzy to finish is over. Perhaps after I get the wristwarmers out of my system, I'll be able to focus on it again.