[vermont] This is why I knit...




I can't find the yard stick so I can't say exactly how much we got but it was at least 2 feet with piles of snow from the plow, shoveling and sliding off the roof reaching 4 feet.


[knitting] A Hat for a Cat

I used a wee bit of leftover Noro Kureyon to knit Murderface a hat:

A hat for a cat

Getting it on was a challenge:

A hat for a cat
"I don't want it, I don't want it, Get it off."

But doesn't it look so cute on him?

A hat for a cat
"I'll kill them in their sleep."

It doesn't stay on that well. The next one might have holes for his ears.

And a chin strap.


[knitting] Berry Difficult Hat

I am working on a tam for me:

Berry Pattern Tam

The stitch I'm doing is a "berry pattern" and it's near murder with this single-ply, mostly acrylic yarn. It's:

Row 1: *p3 tog, p1 k1 p1 in next stitch (repeat from * around)
Row 2: knit
Row 3: *p1 k1 p1 in next stitch, p3tog (repeat from * around)
Row 4: knit

I like the look of both sides of the resulting fabric and I think this tam is going to be reversible but the p3togs are killing me. I can only stand to do 4 rows at a time before I have to set it aside to work on something more fun. Like a hat for Murderface ;)


[knitting] Wavy Seas

Wavy Feathers Cowl

Pattern: Wavy Feathers Wimple

Yarn: Jojoland Melody, one ball

Needles: US 6

I bought two balls of Melody in a calming Caribbean colorway and the cowl only took one (although I was only able to repeat the pattern 3.5 times rather than 4 as written). I'm going to see if I can exchange my second blue ball (I'm sorry but... hahahhahahhhaha) for one in a different color. This was a surprisingly fast project to knit. I managed to block the cowl around the outside of a cardboard box.

In retrospect, I think this pattern would have worked best with a solid or semi-solid yarn. While I wouldn't call the color changes stark, they are noticeable. I don't know, do the stripes add depth or detract from the lace? I guess one good thing is that it helps to hide mistakes :)


[knitting] Teddy Toque

My father's Christmas present:

Handspun Toque

The yarn is my own handspun of teddy bear colors.

There is no pattern for this hat, per se. I just cast on 100 and k1p1 forevers. The decreases for the crown were p3tog (between two knits- to retain the ribby-ness of the pattern).

I loved the resulting hat so much, I had to cast on for another (softer) one for myself using Suri Merino:

Suri Merino Watchcap

I've done too much to turn back now but I think I should have gone down a needle size for this one- the stitches are a little too open for my taste. I'm thinking of knitting a swatch and throwing it into the washing machine and dryer to see how much it shrinks. Then I shall finish my toque accordingly.


[knitting] Zeebee

For the December edition of Hat Club at White River Yarns:


Pattern: Zeebee

Needles: US 10.5

Yarn: Louet Northern Lights: Picasso. (Yes, I was making mittens with the yarn but they were turning out dense and weird. They had to be ripped out.)

I don't think I'll knit this pattern again. It was a joy to work with yarn I spun myself and I think it was a good match for this pattern but I didn't enjoy the pattern itself. It had so much going for it:

- It's popular on Ravelry
- I thought that the construction was interesting (garter stitch short rows)
- It can be tailored to work for any gauge and any size head

I guess what turned me off is the writing of the pattern. I thought it was too wordy and confusing. Plus, the designer didn't include instructions for sewing a garter kitchener stitch. Which, I thought, if the pattern is going to be pages and pages long, just include the instructions. I don't know, maybe the pattern is meant for Beginners. There are step-by-step instructions for putting your cast-on stitches back onto a needle when all I needed was "pull out the crocheted cast on. slip live stitches onto smaller needle".

I'm not entirely sure but what with holiday knitting and feedback on the pattern from others, I think I might be the only one to knit this month's hat. Oh well.


[knitting] Musk Ox for my feet?

No new knitting content at the moment, although I have been busy and I'll have lots to show off next week. I like to include pictures but it's dark by the time I get home from work and I can only take decent pictures during the weekends.

I have a shmazillion projects I want to start but I just saw these slippers and I'm obsessed: Oomingmacks. The proper spelling is actually Oomingmak and it's Inupiat for "the bearded one", which is what the native Alaskans call musk ox.

While I was in Alaska this past May, I went up to Palmer to visit a musk ox farm. That's when I fell in love with these gentle beasts. The slippers are great because they perfectly capture the nature of the long guard hairs and the innocent facial expression. Sigh. I love.

[misc] Classic Rock? Yes, please.

[reading] A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin had been sitting on my bookshelves for ages but I only recently read it. I loved it. If you enjoy fantasy and well-written, full-realized other worlds (like Tolkien's Middle Earth), this should be right up your alley. The adventures of the Wizard Ged in the first book are many and take place all over Earthsea. I ordered the next two in the series and finished The Tombs of Atuan last night. This book didn't have quite as much going on as the first but I enjoyed it just as much because the story and female character were compelling. A few things that happened in the first book are explained and referenced in the second, which I liked. Onto The Farthest Shore...

[watching] I can finally use my Mac at home to access Netflix's "Watch Instantly" selections. What's even better is that we can now use our Xbox 360 to watch things through Netflix via Xbox Live. I added all kinds of random movies and shows. Seriously, I added titles like Teen Wolf, The Ice Pirates, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc. You know, just some kitschy stuff to pick and play. Some of the instant titles have expiration dates, so I've got to mind that.

[playing] Puerto Rico. This game is going to get a lot of play. We've had it for a while but people didn't want to play for one reason or another (it looks a lot more complicated than it really is) but we all had fun when we finally sat down and I explained the rules. Bonus: I found an official two-player variant online.

[knitting] I have a lot going on but I feel my knitting mojo waning... I'm taking the bus down to Boston and back with my sister on Saturday and that's, like, 6 solid hours of knitting time.

[spinning] I haven't sat in front of my spinning wheel for weeks :( I need to get on that. Last night I didn't feel like knitting and I was whining to Dollar, "I'm bored... I'M BORED..." like he's supposed to fix it. I should pull my wheel into the living room and do an hour every night.

[listening] I made a new Pandora station that has been playing songs like from the artist Boston. I've been listening to Boston, Def Leopard, Journey, Styx, Asia, Queen, Scorpions, ZZ Top, Heart, Foreigner, 38 Special, etc... I think I really like Journey... But if I hear someone coming, I switch it to my Jay-Z station and start rapping "Fo' shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in V-A..."


[knitting] Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks

I finished socks for Dollar:

Diagonal Cross-rib Socks

Pattern: Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks by Ann Budd from Favorite Socks

Yarn: Mondial Merino Plus (from the discount section at Hodgepodge Handicrafts in Newport, NH)

Needles: US 7

Mods: Obvious modification was choosing to use worsted-weight wool instead of fingering. I just used the chart in the book to figure out how to do the diagonal cross-ribs. Also, I didn't mirror the ribs. The left-cross twist was (in my opinion) way more difficult that the right-cross twist. Which, I think, makes this a pair of two right socks? Dollar will never know.

I have a wee bit of yarn leftover and I think I'll undo the girly frilly tops of the socks where I cast on and knit up some ribbing. Which should make the socks look a little more professional. I don't know why I completely blanked on the ribbing at the start...


[knitting] Great (Big) American Afghan

Some super-bulky yarn came to White River Yarns and I had to go check it out. Lois and I flipped through a copy of The Great American Aran Afghan at the shop and when I got home, I pulled my copy of The Great American Afghan. The premise is simple- use worsted weight yarn to knit 12-inch squares. When you have a pile, sew them together and wah-lah: afghan. There are dozens of different squares, all by different designers.

I picked a square, sat down with my super-bulky yarn and made:

Square for blanket

It's only, uh, slightly larger than 12-inches. Here's the block with a ruler for scale:

Square for blanket

More like 26-inches. Which I am okay with because 6 squares will make a generous blanket that completely covers a full-sized bed. The only sucky part is that it takes a little more than 4 balls of the Encore Mega to make one square; there are going to be lots of ends to weave in. I wish they sold Encore Mega on cones.

I'm having a hard time trying to decide which block to make next. The one above was easy and I love the button stitches (roughly the size of a quarter each)- it's a great texture to run your hand across. Maybe cables next? I don't think I should do bobbles since they would end up being as large as clementines.


[misc] Murderface Monday

The holiday weekend was so great. Lots of family and friends and food and games and chillaxing to the maxing. Murderface's current favorite spot is on a green fleece blanket:

Weekend Murderface

It's nice to get up early on a day off, let him out, make coffee, figure out what knitting I want to work on, let him back in, and hang out with him in the living room.

Weekend Murderface


[knitting] Lace Ribbon Scarf

Blocked and finished:

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf

Yarn: Zitron Trekking XXL 6-Fach

Needles: US 5

Mods: None. Although if I were to knit this again, I would leave out one of the ribbon repeats so that it's only 4 ribbons wide, rather than 5. The DK-weightiness of the yarn made this a little wider and shorter than intended. But this was a good one-skein project and I'm happy to report that there were no knots in the ball I used.

Sadly, I'm not loving this scarf. I have a hat and mitten set in a near identical colorway and thought a scarf to go with it would be nice. But there are too many yarn overs and double yarn overs. It's too open:

Lace Ribbon Scarf

How is it going to keep my neck warm with all those holes?!

Check out more Lace Ribbon Scarves across the internets here.


[misc] My blog

My blog is in today's edition of Valley News. Yay! I've heard from and informed pretty much every person I know. So... yeah.

Regularly scheduled knitting content will return shortly. I'm still in a Turkey-coma. It's like a walking-coma where you can still type but the thought-process is reduced to near zero because your brain is so full of gravy.

Mmm... gravy...


[knitting] Socks

New socks in progress:


Dollar's birthday was this past weekend and I gave him three new pairs of handknit socks (which I had been working on and saving since this summer). I was hoping the above pair would be done in time but I started them a week ago. So... not done yet.


[knitting] Christmas Tree Hat - Decorated

Last night's 'Trim Your Tree' event went well. Here is how mine turned out:

Christmas Tree Hat - Decorated

The gold ribbon I used as garland is a little loose and floppy (and only held in places by tiny safety pins) to ensure that the hat can still stretch over my head.

All the hats:

Christmas Tree Hats

Thanks to everyone who came to decorate!


[knitting] Harmonic Dishcloths

I knit a few much-needed dishcloths using leftover worsted-weight cotton in my stash.

Harmonic Dishcloths

Pattern: Harmonic Mosaic Cloth

Needles: US 7

Yarn: Misc. colored Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton

Mods: I left out the last repeat of rows 5 - 12.

This was a great stash busting project. They are wicked bright but Lois pointed out that when you're doing a crap job like dishes, it's nice to have something bright and cheerful to look at.


[knitting] I-Cord Gloves

Gloves are something I've never knit. I prefer mittens and the thought of making all those fingers on all kinds of double-pointed needles has kept me away. But I picked up a vintage Woolgathering that featured an ingenious way of making all those fingers: knit a 9 to 12 stitch I-cord, carrying the yarn across the back. When the finger is the desired length, use a crochet hook to pick up a stitch at the tip and keep picking it up the ladder.

Here are all my fingers. I used different colored cotton yarn to remember which fingers are which:

I-Cord Gloves

I am picking up the last thumb here. I've already picked up 5 or so stitches (below the crochet hook), with the rest of the ladder to go (above the crochet hook):

I-Cord Gloves

The picked up stitch is completely invisible. It perfectly blends in with all the other stitches. It's crazy. Crazy, I tell you!

It has only taken me a weekend to knit these gloves: fingers on Friday night, one hand Saturday, one hand Sunday. The worsted weight yarn helps to make this fast as well.

I-Cord Gloves

The only drawback is going to be all the ends to weave in and sewing together the crotches between the fingers. This pair is coming out small, so I think I might use a thicker yarn and bigger needles for the next pair.

By the way, these gloves are me procrastinating. I have lots of stuff I should be knitting for Christmas but... I just have to go with what my mood dictates and the I-Cord Gloves were calling to me.


[knitting] Sock yarn scarf

I started the Lace Ribbon Scarf:

Ribbon Scarf

I am using DK-weight sock yarn. I have a few balls of sock yarn laying around but I don't really knit socks. Well, I knit worsted-weight socks for Dollar because they only take a couple weeks. Socks using sock-weight yarn take me months to knit. So I am looking for other things to knit with the sock yarn that I have. Like this scarf.


[knitting] Mock-Cable Tam 2: Rise of the Angora

I made another Mock-Cable Tam, this time with an angora yarn:

Mock Cable Tam

Pattern: Slouchy Copy-Cat Hat

Needles: US 5 (ribbing), US 8 (body)

Yarn: Classic Elite Lush (50% wool, 50% angora), 1.1 skeins (BARELY used any of the second skein)

Mod: I did a rolled brim and then 1 inch of 1 x 1 ribbing. I did fewer pattern repeats to make this not so slouchy.

This one is going to my mom for shizzle. I'm keeping the slouchier rust-colored one.


[gaming] Carnage 11

I spent a long weekend up at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee for the 11th annual Carnage Convention.

It started Thursday night with a role playing game. The game started around 7pm and I didn't get home until 1:30 am. My bedtime is usually around 10pm and by 1 am, my head was literally lolling and nodding at the table. Looking for an exit for my character, I said, "So, the other character was just shredded by an M60 at the end of the tunnel? What am I going to do? Uh... Uh... I go running down the tunnel in the direction of the M60. ... I die? Okay, I'm going home." It was a good game, though, with good effects and material.

Friday Dollar and I checked out the vendors and bought a couple games. We got home and immediately played the Catan Dice Game. Simple and fast, every time we finished a game, I had to say, "More. Moooooore. Dice good. Game fun." (After hours of rolling dice, I think my mind started to get a little mushy.)

Saturday afternoon we both played in the Bang! tournament and Dollar won (for the 2nd year in a row). It was amazing, actually. The game was three rounds and he was the point leader after the first round. For the next two rounds, everyone was targeting him and he was eliminated early. But he still won. The trophy he was meant to receive this year for winning last year was not done, so they promised him TWO trophies next year. He said, "Okay, but if this happens again next year and you guys say something about getting three trophies the year after, I'm going to start to get suspicious."

Sunday morning we were able to motivate at get up to Fairlee for an 8am game. I played Pirate's Cove for the first time and loved it. I am picking this game up for sure.

So that was the convention for us. As always, everyone is fun and nice and great to hang out with. We're all just there to have a good time. I love it.

Carnage 12, I can't wait. What could the theme be? The Dirty Dozen? 12 Monkeys? Twelfth Night? 12 signs of the Zodiac? Or, related, the 12 Colonies of Kobol from Battlestar Galactica? I like the idea of the 12 signs of the Zodiac.


[knitting] Ridged Lace Cowl

I am using my handspun Kool-Aid dyed fiber to knit a cowl:

Ridged Lace Cowl

I love the nubbley texture. My only complaint is that it looks a little drab in natural light. I think the Kool-Aid coloring is already starting to fade. I might overdye this cowl in he future.


[knitting] Mock-Cable Tam

Mock Cable Tam

Mock Cable Tam

Pattern: Slouchy Copy-Cat Hat

Needles: US 5 (ribbing), US 8 (body)

Yarn: Plymouth Galway, most of one ball

Mod: I did a rolled brim and then 1 inch of 1 x 1 ribbing. I don't think I went as far as 8.5 inches from the cast on edge before starting the decreases. Probably more like 7 inches. It was very hat-like but I performed my new favorite tam-blocking technique: threading a needle with sock yarn under ever other knit stitch on the last row of ribbing. Soak the hat, roll out the water, insert a large dinner place and cinch the sock yarn tight. Tamified!

I think this hat will be for me. I will knit the pattern again with a nice light blue angora wool for my mom. Maybe. I just picked up a lace scarf that I haven't worked on since June and, being accustomed to instant gratification projects, knitting ONE INCH of the scarf in ONE HOUR is a little depressing. But I want to finish this scarf up as a Christmas present for her.


[spinning] Aubergine avec les sparkles

Here is the bulky dark purple yarn I spun and plied with sparkly thread:

Bulky Yarn with Sparkles

The color here looks a little milk-chocolatey but it is a deep eggplant color. The sparkles were also hard to capture. I have a blurry shot to show the effect of the thread:

Bulky Yarn with Sparkles

Oh la la, c'est tres jolie.

Dollar and I are off to Boston for the night, to witness the angry rambling and pontificating of Henry Rollins. We're taking the Dartmouth Coach down to South Station and we'll ride the T from there. We're staying with a friend overnight and coming back tomorrow. I'm happy I don't have to drive.


[knitting] Christmas Tree Hat - PATTERN AVAILABLE

I have the knitting pattern for the Christmas Tree Hat available to download as a PDF. It's in the sidebar to the left, or you can go get it at my GooglePage. I also posted it to Ravelry under my designs and linked it to the Hat Club thread in the White River Yarns group. While I'm at it, I might as well submit it to Digg, The Drudge Report, The New York Times... I'll just spam the internets with it.


[misc] MF Monday Thursday

Last night I was able to do all kind of chores- washing and changing the sheets and duvet cover, taking out the garbage from all the rooms in the house, clearing off the kitchen table, going though all the phone messages that have built up, ripping out knitting projects that are going nowhere, winding skeins of yarn into balls, playing a game of Blue Moon with Dollar, doing the dishes, making pork pies for supper, doing more dishes, watching two episodes of Battlestar Galactica, showering, then passing out face down in bed. I felt like:



[knitting] Christmas Tree Hat

I recently modified this pattern for a Christmas Tree Hat to fit an adult head:


I thought this would be a good November selection for Hat Club at White River Yarns. Knit the hat and then bring it into the shop for a "Trim Your Tree" party. (Which now, suddenly, sounds like I want to get a group of women together to... you know... do some landscaping... down there. Is it just me? Why does my mind go to these places?)

Here are some of the decorations I have. Sparkly pom-poms for the top, perfect little Christmas lights, candy canes, etc.


Now to write up the pattern...


[spinning] Forest Walk

I finished spinning the jewel-toned fiber. Originally it looked like:

Jewel Colors

Now it looks like:

Forest Walk 1

Forest Walk 1

What you see isn't technically all the fiber I bought. As I said in a previous entry, there were issues with the fiber being felted in places. Because I couldn't properly draft these areas, I had to strip them and throw them away.

I was disappointed with the fiber and contacted the owner of Liberty Fibers. She immediately dyed a batch of fiber for me and mailed it. Here it is:

Forest Walk 2

The colors are close to what I originally bought and it's soft and fluffy. I think I must have bought an irregular batch at Vermont Sheep & Wool. I am pleased with the customer service I received from this company.


[misc] Death by Broadband Upgrade

I'm a little angry, depressed, annoyed and offended at Fair Point Communications right now. It started last Thursday when I called asking for faster broadband. I was currently at 700kb (to check yours, Google "broadband test" and there are loads of free ways to check) and called Customer Service to see what was faster.

I could get 3Mb for $34 per month (I was currently paying $18 for 700kb). I asked if there was a plan somewhere between 700kb and 3Mb and the representative flatly said "no". So I said "Okay" to the 3Mb plan.

By the way, I hate that you have to go through 6 minutes of talking to a female recording before you get to talk to a real person. There was lots of:

FEMBOT: If you have a question about connection, say "connection". If you have a ques-

ME: Connection.


ME: Connec-

FEMBOT: I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you said. If you have a ques-




FEMBOT: Did you say "connection"?


And on and on and on. I think Fair Point hopes that you'll blow your brains out from frustration so they don't have to take your call. It was ridiculous.

So anyway, I ordered the faster service on a Thursday and they said it would be done the next day. Friday afternoon I did my broadband test and it said I was at 1.5Mb. I was supposed to be at 3Mb. So I called them (dealing with FEMBOT again) and finally talked to a guy. He said they weren't done yet, but it would be complete by 6 pm.

Saturday, I did a broadband test again and I was still at 1.5Mb. I also received two email confirmations saying that my $34/1.5Mb upgrade was complete. I called again. FEMBOT told me that I had recently ordered a change to my service and it was complete. "That's what you think," I told her. I finally talked to a human and he said that I won't get 3Mb. Ever. Where I live, I'm too far away from the central building, whatever that means. All I cared was that I was paying for 3Mb and only receiving 1.5Mb. He informed me that there was a 1.5Mb plan.

That's interesting. I was told point blank by someone else that there were no 1.5Mb plans.

He said there were two, actually. One regular one and one with a faster upload speed. If I wanted to change my current plan, I'd have to talk to the Billing department. I asked him to connect me.

He said I'd have to wait until Monday. That department doesn't work on weekends.

You mother-frakers. (Sorry, I've been watching a lot of Battlestar Galactica recently.)

Monday. Today. I call. I yell "Die, fembot, die!" into the phone and repeatedly press zero until I'm transfered to a human. I'm not playing around anymore.

I get a real-live girl on the phone and try to outline what I'm pissed about:

- You said I'd get 3Mb (twice), all I got was 1.5Mb
- I've been paying for something that I'm not receiving
- Is there or isn't there a 1.5Mb plan?

She says that if all I can receive is 1.5Mb, then that's all I can receive.

ME: I'm paying for 3Mb

HER: Up to 3Mb.

ME: What?

HER: The plan is for up to 3Mb.

ME: Okay, wow, when you say it like that, I guess that lets you off the hook but no one ever said "UP TO" 3Mb before. Everyone I spoke to said I would get the 3Mb. And there is no 1.5Mb plan.

HER: No.

ME: I want to go back to the 700kb I was getting before.

HER: Okay, I can make the switch. It's going to be $23 per month.

ME: Wait. I was paying $18 before. Five days ago.

HER: Well, I can... Hold on. ... Okay, I can get you a better price. $13 for 6 months, then $18 per month after that.

ME: [Surprised] Wow. Um... Thank you. Yes, I would-

HER: You are signing up for a yearly contract for that price.

ME: Meaning, if I terminate the service before the year is out (and ditch you a-holes for Comcast like I'm currently thinking about), then...

HER: There is a fee of $80.

ME: ... Is there someone else I can speak to?

HER: My supervisor. Please hold.

You gosh-darn, mother-fraking, a-hole, bleepity bleeps. I mean, COME ON.

I ended up speaking to a nice man who put a permanent note on my account that says if I terminate my service before a year is out, the fee will be waived. Just to finish beating the dead horse, I ask if there is a 1.5Mb plan. He says yes, but it costs the same as the 3Mb plan.

In the end, I'm back to the same service I had last week, but apparently cheaper for 6 months. Which I feel a bit better about having had to deal with the lying, and the lying, and all the lying. I'm so looking into Comcast or something else. What do other people around here use? I've heard good things about Comcast.

Now I'm terrified to get my next bill in the mail. Who knows what kind of hot mess it's going to look like.

[spinning] The Barfy Collection

Two or three weekends ago I dyed one pound of fiber (in 4 oz increments) using food coloring.

Barfy Bruise (I dyed with black and blue, leaving white spots):

Barfy Bruise

Barfy Rainbow (This was a junkpile of colors- using all the leftover dyes. I now think I should have left out the brown and black):

Barfy Rainbow

Barfy Cotton Candy (I am least pleased with with one. I only dribbled a little fuchsia and sky blue (and maybe a little violet?) onto the roving):

Barfy Cotton Candy

I'm spinning the last one first, just to get it out of my sight.

There is also another 4 oz bump of fiber that I carefully dyed yellow, green and brown. It came out awesome and I gave it to my sister for her birthday. Really, it was way better than all those above. It even braided up pretty.

I did finish spinning and plying the Liberty Fibers superwash. I spun very thin and the whole project took me weeks of off and on spinning.

Yesterday morning I spun 4+ oz of bulky dark purple wool and plied it with sparkly thread. It was all done, start to finish, before breakfast.

Hmm... Projects that take weeks vs. hours. I think I'll stick to bulky for a while. I need the instant gratification.

P.S. Speaking of barfy, today is Murderface Monday. I woke up at 5:30 this morning to MF getting ready to barf on the bed. I was able to swoop him down to the wood floor in time. I watched him for a few minutes to make sure he was all right but he started running around, chasing invisible things upstairs and purring loudly. O-kay.


[knitting] Scalloped Tam

The blocked tam:

Scalloped Tam

Scalloped Tam

Pattern: Scalloped Lace Beret

Yarn: Classic Elite Miracle (I do not recommend this yarn. It's too splitty)

Needles: US 4 (ribbing), US 7 (hat body)

Mods: None.

This was a test run of the pattern (using yarn given to me ages ago by my sister) to see if there would be anything I would want to change if I knit it again. I followed the pattern to a T and when I was done, it was hat-like, not tam-like. But the pattern said that this might be the case and blocking would sort it out.

So I threaded some sock yarn onto a needle and passed it under every knit stitch on the last row of ribbing, leaving lots of extra yarn at the beginning and end. I gave the hat a bath, rolled out the excess water, put a large dinner plate inside and CINCHED the sock yarn tight and tied a bow. This sufficiently opened up the lace pattern of the tam. Then I just waited for it to dry.

I like it. It's just the right size with just the right amount of drape (the alpaca and tencel content of the yarn). This one is going to my mom for Christmas. And I might make another one for myself.


[crochet] Barbara's Anne

I finished the scarf in the beginning of September but didn't post about it. I wanted to keep it a secret for my sister's birthday, which was this past weekend.

Another Anne

Pattern: Anne

Hook: H? Can't remember.

Yarn: Malabrigo in Praline

I did want to sing a little song about this scarf: "bar-bar-bar bar-barbara's anne" but stupid John McCain has ruined that song forever.

Sorry no pictures of Murderface today. I was busy this weekend (the aforementioned birthday, helping my sister spin and ply her first skein of yarn, dyeing a pound of fiber, etc etc). Sadly, no chores were done. There are just too many fun things to do.


[knitting] Blue Raggi Socks

I finished another pair of socks for Dollar's impending birthday:

Blue Raggi Socks

Yarn: Jarbo Garn Raggi

Pattern: Basic Socks from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns

Needles: US 6 (leg), US 7 (foot)

I think this makes pair #3. I honestly wanted to knit 6 pairs but I don't want to freak out and knit 3 more pairs in four weeks. I think I will cast on for one more pair but I will choose a pattern for the leg. The 1x1 ribbing is so booooooooring.


[misc] Good customer service experiences

I got a flu shot at work yesterday and I'm feeling a little run down. The dreary, rainy weather today isn't helping.

My sister's birthday is tomorrow. The spinning wheel obviously won't be a surprise, but I've got a few more things for her.

Dollar and I have been watching Season 4 of Entourage. We started the next-to-last episode of the season last night and it started skipping. I took the disk out and it's all kinds of scratched up. So it's time to do my first ever return/exchange at Amazon... Wow, that was easy. I just clicked a box that said the DVD is defective. They're sending me a new one now and I have 30 days to return the original. I also printed out a "no postage necessary" label to mail it back with. Easy.

Speaking of easy, I just got 4 new snow tires put onto my car at Wilson Tire in Lebanon. If you live in the area, I can't recommend that place enough. I got an excellent price on the tires and the staff are courteous and professional and nice and helpful and fast. I'm going back in the spring to get new all-season tires there.

I should have some knitting finished objects to show off over the next few days- socks, a hat, a scarf. I want to wrap up a few things before I start new projects. Like finally getting around to sewing a fabric lining for my cable knit bag. And I'd like to make significant progress on a lace scarf that I started back in May.


[spinning] Ashford Traveller

I was notified by my bf's mom that there was a bunch of spinning stuff at a family member's garage sale. I tend to avoid garage and yard sales because I don't want to buy other people's used garbage. Harsh, I know, but I don't really like used stuff. Or rather, most used stuff. I can make an exception when I find a $500 spinning wheel for $65:

Ashford Traveller Spinning Wheel

I brought it home and asked my sister if she wanted it. She said yes and we set to work fixing a wonky leg. I dusted it off, oiled it and got to spinning 4oz of natural brown Jacob wool. I'm not used to the single treadle (my Kromski is a double treadle), so I spun thick and quick. Here's the bulky plied wool I spun on this wheel:

Brown Bulky wool

It's an Ashford Traveller and it's a good wheel. It would have been a bargain and twice the price.

All the accoutrements I also purchased at the garage sale:

Spinning Supplies

From left to right: wool comb, lazy kate and 4 bobbins (this was $2), green drop spindle (with pretty butterflies on it), light wooden Louet drop spindle, small niddy noddy, large niddy noddy (this one's for Shelby), hand carders (these are a little dirty but the teeth are good and they were a steal at $10).

I went back to the garage sale the next day and bought all the knitting patterns.


[misc] Weekend roundup

It's Monday, so that means Murderface. Here he is getting treats.

The weekend started off with a bang. I got a call from Lois at White River Yarns, asking whether or not I wanted a drum carder for $215. I hemmed and hawed a bit and said, "I dunno. I guess I've have to take a look at it. See what state it's in." She said it has never been out of the box. I said, "I'll be there in five minutes." Yes, I bought a drum carder to process fiber. But really, am I ever going to use it? I buy my fiber already processed...

Saturday I went apple picking with my sister at Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, NH.

Apple Picking>

It was a gorgeous day. A perfect fall day.

Apple Picking

As we were walking through the trees, I said to my sister, "Concerts and apple picking- that's when being tall comes in handy."

Apple Picking

That same afternoon I drove up to Tunbridge (another gorgeous drive) to visit friends. Where they live, they are totally secluded and remote and have started a farm with sheep and llamas. Basically living the lifestyle that Dollar and I plan on starting. Soon. I hope. While I was there, they gave me a bag of fiber from one of their llamas. It's already washed and carded but it can be slippery to spin (I had this problem when I tried spinning alpaca for the first time a couple weeks ago). So I could maybe blend it with some wool for stability. But I would need a drum carder for that. Oh wait! I have one now! Wheee!

That evening, we went to the haunted corn maze. There are long lines to wait in but once you're inside the maze, it's scream time. I have to admit, I was scared. There's the "BAH!" quick scare, the "agh-AGH!" double scream when someone jumps out of the corn and scares you, then you see their mask and scream again, the silent fear that overcomes you when a creepy, masked monster is quietly stalking you, the "it's quiet... too quiet" anticipatory fear. I'm telling you, I wonder why I go. At least I have Dollar to hang (literally) onto. NO WAY would I go through those corn fields alone.

One guy jumped out at me with a "WHAAGH!" I went "AAGGHH!!" He got me good. As he moved on, I heard him go, "Heh heh heh heh." Like, an honest chuckle of someone who scared you good and is content about it.

There were lots of kids doing the scaring as well. And you couldn't see them because they were so small and well hidden. I tried not to exclaim, "Holy F*#%ing Sh&t!!" into their masked faces and tried to stick with "AGH! ... Jeeze! I mean... Jeeze. Wow. You got me. Heh heh."


Sunday I think I pretty much cooked all day. Breakfast for me, turnovers for Dollar, grocery shopping, apple pie, dinner (chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, MMMmm).

Monday, today... The plan is to do a crap-load of laundry. And fun stuff between loads.