Wednesday, January 31, 2007

january wrap-up

Here's what I accomplished in my quest to use up stashed yarn during January:

-Two skeins of Rowan Polar, purchased from someplace in Rhode Island during our 2005 summer vacation
-Two skeins of Noro Silk Garden, purchased from Knit Happens during a visit to DC in July 2005
-Two skeins of Regia Crazy Color, purchased from someplace in Germany during our 2006 summer vacation (should be finished tonight!)

Considering the amount of yarn I purchased in San Francisco, this isn't much progress in whittling down my stash. I have to do better next month! Given all that I have to accomplish before May 11 (graduation!), there isn't going to be a lot of time for knitting, I fear. But I lost my mittens this morning, so replacements will have to get bumped to the top of the pile for February.

For those following my foot issues, the orthopedist I saw this morning said that it's just a cyst that doesn't need to be removed. However, I need to be more careful in my shoe purchasing because the cyst won't go away. Henceforth, I have a pair of almost new Dankso shoes that I can't wear anymore. Anyone interested?

Sunday, January 28, 2007


The Silk Garden scarf didn't suffer any ill effects from being left soaking in the Soak for an hour.

I'm sorry, scarf. I was actually doing work, and just forgot about you. I'm glad that you chose to dry out and still look lovely. Your courtesy is much appreciated.

So: 2 skeins of Silk Garden, 36 stitches on the diagonal, and I got a scarf of 52". That's a little short for me, but luckily my MIL is a little short herself, and I think that it will work out just fine. I hear a rumor that someone else is getting her a new Swatch, in colors that are very similar. Coordinating gifts, and we didn't even try!

I had this fabric in our drawer of all things wrapping (originally from Pier 1, says the tag), but I have no recollection of when I bought it. None. Whatsoever. The colors were so perfect with the scarf! I think that it makes a lovely little package.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

exhibit not to miss!

Doesn't this sound great? Radical lace and subversive knitting. It sounds like just the thing to get me back in the groove.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

no progress to report

I accidentally left the gift scarf for my MIL in Soak for about an hour. That hasn't killed the Silk Garden, has it? Please say it'll be fine after it's dry in the morning!

Since it's too dark to take any good pictures at night, I thought that I'd share a baby gift that I made earlier this month. Claire, have you seen the socks in action? They turned out totally adorable (in my humble opinion), and will be a great little project for using up leftover sock yarn. The best part was that I didn't even try to get the patterning to match; it just happened.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

we are strong

The State of the Union isn't going to happen for a couple of hours, but based on the number of leaks coming out, we aren't going to have any surprises. Yes, the State of our Union is Strong. As Jon Stewart pointed out last night, it's always Strong. I remember Bill Clinton saying that, too, so the very unoriginal opening isn't exclusively a Bush thing.

In my Public Economics and Finance class (taught by the head of Clinton's economic team, and Kerry's chief economics advisor), we talked about the significant tax break for those who receive health benefits through their employer. I don't remember the exact figures (and could dig out my notes if you'd really like Furman's take on this progressive (and that's a word you don't normally hear about Bush!) tax), but we wouldn't have much of a deficit if it was implemented. We didn't discuss the conditions that are going to be proposed in the State of the Union, but it sounds like that makes the tax much less equitable.

Did you know that if an employer extends health care benefits to domestic partners, the employee has to pay taxes on that non-cash payment transfer? Humpf.

And no word on the foot.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

san francisco wrap-up

We were in San Francisco!

And saw towering trees in Muir Woods.

But you are really interested in seeing yarn, right? I'll oblige. Our trip to Artfibers was nearly worth the whole trip across the country. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, but completely respectful of the need to slowly work through the shelves of yarn you've never seen before. And the Yarntasting lounge area rules- and you get to keep your swatches!

The first yarn in my basket was Ming, in color #11. It's 143 yards/skein and 50% silk and 50% extrafine merino wool. The drape is going to be wonderful. This is destined for the Shetland Triangle. The design reminds me of peacock feathers, and I wanted a yarn that wasn't too varigated, but had all of the colors of a peacock. I think that this is going to fit the bill perfectly. I got a little more than the pattern would call for, because I think that I'll want to make it a bit larger than pictured.

I don't know what this Golden Chai will become (165 yards/skein, 100% golden tussah silk, color #38), but I got Victoria Lace Today as a Christmas gift, and I think that this will look great in something from that book.

My final purchases were pretty implusive; those seven little skeins looked lonely in my basket. And I don't have any other vacations planned, so more yarn-buying for months! Alfabeto (color #10, 250 yards/skein, 76% silk, 19% superkid mohair, 5% wool) is just destined for the stash. Depending on the light, the colors move from browns to plums, with little bits of magenta every once in a while.

All in all, it was a great trip. Stay tuned for Tuesday, when I find out if I have a hairline fracture in my right foot.

Friday, January 19, 2007

the state of my confusion

I really wanted to finish the birthday gift for my MIL last night. I would feel so accomplished! What a great end to a so-so day!

But I couldn't wrap my head around how to finish the darn thing in a square. I'd started the scarf on the airplane out to SF by casting on two stitches, and increasing one at the end of each row. I figured that it was time to start the decreasing, but HOW?

Sadly, I was so allergy-ridden and headachy last night that I couldn't make the connection to DO THE REVERSE OF WHAT I DID ON THE OTHER END, e.g. decrease one stitch at the end of each row until there were two left. I need to crank that higher brain functioning into action before class starts on Monday (except this situation didn't really call for higher brain function - just the basics). Wisely, I left the scarf and went to watch the musical episode of Scrubs (which was so great, wasn't it? I'm such a musical theatre geek). On the train ride into work this morning, I figured out what seemed so impossible only 10 hours before. So I'm off to finish.

(Blocking and details to follow.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

we're back!

I finished one sock on our way to San Francisco, and started a birthday gift for my MIL. I didn't do much knitting on the trip, but made good headway into the United States of Arugula.

The highlights:
-learning that kumquats are a wonderful little fruit
-excellent wine, and visits with winemakers
-a visit to Artfibers, and a splurge to get me through KFYS 2007
-the deYoung Museum, where we spent too little time
-coming home to a warm and toasty apartment because I finally shut the windows for the season

The lowlights:
-expecting temperatures that are seasonable for SF, and not being prepared for the cold
-realizing that we don't have something as great at the Ferry Terminal Market, which we loved
-this walking tour (a couple of steamed buns does not a banquet make)
-arctic weather upon returning home

We didn't take many pictures (my hands were stuffed in my pockets for most of the time), but yarn shots will follow on Saturday when we'll hopefully have light.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

sittin on the dock of the bay

We are off to San Francisco for a few days of rest and relaxation... and since it's a little vacation: yarn buying! Please refer to KFYS rule #1, vacation yarn buying doesn't count! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

jaywalkers finished!

My Jaywalkers are finished! Yay! I don't know why and how they took me so long (except that I finished the foot too soon on one of them), but I'm eager to start wearing them. I liked the Trekking so much that I've already got another skein in my stash. I think that the pattern goes really, really well with this yarn. Thanks so much, Gumperina!

(Apologies for the poor picture, but the sun wasn't really up when I left this morning.)

So, last night's House finished a terrible story arc that's been dragging on for months. I understand that they needed to address the drug addiction, but the Detective Tritter ("Shitter" by those at TWP) character was so poorly constructed that I just wanted it to end. House was triumphant at the end, of course, and I was just so happy to see Tritter GO AWAY. And now we have to wait three weeks for a new episode!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

moral outrage

I find what gets my neighbors all riled up so funny.

I broke my pledge to not start another sock until the 2006 batch was finished. We are heading to San Francisco on Friday morning, and bringing a black sock along on the trip just wasn't inspiring. I felt that I needed a pink sock, and happily I anticipated this need during our Germany vacation. I taught myself the toe-up method last night, and it's really easy! Unraveling the crochet chain took much longer than it should have, and I just need to figure out the trick to getting that to zip away. New socks! Yay!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

record-setting day

I had nothing to do with the record setting, but it's 70 degrees in Central Park, and that's news. Due to the high temperatures, I have not made any progress on the drop-stitch sweater... but tomorrow's another day! I might make my goal for this one.

What I did accomplish was a little baby gift for a new little baby. No pictures, because Hubby has the camera, and the surprise would also be ruined for Claire. The gift took a little bath in some lavender Eucalan, and should be ready to head for Chicago on Monday.

My other accomplishment was to clean out the shoes in my closet. This year is all about purging Stuff. I found the Declutter Calendar link on someone's blog, and got me a copy pronto. Not that I'm following it, but crossing off something feels good, even if it isn't today's task. I found four pair to donate, and four grocery bags of shoes to toss. More more more!

Friday, January 05, 2007

listage #1 for 2007

1. As Kate Sullivan on the morning news said, "I just feel better knowing that there are guys like this walking around." And then there are these two as well! (I was also a good samaritan today, but not in the manner of throwing myself in front of a subway car or noticing, then catching, a falling baby. I saw a pearl on the bathroom floor at work, and brought it to the reception desk. Turns out another of the receptionists had lost the pearl earlier, and was very distraught about it. Yay me! In a very small way.)

2. I've seen lots of people getting excited about the challenge of walking 100 miles before April 1, and discovered the Google Pedometer (very cool tool). Turns out, that on an average business day, I walk 3.67 miles getting myself between home and work. So I'll hit 100 miles in the first week of February. I never realized how far it was. That justifies all of the Dansko shoes, I guess.

3. I made two hats this week, one for me and one for Hubby. They are Asymmetrical Cable Hats from Leigh Radford's One Skein, done in two shades of Rowan Polar. First: love the pattern. Easy to memorize, and oh-so funky and off-kilter. Second: I now know why Polar was discontinued. There's almost no twist to it, and I snagged partial loops more than in any other project. We were wearing them for a while last night, but since winter is the new summer, it got pretty warm. However: two skeins of stash used!

4. I did not achieve my goal of finishing 12 pairs of socks in 2006. Ah well. I'm close, and will finish soon. I want to play with some of my other sock yarns, but I'm not allowing myself to do so until I finish the three in-progress pairs.

5. Finally, to round out the randomist of posts, I must say that having one's annual performance evaluation in Starbucks is rather distracting. But far worse is having one's annual performance evaluation at Starbucks with a star of Guiding Light (my soap from high school) sitting at the next table, listening to the whole damn thing. Most bizarre, but he looks much older than his 48 years. Ha!

Tomorrow: seaming my sweater.

Monday, January 01, 2007

happy new year!

Yay! The sweater is blocking! The sweater is blocking! Judging from the very rainy and foggy January 1 we are experiencing, it's going to be a few days (at least) before it's dry enough to start sewing together. The pieces bathed in some of the "celebration" Soak, and turned the water a very bright red. I'll aim to have it in wearable condition by next Sunday, because sadly, I have to return to work tomorrow. I love the woman of leisure thing. But: Hubby and I are going on a weekend jaunt to San Francisco at the end of next week, so I'll have short weeks at the office to ease into the new year. What shall I bring to knit on the trip? Hm... With the new version of Blogger, I put together a knitting queue, in hopes of keeping fun projects in the front of my mind.

In other news, today we learned that some dear friends are moving to northern California. Sigh. However, we are also expecting (hoping) for a significant change ourselves over 2007, which means that I'm jumping on the

bandwagon. Here are my rules:

1. Vacation purchases don't count (it's a souvenir).
2. No buying sale yarn (I don't knit it any faster).
3. The project term shall extend from January 1 until July 31 (guilt-free buying before my birthday, and hopefully we'll be moved by then).
4. If a specific gift is required and I really don't have the yarn in stash, I can buy what I need (but need to keep in mind that I've got almost two boxes of baby-type yarn already).

My resolve is already being tested. This morning I got an email from a sort-of local yarn shop that is closing, and of course, having a large sale. Gah! Rule #2! Must resist! But seriously, I have way too much yarn, and moving it would be no fun at all. We need to purge, and this is a good way to start.