Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stephanie freakin' Pearl-McPhee

Arr, matey, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but I be too much of a scurvy cur to talk like a pirate fer a whole blog post. Arrr. Oh well.


What an awesome, awesome time. I rode up and back with Susan/Plum Texan and Meredith/Mer Knits! You know you've found cool people when they can make a drive on North 45 at rush hour seem like a grand old time. If you aren't from Houston, think of a highway in a metropolis with bad traffic and really ugly scenery. Yeah. Anyway.

We got there a good hour and a half before the talk was supposed to start and headed to the hosting LYS, Twisted Yarns. Mmm, so much good stuff. I bought a set of cable needles because I'm supposed to teach somebody how to cable soon, but managed to get out of there (that time) without buying anything else. I saw Cat Bordhi's new sock book, but managed to be virtuous and put it back even though I'd promised myself that I would buy it as soon as I saw it. $30, dude! I'm a grad student!

The high school where they had the talk was "next door," but this school was ginormous and we had to walk all the way to the far side, jumping ditches and anthills on the way. While we waited to get started they had door prizes and I won one of the last ones: a baby knits book with some really, really cute stuff (note to self: find babies to clothe) and two skeins of bright orange yarn. Orange isn't my color, so I may give it away. Still, the prizes were amazing and I was glad I won one.

Stephanie's talk was soooo good. What a smart, funny lady she is. She talked for an hour and a half, but she was so interesting that my butt never got tired. My fingers did, though, and I had to stop knitting toward the end.

Afterward, we went back to Twisted Yarns for the signing. I tried to take a picture of the line, but I mostly got this bookshelf.

Meredith and I were in line for ages, but we finally got up to get our books signed, and I got to hold The Sock! It was soft. Stephanie said it was the mojo of hundreds of knitters, but it may also have been a high-quality merino.

She complimented my Venezia *blush* and then said "I'm going to see Eunny this week, I'll tell her I saw one!" If she remembers, this means that the freakin' Yarn Harlot and the freakin' editor of Interweave Knits and designer of my Venezia sweater will be talking about ME! I feel so special.

So, that excitement over with we had to loiter around the store for another half hour or so, as Susan had gotten in line way behind us. Not too bad, but I was unable to resist Cat Bordhi's sock book after a second perusal, and it came home with me. I'll just eat ramen this week, it'll be fine. If I get really hungry I'll distract myself by looking at the AWESOME SOCKS.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We're off to see the Harlot!

Expect an update tonight or tomorrow. The Yarn Harlot is coming to town today! Or, well, to be more accurate she is coming to a suburb way on the North side of town. Fortunately for me, I have knitting friends now, and I will be riding up with at least one, maybe two.

The super-organized organizers are giving out tickets for the book signing, so we know where we have to stand in line (hopefully this will prevent a big rush, which could be very dangerous with all those knitting needles around). I went up on Friday to get some tickets and came home with yarn for three Christmas projects. I cast on immediately for the first one, modeled here by Banjo the Wood Boy.

I'll be knitting on that tonight. I'm almost done with the heel now. These are a surprise Christmas gift for someone who almost never reads my blog, but I won't say who just in case. The yarn is Claudia Hand Painted Yarns in "DF Green," a bit darker than the pic shows. She uses Louet Gems as her base yarn, so y'all know how much I love it. Oddly, though, the yarn is shedding bluey-purple dye all over me. Any thoughts on how to set it?

Houston knitters, if you're gonna be at the Harlot tonight, look for me! I'll be wearing the Venezia pullover, damn the 96 degree heat index!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007


Did you guys miss me? I have been so freakin' busy. And it's funny how going more than two weeks without blogging about current projects means you have a TON to talk about, even if it's been light knitting.

1) I got into Ravelry at last! I've found some of you already, but you can look for me as EverwhelmingLiz.

2) I forgot to say, but I passed my comps. I am now ABD (all but dissertation), and once I fill out a form and turn in a transcript I will have completed the requirements for a Bonus Master's Degree. But now I'm frantically working on a dissertation proposal and, soon, grant proposals. I should be doing that right now, but I missed you guys!

3) The wedding plans are... progressing. Slowly. Hopefully on Friday we'll get the final news about whether the seamstress can do the dress I want. I'll post about that later, if it works out it is going to be really awesome.

4) If you guys pray, please pray for my grandmother and our family. If you don't, send us some good thoughts. She has Alzheimer's and finally had to go into a nursing home last week. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry, it was so sad to see her there, with her mind essentially gone.

Ok, and the knitting.

1) I've mostly been working on the second Twisted Flower sock, which is done at last. In a fit of generosity last weekend I offered these to my aunt, but I don't know how well they will wash, so I guess I ought to test a swatch.

These were some very challenging socks, but so much fun. Also, Dave had better keep an eye on me, because I am tempted to run away with Louet Gems and have its babies. Softest, prettiest yarn EVER.

2) With the socks winding down, I started working on smaller things. I made a baby hat with some leftover 1824 Wool. The Yarn Harlot is coming to town next Tuesday, and this is my contribution to the representation.

The pattern is the Umbilical Cord hat from Stitch n Bitch. This was my first ever baby knit, and it is so freaking cute. I hope it makes somebody's baby very happy and warm.

3) With the baby hat done, I went even smaller.

The plan is to make enough of these to cover my entire Christmas tree, then have a Christmas party and let everybody take one home. They're lots of fun to make. Would you guys be interested in a pattern? They're pretty basic, just the normal sock on normal US1s, except only 16 stitches around.

4) This post is quickly approaching critical mass, but I need to include the status of the Equestrian Blazer. I am really not happy with this thing. My row gauge is off and it's coming out too long. I made some adjustments and lowered the armpit a couple inches. It was still too long, and then the other front came out about a half inch longer. Groan.

I have the back and both fronts done (they're those long skinny curled up things), but now that I can see other people's finished blazers on Ravelry I am falling more out of love with this project. It is just not as tailored or sleek as I had hoped.

I think it is destined for the frog pond. I want to make a cardigan with the same lines as the Tangled Yoke cardigan from the latest IK, but maybe without the cable. Any thoughts?

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today

I am probably the laziest blogger in the world, but now, two weeks after finishing the shawl, here are the pretty pictures I promised.

Pattern: Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: Merino Oro in natural
Needles: US 7s
Modifications: I omitted twelve rows from both chart A and chart B so that I wouldn't run out of yarn.
Finished size: about 60" in diameter, 14" smaller than the pattern says. Too short to be a shawl, but I don't mind: that's not what it's for!

Thoughts: I absolutely loved this project. It stayed entertaining even when there were more than 600 stitches in a row. The thing is just gorgeous, and I can't wait to wear it. You know, partly because it's pretty, and partly because if I'm wearing it that also means I'm marrying Dave. :D

I brought it to knitting night on Thursday and the lovely and talented Katharine took some pictures for me. I am very grateful for her help, as y'all know I can't photograph my way out of a paper bag (unless the way out involves an off-center self portrait). This picture is my absolute favorite: