Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Tomorrow evening, I, Lori, a rather shy and introverted knitter, will venture out from my hermit cave apartment and attend a Stitch and Bitch evening. (Crowd roars in background). Heather, a fellow Calgarian and knitter, suggested that we should both go, since we are both so shy and there is safety in numbers (even though I haven't actually MET Heather, we bloggers/commenters can stick together... right?). Rumour (Canadian spelling, eh?) has it that Morgan might be there too...

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm a bit nervous about it, what with the whole crazy shyness thing. I have a tendency to either clam up and not say a word or I turn into the crazy talker lady. You know, that chick who just can't seem to stop talking? I'll be thinking "Stop talking now! Are you still talking? What are you talking about? STOP TALKING!!" It happens. It's not pretty.

I started to feel a bit panicky about it yesterday (yes, i am stressing this much about going to a group of knitters. yes, i realize this is not necessarily healthy or normal. yes, if i stress this much about this it implies a far greater and more neurotic level of stress for other social type outings... i'm working on it.) but then I started thinking about what I would bring to knit and the panic drifted away. Ah, yarn. Your curative powers are boundless. The thought that I will have knitting with me has eased much of the potential panic for me. If I feel out of place or nervous, I can knit on the cable front for my cardigan. If I feel chatty (hopefully not TOO chatty) I can knit on the ribbed back of the cardigan.

Speaking of yarn:

I love these socks. I'm just past the heel turn on the second one. Does anyone else get SO excited over having the stripes match up? I mean, I'll wear fraternal twin socks, but when they match up, it feels like I have accomplished something great!


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Breaking the law and getting away with it.

Well, friends, I finished the v-neck:

I thought I'd show you the good news before I tell you how I did it.

I started the ball of the darker alpaca I got from the LYS in hopes that it could work. This is what I saw:

The yarn on the left is the working yarn from the sweater. Not only is the yarn on the right darker, but it is a much finer gauge. This was not obvious in the yarn store. I don't know why.


Then, on one more rummage through the stash i found this:

I don't know which yarn is which in this picture. I'm not going to tell you what the yarn from the stash is, as I'm pretty sure that using it in conjunction with the alpaca breaks some sort of knitting laws. (Are there knitting kosher laws?)

I wet-blocked the sweater:


However, dry, it's not that noticeable.

I want to wear this sweater every day. It's a bit itchy at first, but it is so soft and so comfortable... No one would would find that strange, right?

(did anyone notice how SHORT this post is? I didn't go on and on and on? )

I'm trying to distract myself lest I "train" more for my Olympic knitting. I am working on a dorky secret Olympic related project, which I'll share when it's done. (cause I don't have enough knitting to do).

Until then, I'm off to watch pre-Olympic ski-racing. All part of my training.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sometimes you knit, sometimes you get kicked

That's how the INXS song goes, right? (no, it's not.)

I worked feverishly (well, that might be an overstatement) on the alpaca v-neck on the weekend. I was so excited about it. I couldn't wait to wear it.

the color is actually quite a bit darker than this picture suggests.

Looks good, huh? Looks complete, huh?

Um. See that? Up there? The end of the yarn? And by "end" I mean: THAT IS THE END OF THE YARN! As in: That is ALL of the yarn. I have to do 10 more rows. TEN. 1 - 0. I turned my apartment upside down in the vague and unwarranted hope that I might have put a ball of this alpaca somewhere else (I lost count of how many balls I used in the sweater). That'll teach me for making sure the body was the right length! If I was more willing to live with a too-short sweater, I would have enough. Picky, picky Lori...


So, the alpaca v-neck was in time out while I tried to figure out what to do. I consoled myself as best I knew how:

cheesy faux artsy shadowy photo brought to you by the fact that I was able to be home for lunch today (i.e. in the daylight hours) b/c i had to go to a seminar on customer service, in which I learned zero new facts about customer service and had reinforced that I was doing all the right things as far as my customers were concerned. I did get some good ideas for dealing with my stress/attitude as pertains to my co-workers and the stresses in that area. I could go on but this little aside is getting really long.

One Jaywalker sock done, the other is about 2 inches into the leg (thanks to down-time in the conference). I was knitting on it while waiting for a session to start and the instructor came by and asked what I was working on. I said "A sock" and he said "Oh. Great! It looks like petit point." ?? What? I don't even really know what petit point is (I think it is some type of cross stitch??).

I also consoled myself with:

The front for a cabled cardigan from a Vogue Knitting from last winter (the Holiday issue I think). I'm using Custom Woolen Mills Mule Spinner 2ply in color #03(thanks for reminding me of the name Simone! I found it at the LYS the day after you left the name in the comments!!) (see, I read the comments! I can mention the comments! I'm just not very consistent with it yet... sorry) The yarn is very rustic feeling (I can't think of a better way to put it) and compared to the alpaca it feels like straw, and even has some straw bits in it! However, roughness aside, I love how this looks.

I knit the ribbing the way the pattern was written and started the cable rows, only to realize that there was a mistake in the chart. I was going to tink back but I realized that the way the ribbing was written (3x3) did NOT flow into the cables at all, and looked kind of funny. I frogged the whole thing and decided to make my ribbing rows a downward extension of the beginning of the cables. I like it much better this way.

I have also knit about 6 inches of the back, but it is just 3x3 ribbing, and, this is long enough as it is. Good TV knitting, not so interesting for the blog. Also, the experience of the alpaca v-neck led me to go back to the LYS today (since I was in the area during store hours due to the seminar) and get emergency back up Mule Spinner, just in case

So, the alpaca v-neck. I took a strand of the alpaca that I had with me to the LYS in the hopes that I could find a really REALLY close match. No luck. I brought home a skein of the closest they had, as well as a skein of black. I'm only 10 rows from the end, so I'm going to try with the closest-they-had (which is a bit darker than what I had) and see how weird it looks. If it's too weird, I may just frog back to just after the arms were attached and do a band of black and then finish it out in the grey that I had.

After I weep softly in the corner for a while.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is that...? Could it be...?


Yes ladies and gentlemen (although, I don't know... are there any gentlemen who come by here? I haven't heard from you if you do... ) that is a swatch. I, knitter-who-doesn't-like-to-swatch-even-though-I-know-I-should, have swatched for Alice. This is how dedicated I am to participating in the (Knitting) Olympics! I SWATCHED!!! (although, as I type this I realize I didn't actually check gauge. I'll go do that. Wait here)

***hold music***

Whoo HOO!! Gauge acheived. I'm totally set.

Although, I'm not totally convince of the colors. Most of the time I think they look good together (although the pic shows a bit bluer than the reality. It's really sort of a light sage and a dark olive ) but then the next time I look at it I'm not totally sure. I'm also not sure how it will look on me, given that I rarely stray from black/grey/beige or sometimes blue. I have some of the same yarn in a dark beige, which may end up taking the place of the light sage... or it might not. (I'm not so good with decisions. I'll likely decide as I'm knitting it).

The yarn is from the mind boggling generous stash I got from The Yarn Lady.

Also, there has been knitting on the 70's kitchen Jaywalker sock.

I was so excited to get past the heel. I decided to go with the heel as written, which was a k1, sl1. I had never done this type before and was intrigued by the ridged, sturdy fabric it produced. I'm still not a big fan of the gusseted heel, but it's not so bad...

The first pic was taken at 10:00 this morning. The second one was taken at 12:00 (noon) after knitting and blog reading off and on for a couple of hours. The reason I post both pics? To remind myself that if I would just KNIT the things I would be done already!!! I have tended to set them aside in favor of other projects.


Last Saturday I was going through the pile of yarn stash bin and found an 80% completed Lace Leaf Pullover. Why 80%? you ask. Well, I attached one of the sleeves, tried it on and realized that I didn't like the neck or how it was going to fit. So I stopped knitting it. And banished the pieces to the big freaking pile of yarn stash bin. I looked at it last Saturday and decided to frog it. As I was frogging I realized that I liked the bottom part, so decided to re-do it, add some shaping and make it a v-neck. Voila (totally bilingual Canadian, eh?)!

Yarn: recycled store-bought turtleneck that I rarely wore, being that it was a turtleneck and I can't seem to wear turtlenecks without feeling like I'm being strangled. A blend of wool and acrylic. Washable! Yay!
Pattern: 50% Teva Durham's Lace Leaf Pullover, 50% my usual wing-it raglan sleeve v-neck. (Yes I know I'm stuck in the v-neck rut)

The Alpaca V-neck is continuing nicely, but progress pics are not too interesting at this stage (unlike the 2 pics of the sock, ehem... ). I'll probably finish it soon and will post a pic when it's done.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions about replying to comments. I'm trying to become a better reciprocal blog-commenter, I'll work on it.

Oh, and Simone, if you stop by again: HI! Nice to hear from you. I totally remember you. The last time I was at the LYS I was thinking about your Mariah and trying to remember the yarn you used. Thanks for reminding me!

I just re-read Genia's comment about her haircut experience and I am still laughing about it. WHY did they make you STAND??? so funny!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Does this make me a bad person?

I just talked to a man whose English was, ehem, let's just say the English: Not so much. As near as I could make out, he was calling on behalf of some sort of charity. What he said was (this is word for word: not exaggerated at all. trust me): "We are raising funds to fight the kids with cancer." I said "You are fighting the kids with cancer?" and he said "Yes, absolutely." I said "Don't you mean you are raising money to fight cancer? And the money will be for children with cancer?" He said "Um..." (sound of pages shuffling) and then he hung up.

I was perfectly willing to hear him out, Engrish or not, but when he said that, I just couldn't resist.


So, it sounds like bad haircut stories strike a chord! Thanks for your encouragement. It's not so bad, it's just not what I was expecting! Have you ever reached for a glass of juice without looking and taken a sip but what you're drinking tastes bad because you are expecting juice but what you got was water? It doesn't really taste bad, it just shocks you because it's not what you thought you were getting. It's like that. Plus my hair takes its jolly time getting used to a new length (seeing as how it has a mind of its own and all...) I meant to take a picture of the before, but I forgot, so just showing the after doesn't have the same effect...

I have knitting to show you (such a show-off... sorry), but I'll wait until tomorrow when there is daylight.

I need an opinion, knit-blogging friends: (or anyone who happens by, knitter or not). What is the blog-etiquette for responding to comments? Is it appropriate to just mention the comment in a later post? Should I go to the commentors blog and comment there? Should I try to find a way to have email addresses including with comments so I can reply that way? I really appreciate all the comments and I try to visit everyone's blog to see what you're up to.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

In training...

I love the Olympics. It's like an excuse for me to watch as much sports as I can cram into 2 weeks. I don't know why I enjoy watching sports so much, maybe because I am so unathletic... During the Sydney Olympics I decided that I would be in the Olympics some day*. I told my friend Dawn this and she volunteered to be my trainer. I figured I had time to figure out what event, and decided on Diving. I figured, I like water, I can swim, Diving is largely gravity, right? This became a long running joke for us, with Dawn asking me how my training was going at random intervals.

Sadly, I didn't ever make it to the Olympics. I don't know what went wrong. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I don't really know anything about diving other than the basic dive. Or maybe I just didn't train hard enough at all. Or the fact that I was almost 30 when we had the plan to get to the Olympics.

So, imagine my delight when I saw that the Yarn Harlot was proposing a Knitting Olympics. (I learned how to put buttons over there on the right! Yay me!)(okay, so it's really simple, I just didn't figure it out before).

The rules/guidelines/challenge are all there at that link. Basically you have to cast on for a project during the Opening Ceremonies and be done it before the Closing Ceremonies. The project has to be a challenge for you, but other than that there are no restrictions on the type of project. Sign up by commenting or emailing (again, details at the link).

I plan to try Alice from MagKnits. I haven't done a whole garment with Fair Isle before and it looks sort of vaguely Winter Olympic-y. (Mine won't be red and black, I hope they don't revoke my Canadian Olympic Team watching rights).

I finished Knitty's Blackberry. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it. It's really cozy but I think I maybe should have used a sturdier yarn. I knit it in Red Heart Cozy Wool (which lives up to it's name. The "Cozy" part. I'm not so sure about the Heart and how Red it might be).

See there at the bottoms, just above the ribbing? It seems a bit stretched out. It seems to be a bit fussy, which is not my favorite thing in my clothing. I love the color though...

I started the sleeves in the cable from the pattern, but I had big gaping spots on cable rows (it was a 6 stitch cable beside a 6 stitch cable). So I changed it to be 4 columns of 4 stitch cables going in opposite directions.

As for the haircut. Well... Let me tell you. (LONG STORY WARNING)

I went by the hair salon and asked if they had time for a walk-in. The woman at the counter hesitantly said "Well. Yes. Okay, come on back." Perhaps I should have left then. I didn't.

First the stylist (I am resisting the urge to put quotation marks around that word) picked up the bottom of my hair and said "It's really dry" with a sneer. (It wasn't, it was just the grown out lighter color hair). Then she said it again. Then she asked me what I wanted, so I said that I wanted the layers cleaned up, and I wanted to keep it fairly long but it could go a bit shorter. I asked her what she thought and she just blinked at me like I had asked her if she could do a quick nose job while she was at it. She said again that it was dry and then she said "Oh, it's really long. You LIKE it long?" (imagine a massive sneer there). I said "Well, yes. I like it long." So then I told her that a friend from work had told me to ask for "chunky layers" but I wasn't sure what she meant. The stylist (again with the not putting the quotations) picked up some of my hair again and finally said "Okay. We can do that."

So she put the gown thing on me and put my seat back to wash it. She turned the water on full blast, aimed it at something in the sink and turned to gossip with the guy cutting hair beside her. I was getting soaked and she didn't seem to notice. Finally she turned back to me and washed my hair. Then she put conditioner on and continued gossipping with the guy beside her (again soaking me). Then my hair got caught on something she had in the sink, so she just pulled it out of my hair.

Then we started the cut. It all started okay. She showed me how much she was going to take off (2 inches off the back at the bottom and about 1 1/2 throughout the layers), and started cutting. It was all going okay until I realized that what she was doing to cut the layers was lifting my hair up as high as her arms would go and then just cutting at whatever point her hands got to. (Did I mention that she was at most 5 feet tall. Did I mention that I am 5'9"?) So she was cutting at the point that she could reach to, which happened to be 3 (THREE) inches from the ends of my hair!!! I didn't realize she was doing this until she had already done this at least twice, so there was no point in saying anything.

When she finished, she asked me if I wanted her to style it. I declined, as it was late and she had been looking at her watch the entire time she was cutting my hair. So, instead of even drying it a little, she said "Okay. You're done." I was too stunned to say anything and figured I would just put it in a ponytail (if there was enough left). As I was putting on my jacket she said "And now you don't need to come back."

Huh? I have been trying to figure out what that meant for several days. I still have no idea.

So, my hair is alot shorter than I had thought it would be, but it isn't "short". I think it will be okay, it looks okay, I think the whole experience was just so startling that it took me a bit to process it.

Did I mention that she rang the charge up at the counter and hovered over me while I used the debit card pad (where it asks how much you want to tip)? Yeah. It was interesting.

*You know I was never serious about making it to the Olympics, right? I mean, if the Canadian Olympic team comes calling and offers me a spot, I'd totally go, but I just don't really know if I can find the discipline for the training...

Friday, January 13, 2006

My hair has a mind of its own

Seriously. As in: It thinks for itself and can recognize when it is in danger. As in: It knows I am thinking about cutting it.

My hair is long. Not: "stylishly done-painstakingly grown out and lovingly maintained-long". It's more: "I can't be bothered to get my hair cut and this is easier than trying to maintain a cool shorter haircut-long". However, it is now at that point where it's starting to annoy me. This is usually the point at which I get it trimmed. It doesn't happen that often, which is why it's long.

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I decided that I would go get it cut on my way home tonight. Usually when I do my hair (do my hair=briefly dry it without any real thought as to styling) it looks okay for about 2 hours. Then, because it is so long, it starts to flatten itself to my head. It doesn't seem to matter if I use "volumizing" hair products, it will flatten itself to my scalp until it looks like it was painted on (slight exaggeration).

So anyway, I decided that I would get it cut tonight because of the flattening thing. Well, here's why I think my hair has a mind of its own (aside from the fact that it just does whatever it wants to do most of the time with little regard for my intentions): It hasn't flattened out. It's now noon and it looks pretty much like it did when I got in my car this morning. It's like my hair knows that it's about to be cut and is trying to convince me not to do it!

Or maybe I just think about strange things while I'm swamped with work.

Either way.

In other news (yes the impending haircut and my hair's ability to defend itself count as news), I finished my version of Knitty's Blackberry. I'll take/post pics tomorrow when I can get them in the daylight.

To anyone in the Calgary area, I'm not going to mention the Chinook today because then I will be blamed for the snowstorm we'll probably get tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

To anyone in the Calgary Area: I'm sorry

I feel somewhat responsible for the weather this morning.

When I wrote about the weather yesterday, I didn't mean that I wanted winter now, I merely was wondering when it would decide to reappear. That's it. Honest.

Maybe I have some kind of amazing persuasive powers in my writing. Maybe I should write about other things that aren't happening.

Like world peace. Or eradication of poverty. Or a cure for cancer and aids. Or me having a date some weekend.

You know. The important stuff.

Again, sorry for the weather.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

January=Winter, right?

I think it's winter. I mean, it's January, which, in this part of the world is supposed to be winter. It's just that it's been warm, and there is no snow on the ground and it just doesn't seem like winter. Don't get me wrong. I'm FINE with it not being -30C with tons of snow. Really. I'm fine with it. It's just that I'm sure that winter will suddenly realize that it forgot to hit us and will show up sometime in March. Or July. It is Calgary after all.

But, whenever it comes, I will be ready. For I am a knitter. And I have yarn. Lots and lots of yarn. I should be set when winter decides to come back.

To that end:

I started knitting the alpaca. After working with this yarn, anything else feels like straw. Seriously. It's so crazy soft.

(speaking of crazy: I read a quote by Benjamin Franklin: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I started this sweater no less than 5 different ways. Does that count as doing the same thing over and over?)

I am using a pattern from my stitch dictionary called "Gothic Windows" but I only did one repeat of the lace "window" part and knit an additional 10 rounds in rib above it.

My plan is to repeat this pattern on the sleeves, in place of ribbing and to do the rest of the sweater plain. It will be a v-neck (I'm sure you're recognizing a pattern here. I like the v-necks) but I don't really have much of a plan worked out yet.

Also, when winter comes back, I will have a warm neck:

The clapotis is speeding along. I don't remember it going this quickly the last time. I didn't do as many increase repeats as called for in the pattern, but I think it will be plenty wide. I can't wait for this to be done!

(yes. I blocked part of the clapotis while I am still knitting. yes, i realize this is crazy-ish. I just love how it looks!)

Also, in my winter preparedness I will have warm, if not slightly 70's looking, feet:

Jaywalker in yarn that I can't remember buying (surely I'm not the only one who has yarn in the stash that I don't remember buying?) that, knit up, looks a lot like a 70's kitchen color scheme.

I was planning to use the blue stripey stuff I got when I went to the LYS for wool wash and came out with wool instead (or actually, in addition), but I could NOT find where the patterns would match up in the 2 balls! I must have pulled out a 1/2 mile of yarn out of each ball and couldn't find the matching repeats.... argh.

Finally, my quick knit winter preparedness sweater:

Knitty's Blackberry in Red Heart Cozy Wool. I don't remember what project I had in mind for this yarn when I bought it, but it was just sitting there looking at me. Browsing through Knitty, I realized that I could use the Cozy Wool for Blackberry. What you see above was cast on at the beginning of the Pittsburgh-Cinncinnati game on Sunday. What you see above was finished as the 3rd quarter was finishing up. Before you get too impressed let me say: Bulky weight yarn, US9/13mm needles. !!

I would have 2 sleeves done but I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do with the sleeves. The cable in the pattern looks nice, but I had gaping holes where the cables crossed. I came up with another plan, but I'll wait until it's done to post a pic. (I tried but this yarn seems to resist attempts to take pics without proper lighting.)

I will show you this though: I would have been done much sooner than I was if the yarn had not done this:


Friday, January 06, 2006

My dream outfit

I came across a funny meme while killing time waiting for my supervisor to get me the information i needed innocently browsing online. I found it here at JenLa. The meme was to go to Yahoo Avatars and create the ugliest avatar you can and post it on your blog. They were conducting a poll as to which of their avatars was worse (poll now closed) and listing everyone's links so all the ugliness could be shared.

WARNING: the making of ugly avatars is seriously addicting. Make sure your work is completed, children and other household companions attended to, and all reasonable commitments met before starting. Trust me.


Now to go create more fugliness. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Why didn't I have my camera??

Driving home from work today, I was stopped at a red light. To my left, waiting at the bus stop, I watched in fascination a guy dancing away to whatever he was listening to on his earphones. Now, I've been the one nodding my head to my music on my earphones, or possibly tapping a foot, but I don't think I've ever been SO into my music that I would dance to my earphones! He wasn't just moving a little bit. There was full-on footwork and hand movements, dancing around. He wasn't the only person at the bus stop. I wish I could have seen the faces of his fellow commuters! I wanted to get him on video, but I didn't have my camera with me!

While I'm not loosey-goosey enough to dance at the bus stop, nothing will stop me from knitting crazy colored socks. Before I started knitting socks, I always wore plain black or brown or blue socks. I wouldn't even think of looking at crazy colored socks. But now:

My friend Cobi's birthday present. Completed on her birthday. Just in time to wrap up and take to her.
(Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks)

As I was wrapping them up, I noticed something:

Can you see that? On the right? The top sock is about 5 rounds shorter than the bottom sock! Argh.

Regardless of the mismatched sizing and the crazy color pooling, Cobi loved them, so they were a success, brain-fart or not.

In other knitting news:

I would have modelled it myself, but I was home sick from work on Tuesday which is why I had daylight to photograph the toque

I'm trying to decide what to do with the rest of the thick and thin that I dyed on the weekend. I was going to make mittens, but in order for them to be dense enough to be useful as mittens, I had to go down several needle sizes which takes away the thick and thin texture. I'm thinking about doing a double mitt, with plain wool inside and the thick and thin on size 10/6mm outside. Thoughts? Pattern suggestions?

Oh, I forgot: About 10 minutes after seeing dancin' man at the bus stop I saw something else I wish I could have taken a picture of: A big tow truck, the kind with a flat bed to load a vehicle if necessary was loading a stalled vehicle onto the flat bed... a tow truck! It looked really funny. Although, reading it, not so funny. You really had to see it. If only I had my camera...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

What did I do for New Year's Eve, you ask? Well, I watched Canada beat the US (sorry American friends) at the World Juniors, then I watched Calgary beat Edmonton (not as sorry Edmontonian friends/family), then I got sucked back into trying to get caught up with 24. I'm midway through season 3. I went to get disc 4-6 at the video store and disc 6 was gone! not due back until the 7th!! There's no TIME!!!

Okay. So, you can tell I'm the party-girl of the decade, right? (I did have an invite to a friend's house but they had so many cancellations they decided to just watch movies, so I didn't end up going up there).

What else did I do?

I overdyed the thick and thin. It got a bit darker than I meant it to but I am happy with the result. Much more "me" coloring.

See my self-control? I didn't immediately cast on for the toque that this is destined to become. No, I knit a swatch this morning but I resisted the urge to just knit the toque. Birthday knitting takes priority!

This afternoon I get to have another turkey dinner at my friends house. So, question:
Is it bad form to bring the birthday knitting to the turkey dinner?
Expanded question:
Is it bad form to bring the birthday knitting to the turkey dinner cooked/hosted by the intended recipient of the birthday knitting who isn't necessarily aware that there is/will be birthday knitting?