Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Finished Objects

Here's a list of what I finished in 2007.

Arrr! Pirate Sweater
Ripple Baby Blanket
Sprog's Bib
Sekrit Bag
Spring Green Tank
Dancing Toe-up Socks
A Very Strong Pink Lace Hat
Monkey Shirt
Dinosaur Shorts
Kitty Hat
Glad Raggs
Iris Socks
Moon Tunic
Morgan's Witch Robe
Rowan's Ash Ketchum Hat and Shirt

Friday, November 30, 2007

I bring you two, and also three

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd met one of my three big goals for November. Earlier today, I met my second major goal. I've hit 50,466 words (and I'm nowhere near finished!). I can't even begin to tell you how proud of myself I am. When I decided to this, many of my close friends and family members gave me that wide-eyed, uncertain, do we need to call in the professionals who bring jackets that are all arms look.

In anycase, I plan to go celebrate by drinking a little more whiskey than is good for me, and by having a good snog. Or three.

And speaking of three, as I write this post, I'm meeting my third major goal -- to post daily during the month of November. I fell off the subject of knitting a ways back, but fear me not, it'll be back.

I still haven't decided what yarn to buy!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us!.... Yeah!*

So, I made the first of my three goals for the month.

At the end of every Wednesday in November, I was either at or above the projected word count. I decided in early November that if I made this goal I would:
  1. Be more likely to actually finish, and
  2. Get a neat treat-reward-thing
Only, I never quite got around to deciding what that reward would BE. So, suggestions? What's some really yummy, decadent, luxury yarn that isn't so expensive my husband will have an apoplectic fit if I suggest buying it during the Month of Christmas? What would YOU want your prize to be?

My reward for finishing NaNoWriMo will be to get the T-shirt, and of course the satisfaction of having really DONE it. And of course the reward for successfully completing NaBloPoMo will be... thirty more posts than I had when I started. And did I mention satisfaction for stick-to-itiveness?

ETA: Okay, I've just made a decision. My other reward for finishing NaNoWriMo will be to donate $10 to the cause. Whaddya think, Koren? You with me?

*With apologies to Nirvana.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Home Stretch

Well, I'm closing in. I've got a bit over 44,000 words written, and won't go to bed tonight before my word count is at least 46, 676, which is the "official" word count goal for today. That leaves me with just over 3000 words to write on Thursday and Friday, and then genties and ladlemen, I will be done.

I am so doing this.

Speaking of home stretches, there's three days left of NaBloPoMo too. I'm gonna make that too.

And then maybe in December I can start knitting again.

Then I would have something to post about!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A bit of a quick update

It's crunch time in NaNoWriMo land, genties and ladlemen. My fellow Wrimo-ers and myself should have written 50,000 words by this coming Friday.

I have at least one friend on my LJ Flist that's already reached 50K, and let me take a moment to express my awe. My Koren has, (and let me be proud here) managed to hit her word count goal EVERY DAY for the entire month. How much does that rock?

I set my personal goals up so that I'll be caught up at the end of every week. My "week" is a bit off-kilter, as I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, so my Sunday night is really on Wedesday. Anyway, I'm meant to have 46K and change written by tomorrow night. I've made my word goal (and my NaBloPoMo goals too, come to that) every week this month, and fully plan to hit it this week as well.

I was at 35K this morning, and am now sitting pretty on 41,005 words. Neville and Ginny have had a fight, and she's just told him about Tom Riddle. Trust me, it all makes sense in context.

But then, doesn't everything?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Knitting

It seems like I attempted to post on this topic earlier this month, and then ran into the problem that many of my recipients may (or may not — don't get your hopes up, y'all) be reading this blog.

But here's what I'd like to accomplish in December, once NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are behind me.

  • Scarf for Barbara — I've actually started this one
  • Hats for Morgan, Rowan and Rhiannon
  • Scarf for Liz (another co-worker) she also knits, and crochets, and last year she gave ME a scarf, so I'd really like to reciprocate
Okay, there's more I'd like to do, but at the rate I'm going, I don't know that it's going to happen.

Having just read Stephanie's Christmas knitting list, either I have a firmer grip on reality than she does, or I'm a wimp. Or, you know, both. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Victorian Lace Today (I got a new book!)

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on this one, but I'm only just now getting around to buying this book.

I have to say, in the interest of being fair, that I am a bit prejudiced against XrX — I have never forgiven them for the sudden and horrific fugnation of Knitters I was a little worried about this book. On the other hand, I have Gathering of Lace, and Best of Knitters: Shawls and Scarves (which is pretty alright, saving the very 1980s-ness of it).

Anyway, I needn't have worried. The book is gorgeously laid out, and I've already picked out a few projects that will be moving into my "must knit" list.

My very favorite part of the book, other than the photographs of course, is the historical information that Jane Sowerby provides. I love reading about the history of textiles and fiber arts, so the sections on the early pattern books is a nice treat.

I haven't checked for errata yet, so I'm not sure how it fairs on the technical accuracy front.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Aftermath

There was more Thanksgiving (and giving thanks) at Chez Woolly today, as my chosen family came and broke bread with us. A grand, delicious and pie-ful time was had by all.

And now?

We play dice!

Friday, November 23, 2007

And a Good Time Was Had By All

So, late last week my older sister Abby called and asked how I felt about her and her family coming over to my house for Thanksgiving. We had already invited Jess and her family over, and had talked to my friends Cindy and Heather about eating with us as well.

So, by the time all was said and done, rather than feeding the four of us (my eldest was away at her paternal grandmother's), I ended up feeding 16 people.

It was really pretty awesome. We had a great time, and the food was excellent. Cindy and Heather brought a Hubbard Squash dish (I think you have to capitalize "Hubbard Squash" its like a rule) and a righteous potato dish that involved feta cheese and tomatoes and YUM. Jess brought a loaf of the best bread she has ever baked, and some baked non-hubbard squash. Carl, my lovely and competent husband, baked pumpkin pies. Abby provided yet more pies and drinks, and very cleverly brought her Bunn coffee pot from home (I lust for her Bunn. That would sound wrong even if she weren't my sister. But there you are.)

I made cranberries, and sweet potatoes, and stuffing, and green beans almondine, and, and, and....


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving V

Our Thanksgiving celebration was delicious, exhausting and absolutely wonderful. I had dear friends and family over and we had awesome and beautiful food.

I'll give you pictures tomorrow (I was actually bright enough to take some), but for now I'm off to my bed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and to everyone else, Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving IV

I am thankful for:
  • Friends who will bring over their ginger when I run out at 10 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving
  • Pandora Radio
  • Having my husband help me make my NaNoWriMo word count by use of bribery
  • Random passers-by who tag me for meme's that will totally give me blog-fodder on Friday
  • Sweet baby boys, snuggled up on the couch

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving III

Today I am thankful for:
  • universal remote controls (Please note that I would be even MORE thankful if we could find ours)
  • healthy children who are able to go to school
  • co-op farms with organically grown vegetables (even the icky ones, like Kale, bleargh!)
  • pink M & Ms
  • the easing of nasty cold symptoms

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving II

I am thankful for:
  • Blue Cheese on Hamburgers
  • Home-made Mead
  • A new tire on my car
  • Mucinex (don't ask)
  • A husband that does laundry

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I am thankful for:

  • a loving and supportive husband
  • a sweet, charming and funny 13 year old
  • an imaginative, kind and bossy 7 year old
  • a brilliant, generous and sensitive 6 year old
  • a good job that challenges me, and is offering the opportunity for advancement
  • friends and family, and people I consider to be both

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Knit Party

Tonight is Knit Party Night.

My friend the No-Longer-Blogless Cindy has begun hosting monthly Knitting Parties. (Please note that I have totally decided that two months running makes a tradition. So there.)

Anyway, so theoretically, one would assume that Knitting Parties are meant for knitting, and hey... that's valid. Look, we even brought knitting baskets.

See? Total knitting opportunities here. My basket is the one on the bottom right -- the observant among you will recognize the pink stripey sock and the Harlot Scarf.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I have knit two entire rows of the scarf.... and that's pretty much it.

There's wine, and cookies, and Broadway musicals, and NaNoWriMo and NaNoBloMo (I mean NaBloPoMo) and...

What kind of party was this again?

Friday, November 16, 2007


Sorry, I didn't mean to shout.

We had a nasty storm two nights ago that knocked out our internet. AND THEN IT NEVER CAME BACK! It was traumatic. Happily Koren (who is indeed a very cool friend) rescued the blog and posted for me.

So, I had a total of 5 qualifying entries (I'm sorry, Chelsea!) for the sock yarn giveaway. So, using a nifty-skifty random number generator (too lazy to dig out the dice) I arrived at an answer.

Koren, darling, you are our winner.

(Koren asked me last night, "Should I go ahead and post the sock yarn winner?" and I said... "Um, no....")

Now, truly funny thing about this is that I was totally planning on picking out one of the many nice sock yarns in my stash (or if parting with one was too dear, I'd run to the LYS and pick out one to give away, and then one for me, to ease the sting.)

But, I happen to have some Lion Brand Magic Stripes in my stash, and I know for a fact that Koren covets it...

Call me, and we'll negotiate.

(P.S. I have two colorways -- but only a picture of one of them)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drive-by remote blogging...

(I iz in ur blogger, posting in ur blog!)

Hullo, gentle reader! It is I, CyberMathWitch!

What? What's that you say? You were expecting

Well of course you were. Unfortunately I'm afraid I have to disappoint you, and you'll have to make do with me. All her
interwebs are down, you see. And her outerwebs. All her webs, really. And since we're not quite *that* tech savvy yet, well, remote blogging means calling someone on the cel-phone and saying "hey you! For the love of NaBloPoMo, blog for me!"

(and let me just state, here and now, that despite the fact that I am generally the pusher and enabler extraordinaire, in this particular instance? Totally not my fault. Kade found NaBloPoMo all on her onesies.)

And for some reason, I have a bastardized filk version of "Don't Blog for Me, Argentina" running through my head. This means either a. I should take Evita with me to the Knitting party on Saturday, or b. Argentina really shouldn't blog for people. Possibly both.

Now I have to go, because I still need to work on my husband and feed my NaNo. Wait. Maybe that's the other way 'round?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I think that it's interesting that of all of my throw away comments on this blog, the one that has generated the most commentary was my piteous query, "But what do I write about?" Several people offered suggestions (many of which I fully intend to take advantage of) for future blog posts.

Tekopp in addition to reassuring me regarding the price of post to Norway (not too dear) asked an interesting question:

How do you feel about daily blogging and why are you (not) going to
continue with it?
I guess I'm ambivalent about the daily blogging. On the one hand, I am enjoying the challenge, and the discipline, of making a post every day. On the other hand, well, I intend for this blog to be primarily a virtual scrapbook and history of my crafting, both knitting and sewing. I rarely touch too deeply on other aspects of my life here, and I'm pretty okay with that.

So, I think that I might decide to blog daily on a private journal, something like LJ, where my posts can be locked if I decide they need to be. I don't think I'm going to try to maintain daily posting here though, because people, I'm going to start to bore myself. Yesterday I posted a picture of a peacock and went to bed. I mean really.

BUT (you had to know there was going to be a "but" didn't you?) I definitely want to post to this blog more often. I enjoy the process and exercise of writing, and I enjoy the exhibitionist aspect of putting up pictures of things I've made. "Look at how neat I am! Look what I did!" I am the very Leo-est of Leos when it comes to this sort of thing.

So, in answer to your question, tekopp, I don't think I'll continue to blog daily at this blog, but I am definitely going to be blogging at least weekly. And I'm (so far at least) really glad that I decided to do NaBloPoMo.

omphaloskepsis: from the greek, to contemplate one's navel.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nothing to Write About

In lieu of an actual blog post, I give you more Bird Pr0n:

In my defense, I at least took this picture, instead of finding it on Flickr's Creative Commons page. Last summer we vacationed in Pigeon Forge and this fellow wandered past our cabin.

Tune in tomorrow for a real blog post.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Knitting in Public

Two of my dear friends were married yesterday, in a lovely little ceremony at Cannonsburgh Village, here in Murfreesboro.

Wedding receptions being what they are (interminably boring) I instructed my son to bring a book, my daughter to bring a notebook and a pencil, and I brought my current sock-in-progress. We were all playing to our strengths.

Anyway, there I was with Jess standing around and knitting on our respective socks (like you do). Mingle, mingle, knit, knit and a friend says, "Is this some sort of sock-knitting cult?" I turn around and there is Koren, working away on her Nagini sock.

I swear we didn't plan it.

(And you would think that someone at the wedding would have had the sense to take a picture of three women standing around, in all our Shakespearian glory, knitting. But if they did, I haven't heard about it.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Promised Pictures and Re-thinking My Plans

As promised, I have some pictures of yesterday's yarn acquisition adventure.

However, I think that I need to re-consider my plan about using the yarn for the Chevron Scarf. At the gauge that this yarn knits up, it really would be a Chevrolet Scarf (looks like I was right the first time). There is another scarf pattern in the book that I think will work out just fine though, so it is really not a big deal. Someday, when I am rich, I'll buy the Koigu that the pattern calls for.

In other news, I've made some progress on the Harlot Scarf I'm making for a friend at work. (This is not intended as a slight on her character. The scarf pattern was designed by The Yarn Harlot.) It is looking less like a ball of yarn and more like a scarf with every passing day.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Joann's Trip

We'll pretend that I didn't have a blog post earlier this week that implied (outright stated) that I already have enough (too much) yarn.


Anyway, my darling Koren and I went out for dinner and shopping this evening, and of course I came home with yarn. I picked up two skeins of some new Debbie Mumm (!?!?) Traditions yarn and two skeins of one of Joann's Sensations yarns. My plan is to try out the Chevrolet (uh.. no, that's not right. Chevron. Sheesh.) Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I'll post pictures tomorrow, when I'm awake.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Cardinal Number

Well, how about that, folks? I've made 100 posts here at Woolly Discipline. Now, I know I've been a sporadic poster, and if there is one thing that this past week of daily posting has taught me it's that.... it's probably just as well really.

Wow, how do daily bloggers come up with new stuff to write about?

Moreover, when have they got time to knit?

But anyway, 100 blog posts calls for a celebration, or (dare I say it?) a blog contest!

I shall choose randomly from amongst the comments, one lucky winner who will take home some lovely sock yarn. The rules are as follows:

  • While contestants may comment more than once, this will not afford them multiple entries in the drawing.
  • The comment that is either the most witty, or makes me laugh the hardest (I'm sure you see how these two need not be synonymous) will receive Honorable Mention.
  • I'll be monitoring the comments on this post through midnight on Tuesday, November 13. I'll announce the winner in Wednesday's post. If you were clever enough to leave me an email address, I'll email you too.
  • If you don't happen to live in my hometown, I'm happy to mail the sock yarn to you. We'll work out the details as we go along.)
Now, since I have three regular readers, one regular commenter, and two or three occasional guests (I'm looking at you, tekopp, "hi!" and goodness, how much is post to Norway?) I'll be interested to see how many commenters crawl out of the woodwork at the promise of free yarn.

Yay for 100 posts!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This Little Alien Went to Market*

I figure everyone must have a system for determining what does and doesn't count as an actual UFO. I mean, these things are all relative, right? Does it become a UFO moment you cast on? Or is that a WIP?

How long does it take to make the transition? Let's say, hypothetically, that you get bored and wander off. When does it loose its shiny WIP status, and join the lowly, the unloved, the uncounted, the UFOs?

For myself, I have a graduated system (and clearly, if I put as much effort into actually knitting as I do to thinking about it, much of this post would be moot.)

(Image © Annais)

Pipe-Line Projects: these are the knits I'm dreaming about, reading the patterns and shopping for yarn. These are "what's next."

Current Projects: projects that are on the needles, and that I'm either currently, actively knitting, or have done in the very recent past

Once and Future Projects: projects that I used to be really excited about, but for whatever reason have fallen by the knitting wayside. These are projects that I will totally (someday) finish. No really. Stop looking at me like that.

I'm sorry, Do I Know You? Projects: Projects that I don't remember why I was knitting. I would frog them, but to do so would require admitting that I'd ever cast them on.

Yarn: Gone daddy, gone. I came, I saw, I frogged. As Stephanie Pearl McPhee would say, "I remember that I like yarn more than I like bad hats" (Knitting Rules, pg. 125).

So, How do you count your UFOs?

*When my youngest two children were babies, my husband liked to play "piggies" on their toes. Never one to leave well enough alone, we changed the rhyme every time we said it. Sometimes the piggies went to market to buy tofu (my husband is a hippie, what can I say?) Sometimes though, they weren't piggies at all. Sometimes they were aliens "This little alien cried NargleBleepZoop all the way home!" It seemed a logical progression from counting UFOs to counting aliens.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Christmas Knits

For those of you in the blogosphere smart enough not to decide to write a novel during November, it's time to start (ha!) your Christmas knitting. The clever, prepared knitter, of course, began this process last March and is now smugly seaming up complex fingering weight fair isle sweaters for their postman.

I think we all know that I am not that knitter.

I am not actually intending to knit (or sew, for that matter) too many of my gifts...but what seems to be a perfectly reasonable number at the beginning of November is a one one way ticket to crazy-town come late December.

Now, pretend that this paragraph is a list, detailing exactly what I intend to make for whom, and how near it is to completion. Pretending is what you'll have to do, because the people I'm making gifts for? They read the blog.

Right. Well.

That was helpful.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Like Soccer Balls Better

The good news is, I found my camera. When my boy-o was using the computer night before last, he knocked my camera bay over and my camera fell between my tower and the "random box of old video games" (admit it, you know you have one). I have been having a series of ongoing adventures with my son and the computer. Two weeks ago he got on-line while I was at work and very thoughtfully bought me $20 worth of "gems" on Yes, my little dude spent twenty bucks on electrons. This is as much my fault as anyone's because my password was set to auto-fill. I really ought to know better (and yes, I fixed that little faux pas on my part.)

So, long story short, we are keeping a closer watch on what he does when he's playing his games on my PC, and we've set him up his own account with restricted access (no installing). Yesterday I notice that the little icon for his account has changed. It was a little car, then it was a soccer ball.

Me: Honey, did you change the picture for your profile?
Little Dude: Yes. It was a car.
Me: Did Daddy help you?
L.D.: No.
Me: How did you know how to do that?
L.D.: *shrugs* I like soccer balls better.

Dude is 6.

This morning, it was a frog.

I am in so much trouble.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Nothing To See Here, Move Along

I can't find my camera.

This bodes ill on day 4 of NaBloPoMo. How am I going to excite and titillate the masses without my camera? We'll ignore, for the nonce, the fact that I haven't actually knit anything worth blogging about in the last several days, and just focus on my total lack of cameratude. It was on my table yesterday before the party. (Yesterday 20+ lovely people invaded my home, ate candy, wore funny clothes and imbibed fermented beverages. Good times. Gut Glory only knows what became of my digital picture maker).

Oh, that reminds me, did I remember to tell you that I decided to do NaNoWriMo afterall? On October 31 I was very smugly helping a friend work out a plot point in her story when all of the sudden a plot-bunny the size of a moose bit me square on the tuckus.

Immediately, I ran to the computer and composed an email to three friends, begging them to talk me out of this insanity. I seriously miscalculated—all three of them had already committed to NaNo and were no help at all. (By 'no help' I mean, one of them said "Ooh, that would be awesome you totally have to do it!" and the other said, in a brilliant bout of reverse psychologizing, "You're probably right, it would be too hard for you." I hate you both so hard.)

So, let me leave you with a random picture of a scarf. No, I didn't find my camera, I took this one the other day when I was playing with my camera settings. I know it looks like a ball of yarn. You're going to have to use your imagination. I'm too busy writing to knit.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon

I like socks. Self-patterning pink and brown and purple and gray socks in particular. Today, these are my favorite (almost) socks. Not that they are almost my favorite, but rather that they are almost socks. I'm preparing to turn the heel on the second sock...just as soon as I get around to it.

See, I like socks. I like these socks. I really like wearing socks that I've knit.

So how come I haven't picked these socks up in two weeks?

I have no idea.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy

Knitpicks, as the entire blogosphere is already well aware, is having a clearance sale. I am really ambivalent about this, because Hey! Sale! 440 yards of gorgeous merino lace weight for a buck ninety-nine. But then on the other hand, discontinued colors. DISCONTINUED, people. This means no more ever.


This means that I have to buy it all right now, because what if I want some later? Well, I won't be able to get it, will I? No, I will not. Because, discontinued.

So, long story... well, slightly less long, three buddies and I all went in together and bought a Giant Box O' Fiber Goodness.

My personal haul?

1 Shine Sport Aquamarine
1 Shine Sport Coral
1 Shine Sport Crocus
4 Shadow Redwood Forest Heather
2 Shadow Grape Jelly Heather
2 Gossamer Caribbean
4 Gossamer Blue Jeans
2 Gossamer Sweet Peas
2 Gossamer Leprechaun
2 Gossamer Sunrise

When, in my whole life long, am I going to knit all this up?


Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints Day (and a Hallowe'en Hangover)

Hallowe'en is a pretty big deal here at Chez Woolly. I have made it a point to try to make costumes for the kids while they're still small enough to care—and most years I manage pretty well. This year, Rhiannon (13) originally told me that she didn't want or need a costume, so I factored her out of my time budget. Unfortunately, she changed her mind too late (sorry Rhi!) so she is costume-less this year. I plan to make it up to her this spring when she goes to our local Anime Con, so I tell myself it'll all come out in the wash.

Miss Morgan decided she wanted to be a witch. She was very specific in her design requirements. "I want a black robe just like Rhiannon's, but with blue instead of purple, and not so long I trip and fall on my face."

The wig was her Unka Monka's (Uncle Monkey's) edition to her costume. Not my fault....

At first I tried to talk Rowan into being a Ninja for Halloween (hey, black fabric is cheap this time of year) but he said that would be "too silly." He opted for Ash Ketchum of Pokemon fame (and after a bit of confusion on my part...turns out Ash Ketchum is no relation to Hal Ketchum) I found some pictures on the Intarwebs and commenced to figuring it out. Best news? I already had the fabric — his costume cost me less than $5 to make. I win at life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NaBloPoMo (or How We Knew She'd Finally Lost Her Mind)

I'm sure you've heard of NaNoWriMo (if you haven't, either you don't know any geeks or you live under a rock.) Well, for those of us who don't actually know 50,000 words, apparently there is "NaBloPoMo" or National Blog Posting Month. The theory is, you make one post a day, everyday, during the month of November. (Can you say Meme? I knew you could!)

Now, those of you who know me in what passes for my real life, know that I work as a Team Lead in a customer service call center for a national bookstore. We are entering the fourth quarter, where retail does more than half of their year's business. This is when call center season really heats up. This seems to be a logical and reasonable time for me to decide to post daily. Yes.

As a side note, what's wrong with June? I grant you "NaJuWriMo" sounds funny, but people do not pretend to me that "NaNoWriMo" doesn't sound silly. I certainly grant you that there could be some confusion as to whether the Ju is referencing June or July, but surely we can work that out. Why does it have to be November, which is a notoriously busy time of year even for people who don't work in a retail environment? (Yes, I know the "No" really refers to Novel, not November. Hush.) I could conceivably string together 50,000 words in June. In November, I only know two words. "Sleep" and "Coffee". That would make for a decidedly boring novel.

But I digress. Frequently, and with panache. Tune in daily! There will be thrills! Chills! Photos! An attempt at being vaguely interesting!

Since I'm going to be posting daily, I did some research on what makes a good blog post. Many agree that good photos are KEY for generating and keeping a reading audience. Never one to shirk from duty, I present you with.....

A duck! (Photo © Victor Geere)

P.S. When I initially considered doing this, I was talking to my husband about it. I referred to is as NaNoBloMo (National November Blogging Month?) Anyway, let's just say that my husband was disappointed about what that doesn't mean. If you catch my drift, and I know you do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

She's Building A Mystery

I don't know what it is about Mystery Knitalongs that grabs me. I knit the Ragnarok shawl (also known as the Mystery Shawl 2) and hated every second of it. Now, don't get me wrong, the shawl turned out beautifully — it's easily the most complicated and beautiful thing I ever knit. Then there was the Mystery Stole 3. I think that the final design is really interesting, and I don't mean that in a bad way, necessarily. But it might be more interesting than I'm really comfortable with these days. In any case, the fabric I was getting wasn't quite right, and I stalled out at the end of Clue 2. I haven't frogged it. Yet. Right now it's in time-out under my bed.

So. Mystic Waters KAL. Maybe I'm a joiner. Maybe I'm addicted to possibility. This shawl could be nearly anything. It could be the masterpiece of my knitting career. It could be an incredible learning experience. I just don't know. Cuz it's a MYSTERY, see?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Drive By

No actual pictures to share — but I did want to do a quickie update. (I know, I know, quickies are less satisfying, but sometimes that's all you have time for).

Anyway, I've been working on adding projects to my Ravelry notebook (I'm Kadollan over there too, if you want to look me up). It now looks like I'm actually a knitter. I had a lot of fun going through old photos, reading old blog posts and generally trying to recreate history. I'm not done, but I'm not in any big hurry either. One thing I've noticed — I take better pictures now.

On the man-sweater front (or, rather, the back) I'm nearly ready to start the shoulder shaping. So far I'm loving the fabric I'm getting with the Wool of the Andes. In sock news, I'm mid-way into my second pink stripedy sock. I made a deliberate decision to make the two socks fraternal and it is absolutely driving me nuts. See, I'm the littlest bit OCD, and I look for ways to challenge myself .... I'm challenged.

I am seriously considering casting on a shawl. The Mystery Stole 3 is hibernating right now, to borrow a phrase from Ravelry. I may very well frog it, as it fails utterly to turn my crank and babies, my crank needs turned. I'm considering the Swallowtail Shawl for a dear friend of mine, or the Mystic Waters Knitalong for I don't know who.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Man-Sweater Knitalong

So, my best Jess and I decided it was time to knit ourselves a sweater. A while back, Knit Picks had some of their Wool of the Andes on sale for $1.59 a ball. An auspicious time to undertake a project that (in my case....cuz I'm bigger) will take upwards of 15 balls of yarn. But what to knit?

I probably own, no lie, over fifty knitting books—and do I really need to count all of the magazines I have? Over the years I've seen scores of sweaters that I'd love to knit, would look great on me, or include a technique that just looks like it would be cool to learn. So, choosing a sweater to knit should be a piece of cake, non?

Non. Too many choices! Also, in the spirit of true -alongatude, we needed a pattern that Jess and I could both sport. For those of you who don't know us, Jess and I don't so very much have the same body type. I weigh an entire 2nd grader more than she does. We are the Amazon and the Pict. (We should have t-shirts or something.)

So, after a fair amount of which I mean "Whaddya want ta knit?" "Uh... I dunno?" We settled on Ann Budd's Cambridge Jacket from Interweave Summer 2006. We ceremoniously and with great fanfare dubbed it a Man Sweater Knitalong and commenced to ordering our yarn.

Jess went with Iron Ore (a pretty rusty red color) and I bought Blueberry (tealish). We both decided that in addition to making ourselves a sweater, we would try to move outside of our color comfort level a bit. As an interesting side note, the cardigan that Jess knit for the Olympics, which is her only adult sweater to-date, was a green with some blue to it. Meanwhile, I was knitting in nothing but cinnamon, brown, and red for MONTHS. Apparently she and I chose to move out of our own comfort levels.... and into each others. Go figure.

This sweater also has the advantage of a technique that neither of us has tried before: the sewn-in zipper. I am totally not counting "finishing a knitted sweater for myself" as a technique I've never tried before. I have knit my little people scads of sweaters....same technique, less staying power....or something.

Currently, my ManSweaterKnitalong-o-Meter is at approximately 25%. I'm less than an inch away from shaping for the armholes on the back. I've used nearly three balls of the 15 I ordered. I think I will have enough yarn, but that it will be close enough to make me sweat.

P.S. I really want to make the Icarus Shawl, from this same issue. I will, however, be re-christening it the "Daedalus Shawl" cuz dude.... do I really want my wings to melt from crashing into the sun, and then to plummet down into the sea and drown? Meanwhile Dad is circling around at a reasonable altitude saying "JEEZ! Why don't teenagers listen?" No thank you. Daedalus Shawl for me, please.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Well, aren't I a lamer then?

I don't know why I haven't been blogging more consistently. Too much other stuff going on, I guess. I am getting some knitting done, I'm happy to report.

I'm trying to decide how to make this blog coincide with my Ravelry—I definitely plan to continue this blog, but some of the information on it is going to become redundant. Do I need a running tally of projects in both places? I think I may quit using the percentages in the sidebar completely on this blog, because Ravelry does it so seamlessly. I will probably continue to update my Recent Work list though. Hey, I need all the encouragement I can get. Look Virginia! She really does finish things! Not just cast them on!

Okay, enough omphaloskepsis and on to the pictures!

Last month I blogged about the Nasty Acryl socks that I'm knitting for Iris. I have a serious hate on for that yarn. But! I persevered, and the socks are finished.

The socks are finished, the yarn is no longer lurking in my stash and that's one more Christmas/Yule present finished. Good times.

In a moment of weakness (Hey, I went to Angel Hair Yarn, Co. with Koren and no-longer blogless Cindy) I bought yet more sock yarn, and cast on a sock for me that is delightedly NOT acrylic.

Self-striping yarn makes me happy. I am a simple woman. I am seriously considering flouting my OCD ways and deliberately making these socks wackily-fraternal. We'll see if I can make myself do it when the time comes.

In other news, have you checked out Knitpicks new funknatious wooden needles? How cool are they? I just acquired some double-pointed sock needles, so a report on how they knit will be forthcoming. (P.S. the DPN sock needles come 6 in a set. How awesome is that?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I See No Reason to Mention or Comment Upon a Month and a Half of Silence

So. Summer.


But also socks!

These Rags are, whatchacall, Glad.

Or to be more precise, they are what Laurie Andersson calls Glad. I started these puppies back in April of '06, but then I got bored and wandered off. You know, like you do.

But then, I got bored with something else, and wandered right back again (if by "right" you mean a year and a half later. And I do.)

I've modified the pattern slightly—ignored the beadwork and continued the lace pattern into the feet. I'm pretty happy with them, but discovered the inevitable consequence of losing 30+ pounds between casting on socks and kitchenering them. They's a twee baggy.

In other socks, I'm using up some of the old sock yarn stash (wait, am I allowed to call sock yarn stash?). I'm making a pair of wee socklets for Jess' Chi-town Princess. Showing barbaric cruelty, many, many acryls were harmed in the creation of this sock yarn. I cannot discuss it here. No, it is too barbaric. I am merely honoring the spirits of the many acryls slain in the processing of this yarn by knitting it up. Surely it would be crueler to let the yarn go to waste?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer is for Socks!

From now until the Autumnal Equinox it's all socks all the time here at Chez Woolly Discipline. Well, all socks, and Man-Sweater Knitalongs, and Mystery Stoles all the time. If you wanted to get technical about it. Which you didn't. But I did.

Anyway, the Glad Raggs socks are nearing completion — not so very far to go on the second sock. I had a minor disaster involving a torrential downpour at Dollywood. My extremely cool portable sock carrier that my best Jess made me has a lining that is not what you call "colorfast". So, once the socks are complete, I'll be experimenting with dyeing. Should be fun, and I'm not really fashed about it — the original color wasn't all that exciting to begin with. So, no wukkas.

Now, lest my total number of SIPs (socks in progress) accidentally ever dip below two, I went ahead and cast on a new sock. The Waving Lace Socks from Favorite Socks. I'm using Knitpicks Palette in Fawn on size 2 needles. Good Times.

(The Canada sock? What Canada sock?)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sewing Queues, Mystery Stoles, Man Sweaters and RAVELRY!

Wow, I am lame in my non-postitude.

I haven't gotten much sewing done lately. I'm nearly done with a Yule gift for mumblemumble, and I've got a dress for Jess' Chi-Town Princess cut out and ready to go. Next in line is a shorts and T-shirt outfit for Morgan. Dig those crazy lime-green crabs.

In knitting news...well, I have lots of knitting news. Melanie is designing a third Mystery Stole and the group is crazy active. There are fifty-three million knitters already signed up, and there is a world shortage of JaeggerSpun Zephyr. I am exaggerating. A little. I'm pretty excited about all of this. The 2nd stole is absotively gorgeous (I never even cast on, although I did join the group) so I have high hopes for this one. In the spirit of stretching my skill set, I'm planning to knit this one with beads. Exciting stuff.

Jess and I are planning a wee tiny two person Man-Sweater-Along. There's a grand cardigan designed by Ann Budd in one of last year's Interweave Knits (I'll be more specific in an upcoming post). While Knitpicks had their Wool O' The Andes on sale for a buck fifty-nine, she and I both bought enough to make ourselves this sweater. More skill set enhancement with this one — it has a zipper. Neither of us have ever installed a zipper into knitwear before, but she and I both sew and have both done zippers in garment making. We'll figure it out.

Oh, and let me also casually mention.... I got my invite to Ravelry! Dudes. It's groovy. Totally worth the hype, and wicked fun to play in. Jess (different Jess) and Casey have my deep admiration and respect. I hear tell that Casey has quit his "real" job and they've decided to make a go of running Ravelry full-time. I am so impressed with the both of them. That's courage, people. Pure chutzpuh.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Community Quilting

My local (and regional) crafting group, Crafts of the Wise (or CoW for short) has been working on a community quilt for our religious organization to raffle for a fundraiser. We started it two years ago, and I think its time to finish that bad-boy.

This post is not about that quilt.

Our friend the (blogless) Cindy decided that my niece Sarah needed a quilt for graduation. She put together some scrap blocks set on point and passed them out to Sarah's friends, family, teachers, ROTC peeps (do they still call them peeps?)....

Anyway, Jess and I each donated a block, and the three of us got together last week to start putting the top together. It wasn't quite finished yet by the time they left here, but a lot of good work got done, and dudes, we had fun. (The embroidery was done by Jess, by the way.)

There was a party for Sarah that I didn't get to go to (had to work) but I'm given to understand that she really liked it, and was amazed that so many people signed it without her finding out.

So, the moral of this story is: Cindy rocks, and crafting together is fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

While this post will not actually mention, show or even link to Soleil, please know that I am still working on it. In fact, we are on the waist now, and about to begin the increases to the bust.

I have been doing some clearing up of some small projects.

I made Rowan a vest what with dinosaurs on when he was two. I also cut out a pair of shorts, but never made them. Until, you know, now.

The good news is, my boy-o is quite a bit taller now (three years later) but not so much bigger in the tummy. The durned things still fit. Go figure.

In other news, I finished the Kitty hat out of Stitch N' Bitch that Rhi conned me into knitting for her. The child can totally knit, and I should have made her do it herself...but I'm a sucker for a kid that begs for hand knits, what can I say?

Here's my beautiful baby girl looking, as she says "Shwah!" I gather from context that this is meant to be positive. I used to speak 13, but there has apparently been a dialectical shift in the intervening 2 decades.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And now for something completely different....

The Larch.

Okay, not quite that different. BUT! I have bloggy content for you that may shock and consternate my more delicate readers. What I am about to show you, is completely finished. I began it this week. And.

Its not knitting.

I know. I was shocked too.

Behold, the monkey shirt.

My Mr. Reno-berry is in dire need of some summer play clothes, and my stash is in some dire need of ... well, ever being used. Pretty much a win-win situation.

I sat down to sew on Tuesday, and had it all finished but the buttons and buttonholes. Then I remembered that I have a brand new sewing machine, and I don't so much know how to make buttonholes on it. I decided at that point that Learning New Things could totally wait until Wednesday.

Wednesday rolled around and after a trip to Wal-Mart (would you believe that in all that stash I have, like NO boy fabric? What the heck?) I sat down to learn button-holering. I love my new machine. I really, really do. Four fancy-schmancy relatively painless buttonholes later, and my boy has a new shirt.

Things I've learned:
  • Lesson One: Just because you've been sewing for 15 years, don't think that you can get away with just looking at the pictures on a pattern you've never sewn before. It might bite you on your tuckus.
  • Lesson Two: Listening to the husband read a story to the kidlings while sewing is very pleasant, but combined with lesson number one while sewing in a collar? Let's just say that more tuckus biting occurred and leave it at that, shall we?
  • Lesson Three: My dude is seriously cute.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Book Review: Favorite Socks

Interweave Press has gathered 25 sock patterns together in their spring release "Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave." Edited by Ann Budd and Anne Merrow, this book delivers exactly what its title implies: a collection of 17 previously published (and 6 brand new) sock patterns.

Let me first say that this is a very pretty book. If I were being totally honest, and I am, I spend far more time looking at knitting books than I do actually knitting. Its a bit of a hobby in and of itself, so the over-all aesthetic quality of a knitting book is important to me. This one is nice.

The pages lie neatly open on the hidden inner spiral. This is common to Interweave's newer books (think Ann Budd's "Handy Pattern" books). I love this feature, because its really hard to knit and hold a book open at the same time. Also, the photography is lovely. Some pictures are old friends that you'll recognize from your collection, but others are refreshingly new.

If you are the sort of knitter that has had a subscription to Interweave from the beginning (rare) and who can positively lay her hands on every issue (rarer) and who furthermore knows exactly in which issue the specific sock pattern she is looking for is located (I hate you) then you certainly do not need this book. Okay, well there are 6 new patterns.

But, if you are like me, and you've subscribed for the past several years, and the issue with Evelyn Clark's "Flower Basket Shawl" is still in your knitting basket with the Knitpick's Alpaca Cloud, and the one with the Icarus Shawl has completely disappeared (because it knows you want to knit it)....

If you are like me, you'll want this book.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

On Cotton Tanks

I'm about half of a row shy of completing the lace section of Soleil. I'm working four repeats instead of three, so that that the top will be a little longer. I'm not sure yet whether or not I'll add more length into the waist shaping. Conceptually, that seems like a very straight-forward and obvious kind of adjustment to make. I'm still not entirely sure how to translate that into actual string though.

I feel that my skill as a knitter is continuing to expand, and learning how to be the boss of my knitting (as EZ would say) is an important step for me. One of my knitterly goals for 2007 is to learn more about design and pattern alteration.

Anyway, I'm enjoying knitting it so far. The Sinfonia is a pretty alright yarn, although its just enough splitty that you have to watch while you're knitting it, lest you look down and notice that three rows down you only PSSO'd half the yarn, and the other half is dangling there PiSSingOff. Cheeky yarn -- but soft! And the royal blue I'm working with is a beautiful color. I bet pictures would help, but I'm in bed (BLOGGING IN BED!) and can't be arsed to borrow the daughter's camera.

Speaking of cotton, I'm itchy to get my hands on some of Elann's Lara. The pictures are just that pretty. I think that it would be about perfect for Deborah Newton's "Josephine Top" (scroll down) in the new Interweave Knits. Its not quite a tank, but close. I'm thinking that this may be my treat for finishing up Soleil.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Summer Sock Knitalong Might Cure the Summertime Blues

I'm such a joiner.

But hey, its not like I wasn't gonna knit socks this summer anyway, right? Sign ups are from now through May 26, and the knitting time frame runs from Litha to Mabon. Er, I mean from Summer Solstice to the Autumnal Equinox. Yeah, that's the ticket. Three months of socky fun. More information can be found by clicking the pretty button.

Go on, click the button. You know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it.

And now: Thursdays are for Making Lists! (List, list, oh list!)

Calceo in Progresseo:
  • Not-So-Very-Glad Raggs
  • Eyelets of My Very Own Design
  • Blame Canada!
Calceo in Provisio:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Knitting Ennui (there ain't no cure for the summertime blues)

I've been having a knitting slump lately. I have things on the needles that I don't want to knit. I am having serious second thoughts about the Canada sock (or at least about the needle size for the fair isle bit), I'm tired of the Glad Raggs socks, acrylic cables are stupid and


Okay, enough of that.

What I need is some fiber therapy. New yarn, new projects, new UFOs... er, okay not that last.

Since its a full 86 degrees F here in middle TN on this lovely Beltane day, I've decided to knit me a tank. I've had my eye on Soleil ever since it was published back in '05. The construction is sensible (and very similar to my Green Tank, but less stupid).

I'm pondering my yarn choices. I think that Elann's Lara would be pretty, and about $17 before shipping. Not bad atall. I was considering Knitpicks' Shine, but the gauge isn't quite right and it would end up rather more expensive. I did some more pondering and then remembered that Omega Sinfonia (available at Hobbidy Lobbidy) is about the same gauge. Did the math — it will be $20. Yes: sales tax, No: shipping.... once you factor in the "hey, Its already here!" part of the deal, I think I have a winner.

I'm going to hit HL after lunch, and if they have a color that makes me squeeful, I'll go ahead and buy it. If no, then home I come to order Lara. I'm thinking Brick Red.

EDIT: Turns out Sinfonia is $4.99 a whack now, not $3.99 like I remembered. I went ahead and got it though, because instant gratification won out over the couple of bucks I would have saved going through

Monday, April 16, 2007

Being an account of how I was intentionally being artistic, and not just pants at using the digital camera, and also joined another knit-a-long

*shifty look*

Be it known that the pictures of my newest sock in progress are in black & white through a misguided attempt at being "artistic". The fact that I am helpless at using Rhiannon's camera is in no way related, and I'm ashamed of you for even thinking it.


I've joined another knit-a-long.

Shut up.

Yes, I know I haven't yet finished the April 2006 sock project from the 6 Sock Knit-a-long. Although in my defense, I'm turning the heel in the second sock practically as we speak, and really, if you're going to be so critical, you can just stop reading now.

Yahoogroups is a dangerous place, and persons with low thresholds of will power against Join-a-long-itis ought to be warned to stay away. Consider this a public service announcement.

The new sock in question is Canada from Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road. I’m enjoying it immensely, and am privately calling it Mt. Everest because I’m knitting it for the same reason that one might conceivably climb the aforementioned mountain. Because Its There.

Clearly, the only logical explanation.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Something of an Update

My eldest child ran off with her camera, so I come to you once again without pictures. Although, truth to tell, I don't have a lot to take pictures of anyway.

I've hit something of a knitting slump. Everything I'm knitting is boring, and I'm leary of starting new projects, because I don't want another go with the UFO pile from hell. That said, I have started a few new things. Bardic Olympics for our Ostara Gathering was weekend before last, so I quickly put together a cute little pink lace hat. It's got a spring skater-punk vibe going on.

My very astute 5 year old little man observed that "Pink is a very strong color" and "Pink is not just for girls." The hat, of course, looked absolutely adorable on him. I've decided to make him a green one, as I admire his enlightened attitude, but I fear me that his fellow kindergarteners do not share it. As these things have a way of doing, the project came full circle. My eldest child won a prize at Bardic Olympics (if you just have to know what I'm talking about, drop a comment and I'll explain). Anyway, when you win, you get the option of choosing a hand-crafted item from the prize table, and my Rhi picked the hat I'd knit. Nothing like getting public approval for you hand-knits from a 13 year old.

In other news, she — the 13 year old — conned me into making her a "Kitty" hat from Stitch N' Bitch. Its all done but for one ear flap and the kitty ears. I should work on that today between bouts of housework.

I haven't even picked up the purple cabled sleeve of death in a month. The gauge isn't right, and I don't think I have enough yarn. A wise woman would stop now, before a serious gauge accident occurred. And yes, I know the sweater is meant for a 6 year old, but I just can't do it. I can't knit an entire Alice Starmore (even a child's size) in acrylic. I can't. I'll get some superwash wool and use the acrylic for something else.

Dang, I am a fiber snob, aren't I?

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Template

I've been feeling some spring fever lately, and decided that my blog needed a cleaner look. I'm still not convinced I'm satisfied, so I'll probably continue to tweak it.

I noticed that the pictures in my last post are completely squonked. If the formatting stays an issue, I may be changing right the heck back.

I have done some knitting, and when my daughter and her camera are available to me, I'll show you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Promised Pictures

I don't have any new content, but this new post will have what the last two did not... pictures!

Seems like I promised pictures of my Toe-Up Dancing socks. For some reason (change in gauge? tension? star charts?) the two socks turned out to be more... fraternal twins. You can tell that they share some basic genetic material, but they aren't whatchacall identical.

I like 'em though.

I had to have the obligatory "sock self portrait yoga" pose. And of course, an "action shot."

And because my husband fancies himself a humorist, a "before" shot.

The end is nigh for the Glad Raggs socks. I think that they are going to be some of the nicest (certainly most complima-cated) socks I've ever knit. As I've mentioned before, I altered the original pattern (which is sadly, no longer available. For reasons of her own, the designer had the file removed from the 6-Sock Knitalong site. I dunno why, I didn't ask.)

And last, but not least, a very purple sleeve. More pictures as the project progresses. (And other words beginning with "P")