Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Xmas/belated b-day to me!

Dudes. Coolest gift ever from my dad's sister's family. I'm just going to present this absolute awesomeness right now:

DUDE!! My aunt commissioned this from a lady she knows who makes bags. This chick is a knitter, and gave me all kinds of awesome little pockets inside perfect for needles and little tools, and a nice big open area for yarn and whatever I'm working on. She also actually checked out my blog for font and color ideas (thank Jebus I haven't used any Comic Sans recently.

*SWOON* I'm not the only one who likes it:

I can't believe he's not trying to put it in his mouth, honestly.

My family rocks!

Monday, December 20, 2010

On the road again (and again, and some more)

What could be more relaxing during the holidays than going on a ton of travel for work and (supposedly) play? If you answered "getting a root canal", "anything", or "are you a moron?" you are correct.

OK, I'm being a total drama queen. But for whatever reason, various national labs had openings in their schedules and my relative-in-law felt the need to get married all smack in the middle of my holly jolly holiday thank you very much (however, this was tempered by the fact that the wedding was close to some prime snow skiing). And of course, none of these places were even remotely close to each other. I occasionally work with radioactive samples, and I like to tell people that I get more radiation from flying to the labs than in doing my actual work (it's true!). The past couple of weeks, it's been a LOT more. I used to pity my copilot's incessant work travel, and somewhere along the way I became him...

But, I took it as a good sign my rental car in Maryland seemed specifically reserved for me:

Sweater yarn snafu notwithstanding, it did also give me a lot of uninterrupted knit time. I started a little something something for my mom for Xmas with a lovely piece of stash I picked up from my newly opened LYS. I bitched and moaned about the unexpected closing of said LYS a while back, and am pleased to report it's back in full force with new management and stock (hi, Lakeside Fibers!).

I was starting to get a little worried that I was going to run out of yarn to work with while on my journey. Two things happened to prevent that tragedy--first, I visited Three Bags Full, a cute little yarn shop in Vancouver, BC:

Mmmmm...sock yarn dyed by a Vancouver local.

Second, I totally fudged up the pattern I was working on for my mom, took the entire thing apart, and started over (I not only have used this pattern before, I wrote it. Ah, me). I'd like to think that I'm getting twice the fun out of the yarn, eh? Oh great, spend a couple of days in Canada and you start sounding like a nutcase. (I guess I'm not surprised. They use the metric system, stick random 'u's in words, and use weird-ass money. So close to normalcy, yet so far away...)

The first incarnation:

What weird lighting. I blame the hotel.

That one got to the decreases before I was able to stick it on my head and determine that it was totally the wrong size--due to the fact that I was not able to stick it on my head at all. Too small; I was cabling twice the amount I should have. Here's the real deal:

This is the true color...I loved it at first, but now I'm starting to suspect it's too "they're after me lucky charms"-ish.

Still unfinished. Honestly, this is one of those pieces where at the end you just want to burn it and pee on the ashes. Piss-soaked ashes make a pretty crummy Christmas gift, though.

But all was right with the world after some backcountry (sidecountry, really) skiing at Whistler, where the Cozy Cabled Hat kept me wonderfully warm while in 'touring' mode (I'm such a klutz that I always wear a helmet in 'downhill' mode):

I love putting the handknits into action.

P.S. To my folks: Muchas gracias for taking care of the beast...we know he's a handful. You guys rock!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Seriously, you guys.....

Aaaand that's the end of the yarn. That I purchased in New Zealand. Made by a company in New Zealand. Over a year ago. With a couple inches of sleeve to go.

This was my reaction:*

*Please do not watch if you're offended by cursing. But let's be honest, if you're offended by cursing, you probably don't read my blog. Completely safe for work, unless you like, work in a church or something (Hi, Dad!).

Thoughts? Keep in mind, to harvest yarn from the hems (or to change the hems at all) I have to undo all of the Kitchener. Thereby making me it's bitchener, instead of vice versa. My strategy was to keep knitting faster, as if that would somehow extend the length of the yarn. Didn't work.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making Kitchener my bitchener

A couple of weeks ago I lamented the fact that to continue on the ol' Silken Scabbard Deux, I was going to have to do a relative ass-load of Kitchener bind-off on the hem so that I could try it on. Here's the epic task:

This doesn't look as long as it felt to me when I started pulling the tail of yarn though. But it was long. Trust me.

I sat down with the understanding that I probably wouldn't get done in one sitting, it might go horribly wrong, and it was going to take a long-ass time. I think knowing that going in made it much smoother, and watching some football as I worked helped to ease the pain (not watching the Colts, though...ouch). And I owned the thing, albeit two days later with a few unraveled stitches:

Excuse the weird lighting. I was trying to be artsy (read: I'm bad at photography). I even finished the sleeve's cuff while I was at it:

I'm on fire! I'm hoping the streak doesn't mysteriously end before I get to the final cuff.