Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Now Hear This

All of us must raise our voices against the armies of hate and fear.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It really has been

...one of the worst days ever. Not in a dramatic like I totalled the car sense, but in a "I'm so stressed that my head is going to explode" way. Nevertheless, I look on the bright side, at least when I can. And perhaps I should, as one piece of news I received is that I have a severe vitamin D deficiency. Now, I saw my mother experience the excrutiating pain of SURVIVING malignant melanoma. I have worn sunscreen religiously ever since. And where did it get me? Vitamin D deficiency! Which, apparently, is not such a small deal. OK, enough. Here's something to look at:
This sock is made from Blue Moon's socks that rock mediumweight in a colorway called Titania. I think it is no longer available. It's been fun knitting this Cat Bordhi "sockitecture" so far, but I'm not yet in love with the sock. We'll see when I have a pair.

This yarn is from the first roving I tried dyeing. I rather like it! The yellow yarn is merino and was a challenge to spin, as it was the first merino I ever tried to spin! I found that spinning "from the fold" really made a difference, and I "learned" it from Abby Franquemont on youtube. She is a fabulous teacher, and I hope to get some actual instruction from her some day, to augment the "virtual" instruction online.

I also finished something, but since it is a gift, I can't post a photo right now. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 10, 2008

SSShhhhhhhhhhh-----don't tell!

If you are a knitter, you will get this. If you are not, just forget it. Don't spread it around, but imagine how I feel: my 18 year old son wants to learn to knit! I want to scream, but please, let's keept this quiet. We don't want to scare him. Here's the item I made him that seems to have sparked his desire:
I will report here on progress. Now please, please, don't tell anyone!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Here I am back for more of Secret Pal. This was so much fun last time, I just have to play again. Here are my answers to the questionnaire. I'm answering them again because maybe I have changed a bit since the last go-round.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like so many yarns, it's hard to answer this. I love natural fibers; I haven't met one yet that I didn't like. I'm not fond of scratchy wools, and I don't really like the feel of acrylic, although in some blends it is quite practical, like things the kids will throw in the washer and dryer. I lust after Malabrigo, which I haven't used, and other soft hand dyed yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I recently acquired a nifty little binder style case for my circulars. I don't use straights very often, but have some lovely wood ones in my Bagsmith knitting bag, not really stored, I guess, just there. I have yet to find good storage for my double points, which I guess is why I'm always losing at least one.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I started knitting when I was 7 or 8. My mother taught me, but she taught me to knit into the back of the stitches, so my knitting was twisted. I re-learned from a book, and I've been learning things from books ever since. I would consider myself an advanced intermediate. There isn't much knitting that can scare me, but I think my technique is not great, especially when it comes to altering patterns and some finishing techniques. I did pass Level 1 of the Knitting Guild's Master Handknitter program, but I have balked at attempting Level 2. It's more fun to knit things than swatches.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I do have an amazon wish list, and my username is AbbyC

5. What's your favorite scent? Philosophy Pure Grace, which smells like soap and water, fresh baked bread, lilac, lavender, stargazer lily, night blooming jasmine, vanilla.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I like cheesecake and ice cream, but I don't like candy much. I do eat small amounts of very dark chocolate -- strictly for health reasons, of course ;D

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I do spin, and I LOVE it. I'm a beginning spinner and not very skilled, but it is like meditation therapy to me. I make lampwork glass beads (on a torch) and that is a fun and somewhat dangerous addiction. I also sew, and have been making clothes since I was 8 years old. I do a little quilting. I used to make cloth dolls obsessively, but haven't done that in a while.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) What kind of music do I not like would be an easier question to answer. And that answer would be "country and western". I'm also not a huge fan of free form jazz. That said, I like many kinds of music. My 160 GB ipod is almost full! On it you will find, for example: The Decemberists, Girl Talk, Mozart, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, The Who, Vampire Weekend, Chris Thile, Bob Dylan, Of Montreal and on and on...

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Purple is my favorite. I also like red, pink, periwinkle, deep yellow, pumpkin, browns, black, some greens. No color I don't like, but there are colors, such as pale blue, that don't like me.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Two teenagers, one siamese mix cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I like scarves but don't wear them much. I like hats and do wear them, I love mittens and hate ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks, lace, hats, gloves. I have yet to make a sweater that I am crazy about wearing, although I am fond of my tilted duster. I prefer wearing cardigans to pullovers because I often feel too warm, but my hands and feet get cold, thus the love of socks and mitts.

13. What are you knitting right now? "We Call the Pirates" hat for my son, Whisper cuff cardigan from "Inspired to Knit", Coriolus socks from Cat Bordhi's latest book, and I am about to start the irtfa'a faroese shawl by Anne Hanson.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Sure.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Depends on what I'm knitting. I mostly use addi turbos for everything, but occasionally I stray to wood needles, straight or double points.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? I have one ghastly sweater that I started about three years ago, DaCapo by hanne Falkenberg. I will never finish it. I don't like the colors, and it is the size of a small city, for some reason (garter stitch, I assume).

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? My favorite holiday is Purim, a Jewish holiday that falls in February or March, usually. In winter I observe Hanukkah. My second favorite holiday is a tie between Passover and Yom Kippur. Really.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Books, music, yarn, fiber, glass. I aspire to collect those amazing figures like the ones at myplasticheart.com They are very spendy!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I would like to get Franklin Habit's book. I don't think I need any needles. I mentioned malabrigo. Of course, I love Socks that Rock and anything from Blue Moon. I reserve the right to add to this list!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Lots of spinning techniques. I'd like to get better at intarsia and learn to do cables without a cable needle. As mentioned above, my finishing techniques could be better, and I still need to learn proper fitting. Robin gave me a great book to help with that, but I haven't had time to take advantage of it yet.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I love knitting socks because: my feet are small (size 5 1/2), the yarns are gorgeous, they are quick to make, they need no blocking (as far as I can tell) and they always fit. Wearing hand knitted socks is a little heavenly.

23. When is your birthday? February 24

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Yes, Abbyknitz (big surprise there, huh?)