Thursday, October 30, 2003

Naked Knitting

Do a Google search on Naked Knitting and it will amaze you how sites are out there.

Increase Web Hits
I've decided that I'm going to talk about naked, sex orgies regarding my day-to-day knitting so that my web site will appear in even more Google searches. Not that I ever mix the two, but the increased traffic of adolescents looking for porn sites might help me if I ever decide to go commercial with my blog.

I figure that if I add words like slut, and anal sex to my web site on a regular basis, it's bound to get the attention of the porn-starved masses who also like to knit.

Unfortunately, I can't add words that would attract the attention of the really hard core perverts, but I figure just these simple words will definitely get myself more Google attention.

Did you realize that if you put "Knitting Blog" in a Google search, mine is the first one to display? How cool is that.

I guess it helps that Google now owns Blogspot (the host of my blog).

Feel free to pepper your comments with indiscriminate sexual comments as well, since Google scans the comments for search words.

Knitting Progress
Large Breasts.

I did get a little bit more done on Ronas Hill, but not enough so that today's picture would look much different than the last picture you saw.

Here's the place that has been keeping me busy the last few weeks.

In addition to all the work I have during the day, they have also been scheduling a lot of after-hours events. Last night it was bowling.

Bowling and Knitting Don't Mix
I'm not a very good bowler. I don't own bowling shoes (unless you count the ones that look like bowling shoes). I don't own my own bowling ball.

Last night, using the only ball in the entire bowliing alley that would fit my fat fingers, I completely strained my knitting thumb.

My right thumb is bruised and swollen, which made for some painful knitting last night and this morning. It was bad enough that I had to subject myself to such a blue-collar "sport", but to have it cut into my knitting activity is just intolerable.

So this is just my warning to those would-be Pro Bowlers who also knit. Bowling can be dangerous to your knitting health.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


If you want to know what your priorities are, just look at what you focus on the majority of the day.

Knitting Priorities
I've heard a lot of people say that they wish they could knit all day, or find some way to work in a fiber-related business instead of what they currently do.

I admit, I have those dreams as well. But when I review what I end up doing on a day-to-day basis, the major focus of my life is generating money. Secondarily, that money is used to buy nice yarn and knitting paraphernalia, but the income comes first.

I'm also working toward amassing enough money so that in a handful of years I can affort to not work, and do something I'd like, such as owning a yarn store.

Knitting Progress
I got a few more rounds (five to be exact) done on Ronas Hill.

As the pattern starts to emerge, I like it more and more. I'm going to enjoy wearing this sweater vest a lot. The only thing that I've found odd about the pattern, is they he calls for you to place a stitch marker between the Right Front and Back, and then another one between the Back and the Left front, but you never really need to do anything at those parts of the sweater. Arm hole shaping starts 12 stitches before it.

I'm not complaining, the stitch markers help to show progress on these endless rounds, but it just seems odd to include them in the pattern instruction.

I thought you might want to see the reverse side of my work:

Knitting Lessons
A coworker has his wife in Albany for a few weeks, and she's a knitter and crocheter. I saw them in the concierge lounge of the hotel last night, and she and the Concierge were trying to remember how to do a seed stitch, but they had done three rows of garter instead.

Since I enjoy showing off, I ripped out the three rows for her (she's using a mohair blend that is VERY clingy), and I showed her how to do seed stitch.

All-in-all, a very ego-boosting evening.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Happily Knitting

I know, I know...what fun is it when everything is going well?

Knitting Progress
I did pick up Ronas Hill as soon as I got home on Thursday night, and I've been working on that primarily since I've been home. So far, I've finished the ribbing at the bottom and gotten the first couple of rows done.

Now that I'm up to almost 400 stitches in total, and having to follow the chart, it will move along even more slowly. But it is only knitting now, and I've gotten pretty good at the two-handed stranding technique.

As with intarsia knitting, I weave in my ends as I go along, even though I could hide ends pretty easily in the steek and button band finishing. I'm also weaving in the floats every fourth stitch, so the floats will never be longer than 3 stitches wide in the back.

Finally, when I steek, I alternate the dark and the light color yarn each row to give a checkerboard effect (you'll also notice that I'm using one of Janis' stitch markers she made for me).

I read somewhere that this makes for a more stable steek after it's been cut (was that on Wendy's blog?)

Yarn Store Purchases
Before I could start on the body of Ronas Hill, I had to get a circular US4 needle. I'm still amazed I couldn't find one stinking US4 circular in this entire house, but alas, I couldn't.

I'm kinda glad I had to stop at my LYS. They had the most recent Rowan book, which is their 25th anniversary issue.

I've already read it cover to cover, and I like a lot of the designs in it. The Brandon Mably and Kaffe Fassett designs are beautiful, and I may even decide to make another Kaffe design sometime in my future. His new Argyle one is a very possible candidate.

Regia Sock Knitting
I did some work on the second Regia sock as well. It still provides a little bit of respite from the Fair Isle knitting.

I should have a full pair in a week or so at this pace. Not too bad.

Reader Comments/Questions
First of all, I knew y'all would have lots of good "Ways to piss off a knitter"...I liked many of them better than mine.

Sean asks/says "your honeybun didn't give away your sweaters to goodwill! no!!!! me? i'm starting to look for suitable sweater patterns to make my first one!!"

(have I mentioned how much I love Sean's Blog?...his is the only one I MUST read daily)

No, Sean, Thaddeus would never give my sweaters to goodwill. He knows better. In fact, it's Thaddeus' job to to say "Joe designed and made that sweater" whenever someone compliments a sweater I'm wearing. That way I can act all humble, even though I'm proud as a peacock.

Danny Ouellette gave suggestions on how to self publish designs.

Given that Danny is a brilliant designer himself (I will always love his Headhugger Hat pattern), I appreciate his guidance. I may just decide to do exactly as he describes, but it won't be in the immediate future.

Jennifer chides me for not taking "pissed off" moments as opportunities for education.

Actually, the list was for fun, and not meant to berate folks. And no, Kathy, this will NOT become like the Newcomer Rules debacle, thank you very much. If any of you got past the comment that Jennifer left and checked out her web site, she has an AWESOME quilt that she displays on her sofa. The colors are amazing.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

10 Ways to Piss Off a Knitter

Today I present to you my top ten list of ways to piss off a knitter:

10. Ask a knitter you don't know well, how much it would cost to have a Kaffe Fasset design knit for you.
9. Say to a knitter, "Gee, it's nice that you can save so much money on sweaters by making your own."
8. Send a box full of your knitting spouse's sweaters to Good Will.
7. Tell the Good Will attendant to make the charitable receipt out for $10.
6. Talk to a knitter incessantly while they try to keep track of a complex pattern requiring counting.
5. Ask a knitter to make you a cashmere sweater in plain stockinette, just like the one you saw on sale for $75 in the department store.
4. Give a handful of birch double point sock needles to the kids to use as pick-up sticks to keep them busy.
3. Remove the birch double point sock needles from a sock in progress to use them as shish-kebab skewers.
2. Show a knitter the hole in the heal of a sock you're wearing and ask them if they could fix it for you.

and the number 1 way to piss off a knitter:

1. Use the heirloom lace baby blanket she knit for your first born as a rag to clean up bleach spills around your laundry room.

Knitting Progress
Another night of practically no knitting. I did perhaps an inch on the second sock. Not even enough to take a picture of it.

I did dream incessantly about resuming knitting on the Ronas Hill sweater tonight when I get home.

Reader Comments/Questions
Liz mentioned that she'd love to see me make some of my designs available via the web.

I'm still not sure how I will get these designs to my adoring public. But seriously, I doubt that I will make them available as individual patterns because even if I charged $5 per pattern, and sold 100 of them (which isn't likely), it still wouldn't be worth the effort of setting it all up.

I will either give them to a web site that would appreciate them, and be able to make some money off them themselves, or I will give them to my local yarn store so they can sell kits and give the pattern for free with the purchase of the yarn (like the Koigu scarves I've designed). Either way, I'll let you know, so if you want them, you'll know where to get them.

Danny asks what color Silk Garden I used in the mitered square pullover.

You are correct (if memory serves), it is done in color #39.

Gail asks if I will publish an RSS feed of my blog, so that the folks at Livejournal can be more up-to-date on when I publish.

I added some RSS tags to my site that I got using (which is the site you're currently using). I'm hopeful that by registering with them, and putting blogmatrix tags in my site, the feed will be more timely. If that doesn't work, I'll need to wait till BlogSpot adds RSS functionality to my level of service. Just so you know, I even looked into upgrading to BloggerPro, but they aren't taking any more upgrade since all functionality will eventually be in the standard package.

Let me know if the new HTML tags help with blogmatrix's RSS feed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Sweater Weather

With each week that I drive my sorry ass up to Albany, NY, it gets colder and colder.

Of Two Minds
On the one hand, I'm glad to be able to get to wear the dozens of sweaters in my armoire. After my recent family visit, I was able to give away 5 sweaters to my two sisters, so I figured it would make room, but it didn't really even make a dent.

On the other hand, I hate the cold weather, and I hate the shorter days. Every year my "short day funk" gets worse and worse.

Practically No Knitting Night
Last night I was a little busy with some errands I needed to run.

My first errand was to get something to eat, which is pretty standard. But I also wanted to go out and buy the screenplay for the play I just saw this past weekend, and the book on which the play was derived.

"Anna In The Tropics" is the name of the play, by Nilo Cruz, and it won the Pulitzer. Some of the dialogue in the play is from "Anna Karenina" by Tolstoy, as read by one of the characters in the play.

Oftentimes when I'm moved by seeing a play, I will buy the book, so I can experience it from a different perspective. This time, I bought both the play and "Anna Karenina", which I have never read.

I'm looking forward to reading both.

When I got home, I got caught up with chatting with folks on-line, and I knit about 4 rounds on the Regia Sock.

I've decided I will keep a pair of socks on the needles for the entire time I'm knitting Ronas Hill, because I enjoy the mindless, chartless knitting of a simple sock juxtaposed with the more complex, attention-required knitting of Fair Isle (I'm clearly not like Wendy).

Another Hot Looking Murderer
I forgot to mention a number of weeks ago, there was a prisoner in jail in Pennsylvania for murder who escaped using 27 bedsheets.

I don't know what it is, but these murder-boys are hot.

Reader Comments/Questions
First of all, thanks for your nice comments on Thaddeus and I...ain't he a looker? I just loved my 70's hair-don't in that picture, and I'm glad I haven't been that thin since I was 25.

Janet mentioned she wore a mitered square pullover done in Silk Garden that I had designed, and got tons of compliments.

I love that sweater, and the best part is that the yarn does all the work. The colors in Noro Silk Garden are luxuriously beautiful, and I'm thrilled such a simple, easy to knit design came out so classically beautiful.

Finally I forgot to answer Cat with her question about whether I'm a crossword puzzle fan.

I like crossword puzzles, but I'm not one of those that does them in ink (unless I can only find a pen), and I don't know all those clever little four letter, filler words, like etui.

Sweater Weather

With each week that I drive my sorry ass up to Albany, NY, it gets colder and colder.

Of Two Minds
On the one hand, I'm glad to be able to get to wear the dozens of sweaters in my armoire. After my recent family visit, I was able to give away 5 sweaters to my two sisters, so I figured it would make room, but it didn't really even make a dent.

On the other hand, I hate the cold weather, and I hate the shorter days. Every year my "short day funk" gets worse and worse.

Practically No Knitting Night
Last night I was a little busy with some errands I needed to run.

My first errand was to get something to eat, which is pretty standard. But I also wanted to go out and buy the screenplay for the play I just saw this past weekend, and the book on which the play was derived.

"Anna In The Tropics" is the name of the play, by Nilo Cruz, and it won the Pulitzer. Some of the dialogue in the play is from "Anna Karenina" by Tolstoy, as read by one of the characters in the play.

Oftentimes when I'm moved by seeing a play, I will buy the book, so I can experience it from a different perspective. This time, I bought both the play and "Anna Karenina", which I have never read.

I'm looking forward to reading both.

When I got home, I got caught up with chatting with folks on-line, and I knit about 4 rounds on the Regia Sock.

I've decided I will keep a pair of socks on the needles for the entire time I'm knitting Ronas Hill, because I enjoy the mindless, chartless knitting of a simple sock juxtaposed with the more complex, attention-required knitting of Fair Isle (I'm clearly not like Wendy).

Monday, October 20, 2003


I can't tell you how comfortable it is being back among multiple knitting projects.

New Project
I've been chomping at the bit to start the new Fair Isle vest project I bought at Stitches. Now that there's no pressure on finishing the second Regia sock, and this arrived in the mail last week:

I decided to cast on for Ronas Hill.

I've only finished the first inch, so there's not much to see, but I have a little close up as well.

Even though I've only done an inch, I'm very glad that the fiddly part of starting multi-color ribbing is done. I'm hoping to fly through this sweater.

I was going to bring it to Albany as my "during the week" project, but believe it or not, I don't have the correct circular needle in my stash anywhere (this one requires a US4). I'm sure there's one in the house, I just couldn't find it.

I love the Shetland 2000 yarn. It's softer than most Shetland I've worked with before, and I'm in love with the colors. I do have to say that it has some of the worst skeining tangles I've ever dealt with. Trying to spin these hanks into center-pull balls was a nightmare. Tons of tangles and painful unravellings.

Sock Knitting
Just because I started a new project with two other projects actively being worked on, I still had time to do about 2 inches on the second sock. Since I didn't have the correct needle for the body of Ronas Hill, I decided to bring the sock with me to Albany, and I'll be working on it throughout the week.

Hopefully, by this weekend, I'll have a completed pair of bright multi-colored socks.

I've got a benefit dinner this coming weekend with a silent auction. I donated one of the items in the auction which is a FiberTrends felted handbag done in Noro Kureyon. It's bright and multi-colored, so I figure if someone wants to meet the knitter, I can show off my multi-color socks as well.

Old "Wedding" Picture
About 19 years ago, I was a poor, starving banker wannabe, working in New York City for about $15,000 a year, and Thaddeus was a mill worker in a rubber factory. We were struggling to get by financially, and I needed to come up with a birthday/Valentine's day gift for Thaddeus that was incredible, but didn't cost too much.

A friend had taken a group picture, which included Thaddeus and I, and we both looked good (or at least I thought I looked good). I decided to get a cropped version of the picture put into a simple Duane/Reade frame (Duane/Reade is a New York City pharmacy, like CVS if you know what that is). I didn't have a copy of the negative, only the picture.

It turns out that to have a negative made, and create a cropped version of the picture cost almost $20, which was way over the budget I had hoped to stay under.

Fortunately, it didn't break the bank, and Thaddeus loved the picture as much as I would have hoped.

While it's not really a wedding picture, it's one of the earliest pictures of Thaddeus and I that I have.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

One Sock Down

Even without the competitive aspect of sock knitting, I was still able to get the first sock done.

Sock Knitting Non-Competition
It sucks that Lisa has been too busy to keep going on the sock knitting race, but at least I get to see some of the fruits of her labor this weekend. She produces a drama series at an amazing theater, that's not too far fom my house.

I get to go see the closing matinee tomorrow. The amazing thing about it is, she not only got comp tickets for me and Thaddeus, but also for a good friend whose birthday it is tomorrow. Even more amazing, when the tickets arrived last week in the mail, they were front row, center seats. I can't tell you how excited I am about seeing this show.

And here's the first sock:

I'll be starting the second one today.

Other Great Gift
With all the excitement around Stitches, I completely forgot to mention a gift I got from my knit-friend Kathy at Stitches (I think she felt guilty that I was giving her yarn from winning the blog contest, so she felt compelled to give me this incredible gift).

This little wooden peg, is made up of what appears to be a very old wood, that's been worn down a little with use over the years. When I separated the two pieces, I realized it was an antique needle case, but even more incredible, there were all of these old needles inside the case.

A couple of the needles are flat instead of cyllindrical, and one of the cyllindrical ones has a little, tiny ball on the tip to make it blunt.

I used one of the flat ones to sew up the Regia sock. Thanks Kathy, I LOVE it.

Reader Comments/Questions
I refer back to a question from Sammi that I answered last week. She asked if I was using Regia Stretch for this pair of socks.

I told her and you that I wasn't, but I lied. I was just looking at the label, and realized it was Regia Stretch all along. Sorry for being so oblivious. I don't feel a lot of stretch, but I guess it has more than the regular Regia.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Knitting Competition

Now that I might have regained my lost knitting time in the Lisa Sock Competition, I don't feel so bad about starting a different sock and ripping out the old one.

Sock Knitting Competition
So Lisa, do you think your socks will be done by the time I see you on Sunday? I'd like to say that mine will, but I'm honestly not sure. It will highly depend on whether I pick up another project when I get home because of boredom with this sock yarn color

But you'll notice I did get a couple of inches done on the cuff of the first one last night.

Short Blog Entry
Work is keeping me extremely busy right now, so today's blog entry will be short.

Reader Comments/Questions
Regarding some of the comments on wraps and stoles and shawls.

I'm not against them, and I honestly wasn't thinking about folks like Lisa who could get away with wearing anything because she has the looks and the attitude to pull it off. It's just that most of the folks I knit for wouldn't have a lot of opportunity to wear one. Most of them I think would prefer a sweater, which to me is just about as much work.

Charlotte asked the question I had been hoping to avoid. She asks, "What was the outcome of your meeting with the publishers at Stitches".

It was a very favorable meeting. They decided they wanted to publish FiestaWear and an older design that I had made for my sister if you've been reading that long.

However, I've since decided that I can't rightfully associate myself with other fiber businesses because I sometimes trash their customer base, or cause other controversy that I don't think they should have to answer for.

I've decided that if I want to design a publishable garment, I won't discuss it on-line. Conversely, I won't be publishing any designs I discuss in this blog.

That being said, I don't know what I'll do with the designs. A friend is considering publishing an on-line knitting magazine for a subscription fee, so I may donate the patterns to her. I'll also consider self-publishing the designs via the web (but I doubt it...too much work).

Suffice to say, I will be putting my designs out in into the public in some fashion. I'm just not sure how yet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Colors, Colors, Colors

Interesting and unconventional combinations of colors have always been incredibly appealing for me.

Brother/Sister-in-law Gift
My sister-in-law (this one is "in-law", she's my brother's wife) is an artist and art teacher. Each year, she and my brother make interesting gifts for Christmas. I always like when they do art-related gifts, because her sense of color is both unconventional, and yet very beautiful.

This past year, they made us a set of 8 ceramic nesting bowls, but they hadn't gotten time to glaze them before we visited them for the holidays.

We just recently got to see them, and got the finished bowls.

I have to say that this is the most frustrating time to have a camera and monitor that don't fully reflect the colors of the subject matter. The inside glaze on some of these bowls is a glittery brown color that is indescribeably beautiful.

Sock Knitting Race
Speaking of colors, I got some work done on the Regia socks. The ones I'm racing Lisa to finish (or at least the second pair, since I'm ripping out the first sock tonight).

These colors look better when knit up than I expected, but I'm still not overly thrilled with them.

Also, speaking of Sock Knitting, Wendy has her monthly contest on free sock patterns for those who'd like to participate.

Reader Comments/Questions
Kathy asks what I plan on doing with the Weavette squares.

When she says "We don't like to sew", I'm assuming she means the royal "we". I actually don't mind sewing at all, as long as it's not on a machine.

I plan on eventually sewing them together into a blanket or something. I saw a great display at Stitches where the Weavette lady had made a quilt-like, small blanket using different sizes of Weavette cloths. Mayble I'll try something like that.

Sammi asks if I'm using the Regia Stretch for my current sock.

No, it's the regular Regia yarn without Lycra. I'm not a real fan of stretch yarns, although I've done a couple of sweaters in DK weight cotton/lycra in the past.

Sean says that it's comforting to know a knitting "expert" (and he is charitable in his description) has to rip out occasionally.

It seems that the better I get at knitting, the more I rip out. I have gotten much more particular with how a finished garment should look, and I have also gotten faster at redoing a ripped out section. Personally, I think if you're not ripping out knitting relatively frequently, you're either not challenging yourself creatively, or you're not as concerned about mistakes in your knitting.

Finally, a number of you agreed or disagreed on my opinions of the magazines.

I'm going to add to that to say three things:

1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that saw that awful mistake on the boob tube (I'd consider it a mistake, and obviously Alexis wasn't craft enough to hide both sides of weird holes.

2. I love the look of wraps, but wouldn't make one. I don't know of anyone who'd wear one. I'd consider making them as baby blankets, though.

3. I love that we all have differing, yet strong opinions on design. It makes the commenting forum interesting for me.

Sunday, October 12, 2003


I started a sock. I stopped a sock. I started the Janis project. I stopped the Janis project. I went to start the Fair Isle. I didn't have the pattern.

Sock Knitting
I challenged Lisa to a speed knitting contest. Suffice it to say, she's winning (or has won, if she's finished already).

I ripped out the striped sock. It was too wide. I can't imagine I forot how many stitches to use for my foot, but it was way off.

I started a different Regia yarn, and messed up the toe. I threw it down in disgust.

I restarted a new sock in Regia, and while I'm not liking the colorway too much, I'm finding the knitting satisfying nonetheless.

Ronas Hill Fair Isle
I figured I might as well start this beautiful vest so I could at least show some picture of knitting progress. I realized I didn't have a pattern in the so-called "kit". I called Yarns International and I was told that the pattern is in a book, and no one told me I needed to buy the book separately. Christ...$194 for a vest pattern, and I have to pay for the book separately.

The book is winging it's way here now (hopefully).

I did get to use my new Weavette this weekend with some coned, cotton yarns. I experimented with two different colors on each of these 5" squares.

I was quite pleased with the result.

Janis Project
I found a prototype pattern for one part of this project, and started work on it. I'm not overly happy with how it's starting. I may have to rip out a few hours work.

I may just decide to try to salvage it, but I'm not sure yet.

Knitting Magazines
I found both Vogue Knitting and Family Circle Easy Knitting in the grocery store yesterday. Of course I had to buy both.

Of the two, I found that Vogue Knitting was worth the purchase price of $5.99, and Family Circle Easy Knitting wasn't (same price).

VK has a great zippered jacket done in a honeycomb pattern using a Filatura di Crosa yarn. Designed by Rosemary Drysdale, the design is quite nice. Valentina Devine has two items with amazing color combinations. I'm not fond of the garments, but I love the colors.

Norah Gaughan has a beautifully sophisticated jacket done in mitered squares. I would never knit it, but it's quite well designed.

Finally, VK had a small article on Knitting Blogs. No surprise that QueerJoe's blog wasn't Sorry Marilyn, yours is a little too controversial too, I think.

Two of my favorites were mentioned, however. Congratulations to Wendy and Ivete.

FCEK had a good article on mosaic knitting. They showed how combining certain colors in a mosaic knit blanket could make for interesting differences in the overall look of the fabric.

Believe it or not, I also like a crochet coat designed by Lily Chin. It has some interesting cross-stitch-like graphics at the bottom hem. Probably one of my favorite designs I've see by Lily.

Other than those two pieces of the magazine, it was pretty ghastly.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Log Jam

I have so many things I want to start. I have very little energy.

Knitting Plan
I've decided I need to focus on two things with regard to my knitting:

1. Start working on the Janis project
2. Do the second child's sweater for the neighbor girl Rebekah

The first on sucks because it's secret and I can't disply my progress here. Fortunately, it's baby size, so it will go quickly, and once I give it to Janis, I can show off my handiwork.

The second one should also move quickly, but I'm not sure what I should do with the yarn. It a three ply, cotton yarn with festive colors. I'm thinking about doing a very simple cardigan. Perhaps even raglan sleeved. Maybe top-down.

Other Projects
The mandatory projects won't be overly satisfying for me, so I know I will need a couple of other things to work on as well.

I plan on starting the Ron Schweitzer Fair Isle design I got at stitches.

I was fortunate enough to meet Ron at Stitches, and he is a very sweet man. We had a lengthy conversation about how he started designing for Yarns International, and how he can be so prolific with such complex and time-consuming knit designs. The answer in short is, he just does it.

He's also very artsy, in that he finds inspiration for his designs everywhere he goes. Since many of his Fair Isle patterns are very exact, I was thinking he was perhaps a more logical man, than creative. I was wrong.

In addition to the Fair Isle vest, I plan on working on socks as well. The striped Regia sock I was making is turning out way bigger than I wanted. I'm going to have to unravel the entire sock and start again.

I think I'll work on some different yarn instead for my sock project.

NJ Ride for AIDS
I got an extremely nice e-mail from Karen, thanking you all for helping her raise money. She went on to say that the ride was the most difficult and life-altering things she's ever done. It made me glad that I had helped in a small way, so I wanted to pass those thanks on to you, as well

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Post Stitches Let Down

After all the last minute hectic knitting getting ready for Stitches, and then the exuberance of the actual event, I've cut way back on my knitting this week.

One Last Stitches Blog Entry
I didn't want to sound conceited in my post about Stitches yesterday, but something else happened to me while I was in Atlantic City.

The picture is awful, and it makes me looking like a crazed beauty queen, but yes, Bert Parks did crown me Ms. America while I was there.

Current Project
I know I have to finish Rebekah II (the body's done, but I still have to do the sleeves). I also have a lot of projects in progress, such as the Hemp sweater from Lana Knits and the Alpaca Bedspread/Grave blanket. I also have to get my ass in gear with the baby item for my friend Janis.

I just couldn't stand to face any of those projects, so I brought a sock project with me this week.

It's simple, and mindless, and I'm enjoying the colors.

NJ Ride for AIDS
Thanks to the generosity of many of the readers here, Karen was able to almost reach her goal by contributing about $1,300 to the AIDS charities.

Congratulations to her great work and thank you all for letting me ask for your help.

Reader Comments/Questions
Geane asks what I mean when I say she was exactly as I had expected her to be.

I forget sometimes that my feelings for people aren't obvious to readers. In my opinion, Geane's blog is written in a very casual, smart and easy-to-read manner. She comes across as very personable and witty.

She turned out to be all of those things, or at least that's how I assessed it in our brief meeting and conversation.

Richard offered a web source for Bergere de France for Barb who asked about inexpensive, good quality synthetic yarn. He wasn't sure if he was breaking a rule by doing it.

Not at all. If I find folks are leaving spam in their comments, I will delete it. I considered Richard's comment helpful and responsive to Barb's inquiry. Not spam at all.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The Best Stitches Yet

This year, Stitches reminded me of my first year, except BETTER!!!

Blog Readers
I was amazed and pleased to have gotten to meet about twenty or so blog readers at Stitches.

Everywhere I went, I ran into folks that recognized me from my blog pictures and just wanted to introduce themselves. I have to say it was way cool to meet so many folks who read this blog.

In addition to folks like Kathy and Marilyn, with whom I had scheduled to meet, I met Ivete of Knotology blog fame. And then I got to meet Geane, another co-blogger. What a treat, she's exactly as I'd expecter her to be from her blog writing.

I also met way too many folks to mention by name (even if I could remember them all).

Thank you all for taking the time to say "hi" and introducting yourselves. It was truly a pleasure.

I only do two things when I go to Stitches:

1. Shop
2. Chat with friends

Shopping this year was a lot of fun, and I spent quite a bit of money. I was glad to see a lot less novelty yarns in the market this year, and vendors going back to some of the more basic yarns and designs.

Here's the inventory of what I bought:

Sock yarn from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks - Hand dyed sock yarn in beautiful muted tones of blues, tans and browns that they call Sandalwood

Fortissima Socka Yarn in three different muted/manly shades.

A new Weavette, in a larger size (6" square). I liked the smaller one, so I bought the larger one, as well as a weaving pattern book.

And finally, I splurged and bought a Fair Isle vest kit from Yarns International. It's a Ron Schweitzer design, called Rona's Hill. The colors and pattern design are splendid, and I'm looking forward to knitting this garment more than anything at the moment.

I still blame Wendy for this sudden surge to do a second Fair Isle garment, but at least this one is just a vest.

Stitches Awards
First, I thought I'd give the "Worst Of" awards:

- Ugliest Sweater goes to this contestant who used a hideous color and big loops to create a design that I wouldn't donate to a homeless shelter.

- Most Garish Sweater goes to this amazing mixture of over-bright novelty yarns that would make Twiggy look as puffy as the Michelin Man.

My Booth Awards go to the following booths:

- Best Small Booth - Rosie's Yarn Cellar
Their booth always has a cozy, family feel to it, and they carry a large array of high-quality yarns. I always feel warmly welcomed when I go there.

- Most Improved Booth - Simply Knit
In the last few years, Simply Knit has had a couple of tables with sweater kits and a rack of sweaters that customers could try on. This year, they had a very professionally done booth with yarn, kits, books and tons of their great designs for customers to try on.

- Best Overall Booth - Habu
Amazing yarns, amazing designs, and great people. I loved this booth.

While I didn't find anything that I could make for myself or friends or family, I loved their designs. They are unique, and the yarns or the coolest blends of natural fibers like hemp, raffia and paper, along with wire-cored threads. The colors are more than amazing

Reader Comments/Questions
Thanks everyone for the tips and translations of the Foreign Blog reference. The blog was indeed Finnish.

It appears that (the folks that host my blog), somehow showed my blog to anyone that went to Henry's web site (can you imagine their surprise to find Henry's new blog site title?). Henry personally wrote to me to let me know, and he said most of his readers found it funny.

Also, with regard to the Massage Therapy picture. That is just a random picture I found on the web. It is neither me, nor my massage therapist in the picture. Although my massage therapist is very cute, he's not California buff with a pony tail.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

World Wide Web

It's always nice to be reminded, blog writing does go out to a world-wide audience

Web Lesson
For those of you who have never created a web site with a "Counter" feature (the box in the right column of my page that tallies the number of hits my site gets), some of the counter softwares provide additional features.

For example, my counter software lets me look at not only the number of hits to the site, but also where those hits come from. So for instance if someone like Wendy puts a link to my site on her blog, anyone that clicks on that link will show up as originating from

International Blog Mention
Yesterday, I was browsing through my counter software, and I noticed a hit from the following link:

Since the blog was in a foreign language (sadly, I don't even recognize the language), I did a search for Queer on it, and here's what it said:

It was posted by Henry, but other than that, I couldn't begin to tell you what he says about me (I'm assuming Henry is a man's name in that country too). I'd go to the Babel Fish website to try to translate if I even knew the language.

Anyone care to tell me if Henry hates me or likes me?

Knitting Progress
Today's entry is a short one.

I got no knitting done last night or this morning, so there's no progress. Instead I had 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated indulgence last night.

I also haven't had the opportunity to do the gallery pictures of Passing Lane.

Readers Comments/Questions
Rachael asks "You must be tired of people telling you "It'd be faster if you learned to pick the yarn.""

I have to say, in all my years of knitting, I have never had anyone tell me that I should change how I knit. Honestly, I think it's because I'm a man, and whereas knitters have the nerve to tell a woman she should change how she does her knitting, they don't have the same gall with a man.

At least that's my theory.

And for me, speed isn't the goal. It's enjoyment. I knit at a decent speed, and I turn out sweaters pretty quickly because of the time I allocate to my obsession, but I'm not concerned about increasing my speed.

Barb asks if anyone knows of a decent synthetic worsted weight besides Canadiana?

Canadiana is a pretty inexpensive option at under US$4.00 for 100 grams/228 yards. Especially since my favorite synthetic that I've used is Plymouth Encore. It's not completely synthetic (75% acrylic, 25% wool), and there are a bazillion colors to choose from. It retails for just under US$5.00 for 100 grams/200 yards. Folks tell me it wears like iron, and there are lots of sources on the web to order it.

Sorry, that answer probably doesn't help at all, and I loved the story of your Great-Granny.